It is time, time to pull off the clothes, to pick up the bits and pieces that lie on the surfaces, to fill the plastic crates and stack them up, time to dismantle Callan once again.
As inwardly comfortable as I feel in my own clothes, it is hard to feel outwardly safe. It isn’t easy, for example, to walk around the block in this subdivision wearing my boots and Old Navy denim skirt.
Miz Ruby has noted that I seem to take things that others would just slough off and let them stay on my skin. Phil McGraw calls this “emotional sunburn,” and Lucinda Bassett has made a career of desensitizing people from what causes them anxiety. The problem with being trans in the world is that it isn’t about getting over an event, it is about dealing with continuing assaults, and dealing with choices that treatment centers don’t want to engage.
I feel the jitters, and the jitters take me, and then I just hide. That simple. And if family can’t make you feel jittery, who can? When I feel the pressure to be who they expect, having to negotiate their frailties, and then the pressure to claim myself as efficently and as quickly as possible, well, those pressure waves collide in my head, leaving me feeling like a well used futbol, beaten inside and out.
One of the hardest things to avoid is externalizing my pain, making it visible in the world in some way. But as big as the pain is, the futility of trying to get people to engage it is clear to me, and what I don’t need is someone who just wants to silence & sedate me, stop me from “hurting myself” by being proactive and hurting me first.
And that ends in dismantling Callan, taking the mantles and putting them away, hiding them from view until someplace and sometime down the road. I’m throwing stuff away, and the rule is simple: could I preach in this? If not, well, not even any point in trying to save it. If there is any seed of hope it is in practice, in my being in a place where I my gifts can be valued, and that is in my guru gift, the teacher/preacher parts my creator left in my heart.
If only it were easier to die, to take the parts of yourself and dismantle them so you can go back to being small and injured and appropriate. It is one thing to put yourself on ice for a while, sacrificing with the knowledge that you will bloom again, but another to not feel affirmed and alive and have to go back to a box that has no image of ending, a cell where life is just sacrifice and denial.
I don’t know what comes next, other than court dates and challenges. There doesn’t seem to be any clear path.
But the one thing I can do is trust the path, hard or easy, struggle or joy.
And that’s not easy.