Alone

I’ll tell you this true; I’m not healing.

I’m in this cul-de-sac without a car this weekend.  My parents are away for two nights, after a big push to get them out by 2PM yesterday and a requirement to walk 4 miles to a bus tomorrow at 6:30 AM to meet my mother at a 10:30 doctors appointment, today is for cleaning and the possibility that they bail early.  My sister has the car she took away from me almost two weeks ago, having had it for a week since she pulled into an intersection and got the front end totaled.

The new season of Celebrity Rehab has started with the two-hour meet & greet.  I understand the women much more than the men — actually I usually don’t understand the men at all.  The participant who touches me is Amber, a model locked in a messy co-dependent relationship with her mother who got her started on drugs.

Dr. Drew is clear to her that she needs to heal, invoking the aircraft safety warning to place the oxygen mask on yourself before you help others.  But he is also aware that there will be anger, that she holds anger against this woman who was supposed to protect her, but instead demanded caretaking, and that anger will have to come out.  Those opiates are for pain, and the pain is deep.

When no one is here, I often get dressed for an event I don’t attend.   Last night it would have been the Zombie Prom, a benefit for the local women’s roller derby team.  I would get to go into my fugue state as I pull together an outfit and paint my face, making art with wit and style.

I wouldn’t end up going anyway, though.

The reason is simple: in the end, I would be there alone. No pals, no partner, no connections.  Yes, there might be people there to meet, but they are in groups and knots, and I would be alone.

This is the real experience of a tranny life, that aloneness, the isolation that comes from stigma.  You can’t be trans unless you are willing to walk away from expectations, and for me that started very, very, very early.  I ratted out the bus driver when I was four, telling truth rather than playing along.

I know that I am connected with other transpeople spread thinly; TBB, Miss Rachelle, Gwyneth, and the people who have commented here, like Grace and Abby.

But after a few weeks of attacks, including one by someone who invoked the authority of what people close to me KNOW, and from my sister, well, my skin hurts all the time.  I did reach out to my sister last Sunday morning with bread, cheese and empathy, but what I got for that is two calls for help later in that day.  Her last reach out to me was a request to shop for cars with her tomorrow.  She can’t reach out to me except as someone who needs my help, and that doesn’t assist me in healing.

My muscles ache from tension, my reptilian brain keeps feeling that people want to hurt me, even if I know that isn’t really true.  They just want to not be challenged by me, and that challenge is the excuse they need to judge me as bad and reach out to slap me.

My sister feels the “resentment” I have towards my parents, and the reason she feels it so acutely is because she feels it too.   We have much the same stuff.  The anger Dr. Drew identifies in Amber comes from the same place, and until you can get past the resentment and engage the anger, well, it just stays.

My father, who completely misread my relationship with my sister — what can you expect from an old guy with Aspergers? — set her on me and created a bigger mess, ignoring my warnings.

And now my self-talk is bad, my pain is omnipresent, and my isolation is worse and deeper.

It’s been a few weeks and I am not healing.

I don’t see any way that I can heal, alone like this.

And as bad as that feels, I have to now get out the vacuum and dusters and clean.

Ouch.

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4 thoughts on “Alone”

  1. what astonishes me about the nature of caring is that it’s supposed to be literally selfless. it’s not enough that you do what needs to be done, that you act from love, duty and empathy. you also have to suppress all your normal responses… as if the love and duty aren’t real if you ever, even just once, are less than completely gracious and self-effacing. any normal person resents a massive burden, but if you allow it to show that becomes all that’s real about you.

    it’s psychotic bullshit, of course… and as you keep pointing out, reactions to your natural resentments, and your methods of coping with them, reveal much more about the neuroses that surround you than they do your own, much more nuanced reality.

    one note of caution: i think you’re often too generous. “i get it” is a common refrain. but you know… sometimes people really do want to hurt you.

  2. In my experience, people who want to hurt me are people who feel like I have hurt them. Usually that means that I have said something that penetrates their defenses and they want to silence me by lashing out against me.

    The line between me trying to hurt them and me just speaking my truth is most often invisible to them; as long as they feel hurt or challenged or threatened, they often feel entitled to lash out.

    And yes, on the caregiver blog I have had more than one person respond to my own difficulty with some kind of pep talk for eating my own feelings: “Just think how they cared for you!”

    Thankfully, there are other caretakers who have challenged them, reminding all of us that we do have to engage our own feelings, not just eat them.

    Thank you again for your comments; they are meaningful to me.

  3. Callie,

    I simply don’t know what to say. I don’t know how you are able to continue in the situation you are in. It would be intolerable to me. I can be giving, loving and caring without having to allow others to take advantage or abuse me.

    I hope you find a way to care for, and take care of, yourself in the midst of all that you must endure.

    Blessings,
    Abby

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