What do I fear?
Over the years, I have learned to deal with lots of challenges. Even back at MIT, a challenger of mine acknowledged that while I made more noise than most, I also did more work than most, which earned their respect. In many situations when I had someone to fight for and someone to fight with me, I waded right in, taking the hits, doing what was needed, and pushing well past comfort & ease.
This work, though, always came with a cost. The requirement is to put my feelings in the background, to divert power to the brain, and not get stopped by any sense of emotional need or desire. I need to stay chill, playing the concierge role, and leading with my head.
As a woman, though, especially as someone not seen as a woman by most who read my body before my heart, a lifetime of cold denial has not helped me grow roots, blossom and trust my feminine power.
I have learned, though, to be safe with myself, to cut off the outside world in a hermetic fashion, so I can create a place where I can just be me, not having to toughen up, being as melty as I can manage alone.
Is being melty alone very satisfying? Well, no, not really. Vulnerability is much more comforting when someone else hears you, understands you, and wraps you with their caring. Tenderness and emotional availability can work wonders, or so I hear; it really hasn’t been part of my relationship experience.
What I fear, you see, is that dreaded choice that happens when I feel emotions in the wider world with no means of support. Do I have to harden again, or do I just start sobbing in the car, needing to hide and get the stress off my aging, tender skin?
The challenge of engaging unhealed people, individuals who haven’t done the work to own their own feelings and make considered choices, is not new to me. I know what it feels like to be targeted by someone who needs to act out their unresolved issues and I know how some want you to help through magically giving them answers, remotely doing the healing they find daunting, onerous and terrifying. The notion that I am responsible for the feelings I trigger in others, that I have some responsibility to reply to their concerns and to change for their comfort, well, that is a challenge a melty person will tend to avoid.
In a lifetime where I was never safe being melty, even as a toddler, someone who needs caring and being put high on the priority list, being out and about for too long without somewhere to retreat into myself and melt, well, that just feels like a burden too big to bear.
Engaging a bigger world would be easier, I suspect, if I had a better way to recover in my little world, some safety, some warmth, some understanding, some encouragement, some tenderness, but while I have learned to give these things to others, I haven’t found much of it for myself.
Most hits are not fatal. With some brains and some work, you can recover from them. Making smart choices helps give a sense of agency, of control, of power. The only time you really fail is the last time that you try, as giving up is giving in.
I know all of this. The reason that I should be more active in my own life is clear to me.
Oh, but the cost of lifting up my heart to embrace that burden, the price of having to take the hits & keep going when you just want to melt, just need to melt. Oh. It scares the crap into me.
Good things can happen if I get out into the world. People can see me and like me, bits of attraction kicking in. I can feel the affirming energy and power as I connect, my voice being mirrored, my energy flowing. Bits of what I desire can come back to me, tiny delights.
And, of course, I can be present for the divine surprises of life, those moments when you get what you never expected or even imagined, when the universe reaches in and touches your mind and your heart, opening you up and reminding you of the awe and beauty we are each heir to.
I know what I fear, the meltdown that leaves me gasping, demanding healing time that just puts me off-line, crumpled and crushed.
Yet I also know that fear is a barrier to love coming into my life, the love of learning, the love of succeeding, the love of being seen, the love of being loved.
The experience of having to attenuate myself to keep others comfortable is an exercise of the mind, of a mind that I empowered to save myself so long ago. A sharp mind was required to face a society that told me I was too damn much, too overwhelming, too visionary, too intense, too queer, too passionate. I needed to modulate for others, policing myself to consider their fears by amplifying my own.
It is the heart, though, that drives that mind, a tender, feminine, emotional heart that needs to have the space to melt into beauty, into mushy, into love. It is a heart that learned early what expectations were laid on this big body and big brain, expectations that just were designed to break it.
I know what I fear. I fear a meltdown that I just can’t recover from on my own, one that costs just too much of the scant resources that I have left. I fear the assumptions, expectations and just plain self-involvement of others who have never, as I see it, really been able to be there for me. I fear the ultimate loneliness of a long-lost tranny.
I also know what I need. I know the only way to get it is to be exposed, to show my love with grace & commitment, ready for love.
Melty, then, like so many things, is both what I need and what I fear.
It has been a long, damn life.