Monday, 21 November 2016

Lying Awake.

I wrote the following post in the early hours of Sunday morning. We often perceive our thoughts at such a time to be calm, to be objective, to be the Truth. We see things clearly then. We see things as they really are.

No. We don't.

That calmness is our bodies in shutdown mode, wanting to be asleep – please go to sleep now – with only our minds keeping us awake, our minds running free. Our thoughts then might as well be dreams. As with dreams, there is truth there, but it is not simple truth. Our minds are a swirling mess, probably ruled by the subconscious, and if we throw negative emotions into the mix... Well, they're not called the suicide hours for nothing.

My words below are from the same state of semi-wakefulness; I wrote them straight through, and have left them unedited (apart from adding one statistic and a link). There is some personal truth in them, the feelings expressed are real, or were real, or seemed real. As for anyone else... make of them what you will.

It's TDOR today, and I'm lying awake at 4:44 in the morning, feeling sorry for myself.

It's TDOR today, and I'm lying awake at 4:45 in the morning, in famous relative's beautiful home in London Docklands, feeling sorry for myself. Not feeling sorry about TDOR right now, just for myself.

I've just had a dream full of rejection, and now I'm lying awake at 4:47 in the morning. At the same time, part of my brain is playing through the scale of B on a treble recorder, starting at bottom F#, little finger right hand slightly raised, up through the complicated fingering for G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E, and back down again, and repeat.

It's TDOR today, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the day when we remember trans people around the world who died for being trans in a fucked up world, the victims of hate crimes, these usually the most vulnerable trans people, trans women of colour, brutally murdered. Their names are listed online, 295 of them this year, the largest percentages in the Americas, in Brazil, Mexico, and the USA. And these look set to increase as hatred is given free rein by the election of Donald Trump, as hate has increased in the UK after the nationalist and racist vote for Brexit.

It's TDOR today, and there's a vigil in Nottingham which I won't be back in time for. Instead, I'm lying awake at 4:59 in the morning thinking about it. Trying to imagine other people's pain – and failing. And that's kind of it really. I can't feel it. I feel cut off. In the bell jar. Meanwhile, the world is going to shit, people are dying, and I feel powerless, alienated from it and everyone, cut off, stuck in my own head with my own useless, selfish pain, which is next to nothing, or ought to be.

It's TDOR today, the world is going to shit, and I'm lying awake at 5:10 in the morning, feeling sorry for myself, and I can't do anything about it except write it down, then turn the light off and try and go back to sleep. And having written it down, I do feel a bit better.

It's TDOR today, I'm lying awake at 5:21 in the morning, but about to turn the light off. When I wake again in, hopefully, several hours' time, life will go on, at least for me. But not for everyone, as trans people around the world today will remember.

It's TDOR today, and suddenly I find myself crying. Who for, exactly, I can't tell.

It's TDOR today, it's 5:33 in the morning, and I'm lying awake, crying.

It's TDOR today, and I'm lying awake at 6:02 in the morning, reading S. Bear Bergman.


  1. A heartfelt post, if I may say that. I hope you're feeling better, too.

    Not everyone has the luxury of luck or the society we live in. The odds, if they can be called that, are very much stacked against them. Yet, they still try, very bravely, to be themselves. Yes, it is a loss that they've gone and a loss that these brave people are gone from our number. L x

    1. Somewhat better, thanks, Lynn. Except that the parlous state of things gets highlighted in my timelines all day every day. Maybe I should just stay off social media. Okay, head in sand isn't really a solution to anything, but you do have to consider your own self-care as well. Perhaps staying off social media sometimes would be a worthwhile compromise.

      Yes indeed to all the rest.

    2. You could say 'head in the sand', or you could say keeping yourself away from danger. Perhaps a strong word, but for what it's worth, I don't look at the trans forums on Reddit. It's full of convincing folk doing their thing and seemingly happier for it. If those posts are truth, or wishful would-be truth, I can't say. But i will say I stay away, so I don't fall into the trap of judging myself against them and coming up oh-so very short. So, yeah, I can understand, I think. Good luck