there are many sides to any story. there are many sides to my own stories. there are the stories i tell now and the stories i’ll tell tomorrow. and there are the stories that tell one part of how i feel right now, and stories that tell a whole other part of how i feel.

the important part of my last post for me was that Right Then, i was feeling Very Disillusioned. as i wrote it, i tried to express that it was probably temporary and that i also felt a load of other things. i was as frustrated with the person in question, and as sympathetic to my meeting as i was angry and disillusioned. it felt urgent and it still feels important that i wrote it from the lens that i did, because i don’t express that part of things much. and there’s always a part of me that wants more from quakers, that wants to push harder, that wants to hold the group accountable to the things that i’ve learned from quakerism to hold myself accountable to.

it hurt people. i didn’t want to hurt people. but it’s hard not to hurt people when one is speaking from hurt. (which is a potential lesson from our experience with that person.) but there’s also tremendous potential for healing. which was what i was going for. i was hoping that in being honest about how i felt about the situation, i could heal and the meeting could heal.

of course, with blogs, honesty becomes one-sided and poisonous. whether you intend it or not. it doesn’t feel like dialog, and it can seem invasive.

i’m leaving my post up, because it’s true. it’s also only part of something. it’s not totally true. it’s not my whole truth, and it’s not The whole truth. but it’s true for what it is. and because there are posts before it and after it that keep it in context. our meeting wasn’t perfect, it did the best it could, it’s been amazing for me, i wish it could be amazing for everyone. that’s what i tried to tell. you miss that if you only read that post. that’s another scary thing about blogs. mine’s a conversation with myself and it’s easy to misunderstand things when you just catch part of a conversation. it might be a generational thing, i might be embarrassed someday, i regret that it was hurtful, but i think this blog serves the community best when the seams show. a flawless community is not real– as much as i wish it were.

i’ve gotten 10 visitors in the past few days that have visited my site from searching for cubbie, quaker, and blog. before these past few days, that had happened a couple of times, but once i became controversial, people wanted to find me. i hope that they will come back and see the calm days, the loving days, the joyful days. those are most days.

i hate that our meeting has caused people pain. i hate it because it has not caused me pain, and that makes me feel strangely guilty, very sad, and a little angry at everyone involved. who are you that you can not be perfect to me and also this person? who are you that you do not find the perfection here? who am i that i am willing to accept this place that has wounded you?

when i posted about feeling like an enabler, it was true. there have been times when i feel like i’m making excuses for abusive behavior to a wounded person. i am not wounded by these people, but i’ve seen it happen, and i’ve tried to make the woundings not true. “have you tried this? have you considered that?” i feel like i’m making excuses. there is a truth to the disconnect between mine and others’ experiences that is not abuse, but it feels so much like my experience of dealing with abuse that i don’t know how else to name it yet. i’ve known denial. i haven’t known this “one person’s medicine being another person’s poison” like this before.

since my post, i’ve gotten 3 phone calls and a few emails. i’ve felt embarrassed, stalked, hounded, and loved. every conversation, i expected some sort of cease and desist order, but instead, i got love. some hurt, some agreement, tons and tons of love. and not just to me. i heard about so much love for this man. and honestly, i’d sort of forgotten that part, even as i claimed to sort of remember. i’m sorry i forgot. i’m sorry if you felt like your efforts and care was dismissed. i screw up. and you still love me. i raged like i did because i believed we could handle it. i forgot that that could hurt you, but i knew i’d be forgiven. that’s pretty juvenile, i guess. i’ll try not to take advantage of that again.

talking with him that day reminded me that i need to be honest. and it reminded me that i have not been faithful to all that i should be honest about. i’ve talked in my clearness committees about my yearnings for scary conversations, and haven’t really done them. i initiated a one-sided scary conversation over here, not expecting the sort of follow-up it had, and was confronted with a number of scary conversations that made me want to show up at meeting with movie star dark glasses. but i didn’t. i held myself accountable to my words. and now i will start on those scary conversations that need to be had. the ones that don’t ambush– the ones where we choose to be brave and face each other and ourselves… and god or whomever is there to keep us safe there.

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the friends school just called and asked when i could start coming in to do clerical work. eep! yip! yay!

from 11-10’s paper journal:

“i feel sour & exhausted & utterly human today.

i think it might be my flu shot, because my muscles are so sluggish i a way that seems unbeatable & ingrained. not just sleepy or sad, but a deep exhaustion.

my relationship optimism is waning again. a few days ago, i was like, ‘there might be things i need to change about myself.’ i need the force of character that i’m lacking by not being able to handle this relationship. but today i am tired of negotiating needs. of losing myself in the purification necessary to keep going.

in the past week, ipods have come up 3 times– twice with quakers and once in tikkun. it’s funny because it makes me want to defend my ipod use, but i think it’s good to make me interrogate it- make sure that it’s really for innocuous, or hopefully positive use– shielding me from the world only when that’s really necessary, giving me an air of dancing joy when possible.

my eyes are drippy from a tiny exhaustion nap. not currently moving too much. i feel sort of refreshed, but i’m not sure how i will handle actual movement.

connection & spirituality– these are my two big interests. they should coexist harmoniously, but sometimes they collide harshly.

last night, at study group, [someone] said that when [they look] back at things [they] highlighted when [they] were younger, [they] are struck by how naive [they were]– & i think i have some insight into why such statements (& i’ve made similar) are hard to hear by a younger person. we are always so thoroughly ourselves– that the idea that we might change enough to be embarassed by this specific existence– is hard to hear, hard to think about.

i just so much want to find synthesis between different points of view. it feels like a calling, but also a want, so maybe it’s not a calling.

i think part of what works so specifically for me at meeting is the sitting in the circle. i really feel like god is there in the middle. i’ve always believed that god is love is interconnectedness, & that center is where we all meet in worship. it is amazing.

i am lucky/blessed to have the time that i have right now for contemplation. next week i won’t have that. i feel spoiled to have it, and also that it’s completely necessary. if i can keep doing it, i think i should try. it’s good for me, the way i’ve been doing it. it’s discipline, which i need, & it makes things make sense. having texts has become so helpful.”

a note on capitalization:

i’ve always been rather… concerned about the way that proper names are capitalized. setting people apart in a way that other things are not set apart always made me sad. particularly capitalizing the “i” for myself… i didn’t like that. in college, i started taking away those capitals. then i realized that i prefer the aesthetic of lower-case, anyway.

in formal things, i started using traditional capitalization, but pretty much always my name in lower-case, and if i felt like i could get away with it, the i’s. when i got my legal tranny name change, i got it legally lower-case.

writing about god in lower case is something that i’ve been thinking about a lot, and right now i feel like it’s necessary for it to stay personal.