Category Archives: about

Waving, Not Drowning

Hey, weblog. I seem to write to you once a year, like clockwork. I think of you often, fondly, as someone that helped me through a ton of trouble I was in, and to whom I was profoundly ungrateful.
PenPaper.gifI lie in bed in the mornings as my body tries to get up steam to sit, inching my way through new imaginary articles I’ll write here, wondering what more I have to say, imagining what more help you could give me if only I could get back to you. There’s some anxiety associated with you I have yet to understand. I do feel guilty about you, weblog. I’ll never delete you, and look in on your often, as a mirror onto me. Maybe sometime soon, those waking imaginations will gather vowels and consonants around them and walk.

In the meantime, after 12,000 junk comments (I so neglect you, weblog), I’ve closed comments to all but authenticated readers. So if anyone is looking in, please do comment, it may be enough to help me worry less and write more. It’s just that you’ll have to authenticate at Typekey first. It’s quick and you can use it on other blogs. I’d love to hear from you.

P.S. Weblog, I removed that last entry from a year ago about politics and war. I’m still angry, it’s still awful, but it’s not something I want on the front page. This weblog is about gender and illness. So it will stay. xxx

Fumblings 2.0

Consider this the start of Fumblings 2.0. It’s like Web 2.0 but without the tagospheric folksonomical architecture of participation and semantic findability. If you found yourself actually trying to work out what that sentence meant, I advise you to steer clear of flickr and digg for a while.

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In other words you’ll still be able to leave comments here but still not be able to post nude photos of your neighbours. I just wanted to say that I’m sorry it’s nearly been a year, and Fumblings, you’ve been on my mind for most of it. I’m sorry to those I haven’t mailed or replied to, but I’ve had to severely limit myself due to continued illness and battle fatigue, and… oh, it’s a pretty poor excuse. Somehow it’s seemed too important to ever be able to do it justice. I feel particularly ashamed at not giving a squeak to those who even took the time to give Fumblings a nudge like an old TV set to see if it was still working. However a specific comment to my last exhausting entry has just dragged me from my cave and I really have to get back to this. Even if it’s just to be a bit more like a normal weblog and talks about cats and porridge for a bit. Although I’ve never been very good at tracing the trajectory of my daily life here and always seem to end up writing essays. Crazy non sequiturs will likely continue.

My comment to the above ended up as always more like a post in itself and I have to rest, but I hope to see anyone again soon who’s still watching and occasionally banging the set to see if it works. Meet you here soon, k?

A Day


An entry I wrote yesterday: my most shameful and dangerous, but why not just post it? It’s the truth about me, and how my days are. I feel like death today – on the edge of something very bad – so it may be gone tomorrow. I’ll take any help anyone has.

This entry deserves and will get no illustrations. You probably should not read it, and I probably shouldn’t publish it.

09:15
First memory of looking at the clock amidst usual mess of semi-lucid disturbing dreams. Usual sleep paralysis: heart-beating wildly, knowing I should wake myself to calm it, and sleep again. What am I dreaming: about work, about having to be at a meeting in town, for some reason with a schoolfriend, being late, stuck in a bookshop, and almost too ill to move: the usual mess of fears and being stuck, ill, wriggling in a web. Check: is my left ear screaming tinnitus? Yes… will it be a tinnitus day? Maybe. Pain in centre of chest. My hand stumbles across the bedside table to take a clonazepam: three a day, keep it up, and it might help me sleep – fleeting thoughts, always doctors – Dr Myhill says I need 9 hours a night – Dr Cheney says clonazepam protects the brain from the damage caused by CFS/ME. I dive back into the dream too quickly to wake and change it because my body’s too tired to do what it should and sit up for 2 minutes, I’m back in the bookshop, trying to keep a job, trying to keep my friend from when I was 14 happy, and worry worry worry. I’m late, always late, and clinging to the edge of the real world out there I actually left 6 months ago.

11:45am
I wake finally, like dragging myself from quicksand. Oddest most unusual dream, so unlike me: I am with my Grandpa, who died 20 years ago. For some reason we’re in Montreal, where he’s moved to in my dream, and we’re walking down a street, and he looks healthy, his face is full and happy like I’ve only seen in photos from before my memory starts, and I have my arms round his neck and I’m hugging him and jumping for joy: I have a girl’s body, I have hips, I’m about 18, and I’m so happy when I wake I feel a real gorgeous physical pain in the centre of my chest where the fictitious heart is. “I didn’t know you could be this happy” repeating over and over to him in my mind as I hug and hug him and he looks embarrassed and happy and healthy, to have a granddaughter who loves him and loves just being herself hugging him as they walk down the streets of his new hometown.

Where on earth did this dream come from? My Grandpa was old and thin in all my memories, a shuffling humble quiet man, worried about her daughter’s car crash of a marriage. Was I his daughter in this dream, who he loved so much? Was I my own mother, now gone too? Did they two have this flicker of an experience once, of hugging on a street, of sheer joy at each others love, the simplicity of a love between a man and his own sweet daughter? Is it a gift to me, for a second, now they are gone? But I don’t believe in the dead living again, or messages from when they are gone. They did, both: “this world is not my home, I’m just passing through”. But my Grandpa moving to Montreal? Impossibly stupid thought from a jumbled sick sleeping mind: he always seem a frail ghost after his wife died, hobbling through the 80s, fighting against the wind. He would, could, never have left these shores for the west – he spent too long in the east when he was young. And I never usually dream I have a girl’s body, or that I am happy, much as I yearn that my subconscious would take me there. Why now? Darkness and loss and the stupid randomness of my dreams descend and the pain of joy in my chest just turns into mundane familiar pain.

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Enough

I sent this mail out to about 40 people on Sunday: old friends, and family. Half of them knew most of it but golly gee: so that’s me and this weblog open and raw to the world then.
I guess it’s as good a way of introducing any new friends to what this is about as any, poorly-constructed as it is. I’d been aching over sending it since December, and decided I needed a weblog in case anyone who received it wanted to understand a bit more. So it all became a bit chicken-and-egg.
I guess time will tell if it was wise. I’ve been swaying from slightly-euphoric relief to screaming anxiety since, my biggest fear being that it’s an imposition of things to some people who don’t want to know it, and most of all, with respect to gender to the half of those who didn’t know, that they’d be forced to call me something they weren’t comfortable with in public, while raising eyebrows at each other in private. This could only make me more isolated, and it’d be my fault. But I’m so unhappy and lonely, this may be a nothing-to-lose thing, that I should have done 5/10/20 years ago.
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I’m also very worried about precedence: how when some read this mail they may reflect what I tell them with respect to others (some will understand this), or with respect to representations of transgendered issues on the web, most of which I dislike intensely. That’s another article I guess.
Message edited wherever I feel like it, because it’s mine, to protect the innocent, including me. I’m not proud of the style, phrasing, or how hard/embarrassing it must have been to receive by some. But some things you just have to do to survive I guess.
I’ve had some lovely kind short replies, a couple that have made my heart leap with happiness, and one or two that have amazed me with their insight. Because their reactions made me brave, I’m going to include the letter here and now. No-one’s been nasty, so my little Thai friend, who offered to kick-box anyone who was, will have to keep her boots clean for now.

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What Ho.

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Bertrand Russell

So difficult to start this. Feel the need to introduce everything I need to say for the new reader, then the lack of said reader’s desire to bother reading it, and finally the feeling that it’s “not to seem worth stating”. Throat infection for the last five days on top of all has thrown me into a very bad spin – been confined to bedroom for days, extreme anxiety and physical reaction. Like Nelson Mandela but without anyone calling for my release. Call for international sanctions against my illness presently looking unlikely. Airports being named after me highly improbable.
With hindsight, my hyperactive entries on Christmas Day were one of those little happier mountain peaks, only recognised later from the interminable dry valleys of ME/CFS. So for now I can just put up a couple of links that I am very anxious sound like extracts from Laura Ingalls’ diary, but are shorthand to try and explain some of the effects of chronic disease. You don’t have to read these.
http://www.foggyfriends.org/understandingme.htm
http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/spoons.htm
http://www.hyperacusis.net/whatis.htm
Having said that, I’d quite like you to read them, if I’m honest.
Being transgendered and having anxiety disorder and clinical depression are not yet a feature of this weblog because I’m… too scared to talk about them yet. Someone might actually be reading this.
Incidentally, I’ve never actually read more than a few paragraphs of Bertrand Russell in one sitting. Bertram Wooster, yes.

Tapping the microphone…

Christmas Eve, 2004, and I start my conversations with myself (and anyone who wants to listen). Is this thing switched on?

As Dom Pedro listened to Bell recite Hamlet, Dom Pedro heard every word and exclaimed “My God, it talks!”



Standby.. transmissions will start shortly.
This weblog’s likely to be less fun than most. Be warned. You’re likely to see lots of this:





and some of this:





If you know me and see some things about me you didn’t know, please don’t feel you’re trespassing – I probably always wanted you to know, really, or at least it makes my life easier if i know you do. Even if you think it makes me rubbish.