Human Bean‘s #MadCovidDiaries – Week 12: June 9th to June 14th
TW: discussion of racism and transphobia, medical issues.
Gosh, what an emotionally laborious week it has been. Difficult conversations with people about race (which is fine, that’s my responsibility as a white person) and difficult conversations with people about transphobia.
I’m non binary and JK Rowling has said some despicable and dangerous things about trans people this week. For people unfamiliar with the context surrounding her remarks, and ignorant of queer history, it was perhaps easy to ignore or downplay the damage done. For us in the trans community, constantly in danger from prejudice and discrimination, it is not so easy. The charity Mermaids UK has posted an excellent rebuttal, if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
I have had to respond calmly when I am hurting and that has been exhausting and infuriating. Why do I have to keep asking nicely for basic dignity? Over and over again? And at the first sign of anger from us we get told “you should just be more polite”? Usually from cis people brand new to the conversation. Politeness has got us nowhere. I’m sure others are familiar with this catch-22 in activism for people with mental health issues. The Black Lives Matter movement has experienced similar criticism, exacerbated by the racist stereotyping of Black people as aggressive.
There’s been a racist backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement here in the UK. Swathes of white men gathered in a pseudo nationalist protest. The far right has been emboldened by a right wing government spreading hate. It all feels very hopeless. We keep doing what we can.
Against this background I am having increasing anxiety. About the state of the world, about covid, about the treatment of black people and trans people. It all merges together and feels overwhelming. Part of this is my mental health and part of it is fact. It feels like we (people who want fairness and equality) are losing power. Things feel very dismal.
In more positive news, I am feeling less physically ill this week. I was having problems related to my gallbladder, because I need it removed. The symptoms have calmed down a bit for now. I have pain but less nausea, which I’m really grateful for.
I got back to self therapy this week, which I feel was a good move. I made a little timetable for my week setting out the things I need to do including some “uncertainty experiments”. This includes things like joining in an anti racist Zoom group (which I found excellent, and plan to continue the work and check in every week), and phoning the GP.
I might have set myself too much to do. I’ll try this amount for a week and then see how I’m feeling in my next self therapy session on Thursday and adjust accordingly. It is empowering to feel I am giving myself support (given that external support is now unavailable to me). It is a constant balancing act for me to feel productive and also look after myself. My capacity for productivity seems less than a lot of other people’s and I try not to judge myself by those capitalistic standards.
I was just looking back at my entry from last week and I don’t think I’ve lived up to my ideas of reconnecting with my daydreamer self. Maybe that’s something I’ll try to bear in mind more for the coming week.
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