November 2017
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relationships after TBC 2014: Hannah, Kylei, Abby, Adi, Aurilion / community & alienation, isolation


So in February there was this flurry of activity of people coming back into my life, but it mostly stalled out. Now I'm reevaluating all of my connections because I opened the door on the question "what if this never changes?" I realized I'd been expecting some things to change eventually, mostly because people told me that the change was something they wanted. If I say a change is something I want, that is me setting an intention and whether or not the person checks in I'm going to work on it until I get there. I realized other people might be saying "if everything lines up on its own, I'd be happy to connect" rather than "I have a vision of how I want things to be between us and I'm going to work continuously to bring it to pass."

The first person I realized this about was Hannah. It has been literally years since we were close, and even longer since we were close in a continuous way. I feel the difficulty in overcoming depression and I've been waiting for Hannah to be in a place where depression & etc doesn't prevent closeness. I only just realized that that might not be a goal of Hannah's, or it might not be possible, or it might be lack of desire not presence of obstacles, etc, and holding the space just leaves a hole in my soul that hope flows out of, especially when there aren't any signs of change. I emailed zir something short, ze wrote back, and I wrote out my feelings more in depth. Ze said ze read it and wanted to consider before responding, and I haven't heard back. The idea that my friendship with Hannah might be really over is -- fuck, it's foundation-crumbling. There is such a gaping hole where communication is not.

Then I got that feeling about Kylei, because it seems to me like zir life is going in a completely different direction from mine and that made me realize, I've been waiting for zir to be centered and ready to reconnect without the old patterns, and ze might not even have that as a goal. So I messaged zir and we had a long email conversation about it and didn't really find resolution but we're meeting tomorrow to talk. Even though I have told zir over and over that I want to work towards closeness (and have been working on myself to make this more feasible), ze did not believe that I wanted it and had stopped trying. I find that really upsetting; if someone's going to give up I would at least like to know!

And I realized that I've only gotten to spend time with Abby without the presence of overwhelming stress maybe 3 or 4 times. That gave me the understanding of the frustrating draining feeling I get around Abby, even though there is nothing bad happening. It's that I keep trying to connect subconsciously and it keeps not working, but I can feel that there is a possibility for it. I finally brought this to my conscious the day before I left (I was staying with zir during TBC) and shared it and realized that now that it was conscious I could find ways to move into sync and feel connected. But ze lives in CT, so it's very hard to practice this.

And I realized that I have not felt fully connected to Adi in years also, and that as a friend I don't feel like I'm important. I messaged zir today about it. I could work on this consciously too, but ze lives in TX now. I hope there is some kind of long-distance connection we can make, because I miss zir. I didn't realize how much until TBC, when I saw zir for the first time in 6+ months and listened to zir talk in panels and felt such resonance and such longing.

Yesterday and this morning I've been talking with Aurilion about a bunch of stuff, it's all very in the air and pretty upsetting. I felt like we were going in one direction and I feel whiplash about realizing that that is not true.

So, good job me for being open and telling these people how I feel but fuck, everything seems to be going to shit. Also fucking hell why does everyone live so shitting far away. I need, need, need, need ACTUAL locals who prioritize friendship intimacy and spirit/soul/heart connection and aren't too busy to make it happen. I feel like this is never going to exist for me. I hate the divide between ITP and OTP (Atlanta city snobbery and/or lack of access to places outside the perimeter). I hate how it feels impossible to find people I connect with on a deep level. I don't know how to spot them. I don't know where to go. I don't want to look in Atlanta because it's not long distance but the effect is often the same. Everything in my city is so default, it's fuckin gross, but my rent is so cheap, I can't afford to give it up. I hate that my house is not accessible (the only bathroom is up a flight of stairs because the downstairs one was ripped up for renovation and then left that way). I'm so tired of losing everyone, I'm so tired of being far away from everyone, I'm so tired of waiting for change that never comes.

TBC always has the effect of making me reevaluate every relationship (3rd time's a pattern), maybe because it's the one place in the world where I feel like everyone I meet is a potential friend, that they're not going to cherish slurs, insults, and opinions over learning and compassion. (I'm weeping as I write this) I feel community, I feel kinship, I feel noticed, I feel valued, I feel accepted, I feel SAFE, and I feel like I can bring anyone with me and they would feel safe too -- all with mostly strangers!!! I can be queer and genderfree and wear skirts with a 'female' body and be feminist and be trans and be fat and have large unbound breasts and never have my identity questioned or assumed. I can "be that person" and know that other people are going to support me if I call out classism or racism or ableism etc, and sometimes someone else speaks up first (oh Godde how I need that :-(). That only happens for me in my house otherwise.

Someone said that TBC is the one place other than their house where they don't have to leave any part of themselves at the door, and I feel that so fucking hard. So TBC makes me realize how much I need this in my life and how much I don't have it. I'm so lonely and sad. I plan to draft an affirmation and try my best to bring this into reality for myself but right now I'm too mournful. I think the most intense othering I experience is about language: someone says 'bitch' or 'douche' or 'girly' or a racist or ableist slur etc, and I experience it as a slap to my face, spitting on me, saying "I want you and people like you to suffer, fuck you, stay down, I'd like a carpet of you and your kin." And it happens so constantly. People being outright prejudiced doesn't happen that often to me because I am relatively privileged but people revealing their subconscious prejudice with their language happens EVERY TIME I go out of my house. I know that I'm relatively privileged but I never feel community with these shitty white and/or male and/or cis and/or hetero and/or non-disabled people and they're EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME. CAN'T YOU JUST STOP PUNCHING FOR ONE DAY. But even if that happened, unless I knew ahead of time for sure that it was going to happen, it wouldn't be a relief because I'd still be tensing waiting for the blow in every interaction.

I should add that there are some good things happening in some of my friendships but this post is long enough so I'll write that later.

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Comments
bunnika ══╣bunny: hugs╠══
Part of this I can relate to so hard. I feel so empty without meaningful friendships, and there's this hollow ringing in my chest because I have no one close who gives a damn outside of my immediate family (meaning my partner and daughter). Even my sister isn't that close, and part of it is because there are some inherent differences in our greater outlooks on life that don't match up (she's got some political conservatism that I can't abide by). But I don't even have casual local friends, or people I've drifted apart from. I feel like I'm cursed to never have community.

I definitely know what it's like to drift from long-distance friends, though. Some of it is just circumstance, but honestly a lot of it is because I'm disabled now. People don't know how to act around me anymore. Being disabled opened my eyes to a level of social inequality I never noticed before, and I can't pretend I'm the same person I used to be. People also just don't know how to deal with someone who's always in pain. It unsettles them. It's really fucking unfair that being crippled comes with so many hidden punishments.

I wish I had a suggestion for you, but I can't even solve my own issues on the subject. You're in a better place to sort things out though, I think, because you have some foundations you can work from, and that's not to be dismissed. I'll hold out hope for you that those relationships are not lost.

I'm glad you have such positive experiences at the conference. It sounds like a really welcoming environment, it must be lovely. I wish places like that were more commonplace.
dianafay ══╣╠══
miintikwa ══╣╠══
Oh gods, that's how I feel about Wiscon.

*hugs*
kmiotutsie ══╣╠══
Hi love, my heart is going out to you right now! I would like to step up and be a better friend to you. Please don't hesitate to send me a note or call me and let me know what you need.
I love you forever!!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.