Friable, pliable?

Friable, as with “In Emergency, Break Glass” means easily shattered. As a friend once put it, rigid things crack under pressure.

More on the labels palaver. So… I let go of the labels bigender, androgyne, gender-neutral, etc. etc. – but I’m still holding onto the labels Woman, Dyke.

I want to know who I am, I want others to know who I am, because it’s unsettling for me not to know, and others seem to find it threatening not to know (that’s the only explanation I can find for why someone not knowing whether I’m a man or a woman makes them angry, good grief…)

I’m in mid-transition, I’m in what Tibetan Buddhists like to call a Bardo, an in-between state where the possibility is there to do what Douglas Hofstadter calls JOOTSing – Jumping Out Of The System.

So I’m torn. On the one hand, I’m very attached to having an identity – it gives me security, makes me stand out less (which would be nice), makes me like most other people who don’t feel the need to question themselves. But on the other, not having a fixed sense of self feels very free. After a lifetime of trying really hard (and failing really hard) to pretend to be something I’m not, it would be a shame to set into new concrete when I could be more flexible, more pliable than that.

Part of the reason I suffer with my PTSD is that its defining characteristic is rigidity – something in my neurochemistry that tells me: in anything that resembles that situation, you will always feel this. I’m having this EMDR therapy to try to melt this mechanism. I want a less predictable life. Well, mainly of course, I want to stop being afraid – and being afraid in this way is just another facet of the rigidity, something I currently have no choice over.

This is it – I want to be able to choose. I’d much rather face the responsibility of choosing than remain a bolted-down victim. And of course, I’ve been this way for so long that it’s become a habit (which is shorthand for: it’s part of my identity) – so letting go of it feels on some level like a threat to my self. So be it.

If you can’t remember where you put the keys, a castle is no different from a prison.


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