The title says it all, where to begin. I write a ‘real’ blog as it were, one which has had both highs and lows over time, one which I had hoped to keep on top of this year. That didn’t happen.

A lot of things this year didn’t happen, I didn’t get to go to my new volunteering position more than once, didn’t get to relish in the joy I got being in the RDA family again. Our bigger step holiday, me and my partner H had planned which would take us around six hours from home had to be cancelled, the holiday which had meant to act as a step before going abroad together in 2021, now I have no idea when that will happen. There was so much time, laid out in front of me and yet it was so wasted because I had no travel options. Not being able to drive, knowing I will never be able to drive, was frustrating.

My younger niece had her first birthday in lockdown with no family visitors. I went 73 days without leaving the small town I live in. I have had to move all university work online and this means I rarely see more than my two parents on a weekly basis. This year I felt had promise, there were things that should have happened this year, it felt like it was heading into a really good place for me and then this one virus destroyed it.

I have spent this whole year suffering from jaw pain, for at least nine months of it, I have been in pain every day, only taking the proper painkillers at night because they make me so tired. I have had to be in this pain due to lockdown, due to not being able to get the help urgently, then due to the backlog of patients meaning I was not able to get an appointment for treatment until January. I am scared now that this might not go ahead, that the virus will worsen and mean I am not able to go for the procedure. I am worried that these injections will not help, that after the first, maybe after the second or third round I will find there isn’t much else they can do. That I get to live in constant pain. Lucky me.

I think it was around August that I first learned that H was Non-Binary, they hadn’t known this for very long themselves, and I was the first to know. I felt I was ok at first, then when I learned a lot more about what this might mean I panicked. Even though I managed to grab hold of the panic and work through it, even though I want more than anything else to stay with them, I love them so much and they have been one of the best things ever to come into my life, I am saddened a lot by things. I find the idea of them getting top surgery sad, and I understand why they need it, I really do, but I will miss the female shape I have loved. I will find it hard to see the first person I ever experienced real attraction to change their body in this way. I find it hard to remember to use they and them, but I also feel strange when I think of taking away girl and woman as descriptors for them. I don’t even want to begin thinking about my family, how they will react to this and there is a part of me that knows I follow some of the same views they do but I am torn on these being the right way to think. I know I have a lot of gender bias, I know I struggle a huge amount at the idea of being the odd family, about what it must be like to be a child with different parents. I want to fix all my concerns about them, I want to be the best person I can be but I’m finding it very difficult to get information which can help me. To get information that understands the importance of being ok as a partner and doesn’t see emotions of a partner as being wrong because ‘it is not about them’ I can’t find help in working out my feelings, feelings I need to work out before I can be who they need and who we both want to be.

My dog lost her eye, my bouncy little girl seemed to lose a bit of herself with it. I hate to see her drag her feet on a walk when she was always the dog to run ten miles and be happy to go again. She is still herself at home, she is happy, but I wish I knew what was in her head, what she’s worried about and what she needs to help her through this.

This dog was the one I wanted so much but that I could not bond with, she wasn’t the dog I wanted back and I found that really hard. Sometimes I think about her really bad accident, she was almost 1 and 1/2 years old when that happened. I think it brought us together when I had to carry her home, walking for about a mile with her dead 10kg weight in my arms, when I kept reassuring her all the way, knowing from the mess I could see that her leg was really bad. She was lucky then, her leg didn’t have to be amputated as we feared it would.

Now she’s lost her eye and I realise between these two medical events how much I have grown to properly love this little dog.

Now the year is nearly over, in a week it will be the strangest Christmas Day we will ever know, a week later my elder niece will be four years old, it’ll be four years since my Granny died not long after that. It makes me realise how much things merge together, how some things can feel both a very long time ago and feel like yesterday. I remember meeting that tiny baby girl on New Years Day, I remember her little hands were still gaining their colour and the penguin sleepsuit she wore. I remember the wale from my Mum on the phone the day my Granny died, the way my family came together on that day. I remember my auntie hugging me, seeing how I sat in tears, silent, my sister had to leave the room, she isn’t good at emotions in front of people. I even remember the day my Dad shouted through to me that I had left something behind the seat in the car, something that had been squeaking on his way home. I remember being annoyed at the interruption and then seeing the soft cage in the back seat, lifting out that puppy who was such a baby still and so tiny.

All that seems so recent, but it’s so long ago now. I guess I hope 2020 will become the same, I hope it will someday seem a thing we all remember clearly but still something long gone.

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