I am Brittle in My Anguish

I’ve been anxious my whole life long, but I haven’t always been afraid. There have been individual moments, of course, including my experiences with violence and assault. But what I feel now is different, dare I say more of an existential fear about my actual existence?

I do not have much family. My parents and brother are not part of my life for various reasons. Most of my extended family are conservative Republicans with whom I have very little in common. Some are great folks, but there’s no real closeness. I spend holidays with Ledcat’s family, but they also aren’t really interested in day to day intimacy and familiarity with me which is fine because you can’t force those things.  It is pretty much a funeral/wedding/emergency sort of situation series of relationships.

Beyond the holidays, this creates a genuine sense of angst for me as we enter a new phase in America where I am very much someone who most others cannot abide. Not only am I queer, but I am a woman, I am fat, I am disabled and I am outspoken. I am a survivor who talks about the secrets we are supposed to keep buried. I unearth resentments that have festered since 19– when they were buried as the only survival mechanism at hand. I refuse to perpetuate generations of harm and silence that protect the guilty and persecute the innocent. That may make me accomplished, even respected, but not often liked.

I am brittle in my anguish. I work best rogue, but sometimes the lure of companionship draws me into group projects where I don’t really belong. That’s a perpetual vicious cycle. I can’t be counted on because when the fuckery starts, I bolt. I don’t pretend to understand the politics of it all.

Brittle is not a term that generates much compassion or empathy because it is harsh, ugly and painful to behold. I can gussie it up when necessary, but it is fundamentally a part of who I am.

This song has always resonated with me. I remember singing it occasionally in church and finding it strangely comforting, this concept of abiding with me. I am not a particularly religious person, but it does comfort me right now when I feel so low.



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