The problem is when people attack me verbally I shut up, trying to cope with the abuse, I try to deal with each statement, I am mute. This happened on Friday when I was told to attend a meeting – the subject is really not important – but I was subjected to a torrent of assumptions, perceptions and worst of all lies. I was stunned.
I was told to shut twice, no room for the ‘other side’ of the story here.
I came home and cried, I was indeed worthless, of course people didn’t like working with me, it’s all true, it must be. It must be because my Boss told. Everytime I asked for examples or reasons it was ‘hearsay’ or he couldn’t quote a specific example, but it is all about the perception game.
I am not sure how people can work with me and not tell me what I am doing is wrong, I am not sure how someone can be friendly to my face and then stab me in the back, I am not sure of anything or anyone, apart from H and some wonderful friends at my former employer where I worked for six years, who I worked with and didn’t find time to backstab.
I did the usual roll call of suspects of who I could have upset, but couldn’t believe anyone of them would not have grassed me up, after more tears and an emergency call to the Partner who got in his car and drove 75 miles from Kidderminster, I had hoped it was over. Saturday was better, a little, crying in the street is not normally my scene, but Saturday it was as prepared myself for work. I got through the day.
I began to cling to the good things, grasping for images I latched onto the inset photo I took in Berlin at the CSD March. It was a fun day, H and I lost each other for a while, we joined the Parade, we got drunk in the Tiergarten surrounded by gay and gay friendly people – we were effectively in heaven, the dodgy Leather Club with people walking around with less than a thong on, misordering drinks in broken German, the drunken Man we met who had found his Wife carrying on with a Lesbian, and me trying mischievously to convince H to take him for a drink into the Leather Bar. I took this picture and at the time it was just a picture, it is a picture that has depth.
On the surface it is just some Drag Queens posing, outrageous and funny. Looking deeper the picture began to mean more to me. The costumes are very pink and very girly (the Pink Heart on the Apron) and the people are of a ‘certain age’ – I love the contrast. Not only are they breaking taboo about cross dressing they are breaking about age, they are also outrageously pretending to something they can never be. The poster at the back, the Young Blood, in my imagination ghosts of their misspent youth – et Arcadia ego! I love the fact that each of them are totally different in character, that each has a character.
Digging deeper in the picture, these are people who will have ‘came out’ in a time less amenable today, they would have been exploring their sexuality whilst Section 175 of the German Penal Code which was not repealed until 1994 in West Germany, or they could have been East Germans, who knows? They have known repression, rejection, and acceptance. To me the picture celebrates their acceptance and yet harks back to their youth. Berlin CSD was amazing, everyone joined in, it was a street party like I have never seen, and I can cry because I belong somewhere, somewhere that does not think I am weird, or to some people who can accept my weirdness.
I am clinging onto this picture because tomorrow will be better, they have proved it.
I really want to meet these ‘girls’ because they are getting me through so much at the moment – that sounds dramatic, but these are dramatic girls.