I took part today in a joint event organised between Surrey Libraries and the Surrey History Centre. It was called LGBT+ Stories and was a combination of readings from the archives, and the stories brought by those of us in attendance.
I hadn’t prepared anything, but as an awkward silence settled in when the call for a first story went out, I stepped up. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s weave a story out of nothing. And so I summarised my journey. I twined it with the theme of my own imposter syndrome and brought it back to talking about the importance of visibility.
And then I stopped before I rambled on and took over the whole show – but it did the trick, and broke the ice – and slowly more stories emerged between the excerpts.
So, there’s a thing I’m proud I did, and the transcripts and audio will go in to the archive to bemused future researchers.
A while ago I wrote about a journal I had rediscovered, which was full of the ramblings and diary entries that I had made in the early stages of a very bad time for me.
Depression had me firmly in its grip, which was a bit of a bugger, and dipping back into the journal has reminded me that I ranged in this journal from delusional meanderings to deathly dull recitations of each day’s minutiae.
If it were just daily minutiae, or just delusional rantings it somehow would be better. The problem is that they feed off each other in this journal, and it is painful to read. I’m not going to unbox all the fun and games from that period again here. The people who were there at the time will no doubt thank me for that.
I did put the book to one side for a while to see if my visceral distaste for it became less overwhelming, but it hasn’t worked. I picked it up this weekend and just felt revulsion as I re-read it. That was… unexpected.
It’s a window on a version of myself that was very flawed and very ill. It’s part of my history, but at this point it now feels counterproductive to keep looking back at it. If anything it’s a painful marker that evokes shame and remorse and I don’t need it any more.
So I’m going to destroy it. The journal cover is lovely, and I may try to get a fresh replacement for it some time, but I need to let go of this remnant now. I haven’t decided how I’m going to destroy it yet – but I suspect fire and a toast with select company may be involved