This Thanksgiving has been particularly rough on me. While thinking of what I’m grateful for, my thoughts keep turning to all the people who have helped me to become who I am, but that I am not in regular contact with any more.
Having and maintaining healthy connections with others is, to me, very very important to me. Because of this, anytime I lose a connection, it hurts. I know that many friendships and relationships are meant to be for a time, and when that time has passed it is for us to let go gracefully. While I know this is a thing, I’m not that great at it. Goodbyes are garbage. They’re even worse when there’s no chance to actually say “goodbye.”
So this week I want to spend some time appreciating some people who’ve been on my mind a lot lately, and who I haven’t been able to speak with for a while.
John is first up. I haven’t seen him for three months and he will always have a special place in my heart. He was extremely important to my growth and healing last year. He has shown me that true trust is real. It may be rare, bit it’s not a myth and questing for it is not a snipe hunt.
And speaking of people who have helped me learn what real trust is, everyone involved in my HEAL circle at WSR. They taught me how to take the theory of connection that I’ve read about, and make it an embodied practice rooted in community and accountability.
Ash, I haven’t heard from them in a while because the DOC has blocked them from JPay. The DOC says that all they have to do is call in the DOC HQ and they can be put back on jpay. The problem being, how is anyone supposed to afford spending two to three hours on hold while paying international phone charges. Not to mention for them to call during DOC business hours they would have to call at 2 AM New Zealand time or some such foolishness. Ash was the first person I ever came out to as trans. Other people may have figured out I was trans and dragged me out of the closet at various points, but I always crawled back in to hiding. Ash was the first person I came out to and I’m hoping that DOC will stop with their aggressive foolishness soon and let us email each other once more.
Maxx was a DJ on 90.5 KWCW, a college radio station in Walla Walla. He had a show called “Raising the Rainbow”. I was scared and lonely back then so I wrote him a letter. He’s trans masculine and we talked about some of the similarities between having to be closeted as a witch, and being closeted as a queer person. The lies, playing off people’s assumptions of normalcy, and the loss of people you thought cared after one comes out. I wanted so desperately to come out to them, but I was scared of my own truth back then so I didn’t. But they gave me hope that someday I’d get there.
Relentless took me through my year and a day of dedicate as a witch. He’s long since gotten out of prison and, as far as I know, is not coming back. He got married to a wonderful woman he met as a pen pal way back when in Walla Walla.
The people from high school who stayed on for a while after I came to prison. Brooks, Kasey, Perry, Jennifer, Aunt Kat and others. I know and respect each of their reasons to stop writing me. It hurt too much. Or they couldn’t accept my pagan faith. Or my trans identity. Or whatever the thing happened to be. I respect it even as it increases my sorrow.
Each one of these people shaped me in minor and major ways and even though they are not directly or actively involved in my life right now, I am thankful for the ways they’ve shaped me and the ways in which the memory of them continues to shape me.
So this year, rather than a New Year’s resolution, I have a New Year’s Wish. I wish that I have the opportunity to reconnect with people who were a part of my life in the past and had a positive effect on my life.