The WeaveMothers watched the train switch to the happentrack which they had just finished. The transition was as smooth as ever it could be.
The Engineer guided some steam through the whistle.
And the Storyteller began the tail of the Girl and the Five Fears.
Somewhere in a swamp
In mystic crocodiles' domain
Live Loneliness, Humiliation,
Loss and Death and Pain
The Girl awoke, nearly face down on an island in a swamp. She was dirty and wet and extremely uncomfortable. Inspection of her arms and legs revealed many bruises and scrapes.
She could remember little of how she got here. She did seem to recall walking/stumbling along as the water got higher and what land there was became muddier.
Nor could she recall why she came here. Thinking back, the last thing she could remember was falling asleep with the others on a moonless night. Had she wandered away from them? Or were they the ones who left, leaving her behind?
She thought she saw a flicker of motion behind some scrubby bushes to her right. She tried to stand to get a better look and discovered a sharp pain in her ankle. There was more motion, this time to her left.
And she began to be afraid. They might see how helpless she was, lost in this place. When she thought that, she saw another movement, this time directly in front of her, hidden by a tree. And she called out to whoever was there, begging for whoever was there to show themselves.
Part of a head of one of the beings peeked out from behind a bush. A leg and an arm of another was visible as well, not quite hidden by a tree.The creatures appeared humanoid, but seemed very fragile. The Girl asked them to help her.
As she spoke, the creatures cowered and shivered. One of them finally responded. She said they were too afraid to help her. They were afraid of her. Finally Pain, for that is what she said her name was, stepped out into the open, still keeping a safe distance between them, and the others showed themselves as well.
There were five of them. The Girl learned that the names of the others were Loneliness, Humiliation, Loss and Death. Pain told the Girl that she had been wandering through the Forest of Fear and become mired in the Swamp of Submission until she found this place...their home...the Slough of Despond.
When the Girl asked why they didn't leave this place. the Five answered that they couldn't. This is where they lived and it was too dangerous to attempt leaving. And furthermore, this is now where she lived...and she wouldn't be able to leave either.
"You came for a reason," one of them said. "It was your own attitudes which guided you here."
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Fear is like that. Once it gets a really good grip on you, there isn't much you can do but just try to get from one day to the next. I know. I was there...for most of my life. I was over 40 years old when I finally started to break out of it. It was definitely not easy. It most definitely will be easier for me to talk about it than it was to do it.
I started getting the upper hand when it occurred to me that Death might be the easier way out, that dying would at least be the end of my pain. Forever after it became...and has remained, a viable option. Every day has since been an exercise in living on house money if I choose that day to not be the day I die. And everything else just fell into place. Coming out as being transsexual is not so hard if the worst thing that could happen was that I died for doing so. And coming out cured my fear of Humiliation, for what could be more humiliating than to have my whole community considering my life to be nothing but a joke...and me to be a target of their jokes. In my heart I knew that it was I who was free and they who were not. If someone had a problem with me being who I was, it was their problem and not mine.
I did have to overcome the fear of Loss, the loss of my profession, my friends, and my family. Some of that happened, but some of it didn't. I survived.
Pain is easy to overcome if one has no fear of death. At least it was for me. Beat me if you must. I will stand proud of who I am, what I have done, and who I have become.
And that only leaves Loneliness, which I have found hardest to overcome. Fear of rejection has hounded me my entire life. But somehow I found that I had more friends after transition than I had before...eventually. The years before "eventually" came to pass were difficult, but I always had an option...a way out.
And I found that adopting a mission, deciding to spend as much of my lifetime as I could helping others however I was able, kept me saying, "Not today." And whenever it seemed like the mission had hit a snag, I have stepped it up a notch, trying to help others on a more difficult level.
If the world isn't a fit place for people like me, then the world needs to change. I will continue to do that and continue to try to make that happen...no matter how many people express the notion that people like me don't belong in their world.
Out of Fear comes Hate. And Fear comes out of Ignorance. To stop the Hate therefore, one must eliminate the Ignorance. And I will try to eradicate the Ignorance until my last breath.
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