This is not an easy post for me to write and it may be a little disjointed.
For the past four years I’ve been one of the Coordinators of our local transgender support organisation, a position which has meant so much to me because of the good that has been achieved by the group and the help that we have been able to provide to so many people at various stages of their journeys of discovery and awareness.
Unfortunately, due to personal difficulties that I have, I realised about eighteen months ago that this work was becoming too much for me and I made it clear that I needed to step down and hand over to someone who would be able to cope better with the demands of the position. That change never happened, and then along came Covid-19.
Feeling that due to my health issues I’m in a higher risk group I decided early on, 109 days ago to be precise, that I should shelter as much as possible to try to keep myself safe
I continued to see my estranged wife occasionally during that time, keeping my promise to her when we separated that I would continue to assist her with shopping, gardening, and a short drive to somewhere we could take a sheltered walk together, although our meetings are always quite trying for me as she denies my right to be “me”.
There is one friend locally who I have seen on average for an hour each week, out in the open, socially distanced, although a lot of the time spent together has been listening to their mental health problems in what seemed like a never-ending circle. Hardly exilarating, but at least it’s human contact.
My nephew, who has always been my staunchest supporter and is extremely careful to stay clear of the virus, has been over to stay for the night on four occasions.
Emails from anyone have been as scarce as hen’s teeth. After a brief exchange of emails a couple of weeks ago I met up in girl mode with two friends from the group for a short while one afternoon.
For the rest of the time I have been alone.
Nobody has checked up on me.
I live in a sheltered bungalow but even the Support Worker hasn’t been in touch other than to occasionally “buzz” me in the morning if I’ve overslept and not triggered my “I’m OK” button. There’s been no conversation or doorstep visit. No visible sign of humanity.
When one colleague from the group eventually came over for a chat “over the hedge” it was because they wanted to discuss group matters, not because they were concerned for my wellbeing, and in the lead up to that I had waited over four weeks for them to respond to my request for them to call me.
I have issues making phone calls, which people just don’t seem to comprehend, so it’s extremely unlikely at the best of times that I will pick up the phone first. I need people to call me.
Other than the actual group meetings most of the interaction between members takes place in Facebook, and I absolutely detest Facebook on so many levels, so I vary rarely go in there; once every three months maybe? If it weren’t for the needs of the group I would have killed my account years ago.
A number of the group members do have other ways of keeping in touch with me, but the silence has been deafening.
Then, over the past couple of weeks, we, as coordinators, became involved in an initiative by another organisation, something I was very reticent to take up but went along with because I always say “Yes” to these things…
I did some preparatory work prior to a video linkup but then found out at the last moment that the information and guidance I’d been given on it had been totally misleading, and that if I hadn’t decided to get my colleague’s opinion first I would have been put in an extremely embarassing situation during the linkup.
That really was the final straw.
I withdrew from the video linkup and have told my fellow coordinator that I’m finished with the group.
All these other people may have had difficulties throughout the lockdown, but they either have families, jobs, or other ways in which they have human contact on a daily basis.
All I see is walls, and all I hear is silence. Alexa and a few buzzing flies are no fun.
Well, enough is enough!
It’s quite obvious that nobody gives a rat’s arse anyway, so I see no reason for me to continue to offer my help to people on a one-way basis.
I want nothing further to do with the group or any of the people in it.