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Dream elements: 11.8.2014

November 9, 2014
  • person with initials ADM, nonbinary
  • waiting, anxiously, to hear about a piece of submitted writing
  • awareness of being nonbinary, among people who consider themselves binary
  • New Mexico
  • Michelle Obama
  • wondering if people I met at AROHO Retreat in 2013 liked me, or not
  • feeling like an outsider
  • people’s gendered names

(In the dream) There was an invitation-only event hosted by AROHO, at Ghost Ranch, a month before the 2015 Retreat. I wanted desperately to attend. Spoke with Michelle Obama about my anxieties, waiting to hear if I’d be invited. She asked if I had the money. Thinking of the money in the bank for the AROHO Retreat itself, I realized I had no idea how I was going to pay for getting out to New Mexico a second time. Told M.O. money was tight because “I haven’t worked for 6 years”. I felt ashamed. She was nonplussed.


I’m more “comfortable” waiting for people to reject me than I am looking forward, unfettered, striding into my future.


I accomplished an amazing amount of things Saturday. But I could easily have also written this blog post, yet I procrastinated for hours and hours (mostly on Twitter).

I have never dreamed so much about a future possibility as I have, recently, about the 2015 AROHO Retreat: am I eligible to attend? Does anyone want me there? Does anyone think I could make contributions they would value?

These questions… sum up my whole social life. Both human and non-human, frankly. What talents and skills do I possess that anyone cares about? Have I accomplished anything, ever, that anyone besides me will remember? Would any community anywhere be pleased to count me as a member?

{{I desperately wish I could make a pot of tea right now, but of course, no teakettle.}}

Why does money keep coming up? Generally, on the rare occasions I dream about money, I discover I’ve lost/misplaced my wallet as I’m about to get on a train, so I don’t know how I’ll pay my fare. Or I’m worried about having charged gobs of items I don’t actually need on my credit card; how will I pay the bill when it arrives? But no one in a dream has ever directly asked me if I could “afford” something.

I haven’t been “not working” for 6 years either. It’s been 5 years 2 months.

I’m a big admirer of the First Lady, but I think I’ve only dreamed about her once or twice before, although President Obama and the White House were in those dreams too. In this one, she was just a regular person, not particularly political.

Even when I ‘outed’ my nonbinary identity to family members, I didn’t dream as much about it as I have been, related to AROHO. Why do writers matter more than relatives? Well, but, my relatives didn’t like me before any of this, but some of the writers I met . . . did. Something significant is at stake.

Also, I had been holding myself in limbo, waiting to see if AROHO would respond to my letter of 9/30 (while fairly sure they wouldn’t). I told them my gender identity itself was in abeyance, as if they had a right to rule on it. Of course they don’t. But, oh, I want to belong somewhere! And yet, it would have to be on terms that I could actually live with: terms that don’t keep me camouflaged and unseen.

I wrote to one of my cousins in 2013, relating my mother’s frequent counsel to “relax and be yourself! People will like you!” I said that that’s not actually what happens when I “relax”; instead, people can’t get away from me fast enough.

My cousin did not respond.

Something broke inside of me then, because she wrote back, but never referenced any of that.

“Relaxing” around other people has been a tricky thing: how much of The Real Me is allowed to show before everyone runs away? Not very much.

As I’ve unpeeled my layers, getting closer and closer to discovering Who I Really Am . . . the previously-important people in my life have fallen away. All except Spouse. And even he . . . loves the person I am, yes, but he doesn’t want to hear anything about my gender identity. He’ll let me talk about it, but he won’t respond. He’ll change the subject as soon as possible.

I have Twitter-friends who are nonbinary and/or transgender. But they don’t know much about my personal history. I’ve never met them face to face. I have 15 years’ experience making online friends, then meeting them in person, and (often) not hitting it off.

Where can I go where someone sees my whole personhood, and loves me? Or even likes me a lot?

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