Anxiety, getting it wrong and being scared

I’m scared.

I keep seeing posts on my Facebook from LGBTQ* feeds – which I like having, as they give me a different POV, a different worldview, which I seriously need. But every time I see one, I get a little knot of nerves in my stomach. It’s usually a complaint about how someone’s got it wrong, a lecture on how to do it right, a PSA on what words to use.

If I’m struggling with anxiety – which I am today – I just want to cry.

I’m going to get it wrong. I’m going to be in so much trouble. Everyone’s going to yell at me.

I write a trans* character in No Man’s Land. Ghost was born with male genitals, but doesn’t want surgery, and she uses female pronouns. One lovely friend gave me the words that fit; trans-feminine non-binary.

I’ve basically gone with what felt right for the character. Ghost is her own person, her own personality; she doesn’t want to fit in to a mold. She’s outside the rules of her particular society anyway thanks to her talent (being able to see invisible things is gonna make your worldview a little weird) and her sarcasm, general no-shit attitude and snarky personality make her stand out already. It doesn’t feel off to me to have her non-conforming to gender attitudes; she is what she is. She doesn’t want female genitals or attributes – not that she likes the male ones, but eh, it’s a body – but prefers female pronouns. She doesn’t really consider herself anything other than herself.

And I’m scared that I’ve Got It Wrong.

I have tried to research. I have, over the years, read a lot of different perspectives, and I try to keep up to date now. But when everything I read is telling me off, lecturing me, telling me I’m wrong…but there’s so many different perspectives anyway, and everyone’s got different ideas…

*curls into a ball*

I’m going to keep writing anyway, damnit. But it’s fucking hard.

I’m also scared in a wider sense. Again, I’m going to get yelled at – I’m constantly told that I’m privileged, that I’m not allowed to be scared, that other people are worse off than me, that because I’m white and living in a relatively stable country, I’m not permitted to feel scared. But the world, and life, is fucking terrifying me right now.

I don’t know if I want to live in this country. I don’t know how to help, how to change things, how to make my voice heard. I vote. I try to support causes that I believe in. I try to add my voice. But I’m not naturally an outgoing person, and – as you may have guessed from this post – I hate putting my voice out in case I Get It Wrong. I always have. I’ve gotten better over the years, but it’s still a major part of my personality. And I’m feeling lost for what I can do that will make a difference.

I don’t like this country. I don’t like this government. I hate that people all over the world are being abandoned, their health is being compromised, their rights removed – for, it seems, money, or religious beliefs. It just seems insane to me that you’d let something like the NHS fail. It seems insane to me that universal healthcare is so hated in the US. It seems insane to me that someone could be hated simply because of who they love or what religion they subscribe to. I hate the idea of control of ideas, of restricted access to information, of banning websites and using tracking and censorship in the name of protection. I hate that so much money is wasted on defense systems when those with disabilities are being told they’re scroungers and made to fight for a basic survival need. I hate that immigrants are being turned away simply because they’re Not From Here, greenfield sites are being turned into housing when older buildings are being left to rot, teachers and healthcare professionals are ridiculously underpaid when those making more money than they could ever spend are allowed to hide it. The world feels like it’s going mad; I know it could be far, far worse, but it’s still scary right now.

Apparently I’m in a minority for thinking all of that.

And I’m scared. My personal life is a mass of shifting sands and uncertain decisions; I’ve had a shitty two years on a personal level, and I’m now looking into the face of another year of hard work and hard choices, and I’ve got no idea where I’m going or if I’m doing the right thing. My country feels like it’s slowly going mad. My writing feels like it’s treading a path between offending everyone and trying to give representation and support to people who don’t get it. It’s feeling pretty overwhelming.

If you want to comment, you’re welcome – just keep it civil, please. If you want to contact me privately for any reason my Twitter is the best way.

I don’t often talk politics or gender on here and I’m not likely to continue – so if you’ve got this far then thank you for reading. Normal schedule will resume once my stupid brain stops over-worrying about everything!

4 thoughts on “Anxiety, getting it wrong and being scared

  1. *hugs* With you on feeling like the world has gone insane and we’re about to fall off the edge into something Very Nasty…

    On a prosaic and practical level work-wise – have you considered a sympathy reader?

    1. To be honest, I’m struggling enough finding people to alpha and beta without trying to find a sympathy reader too :-/ my alphas are usually very good at pulling me up, and I do have one wonderful friend who I run any lgbtq* stuff past if I need advice on specific points. But it is definitely something I can think about!

  2. Ignore the people shrieking for perfect representation every time. They:

    A) devour their own for not following their own absurd rules at times
    B) are often privileged themselves but choose to conveniently ignore it
    C) if they want minorities to be normalised and represented more then they have to accept that sometimes people will get it wrong. We’re all unique here, nobody is exactly alike, and so what if you get it wrong this time? They should be grateful that people are actually taking the time to do different characters, not just the same ones over and over, not demanding that you get it right perfectly.

    In two words: fuck ’em.

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