Tag Archives: loneliness

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Lyrics to Walking Wounded, by Everything but the Girl

What do you want from me? Are you trying to punish me? 

Punish me for loving you, punish me for giving to you 

Punish me for nothing I do, punish me for nothing 

You punish me for nothing, for nothing.

I’ve had the same two choices for my entire life: violence or isolation.  To be part of a family or relationship meant pain.  To leave the pain meant loneliness and desolation.  This has always been  the only two roads I could take.  I have lived in this part of London for over twenty years, but I have no local friends at all.  Strangely enough, most Eastenders don’t take well to bisexual, black, disabled survivors.  Most of them seem to think people like me don’t exist at all, and when they discover who and what I am, any outstretched arms of friendship wither away as they step back and keep on going.

Most folk think when I ran away from my family, all the pain stopped.  Some think that time and distance from the abuse and violence has faded, and I am left as an everyday, ordinary person.  Sure I flinch when a cup shatters on the hard floor, or freeze when the rare person tries to hug me, but I must be better by now surely?

The truth is only part of me escaped.  Only part of me survived.

I often wish I were Asexual.  I often wish I could live without sexual desire and all the problems it brings up for me.  But asexual people still have hearts; they have friends they snuggle with, and sensations their skin enjoys.  There is closeness, warmth and comfort that sing them to sleep.  What I want is to feel nothing, to protect myself from being hurt by denying I can feel at all.  This is not asexuality.  This is sadness.

Pic: a piece of beachglass and silver jewellery I made in 2005.

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Loneliness and Bisexuality

Image Artist: Kinuko Craft

This is how the journey goes for me: loneliness, isolation and desperation.  It happens in that order, although it should never have to happen at all.  As a bisexual person of colour, my chances for socialising are not that high.  Racism, biphobia and misogynoir is an awfully powerful mixture to deal with.  I cannot separate myself into palatable pieces others find easier to digest.  I cannot and should not even be thinking of myself like that.  This is the first part of the journey.  I start to make compromises; hell we al do in some ways.  But for bisexual people, we compromise when we hide parts of ourselves – our sexual orientation from others just to feel closer,to feel accepted and less of a freak.  That trick may work for a while, but to have any kind of self respect means that sooner or later, it will become a stone in our mouth.  The truth will out, and even if it only comes out to ourselves, it will still feel like a betrayal.

I am a social person; as much as I need time alone, I still want to be with others.  Spending half my life with an immediate family whose numbers were more than twenty people, doesn’t make it easy for me to cook for one, to talk to no one, to always be alone.  Rejection is a thing I’ve known; from my abusive family, from lesbians and gays, and white bisexuals too.  Loneliness is a thing I’ve had to deal with for so long.  Loneliness isn’t just the absence of others, but for me, it’s the thing that leads to isolation and desperation.  Loneliness is me sitting in a gay bar and feeling like I have the word ‘Bisexual’ stamped on my forehead, as folks ignore me.  Loneliness is me having no reflection of my life when I look in the Voice newspaper, or Ebony and Essence magazine.

Isolation is a structural result of biphobia, racism and misogynoir in LGBT and straight communities.  It is a process that makes me actively alone.  Isolation silences and squashes my attempts to be a member of communities where I could belong.  Now don’t get me wrong – I give a lot of talks on bisexuality, mental health and racism.  I write a lot of blog posts, articles and pieces too.  But as soon as I switch off my computer, I disappear.  When I end my talk, I become an unwanted guest in someone else’s space.  Isolation gives more power to biphobia, racism and misogynoir that is directed at me constantly.  Isolation is LGBT events that are too expensive for me to ever afford to attend.  Isolation is having community events in pubs, when I sometimes cannot bear to be around alcohol or drunk people.  The feeling that I will be alone forever is what makes isolation so cruel; it takes away any vision of a future I may have dreamed of, and leaves nothing but silence in its wake.

Desperation is the cold side of the bed when my abusive ex-boyfriend finally left.  Desperation is the fact that I stayed with him so long, despite the fact that he said I was no better than a whore.  The loss of self respect; the journey I’d been on since loneliness became my partner, led me to that place.  There are worse things than being alone – I know that, but I am ashamed at what loneliness and isolation has made me do.  I’m not making excuses either.  I know that isolation is a tactic many abusive people use to separate their victims from possible sources of help and support.  But when I face so any types of oppression on a daily basis, I am often afraid to face the alternatives of an empty room, an empty bed and an empty life.

Another tactic abusive people use is to make you feel grateful for any crumbs of affection and attention they toss your way.  It is not easy for me to write this, but I have been there, scrabbling around on the floor, searching for anything to feed my starving heart, even when I knew there was a high probability it would only men a boot on my back.  Loneliness, isolation and desperation are weapons in the wrong hands.  There is no need for these states to be mis-used, but so often I find that they are.  When I exist as an already marginalised person, unwilling to be accepted by the communities I could be part of, I am at risk of being treated poorly.  The stone in my mouth; the silence in my home; the distance I have travelled on this journey, are all symptoms of how broken this society is.  This is the world where women are devalued, racism is excused, nonbinary  folks are ignored and bisexuals are never believed to even exist.  This is my world and I am a part of it, clinging to the edge of the flattened globe, trying not to tumble into the dark unknown as I make my way to something more.  Something better.