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Marilyn and I had an interesting discussion about letting go. I expressed frustration with a relaxation tape we were listening to the other night that was supposed to help us fall asleep, because the facilitator kept saying to "let go." I was frustrated, because I either don't know how to or am not capable of letting go. I have held on to things for decades. I can only imagine all of the crap that is festering inside of me.

Marilyn found an article. I have not read the whole thing yet, but she read and I reread this part, "Oddly enough, painful feelings can be comfortable, especially if they're all you know. Some people have trouble letting go of their pain or other unpleasant emotions about their past because they think those feelings are part of their identity. In some ways, they may not know who they are without their pain. This makes it impossible for them to let go." I think this might be me. If I let go, I will risk losing my identity. The pain, hurt, and resentment are the only feelings that I have.

I have had some very unpleasant and angry confrontations lately, including being misgendered twice just this morning on the telephone. I really am in turmoil and am once again at a very low point, and it has not been easy finding help. The last thing a depressed person wants to do is spend time on the telephone trying to get an appointment with a profesional. What ever hope there is quickly becomes buried by the red tape. It seems like the health care system really is no longer conducive to helping people, epecially people with mental health issues. Both of our lives are in a bit of turmoil right now, and that is really scary.

Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and originally from West Virginia. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and is available at It was also named a Best Northeast Ohio Book in 2020 by the Akron Beacon Journal. Follow her at

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