I wrote in my last blog about how I am reflecting on the last year, this weekend marks a year since I first visited the batcave. I have made reference to the batcave in a few blogs and I have been promising to write a blog about it for ages so here it is.
The batcave is a very special place for me. To describe it in basic terms it’s a few caravans and a bar all set in a beautiful valley in the far west of Cornwall, (you can see how beautiful it is as the picture at the top of this article is the sun rise taken from the batcave on new years day this year), but it so much more than that, it has for me become a place that feels like home. I don’t very well understand the concept of home, I have never felt at home anywhere but when I am at the batcave I get feeling that I am closer to feeling at home than I have ever been. I have written about how I have a desperate need to feel safe and how I have never felt safe anywhere but in that beautiful hidden valley in Cornwall I am closer to feeling safe than I have ever felt before. Why the batcave makes me feel like this I don’t exactly know why. I know that down there I am surrounding by love and acceptance and they don’t mind how if I let my hair down. I don’t have to be anything I don’t want to be and I can just be simply the Bex and the storm.
How I found the batcave was though my support group not alone. The lady that runs the batcave (I shall refer to her as pixie from now on because that her name) with her partner came to a meeting. She joined in with the group discussion and told us about the batcave. I knew a few people from the group who had been there and they had all told me about how awesome it is, and I was intrigued by what I was hearing, but part of me thought it sounds too good to be true, I latter found out that it was all true. Pixie had mentioned that there was a party weekend the following weekend, and I thought I would like to go to that, but I was scared to ask if there was space for me. I spent the evening trying to make small talk with pixie and eventually I plucked up the courage to ask if I could go down that weekend, the answer was positive.
The weekend arrived and I was anxious as I always am when I go into new situations. I got a lift down there with a friend from not alone. I really didn’t know what expect. I knew it was a place for all people that fall under the Trans umbrella, from people that only like to dress sometimes right up to people like me who have fully transitioned, but I wasn’t sure if it would be some weird fetish place, that is defiantly not what the batcave is about. The batcave is about acceptance, not just acceptance of other people but acceptance of yourself as well.
The normal plan of attack for a weekend there is Friday is a nice chilled out night where we catch up and chat, the Saturday is normally a party night and we all get sent home on the Sunday with our heads a bit sore and our belly’s full of a cooked breakfast. As I said I was anxious when I first got there. Although my anxiety was soon diminished by the dogs that live with pixie jumping all over me. That evening was spent in the bat cave chatting to the people that were there. On the Saturday I put on my favourite dress and danced like no one was watching, I did get inebriated that weekend, and I met some people who have since become good friends. That first weekend was a bit hard because I couldn’t accept that there really was a place that people like me can go and be them self’s with no fear of any recriminations. I also thought I didn’t deserve to be there.
The main reason I thought like that was because I was post-surgery and I was the only post-surgery girl there. No one there did anything to make me feel like that it was just what my mind was saying to me. It took me a few weekends there to get over that, but I know now I have as much right to go there as anyone else. I also didn’t think I deserved a place like the batcave because at the time I thought I didn’t deserve anything good. Again I now know that is wrong.
What makes the batcave so special is difficult to quantify. It could be the setting, when I have been talking to pixie she has told me there is a lot of quartz in the hills around there or it could be something to do with ley lines, or it could just be that everything that is done there is done with love and acceptance. The great thing about being there is there is no pressure to be anything other than yourself, if you want to spend your whole weekend in you pj’s you can. If you want to wear the shortest mini skirt and a boob tube you can, (not that I would wear that). The friends I made there have rapidly very close friends and it is difficult to imagine my life without them.
Spending time at the batcave has been one of the major things that help to kick start my recovery, I am not saying it’s the only reason I am in recovery but it certainly helped, and I don’t know if I could of begun my recovery without it. It also provides me with a place to run to if I need to get away. I know some people would say that there shouldn’t be a need to have somewhere that Trans people can go to feel safe, and I agree in a perfect world that would be true. But this world is cruel especially if you’re Trans and knowing that we have a safe haven (which is the official name of the bat cave) makes the difference. For that myself and many other Trans people extremely grateful, in fact I don’t think it’s a pixie runs it but an angel who has been sent to make the this world better for Trans people.
Although now I don’t get down there as much as I use to as my life has become extremely busy. I still go down there whenever I can, in fact I need to get down there every so often even if it’s just to spend the weekend recharging. But if I do go a couple of months without getting down there I always feel the call of that place, it’s like the call to come home and that is hard to resist.
Before I stop writing I think I better explain why I refer to safe haven as the batcave, It’s not because it is in a cave (it’s based in a very nice wooden barn type building), although that would be cool if it was in a cave, and it hasn’t got poles to slide up and down to change into your super hero spandex, (there is a pole there but it’s for dancing). It’s because the bar houses one of the largest collectionsof batman memorabilia in Europe and quite possibly the world. Being a nerd and a geek (I wonder if that makes me a gurd or maybe a neak) that turns it from a special place to somewhere extra special.
Be the storm and not caught up in it