The text below was intended to share with my mother to help her understand. I’m posting it here to help others understand ME as well as the emotion and termoil that goes into it all.
I can’t count the number of times through my life where I have found myself in a shower with water flowing off my face, wishing that my pain and sorrow would be washed away. It has never gone away. The shower’s steadfast resolve has always wavered as the hot water slowly disappeared, by which times my tears awash in a sea of droplets, and my sorrow wavers as the need for survival kicks in and I begin to feel uncomfortably cold.
I’ve rarely ever been comfortable, but the thought of suicide which has crossed and weighed upon my mind countless times seems not only uncomfortable, but silly. Although as I get older the pain gets harder to cope with, the tears go away yet the sorrow remains, and thought of ending my life seems more and more palatable. In my teens, the thought of suicide would always be there one moment, and gone about five minutes later, but now it drags on and on with what feels like a steadfast resolve of its own.
Some may call it a blessing, but I’m going to side with the part of my fellow demographic where nearly half [ of the people who fall into it the demographic ] have reportedly attempted suicide at-least once, and say that I’ve been cursed with a disease that I have known that I’ve had nearly my entire life. I suffer from gender identity disorder, and as time continues onward, as each year passes, particularly on or near my birthday, I weep.
This is not by choice, this is not the result of anyones actions… Although inactions have made the issue worse over time. It just is. The first time I saw a therapist for depression, it came up as a topic of discussion, and it was known then that it needed to be dealt with, yet I resisted. Just like I resisted throughout my teen years once I finally understood, at least in part why I felt the way I did. Why I always felt awkward, disconnected, and at odds with myself. A shard of hope always dreamed that I would grow out of it, that It would go away, that love would cure me, however such are the things of fantasy.
However, time has passed, and the chasm within me has grown. The roller coaster of emotion just to keep myself together has been hurting the one who I love more then anything on this earth. Thinking it was my work that was making me crazy, I ran away with my love in October 2011 and tried starting over someplace new, however I realized nearly immediately that things were no better, and in fact moderately worse because I had virtually no support framework. Ultimately the experience was still good as I was in a toxic environment and I was blind as a result. It had become my scapegoat to blame my own problems on.
Eureka quickly set in after I realized that nothing had changed, and the moment when I started looking for therapists, as I was conscious of the great rift within, I realized that it was time to deal with that deep dark box of emotional turmoil. What had been shoved into a box time after time. I sought out and began working with a therapist that specialized in depression and gender issues, who confirmed my own self diagnosis from years before, and helped me understand why I do some of the things that I do, why I work so hard to blend in, why I feel so uncomfortable.
After undoing some of what I have done, and starting over with another therapist, it has become painfully obvious that I cannot continue as I am. The pain is too great and the sorrow will just drag me to places where I need not end up. I don’t know where I’ll end up, but the path before me is clear. I intend to transition to living as a woman within the next six to twelve months, because the evidence has been stacked, weighed, and calculated to reveal that I cannot continue as I am, and that I must change. Some would argue that I should live out my life on anti-depressants and just be happy that I’m alive. I don’t like those people as they have no understanding of the turmoil within meanwhile they feel that everyone else’s comfort is more important. Yet, my health, my sanity, my life is more important then how anyone else feels. My mistake has historically been to do what people around me want while sacrificing myself.
With that, I started on a low hormone dose several months ago, and the effects on my mental status has been remarkable. I still get sad, I still cry, but I’m still human. My times of great sorrow and pain have been greatly reduced, and life almost seems worth living. To me, it is clear that I’m endevouring to live a healtheir, happier life. To that end, under the care of my healthcare professionals, I intend to continue on my path for the forseeable future, yet where it takes me I cannot yet know.
I’ve been amazed thus far by every single friend who I’ve told, every colleague who I’ve confided in, has been supportive and understanding. Even my entire chosen family has been supportive. I can only hope society is improving. It is not as if my condition is rare. It is actually relatively common place. The Federal Government estimates that for every one thousand people, there is one transgendered person. In reality, those numbers are more like one in three hundred according to the mental health community, and if we take other countries as an example where it is socially acceptable, most likely closer to one in a hundred.
I can only hope for acceptance and understanding. However, if you who are reading this chooses not to accept me, then so be it. It is important, nay, it is critical for me to live and not dwell, however I have no desire to open wounds so if you would prefer that we never speak, or that the bridge be burned, then simply let me know so I may respect your wishes as I hope you will do for mine.
I recognize that none of this may be coming as any sort of shock, or it may seem earth shattering. The reality is that it is shocking. There is a normality to shock, denial, anger, bargining, guilt, sadness, and eventual acceptance. I recognize this normality; however it must be understood that even for my love and I, this still turns our world on its head and the only way to reach the end normality is time. I recognize things will take time for everyone, and as time passes,I hope that you will understand, respect, and wish the best for me.
If you would like to know more, I recommend taking a look at “She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders” by Jennifer Finney Boylan, which you can likely pickup from your favorite book retailer. I’m also more then happy to discuss my plans should it be so desired, and if you ask me what pronouns to use, you should be able to illicit a smile from me. There is quite a bit of reading material out there on the subject. If all else fails, feel free to ask me what you are pondering. I don’t [typically] bite.