I don’t do content warnings like I should. Sorry, I don’t always realise I ought to. I try to learn by example. People tag this post’s topic pretty consistently. I am not clear why, but I don’t have to be.
CW: SUICIDE & SUICDAL IDEATION. Also TRANSPHOBIA, and possibly HOMOPHOBIA
I actually spent two hours rambling about this topic. I lost focus, lost my point. In short I was me, and very ADHD, and very tired. But I saved that to pick bits from one day. I now realise what I want to say.
Hi, I don’t want to live.
This is, I want to make clear, not a suicide note. I fully intend to wake up in the morning. I might even be a bit put out if I don’t. What I won’t be is significantly upset if I don’t.
I have had suicidal ideation as long as I can remember. At least since I was eight. Constantly? At this point I honestly don’t really know. I have depression, it takes spoons … sometimes a lot of them … to simply get out of bed.
There have been times when I have been done. Living, for me, is exhausting. It used to be worse. I used to have negative spoons every time I got out of bed, every day. I … sometimes think I’m still in spoon debt. It might explain all the things I’m so blasé about, instead of lacking the spoons to deal I lack the spoons to give a fuck. It’s a theory.
I’m alive because of cats.
Let me back up.
I am transgender. I am a lesbian. I have always known. I didn’t always know quite what it was I knew, but it was there.
Gender dysphoria is hard. Harder still when it’s heaped up. Hardest with … bad representation. Negative stereotypes.
Do you think the girl who knew she was a girl even if she admitted it to know one, least of all herself, whose first crush was a girl in her kindergarten class didn’t get weighed down by the homophobia of the 1980s?
That was a kind of dysphoria too. If I don’t admit I’m a girl, I can’t be a lesbian!
It’s bad enough to have a wrong gender identity foisted on you at birth. Worse to enforce it, sometimes cruelly, at yourself. Do I mean “at”? That seems wrong, oh well.
Now add puberty.
I loathed myself. I wanted things that in retrospect would have been self-harm. Luckily I don’t care for pain.
As a teen I knew what I was: I was a woman’s soul trapped in a man’s body. I was a prisoner of my own flesh.
I couldn’t change it! Thank you Jerry fucking Springer. Your fucking She-Make episodes were so godsdamned uplifting.
I wanted to die. I needed to die. I needed to get this life over with so I wouldn’t be trapped in this body in this hideous, grotesque shell. This prison, this terrible lie, this travesty, this vile horrid hateful mistake.
I … tried isn’t the word. But I tested the sharpness of a knife I was sharpening against my wrists. If I had achieved an edge that broke the skin with gentle pressure? Easy, I would have found peace.
I … I wasn’t really in enough pain to want to die painfully or slowly. So while the knife could have, my resolve was just short. And I had Jennifer & Kissy. They wouldn’t understand, and they would miss me. I knew they would be okay, and well cared for, so it’s a really good thing I never got that knife to a razor’s keenness.
College was hard. I had no cats. I hated my school. I hated my life. And my dysphoria had no place to be but worse. I thought of so many ways. None felt right.
I met my wife, we hung out. I had a kind of happiness. Or I guessed it was. MDD, I gather, makes it hard to feel certain you’ve ever felt authentic joy instead of emulated, performative joy.
Life got hard dysphoria harder. I had cats again, but I was grieving one lost too young. And I was just so very tired. I was in such pain. I was a monster, a grotesque thing. Sex was wrong, pleasure was wrong. Sensation was wrong. My existence was wrong.
So many times, so many final straws. So many times the blade was to my skin be it figuratively or literally. So many times I stopped, sobbing, because what would happen to my kitties? So many times my wife stopped me, usually screaming at me that the cats would miss me and not understand.
I hated her, I resented her. I resented those cats. And I hated myself for thinking that. I loved them, damnit! But I didn’t want to, and I wasn’t sure I did because did I know how? Surely they didn’t actually love me anyway. How could they? Why would they? I was less than nothing. I was worthless. I was wrong, and broken, and hurting so much.
That went on. Eventually time claimed Tas first. By then we had Einie, a dog who adored Tas and who mourned that cat so much. Then Jackie went, Bella and Visit, especially Visit, were devastated. Einie was sad again. I was broken.
My health was so bad. Once I couldn’t gain weight if I tried. Occasionally I’d tried. I was gaining weight. I’d grown a beard because … really because I had nothing like enough spoons to shave it. The house was a mess and filthy because cleaning was just a waste of time and of my nonexistent energy.
I had had so many heartbreaks. Shannon had one definite miscarriage, maybe others. Tas, Jackie … Visit was shattered by Jackie dying and it … he mirrored me, really.
There’d been so much time spent just waiting for the end to come. For a proper chance. I was keeping my babies and wife off the streets and if not for that I would have given up. I was so far past ready to tap out. I couldn’t stand to see myself in a mirror,
In all of this I would have been willing to accept certain levels of pain in exchange for various degrees of immediacy, and efficacy.
Slow and lingering wasn’t on the menu.
An emergency landed me in hospital, emergency surgery.
While recovering I concluded something: I had had enough.
I had put up with living for 32 years and some. I was exhausted. So either I let go some burden, or I let go life. I could stop pretending I’m a man, or I could just not muck about with that whole turning 33 business.
For some reason I chose transition. Probably Einie, Visi, and Bella.
It’s funny but it’s like I had only so much ability to cope with dysphoria at a go. I started out just intending to social transition. Pronouns, clothes …
But once I wasn’t dysphoric there I had room to feel the pain my name caused. I changed it. My blood chemistry and body followed.
At this point I am dysphoric of the things that will never change. My voice, my inability to give birth, the lost childhood, the trauma and pain of my teens, the hellish misery of my 20s.
Not very long ago a bunch of muderers in the United Kingdom got their way. Puberty blockers, which were first being offered to trans kids right about my 10th – 12th ish birthdays give or take, were taken away.
I cried for a day. I was in a dark place I hadn’t been in awhile. I felt deeply for those kids because I had been them in ignorance, they know this stuff exists, but it was taken away!
I am not being hyperbolic: that judge, those people who pushed for this, those who celebrate it they 👏 are 👏 murderers. Full stop, no apologies, no caveats, nothing. If we will not hold them accountable for every single one of those kids who doesn’t make it through this and responsible for the effort against each one who does then I hope that there is some judgment awaiting them and I hope the gods do not have any mercy.
“Gender Critcals” or TERFS or whatever you wish to call them are bullies, and murderers. They treat transgender folks as gay & lesbian (into which bisexual was lumped because people are stupid but … just keep up) were in the 90s. Forced out of sport, denied entry, discrimination in schools. DADT, DOMA, Sec 28, etc? Bathroom & locker panics. “tHiNK oF thE ChIlDr3N!”, and more.
I once again am short of spoons. To see over much of their vitriol or to engage with them too far leaves me shaking. Not metaphor, not “emotionally shaken”, I am left quite literally trembling.
I once again am surrounded by politicians legislating my life out of existence. But instead of my human rights as a lesbian, my rights as a woman & to be respected + accepted as one.
Guess what? I am not in a good place most days. I’m not there, but I don’t know that I’m ever far away. I wonder if I can ever be far away.
So, they are murderers. Republicans? Centrists? TERFS? Anyone who wants regression or to keep the status quo or is an obstacle to substantive solutions are every single one of them solidly guilty of murder. Not manslaughter, murder. Maybe if you don’t like that word, then genocide? War crime, that. Though so is mass murder innit? Crimes against humanity?
Would I still want to die if capitalism was finally destroyed before sunrise today, and the gods made a gruesome example of those who spread hate and use lies to foment fear?
Yes, I think I would. I just might not be in any particular hurry. I’m to the point I am uncomfortable if my suicidal ideation is too quiet for too long. I’m just not me if I want to live … in a way. There’s a distinction between a longing for a genuine peace, and needing to find it right now
When you complain about diversity and representation, it’s real people you hurt. It’s real people you damage. It’s real people who die. I am someone’s daughter. I could have been yours. My parents are not some weird macrobiotic kale smoothie eating flakes or whatever your image of a transgender person’s parents may be. They’re from rural Iowa & small town Arkansas. They’re an army vet & a Walmart worker. Be mindful who you’re possibly harming.
When you voice hate, there are real people harmed. Those lies kill real living, feeling people. People who might be your child, spouse, nibling, or sibling, cousin, or best friend.
It’s hard enough growing up, ffs, don’t make it worse and don’t let your government either.