transgender

How to Crash and Burn

Warnings – Depression, frank discussion of suicide.

Mind-states are such fickle, vulnerable things at times, a heart worn so visibly now and becoming threadbare.  Depression can break through great walls, razing years of intricate works in moments like the old Mongols.  Now back inside the dreaded depresso world of constant self-oppression I realise that the worst part about depression is not how awful it feels, but how it takes away the willingness to do anything about it.  The mind is saying ‘There’s a big problem in here, and you better be ready before coming in again.’  The healthy mind has no time or inclination for this crap.

I don’t know what happened, about three weeks ago I just fell into shards, the perceived injustices and betrayals to my heart festered and became a scar on my soul.  Like a broken poet, I just go over and over the same horror in my head.  ‘Why didn’t she love me?’,  ‘Who will ever love me now?’, ‘How come these people do horrible things, yet still receive romantic love and compassion whilst I’m left alone to deal with this?’, ‘I don’t know how I can ever get over this’ Blah blah blah!

When the symptoms start, everything becomes a nightmare.  I was supposed to be moving to the city with a friend but he’s got a few extra years now in a good place, so I’m stuck.  ‘I can’t move alone, I can’t afford it/I’ll never get a job/I’ll get killed’ Blah!

Such is the way a flawed thought process runs. I love outward then lose inward, when I should love inward then love outward, yet with brown-tinted glasses I stupidly see a presumed paradise for others from my presumed hell.  And it’s nothing to do with being trans, that’s just another facet, amplifying my problems with serious real life complications and pushing me over the edge.  Life threatening?

On a day last week, my growing suicidal idealation turned from silly thoughts into considerations about actual means.  I tried to talk to people whilst simultaneously pushing them away and being scarily vague, as is common.  But here’s the thing, when I got to the point of thinking it was a good idea and I should just go do it, I got in touch with a friend I could trust and said ‘Look, I’m going to kill myself.’ ‘I’m coming round’, he said.  If things ever get to that point call someone immediatelyPhone a friend, ring your national suicide hotline, do something! Never stop trying.

He came over and we chatted for many hours.  He told me again of a friend he had, she killed herself, she said nothing.  I don’t know her circumstances but I know the feeling, not from this incident, but from a long long time ago.  He is so cut up because he could have done for her what he did for me and saved both our lives.

I’m lucky, it’s not that true people come out of the woodwork, they are there, and they help when help is needed to be given.  I have really worried all the people closest to me, to see tears in their eyes breaks my heart as they see me meltdown into complete blackness unable to truly appreciate the love that I always complain about not feeling.  The mind says ‘Learn to appreciate the love that others give, especially when it is difficult to, and then you can come back in.’

Yet with all this I cut friends off because I literally can’t cope at all with the drama.  Being trans just overcrowds an already totally packed brain space. For two weeks I distanced myself from the girl who has supported me so well like a sister recently and it was horrible for both of us.  I saw her at the weekend and although we didn’t speak for a while she came and hugged me, and just talked to me like normal and that meant a lot.

But I have depression.  I calculate it as being two weeks symptomatic.  It has struck hard, the voice in my mind that is an automatic defence system of general contentment has retreated, waiting for orders for a counter attack!  For all the fighting talk though, it’s just words.  Ha, I don’t need oestrogen to be able to cry every day.  And so eyes roll.

I would say in order of intensity it feels like depression, gender dysphoria, loneliness.  Loneliness is the worst one, nothing to do with having anyone, but the feeling that eats you. The most brutal form of self-punishment, and the most unavoidable. The mind is literally saying ‘If you do not love yourself, then you will be less likely to find a partner who will.’ It’s all biology.

I found out today I’m going to be losing my job pretty soon, much earlier than I expected, making the work transition moot.  How it all seems to fall away, what a meltdown I had, trying to stay hydrated so I could keep crying and screaming because I believe I have nothing and I will never have anything or anyone again.  It wasn’t about it being embarrassing, I’m scaring people.  I’ve always been hung up on the ideas of a secure employment and relationship because it’s not something I’ve truly come across, I’ve pretty much lost both, and in transitioning these are the two things probably most affected, aside getting head smashed on bathroom lino/chopped up and placed under floorboards etc.

So things just became a lot harder.  I’m older now, so I have more tools to deal with this, it just took me by surprise.  Instead of thinking everything is over, it’s possible I could think of it as a clearing, everything is open to me now.  To be honest, I could probably do with a few months off to actually get on top of all the heavy stuff that has been going on.  It’s a bit of a spanner in the transitions works apparently, yet as Jim Carrey’s Dad said ‘You can fail just as easily at what you don’t want to do.’

I don’t think I’ll get a job or a relationship regardless of whether I’m trans or not.  I could say it has all fallen apart, but maybe my perfect partner is only there for the real me.  Maybe I can only find my true calling in transition, like I could find simplicity and pain in pretending to be a man.

Just because everything sucks doesn’t mean every thing sucks.  It’s an unhealthy state of mind and I know it.  With circumstantial depression such as this, that part which is awesome is merely dormant, and apparently depression is dormant when everything seems fine.

The only way awesome will let you in is to be awesome, not to a standard, but your own truly expressed, individual, unique awesomeness.  Hold it tight for you, content is a personal responsibility.

I can’t give up, I have to fight back.  I have to beat these repetitive self-sabotaging thoughts.  Dysphoria doesn’t want me dead at least, it just wants me to be a female so my brain can make sense of my biology in a clearer fashion…I hope.

I’m so grateful for the genuine human love I have received recently.  It’s scary sometimes trying to gauge what others think, we can never know, does everyone secretly hate us or everyone?  Is it a front?  What would they do for you?  You can’t know, and it’s not our business to know, that’s what trust is for, that when we ask we can believe the truth even if conflicts with our disillusionment.  I may be shaken, but I see that obviously people care.  I ought not to want, for it is the ire of content.

Depression is a zombie that just keeps coming back, so I’m gonna need a bigger spade.

Let’s all try to find one needlessly self-defeating thought today to smash to make room for one genuine self-affirming belief.  You are so worth it.

Amy Xx

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4 thoughts on “How to Crash and Burn

  1. hybridlisagirl says:

    Fuck, you sound like I feel. I have no answers. But I do think you are an incredibly special girl. And I love you. Julia Marshall

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  2. I’m glad you got in touch with your friend and he came to your side. It sounds like a particularly raw time for you – but you will find a way to make it through to the other side. The weird thing about transition time is that it is both excruciatingly slow and whirlwind fast concurrently – eventually it will settle back into real time, Amy time.

    I’ll throw out to you one self-affirming belief – you are a really good writer and you are not afraid of the truth.

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  3. I am so glad you reached out to someone and lived another day. Damn, you are going through a lot right now. Your thoughts remind me of something from my Crisis Counseling class–it’s suggested we conceptualize crisis as both danger and opportunity (as indeed it is). And any one of the things you’re going through (coming out, transition, depression, job loss, thoughts of suicide) is a full-blown crisis in itself. So, great danger, great opportunity.

    I accept your challenge to throw out a self-defeating and take in a self-affirming thought today.

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  4. To echo the above, I too am happy you found help in this dark time. You have the strength to continue. Concentrate on the things you can control. I know that is difficult but the rest will fall into place when it needs to.

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