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Author: Addison

‘Cause I was happy for awhile

‘Cause I was happy for awhile

I’ve been writing this post for over a year now. There are at least 3 drafts that I never finished. I just couldn’t find my words, a case of writer’s block secondary to heart break.

Ask pretty much anyone and they’ll tell you that 2020 has been terrible for a myriad reasons. COVID-19 has stolen much from us and we’ve struggled to adapt to this new normal. However for me, the bad year started almost a month prior. It was a Monday morning and I had just worked an overnight shift at the hospital, sitting 1:1 with a patient who was on an involuntary hold. As I was ensuring the safety of a stranger, my lover was lying dead on her kitchen floor, another one lost to their demons and to the blight that is depression.

I remember sending her a selfie at about 5am. A message she’d never see. I didn’t expect her to be awake at 5am, but I thought maybe a picture would make her smile if she happened to check her phone on the way back from the bathroom or when she woke up in the morning. I had no expectation that I’d never get the chance to say something morning profound.

Nicole and I met after matching with each other on OkCupid in April of 2017, only about a week or two after Laurel had left to move back to Rhode Island. I suppose it was that my emotions were so raw but I sent the first message, something that I hardly ever do. We made some pleasant conversation and she told me that she was engaged to be married later that year. We didn’t meet in person, but we exchanged some a few texts here and there for a couple of weeks and then sort of lost track of each other. A couple of days before her wedding, I had sent a message asking if she was still getting married but never got a reply.

Fast forward into spring of 2018 and I get a facebook friend request from this woman, but I don’t recognize the name, and we don’t share any mutual friends. So I did what any mature person would do, I ignored it. A couple weeks later, as I was scrolling through my contacts looking for a phone number, I scrolled past an entry for Nicole and a light bulb went off in my brain.

We picked up where we left off and before I knew it, she was at my house with her wife, Rachel, getting drunk. I’d met her face-to-face less than three hours earlier and she was passed out drunk on my bathroom floor. I remember standing on the patio with Rachel as she chain smoked cigarettes. She mused that Nicole would probably try to have sex with me if we kept hanging out. I was a bit taken back with this level of frankness.  At this point, I wasn’t sure where all this was going and I told Rachel that if she asked me not to talk to her wife anymore, I would stop right there. But she didn’t.

Looking back, knowing how quickly I become attached, that was the only chance I had for a clean break. Less than a month later, in a hotel room in Canada, I would tell her that I loved her for the first time over a bottle of 94 proof rum. I tried to take it back immediately, but I could no more take it back than I could dismiss the fact that I had grown very fond of her in a short time. I knew that I wanted to be with her, despite the complications of our situation.

She had come into my life when I felt like I was at the absolute rock bottom of my existence. I had been actively planning my own suicide and had gone so far as to write a series of letters to various loved ones. I had a plan in place, but I didn’t have a time. She had given me something that I needed, an escape from that thought process and ultimately a reason to live. Within a couple weeks I was on my way to enrolling in nursing school with her giving me the final push that I needed to get started. She saved my life but I couldn’t save hers.

The friction between Rachel and I was odd. We’d go through periods where she acted as if she wanted to be my friend and then the next thing I knew, she was ranting, screaming, crying, and texting me non-stop. I continued to try and get Nicole to leave her as I didn’t think it was a healthy or safe environment for either of them. I felt like they needed a clean break and to admit that the marriage should have never happened.

There were times where it looked like it might happen. At one point, Rachel said she had found a roommate and was leaving. Another time she texted me and told me that it was over that I could have (Nicole.) In the end, they never could find their way apart. Rolling into my second quarter of nursing school at Galen, I was trying to balance a full time job at the hospital along with a 16 credit hour class load. My work schedule was identical to Rachel’s, meaning it was difficult to visit and I was trying to not cause any undue friction.

I knew Nicole was massively depressed and I knew that she was ideating. She and I basically had the same mental health diagnoses and the fact that she was ideating wasn’t terribly out of the ordinary. What was concerning was that she had stopped taking her medications and I had been urging her to get back on them. She claimed that the antidepressant was making her manic, but without the mood stabilizer the pendulum swung wildly back the other direction, plunging her into a major depressive phase. Still, I thought she would crawl out of the hole soon. As we headed into December, I knew that I would have a couple weeks off school and I’d be able to visit and boost her spirits up.

But on that Monday morning I received a call, not from Nicole but from Rachel. It was mid-morning and I was winding down from work with a beer and some television, planning to fall asleep on the couch. When the phone rang, I didn’t answer it. I hadn’t spoken with Rachel in a couple months and I had been trying to keep the peace. I figured she was mad about something, so I ignored the call. My curiosity got the better of me, so I responded with a text asking if she needed something.

She told me that Nicole was gone. And it was then that 2020 truly began for me.

In The Streets

In The Streets

“All the street lights, glowing, happen to be
Just like moments, passing, in front of me
So I hopped in the cab and I paid my fare
See I know my destination, but I’m just not there…”


It’s been so long since I’ve updated this site that I don’t even know what to say, looks like the last time I updated the site was in late March. In that time, I’ve changed jobs, I changed schools, and things are happening.

After leaving AT&T and drifting aimlessly for a while, I got hired at Spectrum. At first, I treated Spectrum like a bullshit job that I didn’t care about. I think it was mostly because of the entry pay. But after a decent raise and then a shift differential, I had found a place that I wanted to stay until I graduated from nursing school. However, they changed my schedule to a point where going to school during the day wasn’t going to be feasible.

At the same time that they announced the scheduling changes for the whole center, I had just completed my healthcare basics coursework, lab time, and clinical rotations. I sat for the written and skills test and earned my CNA, or as Kentucky calls it – State Registered Nurse Aide.

With that in mind, it seemed like a sign that if nursing was my focus and I wanted to be about that life, there was no better time than the present to jump in head first. Don’t talk about it, be about it. So I started applying. I went to an open interview event at Norton Healthcare and sat down with a nurse manager. I went on to have an interview at Audubon Hospital and then another at Norton Hospital. I had also applied at Jewish and Kindred. I accepted an interview at Jewish and was offered the job the next day. I accepted and proceeded to do the onboarding requirements. Before orientation could begin, I got a call back from Norton offering me a job at the downtown hospital. Because it had been my goal to work at Norton, I accepted this job and backed out of the position at Jewish with as much poise and grace as possible.

During this same time period, I ran afoul of the chair of the nursing program at JCTC, after calling out the school on Twitter. An issue had arisen when our teacher allowed people to leave early. Because the course had federal requirements for logged hours, this was a big no-no. On this fateful night, my teacher’s boss walked in at 7:30 pm. I was there, along with two other students, but the other 20 or so students were long gone. So, they forced all of us to make up those hours. Even the three of us who were still there.

It was implied that I had broken the school’s social media policy. However, when I asked what section of the policy, knowing full well that the policy only applied to staff and faculty, they pivoted to possibly not accepting me into the ADN program due to my posts. In my mind, they’d already decided not to accept me, so I told them there were plenty of nursing schools in this town and someone would take my money.

And so, that’s the story of how I ended up at Galen, basically a year further away from graduating than I would have been if I’d just started there from the beginning. But it’s been good. I think it’s a good, albeit expensive, program and the degree carries name recognition for being a quality school.

Since starting at Norton as a PCA — Patient Care Associate — I’ve learned a ton of things and I feel like I’m already ahead of many of my classmates, many of them who are decades younger and have never worked in healthcare. In only a couple months, I know how to do things that they may not learn for months or even years. In January, we’ll begin our clinical rotations for school, doing hands-on work, most likely in long-term care facilities or nursing homes.

At the same time, I’ll be shifting gears at Norton, hanging up my grey scrubs for green, as a Nurse Apprentice, having been accepted into SNAP, which is the Student Nurse Apprenticeship Program. The first federally recognized program of it’s type, it gives me the ability to continue to build my clinical skills, often working nearly at scope along side a registered nurse. Being already familiar with Norton’s Systems, policies, and operating standards, I’m excited to be able to do more hands-on work than I’m legally allowed to do currently. My participation will run parallel to school, wrapping up at graduation time, just in time to take the NCLEX.

School and work has become my personality, largely because I have time for nothing else. I think everyone gets this false impression that because I “only” work 3 days a week that I’ve got so much time, but I’m working 12 hour shifts, from 7pm to 7am, and then often going straight to campus. On days when I don’t work and don’t have school, I often sleep 12-18 hours just trying to get back to baseline.

I say all this as a way of getting to the point, I’ve been missing everything. Family events, my kid’s sporting events, spending time with my girlfriend, and generally being a living breathing human being. If you ask me when we’re going to hang out, I’m likely to reply, “When you show up at the hospital, at Galen, or in my bedroom.”

Beyond all that, nothing else has changed. I wish I could say that I was becoming a better version of myself, less obsessed, more focused on the future than the past, and all that — but I don’t want to lie to you. I’m still carrying all my torches and they’re lit like the beacons of Minas Tirith.

In June, in the gap between Spectrum and Norton, Nicole and I took a trip to Washington D.C. for an event put on by American Nurses Association to lobby legislators on Capitol Hill. I had never been to the district and it was a fairly exciting proposition. There was a certain level of anxiety in it though, as Laurel lives in the area. I didn’t have any intention of seeking her out or really making contact with her, but she remains in my thoughts even now.

Nicole, knowing my feelings and being Nicole, had tried to contact Laurel a couple times. These were ostensibly friendly and Nicole’s way of letting Laurel know I still had feelings for her. I’ll never know what actually happened there, because neither party would share the contents of those interactions, but suffice to say, they were received poorly by Laurel. Never the less, Nicole was adamant that I needed to see her while we were in town. I was vehemently opposed to this idea and we debated it through most of West and Non-West Virginia.

No matter my protests, we ended up at the bar where Laurel spends most of her time that night. Earlier in the day, she had posted on Facebook a sort of open invitation to area trans folk to come out for drinks. As we, at the time, were Facebook friends — I would assume this would apply to me. This ties into the concept of assumptions. And, if we’re being honest, I knew there was a 90% chance she’d not want to see me.

So, there we are, standing on the sidewalk out front. I can actually see Laurel through the windows and I start to hyperventilate, replete with tachycardia. A full fledged anxiety attack. I plead with Nicole to leave, like let’s not do this, this is going to end poorly, etc, etc, etc. She declines.

We end up going into the upstairs portion of the bar and we have a few drinks. With a bit of liquid courage and social lubrication flowing, I send Laurel a message telling her that I’m upstairs, asking if she’d like to come up and say hi. This way I don’t crash her gathering, and she can save face in front of her friends.

So we wait, and we wait, and wait some more. Drinking more and more as we go, having befriended the bartender. A nice guy that had moved from Texas to D.C., a previous EMS technician and Army medic. Nicole and him both had the same role and rank in the military. We chatted about this and that, until finally I had waited long enough and was going to be so bold as to venture downstairs. I’ll never forget what happened next, because in 39 years on this rock, I’ve never seen someone react so poorly to seeing me. Not even the transphobe at AT&T who turned on her heel out of the women’s room having seen me…

At the bottom of the steps, I came around the corner and basically ran right into Laurel. We were maybe three feet apart. The closest we’d been since she drove away from our home in April of 2017. You always hear that trope about the blood running out of someone’s face, but I’d never seen it in reality, until now. Paler than pale. So white she was nearly transparent.

We have just lost cabin pressure.

The whole exchange lasted less than two minutes. Aside from asking me what I was doing there, she really couldn’t seem to get words past her teeth. Which, if you’ve met Laurel, you’d know is a pretty impressive feat. I finally said that I would make it easy and just go.

I spent the rest of the night and the trip in a state wavering between sadness and disbelief. I wasn’t shocked and if anything, I expected worse. I knew that there was nothing there, that the well had run dry long ago, but I still had to lean over the edge and peer into the void. By morning, she had blocked me on every social media platform.

In the afternoon, her bestie was messaging me accusing me of ill intent that I didn’t have. I told her basically that I could put my feelings in a bottle on a shelf, but they never seem to stay there for long. Even now, five months later, I’m still thinking about that fateful night. Running it through my head, replaying the horrible look she gave me. Of course, with Thanksgiving upon us, the memory of my mistakes weigh upon me heavily.

I’m working on erasing you,
I just don’t have the proper tools.
I get hammered, forget that you exist
There’s no way that I’m forgetting this.

You’re the shit and I’m knee-deep in it.

Other than that, everything is great!

I wanna die in the suburbs.

I wanna die in the suburbs.

I’ve long talked about moving away from Kentucky. To some far away place with great civil rights, lots of lesbians, and maybe some awesome seafood. I talk about how terrible Kentucky is and this Commonwealth is in a tight race with Indiana for the coveted title of “Worst EvAr.”

But do I really hate Louisville, or even Kentucky at-large? Or do I just hate Fern Creek? It’s probably not that simple, but it still deserves a moment of pause and consideration. Because why move one thousand miles away, when you really just need like eight miles, right?

Image result for pushing tinI should explain how this thought appeared on my radar. As a side note, continuing that radar metaphor, I suspect if my brain was illustrated it would look like an ATC screen on the day before Thanksgiving. Very cluttered and busy. Hard to say.

Anyway, I got up and decided to go out and try to find an undershirt before clinicals. Something light, long-sleeve, and clingy to go under my scrubs. After Marshall’s was closed, and Target didn’t have anything to fit the bill, I thought that I would go eat breakfast. Which is my first mistake, being that it was 11:00 on a Sunday morning which means Church crowds. I rode by First Watch, but they looked busy and their food isn’t really my favorite. So I rode down to ZEGGZ in Middletown. As I’m creeping along on the motorcycle looking for a place to park, I notice the crowd demo. Mostly older, white, straight people. All I could think was, “Could we not?”

So I rode on and on and on, and eventually I ended up at North End Cafe on Frankfort. I ended up foregoing breakfast altogether in favor of their Bacon Cheeseburger, cooked medium, with some sort of decadent white cheddar. It was really good. The atmosphere was better too. Sure, it was mostly white people, but that’s to be expected, because gentrification is Louisville’s fourth favorite pastime. Right behind Basketball, Bourbon, and Horse Racing. In no particular order.

I had tweeted recently that for the most part, the closer a restaurant is to my house, the more out of place I’m going to feel. This is about the same with bars. This is not me saying that I’m better than the other patrons. I mean I am, but I digress. However, as a queer trans woman, I just don’t fit. There’s no where in my zip code for me. I went to Outback the other night, because it was near-by. I was the youngest person at the bar by like a couple decades. It was odd.

Everywhere I’ve lived, with the exception of the two years I spent in Texas, has been along the Southern Jefferson county border or beyond, out in Bullitt county. I’ve never lived anywhere that one would charitably describe as “fun” and/or “hip.” It’s with a certain amount of longing that I stare off into the good time daydreams of places like New England or California. Forgetting about things like shit tons of snow and buying heating oil in bulk, or the horror stories of housing prices in the Bay Area.  Which leads me back to my original question. Do I hate Kentucky and, by extension, Louisville because they’re terrible? Or do I just think that because living in Fern Creek is so bland?

When I posed the question on Twitter, Liz responded to my question with a question, asking, “Why not both?”

I know what she’s getting at, and she’s probably close to the truth, regardless of what I’d like to admit. Instead of answers, I’m left with yet another question: What do I do with this information?

Call Off The Bells

Call Off The Bells

I was sitting in the car at a stop light earlier this morning and Sum 41’s “With Me” came on the radio, courtesy of my old iPod that hasn’t been updated since probably 2010. Instantly, the song took me back in time and I nearly teared up. It made me think back to a month or so ago, when something similar happened, but this time with Less Than Jake’s “The Rest Of My Life.” At the time, I was in a severely depressed state and was fighting with suicidal ideation. The song came on about 4:30 in the morning, as I was pulling into the parking lot of my office. I probably hadn’t heard the song in five or more years, but I knew the words. And those words hit me like a ton of bricks. 

I started crying in a parking spot outside work. Luckily at 4:30 in the morning, there’s not a lot of people to notice. Plus it’s dark. But I started thinking that it would be the song I wanted people to hear when I was dead. As the course played and rolled into the second verse, I wept uncontrollably. Thinking of all my mistakes, all the wasted times, all the words I never said, and just everything that had been bringing me down over the last year or two. Depression loves a person like me who can’t let go of the past. That way it can fester and build upon all those events that you play over and over in your head. Depression loves that you can’t seem to let go of feelings for someone who has moved on. Depression is always looking for an in. A crack in the dam. A window left unlatched. Depression doesn’t mind waiting, and all I could hear was it shouting at me, over those lyrics being played through dry-rotted car speakers. 

It’s gonna kill me the rest of my life
Let me apologize while I’m still alive
I know it’s time to face, all of my past mistakes
It’s gonna kill me for the rest of my life

[Verse 2]
This is my all time low
Somehow it feels so familiar
Somehow it seems so familiar
I feel like letting go
And every second that goes by
I’m screaming out for a second try
Said goodbye, to my best friend
Sometimes there’s no one left to tell you the truth

I wanted to die, or at the very least lay in the warm embrace of the shambles of my life. In those situations, I go back to blaming myself for transitioning. As if *not* transitioning wouldn’t have killed me by now. But that’s not what I think about. Depression tells me that I’m here because I decided to transition. It’s partly true, but not 100% accurate. There are elements of truth in there, but it’s so much more than that. In any event, I didn’t die. I didn’t wallow. I dried my eyes and trudged into work, begrudgingly. 

Flashback to today. I’m sitting in the car, thinking about that and simultaneously thinking about how much better my outlook is at the moment. The problems are all the same. I’m still all the things I said up a couple of paragraphs, but my mental health has improved. Nothing in my life changed, except that I finally got treatment for my ADD. When I can focus on tasks, I don’t have time to obsess over shit that I can’t fix. Sure, many of those things still run through my brain about as many times as a 14 year old boy thinks about sex in an hour, but I can not let it paralyze my day and my life. It’s been about three weeks since I started taking Adderall and it’s not without its own drawbacks, but the pros outweigh the cons. I’m happier, I’m struggling less at school and I’m getting more done at work. 

I still haven’t found an antidepressant that works for me. My treating psychiatrist has had me gene tested to determine a treatment course, but I’ve not been able to see the results yet. I am thinking that with the combination of ADD treatment and an effective antidepressant, I might be able to get a hold on everything and be in a much better place. Even from where I am right now, which is not so terrible. 

Note: Title comes from The Early November’s track of the same name. 

Minutes To Memories

Minutes To Memories

(This is a piece I wrote for my ENG 101 class. I thought I might share it here.)

Minutes To Memories

When I was a small child, my father and I were as close as close could be. While we didn’t spend much time together, as he only had custody of me every other weekend, the time that we did spend together was great. In a lot of ways, during those years, he was a better parent to me than I am to my own children. While not the most eloquent, he would often tell me, “Suck it up, tough it out, and be the best you can.”

It was my father who took me to my first real concert. Sure, we had been to concerts in the park, usually with whatever woman he was dating at the time. But this was different. This was a major concert in what I considered to be a huge venue. Freedom Hall. At five years old, just the name alone inspired awe in my mind.

We saw John Cougar Mellencamp, as he was known at the time. Mr. Mellencamp had completed three fourths of his journey from his humble beginnings as Johnny Cougar to John Mellencamp. His 1986 tour found him and his bandmates playing in support of his latest LP, Scarecrow. It was an oft played album in our house, with verses telling tales of love, rock-n-roll, and the downtrodden times of farmers struggling to make ends meet in middle America. It was from one of the songs that my dad co-opted that line to he’d frequently share with me, and even going so far as to write it in letters and postcards. Dad would tell me, “You are young, and you are the future, so suck it up and tough it out, and be the best you can.”

Some thirty plus years have passed since that concert on a cold night in February of 1986. I still remember that concert but not as much for the music, not so much for the venue, but more for the memory of my father. Our seats were on the upper level, but my dad convinced the security guard to allow us down on to the lower level. Sometimes the memories when no one speaks, and everyone listens paint the best memories, decades later.

Most of the memories of my father in years since were not of the warm and fuzzy variety. We often found ourselves at each other’s throats, metaphorically speaking. We both knew which of our respective buttons to push and rarely was there a holiday or family event that didn’t end with one of us mad. I recall wondering if I was just that much of a disappointment to him or that he just couldn’t derive joy from anything other than someone else’s misery. 

Yet for all the vitriol that we spat, I still think about the good times. He’s been gone for over five years now and I often find myself lamenting our relationship and how things could have been different. More than that, I consider how he might feel about the woman I’ve become. In many ways, I’m a person he never knew. But that’s another story altogether.

My father was a complicated person. For the life of me, I have never been able to figure out what brought him joy in life. Born in 1954, he was the middle child of Leroy and Deloris Newton. He started dating my mother when they were both teenagers. Of five pregnancies, I was the only child that they would have together and although he would go one to have another daughter with his second wife, my mother never had any other children.

It seems that the vast span of years that my parents were together were punctuated by his alcoholism. While he was at the bottom of a bottle, my mother was often left to deal with the aftermath. This included his inability to maintain gainful employment, the numerous wrecked cars, and other things she’ll never tell. All of this while caring for an infant child. Having finally had her fill of that life, she filed for divorce when I was just two years old.

Three more years would pass before he would embrace sobriety and I can still remember the fights they had prior to him putting down the drink. One such incident would be permanently singed into my memory, with him caving in the door of my mother’s Volkswagen as I sat in the back seat. The metal of the poor car groaned and creaked as he dispatched the kind of savage punishment most people only see in a gang movie. This was in the driveway of my grandmother’s house on a cold, wintery Sunday night. This was a place I considered to be my safe haven. And while he spent the next 27 years of his life sober, those memories never real fade away.

My father owned his sobriety. Through A.A., he sponsored numerous other people who like him were struggling to get clean. Professionally, he worked hard trying to make up for the lost time in his career. In 1992, he started a home repair business and made an honest living for himself and my sister. He dealt with a fair share of setbacks, including another bitter divorce, but he seemed to live by those words that he’d said to me so often. “Suck it up, tough it out, and be the best you can.” He saw us as the young and the future.

I don’t feel as young as I once did, yet I know I am still young in comparison to my parents. Personally, I’ve have weathered some very rough seas in my life and they’ve become more tumultuous in recent years. Most days, I fear that I have still not seen the worst of what life has in store for me. Nevertheless, even when I’ve wanted to quite literally give up on life, I’ve somehow managed to suck it up and tough it out. Every day, I try to be the best I can. However, by my own estimation, I come up short most days.

Throughout it all, we persevere. I know that no matter the complicated circumstances that surrounded our relationship, he wanted nothing but the best for his children. I do my best to bestow that mindset upon my own children, as they are the young and they are the future and I want them to be the best that they can. Passing that idea on from generation to generation is the narrative of the song from which that line is borrowed. I hope that when I’m gone, their memories are less littered with pain and hurt feelings that the one my father left me. In the end, memories are all we leave behind.

“Days turn to minutes and minutes to memories.”

If we had known what we know now…

If we had known what we know now…

Title comes from “One Year Later” by The Get Up Kids. Interestingly, not the first time I’ve used a line from that song as a blog title. See also: “This is not a swan song, but it goes

I did want to follow-up on my Thanksgiving post and thank Jordan for reaching out to me. It meant a lot, as we’d not really spoken before. I suppose that I struck a chord with Kayla, as she blocked me on Instagram. That reaction seemed odd, as I didn’t reply or interact with the post. I just took a screenshot. In my mind, I would think blocking me on Twitter and/or Facebook would be more productive, but what do I know?

I worked today. 174 stops, 209 packages. It was a long day. I was struggling with the severity of my situation and really just in crisis. I’m not sure what happened, but I managed to slip out of it for a couple hours, bust out the work. But as soon as I was in my car, off the clock, the sadness crept back in, though not as dire as it was this morning.

Despite what I tweet and blog, I actually spend most of my time worrying about money. I’ve looted everything that I had and then some. I work a lot, but I don’t make enough to cover my expenses. I’m moving towards eliminating as many bills as possible with the skoolie conversion, but it’s not happening fast enough. Nor do I have the budget to really complete the build. That instability is really what’s had me on the rails for the last few months. The heartbreak is just more romantic to talk about.

It’s all sort of intertwined, when you think about it. My financial situation and the heartache. They are joined together at the hip. I explained the financial stuff to some friends over tacos the other night. Just the broad strokes. Their response was somewhere between bewildered and “are you fucking kidding me” and “Why?”

That’s an easy question to answer though. It’s that you (I) do stupid things when you’re (I’m) in love. Allow me to be your cautionary tale. It is entirely possible that my only purpose on earth is to be cautionary tale for others. “Look what she did, don’t do any of these things,” the tour guide says, as they walk by my exhibit in the freak show.

I should go to bed. Another 200 packages await me in the morning. Capitalism never sleeps, but I should.

And somehow you’ll forgive the both of us…

And somehow you’ll forgive the both of us…

I’m going to try to update more often. As I mentioned in my last entry, things for the last 8 months seem fuzzy to me. The memories seem shallow and I feel somehow disconnected from them. My psychologist suggested that keeping a daily journal might help cement things better. I don’t know that I’m going to want to do this daily, but more frequently I can probably manage. 

I had a job interview today. I have to say, applying for jobs as a trans person sucks. You’re forced to out yourself every time. For the purposes of a background check, they ask for any former names. So you’ve got to put your dead name on that app. I was filling one out today on paper (!?) and I considered leaving it blank. However later in the app, it asks again for the purposes of them calling all your previous employers to verify what you’ve put down. I know a background check without my old name will fly through without issues, but they’re not going to be able to verify employment for Addison at places that I worked five years ago. So you’re stuck. Begrudgingly, you hand out the only clue that you’re trans. It’s one of those things that you’ll never fully escape, unless you’re lucky enough to stay with one company long enough that they don’t even go back and check other employers. 

In other news, I’m trying to keep myself out of the darkness. It’s hard, but I’m doing better. There’s not an hour that goes by that things don’t cross my mind, but I’m trying not to focus on that. Besides, If I need something to be depressed about, I can always just brood over my untenable financial situation. Right? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As many of you know, I live my life through music and song lyrics. It’s an addiction and I’m proud to be #emo4lyfe. You’ll also probably remember that I’m a huge Manchester Orchestra fan. But for whatever reason, I’ve ignored Andy Hull’s other project called Right Away, Great Captain! I’ve been listening to the album “The Church of the Good Thief” and it’s really powerful stuff. The title of this entry is a line from a song called “Fur Stop Caring.” The second chorus goes: 

“Stupid is as stupid does
And stupidly I pulled the plug on you
Finally stopped beating
Stupid is as stupid does
And somehow you’ll forgive the both of us
The load that we still carry
I am not me
I am not me
I am not me”

I love it. I love you too. All of you. 

I’m not dead yet.

I’m not dead yet.

Hey there. Long time no chat. So, I’ve been wanting to write something here for months. I just really didn’t know what to say. I felt, and still feel, as if my voice is somewhat taken away from me. That’s vague, and I would love to elaborate, but it is what it is. I will try to write something soon. However, I have started a new project and am starting a new chapter in my life. I am building a “Skoolie.” For those of you that don’t know what that means, it’s a school bus that’s been converted into a tiny house on wheels.  I will be documenting it via blog and probably YouTube. The YouTube thing is something I really want to do, but between my dysphoria surrounding my voice, the comments that will come with that, and the time involved in editing video.. I’m still working my way up to it.  In any event, I’ve created a separate wordpress site to have some sort of delineation between my personal blog and the bus content. You can find the new site at:

Holla Jesu Christe

Holla Jesu Christe

[TW: Suicide] 

Standard mom stuff: If you’re thinking about suicide, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

So here we are again. I’m back staring at this screen. For a second there, I thought I had written my last entry. 

This post is a couple of things, which I’ll get to assuredly. This post is going to be the realist shit that I’m likely to share to a public audience ever again. By the time I’ve hit post here, I’ll still be alive. Thankfully. But I’ll be metaphorically naked in front of all of you. I am baring it all. What it’s not… is a cry for help, a ploy for attention, or an invitation to post a reply such as “I’m always here if you want to talk.”

Does that seem rude? It’s not intended to be. I know it’s what you say when you want to say something but you don’t know what to say. I just want people to know that I’m not the type that typically reaches out in that kind of way. The people who I reach to already know who they are. 

I am not posting this for my own good, but in the hope that it helps someone else pull the proverbial panic cord, pump their brakes, call a timeout, or whatever metaphor you find works best. For the people who don’t suffer from some sort of mental illness, maybe it brings better understanding. 

Throughout the post, I’m going to reference things that I’ve taken away from the Biodyne model of suicide assessment and prevention. I shouldn’t have to disclaim this, but of course, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a mental health professional. I’m just a person who struggles with her own mental health and who also sees others around her struggle with their own. Beyond that, the people who are left in the wake of disaster, the warm blanket of oblivion ripped rudely off of them in the night.  With that said, onward and upward, shall we? 

Starting sometime during the week of June 12th, thoughts of suicide started to creep into the forefront of my brain. They’re never far away, always lurking somewhere in shadows, waiting for a chance to seize the day. Waiting for the chance to become the all consuming thing that you can’t avoid, until they succeed in making you another statistic, a hash tag, a sad story. Or you “pump the brakes” and slow down long enough to take a look around. 

By the end of last weekend, it was more than a passing thought. It had taken up residence right in front of me. It was all I could see. I had entered what they refer to as Stage 1. This is not unfamiliar territory to me. I’ve been there a number of times, it normally passes pretty quick and I move along, sending a passing email to my therapist saying something like “Hey, this happened, I’m okay but I wanted you to know.” Then we could talk about it at my next session.

"Everyone has dark times -- a story held in secret.."
“Everyone has dark times — a story held in secret..”

Of course, this time, I didn’t do that. I didn’t send any emails. On the outside, I don’t think anyone could see the big black dog named depression that was following me around. Hell, I even went out and danced, something I don’t do, with random Lyft customers turned friends on Saturday night. I had fun. That’s the thing about depression. It’s not all sitting around, sulking and listening to Brand New and The Get Up Kids.  

By Tuesday, I had swiftly exited the ideation phase and was actively planning the end of my own life. I started putting together certain documents, keys, passcodes, passwords, blank checks and other things that I knew people would need in the wake of it all. I started on my “note.” What it ended up being, near as makes no difference, was a 4100 word of drivel. A long, sad tale that ranged from my own failings to the perceived failings of others. At times a scathing, no-holds-barred airing of grievances that only one other person has read at this point. I intend to keep it that way. 

Throughout my planning, I was even taking smaller details into consideration. Things that a stereotypical suicidal character on a Lifetime made for TV drama wouldn’t. I knew that more than anything, I didn’t want my kids to find me. I know that Grayson can sometimes be anywhere between 2-10 minutes faster than Megan to get inside my house. He doesn’t knock. Additionally, I didn’t want someone like the fire department to have to kick in a door. Someone would have to fix that later, right?

I even made a playlist. I’m not really sure who it was for. I think it was for me than anything. It started as 33 tracks and eventually I whittled it down to about 17. About the perfect length for a mix CD, 73 minutes. Of course, I didn’t have an optical drive in my laptop, and Spotify wasn’t going to let me burn it anyway.. but there it was. 

This happened all throughout the course of Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning. The only thing that really kept me out of the third and final phase was that I didn’t have a time frame for when this was all supposed to go down. I had a mental to-do list of the things I needed to accomplish before I could even get to scheduling the end of the end. 

Tuesday evening, I went to dinner with Brian. We had wings and beer, as customary with the two of us.. I had been texting with a friend intermittently throughout the day, and as I understood, she was having a shitty afternoon. I invited her to come down and have a beer. She politely declined, as I expected. “Maybe next time,” I replied. It felt hollow, because I wasn’t expecting there to be a next time. A day late friend, I mused to myself. 

My short term memory is so bad, I don’t remember what I did Wednesday morning. I know at some point, I went to Home Depot to pick up something I would need. Utility knife blades. Then I went next door to Tumbleweed and had lunch by myself. I ordered my usual burrito and a beer. I sat at the bar alone. Both in physical presence and mentally. The mix of even a really low dose of Klonopin, only a sixth of what my former psychiatry nurse practitioner had prescribed, and the beer apparently was a bad choice.

As soon as I got home, I passed out. When I awoke, later that evening, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep. Through out the night, I cried all the tears I had out as I worked on the playlists and the note.

Around 5am, the sun was rising and I felt satisfied with what I had written.  I hadn’t eaten dinner the night before and had been living off Coca-Cola and loud music. I got dressed and went to Waffle House by myself. I sat in a dirty booth that no one bothered to wipe down after the previous guests had departed. As I sat in a dirty booth, eating my breakfast, I started beginning to have a moment of clarity. I paid for my half-eaten meal, got back in my car and pulled out onto Bardstown Rd, thinking about all that had happened in the last 36 or so hours. I considered certain contradictions in what I was planning. My jaw and head ached from clenching my teeth throughout the night, having foregone any additional Klonopin to ease the anxiety.  

I pulled into the parking lot at Kroger, and went inside to buy some Ibuprofen. I couldn’t seem to locate the bottle at my house. Assuming either we had taken it all, or that it was sitting in a box somewhere in Rhode Island. 

As I exited the store, I realized that I hadn’t bought anything to drink to actually take the ibuprofen with. Sitting in my car, with the engine idling and the transmission in park. I considered going back inside to buy a coke. I felt to numb, too out of sorts to even bother. I opened the bottle and took two pills, swallowing them dry. 

Then instead of putting the car in drive and heading home, I pulled out my phone. I opened the app that I use to communicate with my doctor and I typed out the following message: 


I’m officially pulling the fire alarm. This dizziness, lightheadedness, vertigo thing that I’ve got going on is starting to get out of control.

More importantly, certainly more time critical, is that I’ve passed through stage 2 of the biodyne model of suicidal thoughts. I know there’s nothing worse than having a Graduate of the Google School of Medicine for a patient, but I found this page:

And by my own self-assessment I’m at the completion of stage 2, entering stage 3, but not quite in what they call the “Auto pilot” mode. I considered going to the emergency room, but I haven’t, because well it seemed a little scary.

I’ve backed away from the proverbial ledge, but I’ve been up all night and realized at about 6am that I’ve amassed more than just a note, it’s 4100 words.

I’m safe right now, but I’m going to reach out now, in the interest of full disclosure, for better or worse.

Call, text, write. Love y’all.


Then I went home and went to sleep and waited from a call from them. I was in contact with them throughout the day, as they checked in on me and went over my medications.  I should back up a bit and explain..

At the beginning of the month, I had visited because my fatigue was so bad that I couldn’t do anything productive. The doctor came up with a treatment plan, because she advised the combination of drugs he had prescribed had significant risks, including seizures. She tried to do it in such a way that the side effects of withdraw would be minimized, but still told me to stay close and let her know how it was going. Once I was tapered back to a safe dosage, we would reassess my treatment options. That appointment was/is scheduled for the first week of July.  However, the side effects had continued to get worse, the more I tapered down on the medication that was being eliminating. Even yesterday, I was still feeling disconnected and kind of dizzy. Like things getting to my brain were being passed through a wah-wah pedal first. 

Today is the first day in a long time, that I have a sense of clarity. I’ve got a touch of a headache, but at least I’m not clenching my jaw in an attempt to grind my teeth into a bloody pulp. It’s scary that I could have been a day too hasty in giving up. 

The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

Hunter S. Thompson - Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

So there it is, my week. Why I’ve not been at work. Why I’ve been acting distant. Why I’ve been a bitch to a couple people, namely my mother. A lot of things. I quoted the verse “Let me tell you what I wish I’d known when I was young and dreamed of glory. You have no control. Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” from the Hamilton musical. For today, I’m still at the helm, I still tell my own story. However, I came close to the edge.

I think I now know where the edge is, but as Hunter S. Thompson famously penned, “The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others the living-are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still out there.”

And we always made it work, no matter how much it did hurt…

And we always made it work, no matter how much it did hurt…

On the eve of the 364th day of vagina ownership, I feel that a update is required. However, I don’t really know what more to say. Once the initial healing was done, the dilations tapered down, things just got sort of normal. 

Things I’ve learned about having a vagina: 

  1. Unlike your dick, it has more than 3 smells. Dick has a tendency to smell like one of a couple of things. Freshly showered, Dude you need a shower, and “OMG WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH THAT THING?”  A vagina has approximately 15 or more smells. I know what only some of them mean. 
  2. Bacterial Vaginosis is a thing. A thing that I don’t like.
  3. Yeast is used for more than just making bread and beer.
  4. Make sure the toilet paper is actually free of your, uhh, folds before you stand up.

Other than that, things have been fine. My underwear fit for the first time in the last 18-20 years. My pants fit better. I bought a swimsuit that I neither hate or love, which as I gather, is success. I still don’t have hips, nor a butt. No one gets it all. 

Over that period, I lost my newest and last form of virginity. As if I was 15 and in high school, I thought it was with the person I would die with, but months later I found that was not true. Even with my best efforts. I made Lloyd Dobler look like a fucking amatuer, and for a fleeting time I thought I did it, but it was all to no avail. Just like the rap guys misogynistically say that you can’t make a ho a housewife, the same applies to politicians. 

It’s been a year of triumph, it’s been a year of utter failure. I honestly can’t tell you that I’m better today mentally than I was a year ago. That has nothing to do with my genitals though. I can tell you, without question, I’d rather be in San Francisco tonight, on the eve of this surgery all over, than here in Kentucky.  I’ll never forget the feeling of waking up that morning, not tucking, not caring. The thought that nothing else really mattered today. That feeling of waking up in post-op. A brief bit of terror, asking the nurse if the surgery happened, then tears of joy after she told me that it went just fine. 

All the exams, all the “frog legs,” all the poking, prodding, the bleeding, a month long period, all those pads, the catheter, the miralax. All worth it. So worth it. There were moments of fear, of terror. Not that I had made a mistake, but that something was wrong and I was going to end up with some complication. Pictures taken from awkward angles, texted to my surgeon and the replies always similar “Looks fine, just be patient.” All the while thinking, “Bitch, you don’t know me. I don’t do patient.”

I would do it 100 times over. There’s not really a good way to explain how much better my life is because of it, but it has changed my life in a way that only a trans person can understand. A huge source of dissonance between my mind and my body corrected after a lifetime of conflict. 

From the days of being a 15 year old “boy” laying on the bed, with hands not on the genitals, but on the spot where the vaginal canal was supposed to be, imagining what it was like. Thinking of what I believed I was supposed to have from the womb. Through the years of searching for “sex change operations” in the back corner of the all-boys school computer lab. All of the years of thinking about being a girl and then being overwhelmed with shame and feelings of filth. To today, where I am the woman, ready to stomp on anyone that says otherwise, it’s been a long wild ride. 

The fight for my basic rights as a human are not over, but I have the body. I have the confidence. The confidence to tell anyone who thinks I’m anything but the woman to go fuck themselves. It’s liberating.