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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.”

Black Sun

Black Sun

“There is whisky in the water
And there is death upon the vine
And there is grace within forgiveness
But it’s so hard for me to find”

This is an entry that’s hard for me to write. I debated writing anything at all, but this blog is my story, for better or worse. So, right… 

i am a huge fucking idiot.

There, I said it. I broke up with Kayla. We were facing an issue that needed to be dealt with. She offered a solution, I dismissed it immediately and said that I didn’t see that it was a long term sustainable solution. Thus ending our relationship as we knew it. I let it marinate for a couple days. I had serious remorse of the decisions I had made. I tried to make those known, in an attempt to save the relationship. Alas, it was too late. She left Kentucky this past weekend and headed back to New England, this time to Maine. 

From when she left up until now, I’ve been devastated. There’s no amount of antidepressants in the known universe that could have kept me top side in this moment. With the exception of going to work, I’ve been hiding in my bed ever since. I’ve come home and put the same shirt and sweatpants on, cried, watched tv and tweeted sad sad drivel. I’m not eating. I’m not sleeping. When I do sleep, I have the most bizarre dreams which usually have me in some sort of peril. No matter how much I hate to admit it, I’ll say that I’ve been suicidal. Still am to a certain extent. There’s no gestures or any plans made, but it’s there. It’s scary. It’s like this little nagging thought in the back of your mind that keeps pestering you. 

It doesn’t help when you’re being bitched at by customers for telling the truth and being 100% honest with them. To have them tell you that you’re a bitch and “fuck you very much” before hanging up. That kind of thing is mentally exhausting on a good day. On a day like today, it’s all you can do to keep it all together and not start crying with the customer on the line. 

At some point, I’m going to have to let it all go and just resign myself that I’ve fucked it up. That no matter what I do now, I can’t get mend what I’ve broken. That I may have lost the person that I love very much, forever. Considering how much time and effort I invested convincing her to come here in the first place, it’s hard to let it go. With such a drastic change in locale, it’s not like I could give it a few weeks and then show up on her doorstep and grovel. 

i hate myself. 

Against all odds!

Against all odds!

We’ve finally made it. Today is the day that Megan and I fly to California. On Tuesday, I will have my GRS. A lot of people have asked how I feel. Excited? Nervous?

Honestly, this past week and a half have been a roller coaster of emotions. With Joey’s suicide and that fallout there, that has been the primary concern. I also had to stop all my hormones about 2 weeks ago, and so I’m sure my attitude and mood have been impacted. On top of all that, I’ve started on antidepressants. Basically, I tried to make things as complicated as possible. Holden fuckin’ McNeil.

But anyway, I’m almost to the finish line of this journey. There were times that I wasn’t sure that I could make it, or that I would. The story is fraught with harassment, discrimination, and hurdles. I’ve sat in my car many mornings and cried.

I have to finish packing, so I have to cut this short, but I hope to do a better entry once we’re in Cali and then one post op.

and the grapevines seemed left for dead…

and the grapevines seemed left for dead…

I’ve been meaning to update for some time. There’s so much happening right now, but it’s all running together at this point. The biggest thing going on right now is the worst thing also.

One of my very best friends committed suicide the other day. I’m finding myself left trying to pick up the pieces left in his wake. Once the initial shock passed, my first and most recurring thought is one of guilt. I think that I could have done more to have prevented this. I feel like we, his friends and I, saw the signs and we did nothing. Or not enough. Because that’s what we do. We act like nothing can ever happen and that everything will sort itself out.

Except it didn’t. My friend is dead. What’s there to sort out now? You can’t undo that. There’s no rewind. It’s all so surreal and odd. Just 30 minutes ago, on my way home from dinner with Megan, we passed his neighborhood…. and it’s just like “now what?”

My second feeling is one of anger. I’m upset with him for making such a drastic choice. While I’ve gathered that his problems were quite large and had snowballed into something with a life of it’s own, there was still a solution that wasn’t so final. A very permanent solution for a temporary problem. I’m mad that he didn’t reach out to anyone before ending his own life.

Of course, the other thing that’s happened is that I’ve been forced to do my own agonizing reappraisal of my own feelings towards depression and suicide. I mean, it’s no secret that I’ve been depressed, off and on, for years. Stressors at work and at home due to my transition have pushed me closer to the brink than ever before. Add in some hormonal mood swings and a couple of crushes and you’re dealing with a potentially lethal cocktail. When you sit in the car with the gun in your lap and just stare at it for 15 minutes and then put it away and go to work, things are not going as well as one might hope.

There’s always something that pulls me back from the edge. Usually my kids. I really can’t fathom intentionally leaving them behind. They’ve already lost their father, they shouldn’t have to lose a parent as well.  Also, who would clear my browser history and dispose of my sex toys? (Just kidding, I have a friend who agreed to take care of that for me. Just like Harvey Keitel’s character in Pulp Fiction.)

“That’s thirty minutes away. I’ll be there in ten.” (nine minutes, thirty-seven seconds later)

But most of all, what I’ve come up with in the last two days is that I don’t want to put anyone through what I’m feeling right now. I’m hurt, I’m sad, I’m betrayed, I’m just scrambled eggs. I couldn’t bare the thought of my wife finding me, or my children. I wouldn’t want them to have to deal with all the emotions and the heartache. I feel like since starting hormones, I cry so much more than I ever have in my life and the last few days has had the volume turned up past the point of distortion. My eyes are tired and my cheeks are dried out from the tears and the constant wiping.

That’s all I can come up with for now. 🙁

Round Here

Round Here

Today, I went to therapy, as I do most Tuesday mornings. We talked about all the stuff that’s going on in my life right now. Ignorant church people spreading lies, hate and ignorance. My marriage and what might lie ahead for it. New friends and how they impact my outlook on life. Old friends that I miss very much. and… well, then there was Suicide.

It’s of course, something no one wants to talk about. It feels shameful to admit that I have from time to time, had thoughts of being dead. Thoughts of killing myself. Mostly out of being different and not knowing how to deal with that.

My first real memory of thinking that I wanted to kill myself came around 1994. I remember this, mainly because I remember associating places, people and events around the music that I was listening to at the time. I remember that I was in Florida with my parents on our annual vacation. It would have been probably the second week of June, because we always seemed to be there on Father’s day. Much to the chagrin of my dad. I know that it was the year, because on repeat was August and Everything After by Counting Crows.

The first track on the album is entitled Round Here. Adam Duritz sings of a girl on a car in the parking lot, and says

Then she looks up at the building
and says she’s thinking of jumping
She says she’s tired of life
she must be tired of something.

The song certainly didn’t make me depressed, it didn’t make me think about killing myself. It was something I was already thinking. However, the jumping idea seemed ideal. We were staying in a building that was  10 stories high from the top of the parking deck to the top floor of the condos. I would sit on the parking deck, along the shuffle board surface, next to the tennis court and stare up at the top floor of the building.

Once I even went up to the top, and peered over the edge. It was never any more than that. I don’t know if I was really all that scared of being dead. It was before the modern world wide web, so I wasn’t concerned with who would read my search history. I guess my mom would find some panties in my room. Who knows. I just didn’t want to kill myself.  I wanted to be dead, but only as means to end. To stop the pain in my head. For what it’s worth, I was too strong or too chicken to actually do it.

At the time, I had no idea what being transgender was, what it meant. I had no idea what I was a transsexual. I was just a teenager going through puberty and knowing that it was not exactly what all the other guys were excited about. I just knew that I was different. I didn’t really appreciate it.

The thoughts of suicide followed me for years. It was much like the inkling that I was not supposed to be a boy. I could never talk about it though. Like suicide, the statement “I am a girl” just seemed to overwhelming to bring up. Only to be told I was crazy or to be sent away.

I had internet access in 1995, using Netscape, I would search for sex changes and things of that nature. At the time, the information was extremely unsupportive. It did not lead to the assumption that one could do this and come out better than they were before. It was a transition from having a fairly normal life where you were just slightly disconnected from everything and moving into the hyper real situation of being a trans woman. A life of lurid marginality, to steal a line from JFB.

As I got older, some how I repressed the idea of being a woman. I would still from time to time search for more information on the subject. As I recall, my impression of the situation was not improved. I repressed it by doing other things, like amassing a collection of women’s underwear.

With time, my thoughts of jumping to my death from the upper floor of some luxury condos at the beach passed. I began to consider other ways that I could die and it not really be considered suicide. You know, like if I was to accidentally get hit by a bus. Or some sort of freak accident. The type of thing you’d see in Dead Like Me. Finally, I had decided that if I was going to go, it would be crashing my car while driving very fast. You, run off the road and maybe hit a tree. While I did run off the road a couple times, I did not die.

Lately, the feelings have been fairly nondescript. It’s just been a feeling that things would be better if I was dead. Not a specific method or a plan. Although, I will admit that last Thursday morning, I thought something slightly more detailed. This came after a particularly hard Wednesday night. As I lied and told my new friend that I was feeling OK, I thought about what I had just said. I said to myself, “No, I’m not ok. I would like to put a bullet in my head.”

In the end, I told her this. We both made a promise to each other that we would not be a statistic. We would not kill ourselves. I told another friend, I told my wife and I told my therapist. I told all of them, because it’s not something I need to keep secret. I don’t want to kill myself, I don’t plan it out, I don’t consider myself suicidal. Wanting to be dead and being suicidal is a different thing.

So, I live to tell another story. I refuse to give up at this point. I’ve got too much to look forward to. I would write more, but frankly, I’m exhausted.