Ending it all

As I approached transition, and starting to live full time- expressing myself female at work, putting off my male disguise- often my friend F would take me in to her house at weekends. She is a wonderful, funny, generous person, fearful and hurt and still enthusiastic. She, L. and I would go out sightseeing or shopping. L., also deeply hurt, was fond of quoting Old Man River:

I get weary and sick of trying
I’m tired of living, and scared of dying

and I hated it.

Another friend has two catchphrases, “I think I’m not long for this world” and “I think I’m going to end it all”. To which I respond, a first floor window is high enough if you make sure to land on your head. For my American readers, you would call that a “second floor”, I understand. But I hated it, and I still hate it.

Of course I have been suicidal. Who, unable to bear living as assigned by others yet terrified of transition has not? For a long time I kept enough sleeping pills to do for myself. I got them from the GP, because I was having trouble sleeping, but had not used all of them as they made me feel TATT, in the doctors’ acronym. Once, I formed the intent, and was rescued from myself by the strangest synchronicity. One woman I heard of plotted murder as well, but could not go through with it, and I think, well, yeah, I can sympathise with that even if I have not myself been angry and despairing enough to make such an intention.

And- No. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. We heal and grow and mature from whatever place we are in, and it ill behoves us to cut that off. I do not deserve death, however wrong I thought myself. I deserve blessing, and will open my heart to receive it.

I loathe those catchphrases. I know precisely what I am doing here, telling my keyboard, and people some of whom I have met will read it, because I have not had the courage to tell her to her face (my response hints at it and skirts round it). I love her intelligence and courage and humour and generosity and creativity. I loathe her negativity and inability to care for herself as she deserves and her withdrawal into herself, because they are not necessary. Something better is possible. I am finding more courage. I am reducing my blocks.

Today is the WHO World Mental Health Awareness day.

4 thoughts on “Ending it all

  1. I really think from personal experience that self-destructive impulses go hand-in-hand with being transgender. I’ve enjoyed a long and adventurous life, but I know that the moment that I begin to take ignorance to heart that I will be putting myself at risk once more.

    When ugliness offered by others rears its head, the woman I am now is quite willing to pull out her verbal weapons, call the bigots out, and do battle. I’ve found this rather affirming. I check your blog frequently, and enjoy your erudition.



    • I love your blog, Virtually Transgendered, and your pictures, albumen print from glass plate, digital, hand-coloured. We are all showing courage; I have had such anger, and have turned it inwards on myself. Expressing my anger at discrimination in front of a group- at some of the people in that room- was extremely affirming. But theirs had been a mistake rather than conscious intended discrimination, and they were mainly sympathetic: interesting to see the borders of their sympathy. I learned something about how I have responded to others, how much of the transphobia is within me- I am cleansing it out.


  2. “unable to bear living as assigned by others yet terrified of transition” …that is a powerful statement…I think there are many many of us who respect and admire those who live outside of traditional ‘norms’…because to live another person’s life is not to live at all


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