Monday, December 12, 2016

12-12-2016 Entry: Hello Suicide, My Old Friend, I've Come to Talk with You Again

I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone on this blog, but for me the desire to write has always come from a place of such incredible sadness that it cannot be put into words. It’s always the sadness that drives my creativity. I don’t know why that is. I know other writers can express themselves from a place of humor and happiness , but I’m just not like them. Sure, I’m sarcastic and playful, but at the heart of everything creative I’ve ever written is a deep and dark sorrow trying to express itself.

Well, right now, my darling readers that is all I seem to know: deep, dark, sorrow. I haven’t published an entry in two months because the last two months have been among the worst two months of my life. It feels tiresome to review all that has happened, not when I’ve already written that entry (I didn’t publish it for reasons that are hard to explain, but I will publish it when the time is right, I promise) but one highlight was that I spent a week in the psyche ward because of how suicidal I was. That week in the psyche ward came shortly after the entry I last publish about pre-transition relationships. It seems the approach of the anniversary of my marriage ending was too much to bear with grad school and overtime at work piled on top (there was more but you’ll have to wait for that unpublished entry for those details).

Now I just don’t know what to do with myself. I’m circling that suicide drain again and I really don’t want to go back to the hospital. Sometimes, during the day, when I’m around my friends I feel happy, like everything is okay, but by time I get home to my empty and cold house all of that seems to fade away into the silence around me and I’m left alone with my sorrow. I knew that when I decided to transition I was going to have to destroy my old life, but I had hoped to do that by replacing piece after piece gently with something better. Instead, I had the foundation ripped out from under me and I’ve been forced to watch everything that I once was collapse around me into a giant heap of rubble.

Eventually I find the strength to pick that rubble up and start building anew but the moment I start to think I might have things under control again there is a figurative earthquake that topples my efforts and I’m forced to decide if I want to start again. How many times can a person hit bottom before there are no more bottoms to hit? Does it require death? Is this just going to keep getting worse and worse as time goes on unless I put an end to it?

People always wonder why anyone would do something like commit suicide, and they often try to rationalize it away. Oh, they were just really sick, or they didn’t see their potential. Or maybe they take the less friendly route and suggest that they were too weak or foolish to ask for the help they needed… but what about those people who realize their potential, take every effort to cure their mental illness, and seek all the help they need? What about them? Why do they still commit suicide? Well I can tell you. It’s because they are tired. They are tired of being strong. They are tired of chasing a potential that doesn’t fulfill. They are tired of asking for help or trying ways to cure their mental illness. They are just tired of being alive.

That’s how I feel now. How I have been feeling for a few months now. I’m just tired of being alive. Tired of fighting the dreadful shit that keeps happening in my life. I’m tired of seeking help, of asking for help, of getting help. I’m tired of taking meds or self-medicating with drinking to combat my sorrow. I’m tired of the solitude, the panic attacks, the flashbacks, the memories of my marriage that keep scrapping through my mind until I don’t want to think anymore. I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of being told that I won’t be alone forever or that things will eventually get better. I’m so tired, my darlings.

It kills me that I can finally look in the mirror and see a reflection I understand, a reflection I like, and a reflection I can be proud of, but also know that that reflection cost me nearly everything, and then some. I finally know who I am, what I am, why I am the way I am, but the journey to get to this place has taken nearly everything out of me. I feel like I’ve reached the summit of some enormous mountain that I vowed to climb and I get to look down at the world knowing I succeeded just as the life starts to slip from my body.

Is this the end? Is this where our story ends? Two years after it began and here I am, thinking about how death is the only thing that makes any sense. I don’t want to be alive anymore. I’m finally happy with who I am and I don’t want to live anymore?? What kind of fucking tragedy is that? Emma, transfem extraordinaire, finishes her transition, becomes the beautiful girl she always wanted to be, only to be so overcome with isolation, sorrow, and regret that she takes a bottle of sleeping pills to throw it all away?

Surely that can’t be how this all ends. Surely there has to be some relief to this gauntlet of life I’ve been fighting through, but what happens when I run out of the energy to fight before the relief comes? Will the gauntlet end then? Will I finally find some semblance of contentment in life again? Things weren’t perfect with my ex-wife but at least we had each other in our times of sorrow, and we even had happiness. I have so many memories of happiness with her, so many fond recollections of the silliest things that still bring a smile to my face, but all of that is in the past. I’ve found a way to forgive her. I’ve found a way to overcome my resentment. I’ve even found a way to be happy for her, but I cannot for the life of me find a way to stop these happy memories from haunting me. Every day I remember something from our life together, and they are happy things, but they make me cry and there is only isolation to comfort me. In those quiet moments of desperate sorrow all I can think is, “Was all of this even worth it?”

I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if it was worth it or not. If I had to decide today, if today was the day I died, then the answer would be no. I would have taken another year and a half of unfulfilled marriage and the burden of living as a man over this.

I know that’s not pretty. I know that’s not what people want to hear. They want to hear that transition is filled with joy and nothing ever goes awry, but that’s not the reality, at least not mine. My transition has been a dual experience of fulfilling joy at getting to be the person I want to be, and the crushing despair of having everything fall apart. It’s been the dual experience of smiling at myself in the mirror because I can finally see the real me, and having unbelievable difficulties with discrimination, dating, and employment.  It has been a dual experience of getting to be seen, accepted, and understood as the girl I knew I always was, and having to watch my marriage come unraveled as my wife (very reasonably) couldn’t stay with me because I was that girl. I’ve gotten to experience the wonder of being hired for a job where my identity was not only accepted, but celebrated; and I’ve experienced losing my job because an old white guy was a transphobe and didn’t want me around anymore because I made him uncomfortable.

I’ve gotten to experience the largest reading audience I have ever attracted by talking about my transition, and I’ve also had my writing ambitions as a fiction author collapse completely because of how much time and effort I spent on these entries. I’ve been featured on television for tens of thousands of people to hear a small part of my story, and I’ve also found out firsthand how invisible you can feel when people just assume you are a woman and have nothing to offer. I’ve gotten to experience how amazing it can be for a girl to be attracted to me because I was also a girl, and I’ve gotten to experience what it is like to be cat-called, sexually harassed, and even sexually assaulted because I was a girl (you know, because girls are objects for pleasure, not people who deserve respect and decency right?).

I’ve gotten to meet some amazingly wonderful people who have greatly enriched my life, and I’ve met some of the most despicable and disgustingly hateful people who would rather see me burn at the stake than use the women’s bathroom with them. I’ve been called a friend, a mentor, and a teacher, and I’ve also been called a fag, a child molester, a man in a dress, a freak, and a very sick person (not as in ill, but as in fundamentally flawed in a wrong kind of way).

So no, my darlings, I can’t say that my transition has been all roses, unicorns, and rainbows. There have been plenty of those, but they have been overshadowed almost immediately from some awful thing that the gods have decided I need to endure. Transitioning has been the hardest fucking thing I have ever done, and sometimes I wonder why I chose to do it. I often wonder if I could have lived my whole life as Robert, but the answer is only yes if I had gone through with suicide like I wanted to before the dream that started all of this. I know that I couldn’t have lived as Robert for much longer than I did, but the question I’m struggling with now is how much longer can I live as Emma before it becomes too much?

I feel like I’m nearing the end of my rope, like one more bad thing happening will be the gust of wind that sends me flying into the abyss. There is only so much disappointment a person can endure and there is only so much strength offered by a reflection that matches what’s on the inside. I might be a pretty girl (possibly only in my mind) but what use is being a pretty girl when it costs you almost everything, and your life becomes a thousand times harder, not to mention lonelier, as a result?

I don’t really know what I’m getting at with this entry other than to vent some of my sorrow so it’s not all bottled up inside me, choking the life out of me. I do feel somewhat better having written this. The desire to not exist has subsided some, so I guess there is that. I'm honestly not even sure how many of you are still reading my blog. absent as I've been. Maybe my words will just echo in the emptiness of the internet, who knows?

All I know is it’s about damn time for Emma, transfem extraordinaire, to catch an extraordinary break, one she won’t inevitably fuck up because she’s so depressed and lonely that she makes terrible life choices. Surely a year and a half of getting shit all over is more than enough for anyone to have to bear… right? Please???


-Emmz

(I used to post pictures of me at the end, so here is a recent one)

6 comments:

  1. Emma,
    Your struggles are very real, very emotionally charged in your writing. Having known you on a limited basis as one of my daughters very, very close and best friends- one who slept as a young man on my sofa of a Thanksgiving Night long ago, and one PERSON she chose to have stand up for her in her wedding, thumbing her nose at convention to honor not only herself, but to honor you, her trusted friend above all, I can only experience your new life as a young woman through what you write.
    Can you find solace and appreciation for and in your true strength because of the costs you've endured to transition? Can you envision that true strength as a crystalized spider's web- knowing that despite the fragility of each individual strand you've woven, in every step of your new journey to womanhood, the web as a whole represents one of the most durable creations on Earth? Can you imagine the loss and frustration those spiders must endure every time the care-less wind of destruction demolishes that beautiful creation- likened to the cruelty of today's, yesterday's and even tomorrow's society encountered and yet to be endured as you transition? Should, no, will another web be built?
    Emma- I hope there are more webs for you to build, and, yes, there will continue to be destruction of some, but, my hope is that there will be endurance and fulfillment as you transform not merely transition. Transition sounds so temporary, but Transform, in my mind, is eternal. Will you transform completely in this life? I hope and pray so. The question I pose, however, is one that asks do any of us transform completely in this life? Will our transformations complete in death - or do we just face another new transition to the next path?
    Keep blogging, my darling, keep transforming, my darling.... KEEP. Period. For all the loneliness you see, look beyond.... recognize those who support and encourage you; those, who for you, are the supports for each tiny, agonizingly cast crystalized threads that will someday withstand the care-less attempts to destroy and become your new, and enduring home.
    For you, I hope.
    Shelly

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  2. Emma,
    My Dear Friend. I hope you know how much you are loved! As my mother mentioned above, I wish for you to have the strength to continue to build and re-build the hundreds and thousands of webs through this life. Even through the turbulent and cruel days that feel like eons, do I hope you can find the resilience to continue. Keep building, Keep writing, Keep going.

    Also, know how much I (and the many other people who you've touched) love you!
    <3 <3 <3
    I'm a phone call away if you ever need an ear or just want to chat.
    -Meaghan

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  3. Emma,
    My Dear Friend. I hope you know how much you are loved! As my mother mentioned above, I wish for you to have the strength to continue to build and re-build the hundreds and thousands of webs through this life. Even through the turbulent and cruel days that feel like eons, do I hope you can find the resilience to continue. Keep building, Keep writing, Keep going.

    Also, know how much I (and the many other people who you've touched) love you!
    <3 <3 <3
    I'm a phone call away if you ever need an ear or just want to chat.

    PS: Sorry if this is like the 3rd time you received this comment. It doesn't seem to want to let me add this comment. (I've tried like 4x, and am just now starting to wonder if you have to approve the comment for it to publish)... well, you know me --->N00B

    <3 always,
    Meaghan

    ReplyDelete
  4. So I tried your email and it failed.
    Please post a valid email so we can speak privately.

    A friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which email did you send it to? rtedwins@gmail.com? That is a valid email that I use frequently. Otherwise you can email me at etedwi16@smumn.edu

      Delete
  5. Emma, I've had a few friends who have had similar thoughts. Once past transition, they are now leading normal and productive lives. Although the thoughts of suicide have never entered my mind, I've had my own periods of depression. I've been in those dark places, where the tears never seem to leave me.

    You're almost there, girl. Transition is temporary. You have your whole life to live following transition. Please keep the faith and stay well. Things will get better.

    Calie xx

    ReplyDelete