A New Kind of Normal

I’ve never really had anything close to a social life, even when I was in high school. Even though I’m an extrovert I’ve spent most of my life in a reclusive state. Part of this is the fact that I am transgender, and the discrimination that I’ve faced because of it, part of it is because of my sensory issues, and part of it is the fact that I was never really allowed to socialize outside of the halls of my middle and high school. Growing up I was never allowed to have friends over nor was I allowed to leave home to go meet with anyone that could be considered a friend outside of school related activities. 

Since moving to New York, and beginning to emerge myself in the world of the SCA, I’ve found something akin to a social life. There are people around me that understand, or at least accept my eccentricities and it doesn’t seem to bother them in the least. I’ve found something that I never thought that I would have, and that’s a community. I feel like I’ve finally found a place where I can belong not hide away from society as life passes me by like I’ve been doing for the past twenty years. 

It’s past time for me to let go of what happened to me in the past and start working towards the future that I want for myself and for my family. 

For the first time in my life I’ve joined a gym so that I can get into shape. I’ve started attending rapier practice within the SCA, and archery as well. While there has been a few bumps in the road, I am actually starting to look forward to the future with excitement rather than disdain or upset. Things are still rough, I’m still fighting for SSI because of my autism, in July of this year it will be two years since I’ve applied. I went into my final appeal in November of last year and that can take up to 15 months. 

I’ve scheduled an appointment for the 22nd of March for the consultation for my chest reconstruction surgery, and my insurance here will cover it and all other SRS surgeries that I need. I can’t believe this year I’ll finally be able to take that step closer to being whole. 

My depression was really bad for a while, but it’s a bit better now. I don’t wake up every morning wanting to die. I hope that this is a permanent change, but I know that there is the possibility that it isn’t. It’s just something that I will have to deal with as it comes along. I know I’m going to have to find a therapist and stick with them, but for once I have a few clear goals in my life that aren’t just ideas. 

I have an idea of where I want to be headed by the end of this year, I’m not completely lost to the chaos anymore. 

#depression, #letting-go-of-the-past, #lgbt, #mental-health-2, #mental-illness, #moving-on, #new-york, #srs, #trans, #transgender

Major Depressive Disorder…

For over half of my life I’ve been depressed, not just the cause kind of depression that so many people suffer, I’m not that lucky. I have had this deep rooted, dark miasma of a mental illness since I was fifteen years old. The first time I told my mom I was depressed, she said that everyone went through times in their life when they were sad. When I told her I wanted to kill myself, she told me “You know we don’t believe in that.” I was a lost, alone and depressed teenager with nothing but the hope of something better to hold on to. Well, something better has never come.

I hate the “It Gets Better” project for one simple fact, it doesn’t always get better. There is no fairytale happy ending, and the celebrities that parade their “getting better” about does nothing but give false hope. It builds up people like me only to let us down, and not gently.

The last time I checked, 47% of all transgender people end their own lives, and 80% of us contemplate suicide. I’m one of the 80% and was nearly one of the 47%. I can’t count the times that I have almost been just another statistic on a page for people to cry foul about but do nothing for.

I struggle to get out of bed, I make myself get up and move around because I don’t want my children to know how bad off I am. I have surrounded myself with rabbits so I can force myself to do something productive. These tiny creatures depend on me to survive, they trust and love me. At least that’s the lie that I tell myself. If I was gone, they wouldn’t care. Someone else would feed them and care for them.

I’m always trying to find ways to make everyone around me smile, because I don’t want anyone to feel like I do. I don’t want anyone else to feel this sadness…honestly sadness doesn’t begin to cover it, but I can’t put these feelings to paper with any degree of accuracy. Lost, hopelessness, desolation, empty, no one word or even a page of words could properly label depression.

I’m so bad off that I actually went to the doctor today to ask for help. I ended up crying in the examination room not once, but twice. Once when I found out that despite eating less than I have been I’ve managed to gain another twenty pounds. The second time was when the doctor wanted to shove me off on someone else. She didn’t listen to anything that I said, but was real quick to say that I needed to see the counselor who would then refer me to a psychiatrist. If I was really lucky, I’d be able to get some help in three months.

Three months.

I told her, “this is why people kill themselves. Because they come in to a doctor’s office needed help, and what do they get? A three month wait.”

The excuse I got was that Arkansas was way below the national average when it came to mental health.

My wife finally talked her into giving me something for depression. I think she realizes that I’m actually suicidal, but I refuse to tell that to any doctor. It’ll just be an excuse for them to lock me up away from the only support that I have. It’ll be their justification to throw me in a hospital where idiots will misgender me, abuse my patient rights and really push me to suicide. I’m a lot more creative than people think.

The first time I was put in a mental hospital I found more than thirty ways that I could kill myself before the first twenty-four hours was over. They really do make it too easy.

So now I’m thrust into the breast of Chaos, what little order and hope for stability in my life has washed away with the drowning waves of this mental illness that no one wants to talk about. It just makes me different, not evil.

I don’t know how much longer I can even hold on. I’ve been going at this alone for over seventeen years and I’m getting tired. I just want to find stability, somewhere I belong…something that everyone deserves.

#autistic-suicide, #depression, #doctors, #healthcare-2, #mental-health-issues, #mental-illness, #poor-mental-health, #suicide, #trans-suicide, #transgender-depression

Sanity Piracy

(I’ve been going through a lot of my old journals and notebooks with poetry that I had wrote several years ago. Some of it is dated 2008! The difference in the person I was then and the person I am now is astounding. So I thought I might share some of my poetry over the next few weeks. Writing has always helped me cope with the difficulties that I’ve faced in life because I’ve never really felt like therapists give a damn. We’re just a paycheck and nothing more. I’ve had to work through things myself and I think I’m better for it. If anyone feels like I did when I wrote these…Don’t give up. Keep fighting, always keep fighting. You are good enough. You are worth it. You are loved, and if you ever need someone to talk to I am here. )

Drag the blade across the skin
Get lost in the red hazed dance
End all of this pain, surfacing again
Let it all out, break free of society’s trance.

Payment is due for the crimes you’ve committed
The lies from your lips, discretions admitted.
Tearing down others just to build yourself up high.
River of tears that you caused others to cry.

Secure the rope around tender wrists.
Breath in your torment while screams echo.
Snapping, breaking, contort and twist.
Begging for it to end, your mind lets go.

Sanity piracy
The human race brought to its knees.
Sanity piracy
This is what you’ve done to me.

#always-keep-fighting, #dark-poetry, #depressed, #depression, #literature, #mental-health-2, #mental-illness, #never-give-up, #poem, #poetry

Empty

The evening before last I had fully intended to kill myself. I was, and frankly still am, tired of the
struggle. I’m tired of nothing ever seeming to get better no matter how hard I fight. I’m tired of
seeing facebook post after facebook post of states in the US making laws that blatantly
descriminate against LGBT people, especially transgender people.

Monday was hell. I’m sure anyone that read my blog figured that out, and yet here I am. I cried
myself to sleep. I had planned to wait until my wife when to bed and then do the deed, but I was
so exhausted after my total meltdown that I cried myself to sleep and couldn’t find the strength to
pull myself from bed until well after 10:00am the next morning. Something that I odd for me
considering I’m usually up and moving about between 5:00 and 6:00am every morning.

So here I am.

I’ve been waiting for a decision on disability for months now, I applied in July of 2015 and still
have heard nothing. It took Social Security six months to decide to send me to a doctor, and
three more to acutally do it. My wife called Social Security on Monday to update my information (I
have a new cell phone number since I lost my Verizon account) and to get an update on my
case.

When I first applied back in July of last year, I submitted paperwork that give my wife permission
to call social security and speak on my behalf because of my telephone issues. My initial
telephone interview that was conducted in September of 2015 was done by my wife, and the only
other update that we’ve recieved (December of 2015) was also made via telephone conversation
with my wife.

After a thirty minute hold time, my wife tried to talk to “Matt” about my case. She was sitting on
our front porch with the phone on speaker so that I could hear everything that was being said.
This Matt fellow refused to talk to my wife and said that I had never turned in paperwork giving
her authorization to speak on my behalf and he needed to speak to me. My wife explained that I
was unable to, and that this was part of my disability.

I find it funny that my wife can make the decision to end my life if I am on life support, but these
asshole companies refuse to allow her to speak on my behalf even after I’ve given authorization
and signed paperwork stating so.

I lost it. I started crying, and I couldn’t stop. I’ve been under too much stress and had too much
happen to me in the past 14 days to be able to keep myself from going into a complete
meltdown. When I started crying and telling my wife that the people on the other end of the phone
didn’t give a damn about my disabilities, Matt stated he didn’t have to listen to “this” and hung up.

Half an hour she had waited, and for nothing because of some cocky kid that wanted me to
speak on the phone so damned badly but didn’t want to hear me crying because I couldn’t handle
all the stress of what has been going on.

When he hung up and I realized we had wasted all that time, I lost it. I broke everything that I
could get my hands on, and when there was nothing more I could break I started to hurt myself.

All I could think about was the fact that we had wasted so much time on trying to get an update
because the social security administration is so incompetent that they can’t keep their website
information up to date. If they had kept their records up to date on their servers, then I wouldn’t
have gotten a message demanding that I call them. Then of course I can’t call them, so I have to
have my wife call them instead and now they wouldn’t even talke to her. It didn’t matter if I had
signed papers allowing it, these bastards didn’t care. They don’t care because it’s not them that
has to suffer. They get to go home to their warm little beds at night and have their electricity and
running water. They don’t have to wake up every damned morning and draw water from a well,
live with a mother-­in-­law that likes to pretend they don’t exist and is nothing but a burder. They
don’t know my life and they don’t give a fuck because it isn’t them.

In that moment I hated myself more than anything else. I was the one that’s failed, I’m the broken
one that can’t take care of his family. I’m the one that doesn’t have any friends that live nearby to
hang out with. I’m the worthles waste of space that needs to die. If I died than maybe my family
would have a better shot at getting out of where they are.
In that moment, I needed to die.

As always my champion, (my wife) stepped in and stopped me, she held me while I screamed,
wailed, and cried. She held me until I was sobbing so hard that I couldn’t breathe, and had screamed myself hoarse. When I was so tired I couldn’t do anything else, my wife called my
lawyer, who understands I can’t speak on the phone, and explained what happened and asked
for them to request an update. The social security administration will speak with a lawyer, but not
my wife…

My wife thought I was calmer after a bit, and I was, but truth be told I was still planning to die. I
remembered how much attention that other people’s deaths had gotten, and thought if I did the
same maybe, just maybe, the outcome would bring light to people like me.

On Monday night as I laid in bed after writing my goodbye letter, I just started crying. I couldn’t
help it, and even now I keep crying on and off. I’m tired, I’m only thirty-­one years old and I feel like
I’ve lived three times that long.

I have faced discrimination since my teenage years, I have gone through things that no one
should have to go through. I have been abused several times, by several people. I have been
homeless many times, some with children, sometimes without. I have been shunned and
ignored by people that were suposed to be my friends and my support group. I have had my
vehicle vandalized for speaking out about being transgender and the effect it had on my birth
family. I have been told that I’m an abomination, that I’m unnatural and a predator. All this
negative overwhelms what little positive that I have.

I cried when I had a hot shower for the first time in two months. I overdrew my bank account for
that, and now I have to figure out how I’m going to pay it off.

I worry about losing my children
every single day because I have no where to go. We have our animals to care for, and on top of
that I wouldn’t be welcome in any homeless shelter where we would have running water and
electricity.

It all builds up to the point where you can’t take it.

I just want to all to end.

I don’t understand why people are filed with so much hatred towards
each other.
I can’t understand why people pretend to be your friend, but only when you can give
them something.

The last two years have been really hard for me. I’ve lost nearly every person that I considered to
be my friend. I love my wife, she means the world to me and she is my best friend, but it would
still be nice to have someone else that I could spend time with and share my interests with.

As I laid there crying in bed, my phone started making the message tone. I was honestly
surprised.

Three people from my Facebook list had written me to make sure that I was okay, or to tell me
that I was loved and cared for. It made me cry even harder.

These three people and my wife, cared enough to write me and check on me.
I still haven’t written back and I’m sure I’ve worried them, and for that I am truly sorry and I hope
that they can forgive me. This morning I received another message from a friend on twitter.

I’ve learned something from my breakdown though. I have a handful of people that care about
me, while I can’t go see them or spend time with them, they are my friends and I love each and
every one of them, and I am greatful to have them.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning, and no long had the pressing urge to end my own life I
was surprised to see how much traffic my blog got from what would be my final post. I’m not
sure if that was good, bad, or just something that was neither but it rekindled the fact that I love to
write and I love having people read my writing.

This evening I spent several hours sitting with a horde of over twenty baby bunnies ranging in
age from five to eight weeks taking pictures of them as they ran around me in their enclosure
that I built out repurposed pallets. My goal was to cheer myself up, because I love rabbits.

It
worked somewhat, especially after cuddling several of them over the course of the day. (Miyagi,
Mr. Mustache, Dionysus, and Captain Adorable)

I also spent all day yesterday wearing a shirt that was a special gift from a fellow SPN fan, and
mother, trying to remind myself to Always Keep Fighting.

While I am still depressed, there is a
light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope that I can make it to the end of the tunnel and not feel so
empty anymore.

#autistic-suicide, #death, #depressed, #depression, #disability, #disabled-people, #discrimination, #helpless, #hopelessness, #mental-illness, #suicide, #transgender-suicide

Razor’s Edge

I’m depressed. I know this and yet there is nothing that I can do to drag myself from the darkness. Each passing day I sink deeper and I’m left wondering why I even bother anymore. Some nights when I go to sleep I pray that I don’t wake up in the morning so the pain will end. So I don’t have to feel this torment any longer. I keep catching myself wondering if I should leave in the middle of the night, just wander into the cold dark night and let death take me into its seemingly warmer grip.

I can’t go see my doctor for help. Each and every time I have visited my doctor the answer has always been either A) antibiotics or B) we don’t treat that here but if your problem continues we’ll send you somewhere else. Somewhere else, i.e. my therapist doesn’t understand why my doctor can’t or rather won’t help. So I’m left being shoved back and forth with no one wanting to help me. This just adds to the depression.

I was managing, not doing so well but managing until my best friend disappeared. It’s funny how someone can say a cat is their best friend, but Jack was. He went missing around Christmas and I haven’t seen him since. No shelters have him, animal control doesn’t pick up stray cats, and no one has seen him. It’s like Jack just disappeared into the darkness. Disappearing is what I want to do. I know people probably think I’m crazy, but I don’t connect with people.

I can’t.

That’s part of the problem too.

Each time I get the courage to reach out and make a friend they end up brushing me off like I’m nothing. So I feel like a total failure. I can’t keep a friend for longer than a few months. I have people on my Facebook as friends, but they don’t know me. I don’t think any of them know my favorite color (red and purple), band (Disturbed), author (Edgar Allen Poe), my favorite animals (fox, rabbit, hawk), or anything really about me other than what I’ve given them in my profile. So really they aren’t my friends. I don’t talk to any of them except in passing on comments every now and then. If I disappeared tomorrow, I doubt any of them would notice. They would simply carry on with their lives and not even miss a step.

I am a ghost. At least, that’s how I feel. I move throughout this world never being noticed or important to anyone. I’m a failure.

I want to die. I want to end the loneliness.

I want to end the hurt that my parents and siblings continuously cause me.

I want to end being used like a tool.

I AM A HUMAN BEING.

I want to feel worth.

I want to be important.

I want to have value beyond what other people think that they can get out of me.

I’m tired of pretending my life isn’t falling apart. It’s never not been falling apart.

I’m tired of putting on a happy face when I’m dying.

I am tired of waking up so tired and worn out that I have to drag myself from bed to feed my chickens. I lie to myself every morning, if I don’t feed them, they’ll die. They need me. They don’t really. There are other people that would feed them.

But I need that little happiness every morning of seeing these birds running to me. I can pretend that they are running to me because they love me, not because they see me as a source of food. I can pretend they are excited to see me because they like my company. Those little lies are the only reason I haven’t slit my wrists in the bathtub.

I don’t even trust myself to shower alone anymore, I have my wife shower with me.
I don’t trust myself. I’m too damaged. I’m too broken. While some broken things can be fixed, there are others than cannot…and I am the other.  

#depressed, #depression, #family-2, #loneliness, #lonely, #mental-health-2, #mental-illness, #suicide

Reflection

I will be glad when 2015 is over, this has been the worse year of my life by far. The entire year I’ve spent dealing with one clusterfuck after another, and the day before Christmas was just hell. I am depressed and have to keep reminding myself what I have to live for. I found out just how alone I was really was this year and that I really don’t have any friends, just people that wanted to use me for whatever they could get from me.

The first half of the year was rough, but I had hoped that it would get better. It really hasn’t gotten any better.

I tried my best to get a support group for the transgender community going that would encompass anyone that considered themselves to be transgender. The few people that were interested were interested in the clinics that I wanted to set up after incorporating into a non-profit, but no one wanted to help or do any work towards those goals.  

The few so-called friends that I had at the beginning of the year showed their true colors this year. It was okay for me to always drive into Richmond or further to see them or hang out with them, but they could never be bothered to come to my place. When I mentioned this to them it was always “well you’re so far away”. I’m so far, yet I can drive to them but not the other way around?

What hurt the most though is when I was told by my so-called best friend that he didn’t have the time to be my friend. Yet he had the time to abandon his daughter at her last music recital of the year to drive to Washington DC for a dinner.

So I’m left with only the people I occasionally talk to on Facebook as my friends. I can’t begin to tell you how lonely that is. I haven’t gone out since June, even before then really if you want to count going out as doing something “adultish”. Twice this year I thought we were going to lose our house. A little voice in the back of my head kept whispering ‘back to the streets for you, you incompetent dumbass’.

I’ve been given a “pre-diagnosis” of ASD, but I still, after nearly nine months, can’t find a doctor that is willing to give me a formal diagnosis because I’m an adult, and I should have had that diagnosis before now. Should have. Story of my life, there is a lot of things I should have had access to as a child but I didn’t so now I have to face life as an adult that can’t take care of himself.

I’ve been trying to get disability since June, I was told by the lawyer my insurance company contracted it would take no more that six months. Well here we are in December and the worker for my case isn’t going to decide whether or not to send me to “one of their doctors” until January. So much for six months.

I can’t work. Being around people gives me two things; panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. I feel like a total failure. The one thing I’m supposed to be able to do I can’t.

Of course in May my SUV was vandalized because I spoke on local television about being transgender. Nothing happened to the person that vandalized my truck, in fact they are most likely still walking around Amelia County free as anyone else and rather proud of the hatred they perpetrated on me and my family just because I’m different than them.

Then I was profiled by police not once but twice because of the equality stickers on the back of my SUV. This was when I was using my SUV as a ‘Farm Use’ vehicle and had the corresponding tags on it. Both times the officers didn’t know the laws and threaten me and my wife. This has contributed to worsening panic attacks every time I see a police car now. Even if I’m doing nothing wrong I start panicking when I see flashing lights or a squad car. The current climate with police getting away with murder, literally, doesn’t help at all either.

I thought that things were going to get better when I got back in touch with my parents after two years of not talking. They didn’t like the fact that I being transitioning and kicked me, my wife and our two children out of the house that my wife and I put the down payment on. We had lived there less than two months.

I thought that my relationship with my parents could truly be mended and we could all be a family again. I guess that was just wishful thinking on my part. My parents allowed my brother to treat me, my wife and my two children like trash. He yelled at us, called me a fat lesbian, a stupid bitch, a faggot, queer, and nearly every other slang for LGBT that he could think of, and my parent’s response was for me to just ignore it. They even gave him and his wife a house! Can you believe that?! A fucking house, when they took mine from me.

I tried to look past all of that though. I really did. Then my mother deleted me from her Facebook friends, because my liberal posts make her pissed off and she was tired of being pissed off. It hurt, and it spoke volumes as to where I stand in their lives. To me it said I had no place in their life. They support my brother who refuses to work. He is in no way disabled, he just refused to work. He had his gamer friends raise almost $10,000 to send him to Vietnam to meet the woman that became his wife. He didn’t work for it, and yet I’m the bad person in my parent’s eyes.

To make my year even worse, I wasn’t able to give my kids what I wanted to get them for Christmas, well…Yule. I was barely able to scrounge up $60 bucks for both of their presents. Thirty dollars each…And it makes me loathe myself just that much more. I know what it is like going back to school and seeing all the great things all the other kids got for Christmas, while you got nothing.

See, my parents decided that they didn’t want to do Christmas any more. My mother claimed it was because she didn’t want to see us disappointed when we didn’t get what we wanted, but the last Christmas I remember with them I was so happy because I got a guitar. The only thing that I had been wanting all year because at that time I idolized Garth Brooks and wanted to play guitar like he did. I was devastated after Christmas though, because my guitar had a fault in it and the neck snapped off, it was supposed to be replaced but never was…

So I know that feeling, I know what it’s like to be made fun of because your family doesn’t celebrate the coolest kid holiday of the year.

Even as I sit here writing this, I’m fighting back tears because I don’t want that embarasment, that torment for my children.

Then on Christmas eve, I find out that my truck is broken down to the point where it can’t be driven. I need about $1200 worth of parts to get it road worthy so it can pass inspection next month and I don’t have it. So now we’re stranded almost twenty miles from the nearest town with no way to get food or supplies.

I want to give up so badly.

I want this pain, this lonliness, this life to end.

I can’t even get started into the bullshit I’m going through with my mother-in-law. I am grateful that we are able to stay with her, but after two years I feel more like a slave and inconvience than a son-in-law.

It all adds to the pain, and I don’t know how much longer I can handle it.

If next year doesn’t get better…it may be my last.

 

#2015, #asd, #autism, #broken-vehicle, #broken-vehicles, #depression, #family-2, #friends, #holidays, #isolation, #mental-illness, #suicide, #trans-suicide, #transgender

Missed

In the time that it takes people to read this post, another person in the United States will have committed suicide. In 2013 every 12.8 minutes someone in the United States died from suicide; 22 of those deaths each day were US Veterans; 14 to 15 of those deaths are young adults ranging from ages 15 to 24.  These statistics are the reason that suicide is one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States; for young adults it is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. More than half of all the people than take their own lives suffer from depression; an illness that is treatable with medication. While over ninety percent of all suicide victims suffer from mental illness, most often undiagnosed, there are still other factors such as bullying, victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse, drug or alcohol abuse or other a combination of other issues.

While most of those that commit suicide have mental illness the usual cause is a culmination of issues rather than just one solid reason. Nearly 43% of all kids have experienced cyberbullying at least once; twenty-five percent of those children have experienced repeated bullying. With nearly 80% of all teens having access to the internet and social media through cell phones, tablets, etc. cyber-bullying is one of the easiest and most common ways to bully other teens. Often damaging a teen’s self-esteem cyberbullying can lead to depression and even suicide.

Victims of abuse, whether it’s sexual, physical or emotional can often blame themselves for the events that happened to them. With society’s idea of blaming the victim, especially in sexual abuse or rape cases, the results can be catastrophic. Nearly 13% of all rape victims attempt suicide, the amount that contemplate it is over double that.

With society blaming the victim of abuse, mental illness, or bullying more often than not the willingness of people to seek professional help for the issues that arise from these events lessens. The abused, bullied or mentally ill begin to see themselves as deserving of the way that they are treated. Rather than seek help because of the taboos against it they deal with it the best way that they know how; often by ending their own lives.

We need to stop blaming the victim and start taking responsibility for the cause. Until we treat abuse, bullying, mental illness and the other score of factors that contribute to suicide among Americans seriously, the rates are going to increase. Nothing will get better until we dispel the stigma around seeking counseling or psychiatric help for issues that we have no control over.

It is not the victim’s fault.

If you need help, please seek it.

And if you feel like this:

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Read the response. Read it each time you feel like you’re better off dead.

I know how you feel. I’ve been there before. I’ve hurt so incredibly bad that I just wanted to end it all.

Then I think of everyone that I would hurt being selfish and taking the easy way out. My pain would end, but theirs would last long after even their own death. It would echo like a gunshot through the generations of my friends and family; leaving a question of “What if I had…would he still have ended his own life.”

It’s not worth it. Work through the pain and find help. You’re worth that, and you owe it to yourself to try.

You will be missed.

http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html
National Hopeline Network 1-800-784-2433
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
The Trevor Project 1-866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline 1-877-565-8860

#bullying, #cyberbullying, #depression, #domestic-abuse, #emotional-abuse, #mental-illness, #physical-abuse, #sexual-abuse, #suicide, #veteran-suicide, #youth-suicide