Tag Archives: mental illness

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.  

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.

 

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

Once a Victim, Now a Survivor Award

Wow. When I woke up this morning to see a nomination for this award I was shocked, nearly speechless and just shoved my phone at my wife and said “read”. Tears welled up in my eyes because I had made a difference in someone’s life. Over the last few weeks, I have been really emotional because of everything that is going on in my life right now. I’ve been off my testosterone for nearly three weeks because of my surgery, I’m stressing about raising money so that I can attend my brother’s wedding, and I’ve been battling with depression. I probably should be on medication for the depression, but as long as I’m not suicidal, I’ll deal.

I would like to thank A Strawberri Pushed Through Insanity for the nomination and for taking the time to read my blog. Each and every view, comment or reblog that I get excites me so much. My blog is my voice, it allows me to be able to be heard from a place that is comfortable to me, and I am touched that anyone would read my ramblings even more so when I can make a difference in someone’s life.

That is after all how I measure the worth of my life.

Many years ago when I was on that razor’s edge, about to take the step into oblivion someone touched me in such a way that I decided if I lived for nothing else, I could live to make a difference.

So here are the ins and outs of the award:

This award is for those who have gone through mental illness of any kind, abuse, trauma, and especially PTSD. Here are the rules:

1.Thank the blogger that nominated you.
2.Nominate 5 – 10 bloggers to pass the award to.
3.Post questions for your nominees to answer (You may use the same as these below)
4.Inform your nominees and post a comment in their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated.

Here are the questions for my nominees. Feel free to skip any questions that you want to. You can fill in your own questions as you feel appropriate.

1. In what way do you feel blogging can help people with psychological trauma or mental illness?
2. Has blogging helped with your healing, or personal journey, if so how?
3. What fictional character can you relate most with and why?

I believe I’ve already done number one on the list, but again Thank you! (once is never enough for me. ;)) Nominating 5 to 10 bloggers is going to be difficult because I really don’t follow many people. I have to come back to that (and the last rule) in a few days. I suppose it’s time that I start reading what’s out there in the WordPress/Blogging world.

On to the questions:

1. In what way do you feel blogging can help someone with psychological trauma or mental illness?

Blogging for someone with a psychological trauma, mental illness, or anyone can be a release. We don’t have to put our real self out there, in the sense that we don’t have to leave the house or meet someone face to face and come out of our comfort zone to talk about things that we have gone through. It’s a safe way to be able to get things off over our chest and can be as therapeutic as going to group therapy.

2. Why would you recommend blogging to someone who suffered from mental illness?

For the same reason that blogging can help someone with mental illness or trauma; blogging can be therapeutic. There are often things that we want or need to say but often don’t trust our therapist with or don’t want to see a therapist because of the social stigma attached to mental illness and blogging is a way to work through that. We can write or post with anonymity and don’t always have to attach our name to our feelings, so we are safe from our own perceptions of how people would react if they knew we were “that person”.

3. How has blogging helped with your healing or personal journey?

Blogging about your current emotional state allows you to later go back and see patterns in your thoughts and behavior if the behavior is negative you can work to change it and recognize triggers. Recognizing what triggers (if any) destructive behavior can help you avoid or learn to cope with the trigger and the response. I have a really great therapist here in Richmond, VA who has helped me with an extreme anxiety in response to police lights.

(Nearly seven years ago I was handcuffed and held in the back of a squad car for three hours because I told a “mental health professional” that I was transgender. Before I started seeing my current therapist, it took me seven years to be able to go back to a therapist, I had panic attacks any time that I would see a cop car and it would be worse if they had blue lights on.) He told me that anxiety, like I was having, is the response to the anticipation of what could possibly happen. By recognizing that trigger and learning what it was and the response to it I have been able to work through my police induced panic attacks.

I will edit this post when I’ve found the bloggers that I would like to nominate for this award and list them above.

My nominations (I’m working on them!):

Transitioning Perspectives

Awkward Silence

Over the past week I’ve been racking my brain to come up with something more positive to talk about even when I feel my life is in a tumbling phase. Needless to say, I haven’t been able to think of anything too positive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful that things are starting to smooth out and we’re beginning to get on somewhat of an even keel, but that doesn’t make depression go away.

So I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room, so to speak, and that would be depression. This is the part where everyone shifts uncomfortably in their chairs as they stare at their screen, because well you know… mental illness.

Approximately 20 to 25% of the adult population in the United States suffers from depression. That’s about 48 to 61 million adults that are estimated to be living in the United States.

I have been one of these millions of people since I was about 14 or 15 years old. Depression isn’t just feeling disheartened or upset because something bad is happening; it is (from my experience of it) a soul-crushing darkness that consumes every moment of your life and your body, rendering you unable to enjoy living. It makes getting out of bed in the morning a chore in itself, and sometimes a chore that takes nearly all day. Taking a shower, cooking a meal, walking the dog, all of these become tasks that consume so much energy and effort you feel that you cannot do them at times. It really is that dark sometimes, and most of the time there is a loneliness that is indescribably painful and deep.

Feeling like this day after day is often a reason that someone chooses to end their own life. If you felt like nothing was ever going to get better day after grueling day wouldn’t you begin to think the same way? If it took all the energy you could summon just to remove yourself from your bed and walk to the bathroom to relieve yourself in the morning, how would you feel?

Every 13 minutes in the United States, someone ends their life via suicide, worldwide the rate of suicide is even higher. By the time you finish reading this post, assuming that you do, four or five people will have ended their own lives. Worldwide the rate of suicide is one death every 40 seconds, more than 800,000 annually. The sad reality of the problem is that it depression doesn’t have to end in suicide. Nearly 98% of people diagnosed with depression are treatable; it just takes reaching out for that help.

In our society, we have deemed mental illness taboo and something to be looked down upon for ages, and the cost of this ideal is measured in human lives.

1 in 100,000 deaths of children ages 10 to 14.

7 in 100,000 deaths of children ages 15 to 19.

12.7 in 100,000 deaths of young adults ages 20 to 24.

These are the costs of this stigma we place on mental illness.

Each year a quarter of a million people become survivors of suicide attempts.

These statistics are just for average cis-gendered people too. Being a member of the LGBT community puts one at a higher risk of depression or suicide. Over 80% of transgender people have contemplated suicide, 47-49% of those 80% have committed suicide. That’s almost half of the transgender population or about 7.8 million just here in the United States. (This is assuming that 5% is accurate percentage of population that is transgender. An exact percentage is unknown at the current time; however, 2-5% is the average estimate.)

Over the past six months, we’ve seen live after life lost to suicide, most commonly children. Kids that haven’t even begun to really live or experience all there is to life. It’s time that we get rid of the idea that having a treatable mental illness is something to be ashamed of. It’s not.

If you’re thinking about suicide please reach out for help.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
Trevor Project: 866-488-7386

If you have the contact information for a suicide hotline please feel free to share it in the comments along with the area that it covers.