Tag Archives: suicide

Playing Catch-up

Where do I begin? This last month and a half has been beyond hectic. This year was supposed to be better than last and yet it has already begun to descend into a spiral of negativity. I’ve been struggling with depression from the start of the year and that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.

From the start, I’ve been battling with a school district that wants to receive extra funding for having a child that is ASD in their system but refuses to place that child in a classroom where they will excel. Even after writing the Virginia Department of Education nothing has gotten done except the school district threatening me for keeping my son home and out of an environment that has caused him to begin self-stimulatory behavior again and stop eating. They kept threatening to call the truancy officer every time the school was called or talked to about trying to get my son a placement. The thing that really pisses me off is the fact they refused to do any testing until he was enrolled and attending their school which is against the law.

When it began evident to me that the school wasn’t going to do anything except tell me that all the diagnosis from the doctor were wrong and he was fine in normal class I removed him from school and begin to homeschool him once again. I’m not happy with this but it is better to homeschool him than allow him to become so out of control and lost because of the teacher’s inability to control their classroom than just look for social groups for him to be involved in.

Just as I finally thought that things were going to get better I came home one afternoon (Friday to be exact) to find that the power company had shut off the electricity. They have never sent us a bill on time or with any regularity, and every bill that we have received from them (whether past due or not) has always been marked for immediate disconnection. I know I’ve written about this in the past. This time, when we called them, we were told it wasn’t their fault we didn’t get the bill and that unless we paid them somewhere around $1300 plus another deposit of $1200 and a reconnect fee, they weren’t going to turn us back on.

Fuck you Southside Electric Co-op.

It would cost less to buy a whole house generator than to reconnect power with this company so they can just shut it off on whim yet again. We don’t even have that kind of money. We’re struggling enough as it is.

So once again, we have no electricity, which means drawing water from the well manually, using the woodstove for heat, and using candles and flashlights for light when it gets dark. No power means that when my Chromebook that I’m writing on runs out of charge I have to hunt down a library or other place where I can charge it.

We are looking for a generator, but honestly, they are expensive and we’d still have the expense of the gasoline or propane to run them. Using solar panels would be a much better idea, but we don’t have enough money for an array.

So we are stuck without power, our truck is still not roadworthy and I’m fighting the urge to slit my wrists so that I don’t have to wake up every morning to this hellish nightmare in which no one gives a shit.

I also expect to lose my phone before too much longer as well which means I’ll have to hike to a library to use internet and keep up with the world.

I think the saddest and most frustrating part about all this bullshit that is going on is that fact that I am living a third-world lifestyle in a first world country. Everyone brags on America and how great it is, but it’s a lie. It’s great if you have the money to buy it’s greatness. If you have the money to buy politicians, and corporations, then yes, America is fantastic.

However, if you don’t, it’s shit.

It’s a bunch of lies that we are fed as children to encourage a sense of elitism so we can convince our children that going to war to “defend America” is a fan-fucking-tastic idea.

But it’s all a lie.

There’s nothing great about this country anymore.

It’s corrupt country that people try to rule with their own misconstrued religions.

Not so different that the countries we’re fighting against after all…

 

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.  

FB Group: Autistic Adults

Being autistic is a challenge that can be very trying even on your best day. From my experience, people don’t generally think like I do or even process information the same way I do. Bluntly put, I am the odd man out when compared with society. Due to my trouble with noise, I cannot live in a city or town; in fact, I live nearly twenty miles from the closest thing that you could consider to be a town. Even living where I do, next to someone that will not control their barking dog is emotionally draining on me.

Lately, I’ve been very depressed because of various issues going on in my life and I thought that maybe I could join a support group for people that were autistic and hopefully find some people that were a little more like me. So I searched for a few groups on Facebook and joined a couple that I thought I would mesh in. One of these groups was for LGBT autistics, and while the people there didn’t talk much I found that almost everything was geared towards people with Asperger’s, which is on the ASD scale, but it just isn’t how I am identified. Due to this, I quietly left the group after a little lurking because it didn’t feel like it was for me. If the group is still around when my son is older then I’d probably introduce him to it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Another group that I joined was called Autistic Adults, which you can find here if you’re interested.

I joined this group because I thought it was great to finally find a group of adults, that are supportive or so I thought. I asked on the group if anyone else had trouble getting a diagnosis as an adult. I had a few comments on the troubles that other people in the group had getting a diagnosis as an adult and had pretty much resigned myself to a long drawn out battle with doctors that don’t want to give me an answer or diagnosis. I’ve already been screened and the result was positive.

The one of the admins ( I had no clue he was an admin at the time.) chimed into my conversation and made suggestions that I’ve already tried. I told him this, and it seemed like he suddenly had a bone to pick with me. First, he had tried to suggest something that I had already done, which was get a screening. I had stated in the first post, that I just needed the official diagnosis and the screening was already done.

You can see that here in the screenshot.

 

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After this post, this guy kept pushing for me to call doctors (this is after the group had had a discussion about telephone conversations and I had admitted that talking on the phone gives me panic attacks, even thinking about talking on the phone can be triggering.) I told him that there were literally no doctors in my area that would diagnose an adult with autism that was respectful and that I couldn’t travel any distance because my SUV (Good Old Bessie) was currently broken down, but this wasn’t good enough of an answer it seemed.

After this, the guy told me that I should have my friends take me to the doctors.

I laughed. I’ll admit it. I fucking laughed at the computer screen when I read that, I laughed because crying would hurt too much. I told him I don’t have friends, and that I lived twenty miles from the nearest town.

I don’t have friends…something that has been so ungodly painful since June, just thrown into my face. So of course, I’m going to be annoyed with this guy now. He had to be right and I had to be lying, at least, that’s how it seemed to me, how could anyone not have friends?

If that wasn’t bad enough then this guy starts trying to tear apart everything I’ve said to other people. I present to you:

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Not that it is any of this guys business, but yes, because of transportation I haven’t been able to see my therapist since October, something that has not been very good for me.

It was after that post that this guy starts privately messaging me and demands to know if I use drugs and then accused me of using a fake name!

asshole

So yeah, after you accuse me of using a fake profile name, I’m going to be pissed. Using profile names that don’t match the name on their driver’s license has caused A LOT of transgender people to have their accounts shut down. My legal name is Aydan Keeley O’Connor and I’m damned proud of it, I fucking paid enough for it.

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It was clear this guy didn’t care what was “going on with me”, because if he had his opening message wouldn’t have been questioning me about drug use.

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Now, I shouldn’t have to explain this to an admin of a Facebook group, but because he isn’t my “friend” my screen name of AydanKOConnor (which is the link for my FB page) is going to come up, not my name. Then he began to question what I write? This guy didn’t introduce himself to me when I first joined that page several days prior, and now because I didn’t idolize him as some god he was harassing me and demanding to know about me? I don’t think so. I stopped talking to him, but I did message one of the other admin and creator of the group when I first started having trouble with him. She did nothing.

My wife even wrote her and other admins and this was the response she got.

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From what my wife understands this guy was telling other admins that I was using a fake name.

Why? Because he didn’t know how facebook works. If you’re not my friend, you’re not going to see much on my page. However, because this David fellow thought I was using a fake name because my account name was showing up I was removed from the only group that I had found to be catered to adults with autism.

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See the difference? AydanOConnor was already taken when I tried to set my facebook username so I used AydanKOConnor instead. K as in Keeley which is my legal middle name.

I feel like the real problem is this though:

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Right at the top of my groups (which are viewable for all) is the fact that I belong to an LGBT group for ASD. The reason I say this is because when my wife wanted to know why I was so upset ( this put me in meltdown mode) and I shoved my phone at her, and after she read the messages she sent this guy a message of her own, wanting to know why he was doing what he was doing.

He started by belittling her and accusing her of using a fake name as well, and when my wife sent him a picture of proof of who she was, he wanted to know if she (my wife) was really me. So my wife sent him a photo of my ID, and then he started asking for personal information.

So because of this gem, I almost had a complete meltdown on top of teetering back and forth on being suicidal. This is not the way you’re supposed to treat each other in a support group.

I wanted to share this with anyone that reads my blog because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. We don’t need anyone TG suicides or suicides period for that matter, and if I didn’t have such a wonderful wife, this would have seriously pushed me to end it all.

 

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.

 

Bitter Cold-Truth

We haven’t had electricity since Thursday when our electric company disreguarded a verbal agreement we had, refused to give us twenty-four hours and shut our power off. They claimed they would turn us back on but first we had to pay them nearly $400.00 and fork out a $1200 deposit. We have never not paid our electric bill, since we moved into the house in March of last year, we have always paid even when the electric company screwed up the billing address and didn’t send us our bill on time, or when they jumped our electric bill from barely $150 a month to well over $600. We weren’t the only people that they have done this to, we’re just the unlucky ones struggling as it is to pay the $150 bill when they dropped new increases on us after the deregulation of electric companies in Virginia.

The weather the past two days has reached below freezing both days and the only thing keeping us warm is the large firepit we dug out front during the spring and the heater in my truck. Though if I’m going to be completely honest, only half of the heater in my truck works. The blower motor for the front of the vehicle doesn’t work so it doesn’t actually blow heat in the front of the truck. We charge our phones and my Chromebook in the truck as well. However when night falls and we have to return inside the darkened house our spirits sink.

This is not how I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with my wife and two children until about three hours ago we didn’t even have a turkey.

I know when this Thursday rolls around I’ll see posts of how everyone on my friend’s list spending time with their family and gourging themselves on food while getting ready to go shopping for Black Friday and my family and I will be gathering wood for a fire, drawing water up from our well and cooking our meal over hot coals from our firepit.

This is the bitter cold truth that I wake up to each and every morning now.

Admist all of this I am still struggling to find doctors that diagnosis ASD in adults, trying to enroll our youngest in public schools, fight for SSI, and deal with depression so bad that I struggle to keep going. The only thing I can tell myself is if I give up, my children and wife will be worse off than they already are.

My wife is disabled and cannot use the chainsaw to drop trees for firewood, or chop wood with an ax. She doesn’t even have a driver’s license, and our oldest son is still too young for his. I am the only one in the family with a license and therefore, the only one able to drive back and forth to the store.

How would they be able to make it if I gave up? If I was selfish and ended my own suffering and left them alone…I can’t do that to them, my pain is nothing compared to what they would be left with.

So I keep going.

It’s really the only thing I can do. I focus on one task at a time; one item on our to do list and keep working towards something better. Though I don’t feel like anything is going to get better anytime soon.

I’m cold and tired all the time now, it’s like the dampness has settled into my bones and will refuse to leave until the spring of next year and warmer weather.
I just have to keep going.

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

Why Do We Do It?

Self-harm and suicide has been on my mind a lot recently. I’ve been depressed (as usual) and I’m dealing with a lot of anxiety, worry and stress, so my mind tends to revert back to its old habits. The darkest little voice in the back of my mind continues to tell me how worthless I am, that I’ll never accomplish anything worthwhile in my lifetime so why even bother? I won’t have a legacy to leave behind, no one will remember me, I will die and return to the earth same as billions of people before me have done and will continue to do after I am dead. The not so dark voice urges me to pick up habits that I have given up in the past, cutting the main vice of my past. Go ahead, it whispers, draw the blade again, loose the scarlet flow. Both tell me I could martyr myself as so many other transgender people before me have done. I could make my mark by dying. Wouldn’t it be so simple to write out my pain, end my life, and then end my suffering?

My suffering. How selfish.

The only thing that taking their advice would do is end my suffering, and yet it would create more pain than it would end. If my life was over the pain that the family I left behind would be in would pale in comparison to my own sorrow.

My wife, children, siblings, perhaps even my parents; they would all have a hole in their life where I once lived. It’s not fair to them to cause them all so much pain when most of them wanted to do nothing more than help me as I struggle through life.

Why do we do it? Why do people like me end our lives long before our time? I think that we lose sight of what is important in our lives, or we feel so abandoned and alone that we don’t think. We don’t think about those that we will leave behind, or those that have to continue to live with the pain we carried long after our suffering is gone.

We are so consumed by these emotions, these dark little voices, that we can’t traverse the path of life any longer, or at least that is how we feel. In that overwhelming moment of weakness we carry out what we have been planning for so long. We carry out what some of us have dreamed of, because the great sleep is eternal rest. There is no pain, there is no suffering only the dark embrace of nothing. Scary as that nothing is, it seems better than what we are going through right now.

So please don’t blame us when we can’t stop crying, when we reach out and tell you we can’t hold on, when we withdraw from the world because we don’t feel like we deserve to be in it any longer. Don’t hold it against us, help us. We are reaching out because we don’t want to give up, we need that one kind word, that one smile, one hug, one “It’s going to be okay”.

It may just be another day for you, but for us it could the end of ours forever.

(In case anyone is worried, I am not suicidal or planning to hurt myself or others. I just felt I needed to get this off my chest. Writing is how I deal with a lot of the pain that I go through. )