Whenever I say that I’ve had a bad day, I usually mean I’ve contemplated suicide. Thursday night was very clearly a bad day.
I think it’s the stress of the new job and other aspects of my life that contributed to my bad day. Take that stress and add a little (Okay, a lot) of pain about my gender problem, you get a recipe for a disaster in the making.
The gender thing is something that won’t go away. It seems that no matter what I do, I can’t make any real progress lately. I’m currently in a purgatory of sorts. Money is a little tight right now. So, I don’t feel comfortable doing hair removal. Shopping for clothes is another money issue. But, in reality shopping is more about my comfort level being clocked by people in stores.
Friends from group say that they are happy to see me opening up more often. I do feel more comfortable there than any other place. But, when a stranger walks in, I shut up. Fast. But, it’s more than new people. I should feel comfortable at The Center. It should be a safe place. I can see, through the experiences of others, how safe it is. But, I can’t let go of that wall of protection. Not there. Not anywhere. I spoke online with the transgender program at the center about how I feel. I told I wish I could see it as a safe place. She told me she wishes I could see it that way as well. Because it is safe.
This brings me to the other aspect of my frustration. While I’m happy about leaving pizza. It did offer some flexibility to my schedule. I was about to begin a program aimed at conquering my PTSD. I’m sure that’s what’s keeping me from moving forward with my transition. I literally don’t feel safe anywhere I might be perceived as trans. The VA doesn’t offer these programs at night or on the weekends. I’m looking at this job as a temporary thing. But, it means I’ve hit a kind of a roadblock.
After work on Thursday, I went straight down to The Center. In the group, I was surrounded by strong and confident transwomen, all at least part time. And there I was, over a year into being able to walk in there, in a dirty t-shirt and shorts. Unshaven with dirt under my finger nails. I wanted to ask each and every one of them how they found the strength to walk out that door. Whether they pass or not, it’s not the issue.
Maybe I’m more skeptical about how the world sees trans people. I’ve been beaten up. I’ve been harassed. True, all those things happened a long time ago in a small town. These women I see once a week, should know better than I what life is like as a trans person. I should take their word for it that most people don’t care and are mostly self involved in their own thought. But, I just can’t get it out of my head that behind every corner is someone waiting to kill me.
Then, there’s the mirror. I know what I look like. I have this old three door medicine cabinet in my bathroom. I really wish I could break every mirrored pane staring back at me. It’s hard looking at my own reflection every day. I used to cover up the bathroom mirror with a towel where I used to live. And I could do that here. But, it would almost immediately trigger questions from my unaware roommate. I don’t need that. Not right now. The last thing I need is to be homeless.
While standing in the shower Thursday night, I thought how perfect it would be if I had a gun at that moment. The mess I would make by putting the gun in my mouth could be easily cleaned up. But, then I remembered that a good friend had a close friend do that years ago. While I don’t usually think about how my friends will suffer once I’m gone. This parallel was too much. I knew what I needed to do. If I went back and huddled in my bedroom, I would just get worse. So, I went for a walk. It turned out that once I got my blood moving and fresh air in my lungs, I started to feel better.
I’m truly sorry if I contacted you when I was really down. It’s my way of reaching out for help. I’m very lucky to have so many friends on my side. But, I don’t want to come across as complaining and full of self pity. I’m just trying to make sure I don’t ride down to that bridge over Interstate 25.