April 13, 2020

It can get worse…

Content Warning: Suicidal ideation. Extreme grief.

I remember it vividly, that very first time I saw myself in a real dress.

“Oh fuck”, I whispered to myself as it appeared my suspicions were confirmed in that moment. I was a woman inside.

That euphoria carried me through till the next morning, whereupon I woke up and proceeded to the bathroom. I looked into the mirror and felt mild discomfort at seeing a man reflected back…a manly man. My first taste of Gender Dysphoria. The thought and discomfort faded…I carried on with my day, wondering how I could experience that euphoria again.

I started to read…well, pretty much everything. Books, blogs, forums, medical and psychological papers… I needed to figure me out…I couldn’t possibly be transgender. This is insane.

But I was transgender…and it is insane. It took a long time but I began to accept myself for who I am…and always have been. For once I understood me…and I loved myself.

So how now shall I live?

I was reading a book at the time by Felix Conrad. He suggested (quite reasonably I thought) that you must determine how “bad” you have it.

Or simply put – what will it take to mitigate your Gender Dysphoria to the degree necessary for you to live a happy life?

I felt some mild dysphoria to be sure. Maybe I could just cross-dress a few times a year and maybe sneak out of the house at some point. I could maybe even tell my girlfriend about that.

I had read that some transgender people don’t even really have Gender Dysphoria. I’ll admit that I don’t understand that but I could see that Gender Dysphoria (much like gender and sexuality themselves) is experienced on a vast spectrum.

I knew I had a problem but it felt manageable.

It wasn’t.

Each day my head would be lower, staring at the bathroom floor as I approached the mirror. I could sometimes look up for a few moments…enough time to do my hair. Other times I was disgusted by what I saw. Something so utterly wrong. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.

I’m far from grotesque. In fact I know I’m fairly attractive in some cisgender sense. I was sickened by what I saw in my reflection.

I would wake up between 3 and 4 am like clockwork. Sobbing uncontrollably as I felt the incredible and profound grief of my body not matching my true self. This was a heaving and soul-wrenching grief that felt worse than anything I had ever felt in my lifetime. The sounds of a dying animal..that thing you can’t ever unhear.

I saw no other way out than death. I could no longer cope. I had to transition and I was about to lose everything that mattered to me.

I thought about killing myself every day between 5 and 50 times…a constant mental picture of my favorite handgun, balanced in my right hand as I bring it up to my temple, cock the hammer back and…

Surely it couldn’t get any worse than this.

Then I caught a life-saving break. Acceptance from the person I needed it from the most…at the time when it mattered the most.

Then euphoria. She let me be me. No more pretense. It was okay to be Allison and I let myself be vulnerable and I was me…finally. It was amazing, like that first dress but so much better. There are no words for this.

She saw me. I existed.

My life really should have been quite stressful. I was technically unemployed. As a single parent I should be losing sleep…nope. I had love and acceptance. This euphoria made other issues seem like no big deal at all.

I had finally put the worst of my Gender Dysphoria behind me. Love had saved me and now I could cope with the dysphoria…

Until I couldn’t.

How could it possibly get worse than sobbing every day (sometimes many times in one day) and wishing one were dead?

Each day it was harder and harder to see my reflection. Each time like I was going to be sick…now worse and worse than ever before.

Everything was a trigger. I couldn’t see women online or on TV or even walking down the street. I could never be what they naturally are. Even the pics of my own Twitter friends triggered me into horrible dysphoric episodes. One second I’m looking at my Twitter timeline…the next hurling my mobile phone away as I bury my face in my hands in tears.

That Otterbox Defender case has already been worth its weight in gold – Alli

“I’ll never be right. Oh God please help me…” I pleaded, sobbing.

Then Covid-19 sent the world into this surreal, dystopian chaos.

I started to want to really come out to others close to me. My daughter, my best friend…

I tried to be as loving as I could as I finally came out to my daughter. At first this seemed like it went well but things became problematic the next day and on from there. It broke my heart.

I had hurt my daughter. I’m a garbage person.

My ex called me selfish. She was right.

I had also come out to my best friend. It seemed maybe that wasn’t going so great as well.

Authenticity…at what cost?

I was unemployed, missing my girlfriend terribly, transitioning, on HRT, single parent, issues with my ex, have to move for work due to Covid and now I had hurt people I cared about and maybe lost them forever. I had never felt so low…so incredibly stressed…so utterly devoid of hope.

My daughter let it be known she was thinking of just living with her mom for a bit.

The final straw. I crumbled.

“I know the pieces fit ’cause I watched them fall away…”♫ ♪ ♫

I laid in the darkness of my room, staring at the ceiling.

I repeated to myself over and over…this dark hateful mantra…

“No amount of HRT or surgery is ever going to fix this. I want to die.”

I repeated this ever-so-matter-of-factly over and over again. A fucking lunatic…

I sobbed and sobbed. The life running out of me…

I pictured myself once again. The gun balanced in my hand…

This time I felt a pull like a strong magnet toward my gun locker.

I went into the bathroom and flushed (I know it’s bad to do this) all my Estradiol and then tossed my Cyproterone into the waste bin because it was in foil packs and likely wouldn’t flush.

“No amount of HRT or surgery is ever going to fix this. I want to die.”

In a scene that could easily be a Monty Python skit (John Cleese would play me)…

Sobbing, I buried my face in my hands. Like a kick to the stomach, I fling my hands away in dysphoric disgust as I feel the stubble of my beard. My arms fall to my waist and my forearms crossed. I felt the stubble of my forearm hair and this time crying out, “Oh God please…”

“No amount of HRT or surgery is ever going to fix this. I want to die.”

Everything a reminder of how broken I really am…

It was sleep or maybe death. I took a healthy (not dangerous) dose of a sleeping pill and went into near-cryostasis for almost 11 hours.

I scared my daughter and my girlfriend. I felt quite bad when I realized what had happened. My girlfriend was straight up pissed off. I couldn’t blame her. This wasn’t her fault…I dragged her down the rabbit hole. She’s doing her best.

My daughter and my girlfriend love me. I had rode out the worst of it.

I fished the Cypro out of the waste bin and called the drug store to refill my Estradiol. Then I called to remake the counselling appointment I had grief-cancelled.

It has happened a few times now. Where things get to be too much and I think I can just go back to being a guy again. Just get right back in that closet.

Turns out there is nothing to go back to…

I really can’t go back. There really is nothing to go back to. I was never a guy anyway…

I am compelled to survive. I have been so blessed to be loved in my transition. My wonderful girlfriend walking right beside me…step for step. My daughter wrapping her arms around me to tell me she loves me so much…

I owe this to myself…the chance to be happy for once.

“I know the pieces fit…”

Alli xoxo

The poetry that comes from the squaring off between
And the circling is worth it
Finding beauty in the dissonance…

6 Comments

  • Alli, this is terrible and tragic and beautiful – because you have the self-awareness to recognize what is happening, and how to mitigate against it. It gets easier, please believe me. And you are better-armed every time, and you won’t ever need your gun. Not ever. Keep talking, keep communicating, and don’t wall yourself off. We’ve all gone down that path, and nothing good has ever come of it. There are people who believe in you, and who love you. Take that, and arm yourself, and give it back to your own loved ones. Much love, Meghan.

    • Thank you so much Meghan. Your support has meant a lot to me. Your grace and kindness inspires.

      … and you speak the truth. 💕

      I do come back a bit stronger each time. Big picture, I have survived everytime and will again.

      Thanks again my friend. You are appreciated. 💕

      Alli xoxo

  • Alli, such a miserable time you’ve had! I can very much relate to friends and random cis women inducing dysphoria, grief, jealousy, and a deep longing. Makes social media problematic sometimes!
    I’m sorry you were suffering so much. While I hope you are never in that situation, I also hope your greater self-acceptance can help carry you the hard times I’m (sadly) confident will come. 😥
    I’m torn between being really sad you had (and have) such a hard time, grateful you pulled through, happy things are (generally) headed the right way for you, anxious about the next time you’re down, and optimistic that you’re learning to cope and become more resilient. There are many of us who love you and are concerned about you. I hope you’ll continue getting the help you need to learn to accept and love yourself, in all your incarnations and presentations. 💕💕🥰🥰🤗🤗

    Also, I LOVE Schism! It’s perhaps the only song I’ve continuously loved for 20+ years as the others come and go, and a large part of that is the line you quoted – it’s always resonated with me.

    • I know you and Meghan speak the truth. I am loved and it’s a gift.

      I don’t want to waste it. It’s a blessing and I’ve been given a big chance here…

      I appreciate you big time my friend.

      Thank you for always being there.

      We are so going to dinner when this Covid thing blows over… 🙂💕💕

  • I understand grief quite well. I’ve been just about the same depth of low as you describe. I understand it all. My whole being wants to tell you how lucky you are to have acceptance now, and that you have a lot to look forward to. Myself and many others don’t have that acceptance and may never get it. But I’m not going to directly say that. Because I understand grief. Just keep going. One day at a time.

    • Thank you my friend.

      Some days I feel guilty. Acceptance shouldn’t be the problem that it is…I won the lottery. I wish things were different for all my sisters. 💕

      I have a heavy burden on my heart for this.

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