Talking to my therapist about my gender issues has made me relive many moments from my life I have pushed aside. Some of them are so sad that tears run down my cheeks. The pain of it is sometimes unbearable.
There was a short space of time though, maybe just a few minutes, when I was totally free of this dysphoria. I was 19 years old sitting in my dorm in college. I had reached the end.
Up to this point I had searched for information about transgender therapy or organisations that help or treat people with dysphoria. Then information was hard to find. But after much searching I found the address in London of an organisation, I think they are now called the Beaumont Society.
I wrote to them a letter describing how I felt and asking for help. I had high hopes that at last things may change. But after three weeks of waiting I received a brown envelope containing my opened letter marked “Unknown at this Address” “Return to Sender”. The address I used must have been an old one.
I was devastated, all of my hopes just hit the floor. I now just wanted an end to the torment and I decided to commit suicide on that Friday night when every student in the dorm would be out. I bought 50 paracetamol/Tylenol and some Vodka.
On Friday evening I felt fine, calm, happy even. I had bought paper and envelopes and began to write individual letters to my parents, brother, sisters and some friends. I wanted them to know how amazing they were, how much they meant to me and how they were blameless. I also wanted them to know who I was inside.
These letters were both incredibly hard and incredibly easy to write at the same time. I cried constantly throughout and it was the most emotionally draining experience I have had. It was certainly an experience I will never forget.
When I had finished I sat on my bed and drank some Vodka from the bottle which was horrible so decided to start taking the tablets.
I sat there crying and swallowing pills with the Vodka. When I had taken what I thought was a lot I sat back against the wall next to the bed and felt all of my pain, anxiety, dysphoria and worry drain away. I felt totally free. It was a strange feeling of total serenity. No regret or remorse I honestly was relieved it was over.
Those few minutes were the calmest, happiest moments of my life. The dysphoria was gone. I can still remember how wonderful that felt.
After a couple of minutes an overwhelming feeling of tiredness/sleepiness hit me. It can’t have been the pills so quickly. Whatever it was I lay down and slept.
It turns out I’m about as good at committing suicide as I am dealing with gender dysphoria because I woke up the next day in the early afternoon.
When I counted the pills left in the container and did the math the truth is I took just 12! At the time it felt like I had taken 25 or 30. But I believe this was a serious attempt. I certainly wanted it to be the end. I have never told anyone about it except my therapist recently and this blog.
I know I felt disappointed and also scared that I would now get really sick and die slowly and painfully. I opened the letter I wrote to my Mum and read it. It was a beautiful letter, beautiful and so sad. It would have crushed her. Only then did I understand the impact my suicide would have had on my family. I knew I didn’t have the right to do that to them. They certainly didn’t deserve to be treated like that.
I needed to find another way. I think I chose denial.