SPSM and Prezi and being a suicide attempt survivor
For the first time in a long time, I felt I was useful to the #SPSMChat that goes on every Sunday at 10 pm EST on Twitter. I learned about Prezi, which I am not sure what it is yet. I thought it was a video thingy but I couldn’t figure it out and I am much to tired to try. I did make a couple of layouts but it crashed my Chrome and internet so I think I will stick with IE.
What I was talking about with Prezi was being a suicide attempt survivor. Twenty-five years ago today marks the actual day I got help, or tried to. It was a very confusing time and my mother had a hard time accepting me as being suicidal. She was worried about me, as is understandable. But I had my own world to contend to that she didn’t know about. I will write that in another blog, but for now, just know that I was living between two worlds, one that I created internally to cope with the external world.
It wasn’t easy the first few days after my attempt, if you want to call it that. My wrist hurt from cutting and then I found out that cutting really released emotion better than talking did. So I started having my cutting kit. I had to be very secretive but then, I sort of was as I was living in two worlds. I had two facades, the one that school saw and the one my home life saw. It wasn’t much different except at home I didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t talk to my sisters and my father was not there after his violent outburst the day before. A week after all this suicide talk and me not getting any better, my sisters felt that he had to know. I had a large decorative knife outside my bedroom door. I swore he was going to tell me to kill myself by stabbing myself with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, he told me to jump off the Tobin bridge. He was giving me permission to kill myself essentially. Nice guy, huh?
I was a straight A student at school. I also had perfect attendance until that night. I think I had to skip school one day to meet with a counselor so that ended my perfect attendance record for the year. It didn’t matter, I lost interest in school. Nothing mattered to me except for dying. I was 15 years old. The school nurse helped me a lot for the rest of my years in high school. I don’t think I would have graduated if it wasn’t for her. She gave me hope every time I saw her and I knew that I couldn’t let her down by being depressed. She wanted me better so I saw the school counselor instead of going to a private therapist. Unfortunately, when the school year ended, so did therapy. I was deeply depressed, more so than I already was. The nurse got me in touch with a social worker at the community school. I saw her for about ten months before she got married and left. I had a breakdown. I skipped school for a week and then in April of 1992, I tried to kill myself again. I threw up the pills and thus saved my life. I lost all hope that I ever was going to die. I felt like more of a failure than I ever was. That summer, I had my first hospitalization and thus started the cycle. I was hospitalized every three months because my suicidality reached its peak and I couldn’t cope with life anymore. The third time I went into the hospital, I came out as being gay. I had dissociated while cutting because I felt an attraction toward a woman on the T (public transportation). I thought I was going nuts until I met someone in the hospital who was also gay. I came out with my treatment team and felt a huge burden off my shoulders. It wasn’t until two decades later I would come out as being transgender.
My teenage years were filled with hospitalizations and cutting. It was a vicious cycle that continued into my twenties. After graduation from high school, I had my longest hospitalization because I overdosed again on the antidepressant I was taking at the time. I was determined to die and no one was going to stop me. Except, a Jewish doctor that felt I had some hope. She told me the only way out of the hospital was if I were to see her. The outside therapist I saw didn’t want to see me anymore. She couldn’t handle my suicidality. So I started seeing her but my suicidality increased. I was in and out of the hospital from August of 1994 to Jan 1995. I felt like no one could love me. Until I met a boy from Nebraska. He was gay and he loved me unconditionally. He didn’t care about my past. He wanted to help me. And he did. I felt that if I had him, I could heal. It took a while to trust him and I did. We had long conversations about school and life and being gay. We joined BAGLY and met others like ourselves. I still felt like an outsider because I really felt like I was a man. I was too scared to tell anyone this. So I was called a lesbian or gay woman instead. My self hatred rose to new levels. But I always held it in check.
Amazingly, I graduated a two year school for medical assisting. I was still cutting. I changed therapists, again. This time I was seeing a male therapist. It wasn’t too long before I fired him. I had obtained the medication to overdose again and when I told him, he asked if I was suicidal. It was the most stupidest question I was ever asked. Do people obtain large quantities of medication just for the hell of it? Granted I didn’t tell him I was suicidal, but getting asked point blank was kind of silly.
After this therapist, I really didn’t want to see anyone else again. It was really tough because either they left me or I fired them. Most of them couldn’t deal with my suicidality as an outpatient. They just thought the hospital was the way to go. By the time I was 25, I had about as many hospitalizations in ten years time. I just figured that was the way life was going to be. I was going to be in and out of hospitals for the rest of my life and I didn’t like that option.
It took years for suffering till I was an undergraduate at a university where I was taking psychology classes. My cutting had stopped, least for now. I had met my current therapist and she wanted to help me. I was taking a class for psychometrics testing. I researched stuff about suicide and couldn’t find a damn one that dealt with pain. There was an overview of assessments, twenty-five in all, and not a single one dealt with psychological pain. Then I came across the works of Dr. Edwin Shneidman. He lead me to David Jobes and the world of suicidology was open before me. I still felt like a hypocrite when I became a member in 2007 but I learned so much. My hospitalization started to decrease. I was using Jobes’ work in my therapy. I was also using Holden’s work as well. My pain finally had a name, psychache. And with it I could finally stop the bleeding. I couldn’t control the bleeding because I still bleed to this day, but it’s much less now that it’s acknowledge and talked about.
I still don’t have supportive parents. My sisters try to be supportive around my transgender issues but I can tell they would just like me to be my birth name and gender. They don’t know how much my suicidality surrounds me not being in the correct body. I hope in time they will.