Suicide hotline calls quadrupled after Trump’s latest attack on transgender people / LGBTQ Nation

Suicide hotline calls quadrupled after Trump’s latest attack on transgender people / LGBTQ Nation:

Trans Lifeline, an organization that runs a crisis hotline for transgender people and staffed by transgender people, said that calls to their suicide hotline have quadrupled since the story broke that the Trump administration is trying to legally erase transgender identity.

In an Instagram post, Trans Lifeline reported that calls increased by four times last week, and first-time callers doubled.

Last (N)ites (Poetry)

(Trigger Warning: Suicide)

Last (N)ites

By Kira A. Moore

 

 

Tonight is the

Night,

Put up or

Shut up.

 

Face the Devil

Grinning,

Kiss Michael

Goodbye.

 

Please note, this in no way reflects on me personally. It was written in response to the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.

Unexpected

(I’m sorry to have to mention a warning with this post, I certainly hope my words are soft enough to not become a trigger for anyone, but the possibility exists. So I am adding a trigger warning for suicide.)

 

Sometimes life goes a step further than we expect.

 

From the beginning I was surprised and yes, a little worried, about the seeming lack of pressure on me to change things sooner than I was. (It is true I kept things going as slow as possible to give my partner and children a chance to adjust, yet there was more to it. Every step has been filled with a combination of fear and guilt. I sometimes think overcoming them has been the most difficult part and will be a part of my life in one form or another from here on out).

I have, sometimes to my surprise, found myself pushing beyond anything I believed possible even a few months ago. There always seems to come a point where trying to stay or stop is simply impossible. Whatever fears I have don’t disappear, yet they become less significant compared to my need to take another step. The same has happened now, only it is going further than I expected…

At first I thought to slam on the breaks, to refuse to take the final step through a door I knew was going to shut behind me forever. There was fear, I will not deny it, but more than that was guilt. An oceans worth of guilt and the belief I never deserved to be in a position to be truly happy. In many ways it has taken more strength than I realized to overcome them this time, but at the same time there was never really a question I would do so because there simply wasn’t any other choice I could make…

Well, I suppose that isn’t entirely true…

Not so long ago I told Jodi there were options I had long held onto which needed to be taken off the table; then last week I realized they were still very much in play… I hesitate to talk about this…

As I stood outside one night looking at the few stars which cut though the lights of the city and from them to the overlapping shadows which turn the world into shades of black; I remembered the times in my youth when I would send all night out walking. My mind in an endless cycle of chaotic thoughts and emotions and wanting more than anything to be swallowed by the night. To simply pass into shadow to never return.

With this came a realization, all options were still on the table. Stopping. Going back. De-transitioning…. Everything…. Including simply ending it here and now. After all, I have long felt as though I have been living on borrowed time.

It became bad enough I started to fantasize about how I would do it. Pills again or maybe an insulin overdose. I even considered eating a bullet… Not a very good time for me to say the least but it did lead me to finally speaking to A about things… just not the suicide part…

It was only through speaking to her and understanding there really wasn’t a choice to be made; that it was step through the door or die never knowing what was on the other side.

I knew I wanted to live. As much as it may hurt sometimes, I want to live.

So I took a step.

Here is where I come to the ‘Sometimes life goes a step further than we expect’  statement. 

You see, today I thought we were going to take our youngest with us shopping. Knowing this has caused issues before, I decided to go out “Plain Jane”. 

The longer I was out the more bothered I became. It was my voice first, then my chest and finally everything together. It was an itchy feeling of wrongness, almost like the feeling you get when you think someone is watching you even when they’re not.

It didn’t take very long to admit I’m not going to be able to have lazy days, where I just throw on whatever and head out the door. There isn’t really going to be any more acting as if I’m like everyone else. 

So it is I find myself stepping further into a new phase of my life… just a little faster than I expected.

More Stories About Grantland and Dr. V

Grantland apologises for article that outed transgender golf inventor

The prestigious sports website Grantland has admitted poor judgment and offered a profuse apology for an article about the inventor of a revolutionary golf club who committed suicide while the piece was being researched, and whom it posthumously outed as transgender.

Source: The Guardian

 

The 4 Most Important Points In Bill Simmons’ Apology For Publishing A Piece Outing A Trans Woman

Bill Simmons, the founder of Grantland, an ESPN-owned sports and entertainment site, issued a wide-ranging public apology on Monday for the site’s decision to publish a piece about the inventor of a golf putter who killed herself while the piece was being reported. Simmons’ piece answers many of the questions I and other critics have raised about the story, “Dr. V’s Magical Putter.” He acknowledged that the reporter, Caleb Hannan, should not have outed the subject of the piece, Essay Anne Vanderbilt, as transgender in a conversation with one of her investors. He admitted that Grantland had been careless in its use of gendered pronouns in referring to Vanderbilt, and in employing other language that implied that being transgender is strange, deceptive, or in keeping with fraud. And most strikingly and importantly, Simmons acknowledged that he and his staff had failed to supplement their own lack of understanding of transgender issues by bringing in outside editors, an omission that the site took a small step towards rectifying by publishing a thorough analysis of the piece by ESPN baseball reporter Christina Kahrl, who is herself transgender.

Source: Think Progress

 

When a Journalist Threatens to Out a Trans Woman, Where Do the Ethics Lie?

Just like Caleb Hannan, I know that when you set out to write a story, it doesn’t always end up where you thought it would. Human beings are fascinating, complex creatures, and sometimes a simple story on, say, a miraculous golf club evolves into something else as you uncover more and more about its maker. It’s then that you reach a breaking point: stop to refocus the story, or follow it in a new direction? What if following it would require outing your subject as a transgender woman, potentially endangering her?

Source: Care2

Ned Vizzini dies at 32: Fans mourn ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ writer

A sad story which is repeated all too often…

2D10286796 today vizzini 131220 01 blocks desktop medium

 

The New York-based author of “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” a semi-autobiographical story about a teen’s battle with severe depression, committed suicide on Thursday, the city’s medical examiner’s office confirmed to TODAY.com. His injuries were consistent with someone who had fallen to his death.

Read the rest on Today.com

Acceptance

Before I begin let me advise there may be things which may be possible triggers. I cannot write this post without discussing my attempted suicide and if this is a difficult subject, then I ask you to not read any further.

Since last Saturday things have been somewhat strange for me, I have been in a mental state unlike anything I have felt for a very, very long time. The truth is, the last time I found myself in such a place was the day I chose to die.

Yes, it was a choice.

I decided I and the world would be better if I were no long in it. More to the point, I did something which many would consider presumptuous at best or sacrilegious at worst… I told God it was up to Him what happened that night. I spent the day drinking until I could barely walk, then returned home and overdosed on sleeping pills. My thought being the alcohol would suppress my system enough to allow the OTC pills to finish me off.

I didn’t expect to wake up again.

This is where what happened then relates to now; leading up to this night I had spent weeks in state of constant chaos. Every way I turned seemed to be a dead end. I was trapped by fate and the decisions I had made and nothing I do or say, hope or pray could undo what I had done. I was in the Navy then and couldn’t see a way to get out of my commitment. I was in finical trouble and well in over my head… Then there was me. Just plain old me who was worthless, useless… a waste of space. There were few people I would dare consider more than acquaintances, and only two who I thought of as friends and even with them I felt they only felt pity for me… After all, who was I really? What did I have to offer?

I didn’t know then I had slipped into a dangerous depressive state… I suppose I had long suffered from one level of depression or another but this was different. I went two weeks barely eating, not sleeping,I felt nothing but a constant buzzing from head to toe. It hurt the think, to breath. The thought of being around people was salt in an open wound. I looked in the mirror each morning and hated what was there. I showered and hated the body I washed, I hated the hair I shampooed, I hated the teeth I brushed.

I hated the stomach I filled once a day at what were called “Mid Rats,” a meal served at Midnight for those who worked or had watch during the night. I know they served several things each night but I only at a single burger and had a cup of coffee. I didn’t want to eat or drink at all but I was afraid of what would happen if anyone realized what I was doing. I couldn’t stand the thought of being force fed, so I made a show of eating this one little thing. When my stomach growled, I filled it with water so no one would hear.

I turned ever more inward until I often found myself walking someplace without any memory of how I got there. I had conversations but never knew what was said.

I became a shell. A ghost walking in the real world.

I was already dead, people just hadn’t realized it yet.

The strangest part for me was yet to come…

I reached a point where death wasn’t a question of “if” but “when and how.” At the moment I reached it, it was as if I found myself at the center of a terrible storm, in the very center where it was eerily calm and still…

The silence was deafening.

In that moment there was no doubt, no fear. I suddenly had a purpose in life even if that purpose was to end that life. I knew what I had to do.

I handed all of the responsibility off to The Creator and washed my hands of the whole affair.

Everything which had ever tormented me throughout my entire life suddenly became nothing more than dry leaves blown before the wind. They had no weight, no power to hurt me any more.

I felt at peace for the first time.

All of this would come crashing back down on me the morning after.

God had seen fit to deny me release.

So why is all of this important now?

Because I find myself in a similar place.

It’s not the same in so many ways, yet it enough to make me uneasy.

Up until last Saturday I had been ambivalent about going out, especially alone. As the day progressed I felt the stress and emotions building to breaking point until at last I knew I couldn’t do anything other than go. I was still nervous until the moment I got in the car and then it hit me. This point of almost terrible stillness. I pulled out of the driveway and the rest is history.

Ever since that moment I have been in this place, where it seems I have made a momentous decision and suddenly everything is nothing more than leaves before the wind. So much which had bothered me before, which had set the butterflies in my stomach to fluttering, which had caused me to doubt myself so deeply, is gone.

It’s like I have once again accepted my own death…

Fear

Have you ever wanted to break open the emotional piggy bank and let everything out, but your afraid to because other people are watching and they might not understand, might take what you say or do the wong way or worse yet, use you as an example of what they should or should not be thinking, feeling, or doing?

 

Maybe I’m just too sensitive for my own good.

 

When I first started blogging, I let everything show. I was wearing my heart on my sleeve and everyone could see when I was bleeding to death, even those times I couldn’t see it for myself. The thing was, I didn’t think about how my words were impacting others. I guess hiding behind a computer screen made it all seem surreal. Yes, I was I was in pain, lost and confused and I needed some way to make sense out of it all and writing just seemed to be a natural way to do so… those cool, black letters sitting on the screen gave me a calm, rational way to look inside my own head. The problem of course is, others get to look as well.

I first began to worry about his when I thought I was acting like a puppy chasing my own tail, just going over the same ground again and again, but I still didn’t connect the dots.

Then one day I did. I mean I really, really did. I have seen others reference something I said or even an entire post and while it was amazing to see, I failed to appreciate just what was happening. There were people out there, real, living, breathing human beings who read my words and they had a large enough effect someone felt a need to answer in their own way.

That’s enough to scare the be-jebbers out of me when I let it sink in.

I understand the power of words, I know how helpful they can be when spoken at just the right moment. I also know how dangerous they can be and how much damage, unintended or otherwise, they can do when misspoken.

Once, a long time ago on a service far, far away; I was quite active in message boards and chat rooms. It was all very interesting. I met some great people and had some fun times jumping from one place to the next. Yet it didn’t feel real to me, not really, until I got into a singular conversation with a young lady and I made a terrible mistake.

You see, she confessed to having been raped when she was younger. We spent a good deal of time discussing this and the fact she blamed herself for what happened… I meant to tell her is wasn’t her fault, that she did nothing wrong… I typed away and hit “Enter” and then read what I had just sent…

“It was your fault.”

One stupid, thoughtless typo and I had just destroyed someone life. 

I was horrified, I tried to explain, I tried to apologize, but how can you ever undo something like that? Simple. You can’t. Ever. I was able to work through it with her but it took hours, days, and even now I doubt the damage was ever undone in even the smallest way. Just thinking of it now, all these years later, still makes me sick to my stomach. We did stay in touch for awhile but eventually she faded away and I can only hope and pray is she was alb to get the help she needed and is living a happier life today. But I’ll never know for sure and I have to live with that knowledge for the rest of my life.

Knowing this, I am ashamed of the fact I again fell into a place where the words didn’t hold that same sense of danger as they did that night so long ago. One would think I would never forget a lesson such as that, but I did. When it finally came back to me, it nearly paralyzed me. I’ve been deathly afraid of opening up this way again, to show to you who read this that sometimes I end up fighting the same battles over and over again. To show there are good days, bad day, and some really horrible, terrible days when I find myself wanting to physically harm myself. I’m afraid to show the extent of the emotional scars I carry. The depths to which I sometimes fall. I know, we all know, life isn’t a perfect rose without thorns. It can be dirty and nasty and it can hurt you. Really, really badly. The thing is, I don’t want it to be my words which cause such pain. It rips my own heart to pieces when it happens and I can never fully forgive myself.

This has meant days when all I can do is link to news stories, or maybe reblog a post I think is interesting and some times it’s just a simple little poem to fill the empty spaces…

But it hurts my writing when I try to censor myself. When I try to polish off the edges of my emotions. 

Sometimes what I think and feel is like walking across a parking lot covered in glass shards. Sometimes I am so overcome with emotions my face is soaked with tears… How do I convey such thing to you? I mean really… in the desert which is a computer screen, where words are truly black and white, without all of the inflection of a human voice to carry them….

How do I do this?

More to the point, how do I do this without causing harm where none is intended? How can I show you the hope I hold in my heart even when I am crying? How to I shine a light into the darkness when I am terrified of the dark? How do I show you… any of you…

That despite all the pain, all of sadness and fear, there is a reason to continue on. A reason to fight for a future which might never come, but never will unless we demand it?

How… how do I show you I wouldn’t want to do anything other than what I have, made the decisions I have made, walked this road I have walked, putting one foot in front of the other even when it seems pointless because I simply could not imagine doing otherwise…

A Day From H*ll

I thought the day was going to go well. I awoke on my own before the alarm could jar me back into reality. I did have a strange dream but it didn’t leave me with any feeling of unease as sometimes happens. I had enough time before the kids got home to get most of my chores done…

Or so I thought.

 

The first indication I had the day was about to go amiss was my Father-in-law pulling into the driveway. I stepped out in time to see my oldest getting out of the passenger seat. Turns out he had a health issue at school and was sent home early. I say “health issue” because I don’t know what is wrong other than he has been having lower back pain and weakness in his left leg. It was the weakness which caused the problem, deciding to flair up as he was going down a flight of stairs. He would have fallen had a classmate not grabbed him.

Now I will admit to being unsure of how serious this was before today, he is a teenager and it seemed this would flare up right around chore time, but as I now see, there is indeed something going on as he has some swelling above his hip which wasn’t obvious before. I do feel bad for thinking he was overplaying things. We now have an appointment with our family doctor tomorrow so maybe we’ll know something sooner than later.

This would have been bad enough but I had yet to have my middle son come home looking like a guilty puppy. It didn’t take long to learn things were much more serious. Turns out he too had an incident on the stairs… they both attend the same school, but his was self inflicted. He deliberately tried to trip himself down the stairs but was saved by his backpack when one of the straps caught the railing and kept him from falling.

I can’t describe the jolt of pure fear which tore through me as I listened to him admit what had happened. This is something I never imagined, almost in the same league as stepping in front of a moving vehicle. I know it happens, but is something I have difficulty getting my head around.

The reasoning he gave was confusing and jumbled, I think mostly because he hadn’t really processed what had happened himself, but it was a combination of fear, stress, a lack of self worth, and not knowing how to deal with all of the emotions he was experiencing. Unfortunately, things have been such neither me nor A have been able to get him into see a doctor, but at this point I don’t think there is going to be any other choice outside of having him committed which I absolutely do not want to do, but if it was between intervention and having a dead son, there is no contest. One issue I have is knowing when we had his brother evaluated, it took weeks to be seen. I do think, much as I have found for myself, simply having a date to aim for provides enough of a goal to keep the demons away.

At this point I simply don’t know what to think… I am terrified of what I see happening, knowing there is nothing I can do besides simply be there for him, to keep him talking, to be as supportive as possible.

Funny enough, it was trying to get back into the rhythm of the evening which almost became overwhelming. Trying to get the youngest to finish his homework while getting supper cooked pushed me to the brink. Thankfully I was able to get everything done, the homework finished and put away, supper cooked, and last but not least, getting the final loads laundry washed and dried.

It’s funny the things which manage to stand out in the midst of seeming chaos…