The main difference between my crash and my previous attempts to survive life, is that with alcohol I only ever lost a day at worst. In the twelve years since I crashed I have lost entire months.
With this in mind, some of my memories may seem a little vague.
I crashed. I saw a doctor and was prescribed Prozac, as “A relationship break up can trigger the sane mental response as a bereavement”. I was offered no counselling or any other help. Just keep taking the tablets and come back in three months. 3 months later, “How are you feeling?” “No better, keep taking the tablets and come back in 6 months”.
It was during this period that I fell into another pointless relationship, had a vasectomy. (The pointless relationship came of the pill before the snip and got herself pregnant in an attempt to force a marriage. I have not spoken to her, nor have I seen the child. – This may make me seem heartless, but another child, especially an unplanned one was really not in the best interests of my mental state.)
I can’t remember how I first came across it but I found some pictures of Shemales, T-Girls, (If these terms offend, I apologise. I am only using the names used on the pictures). Something inside was triggered. I can’t put words to the feelings I had, but there was fascination, excitement, but no arousal. I remember imagining myself in the place of these girls. – I still didn’t consider myself Transgender.
The more guilty and dirty I felt for looking at Trans porn. I found it harder to deal with this time as I had almost stopped drinking completely, and had no escape. It seemed like I was in a never-ending downward spiral.
I crashed again, fell into my present relationship, got a change in antidepressants at a higher dose. (Still no other help, just keep taking the tablets.)
In 2006 we packed up and moved abroad, believing that getting out of the rat race and having a more sedate living would cure me. I have clutched at so many straws since 2002.
I crashed again. This time, however, the local Doctor changed my medication AND referred me to Psychiatrist! At last. I started to skirt around the subject of sexuality and gender with her. I was still very much in denial and was sure my fears would be brushed to one side.
They weren’t, and I became even more confused. Yet more denial, more internet porn more self loathing.
My partner returned to England to see her family I think round 2008 or 9. Bang! yet another crash, more medication, but not to the Zombie making standard.
For some reason I signed up to Second Life. Initial gender Male, didn’t work it didn’t feel right, I became a Transvestite, still didn’t feel right and slowly I moved towards Transgendered, with each step I felt more comfortable. (The internet porn stopped – result) Still in denial. No really I did not seriously consider I had any real Gender issues.During the following three years till I returned to England I had a major crash each year. Each one worse than the last. With each crash came something new. Suicidal thoughts but also I wanted to be a woman. (And yes I was still in denial)
When I returned to England I was referred to a counsellor. Now, I admitted to being gender neutral, but definitely not transgendered. The counsellor said I need to be referred to a mental health team. Between the Psychiatrist, another Counsellor and my Doctor they diagnosed me as transgendered even though I would only admit to Gender Neutral.
The biggest surprise was that I was not surprised, nor did I try to deny it and demand a second opinion. It actually felt right. It felt natural, and for the first time in a long time the anxiety knot in my stomach was gone. Now I could have been clutching at more straws, but I really believe I could feel my depression start to lift ever so slightly.
The next visit to the Mental health team resulted in my referral to a specialist Gender clinic. Was I OK with this? Hell yes!
At last the denial was gone and the acceptance was total.
The only problem I have now is that I believe that as I have not only denied I am Transgendered, I have also conditioned myself to believe that I am a freak, I am abnormal and dirty.
I can’t describe how I feel as I know that to think I am a woman, will result in feelings of self harm. I am now a complete emotional wasteland, and I don’t like to be round public places and people as I am sure they see me as a freak also.
I can, however, say with all confidence that I am no longer confused and no longer in denial. I also realize that to completely throw of the darkness will not be an easy journey. But it is a journey that I am fully prepared to make, no matter to what end. I can see the light.
This has been my journey to date, and while it has been bad for me, I would never presume to think that it has been any worse for me than it has been for anyone else travelling the same route.
To these people, I take my hat off. And if I can offer support to anyone, I gladly will.
I hope my future ramblings can contain humour and a feeling of hope and be a little less dark.
Thank you all.