Tag Archives: Suicide

#8 Silent Danger – Mental Illness Part 3

(Read part one)
(Read part two)

According to Web MD: “Suicide is not a mental illness in itself, but a serious consequence of treatable mental disorders. “

According to crisiscenter.com : “There is no typical suicide victim – It happens to young and old, sick and well, rich and poor.”

According to mentalhealth.gov:” Suicide causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. “

According to the New York Times: “Suicide is the act of taking one’s own life on purpose.”

Every single one of these quotes is wrong in one way or another. And I am going to break them down, take them apart, and reform the truth as I see it.

First, not all mental disorders are currently treatable.  Some doctors will claim that they are, but I have seen many people crumble inside themselves from something that they cannot name, they cannot comprehend, or grasp. There are disorders that we may never understand, as a society. I am not speaking from a professional standpoint, but from a personal point of view. You can choose to disagree with me; this is just my own belief.

Second, one can claim that people are well—or look well—when they end up committing or attempting suicide. I disagree. Some part of them is not well. Some part of them has a speck of darkness eating away at them, even if they never show it. You cannot assume that they are well. None, none, NONE, of them are 100% well.

Third, there is a disgusting assumption here that suicide is an American epidemic. It isn’t. This is a worldwide issue. Not statewide, not nationwide, not just in developed countries. World. Wide. In fact, according to a map provided by The World Health Organization, the US isn’t even the worst affected by suicide in the world. (link provided in sources below)

Fourth, there are some disorders that successfully take control of one’s life. So by claiming that every single case is “the act of taking one’s own life on purpose.” is in fact ignoring the disorders that take control. I watched mental illness take reality away from someone that I loved. I watched her control slipping as everything slid away into dreams and confusion, hallucinations and fear. She swam in and out of a dream world that convinced her that it was real… and her only way into real life was to end her life in the dream, which was actually real life. She did NOT know what she was doing. She didn’t try to take her own life, she was trying to live it, she was just confused which life was real. Nothing here was on purpose. You cannot claim that when so much was beyond control.

Now, I am writing this while watching Patch Adams and thinking about Robin Williams. He struggled with depression and maybe more. Regardless of what was really going on, I refuse to believe that he had full control over his actions. Depression does crazy things to a person’s life. Robin Williams was a very strong person that brought laughter to countless people. And yet, he was so lost himself.

I’m coming onto an important point here. Suicide is selfish; absolutely, completely, irrevocably selfish. If you are considering suicide, DON’T USE THAT AS AN EXCUSE TO NOT REACH OUT. People care. My statement above may seem harsh. It is the truth. You not only hurt yourself; you hurt your family, your friends, people you may not have known, people that could have been in your future, your potential, etc.

I am not saying that it is easy or that it is condemnable if someone has committed suicide. Something pushed them to that point. It is important to try to be understanding, especially for those that they left behind.

My baby sister attempted suicide at 13 years old. She described it as feeling out of control and overwhelming. She took her gym shorts and used the draw string to try and hang herself in the bathroom. She is so blessed to have had an angel walk in on the attempt and save her life. My beautiful sister has struggled with depression and body image issues. This girl is amazingly gorgeous, I am so jealous of her. She has done what she can to get the help that she needs to avoid finding herself in that situation again.

The 100% wrong thing to do is what my father, his wife, and her family did to my sister. They accused her of just looking for attention, of being a “bad daughter”, of making her parents look bad, of being selfish and full of herself.

Let me first revisit my statement. “Suicide is selfish.” Yes. Suicide is selfish, the completion of it. However, it is not the person acting selfishly, not intentionally. The selfishness belongs to the suicidal thoughts that are taking over this person.

My sister wasn’t acting selfishly, she was doing the only thing she could think of to gain control of her life, though it wasn’t the correct decision, in these moments one’s mind does not process thoughts or impulses correctly. She was not doing it for attention. She was not doing it to piss off daddy. She was not doing it to hurt anyone. She was doing it to try to gain control of a teenage life spiraling out of control.

Now, many of you might not be able to understand this. If you have not lived through a life that has put you in a situation where your mind, heart, and body cannot agree and it is tearing your soul apart. If you haven’t lived through heartache and torment through most of your life; there is no way that you could possibly understand exactly what she was going through. You can be compassionate and supportive, but you will never know.

In the area I currently live in, suicide is something that is hushed, swept under the rug, and when it is not ignored, it is looked down upon and criticized. I have watched the church take suicide as an opportunity to preach sin. This is morally wrong. Instead of trying to help the family that is suffering a tremendous loss, they are pushing them farther and farther down. Their actions dig deep holes of dark depression surrounding the families and friends of those that have lost their lives to the fight against the holes in their lives.

Suicide is not a sin. Suicide is a loss. Suicide is not a copout. Suicide is a lost fight. Suicide is NOT a failure. Suicide is pain and confusion and… well…

Part of who I am is trying to understand the best in people. I try to find the part of them that could explain why they did something terrible. She stole from the store because she really needed it; he lashed out because he had a bad childhood, maybe. I cannot understand everyone; I couldn’t even comprehend trying to.

What I would like people to understand is that these families need support and compassion. Please try to stand up to the bullies that try to tear people down.

If you can stand up against those that preach the wrongness of suicide to the point of stigmatizing the family that has been brought to its knees with grief. These families have it hard enough. Give these people love. In this, I am not saying that suicide is correct; I am just saying that one should not tell a family that their lost loved one will not be accepted into heaven because mental illness took over and stole their lives. This is wrong.

I was recently made aware of a disturbing fact. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Utah had the third highest suicide rate in the country in 2013. (Succeeded only by Montana and Alaska). It is estimated that for every reported suicide there are 12 attempted suicides. In 2013 there were over 600 suicides in Utah according to the above statistics. If you include the attempted suicides the number rises to over 7000. That is over 3% of Utah population. That may seem small, but that is three attempts for every 100 people, and one attempt for every 33, does it really seem so small now?

According to the World Health Organization:

“Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and there are many more who attempt suicide. Hence, many millions of people are affected or experience suicide bereavement every year. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally in 2012.”

It is important to note that suicide rates can tend to be higher among minorities, including LGBTQ youth and adults.

Next, I would like to share some of the possible warning signs with you all—while also informing you that there are not always warning signs.

One of the most important signs of suicide, one that is repeated again and again in different resources, is someone who talks about committing suicide, wanting to die, or wanting to hurt themselves. Please take these threats seriously and seek immediate help for the individual. *Please note that as much as 25-50% of individuals intending to commit suicide will NOT show any signs at all. If someone you know or love either attempted or succeeded in committing suicide, know that it was NOT your fault.

Other signs may include: behaving dangerously. Such as, buying weapons, increasing self-destructive activities (drugs, alcohol, self-harm, unprotected sex, etc.). They may be sleeping way too much, or way too little, eating too much or too little. They may become withdrawn, not wanting to spend time with friends or family. They may have recently been very moody or suddenly gone from moody to extremely calm. *Note: It is more common for someone that is starting to come out of a depressive cycle to attempt suicide then it is for someone who is stuck at the bottom of depression. They may have a sudden preoccupation with death, or “putting their affairs in order” such as telling people they care about goodbye and giving away prize possessions.

There are some situations that make it more common for someone who is considering suicide (or even previously seeming to be emotionally healthy) to make an attempt on their life; especially so if they have had a previous suicide attempt. Any trauma or life crisis including, but not limited to: a death in the family, an abusive situation, a loss of health or ability to function, loss of a job or financial stability, etc.

Do not feel ashamed or nervous about talking to these people (unless you fear that they may be violent or dangerous towards you or others) talking to them can actually help their emotional situation. If you believe that the person you know could be dangerous to themselves or others please call 911 right away! You could help save lives.

I had a friend call 911 on me when we had a fight. He told them that I was attempting suicide because he was pissed at me and hoped that they would arrest me. However, the police take the threat very seriously. They will calmly talk to the person and make sure that they are okay. They are not upset about being called and will not be angry with the person that they are talking to or with the person who called. So even if you don’t know, but you suspect that they could be. Please help them.

Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (there is also an online chat option at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/)

The Trevor Lifeline 866-488-7386

The Trevor Project:  http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now

Suicide help in your area: http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

If you or someone you know are thinking about or considering suicide please reach out for help. Talk to a friend, call a hotline or dial 911 immediately.

(Read part four)

Sources I used in my post:

American Foundation for Suicide Provention
https://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures
Crisis Center.com
http://www.crisiscenter.com/content/51/Suicide-Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms.aspx
Mental Health.Gov
http://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/suicidal-behavior/
The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/suicide-and-suicidal-behavior/overview.html
Save.org
http://www.save.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&page_id=705f4071-99a7-f3f5-e2a64a5a8beaadd8
Suicide.org
http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html
The Suicide Prevention Hotline
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
The Trevor Project
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/get-help-now
Web MD
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/recognizing-suicidal-behavior?page=2
World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/
World Health Organization Map
http://gamapserver.who.int/mapLibrary/Files/Maps/Global_AS_suicide_rates_bothsexes_2012.png?ua=1

The Resident Femme

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#5 Mental Illness—Part One

This specific post was originally written in June of 2014.

I am just going to come right out and say it: Everyone has issues. Not everyone’s issues are of the same caliber. Some people only deal with mental illness once in a rare while, maybe it’s a wave of depression, a really anxiously lived day, a random moment of insanity. . . But there are those whose lives are controlled by Mental Illness.

Mental Illness Is not an attempt at attention, and some people deal with similar situations in different ways. Some people take the pain inside and it festers. It turns into a black poison that tears their soul apart. THIS DOES NOT MAKE THEM WEAK! This means that they are dealing with this pain again and again every day until they learn how to work past it. This makes them strong.

It may seem hard for some to realize this; however, I read something on my Facebook yesterday that I would like to share with you all.

“I don’t like the phrase ‘A Cry For Help’. I just don’t like how it sounds. When somebody says to me

‘I’m thinking about suicide, I have a plan; I just need a reason not to do it, ‘ the last thing I see is helplessness.

“I think: Your depression has been beating you up for years. It’s called you ugly, and stupid, and pathetic, and a failure, for so long that you’ve forgotten that it’s wrong. You don’t see any good in yourself, and you don’t have any hope.

”But still, here you are; You’ve come over to me, banged on my door, and said: ‘Hey! Staying alive is REALLY HARD right now! Just give me something to fight with! I don’t care if it’s a stick! Give me a stick and I can stay alive!’

“How is that helpless? I think that’s incredible. You’re like a Marine: trapped for years behind enemy lines, your gun has been taken away, you’re out of ammo, you’re malnourished, and you’ve probably caught some kind of jungle virus that’s making you hallucinate giant spiders.

“And you’re still just going: ‘Give me a stick. I’m NOT dying out here!’

“ ‘A cry for help’ Makes it sound like I’m supposed to take pity on you. But you don’t need my pity. This isn’t pathetic. This is the will to survive. This is how humans lived long enough to become the dominant species.

“With NO hope, running on NOTHING, you’re ready to cut through a hundred miles of hostile jungle with nothing but a stick, if that’s what it takes to get to safety.
“All I’m doing is handing out sticks. You’re the one staying alive.”

I read this and cried. It is a very true thing for most people. It is a constant struggle to feel normal while trying to live with the world around you

I personally have PTSD, OCD, Conversion Disorder, and Dysthymia. I have been living with consistent anxiety and depression: pretty much my whole life.

I have finally gotten to the point where I was able to accept that I needed to seek help and my current agreement with my therapist is that I will not currently discuss what has caused my issues. Yet. I can let people know that I have the issues, but it is not healthy for me to tell anyone details as to why or what happened.

What I will say is that I have three major things that happened to cause the PTSD, things that I need to figure out how to work through so that I am no longer afraid of the world around me. I sometimes feel like it has been forever. I honestly had no real idea what happiness was even supposed to feel like. I was started on anti-depressants and I remember telling a friend: “I feel like I am malfunctioning. I am glitching and I need to be sent in for repairs.” I did not feel like how I knew myself to be for so long. I was finally being pulled out of my depression and being put into a healthier mental cycle and it felt WRONG.

It should never feel WRONG to feel enjoyment in your own life.

For a very long time I believed that I did not matter. Everyone and everything came before my needs. Because of this way of thinking, I became very sick. I was in a situation where I was living in pure anxiety for several weeks on end. I could not eat, I could not sleep, I couldn’t take notice in myself or anything around me. I was close to 130lbs and I lost almost 30lbs in 2-4 weeks. I was had already had stomach issues and could hardly keep anything down, and now I wasn’t eating.

My moods got worse and I continued to fall deeper and deeper into both mental and physical illness. It has been almost a year and I am still working on getting my stomach back to the size it was before. I have to forcefully remind myself that I have to eat at least three meals a day. (I have alarms on my phone for crying out loud!)

I do not know how to explain how my life is to people. I need the medication I am on right now to survive. They are keeping me in a place where I can value myself and not let myself be buried deeper and deeper in other people’s crap.
I was told in sixth grade that my only weakness was that I cared too much about others and not enough about myself. She never saw me as a broken human, she always saw me as a whole, beautiful, human being that was helping people so much I was hurting myself. It took me a long time and many people repeating these same words for me to understand what they meant.

My life is helping others, but if I do not take the time for me first, then I will not survive. I will wither away and die—literally.

Mental Illness is not something to be taken lightly. If you know someone who struggles with any at all: (Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, Schizophrenia, Anorexia, or one of many other mental disorders, etc.) Please be a support to them.

It is a mistake to accuse them of acting out for attention. In most cases, people are not trying to get you to see them, they are trying to follow what their brain is telling them to do. They hurt and they are afraid. Offer love and a kind shoulder. Offer healthy activities and just be a friend. I know that when I had the loss of friends around me, life got a lot worse. I had nowhere to turn, and so when I needed people and support the most… I locked myself away.

Now that I have friends in my life, people that are willing to sit and help me through my downs… I find myself still having issues with reaching out. It was impossible for so long that it is hard for me to ask for help now.

To my friends: Please understand that I am not trying to hurt you if I start to push you away. It is a safety mechanism. I am afraid. I know that I am hurting and that I do not want to end up hurting you with the $#!+ that I am going through. Sometimes it’s for the best to insist on being in my life, on MAKING ME get out of the house and distract me from what I have been dwelling on. ASK  me if I am working on my senses—hell you don’t even need to know what it means! Just know that it is important to my mental health right now. Ask me if I am alright and if I need some time to breath. Ask me to be a friend, because even if I am not reaching out for it… I need friends more than I ever knew I did.

This kind of turned into a strange rant about mental health. I hope that this post helps people understand that mental illness is not an act. LOVE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE WHO HAVE THESE ISSUES. (Also, do not take possible mean things personally; we learn that to survive, it may be safer to be alone. Usually we do not realize that we are pushing/have pushed people away until it is too late.)

(Read Part 2)

~A Girl on the Edge of the Wild~

AKA
The Resident Femme

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#3: Living a lie

When I got married, I thought that I was going to be happy for many years to come. I didn’t expect to have my marriage removed from record eight months later. My wife and I had been together for over three years. It felt like an eternity and I couldn’t love her any more than I did.

Now… I feel that my situation is somewhat unique, or at least I haven’t heard of anyone else being in this situation. And finally telling the story is really hard. It is almost as hard as it was to finally tell about what really happened when I was raped. But I digress… This isn’t something that I have been able to easily share with just anyone, hell, usually I just lie about the situation all together. I don’t want the pity and I also don’t want the non-understanding judgement.

When I first met my wife, I had no idea that she was so amazing and unique. Our first several months were amazing, we were glued to each others sides as often as we could be. Eventually I found out about her “secret” I never thought it was abnormal at all, I thought it made her more interesting. My wife felt like she was both female and male. Half of each gender. And yet, I still loved her.

As a Lesbian, I don’t know how to love a man. I tried for several years, before coming out, to convince myself that I was straight. I struggled with accepting myself or even the idea that I could be different. I was raised Mormon in Utah. I didn’t even know that it was possible to be different.

My first girlfriend was exciting, new, different, and a wild ride. She is a good person, and I don’t regret the time that we spent together. She is a great friend now, and one of the few people who understand my situation.. Hell, she understood before I did what was really going on.

The first year I spent with my wife was amazing, new relationships generally are. We had adventures and fell deeper and deeper in love with each other. Life was the best that it had been.

Like everyone, we had our bumps. We had arguments and fights, but nothing huge. We shared many experiences and met many friends together. And still, I didn’t see anything amiss. Anything abnormal was brushed aside. And we continued to care for each other.

Several months into year two something strange happened. My wife wasn’t acting like herself. She was very down and nothing I did could cheer her up. I cuddled her in the guest bed–where she had curled herself up–until I got too nauseated and had to go lay in our own bed. (I had been sick). Later–I don’t know how long–She came in and laid behind me. She wrapped her arms around me and kissed my shoulder. She whispered to me: “I love you so much, I just had to hold you.” Something felt wrong. Time seemed to stop for a moment as her arms tightened around me and then released. She sat up and said quietly, “I don’t think we can be together anymore.”

I couldn’t breath. I watched as the woman I loved walked out of our apartment. I didn’t comprehend what had happened at first, and then when I did I panicked. I couldn’t think and I am sure that several people were upset with what happened that night. Most of it, I don’t remember. I was crying in the shower–burning hot water–until it became ice. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t think. My cat became worried and also agitated. He couldn’t understand why his mommy was acting so oddly.

Our cat was to be neutered in the morning, and part of me was afraid that she would come while I was sleeping and take him and never come back. I wasn’t thinking rationally, I couldn’t.

When she showed up to get the cat the next day I insisted on going too. I couldn’t really talk, so I made comments about the cat, he was afraid.

I cannot say that I was proud of the behavior that I exhibited when we got home. Some part of me was deliriously desperate. How could I make her stay? I actually tried to use sex to make her change her mind. She took advantage of it, but still wouldn’t tell me why things had happened. We worked out an arrangement of both of us staying in our bed together.. but separate. (we had something separating the bed in half).

I became lost. Now, the details of what happened in the couple of months that we were separated are not pretty, but I am not trying to make myself seem like a better person and I am not trying to make her seem worse in any way. I am just trying to get the truth as I remember it out. I am not the same person that I was, I have grown, and She isn’t the same person either…

Things happened that are kind of blurred together. But, near thanksgiving or Christmas she finally talked to me. She had been feeling apathetic. She had not been experiencing any emotion at all and didn’t know if she ever would again. So she had broken up with me so that I could eventually find someone that would give me the love that I deserved. A few days later she came to me crying and said that she wanted to try to make things work. She felt something, but she didn’t know what yet… No promises.

For a long time I forgot this time, my mind blocked it out and it was like it had never happened, we were together again. Nothing else mattered.

Life seemed to return to normal. We lived, mostly happily, together with our cat. And I still didn’t notice anything strange going on.

I started a new job in the new year and was excited to be helping again with life… And then I didn’t know what was happening. I woke up one morning in pain, I couldn’t breath, I thought maybe I had to use the toilet, but collapsed on my way to the bathroom. I lay on the floor crying. My wife helped me back into bed and tried to help me throughout the day.

The second day wasn’t as simple. The pain had not gone away. I was hurting in my abdomen and I was starting to get scared. It hurt so bad that I was throwing up. My wife got frustrated and accused me of pretending to be sick so that I wouldn’t have to go to work. This behavior was strange, but I didn’t notice. I was in too much pain to care what she was saying. Eventually I begged to be taken to the hospital.

The doctor ran blood tests, urine tests, imaging… My wife had to go and help some friends while I was waiting for results. I told her that I would be fine waiting. I was a cupcake (*note: they had pushed my morphine too fast and I was high), and everything was good for a while. Until I heard the doctor talking to someone out in the hallway in hushed tones. “growth…more tests…centimeters….”

Now, I am going to tell you now that during this time of my life panic came easily. I had a hard time keeping up with rational thought. I was young and had lived a life that was not a great environment for emotional growth… So I immediately thought I had cancer. I didn’t tell her. I held my phone in shaky hands for a long time, but I didn’t text her, I didn’t call her. I couldn’t do it.

She got back just in time for the doctor to come in and tell us that he was going to order more tests–confirming that he was, in fact, talking about me in the hall. I made a passing remark to my significant other and pretended, unsuccessfully, that it didn’t bother me. I was going in for a pelvic (vaginal) ultrasound.

My wife stopped thinking that I was faking it. She held my hand and gave me words of love and support. We waited for a long time for the doctor to come back and talk to us. It wasn’t cancer, but it wasn’t relieving. Cysts. I had large ovarian cysts on both the inside and outside of my ovaries. They believed that one (or several) had burst and caused the pain. I was given a prescription for narcotics and sent home.

Because of the missed work days from being home sick and hospital trips, I was fired from my job. My wife was upset and insisted that I find another job. I started work a month later as a retail representative. I enjoyed it. It got me out of the house and driving around new areas getting good work done. I could schedule several jobs in the week and get decent pay. It was fantastic.

I did this job until a family emergency came up at the end of that September. I had to put my job on hold and fly from Virginia out to Utah with little notice. My savings went to the trip. I had to be there for my family.

Now, before I went my wife had agree’d that I should go. It was an emergency after all. But, after I was there she was mad at me. I didn’t understand how she could go from understanding one minute to infuriated the next. Again, I ignored what was going on and put it up to just being loneliness because I was gone.

But things didn’t really get back to normal. While I was gone she had skipped work. The apartment was a wreck. And she was not acting like herself. Every little thing started to become a fight. Strange things started to happen. One day she started yelling at me about dishes and I couldn’t take it any more. I had too much stress on me. So I let my OCD take over. I tuned her out and started to count and organize cards.

Eventually she stopped yelling and was loading the dishwasher, but I didn’t know. I was hyper-focused. She went to do something else and came back to talk to me. But I couldn’t hear her, I was still in the cards. And then she was poking me in the arm, again and again like a child. I was still frustrated and hurt when I turned to her, fixed her with a glare and asked what she wanted.

She was confused. She didn’t know why I was upset, she didn’t remember fighting, she didn’t remember doing the dishes, she was just confused. To her, I was being strange because everything was fine to her. I started to worry.

Then she started to have blackouts. They would happen all the time and usually she wouldn’t believe what happened during them. Sometimes they were like she was gone, and for a while we thought that she had something called “Absence Seizures”. But then she would do things and not remember any of it. She would tap her hands in the air, talk to herself, get aggressive…

Then the hallucinations came. She would tell me about the man that watched her from the end of the bed, and the seagulls that were in our bathroom. She couldn’t remember when we had sex or that she would get violent. One night I had to pin her down and cried as she told me about the people in the walls that were coming for her. But she never remembered or believed me… So I stopped telling her.

I didn’t know what was happening and I didn’t know what to do. I tried to talk to her about hospitals a couple times and she would get angry. I started to get scared, but I told no one. I didn’t tell me when she would black out and start to choke me during sex. I didn’t tell her when she threw me against the wall. I didn’t tell her when she talked about pealing my skin off. Those things weren’t important.

Everything in my life was put on the back burner because taking care of her was priority. One night everything changed. She was gone. I saw insanity staring out at me from behind her eyes. The look was so intense. She pinned me to the bed and laughed(she was much stronger than me, especially during episodes). She told me that nothing mattered anymore. That money meant nothing. She tried to convince me that we should run away to Florida, buy a last-minute cruise ticket and have the time of our lives. Then she grinned and I shook in fear. “And then,” She said “When we get back, I’ll kill you.” Her nails dug into my wrists. “And then I will kill myself. It will be so fun.”

I fought. I got an arm away and struggled to reach my phone. It was taken by her and thrown across the room. I rolled and curled into a ball over my tablet and shakily wrote out the email that changed my life forever. I told the one person that I trusted 100% what had just happened. I couldn’t censor, I was too scared. I cried as my wife tried to turn me over. When I finished the email, I shoved my tablet under the pillow and turned back over and just wrapped my arms around her, begging her to come back to me.

When she came to she didn’t know why I was crying. When I tried to tell her she wouldn’t listen. I MUST have been making it up. She turned her eyes away when I showed her the marks on my wrists. “But I’d never hurt you.”

Within all of that, we got married. We had traveled up to DC and made it official in March 2013. By May things had gotten scary and only one person knew. I got a few emails from my friend asking me why I was in such a dangerous situation, to get out while I could… But I didn’t know how. I NEEDED to take care of my wife.

And I didn’t know that I could ask for help.

My wife attempted suicide July 6th, 2013. My life was a living hell. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I was living in pure anxiety. There was no control and I was scared about what was happening. I should have known, I should have done something more, I should have saved her, I should have…, I should have…, I should have…

To me, it was all my fault. I should have seen the schizophrenia and done something more. I knew it was there, didn’t I?

Everything went down hill from there. She was convinced that I was abusive and left me to go back to parents that didn’t love her. Her female half had long since died and she had decided that it was time to transition into a man. HIS parents disowned him. They said that their child was dead, which wasn’t true. Their child was still there, but their daughter was gone.

Over the years that I spent with him/her I watched the woman I loved slowly disappear. It didn’t register directly of course. Yeah, I guess I noticed that I was more unhappy and that we had more fights… She had become aggressive and abusive, but I didn’t see it clearly.

I ignored all of that. Some part of me had known that something was wrong. That she wasn’t there and that I had to take care of her. Maybe some part of me thought that I could bring the woman that I loved with everything I was back.

I pushed myself very hard. Everything was put on the back burner except taking care of her and trying to make her happy. I got very sick and as time went on, I got sicker… And still, I struggled to help her find her stability.

I didn’t realize how afraid I was of this person that I no longer knew until the day I sent the email. I didn’t realize until then that the woman I loved was gone completely. Forever. The woman that I loved, was dead. And my heart, soul, and sanity were shattered by a very, very sick man. All that was left of the shell of my love was the half that I didn’t know how to love.

And this is so hard because the physical body still exists, but the person does not.

And to some people I come across as ignorant because all people see is the facade. The frustration that I had with the male part of this equation. In the end, wife became a man.

I am left with the confusing feelings of morning the loss of a friend and lover–because my wife really is dead, she will never be back. And having to deal with the male half still existing, the body of my love still walks in this world and it hurts, and it’s confusing. I don’t love who the body is, but the person that was in it.

And still, people aren’t going to understand what I mean. I fully support the transition and hope that my ex can find happiness. I really truly do. but they are different people, my wife and this man that is now there.

It has been a year and a half and I still miss my wife. When things were good, she was amazing. I just hope that with all of this people can understand that what I am going through isn’t a “break up” but a mourning.

I will probably never stop missing her. I will never fully heal from the loss. But I have moved past the point where I struggle and fight with the confusion. I know that she is gone. Just… Please try not to judge me when I get emotional about it. My situation is not mundane. It’s complicated… and I can’t keep living a lie.

~Luna

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