Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Percentages

I guess we as a world must be in love with statistics, because they pop up everywhere these days. 50% of marriages end in divorce. 1% of US Citizens hold 42% of the wealth, while the bottom 80% have 8% of the wealth. Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend Trident for their patients that chew gum. Babe Ruth hit .342 which meant he got a hit just 34% of the time.


41%

That’s a meaningful statistic to me. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide.  So, think of that.  Four out of ten.  Considering that only 4% of people in the US even consider suicide.  That's CONSIDER. 

And Transpeople are at 41% Attempted.

So, why am I bringing up this amazingly depressing statistic?  Am I going to rail against those that cause transgender pain?  Howl at the proverbial moon about the injustices?  Attica Attica?
 
I am the 41%.
 
I tried.  Failed too (obviously, unless you're reading this on an Ouija board or you're the kid from "Sixth Sense.")
 
For me, the plan was rat poison.  Figured it would be quick enough and no one could stop it.  I was going to park in Valley Forge Park, near where I live, take the poison and let nature take its course.  This was October 1990.  My finacee and I just broke up after she cheated on me and I was SURE my life was over and that NO ONE cared or would miss me.  The poison was in my car and I was ready.
 
Then I broke my hand (hitting a concrete wall,) and had to go to the hospital.  I admitted to the nurse I was suicidal.  Four paramedics blocked the exit and I was asked if I would voluntarily go to the psych ward.  Like I had a choice.
 
Before you go commenting stuff like "How could you be so selfish?" and "How could you do that to your daughter?",  spare me.  Heard it all, ok?  This isn't THAT discussion.
 
It's now 22 years later.  Have I thought about it since?  I'd be lying if I said "no."
 
In 22 years, the following have happened to me:  I have met hundreds of people.  I married.  I had a daughter.  I've saved three lives (one car accident, one heart attack, and one choking victim).  I realized who I truly am, and Sophie Lynne blossomed.
 
So.  It's fair to say that if I died that rainy fall night in 1990, there are four people who would not be alive today.  And who knows how my presence has affected the people I have met and with whom I've worked.  Paging George Bailey!
 
So why now?  Why am I writing about it?  Because the other day I had a casual thought.
 
"The next time I try suicide, I'll use a straight razor down my carotid.  Quick, easy, no chance of coming back.  Quick bleed out."
 
That scared the living hell out of me. 
 
Within minutes I had left messages with my therapist and my psychiatrist (who prescribes my depression meds.)  Hell, I even told my wife- and as readers of this blog know, I'm not in the habit of telling her anything.  Didn't tell anyone else though, not my parent, not my "Big Sister", no one... until now.
 
After all, it's no one's business, right?
 
So why AM I writing about it?  Am I looking for sympathy?  Pity?  No and NO. 
 
 
 
 
Look at the picture above.  THAT is the face of the 41%.  I am one of them. 
 
So now you know one.  Perhaps you ARE one.  This TG thing isn't a game.  We don't do this for fun.  It destroys us. 

Being Sophie is the most dangerous thing I've done in my life, and I used to run into burning buildings as a member of a Rescue Squad. 

The irony that I wanted to die in late October, and was Reborn (as Sophie) in late October years later is not lost on me.

I am Lucky.  I know I have people who care.  I had doctors I could call.  I know I have a Future as a Woman, hard as it will be, and I WANT that future. 

 And I want to see my daughter graduate college.  And I want to see the Phillies win the World Series again. Still haven't seen Australia.  And my book isn't published.  And I want to know what it's like to blend in as a woman.  And many many more things.

You're stuck with me.

***********************************************
Just so you have it:  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

2 comments:

  1. Very happy to be stuck with you, and hopefully for a long long time.
    Additionally to those four lives you have had a profound effect on many others.
    Hugs to you

    ReplyDelete