Family Gathering(s) + 45

Trigger Warning: Suicide Ideation

Hello Family,

Just so everyone knows why I’m not with you all this weekend:

I’m angry every day. I am hurting every day. I’ve been depressed for months. I’ve been suicidal on and off since last November, since about a week after the election. And it has affected everything in my life. I am unstable. It’s why I dropped my semester in April and partially why I’m not in school this fall. I’m actually struggling to stay alive. I’m fighting for my life.

So no matter what I answer when you ask, “How are you?”, know that this is the answer. Yet, whatever else I reply is simultaneously, also true. Like most of us, I can feel multiple things at the same time. The takeaway is that no matter what I look like, or seem like, I am fighting for my life and I am winning.

The last time I considered killing myself was August 17th and Auntie T. helped me through it. Thank you, Auntie T. And my friend VH., unknowingly saved my life, because I was in the midst of writing a final note when she came into the room and told me I could stay here as long as I needed to. I burst into tears but she didn’t know why. Just that I was stressed and didn’t feel like I had any emotionally safe place to go/be. I would not be here writing this tonight if not for her. She saved my life. Thank you, VH.

I am telling you all this not to scare you. I am telling you this so there is no miscommunication. So that there is no misunderstanding. You are my family that I see and interact with the most in physical life and I am grateful for you, especially since I’ve lost Pam and Quinn. But I am struggling. And yes, I am on a waiting list for a therapist. And I have called the access crisis line/suicide lifeline when I needed to talk to people who aren’t so emotionally involved.

*** My two previous suicide attempts, the first at age 16 and another time in my early 30s, I did not write notes because I felt there was nothing to say. Seriously, nothing to say. No one’s fault. My life, my choice. But actually writing the note 2 weeks ago, was’s impossible to describe. I know this hurts to read. It hurts me to write it. I hurt all the time though. But I also live with it. I live with pain like many of us do. When I write “us” I mean all of us. All of you reading these words. We all experience pain and fear.

A., I am not there this weekend because I didn’t feel like I could speak with you directly or see JC.’s face. Him smiling in my face, saying, “my guy is in, your guy is out,” does my head in. I think about it a lot. Especially after seeing all those politicians smiling after the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Care (Obamacare) replacement bill, this past May. I see those smiling faces with KKK hoods. I see evil celebrating. Blame it on my awesome imagination and my chronic mental illness. I do not think of JC. as evil. I do not think of you as evil. I do feel that your vote condones evil.

Because our family has instituted a ‘no politics’ rule to keep the ‘peace’ and I believe that silence is complicity, I’m having a tough time knowing my place in our family. VH. says that she can’t tell when I’m in serious distress because I don’t look like it. I think partly this is because I grew up knowing I was queer/trans, partly because I just wanted to get through, didn’t want trouble, didn’t want to be rejected. Hiding helped me get through my childhood but I was too good at hiding and that mask? or norm at this point, doesn’t help me when I’m in trouble.


As far as our family goes, I wish I was there but I can’t be. I especially feel sad about D. and Z. (the kids) because I love them so much. Like so very much. They are so awesome. That JC. said at Thanksgiving, if I felt the way I feel, that he didn’t want them around me, really scared me because I’ve already lost family members for being who I am/living my truth. And I was homeless for 2 years on and off before I moved in with Auntie T. and I finally had a home and I can’t be the cause of any more division in our family. I’ve said this to Auntie T. and V.

I honestly don’t know how to resolve this. So those of you who pray, keep praying. And if you can help me, if you know a way to help me, please do so.

A., I meant what I said to you and JC. at Thanksgiving, when I said your vote dishonors humanity. I’m too messed up right now to be “reasonable” or even civil at this point. I’m too angry. But maybe you’ve changed your mind and maybe if I was there you would’ve pulled me aside and we would’ve talked and hugged it out. Maybe if you could go back, you’d vote differently, or like M., abstain. Please, if this is true, reach out. Please, if you’ve changed your mind let me know. I know you love me and I love you. I’m hoping that love can see us through this.

This anger that I’m feeling is really fear. More fear than my mind/body can handle at times. And instead of trying to push it down, be quiet, deny it, I am expressing it, and this helps. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being witnesses. Thank you for your love.

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The Trevor Project:
The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth. The Trevor Lifeline: 866.488.7386.

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