Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Season to Reflect -- Thoughts On Surviving Suicide

August-September is a time for me to think back on many parts of my life.  

I was married to a wonderful woman in August many years ago.

My First Daughter, my Pride and Joy! who I miss so dearly, was born in September.

I separated from my wonderful wife in August 2 years ago to begin my life as my true self.

I went to the hospital to treat blood clots in my lungs in September 2 years ago.

And a young woman I had not yet met tried to kill herself because the men in her church told her she would be better off a dead man than alive as a woman. By Poppa's Great Grace, she survived. Many, too many, of us do not survive. In a study released this year, a little more than 4 in 10 transgender and gender-nonconforming people are suicide survivors. Survivors! I have not seen any statistics of how many of us did not survive. Sometimes I wonder how it is I survived.

I have never been someone the psycho/social professional community would classify as actively suicidal. But that community discounts or only gives passing acknowledgment that addictive, self-medicating behaviors are ultimately a form of suicide. There are other ways to die than to stop breathing or have the heart stop beating.

I am an addict. A recovering addict, but still an addict.

On another level, I knew I could have been actively suicidal. And I believe I would not have survived if I had made a physical attempt to kill myself. This is the very good reason I won't own a gun. It would be my method of choice to kill myself. I have imagined it too many times in my low points to have any doubts. I would put on a pretty dress, do my makeup, do my hair, put on my jewelry and my heels, sit down in my rocking chair, put the pistol, a military 9mm, to my left breast and pull the trigger. There would be a note, "Sorry for the mess I've made."

More than that, though, when my constant prayers that Poppa take this "curse" as I thought of it then, away and cure me seemed to be unfulfilled, my prayers turned to "Please take me Home!" I wanted to die. I asked Poppa to end my suffering, to end the suffering of my wife, to end the suffering of my children and help me die, to take me Home. I made this prayer to Poppa nearly every night for many, many years. And I prayed it almost as often during the day.

Poppa did not see fit to grant that prayer.

Sometime after I began to live my life as my true self, I met the young lady who had tried to kill herself. We became very good friends. She, Debra, became my Second Daughter. We have no secrets between us. I told her about my prayer and she made me promise never to ask Poppa to take me home again. She said she needed me for the next 30 years. And I promised.

So I have survived. Still, I sometimes wonder how? But more I wonder why Poppa has kept me here. What is it I do or have yet to do to show how much He Loves us?

It has been a very great Grace-thing Poppa has given me to have had a small part in Debra's very beautiful story. She's been every bit the butterfly!


  1. Hi Shannon,

    Almost every post I have read this morning has made me cry. Yours included. At least they are tears of joy.

    God surely has a reason for stopping you from doing something horrible just as He did in Debra's life. I think we all have had some time when we at least entertained thoughts of our own death. I know I have. But the Lord is so gracious, gracious beyond belief. But I believe.

    My prayers continue for your well being in all matters.

    Hugs and Blessings,

    Cynthia XX