You’re not ready for the world outside, you keep pretending but you just can’t hide…
5 years ago, I first touched the edges of my gender identity.
I had recently gone to the emergency room. I was having suicidal thoughts. I was recently separated. Politics at work were awful (I had a state job, and I was pegged as undesirable, they were actively trying to get me to quit. Not too much later, they’d get their wish). I was feeling helpless, lost, alone, and full of despair. Luckily, I have friends and family who look out for me, and told me “go to the hospital, right now.” I did, and I was admitted in to their IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program). They could have admitted me outright, but since they felt I was in a well enough place, I could try it that way first. I started the next day, which would have been yesterday.
The first day was a wash, basically. I had suffered a severe mental BSOD, and I was still rebooting, so to say. The second day, well, much more fruitful.
The first inklings came out in a group session. There was a young boy, I think about 19, who had attempted suicide because of the ostracization he felt because he was gay. A few of the things he said about his repression really resonated with me. Maybe it was because my brain was freshly rebooted, and not as cluttered with the junk. But it really made me think.
Later, I had a one on one with both a therapist and a psychiatrist. I told them about that, and they encouraged me to explore that. So, I did, because I was feeling safe and secure by that point.
I didn’t come to it exactly that day (that was more a few days later during a session), but at the same time, it’s when I did first come to realize that my biological parts weren’t exactly lined up with my brain’s idea of what should be there.
Happy Anniversary, Sandi, you got your foot in the mental door today 5 years ago!
-note on the lyric: not sure how to credit it for a tag, so I’ll just put it here. It’s from the song Standing, part of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer musical Once More With Feeling.