One year ago today, April 4th 2013, was the day I almost killed myself. The day has been looming in my mind for a couple of weeks now. Not because it depresses me, not because it scares me, not because I’m afraid of the anniversary triggering some sort of spiral; but because I cannot believe how far I’ve come since that horrible night.
I can still remember the decision I made with clarity, though I can no longer relate to the emotions that drove it. My actions that night were the death throes of the man I thought I was, a man who had seen all that he had built to define him, all of his self, crumbling to dust. In a lot of ways, I lost my identity that night, and despaired because I had nothing to replace it with. I was driven by depression. I felt isolated, empty, worthless.
That I am alive today is a fact I attribute to the people who have become my support structure in the last year and enabled me to renew myself. Robin, my ex, has remained one of my closest friends and my emotional lifeline when I have bad days. My kids have never stopped loving me, even as I’ve changed, and they remain the most important things in my life. My therapists, Nancy and Cecilia, have been essential in helping me navigate my transition and enabling me to let go of my past. Erica, who took me under her wing and has never left me adrift, has helped my new self build new relationships and confidence. My parents, who did not reject me, have constantly reminded me that, son or daughter, I am still their child. All the family and friends who have, in person and online, rolled with the changes and treated me like a human being.
I am a lucky woman. It is humbling to know that so many have been so understanding and treated me with so much humanity, especially since there are other trans folk out there who are not so fortunate — men and women who have been rejected and derided by those they thought were there for them, who struggle to access competent professional help, and who live every day in dark and damaging thoughts. The world can be a terrible place for a trans person sometimes.
Tonight, I am taking my daughter to her school’s Daddy/Daughter dance, arguably one of the biggest events on her six year old social calendar. I will be in “dad mode,” and people will probably call me Brian all night, but I don’t care. I am alive, and I am happy, and I know who I am. Tonight, I am my daughter’s dad; and I can think of no better way to spend the evening.