February 14, 1985 – 30 Years Later

On Thursday February 14, 1985 I was a 16 year old junior in high school, extremely depressed and angry at the world. The pain was unbearable and on this night I made my first suicide attempt. I wrote a note, swallowed a bottle of antidepressants, slashed my wrists and laid down waiting for it to end. Two days later I woke up in the intensive care unit, EKG leads all over my body and a tube down my throat. I remained in the ICU for three days and once I was stable enough I was transferred to a psychiatric hospital where I remained for 46 days.

When I finally was released from the psychiatric hospital I was faced with the task of resuming everyday life. The one thing I knew for sure was there was no way in hell I was going back to my high school. I had missed nearly two months of school by that point and would have to repeat 11th grade. The prospect of stepping back into that building and being branded as the freak who tried to kill herself by 3,200 students was a no go. I begged and pleaded with my parents to let me transfer to another nearby school so I could complete my education. My father who was the stingiest person I have ever met refused to let me transfer because it would cost money. Because I wasn’t allowed to transfer I had no choice other than dropping out of high school. The day before my suicide attempt would be the last day I set foot into a classroom until I started college at 40.

So much and so little has changed in the last 30 years. I still suffer from crippling depression, I still have visible scars from that night. I’ve had 3 more stays in psychiatric hospitals. The changes that have occurred are profound. The biggest factor in my depression back then was my gender identity. I knew that I was a female on the inside but society told me that I was a freak for feeling that way. As I got older I started realizing that there were other people like me. I read as much as I could about the topic. I finally transitioned when I was in my mid-forties.

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