Nearly 20 years ago, I was really messed up. I suffered from PTSD and suicidal depression. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and was an alcoholic and codependent.
And then I began a journey that brought me the love I longed for, just not where I thought it would be.
Looking for the ONE
Since adolescence, I had bought into the Disney fairy tale of finding my one true love, or simply THE ONE. That one person who would sweep me off my feet, who would fix me, or at least “complete” me, whatever the hell that means. So romantic. And so full of shit.
My first marriage ended when I came out as transgender. Okay, it happens. She couldn’t deal with being in a lesbian relationship and I really should have told her my secret before we got married.
My next marriage was to a man who was abusive, which turned out was a perfect fit for my codependency. Yeah, he “completed” me. We were both alcoholics. And so I went from being a young, proud trans woman to being a suicidally depressed basket case.
After three years, I got sober and left him.
Becoming the ONE
I spent a lot of time in AA, CoDA, Al-Anon, and any other group that would have me. I went on anti-depressants for a while and went through a slew of therapists.
In the process, I decided to stop looking for THE ONE and instead to be THE ONE. I worked to become the kind of person I wanted to be with. Letting go of my emotional baggage and trauma didn’t come easy. I didn’t get sick over night. Healing would take a while, too.
Slowly, I learned to love myself, to treasure who I was, and to be grateful for who I was. I learned to become more honest and generous with others because I was no longer in an emotional deficit for myself.
And then one day, a friend asked me to be her girlfriend.
I was happy being single. I could do what I want. Watch the shows I wanted. Go where I want. Hang out with people I wanted to be with. And so I told her no.
After all, I was on the rebound. She was a lot older than me. She lived a hundred miles away. I was still early in my recovery. So many reasons why such a relationship shouldn’t work.
But after some time to consider it, I said yes. And we started dating. And less than five months later, we got married.
This year we will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary.
There is Hope
Whether you are single or in a relationship, the bottom line is to learn to love yourself. And if you don’t know how, do something to help you get there. Because you are worth loving. You just may need to unload some emotional baggage and heal.
It can be really hard to live as a transgender person or a gay person in this world. But don’t give up. It does get better. Then it gets worse. Then it gets different. Then it gets real. Then it gets REAL different.
There is Help
If you are tired of feeling in pain all the time and are willing to end your life, take it from someone who failed twice. Give yourself another chance. Please. Get help. I know how hard it is to talk about this shit. But it will be worth it.
If you are an LGBT youth and are feeling suicidal, contact The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386.
If you are transgender and in crisis, not knowing where to find support, try the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860 (U.S.) or (877) 330-6366 (Canada).
And for everyone else, try the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Because you are worth loving.