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Is a college dorm room really that dangerous of a place?... I never thought so...


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To give some background first, just to put things in context. Two weeks ago, I spent my time fighting discrimination towards myself for being transgender. This came from a multitude of different sources, some less expected than others, to even include people who I have considered to be friends (who are aware that I'm transgender and did not have a problem with it in the past) and even a professor, who has also known me for some time now and has never in the past treated me any different because of who I am. When trying to resolve the issues each person decided to present during that week, I learned that none of the people cared that they had done/said something unacceptable. So learning that there was nothing I could do at that point since they just didn't care, I had to walk away and let things as they were.

The following week was spring break which was spent alone doing research. It was a welcomed period of quietness after the week before. Though by the end of the week that quietness was no more. I past memory came waltzing back that I had chose to ignore two years prior when it was an issue. All of my memories of being a runner and my dream of being a professional runner just bombarded me. I had to give up that dream because of a serious injury that if I continued to run with would have crippled me for the rest of my life. At that time it was just to painful to think about that I would never run again, so I didn't think about it and "ran away" from the idea. With the week being quiet it was a safer time to think about it (or at least my subconscious thought so). The other notion in the present reality that becomes connected to it is I'm going to grad school in the fall. Which going to grad school in a way is ultimately giving up on the dream of being a professional athlete.

So, I spent the end of last week thinking about this. By the time I reached Sunday it was something I was failing to cope with. At that point suicide was becoming a recurring thought in my mind. I talked to my therapist Sunday afternoon, which helped some but left me feeling disconnected from the world and myself. I made a somewhat successful attempt later, Sunday evening, to reconnect to the world and myself. Then Monday, which became the day I was looking forward to because the second half of the semester started and I could throw myself back into work and hope for the best, came around and I had more downtime that I knew what to do with. By the evening I really didn't know what to do with myself. When I'm left with not enough to do my mind has a tendency to wander and being in a depressed/suicidal mindset only makes it that much worse because then I start dreaming up ways to kill myself. Tuesday followed much of the same pattern. As did Wednesday (yesterday), with the exception of seeing my therapist again. I had felt more hopeful when I left his office, but still worried about what was going to happen. We had talked about all of that and I had left it with that I'm worried but I'll trust your judgment in that things will get better.

So, being somewhat optimistic from yesterday this morning and the rest of today has me more scared. I woke up this morning already thinking of suicide, only half wanting to follow through but still seeing ways that I could if I decided that I wanted to kill myself. Which at least for me waking up to the idea of suicide is a scare thought, typically when I first wake up I'm not even able to form a coherent thought (suicide I would claim requires more thought than I'm capable of in the morning). Then the rest of today just continued along that path of thoughts of suicide. Though it's not the presence of the thoughts that has me worried but that I'm taking completely random everyday items (like soda bottle and food, for examples) and can see away that I can use them to kill myself.

So, at this point I'm coming up with ways to commit suicide but only half want to commit suicide. The problem becomes that things always get worse before they get better (or at least that has been my experience). How bad are they going to get? Because I would argue that things are bad enough as they stand right now, I really don't want to move into fully wanting to commit suicide when I can take ordinary objects and use them as a method to kill myself. Really... since when are everyday objects that you would find in a college dorm room dangerous to kill yourself? I would have never thought so.

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If a person's determined, they can use oxygen to kill themselves. So, as you said, it's far better not to reach that point.

Having spent some fair amount of time fantasizing my own departure, perhaps I have some thoughts to add. First, I didn't really get better until I removed myself from what was triggering me; in my case, an abusive spouse. So it makes some sense to try to identify what part of your life seems so hopeless. Perhaps graduate school isn't really what you want? Or at least, not yet? Or would anything that moves on from the goal of being an athlete affect you the same way? After all, it's not you "giving up" on it, it's the injury that you've already sustained that makes it impossible.

Personally, I suspect that you have more than one possible path to making a contribution, in your life. You just have to pick one.

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I wish things were as simple as removing the problem but it's not environmental, but deeply rooted in my subconscious because I didn't deal with the end of my dream when I was injured. By not dealing with it then, it took a relatively small problem in the grand scheme of things and made it a much larger one. I actually done everything I could not to think about it and not deal with it because I didn't know how to.

I had known I was accepted to grad school for a few weeks before this happened but once spring break came the novelty of grad school wore off and it really set in that I was taking the next step in my goal of becoming a professor. The goal of becoming a professor I decided to settle for once my dream was taken from me. Being a professional athlete is what I want but it is something I can not have regardless what I do. Being a professor became the next best thing in my mind at some point and I honestly love the idea of teaching college students and most importantly the research aspect.

For a contribution in life, once I settled on being a professor, that contribution in my mind became my research. Which I have already started this year. I can honestly say I love the research.

I just need to be able to deal with the repressed ideas and memories that have come forward in light of this and I'm failing at this. Being that they were repressed the come forward with all of the emotions felt at the time, add to that current emotions and the confusion of the past and present, and that leads me to feeling lost, confused, and suicidal. All of it is just too much.

I think at this point anything that takes me away from my dream would have either this effect or one similar in nature. Grad school is not the cause of this, I think it's only the trigger that presented itself at the moment.

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Hi Lost_and_Confused!

First of all, let me say I completely understand!!!! Suicidal ideation has been a huge part of my life, with actual attempts beginning at age 10. >_< I never had the mental discipline to be an athlete, I never had the personal skills and aforementioned discipline to even get though junior college let alone into a graduate sort of program, so let me say, my hat's off to you!

Nevertheless, I am quite a bit older than you and have had some similar things happen. I have settled into various "careers" that have been rendered unviable by the current recession, and am very worried about my own future. Plus being older it's going to be extremely hard for me to compete against younger, prettier people for anything.

All reasons I have for thinking of suicide, quite constantly!!

What stops me? Well first off. I am speaking from experience when I say it's HARD to kill yourself. And at a certain age one kind of gets USED TO LIVING. What an idea, huh? I'd never have known this when I was in my 20s or even my 30s. It didn't dawn on me 'til very recently and I am now 43. So I can reasonably expect that even with my constant fantasies about "stopping this planet and getting off", well it's only going to in most cases end up with me waking up at the hospital in a very nasty situation, and I have a young son, so I must think of him.

But I'm only 43! I have a whole lifetime ahead of me if modern life expectancies are anything to go by!! How many times will I have to change my "career"? How many more times will I lose everything I have?? I never finished school! I'm female! >_<

So... I don't know. I don't mean to focus on myself, but I hope my ramblings give you some perspective here. I am so sorry for the loss of your career as an athlete, this is something that is so rare and amazing it's hard to even imagine for most people... like being a movie star or a lottery winner. Professional athletes are just very RARE!

But how blessed. BLESSED it is that you have another aptitude, and that you even love it!! How wonderful that you have the opportunity to be a serious person, to be OF VALUE to this world!!! I was never any of those things!!

If I could I'd give you a hug and tell you it's all going to be okay. I hate the thought that you are having suicidal ideation!!!!

You mentioned being transgendered in passing, but it doesn't seem to be an issue otherwise? I should think that'd have a problematic impact on a professional athlete, as athletics are pretty rigidly divided along conventional gender lines...!

But it doesn't mean you can't coach someday...? What do you think of that?

Anyway. I reach out to you and bless you. I understand these automatic thoughts toward suicide. They still happen to me, but I feel I've grown to a place where I can handle them.

I hope you are feeling better today, and that you post again soon! :)


Edited by JaneE
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In the past I have attempted suicide more times that I would care to admit. I do agree, with time you learn that it is hard to kill yourself, but at the same time as one grows older they learn more about how the world and things in it work which allows for one to learn "better way" to kill them self. (As horrible as that is.)

Most of the time I do not have problems with being transgender. I have come to terms with it myself and what it means too me, the problems are with other people who cannot and refuse to try to understand that they cannot treat me as they want but need to treat me as a human being. Apparently those people who are different from yourself you do not need to treat as a human being. It's something that I have learned to cope with, for the most part there is nothing I can do about how they treat me.

Suicide thoughts are rather automatic, typically I can deal with them. They are something that I've grown accustom to but there are the times that they are so frequent and so bad that coping is almost a dream. The possibility of coping is there but I have no idea how to go about it because every method that I typically would use fails to work or if it works at all it only works for a short period of time or only makes a very small change. Which is where I am now. I've gone through many methods of trying to cope all to end up right where I started from. I've tried video games, homework, class, needle point, an old idea that life works in cycles and things get worse before they get better but they always get better, talking to people, writing... all of them have worked well in the past but for some reason right now they don't do what I need them to do.

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Nothing about this situation seems to make sense to me. Typically at least one of my coping methods will work and if not the passing of time itself will allow for things to get better. The problem is that none of that is holding true this time. My coping methods if they work they only work for a very short period of time and only once, I can't reuse them this time for some reason, and the passage of time only seems to make things worse instead of better. The other thing that typically helps is looking at the situation from a different angle... yet again something that fails to work this time. This is just a recipe for disaster in my mind. What do you do when you have exhausted every coping strategy you have?

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Lost and Confused,

I am sorry that you are so lost and confused right now. While reading your first post, when you mentioned that things get worse before they get better - my first thought was that maybe this is the end of the worse part.

We don't ever know for certain when it will turn around, and oftentimes it is actually happening but we are so stuck that we are unable to see it turning around. When we focus on the negative and constantly feed it....it grows. Most things grow when being fed. Maybe try to feed the positive and enjoy it as that grows?

I am not religious. Not at all. But I can't help but believe that your life took a certain course for a reason. "A greater good" as they say. Suicide will ensure that you will never be around to know what that may have been.

It is a shame when anyone decides to end it all never knowing that their 'Time to shine' was literally just around the corner. From where i sit, i sense that you have some great opportunities ahead of you. But you nedd to stick around long enough to seize them.

You are young, intelligent and full of promise. It is now Spring. a time when things grow,bloom and blossom. You said you were out of coping opportunities - i don't think it is possible that you have exhausted every one - i just don't.

i too, have been to the place where i didn't think i could take anymore, and i go there still. Today I hope that you feed the positive in your life so that it has a chance to grow. And i;ll try to do the same.

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To begin with I have a rather short list of coping strategies, typically I have more than enough. Periods when I need to use those strategies are normally short (a few days at most). But this time is very different than in the past, I'm currently looking at starting the 4th week of trying to cope with everything, yes there were a few days between week 1 and week 2 that were calm but not enough to reset the scale. A person can cope only so long before things blow up in their face and at this point I can't help but question how close I am to that point. with each passing day I can feel things fall down the hill more and more; it doesn't seem to matter what I do. I've tried everything I can think of. What I need is new ideas.

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I hope you could see a therapist or professional counselor, maybe through your school? You've accomplished so much already, and it's sad to think that someone who's clearly come so far and lived such an interesting life is thinking of ending it all.

I'm sorry the world is so full of the stupid, ignorant and bigoted... I can't imagine why anyone would care whether someone wanted to transgender or crossdress or whatever!

I can see how things must seem so pointless... why put effort into this world when it shows you so little love? But hey! Look at me, haha (there I go again). I'm "Normal" in all those ways yet I feel exactly the same way! I still have no friends and no family who'll own me. My own mother won't write to me (we don't live in the same country).

But should I kill myself? I want to live. I see beauty, I meet people like you! All worth continuing on for, though it's so hard sometimes and I'm filled with sadness and pain all the time. I'm so tired of feeling hated and worthless. The world may even actually hate me and think I'm worthless... maybe some day I'll be on the street!

I don't know. I wish there was something I could say to you. I wish we could be real friends in the same room, to shake hands or hug and smile. That's a lot to ask of the world nowadays it seems. But I'm so glad at least I met you here.


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Hi, Lost and C.

I feel sorry for you being on such a rough road. I don't have too many suicide ideas and never made an attempt but I knew someone who did. I don't know much about that anyway,

BUT I am transgender too.

Being a biological woman, dressing like a man or casual, I really don't draw any looks or so. My family and friends know but I have lived in Europe until four years ago. Europe is more open and being a TG is a lot easier.

What helped me so much after my coming out and really realizing LOL, was a group of TGs. Nobody else can understand that no matter how hard they try. It is just like I cannot understand other women although I look like one, inside and out. OK, I have bones like a man, I am tall, broad shoulders etc but that doesn't make people notice I am different.

I also have kids cause it felt right, I like men, I was married, and I don't want to change my body. I feel like I am right in the middle between the two genders. Sometimes I do get unhappy that people mistake me for a woman. Right now, they think I am single mom. I am not but it is just easier to say yes.

This is just to explain where I stand cause I'd like to tell you how much it means to me to have contact with other TGs. pre-OP, post-OP or even gays or the gay scene who are understanding. It is just too hard to be alone in a crowd of people who are and identify as either male or female. It makes you lonely.

It is very basic for me, i feel that the group is like my tribe, it is the place where I feel at home. Maybe that is something that is lacking from your life? I don't know, it is just a question or a suggestion.

The other thing - thing - LOL - sure sometimes it is hard to live on this planet. It seems like an endless chain of life lessons or bad luck. I am lucky to have been born a positive person so I never go into these dark corners which makes it easier for me.

Depression had me in its claws for years though and I tried to analyze things plus therapy. It helped but I got better only when I found (just like JaneE said, I think) or when I began looking for a purpose in all of it.

My purpose really became so important to me and that is, changing the world. Sure, others would laugh about that, that is why I don't put it that way. But I myself am convinced that things I do make a difference. And that difference goes like ripples on top of a lake and influences others.

I am sorry that your dream ended so soon. I was just wondering whether the "high" one says that athletes and runners get in their brain through the dopamin it is, I think, whether this is something that you don't get now so you are left with feeling low.

You deserve the best treatments and things for your life. If its meds plus therapy- well, why not? My life got a lot better with therapy but only with meds I can really have a life...

I have no idea if anybody here believes in reincarnation. I never believed in it but in the last years it seemed to be such a great explanation for things that otherwise cannot be explained. So, I was reading a lot of metaphysical stuff, and found an idea that I began to like. They say that some souls come to earth the first time or second time and they have a hard time living on the planet, figuring things out, sort of accepting the restrictions that life is putting on everybody.

I don't know whether this helps you or not but I wish you all the best.

And as a TG, you are not alone. There are some more even somewhere near you but often they are in hiding...

Lots of luck, dear!

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When I had wrote this thread, I was very confused because I was stuck with more emotions than answers. (I'm the type who needs answers not emotions.) I had the answers previously, as to what was wrong, but as time passed I could tell that those answers no longer held true. So, I was trying to cope with the emotions that I couldn't understand where they were coming from. I took awhile but I eventually figured out what was going on. I was/am cycling through past memories, in the form of intrusive flashbacks.

So, when I'm caught in the middle of a flashback I am suicidal now. Though between memories there is a short period of quietness without suicidal thoughts (I love that time more than anything right now).

As for being TG, most of the time I'm read as a woman, I only stand 5'2" and look feminine from the front but masculine from the back. I personally hate what I look like but that's something I can change later in life. (There's plans in the works for that.) I do know a few other TG people; actually one of my professors came out as TG this year and we have an out staff member also. Though, being in central PA people are not accepting of LGBT issues/people for the most part; the university I am at, actually is doing really well compared to most. Within the 4 years I have been here the policies have been rewritten to include gender identity and expression, I actually sat on the boards for each policy that has been changed in that respect and help to draft the current policies.

Most days I have no problem with being TG, but as of late it has been more and more of an issue for me. Actually each of the memories that I have been experiencing in some way are connected to gender identity, some are more direct than others but all share that connection.

Thanks for reaching out as another TG person. I really appreciate when that happens and works for the better; I've had too many connections with TG people that later turned out to be very discriminatory towards myself because I don't agree with the HBSOC. I do not believe that one model will work for everyone and that everyone who wants to transition needs to follow the same model.

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