Q. I am a MTF TRANSSEXUAL PERSON (PREOP): I cant get a job, my parents are in USA. They don’t understand what am going through. I cant even afford hormones. I did a bilateral orchidectomy on myself and a month ago I tried to amputate my penis and I ended up in the hospital. They reattached the portions I had tried to cut and am just trapped. No doctor in Kenya will try this kind of surgery cause everybody is scared because there was this one case and the doctored died of depression related stuff cause of condemnation. I tried suicide the same time I tried to amputate my penis. I have been seeing psychiatrists and one of them gave some antidepressants. Imiprimine I think is the name. I want to kill myself by suffocating myself with carbon monoxide in my room. Its so lonely and tears are always in my eyes. I pass for a gal but you see the moment I go for interviews I get disqualified because in Kenya people don’t understand this things. Its miserable. I cant live as a man cause its depressing and I would rather die than be a man. I want to be a gal. Why are people so hateful. I lost almost all my relatives and I wish they were there to help me fight this thing. I have been planning to sell one of my kidneys so that I could raise some money for hormones and sex reassignment surgery but i don’t know where to start. I don’t have a religion i.e. the opium of the mass and I wonder why I dont just kill myself. I wish I was gone for ever. Last week I told my aunts th at I wanted to be creamted once I was dead and they don’t want it. They plan to bury me. I don’t want to decay. Am trapped. Whether dead or alive. Why do people discriminate against me.
It has been five years and I think I have to be courageous and end this cause its just to painful to be part of my everyday future. What the hell do i do?
A. I am sorry that you are experiencing such a difficult life circumstance but what you can’t do now is give up. Suicide is absolutely not the answer.
I have repeated the same message in response to many individuals who, like you, find themselves living through tremendous daily emotional and psychological distress. They too write that they have come to the (incorrect) conclusion that suicide is the answer. Please know that it is not.
With regard to your specific situation, you said that your psychological distress comes from several areas, one is that you want desperately to live as a woman and you cannot afford the operation and secondly you feel that you have no support from family and you even endure ridicule from others.
Unfortunately, there are many individuals in this world who are judgmental. As you seem to be experiencing firsthand, there are individuals who will judge you because they feel that you’re not “like them” or because you do not hold the same beliefs that they do. There are even some people who would not only judge you for your choices and beliefs but who would go out of their way to make their disdain for you known publicly as a way to humiliate you. The fact that people judge others is a sad and tragic part of our world. Society tends to criticize and punish those who they perceive as “different.” This seems to be what is happening to you, not only from others but largely from your family.
What is extremely important for you to realize is that it does not and should not matter what society and others think about you. Only your opinion should matter. Who knows you better than you? Who can say what is right for you better than you? Do you really believe that society or even those in your family fully understand what you are going through? It should not matter because only you know the truth about your situation.
Your challenge is to become immune to what other people think about you, to come to your own conclusions about what you think you should do with your own body and to focus on doing what is best for you. At this time you may not have the money to have a sex change operation but maybe in the future you will.
Here is another way to think about your situation. If your friend came to you with the same problem, feeling like a societal outcast, feeling desperate enough to consider taking his own life because of how others perceived him, would you suggest that he consider suicide? It is highly doubtful that you would advise your friend to end his life. You’d probably suggest that he seek help and to stop caring about what other people think of his situation.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that ending your life would end your suffering. Even though it is not known what happens to us after we die or whether or not there is an afterlife, many distressed people assume suicide will help them out of their desperate situation. But what if it didn’t? What if they are wrong? What if suicide makes an individual’s psychological situation worse? The book Life After Life by Raymond Moody contains interesting antidotes of individuals who attempted suicide, had hellish near death experiences (NDE) and now believe that the act of suicide may actually increase their suffering after death, in the “afterlife” (if such a dimension exists).
You need more help than I can offer over the Internet and that is why I strongly suggest that you seek help either from a hospital (because of your suicidal thinking) or from a mental health clinician. You are not thinking clearly or rationally. Please recognize that suicide is not the answer and find yourself help immediately. If there is little help available, please try to realize that what other people think of you does not matter. Other people’s opinions should not determine how you think about yourself; those opinions are not worth hurting yourself for. Continue to be courageous as you have over the past five years and challenge yourself to stop caring about what other people think about you. And please try to find help immediately.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Nov 2008
Randle, K. (2008). Male to Female Transsexual. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 10, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/11/03/male-to-female-transsexual/