Essay, True Life by Nick McDaniels

Note: This is a real suicide note I left for my mom to find upon my death a few years ago. I swallowed Trazadone, Prozac, and anything I could get my hands on, and as a result, died twice in the ambulance. I am now recovering from my bipolar disorder. I used to be known as Misty, a female to male transsexual. I am sending this in the hopes you will print it so someone can learn from my failure and maybe society and the Homestead Review's readers can give a second thought to people whose daily burden it is to live with mental illness.

Here follows:

My Dearest Mother:

If you are reading this, I am no longer among the living. I am writing this to tell you why I am doing what I am going to do.

My soul is bleeding. The silence is killing me. Just because I am a man does not mean I can't be hurt. The years over which dad raped me; it was not your fault. You didn't know. I didn't let you in. I was afraid of being labeled "weak" or a "sissy" more by our friends and society rather than our family. Maybe it was something I did. Somehow it feels like it was my fault, although my mind tells me it wasn't.

Society as a whole hasn't been kind. Mental illness, like anything else misunderstood, is labeled and I was labeled a freak. A bipolar (manic depressive), transgender man who has been raped is considered no higher than that. I can't take the furtive whispers, the stares, the laughter. Society raped me a second time.

I hurt inside. I can no longer stand it, so I'm saying goodbye in the most humane way I know . . . To my family, my mom, I'm sorry. To the world I give the finger. . . not the index, the thumb or the pinky.

Maybe society can learn from my death, hell, my suicide. It might save someone else the torment, the disgrace. Maybe they might be treated kinder. Maybe not.

Mom, Bro, I dearly love you. Take care of Rusty, Dusty, and Emma. I'm not doing this to hurt you; I just can't take the pain anymore. I'll be waiting for you. Goodbye.

Nick McDaniels