I was four years old when I told my mom that I wanted to be a boy. The funny thing is, I cannot remember telling her. She told me in early 2017 this bit of information and I was completely floored. I was speechless and scared.
I came out for the first time when I was 24 years old and I had just moved from South Africa to Australia and then again in 2017 as a female-to-male trans man (FtM).
Of course, the second time around had to be the year I turned 40. My brain had clearly done a great job at burying the truth of how I really felt, although, my body had other ideas of how to manage all these buried treasures.
My entire life feels like a form of rebellion, every painful memory seems like a form of rebellion, the crying, the self-harm that no-one knew of, the darkness and even the moments of light.
My physical self always had a problem with living. I have woken up every day of my life for the last 37 years hoping that, “Today will be the day I feel better. Today will be the day I have a break through”.
I would get ready for work or go out to do mundane chores and within minutes the thought of death will cross my mind. I have considered so many avenues to hurt myself but as a registered nurse I learned that the risk of something going terribly wrong is just too high.
I was driving home one day from university in early 2017 and I was crying my eyes out. I came to a red light and I said out loud to myself, “You have a choice: death or testosterone – what is it going to be?”
I have been on testosterone for one year and a few months now and I am taking my anti-depressants religiously. I have stopped drinking because I have a PhD in music to finish. I have poems to write, music to record and perform, motivational speaking and communication masterclasses to start in 2018.
I have a partner who is a light in my life. My animals are awesome creatures who love me unconditionally and I don’t want to leave them or my partner. I need them, and they need me.
Some days are better than others, but I keep going. No-one else can make the music I make, no-one else can bring my view on life and its secrets to the world but me. This is why I try to stick around. I have a story to tell and others to help.
Remember, you are not alone. Don’t hide your feelings. Let them out in a safe place, and reach out for help, even if it means reaching out to strangers. Sometimes it is the strangers who make a world of difference. It makes the pain more bearable and facing life every day can become an inspiration for someone else.
Visit Sean’s website at www.hsbotha.com
Go in peace and reach out for help if you are thinking of suicide.
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Phone: 13 11 14
Or contact your GP, local emergency mental health service or present yourself at the emergency department of your local hospital.