The-Darkest-Moments-in-a-Transgender-Existence-Mila-Madison-The-Weekly-Rant-Transgender-Universe - Waking up with Mila Madison as a transgender woman struggles to find the strength to fight through a moment of weakness. The Weekly Rant - Trigger Warning

Trigger Warning: This article discusses fear, anxiety, dysphoria, and thoughts of suicide.

It is 5:03 AM, as I awake suddenly. I must have been dreaming. About what I have no idea, but I am overcome by a state of panic. In two hours I am supposed to get out of bed and get ready for work. That is when I will continue to live the life that was built by a person who had no will to live. I am stuck and I know it. Stuck in the choices made in a former existence.

This person didn’t care about the future; they just did what needed to be done. They made sure everyone in their life was taken care of regardless of the consequences or what it meant for them personally. They liked the abuse, the pain caused by being in a dead end job full of confrontation. At least it reminded them that they were still alive. There was no future to think about, no hope to hang on to. This person couldn’t bear the thought of existing another day as they were, so they just focused on everyone else. For my former self it was a noble justification, at least in my own mind, to see my family find happiness and it gave me a reason to go on.

“There is so much that I want to do, but I feel like I am spinning my wheels.”

But that person in that dead end job is now me, and my name is Mila. Now I want to live and I want to have a future. I have a million ideas, thoughts, and dreams. I don’t want to live a meaningless life anymore or work in an abusive environment. There is so much that I want to do, but I feel like I am spinning my wheels. All because a person who didn’t want to live stuck me in the mud of a former life, and now I can’t get out of it.

It is now 5:20 AM, I am torn as the panic and the anxiety sets in. I have come so far. I did the hardest part; I came out to the whole world and said, “This is ME!” So why am I scared now? Why am I so afraid to take the big leap with the rest of my existence? After all, I only get a half of a life to live, if even that much.

For one there are people involved. My wife and my children, I have already put them through enough have I not? How could I just quit without knowing how we will get by? How could I do that to them? At this point my thoughts are rambling in my own head. I am supposed to be one of the lucky ones. I didn’t lose everyone in my life, but I think about what it must be like to be able to choose your own journey without having to worry about anyone else. In a way I envy those who lost everything, yet I feel guilty that the thought even popped into my head. They have it so much worse than I do and I am a horrible person for even having the thought. I also love my wife and kids more than anything in this world. I know I am lucky. Now I feel even more guilt.

“Why am I thinking about myself when those I love are so much more important to me?”

It is now 5:42 AM, and I start to spiral further. Here I am. In my mind, at this moment, I am an incomplete science project that will never be finished. I will never have the money to do anything about it; not without hurting those I love. How can I selfishly spend a dime on myself when I have a kid in college and a house that needs repair? Why am I so selfish as to have such thoughts? Why am I thinking about myself when those I love are so much more important to me? The tears start rolling down my face, as the anxiety gets worse. I look at my beautiful wife sleeping as I wonder if she knows that I go through this process on a daily basis. Why did I begin this journey that I may never complete? Why did I put my family through all this? I am a mess.

The-Darkest-Moments-in-a-Transgender-Existence-The-Weekly-Rant-Transgender-Universe - Waking up with Mila Madison as a transgender woman struggles to find the strength to fight through a moment of weakness. The Weekly Rant - Trigger Warning

Who am I to even think that I have a chance? The world sucks. There are bigots everywhere. Who would hire me anyway? It is foolish for me to think I can change my life. Up until now my existence has been a bunch of “almost’s” and “so close’s.” I destroyed everything in path because of my gender issues. A music career that I will never have the time to get back to as my real self, a career as a writer, a transgender activist, or running a community center. How do I make any of this work when I give 60 hours a week to a job that sucks the life out of me and doesn’t even provide insurance that covers transgender care? What a foolish existence. I am controlled by the fear and destined to live a life of disappointment and dysphoria.

It is 6:04 AM, and then it happens. The thought just pops in my head. Maybe I shouldn’t exist at all? I begin to think of ways I can do it. Razor blade? No too typical and way to messy. I wouldn’t want my wife to find me that way. Gun? No, I don’t have the guts to do that. I would probably do it wrong and survive somehow being further debilitated. Perhaps a drug binge until my heart stops beating? That may be an interesting way to go. Would I write a note? Maybe I would write my suicide letter and have it post a week after my death on Transgender Universe. In a way just like Leelah Alcorn did, but she was much tougher than I was. I am weak. I didn’t have the courage to say who I was at her age like she did. I certainly would have ended up with the same fate. The world is so messed up. I always think about her. Would anyone care anyway if I didn’t exist? They would have nothing to be embarrassed about. They wouldn’t have to feel awkward when they were in my presence. After all, they look at me as if I died already. Are my kids better off without me?

“..I am supposed to be the one who has it all together.”

Wait, what the hell am I thinking about? I look at the clock and it is now 6:24 AM. Am I really thinking about ending it all? I am Mila Madison, I am supposed to be the one who has it all together. I write for Transgender Universe and I run a transgender community center. I am supposed to be the one who gives everyone else hope and encouragement. If only everyone knew the truth about me. The truth, that I am just as hopeless and broken as the rest of us. In this moment I am a fraud and a fake. I have no business being here. How the hell did these thoughts get in my head? “Mila get it together,” I say to myself.

At around 6:45 AM, I manage to get back to sleep. My alarm rings at 7:00 AM. I get up and get ready for work. I put on my makeup and chisel away at the last remnants of that person who put me in this crazy routine. I wonder if I will ever get there. Can a transgender girl really have it all? Could I have a family and a career doing what I want to do? Could I have a life of helping others while being able to support a family? Will I ever be able to complete myself without hurting those I love? I wish I knew the answer, but I will keep trying to figure it out.

If you are a transgender person, some of this may make sense to you. I really don’t know to be honest. In the end we all go through these moments of weakness and doubt no matter how far we get in our journey. I just get through it, pick myself up, and get out the door. But I will keep trying to find the answers as I push forward. Some people may read this and say, “Wow that is pretty messed up.” They may call me a troubled soul or a person with some serious issues. But or me, I just call it Monday.

  • Emma Sweet


    Yeah, it’s all too familiar. It sucks being between a rock and a hard place. But we love you all the same. Thank you for your writing, and, for being you.


  • Kristina Chin

    It’s okay. You’re not alone in feeling like this.
    I hope it helps to say that, although life sucks sometimes, especially when thinking about the insurmountable obstacles that life before us as transgender people, if anything you should want to hold on because YOU deserve to live the life you want and enjoy the time you have here. It may feel like a lot now, but there really are so many possibilities, so many sites and senses and pepole that you deserve to meet and explore and enjoy. And you can do it too: the other people who’ve been able to create the lives they want they are no more qualified or deserving than you are. If they can do it, then you can too. Please remember that! Especially when you’re going though thoughts like this. They come in waves sometimes and if you keep letting yourself know that wave will pass, I promise you can make it though that feelings of despair
    Remember, they’re only feelings. Awknowledge them and feel them, but don’t get sucked up in them to the point they overwheln you and you do something YOU would regret.
    Hold on for you.

  • RobynKM

    It’s surreal reading about someone who has the same life. You’re the alternate universe version of me where instead of advising a GSA I ran a community center.

  • Jennifer Nicole

    You are just expressing what we all feel and think. Thank you for being honest. It’s good to know we aren’t alone in feeling this way.

  • Sabrina Daphne Catlin

    I call it the same in my life.. I have about 1/3 to 1/4 of my life left . I have had many of these anxieties and depression. I go on, seemingly happy bht not really all that happy because i live in north carolina and i am not valued there. I am the enemy..

  • Andre Leonard

    “All because a person who didn’t want to live stuck me in the mud of a former life, and now I can’t get out of it.”

    Your feelings are all too normal. There is no escape to freedom when transitioning. It’s a slow emotional and deliberate process where you will question and doubt everything.

    The physical, emotional and psychological needs can overwhelm you. It’s hoped you have a good ‘partner’ or theripist who can calm your mind.

  • Erica Kensho

    I don’t think it’s possible to transition without going through moments of weakness like this, where you ask yourself, “what’s the point in going on?” I know I’ve certainly been through them. The important thing to remember is they will come, and they WILL GO. And there is ALWAYS someone available to reach out to when those moments arise, and you’re feeling alone and helpless. You’re never alone.

    Also, my business partner Allie and I want to sit down with you, and see how we can help the center, maybe come up with some ideas to help you raise money. You have my number. And if you’re feeling down, and just need to talk to someone, call me. Even if it’s 5:03 am.

  • Julia Amber

    I know the feeling all to well. Thanks for sharing. 💜

  • D.C.B.

    I don’t think it’s possible to be married with a family and not have these thoughts. I believe for months after coming out to my wife of +30 years my sleep pattern was, wide awake one night, a hour the next night then totally unconscious the third night. Why? Why me? I can lick this? I don’t need to transition!! what am I thinking? I *&^* up my marriage!

    Then 14 months after coming out to my wife and 4 months on Anti-T and 2 months on E It hit me – I feel good. I feel better than I have ever felt.

    Sure I still feel bad for putting my wife and family (grown kids) through this. But it was either transition or …. well lets just say they would be grieving something else.

  • Debbie Lawrence

    Reading this, I think back to the days when the dysphoria was really intense. When I was 7 and woke up knowing that I had to go to the school and get punched and kicked by a dozen or more boys. Maybe today, instead of curling into a ball and protecting my fce, I would just lay flat on my back and let them rupture my liver or spleen, or maybe one of them would just stomp my head.
    Or waking up at 12 years old, knowing that I would have to take a shower and the boys would make fun of my tiny thing. Then I would walk through the gauntlet, would they whip me with wet towels or belts? If belts, would they use the buckles? At least after

  • Katherine Harris

    There is so much here to relate to. Life shouldn’t be this way.

  • Elizabeth Donavan

    We all have so many common experiences, and the grief and despair are all too common as well. All of us want to make the world a better place to live in despite the misery that we deal with every day.

    I just talked to someone I thought was a friend the other day, and she insulted me. It struck blood, and I realize that she will never be a friend again. I have lost far more friends than I gained in my journey. It is also a common experience to be alone, and ruminating in negative thoughts. Recently, I got a dog, and I forgot how they have this wonderful unconditional love that humans tend to lack. In my past, animals have been my best friends when people have let me down.

    I have come to terms with not having a partner, and probably living like this for the rest of my life. I have stopped looking for one, as there is too much heartbreak, not to mention danger associated with that. So I’ll be the crazy old lady on top of a mountain living alone with her dog. Not a widow, or divorcee–just alone.

    As far as a permanent solution for a lot of us, I think we need to SERIOUSLY think about having a physical community. Let’s think about that one: a place where we don’t have to be called freaks, or whatever. We just are who we are, and respect each other as well. An intentional community that goes beyond gender.

    I think this is do-able! It doesn’t have to be restricted to the US either, with the craziness going on over there. We select a friendly place, and get the legalities out of the way, and settle in. There would be less fear of dating someone that might kill you, and the extended family would be a plus. On top of this, we could have a credit union to pay for those who need the surgery, and recruit the medical personnel.

    Just a thought…for what it’s worth.

  • Vala Vollmar

    Mila, I know this struggle … every day. You verbalized our community anguish. Knowing that so many other go thru this same conflict at least helps us know we are not crazy! The struggle is real … and it’s hard … and so many of us do not survive it. Thank you for speaking our hearts. What you do is truly valuable. ♥