Hi everyone. I'm a 42 year old trans woman from South Africa, who started her journey about 4 years ago.
At first everything was great, bosses, family, friends was pretty supportive, but I soon encountered the snide remarks, the eye rolls, the giggles behind my back.
After a bit more than 2 years my nerves, self confidence and self esteem was in the bucket and I had a mental breakdown, took a bunch of pills and ended up in hospital for a week. The nurses there didnt give a crap about suicide attempt patients and we were 5, got shouted at, ignored and basically told we're scum and should be ashamed for wasting their time. I was more depressed than ever from the terrible treatment, even cutting into my wrist with a plastic knife they forgot to take and stealing pills from their workstations.
My mom showed up. Cried a little and asked why would I embarrass her like that. A total of 10 minutes later and she was gone, yeah, thanks mom.
Getting home I had a massive anxiety and panic attack, I threw some clothes and bedding intoy car and left, just dropped my keys at a friend's house, gifting her everything inside.
I was on the road for almost a month, just drifting from place to place, my money was running out and I had nowhere to go. I considered going back, but realised I would rather be dead.
I booked into a hotel room in a tiny town in the middle of the Free State.
In a way I was happy, no one misgendered me and I felt free to just be me.
Going to the local pub I started hanging out, playing pool with the locals, I was in 7th heaven. A few days later the owner approached me and tore into me because I criticized his food, tbh his food was pretty substandard. So he threw me out and banned me.
Still being in a very vulnerable smd emotional state I took another bunch if pills, making sure there's enough to complete the job.
Not thinking I started with the strongest pills, washing it down with whiskey. I won't drink and it was hard going, but I wanted to make certain. I passed out long before I could even get through half the pills.
I was vaguely aware of people in my room, being carried to a waiting ambulance, then it went black.
I woke up in hospital, this time a small one in an even smaller town. The nurses were amazing, I was not ostracized because of a failed suicide attempt or me being transgender, never being misgendered even though I had a few days of beard growth. One of them even offered to buy me some razors and snacks.
She even got members of a local church to come visit me and bring me little presents if chocolates, magazines and cool drink. They spent hours with me, praying, talking and holding me when I sobbed in anguish for 10 minutes over what I lost, my family, my friends, my job, everything I owned even myself for a while.
When I finally got back to the hotel I apologized for the hassle, they shushed me and said they know how hard things can get.
A few days later I met an older guy, living one town over, he was interested in meeting me, so I drove over. He took me to a restaurant and we chatted for hours, he was a perfect gentleman, treating me like a lady.
After explaining to him my situation he offered to take me in, no expectations. I gladly accepted since I was essentially homeless.
After moving in I emailed my boss, whom I left without notice, to apologize and explain what I was going though, not revealing where I am though. Even though he was disappointed I left him without notice he totally understood my thought processes and my struggles, so that done, I started looking for work. It is crazy hard finding work in a town when there's hundreds if applicants for every job advertised.
I started keeping house for my saviour, learning how to to housely chores and slowly but surely healing mentally and emotionally.
That was 18 months ago.
I eventually sold my car to help out in the home since he was only receiving a small pension and even tinier salary from being a caretaker for an apartment block.
The guy that bought my car mentioned to me in conversation that the local hospital has nursing bursaries. I had never considered nursing before since I worked in architecture for many years.
Thinking back to both my times in hospital the contrast was spectacular. On the one hand, crappy nurses that made me want to kill myself, on the other hand, nurses that treated me with kindness, respect and dignity. I realised there and then that I want to be like the great nurses, be there for people going though hard times and helping them heal.
I don't believe in fate but I think I was destined to experience both sides of the coin to understand where my life is heading.
I jumped at the chance and managed to be one of only 60 students chosen to receive a bursary for a 4 year professional nursing diploma. There was over 1000 applicants I found out later.
Now I'm sitting in a bind, the bursary only starts paying out in the new financial year around mid May, but we need to pay registration, buy books and supply ourself with food until that comes though.
They won't let anyone start unless the initial fees are paid. Rather than letting a life-changing opportunity slip though my fingers, I'm appealing to anyone with some compassion in their hearts to make a small donation to my crowdfunding page.
Thank you to all that have read this far, this is the first time I've ever put what happened to me in words.
TL:DNR Trans woman asking for donations to start her nursing studies after losing everything.