The Skin You’re In
For the last few weeks, supermarket tabloids, Facebook newsfeeds, and almost every blog in the world have been bombarding us with the transition of Bruce Jenner, a male Olympian, and father to the oh-so-trashy Kardashian sisters, to a woman named Caitlyn Jenner, who had people on all ends of opinions arguing, poking fun, and condemning this choice.
What I have learned about this sort of transition that transgendered people often feel as though they were born in the wrong body. They feel betrayed by their birth gender, and often suffer from depression, anxiety, and are likely to fall into a lifestyle that includes substance abuse, and even worse, suicide.
“Why am I talking about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner in a blog about adoption?…We often feel like we are not supposed to be here, or to be the people we are.”
Why am I talking about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner in a blog about adoption? Because adoptees often feel the same way. We often feel like we are not supposed to be here, or to be the people we are. We feel betrayed, we feel like there was something wrong with our being born. And much like transgendered people, we are also statistically more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, substance abuse issues, and suicide. We are all just not comfortable in the “skin we are in”.
“We just need to admit our feelings, and go from there.”
But- there is hope. For all of us. No matter who we are, and what we have been through, there are many resources. We just need to admit our feelings, and go from there. Many people find help in support groups, or in counseling. But what I really really want to express to everyone is that suicide is NOT the way out. You may forget for a moment that you are loved- you may feel all alone, but you’re not. Life is worth living, no matter what pain you are feeling.
- Do you ever feel like you are uncomfortable being you?
- Do you ever wish you could change something major about yourself, or become a “new person” altogether?
- When you feel sad and out of place, what are some things you can do to make yourself feel better? Who can you talk to about these feelings?
- Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you want to hurt yourself or someone else?
- Can you name some people you love, and some people who love you? Do you think they would be sad to be without you? Would you be sad to be without them?
End note: If you or someone you know is considering suicide as an option, please call the national suicide prevention lifeline at: 1-800-273-8255