Why I took a ‘Mental Health Break’

UPDATE: I am back to work and feeling my better now. Thanks for reading! xo

On Saturday, May 18th, 2019 I wrote a statement on all of my social media platforms saying the following:

Starting Friday May 24th after my East Coast tour i’ll be taking a long break from my social media, website, work, and online presence. I will not be responding to emails, texts, or phone calls.

In the last month I have been dealing with a lot of things quietly behind the scenes. I tried to take a few weeks for myself but I need more time.

Several people that were very close to me have hurt me, lied to me, & betrayed my trust in a very short period of time. along with my work and traveling I have been pushing my own limits. I was trying to deal with things the best that I can on my own but its not enough.

I want to focus on spending time with my family and enjoying quiet time alone. My mental health has reached a very low place & I need to take care of myself, I will be deactivating all of my platforms until I’m ready to work again.

Thanks xo

I received many emails, texts, messages from supporters. Some of which were wondering if I am ‘okay’, sending me well wishes of support to get well soon, & almost all wondering why I needed to take a break.

I have always been a person to be very public about my life because I believe that when you share your experiences and express yourself openly it helps others connect and understand not only myself but certain situations others may face or experience.

So, I’m going to try to be as open and transparent as possible to help others understand why I need to step back and focus on my mental health without going into too much personal detail. I will not be naming people or tearing anyone down, I just want to help you see through my eyes on a large scale of the issues I have been facing.

Since July 2018, I have been on the road traveling Canada for almost eight months straight. From St. John’s, Newfoundland to Vancouver, British Columbia to Mexico and Cuba. I have been all over. I am entirely grateful to be able to see my country and different parts of the world at the age of twenty-four, but I have also only been home and around my family for about a month and a half in total since July until now.

Although I generally enjoy my job because it gives me the ability to see new places, try new things, meet new people, and let me be independent. It also can be very draining on my physical and mental health. You’re not only being judged on your physical appearance, how well you perform, how nice your personality is, but also if you’re ‘worth’ the price. There is an image I have to constantly keep up with online to keep people engaged, it goes with the business and that can be tiring on its own because there is a difference between supporting someone and lusting someone and I think people forget that on the other side of the screen I am human, I have feelings, I have family, I have a life that is not my work.

Yes, I know what I signed up for and I have had many many many great experiences, but at times people feel like they can treat you lesser than because of how I make a living, they even go as far to write lies about you to try to harm not only you emotionally but you financially by spreading lies in a review. I like to think I am one of the most honest, open, and transparent providers in the country but maybe that is my problem for being too nice.

I had some very bad experiences through my work and it goes far past a lie in a review. I’m talking about physical and sexual assault. I won’t go into much detail about that, because I plan on writing a blog about the worst and best calls I’ve ever had. Not everything is so dark, honestly, I have met some extremely nice people which keep in contact with me regularly just to see how I am doing and it’s very appreciated and the vast majority I have met I never had a problem with.

My work and traveling is just one layer to a very complex situation because, on top of it all, I deal with my gender dysphoria and anxiety on my own. I never open up and tell anyone about how I am feeling and what it’s like to deal with. I wrote a long thread on my Twitter once about what it was like for trans people (not all) dealing with their depression/anxiety and gender dysphoria, but honestly, it’s hard to explain.

Generally, I have more good days than bad, but there are times I get very very very low mentally (without warning) because of it. There have been times when it has been caused by small comments others have made about my voice, or appearance, to just getting in my own head and starting to compare myself to other women, cis or trans.

In my post I said,

We can go from having a great day to the next having strong feelings of dysphoria/depression/anxiety. ‪Although we don’t have a physical period, we will get a mental/emotional time of the month.‬ We can go from being perpetually horny, having a huge appetite, & being very energetic, to feeling tired, zero sex drive, & loss of appetite. ‪Don’t pressure us to do anything if we are not feeling okay.‬ ‪Don’t pressure us to do anything if we are not feeling okay.‬ Our bodies are going through entirely new changes physically, mentally, & emotionally. ‬We are not ‘crazy’ we are transgender.

I want to highlight the part about pressure because I feel pressure from all of these different areas in my life a lot. The pressure of my work. The pressure to keep up my image online. The pressure to be ‘passable’. The pressure to make sure I’m not neglecting people I care about. The pressure of my family dealing with my transition. This leads us to the next layer of this issue.

I have been open about being transgender since 2016. You can take the time to read my previous blog about when I came out if you wish. I don’t want to go into too much detail about my family because again, I plan to do a separate blog post about this. However, the biggest fear I had when deciding to transition was how my family was going to react. Would they accept me, would they still love me, will they understand, are they going to think I’m crazy, all of these thoughts rushed through my head all of the time.

Deciding to transition was not a choice for me. It is something I had to do or I would not be alive today, let’s make that clear. You can read my previous blog posts about how deciding to transition changed my life and suicide.

Since deciding to transition, I’m sad to say but I have lost more people both friends and family that I ever thought. Now my family is not ‘lost’ in the sense that they have totally cut me off, but the relationships I had with certain family members have certainly taken a major shift and I have been treated extremely differently than before 2015. My biggest supporters have been my mother and my sister who both have never treated me any different. With all of these layers of situations, I have been quietly dealing with comes the last layer which has kind of become ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ so to speak.

In September 2018, I was on tour and in Toronto when I met a guy who was kind and very different then other people I had met. I took the call as normal and it was a two-hour call, he ended up staying for longer but I didn’t kick him out because I liked his energy. The next day I was going to Niagara Falls, I had my things packed the night before and I was almost ready to order an Uber when I got a text from the same guy asking me if I wanted a drive instead.

At first, I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure of his intentions, but he generally seemed like a genuine person so I decided to save $150 on the Uber and enjoy spending some time with him. When we arrived we went out for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and during that time he really opened up about a situation in his life that was painful and that he still deals with today. I knew that when he opened up and was being so transparent and vulnerable about his life that he was someone I wanted to get to know more so instead of working, I spent the entire day with him getting to know him better and doing all the classic tourism stuff in Niagara Falls, I think it was 1 am when he finally left my hotel to head back to Toronto.

Honestly, it was a situation so unexpected. I never knew that meeting him would turn into a relationship, because since that day we became obsessed with each other, only letting ourselves fall deeper and deeper. I canceled the rest of my tour stops to stay near him because I really started to get feelings, the one time I tried to go to Ottawa it just didn’t feel right so the next day I flew back to Toronto to be with him again.

Since then we have had many many ups and downs. In late November early December all of the weight of my work and juggling the relationship was a lot of pressure for me and I felt like maybe if I wasn’t in a relationship with him he would be able to focus on himself  and I would be able to push hard on my work and be able to move my life in a different direction after saving the money I need to. I told him I wanted a break, at the time I did not mean I did not want to ever speak to him because I really truly cared about him (still do), but I needed time because I was not okay, the problem was with me.

He lashed out at me and started sending texts saying the following,

I feel like a fool for loving you. Thought it was real. You are great at being fake. A lover should be made to feel special. There’s a long line of guys that think your beautiful and will fuck you in a dirty basement, but they won’t be seen with you in the daylight or take you for breakfast.

He even accused me of cheating on him, which never happened. These statements really hurt and still hurt today because I know how I felt then and how I feel now and to have someone you care about tell you that you never cared and that I am fake is not only confusing but made me question if he never believed me all of those times I told him how much he meant to me.

I really tried to focus as best I could but he was constantly on my mind. I left my family and went on my Canada wide tour on Christmas Eve starting in Vancouver and then he started reaching out via text by saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Years, which I didn’t know if I should respond because of the hurtful things he said, but I told him I missed him.

I continued on my tour and then I ran into a guy in Calgary (totally unexpected) who ended up being a distraction for a few weeks, we went to Banff and then it crashed and burned. I wasn’t really attached to this guy so it didn’t matter to me, I believe he used me for money and sex, and I used him to feel less lonely. He was putting pressure to be in a relationship but I was really not ready because I was still not over my previous one. We both ended it mutually and I just did not have the energy to hold anything together. I’ve never spoken to him since.

During my tour, I had a few mental health breakdowns that I never told anyone about but I was not okay during my Edmonton or Saskatoon stays. Everything was bothering me from all of the layers I listed here.

When I returned to Toronto in February I decided to reach out via phone call to talk to the guy I met in September and got very serious with. It was like talking to a complete stranger, I felt his uncomfort and his distance. He was also about to go out the door with a girl so after that phone call I decided to really close the chapter. He clearly was moving on with someone and I needed to do the same and really focus on myself.

Then on Valentines Day, he reached out to me to say,

Happy Valentine’s Day even if you’re not my girl.

Again, I was confused because he had said all those hurtful things, then reached out during my tour on Christmas and New Years, I sent him a few playful pictures during my tour to let him know he was on my mind, and he was going out with other women so I assumed he was moved on, yet here he is…

Long story shortened he came over that evening and we basically got back together. This time I was really really really trying to make everything work as best as possible. I canceled the rest of my tour and I stayed in Toronto for over two months. I got a condo and I focused my time on working and being with him.

We had a few disagreements (I won’t call them arguments because they were small things), but generally, things were good and he also told me several times that he noticed a difference.

I believe things really started changing. I tried to help him around the house, I got to know his daughter even better, and I really tried to be as good as a girlfriend as possible while still working (which he struggled with).

Now I can only talk about how I felt and my version of the events I experienced, but I started to feel like no matter how hard I tried my efforts were not being appreciated. I started to feel like I was always doing something wrong. He would watch my social media (which is an image I keep up). When I would make a status about something sexual he would take it seriously even though I was doing it to engage my rather horny Twitter followers. I even got rid of my Fetlife and Grindr which I used for promoting my platforms. I felt torn between working to make sure I was going to be okay and then felt like I was neglecting him at the same time, even though I was with him every evening and weekend and canceled the other half of my tour to be near him. We even went to Cuba together and I stayed with him for almost a week before flying home (not working).

Even when I wanted my alone time away from him one evening I was made to feel like I was in the wrong to take that time, and when I returned to his house the next day he switched the locks, and I was locked out of his house. At that moment, it really hit me how much I was investing only to not be given the same back.

I knew I had to come home in April because I had doctor appointments to deal with, when I came home I was dealing with family issues and I also had my gender dysphoria really affecting me, there was an evening I called him because I was really upset and I noticed he was being distant with me. He was never great at being comforting, even when I was upset with him and opened up about my feelings, he would listen and not say anything. The phone call turned into a ‘did you just call me to argue’ type of situation. but that was not it, I wanted him to just tell me everything is going to be okay, but I never heard those words. He said he would call me back (never did he texted) because he was doing something, in the meantime I got on the phone with someone who was willing to talk and give me their advice which made me feel a lot better.

When he texted me that he was free for a call, I told him I was on the phone with someone who was actually listening to me, and his response was “I hope he makes you happy”. First of all, assuming it was a male, second, assuming that it was someone more significant than a friend.

When I tried to call him back after I was off the phone he did not answer my calls, which honestly broke my heart, because after everything I invested and how hard I was trying to make it all work, even with all of my life struggles and layers of stress on top.

For someone you honestly love and would do anything to have them turn around and shut you out over nothing, it really hurts. It’s what lead me to decide to really move on because I needed to focus on my mental health, so I postponed my East Coast tour for a few weeks and really tried to take time for myself.

I was met with messages from him saying,

Your so focused on work. I’m not enough for you I guess. Lots of replacements. Thanks for reminding me. I need a lover that cares when I’m hurting. Need a girlfriend that’s attracted to me.

Instead of saying sorry, or even taking the time to listen to me when I said I was dealing with a lot he would respond with how I was to blame for almost everything, how I never wanted to have sex, how I never cared, how he felt like a burden, all of these things that were never expressed to me before I pulled the plug on our relationship.

I can own my mistakes as a person, I can own that I was not perfect, I can get emotional, I can be cranky, I went on two vacations with the man and we barely had sex during it, I can own it all, but what I won’t sit around and do is let the narrative that I did not try, that I did not give my all, that I never would have dropped everything to support and be near him.

Back to what I said above about pressure, ‘We can go from having a great day to the next having strong feelings of dysphoria/depression/anxiety. We can go from being perpetually horny, having a huge appetite, & being very energetic, to feeling tired, zero sex drive, & loss of appetite. Don’t pressure us to do anything if we are not feeling okay.‬ Our bodies are going through entirely new changes physically, mentally, & emotionally.’

My work keeps me rather busy, so the last thing on my mind is having sex. Even now that I’m single, I work, but I don’t look for random ‘hook-ups’ because the thing I crave more than anything is having someone to just be there for me, understand me, support me, love me, be a companion and comfort me, the same way I would for them.

As a trans woman, my sex drive is extremely low, my hormones and blockers actually suppress it a lot. Plus, sex is not supposed to be the thing that makes a relationship, there is more to life than sex, let’s just make that clear. We were having it, just not enough for him I guess, but it seemed a lot of his issues with me were related to that. I started to wonder if he actually even loved me or just lusted me for my body.

This is something I don’t think he truly understood and instead he just made assumptions about me and really added pressure. I did not tell him how I was feeling mentally because honestly, the times I did he never comforted me he would just reply ‘I’m not sure what to say’. Which was no help at all!

Just before I came on my East Coast tour he sent me a lengthy message blaming me for his 19-year-old daughter finding out about my job. I was extremely upset with this because again it was more pressure on my mental health I did not need. It was also very hypocritical of them both to play that card on me after I was kind to both of them and his daughter had a friend who was also in my line of work but had no issue with that individual. Honestly, I’m not sure if his daughter was upset or if he made the entire thing up to try and just hurt me, at this point nothing would surprise me.

I went on my tour and this tour has been great financially, except there is more to life than money. All of the layers I have mentioned in this blog have been all weighing on me for the last month. My work has stressed me out, I had family issues to deal with just before coming on tour, I was in Newfoundland and had someone entirely try to tear apart my character with a very negative review full of lies. I found myself starting to breakdown, crying unexpectedly on flights, bus rides, and when I was alone at night in my hotel room.

So to answer the question, am I okay?

No, I was not okay, I was in a very low mental state of mind, I needed to take time for myself and I really wanted to be around people who love and support me for the person I am. I was running myself down with the traveling and work, the constant image to keep up with had been added pressure, my gender dysphoria is started to affect me more often than normal, I am was dealing with family issues, and my failed relationship was weighing heavy on me, and a few more situations I did not feel comfortable discussing pushed me over the edge, so no, I was not okay, and I don’t think I am weak for saying that. I believe I am strong for being so honest, vulnerable, and transparent.

I am back to work and feeling my better now. Thanks for reading!

xo