On 24 April 2010, Manning emailed a picture of himself in a drag to his commander:
This is my problem. I've had signs of it for a very long time. Its caused problems within my
family. I thought a career in the military would get rid of it. It's not something I seek out
for attention, and I've been trying very, very hard to get rid of it by placing myself in
situations where it would be impossible. But it's not going away, its haunting me more and
more as I get older. Now, the consequences of it are dire, at a time when its causing me
great pain in itself.
As a result, I'm not sure what to do about it. It's destroyed my ties with my family, caused
me to lose several jobs, and its currently affecting my career and preventing me from
developing as a person. It's the cause of my pain and confusion, and turns even the most
basic things in my life extremely difficult.
I don't know what to do anymore, and the only "help" that seems to be available is severe
punishment and/or getting rid of me. All I do know, is that fear of getting caught has caused
me to go to great lengths to consciously hide the problem. As a result, the problem and the
constant cover-up has worn me down to a point where it's always on my mind, making it
difficult to concentrate at work, difficult to pay attention to whatever is going on,
difficult to sleep, impossible to have any meaningful conversations, and makes my entire life
feel like a bad dream that won't end.
Like I said, I don't know what to do and I don't know whats going to happen, but at this
point, it feels like I'm not really *here* anymore and everyone's concerned about me and
afraid of me. I'm sorry.