Feeling really lonely and sad
I am an 18 year old girl and I think I am gay or maybe bi. I don’t really know right now how I identify.
I am so afraid that my family is going to hate me because of this. I know that even if my parents accept me the rest of my family definitely will not which really hurts me. Every time I talk to them I can’t help think about what they would do if they knew. I am also really scared that I will never feel okay with myself and that I won’t ever be able to be open about it because I feel so ashamed. I wish I had people I could talk to who understand but I don’t and I don’t know how to find that. Even if I did I think I would be afraid to speak.
Next year I will be going to university and I hope that this will mean I have more opportunity to find such people. But like I said I’m so scared. I don’t even know why but I think it is because my mum always would say negative things about gay people. It was never direct but it was implied and has really affected me.
I know that I could speak with people online to feel less lonely but I just want to have real friends who actually understand. I feel so trapped in my situation right now and I don’t know how to get out of it.
I also really find it hard because I talk about everything with my mum and so not having told her this is really hard. Even if she did know I doubt she would be able to help me anyway because I think it would really upset her to know that I don’t want a husband and children. I feel so angry at her for making me feel so bad about myself because of this because now I feel I will hate myself forever.
Anyway I could write more but this is all I can say for now. Sorry if this is a rambling mess, it’s really difficult for me to put all my thoughts down logically.
I am so glad you have written in here today, because at least now you will have somewhere to go for support, and people to talk to who understand how you are feeling and what you are going through.
It is so exciting that you will be going to university next year, because I really believe that this will open up a whole bunch of new and positive opportunities for you to explore and develop your identity.
It can feel scary when you are on the cusp of adulthood, and knowing that your parents and family may not want to accept you as you are.
I was once in your shoes. I understand how frightening and uncertain it can feel.
Although you talk to your mum about a lot of things, it's ok that you haven't talked about this. It might feel wrong, but it isn't. It is ok to have boundaries (in fact it is healthy and necessary), and you don't need to tell anyone at all until you are 100% ready.
As you meet new people and have new experiences, it will get easier to accept yourself for you are. It's sad that your mother has tarnished your view of yourself with her negative outlook, but I can assure you, you can shed that view and learn to accept and love yourself in all your awesomeness.
I was brought up in a very conservative, religious family, a very judgemental upbringing ... and I have learnt that their views were not the views I wanted to live my life by, and I am living my truth, with the woman I love and who loves me, and it's only fair that I am, it's my life, right?
Have faith that things will get easier with time HappyGirlTea. As you grow into yourself, you will need their approval less.
I honestly think uni next year will be a great time for you.
You also don't need to rush to decide what "label" (if any) you identify with. Just go with it, trust your feelings, and be good to yourself.
I hope to hear more from you, if you feel like it. Your post was not a rambling mess, I understood it perfectly.
Listening and caring,
I completely understand, it is almost impossible to imagine things being easier and better when you are feeling so stuck in these really difficult feelings and experiencing fear about the future.
Can you hold yourself in compassion as you sit in this fear? I am sitting in compassion for you right now. I have been where you are, and it's scary. But you will get through this, and then you will be on the other side, and your wisdom will help another young woman somewhere down the track.
Uni will open up so many doors for you HappyGirlTea, it will be a time for you to bloom and to shine and to explore who you are and who you want to be.
There are groups you can join if you are interested in making friends who understand what you're going through, but I am not sure if you are ready to try that. They can be a good place to form some friendships.
If you would like to talk about anything at all, I am here with you.
Hey HappyGirlTea, Birdy knows her stuff for sure! Always has kind and support words of advice.
I too have been where you are right now - though much older (I have a son almost your age!). I came out to my wife, kids, family and friends over the last 5 months. It was extremely difficult thing to do, I'd built up walls of protection all my life, until they fell down and exposing the pain I'd felt for such a long time.
My parents are in their 70's, and last year we had an argument over the same sex marriage vote, they always made remarks of disgust about gay people and it always upset me. I am very close to them, love them dearly, and I was scared out of my pants that they would not be okay with me being gay.
Well I was completely wrong. It turns out that they did not care. They loved me for me. They were upset and angry, at themselves as they felt that their uneducated and bigoted comments had made it hard for me. It had, but I love them anyway.
My point is that don't sell your loved ones short. Don't feel that you need to tell them anything either. You need to be 100% happy and ready to do whatever you need. Don't worry about labels either, they don't matter.
I've now just about told everyone that I care about - and I have not had one single negative comment or sideways glance. Everyone has smiled at me, told me how brave I am, congratulated me, hugged me and told me how happy they are that I can now be true to myself. Frankly it is a little overwhelming.
And I say almost daily - why the heck didn't I do it years ago!!!
It may feel strange talking to people on here, especially ones that may be older (and male!) but we were once kids too. We've been where you are right now, the fear and uncertainty.
One of the things I did over the last few months, to help me cope with all the pain, was to write. I have just finished my first novel - it is about 2 high school boys "coming out" and it was all the emotions/fears/ confusion/self loathing that I had experienced over the years.
There is an peer counselling service called QLIFE, google them. They can offer you some phone support. It is anonymous, so you don't need to feel too awkward (yes easier said than done though!). Also there are LGBT groups you can look up to make new friends too. I found some by googling TEAM MELBOURNE - there is one in all the capital cities depending on where you are, just change the city.
I hope I've offered you something that may help. Good luck and don't forget to smile.
Beautiful words Birdy and Darren,
Don't forget HappyGirlTea, your local youth health centre may have a group for same sex attracted/questioning young people and Headspace also do individual work. Uni will also open lots of doors for you in terms of diversity. I agree with the others, its scary but don't underestimate your parents, as a mum the biggest fear we have is that our children are unhappy because thats all we want and you and your mum sound close. You'll find ways to test the waters with how they feel and will know when the time is right to tell. Trust in your ability to do this and take your time.
All the best on your journey, as exciting and terrifying as it may be. Worth it in the end tho me thinks.
You have certainly received some wonderful responses here. I feel it is important for all of us to be who we desire to be where ever and how ever that is possible.
There will be times in life where we encounter some people who will not like us or understand us and that is okay. That is when we can take an even closer look at who we are and who we want to be.
Negative comments form others are a reflection on them, not on you! I'm not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic.
If you have a friend who would be willing to join you in attending a group, that may be very beneficial. It can be a little daunting going somewhere for the first time.
Wishing you well as you travel along this journey of discovery!
Cheers from Dools