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Sexuality and Mental Health

B

blueeyesblondehair

Active member
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
26
Location
Chester
Ok so I have NEVER opened up about this. Lucky you, the first to hear me ramble.

I’m 33, gay, totally in the closet (apart from *those* encounters on a well known ‘dating’ app. The crux of the issue - I firmly believe my inability to come out and be who I am has already had a significant impact on my mental health and my life, and it’s only getting worse.

I have a crippling resistance to coming out, and I have no idea why. I think it’s possibly because I’ve left it so long and lied to myself for so long that it’s almost laughable to come out now.

I’ve started to resent friends who find happiness which I know is TERRIBLE. It’s not because I don’t want them to be happy, but I feel like I’m being left behind.

I worry that if I don’t come out, I won’t find love (obviously!) I worry that I’ll end up alone forever. I worry that this anxiety will continue to progress into more detrimental conditions - depression for example. I worry that I won’t be able to do all the things I want to do in life because as a single man I’m not as financially secure.

I don’t know why I can’t come out. I have an amazing family and some amazing friends - who, to be honest, have probably got their suspicions about my sexuality.

I read educational books, I champion well-being, I try to act as a support network for anybody who needs it. I fear that none of this will actually help.

It’s all come to a bit of a head tonight, and I felt suffocated and lost. Writing this has helped, and im hoping there’s someone out there who can relate or offer a perspective!

Sorry for the essay but thanks for reading!
 
B

BreathingDeeplyNow

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2021
Messages
12
Location
USA
First, sexuality is only a part of being human. Life is much more than sexuality, so we can start giving more importance to life and address sexuality as just one part of life.

The "what if" thoughts you have expressed show that you are getting lost in the mind created fictitious future. Keep more attention on the present and see what action you can take right now to address your situation.

Eckhart Tolle has some teachings that might be of help to you. You can refer to his book "The Power of Now" where he addresses the question of how being gay can be a help or hindrance for enlightenment (p. 173). (Of course, I would heartily recommend reading the entire book too.)

Best wishes!
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
1,935
I'm a bi girl who's 43 but thought I was gay from age 18 to about 30.

I never had any real issue coming out to my friends. I didn't care what random strangers in the street thought. I already had a partner though (we were best friends since we were 14 and got together at 18) so that definitely made me more confident and comfortable. Any friends who had a problem with us were not real friends (not that this happened. All our friends were great). This was back in 1996. I am so old. lol 🤪

Anyway, but at my workplaces, no one knew. And not because I feared they'd hate me, but just because any job I started at, I was already SO self conscious and shy that I didn't want anything else to make me feel even more weird and out of place. And, being a secretary / typist back when I worked in offices full of women, you know how long it takes before someone asks if I'm married or have a boyfriend? 30 minutes. If I'd had maybe even a WEEK to settle in a bit, I may have been honest. But no. And since it was ALWAYS assumed I was straight, I just didn't correct them. None of this really bothered me though.

My parents...that was harder. I STILL don't actually know if my dad knows! My mum's intuition went to work when I was 18 (very quickly) and she was NOT happy. I think she was more concerned about me having a difficult or lonely life. Again, this was back in 1996. We just never spoke of it and I just pretended my partner and I were just best friends still.

When I was 22, we broke up and then a few months later I met my current partner. Another woman. 16 years older than me. So I hid THIS relationship too, completely. (again, not from my friends. They were great, including my ex who was still my best friend)

Eventually I started incorporating my partner's name into conversations with my mum and dad as if she was just a friend, and then over time, and several years of us living together, my mum asked if we were a couple. I was honest, and it was a BIT awkward, but good. She was excellent. It was such a novelty to not have to hide it. By now I was about 26 or 27, so I think it was easier for my mum to realise I was an adult and happy, and I am who I am.

That I think is the hardest thing and the most painful to deal with emotionally. To think that if your loved ones knew you were gay, that they may not love you anymore...just from you being you. It hurts the soul.
 
B

blueeyesblondehair

Active member
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
26
Location
Chester
I'm a bi girl who's 43 but thought I was gay from age 18 to about 30.

I never had any real issue coming out to my friends. I didn't care what random strangers in the street thought. I already had a partner though (we were best friends since we were 14 and got together at 18) so that definitely made me more confident and comfortable. Any friends who had a problem with us were not real friends (not that this happened. All our friends were great). This was back in 1996. I am so old. lol 🤪

Anyway, but at my workplaces, no one knew. And not because I feared they'd hate me, but just because any job I started at, I was already SO self conscious and shy that I didn't want anything else to make me feel even more weird and out of place. And, being a secretary / typist back when I worked in offices full of women, you know how long it takes before someone asks if I'm married or have a boyfriend? 30 minutes. If I'd had maybe even a WEEK to settle in a bit, I may have been honest. But no. And since it was ALWAYS assumed I was straight, I just didn't correct them. None of this really bothered me though.

My parents...that was harder. I STILL don't actually know if my dad knows! My mum's intuition went to work when I was 18 (very quickly) and she was NOT happy. I think she was more concerned about me having a difficult or lonely life. Again, this was back in 1996. We just never spoke of it and I just pretended my partner and I were just best friends still.

When I was 22, we broke up and then a few months later I met my current partner. Another woman. 16 years older than me. So I hid THIS relationship too, completely. (again, not from my friends. They were great, including my ex who was still my best friend)

Eventually I started incorporating my partner's name into conversations with my mum and dad as if she was just a friend, and then over time, and several years of us living together, my mum asked if we were a couple. I was honest, and it was a BIT awkward, but good. She was excellent. It was such a novelty to not have to hide it. By now I was about 26 or 27, so I think it was easier for my mum to realise I was an adult and happy, and I am who I am.

That I think is the hardest thing and the most painful to deal with emotionally. To think that if your loved ones knew you were gay, that they may not love you anymore...just from you being you. It hurts the soul.
Thank you for such an honest and personal reply. I’m delayed getting back to you because I’ve really read and digesteded what you’ve said.

it’s really interesting to hear your experience and I think it’s helping me to understand that there aren’t just two outcomes - ‘full acceptance’ and ‘full denial’. I think my mind likes to just put things in boxes - there’s never a grey area.

I think I’m coming to the realisation that I can come out, and it’s not necessarily then disaster. And, in the unlikely event that it is, then at least I’m being authentic.

At the minute I feel like I could just drive around and blurt it out. But I want it to be more considered than that. Or do I? Who knows.

Thank you again for your lovely reply :)
 
E

EclipticNight

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
718
Location
Orleans vermont.
Whilst I'm not gay I do enjoy bondage which is quite hard to tell people. Including here lol. Still I find it's just best to let it out and be yourself. Finding happiness in life is far more important.
 
B

basil and oregano

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2021
Messages
275
Location
Athens, Greece
Just a little thought I'd like to add: sometimes it's good to play with your various sexual aspects because they reveal to you who you are. It's an adventure. I have a very conservative sexuality, but not at all because I'm "conservative": I enjoyed many strange fantasies and came to know through them things that I needed, things I hadn't received, things that hurt me still. And, just by knowing them, seeing them, I no longer had the urge to vent them in sexual ways, they weren't sexual anymore.
 
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