I’ve been sitting here for the past 20 minutes thinking of what to say without it seeming like I’m sending a letter to the editor of a self-help magazine. I’m reaching out to you because I feel like, although we’ve never met each other, you can empathize better than anyone else can about these emotionally draining complications I’ve encountered in regards to coming to terms with my sexuality. I’m gay, I can confidently say that. I know that. Yet, I still find that I can’t (or won’t) act as the person I’m meant to be. It’s like I’m living life as a double agent. I’ve got a group of friends who know about my sexuality. And then I’ve got this other group, my family, who still think that I’m completely interested in what they want; and that everything I’m doing falls completely in line with their expectations. And this dichotomous social life that I’ve set up is starting to blend. And as a consequence, I’ve found that hiding is much more convenient for me than putting myself out there.
The solution seems easy, doesn’t it? Just be truthful with my parents. Everyone has coming out horror stories, and a large majority of them end in happy endings. But, how can I tell my mother that I’m gay, when she constantly asks me if my best friend’s (who’s also gay) mother ever regrets raising a gay son. I can’t be truthful to the parents who wanted me to stop hanging out with my friend in 9th grade because people might assume I’m gay by association. Pretty ridiculous, right? And it sucks, it really does. So the problems I face are not internal, rather they’re external problems that I’ve internalized — taken to heart — and it’s killing me. My pursuit for happiness is not a fantasy that I want, but rather I fantasize about a happiness that my parents wouldn’t mind me having. I’ve done a lot of growing up and I’ve realized that being attracted to men is not wrong. I’m trying so hard to keep this homosexual label from manifesting into a rain cloud that hangs over my head, never ceasing to rain. Instead of trying to be something, I simply want to just be.
The way that I keep myself hidden has affected a lot of my past relationships. My relationship with my parents is pretty rocky, but I bet you could’ve guessed that. My friends often remark about how much they don’t know about me and I laugh it off. “Oh come on, you know more about me than anyone else does.” That’s only true because they know the small amount I’m willing to tell them. Now that I think about it, I don’t think anyone knows what my favorite color is, or where I want to be when I retire. Haha, trivial things, yeah. I feel so selfish, too. I can’t explain why. But the way I hide my emotions makes me feel like I’m waiting for people around me to notice what’s wrong and pour every ounce of effort they can afford into helping me. I feel like an opossum, playing dead just to grab people’s attention. Bleh.
It’s not easy being two people at once. I feel like I’m on the verge of an identity crisis and I’m slowly approaching the point that being miserable is better, as long as everyone else is happy.
Before you ask, yes. I’ve had a boyfriend. That lasted a month because I was afraid my parents would somehow find out via Facebook. Silly, I know.
Welp, here we are. At the end. And I can’t help but laugh because it seems I’ve turned you into my therapist. But I guess I need an unbiased 3rd party that I can vent to. I don’t want you to feel like I’m expecting some grandiose answer, some response that will cause something to click inside my head and suddenly I’ll be enlightened and everything will be better. That’s a shit ton of responsibility to place on a stranger. I guess all I’m hoping for is some insight. Now that I think about it, I’d have to say the reason I’m coming to you is that your blog helped in that process of self-acceptance. So thank you for that. Now, just to make it so everyone else accepts me for who I am.
ps: I like to pretend I’m artsy, so I attached a photo that represents how I’ve been living my life for the past two years.
3 thoughts on “Advice”
Preach! Story of my life. Cliche, yes, but yes, it does get better!
I love my parents a lot- always had a great relationship with them but I also felt I had to hide the big secret. They are good people but a choice to live a life so different than theirs was entirely outside their experience. And I say “choice” not because the wiring is a choice, but because the decision to live your life IS a choice. I found I was heaving into the toilet every time I was visiting them or they were visiting me because of the secret between them and me. They were starting to think I was always sick or something. When I finally told them- it was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done. It was an awful weekend. And I wish I could say that twenty years later they were both now supportive and open minded. But they are who they are. I don’t regret telling them. I love them. And I like having it out in the open. They love me- they “don’t love my choices” but that’s OK. I don’t love all of their choices either. And that’s OK. I love them anyway. They do respect me. Life is an active affair full of active decisions. If you live life as a passive creature- a victim to all your circumstances you will never be happy. Life is about a daily choice to own the square foot of land you stand on without apology. I wish you the best of luck. (when I was young I memorized this poem “What we call Luck, is simply pluck and doing things over and over. Endurance and Will, Perseverance and Skill are the four leaves of Luck’s clover.”) Luck is a crafted thing.
It sounds like your mom already knows. Moms have a way of sensing things like this. Sometimes they ignore it, but it’s there. Maybe the reason she said those things about your friend’s mother is because she is feeling that way herself. You need to tell her, and you need to tell her that your sexual orientation has nothing to do with her parenting. She was raised in an era where that was the case. Where if your child was anything but what society wanted them to be it was due to bad parenting. She was raised in an era where sexual orientation was a choice, and she may feel she failed you when teaching you how to make choices. She needs reasurrance from you that she is a wonderful mother, if a bit misguided. She may even be afraid that you blame her or that you hate her. If you love her you need to show her the wonderful person you are, the beautiful creative boy she helped to create. Give her a chance to adjust, and show her that you love her no matter what. Because you know what? Even if she doesn’t know how to deal with it properly, she does love you. If she didn’t she wouldn’t care.