I am not a teen. I am 45yrs old. I found this site by following my daughters use of the computer. (All parents spy on their children to some extent, I spy alot for reasons that will become clear.) My daughter has admitted to her old group of friends and to her sister that she is bi-sexual. She now suspects that she is lesbian. (I cannot say why I know this as it is the result of more spying.)None of this is a problem. The problem is that she is a very shy person. She is turning seventeen soon, she almost never calls a friend, either from her old group of friends or from the new group of friends that she lunches with at school, even if her mother or I cajole her to call someone. She does not MSN anyone, and no longer posts drawings, poems or diaries on Deviantart as she did a year or two ago. I can imagine how different she may feel from her friends because of what she feels. I can understand her fears and frustrations - how do I identify others like myself? - will I be ridiculed if this is widely known? I do not think she is happy, nor has been for some time. She is likely depressed. Beyond finding her a therapist and forcing her to go, does anyone have suggestions on helping her with breaking out socially (and if need be, coming out as well)? Now some background. My daughter is aware that I know of her sexual orientation. she left writings out which spoke of some of these things which I took as a sign that she needed to talk about stuff with myself, or her mother, (it was me who talked with her). I buy her books that I think might help her understand things and place her feelings in context; I leave them in her room so she can read them privatly. She had a falling out with one of her old friends in grade 8 which left her very upset for a long time. Her new group of friends may not know of her orientation. She may have a crush on the female leader of that group. Her mother has suffered from clinical depression and was treated with pills, therapy and light therapy. The depression is likely genetically based, though her childhood did not help; thus my concern or paranoia about suicidal thoughts in my children. We have another daughter, three years older, who is a typical first year university student: dope, a boyfriend and lots of beer. The older sister was quite bossy and resentful towards her sibling when they were young. We live in a small satellite city an hour away from a large Canadian city. There is little to nothing in the way of GLB support or organisation in town, and none in the schools. You must be bored by now. Thank you for giving me this place to vent these thoughts, because my daughter is "in the closet" I can only discuss this with my wife. My wife would prefer that our youngest not be gay, but can accept it. I worry about my little shy one and wish that I could do more for her. Thank you again for your consideration.
Posts: 1 | From: canada | Registered: Mar 2005
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It bothers me a bit that you believe that all parents snoop...while it is wonderful that you are concerned about your daughter and want to help her, snooping isn't the way to go. If you want you daughter to keep talking to you, I'd suggest ditching the spy act.
It occurs to me that if your wife was diagnosed with clinical depression and the doctors told you it might be genetic that that may be the case, and that it might have nothing to do with your daughters lack of social life. In which case, if she has not seen a doctor, you might want to do that now. There is some difference between just depression and it's clinically diagnosed relative.
The thing is, you can't really force your daughter to come out. You can coax her, but the best thing to do it to wait patiently until she sorts through her own life and decides she is ready.
If you are worried are concerned about clinical depression in your other children, confide about this with your doctor. He/she may have some suggestions about dealing with depression in your family.
Unfortunately, you hve not indicated your geographic area. However, we can advise you to contact PFLAG Canada. They have the resources to help you parent a bi or lesbian child. There is no problem they have not seen. Both the French and English pages contain links to your nearest PFLAG Canada local group.
wow. you're daughter sounds a lot like me at seventeen. i was a painfully shy kid; i had friends that i spent time with at school, but i rarely saw them outside of school. my best friend lived three hours away and spending time with her was rare. since high school, i haven't really kept in touch with any of the "friends" i had then.
however, going off to college was a lifesaver. i grew up a lot in college, made friends i really connected with, came out, dated, and went from painfully shy to loud and opinionated.
now, i don't have any suggestions about your daughter, other than to say talking to her might get you farther than snooping. true, she can hold things back, but at seventeen, you're likely to get far more respect from her by asking about her thoughts, her feelings, her opinions.
telling her you know certain things about her might make her shut you out. i was a fairly complacent teen and i still blocked out anyone trying to tell me they knew how i felt, even when they were right. but any adult willing to actually sit and listen to a teenager, without interrupting and with respect to everything that teenager says is far more likely to find a kid willing to talk.
and, of course, tell her you love her. i think most teenagers roll they're eyes at that and pretend they don't want to hear it, but no one can hear it enough. when i first came out to my mother, she immediately told me she loved me. then she got hysterical; she cried for hours. after that i was painfully aware of the fact that it was three months before she told me she loved me again. logically i know she never stopped, but everything inside of me was terrified that she had.
3 words: Talk to her!!! Tell her you think it is wonderful that she admits to being gay, and you soupport it. Suggest the two of you starting your own GLB club in your town, or ask the principal of her school if you could start one there. If she meets more gay people, she might become less shy. Its most important that she knows she has your full support. I wish my parents were this okay with me...
Posts: 25 | Registered: Aug 2005
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