T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 96742
posted 01-25-2014 03:37 PM
I've been out since I was 13 (almost a decade ago), and I've never felt any shame about being gay before. I've always been so comfortable with who I am. But since my dad disowned me for being gay, I am starting to feel ashamed of my own feelings towards girls and guilty as if I'm the one who is responsible for tearing my family apart. Now I'm starting to worry about the most irrational things- I worry that my girlfriend will become straight and leave me, I worry that I'm gross for being attracted to women, I worry that I'm not attractive to women either, I worry that I'm hurting women by sleeping with them. I worry that I should have just dated guys or been alone instead of hurting my family. It's just a big mess, and I've never been so insecure about my sexuality in my life. I cognitively know that the things my dad said about me (that I'm a pedophile for being gay, that I'm sinful and gross, that it's a mistake for anyone to love me, etc) are lies, but I'm feel like I'm starting to internalize a lot of the shame. I just wish I gain back the self confidence that I've always had. Does anyone have any ideas on how to start feeling more secure?
thanks so much for reading!
Member # 90293
posted 01-25-2014 03:52 PM
I'm so sorry to hear you're doubting yourself so much. It sounds like you may already know this on a cognitive level, but if it helps to hear it, this is not your fault. You didn't hurt or break up your family by being who you are. Your family, including your Dad, made choices based on their feelings and attitudes about you. IN other words, you didn't make them make those choices. How much support do you have with this right now? Do you have friends you can talk to, people who are accepting of you? I'm thinking that one step to helping all of these negative feelings is for you to have plenty of places where you can be honest about them. The more supportive people you can talk to, the more acceptance you can hopefully get from them. i'm also wondering if you might find it helpful to read stories from people who have experienced similar situations with theirfamilies?
Member # 90293
posted 01-25-2014 04:13 PM
Taking a look at the last time you posted, it seems you've been having some relationship trouble outside of your feelings and worries about dating your girlfriend, and about dating women in general. How have things been going in your relationship since the last time you posted? I ask because I'm wondering if that might not be the root of some of these bad feelings you're having. A relationship that isn't making us feel as happy or as safe as we could or should be feeling in a relationship can definitely leave us feeling pretty rotten about ourselves.
[ 01-25-2014, 04:18 PM: Message edited by: Robin Lee ]
Member # 96742
posted 01-25-2014 04:46 PM
Thank so much for you replies, Robin!
Luckily, I have the support of my brother and sister and friends. I also work in a very supportive, inclusive organization that is completely kind to LGBT employees, and my boss and co-workers are just great. However, those accepting voices just feel a lot quieter than the voices that say that there is something wrong with me. it's almost as if the sound has been turned up on all the homophobia I read and hear about, both from my dad and the world in general. Even though my dad doesn't talk to me anymore, so I don't hear homophobic stuff from him, I feel like the rest of the world is happy to pick up the slack. As far as how things have been going with my girlfriend, it's been going really well. She's been in treatment for her mental illness and found a therapist and medicines that have really helped her. We're in a really different place than when I wrote that post. Thank you so much for asking, tho! I do think my relationship with my girlfriend does makes a difference in my feelings in another way though. My dad is/was very objectifying of her. He consistently refers to her as my "sexual partner" or "f*** friend," and talked about how he can tell that she was sexually abused by the way she looks. I hate that he said those things about her, and it makes me so mad. However, I think the way he treated her may be a part of the reason I feel guilty about being attracted to her- I almost feel as if I'm objectifying her too. Also, he said so constantly that if I actually loved her, I wouldn't be with her, so I also feel like I need to protect her from the grossness of myself. Again, these are two things that I don't logically think, but I still feel it. I think it'd be really helpful to read about the stories of others. Again, thank you so much!
Member # 90293
posted 01-25-2014 06:04 PM
You're so welcome. I know this is tough!
What do you think has turned up the volume on these self-critical voices? Was it specifically when your dad disowned you, at another specific time, or have these thoughts just crept in slowly over time? It wasn't at all okay for your Dad to objectify your girlfriend like that; it wasn't fair to her, and it wasn't fair to you either. I totally get though that you've gotten that message that your love hurts her, and that that message is really hard to shake. Thinking of ourselves as sexual predators, no matter how wrong we might logically know those beliefs are, can also really shake us, right down to the core of who we are. None of us want to hurt those we love, and suggestions that we are, no matter how wrong we know those suggestions are, can be powerful. Often when we have really intense thoughts and beliefs that are hurting us, talking with a therapist can help. Is that something you've given any thought to? I will spend some time gathering some book titles together for you. It sounds like you have a lot of support already, but more supportive, validating material certainly can't hurt.