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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » questioning me

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Author Topic: questioning me
sweettia
Neophyte
Member # 48300

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Iím not sure where to begin, but Iíve got an issue thatís been weighing heavy for some time now. To get to the point early and then to the background: I feel as if my past relationships have left me to question who I am. For the past 5 years Iíve been in 2 serious relationships both with females, but theyíve both ended not so well.

My first relationship I decided to go to the same college as my girlfriend, room with her and experience all the thought to be wonderful experiences together. While meeting and greeting with those around the college I soon discovered that she wasnít the girl I thought Iíd been dating. As time went on the situation didnít get any better. I decided to go home and deal with things from afar to eventually remove my self from the relationship.

The second relationship I happened to meet someone at work, and at first I was just looking for a friend, but it turned into much more. The relationship took its course of ups and downs. When the downs were exposed I was made a fool of once again.

With the unsuccessful relationships Iíd sent the last 5 years in, I suddenly felt as if I had let my life go in the wrong direction. While moving back home once again I started to attend church again and question my orientation (and Iím not saying that church has lead me to question myself, just life events). The typical family just doesnít seem possible if I were to be with another female. I will admit that Iíve let my past relationships tell me that females will be females and they will all end the same way. I still feel attracted to females, but as I think about how I still at the age of 23 can not be open with my family as being a big decision maker in some situations. But I just feel at a loss for words and donít have anybody to talk to about this situation. And to top it all off my first ex with whom Iíd continued to be friends with after moving on from the situation asked me to consider giving the relationship. And before leading someone else on or myself, I need help with this all.

please and thank you

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, I'm not sure what exactly a "typical family" is. Families are so diverse, no matter what people's orientation is or what gender partners are.

Ultimately, we're attracted, emotionally and sexuallty, to who we're attracted to: those feelings aren't things we can willfully change, even though they can shift on their own sometimes. What I hear you saying is that your feelings have not changed, but your two relationships have not been what you wanted them to be and you're concerned your orientation means you can't have certain things in life someone of a different orientation could. Does that sound about right?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sweettia
Neophyte
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When I say "typical" I'm referring to the sterotypical american family or what people are made to believe is whats correct. And by that i mean a husband and wife and whatnot. So in a way i feel as if i can't achieve that while in a relationship with someone of the same sex.

My family is a very religious and are very strict on the rules, so i feel as if to identify myself would be extremely complicated and not the best decesion when things don't seem to work for me.

all in all i feel confused about the whole situation.

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Heather
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The thing is, that "stereotypical" family is a fiction. Families look and act all kinds of different ways; families are incredibly diverse. Even male husbands and female wives aren't all the same, don't act or interrelate in all the same ways. So, someone who is not heterosexual and who does not have a family structure with a male husband and a female wife does not have to go without a family.

I don't know about who you have in your orbit, but I have many friends with families -- some of whom are gay, lesbian and bisexual, some in polyamorous structures, some unmarried, what have you -- who would find it very strange to hear someone state their families aren't families. Know what I mean?

You get to identify yourself however you want to, and only to whomever you want. If you feel your family would not be accepting, and you do not want to deal with their non-acceptance, you don't have to be out to them. On the other hand, some nonaccepting families do come around in time, so if you want to work towards being out with your family and having them become more accepting, we can certainly talk about that if you like and connect you with some resources.

If, instead, you're thinking maybe you just won't be queer anymore....well, you get to not be in relationships if you don't want, but you probably cannot change who you do and do not feel attracted to by force of will. You probably also don't want to try and pursue serious relationships with anyone who you don't have the kinds of feelings for that you associate with a long-term relationship, because they likely want to be with someone who does actually have those feelings. I'm guessing that's what you'd want to?

Usually when people say they are questioning their orientation, they mean they are either having feelings for a group of people they didn't before, or seem to have ceased having feelings for a group to whom they were previously attracted. Is this happening with you?

[ 08-13-2010, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sweettia
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The more i sit back and think about the situation; I'm afraid of the possible reaction and rejection of my family. I think if i could work past that and be myself things wouldn't be so difficult.

I'm still attracted to the same people I've been attracted to before, just feel the need to place myself in what i forsee as working out in the long run.

In the end I just want to be happy.

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Heather
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Which is absolutely what you deserve. [Smile]

So, do you want to fill us in on your families' approach to/feelings about sexual orientation and talk through that? Is being out to your family something you want?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sweettia
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My family, starting with my mother and the others fell as it's wrong and there is no fixing it. If i could be myself and it be accepted would be very nice.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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So, can we agree that it sounds like the issue isn't about there being anything wrong with you, but about there being something wrong with others who have bias? How this sounds like it's about work OTHER people need to do, rather than work YOU need to do?

If we can, can I ask if you can maybe think about how you trying to be different would change that they have bias? Do you think that if you try and be someone you're not, that will feel better to you because while you wouldn't get to be who you are, you'd not have to deal with that bias?

[ 08-15-2010, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sweettia
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Well I guess when Iím faced with that question, no. I feel like Iím wrong and forcing myself to put my feelings to the side and please everyone else. And in that case I would assume that if I continue to do so and place myself in the wrong situation i would feel as if I do now; wrong.

I'm extremely afraid that if I don't go along with what my family feels is right, my family won't be so much of a family. But if I continue to pupt everyone else first, I'll be last.

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Heather
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The thing is, some people grow.

To give you an example, interracial marriage in this country wasn't legal until 1967. MANY people and families used to talk about interracial marriage the same way you hear many now talking about gay/lesbian marriage. (And I fully expect that 20 or 30 years down the line, people saying gay/lesbian people shouldn't marry will sound as dated as those who still say interracial marriage isn't moral/acceptable/okay.) At the same time, many who USED to have those attitudes outgrew them. They figured out it was bias, they unlearned that bias, they evolved in that respect.

Your family can change their attitudes, and if they're based in bias, that's something people should work on changing, just like racist people should work on learning not to be racist and sexist people should work on learning not to be sexist. If your family is like others, then it's likely some members will change their ways of thinking on this over time and others won't. But what's very unlikely, unless everyone in your family simply don't grow at all as people, is that they will all feel intolerance is right for the whole of their lives.

Is there any one member of your family you can identify, right now, as an ally or possible ally?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sweettia
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My family is scattered from coast to coast and in between. But I have a few cousins that I can see as being ok with it. While in college I occasionally stayed with them on weekends and happened to attend the same school and they didnít seem to judge when the horrific ending traveled across the campus. But I think my main concern is my mother, I know where she stands and always has stood, and she just might stand in the same place forever. I tried having a hypothetical conversation with her when voting on prop. 8 were on the news and in the papers, and it didnít go well. I told her my view and she then went on to tell me that itís not ok to be gay, but it was ok for everybody to vote on how separate persons live their lives. My mom has been there threw so much for me and Iíd hate to feel like I couldnít turn to here when needed, though she has stood up for me when my sister rudely tries to out me for judging purposes. The more I think about it she might not be ok with it, but Iíd still be her daughter no matter what, BUT I can see the downfall now. Both my uncle and aunt are pastors and have very strong views and have no problem voicing their concerns with anybody, and I can see where that would place my mother in the middle of unneeded drama.
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Heather
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Do you think your mother would have had that same conversation with you if she knew you were not heterosexual? Do you think that if she knew you weren't, she'd feel good about that conversation she had, or would feel apologetic?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sweettia
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I think those are her true feelings. Her knowing or not knowing still make those her feelings. But I do believe that if she were in the know she might have voiced her feelings differently.

I just tired of feeling like I'm wrong and to stop forcing myself to doubt my current intrest.

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astrocyte
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I think that if she knew, there's obviously a risk of it changing her feelings about you, but there's also the potential that it would motivate her to examine her feelings more deeply than she has done up 'til now.


I don't think that it's your responsibility to protect your mum from that potential drama with your uncle and aunt, but could telling your mum and not telling them (or not for awhile) be an option?

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