It's so weird to be posting this here. My past has been such a closely guarded secret my whole life - I've been blocked my teenage years from my memory and it's only the last 2 or 3 years that I've even realised it.
When I was 14 years old I had never had a relationship with anyone. I can't remember having crushes but do remember wanting very much to kiss a boy and imagining who the first boy I would have sex with would be and what it would be like.
Then I became friends with a girl in my year. She was lovely and we became really close. Soon we both tentatively realised something different was going on between us. We were inseparable and fell so in love. We explored each other emotionally and physically over the next 3 or 4 years. Nobody knew about it but us. When our parents began to suspect (thanks to another girl at school) we convinced them it wasn't true so we could keep seeing each other.
But as it went on I began to feel anxious. I loved her, but didn't want to touch her any more. I wanted to find out what being with a man was like. I tried to end it many times, but she was still so in love it was almost impossible and the last thing I wanted to do was hurt her. After about a year I did the only thing I could think of left to do and that was to begin seeing a boy.
She was devastated. She told a guy friend at school about us and he to proceeded to bully me about leaving her. Many other people jumped on the bullying band wagon because they thought I was being a bitchy friend to her instead of ending a long relationship. Sometimes the guy she told and she would follow me around on the dates I went on with the new boy I was seeing.
I couldn't talk to anyone about it. I was depressed and so alone. Then one evening, when we were both 18, she called me and tells me she's taking pills. I'm not sure whether to believe her - as she's been desperately trying anything to get me back all this time - I tell her, if it's true, to tell her parents what she's done.
The next day she isn't at school and I ring her house and her dad tells me she's in hospital. I rush there and sit by her bedside. The guy she told about us is there too. I sit in the car with him and I cry, I cry so much. He has very little sympathy.
Soon after seeing her in hospital, I finally told my parents about everything that had happened - they tried to be supportive but really didn't/don't understand. I believed until very recently that everything that happened was my fault.
She survived the ordeal and is now in a long term relationship with a man. When we split up she was still adamant she was straight... Since that moment in the hospital, I've found it so hard to let anyone in. I can't bear to think of causing pain like that again.
I've never been with another women since her. I've had lots of boyfriends - some long, some short term. They've been flings and I've been in love. But to date I haven't been loved by a man like I was loved by her.
I love sex with men, and it's the only type of fantasy I ever have when I'm alone. But recently, having had some counselling last year about the above, I've started feeling confused. 6 months ago I was sure I was straight but now I've started looking at women differently again. I don't imagine being with them sexually, but I'm definitely attracted to them on some level. I don't know if it's just the memory of being loved by a woman.
Now I don't know what I am. I know I want a mutually loving relationship and obviously I want to enjoy the person I'm with emotionally and physically, but is that men? Is that women? Is it both. I don't know. I can't imagine never being with a man again and right now I'm not sure I want to be with a woman, but finally after years of lies and memory repression I just want to be true to myself and happy. I just can't figure out how.
Posts: 3 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jul 2011
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I'm sorry to hear that you've been through all this, it sounds really tough and it's understandable that you've had trouble letting anyone in. I want to reiterate that your friend taking an overdose was not your fault. It was a decision that she made on her own. And, it sounds like you ended a relationship which was quite unhealthy for both of you.
Our sexual orientation can be very fluid and changing over time. That is normal. It is also very common to feel confused and to question your orientation at times. What is the reason you need to to define yourself right now? What about noticing who you are naturally attracted to and pursuing relationships with them at that time? If you're not attracted to or ready to date men or women at the moment, that is ok too. You might want to focus on other areas of your life and looking after yourself first. Did you find counselling helpful last year? It can sometimes be enlightening to discuss these issues with a counsellor if they are troubling you.
Thank you for your reply. It's really great to get another view on it. I'd never really thought about that relationship being bad for both of us - but you're right, it undoubtedly was and is still affecting me 7 years on.
I'm not sure I have a reason to want to define myself right now. I suppose it's because I'm fed up of being emotionally alone and not letting anyone in. I'm worried I can't emotionally connect with anyone anymore - maybe I'm thinking about girls again because it's the only time I've ever managed it mutually, or maybe it really is something I can't have with a man. It's so hard to separate my orientation from the affect of my past.
I think it's a good idea to try to notice people I'm naturally attracted too (man or women) and just go for it. Right now I want to shout my questioning from the roof tops - I don't want it to be a secret like it was before. But if it turns out I choose to be with a man I might just confuse everyone I know.
I'm 25 and I live on my own in a great flat and I have a job I love - now I just feel I need to stop ignoring this part of my life and hoping it will sort itself out but tackle it head on. I may look into to going back to the counsellor - she helped me a lot.
Posts: 3 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jul 2011
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It sounds to me like you really just want someone to talk to about this. Sort of like you want someone to validate your feelings and help you feel less alone. You mentioned a counsellor, and she would be a great person to talk to, but also if you have any friends or family in your life who maybe have gone through similar situations, or maybe are just good listeners, they would be good to talk to also.
Sometimes you really don't understand something until you tell it to someone else. For example they say the best way to learn a concept is through teaching it. Sometimes when you talk about something you're conflicted about with someone else, it will suddenly make sense to you, even if the person was just listening and not giving feedback.
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm assuming what your feelings are, but I just approached it like I would if I was you. You've been through so much and I'm sure you've grown from it. You've also spent a lot of time feeling very lonely it seems. It hurts to keep things locked inside, but it seems you are already taking the first step towards freedom. Keep smiling okay? Everything will always turn out alright in the end.
Posts: 19 | Registered: Aug 2011
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I think that you can still let someone into your life without needing to define or label your sexuality- as long as you're able to communicate how you feel about that person at that point in time. Or as you say, you can call yourself 'questioning'. You mentioned about separating your feelings from the effects of your past, and I think that counselling is something that could help with that.
quote:Originally posted by pumpkin_patch25: But if it turns out I choose to be with a man I might just confuse everyone I know.
This is an understandable worry to have. But at the same time, a change of feelings can happen to any of us at any time. It's very common for our orientation to change and grow through our lives. I think that it's up to the people who care for you to deal with that. You shouldn't have to explain or justify your orientationt to anyone if you don't want to do that.
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