Our expert says:
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Hi Kelly - I remember your previous post, and thanks for posting again.
I can only imagine that your girlfriend is experiencing a very real crisis. Her family made unrealistic and irrational demands and she's chosen to be with you instead of complying with their dictates. Besides the very complex and profound emotional content of this situation, she's financially dependent on her parents. I'm not in the least surprised that she's depressed, and she's probably feeling very anxious and insecure right now. Do her parents know where she is, does she have any contact with them?
It is unfortunate that, no matter how this plays out, her irrational parents will possibly paint you as the culprit and they may not take kindly to her chosing to be with you above being with them. On the other hand, this could open their eyes and make them rethink their relationship with their daughter.
You're both very young and suddenly you're having to deal with a very serious crisis. Neither of you seem to have an emotional support system right now (I'm not sure how supportive your parents are being?) which makes it even more difficult to cope with all the stress.
I can understand that you really want to be out now and free to be yourself - it is sad that society's prejudice and bias has impacted on you so directly and I can only imagine how much you want to escape from this. But right now I think your partner needs all the support she get - are you going through this as a couple, or as two individuals?
It is possible that her depression and anxiety are overwhelming you - you love her and don't want to see her this way and feel unable to help her, so again there's a part of you that wishes you could simply escape. You may also be concerned about the future of the relationship - wondering whether it can survive everything that's taking place right now - and that could be another reason why you're feeling as if you want to get away. These feelings are all quite normal.
Try to not let this get between you and your girlfriend - blame it on prejudice and crazy social attitudes, and not on each other. There's nothing wrong with using a professional counsellor to help you guys through this crisis. Most universities and colleges offer counselling to their students. If you're in or near Cape Town you're welcome to see a counsellor at Triangle Project - simply call (021) 448 3812 for an appointment, or call our helpline on (021) 4 222 500 any day between 1pm and 9pm.
Please keep posting here and tell us what's happening.
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