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Question
Posted by: Kelly | 2006/10/31

A prisoner

Hey there everyone,

I don't know if any of you remember me, but i posted before about being in a relationship with a wonderful lady, whose parents are extremely religious and are suspicious of our "friendship" Neither of us are out as we both still live at home and are not self supporting. I am 22 and she is 20.

She went home last week and her parents said that they were laying down the law. She was to come home straight from university and be home everday and night all week and weekends (total isolation) or she must leave and fend for herself...She is now crashing by me but my parents won't let her stay for longer then 2 weeks. I feel like a prisoner. Above all this, i'm sick and tired of being in the closet....I hate all this pretending, not being able to hold her hand, hugging her or kissing her in public, incase someone sees. But...we can't afford to come out...even though i reallly just want to. And now to make matters worse, she is depressed all the time as her family issues are rightfully hitting her very hard...

I love her...so why is her depression making me feel like a prisoner? I want tocheck out the lesbian scene..be around people who I can be myself around...but she's not even thinking bout that, she's just focused on the family...

I don't want to leave her...but at the same time I feel trapped.
I'm going mad...i don't know what to do.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, 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.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Thomas | 2006/10/31

Take care there Kelly and keep in touch.

Reply to Thomas
Posted by: Kelly | 2006/10/31

Thank you so much for your posts, it is so nice to get support from this forum, it makes life bearable to know people care. Thanks.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Deeve | 2006/10/31

Hi kelly, good to see you're still here with us.
From what you say, although you're not 'out', your parents and home life in general are not a problem..? This environment appears to have given you the right 'space' to explore yourself, and become more comfortable with who you really are.
On the other side, your g/friend has spent her time in a very difficult home - she's totally controlled, and scared to death that they will 'deal' with her if they find out. She will definitely be in a 'different' space to you right now - her priorities are in a very different league - just think about it.
I feel that your g/friend is going to need her true friends more right now than ever. I realise that you are wanting to explore life, and do other things right now - but you have both been there for each other up till now...??? The best you can do for her right now, is hang in, get her a phsychologist, and help her through this extremely difficult period. I'm not sure if she will have the strength to handle your needs too right now - can you not just be there for her for a little longer..? but you have to tell her how you feel, or resentment will set in. It has been mentioned here before - it is always difficult hanging out with someone who is not as comfortable as you are with their 'gayness'. The decision is yours in the end. A very difficult scenario - really feel for you both...best wishes
Looking forward to the Experts reply on this one.....

Reply to Deeve

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