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Question
Posted by: Hopeless | 2006/04/21

Desperate for advice

Hi, I really need help. I'm 17, gay male. I used to be really depressed. I was overweight, anxious and I even used to cut myself. I eventually came out to my parents and I thought things would be better. They accepted, they said they love me no matter what but they still have said little things that make me feel like I cannot talk to them, so I havent. I have never, since the day I came out, spoken to my parents openly about what I feel. I feel like crying while I type this. I go to a christian school, which has created so much conflict in me with relgion. I felt like I lost a piece of myself when I totally rejected christianity. Lately things have been much better. I lost all my weight, my school work has improved, I get along better with people. But I have started getting depressed again. I feel like this time I can't go to anyone for help. I cannot talk to my parents because It makes me fell worse when I see them sad because of me. I have no one to talk to at school. I really battle to make friends. We do not have a school councellor and I constantly have to listen to homophobic remarks from the teachers and students alike. One teacher said she won't allow moffies in her class because God thinks it is anabomination. I feel like I am the only person that seems to even remember things like that. I wold be very surprised If any of the guys at school were gay. There are onyl about 40 boys from grade 8 to matric so I know everyone pretty well. Even if they were gay, no one would know so they will be no help. I did tell my only friend at school. We are still good friends but he is very religous and will never accept me. He often tells me about the so-called reformed gay people etc. I feel so immature for my age, in the sense that I am socially underdeveloped. I have never dated. I dont go out. An at the same time I feel older than everyone because I have had to cope with so many things. I am so worried that I will never be in a relationship that will make me happy. I am scared that if i do end up in one. I will be cheated on or get AIDS. Seems like all gay relationships go like that. I dont know what to do to start a relationship. I wont know how to kiss. It all seems unreal. I am in matric and I dont know what to do next year. On one hand I really want to get out of my small town and meet some people and on the other had I think I am too immature to cope. I really dont know what to do. I want to call triangle or out but I cannot build up thecourage. My gran lives with us so I am never home alone to call. Our only public phones are not very private. I feel like I should just kill myself but i dont want to hurt my parents. I feel that if they were not there then I would have no reason to keep myself alive. Everyday I try to be positive but then I see people around me at school dating and having fun. I feel like a small child in an adult world. I cant cope anymore. Please if you have naysuggestions or advice can you help me. I really would like to speak to someone but I diont know how to organise it.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi Hopeless, welcome to our forum and thanks for posting. I seem to recall that you've posted here before, possibly under a different name?

Firstly, congrats on what you've accomplished - you've lived with depression, you've managed to lose weight, you've stopped cutting yourself, you came out to your parents, you're getting on better with people and your grades are good. That's quite a long list of significant positives and illustrates that you have a lot of inner strength you can rely on! Something else that stands out for me is that although you describe yourself as a small child in an adult world you seem to have a lot of insight and you expressed yourself here very articulately. Besides your surroundings it sounds as if you live in a very complex psychological world. For starters, you seem to have very complex relationships with significant people around you and you tend to either see people as totally 'good' or totally 'bad' - there's no middle road. You also seem to isolate yourself from others and to justify this by finding some fault or short-coming with others. At times you're almost overwhelmed with negative, unpleasant emotions and don't know how to express these and I'm concerned that you may have a pattern of self-sabotage; for example, you certainly want to be helped but you also present obstacles to your being helped. An example of this is calling the Gay & Lesbian Helpline (021 4 222 500) or Triangle Project (021 448 3812) - if the public phone isn't private enough is there absolutely no way you could find another phone, or a time when you can be private (the Helpline is open between 1pm and 9pm), or tell your gran that you need to speak privately at home and close the door?

Your pessimism could be linked to your depression but it probably contributes to your feeling hopeless and depressed as well. For example, you're worried that when you enter a relationship you'll be cheated on or you'll be infected with HIV. You anticipate rejection, failure and gloom and yet your post also illustrates your tenacity and ability to overcome significant hurdles and obstacles.

I'm pleased that you express the need to speak to someone. Ideally I think you should be in counselling to help you cope with everything that's going on around you. Especially since you're in matric and your stress levels could increase as the year progresses. Your parents have told you that they love you no matter what and if you can't tell them how you're feeling you should at least tell them that you'd like to see a counsellor - I have no doubt that they'd want to do what's right for you. If you feel unable to discuss seeing a counsellor with them, talk to your GP about this. You don't have to tell him you're gay - just tell him you're feeling depressed and stressed and he'll refer you to a counsellor. You have to start trusting someone to help you and that person may well be your GP.

Please keep posting - we'd like to hear more from you.

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.

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Our users say:
Posted by: shaz | 2006/04/22

Hi

I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a terribly difficult time ...it must feel very lonely!
I know your post will be responded to by the expert but in the meantime, may I suggest to you that if you want to speak to someone, phone Triangles Helpline at 021 - 4222 500 - I know you will find some comfort there.
I also just want to tell you that you were created in Gods image and God adores you just as you are!!

Reply to shaz
Posted by: aquarat | 2006/04/21

My e-mail address is :

blue at aquarat dot za dot net

Reply to aquarat
Posted by: aquarat | 2006/04/21

Hi Hopeless (sounds terrible hey ?)

I'm going to reply to your post in the order you wrote it.

Depressed... overweight... anxious. Depression and weight control often form part of vicious cycle. People are depressed by something in their environment, in your case, a world that hates anything remotely gay. It's common for people who are depressed to eat more, causing an increase in weight. The increase in weight often contributes to their depression and has spin-off factors; low self-esteem, increased public victimisation and people looking down on you, which in turn may cause even more stress, depression and weight gain.

Remember your parents probably grew up in a world where "GAY IS WRONG" and "GAYS ARE EVIL AND MUST DIE". Your parents had hopes and dreams for you, and you being gay, has completely rewritten their ideas concerning what your life will be like a few years down the line. In short, your parents don't know how to cope. They probably do truly love you, and despite their upbringings and the ideas they've been exposed to, that love is now showing itself in the form of acceptance. Your parents need time to grieve the loss of their dreams and they need time to get used to the situation.

"I go to a christian school" ... "so much conflict".
Religion... oh my word, complex subject. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

The middle east represents the conflict you feel inside.
Jewish/Christian and Muslim... fighting... it's been going on for years... and it's all due to religion.

I believe religion is a pest to the gay individual. I spent about 5 years of my schooling in a christian school and it created a tremendous amount of conflict in me. I was eventually asked to leave the school because of something between me and a friend. It wasn't even serious, and stuff like that happens at that age, yet the school's default response was to ask us to leave... yeah... christianity... good people, sure.

"homophobic remarks from the teachers"

A guy a few thousand years ago wrote a book. That book was mis-interpreted to say that gay was wrong. The followers of the content of that book continued to follow the book's text saying that gay was wrong despite the book's new interpretation being proven wrong.

We now live in a "perfect christian society". Where everyone acts like they are christian and they're pure... when in fact they're not. If you're "pure" you're not human.

There's nothing wrong with being gay, but most christians see it as wrong, which has filtered into society and shows up in the form of hate. People act as if they're right according to the bible, but most of the time, people who act like they're good and holy are the exact opposite.

In fact, homosexuals have been statistically proven, in the USA, to perform less criminal sexual acts than heterosexuals... in other words, your class mates are more likely to sexual hurt someone else than you... which makes you "purer" than them according to the source of the translation they use as the basis for their religion. (yup, I said religion is complex)

They aren't gay, they don't know how it feels to be gay, they don't understand that it's not a switch you turn on or off as you please and therefore they don't understand that despite what their religion states you are naturally who you are.

Religion does this : "I like the way the church has coordinated and fully correlated the activities of the young with the instruction of aaronic pristehood, so that it's one boy and one troop, one church and one program" Thomas S Montson, Second council to the president of the USA.

They're fully aware of how they intend to infect and recruit more individuals to their religion.

Ok, religion aside...

"I wold be very surprised If any of the guys at school were gay" You'd be surprised... It's estimated that one in ten people are gay and although those figures have been debated and disputed, I have personally experienced in school, in matric, that ratio being correct. You are most likely one of at least four in your school, just because they don't act what's considered gay doesn't mean they're not gay.

"I feel so immature for my age, in the sense that I am socially underdeveloped." Life is a learning experience, if you haven't learnt enough, you'll eventually get your chance... and it'll be fun in the end.

"I have never dated. I dont go out. An at the same time I feel older than everyone because I have had to cope with so many things." You're not alone.

"I am so worried that I will never be in a relationship that will make me happy." You may find the perfect partner tomorrow, you may find him at the end of your life... the point is, don't worry about it. It's inevitable that you'll encounter emotional pain in relationships, you'll just have to deal with it.

"I am scared that if i do end up in one. I will be cheated on or get AIDS. Seems like all gay relationships go like that."

*cough* You've been in a christian school for too long.
All gay relationships ??? I know of at least 4 gay couples who don't have AIDS. One of those couples has been together for 26 years!!! That... that's 7 times longer than then average heterosexual relationship, once again, a knock at the religious. I have not come across anyone who's gay and has AIDS... am I in a different world ?

"I dont know what to do to start a relationship."
Nobody does... unless they've had a relationship, besides which, relationships often "happen" as opposed to being started.

"I wont know how to kiss." Once again... Nobody knows how to kiss... unless they've tried to kiss, besides which, there is no "way to kiss", it's not a procedure.

"I am in matric and I dont know what to do next year." Very few people do know what do to after school. The ones who do know what they want to do often land up doing something completely different later on in life.

"On one hand I really want to get out of my small town and meet some people and on the other had I think I am too immature to cope."

YOU NEED to get out of your town, away from your school, away from your parents, from your community. You will initially be too immature to cope... but the point of going somewhere different is to LEARN to cope. You can only get experience by EXPERIENCING.

"I feel like I should just kill myself but i dont want to hurt my parents."
Low self esteem (first paragraph). It's really admirable that you don't want to hurt your parents.

You ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE.

One

One Life

The lives you have left are one.

Your priority should be to survive. Don't give in to pressure.

If you survive the first 25 years of your life, the chances are the rest of your life will be highly rewarding, simply because the strength you gain now will push you to amazing heights.

People want to survive. We're all trying to survive and naturally one person will try and hurt another so that his or her genes are passed on. You represent the weak in your community and therefore you are most likely to be picked on and hurt.

Fight BACK!

You are nature's target and if you don't demonstrate strength you will not survive.

You must survive.

If you kill yourself you'll either not exist anymore or you'll find yourself in hell, either way, survival is the best option.

Please

Please don't kill yourself. Don't be another "gay youth suicide". Don't be another number.

Survive.

Whew... quite something, I get so passionate about this, cos I went through something similar.

I'm 19, I finished Matric last year, I'm living a good life... I survived.
You're welcome to contact me via my e-mail address if you need someone to talk to.

Cheers man, hope this helped.

Reply to aquarat

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