I came out to my family a few months ago because my girlfriend thought it would make me happier. But lately they have been calling me names, showing people my scars to complete strangers, and saying how they are ashamed that their daughter burns and cuts and loves a girl. Savana and I have been together 6 months and are deeply in love. She’s now afraid to leave me home alone in fear that I’ll kill myself. I lost 90% of my friends when I told them and they now bully me. I just don’t know what to do anymore. What should I do?
Letter submitted by:
Thank you for reaching out to AskTrevor. Coming out to family and friends is hard and the feelings you are having are a natural reaction to the behavior of the people around you. It is hard to have to deal with friends bullying you and with your family not being supportive, and that may lead you to want to hurt yourself. People cut as a way of dealing with or managing difficult, painful, overwhelming emotions or stress. For some, cutting relieves stress or tension or they find that the physical pain of cutting is a distraction from the emotional pain. Some people are angry at someone in their life and take the anger out on themselves by cutting. Others feel that the cutting gives them a feeling of control when things in the life or their emotions feel out of control. With the way people have been treating you and with how alone you are feeling at the moment after coming out , you may be experiencing some or all of these things.
However, it’s important for you to know that cutting may help you to feel better briefly but the longer it goes on, the more dangerous it can become as it can cause permanent scars, infections and serious, and sometimes life threatening medical problems especially if you cut a major blood vessel. It can also cause you to feel shame, guilt, depressed and out of control. It can be very difficult to stop cutting and it would be important to tell a trusted adult about the cutting in order for them to find a therapist for you to work with to find safer and healthier ways to deal with the hard things you’re going through. Since your parents are not being very supoprtive, you could ask a school counselor for help finding a therapist or call 1-800-DON’TCUT where you can be referred to a therapist in your area. When you have the urge to cut, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor about what you’re feeling and experiencing as well as your urge to cut which can help to delay or stop the urge to cut. They can also work with you to find a therapist to help you.
Furthermore, you should know that you have the right to feel safe in your school and that no one ever has the right to bully or abuse you in any way. There are a number of organizations that work specifically in schools to address homophobia and transphobia against LGBT students. One such organization is the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) which works to ensure safe schools for ALL students. On their website at www.glsen.org click on “what we do” where you can find programs which may help people in your school become more understanding and supportive of you.
I hope these resources prove to be helpful. Take care of yourself.