I’m not one to ask for help for my personal problems. I always keep a smile on my face for those around me as much as I can. Smiling and being energetic is always the personality I show to my family and everyone I encounter. Most people wouldn’t believe all of the problems I have buried beneath the surface. So here is my story to you in hope of any encouragement or anything that can help.
Inside, I have been depressed for a very long time. It’s gotten especially worse from Middle to High school. I may have had a few people to hang out with, but I never had anyone close enough to share my feelings with and I have massive difficulty talking to my parents about anything. I feel like I have missed out on many opportunities to do something with my life, but I rejected those opportunities to avoid any extra stress that may occur. School work on it’s own is very stressful, and I’m starting to notice especially now in my junior year that my effort is declining. Everything is a challenge and depression has sucked out all of my interests dry.
Socially, I can talk to people, but I lack vastly in the amount of trust I have in others. It may be due to the fact that my parents keep telling me not to trust others, but it kills me how I don’t have any friends. I’m a very lonely person, and it confuses my parents why I don’t have any friends but I always tell them that it doesn’t bother me. The main problem I have with making good friends is the fact that I don’t know who I can trust with my feelings. I’m afraid of being hurt because I already feel hurt enough inside so I tend to stray away from anyone who asks if they can stay in contact with me. This is why I feel extremely lonely, and no one comes over because I never open myself to others like I should.
In school, people think I’m strange due to how I may act on occasion. I don’t like it when people make fun of me for how I act and the way they mock me, and it really brings me down. Other people don’t seem to care, and how everyone else acts doesn’t signal any interest from me to befriend them. I can’t seem to relate to anyone, and it makes me feel even worse.
Besides depression, my worst issue is knowing that I’m gay and that I generally deviate from almost anyone I meet. I found out that I was gay during 9th grade. I’ve never had any relationships with anyone of either sex or any intimate encounters. What somewhat confuses me about my sexuality is that I have a strong emotional and mental attraction towards males, yet I have a stronger physical attraction to females. I know I’m gay because I very much hope and wish to have a long term relationship with a male. What deviates me is that I have desires to cross-dress although I never have. I’m Agnostic which I fear of disclosing to many due to the fact that the majority of everyone around me is religious and it may cause many disagreements. All of these differences I either hide or deny because of the fear of judgment from others.
I came out of the closet to my parents and sister when I was 15. My dad was disappointed, and my mom and sister just don’t seem to take me seriously. Now they seem like they have forgotten as they never mention it anymore, and my dad keeps saying that he wants me to get a girlfriend. There is so much pressure from within that I feel like I’ll combust if I can’t find anyone to talk to about this. All of this is just a small fragment of how I feel about the problems I have. I would go in so much more depth if I only had a close person to talk with. I just tell you this story because I want to know if there is anything that can help. I’m so tired and drained from hiding the pain. Wish there was a way to end all of this.
In Need of Help
Letter submitted by:
I am so glad you reached out to us here at Trevor for help! It sounds like you are going through a lot, and it’s especially brave of you to ask for help even though you are uncomfortable asking others for help. Sometimes life can get overwhelming, and it’s times like these when reaching out to others becomes important. It can be scary reaching out to someone when you aren’t sure how they will react and whether they will be able to help, but sometimes taking that leap of faith is necessary to find someone to support you and help you get through those tough times. A good place to start is with a trusted adult. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your parents, consider talking to a teacher or school counselor. School counselors can help you with your depression and usually have access to resources that can be very helpful. You can also give us a call at the Trevor Lifeline anytime if you ever need to talk to someone. We would love to talk to you! Our Lifeline number is 1-866-4-U-TREVOR, and we answer calls 24/7 so it’s never a wrong time to give us a call! In addition to calling our Lifeline or writing us letters using Ask Trevor, you can also chat with us online using TrevorChat or connect with other LGBTQ youth at TrevorSpace, a safe and supportive online social networking site for LGBTQ young people and allies. You can learn more about these resources at our website, www.thetrevorproject.org.
Depression can be scary. It can make you isolate from your friends and family, cause you to be tired all the time and take away your motivation to do things, make you not enjoy the things you usually like to do, make you sleep and eat much less or much more than usual, and make you see everything in your life in a negative way. Sometimes people think about ending their life when they’re feeling very depressed, feel hopeless that things will get better and helpless to make things better in their life. I want you to know that there is treatment available for depression, including therapy or medication. It can help to talk to your school counselor or another mental health professional, such as a social worker or psychologist, about your depression, loneliness, and pain so that they can get you the correct treatment to feel better and to help you see options you may not be aware that you have. You can find out more about depression and its treatment at http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen_teenagers.htm. Another great resource is http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/when-life-sucks-and-you-feel-like-shit. If you need help finding mental health services in your area, you can go to http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/MHTreatmentLocator/faces/quickSearch.jspx, or you could contact the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists by calling 215-222-2800 or by visiting their website at http://aglp.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14&Itemid=74.
It is very admirable that you know yourself so well. It shows a lot of self-acceptance and confidence that you can identify and express the differences between your feelings for males vs. females, and even to identify your religious beliefs as Agnostic or your desire to cross-dress. You may feel the need to hide what makes you different from others, but these are the things that make you unique and wonderful and YOU! Everyone is different, experiences romantic or sexual feelings in different ways, or thinks about religion and spirituality differently. Any feeling, belief, or desire can never be wrong if it is true for you, and no one ever has the right to make fun of you for it or make you feel guilty or ashamed for being who you are. It can be very frustrating when people don’t accept you for who you are, and it’s especially difficult when those people are your family. Sometimes parents can have a hard time coming to terms with it or need more time to process it when they learn that you are gay if it takes them by surprise or changes the plans they had for you. Not everyone feels safe coming out to their parents, so while they may not be to the point of acceptance yet, it’s great that you had the courage to come out to them and that they did not react with anger or threaten your safety. It may take some patience on your part to allow them to learn what being gay means to you and to understand that it is part of who you are. Remember, this is new to them, and they may not always know the right thing to say. There are some resources you could share with your parents that can help them to come to terms with it and answer their questions. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization that works to help parents and others become more supportive and accepting of their loved ones’ sexual orientation or gender identity (www.pflag.org). They have a great resource called “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” which can be found on their resource page for families and friends, http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=539. Other helpful resources you might want to share with them are books called “Now That You Know—A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children” and “Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together.” These books address issues and questions parents may have regarding their gay and lesbian children. Just keep in mind that every person has their own way of coping and processing information.
I’m glad you shared your story, and I want to let you know that there are many more resources out there in addition to the resources I’ve already mentioned. Help is out there, and you don’t have to go through this alone—we here at Trevor are always here to support you!