Hi, I’m Nathania. I don’t really have a question, I’m just confused and need advice. I met this girl on tspace and we talked for a few days and then we started dating and we dated for a few months before she broke up with me, she said it was because she didn’t want her dad to find out she was dating a girl and that she doesn’t think teenagers should be in long distance relationships. I’m still in love with her though, she said she loves me too and still wants to be with me someday. Now I’m dating this other girl (I’m just going to call them L and B. The first girl is B.), who I also met on tspace, and I really like her but not like I do B. And every time I think about L I end up thinking about B, I even said her name once by mistake. So, I don’t really know what to do about that… I’m also struggling with gender identity and self harm. I’ve been cutting for two years but I promised B that I would stop and I haven’t done it since I made that promise but its REALLY hard, on a good day. And the stress from school and family and relationships and other stuff just makes it worse and I don’t really know what else to do but I dont want to start doing that again. As far as gender identity goes, I am completely lost. I don’t know if I’m transgendered or not. I dress like a guy, my friends say I act like a boy a lot and I get mistaken for a boy by almost everyone who doesn’t know that I’m not. Somedays I feel like I should be a guy, somedays I don’t but I don’t know if that means I’m transgender. Maybe just gender queer? Anyways… Have a nice day
I think you are very brave for reaching out with your questions. I’m sorry to hear that you are dealing with a very stressful and emotional situation. I’m so glad that you wrote to Ask Trevor for help and support with everything you’re feeling and going through.
It sounds like you’re having questions about your gender identity, and it might help to know that questioning your sexual and gender identities is very natural, and you are not alone with your questions. Some people are sure of their sexual orientation and gender identity as children, others as teens, while others continue to question them as adults.
On http://www.genderspectrum.org/, you will find many resources related to gender identity. PFLAG’s (Parents, Families & Friends Of Lesbians & Gays) “Be Yourself: Questions for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth” at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf can be of further help as you try to understand your sexual orientation/gender identity. Remember that there’s no rush to figure this out.
I think it’s great that you are learning more about your gender identity. As you learn more about how you feel, you will decide on a label that you feel comfortable with. Or you may not want any label. Either way, it’s your choice, and one that may change with time.
One thing that might help you is to talk about your concerns with someone you trust. Maybe you know someone with whom you could talk about your feelings and the questions you have. Share your fears, and ask how they feel you should proceed. Talking about it with someone you trust could help you understand what you want to do and how you want to do it.
You may also want to be honest with your current girlfriend about your feelings for someone else. If she is a good friend and truly loves you, then she will respond to you in a way that won’t hurt you. Although her response may not be what you want to hear, hopefully there will be a strong enough bond to continue your friendship in a healthy way.
With what you’ve been going through and with how alone you feel, as well as the stress you’ve been experiencing in trying to figure out your sexual orientation and your gender identity, you may be experiencing some overwhelming emotions.
I am happy to hear that you have stopped cutting. 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. It can feel like the cutting gives them a feeling of control when things in life or their emotions feel out of control.
It can be very difficult to stop cutting. If you are struggling with it, it might be a good idea 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. If you’re not comfortable talking with your parents, 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.
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 — 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.
If you feel like cutting, there are lots of ways to help yourself feel better without putting yourself at risk. Think about how you feel before and after you cut yourself. If cutting helps to release anger, you might try getting the anger out in another way like hitting a pillow, stomping around in heavy shoes, ripping up an old newspaper or flattening aluminum cans.
If cutting helps you when you’re sad, do whatever makes you feel taken care of and comforted. That may be listening to certain songs, calling a friend or eating a favorite food. Sometimes, writing in a journal or drawing/painting helps a person to feel better. For some people, doing something physical like running outdoors or yoga can help relieve stress.
There are websites available including www.safe-alternatives.com and http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm that can help you learn about cutting, as well as additional things you can do when you have the urge to cut.
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.
No matter what happens, you can always contact the Trevor Project here through Ask Trevor. We also have Trevorchat, which is a forum in which you can chat with trained volunteers about anything that’s troubling you.
As you already know, The Trevor Project also has an online social network at http://www.trevorspace.org. It’s an online community where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and straight youth ages 13 to 24 can talk with each other, provide support, and find resources in their communities.
I hope this information has been helpful, and I hope it works out for the best. Please contact the Trevor Project with any other questions, or just to let us know how everything goes.