I have a boyfriend at the moment but I’m in love with my best friend and have a crush on another girl. My boyfriend’s a homophobe and he “deals” with me being bisexual and ever since I told him he’s acted like I’m some forgien being that he doesn’t understand anymore. I’ve known I was bisexual since 3rd grade but I’ve kept to myself and now that I’m coming out to everyone I’m getting bullied more than I used to. I’ve delt with depression and suicidal thoughts since, well, 3rd grade and that’s hard for a child. I cut my wrists until people found them then I started cutting my thighs and stomach, and now I just want to kill myself because I think people would be better off without me bothering them so I’m on the verge of suicide. What should I do?
You are an amazing person, someone who’s known that she’s bisexual since the 3rd grade and who’s had the courage to come out to everyone. It’s sad that you’re boyfriend and the people who bully you aren’t able to appreciate the incredible person that you are, someone who is comfortable and confident with herself to be open with who she is. It sounds like you’re going through a very difficult and painful time having your boyfriend, who’s a homophobe, make you feel like you’re a foreign being, getting bullied, dealing with depression and having suicidal thoughts. You show what an incredibly smart person you are reaching out for help and support when you’re in such an emotionally hard place. I’m so glad that despite how you’re feeling, you haven’t given up on you, that you’re fighting for you because you’re definitely worth fighting for and that you found The Trevor Project and wrote to Ask Trevor for help and support.
Please know that we at The Trevor Project care about you and believe that you’re a very special person, someone who knows how important it is to reach out for help when you’re in such a hurtful, dangerous and painful place. It’s very concerning that you want to kill yourself, that you think people would be better off without you and that you’re on the verge of suicide. Please know that if you were no longer here, the world would be a much, much emptier place and that the people in your life would truly miss you. It’s very important for your safety that you immediately tell a trusted adult such as a parent, friend’s parent, relative, teacher, school counselor or doctor about your thoughts of suicide order to keep you safe. If you ever feel you’re going to act again on those thoughts, immediately call 911 or get to your nearest hospital emergency room. If there’s no one you feel comfortable talking with or would like more support, you could call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor (1-866-488-7386), 24 hours 7 days a week. Our caring, understanding and supportive counselors are here to talk with you about everything you’re feeling and going through and want to do whatever is needed to keep you safe. As you said, dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts is hard for a child but also hard for a teenager. When you’re depressed, it can be very painful to feel, 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 much less or much more than usual, cause you to eat much less or more than usual and make you see everything in your life in a negative way. Sometimes the depression can get so bad it can make a person think of ending their life. People sometimes 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. On www.us.reachout.com you’ll find facts about depression by clicking on “struggles with feelings.” It’s important to know that there is treatment for depression and ways to deal with thoughts of wanting to kill yourself including therapy and/or medication. It can help to talk with a mental health professional, such as a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist about what you’re feeling and going through including your thoughts of wanting to kill yourself as well as your feelings of depression, your cutting, the bullying you’ve been experiencing and the way you’re boyfriend’s treatment is making you feel in order to help you to feel better and to help you see choices and options you may not be aware that you have. You could ask a trusted adult for help in finding someone to talk and work with. On www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen_teenagers.htm and http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/teen-depression you can learn more about depression and its treatment. On http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/databases/ you can search for mental health services in your area.You could also contact the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists by calling 215-222-2800 or by visiting their website at www.aglp.org for help in finding someone in your area for you to talk and work with.
It’s also concerning that you’ve been cutting yourself. It might help to know that some people cut as a way of dealing with or managing difficult, painful, overwhelming emotions or stress. For you, cutting may be a way of escaping your feelings of depression and pain because of the things you’re going through. 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. Still others feel numb or “dead inside” and cutting helps them to feel alive. With the things that you’re dealing with in your life, you may be experiencing some or all of these things. 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. 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 things that help you feel taken care of and comforted. That may be listening to certain songs, calling a friend or eating a favorite food. . If the cutting helps you to feel less numb, do something that creates a sharp physical feeling like putting your hand briefly in ice water or stamp your feet on the ground.. 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. It would be important for your safety to let a trusted adult know about the cutting, In addition, it would be helpful and important to work with a mental health professional to find healthier ways to deal with the difficulties in your life. You could call 1-800-DON’T-CUT 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.
Please 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. As far as how to deal with the bullying, you could start by talking with an adult at school such as a the principal, school counselor or school administrator as it is their job to make sure you and others are not being harassed or bullied by students, teachers or anyone and that you feel safe in school.There are a number of organizations that work specifically in schools to address homophobia and transphobia against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) 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. One program is called “A Day of Silence” which brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Each year, the event has grown, now with hundreds of thousands of students coming together to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior. Another program is the No Name-Calling Week which is a week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to foster a dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities. On GLSEN’s website, there are also links to articles and blogs where you can learn how students at other schools are educating each other on the subject of intolerance. GLSEN also has information on how to start a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) which is a student club that work to improve school climate for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. It’s a place where students can come together, offer support to one another and help make your school a more accepting place. On http://www.gsanetwork.org/resources/start.html you can get information on how to start a GSA. You can call the GLSEN office in New York at 212-727-0135 as they may be able to help you or point you towards someone who can help you. Another resource that can be of help is The Trevor Project’s Lifeguard workshop program opens up discussions with ALL students about how language and behavior can affect the way an individual feels about themselves. You can find these resources by going to The Trevor Project home page and clicking on “read more” under “parents and educators” or by calling The Trevor Project offices at 310-271-8845. If there is a school counselor or administrator at your school with whom you feel comfortable, you could talk with them about using these programs to help people become more understanding and accepting of you and other LGBT people.
Please know that despite the way your boyfriend is making you feel, being bisexual is absolutely natural and normal. On http://www.biresource.net/bisexualyouth.shtml you can learn more about resources and supports for bisexual people. You can also find information about what it means to be bisexual which, if you’re comfortable, you could share with your boyfriend to help him become more understanding and supportive of you.
As you go through this difficult time, it can be helpful and would be important to get the support you need. You might think about talking with a school counselor or a trusted friend. You could join TrevorSpace at www.trevorspace.org the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and straight allies. It’s a great supportive community, where you can connect and chat with young people all over, get support and learn what’s helped others dealing with similar issues.
Please continue to reach out for help and support and to fight for you because you’re definitely worth fighting for. Remember that you can always call the Trevor Lifeline 24 hours, 7 days a week. Our counselors answer many calls from young people who are experiencing depression and are thinking about suicide and are searching for help to work on ways to help themselves feel better. Please know that you don’t have to go through this alone as we’re always here for you at The Trevor Project