I’m a 17-year-old lesbian, and I’ve known about my sexuality since I was in the 8th grade (even though I had feelings for women since the 6th grade, I hadn’t realized until two years later.) I had fallen in love during my 8th grade year with my best friend, and unfortunately, I did not realize that she suffered from homophobia. She totally rejected me, shunned me, and tried to get my best friends to abandon me (which did not work, luckily for me.)
I became depressed until my 10th grade year, when my friends talked me into trying out for volleyball to help my frustration and sadness. It was here that I met a girl, whom I will refer to as “Rei.” She was very popular at school, and I wasn’t. Many people didn’t like me because I often wore men’s clothes instead of women’s, and I would often hear them make remarks about my orientation due to their own ignorance. Before I could get to know Rei too well, the coaches told me that I couldn’t participate in volleyball anymore, so I didn’t even get to tell her bye. For a while we didn’t talk, because we never saw each other. A few months passed and she ended up tutoring a male friend of mine in Spanish. We talked for a long time, and I was amazed that she had even remembered me! We ended up even going out for track together at the end of the year. It was then that I’d realized that I was crushing on her quite badly. The year ended soon, and over the summer I became obsessed with loving her.
I entered the next year (my 11th grade year, and her senior year) and we were close friends. I ate lunch with her, met her by her locker to talk, and sometimes I was late for class because I’d silently follow her to her next class. All I ever wanted to do was see her. Later on, Rei found out about my homosexuality, and she said that she was very cool with it. Shortly after St. Valentine’s day, she asked me if I had a crush on her, and I wanted to be honest, not because I was so comfortable to come out, but because she was a friend. So I told her that I did like her, and she was okay with that, too. Months later, school ended, and I still have one more year to go, so I stood by and watched this wonderful person graduate and I knew that she’d go off to college soon. I’m never going to see her again, she’s saved me from death, how can you repay someone for such kindness to someone like me?
I feel so lost without her, like I can’t even live if she isn’t near. I cry at night. Cry and think about her so much that I end up vomiting sometimes. She’s straight, and she says that she can’t be with me. After she found out about my crush, she had dated several boys and had broken up with them after it didn’t work out, paying no attention as if my love wasn’t real enough for her. I know I can make her happy, and I think that she may be bisexual deep inside. I just think that it bothers her that I like her, and she won’t date me in particular. What can I do to get her attention before she leaves for good? I honestly have to have this girl by my side, I’m not trying to be selfish, just honest. Please help, I’m sorry that this letter is so long.
Please do not apologize for the length of your letter. I am happy that you are comfortable discussing the situation with me and I value your honesty. It is evident that the attraction you experience for this wonderful person causes inner turmoil for you as your feelings are not reciprocated by her. Certainly, it is not an easy task to experience such great affection for another person and not have the relationship in which you seek to express it. Love can be complicated, as are the circumstances that surround the exploration of our sexual identity and orientation as you well know.
Have you thought about what may have helped you feel less lost and dismal in the past? How did you cope prior to getting to know this person? What might you do now to maintain a relationship with her that is healthy for both you and her? Are there other positive ways in which you might express the affection you are feeling?
Consider that your friend may not be ready to address her sexuality. For some, it is a life-long pursuit to gain clarity with regard to sexual orientation. Also, your friend may benefit from your support during this time of transition. From what you have shared, it appears as though your friend may benefit from the same unconditional love and unbiased support she has extended to you in the past. How beautiful it is when we can give others the space, time, and opportunity to understand and embrace who they truly are!
I encourage you to talk about your questions with someone you trust, whether it is a friend, parent, relative, teacher or school counselor.
Further, when you’re depressed, it can be very painful to feel and 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 the depression can get so bad it can make a person think of ending their life. 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. On www.us.reachout.com you’ll find facts about depression by clicking on “struggles with feelings.”
Please know that there is treatment for depression and suicide including medication and/or therapy. 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 in order to get the correct treatment to help you feel better and to help you see choices and options you may not be aware that you have. On www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen_teenagers.htm 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.
Remember we are always here for you. The Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR, TrevorChat, and TrevorSpace are also available to you for further support. TrevorSpace at www.trevorspace.org is the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and allies. It’s a great, supportive community where you can connect with others who might have had or are having the same questions that you are having.