I'm feeling lost and ashamed of who I am. I have known I am gay for a while now and have been trying to accept it. I feel like I am being ripped in two. On one hand I can not continue to lie to myself about how I feel about men. On the other hand I can not see myself not living a "normal life" with a wife (like: getting married, having a baby, rising a kid, etc.).
The longer I think about this the more I hurt and hate myself. I am afraid I going to end up living two separate lives (hiding one from another) or pick a path that makes me unhappy forever.
I just don't know what to do or think any more. Please point me in the right direction!
As much as each of us strives to be our own person, an individual, there is a part of us that very much desires to fit in with others. It can be very difficult and cause tremendous pain and conflict when we feel that were are different or outside "the norm."
The acknowledgment and hopefully ultimate acceptance of being gay is a process that is tremendously impacted by the positive and negative messages we receive about being gay. The negative messages that we hear from the media, family members, religious organizations and politicians contribute to the shame and self-hatred that some people feel about being gay, make us feel that our lives are not "normal" and make it extremely difficult to accept one's sexual orientation. This shame and conflict can lead to the situation that you describe of feeling that you have to hide who you are and that you must live two separate lives.
It's important to keep in mind that these destructive messages come from a place of ignorance and bigotry. In addition, being gay does not automatically relegate you to a life of unhappiness or a life lived a lone. As a gay man, you can have good friends, an intimate romantic relationship with another man and even children. This all may seem difficult with where you are right now emotionally but with healthy support, you can move forward. You needn't go through this struggle alone. Some people find it valuable to talk with other gay people about these issues. If you don't feel comfortable with this at this time, please call our toll free help line at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR to discuss these issues further.