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Terrified of my sexual orientation

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by Izzie, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. Izzie

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    Hi, I am a 31 years old female and in the past few years I came to the conclusion that I am, probably, into women. I say probably because a part of me is still "hoping" that I am just going through a phase, and I cannot really know for sure until I kiss a woman. I also know this is a lie, because you don't need a test to know your sexual orientation.

    As far as I remember, the first time I had a thought about my sexual orientation I was about 22. At the beginning, these were just vague feelings which I could not explain, for example, feeling weirdly related to LGBTQ+ people or TV characters. Then, I started to have recurring dreams about sleeping with women, and I would feel sexually aroused watching lesbian kisses and porn. I also remember meeting new women, thinking they were beautiful and wondering if they were gay. For some days or weeks I would obsess with these thoughts, researching all the possible stuff online about being gay, and I was terrified by the idea. My defence mechanism was so strong that I would literally shove the thoughts down. I would be able to completely forget and even spend months without consciously thinking about it. It was like they never happened. About two years ago, these thoughts became too intense and frequent, the signs were too many, and I was not able to ignore them anymore.

    I never had a real boyfriend. I had my first (and only) boyfriend at 14, and I remember how much I disliked kissing him. In my late twenties, I decided I wanted to be more open and put effort into dating. I had sex for the first time at 28 and had a few other casual hookups after that. However, I never liked it. I thought something was wrong with me, maybe I didn't like the guys, maybe I was not relaxed enough. With the last guy, I remember that I really wanted to kiss him, but didn't like it, that was not making sense to me. Then I realised only my brain wanted to kiss him, not my body: the problem was that he was a guy. One night, a female friend of mine, who is bisexual, tried to kiss me, and we actually kissed very close to the mouth. In that moment, every part of my body was telling me to turn around and kiss her. I panicked, and I turned the other way instead. That was the first moment in my life that I really understood why someone would want to kiss someone else.

    After that, I started to put many other things in perspective. The random thoughts I had in the last decade started to come back to mind, and I would think about feelings I had about girls as a teen, and see them in a new light. I realised that I never pictured myself kissing my boy crushes, and it was very hard for me to talk about them with my friends. I think that was because I could not feel the spark, because I would not understand what it was that made my friends like guys so much.

    Yesterday, I decided to tell my best friend about all this. While I was extremely nervous during the whole conversation, immediately afterward I felt some relief. However, today I feel again very anxious and angry. I guess I am very mad at myself for being vulnerable and saying it out loud, because now it is real and I am not sure I am ready to deal with it. Just to clarify, my friend was supportive, even though I could see she was shocked. Also, I was and I am still very terrified of how our relationship will change. We have known each other for 20 years and we are really close. We have an amazing relationship and fully get each other, as we (and other people) always say, it is much better than a couple. We have literally been each other's soul mates and partners in life for the past 10 years, and I don't want her to see me differently or our relationship to change.

    I now feel terrified of the next steps and I don't know what to do. I thought I was ready to start exploring my sexuality, but I don't think I am in the right mental state with myself yet. I am still too ashamed. I know I could at least talk to my friend now, but a part of me just wants to pretend our conversation never happened and keep things as they are. I think the bottom of it is that I still hate myself for my sexual orientation and I don't know how to stop it. I feel like I am in a constant fight with myself, and either way I lose.
     
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  2. Really

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    Hey @Izzie

    Welcome to EC!

    And breathe.

    Your post perfectly describes how things are in the beginning but know that your thoughts will calm down and you will get through this.

    It’s great you were able to talk to your friend and it’s understandable you’re feeling “buyer’s remorse” but getting it out there is a huge step in this process. Maybe you could send her a message saying you’re feeling a bit rattled by your revelation to her, as she may be herself, but that you’re so grateful you have someone like her who can hopefully be there while you go through this. Say it in such a way that you want her by you as support and that she shouldn’t worry there’s anything else on your mind, if that was a worry for her. You could slip in a cheeky request for her to keep her eye out for nice lesbians for you. ;}

    Anyway, stick around and continue to post and read other posts. It can really help to see you’re not alone because you aren’t. We’re all in this together. :]

    Hang in there!

    P.S. Any good Italian shows with lesbians we need to know about? ;p
     
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  3. quebec

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    Izzie.....Hello and a great big LGBTQIA+ welcome to Empty Closets! :old_smile: There are a number of sub-forums here on EC...why don't you check them out and then feel free to join in the conversations! This is a community of loving, caring and very supportive people and we will do our best to help you blend into the community. As @Really said there is often a bit of “buyer’s remorse” after coming out. Not everybody sees stars and lives happily ever-after! :old_big_grin: You've said that she has been your best friend for a long time and I don't think that your revelation will cause that to come to and end. You might want to write her a note or send her a text thanking here for being there for you and making it clear that you don't have a crush on her, just in case she is concerned about that. But other than that, I think that she will be there for you! :old_cool: Here in Empty Closets you can ask questions in any of the Sub-forums by creating a new thread or by joining in a conversation-thread that is already going. You can also post a message on anyone's Profile Page after you have made at least ten posts yourself. If you have a question that is somewhat private you can always send a Private Message to any Staff Member. Normally Private Messages can only be exchanged between two Full Members, but a PM to a Staff Member is an exception. :old_wink: We are so glad that you have found us here on Empty Closets! :old_rolleyes:
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
  4. Izzie

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    Thank you for your responses. Yeah, maybe is a good idea to have a follow-up and clarify I don't have a crush on her, also because I was so nervous we didn't really have the conversation as I had in mind. By the way, we have been texting like normal so far, and I also feel a bit more relaxed today. I am starting to think that from now on, whenever I decide to start exploring my sexuality or if anything should happen, I have someone to talk to, and I feel quite good about it. I guess it was a big obstacle for me to know that if I had to kiss a girl I could not tell her, or tell her without she knowing any "background" of it. Maybe it will still take some time, but I am now more open to the idea of coming out to a few other closed friends as well.

    P.S. @Really No good Italian TV shows with lesbians coming to my mind now, but I'll keep you posted if I find one :slight_smile:
     
  5. Really

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    Good update @Izzie !

    I’m sure you two will be fine. I hope you get that kiss sometime soon. :}

    And thanks for keeping an eye out for Italian lesbian tv. :grin:
    I vaguely remember some clips on YouTube from some show starting with a C. Can’t remember what it was. One of the characters rode a … motorbike? Sound familiar? Haha
     
  6. Spaceseed

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    I allow myself to daydream to get me used to potentiel new horizons , and see how I feel about it . Lots of perspectives have changed for me over the last year just by letting myself be at least in my mind /safe place.
     
  7. Ingvermama

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    Hi Izzie, your post makes me feel sad that you aren’t comfortable with who you are, but if it’s a fairly new discovery then you could give yourself some time to get used to the idea. It’s really okay to be gay :blush: Ingver
     
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  8. DragonChaser

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    Hey, Izzie. I'm Lydia. I'm happy you took the time to talk to people about something that's been upsetting you. That's a big step, even if it was nagging you so much you didn't feel like you had a choice. What's more, I'm proud of you for being so forward about things. It paints a very clear picture of your concerns, and that's the easiest way to get the best possible advice.

    Unfortunately, coming to terms with oneself is necessarily a very personal journey and there's only so much any of us can do, but I will offer all the advice I can. I know others have and will do the same, and I truly hope it helps.

    Now, first and foremost, without knowing you directly, all the signs you've outlined point to what you already know. You're a lesbian. You're a woman who loves women. I can relate. Much as I love men, I utterly adore womanhood and femininity and female beauty. It fills me with bliss. It always has.

    The only thing that has ever disturbed me about that, despite all the social stigma of both being a transwoman and having the audacity not to let men be my primary interest (the gall!), is the idea that I could never be part of something of such beauty as loving another woman with my heart and body.

    I understand it is different for you. I know, right now, more than anything you feel fear. But ask yourself; what is worse? To be rejected by some in order to find fulfillment of self or to deny yourself the joy of experiencing your authentic self for the comfort and convenience of those who don't love you enough to accept you as you are?

    Is it as simple as that? Not at all. People you once trusted may yet find ways to hurt you. However, it sounds like the one who matters most is already on board. You just need a pinch of the advice I received when I came out: Give people time to react. You needed time to come to understand yourself. Give those you love the same courtesy.

    As I always advise with new experiences and changes in life, take it slow. Figure out what kind of woman you are, sexually and romantically, first. Ask yourself what kind of woman you want, and what kind of relationship you hope to have with them. Then figure out how you can find such a person and put yourself out there. Do the scary thing again; be vulnerable.

    Believe it or not, vulnerability isn't a weakness. It's the only way we can make meaningful connections. I know it means you can be hurt. It also means you can be healed. It's an act of bravery. You're brave for even taking the first step to acknowledge it. Don't forget that, and don't let others diminish your experiences with their ignorance.

    Sorry for the monologue. I tend to be long-winded, but it's only because I want to help you as much as possible. Because I've been where you are. We all have, to some extent or another. Just remember; you've got people in your corner. You're not alone, and who you are is not a curse or a disease.

    Who you are is beautiful, and we're rooting for you, all the way!
     
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  9. silverhalo

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    Hey welcome to EC. I know right now you are struggling and it probably feels like you are the only person who is feeling the way you feel about your sexuality but I can assure you what you are going through is much more common than you would imagine.
    It is great that you have been able to take that step and talk to your friend, my two biggest fears when I was coming out were that I would come out and realised I got it wrong (when I look back now it seemed ridiculous to think that) and secondly that my friendships would change and I think these are common fears, I am happy to report that I shouldn't have worried.
    The anxiety you spoke about before and after talking to your friend is also very familiar, it is tough coming to terms with your sexuality in your head but when you tell someone and say those things out loud it is like you have passed the point of no return, it becomes harder to push all those thoughts and feelings away and back in their boxes now (not that doing that was helping anyway).
    @Really is right the more you do it and the more you can talk to people, even if it just online on EC to people the more normal it will become and I promise it will get easier.

    In the meantime we are here for you.
     
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  10. out2019

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    Beautifully said! We all experienced something like this before we accept ourselves. For years I wondered why I was so indifferent about dating women when I accepted myself and started to think about dating guys I thought oh I REALLY want to do this!

    There's a strange push-pull a fear of coming out but a desire to tell someone you're gay. Once I got past it (though I did retract with one friend then came out again) i felt such a burden lifted and such a feeling of elation.

    Yes me too! "What if it's all in my head" is a common last 'bargaining' chip. Having gone through it myself and now seen it so many times on EC, I don't know of anyone who discovered it was 'just in their head' - and looking back it wasn't just in my head, I felt it all over my body when I thought about being with a man! :slight_smile:
     
  11. out2019

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    When I first came here, my fingers were literally shaking when I typed 'I might be gay'. Even changing orientation on my avatar was scary.
    I never would have imagined I would be happy about being gay, but I can honestly say I am.

    One simple excercise, is try looking in the mirror and saying "I am gay" (or whatever you want to say) and see how it feels. It sounds simple but many people find it a very powerful exercise.

    Almost everyone who comes out later in life and even sooner faces this. It helps to post and read here, therapy might help too. I found reading people's stories here very helpful.