1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why is split attraction so negatively viewed?

Discussion in 'Sexual Orientation' started by jjusa, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. Nickw

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    1,322
    Location:
    Out West
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    @jjusa

    With every post of yours, it seems like you are growing in your ability to recognize more and more what makes you tick. So, by all means, don't worry if it seems like you are leaning on this forum too much. Most of us don't have the skills and knowledge that @Chip has. But, we are here to ask questions and relate our own life stories in the hope it triggers some thinking on your part!

    It seems you are capable of standing up for yourself some on this forum. So, you can carry this out into the real world. You are going to need to take a stand against other's expectations of you because it is not working for you when you don't.
     
    Chip and jjusa like this.
  2. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Yes, and the scary thing is I don't want to fix my people pleasing issues while also damaging my relationships because family or friends don't like that I don't agree with them or do what they want. I wonder how you can maintain honest relationships while also doing what you want and not what they want.

    I'm having a flashback moment when my mom (whom I came out to already as not straight) said that if I move to a city that I don't live in the "gay" neighborhood, that I should live in a "mainstream" part of town. I didn't realize how much that really hurt me because I would just agree with her anyway. Like even if I was bisexual, that doesn't mean that I shouldn't live in a gay/lesbian neighborhood.

    I don't think they do it intentionally though, although it's still hurtful. But that's why I don't bother talking to anyone about that part of my life anymore. Especially since I'm questioning and too vulnerable right now. It's just too hard.

    I think that I have some trait of DPD like you said, but I also have very low self esteem and as a result I seek external validation.

    I'm not sure if I'm questioning my sexual orientation and that is causing my mental health issues or if it's the other way around. Bc my anxiety and depression started when I started questioning a few years back.

    I always thought that once sexual orientation is realized, you feel that sense of belonging in the community, but that's not how I feel. In my logic, that means I haven't figured it out yet, and that's why I feel I don't belong. Is it a people pleasing problem or a still unsure of my sexual orientation problem? Could it be both? Because I'm still unsure. Why am I still unsure? Because of lack of experience and so I feel I don't belong at the LGBTQ+ table. Don't know if any of this made sense. I am rambling a lot at this point.

    Thank you for listening to my story and helping me out as best as you can. I know you are not a professional but I can tell you are very knowledgeable at this stuff. It is really nice to hear you and everyone on here listening and validating my feelings and experiences.

    I am still struggling and I feel like I'm already going backwards today... I feel like a total imposter again.

    Should I seek mental health care for my sexual orientation or anxiety/depression/etc.? It sounds like it should be the latter based on everything you said.
     
    #42 jjusa, Oct 6, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
  3. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,076
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    Short answer: You can, but it isn't instant.

    The issue is shitty boundaries. You grew up in an environment where others didn't respect your boundaries (in terms of a right to your own opinions, your own decisions about who you are, who you are attracted to, etc.) The problem here is, the entire relationship is built on their overstepping your boundaries (more like steamrolling over them.) And people with no boundaries... get really, really angry when others start to develop healthy boundaries and set appropriate limits. They will use every trick in the book to continue steamrolling over your boundaries. This includes anger, guilt, threatening to withhold this-or-that, whatever other control or manipulation they can use. Because they are not used to anyone setting limits.

    So what you have to do is set the boundaries, let the other person (people) know that you're learning about healthy boundaries and working on them, and setting new limits on what is appropriate conversation, what is appropriate in terms of advice and suggestions. They'll yell and scream bloody murder, or sulk and make you feel guilty. That's all a manipulation to keep things where they are. And when you hold the boundary, and (if it comes to it) set the boundary of "I'm not going to visit/take your calls/etc if you aren't going to honor my boundaries", they will eventually learn. And when they do, it completely resets the relationship... and at that point, one can have, actually, a much healthier and happier relationship than existed prior. But there's no way to do that without the (usually rocky) in-between steps.

    Frankly, that's appalling on multiple levels. First, she has no business telling you where to live or not to live. Second, it's clear that she's voicing disapproval of LGBT people by saying she doesn't want you living in those neighborhoods. Third, it's incredibly hurtful. This is the sort of thing she needs to be gently called out on. Let her know it's hurtful and offensive AND that she has no business telling you where you should or should not live.

    That's really unfortunate. And that's the byproduct of bad boundaries, which hopefully improves when everyone understands and respects the boundaries.


    The two are inherently intertwined.

    It's the childhood traumas and constant boundary violation you grew up with that's the cause of the mental health issues. That, in turn, is interfering with you being able to objectively think about who you're attracted to, because you already know, from the above statements, that your parents absolutely do not approve of LGBT people. So of course, in order to survive, your unconscious is going to put up concrete walls to prevent you from really, authentically feeling those feelings in full.


    The worthiness issue is at the core. You can't belong anywhere when you have deep, embedded shame, because shame says "I'm a bad person unworthy of belonging." So the antidote for that is to constantly, as Brené Brown puts it, hustle for your worthiness. And that means pleasing others, "fitting in", pretending to be someone you're not in order to feel liked and accepted... except that you know it's fake. It's a downward spiral that feeds on itself.

    Thanks for the kind words. That's why EC exists. :slight_smile:

    That would actually not be unexpected when the real core issues start to come up. You've worked really hard to push the lack of worthiness and judgment of others down and avoid the feelings that go with that. And as Gabor Maté says, when we constantly push things down, what are we doing? We're depressing those things. And what does that do to us? It depresses us. Which leads us to...

    Yes. The worthiness and childhood trauma is core. Being constantly devalued is, indeed, a childhood trauma that has been extensively studied and is directly and strongly correlated to depression. Depression depresses our connection to our sexual attraction and arousal. So you really can't understand yourself until you first address the mental health issues.

    If it were me, I'd seek out someone who is trained in working with trauma, and approaches it by looking at the roots of the trauma. Once you start to work through that, your whole perception of yourself will begin to change, and that, in turn, will make it a lot easier to figure out the sexuality piece.
     
    #43 Chip, Oct 6, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
    BiGemini87 likes this.
  4. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Friends and family have done this to me for a long, long time. Mom would say, "FINE," in a passive aggressive tone if I don't want to do something that she wants to do, for example. Too many times to count. I need to learn to be more vocal about boundaries. Saying that they need to honor my boundaries is a really great suggestion. Thanks.

    This happened years ago but if it ever comes up again, I will call her out on it. I didn't even process the hurtfulness of what she said until recently when I thought my sexual orientation over again (like I do everyday).

    The thing is too, I do feel a little uncomfortable being in this spots - "queer" neighborhood. Again, I feel like I don't belong. Even if I was straight, I would feel ackward interacting with LGBTQ+ but that might have been due to my upbringing. When I go back to straightland I feel safe. When I talk about guys, I feel safe. When I talk about girls (which is almost never), I feel uncertain. I have to put up more of a persona with queer people than with straight people. With straight people, I feel more relaxed (unless there is discussion about guys and relationships) and I think the familiarity of being in straightland contributes to that. When I show up at a queer bar or a neighborhood, I feel misplaced and uncomfortable. I continue to question my orientation and I feel like I'm pretending to be someone I'm not. I feel like I have to act a specific way in order to be queer and if I fail at that - if I can't be comfortable in this setting with other queer people - then I guess I'm not queer after all.

    It's be 2-3 years now since I started questioning, and I've exposed myself to more queer-related things (people, TV/movies, events, etc.), but I still see no progress within myself. Before I started questioning, I enjoyed watching WLW all the time and didn't feel confused or anxious about it. It's like, what happened?

    Very accurate. I used to just have mild depression and now it's moderate depression, and I'm exhausted mentally, emotionally, physically...

    I know who I am sexually aroused by, it's just the romance piece that I am confused about. I do have a lot of shame in my sexual attraction but at least I am aware that I am sexually attracted to women lol

    Should I mention sexual orientation at all? It's a topic I have the hardest time bringing up even to a therapist :frowning2:
     
  5. gravechild

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    3,415
    Likes Received:
    106
    Gender:
    Androgyne
    Gender Pronoun:
    They
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Ironically, it was this belief that stopped me from even entertaining the idea of bisexuality, as "guys can't be bi" and "it basically means you're gay and too cowardly to admit it". Its become a trope, at this point
     
    BiGemini87 likes this.
  6. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,076
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    When I was first sort of flirting with the idea that I might not be straight, which was in my later 20s, I had exactly the same response. I felt like I didn't belong in the "gay" parts of town. I worried "what if" someone saw me there. I felt like I wouldn't know what to say... those folks were kind of scary! And there was a sense of physical anxiety. That was all a result of my internalized fears.

    I suspect all of that comes from constantly getting the messages (both at home and from society) that being gay isn't OK.

    I suspect you've been stuck because you may not have been as aware of how the trauma of constantly being judged and devalued has affected your ability to ask for your needs. That, in turn, has a huge impact on your ability to know what you want. And as you get closer to it... more anxiety is likely to come up, which may be why it's creating more anxiety now.


    That's certainly a piece to be addressed at some point, and really, it's up to you. But I think you'd have plenty to work on if you put that on the back burner. And I think as you become more comfortable with yourself, which will happen after you work through the worthiness pieces, it will be a lot easier to talk about the sexuality piece.
     
    #46 Chip, Oct 8, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  7. Chip

    Board Member Admin Team Advisor Full Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,076
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Location:
    northern CA
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Out to everyone
    This gets incredibly annoying, and the fact that this trope is perpetrated by many in the gay community is, itself, super frustrating.

    The challenge is... there are a very large number of people, and it seems to be more men than women (though I have no data to back that up), who first identify as bi, and then later identify as gay. (Or, these days, they identify as "asexual" or "heteroromantic/homosexual" or some other label du jour.) And I think this may be a byproduct of it being harder (at least, in perception) for men to acknowledge being same-sex attracted than it is for women. So, while there are indeed plenty of guys (and girls) who are bisexual, and stay bisexual over time... there are also a lot more who use the 'bisexual' (or whatever label du jour) as a 'bridge' identity while they are in the bargaining phase of accepting themselves.

    It would be nice if folks could honestly understand this and be more compassionate, but... for whatever reason, that seems to be difficult.
     
    BiGemini87 and gravechild like this.
  8. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    That describes my feelings somewhat towards the LGBTQ community, except I also feel like a fraud... is that something that you felt?

    My anxiety and imposter syndrome get so intense, I lose interest in everyone and isolate. it’s not so much what if someone saw me, but is what I think I am actually true? Do I believe it myself? Do I have the confidence in myself to hang out with the community knowing full well that I belong?

    That’s why I now avoid those parts of town; my anxiety is fueled up and it’s not healthy for me. Even some people in the community think I’m a “tourist,” and I do feel like I’m a tourist in the community. again, the whole “I need external validation” thing. I’ve had some very bad experiences in the community and refuse to go back to that. I’d much rather work on myself internally because that’s more important to me.

    Yes that makes so much sense! I have no sense of identity or self worth because I latch myself onto other people’s ideas.

    I always thought anxiety was a signal that something is wrong and that you need to alleviate the anxiety by taking action. And that the closer you get to what you want, the less anxious you feel about it. Why would there be more anxiety? Maybe I have a warped view of anxiety and mental health in general.


    Ok I’ll start talking about the worthiness piece first. Thanks. I fear this could take years and years to get resolved. :frowning2:
     
  9. jjusa

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    USA
    Gender:
    Female
    Gender Pronoun:
    She
    Sexual Orientation:
    Other
    Out Status:
    Some people
    Yeah, bisexual men get so much hate and it makes me sad that bi men (and women) end up with the opposite sex because their identity isn’t accepted.

    On using the label as a “bridge” identity, I am a women claiming a Heteromantic/homosexual identity but I don’t know any other woman in my life who has ever used that identity openly. So it’s difficult to talk it out to just men (no offense to all the men) because of society placing rules based on gender. I don’t want to just say oh I just need to accept that I’m gay. What if I’m not gay? What if I’m bisexual? I feel like both possibilities need to be considered.