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Finally starting to come out at 30 and I’m terrified.

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by Melkay88, Sep 13, 2018 at 5:52 PM.

  1. Melkay88

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    Hi! I turned 30 a little over a month ago. I’ve known I was not straight since I was in college, but I sort of pushed the thoughts out of my mind. (Avoidance is my second favorite coping skill... I’ll get the the 1st in a bit.) I’ve been very over weight since I was a toddler and it just got worse throughout adolescence and my 20’s. The weight and resulting self-esteem issues kept me from ever really figuring out who I am, let alone who I’m attracted to. In 2017 I finally got to a place where I was ready to take control of my weight and I have lost 185 lbs since last January. I still have more to lose, but I’m in a really odd place where Im grieving the time I’ve lost and trying desperately to figure out who the heck I am.

    As far as my dating past, I dated two men, both in 2016, and was attracted to neither. I dated them because I felt like I was supposed to and frankly I was tired of my sister pushing me to date. The last date I went on ended up horrible (I won’t go into details, but it was really bad). After that, I announced to my family that I was not going to be dating anymore... that I hated it. I didn’t tell them what happened, but I wanted them off my case.

    About 3 months ago I finally came out to myself. I’d known for a while that I was attracted to women, but I hadn’t admitted it. One night I was lying in bed and I said “I’m gay” out loud. It was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I didnt have to pretend to be attracted to men anymore. At the same time I was terrified and sad and a mix of other emotions that I don’t quite understand. About 2 months ago, I came out to a friend. The first person I have told. She was/is very supportive and encouraged me to take my time and assured me she would respect me and not tell anyone. I started seeing a therapist to deal with anxiety that I’ve had since childhood and, this week, I told her.

    I am terrified of telling my family. I live in the south and I’m from a very religious and conservative family who all believe that being gay is a sin. I’m so afraid that coming out will mean I lose my family, but the alternative, staying closeted is equally as frightening. I’ve gone on dating websites, just to look, but I’m afraid to pursue a relationship. I feel so stuck and I don’t know what to do. I wish I’d dealt with this 10 years ago as there is a lot more support available in my area for younger people.
     
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  2. Love4Ever

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    Hi there. You're never too old to come out. And 30 is not old at all anyway. There is plenty of support out there even for people who came out a bit later. Those places you've seen may have a higher percentage of young people but not everyone is a teen or comes out in high school. I am actually in my very early twenties and am just starting to come out. So it's okay to go to these places for help. They are there to support all of the community and will maybe even be able to point you in the direction of some groups were you can meet people more your age. I am sorry about the family situation. That's rough, but I will say that staying in the closet forever is definitely something you'll regret. You should be able to find a relationship, and you can't let your family stop you from being happy. You owe it to yourself. You will find people who will support you.
     
  3. Melkay88

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    Thanks for the reply! We do have a few support groups in my town so I may check them out. My friend that I came out to has a friend who is active in the support groups. She gave me her cell number but, 2 months later, I still have reached out. I don’t really know what is stopping me. I think it just makes it more real and puts me closer to having to come out to my family. I’m sure this is normal... this fear I’m having. I just feel kind of stuck.
     
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  4. Love4Ever

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    I understand the fear. There is an enormous amount of pressure to be 100% sure before letting people in on that part of your life. It also feels like something you can't take back once you've said it. Which is sad, that we live in a world of such absolutes. It should absolutely be okay to come out and be uncertain, change your labels, etc. I don't think there would be so much pressure that way. I would maybe consider texting this woman if you're too scared to talk on the phone. Tell her you've wanted to contact her but that you were nervous and ask her if she can call you back when she has time. Then, when she calls, answer. :slight_smile: It will feel maybe a little weird at first but it will be worth it in the end.
     
    #4 Love4Ever, Sep 16, 2018 at 8:15 AM
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018 at 8:16 AM
  5. Broccoli

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    Hi, just wanted to say that you are not alone. I am in a very similar situation to you at a similar age and have also only told one close friend. I find it confusing and scary and all those things too but, like you, felt as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I realised and acknowledged it to myself. It's OK to feel all these things we are feeling and it's also OK to acknowledge them. I agree with Love4Ever's suggestion to text if you are scared to call - and to be open about the fact that you are nervous. I am just trying to be gentle with myself and accept gradual progress towards sorting through my feelings. This forum has already been a great resource.
     
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  6. mnguy

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    Welcome to EC and congrats on the weight loss and coming out to your friend! You're also doing great by seeing a therapist and being out to her! You have so much going in the right direction and should be proud. The grieving for lost time is real and I hope it won't turn into persistent regret. For now how about take steps to talking to your friend's friend and let the coming out to family go for now? Build up your support network and get used to being gay as a new normal. I think I'd ask your friend to set up a meeting for all three of you, maybe at her place or wherever you'd feel most comfortable and can talk openly. That way you're not doing it alone and you have that connection of your friend to introduce you both. Have some drinks and food or whatever you all enjoy. Maybe PFLAG could be helpful if there's one nearby. Being 30 is fine, especially considering you didn't have supportive people in your life. Remember baby steps. I do wish you well and hope EC helps on your journey and take care!
     
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  7. Melkay88

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    Thank you all for the suggestions and support. I’m so glad I found EC, it helps to know I’m not alone in this. The suggestion to text my friend’s friend is a good one and I think I’ll text her tomorrow. I’m tired of feeling stuck.
     
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  8. Broccoli

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    Good luck with everything Melkay88 :relaxed: