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Former lurker wants to say his piece

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by razorsharp, May 10, 2014.

  1. Aldrick

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    Why can't you move toward acceptance? The only person standing in the way is yourself. Yes, you may encounter challenges and difficulties from others, but at the end of the day you're either going to lead an honest life or a lie.

    The hard truth is that you can't change your sexual orientation. There has never been a single success, and those that claim to be successful are always found out to be frauds in the end. Not to mention the fact that such therapies and attempts have proven to be psychologically damaging, leading to a worsening of depression, greater self-hate, heightened anxiety, and high instances of suicide. This says nothing about the fact that they're all scams, making a promise they can't keep, and then putting all the blame on you when their "treatments" don't work. They are so dangerous they are actually being banned in some states in the U.S., and every major creditable mental health organization categorically rejects them. Practicing "reparative therapy" can even end with your license getting pulled - which is why it's almost always done under the guise of religion.

    Speaking of which, former pray-the-gay away groups like Exodus International have started to close up their doors, finally admitting that being gay can't be "cured", and apologizing for all the damage they've caused. These so-called Christian groups have now started to promote life long celibacy as the "correct" path forward. As if being gay were like being addicted to drugs.

    So, your first option isn't viable. Being gay is innate. You can't get rid of it.

    This leaves us with your second option. You could go on for the next forty or more years - likely more, considering that as medical technology improves life expectancy increases. However, as you noted it will be a miserable forty years or more ahead of you, and just getting to this point has been a struggle.

    So, your second option, while possible if you continue heading down the road you're currently on, isn't very desirable.

    This leaves us with the third option, which you've left off the table. Finding a path toward self-acceptance. This is a difficult path that would take time, and demand a great deal from you. However, once you've reached the end of that journey you'll be able to find happiness and be at peace with yourself.

    Of the three options, the third option is the only viable option, no matter how difficult or improbable it might seem. It's also the only option that ends with you being happy and at peace with yourself.

    You obviously don't have to commit to anything. No one is encouraging you to throw open your closet door and shout your sexual orientation from the rooftops.

    Instead, I'm going to ask you a question: What are the barriers in your way to achieving self-acceptance? What is preventing you from achieving option three? Be clear and be specific.
     
  2. burg

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    what your experiencing feeling is wrong.I do think there is a legitimate solution to your problem.i really hope you find it. pulling the plug is only going to hand your suffering to your family and friends.
    i dont expect you to over come internalised homophobia in a day or a chat. for me it took years. even after my logic and reasoning changed for the better my emotional response took time to catch up. but at the end of that whole process i feel great.and overcoming it i feel like im far more in control of my life than those around me because of what i learnt in the process.

    i know this isnt option 1 or 2 lets call it option 3.you learn that what you are suffering is wrong and possible to change?

    if you can accept that then reflect on why you feel it is wrong and seek out ways to overcome it with people who have overcome your present situation. big not gay hugs man hope you stay around.
     
  3. Julieno

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    Your are on a tough situation man.

    I completely agree with Aldrick. I don't want to come across as unrespectful or non understanding but I think you really need to research a lot n religion and on why do you think being homosexual is immoral. I won't get into much detail but I have done a lot of research and couldn't find a reason for homosexuality to be immoral but "because the church as an organization says so", and they have already been wrong in loads of things... Also there are more and more accepting churches out there every day.

    I also think that, at least in my experience, chat rooms are quite sordid places.
    I mean, I can tell you for sure that if my only knowledge about what being gay means was based in online chatrooms I would have never accepted that for me. But first of all stereotypes are not always true, and secondly you are free to choose if you adhere to them or not.

    I think you did really well starting a topic in here since you will find loads of good people that have been through a lot (even more so in the later in life section) and that can show you that you can be a very good person and non-heterosexual.
     
  4. razorsharp

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    First of all, thank you for being understanding. From the initial replies I received I was getting worried that people are getting angry with me for my views/situation which I realise is quite different from a lot of people on here.

    Let me make one thing clear: 'option 3' is not an option for me, I'm afraid. There are 2 very legitimate reasons for this:

    1. I do not want to be gay - I'm sorry but I disagree with it and it's not just because of my religious beliefs

    2. Let's just say hypothetically that I have accepted homosexuality. Even if that were the case, with my life set up it is impossible for me to be gay. It would completely devastate my family and I cannot hurt them in this way. I've known my family for 32 years and I'm serious when I say this: if I committed suicide it would hurt them less than if I became gay. It is simply not an option. But as I say in reason 1, it is not an option that I personally welcome either.

    Maybe I'm taking this too seriously. There is more to me than my sexuality. But sexuality does have consequences on life such as getting married etc. It is also difficult to ignore most of the time.

    Who knows? My only saving grace is that this life is temporary, after all.
     
  5. Aldrick

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    It's normal for people not to want to be gay. The overwhelming vast majority of gay people start out in this position.

    However, I think it's best for you to actually list the reasons you don't want to be gay. Both the religious and the non-religious reasons. Actually take some time to think about it, and make a list.

    What, specifically, would happen to your family if they discovered that you were gay? Of course they may be upset, that happens sometimes, but what specifically would be the fallout? Take some time to think about it, and make a list of every potential negative outcome you could imagine.
     
  6. burg

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    first off ive seen posts like yours before its not to uncommon. if you search old posts you can see what i mean.and nearly every time it come from people in very bad environments to be gay.(how could i hate any one for that?).i do think its hard for people not to challenge your beliefs tho simply because most people here will conclude those same beliefs are a major part of why you are suffering .id put myself in that camp 2.but dont worry im not angry with you id just rather live in a world where you arnt suffering.

    1 not wanting to be gay wont change the fact you are.

    2 if you arnt ready to come out to any one thats ok .acceptance is a different issue tho and for many if not most of us it was an important step in mentally well being.

    let me ask you a question do you see how it is possible? that being gay dont condemn you to being unhappy or a bad person.
     
  7. Melanie

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    The only thing I would encourage you to do is not feel like you need to make a decision about anything here.. now...today. Sexuality is only one aspect of your life... you're making it the central aspect right now. You seem very upset at the moment. Why not focus on other things until you get your bearings back. Again, please dont feel like you have to decide ANYTHING immediately. Just hang out with us for awhile, ok?
     
  8. razorsharp

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    Thanks Melanie. I agree sexuality is only one part of me. But it does seem to potentially have major repercussions on how life pans out. For example, getting married would probably be a bit harder for me. This will lead to my family and friends wondering and questioning why it hasn't happened yet etc It makes me feel out of place to be honest. I've been troubled with this for a long time so I am used to it, but it is getting to the stage now where it's getting tiresome. I agree it does make me pretty depressed in general. It is also a little frustrating because deep down I know there isn't a real solution for it.

    As I mentioned earlier, although it is only one part of myself, all the negativity surrounding it has had an effect on my personality in general. I have a pretty low self esteem and I think I would have been a bit more outgoing if it wasn't for this. It does play in the back of my mind especially during interactions with 'normal' people. I essentially feel odd/ abnormal compared to my peers.

    Well, thank you for at least hearing me out. I know there is nothing I can really do about it apart from gritting my teeth and continuing with my miserable existence until God finally puts me out of my misery, hopefully sooner rather than later.
     
  9. KyleD

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    Do you have anyone in real life you can talk to about your struggles?
     
  10. razorsharp

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    No as I mentioned in an earlier post I have no one at all. That's another thing that makes it a bit harder. Not only is there no solution, there is also no real support network. Then again there are people in the world who have far more stressful circumstances who genuinely warrant real support.
     
  11. BookDragon

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    Cut that out. Just because other people have it worse than you doesn't mean your problems aren't real and don't deserve support.
     
  12. CyclingFan

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    ^^^this 100%.

    I speak from personal, self destructive experience.
     
  13. Corwin

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    Hi,

    I understand how you feel - I've been exactly there. When I was your age, I felt I had the exact two options that you see for yourself.

    But now, after a 10 year marriage that came to an end a few years ago, and with 27 more years under my belt than you have, I'm here to tell you that things can change for you.

    I was also raised in a strongly religious family which was Catholic. My attraction to guys has been there for most of my life, though I tried to deny it. I thought it was a phase that would go away. I thought that if I ignored it and refused to acknowledge it, it would go away, and that even if it didn’t, I could continue to ignore it and live life as a straight guy.

    But carrying around those repressed feelings my whole life left me feeling like there was something wrong with me, and kept me from being truly at peace. There was always this lurking fear that someone would find out. And a lot of shame and self recrimination for how I felt.

    I thought I was happy in my marriage, at least at the beginning. I was devastated when it ended. For a long time, I didn’t care if I lived or died. And even though I had been alone for a long time before the marriage, I didn’t want to return to that life. But after the dust of the long divorce settled, and I occasionally thought of finding another life partner, there was still this nagging thought that marrying another woman might not be the best course for me.

    And so I started really exploring my inner feelings and trying to figure out if I was really gay. I read a lot and did a lot of soul searching, and rather suddenly a couple of months ago, something within me flipped, and I was suddenly able to accept who I am.

    And I mean truly accepted it. Not only am I OK with it now, but I’m happy about it, and even grateful for it. And it’s rather amazing the transformation that has come over me. I have this underlying joy that isn’t going away, and a sense of excitement for my future. I look back over my life, and see all the signs that I tried to deny, and wonder why it took me so long to admit the truth.

    I think the biggest that happened was that I came to realize that, despite some peoples’ interpretations of the Bible, God made me this way, and he did it for a reason. And I don’t think he intended it to make me unhappy. It was my refusal to accept it that made me unhappy.

    Even though you can’t see acceptable options right now, you need to know that they exist. God does not give us problems that don’t have solutions. You may not find it overnight, but please don’t give up.

    You’ve found a great resource in this community. There are a lot of people here who have been through what you’re going through, and who want to help. Spend some time here where you can get the support that you don’t have in your offline life.

    I hope you can eventually find the peace that I’ve found. It will be worth it, however long it takes.
     
  14. Linux Lenny

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    I can understand your struggle , one year ago I was exactly where you are now , I was really hopeless and miserable but believe me you will be fine at the end , just start the self-acceptance process and time will solve your problems . I am not fully happy right now , I am still struggling but I am a LOT better than before . When you start accepting your feelings , you will start looking at these feelings from a different perspective , and you will realize that things are not bad as you think . Slowly slowly you will start seeing life in a different way and you will realize that you deserve to live and to be happy as the same as any other human being . You are not less than your peers , you deserve to love and to be loved and you will love life after that .

    I can really understand everything you are going through right now but believe me you will be better and happier one day .
     
  15. mnguy

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    Hey man, welcome to EC; I'm glad you found us (*hug*) I gotta say that I have some similar feelings about this whole gay thing and hoping for life to hurry up and get over with. People say that the years pass by faster the older we get and I've found that to be true although I think being depressed makes it feel slower too so maybe it's a wash. This state of mind really sucks and we shouldn't be this way. I have the same thoughts as you that others have much more difficult challenges in life so I shouldn't complain, but that doesn't help. I've been going through this for quite a few more years than you so it is possible to continue as you are, but I hope you don't.

    You and I differ in that I believe human sexuality is equally good in all its variation. Why would sexuality be the only human trait with no variation? I think that idea is man made and possibly insulting to God who is much more creative than that. Anti-abortion people say each life is God's special creation, but if that kid turns out gay, they say he has to change and become something he can't. I find that mentality very cruel. Things that are morally wrong hurt other people and I don't see how sexuality when on our own or with other consenting adults hurts anyone in any real way. Sure someone can say I think gay people having sex is wrong so if you do that it offends me, but that's like saying I'm a vegan so if you drink milk that offends me. Those actions don't actually hurt that person. I'd say people who are like that are being selfish, controlling and need to mind their own business. There are immoral sexual actions such as rape and abuse, but as you can see, those actions don't involve other consenting adults. How do you define morality? Don't be afraid to critically think about this and reject previously held notions if they have no basis in reality. I believe a relationship between two men or two women can be every bit as good, valuable and loving as straight couples.

    Obviously you have to make your own decisions and find your own path, but I wanted to let you know you're not alone with the struggles you're going through and to maybe give you some new things to consider. There are churches that have come to the conclusion that God made us just as He wanted and fully accept GLBT people. Here's a link to the first part of my favorite video about Christianity and being gay. I hope it helps at least in a small way. Take care and I wish you all the best.
    How can I be sure that God loves me, too? - Part one - YouTube
     
  16. Choirboy

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    razorsharp - I agree with some of the previous comments about seeing a therapist, but I think being gay isn't really the first thing to talk about. It sounds like your homosexuality is kind of serving as a scapegoat for some other issues you have with self-acceptance and concerns about family and such.

    I'll go on the record with you first as saying that I don't believe being gay is something you can change, and personally, I don't see it as something "wrong", despite some degree of upbringing to the contrary. But it's also not the only aspect of your personality and it's not some kind of "make or break" personality trait that makes TILT light up on the pinball machine and starts docking you some kind of "points".

    Many of us have issues with anxiety, or abandonment, or the need for acceptance. We look at our gay feelings and they trigger all sorts of worries. What will people think of me? Will my family abandon me? Will God abandon me? Will I be left to fend for myself without any support network of any kind? We take the fact that we're gay and use that to magnify all those fears, but really, the fears were already there. If you weren't gay, there would be some other factor that would be causing the anxiety and depression. Like, what if I don't get straight A's? What if I don't get the job I want? What if I don't do this or that thing that "everyone" expects me to do?

    My advice is, talk to someone about the fears and problems with self-worth FIRST. Those are the problems that will eat away at your happiness, gay OR straight. Spending your life worried about what other people think about you, or how your family or town will react if you do x or y, is very destructive, and it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight. Learning how to have some self-respect and confidence in your own decisions will make it much easier to face your sexuality in a positive way, a way not triggered by fear and shame and worry. Don't make your sexuality the be-all, end-all of your personality, because it's really only one of many aspects of who you are. It's an important one, though, and one you will have to deal with eventually--there's no denying that. I tried to ignore it and bury it for years, and in the end, I couldn't. But developing some feeling of self-worth and self-respect will make it a lot easier for you to look at your sexuality in a calm and rational way, and start making decisions that will make you a healthier person in the long run.
     
  17. LuvMyIB

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    It seems that you are extremely depressed. Suicidal thought can make your vision on life foggy. Been there, but it doesn't last forever if you seek help not because of your gay feeling. You need to seek help for your suicide tendencies instead. Once you get that under control all else will fall into place. You may never accept yourself for who you are on the inside but at least your mind will be healthier and you will find a place at ease. Dying is not a solution it is an out. Don't be a statistic be a fighter. You have to love yourself first!!!!

    Seek help and life will fall into place!
     
  18. razorsharp

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    Choirboy, I do agree with some of your comments, but disagree with others. You're right, I do have other issues in life that also make me unhappy. It is not just homosexuality. Even if I didn't have homosexual feelings, I doubt if I'd be very happy because of various other problems in life (everyone has problems).

    However, in some ways, I'm disappointed in the way I've turned out. I didn't think that I would reach this age and still not be married, still struggling with my sexuality to the point where I'm starting to realise that marrying a woman may be difficult and even unfair on her. I guess I always hoped that I would have 'had this figured out' by now, but unfortunately not.

    Yes, I do worry about people's expectations of me, especially my family. They all think I should be married by now and the longer this lasts, the harder it will be for me. I would actually not mind too much if I went through life single/ celibate. But reality is that people have their expectations. There is also the matter of sexual desire that would be fulfilled by marriage.

    The other thing is that, growing up in my environment, it is sometimes hurtful when I hear comments being made about homosexuals, as if they are the worst of mankind. Don't get me wrong, I disagree with homosexuality myself. But hearing these comments provokes a thought inside me that cries out: 'but I might be one of them'.

    I would be interested in seeing a therapist, but I'm not sure what type of therapist you mean. Are there therapists that specialise in these issues?
     
    #38 razorsharp, May 12, 2014
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  19. jnr183

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    You could probably just search for counselors or therapists in your area on Google. Some say that are involved in relationship/couples counseling or are LGBT-friendly.
     
  20. BMC77

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    You say marrying a woman "may be difficult and even unfair on her." It would be more accurate to say "it would be difficult and unfair." Take a good, long hard look at some of the stories in LGBT Later in Life. You'll see plenty of men who got married, thinking they could "make it work" even though they were gay. Only to find that no, it didn't work, and they ended up with a messy divorce, with the wife feeling hurt by the whole mess.