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Holding my breath

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Bluenote, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Bluenote

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    This is all so new, and frightening and exhilarating at the same time. I'm a 55 yo woman in a 30 year marriage - but I was knocked over by an incredibly powerful crush that developed a month ago and I'm not the same person that I was. I'm such an idiot that I wrote down my feelings and shared them with the "crushee". I felt I had no choice that I would emotionally explode if I couldn't express them.

    Now, after being told (very nicely I might add) that my feelings were not reciprocated, I am left stranded emotionally. I feel that I glimpsed a new and exciting world - and I can't, don't want to return to my old life. In shock at my new reality of identity, I talked to my husband. He was a great listener, but I'm afraid he is more worried that I'll walk out the door than in helping me to figure out my new self.

    I'm so glad I found this forum and I've been reading non-stop for the past week. I'm not sure what is next for me and I'm shakier than I can ever remember, but I don't want to pretend that it didn't happen. Now, I'm rehashing the last 35 years and realizing all the signs that I missed along the way. I've always been attracted to women, I fantasize about women, but for some reason this experience finally knocked out whatever pretext I had of being straight. I'm emotionally a wreck and just trying to breathe. Any advice is welcome.
     
  2. Adray

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    Welcome, Bluenote!

    Give yourself time to find yourself. You are at the beginning of a great life journey. Allow yourself to accept who you really are.

    Your husband will need time to process it all, as well.

    Good luck and hugs and best wishes!
     
  3. Contented

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    Bluenote, welcome. What you experiencing is both exciting and frightening. Going through the same right now. You've come to right place!

    My thread might help give you an idea of my journey to accepting my homosexuality fully.

    " not at this age" under LBGT later in life.

    Good luck and try to enjoy the journey you are about to undertake.
     
  4. Stewie

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    You are far from alone on this journey, many of us here have gone through very similar realizations, welcome to EC! (&&&)
     
  5. Moonsparkle

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    Welcome Bluenote! You will find EC to be a friendly, helpful and supportive online environment as you begin this new chapter of self exploration.

    Keep in mind that just as you were 'in shock at your new reality of identity,' that your husband is likely equally as shocked! This is all new to both of you. And I am sure he is feeling confused and scared. Moving forward you will both need to have a lot of open and honest communication and sensitivity to each others feelings.

    Not sure that I have any specific advice for you, other than to encourage you to embrace this journey and to live your truth. When I started being truthful and real about my sexuality to myself and others it made it easier to live authentically in all areas of my life. It's all still a work in progress though and the journey continues :slight_smile:

    I hope you have someone (besides your husband) you can talk to about this. A trusted friend or family member, I think sharing your thoughts and feelings would be helpful.

    All the best to you Bluenote
     
  6. bearheart

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    Bluenote, it is a struggle that many here have passed through. I recommend that you start seeing a therapist, preferably one that specializes in sexuality and/or lgbt issues. A professional therapist would definitely help at this stage.
    Till then, remember to breath! Take a deep breath, count to 4 while taking it, hold it for another 4 count, then release it at 4 too (4 or 5 or 6 whatever comes easier with you). Repeat it while trying not to think about anything. It'll help you relax and keep this emotional outburst under relative control.
     
  7. WanderingMind

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    Hey Bluenote. You're not alone. EC has been a safe place to figure things out.
     
  8. Bluenote

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    Thanks everybody. You have all been so welcoming - and it is helping me to breathe! Fortunately, I do have a friend that I spoke to last week about the situation and she has been wonderful and offered to talk whenever I needed it. I think I need a lot of talk sessions just to try to navigate from here.
     
  9. Peterpangirl

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    I can completely relate to this experience turning your whole identity on it's head. I had a similarly powerful awakening and now realise that the "admiration" I have had for various women over my life were also crushes, albeit less intense than the one that awoke me. I am middle-aged and married with children, so this is proving very difficult and painful all around.
     
    #9 Peterpangirl, Feb 20, 2017
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  10. JackieScut

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    Hello Bluenote. I too joined this site recently and apprehensively! I have been learning to navigate around and have left a couple of posts but until I read yours I felt very much like a duck out of water. I am like you and had something happen last year with another woman, that was not reciprocated and I felt like a love sick teenager. I knew there were feelingsfor her but it wasn't till a few drinks and a big heart to heart one night about alsorts that I told her that I was attracted to her! This was like a switch being flicked... since then it is consuming me. I am 52 with 4 children. I have been a single parent for many years now, quite happily resigning myself to being alone. I have never been content in any of the relationships I have had, and like you said in your post have started to go over my life and have realised why. I now feel that I may either have a very new and exciting life to explore, or a very confusing keep it all to myself life. Reading your post helped me so much. It was the first post that I read on here that I could actually relate to. I am not sure what I hope to get from joining this site, but I must admit that just typing this entry is actually helping. It's a bit like an online diary that is a lot safer and and hopefully answers back lol, Jx
     
  11. Bluenote

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    Peterpangirl and jackiescutt17,
    This is so valuable to see that I'm not the only one to feel this way. You both have validated what I was feeling, and it's crazy how much that helps me to let the future unfold however it will.

    My husband is back to acting like nothing has changed, meanwhile I'm trying to find coffee shops to bring my laptop to that have a gay clientele just to see how it feels to hang out - and hope for a glance. I feel like I'm navigating through a dark house without a flashlight, having no idea which way to turn.
     
  12. Peterpangirl

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    I am planning on going to my first lgbt meet up on Friday evening. People are going for drinks and I managed to get a couple of friends to agree to come with me for a bit of moral support (one of whom self-identifies as bi). I am quite apprehensive, but I feel like I need to reach out, as I feel really isolated right now.
     
    #12 Peterpangirl, Feb 22, 2017
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  13. JackieScut

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    Peterpangirl, where did you find that meet? I have looked online and am totally lost. Some of the sites I have happened across I have quickly come off lol. I feel like Bluenote said that i'm going through a darkhouse with no flashlight! I'm not sure what I want but feel that i'm missing something. I haven't confided in anyone yet about my feelings. I would love to know how your meeting goes. What sort of reaction did you get when you told your friends? I know some of mine are going to have mixed feelings. It's a shame we can't 'messenger like' chat on here... I would love to chat properly with you all instead of these little snippets. It does make you feel isolated. Since I realised that I have these feelings I feel like i'm in my own little world. It is quite consuming, I know this is something I need to explore but no idea how to begin.

    ---------- Post added 22nd Feb 2017 at 10:43 PM ----------

    Bluenote ... I know what you mean about glances. I occasionally glance at the odd woman, wondering if they are in the same boat as me. Then have to laugh at myself as I really do seem to be in my own little world. Before this happened to me I was totally unbothered about a relationship. I have now totally turned upside down and think if I was to meet someone then I would really make a go of it. I'm not up for anything casual. I think i'm too old for that anyway. I may have to try the laptop/coffee shop thing xx
     
    #13 JackieScut, Feb 22, 2017
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  14. Peterpangirl

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    I just googled it for my city and joined an lgbt group. I have no idea what it will be like. I will probably be the oldest there. I am planning on joining an lgbt choir when I am able, because I wanted to join a choir anyway before all these feelings came to light.
     
  15. Really

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  16. JackieScut

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    Thank you REALLY. x
     
  17. Peterpangirl

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    jackiescutt17. In answer to your question about telling people. I have told a handful of people (other than my H and my brother): two very old friends and three people who I could tell had socially liberal inclinations, but whom I also knew I could avoid in daily life or working life if they received the news badly. My best friend has been very supportive - she told me she is bisexual twenty years ago, but I didn't believe her back then, as her long standing partners have been men. Now I am more empathetic as I appreciate that for some of us, sexuality is non-binary and - for some of us in that category it would appear it shifts over time. The other old friend has been empathetic, but wonders if it was all about one particular woman (whom I fell in love with and felt I couldn't tell for various reasons). However, I have tried to explain to her that, after an honest assessment of myself, when I think about people I am drawn to in daily life, my eyes are more often drawn to women, and in more than just a "oh, she's stylish" kind of way. I was alarmed to find that I could find myself having to avert my eyes from someone's bottom, breasts or that I was noticing little quirks that I liked and wanted to see more of! It is difficult to disentangle these feelings of desiring a woman to be more than a platonic friend from the breakdown within my marriage - it feels like a chicken and egg situation, as I have tried to explain to her. Of the other 3 people it transpires that one identifies as a bisexual herself and another has a sister who came out late as a lesbian, having had a child. Only one of the people has acted a little bizarrely - she is still friendly, but I get the impression that she thinks I'm perving on her sometimes, or on every woman I meet!! I haven't yet been rejected outright by someone, but I'm sure it is only a matter of time...
     
    #17 Peterpangirl, Feb 23, 2017
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  18. Peterpangirl

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    I forgot to add that these attractions that I have only now started recognising often seem to be deeper than just some sort of physical thing - there is that underlying ache of "oh, oh, I'd like to get to know you, be close to you, connect with you on a deeper level..." One member on this forum put it very succinctly and helpfully as a "core need to connect in a deep emotional, spiritual (and - I'd like to add for myself - sensual) way with the masculine (in my case the feminine)" - does that make any sense? Why now? Why so late in life? I have asked myself this many times...
     
  19. Bluenote

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    Peterpangirl,
    I feel that need for connection too! It seems as if that initial jolt or lightning bolt really of attraction that I felt, followed by the most insanely teenage-like crush is being followed by a long buried need to connect - and finally I found "my tribe" to connect to. Hard to explain, except it feels so primal that I must trust it. My problem is how to get there from here. It's like I'm on one side of a chasm and looking out to where I want to be.

    I get the "Why now?" Why so late in life? too...I'm trying hard not to have regrets about such a late discovery. And because it's so late, is there even anything I can do about it at this point? I'm not someone who gets depressed, but I really could if I thought about this more. I found a LGBT friendly therapist nearby and I'm getting the nerve up to call and make an appointment - hoping for some guidance.

    This forum is my lifeline right now - and I'm so grateful for all of you.
     
  20. beenthrdonetht

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    I'm impressed that you wrote it all down and 'fessed up to your crush. You might not have known it at the time, but those are both really good things (usually) to do. First, as we all find out on this forum, writing things down is helpful in and of itself. Second, leaving crushes dangling... well it's what lead to our biggest regrets down the road. You needed to know...and had the courage to find out.

    I think that in your whole coffeeshop idea shows that you are also pretty comfortable (maybe it doesn't seem that way to you) in getting out there. Now how your husband feels is another story. Best outcome: you both decide that you have diverging needs that different people can address, and no one person can be everything at once. And the other person isn't too demanding of exclusivity either. Luckily, we older people tend to be better at that. Good luck!