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Letting people in after years of hiding...

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by CatWho, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. CatWho

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    Lately, in trying to take the step of coming out to someone in my life, In doing so, I've realized the distance that is now between me and my friends and family. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this, because I am feeling a stronger urge to come out everyday, but this is a big obstacle for me. I've always been very private/shy about talking about personal things, but I did have a couple of close friends that I felt a bit more comfortable talking to. I told my best friend that I grew up with everything but I'm realizing now, still held back more on my feelings (probably due to my uncertainty and/or embarrassment). Now that we are older, we talk much less. We text somewhat regularly, but we no longer talk on the phone or spend time really talking about stuff like we used to. It is in part my own internalizing my feelings, but I also feel like they are not there for me like they used to be. We are older and busier and our lives are different. They have kids and we just don't have the same interests/priorities. Same for family. We are close, but I have held back this part of me and am struggling to make it known.
    I made an attempt to come out to one of my best friends. I texted her in a private text (we have a group text that we usually chat in). I told her that I really needed to talk to her about something. She asked if I was okay and I told her that I was. Then I said that I have been dealing with something on my own that I really need to talk to someone else about. She replied that I can call her anytime and that she's be home that night if I wanted to call her. After having a couple of glasses of wine (liquid courage), I was trying to get the guts up to call her and then my electricity went out. Without electricity my phone doesn't work and my cell service is spotty. So, I texted her and told her that my power was out. I didn't bring up what I texted earlier and neither did she. That was Monday. It is now Friday. I never called and didn't text her about it again. What bothers me is that she didn't even text or call me to check in after that... I mean not even to just see if I was okay. I'm really having a hard time and feel like nobody is there for me, even when I make an attempt to reach out. It makes me feel so much more distant from people and harder to talk to anyone. I makes me just think, screw it, why do I even care to tell anyone? It kind os sucks though. I try to be there for the people in my life when they need me but feel like once they have something else; partner, kids, whatever... I no longer matter. It is harder to make them see me and who I am , because they just aren't looking or paying attention.
    I'm kind of thinking of just coming out in a text and being done with it. Any thoughts? Has anyone else struggled with the distance that develops between you and the people in your life, from both hiding or just life changes?
     
  2. CatWho

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    Okay, so my friend texted me like 5 minutes after I posted this... maybe I'm a bit overly sensitive? Also... 5 minutes after...maybe paranoid now too! LOL
     
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  3. BiGemini87

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    Definitely dealt with the distance thing, but not from other people; more like I was holding them at a distance (which has to do with more than my orientation, since there are a lot of things I repress).

    I'm glad your friend got in touch with you, though. Maybe she didn't want to push you at first, or maybe life just got really busy. I hope the conversation goes/went well?
     
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  4. SevnButton

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    Hi @CatWho -

    Yeah, that sound familiar! I am also very private. My story is that I desperately want to connect deeply with other people, and I always have. But while I have been very careful to keep people from noticing that I'm not entirely straight, I've also kept them at a distance. It's odd how I've sort of automatically developed habits that reinforce that, like making sure I keep conversation superficial and avoiding going deeper. I end up passing up opportunities because I just fall into my automatic habits, kind of like you telling your friend you had something that you had to deal with on your own, rather than letting your friend in a little bit right then and there. It just happens.

    One friend (to whom I'm totally out) tells me that I just shouldn't care what other people think. But I do. That's all part of connecting deeply. And I hate rejection.

    I just try to I just try to remember that sometimes big changes are the accumulation of many little changes. One step at a time.
     
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  5. NoName87

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    That is very true!! It is easy to use life as a scapegoat, way too easy. The hard part is saying enough is enough and let yourself move forward, whatever that maybe. My biggest hurdle is work, all my excuses for change and I can usually blame on work.

     
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  6. silverhalo

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    It is tough when you are dealing with something so big in your mind and you are wanting or expecting a certain reaction from something that you are interacting with and it doesnt come. I think it is common to feel the distance and have the difficulties you are facing but it doesnt sound like your friends dont care it just sounds like they have busy lives and sometimes we also perhaps think people want space when they dont. Keep believing, things will get better.
     
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  7. CatWho

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    Thanks for your responses. It is definitely bigger in my head but it's a sensitive thing to me. Although I keep chickening out, my friend has reached out for me to talk to her and told me that whatever I tell her wouldn't change how she feels about me. I know this is true but am just having a hard time with it. Everything inside me tells me that it shouldn't be, but it still is.
     
  8. CatWho

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    I did it! I told my friend and the whole talk went great! She was really supportive, as I knew she would be even though I was freaking out about it. It felt really good, not only to tell her and get it off my chest, but that when I asked her if she was surprised, she was not. In fact, the times that I saw it in me, going years back, she also recognized and actually brought up to me that she saw it. Even though she is only the first person I've told, and probably the easiest to tell, it feels like a small weight has been lifted. At least I now have someone that knows and that I can talk to about it and about dating again.
    Thanks again for all the support, EC friends. You have been a huge help to me!
     
  9. SevnButton

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    Yay!! That's great news. Thanks for the follow-up, @CatWho !

    It's interesting how it's so much easier to come out here on Empty Closets than it is to come out in-person. Someone posted that coming out to a friend or family member often comes with the risk of losing your connection to that person.
     
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  10. silverhalo

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    Hey congratulations thats great news :slight_smile:
     
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  11. Scwerl

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    Congratulations! What a big step. I do a lot of the same things you do, holding back who I am. I'm reaching the final phase of coming out, getting ready to tell my parents. Scared as hell about it, but ready to just stop hiding and lying about who I am.
    Really happy you had a chance to talk and she was so supportive!
     
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  12. CatWho

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    I really want to tell my mom and brother but am really scared too. I also feel like I need to so I can live my life without hiding who I am. It's hard but hope I'll get there soon. Good luck to you in telling your parents!
     
  13. Scwerl

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    I did it. And it went really well. I knew the time was right, and I'd prepared for the worst. Pleasantly surprised it all went as good as it did. The little bit if resistance I think will diminish with time.
    But I can finally begin living as myself, and I hope my anxiety will reduce. No one can decide for you, but you will kist know when the time is right. The weight lifted is astounding and I am so so so hopeful for the future!
    Best of luck with your journey. I'm in your corner, bo matter what you decide.
     
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  14. silverhalo

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    You will get there, I know it sometimes feels like you are not sure you will find the courage but you will. For me when I was first dealing with my sexuality the only way I can describe it is like a set of old fashioned scales. On one side was my fear of coming out and on the other my desire for people to know. To begin with my fear was so heavy there was no way it was moving off the floor but over time my desire for people to know also became heavier and my fear slightly lighter. As the time passed this continued until one day the scales tipped in the other direction and my fear was lighter than my wish to be out. It will happen when you are ready.
     
  15. silverhalo

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    Congratulations this is great news :slight_smile: