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Still not making progress

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Dave3030, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. SevnButton

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    Hi @Dave3030 -
    Why do you think your parents cling to you so tightly? Are they trying to protect you? Are they trying to keep you for themselves?
     
  2. LostInDaydreams

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    Why would your sibling be suspicious? From the way you describe it, they seem to have an unhealthy level of interest in (and control over) your life.

    Are there no other places or scenarios where you could have met a friend? Through work? An old friend from school? Once things start up again, could you join a running club or something? It would give a small piece of freedom to get the ball rolling.
     
  3. Dave3030

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    Thanks for both your responses.

    @SevnButton I’m not sure, probably the latter. I think they mean well, and I’m glad I have parents who care for me. But the fact they’re so homophobic and I can’t even contemplate being my true self with them is hard.

    @LostInDaydreams I rarely leave the house, so there’s no situation, other than online, that I could’ve made a friend. I have thought of joining a club of some sort in the past, but there’s little in my area.

    I know my situation must sound mad to most people.
     
  4. chicodeoro

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    Dave - what interests do you have? There are online communities for practically everything these days - that's your alibi so you can pretend this person is nothing more than a friend.

    It does. But as others have said upthread it's YOUR life. Frankly, so what if your parents are suspicious? Let them be suspicious. You are doing nothing wrong in planning to meet someone who might make your life a bit more easy to cope with.
     
  5. Dave3030

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    @chicodeoro thanks for your response.

    I do have interests, and could probably think something up, but I honestly feel like I’m going to have a panic attack if I think of telling them I’ve made a friend.

    I just can’t deal with their questions.

    I hate the pressure it puts on me as well, as I could meet up with whoever, not get on with them, and I feel my parents will be like ‘I told you so.’

    I could just say I’ve made a friend online, and not answer their questions, but that would seem very odd in my opinion.

    I feel like I need to just accept things can’t change. I effectively post on here hoping someone will post something that’ll make me find a way to improve things - but ultimately, only my circumstances can change that.
     
  6. Nickw

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    Hey @Dave3030

    I've suggested this before and I don't know if you have tried it...

    Why can't you just go for a walk, jog or a bike ride? So many times we start something and worry about how it will develop. We get caught up in the "what ifs". This is paralyzing. You must take micro steps to gain your independence. Start out with "mom and dad, I think I need some exercise" and just leave the house. Do something like that every day. Pretty soon, you meet someone while you are out. This can be your story or maybe it can be real. Whatever it takes to meet another person for some outside the house interaction.

    There should be no reason to think your parents will guess your sexual orientation because you want to get some exercise and become healthier. Even straight guys might go for a run.
     
  7. Dave3030

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    I do go outside for exercise. But I’ve never encountered a situation where I would meet someone on a walk or cycle and end up going for a coffee/drink with them. I just can’t see my parents believing that, and I don’t believe it happens that often in the real world.

    Another issue I have with making an acquaintance/friend/whatever is the expectation to add each other on social media nowadays. If I add anyone, my parents/siblings will be sure to check out their profiles - and if they realise that particular person is gay, then it won’t be hard for them to put two and two together.

    The more I write, the more I realise it’s a hopeless situation, and know for my own mental health I just need to come to terms with the fact this is how things are. I don’t even know what I expect from friendship/whatever as I’ve never had it. It also doesn’t help that deep down, I would love to experience more than friendship with someone, but that’s just impossible.
     
  8. Nickw

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    @Dave3030

    First. It DOES happen in real life. My brother met his wife in a park. And, I met the only other bisexual I have ever known walking on the beach.

    But. That's beside the point. What you are doing is gaining freedom with every outing that you do. After awhile, your parents may stop noticing when you are gone and for how long. Then, you say that you are off to a bar to listen to music. Or, you are going to an art show or something. Pretty soon you can say you are hanging out with a friend. The idea is that you don't bite off something that is too big at once.

    If this guy is really of interest to you, can you not just meet him for a walk? Really, you don't even need to tell your parents you met a guy. It's your own time and you shouldn't need to account for it.
     
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  9. Dave3030

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    He is of interest to me, which is what makes it more difficult. I could probably meet someone for a half hour walk - but what if they want to hang out for longer?

    They’d lose interest in me, which is effectively what happened with the one guy I did meet.

    I feel the more I type, the more I’m realising I’m not ever going to be able to change anything. I’ve not had a normal life, and I just don’t know what to do.
     
  10. Nickw

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    @Dave3030

    You've decided to be defeated before you go into battle. Life is a series of a lot of failures before there is success. You didn't learn to talk without failing, or walk, or ride a bike...But, you were, ultimately, successful at those things. When you learned to walk you didn't worry that you didn't know how to run. Life is like that.

    One step at a time...
     
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  11. chicodeoro

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    Nickw is right. You're trying to run before you can walk. I think before you can think of a relationship you need to start living a more independent life.

    Your parents sound incredibly controlling. My stepson is 14 years old but I would never dream of trying to look at his social media page or his phone - that's his private realm. I'm actually quite shocked that you say they would try and control you in this way.
     
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  12. Dave3030

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    Thanks for the further responses.

    I’m not sure about ‘trying to run before I can walk’. I’ve been posting on here for 5 years, and in that time I’ve tried and tried to change my life, but my circumstances just won’t allow it.

    I’m fed up now. I just want to meet this guy, see if I get on with him, if I do, great, if not, oh well. But I’ve got to get past my family to do that, and I just can’t see a way.

    I have genuinely come to terms with the fact I won’t ever have a relationship. But I feel incredibly bitter that I can’t aspire to have friends.

    Like I say. I don’t know what to do - I’m literally posting on here hoping someone posts some magic solution.

    I do genuinely appreciate the responses, but I realise it’s not going to be possible for people to relate to the situation. There’s no gaining an independent life without money.
     
  13. Nickw

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    @Dave3030

    So. To put it in other terms. You are an indentured servant? You cannot leave so they are free to abuse you?
     
  14. old tacoma

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    @Dave3030 — At the beginning of your thread here, you mentioned that you are in your late 20s. You quite literally have a lifetime of opportunity awaiting you, if you only take the first steps on your journey. No one else can take those steps for you. And YOU are the only person who can stop you. I am in my late 60s. Yes, you read that right! When this pandemic shut everything down in March of last year, I spent 2 days sitting at home in my room, wondering how was I going to get through the day, shut at home with my wife. No job, no income, nothing to do except think about this virus that might just kill me. On day 3, I told my wife that I was going out for a walk. She was totally against the idea. She said that I would be putting her at risk and that I didn’t love her. I reminded her that even the Government Health Services were saying that outdoor exercise was safe with proper social distancing. She complained bitterly that I was being completely irresponsible. I stated very simply and firmly that I would go utterly mad if I stayed and sat at home all day. For weeks I heard the same complaints. And then she stopped. She realized that she had lost. My steadfast determination had won. It is now just over one year later. I cannot tell you how many persons I have met while I walk. For most, I just give a nod, or a smile, or a good morning. But every now and then someone may stop me, and I always take a moment to chat. You never know who may be interesting, or interested. In addition to this bit of safe social interaction, my health and fitness has improved noticeably. Just this morning, I was told, “You look fabulous!” and when I passed by the same person again later in my walk, she said, “I mean it sincerely, you do look fabulous.” Before you tell yourself, “Yes, but that would never happen to me,” I say give it a try. Get yourself out there, get walking! Walking is better than running if you hope to connect with others. And say hello to everyone! It doesn’t hurt, and you might be the only person that day who gives them a greeting. And who knows, that old woman you smile at just might have a grandson who would make a great friend for you! You just never can know.
    As a start, I suggest on your first day you set yourself a time limit, tell your parents when you will return, and get back on time. After a suitable number of days, lengthen your walk, and continue to extend your distance until you reach a length of time and distance that you are comfortable with. And do it every day! Consistency is good training for you and your body. Consistency is also good training for your parents to begin their process of letting go of you.
    I will end this post with a cute, but true, moment that also happened this morning. Every day when I walk, I pass by the neighborhood YWCA. The swimming pool is just alongside the highway where I walk. Today, there was a group of women having a water exercise class in the pool. It was quite warm, so I was walking without my shirt on. With their hip-hop music blasting loud, the instructor waved to me, and yelled, “Hello, hello!” Her whole class turned and looked, and started waving and calling out to me. I dare not repeat some of the things they said! It was embarrassing, it was hilarious! It was like a scene from a bachelorette party. A few years ago, @Dave3030, I never ever would have imagined something like that ever happening to me!
    Ah, if only it was a pool full of guys..... ;-)
     
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  15. QuietPeace

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    @Dave3030 I have been reading along as you go through this and after my initial encouragement I have stayed out due to being uncertain of what to say and seeing that you really do not want to make major changes. I have also read your older posts. You seem to have allowed your parents to totally control your life. I have not found a good reason for this other than that they are controlling people. If you have some special need that allows them to have control over you then I am thinking that you might not have a real choice, unless there is an agency where you live that you can appeal to in order to get some independence. If you do not have a special need that allows them to control you then you do have choices, it is just a matter of you deciding whether you want to continue to allow them to control you or if you want a life of your own.

    I allowed my mother to control and mess with my life for many decades. I wish that I had walked away from her control when I was in my 20s but I did not. Not standing up to my trans and homophobic family and church when I was younger is probably my largest regret in life. Until you do decide to stand up to them though you are not going to have any freedom, though the choice is yours and yours alone. They will tell you that you are hurting them but that is gaslighting and manipulation, living as yourself is not hurting anyone else. On the other hand ridiculing you and controlling you to the extent that you are not even allowed to have friends IS in fact harming you but they will refuse to admit it.

    You have said that you do not have enough money to move out. You have your own business and it does not make you enough. If it is impossible to make enough in your own business after as long as you have worked at it maybe it is time to find another income source. If you do not have skills such that you could find a better paying job then maybe you need to work on getting a better or at least different education.

    In the end it is all up to you. Only you can make a difference in your life. When you decide to change your life it will happen. I am not saying that there will not be hard times. I have had difficult times, I have slept on peoples couches and even in my vehicle. Overall though living my life as my true self has been infinitely better than living for other people.
     
  16. Dave3030

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    Thanks for the further responses. I’m very disappointed if my posts have come across in a way that ‘I don’t want to make any major changes.’

    I’ve stated repeatedly that I would leave home tomorrow if I could.

    I have very little money. Even if I did, I have no references to allow me to rent privately, and the likelihood is I would never be given social housing as I would be at the bottom of the priority list.

    I genuinely appreciate that people have taken the time to respond to me, but I do think a lot of you are from very different backgrounds from myself, and don’t realise how hard my situation is. Maybe starting a new life is easier in the US? It’s certainly not over here.
     
  17. Dave3030

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    I do want to also add that I do walk and cycle, and have done for years. I have found very few people that will do anymore than mutter ‘hello’. Even less so in the last year where people (myself included) actively step out of each other’s way due to the pandemic.

    I think this must be a cultural difference between here and the US. The chances of making a friend or having a conversation where I live whilst walking are incredibly small.

    Once again, I do appreciate the suggestion, and get where you’re all coming from.
     
  18. QuietPeace

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    Nowhere in anything that I said did I claim it was easy. My life has been so difficult that I have had many people and even multiple therapists exclaim "how are you still even alive?!". Just because something is difficult does not mean that it is not worth doing. But, as I said before, you are making a choice and that is entirely up to you.
     
  19. Nickw

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    @Dave3030

    To be a bit blunt here. You are putting up roadblocks to everything we suggest here. It still appears you do not understand the concept of "incremental change".

    The increased time cycling is not because I think you might meet your life partner that way. It is that you INCREMENTALLY begin the process of separating from your parents.

    Can you make your outing today last ten minutes longer? Can you do that for a week?
    Next week, can you meet your app friend for a ten minute chat in the park? Because, now your parents expect you to be gone those ten extra minutes. Maybe you're a bit later that day getting back. So what.

    These are just practical suggestions for you to BEGIN the process of gaining some real freedom.

    ONE LITTLE STEP AT A TIME
     
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  20. Dave3030

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    @QuietPeace I didn’t say that you personally claimed it would be easy. But other people, mostly in my other threads, have suggested it’s just a matter of moving away.

    I’m sure your situation has also been difficult, but you mentioned you were able to sleep on other people’s sofas, which isn’t a luxury available to me.

    @Nickw As I’ve said, I go out for walks, and I go out for cycles. I’ve done so for years, but that hasn’t stopped me being interrogated about where I’ve been every time.

    I don’t expect to meet a life partner. I’ve come to terms with the fact a relationship will never be a possibility for me. It would be deeply unfair on the other person.

    My ‘app friend’ won’t want to meet for just a 10 minute chat. I went down this route with my other ‘app friend’, who I told about my situation, and he cut me off because he clearly wanted to find someone he could actually spend time with.

    The only solution to my problem is getting away. The only reason I post in here is in the hope that someone will know of a solution in terms of money or housing that I haven’t thought of. Obviously this is predominantly an American site, so that’s going to be unlikely as the system is probably very different over there.

    Like I said, I genuinely appreciate the responses, but it is probably a situation most would find hard to truly sympathise with.
     
    #40 Dave3030, Apr 1, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021