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Struggling to accept myself

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Cat Lady, May 3, 2021.

  1. Cat Lady

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    I'm 37, and I've pretty much always known I'm not straight. Knowing and accepting are two totally different animals, and I'm struggling with the acceptance part.
    I suppose acceptance would be easier if I could out a name on it. I'm pretty sure I'm pan, but idk if that's it. Am I over thinking this?
    I'm also having loads of anxiety over the idea of coming out. Like I feel sick just thinking about it because I know most people won't accept me. Part of me wonders if this fear and anxiety I'm having is part of the reason I'm struggling to accept myself.
    I don't want to hide who I am anymore, and I don't know how to get over my anxiety enough to stop hiding.
    Sorry if this is rambly and incoherent. I'm just lost.
     
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  2. Lemony

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    Hi Cat,
    Maybe we should start with what brought you to EC, what happened for you to make an account here?

    I am bisexual so I know how the anxiety feels when you’re trying to figure it all out and the fear. Know we are all here for you and ready to listen. :heart:
     
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  3. QuietPeace

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    Welcome to EC.

    I know what it is to worry about not being accepted. I myself was rejected by my family and I encountered such opposition where I lived that first I moved to a different city and eventually I changed what country I lived in.

    It is possible to accept yourself even if no one around you does. What being around accepting people does help with is living a full life as your true self. We really need to be out to the people who we are intimate with. Could you find a city some place close to where you live where there might be an LGBT+ group that meets? This way you do not have to worry about the judgement of people where you live but can also have accepting friends.
     
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  4. I'm gay

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    I believe the biggest stumbling block to self-acceptance is shame.

    I think much of the anxiety and fear about coming out is rooted in your perception of how other people will react to you. Knowing the people in your life, and their general attitudes, you predict they will not accept you. I don't know if that's accurate or not, since I don't know you or the people in your life, but my experience was that some of the people I thought would not accept me, readily did.

    For me, I had to finally give up on caring about what people thought of me. Once I realized that I do not have control over what people thought of me, and really I never did no matter how much I tried to manage other people's perceptions of me, then it stopped actually being important. Shame fell away soon after.

    If you search YouTube for Brene Brown's videos on shame, you will see many videos that are highly recommended to watch. She has very helpful insight and advice on dealing with shame.
     
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  5. QuietPeace

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  6. Suitsme

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    You’re not rambling and you’re not incoherent :slight_smile:

    I was pretty much in the same boat when I was 38. What triggered me after years of ignoring my sexuality and gender was the fact that I fell in love with a woman. She fell in love with me. It knocked me sideways.

    Acceptance followed, then everything just came to a head and if you can imagine a massive jumble of knotted wires in your head and stomach with everything misfiring, that’s how I felt. I joined a forum similar to this one and confused myself even more. It took a heap ton of guts to come out to my husband and family. I felt ashamed, guilty, selfish and plain bad to the bone.

    Once I’d come out and people accepted it I then went on my journey of self discovery and beat myself up because I couldn’t find the right labels for me. I didn’t know if I was female, male, somewhere in between. I didn’t know if I was lesbian, bi, pan. I hadn’t got a clue and I literally nearly had a full on nervous breakdown.

    A kind soul said to me, “You are you, you are unique, just be yourself and forget labels”

    I’m 51 now and I just live each day, accepting myself for my differences to most people and love who I love. I accept me and all my eccentricities.

    Try not to be ashamed and try not to beat yourself up. As that person said to me, “You are you and you are unique”. Love who you love and accept yourself for the amazing person you are. Just take your time in coming out and start with people you’ll feel most comfortable with and then go from there.
     
    #6 Suitsme, May 5, 2021
    Last edited: May 5, 2021