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The physical pain of hiding in the closet

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Frankie46, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. Frankie46

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    Hello all.
    I’ve never posted here so please bare with me if I start to ramble. Im actually writing this post as it is such a relief to be able to share this, even if nobody actually reads or comments.
    I am 46 years old and living so deep inside the closet I’m expecting to see characters from Narnia. The pain of living a lie is tangible most days. I can feel euphoric some days and invincible, and other days I can feel a physical pain in my chest and a sadness that I am 46 and wasting my days living a big fat lie. I have been single for 6 years after the breakup with my ex who is the father to my two lovely kids. I have always had an attraction to the same sex over the years but put the thought to bed and continued with heterosexual relationships. I have had one relationship in the last 6 years with a lovely man who I previously dated years ago, as I thought that maybe I could ‘quash’ the all consuming thoughts with a ‘nice man’. So it turns out he is still lovely but the physical side of the relationship was a non starter.

    So what do I do???? What if I’m wrong? I live in a nice but incredibly gossipy town where everybody knows everybody. My teenage son would be destroyed if I bounced out of the closet but I’m fed up of feeling like I’m living in a bubble, watching the world go by.
    I could internet date, but I’m not prepared to take the gamble with posting my mugshot over the internet in the hope that nobody local notices.
    I have only confided in one friend and the relief was amazing. To be fair my friend was amazing. Well, you can stop yawning now as I’ll sign off. Thank you for letting me ramble. Frankie
     
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  2. Really

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    First off...

    Welcome to EC! You’ve come to the right place to work all this out. Lots of similar stories and good advice from all quarters. :}

    Secondly, take a breath and give yourself a break. You don’t need to figure this all out this minute. Now that you’re here, you’ll read how others have done it and see how you can take steps to get to where you’re happy and comfortable with yourself.

    As for being wrong, you’re not. There’s something called Compulsory Heteronormativity and it’s real. Look it up. Also, here’s a short video that addresses this particular worry which might shed some light on it and help you on this one thing for starters. :]



    Anyways, stick around and keep posting. :slight_smile:
     
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  3. Frankie46

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    Hey. Thank you for the link.
     
  4. CatWho

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    Hey... Welcome! I am also 46 years old and have just accepted that I'm gay. I grappled with the idea for several years (although deep down I always knew), during which I just completely stopped dating. My first step was probably finding this site and feeling like I had people to talk to. I then started the online dating thing. I, just like you was worried about putting myself out on the internet like that. I had actually kind of "peeked" on some sites and then chickened out in the years leading up to this year. This year I finally just felt like I needed to try... and hey, if I'm on a lesbian dating site the other people on there are also lesbians, right? So, if I saw someone I know or someone I know saw me, so what! That wouldn't be so bad.

    Anyway, I'm now out to 3 close friends, who were all great when i told them. I was so nervous/scared but they were so supportive and put me at ease. I am still struggling with telling my close family. It's hard to do but there is such a strong desire to just get it out and be who I have always been meant to be. Bottom line... you are not alone!

    Be patient with yourself. It isn't easy! The fear will make you doubt it, but be honest with yourself. You deserve to be yourself. Take small steps and eventually you will start feeling more confident. Oh yeah... and I also looked at a bunch of stuff online, similar to what was posted by Really. It helped.

    The people on here are great so keep posting and reading posts. It really is comforting to see others have gone through the same stuff.
     
  5. Frankie46

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    Hi CatWho

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    It’s so nice just to read a reply from somebody else who has/is having the same feelings. Do you have any children? I’m only asking as this is my reason for being so careful about not revealing my sexuality to anyone else. God it’s a killer, I find myself lying about every aspect of my day.
    Well, on that note I need get up for work. Have a great day. Frankie x
     
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  6. LostInDaydreams

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    Hi and welcome to EC! :slight_smile:

    Well done on all your progress so far!

    As @Really said, you’ve come to the right place and you’re far from being the first person in this situation. I was in a long term relationship with a man (and we have a daughter too), when I realised that I was gay. I stayed in that relationship for another three years, so I understand how suffocating and draining it is to keep living a pretence.

    It’s normal to have doubts, but you seem fairly sure otherwise, so this could just be the fear of other people’s reactions talking. Can you explain a bit more about why your son would be destroyed? Do you mean in himself or because his friends would find out too?

    Children are generally resilient and adapt well with time. You’ll probably be much happier once this weight has been lifted, which will be better for your children too.

    Some websites give you the option of hiding your profile, so you only interact with people where you’ve made the first move.

    Are there any lesbian groups near you? That way you would be meeting like minded people and they would probably be understanding.
     
  7. Frankie46

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    Hi Lostindaydreams.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to message. You’re not kidding, it is suffocating and draining and I feel like I’m just getting closer and closer to blurting it out. Although this would be completely ridiculous as this would completely screw things up with my son. Kids are resilient but my son is at that awkward pre teen age when even being seen with me causes him great embarrassment. If word got out that he had a gay mother he would be mortified and I can’t do that to him. My daughter is a little younger and not really an issue in comparison. How did your daughter take the news and how old was/is she? Do you have a partner?
    I actually feel a little ridiculous as I’ve never even had a relationship with someone of the same sex and I’m struggling to even make baby steps in the right direction. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable attending a ‘lesbian’ group, it’s really not me (no offense). Perhaps I do need to investigate some of the dating sites a little more as this situation is killing me off. Seriously, I could work for MI5 with my covert skills.
    Anyway, it’s late and I need some Zz’s. Night all. Frankie x
     
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  8. CatWho

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    Hi Frankie46,

    This sight is great for finding people with the same feelings. It helped me a lot. I do not have any kids but understand your concern. As others said, kids are resilient. Not only that, but in most places they've grown up with much more acceptance of lgbtq people than when we were growing up. I know that when I was growing up, I didn't know any lgbtq people. I also attended catholic school so it was not accepted. Many kids today see more about lgbtq people and often know someone who is. Still, I get that you want to tread lightly when it comes to your kid.

    I was all gung ho about coming out in the beginning of the year, then the pandemic hit. Things feel more complicated now. Also, my mom is recently diagnosed with early dementia. I'm not sure how or if I should tell her but I'm seeing someone (met on a dating app) and would love to tell her. It's hard because I feel like even if your family is open and supportive of the lgbtq community, it's hard to know how they will react to someone close to them coming out. Ultimately, I think that most will need to adjust to the news but many are more accepting these days.

    Another example... I have a friend whose teenage daughter came out. This friend is accepting and always has been but was concerned at first. She was supportive even when she was concerned. Also, her daughter came out to her younger teen sisters before coming out to her mom. So, I think most kids are more accepting (again, it may depend on where you live too).

    Good luck! It can be a tough road but you'll get there :slight_smile:
     
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  9. LostInDaydreams

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    My daughter is six and I don’t have a partner, so it hasn’t really come up yet. My ex was emotionally abusive and still has his moments now, so whilst things are mostly good, I’m not going to let him find out before he needs to know. Six year olds tell everyone everything, so if I tell her then he’d probably find out and he’s made homophobic comments in the past.

    I think teens are always embarrassed by their parents, as you say, so I don’t think I would let it stop me. For one thing, as @CatWho says, young people are generally really accepting. I used to be a teacher and I’ve seen teenage boys publicly pull their friends up for making homophobic comments and such comments were a rare occurrence. Also, I’d like to teach my daughter to just be herself and not worry so much about what other people might be thinking, as that’s something I’ve done far too much myself. But, obviously you know your son best.

    Everyone has to start somewhere and you’re not alone. Yeah, groups aren’t for everyone and probably not an option at the moment anyway with the coronavirus restrictions. If all else fails, you can keep chatting anonymously here. It really does help.
     
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  10. Dreambig77

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    Oh my goodness, this is my story in so many ways, except I am 43, and have 4 adult or almost adult kids. I am married for the third time to a man, luckily this time its a sexless marriage (He has performance issues but I actually suspect he may be bi...long story). In any case, sex with a man is the furthest from enjoyable for me. I am just not attracted and boy have I tried to force myself to be over the years...doesnt work.

    I can say Ive never had a positive or truly fulfilling sexual experience at 43 yrs and thats depressing! Ive lived my entire life as straight, dated only men, had kids, fit in the norm and yet Im miserable as far as emotional/closeness Is concerned. I absolutely love my husband, we get along perfect, are best friends and connect in every way except sexually...but something is always missing. Its just not complete and I still want to be with a woman.

    In truth, there have been many signs that I was gay over the years...just never paid attention and put all the pieces together until a few years ago. Im just lost, and also sad that at this point in my life I may never get to experience my truth. I too have thought about joining an online dating site, just to mingle but I dont feel safe enough to put myself or my pic out there either. I totally understand you! Anyway, its complicated and Im rambling too, so I will stop. Thanks so much for sharing your story and reading mine :slight_smile:
     
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  11. Dreambig77

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    Hi Frankie! Im in a similar situation, Covert is such a perfect word for it! I will tell you, as a mom with kids, I too have found them to be extremely accepting. My 15 yr old daughter came out two years ago that she is a lesbian, or possibly bisexual, right around the time I was figuring myself out. We talked, she fully supported me and wanted me to date a woman, I havent. I also got extremely daring and told my then 20 yr old daughter, who also supported me. I even came out to one stranger (a gay facilitator) at a mama gena All womens love yourself gathering a few years back because she made me feel safe and she herself came out in front of thousands of women. I was gung ho, determined to just let it out and be me, but closed it back down and am back in my bubble. So, I understand completely. That craving for closeness and intimacy with a woman is so strong and Im not sure how to even move forward. At least we are meeting wonderful people here who share similar stories and thats refreshing in itself! Have yourself a wonderful day!
     
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  12. Peterpangirl

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    Welcome to EC. And you are welcome to ramble. Your story sounds very familiar. My ex lives in a small town and came out to teenage boys...they were both supportive. And believe me, though she thought maybe people were looking at her when she came out, I think it was a two minute wonder as far as other people were concerned....soon old news and most people are too absorbed in their own lives to pay much heed. I was 42 when I started coming out and she was 45. Now I am 45. Life passes so quickly. You are single and free to live your life. In truth I do believe it is a harder world for gay people, but if you are gay it is better to live a harder, fulfilled life than a conforming one in which you are a square peg in a round hole. There are many lovely men out there, but what is the point in going through the motions if you are unable to feel the feels?
     
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  13. out2019

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    Only you can decide, but the first two quotes are a pretty good hint no?

    Don't feel bad - I am single unmarried no kids and still scared to come out. I had/have the same fear 'what if I am wrong' but what I realized the real fear is exactly what you state here:
    I will add one thought I found helpful to the amazing video that @Really posted - if I had fantasies as intense about women as I do about men - romantic, sexual, intimate, would I brush it off and say 'that's no proof I am straight?' - of course not I would leap at the chance to 'prove' I was straight. Yet I have intense fantasies about being with men in sexual ways that only men can do to one another, and I wonder if I am gay? :slight_smile:
     
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  14. out2019

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    Thanks for posting this! Sometimes I think a lot of 'how can you be sure' or 'are you gay' videos leave me feeling more confused than ever, I understand why other videos do that but sometimes it's refreshing to watch videos like this :slight_smile: