So, I’m at a loss here personally. I don’t know exactly what or who I am. I’m sexually attracted significantly to other males, but not romantically. I’m also only really into older men, as opposed to guys closer to my age. I’ve only ever been with other males, but am very curious and interested in women as well, despite being a lame and socially awkward person. I’m completely closeted in my feelings, especially since i don’t really know who or what i am. When i think of my future I picture a wife and not a husband, and have never felt any romantic connection with other men, despite having a couple strong romantic feelings about girls back in high school. I’ve been extremely depressed in general this semester, having a hard time doing work staying up to date in class, being healthy, being happy.. I’ve contemplated suicide relatively often, but am afraid of it more than anything. I don’t like myself, and i don’t understand myself. Am i normal? Am I gay or bi? How can i come to terms with who I am? I don’t know what to do anymore.
Letter submitted by:
Thank you for contacting us and sharing your feelings and experiences. It sounds like you have a lot of questions and have been trying to work through very strong emotions for awhile. Hopefully I can provide you with some support and insight as you face these emotions.
First and most importantly, know that you are never alone and you don’t have to face your questions or thoughts of suicide alone. If you have a friend, family member, or someone else you trust open up to them and let them know what you are facing and going through. The person you tell doesn’t even have to give advice, sometimes it just helps to open up and have someone listen. Another option when you are feeling depressed, thinking about suicide, or just feeling like you need someone to talk to you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor. The Lifeline is a 24 hour service so there is always someone there to listen. It sounds like you have had thoughts of suicide on many occasion and I am thankful that you have never acted on the thoughts, but if that ever changes and you find yourself making a plan or taking action to fulfill a thought of suicide call 911 immediately. Again, you do not have to face your questions and feelings alone and I want you to me here to enjoy the wonderful experiences ahead as you work through the questions and emotions.
Second, you asked about being normal. Normal is a very subjective word and hard to define but the feelings you are having, the questions you are experiencing, and thoughts of depression/suicide that millions of people face every day. So yes, you are normal. Sometimes life is stressful and sometimes people go through times of question or confusion about who they are and their place in the world. Many times the confusion can overwhelm the person and lead to thoughts of depression and suicide. When the feelings shift to depression there are a couple of actions you could take to help pull you out of the thoughts.
- Take a break from the questions. Go out with friends, go for a walk, go for a workout. Do anything that would give you a temporary break for the questions. The questions will still be there when you come back but the break might give you fresh eyes and a calmer perspective as you consider the questions.
- If the emotions and questions are coming to fast, try writing every thought you are having down so that it is getting out of your head which should release some energy. As you write don’t try to place value on anything you are writing, you are just writing it so that you have all the possible thoughts and feelings there in front of you. Once you have exhausted the thoughts take a short break and then come back to the list and start reading through what you wrote. If you find it to be a list of negative thoughts or self hate statements start crossing out the statements and each time tell yourself that the statement is wrong. If the list is more questions start looking at them and putting them in order by what is most important to you. This gives you some organization and ways to manage your questions.
- Find the activities and commitments that keep you from acting out thoughts of suicide. If you ever feel that there is nothing keeping your from acting on thoughts of suicide call for help immediately. Make a list reminder yourself of all the commitments you have to people around you, the task you need to complete, or the events you are looking forward to going to.
These are just a few methods you could utilize to manage some of your emotions. For other suggestions perform a Google search for “stress management” or “emotional management.”
Finally, it sounds like you are in a very confusing place in your sexual identity. The important point with sexual orientation is that it is a spectrum and not a multiple choice question. Yes, there are some labels like bi, straight, and gay are prevalent throughout society but those labels sit on a spectrum where there are several other possible sexual identities. So if the terms you’re used to do fit how you feel don’t try to change or alter you to fit a label, keep explore until you finally find the identity term that truly describes what you feel. The other fact is that no one has the ability to force a label upon you, only you can truly decide what your identity is, and that doesn’t have happen right now. There will be a time when you find the term that is you and you are ready to take on that identity and share it with others. Until you feel you are ready to take on an identity concentrate less on what your feelings dictate your sexual identity to be and reflect more on how feelings be they physical or romantic are affecting your behaviors and overall state. The other fact is that sexual identity is not final and will change and evolve over time. If you see yourself with a wife and not a husband that could be what occurs. When you talk about having or not having romantic feelings for male or females, those feelings may not have anything to do with the gender of the individuals and more to do with the individual’s personality, the connection you had with that person or many other factors. Another factor that could be affecting your romantic feels is the depression you are experiencing. Feelings of sadness or depression can sometimes over shadow romantic feelings or connecting with others. Ultimately, take the time to reflect on the emotions you are feeling because until you work through so of the negative emotions you are experiencing it will be difficult to truly understand what your heart and head are telling you.
Hopefully this gives you some support and potential assistance with your many questions. Please remember the two most important things. You don’t have to face these questions alone, there is always someone to talk to and if you ever need someone to talk to you can always call the Trevor Lifeline. Best wishes and stay strong.