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I Don’t Know What To Do…

Question:

Dear Trevor,

My name is Lee, and I am 19 years old. Well, I am writing this letter because I don’t know who to turn to. I am out to my family and my friends. They are all very supportive! I couldn’t be more thankful because I know that not many people have this support. However, the problem I am having has me barred from talking to them. I currently have custody of my younger cousins. Joshua and DeeDee are 6 and 5 years old. They live with me (2 years in March-since their parents went to jail) and my boyfriend Jason. I have been dating him for 5 years.
Well, I came home from work late last night, and Jason had already cooked dinner for himself and my kids. However he left the dishes all over the place, the house was a mess from toys, and the laundry was backed up. He didn’t do anything all day, but he had already went to bed. I had no intention to bother him because he stays with my kids all day with no complaints. Well, I had already eaten so I wasn’t bothered by that either because when I work late, I eat at work.
I guess I was just frustrated because I am the only one working and he couldn’t have just washed the dishes or cleaned the house. Anyway, I let my anger get the best of me because I started banging the dishes around while I was washing them. I woke him up, and of course we got into an argument. Some things were said that I didn’t mean, and it escalated to him throwing dishes all over the floor. He stormed off, and I went after him apologizing trying to calm him down. I cut my feet on the glass and tracked blood down the hallway.
The kids woke up and started crying because they heard the fight and they saw blood. I told them I had broke some dishes and cut my feet. After I got them calmed down and I got them into their beds, I went upstairs to the bedroom. When I opened the door he punched me in my chest, and I hit the ground. Then, he kicked me and started yelling that I needed to leave him alone. I was shocked, and I didn’t know what to do. I just sat there on the floor with tears in my eyes. He told me to shut up and that I whine to much. He said he was tired of me and that he wanted me to sleep on the couch. I told him that I pay the bills and that I would not sleep on the couch.  He got even angrier and he pulled me up then he pushed me against the wall and put his hand around my throat. He told me to shut my mouth and that if I didn’t then he would make me. I pushed him back, and asked him what his problem was. He told me that I was the problem and my kids were another problem. I reminded him that he was the one who said he wanted a family and that he was the one who told me to get custody so that we could have one. He said, “I love you and those kids, but I need space and I need time.”  He apologized to me, but asked me to leave him alone. So, I went to my kids room, and I slept on their floor. Watching them sleep and knowing they are finally safe, it was the only thing that I could get to calm me. I haven’t slept right since this happened, and he hasn’t talked to me much. He plays with my kids still, and things seem normal, but my heart is hurting me badly right now.
I have started cutting again. I have been cutting since I was twelve. This was the time that I had actually discovered my sexuality. It got worse when I was 14 and my oldest sister died. Jason was there for me everyday. He held me at the funeral. He stayed at my house for three weeks and helped me take care of my mother,my older brother, and my other older sister, and he helped take care of me without us asking.  He did it because he cared about me. That is the person he has always been. I have known him since kindergarten. We were best friends. I haven’t cut myself in years. I promised him I wouldn’t do it again. He cried and he talked to me about my feelings every night after he found out about my cutting. I love him more than I love myself. I want this to work. I need this to work. I don’t know what I will do without him I have dated him since I was 14 and he was 16. I don’t want to throw this all away, but I can’t live with a man that hits me. I have my cousins, my kids. I have to put them first. They will miss their Daddy Jason though. That’s what they call him. I’m just Daddy.
I just don’t know. I have absolutely no idea. I have no clue. I don’t know if I should give him another chance. I don’t know if I should file a report. I don’t know what I should do. This has never happened before. Am I over analyzing things? Part of me is saying we are both men and that I just need to stop whining and get over it. Then again he is bigger than me, and he is stronger than me. What if it progresses? I can’t fight him off. Who is to say this is really the last time. I just don’t know. Is there any options that I have to keep the relationship?
Please help me!!!

Letter submitted by:

Answer:

Hi Lee! I’m glad that you’ve reached out to Ask Trevor for help with the very tough situation you’re dealing with. You described quite a few different challenges that I imagine would be hard for anyone to work through. There are so many feelings that I read in your letter: fear, anxiety, confusion, uncertainty, sadness… and I’ll bet there are even more too!! The most important thing to remember is that you will get through this. Take one day at a time. It may not always be easy, but you can find a way to make things better for yourself. Keep in mind that what you’ve described in your relationship might be called domestic violence and it can create a harmful environment for you and your cousins if it continues. I have a few thoughts below that I hope you will find helpful.

First, is there anyone in your life that you do feel comfortable talking with these issues about? You mentioned being afraid to talk with your family but it also sounds like they are very supportive in general. I wonder what their response would be if you did mention some of your recent difficulties? If not any of them, are there others you can share your feelings with? Remember, if there’s no one you feel comfortable talking to, you can always call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor. You can even practice what you might say to your family or friends with any of the volunteers who answer these calls. Please also know that sometimes it can be helpful to talk with a mental health professional, such as a social worker or psychologist, about what you’re feeling. Your thoughts of wanting to cut combined with all the stress you have with your relationship, your responsibilities, and the recent physical altercation with Jason are not going to be easy to manage by yourself. On http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/databases/ you can search for mental health services in your area. You could also contact the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists by calling 215-222-2800 or by visiting their website at www.aglp.org for help in finding someone in your area for you to talk and work with.

TrevorSpace is another great place for support and help with these types of questions. TrevorSpace (at www.trevorspace.org) is the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and allies. A few other Websites that I found helpful about domestic violence in same sex relationships can be found on the pages below:

http://www.safe4all.org/resources/

http://www.safe4all.org/brochures/Gay-Mens-Brochure.pdf

http://www.rainbowdomesticviolence.itgo.com/

You asked if your relationship can be saved. That’s not an easy answer to give you. It’s really one that you have to make on your own. Choosing to stay in the relationship might be dangerous to yourself, your cousins, and your own mental health if the physical abuse continues. Choosing to leave the relationship would have its own challenges as well. In the end, the decision has to be one that is best for you. Whatever you decide, your safety and the safety of your cousins are most important. Remember, we’re always here for you as you sort through what options are best for you!

Trevor Staff