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Where do I start..Really, I just need to get this off my chest, and this seemed like the best place to do it. I’ll just get right to it then..I’m in love with my best friend. We’ve been friends for almost 10 years now, and I’m pretty sure I’ve had feelings for her for at least half of them. She eventually figured it out, and we’ve even talked about it (she cares for me, but not in that way, we’ll always be friends no matter what, etc.). Everything worked out..I was most afraid that it would put a strain on our friendship (she knows I’m gay, and she’s very supportive, but I thought that would be crossing the line). But she still accepted me, and was very understanding of the fact that its very common for someone who is queer to fall for their best friend. We both came to the conclusion that with time, I would get over her. However, my feelings seemed to have only gotten stronger. I’m not delusional..I don’t expect her to return those feelings, nor do I wish that she were gay, too. Its a bit complicated..I didn’t think it was possible to be in love with someone whom you know would never feel the same, but here I am. I should also add the fact that she was the first girl that I kissed..it was an “experiment” (that happened several times). However, I never looked too much into it, because (besides the first time) she would only do it after drinking. And I’m not the drinking type, but it got to the point where I would try to get drunk too, just so I would have a reason to make out with her. Which is kind sad, yeah..but, it worked for me. She did have a boyfriend at the time, but he was a bit of a jerk, so I didn’t really feel bad. Fast forward to the present: She has a new boyfriend and I, of course, still have feelings for her. But now its kind of different..sometimes, I feel like I have my emotions under control. And this boyfriend is actually a really cool guy, and I know that he truly cares about her. Knowing that she’s truly happy and taken care of is making it easier to let my feelings for her go. But I know that its going to take some time because I still get that heavy feeling in my chest when I see them kiss or flirt. And then I feel bad and selfish, because I don’t want to feel this way..not when she’s so happy and her boyfriend is actually a decent guy. I want her to be happy and I want to be happy for her..I am happy for her..so why do I still get these feelings? And I think what makes it worse, is that I have some anxiety issues. Which leads me to part 2 of my issue..I used to cut myself (due to reasons that don’t even have to do with this situation), but I stopped because she asked me to. But lately, I’ve been getting the urge to do it again, even though its been a long time. I’ve been having more minor anxiety attacks lately, that usually occur due to the following reasons:
-Low self-esteem (I was bullied a lot growing up)
-The feeling that I’m being annoying
-Being in love with my best friend
And the one person that I’ve always counted on to be there for me and let me know that everything will be ok, has been my best friend. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I fell in love with her. I’ve always talked to her about my problems (excluding being in love with her, of course). But lately, I feel as though she is getting tired of it. She believes that she has done all that she can do, and I need professional advice. She is not mean about it in any way, and she makes a valid point. But sometimes, its not about the advice. I just want to be able to vent to her and have a shoulder to cry on. But lately, it seems like I’m pushing her away. So I bottle my thoughts and feelings inside until I can’t anymore (hence, the anxiety). First and foremost, she will always be my best friend. I don’t care that she doesn’t have any romantic feelings towards me..she was my best friend before I fell for her, and I feel completely lucky that she is in my life, and that I found such an amazing friend. I know I probably just need to meet new people, but its hard when you have anxiety..I’m trying my best to get better about it. I don’t want to burden my best friend with it, because she has her own problems to stress about too. So I am trying to do it on my own..I just slip up sometimes, and I feel like lately every time I share my thoughts with her, I just push her away because she’s tired of hearing about the same issues. She hasn’t stated this, its just how I feel. I’m just scared of losing her, after all we’ve been thru together. I know this letter is kind of long, and some parts may not even make sense. I just honestly needed to get all of this out there, and off of my chest.
Letter submitted by:
First, doesn’t that feel good to get all of that out there and out of your head? I’m so glad that you have reached out to us. We love you and our community embraces you. There is nothing to be ashamed of in learning who you are, what your heart is expressing or the fact that it’s yielded emotions of love for someone you care about.
I do think you need to deeply acknowledge and respect the gift that those emotions are for you and your friend. They are the bonding materials that keep friends together for years. At the same time it is also clear from what you have written that you understand your friend’s attachment is purely a platonic one and that you want to respect that as well. These are all good thoughts and they can help you discern your course ahead. You indicated that your feelings have grown stronger over time. Again this is natural because your relationship has persisted and your friends has been a source of strength for you, it makes sense that your affection would grow too.
You made mention of cutting yourself and relate that to times when you experience high levels of anxiety and that recently your anxiety level has been increasing since you have been bottling up some of these emotions. There are several reasons why you might be thinking about this behavior at this time, it might be a way that you try to overcome the pain, or distracting yourself from the emotions, whatever it is please be mindful of the long term physical effects of the cutting. If you are thinking about cutting yourself please stop and think of other ways you might release the emotions you are processing at that moment. If you’re angry grab a pillow and stomp on it or go to the gym and go a few rounds with a punching bag; if you’re sad change your frame of mind by listening to some of your favorite upbeat music or going for a walk…whatever makes you feel the most happy and content.
You also commented that your friend has made reference to you getting “professional help”. I don’t know you but it does sound like you are doing a lot of internal processing of your emotions. Emotions and our inner struggles oftentimes benefit from sharing them with others. As you indicated you have felt a great deal of solace when you have shared them with your friend in the past. I think it makes sense to reach out to a counselor you might have access to at school or work or potentially think about joining an LGBT support group in the Rockhill/Charlotte area. One of the things you would quickly find out is that you are not alone and these emotions are normal for people. Our emotions and the complexities of them are beautiful and wondrous, but it is important to learn how we can best navigate the world and the often complex messages our hearts send to us.
Lastly, there are websites available including www.safe-alternatives.com and http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm that can help you learn about cutting as well as additional things you can do when you have the urge to cut. Please take some time to explore these websites and please if you ever feel like you are going to cut yourself reach out to us. The Trevor Community is here for you! Whether you are thinking about cutting yourself or you would like some help finding a counselor you can always reach out to us on the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).
The Trevor Team