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I’ve been thinking about suicide for a while now. I can out to my parents and they sent me to counseling, told me it was a mental disorder. They threatened not to let me go to college because I don’t have enough guy friends. When I sit down at a table, everyone gets up and leaves, nobody looks at me or talks to me. I feel completely alone. I go to a Christian private school, and they talk about how wrong and unnatural homosexuality is and I just can’t take it. I’ve been cutting for years now and I just don’t see the point of living anymore I’m tired of praying to a god that isn’t there and wishing for a happiness I know I’ll never find.
I’m so glad that you wrote about everything that you’re feeling and going through because it helps me get to know you better. What I can see from your letter is that you are truly an amazing, incredible person, someone who had the strength and courage to reach out to us. I’m so glad that despite how you’re feeling, you haven’t given up on you. That you’re fighting for you because you’re definitely worth fighting for and that you found The Trevor Project and wrote to Ask Trevor for help and support.
Please know that we at The Trevor Project care about you and believe that you’re a very special person, someone who knows how important it is to reach out for help when you’re in such a hurtful, dangerous and painful place. If you ever have every thoughts of killing yourself, it’s very important for your safety that you immediately tell a trusted adult such as a parent, friend’s parent, relative, teacher, school counselor or doctor about your thoughts of suicide order to keep you safe. If you ever feel you’re going to act again on those thoughts, immediately call 911 or get to your nearest hospital emergency room.
If there’s no one you feel comfortable talking with or would like more support, you could call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor, 24 hours 7 days a week. Our caring, understanding and supportive counselors are here to talk with you about everything you’re feeling and going through and want to do whatever is needed to keep you safe.
Feeling lonely can be really hard. Finding genuine friends, who you can relate to, can be difficult for anyone. Some good places to meet new friends are http://www.trevorspace.com/ our social networking site for LGBTQ youth, checking out your school for any clubs like a Gay Straight Alliance http://gsanetwork.org/ , and looking for community centers and the like via http://www.glbtnearme.org/ .
The fact that your parents told you that your LGBTQ status is a mental disorder is simply wrong. There is nothing wrong with being LGBTQ. In fact it is quite normal. Sometimes family members who have difficulty with a loved one’s sexual orientation can, with help, move to a more supportive place. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Family & Friends” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your parents to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life.
It’s also concerning that you’ve been cutting. It might help to know that some people cut as a way of dealing with or managing difficult, painful, overwhelming emotions or stress. For some, cutting relieves stress or tension or they find that the physical pain of cutting is a distraction from the emotional pain. Some people are angry at someone in their life and take the anger out on themselves by cutting. Others feel that the cutting gives them a feeling of control when things in the life or their emotions feel out of control. Still others feel numb or “dead inside” and cutting helps them to feel alive. With the things that you’re dealing with in your life, you may be experiencing some or all of these things. It’s important for you to know that cutting may help you to feel better briefly but the longer it goes on, the more dangerous it can become as it can cause permanent scars, infections and serious, and sometimes life threatening medical problems especially if you cut a major blood vessel. If you feel like cutting, there are lots of ways to help yourself feel better without putting yourself at risk. Think about how you feel before and after you cut yourself. If cutting helps to release anger, you might try getting the anger out in another way like hitting a pillow, stomping around in heavy shoes, ripping up an old newspaper or flattening aluminum cans. If cutting helps you when you’re sad, do things that help you feel taken care of and comforted. That may be listening to certain songs, calling a friend or eating a favorite food. If the cutting helps you to feel less numb, do something that creates a sharp physical feeling like putting your hand briefly in ice water or stamp your feet on the ground.
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. It would be important for your safety to let a trusted adult know about the cutting, In addition, it would be helpful and important to work with a mental health professional to find healthier ways to deal with the difficulties in your life. You could call 1-800-DON’T-CUT where you can be referred to a therapist in your area. When you have the urge to cut, you can always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor about what you’re feeling and experiencing as well as your urge to cut which can help to delay or stop the urge to cut. They can also work with you to find a therapist to help you.
There are plenty of Christian groups who embrace the LGBTQ community. They can be harmonious with the right perspective. You might find these sites interesting: http://www.gaychristian.net/ , http://www.gaychurch.org/ , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT-affirming_Christian_denominations .
Please continue to reach out for help and support and to fight for you because you’re definitely worth fighting for. Remember that you can always write to us on Ask Trevor or call the Trevor Lifeline 24 hours, 7 days a week. Our counselors answer many calls from young people who are experiencing depression, have attempted suicide, are dealing with parents who are having difficulty being supportive of their child’s sexual orientation, and many other really challenging issues. Please know that you don’t have to go through this alone as we’re always here for you at The Trevor Project.