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 be proactive and share your story. 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.
Coming out is an extremely personal process and only you can know when the time is right. However, it can be helpful to consider the pros and cons of your decision. If everything goes well, what will that look like? What would happen if things went wrong? Based on all of this, you can make an informed decision. It is also helpful to consider your safety – is it possible your parents want you to leave? If so, having a back-up plan or somewhere else to stay might be a good idea. Your situation is particularly tough – if you stay in the closet your mental health might suffer (self-harm and eating disorder), but you run the risk of bullying if you come out. You can decide what is best for you and get the corresponding 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. Please know that if you were no longer here, the world would be a much, much emptier place and that the people in your life, would truly miss you. If you ever have 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 (Including Canada) 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 one of the hotlines found here: http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/international/canada-suicide-hotlines.html .
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. When you have the urge to cut, you can always call the 1-800-DON’T-CUT. They can also work with you to find a therapist to help you.
Eating disorders are very serious and please continue to get more support. You can find additional resources here: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support , http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eating_disorder_treatment.htm , http://www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org/ .
As you go through this difficult time, it can be helpful and would be important to get the support you need. You could join TrevorSpace at www.trevorspace.org the Trevor Project’s safe, online social networking site for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) young people ages 13 to 24 their friends and straight allies. It’s a great supportive community, where you can connect and chat with young people all over, get support and learn what’s helped others dealing with similar issues. TrevorSpace also has a discussion forum called Support and Advise where you can post questions and discuss what you’re going through with thousands of other LGBTQ young people on http://www.trevorspace.org/forum/cat.php?id=9&sort=.
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 find support on TrevorSpace. Please know that you don’t have to go through this alone as we’re always here for you at The Trevor Project.