Thursday, 6 August 2009

Cut up, come out: I'm scared.

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PLEASE NOTE; The spelling, grammar and sense of this may have gone all to shit as this was written at about 2-3AM, and was all basically a stream of conciousness. Please forgive me any such misdemeanors.

ALSO; Please comment on this post with your thoughts. I'd prefer it to sending me something on Twitter as I'll only lose the tweets, at least here it's all in one place.

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Watched a BBC documentary about self harmers this evening and it's suddenly brought a lot of shit back.
Oddly enough it's not just the shit of my own history with the matter, but the future. More specifically the fact I have to come out to my parents.
To say I'm petrified would be putting it lightly.
I honestly feel like I can't do it. They've been through enough over the past few months, they've been through what I've been through in a sense, and I just feel like would just destroy them.

I hate that I think that.
I hate that I think that their daughter being gay would be the end of life as they know it, but I kind of do.
They're from a different generation, a different 'time' and I just don't know how they'll deal with it.
Plus things that my mum and dad say sometimes just make me even more scared of telling them. Of course, I know they wouldn't say some of the stuff they do if they knew, in a way it's a bit like... I don't know, talking about cancer in a room with someone who cancer, but you don't know they do, so some of the things you say might seem harsh whereas if you knew, things would be said differently.
Then there's what my mum used to say and look like while my sister was at Uni and living with a lesbian. Who is now a close friend of my sisters. Actually a lot of her friends seem to be lesbians. And she has rather lesbian-orientated nicknames. In other words there's every possibilty that my sister is also gay, and mum has always seemed petrified of that possibilty.
There's the added fear that if she IS my mum might feel the whole 'no grand children' thing. (Uh, mum, you also have a son. And he's definately straight.) and my mum might think she's a failure or something stupid.
Then again, if my sister is gay but I get in there and tell mum and dad first, SHE'LL be the one more likely to get that speech.
I'm so scared.
I don't want them to think anything has changed.
All the cliches apply: I'm still the same person etc. I really am though that's the thing. I've known for a silly amount of years. I've known I'm gay for longer than I haven't, so they've been living with me as I am, as it were.
I'm just so scared.
My mums faith is quite important to her as well, even thought it's been tested quite vigorously over the course of her life, and it just scares me that I'm essentially 'unholy', 'wrong' and against her religion.
In everything I've done in my life, the foremost thought is that I never want to disappoint my parents.
But then I think, I have stuffed up in the past, big time, and they've never been 'disappointed' with me despite the shit I've done.
It's just so confusing.
I keep trying to put it off, but it has to be done.
But it has to be done fairly, for everyone.
I always knew I wasn't just going to let then find out in the courtroom, as that would be horrible for them, but now it's about finding the right time. The right time for me so I feel ok about it but also so that they can have enough time before the trial to get 'used to it' as such.
I need them fully on my side.
Of course I'd hope and in a way I am sure they wouldn't 'abandon' me in that sense in my hour of need, but it's just so scary.
On one hand, if anything this is the perfect time to tell them; they can't chuck me out or disown me as it would be utterly shameful if they did, and the fact that my sexuality made what happened even worse, (eg I like girls so why would I want to have sex with him) so perhaps I'd get the 'sympathy' there.
It's so much more complicated than that though.
I'd always maintained I wasn't going to tell them, if not innthe near future perhaps never. Some of my friends didn't understand that but eventually respected the fact it was my decision to make.
Obviously there have been many, many times when I've wanted, needed them to know.
Part of the reason behind all the self harm shit and my depression is because of the homophobia and related bullying. Part of my problems with my friends is because most of them have shown by their actions and words that they're not nearly as ok with my being gay as they tell me. Part of the reason I've felt so utterly fucked up in the past is because I've not been able to talk to my mum about falling in love etc like any normal teenage girl.
But mostly, I'm scared shitless that they'll hate me.

Then, only is theire the question of WHEN, but also HOW.

I've only ever really said the words "I'm gay" or "I'm a lesbian" to... hmm let me think... one adult? And that was my SOLO. And she knew anyway, and had to tell me she knew, and that it would come up in court etc.
The way I told my friends was a combination of accidental outbursts/slip-ups or entirely correct guesswork on their part. Then it got spread around the school so I never really had to deal with the issue of coming out to anyone. (And that's the other thing, once you've 'come out' it's not as simple as just doing it the one time. You have to do it for practically everyone you know really. You straight people have it so easy.)

So how the fuck am I meant to do this?

I don't feel like I can say the actual words to them. One way to break the fear of telling adults I suppose would be to tell my ISVA. She's essentially my counsellor for the period of time leading up to the trial. Thinking about it, I probably should tell her as the stress of having to tell mum and dad is part of my shit right now, and it's being part of the trail.

So that then leaves me with very few options as far as I can see. My initial idea, while although possible yes a bit 'chicken', is to tell them in a letter. This would be preferable for many reasons; A) I don't have to say it, B) I won't have to see their faces and C) they can't interrupt. And boy are they likely to do that. And there's a lot I'd need to say. So I could write the letter, put it somewhere not too obvious but easy enough to find of they know where it is, then essentially 'leg it' and go somewhere with a couple of friends, text mum and dad and tell them there's a letter they need to read and to text or call me when they feel they can.

That's one option.

Another is to tell them face to face, but with 'back up'. Plenty of people have offered to fill such a role, eg my two best friends and the aforementioned SOLO officer, so I'm not short of options there. Best friend A (oldest friend) probably wouldn't know what to say but she is like a member of the family; best friend B would probably know better what to say and is also like a family member, but due to the nature of our friendship and the way we are with each other we've both agreed that my parents might think she's my girlfriend or that something is a least going on. She's not, and there isn't. The third is a highly supportive nice and friendly police officer (eg parents can't get physical lol) with children of her own and a best friend who is a lesbian and she was the first adult to know. Would seem easy to choose amongst that lot.

Then there's the option that I tell each parent separately. Eg. Dad first. As I think he'd react better. But I'm scared I could be wrong. I reckon dad would be more ok with it than mum, but what if it's the other way round?

Or I could tell another family member first and they could help me out. My brother might just be cool with it, but it's kinda cutting it fine to sort it out in a way. But he knows what it's like to feel like an outsider (to clarify, he's not gay. My sister might be, but that's another matter. As you have read.) so he'd probably be ok with it. Plus, he never had a little brother and my dad isn't the most sexually charged (or even interested) man, thank god, so my brothers never really had that person he can talk to about girls. And neither have I. Plus plus, he's so protective of me that he honestly probably wouldn't care less as long as I'm happy. He's lovely like that.
Or there's my aunty, my mums sister. She lives in London but we're going up there next week and she now knows about what happened so there'd be no need to tell her about that. And even though she's only something like 5 years younger than my mum, she's always been quite a bit more... liberal, shall we say :) she's an absolute riot! So that's another option.

But I don't have nearly long enough to work all this out.
The 23rd September is only really just under 2months away. I just don't know what to do. I don't really want to do anything in one way, I don't want to tell them.
But I don't have a choice.
Of I want to have any chance of getting justice, I have to tell them.

Help me?

Anyone got any experience in this matter? Or even of you don't, do you have any advice? Out of the ideas I've mentioned, which one seems best? Or is there another way I could do it, that I haven't thought of? (more than likely).

Please help.

I need the advice of the people that I feel, by now, I can listen to and trust and who know me a bit. That's YOU, by the way, just so we're clear.

Please comment on this post with your thoughts. I'd prefer it to sending me something on Twitter as I'll only lose the tweets, at least here it's all in one place.

Thank you.
I'm really feeling at a bit of a loose end here. It can't be good for me.



  1. Holly, I think that you should sit them down together with you and speak to them. It's how I did it with my family. If you do want the support, ask the police officer, because, as you said, she would be a better support on an impartial basis. I know your scared, so was I, but you will feel a lot better when it has been said. Remember to keep control of the situation. Allow them to run off with a mountain of questions and it will get worse. As for time, well, you should do it soon, otherwise, regardless of court, your own health will be affected leaving it too long. Speak to the officer, get her to come over for support, and let things take it's course. Don't forget that we are all here for you, the guys at twitter, your friends, family in some cases.

    One more thing. We are who we are, sexuality should not stop a parents love.

    Good luck Holly.

  2. To an extent you've already answered yourself as to the "how" and the "who" - your Police Officer friend is the ideal person to take with you when you tell your parents. As aparent myself, I only hope that if my daughter had something major to confess to, or tell me, she would have the guts to do it in person, rather than in a letter. Personally I feel that's the cowards way out, but that's just me.
    As far as your mother's Faith goes, if she is in any way true to it, she will not judge you, or condemn you. Coming from a religious family myself, I can tell you that the proper "christian" attitude is to "hate the sin, not the sinner". Anyone who says otherwise is a hypocrite (sorry if this offends! LOL), as according to the Christian faith, all are equally bad - the murder is no different from the theft, or the curse-word. The important thing is that you are sorry, and try not to do it again.
    If your mother and father love you as much as I hope they do, given their support through everything you've gone through, it will not make the slightest bit of difference to them what your sexuality is - it may even make them understand just how hard it has all been.
    I hope everything goes well when you tell them, but one last bit of advice - make it sooner rather than later. Don't put it off any longer than you have to.
    I hope this helps you, you know where I am if you need any support.
    Ewan. (stonefences on Twitter)

  3. Holly sweetheart, you have to tell them as soon as possible.

    I know you're worried about their reaction, but once it's out then that is one major hurdle done with before the 23rd Sept, and you will feel much better when they know about your sexuality.

    If you definitely feel you need support then your choice of the SOLO officer is the best option because they will have dealt with these situations before.
    I don't know how old your parents are, but you may find that they are considerably more understanding than you could have hoped.


  4. I totally agree with what everyone has said above. Definitely sooner rather than later, definitely at home not in London, definitely with someone there - ideally your friendly cop - who can step in to keep things on track. Also try to get them to agree that you can finish what you need to say before they start with any questions.

    As a parent myself, my view is that they brought you into the world and obviously love you to bits and want what's best for you. This will not change that - of course they will still love you. As do we on Twitter!

    Everything you put in your post you should say to them: let them know you worried about them as much as they have worried about you. Let them know you love them, just as they love you.

    I'll be thinking of you hun. I'm here if you need any support.

  5. My friend whos bi wrote her parents a letter and stayed with a friend for a couple of days. You need to do what you feel is right.How you feel it would be taken best, a letter will be better for you as like you mentioned you wont have to see their faces,they wont butt in and such,But then there is the fact that theyre your parents,and they might feel upset that you couldnt talk to them.Im not trying to sound mean now but if your mum cant even find a little understanding beacuse of her religion shes not a good mum,And i know thats a harsh thing to say,But if a mother is prepared to let their daughter feel like a religion is being chose over her thats just not right.
    sorry ive not been much help. Good luck.

  6. I agree with the first few posts hun. The support officer sounds like the ideal person to be with you for moral support. I also think you need to tell them as soon as possible. Your parents have already shown you how much they love you with all the support they've given you throughout everything that's happened. They love you because you're their daughter, and will not judge you. We, your digital family, will always be here to support you as well. Good luck hun. You know where I am :) xx