I Finally Came Out to Myself & Now I’m Terrified
Last Wednesday night I arrived for an information session on becoming a foster parent, a pretty significant life choice that should be taken very seriously. Yet, during the entire three-hour session, I couldn’t stop stealing glances towards a female in the classroom. She wasn’t a typical hottie or attractive in the normal sense, but she was attractive to me. Her pulled back mousy brown hair, no makeup, jeans, running shoes, and kind face were making my stomach feel butterflies. Don’t worry, I was able to pay attention and retain all of the information given.
After I arrived home, I really began to internalize and process what those feelings I had were. What was it? Am I gay? Shouldn’t I have known by this age in my life? Is that the feeling other people get when they’re with a mate that I’ve never had before? So many questions I sought the answers to plagued my mind and heart all night. So I do what any sane thirty-something does hours after seeing the most attractive female of her life, I create a Bumble account and scroll through for an hour hoping to get that feeling again. And I certainly did, with a few dates lined up, to boot.
The next morning, I arrived to my weekly therapy appointment. And being my shut-in close-lipped self, I don’t share this newfound prospective sexuality crisis with my wonderful therapist. I’ve been to war four times and still didn’t have the courage to say out loud what my mind was screaming to the sole person I 100% knew would be kind and supportive. The brain can be a funny thing sometimes. Heck, I’m terrified as I write now that my friends who follow HH will see keywords from the header and immediately know it’s me. Next blog: “How I didn’t tell my closest friends and they had to find out through IG”
When I got home, no sooner than I could set my purse on the table, I had a panic attack that turned into ugly crying shortly after followed by a day of heightened anxiety. I hadn’t had a panic attack in a few months, so I was ready to dive into its origin, which by this point, I think it was painfully obvious. And clearly causing me distress.
My entire life, the people around me have always questioned my sexuality, but I never even entertained the idea within myself. My friends have never seen me in a relationship with a man and would always try to get me to sign up for dating apps to meet the “right guy.” I’ve amused them after their months of begging me and stayed on a few only long enough to go on a date or two and delete thereafter citing “gross indifferences.” I’ve always been happy being alone with my dog and that’s a very difficult concept for others to understand. In reality, I have remained alone because I wasn’t being my authentic self.
For years, I have unconsciously allowed the judgment of others to dictate who I was, and that’s not a fulfilling way to live my short time on this planet. My staunch Trump-supporting mother (don’t hate me for her poor choices) has always cast extreme judgment towards anything outside of what she and society deems as normal; shocking, I know. Last year I got a pretty large and bright tattoo on my forearm and her first words were, “Why would you do that? Now no man will ever want you.” Shoutout to therapy for teaching me how to view that statement for what it really meant. I’m breaking free of the mold of what allowed statements like that to dictate how I have lived, when in reality I want to be covered in beautiful art and want the world to see. Christmas dinner is going to be a blast.
The premise of being my authentic self is what’s so terrifying at this moment. I’ve always been a covert supporter of LGBTQ+ and have read many coming out horror stories, and many amazing ones. It’s one thing to read those stories, but now to put my own self in the position, their struggles are so much more than I imagined. We may say, as an outsider looking in, “wow, that took great courage” and while meaning well, the true veracity of courage to be yourself in a world where you’ll be possibly unwanted and ridiculed is just immense. Opening yourself up to a society you believe doesn’t want you, that is absolute courage. And I am a coward, for now.
Written by Anonymous
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