Recently I’ve seen quite a few Facebook posts on a page I’m involved in regarding sexuality and ‘coming out’ which has led me to think about my own experiences of dealing with my sexuality so as per usual I’m going to take you on a little trip down memory lane and hopefully someone might learn from it.
For the last three years I’ve been in a relationship with a girl, a girl I am madly in love with, but sadly due to my own thoughts and feelings on my sexuality it almost never even happened.
I went to a Catholic secondary school, more like a prison, where if you stepped a toe out of line or achieved anything less than perfection it was simply unacceptable. Innocent little me just wanted to get through school life and pass all her exams but of course a giant boat load of feelings had to crash right into little me and mess it all up. As you all know from previous posts I suffer with anxiety and depression so this particular boat load was not in anyway welcome. It wasn’t what I considered ‘normal‘. I shouldn’t have been having those feelings towards that certain teacher or that singer or actress on TV or for that girl in the class. I should have been pining after boys and giggling madly in front of them hoping they’d notice me.
Instead I wanted nothing more than to feel what it was like to kiss a girl.
Being surrounded by teachers and a school that didn’t even seem to recognise that not everyone is ‘straight’ made me believe that I couldn’t give in to these feelings. I couldn’t let people know I was ‘different’ because it was wrong.
For years I suffered in silence, constantly pushing against my instincts and feelings to be a ‘normal’ teenage girl who liked boys. I ignored my own feeling and was completely miserable all for the sake of fitting in and not being judged. I giggled as boys walked past in the corridors, I told friends about how I really fancied a boy in my class, I smiled when we got that good looking substitute teacher and I even kissed my fair share of boys. I pretended so much that I even started to believe it!
That was until my girlfriend came along. We were friends for a year first and she struggled with similar feelings constantly hinting towards me that maybe we could be more than friends. I refused and stuck to my script but I wasn’t happy. All I wanted was to be myself but I had never realised it was me standing in the way of my own happiness. I was sick of playing a character.
Three and a half years on I am still with the same girl that allowed me to be myself. It took a while for me to be able to tell everyone, starting with my family, but by the time I left secondary school everyone knew! I wasn’t shouting from the rooftops but I wasn’t hiding and I was being open. I felt it was the first time I was truthful with people in a really long time.
Now the whole point of this post isn’t to go on and on about how terrible or hard my life was and how happy I am now but it was to hopefully show some of you that there is always hope. You are in charge of how you live your life, who you date, who you break up with, who you hang out with. That’s your decision and no one else’s and you deserve to be happy. Don’t worry about friends or school or family members because at the end of the day if you’re important to them then they should accept and love you for who you are and if they don’t then they shouldn’t be important to you. Take baby steps and be open with people when you are ready. You are an amazing human being and regardless of what gender you fall in love with you need to feel secure in yourself first. Take time to process your thoughts and feelings because they are scary! They take time to understand. Don’t force yourself to do things that make you unhappy or lock these feelings up in a cupboard in the back of your mind. Lay them all out and make your way through them piece by piece. Your thoughts and feelings are valid no matter what anyone else says so don’t be afraid to share them.
Don’t be afraid to live your life the way you want to.