I hope that you can help me. I am feeling incredibly lost and confused at the moment.
Since I was little, I have struggled with my sexuality. I have had a number of failed relationships in the past, all of them women. I have never been in love and I have never acted upon romantic feelings that I have had with men that I have met. Reflecting on it I can sincerely say that I have never been happy.
I have never clearly stated to my family or friends that I might be gay, for I know that many of them would not be accepting of me. I love them dearly, but they are very close-minded. I have always been afraid of losing them, but as I am growing older I realise that I need to prioritise my own happiness.
I have never given myself the freedom of opportunity to explore my feelings. How I even begin to broach this I have no idea.
Do you have any suggestions?
You are expressing a desire to better understand yourself, to be free from fear and to establish a real, loving and intimate connection with someone. You absolutely deserve to experience these things.
You have spent your life masking your true feelings for the fear of not being accepted by your family and friends. As you well know, this is not uncommon. But there is only so long that it can continue if you wish to lead a happy and authentic life. You are embarking upon a psychological journey and confronting emotions and feelings about your sexuality that you have so far buried. This is a complex process and it can prove difficult if you are feeling alone. Exploring your feelings about your sexual orientation with a counsellor will allow you to better establish what it is that you want and what it is that will make you happy, within a patient and supportive environment, free from judgement. It will also grant you an opportunity to heal, should there be any negative experiences that you encountered in your past.
Once you have come to understand yourself better and you have attained a level of comfort about who you are, then it is time to discuss this with your family members and close friends if it is your wish to do so. However, there is no rush for disclosure and there is no perfect strategy or plan that suits all. It is important therefore, that you take all of the time that you need and move at your own pace. Remember that your aim here is not about attaining the acceptance or the permission of
others. It is about building your inner strength so that you are able to fully accept yourself and to permit yourself in taking positive actions for the benefits of your own future.
It may take people time to adjust to your news, so it is important to have patience. However, if you do lose people in your life because of who you are and how you choose to live, be mindful that it is their loss Gideon and not yours. Have pride in who you are in spite of any reactions that you may be presented with. Throughout this process, prioritise your self-care. Ensure that you are looking after yourself by sleeping enough and by having a healthy diet. In prioritising the relationship that you have with yourself, you will then be able to focus on your relationship with others. Pursue your happiness and have courage.
Wishing you love and peace of mind,
News on Sunday – My Weekly Advice Column
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