It feels like it has been since forever, that you knew you were “different” even though you did not really know for a long time what that meant. What you did know is that you could not talk about this sense with anyone; somehow you knew it was not safe sharing this nagging sense of isolation and apartness that prevailed over your life and consciousness with anyone, not even those you knew loved and cared about you. The answers you sought to the questions you could not yet formulate you knew you could not begin to explore with anyone. You found yourself simultaneously desperately wanting and needed to find a someone to be there to help you, yet equally needing to keep this need out of your consciousness, too. The element of weariness of this dilemma was a constant strain, but you hunkered down and push through until, with time, it occurred to you, you did know what this “difference” about you all meant.
As you approached adolescence, you realized unlike your peers, you were not attracted to the opposite sex. Your thoughts and fantasies naturally focused on your same sex. So, great! It was not enough to be Hispanic in a society that did not value your cultural background, now you could add to that stress, finding yourself being a homosexual in an unforgiving, homophobic land. At least with the issue of ethnicity, you had the experience of a safe haven within your family life, surrounded by individuals who you knew loved, accepted, and supported you. There were brothers and sisters, mother and father, so many cousins, and aunts and uncles you were surrounded with to turn to to talk about anything that caused worry, uncertainty, or represented an obstacle. But, now, the fear is all of that was going to be forever lost, broken, because no one is going to be on your side if what you presented to discuss went against the teachings of the religion you were raised to respect and pursue.
Suddenly, all the isolation and distress of the years gone by seemed like child’s play in comparison with the situation you now feared you were faced with….your fear that there is no way out…you are doomed to forever be alone, never to have friends, never finding the kind of happiness that straight people take for granted…..to be accepted, to be able to talk about their relationship issues and concerns with friends and family, to be able to find and enjoy romance in their life. It is not surprising you should find yourself depressed, anxious, and very lonely with all that you have been carrying around for such a long time. But, there is hope for you finding all you seek. All of those things you might think are out of range for you are possible, doable, and attainable for you as well.
There are resources available to you where it is safe to bring forth and talk about all your concerns, questions, fears, goals, aspirations, and dreams, all of which can make an incredible difference in the quality of your life. As social animals, we all need some pretty basic things from our interactions with other people; to feel safe, heard, understood, accompanied, supported, valued, and encouraged. When these elements are present, there is nothing we cannot get through on the way to finding and creating those things that are important to us in our lives.
The various helping professions, psychology, clinical social work, psychiatry, etc. train individuals to bring all of these inter-personal skills into their consultation rooms to assist individuals who find themselves in distress with problems they can’t seem to exit from on their own. It can be seem very challenging to avail yourself of these professional resources as it can feel like placing your life in the hands of a stranger prior to having knowledge or experience of them. But actually, it does not have to be such a taunting a risk. Actually taking the risk of opening yourself up to the possibility of finding someone who can be there for and with you as you pursue finding your way towards who you are and what is Important to you, can be a great adventure. Speaking to someone who is trained in being able to listen to your concerns without judgment, not have any investment in what your life “should be about”, and without interjecting “their stuff into your equation can feel very empowering and satisfying. This can be hard for friends and family members to do as they can be very invested in what the shape of your life should or ought to be about. When you have sessions with professionals, you are the point of the conversations as are the outcomes of them. When was the last time you had a conversation with any one where it was legitimately ALL ABOUT YOU?
A good way to begin is to find a group of professionals to interview to discover with whom you can feel sufficiently comfortable with to bring forth your inner world to talk about. Initially feeling comfortable with someone is a good way to gauge the possibility of moving towards feeling safe with them and learning to trust them with your internal landscape.
Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans Counseling (LGBTC.com) is a group of professionals who collectively have decades of experience working with a wide range of individuals within this community. We are all proud of the assistance we have made in people’s lives and are prepared and eager to see what difference we can make in yours. Y aqui, tambien se habla espanol.
We’re Looking to the Future, by Catching Up With the Past