Still Figuring It Out

So, I'm not exactly in the same boat as every one else, but I'm more so looking for a little bit of advice from anyone that can help. I'm currently 21, and with a girl for 8 months now. 5 months ago my parents found out and my world flipped upside down. More recently, however, her parents found out and our situation spiraled further out of control. We're in a weird spot now, where staying together would tear us apart from our families, but staying apart has been nearly impossible. I'm writing this because I'm at a weird crossroads and will be graduating college this spring, and the last 8 months have turned my entire life upside down, completely altered my future, and have changed who I am as a person entirely. There has been a lot of verbal, physical, and mental abuse from both sides of our families which has been destructive on both of us as people, as well as on our relationship. At the same time though, we still can't seem to stop seeing each other (even though we know what is at risk if we ever get caught). The reason I am writing this now is that my life is falling apart at the seams the more I try to figure things out for myself on my own, I could really use another opinion. I haven't gotten out of bed in weeks, however, the rest of my life hasn't stopped moving and I'm falling extremely behind on other aspects of my life (such as figuring out my plans after college, a career, graduate school, etc). If only I could start to figure out what I'm supposed to do about all of this, I can start acting on it and make a plan for myself. If I leave my parents I need to be prepared to have a job lined up after graduation and be able to survive financial and have a circle of support around me during that. However, if I have to let go of this relationship (however painful it may be), I'll likely continue to follow my parents wishes in order to atleast salvage a relationship with them (which would likely mean that I'd move back home, work close to home to save up money, etc).
Where I basically stand now is that I've come to terms that I have these feelings, and I've come to terms with the fact that they probably won't ever go away, and that letting go of this relationship might entirely rip me apart (and same with the girl I'm seeing). At the same time, I value family relationships to the fullest and I've always focused my life around making them happy and proud. What I want to know is whether I could let this go, start over, marry a man and have a family like my parents have always envisioned. Or whether I should accept this as my reality and choose to stay in this relationship and ultimately sacrifice my relationship with my family. I know that this situation is uniquely my own, but as there are other people who have gone on to suppress their inner feelings and their secret desires to be with a man and have a family (for one reason or another), I want to know what I could be capable of. My greatest fear is that I will wake up, 10-20 years from now, and realize that I've made a tremendous mistake. Whether that mistake is that i ultimately listen to my parents or that I listen to my heart, I don't know which one is right. I've heard it all; that this is just a phase, that this is something that can be controlled, etc. I want to know, from anyone who's been through anything similar, whether this really can be changed or whether this relationship is worth the risk and worth pursuing further.

I can't even begin to tell you how much it would mean to get any and all advice I can get. Thank you.
An Ep User An EP User
5 Responses Jan 9, 2013

I was about your age when I was single and first seriously confronted with the idea of being with a woman. I wasn't in love with her at all as much as I was intrigued and I respected her very deeply. I was afraid of this because of how I was raised (very conservative christian) and I ran away (I literally moved across the country), married my friend, a man. the decision to get married to avoid the idea of being with women was very conscious. Years later, i have a child and my desire for women has only grown. it is complicated by the fact that I have a wonderful son I want to create the best environment for.

I wouldn't trade my experience, but I often think of what would have happened if I had just 'experimented' with my feelings, could I have avoided the heartache of myself and so many others?

Moral of the story: don't do life changing things for others unless they are your children or in life altering peril. You don't owe your parents to live their path for you. You may come around and realize that you DO want to be married to a man and have a family; but don't break up something great to someone you love just because it's not what they had in mind. You will only get older and more 'stuck' with the decisions that you make.

If you want to be with her, and she with you, you will both find a way: with jobs, apartments, etc. and your family will find a way for themselves to manage.

Go with what your heart tells you. Your family will eventually come around. Get up out of your bed, finish school, get a career and live your life one day at a time. What's meant to be will be:)

I forgot to add my own story, but I have one posted if you want to go and read it. But in short, I chose marriage to a man, had 2 children and many other relationships after my divorce. Only to find I am still very unhappy, because I did not chose to follow my true heart, I hid it, and locked it up, not dealing with my true feelings and my attraction to women. Now I am faced with wanting to find that true love, but through it all, I ended up pretty much hating men, or not wanting them anywhere near me. At my age, I now have to face my own family, if I ever meet the right woman, and for me, I want acceptance too, but won't chose their acceptance over who I really am. Love me, or don't love me, it's their choice.

You should follow your heart. My advise to you and it's only advise, because the ultimate choice is yours and only yours to make. As fsofu stated, do you want to live for yourself or for others? Life is hard enough on it's own without making sacrifices to ensure others happiness, because in the end, you will not be happy.

Like many of us here, we have suffered and lived a life because of fear of others. Losing family, losing friends and the acceptance of being who we really are. Society has changed so much and will continue to change to accept the gay life. Here is a perfect example I will share with you that my sister and now myself has suffered.

Over 26 years ago, my sister walked out of our lives. Our whole family, because she was a lesbian. She felt that our mother would never accept her for her choices, and she too was married in the past and had a daughter. Because of my mothers lack of educating herself on the gay life, and because she was "old school", she said things she could not take back to my sister. My sister chose, that this was her life to live and that she would not subject her partner to any ridicule or comments my mother might feel she needed to make. So she left us all, and 26 years later, she has found us again, and found out that my mother had been hurting all these years, not knowing why she just up and disappeared from our lives, never to be heard from. My sister also found out (from me) that my mother has come a long way in 26 years, and that she now understands that you are not "born" this way out of choice. It is also not a choice you make one morning when you wake. It is either in you or it is not. You cannot control who you fall in love with. Knowing this, my sister's heart was broken, because of all these years lost, not knowing her siblings for all these years, being there for each other and being close to our mother, who is now 81 years old, and not too many years left. They are planning a trip to see us (they live thousands of miles from us), and we are all excited to be back together again, and my sister wants so badly to just hug our mother, before she leaves this earth. My mother, too, has ill feelings towards herself behaving this way because she never knew it would chase her first born child away for so many years, years no one can get back. What a shame, and a great loss to all of us, but mostly our mother.

What I say to you is this, follow your heart and let your parents and her parents come to terms on it, their own way. After all, it is a shock to them right now, and everyone needs time to adjust. They will adjust sooner or later, after all you are their child. You can't stop loving a child. Plus, if you chose to follow their wants and not your own, you will be in the same boat as the rest of us. This never goes away, and you will have regrets and if you marry a man, etc, you will grow to hate all men, because you will somehow blame them, when its not their fault you chose that life.

Be happy and you will find, once you find the strength to do what you want, everything else will fall into place. Focus on happiness, your schooling, and your future. Move if you have too to a place where acceptance is more abundant, but don't lose your identity for others.

Good luck. ♥

If I was to give u advice from my own place, I would say this: anyone who is worth being part of your life family friend or otherwise will learn that they hve to let go of their own needs and be happy for you. They need to love you for who you are. you have to live with yourself everyday. For the rest of your life. Do want to live for u? Or for them? it's hard, I know, but we all have ended up here because we couldn't accept ourselves or were worried about someone else accepting us. We are all here because it has never gone away, or we are rediscovering, because we are not happy, because we want to love.... We want to love the love u already have right in front of u.