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So confused and scared

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am a regular MDC member, but created a different account in order to put this here in the hopes that I can find some advice and maybe insight about what is going on with my life.  I am the mama of a very sweet 3 year old and I am in my mid-30's.  I have strictly dated men for my entire adult life, but have always felt that it is not what I wanted, and have always been attracted to women.  I have many friends who are gay/lesbian and know I would be supported if I "came out", but I am terrified.  I want to start dating again and I so desperately don't want to date another man, but I feel like it is too late for me to start to explore dating women.  I sort of have the feeling that a lot of my friends would say things like "I knew it!" if I told them what I want to do, and I also sort of wonder if others would think that I am going to hit on them (I wouldn't).  I was married for a very brief time, but it just felt so completely wrong to me and quickly ended in divorce.  I have been searching online dating sites and the thought of going on a date with some of the women I see there makes me feel so light and excited, but the thought of any of the men simply makes me feel like I am again doing what is expected of me, not what I truly want.  I am not even sure what it is that I am so terrified of, but I need to figure this out.  I want to be happy, and I want my child to see me happy, but I am terrified.  I guess I am just wondering if anyone out there has been in a similar situation and how they went about sort of tip-toeing out of the closet as an adult?

post #2 of 9

First of all, it's never too late. A lot of people come out later in life. I am bi and currently married to a man, but I've been out since I was in high school and I know a lot of people who didn't figure it out until their late 20s, early 30s.


Even if your straight female friends do think you're going to hit on them, nothing will happen, because you're not going to do that, so it's a moot point.


You're scared for a lot of good reasons. Coming out will change your life and change the way some people think of you, and that's a freaky thing to deal with in life. However, you will be MUCH happier once you're living your life according to your true feelings. 


Get into a GLBT coming out support group and get out there and start dating! :)

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.  I just can't imagine a way to get out there that I feel brave enough to do.  I think I would be terrified to join a GLBT coming out support group. I am terrified enough to even be putting this up here on MDC where I feel very safe with all of my parenting questions and concerns.  I think saying the words out loud to a group of strangers would make me pass out.  I want so desperately to tell a real life friend, but when I screw up the courage, I just end up saying something completely off the wall and make it about men for some reason. I told a friend that I was putting myself on some online dating sites and she automatically asked me about the men that I had been looking at.  I wanted so desperately to tell her about the super cute woman that I had seen and sent a flirt to, but I just went along with what she had been saying.


I also was talking to a friend who is in a lesbian marriage a week or so ago and she totally gave me an opening to talk about what was going on with me.  She was talking about a relative of hers who "was gay but wouldn't admit it to herself or anyone else, but everyone knew about it".  She was saying that it is just so awkward to tip toe around something for such a long time and the woman in question would be so much happier if she just came out.  I was crying on the inside when I was talking to her because it felt like she was talking about me, not a relative of hers. 


I am literally shaking as I write this out.  I feel like I am going to explode if I keep doing what everyone else expects me to be doing and not what I want to do.  I also am terrified that anyone I might date is going to not want to be in a relationship with me because I have no experience at all.  I am scared to be taken seriously.  Ack!  It has been easily over 20 years that I have known that I am not 100% heterosexual at this point and only now am I feeling like I need to acknowledge it in order to feel like my life is going where I need it to go.

post #4 of 9

you should watch Grey's Anatomy and see how the character Dr. Callie Torres makes the switch from hetero to lesbian. (or maybe more accurately she is bisexual -- seeing as though she just went back to her former boyfriend after her girlfriend left her to go to Africa alone.) rent the DVD from season 5 i think.


also, i don't think mid-30s is too old at all. i read somewhere about how a lot of 60-ish year old women decide that they are in their heart of hearts attracted to other women, and find their ways to lesbianism "late in life."

post #5 of 9

I have no personal experience, but a friend of ours came out a few years ago, around age 30. Most of his friends contacted him right away with support, and some had to wrestle with it at first, which is also understandable because it was a pretty big shock.   But even with all that, I never heard one person say anything about him being so old when he realized it about himself.   Maybe that will help you have hope about your friends' reactions.  We all have a journey of self-discovery that takes a lifetime to explore, and sexuality is only one part of it, so who knows what the timing of all of it will be?


You said that a few weeks ago you had the perfect opening in a conversation with your friend--why not revisit that opportunity?  Do you trust this friend?  She must have her own experience of coming out, so maybe she'd be a good person to confide in.  What about calling her, meeting for coffee, whatever, and then tell her "do you remember that story you were telling me, about that relative of hers who doesn't realize she's gay?" and go from there.


Also, about not being able to put your fears into words, have you thought about doing some journaling about these fears?  It might be another way to get some of it out and give you some insight about what are the biggest things stopping you from getting any support--even from strangers.  Congratulations on posting it here though, and figuring this out about yourself.  smile.gif

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

ElliesMomma, it is so funny that you mentioned Grey's Anatomy.  It is one of the only shows that I watch, and Callie Torres is my secret hero in life.  I want to be so brave and open to exploring my sexuality and let a new relationship come into my life. I know it is just scripted lines, but I swear, she makes it look like something I could do someday. (plus I have a huge crush on her. *blush*)


Spring Lily,  I have thought about talking to my friend about all of this, especially after she talked about her relative, but I can't figure out a time to do it.  We are currently co-workers, but won't be for much longer (we are both working at a seasonal job).  Our work hours are insane, and she is my child's unofficial "auntie", so any time we get together, she wants to hang out with my 3 year old, which isn't a bad thing, but I don't know how I would get her alone to chat with her.  I really like her wife too, but I don't think I could talk to both of them at the same time.  I have considered talking to my best friend, but I worry that she will think I am a weirdo.  She is hetero, but has joked about lesbianism before.  Not in a hurtful way, but in a "maybe being a lesbian would be easier than dealing with the crappy  men I have dated" kind of way. 


Maybe I am way over analyzing this.  I think I am just trying to figure out how to work up the courage to talk to one person.  I don't want my sexuality to completely define who I am, and I worry about judgment from people. 


Thanks for all of the replies, mamas.  It means more than you can know. 


post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by Searching4Peace View Post


I also was talking to a friend who is in a lesbian marriage a week or so ago and she totally gave me an opening to talk about what was going on with me.  She was talking about a relative of hers who "was gay but wouldn't admit it to herself or anyone else, but everyone knew about it".  She was saying that it is just so awkward to tip toe around something for such a long time and the woman in question would be so much happier if she just came out.  I was crying on the inside when I was talking to her because it felt like she was talking about me, not a relative of hers. 

Honey, she probably WAS talking about you- at least indirectly! I bet some of your friends and some of your family already "know" in their hearts and they're just dying for you to come out with it already. GLBT people usually have great gaydar and she can probably tell you're into women. Even if she's surprised by your revelation, I'm sure she can help you talk about your feelings and make decisions about dating and coming out.


I understand your fear. I was scared as hell to come out as a kid and I can only imagine what those years of being closeted do to your heart and mind as you progress into later adulthood. 


Have you tried journaling? Just seeing the words that are in your heart on paper might help. Or put it in a letter to your closest friend that you know will be supportive. I came out to my best friend first (well, I guess technically I came out to/with my first girlfriend first, LOL) and worked my way "out" from there ;) Practice saying it to yourself first, and then you can talk to someone you trust about it.


As far as dating goes, yeah, there might be some women who don't want to get involved with someone who's freshly out and on the lesbian dating scene for the first time (just as there are some women who won't date bisexual women, overweight women, women with freckles, or whatever their deal is), but you don't need to date those women- you'll find someone who is accepting of your "newbie" status. 


You will face some judgment from people. SOME people will allow your sexuality to define you in their eyes, due to their own ignorance.  Unfortunately that's just part of the GLBT package. But please believe me, it is a far better life being judged by some jerks while being happy and true to yourself, than staying hidden and afraid and not living the life you really want and are meant to have.


It sounds to me like you're going through a stressful and anxious time with this right now, which is perfectly normal. I suggest taking some Rescue Remedy and doing some deep breathing to help you stay centered and deal with all the strong emotions that are coming up for you at this time.


post #8 of 9

Many hugs to you.  I have no specific experience with this. But it's clear that you're feeling a  whole lot of anxiety and I wonder if you're rushing yourself.  It's OK to take this very, extremely slowly.  Seriously, you've already begun the coming-out process --you posted here-- in a small way you are out now (congratulations!).  But it's your right to take it slow. 


post #9 of 9

See if there is a Unitarian Universalist church in your area.  They will be very supportive of your journey. 

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