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Very confused and I don't know what's happening to me


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I've always thought I was your typical straight guy, all my friends were straight and I went to a very heteronormative all boys' high school for a while, so we basically talked about girls a lot of the time. I used to look at other guys and imagine scenarios hanging out with them, or thinking they were attractive. I thought this was normal for ages but my friends gave me weird looks and disagreed when I finally decided to bring it up. 

As I got a little older, I started crushing on one of my guy friends and even had a dream about kissing him, which scared the shit out of me. I'd always assumed I was 100% straight - I've always had crushes on girls and my only ever relationship had been with a girl. I thought it was just a weird psychological kind of thing and ended up isolating myself from him. I tried to pretend us falling out of contact was a natural thing, but I don't think it was. I lost all my friends, and I convinced myself I was in the wrong. It was impossible to be social, I couldn’t be around them - around him - without my head swimming. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and I was scared. 

I moved to a co-ed school for my last year of high school, where the LGBTQ+ community was way more accepted. I found it really hard to make friends with the typical 'straight nerds' I'd been hanging out with all my life prior to that point, and ended up falling into a group of artsy students who were all part of the LGBTQ+ community. I didn't think I'd be able to hang out with them, as I didn't have much in common with any of them. The opposite happened. I ended up being 'adopted' into the group as their 'pet straight dude' and it was a really honest and rewarding relationship with all of them. They were very different than I was used to, but eventually that became a good thing, and I regret I only had a year to be… more honest with myself around them? 

I never asked them about my sporadic attraction to guys because at the time, I was still 100% convinced that was just a confusion and that I was very much straight.

Recently I moved away from home in New Zealand to the UK: most of my parents’ family is over here, and I’m planning to go to university here in September. I recently found out that Netflix were releasing a show called Heartstopper that a lot of my friends back home in New Zealand were posting about on Instagram and recommending. I watched it the night it came out and it kind of… unlocked something? I’ve always been a sucker for romance, but this was different. Watching the first ‘kiss scene’ I was like ‘oh shit, I am a lot gayer than I thought I was’ and I don’t know how to feel about it. I haven’t had a relationship since the one time I dated a girl in Year 9 - nearly five years ago. Is this just a side-effect of not having a proper relationship? Am I just projecting this thing for guys onto myself out of loneliness? I still like girls, I think. I haven’t had an actual crush in two years, but I’m still attracted to girls physically. 

I’ve not told this to anyone I know. I don’t know where this has come from or where I stand. I don’t even know what this feeling is called! I don’t think I’m gay, but I am honestly not sure anymore. Just… throwing this anonymously onto the Internet in the hope somebody will read it, or maybe even help me understand what is happening to me. Also, Heartstopper is a fantastic show. I absolutely recommend it.

 

Thanks in advance,
Jeb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • jebberjabber changed the title to Very confused and I don't know what's happening to me
  • Digital Mentor

Hey,

I just thought I'd add your last comment in here from the other topic as well:

 

Yep, I've had a quick look in the Sexuality section and created a post there to better explain my situation :)

I don't know what these thoughts and feelings really mean, or what they're trying to say. On one hand, I'm trying to acknowledge the difference in repressing those emotions and feelings back then versus my more accepting stance now. On the other, I can't help but wonder if it's purely psychological: is it a rebellion against the fact that I don't tend to form long-lasting relationships with friends?  An unhealthy attachment to the male friend/friends I did have? How do I know what I'm feeling is actually real, in other words?

 

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  • Digital Mentor

Hello,

Me again! 

Thank you for taking the time to write out your experiences in this level of detail; this is so helpful for me to understand your situation more :)

I think that it sounds like these feelings are definitely not going away anytime soon. It seems like now you've decided to let them in and explore them more, and now you're wondering where you stand. I see these kinds of thoughts as stage directions for your life; something inside you appears to be telling you that these thoughts and feelings are important, and that you may need to trust the process and let your mind take you to where you might need to be. What do you think? 

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16 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

Hello,

Me again! 

Thank you for taking the time to write out your experiences in this level of detail; this is so helpful for me to understand your situation more :)

I think that it sounds like these feelings are definitely not going away anytime soon. It seems like now you've decided to let them in and explore them more, and now you're wondering where you stand. I see these kinds of thoughts as stage directions for your life; something inside you appears to be telling you that these thoughts and feelings are important, and that you may need to trust the process and let your mind take you to where you might need to be. What do you think? 

I see where you're coming from: I'm just worried because I don't know where these feelings or 'directions' are taking me. I'm not sure I understand where they even come from. I think I need to understand more about them before I listen. Not that it's a bad thing, I want to understand, but I also don't want to overload or follow something I didn't fully understand, if that makes sense.

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey there,

Yeah, I totally get that you don't want to follow something you don't understand, but I think that place they are trying to take you to will help you to find out who you are; do you know what I mean? What do you think?

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1 hour ago, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

Yeah, I totally get that you don't want to follow something you don't understand, but I think that place they are trying to take you to will help you to find out who you are; do you know what I mean? What do you think?

I think I get it: do you mean that these feelings are an expression of a more 'authentic' version of me? It sounds a little ridiculous to write down but it's the only way I can think to describe it. So they're a thing, then? It's not just something messed-up in my head?

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13 hours ago, jebberjabber said:

I think I get it: do you mean that these feelings are an expression of a more 'authentic' version of me? It sounds a little ridiculous to write down but it's the only way I can think to describe it. So they're a thing, then? It's not just something messed-up in my head?

Hey there,

Yeah, those thoughts and feeling might reflect who you really are, but at this stage, it's probably too early to know, and my idea is that maybe they need to be explored a little bit more to figure out the answers; what do you think?

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5 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

Yeah, those thoughts and feeling might reflect who you really are, but at this stage, it's probably too early to know, and my idea is that maybe they need to be explored a little bit more to figure out the answers; what do you think?

I think that's a good idea, but I'm not sure where to start... I probably won't be in a social environment until university sadly, so we could see then, but otherwise I'm just not sure how to even talk about most of it , let alone explore and test these feelings for real. 

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey there,

That’s okay, and I think it can be really hard to know where to start with this kind of thing, but the thing is, you’ve already made a start by opening up here, and that takes courage :)

Just going back to when you spoke of how you wish you could have been more honest with your arty group of friends, I’m wondering, how do you think you could have been more honest? 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

That’s okay, and I think it can be really hard to know where to start with this kind of thing, but the thing is, you’ve already made a start by opening up here, and that takes courage :)

Just going back to when you spoke of how you wish you could have been more honest with your arty group of friends, I’m wondering, how do you think you could have been more honest? 

I think I probably should've been a bit more open. Before, if I'd have come out as anything other than straight at the all boys' high school, I ran the very real risk of being seriously injured if I was found out. At this second, more accepting school, I wish I'd have recognised these feelings and opened up about them a little. It was definitely the safest space I had.

Edited by jebberjabber
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  • Digital Mentor

Hey there,

Yeah, it must have been pretty scary to be in your first school and have a good idea about how you might be treated if you were open about your feelings. I'm wondering, could you be more now, especially when you go to university? What would that be like?

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2 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

Yeah, it must have been pretty scary to be in your first school and have a good idea about how you might be treated if you were open about your feelings. I'm wondering, could you be more now, especially when you go to university? What would that be like?

I think I definitely could be more open about my differences in sexuality now. In regards to university, I really don't know. I'm the first person in my family to go, so I'm totally unsure what to expect. I know the campus has an LGBTQ+ society, but I'm not sure whether I would go. It seems like a big step to take. 

 

I still have four and a half months before I go, though, so hopefully I'll be able to work through this. 

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey there,

I'm wondering then, thinking about how your life is now, what would you like to be different when you're at university? Think about how open you are, how authentic you're being, and your friendships for example. 

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3 hours ago, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

I'm wondering then, thinking about how your life is now, what would you like to be different when you're at university? Think about how open you are, how authentic you're being, and your friendships for example. 

I think I'd like to be more outgoing. I've not really been much of a social person, and having most of my high school years set between different schools, it was quite difficult for me to really bond well with people. I'd like to change that and do some of the things at university that I missed out on at high school, like going to parties and drinking and such. I wouldn't say I'm extroverted by any means, but even introverts need people to be comfortable around. Meeting like-minded people and enjoying university while it lasts is a really big priority for me. And who knows? Maybe the more social I am, the more comfortable and confident I'll get with my personality and sexuality.

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  • Digital Mentor

Hey there,

Okay, so there's a sense of catching up on those experiences you missed out on in high school, being more outgoing, and then maybe even becoming more comfortable and confident with your personality and sexuality. I'm wondering, what do you think you need to do to be more social and outgoing? 

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I feel super similar to this as well! I'm also an introvert, confused at what I like but I'm in my first year of university. Yeah opening up and trying to figure these things out is difficult but in my experience university seems more relaxed and understanding about sexuality so I wish you all the best! :)

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Sorry I haven't replied earlier... I've been trying not to use the internet too much and just chill out this last week or so.

On 4/30/2022 at 11:43 AM, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

Okay, so there's a sense of catching up on those experiences you missed out on in high school, being more outgoing, and then maybe even becoming more comfortable and confident with your personality and sexuality. I'm wondering, what do you think you need to do to be more social and outgoing? 

Well, I'm usually pretty good at talking to people but on social occasions I feel super awkward and usually make an excuse not to go. My friends invited me to go drinking last Wednesday night and I said no, not because I don't like drinking but because I was afraid of looking stupid. What if I ordered the wrong drink, or a drink that wasn't 'cool'? What if I didn't get served? I can't drive and don't have a license for ID like my friends. I'd look like a complete idiot if I got refused. I know my friends wouldn't really care but it's just in the back of my head, you know? I need to bite the bullet and start saying yes. Embarrassment is temporary; regret is far less so.

 

On 5/6/2022 at 1:12 AM, confuseddotcom said:

I feel super similar to this as well! I'm also an introvert, confused at what I like but I'm in my first year of university. Yeah opening up and trying to figure these things out is difficult but in my experience university seems more relaxed and understanding about sexuality so I wish you all the best! :)

I'm glad to hear that! I'm really looking forward to university, so to have that little extra assurance is very welcome. Thank you!!

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2 hours ago, jebberjabber said:

Sorry I haven't replied earlier... I've been trying not to use the internet too much and just chill out this last week or so.

Well, I'm usually pretty good at talking to people but on social occasions I feel super awkward and usually make an excuse not to go. My friends invited me to go drinking last Wednesday night and I said no, not because I don't like drinking but because I was afraid of looking stupid. What if I ordered the wrong drink, or a drink that wasn't 'cool'? What if I didn't get served? I can't drive and don't have a license for ID like my friends. I'd look like a complete idiot if I got refused. I know my friends wouldn't really care but it's just in the back of my head, you know? I need to bite the bullet and start saying yes. Embarrassment is temporary; regret is far less so.

 

I'm glad to hear that! I'm really looking forward to university, so to have that little extra assurance is very welcome. Thank you!!

Hey! I'm Blondie - one of the support mentors. (Monsoon is currently on annual leave.) A digital detox is always a good idea so I'm glad you got to chill out 🙂

I think you've nailed it in that the fear of what might happen ends up meaning you don't go when in reality these things - all the "what ifs" may not even happen and even if some of them did it all becomes stories among friends and in many cases no one really notices as we're often so involved in our own worries. Your friends sound great too so I'm sure it would be fun!

How about you start with setting yourself a smaller challenge? Maybe say yes to something like meeting up for a couple of hours. That way you'll feel less anxious and reassure yourself that you can do it.

How does that sound?

 

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49 minutes ago, Blondie said:

Hey! I'm Blondie - one of the support mentors. (Monsoon is currently on annual leave.) A digital detox is always a good idea so I'm glad you got to chill out 🙂

I think you've nailed it in that the fear of what might happen ends up meaning you don't go when in reality these things - all the "what ifs" may not even happen and even if some of them did it all becomes stories among friends and in many cases no one really notices as we're often so involved in our own worries. Your friends sound great too so I'm sure it would be fun!

How about you start with setting yourself a smaller challenge? Maybe say yes to something like meeting up for a couple of hours. That way you'll feel less anxious and reassure yourself that you can do it.

How does that sound?

Yeah, that sounds achievable. Unfortunately my friends are doing their exams and working at the moment, so it's been very difficult to find time to spend with them. It makes me feel a little lonely knowing I'm the only one not at school (well, it's been five months, so... a lot lonely I suppose) but I'm sure the summer will be better! We'll manage something I guess.

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12 hours ago, jebberjabber said:

Yeah, that sounds achievable. Unfortunately my friends are doing their exams and working at the moment, so it's been very difficult to find time to spend with them. It makes me feel a little lonely knowing I'm the only one not at school (well, it's been five months, so... a lot lonely I suppose) but I'm sure the summer will be better! We'll manage something I guess.

5 months is a long time so I can understand why you would be feeling lonely but having a positive plan for summer sounds great!

How have you navigated the last 5 months?

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12 hours ago, Blondie said:

5 months is a long time so I can understand why you would be feeling lonely but having a positive plan for summer sounds great!

How have you navigated the last 5 months?

Not especially well to be honest. I had a similar stretch of 11 months out of school due to COVID lockdown and moving countries in 2020, so in effect I've spent sixteen of the last thirty months without school or much contact from friends. I've been trying to get a job, but keep getting rejected. I mostly spend my days alone in my room, or looking after my grandma, who I live with.

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13 hours ago, jebberjabber said:

Not especially well to be honest. I had a similar stretch of 11 months out of school due to COVID lockdown and moving countries in 2020, so in effect I've spent sixteen of the last thirty months without school or much contact from friends. I've been trying to get a job, but keep getting rejected. I mostly spend my days alone in my room, or looking after my grandma, who I live with.

That's a long slog to navigate so all credit to you and makes it all the more understandable about how you have been feeling about socialising again.

Definitely start with a smaller challenge - maybe just a few friends to make things more manageable. Is there anything else coming up that you might be able to go along to? 

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23 hours ago, Blondie said:

That's a long slog to navigate so all credit to you and makes it all the more understandable about how you have been feeling about socialising again.

Definitely start with a smaller challenge - maybe just a few friends to make things more manageable. Is there anything else coming up that you might be able to go along to? 

I don't think so, not for the next couple of weeks until their exams are completed. We mostly keep in contact over Discord and things but of course they're studying hard, so they don't always have time for it.

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Hey Jeb! I think a useful little thought exercise to help you figure yourself out is trying to imagine yourself having gay experiences. You've mentioned that you had a dream about kissing a boy, can you imagine yourself doing that in real life? or going on a date with a guy? Having a boyfriend? (not to be to blunt) having sex with a guy? Obviously you don't have to share if you don't feel comfortable but I think this helps to give you an idea of what you'd like to explore, and what your next step is.  And of course compare that to how you feel about girls, do you have a preference? 

I know that's all crazy overwhelming. but there's no rush, and remember there's no pressure to tell people about your feelings before your comfortable, people think that if you're not straight you HAVE to tell people, but you don't owe anyone that, you're priority is how you feel. 🙂👍

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17 hours ago, jebberjabber said:

I don't think so, not for the next couple of weeks until their exams are completed. We mostly keep in contact over Discord and things but of course they're studying hard, so they don't always have time for it.

Hey there,

I'm back :)

I'm glad you can still keep in contact over Discord. Could you maybe do a video call or something with them to socialise a little bit more? 

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