Coming out, and again, and again

So as it’s lesbian day of visibility I want to tell you how I came out as gay, or how I didn’t.

I always think I ‘fancied’ girls more than boys. But I obviously didn’t really no much about lesbians when I was younger.

When I was in year 8 I became best friends with a girl who told me she was bisexual and I was amazed at how open she could be and how she didn’t seem to worry about it.

I knew that I was probably gay at this age but didn’t want to say anything.

When I was in year 9 I was desperate for a relationship. So I dated a boy In the year below for three weeks. The furthest we got was holding hands.

I then also dated one of my best friends (male) who also later came out as gay. Again nothing more than hand holding.

When I got into year ten I discovered stonewall and ran assemblys on homophobia, still not having come out as I didn’t want anyone to think I was gay.

I also went away on stonewalls young volunteer programme but still wasn’t out to anyone.

It was in year 11 though where everything changed. Within a few weeks of starting this year I was outed. And within a day everyone in my year knew except my twin and I felt like my world had fallen apart.

This was meant to be something I decided no one else. Yet one person managed to ruin it for me. Or so I thought.

The next day I went into school I was terrifed. A lot of people were talking about it but only one person actually asked if it was true.

My best friend (who I came out to a few months prior) was supported and I just cried to her for a good few hours.

The rest of my year group were also supportive and anybody who wasn’t very popular with everybody else.

But at this point my sister still didn’t know.

It was about a month later when I told her. She was fine. I told her how rubbish the whole thing was making me feel.

I spoke to a teacher about it. And then the following week I came out to my dad.

The next step was my mum. I left coming out to her for months as i thought my stepdad was homophobic.

Eventually I came out to my mum via letter. I think this upset her as she felt like I couldn’t talk to her. But really she was fine with it and so was my stepdad.

My step family found out through subtle things on Facebook .

The next significant thing was my gran. I went to pride when I was in year 12 and my dad told my gran where I was going and told her that I was gay when I didn’t say he could tell her.

My dad didn’t see the problem but I felt like where I was at the beginning, it was being taken out of my hands.

My gran was fine with it.

My nanny and Gramps found out via the news, which probably wasn’t the best way. We don’t really talk about it but they haven’t disowned me either so that’s fine.

My grandad still doesn’t know.

It is a constant thing though. People do tend to assume your straight unless otherwise stated.

When I was in Liverpool I made it clear I was gay yet still ended up dating a guy. Although I have no sexual interest in him and see him as a friend. And I still call myself gay.

Since I stated uni in Bristol however, ive kept it quiet. I’ve just joked around and spoke about “how fit guys are” etc as it feels easier.

I’m not ashamed of who I am but sometimes it just doesn’t feel right to say anything.

I have found though that I have received less stigma for being gay than I have for being mentally ill.

To think at one point they would have been considered the same thing.

Anyway, happy lesbian day of visibility !

Love,

Abbie xx

(Just going off to watch something with Sue Perkins in)

Uni so far…

So since I started this nursing course I have been all over the place. I’m not going to say that it’s all been caused by uni but life has been harder because I am at uni.

I started in September last year studying children’s nursing and I was really excited but I did find it so different and so much more difficult to what I was studying last year.

I also didn’t disclose anything to any of my lecturers about having BPD or any of my issues as I was worried I would have to leave the course. In fact, I still spend a lot of time worrying about this.

The stress is quite high around passing exams and assignments. I really worry about it and I worry to the point where I feel like I can’t write anything at all.

I also feel like I don’t have any close friends like I had last year, and I really miss that. A lot of my friends don’t know much about me. They don’t even know I’m gay. I just never felt that comfortable.

I feel like there’s quite a lot of stigma around female nurses being gay and about having mental health issues and working in the NHS.

However, this might just be me self-stigmatising. I feel like I can’t have these “issues” and be a nurse so I hide them away. Which in turn puts a lot of stress on me.

It’s hypocritical of myself, as I wouldn’t tell a patient to bottle it up. I would tell them to talk about it. I would also tell other members of staff to as well, but I still can’t.

In my first placement I really struggled as I worked with some really difficult people. And after that I really wanted to give up.

I do want to keep going on with this course but sometimes I just feel like it would be easier to give up. I don’t feel clever or smart enough for it, but I feel like I can be a nurse.

Abbie X

What’s been going on ?

It’s been 2 months since I last wrote a blog post, I’m sorry.

Things haven’t been great to be honest. I don’t know how to explain things very well but I want to try. I guess I’ve relapsed on several things but I can’t say I’ve relapsed from recovery because I don’t know that I’m recovered.

It was in the new year where things started to go downhill again. I was supposed to start placement on the 1st of January and I did but within a week I got physically unwell and was “signed off” for three weeks. In this period, I had a lot of thinking time to myself and felt useless and stressed out.

When I finally went back to placement I was really far behind. I didn’t feel very supported by the staff there and found it extremely difficult. I was also told that I didn’t seem very enthusiastic and this just made me feel worse. But actually, I was just very under-confident and anxious.

During the days when I was at uni I did have a lecturer who would ask me if things were okay but I feel very pressured into not saying how I’m feeling as I don’t want to have to leave my course. Truth is, I just don’t think I’m very well at the moment.

I’m spending a lot of time stigmatising myself, because when I had the flu at the beginning of the year I didn’t really think twice about taking the time off. Yet I wouldn’t dare do it now for a mental illness.

I’m currently feeling quite depressed, anxious, struggling with my mood, and also eating. It’s all a great big mess and I haven’t felt this bad since when I was sixth form.

My days are kind of just disappearing. Before I used to dissociate by accident without realising. But at the moment I am kind of trying to do it deliberately in order to not have to feel anxious all day. It seems like I can’t win either way though.

And food, well that’s always been the enemy but even more so at the moment. My thoughts are consumed by what I should and shouldn’t be eating and what I should do to get rid of calories etc.

I’m all over the place. It’s affecting my life massively as I find myself arguing with everyone, have a short temper, and just feeling so bad about myself. I hate the way I don’t feel I’m in control at the moment.

I’m inviting bad people back into my life because I want to be loved. I can think semi-rationally about that right now, but in about an hours’ time I will probably think that’s a great idea. I’m struggling to think straight and clearly.

I feel disgusted by myself. I want help but by the time I feel ready to ask for it I don’t believe that I need it anymore. I don’t feel as supported as I have done in the past and I don’t feel I can be as honest as I want to be because I don’t want to hurt them.

I don’t know what will happen. I’ll probably get out this dark patch and wonder what on earth I was thinking, but I don’t know.

I don’t really feel alive, and I spend a lot of time questioning the point in things. It’s really difficult. The thoughts I was having before are back.

But I know that if I reached out to friends I would get some support. I just can’t.

The hardest part is, I guess I look okay. I mean I go to uni, I *kinda* do my work. But I guess I’m just trying to hide it because I don’t want people to think I’m struggling.

Anyway, that’s enough.

Abbie x