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Hi, please call me Anna.
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 Posted: 2015-10-15 11:35 pm
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Anna

 

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OK, this is the third time I have tried to get this out...

Not even sure what to say, or even if I understand any of what I have to say.  I am a mess of confusion yet confidence on my own identity, but it has been that way as far back as I can remember.  Just hoping somebody understands, or knows what I have been going through, but pretty sure this is the place to find someone.

Right now, I live in a military town.  I am a retired US Army sergeant, with a wife and a son.  I love them both, immensely, and do not want to do or say anything to lose them, or make them think differently of me.  However, I am not really the person they see when they look at me.  I am, but I'm not.  You know?

I have spent the past couple decades trying to prove that I am a tough guy, Army man, soldier type.  One of the guys.  All that jazz.  It has been one big lie, but a pretty convincing performance for those that know me, and I even started to believe it for a while.  Inside, I am a very nice, friendly, caring woman.  I just typed that, and it brought tears to my eyes.  This has gone on long enough, too many years, but I don't think I can do anything about it for fear of hurting those who love and rely on me -- to stay the person that I "am" to them.

OK, I did it.  Kind of.  I can't say any more now.  I don't even know if anybody comes here or reads this stuff.  Kinda hope nobody does.  Hiding is so much easier.  I faced the enemy on the battlefield, but I can't even face myself.  It sucks.

Thanks for "listening" to my sob story.

Anna

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 Posted: 2015-10-16 03:22 am
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marshmallow

 

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Hi Anna - I was so touched by your posting. I don't think you offered a sob story. I think you offered a story of courage, strength and self awareness. You drew from the same strength as you relied upon on the battlefield.

You took a really important first step. Please don't feel like you need to rush to slap a label on yourself. Take your time figuring yourself out. When you feel confident about who you are, then it is imperative that you be truthful with your family - because of the love you have for them.

You are lucky because you will always have your battlefield strength to draw on. Remember that it has taken you some time to come to terms with who you are. So, like you, your family will need time to - and it will take your strength and steady hand to help them with the process. That is once you are very settled into your own self awareness.

Please read through all the posts here because you will see that you are not alone.

Peace -

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 Posted: 2015-10-16 02:56 pm
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Anna

 

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Thank you so much. Thank you. Your wonderful reply made me cry those "good" tears. It already feels like I made a huge step, a leap even. Nothing is ever easy, but life has not been easy up til now anyway.

I will look for resources here. Hopefully there are more people that understand this, somewhere around where I live. I can't find any help here. I have access to all this great VA healthcare, mental health, etc, but none of it has anything to do with what I want to talk about. It would be nice to have some kind of understanding social worker, group, or even individuals nearby who could help me to understand all this. It is scary, because I feel like I want to scream, but nobody around here would even understand.

I don't want to stereotype, either, but a huge military town isn't really the place I want to go around and randomly ask people for help. If you know what I mean...

I feel so stupid. Used to live in a very strong and supportive community ten years ago. Unfortunately spent all that time trying to ignore myself, and push even harder to just be "one of the guys." I was even more scared back then when I had resources. Life is pretty funny sometimes.

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 Posted: 2015-10-16 06:13 pm
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Admin



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Can you find an lgbt community center? You will find tons of support there. travel somewhere not too close to home so you can remain outside of the local judgment

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 Posted: 2015-10-16 06:40 pm
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Anna

 

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That makes a lot of sense. I have done some google searches for lgbt stuff in the area, but everything that comes up doesn't have a solid contact. I tried emailing one group that meets once a month at some restaurant, and it said email to find out the particulars. Nothing yet.

I'm afraid to just meet anyone, though. Ugh, this has been so liberating inside, but it is so terrifying at the same time. There is a strong lgbt community in a beautiful and lively city just an hour away.

There was a group at the university I have been going to. Why didn't I think of that before!!! I feel like an idiot. Thank you! I have been looking so hard, and forgot a possible resource on campus. Now, I just need to get the courage to seek them out.

You two that answered my post have seriously helped me far more than you know. Thank you both so much for being here, and caring. It really makes a huge difference. Just knowing that human beings are there ---- OK, no more crying.

Thank you!!!

Anna

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 Posted: 2015-10-16 09:03 pm
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Admin



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You have the courage - we know that! Take your time - you will get there.

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 Posted: 2015-10-17 04:40 am
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72jay



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Personally I think GLBT internet forums like this one (or one of the others) are a good place to start since you can ask questions/interact with others/etc....all without needing to worry about things like "afraid to meet anyone"/"what if someone sees me in 'that gay place'"/etc.

That city you mentioned that's an hour away might be a good place once you feel you are ready for more than just internet forums.
google for: "glbt community center" (city name)
Including the quotes!..also try the same thing but 'lgbt' as the 1st word

Also.. since your first post said you are retired US Army: Thank you for helping protect our country!

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 Posted: 2015-10-17 07:59 pm
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Anna

 

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Thank you, 72jay. I am trying to build up the confidence to make the trip down there (it's Austin, Texas, a great town by the way). I did find a current website for LGBT events, news, issues, etc in Austin last night, and they had a list of businesses and organizations to support that are supportive. You know the drill.

Anyway, there is a place with a bunch of social workers (mostly women, which really helps for me personally). They advertise these issues, exactly what I was looking for, and even offer a 20 minute free assessment. That is also important, because I don't know how to pay for a session without having to first have THE TALK with my wife. I don't know how to have that talk with her, until I can talk with a social worker to try and find out what is going on and what I should do. I hate the 'rock and a hard place' scenarios, but that's just where I find myself currently. Oh well.

I'm really not the type of person to hide under the bed or behind the couch when times get tough, really. However, this has really been difficult. I am just so afraid to waste any more of my life. Feels like I wasted so much already. Don't want to think about that, though. I'm still young, so I need to do something now to figure out what comes next.

Thanks for the kind words about serving. It was a great job, and a crazy way to hide myself. Honestly, it forced me to try to "man up" and pretend to be "one of the guys" everyday. Which, in a sad way, helped me to stuff myself in a box under that bed I just said I don't hide under. Crazy, I know. I really don't look anything like a big Army guy. Pretty average height, but real slender with small hands, feet, wrists and frame really. Always got me made fun of for being so "girly" -- and I would think "If only you knew..."

Sorry. Thanks again! You all are too nice, and you have really given me strength that probably wouldn't have manifested on my own here in this town. No joke.

Anna

Last edited on 2015-10-17 07:59 pm by Anna

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 Posted: 2015-11-06 01:55 am
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72jay



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Anna wrote:  -- and I would think "If only you knew..." ^^ good way of thinking .. LOL I love that

I would have replied sooner but I totally forgot to check back in here (and most of the time forums send a reminder email when someone replies, but I didn't get one for yours..)

I've heard people say that Austin is a nice town.
Nice to hear you found a place with social workers who may be able to help :)

Glad to hear you're not the type go to hide under the bed when things get tough (I will admit that I sorta am)

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 Posted: 2015-12-06 01:41 pm
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Anna

 

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Thanks!  Things have really changed for me.  I found a wonderful therapist in Austin, and she has been working with me for the past few weeks.  She gave me a list of groups in the Austin area where I can actually find other people to talk to.  There is a meeting tonight that I am thinking of going to.  It is still really intimidating, but I feel like my life is starting.  Very exciting, even though a lot of work and hard times are coming up.


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 Posted: 2015-12-18 04:43 am
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72jay



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Glad to hear you found a good therapist!

Did you end up going to the meeting?

Also nice to hear that you feel like your new life is starting. I'd say that's a good sign things are beginning to work out for you...

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