Coping with my current situation



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Wander

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Apr 19, 2013
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Hi, so for any of this to be understandable I'll have to tell you an extremely simplified version of my life. I am a 19-year-old gay male currently studying abroad in England. I've lived 17 years of my life (miserably) in Indonesia which, as some of you may know, is an extremely conservative country. Now, it just so happens that my family and my parents in particular are one of these very conservative types ergo very homophobic. Me personally I'm incrediby non-religious, in fact I'd describe myself as pretty anti-religion. So this problem has reared its head. Before we go any further I'd like to say that I am very good at hiding my sexuality, if I don't tell anyone they pretty much never find out, except for one incident in Jakarta that traumatised me for life (I'd love to tell this story if anyone is interested at all).

So, back to business. I've been pretty much depressed back home ever since I've found out that I was into guys around the age of 12. I was in denial for a couple of years and even forced myself to date girls in my teens which always made me feel dishonest and I hated it. Come 16 and I've made a lot of friends online and I found out people are a lot more accepting in some parts of the world, and so I've come to terms with my sexuality and accepted myself while still hiding it from the people around me. Age 17 I got the chance to study abroad for college and I instantly felt incredible once I'd left home. I can't really describe the feeling. My family wasn't breathing down my neck, I can finally make my own decisions, and best of all I don't have to hide myself fearing people would try to "cure me of my disease" (actual quote from that one incident). I finally beat my depression and started exercising to fight off my long-time anorexia. Life was great, I actually felt good about myself and surrounded myself with kind and supportive people. Ofc there were complications here, but nothing my then-new friends couldn't help with (bless them).

Fast forward two years and here we are, not much has changed but I guess the ghosts of home has caught up to me. Thing is, I can never post about any of my relationships on social media or anything that could even hint at me being gay, I tell my friends not to post anything that would have the same effect aswell because my old friends and family are always trying to check in on me (I'm okay with them caring but you must understand the repercussions). I then realised that if I can't find a sufficiently paying job I probably have to return to Indonesia after getting my Bachelor's. I don't want to go back, England feels so much more like what a home should feel like, I don't want to be the person I was before (I realise thinking solely of my happiness may come off as selfish, but if not me who else?). I also started thinking about how my parents will have to find out some day, I can't exactly just run off, get hitched, and live happily ever after without them knowing. I also started thinking about how I KNOW nothing good will come out of them knowing. Before we go any further you must know that I don't plan on telling them before I'm independently economically stable, which is to say, likely no time soon. I do know however that the day will come, and in that day all I will see in their eyes is contempt and disappointment. Basically, I've realised that I yet have strings on me, and unfortunately, "home" is on the other end.

Lately I've been restless. I didn't think I'd lose much sleep over this but here I am, swolen eyes from sleepless nights and compulsive crying. Such questions haunt me at night. What will they do when they finally find out? Will they disown me? Or worse, will they force me back with them and "correct" me? What if I'm already back there when they do find out? Holy shit what if I actually have to go back there at all?! Can I even be happy in Indonesia after all this?

So yeah, I'm pretty much a bundle of nerves right now, even though I won't get my Bachelor's for another year or two. I don't think my depression will come back, but I do feel like shit lately.
 

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A boy named Crow
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I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I have a good friend from Mainland China who has been living with similar conditions most of his life. He studies in France now, but still has to consider whether that's economically viable in the long term.

In addition to practical concerns, I sympathize with the disappointment of discovering that moving away (from home, a bad environment, wherever), while alleviating a lot of problems, doesn't entirely dispel them. And sometimes it can make them that much harder to deal with when you have to face them again.

I don't have much in terms of personal experience to give any useful advice. The only suggestion I would give -to share this with those friends who do understand and sympathize- you seem to be doing already. Maybe others can recommend more resources to help you cope with these anxieties.

Thanks for sharing your story here with us.
 

Forsaken Shadow

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Jan 15, 2011
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Sounds like my life to a tee. If you need to talk about it, I'm here man. It is tough coming from a conservative society. It's my dream to go abroad to someplace more accepting for my Master's, and I'm glad you finally found your happiness where you are. Although with the new laws that I've been reading about it might be a little more difficult to stay back in the UK and get a job but I really hope it all works out for you dude.
 
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