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Stigmatized by Family

This subject is very important to me on many levels. I feel for the other people who live with or handle emotional and mental torture from loved ones in their life. I am saddened by my own experiences. While I was younger and lived in an abusive family home and in abusive relationships, I was constantly controlled by their rules and outlook on how I should act socially. Not only in the mental health aspect, but in sexuality as well.

I have finally been in a position to officially come out as bisexual recently. My father had always said he would disown his children if we "became" gay. When I was in grade 6, we were watching the news and a report came on about LBGTQ right activists. My father started saying that "all gay people should dig their own hole and shoot themselves into it". I obviously started defending human rights and saying love shouldn't be limited because there have been homosexual acts in the animal kingdom. You can only imagine his response.

I knew I was bi-sexual in grade 4 where my friend had our first "exploration/understanding of the female body" experience. Even from then I knew I liked the idea of being naked and having a relationship with women. Until this year, I have always had to deny and keep my sexuality secret from my family. As shitty as my father was, I was still afraid of him disowning me. Sadly my aunt agreed that he would have been successful, too.

With the fear of being disowned gone, I came out to specific family members. This news travelled back to my Nanny (grandmother on dads side) and she freaked out. I haven't talked to her yet because she doesn't have my new phone number but I am afraid to call her. When she found out my aunt defended me and also came out as bisexual. I do not have any idea how that went down but I assure you it must have been a blood bath.

On the topic of mental health, my father was so incredibly opposed to me attending therapy and taking medications. He never understood the illness that was developing in front of him and that he thought ignoring it completely would make it go away. Even until the day he died he never understood any mental health illness.

I feel so sorry that so many people have made a choice to live a lie in fear of another persons judgement. It sounds so silly when I type it out because the answer is so painfully obvious: kick them out of your life. Life is the longest thing we will ever do so why not make it a happy and honest one? If you are being stigmatized by family members or loved ones I hope you, reader, realize how important your mental health is over their reaction and judgment. You are more important than that.

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© Jenna White

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