Another Kind Of PSA?

Picture: Blue haired anime girl.Hello, dear readers. ^_^

It’s been a while since my last post. I have a personal story that I’d like to share with you about my past and a little idea lately…

When I was a young teen, I had a best friend in Philadelphia that was around my age, a lesbian girl who knew of and accepted the fact of my bisexuality. We had known each other since we were just little girls but, in our adolescence, we pretty much came out of the closet to each other.

In that moment, I felt such a relief that I wasn’t alone, as we both lived in a very conservative community that was super religious and outspoken against homosexuality.  The ministers of our church would often preach about how homosexuals were going to be tortured in the fires of hell for all eternity.

We had both witnessed a minister’s family in our neighborhood toss their eighteen-year-old daughter into the streets because she confessed to them that she was a lesbian. The other neighbors gossiped about the event and they felt sorry for the parents for having a gay child, giving them their condolences and offering prayers that their daughter would “come away from that evil lifestyle.”

My own mother sat me and my sister down, to talk about the incident, and to tell us that if we were to commit a crime, or become teen mothers, or get into any trouble she would always be there for us and love us regardless. Except if we were gay. If we “decided” to be that, she said it would be an unforgivable embarrassment to her and she would do the same as the parents of the lesbian eighteen-year-old.

I knew that I was bisexual since the age of twelve, at a time where homosexuality was not really accepted in the media and so forth, and her warning came to me around the age of fifteen. I felt horrified and buried the truth deep down inside of me until my best friend confessed that she was lesbian.

Picture: anime girls hugging.My best friend was so afraid when she told me that she is lesbian, because she thought I wouldn’t want to be her friend anymore. I was so relieved and told her about my bisexuality, welcoming her with open arms, and our friendship seemed to grow closer since that moment.

However, my lesbian best friend decided to come out of the closet to everyone in her life. I admired and envied her courage to do that, but I was a coward and couldn’t follow in her footsteps. I witnessed the abuse she had gained from it, both verbal and physical abuse.

People often approached her and shouted “dyke” and people would fight her, leaving bruises and black eyes. She was determined to be herself and she was a scrappy fighter, giving it back as good as she got it. I was just a shy and weak wallflower that had zero skills in fighting, so I hid in my closet for several years and began to hate myself. I believed that I was “born wrong” and fell into deep depression, which led to many suicide attempts and inpatient stays in mental hospitals.

I carry a guilt of lashing out towards my best friend, as a church woman that didn’t know of her sexuality approached us and was especially kind to her. The woman mentioned how much my best friend was a good friend to me and how my best friend was certain to enter the kingdom of heaven for her good deeds.

I blurted, out of spite, “She’s gay and so that’s not true.” I put my best friend on the spot and the woman responded with a disgusted frown, but then tried to assure my best friend, “If you come away from that lifestyle, I’m sure that God will forgive you. And you will be able to go to heaven.”

I will forever be so sorry for what I’ve done to my friend. I was so angry and hated myself, and I was so jealous that she got to be free from her closet, in spite of the abuse she had suffered, to have the support and friendships within the gay community when I was too much of a coward to come out. I wanted to hurt her and I think I did on that day.

And even so, she stayed true to our friendship and never exposed my truth. I never got the chance to apologize to her, before I left Philly, and I hope that someday I will get that chance somehow. I did a very shitty thing and I’m so very sorry for it. u_u

In the meanwhile, I fell deeper into my depression and self-hatred, the suicide attempts increased. Out of sheer luck did every attempt fail, as I was determined to die and rid this world of a mistake. I truly thought of myself as not human but a mistake.

And then a wonderful PSA began to show up in my online feed: It Gets Better.

At the age of 21, I gave up my secret and came out to the people that I felt was important in my life. My mother didn’t take the news very well, most of my other so-called friends abandoned me, only my siblings and oldest nephew accepted me with unconditional love. It was a tough road to travel, but my self-hatred and depression began to lessen from that point on.

I’m now currently age 36, at the moment of this post, and I completely accept and love myself as a bisexual woman. I still struggle with depression, anxiety, and PDST, due the abuse and trauma I had suffered – not related to my sexuality per se. I’m currently under the care of a very good therapist, in my new wonderful life in Minnesota, and I’m on the right path to recovery.

However, in the wake of the recent suicides of music artists, it does rattle me that so many people in this world who suffer from mental illness are left without hope that things can get better for them. There is no PSA for those living with mental illness to suggest that “It will get better” for them.

The PSAs for the LGBTQ+ community was very helpful to my life and good therapy has been overwhelmingly helpful to my mental illness. I have learned that it does indeed get better within mental illness, with a lot of effort and hard work with the proper help.

I am thinking that perhaps it’s time for mental illness to be understood and to be taken from the shadows and brought into the light, to let those who suffer with it know that they’re not alone and it can get better for them on the same level it is for sexual orientation.

It’s a just a little idea, but I wanted to share it anyway. ^_^

For all those who suffer from mental illness, you’re not alone. There are plenty of people who are willing to help, you don’t have to suffer by yourself! If you don’t have a friend or relative that you can turn to, there are places you can reach out to for help: Get Help. I reached out to my medical doctor, told her that I was feeling very depressed, and she referred me to my current awesome therapist of three years.

When I first moved to Minnesota, I felt my depression returning and thoughts of suicide again. I reached out to my medical doctor, three years ago, and told her that I was feeling very depressed. She referred me to my current awesome therapist, thus my depression is mild and manageable these days.

I can promise you, that it does get better. It’s very difficult, but when you come out on the other side of it, life is so very beautiful and has SO much to offer to you.

Picture: blue anime girl with dove.

Song of the day: Linkin Park – Iridescent.

Thanks for reading, as always. And be excellent to each other. ^o^v

-D

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington. Your music was always a companion to me on my most difficult days. I will surely miss you! (つ﹏<)・゚。