How many LGBTI people have struggled with who they are. And how many of them are getting the help they need, asks columnist Angel Buns O’hara. Today Angel tells her own story.
I woke up early and was unable to go back to sleep as I had this strong urge to write and get my feelings on paper.
How much are LGBTI people affected emotionally and physically by being who they are? And how many of them have had a mental health break down because of this?
Looking back I realize that at the age of 13 I started to struggle with who I am, understanding who I was and what I wanted. All my friends were very confident in who they were and I was a lost little girl. I wanted some of the confidence they had, some of the bond they had with their families and I always felt like an outcast. But from the outside looking in you would not think so.
“For years I drank to have some semblance of confidence and throw caution to the wind of any worries. Following that there always came mornings of extreme guilt, embarrassment, regret and depression.”
Fast forward to the age of 16 when I realized I was a lesbian, it was almost like a light bulb moment for me that I could finally understand who I was and gain that confidence that I had longed for. Little did I know about the ‘complications’ that would arise from this self discovery.
Having an in accepting family and friends who didn’t understand or where convinced that I was either going through a phase or that I had not meet the right guy only enhanced my lack of confidence. Questioning myself, confused and almost believing that they were right led me to drink heavily as this was the only state that I could finally be free without a care in the world.
For years I drank to have some semblance of confidence and throw caution to the wind of any worries. Following that there always came mornings of extreme guilt, embarrassment, regret and depression. I had mastered the art of having different personas, keeping face and in a sense acting whenever I was around people and crying or drinking myself to sleep.
This has caused me to wonder how many LGBTI immigrants, refugees and Icelanders go through this on a daily basis?
Once I moved yo Iceland I felt that I could be my authentic self and honest about who I am. However, the damage was already down after all the years of keeping up this facade.
“This has caused me to wonder how many LGBTI immigrants, refugees and Icelanders go through this on a daily basis?”
The good news is that I am finally getting the help I need but how many are too shy, embarrassed or even self medicated and not getting the help they need?
Are there enough mental health facilities for those people. I haven’t got any calculations or figures on these statistics but I hope that anyone struggling gets the help they need.
I have just started my journey and sometimes its hard to look at the real me without my pseudo personality, but I would choose this over what I felt like.
There is always a better tomorrow.
Note: The opinions and viewpoints expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of the editorial staff of Gayiceland.