For most of my life, I felt like an alien on this planet.
A planet obsessed with love.
Every person dreams about their one true love. All the songs, books, and movies are about it.
We are born needing love. Yet, not all types of love are welcomed.
And if you love differently, life is not that easy for you.
But the most painful thing is you are not easy on yourself either.
I’m Ruth, a 27 y.o. lesbian, and I came out of the closet just 3 years ago. These 3 years have been the most wonderful, inspiring, and fulfilling time of my life.
But there had been many years of denial prior to that. Denial that eventually led to severe psychological problems.
Depression, anxiety attacks, addiction…
Putting it all into words, even now it feels a bit shameful. But if my story helps people in the LGBTQIA+ community face the harsh challenges created by our society, my suffering was worth it.
In the trap of conformism
It started at an early age. I was never really attracted to boys. In elementary school, everyone was supposed to have crushes.
I remember lying to my friends that I liked someone, and then trying to avoid these boys in the school corridors.
Yet that was the only time that I was a part of the majority. Some kid would tease a classmate: “Stuart likes Mark, Stuart likes Mark!” And then everybody laughed. And I laughed with them.
But after several years I started to notice that I’m a little different. Not interested in dresses and teenage drama series. Not curious about experiencing her first kiss.
Suffering from strange anxiety attacks.
Some things are impossible to hide
College was not any better. I thought that studying Political Sciences will help me fulfill myself. I seemed to be made for that.
I was determined, hard-working, and intelligent (all A+), yet always conscious of my reputation.
I started dating a guy from my economics class. I liked him, but it was clear my feelings were not as deep as his.
But one day everything collapsed.
She entered the yoga studio, and it struck me. It wasn’t the first time I enjoyed a good-looking woman.
But she was just breathtaking.
Her calm expression in her eyes, her hair, her warm and silky voice as she instructed us to change the asana.
I was a sophomore hoping that yoga would reduce my anxiety.
She was a substitute yoga teacher. And the last nail in the coffin of my heterosexual identity.
“I think we could become good friends,” I tried to calm myself.
Yet, every time she touched me to fix my pose, a bitter-sweet tidal wave would wash my rationality away.
This tension made me lose it.
How it all went downhill
All the anger I felt towards myself was directed at everyone around me. I left my boyfriend in a very harsh and destructive way, which I will always be ashamed of.
At one point, I even felt the pain of separation, which caused me to think that I was indeed heterosexual.
But my anxiety attacks would return more and more often. I couldn’t bear the intense feeling that I was failing at everything. Irreparably. I went to see a therapist.
Everything seemed okay, but I soon realized her Christian belief and prejudice would not allow me to ever fully open up to her.
I gave up on therapy.
I don’t remember much from the rest of the year. There was no anger. No drama. It was just me, quietly accepting that I will never be ready to reach for my dreams.
Me and a glass of wine. Then 2 glasses. Then the whole bottle. And a daily thought that I didn’t want to live.
I was sure my life wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The trauma of bullying, abuse, conservative parents.
All these terrible things the LGBTQIA+ community had to deal with.
But I couldn’t handle myself anymore…
One app gives me the hope I thought I had lost
At some point, a friend of mine posted an Instagram story announcing that she is bi. “How did you come to that?” I asked when I had a chance to meet her.
“Oh, you wouldn’t believe me. I started seeing a therapist, and she happened to work with the LGBTQIA+ community.
She figured me out right away! Now I’m so much more comfortable with myself, and my matches on Tinder have doubled,” she laughed.
Maybe that was my chance?
But I didn’t want to roll the dice for the second time.
None of the local therapists had clearly stated they were working with LGBTQAI+.
So I kept looking on the web and found some online therapy services.
At first, I wasn’t sure about it. Will online therapy be as useful as in-person therapy? Will I be able to click with them?
I did some research and decided it’s worth a try. I found a therapy app called DoMental.
They offered help for the LGBTQAI+ community, the people seemed to like it, and the ability to switch therapists for free enticed me to give it a shot.
They have an anonymous LGBTQIA+ quiz, so you don’t have to feel uneasy explaining your situation. It’s short and straight to the point: “Do you feel comfortable with your identity?”
I was matched the same day. My therapist Vanessa had an LGBTQIA+ flag on her T-shirt, which instantly made me feel welcomed.
A new beginning
After a week, I experienced something I had never experienced before — contact with a person who knows what you are feeling.
A person who offers you hope. Hope that things can get better. That they WILL get better.
At first, it wasn’t very pleasant. She pointed out how vulnerable I was trying to pretend to be someone I was not.
How irrational I was trying to guess what would satisfy everyone around me without actually knowing if it would.
But most importantly, Vanessa and DoMental inspired me with the courage to be me.
First and foremost, to myself.
Why is it worth it?
Sometimes it’s not easy. Bumping into the people who refuse to understand. People who think they know better than me.
I get a lot of “are you a feminist?”, “is it a childhood trauma?” and my favorite: “Are you really a lesbian? You don’t look like one.”
There were much more difficulties after I came out, but it’s an opportunity for me to prove who I AM.
And therapy helps me to remember it. With DoMental, I can reach Vanessa any time the world pushes me a bit too hard.
But is it worth the price? After my failed attempt with so called therapist that I’ve spent thousands of my savings, I realized that DoMental was a way cheaper option.
At the end of the month, I would spend more on my Pumpkin Spice Latte. Not to mention my previous wine “therapy”…
And instead, what I got DoMental and Vanessa is invaluable. Her constant presence is what helps me fight my addiction.
She carefully and quickly responds to all of my messages. The longest I had to wait was 3 hours. I can’t imagine someone has to wait two weeks to talk to their therapist.
I started working with the LGBTQIA+ community in my area. My job still requires ambition, diligence, and intelligence. But I don’t have to hide who I am.
Instead, I celebrate it.
I met my girlfriend, Elena, 1 year ago and we are planning to move together soon.
All this is thanks to Vanessa’s empathy, professionalism, and our daily chats at DoMental.
I’m sharing my story because I believe there are more like me out there. People who are not ready to embrace their wonderful uniqueness.
Also, people suffering from others not accepting them.
But therapy can help you.
Crystalize your needs.
Get rid of prejudice and harmful thinking patterns.
Find the courage to stand out.
There are people ready to be there for you. For as long as you need.
I’ve found one of them with DoMental. I’m sure you will too.
Worst case, you will lose several minutes of your time to reflect on your situation.
But best case… Can you imagine?
Disclaimer: Results may vary due to personal features. Always consult a professional for medical advice.