Accepting my sexuality

Questions and discussion about your sexuality and how it's a part of who you are as a person.
Logan W
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Logan W »

Hi!

I hope it's okay that I'm jumping into this thread to answer your questions!

You are right - it is totally normal to have vaginal discharge. And there is nothing unhygienic about putting your underwear in the wash with all of your other clothes. It all has to get washed somehow!

For your second question, you can look into the reusable panty liners but that is another thing that needs to go in the wash (unless you plan on hand washing?). Does your mom typically do your laundry? Maybe you can let her know that you can take care of your own washing from now on, if you're able?
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Hi and thanks for the reassurance!

I'm not allowed to do my own laundry so hand washing seems like the best alternative for now. You're right that washing those pads would probably turn out to be even more work in the end, but it seems at least like a nice diy project anyway :)
I found some unclear information on the internet so I just wanna check if it's okay to use normal 100% cotton fabric from old clothes etc. for homemade pads?
Latha
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Latha »

Yes, you can use cotton fabric from old clothes!
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Ok, thanks!
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Hi! It's been a while and to be honest I've missed talking to you all so much. I don't have time to put together any questions today so I hope it's okay if I just share a little.
Unfortunately, I can't say that I haven't been active here because everything is perfect and I have nothing to talk about, it's rather because there's so much going on in different parts of my life and my to-do list is overflowing all the time and I have no energy left for anything other than school, doctors, chores and family stuff. But I have the best motivation to keep going and that is that in less than two months I will hopefully have finished high school and then I can finally move out from my family and become independent. There is still so much I haven't yet sorted out regarding it and I'm a little nervous but I'm so excited about it!
If everything goes smoothly I might even be able to visit the big summer Pride Festival that will be taking place in the city where I want to start university :D
Sofi
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Sofi »

Hi! That's really good to hear that you're staying hopeful and motivated by the future. I know it's been rough for you with your parents, so it will be a fresh start for you to have that independence. Pride festivals are SO fun, you'll really enjoy it!
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Thank you so much!

I'd like to talk about something that could get in my way of becoming independent. Sorry if it's long but putting my thoughts into words and venting here always helps. And if anyone has any thoughts I'll be of course happy to hear them.

So, the the thing is that the past few years I've been having some health problems and I'll try not to get into too much detail but in short it includes mostly pain and digestion problems. It's nothing serious, I suppose most people deal with similar problems but I've never gotten any satisfying clear diagnosis and nothing I've tried ever helped much. And now my doctor lost patience with me too and wants me to take antidepressants. And I have weirdly strong feelings about it.
Firstly, it just doesn't seem right to refuse to follow my doctor's advice after all the time she has spent trying to help me. And she would also probably think that I'm faking my problems if I wasn't willing to sacrifice anything to feel better.
But the most important reason why I'm thinking about trying taking antidepressants is because there might a chance that they would help (tho I have no idea how they could help with pain she hasn't explained it yet) and I really could do with more energy and concentration. Especially in the following weeks because we have the final high school exams and there's so much else I must do and I'm already falling behind and can't take a week off just because I'm not feeling well.

On the other hand there are even more reasons why I don't want to start this new treatment. Most are probably irrational but knowing that unfortunately doesn't help much. One thing that I'm worried about a lot is that from what I've heard it often gets way worse before it gets better. The doctor hasn't specified what kind of antidepressants she wants to give me so I can't do my own research but several people I know said that they experienced plethora of unwanted side effects or even worsening of their conditions especially in the beginning. I've reacted strongly to different medication before so this might be the case too and as I said before I just don't have the luxury to be even less productive than I'm now, I need to successfully finish high school and start working to get enough money to move out.

I'm also worried about what would other people think. Mental health is still a very stigmatised topic here and I have no idea how my family, teacher, friends or other doctors would react. What makes this even worse is that I don't have any diagnosed mental illness or more like I don't have any diagnosed illness and explaining to people that I take antidepressants just for normal chronic pain wouldn't probably be easy. Not to mention that it just simply doesn't feel fair like I don't need or deserve it - I have at least one friend who wouldn't approve of it, he didn't get the psychologic/psychiatric help he needed so he is understandably angry and jealous when other people get help and medication easily.
Another thing that is purely irrational but still bothering me is that taking something that would alter how my mind works is awfully scary for me. Even though I'm not always happy about how my mind works, it's what I'm familiar with and in a weird way I'm kinda proud that I more or less learned how to live with it. I know that taking any medication won't change my personality or anything but I'm afraid that if it did help with the pain and made me happier overall, I would feel like I don't deserve the happiness, if that makes sense...

I also find it hard to somehow accept the fact that my problems might not be curable and might stay like this forever. It feels like from the doctor's view giving me antidepressants isn't and attempt to find what's wrong or even trying to mitigate symptoms anymore, but rather it's just an attempt to make me less aware of them and consequently less annoying for her...
Logan W
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Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Logan W »

Hello!

First of all, I just want to say that you know your body better than you might think you do. I can understand your frustration though with trying to get answers - it took me years to get a diagnosis for a chronic illness because a couple doctors told me originally that my pain was normal. It can be really frustrating to not get answers about something health-wise.

About the anti-depressants - First of all, I don't think you're being irrational. These are common concerns, some that I've had myself and heard from loved ones of mine. Have you asked your doctor any of these questions or shared these concerns? It also might be helpful to know which medication they want you to use so you can do some reading up and they can answer any questions.

I do want to address what you said at the end of your post - that you feel like your doctor is not trying to find what's wrong by giving you these antidepressants. Are you able to look into a different doctor?
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Hello and thank you, especially for the reassurance that  those concerns are normal. When I'm stuck with my thoughts and have noone I could talk about them with it gets so hard not to doubt everything. So thanks for the chance to vent here!
And thank you for sharing your experience, I'm sorry you went through that that must have been awful.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to ask my doctor about this yet because I should have had a consultation over the phone but she hasn't been picking up my calls.
But I'm not even sure if I could ask her all my questions because she isn't any kind of a mental health specialist and therefore isn't obliged nor trained to talk with me about things like feelings or mental health issues.

And I was probably a bit harsh on her, she never said that she doesn't want to treat me anymore or that I'm annoying, it just seems very probable that she would feel like that and I wouldn't blame her at all. Honestly, I'm quite surprised she hasn't given up on me altogether yet. I suppose that when she has the chance to explain why she wants me to take this medication I'll see that she is really trying to help me.
So to answer your questions, I can't get a new doctor but I don't want to either. She might be the first doctor I've ever felt at least a little comfortable around and she is the only one that communicates only with me and not my parents.
Sofi
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Sofi »

Makes sense you feel comfortable enough around her that you'd want to keep her as your doctor, so I'll certainly honor that. That being said, although she's not a mental health specialist, she's prescribing you anti-depressants and you're more than allowed to express mental health concerns. She has to at least hear them out and work with you on them (which is different than providing therapy or diagnosis). I don't think you were harsh on her necessarily - your feelings are valid and understandable. I also don't think she's annoyed with you, though, and ultimately this is her job and hopefully she doesn't find her patients "annoying". I want to invite you to try being honest with her and express all your concerns with taking anti-depressants. Just because your doctor wants you to try something doesn't mean you have to, so if you're on the fence, have more conversations with her about it and/or see if there's anything else you can try first?
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Thank you so much for the kind and wise words!
Sorry I didn't reply sooner, I've had some weird mental block when talking or thinking about my health lately, especially after my parents saw me when I was having a bit of a breakdown because of all this...
Anyway, in the end it went a bit differently than I hoped it would (so another sorry for not following your advice at all...)
When the doctor finally answered my phonecall I was too nervous to communicate normally let alone ask any questions. So I'm stuck with a prescription for antidepressants (and have no idea why should they help me), million unanswered questions and a ton of anxiety and guilt...
It makes me wonder how am I going to be a normal independent adult when I can't do right even one normal phone call...
Sofi
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Sofi »

That's okay, you can always take as long as you need to here! You also are free to follow our advice or not - that's why it's just advice! Is it an option to call her or go see her before you start taking them?
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Well, I'm afraid she wouldn't (understandably) react well if I suddenly asked so many questions just a few days after a phone call where I nodded to everything she said and didn't ask anything. Besides it's almost impossible to reach her office by phone because she is very busy all the time. It's my fault that I didn't use the chance to talk with her when I could so it's on me to deal with the consequences... Hopefully I'll have more courage to at least ask the pharmacist some medical questions tomorrow.
I'm still wondering why is this such a big deal for me... I've taken many medication before and it's never caused me any significant stress. In addition to those reasons I mentioned several posts ago something that's bothering me is for example that I have no idea how should taking antidepressants help with the health problems I have - I've searched the Internet but didn't find any evidence that SSRIs would be of any help when treating things like chronic pain. I've also heard people saying that's it's very common to feel quite unwell, physically and mentally when starting this kind of treatment and that it's absolutely necessary to have help and support from other people and doctors. And I have noone... And even if nothing serious happens I just can't afford to take even a few days off, not with the final high school exams coming in two weeks.
I was thinking of just not taking the medication but that would most probably mean not seeing that doctor again and accepting that there's no help for my health problems and it might be like this forever. And I'm not ready to do that...

Anyway, thank you for letting me talk here, otherwise I would feel utterly alone. (But please let me know if this is a topic I shouldn't be talking about here.)
Sofi
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Sofi »

I'm going to be very honest, your health (physical and mental) is the most important thing and although your anxiety about calling the doctor again is valid, you need to prioritize your health. Your doctor should also have your health as a priority, so she won't mind you having questions now even though you didn't last time you talked. For all she knows,these are new questions that have come up since that conversation. Her opinion of you is not as important as your wellbeing. Your concerns are valid and you deserve the peace of mind that the answers to them will give you. I hope I wasn't too blunt, but I want what's best for you and your health <3
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Thank you
I reallywanted to try today but once again I wasn't able to overcome my fear... I even asked my parents to call the doctor for me but that didn't go well either...
I hate so much this unreasonable fear of making phone calls and communication in general, I know it's just a matter of trying harder and getting used to it and I'm way too old to still be struggling with this...
Anyway, I will try again tomorrow evem though I don't have much free time and it'll be Friday so the chance that she will pick up the phone is dubious, but it's my last chance to ease my mind about this.
I suppose a lot of my fear around taking antidepressants stems from some internalised stigma about them and medication in general and in the end the only way to get over is to just start taking them. Hopefully, there's not much that could go wrong
Logan W
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Logan W »

I think making phone calls and communicating about tough topics (health definitely being one of them) is a pretty common thing that people struggle with. Speaking for myself, I really struggle with reaching out to doctors and making phone calls and I'm in my 30's. I usually have to give myself a little treat to look forward to after doing something like that. It motivates me at least!

We're here if you need to talk after calling the doctor. I hope it helps to ease your mind.
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Thank you for reassurance!

Unfortunately, I don't deserve any treats because, unsurprisingly, I didn't make the call... I had a fight with my mum about the medication and then I was too stressed out to do anything
But that's probably just an excuse...

But taking into account my parent's opinion (that now went from indifference to 'absolutely not' (I suppose after they read the leaflet...)) and what the pharmacist told me about adverse effects being more than probable considering the doses and my medical history, I at least decided what to do next. I'll wait at least two more weeks until I have done the final high school exams as I hope the doctor will understand this reason and then I'll try to reach out to her again. Maybe I'll have more capacity to deal with it then because I've really been feeling like in a survival mode lately
Latha
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Latha »

Hey, don't be so hard on yourself! It's understandable- making calls can be difficult on its own, and you had a fight, which would be emotionally taxing. You haven't failed- calling the doctor is just something on your to-do list that you can try to complete later.

Your doctor should be understanding of your reasons and circumstances- they are not uncommon at all.

Be kind to yourself. As you said, you're in survival mode, so you've been having a difficult time. Do your best to take care of yourself, but don't beat yourself up if you're struggling.
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Thank you for the reminder <3
sometimes, it's like I just don't have the energy to not let negative thoughts win... and especially when I know that writing some of them here might mean getting supportive answer... so sorry if it seems like I'm just using this place for that, I'm not doing it consciously, but in a way I guess that attention is still what I seek here...

It's just hard not to be hard on myself when it's so obvious I'm not ready to live on my own and I haven't learnt even some basic skills I need, not only in communication with people but even things like shopping. Funny story from today as an example - I went to get something but I accidentally went into a wrong shop and then I was too nervous as there were people watching me and I thought it would be stupid to just leave without buying anything so I just got something I didn't needed at all... Of course this isn't anything serious and it didn't cost much, but there is still a chance my parents will find out and then I'll get in trouble. And I have so many of these funny but for me guilt-producing experiences and I've been trying hard to get used to all sorts of uncomfortable situations but it doesn't work much.
It's ironical how I have this idea who I wish I was in my head - a strong, brave, confident person, who stands up for themselves and others, isn't afraid to speak up, holds door or carry things for others, is someone others feel safe with etc. But the real me is the exact opposite and I dont know how to come to terms with that
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Oh, sorry, I thanked you for reminding me not to put myself down and then I continued doing just that. And I've remembered that I promised not to do this at all here a while ago, so double sorry for forgetting about that)
But it felt good to write that down.

Anyway, I also forget to ask you what I wanted - I remembere that you shared with some user some website/project that dealt with sex ed topics in an inclusive way in relation to religion/Christianity (at least I hope I remember it right) but I don't recall the name of the resource and can't find it. Im asking because I would like to pass this resource to a teacher who shared with me that she wants to start a new sex ed project on our school (which is catholic so it's very much needed and in my opinion a very brave idea) but she mentioned she has problems finding inclusive and reliable resources that would take religion into account and she needs them for her project to even have a chance of being approved by the school directory.
Carly
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Carly »

Hey 42 -- I'm not sure exactly what resource you're referring to, but I think the Our Whole Lives sex education curriculum is close to what you're looking for. We're also a good resource! ;)
Andy
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Andy »

Hi,
I just wanted to let you all know that despite some unexpected difficulties I've now successfully finished high school,  have been accepted to all university I applied to, I have filled in a application for a affordable university dormitories and I've even started searching for therapy options in the city where I'm hoping to study. So my dream of an independent life is beginning to take shape and I'm counting weeks until I can finally try to be myself without the threat of my
family's hate looming over me. There's still so much I have to figure out but honestly, I've never thought I'll get even this far.

Anyway, I think it'd be a good time to somewhat symbolically close this thread as it is already way too long and you all deserve a big break from me. And in the future if I have any questions I'll try to make short separate threads for them. But of course only if that's okay with you.

I would also like to add a few words of thanks because practically every day I realise how
grateful I am for knowing Scarleteen. It might be "just" a sex-ed website but for me it symbolises so much more. Reading through some older posts in this thread I see how much have changed and how much I've learned. Over the past year and half the articles here and most importantly everyone in the message boards were there for me whenever I needed help for me or other people, whenever I needed information, advice, someone to listen to my venting or when I was just curious. I could say you've been like teachers, friends or parents to me many times and I'm so very grateful for that.
Just knowing that somewhere there are people "on my side" who are willing to listen and help me and others, really made a difference in my life.
Sorry for being so awfully corny, unfortunately words are for now the only way to express my gratitude which is huge because, I dare say, discovering this place and consequently some others, really shaped the person I am now and honestly sometimes in some aspects I'm even a little proud to be that person. So thanks a lot (not only) for that <3
Nicole
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Re: Accepting my sexuality

Unread post by Nicole »

Hey Theansweris42,

I'm so happy to hear that things are turning around and going well for you. I hope you enjoy this new chapter of your life! Also, I'm glad that you took the time to acknowledge your growth--you should be proud of yourself! With that being said, you are always welcome to come back to the boards when you need us. Please take care!
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