“The burden just kept piling up and I felt more and more lonely, despite being surrounded by so many of my friends. I felt that I couldn’t express myself anymore and I was trapped in a role that I had to play day in and day out. I couldn’t postpone it any longer. I’ve never been so nervous as I was before those meetings. I kept trying to visualise the conversations with each of my friends and family. I had played hundreds of scenarios in my head for weeks beforehand, trying to play out what their reactions might be. After many sleepless nights, I realised that all I could really control are the two words that are the hardest to spell out: I’m gay. After that, I would just have to see what’s next. I scheduled in some meetings while feeling sick to my stomach. I was shaking from being so nervous and, to be fair, I had all sorts of reactions, but none of them were as bad as what I had imagined in my head. I was the most surprised by my now-best friend when I opened up to her. She said: ‘Wow… Thank you for telling me! This must have been really hard for you.’ When she said those words, I really fell out of my ‘trying-to-keep-it-together’ posture. Like a huge weight that just fell off my shoulders, those words of genuine empathy felt so liberating… This lovely phrase is now one of many that I use in NiteLine. You really don’t realise the power of these words until you are in a position where it really matters to you. I wish I could have had somebody to talk to about my feelings. I probably would have been brave enough to come out much earlier. We get calls from LGBTQ students who go through similar hardships and it’s tough to think that they have no-one else to turn to. I’m grateful that I can be there for them. It is a very rewarding position, and that’s part of the reason why I am volunteering with NiteLine for over four years now. I feel there is rarely anything more powerful than just being there to listen and to be someone that wants to understand what you are going through.”
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@nitelinedublin is an anonymous non-judgemental non-directive listening service geared towards students. Our volunteers are available to take both phone and instant messaging calls from 21.00-2.30 every single night of term. Need someone to talk to？Freephone：1800 793 793