Go Back   Friends and Family Forum > The Family Forum > Children

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 29th, 2014, 02:45 PM
Mochadelicious's Avatar
Mochadelicious Mochadelicious is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Washington State
Posts: 31
Mochadelicious is on a distinguished road
Root of depression revealed...

I am in complete shock today. My world has been turned upside down and I don't know how to handle the information I learned about my 16 year old son.

It started almost a month ago when my son came to me and told me he thought he was depressed. He had been experiencing some sleep issues for weeks prior and he said he thought this depression was caused by his insomnia. I carefully asked him if there was something bothering him and he said he couldn't put his finger on any one thing but just felt sad. He asked me to make an appointment with his pediatrician (which I did). His doctor asked him many questions and gave him a written assessment where he answered a list of questions about his depression. The results of the assessment concerned his doctor and after much discussion between the 3 of us, decided to put him on an antidepressant. He also took his blood to test for other ailments, and a few days later it was discovered that he was significantly lacking in vitamin D (which may or may not be contributing to his depression). He is now on supplements.

I explained to my son that if there is something bothering him he can talk to us anytime (day or night) and we will be there and try to help him no matter what. Well last night he took me up on my offer. He woke me and his dad about 2 a.m. and asked to talk to us. Of course we got up and followed him into the living room. We sat down and he said "I don't know how to tell you this but I think I might be bisexual". Needless to say we were completely dumbfounded. We so did not see this coming.

He has had a brief girlfriend for a couple of months but they broke up right about the time all this started. I asked him how long he has felt this way and he said for several years but just lately he started "acknowledging it more". I managed to fumble out the words we love you no matter what but I am honestly concerned about the pain you will have to endure with family and friends if you decide to go down this path. He said he understands that and this has been his biggest concern (and the core reason for his insomnia and depression). My husband backed my sentiments about how much we love him but expressed his religious concerns. In a nutshell he told him he can't condone being bisexual but will love him no matter what. We suggested that he take some time to really examine his feelings and know for sure in his heart what his preferences are before telling anyone. I explained that because he is so young and full of raging hormones he may just be curious and perhaps this is just a phase. We also talked about and agreed to getting some counseling.

Now I don't know if we gave him good advice or not. I am just sick with worry. I didn't even go to work today as I got very little sleep last night after he broke the news. I want my son to feel loved and accepted by us, but I don't know if I can do that in full. I do have some of the religious concerns as well as worrying about the judgement and pain he will likely have to endure. I just want to protect him. Anyone else here go through anything like this?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old December 29th, 2014, 03:25 PM
Tcvan's Avatar
Tcvan Tcvan is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: NY
Posts: 24
Tcvan is on a distinguished road
Re: Root of depression revealed...

First thing, you did everything completely right! Your son was comfortable enough enough to tell you that, and also trusts you enough. Don't ever let that go down. You told him you loved him no matter what, which is what he needs. But you also told him your own personal/religious feelings on things. So you were honest. I think how you're going about it is very good. Give it some time. Be tactful, loving, and always remember to listen. Which it seems you're doing now.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old December 29th, 2014, 05:59 PM
Mochadelicious's Avatar
Mochadelicious Mochadelicious is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Washington State
Posts: 31
Mochadelicious is on a distinguished road
Re: Root of depression revealed...

Thank you. It is comforting to know that we (hopefully) said the right things for the most part. I did tell him that this is all new to us too so please give us a little room for error. I hugged him and told him how hard this must have been to tell us and how we thought he was extremely brave for telling us. I really tried to get across to him that he no longer has to go through this alone.

I think right now I am really struggling with some of the things we said that may have been perceived as less than accepting. Like when I said to keep it quiet until he knows for sure or when my husband told him he believed it to be a "choice" rather than something you have no control over. I'm personally on the fence about that one. My husband was raised in a deeply religious family and has some pretty strong beliefs about sexuality and salvation. I think, like my husband, they would still love my son, but they would be less than accepting of the lifestyle. Love the sinner, not the sin as they say.

And then there's my side of the family. I worry more about how they will react more than my husbands family. Shamefully they have been known to be less than respectful towards the gay/lesbian lifestyle. I specifically remember growing up in a household with snide comments made about people they labeled gay or lesbian based on how they dressed or their hairstyles. I was often "warned" to stay away from those people. I think they were afraid they would somehow infect me or take advantage of me. I love my family, but some of them are the definition of homophobic.

I know that if he decides to go down this path he will likely experience a lot of pain. I did read today that kids don't sexually mature (physically or emotionally) until 21 years old and sexual orientation shouldn't be determined until they are finished maturing. I don't know how true that is but it makes sense to me. I just want him to be sure as it's not something you can take back if you change your mind.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old December 29th, 2014, 06:35 PM
LucyVanPelt's Avatar
LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,696
LucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Root of depression revealed...

Telling him that you will love him no matter what is e most important thing, followed by getting him professional help for his depression.

He may be attracted to members of both sex, but at his age and his emotional state, there is no need to label anything or "come out." I've had several friends who came out and then changed their minds so your instincts are correct.

Don't tell anyone because it's too soon, it isn't any of their business, and insist that all family be respectful of his dignity as a person.

Just be there for him. (((Hugs)))
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old December 29th, 2014, 08:25 PM
skcupik skcupik is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 33
skcupik is a jewel in the rough
Re: Root of depression revealed...

I am going to give you my two cents here as a bisexual person who went through something similar as a teenager and still as an adult:

Telling him you love him is great. Tell him over and over again because he will have so much trouble believing it because this society tells us over and over again that we are not worthy of love.

What's said is said and I don't mean this to sound harsh but I'm saying this from the perspective of a person who heard it all:

Telling him that you are concerned about other people's reactions etc is not particularly helpful to him. If you want to help him, you need to model the kind of reaction you want him to get from others. Tell him that perhaps you need some time to adjust but that your goal is to demonstrate how much you love and accept him. You've been programmed by society to fear what he's telling you - you need time and practice to get out of that place. You will make mistakes but your goal is to show him how much you love and accept him. Tell him that. Over and over.

If you and your husband can demonstrate a loving and accepting family reaction, your relatives will be pressured to follow. If you express doubt, embarrassment or uncertainty, your relatives will latch onto that to make him feel bad about himself. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Know that he would not have told you this unless he was fairly certain. Even if he ends up having primarily relationships with girls and women, that does not make him not-bisexual. It may vacillate throughout his life in terms of which gender he is primarily attracted to but right now, for him, this is real and he is not in control of it. Trust me. He probably wishes he were.

He is depressed because he is afraid of losing you and his friends and the rest of his family. The cure for that is unconditional support and teaching him to learn to love himself and that is not easy but it is necessary and important and it starts with you.

I wish you all the luck. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions that you don't want to ask publicly.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old December 29th, 2014, 08:43 PM
KayKay's Avatar
KayKay KayKay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 16,360
KayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Root of depression revealed...

skcupik, thank you so much for sharing that. That was extremely valuable.
__________________
Expecto Patronum!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old December 29th, 2014, 10:20 PM
Mochadelicious's Avatar
Mochadelicious Mochadelicious is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Washington State
Posts: 31
Mochadelicious is on a distinguished road
Re: Root of depression revealed...

Lucy: Thank you. I've told him several times today that I love him. That's easy for me as that will never change. I agree with you and think I need to be more mindful about labeling him and just treat him as I usually do. He is the same sweet boy he's always been. Thank you for sharing your story about your friends. I think it's important he take his time with this decision.

Skcupic: Thank you...really. Your perspective is very helpful in this situation and I appreciate your gentle criticism and your obvious desire to help.

I feel conflicted because on one hand I think he needs to be certain about this before labeling himself and telling people. I can see how this might come across to him as me feeling ashamed, but mostly this advice comes from my desire to protect him from unnecessary pain and judgement. On the other hand, I really like your advice about treating him as we would like others to treat him. Set the standard so to speak and hopefully others will follow.

Tonight I took your advice and asked him for his patience to wrap our minds around this. I also read something today that I really liked and shared with him. I told him his sexuality is just a small part of who he is and it doesn't define who he is on the inside. He smiled and agreed. Baby steps. :-)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old December 30th, 2014, 03:57 AM
LucyVanPelt's Avatar
LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,696
LucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Root of depression revealed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
skcupik, thank you so much for sharing that. That was extremely valuable.
I agree! Thank you.

Quote:
I told him his sexuality is just a small part of who he is and it doesn't define who he is on the inside. He smiled and agreed. Baby steps. :-)
This is true and perhaps your husband needs to hear that, too.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2007, The BlueSparks Network