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A Really, Really Bad Situation


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I’ve joined this forum for some advice from an outside perspective on a really stupid situation I’ve gotten myself into. I’ve picked it apart dozens of times lately and I don’t trust my own view on the entire thing not to be overly paranoid or optimistic, so I am laying it all out here under the comforting anonymity of an alias and the distance of the internet…

 

Cowardly, I know, but that character defect is the least of my problems right now.

 

First, the background.

 

I’m 25 next month and though I always wanted a relationship, when I finally entered into one with my first boyfriend at the beginning of 2008 it all soon became more of a nuisance than a enrichment in my life. Consequently, by the time I broke it off in August I could not wait to get away from the young man in question. We only had sex once the entire time and it was not emotionally or physically satisfying for me to the point I avoided any such intimacy like it for the rest of our relationship, even faking a nasty rash ‘down there’ on a trip away so he would leave me alone.

 

About the same time I got my very first traineeship at a local veterinary clinic to complete my nursing certificate and that was where I met the ‘heart’ of my problem.

 

Let’s call her Lisa.

 

I could bore you all with the tangle of many different things that I find so attractive about her: although she is 11 years older than me we like the same shows, bands and have the same sense of humour to the point that it made the existing nurse there insanely jealous how quickly we clicked into a kind of laughing and joking, amicable work method as if I had been there for years.

 

She was down to earth, but forgiving of even the worst mistakes I made as I was learning and she stuck up for me when the other nurse bullied me so bad she had me in tears.

 

I will admit I had a degree of what I can honestly identify as hero-worship or idolisation for Lisa, but recently I have found my feelings changing…

 

Now, Lisa often says how she’s mad about Edward Cullen from the Twilight movies, she notes on different occasions how this or that male actor is ‘hot’. However she is also very honest about sexuality and has said to me before that she has a theory: that if everyone is honest with themselves, most people are actually attracted to the same gender at least once or twice in their life. Everyone is bi, she jokes. She loves the singer P!nk and has even said seriously that if she had to ‘turn gay’ she would for P!nk.

 

It all seemed like talk at the time, but now I am replaying every little thing she has said in such context over and over, trying to figure out if it is any clue to how she might react if I was to tell her how I felt.

 

Lisa is good friends with a lesbian couple and she seems very comfortable in their world, not worried at all by their displays of affection or such as I witnessed recently when I was invited to her birthday party at the couple’s house. I was both cautious and excited about going, wondering how I might see Lisa act in this new environment.

 

I have considered myself hetero until now, just merely indifferent to men in wake of my failed relationship. In love with the whole concept of a boyfriend, but in reality unable to stand it. I figured it was the individual, not the ideal.

 

I don’t know if I can classify myself ‘gay’ either. As I haven’t felt sexual desire for any other female before. I think it might be a case of being in love with the person regardless of if she was male or female.

 

I find myself missing her to the point I get teary and depressed when she isn’t rostered on. And not just because I loose her in my shield against the other nurse who is still bullying me.

 

I’ve begun to fantasize about physical intimacy with her, which is a huge thing for me to admit to. In the past week I can count at least a dozen times I’ve wanted to reach out and touch her back if I’ve leant over her. If I’m standing close to her and talking to her, there’s this new voice in my head that won’t shut up and just keeps shouting: ‘lean in and kiss her. Just do it! Now!’

 

When she’s in physical pain, like a headache or cramps, I want to touch her even more just to comfort her.

 

I’m royally screwed six ways to Sunday here.

 

1. She’s my co-worker and I shouldn’t even be considering this.

2. I don’t even know if she’d accept the possibility of a relationship with another woman.

3. Even if she did, I don’t know if she’s even attracted to me the same way.

4. No one in my life even suspects I feel this way and I am afraid of the stigma I would cop if I tried to ask one of them for help.

 

I have considered trying to speak to her friend who is the lesbian. She’s been friends with Lisa far longer and might know if it’s worth taking the chance or how she might react. Or she might be able to give me the hard cuff up the back of my head that I need and tell me it could ruin my life. But here’s the catch? How do I know her lesbian friend won’t tell Lisa, even in a misguided attempt to help?

 

If this goes the best possible way and I did get the guts up and told her and Lisa reciprocated then I’m still between a rock and a hard place because I then have to change clinics and risk loosing my traineeship. I also have to then come out to my friends and family.

 

If I told her and she was horrified, then I loose her, would STILL have to leave the clinic and would STILL have to come out to my friends and family and then I’d have the added stigma of the ‘nurse at such and such clinic who tried to hit on her co-worker ect.’ It’d get around the clinics, I know, I’ve seen similar talk at my own and the damage it can do to your credibility.

 

 

I just need to get this all off my chest right now or I am afraid my depression is going to make me do something stupid like try and hurt myself.

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The evolution of your feelings which you describe sounds like one way that women discover more about their sexuality--from having male partners which they're not really attracted to, to finding a greater attraction to women. I think it's an oversimplification when people say that "we're all" attracted to the person and not their sex. For some people, that is certainly true, but some of us have preferences. It's possible that you are a lesbian, but that doesn't mean that you have to heartily embrace the whole thing, all at once. You have some things going on in your life right now, especially working on establishing your career. I don't know about the social or political tone of where you live. For some people, their world is much more accepting than it is for others. In general, though, you will find much more acceptance at the point when you are more comfortable with yourself. Maybe consider working on yourself, such as speaking to a counselor to help sort out some feelings and beliefs, rather than feeling obligated to move forward with a lifestyle change. It's OK to have feelings for your co-worker without acting on them. I suspect that, over time, if she reciprocates your feelings, you will know, and it will be clearer how or if to act upon them. Good luck, and take care of yourself. There is no need to be depressed--the process of self-discovery can be very gratifying and affirming. No one knows you better than yourself, and no one will be as steadily there for you as you can be.

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When Lisa talks about her theories on sexuality, have you ever casually said during the conversation, "Have you ever been in a relationship with a girl". Maybe if she said yes you could ask her what it is like, and that could lead to you two having an honest discussion about your feelings...If she says no you could ask her what makes her think everyone is a little bi if she does not have those feelings...

 

It does not sound like Lisa would be horrified at your confession (and you dont have to tell her she is the one you are attracted to in the beginning of the conversation anyway). She appears pretty open minded and she has lesbian friends. I would venture a guess that she herself has been or is predisposed to being bisexual or at least has given it some serious thought..

 

Also, lets not forget, from what you have stated, you've only had ONE boyfriend, so its kind of hard for you to decide if you are hetersexual, bisexual or a lesbian based on one relationship and one crush...I think too it should be mentioned to Lisa..something like "Im not saying I am a lesbian or bisexual since I have only had one boyfriend and I have never had these feelings before... I just thought since your so open minded and we are friends, we could talk about it...

 

When I was a kid, I had a substitute teacher who was, in my opinion, the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, Long straight blonde blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes, great figure, sweet, kind and attentive..I just idolized her and wished I could be just like her...and I am as straight as could be. One woman crush does not a lesbian make..

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Thank you both for your replies. I really didn't expect anyone to notice this thread for a while and I'm glad that someone took the time to reply so quickly…

 

Unabashed, I think you’re right in that I feel this isn’t just some phase, or else I wouldn’t have taken it so seriously. I feel like I am going through some sort of self-revelation at the moment, albeit I’m not exactly taking it well or am sure if it is for the best.

 

I really want to have my dream work out and am fiercely determined and dedicated to my career. Getting it on track means a lot to me. Maybe this is also one of the reasons why this upsets me so much because it has the potential to ruin all that I have worked for.

 

As far as the social tone of my friends and family, my parents talk politically correct. They’ve always said ‘darling, we wouldn’t care if you came to us tomorrow and said you were gay.’ But I know with some ingrained instinct that if I actually did, they’d have a very hard time with it. I highly doubt they would disown me or anything so drastic, nor would my family friends, but I feel as if many of them, including the matriarch of my family, my only surviving grandmother, would not understand and would be very disappointed in me.

 

I have considered a counsellor, but I have in inherent mistrust of 'shrinks'. To be honest I outright hate the profession. I was in a traumatic accident in high school and went into shock and resented them pushing me into counselling hours after the incident and trying to force me to ‘let my feelings out and cry’. I had just put out a five year old primary school student with my school jacket because she was on fire. I was not crying. I was in complete mental shut down.

 

So no, counsellors are out. I may never be comfortable opening up to them for the rest of my life.

 

I feel that trying to keep a handle on myself right now, trying to watch my actions and vibes and just watch Lisa is the best action, I agree. Maybe she will give me some kind of signal eventually. But I also worry that her friends and family are often trying to ‘set her up’ with various men and I don’t know how I’d handle it if she started dating one of them…

 

I don’t even know if I can bring myself to even hint to her how I feel right now, let alone act upon my attraction, so there’s little danger of me doing that, I assure you.

 

I am trying to pull myself out of my depression, I’m worried that too might be noticed more than anything if I’m not careful. Besides, if I committed suicide, I know it would shatter my mother and she would likely follow me so that fact alone stops me.

 

Angellight, you make it sound so easy. I wish our conversations went like that. It’s a lot of talk, innuendos and double entendres.

 

I wish I had thought of those sorts of conversational questions when the oppourtunity presented itself. I don’t know if the topic will ever arise again to give me a chance.

 

And I’m worried that if I suddenly got serious on Lisa, she’d pin me in a heartbeat. She already is able to read me so well with work-related matters, knows what I’m thinking on certain patients, opinions ect. If I suddenly got all introspective in a conversation she would catch on in seconds and then I would be in a very bad position.

 

I’m rather shy at heart, I can put up a cocky exterior, but when I’m emotional or something hits a nerve I’ve always given myself away by my stuttering getting worse and my lisp acting up. I used to faint at the drop of a hat when I was a teenager around boys I had crushes on.

 

I know I don’t have a lot of basis for comparison. Based on previous beliefs and opinions, I would have said I was hetero, but now this is very confronting for me and has me so confused I don’t know if I’m straight, gay or a goat or what!

 

I’ve always been able to acknowledge beautiful women. I thought it was a sign of maturity when I was an early adolescent that I could say ‘gee, she’s really beautiful’ while my other female friends used to look at me funny and make jokes about me being gay.

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Vetnurse84, your situation reminded me of my own. I am older than you are, had two marriages and then all of sudden I meet this girl at work, actually I would also call her Lisa The development of my feelings is very close to what you've described here. Here is what I think. Trying to comprehend the whole matter is impossible, it is like trying to comprehend a universe. Are you gay, hetero, what the consequences would be... it is impossible to figure out now. So I would not break my head over it right now. All it can do - block your vision from the real focus - the connection you are longing right now with your friend. Why don't take one step at a time and see what happens? And the hell with a fear. Do you think a fear is absent in other life situations? No. It is something we all have to deal with, no matter who we are: hetero, gay, bi. My opinion: when in doubt - act on it. Living an active life is so much more gratifying and exciting. What did I do when I was in the same situation you are now? One day I came home and wrote an e-mail to my Lisa, where I've told her how much I appreciate her as a person, and then I revealed to her my confusion and the fact that I caught myself basically flirting with her and I apologize for it, because I do understand that is not probably what should be happening. However the whole matter is absolutely new for me, my feelings are confused and felt it is my responsibility to let her be aware of what is going on and I hope for her for her gentle understanding. I knew that this e-mail could cause me a job (i was using a private email address though), at that time we were not even friends, just co-workers who enjoy talking to each other. However I wanted to take this risk. From my life experience - nothing ever goes wrong when you are honest. It can go difficult, challenging, but never wrong. I would encourage you to be honest with yourself and with the one you have feeling for. Why don't give yourself a luxury just to trust her? And regardless from what her response would be, you will have a better understanding of who you are. If you will bottle up your feelings, go around in circles, (I DO NOT recommend involving lesbian couple in this matter, it is just letting more unknowns into already complicated situation), you will end up losing adequacy completely. I see your current depression is one of your own choice, you want to see the situation as a dead end, but in reality it is not. If you will shift your focus from what "they would say" to "let's see what will happen and how I will feel", you would be able to find many exciting ways to self-discovery. I like this quote: "the most difficult phase of life is not when others do not understand you, is when you do not understand yourself". So my advice would be - leave "them" to them and live your own life. Actually nothing is more attractive as honesty and bold approach.

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I guess I would echo some of what has been said here and figure out who you are and what you are looking for in life. Dont mistake one or a few sexually unsatisfying encounters as proof of anything. All it means is that you didnt have a connection with that particular person, or perhaps it was you who just wasnt in the right space at that particular time.

 

Be honest with yourself and especially be honest with the people you date. Try not to be reckless with other people's hearts and dont put up with people who are reckless with yours.

 

Personally I have always been so sure of my sexuality, for me it is hard to imagine that anyone could be confused. I wouldnt get involved with anyone who was questioning or confused, well this is what I tell myself.

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I didn't actually start noticing I was sexually attracted to women until I met one I had feelings for. So just because you haven't had feelings for women in the past doesn't mean much. I also had entered a few failed relationships with guys, and it turned out I was gay.

 

And as far as your co-worker goes, I think everyone has given some good advice. I personally would bring it up to her...she seems open enough to not let it get between the two of you. You don't want to regret not finding out...

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I think that Nina 2009's letter that she wrote to her coworker sounds like a perfect way to act on things IF you decide to act on things.

 

How much longer until you are off your trainee program? Could you wait it out and plan on mentioning something to her after you are no longer a trainee?

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Angellight: I don’t quite understand why starting the new thread is necessary? Do you think I would get people who have been in similar situations by doing so?

 

And you don’t have to tell me that they were morons, Unabashed. I know that, logically, there are professionals in the industry, but I’m afraid my trust issues have already been cemented.

 

Nina_2009: I’m very interested to know how your confession turned out. I know to base my situation's outcome on your own is unrealistic and dangerous, but I just want to know what your Lisa did when you sent her that email. If it ended badly, how badly?

 

Lukeb I’m not sure how I might have given you the impression that I was intending to be reckless with anyone’s heart. If anything I’m afraid it’s my own that might be mishandled in all of this…

 

Soconfused101: I am wondering more and more if this might be the case. And although the larger part of me wants to take that advice and throw it all to the wind I have so much at stake here built on such uncertainty.

 

Which brings me to Kelkundici. I have considered the option of waiting until I am no longer a trainee.

 

If I do some juggling of credits I can meet the criteria by the end of this year, when my final graduation comes around and I get my full Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. I think there might be a clause that I am under three years traineeship, not two, but so long as I finish my course, it would make it easier to transfer it if everything hit the fan.

 

Last year seemed to fly so quickly and I can only hope that this year does the same. But then again, when you want something to happen it seems to take forever.

 

Not only that, I feel like the situation is fast getting away from me. I find myself going out of my way to be around her more outside of work and I even caught myself flirting with her last night when we went to the drive in with one of the vets and her children… I am not proud of that… And I’m worried I’m going to blow it and she'll figure me out before I even know what to do…

 

There’s been new developments in the situation too. Lisa has just taken two weeks off after tensions with the nurse who has been my bully erupted last week and they got into an monumental argument. To me she even mentioned leaving to go to one of the other clinics…

 

If Lisa leaves not only is it going to depress me even worse but I will then be subject to the torture of the senior nurse without her there to give me a reason to want to get out of bed in the mornings. As terrified as I am of the senior nurse, Melissa*, I have bore it this long only because of Lisa being there. Melissa is only at the clinic two days a week and for the rest of the time it is just Lisa and me, but I don’t think I could bring myself to go back if I had to walk in every morning without her and face Melissa’s terrorism five days in a row…

 

I can’t help the small voice in the back of my head arguing that if we did leave we would no longer be co-workers, which would solve one facet of my hesitation and guilt at least.

 

But there’s still so much more. I am worried that the small traces of what I think might be reciprocation there could also only be in my head, seeing what I want to see after all. No knowing if she’s 100% straight or if she’s predisposed to a relationship with a woman is the most frightening.

 

I don’t know what would be worse: telling her and finding out she would be disgusted at the idea, or telling her and finding out that she is attracted to women, but just doesn’t want me

 

(*I changed Melissa's name as I have changed Lisa's)

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Angellight: I don’t quite understand why starting the new thread is necessary? Do you think I would get people who have been in similar situations by doing so?

 

 

Hi Vetnurse I thought a new thread might get you more responses from people who have had experience in this area, due to the fact that you only had two replies to your thread... Also you seem to be confused as to whether you just admire Lisa and the guy you DID date just wasnt the one for you, or if you actually may be gay... I figured, theres a lot of people on here who are gay and would be able to help you figure it out....and may repond to that specific question..

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Vetnurse, I wrote my letter for two reasons: i want to be clear with the person I respected and liked and I wanted her to have a chance to make a right turn in case she doesn't want me basically. She could have accepted my apology, saying "nothing to worry about, i like and respect you and I am sure we can be great co-workers". In this case i would do my work to shut the whole thing down. She replied to me that there is nothing to apologize and that she would consider it absolutely unacceptable on her part if anything she does would prevent anyone from their life quest. That the only thing she would be able to forgive if I would stop being myself around her. Then she wrote that at this point she doesn't seek any relationship, that she did have experience with both sexes and through all her life she was not able to love or care about anyone and ended up hurting a lot of people. That she doesn't want it to happen again and that's why she quit any relationship already for 7 years and she is content as she is. On this I wrote to her that her point is well taken and as for me impossibility to have uncaring relationship is a turn off. That I still enjoy her and open to talk with her about anything that is amusing to her. She didn't reply on this letter for a few days and we continued working together. And then she wrote to me that she wants me to know for the record that she does care for me and wants to have at least a friendship with me, the one that matters something. I happily accepted. And we did our first walk after work, she told me about herself. We started taking these walks after work almost every day. And then one day I invited her to the park with a lake and told her that i am debating with myself about more intimate relationship with her. I laid down all my "buts": i am married, we work together, i am horrible at sex, never had experience with a woman. We talked and talked and talked. And i couldn't make my decision: to be or not to be. She looked so much more experienced and free, i felt like a stupid chicken walking in a trap... I told her that and she said that she thinks the same. I was afraid of many things, to cross some border where there is no turning back, to make a fool of myself, etc. But finally I've made my mind and I told her, that I vote for "yes". She got all confused and I told her, that she doesn't need to make her decision now, she can take all time to think. She said, that she doesn't need this time, she knows it is "yes", but it is going to be very difficult for her, because relationship are chaotic for her and throwing her off balance. We were laying on the grass on our stomachs and I gave her my hand, hanging in the air, offering a contact. And that was one of the most beautiful moments how she turned, looked at me, released her hand and slowly gave it to me, her long hair cascading from her shoulder. And since then we were together. Our feelings were absolutely mutual, it was like a miracle. When i told her the first time "i love you", she said " i love you". We were talking that we are like two pieces of the puzzle that finally found each other. I love her as i love my Mom, my childhood friends, my first husband, my son, my daughter, that i never had. She accepts me the way I am, she says she loves me unconditionally. Me read books together to each other, we take walks, we sleep together about 3 days of the week. She told me that when she received my e-mail, what was attractive is my direct and bold approach.

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