do i approach my gay son?

Discussion in 'Family, Friends and Relationships' started by mother, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. mother

    mother Member

    Hello, I am feeling quite desperate.

    I am extremely worried about my eldest son (16).

    He has been diagnosed with deprsssion and anxiety issues and is currently on medication. I only found out about it in about april but he has been feeling this way for a few years.

    He was seeing a counsellor but has chosen to stop, for now at least.

    I am concerned that he is not getting better and is sliding backward.

    I probably should not have done this but I have taken a look at some of his emails and am very concerned.

    I know he has had sexuality worries (gay) but he has not spoken to me about them.

    He is not a good speaker and I can barely get two words out of him whenever I ask him about his depression etc. and don't know if I should approach him about him being gay.

    I want to tell him that we (husband, me and his siblings) don't care what his orientation is.

    i know this is not all that would be bothering him (if it even is) but i'm wondering if it might help (even a bit) with his dperssionn or if it would make it even worse asking him?

    Any help from anyone in the same situation is really appreciated.

    I am so worried, even though I know he thinks no one cares I have tried to make him see it but he is just so hard to talk to.

    I am so desperately sad.

    I am so disappointed in myself for not picking up on his depression.
  2. mlxjaded

    mlxjaded Well-Known Member

    Coming from a teenaged son, I know that I'd be very upset if my mother went through my emails. So you should stop that immediately. I know you only had good intentions and it's clear you are trying your best. Don't blame yourself for anything. I also have depression, anxiety issues, and I am still unsure about my sexuality so I hope I can be of some use to you. I know you said that your family "don't care" about his sexuality, or homosexuality in general, but you kind of have to care for him to feel comfortable talking to you about it. But care in a positive way. Be sure not to use any homophobic remarks (which is just a general courtesy..) and make sure you show him SUPPORT. Let him know you love him no matter what. I know it might seem silly but you have to earn his trust. I am very close with my mother but I have not, nor do I plan to, tell her anything about my sexuality. But if she started to show support for the LGBT community in general, I would feel more inclined to do so. Also, and again this may sound silly, but let him know you care for him no matter what. He might shrug it off or even talk back to you but if you keep telling him, eventually he will believe it. Don't tell him you went through his emails, like I said before, that's a very easy way to lose his trust and with something so big and complicated such a sexuality, he may never forgive you if you call him out on it. Let him decide when/if he wants to come out.

    And as for you- don't be depressed! I know it's especially hard for you. My mother had to go through a lot with me that she didn't deserve but you have to be strong for your son. I know it's hard, I can see my mother struggle everyday. But soon it will get better for both of you. I guarantee it.

    PM me if you have any other questions or if you just want to talk!!
  3. Growing Pains

    Growing Pains Well-Known Member

    I'm not a teenager any more, but I was at one point. And at one point, I was in the closet, too. Coming out is a choice that one should make as an individual. I think it's best that you wait for your son to approach you. However, I do agree with the post above me. If you show some support for the LGBT community in general, it might give him the incentive he needs to come out. My mother knew my identity before I even did. (I'm bi and trans, double whammy). That in mind, she never approached me about it. I was not mad that she hadn't, in fact, I was thankful that she'd given me the opportunity to come to terms with it on my own and approach her when I was ready. (I came out the former first, and the latter only in recent years) She knew all along, though. I'm sure you know that mothers have intuition!

    Now, as for the depression, that's quite a different thing. If you feel he will listen, don't hesitate to talk. I only wish my own mother were comfortable enough to do so with me because sometimes, all I need is for her to listen. Once again, though, don't force him to. Rome wasn't built in a day. And don't blame yourself for his depression. I often feel my own mother blames herself for mine and I hate thinking that because I know it isn't her fault, just as I know it isn't yours.

    I wish both you and your son the best. :hug:
  4. Speedy

    Speedy Staff Alumni

    Hi, and welcome. :) I'm only 19, and I reached out when I was 16 as well. In addition, my parents also never had any idea that anything was going on. My hope is that your son will start to open up about various subjects as time goes on.

    I am proud to read this excerpt of your post above, and I think your concern is well-justified.. and that you definitely are doing whatever you know how.. to look out for him.

    P.S. I also noticed that it has been mentioned that continuing to look through his e-mails may not be a great idea, but I don't think that's a problem (personally) as you can see to it that he is safe.. I say that knowing that he seems to be guarded with you about his personal issues, and I don't know how else you can monitor how he is doing unless he is going to counseling or something else, etc. On the other hand, if he finds out that you're looking at his e-mail... I would think that can potentially cause a break in your relationship with him...

    Good luck to you and your family.. and I wish your son the best of luck. Keep us posted on how things are going with him and you. Big hugs...Alex
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2011
  5. pancake111

    pancake111 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't confront him about what you've found. He hasn't told you because he's not ready yet. When I first figured out I was gay, I would have had a panic attack if someone found out. I knew my family wouldn't care, but I was just so uncomfortable with it.

    I would let him come out to you because then you'll know he was ready to come out.. I'm feeling comfortable with my sexuality, but I'm still finding it hard to come out to my parents. Just give him some time.
  6. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    Oh I don't know... Erhm a thought, when my mother tried to approach personal topics with me, I would tense up inside. Which is, like in your heart,soul, whatever we are. So i instantly began closing off to her, and not letting her positive care in. I just mean, sometimes it's very difficult for someone to trust someone else with who they are, even if they are family. Don't take it personally, .. though I know that's almost impossible.

    I'd, honestly let him know you, like him. Just I mean for who he is. And I mean in a real person to person way. Not because you're his mother, but because you like him for who he is. Don't bombard him personally, just let him know you love him. A really happy presence and understanding nature goes along way.

    I wouldn't ever mention going through his emails tbh. He's coming into his own, and one thing people whoare down need, is their own space and time. I mean, in their heads. :) Don't tell him. Don't let him find out. .. and I wouldnt do it again but that's youre choice. He's you're kid so, I can understand where yourecoming from. Just understand that the ability to do that, will never justify it in his eyes right now. Atleast I dont think so.

    Maybe try doing something together. Don't assume what he wants too much,but try to .. dosomething together.

    And for you.I know it's impossible, but try not to be sad. It's not your fault, and it's very difficult to see. People are experts and concealing how they feel from other people. What's important is that you care, and love him :) Kinda just gotta give him the right sorta of positive bounces, and help him find a connection or positive bounce in life again.
  7. Lone_Wolf

    Lone_Wolf Well-Known Member

    I'm just about 16 and I'm not out myself. You're son reminds me a bit of myself since I pretty much keep to myself.

    Could it be possible that guilt over orientation may be contributing to his depression? I know when I first found out I was a bit distraught a while, since I grew up in a home my sexuality was immoral and sent you to hell. I'm still having a bit of those feelings now since I know I won't be accepted. I know that is what your son wants to be accepted as well.

    I would not like my parents confronting me, as they have before, because if he isn't ready yet he will most likely lie. Just wait until he's ready. Until then be sure to create a friendly environment.

    Hope that helps a bit. :)
  8. mother

    mother Member

    Thanks so much for the replies to my post, they have given me some ideas and a sense of what might help him.

    I know most children don't understand and don't believe that their parents should look at their emails. I have never done this before but under the circumstances I felt I needed to as I was unable to get more than a couple of words out of him about how he is going (and how frightenly long it has been going on), especially as he wasn't seeing a specialist at the time... so basically for safety reasons.

    He seems to be a little more responsive to my questioning at the moment (I get 3 or 4 words now!) and he seems to be more chatty in general, he only freezes up when I talk to him about how he is feeling... is he feeling safe etc.

    He has started again with the councelling and I hope he continues it, I think after seeing the doctor he realises that if he can get out of the depressed hole he has been in and is stable, he can get other physical problems sorted out as well.

    So fingers crossed he starts to improve.

    I am no longer looking through his emails as I know what is going on with him now after reading them, this is all that was needed.

    I know that information gathered through kids emails could make some parents go on a rampage of high and almighty responses, but we are really open and understanding parents. We always look back to our childhoods and think about what we got up to, most of it our parents would not have known about and would have died knowing the risks we took, thank god that each generation is getting more understanding (I know the children these days think their parents are all out to make their lives boring but in comparison to when i was a kid....well that's another story).

    Most of the risks we took weren't as unsafe as what kids get up to these days, (the unpredictable and heavy drugs, the unbelievable lack of protection from STI's and pregnancy, the sick peodophiles around etc, etc, etc.) So we make sure we let them have the same fun and freedom as we would LIKED to have had, but in a safe and healthy and informed way.

    At least we aren't parents that didn't get up to anything and don't understand, we just want our children to be safe... whatever they get up to :p

    I will continue checking and responding to this thread, so any responses are greatly appreciated.

  9. hopeless_1

    hopeless_1 Member

    tell yourself whatever you want; its still not right of you to breach your sons privacy and read his emails; you should not ever have crossed this line;
    i think you should let him browse your private emails

    i think you should tell him what you did; because if he finds out and you don't tell him things are going to get ugly fast.

    the world is (at a basic level) just as it always has been for thousands of years;

    you are over-reacting and from what i can tell you are being far too overzealous.

    stds, pregnancy, even pedophiles have existed for as long as human society itself. they are not things that have suddenly cropped up since you had a son; they were around when you were a child.

    unpredictable heavy drugs?? i hope you are referring to prescription medications as they are without a doubt the heaviest, most addictive substances ever created by man. but i have a feeling that you are one of those people who think that weed is a gateway drug to shooting heroin and smoking crank, while having unprotected sex.

    this generation is really no different from the last generation and from the generation before that.

    im sorry if i come off a bit harsh but you wanted some opinions thats mine; take it or leave it.
  10. lostbutnotfound

    lostbutnotfound Well-Known Member

    hopeless1.. I do think your response is unneccessarily rude.. whether you meant it to be or not.. and as you said.. that's my opinion, take it or leave it.

    I've not commented on this thread, as I thought the others handled it pretty well, but I read this latest comment and wanted to add my thoughts :)

    Firstly, yes, looking through someone else's emails is invading their privacy.. however, when you are worried about your child, it kinda rules out thoughts of 'I wonder if this acceptable'. When you have a child, no matter the age, you will do whatever it takes to try and help them, to try and understand what helps. As for hopeless's comments about letting your son read your emails.. I find it pretty ridiculous. 'Mother' was obviously very concerned about her son's wellbeing, and tried to find out what precisely was going on. Is that a crime? Would you rather she didn't care and let come what may? Her son is not going to find out what she did, and even if he did, although he might not think so right now, he would at some point understand that she had his best interests at heart.

    Hopeless.. I respect the fact you are entitled to your opinion, as I hope you will respect I am entitled to mine. If the OP had done this out of malice, then god yeah, I would totally agree with your post. The fact is, this is a mother worried about her son, and she did what she could to gain more information in the hopes of helping him. I never had parents who cared.. if I did, I almost certainly wouldn't be in this mess now. So maybe we should be grateful there are people out there who actually give a shit about their children, who try to help as and when they can? Just a thought.

    A note for 'mother'.. your son is lucky to have you. I hope things become easier for you and your family soon. Sending my warm thoughts your way.
  11. mother

    mother Member

    Thank you lostbutnotfound for your thoughts and understanding of where I am coming from.

    And to hopeless_1, I would be quite happy for my son to look through my private emails. I have nothing to hide from him, and I would be more than happy to answer any questions his has for me about any topic but unfortunately it is not visa versa, this is not because he doesn't want me to know stuff, it is because he does not know how to say stuff, or bring stuff up, or is embarrassed about asking about stuff. I have told him he can tell me anything but he still clams up, and after all, I think that anything is acceptable when it could be life or death. He IS suicidal. It freaks me out as I am afraid that I will get a call one day or find him dead one day, and know that I didn't do enough to help him.

    The unpredictable heavy drugs I referred to are those that are manufactured in backyard labs by idiots with no idea what they are doing. I am aware that Prescription medications are also nasty but usually there is a problem that they have been prescribed for first and the addiction is a possible side affect. I know weed is not a gateway as I too used it when I was younger, didn't like it too much so did not continue. I am fortunate enough that I don't feel I need weed, alcohol or any other drug to feel good about myself. I have known many people that have started with weed but have unfortunately progressed along a path of destruction with other drugs, both legal and illegal, and in some cases ended up with major psych problems. Unfortunately addictive personalities, are what they are and we would be better if the there were regulation and control of how things were made. Why do you think big illegal drug manufacturers don't use drugs and why would you want to put your trust in some half drugged up dude making it in his bathroom?

    I understand that "stds, pregnancy, even pedophiles have existed for as long as human society itself", in fact I am a victim of incest, but I am by no means a "VICTIM". Pedophiles have easier access to sick stuff or children because of the net now, so therefore are able to pool together.

    There's an extremely small minority of girls/women that fall pregnant by accident these days, if it's not on, it's not on and this would cover for the stds also. I am not an unknowledgeable woman.

    I care about my son, and others and would try to protect anyone in similar situations, not just hand out hollow suggestions and make stupid rules or regulations.

    Hopefully readers realize I am not just some old bag that doesn't know what they are talking about.

    Looking forward to more helpful replies.