Followup about the crush I have on my old teacher


Hi Prem,

thank you for writing in with some details.

It does sound like you are in a lonely place right now. You feel that your best friend does not support you and you feel unable to come out to your family because you fear how the news will make them feel. Also, it sounds that you cannot make contact with your teacher. It seems like all these factors are combining together to make you feel quite sad.

Most importantly, I would urge you to find a group in your town or an Indian discussion forum on-line for young gay/bi men. It is very important to connect with people in your country who are going through similar experiences in order to have some guidance and to feel less lonely and less hopeless. Here are some sites that I’ve found by Google search – you may find some more useful than others.

http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/7258/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtihindus/

http://www.ilga.org/index.asp

I do not know much about attitudes towards GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans) people in your community, but I do think that since homosexual sex has been most recently decriminalized in India, there will be in the near future a new awareness of GLBT issues in India, a fight for equal rights, and more people coming out.

It is also very important to continue any hobbies that you have, doing exercise, playing sports, and, if it is a part of your life, continuing any spiritual activities. All these activities will not only keep you busy and connected with other people, they will also positively affect your body and your mind and brighten your mood.

You mention that your friend thinks you are “mentally ill” and that you need to see a doctor. Why does he say that? Being gay or bi is certainly a normal part of life. But it is not shameful to seek professional mental health help when we feel extremely sad, hopeless, anxious, tired, and/or suicidal and when we cannot sleep, and when these symptoms affect our daily functioning. There are many other reasons to seek help from a mental health professional. If you think you need professional help, I would urge you to consult a nurse, doctor, or other mental health professional.

I know contacting your teacher must be something you think about often. But it seems like he behaved inappropriately towards you when he was your teacher. It also sounds like you are going through an emotionally difficult time. I would urge you to seek support among your peers (other gay/bi men and support groups online) until you feel more on an even keel – until you feel more calm, less lonely, and more comfortable with your identity and how you relate to others. After that, if you still want to do so, you may reconsider contacting your teacher. At that point, your mind would be more clear to think about what it is that you will tell him and you would also be more prepared to deal with his reaction. If in the mean time if you feel like you need professional mental health help, I would urge you to consult. There is no shame in asking for help!

Please write-in if you have any other questions.

Rimma, for Alterheros.


About Rimma Orenman

She has a B.A. in Anthropology, an M.D.C.M. degree from McGill, and has started her psychiatry residency, also at McGill, in 2008.

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