The Closet | Teen Ink

The Closet MAG

By Anonymous

They shouldn't call it being in the closet, they should call it being buried alive. Hundreds of pounds of weight crush your chest, suffocating you. It's slowly killing you; you're driven mad by the weight of your secret. And your only option, your only way out, is to throw yourself to the wolves. That is what they should call coming out - throwing yourself to a pack of hungry, gay-hating wolves. Why would anyone sacrifice themselves like that? Why would anyone take themselves out of one danger only to be forced into another?

Like I said, being in the closet - being buried alive like that, holding that big of a secret inside - it makes you crazy. Then one day, there are no other options, there is no control, and you just explode. And by exploding, I mean standing on a lunch table in the middle of the cafeteria and screaming, “I'm gay!” At least, that's what you feel like doing, and if you're at that point you may as well, because it sure does save a lot of time and questions. But, if you're like me, you never make anything that easy for yourself. Instead, you tell a handful of people, and answer the accusing questions of those who have heard the rumor but want an answer firsthand because it's somehow their business.

Very quickly you realize your mistake and regret ever opening your mouth, but you can't turn back because too many people know the truth. Plus, it would make being gay look like something to be ashamed of, and even though by now you are (because they have made you), you don't want them to know it. It's even worse if all this has happened because you like somebody. You so badly want to reach out to them, so badly want them to understand, to care, even if it's not in the way you care. It's even worse if you tell friends (who turn into ex-friends) whom you like.

Once you throw yourself to the wolves, it's like nothing happened before that moment. Suddenly, all the recess fun, the birthday parties, the play-dates, the sleep-overs, trips to the mall, and promises of Best Friends Forever don't matter anymore. None of it.

The life you lived before that announcement vanishes before your eyes. And this is when you get angry. You wake up with a knot in your stomach every day, afraid that one more whisper, one more kid refusing to sit next to you, will break you completely. And in some ways, you wish that would happen, just to escape, hoping maybe your mind will send you to a reality safer than the one where you're trapped. But feeling like giving up makes you angry, because you're a fighter. And underneath all that pain, all that fear, a spark of the warrior still exists.

So, with all this anger, with all this fight hidden deep inside, the warrior within takes over and each day becomes a matter of survival. And with no one to hurt, no way to defend yourself, how do you survive? You do whatever you have to to release your emotions, even if it means bleeding them out.

Eventually though, in the same way that the cuts scab over, so do the wounds left by your fight with the wolves. Sometimes they bleed a little again, and sometimes you can't sleep because the memories keep you awake, but despite the scars, you walk away from the wolves.

Maybe you start a new life and change schools, like I did. Then you're faced with the decision to come out again, but at least this time it will be your decision, one made with a clear mind. Or maybe you stick it out, figuring it's easier than starting over. Whatever you do, you walk away from that grave you were trapped in, away from the wolves, stronger than you ever thought you could be. Stronger than they ever thought you could be. And that, that gives you courage - the courage to take on the world.

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This article has 16 comments.

on Apr. 24 2016 at 6:30 am
indigo14 BRONZE, Cheese, Wisconsin
2 articles 1 photo 1 comment
This is truly a heart wrenching and soul touchingly honest article. I will not lie and tell you it is beautiful- it is not. Too often do we romantize desperation and anguish. It is not beauty, it is the beauty in the strength. You are so strong, and believe me when I say there are so many people who support you and are on your side.

on Mar. 14 2016 at 6:15 pm
..toriii BRONZE, San Antonio, Texas
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments
this article is truly amazing. Its heartbreaking to know that most people actually go through this. I love this piece and it has brought a clearer representation of how "coming out" actually feels like.

Mollyblueit said...
on Jan. 16 2015 at 11:04 am
Mollyblueit, Little Rock, Arkansas
0 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Thats kind of like whet happened to me. Im sorry you went through that. I had teachers who refused to do a damn thing about it. Its painful to know someone is watching you suffer and doesn't care. It hurts even more to not be accepted by your family.

Mollyblueit said...
on Jan. 16 2015 at 11:00 am
Mollyblueit, Little Rock, Arkansas
0 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

This almost made me cry! Its honest, heartbreaking and perfectly accurate. Im glad other people understand these feelings too! This is brilliant! I really liked the way you compared being in the closet to being buried alive. Thats all too true.

Thaag BRONZE said...
on Sep. 7 2011 at 6:26 pm
Thaag BRONZE, Moore, Oklahoma
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life isnt about waiting for the storm to pass, Its about learning to dance in the rain

When I try to explain to people how it feels hiding who you are its so difficult but you explain it so weel

on Mar. 22 2011 at 9:51 am
Kimberlee BRONZE, Bowman, Georgia
3 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
~Kimberly Johnson

Holding in my sexuality was so hard. I was so scared of what people would think. When i finally came out a year later. My friends stayed true. They stuck up for me. I still hear some jabs and they hurt but not as bad as if it were my friends who were making the comments. It makes me feel better to know that my friends are still there. But beautifully written. i love the way you described it because it was killing me inside.

on Sep. 22 2010 at 7:50 pm
Karma_Chameleon SILVER, English, Indiana
8 articles 0 photos 236 comments

Favorite Quote:
To be able to say "I love you" one must first be able to say "I" - Ayn Rand

This piece was written with both a simple sophistication and inspiring eloquence - so inspiring, it brought me to the decision to finally stop burrying myself alive.  5 stars, a new favorite, and an inspiration. Thank you for your story. :-)

farmgirl9 said...
on Jul. 14 2010 at 6:41 pm
farmgirl9, Lyme, Connecticut
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Amen to that. Thank you for writing this. Very well written piece.

on Jan. 17 2010 at 10:13 pm
ObviouslyPaige BRONZE, Somerville, Maine
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This is a beautifully crafted piece. I myself have not yet faced that level of hatred for coming out, because I'm lucky enough to be in such an accepting environment. I have experienced a bit of what you have described though, and just that little bit hurts so much. Nobody should have to go through what you have perfectly described, and yet they do. Thank you so much for writing this.

EdytD SILVER said...
on Dec. 4 2009 at 1:26 pm
EdytD SILVER, Livingston, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 258 comments
I think this article is truly beautiful and inspirational, and though I do not share your sexuality, it always pains me to hear the scorn and derision in others' voices as they mock people who are much stronger than they. You did a truly fabulous job, and I wish you immense luck at your new school.

samantha said...
on Nov. 12 2009 at 5:34 pm
beautiful. i loved it. im called a lesbian nearly every day of my life... and im not even one... but i know how it feels... to be ridiculed... i can only imagine how it feels to hold that secret in...

on Aug. 1 2009 at 2:47 am
dylonmichael GOLD, El Dorado, Kansas
10 articles 3 photos 118 comments

Favorite Quote:
i have two one is "live life as if it were your last day on earth" and two is "never make some one your everything because when they leave you you have nothing"

i am pretty sure the whole school knows i'm gay because of the way i act but they dont know for sure because i keep quite and to myself

on Jun. 22 2009 at 4:15 am
JustADreamer95 PLATINUM, Fairfield, Ohio
24 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If Love Conquers All Then Why Is The World In Constant Chaos?" -Me

I came out when i was in 5th grade to my best friend an she told everyone an the teachers didn't care, they just sat back an wathced it happen an I couldn't tell my mom but when she found out this year well last year she was mad but you know what I got through it.Coming out is hard an you wrote it beautifully.

Jepic09 said...
on Dec. 13 2008 at 2:49 am
wow, i somewhat understand this and it was written very beautifully. when i first decided to come out i told the one kid that everyone was labeled gay because i thought he was. he turned out to be the exact opposite and the same ridicule that was inflicted on him he tried to do to me. and it was disheartening at first but i over came it and told a more trusting friend and she still loved me reguardless and after that it became alittle easier to tell my friends. i guess i was one of the lucky or blessed ones because i have a group of dedicated friends who i know i can talk to, and no one tried to mess with me. i just wanted to say thank you for writing this because its truly something that makes or breaks a person

Kwstar said...
on Nov. 8 2008 at 6:25 pm
This is a beautifully written, for anyone that hurts in the world. Thanks for your words

EmilySue314 said...
on Sep. 11 2008 at 6:54 pm
This is beautifully written. I've been thrown in that pack of wolves and I've gotten torn to bits by them. Coming out is such a pivotal moment in your life and I think you described it perfectly. Thank you so much for writing this! Stay strong.