In this story: Anxiety / Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) / LGBT+ /

"I'm grateful, and incredibly lucky, to have gotten out of the other side of my experience of conversion therapy."

“I eventually realised that this is actually fundamentally wrong, and I was being abused by someone who was supposed to give me care. Later I had the name to call it conversion therapy. I was suffering from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). I was suicidal and unwell again, and I didn’t want it all to be a waste, and so I started the process of cutting ties, and getting distance from my family.

There came a point just before the pandemic where I thought I am not actually gaining anything from a relationship with my family, all I am getting is harassment and abuse. I realised they weren’t going to look after me, so I had to look after myself. I’ve been totally independent and estranged and haven’t spoken to them for two and a half years.

I think I’m quite well now, I’m not fine, I’m not healthy, but I am in a position where I’m in control of my CPTSD. I’m on quite a lot of medication to manage it. The periods between medications have been hell, I have nightmares, I wake up screaming and sweating. I’m exhausted. I still have trauma responses, but I can control them. I’m not in therapy or counselling at the moment, I probably should be, but I just realistically don’t think there is a service which could offer me the support I need.

I wish I had known at the time, that this is not ok. I wish I had understood my rights, understood the processes better. I wish I knew my options were.

What happened to me growing up shouldn’t be happening to anyone – but it is. Every day there are still countless people being forced to deny or suppress who they are, with unimaginable effects on their health and wellbeing. I’m grateful, and incredibly lucky, to have gotten out of the other side of my experience of conversion therapy and been able to rebuild a life for myself, with love and care and support.

Not everyone is as lucky as that.”

 For more information and support on the issues raised in this story, check out the Galop website.

To get involved and find more information on the campaign against conversion therapy in Scotland on ECTScotland’s Twitter page.

Read more Humans of Scotland stories.

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