Scary complicated situation

  • Lunastar

    Posts: 328

    Jan 15, 2013 1:41 AM GMT
    Serious situation here guys.

    I'm an RA at a college and a student that's become particularly comfortable with talking to me essentially unloaded a ton of troubling information on me.

    He recently came out to me which I applauded him for but then proceeded to tell me his whole life story and current predicament.

    He's from Nigeria and has been raised by his mother. The father is a deadbeat psycho who's been try to expose his mother as an incompetent parent. He's expressed to me that is mother would "love him no matter what, but that if he were gay, should try to hide it." If the father were to find out, he would most certainly use the information against his mother and her status in society (she's a reputable banker).

    He thinks his mother might have suspicions (she's asked many times to which he repeatedly denies). And so he's conflicted between telling her "I'm gay, take it or leave it" or lying to her and repressing his sexuality in order to protect her.

    He's only 17 but feels as if his mental sanity is at sake if he lets the issue fester and doesn't make a decision soon. He's also expressed that I'm potentially the only genuine friend he feels he's made.

    I think I had good advice for him and took into account factors such as is he planning to stay in the US after college, does he want to go back to Nigeria, would his mother be able to live and hide this secret if he were to tell her? Is he financially dependent on his family?

    I told him that pretending is only going to dig a deeper hole for him but because he's financially dependent, then he should perhaps focus on his studies to motivate him and if he is going to act on his sexuality, for him to do so in private.

    Ultimately I told him that he should also consider going to counseling services, and that I'd go with him if he decided to do so.

    I'm wondering if RJ had sound advice on what to make of this situation.
  • Lunastar

    Posts: 328

    Jan 15, 2013 2:04 AM GMT
    Sorry to be a bump whore but I really could use some help.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 2:49 AM GMT
    It's out of your hands.

    He has serious issues that you can only complicate. He needs to grow the balls to ditch his family and find his own life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 2:55 AM GMT
    What you told him is right
    first ask him to find a part time job etc.,. so that he no longer needed support from his mother
    second, mothers love their children. So, I think she don't take much serious into him..(at first she may be shocked but in long term she will be ok with that) & better keep it secret between them.
    third, based on info you have given, I don't think it's necessary for him to go to counselling...unless you find it necessary
  • TheBizMan

    Posts: 4091

    Jan 15, 2013 2:57 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidIt's out of your hands.

    He has serious issues that you can only complicate. He needs to grow the balls to ditch his family and find his own life.


    I'm sure he can afford to pay for college out of pocket.
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Jan 15, 2013 2:58 AM GMT
    Bro you're an RA, not a licensed psychologist.

    Let him deal with it. He'll manage something.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 2:58 AM GMT
    I highly recommend seeking counseling with your university or a local GLBT organization. I think they may be better equipped to provide sound advice or provide the assistance needed. But if he feels uncomfortable going alone, offer to go with him to make him feel comfortable and realize he has a friend to help him along the way.
  • TheBizMan

    Posts: 4091

    Jan 15, 2013 2:58 AM GMT
    Harry7785 saidWhat you told him is right
    first ask him to find a part time job etc.,. so that he no longer needed support from his mother


    I'm sorry, but how cheap do you guys think college is now a days? Let me give you a hint; It's not.
  • TheBizMan

    Posts: 4091

    Jan 15, 2013 2:59 AM GMT
    raginraider12 saidI highly recommend seeking counseling with your university or a local GLBT organization. I think they may be better equipped to provide sound advice or provide the assistance needed. But if he feels uncomfortable going alone, offer to go with him to make him feel comfortable and realize he has a friend to help him along the way.

    He already told him to seek help.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:00 AM GMT
    TheBizMan said
    paulflexes saidIt's out of your hands.

    He has serious issues that you can only complicate. He needs to grow the balls to ditch his family and find his own life.


    I'm sure he can afford to pay for college out of pocket.
    So did several other trust fund babies who went broke in pursuit of failure. icon_wink.gif
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Jan 15, 2013 3:00 AM GMT
    TheBizMan said
    Harry7785 saidWhat you told him is right
    first ask him to find a part time job etc.,. so that he no longer needed support from his mother


    I'm sorry, but how cheap do you guys think college is now a days? Let me give you a hint; It's not.


    OK. We get it. You're in college. It's expensive. . . icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:02 AM GMT
    Import said
    TheBizMan said
    Harry7785 saidWhat you told him is right
    first ask him to find a part time job etc.,. so that he no longer needed support from his mother


    I'm sorry, but how cheap do you guys think college is now a days? Let me give you a hint; It's not.


    OK. We get it. You're in college. It's expensive. . . icon_neutral.gif
    College is only expensive if you have to pay for it.
  • TheBizMan

    Posts: 4091

    Jan 15, 2013 3:02 AM GMT
    Import said
    TheBizMan said
    Harry7785 saidWhat you told him is right
    first ask him to find a part time job etc.,. so that he no longer needed support from his mother


    I'm sorry, but how cheap do you guys think college is now a days? Let me give you a hint; It's not.


    OK. We get it. You're in college. It's expensive. . . icon_neutral.gif

    It isn't about me. And no I don't think you do get it. From what I understand, he's not in a situation to just one day decide to be financially independent.
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Jan 15, 2013 3:04 AM GMT
    TheBizMan said
    Import said
    TheBizMan said
    Harry7785 saidWhat you told him is right
    first ask him to find a part time job etc.,. so that he no longer needed support from his mother


    I'm sorry, but how cheap do you guys think college is now a days? Let me give you a hint; It's not.


    OK. We get it. You're in college. It's expensive. . . icon_neutral.gif

    It isn't about me. And no I don't think you do get it. From what I understand, he's not in a situation to just one day decide to be financially independent.


    I work at a college. I get it.

    Anyway, the OP needs to just be there as a friend for him and that's pretty much all one can realistically expect and or do. I mean, unless u wanna foot the bill for the guy? He's gonna have to get his own shit togther and figure it all out.

  • TheBizMan

    Posts: 4091

    Jan 15, 2013 3:08 AM GMT
    Import said
    TheBizMan said
    Import said
    TheBizMan said
    Harry7785 saidWhat you told him is right
    first ask him to find a part time job etc.,. so that he no longer needed support from his mother


    I'm sorry, but how cheap do you guys think college is now a days? Let me give you a hint; It's not.


    OK. We get it. You're in college. It's expensive. . . icon_neutral.gif

    It isn't about me. And no I don't think you do get it. From what I understand, he's not in a situation to just one day decide to be financially independent.


    I work at a college. I get it.

    Anyway, the OP needs to just be there as a friend for him and that's pretty much all one can realistically expect and or do. I mean, unless u wanna foot the bill for the guy? He's gonna have to get his own shit togther and figure it all out.


    No one is denying that, but I wasn't responding to you in the first place. I was simply pointing out that it is not the best course of action to ditch his family like Paul suggests. Because let's just speculate about who is footing the bill, my guess would be his reputable banker mother.
  • Hazuki

    Posts: 21

    Jan 15, 2013 5:24 AM GMT
    I think it was sound advice to suggest counseling and cheers to you for your support in offering to go with him as well!

    Should he tell his mother? That is something I would not give him my opinion on—unless you have lived in either Nigeria or neighboring west African countries. Why? He could be treading very dangerous territory. Here are some things to consider:

    -What is the written law and the practiced law in Nigeria concerning homosexuality and treatment of those who either identify or are perceived to be homosexual? How is this situation where his mother resides specifically?

    -How will his mother (also he himself when he is in Nigeria) be treated—professionally and personally—by society at large and family/community members should his sexual orientation be discovered? Would she be dismissed from her banking position? Could she be stripped of her parental rights, placing him in the custody of his father? Do they risk physical harm?

    He knows the cultural landscape best.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 5:32 AM GMT
    There are a lot more issues around this than there are coming out in the US. He would be coming out in a hostile environment.

    There's a good documentary my friend help make "Dangerous Living: Coming out in the developing world"

    He most likely can't stay in the US unless he finds a job that will sponsor his VISA and works to obtain citizenship. That's a big if in the current job market.

    I don't think you really tell him what to do.

    The way I put it is, If coming out meant you might die, would you still have done it?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 5:36 AM GMT


    If I may,

    "He's from Nigeria and has been raised by his mother. The father is a deadbeat psycho who's been try to expose his mother as an incompetent parent. He's expressed to me that is mother would "love him no matter what, but that if he were gay, should try to hide it." If the father were to find out, he would most certainly use the information against his mother and her status in society (she's a reputable banker)."

    This sounds very strange.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 5:57 AM GMT
    Complicated yes.

    I remember when I was 17 yo, feeling things with a lot of intensity and wanting rapid solutions.

    May be you could help him realize he does not suffer because of his situation, but because he wish it was different. It's the tension between the desire to be out of the closet and the fear of the consequences that kills him.

    Rather than changing his situation, he could try to change the way he sees it.

    Tell him you would be proud of himself if he decided to stay in the closet to his family until he is able to earn his own living.
    That's it's not being weak or dishonest, rather an adult way to handle a temporary complicated situation.
    That when he comes out later, as his mother seems to love him, she will understand he had no choice but to protect himself, his future, and her, from the unpredictable consequence of coming out.
    That he can still get support from special persons like you and LGBT support group, so that he prepare himself to make the good choices on the right moments in order to get a good and happy life.

    I'm not sure it' 'being true to one self' to do something that can damage you.

    if he was 22 instead of 17, and having french or american nationality instead of nigeria, the advices could be differents.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 6:27 AM GMT
    Hazuki saidI think it was sound advice to suggest counseling and cheers to you for your support in offering to go with him as well!

    Should he tell his mother? That is something I would not give him my opinion on—unless you have lived in either Nigeria or neighboring west African countries. Why? He could be treading very dangerous territory. Here are some things to consider:

    -What is the written law and the practiced law in Nigeria concerning homosexuality and treatment of those who either identify or are perceived to be homosexual? How is this situation where his mother resides specifically?

    -How will his mother (also he himself when he is in Nigeria) be treated—professionally and personally—by society at large and family/community members should his sexual orientation be discovered? Would she be dismissed from her banking position? Could she be stripped of her parental rights, placing him in the custody of his father? Do they risk physical harm?

    He knows the cultural landscape best.


    That was wise counsel.

    It's an interesting dilemma for young gay people in the world, not just for international students experiencing life in a more liberal, accepting country, but, and I've mentioned in other posts, simply on the internet, where young guys living in very oppressive societies can become so aware of how detrimental are their own communities to their individual lives while seeing others living so freely in theirs. I can't imagine how frustrating that must be, like Moses on the mountain Nebo looking out towards the promised land.

    Because you did not trust Me enough to affirm My sanctity in the sight of the Israelite people, therefore you shall not lead this congregation into the land that I have given them. ~~Numbers 20:8,11,12
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jan 15, 2013 6:33 AM GMT
    I think you've taken the right course. All you can give him is emotional support. You're not equipped to assist him otherwise. Volunteering to go with him to the counseling center is a good suggestion.

    Since he's so comfortable with you, he may not want to change that dynamic, but you have to convince him you're not the best resource. His situation is very complicated, and he should get some professional counseling.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2013 6:40 AM GMT
    In the words of a professor, "For the help you need, I can't give." Referral that to someone whom can deal with that like counseling services and your study abroad program as they would be the best to understand his circumstances and the cultural sensitivity to it. Let me know you'll have his back as a friend and as a confidant but that this is really above your head. Defiantly going to want to watch the boundaries here. Sometimes its what you gotta do. (I'm as a case manager so I know it can be tough.)