Tag: personal

My Body & My Asexuality

In March 2018 I hosted the Carnival of Aces here on my blog, on the topic of “Physical Health and/or Our Bodies”. This was the Call for Submissions: https://luvtheheaven.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/physical-health-and-or-our-bodies-the-march-2018-carnival-of-aces-call-for-submissions/


I have a lot of thoughts on physical health and, often unrelated, on my body that don’t feel very directly connected to asexuality. I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a post for this carnival theme, even though I myself was hosting this month.

But let me try, a day late, to throw something out there nonetheless.

1) Well a big thing I’m starting to feel a little less alone with is that I have no libido/sex-drive/ability to feel arousal and orgasm, which is a topic people don’t talk about very often in asexual communities since we focus on the psychological experiences and because masturbation etc is a fairly taboo/too “persona/private” topic in many spaces. And because when does the lack of it even “come up” naturally in conversation?

I think the asexual community has more of us who have no sex drive than many of us realize, and I’m constantly desperate to not be alone in whatever I’m experiencing, including that, so I’m glad I’m in a community of people where my experience is some degree acknowledged. I especially appreciate the context of for some of us being a lifelong thing, not a lost sex drive, and that even if it was lost due to side effects of medications or due to other illness, it’s not a “problem to be solved” but rather a plus side for at least a handful of ace folks.

Continue reading “My Body & My Asexuality”

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Me & Squishes (a Lack of Experiencing Crushes)

The question of the week this week, Question of the Week: March 20th, 2018, over on The Asexual Agenda, is:

How do you tell the difference between a friend and a crush?

I once saw a post on facebook saying ‘that tingly feeling you get when you like someone is common sense leaving your body’.   I really like this definition because the only way I can really tell that I have a crush on someone is that I notice myself being kinda stupid around them.  Even then though, I don’t really think I treat crushes much differently to how I treat new friends. Either way, what I want is to get to hang out and talk and do fun things with them, so it all ends the same.

Can you describe what it feels like to have a crush?  Or a squish or other types of attraction? Are these things easy for you to differentiate?  How do you decide what to do about your shiny new feelings?

I have a whole blog post worth of an answer. Please check out the other comments there for other people’s answers! There are plenty of good ones.


Continue reading “Me & Squishes (a Lack of Experiencing Crushes)”

Aftermath [a poem]

(Cross-posted to tumblr here.)

This is related to my two recent blog posts on a certain subject. Ideally the prose poem could stand alone without you even knowing the context of my blog posts.

Check out the content notes over here at this one: https://luvtheheaven.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/unpacking-some-of-the-extreme-distress-i-experienced-last-week/ if you are concerned you might want content notes for my poem, and feel free to read my blog posts either before or after you read this poem I wrote.

I started a couple lines of this poem within that very first week but kinda had to start fresh as my feelings evolved. I wrote this late at night Sunday December 10th before going to bed and later that week edited it a little after receiving feedback from an acquaintance in an online informal writing group. I thought it might still be edited more but now I’m thinking this is probably the final draft of it.

I may write more poems on the subject, on different emotions, or a more updated way to express where I’m at. Poetry feels like a good medium right now.


Aftermath

It isn’t really like you
To hurt people
Or was it? Was this always who you were?

It’s taken me time to accept
we’re in the
Aftermath
of this horror.

“We” being me, and your other friends, and your family.

(Not you. Not anymore.)

Because when you made the choice, you trapped me
in the
Before.

Was I fortunate to live on the east coast?
Free from the danger you posed?
Was this really Freedom?

I started crying here.
But days passed before the crying was because you were dead.

What a shame. The people who loved you, not one of us, can ever simply be sad you’re dead. You. You made this about… everything else imaginable, but not really that.

Grief isn’t ever simple, regardless.
But if you had died, and that was all? It would be infinitely better.

Death isn’t better than much.

But
this example plainly illustrates how
your friend Dying by His Own Choice
isn’t actually the worst thing that can happen.

I feel like I’m lying by omission unless I say the part that happened first.

You were crying there.

You told me for a month.
Not sleeping.
At your lowest point in your life right now.
Dreading Christmas.
Dreading every task of every day.
You even implied all the feelings of Shame.
(Avoiding telling anyone why you quit.)
(Only telling me a week later because of guilt, like you really owed your professional partner an explanation and not explaining had been unfair. You and her, ninety-five percent chance of Divorce.)
(Only telling me you had been struggling with alcohol after another a length of time passed.)
(And there was that added context in your tone of voice too.)

Yes.
I heard you loud and clear.
You said it all.

And I offered all my commentary.

“Other people go through this too.”

“My parents had a worse situation than you and her. I truly believe getting divorced within months is better than the decade and a half of no legal agreements, which as a child, I survived.”

Your situation looked better
from my side of the fence.

I kinda knew the grass is always greener on the other side.

Maybe my comments missed the mark. But at least I tried.

At least I said something.

I tried to convey
Divorce Sucks
and I was sorry.

If only I knew…

No.
I didn’t hear even a muffled whisper.
You didn’t say anything at all.
Through my own tears, I realize now how you never mentioned if you were crying.
(You even said you weren’t suicidal.)

You acted relatively calm about her. You were upset at the thought of seeing her.

However.

You had honestly hoped to save this marriage not too long ago.

I guess in the most twisted of ways, you did prevent a divorce from being finalized.

I offered my helpless sympathy.

I openly expressed I wished she wasn’t seeing another man,
wished you weren’t going through this,
wished I could do more.

You said you knew all these things from me.
You said Thank you.
You acted kind. Appreciative of my sentiments.

I assumed you knew I wasn’t the best person to comfort you.
You had to have known.
My longest romantic relationship spanned such a fraction of your marriage.
My years of being alive such a fraction of your life.

You didn’t scare me at all.
(You didn’t reveal any of your anger.)
You… cracked another joke about Texans and them not having heard of winter coats.

You’ve now made it hard for me to look at my winter coat.

You’ve already missed the snow that came to San Antonio this December.

You would’ve had so much to say about it.

But I guess you’ve missed this entire December too, now haven’t you?

You will miss all Decembers from now on.

And so will your wife.

And your kids will never look at anything the same I’m sure. Snow or Decembers or Sadness or Divorce.

There are too many reasons I’ve been
Crying
Both Here and There.

There.
Yes.
I should mention:

I finally made it to Texas.

When you decide to orphan your children it suddenly gives me a reason for a journey.

If I had known it would save the course of five lives…

Would I have come sooner?

Would I ever have believed I needed to be there for you?

Would it have possibly even helped?

Sometimes it really was like you
To hurt people
To hurt my feelings
To make me doubt myself
To make me cry

But you were trying to help the world
You cared about making it a better place
A safer place
Less scary
And more fun too

We had gotten past our disagreements.

It isn’t really
like you hurt me too.

When I say five lives
I mean you, plus
Your poor wife
Who, it should go without saying,
Didn’t Deserve This
And your three daughters.
Who also Didn’t.

And we all keep saying it anyway.
Because what else is there to say?
Apparently you didn’t realize this.

In the end, it was so much more than five lives.

It is such a huge number of us.
This ripples out more painfully than you would have dreamed, even when you were in your right mind.

So today
I’ll remind you of just one more.

You really hurt me too.

 

Unpacking Some of the Extreme Distress I Experienced Last Week

[Content Note: Heavy stuff, Traumatic Experiences, Discussion of Suicide kinda, Discussion of Murder and Domestic Violence and Abuse, Grief, etc. Tell me if you think I overlooked something I should be warning for.]


So Monday November 27th, I went through a particularly traumatic experience with a very close friend of mine becoming a murderer in the last second of his life before choosing to die by suicide. I have been through traumatic things in my life before, things that made it so I struggled to sleep that one night of the day the thing happened, things that made me want to talk about it constantly, things that made me still feel upset for a little while afterwards. But this particular thing affected me in a way unlike any of the other things I’ve experienced.

The tl:dr is that I’m doing way way better this week. I’m okay. I’m going to be okay.

But I wanted to write some more about all this.

After morning through midday last Friday (December 1st) writing up my last post about how I couldn’t stop crying, I still was a wreck. I then proceeded to be fired from my volunteer organization, as if that wasn’t going to be adding insult to injury especially when I had unresolved extreme fear/trust/walking on eggshell issues from September based on them treating me super unfairly back then, 3 months ago, and I just… and I still wasn’t sleeping, and I was adding EXTRA stress to myself about needing to wake up at the ridiculous hour of 3:45 AM to catch a shuttle to the airport that I almost forgot to book…

So it shouldn’t be that surprising that by dinner-time hours that night after I had kept being distracted by things all freaking day that it’d been about 26 hours since I’d eaten a meal (although around the 20 hour mark I’d shoved some plain cheese in my mouth from the fridge), I semi-tearfully told my brother how I wished we had hot dogs in the house or something so that I wouldn’t have to actually put any effort or even just patience into my dinner and he offered to go to the store and buy them for me. I asked if he really wanted to do that for me, and he chuckled a little nervously and seemed almost scared of… okay not scared of me, but out of his comfort zone with my grief and like he did want to help, and said maybe not like he super wanted to but he’d do it.

And it shouldn’t be all that surprising, either, that trying to sleep for 6 hours that night I still could not, I was an adrenaline fueled total mess, and at one point I started literally shaking in my bed, and I don’t think I was shivering out of any cold temperatures under my heavy comforter etc; it didn’t quite feel like that kind of shaking anyway. I got out of bed and put my pantyhose on that I planned to wear with a skirt to the airport because I was planning to be properly dressed for the funeral when I left the house at 4:00 AM. I put my pajama shorts back on, on top, and I tweeted my freak out briefly, and when I got back in bed I wasn’t shaking.

My friend on twitter told me:

This from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/coping-with-emotional-and-psychological-trauma.htm sounds like what you’re going through.

what I'm going through

And I think that helped me a lot to read…

That article in general did help, not just the excerpt.

It’s probably true that something about:

While traumatic events can happen to anyone, there are risk factors that make some of us more likely to experience psychological trauma following a disturbing event. You’re more likely to be traumatized if you’re already under a heavy stress load, have recently suffered a series of losses, or have been traumatized before—especially if the earlier trauma occurred in childhood.

is affecting me too, that previous traumas are piling up on me. I’d just, earlier that month, finished vidding and writing up an explanation of my breakup from back in May. I had to dwell on some of the intense feelings, especially at the end of the vid, and I think the way Robert broke up with me was kinda a trauma; I was very suddenly and confusingly abandoned.  I’d felt similarly again when Recovering from Religion as an organization suddenly suspended me as a volunteer for no good reason in September, like I was having flashbacks to my breakup almost in a very vague sense, even if they decided to end my suspension and let me back in later. It all felt really unfair. I tried so hard, put my all into a relationship of some kind, and got this in return. I found myself really upset by sudden shifts to my life, I’d recently been sent to tears at work by a co-worker accusing me of being a liar who was trying to destroy her career when I completely didn’t do anything and I was kinda a stressed and an ashamed wreck over how “sensitive” I’d been and how crying at work probably made it all worse.  My supervisor and her supervisor both got involved to help me and they were super nice to me throughout the incident, but I’m left now still having a super chilly relationship with that co-worker… and that upsets me because I was really starting to feel like she could be a friend before all this. Obviously I have had childhood trauma too…. Even Thanksgiving week my aunt was acting frustrated by the tiniest of things and like everything we all did personally was offending her, and it wasn’t that bad but it kept things kinda tense that whole “vacation” staying at her house for 5 days. My dad, my brother, and I discussed it once we got back home, like it made everything “less fun”… and I just…

Things have probably been building and building for me and that’s part of why I finally burst and broke last week.

I’d already been remembering back to 2.5 years ago with this comment thread and started re-reading that stuff a little out of curiosity. I wanted to understand WTF was happening with me, with my body, with my reaction.

Eventually I also reminded myself of the sentiment in this comment too by re-reading more, a sentiment I’d seen plenty of places in my life but still it never felt as real until right now…

Continue reading “Unpacking Some of the Extreme Distress I Experienced Last Week”

I’ve Been Crying For ~95 Hours, Now…

Hi everyone. Where do I begin?? And how am I supposed to tag this freaking post…? *Sigh*. I am… beyond emotionally drained as this week sorta starts to come to a close.  Please read down to the end if you care about understanding the extreme grief and trauma I’ve been going through since Monday.

[Huge Content Notes for: Murder, Suicide, Domestic Violence, Grief… um let me know if I need to add something else in here.]

I basically want to laugh (darkly) because The Asexual Agenda’s Question of the Week this week is all about keeping secrets and well… In the past few days especially and into this blog post I’m braving writing now, I’m going to make it so there are basically ZERO secrets anymore in my life, in the sense of no separation of my real life identity and my online persona. I’ve been doing it slowly but surely for a little while now, and while even now I’d still rather not write my full name on my blog here so that people Googling my first and last name don’t as easily find where I write about “not masturbating” or “trying sex and being averse” or whatever, just in case for my next job… of course that precaution might still not really be enough though. But basically I’m going to tell you all my first and last name now.
So, without further ado: I’ve been volunteering with Recovering from Religion as a non-profit internet-based organization since February 2015 when their “The Hotline Project” first launched. (It has more recently been renamed Recovering from Religion’s “Helpline”.) I have been in many roles as a volunteer there – Call Agent, Chat/IM Agent, Mentor, Supervisor, Moderator of a Helpline Community when they started the communities, and, most notably, since we published our first episode on Friday May 6th 2016, I’ve been a co-host of Recovering from Religion’s podcast.
2 months ago today, I even mentioned in my bio which you can read at the end of this that I was both a co-host of the Recovering from Religion podcast and that I blog under the username luvtheheaven at WordPress. 😛
William Scott Smith, who preferred to go by his middle name Scott, starting about 7 months later than me in September 2015, has been in every single one of those roles too, and he’s been one of my very best friends for most of that time. 2 years of my life I’ve known him… Pretty darn well for an “internet friend”.

Continue reading “I’ve Been Crying For ~95 Hours, Now…”

The kindest letter I can muster up for my abusive mom

(Note: I don’t understand why the paragraph breaks aren’t showing up correctly… maybe I can fix it later, but I’m going to sleep right now.)

June 27, 2017

Happy 55th Birthday, Mom.

I remember 15 years ago, how stressful it was purchasing a gift for your 40th birthday, how important it was to me that I succeed in getting something you’d like. The fact that this is a milestone birthday number wasn’t lost on me.

How I, a 12 year old who’d only had my ears pierced for a little over a year at that point, shopped at a huge Jewelry Exchange place for the first time in my life and told my dad (your ex-husband) about your taste in always gold and not silver, how we (he) spent $100 on pretty earrings made of white gold with gold plating so it still didn’t look silver in color and… and then when that weekend spent with my dad was over, when I was back home… I waited with bated breath to see if it would make you angry because I’d failed at gift giving in some important way I’d overlooked.

You must not have liked your Mother’s Day gift 5 or so weeks prior because why else would I have been so determined to do this well this time? I’m not sure. Maybe I remembered a different gift thing you hated but it was probably Mother’s Day. I think I gave you little Hallmarks figurines of like a lighthouse and other things you’d see at the beach. Because despite how much i remembered you being unhappy at the beach the last time we ever went, when I was 8, you in the years since would comment that you liked the beach… you even wanted that “By The Sea” song played at your funeral

In the end, you smiled weakly in my bedroom when you opened your gift and said you liked it – without sounding like you meant it. And I thought that was the end of my feelings about giving you this gift. That the reaction happened, and it was over. It could’ve been worse, it could’ve been so much worse, this was a pretty good reaction, but I wanted to cry anyway, because I’d tried so hard but you still weren’t happy.

Literally nothing would make you happy, because you were in the midst of Persistent Depressive Disorder, but none of us knew that. Not my dad or me and my brother, not you.

I wrote a bunch of other stuff recounting the awful but I just hit “backspace” for a few paragraphs. I changed my mind. I want this to be… in a different tone.

I saw you for the first and probably only time I’ll ever see any glimpse of what you in your 50s looks like back in December at your mother’s funeral home visitation (my grandmother’s). It was so jarring seeing 54 year old you. Your hair was so much grayer. Your hair was shorter. You were wearing a shirt that actually looked pretty nice, I was surprised I liked your style.

I hadn’t seen you in 7 years. I haven’t even seen any new photos. My brother noticed your teeth looked decaying. He noticed your breath smelled like cigarettes. I didn’t notice these things. He even noticed you flip off the casket.

You came over to me, and my brother, and two of my younger cousins, including the 17-year-old one you later made burst into hysterical tears with some harsh whisper. Why did you do that to her? But sorry, I’m digressing. You came over to us and you called your mother abusive. You said she was an evil bitch. You asked the 4 of us to “Name one good thing about her. Just one!” and I felt so guilty that in that moment I couldn’t think of how to respond. I wanted to defend my grandmother. There were plenty of good things, I’d been mentioning them to people in the days before and after that moment, and other points that day when you weren’t there. I’d been hearing about them from others. But in that moment, when you asked me, my cousins were ignoring you on purpose and not taking your bait, being calm and reasonable about your scariness. I, on the other hand, was so hurt by everything about your presence, so outraged on behalf of my grandmother and on behalf of my cousins/aunts/uncles/the strangers who shouldn’t have to deal with you and everything else.

But you know who else I could say “one good thing” about, “just one”?

Well. You.

Continue reading “The kindest letter I can muster up for my abusive mom”

Me & wanting a future as a parent, an update

This post was written for the April 2017 Carnival of Aces, which is themed around Asexuality, Aromanticism and Parenthood. The call for submissions was here – and please check out the round up post containing all of the submitted entries! http://abnormaldiversity.blogspot.com/2017/05/aromanticism-asexuality-and-parenthood.html


Over on Asexual Activities, back in January (2017, so only a few months ago), 34 different people (including me) answered the theme on Having Children, plus one person replied to another person’s thought that being single meant they couldn’t adopt/foster and encouraged them to consider that that may not be true where they live. About 11 to 16 of the responses seemed to be “I don’t want children”, depending on how you count the “maybe one day” sentiments, meaning it actually is approximately 50/50. See all the different themes here: http://www.asexualactivities.com/tags, and click through to find the answers on asexual people’s perspectives on kids.  Which submission is mine should be pretty obvious if you read my blog regularly, or even if you just read to the end of this blog post.

About a year ago, in May 2016, aceadmiral started a conversation on tumblr also related to aces and having children, and there are two (– I think only two? Not 100% sure) different branches of the reblog chain/thread that are worth reading. If you’re interested in the topic of this Carnival, I highly recommend you click the “Read More” links, read the other linked things within the responses, there is so much that is interesting over there.

  1. https://aceadmiral.tumblr.com/post/144126451728/christian-ace-nerd-aceadmiral
  2. https://aceadmiral.tumblr.com/post/144128006058/tristifere-aceadmiral-luvtheheaven (yes I myself talked quite a bit in this one)

I have so many thoughts on this topic, honestly, but it’s hard for me to currently talk about. Nothing has really changed about what I desire since a-year-and-a-half ago when I wrote on Being an Aro Ace and Desiring (Foster and/or Adoptive) Parenthood, but also so much has changed since then in my life and in how feasible this desire seems!

Continue reading “Me & wanting a future as a parent, an update”

Asexuality, Shame, and the Importance of Ace Pride

This post was written for the March 2017 Carnival of Aces, which is themed around Ace Pride. The call for submissions was here – and the round up post containing all of the submitted entries is here: http://purrplelace.tumblr.com/post/159167437413/march-2017-carnival-of-aces-round-up


We’ll get to Ace Pride by the end of this post. First, I need to talk about Ace Shame.

[Content note: Heavy discussion of anti-ace sentiments, invalidation, shame, negative emotions, etc. Some NSFW text. Unhappy ace/allo sexual relationship dynamics also touched upon. It’s a bit of a rambling mess too.]


shame: n. A painful emotion caused by the belief that one is, or is perceived by others to be, inferior or unworthy of affection or respect because of one’s actions, thoughts, circumstances, or experiences.

  • What is there to be proud of? Isn’t asexuality nothing?

pride: n. a feeling of honour and self-respect; a sense of personal worth

  • “Are you sure you’re not repressed? because you grew up Catholic?”
  • “Everyone masturbates – and the few who say they don’t? are lying.”
  • What do you fantasize about though?
  • Everyone is turned on by some type of person.
  • “Maybe you should talk to a doctor about your hormone levels.”
  • “WAIT — you’re 22 and you’ve never been kissed??”
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin is a great movie, made me cry. I’m so happy that he finally lost his virginity at the end.
  • “It’s natural and healthy to have sexual thoughts and desires”.
  • You’re betraying feminists if you fight Flibanserin (Addyi) being on the market.
  • Who do you have a crush on?”
  • “You should watch this tv show, if for no other reason than the eye candy, you know what I mean? 😉 “
  • “Philosophical or psychological hypothesis: What if all human desires are, deep down, influenced by sex because it’s instinctual that we need to want sex in order for our species to survive? I mean it’s probably true, it just makes sense.”
  • My mom: “You don’t have to get Confirmed Catholic if you really don’t want to however… You might want to belong to a church for when you get married?”
  • “A soulmate is your other half,  the person who completes you, everyone is waiting to find theirs unless they are so lucky to have already found them.”
  • lust can be such a powerful feeling that it motivates people to cheat with a stranger they just met
  • without ‘passion’ in that marriage can you blame that miserable spouse for cheating?”
  • OK Cupid question: “How many dates will you want to go on before you’re ready for sex? One? Three? 12?” (See the 100 words prose poem thing I wrote, which I just tonight posted about this topic.)
  • Check a box: “Which of the three fits you best: straight,  gay,  or bi?”
  • “Have you tried having sex with both men and women and didn’t like it? Only men? You probably just didn’t give being lesbian enough of a chance.”
  • “Ok interesting.  But. Are you absolutely sure you haven’t just not met the right person yet? You don’t want to close yourself off to that possibility too young”  (said to me when I’m 24.)
  • Me before I accepted I’m ace: “I… this first kiss to you feels just as lackluster as the other time I tried kissing a different person last year. I need to admit something… I’m starting to worry I might be asexual, unfortunately. I like you a lot as a person already, so maybe I’ll turn out to be demisexual? Over time? (If we… fall in love or something?)”
  • It’s the standard narrative.  Boy meets girl.  One is too traumatized or just mistrustful of the world. Let’s say it’s the girl this time. The guy loves her hard enough, for long enough… that she learns to love him back with time. Or she suddenly has a revelation that the love of her life has been there all along. He might be suddenly attractive to her too. Like Lois and Clark in versions of their story where you see them before they get together. And wow.  They feel all the feelings. They have a magical kiss or even the best sex ever by the end of the story. Happily ever after. It wouldn’t be a happy ending without getting together romantically.
  • “Are you sure you’re not aroused right now?” – when I tried sex with my boyfriend.
  • “I’ve never met anyone who’s asexual before. (That can’t be real.)”
  • “Oh, that explains a lot about our conversations these past years. I always just thought maybe you were a bit prudish.”
  • Isn’t the idea of being proud to be ace arrogant, elitist, and saying you’re better than people who have sexual desires, shaming them for that, and that’s not cool?
  • “You’re lucky you’re ace. I wish I was ace. You have it so easy.”

Sorry I decided to write such a downer of a post for such a seemingly happy theme.  I kind of went a pretty… different direction than the other entries. At first I wondered if I was completely going off topic but now I realize… My post is basically a long answer to (Purr)ple(L)ace’s final bullet point in the suggested topics:

How do displays of pride (in whatever forms you choose to show it) help you deal with any negative aspects of being ace? How do they help you love/accept yourself and your asexuality more?

Continue reading “Asexuality, Shame, and the Importance of Ace Pride”

Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 4 of 4)

As I said here in part 1, and also part 2 and part 3, I’m gonna answer all of these, in a 4 part series of answers. Cross-posted to tumblr.

This is part 4 of 4.

Onto the final chunk of questions… some of these are much more fun than the previous parts.

13. do you headcanon any characters as arospec?

Continue reading “Tumblr Aro Asks meme, my answers (part 4 of 4)”

Personal updates. And a grief-fueled rant.

So I’ve had some huge life events lately. It’s been a bit overwhelming and I don’t even know what to tell you guys first. [content note on this post for… heavy talk about all sorts of things that are personal to me, like my grandmother’s death and my mother being abusive so read at your own risk.]

Continue reading “Personal updates. And a grief-fueled rant.”