Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Just another reason I'm an outcast

It's the end of yet another Pride month, another year has past, and another time when I've thought, it's not my time to tell my story. Not my time to "come out". Well, maybe I should anyway. Is there really ever a "good time" for anything that may come back to bite you in the ass? No. So hello internet, it's me. What, you didn't know I was in a closet? Neither did I.

I finally figured out that I am asexual... about 2-3 years ago. I'm 42... and a half. I didn't know what asexuality was until about maybe 5 years ago. I never learned about it in school. Come to find out asexuality was still considered a mental disorder up until 2013 by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. Dang. It was never talked about in any of my social circles. I never knew there was an actual scientific sexual orientation that I actually identify with. Look at me, look at me, I fit into a box! It's a tiny box. Only 1% of the entire worlds population are asexual. 1. One. ONE PERCENT. It's a tiny box, but if I fits, I sits.

Now coming out as Ace, as we call ourselves apparently, is no real big deal. I doubt I will be persecuted in any way for being Ace. We're known as the invisible orientation. We blend in. We are a small group. Majority of people don't even know we exist. I didn't for a very long time, see above. I see all these young people on social media being proud ace's and I'm so jealous. They know what they are. I knew who I was as a teen and young adult, don't get me wrong, but I thought I was somehow just so awkward and weird, and that I wasn't worthy or deserving of a "partner" was why I was 99% of my life single. I thought there was something wrong with me. God bless the internet.

These kids know there is nothing wrong with them. They're just ace. And eat cake.

Okay, let me explain, in case you are ignorant like I was.

What does asexual even mean? Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity. It may be considered a sexual orientation or the lack thereof. It may also be categorized more widely to include a broad spectrum of asexual sub-identities. These sub-identities are wide ranging from aromantics, grey-sexual, and demi-sexual, and can be across all spectrum's within the LGBTQ. You can be a gay ace, a lesbian ace, a trans ace, bi ace, or like me, a hetero ace, etc.

From here down, this is my life and experiences with being ace. Like stated above, there is a wide range of ace-ness, and this is just mine. So growing up in a christian religion that taught sex before marriage was a sin, I had no problem with abstinence. I had no desire. It just wasn't there. I thought, geez people it's not that hard, why you getting std's and making babies? I didn't realize I was wired differently then. Well, I thought I was to socially awkward to even attempt dating. I didn't realize I didn't want to date was because I just didn't want to. I never dreamed about getting married. Never wanted to have children. I don't have a biological clock. If given the option of sex or cake, I'll take the cake every time.

Ace's don't desire or even need sexual (and in aro's, romantic) relationships to feel whole or fullfilled or complete. And so in my youth and early 20's I even questioned whether or not I was even a heterosexual. Maybe I am lesbian? I obviously don't feel sexual attraction to guys. Maybe I like girls? No. I don't. I feel even less sexual attraction to women, if that's even possible.

I've had a total of two boyfriends. I'm 42, remember? Two. And I don't even think the first one should even count because we were in the 5th grade, and all we did was hold hands a few times and hang out at recess together and make fun of his best friend. The other one was in college. And I had to be told, quite bluntly, by several friends, that he was interested in me. And I tried so hard to be like hey look at me, I'm normal, see? Look I have a boyfriend, I'm not gay (yes I'm calling out my own ignorance here). I'm not weird. Look, I'm normal. I'M NORMAL! But dang was that hard. I had that one boyfriend for two years and that second year was spent in misery because I was too scared to break it off. Not scared for my safety or anything like that but I didn't think I had a legitimate reason. Oh younger me, if I had only known then that you don't need a reason at all. Looking back now, I can see why the entire relationship was so hard and all my flawed thinking. But I didn't know. I do now. And understanding and learning what my sexual orientation actually is is so liberating.

It was very similar to the feeling when I was medically diagnosed with depression. I knew I had it, but the validation from several medical professionals was freeing. A weight was lifted off my shoulders. I knew what I had, for realsies. Same with realizing I'm ace. My life made so much more sense.

I'm not a freak for loving the fact that I'm alone. Ace's fill their needs for social human connections just like everyone else. We have friends. We just don't need friends with benefits. And no, it's not a hormone imbalance. It's not a fear of sexual intercourse. No, it's not painful to have sex. And no, it's not from a sexual trauma. It's not a condition. It is a valid, normal sexual orientation.

What I and other ace's get tired of is everyone else. Our society is extremely sexualized. You all are obsessed with it. It's everywhere. It's how most products are advertised. Sex sells. Isn't that the saying? Just watch any commercial or print ad. How are they selling the product? Wear this, buy this, drive this, eat this and whatever sexual orientation you're into will fall at your feet. Even products that don't push sex down our throats are still advocating or insinuating generally the heteronormative sexual lifestyle. And by that I mean, if it isn't selling you sex, it is selling you a sexual partner, marriage, a family with kids. If you're renting or buying a place to live and you're single, it is presumed it's a bachelor pad, temporary, until you meet your significant other.

You know what we really hate? The "Oh you just haven't met the right person yet". Pity. We hate pity. So sorry you're still single. Please. You have no idea how happy I am that I don't have to deal with any of that shit. You all are like, oh my god, I'm so sorry, you haven't had sex in how many days? Uh, try decades. I love the fact that I don't have to share a bed. I love that I don't have to depend on or be depended on for any type of sexual or romantic adoration, need, or desire.

But sex is everywhere in our culture. 99.9% of TV, movies, and even literature is sexual. If the two lead characters aren't together it's either because there is some sort of angst or they have other partners. All the supporting characters have partners or desire partners. If they are single, it's not because they are ace, it's because they have some sort of "flaw" that prevents them from having a sexual partner. I always found it so alien to me why characters were hooking up when they do in media. Why are they having sex right now? I don't get it. They haven't even solved the murder yet. They just met like 20 minutes ago! Now I get that it's just how you 99% think all the time. Do you not find it exhausting thinking about sex all the time? I mean, give it a rest.

I'm happy that I am single. My life is fulfilled. I am a complete human. I never understood the "not a full person without your other half" thing. Like I'm somehow not a fully fleshed person unless I have a sexual or romantic partner. Screw that.

Now don't get me wrong, I can and do enjoy tv, movies, and books with sex and romance. It's been streamed into my eye holes forever. That is again 99% of all media. I mean seriously, how many books have you read or shows have you watched that had an ace lead character? Hell even an ace secondary character? I'll wait...

And before you ask me way to personal questions and you're actually interested in what I just said. Start here:

Then we can have some conversations.

Last thing, the "A" in LGBTQIA doesn't stand for "ally". It stands for me.

So this socially awkward, middle aged, crazy cat lady is trying to wear her scarlet letter with Pride. Step one: step out of the closet and say hello.


Another video you may find interesting and entertaining is Anthony Padilla's series called "I spent a day with" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW29J3nxjis

Monday, June 15, 2020

Wait, what?

As you can see I'm not consistent here. I do have ideas, but I never take the time to write them out. Mostly because I know that it will take time and effort and these days I just don't have the patience. Or maybe don't even have the desire. But when I do actually write something meaningful, at least meaningful to me, I feel better. But just like I know that I will feel better after I go for a run, doesn't mean I'll go and actually do it.

I don't even have the patience for watching tv shows or movies. There's a ton of shows and movies that I just sit here and scroll through and just say, eh, I don't feel like sitting here to watch something that's 45 minutes to 2 hours. I can't even read a book. And I love books. How did my attention span shrink so much in like two years time?

I do watch a ton of YouTube though. I'm on there almost every day. The other day I was watching an interview of Neil deGrasse Tyson. And he said something truly profound to me. He said "Create meaning. Don't spend your life searching for meaning". Those likely weren't his exact words but that is what I paused the video and typed into the notes on my phone. I, along with so many of my generation struggle with is finding purpose and meaning to our lives. Always asking what's the point? Why? What is my purpose? What am I meant to do? Those questions and many like them constantly run through our brains like its an infinity loop.

Stop searching. Make it yourself. That's hard to do. I also recently took the survey to get sorted into a Hogworts House on the Pottermore site. And I got very upset that I was placed in Gryffindor. But there were so many answer options to questions that none fit. So I still think I'm in Ravenclaw.

Then today I watched a video on the differences between INFJ and INFP from the Myers Briggs personality thing (yes I know it's flawed). And I never could figure out which of the two I fit into and thought "hey, this video may actually tell me" but nope there were like six points and I fell evenly three on one side and three on the other. No wonder I'm so confused all the time.

Constantly searching for purpose and meaning and never fitting in to any one group anywhere. Not at school, not into particular personalities, zodiac signs, or even Hogworts.

I'm just a middle-aged adult baby, lost at sea with one paddle stuck to one side of the boat so all I can do is go in circles.

There's a Twenty One Pilots song about this. Of course there is. But I won't nerd out on you about it here.

I'll just be in my little one paddle boat trying to figure out how to stop the infinity loop of my life and start living my meaning, my purpose, my creativity. Now where to find it...

Sunday, May 31, 2020

My little Sweat Pea

I don't know why I didn't post this. I had actually forgotten I had written it when I did. So I guess I should polish it up and send it out to my little world. I wrote it way back in January.

I didn't think I was going to loose her later that day when I and my dad took Miss Grace to the Emergency Vet. I thought they would figure it out, give a shot or something, or say it will pass and she'll get better over time. I really did. Instead I spent over $800.00 for tests, blood work, and ultrasounds that didn't answer the questions I had and as the day went on, the weaker she became. She wasn't going to get better. There was no miracle shot. There was only the realization that my cat was dying... quickly. And so after all the tests were done and the results were given to me, I decided I needed to say goodbye and end her life with dignity. It was not fair to her to make her live the last few hours or days it would have taken for her to die naturally in a state of fear and anxiety. The doctor assured me she was not in physical pain, but still. That's no way to live.

I had a thought after her death later that night after I brought her home and we buried her in the backyard. That she died very much like her OG human, my mom.
My mom knew she was going to die that day and had the night nurse call my dad who then called us and we all went to her. Within 24 hours of my mom telling the nurse to call her family, she was gone. And just like my mom, within 24 hours of Grace's first symptoms, she was gone.

Miss Grace was 14 and a half years old. In cat years, she was an old lady. I often called her a cranky old lady. She often looked cranky or perturbed. Her adopted brother would annoy her and pester her. So she would return his annoyance and pestering with hisses, growls, and very sharp claws to the head.

It was never figured out what was killing Miss Grace. But there was swelling in her brain which caused her almost complete and sudden blindness. Was it just swelling? Or more likely I think, a growth or tumor in her brain that finally grew to a point that messed with her nervous system and such in her brain. Because she wasn't just suddenly blind, she was also confused, disoriented, and felt like to me that she didn't know who I was either. She didn't know who her adopted brother was.

We'll never know. She wouldn't have lived long enough for the MRI to be done, which would have been the next thing.

But also like my mom, when I went back to see her to say goodbye and the tech brought her to me, I could see that indeed she wasn't in physical pain, but she was also no longer there. The Grace I knew was gone already and just a shell was left. My mom was gone before her body stopped working.

Seemed almost fitting that Miss Grace and her OG Human before her, both left this world similarly. Painless, peacefully, and quickly.
Miss Grace died January 26th, 2020.

It took Mr. Quirk, her annoying adopted brother a few weeks to mourn her. He really did miss her. He would search the entire house looking for her. And a few months for him to adjust to being the only cat in the family. I realized that for as long as I had Mr. Quirk, he was never the only cat until now. I adopted Quirk with his gay lover Tom. And when Tom died, I moved Quirk to Grace's abode (my parents house).

I do miss her on occasion and I am glad and thankful I still have Mr. Quirk in my life. I am a crazy cat lady. I have embraced this fact of life, and am a better human for it.