I have a mild touch aversion. This didn’t help that one of my friends is a “hugger” and it was a serious faux pas if I tried to sneak way without a good-bye hug. I hated it at work when my coworkers would give me a friendly pat on the back and I wanted to scream in frustration because people just couldn’t understand that they were traipsing all over my bubble. Is it really so hard to Respect. The. Bubble.?
You know it’s bad when you want the family cat to give you some space. Those were some dark days. When I realized that the stress from my touch aversion was starting to get the better of me I decided to do something about it. I’m more comfortable with self-help than professional help so I started by looking at some proven stress relievers. Hands down the research all agreed that eating healthier and exercise were the “easiest” and most effective stress relievers.
So, I kicked the soda and as a shock to even myself I took up dancing.
As I stated in the past you are entitled to your privacy. It’s not rude to say “no”. I read this post on tumblr and frankly I was furious. I was mad that someone felt the need to lie about their identity so they wouldn’t feel attacked. If someone is fishing for trouble about who you are it’s really hard to dodge as serious, professional, flat-toned “No.”
If you haven’t perfected the art of “Buzz off”, here’s the only super secret move you need to know. With all the seriousness of a Secret Service Agent, just tell them no. “Can I ask you a personal question?” “No Ma’am/Sir, you may not. Did you need anything else?” If the only thing missing is dark classes and a black suit, you’ve perfected the move.
Why should you know this move? Because somewhere along the line your privacy, your secret, your identity will be threatened by ignorant people who are just looking for juicy gossip or to make trouble at the the cost of you. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO PRIVACY.
Just to be clear this say “no” skill is mostly for face-to-face interaction like in the post. Anything online is considered legally published under US Laws, but we still use privacy tactics like usernames and encryption. Because privacy is important. You should be the one to decide what you share. If you don’t want to share, you shouldn’t have to lie, just say “no”.
I wanted to share this post because it shows the reality asexuals and aromantics have to deal with. One of the first questions people ask when they try to get to know me is “do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” and I can’t just tell them “no” and expect the subject to just drop. When my brother’s girlfriend found out I had never had a boyfriend/girlfriend the very next word out of her mouth was a shocked “why???”. I wanted to say “I’m asexual” but I was afraid to because I had already had one bad coming out experience so I was too scared to.
Today I live in a world where I can’t say “this is who I am” and be accepted. The most I can hope for is a better tomorrow and work hard to spread the word and let others like me know, you’re not alone.
I’m actually very fortunate. My parents didn’t expect my siblings and I to just default to whatever they believed religiously. And while I’m not “out” to my parents, I am comfortable expressing my religious beliefs to them. Perhaps in the future I could use religion as a frame to explain my identity, but for now I just take comfort in believing.
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is a slogan attributed to Karl Marx in Critique of the Gotha Program, which I have not read. I actually stumbled across the phrase when it was used cynically in dialogue form in a short fiction I liked. It struck me as one of those phrases that sounds good, but doesn’t actually work. Like trickle-down economics. It sounds good, but doesn’t work. My problem with the “from each…to each” spiel is that humans need more than they can give. And if anything in this post thus far has offended you, jump over the the apology page.
Actually, thinking that humanity needs more than the individual can give helps me get through the day. I work primarily in customer service so going in with the mind set that it’s a losing battle helps me stay sane.
I’m the Buddhist equivalent of that Christian who hasn’t been to church in twenty years. Buddhism has the “three jewels” which are the Buddha (the enlightened), Dharma (the teachings), and Sangha (the community). The last one is difficult because there isn’t a me-friendly Buddhist community I can reach out to locally. I would probably have to travel 80 miles to the next largest city and while not impossible, it’s very impractical.
What does this have to with “from each…to each…”? Well, basically I’ve accepted that I will never be perfect. I’ve accepted that while I think other expect me to be perfect or even “normal”, I’m not going to be. And I’ve accepted that’s not my fault.
Thinking like that makes it so much easier to get through the day. Best of all I can turn it around and assume that since I’m never going to be perfect, neither is anyone else. I also think it’s important to give myself permission to feel less than perfect emotions like anger or frustration as long as I remember that those emotions are situational and temporary.
I need to be accepted for who I am -asexual, aromanic, agender, ect…- but it’s not always within other people’s ability to give that. Believing that I feel part resigned, but I also feel lighter. Now instead of expecting to be understood or accepted I’m pleasantly surprised when I am.
I really, really don’t like romantic comedies. I think they paint an unrealistic picture of what relationships look like.
I’m pretty sure that I’m 99.99999999999999999999999999999% aromantic. There’s only been one instance in my entire life where I’ve had that “I want to date you” feeling. When I realized that I liked this person in my head it was sort of like popping the cork off a champagne bottle and all these feelings came rushing out. The strongest feeling, however, was “Oh, shit.” The person was my boss at the time and they were already in a relationship. The odds of my feelings amounting to anything were literally impossible.
A friend of mine is hopelessly romantic; She would have advised me (if I were dumb enough to spill the beans) to “fight” for this person’s affection and “win” their heart because if you’ve ever seen a romantic comedy, that’s what people do apparently. What made the situation for me trickier was the nature of our job meant that my coworkers, my boss, and I all lived together as roommates.
Actually that sounds exactly like the set up for a romantic comedy. It’s my worst nightmare, I’m cliché.
But it wasn’t like I could turn off my feelings like a light switch. As I mentioned this person was already in a relationship and there were rules about fraternization within our organization. My friend would
have said “screw the rules”, but I was not going to jeopardize our jobs like that.
Being a mature adult about the whole thing really, really sucked.
So I might have been less mature about it than I could have. The first thing I did was tell myself that the person they were already dating was absolutely perfect in every way. Like “one true love” perfect. And I made it my life’s mission to avoid ever meeting them so my delusion wouldn’t be shattered. Once I accepted that I was no competition I just decided to have
fun. I liked this person and I liked being with this person. Just being with them even in just a professional manner made me happy.
It was the first time that just the physical presence of another person was enough to brighten my day. They gave me something to look forward to just by being there. I wish I could have turned off the “I want to date you” feeling, and kept things
strictly platonic but feelings don’t work like that. I still made the experience fun for me by flirting a little bit (but not enough to cross the line) and engaging in some figurative “pigtail-puling”. Mostly I just basked in the warm, happy feelings I got to have.
I cried when they were transferred to another team and spent the weekend absolutely miserable with grief. We weren’t friends or close enough to keep in contact after the transfer. I still tried. I sent them an inexpensive birthday gift a year later, but after that I let the matter go. “Bittersweet” is the best way to describe the memory.
One thing I wish to express is that unrequited love is NOT tragic. Just because my feelings weren’t returned doesn’t mean they weren’t real. Just because I choose to label myself as aromantic doesn’t mean that I’m scarred by this experience. I choose to label myself as aromantic because I don’t believe in having “another half”. I’m whole exactly as I am. I would love to have a relationship, actually. I don’t believe that this person was the only
person out there for me even if they are the one I’ve felt the strongest for thus
I’m looking forward to meeting someone and building up to that level of emotion and perhaps even surpassing it. Even if it means I experience a different, perhaps strictly platonic, kind of love to do so. Being part of the asexual community has taught me that love comes in all shapes, sizes, and
shades. That makes me happy. If/when I find love again the thing I hope for the
most is that it will be unscripted and completely unexpected. Even if it’s unrequited.