[Imaginative Discussions] – My Own Identity

Posted February 12, 2014 by Kara in Imaginative Discussions, Lyn / 34 Comments

I have a wee little issue called social anxiety. I’ve already gone running to Kara many time over my soon-to-be freakout at BEA. I hardly leave the house unless I need to go shopping or get a cupcake. If a store is crowded, I tend to vacate the area at warp speed. I like to hide in big clothing and I hate to draw attention to myself. I’d rather go shopping or to the movies by myself. I’m a loner who will likely end up dying with 50 cats. I’m okay by myself. 
This, needless to say, places a damper on love and dating.
When girls enter into middle school, they tend to start looking for their romantic partners. I can recall how uncomfortable I felt with the idea of something holding my hand, or kissing me, or always hanging around me. It grew worse as I ventured into young adulthood. I was scrambling for a boyfriend, but deep down, I never wanted it to really happen. I just wanted to be accepted. Slowly, I found that a person who remains single for a long period of time is often shunned by his or her peers.
I’ve never dated. I never had anyone love me. I’ve developed crushes and I am fond of certain people, but I just wanted them near. This might seem sad, but I’m okay with this, because this is just who I am. Most people believe that asexual people are suffering from hormonal issues, and sometimes, this is the case. However, I have always held this feeling in my heart that romance and a intimate relationship would not be for me. 
People often talk about gay and lesbian people coming to terms with their orientation. In a way, I can identify with the community.  I feel that I always have to hide my sexual orientation from others. I know my coworkers often gossip behind my back about my lack of dating. When I was previously employed in an office job, word got back to me that everything thought I was gay, and was just too afraid to admit it. I was shunned and highly disliked (I worked in a conservative company – yikes). When people ask to set me up, I usually tell them that I am not ready for a relationship.
At one time, I blamed it on my looks. When I say this, I’m trying to be honest: I’m not winning any beauty contests. I still hate my nose and I wish I had a different body type. Over the years, I learned that people are not so hung up on looks. There are a percentage of people who want a “hot” date or a “smoking good looking” spouse, but there is a large percentage who strive for something more. Someone who makes them happy. I dismissed this idea as I aged.
I would like to point out that asexuality comes with different labels, such as aromantic asexuals, who tend to avoid romance alltogether. Some asexual people will form a strong bond with other people, but never move into the romantic part of the relationship. I don’t condemn romance. I find Chris Hemsworth a very attractive individual. I like to look at him, a lot. But I don’t feel the urge to make him my “boyfriend” or my husband. It would be fine to stare at him, but I don’t want him to hug me. In this regard, I’m always unsure what label to apply to my own asexuality. Some might call it demiromantic.  I also tend to lean towards attraction to men. However, it is just a label, and sometimes, you cannot label who you are or what you feel. You just are this person with a complicated identity. When it comes to writing, I still use romance in my own stories, because I still like to be loved, and I love people in return.
Why am I writing this? I suppose I feel that it is an important part of who I am, and I wish to share that I use to be very lost and angry and confused that I could never tell people what I was feeling. I write this because so many of us struggle with our own identity, whether it be sexual, cultural, or gender-related. I write this because sharing is the best way to come to terms with who you are.
I hope all of you receive the love you believe you deserve.

34 responses to “[Imaginative Discussions] – My Own Identity

  1. I’ve actually never heard of this before, but it’s very brave to be so honest about it and I want to thank you for sharing your feelings and story. I hate how we people always seem to have the need to label things. Someone can’t be just the person who they are, because we need to give them a certain name. I just want everyone to be happy with who they are and how they live their lives 🙂 I’m not going to pretend that I know how you feel, because I don’t, but I do understand. Everyone has other needs in their life and I hope that this inspires others to accept their identity too.

    • I’m glad to spread the word! Many people believe that asexual people just shy away from romance, but it runs a little deeper than that. I agree with the labels. They usually trend to cheat the person who is labeled, and the person who does the labeling! I just finished reading a story by a guy who said that an urban black teen sat next to him, looking at his DS with the Pokemon game. The teen with the DS was afraid that the black teen was going to steal it from him. It turns out that he just wanted to trade Pokemon.

      We lose so much when we judge and dismiss people. We don’t see the whole picture. We are all robbed when we apply these words to people, and we never get to see the true identity of others.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading!

  2. Thank you for sharing this Lyn. It’s quite inspiring to see how you’ve come to accept your identity, rather than burying it and forcing yourself to be something else.

    Labels are silly and I don’t know why they exist.

  3. This is such a heartening post, but I do hope it wasn’t too hard for you. I want to be one day ascertain in clear terms how I feel and speak it to the world, like you did. Fuck the labels.

  4. Awwww, I love love love this post, Lyn. So very honest of you. I see you’ve had some hardships over the years because of this, but I am amazed how strong you became from it, and that’s very inspiring. Like others said, it’s uplifting that you’ve accepted who you are despite what the majority of society thinks (blast you, society!), and I think that involves greater courage than anything else. Sending you hugs <3 <3

    • Thank you, Faye! *hugs right back* I’m sorry to see your own issues over who you are (I saw the e-mail on BL). I really cannot believe we live in 20-freaking-14 and we still fight these issues every day.

  5. This was a very eye opening post and very brave of you. I applaud you for being yourself. There are all kinds of people and relationships in the world and the point is that we’re ALL PEOPLE. As long as you’re happy with who you are, that’s what’s most important.

    • Agreed, Tammy! Thank you for your kindness! The world needs to come to grips with the fact that we can’t just place everyone in a box just for comfort’s sake.

  6. Great honest post 🙂
    It took me a long long time to find someone, not that I did not want, but for me it was that I did not want a casual thing, or someone who felt sort of right. No, he should feel right, in every way. My friends dated, had a boyfriend for a few months, broke up, moved on, and I wondered what was wrong for me…well nothing. We are all different

    • Thank you for sharing this! I never understood casual dating, I never thought others were bad, but I never saw the appeal. And that made me an easy target in public school years.

      Thank you for sharing with me – this is why I love this community.

  7. Great post Lyn. You are so incredibly brave to write this post and I am proud of you.Being yourself can be so very scary but also so brave.Labels are limiting and really should have no place in society. I’ve struggled with similar things. Friends and family of mine would be in relationships and while I had a few here and there, nothing serious (mostly because I really mess up these relationships for no good reason other than fear) Anyway enough about me. I am so proud of you Lyn. Hugs being sent your way.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. One major thing I love about sharing my stories is that others open up and share as well. It is almost like group therapy. I really hope you find the person you are looking for. Fear is a huge obstacle, and while marketing teams want to claim that the strong have no fear, it is far from the fact. Strong people know it and learn how to use it and when to trust it.

  8. Thanks for letting us see a glimpse of who you are! It must have been difficult to share, so I appreciate it! It helps to see people like this embracing their sexuality and not conforming to society’s pressure.

  9. This is a very honest post Lyn and it takes a lot to be able to speak about these things publicly, let alone for the whole world to read, and that’s really good of you; it takes strength to do that, you should be really proud. When it comes to labels, I tend to not concern myself with them, and I think people shouldn’t feel pressured to either, that’s why when Valentines comes around, I’m very disinterested. You get questions as to why you’re single, why you’re not with someone, do you like anyone, and it’s disheartening because I think when it comes to love, it’s not about finding someone to love you, it’s about keeping hold of those who already do and making that love big enough to fill any hole you might have. Many of us suffer with the silence of not speaking out, and I hope your post gives others the strength to, and maybe even myself, one day. You should very proud of yourself Lyn, you’re a wonderful lady 🙂

    • I really dislike to see that everyone tries to define other people’s worth by their dating status. I’m sorry you have gone through this as well. I believe my immediate family knows that I’m happy single, but my extended family always gets very up in arms that I never date. When I worked in an office many years ago, one girl asked me if I was dating someone, and I replied, “No.” She was all excited and said that her friend Mike was single and that we would hit it off great. I know she was trying to be nice, but she knew me for a total of 5 hours. It was her first day on the job. I was so shocked that I was speechless. People automatically thought I was miserable because I was single. Eh, what?

      Thank you for all of the love. *hugs*

  10. Asexual ladies unite, Lyn. <3 I have some social anxieties too, but I’m thankful I’m starting to conquer them with the help of some amazing friends. Some situations are still too much for me, but it’s getting better. I totally get where you’re coming from on that and especially on being asexual and the shit that comes with it.

    I wasn’t exactly looking for a boyfriend in middle school either, but I had intense, stalker-y crushes that came in conflict with that. I think that had to do with the sexual abuse I’d suffered just before I went into junior high and me chafing in female gender expectations. It took me until my junior of high school to recognize and be okay with the fact I would never want romance or sex. I cared more about having friends and people who recognized me (I still judge myself more by my accomplishments than my relationships, but I’m working on that because my standards for accomplishments are too high).

    The worst I’ve encountered so far from other people is my brother calling me an amoeba and the psychiatrist I no longer see asking me if it had to do with my sexual abuse, if it’s just a phobia or phase, etc. so I’ve been pretty lucky. I hope it stays that way and I don’t encounter any assholes like you did. *gives more hugs* I’ve gotten pretty comfortable explicitly telling people I’m asexual and it gets easier every time because everyone I’ve told is so accepting.

    I also get what you mean with the labels. I occasionally ogle good-looking men and women, but it doesn’t go beyond that. It also happens more with fictional characters for me, probably because them being fictional means they’re “safe.” I just go with asexual.

    Dammit, I took over when I was trying to engage. 🙁 But the point is that I know exactly where you’re coming from and will give you all the hugs at BEA. I’ve got your back and I’ll even help you feed all those cats. I’ll probably be a street down with 20 of my own because cats are fucking amazing.

    • Thank you for sharing this! I am so happy to hear that someone feels the way I do! Yes, I drool over Loki in The Avengers, but if Tom Hiddleston appeared in front of me, I would just run away or want to play video games with him.

      I’m sorry to hear that you suffered from sexual abuse. A lot of people ask me if I ever had this issue. SO many girls and boys go through it and never get to tell their side of the story. My heart goes out to you, Ashley! I’m glad you keep your friends close and that you track your accomplishments instead of your dating record!

  11. Wow this is a great post. So honest. As someone who has been to BEA before, let me tell you that while there will be lots of people, you can be pretty “alone” in a crowd if you want to. You can stand in line if you are by myself, and just listen to those people around you without having to worry about people bothering you. However, you can also start up a conversation with anyone in line, because they will definitely have something in common with you, they like books, and also whatever author you’re in line for!! I’m a very shy person, and was by myself, but was able to talk to some people and make some friends in line. I will be going again this summer, and I hope that I get to meet you! I promise not to be overwhelming. 🙂

    • YAH! Thank you! I went to a book signing on Friday, and I wanted to leave the store in tears. I’m hoping to get some heavy meds before I go to New York! Thank you for sharing your inside info!

  12. I don’t know if you know this, but writing this post was so brave of you. i currently am in middle school right now and I definitely get it. I have a crush on a person who has a completely different body type than I do. And compared to him, it looks very strange and I’m scared of the scrutiny that I might get.

    I don’t know if I have anxiety, but I know that right before I do anything, I can’t breathe and I just want to disappear. Weirdly, I sing in front of crowds and once I start singing, I feel completely fine. Brave is overrated, but i think that it’s worth a lot more than people say it is.

    Surround yourself with the people who don’t judge and if they do, they just aren’t worth it.

    • *hugs* Oh, Nova! I hope you are able to talk to someone close to you about your feelings! My anxiety ran this course in middle school. I had trouble breathing and thinking in a crowded place. I would try to sneak off to the library during lunch because I could not stand the crowd! It is nice to know that singing helps relieve it!

      I hope you go for that boy! People like to tease and harass people because it gives them power. I know it is HARD to hear someone tell you to go for what you want, because I’ve been there before. I hope this guy can see who you really are and let the body type be damned!

  13. This is a beautiful post. I myself did identify with it, I have anxiety as well. It is very hard to deal with. I haven’t talked about it on my blog because honestly I just want my blog to be an anxiety free zone but I applaud you for talking about it. I also know what you mean about going into crowded places. I would sometimes go to busy stores and just practice walking around. I wouldn’t go in to buy anything I just went in to try to get past my overwhelming feelings. I also learned something from this post, I hadn’t heard of asexual people so thanks for opening my eyes.

    • I have to mentally prepare to go into a store. I love going to amusement parks, but I have to leave when the place becomes overrun with people. It is tough, and I feel that I miss out on a lot due to anxiety.

      My heart goes out to you. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else in the world.

  14. Wow, Lyn–thanks so much for sharing this with us. Asexuality is something I think most people, myself included, know so little about and it can be so hard to relate to–but I imagine hearing about heterosexual or homosexual relationships probably feel somewhat the same to you. I really appreciate your honesty and willingness to open yourself up in this way, and I hope it helps a little bit to know that I don’t think most people who have come to know you online will judge you or ridicule you for this. If anything, it helps me to understand you more. <3

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    P.S. I’d love to read more YA books with asexual characters in them. I can only think of one at the moment, and I remember being so glad to a little more about something I had only the vaguest understanding of.

    • Thank you for your sweetness, Wendy! Many people close to me tell me to write a YA book about an asexual character. I just have too many ideas in my head to get them down. I hope that others in the community write about non-romantic relationships, or focus more on friendships.

  15. This is such an amazing post, thank you for sharing it Lyn. I’m not asexual but a lot of what you mentioned that you feel does resonate with me and I understand some of what you’re going through. Much love! x

    • Thank you, Danielle! I think the hardest part of asexuality is the degrees. Some people find a romantic partner, but never have sex, or want sex. Some people dismiss romance altogether. It isn’t easy to define in terms.

  16. What a wonderfully inspiring personal post. My favorite blogs are the ones that where the bloggers aren’t afraid to say: this is who I really am. I don’t have anything more to say beyond thanks for sharing. Your honesty is inspiring.

  17. Amy

    Lyn, this post is wonderful. Thank you for sharing with us. I had never really thought of this at all. Not that I was unfamiliar with asexual people, I just had never heard anyone talk about it. I am happy that you felt like you could share this with us. I am a very independent person, and have major anxiety over crowds and things. I am married and have a fantastic daughter, but I actually sleep in a different room than my husband. Not because we don’t love each other, but I like my space. We don’t see each other as often as most people would want to see their significant other either, but we are okay with it. People think that is weird, but it’s just the way that I am.

  18. Lyn,

    I just want to say that I think this post is awesome. It takes a lot of confidence to share something so personal, and this was refreshing to read. I admire your honesty and really appreciate you sharing this.

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