Ever since a year ago, at age 27, I finally accepted the idea of asexuality. The many parts of my personality that just don’t… Fit. Where I’ve had a few “Huh” moments and many “duh” moments as I discover how my asexuality was laced into my life before I even discovered what the word was. Like little tendrils or roots. I’m 29 this year and I’m still having these moments! I’m still getting to know me.
Today I was reading a post, someone was discussing jealousy. I’ve had so many issues with jealousy in the past, it’s always been there, so bad that I’ve made myself ill, it was so wrapped around me I would torment myself daily about how people would leave me for those better and how I deserved it. How every interaction with a person not me would signal the death knell of the relationship, and once again I would be cast away and be tracked alone. Now I’m in a relationship where I don’t feel it… I have utter confidence in both my partners. I have been striking that down to the fact I’ve known them forever, they uprooted their lives and went from easy to complicated just for me… But now I don’t think that’s it. At least not all of it.
A combination of asexuality, hyper vigilance and possibly autistic tendencies (doctors words, not mine, not trying to be “cool” although I don’t understand why faking this would be cool… ) I struggle with interactions. If a person was talking to my partner I don’t know where the line is. I just can’t… Read flirting. Innuendo goes over my head. I lack any instinct people seem to have in courting or anything similar.
However my Hypervigilence usually gives me a lot more insight in what a person is feeling, I can pick up on subtle tells even from complete strangers, my psych says it makes me extremely good at empathising (usually to my detriment). So I can pick up on all the tiny things, even in typing weirdly enough… The way people change words and time to type to me comes with paragraphs of information (anyone thinking this is cool… Also if I’m crossing a road and see a penny in the street I can get hyperfocused and not notice cars… Its good and awful at once lol!). I don’t see this information as a bullet points list, as my mind logs it, it automatically interprets it based on data already have. It happens so fast, it’s difficult to pull it out and dissect the information.
So if someone talks to my partner, I’m getting tons of information… But I don’t know what to do with it… Its the touch too familiar, why are they leaning like that, everything down to how parted lips are to how their feet are positioned.. So these thoughts then clash into my lovely deep seated terror of abandonment and feeling like a burden to anyone cursed enough to know me. All of this is a massive cocktail of jealously I turn inwards to torture myself. Also when I’m not having seizures and “brain fog” my doc says things I pick up with Hypervigilence seem to mainline to long term memory, bright and shiny so I can pull them up and add them to other incidents. Apparently if my brain wasn’t such a mess I might have an eidetic memory like I did as a kid. (amusing when I was snack I would memorise books my parents read, attach them to pictures, and I could read books aloud. Took them and others to realise that I wasn’t reading, rather reciting. Even though I startef reading earlier that Birnam likely due to hyperlexia.)
So all of this basically stems from my inability to interpret sexual attraction. I just don’t get it. I don’t get it on TV. I don’t get it in books and I definitely don’t understand when it’s in front of me.
The change with my new relationship isn’t just more trust. I trusted my exes (till they cheated on me… Then not so much). The difference is both of my partners know I’m asexual. They know I can get stuck. And in the past when I tried to talk about things like this… Exes got defensive and saying I was being dumb and seeing stuff that wasn’t there, they got defensive and I was told stuff like that wasn’t “discussed” normally… My partners know I don’t know what I’m seeing, and that I try and full in the blanks on my own. Usually negatively however as it’s my nature. They both just know when something is happening and they short circuit the hellish cycle by explaining things to me. By talking about the stuff others deem stupid or impolite to discuss, because how many 28 year olds in a Polyamorous relationship need explaining why two random people on the TV kiss utterly out of no where. When it turns out no where was 2 hours of leading to it.
Just realising how much asexuality affected my life. Even before I knew it existed. How knowing about it. Understanding it, having education is helping with something that has been a huge source of mental anguish that also was a very, very large chunk of how I valued my self worth. Something that I didn’t think had anything to do with my sexuality or my self image.
In other words… ASEXUALITY EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT.
Not just as a teen realising I wasn’t a freak for not having crushes… Not understanding such a fundamental part of growing up, feeling held back as everyone ran ahead… The roots can be everywhere. I doubt I’ve found them all yet. But shining a light on the few I have, has improved my life, a lot. It isn’t just a null sexuality, just like other identities it permeates your existence…