An awkward coming out story.

General discussion about relationship issues.
Witch of Wapping
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An awkward coming out story.

Postby Witch of Wapping » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:51 am

I should put this on Aven along with the other stories about identity struggles but I don’t want to run the gamut of what Aven would say. I don’t know what I expect Apositive to do with it; many people on Apositive are working out right now, in their twenties, how to have couple relationships while being asexual. In Aven I am one of the few oldies who (mostly) admits to having a history in sexual politics (OK, Gadfly, I know you’ve been there.)

So here it is. A couple of months ago, I came out as asexual to my main ex-lover (one of two, but the other is dead). I’d let something slip on the phone, and finally, sitting in a park, we had this conversation (she is now living with a sweet, shy man, but knows me as one who has LGBT politics under my fingernails from deep force of habit):

(Her) So are you doing anything for Gay Pride this year?
(Me) Oh, I’ll probably go with OLN (older lesbian network), there’s a big deal about putting the “older” people at the front this year, but I’ve been having some thoughts about my identity…
(Her) About OLN or generally?
(Me) Pause, then a sudden blurting about the asexual community and Aven. I don’t even know what I said. It was helpfully punctuated by her by reference to a UK article she’d seen. But I had to end like this:

… I probably didn’t say anything to you about this before because we have history, type thing. (I almost certainly do remember saying “history, type thing”; nobody uses perfect English all the time.)

Pause. (Her) Oh, well, we always did say what we had was a muddle.

(Pause and silence.) My thoughts were: we did say that, but I’d forgotten it. Also, we did talk about love as well, and I tried so hard. I know that you feel your love is under attack and you need to mount a defence, and that’s what I didn’t want to do. And, I’ve based more than I knew of my sense of feeling loveable and loving on this relationship for so many years since, and there it goes, floating away on the tide.

(Me) Is that all we said, that it was a muddle? It was probably mostly me that was a muddle, sorry. (More bloody pause.)

And then we talked about the swans on the park lake, and both quite obviously felt that we should regroup our friendship and not hurt ourselves by talking any more. A few weeks later, we met up again, and were careful to be friendly, which was grown-up and good.

I’ve never once consciously depended on being in a “couple” to feel like a valuable person, and never wanted to, but chunks of my past keep dropping away and leaving something raw and exposed. It does all add to my sense that naming my asexuality takes more away, for me, than the bit of clarity it gives, and I don’t know what to do with that feeling, despite being neither young nor stupid. I don’t necessarily have to do anything with it, I know, least of all feel self-pity – and I don’t; but it is sometimes just a bit hard.

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Re: An awkward coming out story.

Postby Emmarainbow » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:08 pm

I can't really think of anything to comment.

But *hugs*

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Re: An awkward coming out story.

Postby Puppy » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:15 pm

I don't have much 'past' behind me, but it seems that some people from thre just drift away, cause I don't fit to their image of 'normal person with normal life'. Even the ones I was once close with. I like my life the way it is, mostly, but if that makes people go away, then I don't know...

So I can relate, a bit.

It takes a fool to remain sane.

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Re: An awkward coming out story.

Postby Placebo » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:08 pm

It feels almost like you telling other people is forcing you to replace your past, like tearing apart a house and blasting apart walls in order to rennovate it. It sounds painful, I'm sorry.

It's funny, isn't it, that giving a name to something makes it change? If your relationship was a "muddle" all that time ago and everyone is comfortable with it, it's fine. . . .but once it's a name or a condition is changes and it gets rewritten. I think that I still haven't used the word asexual to this day outside of a single meetup. Wait, maybe once, very briefly to my partner, and we have never used it again.

As long as asexuality woven in as an aspect of "me," a way of being, along with falling asleep early and liking candy, it is OK. Put a name on it and it is suddenly "other" and alien and scary and different and a chasm is formed that can't be jumped over. I can only imagine how it would be to introduce after a relationship is over.

Hope everything is OK for you!
"Now it's right for me to be me."

Phil Halvorsen, from "The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff" (Theodore Sturgeon)