||[Jun. 21st, 2016|01:39 am]
Sometimes expressing stuff is hard.
There was a screenshot of a tumblr post going around facebook. It was about the relief someone can hear about hearing a term for the first time that describes them.
I was tired, and emotional from London, and I shared it with a post-script.
And here's the thing... Realising "I'm not broken"...? That's only the fucking start. After that comes stuff like (in no particular order):
- Accepting that you're not broken
- Being able to talk to folks about it
- Being able to talk to folks without feeling like you're fucking lying all the goddamn time (I still have this problem - I can have a heart-to-heart sharing the goddamn barrel-scrapings of my soul, uttering no truer personal truths than what leave my mouth at that moment in time, and I. Still. Feel. Like. A. Dirty. Fucking. Liar)
- Realising that your story doesn't always have to match the story of what other people under that label
- Realising that you're not fucking broken for being different to those with that label
I'm pretty sure there are more, but... that's the list I got right now.
I also made the post public on an another-wise friends-only feed. I got feedback along the lines of "You just be you" and "You're perfect" (which my brain read as "You're perfect as you are"... and I feel like it misses the point somehow.
That said. I was tired and emotional at the time (I was still feeling majorly fucked up from London), but I wasn't feeling sorry for myself. I posted it mostly because I had the energy to talk about it (at 3am... go figure).
And, it wasn't about me. Well, it was kinda. But it wasn't about me right now, or right then. It's about past me all right, and it's about me in the future. And it's, ok, a little about me right now, but only in that the follow-on just keeps following on.
I really wanted to say that if you haven't had that experience, there isn't that realisation that it's more than accepting and claiming the word. There is so much more work ahead, and you'll probably keep doing it, even to the end.
Hell, I've had that about being demi. About 5 or so years ago, I met someone who identified as Ace (asexual), and I kinda said, "I don't think I'm ace. I mean, I see the pretty, and appreciate the pretty, but I don't want to sleep with the pretty. But I can be sexual with the right people."
She told me that sounded a lot like demi. I've slowly been trying that out over the years. Hell, I wasn't even sure if I was using the word right, or if it really actually did apply to me. Then slowly in the last year, I've become far more cool with the word. I've also begun to realise that demi is not "see it, fuck it" sexual, but it's not ace either; I don't fit the ace narratives. Why should I? I'm not ace, but demi. And I have to keep telling myself this because all the stories and personal accounts are about ace, even though they say they cover "the grey spectrum". And that's kinda how it goes for any of the "I'm not broken" words.
Finding proper venues to talk and explore are hard. Sometimes after you've found your peace in those venues, you still need to keep going there, because maybe something that worked for you might work for someone else.
And when you find the venues, you have to avoid the narrative trap, or from joining that race to the fictional perfect exemplary form of that label you found that explained you. And you need to realise the trap of that ideal, because chances are that ideal isn't you. And so you try not to overcompensate, because trying to be that ideal is as much of a lie as before, but it's just less of one. And when you come back from that, you've realised a lie is still a lie, because it's not your truth.
And even as you come back from that inevitable foray into overcompensation, you'll still want to go back some days. Because it's fucking simpler. It's easier than trying to juggle all the bits that make up you, and it's easier to just strive towards a set of traits that isn't you, but is just a convenient shorthand. Something that allows you to fall into an unthinking shape.
I've had all of this, many times. It's the thing that comes after "Oh, so I'm not broken".
And the reason I shared that blog was because I've met the people who say, "But we're just making up words now"... and that takes away the first step to that journey. And by sharing the thoughts I shared on Facebook (as unformed as they might have been), I wanted to try saying that even if it convinces people to stop saying that we're making up words, that finding the word isn't the end.
It's not over then.
It's just fucking beginning.