At 37 I didn’t expect to be still trying to figure myself out.
I’ve gone through so many cycles and been spun around during my life. Thought I’d hit the mark but still, always, something felt so…wrong.
Different. Unsettled. Whatever I wanted to call it.
Most of my life I haven’t even felt real.
My perception of people and the world is that I am other.
I have always been on the outside. I’ve never fit in. Always been behind an invisible screen to everyone and everything else.
Even with my closest friends and family it feels like a constant struggle to be ‘within’.
I don’t particularly have friends now as such, some have come and gone over the years for various reasons.
I put an inordinate amount of effort into these people, to try and get across my care/love for them and that if I did so enough that screen would drop and I would suddenly, magically, fit in and understand the people and the world.
It never happened. And in most times I’ve been left hurt instead as others have flitted off for their own reasons. It felt to me like I was not worth investing in the same way I would invest.
I’m still working on feeling that that is the case. It’s a back and forth process.
Anyways, feeling other.
I haven’t had any official tests or diagnosis, but I have been told by professionals I have worked with if they were to assess me, I would come out as some kind of diagnosis on the autism spectrum.
People confound me. The world does. I thinks about it doe days and days, negatively, if people touch me without me being prepared or in agreement. It can be something simple that someone does it to get my attention.
I can’t stand it. It pulses on me for days and I hyper focus on it and it makes me dislike that person for days, sometimes it clouds my opinion of them forever, even though I try hard not to because it’s not their fault and I understand this is a normal, everyday interaction doe most of the world.
However, with certain few, I’m fine as long as I have warning or initiate.
It’s the same with jokes. I don’t get a lot. But with a certain type of humour I’m totally fine with it.
I’m dyslexic and have dyspraxia and discalculia so I take in information differently to most people around me - this can really be difficult because people can be so fucking rude and impatient with me and think I’m stupid. It makes me feel stupid.
However, I am not.
And here I am, having struggled for years as to what I ‘am’.
I came out as bi when I was a teenager. Only to be told and nagged and argued with by my friends and society that this wasn’t real and I had to choose.
I was invalid, apparently. Because my attraction leaned more toward women, I then started saying I was gay.
And telling people that was hard. Not due to shame or anything, it was just weird to say as it didn’t seem accurate. It was uncomfortable to say. It came across shy and bumbling.
I worked on it a lot in uni as I did start to believe that I must be embarrassed or ashamed, or I had some sort of I internalised phobia toward myself.
And I’m quite harsh on myself so I raked myself over and over about it. And even to this day I’m trying to recover from that self imposed hate of myself.
What I never understood was that I didn’t have to force myself into a box or label or stereotype for anyone else. On a multitude of levels.
At some point I started saying I was bi again, but only to certain people because some of the lesbian friends I had at certain points were all or nothing.
Fuck. It’s a real dodgeball game isn’t it.
Again, it wasn’t comfortable or accurate and I just though I was so fucking out of sync and weird and why couldn’t I just know?
In recent times I’ve learnt a lot more. The upsurge in orientations, sex and gender information coming up has been facinating and has drawn me in in a way that I didn’t expect.
I feel like I got so tired of struggling and being on the outside of literally everything, I just stopped trying.
And when I realised that certain things I related to, that felt right and seemed to resonate in my heart, I pushed it back.
This is for the younger people, right? This is for the up and comers that can change the world, right? This is for the people that can actually work things out properly, right?
Someone my age shouldn’t suddenly be completely rejigging their identity. That’s just sad, right? And jumping on a bandwagon and flow that doesn’t apply to them.
Then I felt like I was drowning because there were things now in the world that seemed to give some of me the meaning I’ve been searching for my whole life. And I was too scared to say it.
And what if it confused people. And I’d have to do the whole coming out/explaining things to people again and yes even though I could act accordingly (I.e do and say and dress and speak the way I wanted), it would be too much for everyone else, right?
Besides, I’m too old and should have sorted this out. I didn’t want people to laugh at me. Or feel imposed on to treat me how I wanted to be treated.
And one day I just exploded and said all of this to my fiancé who has already had to adjust to life with an unusual person.
And she told me it was okay. It didn’t matter what other people thought, I should be able to be me. And that I wasn’t too old. That things take time sometimes. And I also came up in a time where things were not as clear and were harder than they can sometimes be. Not that things are easy now.
And so, I’ve been trying to sort it all out inside of myself.
Non binary. It seems more clear and honest and correct. Like, yeah. I get that.
I’m still working on the orientation part - not that I think I have to have a label. For anything.
I’m not too concerned about my orientation to be honest. If pressed I just shrug and easily say it’s a fluid thing, but I do tend to be attracted by women more - because that’s true. Gay/bi as labels and as a feeling don’t feel honest for me personally so I’ve started dropping them from my own description.
But the non binary label/not label, because it’s kind of a none label at the same time? That’s actually filled me with a lot of…warmth? Truth? Content?
Something along those lines. And I want to learn more about it. About this side of myself. As this too, lands on a wide spectrum.
Seems I’m to live my life on a spectrum of some kind or another! Probably most do.
I want to find out more about me and others. I’ve found a way to start on me. Others not so much.
I’ve tried to fit in with people, with groups, with fandoms of various kinds…not all have been the greatest experience. Some have been up and down. Some positive until the inevitable happens.
Some I haven’t been ‘enough’ to be within because I can’t go to the same levels - I have a reeeeeally serious job. Like, super serious. I have a house to pay for and a sister with additional needs to look after and a fiancé and two sides of our families.
I can’t always be present for groups 24/7 or attend conventions or catch every social media post ever or whatever.
I tried. In the past and more recently.
Who knows. Maybe one day it’ll happen.
I don’t even know why I’m babbling on about all of this. Maybe to get it out because it’ll go into the dark unknown and mostly unread but I’ve managed to get it out at a point when only certain people know about my changes as I navigate through it and making everyone else aware.
At least for today it’s out of my head.