This Is Who I Am
You may remember Sharon her for her piece, The Picture is Only Perfect in Her Head, where she wrote about being the child of a narcissistic mother.
Struggling to define your sexuality is confusing enough in a world that loves to tell you who you are – to do so against the backdrop of abusive relationships can be heartbreaking. Please welcome Sharon back to The Sisterwives as she explores another facet of herself and her identity.
Deep inside, I have known I wasn’t heterosexual since I was in my early teens. I started having crushes on girls when I was 12. I stuffed it into a deep corner of my mind for a long time. I thought I could fit into the heterosexual “norm” for years. I was a late bloomer and had my first boyfriend at 18. It wasn’t a good experience. Then I had my second and third relationships in my early and mid-twenties and things got worse. I started getting intimate and sexual and was pit against emotional, physical and sexual abuse. I had already suffered emotional and physical abuse from my mother since I was a child (and still do to a degree, though things are slowly improving despite her narcissism).
In the heterosexual relationship I was in, I tried to play the more sexual card, including some light BDSM. I even admitted being bisexual, although he hated bisexual women. He was the most abusive person I was involved with and used my struggles as a means to turn me into what he needed by pretending to care about me and gas-lighting me when I confronted him. It lasted a few years and I eventually broke up with him 3 years ago, one of the best decisions in my life. I am grateful we don’t live in the same country, as his harassment continued until earlier this year.
In the past few years, I have realized more and more about me and my sexuality. As much as I feel better about it, knowing who I am, I can’t help feeling screwed for my future.
There have been times I have been drawn toward women, but thought it to be a knee-jerk reaction. I am a bi-romantic and asexual person. I don’t feel happy about this – but this is who I am. For the longest time, I thought that my asexuality was a consequence of my history of abuse, but I am learning that I profoundly don’t care about sex.
The thought of having sex with a man makes me want to throw up. I have always been disgusted any time it happened in the past, no matter the situation. I have also suffered from a sexual dysfunction known as vaginismus for years, which makes intercourse nearly impossible. The thought of penetration, no matter the object, makes me shudder. I also feel like a bad person because I can’t see/touch/think of male genitalia without becoming physically ill (even writing this paragraph is heavy on me), regardless of the person’s gender identification. I am a big LGBTQIA+ supporter and am ashamed of these feeling as I am afraid they could be interpreted as judgmental. I have also done a lot of thinking about this issue with male genitalia and have realized that these feelings pre-date my sexual abuse history.
Being bi-romantic and asexual makes me feel fucked up for my future. It slapped me in the face even more when I recently had my first online attraction a guy in a long while – it made me realize that I am a dead end. How could I possibly hope for someone to accept me when I can’t accept their body, when I can’t even talk about sex? Even if I met a woman, I’m worried that if she is pretty sexual, this would be a deal breaker. I have been doing my best to heal on my own about my abuse history and my body issues (I know I will never have a child via pregnancy because I don’t want to live that but I am excited that one day I may adopt). But I still feel that my asexuality and assorted issues may damn me for the future.
Sadly, I don’t feel optimistic about having a love life, at all.
I am relieved that I know myself at this point of my life. It is a big improvement. I am also proud that I understand and recognize what was abusive in my past so I can avoid it now. It feels better not to be confused about my sexuality. I am progressing on my healing path.