At the Intersections of Asexuality, Chronic Illness, & Spirituality, Part 3

 

It was during the worst bout of my illness–that as I thought of my future, not only was it not as clear, but I had this intuitive sense, that a traditional family structure may not be for me.

Like I said, I knew that I wouldn’t become a nun, yet I would have the capacity to live out my life in that way.  But I did gravitate towards mystical writing & prose, and felt at home.  I could go inward and connect to the Divine deeply.

I wondered that as I healed if my vision for the future would change.  I felt this subtle societal pressure that as I healed, that my work needed to look a certain way and so should my relationships.  I had time to ask myself, “Where is that coming from?”

In my illness, I already had experienced middle class white people become very uncomfortable when I said that I was unemployed, and I was taking care of myself full-time.  98% of people had no idea what to do with that answer.  The next question I received was, “So what do you do with all the time you have?”–like they were jealous that I had all the time in the world.  (BTW, having able-bodied people be jealous of your sickness & “all the time you have” is a very uncomfortable situation!)

Without the systemic language at the time–I experienced people not treating me as well because of my lack of employment, that I wasn’t “productive enough.”  Living in a culture where identity is so wrapped up in work, I had internalized this too.  This is what capitalism does.  It makes human-doings, and not human beings.

After I found my second functional medicine doctor, and started healing–I was questioning my sexuality, and yet a necessary biological piece had to fall into place for me–before I could let myself accept the term asexual.

I needed my hormone levels to be in range–so that I could really be sure.  I need to be a little less clouded in my questioning and my wondering.

Throughout my illness, I’d gotten my thyroid tested, along with estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone for so many years that it was hard to really discern, “Is the lack of sexual attraction to do with my illness or is it really just my orientation?”

I remember the day I got my lab work back, and my thyroid levels were in range for the first time probably since my early teenage years.

Although I didn’t tell other people for quite some time, I whispered to myself,

“I’m an asexual.”

So much relief came from saying this out loud.  I didn’t really know how to accept this part of myself, but I wanted to, and that was the important part.

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