Sometimes the smallest things cause you to doubt yourself so much.
I had a dream a few nights ago. It was the loveliest dream I’ve had in a long time – I’ve had a long sequence of disturbing and unpleasant dreams over the last few months, that are not fun when they flash into my head as I’m going about my day. This one could have been taken out of a young adult romance novel, with a couple of minor changes. Long sequences of angst culminating in confession of feelings and hugs (well, I guess the asexual thing was still in there somewhere) – and I felt like I was in the warmest, happiest, most loved space ever. I woke up and wanted to go back to dreaming. My alarm clock had other ideas.
I felt amazing that day – until the doubt kicked in. What the fuck was I doing, having these sorts of dreams? What did it mean? I’ve just gotten comfortable with my identity as asexual, and probably aromantic as well. I even spoke on my first panel at an ally training event and outed myself as asexual to two dozen staff members, including one whose courses I was taking. I’ve been through my trial by fire. My friends know. I think my dad knows, though he hasn’t said anything directly.
And then something tiny comes along as all I’ve got is doubt. Doubt doubt doubt.
It’s funny – I think most cis, heterosexual people never have to doubt their sexuality. Yeah, there’s probably anxiety and relationships and crushes and a couple of people might question their straightness once in a while. But there’s a whole system behind straight people. The whole mainstream worldview is geared towards them. Most straight people will never have to question, to ask “is this really me? Am I just trying to be special? Am I just pretending?” when it comes to their sexual identity.
And then there’s me, with a sexuality based on an absence. If you’re straight or gay or bi or pansexual, at least you have something to base your identity on. You feel something. You’re attracted to someone. Things which have never happened to me. Things which I think I’m not interested in until something makes me doubt.
Does dreaming something mean desire it subconsciously? By that token, my subconscious is also telling me I have murderous intent towards my family. Or that sometime int he future the world will be taken over by Daleks with rotor-blades who will shred me to pieces.
Is it telling me that this is what I could have, if I belonged to some sort of normal category?
Or does it simply mean that I’m surrounded by a society where my sexuality is invisible, seen as something abnormal and disturbed, where everyone is telling me that this is what I must want because otherwise I am not a human being? That even with all the visibility and speaking out and accepting and theorising I’ve done, I’m still internalising their erasure?
Because doubt is a means of control by a heterosexist society over other people’s lives. And I hate that I still feel it.