I wrote on Twitter that I’m getting depressed and since depression means that I isolate myself I want to explain a bit about what’s going on. This is probably not very interesting to most readers, but to those of you who know me and wonder why I’m not very good at replying to your messages, this is an explanation. There should probably be a couple of content warnings on this but I’m having a hard time pinpointing exactly what that would be. I can tell you as much as that this is not a nice post. This is a post about identity crisis and the lived experiences of ableism and oppression of queer people.
My life is full of real threats. My future income, the school situation for my autistic kid, all my healthcare contacts and probably something else. These are all things that are serious threats to me and my family, because my health is now so fragile that for instance one Capability For Work-assessment would make me so ill that my partner would have to choose between neglecting me or neglecting our kid. I’m scared to the point where I’ve told my partner that I want an autopsy if I die (and yes, I’ve made official documents about it). I think this could be enough to make me depressed, but that’s actually not the only thing that makes everything seem hopeless.
I’ve been living with this fear for years, and maybe all this accumulated fear is the major reason. Maybe there’s a limit to how much fear I can handle. But there is one more thing, and I don’t really know how to describe it but here it goes:
I feel like I’m living a lie. I don’t know exactly what authenticity is for me, but I know it’s not present in my life. I feel like people relate to me as somebody I’m not, and it feels like a small animal is eating me from inside (yes, I mean that literally. I have an image in my head where a small mouse is nibbling on my intestines, that’s how it feels). I know this experience from before, and that was what made me come out as a person with eating disorders and as bisexual. But it’s like I’m closeted again, closeted to the point where I don’t even know how to relate to other people anymore.
Who am I? I’m a bisexual, queer, polyamorous, autistic enby/genderfluid/womanish with ADHD, Complex PTSD, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, POTS, Hypermobility Joint Syndrome/EDS. I’m a parent. I’m somebody’s partner.
Who most people see me like? A straight woman, mom, somebody who is constantly tired, a fragile person.
I’m closeted partly because I have to in order to protect my kid, but also because when I try to tell people, most people don’t believe me. My partner believes me but admits to not truly understanding most of my autistic experiences. He really tries but he can’t, and honestly – it hurts. I don’t blame him because he is really making an effort and doing the best he can, but not having my autistic experiences validated by the person I share my everyday life with hurts like hell.
When it comes to being bisexual and queer – it gets so complicated that I don’t know where to begin. I’m bisexual, yes, but when it comes to love… I don’t have any words to explain what I feel. I love my partner very much but I’m not romantically in love with him. For long periods, I avoid books, movies and TV shows with queer characters because it hurts too much to be reminded of the lie my life feels like, but that means feeling like a freak in my own life because I get no representation to mirror myself in. Then, when I listen to an audiobook or watch a movie with queer characters, I fall. I fall hard and end up where I am right now.
This is probably a messy post. The bottom line is that I’m mostly not seen as the person I feel like I am and it’s making me so sad and disoriented that I don’t know how to interact with people. I’m too ill to change my life, but I’m paralyzed by the thought of keeping this lie up for the rest of my life. I feel guilty and ashamed for being so affected by things that are minor compared to the threats I mentioned in the beginning, but the guilt and shame doesn’t make it go away.
It will probably pass.
P.S. As usual, please refrain from telling me that “I have to seek professional help”. No I don’t. In fact, I can’t.