Reading: Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Watching: How I Met Your Mother
Drinking: ice water
First of all, if you clicked on this thinking it was some brand of sick bondage porn, you are sadly mistaken and I am not sorry for the confusion. Actually, if you came here looking for any kind of sex, you so terribly have the wrong address. It's not that sex doesn't intrigue me because oh how it does, it's just the circumstances. And thus is the way of a measly little graysexual.
Graysexuality is not being attracted only to those who wear gray and if you are stubborn in your weird way of thinking that, you can just waltz right out the fucking door now because I wouldn't want to put up with you. Graysexuality, instead, refers to the gray area of the sex drive spectrum that depicts a person's level of sexual attraction. The ideas of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality are incredibly well-known in today's day and age but what many are unaware of is that there is so much more to the sexual aspects of a person's pysche than that. While the previously stated ways only cover who you are attracted to, there's a completely different spectrum regarding how often you feel that attraction. Asexuality, probably the better known notch on this ruler, is all the way at one of the most extreme ends here and is the closest relative to graysexuality. While asexuality is a sincere disinterest in having sex at all, graysexuality tones down the extremism of that theory a tad. It's not necessarily completely taking no interest in having sex with anyone but rather the lack of sexual attraction towards anyone. This isn't to say we don't have a libido or that we never want to have sex because many of us do, it's just that that attraction one might feel when spying some attractive human doesn't come around as often and many times, when it does, it's not strong enough to want to even act upon it. A case in which, in my specific means, makes for a nightmare of a sexuality.
For as long as I can remember, I've been enthralled by fairytales. I may have even loved them since before exiting my mother's womb. Any Disney movie was a home-run with me but more than anything, like many feminine young girls, I loved the princesses best. The romantic tales of being swept off one's feet by a handsome prince and carried off into a sunset of happily ever after intoxicated me. I couldn't help but think that I wanted that. I wanted to find a Prince Charming and be swept off my feet, taken by surprise, and carried off into our happily ever after. This idealized idea of love became such a huge part of me, though, that after a while I felt as though it had tainted my judgment as I got older and the subject of boys became a more vivid area. I had grown up so enthralled by this utopian definition of what love and romance was that as time passed by, puberty hit, and my hormones began raging, I caught myself being picky, almost. The entire situation was actually truly horrible.
As a teenager, it was as if my mother had these particular expectations of me. She made it seem that once I hit high school, dating and boyfriends and spending time at the mall with my friends were supposed to take up all my freetime. It was almost as if she didn't expect me to spend any time at home and if I didn't, she would probably be pretty glad I was at least being social. But the problem was that I knew I should've been more interested in boys. I knew dating and sex were concepts that had finally been unlocked, like I was playing some video game and level 9 granted me access to dicks and condoms. The only thing was that, as the measly little freshman I was, I didn't even know how sex worked. I couldn't picture it. I knew the man put his dick in the girl's vagina and shit, but I had trouble actually picturing how that went about. It was a bizarre, almost nauseating topic that I yet wanted to learn more about. And as the year progressed, I did. I became part of a great group of friends I am still to this day in contact with who introduced me to an entirely new world of mature content. No, we didn't watch porn, asshole. But we were more open about the topics of sex and along with it, even sexuality.
All throughout high school, I stayed incredibly close with these friends and at the time, I was happy enough with just that. A great group of girls who all clicked, connected, and could depend on one another. I had seen friends like these on TV for so many years but had never before actually had friendships such as these-- the only best friend I had ever had prior to this was a girl from elementary school whose middle school obsession with cliques and popularity tore us apart. For the longest time, though, I think I actually felt truly happy in their presence. Sure, there were the few meager roadbumps throughout the years, the typical high school academic tribulations, but other than that, I was relatively happy. Happier than I would be later on, at least.
It wasn't until I reached my junior year when I realized I had already been halfway through high school and still had never experienced a romance yet. I had never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, never even been on a date. My mother would point out boys she thought were cute whenever we'd venture off to the mall and everything but at the time, I wasn't really interested. The idea of relationships, while it should've, didn't really bother me much. Until then, anyways. It was junior year, though, that I started worrying about my blank relationship record. There were cases when I'd feel as though everyone had a partner but myself, that I was just the lone sheep wandering the pasture forever alone. And while junior year came with many stressful, familial obstacles, I still felt the need for a relationship. A romantic relationship. I even felt partially like something must be wrong with me if I had never gone on a date or had a boyfriend before. Like, was it something I did? Was it the way I carried myself? Was there something fundamentally undateable about me? Sooner than later, though, I realized that maybe I was the problem.
It wasn't long before the worst roadbump of my junior year hit-- the death of my grandpop-- when I discovered something about myself: every single boy I scoped out never really compelled me. I could pick out when a guy was attractive, sure, but that didn't mean I felt the motivation to actually pursue him. At the time, I just wrote it off as general distaste in the men around me, as if they didn't satisfy me enough. And still having that type of fairytale mindset, it just seemed to make sense to me. Just thinking, "Oh, yeah, well he's attractive but he's not Prince Charming material so I'm not going to bother". But I soon realized it was a dilemma much deeper than that. A dilemma I didn't recognize until I knew true feeling for what felt like the very first time.
It was very close before my grandpop passed away when I was walking down the halls on my way to fourth period English, alone as usual seeing as I had no friends in my third period, when my eyes randomly landed upon a particular person walking the opposite direction down the hallway. I remember it exactly as it happened, except maybe in slow motion with some cheesy music in the background but let's just keep that to ourselves, shall we? Viewing him for that very first time was like someone stabbed me and skyrocketed me up to the heavens. I felt instant butterflies and the temperature in my face rose to a fever pitch. An uncontrollable gasp escaped my lips. He wasn't just wonderful, he was the boy. The one I had been searching for all this time. He felt like destiny and not just because of the feelings he had given me.
Throughout the plethora of problems I endured that year, one of the only things that kept me sane was Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians. I had become intrigued by his character only upon seeing him amongst early works of The Big Four crossover-- a fandom which, at the time, I was pretty clueless of seeing as I had only Tangled and none of the others. Jack interested me, though. He was definitely attractive and he had this way about him that compelled me. Soon I started watching youtube videos-- all of them pretty crappy quality except for the official clips from Dreamworks since it was two weeks until the movie would come out on DVD at the time. I was so enthralled, I didn't even care about encountering spoilers. I just wanted to know him. I wanted to know who he was and what he did, how he acted and what he stood for. I bought the movie the very first day it came out on DVD and watched it that night with my parents and it was like instant love. I connected with him so much, he became my absolute favorite. I was completely infatuated with him. I painted a dark blue hoodie to replicate his and even painted frost designs on a blue backpack whcih I still to this day carry around school. He became my everything, an obsession. But it was so much deeper than that beneath the surface. He kept me strong. When things got really tough, I'd hide in my room and pretend that he'd had his arms wrapped around me in comfort and whisper encouraging words in my ear. I imagined him as my Prince Charming and even though he was a conjugation of pixels, I would pray so hard to one day see him in the flesh and blood as reward for my endurance throughout the hardest of times. And that is why this new boy, this lanky teenager in the hallway, caused me such instant dishevelment. Because he was the spitting image of Jack Frost.
I remember walking the rest of the distance to class that day in such a daze, completely mesmerized by the fact that I was finally being rewarded for all the hardships I had been through. It was as if someone knocked the wind out of me and an elephant was sitting on my chest all at once and that was just upon that first glance. And every day thereafter he became like a secret little drug to me-- I'd search for him each day when I knew I'd pass by and admire him like some schoolgirl in a cute manga, so desperate for attention though so shy to call attention to myself. Even one day I swore he looked me right in the eyes, if only for a second, as he was heading down the stairs and I nearly passed out from the intensity of it-- his eyes were brilliant, strong and appearing pitch black due to fucked up lighting and my distance, and he looked at me with such an intensity, it was as if he was staring through my soul. To me, he was everything perfect in the world. His hair was bleached brilliantly white and his eyes, upon later inspection, were a gorgeous crystal blue. He was incredibly tall and thin, spindly like Jack Skellington, and always dressed casually in skinny jeans and this trademark gray-and-black striped hoodie. This secret guilty pleasure of mine, though, soon made me realize something incredibly startling of myself: he was the only guy who had ever made me feel the way he did and at the time I didn't even know him. He was just that attractive Jack Frost replica I'd pass in the hallways. I thought to myself, if I was this attracted to him now, imagine how bad it would be if I ever dated him. I was sure if that was to ever happen, my ovaries would probably explode. Yes, I am actually dead serious about that.
Either way, it didn't end there. This boy apparently was in the same college art class as my best friend, both through dual enrollment, so she was more than willing to approach him for me and give him my number. I was euphoric. I was over the moon. Even though I didn't even have the guts to talk to him myself, I was finally getting a chance to meet this fantastically beautiful creature. And I did. My best friend warmed up to him a bit at first before going in for the kill and I remember being so on edge the entire night. My dad and I, meanwhile, were heading over to pick my grandmom up from the airport and the entire time I was so anxious and terrified that when my best friend finally texted me his number, I screamed at the top of my lungs in the middle of my grandmom's kitchen. I texted him as soon as they got out of class that night and I remember we talked all the way until 1am, and then he texted me back that morning apologizing for never getting back to me because he fell asleep. And that marked the beginning of everything.
We texted nearly every day for a few weeks since that moment, so much to the point where we would sometimes text one another in class. It was like that idealistic romance I had always dreamed of. The only catch was that I couldn't muster the strength to physically speak to him. It took me a week to rack up enough courage just to wave to him in the hallways and say hello, rather than actually talk to him. I felt exactly like Ariel from The Little Mermaid: voiceless. One night, though, he had texted me asking me if I wanted to meet up with him at the ballpark since he was there helping promote the diner he worked at. I had been asleep all day but as soon as he offered, I ran right over and the entire night, though somewhat awkward due to my shyness, felt like bliss. To actually be spending time with him like I was-- it was heavenly. Just being in his presence felt heavenly. My heart raced the entire time and it didn't help he acted like a perfect gentleman. He had always warned me of how he claimed to be an asshole but that night I thought he was anything but. His coworker asked me if I wanted to tag along with everyone to get a bite to eat at the diner after they were done there and I agreed, most definitely, so after they were done cleaning up their setup, I walked with my crush over to his car, which was parked in the school parking lot across the street. It was kind of terrifying being alone with him like that but he treated me nothing short of how a guy should treat a girl. He put his hand on my shoulder and guided me safely to the sidewalk when I had a deer-in-the-headlights moment crossing the street, he asked if I had my seatbelt in before leaving the parking lot, he held doors open for me and drove me home, playfully teaching me a few street names for when I start driving and turning on "mood music" for that one last drive. And I hate how I remember practically every detail from that night, as well. Like the way he was a sarcastic little shit when his mom called and asked where he was, and he replied, "On the side of the road" and the way he told me of how churches and crosses freak him out and how his car smells like crayons even though he hates the damn things. And the way he said he wouldn't mind being a bus driver in response to my tale of how mine was randomly found dead in his home just a couple months prior (even though I don't even remember how we came about the subject in the first place-- probably something that was on the school's flashing billboard sign at the head of the parking lot). Everything about that night, though, had become perfectly ingrained into my memory, and probably will stay etched there in my brain for eternity since it's been seven or so months by now.
The further along throughout life the two of us got, though, the less he responded to my texts and the worse I started feeling. He had given me so much attention right off the bat that anything less felt almost criminal. I started fearing things, feeling unworthy and unloved and terrified. I was afraid he was thinking differently of me, or that someone had ratted out my small reputation as "that Jack Frost girl" to him and he instantly thought I was superficial and just liked him for the resemblance. I wasn't about to back down, though, and I even saw him graduate high school amongst my senior friends. I wanted so badly to talk to him that night but yet again, my social anxieties got the best of me and I chickened out. That next day, I felt so horrible and disgusted with myself for being so afraid, I texted him that night pouring my heart out and admitting everything to him: the way he made me feel, the way I hated myself for not being able to talk to him that night and at least wish him a simple congratulations. We had texted so often and such, why couldn't I speak to him in person as easily as I could over the phone? I was so proud of myself for pouring my heart out, though, that I was so numb with joy I didn't even feel the pain of his next words until well into the next day: he didn't reciprocate the feelings for me. Once it sunk in, I was shellshocked. If he didn't feel the same way, why did he treat me like he did? He had said it was from wounds still aching from his last relationship-- an extensive one that I figured no doubt would leave some pretty deep cuts behind-- but I couldn't help but think to myself that if he had still been in pain from his previous engagement, then why did he lead me on like he did? It has been six months since that night when I admitted everything and the wounds from his rejection still feel as fresh as they did when they started to sting. It wasn't until I began digesting this information, though, that I realized something--well, actually two things: that I liked him more than I thought I did and that he was the only guy I had ever actually experienced legitimate feelings for. It wasn't until he came along that I realized nothing I ever felt for anyone before was strong enough to even want to pursue them, if I ever even felt anything at all. For the most part, though, not a single guy interested me. There was no feeling in my heart compelling me towards them. Except for this boy. And all of that, I'm positive, is why I've been dwelling on him so much since.
Meeting him wasn't the first time I suspected this revelation of my sexuality, though. it was beforehand when I discovered what graysexuality even was, through a sexuality education picture from Tumblr, that I first saw the word and it interested me. It had a definition beside it that, upon reading it, sounded exactly like my sexual situation. It was fascinating knowing that there was actually a word to describe it, since I knew it wasn't just normal "sex drive" type stuff. Still, though, I didn't really truly accept it, officialize it, and embrace it until fairly recently.
I had been hung up on this boy for months solely because he is the only boy I have ever had legitimate attraction towards. It was from this fact that I knew I was graysexual and within the past couple weeks, I have grown more educated on the subject and decided it was time to actually officialize the situation. I told my mother and miraculously she seemed fine with it. But that was the first time. After three days, she had forgotten and was confused and seemed frustrated so I had to explain it to her again. I had even made her a little chart on the back of an old scrap of paper for her to use as reference, not just for graysexuality but for all the sexual orientations, both gender-attraction-specific and sex-drive-specific. Still, that didn't seem to leave too massive of an effect on her. It wasn't until tonight that I truly came out.
My mom was doing dishes at the kitchen sink after dinner when I came in, sitting on the floor fondling the door. She had Christmas music playing on her phone with I thought was ridiculous because Thanksgiving hadn't even passed yet. She said that she was starting to accept and grow fonder of the genre nowadays since it was nearing the holiday season to which I responded with how I wasn't sure if I was ready to face the holidays yet-- after Thanksgiving was Christmas and then after Christmas was New Years, to which I was certain I would just be kissing the dog at midnight once again. And that would be where the match was thrown onto the fire.
My mom insisted that I didn't know that for sure and started naming off boys I knew that I could hook up with before New Year's rolled around-- specifically a boy I knew in first and second grade who had contacted me recently via facebook and who I was terrified had a crush on me; I think he liked me when we were kids but I can't remember enough from ten years ago to tell. But it was from this suggestion that I brought the term graysexual back into play once again. As expected, she had forgotten what it meant again. She thought it was just because I was hung up on the boy from the hallway, that I was in love with him and didn't want anyone else which maybe part of that is true but that's not the meat of the situation here. Seeing as this was my fourth time explaining this to her, I was starting to get defensive and aggravated. She didn't seem to understand and insisted it was just because I was hung up on hallway boy. Voices were raised and I started getting terrified, as well, seeing as the sliding glass doors right into my parent's bedroom a few rooms over were wide open and our voices could easily waft past the horizontal blinds and in for my dad to hear. I refused to admit any of this graysexuality shit to my dad, seeing how close-minded and temperamental he was. Him overhearing all this was the last thing I wanted. A small argument ensued between my mother and I and I told her to come into my room for privacy. She claimed the dishes were her number one priority and that they were more important and that she'd come in afterwards-- a statement which I felt slightly insulted by; how could the dishes be more important than your own daughter? I know you have duties but your daughter, your own flesh and blood, is trying to explain herself to you and this is something really important so your crappy, stained tupperware can wait. After a bit of protesting on my end, she eventually agreed to come into my room and I sat her down and tried once again to explain the situation to her. She said she didn't need me to sit here and explain this shit to her, that she had googled it and already understood, claiming graysexuality was only liking one person and that person was hallway boy. I was disgusted by her biased interpretation and her lack of research skills, seeing as she had chosen the two worst sources when I googled the subject myself. Bringing the definition up from a more reliable source (okay, so Urban Dictionary isn't necessarily reliable but it has one of the best definitons on graysexuality I've ever found), she started fussing over the whole situation. She couldn't seem to get all of this through her thick skull that this was a legitimate thing that I was and that she needed to accept that as my mother and my friend. She seemed to believe it was fake, like most people deem graysexuality to be, and that I was just confused and heartbroken. Then she started crying. I took no pity on her and tried to get the information through to her, though my boiling anger probably didn't make my methods any more effective: our conversation ended with her screaming at me through her tears, saying she was done and that she didn't want to see me or talk to me the rest of the night. I was too awestruck to start crying. She was having a breakdown when I was the one who was being misunderstood? What kind of sick, twisted, fucked up universe were we living in? I understood it was a lot of new information for her to handle but if she had just sat down and actually listened to me, she would've understood. Instead she stormed out of my room without another word. And from that point on, my dad's involvement was inevitable.
Any time I do something to make my mother cry, my dad is always up on it pissed off as all hell. As he should be-- after all, someone's messing with his beloved wife. But when I'm the one falling victim, it's generally over something stupid, whether I'm overreacting and having a fit or she's being a bitch and I just get flamed for it. So in this case, my dad didn't know what was going on but he was pissed. Peering past the doorway, I caught sight of him storming down the hallway with an expression on his face that read "somebody's about to get bitch-slapped" or something along those lines. I didn't put up a fight when he approached me, though, offering up my laptop to be taken away as punishment (the general routine seeing as the damn thing is practically my baby and we're joined keyboard to fingertips practically 24/7). So he stole the thing away and put it in his bedroom and started questioning us about what the fuck was going on. My mom had followed him in and was a complete wreck-- I had never seen her so upset before in my life. She was hysterical, sobbing and screaming that there must've been something wrong with me, that she didn't understand why I felt this way because I was a pretty girl who should be dating a shitload of guys, that I was trying to tell her I was gay or something (like I'd be committing some sort of crime had I actually claimed to be homosexual). I wanted to explain myself to them but my dad was pissed and my mother wasn't having any of it. She didn't want to see me or talk to me the rest of the night and with that, slammed the door shut and retreated to her bathroom. I could hear her sobbing through the wall. I felt absolutely horrible and like I should've just never said anything in the first place, like I was making a huge mistake admitting this about myself or like I wasn't normal or a criminal or like my parents didn't accept me or love me anymore. They had been pretty affectionate parents thus far but tonight I had seen a side of them that was completely foreign to me-- I felt like an alien in their eyes.
By then, I was already starting to feel mentally exhausted from the entire situation so I started getting my things ready to head to bed. I noticed that in my dad's haste, he forgot my mouse and mousepad so I went over to him in the kitchen and handed them to him. He was calm but confused and frustrated-- he had no idea what the hell was going on and wanted to get to the bottom of things without all the yelling. The last thing I wanted was to explain this to him, positive he wouldn't understand, but he wouldn't have it otherwise. So I cautiously tiptoed around my words to get the most docile description possible-- the one that would get me in the least trouble. At first he thought I was referring to sexual activity rather than attraction, to which I shuddered at his mentioning it-- it wasn't that sex disgusted me, just hearing him talk about sex was disturbing. He's a very private man who doesn't like to speak of such things. Ever. Either way, I tried to explain things to him as well but he was nearly as confused as my mom was. He thought it was just because I was hung up on hallway boy, that I just hadn't found the right person yet, and that it was completely normal not to feel sexually attracted to every single person on the planet. Of course, when I told him it was something that was so lacking as it is and mentioned the ace spectrum and everything, he decided all of this had to be the result of some chemical imbalance, like a lack of estrogen resulting in a lack of sexual attraction to people, and that we should schedule doctor's appointments and bloodwork to figure out what's wrong with me, even though he said it'd be completely normal either way. Yeah, thanks Dad. Like getting taken to a hospital and poked with needles just for being graysexual is an adequate reaction. I feel fortunate that there was no yelling involved between me and him, though, like I feared there would be. Afterwards, he decided to go check on my mom and I retreated to my room. I had already started crying halfway through the conversation but tried to hold it back as best I could. It wasn't until I got in my room that I broke down. I was so exhausted by the entire situation-- I never meant to cause such an uproar and especially not tonight-- that I just wanted to crawl into bed and forget the world for a while. So I turned off all the lights, curled up under my blankets, and did the only thing I knew to do that would help me: I texted my best friend. She knows me inside out and backwards, frontwards and every other way, pretty much, so I knew she'd be there for me and support me. It wasn't until a few minutes later that I felt something within me tugging me towards the kitchen where both my parents were.
I didn't want to deal with them but I had no choice-- something in me was telling me to go-- so I crawled out of bed and snuck out there, refusing to look them in the eyes, and telling them I was sorry for causing such an uproar and that I was willing to accept any and all punishments I'd earn from it. My mom, still crying, had apparently been venting to my father about everything I had ever told her regarding anything sexuality-related and I suddenly felt instantly victimized. They were saying that I was going to need see doctors and get a physical and bloodwork done to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, why I was feeling the way I was, why I apparently wasn't attracted to people and they blamed my friends for having too much peer pressure on me, saying it was their fault, too, because they're "all gay and changing their names pretending to be boys" which is completely not true-- my friends are beautiful, sexually diverse people who are flipping off people like my parents to embrace who they really are. I felt so victimized in that moment, though, like they were bashing me for every single possible culprit as to my "chemical imbalance". I protested but I felt like they weren't quite listening still-- they made me sit down at the kitchen table and told me that if they apparently didn't understand, then I better explain myself and make them understand. Explaining myself was the absolute last thing I wanted to do but I had no choice-- if I didn't, my mom claimed she would be forever pissed at me. And so I talked.
We talked for an hour and a half, an aggravating discussion that constantly lead to them either blaming my friends, deciding it was some chemical imbalance, or just claiming I was hung up on a boy and confusing a broken heart for whatever "sickness" this was. It felt like we were going around in circles the entire time-- I kept trying to explain to them that this isn't as deep as they were making it out to be and that it spanned back further than just hallway boy and was something I was contemplating over before he ever came along. They blamed me for never saying anything about this earlier, that communication is key and shit, but how do they expect me to communicate with them and tell them what's going on and my thoughts and everything if they make me feel like a disease for admitting them? It was ridiculous. I was so done with them but I knew if I didn't get this point across, they'd never understand and the next six months (or more) under their custody would just be absolute hell. It finally took a shitload of explaining before they even got a semblance of a grasp on the situation and claimed they "understood", that they were more aware of the situation now and that this was "normal", even though I still don't think they quite understand. By then it was nearly 10pm and they were tired, having had long days of hard work and exhausting themselves trying to understand their complex daughter because I apparently "didn't come with an instruction booklet". Well no shit I didn't come with instructions. Isn't that kind of in that parenting contract you guys theoretically signed when you decided to fuck and conceive me?
They claim they understand my graysexuality now, that they get it and that they don't think I'm chemically imbalanced or anything anymore, though they still think it's mainly because I'm just suffering a broken heart and shit-- which I am but that's not the bigger picture here. Every single time I've tried to explain this shit before, they always end up forgetting everything and writing me off as insane three days later. After tonight's ordeal, I'm not sure what to expect from them anymore regarding their memory of the context of this conversation but I'm preparing myself for the worst. After tonight, I think I've completely abandoned any trust I have in them, though. If they think their daughter is chemically imbalanced for following her heart and feeling a certain why without having a legitimate answer to the age-old question of why, and tell her that they're going to send her to doctors and get bloodwork and shit done because of it, then I don't know if I want to even be their daughter anymore in the first place. I thought parents were supposed to love and support their children no matter what they did or how they felt or who they loved but apparently, and I'm realizing this more than ever, we live in a disgusting world full of stubborn-minded people who don't accept others for the way they think, who put them down and say that the way they feel isn't real and valid, that they're chemically imbalanced and need to be taken to some hospital for treatment to fix whatever hormonal shit is fucked up in your system and it's sickening. But so to those who claim graysexuality isn't a real thing and that it's just a label created by bitches who are vying for attention, open your fucking eyes and realize we are just as goddamn valid a sexuality as you are and we've got problems, too.