• Announcements

    • Kelly

      New Team members Needed--Moderator, Project Team, and Declass Team: Voting   12/10/13

      See:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164659-new-declass-team-member-needed-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164657-new-moderator-member-needed-qa-co-mod-and-world-watch-mod-voting/   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/164656-new-project-team-member-needed-resources-and-education-director-voting/  
    • Kelly

      AVENues Holiday Special Edition is now live   08/17/17

      The new edition of AVENues is done!   See:        
    • Lady Girl

      Ace Community Census   11/06/17

      It’s time for the 2017 Ace Community Census!   see:   http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/162675-announcing-the-2017-ace-community-census/  
    • Heart

      Help fund AVEN's servers!   11/06/17

      AVEN is doing its annual fundraiser to raise donations for server costs! See http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/163251-aven-server-fundraiser/ for more details.  
Galactic Turtle

Is it worth correcting them?

Recommended Posts

Galactic Turtle

Hello humans. ^_^

 

My parents are a bit... allergic to the word "asexual." When I came out to them they didn't take it well, even less so when my mom saw it was referred to in the LGBT+ world. However that was a couple years ago and since then they've been learning to process the "quirks" I've had my entire life as ones that will probably remain permanent. Despite that, they never mention asexuality or me being the way I am as a unique character trait. Instead it's:

 

"She's not interested in sex because she's autistic."

"She dresses like a man because she's autistic."

"She doesn't like to be touched because she's autistic."

"She doesn't go to parties because she's autistic."

"She doesn't want to be pretty because she's autistic."

"She's quiet because she's autistic."

"She doesn't understand love because she's autistic." 

"She doesn't understand why what she's saying is incorrect because she's autistic."

"You should really be quiet Turtle, because you're well... you know... different."

 

All of this is happening when... I'm not even autistic. Or at least, a doctor hasn't said so. I briefly explored aspergers as a possibility and when it came up in conversation with my parents they got mad too because they incorrectly equate being autistic with being unintelligent or flawed. After researching, however, I came to the conclusion that my experiences didn't line up with those with HFA/aspergers and I was fine with that! Even with touch, people with ASD described their feelings about touch differently than I would and everything else my parents mentioned has basically nothing to do with autism as I understand it.

 

So on one hand I'm not getting as much push back as I was a few years ago and in private I'm even sometimes getting support. On the other hand at family gatherings everything has turned into "this is Turtle, our autistic daughter! Isn't she funny?" And everyone says "well she was always strange, we applaud you for your good parenting because she seems well adjusted enough!"

 

It's such an improvement from how our relationship used to be though so I don't know if I should keep correcting them. I tried to a few times but they said it's easier for them to tell because I can't see myself or... whatever. What if they're right?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kersenne

I can only give you my opinion on this matter as it's the only one I have, but if no doctor has diagnosed you with autism and you don't think yourself that you are autistic, then you should definitely correct them. There are asexual autist people, but there also are plenty of asexuals with no illness/handicap. 

 

I would find it offensive if people called me autistic because of my asexuality - and I would find it offensive for autistic people. It sounds as if your parents conveniently use the autism excuse to explain your asexuality, and in my opinion it is wrong both for you and for their own perception of autism. I have autist friends and they live wonderful lives, have sex and friends (one even currenlty moved in with her boyfriend!), go to college and everything. Being autist doesn't mean they are asexual at all. They've got hardships, for sure, but they don't use their autism as an excuse for who they are. Autism (and any other kind of illnes/handicap/and so on) should not be used as an excuse, in my opinion. 

 

To me it sounds as if your parents don't want to acknowledge who you are. 

 

But how do you feel about it? From what you write, it seems you are not autistic, but people around you find you weird and unconventional (if I can put it this way). Do you think that your parents are right, that you can't know for yourself? Do you think you're much more different from the rest of them? Have you tried to talk about it to your other family members, to correct your parents in front of them and say "actually I'm not autistic, I'm asexual"? Perhaps this would help as well :) 

 

In any case, considering what you wrote about your parents, I think it's super brave that you came out to them! And if they are slowly coming to terms with who you are and your asexuality, then perhaps you can give them some more little pushes to fully accept you are asexual. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To Each Their Own

What they are saying is about you, and it is having an effect on you. So I would say that it doesn’t really matter how they feel. You are an adult. How would you answer this question if it were about some other adult? You don’t just get to make up a reality about people just because it allows you to deal with them better. 

 

Now, I’m no parent, but aren’t you supposed to have unconditional love and support for your child when they tell you that they are different? They are the ones that are supposed to model self-esteem and self-worth. There’s nothing wrong with being asexual. There is nothing wrong with being autistic, either. You shouldn’t have to work so hard for parental love. 

 

Be who you are. Live an authentic life. Live your life for you. Live for your happiness. If your parents want those same things for you…awesome. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Galactic Turtle
13 minutes ago, Kersenne said:

To me it sounds as if your parents don't want to acknowledge who you are.

I think they do half acknowledge it. Like they acknowledge that I don't want to have sex, that I'm not interested in dating, and that I don't like it when people touch me. It's only that I describe that as being an aro-ace person who is averse to touch while they describe it as being autistic. I think they're also concerned I might seek out a relationship with another woman if I stop identifying as heterosexual.

 

23 minutes ago, Kersenne said:

But how do you feel about it? From what you write, it seems you are not autistic, but people around you find you weird and unconventional (if I can put it this way). Do you think that your parents are right, that you can't know for yourself? Do you think you're much more different from the rest of them? Have you tried to talk about it to your other family members, to correct your parents in front of them and say "actually I'm not autistic, I'm asexual"? Perhaps this would help as well :) 

From what I was told on an autism forum, they said that if I were really autistic it wouldn't come as a surprise and that if I made it to my mid-twenties not struggling at all then clearly I was not on the spectrum. I described touch as feeling wrong while they said touch created physical unpleasant sensations rather than mental ones like for me. From when I was a kid I always knew I was weird. I just didn't really care because being weird was better than me acting like everyone else because to me everyone else seemed like the strange ones. I'm shy and don't like large group gatherings but I've also worked in nightclubs and concert venues with no sort of sensory issue at all. I've done math homework while sitting under strobe lights with rap music blaring from speakers two feet away. Social cues related to flirtation are ones I've always been bad at reading but if I'm aro-ace I think that might make a bit of sense? After a couple unpleasant situations due to this I adjusted by habitually not hanging around men/participating in parties which has worked so far at no cost to my happiness or general lifestyle. The few times I've brought up asexuality my parents just kind of... stiffen up, ignore me, and change the topic quickly. I think if I wait a few more years this might change though? So... yeah. Maybe waiting is all that can really be done.

 

28 minutes ago, To Each Their Own said:

Now, I’m no parent, but aren’t you supposed to have unconditional love and support for your child when they tell you that they are different?

They do love me and they do accept I'm different, I was just caught off guard by what they believe the underlying reasons are. I think it might be largely because they're not supportive of me being associated with anything even vaguely LGBT+ so this is serving as some sort of buffer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pamalla-Shay

my mom also thinks I am autistic.. I have ADHD and don't fit the qualities of autism.. she thinks asexuality isn't a thing and I will just think differently when i am older... she is ok with lesbians only because her sister is one and that is it, she doesn't believe in transgender, bisexuality, or pansexuality... she truly believes I am just a late bloomer or that I am secretly a lesbian and dating my best friend (i mean I wouldn't mind dating her she is awesome, but obviously it is a bad idea to, one not really into girls and two she is bisexual). my mom is so closed minded and just wants to make it seem like I am so messed up to the point I have autism she tells everyone that I have it, when I don't. I think she just doesn't want to understand the fact that I am ace 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quality_Penguins

I want to start out by saying I'm sorry you have to go through that. If you've investigated it throughly and think you're not autistic, then you're not, end of story. I think your parents want to write off parts of who you are as a disability instead of just the way you are as a person because then it's more of "your choice". Sometimes parents won't change their minds no matter what, but I would still try to be honest with them about your feelings. Personally my parents have been very accepting, of both my aceness and me being a more masculine girl (I'm cis but a total tomboy). Hopefully they'll come to terms with the world asexual and who you are soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To Each Their Own

FWIW, I am super horrible at reading social cues when it comes to flirting and whatnot. Like, if someone asks me for my number because they want to go for coffee sometime, I take them at face value.

 

I once asked a guy out for coffee and he kept going on about how ‘this never happens to me.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about. I was relaying this story to a friend a few years later and they told me that the guy was expecting to have sex with me. Why would he be expecting that, I asked my friend. Apparently, ‘going out for coffee’ is code for sex, or something like that. Why don’t people just say what they mean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kersenne
3 hours ago, To Each Their Own said:

FWIW, I am super horrible at reading social cues when it comes to flirting and whatnot. Like, if someone asks me for my number because they want to go for coffee sometime, I take them at face value.

 

I once asked a guy out for coffee and he kept going on about how ‘this never happens to me.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about. I was relaying this story to a friend a few years later and they told me that the guy was expecting to have sex with me. Why would he be expecting that, I asked my friend. Apparently, ‘going out for coffee’ is code for sex, or something like that. Why don’t people just say what they mean?

I can totally relate with this!!

 

@Galactic Turtle As long as you feel happy, that's the most important. And if your parents don't want to change their minds, then perhaps you can gently force the issue until they acknowledge that asexuality is a thing and is distinct from autism. Have you shown them the AVEN website? it might help them :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Grinchmer
6 hours ago, Galactic Turtle said:

I tried to a few times but they said it's easier for them to tell because I can't see myself or... whatever. What if they're right?

LOL WTF I can't even.

 

If they don't have sufficient medical education, they can't tell. Simple as that.

 

Now neither do I know you nor do I have the necessary educational background, so I won't go ahead and say 'You are (not) xy.' So technically, we can't rule out that they're right, but it wouldn't be anything more than a wild guess on their side (unless they're qualified).

 

As to the topic, I wouldn't stop correcting them.

 

(Personal side note - I'd loooove to see you get out of that hole you live in. It's painful to read :()

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EggplantWitch

Y i k e s

 

Now that's a bigotry doube whammy. Acephobia and ableism! A few more shitty remarks and we could get a bingo card going here.

 

But in seriousness: you should absolutely keep correcting your parents if you feel safe enough doing so. I'm guessing from the fact you spell it 'mom' that you probably live somewhere without free healthcare so this might not be an option, but have you considered going to a doctor to get solid proof you're not autistic? To get your parents to stop misdiagnosing you, if nothing else? As much as they ought to take you at your word they clearly don't, so maybe the word of a medical professional will be enough.

 

Less practical but hey, it might work: if they pull the 'oh look at our silly autistic daughter thing' at a family gathering again you could throw a right hissy fit about it and see if that embarasses them enough into shutting up. It's what I'd be tempted to do, anyway... but like I said, I know it's not as level-headed as the doctor idea >.> Good luck, regardless of what you decide to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Galactic Turtle
On 12/5/2017 at 4:23 PM, Kersenne said:

And if your parents don't want to change their minds, then perhaps you can gently force the issue until they acknowledge that asexuality is a thing and is distinct from autism. Have you shown them the AVEN website? it might help them :) 

Maybe. I know when I first told them about it I had this book about asexuality and like... highlighted the parts that pertained to me. I know my mom ended up looking into it a bit since she found out that some asexual people date, have sex, get married, and have kids. So I think it might be difficult for her to understand why I'm not one of those people... if that makes sense. If they ever saw my AVEN account I'd preemptively send out invitations to my own funeral. :P 

 

On 12/6/2017 at 5:05 PM, EggplantWitch said:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Galactic Turtle
On 12/5/2017 at 4:23 PM, Kersenne said:

And if your parents don't want to change their minds, then perhaps you can gently force the issue until they acknowledge that asexuality is a thing and is distinct from autism. Have you shown them the AVEN website? it might help them :) 

Maybe. I know when I first told them about it I had this book about asexuality and like... highlighted the parts that pertained to me. I know my mom ended up looking into it a bit since she found out that some asexual people date, have sex, get married, and have kids. So I think it might be difficult for her to understand why I'm not one of those people... if that makes sense. If they ever saw my AVEN account I'd preemptively send out invitations to my own funeral. :P 

 

On 12/6/2017 at 5:05 PM, EggplantWitch said:

I'm guessing from the fact you spell it 'mom' that you probably live somewhere without free healthcare so this might not be an option, but have you considered going to a doctor to get solid proof you're not autistic? To get your parents to stop misdiagnosing you, if nothing else?

You're right about the healthcare. XD I'm actually still on my parents healthcare so I really can't do anything without them knowing (or paying). I did think about it though but it seems like especially for adult women the whole diagnosis process is complicated, often misdiagnosed, and kind of seen as like... less legitimate... or something. I've always been wary of doctors. I guess because people always say something is wrong with me I don't want any type of scientific reason to say they were right.

 

I suppose I might try to ask them to stop a bit more although I'm beginning to doubt what use the vocabulary I've learned on AVEN has outside of it if no one really knows what it means. It seems to make things more complicated than just like.... calling myself a prude like I used to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chandrakirti

Probably if you explain in simple terms and they're not interested in learning, you don't need them bothering your life, But hey, that's just me.Life's too short.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now