Content warning: Cult stuff, PTSD
I’ll come out and say it: growing up as a trans person with very little physical attraction to other people, while in what is essentially a sex cult, was pretty awful. Especially since I didn’t even know I was trans at the time and felt confused about the whole ordeal.
Children were raised with the expectation that they’d be married and have kids ASAP. Young girls were trained on what was expected of them as future wives and mothers, especially. Though I was seen as a boy at the time, so I “got” to go on camping trips where I was constantly told to man up, but that’s another story.
The thing was, if you didn’t have a date by age 16 and weren’t married and hopefully having kids by age 20, something was wrong with you. And this group did everything it could to ensure that every kid got matched with someone, not really caring about compatibility. There were dances where girls weren’t allowed to turn down a guy’s request to dance. If you were single as an adult, you were basically isolated with other single adults.
But anyway, yeah; I just don’t really feel attracted to people in that manner. And so when I became an adult (even long after I stopped attending), people would gossip about me behind my back. Because clearly there’s something wrong with a 20-something who doesn’t already have a mountain of children.
This pressure on finding a partner ASAP and making as big a family as possible created one of many what I call “mental blocks.” It’s a sort of sealed-off part of my behavior that I just can’t make myself express. (Included in these seals are the ability to swear and the ability to show strong emotion. Again, other stories.)
This particular block is complicated to explain. But short story is that I’ll probably never have a healthy romantic relationship with anybody. I said earlier that I feel little physical attraction to people, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel attracted to people in general. I’m just attracted more to… personalities, I guess.
But I freeze up when it comes to expressing that attraction. I can’t say certain words associated with it. (It’s weird. I can say “I love this video game!” but when it comes to *people* I can’t say it, even in a non-romantic way.) Touching other people is uncomfortable. It’s a weird place to be where I would *like* romance, but every fiber of my being screams when it’s attempted.
In an earlier post, I made the comparison of feeling broken and having to piece myself back together again. Expanding on that, some of these pieces are sealed tight in these locked rooms that I can’t access. I’m a little more whole than I was a few years ago, but these rooms are still beyond my reach.