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Disability and being different

Discussion in 'Physical & Sexual Health' started by Tamatia, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Tamatia

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    As I'm trying to come into my own identity, there's a factor that constantly comes into play. You see, at a relatively young age I experienced a stroke. It mostly affected my balance centers, so I needed to relearn how to walk, it makes me more easily confused, and with any health issue that causes brain damage there is always the challenge of memory problems.

    Gender and sexual identity are both intimately tied with matters of independence, and disability definitely is too. That means its rather hard to think of them separately, for me.

    One way of thinking that I've encountered is this: in a way, everyone is disabled. For instance, a person with some impressive abilities may lose some of those abilities after becoming disabled, yet still be more competent than some others who technically haven't faced disability.

    We all have different abilities, and what you call a “disability” is just a matter of where you choose to draw the line. :slight_smile:

    Do any of you live with disabilities? How do they play into your gender and sexuality challenges?
     
  2. Mahidevran

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    the only 'legal disability' I have is hearing loss (~50 dB in both ears, both sensorineural and conductive; rather hard to fix with hearing aids). but this actually has a little meaning when it comes to sex :grin:
    however, I do have Marfan syndrome. which means that, among other things, my joints are a pure shit. I'm not into sex for various reasons (fear, lack of attraction, low sex drive etc.), and this is also one of the reasons. because if I had to stay in one position for longer time, I'd rather die from pain. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
    I'm sorry to hear what happened to you. :frowning2: *hugs* I agree with some of your words, though.
     
  3. KaySee

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    I am autistic. It makes figuring sexuality, gender, and feelings difficult. Especially when most terms and their definitions are made with neurotypicals (people who have neurologically typical patterns of thought or behavior). My gender issues (not feeling cis) are more common in autistics than neurotypicals, which briefly made me wonder about some things before deciding that I didn't care at all.

    Social expectations, rituals, and boundaries are difficult for me and that makes relationships different. Any relationship would need open discussion as to where we were headed and boundaries. I also have difficulty telling romance and friendship apart, in myself and others. Ex: Senior in high school talked to me often, then graduated came back from deployment to visit me more than a few times and gave me a handmade piece of jewelry. A few years later I figured out that that was probably him having romantic feeling for me.

    It also makes sexuality difficult, as I have had difficulty figuring out the difference between "Thats a fascinating body type" and "That person is attractive."

    Its difficult for an autistic individual to be taken seriously as an adult and, consequently, relationships and sexuality. Most people seem to think that autistics don't have a sex drive or are attracted to others, which means that some aren't even educated on those subjects.
     
  4. Worker Bee

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    I believe everyone is disabled in some way. It may not be apparent from appearance etc but it's just another thing that makes us all unique.

    I have problems dealing with my emotions and unless someone is demonstrably upset or angry I have trouble reading other people.

    I also have memory problems but I don't know yet if it is psychological but more than likely it is
     
  5. Creativemind

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    I'm on the autism spectrum too. Technically Aspergers. I relate to most of this (except the gender issues, I'm cis but don't feel 'girly').

    Relationships can be VERY difficult for me. I don't get most social cues.
     
  6. jadey95

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    I'm schizophrenic and have epilepsy. It makes gender difficult because most on the SZ spectrum are dismissed as it being a delusion if trans.

    As for sexuality, most schizophrenics such as myself are awfully paranoid about things, making trusting hard for relationships. I also deal with not liking people touching me (which is also common with autism). I also even questioned if I was really bi because I felt I was just convincing myself I was (like it was some delusion).

    As for the epilepsy, that hasn't really affected any of that. It affects more of things like daily tasks, like holding a cup or feeding myself with a fork.
     
  7. Kodo

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    I have Aspergers as well, though a mild expression of it. I can definitely relate to this. Aside from that I've suffered from clinical depression since age fourteen.

    Insofar as how this relates to gender or sexuality, I have tremendous difficulty connecting with people. I cannot tell if someone is flirting with me, and am not particularly empathetic. With depression I am often too tired or reluctant to engage in any sort of relationship - platonic or otherwise. Being on the autism spectrum, however, doesn't really "complicate" my being trans. I am just a queer guy, in multiple senses of the word. The main issue I could foresee is dating would be hard, but I've no experience in that realm so really don't know.
     
  8. AnAtypicalGuy

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    I also have Aspergers and, like others have said, it makes social interaction a challenge. Having Aspergers interferes with my sexuality as I can't quite discern the motives of other people. Whether or not someone is flirting with me is beyond me, unless they make it obvious. I also struggle to tell apart my own feelings of romantic attraction from platonic feelings, which gets me into tight situations when I'm dating somebody because it can take me months to realise that I'm not romantically interested in them. It also makes labelling sexualities difficult: to this day I can't tell if I'm straight or bi/pan, since I experience no sexual attraction towards guys and I don't know if I experience romantic attraction towards them.

    Aspergers interfered with me figuring out my gender identity because, since I have a hard time fitting into crowds and socialising regardless of who I'm with, I used to assume Aspergers was the reason I was uncomfortable in taking on a female role.

    I don't think depression counts as a disability but since others have mentioned it, I'll mention it too. As Kodo said, depression removes any motivation to pursue all kinds of relationships. It also strengthens my gender dysphoria, which ultimately worsens my depression. And so the vicious cycle continues.
     
  9. tickabox

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    Humans are the perfect example of imperfection. None of us, despite some claiming otherwise, are actually perfect.

    I have a disability which doesn't really affect gender and sexuality, unless you use the other meaning of sexuality then yes it does, they existed before I became ill. It's more about getting people to accept me the way I am. The unfortunate thing is my illness comes with a lot of issues and some people in general these days are so self involved their unlikely to want to take the time to understand someone less fortunate, for want of a better word.
     
  10. Mysteria

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    I have physical health issues, which don't really affect things socially except for the challenges of dealing with pain and fatigue and limits on what I can do.

    I have bipolar disorder and that has been incredibly challenging. When I'm depressed, I'm needy, prone to self-pity, and am convinced I've irreparably damaged all my relationships and they'd be better off with out me. The burden on constant suicidal thoughts is something that is just impossible to understand unless you've been there. When I'm manic I'm irritable, easily angered, talk way too much, am sometimes incapable of following a conversation because my mind goes off in tangents, and with either depression or mania I can suffer from paranoia. That I have any friends at all astonishes me. I'm working really hard on the not expressing what I'm thinking/feeling because it's draining and sometimes hurtful to people. But sometimes that means not really talking to people at all. My bipolar is the best it's been in years and I'm getting back in touch with some people. That's nice. :slight_smile:
     
  11. TheOneCactus

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    I was and am dyslexic and up to when I was 12, everyone thought I was mentally slow
     
  12. Foxfeather

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    In a lot of ways, my personality can be seen as antisocial or overly introverted. I've wondered sometimes if I display symptoms of autism or borderline personality disorder or OCD.

    All said however, I was extremely high achieving in high school and even though I didn't feel like I did well in university, I landed a good school and fairly good average grades.

    My personality has been a liability to me lately more than something beneficial. I doubt myself so much. And I continuet to slip into severe depression as I did back in high school.

    But I keep myself alive when I look backa nd realize I've accomplished a lot more than most of the population. I may not love myself completely now, but that doesn't make me any less worthy of love. That doesn't make me any less a man or human.
     
  13. Sebby45

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    I deal with a severe case of bipolar disorder. I hate saying it, but it is true. There are stretches of time when I cannot function at all.

    When it comes to gender identity/sexual identity, I was confused for a long time. As well as bipolar, I also have OCD, which made me doubly obsess over what was right and what was wrong. With those symptoms in check, I am less dysphoric/questioning. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen...it is just less frequent.

    Living with a disability sucks. It takes so much more effort to get through the day than "normal" people realize. Not that we all don't have our problems. We just have to battle on.

    And relationships are difficult when you have certain phobias and are high or low at a moment's notice. How do you even begin to make friends? Thank god for EC.

    Sebby45
     
    #13 Sebby45, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017