Q&A: “i found an old post about a poc ace and went on their blog and they know say they don’t identify as ace…”
(suicide ideation, death threat and conversion tw)
i found an old post about a poc ace and went on their blog and they know say they don’t identify as ace because aces are bad, basically. and like, i’m literally crying. idk what to do, that just really struck me. someone who wrote about being queer, ace and a poc like me shitting on me and telling me my identity is inherently problematic when it’s the reason i can’t access mental health atm, which is something i need cause the ‘discourse’ & the violent abuse i faced on this website for, including death threats, caused me to fall back into suicidal ideation. and the only therapist available to me suggested conversion therapy (i live in a small central american country, there’s not much knowledge about these things- she thinks if i can be converted to straight, i will no longer suffer from my orientation). this is horrible tbh. i’m sorry to unload but as another poc ace i feel safe around you. i guess what i’m trying to say is that this ‘discourse’, which is just a bunch of people thinking they can gaslight and abuse aces or call the ‘bad’ or ‘cringy’ and don’t want to have any sort of intra community discussion but literally deny us our experiences and be abusive, is harming my mental health. friends i trusted turned out to be acephobic, send me literal death threats. in what kind of WORLD is that fucking ok? idk where im going with this, im sorry. do you know of any ways i can deal with this wave of ace and aro hatred that’s spread this website? i don’t know how to go about it. and now in the spanish speaking online lgbtq+ community, enbyphobes have copied it to exclude enbys for ‘being actually cis’ and are calling us ‘cisnb’ after regs in english calling aces and aros ‘cishet’ so that’s just fucking great 🙁 that’s because the community is only now starting to realize enbys exist. and it’s also learning that about aspecs, so im starting to hear it in spanish too. i just can’t escape it.
i genuinely feel like i’m in no place to be giving any sort of advice on things of this nature– especially right now when i’m just managing to keep my own head above water for various reasons, but…
i’d first like to say that venting has been (and continues to be) a significant part of self-care / coping for me personally and i am beyond flattered that you feel safe enough to vent your feelings to me. no need to apologize, anon. i don’t know if i can be of any help to you, but i hope that the very act of venting in and of itself has been a step in the right direction for coping for you like it often is for me.
i also want to say that i’m very sorry to hear about all of the shit that you’ve been (and continue to be) put through. while i haven’t had your exact experiences, i can very much relate to feeling like you can’t escape “discourse” or otherwise harmful ideology as both it itself and the effects of it pervades other aspects and intersections of your life both on and outside of Tumblr. not to mention how it feels to finally find that rare, illusive something or someone that you share important but seemingly less common intersections with only to discover that that thing or person contributes to the very thing that’s, for lack of a better expression, fucking you up.
…ah, yes. like those old posts by a formerly self-identified ace and queer person of color who now not only advocates against asexuality but who does so in a way that blatantly shits on aces of color by pitching them against other QPOC, among other things. that’s some fucked up shit, ain’t it?
cough. anyway… my personal coping and self-care strategies.
my go-to strategies for coping and self-care certainly don’t work for everyone or in all situations, but with Tumblr and social media-related thing in general i often try to:
- remove myself from the source of the distress.
even if only temporarily for a few hours, days, a week– whatever, i do what i can to mentally and / or physically check myself out of whatever it is that’s negatively affecting me and do my best to turn my attention to other things. i go to Starbucks, read a book, clean my apartment, focus on a personal project, catch up on shows, turn off my computer and my phone and finally make myself food– whatever. i focus on things that are actually tangible and perhaps offer some form of self-gratification even if it’s just in the form of tasting good because goddamnit, the time and cost required to get a caramel macchiato is (and quite frankly should be) far more worth it to me than the time and (mental) cost spent giving a damn about someone else’s bullshit. or so i tell myself.
if the source of the distress is outside of the internet, as might be the case with a therapist, i cut that person (or thing) out of my life even if it’s just by silently breaking off communication with them by not returning their calls or not going to their therapy sessions temporarily or indefinitely. as i said above, that person / those people / that thing is not worth the time or (mental) cost required of me by dealing with them.
- limit or manage my exposure to the source of the distress when removing myself from it completely isn’t possible.
i feel like this often ends up being more taxing than simply removing myself all together, but blocking / unfollowing immediately upon coming across something or someone that can potentially or does set you off is important. blocking applies to more than just people, blogs or posts but also blacklisting tags, keywords etc using something like Xkit for Tumblr, the native block & mute features on Twitter, etc. if the distress comes in the form of asks, instant messages, etc then i disable those things at least temporarily, especially when blocking an IP fails to get the job done. i also avoid browsing through tags, which can be tough when you actively want to find something to help yourself feel better about yourself / your experiences / etc…
when the source of the distress isn’t online-based, i try to manage / limit my exposure by avoiding the person or thing in question when possible. again, actively avoiding someone or something requires effort on my part and can in and of itself be taxing, so it’s not ideal… but i do what i can.
- venting. <3
while venting is by no means The Solution to anything and comes with its own set of risks / problems when done publicly, venting can be done in so many different ways. it’s a relatively easy form of instantly relief for me regardless of how small that relief may ultimately be. whether it be tweeting, journaling (online or pen & paper), venting on sites specifically made for that purpose, scribbling feelings onto a piece of paper and then immediately ripping that paper to shreds, typing heatedly into a text document and then closing it without saving– whatever, it helps for me to take even a moment out of my day to acknowledge how i feel and speak those feelings into existence beyond just the mess that is my own head at times. even if those feelings only exist in the world for seconds before i delete or physically destroy them because Anxiety And Shit, it still helps.
but perhaps most importantly is to:
- focus on the fact that no matter what anyone else says or does, i am The Authority on who i am, how i feel, etc.
i know who i am, but i also know that who i am is not the problem even when others make me feel otherwise. regardless of how i may feel about the things that i face in regards to my sexuality, my gender, my race, etc, i try to keep in mind that those things that i face are a product of the society that i live in and the people who insist on interjecting their own personal bullshit into my life. imho, this is as true of Tumblr “discourse” as it is of life in general.
while it may not be possible to escape society or shitty people all together, there is a lot more to society and life in general than the bullshit that we find ourselves faced with at times. i try my best to look beyond or through “discourse” on Tumblr and see the communities of people both on an off Tumblr who, like me, are against such bullshit. while shitty therapists and shitty people in general may rebrand and rehash the same old tired, hurtful shit that’s been said to others for forever, i try to look past that and focus instead on the fact that a lot of people aren’t like that and have actually learned from the past and and are better for it. i try to focus on a future where i will have access to competent mental health resources and care even though i do not have that now…
…….i’m not sure why i ended up writing this short novel of a post that ultimately amounts to nothing, but yeah. anon, no matter how hard things get, please know that you’re never going at it alone. there are others out there struggling, coping, surviving in spite of the same or similar things, it’s just that if hardly anyone talks about it we end up feeling alone in it, unaware of others’ company…
….which is one reason why despite the potential risks, venting publicly even in the form of anonymous asks can be worth it sometimes and i very much welcome such asks on this blog.
all the best, anon.