Am I wrong? – A poem

Courtney, 16, Female, United States

content note: rape/sexual assault

My mother was raped when she was young and so I have faced her influence
While still being me and knowing myself and my desires (or so I hope)
Sex was always scary, I feared for my life and still do to this day
I am uncertain about the future, I am afraid of my own body
What can I expect tomorrow? Today? How can I make sense of yesterday?
Am I wrong to be distrustful? Am I wrong to be afraid?

When I found out about asexuality, it was as if a door had opened
I had seen the light, I found my life, I had meaning
I came out almost immediately, I was so excited to have found, well, me.
I told everyone who asked, and brought it up in conversations about relationships
I was confident, suddenly unafraid, I knew what to do, I knew how to live.
Was I wrong to be happy? Was I wrong to believe that my life had changed for the better?

But then I again found darkness.
Swiftly as the door had opened, it had again closed, leaving behind a void of uncertainty.
I faced harassment, constant, from the internet, from my friends, from the world.
I felt trapped again, suddenly horribly aware, suddenly floored by my reality
I didn’t feel safe anymore, correctional rape became my fear again
I thought I had avoided it now that sex was not part of my life
But I was wrong
I can trust no one
Am I wrong to think this way? Am I wrong to be wrong? Am I wrong to believe I am a victim?

I experienced my relationships falling apart
People tell me I’m lying
People say I’m ignorant, that I don’t know yet, that I’m too young and will soon learn
As if sex is this treasured gold, this diamond in the rough, this blissful existence
As though I haven’t found the light, as if I’m some child who still has so much to learn
Like I still haven’t mastered by ABCs, how to multiply by two, how to count down from 10
Am I wrong to not want sex? Am I wrong to think that I have already found my light?

I feel like I need to close the door once opened.
I feel my life, my walls, my mind caving in on me
I feel like reality has become a blockade rather than an acceptance of who I am
Who am I anyway? Can I even trust myself? Who is right?
Why was I born this way? Why can’t I feel what normal people feel?
Why am I me?
Am I wrong to exist this way? Am I wrong to be different?

I want to love, I want to be loved, I want to have children and be held like I am the world
I want to be looked at as if I am the one star in the sky
I want to be talked about as if I am the gem I’m meant to be
I want to be told I matter, that I am the light in one person’s life
I want to hold my child, my baby in my hands, my own, my life, my little spirit to care for
I want to walk down the aisle, feel beautiful, look into the eyes of my lover and feel infinite
I want to wake up every morning to the face of someone who makes my heart flutter
I want to fall asleep next to another heartbeat, beating for me, beating for each other
I want to experience the clench in my stomach that tells me I am right, not that I am afraid
I want my body to tell me, “It’s okay Courtney. You’re okay. You’re okay.”
I want these tears, these salty fountains from my eyes, to be wiped away by love’s thumb
I want to feel the warmth that tells me that I am fine, the warmth of someone who loves me
Am I wrong to want those things?

But then like Sylvia Plath, I face the dark ceiling without a star
Like Emily Dickinson, I face oppression
Like Edgar Allen Poe I am the raven crying “nevermore”
Like the President, I am under a microscope, faced with enormous responsibility
Responsibility to be someone who I am not
The calling of the world to tend to them and their needs and not my own
That myself is not enough and I have to be two people, I have to carry double the weight
A weight my shoulders just cannot carry
A weight that lies in the pit of my being
A weight that tell my soul that it is not real, that i must carry this impossible duty instead
The forced, supposed, societal obligation that tells me to be, again, someone who I am not
Am I wrong to not want to face this crippling duty – This burden that is the “okay” identity?
Am I wrong to be burdened with my own identity?

The world wants me to be one way, but I am the other
I want to be a part of the queer community
I want to be accepted
But they are accepted on the grounds that sex is sex, that your body is for your use
But I feel wrong.
Sex is not relevant, nor will it ever be a part of my life no matter which way the tide pulls
So do I really belong? Anywhere? In myself? In a community meant to be for people like me?
Do I have the rights to this body? To my attributes and my failures? To my organs?
Someone else wants them, but I am supposedly not using them correctly.
Is it fair to keep them for myself?
Am I selfish?
Am I wrong to be “the other”?

I am asexual.
Am I wrong?