If you’re like me, there are lots of questions that race through your mind when you prepare to go out on a date. Do I look polished enough? Am I going to click with this person? Did we pick the right venue to go out to? And then there’s the one question always gnawing at the back of my skull about my autism: can I be myself?
The author of the new book Heavy Metal Headbang shares some of how dating went for her while recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and has a little advice for those with TBI who are dating, and those dating anyone with a TBI.
"Folks, the main thing I hope to realize is that you are a very powerful social creator, no part of human culture exists without humans creating it and you literally have the power to do that. Of course, you don’t have all the power, but listen: power is not just out there in some kind of blob form, power is inside of everyone of us. We don’t have all the power but we have our power and we can decide how to use it."
Suddenly, a person you’ve been regularly communicating with is M.I.A. Without warning, a fixture of recent life can become a memory. Somebody you’d bonded with has abruptly stopped contacting you. The text messages have ceased, all traces of their presence in your life have been yanked away by them, and without warning or explanation. But just because the experience is stressful doesn’t mean it’s impossible to endure. There are ways for autistic people to come out the other side of getting ghosted.
Historically, trans people and disabled people have had vocal training to change the way their voices sound; sometimes by choice and sometimes by way of strong culture pressure of what a gender and the voice of a person whose gender that is “should” sound like. Scarleteen volunteer Val was thrilled to sit down with a teacher who approaches the voice completely differently; not in the pursuit of “normal” or with an attitude of “fixing” but rather in the pursuit of uplifting self-expression and showing people the power of the tools their body has to express themselves.
I'm a sixteen-year-old girl and recently realized that I am bisexual. My parents and brother have always been very clear that they will be accepting of whoever I am, so I came out to them only a few weeks after figuring things out myself. (They were indeed fine with it.) I also came out to a bunch of friends pretty quickly since most of my friends are queer, too. But now I’m really confused....
Letters from the author to himself in his teens and early 20s, as he tries to sort out multiple facets of his identity.
When my assault happened, I was stunted in my sexual exploration, and I had no choice but to start anew. I’ve learned it will always be an ongoing battle for me, but a possible feat. Scarleteen readers confronting a comparable situation should know there’s hope for you too. Reclaiming our right to pleasure combats apathy by demonstrating our capacity to enjoy again. While we can’t reverse rape, recovery begins when we remember we have alternatives.
Being single or otherwise on your own during the pandemic can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be awful or without benefit to you. There are probably lots of things you can do right now to help yourself cope and make the most of this time. Here are seven ideas to get you started.
Ooof, masturbating at home. Mom and Dad being one door down can be so nerve-wracking that you can’t even occupy sexy-thoughts long enough to get aroused, let alone do something abut them. Here are some tips from someone who knows this situation to help you stay discreet, overcome your anxiety, experiment with your sexuality and find this kind of comfort at home.