Happy Friday, everyone! Today, I wanted to talk a little about what I think about labels.
To be frank, I went through life not ever caring about labels. I didn’t even have much of a life prior to marriage or even adulthood, due to my overprotective parents and the sexual and verbal abuse I was suffering in between all that. I had nothing to label myself as at the time. All I knew about myself then was that I was an artist and who loved to draw and that I definitely LOVED to write. I wrote endlessly. I also played the piano by ear.
Besides that, I honestly didn’t know what the fuck to ‘label’ myself as. I was simply a very shy, overly nice, quiet geek who wanted friends but couldn’t find anyone to really care about me. I spent those years drowning in sexual abuse, sexual fantasies, sexual perversion (even though I was a virgin till age 18) and the talents I listed above.
My college years weren’t very different. No friends, very lonely, still not really knowing who I was. No confidence whatsoever. That beginning of my first year (2004) was when my abuse came out… yeah, imagine me going through all that investigation while trying to figure out college life. >_< I met my hubby and we had a blast dating for three years, and that helped me figure out more about myself. I had a shitload of issues that I went through then. But I learned a lot. When we got married, I’d learned even more about myself, considering that I was no longer under my parent’s supervision or jurisdiction. I still felt like I was to a certain extent, but that was only mental.
Fast forward to 9 years of marriage, I’ve really found myself in a lot of ways. I am nowhere near the person I used to be. I’m not that same scared, timid person who couldn’t stand up for herself. I’m not the same shy girl who just let random guys touch me for the hell of it and not tell them to fuck off.
Initially, I still didn’t care much for labels throughout my marriage, but it’s the fact that I wasn’t able to label myself back then that makes me actually WANT to label myself NOW at almost 30 years old.
See, not having an identity was fucking rough as a child. Most people struggle with their identity as it is, but add violent child molestation for the duration of 5 years by the person who CREATED you in the first place makes it 1,000 times rougher. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t grow, hell; I couldn’t fucking breathe. Now that I can finally be myself, I am proud to label myself as whatever I claim to be. I used to kind of mentally criticize people who often labeled themselves, only because some people put too much emphasis on ‘fitting in’ rather than simply living life, but now I completely understand why people do it.
It’s kind of a freeing feeling, you know? It’s not just about the sexual labels that I’ve claimed; it’s just being free, period. Being able to be an atheist without criticism. Being able to speak online. Being able to get rid of people who don’t believe in me or have my best interest in mind. Being able to freely talk about sex without having to hide.
Being able to finally write my erotica without having someone bash me over the head with a fucking Bible. Being able to have as many kids as I want and being a stay home mom. Being able to homeschool just because I am capable of teaching my own children. Being able to be free minded and develop my OWN sense of how the world should be without religious dogma clouding my mind. I have grown a lot and I’m PROUD. I’m not where I want to be, but who is?
So now, the way I look at labels is that they are kind of necessary for personal growth, especially if you’re already completely battered and lost like I was. You don’t owe anyone else an explanation of what labels you, but it’s only for your own self gratification. It helps you narrow down what you are, what you crave, what you can handle, and what you’re into. Whether or not you fit in with society’s norms is completely irrelevant, but labels do help you find your identity in some ways. I know that they helped me a lot. For a person who had absolutely NO identity coming into adulthood, I know so much more now about who I am. Labels help you because they force you to ask yourself the hard questions about life, the ones that require lots of self reflection.
Welp, that’s pretty much my opinion on labels. I no longer say that people are crazy for focusing on labels. Because in a world where society is always trying to stamp labels on you FOR you, what’s really the harm in taking over and planting stamps on yourself? 😉