Comic 1411 - Part of the Process

13th Sep 2021, 9:45 AM in Ch. 42 - One Day at a Time
Part of the Process
Average Rating: 5 (11 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 13th Sep 2021, 9:45 AM edit delete
I've gone over this a lot over the course of the comic, but I think it's important enough to bear repeating. I have so frequently seen people beat themselves up over not realizing that they're gay or trans or any number of orientations or identities until later in life. Or that they never knew they were intersex. Or even beyond LGBT stuff, that they didn't realize they have ADHD or autism or something until later. It's okay, though. Really.

People - all of us - are complicated, and sometimes, it just takes a bit longer. It doesn't mean someone is "stupid" if they didn't put it together sooner. And it's not a race either; you don't "lose" if someone younger than you figured it out first.

On the one hand, I've said before I've known I was trans since my first memory (not the word itself, but I knew from like age 3 or 4 that "I wanted to be a girl"). On the other hand, I did not piece together that I was asexual until my thirties. The funniest part about that is that a friend back in high school actually once asked me, "Do you think you might be asexual?" And at the time, I brushed it off, like, "Of course not. I can't be!"

Cut to me 15-20 years later: "Oh, dang. He was right!" Whoops! XD

Then I only learned I had ADHD like 2-3 years ago (despite being astoundingly obvious in hindsight; I just happened to never be diagnosed as a kid, and therefore thought nothing of it). And even more recently than that, I have very strong suspicions that I may be autistic (which would also explain a lot of things throughout my life).

Yet, here I am, 37 years old and still learning stuff about myself. I bet I'll continue to learn new facts about myself at least once every few years for the rest of my life too. So again, it's okay to take a little more time to learn things about yourself. You're not slow or stupid for not picking up on it sooner; I like to think we just figure it out when "it's time to know". You couldn't know before, because you didn't have all the pieces of the puzzle available to you yet; that's not your fault.

So please, be patient with yourself, and be kind to yourself. ^_^

Rain, all characters and all other aspects of the story are copyright material belonging to me.

My next round of dental work is currently slated for November, but as I've discussed, I've still got a lot to save. If you can help, I will be very grateful. If not, no hard feelings. Thank you, either way.
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TK 13th Sep 2021, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
To kinda vibe with what you're saying there, I didn't realize I had autism for a while. And when I did, my first reaction was constant denial and not "Oh, suddenly my entire life makes sense." Because in elementary school, I was always different from everyone else and wasn't sure why, like why I reacted differently to things or why I was bullied so much. I embraced having ADHD much more but sometimes I still hate it because it can mess me up. I had taken some meds when I was younger, but they made me more depressed apparently. I don't remember that time well cause I guess I chose to forget. Also learning about the LGBTQ+ community and starting to think that maybe I was different in other ways has kinda been a struggle. I feel like my attraction vibes with what Carter said "Cute is cute", so in that regard someone's gender isn't a huge priority. If I'm attracted to someone than I am. Though it's been hard trying to label that. I know many people don't like labels, but I find it easier to identify with and explain to people. I feel like I'm kind of sexually fluid, though to be clear that doesn't mean that if I like someone, I'd suddenly stop liking them. Another problem I've run into is that I'm still pretty sure I'm monogamous in that I prefer a 1 on 1 relationship, yet I find myself attracted to multiple people. And as in Allison's case, one of them is someone I just never really got over. And sometimes for me, it's rough to be friends with someone you love especially when they're seeing someone else. I just gotta smile and bare it ya know.
CuteZoeyMonster 13th Sep 2021, 12:30 PM edit delete reply
I had a smiler time with Dyslexia. I had another problem where Some times when I tried to sleep it got weird. but I thought it was something everyone dealt with just a normal way people fall asleep. then in college, I was in my psychology class we talked about REM sleep and I asked if that was what my exsprinces was called she told me know I think you have a sleeping disorder. It was sleep paralysis. I never thought to ask if something was wrong.

Also you may have looked in to it before but just incase you haven't what you described makes me think as Pansexual or panromantic and if not there a few sexuailtys in that space between Pan and Bi if any of that helps
TK 13th Sep 2021, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
I am aware of pansexual, but I don't like frying pans much so I think I'm somewhere like polysexual or polyromantic, not to be confused with polyam.
TK 13th Sep 2021, 6:50 PM edit delete reply
Also for clarification TKK is a different person we just coincidentally have similar names on here.
CuteZoeyMonster 13th Sep 2021, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
Love this It's so sweet. In high school, I questioned my sexuality and finally settled on I like girls so I'm a straight guy and I thought that was the end of it. But it super wasn't. I was right about liking girls but nothing else
Fox 13th Sep 2021, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
Oh gosh i want me some friends like this <3
Gabi 13th Sep 2021, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
Panel 1 = me a few years ago... Only I was about 20 years older than Allison is at this point.
Cloé Veilleux 13th Sep 2021, 4:41 PM edit delete reply
I am thankful it's not a race. I only discovered that I'm autistic at 38 years old, and that I'm trans at 40.

Sure, now that I know both of those things, hindsight is 20:20 and I can see and understand so much more of how I lived my life.

Sexuality is still confusing to me, though. I think that until I figured my Identity, my brain never really spent much time on that, so defaulted to acting as if I was following Hetero Normativity.

I have a few labels that seem to fit me, and demisexual and panromantic are some of them, but I have no idea how far from the mark I actually am. It's quite a journey, trying to figure this out, especially when starting this "late".
TKK 13th Sep 2021, 5:06 PM edit delete reply
It's also a question of getting the information to figure it out. I'm 60 and have only figured things out over the last 4-5 years - but then the categories I've ended up feeling at home in were utterly unknown, at least to the general public, back in the 80s when I was young.
I knew about transgenderism - but while I would fantasize about being a woman, I felt no problems about being male, nor did I want to commit to going fully female. I knew about transvestism - but while I was fascinated with women's clothing, dressing my male body in them gave me nothing. Only when I was well past 50 did I hear about bigenderism/genderfluidity and something suddenly clicked.
Of course the problem is that dressing up as a woman still does nothing for me. I want to be able to switch between the genders in clothing AND body, which, short of someone inventing one of those genderbender guns beloved by comics, isn't going to happen. So it remains more a state of mind than a thing that appears in my actual day-to-day life (but then, at my age it would probably be so anyway).
Jaina 13th Sep 2021, 6:48 PM edit delete reply
You know, I used to think it was kind of funny how pretty much every orientation is represented among one freind group in the comic. Then 3 out of 6 people (Including me) from our D&D group came out as trans, and one came out as nonbinary. So yeah, I'm not as skeptical as I used to be lol
TK 14th Sep 2021, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
In my D&D group, we got 1 trans person, 1 non-binary, 3 bi spectrum people, and a straight guy who just acts gay.
Lizzie 13th Sep 2021, 7:17 PM edit delete reply
As someone who is autistic (and possibly has ADHD as well) who realised I was bisexual gradually in my late 20s (and didn't feel fully comfortable using the term until my early 30s precisely because I felt silly about not realising earlier), this is a really validating page! Also reading the comments, it's good to know that recognising one's sexuality and/or neurotype has been a process for a lot of people and I'm not the only one. Thank you Jocelyn :D

Pip 14th Sep 2021, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
yeeeeeeeeeeeeeee *dances*
that one gay dumbass 14th Sep 2021, 1:00 AM edit delete reply
Jade 14th Sep 2021, 10:51 PM edit delete reply
ADHD has something like a 75% comorbidity with gender dysphoria. Chances are if they're trans, they've got at least a minor case of ADHD too! Welcome to brain hell~
Allison (not that one) 14th Sep 2021, 6:53 AM edit delete reply
It didn't even occur to me that I *might* be trans until I was 60 (when I read Zinnia Jones' 2013 post about it), even though gender and society's gender-based expectations have been an issue as far back as I can remember, and the idea of being transformed into a girl has made me feel funny ever since I was young. I think it was that my unconscious (which is where most of the "real me" is hiding) knew it was unsafe to even think about it, especially when I was young, so it didn't let me. I think that it finally allowed me to consider it when it figured out that it might be safe.

(OT: I will always be grateful to the trans people, esp. trans women, who went before me in the days when it was a lot, lot harder, and cleared and blazed a trail for us not-so-brave folks to follow.)

It also didn't occur to me that the fears and compulsions I've felt all my life weren't just me being congenitally defective or intentionally bad, as everyone around me seemed to think, but rather the consequences of trauma (Complex PTSD.) But then, nobody wanted to believe that something like PTSD even existed until rather recently (and a lot of people still insist it doesn't exist), so maybe it is just as well that my unconscious waited to tell me.

Pseudonym 14th Sep 2021, 1:08 PM edit delete reply
The first and third flashback panels have scenes from chapters 41 and 13, but what about the second one? Is it flashing back to a scene we've seen in the comic before?
Jocelyn 14th Sep 2021, 4:56 PM edit delete reply

That one's a little tricky. It is based on a real scene, but it's from Chapter C, the bonus chapter in Volume 3. So it's possible not everyone's seen it.
Pseudonym 15th Sep 2021, 2:43 PM edit delete reply
Danke. I'll pick up that one if I find the money.
A_Very_Creative_Name 15th Sep 2021, 1:55 AM edit delete reply
It took me 18 years of being incredibly single to realize that there were words to describe the fact that no one was sexually or romantically attractive to me.

Now that I know that I’m aroace, it makes quite a lot more sense why I never seem to have crushes, or understand why other people my age are calling people “hot”.

It feels good to know I’m not broken.
Some Ed 15th Sep 2021, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
I think things like ADHD and autism which are apparently at least somewhat genetic can be difficult to self-diagnose, because we may be surrounded by people with the same condition.

For example, most of the people on my father's side of our family have ADHD. I *think* most of them are also autism spectrum, but that's a bit harder to be certain of. Given that, it's not really surprising that my brothers and I all have ADHD, and at least two of us are autism spectrum.

And yet, this was all normal to us, because we grew up around so many people who are. I managed to diagnose myself from talking with a lot of different people to learn to communicate better, and noted that the people with whom I tended to click most were autism spectrum.

To be clear, I didn't say the people with whom I have the most in common, or other words like that, because we really don't. Autism spectrum is a very diverse diagnosis which includes some people who are more different from me than I could have imagined. Sure, they'll have some features the same as me, but on the same note, so do most normal people.
Mild Lee Interested 15th Sep 2021, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
I'm like: "I don't get what the fuss is about Allison. I mean it's completely typical to only feel sexual attraction when you have an emotional bond...oh...OH!!!"
So that's how i found out that I'm Demi :)
Pup 15th Sep 2021, 10:03 AM edit delete reply
Didn't get diagnosed with ADHD until I was in college! I'd been able to get through grade school (which included AP classes) with good grades, so I didn't realize there was a problem until I hit the far less structured world of university.

Then I hit a brick wall that pummeled me hard 😅

Looking back on my childhood and adolescence, I definitely see the signs of ADHD there. And I've learned more about the symptoms and quirks of ADHD in the last year than I knew when I was diagnosed 10 years ago.

Life is very much a journey!
doombird 16th Sep 2021, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
1) I read your name "Pup" and your first sentence together, somehow and was like, "your dog didn't get diagnosed with ADHD until you were in college??" And then I was hit with this moment of absolute certainty: All Dogs Have ADHD 😅

2) I legit figured out that I have ADHD from Internet memes (which, let me say, I love that we have these kind of therapeutic, personal-experience sharing, vulnerability type of internet memes now??) and it made me look back at college and be like "ohhhhhhhhh." I literally dropped out of my honors program into a regular program because the honors program's "thesis" project was: anything you want. Absolutely anything. Something academic, something creative, whatever you want. And I just, like, dissociated just THINKING about that level of Too Much Freedom and No Structure.
doombird 16th Sep 2021, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
I was THIS MANY (37) years old when I figured out I'm nonbinary-agender! A friend of mine came out as agender earlier this year, and I was like "that sounds like how I feel, I've never felt male or female or masc or femme a day in my life, but they're so much more gloriously androgynous-chic than I am, so that can't be me? I'm just a bargain bin chaos muppet???" and then I had to be like "yes but you are an agender bargain bin chaos muppet if you feel like one, not because you have the same body or fashion or anything as anyone else"

Sometimes I catch myself being like "sure I'm almost never interested in sex ever, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm ace?" and then I realize how ridiculous it would sound if I were all "Sure I use my left hand for almost everything I do, but I don't know that that's proof that I'm *left-handed*." It took a long time, even once I actually had words for labels, to realize that labels don't have to be some dominant characteristic that's more important than any of your other personality traits - though they can be! - they just have to describe how you feel or operate. They're literally adjectives. wheeeewww did that take me a while.
Lana 16th Sep 2021, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
I really wish I had friends like this while I was still in high school, my life could have been so much better. I'm still discovering things about myself that I didn't even know was a thing, and it explains so much about things in my life that I'd just cast aside. I'd heard about demisexuality before but after the past few comics I'm pretty certain that's where I am too!
FourthNate 20th Sep 2021, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
It's also common for people who aren't/ don't identify as demi to prefer to date people they already know well. (e.g. "I married my best friend" is a pretty typical thing to hear *outside* of the ace or LGBTQ+ community.)
To be clear I'm happy for Allison to learn about and use all the labels she feels fit her, and know that she's not alone. That's great. Use the labels that work for you! I'm just also saying that her having a hard time letting go of a crush on an old friend is pretty relatable to a wider range of folks.
Szarrukin 26th Sep 2021, 3:02 PM edit delete reply
Well, I've found out I am asexual when I was almost 30yo...
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