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Trauma/Stress-related Aromanticism


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I ran into the word "caedromantic" on tumblr, defined as 'having been able to experience romantic attraction in the past, and not experiencing romantic attraction any more, with the feeling that the romantic attraction was taken away/destroyed or left because of a traumatic experience.'

 

Does anyone else here feel that way and want to talk about it?

 

 

 

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Sounds like a useful concept. I don't think this term should be used to push people who are aro because of trauma out of this community, of course. But I definitely think some sort of trauma could cause a person to stop forming romantic connections with people. 

I'm willing to agree with Phoenix anyway, it's probably fairly rare. I could see trauma often leading to a situation where a person does feel romantic attraction, but is somehow terrified to act on that or even feel it. 

 

Then again I sometimes wonder if I really am aro. Because I've never really been able to feel close to anyone, so I always wonder if it's something else that makes me aro as well. 

Then again, I can't exactly call my average abandonment issues traumatic in any way. 

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Before I knew of aromantism I thought I were like this due to trauma.

 

The first girl I liked and probably the only one romantic? She was very depressed and we cut out contact with each other because long story short I had been a jerk having an affair with her bf (or ex bf) and she was pretty sure it was something I had made up when I told her, because I were jeloux (well it wasnt).

For me that was pretty hard because she was so depressed so I was worried if she would do self-harm or in worst caise commit suicide and I wouldn't know about it.

she did not do that but not really knowing and feeling her depression was my fault led me to think maybe I was unable to form romantic relationship because of my bad first-hand experience with romance?

--

yet I still feel there are so many people out there who had really terrible abusive relationships and I never experienced this and arnt even sure it is really "trauma" or not?

+ I arn't 100% sure how romantic it was. I feel it probably was romantic but she also never liked me back so if she had done that I dont know if I would had lost interest in her or not? I never liked anyone who also reciprocated my feelings. So its all just a guess, but neverless I did try for some time to force myself to date and get over my "trauma". 

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Man, @Natkat, that sucks! And trauma is defined to be  "a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.," so it sounds like that counts.  

 

@Vega, I don't see why something else making you aromantic would make you any less aromantic. We don't know why orientations are in the first place! It doesn't matter why you feel this way, just that you do. 

 

1 hour ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

I'm curious about this too. I would imagine this would be fairly rare. Maybe it could be brought on by a very abusive relationship and breakup?

Doesn't have to be very abusive, in my experience. 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

I'm curious about this too. I would imagine this would be fairly rare. Maybe it could be brought on by a very abusive relationship and breakup?

Possibly. I think it's more common than you'd think. I also don't think it would necessarily have to be a bad romantic break up either. Like, a family member just died? Or something else emotionally but not romantically traumatic happens? That could take away your alloromanticism for a period of time. I thing long term caedromanticism is fairly rare and would most likely be brought on by a toxic relationship post breakup, but short term caedromanticism is not called that, because the word is not in the mainstream vocabulary, but is still widely a thing. 

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That's interesting. And yes, it does belong in the aro-spectrum, just as your asexuality, for instance, is not less valid because of traumatic/abusive experience. 

 

Also, I agree with Epicfailingagain that this may be more common than we may imagine. Not only are there many people who do not wish to be in a relationship anymore after a very bad experience, whether within the relationship or otherwise, but I could imagine that there might be a circular interdependence between some sort of aromanticism, bad/traumatic experiences, and caedroromanticism. I am hesitating to abuse of the term "trauma", beceause it's really a heavy disposition, but for me personally, bad romantic experience does play a role. I was never into romance beforehand, so I consider myself as pretty aromantic, but when I did join a romantic relationship, because I really loved the person, albeit not classically "romantically", whatever that means, I experienced heavy mental illnesses, like depression and emotional instability (kind of borderline disorder). I became a whole other person, and was not comfortable being that person. In some way, this experience was traumatic, and it leads me to think that, metaphorically spoken "love hurts". I don't want that any more, even if I happen to feel the same emotional closeness to another person ever again. 

 

But again, it is very diverse what people consider as "traumatic" or "bad relationship exprience". Hum... Interesting concept, however. 

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Usually, I only see trauma brought up to invalidate queer identities, like, "oh, so you're only lesbian/ace/trans/aro because you were abused as a kid." This is the first time I've seen trauma brought up as a part of identity.

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21 hours ago, Ciiriianan said:

Man, @Natkat, that sucks! And trauma is defined to be  "a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.," so it sounds like that counts.  

 

@Vega, I don't see why something else making you aromantic would make you any less aromantic. We don't know why orientations are in the first place! It doesn't matter why you feel this way, just that you do. 

I agree, and I don't wannna sound like I'm invalidating aromanticism due to trauma! 

I guess that in my case I'm just curious whether an inability to feel close to other people affects my aromanticism.

And I definitely agree that trauma should never invalidate any sexual identity. 

 

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22 hours ago, Epicfailingagain said:

Possibly. I think it's more common than you'd think. I also don't think it would necessarily have to be a bad romantic break up either. Like, a family member just died? Or something else emotionally but not romantically traumatic happens? That could take away your alloromanticism for a period of time. I thing long term caedromanticism is fairly rare and would most likely be brought on by a toxic relationship post breakup, but short term caedromanticism is not called that, because the word is not in the mainstream vocabulary, but is still widely a thing. 

 

By the way, is there a thing like a romance libido? Like in case of sexuality, the libido switches off if something like depression hits, but it comes back if the issue goes away. And if romantic libido is a thing, then when is it orientation and when is it just the lack of desire? I'm not trying to nit pick, just curious. Someone please explain 'cos I have no idea how this works for alloromantic people.

 

But yeah, the concept isn't exactly new to me, I think maybe two years ago I have watched this video documentary about a couple who were both aroace due to a trauma (two separate events). It was using a fairly simple language so nobody was talking about qpr or using any fancy latin terminology, but they seemed very content with each other.

13 hours ago, omitef said:

Usually, I only see trauma brought up to invalidate queer identities, like, "oh, so you're only lesbian/ace/trans/aro because you were abused as a kid." This is the first time I've seen trauma brought up as a part of identity.

 

I think its really important to be accept these folks to the community and not to silence them. Its a silly concept that everyone with the same orientation has to conform to some cookie cutter, elitist gold star standard to be an authentic person. That's not how life works.

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12 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

I think its really important to be accept these folks to the community and not to silence them. Its a silly concept that everyone with the same orientation has to conform to some cookie cutter, elitist gold star standard to be an authentic person. That's not how life works.

 

Yes, definitely. I don't think it's really up to anyone to police labels and identities unless it's something that's logically impossible, like circumgender.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not sure I'd embrace this or not.  I thought of myself as aro since I learned of the term.  And I don't want to dismiss anyone else's orientations.  But it sort of suits me.

I had such a consistently traumatic childhood between people, both students AND teachers, just flat out not liking me in school.  The boys who were the objects of my aesthetic attraction in school either verbally abused me with their friends or had nothing to do with me.  I stopped sharing who I was attracted to.  It wasn't worth the embarassment and abuse.  It was so consistently awful that I'd run out of class just to get the other students to stop bothering me.  Then the school disciplined me for running out of class.  Once, finally, the high school disciplinarian told me I literally, VERY literally, had a good case to bring up multiple civil harassment suits.   I never brought it up to my parents because they were too busy in their own stupid idiotic dysfunctional relationship to give a flying fart about my problems at school. 

I literally left high school shattered to pieces as a person and still to this day, over 30 years later, have not picked them all up.  I have no one to help me.  It led to a college degree I have no use for and have no intention of ever using.  It led to thousands of wasted dollars.  it led to me having NO...I mean NO social skills in a college enviroment, which only meant that more people simply did not like me.

But yet in spite of this I still see other traumatized people INTERESTED in romantic and sexual relationships.  And I'm just not.  So I don't know.  I'll have to consider it more.

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  • 2 years later...

I'm actually aromantic due to traumatic experiences outside of romantic situations. I grew up (and am still in) an emotionally abusive house. The emotional trauma that has resulted because of the abuse affects all relationships I have (platonic, familial, romantic, etc.). It's hard to explain, but it's not just fear that it comes from, it's just how my brain processes everything I guess. Like, when it comes to being with my friends or anybody, I do too much or am somehow too much or too little and somehow I just get this very sick feeling in my stomach. Really normal things trigger me and it causes a lot of distress because somehow my brain links them to my parents. Romantic relationships involve a lot of vulnerability and a lot of my triggers are directly related to them, so as a result, I have become repulsed to romance.

It's strange, really, I identify as an asexual lesbian solely for the fact that I feel like properly labeling myself as aromantic is kind of letting the trauma win, but I'm not ignoring my repulsion to romance either, just not actively labeling myself as it. One day when the trauma has healed I know I'll be able to fall in love if the situation ever occurs, but right now I can't. It sucks, and it really sucks knowing that I have the chance of falling in love but I just can't, but I'm only in high school and once I'm able to get out of my house things will hopefully take a turn for the better. Besides, not being in relationships isn't that bad. Gives me a chance to focus on other things and not fret about getting a girlfriend.

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