Purveyor of Pleasure

Delving into my humanity and the joys and pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

Tag: fear (Page 1 of 2)

I Want to Be the Lover

As I lie in bed getting ready to sleep tonight, I think of you. Yet again. This is especially the time my thoughts turn to you, when I’m too tired to resist them wandering in your direction, when I’m too tired to stop them after redirecting them for most of the day.

Tonight, though. Tonight my thoughts about you are curious, interested, and sad. They are always sad these days, full of grief over the relationship that never really was. The relationship that had so much potential and so little actual. And yet also contained so much.

I’ve been sad a lot these last few weeks. Going through a grieving process, certainly, and no longer able to hide in the distraction from the rest of my life that you afforded me for a while. Plunged back into the cold waters of uncertainty and fear for a while, and I’m just starting to get out of them now. Hopefully.

Tonight my thoughts turned to the way you often confused me with someone else, mistaking my motives or intentions with your abuser. I’ve experienced that from others in my life as well. I am, at this point, very used to the weight of other people’s projections onto me. Often I run from them, as unfortunately I do not yet have the skill to counter them. Yet. And my chameleon tendencies makes this process extra complicated.

I realized, though, more than I have before, why I keep choosing people in recovery. I realized I was choosing this a while ago, and was worried that means I am abusive or power-seeking. I believe is the opposite. People in recovery allow me to be small, and keep me invisible, keep me unseen. It’s easier to be unnoticed when the other person is taking up all the room. And recovery takes up a lot of room by necessity.

It takes a lot to heal from the deep wounds I witness and am drawn to. Part of my work is to help these wounds heal. Part of my work is to recognize and heal these wounds I have in myself. It is easier for me to be the healer than the human, the priestess than the lover. It is easier for me to be in a role than myself, easier to be helping than vulnerable. And I want to be vulnerable. I want to be human. I want to be a lover.

I was really trying with you. I tried so hard to be vulnerable, to be human, to be me. I still went into that priestess role sometimes. I still tried to help heal you. Those other roles will never not be there, of course, but I really am trying to be me now. Trying to be all of me, or as much as I can handle in any given moment. As much as me will show up through the fear and the uncertainty. Slowly, more and more of me is coming out.

Never Finished, Only Abandoned

I just can’t seem to get anything fully out of me.

Or I just can’t finish anything.

I try to write and leave drafts abandoned. I have started reading so many books that I have never finished. I have wanted to finish so many things. But, since Grad School, I’m not sure I can complete anything anymore.

It feels like Grad School PTSD.

And probably it is.

I had to work so hard to finish that thesis. That Thesis Baby I gestated for far too long and that nearly broke me as it came out. I strained myself beyond my limits and cracked myself wide open, with thousands of micro-tears running across every inch of me by the time I was through. No part of me untouched by the intensity of such a labor.

I used to love to read, to write.

But the words don’t want to come out anymore.

I have all these ideas and stories in me that need to get out, but I’ve been trapped, afraid. Now I disassociate when trying to write or read for almost any period of time. I can do it in short bursts sometimes, but can’t seem to successfully get through an entire poem or blog or chapter, starting to get locked up and anxious, uncomfortable, unable to focus, unable to breathe. I numb myself, yet again, because that is what I know to do. Freeze, but smile on the outside. Act like everything is fine while I’m actually dying inside.

That’s hyperbole.

Somewhat.

So, I sit. I stare at the page or the blinking cursor. Or I re-read the same paragraph or sentence over a few times, reading the words but not comprehending the meaning. I grow uncomfortable, then I distract myself with something else. More distraction. More uncomfortable feelings. I’m trying to sit with my feelings these days, really let myself feel whatever it is that is coming up rather than pushing it down, ignoring it, pretending it does not exist. Sometimes that looks like not doing the things I want to do. Sometimes it means I end up wanting to do things I didn’t think I would. I am becoming more real, I think, the more I feel. The more I feel the more I am willing to feel. The more I am willing to feel the more I’m willing to be vulnerable. That’s what it’s all really about, anyway.

Vulnerability as the antidote to numbness.

Beauty and connection as the draw toward vulnerability.

Those cracks and micro-tears across all of me are healing into tiger stripes across my flesh. Which is not to say that I am a tiger1, just that they are decorating me, have become part of me, permanently changed me, and remain visible to others. More of my insides are on the outside now. That cracking open was a changing, a growing, I’m more open and willing to be vulnerable, not just via the written word, but with actual humans in the room with me. I’m not as locked tight up with perfectionism, self-doubt, and fear of others as I used to be even six months ago. I’m still afraid, certainly, and I still doubt, and I still hate myself at times for saying or doing the wrong thing, but the time without those feelings is getting longer, greater.

What does it mean to finish anything, anyway?

Is it even possible?

There’s that Da Vinci quote “art is never finished, only abandoned.” Maybe I just don’t know when to abandon something and move on. I was told, repeatedly, that my thesis would never contain everything I wanted it to, would never be what I wanted it to be. I had changed so much through the course of writing it that I would not be satisfied with the finished result. I kept putting off the delivery date: first December, then March, then June. I could have revised it more, could probably have revised it for years. By the time I set it down I was so tired, so worn out from the months of labor pains and the massive internal bleeding that I was just done. It came out of me and I couldn’t bear to look at it for a while. I didn’t know what to do with myself for a while.

Postpartum depression, I suppose.

Postpartum abandonment, really.

This is the first thing I’ve gotten so close to finishing in what feels like a very long time. Even now, though, there’s always more to say.

  1. tai-ger? []

Lost

I got lost somewhere along the way. I often think I wasn’t supposed to look like this. I think life wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Somewhere my voice got lost. I forgot to speak up, then I forgot how to. I removed so much of myself that I started only using other people’s words, not my own. Then I forgot what was mine. I was rewarded for it; they like it when you’re obedient.

People used to comment on my appearance like I was either hiding behind it or using it to express myself. Neither assessment ever felt right to me. What I look like was always disliked, so why not wear what I actually enjoy?

I tried so hard for so long to be comfortable with my outsides and my insides. I was not always sure if either of them was me, really.

I spent so much time frozen and alone. I guess that’s what I got for growing up in Alaska (not really that, but it’s a good excuse).

I spent so much time paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. I guess that was what I needed. . . at the time.

Struggle

I’m feeling small and sore from beating myself up today. I’m thinking a lot about what it is like to practice gratitude and self-compassion, and trying to practice it. I’m wondering what I will be like on the day I find myself much closer to the non-perfectionist end of the perfectionism spectrum and am able to marvel at the change that has occurred.

I’ve been trapped in life-paralysis for so long, waiting (not consciously) for some external force to knock me back into reality, but I’m realizing the messages I’ve been getting: the only way through it is through it; do the fucking work.

All of my life my self-worth has been connected to my accomplishments. I was told “what matters is that you do your best,” but then what was considered “my best” was also dictated to me. I was praised for excelling and giving disapproving and disappointed looks when I didn’t meet the acceptable standards. This wasn’t so bad, as I often excelled, but I also became terrified of not producing perfect work.

I have been struggling. The last year and a half has brought many things to light as I’ve worked to excavate my own self, my own darkness. I haven’t known how to ask for help. I still don’t know, as I don’t know what will help, but admitting it is a step. I have been struggling with so many things that I haven’t known what to do or where to start.

As I’ve been struggling, though I’ve also been working and I’ve been healing. I’ve been doing and changing and growing. I feel stronger and closer to that person that I want to be than I ever have felt before. I’m simultaneously nearing the end of one path and beginning another.

But, still, most days I’m struggling. I can find the strength in it and I can give it a positive spin, but I’m still hurting. I’m still feeling small and sore and there is still a part of me that is whispering “you’re wrong to feel this way” and “you’re not good enough” and “you don’t belong here.” There’s still part of me that is paralyzed and living in a state of constant fear of being found out. That part that thinks that some day everyone will realize I’m not really as interesting, intelligent, awesome, skilled, attractive, insert-positive-opinion-here, etc. as they think I am, that I’m really just unworthy of their time, energy, and love.

I know the things I would tell a client or friend who admitted this to me: everyone experiences this to some extent, some less than others, but you are not alone. I would tell them that part of themselves as their best interest at heart, it thinks that it is helping, that it is somehow keeping them safe against the threat of shame and judgment, that it really just wants them to be happy (even though its tactics are not useful). I would encourage them to feel love and compassion toward that part, to thank it, to engage with it, to work to integrate it. I would encourage them to hold themselves accountable, but also cultivate self-compassion and imperfection. I would encourage them to sit with their feelings and find where they’re rooted in the body. And so on.

These are all things I’ve told myself and am working on, but there are some days when that paralyzing part is the loudest voice inside of me. There are many days when I just break down and witness myself being paralyzed. Today was one of those days. I’m reminding myself that it’s okay to be imperfect. Telling myself to lean into the discomfort and embrace vulnerability. To fake it until I become it. To do the fucking work. To Breathe.

Spiral Out Not Down

Sometimes pleasure is really difficult to access. The more stress and overwhelmed I am the more I get away from those things that make me feel good, and, ironically, from those things that resource me. My unparalleled attention to detail combined with my overactive imagination and my tendency to over think gets me in trouble more than it helps.

In the last year I’ve been gutted, split from clavicle to navel and opened up so I could see what was inside. I’m still figuring out what I found there. I’m still figuring out how to integrate that knowledge, what to keep and what to discard. I always strive for change within myself and know I can be better, stronger, faster, but I am never satisfied no matter how far I’ve come.

Of the many relationships in my life (romantic and not, sexual and not) there are very few in which I feel truly seen, truly appreciated. There are some in which I feel suffocated by the projections bring placed on me by the other. There are some in which I am able to catch glimpses of recognition. Mostly, though, I don’t allow myself to be seen. I rarely feel safe enough to allow myself to be seen, but my idea of what safety looks like is a pretty narrow band.

I’ve been greatly inspired by the work of Brene Brown lately. I’m trying to allow myself to be more vulnerable, to open up more, but it feels so… open, exposed, and like the weaker position. I know it’s not weaker, but it is a less strategic position. It feels like a less powerful position, because if I just lay myself out there than the other person can poke at all my vulnerable exposed flesh and organs. They can do as they please, without reciprocating unless they feel like it.

I try too hard. I try to be what I think the other person wants more than I try to be myself sometimes. I’m not being inauthentic, but I am not authentically showing all of myself when I do this. My own fears and insecurities bubble up and I think I have to hide some part of myself or another in order to be liked, in order to be okay. Part of me knows I don’t need to do this, but part of me worries that if I show all of me to someone they will run away screaming.

Like anyone getting a Masters in Psychology I can trace this back down to childhood. I can point to the wherefore, but I can’t always identify it in the moment.

I keep reminding myself to expand when I get in this state, rather than contract. While there is a time and a place for contracting it doesn’t seem useful. I need to push past my level of comfort and allow myself to be open, be exposed, be real. I need to stop overthinking and just be. I need to confront the parts of me that tell me to contract, to shut down, that tell me I’m not not interesting enough or not worthy of the attention. I need to recognize that I am interesting, that what I have to say is important, that it isn’t selfish to talk about myself, that other people want to see me. I’ll get there eventually.

Vulnerability

I found this embedded in a post by maymay and loved it enough to want to share it while I’m working on many other posts. I’m working on some more kink-centered posts, as has been the theme lately, and should have some out soon especially my post about the re-collaring and a bit more on Owner/cuntpet. It’s wicked long, but worth it, if nothing else watch the last five minutes or so, but you should really listen to all of it.

Her conclusions are ideas that have been popping up for me over and over recently. I believe the idea that vulnerability is a strength in and of itself, that vulnerability and being completely autonomous and open and honest is something to strive for. Enjoy.

A couple of my favorite quotes:

“I know that vulnerability is kind of the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthyness but it appears that it is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love”

The end:

“This is what I have found:
to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen;
to love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee, and that’s really hard, I can tell you as a parent that is excruciatingly difficult;
to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror when we’re wondering “can I love you this much? can I believe in this this passionately? can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and instead of catastrophizing what might happen to just say “I/m just so greateful because to feel this vulnerable means I am alive”;
and the last, which I think is the most important is to believe that we’re enough, because when we work from a place that says “I’m enough” then we stop screaming and start listening and we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

Changing a Fundamental Belief

I’ve been taking this class. It’s pretty amazing, really. I’m halfway done and at the end of it I will be a Certified Hypnotherapist. One of the wonderful things about it is we get to work on each other in the class, so I’ve been hypnotized more in the last few weeks than I have ever before in my life (in some ways).

Last weekend I was regressed to a time when I was approximately three or four. Let me back up, actually. During the weeks before with all the information that was being thrown at me I came to a realization of a belief I held since I was a child: that what I have to say was not interesting to other people. Further, that people would ignore me. It developed in to a bunch of other beliefs as well. It was the basis of my social anxiety, of my lack of interaction with others in all fields, online including. It’s funny that online social interaction can often be just as nerve-wracking as face-to-face for me.

I don’t want to go into the details of my regression, but I’ve already felt the changes in me. I’ve let go of the fear I once held on to so tightly. I feel amazing. Whether or not this is a permanent change is up to me, and I’m dedicated to letting it be.

I’ve noticed little changes in my behavior, including commenting more on other blogs in the last few days and just generally being more chatty with friends, but I’m really hoping this changes my interactions with other bloggers. I haven’t really cultivated any deep relationships with other bloggers (or other people, for that matter) the way I would like to. I had a fear of interaction so deeply rooted that it held me back. Well, no more.

I’m amazed at the power of the work that I’m learning to do, and excited by it as well. This class has blown my mind many times and I’m only halfway through! I’ve greatly increased spiritual work I’ve been doing in the last six months and am moving closer and closer to a greater understanding of mySelf. Change is amazing.

Making Open Relationships Work

On Sunday after the rest of our weekend fun Onyx and I walked to Babeland here in Seattle for a workshop by Tristan Taormino. She called it Poly 201, basically the next level of information after her book Opening Up.

She talked about what does and does not make poly/non-monogamy work and started with a T-chart listing only what doesn’t make poly work on one side which included: New Relationship Energy, Time Management, Miscommunication, Agreement Violation, Jealousy, and Change. She then proceeded to address each factor individually and give the tools and skills to use to combat each of the potential issues. The following is her information both from my notes and as I remember it.

What doesn’t make poly work and the tools we can use to combat each of those issues:

  • New Relationship Energy: patience, compassion, communication
  • Time Management: organization, (google) calendars, negotiation skills
  • Miscommunication: honesty, full disclosure, self-awareness, communication
  • Agreement Violation: checklists, commitment
  • Jealousy: reality check, self-awareness, self-esteem, confidence, security, non-attachment, support/therapy

She stopped there to unpack jealousy a bit for us. Jealousy can be broken down into envy, competitiveness, possessiveness, excluded feelings, insecurity (fear of abandonment, not good enough, not valued, etc.), obsessiveness. Essentially “all roads lead to fear.” Jealousy isn’t about reason or using our intellect it’s about our reptilian brain overtaking us and it takes a fuckofalot to get us out of it. There is a lot of debate as to whether jealousy is innate or learned, but most likely it is some combination.

The following two situations can be both good or bad depending on the situation.

  • Change: the tools needed to cope depends on what kind of change is occuring
  • Love: compersion

Change can be welcome, or it can be difficult and unexpected. New love (and old love) can be a source of great happiness or something that catches us off guard. As Tristan said, there’s a reason why it is called “falling in love,” because most of the time you “fall on your face.” Or perhaps something came into your path that made you stumble and fall, not always in a good way.

When new love comes along specifically it can often trigger “old monogamous programming,” or the socialization that we all get in this culture to believe in monogamy. The best way to combat this is compersion. Compersion is finding joy and happiness in the happiness of your partner with another. It is the opposite of jealousy and a goal in most non-monogamous relationships.

Tristan offered “the selfish person’s guide to compersion” which essentially is for you (the selfish person) to remember that eventually the energy and excitement of the other relationship will come back and help to fuel your relationship. When a relationship is going well for someone they will feel good and that feeling good will bleed over into every relationship that person is in.

That’s the bare bones of what was covered. There was also a Q&A session at the end and after that we said hello to Tristan and got our copy of Opening Up signed. It was a wonderful workshop and was absolutely wonderful to see and meet Tristan Taormino. I highly encourage you to go to a workshop of hers if you ever have the chance!

In the Middle

I started the draft of this post with this title months ago and had the intention to write about the juxtaposition of how wonderful it was to lay between the two of them and how horrible it was to be between them when something was going wrong. Of course the title takes on even more meaning now that they have severed all ties to each other but they both still want to be with me.

I was constantly in the middle when we were all living together, not just physically. At first I would play messenger between them when things weren’t going well, they wouldn’t talk to each other like they would to me. Some point after I stopped playing messenger our communication simply got worse, we all felt trapped and simply shut down. We all agreed something needed to change, but didn’t have the means or the drive to change it.

I can see both sides now. I still love them both very much and I still want to be with them both, just as they both want to be with me. I do not do well with making decisions when I have to choose between two things I want. Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer “all” to “one.” I’m torn and do not know how to make a choice like this.

My entire life is crumbling around me and the two people who have been central to my life are at odds and I am unable to confide in either of them fully or find the support in them that I am used to. This is difficult on all of us for different reasons, and it seems we each think we have it the worst when in reality there is no “worse” in this situation.

I have been asked many times why can’t I just continue to be with both of them, why must I make a choice. While I was told by one of them that me being with both of them might be okay as long as I don’t live with the other person I was told by the other that due to everything that happened it would be extremely difficult. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice: thinking I can have both of them and having that end with none of us happy or getting what we need.

This evening Marla mentioned fearing that no matter who I chose I would end up resenting them for making me choose. I am trying to prevent this by taking the time to figure out what I need above all else. I love them both, I want them both, I don’t know how to choose but I know that rushing into a decision will end up with me and/or everyone unhappy.

At the same time I know that taking too long or indecision is a decision all in and of itself. I’m trying to find the balance there, but maybe I’ve already taken too long. By trying to avoid hurting one of them I will probably end up hurting both of them.

The other option, of course, is to choose neither. One of the things I fear the most is hurting someone that I love, and in this situation I would be hurting both of the people who I desperately want to spend my life with, this seems like the worst solution because of that. This isn’t to say this option isn’t tempting, it bypasses me having to favor one over the other, but it guarantees that we all will be hurting more than we already are. On the flip side, if I make a choice two of us will be hurting over a choice and the other will still be hurting over the rest of the situation.

All I can do is try to figure out what is best for me, and that’s what I’m trying to encourage them both to do as well. I am not used to putting myself first in any situation, but I am working on how to do that. I’m trying not to take too long as to drive both of them away but to take long enough that I know I am making the right decision, or at least as much as I am able to know that.

Leave Your Life-Stock Alone*

Fall seems to be the time for starting new projects–there have been A LOT of blogiversaries in the last month plus–and generally of taking stock of one’s life. Perhaps this is because we are coming inside from the crazyness that is summer and all the fun that goes along with that and need to focus on other more personal things like blogs and self.

I have been absent from this blog for quite some time, I do not take pleasure in it the way I used to and I have less time to write even though I have plenty to say but at the same time I have nothing at all to say. I’m often worried that something I write in here will be taken badly by one or both of my partners and so I have become cautious and self-editing to the point of nondisclosure.

None of us are happy in this situation, but we don’t have the means to change it, and we don’t know what to do about that. We all feel stuck, on edge, like everything is threatening to break at every given moment and it’s all we can do to keep it from doing so. Or maybe that’s just me. We love and are loved but it is guarded love and it comes with promises and expectations. This situation is killing me and I don’t know how to get out of it.

I love them both so very much, but everything is so discombobulated and strange that I’m not sure what that really means.

I need to get over my fears, however, and figure out what I need and what I am thinking, and that’s where this blog comes in. I’ve come a long way from when I started this, I’ve changed a lot, found new words to mark my changes and used words to help myself remember the experiences along the way. I have written posts similar to this before, my realization of needing a space to chronicle out my thoughts and fears and dedicating myself to doing so, and every time I mean it.

I’m working on figuring out some new features or series’ for this blog and for Wanton Lotus. I am wondering about my choice to split the two of them up, wondering if they would have been better left together, and wondering if I am still writing for the reasons I want to write about. I haven’t been, but I intend to change that.

I started this blog as a place of release, somewhere I could express everything and anything going on in my life for the sake of getting it out of my head. It’s not written for an audience, though I do enjoy the fact that some people find my life/words/writing/whatever interesting but that has never been my focus. I want it to be interesting to read, yes, and I do not want to use it as a out-and-out journal, I want it to be a guide on my way to self-expression and a better writing quality.

Again, I think I’ve said all this before, but I feel the need to repeat it. I am going to set goals for myself again, focus on writing exercises, and focus on certain aspects I am desiring to write more about and delve more deeply in to. Gender and polyamory are two main focuses of my life at the moment and I’m going to start there. Sex and smut are also key factors, and I want to start writing more erotica from all sorts of points of views.

I haven’t really been sharing as much of my personal sex life as I have previously or as I would like to be because of my partners and the situation we are all in, but some day I would like to get back to that. I enjoy writing about experiences that have taken place and I hope to be able to do that again soon. I’m making it a goal to become more involved with the community here, which I really haven’t done, and hopefully that will lead to more interesting stories.

I also have many thoughts about revamping my other main site, Wanton Lotus. I just need to actually sit down and finish some of these things that I have in the works and the ideas I have. The same goes for Pleasurists for that matter, I want to focus on creating more of a community resource, but that is a whole other post.

*A line from Grosse Point Blank, maybe not the perfect title, but it’s always what I think of when I think of taking stock of life.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén