Purveyor of Pleasure

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

Tag: help

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.

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.

Disappointed

This is a word that carries a lot of weight with me. Just how much weight I wasn’t completely aware of (consciously) until last night. As I have mentioned before Onyx and I have begun to create lists of tasks for me each night that I am to get done while he is at work. These are all sorts of things such as housework, spiritual work, making a living work, relationship work, or whatever else. They are to keep me on track and so I have a tangible thing to look at when I’m feeling like I haven’t gotten anything done that night and say “no, see, you have finished things!”

I’m not entirely sure why but the last few days I’ve been slacking a bit. I have not completed things by the time I have to go to bed and last night I forgot to send him my nightly text at 3am until nearly 3:45. This was not good, of course, and I knew that but sleep was necessary. The night before we had been talking on gtalk and he mentioned he was disappointed about me having to go to bed before everything was done but that it was acceptable because of circumstances that had happened. Following closely, last night he said he was disappointed in me for missing my nightly text.

I started bawling. Him saying that felt like punishment enough for what I had done because I felt so poorly about it. I knew it was a disproportionate reaction and I could actually examine my emotional reaction as it was happening, which was nice and is something I’ve been working on. Neither of us would have guessed I would have reacted so strongly to such a small thing, but I did. I was somewhat shocked, actually, and thus commenced my analyzation of why that term has such power over me.

When I was growing up I was rarely punished for bad behavior. My mother is big on developmental and child psychology and my father would just get withdrawn and upset but rarely directly punish me. I can only think of one instance where I was even sent to my room, so mostly my “punishment” was guilt or being told they were disappointed in my behavior. Naturally this created a trigger in me. I strove to never disappoint them (or never let them know about what they would be disappointed about). Disappointment was the worst thing I could do to someone.

That’s not to say I don’t and haven’t disappointed people. There are plenty of things I have done that I feel bad about, but for the most part those are small things, there is nothing in my life that I regret.

I attribute the weight of his words last night to be partially because of the new power dynamic that we have been building between us and partially because of hearing it two days in a row. I was already feeling down from the day before and I was already beating myself up about not doing what I was supposed to and he said that. For the record, I keep saying “he said that” but I’m not placing blame on him for my reaction or anything, neither of us could have predicted that is what would happen. Vaguely I remember recognizing disappointment from others as a source of pain for me, but it hadn’t come up in so long I just had no idea I would react so strongly.

I also have a tendency to subconsciously punish myself. I was feeling extremely down after that happened and although I got myself to feeling a little better through the hours before Onyx came home when he came home I closed myself off and didn’t allow myself to find the comfort in him that I might have been able to if I wasn’t, essentially, punishing myself. There was no time when I thought “I’m going to do this” but that is what happened. I was sad and closed off and I had done the same thing the night before as well, though to a smaller extent.

Onyx and I had a talk about this earlier today so he knows about what the word triggers in me and we discussed possible options for punishment that he could inflict that would not be as damaging or affect me for so long. Of course, if I do something or don’t do something that carries a lot of weight with it he also knows that he can use that word to hit home the true weight of the situation to me. Ultimately, this is another tool for him to use in our dynamic.

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