View Full Version : A mono man and his Jealousy. Therapy options, thoughts.
04-18-2012, 09:38 PM
I have only just had my first serious poly talk with my partner of 18 months (more on that later). I am mono (I think) and though she has alluded to poly I kept stuffing my fingers in my ears and pretending it wasn't happening as I was completely smitten, and am mono. I thought I'd be such a good lover this would change. I was wrong (not about the lover thing!). I thought I could forgive her, thus be some kind of saint, and she would want only me - this was wrong too. Forgiveness implies she has done something wrong, which for poly people who do not understand they are poly must be a huge source of pain. Always thinking of herself as flawed, and that 'relationships' could never be serious as her men would eventually hate her, get fed up, and move on. This is her history, trying to be honest, being rejected for her beliefs, looking for love elsewhere, scenes and accusations, pain, solitude again, or stuck with a secondary while the man you love goes off and hates you. Belief she was flawed, abnormal, destined to loneliness.
I have been driven to despair trying to understand this women who obviously loves me, yet refused to commit. At wits end I was going to leave (for about 6 months). I'm quite lucky I didn't go insane, it was a very dark period but I do not give up on love, nor on friends, easily. I knew something didn't add up, and did my homework. LOTS of homework. I had to somehow keep it together enough not to drive her off while gaining some understanding of what I was actually dealing with.
I did (look them up if you want to deal with feelings better do yourself the favour) NLP, EFT, CBT therapies. All of these are amazing to learn about and do, I have grown emotionally in leaps and bounds. I highly recommend all 3 methods as self help therapy. EFT online - find Brad Yates on you tube. NLP - Tony Robbins is a master at this. CBT has an exercise - TEA. Thoughts, errors, action, this is really deep stuff, hard and it hurts at first. 3 days of this I was sane enough to 'talk' to my partner, instead of whine, or demand, or cry, or whatever else never seemed to work. This therapy is for those with dysfunctional backgrounds who have trouble thinking straight at times. The book to read is called 'Been there, done that, do this'. It seems a let down, very small, large print. BUT, do the TEA exercise and you will find relief. mine was rapid, some take months. many 'depressed and 'anxiety disorder' types come off medication after doing the TEA exercise. I am typically a happy person, but all that incongruity of who my partner was brought up loads of old wounds.
None of these therapies fixed the cause of the problem, my utter confusion as to where I stand. But it was important I was sane and rational enough to have 'the conversation' with my partner.
I told her I thought she was polyamorous, not flawed, and that she can have her needs met, if she were to understand and commit to meeting mine, which are simple, love, no more lies (only trying to protect me then, i said i don't want to know). I said the pattern of her life pointed strongly toward polyamory, and that her secondary was now approved, and yes it hurts me a bit, but there are ways to cope with jealousy, and if she will help, it's all workable, it's all ok.
She is stunned. She was convinced she was flawed - 'fucked' as she said. She was convinced she was destined to keep people at length yet she couldn't. she said she is over her head in love with me and an absolute mess as she was sure her behaviour would drive me away eventually. She hates keeping me at length but couldn't see another option, yet she couldn't keep me at length, I was wounded a lot, she was hurt by this, it was very hard for both of us to make sense of this thing.
All the pain just began to fall from us. It was incredible. I still have to deal with jealousy, but I have therapy tools, and more importantly, her willingness to help me. I will spend a bit of time now reminding my partner she is not 'fucked', and will introduce her to other polyamorous people so she can meet kindred souls and not feel so 'unique' (alone).
I am very grateful to have found the polyamory community, without reading your stories I would still be despairing, then we'd be split up, and both despairing.
This has been nothing short of a BREAKTHROUGH. Thank you.
"The course of true love never runs smooth."
04-18-2012, 10:18 PM
Wow, she's lucky to be with someone like you! Sounds like you are supportive, eager to learn, willing to look deeply at yourself, wanting to understand her. Bravo! I wish you both happiness. I know for me it was a relief to hear about polyamory too, since it explained my destructive past relationship patterns.
Now I'm going to google TEA and the exercise you mentioned. Thanks!
04-18-2012, 10:58 PM
Yay! So glad you are hear. I hope to hear her story too some time. I am in no way "fucked" and if this life I lead is "fucked" then I am happy with that. Because its fucking awesome! :D
I do hope you do a search here in the tags for "jealousy." There is a lot to be said by some very wise participants here. It could be helpful and add to what you have learned and accomplished in therapy.
Welcome to a new day :) Good luck to both of you.
04-18-2012, 11:19 PM
Hi AC, thanks for the support. It is a little bittersweet for now for me, but the bitter is due to fear. Love is the polar opposite of fear. As a mono I fear that polyamory means 'not really loving' - which is nonsense. This is where TEA helps.
Get that book (Been There, Done That, Do This - Sam Obitz) out of your local library if you can. It's only a 2 hour read. Might be good for you, people you love, it's a cracker, but will force you to look at stuff objectively. I guess it's difficult at first as it is fairly dispassionate in dispatching thoughts which are attached to feelings (passion). It does help.
Here's an example of how I do TEA.
Thought: I am not truly loved/lovable as she loves another.
Errors: Jumping to conclusions; Reality filter (one aspect becomes the reality, instead of the whole picture); Ignoring the positive; Omnipotence error (think I'm responsible for things beyond my control).
Analysis: The lady loves me, has stuck through thick and thin, has always tried to be honest, has lived with a weight of regret for her very nature and deserves love and acceptance. She feeds me, loves me, buys me books, always comes when I'm in need, plus much more despite her schedule is greater than mine which is plenty to cope with. I am loved by her, my family, friends, colleagues - plus general public when I perform. I can give and get a lot of love. I choose to be with her and acceptance of her is part of that choice. The other guy can not alter her feelings for me as she is polyamorous. Everything I have read about polyamory and all I have observed in her and her 'confessions' points to the fact she is polyamorous. Her professed deep love is true, the evidence is blindingly obvious that she loves me deeply - so the thought is nonsense.
Yes she's lucky it's me :D Those other guys who rejected her are schmucks. Well, not true, but she's worth the 'growing pains'. I'm not in the clear, but its ok, I'm here.
04-18-2012, 11:24 PM
Hi Red Pepper, thanks for the welcome. And the advice. I read polyamory stuff on jealousy early to identify core issues to adress in myself. I will be reading what I can find here for sure.
Baby steps, we can heal, grow, and do what we're here for, love.
Great story to read. Congrats on overcoming the initial hurdle and being able to look behind the facade of things. How familiar her story sounds, I have been in that place as well. thoughts like "How dare you? - What is wrong with you?" crossed my mind more than once. It seems that you two have a strong connection, that will help with all the things in front of you. Wishing you luck and happiness to be discovered on your way.
04-20-2012, 06:01 AM
We were out last night and I had the green eyed monster jealousy playing in my head. Some young guy hanging around, her (as host) greeting men. Fears that other flings were going on. Fears that she is somehow juggling everything I know - and managing a third secret life - so ridiculous! But oh boy, it all sounded real swimming round in my head as we sat through a two hour talk. Every man became a potential enemy.
Jealousy is pure evil. It festers in the imagination of the fearful. It is horrible.
I admitted my jealousy this morning and it didn't get a great reception. I didn't really know what to say, to explain how it was something I dislike just as much as she does, and I REALLY want to rid myself of it. This was unreasonable jealousy, but it is tied to me knowing things weren't right for a long time, it is an old wound salted at the moment.
It turned out ok, but I'm not that keen on approaching her with my imaginary jealousy any more, I think reality is one thing to discuss, but paranoia perhaps should be discussed with others whose jealousy might slip beyond 'reasonable' bounds at times as well.
It is wierd writing this stuff here, a jealous person in a polyamory forum, but I do not feel I'm in the wrong place. And jealousy is an emotion I get, not me as a person. There must be many here who have dealt with people with my conditioning, and perhaps helped them to find peace around their polyamorous selves/partners.
Jealousy of course is rooted in fear. The major underlying fear of all of us, according to Anthony Robbins is that I will not be good enough, therefore I will not be loved.
Being a good man doesn't just involve getting my head straight. Through this episode I have begun smoking too many cigarettes, eating poorly, lack of fitness, and a fair bit of 'self medication'. I had my priorities - emotional health, then back on track with everything. So now it's time for the everything.
We are going hiking tomorrow. It's going to kill me for the first half hour.
My quit date for cigarettes is Monday. I begin walking to uni (an old habit, 1 hour there) the same day. A large grocery run to supplement the large gardens and chicken run is planned Sunday. A gym is being set up in the greenhouse to muck about with. Weed, ah me old friend in times of grief, needs to be severely curtailed, there's research to be done.
Diet, exercise, study, WTF. Understanding my ployamorous partner took an extreme toll on me. I love her so much it was worth every tear and ounce of breath, but now, it's time to balance things out with some serious self love.
Thoughts: Now that I know what's going on, and that she loves me, I have no need to be fearful of her leaving me. I feel raw, edgy and tired as it has been a long road. I can continue to work on jealousy as part of my daily TEA. It is time for self love.
Analysis: Wow I am a lucky guy. She loves me. I am not perfect, but I am working on myself and it is all good, I am good enough, and I am ok. :)
04-20-2012, 06:44 AM
What a warming story to read. I wish you all the best!
04-20-2012, 12:57 PM
Wow, nice to hear such a great success story - welcome to the world of mono/poly relationships! There are quite a few of us out here, dealing with the issues that are specific to trying to have a relationship where each partner has a very distinct mindset which some would regard as incompatible.
Your "does not compute" thought processes are very, very natural - I'm glad that you found that the analysis helps you work things through.
And I think I have been spending too much time on fetlife when all I can think of when I see CBT is "Cock and Ball Torture"... *sigh* (If you are squeamish, do NOT look this up - it really is what you think it is)
04-20-2012, 02:49 PM
It turned out ok, but I'm not that keen on approaching her with my imaginary jealousy any more, I think reality is one thing to discuss, but paranoia perhaps should be discussed with others whose jealousy might slip beyond 'reasonable' bounds at times as well.
I just wanted to voice my agreement with this sentiment. I believe our thoughts and feelings are our own, to share or not as we choose. Especially when you yourself believe your jealousy is beyond "reasonable". I think the time to tell her about this emotion is when you would like her to change a behavior. For example, to let her know that you feel jealous when she (you fill in the blank) and you'd like her to slow down a bit while you work on your reaction.
I also want to point out that as wonderfully accepting of her polyamory as you are striving to be, and as aware as she is of her history of struggle with monogamy, it's not a given that your relationship will end up in a certain way -you as one of several boyfriends, or whatever you might imagine she would like. I'm speaking as a polyamorous woman whose monogamous husband as been coming to terms with this recently. For me, his growing acceptance of this aspect of me, along with a certain amount of freedom to explore it, has been satisfying. I don't feel a need to have sex with anyone else, or give other relationships any more of my time than my husband feels comfortable. It is enough that I am free to love. Limiting what I do about it is a concession I am able to make, and you may end up discovering that she is too. In other words, your feelings are as valid as hers, and the two of you can work this out together.
04-21-2012, 06:27 AM
Thank you everyone your input is all regarded most warmly.
Another confused. Great post. I know she might not be my life partner, but the friendship will never end we have come so far, and are so in tune now. We argue, but these get resolved. I am very happy with things right now, there is no more subconscious pushing from her, no hiding her face, nail biting, eyes downcast moments I used to watch in horror. No more secrets. We light up when we see each other, we joke about all day like best mates, and the lovemaking is simply divine, or completely feral! ;) (too much info?)
This girl really cares for me. She won't abandon me, but yes, other men exist, but I wont abandon her either. Men who run away from someone they deeply love because it's not perfectly like the terms they would like to dictate, well, I get it, I also think they wimped out a bit and let down people they love. I still get it, I just, you know, this is a breakthrough, everyone should have the odd breakthrough, it's so enlightening.
It's early days yet, no gaurantees. Why plan your whole life just to be dissapointed eh. But for now, for this year it's on, and we can look at next year as it approaches.
Who knows, I might be a poly guy? Never thought about it before now. But today I'm extremely happy with what I already have, and that'll be just fine for now.
04-21-2012, 06:40 AM
Men who run away from someone they deeply love because it's not perfectly like the terms they would like to dictate, well, I get it, I also think they wimped out a bit and let down people they love.
I so wish I could get people to understand this. I get a lot of flack from my family because my relationships are difficult. I *love* these men. Just because they don't/can't participate the way I want them to, doesn't mean they don't love me, and it doesn't mean they're not worthy of being loved by me. I love them better than anyone I've ever known (and I've known, biblically and otherwise) more than a few people. I only feel normal when I'm with them.
04-21-2012, 06:11 PM
Hey, jealousy might be evil, but if you give it a big hug and decide to let it in so you can understand it its really just a big ol' softy with some really big emotions. It needs a big cry and to be understood is all.... then it will turn into a squishy teddy bear and disappear :D
04-21-2012, 06:58 PM
I didn't read other replies here only your first post.
You are really amazing, I wish to reach that situation with my boyfriend.
hope it all works out. :)
04-21-2012, 07:35 PM
So this is your secret, you're all so damn nice everyone falls in love with you. Foiled! ;)
Thank you for the nice comments. It's not all sweetness and light here, but the balance has shifted considerably.
Yesterday was sheer bliss, last night I wake in an adrenalin surge, (very common during the dark times) convinced something is wrong, my brian races looking for trouble, unable to find any I start inventing some...
A lady turned up in the middle of the forest to a hut we worked from yesterday - hours off the beaten track - a casual new friend of my partners who's just moved to town. My brain is trying to tell me it's an arranged liason. But truth is it was a bored ecologist went tramping and decided to check up if we're at the hut as she knew we were in those mountains.
And now, I hope she is chasing M. She's really nice, very likeable, we get on great, and M hasn't had a lady lover in several years. No I don't want her too, though the baser side of me might entertain the thought a little :D
I'm happy today. Happy we are where we are, happy I managed to TEA my silly thoughts away with ease. Happy I am becoming open to the concept of other lovers for M.
Healing takes time, the trick is not to let up on the TEA or whatever you do when you feel in the clear (better). Stay on it, make sane thinking your imperative. Rejoice in the progress and declare war on self obsession and jealousy in all it's forms. Meanwhile be entirely selfish in the pursuit of your sanity.
BIG LOVE - to all.
04-21-2012, 11:18 PM
I finally got around to reading your thread here; it's great to hear that you and M are doing so much better now.
This site here (Polyamory.com) has surely got tons of info about jealousy, so use the "Search" feature and have a look around. But I also know of a few good external links you can use:
Let us discuss the greeneye monster shall we? (http://polyamoryonline.org/smf/index.php?topic=2780.msg23980#msg23980)
How to slay the greeneyed beastie. (http://polyamoryonline.org/smf/index.php?topic=2783.msg24026#msg24026)
The Theory of Jealousy Management (http://www.morethantwo.com/jealousytheory.html)
The Practice of Jealousy Management (http://www.morethantwo.com/jealousypractice.html)
Jealousy and the Poly Family (http://www.polyfamilies.com/polyjealousy.html)
Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability (http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html)
That last link isn't about jealousy per se, but it's such a wonderful presentation and has many applications, including jealousy, for sure. Well worth checking out.
May you and M share many happy (and challenging!) moments as the weeks, months, and years go by.
04-22-2012, 06:07 AM
One thing to think about is how in our culture, we are taught to manifest our relationships as sort of contained & condensed into themselves, ever smaller. I love her so much all I can think about is her. All I wanna do is spend time with her. We spend less time with our friends so we can talk all day every day. Etc.
Instead, it's possible for a relationship itself to extend outwardly in the form of your other connections. When I meet a new girl, my relationship with my domestic partner is expressed in everything I do with the new person. My partner's light shines through in the new relationship. It wouldn't be the same without her, *I* wouldn't be the same without her, and everything I do is in the spirit and honor of what we have. She is my rock, my foundation on which other relationships can grow. The new connections don't have to take away OR have "no effect" on the existing one -- they can add to it.
04-22-2012, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the links kdt - halfway through second one now.
I believe like many others that jealousy is a secondary emotion, and for me insecurity and fear underly jealousy, and the course these stem from the base fear - I am not enough, therefore I will not be loved.
I woke with more adrenaline today. Still having a hard time not feeling betrayed from when M was unconvincingly telling me she and another's relationship was platonic. This was fairly recent. She left me here, but I pretended I was ok, and she pretended there was no sex involved, and both knew otherwise.
She apologised, but I had to ask for the apology. I know this pattern of dishonesty is from her trying to protect loved ones, but dishonesty for me is huge, good intentions or not. It's all the childhood stuff again. Those people who were meant to love and take care of me let me down. I have trust issues, and though the lie is over, it resonates in my head.
My head - that source of bliss and despair, thinking frames the emotions, thinking around todays events is related to previous experience (we seem to choose the worse memories - self protection? - to bounce current events off).
So I think of her telling me lies (to protect me, and still not knowing who she was - self loathing - which allows us to behave like assholes) and all the distrusts and let downs of my past join forces to scream at me - RUN, YOU'RE GOING TO GET BURNT.
It's early days. I have a lot of processing of my own stuff to do yet. The thing is, reliving the past is a waste of time I spent years trying to fix my head previously but throw a relationship into the mix and all the old crap was right there again. Waste of time and resources imo. For lasting change I am learning to address the thoughts that trigger the emotions.
Thoughts: M is dishonest and will hurt me repeatedly through dishonesty and so I am better off taking my leave now.
Errors: Jumping to conclusions (will hurt me repeatedly). Blowing things out of proportions (she is a dishonest person). Extreme thinking (hurt repeatedly, take my leave). Reality filter (zero in on one negative aspect at expense of rest of picture). Ignoring the positive.
Analysis: From the amount of errors found in that one sentence it is obvious I'm not thinking straight. The extent of my hurt is largely proportionate to the extent of my past I choose to carry as baggage, and frankly, I'm sick of feeding off sympathetic energy for that crap, so it's time to stop being walking wounded, and return to thoughts of love. M has tried to be honest from the start, it's me who said I don't want to know. The dishonesty is with honest intention, and now the truth is out for all to see, there is no need for it anymore, but thinking perfection will arrive immediately after many years of using 'lies to protect others' - it may be unrealistic - I should look for progress, not perfection. I am looking for trouble. I am looking for something to be aggrieved about. What is the real stressor? Workload and procrastination! She loves me, she cares for me a great deal. I don't want to leave. I chose to stick it out, I chose to love her and to use this opportunity to get a handle on jealousy and other emotions that plague me. I am doing really well. For myself also - I should expect progress, not perfection.
Whew, that's a bit better, processing will go on a while, it gets faster and faster though.
Thanks for the pm from the person who this is helping already. It's the best tool I've found for dealing with thoughts. And as I've learned:
Thoughts -> Filtered through experience to give context -> emotions.
It is my choice when I think of M to go to the dishonesty and dwell on that, or to think of the love, the hugs, the caring, the laughter, the kisses, the good times of which there are so many. Her very smile lights me up.
We can control our thinking to some extent, and that in turn will get a handle on our emotions. I'll always be a passionate man, but my passion can be directed.
04-22-2012, 07:06 PM
Have you put M in touch with this board or any other way to read about polyamory and particularly people who practice it? I'm guessing she has so much guilt and shame around her feelings and actions, being honest is more than she can handle. It's one thing for you to give her this amazing story that you understand her nature and will try to accept it, and another to truly believe that you won't despise her for it, especially if she despises herself for it. It could be so reaffirming for her to hear stories of other people who love the way she does. I know it was for me.
You might also need to clarify between you what honesty means. Maybe you do want to know who she's sexually involved with, but not the details. Maybe you want to know whether she has other partners and how many, but not who they are. Considering your jealousy when you were out together, I'm guessing you'd be someone who'd like to know at least who she is involved with or interested in, so you aren't in a panic over every person who looks her way.
Hang in there! She's not deceiving you out of disrespect or malice. She's probably just afraid of losing you, most especially now that she realizes you might be the first man to ever try to accept her the way she is.
04-22-2012, 07:27 PM
Thanks for that AC.
I am slowly introducing polyamory to M, and have been gleaning stories for her to read. Our lives are incredibly busy right now so I am just letting it be as is, with nothing but encouragement. Definately want M to be able to read of and meet other polyamorous folks so she doesn't feel so alienated. As workoad eases off in 6 weeks or so, we'll have opportunity to explore and introduce her to this community then. Honestly her schedule is insane, mines not that much better.
I know who the other people are in her life, I just get full of fear sometimes and then everyone is a potential threat as I feel so worthless.
Really appreciate the kind words. Her love has noticeably deepened since our poly talk, and I am very grateful for this also.
04-24-2012, 12:09 PM
Thank you for this thread, Questioning. :D
So much of this resonates with struggles I'm having. My SO and I are not involved with other people just now but I am struggling with feelings of insecurity.
I understand where they come from. I know why I feel unimportant and why the things that trigger those feelings are triggers.
But getting through them is proving hard. So much of what you say about your approach give me hope. So thank you. xxx
04-24-2012, 06:32 PM
Also consider, if you're having jealous reactions when M admits she's seeing somebody, it's probably scaring her out of admitting the truth. Not that this excuses her dishonesty, but it partially helps explain it. It should also give you hope that as you get a better handle on that jealousy (and you're already doing that), she'll probably become less afraid to tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
05-28-2012, 05:51 AM
I did the TEA exercises, and they worked! I was really good, M noticed it - "it's like when we first met again", my friends noticed it "you're a lot more upbeat lately" and my marks noticed it - straight A's. What was most important of course is that I noticed it. I really began to feel good, but a large part of that hinged on the fact M was happy, and we were getting time together. This is a primary purpose for many men, to make their woman happy, it was working, I was ecstatic.
Now the confession bit. Work piled up and up at university and M's workload was a freakin nightmare, mine was 3/4 of hers and 14 hour days were the norm. We barely got any time, but it was ok. For weeks we barely got any time together. I missed her bad, saw her briefly at school, quick sex and she's off again bout once a week, things to be grateful for. I began to feel sad again, lonely, unloved. YUK. I knew that TEA works, but had stopped using it for about a month. WHY?? I knew my thinking was going wrong and I needed to do something (TEA) but for some stupid reason I was resistant to helping myself and began to slide.
I brought up my insecurities and other head crap with M several times in the past fortnight. When M announced she was spending her birthday away I tried to be cooperative but I wasn't and pretty much gave her a guilt trip.
So, here I am, checking in, an unfinished story. Why I returned to this self-destructive behaviour I don't know. I do know it's time to admit that I should never have stopped the TEA (as it works - for me) and I need to make it a regular part of my schedule as when the pressure is on I can revert back to idiot in short order.
All my unhappiness is about fear - I am not good enough, thus, I will always be alone. BUT! M has said - I will always come back to you. I will go overseas working and on holiday, I will go see him, but I will always come back. Why am I so sad. If I had 100% of a womans time - I would ask for less! - some ME time for me, surely! The time she leaves to be with him I am at my most vulnerable, this is where I needed her support, but I had not been supportive, so what did I expect.
I chose to accept her polyamory, but I let myself slide back into the angst and crap. I've been TEA again for 2 days, still dark in my head but it's bearable. It took 2-3 days last time for the raw edge to get rasped off using TEA.
That's another thing. This time she left, we were not on a good foot. Yet I was nowhere near as down as last time, and the first time - suicidal, medicated. There is certainly a lot of improvement.
The problem then is not so much the polyamory today, but me using emotional leverage to make her feel bad as I have been wallowing in it, then us being apart on bad terms after a long period of having very little time.
We need some quality time, and it will come shortly.
05-28-2012, 08:35 PM
Laboring under a heavy workload is always stressful, so it probably spilled over into your relationship. The TEA exercises will probably help, plus you and M will get some quality time together soon.
Just realize you're both under extra stress, and be patient/forgiving toward yourselves and each other. I hope it gets easier soon.
05-29-2012, 05:32 AM
Yes stress and workload have certainly played their part, and luckily this has been acknowledged by both parties.
Today we got an hour or so and got to talk. I still get to see her but I'm in the dogbox. There's only so much of a stupid behaviour one can take, and so I have been challenged, and she is correct:
a) I am too intense
b) I need to stop obsessing over her and take control of my life.
Both are fair. I find it very hard not to obsess over M. I am head over heels but it's worse than that, I'm also constantly thinking of her, analysing what she says (not what I'm thinking eg TEA), and I get frantic with worry when I've not seen her for a few days.
The steps I've taken to get a life of my own (activities not including M) are positive, but slow moving. Am getting back on stage, which also gives me a social life and fun circle to hang out with. Am getting a vehicle (not immediately but soon) so I can go visit, go do shows, generally stop sitting here hoping M will arrive.
Obsession, I hate it. Anyone with experience in removing the obsession and retaining the love? I'll keep doing TEA, I was getting better, right now I'm a bit insecure, unsure, afraid.
Thoughts: I can't stop obsessing.
Errors: Extreme thinking. Jumping to conclusions.
Analysis/rant: If I stopped obsessing I would actually be a lot happier than when I am. Obsessive thoughts are poison, they freeze me out of activities I should be doing, and self perpetuate paranoia and falsities. I think I obsess as I feel I have no control (correct) over M, and when I am angsty she pushes me away, then i get worse, she gets worse, stupid circle! As I am the one who is into all this analysis, and have seen where this destructive behaviour gets me, I am the one who needs to change, and this will break the whole cycle.
I am so afraid of going back to the dark despair I felt in the past that I obsess over avoiding it, and nearly bring it upon myself in the process. I can stop obsessing over M by replacing that wasted time with things that truly make me happy (M not included). Getting on stage and being funny, getting on stage and reading (funny) poems. Going to parties with friends and getting liquored up. Hiking, weight training... I can also stop obsessing by regularly (DAILY) TEA exercises to work some of the madness out. This exercise exposes madness to the light of day, and when it is identified as rubbish, has much less power over me.
My obsession is me trying to avoid pain, and it is backfiring. I can stop obsessing, it is a matter of self preservation to do so.
05-30-2012, 08:22 AM
Well, I think it's only natural to worry about the future. Most of us do it. Bad things can happen in the future. But if you agonize over it too much, you kind of rob yourself of the happiness you could have enjoyed here in the present. Not to mention a whole lot of the bad events you fear/anticipate in the future may never come to pass. The only exception would be when you got so hung up with "doom and gloom," that it caused you to act as if all the bad stuff was already happening, and that can make M feel pushed away. So try to avoid that part of the vicious cycle.
You'll definitely benefit from having things to do that you enjoy while M is away. Something so it doesn't have to be "scary to be left alone with your own thoughts." Your thoughts are trying to scare you. Shoo them away with TEA exercises, visits with friends, and fun stuff that you like to do. Then you won't be in "freak-out mode" when M shows up; you'll be in a healthy/positive frame of mind. Above all, seek to appreciate and enjoy what you have right here and now, rather than agonizing over all the many things that could go wrong tomorrow. You couldn't possibly cover everything that could go wrong, and in the meantime you're missing out on the hopeful feelings about the many things that could go well tomorrow.
If there's anything you can do to prepare for the future, that's a good idea because it might mean better odds of things going better. Just don't obsess so much about preparing for the future that you actually barricade yourself against the future, both good and bad scenarios. When preparing for the future, prepare yourself to receive the good things that will happen as well.
More practice and thinking will get you in a little better cycle, as time goes on. I think that's something to look forward to.
05-31-2012, 08:33 PM
That's good food for thought Kevin.
The TEA has created rapid changes in my thinking, and subsequently feelings, again. I have made an appointment to see a counsellor to join a CBT group she might set me up with. CBT is the umbrella TEA belongs to. The stuff is working so well for me, I am intrigued, and would like to learn what other tools I might employ. TEA seems to allow me to face truths as I unravel layers of (rubbish) thoughts that obscure them. I think my resistance to continuing TEA may be a fear of change? Fear of no more excuses and gotta get off my butt and get on with it - no more pity party :D
I believe what I do (thinking) has a lot to do with time. I go time travelling in my head to solve problems... I think this is my broken self defense mechanism: I allow a portion of my past over which I had no real control (childhood, and later, jail) to dictate how I percieve the events of the present (powerless) and possible futures (powerless).
Of course, this is utter nonsense!
If I haven't shared the jail bit yet, I was a wild youth till 24. Kept getting caught for cannabis, got locked up with some real assholes. No butt rape :eek: just attacked a few times. Jail is soul destroying and for cannabis charges plain wrong. Long time ago, it wasn't all bad, and I'm ok :o
The trick to success (peace of mind in my case) in the face of adversity, is to just have the best day I can, one day at a time, wherever I was at. In that manner I am not powerless. When they locked me up I did what I could do. I wrote a book; got fit; learned to boil water for tea using a plastic spoon and some wire, and how to smuggle weed in my butt ;)
The best I can do, one day at a time took me from unemployed ex con to stage and television work, travel, mates so talented you'd have heard of some of them, and now science, and coming into post graduate studies in ecology (love it!). I do have control, I am doing real well, now to become an expert in the ways of unconditional love - with boundaries hehe.
I have been feeling powerless as obsession renders me powerless, my thoughts preoccupied with M make me largely incapable of seeing the rest of the awesomeness that is my life, including her participation in it. Blinded by bullshit thinking and feeling powerless I try to control things out of my control.
M is a wonderful addition to my life and I to hers. The future cannot be foretold. The past is done. I can use bad experiences to interpret today or I can draw on the strength of character I have displayed again and again throughout my life. I am surrounded by love and wisdom, including here in this forum. I am not and need never be alone.
06-01-2012, 07:08 AM
That's the spirit. You have the wisdom you need, you just need sufficient quiet of mind to tap into it. When you find you're getting wound up with anxiety, get a chance to take a break, sit, lay down, close your eyes, examine the racing thoughts. Let them race with you as an observer, until they start slowing down and you can analyze them. The rest is pretty much stuff you already know how to do.
We always have a circle of concern (things we'd like to change), and a circle of influence (things we *can* change. Stay focused on your circle of influence -- on that part of it that intersects the circle of concern. Things you can change, that you also want to change. Be at peace about the things you can't change. Rejoice in the progress and freedoms that you do have. Don't torture yourself with things that could supposedly go wrong with M. Instead, rejoice that you have M in your life, here and now. Don't let the goodness of this moment slip away.
Joining a CBT group sounds like a great idea.
06-01-2012, 08:18 AM
Questioning. I just wanted to say thank you for this thread.
The TEA concept is new to me but wow, it's a powerful tool to difuse a challenging emotion.
I'm not offering advice of any sort just a thank you for sharing. Your insights have helped me and I'm sure others as well. If there's any consolation in that, I hope you accept it.
Good luck. I wish you nothing but love and peace. May you have stillness of heart sooner than later.
06-01-2012, 08:42 PM
Thank you for the excellent feedback. It feels strange baring myself like this, but other members have done the same and helped me. Also, although sharing my thoughts is honesty, when the thoughts are exposed they are often absolute rubbish :D - the 'honesty' is falsified.
SO, which way is up? ;)
I am so much better today than I have been in a long time. I'm almost myself again. Here I am sitting in my skin and enjoying my own company (and thoughts), I'm thinking about things I want to do (most of the time), and am producing a good deal of good work. I am concerned with issues of my own, exams, fitness, bad habits, stage work, raising finance. M is probably asleep right now amid a sprawl of 20 something bodies after a class party. Good for her, it's great blowing off steam, and cutting loose is hard to do in the presense of your partner. A part of me wants to complain, the part that tries to protect me and just drives me insane with worry and jealousy.
Thoughts: M got drunk and fucked someone last night, therefore, what we have is broken.
Errors: Jumping to conclusions. Ignoring the positive. And emotional blocking - a common error I have recognised in myself which I will now call - pity party - in which emotions are allowed to compromise my wellbeing and productivity - it is my faulty old self defense/warning system from faulty thinking. So!...
Analysis: I am jumping to conclusions, and even if M hooked up a drunk fuck, I am not losing her, or her love, the great sex, the friendship, none of it, unless I choose to be upset and think it's all about me :D and make her so miserable, and me so miserable, for what? Drunk sex? We're all human, just love her, besides, if she did, she'll beat herself up enough for both of us.
What we have is awesome, so awesome in fact that I have allowed myself to ignore so many other great things in my life and have limited myself severely in the process (and blamed M for my pity party). But life, love, happiness, and enjoyment need not have some kind of limit imposed on them. With balance each aspect of life might accentuate the other, with love for myself my love for life and others in it grows.
I am more afraid of an affair. Hah! There already is one, always has been. Thoughts old and tired. Polyamory means love is not limited, her love for others does not diminish her love for me.
06-01-2012, 08:57 PM
Thoughts: M got drunk and fucked someone last night, therefore, what we have is broken.
This is just your paranoia making up worst case scenarios, right? Slaps hand - "Stop that!":p
Glad you were able to get to a better place.
06-01-2012, 10:46 PM
Originally Posted by Questioning
Thoughts: M got drunk and fucked someone last night, therefore, what we have is broken.
This is just your paranoia making up worst case scenarios, right? Slaps hand - "Stop that!"
Oh yes, it's silly paranoia, and worth it (for me) to challenge the thoughts to show this is so. The whole underlying fear is that I won't handle it, therefore, not good enough, not loved bla bla bla. The broken record. For me to get off this cycle of thinking I have to actively stamp out thoughts others (emotionally healthier others?) can dismiss outright.
Thing is, TEA is making me accept even worse case scenarios are not armageddon (except perhaps armageddon :rolleyes: ) which is making reality itself a wonderful comparison instead of the doom, no choices wank I ran over and over without TEA. I wasn't always like this, doesn't matter why I am really, just what I can do about it now. And though it's hard to start, and makes you a bit raw at first, TEA is for me very effective, and fast.
Please excuse if I sound defensive, not intented. I appreciate the feedback.
06-02-2012, 01:36 AM
There's a lot of wisdom to confronting the "worst case scenario" (as a hypothetical) straight up. You'll do fine, just look forward to the good times you'll have with M in the near future.
06-02-2012, 11:05 PM
Obsession, I've been examining the psychology of it in the hopes to unravel it. I go through extreme pain at times, am in it now, when I don't know exactly what's going on, this is sick.
So, obsession. Let's examine how dark this shit gets, in the hope of some light.
My obsession with M is said to be a secondary emotional response, fortified by beliefs (experience and worldview), that is an attempt by the logical mind to cover up a primary emotional response.
A primary emotional response is at the heart of it. Attached to this primary emotional response is an image - a picture of the stimulus that first created this primary emotional response.
I can say right now the primary emotional response is fear. Fear that I won't handle it, that I will hurt M, or someone she is with, or myself. The image attached to this is one of despair and desolation, burned bridges, self loathing, loneliness, hopelessness, suicidal despondency. So I'm trying to protect myself from some pretty dark stuff. There's a lesson here. A dire warning. I am NOT responsible for others behaviour only my own. I can NOT control others. I CAN control myself. Trying to control things outside of my control leads to feelings of powerlessness, so I cling on tighter. Silly, let go.
Where's the obsession coming from? I'm terrified of surprises, of having something revealed to me so abhorrent I wont cope and will act innapropriately. I'm trying to protect myself, and her. I'm looking for certainty in an uncertain situation. Keeping my thoughts on what she might possibly be doing wrong I am covering the possibility that I might do something wrong (not handle it). I'm looking for ammunition to tell her to fuck off, I'm terrified of losing love so much (especially if it is my fault) I'm looking for reasons to not love. Reasons to run away. My primary response is to RUN, throw all my toys out of the cot and scream defiance at the love that was not fulfilled by my parents (and projected onto her).
So my logical brain steps in, says this is all nonsense, and love is rare and precious and must be nurtured, however, I should be careful!! And so the obsession begins, me trying to control things out of my control so that i might have risk free love - HA!
It hurts being me at times. It hurts facing such truths. Dark thoughts are only thoughts though. I am a good man, and have made many wise yet painful decisions in my life. I will not lose the plot, hurt anyone or burn my bridges. I need to shift my focus to areas I have control over. Work, career, comedy, social life, health.
I need to adress those core fears too, with TEA, scary right now, but i'll do it.
06-03-2012, 01:45 AM
Walking is good for thought, and I just spent some time with my thoughts on all this.
The obsession, I now realise, is made up of a lot of stuff. It is giving beyond giving. Many people know what I'm talking about, loving too much. The danger is that in giving giving giving a snapping point is reached and victim (giver) becomes persecutor. This ties to (my) primary fear of not handling things.
But the reality of M is she is not a selfish taker at all. She loves and gives generously. The reality is that my loving has become obsessive, as the primary fear (not handling it, therefore not good enough, therefore will be alone) is driving me to try and control things.
So I cook meals, compose bad poetry, think about M, talk about M, forum about M, text M, facebook M, phone M... Trying to be perfect, trying to stack up, trying to be good enough. And instead being a pain in the ass, for both of us. :D
Love is wonderful, love driven by fear is not love, it is obsession. Yet, on any given day I can feel love and obsession, the two have never met at the exact same time though, they are not compatible.
The image attached to my primary emotional response is like a combo of all the dark and lonely bits of my life. It drives fear into me. Fear drives the obsession to 'fix things'. To fix what? The fear of not handling things, therefore not being good enough, therefore being alone. This is the driver, it recurs like a stuck record all through this thread, it recurs in many men I know.
Why the stuck record - the revisiting of old issues, wounds? It seems the primary issues are not being resolved as I face fears in the context of what's happening with M (obsessive secondary response).
I am afraid of losing love. Whether me being good enough, her leaving, whatever. I am afraid of being alone period. I don't like it. The experience of being alone is clouded with this horrible imagery and obscuring all the wonderful happy independant times I have experienced in my life. So I'll change the thought of being alone from horrible to ok. I know I prefer having a lover, without a lover is not devastation and doom, it is transition.
The fear of not being good enough is a self esteem issue. That then, is my next target.
06-03-2012, 08:28 AM
I joined this site around a month ago (see my thread from around a month ago ' GF of 4 years makes an announcement').
Your experiences / emotions are so similar to the ones I'm going through right now. Our situation began when J went behind my back around 2 months ago - she kind of fell for a guy at work and has since realised that she is poly, as she loves me and has no intention of removing me from her life, but likes spending time with this other guy, occasionally.
I've had the same feeling of my entire life being on hold while I completely obsess, jump to conclusions, often wrong ones, torturing myself really.
She moved out 3 weeks ago, to get some space (which I interpreted as get some 'him'). As it stands, we are separated, but she has made it clear that she sees her future with me. It is really only my obsessive thinking, suspicion and jealousy that are keeping us apart, and she has told me this (aside from the breathing space she needs anyway, to process her own ideas about herself, what she wants from life etc). Those 3 weeks for me have been a living hell - I have been obsessing night and day. If I analyse why, I think maybe because I've lost control, of her, us, that I'm feeling abandoned, and of course the green eyed monster is playing his role in my obsession.
There are so many parallels with my own story that I felt compelled to add a post - you are not alone padre, and I actually think you are a bit further down the road to recovery/acceptance than I am, but I have started working on it, which is the first step. Accepting and loving her the way she is and dealing with the new reality, and dealing with my emotions, feelings of rejection, fear or losing her, jealousy etc, is the only way forward.
This week I told her that not only do I accept her the way she is, but I'm willing to accommodate this guy in her life - to start with I've suggested one 'date' day per month. I think we are making progress and she knows that this is a massive act of love from me. I've also stopped the constant contact with her that I know was suffocating her.
You mentioned TEA - is that an American term? I'm in the UK and have googled, but the results, (typically for the UK) come up with the tea we drink copious amounts of here. I know I need help to deal with my situation, and want to start therapy to deal with the pain I've suffered recently, as well as the new reality I face going forward. So I'm interested to find out the ways you help yourself on this.
06-03-2012, 08:26 PM
The TEA is fromcognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is Thoughts, Errors, Analysis.
I just got dumped. She says she doesn't love me the way I love her and she feels guilty encouraging me. My obsession finally destroyed the thing I was obsessing about. M is still my friend but I am devastated at the moment, and have 3 exams on next week. She will still be friends but she is not attracted to me anymore. Why?
I think I ruined it, I said I accepted her polyamory, then I took the acceptance back, got obsessed again, and started making all sorts of accusations and demanding answers to things that are really none of my business.
So the thing you got to ask yourself - Can I live with this? If you believe you can that's all good, and saying so is an act of love and kindness, but if you go back on your word and get all emotional instead of having rational conversations about boundaries etc, you may be permanently out of grace.
I got to pick up the pieces here, I got far too much on for a crisis, but crisis it is. I neeed to stay out of my obsession and concentrate on study. DAMMIT!
I suck at love.
06-03-2012, 08:57 PM
I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it's just a point you both needed to get to, and now she has the time she needs to compute and analyse, she will realise that you were trying to deal with the new reality, but that you had some backward steps as well as forward ones. After all you were instrumental in articulating it the poly situation in the first place.
I fear I'm going down the same path, another bad night tonight - just when it seemed like we were making progress, she was out with her friends and I started to obsess and create scenarios in my mind, that actually weren't true. We spoke tonight and she said I'm losing her. If I cannot keep a handle on this soon, I know I will. because I know the worst thing in all of this situation, is my bad reaction to things. I will qualify this and say that some of my reactions have been perfectly understandable. But I know that some have been borne out of complete obsession.
Thanks for the info on therapy. I fear I might need grief therapy soon!
06-04-2012, 12:00 AM
OK mobetterblues, I am here for you. That was the shortest 'dumped' I've ever had. We just had sex twice, now she's gone home to study.
But... REALITY!!! She was in love with me but I kept being emo. Now I am not in good graces, and any more emo stuff and she'll be gone for good. Feelings are ok, obsession is hard work, horrible bullshit.
Last year my obsession started and basically I have been an emo idiot for the best part of a year. It's really fucked, as you know, if she pushes me away I get emo, if i'm not emo I can't do anything wrong. My obsession tells me 'she doesn't stick with you through thick and thin' - she does, but there's only so much emotional blackmail (I'll hurt myself) and accusations a loved one can take before they despair of you. M cares a great deal but my emotions got beyond reasonable bounds several times. mistakes are fine, repeated mistakes just get fucking boring.
So I begged. FUCK PRIDE when it comes to love, pride is nothing but a construct of the ego, a bunch of messages from people who like to sound important and knowing, pride is bullshit. And your obsession will use your pride to try and justify all that wasted energy you put into it.
Here's where we're at. She's decided I'm too unstable as a partner. She lost attraction to me for exactly the reason I said, taking back the acceptance of polyamory - when I pointed it out as the reason, and apologised, I knew there was hope as her reception of this was very good. She loves me, but is not 'in love' with me. I still turn her on (YAY) but 'in love' is when a woman feels safe with me, I have been too unstable lately, I might try to repair this, but concentrating on fixing 'us' is actually an error. Understanding 'us' the polyamory really helped, but there is no 'us' to fix. There's me to fix. If M is in my life or not, there's me to fix. So, i have a wonderful friend, she will be my lover if i can stop the emotional rubbish. If I pin my hopes on a long term prospect with her I will probably get hurt again. She has given up on me as a long term prospect.
If I spend my waking hours trying to win her back (obsessing) I am a fool, the obsessing is the root of the problems now, the polyamory is dealt with and understood. I need to get my life as full and rewarding as possible, to stand on my own feet. M is a bonus in my life, not a given.
As love is never a given, and there is a lot of uncertainty in building a relationship, people often feel out of control. For myself feeling like I have no control scares the crap out of me (due to past) so I try to control things, plan to, think about how to.... I OBSESS!
And under the obsession is the fear. I wont handle it therefore I'm not good enough therefore I will always be alone. The best advice i can give you is to trot out those fears and use TEA as a tool to dispel them. TEA is a marvellous tool, it will leave you feeling RAW for a couple of days, but you'll feel improvements fast. Get professional help if you can. Get into a CBT group, not for her, not to fix the couple thing, for your peace of mind, your happiness. It sounds counterintuitive but the more we try to fix things the more we fuck them up. We are POWERLESS over people, only ourselves.
Yeah I know, obsession, you feel powerless. it's hard to stop. It's hard to start anything else. You don't really have a choice, pain then despair (obsession) or pain then improvement (TEA and good therapy) are your options really. she could come back and be attentive and everything is WONDERFUL again, but that obsession still lives in your head, first sign of trouble (real or imagined) it will rear its ugly head again.
I am writing this stuff for myself as much as I am for you. I'll do another post shortly, on my analysis of my obsession so far, see if it rings any bells. I send you love and caring over the internet, you are not alone, only when you are in that head of yours.
06-04-2012, 01:17 AM
First some shorthand, so hopefully you'll see the links, or lack of links more clearly.
1 = primary emotional response
2 = secondary emotional response (also known as obsession).
1a = image attached to 1
2b = Beliefs attached to 2
-> = leading to, attached to or causing
1 is the underlying cause of 2. (1 ->2) Dealing directly with 2 e.g. the thoughts associated with 2 is a great way to keep yourself maintained a bit, but does not deal with 1 which causes 2 so the problem can resurface. 2 is hiding 1. And 2 hides 1 in such a manner it is difficult to get at. But you can get in around the edges when you see the construction of the beast. I recommend writing out a model for yourself if models (flow chart etc) work for you.
Here's how it is built.
1 -> 1a < -> thoughts about 1 & 1a -> 2b <-> 2.
As you can see, 1 is far removed from 2, though going from 1 - 2 can be instant.
1 is a subconscious effort to prevent something terrible happening. Something triggers the subconscious which reacts to protect you. The subconscious uses what it can (worldview, information, experiences) to create 1a - an image of what originally triggered the emotional response. 1a is typically composed of past problems, failures, experiences that were really horrible - as a mechanism to induce fear it works, and some may recognise what is unresolved and why they got triggered, and some (like me) may runneth screaming "Fuck that shit, it hurts too much". This (resolution or run) is the "thoughts about 1 and 1a" process following 1 and 1a. The image can be instant, take you completely off gaurd, and so we may react instead of catch it for what it is (past shit, unlearned lesson, unresolved trauma, crooked worldview, whatever it is).
The thought of my losing M causes 1. FEAR. Fear of not being able to handle it. Fear I will hurt (physically &/or emotionally) M or someone else or myself. Fear I will become a complete wreck. I've hit a man who was with 'my' girl before and felt so bad about it, I've been a blithering mess before, my subconscious knows this and is trying to protect me. It uses the most powerful images it can find to try and protect me - doh. The fear I can't handle it has a process too. If i don't handle it -> I'm not good enough -> then I wont be loved. We just want to be loved.
It's not just about fears here though. There's a lesson to learn. For me... It's about forgiving myself for mistakes in the past, about me doing a better job of looking after myself today, about me dealing with my jealousy, about me enjoying my own company. It's not about being loved by others, it's about loving myself. I want to be loved - love myself! M is not in this picture, I got to take my power back, which is where this can actually help things with M. The images of me at my worst combined with thoughts of worst case scenarios are a powerful combo that spell out doom and gloom. I MUST do something to fix this, so I make a dickhead of myself and run to 2b :D
Opting to run, and fueled by scary thoughts about 1 and 1a we go into avoidance mode 2b -> 2. 2b is the beliefs - I can control (handle) it, if I pay enough attention I will resolve this issue and never go to 1 again. I go over and over what is potentially wrong, and how I can fix it. This, as you'd recognise, is 2. OBSESSION!
I can fix it, I can handle it, how do I, what if I, what if she.... then 1 and 1a pop in and I recoil in fright back to 2b - I can control, I must control...
See that horrible 1a, telling me not only if I get dumped will I be alone, I will lose it, grow dishevelled, lash out, be despairing and despised. This is only thoughts. Yes, I must learn the lessons, and that way 1a never happens. As I deal with 1 though working on my fears, and adopting a lot more self love (fake it till ya make it), it will dispel 1a as it is inherently false in todays context. If 1 is resolved, 1a is disarmed, and 2a -> 2 no longer exist.
Bloody worth a shot aye! Imagine if you will, living day to day and enjoying it without all the hurt and worry and self deprecation etc etc. Imagine, being happy in your own skin. It is entirely possible, but it won't be easy facing your demons, but really, what choice do you have.
06-04-2012, 02:46 AM
I should add that writing things out often helps. I find that when I "wander off to my dark places," that writing about it starts the analyzing process and the reasoning process. You have to be able to look at something and say, "Now what do I think this is." So, for example by doing this thread, you are actually adding therapeutic value to the TEA exercises, and other forms of rationality.
It really is about getting yourself centered around what you really can control. Your "circle of concern" is all the stuff you'd like to change. Your "circle of influence" is all the stuff you actually can change. The place where those two circles intersect is where you want the main part of your focus to be. And it might be a very small intersection, but if you work on that stuff first, you often find that your circle of influence can grow.
Like with M ... M is another person who makes her own decisions and thus is in your circle of concern (the obsession part), but not within your circle of influence (only she can make her own decisions). However, you can make decisions about you (learning to accept yourself, learning/remembering how to enjoy solo activities, analyzing where your psychology seems to go astray, etc.), so that's a point where the circles intersect, and if you do focus on working on you (figuring out how to handle things better, etc.), it may actually influence M to feel safer around you, and thus your circle of influence has grown a little, precisely by not obsessing over the things (e.g. M) you couldn't control.
And the best thing is, we now know there's more than one person that benefits from the writing, venting, and analysis in this thread. So I just want to encourage you to keep posting and working on stuff.
Glad to hear M is still in the picture ... even if it's just for the time being. Why lose out on the joy of what you have in the present, just because things may be different in the future? The truth is, one can imagine all kinds of things about the future, but there's no telling how the future will really be. Some things might be lost, other things might be gained. And who knows which things will be which.
To whatever extent you can, be happy for what you have in the here and now, and focus on your circle of influence (and writing things out is always a part of that circle).
06-04-2012, 08:47 AM
Thanks Kevin. I like the circle of influence, circle of concern concept. A good model and simple to sketch out and see.
Really, my job now is to learn to make myself happy. If M sticks around so be it, if she doesn't, so be it. The fact is I can cause myself misery if she is 'with me' or not, so it's not even about her even though I think it is (obsession), it's about me, and my self esteem.
I did a bunch of TEA on self esteem type thinking and boy did it help. I did not allow myself to entertain thoughts of what is going to impress M, even though it tried to speak up from the background... I said to myself, if I was my friend (as I should be) and knew me as well as I do and what I care about what advice would I give myself. Not about M, about my general unhappiness, tendency to obsess or wallow in things.
The answer was, look at your self care, it is a bit lax - diet, exercise, smoking. Look at your situation, you are isolated without a vehicle and with low funds - need a car and some work. Look at your social life, it used to be so active, now you study like a mad hermit and rarely go out unless M holds your hand - get back on stage and in that circle as you love lots of those people and have a fantastic way to introduce yourself to prospective women so if it all blows over you don't feel isolated from the world. Look at your obsessing, it's cutting into study and it doesn't solve anything at all. You rob yourself of power obsessing over things you can't control, work on things you can.
Easy stuff really, involves not wallowing and doing. Study gets done, remove obsession it gets done better. Get a vehicle and some work, get back into entertainment and get a social life. Stop smoking and stressing and start exercising and eating better. Simple advice, and very fitting really. I've isolated myself, and I'm suffering a bit from it. I like being fit and wallowing in misery i have started on the junk food and ciggies. Simple stuff.
06-04-2012, 05:34 PM
It sounds like you are coming around to a better place.
Sometimes when it comes to relationship obsession I try to think about things less in terms of "The Relationship", which is huge and heavy and burdened with uncertainty and baggage, and more in terms of the moments you share with someone. Focus on enjoying the moments you share with M, and the ones you have shared in the past, because when it boils down that's really all a relationship consists of. With luck you'll have more enjoyable moments to share in the future, but there is no guarantee no matter how much you analyze things. At the same time, the times you have already enjoyed together can't ever be taken away. Those are the only ones you can count on, so make it a pile of good memories.
It sounds like you have already identified how to make the in between moments of your life feel better to you with expanding your social life, improving your fitness, etc. You are on the road to happiness, and happiness is mighty attractive.
06-04-2012, 07:07 PM
Things are improving for me yes. It feels like I'm stuck on a loop track a bit as I keep coming back to those core beliefs. 'I'm not good enough'.
'I'm not good enough' fuels the obsession. It is perfect fuel for obsession it disguises itself as honest intent (I'll improve) but it's all thoughts about proving myself to M, dragging out an old conversation to point out where she was wrong therefore I am right (good enough), replaying everything negative and out of context to feel aggrieved and justified in either telling her to fuck off (not only good enough, too good for her), or telling her how she got me all wrong, and I'm aggrieved by it (we're both fucked, we deserve each other)..... Then there's the fictional thoughts, worst case scenarios etc as the obsession progresses from hearing (message), to wearing (it like a yoke) to fearing (what's she doing???).
The primary concern really is I will not be loved. On top of that is I'm not good enough, which I thought was a primary concern, but now I think it is the cover of the I'm not loved/lovable, the picture is attached to me being alone (not loved), the I'm not good enough is how I get to that place (through not handling it and proving I'm fucked).
So the order actually goes, from outside in - I'm not good enough, therefore I won't handle it, therefore I wont be loved.
The beast to attack is the I'm not good enough stuff, but never in the context of what M has to say (unless it is current feedback). What M thinks is obviously important to me, but what I think is crucial to my mental health and wellbeing. I need to be loved, and it needs to be me doing the loving. All other love is a bonus, and when I love myself the external love I feel multiplies rapidly.
Woke up with a head full of I'm not good enough, things M said, sadness, fear. My mind is still trying to bargain, still wants to 'seal the deal' with M, love for life!!!! Scared to face future where love may be absent.
Me. Yep I'm a bit of a headcase. But loving too much to me is far more human than shutting myself off. I guess in both cases emotions are being denied. Now I need to spend a portion of the obsessive energy on self care, and over time the healing comes through.
Thoughts: I'm not good enough.
Errors: Conclusions, out of context, blowing things out of proportions, extreme thinking, globalising, reality filter, ignoring the positive, omnipotence error.
I'm jumping to conclusions that I'm not good enough, if I wasn't good enough (for M) she wouldn't have given me such a good run. My fault is loving too much, I'm certainly good enough, I don't know many men who work as hard as I do toward self improvement, now I just need to turn the nagging I must fix this for M voice into a loving 'I'm fixing this because I care very deeply about myself and those in my life and I will be better able to help myself (and them) when I do' voice.
I'm saying I'm not good enough in a context that is completely wrong. Other people's opinions are only that, and affect me only where i choose to let them affect me. I am capable of taking on feedback, the obsession is blowing everything out of proportion as it is fuelled by fear of despair and darkness. I make mistakes, we all make mistakes, I love and forgive my friends, I must love and forgive myself (and M).
Using one part of my life that is not perfect, and focusing everything on that I am creating a self defeating prophesy/behaviour by letting other aspects of my life slide.
Reality: I have had many lovers over the years, I have made mistakes and learned from them. I get better at love every time. My ability to meet women is only hindered by my fear of rejection, the 'strike rate' i have achieved is the envy of anyone who learns of it. Approximately 3/4 of women I initially talk to, and make a play for, have wound up in my bed/life. That's a fucking amazing success record and yet I think I'm not good enough! Ridiculous. Women from my past turn up to tell me I treated them the best any man ever has. Boy oh boy, I gotta get me some of that action - my non obsessive love is the stuff of fond memories and reminescing :D Time to love myself, I have a lot of love.
Reality is I am a highly intelligent and good looking man. I'm funny, caring, sensitive, generous, forgiving, open minded and loving. I'm a fucken catch! The obsession is a problem yes, and I'm dealing with it. The finances, transport and social life are all solved in one go - get a vehicle and get on with some show promotion. The mental health and physical health are catered for with a morning routine, TEA, walk and train. The smoking is getting knocked tomorrow - my birthday.
I have no power over other people. I have no power over M. I can only change myself, and heal this hurt I keep thinking is about M. It is not, it is about me, loving myself and nurturing myself.
I am good enough. I am good enough for a boatload of women :D Getting one is not impossible at all. M is probably not the woman for me. This does not mean I ever need be alone. This polyamory issue has hurt me deeply, and every time she leaves it hurts me deeply. I must forgive her, forgive myself for taking it on board as a personal insult. Forgive myself for mistakes as i am only human and I really am trying with honest intentions.
I actually deserve better treatment, and got it when i wasn't obsessive. If there is too much water under the bridge so be it, we are friends, we can be adults about it.
Today I am M's lover only. Not even a boyfriend. I actually have the best of both worlds. I can play the field if I like. I dont want to right now, Ithink this thing is salvageable, but life without M will not be hopeless or helpless, she is in my life as a bonus, she accentuates my life. My life is my own, it is my responsibility to make it a good life. If it is a good life or not is all a matter of opinion - mine.
My intentions are to patch things up with M. This scares me, i'm a bit conflicted here. Obviously I don't want to let go at all. I have to to work this obsession out though. The only way to patch things up where they have a real effect is to patch myself up, but i have to do it for me not her. A quandary.
Practise practise practise. I have clear moments, sometimes hours, in my own skin and comfortable. this is hope, this is hope shining into my darkness and saying Hey, you are going to be ok, this is the other side, isn't it wonderful."
06-04-2012, 08:07 PM
"My mind is still trying to bargain, still wants to 'seal the deal' with M, love for life!"
One thing that's worth noting is that not everyone seeks a lifetime relationship. For some people, a few years (months? decades?) together is satisfying, promotes growth, and leaves good memories. Some people actually prefer to have a series of partners (along with intervals of relative solitude) over their lifetime.
And for those of us who prefer the one-partner-for-life model, we can still learn to appreciate the other point of view, and value the "temporary relationships" as they are. A relationship may (or may not) be temporary, but it can always leave a lasting imprint of good feelings and positive thoughts, if we can approach it in that frame of mind.
M may be one of those persons who prefers the series-of-partners model, and that's okay if she is. On the other hand, she may turn out to be a lifetime partner, and that's great too. Both outcomes can be positive outcomes if the good is focused on.
Actually, there may be a sliding scale between "prefers love-for-life" and "prefers a series-of-loves." Maybe we don't all "live on one of the extremes" of that scale. Maybe lots of us can handle the temporary-relationships model, even if we prefer the permanent-relationships model. Maybe lots of us can handle the permanent-relationships model, even if we prefer the temporary-relationships model. In other words, you may be more adaptable to the "temporary model" than you realize. Could be it's just a matter of having faith in yourself.
The key to "adapting to the series-of-loves model" is probably realizing that the end of one relationship isn't necessarily the end of *all* relationships. Indeed, the end of one relationship may open up the way for another relationship to begin. (Though as I said, if M proves to be adaptable to your "love-for-life" model, that's nice too.)
The thing to remember is, even if your relationship with M was to end right now, it would still be a relationship that you would always treasure, and consider worthwhile. So it's already a good thing, you don't have to worry about it "turning bad because it ends." Some relationships are great for a lifetime, others are wonderful for while they last. It's good to just let each relationship be what it is, and needs to be, and not try to "force it into a certain mold."
"Yep I'm a bit of a headcase. But loving too much to me is far more human than shutting myself off."
Well I don't think loving "too much" is a problem; more to the point, one can't have or give too much love! :) It's not so much the amount of love that gets us in trouble, it's the way we handle it, and do we let our negative baggage get mixed in with it. If we do, that can make for a volatile combination (and lots of internal conflict).
And yes, like you were saying, it's also important to "love oneself." The phrase, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," implies, to my mind, the converse: "Do unto yourself as you would have you do unto others." So care about others, be good to others, and care about yourself, be good to yourself too. Both sides of the coin are models of the Golden Rule for each other.
"I make mistakes, we all make mistakes, I love and forgive my friends, I must love and forgive myself (and M)."
Ah -- yes -- that's exactly what I was getting at.
"I'm fixing this because I care very deeply about myself and those in my life and I will be better able to help myself (and them) when I do."
That's the spirit.
I'd say don't push yourself too hard with respect to "patching things up with M." I mean, sure, call her and talk to her, and just let her know you feel bad about the obsessive stuff, and that you're working on it. That's all. You probably don't need to say a whole lot more to her than that. I think she'd appreciate that simple gesture.
Best birthday wishes to you, by the way. :)
06-04-2012, 10:46 PM
Thank you once again Kevin. it still feels wierd baring myself so, but there's a few people being helped by this plus myself so its worth it.
I've been really sore/hurt/obsessed this morning. Nothing was helping till M said she'd take me into uni for a bit of a library foray later. THIS IS FUCKED. Not that I appreciate all we do, that i don't appreciate my own company.
Like I said, really hurt. I despair at times that things will never come right. I know this is rubbish, but the thoughts provoke such powerful feelings. Warnings, always warning warning warning you will get hurt, control control - but the fucking warning system is what is hurting, there is no desperation and despair in my life only in my stupid fucking head.
I can and am capable of changing. It's happening now, and what I am feeling is just growing pains. Doesn't stop em hurting, makes them bearable though knowing they are part of a process, not how its going to be from now on.
06-05-2012, 02:53 AM
Well it's a gradual process; you have to try to be patient with the process (and with yourself). Even with the TEA exercises, which lead to a lot of "aha" moments, you'll still have plenty of terror/despair moments to contend with also. They won't go away all at once, far from it. In fact, you may always have those panicky moments, just hopefully not as many of them, not as often, and less severe, eventually. Again, a gradual process ... possibly so gradual that you'll have to look back a full year's time in order to say, "Oh, yeah, now I can see some progress."
So I'm just saying when you have those bad moments, all is not lost, it's just part of the very long roller-coaster ride you'll have to get through before things start to even out quite a bit. Think about "survival techniques;" that is, how to endure those dark moments and just make it through to the bright spots. I think writing your thoughts out will continue to be a valuable tool (for survival, for endurance, and for bit-by-bit healing).
06-05-2012, 04:49 AM
Good stuff. It was discussed the other night, M said in the last year I've come a huge distance. The past 4 months have been the real deal though. When I met M I was a pretty dedicated science hermit and anti-social due to loss of a business and then savings in the stockmarket bla bla. Really, I can be so grateful today.
I've pulled my head in, become a team player, much better at meeting people, networking etc. My house is cleaner, my look is smarter (and not 20 years out of date apparently :D ), and lately, long periods without obsession (6 weeks last time!), and depression jealousy etc. Sure I had thoughts but I could hit them out of the park easily.
Today I am challenging myself, some core beliefs stuff of not being good enough, I'm lined up for professional help, I'm getting up and moving, TEA, eating, giving myself the opportunity to grow, learn, and cope with as I work through the pain.
I have not lost M from my life at all and repair of an amazing friendship is entirely on the cards. We just photocopied stuff, looked at lots of books we needed to, then had lunch. Talk was easy, nothing serious, a casual throwaway line alluding to her maybe being a bit out of sorts too, which from M, who knows I'm sharp enough, is her way of apologising without being wrong, I love that shit, she knows, I know...
We love each others company but she had a weary look as she picked me up - not in the mood for anything look - it could be for anything, if it was about me she can say, until then not about me. A good healthy reaction, no reaction :p So I teased her, she doesn't like my jokes, a bit dark hehe. I told her a couple of new ones, made her eyes smile with both. They're good allright if she has to hold in a laugh. And they're very naughty.
She wants me to be well, she can't be with me if she makes me sad all the time. It really is time to sort my core stuff out cos it's broken rubbish and not only is everything not fucked, it's a land of opportunity. Wonderfully, I have her support on this. This was discussed the other night, it's just sinking in now what a sweet deal I got considering I was facing getting cut off cold.
I have to say now that there is another destructive pattern I have - when I think all is well with M (or add X here) I can slip into old patterns (not doing TEA, not going out with others, isolating, too comfortable to feel the slide).
My past does not have to defeat me, or rule my life at all, in fact I wont allow it to. But I do need to take this shit a bit more seriously. I need to take my daily medicine just like a diabetic needs their insulin. My daily medicine is good food (antioxidants and so much more), exercise (endorphins), check in (TEA, EFT, writing) and then focus on all I have to be grateful for. I think I need some meditation too, that would be helpful, as I kinda lack spiritually. This stuff might sound like common sense to most, but in the midst of my head I can get mighty forgetful about the things that do help me feel better.
Today, I really want to look after myself, I really care about me, but in a good way. Yes, M was a catalyst in the shift, but I'm feeling the love she's sharing here, not my pain - Oh! Life's not perfect - let me die!!! :D
Days are mercurial of late, but they aren't all pain, and yes, all this writing really helps.
06-05-2012, 04:57 AM
Well, it sounds like good news overall. I know there are still moments when it doesn't feel good ... Just hang in there, and do the things you know will help.
06-05-2012, 04:45 PM
Thanks again for your consistent outpourings - they are so relevant to what I'm going through right now and it's almost as if it is myself talking at times - especially the bit about your success rate with women ;-)
I'm accepting the new reality more each day, but the backward steps are still many and frequent. I've tried to stop obsessing, and focus on getting myself back in order, back in shape, back eating properly, quitting smoking (which J absolutely hates and when she smelt my breath last time we met she physically recoiled - not the best method of inducing intimacy).
At the moment J is living with her friend and says we are not officially together and wants space, and maybe to date people if she feels like it. Over the last few days, as I'm becoming slightly better, calmer, not obsessing, questioning etc the closer she is becoming again. I still want to 'seal the deal' and have her back with me, but maybe I just need to wait patiently and get on with my life - that seems to help our situation anyway. And, like you I have to make sure the good things I'm doing for myself are for myself, not for her, When she sees, again, that I'm not some emotional wreck, an obsessive, possessive, jealous, privacy invading controller, and have returned back to the loving, confident, charming, kind, caring, rational, balanced person I was, then we have the best chance possible of restoring our relationship (albeit on slightly different terms than before). I still have hope, we both do and are beginning couple therapy together. I'm going to also get some therapy for myself, to help deal with the trauma I've had in my life recently, and to help deal with the decisions I face, help me through the process and get my head back to where it should be.
I still don't know for sure if J is poly, or if it is just a case of her falling for this other guy and trying to explain why she wants to spend time with him but still wants our relationship. She thinks she is, says it explains a lot of things that have happened in her life. She has read 'opening up' and says she relates to so much she feels that she is definitely this way. She says that she wants me in her life and for us to have an open relationship - with her having the occasional lover, and me having one if I feel like it.
I can't get past the idea that if I hadn't have neglected her the way I did when we were together, and fulfilled her the way I did for large parts of our relationship, then this situation wouldn't have arisen. If she is indeed poly , maybe it would have happened anyway, further down the line. Anyway I can only deal with the new reality, and deal with it in a way that is healthy for me, and gives me the best possible chance of having a happy life.
Life is in the present and the future. The past is history. I have to make the present happier in order to make my future happier. I'm making myself miserable, torturing myself, obsessing, guessing, neglecting myself. The present has to change, it's as simple as that.
06-05-2012, 09:05 PM
Sounds like you're on the right track Mo. Find out what your core belief is, how that obsession got triggered and deal with it. It is very painful but use TEA on it you can obliterate the power of the thing within days.
If she has agreed to do counselling the only thing really broken about your relationship is you.
So you got to ask yourself, can you deal with poly. Her love for you is not diminished by love for another, but the male ego - oh boy - what a struggle I had. You got to work all the angsty shitty stuff out for yourself if she has had enough of your mood swings etc the last thing she needs is you trying to have conversations about the two of you, you have to relax, do not react, it's hard, and VERY powerful.
Self love is the only way to truly be the great lover we desire to be. We feed off peoples energy and drain them and ourselves when obsessed.
So, what you got is a lady who loves you so much she's prepared to tell you the truth instead of be a lying cheat. She's prepared to seek help to try fix things with you - you got a real good deal you got to either be grateful or leave her alone. Harsh but true. Neither of you deserve a prolonged and painful withdrawal from each other, love her, or leave her be.
She loves herself so much she is willing to face aspects of her life that in many circles would have her shunned. I bet that scares the shit out of you, it did me. A strong independant woman - the best kind - can scare the living bejeezus out of men who are good at meeting and picking up women - why? Cos a whole string of codependant idiots bored the shit out of me, and now the shoes on the other foot, I've become the codependant - it's all about ego, the male ego needs a bloody good kicking now and then. I do not have the level of control I was accustomed to (and completely bored with).
But when I control myself, and be a good productive man instead of a jerk, well, there is this amazing woman who can't get enough of me when i am like that.
Today, I have a friend and lover, no partner for life delusions. Friend for life, yes, and see how it goes. That uncertainty CANNOT be fixed by extracting promises from M. I have to have certainty within myself.
Make no mistake, the catalyst was your relationship, but all the crap in your head is about you. unravel the rubbish top layer and find those fears and insecurities and wage war on that crap.
I have comedy to concentrate on, science, getting some work on. I got to doggedly and selfishly pursue self love, this includes being disciplined no matter how much I want to crawl under a rock. Get buff, become a martial arts expert, become a musician, poet, entertainer, whatever - get a life, you need it and you will be so grateful you did.
Time to go visit and do some strong coffee, birthday today YAY! I'll be studying most of it, then dinner with M, and if she is keen, a bit of my favourite exercise. Only if she is keen. My cock is nowhere near as important as me helping her feel safe with me again.
Huge gratitude for you, Kevin and other members on this forum. go well.
06-06-2012, 12:08 AM
I did a bunch of TEA on self esteem type thinking and boy did it help. I did not allow myself to entertain thoughts of what is going to impress M, even though it tried to speak up from the background... I said to myself, if I was my friend (as I should be) and knew me as well as I do and what I care about what advice would I give myself. Not about M, about my general unhappiness, tendency to obsess or wallow in things.
Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I've tried this TEA thing given my tendency to overthink! And it works! Go figure!
All you overthinkers out there (and we know you are out there!!!) TRY IT.
Thanks for sharing your story.
Keep up the self exploration, it will pay off in the long term.
06-06-2012, 05:12 PM
Yes, I was an overthinker anyway, before this situation arose. Now, christ almighty I'm beavering away like the processor on my laptop.
I've had a better day today But I'm faced with a dilema. J has asked me to go away with her for the weekend. She'll be working in cambridge marking exam papers. A week or so ago I tried to use it to leverage some form of commitment from her, by saying 'on what basis do you want me to come?'. She's certainly not ready to commit to me again, so said, 'on no basis, just to have a nice time'. This is still her line, and she's going tomorrow. I want to go, but will the pain of walking away from her on Sunday might unleash further bouts of obsessing, pining etc? That's what I'm trying to protect myself from. My heart is telling me to go - my head is saying stay.
Must say I have impressed myself today, it's definitely sinking in, and it's definitely sinking in that I need to deal with things healthily, and in the best way for me.
Hope you had a good birthday and hope all's good over at your ranch.
06-06-2012, 08:56 PM
I vote, go with J (for the weekend). :) It's something you have in the here and now, so practice enjoying it.
06-07-2012, 07:34 AM
@ New Today. I am really happy this worked for you too. The power of TEA to turn me around in a few days is still unbelievable to me, but it works.
@ Mo: The dilemma? See, that's what I was doing, totally conflicted. Trying to be nice with all this bullshit in my head. Get it out of your head my friend, the last thing she needs is you not supporting her on her choice to take things slower. The reason she chose to take things slower has nothing to do with the polyamory, and everything to do with the way you reacted and keep reacting to her choices. If you can't respect her choices you aren't respecting her. Hence the need to work this shit out.
The pain of walking away from her is a construct of the mind. you can go into suicidal depression if you choose. Or you can smile at the memories, and have already planned what YOU will be doing next that YOU need to do, or simply enjoy doing. She is a bonus to your life, not your life. I hope I'm not being harsh or too off track here, i'm talking to myself a lot in communicating with you.
One thing that's becoming clear to me now is that pleasure loses its pallor when you have nothing but pleasure. Self discipline (self care as a regimen) is interesting in that it's often difficult to begin when you are feeling depressive but then it begins to give pleasure also. However, it is as if the times you relax are also enhanced. It's a double whammy of feel good.
I force my focus into the weights. Grit my fucking teeth and smile through the pain. Feel the muscles strain and feel the breath drawn in and out. Focus. As I walk mornings I search for rare fungi (found one yesterday, and 2 new species last two autumns), and I use affirmations with emphasis every time a thought pops up that isn't positive, whatever it is. Today I walked in the rain with a big shit eating grin on my face and came home with about a pound of wood ear fungi for the freezer.
My true self wants to love without conditions. The obsessive side of me wants SURETY, GAURANTEES, CONTRACTS.
Surety, to trust myself that I am capable of coping with the loss of M, this takes the power back. I faced the scary thoughts and changed the (fictitional) outcomes. What in reality will happen is sadness, followed by healing, followed by another girl. :o The obsession might be trying to protect me, but it's a stupid fucken broken piece of shit mechanism for me and I have more than enough conscious processing power to handle my business. And with TEA I'm sure my subconscious is learning fast as well.
When I'm obsessed I'm weak and rather pathetic. I am terrified of her, of what she thinks; of saying, doing or being something wrong. My very energy is unattractive, to myself, and to others. It's amazing, as soon as I managed to drop the obsession I get positive energy from complete strangers. I am only as alone in the world as I choose to be. The loneliest place of all is locked in my head with an obsession.
M and I are getting on great again. This is good. My expectations are that I keep building my life and if she wants to spend time with me great. And if she doesn't want to spend time with me, should I have an awful day and think it is about me and not the fact she has a very busy life -hell no!..
At this point (things are ok) I can easily switch to 'cruise mode' - slack up on the discipline. this is my past (repeated) mistake. No more fucking around. My time is mine and I can make a better life, a better man, better understanding, hell, with my capacity to make people laugh, and the products I'm designing to reduce environmental poisons, I'm making a better world. I better get myself prepared, mentally and physically, cos life is about to be fucking awesome again. In fact it is, I'm already on that ride. :D
06-07-2012, 07:31 PM
A tiny bit of discomfort crept into my head as I slept last night. I woke with mildly unpleasant thought about M and I. My head, my silly head wanted to go there, to plunge into problems, to drag out the past, to make a big deal out of nothing.
Thoughts: Because she slept with someone else (when we split up months ago), she doesn't respect me.
Errors: Jumping to conclusions, blowing things out of proportions. Globalising (one event becomes everything, a repeated cycle type thing). Dragging up past.
Analysis: The past is over. Today is what counts. I do not need the hot cold crap that comes with the she pushes - I pull thing that develops when I get emotional. Today I have important work to do, work that is all about me. M is welcome in my heart and my head, but obsession is not. M did not know what she wanted to do with her life and my pressure on her made it very hard to move or think. In the past I have reacted in exactly the same way - when my current relationship is a mess I'd go to another. I chose to love M, to allow her to make her own mistakes. I am her friend first and foremost, and if it was a male friend we would laugh about this and sheepishly admit it was foolish. M respects me a great deal, she has tried, with no qualification, to help me when I'm a mess. Now it is my responsibility to appreciate the efforts made, the love given, the care, compassion and consideration M has shown me. i don't need to tell her off, or act wronged, she has told herself off more than enough. I am respected, but I have to respect myself. Self love is amazing in that it attracts positive energy like a magnet. Attracts people like a magnet. When I have control over myself everything else is just life happenng, and I am a calm rock in the midst of it, understanding, compassionate, loving, present.
Today is another opportunity to grow, learn, love, laugh, cherish my fellow study buddies and help them cram for exams. Today is a gift, a blessing, and I am grateful for it.
06-07-2012, 08:11 PM
That's the spirit; keep the positive thoughts flowing.
06-08-2012, 06:53 PM
I fucked up! I went to cambridge, fucked all night 1st night. 2nd night i started with the Qs and ultimatums. We are on the edge right now, TBC..
06-08-2012, 07:53 PM
Sorry to hear about that, Mo Better. I hope things recede a little bit, back into calmer waters.
06-08-2012, 10:27 PM
I must live in the day. The past can do nothing to me if I let it go. The future can do nothing to me as it never actually exists where I am at. TODAY. This is my challenge.
Today I can do my best, just for this one day. I can survive and even thrive.
If I face the worst case scenario, which realistically is I get dumped and have to spend time alone and might go downhill mentally because of it. That's it. That's the worst thing that can happen that has made me lose sleep weight and sanity. NOT WORTH IT.
The worst case scenario - I can handle it. Using TEA to work on the fears and insecurities, the worst case scenario is only a bit of discomfort. What am I so terrified of.
Now, this is the key to it. TODAY I am in charge. What can I do today that improves my life from worst case scenario (dumped, depressed, going downhill). Anything other than worse case scenario is a bonus, and thus i have much to be grateful for today, and things i can work on today.
Obsession was smashed as soon I realised the worst case scenario is merely a bit of time alone. I spend time alone every day and there's no problem at all unless I start worrying about what M is doing when I'm not around. Fuck that, my focus is on me, improving me, building me, strengthening me. Yes, the obsession tries to creep back in, it is early days of healing. But I have broken it's back. And I will not remove my foot I will continue to grind it down till it is dust.
Pain, hell, I deliberately give myself physical pain when I train, and I enjoy it, I call it growing pains. As I do TEA and challenge my esteem it got painful, but it is growing pains, and I can handle them. I only ever have to cope with.... TODAY.
I have a choice to deal with this thoroughly, or wait till things are good again with M then repeat all the same stupid shit. I'm not living in fear of our future anymore, TODAY! Fuck the past, I forgive her and myself - TODAY!
Today I will spoil myself with good food, I will generate a large volume of work, and later after the work is done I will spoil myself more with a nice joint and a movie. TODAY is GREAT! And M is not here, and, I do not know where she is.
If I wake in the morning (bad time in past) and my head is full of shit and M is here Islip out of bed and go walk it off then do weights then shower and slip back into bed feeling great with breakfast in bed for the two of us.
The other alternative is to shit all over what we have, the beautiful morning and the beautiful company, with my paranoid delusions, childish whinging, and petty demands.
Make no mistake, I have waged war on unhapiness and obsession. it is my life and dammit, I'm going to enjoy it.
MO - really sorry to hear you lost it. It's so painful afterwards it is destroying your self esteem doing that which only strengthens the obsession. STOP IT! Do something about it, or you'll just do it all over again. The time to act is now. TEA is an incredible tool, and that model of obsession is accurate. Get on it. You will be amazed what only one week of waging war on all this emo crap will do for you. Be fearless and thorough, it will save your sanity, your health, and maybe your relationship.
06-08-2012, 11:15 PM
So, I'm not perfect (ly sane) today, but I choose to act as if I am. I choose to sing, to play music, to jump around, to pay attention to me, my pets, and friends. I also choose to remain fearless and thorough on the issues of self worth and obsession. I'm worth it.
Thoughts: I will always feel uneasy unless M says we are an item again. I do not like this uneasiness and M can fix it.
Errors: Jumping to conclusions. Extreme thinking. Globalising. Emotional blocking.
Analysis: Always feel uneasy? Not so, I get pangs, but the misery is mostly gone. When I was with M, when we were an official item, I was still uneasy, scared of my past, and fearful about our future. M cannot fix this - it is in my head, her company puts my issues on the backburner sometimes, but it does not help me to help myself. This is my issue, it is about me, not M. It is true I do not like this uneasiness, but it is much better than the sheer torture and misery I was experiencing only a fortnight ago. I am experiencing growing pains - which are positive despite feeling uncomfortable. We are not an item, yet I still have a lover and friend. I actually have the best of both worlds, freedom to live my own life, and a wonderful friend. The future will take care of itself all I have to do is take care of today.
The other day M brough cheeses, crackers, sundried tomatoes, olives, smoked fish, pizza, grape juice and more for me. We had a wonderful time made all the better by the fact I had been looking after myself and felt better about myself. Our friendship will easily stand the test of time, but she may not be the primary partner I seek all the same. There is no way I can predict the outcome of this. I can only work on being a better man who is happy in his own skin. inner peace is VERY attractive, there is no shortage of women in my life when I am stable.
In study group this week one young (26 hehe) woman turned up dressed in lacy and sexy gear and it was not for the benefit of anyone else she beelined to my side and stayed there, she brought me chocolate, we talked about love, and how she was worried about falling in love here as she was returning to Germany shortly. She has invited me out several times. DOH! I could have had a secondary lover but I was too busy being obsessed over the ownership model my parents practised (and fucked up completely). Another young lady of dutch descent turned up and everytime I spoke she laughed I could do nothing wrong her attraction is very high.
Life is as rich and full as I choose to see it and make it. A world of opportunity exists. I will not play the field unless i meet someone i really like, and even then I'd discuss it with M first, as she has first dibs :D
There is no urgency, there is no desert wasteland awaiting me should things not work out with M. i am more concerned with helping her as a friend to accept and love herself, than I am in 'winning her devotion'. I am a far better man than I have been giving myself credit for, it's time to keep the affirmations and actions in place, to continue to learn to love myself.
Fuck the ego, fuck being a victim, I am not.
06-08-2012, 11:24 PM
Where's the "like" button?
06-09-2012, 09:11 AM
Heard and processed some good stuff today. TOUGH afternoon, head full o dread :confused: had a glass of red wine and did a bit more study, being a bit slack but choosing not to beat myself for it. Better tonight. I did a fair bit of TEA in a notebook I got here for it. It's getting full :D
I did TEA on what if there is no hope for us and M leaves overseas to work and is gone, what are my fears about this scenario, and then after the TEA I wrote out plans of how I would cope with these scenarios. Then plans for how to achieve things I want for myself. It really helped. Facing the fears like this is painful but it loses it's sting as you tease it apart.
Self esteem really does hinge on self care, but happiness, that longing for peace of mind I get when my mind is troubled so often, I thought there must be a way to happiness (via esteem, which will help) but apparently this is back to front.
There is not a way to happiness, happiness is the way. I need to bring happiness to all that I do. (Wayne Dyer paraphrasing someone else) So I practised this... I cooked on my stove and realised - I'm happy for it, the electricity, the water, the food, a lot of which came from my garden. I am happy for my cup of tea, this comfortable chair, the internet. It snapped me from my uncertainty/torment/obsession and grounded me in this house I am happy for, in this country I am happy for, and all these people I am happy with.
Still mercurial then, this healing process. I've learned so much, I am happy about that too.
Bringing happiness to all that I do. This is a wonderful message.
There is not a way to happiness
Happiness is the way
Bring happiness to all that you do.
This rings so true for me. My outcome dependance is like an addiction, I know it only feeds the beast and yet I seek surety where only time knows the answers. I let obsession blind my eyes to the value of everything (especially M) and I take things for granted to fit my percieved notion of how things should be - like I'm entitled, instead of blessed.
I am so blessed. I am happy for the things in my life. For the opportunity to grow. For all the small things big and inbetween. I am happy to know it is possible to be happy.
I have to let go of others to find their own way, and trust myself to find mine. Where we share our time, I am happy for this too, but it should never make a pallor fall over the rest of life, over being in my company.
I must learn to be scintillating :rolleyes: I am happy for being me.
06-09-2012, 09:20 AM
thanks for the encouragement Q & K.
And Q - good news on your progress and the possibilities that abound :-)
Sorry to vent last night. I had walked out of the hotel after a flashpoint.
The previous 2 nights we had re-connected in such a good way, the sex was unbelievable, and I genuinely felt like we had something again, something that could lead us to a reconciliation. Especially as we've discussed and booked couples therapy sessions for next week.
We were at dinner last night, and I brought up the subject of the other guy she's been seeing. I told her that, to give us the best chance of getting through our issues, I wouldn't be comfortable her being intimate with this other guy at the moment. She told me she doesn't always get intimate with him, but also indicated that sometimes she can't control herself when she's with him.
My blood began to boil, and although we were in a packed restaurant, my questions became sharp, direct and made her feel uncomfortable. In other words I lost control. She walked out of the restaurant, we had an argument back at the hotel and I walked out (my last post on this thread from last night was from the train station) she called and persuaded me to come back. We spent the night together, no sex (I had had a cigarette and in any case neither of us felt amorous due to the tense situation). She's gone to work today and I will meet her at 5pm. We've exchanged texts, both of us saying we are tired of the situation and maybe it's not worth it. We will talk tonight about this, and hopefully I can maintain control of myself, my jealousy. Her view is - she thinks I'm more concerned with stopping her seeing him than I am about repairing our relationship. For me, this reparation is hindered by her continuation of her intimacy with him. It makes me feel unhappy, and brings these horrible emotions out. It feels as though she is not compromising at all, in order to give us the best chance of reconciling. I said in my text earlier, that I believe we should be concentrating on us at the moment, that we are in such a fragile situation, we have to try to give ourselves the best chance - try to get the fulfillment we both need from each other first. And if in time we are unable to do this, then we will have to look at ways of getting this - whether open relationship or other. I feel like she is forcing me into a poly situation, that my feelings are not being taken into account. I know she is hurting as well, especially when my reaction becomes bad, like last night. Sorry again to vent, and thanks again for continuous moral support.
06-09-2012, 12:40 PM
Fuck the ego, fuck being a victim, I am not.
I'm taking this with me today. thank you
06-09-2012, 12:46 PM
I have been in a situation where I have asked my partner to "delay" or "take a break" from what is going on with others for a time. When I asked it, I believe his concern was that I would want to hold things there indefinitely and try for us to have a "traditional" relationship when that is not what I want. I just needed to catch my breath - and to feel important enough to get his full attention as well.
I handled it by saying pretty much what I said above, "DD, I'm afraid that you'll think that this is me trying to manipulate and control you - I just need a breather while we figure this out and I feel more confident about what your intentions are. Can we do this for (time) and then talk about it again - I mean we can revisit it daily if you want but I want to know that you're on board with me."
06-09-2012, 01:00 PM
Thanks for this. The problem with me at the moment is that she ended 'us' 3 weeks ago, despite since saying repeatedly that she sees me as her life partner and just needs space at the moment. So I feel I have no right to ask her to refrain from being intimate with him now, and no doubt she thinks I have no right either, hence our arguements on this issue.
I don't feel it is too much to ask - if she genuinely sees me as the one for her. However she sees this as me trying to control her, and at the moment any hint of this and she moves the other way. Really don't know how to tackle this one for the best. I want a healthy happy relationship, but right now it seems like a pipe dream.
06-09-2012, 01:59 PM
I can share with you one of my experiences that seem similar to yours. But, mine was recent and it really only involved a short time frame ... so it isn't quite the same thing as what you are going through.
I'm going to give you a really high level of what we did:
I did my best to make sure that he understood my discomfort and concern but also made it clear that I understood his desire to move forward. I took care of myself and kept myself busy and happy and left him to his world.
1 - He came back to me and told me how much he loves me and that now he understood what my concern was and changed his behavior based on that.
2 - I learned that I may not be comfortable with everything. Neither is he but he seems to manage it better than I do and not let the fear drive his emotions and actions. But we're working through things to provide each of us with the love and lives that we want. we call is "managing conflict" rather than "resolving conflict".
3 - We're still defining our boundaries and our relationship as it is today: Long distance, D/s, open. We're clumsy at it because it's new. we're forgiving ourselves and each other a lot and we're learning to dig deeper when we discuss things to find what is REALLy going on and driving the discomfort or fear and addressing that rather than the fall out.
Some days it can feel so overwhealming and I hear your tangle of emotions. Unfortunately, the hardest thing to do at times like this is to distance yourself from the discomfort and what is going on but - it may be the best thing. Saying that - I do not mean distance yourself from your relationship as much as the part of it that tangles you in your fear.
06-09-2012, 02:11 PM
Sorry - I've been failing at being concise:
I realized that I just had to let it be and allow DD what he wanted. Knowing that it would not always be that way for us. Or, that if it was, and I was the one always compromising, that as much as I love DD we may not be ready for the relationship that I want. It was scary, terrifying, to allow myself to be vulnerable enough to know that is may be the start of the end.
For us, it turned out it wasn't the start of the end but the start of a better understanding of our relationship and one another.
I wish you the best.
06-10-2012, 09:16 PM
Morning can be very painful, by evening I'm pretty zen about everything.
I know now that every time the obsession arrives in my head it has very little to do with what M is doing, it is all about the fear of losing her.
Under this fear is the real deal, what I'm really afraid of, falling apart. It's perfectly understandable.
I had lost my company, I had lost my savings. I was lonely, lost, isolated, sad, broke, without transport, my flat a mess, my head worse. My life and I were falling apart.
M came along and motivated me to change. She drove me places, we pooled resources, I cleaned up my flat, my look, and I was so happy (NRE). The loneliness and sadness and despair were dispelled. The thought of losing M is associated with losing all the improvements in my life.
The real issue then, is my faith in myself, my faith in my ability to cope with life without M. And I'm fucken terrified of going back there to an unproductive sad mess, fuck that it hurts too much. I do not need to go all the way back to my youth, to jail and all that crap, I was imprisoned in my flat. Slowly but surely cutting ties with the world.
So, I've got this tiger by the tail. It's putting up a fight. Part of me wants nothing more than to be adored and fawned over by some mindless bimbo as I smoke dope and fuck around in life. But this will not bring me happiness, nothing external can bring me happiness, only my perception of my life can allow me contentment, acceptance, gratitude, love. And for me, with my gifts, I need to be using them, contributing to mankind with love and understanding, using my experiences to help my fellows to stand on their own feet.
My plan really is sound. To make sure I don't go backwards. to put into place a life - to handle my business as a man, whether I have M or not.
Again, as this is all part of it, the repitition. A plan.
Transport, work, comedy, social life, adress addictions, self care, self love, and the selfish pursuit of happiness.
It is fantastic to know happiness comes from within. it's right here, I am accessing this sometimes. It is so peaceful, so loving and calm compared to happiness from external sources, with the nerves in case I don't get what I want, the outcome dependancy.
I am having to face the reality, that M is leaving. I am saying she wont come back (possible, entirely possible) so I have to prepare myself to cope with this scenario without falling apart. Hell, even if she is coming back, at present I start falling apart when I've not seen her for a few days, the obsession starts, and all that horrid uncomfortable crap, the fear.
I barely feel the obsession today in comparison to how it was. But that yucky stuff underneath, it is hard to keep focusing on that, facing that possibility. When I obsess my mind jumps to the dark place of fears instead of the surface paranoia jealousy etc - worse off?
The warning my body/mind has been sending me is very real. I just got it all twisted up. M can't save me from the dark place, only I can do that. Self discipline, self care, self love. And practise, happiness is the way, bring happiness to all that I do. As I put things in place for myself, act out of love for myself, my self love will imporve, and the external dependancies will fade. There is nothing wrong with liking attention and love from others, it's when I NEED it that things go awry, external outcome dependance = setting myself up to be hurt.
I REALLY want to win M over, as a partner for life. I already have her as a friend for life, but my insecurity - it cries for surety.
I see the consellor today, she can listen to me process my fears, and help me plan. No more taking this crap to M. She saved me, she loved me through thick and thin. Nobody is perfect her journey today fascinates me, she makes me proud how strong and honest she is. She is a role model for self love and self acceptance.
It's time to love myself deeply. to keep moving in the right direction, away from the darkness and into the light.
06-10-2012, 10:01 PM
That's great that you're seeing the counselor, she can probably help you a lot with your internal dialog, getting even more out of the TEA exercises, etc.
I think part of it is you just need more time to learn that you can trust yourself. Your self-trust level is a little low, as you are afraid of "falling apart" if M isn't there to help.
Keep talking things through; let your rational mind examine all that's going on with your "irrational mind," almost as if you were stepping outside of yourself and looking at yourself from an observer's point of view.
The small steps will add up (in spite of the steps backward).
06-11-2012, 08:09 PM
Well, M is here to help at times, but she's fucked up about the whole thing herself. She fucked a couple she's known for some time in the weekend. I know way too many people in this town...
I found out approx 15 minutes ago, not through M. BUT, we are single, not a couple, and life has been tough on M dealing with me. She deserves a break, and old friends and sex sounds a nice way to relax yes. I'd have done it in these uncertain times. I do not judge here for her appetites and insecurities, we are here to heal my insecurities, and life...
Initially I felt rage, then plunging blackness, I wrote a long boring emo letter to M then deleted it. The problem with being privy to things you really shouldn't be, is holding it in. Fuck that, that's when I start getting all morally superior, judging M for being human, telling her off for doing things I'm perfectly capable of doing myself.
I am responsible for my happiness. And so I have some processing to do. It's the same fear as always - I lose her, thus I fall apart. That she doesn't love me. But she does, i jsut can't rely on that to get through life, i need to love myself, to forgive myself for the mess I made.
Thoughts: I have lost M permanently. She will be my friend and lover but there is so much water under the bridge things are irreperable.
Errors - there's a few, but it may be true too.
Analysis: I have not LOST M. I have lost some of her respect, and her trust. The only way to repair that is to be strong within myself and get my own act together so she sees the man who was supportive at first (despite being a mess in life), not the emo obsessive mentally ill worry I became. M is under huge stresses and so she went for a spa with old friends who she has fucked before and alcohol led to flirting led a a great night had by all. As i was not involved I feel put out but it was completely impromptu, and had I been there things would probably not have escalated and M would not have had a night she probably needed. I feel betrayed, but we are not an item right now. i feel plotted against, but it was not a planned thing it just happened. I feel left out.
Thoughts: M doesn't want to sleep with me anymore.
Errors: Conclusions, awfulising, globalising.
Analysis. I still turn her on, which is amazing considering it got to a point where i didn't only a fortnight ago. i am lucky she wants some at all, she is my friend not my girlfriend, i need to be grateful I still get laid. It could be worse, a lot worse with a horrible break up and bad feelings all round.
I really need to concentrate on my life. on maintaining the things i have and working actively towards building more for myself. I must get a car in place, and work, and a social life outside of M, before she goes overseas.
She hasn't actually done anything wrong as we are not a couple. It is me feeling wronged. It is me who thinks everything is about me. This is an enormous EGO which is there to compensate for low self esteem.
As there is no way to happiness (controlling M does not = happiness) but happiness is the way - I need to be happy for her. Even more so, I need to be happy for myself.
HAPPY FOR MYSELF!! AM I MAD!!?? A little... :p
I have an opportunity here to face the fear of being independant. I am a man unto his own means. I have the chance to make good with myself, to take care of business in the face of adversity. Here is my chance, to fold over and fall apart, or to walk tall, to love myself and my own company.
I feel scared yes, this is crunch time. I got an exam tomorrow, got to perform regardless. I still love M. nothing changes that, the obsession wants to come back, the obsession wants to avoid the fears, to fall apart and dwell on it and run over everything and beg and cajole some kind of agreemont out of M. My obsession wants to repeat past mistakes as it is not a very good thinker, its an emo child.
My fears. I will not handle it. i will fall apart. Today i might medicate a bit more weed than usual if i have to, just to focus. i am off to walk now, then push some weights, then eat.
This is the moment I have been waiting for. This is the scary shit right here right now really. I'm going to be ok. I'm going to take care of MY business. I'm going to find love and appreciation inthis day. This day is all I have to get through, and I will, and i will even enjoy some of it.
06-11-2012, 10:00 PM
Sorry to hear it's been a rough ride of late. I'm sure you and M are both under pressure, so you will need to be understanding toward one another.
Remember what we often say in the poly community: Love is an infinite resource. Even though M was "with" someone else, that doesn't mean she loves you any less. You have to be able to have trust in M's love for you.
Trust appears to be a challenging issue for you all around: trust for yourself, and trust for M. Since trust is built up very gradually over a long amount of time, you'll need to have a lot of patience: for yourself, for M, and for the process.
It is great that you are going out there and doing proactive things to help yourself stay on track, and maintain a good perspective. The obsession seems to be a kind of tunnel vision, so "expanding your horizons" should help you to overcome that.
Thanks for your thoughts and updates, there's no telling how many people might benefit from your experience. Above all, I believe you are benefitting from it. I see signs of that.
06-12-2012, 07:09 PM
Been watching more Wayne Dyer. The man is a guru and I need the spiritual side of my life enhanced fast. I guess this is happening.
Me and M, so much water under the bridge now, by the time the last mess is cleared up she's made another and I'm the one picking up all the pieces. It has to change or stop as I get hurt every time, then she gets guilty and when she's like that she pushes me away making things even harder for me. I deserve a lot better. Yes i made some mistakes, but i deserve better. We have a wee break away coming up in a few weeks, i need one more talk, I'll give it one more shot, as I don't give up easily, but I'm pretty sure its over. M is trying to convince herself she doesn't need anyone. She's barely reachable. It pains me greatly to think of her in pain, she thinks she will cause me nothing but grief so should leave me, and now she's acting out as she thinks it's all broken. I'm thinking it's all broken. It's pretty fucked right now. Basically, I think I want to repair things more out of self preservation due to my fears, as rationally, I should get away as far as I can and heal.
Still pretty scared. Yesterday I did the best I could. I exercised, ate little but ate, spent time in 3 situations where I was able to study with company around. And today an exam.
I am OK. I have heard my warning, I must grow up and not repeat the same mistakes of my past. When the going gets tough I need to know, that dark place is of my own design, it is born of thought, and thought can keep me out of it as well.
I am OK. I am handsome. I am loving. I am loved. My life is surrounded by people who care for me. I am intelligent. i am funny.
I will have a lover who loves me as much as I her, who is not hurting me on a regular basis. I will never have to be an obsessive jealous man again I have learned these lessons. I can build a life with great love, a good job and income, a social life that involves many circles, a stage life with our funniest people, and fans, bless them, to network with. I will have a wee car to boot about in, people to visit, jobs to do. I will recreate the amazing social life I had a few years back.
Today is all I have to get though. It is my choice to suffer through or enjoy the day. I am OK.
Thoughts: I will be hurting for a long time. i will never get over this.
Errors: Conclusions, awfulising, globalising, ignoring positive.
It is only thoughts that drive feelings, and where the subconscious is involved it can be reprogrammed through visualisation right before sleep. I know I can change my thoughts and thus feelings, sometimes it is harder than others but the reality is I am not in a black hole, and I need never go there. I have processing to do and it is hard but I can do a little then get up and spend the rest of the day away from that stuff. I will get over this, the same as I got over J, J, K, T, N and others. All of them I thought was 'the one' yet this cannot be, 6 women, all the one. Oh polyamory! :D So, there were varying degrees of mess according to if my life was in any semblance of working order or not. Basically I have abandonment issues and they have nothing to do with M and everything to do with a past I choose to no longer be dictated to by. I have not been abandoned. in the past though, I have abandoned myself.
Nobody else can fix this for me. Faith in myself. Faith I am surrounded by people who care for and love me. faith I can continue to train my thinking and achieve happiness - the way.
I am apprehensive. I feel nervous to start in case anything hurts. Standing, doing anything, it is the precursor to becoming frozen. I am OK. This shit hurts, it will pass. I will wake up one day rejoicing in the fact i no longer have to live with constant fear anymore.
06-12-2012, 10:55 PM
Your emotions are laid out, and they are very similar to my own. You are not alone. Love is the best thing in the world, but also the worst when it goes wrong.
If I was a gambling man, I'd put money on us both getting through our issues and living good positive futures, as we are both rational, intelligent men, albeit with broken hearts right now.
The matter of whether we end up being the primary focus of our respective loves, is another matter entirely, and one which only time will tell. Undoubtedly that's what we both want. However we can only control our own emotions, feelings, desires. Those of J & M are beyond our control.
I've opted to remove myself from J's life altogether. Drastic maybe, but necessary for me, my well being, not to mention my sanity.
A life in limbo is no good for me. It's a situation I've become all too familiar with recently, but I can't continue like this.
I'm not shutting the door completely, yet. But I will need to see some love from her soon, before it's too late.
06-13-2012, 03:14 AM
Well, sometimes it's helpful to take a break. I can see this in the "J situation" as well as the "M situation." There's always a chance of getting back together later on, but right now what matters is getting some stability and self-independence. I think you guys are both making the right moves for what needs to be done right now.
Re (from Questioning, Post #74 (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?p=139435#post139435)):
"I know I can change my thoughts and thus feelings, sometimes it is harder than others but the reality is I am not in a black hole, and I need never go there."
Good analogy ... a black hole is something you can't (well, going by Einstein you can't) escape once you cross the event horizon. Time and space get turned around, and the singularity becomes a fixed event in your future. But you don't have to be bound by such stringent circumstances; even though you can end up in a pretty dark place, it's still not as bad as crossing an event horizon, and there's still a way out.
06-13-2012, 11:33 AM
I got a very thought provoking e-mail, which corresponds to the Wayne Dyer stuff I've been listening to. The idea that pain is something to be moved away from, an indicator.
I couldn't agree more.
I think I have been 'unravelling an onion' as the cliche goes, peeling back the layers. TEA was to adress obsessive thoughts but they recurred. So I dug into the next layer, the fears under it, and this gave me some power over the obsession, as I knew it was an avoidance tactic so I didn't have to go to a 'dark place'. The dark place was a construct of thoughts, experience, worldview etc with an attached image and horrid feelings I was trying to avoid at all costs. It was actually just a warning system I was not heeding. I was taking it too easy, not taking care of my own business being too reliant on M. Taking care of my business as a man is a fundamentally different problem to polyamory, which I have a reasonable grip on now. And appetites, humans...
Taking care of my business brings me back to the pm I recieved. Pain as an indicator. The thing is, my head kept telling me everything was wrong with M in the obsession, I had to dig and find out what was being indicated. Maybe some people's heads work good and they figure this shit out easy, takes me a while :D
The lessons are many, these blessings in disguise.
- Don't take love for granted, period.
- take care of your own affairs.
- live in the day, and have the best day you can.
- anything is possible, all that we see that is not nature, is created through thought.
Fears are merely a warning system, the imagery attached is fictitious, made up, and analogous to the insane peeping of a smoke alarm - you just want to turn it off. To turn it off, find out where you are moving away from your true purpose, love... e.g. confronting M about the weekend scenario does not feel good, pretending nothing happened feels better, but! Fear (warning) it will leak out later. So, where is the compromise.
There is nothing wrong. I am returning to obsessive thinking as there is a job at hand to handle my business and thus my dependancy and esteem, to let the apron strings fall away and rejoice in the freedom to have my own life where anything is possible, including patching things up. Only time will tell how it ends but nothing ends in tragedy here unless I choose it to be that way, and I do not.
Anything is possible. As thought begins the processes that make things so I am now trying to move away from dwelling on problems and seeking only solutions within the realm of things I actually have some control over. This is actually fun when you get started. Me. Planning and chipping away towards a better me, for me, and whoever gets lucky in the future.
I feel love very deeply for M. This will be my guide as it feels right. Analysing this is the stuff of obsession. The universe knows, I must love unconditionally, and concentrate on loving my life regardless of who is in it. I can process pain, it's actually turning out good for me.
That's not saying I enjoy any of the pain for one second. I hate it. But I think a lot of unneccesary future pain has been nipped in the bud.
As the saying goes: Pain is inevitable, misery is optional.
06-13-2012, 08:32 PM
I like your points about continuing to love M, that it feels right, and that you want to love unconditionally. Who knows whether you and M will find some middle ground you can both live with and renew your relationship. But even if such middle ground never turns up, you can still love M unconditionally as a person.
I think it's good that the two of you are friends right now, and learning (or re-learning) to get comfortable with the boundaries of friendship. To have a deeper relationship, you'd need to be comfortable with her "adventures," and she'd need to be willing to compromise within your boundaries of what you could live with. If that's all very painful at this time, then at least you can still care about each other and still be friends.
I think you're a very thorough person, who wants to understand a problem completely before setting it aside. It takes longer and perhaps entails some discomfort, but like you said it may help prevent more discomfort later on. So do continue seeking the answers, just don't forget to shift gears once in awhile; as they say, "A change is as good as a rest."
06-14-2012, 09:25 AM
Wow. I've been spinning tonight. Feeling aggrieved for an hour all the way home I walked and stewed about M's impropriety. Then I got home and proceeded to try and 'fix it' by writing a long letter pouring my heart out, and what I know about her weekend - like a little bomb in the works - then all about how I don't care what she does - I do!
And this shit hurts, and hurt is an indicator it aint right. I'm off track. Some of the letter was reasonable prose, but it did not feel good, it is not right for me to confront M with this as she is not feeling safe about being open with me at present, and the I don't mind stuff is rubbish. I've been hassling her on facebook to come over, I got to just leave her alone.
Wasn't I planning to get a life?
The misery I put myself through in the last few hours was unneccesary, but why the obsession if I have already worked out I need to get a life? I think this time I was being warned to back off, let it go, the attachment is dragging me down. let her be free, and me, let me be free. And a gentle reminder about focus, I need to get a life, thoughts create reality, I need to be thinking about my life as I dream it will be, feeling and acting as if I am already there. Manifesting love and happiness in all that I do.
I will meet a woman who is absolutely beautiful and intelligent and fun and caring and open and wonderful to me. And I will fall head over heels in love. I will be mobile and running comedy touring with fascinating personalities and having brilliant nights regularly. I will be visiting native forests and selecting biocontrol agents. My work in stage and plant pathology will take me abroad to exciting places and my love will come with me for my income will be such that expense doesn't matter. (I'm starting to feel better now!). I will have a spell from study after my masters degree to work in the field, then hook up with a company to pay me through a doctorate. In my 60's I will become an incredible teacher, a Professor who is funny, dedicated, in love with his work. I will 'retire' as this mad professor, touring and university appointed. I will bring stage and media and passion together in such a manner I inspire the love of science (and comedy) in thousands of young minds. I may as well do a few documentaries while I'm at it!
These dreams are already in motion the wheels turn as I buff myself up with exercise, meet women regularly at university, and more with stage which begins in 3 days time! I won't be mobile for ~8 weeks that's ok. I will be in 8 weeks :D The degrees are shaping up nicely, the internet is filled with sage advice to learn to love myself and I am more than smart enough to check my sources. And i am learning fast! There are millions of people out there who simply love me for the fact that I am. how cool is that!
When I imagine myself in this place i work towards, as i dream, plan, work towards it, sometimes i am uncomfortable but when i focus and get it straight in my head, this is my reality, I am ok, I am loved and full of love. i love my life. i trust myself, things are great right now, this is it buddy, do your best and have the best time you can cos why the hell not.
Pain is inevitable, misery is optional.
When my thinking is focused off M and onto the other things i want, the pain simply vanishes. funny that. If i sit and wallow the pain comes along and gets HEAVY.
Let's be trying not to wallow then, aye. :D
06-14-2012, 07:02 PM
Woke up head filled with poison. There are a few things I want to say to M that are better left unsaid but i feel very angry. here's what I need to express.
Fuck you for dumping me right on exams
Fuck you for lying to me all those times and treating me like an idiot
Fuck you for fobbing me off because you feel guilty
Fuck you for fucking an engaged couple cos you were all drunk and taking drugs and thought it was a good idea
Fuck you for being so selfish you risk other relationships to satisfy your cunt
Fuck you for stomping all over my heart
Fuck you for saying you don't love me and then turning up with food and sex only two days later
Fuck you for all the up-down hot-cold shit you put me through
Fuck you for kicking the crap out of my self esteem
Fuck you for all the hearts you've shit on, and continue to shit on
Fuck you for giving up on love cos it's hard work sometimes
Fuck you for being gutless
I honestly don't hate M. The mind generates all this in my sleep though. I wake up poisoned with grief and vile spite. There really is too much water under the bridge. indiscretion once or twice yes. This is repeated, premeditated a lot of the time, and nothing but lies comes of trying to adress it.
Last time polyamory came up she was in complete denial and said she's never slept round on this other guy (lie, told me already that she had), or me (another lie, again through her own admittance previously). She is full of shit at present, and I am getting fobbed off repeatedly I really need to move on, this is the thing that is keeping me stuck.
Thoughts: I will bottle all this hurt inside and it will destroy me. it is too hard to let go of M. I must hang on if there is a chance.
Errors: Many, conclusions, awfulising, global thinking, ignoring positive, bound to be more...
Analysis: I am not bottling it up, i am sharing it here so I don't need to cause any more damage, or hate myself, or sabotage. M is only human and all her stuff is her problem, it is only mine if I choose it to be. Yes this fucking hurts but I have been hurt all year by her behaviour, there has been very few happy times as she continues to ignore my boundaries, and continues to pretend there's nothing wrong. I can only save myself, I got to let go there is nothing to save there it is only the residue of feeling ripped off as I spent so much time and energy trying to fix it all. This stuff only has power over me if i think it is so. I do not want to wallow, i do not want to go backwards. i am frightened because it is very painful, this is all part of breaking up and it is perfectly normal to hurt. It is not a good option however to remain miserable all day I cannot feel bad enough to make anything better. I do not owe anybody any penance in any measure. Hanging onto M is breaking my heart repeatedly, letting go is the right thing to do for myself and her. Hanging on to here feels bad in my heart. There is nothing but hurt expectations to look forward to if i choose that route. She needs to make a paradigm shift and i am not the person to oversee that. Her life and her choices are her own, I wish she'd made better choices but she didn't. i wish i'd made better choices but i didn't. Staying in this misery, wishing, clinging on to a broken liferaft, it does me no good at all.
It hurts, it hurts like a motherfucker. I'm chain smoking again, I get exercise daily, i am eating but not much. Each day i go into uni and study with others. In a few days I will have a months time to myself. i hate this idea. i am frightened I'll just sit here and hurt. I have no money to do much else, and everyone else is working.
I need a plan. i've been smoking too much dope, and I am lonely. i think maybe i should go dope free for a while, do a bunch of meetings and explore my spiritual side. There are lunchtime meetings and evening meetings I do not have to be alone all day every day. I can walk to the meetings to get exercise, and there i meet people who care, who want me to get well, who have been through their own personal hells.
Going on holiday with M, I'll only try and win her back, then, a week later she'll fly off to be with Mark, and i will feel like shit again. This is not worth it. I do not accept this anymore I tried to meet her halfway, I asked for her to understand me and help me in those times but she did not.
I have to let go. It is not a loss so much as a regaining of my sanity, to not feel worried constantly, to not feel something is not right most of the time. to not be constantly trying to fix my thinking to accomodate a lifestyle I do not wish to be part of. I have compromised myself as i thought she was worth it but the evidence suggests otherwise. i hate being wrong. My EGO is out in force this morning - you have been wronged and hurt - lash out, hurt them, fuck them. I need to return to love, self love, and forgiveness. i'm going to go do some forgiveness EFT right now, as this bitter bile is choking my will, and it is nothing but poison.
06-15-2012, 02:52 AM
It looks like you need some more distance between you and M ... Trying to maintain a friendship after a break-up is sometimes too stressful. You don't have to become enemies (I don't think), but less contact I guess is what I'm trying to say. Well really, probably no contact at all for the time-being. Your mind needs a break from thinking about M, it's like you said, you've just got to let her go, and focus on the positives in your life.
Sometimes, you may be taking too much upon yourself, or "trying to fix it all at once." The M situation, however, doesn't necessarily need to be fixed. Just released. If M wants to do her own fixing that's great, but let her be the one to make that decision.
I hear you about the time and emotional energy you invested in this relationship. But first of all, don't let the sense of time lost tempt you to lose more time (and emotional energy) in the future. Change your investment to be channeled into things that are rewarding. If the investment in M is resulting in mostly negatives (and I think it is), then make a change in where you direct your efforts from this moment forward.
Secondly, the time and emotional energy you invested in the relationship with M aren't necessarily wasted. Even if you never see, speak, or write to M again, you still have the experience that you gained from your work on this relationship. You learned things about yourself that will help you in future relationships. Nothing can take that away.
The thing to learn here is that you want to travel in a direction in life that will bring you happiness. If trying to maintain contact with M is just bringing you stress, anger, and despair, then it's time to let that contact go, in preference of other things you can do that will be rewarding to you. Care enough about yourself to let the unhappiness-causing things go. Forgive M enough to let her go and live her own life.
If you read through your own posts on this thread (especially the last couple of posts), you'll probably see hints about what kinds of things help you find happiness in life, and about what kinds of things undermine your happiness. Once you've identified those two classes of things, try to imbrace the happiness-things more, and distance yourself from the unhappiness-things. Pain is all well and good as a teaching tool, but you don't need to purposefully burden yourself with extra pain. Life supplies us with plenty of pain all by itself.
I hope your next night's sleep leaves you waking with some more of those positive thoughts. If it doesn't, you can still turn to this forum to vent, and re-center yourself.
Sending well-wishes and regards,
06-15-2012, 05:52 AM
Thanks again Kevin
I won't read the last post as it is filled with obsession and i don't need to be thinking those things. I left it there as an example of what the obsession is - the reality is it thinks in absolutes, uncompromising, hurt, angry, pain, darkness. It just wants to hurt others because I got hurt. It is a hurt child. It is horrible, it is of me, but it is not me.
All things are possible. I don't hate M - sometimes though it gets too much to bear, and yes you are right distance is probably my best bet but... she will be in my life for several months yet we are both bio majors. and she may even wind up in the same postgrad programme as me. So really, there's loads of time to repair if she wants to, but the friendship thing should definately remain intact. I get really fucked off when my male friends are useless too, this isn't about love, it is ego demanding the world jumps when I say I guess, and me not having my boundaries listened to. If i didn't set these expectations up, I wouldn't get hurt all the time.
I'm still afraid of being alone. I really am worried about having a month off. How fucking crazy is that I've been working myself ragged and I am afraid to have time out as M wont be holding my hand. DAMN.
I guess I better think about this it's happening very soon. I have a couple of comedy shows to attend, a party, and I can go to some meetings and soak up a bit of spirituality. I have gardens that could do with some tending, and the house would appreciate a bit of attention too. I can get hold of my roadie bosses and make them aware I'm available for a while too. That will take care of a quarter of it. The danger time is weekdays when nobody else is around.
I have been contemplating all this darkness, and how I can use comedy as a cartharsis e.g. ....
I'm having trouble readjusting back into society as I have just been released from a long period of confinement - she said she doesn't love me anymore. she said she only pretends to like rough sex so she can punch me in the face. She was a wild woman, she drove too fast, drank too much, and fucked other men. every cock in her mouth was a dagger in my heart.
Fuck yes that is sooo dark, yet rather good. I might be onto something here. It's better than writing sad poems! I have been through so much in my life, perhaps it is time to use this experience to help others face their darkness and laugh at it. Obsession, depression, the stuff of comedy gold - surely!
Hmm, time off. I can read books, I love reading books and haven't read a novel in years. I can relearn my guitar (very rusty) to augment stage time as pro shows come in again. I can get SERIOUS with my weight set and diet, and go back to school looking better than most the 20 somethings.
Oh yes, yesterday I sat down to have a cigarette, talked to a workman and a young lady joined in. The workman left and an hour and a half later Natalie and i (still talking) both realised we'd best get back to our respective studies. I was amazed at how smoothly and easily i conversed with this girl and I was being cheeky, had no outcome dependance, and really enjoying myself. No liquor, no dutch courage, no problem, no fear.
ANYTHING is possible. I have not thrown my toys out of the cot with M. It was very close last night with the letter and this morning I myself was endangered with crippling thoughts and feelings. BUT - Igot up, did my best. Exercised, eating, studying with others. I did the EFT on forgiveness, and more on letting go.
I need to let go of outcome dependance. This way I might make plans without my ego chiming in on what's 'good' for me.
Anything is possible. Me an M heal our friendship and nothing but ashes remains of all this crap. I get a new lady who loves me and sticks with me. no offense to polyamory, but given the choice, being mono...
I get into the pro circuit and my social life goes through the roof. I still got university too, 40 000 pupils, bound to be a few cute ones in their 30's e.g. Natalie. I love it up there I easily slip into a conversation with the 20 somethings as in that environment it is your brain, not your age or social status, that pulls weight. It is wonderful to be surrounded by so many beautiful young minds (and bodies). I have had offers from girls in late 20's but too young, and I don't need a young woman running circles round me a 30 something proved more than I bargained for. What I'm saying is there are infinate possibilities if i only open my eyes and mind to them.
I truly hope tomorrow morning is not a repeat of today. But even if it is, there will come a day (soon) when I wake up ok with all this. Time heals fast when you work at it.
Really appreciate the support and advice as usual. It is a hard time, but nothing is over, life is just beginnig a new chapter in which i no longer play the victim, and become my own hero.
Holy shit she's coming over. Wish me luck, and love only without agenda...
06-15-2012, 11:49 AM
Yay, I am my own hero.
That was nice, we had a bit of a serious talk, there were some things needed to be said.
I said. I know you did something last week and I don't really care that you did that what bothers me is that you were so uncomfortable in my presense after that. I don't want you to ever be ashamed or guilty because of me. I then did a bit of NLP made an anchor touching her knee and said "if we could just get this last year and we could take all of the crap out of it, all of that silly niggly shit, and burn it, wouldn't that be amazing", and touched the anchor again.
I kept taking a moment to listen, taking a moment to think before I opened my mouth. If what I wanted to say felt bad, I didn't say it. I only said what felt right, it is entirely possible to get this right if I am mindful, present - what a revelation. Within half an hour we had unraveled all the stuff between us.
Now we are close again. Close friends, we always were. We are not a couple we have something really solid there is no need to force it. We will see each other, fuck, love, enjoy. I will handle my own shit, I will get a life. We are NOT an item. we both made that clear. it was too much bullshit and not enough respect. Demands are crap, love, no limits.
So lets see how it pans out. I have a lot of work to do, and I'm really keen to do it. I need to keep the focus on me, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial. A balanced life helps balance the mind. Thoughts are the key to it.
I must now quote myself
"Every cock in her mouth was a dagger in my heart" :p I love that line hehe.
After the brief and slightly uncomfortable talk we relaxed and had a great night chatting and fucking.
Nothing is wrong now, all is right with my world. My path and M's paths are different, anything is possible this may change but if it doesn't I will meet someone amazing. Time to go write some comedy I'm feeling a touch bemused by it all.
06-16-2012, 02:15 AM
As long as things are on a positive note, I have no objections to the situation. Things were really swinging to a low point in your one post, and I was concerned. But perhaps that roller-coaster ride isn't directly related to M, it may be some kind of internal mechanism at work.
It's good that you have an objective outlet for venting, it's given you a chance to keep things positive with M. I can't remember, if you're getting any individual counseling at the moment? It might be something to consider, there's some kind of mood swing going on that can get pretty extreme (and painful), from what I've read on this end.
I just want to see you have more of those positive moments, I feel bad about the really severe negative moments, even though I'm glad Polyamory.com can be here for you at those difficult times. But I have observed what looks like a cycle of some kind, maybe there's a diagnosis that goes/would go with it. I'm just a layman (and not a very knowledgeable one), but I see something there from my distant viewpoint.
I'm glad to hear things are going well again. Please keep us posted on all that develops, whether good or difficult.
06-16-2012, 07:07 AM
That's great feedback Kevin I appreciate the candour. Yes, it can easily swing extreme but that is when the obsession kicks in. I wrote the post in full flight to illustrate how ugly it is. And yes, it is extremely painful. I rarely ever say hurtful things like that to people, it is thoughts, the way it can wind up, venting as well, not reality at all, it's good to vent, I think the dark comedy is a better avenue though. Getting the crap out, losing the junk so I can tune in to my spirit - love.
I am seeing a counsellor. i showed her my model for TEA and my model for my obsession and she said it was great work, and things would swing back into obsession and seem really powerful but if I look at the model i know it is fear, and about me, and the obsession (hate, control, hurt, anger, whatever it is that time) dissapears. Then the fears of course, painful, but nothing compared to what they were, and way less severe than the obsession. All I need to do then is focus on what I want, and how I can improve myself, how i can help myself and others. Then I imagine everything is going to be ok and it is! Magic!
Example: I had my last exam today and it was the tough one - Pathology. Last night though, instead of studying, I was with M. Do I kick myself, say it's bad I neglected my studies. No. I am very scholarly. I say it's fine and I am fine and I go in early to print notes and sit in the sun with them.
Then, a HOT indian woman shows up. This girl is fucking dynamite (and engaged) and she wants help with fungal biology and I'm a bit lost on genetics, and I'm a fungal expert and she's a stats/genetics whiz kid... 3 hours with her and we learned so much each filling the gaps in the others understanding. She told me I was an amazing man, and she's talked about me at length with her fiance and told him how I amaze her - in her culture if a man has not gone to school as a young man he is written off and resigns himself to poverty. How sad!
So, we go to our exam, and her stuff helps me, and my stuff helps her. Not only do I find the help I need, it comes in the guise of a beautiful young woman who admires me, and I get to help her too. If i didn't spend time with M last night I'd have stayed home studying genetics last night and this morning and not learned half as much. It all fell into place. I followed my heart last night and today, have a thought, does it feel good - if yes, do/say that.
Now, my break has begun. I have no excuse to be sad about this! It is time to try and relax, deeply relax, with no heed for mind bending science for 4 whole weeks. RELAAAAX...
Movies, books, exercise, tramping, gardening, meetings, comedy, parties, music, a few days with M, yes, time to unwind.
06-16-2012, 09:11 PM
Sounds like a good deal to me. :) Hope you have many more such good times in the near future (and find your way through the tougher times).
06-17-2012, 09:51 PM
Still finding the 'letting go' to be difficult. Had a bit of imagery popping in my head (her in bed with others) jolting me from sleep last night. I am meant to be dreaming of how I want my life before I go to sleep, so I do not wake with a head full of crap.
There's progress though. I'm grateful for progress. My focus needs to be on me, and I am really struggling with this - the obsession is not dark but is often in my head trying to figure out how to bargain my way back into M's good graces. Thing is, I am in her good graces, but I'm relegated down to friend and nothing's going to change soon she's spending the coming weekend tramping with the other guy. Thing is, he's relegated to friend too. I think she is too scared to commit as her behaviour has ruined all her previous relationships, and when I took my forgiveness and acceptance back I hurt her deeply. I am not the man she wants at present, she doesn't want a man. She is trying to resign herself to not being serious in any relationships. This makes me very sad. But how much of the sadness is selfishness, and how much genuine caring.
I must come from love, not fear. I must see my life with great love, see me as I truly am, loving, kind, happy, joyous, successful, centred. I really have been thrown off centre but it happened before M arrived.
Thoughts: I cannot get over M.
Errors. Conclusions, Globalising.
I have got over others before and all it took was time and then a shift of focus. grief has stages and bargaining is one of them. Have done the depression anger denial bargaining... possibly circle these a few times more, but the next step is acceptance. I can't be that far away. There is love in my life my neighbours friends and family love me. There is forward momentum in my life. I have both stability and change. Relationship breakups are tough, but most people go through them, and on the other side they meet someone and are even happier than previously (if they learn the previous lessons). I can finally go into relationships now with full knowlege of how to nip jealousy in the bud, how to approach love - my needs first, my self love, and then there is love to share. I have comedy and self care to focus on. I have events to attend and people to spend time with. I will be ok.
Thoughts: I can't keep my focus on myself.
errors: Conclusions, globalising. Ignoring positive.
Analysis: There are long periods where I have been ok here in my own skin. Focus takes practise and as I learn to meditate on what i am grateful for, and what positive things i am doing, and the positive places I am going, there is no need to stay unhappy. It does not matter if M and I were perfect - my malaise is NOT about her. I still get this existential quandary, i still get afraid and alone and lost. The thing is a relationship will not fix me as it is not something lacking externally but internally. That lack is merely self esteem. i need to keep doing the right tihng, building a life, being diligent so that i learn to trust myself, then fear of being alone will no longer be fearful, and alone time can be the joyous contemplative and creative opportunity it should be.
06-18-2012, 11:39 PM
Mind-blowingly similar Q. I'm not a comedian (but I am funny) and I don't like mushrooms :-)
However there are too many parellels with my own situation for me to not log onto this site and get an update of you/your situation. I would be a fool to ignore your thoughts, and those of the other people contributing to this - especially Kevin, who is a diamond geezer as we say in London.
I feel your bad days, as I have lived them, recently - some days the same day.. My situation is evolving, as situations do, and each day brings it's own set of challenges. Usually involving me/her/us.
Some days I feel strong, positive about myself (without her) and then the next day I fold, sucumb to my obsessions (her/us) and completely neglect myself, undo all the good work I've done the day before. She sees this as my seesaw emotions playing up again, unstable, judgemental, obsessive.
If I am completely honest with myself, what I need is closure, one way or another. Continuing my association with J is not giving me this. I love her but think we are fundamentally incompatible, because in one of the most crucial, basic ways (relationship format) we disagree. I'm Mono, I know it - if I wasn't, these feelings of jealousy, rejection, abandonment etc would not arise - as they don't for J. She is definitely poly, I think we've established that.
Can a mono man and a poly woman succeed together? I'm sure there are cases where it's been a roaring success. However I'm sure there are many cases with a trail of broken hearts as well. I fear my situation falls into the latter category. I'm trying all the time to accommodate, but at the same time feeling like I'm betraying myself. I can't do this.
I'm glad to hear your positivity (albeit blended with occasional negativity - which is understandable!) and that you visualise a future, for you (not dependent on another). It's vital we do this. If we depend on another, that makes us an addict.
I'm trying to do the same. Focus on things important to me. 2 steps forward 1 step back. But, progress, slow as it is, frustrating as it is, progress nevertheless. Boa sorte amigo
06-19-2012, 07:22 PM
Hi Questioning and mobetter,
It sounds to me like you're both coming to the conclusions that are right for you, given your similar (though not identical) situations. I think you'll continue to have times when you doubt yourself, but try not to let that get to you too much. There's a lot of cycling here, with good days and bad days (and some cycling even within the same day). This is a phenomenon you can learn to cope with better, maybe even smooth out with time and practice, but you may always have some cycling to contend with. Try to accept this as something about yourself that you can get through.
Re (from mobetterblues, Post #88 (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?p=140101#post140101)):
"I would be a fool to ignore your thoughts, and those of the other people contributing to this -- especially Kevin, who is a diamond geezer as we say in London."
Why thank you sir, that sounds like a compliment to me. :)
Anyway, I appreciate your updates and hope you'll keep those coming. And don't be afraid to vent, we need to hear that too, in order to get an understanding of the nature and dimensions of these cycles.
Regards all around,
06-19-2012, 08:25 PM
Ah yes, closure. I've been thinking about how I want to cut M off completely, but this is only for my sake, and there's a little bit of throw my toys out of the cot behaviour comes with it. Thoughts around it are not pleasant so I do not believe it is what I actually want to do. My head just wants all this processing over as some is painful. As Kevin says - it may be the processing is part of normal life, something to get used to. I don't mind doing a morning routine to straighten my head out, I just remember days I woke filled with joy and wonder, it hurts to compare to today where I wake up hurt and confused and feeling helpless to help it.
What I actually want to do is fall in love with someone mono. I do not want to damage the friendship that remains between M and myself but if it comes at the expense of my mental health I guess I will have to.
I think she is a sex addict. This I can help her with as a friend, as a boyfriend no way, there might be some saints out there but it hurts too much. Remove the addictive behaviour there may/may not remain a poly woman. I definately have to step back. See, when I found out she cheated on me several months ago she was all tearful, said she was a sex addict, and that she wanted help. since then there has been NOTHING on her part to change. NOTHING.
Me, I've put myself through HELL trying to own my part in it all, trying to be open minded etc. TOO MUCH.
"Every cock in her mouth is a dagger in my heart" :D
Love then, this feels good inside of me. I must love her, support her, help her to feel safe with me as a friend to seek help (or not!). I am very good in this role I just never adopted it I was too close, too hurt, too involved.
What do I want. Keep the discipline of self up. Keep up the comedy (they gave me the headline, and 2 days later, I'm back on stage tonight!). Get my degree/s and a great job. Meet women, date, fall in love with a poly woman who treats me wonderfully, and return it. Write an inspiring book. Help people (unemployed/homeless/addicted/mental health). I used to give lots of comedy proceeds to charity, I can do that again once my own finance is straightened out. It's all about love for me. Love for my work, my fellow man, my hobbies, my friends, my planet, my lover.
Things to be grateful for concerning M: We are friends and this is safe provided i don't start trying to own her/control her, this is safe if I can let go of my expectations she is the one for me - she is not!! Not as she is, no way I deserve far better.
Thoughts: I will always be alone.
Errors: Conclusions, extreme thinking, globalising, probably more.
Analysis: I am not alone now. i could get on the road and go see family and they would take care of me in a heartbeat. I have 11 friends on this street alone. Right next door, people who love me. I have friends who will turn up anytime i say i need them. i am definately not alone. The key to happiness is a matter of focus for me now. i know that achievements etc help happiness but how I percieve day to day life is the real deal, this is where I live most of the time, within the ordinary dealings of life. My focus needs to be on love, gratitude, joy, peace of mind, healing, contribution, and acceptance. I meet women all the time when I go out so I'm doing the right thing right now by rebuilding my comedy ties and getting out of my house. i was olny lonely and lost when M arrived in my life as I was a hermit, and I let life kick me round. There is no need to lie down and be miserable, in fact I'm absolutely over getting sympathetic energy. There are half a million women in this town, and i am going to meet one who is amazing. In the meantime i need to prepare for this by getting my finances and transport together, and working diligently at both comedy and university. i have many positive things i can do. i must overcome the apathy/want to sit and worry about me/procrastination I like to wallow in, get up, get on with it, and do my best. life falls into place when i do this. I am extremely capable, i can get my needs met.
06-19-2012, 08:45 PM
That's the spirit.
It sounds like friendship with M is something you can do, you probably don't have to erase her from your life completely but you also know if you get too close to the situation you lose a bit of your cool.
The situation sounds promising, there may be times when your emotions say different, but at least you've worked it out in your mind. I consider it somewhat of a (fortuitous) coincidence that you met M when things weren't going so well. She helped you jump-start your life. Now you know you have your own batteries you can run on too, so things are different than they were back then.
Things will keep getting better, I feel confident about that.
06-20-2012, 06:30 AM
Today was a mixed bag but entirely doable. I got annoyed with a woman who didn't bother to show for an appointment so I jut told her secretary I'll find another venue thank you very much. Felt a bit rude but it was me who travelled for the interview, and her in her place of work didn't bother to show...
Letting go of M, thoughts of M, seems almost constant, reality must be I spend a couple of times an hour having to switch focus again. It's a niggle really, not painful very often though there's a whole repertoire of painful things to think of should i choose to go there ;)
Got a Wayne Dyer book out of the library, and some buddhist meditations to ponder. Really happy to be adressing a spiritual side to life again, I don't know what i believe I just know that faith helps, and with buddhism it is about being part of God, having faith in my own divine nature. i like this a lot, I have had a hard life but have always strove to be a good man. i love the concept of being selfless while taking great efforts to retain self care in order to better serve others.
M, I'm thinking I should not sleep with her. This will be very difficult for me, so I'm only pondering it for now. See, I reckon she's never been loved platonically before, it might help her see her worth as a person. Keen on feedback around this issue. Maybe she thinks men are all one-dimensional? Maybe I'm being a dick, using sex as a weapon? NO. She'll get some someplace else, maybe I don't want to not sleep with her as she will go someplace else...? Unconditional love sounds wonderful in theory, it can be very hard to practise, but i guess practise makes perfect.
It'd really help if i had someone else... This will come. I've not written M off, I just have to drop the expectations of her as my girlfriend. Expectations bring obsession. As a person I'd still like to know her, like to help her. this may change as I'm well and truly over being a doormat. I'll see, if she treats me good we're all good. if not I am taking my toys, and the sandpit, and moving. I hate leaving people in a mess, but i did not create the mess. i can try to help, if it doesn't work, so be it.
06-20-2012, 08:18 PM
I suppose you could try a platonic relationship for awhile and see if it helps. You should probably base it on whether it will help you as well as her, and maybe she should have a chance to share her thoughts about it before any decision is made.
I wouldn't try to force anything. The only thing that concerns me is the severity of the ups and downs; if something will level that out a little then it might be a good thing. Are you happy in your relationship with her, the way it currently is? If not, can you name the #1 reason/s why?
06-21-2012, 10:36 PM
Am I happy in my relationship with M now?
One the one hand - definately not. Everything is unsure, fragile. This makes me insecure, it starts obsession, which lately is composed of trying to figure out ways to 'make her love me' - which is stupid. My focus has to return to taking charge of my own life. She is with another man right now and though I said I would accept this, without her support at this time I feel really uncomfortable, like I have lost her to him. He is rich, I am a poor student. They are skiing and staying in a resort with spas and restaurant and... It makes me feel inadequate.
So no, I'm not happy. When she is not with me I am not happy. When she is with me, or at least visiting regularly I am very happy. This sucks. Happiness is meant to come from within.
The obsession really is some kind of avoidance behaviour that life is not as I want it - and I am projecting this onto M - that she is the answer to my malaise. Yet her behaviour is a catalyst for a great deal of it. All of that is water under the bridge now, my fear is that she will only produce more of the same in the future.
Part of me wants to cut her off cold. But this does not feel right. Part of me wants to fix everything, but this feels even worse. Part of me wants to love her unconditionally and accept her as a bonus in my life, but also accept the future is unknown. This feels confusing. Partly it feels right (unconditional love) and partly it feels suicidal (haven't you tried hard enough do you really think you can cope with more pain).
Filled with uncertainty and fear then.
Fear, that old enemy of love, has been an almost constant companion for this year. No wonder she's gone off me a bit. And all my thoughts concentrated on what is wrong, what she is doing wrong, grasping at straws, overreading things, grasping, grasping. We both do it. We are both trying to get out of this by finding fault in the other. Unfair, not honest, just people though, doing the best we can. Fear of loss of love fucking up the love. I say, from now on I can do much better. I can think before I open my mouth.
I don't NEED M. But i think i do a lot. i NEED peace of mind.
Today I am not hungover for the first time all week. I have been writing myself off in the evenings. This needs to change so last night I only had a couple instead of several-many and tonight there will be no alcohol. I'm ok, it's common for this type behaviour in a break up situation. Yes it hurts, feelings, they too will pass.
06-22-2012, 09:47 PM
So. I was obsessed as I feared M would dump me. Then, if that happened I would be alone, afraid, and my life would return to a place of darkness and despairing. I feared I would lash out and hurt M, her lover, or myself. I feared I would destroy my life, and so my obsession was very strong, I was bound by fear, living on fear, commanded by fear. I hid these beneath a layer of obsessive thought about M, if I could only 'fix' us, then everything would be ok. I was wrong, it was me that needed fixing.
TEA proved to be an amazing tool. Thought processes drove my fears and TEA helped me bring many of these thoughts to light as unfounded, paranoid, or simply not as all embracing and devestating as I thought. TEA is an incredible tool for working on repetitive and disturbing thought patterns.
I dug deeper when I discovered that TEA could rid me of obsessions, but only temporarily. TEA still really helps me when I practise it, but the underlying cause of my problem remained - and it was not M. I discovered my body was trying to warn me not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Having my happiness entirely dependant on one person, being lazy and too comfortable and slowly but surely becoming a co-dependant in my relationship instead of a supportive partner. My fears were justified, I was blindly repeating old patterns. When you've had a hard life and you find an oasis it is difficult not to want to be there in the warm sun forever. I equated all my happiness to M, but what brought that about was my own efforts, my going to uni, my generosity, my charm, my lovemaking skills, my company. She fell in love with me, then I slowly reverted to a scared child as the oasis proved less than perfect.
I began to axamine myself. It was very difficult not to put M in every thought and action, to do everything for her, our benefit. But it is about me. I need to rebuild my life so I have love and respect for myself.
So, i did get dumped. TEA still helps when the thoughts return to obsession. But a lot of the emotional stull I'm feeling now is actually genuine. loss, rejection, abandonment. For these emotions I am using EFT. I go to you tube and find brad yates eft on subjects like rejection, relationship breakups and more, i do the tapping. I often start in tears, distraught, emotions strong from 8 - 10. One or two tapping sessions later (10 - 20 minutes) these are reduced to 4, or even less.
Now I am on a spiritual journey while attempting to adress the facets of my life that need attention. Self care, self love, self worth. Income, transport, social life, hobbies, and spirit.
A lot of days I wake up scared and messy, but i do my EFT, I go for walks, i do exercise. This might be fairly minimal but it is regular and it is helping. I am forgiving of myself that i drank too much this past week but am also aware that i do not want comedy to turn into an alcohol fueled.dependant pastime. i have performed sober before, I have many amazing peers who perform sober, so i am looking at this drinking and weed smoking as symptomatic of my life circumstances, nothing more, and nothing to be alarmed about, just aware. i can plan things better, take a friend for support, go to gigs with love and an attitude of bringing laughter to others instead of attention to myself.
I have learned that to remove the negative influences in my life i simply have to start scheduling things into my life that are good for me. As I begin to do more and more things that fulfil me those things that hold me back will fall by the wayside.
I have also learned that all things are possible, and we can use our thoughts to shape our lives. I have learned to begin with the end in mind.
I am well.
I am calm and peaceful.
I am loving.
I am capable.
I am studious.
I am living in abundance.
I am in beautiful and joyous relationships.
I am hard working and capable.
I am an excellent comedy promoter.
I am an inspiring speaker.
I am mobile.
I am happy and joyful and content and carefree.
I am a plant pathologist.
I am reducing environmental poisons by the tonne.
06-23-2012, 12:10 AM
One observation that struck me is that it's good when "your world can depend upon *you*," and doesn't have to depend upon M -- neither depending on her for being "together with her," nor for being "separated from her." Neither scenario should be a necessity for your well-being. Your well-being should depend upon you, and when you feel good about you, then the right kind of relationship with M will probably "fall into place."
Some of your most positive moments seem to come from a place where "you have faith in you;" you believe in yourself, and believe you can accomplish great things. It's when you start "doubting yourself" -- e.g., fearing that you won't be able to "handle things," that you'll "hurt someone," those are the times when you hit your emotional lows. Now which is the cause and which is the effect, I'm not as sure. Do your emotional lows cause you to lose faith in yourself? or do your self-doubts cause the emotional lows? Maybe it works both ways a little.
Here's to hoping that your relationship with *yourself* will be a good and positive one in the majority of the near future.
06-23-2012, 10:11 PM
Those are very good observations Kevin. I think the thoughts are the prelude to feelings, and then if the feeling is strong (uncomfortable) enough I go back into mad thoughts, racing thoughts, circular obsessive thoughts - trying to escape the feeling?
Trying to escape something born of thought with more thought is ultimately futile - yet we are programmed to believe that we can, that we may think our way out of thinking!!!
TEA does not stop us thinking, it interrupts it instead. Isn't it amazing how quickly most disturbing thoughts can be demolished with that exercise.
I am trying hard these days not to be so attached to outcomes. I identify with the things I do, the things I have, the people i know. But my true spirit needs none of these things. My true spirit sat in a cell and let the universe pour through my pen into beautiful poetry and song that touched many lives. I sat in my cell and reached out with my pen and renewed relationships with family and friends. I became extremely grateful to be in posession of a book, of writing material. A cup of tea. WEALTH. The sun on my face, a conversation, each day I'd live and enjoy life to the best of my ability in an environment of danger, fear and imprisonment. The only difference to how I was then, and how I would like to be now, is the promise of the future being better than the now - being released. I spent a fair bit of energy looking ahead, that in the future I would be happy as the future would be better than now as things would be different.
This is my problem today. to live in and enjoy today as the gift that it is. NOW is the only time i can be happy. My mind keeps flicking to where I want my relationship with M to be in order for me to be happy. This is nonsense. But it seems so utterly plausible. The short term gain of getting my own way, what I want, surely pales in comparison to being happy now, with what I have. Gratitude, joy, wonder.
I am uncomfortable with the fact I am still very concerned with how M and i pan out. It is getting too much energy. I must remind myself my life is filled with beautiful loving relationships, that we are friends, and only the future knows what will be. Anything is possible. Including patching things with M, or meeting someone who blows me away so much the (uncomfortable) thoughts of M just melt away. Or, better still, the uncomfortable thoughts melt away now.
I am ok. Thoughts are only thoughts they have power if I choose to let them have power. thoughts can build beliefs, and then we manifest things into our lives. i believe I am going to be OK. I am OK. Beakups are difficult, the pain also passes. i can learn and be better in every relationship in my future including with M.
I can manifest all of my needs. The trick then, is to be patient, to have faith in the process and myself. Gratitude, love, acceptance.
I seek bliss now that is not of any external source. Kevin, you noticed when i have faith in myself I am ok. this is true. Faith in myself, faith in the process, faith in healing, abundace, spirit, love.
I am a being driven by love. Now i must learn to be, to just be, to be love.
06-25-2012, 06:52 PM
Thoughts: I woke up with a bit of poison thought in my head. I will never get my head straight.
Errors: Conclusions, global thinking, extreme thinking, reality filter, ignoring positive.
Analysis: I said a bit of poison and it was only a bit. A small bit, an errant thought about M with others led to a train of thought of how sad I am etc what I could say bla bla bla. This is not true. I have been happy most of the time and considering the circumstances I am doing really well. Even my counsellor thinks so. I have chosen to live in the now, that is, to stop identifying with my story (past and future plan) and make the best of today. In this context any interaction I have with anyone is entirely fresh in the context of the day. If there is residual forgiveness of myself and others to work on I can work on it. M is NOT my girlfriend. It MIGHT be possible to heal things between us, but if i do not concentrate on myself and healing myself a reconcilement will only lead to more of the same.
When I think of 'speaking my mind' I feel bad
When i think of 'trying to explain I've changed' - it is not right.
When I think to 'just love regradless' it feels right, but my ego is frightened by the idea - it wants control, some kind of gaurantee.
THERE IS NO GAURANTEE. We do the best we can. The best i can do is a lot better than I was doing. Today I will do my chores and stay as present as possible. M gets back today so I'm a bit anxious. Calm myself through exercise diet and meditation, read a book, be present, NOW.
I am in loving beautiful relationships.
I am happy, joyous, and carefree.
I am at peace.
06-27-2012, 05:37 AM
The love of my life for 4 years just told me how much she wants to be in a poly relationship and it's been killing me. I have been looking from help but knowing I can't just ask. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this. I feel like its going to help me so much I am so scared about losing her thank you again.
06-27-2012, 08:54 PM
Hi Questioning and FallenAngel,
Focus on being a better you, concentrate on being a better you. Your thoughts and actions are within your sphere of influence; what someone *else* does is beyond your sphere of influence. Thus if you obsess about someone else's actions (M, the love of your life, whoever), you'll find yourself with a helpless feeling (which can lead to frustration, depression, or any number of things). Let others be who they are, it's up to them what kind of a relationship (if any) they want to seek with you. Just be the best you that *you* can be.
I hope things are going better, sorry I've been logged off for a couple of days.
08-16-2012, 09:21 PM
It's been a while, and I figured with Kevins and other folks input I should bring about some closure - let you know how i am, and how things eventuated.
We are not together at all now. M says she is going to try work things out with this other guy, that she doesn't love me like she does him. She was in love with me though, but I was not perfect and she was a child, an emotional cripple. She also left me because the situation was hurting me too much and she is entirely right in this thinking, this was the only truth from her in a long time - she is redeemable, but I cannot help her it is too close, too painful. Saw a quote recently along the lines of "Despite the fact you love someone if they cause you more pain than they do pleasure you need to move on". This is the case with M and I.
Still friends? I think not. I might love her, can't change that wish i could - but I much prefer not having anything to do with her today - too painful. She lies so much she believes her lies, and so even a simple conversation can cause me grief the bullshit has gone on for so long she seems incapable of being honest with herself or others. I do not think this is a moral issue - it is an illness. Sex addiction, relationship addiction, codependancy - whatever way you want to view it. An entirely dissatisfied and unhappy individual who constantly assassinated my character - what I wore, my hairstyle, my diet, the way i interact with others... even the arts I have been critically acclaimed for met her particular brand of constant disapproval. It saddens me she is so unhappy all the time. her default mode is anger at the world and humanity for all its errors, I was just a subset of this. I am default happy, hard to believe but I was a very happy man for most of my life and I plan to be that man again. I was happy in a cell, grateful for a cup of tea, a book to read. Today I have an enormous amount of stuff to be grateful for, everything loses its sheen with M in my life, she was truly a destructive force and i was oblivious to this.
If I cared for myself even a fraction of how much I cared for her I would have had nothing to do with her the moment I realised so many lies were going on. PERIOD. It was established earlier I had self esteem issues, well, they were nowhere near as bad before I met M.
I wish her well. i hope she gets help. She thinks some man will come along and she will magically improve, this is more of her denial. She blames men for coming on to her for her cheating, no responsibility. I can't accept bullshit, anger, criticism, and lack of responsibility in a partner, I have stopped trying to win her back - I deserve far better than this.
Still a lot of feelings, I process them, I am working through grief which has anger denial bargaining and depression involved, and finally, there will be acceptance.
So... Me - ME! How am I???
I am 7 weeks drug and alcohol free. The first four weeks were hell! Every morning met by tears of grief - anger and betrayal filled much of my thinking. I processed every day using written work, then sitting with feelings for a while (ouch, but neccesary, better than running), then some EFT so I could function. I practise spirituality on a daily basis, i get up and ask 'God' for the strength to get through the day without using drugs, alcohol or people to make me feel better. At night I say thank you to 'God' for the gift of another day. I walk into uni giving me regular exercise, my appetite has returned with a vengeance so am thinking I need to add some weight training back into routine so the weight as it comes on is distributed in a healthy manner :D.
University is a lifesaver, i love my studies and they are so much easier today with a clear head. The obsession with M vanishes in lecture theatres. The obsession has all but vanished from my mind most of most days. I practise mindfulness, when i begin to think of M, if it is not processing time in the morning, it is time to change the thoughts - I ground myself concentrating on what I can hear, see, feel right here in the present. I might run through the alphabet thinking of positive words to go with each letter, I do not wallow! I concentrate on a comedy set, an essay due, a place I like, other people i like... I am applying for Honours, and it is highly likely i will get in. I will go on from this into a doctorate.
Comedy is progressing well. In the pro ranks already after only 3 shows. I will be able to use this particular skill to supplement my income in post graduate studies. I write today with brutal honesty about fucked relationships, with women, family, others. i write about depression, addictions, obsession. This stuff is pure gold in comedy. Comedy has begun to have a higher purpose for me, I can help others by starting the conversation on issues a lot of people are too scared to talk about, too afraid to admit. Laughing at my weaknesses is healing, for myself and others.
I am not getting a wee car yet. Everything I need is within walking distance or on a bus route, I wanted a car for promotion - I do not need to be promoting comedy - sitting in pubs for a job is not healthy for me. I do need some part time work in the lag time before comedy income increases, as it will, my sets are better than ever. I have a social life, it is not fantastic but I am only lonely if I choose to be. I am claiming time with male friends, getting comfortable in my own skin. I jerk off a lot... :eek:
I am beginning to feel happy again! In lectures, often as I walk. I enjoy people again, I go out and enjoy myself again. I can concentrate on reading and studies most of the time. I am enjoying many aspects of life that seemed grey when with M. I am still in counselling,I am in a 12 step programme, I have a sponsor to call when I need him. I am practising a spiritual way of life today, gratitude, love, acceptance.
I have purpose. To help others through comedy, to help others through experience with addictions and codependancy, to help the environment through expert and thorough science. I have a lot to live for. So, where an I going as a person....
I heard a concept recently that gave me a goal for personal development...
If you had a daughter - what kind of man would you want her to be with? This is the kind of man I will be, the kind of man I am, my defects are being worked on.
Caring, forgiving, loving, hard working, humorous, supportive, strong, courageous, friendly, accepting, honest, sensitive, joyful, a contributor, a team player... and more - think of your ideal offsprings partner, and apply!
I thank this community for being here when I needed you. I hope my journey helps others on theirs. Just be honest with yourselves...
Love or neediness? You deserve the best, all of you, and if you think you dont nobody else can make it better. Be brave, be strong, get help if you need it, and always, always, love yourself first.
08-16-2012, 09:43 PM
Wow! So many things to say Congratulations on. Good luck on your comedy gig and your studies. You sound so much healthier. :D
08-18-2012, 10:17 PM
Sounds like things are going much better. Congratulations; I hope (and have faith that) the trend will continue.