the agony aunt speaks.
Staff Robot can kiss my ass.
OKCupid must be down to pulling names out of hats in its efforts to match me. It won't venture much past 35 in doing so, either, when I've told it "25-50" or something to that effect. I may have to pull up that minimum age, frankly, because I'm being proven correct about (most) men in my cohort. One told me today that it knew all of my objections to him and it didn't care.
Staff Robot, you told that to get in touch with me? Are you high?
For those who wonder why it's taken my long-winded arse this long to start a blog here, I also keep one at postraphstunner.wordpress.com and that's where most of my thoughts go.
Honestly, my poly journey (oh, how twee) has been more a matter of sorting out individual quirks and not so much a problem with polyamory. Poly suits me. For an introvert, I have an oddly extroverted view of family. I think it should sprawl. I think love can multiply to accommodate the sprawl. I fancy buying up an apartment building somewhere temperate and installing all my friends and loves.
Finding more family, though, that's been a challenge. I could branch out to something like match.com, since I'm scraping the bottom of the OKCupid barrel. Face it: I don't live where there are scads of poly people. I've met or communicated with most of the locals. I wonder sometimes if there's anyone nearly as compatible with me as CdM. Wouldn't that be a pisser? To be monogamous-by-default because nobody else gets me?
But leaving CdM in order to experience more than one proper partner in my lifetime is not an option. Oh, he's told me it is, if I despair. The thing is that I'd be leaving someone who has become my best friend, confidante, and beloved for... what? Someone who thinks a big part of me is at best unusual? I make sense to CdM. He makes sense to me. My metamour even gets it. I'd be stupid to bail just because other people are too chicken to join me in the awesome.
So screw it. I can cope. (With the help of some salty language, but. Cope.) I'm done bending into a pretzel to fit someone else's idea of who I should be. This is who I am. These are the parts I have kept after a long process of deciding which ones work and which are just scrap metal. If I change, I change for me.
And how is your afternoon?
My afternoon was slightly better than the rest of my week, and my afternoon was fairly crappy. So glad you asked. :) [my whole work week was pure crap, really, punctuated by one piece of good news yesterday, and one today. And both of those are surrounded with more trouble due to the good news.]
Okay, enough of Debbie Downer.
Yay, you started a blog! Excellent ranting. Looking forward to whatever may come.
This is a safe space for Debbie Downers and Negative Nellies. Come one, come all, come cranky, come snarky. :)
Very sorry that your work week sucked. I love how good news comes wrapped in bad. /sarcasm
There have been days where I shake fist in metaphorical air and shout inside my brain, "Godsdammit! So help me, if it freakin' KILLS me -- I will life my life as I see fit because it is MINE! Life is not a dress rehearsal! Play ball!"
Rootin' for ya!
Dreams can be torture.
People I used to love (or really, really, REALLY like) keep popping up in them. I dreamed, f'rinstance, that someone I used to want had not taken up with a total idiot after his divorce, and had not turned out to be kind of a douche. I dreamed he was a troubled, brooding single dad with one hell of a nanny -- this woman was massive, like an Olympic weightlifter, and so friendly! And sure, in the dream, I had to rebuild a bridge I'd burned, but it worked out for the best. It was a glimpse into a future I might have had if not for the whole poly thing.
Or was it? Because even if I'd been mono, a douche is a douche and bad taste in women endures. If I'd staked my claim when I learned he was single again, his ex might've poisoned me against people I have kept around who do matter and who aren't douches. Worst of all, we would probably have been miserable; we really don't have enough in common. He left a woman like me for, it turns out, a woman unlike anyone any of us knew. Another single parent, so he'll end up supporting several children instead of his own two. Bad hair, no decorum (bikini pics on Facebook and all!). Passing acquaintance with the finer points of the English language; a disregard for them all the same.
That was what he wanted, after all. Let him have it. Let them grow vulgar and old together. You drink your cheap beer; I'll have mine imported from Belgium. You watch your Sunday night football; I'll take my football European, with a side of rugby.
We could've been great -- but I would've got fed up with him before too long, wouldn't I? and left him because no, he's not what he pretended to be at all, and there's no changing another person to suit you (surely the ex understands).
(I promise this is relevant to the board. Has to do with another thread, actually. Not a blog thread. An advice thread. I think this is where I'm coming from on the subject.)
I never did like DBT.
For one thing, I associate a lot of that whole Buddhist/Zen woo with a chap I'll call "Zero". I was with him while I was working on a play called The Love of The Nightingale. I was twenty-one and learning how to stand my ground, only he didn't seem to want that. He seemed to want me to yield. He saw fire in me and he wanted water.
I believe in balance, myself, so I told him where he could stuff his water. It was the beginning of the end of a not-very-good thing. We had some fundamental incompatibilities. He was into me dropping everything for the sake of love and following him where he wanted to go. Twenty-one being different from twenty-six, I was not in a position to see how I could accomplish this and still have the career of my choice. His lovely backwoods seemed not to have anything in the field I had then chosen (for the wrong reasons -- another post).
I still can't look back on the sex without feeling violated somehow. It wasn't rape. But it wasn't entirely consensual after the first couple of times, and the consequences of that have carried forward into my relationship with CdM. My blessed beloved has been patient with me while I worked it out in my head. CdM and I have worked within the boundaries of what I have needed to feel safe. They shift as I grow, but growth is as painful as it is beneficial sometimes.
Zero didn't care that I'd given up my virginity in the middle of putting on a play about rape. The significance of the act alone in this society is momentous; the significance coupled with a new understanding of consent pretty much blew my mind. Not his, for some reason.
The kicker is that he turned out non-monogamous like I did, only his wasn't entirely ethical. We would've fallen apart even if I hadn't felt he was silencing me.
And I hated group.
Nineteen or twenty years old, probably twenty (2007 was a weird year), sitting in a cold linoleum room with harsh lights that gave me headaches and people who had no clue what I was dealing with. People I didn't understand, either. It wasn't a group. It was ten-odd sad sacks thrown into the same day program for very different reasons, having so little in common that if I'd been in my right mind, I'd have written about it.
If I thought my will to live had been sapped before, man, I had not encountered group therapy. It isn't supposed to make the participant more eager to kill herself, is it? But you can only listen to so many "Drugs screwed my life" or "Divorce screwed my life" stories before you say to the facilitator, "I'm probably not supposed to be here." Brain chemistry screwed my life. Following the rules screwed my life. I hadn't had a relationship last longer than a few weeks and I had definitely never tried what the stoners on the church corner offered me.
Being Young and Rebellious, I wasn't in any mood to hear about regulating my emotions in order not to disrupt useless bloody group. To this day, regulating my emotions to satisfy some outside influence doesn't sit well with me. I'm not Vulcan. I was angry then, but I had good reasons to be angry, and looking back, I'll say no, it's not right to curb a person's anger because it's inconvenient. Self-soothing works great on panic, but anger? Anger is what you're supposed to turn outward so you stop hating yourself and wishing to die.
And yeah, while I'm at it, screw mindfulness. Screw burying the roots of what's wrong in order to live in the present, because I couldn't live in the present if I hadn't sussed out what made the present hurt. Screw viewing human beings dispassionately, especially ourselves. Screw cute acronyms (PLEASE MASTER? DEARMAN? Feminism?) and not judging life and not connecting all the dots that make up our stories. We are beautiful spiderwebs, made of so much more than now.
I haven't met the person yet who can just... let go of distress. Not without time. Not without a reason. I can do it now, but I'm many years away from what hurt me, and I have people in my life who aren't trying to perpetuate that hurt. I learned boundaries and I used those to throw out what I didn't want around me.
There's too much to untangle before one releases pain and stops feeling triggered. Linehan makes it sound a lot easier than it actually is. As a tool for survivors of other people's shit, no, DBT won't work as well because the focus is so very much on one's own shit. I was covered in shit, all right, and it wasn't all mine. Once it was down to being all mine, yeah, I could work on it, sort it, own it. But when it wasn't? Fuck owning that.
For the record, I now feel as if I could comfortably go back to the people who covered me in said shit and have a conversation with them. It ain't a DBT thing. I had to unlearn what they taught me about my worth as a human being (i.e. "HA") and the broader adherence to a certain set of norms and values (i.e. "You are not a WASP. Assimilate.") before I could see anything but rage when I pictured them. Now, when I dream of them, it's just a dream. Not a nightmare anymore.
tl;dr Linehan can suck it.
the might-have-beens (the never-wills)
I have an incest problem.
It's not what you'd think. Unlike George Michael Bluth, I can leave my cousins well enough alone. No, it's more like... are any of you only children?
I don't know if anyone else does this, but since I lack siblings, I tend to adopt them into my world. Certain friendships feel like family. It works best when the other person is absolutely not relationship material, because friendship is also where I'd like to draw my mates from -- people I know and trust.
I'd like it, but I relegate so many people to sibling status that it feels wrong to contemplate them in any other way.
Under monogamous dating circumstances, this is not an issue. I can't very well be family with all of the single monos in the world, right? Poly takes a lot of people out of the pool without changing the ratio of compatible-to-incompatible. (Because no, polyamory doesn't mean we're good together in any way. Kind of like girls who like girls aren't automatically destined for coupledom, jokes about lesbians and moving vans be damned.) So I get these confusing vibes: this person might be open to poly, but I wouldn't date hir if you paid me because it's Just Wrong. Actually, there are second cousins in my family tree who would be less wrong to date, mostly because I don't know them very well and they feel very removed from what I consider "family".
This is why I haven't deleted my OKCupid profile. Way too many of the possible-poly-friendlies in my circle of friends are family and therefore out of the running. So I kind of have to meet strangers, make friends, and resolve not to count them as kin.
So annoying. So scary. I hate the process of getting to trust someone; I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop, to get hurt. CdM is an exceptional man for putting up with what approaches paranoia. He's gone more than one extra mile reassuring me he's trustworthy. His track record as a partner to my metamour helps a lot. So does his ability to keep his word. So did, that first summer, his willingness to wait for the right time and place for *cough* certain tremendous changes to our relationship.
How do I do it all over again? How do I justify rejecting the safe possibilities because they're too safe?
So far, I've looked at guys for the most part. I'm not confident enough about girls. Women. I'm really not confident about older women (by which I mean "over thirty-five and established"). But... what if I get involved with a lady and find I'm actually terrible at being with a lady? I already know I can feel romantically for any gender. It's the sex part that intimidates me. It intimidates me thinking about it with anyone not CdM, honestly. Is that a good thing or a bad thing when it comes to branching out, gender-wise?
I still have a lot of myths to kick when it comes to sex drive. I keep thinking everyone else must be screwing like rabbits, and here I am, pottering along wanting it maybe once or twice a week. If I'm average, a lot of people are lying about their desires, or else I'm only seeing the very sexual people because those are the ones who put themselves forward. I would appreciate a relationship with a grey-A or asexual person. No pressure. Kisses and cuddles, sure, but I don't need more sex. I'm getting quite enough. I'm satisfied. If I find I'm not, isn't that why I have hands?
I have a lot of love to give. I don't know that I have enough body to go around.
ummm, I just have to say, I think I just fell in love with you. :D Your last two posts are so fabulous, and I relate so much.
I'm not overly familiar with DBT, but have pretty much been in therapy of one sort or another since I was eight. I had a long hard road to make peace with my anger. When I finally got to therapy with my mom, they were questioning my memories. I yelled at her and the therapist that I hadn't come to therapy to have that questioned (I had come to see if there was any possibility of relationship with her) and if they were going down that road, we could just give it up. Next session, they both said they had feared I wouldn't show up again. I thought therapy was FOR feelings? Weirdos. I was fortunate to find more good groups than not, and more competent and loving people to help than not.
I was an only child until I was 13. My parents split and my dad took up with the woman who would become my step-ma, and my brother and sister were 8 and 2 at the time. I used to babysit them so our parents could date. I have kinda the opposite problem, in that I simply fall in love with all my friends. Once or twice a week would be like rabbits for me. I'm counting myself lucky at once a month. :P (and that's upped since I got an extra bf)
You go, grrl.
Finding the right therapy can take a lot of trial and error. So much goes into the relationship between therapist and client, and then you've got to be willing to keep going back -- it's hard work! The best fit I ever had was Ann at my community college. She struck the perfect balance, boundary-wise, which helped because she had to teach me about boundaries. :) She was also right there where I took classes, so I didn't have many excuses for missing sessions. Nope, not even extracurriculars.
I had a therapist try to convince me I'd been raped by a friend's dad because I have these vivid dreams about the act. It's possible, but we live in rape culture. A woman is always on her guard, always afraid. Always at risk. So is it any wonder I'd dream?
And a good clinician must be ready for the emotions, because you're right. At the heart of it, this is why we go. We need a doctor for our feelings, and a place for what comes out of those feelings (i.e. more feelings) to be accepted, not pushed down.
...yes, darling, I hear you asking "Were?!"
Dear Staff Robot:
Staff Robot, you surely know by now I don't like longhaired men and/or men with excessive, ill-groomed beardage.
The other guy apparently will never be comfortable farting around me, nor with me farting around him. Staff Robot, this is a painful state of affairs. I don't want a guy who'll let go gratuitously, but I don't want him writhing with pain because of a gas bubble, and I certainly won't do the same.
Also, cold sores are a hard limit for him and he thinks we came here from the stars. Well, thinking drug use is a romantic activity is a hard limit for ME.
So you've struck out yet again, meaning so have I. Well bloody done. Next time, less with the quirky?
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