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  #21  
Old 03-01-2012, 01:19 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I think it's quite common for very independent women, at least in urban settings. I have numerous female friends who don't date for several years at a time, and they're not looking. They're all fabulous intelligent women, attractive, successful, well-adjusted people who have lots of activities and friends but only get into romantic relationships after long periods of no relationships, and when those end, they take years off again. Some of them date a little here and there for companionship but don't have long-term commitments for years at a time.
Me too.
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  #22  
Old 03-01-2012, 05:55 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Nothing coherent yet! Still filtering in my mind.
Actually - writing all that down reminded me just how important it is to me to have freedom in my life to follow interests and do things that fulfill me.

It does mean a compromise. I'll never have the sort of large, chaotic, close-living family that my sister has. And I suspect that I do miss some aspects of that.

But for me, having that sort of life isn't worth the sacrifice.

And - luckily my sis and I get on very well together so she lets me share her family whenever I want. Her bf is a very old family friend and I consider him to be a brother to me. So I get to join in sometimes and feel like I'm part of a large family without having to live like that all of the time.

Writing this has helped my anxiety enormously.

This week has been a good week with lots of happy, relaxed thoughts and experiences.

IP
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  #23  
Old 03-02-2012, 04:00 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Cindie,

I understand what you're saying about about independent urban women and their diverse interests and busy schedules and possible sporadic date habits. What I took from this was a decision not to date. Different than if the right guy comes along or the right situation happens I'll see were it take me. And I don't think there's anything wrong with NOT wanting to date... no matter what the time frame.

IP,

I was thinking that maybe the worrying or little voices and that conflict are connected to messages/conversations direct or subtle with family and or parents. That whole parent approval thing.

As I see it the "worrying issue" is the only thing I'd work on because it's stopping you from completely enjoying life. You're going to fuck up... its a given and ....who's keeping score...(if there is any tell them to fuck off) and you are going to die....so go find the happy life you want and have fun.
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  #24  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:06 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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As I see it the "worrying issue" is the only thing I'd work on because it's stopping you from completely enjoying life. You're going to fuck up... its a given and ....who's keeping score...(if there is any tell them to fuck off) and you are going to die....so go find the happy life you want and have fun.
Absolutely. And that is the work of a lifetime. I'll write a bit soon about what things I've found help me with my tendency to worry. Mostly because it is something I've been working on for so long.

For some reason (genetics, early experiences, a mixture of those probably) my tendency to worry has been with me since childhood and used to be really extreme.

When I was around 10 or so I spent years being unable to sleep for several hours a night because I would lie awake in terror that the house would be broken into and my family and I attacked. Looking back it was bizarre. I've never lived in a house that has been broken into. Nobody I know has had an experience of being attacked in their home and yet as a kid, it utterly terrified me to the point where I couldn't sleep every night.

Even when I was much younger, it was an issue. My mum tells often the story of when I spent weeks worrying and worrying about our house being hit by a falling satellite. I was 3 years old at the time.

Mum used to leave me in front of the TV when I was that age while she dealt with my younger, difficult brother. She believed that I would be too young to follow what was going on so she just used to leave things like the news on. One day I saw a report about a satellite that was falling to earth and that triggered weeks and weeks of worrying.

I firmly believe that I am a candidate for a serious anxiety disorder and so it is the work of a lifetime to find things that help with my tendency to worry!!
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  #25  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:16 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I had a bit of a revelation today. I was writing earlier about my previous romantic relationships and looking for patterns but I wonder now if that was the wrong place to look.

While I've had a reasonable number of relationships that involve sex and romance, those have tended on the whole not to be significant in my life - because of timing, other interests etc.

Where I have felt real security has tended to be among groups of friends. A sports club I am in was at one time the source of a very close group of friends - we mostly socialised with each other. At one point this group mixed with a very close platonic female friend of mine. At that time, I felt utterly safe, secure and included.

Same happened during at least one of my summer jobs (one in particular springs to mind). Living and working with a group of people - many of whom became very close friends. Again, much feeling safe, secure and at the centre of things.

Latterly, I have also developed very close platonic friendships with people who are part of other, wider groups that I hang around with.

For me, feeling safe I think means having a very close group around me. And I think that might be a bit of a contributor to my current anxiety. At the moment, I have several close friends who I make time to see but a lot of the time, I see them individually (most of them know each other but time and different interests makes it hard for them to get together).

And of course, my SO, is fulfilling the role that in my life would usually be fulfilled by a close, platonic friend.

I wonder if other than the fact that bereavement usually triggers anxiety in me, that is being furthered because the overall setup of my life just now is just a bit out of my comfort zone. This is not a bad thing by any means but I think it's just a bit of a stretch for me. Maybe. Will think more on this.

IP
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  #26  
Old 03-06-2012, 11:56 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Default dealing with anxiety

I thought it might be helpful for me if I noted down a few of the things I do / have done for anxiety that helps.

Learning and trying new things is a big one - particularly things that are done with other people.

Exercise - taking up running a few years ago really helped

Jobs - I once worked in a call centre which helped with my fear of using phones. I also worked once for a company that liked their staff to be able to stand up to people in power over them. That was great for my self esteem.

Talking about it - I find that lots of the time people who I think are really calm and non-anxious actually do struggle with it. Talking about it helps find those people and also helps the people who are not at all anxious understand why I might seem worried sometimes.

Being around the right people - especially when dealing with a source of anxiety. I find I need people who don't share that particular anxiety but who are respectful about listening to my boundaries about how far I can go in dealing with it on any given day.

Knowing that change takes time - this was a big one for me. I used to expect myself to get over things quickly and now I don't. It takes as long as it takes and I've learnt to appreciate the time spent for itself.

Knowing when anxiety is warranted - sometimes I am overly anxious and sometimes I'm not. Sometimes I'm worried more than others because I have a better understanding of what's going on and therefore am much more aware of the need to be careful and be a bit anxious.

Appreciating my anxiety - there are times when I think it does hold me back. But there are also times when it's a good way to be. It can help sometimes to keep me more watchful and to remind me to go slowly about change. These can be useful.

Pushing boundaries slowly - there is a balance I find between being a bit out of my comfort zone which is good and being utterly terrified - which is not so good. So I tend to take my time with boundary pushing.

IP
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  #27  
Old 03-07-2012, 07:41 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Default More on anxiety

I think also a big part of it also is knowing that the anxiety will never be completely gone. I think that it started in me so early on that I'll will always need to work on it and be aware of it - more so if stressful things are happening.

I wonder if that is in part why my last relationship caused such changes in me. For me, it was safety. No more having to go through the world alone. No more turning up at live-in jobs knowing nobody and having to make friends. No more having to go out to meet people if I wanted somebody to talk to or needed a hug. My usual tendency to do new things mostly stopped then too.

Doing all of the things that I stopped doing caused me to confront and deal with anxiety regularly. Once I stopped doing them, I became more anxious and less likely to push myself.

So more isolated (not making the same effort with friends) and generally feeling more constrained. And I was more constrained - not so much by my relationship, the constraint came more from within myself. Eventually, I had changed so much that I barely recognised myself.

Hmmmm - interesting.
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  #28  
Old 03-09-2012, 09:57 PM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
Thanks for this question, NovemberRain. I've been thinking about it all day.
oh good, I was a little worried... Sorry for my late response, I've been outta town.

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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
I think that structure is unworkable for me because I think it encourages me to think and behave in ways that are bad for me.
I can understand that. I still think it's too much emphasis on the structure. I've had four relationships in which I lived with my partner (two women and two men) and many more that I would call significant, and hella more that were not as significant. One partner I lived with was emotionally abusive and encouraged cutting me off. I resisted mostly, but I didn't have a huge, intimate support structure to start with. I still find remnants of that abuse that I have to deal with. Physical abuse is much easier to recognize and overcome than the insidious emotional stuff.

And I'm hearing you, he was wonderful and it was easy for you to drop it.

I still say, not the structure but the people (you and him). And good on ya for working on yourself.

Also good on ya for finding other structures. Lord knows, I'm not a cheerleader trying to push into any societal model. I LOVE how poly people get to invent whatever works.

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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
So - I grew up feeling like an outsider in my family. And feeling like an outsider with friends too (I was heavily involved in several sports and am not terribly sporty!) As an outsider I would sometimes feel not welcome, I'd sometimes isolate myself from friends etc.

When my ex and I were together, I was never an outsider. He loved me so much and we were very close. So I stopped making efforts with other people. When he found it difficult for me to have close friendships, I let them go (and it was easy to do so because I never felt like I was important to those people).

Now I know and feel differently. But. But. But. I have spent more than three quarters of my life feeling like an unimportant outsider and however much I now understand that those feelings were not necessary, I know that they lurk within me still.

Of course they do - they are far more familiar to me than my feelings of being loved, wanted and included.
I'm so glad that you know and feel differently. I can totally relate. I remember like it was an hour ago, the first moment I remember realizing I was no longer an outsider. It still makes me all verklempt.

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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
I'm just wary of replicating a situation that encouraged that way of thinking - and I feel that having somebody who I live with and who is a life partner might encourage that way of thinking. Maybe in time when I've had more time to practise feeling loved and wanted, I'll feel differently but right now I wouldn't want to take the risk.
That I totally understand. I keep talking to my teachers and loved ones about practicing feeling loved and wanted; practicing receiving what they have to give. They're not quite understanding what I'm saying. You've helped me with this. Practice is FUN!

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Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
Thank you - I think I've had that inside waiting to come out for some time. IP
This is a terrific thread. Thanks so much for sharing yourself.
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Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
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  #29  
Old 03-22-2012, 06:50 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I've been meaning to come back and update this for a while but life has been getting in the way a bit.

Busy, busy time spent with lots of friends and some of it has gotten me thinking. The anxiety has shifted somewhat. I kind of think that sometimes what is worrying me is where will the changes lead. My dad dying changed lots for me on a number of levels. I've been feeling differently about several of my relationships - some of that difference is scary.

I'm lucky - have lots of people to talk to about it and plenty of people willing to be there.

There is something in practising feeling loved and part of things. It's an interesting experience and something that I find comes with increasing levels of responsibility. I wonder if I've always held back from being involved so that I can be more free to do what I want?

I spent much of one day a couple of weeks ago driving around a city so that I could spend time with 3 friends doing 3 different activities. I was tired and in the past would have called off at least one of them and gone home for a sleep. Instead, I found myself sleeping in the car between activities.

And then last weekend, I spent engaged in activities with other friends when really I should have been at home nursing my cold. But - the circumstances were slightly difficult and I knew it would make all the difference if I was there (in the past I would have convinced myself that it didn't matter if I wasn't there and then would have not turned up). I was in bed sick for 2 days this week, though!! Not taking good care of myself at all there.

Interesting - my attitude and behaviour have changed dramatically (this has been happening over a period of a couple of years or so - not a sudden thing).

Shall keep practising.

IP
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  #30  
Old 03-22-2012, 11:52 PM
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Arrowbound Arrowbound is offline
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I understand that shift.

I loved spending time with friends and around people before my mom passed but now it's something I need more than ever. The changes were sudden and surprising to me too.
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