Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Life stories and blogs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #121  
Old 01-03-2013, 04:45 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,230
Default

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT + LISTENING TO THE FEELINGS BEHIND THE WORDS

I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. More estimates coming on remodel. Friends are having things going on. In-laws.

One particular friend is having marriage problems and DH and I feel concerned for that couple. (Different friend, not Divorcing Friend who is formerly Abused Friend. This seems to be "growing apart" problems rather than "abuse." Thank god. Not that it is FUN, but at least it is not abusive.)

Hung out with the parents and I could tell they have been snipping at each other. Mom's trying to hang in there but our patient Dad is on a roll. He was hopping from topic to topic, behaving kind of manic, anxiety wittery, and having a minor cow.

At first my attitude was dread -- because I really dislike roping him back in. I don't like Dad having alzheimer cows. I don't like having to deal with bringing him back to earth.

Kid was picking up on his fusspot and adding her own fusspot. I had to correct her a few times.
"Kid when you do X behavior -- does that ADD to the problems or take away?"

"Adds. I'm sorry."
It is hard for a kid -- she wants her own name. Today Dad couldn't deal with putting the right names on the right people and kept calling her the wrong one. Makes his communication harder to understand when you don't know who he is talking to or about which person for what.

But if you can't change something, you can at least change your attitude. Focus on what you want, not what you do NOT want.

So I changed my own internal channel from "Argh.... stupid Alzheimer! I don't want this today! I don't need this today!"

My internal Brain Board of Trustees kicked in:
Ms Emotion: Noooo! I don't want to deal in this today! I don't need this today! I am tired and cranky as it is from running errands and allergy shots and having to be patient with the kid, my patience bucket is running low!

Ms Logic: This is not a new thing. We've handled this before. Let me pull up the file. LAST time we were here that he had a cow was... and we did what to solve it?

Ms Diplomatic: Could focus on what you want. Don't focus on what you do not want.

Ms: Logic: Yup. We did that last time. Focus on what you want to get more of. Not what you do not want.


Ms Chairman of the Board: So what DO we want people?


All the voices in my head representing various thoughts and emotions -- stops yammering in my brain and answers in unison:

We want to minimize damage, we want to not have dad and kid stuck in a loop, we want all people to CALM DOWN. We want to visit a while, and then GO HOME.


Ms Logic: Divide and Conquer then.
I don't think Dad took his meds today. He was just too boingy manic seeming. But he had a bee in his bonnet about contact paper. So I told Mom to watch the kid and I took Dad out shopping. There. Divided.

On to conquering fusspots:
  • Mom and kid would play something and chill. Mom would get a break from dealing in Dad witter. Dealing in kiddie is easy to Mom. (They ended up calling my sister to skype with baby cousin and talk about Christmas)
  • Kid would get distracted playing something else and would get Dad off her back about how she was doing whatever it is wrong and get back in better temper.
  • Dad would get away from Mom and get alone time with me to do what he wants -- get contact paper. He also gets the bonus of telling all sorts of "unload" -- who sucks and why in the car.
  • I get an endpoint in sight. Given the the choice of feeling trapped in the house listening to suckage that has no end in sight, I'll take suckage on car trip because by the time we get to the store, he's off on a store kick and I can try to change his channel. Which stink choice stinks the least? Dollar store!

Possible cupcakes for all -- so let's try it and see. I was willing to pay the price of admission to find out.

(cont.)

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-03-2013 at 04:51 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #122  
Old 01-03-2013, 04:52 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,230
Default

On the drive I made neutral comments. I know perfectly well where the dollar store is. But I asked him like I was not sure.

"Is this the right turn or the left turn, Dad?"
Dad got to answer me and feel like he contributed knowledge. It also gets him to stop talking about "endless relatives and their suckage" if he has to pay attention to driving on roads.

I think he was needing directional tether. A way OUT of working himself up into a conniption fit and being stuck in the recursive loop. Easy questions Alz brain has to stop to think about. He knows the answer. He just has to focus.

"Go left! And watch out for cars! And then stay in this lane!"
He was still hyper but responding to tether.

He wanted to show me the store like he owned it. I let him and wen with validating next. I admired sponges, baskets, office supplies, gift bags -- the usual mishmosh you'd find at a dollar store. It made him feel SEEN. I don't much care why he's addicted to dollar stores but he is. It's like the toy store to him.

For him to show and tell at me and me to admire? It's like looking at a kid's pretty picture that's all scribble nonsense. Or making polite conversation small talk. I see. I validate. It's not MY scene, but alright. I see it is important to YOU. Cool.

I validated him where I could -- sure, that would a good buy if I were having a BBQ -- lots of plates here. Confirmed. No, I do not need any paintbrushes, but yes, if I did need them buying a bag here would be handy.

I rather he show me measuring spoons than tell me this or that relative sucks. Usually when Dad goes off on how people suck it is because he feels unloved. It is hard to feel loveable when one feels unloved, and in his messed up brain it's easier to assign blame elsewhere than to change his own behavior. More and more it gets to the place where he cannot change his behavior. He's at the mercy of his weird illness. I think the holidays felt lonely to him. We came around of course, but the parents are kind of isolated.

It's scary in there in his brain, I'm sure. To feel out of control all the time and feel unseen. So much he wants validating from my mom. SEE me. SEE me. SEE me.

She does better than before but it's a learning curve. It's also hard to SEE him now, because well... who wants to see their beloved slipping away to a disease like that? It's hard. You want to NOT SEE.

We used to take caregiver classes but stopped going because it was triggering for Dad.

Mom says I handle him better. I really don't. I am just as clueless about caregiving for Alz patients as her -- we learn as we go. But I know my own anxiety experiences of flooding and I can tell when my Dad is in one of them. I try to encourage her too. She needs support.

I wonder what sort of elder period DH and I will go through? I hope we are mental health illness free. But if not, I'll tend to him. He'll tend to me. You don't sign up for the married long haul to just deal in the yummy bits. It's for the long haul.

A lot of what I learn though -- either from kid care or elder care or relationship stuff... it's all the same.

The skills are all transferable. It's all about personal relationship skills, really. And accepting the person wherever it is they are at. And trying to figure out what the next goal is, and assess the willingness everyone has. Is everyone willing to go there or not? If so, what abilities do we have to work with? Wants, needs, and limits? Got it? Alright.

Then make the plan and divvy up the jobs. Get to goal!

When faced with weird -- try to clarify communication. When faced with unanswerable weird -- assume positive intent and look for the feelings behind the words. Don't take it personal.

Took Dad home in a much calmer mood. He was able to play dominoes with the kid without bossing her about, which led to her being able to play back in a good natured way, which led to him being able to enjoy the game.

I love hearing my Dad laugh -- it is loud and guffaw-y. Anyone hearing it knows the man is having a good time. A bit too much loud but so what? Kid got the giggles and mom relaxed some and so did I. Hearing Dad laugh is rare. It is worthy to note.

Laughter releases a lot of feel good brain chemistry. It's important to emotional health to be able to laugh.

I got to goal. They wrapped up the game and we left for home. Damage minimized. Everyone in a calmer frame of mind.

Dad called me up later and woke me up from a nap. I have caller ID and I debated not picking it up because I was full up on Dad today but I did. I let him yammer at me about house remodels and plumbing.

I was amused and proud of him for his disclaimer.
"Ok, so I'm the father and you don't have to take my advice.
I waited for the BUT. There's always a BUT with him.
"BUUUUUT..... if I were you I would be sure that these estimate people measure well and are better business bureau. And don't pick anything like marble -- that's porous and..."
I could have sighed and told I don't really care how they demo so long as they clean up. I could have told him I don't give a flying patootie about marble -- I have a kid and I want kid friendly, sturdy, easy to deal with bathroom.

But the feeling behind his Alzheimer witter? The hoppity from one topic to next without letting anyone get a word in edgewise? He loves me, he's worried about my bathroom remodel affecting my stress/anxiety stuff.

However witter-y he gets with bathrooms in the next few days, I could lift that up to myself. He cares. He's trying to show it. Even if in Alzheimer loopy ways.

I let him go on for a while and looked for "the check out" points. Kinda have to ride the Alzheimer interstate and wait for the next good exit. He started talking about decor magazines and I took the out and pointed him to online websites for "senior eye candy" in that vein. He took the bait and wandered off to look. Then I hung up.

I was catching DH up on eldercare news and I got a bit teary and asked him to just hold me for a minute. Sigh.

I am tired. I'm going to take my own cue from a previous post and not try to do MORE work. I just want to chill now. Long day tomorrow.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-03-2013 at 02:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #123  
Old 01-05-2013, 06:56 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern Cali
Posts: 552
Default

Was talking to November Rain tonight and one of us used a "Gala Girl" phrase (I wish I could remember which one!) so it was decided that "THANK YOU" needed to be said for putting concepts in words that stick with us when we need them.
__________________
~~~~~~~~~
Pan Female, Hinge in a V between my mono (straight) husband, Monochrome and my poly (pan) partner, ThatGuyInBlack
Reply With Quote
  #124  
Old 01-05-2013, 05:56 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,230
Default

Aw... thanks for the compliment! *blush* I need that little positive boost after wacky eldercare!

But darn! Now I wish I knew what I said! LOL. If you remember let me know.

hugs
GG
Reply With Quote
  #125  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:44 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,230
Default

ON COMPASSION

I am happy. A bit tired now that the twelve days of Christmas are over. The tree can come down. Yay. Hanging with friends and eating up the king's day bread kid and I baked was fun.

Funny how kid is happiest with the simplest things -- her stocking came with pads for playing the dot game. Then you don't have to make the dots yourself before taking turns drawing the lines to "win" a square. The other thing she's been obsessed with is the bag of long balloons with a small pump and directions for how to bend the balloons into things like hats.

Struggling Friend let me know he appreciated 2 emails I sent. I'd noticed him looking wan so I checked in with a short note. He responded with some of his struggle. So I learned they're having a rough time right now. (Hence his anon name of Struggling Friend.)

I went ahead and sent a longer response offering appropriate supportive things -- an ear to vent at, babysitting, whatever. DH read both my note and my letter and thought it was sweet.

I told DH I wasn't sure what to do there -- the HOW of it. But I was thinking the correct thing was to touch base and offer... so best I do it anyway even if not worded perfect. Better something than nothing. That's what I would want. So I went out on a limb and went there.

Struggling Friend didn't respond right away. Which is fine. I assumed he was digesting/dealing with his life. (I assume positive intent.) But I was also a touch concerned that maybe I crossed a line? Or poked the bear if my wording was not broadcasting in the way I meant it?

Ms Emotion: Uggggh. Not like me feeling weird!
So it was nice he told me it meant so much that he saved it to be able to read it some more when I ran into him.

Ms Emotion: Yay! No more weird feeling!
Which goes to show I'm still right with that instinct. Even if it feels a bit strange each and every time I do it. Offering my compassion FIRST to a hurting friend is a good thing. Share in the struggle a bit. Maybe people don't need advice all the time -- they just need to be seen, and be offered compassion/acknowledgement.

Yes. I see you are ----> here. <------
Isn't that what I basically want when I feel emotionally flooded?

"Yes. You are here. I see you."
With a touch of

"There, there, Poor baby. I'm here with you in this and will endure with you."
if it is from DH.

Whether or not the person is ready to receive it at the time and takes it well at first or not? Or I am able to express it just right or not? The correct thing to do when I see a hurt is still to acknowledge it in some fashion.

Turning a blind eye on a friend when you can SEE something is going on is not correct behavior. Check in. Turning a blind eye is is shirky. Hoping doing so will make my own weird feeling go away is shirky.

I don't have to be a craftsman at expressing how I see it. It just has to be seen.

It's bad enough to have to struggle, without having to struggle in the darkness. Oy.

And isn't that part of holding people accountable? Not just calling them into account when they have behaved poorly and you want to know what the reason for all that is. But to call them into account so that they matter, they are seen, are valued, are not missing.

To belong is a human need. The need is met when people SEE you and include you in their concern and their taking account of their world. When you are glad, when you are not -- you are seen, present and accounted for.

I supposed that is part of the implied contract for friendship -- that you are noticing how your friends are and taking account. Funny how I've not articulated that before. Shiny Thoughts.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-08-2013 at 02:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #126  
Old 01-09-2013, 02:20 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,230
Default

ON TYPES OF INTIMACY

Excerpt from this thread talking about "framing intimacy."

Quote:
Quote:
"Intimacy" means different things to different people. It can also mean several differing things to the very same person!
Quote:
I want to explore and discuss intimacy -- the word and the experience.
I like the bucket system.
I believe our whole health picture is made of mind, body, heart, and soul.

Mental health and well being.
Physical health and well being.
Emotional health and well being.
Spiritual health and well being.


They are all interconnected to make up the "whole health picture" for me.

So "intimacy" to me corresponds in the buckets too.

Mental intimacy -- the sharing of ideas, beliefs, concepts, communication, thoughts. There's a spectrum.
Physical intimacy -- touch, gestures. From tickling, kissing, hugging, sex. Again -- a spectrum of possible activities that are physically intimate.
Emotional intimacy -- the sharing of feelings, vulnerbale. The yummy feeling ones or the yucky feeling ones. More spectrum.
Soul intimacy -- the baring of one's soul, dreams, desires, joie de vivre. What makes you feel ALIVE. Last spectrum.


There's a spectrum inside each bucket. Take physical intimacy for example -- that bucket can hold kisses of various types, handshakes, sex, tickling, stroking, massage, etc.

Depending on the relationship with the person in question what and how much I'm willing to share will vary.

I am willing to strip down near nekkid for strangers to touch me -- if those strangers are my doctor or massage therapist. I am not up for that physical intimacy with random strangers. I don't even like strangers standing to close to me!

I'm willing to hug my mom. I'm not going to have sex with her.

Body is an easy bucket because it is tangible. Sometimes I see people trying to make body intimacy do the work of other kinds of intimacies.

Sometimes that is ok. Someone dies, someone else is mourning. Sometimes just holding their hand in the ministry of presence is enough. Sometimes it is not, and they need to be able to talk (mind intimacy) and cry (emotional intimacy) and bare their soul in some fashion.

I once had a BF who was not great at communication about his feelings and was not willing to grow the skills for better sharing of mind/heart intimacy. He'd try to solve it by showing me affection with hugs and kisses. Which are nice and show me he loves me, but didn't exactly let me in or shares his inner life with me. Touching is not meeting all the need for closeness in the mind and heart buckets. The body bucket being overfull with tons of hugging is not doing much about the empty heart/mind buckets, is it?

Rita Mae Brown put it nicely in "Bingo" when Regina and Nicole are talking... I abridge it here to help illustrate my spin:

"Maybe human relationships are like a clock. With most people the relationship is 15 minutes or 90 degrees on the dial. Sex would be part of the circle. Part of the 360 degrees. And what is so strange is, you could sleep with someone and not complete the circle. Sex isn't enough. It is necessary for full understanding, but not enough. Get it?

"I don't know. What are we?"

"We are 45 minutes. Three quarters of the clock. Close, but I don't know everything and neither do you."

"Are you 60 minutes, 360 degrees with Jack?"

"No. I don't know that any woman gets the whole circle with a man. Maybe. But I've got 45 minutes with Jack -- a different part of the circle though. He has what you miss. And you have what he misses. Ironic."

If there is such thing as an "intimacy clock" with 15 minute or 90 deg portions each representing mind intimacy, body intimacy, heart intimacy, and soul intimacy... I've experience different kinds of intimacies and different degrees in my relationships.

Even with the activity (ex: tickling). Even in the same person -- the intimacies shared could change over time. I've tickled my mother as a child, but not much since I was adult. I still hug and kiss her though.

I tickle, hug and kiss my kid a lot. I figure as she ages she won't be doing raspberries on my stomach much and having tickle fights on the couch. Get them in now then! I'm pretty sure I'll still hug and kiss her as an adult. I know I won't piggyback her as an adult! I've already stopped that. DH is lingering on the piggybacks but she's getting heavy even for him. Then end of that physical intimacy with the kid will one day come for him too.

But I don't share the physical intimacy of tickling with just anyone -- I don't tickle the bank teller. EVER! As a child or adult!

I would NOT share sex with my mother or my kid. I do with my spouse and if I took another lover, I would with them. Another slice even if within the same "physical intimacy" range portion of the clock.

At one time, my DH was my BF. I shared body intimacy with him as his lover. We shared a lot of mind intimacy and some heart intimacy in long conversations. I was not prepared to offer him a full 15 min on heart though -- I was getting over a break up and not up for diving deep too fast in that bucket with him though I certainly enjoyed him as a lover. He was in the same place at the time so it worked out. And I def. wasn't ready to offer clocking any soul intimacy time with him back then.

That heart & soul intimacy thing unfolded later on in the relationship. Some things are just earned in time.

Galagirl
I've been feeling all kooshy toward DH. Because why? Well, awesome sex is always fun body intimacy. Good conversation is always good mind intimacy. Good conversation about how I/he feels about things is good emotional intimacy. The only intimacy we haven't been pinging this week is probably soul intimacy.

But soul intimacy bucket is not unfilled. Though on pause and reflection to dipstick that soul bucket? I find mine full but... swirly?

Perhaps because we're dinging the other 3, soul bucket IS being gently swirled? They all interconnect. I cannot quite tell.

Soul bucket for me is a slow, dark mover. Like... molasses? Emotion bucket is lots easier to shake about and see/examine -- like water?

There's a shiny thought. The viscosity of the different intimacies.

Would body intimacy be like... talcum powder? Mind intimacy be like... air current? I'm not sure what I'd assign those as.

If people can be "touch sensitive" in the general body bucket, and shy from certain kinds of touches/textures/sensations... could they be intimacy sensitive? And shy away from certain kinds of intimacies?

What about intimacy of the SELF? Knowing oneself?

Hrm. Stumper.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-09-2013 at 02:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #127  
Old 01-22-2013, 03:03 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,230
Default

SLOW CHESS: INTIMACY EXPERIMENTS

DH is so sweet. Lovely date last Saturday night before he left -- low key. Dinner, a walk, then some hot cocoa. Then home. We talked about various things, kid, remodel, work, family, poly, and some mutual crushes.

I love flirting with him. I love him yanking my chain.

I'm very fortunate in that he's straight up about where he's at and the idea of sharing me doesn't wig him out. The idea of sharing him doesn't wig me out either.

I'm entertaining asking a friend-crush out again -- not with any particular aim other than to experience another small Opening and digest it. Dabble in intimacy shared with another -- a heart share, heart to heart talking. Have already had a mind share date and a soul share date with other friend crushes. Not interest in a body share intimacy thing (sex) right now. So I was telling DH about my thinks.

DH is amused at my approach -- systematic and ruthlessly practical:
Ms Logical: Look -- here's all this intimacy I could be having with Another. So let's watch me go off to have it then and try it on safe, KNOWN people in small doses.

Ms Emotion: Did I feel disgustingly vomitous? Did you? What was that like? Knowing I'm off somewhere, possibly crossing TMI lines? Do you trust me to keep a TMI line where it should be? Do you trust me to fuzzy the line when/where appropriate?


Ms Logical:
It has been a looong time since I was his hinge. And this would be a hinge of another flavor -- marriage hinge is different than single/dating hinge like before. It comes at another price tag now. So best we test that -- some test flights here before undertaking the mission.
I never learned to play chess properly. But this is what it feels like. Edge play of the heart with slow ass chess moves. And having so much FUN!

I know I'm blessed. I was laying in his arms after making love and he was nuzzling my ear. I tell him often that I know I'm blessed, and I'm lucky to have him as my spouse partner, to have THIS. He laughed and stroked my back and told me I'm just greedy for cupcakes. I poked him for teasing and it grew into delicious kissing. And he told me again -- "I've love for you to have it. I'd love to help you have it."

Ugh. Horrible wonderful man. Makes my toes just squidge up in pleasure.

But it's not just that pleasure. On the meta level?

I get the other pleasure. Where I just get to side step so much of the drama in being deliberate, slow and prepared. If/when we're done with this period of Engagement and if we decide to quietly be Open to Another later? Not small Openings but OPEN open? Well, if it grows out of an an existing friendship, so it grows. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. Nobody's had a cow or wigged or anything.

I already have a Good Share with DH that I'm enjoying. I don't lack for poly expression, and I don't lack for acceptance. If I get to be blessed twice, yay. If not? Yay still. Cupcakes for me either way.

But today's pleasure? I get to pick up my hunneh at the airport when he flies back in from business. Can't wait to see him. It's been a short trip this time but still... yaaaay! He's coming home! Wheee!

I suppose kid and I could bring him a cupcake and stick a chess piece on it. Hee hee.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-22-2013 at 03:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #128  
Old 01-22-2013, 05:20 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern Cali
Posts: 552
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
If people can be "touch sensitive" in the general body bucket, and shy from certain kinds of touches/textures/sensations... could they be intimacy sensitive? And shy away from certain kinds of intimacies?

What about intimacy of the SELF? Knowing oneself?

Hrm. Stumper.

GG
I haven't read the "Framing Intimacy" thread, but reading this part my immediate thought was, "Well...yeah!" I've known many people who had a fear or dislike of certain kinds of intimacies. Sometimes it was intimacy with others, sometimes it was intimacy of themselves. Sometimes it was both, and shying away from intimacy of the self fed into shying away from various intimacies with others. However it happens, it definitely happens!
__________________
~~~~~~~~~
Pan Female, Hinge in a V between my mono (straight) husband, Monochrome and my poly (pan) partner, ThatGuyInBlack
Reply With Quote
  #129  
Old 01-22-2013, 08:15 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,230
Default

I agree -- it does happen. Just pondering if the people it happens to are aware of it. I also curiously meet people who are out of touch with their feelings, or in touch with them but not able to articulate them.

GG
Reply With Quote
  #130  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:56 AM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Boston area
Posts: 197
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
I agree -- it does happen. Just pondering if the people it happens to are aware of it. I also curiously meet people who are out of touch with their feelings, or in touch with them but not able to articulate them.

GG
I wonder if people who shy away from intimacy with themselves or others would try to not be aware that they do so. Avoidance might be easier if you just stay away from self-reflection and questioning, or from analyzing anything too deeply.
My boyfriend describes himself as liking to be intuitive, rather than putting things into words. And maybe that is how he's most comfortable, or even feels most connected. But I think that sometimes its also a way of avoiding facing contradictions or unpleasant conclusions.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:04 AM.