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  #21  
Old 03-22-2014, 08:09 AM
london london is offline
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I'm not sure it matters. What does matter is how you feel and how that dictates your needs
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2014, 08:14 AM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
How has this worked for you? Was it difficult in the beginning? I feel like no rules=chaos=something unknown=new--> and the fear of new and unexplained alreade crept up on me from just the thought. I don't like to make (too many) rules. But how can we turn this unfamiliar situation into a familiar one without them? This morning I tried to imagine new situations and be ok with them, but I felt the white noise fill my head after a short while and had to stop for now.
It has been hard at times. Even the simple rules that we have are hard for him to deal with. The total honesty thing is something that he finds difficult, partly I think because being honest involves having to talk about needs and feelings and partly because he has to make judgements about what total honesty actually means. If he spends a day or a weekend with C, it is only natural for me to ask if he has had a good w/e. Really that only requires a one sentence answer giving a general indication that it was happy (or what went wrong) and perhaps mentioning if they went out and did something interesting. He tends to be much more literal and total honesty to him means a detailed account of what they did. I'm used to it now and I don't mind so much, but I found it hard in the early days. Sometimes I just have to be blunt and say that I don't need to know that. C finds it harder, his tendency to tell all makes her cringe in case it hurts my feelings and she found it hurtful that things which should have been private between the two of them were not private. It has helped a lot that C and I have developed such a close relationship because we can talk to each other about such things and find ways to cope that work for us.

Sometimes I have to give him a bit of a nudge about things because he is not good at picking up on hints. I try to keep it very simple and I don't interfere too much, so I will say something like 'C is feeling a bit neglected, maybe you need to give her a chance to tell you how she feels'. That works quite well for him because he still feels in control and he is able to prepare himself to hear what she has to say. He is very sensitive to criticism, so being asked to discuss feelings without any warning can be difficult for him and he sometimes reacts badly.

I think the hardest things for me and C are trying to cope with the unspoken things that are going on in his head. He can be quite 'fixed' about certain things which are completely irrational. If C doesn't answer the phone he convinces himself that she is seeing someone else, his rational mind knows that is ridiculous and insulting, but he can't quite let go of that thought. It sounds mad but I think he has his own unspoken set of rules in his head and occasionally he will get into a massive strop leaving us completely lost as to why he has reacted in that way. Usually we just give him time to process his feelings and 'find himself' again. It often turns out that his reaction was because one of us said or did something that wasn't part of his plan for how things work. We are fairly used to it now and we cope with it because we love him, but it still hurts sometimes. It would be a lot easier if he could be clearer and talk more openly about his feelings.

Earlier in the relationship there were times that we tried things but after one trial we had to stop because he wasn't comfortable. In some cases it took a very long time for him to want to try again, but it was worth waiting because those things feel completely natural and normal now. Anxiety and discomfort re new situations is normal and some feelings will always be a bit of a challenge. I am not jealous of them spending time together, but I really miss them because I am used to being in close contact by phone and text, so a whole weekend without that contact is always going to feel a bit isolating.
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2014, 01:27 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I've had my limits overstepped too many times in past. I'm not afraid that Salamander would knowingly do anything like that, but I have to respect my limits too. I also need to protect my kids, and that means I can't push myself too hard.
Could it be helpful to articulate your wants, needs, and limits? Focus more on behaviors you would like from your poly people rather than spend too much time on feelings?

Because you are going to feel whatever it is you feel until the "new normal" becomes normal. Because you are the one experiencing the feelings, it's not like other people can measure them easily.

But a limit like "I have kids. I can't be out on dates past midnight" is something anyone can measure by looking at a clock. Can't keep a babysitter hanging. Children grow, so that's that to me is a "soft limit" one that would change over time. You might have "hard limits" that will never change over time.

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  #24  
Old 03-23-2014, 04:35 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi copperhead,

Just thought I'd chime in here as I, too, have been diagnosed with Aspie's. Don't know how much help I'll be but thought I'd let you know I too had a poly/aspie spirit.

Re (from OP):
Quote:
"I feel it is unfair to ask Salamander and Sunflower to take things slowly, but I really don't enjoy these meltdowns. Has enyone experienced anything like this? How did you manage?"
I don't know if I had your exact experience, but I certainly know what the dreaded word "meltdown" means, and I know how it is to feel insecure (hurt, jealous, etc.) in a poly situation.

A meltdown, in my private dictionary, is an event in which the entire world seems to be melting down around you. Everything is falling apart, including all of your thoughts, dreams, feelings, and self-control. The foundations of your soul are racked with panic and paranoia. You feel like all your loved ones have turned on you, and society has combined against you to turn you into a monster and ruin everything you hold dear. Everything you do is wrong, wrong, wrong. You can't do one &*?@#%=? thing right. Folly follows wherever you go.

Somewhere in the back of your mind is the pitiful little voice of reason, reminding you that this is all in your mind, that the world isn't really coming to an end. But 99% of your consciousness just screams at you, and all you want to do is scream back. Using all the pent-up force I could muster, I could crush the scream down into a guttural snarl.

Of course, I've been diagnosed with more than just Asperger's (over the years), so your meltdowns may differ from what I just described. Plus what I just described is the worst of the worst. But I sure resonate with your words, "I really don't enjoy these meltdowns." I don't enjoy them, and I know my loved ones don't enjoy them either.

Given my description here, you could say that one does not manage this type of thing well. I tended to manage it poorly -- if at all. There were no quick solutions. It took about 25 years to arrive at the regimen of meds I rely on today, and it took several years to arrive at the life and mindset that allow me to feel comfortable in my poly household.

The good news is, the meltdowns are now virtually gone. Once in awhile I'll still have a scary spell of choler, but it seldom lasts more than a few minutes and I can expect months of peace to follow. What's more, the old hurt, jealous, insecure feelings (that poly confronted me with) have faded away. In their place is a contended sense of camaraderie.

But how did I get from there to here? It's a hard question to answer. Oh, I learned certain tips and tricks along the way. But mostly I just had to grow out my anger and terror. I had to learn, a little at a time, that I could trust the people I trusted -- and that I could even trust myself.

Re (from Post #9):
Quote:
"So will I have to go through this chaos every time either one of us meets someone new? or will the newness wear off eventually?"
I can't speak much on this topic because I am in a poly-fi unit; that is, new partners will rarely if ever appear on the scene. Basically it's just three people: me, a lady, and the other fellow who loves her.

However ... I think you can get used to a new way of life over time. Newness itself can become part of the routine.

Re:
Quote:
"And how long would that take ..."
I believe that would vary greatly from person to person. Months? Years? Hard to say. It probably helps if you can at least detect some progress as you go along, though.

Re:
Quote:
"I just wonder how much will I have to work to be able to actually live the life I want."
Emotional work is a hard thing to measure. Polyamory does have a reputation for demanding quite a bit of emotional work ... though they say that it's worth it (and I believe them).

Re (from Post #19):
Quote:
"I don't like to make (too many) rules. But how can we turn this unfamiliar situation into a familiar one without them?"
Sometimes I think people settle into routines naturally without being told beforehand what they'll settle into. Almost everyone is a creature of habit to some extent.

Now that doesn't mean you can't establish any rules. It just means sometimes you'll find that some things will regulate themselves without any special effort.

Re (from Post #20):
Quote:
"How do I know that the fear of change and new things is gone and the rest of my anxiety is normal newbie issues?"
Well honestly, I don't think you can know that. I mean, no two people are alike, and no two aspies are alike either. Some people have an unusual amount of fear of change and the new, even though they don't have Asperger's. Some aspies have an unusual amount of tolerance for change and the new, considering they have Asperger's. The brain is a complicated organ, and Asperger's is a complicated condition. The best scientist in the world can probably only offer educated guesswork.

Anyway, anxiety has to be dealt with, whether it's "aspie anxiety" or "newbie anxiety." You don't decide how fast you should be progressing based on what kind of anxiety it is. You just push yourself a little outside of your comfort zone and be willing to let yourself rest when needed.

Back in the good old days when I exercised like I should, I used to try to regiment how far I would walk and how far I would run, so as to make certain I was making progress and running further. But after several years of this method, I finally realized it was better to just trust myself, and let my body tell me what it could handle on any given day. So I simply started running long enough to convince myself that I was pushing myself a little, and then I'd walk long enough to convince myself that I was rested enough to run again. Not only did this method of exercise work better for me (and produce more progress and better results), I also rather enjoyed doing it that way. It was like giving myself permission to play and get creative.

I guess ultimately you just learn how to cope by using trial and error. If something triggers you, then you know you pushed yourself too hard that time and you need to ease off a little. If you feel pretty comfortable, then you might be ready to push yourself with a bit of newness. Don't try to make a math problem out of it, trust yourself enough to read and respect your own emotions. Enough to say, "I can tell I'm pushing myself too hard," or, "I can tell I could push myself a little harder."

Don't know how much of that helps, but I hope some of it does.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #25  
Old 03-23-2014, 04:21 PM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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Wow, so many answers to this. Lets see. I think I covered in an earlier post what tenK said about not pathologizing. And that is, really, a good point.

I haven't really had the experience of others using aspergers as an explanation for my behaviour like london has. Maybe because I haven't talked about the possibility of having aspergers syndrome with that many people. I feel like I need to see the diagnosis first (assuming I'll get one), before using it as an explanation. But now that I've been going through this process for so long and it's almost over I find that I'm more comfortable givin it as an explanation for things. It certainly seems to explain a lot of my problems.

Kernow: thank you for your post. It was really helpful. Although it seems that I have quite different problems than your husband does. I have been motivated to work on my communication skills for so many years that I think I've turned a weakness into a strength (which really helps now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
He is the one who really wanted the poly relationship yet he was very scared by it and there have been times when he needed to go painfully slowly, partly because he is not good at change, but I think mostly because he was terrified of messing up and losing one or both of us.
This sort of applies to me, except for the losing part. I entered this relationship thinkinh poly is what I want and what works for me. I was also aware that I need to take things slowly and tried to communicate this. It has just come as a surprise that I need things to happen this slowly. Twice I've had a chance to move forward with someone during my relationship with Salamander and twice I've hit the brakes, because I felt it was too much new at once. So it's not just taht I need him to take things slowly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
there are times when I feel able to push him a bit to deal with the emotional stuff and there are other times when I know that I have to let him work things out in his own way and his own time.
How do you know one from the other? Has he explained the difference to you or did you pick it up from past experience? I'm trying to build a communication toolbox for us. Maybe you have some tips that could work for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
We care about him, the Aspergers is part of who he is and why we love him. He puts up with our peculiarities and odd little ways so why on earth should we think less of him because he has Aspergers.
I really like that you said this. It somehow makes me feel better. It feels good to know someone is that lucky and has that kind of love Salamander is the first one that really make me feel like this, so the old fears creep up from time to time.

Onto your other post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
It has been hard at times. Even the simple rules that we have are hard for him to deal with. The total honesty thing is something that he finds difficult, partly I think because being honest involves having to talk about needs and feelings and partly because he has to make judgements about what total honesty actually means.
This sounds so familiar. I feel like every aggreement we make leads to a discussion of what does this actually mean now, what did we aggree on. And then we aggree on what we aggreed and then have to aggree on that one too… because there's always loopholes and things left out or misunderstandings or whatever. It seems like it never ends. And it is my fault. Because I need to have everything spelled out exactly. And in communication that is impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
I think the hardest things for me and C are trying to cope with the unspoken things that are going on in his head. He can be quite 'fixed' about certain things which are completely irrational. If C doesn't answer the phone he convinces himself that she is seeing someone else, his rational mind knows that is ridiculous and insulting, but he can't quite let go of that thought. It sounds mad but I think he has his own unspoken set of rules in his head and occasionally he will get into a massive strop leaving us completely lost as to why he has reacted in that way.
And this too sounds so familiar. I don't expect to make rules for us, but it's hard, because I have so many rules for everything in life. This is how I keep chaos at bay. And here's a situation that to me is chaotic and I can't use my rules to help me deal with it, because it involves other people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
Earlier in the relationship there were times that we tried things but after one trial we had to stop because he wasn't comfortable. In some cases it took a very long time for him to want to try again, but it was worth waiting because those things feel completely natural and normal now.
I hope to get there soon. And I so want it to be worth all this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Could it be helpful to articulate your wants, needs, and limits? Focus more on behaviors you would like from your poly people rather than spend too much time on feelings?
I am trying. It's really hard to do so without starting to make rules. Today we talked over the internet about the prcticalities of Salamander and Sunflower sleeping in the same bed (no sex). How would I feel about it etc. I started to think about the practicalities, and it seems that there are so many things to think about (if your brain works like mine), so many details to think in advance so they wouldn't be new. I pushed myself pretty close to another meltdown all by myself by thinking about it all. He asked if I want them to give up, and I don't. It just seems unfair to them to have to wait untill I deal with things. I've said that it's up to them to decide if they can wait. I don't want to be responsible for that decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
A meltdown, in my private dictionary, is an event in which the entire world seems to be melting down around you…
Thank you for this description. I think I'll show it to Salamander. He said he needs to read more about these things. It's not exactly how I experience it, but close enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
It took about 25 years to arrive at the regimen of meds I rely on today, and it took several years to arrive at the life and mindset that allow me to feel comfortable in my poly household.
Medication? I thought there isn't much medication can do to aspie problems. I've thought about something for anxiety, maybe it would help with this transition as well. Although I'd like to see what the doctors say about the diagnosis first. And I've also heard that the meds don't work that well on aspies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
I had to learn, a little at a time, that I could trust the people I trusted -- and that I could even trust myself.
This is hard with so many bad experiences that I need to watch out even for myself to not cross my boundaries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
I guess ultimately you just learn how to cope by using trial and error. If something triggers you, then you know you pushed yourself too hard that time and you need to ease off a little. If you feel pretty comfortable, then you might be ready to push yourself with a bit of newness. Don't try to make a math problem out of it, trust yourself enough to read and respect your own emotions. Enough to say, "I can tell I'm pushing myself too hard," or, "I can tell I could push myself a little harder."
Funny you should mention maths problems, as that's exactly what I tend to do (don't really need to try). Trial and error means a roller coaster ride for us all then. Let's hope we can take it.

Edit. Oh! And the party went really well! I haven't had that much fun with people in ages. Didn't really feel like withdrawing to a dark and quiet place to be alone until the very end
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  #26  
Old 03-24-2014, 06:33 AM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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Yesterday I tried to focus on my fears, like I read somewhere that I should do. Now I'm not so sure about that. I'm stuck on a thought loop that produces panic attics (or something).

My list of fears:
1. I'm scared of not being good at polyamory. That I'll be a failure.
2. I'm scared of being good at polyamory, because that will lead to endless changes I can't even imagine.
3. I'm scared of turning into a catatonic robot zombie that will just let everything and anything happen because all the emotions have disappeared.
4. I'm scared of not doing anything and being stuck here forever with the potential of everything turning out fine but too afraid to try.
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  #27  
Old 03-24-2014, 10:42 AM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
How do you know one from the other? Has he explained the difference to you or did you pick it up from past experience? I'm trying to build a communication toolbox for us. Maybe you have some tips that could work for us.
I think I partly know by instinct and partly it involves close observation of his reactions to know when to stop and give him time to deal with a situation. My son who is nearly 20 has Aspergers so I have had a long time to get used to recognising and understanding Aspie traits and finding ways to 'manage' life that work for us. It took years but I finally got over the feeling that I was a failure as a parent because I couldn't always get it right for my son and I couldn't always protect him. My husband and my son are very different but some of the skills I have gathered over the years help me to cope and most importantly the experience with my son helps me not to take too much to heart when my husband has a meltdown. There are times when he makes me feel deeply upset, but I know that he doesn't really mean it and I know that it is not my fault so I don't hang on to the hurt for very long. One thing that I discovered by accident with my son was that when we needed to have a serious talk the car was the best place for it to happen. If he was sitting in the back and I was driving he could hear me and if he wanted to he could look at my expression (in the drivers mirror) but he knew that I couldn't look at him and somehow that made it easier for him to talk to me. It works quite well with my husband too (me driving and him in the passenger seat) it doesn't seem quite as intense as sitting down and having a discussion at home. My son and my husband are both very articulate people but to some extent they both rely on me as their 'translator' to explain their reactions to others and to help them interpret the motives and behaviour of others. My son signs (British sign language) and sometimes when he is incapable of speaking to me in words he can sign, I find this extremely helpful because it gives me a clue to his thoughts/feelings during the bad times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
I really like that you said this. It somehow makes me feel better. It feels good to know someone is that lucky and has that kind of love Salamander is the first one that really make me feel like this, so the old fears creep up from time to time.
I think R (my husband) took a very long time to believe that anyone could love him just as he is, it has taken him years to dare to be himself especially with C. He still has flashes of doubts and fears but mostly he trusts us now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
This sounds so familiar. I feel like every aggreement we make leads to a discussion of what does this actually mean now, what did we aggree on. And then we aggree on what we aggreed and then have to aggree on that one too… because there's always loopholes and things left out or misunderstandings or whatever. It seems like it never ends. And it is my fault. Because I need to have everything spelled out exactly. And in communication that is impossible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
And this too sounds so familiar. I don't expect to make rules for us, but it's hard, because I have so many rules for everything in life. This is how I keep chaos at bay. And here's a situation that to me is chaotic and I can't use my rules to help me deal with it, because it involves other people.
There were times when this whole aspect of control almost drove us apart and it is the reason that we have so few rules now. We don't have an ideal situation but it does mostly work. I tend to be the negotiator/interpreter so there will be times when R will say to me "this is what I want can you sort it out with C" then C and I will talk it over and make sure that we are okay about it, that will be fed back to R, but we always leave the detail and the timing to him, it's just easier that way. Sometimes when C needs to talk to him about something or express a need she asks me for advice first or sometimes she asks me to raise the issue with him first so that he has time to prepare himself, he hates to have those sort of conversations sprung on him. He does spring new things on us sometimes, I think partly that is because he has spent so long processing them in his own mind that he forgets that he hasn't involved us. We have decided that it is okay for that to happen because we both have a strategy to deal with opting out of a situation if we should ever feel the need to do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
I am trying. It's really hard to do so without starting to make rules. Today we talked over the internet about the prcticalities of Salamander and Sunflower sleeping in the same bed (no sex). How would I feel about it etc. I started to think about the practicalities, and it seems that there are so many things to think about (if your brain works like mine), so many details to think in advance so they wouldn't be new. I pushed myself pretty close to another meltdown all by myself by thinking about it all. He asked if I want them to give up, and I don't. It just seems unfair to them to have to wait untill I deal with things. I've said that it's up to them to decide if they can wait. I don't want to be responsible for that decision.
I know that this kind of thing has almost driven my husband mad in the past. This is why we have a policy of absolute honesty, if he needs to know I tell him the truth and he trusts me to do that. Increasingly he doesn't need to know. I once pointed out to him that it would be cruel to give someone an open bag of sweets and then tell them that they could look at the sweets but not eat them. Once you have given the gift of the bag of sweets your control over it has been given away. He said that helped him to understand and let go. I think you need to see situations with Salamander and Sunflower like this, if you agree to them seeing each other the rest is up to them and you don't need to think about it. If it really matters to you then you can negotiate a no penetrative sex rule (I prefer a stay safe rule) but you have to trust Salamander on that. Then you have to stop thinking about it and do something which keeps your mind very busy when you know they are together. It will be hard, but that is normal and it will get easier (or you will get better at managing it).

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This is hard with so many bad experiences that I need to watch out even for myself to not cross my boundaries.
I fully understand your need to protect your children and not to put the family aspect of your life at risk so I accept that the boundaries concerning your family are non negotiable. However if you never take risks or cross boundaries you will miss out on so much that could be really good. Looking back my boundaries of four or five years ago were completely bonkers, but at the time I thought I needed them. Letting go of them has led me to a much richer experience. I still have my own personal boundaries, but there are a lot less of them. I think the thing that has helped me most is the realisation that the relationship(s) that my husband has do not take anything away from me, the opposite is true it makes my life so much more fulfilling. The only way I can explain it is that having a second child did not make me love the first child any less. I have three children and I love each one completely and uniquely because they are very different people. The fact that my husband loves C and has occasional casual encounters does not take anything away from me.

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Edit. Oh! And the party went really well! I haven't had that much fun with people in ages. Didn't really feel like withdrawing to a dark and quiet place to be alone until the very end
Well done! I hope that has given you some encouragement.
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  #28  
Old 03-24-2014, 11:44 AM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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Ok, what I feel is the central problem now is this: I have to somehow be able to analyze where one kind of reaction (norman newbie reaction) ends and where the other kind starts (aspergers). But it's hard, because they can look alike. They certainly do from the outside, but sometimes they also feel the same. And like I read, I can't trust my emotions, which kind of freaked me out, since it adds one more unclear element to the situation that already has too much change, new elements and unclear things in it.

This is my question now (and I don't really expect anyone else to have an answer to it, but feel free to say, if you do):

- How do I know that the fear of change and new things is gone and the rest of my anxiety is normal newbie issues?

I feel like it would be really easy to get stuck on this explanation and keep sayin it's all too new when actually I'd just be nervous or something. I don't want that to happen, but I also don't want to accidentally push myself too far too fast. I have two children I must be able to take care of even during this process and too many meltdowns would really make that difficult. I've had my limits overstepped too many times in past. I'm not afraid that Salamander would knowingly do anything like that, but I have to respect my limits too. I also need to protect my kids, and that means I can't push myself too hard. Which means… I'm scared of moving too fast and just might end up dragging the "new=scary" phase too long.
You don't have to work out why you are reacting in certain ways otherwise you will drive yourself mad. You just have to own your feelings and reactions and put them into words as simply as you can, 'I am jealous' or 'I am afraid of losing you' or 'I feel rejected'. Some of those are not comfortable feelings to own or express, but unless you do that Salamander will not understand and will not be able to reassure you. Don't worry about what is normal, what you feel is normal for you so just deal with your reactions and don't compare yourself to anyone else. It is okay to admit you are scared and it is okay to give Salamander some clues about how to help you 'I just need you to hold me for a little while because I'm scared' or 'I would feel better about this if you could phone me during the evening' or 'sometimes I need to know that you get scared/anxious too'. Just try to find what works for you and be brave, you have done much more complicated things than this, you have children so you know that you can take risks and adapt to changing situations. If you get it wrong sometimes don't worry, it is normal to mess up sometimes, just pick yourself up, do what you can to put things right and try again.
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  #29  
Old 03-24-2014, 02:15 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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How do I know that the fear of change and new things is gone and the rest of my anxiety is normal newbie issues?
To me?
  • Asperger fear of change anxiety--> have to solve the problem eventually.
  • Newbie issues anxiety -- > have to solve the problem eventually.

Still have to solve the problem either way, so putting energies into the (problem solving) bucket is more efficient to me rather than putting energies in (what type anxiety is this?) bucket. Esp when doing that seems to add to the anxiety level in the bucket rather than take away from it.

At this time, are you able to call it "anxiety, either type A or Type B, but for sure anxious!" and then move on to problem solving?

Is this the order from least stinky to most stinky?

Quote:
My list of fears:
1. I'm scared of not being good at polyamory. That I'll be a failure.
2. I'm scared of being good at polyamory, because that will lead to endless changes I can't even imagine.
3. I'm scared of turning into a catatonic robot zombie that will just let everything and anything happen because all the emotions have disappeared.
4. I'm scared of not doing anything and being stuck here forever with the potential of everything turning out fine but too afraid to try.
If you put them in order of least stinky to most stinky, which stinks least? Because that's how I choose what to do when all the choices stink. Pick the least stinky. Maybe you could try that to minimize anxiety/panic attack from being in ambiguity?

Sometimes deciding something, resolving self to it and taking action could lead one out of the shaky merry-go-round and on firmer footing. No longer anticipating this could happen or that could happen or what if THIS OTHER thing happens and working oneself up.

I don't know if that could help you, but it helps me when I'm in those shoes.

GL!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-24-2014 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:23 AM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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A lot has happened since I last posted, but first I'd like to reply to your messages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
You don't have to work out why you are reacting in certain ways otherwise you will drive yourself mad. You just have to own your feelings and reactions and put them into words as simply as you can, 'I am jealous' or 'I am afraid of losing you' or 'I feel rejected'. Some of those are not comfortable feelings to own or express, but unless you do that Salamander will not understand and will not be able to reassure you. Don't worry about what is normal, what you feel is normal for you so just deal with your reactions and don't compare yourself to anyone else.
Well, actually, I have to. If I don't analyze my feelings I'm unable to talk about them. It can take days for me to actually feel anything. It only happens after i analyze the situation and put it in words. If I don't analyze, I will never reach a feeling. Luckily Salamander understands this. Also, I don't really react. I'm too slow at processing social situations. When I finally reach a reaction the situation is usually over. This is a good thing too, because I never explode at anyones face. I also have time to process the situation objectivly and to see what triggered my reaction (when it eventually comes and I recognize the feelings etc.) so I don't jump to conclusion or say things I'd regret later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernow View Post
Just try to find what works for you and be brave, you have done much more complicated things than this, you have children so you know that you can take risks and adapt to changing situations. If you get it wrong sometimes don't worry, it is normal to mess up sometimes, just pick yourself up, do what you can to put things right and try again.
Thank you for these words. This is something I've tried to focus on, but it's good to be reminded.

GalaGirl I like how logically your mind works. You are right, the anxiety is the same, but at the same time I feel like you are also wrong and that the anxiety is not the same. It's like I need to know what is causing the anxiety to find the right way to deal with it. I feel like I could take a lot more of newbie anxiety than new thing anxiety, so if it's the first one, I could push myself further than with the second one. So to recognize the problem is a major part of solving it.

My list is in the order I thought of the fears. I suppose I am most afraid of 3 and 4 because thos are most likely to happen. (It's easier to think of small fears, it seems. The bigger one had to be approached carefully.) 1 is least scary and I think it is what I've chosen now (and feel a lot better right now). It's not like I've declared to be permanently non-poly. But I feel like I'm just not ready for this yet, and that I need time to process some things alone and that we need to do more talking with Salamander before we try again.

After my third anxiety attack within a day he said that he'd talk to Sunflower and say that they need to wait and if she doesn't want to wait, then he'll accept that too. He did say that in a chat, and she replied with just one word. After that, no communication on her part I feel really bad for him (and for her too). I also feel a little better for not being the only one who isn't so great at this. At least I communicate.

Salamander and I talked about what we each want from polyamory, and what we need to do to actually make it work (help me over my issues and make the changes smaller). Right now I'm thinking about referring to our relationship as an open one rather than trying to be poly. Maybe this would also help when we try to explain to others what we want.

The most important thing I discovered, though, is that I've felt exactly like I felt in emotionally abusive relationships over the years. This is the cause of the panic attacs. And this is something I did to myself (nothing abusive in how Salamander has treated me). I lost the trust I had towards my own thoughts and feelings and started thinking I'm crazy for thinking this and feeling that. That other people have better judgement. This is the reason why I'm not willing to try to push the change anymore. At least not for now.

I thank you all for putting the time into helping me in this situation. I'll be around, trying to absorb the poly attitude.
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