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  #11  
Old 05-12-2011, 04:07 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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So a good week, definitely!

Spent the weekend (or part of ) with hubs, which was nice, relaxing and lovely. Only another 6 weeks or so until I fly out there over July 4th, LOL. It'll fly by, though, between work and school and kids it always does. At least this is better than most deployments, the last two were 6 to 6-1/2 months and I was lucky to skype once a month and get some emails here and there.

I like my new therapist. I've been twice now, and we have a lot of work to do. We're working on setting down some guidelines between hubs and I that are workable. Yes, we should have done that long ago, but we managed to not have any expectations for 6 years (besides safe sex), then get married and never discuss it. Doh. Anyway, I had already talked to him a few weeks ago about getting into those discussions, but I thought about it this week before my session and honestly I only have a few for myself.

1) Safe sex (obviously, and this one is current, though I think we both need to sit down and discuss all of the STDs out there, how they can be spread, what we need to do, etc. just to be sure we're on the same page!).

2) Prior notice. This one seems to be my biggest one. I am not good with sudden surprises-- with ANYTHING in my life-- so that seems to be where we have had issues in the past. Mostly because my hubs will just be hanging out with people and will meet someone and clicke, etc... he works that way, I kinda don't. But we're getting older and for now I need to have notice when he's going to be with someone. I'm willing, eventually (maybe after 6 mos or a year, or whatever, after we've had time to get our acts back together completely), go for once a month or whatever if he goes out with the guys to be an "open season" where if he happens to meet someone that's fine. But at least I'm still "aware"...

And I know there was one more and I forgot. LOL. But really those are the main two. So hopefully we'll talk a little this weekend about it. I didn't really discuss anything like that over the weekend because we only really had a day and a half and I thought some nice, pleasant, normal conversation about us and life would be a nice change! Don't have to focus on the "work" of the relationship all of the time...

The other thing we're going to work on is my anxiety. I am laughing at myself now, because for years I knew I was a "worrier", or I'd "overthink" things, etc. Basically I've had anxiety all of my life, I just never CALLED it anxiety! Doh. Now that I see it clearly, I do see how that anxiety has definitely been the main item that bringings unhappiness and discomfort to my life. We're going to work on ways to change that, but I'm also looking into some herbal supplement-y crap to help as well. I've heard 5-htp is really good for that, as well as GABA, so I'm going to give them a shot. I may, though, just need to also get something a bit more "prescriptive" to have on hand for when I just can't get my head to cooperate. I'm not a big one on taking meds for anything, but once in a while I just can't stop my brain from working and it is ridiculous. I've had times when I was being anxious about something and I'd finally get myself to sleep and I'd wake up two hours later and as soon as I woke up my brain started again and I was up for 4-5 hours. No bueno.

The worst part of anxiety is that you can't intellectualize your way out of it. It's like your brain is worrying about things that YOU intellectually aren't worried about. That's just crappy.

Other than that, I'm kind of in a "get my own act together" period right now. I figure I have all of this time to myself now without hubs, I might as well use it to my own benefit. So no alcohol until I go see him. Eating right. Walking the dog, doing my weights, doing my sprints. And working on cutting back on stress and RELAXING.

Ever since I went to that conference I've noticed my breathing. I will be almost holding my breath a lot... not really taking deep breaths in and out. So I've been trying to remind myself to do that on a more regular basis. It's amazing how relaxing just that can be.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:15 PM
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Yoga, meditation and tantric breathing techniques have helped me a LOT. And it's true; it very much helps to realize that whenever your mind is going in circles and your heart's racing, it's not that something's actually wrong - it's just your nervous system jumping the gun for no reason and having hard time to exit the 'fight or flight' stage.

Also, something that works for dogs and humans alike; since the symphatetic nervous system effectively shuts down all digestion, eating calms you down, because it forces the parasymphatetic system to activate and work as a balancing force. That's why when I'm having an attack, I eat less and less, and sadly also why so many people are addicted to 'comfort eating'. But maybe having a banana or an apple to munch on might offer a quick relief?
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2011, 02:38 AM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Yoga, meditation and tantric breathing techniques have helped me a LOT. And it's true; it very much helps to realize that whenever your mind is going in circles and your heart's racing, it's not that something's actually wrong - it's just your nervous system jumping the gun for no reason and having hard time to exit the 'fight or flight' stage.

Also, something that works for dogs and humans alike; since the symphatetic nervous system effectively shuts down all digestion, eating calms you down, because it forces the parasymphatetic system to activate and work as a balancing force. That's why when I'm having an attack, I eat less and less, and sadly also why so many people are addicted to 'comfort eating'. But maybe having a banana or an apple to munch on might offer a quick relief?
I definitely will be working on ways to control my anxiety. Right now, when I get that way regarding hubs, I'm thinking about all of the ways he loves me and I love him, and the times we've shared and things we've talked about. It's a good, grounding reminder of how much we have.

I was feeling a bit down on Saturday. Some of it was hormonal (period just starting!), and times like that I'm just a little more suceptible to my own wierd feelings. Anyway I was talking to hubs and we were talking about the new girl he has been talking to, and what possibilities are there. I was feeling a bit envious, not jealous, because he always seems to have somebody who is interested in him-- and I just don't get a whole lot of that.

After I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I did some thinking. I also spent the afternoon with some old friends who made me feel a lot better about myself, which helped. And I got my pics from my photographer friend that allowed me to see that I"m not so bad looking! But mostly I realized that I haven't been actively working at meeting people. Not just dating type people, but PEOPLE. I work early in the a.m. and I"ve been dragging my arse to work with no makeup, glasses on, hair in a ponytail or bun and just not really caring. Some of that is leftover from when I was so exhausted, I just gave up on that stuff because it took too much work, and although I dress up to go out or with friends, I never really picked it back up. And the thing is, I FEEL so much better about myself when I just spend a little tiny bit of time on me. So I'm going to work on presenting my best self for a while, if nothing else so that I feel better about ME.

And secondly, I've had an OKCupid account for a few months, but haven't really made much of an effort. So today I went through the messages I had and found a few that were actually a bit interesting. I very passively added them to my favorites (except one who sent an email message, which I answered), but will think about making a more concerted effort. I mean I can't just sit around waiting for someone to find me. LOL, especially when I hardly ever go out. Silly, really.

Those two things really helped me feel more in tune to the possibilities.

I was always super introverted when I was younger, and I can really pull myself into a ball and tuck in when I'm uncomfortable. So it's time to suck it up and be a more open person. Hubs is super outgoing and flirty and charming, so it just oozes off of him wherever he is. I love that about him, though and wouldn't change a thing. In many ways we complement each other.

We also talked about boundaries and got that conversation started. I told him it made me feel less of myself that I required rules on everything (which I know is dumb, but it's my feeling nevertheles), and he told me that I shouldn't feel that way. That he needs those boundaries and those strings to keep him from flying away. That he could still be himself, and I allowed that in him, but by having some rules it helped him be the person he is, instead of the person he "could"" be if he let everything go. Interesting, and made me feel good about us, and better about all of the negotiating and talking and such.

So an interesting weekend for sure!
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2011, 03:17 AM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Hubs and I had a really great talk tonight. His new amour (to be) and he will be getting together this weekend, and we talked about that, and a bit about her, just some background. It'll be on Friday, and I'll be busy driving up to San Fran to pick up my daughter from college. I'm feeling good about it, so hopefully I can focus on not thinking about it all of the time!

I realize that I do tend to think too much about anything that's upcoming, or worrying me. My mom, my daughter, etc. So it's definitely an issue with me, and not poly at all. I also did the whole "pictured them having sex" thing, and no, it doesn't bother me. So it's definitely a whole "insatiable curiosity" thing. We talked about that tonight too. He says that he always wants to be able to tell me everything, but never has because he thought it would upset me. I'm not sure it would, but there's only one way to find out. So I just said we'll try it out and if something's making me uncomfortable I'll tell him and we can work on it. I don't forsee that happening, but you never know. Live and Learn!!

On another note, I'm talking with a guy on OK cupid that seems cool. Really, though, the only way to see if there's any chemistry is to meet. Maybe after next week...

That's going to be a whole new step for hubs, since he hasn't really had to deal with this type of thing before. I'm going kind of carefully and keeping him in the loop and we're talking a lot. I'm thinking, though, that going through it at least once is the only way we'll find out what issues there are and can deal with them.

He's been amazing me the past few months, though. Really working on us, and our relationship, and communication and everything.

Damn, i love that man!!
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minxxa
He's been amazing me the past few months, though. Really working on us, and our relationship, and communication and everything.

Damn, i love that man!!
How wonderful! Hooray!

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Originally Posted by Minxxa
The other thing we're going to work on is my anxiety. I am laughing at myself now, because for years I knew I was a "worrier", or I'd "overthink" things, etc. Basically I've had anxiety all of my life, I just never CALLED it anxiety! . . . I just can't stop my brain from working and it is ridiculous. I've had times when I was being anxious about something and I'd finally get myself to sleep and I'd wake up two hours later and as soon as I woke up my brain started again and I was up for 4-5 hours. No bueno.

The worst part of anxiety is that you can't intellectualize your way out of it. It's like your brain is worrying about things that YOU intellectually aren't worried about.
Is the anxiety something you've been diagnosed with? Believe it or not, it sounds like your have a fairly mild case of it compared to some people I've known. Usually, if severe, anxiety is accompanied by a heaviness or tightness in the chest, tingling or numbness, heart palpitations, and even nausea. Sometimes constant worry is indicative of other things like PTSD or ADHD (for women), but I've read that generalized anxiety and worry can be helped by cognitive behavior therapy. And staying busy.

I'm a worrier, but it's more like a habit I learned from my mother who had acute anxiety that could completely debilitate her. When I start to worry, the best thing I've found is to shift my focus to the present moment and really get involved with the here and now. Most people don't realize how absent we are much of the time.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #16  
Old 05-19-2011, 02:40 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Is the anxiety something you've been diagnosed with? Believe it or not, it sounds like your have a fairly mild case of it compared to some people I've known. Usually, if severe, anxiety is accompanied by a heaviness or tightness in the chest, tingling or numbness, heart palpitations, and even nausea. Sometimes constant worry is indicative of other things like PTSD or ADHD (for women), but I've read that generalized anxiety and worry can be helped by cognitive behavior therapy. And staying busy.

I'm a worrier, but it's more like a habit I learned from my mother who had acute anxiety that could completely debilitate her. When I start to worry, the best thing I've found is to shift my focus to the present moment and really get involved with the here and now. Most people don't realize how absent we are much of the time.

No, no diagnosis. My therapist agrees with you ... that it's a minor version of anxiety-- not life stopping-- and that because I am aware of the feelings and am in tune with my emotions and working through them, that's a big plus and we most likely just need to do some CBT techniques to help me cope with the worry when it comes up. I have, however, experienced the tight chest, tingling and nausea-- especially when something unexpected comes up. It's not a panic attack, but it is truly uncomfortable and at the time I could not function or deal with life and had to get to where I could be alone at home to deal. Not pleasant at all...

Keeping busy doesn't work for me, unfortunately. I can be at a music concert, with friends and my mind will still keep popping to whatever was bugging/worrying me every 10 minutes or so. This is part of the problem for me-- I've tried staying busy, working on focusing on being in the present, etc. I still think it's a good option, but apparently my technique for doing it isn't quite there yet!!

Definitely something to work on in counseling, though. The thought of having some relief from the constant, nagging worries is very nice!!

And I do realize how absent I am a lot of the time. I tend to "live in my head" a lot. Not nearly as much as when I was a kid, but honestly back then I was either reading a book, or using my imagination to imagine things the way I'd like them to be. My childhood form of escapism, I believe. Even as an adult I've had times where most of my life seems imagined, and getting into the "action" stage was harder. I've grown out of that a lot, but what's still there is the tendency to picture in my head the way I would like things to turn out. The problem with that is it conflicts with my real desire to let things play out the way they will and roll with it-- since you miss so much if you're so focused on one outcome you can't see where the path is leading.

Work in progress...
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:38 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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So I might have changed my mind about my anxiety.

Hubs hung out with the new girl, and she stayed the night. I was fine the whole evening, got to SF to meet with my daughter, went to bed, all good. I woke up and hadn't heard from him, and then it was many hours until she ended up leaving (they talked a lot). In those few hours my doing wonderful with things fell to crap.

I won't go into the details, because it doesn't really matter, but what I came out of this weekend with was that my anxiety is worse than I thought, and I think that by removing my main coping mechanism--alcohol-- I have been left with no tools and am now feeling the full force blunt trauma of it.

There was nothing he did wrong, or she did... nothing out of the ordinary. Basically, my brain started sweeping into bad places on it's own-- to loss and trust issues and all kinds of crap from my past-- and I couldn't really contain it. I had a talk with hubs and it was messy because instead of being able to sort through my feelings and get through the bottom line of what was going on, figuring out what I needed and conveying that-- I just had a vomitous mass of insecure need coming out. Left us both with a bad feeling about things, though it's sorted out now and I think all is well.

What it came down to was that after she left I really really REALLY needed to be able to talk to him in person on the phone (as opposed to text) and get some sort of rebonding going on. Not a big deal and nothing he was opposed to. The mess I had to sort through to get there was dangerous dark waters, though, and I wish I had been able to do that first before dropping it on him.

I see my counselor today and I'm SERIOUSLY considering asking to get some sort of anti-anxiety med to have for an as needed thing, which might be a couple of times a month, really. Just for a while until I can get some better tools to deal with the anxiety and work on it, and sort through where all of this mess of my past is coming in when I am most vulnerable. I used to just have a bottle of wine during these times and it helped, though it's a depressant so sometimes there was backlash from that, AND I don't want to drink for that reason. But I realize taking away that coping mechanism and not replacing it with something left me really vulnerable and I didn't handle it well.

I think we're back on track today, though, so that's a good thing.

On another note, I am going to meet up with possible new guy next weekend, just to talk and see if there's any chemistry there. It would be nice to have my own distraction in life, for sure. And another thing I discovered with all of the HOURS AND HOURS of driving time when I had nothing to do but think-- was that me not having other people in my life for whatever reason, wasn't really a good idea. I think it put way too large of an imbalance on our relationship, and while he's had other things to focus on, I really have placed all of my happiness and pleasure focus on him. Which is not a good idea anyway, but also created an atmosphere where him being with someone else was taking away from MY pleasure because I didn't have it balanced out. (Mentally, anyway...) So I think having someone of my own to hang out with will be a benefit to our relationship in many ways.

I'm not forcing anything though... if it doesn't work out with this guy, I'll just keep looking. It's nice to have the possibility though!
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:08 AM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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So things have been going well. Hubs and his new GF have been hanging out, about once a week, but it seems like June will be tough because of other obligations. Anyway, it has given me more time to get used to it on a regular basis, which is something we haven't had in the past since hubs usually had long distance loves that he would get together with every year or so for a weekend.

It's been good mostly-- I realized I was seeing his dates as something to "get through", and last week I thought about that and realized that's not the way I need to be thinking about it. I need to get used to this being a normal part of life. I might still need to do things to keep myself busy, and be aware of any feelings that come up, but it's not something to "tough out". It's a part of life I need to integrate more fully.

Each time I realize new things about myself. This time I realized that I am NOT good with sudden changes in plan-- and that has to do with everything, not just poly stuff. So there is always going to be a certain amount of -- discomfort-- when things come up suddenly or change. An example-- hubs emailed me on Friday about possibly seeing the GF on saturday. The funny part is that I had a feeling they'd want to get together Saturday so i wasn't surprised.

However, in talking this morning it came out that they were going somewhere about an hour away for dinner and hanging out and were going to get a hotel room because they didn't want to drink and drive. And for some reason, I had a gut reaction about it. After I thought about it I realized that all it was was me being made uncomfortable because the evening I had envisioned them having had evolved into something else. LOL... I'm such a dork!!

Anyway, it all worked out fine. I went and walked with the pup and did some sprints this morning which helped clear my mind. and hubs and I got to chat a bit this afternoon and he said some really nice things. And then I went to hot yoga today, which will definitely take every bit of anxiety and worry you have and make you too hot, sweaty and tired to remember them. There's also a point in the beginning of the class when you send an intention out into the world, and I sent love and goodwill out to hubs and his gf. Very cleansing experience.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:02 PM
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Each time I realize new things about myself. This time I realized that I am NOT good with sudden changes in plan-- and that has to do with everything, not just poly stuff.
Oooh, oooh, I just had a brainstorm! I think it would really be good for you, if you can find this near where you live, to take some improv classes (ever see Drew Carey's Whose Line Is it Anyway? or his Improv-A-Ganza?). Improvisation is all about thinking on your feet, dealing with the unexpected, and crafting something out of an opportunity. Improv has been found to be really good "therapy" for a variety of issues (relieves stress, strengthens memory, enhances creativity, etc.), but I think it would especially benefit someone who, like you, has a hard time handling surprises. Plus, it's really, really fun and a good way to meet people and make friends. If you're near a city, it shouldn't be too hard to find some improv groups that hold classes. Just a thought... no, wait, I did say it's a brainstorm!
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 06-05-2011 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:12 PM
Minxxa Minxxa is offline
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Oooh, oooh, I just had a brainstorm! I think it would really be good for you, if you can find this near where you live, to take some improv classes (ever see Drew Carey's Whose Line Is it Anyway? or his Improv-A-Ganza?). Improvisation is all about thinking on your feet, dealing with the unexpected, and crafting something out of an opportunity. Improv has been found to be really good "therapy" for a variety of issues (relieves stress, strengthens memory, enhances creativity, etc.), but I think it would especially benefit someone who, like you, has a hard time handling surprises. Plus, it's really, really fun and a good way to meet people and make friends. If you're near a city, it shouldn't be too hard to find some improv groups that hold classes. Just a thought... no, wait, I did say it's a brainstorm!
Good idea... but not doable with my current schedule. I work full time and am in graduate school, so school T/Th from 5:30 to 10:00 pm. Mondays and wednesdays are usually filled with counseling/other appointments, then home, walk dog and homework until bed, every other friday I drive to get my son, and weekends are usually a mix of housework/groceries/cooking/kids/errands and if I'm lucky visiting a friend. At this point if I have a spare hour I read, or maybe just lay on my ass for a second!!

My schedule's actually getting worse in October and November, and then it should ease off a bit because I'll be done with my schoolwork.

And I'm not really sure something like that would help. I've taken drama classes before where we had to do that on the spot stuff, and I got through it but I hated it and never got better. It's a bit like public speaking to me. I always hated that and everybody told me to do it more and I'd get used to it. Well, I'm 43, and I can do it if needed, but i do NOT like it anymore than I did as a kid. It's just not my personality.

I think the topic this week with the counselor will be two things... how to handle anxiety when it comes up, and how to handle changes in plan. Like techniques to work through the physical so that my mind can catch up and make sense of things.

For now, I've created the "Shit that goes through my head that nobody should ever have to see" book. Basically it's an old 9x13" journal I had laying around where when I'm anxious or feeling weird about things I can just vomit it all out in there and get it out of my head, work through it, realize I'm being silly--whatever. But nobody else then has to read it. Might even do a ceremonail burning of the pages once a month or so! Maybe quarterly...
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