1.2.23 Reflections on 2022

Time to reflect on the past year. If for no other reason, to understand where I was and how I got to where I am now. I think I might break this down by month.

  • January
    • I was experiencing depression and loneliness.
    • I was doing a lot of work on undoing the damage left by a narcissist ex
    • I noted how important a high step count was to my weight maintenance. I should focus on that again, especially since the weather is nicer right now.
    • I was struggling with my wife’s emotional availability (she had her own challenges).
    • I started talking with H again. They were going through surgery and I wanted to support them as a friend. I had thoughts of Stefy and how important it was to be there for a friend even if there had been romantic feelings in the past.
    • I started scheming on how to bring Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf into one of my D&D games.
    • I started taking local improv classes (workshop, ~once a month)
    • I think I was already back in the work office. I was dealing with security issues mostly. This was in the old building.
    • I had a covid scare
  • February
    • H and I got back together. I think I struggled opening up emotionally for a little while since I had been abandoned before.
    • I think I was actively training in SF and Kenpo
    • I put together my digital map case. I made a fun bridge encounter. The party was body blocked by trolls on one side and ogres on the other. The giants were arguing amongst each other on who owned the toll bridge. Meanwhile, the weight caused the bridge to start collapsing in random chunks. I rolled on a grid axis to determine which board fell. One of them was under a player. They made their dex save to not fall in. Eventually, they convinced the giants to form an LLC and got through.
    • I hit a PR on a 275 lb deadlift.
    • I had a talk with V and broke things off.
  • March
    • Things going well between H and I.
    • I think this was when I wrote that big kink negotiation document.
    • I built a pyramid scene using the 5 room model. It was a lot of work but I was proud of it.
    • I had a busy schedule between bootcamp, str training, kenpo, and online improv.
    • I replaced my laptop for a new one.
    • I got a new backpack with straps from REI. It helped quite a bit.
    • I was talking with Mia more.
  • April
    • H went on a 3 week cross country tour
    • I spent some time learning how to work with the levels module in Foundryvtt. It was cool but ultimately only useful for online only games. It had a lot of issues working correctly for in-person games.
  • May
    • Started on massage sessions
    • Attended wedding for my sis-in-law
    • I had a good connection with a striper. I wrote about the emotional experience in hopes I could write it into a story later.
    • Got together with J unexpectedly. Seems to be a comet situation.
    • Narrowly avoided Covid
    • Got reminded of my ex while browsing through munch meetups. Reminded me how important it is to be careful with the relationships I get into.
  • June
    • I was struggling with sleep. I had plans to get my home gym going but it never really happened effectively.
    • It looks like this was my busiest soldierfit month. 16 sessions. This doesn’t include my gold’s sessions. I’d like to see if I can beat that record this month.
  • July
    • I started talking with C again and went out on a date (well, hangout…I avoid calling these things dates to avoid implicit expectations)
    • I got surprised by a yard project my wife had gotten a quote for. I was frustrated, but ultimately let it through. It did prompt a financial review. That project ended up being a scam though, and we got conned out of that money. It hurt. My wife learned to always check licenses for contract work in the future.
    • My ex showed up again on a dating app (not her profile, but she was in group photos). It spurred more painful memories. I wrote about it and doubled down on my fitness goals.
    • I think I started experiencing foot pain (later turned out to be a bone spur, requiring orthodontic fitting to help mitigate)
    • I did a good gnoll voice that surprised my wife.
  • August
    • I got sick with some kind of flu. It wasn’t covid. The coughing was pretty bad. It came after attending the wedding of a friend.
    • ren faire season began. I didn’t make the weight I wanted to. I was able to still wear the pants at least. My wings never came.
    • I put a post out about accountability buddies for fitness stuff. A few people responded.
  • September
    • Took a trip to Ocean City with the wife and her partner N. Things became more physical/romantic with N and I. It was nice.
    • My sister made plans put down her old dog.
    • H attended ren faire with me several times this season. Looking at my writing, I noticed my depression stopped coming up. I still struggled with thoughts of my ex and how I was hurt. But I also finally accepted I was in a good stable relationship with H.
    • With H’s help, I got better with eye make up and tried several different looks through ren faire.
  • October
    • I met A at an event at the ren faire. We had met first on an app, and it seemed to be another dead end connection. But they came up to me at the event and apologized about it. We got along pretty well and made tentative plans to meet up again in the future.
    • I had some stress with the office move prep.
    • I went ham on halloween decorations and did a haunted walk through our backyard. I was proud of it.
  • November
    • Moved to the new office building. I had to be there the entire week the first week. I ended up catching Covid for the first time after that. It took me about a week to recover. I had the bivalent vaccine a month before and took paxlovid.
    • Before I got sick, I see I had some sort of argument with my wife. I didn’t want to come home as much.
  • December.
    • Had a great New Years spent with H and my wife. It was chill
    • I got a lot of DND/writing work done. I started using worldographer and Dungeon Alchemist. I might get back on Dungeon Draft soon too. The world stuff will be useful for my scifi world.

So all in all, I think 2022 went well. Fitness-wise it did not go great. But I have this year for that. I also really want to make progress on a book this year. I tried to make 10k words for the world ember went but did not make it in time. but H pointed out that 10k words is 1/4th of a novel. I had made 4k words with just my short story without realizing it. Writing a novel isn’t as far out of reach as I thought. I have hope for this year.

Advertisement

7.28.22 how do I know what I think…

The other day while burning some distraction cycles on one of those dating app (if you’re new here, hi I’m polyamorous) and i ran across a profile with a group photo that included an ex. There were feelings as you can imagine. And so to enact one of my favorite quotes, I write to see what I say.

I don’t feel hate. But I still feel swells of anger when she surfaces onto my consciousness. While I can understand how her behavior came from a past that included trauma and dealing with narcissistic personalities, it does not excuse it. I did not have to tolerate unexpected verbal lashings, shaming, gas lighting, and attempt reinforcement of toxic masculinity traits (e.g. “I should be able to have my temper tantrums without it effecting you ” and questioning whether I was “dom enough” because I could feel sad).

I allowed myself to feel the kind of emotion I hadn’t felt since I was a teenager. It was a kind of love. Not the secure trusting love I find myself in now, but the burning passion type instead. The kind that led to me having an overwhelming need to vent those emotions in form of prose and poem when a physical outlet was not possibe. I understood romantic poets a lot more during that time. I made honest mistakes since I wasn’t at my clearest mentally. Instead of making them moments to learn from, they became arrows of shame to be shot at me, again and again. I became vulnerable to her and it fully taken advantage of to cause maximum harm. That is why I became so focused on building my boundaries afterwards.

As I’ve often done in the past, I channel those potentially more damaging emotions into more useful activities. When I feel the anger and shame well up, I redirect them into my fitness efforts. I guess in a fucked up way I can thank her for reinforcing that aspect of myself.

When I had my first major success in weight loss (80 lbs in a year), I had this thought implanted in my mind by a coworkers back when I interned at an airport. “Your mind is only as strong as your body”. That idea has been my solace when I encounter hard times. That same idea is playing out when she enters my mind. I recognize it. I wasn’t weak but my past traumas were exploited. My fitness journey includes reinforcing my psyche. Because I know how the universe works. Despite my cutting her out of my life for my own safety, I know that someday I’ll run into her again. I need to be as sure about myself as I can be.

I won’t allow her to find anymore chinks in the armor I create for myself. I have people in my life who love me and celebrate me for who I am, flaws and all.

5.10.22 How bad do I want this?

This thought is latching to my brain today. It was triggered while browsing through FL. I was considering maybe looking at attending various local events, and came across my ex’s profile as a possible attendee. It brought back some painful memories. I’ll flat out say it, this person was a narcissist. They did a lot of emotional damage. The highs (or love bombs) were not worth the crippling lows. I went no contact a long while ago to protect myself. Now I’m afraid that my odds of running back into this person in the real world are more likely, especially if I try to attend any local events. I really don’t like confrontation. Meanwhile, this person *loved* to start arguments as a way to test people. That’s a massive waste of energy IMO. Now I could try to excuse this person based on the traumatic past they’ve had, but that isn’t okay. They were toxic. That experience is a poignant reminder for me that even as a polyamorous person, it is not worth pursuing toxic relationships, regardless of all of their other qualities. The damage to my psyche, and those around me as I stew in depression, is not worth it.

So back to this thought. It came up while I trained at the gym this morning. Working out is important to me as a mood regulator. I did not train at all last week due to being out for a wedding. Sure enough, come sunday I felt a melancholy just wash over me. Yes my social anxiety cup had runneth over, but also my bulwark was decayed. Then I remembered how I felt last year as I saw progress photos from last year. I was starting to like how I looked, for the first time ever in my life. It gave me an extra bit of confidence that I never knew could exist. I could actually see myself dressing in nice things that weren’t just ren fair garb.

And so as I struggle with trying to keep a fitness routine going I have this concern of confrontation in my head. I know the universe loves to fuck with me, and so at some point it’ll happen even with avoiding those events. I feel that I need to get my body back to where I was early last year. Rebuilding that confidence in myself is to serve as that shield for my mind when I fully expect this person will try to tear me down and/or emotionally manipulate me into doing that myself. I know the mechanical things that I have to do. It comes down to gritting my teeth and getting it done…and not injuring myself in the process.

I need to get up earlier during the week. The Tuesday/Thursday morning strength training is nice…but I can do more. If I’m making slow incremental process through this “part time” training schedule I’m on now (keeping my nutrition in check of course), then I can just imagine my progress should I commit. If I want to be ready to handle those barbs, then I need to commit to this phase of training. No one else is going to be be able to help me with this.

Okay, I feel a bit better putting this out into the ether. I know what I need to do.

Ear Worm / Burden feeling lifted 7-30-21

Every so often stuff happens in my life, either by choice or not, and a song somehow gets linked to the event. Songs, like any other artistic expression, tend to take on different meanings for people regardless of the intent of the creator. And so this song, “Addict”, has become linked to my choice on blocking all contact with an ex. I think it finally clicked on how toxic that connection could be, even as friends. I made my mistakes in communication and said too much, sure (I’m also wondering if I’m not at least a little Autistic with my trouble of being socially aware/adept), but she always used my mistakes as ways to try to break me down and find ways to make me feel even more like crap. It’s excessive, not constructive, and absolutely not healthy for me to be around. Social media only made it worse by constantly trying to push contact with her too. It’s part of why I’ve drastically reduced my time there. Removing that app from my phone has been incredibly helpful. I’ll occasionally look at it through my PC, but only in very short increments. And I realize, there isn’t much I’m missing.

I think it’s the opening lines that are sticking with me the most in this song.:

“This is a brand new start. And I think I deserve some praise for the way that I am”.

The end of the music video with the blowing up of the club feels fitting. Sometimes burning a bridge really is the way to go. Anyhow. here’s the video link. Serious trigger warning on stuff in there, so put on your thickest skin if you watch.

4-2-21 Life update

it’s been a while since I have updated this blog. I’ve noticed more likes and follows despite this…which is better odd, but cool. I hope my meanderings have been useful in some way.

Today is the first day I’ve been on the metro in over a year. it’s a weird experience. I’m going to spend the weekend with a partner of mine. I think this is the first time I’ve been able to spend this much time with a poly partner that wasn’t basically a hotel outting. There’s a poly milestone for you. They’ve risen the bar for good partners. I feel at ease around them.

On the fitness stuff… I’m platued at 170 and 22% bodyfat. Sometimes I’ll drop to 167, but that seems to be mostly at the expense of water. I haven’t been doing the same amount of evening workouts and walka due to injuries. I’m in the mend now. My trainer is changing gyms so my schedule is currently in flux. I’ll know more next week on how I’ll move forward. Either we can make something work at planet fitness or I’ll have to work with a different trainer at my main gym.

My goal is still 15% bodyfat by August 15.

Fine ways to lift each other up, not disqualify.

Another thought train on the move. I was thinking on why things with my partner feel so right. I’m not getting that crazy limerice or nre sensation. I’m not feeling distracted by them (other stuff distracts me instead).

This person has made it part of their core to have people feel safe around them. I think I’m feeling the effects of that now. I’m able to speak of my passions and my vulnerabilities and not feel judged. If anything, my eccentries are celebrated. If there is something I don’t know, they are happy to teach me. They include me with their activities. They don’t hide me from their friends. They constantly try to remind me that I’m special, that I’m good. It might even seem a little repetitive at times and I don’t know what to say…but it sinks in.

inevitably I can’t help but compare to the experience with my ex during that last month. I still feel pain over all the thinga she tried to disqualify me for. I wasn’t this. I felt bad about things. My having feelings were invalidated. While I try to avoid casting blame as I’m sure there were a myriad of factors on her end, at the end of the day I did not feel wanted. It was one more person that I had to constantly justify my existence to. I adored her, but I just could not stay in that environment.

I need people who can celebrate my passions and interests and I will do the same for them. To help make each other the best versions of themselves. I don’t want to be in a relationship based on fighting to qualify.

Find our middle ground and just love each other.

3-2-21 Supported

This will be short. Being in good spirits probably doesn’t make for the most engrossing read but it is where I’m at. I recently met someone who has not only been incredibly sweet, but also amazingly supportive of my artistic interests. That means a lot to me. Having an avoidant/dismissive background makes it hard for me to share my passions with anyone for fear of the rejection. So I would just shut down pre-emptively shutdown to avoid the pain. To have it openly embraced feels really good. This one is special.

8-24-2020 finding myself annoyed

Quick entry but it is worth putting into words for myself. I’ll need to add this to my boundary list. My wife is meeting up with an acquaintance in the poly community to provide some accounting guidance, and maybe get some work. That’s cool. I did have health concerns once she brought up they were meeting up in person. She tried to reassure me that the person said she was minimal risk (this is akin to my thoughts on “Ethical Non-Monogamy”, what does that mean to a person?). That is too vague for me, especially after the scare with K. So I pressed to get more specific information. Questions like, is this person an essential worker? Have they been out for reasons other than supplies? I know this person has a good number of partners and so the risk is higher without knowing how all of that works, and their partners risk and so forth. My wife seemed to understand that concern, but still seemed resistant to my concerns.

Then she mentioned that she had said to this person that I had a high risk partner. That put me on alert. I don’t know this person well, and have little reason to trust in her discretion. Yes she’s a poly person but I don’t want my partnership status out there unless I put it out there. I’m only letting people know that it is relevant to. This reminds me of the time she told Rob about my status with S without my consent.

What seems to have really annoyed, and perhaps angered, me is that she then commented my concern was “very high school”. I realize I fell into the shame spiral trap again just there, trying to reason that yeah maybe it was.

But no. I realize I just had my emotional experience invalidated/belittled. That makes me feel unsafe in letting my wife know what I’m feeling if it is just going to be discounted. I think that counts as an emotional-relational boundary violation. She might not have to agree with my concerns but to toss it aside as irrelevant completely discounts my anxieties. It isn’t ok.

8-14-20 Feeling Better

I’m feeling better today. There’s still some residual angst. I let my wife know I had been feeling irritable all morning in the 5 minute overlap to see each other we actually had. It was intended as a heads up. I hadn’t woken her up that morning so she slept in till about 11:25, just in time for another meeting I had to be in. I just seem to be getting into more and more meetings, and that isn’t doing me any good mentally. Turned out she had been to about other stuff. Then towards the end of my meeting (which ran for an extra 45 minutes…) she texted me a photo of our friend (well, lately it seems just her’s) of her fever and how she’s concerned she may have been exposed to Covid. This made me worried about A, who I recently spent time with. Once I got more details, I had a slight relief that the exposure windows didn’t over lap. Test results won’t be available until Monday. So far my wife and I’s health seem just fine (exposure time for K was the day before she hanged out with my wife, so if my wife did catch something from that then we’re past the timeline when something may have happened).

Anyway, that led to a discussion about what happened with A, and how my wife actually wasn’t comfortable with it despite giving consent. That’s kind of shitty on her part, as now someone else’s feelings are engaged. Then we talked about the health of our relationship, and it isn’t great. I guess my anxiety is good for something. She doesn’t want me engaging in anything else really, though she feels conflicted about holding me back. So we made a commitment to spend direct interactive time on tuesday/thursday at minimum. This seems to help. Also having more regular talks is important too, as we just haven’t done that, being content to passively be in the same area but really that just makes us roommates at best.

I still find myself feeling some sort of anger/resentment on social media whenever I see anything from S or K. I had a bit of a realization this morning regarding that feeling and what my amygdala is actually trying to do. Both of these people made me feel joy, in different ways. Then they hurt me through rejection and abandonment. I think my brain is using those emotions to keep me away from them, to avoid me getting hurt again. Part of the same anxiety path way. I’m trying to think of people in my past who followed the same pattern, and how I got past it. A was an example…with her though I didn’t see much of anything on social media…in part because I had unfollowed her but also she was rarely active on social media (until fairly lately). Of course with her I felt a little guilt as well as I was the one that broke off the relationship. But still there was pain there. It got better. Then I thought about J. We went years without talking to each other, and what I felt for her as a teenager was very intense, even as a purely LDR. I think it was about 7 years before we even started talking again. And her’s was a case in which I was rejected. We didn’t have a frank discussion of what happened until after she invited me to ren fair. She apologized for what she put me through. I think, on retrospect, that helped repair the damage between us. All that distance gave me time to forget the pain. She’s still an important friend, even if we don’t talk that much now.

Now with K, I think even logically I don’t trust her that much right now. With her 1 blow up when I accidentally upset her, she went direct to fatalism and ending the friendship. That isn’t a mature way to handle things when people get hurt on accident. She is on the younger side, so I suppose that shouldn’t be that surprising. But it still brought up my trauma responses.

With S…I’m still not sure. I understand enough that her anxieties and traumas (what I understand of them) played a big role. This pandemic + her attempt to quit vaping (nicotine product) ramped up her anxiety responses in a big way. It led to a bad situation. My emotional centers seem to desperately want to find a way to label her as a bad person, to give me reason to keep away. But understanding this defense mechanism I have now, is that really true? Shit, over half this country might be falling into this same damn trap in respect to each other.