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.

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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.

10-29-21 melancholy

I’m feeling that creeping sadness today and the past couple days. not sure why exactly. maybe those demons of abandonment. that feeling of being unwanted, and so I retreat inside. I’ve also not worked out this week for a number of reasons…my mind always goes to shit if I’m not moving. gonna go workout now. I guess it’s part of my internal comforting since I can’t find it with people. gogo dismissive/avoidant attachment styles…

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.

4-7-21 Thoughts on emotional neglect

My brain has been cycling through this for a couple days now and I think I may have gleaned a few insights on some of my patterns. The point about turning anger on myself actually being the voice of my care takers when I was younger stuck with me.


I’m starting to see the pattern on when I experience depression (I haven’t had any episodes for a good amount of time now) and how it relates to conflicts I may be having in life at the time. They tend to occur when there are inter-personal conflicts going on in my life. Even when I’m not actively dealing with the issue, the negative energy (I use that term loosely) seeps into my psyche. I never lash out at people, nor is my first instinct to fight back when someone lays into me, even when they’re being unreasonable. This effect becomes more pronounced the more I care about someone. The result of this pattern is that I’ll experience heavy shame about myself for even simple mistakes. This easily transfers into self-loathing and depression. I can also see why sometimes that state will hit me out of the blue given. Long story short, I had a lot of experiences growing up where my authentic emotional self was unacceptable and led to trouble…therefore the natural response was for me to hide and shutdown what I felt. The problem is shutting down isn’t an effective long term strategy. It always came back to haunt me.


I coped with this problem by focusing on my achievements. Doing well in a video game or school worked for a while, until they didn’t anymore. That was a really rough patch in my life. Then I went back to school and ended up with a solid career. Then I started taking care of my body. Those became my new coping mechanisms. These were the objective measures I held onto like a buoy during the turbulent storm that could be my mind. I could have just as easily slipped into hard drugs and/or toxic crowds as a coping mechanism instead…and many people do. I was fortunate that I was such a shut-in nerd that I just didn’t get those opportunities and I had WAY too much social anxiety to want to hang around any crowds, let alone toxic ones. There’s also a lot to be said when it comes to toxic masculinity and CEN.

I know this is easier said than done, but I have work to do on separating the conflicts I have with people from my internal state. I do have a hard trigger that results in me feeling intense shame when people I love come down on me. Especially when I feel that it is coming from a place of anger. Here’s what I need to ask myself the next time I find myself in that place.
1. Did I reasonably know doing/saying (or not doing/saying) this thing would cause this reaction? For example, did I know this person had a cultural expectation that I trespassed on? Did they communicate this expectation to me previously?

2. Is their reaction reasonable?

3. Do I trust my intentions?

4. If a mistake was made, then learn from it and move on. If a mistake is continually and/or aggressively held against me, that is their issue, not mine.

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.