6-18-19 feeling lonely today

I’m not sure where the emotion is coming from. But I feel it in the front of my head. And maybe in my gut too. I also felt frustrated at work and don’t feel that I made much headway. My diet choices weren’t great either. They had those left over mini burrito leftovers today. And I had a bag of probiotic mixed nuts today. My weight was already on the high side this morning. And I slept in and missed my workout this morning. I do plan on going tonight. I’ll skip my normal dinner and just do a post protein drink.

Maybe I really should setup a jar to practice practicing gratitude. I was going to get a bunch of sticky notes to drop in a jar but I haven’t gone out to get them. I’m worried about finances and the impact of that on my marriage. What I should do is just take some of those copy sheets and cut them into strips to write on them put in the jar. I don’t really believe doing this will help but I guess I can try?

I think I’m fearing taking control. I fear conflict with loved ones. But the price of avoiding it may literally be too high.

What happened to that fighter I used to be? I guess it was easier when I could just count on people hating me. That expectation made for good armor.

Advertisements

6-13-19 post therapy

Points brought up

  • Let wife know it is ok to reach out to me on wanting to spend time. Talked about cycle of fear of rejection
  • Focus more on time spending together if that is what brings happiness.
  • I’d like to plan to visit more faires, like Michigan…maybe Sterling one?
  • Wife inviting me to spend time with her is how our relationship started
  • I’m more busy than I give credit for

6-4-19 feeling sad

I’m not sure why exactly. My wife’s health seems to be getting worse. She was complaining since at least Friday where I had to guilt her into just going on a mile hike on a nearby wooded trail. Saturday she babysat while I worked on as many chores as I could Saturday, including prepping meals for the week. This was so we could go to the Virginia Reinassance festival on Sunday. We did get to go. She wasn’t able to get her “too big” bodice to fit.

Monday evening she complains that she has a lot of sinus pressure and is getting dizzy spells. I skip my planned hike to keep an eye on her. I’m a bit concerned. I also noticed earlier her medication bottled had been empty for awhile. I’m not sure if dropping off Zoloft and buspar can cause those kinds of issues.

After last week’s financial fuck ups on her side, I clamped down on her ability to buy stuff on iTunes. I’m also regularly checking mint now with both of our accounts.

I know she has challenges right now. Work and school. Then the babysitter gig… which I’m starting to think I might need to put an end to. And this is where I’m starting to feel conflicted on how much control I should take. The ethics vs the practicality and frankly financial survival. She works those extra hours and puts herself in places where bad food options are all she has, and she does nothing else to take care of herself. I feel it will get to a critical point of no recovery if left to her own devices.

The long term plan was for her to finish school this year so that she can work somewhere that won’t constantly have her overworked and even work on holidays…plus shit for days off and sick days. She seems to feel it is more important for her to overwork because of her debts.

I need to setup a clear plan to follow. Maybe a financial advisor. Her overall unhappiness is making it hard for me to be happy around her.

So maybe this is why I’m sad. I feel like I’m going to have to be the jerk to get things on track. It flies in the face of modern sensibilities of ppl being responsible for themselves. Easy to say that when they don’t live my experience.

So reanalyze. Clamp down. Lay down path to better place. Keep cards out of her hands. Be prepared to tell others to fuck off.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture interpretation

This weekend I played the game “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture”.  I got into it because I happened across the soundtrack for the game.  That music is hauntingly beautiful and sad.  A strong enough music score had been enough to get me into a game before.  Thinking of all the Vulnerability work I’ve been reading on lately, I realize games (particularly story-rich single player games) have often functioned as a relatively safe place for me to allow myself to be vulnerable and express and process emotions that have been sitting there in my psyche.

This game touched upon death in a heavy way, and those who know me and/or actually read this stuff know I’ve been heavily impacted by death in the past couple of years.  Truth be told, it has been a major factor in the path my life has taken after I lost my mother to cancer back when I was 18.  I lost my father to cancer just a little over 2 years ago, and then my best friend to suicide a few months after that.

Put briefly, the plot of this game begins ~30 minutes after the apocalypse in which everyone is gone.  No bodies (except the birds), just gone.  You spend the game following the story lines of 6 characters as they experience this end time.  You see the story acted out by their light shadows.  You learn to understand what happened between that and all of the many environmental clues.

Spoilers incoming:

You learn that somewhat accidentally an entity made of light is brought to earth via a couple of scientists.  It wants to communicate with people, but the way it communicates is ultimately deadly to any animal life more complicated than an insect.  With humans, they start to experience flu like symptoms, until it ultimately becomes fatal and they are literally dispersed into light.  It spreads quickly, via electrical signals, radio signals, and human voice.  I think everyone is gone in a matter of days.

All of that game story is mostly beside the point.  What I felt from this is that it was really a story about accepting the death of loved ones, and ultimately accepting your own death.  It brings some comfort, via science of all things (which to be fair, a lot of the time it can be a bit of a buzzkill, as useful as it can be).  If I understand correctly, all things give off some light.  When that light leaves the planet and goes into the vacuum of space (which is also why I think the game showed the galaxy in the sky after every character’s end), it goes on infinitely.  So in that sense, a part of you is infinite to the cosmos.  Unless you get caught by a blackhole…although I suppose one could play with the idea of blackholes feeding into other universes.  Nothing living makes it through…but if light is a conduit for information?  I swear I’m not high.  If anything I’m low…if that is a thing.

So anyway, I do find a bit of comfort knowing that all of those that are dead continue to cast a light out into the universe.  Possibly infinite and maybe even to other universes.  So perhaps in a real way, we will all see each other again…just perhaps in a slightly different configuration.

 

Below is a quote, and also the lyrics from the end song that has resonated with me.

“In the wake of a human being’s death, what survives is a set of afterglows, some brighter and some dimmer, in the collective brains of those dearest to them. There is, in those who remain, a collective corona that still glows – Douglas Hofstadter”

 

“The Light We Cast”

Now everything has come to rest
The end has come and I am not afraid
We travel on towards a new beginning
We slip away and we are unafraid
We’re born a part
The waters carry us
An endless dark in sovereign galaxies
The light we cast
Creates a bridge
And guides the way across the ages deep
I see them all
I see them dancing
In the endless numbers of the night
I love you in the ebbing of the tide
I love you in the quiet inner lands
I love you in the garden of butterflies
Now everything has come to rest
The end has come and I am not afraid
We travel on towards a new beginning
We slip away and we are unafraid
We slip away and we are unafraid
Unafraid

5-22-19 unhappy emotions

Not feeling great emotionally today. The workout was fine and starting rucking last night was good too. But all these things I’m working towards…health…mental fitness… financial stability…art… I realize I’m doing them alone. I realize my greatest gains have been when I accept that change and improvement only happen through the force of my will. It is my journey.

But the thing is that even though I am an introvert, I don’t truly want to be alone. These are the paths I need to take and I won’t veer from them. My journey is a hard one. For a little while my wife seemed to want to tag along. But I don’t feel that is the case anymore. If she does join, it feels like it is out of obligation or atonement…not because she genuinely wants to travel on this metaphorical journey with me.

5-16-19 therapy

Topics discussed in no particular order

  • Shame cycles and how they interact with partners shame spirals
  • Alpha, beta, theta waves. Ideal to be operating at alpha with short shifts into beta. Extended operation at high beta leads to crash (depression)…makes particular sense with last year extended anxiety leading to depression
  • Financial advisor recommendation to find a balance between working towards financial goals and still enjoying life

4-19-19 lighter

This is the first night I’ve had a full night of sleep in a while. It definitely helps. Hopefully I can keep the home environment ideal towards that goal of consistent sleep. Tuesday and Wednesday are going to be problematic with my wife coming home late and starting the dog barking panic. I’m internally debating if I should have her pay for bark collars since it is her Tuesday night dating partner setup that is going to cause sleep issues for me. I can’t count on her to get home for normal sleeping times.

Reminds me, I still need to review our expected combined expenditures and analyze what the percentage total I’m paying for those shared expenses. While I am aware she has limitations because of her debts, the goal should be to reach a more even split on those costs. This is one of the reasons I am supporting her through school. I should not always be financially carrying that extra weight. There are plenty of things I would like to do but can’t because I give more of my time and money just to give her a shot. That should not be taken advantage of.

In other news, it looks like I am cutting things off with one potential partner. My standards are too high [JackieChanface.jpg]. This is okay. I was already feeling like there were too many people in my life. It also helped me better confirm what relationship I want to add to my life in the context of my limited time.

My reason for getting into poly was to find a way to fill in the home Stephy left behind. There were quite a few special qualities she had. One of them was how she functioned as an emotional check for me. I respected her intelliect and I felt she had a good understanding of who I was and where I was trying to get to, emotionally speaking. Sometimes those checks weren’t in my favor, but I knew they always came from a place of love. I do not get the sense this person can fill this role. Sure I’m asking for a lot and it is ok to not want to fill that role (Steph didn’t ask for it, but that was what our dynamic became… always trying to help each other find our way).

I should retool my profile to better reflect what I offer and what I’m looking for.

4-2-19 life update

I feel that I am in some awkward limbo state in life currently. I suppose that is better than the shitstorm of 2017.

On the finance front I was green for the first time in a long time…by a whole $35…woo. granted 2 sizable quarterly bills hit at the same time. Still, long slog ahead. I think I need to start putting serious time into my father’s coin collection. A couple other fun things caught us by surprise. Turns out our taxes somehow got put in wrong for 2016, but the letter about this issue went to our old apartment and was never forwarded to our current address. So the amount we actually owed grew. We found out this year when our entire refund got eaten with about 1300 leftover that we still owe. Our couples therapy sessions also made us feel the power of our deductible…so that’s another 500 to sort out. And my wife still has to deal with her school bills, and her loan was supposed to be deferred while she was going back to school but somehow that got restarted. She missed the email heads up. Maybe I can help with her getting that mail more organized. In general the home needs to be more organized. That does cause extra stress.

So yeah, my hopes of easily getting my CC debt cleared this year has been dashed. Maybe serious time on the coins might help.

On the poly front, I’m not sure what is going on there. The friends I’ve made are nice. My ex is still around the corner dealing with her chronic medical issues and emergencies. I did almost break down and give in to talking about the Fwb thing. I don’t miss the drama, and I don’t ever see quality companionship from her with all of her issues. But I do miss the intensity of the sex. I don’t know if that is necessarily unique to her. I liked being physically challenged. Multi session nights with being encouraged to go all out was definitely a workout in itself. I’m fairly confident I was able to break through that plateau in part because of that. When I think back to Mel, there was some of that too. The sessions weren’t immediately back to back… but there were still frequent and I never felt I had to hold back or hurry up.

I guess I still struggle with my Catholic upbringing. Catholism basically tried to ingrain the dogma that sex is bad except for procreation…and even then you shouldn’t enjoy it! I’m always feeling that background shame, coupled with a damaged self-worth that inhibits me from wanting to reach out and be affectionate.

I guess I miss expressing that part of myself.

One more thought to explore later

With my understanding of locus of control, I better realize the depth of the problems I faced last year.  I strongly lean towards an internal locus of control.  The pro of this is that I can be very driven in going after a goal I’m interested in and I take responsibility for my actions readily.  The problem is I also tend to “inflict” responsibility on myself for others’ actions/responses (internalize negative responses).

I also have a bit of a fear of conflict, possibly related to this same issue.  Things got really challenging last year because I found myself in a situation where I had lost control, and the only way I could get it back was via confrontation.  I was afraid of conflict, because a probable negative response would have become internalized as a comment on myself…and so I choose to abstain, which only made the whole situation worse.  I then started approaching the external locus of control, which in the extreme can lead to depression from feeling helpless.

It is no wonder I had such a hard time.  This is why I have to face more situations in which there will be a negative response.  I need to balance out my drive on being responsible for my actions against not taking responsibility for things out of my control.  This will help me with facing conflict, and not beating myself up if things go wrong (and yet somehow still be able to learn what I can better from those interactions).

Being human is tough.

Recognizing and respecting anxiety

So I finished the game Celeste today. Well, not counting the free dlc anyway. It was a beautiful experience and one I’ll write about in more detail later. The main point the game makes is that anxiety and/or depression (insecurity) is an important aspect of yourself that is there for a good reason and shouldn’t be ignored just because it might be getting in the way of the thing you want (or the event you fear coming to pass).

In the game, due to the special properties of the mountain the protagonist is trying to climb, that insecurity gets a body and can communicate the way people do.

Real anxiety can’t talk to you. It has trouble understanding what you are doing. It lives in that primal part of the brain that considers your survival the first priority. Since it can’t talk, it uses your emotion to communicate it senses danger. That emotion translates to physical responses in your body. It varies from person to person just how that manifests.

In my case, one of those responses is feeling my body start to become cold. I remember talking about that before in an emotional intelligence class…

I got cut off while I was working on this post. Part of that whole trying to be social despite my anxiety…and somehow trying to find a way to work with it.

So in addition to that cold sensation, I have started to understand the tension I feel building up in my muscles. Like a coil getting ready to be unleashed. It gets bad when I’m in group situations with a bunch of people I don’t know. I understand better where it comes from. I was picked on and exiled from groups as a kid often. That stuff was traumatizing. That “part of me” is just trying to protect me. It is not an unfounded fear either. People in groups tend to be dicks. I mean just look at the political environment. Tribal political for the lose.

Somehow I need to figure out how to be ok with that anxiety. Maybe I just need to continue to build my self-effiacy in those social scenarios. I need to believe I can survive those situations, and even benefit from them. Small bits of exposure may be the best way. It’ll be slow going, and there will be some bad moments. But I can do this.