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.

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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.

Angel

I’m facing an uncomfortable thing that I need to do. I need to break things off with a potential poly partner before things get any more serious. I need to put my concerns to text to help navigate my way through.

A quick background in this person:

I met this person via OKC. I did the a list sub for a bit which included daily “boosts” that showed my profile to more people on their “double take” system… basically a Tinder copy. She saw me through there and actually messaged me first. I think that is the 2nd time I’ve ever been the receiver of a first contact initiation. It was flattering…and that is why it has been more difficult to break this off.

It is rare that anyone gives me compliment on my attractiveness right out of the gate. I was feeling particularly lonely at the time and played down the red flags. Thankfully nothing physically sexual has happened (text stuff is another story). The part that makes this particular hard to work through is she is a regular vet at faire, so I have a fear of things blowing up. I guess I need to convince myself that the worst case scenario is unlikely, and even if it were to happen it won’t be that bad. Anyway, on to the red flags.

This connection very quickly turned sexual online. One of the lessons I thought I learned from my previous poly relationships was that I moved things too fast. This almost feels like lightspeed in comparison 😅. The sexts started within hours. I went with it… again because I was feeling particularly lonely and sexually frustrated (my wife and I were on a particularly bad dry spell).

The other problems quickly followed. She is a major masochist. I thought my ex was relatively extreme at the time…this person literally wants to be punches, kicked, and wants to do the consentual non-consent thing. I am not comfortable with that. I thought I could be open minded and try to understand it. It is my understanding that people into this kink do so generally to retake control of abusive pasts. She definitely has that. I did let her know that I was uncomfortable with going that far and seemed to understand that. I let things escalate a little in person because of that. But now she seems to be trying to push things in that direction again.

My wife and her gf had a talk about this concern. Her gf has significant kink experience and gave some good points about the dangers here. Reminds me that I need to review safe and sane/rack again.

So take away all of these safety issues and I’m still left with a possible relationship with a person I don’t feel a strong emotional connection. The common interests are limited as well. I don’t see much in the way of emotional support.

The goal of poly for me remains to be filling in the hole Stephy left behind.  I enjoy ren faires and craft stuff, but that is just 1 dimension of my personality.  I have been on a mission of self-improvement since my mid 20s.  Steph helped me a lot with that, even when the path was painful.  I tried to do the same for her.  I cannot continue that journey with a person who literally begs me to hurt them.

So to summarize the reasons why I need to break this off, mainly for myself:

  • I don’t feel safe with that level of kink.  Not so much because of the potential physical harm to myself, but more so the mental and even potentially social harm
  • I do not feel comfortable with the STI risk on account of having no information on how partners sexual risk levels are tracked outside of just using protection.
  • This relationship will not lead to me being a better or happier person.
  • The physical distance would make maintaining this relationship logistically difficult
  • She has stated visiting her home is not an option, which only makes the distance issue even harder.
  • I do not feel a strong emotional connection.  No “Fuck yes” feeling.

 

“Trust is the Foundation of Communication”

I was in a poly discussion the other week.  The topic was about tact.  At some point during the discussion, the idea that “Trust is the Foundation of Communication” was repeated a few times.

This idea is ringing now in regards to my wife.  If she is constantly saying what she is going to do but never follows through, how do I trust her?  If I can’t trust her word when it comes to actions, why should I trust her word at all?

 

update:

 

Talked with her about it.  We’ve made some progress on finding a better path.

7-17-19 catch up

Life got busy and I found myself lacking the time to even just complete a text dump here. I’m not sure where to start.

Poly stuff has put me in a strange place recently. I met someone 3 weeks ago who was surprisingly forward for what I’m used to dealing with. And now it has hit this strange super casual thing which I’m not comfortable with. It is difficult for me to feel for anyone over the ocassional short text every few days. Even if they’re “sweet” texts, I don’t feel right trying to reply in the same way. It isn’t authentic. I guess it would be difficult to work anyway as she has a much different life style than I do, so our interests and passions don’t align. It is mostly a chemistry thing. I’m aware most guys would love that sort of setup, but not me. I need to feel that mental connection. Whatever other relationship I get into has to bring the best out of me in someway. Or at least something positive. With Amber it at least encouraged my art exploration.

And then we pan over to this new person. We’ll use page as a name. We haven’t met in person yet she puts forwardness on a whole new level. She has some kinks that honestly could get me in trouble if things go wrong. She’s also been very frequent and intense in her communications and seems to expect the same from me. In addition, going back to my earlier thought, I’m not sure interactions with her will bring out the good parts of me. I’m worried it’ll bring out something really bad instead. And not the “hot” kind of bad. I do have a meet up planned this Saturday. My instinct is telling me to be careful. I should heed that.

Financial stuff has been challenging, but I think there is a good plan going. I ended up taking out a consolidation loan. I had decided against it earlier, but after getting fucked by the IRS and state tax, I’m down 9k and all due in a short time. So with this, I can hold them off and get my cc debts down so I stop bleeding out in interest. At the rate things were going, it would be years of making little headway. After a year of this loan (of 3) I should already be cutting ahead in terms of interest saved.

This leads into budget management. I think I already wrote on this earlier. I configured custom budgets in mint for play money for the wife, myself, and a couple fund. This was a fresh month. Wife is already capped on her budget. So this is where the real test begins. Will she stay disciplined or do I have to take cards away?

I’m still worried about her health too. I get work and school have robbed her of all time. The school is meant to be the ticket out of her job and ultimately debt situation. But she is still paying the health price now, and I am not sure if that damage can be recovered from when time opens up.

7-2-19 frustration

This is the thing I am feeling this morning. I suppose I am feeling some anxiety over work too with the load being as intense as it is.

Marital life has been bumpy lately…if that phrase even makes sense. She is dealing with depression. Possibly because of the anxiety medication she is on. The discussion came up to lower the dose, or maybe even get off of it all together. I guess the question that should ultimately be asked is does she think was better off before she got onto it. I think the other thing that is bothering me is that she is expecting me to provide external validations via the “you can do it” type statements, even if it requires me suspending my realism and lying. I don’t lie well at all, nor can I take enthusiasm. Moreover, I don’t think that depending on an outside source of validation is a sustainable strategy for long term positive change.

What effect is this ultimately having on me? For the most part I feel like I have a dependent rather than a partner who contributes to a net positive future. I know… actually scratch that I’m not sure anymore if her heart is really in the right place. That was the main idea that got me through tough spots with her before and was a major factor in my deciding to marry her. But after the last year where she was aligned against me despite the serious emotional crisis I was experiencing made me realize that when push comes to shove… I was on my own.

Here is the key question I suppose. And maybe I’m mean a bit grouchy right now, but ultimately this blog is for me to explore my emotions…to put them to form and see if they truly hold…

Is her depression, impulse control issues, and unwillingness to just deal with the grind of a greater weight than her love for me? If something happens to me, is she at all capable of recovering or will she be another statistic.

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.

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.