A hard workout and my anti-anxiety meds seem to help a bit. I’m still feeling the upcoming stress of work. Sleep wasn’t super great but it is hard to shift to waking up at 4:30 am.
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.
The lyrics on this song resonate with me. How dare this person still leave marks in my brain? I’ve been through so much worse. And I’ve gotten better for it everytime.
Gotta keep fighting.
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.
I wonder if giving voice to the self loathing I’m feeling now might help. I know that depression is, for the most part, lies I feed to myself. But isn’t there some sort of core truth to it as well? A need that hasn’t been met. Boundaries that routinely get smashed. I’m not sure I’m lovable.
It started kicking in this morning. This is one of those thought based spirals I think. Though last night’s wife smooching on her partner (at least I think that is what I heard) may have kicked it off. I felt unwanted; unneeded. I guess I acquired a new abandonment trauma after my last partner left me due to me not being the right gender anymore. Maybe that was a lie too, who knows. I’ve had so many people lie to me, it gets hard to trust.
god forbid I have any emotions. That’s the impression I got from my wife and her partner’s bitching. It seems like my worth to her is entirely transactionale. That is to say, it is relevant to how I support her emotionally (and monetarily). Who I am, my quirks and faults, are undesirable. I wasn’t ok with being completely ignored and steam rolled several times in that group conversation? Well, then that only mattered because my talking about my experience made her feel bad about her actions. How I felt about it was completely unimportant, and probably irrational. In contrast, I had a friend there that was able to remind me that she likes me just the way I am. The implication I came away with, after a couple days, was that perhaps my wife and partner don’t like the fact that I’m not loudly gregarious. I’m better to her when I’m not present. Maybe this is why I’m struggling with those “I’m better off dead” thoughts right now. Just add in everything else that has happened and maybe it makes sense my mind would take that track. I don’t have anyone I feel I can talk to openly about my experience without it being about them. Yes a therapist would be nice but it is so fucking hard to find an affordable one that covers the topics I deal with. And I guess I’m also a bit worried, based on the last therapist I was with, that they might provide me even more reasoning to get out of the situation I’m in now.
I know social media is a toxic thing to look at. But I see several couples out there, even LTR couples that should be outside of the NRE phase, and I notice how they are still able to publically celebrate each other. They have a couple identity. I know the meme/joke about “couple goals” but there really is something reassuring when someone can be public about what “you” mean to them. I think that is part of the reason I’ve appreciated the thing I’ve had with that other “kat” online for over a decade now. She’s alkways reminded me of my unique value and that special name reservation. It’s not about the power dynamic. I’ve never really cared for that or being superior/over anyone. I just want to matter.
This is enough for now.
I’m not going to get too deep into this right now since I should probably be doing more work stuff, but I do find my brain making some sort of connection when it comes to predicting a type of human behavior. The term “Righteous Superiority” has been bouncing around the inside of my skull lately, a term Hank Green used on a video discussing FB after it went down for a day and the issues with it and social media. Here’s the link if you, random internet person, want to look at it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJtNmd1kV44&ab_channel=vlogbrothers.
Basically, it seems that people from all the different “Tribes” have a tendency to want to shame other tribe individuals into compliance with their views. This seems to be in disregard of facts, and sometimes in direct defiance to it. This occurs on all forms of social media, as far as I can tell. But when I think back, it has really always been the human condition. It’s no wonder I get such intense anxiety around groups of people. Whether deserved or not, I’ve been subject to group hate and/or exclusion many a time growing up. And it is known that (I can find some articles to back this claim up later, remind me) being exiled from a social group hits the same path as physical pain in our brains. There’s another thread to pull on depression as a result of that, but I won’t go into that now.
Fast forward a bit and I notice my previous trainer (cool black dude originally from the ghetto, something I only bring up because of what is coming up ahead in this blog post) linked a meme regarding Chappelle’s Netflix special “The Closer”. I don’t normally keep up with these things, and it was a meme joke so I promptly forgot it. Then as I was doing some work today and opened up firefox to do admin work, I noticed an article by GQ basically trashing it. What is it they say about negative attention being just as valuable?
Moving on, I found myself compelled to give it a watch. This article by time gives a view on it that comes close to matching mine: https://time.com/6105951/dave-chappelle-netflix-controversy/. It feels less like a comedy and more like a mental challenge…and if you read this blog any, you know I’m all about that shit.
What this brought me back to, strangely enough, was the game “The Last of Us 2”. It too had the issue of not having an obvious villain, and it receives a ton of flak for it from online communities. I viewed it as an exercise in empathy while dealing with opposing viewpoints. I understand how uncomfortable that can be.
I’m seeing all of these things as connected. Shaming people into compliance doesn’t work. It never has. The only thing that seems to have a chance, but it too backfires as most people in social contexts look to posture themselves for their given tribes, is experiencing other peoples’ lives. This is why I think stories from different view points are so important.
Changing someone else’s mind rarely seems possible. They gotta change it themselves.
For the record, I’m a 2nd generation hispanic cis het guy.
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.
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.
I can’t guarantee that I will never say anything offensive again. But what I can do is much more frequently seek feedback on how someone is feeling during or after a discussion. In fact, that should be my go to filler. It is only through getting a more accurate picture of how my words and actions effect someone that I can predict what can hurt and hopefully prevent it.
And what I want to do is get closer to the feeling to understand it and determine if it needs to be addressed or not. I should not feel bad for experiencing anxiety. It is an adaptive function.