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This is a paraphrase from The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton. I have taken liberties with the text in order to present this small part in a way where, even when I completely forget the book, I'll remember why I put this here...

The afternoon spent in the saddle riding round some of the groves of the manor did not put the owner in the best frame of mind for trotting out glib niceties to dandies like visiting starship captains. He marched into the house slapping dust from his riding clothes and shouting for a drink, a bath, and a decent meal.

Having this red faced martinet figure bearing down on him across the large airy entrance hall put Joshua in mind of a bouncer for a tavern in a bad part of town, only lacking the charm and good looks.

"Bit young to be skippering a starship, aren't you? Surprised the banks gave you the loan to fly one."

"I inherited the Lady Mac, and my crew made enough money in our first year of commercial flying to make the run to this planet. It's the first time we've been, and in spite of all the competition of other captains for your cargo, your family has turned somersaults to give me a full hold. What criteria would you judge my competence by?"

The owner stared at the utterly uncompromising expression of the young man who had just answered him back in his own home, and burst out laughing. "By Christ, now that's the sort of attitude we could do with more of around here. Well done Joshua, I approve. Don't give ground, and bite back every time." He put a protective arm around both his daughters. "see that you two rapscallions? That's what you've got to have to run commercial enterprises; starships or estates, it doesn't matter which. You have to be the boss man each and every time you open your mouth." And then continued to the captain, "Glad to meet you Joshua, nice to see my relatives haven't lost their touch when it comes to judging people."

The strength of both characters is something I find inspiring, and want very much to extend my own embodiment of.
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I realized today that have a story that if I/we don't spend every possible moment delighting one another, there's something wrong with the relationship. That the way to fulfillment is to create happily ever after, and the way to do that is to deeply appreciate one another in every possible moment. And that to not do those things is saying to the other that the relationship is of lesser importance.

With L, I am mostly completely sexually fulfilled. More so than I have ever been in my life. It gives me a sense of contentment that has enabled me to face the rest of the difficult things in my life.

At the same time, L does not subscribe to the rule above. She wants and needs more novelty and variety than the story above. We spend 3 weeks out of 4 growing closer and closer, and then the 4th week, she suddenly distances from me. Some of it is biological, some of it is her need for novelty... But a lot of it is not being *burdened* with the story above.

With D, I had a sense of building something bigger than us. We taught so well together, we researched well together. It gave me a sense of value to the community. I miss that.

At the same time, D does not subscribe to the rule above. She wants first and foremost to be heard, understood, and correct... There's a deep need for safety that's related to that. And when she'd get upset, her ways of expressing that upset, and her ways of hearing me resulted in me feeling unsafe.

Now that I see the rule, I also recognize that it is deeply flawed. That to spend so much time together leaves you without different experiences to bring to the relationship and to share. You become completely known to each other. And the things that seem to make a relationship work are ongoing discovery, delightful shared experiences, and reasonable harmony on executing any shared tasks.

So one of the steps to healthy differentiation seems to be to replace that rule. The point of the rule is to keep and maintain a happy, healthy relationship. It doesn't do that. But the need is still there.

How do I tell if my relationship is being successful? I don't know. Very early in my life, I thought that all you needed was love. Then I thought if they were still having sex with me, they must still want me. Then happiness became my ruler, but in more than one case, I was happy and apparently oblivious, because the other eventually was unhappy and left. Asking questions would be a second obvious answer to that, but I have experience of asking people why they were distancing, was everything ok? To be told that yes, there wasn't anything up... And then be broken up with a week later.

So far the only answer I have is: You can't know. You just have to hope you picked a better communicator than you got before, and create the most happiness you can along the way.

Got a better one?
akienm: (Default)
The other thing from the weekend was that I realized why I hadn't been writing so much. It's really a combination of things... Some of it has been just busyness...

But the rest has been that when I started this work 3 years ago, I was in a panic. Work was being particularly stressful, and I needed to gain enough ground to get really functional again. That was emotional work that was immediately and dreadfully important. Especially since I had no models for how to embrace the work as a delightful challenge. I started sprinting through all the growth work. This isn't the most effective way to go about it, but it was what I really needed at the time. However, it became habituated. I've been sprinting through everything ever since.

I am starting to slow down now. To reflect as I go. And even to take the time needed to cast the work into words. There are a lot of reasons for doing this. The first is that by casting it into words, I learn it better. The second is that I hope the work will benefit more than just myself. I hope that someone someday will read my learnings and learn them for themselves.

In trying to soak up everything I could, I've advanced, but with imperfect recollection and imprinting. I hope to put more of it here. To put the step my step learnings and thoughts here.
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In a moment of simple lucidity, without the triggers day to day life can bring, I walk through the hallways of my mind, opening doors, and inviting the ghosts of the past from their slumbers, to walk along with me.
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The lesson learned was: My behavior told me more about the true me than all my stories about who I was supposed to be.
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A couple of things came up over the weekend. One is that I used to write a lot more here. Another is what I've been writing here. What we dwell on in our past influences our future. And I've been dwelling on the pain and how it's helped me grow.

That's all well and good... But... It keeps the negatives in focus instead of the positives. So here's a learning from early on...

I had a story that I needed to do anything and everything to save my marriage. I needed to change me, I needed to find ways to help D change herself... And the funny thing there was, we always tell people in coaching not to do that! *chuckles to self*

Anyway, one of the very early things I learned was that my behavior, what I was doing, was more about the real me in the moment than all the things I was thinking. That I could think I wanted to do anything and everything to save the marriage, when what I really wanted was for she and I to stop feeling shamed by the other. I wanted to feel sexually wanted. I wanted to feel safe in expressing my feelings and not worry that everything I said might be triggering. I wanted to come home and see gladness that I had arrived.

I mostly have that now. And it's helped me grow in so many ways.
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i am separate, i am an equal, i have plenty, and the ability to ongoingly create plenty
akienm: (Default)
my eyes are damp, but i'm not completely sure why
i am filled with feelings, moving too fast to even be idnetified
the loudest notes are pain and mourning
this is the boy dieing
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the boy seeks validation from without
the man must find it within 
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I open up my mind
Seeing into the machinery

Stimulus to story
Story to feeling
Feeling to meaning
Meaning to story
Loops of anxiety

Unconscious secrets revealed
I reach in, to begin
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Your first job
Is to have you be safe.
Your second job
Is the safety of your family.
Your third job
is to find your value.
Your fourth job
Is to help your kids find theirs.
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i am entertaining to listen to
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i give myself permission to just feel good
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it is in the moment of reflection that meaning exists
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"this or that" is better as "this and that"... and it's very important where you put the "and"...
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i give myself the permission and the responsibility to access to all of my strengths
akienm: (Default)
i remember to turn work into play, into a passion, whenever i can. it makes it easier on my ADD brain...
akienm: (Default)
relationships work when there is a balance of positives and negatives... that includes my relationship with myself
akienm: (Default)
"yes this and that" works better than "only this or that"
akienm: (Default)
i appreciate the strength in me when i am fully self expressed


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Akien MacIain

August 2017

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