akienm: (Default)
So... A while back D sent me this link: http://ping.fm/7mQrR

And asked me if I'd had my testosterone level checked. My story is not wholly unlike his. Tho I'd been attributing it to emotionally related stuff. The need to jettison old patterns, the rebuilding of myself after jettisoning them, that sort of thing.

However very recently I started supplementing my testosterone. Oh. My. God. All the emotional fragility *poof*! Gone. All the need to try and push myself hard in order to get anything done... *poof*! Gone! It's like a whole new me!

Since starting this I've had a couple of things happen that would have been very triggering, and... Nothing. Centeredness. I was kinda worried about angry, aggressive behavior... Nope. Things that *would* have made me angry before aren't bugging me. I feel much more patient. Less overwhelmed.

I do feel a little more assertive... But it hasn't been aggressive.

I am liking this A LOT!
akienm: (Default)
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.
akienm: (Default)
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.
akienm: (Default)
The lesson learned was: My behavior told me more about the true me than all my stories about who I was supposed to be.
akienm: (Default)
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.
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
akienm: (Default)
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn15104-the-feminine-touch-carries-more-germs.html


Even if they do have more cooties, I'm OK with getting inoculated with girl germs. When I was a little kid, like in grade school thru maybe like third grade, I used to hang out with the girls. I was the only kid who had a girlfriend in kindergarten. Everybody thought I was weird, but I was happy with it. When we moved and I changed schools tho, the transition didn't work. :(

How the heck I got the idea by the time I was a teen that I'd never have a girlfriend is beyond me.
akienm: (Default)
Self discipline is hard for anybody with ADD. It's my number one struggle most of the time. Recently I was discussing this and other topics with a friend, and we exchanged the conversation below. When I shared it with his girlfriend, she almost fell off her chair (she has ADD too):

[20:47] thefriend: How would you define "self-discipline?"
[20:47] akienm:  "wishful thinking"

Some days it's better than others. Most recently I've started to figure out how to trick myself into being self disciplined. Use the smarts to trick the animal in me into doing what I want it to do. Kinda of an indirect approach, but it does seem to be working!
akienm: (Default)
i have an ache i do not understand
my life has been centered around another person for so long
and i have looked to them to help me have the direction needed
to actually complete whatever needed completing
i have also been so lucky
as to pick interesting people who
brought me direction, new experiences
as i finally try to take a first few steps on my own
i only now realize how much i depended on all that
more things to build all over again
akienm: (Default)
I haven't posted a whole lot about my internal process for some time because I needed to get clear what was happening to me, and then once I did, there was a lot that I felt needed to be communicated to [livejournal.com profile] dawnd directly... I have seen people snipe at each other in LJ, or do other kinds of "first level processing" here, and it's created a lot of drama. I didn't wanna do that. But now that the process has started, I feel like I can share more here.

So after [livejournal.com profile] grynz abruptly left the scene, I was stuck. Every time I felt like reaching to give to someone, I got a panic response. This led to a perpetual low grade panic attack, and eventually to reevaluation of pretty much everything in my head. In the process I discovered a few things. I won't go through everything right now, mostly just the things related to The Letter you've probably heard about. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here.

First, I discovered that there were some ways where I was consistently making certain kinds of agreements, and then trying my level best to figure out how to change them or get around them. In the process, I'd break a rule, apologize, do a lot of self shaming, try to figure out any changes i could make that might make it better, and go on trying to keep the same agreement. These were things that, after one or two tries, I just should have said "nope, I can't agree to that, we need to find another way to meet those needs". Agreeing to remain monogamous in the early parts of our marriage would be one of the things I should have said wasn't working for me.

I pride myself on owning my own stuff, but sometimes one can take it too far. Everything in my relationships that was lest than perfect was my doing and my job to fix... And that it wasn't ok to have any needs the relationship couldn't cover. I realized that this self shaming thing was very pervasive. I found some excellent CDs on reducing shame.

Once I got past the worst of the shame, I could start looking at things without becoming instantly overwhelmed. One of the things I found was the "box" from my family of origin that my relationship with [livejournal.com profile] dawnd was "supposed" to fit inside of (note that she did not ask for this, this is what I learned as a kid):

The basic box:
1) you will stay with her forever
2) she will always be your first consideration even before yourself, you will always meet all her needs, you will do whatever it takes to make her happy, you will always try to do what she wants (even if you don't think you can, and no matter how much it hurts)
3) you will always seek to make the relationship as pleasant and romantic for her as possible
4) you will include her in anything and everything if she wants to be included, do as many things together as possible
5) you will take care of her in sickness and old age
6) you will provide financially, all your money belongs to the household
7) she has veto power over both people and actions
8) you will give up anything that gets in the way of the above
9) all of the above will be reciprocated

The poly addendum:
a) you will always love her more than any other
b) you will always include her in your external relationships if she wants, especially if the external relationship is quasi primary
c) you will always be fluid bonded with her/never do anything to jeopardize that

While I had one set of relationship agreements with Dawn, this is what was hidden underneath. This is what I need to reject. Which doesn't mean I must completely reject every single point, but rather that each one now needs to be negotiated. I can no longer just reactively live in the box.

More to come...
akienm: (Default)
Performing some updates to my web site:

In the last 6 months, I realized that even though I had taken on staying male, I hadn't taken on being male. Owning that I am masculine and that there is power in being male. Previously I had only seen the power of the feminine. It has shifted many things, mostly in subtle ways. One way in which the shift hasn't been subtle is in love making. I have learned to be male, and I have learned that being male can be a gift to my lovers. It showed up first in how I kissed, then in how I did tantric energy work, and most recently in how I engage in 'play'. By that I mean what most people call foreplay, but for it to really be powerful, you have to give up that anything else has to happen afterwards. Allow it to be only it's own thing, enjoyed for itself. I'm still learning this, but I'm having a lot of fun... And there usually is a really delightful afterwards. (Thanx MB!)

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Akien MacIain

August 2017

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