I should have known!

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Hey guys, remember me? I was recently beckoned back by another member here, and I figured that it was time for another blog entry. I haven't been avoiding it, I've just been insanely busy. Our landlord is sending out an appraiser on Monday for a refinance inspection, so I've been scrambling all week to get the place clean. I've been a lot more productive around the house, but the pace I was setting wouldn't have me caught up for a few weeks yet. So it's been a crunch week, for sure. Next up: patching drywall and replacing doors. Yay.

I also got my second vaccine dose yesterday, so I'm feeling a little wrung out from that too, I think. So between getting home from work, and getting back to cleaning, I'm taking a few minutes to check in. Things are going really well on the relationship front. That's actually another reason I've been absent lately - I'm developing a healthy social life! I'm still hanging out with Kevin regularly. We've been playing pool, planning a youtube channel and working on projects. Ms Fisher and I are still communicating well, and anytime I feel a way, I talk about it. She's very accommodating when it comes to making adjustments to how she balances her relationships. I'm also building new relationships, and they become more meaningful every day! Between Ms Fisher, Buttercup, and Jen, I very rarely have a chance to feel lonely any more. And I'm expanding my horizons.

I've noticed that women I connect with all have some kind of interest in bdsm. I've also realized that I've always been curious about it, but never took an active interest because I had the idea stigmatized. Not unlike my prior views on poly. Now suddenly, I have a desire to explore it, and find out if there's anything for me in there. I have a sneaking suspicion that there is. I found a local kink club, and it's got great (if not many) reviews, so I think I'll be paying them a visit, once I can work out the logistics.

Oh yeah, also, Kevin and I are going to take a week-long road trip in October passing through New Orleans, Roswell, the petrified forest, the Grand Canyon, and two nights in Vegas.

I hope everyone else is doing well; I'll try to come back for some reading soon!
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Okay, I need to check in again. I've been dealing with a communication crisis for a couple of days, related to a years-long struggle to communicate more effectively. For the majority of that time, I was oblivious to the issue. I thought everything was fine, and I didn't see that my behavior was becoming psychologically abusive. Now I'm having a hard time dealing with the guilt over that. I wish that our disagreements could just skip all the hurt feelings and shouting and just get to the solutions part. I wish that I was better at remaining calm and rational when Ms Fisher says something that I take offense to. I wish I could understand why she and I have so much trouble communicating! She is the only person in my life who thinks I'm bad at communication, and it's so bad that her feelings are hurt when I tell her that communicating is what I'm best at. I think she still has a lot to learn about how to speak to me without provoking me into an irrational fit. Any time she reminds me that my past behaviors were abusive, I loose my head, and I think it's because she brings it up when I'm already struggling to keep cool. I'm trying to get better about speaking up for myself, but I'm still nervous every time I do, and whenever I have an issue, her response always leads back to the fact that these kinds of frustrations are something she's put up with from me for years! I know that! And all it accomplishes is provoking me to an irrational state. I have to stop the conversation to keep it from turning into a fight, and then nothing comes if the issue I brought up in the first place. It feels like she's using it as a tactic to keep any of my concerns from being addressed. I don't think that's actually what she's doing, but that's the effect it has, and I feel powerless to speak up for myself as a result. It frustrates me, and I can't even express that frustration with her, or it's right back to "well, the past ten years..." and then I'm an emotional, irrational mess all over agiain. It's fair for her to remind me that I've been psychologically abusive in the past, but it doesn't do anything to improve our communication. It always leads to my needing to walk away, because I have an emotional response. I wish she would just figure it out already. I want to move forward. I don't want to pretend that I never did anything wrong, but I don't want it to be thrown in my face every time we have a disagreement, either. It's not an effective way to communicate with me! And yet she thinks that I'm the one with communication issues! I have issues with loosing my temper when she gives me those reminders. That's my end of the problem. Why can't she see that her bringing those things up so often is a mistake on her part? It will always either lead to a blow up, or at least a break in the talk, and my original point gets buried in the noise. I have more to discuss with her. I really hope I can break this cycle.
 

PinkPig

Active member
The only part of the problem we can fix is our part. Doing that will automatically change the dynamic between you and Ms. Fisher, but you can't fix her end. So stop focusing on it, focus on your part and what you can change. Like responding instead of reacting, holding your boundaries, not accepting unacceptable behavior, making amends for your actions. Those are things you can change.

Also, no one makes us feel any way we don't choose to feel. That's part of learning to respond and not react. Therapy has been a huge help for me. As I changed, so, too, did my relationships.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Why can't she see that her bringing those things up so often is a mistake on her part? It will always either lead to a blow up, or at least a break in the talk, and my original point gets buried in the noise. I have more to discuss with her. I really hope I can break this cycle.
Just a thought but maybe it’s a defensive tactic to stop the line of questioning or stop or stall an uncomfortable discussion on her behavior. Deflect. I know this might be way easier said than done but if you recognize the pattern which cues your brain to watch and see the BIG PAST crime card coming out and then being played it can really take the sting or steam out of it. PAUSE for a few beats and then say very unemotionally ” ok dually noted now back to my point “ She wants to go down that road again ...”yup got it “ IF you don’t allow yourself to get sucked in you‘ll figure out real fast if this is a tactic To get out of having embarrassing or unpleasant conversations.
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Actually, I've come to realize today that the big past crime card is still valid. I haven't forgiven myself for the way I've treated her, and when I am confronted with it, the part of my brain that cares shuts down, and I become abusively inconsiderate and reactionary. I don't accept new information and I say mean things. I need to make myself alone when that starts to happen.
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Well, I've been doing a lot of self reflection these past few days, and I think I've reached some realizations, but it's still all a jumbled mess in my head. Today, I'm committing as much as I can to words, in the hopes that it will help me sort out what I need to do.

After all the extra housework we've been doing, Ms Fisher's neck and back spasms came back. I've been massaging her with tiger balm, and doing whatever I can to help her recover. It's made for an ad hoc peace, although I think our last conversation was a satisfactory resolution from her perspective. The peace still feels uneasy to me, so I think I still have more to say. We haven't had time for an uninterrupted conversation yet, so I haven't brought up therapy. We've talked about it as a possibility before, but I'll be taking a more proactive stance this time. It's not just something we could do, but something we should do, and sooner than later.

I'm working on forgiving myself for the way I treated Ms Fisher. There are a couple of things I've thought of that will make that easier. For one, I'm not going to try to shoulder all of the responsibility for how things happened. My actions, and more often my inactions, are all on me, but there are some things which I could not control.

My past:
I've been on the recieving end of abuse myself, albeit not as lengthy or severe as Ms Fisher. My relationship with Nikki was toxic for me, and some of the things that happened were traumatic. Serious breaches of my trust, disregard for basic responsibilities, even starting a fight in public because I didn't want to spend money that we needed for bills on scented candles! She was immature, selfish, unfaithful, stupid, and cruel. And I had devoted myself to her completely. Everything I did was a futile effort to try to make her happy, content. I failed to look after my own needs and wants, expecting her to take up their custodianship. I thought that was how it worked. I look after her, she looks after me, and we live in codependent bliss forever. That's what television, movies, advertisements and live examples led me to believe. It makes sense, if you intend to be everything for each other, forever. Still not a healthy mindset, but I think it's generally accepted. It took way too long for me to realize that Nikki never intended to be devoted the way I was, and it left me jaded. I was determined to treat the next girl I met like garbage, because I figured my efforts would never be appreciated, or reciprocated. When I met Ms Fisher, the though of treating her like that was the farthest thing from my mind. She was smart, so I knew I'd be able to reason with her. She had kids, so I knew she was no stranger to responsibility. She offered me monogamy, and I accepted happily. It was the paradigm I knew (or thought I did), and I felt like I could trust her to do it right.

My choice:
When Ms Fisher offered me monogamy, she said she had gotten her exploratory streak out of the way, and wasn't interested in pursuing more relationships. She also said that I was free to sow my own wild oats, and that she wouldnt mind. Either she didn't explain poly very well, or I was too excited by her generosity to fully listen to what she said. The fact is, she should never have made that offer. I don't think she is capable of putting someone else first, with the exception being her children. I put her needs before my own, and assumed she would do the same for me. She wasn't cruel, irresponsible or dishonest, but it didn't take long for the inequity to manifest. Maybe a year or two. I didn't see it at the time, but I think I was slowly revoking my devotion, my passion for being her everything. Instead of taking care of myself, though, I just closed myself off. I stopped being helpful. I stopped being thoughtful. I stopped caring. I don't blame her for it. She was being herself, the way I should have done. This was just a philosophical incompatibility between us, and it hurt us both. This was my depression phase, and it only got worse.

My unemployment:
I had had some bad luck with employers in the first few years of my relationship with Ms Fisher. After loosing my job at the blood bank, I started delivering Chinese food. We were in a slum of an apartment, so it was enough money, but only just. Eventually, my car died, and I had to find something else. I decided to get back into a workshop. I found a shop with a CNC machine, and got myself in. I was the only employee. That went well for several months, until that guy decided he didn't want a shop hand anymore. He made working for him miserable. Ms Fisher told me that, if she needed to, she could wait tables to make ends meet. I didn't want to take her up on that, as she was pregnant at the time, but the decision was all but taken from me. My boss cut my pay by 1/3, and began harassing me while I worked. He humiliated me, criticized me, and stood over my shoulder to taunt me. I put up with as long as I could, but he found my limit, and I went home defeated. Jobless and emasculated, I asked of Ms Fisher what she had offered. She picked up the slack, but she was not happy about it. She "knew" that I was going to "make" her do it, ever since she offered. I felt broken over my failure, and she did nothing to care for my shattered pride. I see now that that was never something she considered her responsibility. I didn't see it that way, and so I sank into my depression again. I didn't take care of family responsibilities, I wasted time playing video games, and I let her tow the line for months. I did look for more work, but I didn't put forth enough effort. I allowed childcare to be an excuse for not having time to do anything else. Eventually our landlord found me a job on a lawn crew, and that did well enough until I got the job I still have today. The time of those months that I was not working is one of the main things I have yet to be forgiven for.

I think I can begin to forgive myself for it, at least. It was a series of bad decisions and misguided assumptions on my part, and while I didn't handle it well then, I think I understand that perspective well enough now to keep it from happening in the future. So that's a start.

I'm going to have to get better at quarantining myself when I'm emotionally compromised. Ms Fisher's history of trauma and abuse make my angry words an injurious weapon to her psyche, which then makes my words a part of her trauma. I like to say that I'm a gifted communicator, but it may be that I am in fact just a prodigy with words, and I can use those words to communicate or excoriate alike. My words have the power to hurt her, and I need to always be aware of how effective I am at that, because that literally is abuse. I think I'm ready to offer a new apology for some old skeletons.
 
Top