The journey to myself

Tinwen

Active member
I'm upset and probably still a bit depressed, have been for most of September. I've been ill, also. Another tonsilitis (although likely caused by a different bacteria), which apparently I brought from Spain. It kept me home for two weeks ... or was it depression and lazyness? I'm frankly not sure how much of my tiredness is really due to the illness and how much is avoiding work.

I feel a strong sense of shame around all of this. The fact that I'd rather not go to work to a point where it's a real problem. Now, this is (likely) not about science or my specific workplace. I'd have the same main kind of difficulty in any office job, and likely every other job I can immagine: rebelling against having to spend so many hours there and other outside demands, fighting lack of energy and motivation on a constant basis. Everyone seems to handle the emotional difficulties of work, and some even remain cheerful and energetic despite much worse working conditions than I have. Routine manual work, having to stand, not being able to take a break whenever, possibly 12 hour shifts... I'd be a deeply depressed zombie and have a breakdown on day two if not day one, yet people handle, and still have some energy left to care for their kids. How unimaginable to me. The accademic freedom helps a lot, I could say that I got my dream job in science ... and yet, I'm still not happy and avoiding the actual work. I'm really ashamed that I can't handle myself better!

Of course, like everyone else, I need the money, so... I'm also afraid I might loose my position. But I've lived with that fear for quite a while now, while the shame is something new I've discovered these days.

I don't want to be that person, who's lazy to work and becomes an outcast of society, or dependant on other people... and you may ask how likely is that? I don't know, but I've managed to make myself ill for like 3-4 months out of the past year. No sane employer would want me.

I know it's ranting/processing, sorry people, but if anyone can relate I'd appreciate to hear about it.
 

Spork

New member
I can relate. I avoid even talking about work anywhere that anyone could see or hear it, only in person to close trusted people in my personal life. But I can definitely relate. I actually fondly remember my days as a young adult working retail jobs (the one in the little drugstore was the best) and this feeling of actually doing tangible things and being more physically active. I hated it then, but I kind of miss it now? Or at least sitting in a cubicle feels pointless in the grand scheme of things and rather like a trap after a while. I have a very understanding employer, and plenty of paid time off...I was tempted to call in today, just because my son overslept and I had to drive him to school, and I was going to be late for work. The thought of having to email my bosses and explain why I was late and them thinking I'm not responsible because I did not prevent this from happening...how much easier would it have been, to just call in and stay home? And I could have got so much done at home... And after all, I do feel a little sick, I almost always do in one way or another, I have my aches and pains (though not as much so as many women I know)...

But no. I push through it because I know that I can and I should and I must, I need my job and my paycheck.

But yes I sympathize completely.
 
I think that people are taught from a young age to feel guilty and as if there is something wrong with them if they are not working all the time. The philosopher, Noam Chomsky, has lots to say on preparing people for dealing with the boredom and relentlessness of a working life is a big part of what the schooling system is about. As well as keeping the population fairly docile and obedient. People who use up their time and energy working sufficiently that they then are only able to run a home, care for children, have romantic relationships etc are unlikely to ever challenge the status quo in any meaningful fashion.

To me the idea that working long hours is in some way a moral good is a load of bollocks.

I work 25 hours a week. I do 3 7 hour days and a 4 hour day every week. I love my job so much and that is a big part of it. My job doesn't take up most of my time. I have the space and energy to do other things. It makes all the difference. :D If I did the same job but worked 5 days a week, I wouldn't like it nearly as much and would resent the time it takes up.

I haven't taken a sick day from work - other than a single day last year for a sudden and quite severe allergic reaction - for about 5 years now.

If you ever feel guilty or defective for not wanting to work as much as you think you should, have a read of Bertrand Russell's essay "In praise of idleness". It can easily be found using google.
 

Reverie

New member
I can totally relate. I fantasize nearly daily about dropping out of my life and running off to live a life of minimalism under a bridge somewhere—and I have a job that is ostensibly related to my interests and talents. I'm not AFRAID of hard work, and I do work myself to the bone when necessary, but fuck if I don't HATE it most of the time. Just being tied to routine is enough to sap my soul. I always feel like "real life" is what happens outside of work, and the more I am tied to work, the less of my life I've actually gotten to live. I have no solution for you, but do know that you are not alone!
 

Tinwen

Active member
Thank you all very much. I'm sure this work issue will come up more and morph in the following months, in fact I've started to talk about it with my therapist and I plan on continuing and exploring my desires and options with her. I need to get out of this funk of "maybe deep down I wanna do something else but I have no fucking idea what it should be", and get reassured in my direction or figure out what this other thing it could be. Or just, you know, accept the lazyness :eek: or something.

InfinitePossibility, what's your job? How did you arrange working shorter hours?
 
I work in I.T. :D

The place I work went through a period of time where they were keen on flexible working arrangements for everybody (I think it may have been linked to a change in legislation which made it illegal to discriminate against people in the workplace - so non parents in theory could ask to work part time pursue their goals rather than it just being parents who were rearing children).

Around that time, I asked if I could go part time and since there wasn't a good reason not to, my request was granted.

While having less money isn't brilliant, the impact this has had on the rest of my life has been amazing.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Let me drop this here
https://polyskeptic.com/tag/borderline-personality-disorder/
This blog has some extraordinarily honest and on spot self-reflection in it.

While, as opposed to the writer, I don't have a personality disorder (I believe), I sorta kinda relate to this wonderful observation about vulnerability:
It’s very difficult to communicate my needs, especially when they are emotional in nature and especially from people who respond badly to emotional vulnerability. And so I hide my vulnerability most of the time. I appear calm, quiet, and normal rather than the intensely emotional and vulnerable person I feel like inside. I cannot be the gentle, trusting, and caring person I want to be because I’m afraid. And because I’m afraid, I create distance. And because I create distance I feel unloved. And because I feel unloved the stress and anxiety lead to my inability to manage every-day emotions, needs, and wants. And because of that, I make poor, impulsive, decisions. I hurt people, lose the trust I wanted to earn, and relationships end.
On the reasons why someone who struggles with fear of abandonment and intense mood swings would choose polyamory for themselves:
As a person struggling with symptoms consistent with BPD, I need an emotionally open environment which allows for honesty, vulnerability, and support. Polyamory provides an ideal environment to achieve all of these things because it allows me to develop intimacy with many people. From a variety of loving partners, metamours, friends, and an extended network of people who are more likely to be emotionally open, I have the ability to choose my family or tribe in a way that will be healthy to me which the monogamous world does not as readily supply.
Interesting.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Weird moods get me into awkward situations.

I was walking from school to the bus stop, and there was a man in the opposite direction. Some kind of manual worker. He was attractive so I smiled. Weirdly he noticed as he passed by and asked why I was laughing, and because I was in this weird mood I turned around and said that I liked his looks. He was really surprised and said that nobody ever told him, so I said that girls don't say it. Visibly flattered but incertain he than (unfortunately) took it as an opportunity to apply the standard scripts and try to ask me out, but it was absolutely not my intention to start anything with him, so I had to weasel out of the conversation - which was rather uncomfortable, so I'll probably not compliment random men next time :D
But I hope I made his day better, not worse for the rejection.

Anyway, physical attraction is something I don't experience very often, and it's very fleeting. I liked his looks, but when he started to talk and I realized he was foreign and likely uneducated (although very polite), I also realized I could never have sex with a man like that, and attraction pretty much disappeared. I need relationships and I have standards - much higher standards on intelligence than looks.
 
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Tinwen

Active member
Kinbaku

aka Japanese rope-bondage. In the last week I've been mostly touched by that, as we've been to a three day and one evening's workshop.

On the fun side, an orgasm while being suspended head down is currently my absolutely top favourite sexual adventure :D Kinda risky, but the intense mixture of pleasure and pain brings me to heaven :p

On a much darker note, we've met a teacher who has studied in Japan, absorbed some philosophy, and mixing it with his own animalistic sadism and emotional mastery developed a very deep, touching style. He held a class called "The Beauty of Suffering", and that's exactly what it was about - the emotional honesty brought about by hardship in rope, beauty to be found in deep, even if "negative" emotions.
This is the hard side of bdsm, the one where the dominant and the submissive together go beyond simple sensuality, beyond arousal, to test and challenge limits, in both (but not necessarily) the physical, and the emotional. This is a whole world, usually hidden behind the curtain of mundane, the facades we hold up for the world and for ourselves.
The teacher said, in Japan, sadness is not considered a negative emotion, rather a place where peace can be found. He also said that after a real scene with his model it takes them both three days to emotionally recover. It took me just as long to recover from the workshop - it opened up some deep places in me.

Words are lacking.
Ropes have been an increasingly important ... to say hobby just feels wrong now ... journey for me. We've been doing it for over two years now, but it still feels like we're just starting out.
(That's Japanese stuff. Layers, details, art, meditation ... and in this case, suffering ;))
 
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Tinwen

Active member
Situations where consent can't be achieved?

We sometimes get this nasty situation on the forum, where one of the spouses wants to explore polyamory, the other doesn't, but divorce is not feasible because of kids, economic necessity, and/or psychological dependency.

With dependency present, the idea of consent becomes obscured. I copy out of LoveQuest's thread:
I'd add a little elaboration. For one, unless nonmonogamy has been part of the conversation from the absolute beginning of the relationship, then its introduction -- as anything more than a private fantasy -- voids the implied contract, which needs at least major overhaul, if not to be scrapped & rebuilt. The old relationship is dead, & one or more of the people who agreed to it is gone. That doesn't mean they need to separate, rather that if they are going to remain together then the changes need to be recognized & incorporated in creating a new relationship.

And the "consent" thing. There's a vast difference between a "yes" (confident, if not joyous) & "maybe" or "I suppose..." or any such wobbliness that look more like mere assent.

Achieving actual consent requires that the person agreeing to something is NOT IN ANY WAY under duress: fear of loss, emotional insecurity, economic dependence, habitation, children, social standing, self-image, psychological issues. I'd contend that very few people raised in a monogamous culture are immediately free from all such doubts, & therefore are incapable of granting consent. Sure, they can probably LEARN to compensate in healthy ways, but they don't yet have the skills in any natural sense.
I must readily admit that after three years our relationship is still not polyamorous to Ravenscroft's standards, because I think neither my nor Meta's consent stands this kind of scrutiny. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one of the regular posters who'd have to say that. This raises questions.
Then, Ravenscroft, how would you realistically proceed in opening up a relationship?

I understand your point about these subtle fears hindering consent, but it seems as your standard can't be met by most people, it's not useful - as a standard. (Should be of course strived for as an ideal.)

There's a vast grey area between a psychologically healthy person giving enthusiastic/confident consent, and a person being under such duress that they don't see any other real option for themselves. (That would be where I draw the line.)

In that area, I tend to take a person's decision (including my own) as presented. Especially if they are aware of their reasons. (i.e. "I agree because I don't want to lose you" is still consent to me if said by an economically self-sufficient grown up, although I'd likely not be happy enough to act on it if it was MY partner saying this to me).

edit: Ok, I understand now that's what you call assent (had to look that word up). I still have no idea how you'd proceed in a situation where your partner is incapable of real consent.
Thinking further, I think situations, where consent from all involved is unreachable, are pretty common.

In polyamory, we've got these fucked up situations where one person doesn't fully consent to the relationship changing, and the other one doesn't consent to it staying as it is anymore, yet neither of them wants to separate.

In families, we've got old people who don't consent to being put into a retirement home, but their kids who aren't really able to take adequate care of them anymore (and possibly judge their old parents of being dangerous to themselves and property if unsupervised).

We violate the consent of children in so many ways, both out of necessity and... 'necessity'.

All the situations, where either there is power imbalance, or dependency and conflicting interests (even healthy interdependency where people share eg. living expenses), or where one party isn't really capable of evaluating the situation for themselves.

Have you been to a situation where informed consent was impossible, and it wasn't easy for you to remove yourself from it? How did you proceed?
 

Tinwen

Active member
Or... you know what... I should drop that overthinking. (You're still free to comment of course if you like.)

I'm lonely today.

Idealist has left for the weekend. After yesterday's sadistic bondage evening, and the festival last weekend, I'm missing him severely today.
He's doing some holotropic breathwork, so he wouldn't respond to my texts. He only sent a "good night" later. I get it, but I am still disappointed that he wouldn't call.
I'm feeling really empty without him now.
Today, I'm definitely in the "I need him".
I guess that could be called withdrawal symptoms if you don't prefer to call it romantic love. (Did I feel this all the time back in our first NRE year? Well, that... must have been awful.)
Or maybe you could call it subdrop. Was it worth it? Absolutely. See two posts above.

I want an even more intense relationship, or rather, one where we don't have to part most evenings.
It seems unattainable. Wishing Meta out of the picture doesn't help, because he doesn't wish her out of the picture.
I should leave to open up possibilities, except that's the exact opposite of the closeness I long for. And no one is saying I can recreate any of the intimate dynamics we have with someone else.

Anyway, I've never tried holotropic breathwork. He's more experienced, but doing it on top of all the emotional stuff we've done in the past week... might end up a bit crazy. I'm curious.
 

opalescent

Active member
Hugs.

Hey, you know you might be experiencing sub drop? That might account for some of the loneliness and just being down. I know after being tied or doing some other more intense scene, I drop.

Of course, you could just be missing your partner too!

Hope you begin to feel better.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Hugs.

Hey, you know you might be experiencing sub drop?
Thanks for the hug :)
Yes, I'm sure I did.
Although it doesn't usually happen to me (in this way) if we keep contact.
I echo FallenAngelina's thought that subdrop is (often? sometimes?) connected to (the fear of) abandonment.
There can be tiredness after a scene, which can also seem like a "drop", but I don't see any healthy reason to be in pain over it. (And by healthy, I don't mean to judge myself ill, I rather declare that I wanna outgrow this if I see how.)

Anyway, we've already reconnected and I'm feeling better now :)
 

icesong

Active member
Thanks for the hug :)
Yes, I'm sure I did.
Although it doesn't usually happen to me (in this way) if we keep contact.
I echo FallenAngelina's thought that subdrop is (often? sometimes?) connected to (the fear of) abandonment.
There can be tiredness after a scene, which can also seem like a "drop", but I don't see any healthy reason to be in pain over it. (And by healthy, I don't mean to judge myself ill, I rather declare that I wanna outgrow this if I see how.)

Anyway, we've already reconnected and I'm feeling better now :)

For me drop is all about using up endorphins - this happened to be Sunday evening. Artist and I did a _really_ intense scene - the kind where you end up having the pain endorphins send you floaty? - and the next evening I found myself utterly craving touching him. Luckily he had forgotten something at my house and said he'd come get it right when I was about to text him and tell him about the drop, otherwise I don't know what would have happened there.

I don't know how exactly one could get over it, though - I always *know* that it's subgroup, and purely hormonal, and yet I _still_ end up feeling the same way. For me the problem is that in my current life Artist and I (Knight and I don't play like this) almost never spend two consecutive full days together, so I'm almost never around him when the drop hits. And it feels weird/inappropriate to cuddle Knight to fix subdrop he didn't cause, at least in this case. (Might be ok if it were drop after a more casual partner, if I had any right now, but...)
 

Tinwen

Active member
For me drop is all about using up endorphins - this happened to be Sunday evening. Artist and I did a _really_ intense scene - the kind where you end up having the pain endorphins send you floaty? - and the next evening I found myself utterly craving touching him. Luckily he had forgotten something at my house and said he'd come get it right when I was about to text him and tell him about the drop, otherwise I don't know what would have happened there.
I see... . Thanks for sharing!
I don't know how exactly one could get over it, though - I always *know* that it's subgroup, and purely hormonal, and yet I _still_ end up feeling the same way.
For me, it's not only craving touch.
It's about safety and comfort, wanting to hide in his arms.
It's attachment, wanting to merge, and isolation, a feeling of being ripped out of a greater whole into separateness, and not wanting to be a separate individual.
You likely can't make all of it go away, but I'm sure one can get at least a bit better in sitting with oneself and one's own emotions.
As for the "purely hormonal" - once you refer to hormones, you must admit that all emotions are just chemistry. I'm not sure how useful that standpoint is in dealing with them. I prefer a more... spiritual, for lack of a better word... standpoint today.
For me the problem is that in my current life Artist and I (Knight and I don't play like this) almost never spend two consecutive full days together, so I'm almost never around him when the drop hits.
Um, well, if you did, you could have an even bigger drop the third day ;)
I feel for me it builds up in time. I had a "drop" after we spent a vacation together, not because of bdsm, but because I became so used to his presence and the week was so wonderful, that afterwards I felt the cravings, and the uncertainty of our unsolved future much more intensively.
And it feels weird/inappropriate to cuddle Knight to fix subdrop he didn't cause.
Depends if he minds, did you ask? :)
 
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icesong

Active member
Depends if he minds, did you ask? :)

No, but it's kind of complicated - even the question would have gone a bit badly, I think. I'm going to go write a bit about that on my blog to quit derailing, as there is a pattern here that I'm not entirely thrilled with but not sure how to fix.
 

Tinwen

Active member
No, but it's kind of complicated - even the question would have gone a bit badly, I think. I'm going to go write a bit about that on my blog to quit derailing, as there is a pattern here that I'm not entirely thrilled with but not sure how to fix.
So you know he would mind. I'm gonna come to your blog then.
 

Tinwen

Active member
There's a man I like. I kind of admired him as a teenager when I heard him speak on literature and stuff at sci-fi conventions, and now we're meeting every now and then in a social group, and we talk about meditation and stuff. (You know that flattering feeling when you reach common ground with someone who you've been looking up to in the past?)
I wonder if it's a good idea to try making a move on him.
I know he's looking for someone - well, actually I don't know that, but I know he's bought a book called "How to attract women through honesty", LOL.
There are good signs (like being able to connect over self-actualization) and bad signs (like connecting mainly over self-actualization ;)). I guess the point is I have no idea if it could lead somewhere.
It would be a turmoil of course, if he liked me. Taking on a second partner ... could be hard. On one hand, it might make my situation somewhat easier (that situation where living or having a family with Idealist seems hard and I would prefer a closer primary partner), but I'm not sure if I really have the energy levels to try and sustain being a hinge. It's ... an interesting thought.
 

Tinwen

Active member
There's a man I like...
Well, that one pretty much solved itself. I told him I'm into him. He is not.
I'm disappointed of course.
But hey. I can stop pouring energy that direction.
:(
 
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