Vicki's Journey Continues...

Vicki82

Member
I'm an adult child, too. Do you have ACOA meetings or Al-Anon meetings in your area? There are a lot of adult children in al-anon meetings, too. It's a cheap form of group therapy.

I don't know; I never thought of that. My father is dead, and I don't currently have any alcoholics in my life. I monitor myself pretty hardcore for signs of it since I was told as a child I was at higher risk of addictive behaviour and alcoholism. I try really hard not to use alcohol as a crutch but I will admit that it occasionally happens. Henry tells me I have nothing to worry about at this point because I'm so hyperaware of the risk.

I don't have any useful advice here - I feel this so hard (not an ACOA but between adoption trauma and ADHD-caused rejection sensitivity dysphoria) I've definitely walked the path of "I'm not talking to you because I'm upset you didn't talk to me" FAR too many times.

I think the only way through it is time - like you Knight doesn't press than button with me anymore, 22 years in, but Artist still _occasionally_ does... But at 4.5 years in I've finally taught myself to mostly self soothe where he's concerned.

Virtual hugs and good luck wishes.

icesong- what did/do you do when Artist hits those buttons? Before you were able to manage it on your own? How did you solve the issue?

Right now I just feel so vulnerable telling him what's going on and I worry he won't really understand anyway. Last time I had a panic attack (when we were on vacation), it took several conversations to get through to him on what the issue was and I'm still not 100% sure he understood it the way I meant it.

And that little voice in my head says maybe I shouldn't continue to be vulnerable and I should continue to withdraw because maybe he doesn't want to invest like that anyway in me. I don't know. I'm still feeling pretty messed up.
 

icesong

Well-known member
Honestly there were a few meltdowns at him but I don’t entirely share this stuff for the same not-good-at-being-vulnerable reason you describe. The reason it took a lot of time-in-relationship is that I started training myself to refocus my thoughts on some good / supportive / connective thing about our relationship whenever I started spiraling, and having the weight of 4.5 years behind it to say “see, this has been this consistent for at least the last two and really even longer than that you just didn’t have words on it” to my brain when it’s being a jerk was the key.

So I don’t know what those things are for you, but from things you’ve written about, it’d be something like “he could have slept and done selfcare but chose to see me instead” on the evenings that he did. Or in my case “he specifically made time to see me despite having to take care of his wife who was basically going through the emotional equivalent of a divorce from her other partner” - like when I look at *that*, the “did we actually text today” fades out.

(Also it helps for me that we’ve specifically never gotten into the “good morning” or “good night” text habit - we only text when we specifically are wanting connection, usually with some random tidbit of interesting thing happening in our life or found on the internet. It feels a lot more intentional about connecting than the sort of ritual type of thing, and it’s a lot easier to say “oh, he was heads down in some project and didn’t run across anything interesting to talk about” than “oh, he forgot our ritual” - that, and we’re not interrupting time with other partners to do the text thing.)
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I don't know; I never thought of that. My father is dead.

He may be dead, but your trauma obviously lives on.

Many "adult" children of alcoholics have deceased parents. Being an alcoholic can tend to make you die young.

I'd recommend meetings. I know Al Anon can be extremely helpful.
 

Vicki82

Member
He may be dead, but your trauma obviously lives on.

Many "adult" children of alcoholics have deceased parents. Being an alcoholic can tend to make you die young.

I'd recommend meetings. I know Al Anon can be extremely helpful.

He died at 36. Part of that is what spurred me on this year to start with the weight loss. He was 36 and I was 9. I am currently 36 (turning 37 in November, woot! I've never been so excited for a birthday since I became an adult.) and my son is 9. The symmetry was a little scary, and despite my occasional depressive episodes, I don't want to die. I guess he has been on my mind a lot more lately for that reason. My childhood was extremely toxic, surprise surprise, and there's a lot I don't remember.

I have never been to an Al Anon meeting. I didn't really think it was a thing for me. I'll get helpful things out of it even if I don't have any alcoholics around me now?

(Also it helps for me that we’ve specifically never gotten into the “good morning” or “good night” text habit - we only text when we specifically are wanting connection, usually with some random tidbit of interesting thing happening in our life or found on the internet. It feels a lot more intentional about connecting than the sort of ritual type of thing, and it’s a lot easier to say “oh, he was heads down in some project and didn’t run across anything interesting to talk about” than “oh, he forgot our ritual” - that, and we’re not interrupting time with other partners to do the text thing.)

Hmm. I get what you're saying, I guess I just see that a different way. For me, when I get into that specific ritual with someone (I don't have a formally negotiated one with Charles), it is a way of bringing intentionality to our connection. It's a way of devoting a specific moment in time to focus on us and to think about our relationship; it's not just a casual good morning or good night. The ritual is the focus, not the context. The best way I can explain it is to highlight one of my rituals with Henry. If someone is sitting on the couch watching TV and asks their partner to get them a drink, it's very likely a nothing sort of thing that neither partner will remember. When I ask Henry to get me a drink, we have a specific ritual that vanilla people wouldn't even notice but is incredibly meaningful to us. We always make eye contact when he hands me the drink, and he will always hand it to me, never put it down next to me. It's a tiny moment that again, no one would notice, but it's our way of celebrating who we are and what we have together.

I don't know if that gives another perspective on things? Kinda off topic since I don't have that agreement with Charles but the ritual itself, in a D/s relationship, is very meaningful to me.
 
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Magdlyn

Well-known member
He died at 36. Part of that is what spurred me on this year to start with the weight loss. He was 36 and I was 9. I am currently 36 (turning 37 in November, woot! I've never been so excited for a birthday since I became an adult.) and my son is 9. The symmetry was a little scary, and despite my occasional depressive episodes, I don't want to die. I guess he has been on my mind a lot more lately for that reason. My childhood was extremely toxic, surprise surprise, and there's a lot I don't remember.

I have never been to an Al Anon meeting. I didn't really think it was a thing for me. I'll get helpful things out of it even if I don't have any alcoholics around me now?

Vicki, I can't give you exact information since I have never needed their services. But even if the meeting is mostly comprised of people whose loved ones are still alive and drinking/drugging, I am sure you will feel a kinship with their coping behaviors, and learn things about how they break the cycle and learn more about themselves and how they are part of the problem.

The thing is, it's free "counseling," with peer support and a facilitator.

https://al-anon.org/newcomers/how-can-i-help-my/
 

PinkPig

Member
A lot of people in al-anon don't have active alcoholics in their lives any more. Its more about learning tools that help us with the after effects of living with an alcoholic or growing up in an alcoholic home. ACOA or ACA are about healing your inner child. Free therapy like Magdalyn said.

I've also done EMDR in therapy for my abandonment issues. And I practice meditation and mindful thinking to stop mind spirals. My friend uses vigorous exercise to change her thought patterns. Or, like icesong said, you can use gratitude - focus on the ways your partners show you love.

There are many paths to retraining our brains, just takes some work to find out which ways work for you.
 

icesong

Well-known member
That makes sense too, especially in a live-in scenario, which I think is just such a wildly different thing than a not-live-in one. (And I’ve spent half the morning convincing myself not to rant on a Medium blog comment that tried to say a once a week relationship wasn’t real. I still might do it. )
 

Vicki82

Member
icesong, please share the article?

Thanks everyone for your replies. I think I will look into the Al-Anon meetings. I didn't realize they could be a useful tool for me.

So, the outcome of last night. We were able to have a calm discussion about what was going on, for the most part.

I have noticed that he and I communicate in different ways and that's been most of my concern- that I say something and he hears it differently. I have gotten used to knowing that my closest people "get" me, and Henry reminds me it isn't fair to hold Charles to that standard, and I have to work harder to make sure he actually understands my message.

I think we had a good talk. I wasn't angry or histrionic; I just told him that I felt like I was telling him things over and over and that he just wasn't getting it. I told him about the ACOA trigger and how I felt. And I told him straight up that if I'm too much, that I get it and it's okay. I know I'm high maintenance. I wouldn't break up with him if he just wanted to hang out once a week and be FWB, I'd just adjust my expectations and reduce my emotional investment.

He started crying then. I know he wasn't hurting me on purpose with the other stuff... it's just different communication styles and needs clashing.

He told me that when we started dating, he hadn't been looking for anything serious. Just some fun and good times, but that I was a much more potent cocktail than that and he fell in love with me and he doesn't want to lose me. And how much it hurts him to see that he hurt me.

He told me he just feels so British- that he often doesn't message me or ask for time because he worries he's intruding on my time with my family. I reminded him that I didn't promise him half of a relationship when we started getting serious- that if I couldn't be available that I would tell him that but he could always ask. That Henry asks why I am not seeing Charles more. And reminding him that he's always welcome here anytime. I mean, I invited him to Thanksgiving this year with my family. I wouldn't have done that if I wasn't serious about him.

So I don't know what's going to happen, really. I hope that we got more of an understanding of why we each behave the way that we do. He tells me that he isn't good at the intermittent communication like texting because he puts his whole attention on whatever he's doing and so prefers to engage with me in person. But to me that feels like we only have a relationship when we're together and that feels less connected. So ultimately I am still concerned that communication styles and different needs are going to be an issue long term. But I don't need to worry about long term right now.

He told me that he's going to try because he wants to make me happy and he loves me. And it's not like he has to say that, because I told him I'd still have sex with him even if he didn't want to put in the effort. So I'm going to see where it goes from here.

He shifted his schedule so he would have time to see me on the weekend. I think that will help a lot since it's been weeks since we had two dates in a week.

So I guess I still have mixed feelings/concerns... but I really do want him in my life and I hope that we can find a way to balance each others' communication styles so we can both be happy.
 

icesong

Well-known member
icesong, please share the article?

It was a comment on this, you’ll have to unhide responses - https://link.medium.com/yzGePfuu7Z - I didn’t reply but I still keep thinking I might. ‘Course, dude is clearly convinced that his opinion is unassailable, given the comment of “One-day-per-week relationships aren’t real relationships, I don’t care who that upsets, it’s true.” Clearly he’s clueless but anyway.

So I guess I still have mixed feelings/concerns... but I really do want him in my life and I hope that we can find a way to balance each others' communication styles so we can both be happy.

I’m glad it sounds like your conversation went about as well as it could have. As the ‘focusing on what he’s doing’ thing sounds much like my introverted Artist, does he mind when you message him / does he keep up his side of the conversation? As seriously working on giving myself permission to message first - and taking the ongoing conversation as a sign that he really did want to talk to me, not talking myself into believing I was just bugging him - did wonders for my security in that relationship.
 

Vicki82

Member
It was a comment on this, you’ll have to unhide responses - https://link.medium.com/yzGePfuu7Z - I didn’t reply but I still keep thinking I might. ‘Course, dude is clearly convinced that his opinion is unassailable, given the comment of “One-day-per-week relationships aren’t real relationships, I don’t care who that upsets, it’s true.” Clearly he’s clueless but anyway.



I’m glad it sounds like your conversation went about as well as it could have. As the ‘focusing on what he’s doing’ thing sounds much like my introverted Artist, does he mind when you message him / does he keep up his side of the conversation? As seriously working on giving myself permission to message first - and taking the ongoing conversation as a sign that he really did want to talk to me, not talking myself into believing I was just bugging him - did wonders for my security in that relationship.

He tells me he likes hearing from me, and he does start the conversation sometimes. I hate feeling like I'm chasing someone to interact with me, though. I never feel like an imposition and he chats back as he can. It really had dropped off lately though.

He called me today, so that was really nice. And we're seeing each other on Sunday :)
 

Vicki82

Member
Date night with Henry went pretty well yesterday. He had sent me a porn video with a new technique that he wanted to try out (I guess more of an "explicit" video than actual porn, by the strictest definitions), and so we did that and had a lovely time together.

Then it was my turn to plan, so since we both love seafood we did a take on Red Lobster's Endless Shrimp. We made homemade cheddar cornbread biscuits and then got a cocktail shrimp ring, butterfly fried shrimp cooked in the air fryer, and orange ginger grilled shrimp. Dinner was delicious! Then we cuddled in bed and watched a few episodes of TV together.

Tonight Henry & I are going to a femdom BDSM party tonight, so it should be fun.
 

Vicki82

Member
Hmm. Not sure why my last post isn't appearing?

Edit: OK, that was weird- as soon as I posted this, it came. *shrugs*

Well, the BDSM party was lovely. Henry and I did a scene and had a wonderful time together. A friend of mine came and we hadn't seen each other in ages. Unfortunately, he was there with someone else so we didn't get to play, but the conversation was lovely. And then I did a brand on the hostess' boy, which was pretty freaking awesome. It was a good night.
 
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Magdlyn

Well-known member
Wow, you did a branding? Awesome! Endorphins everywhere!
 

Vicki82

Member
Wow, you did a branding? Awesome! Endorphins everywhere!

Yeah :) I'm a violet wand aficionado and the residential presenter in electrical play, so people come to me for a lot of the super fun stuff. I wouldn't normally do something that intense on someone I don't know very well, but this was the submissive of a close friend of mine, so I trusted her. He took it really well and yes we were both pretty high on the endorphins. I had just finished a scene with Henry, too, so I was way up there.

We did a version of the Haha emoticon on Facebook and it came out really well. The lines were nice and clean and it looked professional. I was so happy with it.

Date night with Charles went really well, too. Since our conversation, he's made a real point of being more intentional and prioritizing our connection, too- not just when we're together. He's called me just to chat, and at least checked in by text daily. Plus he shifted things around so we could have our second date night on the weekend which we hadn't had in weeks. And then he went out of his way to make sure we had a wonderful night then. He came over and we made dinner together, and ate with Henry and Kiddo and played board games as a group before Henry went out with friends.

Then we went upstairs and he gave me a wonderful massage (yup, both my boys cook AND have at least a little massage training!), and I was just melting. We went to bed and he pulled out all the stops to give me as much pleasure as possible. I was riding so high on endorphins that I told him he'd have to scrape me off the ceiling. And when he finally slipped inside me, I just got overwhelmed with all the feelings. He told me how much he loves me while he fucked me slowly and it was beyond incredible. Afterwards, we just snuggled and talked until we fell asleep.

I might not know where this relationship is going, and that's ok because I don't have to. But at least I know that wherever it is, we're going together :)
 

icesong

Well-known member
Violet wand is one of my favorite toys too, though from the receiving end not the giving end. I’m not sure I realized one could do branding though - I’ve had a liquid nitrogen brand but not a violet wand one. My favorite with it tends to be indirect contact play with carbon fiber impact toys.

Random TMI I suppose! Still, doesn’t seem that popular a toy so it’s always fun to run into other aficionados.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
What a fun time! Amazing what a little communication can do. Great job!
 

Vicki82

Member
So... I feel almost like I'm getting hit with a double wave of NRE. I'm feeling incredibly intensely about both Henry and Charles right now. It's almost overwhelming. I actually don't think I've ever experienced something quite like this before.

Obviously it's not really (N)RE with either of them anymore, I'd think... but I don't know if it came on both by Henry helping take care of me during my emotional triggering, and then having that open conversation with Charles about our relationship... but I feel like I'm high on something good. I am absolutely craving touch and intimacy and BDSM play and sex and just all of the things at once. I interrupted Henry tinkering in his workshop because I wanted to stroke his hair lol.

I know that this high isn't going to last either... but I want to enjoy every single moment of it.
 

Atlantis

Active member
I tried to PM you.
The "Catcha" monster might have eaten my message.
 

Vicki82

Member

Vicki82

Member
I had the most amazing, bedrocking sex with Charles this week. Still feeling pretty up there about it. I asked him for a specific fantasy and he really pulled out all the stops to give it to me.

My drive seems to have come back very intensely lately and I've been pretty demanding on Henry and Charles lately lol. I know that generally my sex drive is much higher than theirs although it has waxed and waned over the past couple of years. I'm going to enjoy it while I've got this boost because I don't know how long it will last.

We are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend and I'm a little curious as to how it will play out. We are hosting, and my parents, Henry's parents and sister, a few friends, and Charles. My mom doesn't understand poly, but I don't think she'll be rude, just awkward. Henry says he talked to his family and probably similar sort of thing there. Guess it'll be interesting, anyway!
 
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