Monday, December 30, 2013

Making it up as you go along

So I've been doing this DBT thing for well over two years now. For the past six months, I haven't been going to the weekly (more educational then process) group, mostly because of a lack of time, though my therapist was fine with it because I had been through the whole course several times. The skills that are taught in the group are to help guide you when your own coping skills and 'common sense' lead you astray. (I mean, you wouldn't be there if both of those things hadn't lead you significantly astray for a significant part of your life.) Just like anything, when you consciously use it enough, some of it will start to become second nature. 

I knew this week would be tough. When I moved in before Ginger, The Professor, and I had a new, bigger place that could accomodate the three of us and Ginger's son, I knew that it would be tough to stay at my parents' house again for a full week, especially during the holidays, which are already tough. It seems that when things are tough for me, I feel like they pile on and the list just gets longer and longer. Reasonable mind know that this is more how I see things than how things really are. As The Professor paraphrased yesterday, "Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike," and everyone has several shitty things going on in their life at any given time, just as they have several great things going in their life at any given time. But the point of dbt is to teach you skills you can draw from to get through those shitty things. 

 So this weekend I used some "pleasant experiences" to get me through this week. I have felt very distant from the Professor lately. He has been dealing with illness, the holidays, and just generally being "in the hole." It hasn't just been him, though. I also have had little energy or time for anything that wasn't necessary, usually plopping down in front of the tv when done. Having the weekend and the apartment all to ourselves, with the exception of some time Saturday when I had to work, we spent the whole weekend in rather intense play. I was happy to have the time to work on our Master/slave dynamic, which also helped to shore up our relationship all around. I believe that it helps everyone to feel like they belong and to have reasonable responsibilities appropriate to their abilities and place, whether that be in your employment or in your home. It might not be something we think about very often, but it is important all the same. I think these roles help give us both those things and this weekend reminded us of them. We also talked a little bit about how it would be more helpful for me to have a strong hand this week, for him to push me to be productive, rather than provide a sympathetic ear or leniency. I always do better when not home if I feel like I have to keep my shit together to help them out, like I try to do when they have a play weekend planned, when I want them to just enjoy themselves rather than have to worry about me. 

But this morning it just wasn't enough. I couldn't stop crying, could barely drag myself out of bed to go to the funeral, couldn't bear to look at myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth before my shower. My therapist likes to promote the IMPROVE skill for distress tolerance- Imagery, (find) Meaning, Prayer, Relaxation, One thing at a time, Vacation, Encouragement. In the book, they talk about Imagery as being daydreams or remembering nice places, those kinds of things. But I had developed something else that I use as Imagery, though it might sound weird. I would imagine another me. She was the embodiment of all my reasonableness, calmness, and ability to comfort. She would talk down my panic and distress and anxiety. She would even stroke my face and my hair. When no one else knew the right thing to say, she did, because she was me and deep down I knew what I wanted to hear. 

But sometimes it needs to be someone else that helps you. Or that part of someone else that lives inside you. Like when I needed the part of my uncle that lives inside me to tell me that I needed to get over the fears about being with Ginger and the Professor because they were causing me to suffer when deep down I had already made the decision to be with them. 

Today it was the part of the Professor, the part of my Master, that lives in me that I needed. I'd spent so much of this weekend with his words in my ear that conjuring up his voice wasn't difficult. He wrapped a hand around my wrist and held it to my heart. He told me that being a good girl was more than just what I did at home but it was doing what I needed to do out there in the world, but that he knew I was a good girl and he wouldn't ask me to do something that he didn't think I could do, so I needed to get cleaned up and go. I could cry as much as I needed to while there, because that was ok, but I needed to go. That is when my tears stopped. No not for the day, but until I got to the funeral, when I got to have a good and proper cry, because I was good and properly sad, over the loss of my client and all the losses it reminded me of. 

But, as I told the Professor later, it reminds me that I need to keep in mind that being a submissive, being a slave, doesn't mean I am not strong. It is a controlled (by me) giving up of control, not a giving up of strength and I am stronger because of it, that sometimes I must be stronger just to do it. As much as anything else, the roles that he and I have developed and are developing are coping mechanisms that I do truly believe help me (and I hope help him) to deal better with our lives, our sexualities, our demons, and our love. But just as the dbt skills work to point me in a better direction than I had before, there is trial and error, adaptions for each situation and individual, and no one right answer. 

I did go to the funeral. I cried shamelessly. I saw the casket to the gravesite. I ate lunch and reminisced and laughed with the family. The struggle never ends. The important part is that you are still struggling. 

"Don't for a minute change the place you're in"

[Started but not finished last night]

Stop This Train - John Mayer
No I'm not color blind
I know the world is black and white
Try to keep an open mind but...
I just can't sleep on this tonight
Stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly won't someone stop this train

Don't know how else to say it, don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't but honestly won't someone stop this train

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find away to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said help me understand
He said turn 60 and you'll renegotiate
Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
Don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train

See once in a while when it's good
It'll feel like it should
And they're all still around
And you're still safe and sound
And you don't miss a thing
'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark.

Singing stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take this speed it's moving in
I know I can't
Cause now I see I'll never stop this train

I'm sure I've posted this before, but I'm really feeling it tonight. 

This is the dreaded week. While I moved in with Ginger and the Professor around Thanksgiving, I have to spend overnights this week at my parents' house while Ginger's son is visiting, as the room I currently stay in is actually his room. Since I have been with them, I have not handled nights spent without them very well. This has only intensified as I've spent more of my nights at their home, our home. Now I have a week adrift, not just alone but also lonely. I spent this weekend with The Professor in intense... well, we'd call it 'play' but it wasn't really playing. It helped me feel more grounded in my relationship with him, which I've felt rather distant from as of late. And even though I think that Ginger and I need the same kind of intense romantic weekend, we had an amazing conversation today after she got back, which gave me new insights. Until you cry when you're driving away in the dark... I am really hoping to use this week to get things done, to use this time well, to show to myself and my people that I can get through this time away from home just fine and they don't have to worry about me. 

But in addition to the usual crazy that I have to deal with, I am managing other things. I am trying to navigate those things that are supposed to be usual adult things but don't seem to be running very smoothly for me. My job is all over the place. My hours are all over the place, with last minute additional shifts and yet still never enough hours. I know that I need to look for another job, but I'm rather demoralized about those prospects and I really love the actual work I do, if not the unreliable nature of the hours. My car needs quite a bit of work so I was going to get a new (to me) car, but I've already been turned down for a loan at my credit union and I'm worried that there is no way I'll be able to get approved for financing for anything better than what I already have. I feel like there are all these things that I need to be able to do to live on my own, to live with my people, to have a kid, but I feel paralyzed by how hard it is. 

Of course, those aren't the worst thing though. I lost a client on Christmas Day. She had went down hill really fast, in less than a month total. For the past year, I've just provided companionship, but I've seen her two days, eight hours total, a week with her, more than most clients. While I have had clients I have worked with pass, they were not ones that I was currently working with and not ones that I was this close to. Tomorrow is the funeral and I'm terrified of going alone, terrified of coming back to my parents' house to nothing and no one. I know I won't be able to keep my shit together either, which will be embarassing. I don't want to do this but I also know that it is something I must do. It is also part of the job and I have to be able to deal with it to continue to do this job. 

 [This is where I fell asleep last night while writing this.]

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Vicious Voice in my Head: Bad Date Edition

There's no reason to love me. And no sane man would trust me. Who wants to have and to hold what's been bought, what's been sold, just to love me? There's no reason to know me. And what good man would need me? Who wan'ts to peer through the dust and forget all the lust, just to love me?

What does a girl like you expect would happen?  The things you want, the things you like, putting it all out there like you do, do you really think any man is going to treat you with respect or kindness?  I mean, how could he? You were lucky that this one talked to you like you were a real human being.

what kind of paradise am i looking for? i've got everything i want and still i want more.

And why are you put there slutting it up anyway?  Don't you have a lovely boyfriend and girlfriend at home who love you? And doesn't he give you sex how you want it but still manage to love you and care for you and be tender with you? A girl like you couldn't expect to get that anywhere and you've found a home where you do, so why are you going outside of it? Oh, because everyone is feeling off right now and no one is up for fucking? It hasn't even been a week, wasn't even half a week before you started seeking out ways to slut it up. You can't wait that out? What is wrong with you?

Because I revenge myself all over myself. There's nothing you can do to me.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Getting what you want is never how you think it will be. Even if your brain isn't in the clouds, your heart still is. Or at least my heart is. Fucking hearts. You can't tell those assholes anything.

I'm as moved in to the apartment with Ginger and the Professor as I'm going to get right now. Moneypenny took my cats, though they might not last with him because of his allergies. They will have a new home one way or another though. (Different story for a different time.) I have all my daily stuff there now. Ginger's son comes to visit over his winter break so the room will revert back to his ownership. I haven't put anything up on the walls so it will still make him feel like it is his room. I'll probably move all my stuff off the dress and night stand when he comes too. Of course after he leaves, until we get a new place, I'll make it more mine. 

But now I'm there 6 nights a week. They'd be fine with me being there every night but I like spending one night seeing my parents, doing laundry, and having a slightly shorter drive for work. Also, I choose to do it on the night Ginger always has off every week so they have time alone together. It's not guaranteed that they'll use it for play or sex and it's not like they can't do that with me there, as I'd be asleep most of that time anyway, but Ginger is still shy and I like knowing that I'm not standing in the way of anything. 

But even though I was spending 3-5 nights a week there before this, the adjustment has been more difficult than I expected. Even though my brain knew things would get more everyday, more subdued, even though I'd written about that knowledge, even though the Professor had tried to reinforce that before I moved in by making it more everyday and less "everytime that Ava is here is special," my heart (or maybe some other part of me) still thought "Yay! I'll be there all the time! Ginger and I can cuddle and kiss all the time. The Professor and I will play and fuck all the time and then he'll catch me up on the tv shows he likes in between. And it will be magical and sexual. And we won't feel like we have to schedule any of it anymore because I'll always be there. Yay!"

Yeah... life doesn't work like that. I have to work and my work schedule changes weekly. We still have to schedule everything. We just got to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire yesterday because that was the first non-football day we all had time off at that same time to go see it. And the Professor and I aren't always fucking or playing because we know that I'll be there tomorrow night and the night after so we don't have to push ourselves if we aren't feeling like it. (And, to be fair, the Professor really hasn't been feeling well lately, first a cold and being out of his medication, and now we're all just eating horribly and smoking too much because of the cold weather.) Ginger and I seem to be getting less time together and I'm not sure we are really getting more intimate. 

I also just spend more time working on the everyday working of the house. When I was just visiting, I would help out with stuff around the house but it was over and above. Now this is where I live and there are things that bother me more than, or earlier than, it bothers them. It seems unfair to come into their house and start telling them to do things differently. So I often take care of the things that are bothering me. I'm not complaining about doing those things, just that I spend more time and energy than I used to with these concerns. But so much time is spent on the day to day that I don't feel up to doing my own personal shit that I mostly just want to either have sex or veg out in front of the tv.

Yesterday was particularly tough. The Professor had gone to bed late the night before (and, as he told me later, has only been able to get 2-3 hours of sleep at a time before waking up) so it was difficult to get him up in the morning to go to the movie. But it was something we'd been planning on doing as a family for weeks, so he dragged himself out of bed and wasn't even too grumpy, all things considered. I had hoped he'd wake up over the course of the movie and we'd get some sexy time alone when Ginger went to bed, bu it was clear on the ride home that he would be going to bed when we got back home. This put me in a sad and lonely mood, then several things went wrong and my mood completely tanked. (I've been having a difficult enough time with my moods, I suspect because of the season.) Ginger cuddled with me a bunch but she had to go to bed as well, to maintain her third-shift sleep schedule. 

When everyone was asleep, I became increasingly depressed and lonely. I tried being productive, doing dishes, putting up the Christmas decorations I got from Ginger's mom, but it didn't help. I ate a bunch of food I didn't need. The only thing that saved me from drinking without permission was thinking about the Professor's disappointment. And that I had some Coke to drink instead. But I looked at pages of Craigslist ads and downloaded Blendr, thought about just having some random hookup. I was sure I'd be back before anyone woke up and no one would even notice. Later on that night, when I still felt lonely, even though everyone was technically awake because they were half asleep and in their own world, I had a horrible solo session where I just felt shameful and unfulfilled. I was too empty to even cry. 

Doesn't help that I'm not feeling very desirable. I know that part (all?) of it is the crazy. I can't see to hang on to someone saying they desire me for more than 5 minutes. But I've lost this weight and yesterday I looked really cute and little (for me) but no one noticed. No one wants to have sex with me right now. Even TyRoy, who is now single, doesn't want to have sex with me now. Well, like everyone else, he does but he doesn't. 

Ginger and the Professor half-joke that I'm greedy and a nympho. Maybe they're right. I think at this point the emotional component has pushed me from "looking for extra" to the compulsion to do bad things. 

Dammit! Where is all the sin of living in sin?!? How did it all get so boring and day-to-day so fast? And worse yet, how did it go from him wanting me all the time to sometimes barely feeling like he knows that I'm there. 

Addendum: Spent all afternoon looking at OkCupid and Blendr and Craigslist. I think I feel more empty and hollow than I did before.