Thursday, March 31, 2016

Night swimming

Crying, listening to REM's Nightswimming over and over,  thinking of my uncle. So much emotion, so many feelings,  so many memories. Realizing how much of what i mourn is the life i thought I'd have, the life that was like his, the life I'd already blown past having long before he died, the life I'd realized by then he didn't even like all that much.
I realize this is something you could probably understand more than him. Your loss was of someone like that. While his loss was a loved one, probably one of the few people he felt loved him without conditions,  and there is regret there, the person he lost was much older, someone who'd lived a long life,  someone he knew would pass long before him. Our losses were lives cut short and people who very much shaped who we wanted to be, the lives we thought we'd live.
But there is this huge gap i can't find my way across. The gap between you saying you are having a hard time with emotions and allowing me to see it. The gap between that and me wearing my heart on my sleeve. The gap between how holding your emotions back unless you know they'll be met with the reaction you want makes you feel secure and how being able to express them and hash it out, come argument or empathy, makes me feel secure. The gap between how I want to know when and how you aren't fine when you don't want others to know and how I want you to know but you don't. The gap between how you resent that people assume you are fine because you seem fine and how I resent having to pretend I'm fine because no one can deal with me not being fine.
We both want to find ways to make this work and have everyone as happy as possible. I think that despite what we might reactively negatively feel about the other, reasonably we realize the other does want this too. But we are aliens to each other. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Falling off the pedestal

One of the wonderful things that happen for most borderlines re:relationships are cycles of elevation and devaluation. Basically, just like your emotions are always dialed up higher than most people's and your thoughts are very black or white,  how you feel about a person is at one extreme or another. This is especially true in romantic and/or very close relationships. When you first get together you put them on a pedestal and they are the best thing since sliced bread. Then at some point they become the most horrible person ever.

As this can be especially problematic in power exchange relationships, I really tried to guard against this with the Professor. Between the things that Ginger would warn me about and the fact that he didn't work very hard to hide his flaws, i had early and ample evidence of why he shouldn't be on any pedestal, no matter how hard I fell for him or how much I became devoted to him.

I didn't do the same thing with Ginger, however.  Sure, i saw flaws and idiosyncrasies. I saw ways we were different. But at the time many of those things were features, not bugs. But i thought she was amazing for being able to have put her shit back together by herself and that in the past she was able to keep employment while deep in her crazy. She provided for both of them on a regular basis. She was able to work really hard. I felt like she was so far ahead of me in her mental health journey. She was able to handle all sorts of situations in a calm and seemingly compassionate manner. I admired her ability to accept and trust people and to have faith that things would turn out well even when she didn't know how yet, both things i have a hard time doing. I hoped that someday I'd be as far along as she was.

Many of the issues we're facing right now are ones i couldn't have forseen until we were in them and they just didn't present themselves until now. In many ways, they are the flip side of many of those coins. She is able to handle things calmly because she isn't as aware of her feelings in the moment and thus doesn't have to deal with them. Because she can trust the way she does, she feels untrusted and unloved when I ask for the security and reassurances that I want because trust doesn't work that way for me. She tries to bring people you love in to the fold automatically,  before evaluating whether or not she likes them or wants to have contact with them and expects others to do the same. She ran many households with her authority and the money she made and hasn't had to compromise as much, or lived with people who didn't have different needs or wants or expectations, so it's now a much bigger deal when we hit an issue where we are diametrically opposed to what the other wants.

With all the things that happened this weekend, the Professor has said several times that he doesn't know why any of this bothers me if she and i aren't even together romantically. I think maybe the things bother me more because we aren't. Usually with exes, I take a period of time where I have little contact, where I can reorient to the new reality, and then it is often still difficult to meet their new significant others. I've had little of that and it hurts to be around, especially when this relationship in particular has made me feel like a tool and a prop, not like a person. Because it isn't as if I don't want to be with her like that. But I want someone who enthusiastically wants to be with me in those ways, who is receptive when I try to be romantic or sexual, and that's never been her and I's situation. All the ways I felt like I tried feel like they never mattered because I met her when her only real female ex died and I didn't live up to it, because I got knocked up at the wrong time so she retreated, because he can be dominant and he has a penis, because she can be romantic in public with him, because my crazy is hard to deal with in person 24:7 and she doesn't have to deal with his like that. And i realize that I'm not owed anything for anything I did or tried to do and I'm sure that there are other reasons as well, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't still hurt. I think if i felt like we had a strong loving relationship, it might not bother me as much because I wouldn't feel like a loss. Maybe I've been spoiled because I didn't have to learn to divide my time with a new person until now since I came into an established couple, so that divide always existed. But she disappeared when I had the baby. I just didn't notice because I was disappearing into the baby so it was too late when I saw it and she was gone. She's made more efforts to be here, especially in recent months but it has still been a loss, the grieving process of which is all the more complicated bybthe fact that we are still partners, are still living together, are still interacting on a daily basis.

But even as I'm stuck in all the negative things I feel, I am still sometimes hit by the ways she is amazing. I was listening to a podcast last night about Dorothy Parker and the Hollywood blacklist. It talked about how Parker's life and writing in the 1920s and 1930s really pushed how women were starting to be able to live on their own,  not have to follow a traditional marriage/motherhood path, could drink and work and have relationships like men, could navigate all of those complications on their own terms  and in their own ways. It made me think about how much of this issues in recent months between us has been about how much she wants to live her life on her own terms without answering to anyone while I want more security and more open discussion and open combined decision-making at an earlier point, especially when we're supposed to be running a household together and raising a family together. I am constantly amazed at how she's been able to live her life, taking chances and doing things that I never did, but that doesn't mean I have to feel like that works with what we're trying to do or with the wants of her partners.

Don't get me wrong here. I do not see her as an evil monster, even if I don't agree with things. Also, i realize that I do not deal with things in the best way either. Being more in touch with my emotions also means they are right there and can overtake me and the situation at a moments notice. I want more answers and more framework and feel very insecure without it. While I try to make it easier for people to go if they've changed their minds about being with me, I'm also constantly questioning whether they do which leaves them feeling like they can never prove it enough. Because I'm always looking for something new to keep me interested in life, even when it's in a positive way, it feels like I always have an issue, like I can't just sit back and relax. Because I want to solve problems to move on, it also means I can't just let something be for awhile and I escalate things. Yeah, I could go on all day with how much bullshit I do which has made this situation the clusterfuck it became this weekend. I am more than willing to take on a good bit of blame. I also realize that we are both right and both wrong and just stuck in a place that doesn't feel like it has a satisfactory solution.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Epic Fail

I tried hard. I really did. And it went well. Then something that felt hurtful to me made me lose my shit and blew the whole night up.

Master hadn't even been paying attention. He thought the night was going well enough that he didn't need to pay attention, could zone out himself for a little bit, put some headphones on. We were in the middle of yelling at each other before he realized anything had happened.

Later, I told him that I was tired of everything always being my fault. He had not seemed to have any issues with the situation. If I wasn't around, they could be happy, even in a new arrangement. They were happy before they had to put up with all my crazy. It was me who was the problem.

I tried to go to bed. Tried to read a book. Tried to fall asleep. Finally he came to me. "Don't think I'm not mad at you. What you did reflected poorly on me. You made me look like I don't have control of you. You made me look like a bad Master, like a bad Dom. You were supposed to be a good hostess. And you had been doing such a good job. You waited until my headphones were on and my back was turned and then you blew shit up."

Through tears I apologized and tried to explain about how shitty and hurtful it had felt. "You made it personal when it wasn't. You feel hurt. You feel like it is all your fault. You feel all these things. That's the problem."

"But it doesn't mean I'm not right about some things," I countered.

"Yes, many times you are right about actual things. You have such a great brain and I count on that. But then you let all these feelings, which aren't true, blow shit up. It makes it impossible to bring up valid concerns when you've made everything so big."

He was right. I'd actually realized something similar earlier in the night. I had realized that it wasn't necessarily that there were no problems before or without me. It was that my inability to control my emotions made me the problem instead of any valid or justified issue that existed. It made me & my (over)reaction the problem, not the actual problem.

Somehow without even realizing it, he'd also pointed out how I was falling into one of the bigger traps of my own mental illness. My therapy, which I haven't been making use of nearly as much as I should lately, points out how BPD people tend to get stuck in extremes, either completely in emotional mind (usually this one) or rational mind. One of the most basic skills is using the other mindset to pull you back to the center. He framed it in terms of my feelings versus my brain but it was the same true-ism.

"Next time, you need to think about how it reflects on me before you do something." We both know it's a trick, just one we hope works. He's a somewhat reluctant Master to begin with. I'm not entirely sure he buys into this concept of my actions reflecting on him, or if he thinks the others feel that way. He just crafted the best way to cut me right down to my subby brain to motivate me. What he also knows is that it might give me enough breathing space and incentive next time to make a better choice, for him if not for myself.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Why I'm Cleaning the House While Sick

[Written Saturday March 5]

I'm sick. Got the Professor's cold. Of course,  I've doped myself up on cough meds & pain meds and I'm just overall healthier than he is so it isn't as bad as his. I'm supposed to be taking a nap, a break from the house cleaning I'm stubbornly doing. I have a four day weekend, one extra day i took off for my uncle's passing, the other is because of a software update at work (have to make it up next Friday).

I would have tried to clean anyway but Ginger's boyfriend is coming to town next week. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for cleaning, especially while I'm sick. But i don't think he thinks we take care of her. Hell, sometimes i don't think she thinks we take care of her. I know we don't take care of her the way her ex did. I know we don't take care of her the way her boyfriend thinks he would take care of her if he was here. We might not do it in ways that she recognizes, but we do it. I do it.

Yes, most of the things are also things that make me feel good about the house being more clean or clean the way i want it but that doesn't negate that i still do all these things and ask for very little help. She has only cleaned the cat litter box a few times since I moved into the old place, much less here. I do the laundry because I am more particular than she is but I carry their clothes upstairs to their room. I do the dishes and i pick up. I clean the main bathroom, the one she uses for showers and getting ready.

I'm cleaning before her guest comes and I'll give the house a once over later this week because she is already gonna have to help clean the friend's house that he's staying at because she can't afford a hotel room and the Professor and i don't want to babysit a stranger for two weeks when she's at work. It's not what her ex would have done but it's all we can do so I'll clean our house and though i was going to ask for her help, I'm not going to. This is the least i can do.  I try to take care of her in ways she recognizes, but my work schedule and my own crazy can get in the way of that. But don't think I don't care for her or take care of her just because it's not what others would have done.

[Written Monday March 7]
So I didn't get much more cleaning done after my nap. Our tiny human was starting to be fussy by the time I woke up and the Professor was starting to tire out. As the night wore on, the tiny human got more sick. I ended up going to bed shortly after the tiny human did but I woke up several times during the night to take care of her, once because the Professor and Ginger were wondering if we should take tiny human to the ER, since she had an elevated temperature. The nurse on the hotline told me that I should take her to an urgent care clinic within 24 hours not because of her temperature but because she was rubbing her ears and might have an ear infection, so I did that. Ginger stayed home all day and evening to help me take care of tiny human and the Professor, and to help take care of me. I feel bad that she didn't get a break but I really did appreciate it. 

Last night I got more sleep but still not enough to make up for being sick. As soon as I got up the tiny human threw up her whole six ounce bottle on me and then acted like I was killing her when I forced her to take tylenol and antibiotics. The Professor had not gotten any sleep overnight and had an asthma attack shortly before I got up. I called into work. Ginger is going to come home after a midday appointment. 

I wanted so badly to make things good for Ginger and to help as much as I could for this visit. She bent a good deal on things to make the Professor and I comfortable and I know that we have not lived up to how her ex would have handled things. I'm sure that her boyfriend is probably upset with us over it all and is also upset that he is not going to get the opportunity to see if he fits in our family full-time as they had both originally hoped for on this trip. But just because it can't be all that I did want to do something to help her and now all that is down the drain. I need an eight hour cry and a twelve hour sleep. I feel useless and drained and tired. I can't make anything right and I can't make anyone better. I'm so sorry, to both Ginger and her boyfriend. And if he ever reads this, even if we don't get along, even if we never like each other, I'm sorry. I wanted to take care of your girl. I'm sorry I'm failing in that.