The whys of beginning

My therapist seems to be rather curious about my relationship with Moss, possibly because it has been on my mind for the last couple months, trying to resolve what has come up.  So she asks me about the beginning of things – what drew me to him, what the spark was, why I was interested in continuing it.  And I started thinking recently – what about the other folks in my life?

So, roughly in order of when I met them (as I think that’s more relevant to this particular subject), here we go.

Trydaen – I met him about eight years ago and we started dating a bit more than six years ago.  The initial draw was that he was so full of new facts and information and seemed so smart.  The spark was that he was (and is) very passionate and full of enthusiasm and had such an adorable smile.  I want to continue with him because I learn something new every day with him, without fail.  I want to continue with him because I want to see who he becomes as he gets older and I want to be a part of his life for that.  I want to continue with him because we have similar goals in the long term, and have discussed what that means for us.

Moss – I met him about four years ago – I think shortly after Minx’s death.  I’m not sure of the exact timing.  We started dating a bit more than a year ago.  The initial draw was that he seemed very confident – a bit on the cocky side, but not overly so.  The spark was the kisses and the sense that there was something going on under the surface.  We kissed a lot at parties for a long while – nothing more, as the situation was not conducive for a long while.  I want to continue with him because I enjoy finding out what is under the surface – the more I dig, the deeper it seems I can go.  I want to continue with him because I know he’s willing to put in work to be with me.  I want to continue with him because I want to keep exploring where our dynamic will go.

Ember – I met him a bit short of four years ago, but I can’t remember which of two occasions it was.  We started dating about five months ago.  The initial draw was the pretty hair and the shared interests.  The spark was, oddly enough, not getting to kiss him, because, well, relationships are complicated.  I want to continue with him because he’s a good cook.  I want to continue with him because I don’t need to worry about how things are going with us.  I want to continue with him because the cuddles and conversation before and after sex are delightful – he comes from a different place than I have, so I get to see the world from a different perspective.

Lola* – I met her about two and half, maybe three years ago, at a local play party.  I remember complimenting her on her shoulder tattoo and when she turned around and responded, I thought that she had such a pleasant voice and that she looked very sexy in the corset she was wearing.  We started dating about a year and a half ago, but have been in an odd sort of transition phase for the last couple months, so I am uncertain where we will end up.  The initial draw was the tattoo and the curiosity about the person behind it. The spark was a sexy party  – me watching her play DDR with great enthusiasm.  I think, actually, that enthusiasm was the spark.  What I am certain of is that there are reasons I want to continue having her in my life.  The first being her bright energy – she fills up any space she’s in with such light that it is hard to be gloomy there.  The second being that she is great to cuddle with – I love wrapping or draping my arms around, over, and under her.  The third being that there are a lot of places where we complement each other, where we knit well together, even if there are some places that we do not.

Diplomat – I met him about two and a half years ago for the first time (which, sadly I have very little memory of), but re-met a bit short of two years ago.  He is, oddly enough, the only person on this list that I didn’t know for more than a year before we went out on a first date.  We started dating one year and ten months ago.  What drew me to him was a mutual nerdiness about Shakespeare and the willingness to do that in public.  The spark was having touch as a mutual love language – I hadn’t realized how much I missed touch until we spent time touching.  I want to continue with him because I love seeing where he has grown and changed in the time we’ve been together and I want to see where that goes, but that’s only half of that equation.  The other half is his encouragement of my own growth.  I want to continue with him because I want to see more of that goddamned smile.  I want to continue with because there are so many places for us to travel to, to take in together.

I hope none of these come as a surprise to the named folks who do even occasionally visit my blog.  Or if they do, I hope it’s a pleasant one.

None of these are all-inclusive.  It would be the height of foolishness to even think I could capture all of a relationship and what I value with a person in a single paragraph.  There is so much more to each of these stories, more than even I have words for.

* I am including Lola because she is still a part of my life even if we are trying to figure out how that will work out for us, if it can.  And because I love her and that will continue to be the case even if things don’t work out at all between us.


True therapy

I had a really amazing session with my therapist on Wednesday.

It started out with her asking how I was doing, like she always does.  For me, this is a great way to get things started out, to get the ball rolling.  This Wednesday was no different.

There were a couple things that could have answered that question, as there have been a number of things occupying my mind lately.  I chose the more difficult answer to the question (we got to the other one eventually, when it felt right).

It was the first time I had told anyone else in my life about this issue – it has to do with existential dread, of an obsessive nature, but is more than that.  It usually comes up a few times a year (for the last 20 years), but had come up basically every day for about a week and a half before therapy, which was a bit disturbing to me.

It felt so good to finally be in a space that was safe enough that I could share this deepest secret and not only not be judged, but also have someone I trust with all of my issues who could help me.  We talked about it for awhile, which was not easy, but I cannot put in words how much much weight it took off my mind to have someone else know this.  She gave me a plausible idea about why it had come up now, which was very reassuring.

We talked about the nature of therapy – about how wonderful it is to have a therapist who you connect with on a personal level, about how weirdness is awesome, and about how truly amazing it was to me to find someone who created such a safe space that I could share something like this.  She said that it was great for her to hear that.


NaNoWriMo 9 – Therapy Breakthrough

My therapy schedule has not really been so much a schedule lately as a random assortment of dates scheduled somewhere between four and six weeks apart. And that really hasn’t been working for me, because the sessions I do have are at least a quarter catch-up. That’s a bit much for me.

This session we talked about what has happened with me over the last couple weeks – the death of my childhood caretaker, problems with partners, anxiety/anxiety-induced insomnia, my self-care kit, and what I’ve discovered and learned in the last couple weeks. We started it off special with a chai tea she has in her office that both of us love and that helped ease things in a bit.

When I was talking about setting boundaries and me figuring out what I need to do if I want to keep one of my relationships healthy and realistic for both of us, I mentioned that I finally actually grokked the idea of self as primary, that it finally resonated for me. I’ve done work in self-care and setting my own boundaries, but I’ve realized that I need to have a stronger base on which to grow my relationships and that some of the issues I’ve been running into have probably been as a result of not spending time on my base, on taking care of me. My therapist asked if this was the first time this had truly clicked with me. When I told her that it was, she stood up and gave me a standing ovation. She remarked that this is what progress looks like, and I am inclined to agree with her.

So I am scheduled on an every other week schedule, which I think will be better for me going into winter, when things get tough.


November Write 28

I’m watching Sex and the City for entertainment while I write and play games.  Today, actually as it often does for a show made in the 90s that seems a bit out-of-date sometimes (but oddly seems very in touch other times), it came with an interesting idea: Therapy is self-indulgent.

To me, this seems like a “no duh”, also very important.  That’s the point of it!  But, also, it can be very crucial.  It was not until I went to therapy for dealing with grief and depression when Rainne died that I realized how very important it was.  One of the most important pieces of self-indulgence that I ever participated in.  Crucial for many, for at least some points in their lives.  Definitely crucial for me at that point.

I’m going back to therapy again this time – not because I need it to move on like I did the last time, but because I need it to keep my priorities straight and get my life back in a straight-ish path (insert some joke about queerness and not even my life being straight).  Plus, I’m not sure how much more of my issues my partners can take.  So, that’s a good reason, if nothing else.


November Write 25

This evening I met with a potential therapist, someone I knew to be poly, kink, and queer friendly, from repuatation alone.  So, taking a chance on that.

From the second I stepped into the waiting room in her office, I knew we were going to be fine, even if we didn’t click – she had tea, books, and penguins.  But we did.

I went in with my intake paperwork – I had originally intended to send it to her, but had been a bit intimidated by all the pages and had put it off until today. Such a wealth of information.  A lot of it was questions about partners, medical stuff, and that sort.  The intake form even had five slots for partners/spouses, which I thought was pretty neat.

But the big important question: what brings you here?  Such a big question, so full of promise.  So I thought very hard about it.  This is what I came up with:

1. Balancing relationships and learning how to set boundaries, even if they are different for different partners and learning to be okay with that.

2. Figuring out my gender identity and expression, learn what that feels like to me, and what being comfortable in that skin feels like.

3. Putting together a plan to come out as poly and non-binary to my whole world, not just the limited folks who know now. It used to be more important to me to come out as non-binary, but with much thought and much time to reflect, especially on feelings around this holiday season – poly has become more important, more essential to my long term happiness.

We talked about these and their relative importance to me.  We also talked about brain science and the connection between the mind and the body, that looping connection.  We talked about Minx’s death and how it is still impacting me, still affecting my ability to successfully carry out romantic relationships, even though most of the pain is gone (well, the grief and the overwhelming sadness are gone – I am the broken china, repaired to be more beautiful than ever, shining with gold).  Apparently it is not common to be as consciously aware of this effect as I am.

We talked about my anxiety – decided that would be the first thing to tackle. So, that’s that.  I now have a new therapist. 🙂