Stabilizing Anxiety

From catharsis to floating to venturing forth to processing emotions to revelations and now to proceeding with a more stable mind/squashing my anxieties.

One of the most important things I have been doing is addressing triggered emotions. Dating is still outrageously triggering my abandonment issues. But by outrageous, I just mean frequent. I am constantly nipping abandonment anxiety in the bud. Other anxieties have been paired with it, like worrying about being respected, valued, or gaining solid companionship. I have been doing an ace job of nipping these anxieties in the bud as well.

When I first started dating, it would sometimes take me a week, and my friends’ input, to help me figure out the reasons behind my moods. However, now that I’ve ridden the rollercoaster of new relationships at least once, I am now aware of my triggers. So now I can tell almost immediately when my mood has started to foul, and why. Thank goodness I practice a lot of mindfulness meditation. It allows for some clarity so that I can address my anxiety and return to a more stable, content state of mind.

Despite my relentless anxieties, I am very happy.

Things have been heating up with Australian, which has caused my brain to panic a bit and put me on a faster anxiety rollercoaster than I had with the Viking.

The Aussie and I are incredibly alike. Both of us want to let our relationships develop how they will, without putting pressure on ourselves or others to meet some sort of relationship goal. Both of us worry that having a goal or expectations beyond getting to know someone puts unnecessary restraints on the relationship. Yes, both of us still have our needs and our standards, however, we are not pressuring anyone to meet those needs or standards. If someone doesn’t, then it’s no big deal to either drop the person, or to address the issue. Either way, there’s no pressure to ‘make things work’.

For me, this lets things be a whole lot more relaxed. My anxieties like to cling to the uncertainty of not having a goal, but they can fuck off. When I let go of my anxiety, I feel utterly liberated.

Yes, I am constantly having to reassure myself that uncertainty is ok, and that I can at the very least be confident and sure of myself. Yes, I am constantly having to remind myself to enjoy the experience of getting to know someone and to enjoy the freedom of not restraining myself or my relationships. However, each time I have to remind myself, the easier it is to let go of my anxiety, and the longer it takes to raise its nasty head again.

Hispetitelle recently posted a wonderful article on emotional maturity: Paying the P.R.I.C.E. with some wonderful links on mastering your emotional responses and triggers.

Figuring My Shit Out

Well,  I’ve finally figured some of my desires out! It only took two and half months of being single and a month of dating.

I have been asking myself a very pertinent question: What the fuck do I want?

Over the past 2.5 months, the answer to this has changed a lot. At first I wanted to be blissfully free from obligations. I wanted to be mostly alone. I started dating again when I started wanting company again.

But dating again has now lead me to need to get more specific with the question above. What do I want to get out of dating? What kind of relationships do I want? At first I didn’t care, but dating the Viking has made me aware of few things.

I am looking for companionship. Real, honest-to-fuck, reliable, frequent companionship. While I do not want the burden of being someone’s primary priority, nor do I want to have someone that is my own primary priority, I do want to be a priority. I want to be pursued just as much as I pursue. I’m starting to want an ‘anchor’.

The Viking is shit at pursuing me. However, I have an Aussie and a Brit that are amazing at showing interest and desire for me.

I might not know where all of these relationships are going, but I’m ok with that, because I finally know what the fuck I want.

Processing

This week I have been processing a lot of emotions.

With the last relationship, the stakes were incredibly high. From the get-go, we had to figure out what our game-plan would be if things worked. And the game-plan was for me to move half-way around the world. That put a lot of pressure on making the relationship ‘work’, because of the preparation it would take for me to move. It took a lot of fun out of the fun, flirty, feeling-things-out beginning stage of the relationship. There were several other roadblocks to this, the relationship was incredibly complicated, but suffice to say: things were almost never easy and the relaxed times could be a bit forced.

With the Viking, I don’t want to analyze. I just want to have the fun, flirty, feeling-things-out stage. I don’t want to try to come up with a goal or a game-plan for what the relationship will be. I just want to enjoy his company.

But this past weekend, I was plagued with this internal mounting demand to analyze the budding relationship. I fought it off, but eventually I caved because the pressure was fouling my mood. So I let myself ponder ‘the relationship’ with much dread. At first, I rationalized this dread as the certainty that he and I just couldn’t work out as a romantic couple. We’re both dominants and sadists that can swing a little for the right person. It’s damn-near impossible for two Dominants to work out in a healthy relationship. I dreaded us butting heads. I dreaded the possibility of him wanting to dominate me more than I was willing. I dreaded us not being able to truly fulfill each other.

One of the last times he came over, I dominated him a little (biting and scratching). His feedback (that I requested) afterwards was that he felt ‘indifferent’ when I was doing it. He didn’t dislike it, but he didn’t really like it, either. I fucking hated hearing that he was indifferent to the tame pain I dished out. It was too close to home with what happened with Renard. And also I really very badly wanted him to enjoy it. It pulled the rug right out of me enjoying hearing him gasp or feeling him shiver in pain.

So I’ve been doing nice sensation-play with him instead. But while I can still get him to shiver and gasp, and I can still feed on that energy… It’s nowhere near as fulfilling and satisfying as being sadistically dominant is for me.

And yet despite this, I still find myself really wanting him around.

I was with family most of the weekend, but as I was leaving their place, I asked the Viking if he would come over. He said yes. We had an interesting night. My anxieties and worries and insecurities and fears harassed me relentlessly. My Hunger to sadistically dominate him rode me outrageously hard. I was honest to a certain degree about wanting to dominate him. (I didn’t let him know all of the other turmoil I was feeling.) I wanted to viciously spank his wonderful ass. He playfully let me know that if I did spank him, he’d get me back. Eventually, I managed to refrain from spanking the fuck out of him, primarily because I did not want him to get dominant with me as a result.

I desperately wanted to feel the calm that I usually feel with him. And so things transitioned to him doing some sensation/energy play on me. He was thorough in trailing his hair along me this time and it was amazing. I loved eating his energy through the feel of his flesh against me. We have an amazing chemistry when it comes to this. He certainly earned a larger degree of trust from me for not being overly dominant with me while I was out of it from endorphins.

Regardless, by the end of the night, although I felt amazing from the energy play, I felt a bit sad. I felt like there was just no way we would ever work out. I wondered if we could even be friends. I wondered if maybe we just shouldn’t hang out anymore. All of this because I knew we were not satisfying the darker sides of ourselves.

And then another thing started to plague me: whether/when we would have sex. I want to dominate him more than I want to fuck him, but that’s more a testament to how strong my sadistic Hunger is. I really, really want to explore what our chemistry is like during intercourse. I bet it’d amazing. However, the last time I had sex, I was in a committed relationship with people that loved me and that I loved. A very real part of me is terrified that we will have sex and then I’ll never hear or see him again. I’m also afraid that he doesn’t care about me. It’s wonderful how abandonment issues love to raise their heads!

So this week, I’ve been thinking about all of this. A very good friend told me that I was sounding defensive and insecure when I spoke of how we probably wouldn’t work out. And then it hit me: Underneath is all, I’ve actually been feeling 1) uncomfortably vulnerable and 2) terrorized by my abandonment issues. These feelings caused me to be emotionally distraught and to feel a pressure to make a decision about how the relationship will be. Plus, any time I feel uncomfortably vulnerable, I want to withdraw.

Realizing, acknowledging, and meditating on this has resulted in me going back to being calm. I don’t have to be afraid.

If/when the dominance thing becomes an issue, we can always fall back on our polyamory. There will most likely come a time in which we will both need to dominate, and there is nothing wrong with us finding play partners to satisfy those needs.

So that settles that, and now I’m back to looking forward to seeing him and seeing where this goes! I’m very excited.

Also, when it comes to having sex… I have a plan, haha! Tonight he is spending the night and then tomorrow he and I are spending the day at Staircase in the Olympic National Forest. Soooo we’ll most likely (had better!) have sex tonight, and then spend the next day together, which greatly appeases the insecure mammoth in me that is afraid he’ll ditch me.

I can’t really put into words how relieved I am that my emotions have settled and that I didn’t do anything brash while they were harrowing me!

Getting Back Out There

WARNING: LONG, CONVOLUTED POST AHEAD. (Normally I like my posts to span one topic and be concise, but for today, fuck it.)

It’s been nice taking things slow and getting a feel for myself.

I broke up with them October 4th. I grieved and mourned and did my best to keep my spirits and optimism up. Re-reading through my blog, I can see a lot of similarities between my behavior with Renard and with this past relationship. Mainly, once I want a relationship to work, I will go through hell until I feel there are no options left except to end it.

Some things to note about how my life has changed during this relationship is that I am no longer actively doing things in the community. Of course, there are multiple factors. At first, one of the main problems was that I don’t have a car, so getting around is not the easiest, especially if I want to stay out all night. So if I don’t have a car pool, I don’t go. Another factor is that I don’t have anyone that I want to carpool with. Tigresse and Papa tried to hook me back up with Renard the last two times I carpooled with them, so I don’t trust them to not try again. I have a friend in Seattle that sometimes lets me tag along with them to the CSPC, but fuck that place is expensive. I’m used to $5 covers. Not $20-$35. Aaand since I don’t have a car, and don’t have a lot of friends at this point, going to munches is pretty much completely out of the picture.

Also, while I was in the last relationship, they had hard limits for me playing with others. I could only play with girls, and I couldn’t do anything sexual. This took a lot of fun out of scening, and a lot of my desire to scene went away, since I couldn’t really enjoy myself to the fullest extent. This was a subject that was spoken about on several occasions, but the rule never changed. I did scene with the woman in the relationship, but the occasions were tense. I also scened a few times with others, but was unfulfilled.

So I’ve been a bit of a hermit, which can have it’s advantages, but also some serious disadvantages. I love being around my people, my community. I love the camaraderie and I am missing it.

Hell, I miss hanging out with people in general.

I’ve tried a couple of times to talk to the few friends I still have (inside and outside the community) to see if they’d be up for us going out together, but no plans have worked out.

I need more friends. My friends right now are mostly co-workers and my family, and while they are amazing and great, I want friends outside of those circles. A large part of me wants things to be like how they used to be in Pensacola, wherein my closer friends were also my lovers. I don’t want friends with benefits. I want friends with intimacy that may or may not include scening and sex.

And so, on November 14th, I re-opened my OkC account (no I’m not giving my username!). There was a bit of dread and sadness to doing it. Dread that my exes might see, and what they might think. Sadness that I’m so out of the loop that I’m looking online for friends and dating buddies.

I get so nervous in public. And I’m not a fan of clubbing or bar hopping. I like sitting in a coffee shop and dicking around. And here, most people in coffee shops want to be left alone. I’ve tried chatting a few people up before, but unless they’re elderly or a girl, I get shrugged off.

Anyway, there’s good news. I saw this one guy’s profile. This one guy had a witty username. This one guy had a witty profile.  This one guy… has long blonde hair and looks like a viking and has passions. Photography. Leatherwork. Being playfully difficult. He’s dabbled in bdsm as a top. He’s polyamorous.

So I messaged him. We went out to Seattle almost all day Sunday the 16th. It was nice. Relaxed. I didn’t feel obligated to behave a certain way. There were gloriously no expectations except to hang out. We grabbed lunched. Walked around Pike’s Place (I showed him Most of the Places). We saw Interstellar together. Went to a gaming bar and stayed until it closed. It was great. We rode the train back to the main stop, then he drove me home (he offered, whoa). The freedom and lack of restrictions to that day that were lovely.

Wednesday the 19th I really needed some company to help de-stress from the day. He came over to my place. Brought Riesling (my favorite, and he didn’t even know!). I made pot stickers for the first time and KICKED ASS. We hung out all night. Laughed about my stupid work stress. Relaxed. No expectations again. No obligations. Just people hanging out and seeing where things go. No pressure.

I spent Saturday (22nd) night and Sunday(23rd) day/evening with my sister. I got drunk with her at this bar. Everyone loved her. The people that serendipitously hung out with us thought I was weird for getting super excited about books and strategy and nerdiness and for being a dominatrix. I felt terribly out of place. Whereas my sister fit right in with them. With these normal people that I kept trying to understand and analyze. I felt like a spectator.

So on my way home, I tipsy-texted the Viking and eventually told him he should come over. I badly needed to be around someone that I fit in with. Wonderfully, he did come over. He came over to my place at like 9:30 at night just to hang out with me while I was drunk. He didn’t try to get in my pants, although mucho snuggling and snogging was done. I babbled a lot. Let him hear for himself how my thought processes work and just how much I analyze things and how much I’ve been thinking about the gradients of dominance and submission.

I was affectionate with him. I have a very hard time being affectionate, but it’s so incredibly easy with him. Because there’s no pressure to it. There’s no judging or him taking the affection for anything more than it is. Except it’s a lot for me. It is profound. I doubt he realizes it.

So we snuggled and chatted and were affectionate. He left after a few hours, both of us laughing and in high spirits.

Last night I was getting ready to make mini maple bacon cheesecakes for the first time ever. I gave him clues that I wanted company. He actually freaking read into the clues and asked if I’d like him to come over. I said of course. And then I ran out of Pam. So I texted him just to laugh about it and he offered to grab some on his way. It’s little things like that that make me like him. He got to my place and gave me shit for not knowing the recipe or having all the ingredients and it was hilarious and wonderful. He even helped me make the damn things. And then he stayed most of the night and we snuggled and caressed and teased each other a bit and it was great.

There is so much laughter with him. I want him around. He alleviates my stresses, anxieties, and grief. He doesn’t know and he doesn’t need to know. Sure, he can be annoying and frustrating at times, but that’s mostly me adjusting to getting used to him and to being in this state of emotional floating that I’m in.

Because the odd thing for me is that even with as great as everything is with him, I am still in an odd place emotionally. Normally, if I get along this well with someone, by this point, I would want things to get serious. I would want their commitment. But not this time. No. I just want him around as company, whatever the kind. I’m not developing serious feelings for him. I consider him a developing friend. I think part of me is still expecting this whole thing to not even work out as that. I am terribly used to things not working out. And I am still terribly emotionally exhausted from the failed relationship.

Last night this song played on the Pandora station I had going while we were petting each other in bed. I think it’s a bit relatable to me, though not entirely, since I’m not fronting, hahaha: Kings Of Convenience: “Mrs. Cold”.

**SPECIAL NOTE: LAST NIGHT HE DRAGGED HIS HAIR ACROSS ME (A LOT. ON PURPOSE.) AND I ABOUT DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN. That has now been scratched off of my list of things to do before I die, hahaha!**

Submitting

I am in a state of floating. A state of not striving for any one particular goal. Part of me is enjoying that I don’t have those kinds of struggles in my life right now. And yet at the same time, I am struggling.

I have lost myself in a lot of ways. I don’t know my preferences anymore. I don’t know what my specific needs are in a relationship anymore. I feel like I’ve softened and lost myself as a dominant. I find myself questioning and re-evaluating a lot. I compromised so much, and got lost so much in the relationship that I’ve become more of a switch. For now. I just want to be relaxed and let things flow.

Could I be someone’s submissive? No. But last week there was a feeling that came with that response. A vehemence. A negativity. An anger. Why? Why did even contemplating being submissive put me on edge and on the defense? Why did it make me growl inside? Why does considering this bother me so much?

I don’t like this feeling because it is belittling to submissives. If I were submissive with someone, it would not mean I am any less of a person. It would not mean I was being demeaned or abused or subjugated or disrepected. Perhaps it is the fear/anticipation of being disrespected that raises the hackles of my anger when contemplating such things.

Dwelling on this, I have realized a few things (yea, yea, more realizations). I have realized that it has been a long, long time since I have proved myself worthy of dominating someone. And likewise, it has been a long, long time since I have let someone prove that they can be trusted with dominating me. It means that I have a very real, very great fear of someone taking advantage of me, should I submit to them. Why? Where did this fear start and how did it grow?

I shit you not, I have been re-reading my blog to re-learn myself. I have once again suppressed a great deal in myself, to the point where I am having to remind myself of what I’ve liked. It’s sad in a way. That I have forgotten such crucial, significant parts of myself.

I have been wishy-washy about being sadistic/dominant. Why?  I think it also has to do with how much effort I put into the relationship. I don’t want to be in charge of things right now. I don’t want to stress about effort. I just want things to flow and be pleasant. I want things to be effortless. I am too emotionally exhausted right now to muster up enough emotional investment to be want to be Dominant.

Long-Winded Catharsis

Well, it’s been a year since I’ve updated this expression of myself. And gods, what a year it has been.

“Why haven’t you posted?!” you may ask. Well, that’s what this post is about, so let’s hit two birds with one stone.

What have I been doing? From November of last year to the end of September this year, I have been in poly triad. A long-distance poly triad, at that. How long of a distance? Me in Seattle, them in Scotland. Yea, half way around the world. Was I mad? Mad for the opportunity, yes.

They know of this profile. I considered making a new one, but I won’t. If they do decide to read this, then they know the risk they are taking, of seeing how I’m doing and feeling.

I have learned a lot of things from this relationship. I’m sure they have, too.

I learned that I am not as much of a cold-hearted bitch as I’d worried I was. I’ve learned that I can push through very difficult emotions like an adult: responsibly, and with love. I’ve learned just how much I can push myself when I am in love. I’ve learned how to be more understanding. I’ve learned to be more caring. I’ve learned to be more accepting. I’ve learned just how much I’m willing to compromise to try to ‘make things work’. I’ve realized that if the whole relationship ends up being about trying to ‘make things work’, then it probably won’t work. I’ve learned that there are people more complicated than myself. I’ve learned to communicate better. I’ve learned to communicate even if the subject is extremely uncomfortable (perhaps especially if it’s uncomfortable). I’ve learned to be less of a fucking slob. I’ve learned how much I love to cook for others. I’ve learned how amazing it feels to actually be someone’s (two someones’) priority. I’ve learned how freaking selfish and spoiled I can still be, and how to not be such a child when it comes to not ‘getting my way.’ I’ve realized that sometimes, I want to scene with others because I can get incredibly lonely and I want a scene to have some sort of intimate, physical connection with someone with or without strings.

I’ve learned that jealousy is a tricky, evil, conniving, underhanded motherfucker, and that it deceptively veils itself as a million other emotions. I’ve realized that jealousy is not just one emotion, and that it can cause a flood of others. I’ve learned that sometimes it takes some real digging to figure out when jealousy is pulling your strings.

I’ve learned that sometimes jealousy cannot be defeated; or at least that I can’t always help others conquer it.

I already knew that I wasn’t perfect, but it’s one thing to know it, and another thing to have imperfections aid in the dissolution of a relationship.

I’ve realized that it will just have to be ok that I won’t understand everyone. I’ve realized just how much I can not understand someone. I’ve realized that if two people think completely differently than one another, that the relationship probably won’t work because communication that results in a true understanding of the other is not highly plausible.

So, the relationship is over. It’s been over for almost a month and a half. It culminated in my visiting them for two weeks in September, and coming to the realization that we just didn’t work as a trouple. When I was with them, I experienced things I never thought I would experience. In the end, it wasn’t enough. A week after I returned, I called the relationship off. The Skype session was… cordial. And yet still devastating. We’d put ourselves wholly into this crazy chance we took. I am infinitely proud of myself for not being a coward. For trying.

It sucks that it failed. It hurts. I’m still hurting. I still care about them. I still wish sometimes that it had worked. I so badly wanted the relationship to be the relationship that put me off the market. The relationship that would make me happy and fulfilled. There were moments of that promise, otherwise I wouldn’t have tried for so long, nor would I have let myself struggle through all the difficulties.

How much compromise is too much compromise? I don’t know. If the compromises you make, make you truly unhappy, then I think that’s when things need to be re-evaluated. If their hard limits are not your hard limits, and their hard limits leave you feeling so unsatisfied that you become miserable, then it’s time to re-evaluate things.

I’m still healing, still hurting as I’ve said, but I’ve also been pushing myself to move on. I’m still grieving, but I am at a point where I want to be with others. Nothing serious. Gods, after all of this, no, no I couldn’t handle serious so soon. But I do want new friendships, new experiences, new friends that may become casual lovers. I’m not ready to have sex just yet. Especially since the last time I had sex it was with people who were in love with me, and with whom I was in love. There’s just no beating that.

I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other since I called the relationship off. I’ve been doing my best to stay optimistic, upbeat, and eager for what may come now.

I’m ready to see where my life will go now.

Suppression

Gods, am I feeling how much I’ve suppressed my needs and desires. I yearn for a submissive that I can dedicate myself to and that is dedicated to me. I yearn for a bdsm-oriented romantic relationship. I crave that power exchange. But most of all, I hunger for the energy exchange relevant to all of it. I am feeling the pain of the absence of these things rather acutely.

There is the option to take up casual relationships with multiple people so that I can at least get some of my needs met in some fashion. However, I know from personal experience that casual relationships don’t really satisfy me. I need a very deep level of intimacy and energy exchange to have some form of satisfaction. Not only this, but I also need it to be consistent.

It’s like being someone dying of thirst in a desert. You can forget you’re dying of thirst, so long as you don’t get a taste of water. But once you get a taste of water, it just reminds you of how agonizingly thirsty you are, and how desperately you need to glut yourself on some water. And in fact, it reminds you that you really aught to be drinking at least a full glass of water every day. But you’re not and you can’t, so fuck.

Liberate One wrote up an informed post on the pertinence of a Dominant knowing their wants vs needs. On top of that, I’ve been talking to a potential partner on fetlife. Xajow’s post and my conversation with this FL person have reminded me that I have been suppressing both my wants and my needs to the point where 1) remembering that I even have either is painful since they’re not getting met, and 2) I’ve done such a good job at suppressing my needs and desires, that I’ve forgotten what they are.

Dwelling on my wants and needs is painful. It just serves to remind me of how unsatisfied and unfulfilled I am in certain aspects of my life. But I’m not a weakling, and it is important for me to re-identify what my wants and needs are, and to make sure I have them distinguished.

No, I am not solely some repressed Dominant. I have a lot of things going for me. I do have a life that I am enjoying for the most part. Even so, there is this core of myself that is not being expressed to my satisfaction, and core needs that are not being met, either.

Writing about and honestly contemplating it all helps alleviate the tension. I do still have a great deal of loving-kindness and understanding for myself. I will just have to be patient. Surely, eventually things will work out. Right…?