Excited and confused Hirundo [1500 word introspection]

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Excited and confused Hirundo [1500 word introspection] Empty Excited and confused Hirundo [1500 word introspection]

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:27 am

This is mostly to sort out thoughts through writing. And a little vulnerable to share, which makes it into controlled exposure. I don't expect advice, although it's welcome if anyone has any.

Several good things are happening in my life, so naturally I'm confused and a little scared.

Uhm, to begin somewhere, it was a social gathering with an online community last night. It was intense on several levels and some of the confusion right now may stem from that, I may think clearer once I recover a bit.

Three things that happened left with a bit to think about.

1) Months ago, I had a heated argument with someone in that community. It upset me a lot, and I have been going over it ever since, to an extent also reliving it. I knew he was going to be there yesterday and was anxious about it, but decided to go and face it rather than stay at home. When I first saw him, I was both agressive and defensive, and kind of got that it hadn't been nearly such a big deal for him. A little later he came over to reassure me, and I cut him off with some angry words. But then a bit later than that I came over to him in a calmer mood, and we got to talk over what had happened. I found myself sliding back into the argument, but quickly took myself out of it, and we parted in a way that wasn't hostile.

So, a good data point for social calibration (experience with what is or isn't a big deal), a lot of insight into my own anger, a successful, even if delayed effort at managing said anger, a bit of social anxiety faced and mastered, an uncertain social situation settled.

2) Something about a woman. One of the regulars at those gathering pointed her out to me, and said I should go and speak to her, so dutifully I did. We quickly found out we had similar diagnoses, and chatted a bit about me and how I'd learned so much the last years and her and former and current stressors in her life and I fell into advice mode and apologized for it and she said no give me advice please, and I think I managed to give some emotional, if not practical advice across, because I had little practical experience with her situation. I assured her that some feelings she was processing were legitimate (they were). Then 3) happened, and during it I we mutually had each other's back.

3) As I was trying to give advice, someone else came by and began to give advice of his own. It seemed like a good idea at first, because he knew a lot about that specific situation. But it turned out he knew a bit too much, because he went on talking very fast and in detail. Neither of us could keep up, and actually didn't understand a word. When we pointed this out, he just went on. It also became clear that it wasn't the kind of advice she was looking for. He just went on. She became visibly uncomfortable, I told him to stop it, and he said okay, and went on. She disengaged and started talking to someone else. I tried to make advice guy see why he needed to back off. He went on... with the same advice directed at me. I said we either had to change the subject or break off the conversation. He said "why, why do we need to do that," and went on with the advice. Finally I yelled at him, and so he stopped.

A guard came over and asked if everything was all right.

A bit later, I went over a bit calmer and tried to explain myself. He listened a bit, and went on with why that advice was so relevant and the only relevant advice to give, heat started to turn up and the guard came over again and said that if we continued shouting at each other we'd have to leave. For a little while I snapped into 12-year-old mode where being chastised for anger was a daily occurance, felt all the shame and vulnerability and helplessness of that time and was about to leave on my own, but the guard was understanding and I snapped out of it again.

So, experience with construtive use of anger (although it would have been even more construtive if I'd known how to end the conversation earlier). A bit of practice with snapping out of anger. I was a bit unfair with the guard though. And I need to do some future work on minding my surroundings

And on taking care of each other, first I moved advice-guy's attention from her and over to me, and then later when I got the impulse to go back to and talk things over yet again, she saw that it wouldn't work and very kindly, caringly, held me back.

2 cont.) Afterwards we chatted a bit more, when it was time to go home she asked where I was going, which was in the opposite direction, but she still asked if I wanted to walk a bit in her direction which I did. And the person who introduced us said in a low voice to me, "good, walk her home now, get in touch with her later, and let's see what happens. So we walked together for a while, but not quite to her door, and she said "but maybe you can visit me some other time."

The conversation by he way had included a bit of conversational touching. At one point (when I closed my eyes to look for words and she interpreted it as a sign of distress because that facial expression is a bit miswired in me), she took my hand and led me to stroke her hair.

So. Huh. Um? Wow.
Good, confusing, a little scary.

I have... a sense that becoming too close might not be a good idea. Our... strengths and weaknesses may be a bit too well aligned, so they may reinforce rather than complement one another. When things become difficult, they could become very difficult. Or maybe not, maybe I'm underestimating myself, and her, underestimating both of us... I have a habit when I like someone of searching for things that could go wrong, vivid pictures of my own inadequacies against someone else's pain, against containing my own needs, against being swept away from all the comforts I've finally managed to build for myself. (Which is a risk... maybe a given even... with almost any kind of change.)

But I do trust my sense about the alignment of strengths and weaknesses. That feels real, as opposed to regular knee-jerk doubts.

*

What is... very new, very big, is that I'm processing this thing at all. When I click with someone, there's touching, invitation to meet again, encouragement from third party... I don't just blank out, I think of it as a thing. I even have mental space for the uncertainty of it, that I might, after all, have misread things (because that happens to everyone, and on top of that we both have some problems with communication), and of course, nothing is certain at an early state...

I don't know if I can explain what thinking about such things were like before. It was like something that was in a way present in my head, anxiety, noise, and sometimes excitement, but I couldn't grasp it with my consciousness, I couldn't process it, examine it, communicate it, I was just too afraid to... But now I can. I can say "this might not be a thing but it very well could be" – I just did – I can get that sentence out of my mouth!

How do I explain how huge that is?

Still confused about what to do with it though.

There's another thing too, with another woman. On OKC. She got in touch with me. Lives at a bit of a distance, in an open marriage, says she can see us becoming friends and maybe possibly a bit more. We're discussing attitudes towards sex and romance.

Have knee-jerk doubts, and possibly some doubts with substance to it. Confused about what to do about it. But able to process and communicate about it.

In the space of one week there's been two possible Things that I have noticed at all, then been able to process. That's almost as many such things as in the last ten years combined. And the difference lays in my receptiveness, in my ability to let something happen. This is very good, and confusing, and scary.
Hirundo Bos
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Post by kath on Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:02 pm

Hey, Congrats Hirundo! That's fantastic!

I would say, since it seems like you are interested in her, you can try to get closer. You've shown in those interactions that practicing your skills at disentangling if things go wrong is something you can do and that it helps. So if it didn't go as you hoped, you can practice that skill in that situation too. And if it turns out that even though you have some of the same strengths and weaknesses, that you can still be a good team (and I really think it depends on what those strengths and weakness are and what triggers them), then great - you can work on things together.
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Post by Hirundo Bos on Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:49 am

Yes, I think you are right. And thanks for the encouragement. I have some doubts and fears, though. I'm bringing them over to another thread, with more specific questions from a somewhat clearer-minded me.
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Post by gaboz on Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:27 pm

I like what I read Hirundo.

Babysteps to a better you

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Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:53 pm

And so I sent a message, said that we'd had such a nice chat, asked if she wanted to chat some more someday. Easier than I'd imagined it would be. A lot less wordy than the few similar messages I've sent in the past.

A bit unsure about how to go about if she says yes, a bit unsure about where I'd like it to go (although I'm quite certain a bit more chatting will be nice), but I suddenly understand that I have to learn these things by experience, there isn't any other way.
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Post by kleenestar on Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:36 pm

I am so delighted for you. I especially love your self-awareness, and your growing ability to short-circuit self-destructive patterns.
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Post by Hirundo Bos on Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:45 pm

Thank you, gaboz and kleenestar. Being cheered on is a good powersource for these things. Specific cheers are even better.

I'm meeting up with this person sometime during the weekend, exactly where and when to be worked out then. And discussion on intimacy with other person on OKC gives me a lot of new insights about myself.
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