[Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

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[Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:09 am

So, I'm probably at that point where my rants here are becoming one of those things best ignored. Which, to be fair, is cool. I don't have much left in me but frustration these days - there's not much you can tell a person who doesn't feel anything any more that can help him. Alas, I digress - this is supposed to be a foreword and it's sounding like a contrived guilt trip. Not good.

Anyway, my mum has been in poor health as some of you might know. Today, she went for an important MRCP scan. I was out of contact with her and my Dad (who was with her all day) for about three hours. I almost hyperventilated at work panicking about it. So that was grand, as you can imagine.

On Friday, I got cornered by some arsehole from amnesty international on the way to work whom, thanks to my pathetic boundaries and inability to tell annoying people to fuck off, signed me up for monthly payments. Yay, I'm so socially inept that I let myself be conned. What a story MapWater (the happy ending is that I faked having chronic anxiety issues in an email to amnesty support and they blocked my subscription before I even started. I'm nothing if not a suck up).

On Sunday the battery in my Dad's car died, leading to me stressing like a fucking idiot because I feared he would lose his shit and not have a way to get mum to the hospital. Thankfully, we got a new battery and that's all over.

But, going back today, I went to the pub after work because, for the first time in my life, I wanted to get drunk and not feel anything at all. That went okay. But I talked to the new, funky girl behind the bar. She's gorgeous, poly, bi and the sweetest thing ever. And it kills me. She's brutally honest about her relationships and sex life, explaining it all to me over the damn bar. That I have no complaints about - I would actually answer most questions about either pretty bluntly myself. I just don't have much to say about either because I don't even allow myself crushes never mind ask people out. But it occurred to me: I'm a complete fucking loser.

I had this ridiculous urge to tell her I still had my mighty v-card. I dunno why, I don't get that with other people, but I feel like she wouldn't think I'm a pathetic piece of shit for it and say something nice. Some stupid platitude about how she couldn't believe someone like me could be a virgin. Some dumb as fuck comment I could latch onto like a limpet on a ship and never let go of. Because if someone I find hot says she can't believe I haven't doinked someone in the past, then surely I'm not to blame, everyone else ever is!

But, I came to a realisation that I've never admitted about anyone else: I find her hot and just want to fuck her. Which, when I realised, immediately made me want to jump into the nearest intersection. I mean, I'm in tears writing this (I literally stopped here for a few minutes to collect myself). Lust is something that makes me want to destroy myself over. What the everlasting fuck? To make matters worse, I'm jealous of her. She was lamenting the fact that she had no women in her network that was accepting of her being poly/bi. It was only guys. I'm sitting there thinking "wow, either she's making something out of nothing or I'm really fucking pathetic". Of course, I defaulted to the latter. Because it's true. Why kid myself, I get all these compliments about both personality and looks but no one has shown a hint of fucking interest. It's fair to say something is wrong with me. Maybe I'm too cold. Maybe I project a standoffishness that's hard for me to perceive. Maybe my body language is crap. Maybe my innate fears of someone being close to me is manifesting itself in subtle behaviours that I actually reinforce because I would rather be alone than hurt someone. Maybe I'm just a human turd. Who knows? All I know is that it's easy to play the guessing game in my head but all it does it make me feel like crap instead of inspiring change.

I don't even know where I'm going with this, really. I feel bad about lustful feelings and I've had a generally shitty time the last few days. It all culminates in feeling like human refuse given life. And my inability to form boundaries or say no leads me to believe I am going to be raped or assaulted and internalise that as "the way things are", "lust means I have no boundaries" and "I am problematic at my very core".

No wonder I hang around here yet completely dismiss wanting a relationship. I want something I literally cannot have, but I want to lull myself into believing I can as a form of self-flagellation. I want to punish myself for having the feelings my suspected anhedonia is suppressing. I wish I was a fucking limpet. Then I would have nothing to fear but a stevedore with a scraper.

So, for anyone who does not understand why someone would rather not feel than endure something, sit and take that in. I would rather be a mollusc than feel like I want to have sex with a woman. People can prattle on about the good things in life that counteract the shittiness. But it means fucking nothing if all I want is an escape from the shitty feelings. It's not about feeling good, it's about not feeling shitty.

Also, I feel like a walking fucking skeleton to top things off. I've lost 3kgs and am down to 50kgs. That's 3kgs I can't really afford to lose, probably from stressing over my mum.

I'm a right fucking wreck right now. I just needed to let everyone else know that.

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Prajnaparamita on Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:11 am

Oh MapWater, my heart goes out to you so much now and please don’t feel like you’re being a bother to us. Honestly for a while now I’ve been wanting to try and offer you some support and advice in the threads you’ve been posting but my depressive moods have been really strong recently and I’ve been isolating, even from this community online.

Reading what you wrote about being ashamed of your lust, feeling like it made you a horrible person just rang so true for me about how I felt for such a long time. When I was 17 I met this guy—super smart and kind and charismatic absolutely gorgeous and totally ripped Australian surfer boy and I fell for him almost immediately at our first conversation. But I was convinced he could never be attracted to an awkward freak like me and did everything I could to suppress my feelings while trying to get closer to him. And even as my crush grew deeper I felt like a horrible person for basically Nice Girl-ing him and that I would be forever alone. It hurt, oh god it hurt. (Turns out though he’d found me kinda hot but between all the misunderstanding and drama and hurt between us nothing is ever going to happen and he’s not interested in me anymore. Which just makes things worse in a way when I think back on it because I also fucked up the chance I had with him from my actions.)

For some time afterwards even just being around attractive men stabbed at something in my heart that I almost swore was physical pain, and I seriously wished attraction was something I could make disappear because despite every what damn love song said, it was something that I had only known pain from, and never pleasure, so what would I actually be losing?

I don’t exactly know what changed in me—it was a slow and gradual process. I went on medication for my acne and watched my skin transform from red and raw to soft and clear (and mercifully free of scars) so I no longer winced when I looked in mirrors. I discovered fashion and dressing beautifully every day made me feel better in myself, not shallow and vain. And yeah, I got a few “girls like you don’t die virgins” (from other women around me though) and received some attention from me around me, even if I wasn’t quite functional enough to go far with it.

But oh god I’m not you so I don’t know your experiences but so much of what you’ve said sounds so familiar to me—I often believe that it’s not the case that non-depressed people ask themselves “is life worth living?” and answer yes, it’s that the question just doesn’t occur to them as something to ask. But I still find that question coming to me, and I still can’t really give an affirmative reply.

I can imagine that this anxiety over your mother is eating you up right now and leaving you with so much less capacity to rationally think through the negative messages in your head—I know that when I haven’t been eating well or sleeping well my suicidal thoughts return to me, even if things in my life are going okay. I don’t know if this would work for you, but when I notice I’m feeling those thoughts really intensely I’ll check in with myself and be like “hey, I know this feels really intense and hopeless, but you tend to get suicidal when sleep-deprived. How about you sleep now, and after you’re done we can check in again and see if this is still so pressing?” Usually after doing that thing my body needs I’m not feeling like that anymore and don’t remember why I was feeling so intensely hopeless in that moment. But then again I’m prone to a lot of strong mood swings, and I know that for those who fall into depressive spells and get stuck in them a long time it doesn’t work as well.

Back to what I originally wanted to say, attraction and lust don’t make you a bad person. They’re perfectly normal human emotions that most of us will experience, and experience rather intensely in our lifetimes. Doing things like manipulating people and acting deliberately in ways to hurt them makes you a bad person. Nursing crushes, being to shy to act of feelings and feeling desperate doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes it so you’re causing yourself to suffer, and that’s something I wish nobody felt like they had to do, but it didn’t make me a bad person and it doesn’t make you a bad person either.

I don’t know if any of this might help, and I don’t want to come off presumptuous—I have my own personal experience of how goddamn hard these feelings can be, but as a woman I have different experiences of virginity and how I’m viewed and treated, but even I have felt like I was an irredeemably a bad person for the feelings that I allowed to stew in me and that I was fundamentally undesirable. But it wasn’t true for me, and I don’t believe it’s true about you.

(That being said, I also think it would be productive for you to find a safe, sex-positive person/space to talk about your feelings and experiences irrational guilt—probably not this woman due to how complex your feelings have become around her, but somewhere/someone at least. Or at least that was something that provided reassurance for me.)

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Enail on Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:36 pm

Go easy on yourself, Mapwater. You have a whole lot of stress in your life right now, it sounds like you've basically been running on fumes for ages - of course you're going to get stressed out by things going wrong. That doesn't make you an idiot, it makes you a human being. Which is okay. I know you feel like you've always got to be the one who shoulders everything, but no one can do that all the time without it taking a toll. You get to have feelings, just like everyone else does.

And I know, panic isn't a feeling anyone wants to have, and you're wishing you weren't feeling at all, so "get to have feelings" isn't exactly the right choice of words. But you need to have feelings, your brain needs to let those reactions out, even if it's happening at inopportune times and in ways that are hurtful for you, even panic could just be your brain doing its best to vent the stress that's going into you. You're doing your best in a difficult situation, you are a human being with emotions. Don't beat yourself up for that.

Re: attraction and insecurity about being attractive, it sounds like you've got a really good awareness that your jerkbrain is messing with you and that there are a lot of reasons you might not be getting interest that don't involve you being undesirable and that your feeling bad about lust is not because there actually is something bad about you feeling lust. That's good!

Still, that all sounds like really rough stuff to deal with, and I'm sorry you've got that going on. But I suspect that when you've got a bit of a breather and can start getting more comfortable with having boundaries and get yourself into a place where you can feel like you could be safe in a relationship or acting on sexual feelings, a lot of the rest will sort itself out. I know that dealing with those things is not easy at all, but it is possible, and it's also not something to beat yourself up for - it sounds like you're actually protecting yourself as best you can from situations you're not in a position to get into safely and healthily at the moment. Give yourself credit for the ways you're looking after yourself.
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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Caffeinated on Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:49 pm

I want to second everything Prajnaparamita and Enail said.

You're under massive stress and strain. You don't deserve it, and your family doesn't deserve it. It just sucks, and I'm so sorry you're going through it.

One other thing I wanted to add. Your response to the woman at the bar is completely normal. Someone you find attractive talking about their sex life is the kind of thing that anyone would expect to feel a response of lust. It's just how we're wired.
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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by reboot on Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:41 pm

Thirding Email and Prajnaparamita and seconding Caffeinated.

Try to lay off being critical or over focused on yourself. Stress is a crappy time and no one is at their best during it. Back off and give yourself a break. Try to focus on taking care of yourself so that you are in good enough shape to be there for your mom and dad. This is not the time to try and change yourself or expect change from yourself.
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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:23 am

Finally able to respond - I haven't had the time nor the will to do so for a little while. When I woke up yesterday, I expected to feel really embarrassed about what I wrote up in the rant. I was this close to not even hitting submit for the thread in the first place. Being all 'emotional vomit in yer face!' doesn't come naturally. But, I felt kinda... good? I wrote the rant 30mins before falling asleep and when I woke up I felt strangely good. Starving, dehydrated and shaking (the latter due to the former exacerbating a slight tremor I often get), but surprisngly cheerful. At least, given the circumstances.

I'm really thankful for all your replies, truly. It was good to re-read the rant then move right into some other perspectives and have reality thrown in my face.

Now to reply to things specifically...

Prajnaparamita wrote:For some time afterwards even just being around attractive men stabbed at something in my heart that I almost swore was physical pain, and I seriously wished attraction was something I could make disappear because despite every what damn love song said, it was something that I had only known pain from, and never pleasure, so what would I actually be losing?

Yeah, I get this. I mean, for me, it's not been a horribly constant feeling. But I've certainly been there sporadically over the past few years where it's like how much you're attracted to a person only serves to make you feel more and more inferior. It really plays into the concept of 'leagues' (I wanted to make a thread to see what everyone though of leagues, actually - how they work seem to vary from person to person...).

But, yeah, if attraction to others has only brought me suffering, why would I want to do anything but eliminate the capacity for entirely. It seems so damn logical, if inherently self-destructive. Even now, in a better mood, I would be happy to be rid of it.

Prajnaparamita wrote:I don’t exactly know what changed in me—it was a slow and gradual process. I went on medication for my acne and watched my skin transform from red and raw to soft and clear (and mercifully free of scars) so I no longer winced when I looked in mirrors. I discovered fashion and dressing beautifully every day made me feel better in myself, not shallow and vain. And yeah, I got a few “girls like you don’t die virgins” (from other women around me though) and received some attention from me around me, even if I wasn’t quite functional enough to go far with it.

Oh, how I can relate to the acne thing. I never got too bad, but I went on Roaccutane immediately when it started because my sister's acne was alarmingly bad before she went on it. My parents and I decided just to go through with it to see if I could avoid that. Clothes and fashion my sister taught me to love from an early age, so I always kind of dressed well. Sort of. I wore a lot of shorts when I was younger that I wish there weren't photographic evidence of, but we all make mistakes. Razz

I suppose where we differ is that I can't really say for sure I've had attention from women outside acquaintance / friend level. I don't why that really matters, it's not like I throw compliments I get from them back in their face or anything, but there's this nagging feeling (jerkbrain, hello) that tells me that the comments I get are obligatory in nature. I'm not actually getting them so much because they are true, but because you just kind of do that. Because reasons I can't even explain properly in words, but reasons. That's a hump I need to get over.

Funnily enough, that same funky bar girl I mentioned randomly dropped a compliment on my hair (telling me to 'never change it') that I did feel ready to believe because we weren't even talking at that the time - she just blurted it out to me.

Anyway, to be totally fair to myself and take it from others, I'm apparently not decidedly unattractive. I just wish I could convince myself of that or trust others that it's true. I've brought this up before, so I guess it's just something I need to work on.

Prajnaparamita wrote:But oh god I’m not you so I don’t know your experiences but so much of what you’ve said sounds so familiar to me—I often believe that it’s not the case that non-depressed people ask themselves “is life worth living?” and answer yes, it’s that the question just doesn’t occur to them as something to ask. But I still find that question coming to me, and I still can’t really give an affirmative reply.

Hm. That's a good way of putting it. I mean, I hesitate to label myself as depressed not being diagnosed with anything, but it's a question I ask myself a lot and don't know the answer to.

Prajnaparamita wrote:I can imagine that this anxiety over your mother is eating you up right now and leaving you with so much less capacity to rationally think through the negative messages in your head—I know that when I haven’t been eating well or sleeping well my suicidal thoughts return to me, even if things in my life are going okay. I don’t know if this would work for you, but when I notice I’m feeling those thoughts really intensely I’ll check in with myself and be like “hey, I know this feels really intense and hopeless, but you tend to get suicidal when sleep-deprived. How about you sleep now, and after you’re done we can check in again and see if this is still so pressing?” Usually after doing that thing my body needs I’m not feeling like that anymore and don’t remember why I was feeling so intensely hopeless in that moment. But then again I’m prone to a lot of strong mood swings, and I know that for those who fall into depressive spells and get stuck in them a long time it doesn’t work as well.

I seem to be a mood swinger as well, so I try and do this where possible. But I haven't done it long enough to make it a habit yet. I'm not to the point of suicidal thoughts yet, but I can definitely feel intense mood shifts that skew the perspective of everything around me and how I am perceived. For me, however, it's food and water I need to worry about more.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Back to what I originally wanted to say, attraction and lust don’t make you a bad person. They’re perfectly normal human emotions that most of us will experience, and experience rather intensely in our lifetimes. Doing things like manipulating people and acting deliberately in ways to hurt them makes you a bad person. Nursing crushes, being to shy to act of feelings and feeling desperate doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes it so you’re causing yourself to suffer, and that’s something I wish nobody felt like they had to do, but it didn’t make me a bad person and it doesn’t make you a bad person either.

It's fun how you can know something yet your feelings just decide to, seemingly, act out their own interpretation of how things are. Lust and attraction are totally normal, I know that, but my default reaction to feeling either is shame and embarrassment. It's just so frustrating. It inhibits how I act with everyone, but especially the target of my attraction.

Prajnaparamita wrote:I don’t know if any of this might help, and I don’t want to come off presumptuous—I have my own personal experience of how goddamn hard these feelings can be, but as a woman I have different experiences of virginity and how I’m viewed and treated, but even I have felt like I was an irredeemably a bad person for the feelings that I allowed to stew in me and that I was fundamentally undesirable. But it wasn’t true for me, and I don’t believe it’s true about you.

It was very helpful, thank you for sharing your experiences. The differences that gender makes, in this case, strike me as superficial in the face of the resulting feelings, if that makes sense. Feeling fundamentally flawed, undesirable or like a terrible person is bad not matter how that perception forms.

Prajnaparamita wrote:(That being said, I also think it would be productive for you to find a safe, sex-positive person/space to talk about your feelings and experiences irrational guilt—probably not this woman due to how complex your feelings have become around her, but somewhere/someone at least. Or at least that was something that provided reassurance for me.)

I did used to have a space to discuss feelings like this (and general thoughts on sex and all that encompasses), but it doesn't exist anymore. Honestly, this girl is one of the few people I find attractive to that I don't get to muddle-headed around because she has a very friendly personality that meshes well with my own. I could probably talk to her about this, assuming I'm in a good state of mind. But finding someone would be good. Someone with experience - the only person I confide in about this sort of thing is a virgin in a similar position to me.




Enail wrote:Go easy on yourself, Mapwater. You have a whole lot of stress in your life right now, it sounds like you've basically been running on fumes for ages - of course you're going to get stressed out by things going wrong. That doesn't make you an idiot, it makes you a human being. Which is okay. I know you feel like you've always got to be the one who shoulders everything, but no one can do that all the time without it taking a toll. You get to have feelings, just like everyone else does.

And I know, panic isn't a feeling anyone wants to have, and you're wishing you weren't feeling at all, so "get to have feelings" isn't exactly the right choice of words. But you need to have feelings, your brain needs to let those reactions out, even if it's happening at inopportune times and in ways that are hurtful for you, even panic could just be your brain doing its best to vent the stress that's going into you. You're doing your best in a difficult situation, you are a human being with emotions. Don't beat yourself up for that.

Judging by the fact that a wee cry and some sleep helped my mood immensely, this seems to be pretty true. It's rare that I allow myself to get to that point. I've become all to proficient at bottling up my emotions that I can't take the cap off the bottle anymore. Laughing

I've been okay the past two days when it comes to my mood - down, but not out to put it one way. Just need to remember that's an okay place to be.

Enail wrote:Re: attraction and insecurity about being attractive, it sounds like you've got a really good awareness that your jerkbrain is messing with you and that there are a lot of reasons you might not be getting interest that don't involve you being undesirable and that your feeling bad about lust is not because there actually is something bad about you feeling lust. That's good!

Yeah, the forums and DNL have been great for highlighting the concept of the jerkbrain in the first place. There's plenty of reasons why I might be not someone's cup of tea and currently I'm probably not in the best place emotionally to be a good target of desire as it is, eh? Laughing

Enail wrote:Still, that all sounds like really rough stuff to deal with, and I'm sorry you've got that going on. But I suspect that when you've got a bit of a breather and can start getting more comfortable with having boundaries and get yourself into a place where you can feel like you could be safe in a relationship or acting on sexual feelings, a lot of the rest will sort itself out. I know that dealing with those things is not easy at all, but it is possible, and it's also not something to beat yourself up for - it sounds like you're actually protecting yourself as best you can from situations you're not in a position to get into safely and healthily at the moment. Give yourself credit for the ways you're looking after yourself.

One of my biggest fears is a woman actually showing interest and the fact I'm not exactly the pinnacle of mental health and serenity will result in me hurting them. I don't want to hurt people. I really don't want to hurt people. I know what pain feels like, I don't want others to feel like that. I just need that breather, yeah. Wonder when that will roll up...




Caffeinated wrote:I want to second everything Prajnaparamita and Enail said.

You're under massive stress and strain. You don't deserve it, and your family doesn't deserve it. It just sucks, and I'm so sorry you're going through it.

One other thing I wanted to add. Your response to the woman at the bar is completely normal. Someone you find attractive talking about their sex life is the kind of thing that anyone would expect to feel a response of lust. It's just how we're wired.

That's a relief to know, honestly. I mean, I know I wasn't acting weird about the fact she was honest with it. Despite the bad feelings it incited at the time, it was refreshing to hear someone talk openly and honestly about it. I don't know anyone else that does, so I was stuck between happiness someone was talking about it with me and feeling guilty, jealous and frustrated.

reboot wrote:Thirding Email and Prajnaparamita and seconding Caffeinated.

Try to lay off being critical or over focused on yourself. Stress is a crappy time and no one is at their best during it. Back off and give yourself a break. Try to focus on taking care of yourself so that you are in good enough shape to be there for your mom and dad. This is not the time to try and change yourself or expect change from yourself.

Hey, I'm a professional at expect far too much from myself, especially in comparison to what I expect from others. I'd be destroying my reputation if I didn't expect to be Superman and take on every problem under the sun! Razz

But you're right. I need to work on taking care of myself right now, instead of changing what that self is.

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Prajnaparamita on Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:50 pm

MapWater wrote:Finally able to respond - I haven't had the time nor the will to do so for a little while. When I woke up yesterday, I expected to feel really embarrassed about what I wrote up in the rant. I was this close to not even hitting submit for the thread in the first place. Being all 'emotional vomit in yer face!' doesn't come naturally. But, I felt kinda... good? I wrote the rant 30mins before falling asleep and when I woke up I felt strangely good. Starving, dehydrated and shaking (the latter due to the former exacerbating a slight tremor I often get), but surprisngly cheerful. At least, given the circumstances.

I'm really thankful for all your replies, truly. It was good to re-read the rant then move right into some other perspectives and have reality thrown in my face.

Don’t worry about it at all—you’re not being selfish or anything for asking for support and letting your feelings out in a place where others are willing to try to help. And don’t worry about responding to stuff quickly or at all—sometimes all I have is the capacity to passively take things in, and I’ll really appreciated the support of others, even if I can’t engage.

MapWater wrote:
Yeah, I get this. I mean, for me, it's not been a horribly constant feeling. But I've certainly been there sporadically over the past few years where it's like how much you're attracted to a person only serves to make you feel more and more inferior. It really plays into the concept of 'leagues' (I wanted to make a thread to see what everyone though of leagues, actually - how they work seem to vary from person to person...).

No, I get this, there would be moments of feeling confident in myself and being out in the world, and then moments where it would all come crashing down again. I don’t think much of the concept of “leagues” because real life dating and attraction is so much more complicated than the stratification of sports teams and I found thoughts like “he’s so out of my league” to be all or nothing statements that were being made by my jerkbrain that were often not true. I guess instead I think of it as people I am and am not attracted to, and people I can and could not/should not date, and sort my options through those categories. For instance there might be guys I could date but I’m not attracted to (not any at the moment, but I’d give examples if I did) and guys I am attracted to but could not/should not date (friend of mine I know I really wouldn’t be compatible with, my super hot philosophy professor) and those that fall into the category of attraction and could date are those that I would wish to pursue, if possible.

MapWater wrote:
But, yeah, if attraction to others has only brought me suffering, why would I want to do anything but eliminate the capacity for entirely. It seems so damn logical, if inherently self-destructive. Even now, in a better mood, I would be happy to be rid of it.

Even as someone who has now experienced attraction reciprocated in the context of a relationship, I’m not going to say that when you experience the pleasure it outweighs all the pain because that’s not the case and it still really damn hurts sometimes. I guess what I would say now is that I wouldn’t want to do away with it because it’s part of who I am, and part of being a human being, and I would feel like I had lost something without it—mostly my capacity for empathy and acute understanding of the suffering of others. For instance I recently had to talk a friend through the process of breaking up with her boyfriend. She was still attracted to him, but he kept on rebuffing her and growing more and more distant. Knowing what it feels like to want to be with someone but be rejected allowed me to help her.

I don’t think you’re being completely irrational here—when something hurts, we want to get away from it so it stops hurting, like if you put your hand on a hot stove.

MapWater wrote:
Oh, how I can relate to the acne thing. I never got too bad, but I went on Roaccutane immediately when it started because my sister's acne was alarmingly bad before she went on it.

Oh man Accutane (US brand name) is the shit, even with the constant invasive pregnancy testing and frequent patronizing lectures about sex and contraception as if I was too stupid to make responsible choices about my body and not getting pregnant and the mind-bending paradox of how the hell I was supposed to use total abstinence and the male latex condom together at the same time.

MapWater wrote:
I suppose where we differ is that I can't really say for sure I've had attention from women outside acquaintance / friend level. I don't why that really matters, it's not like I throw compliments I get from them back in their face or anything, but there's this nagging feeling (jerkbrain, hello) that tells me that the comments I get are obligatory in nature. I'm not actually getting them so much because they are true, but because you just kind of do that. Because reasons I can't even explain properly in words, but reasons. That's a hump I need to get over.

Well, ummm, as a straight woman receiving compliments from her straight female friends, I actually have to disagree that we were different at all. What weight can you put on the compliments of your attractiveness and desirability of someone who will never be interested in you romantically or sexually? (Also there’s the added factor of your girlfriends expected to be your cheerleaders and help boost your confidence even if it isn’t true, so I couldn’t help but take everything they said with a great heap of doubt.) Honestly I really wished it could be straight men that were the ones calling me beautiful—then it would actually mean something. But I get what you’re saying about how they just don’t make sense “because reasons” basically. No matter how many times people complimented me on my appearance, I felt like there was this deep inner truth that I felt but couldn’t articulate as to why that wasn’t the case but I still knew it and it meant they were wrong. Sometimes your jerkbrain is most effective at what it does not when it puts you on a distorted or incorrect train of thought, but when it just makes you feel without thinking anything at all.

MapWater wrote:
Hm. That's a good way of putting it. I mean, I hesitate to label myself as depressed not being diagnosed with anything, but it's a question I ask myself a lot and don't know the answer to.

I’m sorry, I forgot about that post of yours—please accept my apologies because I am very uncomfortable labeling those who do not wish to be labeled or are uncomfortable with labels they have been given. I struggled a lot with being given labels that I was very resistant to and I don’t want to go around doing it to others. Still, I hope you understand my point.

MapWater wrote:
I seem to be a mood swinger as well, so I try and do this where possible. But I haven't done it long enough to make it a habit yet. I'm not to the point of suicidal thoughts yet, but I can definitely feel intense mood shifts that skew the perspective of everything around me and how I am perceived. For me, however, it's food and water I need to worry about more.

Okay, so if you’re prone to mood swings like me I have another piece of advice. One of the most helpful things I learned during my first stint in partial hospitalization was about the lifespan of emotions. Most of the time when we’re happy or experiencing some other positive emotion we don’t believe we are always going to be happy or that this feeling will last forever, but when we’re in negative emotions we seem to convince ourselves that this is forever and we’ll always feel this way. But what was explained to me was that from initial trigger to peak to dissipation the average lifespan of an emotion is 20 minutes. For those of us prone to self-harm/suicidal ideation they suggested we set a timer for 20 minutes when we felt it come on and then go do something else. After the timer went off, you reevaluated your thoughts again, and I cannot say how amazingly accurate it was. While I don’t think you need all that, sometimes when I feel I’m falling into deep despair I’ll glance at the clock and remind myself that it will likely pass in twenty. This doesn’t ring true for some of my friends though, so I wanted to check in about whether you tend to swing around or get in a place and get stuck there.

As for food, I’m sorry I didn’t get it together to respond to your other thread. Have you heard about Soylent? (Stupid name I know and the creator is one of those insufferable biohacker types who’s totally full of himself but that isn’t the point.) I am someone who loves food, eating and cooking and going out to restaurants, but for a while I was on a medication that both took away my appetite and made me incredibly nauseous all the time and eating became painfully awful sometimes. Eventually I had to come to view it as a chore that I had to do everyday in order to keep myself functioning—like brushing my teeth or getting dressed—not fun but necessary. Soylent contains all your protein and nutritional needs in a drink (and was rigorously evaluated by the FDA on those claims) and for me drinking was a lot easier than eating. Also trying to keep my blood sugar up exclusively from chewing on plain raw almonds (the only food I could tolerate) all day was very tiresome, and I wished I had a way to just get it over with. Anyway, idk if you can get the stuff in Australia yet

MapWater wrote:
It's just so frustrating. It inhibits how I act with everyone, but especially the target of my attraction.

Yeah, it is, and the thing is for the most part the only way to stop the lingering, irrational feelings is to have real lived experiences (not the words of others) that contradict them. I wish I had some advice on self-acceptance and embracing emotions but I really don’t, I’m sorry.

MapWater wrote:
It was very helpful, thank you for sharing your experiences. The differences that gender makes, in this case, strike me as superficial in the face of the resulting feelings, if that makes sense. Feeling fundamentally flawed, undesirable or like a terrible person is bad not matter how that perception forms.

Yeah, I guess outside of the demands of toxic masculinity I didn’t have so many messages around being a failure for being a virgin (though plenty about being a failure for not attracting men) but the strength of my belief in my undesirability despite the evidence sounds very similar to what you’re experiencing.

MapWater wrote:
Honestly, this girl is one of the few people I find attractive to that I don't get to muddle-headed around because she has a very friendly personality that meshes well with my own. I could probably talk to her about this, assuming I'm in a good state of mind.

Okay, so I really don’t know your situation because you’ve only made a brief mention of this woman and your conversations with her, so I don’t want to come off patronizing here, but she is a bartender. Part of her job is to get people to the bar and convince them to stay and come back—it’s part of the nature of a service industry job like that. I really don’t know what your interactions were like and if it was the case that the two of you just clicked and she really enjoyed the conversation and wanted to talk with you, but keep in mind that being friendly and approachable is part of her job.

MapWater wrote:
But finding someone would be good. Someone with experience - the only person I confide in about this sort of thing is a virgin in a similar position to me.

Either way, I really hope you find someone. Right now I’m sort of in an in-between place of no longer technically being a virgin but still completely lacking experience and with a partner who is generally unwilling/unable to help guide me and I don’t know where to go from here. I feel like all my friends are either awkward virgins/near-virgins like me or very experienced and confident in their sexuality and don’t understand what it’s like to not be and I don’t really know who to turn to.

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Caffeinated on Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:48 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:As for food, I’m sorry I didn’t get it together to respond to your other thread. Have you heard about Soylent? (Stupid name I know and the creator is one of those insufferable biohacker types who’s totally full of himself but that isn’t the point.) I am someone who loves food, eating and cooking and going out to restaurants, but for a while I was on a medication that both took away my appetite and made me incredibly nauseous all the time and eating became painfully awful sometimes. Eventually I had to come to view it as a chore that I had to do everyday in order to keep myself functioning—like brushing my teeth or getting dressed—not fun but necessary. Soylent contains all your protein and nutritional needs in a drink (and was rigorously evaluated by the FDA on those claims) and for me drinking was a lot easier than eating. Also trying to keep my blood sugar up exclusively from chewing on plain raw almonds (the only food I could tolerate) all day was very tiresome, and I wished I had a way to just get it over with. Anyway, idk if you can get the stuff in Australia yet

Soylent is very good for situations where you just need a way to fuel your body without much hassle. My husband ordered a month's supply. It took a long time for them to ship it to us (I think they said it would be up to three months and it was more like five months), so that's a definite downside, at least when starting out (they promise that reorders are shipped promptly, though we're not at the point to test that yet.) The taste of the stuff is very bland, though my husband says it's grown on him. But it's definitely easy, and having a pitcher of ready to go nutritionally complete food in the fridge is handy.
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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Guest on Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:49 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:No, I get this, there would be moments of feeling confident in myself and being out in the world, and then moments where it would all come crashing down again. I don’t think much of the concept of “leagues” because real life dating and attraction is so much more complicated than the stratification of sports teams and I found thoughts like “he’s so out of my league” to be all or nothing statements that were being made by my jerkbrain that were often not true. I guess instead I think of it as people I am and am not attracted to, and people I can and could not/should not date, and sort my options through those categories. For instance there might be guys I could date but I’m not attracted to (not any at the moment, but I’d give examples if I did) and guys I am attracted to but could not/should not date (friend of mine I know I really wouldn’t be compatible with, my super hot philosophy professor) and those that fall into the category of attraction and could date are those that I would wish to pursue, if possible.

Indeed, leagues are very black-and-white as a rule. You're either in their league or not, and somehow punching above your weight and punching above your weight either makes you a fool or an underdog depending on who you talk to. They also foster competition where there really doesn't need to be any.

As it is now, I'm not even in the league according to my jerkbrain. Whatever sport it is, I'm a spectator instead of a player. Laughing

Prajnaparamita wrote:
MapWater wrote:
But, yeah, if attraction to others has only brought me suffering, why would I want to do anything but eliminate the capacity for entirely. It seems so damn logical, if inherently self-destructive. Even now, in a better mood, I would be happy to be rid of it.

Even as someone who has now experienced attraction reciprocated in the context of a relationship, I’m not going to say that when you experience the pleasure it outweighs all the pain because that’s not the case and it still really damn hurts sometimes. I guess what I would say now is that I wouldn’t want to do away with it because it’s part of who I am, and part of being a human being, and I would feel like I had lost something without it—mostly my capacity for empathy and acute understanding of the suffering of others. For instance I recently had to talk a friend through the process of breaking up with her boyfriend. She was still attracted to him, but he kept on rebuffing her and growing more and more distant. Knowing what it feels like to want to be with someone but be rejected allowed me to help her.

I don’t think you’re being completely irrational here—when something hurts, we want to get away from it so it stops hurting, like if you put your hand on a hot stove.

That's refreshingly honest - I'd imagine that it's not all happy go lucky to deal with attraction to others even when you're more comfortable with it. It's also good to acknowledge that it can help you in many facets of your life, like helping others.

I suppose it's only irrational from the perspective that, well, you can't just decide 'I'm not going to be attracted to people anymore'. If you feel attraction, you're pretty much stuck with it and should work with it rather than against it. It just seems a much easier and absolute solution to not feel it at all.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Oh man Accutane (US brand name) is the shit, even with the constant invasive pregnancy testing and frequent patronizing lectures about sex and contraception as if I was too stupid to make responsible choices about my body and not getting pregnant and the mind-bending paradox of how the hell I was supposed to use total abstinence and the male latex condom together at the same time.

Ugh, my sister got all this. I'm sorry you had to go through it too. It's total overkill. I don't think my sister had to get pregnancy tested, but it was a good few years ago so I can't remember.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Well, ummm, as a straight woman receiving compliments from her straight female friends, I actually have to disagree that we were different at all. What weight can you put on the compliments of your attractiveness and desirability of someone who will never be interested in you romantically or sexually? (Also there’s the added factor of your girlfriends expected to be your cheerleaders and help boost your confidence even if it isn’t true, so I couldn’t help but take everything they said with a great heap of doubt.) Honestly I really wished it could be straight men that were the ones calling me beautiful—then it would actually mean something. But I get what you’re saying about how they just don’t make sense “because reasons” basically. No matter how many times people complimented me on my appearance, I felt like there was this deep inner truth that I felt but couldn’t articulate as to why that wasn’t the case but I still knew it and it meant they were wrong. Sometimes your jerkbrain is most effective at what it does not when it puts you on a distorted or incorrect train of thought, but when it just makes you feel without thinking anything at all.

...You've got a point there, it's pretty much the same huh?  Laughing Forgive, dunno what I was thinking when I made that distinction. But yeah, exactly that. And you're right about the jerkbrain and how it operates too. I've been trying to take compliments as they come these days, training myself to accept what people say about me, but it's not easy. My heads a mess of trust and mistrust for it's internal workings. It's like a tangled ball of string and I can't find either end of the string, never mind untangle it easily.

Prajnaparamita wrote:I’m sorry, I forgot about that post of yours—please accept my apologies because I am very uncomfortable labeling those who do not wish to be labeled or are uncomfortable with labels they have been given. I struggled a lot with being given labels that I was very resistant to and I don’t want to go around doing it to others. Still, I hope you understand my point.

No worries, no need to apologise. I more than likely do have something wrong, and it's more than likely depression. I simply hesitate to label myself as depressed without actually being diagnosed (or having seen a therapist yet even, haha). I do understand your point though, yep.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Okay, so if you’re prone to mood swings like me I have another piece of advice. One of the most helpful things I learned during my first stint in partial hospitalization was about the lifespan of emotions. Most of the time when we’re happy or experiencing some other positive emotion we don’t believe we are always going to be happy or that this feeling will last forever, but when we’re in negative emotions we seem to convince ourselves that this is forever and we’ll always feel this way. But what was explained to me was that from initial trigger to peak to dissipation the average lifespan of an emotion is 20 minutes. For those of us prone to self-harm/suicidal ideation they suggested we set a timer for 20 minutes when we felt it come on and then go do something else. After the timer went off, you reevaluated your thoughts again, and I cannot say how amazingly accurate it was. While I don’t think you need all that, sometimes when I feel I’m falling into deep despair I’ll glance at the clock and remind myself that it will likely pass in twenty. This doesn’t ring true for some of my friends though, so I wanted to check in about whether you tend to swing around or get in a place and get stuck there.

This is really fascinating, I'll need to try it. I find I swing around rather wildly, so reassessing my thoughts in a structured way would probably do me a lot of good. It's worth shot at least. An average span of 20 minutes sounds so small, but thinking back to some times when I wasn't feeling very good, I can't say I stayed in one emotional state for particularly long. I would flip-flop a lot.

I'll definitely give this a whirl next time I'm in a dark place.

Prajnaparamita wrote:As for food, I’m sorry I didn’t get it together to respond to your other thread. Have you heard about Soylent? (Stupid name I know and the creator is one of those insufferable biohacker types who’s totally full of himself but that isn’t the point.) I am someone who loves food, eating and cooking and going out to restaurants, but for a while I was on a medication that both took away my appetite and made me incredibly nauseous all the time and eating became painfully awful sometimes. Eventually I had to come to view it as a chore that I had to do everyday in order to keep myself functioning—like brushing my teeth or getting dressed—not fun but necessary. Soylent contains all your protein and nutritional needs in a drink (and was rigorously evaluated by the FDA on those claims) and for me drinking was a lot easier than eating. Also trying to keep my blood sugar up exclusively from chewing on plain raw almonds (the only food I could tolerate) all day was very tiresome, and I wished I had a way to just get it over with. Anyway, idk if you can get the stuff in Australia yet

Oh, this is neat. Not sure if it's available in Australia, but I've never heard of it before. I'll keep this in mind too. I won't explain the whole story but I have a tenuous relationship with food and always have. I've gotten so much better the last few years, but recently I've been sinking back into bad habits of just... not eating because it's a chore. It's not even 'difficult', it's just a chore. So something simple like this is worth looking into for sure.

Prajnaparamita wrote:
MapWater wrote:
Honestly, this girl is one of the few people I find attractive to that I don't get to muddle-headed around because she has a very friendly personality that meshes well with my own. I could probably talk to her about this, assuming I'm in a good state of mind.

Okay, so I really don’t know your situation because you’ve only made a brief mention of this woman and your conversations with her, so I don’t want to come off patronizing here, but she is a bartender. Part of her job is to get people to the bar and convince them to stay and come back—it’s part of the nature of a service industry job like that. I really don’t know what your interactions were like and if it was the case that the two of you just clicked and she really enjoyed the conversation and wanted to talk with you, but keep in mind that being friendly and approachable is part of her job.

Ah, this is my fault, I didn't really give context here. I'm well aware of the expectations of barstaff and how they should act. The situation I have is that I've frequented this place at least twice a week for two year, starting with the first day it was open. So, I know everyone there very well and I know them outside work too. The staff quite specifically act a lot more casually around me because, well, I've been there for two years and we're friends (late night lock ins get very fun when it's literally me and the staff left heh). Now, this girl is new (started a month ago?) and is definitely super friendly to all her customers, there's no doubt about that. She just has personality I find easier to talk to than most. She also just happens to be incredibly attractive too, but that doesn't trump her being easy to talk to, if that makes sense.

Hell, the fact she is a bartender at a place I go to so often makes me extra guarded when it comes to whether or not she's clicked with me - I just find her super easy to talk to and attractive, which isn't common.

Prajnaparamita wrote:
MapWater wrote:
But finding someone would be good. Someone with experience - the only person I confide in about this sort of thing is a virgin in a similar position to me.

Either way, I really hope you find someone. Right now I’m sort of in an in-between place of no longer technically being a virgin but still completely lacking experience and with a partner who is generally unwilling/unable to help guide me and I don’t know where to go from here. I feel like all my friends are either awkward virgins/near-virgins like me or very experienced and confident in their sexuality and don’t understand what it’s like to not be and I don’t really know who to turn to.

Me too - it would be useful to have someone to bounce thoughts off of and reciprocate of course. I always expected I would float around where you are for a long, long time after I burn the v-card. Just taking into account how long it takes for me to build confidence, I'm not going to be super confident in my sexuality even once I've been around the block a few times.

Caffeinated wrote:Soylent is very good for situations where you just need a way to fuel your body without much hassle. My husband ordered a month's supply. It took a long time for them to ship it to us (I think they said it would be up to three months and it was more like five months), so that's a definite downside, at least when starting out (they promise that reorders are shipped promptly, though we're not at the point to test that yet.) The taste of the stuff is very bland, though my husband says it's grown on him. But it's definitely easy, and having a pitcher of ready to go nutritionally complete food in the fridge is handy.

Hm, sounds really useful. It would be perfect for when I forget to eat during the day (happens far too frequently) and I need something quick at the end of the day so it's not an entire write-off when it comes to health. Hopefully they can get it to Australia, or there's a distributor here.

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Prajnaparamita on Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:38 am

MapWater wrote:
Indeed, leagues are very black-and-white as a rule. You're either in their league or not, and somehow punching above your weight and punching above your weight either makes you a fool or an underdog depending on who you talk to. They also foster competition where there really doesn't need to be any.

Right. Whatever truth there might be to just not being attracted to certain people, or it not being advisable to date certain people, if you’re convinced that there’s a certain class of people that are entirely different from you who universally would never be attracted to you, that’s likely your jerkbrain talking. People have preferences and interests, but we don’t go around sorting ourselves into teams based on some predetermined level of attractiveness and only play with those already determined to be a member of our league!

MapWater wrote:
As it is now, I'm not even in the league according to my jerkbrain. Whatever sport it is, I'm a spectator instead of a player. Laughing

Look, right now as others have said putting yourself out there and trying to make big changes in your life is probably not advisable because you’re under so much stress as is. Your jerkbrain isn’t phrasing this very nicely (as it likes to do) but look, even if we were playing on teams in leagues (which we aren’t) there’s no shame in taking a time out and some rest. You’ll get off the bench when you’re feeling better.

MapWater wrote:
That's refreshingly honest - I'd imagine that it's not all happy go lucky to deal with attraction to others even when you're more comfortable with it. It's also good to acknowledge that it can help you in many facets of your life, like helping others.

Yeah, you know that quote “it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”? I think a lot of people, even those who have suffered really horrible breakups or rejection would agree with that—and I think I’m beginning to as well, to a certain extent.

MapWater wrote:
I suppose it's only irrational from the perspective that, well, you can't just decide 'I'm not going to be attracted to people anymore'. If you feel attraction, you're pretty much stuck with it and should work with it rather than against it. It just seems a much easier and absolute solution to not feel it at all.

Exactly! You really can’t get rid of attraction or sexual desire if you have it, so feeling torn up about your attraction, and then berating yourself for having that attraction and not being able to get rid of it only doubles your suffering.


MapWater wrote:
Ugh, my sister got all this. I'm sorry you had to go through it too. It's total overkill. I don't think my sister had to get pregnancy tested, but it was a good few years ago so I can't remember.

Yeah, I had six months of pregnancy testing, blood and urine—and the blood test is fasting, so it totally sucked. Also every month I had to take a test on my knowledge of contraception and sex in order to get my prescription refilled. (Pro tip: sexually active doesn’t mean that you have to be moving around during sex—even if you stay completely still during sex you can still get pregnant. Yeah, that was the level of questions I got.)

MapWater wrote:
This is really fascinating, I'll need to try it. I find I swing around rather wildly, so reassessing my thoughts in a structured way would probably do me a lot of good. It's worth shot at least. An average span of 20 minutes sounds so small, but thinking back to some times when I wasn't feeling very good, I can't say I stayed in one emotional state for particularly long. I would flip-flop a lot.

I'll definitely give this a whirl next time I'm in a dark place.

Yeah, I was shocked when they said 20 mins, because I felt like I stayed in emotions all day, but I came to realize that even if I returned to them later that was really as long as they took. And even if you return to them later, it’s important to remember that no feeling is forever.

MapWater wrote:
Oh, this is neat. Not sure if it's available in Australia, but I've never heard of it before. I'll keep this in mind too. I won't explain the whole story but I have a tenuous relationship with food and always have. I've gotten so much better the last few years, but recently I've been sinking back into bad habits of just... not eating because it's a chore. It's not even 'difficult', it's just a chore. So something simple like this is worth looking into for sure.

Yeah, I get the feeling like it’s a chore. Given that you feel that way, is there any way that you can, by treating it like a chore, incorporate it into your routine? Like I presume that every day you do chores like brushing your teeth and getting dressed and doing the dishes and cleaning up around you, even if they provide you with no joy and just seem tedious. Sometimes when I’m feeling low energy and apathetic having a schedule where I make my bed, and then get dressed, and then eat, and then get my stuff together, always in the same order every day keeps doing those necessary life things happening even when I don’t want to do anything at all.

MapWater wrote:
Hell, the fact she is a bartender at a place I go to so often makes me extra guarded when it comes to whether or not she's clicked with me - I just find her super easy to talk to and attractive, which isn't common.

Okay, that’s good to know! Just wanted to check.

MapWater wrote:
Me too - it would be useful to have someone to bounce thoughts off of and reciprocate of course. I always expected I would float around where you are for a long, long time after I burn the v-card. Just taking into account how long it takes for me to build confidence, I'm not going to be super confident in my sexuality even once I've been around the block a few times.

Yeah, I know our situations are kinda different, but if you ever wanna talk, feel free to shoot me a PM if you ever feel it would be helpful. Just thought I’d offer.

(Also like you I had a weird double standard treatment of sexual expression with my older sister and I. For instance, she would wear a lacey slip as a dress and go out to bars, and my parents would compliment her on how good she looked, but if I went out in a miniskirt they would give me disapproving looks and ask if I really wanted to be wearing that. I can think of some reasons why they did so, but it still left me feeling like I wasn’t allowed to have any kind of sexual expression.)

Anyway, as someone who was a very late bloomer and took a long time to accept my sexuality at all, I still feel really frustrated and confused around sex. And even then the concept of “burning my v-card” was pretty blurry and didn’t provide me with much relief.

Several months into our relationship:
Boyfriend: “So I’ve gotten a third of my dick in your pussy, a third down your throat, and about a fourth up your ass. Wanna round that up and say you’ve had a dick inside of you and are no longer a virgin?”
Me: “…Ummm, sure.”

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:39 am

This isn't so much a rant as an update that some people on the forum may has knowledge of: a girl I have brought up before, one that qualifies as the first girl I had feelings for (the one who who worked at my local but I had a sort of history with and would spend her breaks with me and went to Europe for a year), has found a BF in one of my friends! You know what? I'm actually really happy about it. They match so well and I had a sneaking suspicion that something was going on between them so it's good to know what's going on and hear it from the people involved.

I won't lie, I'm disappointed that all the chances I got before this happened I let go by because I'm a wuss, but that's cool. I'll take it as a lesson learned. I feel better for them than I do hard on myself right now and I would rather it stay that way. It's not about me and it never was. I mentioned, deliberately off-hand and casually, the situation to my Dad who was the first to pick up on the fact that the girl in question may be interested in me. Which, by all accounts, he had good reason to suspect. When I said it 'was good they were together', he remarked that is 'wasn't' because 'she should be going out with me'. Before anyone jumps on the logic here, it was a joke (with a sting) to counter my casualness - Like I said, I'm as disappointed as I am happy. But that's okay. I joked I was probably too 'good' (altruistic being my own words) for my own sake. Which is true - I'm good natured to the point of absolute spinelessness. It's a fact. I'm that guy who is nice, sure, but a boring POS. Not the worst thing ever, but hardly the best.

Anyway, needed to say that.




Prajnaparamita wrote:Right. Whatever truth there might be to just not being attracted to certain people, or it not being advisable to date certain people, if you’re convinced that there’s a certain class of people that are entirely different from you who universally would never be attracted to you, that’s likely your jerkbrain talking. People have preferences and interests, but we don’t go around sorting ourselves into teams based on some predetermined level of attractiveness and only play with those already determined to be a member of our league!

Yes, yes, yes! This! A good example is that I find super-fit women attractive (as a general physical thing). It's that simple. But I'm not fit. Nor do I have a regimen that mirrors 'fitness' in anyway. This would be a HUGE clash of lifestyles that simply does not work. It's unlikely that a relationship between myself a well toned machine of a woman would work. But that's not leagues - that's just being honest. However, organising yourself into teams based on factors that have little baring on lifestyle? Not worth it - you'll only suffer and, at worst, cause others to suffer too.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Look, right now as others have said putting yourself out there and trying to make big changes in your life is probably not advisable because you’re under so much stress as is. Your jerkbrain isn’t phrasing this very nicely (as it likes to do) but look, even if we were playing on teams in leagues (which we aren’t) there’s no shame in taking a time out and some rest. You’ll get off the bench when you’re feeling better.


This is true. I think I'm struggling with the fact that I'm a late bloomer as it is - how long do I have to wait until I'm in a good place to be relationship material? As it is, it's going to be an indeterminable amount of time. I have no idea if I'm actually afflicated by something or just stupid. I'll assume for my own sake I am the victim of depression, but how do I know when I can meet people with any kind of romantic intentions? Everything is so... vague. Don't get me wrong, you and others are 100% right and I'm not going to throw myself at some poor woman because I'm desperate, but the lack of a solid 'yes, you're ready' date or condition is terrifying. I hate not knowing things or not having the answers.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, I had six months of pregnancy testing, blood and urine—and the blood test is fasting, so it totally sucked. Also every month I had to take a test on my knowledge of contraception and sex in order to get my prescription refilled. (Pro tip: sexually active doesn’t mean that you have to be moving around during sex—even if you stay completely still during sex you can still get pregnant. Yeah, that was the level of questions I got.)

Wow... That's, uh, scary. Like I said, and with more feeling, I'm sorry you had to go through that. That's simply pure condescension. I only hope your doctors more or less did it out of obligation than actually believing that shit was necessary.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, I was shocked when they said 20 mins, because I felt like I stayed in emotions all day, but I came to realize that even if I returned to them later that was really as long as they took. And even if you return to them later, it’s important to remember that no feeling is forever.

So, I tried this when I found out about the girl I mentioned earlier. It worked! I felt shitty and wasn't thinking straight. But, now, I have a completely different view on it now that I've exited the initial bad feelings. I need to keep this up, this feels so good to know that I'll escape the horrible feelings and not feel inhuman forever.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, I get the feeling like it’s a chore. Given that you feel that way, is there any way that you can, by treating it like a chore, incorporate it into your routine? Like I presume that every day you do chores like brushing your teeth and getting dressed and doing the dishes and cleaning up around you, even if they provide you with no joy and just seem tedious. Sometimes when I’m feeling low energy and apathetic having a schedule where I make my bed, and then get dressed, and then eat, and then get my stuff together, always in the same order every day keeps doing those necessary life things happening even when I don’t want to do anything at all.

I do have a routine, but it's pretty tight. I don't always have a lot of leeway to allow for food in it. That's why I often skip it - it's far easier to go hungry than delay myself in the mornings. And work is a little hard to predict when it comes to workload so I can go an entire day without eating anything. Before anyone freaks, I'm disturbingly used to it. A day without food isn't a big deal. The trend of this happening, however, has to stop.

So I'll try and work some kind of eating into my routine.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, I know our situations are kinda different, but if you ever wanna talk, feel free to shoot me a PM if you ever feel it would be helpful. Just thought I’d offer.

Thank you, I'll take you up on that if I feel the need. Smile

Prajnaparamita wrote:(Also like you I had a weird double standard treatment of sexual expression with my older sister and I. For instance, she would wear a lacey slip as a dress and go out to bars, and my parents would compliment her on how good she looked, but if I went out in a miniskirt they would give me disapproving looks and ask if I really wanted to be wearing that. I can think of some reasons why they did so, but it still left me feeling like I wasn’t allowed to have any kind of sexual expression.)

Anyway, as someone who was a very late bloomer and took a long time to accept my sexuality at all, I still feel really frustrated and confused around sex. And even then the concept of “burning my v-card” was pretty blurry and didn’t provide me with much relief.

Several months into our relationship:
Boyfriend: “So I’ve gotten a third of my dick in your pussy, a third down your throat, and about a fourth up your ass. Wanna round that up and say you’ve had a dick inside of you and are no longer a virgin?”
Me: “…Ummm, sure.”

All of this. I mean, I haven't burnt the card, but it feels like I've been left behind and I'm going to look like the loser I am when someone finds that out. I know it's not that cut and dry, but the jerkbrain has a way with unreasonable thoughts as I'm sure most people here understand. My hang-up, like a lot of guys I guess, is that I'm cuturally expected to have the experience that the woman may lack. I will be fucking lost in my first sexual experience. It's why I hope that I end up with an empathetic woman who has a lot of experience so that she has a modicum of understanding that I really don't have a clue when it comes to sex at all because of pure dearth of experience and confidence.

I've always believed I could be a good lover, but I need to have a good chance to prove it to myself.

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Enail on Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:59 am

MapWater wrote:
This is true. I think I'm struggling with the fact that I'm a late bloomer as it is - how long do I have to wait until I'm in a good place to be relationship material? As it is, it's going to be an indeterminable amount of time. I have no idea if I'm actually afflicated by something or just stupid. I'll assume for my own sake I am the victim of depression, but how do I know when I can meet people with any kind of romantic intentions? Everything is so... vague. Don't get me wrong, you and others are 100% right and I'm not going to throw myself at some poor woman because I'm desperate, but the lack of a solid 'yes, you're ready' date or condition is terrifying. I hate not knowing things or not having the answers.

If it helps any, no one gets this. I'd say a few things to watch for as green flags are:
-Could I speak up about something I want or something I'm not okay with?
-Could I handle my partner wanting/not being okay with something and work with them to try to resolve it in a way that was kind and respectful to both my needs and theirs?
-Could I break up with them if the relationship made me unhappy?
-Could I survive if they broke up with me?
-Do I have some ways to handle stress and bad feelings that don't involve relying on a partner?
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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:44 pm

MapWater wrote:
Yes, yes, yes! This! A good example is that I find super-fit women attractive (as a general physical thing). It's that simple. But I'm not fit. Nor do I have a regimen that mirrors 'fitness' in anyway. This would be a HUGE clash of lifestyles that simply does not work. It's unlikely that a relationship between myself a well toned machine of a woman would work. But that's not leagues - that's just being honest. However, organising yourself into teams based on factors that have little baring on lifestyle? Not worth it - you'll only suffer and, at worst, cause others to suffer too.

So part of what you’re saying here I think is that you should be realistic about expressing a desire to date people with a lifestyle very different from your own—which I agree with. If you’re an introverted bookworm who spends all their time in libraries and you dream about being with an extroverted party girl who spends every weekend at the clubs, you seriously need to reevaluate some stuff. That being said, partners often have very hobbies, passions and interests, and sometimes even very different values and beliefs. For instance, I am vegan and I strongly believe that just because we happen to be of the species homo sapiens, that gives us the right to kill, maim, torture and hunt other species (just because they don’t happen to be homo sapiens) as we like. I believe the suffering of non-human animals matters, and deserves to be taken into account. My boyfriend… Doesn’t. And no matter how much we might argue, neither of us are going to change our minds. So we have a compromise where we generally don’t talk about it—I’ll go off with my vegan friends sometimes and engage in activism about informing people about how awful factory farming is, but I don’t involve him at all or really talk about it, and when we go out to eat (which never happens because we’re both broke) out of consideration for me he won’t order meat though he will have other animal products like eggs or cheese. [Note: I DO NOT want to get into a conversation about my veganism or animal rights here —I just bring it up because the vegan/non-vegan gap is a pretty big one.] Part of why this works is that we know we’re a short-term relationship and we’re not planning on moving in together or spending our lives together (so I don’t have to worry about coming home to a chicken carcass in the fridge or other things that might cause greater tension) but I generally have a very permissive view of what is required to make a relationship work: respect, attraction, and open communication. Identical hobbies and lifestyle choices aren’t mandatory for making it work. So if you’re saying that it’s going to be hard to find someone who’s really athletic if you’re a couch potato, I agree with that, but I don’t think it’s the case that it’s impossible for someone who’s not athletic to date someone who is.

MapWater wrote:
This is true. I think I'm struggling with the fact that I'm a late bloomer as it is - how long do I have to wait until I'm in a good place to be relationship material? As it is, it's going to be an indeterminable amount of time. I have no idea if I'm actually afflicated by something or just stupid. I'll assume for my own sake I am the victim of depression, but how do I know when I can meet people with any kind of romantic intentions? Everything is so... vague. Don't get me wrong, you and others are 100% right and I'm not going to throw myself at some poor woman because I'm desperate, but the lack of a solid 'yes, you're ready' date or condition is terrifying. I hate not knowing things or not having the answers.

So there’s a quote by Dan Savage that I really like but can’t remember exactly and it seems like I’ve misplaced my copy of American Savage so I’m going to have to keep misquoting it all over the forums but it goes something like “if everyone had to be 100% healthy in order to be in a relationship, no one would be in a relationship ever.” Perfect mental health and stability is not necessary to enter into a relationship or maintain one—hell when I first met my boyfriend I was drugging myself out with Klonopin to get through the day and he wasn’t in the greatest place himself. Like I said before, I believe the basis of a good relationship is mutual respect, attraction and communication. I think that if you have those things, or at least an honest willingness to work towards them (good communication is hard and is a skill that has to be learned!) you are “relationship material”, whatever that means. So I think the real question you should be focused on is not “when will I be good enough for someone” but “when will I be well enough that I have the energy and emotional reserves to spend time and energy putting myself out there, asking people out, getting rejected, and going on dates?” And I think that’s something only you are going to know. But certainly the answer is not yet, not at the present moment, because right now you are in a period of crisis because of all the stress you are under and your highest priority is taking care of yourself.

Also you’re not stupid, whether or not it’s depression what you’re experiencing is a serious medical problem and even if what you need isn’t a shrink, I definitely think you should look into seeing a doctor or nutritionist.

MapWater wrote:
Wow... That's, uh, scary. Like I said, and with more feeling, I'm sorry you had to go through that. That's simply pure condescension. I only hope your doctors more or less did it out of obligation than actually believing that shit was necessary.

Sorry, not to derail things, but it’s actually really interesting to know that the rules in Australia are a lot laxer, because I always had this feeling that it might be an American “rights of the fetus trumps rights of the women”. For instance, during the time I was on Accutane I was also on two medications (lithium and Risperdal respectively) that can have potentially lethal side effects (renal failure and sudden diabetic shock) if not monitored with blood tests every 4-6 months. However the frequency of testing is determined by the psychiatrist, and during the time that I was on them I wasn’t tested, not once. So yeah… Having to get an abortion. It’s a fate worse than death. Razz  

MapWater wrote:
So, I tried this when I found out about the girl I mentioned earlier. It worked! I felt shitty and wasn't thinking straight. But, now, I have a completely different view on it now that I've exited the initial bad feelings. I need to keep this up, this feels so good to know that I'll escape the horrible feelings and not feel inhuman forever.  

Oh I’m so glad to hear that it was able to help!  Smile  

MapWater wrote:
I do have a routine, but it's pretty tight. I don't always have a lot of leeway to allow for food in it. That's why I often skip it - it's far easier to go hungry than delay myself in the mornings. And work is a little hard to predict when it comes to workload so I can go an entire day without eating anything. Before anyone freaks, I'm disturbingly used to it. A day without food isn't a big deal. The trend of this happening, however, has to stop.

So I'll try and work some kind of eating into my routine.

So I have to say hearing this almost makes me wish you were born female, because if you suddenly starting losing massive amounts of weight and stopped getting your period or whatever people around you would likely be freaking the fuck out and staging an intervention or whatnot. (Or so I’d hope?) I don't think you have an eating disorder as it is currently defined (but then again I am neither a doctor nor a therapist) but your eating is certainly disordered, if you get what I mean. I know a lot of people have said this already, but I think you really need to see a doctor, just like a general care practitioner, because not eating like that will likely do physical damage to your body, if it hasn’t already. Beyond that I don’t know what else I can tell you—but I think you’re going to need to work in external support of some time to change your habits around eating. But I think if you have that in place a lot of things in your life are going to feel a lot easier.

MapWater wrote:-
All of this. I mean, I haven't burnt the card, but it feels like I've been left behind and I'm going to look like the loser I am when someone finds that out. I know it's not that cut and dry, but the jerkbrain has a way with unreasonable thoughts as I'm sure most people here understand. My hang-up, like a lot of guys I guess, is that I'm cuturally expected to have the experience that the woman may lack. I will be fucking lost in my first sexual experience. It's why I hope that I end up with an empathetic woman who has a lot of experience so that she has a modicum of understanding that I really don't have a clue when it comes to sex at all because of pure dearth of experience and confidence.

So I heard this a fair bit before finding a partner, and it didn’t really make sense, but I hope hearing it from someone who only recently became sexually active might help—we come into every sexual relationship with a complete dearth of experience… About how that person’s body works and how to work with them to find pleasure. Every new partner is a learning experience. For instance, my boyfriend has been fairly consistently sexually active for over two decades with many, many partners, and at first he struggled to find my clit. (In his defense she can be somewhat shy with people she doesn’t know! Razz ) To attempt to remember another quote from Dan Savage, the fiftieth time he had sex with his now-husband was better than the first time, and the fifth-hundredth time he had sex with him was even better. A good, sex-positive partner, who you deserve to be with, is someone who is going to focus on the positives, and specifically how to work to make it even better. And even then people’s preferences and what gets them off changes over time and who they’re with. There’s no foolproof tip or technique that will get everyone off—other than being willing to listen and learn and work with your partner!

And even then it’s not the case that you don’t have a clue around sex—you know what you do that works to get yourself off, right? Knowing this, and having really though about what you do and how another person might be able to help is really useful information to be able to give to a future partner. Because of course if she’s a good partner, she’s going to be just as concerned about your pleasure as you are with hers!

MapWater wrote:
I've always believed I could be a good lover, but I need to have a good chance to prove it to myself.

That being said, perhaps I’m misreading your words here, but I really would advise you to not approach sex with the idea of having something to prove, whether it’s proving it to her or proving it to yourself. It’s a collaborative, not a combative exercise, and using other people for the purpose of proving a point is to use them like objects. I really get wanting to feel confident in yourself and your abilities, but I think you’ll end up feeling a lot better if you don’t feel like you have something you need to prove.

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:11 am

Enail wrote:If it helps any, no one gets this. I'd say a few things to watch for as green flags are:
-Could I speak up about something I want or something I'm not okay with?
-Could I handle my partner wanting/not being okay with something and work with them to try to resolve it in a way that was kind and respectful to both my needs and theirs?
-Could I break up with them if the relationship made me unhappy?
-Could I survive if they broke up with me?
-Do I have some ways to handle stress and bad feelings that don't involve relying on a partner?



Seriously though, these are good questions to remember and ask myself...

Prajnaparamita wrote:So part of what you’re saying here I think is that you should be realistic about expressing a desire to date people with a lifestyle very different from your own—which I agree with. If you’re an introverted bookworm who spends all their time in libraries and you dream about being with an extroverted party girl who spends every weekend at the clubs, you seriously need to reevaluate some stuff. That being said, partners often have very hobbies, passions and interests, and sometimes even very different values and beliefs. For instance, I am vegan and I strongly believe that just because we happen to be of the species homo sapiens, that gives us the right to kill, maim, torture and hunt other species (just because they don’t happen to be homo sapiens) as we like. I believe the suffering of non-human animals matters, and deserves to be taken into account. My boyfriend… Doesn’t. And no matter how much we might argue, neither of us are going to change our minds. So we have a compromise where we generally don’t talk about it—I’ll go off with my vegan friends sometimes and engage in activism about informing people about how awful factory farming is, but I don’t involve him at all or really talk about it, and when we go out to eat (which never happens because we’re both broke) out of consideration for me he won’t order meat though he will have other animal products like eggs or cheese. [Note: I DO NOT want to get into a conversation about my veganism or animal rights here —I just bring it up because the vegan/non-vegan gap is a pretty big one.] Part of why this works is that we know we’re a short-term relationship and we’re not planning on moving in together or spending our lives together (so I don’t have to worry about coming home to a chicken carcass in the fridge or other things that might cause greater tension) but I generally have a very permissive view of what is required to make a relationship work: respect, attraction, and open communication. Identical hobbies and lifestyle choices aren’t mandatory for making it work. So if you’re saying that it’s going to be hard to find someone who’s really athletic if you’re a couch potato, I agree with that, but I don’t think it’s the case that it’s impossible for someone who’s not athletic to date someone who is.

This is one of those things that I suppose would come down to personal preference too - I recently talked to a vegan friend, for example, that has sworn off dating non-vegans now for her own sake. The challenge of dealing with a partner that isn't a vegan is more of a problem than it is to limit the scope of who is a possible partner, in her eyes. That's pretty fair, as far as I can see. In her case, she has learned from unfortunate experience that it's not worth it.

But I agree that it's not impossible - it's just hilariously impractical and not likely. And if, somehow, I found myself in a relationship with an athletic woman, it would require lots of work and compromises on general lifestyle issues alone, never mind any other issues that could arise. Let's put it this way - whatever preferences I may have have to take a backseat to practicality for the most part.

Prajnaparamita wrote:So there’s a quote by Dan Savage that I really like but can’t remember exactly and it seems like I’ve misplaced my copy of American Savage so I’m going to have to keep misquoting it all over the forums but it goes something like “if everyone had to be 100% healthy in order to be in a relationship, no one would be in a relationship ever.” Perfect mental health and stability is not necessary to enter into a relationship or maintain one—hell when I first met my boyfriend I was drugging myself out with Klonopin to get through the day and he wasn’t in the greatest place himself. Like I said before, I believe the basis of a good relationship is mutual respect, attraction and communication. I think that if you have those things, or at least an honest willingness to work towards them (good communication is hard and is a skill that has to be learned!) you are “relationship material”, whatever that means. So I think the real question you should be focused on is not “when will I be good enough for someone” but “when will I be well enough that I have the energy and emotional reserves to spend time and energy putting myself out there, asking people out, getting rejected, and going on dates?” And I think that’s something only you are going to know. But certainly the answer is not yet, not at the present moment, because right now you are in a period of crisis because of all the stress you are under and your highest priority is taking care of yourself.

Also you’re not stupid, whether or not it’s depression what you’re experiencing is a serious medical problem and even if what you need isn’t a shrink, I definitely think you should look into seeing a doctor or nutritionist.

I think I've read that quote before, so I get ya. Hell, I know relationships thhat friends are in where one or more of those involved aren't in stellar mental health. It's just one of those 'it's different when it's me things', which isn't all the weird. I once believed that romance was, on a cosmic level, something I just would not experience. At all. Of course, that's silly. Understandable that the thought may cross your mind, maybe, but it's still a silly thought.

All that said, now is most definitely not the time, no. I've barely got enough emotional reserves for myself these days, never mind concerning myself with trying to ask women out. Priorities!

Prajnaparamita wrote:Sorry, not to derail things, but it’s actually really interesting to know that the rules in Australia are a lot laxer, because I always had this feeling that it might be an American “rights of the fetus trumps rights of the women”. For instance, during the time I was on Accutane I was also on two medications (lithium and Risperdal respectively) that can have potentially lethal side effects (renal failure and sudden diabetic shock) if not monitored with blood tests every 4-6 months. However the frequency of testing is determined by the psychiatrist, and during the time that I was on them I wasn’t tested, not once. So yeah… Having to get an abortion. It’s a fate worse than death. Razz

I'm sure there are definitely circumstances that mirror the US, but for this particular issue it was more concern for my sister. That could be because we had a pretty awesome doctor too. But, she did get off pretty easy.

That's really troubling that they didn't even test you once. Holy shitballs, that's bad. At least I can gather you never suffered renal failure or diabetic shock though?  Razz

Prajnaparamita wrote:So I have to say hearing this almost makes me wish you were born female, because if you suddenly starting losing massive amounts of weight and stopped getting your period or whatever people around you would likely be freaking the fuck out and staging an intervention or whatnot. (Or so I’d hope?) I don't think you have an eating disorder as it is currently defined (but then again I am neither a doctor nor a therapist) but your eating is certainly disordered, if you get what I mean. I know a lot of people have said this already, but I think you really need to see a doctor, just like a general care practitioner, because not eating like that will likely do physical damage to your body, if it hasn’t already. Beyond that I don’t know what else I can tell you—but I think you’re going to need to work in external support of some time to change your habits around eating. But I think if you have that in place a lot of things in your life are going to feel a lot easier.

I have heard similar sentiments from friends - that I'd probably have had my eating habits torn apart and my health more readily scrutinised as a result if I was a woman. I get what you mean though - my habits are not good for me. I have been working on them by myself for a while with great success - I eat healthier food, I eat more varied food and my general disdain for food has dwindled. However, I still need to fix the fact I don't eat enough, and the crap that's been happening lately really doesn't help as I don't eat when I stress. I've been stressing a lot, if it wasn't already obvious.  Laughing

Prajnaparamita wrote:So I heard this a fair bit before finding a partner, and it didn’t really make sense, but I hope hearing it from someone who only recently became sexually active might help—we come into every sexual relationship with a complete dearth of experience… About how that person’s body works and how to work with them to find pleasure. Every new partner is a learning experience. For instance, my boyfriend has been fairly consistently sexually active for over two decades with many, many partners, and at first he struggled to find my clit. (In his defense she can be somewhat shy with people she doesn’t know! Razz ) To attempt to remember another quote from Dan Savage, the fiftieth time he had sex with his now-husband was better than the first time, and the fifth-hundredth time he had sex with him was even better. A good, sex-positive partner, who you deserve to be with, is someone who is going to focus on the positives, and specifically how to work to make it even better. And even then people’s preferences and what gets them off changes over time and who they’re with. There’s no foolproof tip or technique that will get everyone off—other than being willing to listen and learn and work with your partner!

And even then it’s not the case that you don’t have a clue around sex—you know what you do that works to get yourself off, right? Knowing this, and having really though about what you do and how another person might be able to help is really useful information to be able to give to a future partner. Because of course if she’s a good partner, she’s going to be just as concerned about your pleasure as you are with hers!

I've heard this before and I'll take your word for it. Laughing

I guess I need to keep in mind that it's going to take work from both parties to make it a good experience. Those every handy communication skills will need to be employed here. Razz (I know it's not the same as an intimate relationship, but work has helped me with communication skills over the past year so that's one area I can say that progress is being made all the time).

But, assuming any partner I end up with understands it's square one (in at least some way) for the pair of us, then it should be okay.

I'm just plain ol scared of the intimacy sex means and implies, too. But that's a given for most people, I guess? At least at first anyway.

Prajnaparamita wrote:That being said, perhaps I’m misreading your words here, but I really would advise you to not approach sex with the idea of having something to prove, whether it’s proving it to her or proving it to yourself. It’s a collaborative, not a combative exercise, and using other people for the purpose of proving a point is to use them like objects. I really get wanting to feel confident in yourself and your abilities, but I think you’ll end up feeling a lot better if you don’t feel like you have something you need to prove.

Probably me just not being clear, although I suspected this may be a reaction to what I said - I mean more along the lines of assuaging jerkbrain than BEING THE BEST LOVER EVER AND PROVING IT TO EVERYONE HRGH. Because I've covered this ground with others before, who did have that inclination. No, I'm more concerned about silencing the self-doubt than sex turning into an exercise in ego stroking.

Perhaps, 'realising I'm not so bad after all' or some variation is a better way of phrasing it. I hate competition for the most part as it is, so the last thing I need it to turn sex into a (preferably non-literal, but I'm not judging anyone here Laughing ) pissing match where it's about 'conquests' and the like.

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Prajnaparamita on Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:00 pm

Hey MapWater, I first wanted to say that it sounds like you’re doing a lot better and you’ve gotten to a more positive space on things, which I’m really glad to hear! I hope I’ve been able to help, and of course if you have other concerns/need to troubleshoot things, by all means let us know. But it sounds like you’re in a much better headspace now.  Grin

MapWater wrote:[
This is one of those things that I suppose would come down to personal preference too - I recently talked to a vegan friend, for example, that has sworn off dating non-vegans now for her own sake. The challenge of dealing with a partner that isn't a vegan is more of a problem than it is to limit the scope of who is a possible partner, in her eyes. That's pretty fair, as far as I can see. In her case, she has learned from unfortunate experience that it's not worth it.

Yeah, basically I’ve learned that I can do it, and have fun in short-term relationships with non-vegans, but if it was the case that I was looking for a long term partner, like someone I might like to move in with and spend years together, I definitely would want to narrow the scope and choose to only date vegans. Which I guess is something else I’ve learned—I’m open to different kinds of partners when it comes to different kinds of relationships. I dunno if that would be in any way applicable to you in figuring out who you'd want to date, but for most people their first relationship isn’t their only one, and high levels of compatibility in terms of personality and life goals isn’t necessarily mandatory. But idk, YMMV.  Shrug

MapWater wrote:
But I agree that it's not impossible - it's just hilariously impractical and not likely. And if, somehow, I found myself in a relationship with an athletic woman, it would require lots of work and compromises on general lifestyle issues alone, never mind any other issues that could arise. Let's put it this way - whatever preferences I may have have to take a backseat to practicality for the most part.

Okay, if you think that would be the case, then I won’t dispute it (and I don’t mean to be condescending here, I don’t want to come off like I'm right and you're wrong at all because I don’t know your situation or what the women around you are like.) Still, I can’t help but fantasize about you finding some modern-day Boadicea with flowing red hair who spends her time riding around in chariots (I mean, that’s gotta take some serious upper body strength!), fencing and practicing hand to hand combat between attending Celtic folk concerts. But I suppose that’s unrealistic… I mean who owns a chariot anymore?  Razz

MapWater wrote:
I think I've read that quote before, so I get ya. Hell, I know relationships thhat friends are in where one or more of those involved aren't in stellar mental health. It's just one of those 'it's different when it's me things', which isn't all the weird. I once believed that romance was, on a cosmic level, something I just would not experience. At all. Of course, that's silly. Understandable that the thought may cross your mind, maybe, but it's still a silly thought.

Yeah, it’s an irrational fear, but a very common one nevertheless. Even now having found a partner who’s into me I still fear a life after this spent alone, not being able to find a relationship because I’m too shy/introverted/socially awkward (or the more insidious and creeping feeling that I’m only desirable to men as at the moment I’m still young and pretty and when I’m older that won’t be the case anymore. Neutral ) But yeah, I spend many years (14-20) believing that I was going to die a virgin and that was just the fact of it. Still, it seems like you’ve got a pretty good sense that it is just your jerkbrain talking, even if it just feels so real.

Anyway, I’m not sure if this would help, but there was this technique I learned for toning down the intensity of the jerkbrain when it’s being irrational but you still can’t help feeling it. For example, if you’re going “I’m never going to find love”, you first start by going “(right now) I think that I’m never going to find love.” And then after that you go “(right now) I feel that I’m thinking that I’m never going to find love.” This is supposed to help you take two steps back from the thoughts and feelings so they aren’t so intense and pressing and you can reexamine them better. Because when your jerkbrain says, “I’m never going to find love”, it’s presenting it as an objective, undisputable fact. But when you realize that’s just a thought, which comes from a feeling, you realize it isn’t so objective after all, and while thoughts and feelings are sometimes accurate and appropriate, they aren’t always so, and thus you don’t need to buy into this one as a fact about reality. Also realizing that, you can remind yourself of the 20 minute lifespan of a feeling, and that you won’t feel like this forever. I’ve struggled to consistently put this into practice, but you might find it useful.

MapWater wrote:
All that said, now is most definitely not the time, no. I've barely got enough emotional reserves for myself these days, never mind concerning myself with trying to ask women out. Priorities!

Yeah, and I hope you’re able to be kind to yourself about this. It’s not some kind of failing that you have to take a step back from some things in your life—you’re really strong, but right now a lot of that strength is being taken up by caring for others in your life. Hugs?  There, there

MapWater wrote:
That's really troubling that they didn't even test you once. Holy shitballs, that's bad. At least I can gather you never suffered renal failure or diabetic shock though?  Razz

Yeah, given the relatively low dose I was on for both of them, and what science has learned about proper dosage of them I wasn’t at much risk, but yeah, people still die of that. Priorities!  Uh-oh

MapWater wrote:
However, I still need to fix the fact I don't eat enough, and the crap that's been happening lately really doesn't help as I don't eat when I stress. I've been stressing a lot, if it wasn't already obvious.  Laughing

Yeah, and you know, even if it isn’t a mental health issue you’re dealing with, going to a therapist or counselor for a short time to help learn coping strategies and find better ways to deal with stress and eating habits might be a good idea. Plenty of people go to counselors for reasons other than mental health issues—for instance, people going through a divorce or midlife crisis or grief. It sounds like you’ve had to take a lot of weight on your shoulders in regards to family stress around your mother’s illness, and it might just be useful to have a person you can turn to for support without feeling like you’re being a burden on the people around you.

MapWater wrote:
I guess I need to keep in mind that it's going to take work from both parties to make it a good experience. Those every handy communication skills will need to be employed here. Razz (I know it's not the same as an intimate relationship, but work has helped me with communication skills over the past year so that's one area I can say that progress is being made all the time).

Yeah, having a grasp on that basic stuff like “I statements” and active listening and affirming the feelings of others even while disagreeing with them and conflict de-escalation is really, really useful (and this is coming from someone who used to think that she totally got that shit down pre-relationship). Every relationship is different, but I found the greatest difference for me from negotiating conflict with friends to doing it with my boyfriend is that when something bothered me with someone else, I could easily brush it off, but when it came to boyfriend, everything felt so much more personal and got under my skin a lot more. But then again I’m the kind of person who seeks out very intense emotional relationships so that might not be your experience.

MapWater wrote:
But, assuming any partner I end up with understands it's square one (in at least some way) for the pair of us, then it should be okay.

Yeah, I think honest acknowledgement that it’s going to be a little awkward at first (without making a huge deal of it) is probably the best way to go.

MapWater wrote:
I'm just plain ol scared of the intimacy sex means and implies, too. But that's a given for most people, I guess? At least at first anyway.

Yeah, something I’m wondering about is that I find that I need to have a high level of comfort in emotional intimacy with someone before I can feel comfortable with physical intimacy. I don’t know if that’s the case for you at all (perhaps it’s more of a girl thing with how we’ve been socialized to believe that our pantsfeels have to come from our sweet and tender fee-fees) but it seems like you have a tendency to just not allow yourself to feel attraction, in either a sexual or romantic sense. And I might be completely off here, but given that you don’t let yourself feel those emotions, might it be the case that it makes them become more terrifying for you?  Shrug Because yeah, they’re intense emotions sometimes, and yeah they can be unnerving, but they can also be really, really nice and now I’m not so scared of them anymore.

MapWater wrote:
Probably me just not being clear, although I suspected this may be a reaction to what I said - I mean more along the lines of assuaging jerkbrain than BEING THE BEST LOVER EVER AND PROVING IT TO EVERYONE HRGH. Because I've covered this ground with others before, who did have that inclination. No, I'm more concerned about silencing the self-doubt than sex turning into an exercise in ego stroking.

Perhaps, 'realising I'm not so bad after all' or some variation is a better way of phrasing it. I hate competition for the most part as it is, so the last thing I need it to turn sex into a (preferably non-literal, but I'm not judging anyone here Laughing ) pissing match where it's about 'conquests' and the like.

Okay, that makes sense, I’m glad I was just misreading it because you really don't seem like the type to get into dick-swinging contests!  Razz And you have a point, even if attitude going into it is an important factor too, a good part of confidence comes from experience, whether it is with learning to drive or play an instrument or run a marathon.  

(And I am glad to hear how enlightened and open minded you are in regards to the kinks of others! Razz )

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:06 am

Prajnaparamita wrote:Hey MapWater, I first wanted to say that it sounds like you’re doing a lot better and you’ve gotten to a more positive space on things, which I’m really glad to hear! I hope I’ve been able to help, and of course if you have other concerns/need to troubleshoot things, by all means let us know. But it sounds like you’re in a much better headspace now.  Grin

I'm feeling a lot better now, actually. At least, better than when I wrote that rant and such. So, yes, thanks to all that helped out and a special thanks to you, Prajna, for spending a lot of time helping me with this. It's been a really good experience and I really do appreciate it.

I actually admitted to my sister last night that I thought I needed therapy and about a lot of what I've talked about here, which felt really good. Got into a really good conversation about both or problems all night. It felt absurdly good telling someone in person I thought there was something wrong with me. I dunno why I didn't earlier, really - we've never even had a single argument before and are pretty in-sync with each other so she was the best person to go to.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, basically I’ve learned that I can do it, and have fun in short-term relationships with non-vegans, but if it was the case that I was looking for a long term partner, like someone I might like to move in with and spend years together, I definitely would want to narrow the scope and choose to only date vegans. Which I guess is something else I’ve learned—I’m open to different kinds of partners when it comes to different kinds of relationships. I dunno if that would be in any way applicable to you in figuring out who you'd want to date, but for most people their first relationship isn’t their only one, and high levels of compatibility in terms of personality and life goals isn’t necessarily mandatory. But idk, YMMV.  Shrug

A few years ago I would have said I'm only in it for long-term relationships, but honestly, that's not so true now. So that's a good thing to keep in mind, that not everything needs to line up like magic for a fun and fulfilling relationship.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Okay, if you think that would be the case, then I won’t dispute it (and I don’t mean to be condescending here, I don’t want to come off like I'm right and you're wrong at all because I don’t know your situation or what the women around you are like.) Still, I can’t help but fantasize about you finding some modern-day Boadicea with flowing red hair who spends her time riding around in chariots (I mean, that’s gotta take some serious upper body strength!), fencing and practicing hand to hand combat between attending Celtic folk concerts. But I suppose that’s unrealistic… I mean who owns a chariot anymore?  Razz

Hey, I'm not going to fault you for having more faith in something that awesome than I do! I wish I had that much faith.  Laughing

But who knows? I may meet a Celtic warrior queen who's right into nerdy DC engineers.  Razz

Please exist, please exist!

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, it’s an irrational fear, but a very common one nevertheless. Even now having found a partner who’s into me I still fear a life after this spent alone, not being able to find a relationship because I’m too shy/introverted/socially awkward (or the more insidious and creeping feeling that I’m only desirable to men as at the moment I’m still young and pretty and when I’m older that won’t be the case anymore. Neutral ) But yeah, I spend many years (14-20) believing that I was going to die a virgin and that was just the fact of it. Still, it seems like you’ve got a pretty good sense that it is just your jerkbrain talking, even if it just feels so real.

Anyway, I’m not sure if this would help, but there was this technique I learned for toning down the intensity of the jerkbrain when it’s being irrational but you still can’t help feeling it. For example, if you’re going “I’m never going to find love”, you first start by going “(right now) I think that I’m never going to find love.” And then after that you go “(right now) I feel that I’m thinking that I’m never going to find love.” This is supposed to help you take two steps back from the thoughts and feelings so they aren’t so intense and pressing and you can reexamine them better. Because when your jerkbrain says, “I’m never going to find love”, it’s presenting it as an objective, undisputable fact. But when you realize that’s just a thought, which comes from a feeling, you realize it isn’t so objective after all, and while thoughts and feelings are sometimes accurate and appropriate, they aren’t always so, and thus you don’t need to buy into this one as a fact about reality. Also realizing that, you can remind yourself of the 20 minute lifespan of a feeling, and that you won’t feel like this forever. I’ve struggled to consistently put this into practice, but you might find it useful.

I think a lot of that 'good sense' is just blind faith. But it helps to keep me from falling into too deep of a hole whenever I do, so I suppose it doesn't matter in the end, eh? I'm happy I'm out of the most absolute jerkbrain thinking for the most part, but it's still a nagging feeling from time to time that I don't think will really ever go away. It's more about trying to keep that nasty little train(wreck) of thought in check right now.

I was talking about this with my sister last night. Well, intrusive jerkbrain thoughts that force you into a corner with absolutism. I'll give that a whirl though and see if I can turn it into a habit - sounds like a good tool if mastered.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, and I hope you’re able to be kind to yourself about this. It’s not some kind of failing that you have to take a step back from some things in your life—you’re really strong, but right now a lot of that strength is being taken up by caring for others in your life. Hugs?  There, there

I'm trying to not be too hard on myself. That's kind of my default attittude about just about everything, so it takes concentrated effort not to be so hard on myself. But I'm doing okay as it is. And thanks, you've been a big help.  Grin

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, and you know, even if it isn’t a mental health issue you’re dealing with, going to a therapist or counselor for a short time to help learn coping strategies and find better ways to deal with stress and eating habits might be a good idea. Plenty of people go to counselors for reasons other than mental health issues—for instance, people going through a divorce or midlife crisis or grief. It sounds like you’ve had to take a lot of weight on your shoulders in regards to family stress around your mother’s illness, and it might just be useful to have a person you can turn to for support without feeling like you’re being a burden on the people around you.

All the more reason to go see someone, I guess.

When I talked to my sister about all this, I did remember that my social anxieties will get in the way until I'm absolutely ready to see someone. For one, I need schedule an appointment. That's scary. I need to work how best to get there. Also scary. Then I need to make the trip. Not so scary once scheduled, but if I get something wrong I'll panic. My sister offered to escort me to nuke the stress of travel and such, at least.

I'll also need to work out how exactly to explain all this in a less messy form. And how I can explain it period. Meeting someone new is bad enough, but even if they are a person who needs to hear a lot of what I've posted here, I don't know if I can just... say it.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, having a grasp on that basic stuff like “I statements” and active listening and affirming the feelings of others even while disagreeing with them and conflict de-escalation is really, really useful (and this is coming from someone who used to think that she totally got that shit down pre-relationship). Every relationship is different, but I found the greatest difference for me from negotiating conflict with friends to doing it with my boyfriend is that when something bothered me with someone else, I could easily brush it off, but when it came to boyfriend, everything felt so much more personal and got under my skin a lot more. But then again I’m the kind of person who seeks out very intense emotional relationships so that might not be your experience.

Hm. I'm not sure if I would be drawn to intense emotional relationships myself. Before I really got hit hard with... whatever it is I'm going through, I was still rather distant from people and that was comforting. This is something I'll worry about when I get a chance to be in a relationship.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, something I’m wondering about is that I find that I need to have a high level of comfort in emotional intimacy with someone before I can feel comfortable with physical intimacy. I don’t know if that’s the case for you at all (perhaps it’s more of a girl thing with how we’ve been socialized to believe that our pantsfeels have to come from our sweet and tender fee-fees) but it seems like you have a tendency to just not allow yourself to feel attraction, in either a sexual or romantic sense. And I might be completely off here, but given that you don’t let yourself feel those emotions, might it be the case that it makes them become more terrifying for you?  Shrug Because yeah, they’re intense emotions sometimes, and yeah they can be unnerving, but they can also be really, really nice and now I’m not so scared of them anymore.

No, I can relate to requiring a certain level of emotional intimacy before anything physical could happen. I'm not so good with touching other people period, outside the good ol stiff work handshake. The general touching people issue is definitely a root of the problem, and a good reason why being physically attracted to a woman can result in confusing, hypocritical feelings too. But I think you're right : that not feeling those emotions makes them an unknown and unknowns are pretty terrifying. That's a part of it, I'm sure, because I don't think I've been truly emotionally close to anyone outside my family.

...Vulnerability isn't my strong suit.  Laughing

Prajnaparamita wrote:Okay, that makes sense, I’m glad I was just misreading it because you really don't seem like the type to get into dick-swinging contests!  Razz And you have a point, even if attitude going into it is an important factor too, a good part of confidence comes from experience, whether it is with learning to drive or play an instrument or run a marathon.  

(And I am glad to hear how enlightened and open minded you are in regards to the kinks of others! Razz )

Indeed, I'm good with adjusting my attitude to ensure I'm not full of self-doubt, but that little bit of experience would push me over the line (I hope) in not being so swift to fallback on that self-doubt.

And, as far as I see it, life's too short to kink shame. Razz

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Prajnaparamita on Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:47 pm

MapWater wrote:
I'm feeling a lot better now, actually. At least, better than when I wrote that rant and such. So, yes, thanks to all that helped out and a special thanks to you, Prajna, for spending a lot of time helping me with this. It's been a really good experience and I really do appreciate it.

Well, when you first wrote out your rant I was like “whoa, that sounds so familiar” and I couldn’t help but emphasize, and also I was dealing with a little bit of irrational guilt over the fact that I had seen your thread about struggles with eating and been like “hmm, maybe I should mention those times on certain meds that I had to force myself to eat, and let him know about Soylent too. Yeah, I should do that” but at the time had been in a sleepwalk like depressive state and didn’t.  Neutral So I felt like I ought to reach out. In the end though I’m glad to have helped!  Grin

Also as Clueless hasn’t followed us here you’re currently my best hopes at expedited citizenship Uh-oh

MapWater wrote:
I actually admitted to my sister last night that I thought I needed therapy and about a lot of what I've talked about here, which felt really good. Got into a really good conversation about both or problems all night. It felt absurdly good telling someone in person I thought there was something wrong with me. I dunno why I didn't earlier, really - we've never even had a single argument before and are pretty in-sync with each other so she was the best person to go to.

I’m super glad to hear this as well—I’m not going to knock how hard it had be to surmount the mental barrier to asking for help in the first place, but in my experience every time you let yourself open up, it gets easier. Smile

MapWater wrote:
A few years ago I would have said I'm only in it for long-term relationships, but honestly, that's not so true now. So that's a good thing to keep in mind, that not everything needs to line up like magic for a fun and fulfilling relationship.

Yeah, and I thought this same thing until recently—if I wasn’t investing years into a relationship, what was the point of getting involved? But the way I see it now is kind of based on DNL’s advice on hookups—only sleep with people you would actually want to be friends with. But more obviously, only date people you would want to be friends with! Grin For me, it was really comforting to go into a short-term relationship with the mindset that just because it was short term didn’t mean it didn’t matter or he didn’t care about me, these were just the circumstances we were in, but also that as he was a person who I really enjoyed spending time around and even after we broke up we would still like to be friends for years down the line. In that way even though it’s a short-term relationship it’s a long-term investment! Obviously though you’re under no obligation to be friends with your ex, if during your relationship you discover they think it’s okay to lie or manipulate or demean you and others or things like that, they're not worthy of being anyone's friend. But if a romantic partner is still friends with their exes, it’s usually a good sign that they mean it when they say “I want to be your friend after this is over.” Of course (it’s generally the case that) you’re never going to be as close as you were in the immediacy of a romantic relationship, but just because a romantic relationship ends doesn’t mean you will never have any kind of relationship with the person again. And if there was something that drew you together, it’s likely that you’ll still want to be in the person’s life, in one way or another.

MapWater wrote:
But who knows? I may meet a Celtic warrior queen who's right into nerdy DC engineers.  Razz

MapWaterxBoadicea, OTP. I am so shipping this. Razz

MapWater wrote:
I'll give that a whirl though and see if I can turn it into a habit - sounds like a good tool if mastered.

Alright, let me know if it works! It’s probably best to learn this stuff from a professional when you have a chance, but I’ve learned a lot of ACT/CBT tricks about managing intrusive thoughts, and I have more to share if you would be interested.

MapWater wrote:
When I talked to my sister about all this, I did remember that my social anxieties will get in the way until I'm absolutely ready to see someone. For one, I need schedule an appointment. That's scary. I need to work how best to get there. Also scary. Then I need to make the trip. Not so scary once scheduled, but if I get something wrong I'll panic. My sister offered to escort me to nuke the stress of travel and such, at least.

Hey, if you feel like it would be helpful, you could start up a thread for advice/encouragement around finding/scheduling counseling appointments, because it is often logistically taxing and unpleasant (god I hate intakes). I don’t know anything about how getting access to therapists in the Oz system works, but I have a couple friends that do that I could tap into.

MapWater wrote:
I'll also need to work out how exactly to explain all this in a less messy form. And how I can explain it period. Meeting someone new is bad enough, but even if they are a person who needs to hear a lot of what I've posted here, I don't know if I can just... say it.

I actually don’t think this is going to be as hard as you think it will be. For one, you have already said those things… Here! I think it might be helpful to compile the rants/requests for advice about specific issues that you’ve posted (because a lot of them are quite articulate) and read them over, maybe try to rewrite and articulate them in a more cohesive way. If after compiling and rereading them you feel like you still wouldn’t be able to say it out loud, you still have something to present to the person that they can read and begin to understand.  

MapWater wrote:
Hm. I'm not sure if I would be drawn to intense emotional relationships myself. Before I really got hit hard with... whatever it is I'm going through, I was still rather distant from people and that was comforting. This is something I'll worry about when I get a chance to be in a relationship.

Hmmm… Well it certainly seems that you’ll likely need to learn to navigate conversations around “I really like you, and I really want to be with you, but I often need space and if I get distant sometimes it’s not about you, it’s just sort of who I am.” But yes, you don’t need to worry about that now. Who knows, as things change in your life other things might change and open up more.

MapWater wrote:
...Vulnerability isn't my strong suit.  Laughing

Yes… I am increasingly coming to realize this. innocent

MapWater wrote:
And, as far as I see it, life's too short to kink shame. Razz


An excellent attitude to have! Laughing

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:55 am

Prajnaparamita wrote:Well, when you first wrote out your rant I was like “whoa, that sounds so familiar” and I couldn’t help but emphasize, and also I was dealing with a little bit of irrational guilt over the fact that I had seen your thread about struggles with eating and been like “hmm, maybe I should mention those times on certain meds that I had to force myself to eat, and let him know about Soylent too. Yeah, I should do that” but at the time had been in a sleepwalk like depressive state and didn’t.  Neutral So I felt like I ought to reach out. In the end though I’m glad to have helped!  Grin

Also as Clueless hasn’t followed us here you’re currently my best hopes at expedited citizenship Uh-oh

Just to put it out there (although I'm sure you re aware), you don't have an obligation to help if you're not doing the best yourself and need the space. As such, I do thank you for helping since you are going through your own struggles. I know how it can feel, trying to help others when you're running so very low on energy in every way conceivable to do so.

Be prepared for a slog - Australia's delightfully complicated to gain citizenship in  Laughing

Prajnaparamita wrote:I’m super glad to hear this as well—I’m not going to knock how hard it had be to surmount the mental barrier to asking for help in the first place, but in my experience every time you let yourself open up, it gets easier. Smile

I hope so. I't be nice to talk about it with my parents, but that can wait until they aren't so bogged down with my mother's issues. My sister said I shouldn't worry about that, but the family's a high stress levels already - I don't need them jumping to on the 'HE'S DEPRESSED? OH SHIT' schtick, because I'm already overprotected as it is. Not to mention I think they would just say it's my diet period. Anyway, that's for later. I'm just happy I said something to someone.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Yeah, and I thought this same thing until recently—if I wasn’t investing years into a relationship, what was the point of getting involved? But the way I see it now is kind of based on DNL’s advice on hookups—only sleep with people you would actually want to be friends with. But more obviously, only date people you would want to be friends with! Grin For me, it was really comforting to go into a short-term relationship with the mindset that just because it was short term didn’t mean it didn’t matter or he didn’t care about me, these were just the circumstances we were in, but also that as he was a person who I really enjoyed spending time around and even after we broke up we would still like to be friends for years down the line. In that way even though it’s a short-term relationship it’s a long-term investment! Obviously though you’re under no obligation to be friends with your ex, if during your relationship you discover they think it’s okay to lie or manipulate or demean you and others or things like that, they're not worthy of being anyone's friend. But if a romantic partner is still friends with their exes, it’s usually a good sign that they mean it when they say “I want to be your friend after this is over.” Of course (it’s generally the case that) you’re never going to be as close as you were in the immediacy of a romantic relationship, but just because a romantic relationship ends doesn’t mean you will never have any kind of relationship with the person again. And if there was something that drew you together, it’s likely that you’ll still want to be in the person’s life, in one way or another.

That's a really good endorsement that I probably needed to hear. Razz On hookups specifically (I realise that was simply an example but it does bring up some thoughts of mine) I probably wouldn't be down for that. But when I came to the conclusion a while ago that a short-term relationship wouldn't be bad and could be loads of fun, I realised that my rough boundaries to do with physical intimacy (thus making me baulk at casual sex) was wrongly influencing my thoughts on short-term relationships. They really aren't the same thing, and a short-term relationship with no absolute, everlasting commitment as a rule would be, well, cool to try.

But you also bring up remaining friends with those you have been in a short-term relationship with, which I would be very much a proponent of myself. I suppose if a relationship has to end on good terms, that's the ultimate goal.

Prajnaparamita wrote:MapWaterxBoadicea, OTP. I am so shipping this. Razz

Not even the most well trained and disciplined of Roman legions would stop us.  Laughing

Prajnaparamita wrote:Alright, let me know if it works! It’s probably best to learn this stuff from a professional when you have a chance, but I’ve learned a lot of ACT/CBT tricks about managing intrusive thoughts, and I have more to share if you would be interested.

Will do! At this point, any tips or tricks are worth trying.

Prajnaparamita wrote:Hey, if you feel like it would be helpful, you could start up a thread for advice/encouragement around finding/scheduling counseling appointments, because it is often logistically taxing and unpleasant (god I hate intakes). I don’t know anything about how getting access to therapists in the Oz system works, but I have a couple friends that do that I could tap into.

I might just do that, but right now my sister is ready and willing to give me a hand. Access, thankfully, is easy. My sister gave me a card for a therapist I can call that, wonderfully, specialises in social anxieties or something similar. I just, uh, need to get to the point that I can call her. Embarassed

Prajnaparamita wrote:I actually don’t think this is going to be as hard as you think it will be. For one, you have already said those things… Here! I think it might be helpful to compile the rants/requests for advice about specific issues that you’ve posted (because a lot of them are quite articulate) and read them over, maybe try to rewrite and articulate them in a more cohesive way. If after compiling and rereading them you feel like you still wouldn’t be able to say it out loud, you still have something to present to the person that they can read and begin to understand.

Compiling it is my best bet. I feel like if I made an appointment tomorrow, I wouldn't know where to begin or how so I need something slightly organised in my head before I walk through the therapist's door. I'm assuming that, if worst comes to worst, it's not completely unheard of to hand in whatever I've compiled and worked on on paper? I don't really want to do that, nor do I think it will come to that anyway, but always planning for the worst is how I live.  Laughing

Prajnaparamita wrote:Hmmm… Well it certainly seems that you’ll likely need to learn to navigate conversations around “I really like you, and I really want to be with you, but I often need space and if I get distant sometimes it’s not about you, it’s just sort of who I am.” But yes, you don’t need to worry about that now. Who knows, as things change in your life other things might change and open up more.

Yeah, after frequenting DNL for a while I realised I'd need to get this conversation down. That's going to be LOADS of fun, I'm sure. But, yeah, not worth worrying about now. And, another thing I talked about with my sister was how I could always change and become more open. Hard to tell what the future holds in that regard.

Prajnaparamita wrote:
MapWater wrote:
...Vulnerability isn't my strong suit.  Laughing

Yes… I am increasingly coming to realize this. innocent

Ain't I just a hoot?  Razz

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Re: [Rant] Yet another rant (this time with pointless lust and jealousy!)

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:42 pm

MapWater wrote:
Just to put it out there (although I'm sure you re aware), you don't have an obligation to help if you're not doing the best yourself and need the space. As such, I do thank you for helping since you are going through your own struggles. I know how it can feel, trying to help others when you're running so very low on energy in every way conceivable to do so.

Oh no, I’m perfectly well aware of that, and I really hope it didn’t come off as if I thought I was obliged. Seeing what ways I can help people here out from my own limited experiences is a coping mechanism—I feel like I’m paying it forward in a way, you know? Grin  But it’s sort of a balancing act between when trying to help others feels rewarding and when it’s going to take more than it can give, and I’ve burnt out before when I haven’t.

Anyway… All you Type 6 Loyalists in da club represent! Put yo hands up if you feel the compulsive need to put others before yourself! We’re gonna get real wild tonight, and attempt to put aside time for self-care! Woo!  Cool

Ya, but if I’m married to an Aus citizen I get a four year process rather than a “hahaha, not happening” process. By the way, are you aware that marriages of convenience are legal in Australia?  Wink wink nudge nudg

MapWater wrote:
I hope so. I't be nice to talk about it with my parents, but that can wait until they aren't so bogged down with my mother's issues. My sister said I shouldn't worry about that, but the family's a high stress levels already - I don't need them jumping to on the 'HE'S DEPRESSED? OH SHIT' schtick, because I'm already overprotected as it is. Not to mention I think they would just say it's my diet period. Anyway, that's for later. I'm just happy I said something to someone.

I mean, nobody knows if you’re depressed, that’s only for a professional to decide, and it might not be the case at all that you’re depressed—who knows, it might be the case that it’s only a temporary phase while you go through this rough period? I wonder if it would be possible to frame it with them not as “Big scary mental illness issue” but “I’m under a lot of stress right now, and I think it would be useful to talk to someone about it in order to get it out.” Also maybe if they say it’s just your diet, you could say that your diet is likely so poor because of the stress and this person can help you get your diet to be better. Or maybe just skip all of that and just frame it in terms of getting help around eating better. I don’t know your family dynamics, but maybe that would help them see it as just a neutral thing.

MapWater wrote:
That's a really good endorsement that I probably needed to hear. Razz On hookups specifically (I realise that was simply an example but it does bring up some thoughts of mine) I probably wouldn't be down for that. But when I came to the conclusion a while ago that a short-term relationship wouldn't be bad and could be loads of fun, I realised that my rough boundaries to do with physical intimacy (thus making me baulk at casual sex) was wrongly influencing my thoughts on short-term relationships. They really aren't the same thing, and a short-term relationship with no absolute, everlasting commitment as a rule would be, well, cool to try.

Yeah, hookups are absolutely something I could never do—fine if others enjoy them—but I just don’t work that way. And that’s why I was biased against short term relationships—they just seemed like glorified hookups. And I guess others might have different definitions of what a short term relationship is, but I see it as physical and emotional intimacy with the awareness that it’s not forever. Not because you don’t like the person or enjoy time with them, but because you’re young and don’t yet know what you want or are in a period where you might be moving around a lot or aren’t in a stage in your life yet where you’re looking to settle down or whatever. Which doesn’t make you a bad person or your relationships somehow lesser—it’s just a fact of life which can always change if you don’t want that anymore.

MapWater wrote:
I might just do that, but right now my sister is ready and willing to give me a hand. Access, thankfully, is easy. My sister gave me a card for a therapist I can call that, wonderfully, specialises in social anxieties or something similar. I just, uh, need to get to the point that I can call her. Embarassed

Well, I’m sure someone who specializes in social anxiety will be more than understanding of someone who is nervous on the phone or at the first appointment! We’re rooting for you, MapWater. I know this is scary, but I also know you can do it!

MapWater wrote:
Compiling it is my best bet. I feel like if I made an appointment tomorrow, I wouldn't know where to begin or how so I need something slightly organised in my head before I walk through the therapist's door. I'm assuming that, if worst comes to worst, it's not completely unheard of to hand in whatever I've compiled and worked on on paper? I don't really want to do that, nor do I think it will come to that anyway, but always planning for the worst is how I live.  Laughing

And you know, even if you just are able to get there and hand the person what you’ve written, it’s not going to be a problem really. I give my therapist stuff to read for her to help me sometimes—often it’s just stuff that we wouldn’t have time to go over in a session, like a copy of my neurology report or a detailed family history of mental illness, but once it was something I was too shy to say to her directly (about a male friend of mine who I had grown attracted to, and I was torn up about). If the person you’re planning on seeing specializes in social anxiety, I’m sure he/she will be quite understanding of people facing difficulties with opening up at first!

MapWater wrote:And, another thing I talked about with my sister was how I could always change and become more open. Hard to tell what the future holds in that regard.

Yeah, I think this is entirely the correct attitude to take! We change a lot over time, sometimes more than we realize. Two years ago I had no idea I would be where I am now (both in terms of emotional temperament and life goals), and though I think I have a sense of where I’m going, two years from now I’m not really sure I actually know. If meeting with someone is something that you find helpful for dealing with the immediate stressors of the moment, the person might be helpful in unpacking your resistance to touch.

I wish the best for you in regards to seeking help. I know it might not mean much, but I hope you’re going to be in a better place soon.

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