counseling

Hitting the Nail on the Head

notaboutthenail

i had another session with Fern yesterday and it went really well.

On my way to my visit, Maximus called from His business trip in California so He could share with me where He was at in our healing process. His intention was to share that with me, but to let me know what to share with Fern about His progress. Maximus is healing and feeling like we are making some forward progress, like the train is starting to move forward on the tracks, taking on fuel, building up steam, and starting to accelerate. He now feels confident that i am working on my issues and doesn’t feel at risk for my raging at Him like He had even just a few days ago. He praised me for the work i’ve been doing and what i’ve been sharing with Him.

Fern and i started with me sharing with her the breakthrough that Maximus and i had when going over the couples intake form together for her. She was very, very pleased with this and glad that we have been communicating so well and coming to a better understanding, using what we have been sharing and truly listening to each other. i also shared that i was going up to Maximus’ in a week, something that was a big change from just a few days ago, and illustrated a big step for us.

She then shared with me the types of rage that i have been having:

Survival Rage. This is triggered by basic needs not being or feared not being met and leads to a fight or flight response. It is related to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In my case, my basic fears are loss of self, loss of freedom/feeling trapped, being taken advantage of.

Impotence Rage. This is raging out of a feeling of helplessness, feeling powerless to effect changes.

Abandonment Rage. Triggers for abandonment are related to a fear of losing an important relationship.

Shame Rage. This includes the triggers of feeling disrespected, unheard, embarrassed, or ashamed.

It was interesting to have her share these with me as i had come to the same conclusion about my triggers and identified Abandonment and Shame Rage as types of rage i have been experiencing. i had not read about Survival or Impotence Rage, but i had sort of lumped those things into Abandonment and Shame. She acknowledged that i had done a great deal of work discovering these triggers in evaluating my raging and felt i have come a long, long way in my progress already because of that.

She asked me how i felt in my progress and what things i felt i needed help in. i shared with her that i felt very good about acknowledging the fact that i had unresolved issues from my second marriage and that those things triggered raging behavior in me now. i have done a really good job in not letting the communication break between Maximus and me trigger me into raging behavior, something that would have been an issue before. In fact, it was one of the things Maximus praised me for, as i’d not raged when He needed space and not raged the night before when He was having cell phone connectivity issues that prevented Him from calling me (in the past, i would have been infuriated about that and assumed that He was using that as an excuse not to talk). So in those areas, i feel very good. The one area that we haven’t encountered again since my last rage and now have to do with my reactions related to Ms. W and as that has been such a strong trigger, i was very nervous about it and really wanted to develop techniques for dealing with them to avoid undoing the progress i and we have made.

Fern asked me to define our relationship, whether it was poly or something else. i shared with her that we are not poly but emotionally-monogamous, only able to love one other person, but sexually-nonmonogamous. i explained what that meant and how we had worked very hard to define that early on in our relationship. We then talked about how Ms. W fit into that, any agreements we had about their relationship, and how i felt about it.

After this discussion, Fern asked me about boundaries, how i felt about my boundaries. i shared with her, as i had last session, my problem with keeping boundaries in relationships (see the excerpt from Eat Pray Love in this post about my boundary issues). my problem in past relationships is that i have always dissolved into the other person and lost my self, my soul. i gave up my friends, family, hobbies, and absorbed theirs, championed their interests by totally immersing myself in them. This caused a lot of damage to me, to my ego, and was illustrated by friends and family saying, “Yeah, gabriella’s back!” when i had split with those partners and rediscovered myself. This was a big part as to why i was so afraid of having another relationship again, but, being that Maximus lived hours away, was my fan and championed my interests, i felt i might be able to keep my boundaries and not lose my self in this relationship.

This was an important discussion for us to have, because i had realized this week that while a lot of the raging was about past hurt and irrational, there were some bits of truth in the rage, hidden in the irrationality, which had to do with my fear of losing control of my boundaries. Fern was glad to hear me say that, that it was important for me to understand that while there is a lot of past involved in my rage, there are things, albeit small things, in this relationship that triggered those past feelings; and it would be important to include Maximus in this discussion because it deals with how we relate and how we can best communicate these things. For this, Fern will be using Imago therapy that focuses on communicating needs, wants, fears, desires, etc without shaming, blaming, or criticizing. My homework for this week will be to write down things that i feel imbalanced about or concern me about my boundaries so Maximus and i can discuss these in our couples session with her. And we will be doing this session in a week via Skype with Fern when i am up with Maximus.

Another bit of homework this week will have to do with some writing to create new neural pathways for me. In this assignment, i will be writing a dialogue between History and Wisdom, the personifications of my sources of self-talk. The dialogue will start with History asking Wisdom for help. The most interesting part of this is that when i do this writing, i will be doing this with pen and paper and use my non-dominant hand when i write History’s dialogue and my dominant hand when i write Wisdom’s dialogue. i think this is fascinating! And it makes sense to me. When i was struggling to learn how to breathe bilaterally during swimming, someone suggested that while i was doing this i should brush my teeth, use eating utensils, etc with my non-dominant hand as to help train my brain to do things on my non-dominant side. It helped! In this case, this will empower Wisdom to become more dominant than History, reducing the high level of counsel History currently has. Interestingly, when i shared this with Maximus, He totally accepted this as well as He had used this technique in college water polo. i will work on this dialogue this week.

Maximus and i talked for hours about this session–it was great! i was a little concerned about sharing about this session as it dealt with boundaries and Ms. W and needing to have guided communication about concerns and imbalances i have felt about her and in our relationship. i didn’t want Him to feel defensive about this. And, i didn’t want to do too much communication about this without the guided technique as we have worked on communicating on these things throughout our relationship and not resolved them, so i didn’t want to continue an old pattern and perhaps upset each other. However, Maximus did want to talk about this, and i was honest and told Him about my fear of talking about it early. It was a great conversation, though. Maximus was sharing His confusion about why i had no issues with Z-Baby who was very clearly in love with Him and had no qualms about making it known but huge insecurity about Ms. W, who he felt had no love interest in Him whatsoever. My response was simple and is the same response i have always shared with Him, “Because Z-Baby was nice to me and i felt Ms. W has always treated me horribly. Ms. W’s behavior has always made me feel that she was trying very hard to make it known she didn’t like me and was trying to block me, physically from You.” i explained the examples, how Z-Baby and i were friends, did things together with and without Him, talked and texted, whereas Ms. W. was dishonest to me, woudn’t look at me or talk directly to me if He was present, put me down, clung to Him in my presence. This made me feel there was something to be fearful of. And this time, Maximus heard me. This will be very important for our discussion next week.

Later, Maximus and i were talking about the discussion that Dan and dawn had on their latest Erotic Awakening podcast about Slave Journals. i shared that Dan prefers written journals to electronic ones and we discussed our preference to having mine online. i shared with Maximus that i felt that we would not be as far as we are in this healing process if i’d not had this online journal, and He agreed completely. i went on and said i didn’t think we’d be together today without it, and He strongly disagreed with that, saying that He would not have abandoned me, that we would have still been communicating, but that we wouldn’t be nearly as far in the healing process without it. As we are in a distance relationship, an online forum works best for us, He can access my journal any time, any place–if my journal was on paper, He’d only get to see it when we were together, and we need to share about my journaling more frequently than that allows. He did go on to say that some times it is painful for Him to read some of my posts, not often, but occasionally, as in the instance of the post about my recent nightmare. This was the first time He’d mentioned anything about this, so i asked Him to explain. For Him, this nightmare was just so vivid, as my posts always paint pictures and tell our story, and it pained Him to read about Him leaving abruptly and permanently. Just as it was difficult for me to determine when i first awoke whether it was a nightmare or reality, reading about it gave Him pause as He struggled with the feelings those images evoked in Him.

So another great session, some more work to do, healing happening, toxins dissipating, communication flourishing.

To end, i thought i’d share a video i saw this week. What an illustration of Blue and 8, how Maximus and i describethe differences how men and women often differ in communication needs between problem-solving (logic) and empathy (feeling) (see more explanation in this post). Maximus and i both got a kick out of this!

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, communication, counseling, submissive journal | 1 Comment

A Breakthrough

heartbrain

Yesterday Maximus and i worked on our couples questionnaire for Fern. i had already filled out my answers and forwarded the questionnaire for Him to finish, but Maximus requested that we go over His answers over the phone and have me type them out as writing is my strength and speaking is His forte. i thought this was an excellent idea as i was pretty sure the intention of this questionnaire was that the couple complete it together.

This was an amazing process for us! We had breakthroughs when we did this and i wonder how much of the questionnaire was for Fern and how much of it was to get us to talk about things. i’m going to include the questions and our answers here and then talk about the breakthroughs.

Describe your previous individual or couples counseling experience if you have had any.

We have not had any previous couples counseling together.

gabriella had couples counseling, primarily solo, toward the end of her second marriage, as her spouse was not interested in going to counselling. He went begrudgingly twice, once with each one of the two counselors she met with, trying to find someone he would feel comfortable with. The second counselor advised me, after a few sessions and after meeting with my spouse, that i needed to consider whether this was a marriage worth continuing. i ended my counseling relationship with him then and then, eventually, the marriage.

Maximus was in individual counselling 3 times a week for three years, 1998-2002, at the end of His first marriage and after their divorce. He went to four times with first wife, but it was of no use, as the marriage was too far gone at that point. In 2003-2004, He was in couples counseling with second wife prior to their marriage. His last experience in counselling was 2011-2012 where He was in individual therapy related to the separation and divorce from His second wife.

What would you most like to get out of our work together?

gabriella would like to stop raging. she would like to restore her ability to trust in a relationship and believe that Maximus has chosen to be with her, and not question that.

Maximus would like gabriella to realize that there is a commitment in the phrase He presented to her, GOT (Growing Old Together). He would like for her to deal with her rage and jealousy issues so that we can get back on the same life path that we were previously on together.

Attraction Phase:  Describe falling in love with your partner.  What were the traits they possessed that made you decide to connect with them.

gabriella never intended to be in a Relationship again and really didn’t think she would be in love with someone again. Maximus and i had known each other for several years, had been friends in the swinging lifestyle, having met each other with our respective spouses in that arena and played together (although our spouses did not like each other at all!!). Maximus and i got together after both of us had our divorces, not to start a Relationship, but to reconnect as friends, enjoy sex with each other, and divorce support. We both really understood what it was like to be twice divorced and during conversations, discovered that we had both come to the place where we just wanted to embrace our Ethical Slut, enjoying that lifestyle, enjoying friends, cultivating fun relationships, realizing that marriage just wasn’t our thing.

We also share a common passion for endurance sports, Maximus being involved in that for most of his life, gabriella more recently. Maximus was very supportive of me.

The traits i love about Maximus that made me fall in love with Him, despite my belief that i was not ever going to be in love or in a committed relationship again were:

  • Complete openness and honesty in communication. We talk for hours and hours about our pasts, about our current feelings, at a level i had never experienced with anyone before. We call this a principle of over-communication and it has been a big part of our relationship.
  • Common interest in non-monogamy, swinging, high sex drive, adventurous sexually
  • No interest in polyamory, complete agreement and understanding of emotional monogamy
  • Amazing fitness level, supportive of my time requirements for training
  • Professional, educated, intelligent
  • Wonderful social being who lights up the room.
  • Financially stable.
  • A neat freak like me! This was a huge issue in my second marriage.
  • He’s my biggest fan. i’ve never had that before.
  • In love with life, “Life is Good!” attitude
  • A desire to travel and travel together
  • And despite me telling Him that i was not ever going to fall in love or be in a relationship again, He had the courage to tell me He had fallen in love with me and asked me to reconsider.

Maximus: There has always been a connection with gabriella. We met through mutual friends at a swinging party. Whenever we attended parties that these friends hosted, we always looked for each other, and when we were both there, at some point, we always got together–and it was always more than just sex to Me. I was unaware of what she did for an occupation and I was also unaware that at the time, that she was 70 pounds heavier than she is now.

gabriella reached out to me in 2012 when she heard that I was separated. she reached out to me as a friend, there was no sexual intention to that contact. The relationship started as we started to get to know each other. I invited her up to My home to stay during an athletic event she was participating in, as two friends; that’s when I learned about her occupation, her leadership, all these things, that she’d lost all this weight, and she was into triathlons and working out. There was a shared view of work, in other words, we are both leaders, and we had a lot of discussions about this. her business philosophy was very impressive, and she had the extra barrier of doing that in a male-dominated field. Because I have three girls, I have always championed women breaking glass ceilings.

The sexuality was spectacular. her experiences were right aligned to Mine. I was looking for a partner in this area.

I learned, after the race, her intelligence, how smart she was, and more about her. I didn’t really know a lot about her until then. I thought, she’s cool, athletic, professional, sexy as hell, and she’s been married twice, no intentions of being married again–finally I find someone who was a kindred spirit to where I am now. I cannot think of a time that I didn’t enjoy her company.

In Las Vegas, September 2012, I verbalized what had been occurring in my heart. I was being transparent and honest. We had talked enough that I thought she would understand. I don’t think I knew her as well then, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Because it’s real. A little later, I came up with GOT and that was it.

I just love gabriella and love being around her. We have so many things. It’s hard for Me not to get a little pissed off about what’s happened. We shouldn’t be having this conversation because I just love her so much and am totally committed to her.

I never thought I would fall in love again. I wasn’t opposed to it. I love the concept of having an emotional relationship. I feared I was toxic to people. Falling in love with gabriella was a wonderful thing that’s happened, the sexuality is extremely powerful, but you can’t fuck 24 hours a day, there has to be a connection with someone. Conversations are just natural and wonderful. I have no jealousy.

I enjoy talking about her. I enjoy sharing about her.

I don’t have to entertain her. she is self-reliant, self-confident, doesn’t need me to find things for her to do—this was a problem in my second marriage.

Power Struggle: (Things changed when…)

For gabriella, things changed when we went from Friends with Benefits to a committed relationship. i told Maximus i was terrified when He shared that He had fallen in love with me and wanted to have a committed relationship together, because i realized i hadn’t done any work to prepare for having a Relationship, only had worked on restoring my ego or self. But, i realized i was in love with Maximus, He was in love with me, and i thought that would conquer all. i believed, at the time, that these wonderful traits of Maximus, the fact that He was in love with me and my biggest fan, would automatically make me feel secure and trusting. i truly believed that.

i had not felt insecure about any of the other women Maximus had been with, including Ms. W, when we were FWB (friends with benefits)—not even an inkling. It wasn’t until we were in a committed relationship that i began to question His relationship with Ms. W, and particularly her, not any other women He was with sexually or socially. She has been my focus of insecurity and jealousy.

Maximus says…with the rage. There are four particular cases.

What do you imagine it is like being in an intimate relationship with you?

For gabriella, i think it’s difficult to be in an intimate relationship with me. i am impatient, headstrong, over-analytical, require a lot of communication. i think a large part of my desire to never be in another relationship was my fear of being lied to and taken advantage of. On the good side, i am 1000% committed to the person i’m with, give them a huge amount of attention, pay attention to their interests, desires, needs, wants, take time to find special things and gifts from my heart, things that often surprise them due to their specificity to them, and am their biggest fan in the world. i will defend them to the end of the world, am their champion. And i am enormously passionate, of them and sexually.

For Maximus, you have someone who will love you unconditionally, will accept you, will hold you when you cry. I will spoil the shit out of you, money is meaningless, if I want to get something I will and if it’s directed to you, so be it. A relationship with me is also a relationship with my profession and my kids and swimming (working out). At times, that 4 legged stool is balanced, and other times it is not. There is competition for my time. I try to balance that. 

What are the strengths of this relationship?

Despite some very ugly and hurtful episodes of raging from gabriella, Maximus is still here. i think that is amazing and truly says everything about His commitment to this relationship.

We are communicators, about EVERYTHING.

We are on the same page sexually, desire the same things in our relationship and in our sexual relationship.

We both have a desire to be in counseling. We actually talked about doing this four months ago, before things got to this point, and weren’t able to due to things going on in our lives.

Maximus says,

Communication

Communication

Communication

The only thing is, at times, communication can be two sided sword. I always want to be transparent. When I tell her, she gets jealous, or she misinterprets. Should I not communicate and we not have a problem? I don’t want to do that, don’t want to withhold anything. 

Is there anything else that would be important for me to know about you and/or your relationship, past experiences or your current challenges so I can be of most help to you?   (Use the back of page as needed.)

gabriella has included journal entries about this.

From Maximus,

gabriella can be very social, but her power meter goes down in that environment and she is expending personal energy. To recharge, she needs alone time for solar recharging. I am the opposite. When I’m by myself, I’m happy, but the battery is running down. Mine charges up so quickly from people.

We had a recent episode meeting another couple and I got completely energized and engrossed, fed by the social interaction, but failing to get signals and hear gabriella saying she was not connecting with them and wanted to end the meetup. she could have stabbed me in the thigh and I wouldn’t have noticed. We need to figure out a better way to communicate so I don’t repeat that. This was a raging event that I can’t blame her for.

To Me, I have the best relationship, I am proud of it. I have introduced her to the kids, and they love her. My brother’s heard nothing but great things from my kids about her. What’s not to like and love about her? I’m proud of that. I enjoy bragging about her. I love telling people about her kicking My ass, a beating, when I took her to Kona to train. I have no desire to compete with her. I enjoy time together. Few people could keep up with her. I was glad to complete the things I did. I am happy about that. I don’t have to beat her. It’s something we can do together.

I think for gabriella, there is the fat chick in this hot chick’s body that can’t believe I chose her. And she’s waiting for me to see the fat chick and leave, confirming it.

Our Breakthroughs

The breakthroughs for me were about how Maximus fell in love with me and the things that attracted Him to that. And that He felt there had always been a connection with me, even while we were still married to others and without future divorces on the horizon. It made me tear up. I was actually kind of amazed that we’d never talked in depth about this and realized how important it was. And despite everything, He is still absolutely in love with me and still my biggest fan.

For Maximus, the breakthrough came at the end of the questionnaire. When He made the comment about being fearful of over-communicating and that perhaps He should just withhold stuff as to not get Himself in trouble, i shared with Him that i need the over-communicating and that my raging was not because He had been honest and open with me, it was because i had taken that information, over-analyzed it, and distorted it into something completely different. The problem was within me, not Him–He’d done nothing wrong! Failing to communicate fully and openly would just prove my fear of things being hidden from me.

He asked why i was doing that and i explained the history of how ex-husband, OneGuy, used to hide information and when i discovered things and wanted to talk about it, he absolutely refused to do so, going to extremes by not looking at me, not acknowledging my presence, not talking to me, including not answering the phone or texts, for periods up to a week. i was constantly lied to, including lies by omission, so i had to use other means to get the truth, including body language, phone history, etc. i got very good at picking up on non-verbal cues about OneGuy’s lies.

Maximus asked when i started raging and i told Him it was after living in this environment that i started raging at OneGuy. i felt like i was being treated as a prisoner, behind bars. After time, being ignored this way, i just started to yell, scream, stomp my feet, banging things against the bars to try to get the guard’s (OneGuys) attention, just like prisoners do. i think this is human nature, and is even shown in the Zimbardo Prison Experiment in the early 70s, a psychological experiment i had even studied with fascination prior to my relationship with OneGuy. i turned into an inmate, and i’ve never dealt with that.

During this discussion i shared with Maximus that during these past two weeks, as i have recalled the raging events, the things i’ve said, i’ve come to realize that i am still raging at OneGuy. In fact, the things i have yelled and screamed about to Maximus are not even things He’s done–they are things OneGuy had done. The feelings of being taken advantage of, being trapped, ignored, lied to, used financially, are all feelings i had with OneGuy; Maximus has not done any of those things. i am screaming at Maximus for what OneGuy has done.

This last part was the big breakthrough for Maximus. He has been just devastated that He could not figure out, for the life of Him, what He had done to cause me to rage at Him–it wasn’t making any sense. All He could see was that i was bat shit crazy and coming up with things out of thin air. He couldn’t understand my rage and what He’d done wrong. It makes sense to Him now as He can see that i have been projecting my anger from my last marriage upon Him. In His gut, He had a feeling that i’d had unresolved issues from my divorce.

Maximus shared, “Today I took a huge step toward you. I feel closer to you now since our trip to Las Vegas. And I feel very good about that.” He shared that He has all the confidence in the world that i’m working on this an not going to fuck this up. This breakthrough removed a huge chunk of the toxin He’s been injected with. And i shared that it my toxin he was suffering from.

“This is what I want,” He continued. “I’m willing to take a chance.” And then He shared,

Love bears all things,

Love believes all things,

Love hopes all things,

Love endures all things.

Love never ends.

~ Corinthians 13:7-8

We are so blessed.

i could hear the improvement in Maximus’ voice, He has come back. Our phone calls ended with “I love you” again, and He’s texting and calling. We are recovering together. Patience, space, and guided communication has helped us. Maximus is my biggest fan, so incredibly committed to me and us…i cannot question His commitment. He is Maximus, not OneGuy. He loves me unconditionally. i get it. i will not fuck this up.

if he

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, communication, conflict, counseling, honesty, openess | Leave a comment

It’s No Thing

meditate

i had my second session with Fern yesterday. i was just too wiped out last night to write about it (i went immediately from that appointment to have my Mirena IUD removed and replaced with a new one as it had been five years and time to replace it. While the process to remove and replace the IUD was much, much better than the initial placement, it caused cramps and i was just worn out by early evening). I did share the bulk of this with Maximus on the phone last night, but told Him there was a mantra i was working on and would share with Him later when i had a chance to really take time with it.

This session was the first time for Fern to do some in depth investigation into me as the first session was really an introduction of me and the situation. We started with having me “check in” with her about how i was feeling, what things were going on, or if there were any stressors on the periphery that could impact me, my reactions, thought processes, or stress level. i really was feeling great. Maximus and i’d had some really great conversations, which i posted about and more that i didn’t (just general conversations), and i felt really terrific about this. The only stressors on the horizon had to do with Maximus letting me know that The Englishman was going to be coming for the weekend and that he would be busy with him and starting on a huge yard project and therefore probably would not hear from Him a lot, and He didn’t want me to read anything more into it than what it was. i shared that with her because it could be a stressor, but that i have been working on not letting space between communication throw me. Next, she wanted me to commend myself on something, give praise to myself. i shared with her the conversation about how i was feeling when Maximus continued to say, “You can’t do this again,” and how i was proud of myself for doing that and the manner in which i did it. i also praised myself for allowing myself to start to not fear my emotions. Finally, Fern asked me to set my intention for this session, which was simply to get started on the healing process with her.

For the rest of the session, Fern had questions about my relationship with OneGuy, how that started, how i felt in that relationship, etc. i shared about how we met and what was going on in my life with my father’s illness and how i imprinted upon OneGuy and his family, seeing it for something i was losing in my life and not the reality of what it was. As we talked about that and my great relationship with my father and family, my personal drive to succeed and fear of failure, Fern asked me to start naming the players of my self-talk. It was a little difficult for me at first, but i came up with three during the session: Wisdom, History, and Rescuer.

Wisdom. Wisdom is the one who is logical. This player picks up on things going on and looks at them concretely, for what they are. Wisdom doesn’t over-analyze, takes things for what they are. Wisdom looked at my relationships and said, “things aren’t safe, you need to go.” Wisdom looked at me and said, “you are broken and have lost your soul, you need to repair yourself.”

History. History is the one who analyzes and compares the current situation with the past. This player evaluates EVERYTHING and has a mind like a steel trap–nothing escapes History, no word, no nuance, no body movement, NOTHING. History believes there are signs everywhere and looks for patterns, proof of situations repeating themselves. When History hears hoof beats, History assumes there is a horse coming, never a zebra. History is very loud and persuasive.

Rescuer. Rescuer is the one who loves to help people, who is can see others’ issues extremely clearly and also see the root causes and resolutions for them. This player LOVES to be helpful, wields a sword to defend friends and family and strangers. Rescuer is very drawn to people who need help, volunteers to help people before they ask for it.

Fern asked me to speak to her as if i was each of these players individually introducing themselves to her. This was hard for me to do. i did better just talking about them and what they would say. She also wanted me to talk as if each player did not know the others, but for me, they are three friends who get each other in trouble a lot–and, as Fern noted, with the best intentions when they do, it’s not malicious. History is really loud and convincing, usually pushing Wisdom out of the way when Wisdom is quietly saying, “well wait a minute, there’s no proof that is happening this time in this situation…” History means well, does this to protect me from things that hurt in the past. The Rescuer is less of a player now than it was years ago, because Rescuer got me into situations that got me drained, hurt, and taken advantage of, so History and Wisdom won’t allow Rescuer much leeway anymore. Moreover, Rescuer can see very clearly into external situations, but cannot see internally well at all. Rescuer has the ability to make great recommendations to Wisdom and History on how to self-rescue, but Wisdom and History have repressed Rescuer.

Fern has recognized that i am introverted, that is, my source of power is internal. This doesn’t mean that i’m antisocial, quiet, shy, it means that i get recharged by alone time and drained by large groups. It doesn’t mean that i don’t like parties and group situations, it means that after i am in those situation, i take me-time to recharge. Fern wants me to use this time to meditate, empower the strengths of these three players we’ve identified so far. my concern, however, and i shared this with her, is that more often than not, alone time opens up self-talk and overanalyzing that i’ve not been able to squelch. i need to learn how to have the recharge time without the spinning.

So out of this discussion came my assignment for the week. My assignment was to come up with a mantra that i could use to help me stop the spinning, something i could repeat during mediation if I was overanalyzing or feeling triggered. She gave an example of what she uses, something a colleague shared with her, “Life is meaningless.” This phrase does not mean life is hopeless, it is meant to say, lots of things happen that don’t mean anything, there is no reason for something happening other than, it is, and not to analyze it to ascribe meaning more than that.

i want my own mantra. As i drove away after our session, i started to think about this assignment and go through other mantras and phrases i’ve heard. Maximus’ is, “Life is good,” and while a wonderful one, it’s His, not mine. “Life is meaningless” is Fern’s and, well, i actually have a problem with that one as it just seems too encompassing and risky. Then it came to me, and i’ve been rolling it around the past 24 hours, researching it a bit, and have decided to adopt it: “It’s No Thing.” Now, it doesn’t mean it’s nothing–it is something, a concrete thing, a word, a phrase, a nuance, a situation, but it’s not a thing to analyze, it’s just a thing! But also, nothing to analyze.

i’m very happy with this mantra. And interestingly enough, when i did a web search of “It’s No Thing,” i discovered a blog of the Devotees of  guru, Nithyananda Swami, and a particular post, The Biology of Enlightenment, about meditation:

Let’s look inside for just a brief minute….

How long can you keep the mind completelly [sic] silent?

If you try to stop thinking it just starts right back up again.

Words, verbalizations, thoughts, thinking and emotionalism are completely automatic.

You can’t stop it by controlling it, but you can (eventually) stop it by non-judgementally watching it.

The brain works completely by it self.

It has nothing to do with “you” doing it.

This means that you are not the doer of deeds nor the thinker of thoughts.

The mind/body is an “it”, not a “me”.

The brain’s thoughts and body’s reactions are just the result of cells doing work.

We are not the physical body/mind and its senses.

We are not the mind and it’s automatic rambling thoughts.

We are the still, conceptless, silent Awareness that is aware of them.

We are the Awareness that is watching the body/mind’s automatic functioning.

We are the Silent Formless Observer.

We are the Life/Consciousness/Awareness that is simply aware of Itself as existing.

We have mistakenly identified ourselves as being the physical mind/body.

It was an erroneous belief all along.

The real “you”, the Silent Aware Mind, is not confined to a brain, or anything else.

It’s infinitely Everything beyond physicality.

It’s the formless Allness of Existence.

It’s No-Thing, yet Infinitely Everything.

But thinking about that won’t help you realize and experience that.

Only meditation can help us get there.

How amazing is that?

i do believe in the the law of attraction, that we attract people, experiences, by negative or positive thought. These past ten days proves it to me yet again, that i have been attracting the things i need, as by fate, Fern, with her supporting history, my mantra for meditation, developed in my mind for me, aligning with a spiritual guru’s guide for meditation. i feel i am traveling in the right direction, attracting the things i need and will support me in my healing. This is not a negative path, this is a positive one, one of growth out of my past experiences.

And really, Life is Good! It has been, i’ve just let my past cloud it.

No more. It was just a thing, my past, and It’s No Thing. This love, this connection, this life with Maximus…It’s a Real Thing, a Lasting Thing, a Great Thing.

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, communication, counseling, law of attraction, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sharks in Every Ocean

oceanswim

“There are sharks in every ocean, yet we still swim.”

i like that quote, seems very appropriate right now. In many areas of our lives, we do things knowing there is risk. We swim in the ocean, even though we know there are sharks or have learned we’ve been unknowingly swimming near them until pointed out to us; we drive on roads knowing other drivers might be distracted or poor drivers or otherwise impaired, and may have suffered an accident at the failures of another driver in the past; we get back on the bike or horse that threw us; we love again, despite broken hearts. We go back to our normal activities, eyes more open, more aware, cautious, flinchy, and often donning a new coat of armor.

i’m learning to be ok with feeling emotions again, to not be afraid of them. It is important for me to feel them so i can deal with them appropriately, create new neural pathways, something that won’t occur if i don’t allow myself to feel. And i need to feel emotions, its what makes me passionate in great ways. Emotions are not bad things.

i do struggle right now with Maximus’ armor, though. To me, its a palpable reminder of the danger in not controlling my anger. i get frustrated because the armor is there, a barrier from normal operations. It makes me feel like i don’t get to prove to Him that i’m not raging, and as i’m not raging, the armor is shielding Him from seeing that i’m not attacking at all. i know why its there, i respect that, i just want it to go away. It will come off, piece by piece over time as He realizes the heavy armor is no longer necessary, but i’m impatient.

Oddly though, i’m in a Catch-22 with myself in that while i’m frustrated about His armor, i was surprised by His plan to go to a swingers club tonight. i thought, “Really?!? You don’t think its maybe not a great choice right now after i’d raged at You?” i didn’t react at Him when He told me His plan, i decided i needed to think about it and control any reaction i had. i wasn’t jealous, as i’ve never been jealous about Him going to a swingers club without me, nor has He when i’ve gone; i was just surprised that it appeared that maybe He hadn’t thought it might tempt fate and cause me to rage. i don’t know, i haven’t asked Him about His thought process about this. In the end, though, He canceled that plan and is going to a workshop arranged by His financial advisor instead. So, maybe He did think about it. Perhaps telling me the details on how He came about deciding on what to do tonight was a way for Him to monitor how i would react.

But, when i think about it, i should consider it a good sign, that He felt confident that i wouldn’t rage about it. Or, maybe He just didn’t think about it at all. Or, maybe it was a way to monitor my reaction. I don’t know. Perhaps i should ask Him. He will, undoubtedly, tell me i am over-analyzing it. But, right now, that is kind of the direction i’ve been given by Fern, to analyze my feelings to work on triggers and raging. He has told me several times over the past week not to over-analyze things, so my analyzing is an area of discomfort for Him. i think He feels it is a precursor to my raging, analyzing things to the point where i distort their meaning or assigning them meaning that wasn’t there.

And, part of this is viewing the situation through my lens, not His. i am not comfortable with having sex with others without Maximus with me right now because i am fearful for what happened when i was unhappily married to PiperC. i had an affair when unhappily married to PiperC and fell in love with that woman. my fear is that i imprinted on her because i was unhappy with PiperC. i’m not unhappy with Maximus, but i feel sideways with Him and i worry that having sex without Him might cause problems i don’t want. Now, i have nothing to prove that really is the case, i’ve never had a problem separating sex and love before, so i may be over-analyzing. Maybe this is my armor. But because i feel this way, my lens, i have projected that upon Him, which is not fair.

Circular talk. Maybe making problems out of things that aren’t there just by what-iffing it to death. But this is my self-talk.

There are sharks in the ocean, certainly. He’s gotten back into the water, holding out His hand to me and saying the water’s fine, not worried about certain sharks, i guess. i should trust Him, take His hand and get into the water. We are fearful of different sharks. Together, if we let ourselves, we’ll help each other navigate those waters. i can’t expect Him to take my hand and follow me into water that is scary to Him if i don’t take His when i’m standing on the shore afraid of the water He’s offering to protectively guide me into. Especially if those sharks have never attacked. He is right there, swimming beside me like He always has, making sure i’m safe, reassuring me, swimming ahead only when He knows i’m safe, confident, and strong.

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, communication, counseling | 1 Comment

Courage

A quote i read this morning:

“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

i thought that was very encouraging. As Maximus noted last night, someday this will just be a blip and nothing more. It feels like a crater now, time and distance will lessen the impact on the topography and it’s good to remember that.

i just got back from my first counseling session. i am very, very pleased with the counselor (i’m going to call her Fern). i can’t even remember what web directory i found her on, i had done many, many searches for kink-friendly counselors in the Portland/Seattle area and she came up. In fact, it was because of her notation on her website that she did Skype sessions that i ever considered adding Skype-capability to my list of requirements. The amazing thing, that i learned partway through my long introduction with her, is that she is in an open relationship with her husband, that they had incredible difficulties in their marriage at one point that included her raging. They were separated for nearly a year while she and they worked on their relationship and her raging. And, they are in a D/s relationship where she is submissive. i just wanted to hug her when she shared that with me. i feel very comfortable with her.

Most of the session was me telling my story, introducing myself and Maximus. She did share how raging is actually a physiological process, not only an emotional process, in that when you first start raging, you build neuropathways in your brain; future triggers or perceived risks then fire those neuropathways involuntarily, which is why often a person who rages feels they cannot stop the rage from starting–because the body has taken over automatically. This happens even if the person is not longer in the situation or relationship where they formed the neural pathways, because they have been formed and an easier path to travel than new pathways. Additionally, the triggers are related to the fight in “fight or flight,” in that it in response to some deep survival need, such as love, belonging, respect, that the person unconsciously fears is being threatened. So, we are going to be working on reprogramming my neural pathways away from raging and delving into what survival needs i feel are threatened. She is going to be using Imago Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well.

i am very encouraged. She was encouraged by my openness and honesty in sharing my story and issues and by all the work i’ve done so far. She is also pleased that Maximus is involved and that He is willing to be involved in the counseling sessions as well, both solo and as a couple. She asked that i journal about my feelings so we can work on triggers and survival needs, and we discussed how i am already journlling and will continue to do that. I will bring bullet points of my entries rather than pages and pages like i sent her already!

i have my next appointment Friday afternoon. i’m looking forward to it.

On a side note, i saw this today and oh, if it was only that simple!!

if shes freaking out

Categories: anger, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, communication, counseling, honesty, insecurities, rage, relationship needs | Tags: | Leave a comment

Shame-Based Rage

Image

The last type of rage i experience is Shame-Based Rage. This is to a lesser extent, and related to the shame i feel after the times i have exploded in sudden abandonment rage. i get horribly embarrassed and feel humiliated by my actions, beat myself up internally. Only once has this been the sole type of rage event for me, but it is a secondary issue in episodes of Abandonment Rage.

Shame is both a feeling and a belief. It is an unpleasant feeling of being totally exposed to people’s criticism, where the person  can come to believe that they are somehow defective, broken, flawed, damaged. The instinctive reaction to a moment of shame is to flee, run away, or hide, to become invisible so no one can see your flaws. While running away makes the person feel safer, it triggers a self-defeating spiral where they feel additional shame for fleeing. However, in shame-rage, the person tries to get rid of the feeling of shame by giving it to someone else–dumping all their anger on someone else.

The time i experienced Shame-based rage was during a dinner with Maximus and The Englishman. Maximus and i had confided in The Englishman about our relationship and difficulties i was having as he had overheard a Skype episode where i had raged at Maximus in December. The Englishman started to, what i perceived, lecture me in front of Maximus about how i needed to trust Him and that He loved me, something we had worked out. The Englishman didn’t have all the information and i felt i needed to defend myself from this onslaught, ambushed. i started to feel my emotions take over and in effort to calm down and not rage, i excused myself to the car to breathe. As i was sitting in the parking lot, a man from an adjacent car started banging on the car window and yelling at me, i have no idea why. i locked my door, put my face in my lap and he went away. Soon i heard the driver’s door open. i assumed it was Maximus, so i sat up and leaned into Him for Him to hold me–however, when i opened my eyes, i saw it was The Englishman and i exploded inside, felt invaded in my safe place. i yelled for him to leave me alone, ran out of the car and ran down the street. i ran and ran and ran. i was angry at Maximus for sending him out to me–my assumption as to what happened. Eventually i settled down and decided to go back to the car, however, when i returned, Maximus and The Englishman started yelling at me from the restaurant entrance. As i didn’t want to see The Englishman again at that moment, i tossed my stilettos and beautiful necklace Maximus had purchased for me at the car and ran away again. i tried to get a cab from an auto shop to go home as i had left my cell phone in Maximus’ car, but they never called one for me. Eventually i returned to the restaurant where Maximus tracked me down in His car, frantically searching the area for me, and i got into His car only when The Englishman left to another restaurant. i was furious with Maximus, thinking He’d sent The Englishman to shame me more, accused Him of sending “a rapist to rape me some more!”, screaming at Him. At one point i ran from the car, telling Him i was going Home and we were done. After i sat and breathed for a few moments, i returned to the car and He drove me home.

At those moments, all i want to do is run. Run fast, far, away from my shame, away from the hurt, away from, what i feel, are critical eyes, embarrassed, humiliated.

9 Steps to Tame Shame-Based Rage

1. Make a strong commitment right now to gain control over shame-based rage.

I’m so there!

i, gabriella, promise today to quit raging. Specifically, i will refrain from raging against anybody, especially the people i love. If i feel personally shamed by something others say or do, i will step away until i gain control over my urge to attack. i will use no excuses to justify shaming, blaming, or treating others with contempt.

Part of this is that during discussions or when i feel overwhelming emotions starting to build, i need to let Maximus know that i need a break. There are times that i have run away without telling Him this and walk away, which prompts Him to ask me to come back and not walk away from Him–i usually return and fail to tell Him i’m needing a break, which further accelerates the situation. i have to own my commitment to communicate my needs.

2. Follow the shame-rage trail back to your own shameful thoughts and feelings.

These are not caused by what someone else says, even though it feels like it, it is based upon what is going on inside my head. No one’s blaming me, they are discussing things because they care, so don’t take this personally. This will be extremely important as i work to eliminate raging as it will require me to discuss these things with Maximus, with a counselor, and with the two of them together–i will feel intense shame, guilt, remorse, and i need to manage that without letting it take me over.

3. Discover how you temporarily get rid of your shame by raging.

My shame gets aimed at Maximus. When i had the episode with The Englishman, i blamed Maximus for allowing The Englishman to ambush me, which was not true. He never sent The Englishman out, He was stuck inside the restaurant trying to figure out what was happening and trying to pay the bill for a very expensive dinner we had ordered. He could not run out after The Englishman, He could not go out to me until He had dealt with the bill.

During episodes of abandonment rage, i call Him the things my shame was telling myself about me. i’m attacking Him as if He is my shame.

4. Reclaim your shame to break the shame-rage connection.

i have to accept that i feel shameful, that i have behaved in a manner that is causing me to feel embarrassed and humiliated in front of the person i love. i need to own it and i need to deal with the abandonment issues that trigger the raging that makes me feel ashamed.

5. Challenge the validity of the five core shame messages.

It’s time to replace negative self-talk with healing thoughts. Change:

  • “i am no good” to “i am good.”
  • “i am not good enough” to “i am good enough.”
  • “i am unlovable” to “i am loved and lovable.”
  • “i don’t belong” to “i belong.”
  • “i should not exist” to “i am.”

i need to be patient and kind to myself in this process. It is already a bit of a struggle here because as i have wounded Maximus so deeply and He feels poisoned, He has pulled back from me, which i have focused on as humiliating. This has changed our communication patterns dramatically, as text messages and phone calls have drastically reduced, bringing up feelings of loss, memories of abandonment in past relationships, and is extremely uncomfortable. it is easy for the self-talk of, “look what you’ve done” to start and i have fear in feeling emotions right now. i am so afraid of having another raging episode that i fear my feelings, wishing i could will them away, but realizing that it is natural and normal to have emotions, i just need to deal with them effectively. Healing self-talk during these times has been helpful.

6. Treat others with respect and dignity at all times.

This has a lot to due with the last paragraph. i have wounded Maximus; He is feeling pain and loss too, trying to both heal and protect Himself. i need to respect what He needs and realize that He’s not doing that to hurt me back. i respect that He is still here, that He did not end our relationship, and i give Him the benefit of the doubt. i will use the little things that return and celebrate them.

Potter-Efron suggests the Five As for ways to be respectful:

Attend: Take time to really listen and give complete attention.

Appreciate: Like what Maximus does and how He does things.

Accept: Maximus does not have to change, He’s okay how He is.

Admire: i can learn from Maximus. He does things with grace and skill. He has dealt with past abandonment which, in many ways, were so much worse than i encountered, and doesn’t resort to raging. i admire that and wish to learn from Him.

Affirm: i am so happy that Maximus is part of my life. i cannot imagine my life without Him. i want to celebrate our lives together and embrace GOT every day.

7. Give praise instead of criticism.

i will stop looking for something wrong. i will notice thoughtfulness, creativity, generosity, appearance, individuality, intelligence, and accomplishments and then give praise for it.

8. Surround yourself with people who treat you respectfully.

i do this and will continue to do this.

9. Watch for relapse signs that your shame rage is getting out of control.

i will monitor the self-talk and the feelings of anxiety that come with dealing with the aftermath of these raging incidents. When i feel them growing beyond simple emotional responses, i will work to calm myself down, breathe, not let the emotions go out of control, take a time out, ask for space, do something else to occupy my mind and feel fulfilled.

And never, never give up on myself. i can do this.

Believe that we will heal. Believe that we will be stronger together. Be patient in the process.

Categories: anger, balance, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling, fear, rage, relationship needs | 1 Comment

Abandonment Rage

abandonment

i am actually looking forward to this blog as i have learned some critical things about myself and my raging. i am encouraged by what i’ve read and am putting the information into action already. i am not a Polyanna, however, i recognize that this is not going to be easy, it will take a lot of work and guts on my part, but i have a better understanding on what’s going on and a plan to deal with it.

The major triggers of my rage are real or imagined threats of abandonment, betrayal, and neglect, known as Abandonment Rage. Most frequently, children who have grown up in unstable environments have this type of rage, however, this is not the case for me, thank goodness, as the damage from that type of abandonment is so deep-seated that it is difficult for those adults to recover from it. My fear stems from two failed marriages. This fear leads to a feeling of insecurity in my relationship with Maximus.

This insecurity is what gave me the feeling of being “terrified” when Maximus first told me He had fallen in love with me and wanted to pursue a committed relationship. However, i did jump in, which is typical in this level of insecurity. i tend to worry about how much Maximus loves me and if it’s equitible and often find it difficult to believe that He chose me and will stay. This insecurity makes me distrustful. Here are things that i identified with in the book, Rage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Explosive Anger by Ronald T. Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD:

  • i look for proof that the person who says they care about me cannot be trusted
  • Feeling neglected or ignored by the person i love seems almost intolerable to me
  • i struggle with intense feelings of jealousy (and deny it vehemently)
  • i sometimes feel cheated by my partner because i think i give them more love, care, and attention than i get back

So what made me fearful to start with?

Unhealthy adult relationships can strongly affect you. Certainly trying to love someone who really does lie, cheat, and steal is a formula for insecurity. Your entire relationship history, not just your family of origin, molds how you feel about relationship bonds.

This is the clincher for me. Let me describe my two marriages and how my unresolved issues are affecting my relationship with Maximus today.

PiperC and i were married for 11 years. We never fought–NEVER. We met at work, held the same position for a long time, which worked well. However, i began to promote up the ranks and he began to despise the distances in our ranks and the positional knowledge that gave me. He became professionally jealous and this eventually began to poison our relationship. He began disrespectful and hostile and our interpersonal and sexual relationship began to fail. i ended up having an affair with a woman toward the end of our marriage, desiring emotional and sexual fulfillment. Things declined to the point where he began to encourage me to apply for management positions in other states and made it clear that he would not follow me. i started to make an exit strategy which accelerated after an incident where he nearly accidentally injured me but showed no remorse–this lead me to dissolve the relationship immediately. (As a note, as i write that, i see how my abandonment rage is so very similar to this and how i am treating Maximus how i was treated then…i certainly need to change)

i felt absolutely betrayed by PiperC, who promised to love and cherish and stick by me for better and worse–and when i became better at my job, he despised me.

i was only legally divorced from PiperC one month when i met OneGuy, although we had been separated for four months. The lack of emotional and sexual intimacy for the last years of our marriage had left me severely wanting and i was anxious to get back into dating even though friends and family recommended i wait to heal and recover. OneGuy and i became very serious extremely quickly, and ended up moving into my new house i purchased just six months after we started dating and married a year later.

The relationship turned horrible the moment we moved in together with his two teenage children. OneGuy had assured me equal status as an adult in the household, able to be involved with decisions of the family, which did not hold true. He undermined my decisions, belittled me in front of them. He believed household chores were child abuse, which he did not divulge before we moved in together, despite many discussions about home life, and the house was constantly a state of hovel, which i could not tolerate and ended up constantly cleaning. i came home to days of dishes and rotting food, clothing, animal filth, and my beautiful home i purchased was being destroyed. Unfortunately, in my desire not to fail at another relationship, i thought things would change.

Financial problems plagued the relationship as well. OneGuy was embarrassed that we were engaged without a ring, but he didn’t have liquid cash to buy one. He asked if he could borrow money from me to buy the ring and that he would pay me back once he sold an ATV. i had money from the sale of a house that i was going to use to buy household items we’d need for a brand new house, so i loaned that to him. However, when he sold the ATV, he used the money to pay a huge credit card debt i had no idea he had instead of paying me back. It was impossible to get the money back now that it was paid to a credit card company and i was out.

He did give me money to contribute to a down payment, which i had refused to accept initially. However, i did not realize until we did taxes the first year after we were married that he had sold stocks for this money but did not pay taxes incurred. We were hit with a HUGE tax burden which he did not have money to pay. i had finally recouped money i lost from the ring fiasco and ended up using that and credit to pay the tax debt. i thought we were done with taxes until we received a letter from the IRS that we were not getting the family tax rebate because it was applied to an enormous back tax debt of OneGuy’s from 2001. He insisted that he did not owe it and that it was from an error his ex-wife made and had been refusing to pay it. After searching through boxes and boxes of unfiled paperwork, i found letter after letter after letter, many unopened, from the IRS about this debt. Now that we were married, the IRS was taking my money to pay his ginormous debt that was growing exponentially from late fees and compounding interest. He refused to do anything about it.

On Christmas, his ex-wife called asking to be paid out for her divorce settlement early. He had promised me that he had no outstanding debt from that divorce and that there were no future payments from retirement accounts that had to be dispersed to her. He had lied. The stocks that he had sold to give me the down payment were legally hers through the divorce agreement. So what he had done was basically given a piece of my home equity to her. He was able to disuade her from taking that money now, due to the economy, not telling her what he’d done, and she agreed to wait. i was horrified to think i was at risk of losing my house to a decision i had no part of and no idea about.

During all of this, i tried to talk with OneGuy about these issues. He refused to discuss them, told me they were none of my business. His tactic was to stop talking to me and ignore me, for days and days, acting as if i was not in the house. He would not reply to text messages, not answer the phone. After a while he would talk to me, but never about the issues–they were swept under the carpet. Eventually, i began to rage when this happened–this is when my raging started. i could not stand being ignored for days and i was devastated at what was happening to me in my own home.

We did start swinging during this relationship, which was, ironically, the strongest part of our relationship together. However, during a trip to the beach, OneGuy gave me his phone to look up a website and i found it was logged on to an adult dating site called Ashley Madison, which is site designed for married people to meet others to have discreet affairs with. i didn’t ask him about it, but i did create a false profile on the site which he immediately contacted (i did not contact him first) and after some chatting, arrangements were made to meet. i never met him, i canceled at the last minute after he left the house to meet this make-believe person, realizing that he was having affairs. i was very upset that he was having affairs as we were very actively involved in swinging together and he was having sex with lots of women with my full knowledge and consent–why did he need to cheat?!? i had intention to confront him about this but the next issue came up immediately and i didn’t even need to bring the infidelity up.

The final straw was a horrible undermining of me in front of his son, a horrible lie that could never be undone, where he said that i hated his son in front of him. i adored his children with all my heart and was leveled by how he so intentionally destroyed my credibility with them by doing that–and i knew i’d never get it back. He had torpedoed me. i divorced him immediately. The financial disasters continued as he demanded more money from me, knowing it was cheaper for me to pay him than to fight it in court. i also gave him the ring, much to the dismay of my family, as i just could not stand to see it anymore, knowing it’s financial history.

i was destroyed after this marriage, as i noted in my previous blog post. i felt so betrayed, unloved, abandoned, lied to. i just willed myself to living a life on my own and never having to deal with all this risk again. i never dealt with these feelings.

So, am i doomed to be insecure and fearful forever? Thankfully, no. Research has shown that people can and do change attachment patterns and no matter how insecure i feel today, there is reason to hope that i can learn to feel safer within my relationship over time. But i will have to be patient as it is a gradual process and requires diligence.

Seven Steps to Prevent Abandonment Rage

1. Learn everything you can about with whom, when, how, and why you turn your fear of abandonment into rage.

With whom do i rage? Maximus

When do i rage? i am most typically triggered by some sort of mention or text from Ms. W. Other triggers include scheduling struggles, whether scheduling time to see each other or to talk.

How do i rage? i say very hurtful things, things that are not true, are spiteful and inflammatory. i yell, stomp, swear, flee, return and accost verbally.

Why do i rage? i rage because i have a perceived threat that Maximus is in love with Ms. W and that He will leave me for her. i fear that she is trying to push me out and that she will win Maximus over, leaving me without the love of my life.

2. Commit to quit raging, no matter how jealous, empty, lonely, hurt, insecure, or unsafe you feel.

At the beginning of our relationship, i shared with Maximus the trust issues i have stemming from my marriage to OneGuy. In effort to be completely transparent and show me that He was committed and fully honest with me, He gave me the passwords to His email and lifestyle dating accounts, as well as His iPhone, and instructed me to feel  free to access any of these if ever i felt insecure. He felt so strongly about this that He had this included in our BDSM contract. The problem was, this was like crack cocaine to me. i got completely obsessed with my ability to check His email, phone, accounts for signs that He was being dishonest. At one point, He got a security warning from His email service that another computer was logged in to His account and He changed His password. He told me about this, thinking that He’d been hacked, not even imagining that it was me who was logged on, and i confessed that it was me. Not intentionally, He did not give me His new password, and i didn’t ask, as i was mortified about the situation.

Initially, i was beside myself about not being able to check His email, but after a few days, i realized how freeing it was to not feel compelled to have to check it. i later told Maximus about this and asked that He not give me the password, and He complied with that. When it came time to renew our contract, however, i refused to remove this clause and asked for His password, which i didn’t get. i demanded He give me this password during my last rage.

The iPhone has had a similar effect on me. Maximus gave me free access to it, which i eventually told Him i felt would be better that i requested to see His phone rather than just picking it up and going through it behind His back. He said it wasn’t necessary. But again, this became obsessive for me. i find myself staring at His phone, wondering what’s in there. i have gone through His phone and i hate myself for doing it after i’ve done it.

my preference is to not have carte blanche access to His email and phone. It’s not necessary and just increases my level of insecurity and then shame for going through them looking for prove that He loves only me. Maximus, please do not give me your email password. i will work extremely hard to fight the urge to go through His phone. It is a habit that brings me shame and i am going to break this habit. i am requesting that we remove this clause from our BDSM contract as well.

You will need all your courage, commitment, and conviction to get through these moments. You will find them occurring frequently when you try to quit raging about abandonment issues…you can keep screaming, yelling, whining, and badgering your partner until he or she really does leave you, or you can make and keep a commitment to quit raging, no matter how unsafe you feel.

i recognize that there will be triggers sooner or later (probably sooner) that will trigger doubts, but i must keep my promise not to explode.

3. Make your main goal to exchange the sense of distrust that fuels abandonment rages with a willingness to trust.

When i feel fearful or overanalytical, i need to stop the self-talk that starts the spinning inside my head. This self-talk perpetuates itself and grows to include other minor things as proof until i have a tornado of rage from often inconsequential things. The author suggests substituting these thoughts when negative self-talk and analyzing begins:

  • Today i choose to trust Maximus.
  • From now on, i’m going to trust Maximus.
  • i’ll give Maximus the benefit of the doubt.
  • i want to be more trusting. i can be more trusting. i will be more trusting.
  • i am more trusting now than i used to be and i will continue to develop trust.
  • my world is safer than it used to be. i’ve just got to accept that fact.
  • Maximus loves me and wants to stay with me.

And for goodness sakes, hasn’t He proved that?

4. To gain greater ability to trust in the present, focus upon people whom you have been able to trust in the past.

My family has always be a source of trust for me. However, i am not comfortable in sharing this information with them. Instead, i will use the lifetime of trust as a model of how i do have people who i can trust and Maximus is part of that family.

5. Replace jealous, suspicious, and distrusting words and actions with trusting ones.

First, i am making a promise, a commitment, that i will change my words and behaviors, stop the destructive self-talk and searching for proof of dishonesty RIGHT NOW.

Second, i will give Maximus the benefit of the doubt that He deserves. No more accusations or demands for proof that He loves me.

Third, i will catch myself starting the self-doubt and stop the paranoia.

Fourth, i will develop a trusting vocabulary of “i trust You” and “i can depend on You.”

Fifth, i will act in a manner of a trusting person! even if it doesn’t feel natural.

6. Learn how to accept reassurance when you need reminders that you are loved and wanted.

Believe Maximus when He tells you that He loves you, that you are the BPE (Best Piece of Ass), and trust that GOT means a lifetime commitment. i will breathe these things in deeply and hold them in my heart. i will believe that i am loved, appreciated, and accepted.

7. Challenge yourself to let go of especially painful feelings of neglect, abandonment, rejection, or betrayal from the past.

Maximus is NOT PiperC or OneGuy. They are out of your life, stop holding Maxiums accountable for their actions. i will leave the past in the past and believe that i am not doomed to repeat past pains. i will forgive PiperC and OneGuy and stop holding the grudges about past betrayals.

i will continue to journal about my progress, pitfalls, and wins.

i will go to therapy to help me deal with my past demons and learn techniques to keep my commitment of trust.

Categories: anger, balance, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling, divorce, rage | Leave a comment

Rage

rage

So i’m working hard on trying to figure this all out. It’s beyond important to me. i realize it’s going to take at least a week before i can see a counselor, especially due to the holiday, and i really need to start working on this now.

i started searching the internet on anger after divorce, anger in new relationships after divorce, anger management, and even went through a free on-line anger management course. But while they had great information, they all focused on telling yourself to quit being angry, to take a time out, etc., and honestly, if i could have done that, i would have! i told myself to do that, Maximus told me to do that, i tried to do that, i did it and instantly came back into it after leaving the room, over and over.

i went to Amazon.com to find books i could read on my Kindle. And i found a book that seemed interesting and had great reviews by counselors, Rage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Explosive Behavior by Ronald T. Potter-Efron, MSW. PhD. For the first time, something is describing what i’m feeling. And it describes how telling yourself or having someone tell you to take a time out doesn’t work with raging.

Potter-Efron describes six types of rage, two of which are how quickly they develop, sudden or seething, and four that are reactions to threats, survival, impotent, shame, and abandonment. Things that make me more likely to rage are:

  • i have a history of emotional trauma that has left me feeling scared, vulnerable, and defensive.
  • i react very strongly to situations in which i feel abandoned, rejected, or betrayed.

My raging is sudden. Something triggers me and i fly into a rage.

Seven Steps to Stop Sudden Raging

  1. Be hopeful. Believe that you can learn how to stop raging. Do not give up on yourself.
  2. Make a commitment to work hard and long to contain your rage. No more denial, i have a big problem called rage. i admit it, i accept it and i need to do something right now about it. my goal is to stop every one of them. i will learn everything i can about  when, how, why, where, and with whom i rage. i can’t expect perfection but i can expect to make fairly rapid progress if i commit work on this.
  3. Take the time to identify your rage patterns.
  4. Look at past near-rage episodes to learn more about how i sometimes prevent myself from raging.
  5. Look at partial-rage episodes to learn more about how i stayed at least somewhat in control even during rage.
  6. Make a safety plan to lessen my risk, such as gathering a support system, getting anger management training. Now, here the author suggests medication therapy and the common problem of reluctance of people in taking medications. He believes many people do indeed have chemical imbalances in their brains that cause these…i would believe this for myself if i had this problem consistently throughout my life or in all areas of my life, but i don’t. i am choosing not to chemically alter myself.
  7. Work on long-term issues to make permanent changes in your sense of self and the world so that you feel secure with others good about yourself, sane, and healthy.

i also have a component of shame-based rage in that i am super-sensitive to criticism. i always have been sensitive to criticism and am my own worst critic as well. Generally, i have already beat myself up to a bloody pulp over something, so having someone else bring it up again is very difficult for me. i can usually deal with this without raging, due to a quote from my mom that has helped me my entire life:

“Criticism is proof that somebody cares.”

But i had a fairly recent episode with The Englishman and Maximus that dealt exclusively with shame-based rage, which i will address in another post specifically about this topic for me.

The largest component of my rage is Abandonment Rage due to feeling insecure in my relationship. This will be an area of intense study and work for me. i know i have this difficulty, i’ve shared it with Maximus, i need to learn how to manage it and trust Him.

i know i’ve posted a lot. It’s for me, not for anyone else. i need to write this down and i wish to be as transparent and bare with Maximus about my issues, what i’m learning, and what i’m doing about it. i am certain these are too painful for Him to read right now and maybe will be too painful for Him to ever read, but at least He has that option.

i can do this. Thank You for believing in me. You have no idea how much staying with me is helping.

Categories: anger, balance, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling | Leave a comment

On the Couch

onthecouch

i’m feeling better today, still reeling, but not as emotional. Maximus and i have touched base and i’ve been working on finding counselors. The priorities for counselors include, kink-friendly, deal with anger management, and have ability or willingness to do couples counseling via Skype due to our distance relationship. i would prefer to find a counselor who works with my medial insurance program, but it is less of a priority.

The counselor who was interested in helping us in January wrote back that she would like to work with us, so i am waiting for her intake forms to fill out. my hope is that i can work with her one-on-one immediately and we can include Maximus in by Skype when He’s not in town, and include Him in the office when He is.

i have been thinking about things and want to write these things down to capture them to bring to the counselor:

  • i need to figure out how not to let things trigger me into these angry outbursts. Why does this happen? Why can’t i stop them? Even at the time i know i shouldn’t do it but i cannot seem to stop it or want to stop it. i am horrified to realize there seems to be an endorphin rush in this while it’s happening, that i feel a sense of release during this and gives me a momentary flush of relief, but the reality afterward is horrendous. It’s like i’m expelling a monster, but i’ve aimed it at the person i love the most.
  • This only occurs in my relationship with Maximus…it’s not occurring in any other part of my life, not professionally, not athletically, not socially, not with my family. But it’s not Maximus, it’s something inside me.
  • i need to resolve the stuff from my second marriage that hurt me so badly. Maximus is not OneGuy, yet i am attacking Him for all the insecurities i have from that marriage. My marriage to OneGuy was full of mistruths, secrets, financial dishonesty, emotional abuse–Maximus has done none of these things, yet i treat Him as if He has. How do i get past this?

After my divorce, i realized i had lost my soul, my self. i spent a great deal of time learning to love myself again. i went to group sessions, sacred spirituality, tantra events, all of which helped me recover my soul. i was in a great place! i came to a place where i was happy and joyful and totally recovered, about me. i had come to a conclusion, however, that i was done with relationships and was best to be in love with me and have a strong marriage to myself. i never expected Maximus.

When Maximus told me He had fallen in love with me and asked what i thought, i replied, “i’m terrified.” i told Him i was scared of having a relationship other than with myself, that i had never expected to be in love with someone else again. But i did love Him, and i told Him that. my deepest fear was that i hadn’t done anything to prepare myself for someone else, but i thought i’d be ok–i’m so clearly not.

  • i want to be able to trust again.
  • my period started today. i don’t want to think that these outbursts are hormonally related, i’ve always thought that was a crutch. Maybe i need to consider that. Is this age? my early 20s were fraught with dysmenorrhea and migraines, controlled by birth control pills to manage hormones.
  • i DON’T WANT TO BE MEDICATED.
  • Please tell me this is not who i am. i can’t be this way any more. It’s destroying me. i’ve lost all confidence in myself. i’m destroying my relationship with Maximus.

i’ll have more to add. These are just things right now. i want to be prepared when i meet the counselor. i so want this to stop.

 

 

Categories: anger, balance, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling, fear | Leave a comment

Blown It

blown it

i’ve blown it. Ruined a wonderful thing. Hurt the person i love the most in the most horrible, unimaginable way.

It’s been three days of hell.

i’m horrified, sick, devastated, begging for mercy, hoping we will somehow make it through this.

 

And i’m so scared. i’ve never been so scared.

 

i exploded at Maximus. And i mean yelled and screamed and stomped and gesticulated. i used every obscenity in my vocabulary, accused Him of things, berated Him, belittled Him. And i couldn’t stop. He tried to get me to stop and i wouldn’t. Deep down, part of me wanted Him to engage me, to scream back at me–but He didn’t.

Finally a break, a nap without napping, and i started again. A bath, please together, i ask. He does, i am upset again because He’s exhausted, head back, eyes closed and all i want is for Him to look at me. i leave the tub and go to bed. He follows eventually and i wrap His arms around me for fitful sleep.

The morning, He awakes, He throws a pillow over His head and i’m offended, i take it personally. i go downstairs, make coffee, sit on the couch and wait for Him to join me, thinking He will, but He doesn’t. He’s upset at me and i want Him to sit with me. i get angry again and demand that He take me to the airport NOW! hours and hours early.

i grab my bags, fight with the car over and over, in and out of the car, yelling and kicking. Third try and we’re on the road. i hissed and verbally bashed Him all the way there. i jumped out at the curb, grabbed my bags and stormed into the airport with out looking back.

i hear my name as i walk to the ticketing agent and turn to find Maximus. i think He’s come to beg me to stay. “you forgot your phone,” as He reaches it out to me. i hiss at Him, grab it from His hand and walk away. And He’s gone.

An angry email later. Angry phone calls. From me. i’m awful. We go over my email and i start to calm down. We talk about counseling. He wants to do it separately, i need it together. We make it through the list and He brings up something from the trip and i’m instantly upset again because He’s accusing me of not apologizing for it, which i did and we’d discussed it at length while we were on the trip. The phone goes dead in the middle of a sentence–He’s hung up on me.

i hurt so bad. i lay in bed, hear nothing from Him. i need to stop this, it’s killing us. i text Him goodnight, like i always do.

and nothing

A fitful night, no sleep. i don’t know if we are together or not. i’ve exploded so many times, said so many things.

i text Him good morning, like i always do.

and nothing

Anguish all day. All i want is to hear from Him. i’m so frustrated. And i’m worried about Him. i send a text about a concern knowing that while i mean well, it’s going to offend Him. i tell Him that in the message.

i call.

no answer.

A text that He’s busy working.

i can’t accept it. i call again. He always has time for me. Please answer. i need to tell You i want to fix this. i’m so hurt that You didn’t respond to goodnight and good morning. i miss you and i’m so so scared.

He demands i stop interrupting Him and His work. i’ve called the cell and house phone over and over. Please pick up i need to tell you i’m sorry and i want to stop this.

i stop. He’s given me a time to call me and it’s hours away.

 

He’s so angry and i deserve that. i’ve hurt Him so badly. i don’t know if He will ever like me again. i can tell He’s not sure. He tells me my words are poison and have damaged Him and He can’t see through this black storm of mine that i’ve surrounded Him with.

i’m so scared. i’m being calm. i need this cycle to stop. Please stop, Maximus, please help me, i’m begging you.

i’ve contacted the counselor from January, the one who would do Skype sessions with us. Maximus had initially been interested but then was unsure about doing it through Skype and it fell apart. i thought we’d be ok without it. We weren’t. i wasn’t.

i need to start this soon. i need to have Him there with me when we do this. i need to have Him see me get this help. i need to have Him tell the counselor the story of how i acted. i need to have Him see me listen to the counselor, hear the words they will say, so He hears it for Himself, not biased through me in my report to Him.

i know He does not understand that, He doesn’t want to go with me, wants me to go alone. Doesn’t He see that i need to have Him watch this, i need to be stripped down in front of Him, i need Him to see my hurt.

and i need Him to see how badly i want to repair me to repair our relationship, that i’ll do anything for that.

i do love Him. He did say He loved me too. Thank god for that and thank god for Him.

This will not be easy or quick. I’m terrified about the time it will take, not because i don’t think i have the time to do it, but that i will be impatient that it doesn’t heal as fast as i want it to. i want it to be healed now, tomorrow, this week so we can move on, but i know that won’t happen.

i can’t lose faith, i can’t lose patience

i need to heal whatever is broken in me, and i have an idea what that is.

i can’t lose Him because of that hurt.

 

Please believe in me.

 

Categories: anger, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling | Leave a comment

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