Love Song – las primera

Gray_love_by_aTTe_1 (1)

Grace of the mundane

Deep eyes, a bewitching soul

Smile shy beauty, smile

 

Fear rattles your truth

Breathe deep gentle soul, be calm

Loveliness becomes you

 

Pronounce your true words

Move through old and bitter doubt

Now become yourself

 

This is a little series of love songs I am starting. They are written for my beloved self…

 

words errant satiety image courtesy of aTTe-1 on deviantART

Plush

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Precipice beckons

I waver before darkened fall

ill fitting skin irritates

senses attuned

oppressive menace lurks beneath knowing

compelling care within each gesture

senses alert

bells of warning toll

the day is long

arduous

nerves frayed

soft speech offers comfort

knowing revokes force of obscurity

I am immersed

suspended within your perception

sheer physicality

force of presence overcomes tender hooks

calmed

I fall to my knees

your beauty makes me weep

 

 

Words errant satiety image from here

 

 

 

 

Interesting

'Attractive Stone Wall' Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

‘Attractive Stone Wall’ Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

I have a friend who greatly dislikes the use of the word ‘interesting’. He sees it as loaded but empty; it is used when people mean all manner of other things much more consequential that they cannot quite bring themselves to share, or are unable to express. I must say I agree with him and in saying so: today I had an interesting day.

This morning I wordlessly gave the right of way at a difficult driving spot to my ex-husband. It is a place I drive past daily. A place where each day I decide based on traffic and the time whether I will allow passage of the other vehicle (it is a spot where they do not have right of way and in heavy traffic will never move without polite drivers making way) to go before me. Today my ex was the driver and he knew damn well that I was the other driver and that I was giving him right of way. He took this opportunity to pause willfully and smile inanely. These were not my thoughts at the time but words I put in place now, after the fact. At the time I was thinking that it is about time that in this small town that he take a gesture of polite willingness as a ‘gesture of polite willingness’ nothing more nothing less; nada más nada menos. I am thinking ‘surely by now we can co-exist in this town without malice or any deep meaning hidden in random interactions’. He milked it. He paused too long; I had to indicate twice for him to take the opportunity, he smiled ruefully and gave me that look I recognize as ‘wistful love’. How sweet. Eventually he drove on and allowed me, and the rest of the traffic, to continue driving.

My day progressed. At lunchtime when I returned to work I see his vehicle is parked very close to my office. Time for the ‘yuck’ moment, the sinking feeling, the arrival of anxiety. This man has stalked me, bullied me, controlled me, manipulated me, was seriously addicted to pornography, was abusive and only ever loved his own reflection in me. I felt stupid for having thought briefly for a moment this morning that it was okay to feel good about him, okay to remember that I loved him once. He can’t help himself. Anytime we incidentally see one another here he is at my work place lurking, leaving things behind that get handed into me, as he well knows they do, and I have to decide what to do about it. Again and again I go through the agony of weighing up what ‘normal’ people do in these situations. If I engage the usual process is the unfolding of email interaction that is laced with the taint of all the aforementioned traits and a ‘backslide’ for me into deep anxiety. Unfortunately clinical narcissists do not come with user manuals.

Today however, I did not engage. I did not allow him to have any kind of power over me. I acknowledged that he was nearby and vocalized that this was reasonable. I did not allow his proximity to terrify me. I forgot all about it until I drove home. I didn’t feel the need to inform my trusted colleagues that there was a bogey on site. If there is one thing I have learned in the past few years it is that it is up to me how I respond to his presence. I am no longer in any danger, he has no power over me, and he never will again. I have learnt what the correct salutation towards a clinical narcissist is: do not engage. Regardless of that deep hook that is still somehow there in your soul do not engage, do not give a millimeter, or yard, or ounce, or quarter, or moment, or glimpse EVER. You must be a stone wall regardless of what you feel inside. Because any slip and that hook is well and truly back in.

I have been thinking on what I have learned from my ten year relationship with a clinical narcissist lately simply because I have two beautiful women whom I love dearly in my life that have both found themselves dealing with what they both recognise as a lesser version of this type of personality. They are both very aware, to the extent they can be, of what I went through and are asking for my help. I tried very hard to make my marriage work. I did everything I could. I left three times but was committed, until I could no longer cope, to making it work. I have talked briefly recently about how bad it got, I won’t go there again in this post. Now because of these beautiful women who have to have contact, through shared custody of children, with the men they are no longer with I feel a strong desire to be able to articulate what makes it safe. It is not going to be easy but I believe it will also help me. So I will attempt to advise and write a beginners guide to boundaries and safe interaction with the clinical narcissist, the pathological liar, and the emotional manipulator who will have you second-guessing the colour of your own hair and the spelling of your own name. I pray I will find some gold for these lovely women because for me, in my particular predicament, the only safe way is, I repeat: do not engage.

words and image by errant satiety

Achilles Heel – 25 September 2013

I have been seeing a psychotherapist because anxiety was plaguing me. She only wants to see me once more as things are going well and she has a healthy approach with an expectation of no more than 6 – 8 sessions (evidence strongly suggests that seeing a therapist any more than 10 times is not actually beneficial to your mental health). Anxiety has been with me, on and off, for a long time. I thought it would go away once I left my ex-husband (I won’t go into this deeply but this was a controlling non D/s relationship with no rules except emotional manipulation & obeying his clinical narcissism; not a healthy relationship) but it stayed. It was different but recently has impeded my growth and, on occasion, my ability to function in my day to day life. I haven’t actually talked to my therapist about my desire for submission but rather spoke with her about my desire for service. She is a Buddhist and likes to practice mindfulness so she has a good understanding of service if not the specific kind I mean (this was one of the reasons I went to her). In one of her sessions with me she asked me to write on post it notes my values and we proceeded to place these on the wall in order of importance to me. Values are important in that they (holistically in my case) inform our beliefs and direction in life. What I found hard was that she wanted a linear list in order of importance. At the time she explained how to order my values by asking things like ‘Can you have loyalty without integrity?’ That got me thinking about some of the things on my list. Service is a highly important value to me yet can I have genuine service without integrity? Without loyalty? Without empathy? Without mindfulness? When I start to look at my list I realise that service needs to come lower down the list. So then where does submission sit within this list? I serve all in my life (even the stranger whose letter blew out of their mailbox today and I dutifully found the letterbox and ensured the letter was safely stowed inside) but my submission is just for one. It all boils down to subjective perspective. As most of the words used to describe values are nominalisations anyway, they mean different things to each individual. For me my submission is paramount yet, at least in this way of viewing values, for it to be real it actually has to be placed beneath the other values in my hierarchy to ensure my submission is true. Values differ from needs and wants yet all of these things feed our person, what we base our ‘self’ on, what our frame of reference is in this vast world of differing beings. Is submission a value? Or a need? I think, believe, feel that for me service is a value inextricably linked with my need for submission. It doesn’t devalue my submission to place it in a different category but helps me clarify what submission is for me. Needs are, in my definition, the basic necessities that we require in order to live, these are mostly referred to as physical needs. Yet needs are holistic. We have emotional needs, intellectual needs and spiritual needs; a need to feel we belong, a need to stretch our minds, a need to have some kind of meaning. Without theses forms of nourishment, as surely as without water, we will wither and become unwell. Values are a frame of reference, a personal moral code, which underpins and motivates our decisions, actions and way of living. Needs are necessities without which we become sick. And wants are the icing on the cake. And with all of this the idea is to seek a healthy balance so that our life can be the best we are capable of. If we are unbalanced in anyway any of these things can potentially become addictions that we might lose ourselves in (or lead to unhealthy behaviours). I recently posted about how I felt my need for submission and my denying that need was leading to my anxiety. When I disclosed this to my partner, whom I was in essence asking to become my Dominant, I felt extremely vulnerable and I had a massive panic attack. Since we, in essence, resolved the discussion my anxiety has gone. We will see if it stays away, it is my warning sign, my Achilles heel, reminding me to check myself; what need am I ignoring? What value have I compromised? What want is driving me to distraction?