Friday, February 22, 2013

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy – Week of Promiscuity?


This was one of the longest therapy sessions I can ever remember having.

I walked into therapy and Therapist asked me how I was. I’m pretty exhausted. Oh yeah? Why? Well. I was up late last night because I slept with Tech Boy. Again. Last week too. ::head desk:: Sticking to my resolve is so hard! Arg!

So some backstory. We had a really nasty blizzard here. I was stuck crawling through the Blizzard for 3 hours in my car. I drive manual. My clutch was not happy with me after this so I took it into the shop for checkup and repair. They quoted me an initial $1000. Ew, but I can deal. There had been no one around my office to give me a ride to the shop so I could take a look at my car myself so I called Tech Boy and he took me over and drove me back. Good guy.  We got to talking about my car, and he told me to keep him updated and whatnot. Then they called me back and told me my transmission needs replacing. WTF? The car’s only 5 years old, and of course out of its warranty. That would be another $4000 for a $5000 repair total bill. Panic, the fucking, attack. Of course I told Tech Boy and he let me bitch, and then made some really helpful suggestions that could potentially save my bank account. I went home, had a couple glasses of wine to keep my brain from exploding, all the while texting with him. Our texting got a little snugglier, and I started missing him even more. I knew he missed me. He told me he’d come over and keep me company if I wanted, just company. Which sounds nice and friendly and all… until you remember that I have absolutely zero impulse control when it comes to resisting sex with someone I’m attracted to and have already been involved with in that way.

I had a serious internal battle about this before giving in to my feelings and he was over 20 minutes later. 10 minutes after that we were completely in bed together. It was delightful. Plus he’s the best cuddler ever. Some guys are begrudging about it. Not him, he just wraps himself all around me and it’s extra comforting. ::sigh:: When we woke up in the morning I had mild feelings of ‘what the hell am I doing?’, especially when his reaction was longer snuggle time and lots of kissing me good-bye before he left for work (he leaves a little earlier than I do).

I have so many conflicts about this. Because I desperately miss the comfort I feel from him. But I still don’t believe we’re right for each other. I do not want to lead him on. I feel very guilty about the thought of starting this stuff again and then potentially guaranteeing that I’ll hurt him again if it doesn’t work. I did tell him previously that I didn’t want to get back together and that I didn’t want a relationship… but then I go and sleep with him. I realize that’s a mixed message, but sticking to my resolve is so, so hard. He’s there and I want to jump on him.

::sigh::

All the while I’m still talking to New Girl. It’s becoming more and more obvious to me that we are not going to be compatible. I love her passion and her artistic creativity, but she’s SO needy and SO insecure. I’m resolved to see her in person and actually get a feel for who she is in person but at the same time I know that if she knew that I just did this with my ex, she would be devastated… and I hadn’t even met her in person yet!

So then it was last weekend. I went to a convention with my friends. For the last couple months I’ve been working on a fun cosplay. Definitely a genre cross-over gender bending idea with the Neo-Vic and the Star Wars, but it was super fun and it came out AMAZING. All weekend people were gushing over The Lady Fett and the intricacies of my costume. Photos and all kinds of stuff constantly. It was really great. I went with xRoommate and her BF and we met a ton of other friends there. Seriously So. Much. Fun. It was just such a ridiculously amazing, fun time filled with so much laughter and good company. And wine. I drank a lot of wine Saturday. After the convention ended Saturday night we went to the After Party (DJ-ed and all) and danced like mad until about 4:30a.m.. At one point a friend of mine dragged me over to meet a friend of hers. Cutest girl I had seen all weekend. We danced, and talked, and ultimately ended up making out and being quite party lesbian all night. As we were about to leave  she ran up to me and practically jumped-hugged me and we just sort of spun around kissing. Such a great night. Not a care in the world.

Yes, this is me. 
Weird angle makes me look fat, but full costume.


Finished up the convention on Sunday. Finally got home, tried to sleep but the fates were against me, which made me hugely cranky. Also I was starving, so I went for take-out Chinese.  Tofu and Mixed Vegetables and Vegetable Tempura. I ate ALL of it. Then promptly purged it. I really had intentions of saving half of it for lunch the next day, but it was in front of me and my head was still spinning from the week. I just, ate it all. About halfway through I really felt like I had been eating too much already, even though I had barely eaten, so my brain was like, “fuck it, you already screwed up, if you eat it all, it will be easier to get rid of…” so I did. Welcome to the mentality of a bulimic. Therapist was quite concerned about this. For as much fun as I had, I was still feeling a little out of control about everything.  Purging is a way to re-establish control, and maybe also a way to feel a sense of relief. I wrote the other day about the neuroscience behind cutting and how it has a relief effect. Therapist thinks purging has a similar response to the minds of bulimics as well. I can’t say I disagree. I’m only binging/purging maybe a couple times a month now. Therapist still thinks it’s a lot and it worries her. I’m working on. Sort of. I remain not very concerned, just a little ashamed when I tell her. And yet, I still tell her.

It’s really nice at the same time, because she’s concerned but in no way does she seem judgmental. That’s really important to me.

Anyways….  Monday rolls around. I’m going to meet up with New Girl today. She’s taking a train in and I’m meeting her at Penn Station. She had all these plans of taking me out to get a drink or two, to the planetarium (I’m a space nerd), to a nice restaurant, etc. We never really made it past the first bar. She gave me a couple presents: a $250 pair of sunglasses (which were not my style at all, and I didn’t accept, but she’s insisting on getting me a pair that /are/ my style)…  and a collector edition Boba Fett toy (not in the box or anything, but it was really awesome). I made her a scarf I crocheted. We had quite a few drinks… she is: really not my type. She’s an amazing artists. She clearly wants someone to treat well and take care of. I don’t know how I feel about people really trying to take care of me. I’m extremely independent and I don’t connect so easily to rely on people.

At one point during the date she worked herself into tears… telling me she was afraid of getting hurt because she could really see herself falling for me… Whoa whoa whoa…. This is not first date conversation. What did I do? I held her face in my hands and comforted her. She told me she felt like an absolute pussy and that she wasn’t usually like this, and that she was embarrassed… I knew what she needed to hear to reassure her and make her feel better. Which is exactly what I did.

Except, it wasn’t me. I was doing and saying things that I absolutely did not want to be saying but it was like I was on autopilot and couldn’t stop myself. I feel like a completely different person with her than I do with just about anyone else. Even just talking on the phone I feel like someone else. And not in a good, I just want you to be happy way. In a way that makes me feel a little fragmented and out of sorts. I know what she wants and I have this bizarre natural instinct to give that to people. I don’t even think about it, it just comes out.

This concerns Therapist. She sees that in me. How exceptionally easy it is for me to pick up on what other people want and need. How easy it is for me to read people. My automatic response to give it to them, against or at the expense of who I am… is not incredibly functional.  New Girl has this very stereotype lesbian persona of needing to be “the guy” in the relationship. She wants to pay, to spoil, to be aggressive, to “take care of my baby” (which she actually told the bartender in regard to me and getting me drinks, ew)… Except I’m a very liberated, independent woman… also she’s nowhere near as dominant as I am which I think she realizes so she’s trying to compensate even more. It’s irritating. Plus she was so, so rude to people. This guy came in and sat down on the stool next to me and she caused a scene to get him to move down a seat in some misguided attempt to “protect” me… I was really embarrassed and as soon as she went to the juke box I turned to the guy and apologized. Told him he was welcomed to sit there, it didn’t bother me at all.

I could feel the emotion and anxiety pouring from her all night. We went to this hole in the wall taco place for fajitas and then another bar, where she promptly started to feel sick and fall asleep… so we called it an early night. Fine, I had work in the morning anyways. But egads.

It was just, through the night I also had a lot of fun. It was like I was experiencing the night as two different people. One that was aware that this was absolutely not what I want and/or need in my life, and as someone that was completely wrapped up in the experience of the moment and placating her needs. She would step on my words and cut me off when I was talking… which made my anger and irritation flash, but then almost immediately I would express that it was fine and let her go on, and hold her hand. It was instinctive to ignore what I felt and do what I knew she wanted.

Once I’m away from her presence though, it’s easy for my cognition to take the lead again and recognize immediately that this is not what I want for all the reasons I wouldn’t want it. It makes complete sense when I’m away and one my own. But when I’m actually with her, it’s very muddled and conflicted.

Everything didn’t even really end there. She missed her stop going home and ended up at a friends house out of state.  Okay, so she’s a recovering addict. Not by choice. She was in a nasty accident and her doctors didn’t regulate her pain medication at all… so she had to go to rehab to get back to normal, but she still struggles with it. She had a relapse that night I guess… she’s being put back into the hospital today but swears she’ll be better soon.

I just, really want nothing more to do with her in a romantic sense, but she’s going through a really hard time and I also don’t want to be a jerk and hurt her more when she’s so vulnerable. I’m not being overly responsive but she still has the impression that I’m there for her. All night she kept fretting about scaring me away. I think the phrasing is funny because yeah, I have no intention of sticking around, but nothing she says is scary, it’s just not compatible.  

Tech Boy also moved to a new apartment this weekend. He had wanted me to come over Monday, but well, New Girl. So we had plans to hang out Wednesday. I brought over a bottle of wine and he showed me around his place. We drank wine and watched scary movies. We sat close at first but by the end of the first movie we were cuddled up the way we used to. It was just so warm and comforting. We didn’t talk about anything particularly interesting but it was comfortable and easy to just joke around about the movie. I missed that so much. I love that. We didn’t watch the second movie much at all. Mostly we just had a lot of sex. A lot of sex. I stayed the night, which meant I had a really exhausting next day at work, but sleeping with him feels awesome.

I’m just confused right now. And feeling guilty. If New Girl new about Tech Boy or the girl from the convention she would be DEVASTATED. I know I really don’t owe her anything, we’ve only been on one date and we’re in no way monogamous, but I still feel guilty about the idea of potentially hurting her. And then I feel guilty about potentially hurting Tech Boy because it’s very clear he still has feelings for me and I really don’t know what I want or if I want more than this at all, but I am feeling selfish b/c I do want whatever this is at the moment, but I really, really don’t want to hurt him either. ::head desk::

Amusingly, Therapist thinks part of my desire for the comfort of Tech Boy might be a reaction to a need for stability considering the budding relationship with New Girl who is the exact opposite of stable. She’s the exact opposite of him actually. He’s extremely down to earth, supportive, not really needing to take center stage, happy to let me be me and do whatever… we don’t have much of depth to talk about but he’s very receptive and listens exceptionally well. New Girl is extremely high strung, anxious, I think she said bipolar, she barely lets me get a word in edgewise when we talk. She’s supportive but in a way that seems like she’s already made up her mind that she wants me so anything I could possible say, she’s going to respond positively. She’s hearing but not listening. Everything is about her and how she is and what she wants me to think of her.

New Girl relationship perception =/
Therapist sees how anxious I am just talking about her. And how calm I am talking about Tech Boy. She actually really likes Tech Boy for me. We’re both quite sure that I’m not going to pursue this thing with New Girl. She likes Tech Boy for me, for reasons I hadn’t really considered though. We don’t have much in common, interest-wise, and he’s not emotionally expressive in the same way that I am… but I do get a good sense of how he feels about me. His emotional style is just different. He’s happy to let me be me, to support my ideas and pursue everything I’m interested in pursuing without wanting me to change something. And being with him is very calming for me.

Above pretty much all else, I need stability. When I don’t have a sense of stability I feel crazy. When I’m with people that aren’t stable in themselves, I immediately feel that energy and am destabilized myself. When other people are crazy, it makes me even crazier. I don’t have that problem with him though. He’s really the epitome of down to earth and easy going. Nothing like how I feel inside (though I appear that way outwardly), but something I do really need. ::sigh::.  Idk.

I really don’t know how I feel about him though, other than comforted and appreciative of him in my life. Therapist wants me to pay particular attention to how I feel with him next time (if there is one). I have to really work on connecting how I feel with the recognition of how I feel. It’s so strange to me though. I feel like my cognition and my emotion run on two separate circuits that don’t directly communicate. In a healthy person these systems should be functionally intertwined. With me I have my cognition on one circuit, my emotions on another. I process one without the other, one at a time. Therapist thinks this is a very accurate perception of how I experience things. It’s strange that I have to put real effort into doing both at once, trying to connect them both.


But I do. And I need to put conscious effort into paying attention and trying to remember how I feel to help give myself a better idea of how to proceed. Or not.  

8 comments:

  1. Busy week! Good advice to see how you feel with him next time. At some point soon, you might want to tell the Girl that you think she's a good person and hope to be friends.

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  2. The thing about BPD individuals is that the centre of everything is their needs isn't it? In fact you had this relapse because he was the one who attended some of your needs when you were in a crisis (with the car). What does the Tech boy get apart from (sometimes) "good" sex? The Therapist's opinion about him sounds a bit like a glossy relief of an otherwise "shameful" relapse towards sex. Not trying to be offensive by any means. I just wonder if you feel you have improved in any way after (years?) of therapy... it seems to me that relapsing to addictive behaviours is still frequent

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    Replies
    1. It wasn't just because of the car crisis, but that was the tipping point. I've been struggling with missing him for a long time now.

      What does Tech Boy get from it? I'm not just a sex toy yanno. We go out, we have fun, he cares about me a great deal because I do/have treated him very well. He genuinely enjoys my company. I'm a little offended by this remark.

      There is nothing shameful about consensual sex. The only thing I'm worried about is hurting him when I'm not clear on my own feelings yet.

      I have actually made great strides in my therapy. Relapses are common but they're nowhere near as frequent or of the magnitude they once were. Just because I'm not there yet and I have slips, doesn't mean it's not helping.

      Delete
    2. I am currently going through this dilemma with my partner/girlfriend of over 7 years. Our relationship might be at it's end and I am "Tech Boy" in so many ways. I love to cuddle and she invites me over to hold her because she loves it so much. Yet she is feeling very conflicted about us as you are in this story.

      It's both nice to hear your/my girlfriend's perspective finally clearly and highly frustrating at the same time.

      Jon

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  3. It's true that this post seems to ignore the feelings of the two other people involved, though there's some guilt about this where New Girl is concerned. There are more mindful ways to handle this. You're not really doing her any favors by stringing her along, even if you mean to be sensitive, as you could just let her know you want to be friends. You could also be honest with Tech Boy telling him you're not sure what spending all this time together means yet, so you'd like to take time (or be casual until) as you figure it out and then talk. The last poster raises a good question about justifying sex and emotionally misleading Tech Boy. But I don't think this narcissism indicates a relapse in recovery. I also wonder why you decided to go out with New Girl after so much stress/red flags popped up.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not ignoring their feelings at all. I actually have an enormous amount of guilt where there concerned and I'm overly concerned with how they feel which is why I have this guilt at all.

      I have been honest with Tech Boy. I've told him twice in the last month that I didn't want to get back together, I didn't want to date him, and that I wanted to be single. I have been very clear. Now with this though, it's a little blurry, and I do plan to talk to him and let him know that I am unsure of where my feelings stand in the matter.

      I haven't been emotionally misleading him up until this point. I also don't think it's narcissism considering how aware of the consequences and potential problems I am, and I am actually struggling with them.

      I decided to go out with New Girl because I have this weird need to give people a chance. I had never met her before and I wanted to see how she actually was in person. That was my first time meeting her in person and it's easier to get a clearer picture of who they are that way. She's been through a lot of her own problems in the last year so I understand why she's been a little crazed.

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  4. I gently disagree that the way you're presenting things suggests otherwise. It's hard to know, since this is a blog, but your guilt seems to be more about the perception of cheating than a lack of transparency. You were honest with Tech Boy before, when your words and actions matched; you said you didn't want to date him and you weren't intimate/romantic with him. Now things are different. You ARE acting as some part of a couple, the question is just which type (serious, causal, fling). Your communications and actions are incongruous in both cases. It's ok not to know how you feel, like with Tech, and sometimes we are all less open than we should be. Or to not want to break things off right away, like with New Girl. Just be honest with yourself about it.

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  5. Haven. Thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings honestly. I think it is brave of you. I continue to be impressed with your willingness to be vulnerable and look at yourself so clearly and with self awareness. Really, it is a gift you give us and I, for one, am thankful that you do.
    Chicadina

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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