My friend Josh calls it “going to phase two” when I disclose certain personal information to friends of mine. It always makes me feel like I head up the Enterprise or something. Tonight I took one of the last people in my close circle of friends to phase two. Now everyone I interact with on a two week-monthly basis is aware of all layers of who I am. In less than 20 months, no less. As much as Carnival starting makes me miss home, it’s only a fool who thinks Denver hasn’t been good for me in a few ways. But still, I miss home. And further back, I miss my ocean.
I think I see one reason why I’m so self-centered. As a child, I was abused: trauma froze parts of my development leaving me with some poor coping skills. Because I was a child and communicated differently than adults, this went unchecked for far too long leaving me with more than a few habits. One of them was magical thinking. This consuming, self-centered way of processing fear and anxiety hasn’t left my brain. So when something bad happens, I instantly assume it is my own doing, in some perverse and incredibly irritating way. Robin Williams dies: it’s because I haven’t been working hard enough on my own depression. Insane shit like that. Because, as you all must clearly know, the world revolves around me. It’s one of the handful of things I really dislike about myself. I fear I am doomed to be a narcissist.
SARK has mentioned being a recovering narcissist. At least I’m in good company.
I’ve been writing a lot of sensory/mindfulness work down.
I had a good night tonight (read: pretty great night), and don’t regret my activities, but I am starting to get that looming sense of work piled up around me. Once that tower stands over me, I cannot see the world away from obligations that stop giving me pleasure. Gotta figure out a way to shift the weight and redistribute tasks or people or scheduling, somehow…
On Tuesday I had a fantastic day. I got to befriend a very sweet service dog named Toby at work. I spent about twenty minutes signing with a customer while she waited for her delivery. I had great chats with Steve. I made decent money at a job I might not understand culturally, but I still am enjoying. I walked through a sunset and listened to the Beatles on my break. Life was basically the best.
Yesterday was harder. I’m worried for someone I love. I can’t do anything, and while I’m in no way expected to do anything, I still feel helpless. A wise friend of mine who has been forced to watch someone she loves suffer for many years listened to me, and supported me. She is good at that. And Matt went out of his way to make time for me, also offering his support. Then I slept the sleep of someone who hasn’t slept well in three nights.
Tomorrow I get to have tacos with a new friend. I’m going to bravely communicate my ideas and feelings, and I am expecting to be received with kindness and acceptance. In fact, I’d be shocked if I was received in any other way by that man…I don’t know him very well, but he’s a good guy. And I’m not calling for any outrageous anything. I’m starting to notice that, and maybe it’s the kink community or maybe it’s that I’m surrounded by an ever-healthier crowd, but people accept my boundaries and limits. I feel respected. It’s an odd feeling, and it breeds the desire for further respect. At work, there are cultural differences that make me wonder at respect. For the first time in my life, I feel the need and have the means to stand up for myself over things that might seem minor, but matter greatly in my mind. I want to feel equal, and I’ve been equal enough with friends and partners over the last couple years that I know it’s possible. Now I won’t settle for less. As I grow, there is more that I open myself to, and less bullshit that I tolerate. It’s an odd balance that is developing.
I think it’s to do with centering on my own values. FF CLIR has long ended for my family, but I keep the last faith I had in blood. Integrity was my primary drive at the end of my time in NOLA, and respect may be my motivation early in Denver. It’s almost like I went in order…friends in high school, family as Aunt J cared for me and I endured Katrina, communication after Preston and in early healing work, love with Nathan and Megan, integrity with W.E.L.L. and Penta, and now respect post-Steve…huh…
Tonight I had hot chocolate with milk and marshmallows, and it was maybe one of the greatest beverage moments of my adult life. I highly recommend this process. Use milk, and a stove. I am debating doing it again before bed, but I may just be too tired. Apparently milk can burn and one must watch closely. (Who knew, right?)
I love my life. I hope I can further embrace that struggles that do occur, and be stronger for the fight. I hope I can encourage Jared. I hope that I can be gently kissed and firmly loved and laugh passionately in good company. So far, I’m not doing a bad job.