redback_bites23: rainbow blanket (Default)
WARNING: Big pessimistic whinge coming up.

There are people who will read this who will be all sympathetic and want to offer advice. Well you know what, I don’t want it, people have been giving me advice for months. I’m sick of it. I’m over everything at the moment. Why? Because I’m over my stupid, repulsive body and the pain and grief it’s been causing me for about a year now. I must acknowledge that there are people who deal with far worse than me, which I remind myself of often. But at the end of the day I feel like shit and I’m sick to death of the daily pretence of everything being fine and good and I think I’m entitled to complain (now and again).

My body started to give me grief about a year ago. My periods started to go all out of whack and all over the shop. I ended up being in pain often, too often. I just thought that was normal, that it was ‘my age’. I hesitated about going to the doctor, and oh, did I say I fucking hate doctors (except for the doctors at my work who are awesome and a few other rare ones who actually listen). I hesitated because I didn’t trust that I would get anywhere by going. So I waited until I thought had a ‘reasonable’ amount of symptons before going along. When I did my doctor told me that I shouldn’t be in so much pain and she prescribed me the contraceptive pill as the first step. She also sent me off for some blood tests. All the tests came up as fine. I did have a low thyroid function, which I had to have more tests for about 6 weeks later, in that time it rectified itself.

Anyway, that was at the beginning of the year and really nothing is better. I’ve had a range of tests and everything is fine. For this I am grateful. I am grateful that there has been no revealing of cancer or any other revolting, horrible things that other people have had to endure. So why the fuck is my uterous still giving me so much pain?

Over the months the whole ‘thing’ has given me so much grief. I have felt depressed often to a point where I just wish I wasn’t alive anymore. I’ve felt lonely and isolated and like I don’t have any friends that give a shit. The effect on my mental health has lead me to question many things about myself, my friendships and my relationships. Mostly in a very negative sense. Of course no one loves me, I have no friends, the LGBTI community sucks, is completely unwelcoming of me and who I am. No one invites me to coffee or anything, it only happens if I do the organising. And then if I do do the organising no one fucking bothers to come. Of course I logically know that most of this is not true that, that is my negative thoughts and not true at all.

Another contributing factor to my awesomeness is that I have absolutely no energy. Of course I know about the spoon ‘thing’. One of my partners told me about it some time ago. http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ I’ve been working with this idea for a while. The idea simply being that you choose where to put your energy. I decided a while ago that I could only manage one social ‘event’ a week. This being the case it also contributes to how much time I get to spend with friends.

Of course a lot of what I said previously about friends is imagined, I have ‘lost’ some friends in the last few years but more recently I have managed to ‘find’ some lovely new people/friends. The problem here is that I can’t seem to get it together to spend time with them and I have to keep putting it off. This means I’ve become one of these vile people who says they will do something, catch up or whatever and never does. Or constantly lets people down. It’s also difficult to say to new friends, ‘oh I’d love to come, I’ll just need to let you know because I don’t know how feral I will be on that day’. So there’s some awesome people, who probably think I have no interest in them whatsoever and pretty soon I probably will stop getting invitations from them too. I am also very much an introvert and all of this is making me become quite phobic of socialising in groups because I’m not getting any practise and often the energy needed to do larger groups requires too many spoons.

I hate the impact I feel this this has had on my intimate relationships. Sure my partners keep telling me they love me and give me all the supportive words they can at the appropriate times. But I feel like shit. I feel like I let them down constantly because I can’t be myself. I am cranky and irritable and give them a hard time too often. The partner I live with has also had health issues and this has made everything harder for both of us. Being unwell has caused a lot strain. I keep telling the other partner who lives overseas that she is lucky she doesn’t have to be around me. That if she knew what I was really like then maybe she wouldn’t really want to be with me. I met her at the beginning of all this and she has never known me any other way. Conducting not only a new relationship, but one that is also at a distance and the fact that I am polyamorous has been very hard. I feel like I’m hard work for both my partners and often feel guilty for this.

I really love my job which I also started about the time I started to feel unwell. Much of how I feel about other areas of my life applies to my work. I have been fortunate during the time I have been in my new job to apply for and successfully get a promotion. I feel like I have had so much time off work and that I am unreliable there that it bothers me a lot. The balancing of sick leave, time bank and annual leave is all very tricky and something I have to watch constantly. Although one of my staff told me that she thinks I’m a good role model as far as self care goes. I guess that is something. My manager also keeps telling me what I good job I do. Despite these difficulties I think work is the only place I feel fully empowered at the moment, it would be good to have full energy to really be able to do my job as I’d like.

I perform, I do drag king performance and burlesque. I started the burlesque in part to help myself feel better. To feel better about being feminine and attractive. I had some determination in ‘all this’ to try to make myself feel better, to beat it. Even though I had so much self loathing going on, and I really hate my body and at times don’t want anyone to touch me. I thought I will fake it until I make it. I will dress up to the nines and ‘pretend’ I look good. I will defy my body, because I won’t let it make me feel like shit. This has helped a bit at times. What often helps more is the actual burlesque classes and involvement. This is because it brings fun and social interaction.

As all of this is going on, the months are going by and I’m trying really hard in every way to feel OK about myself, but it’s been difficult, it’s hard to maintain and have resilience. I have been to the doctor(s) numerous times and things haven’t worked. Every time I’ve had a test or tried a new medication I have hoped I will feel better, but nothing seems to have any significant impact. I have also tried homeopathy (which is something I believe strongly in), I visit an osteopath regularly, and I’ve had massages. Every time something new is tried there is a gap of a few months between to see if it works. Every time I’ve been to the doctor I talk about being tired and how it’s been ‘doing my head in’, but I haven’t necessarily felt listened to. I have told the doctors continually that in my family there is a history of early peri menopause, but that feels like it’s not been taken seriously. It was only fairly recently that one of them said that is what it might be. I understand that different ‘things’ need to be tried out and they need time. I understand that get rid of the pain and probably the rest will follow. But understanding something isn’t helpful when I’m dealing with consequences of it all.

I am really fucking over having to pretend all the time I am ok. I’m tired of having to ‘make up excuses’ for things, for not going to things or whatever. They aren’t excuses but it begins to feel like that’s how it’s taken by others. It’s vastly annoying if you say you are exhausted and someone else says, ‘oh I know what that’s like’ and gives some stupid example which indicates they don’t have a clue. It’s also annoying if you say something like ‘I feel old’ and you get fucking stupid responses like, ‘you don’t look old at all’... I know I don’t fuckwit, I said I feel it. Or ‘do you have a problem with young people?’...oh course I don’t I said I feel old, I didn’t say I hate youth. Or people telling you how great you look, on days you feel terrible and if you say you feel terrible they look at you like you’re lying. I’m tired of the constant disappointment about really looking forward to attending some social event and then not being able to go. I’m just over it, over it all.

Intimacy

Mar. 11th, 2012 01:38 pm
redback_bites23: rainbow blanket (Default)
I have been thinking a bit about intimacy on and off in recent times and what intimacy actually means, and what it means in relationships of all kinds.

In my view, people can have sex and no emotional involvement and deep emotional involvement with no sex; the two don’t go hand in hand. People who fuck around a lot, as deemed by others, tend to get called sluts or a seemingly more positive word player (although player seems to relate more to men and therefore the whole ‘thing’ becomes gendered). Slut implies it’s a bad thing to seek out, let alone enjoy sex, and I would say perhaps this label comes with the idea that there is no emotional involvement ‘that’ kind of sex. It is somehow lacking and not moral because of no emotional connection. Of course the only people that know whether or not it is intimate is the people who have engaged in it. Of course if there was emotional connection the person would then become virtuous focussing all their attention on one person, who they truly love.

The link in these ideas, the concept that makes it hard to define and what blurs things, is what is considered intimate. To have sex with someone, to have two or more bodies rubbing up against each other with the possibility of the exchange of body fluid, I would consider intimate, but not necessarily emotional. To have a long conversation revealing your deepest personal or emotional ‘stuff’ is intimate, it has the emotional but not the physical. I believe it’s when you get all the physical, the emotional and the intimate, you might begin to feel something that is described as a sexual interest and intimacy described as love.

Love seems to arise upon the sharing of the emotional stuffs, the revealing of oneself, of one’s vulnerability and things that cause us to feel. The acts that go on around this are sex, or engagement of thoughts, ideas, intellectual conversation, laughing for if you click intellectually you will probably share a sense of humour. These are the things that occur when we meet someone, these are the things that keep us busy. Hormones are playing part, if the sex is great and we are floating on a high because the person is so god dam hot and we’re getting to fuck them a lot, then that will keep us interested. If we like their intelligence that will also keep us there and keep us busy, we don’t need to feel anything emotionally, we are being entertained.

In the meantime that part of the brain the amygdala which is connected to emotions and emotional memory, is doing all sorts of things and it might begin to take over and we have these ‘feelings’ which rise up and eventually these feelings, god forbid, will turn into something that resembles the beginnings of love. Or we might feel no resonance or no feelings and the nature of the relationship is likely to change or remain stunted in that it may not deepen into love but develop into something else with some other sort of label.

A relationship really is any interaction between one or more person; you have a relationship with yourself, and others. It can be fleeting or something that goes on for ages. It can be intimate, it can be sexual or it can be business like. It can be anything that you make it; it’s all about how you interact with that person. How you communicate.

A question I have, or rather a thought, is around the occurrence of close intimate sexual relationships. As stated above I think it’s when we get a number of things all happening at once. Otherwise the relationships could be described as friendships, fuck buddies, one night stands, lovers, business partners or any other label we choose to use.

Being polyamorous, I know it is in my nature to have feelings for more than one person. When I have feelings for a person I give quite deeply on an emotional level. To truly love someone beyond friendship I need to have all these interactions with them. I need to have an intellectual understanding, a physical connection, and an emotional connection. I also tend to ‘work’ on an emotional level so for a deep friendship with someone I need emotional exchange or understanding.

I’m always thinking about how other people might feel. I’m always thinking of that little amygdala underneath and what it’s doing. Because I work this way and my waters run deep I am very careful about whom I open up to, because when I do I just tend to gush. Or that’s how it feels. I feel very emotionally vulnerable, but at the same time I believe I am also very emotionally strong, otherwise I would not be able to be polyamorous, jealousy would be far too much to deal with, and confronting jealousy is what I have to deal with in order to let all the other amazing stuff in. I can also sense and understand where other people are at, even when they don’t and at times I feel this carries responsibility, it also means that being around lots of people can be downright draining.

I enjoy watching people and their relationships with others, I find it helps me to grow and learn and reflect on how I move in the world. I have observed friends in relationships which I would describe as very intimate relationships, close friends, ‘besties’ and I sit back and just think that they are in a polyamorous situation, they love that person, they care about them, they have most of the ingredients except for the sex. I have also felt that way about friends in the past. Then there are people who operate on a purely intellectual type of level, people who are in their heads, they might be having sex with someone, but they are scared of and deny the feelings that the amygdala throws at them. It’s not like they don’t feel, but they just don’t know what to do with it, how to process that feeling, where to go next. Feelings are scary things that make them loose control.

I believe any kind of relationship is possible, it’s just how we process things, what we want from others and how clear we are with that. I think there are misunderstandings because people do not communicate clearly. They don’t talk about sex and what it is they want, and they indeed don’t even know, because they don’t have a strong relationship with themselves in that sense. Then they don’t know how to negotiate sex and safe sex with a partner and they don’t know how to tell the person they don’t know what they like. Friends don’t know or don’t understand each others’ friendship boundaries, it’s unclear about what a friend is and then if they develop feelings it can be hard to move onto the next stage which might be sex for fear of ruining the friendship. Indeed I think there are multiple, multiple duty statements for friends. Some friendships are deeply emotional and intimate, others only operate on the intellectual level. Some people consider they need to see someone every other week to remain friends, whereas other people (myself included) think a good friend is someone you can see every six months and it’s all fine.

Anything is possible and many people would be much happier if they learnt to face their fears and take risks when encountering intimacy.
redback_bites23: rainbow blanket (Default)
I am 43 and I only came out as lesbian/queer 7 years ago. When I was in my early 20s the idea of having children did not appeal to me, it was fine for other people but not me, I never wanted them, I never felt maternal. This is not to say that I don't like children or babies, quite the opposite in fact, I have always enjoyed them but not wanted them for me. In my late 20s, my body did the whole body clock thing you hear about and I really, really wanted to be pregnant but my head said no way at the same time. At this time I was with my ex, who was male and ended up being my husband for a short while. He could not have children and I just accepted in myself I wouldn't have them because I had the strong belief that if you 'weren't meant to have them then you didn't'. We had no money and were in no place to have children anyway, but we did talk about fostering or something similar some day.

Later on, when having the coming out conversation with a couple of my straight friends, one of them said to me, 'oh if you meet a younger woman maybe you could have children' and I agreed and said yes, maybe I could. Having children was once again an option for me as my life was going through dramatic change.

A couple of years after coming out I met one of my (now) partners. She is 10 years younger than me, and she was keen to have children or a child. When we first talked about having children or a child, I had explained to her that I didn't want to be the one to give birth, I felt too old already, I also said that was a bit of time limit on it for me because I didn't want to be too old. I did get to a point where I agreed and was excited about the idea of being a parent.

Over time we worked through how we wanted to get pregnant and many other things associated with being a parent. It is such an individual journey for any couple to make and for same sex couples so much more loaded than heterosexual couples (that is when a heterosexual couple are healthy and able to reproduce. Simply because we have so many more aspects to think about from conception through to legal 'stuff' and how we do family. There are so many more implications for us.

Trying to get pregnant is hard, it's got to be the most unromantic thing to go through, not to mention incredibly emotional. This is something so many people do not seem to understand. After a number of months of trying for various reasons we decided it was not what we wanted. Among other things, I felt like I was too old. I felt like I had run out of time. I have had peri menopausal changes happening to me for little while now and there are many days when I feel like crap and I decided that I just didn't have the energy to have a small human being dependent on me.

As we prepared to try to get pregnant I told my partner that I thought it was a bad idea to collect baby clothes or baby items, because if it didn't work then it would be so much harder for us to face piles of baby 'stuff'. But we did buy one thing. We bought a baby change table.

This weekend we hired a skip bin and have been having a big clean out, throwing stuff into the bin. I got the change table out of the garage and threw it into the bin. It hurt. I feel guilty about not being young enough to have a baby, but I know it's the best thing for me. It feels like a major decision or choice that has come and gone several times in my life has finally come to an end. Throwing the table out was hard.

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