After writing that, I find my outlook has improved somewhat. I know journaling is a very important thing to do, so it sounds like I need to make more time for it. Perhaps it will help me exercise my mental communication muscles. A private journal will allow me to be totally honest when setting down thoughts -- right now I don't feel like I have anyone in the world I can be totally honest with. Then again, that is probably true for most of us, I'd guess.
Maybe it will even help with this issue I've been having where I will say something, and be positive I said one thing, but be told that I said something completely different. That is quite disturbing. I imagine that if I reconnect with what I am really feeling and thinking, that will probably get better.View Thread
"Once I decided to be an honest person, I had to honestly look at me. It really scared me. It still does to this day! But I do it because I want to change that person, back to his old self! The self before the drinking started, even before the guilt, and depression! Yes, the one I was when I joined the Army! The good, and honest mid-western kid my father raised me to be!!! I can be him, again, if I am willing to be brutally honest with myself? So far, I believe I am on the right path?! "
That raised some really good questions in my mind. I am in the unique position of having my past bad behaviors come to roost. So many of the things I have done and thought were harmless are a lot more sinister than I had thought. I've developed a habit of behaving badly and blaming it on other people. Nothing like stealing or beating people up, but subtle social manipulation and "white lies" that aren't so white. I put on an innocent face and think I care what other people say, but don't pay enough attention to what they are actually telling me to behave appropriately toward them. I don't really feel like I know what or who I am anymore... at times I want to cry "this isn't me! I'm not really like that!" But if I'm not, why did I behave in those ways? I don't have the best memory, so sometimes I can't even recall exactly what I did or said in any particular situation. This makes it really hard to analyze my actions, and sometimes I wonder if I sabotage my own memory so as to neutralize my ability to own up to my actions and change? Is it a memory problem, or is it yet another way for me to foist off responsibility so I don't have to really do anything?
I am trying to become an honest person and I maintain it fairly well on the outside most of the time. But when I start looking at the ways I have thought in the past, and some of the traps I still fall into, I am filled with so much self hatred that I despair of ever letting go of it. I literally don't know how to let go. I try to forgive people, for example, but then we get in a fight and all the bad things they did come up and it's like they just did them again. Same thing with undesirable things I've done. They say forgiveness can only experienced but I have no idea how to get to that experience.
I may be rambling a bit, and it feels like a risk right now to even say anything about any of it because I have no idea if I'll be understoond. But I know from experience that the people here are generally kind and I appreciate that. My thoughts are so confused right now, I know that the whole idea for me is to manage my responses to events and thus gain some control in my life, but I feel so helpless in so many ways. Trapped, really. I find myself losing faith in humanity, and by extension my own humanity... and here I go, writing a book, and I have no idea if anything was actually communicated other than the fact that I'm a mess. I feel like I am losing the ability to speak from the heart, like I'm disconnected from the person I really am.
Then again, did I ever know who I was in the first place? Sometimes I feel like an empty husk, defined only be my interactions with the outside world, but at the same time frequently rejecting the outside world.View Thread
What a worthy project. I wish more people understood that depression isn't always situational, and it isn't just a bad mood. It isn't always a choice! Sometimes the brain's biochemistry is just messed up, and the only choice you have is to take whatever steps you can to get around that. Pretty hard when one of the symptoms is lack of motivation. I look forward to seeing other people's thoughts on this.View Thread
Dennis, you are a big sweetie. You should be proud of your accomplishments. I'm trying to follow your example, to keep trying no matter what happens, to focus on the joy in life. You are an inspiration and I'm glad that you are continuing to walk toward a good life, instead of away from it.View Thread
Here's my take on it, chime in if anyone else has something to add.
BDSM can be a lot of things to a lot of people. Some folks really enjoy the power play, with one partner taking the lead and the other one enjoying being dominated. Pain doesn't have to be part of this. Some poeple really enjoy the feeling of restraint, of not knowing what's going to happen next. Some people get really hardcore with it, with special clothing and elaborate settings and even a lifestyle revolving around it. Some people play with it a little as a way to add interest and variety to their lives.
BDSM doesn't always involve sex, it doesn't always involve pain, but it usually involves some form of dominance and submission. Sometimes partners trade roles. Sometimes, if punishment is part of the scene, the submissive will "misbehave" as a way of inviting the contact they crave. I know a person who really enjoys pain. She doesn't let herself be physically harmed, but she likes the intense sensation. A lot of folks like BDSM as a way of stepping out of their normal roles in life. Think of the highly paid executive getting spanked in his spare time. He controls everthing in his world so he wants to put that down for a while.
BDSM is such a spectrum tthough, you can really experience it at almost any level and tailor it to suit you. There is a BUNCH of information out there, and even social groups who specialize in introducing newcomers to the fun.View Thread
Don't read too much into anything at this point. Her absence in the kitchen may not have had anything to do with you. Maybe she had a dizzy spell, or got wrapped up reading a cookbook, or needed a few minutes to think, or who knows? I think you are right about her being busy because of the holidays. That eats up an immense amount of time for those with families... it's really amazing. So let her have her space for now, and meet with her on friday, and enjoy your time together.
I really do know how hard it can be not to obsess over little details. That's going to cause problems faster than almost anything else, though. Communication will help a lot. I think adopting the wait and see attitude sounds perfect.
Dennis is on the right track. Try searching for "bondage and dominance for beginners" and things like that. Look for thoughtful articles that aren't trying to shock you. Serious members of the BDSM community usually want newcomers to have access to good information about safe and sane practices. It sounds like it won't really be a lifestyle choice for you, probably more an exploration, but it can still be a fun experience. Any hardcore member of that community will tell you that the key to successful play is communication. But beyond all that, I hope you have fun!View Thread
Yes, in the way he is talking about it. If he has neighbors who are friends and set him up with dates, there is no harm in that. They do it because they like him. He isn't saying anything bad about anyone. I think there may be a cultural misunderstanding here. I have been reading Dennis's posts for a while now (a couple years actually) and he has always seemed to behave in a straightforward, honest, warmhearted way. I don't see any fault in what he is doing.View Thread