Trying a Different Type of New Year’s Resolution


Usually, my resolutions involve grades or weight. This year I’m shying away from external measures of “success”.

My New Year’s Resolution: Accept myself (the limits of my IQ – potentially crushing šŸ˜¦ – , struggles with mental illness – eating disorder, anxiety, depression – , kink, bisexuality, appearance, even *gasp* weight)

I need to come up with ways to facilitate this. I cannot remember a time I liked or accepted myself. So far, talking and blogging about my insecurities yields a surprising amount of revelations. I think it forces me to elaborate my thoughts to clarify them for others,Ā exposing fallacies. It also helps limit rumination, which only perpetuates negative emotions and does not lead to solutions. However, I don’t know what else I can do to foster self-acceptance.

What things do you think I should do to encourage self-acceptance?

Torn


Right now I’m coming down on the side of vulnerability and putting myself out there. I am not used to that at all. I don’t share much withĀ people, even people I’m supposed to be close to. I don’t trust easily. I’m terrified of putting my heart out in the open,Ā of letting myself feel.

But if I don’t giveĀ people a chance, I’ll always be alone.Ā Love isn’t going to fall in my lap. I have to be open, I may make mistakes, I may wind up with regrets, but the only way toĀ ensure I have no regrets and make no mistakes is by not fully living.

In order to get what I want (love), I have to open myself up to my greatest fear (loss).

When my best friend from PHP left I cried. She was the only treatment friend I cried over. I didn’t cry when anyone from inpatient left. After she left, I remember thinking the pain was not worth it. It was easier to keep myself walled off and not make connections, than it was to lose someone.

I’m standing at a crossroads. On one side there is the chance of great suffering and/or great love, on the other side there is stagnation.

Usually I run away and stop talking to people at this point. I push them away, so I don’t have to get to know them and feel the sting of their loss later. Yet, I yearn to know what love is like. I want to feel the connection songs are made of…but I’m terrified.

I’m scared of being hurt and I’m scared of hurting them.

*sigh* The irony of my love of physical pain and abnormally highĀ aversion to emotion pain is not lost on me.

  • Torn (itsebunite.wordpress.com)
  • all torn up (newrussell5087.wordpress.com)

Use Your Words


You know how you tell a 2 year old to “use your words” when they startĀ a tantrum? Apparently, this lesson didn’t go much past age 2 in my family. The other night I had a random thought. BDSM involvesĀ lots of overt, clear verbal communication. In contrast, my family is the opposite. My mom wanted to spend time just as our nuclear family (Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister-in-law, and I) before they left town, but my uncle and grandparents wanted to spend part of their last day with them to. I tried and failed to encourage my mom to express her wants about spending some time as our nuclear family; I even pointed out she spent $100,000+ on hospitalizations to teach me to use my words to express emotions. She refused, saying it wasn’t important.Ā This is a stretch, but maybe my brother and I’s mutual interest in BDSM is partially due to the clear verbal communication, since we grew up in a family that encouraged not expressing your wants, needs, or feelings. Obviously, a lot more would go into anyone’s predilections; it is just an interesting observation.

Dating, Maybe Not…


I felt confident for a few hours,Ā then my sister-in-law told me about friend trouble. The friend has someĀ mental illness struggles and the mental illness is causing relationship strain. The situation brings me back to my fears about dating. I don’t want to be a burden….but then, what? I never get in relationships because I might burden or hurt the other person? That means I will always be alone. Plus, relationships are give and take, as long as I act honorably and do not put undue or unfair burdens on someone, it is okay… but sometimes we crack and maybe we will do things we know are wrong like sending someone a suicide note and then disappearing for hours….. argh…must do more thinking….

*edited a few hours later* Well, confidenceĀ didn’t last long. Now I know my sister-in-law has a history of mental illness. I thought they were proof of healthy people enjoying BDSM. Now I’m rehashing all my “does masochism equal an unhealthy coping mechanism and not a true sexual desire?” arguments.

Dating, Maybe…


I’m seriously considering getting back in the game. All of your comments, likes, and talking to my brother and sister-in-law, gives me confidence. I’m even talking to people on Fetlife again. …Shh.

However, school starts again on the 9th. I need to put a lot more effort into this semester. School always causes anxiety or depression. In turn, I brush people off or ignore them, not because I dislike them or don’t care, but because I am too wrapped up in anxiety or sadness. Half of my relationships ended because of the distance I created as a result of school and more than one budding relationship stopped because I accidentally gave the impression that I did not like the person.

Unconditional Love, Coming Out, and Communication


I have no doubt my parents love me unconditionally. I know no matter what I do, they will always love me. God knows Iā€™ve tested that theory enough! Although I knew this for years, for some reason I remembered the realization last night.

I also know my mom loves her brother very much. They are pretty close; they talk a lot. I know she never disowned my uncle. Unlike my grandpa, she accepted him right away. She is more than capable of looking past a moral or political disagreement and loving someone.

My grandpa reconciling with my uncle shows he is also capable of looking past moral or political disagreements and loving someone. In fact, even though it took him a few years to make peace, he showed the most love! He came from the strictest background of any of us. He was a farm boy in the rural Midwest in the 1920s. Do you remember my view of religion? I tend to see all the paths to damnation. He grew up in the hellfire and brimstone era of protestant religion in this region. He probably views the world with more fear than I do!!! He came from a very tightknit, extremely religious family. Furthermore, he grew up in an intolerant time period. Yet, he overcame all this, he wrestled with beliefs he honestly held as part of his personal hope of eternal salvation for at least half a century, and he accepted my uncle. His actions were not out of spite! I believe even while he shunned my uncle, he loved him dearly. I believe my grandpa tried to help my uncle! He believed (believes?) homosexuality is a sin and if a person is not remorseful for their sins, they will be tortured for all time in the afterlife. Therefore, I think he shunned my uncle to try to coerce my uncle into stopping all homosexual behavior. I do not think it was out of anger. I think it was out of love and extreme fear. He believes sexuality is a choice. We may be attracted to one gender or both, but we can choose to focus our attraction toward the opposite gender. Since he believes my uncle has a choice and he believes choosing homosexuality would damn my uncle for eternity, my grandpa refused to talk to him for years, in an effort to encourage him to make the choice my grandpa thought meant everlasting bliss in the afterlife. In time, Grandpa realized my uncle would not change his behavior, even if Grandpa refused to acknowledge him for the rest of his life. Realizing this, I think he decided to salvage his relationship with his son on Earth, despite believing his actions would damn him in the afterlife. In a way, he overcame the most and displayed the deepest love because he had to look past or alter beliefs he held for over 50 years!

All these thoughts came after seeing this picture on Humans of New York:

“At this time in my life, thereā€™s nothing I really value more than interaction with my children, and theyā€™ve just grown so busy that thereā€™s not much of it. All I can really do is trust that they care, even if they donā€™t communicate it, and reflect on all the times that I didnā€™t reply to my mother when she sent me things.”

The picture caption made me sad because I know my mom and grandparents all feel this way. As my grandparents approach their 90s, the feeling becomes stronger because they know the time they have left to spend with their children and grandchildren is dwindling. I feel guilty for not spending more of my free time with them either going out for a bite to eat or just calling for a quick chat. Sometimes Iā€™m even mad at my brother for not calling them more because I know it hurts them and they feel unimportant or unloved, like out of sight, out of mind. I also worry in a few years, my brother will regret not picking up the phone once a month. They call him, but they often do not get a response and interpret that as either their calls are unwanted or bothersome. Therefore, they no longer leave messages; instead they wait for a call that never comes.

However, then I realized part of the problem may be he too is hiding a large part of himself from them. While it might be easy to chat about work or the weather, maybe it is painful or awkward to censor himself all the time. Perhaps that is part of why he does not return calls or call on his own. Vulnerability leads to stronger, deeper bonds. He is too afraid to let any of them see the real him, preventing a better relationship.

Although I feel much closer to all three because I live in town, I am guilty of the same thing. I realized we are not giving them the chance to love us for us. They have already proven they can do it with my uncle! It may be painful at first, but in the end, I believe it is best if all of us come out. We have to trust the people who love us and raised us to love us, even when we donā€™t fit the dreams they had for us. If we donā€™t trust them, but we underestimated them, we are robbing them and ourselves of truer, more open, real, trusting, close relationships.

Therefore, I am going to come out about BDSM and bisexuality. I hope my brother and sister-in-law come out as well.

That said I am not going to do it until I am financially independent because I do not want the rug pulled out from under me. Acceptance may take time and I am prepared for that, but tuition must be paid. I hope my grandparents are alive to reap the benefits. If they do not, I may regret not risking a few thousand dollars extra in student loans, but in the meantime, I am going to do my best to call or see them more often and talk about school and the weather.

Christmas Carols and Tens Units


Fun fact: My mom got my dad aĀ TENS Unit for Christmas!! It is a massager, but it made me laugh. Plus, all except 2 people in my family tried it and the two who got to the highest settings were the two masochists!

So far, so good with fighting because of different opinions about sexual morality or politics. *crosses fingers*