Archive for March 2015

Brainweasels   Leave a comment

Today, my brainweasels are racing around their corral, screaming.

I should explain: a brainweasel is an insidious thought that races its way through my mind and inserts itself into every other thought I have.  They’re voracious, like actual weasels, and fast-moving, and not afraid of charging in, kicking ass, and taking names.  My own brainweasels are (usually) a product of Depression brain, with occasional bits of genetic material from the Social Anxiety Monster, but I know brainweasels can come from multiple sources, and I also know that other people have them.

Anyway, today mine are racing around their corral, screaming.  This is because I scooped them all up this morning and shut them in; I really don’t want to deal with them today since I’ve got so much to do.  I suspect, though, that at least one has gotten out and is on the loose since I’ve getting occasional flashes of things I only think when I am deep in the pit and numb to outside influence.  It’s not so much that I can’t ignore it and focus on what I need to do, but it is slightly distracting.

Although, a friend of mine just handed me a virtual padlock, and it seems to be working to keep the weasels where they need to be.  Visualization, Thou Art Priceless…in many instances.

The messages carried by my mental mustilidae (thanks for the phrasing, oh fabulous frog!) tend to be related to self-worth and and pretty easy to identify as weaselry.  The sheer volume of them, though, makes it pretty difficult to ignore…and therein lies the rub.  Weaselry wants to be noticed; it wants me to pay attention to it, and to get all caught up in the nonsense it is spewing so it can multiply and take over my waking mind until I can focus on nothing but what it has to tell me.  Quite frankly, it’s exhausting, and I’ve got shit to do!

And so, I fight.  I fight the brainweasels with medication – they’re much less of a problem with Paxil riding shotgun.  I fight them with techniques my therapist taught me – I watch the weaselry hang in the air for a moment before turning my attention to other, more relevant, thoughts; I write them out so I can see how they look on screen/paper.  I fight them with my relationships with other people – my husband, my son, my partners, and my friends all think I am amazing and love me (look – no qualifiers or self-deprecation!).  I fight them in myriad ways, some of which I am not even sure I can reliably identify…because the other option is to stagnate, crawl into my hole, and become what the brainweasels want me to be.  And, I’m stubborn enough, and enough of a control freak, to be more resentful of their attempts at control than apathetic about them…and that’s probably the secret, really.

You see, the work I’ve done on myself means I’ve got that tiny spark inside that says I’m worth something, even when things are at their worst.  Even when the world comes crashing down around me, and everything is wrong, and nothing is fair…I have that spark that keeps me going.  Dr. Barb helped me find that spark, and nurture it, and taught me what to do so it doesn’t go out…and I can’t let it die now, knowing everything that went into making it bloom.  So, I can let the brainweasels run a bit, knowing that I’ll notice when they get to be too much and that I’ll somehow be able to corral them again.

And, if I somehow can’t, then I’ll ask for help.  Action is preferable to stagnation, after all.

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Poly Origin Story   Leave a comment

Interestingly enough, I’ve had polyamory on the brain as a concept recently rather than as something I do, and I’ve been trying to track back to the how/when/why of my poly- origins.  Some of this has to do with the fact that I’m currently setting up meetings with people from OK Cupid (OKC) and am trying to figure out explanations, some has to do with the fact that my husband is in his own “describe what I do” phase with some people he knows, and still more has to do with the questions I’ve been getting from people.  There’s a lot of “WHY do you do this?” and “HOW does that even work?”, but there are just as many questions, asked and unasked, that try to dive into the depths of origin and discovery.

So, I thought I might put my own poly origin story out there, and encourage other people to share theirs…especially if they’ve not done so before.

I can’t really remember a time when I believed that I would find one person who was right for me for all eternity, but I do remember that once I was old enough to date I found myself unable to concentrate on being involved with just one person at a time.  Oh, I could do it for awhile in the beginning while the New Relationship Energy (NRE) was running high, but once it died down a bit my mind would inevitably wander toward dating someone else, but as an additional relationship rather than a replacement.  I didn’t really understand why it wasn’t okay to date multiple people at the same time, and why my friends were all pairing off into, well, pairs and then getting upset when their boyfriends or girlfriends became interested in other people and broke things off or, worst of all, CHEATED on them!

*cue gasps of horror*

Now, I’ll admit when I was younger I didn’t have the feelings about lying that I do now (and even now it is touch-and-go, depending on the situation), but I could not understand the drama around fidelity.  First of all, we were in high school.  Secondly, since when did having feelings for someone automatically render you incapable of having them for anyone else?   I was able to love both of my parents and all of my grandparents and my brothers and my best friend at the same time – why couldn’t that translate into other types of relationships?  Why was I off-limits to someone just because I was dating their friend, or their brother, or cousin?  Why didn’t I get a say in all of this?

I tried a couple of methods to get what I wanted/needed during this time.  Part of the time, I tried honesty – I would tell people who asked me out, or who I asked out, that I was interested but didn’t want to be exclusive, and that I didn’t expect them to be exclusive either.  This worked about as well as you’d expect – my partners thought it sounded wonderful and were fine with it until my “Oooh, Shiny!” syndrome kicked in and I actually acted on what I’d said…and then things would fall apart.  Sometimes I tried not mentioning that I was dating other people, but that would backfire because a friend of a friend would always mention it.  The remainder of the time, I kept my multiple partners separated by distance – my most successful relationships before I went to college involved a partner at each of four different schools plus one who was out of school (that last one, btw, was T).  Of all of the methods, the third one was the only one that really worked, and as long as I managed my calendar, no one was the wiser.

(There was, of course, the time that two people showed up to pick me up at the same time and found out about each other…but that’s a story for another post.)

In addition to the above, I also had a number of friends with whom there was some sort of a physical component, and I never understood why that was a problem, either.  Needless to say, all of this led to me having quite a reputation in high school, and I could not wait to get to college…except that I met the man who would become my first husband during that summer and ended up going off to college involved with yet another person who expected monogamy of me, and this time I’d decided there was something wrong with me and swore to myself that I’d try.

So, I tried.  I tried all the way through him repeatedly accusing me of cheating when I wasn’t, through him trying to trip me up about various things, through a so-called friend of mine telling him that the baby I was carrying might not be his, the birth of that child who very much WAS his, and through a year of marriage afterwards.  During this entire time I managed to remain monogamous in behavior, if not in thought.  And then, just as I decided I couldn’t bear to continue to be married to this man, T came back into my life.  And so, off the monogamy wagon fell I, back into a comfortable relationship where I didn’t have to be anyone but myself.  And I swore, from that moment forward, to never fall into the monogamy trap again because it isn’t who I am, and I chafe under that expectation.

This decision, of course, has had consequences: my first marriage ended in divorce, and subsequent relationships never really moved past the friends-with-benefits stage, despite how those partners might have felt about me.  It wasn’t until I met my current husband that I realized that there was more than one person out there (ha!) who could love me and have no problem with who I am.

(In fact, I think he might relish it, although you’d have to ask him.)

So, that’s the origin story in a nutshell.  My walk and talk finally match, and I have never been happier.  That is why I am polyamorous.  And that is why I’ll never again attempt anything else.  At this point, I’d rather be alone than be false.

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So…why are you polyamorous, if you are?  How did you realize it/start to act on it?  If you’re not poly-, what’s the origin story for your own relationship style?  What makes it work for you?  I’d be thrilled for you to share your stories, if you’re inclined to do so.

Posted March 27, 2015 by veggiewolf in Polyamory

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Back on the Horse   Leave a comment

I wish that the title of this post actually was about how I’ve decided to start taking horseback riding lessons again, but it’s not.  It’s about getting back on the horse I fell off last May – developing relationships that are not with my husband.

Blargh.

Here’s a thing about me – I am notoriously bad at getting back to people until I’ve actually met them, and even then it can be dicey.  This is not because I don’t want to be a good correspondent; it’s because I really don’t like the methods of correspondence that are available.  I’d much rather sit down and have a conversation face-to-face than a 30 minute text session…and I’m usually okay with waiting to converse until I can actually see someone, although I’m surprisingly okay with IM as well.  Anything to do with responding via mobile phone, though, drives me up a tree; I don’t like it and because I don’t like it, I am horrible at responding when someone sends me something.  Unless it’s an emergency.  Or a sext.  Come to think of it, I’m good at responding in both those situations.  The problem is, if I don’t know you, it’s unlikely that I want to receive a sext from you, and it is also unlikely that you have an emergency that is also an emergency for me.

Complicated person is complicated, and around and around we go!

Anyway, I want to develop some FWB relationships , so I went back on OK Cupid a couple of weeks ago with an updated profile that included a note about the fact that I won’t respond to dick pics.  For a few weeks, I got visitors to my profile and likes, but no messages.  Then, I got a message and responded to it…and more messages started pouring out of the woodwork.  Seems like the more I respond to people, the more people try to contact me, and that’s because OKC has this thing where it shows your reply frequency and it appears that people are more likely to contact me if I actually respond.  Which means that if I want to develop relationships, I actually have to do the fucking work…and I hate having to do the fucking work.

Well, unless the fucking work is literal.  Then, it’s amazing.  Did I mention that I self-identify as an Ethical Slut?

So, for OKC to work for me I need to respond to people who message me, even if it is just me saying that I don’t think I would click with the person, so my reply frequency will go up and then more people will message me, and then I’ll have to respond more and and and.  Add in the fact that I can’t really access OKC from work where I am on a computer all day, and the fact that I don’t really want to get on the computer when I get home, and I’m left with responding from my phone.  And I hate having to respond from my phone, even if it is shiny and smart.  So, I want to meet someone and the only way to do it successfully using the service I’ve decided to use is to embrace something I hate.

I mean, I suppose I could go out and do things and try and meet people that way, except that would mean going out and doing things, and then getting to explain polyamory to people who think dating while married must equal infidelity and that I’ll be super fine with them cheating on their spouse.  Well, unless I go to a munch, but I don’t really want to go to a munch.  At least OKC has the open-relationship status right off the bat and my profile in which to explain things.  And I don’t respond to people who don’t read my profile.  Although, I probably need to update it again to add that random requests for sex won’t get responses either – I like to be friends with someone before sexy things happen, and I’m not really into one-night-stands right now.

I’d also like to be able to carry on a conversation with you before tearing your clothes off.  Just saying.

As far as new relationships go, I appear to be in early stage NRE with one person (a colleague, actually), and I’m speaking with others from OKC and, hopefully, meeting up with some of them over the next couple of weeks.  I’ve no idea if it will get beyond the coffee stage, and I’m okay with that.  At this point, putting myself out there at all is a HUGE step when I’d rather hermit up with a good game and a bottle of wine.  So, I guess I’m growing?  Maybe?

But, since climbing back on the dating horse, I’ve been wondering how much of my ambivalence about actually connecting with other human beings has to do with the fact that I still miss T, and the way that he knew me and cared for me unconditionally.  We still speak via email occasionally, but it’s nothing like the pause-and-play we had for 27 years, and now that almost a year has passed since I last saw him, I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that we may never again be what we were to each other.  It’s been a grieving process, really, and lately it’s taken everything I have not to ask him if he’d like to meet up for any reason at all.

FUCK.  I’m not over it.  I wonder if anyone really gets over something like this.

30 Days of Scent Returns! Day Thirty – Bois des Iles by Chanel   Leave a comment

Today is the final day of this incarnation of 30 Days of Scent, and to celebrate I am wearing a classic scent: Bois des Iles eau de toilette by Chanel.  It’s part of the Les Exclusifs de Chanel collection, and I own it in decant form, purchased from The Perfumed Court.

Before I get into my typical run-down of how, what, and why, I want to note something here: it is my opinion that everyone should own at least one Chanel fragrance, even if it is in decant.  Chanel has been in the fragrance business for a long time, and there’s a reason for it.  Seriously – the next time you are anywhere that they sell Chanel scents, go to the counter and pick up some samples.  It will change your life.

Carrying on then: Fragrantica.com lists the main accords of Bois des Iles as woody, balsamic, powdery, aldehydic, floral, and sweet.  Their description of this scent says:

“…Bois des Iles, or the Island Forests, was created in 1926 by Ernest Beaux…The top notes are composed of aldehydes, bergamot, neroli and peach, the heart composition consists of jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, woody iris and ylang-ylang, and the base of vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin and musk.”

For anyone who doesn’t know what aldehydes have to do with fragrance, Fragrantica has a nice description of what they are and what they do here.  Chanel is known for using aldehydes in their signature scents – N°5 and N°22 are both ripe with them, and Bois des Iles comes right out of the gate with an aldehydic slap rather than a caress.  Though, in Bois des Iles’ case, it is a good thing – I don’t think it would be as much of a pleasure to wear without that particular note (though if anyone can’t wear this scent due to the aldehydes, let me know – I’m always interested in what part skin chemistry plays.)

On me, Bois des Iles is aldehyde and neroli, fading to jasmine and lily of the valley.  I get vetiver and sandalwood in the base, but no musk…or maybe the musk I get is vastly different than most musky scents I’ve tried; Bois des Iles does not try to invade my brain and take it over.  I get some of the powder this fragrance is known for as well, and I chalk that up to the iris in it; iris tends to read powdery on me.  This is another classic Chanel scent that I wish I owned in full-size, and I wear it so much that my decant (my third one!) is empty as of this morning.

If decant shopping wasn’t so much fun, I’d be depressed right about now.

Bois des Iles eau de toilette by Chanel

30 Days of Scent Returns! Day Twenty-Nine – Harlot by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab   Leave a comment

Today, I am wearing Harlot perfumed oil from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL).  It’s an imp (decant/sample) I purchased from BPAL, along with four other imps.

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords of Harlot as cinnamon, warm spicy, rose, floral, and balsamic.  I’m going to skip their description of this scent and go right for the one on BPAL’s site: “Based on a Romany incense blend reputed to induce sexual dreams: Somalian rose, Moroccan rose and Bulgar rose with a sultry dribble of cinnamon.”  I don’t know how I feel about BPAL including “Romany incense blend” in the description, but I give them points for not using the typical slur that so many do when mentioning the Romany/Rom/Rrom.

Harlot, like the other four BPAL scents I’ve tried, is from the Ars Amatoria collection, and is meant to evoke love and lust in heady surroundings…and it does just that by combining the oils of three roses with cinnamon.  This is not your (grand-)mother’s rose perfume, nor is it a rose explosion as so many other oil blends can be – the cinnamon cuts straight through the heart and prevents Harlot from becoming cloying.  Ironically, it’s this very thing that seems to cause the mixed reviews of this fragrance; those who dislike Harlot point directly at cinnamon as the culprit.

On my skin, Harlot is sultry and heady with a bite.  It makes me think of the glorious moment after you’ve finally seduced someone into your arms and are about to kiss them for the first time – ripe, luscious, and full of that new relationship energy (NRE) that is so addictive.  I will definitely wear Harlot again, perhaps while hunting.

Harlot by BPAL

30 Days of Scent Returns! Day Twenty-Eight – Carnal by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab   Leave a comment

(Yes, there’s a theme going on here!)

Yesterday, I wore Carnal perfume oil by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL).  It’s an imp (decant/sample) I purchased from BPAL, along with four others.

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords of Carnal as citrus, sweet, fruity, woody, and bitter.  Their description of this fragrance is as sparse as any of their BPAL descriptions, but BPAL’s own description is just as minimal: “Bold, bright mandarin paired with the sweet, sensual earthiness of fig.”

Terribly helpful, isn’t it?  And yet, I picked this one out based on that very description, which means the simplicity of it struck a chord.  Perhaps I should be teasing myself instead of BPAL and Fragrantica for purchasing a scent with so little available information, or perhaps I should be patting myself on the back since I really did pick a winner, simple description aside.  Carnal is multi-faceted, and each hour I loved it more – it went from being slightly sweet and citrusy to deep and woody with a bite over the course of the day.  The bitter note was right on the money as well – interesting, without being overwhelming, and just the right thing to keep Carnal from tumbling over into sweet-and-fruity land.

On my skin, the fig really shone through once the citrus dissipated a bit; I was out of the house and running about, and received several compliments and questions about what I was wearing.  I always like it when a scent I enjoy is so obviously enjoyed by those around me; all that was missing was a pair of lips next to my ear murmuring that I smelt delicious.

Maybe next time? *wink*

Carnal by BPAL

30 Days of Scent Returns! Day Twenty-Seven – Bordello by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab   Leave a comment

On Saturday, I wore Bordello perfume oil by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL).  It is one of the imps (decants/sample) I ordered from BPAL…and I think I need to trade it to someone.

Fragrantica.com lists the main accords of Bordello as fruity, almond, wine, alcohol, and sweet.  Their description of this scent says: “Bordello by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a Oriental fragrance for women. The fragrance features plum, amaretto, red wine and black currant.”  

Bordello is part of BPAL’s Ars Amatoria collection, and is meant to evoke “…images of velvet-lined Old West cathouses, tightly laced corsets, rustling petticoats and coquettish snarls of pleasure…”  Well, apparently, I wouldn’t like the way an Old West cathouse would smell, and that’s a shame since I’ve thought about what it would be like to work in one, or patronize one, for some time.  Sadly, there’s something about Bordello that just doesn’t work with my skin chemistry.  To begin with, it smells of patchouli even though it isn’t supposed to contain any – perhaps that’s the black currant mixed with red wine?  Secondly, it was WAY too strong – I dabbed a little in the appropriate places, and it overwhelmed my nose until my sinuses closed in self-defense.  And Saturday was a cool, dry day – I can only imagine what would do in the steamy heat of one of our summers.

I think Bordello might have some redeeming features for other people – there’s clearly a blend of rich ingredients in this fragrance, and the staying power is probably a plus if one likes the scent.  I don’t see myself wearing it again – I’ve put the imp in my “box of scents never to wear again”, and will probably send it on to someone who will appreciate it.  Which brings me to this: if anyone wants it, shoot me an email at veggiewolf@gmail.com and I will send it to you.

Bordello by BPAL