Author Topic: Captain's Log - 2024  (Read 2170 times)

sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2024, 08:04:40 AM »
Beeb is S's dog. But Beeb loves it here since he's good and gets to do all the disgusting things dogs love to do. Roll in dead animals, bring back carcasses, etc.

She is an anxious ball of anxiety, speculation, analysis, and her own imagination right now. Doing her best to keep a lid on it and making personal decisions about how she wants to handle things. I don't think she's quite realized yet, that this is what it's like when you're doing all the work (even of breaking up) yourself. He replies with "I don't know" when she asks direct questions about it - and then accuses her of being mean to him - when she tells him how SHE feels. (She volunteered using all "I" statements, btw.) He doesn't even want to make a commitment to understanding what a commitment IS... what it means in terms of respect and consideration for another and putting in time/effort to better his own situation.

I've come to that description, after listening to her repeatedly unroll her hamster wheel stereoscope mental loops over & over. Working in the studio has been her only escape to focus and the satisfaction of "progress". Of being able to "effect" change. She's been reaching out to all her friends for support a lot, lately. But I'm still the most available person to her. She has a hard time being in the hut and we are in the midst of days of rain right now. Her old coping mechanisms are surfacing too.

So, with B trying to finish up all the things he can before he makes another short trip away for a load, I've been spending more time with her, again. And B is feeling left out some, too. So, I'm juggling as best I can. And it's causing me to clam up and do some deep rethinking about things... maybe selling the business (big step I can't make by myself)... other things. The other night it felt like everything I'd worked to build was crashing, falling apart, disappearing. Not a good feeling. And not entirely true, either.

I have another contractor coming out next week for estimate/advice on the drainage around Hol's place and getting gravel on the road. She needs a fence for Kiri, too. The only time Kiri runs off and annoys the neighbor is when S is home because he leaves her out and doesn't supervise her. Because he doesn't see Kiri - she doesn't exist to him. I think Hol is kinda secretly worried that S is the same way with her.

So, I suppose it's natural to be a bit overwhelmed at the moment. Cure for that is B & I going out to procure his birthday present and mail some stuff at the PO. A quiet day - sans no OPPs - for us. He picks up his rental on Thursday. Hair cut today. Cheesecake for him to take with... tomorrow.

S came home Sunday and will be gone again Wed or Thurs. My guess is he's still not going to address Hol's questions or acknowledge her feelings. It's been quiet, so I'm pretty sure he slept most of yesterday. She has a kitty to take back to vet today. There was a kerfluffle of cats out in the woods and moonie got the worst of it.
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Hopalong

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2024, 12:59:57 PM »
Oof. This sounds prescient and premonitory.

Quote
Because he doesn't see Kiri - she doesn't exist to him. I think Hol is kinda secretly worried that S is the same way with her.

But how good it would be for H to connect the dots...sounds like she's on her way. She deserves someone who appreciates her strength but doesn't take advantage of her vulnerability.

Brava!

hugs
Hops
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sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2024, 11:54:36 AM »
I think she knows she deserves better, Hops. She is working hard at not being swept away by her anxiety or emotions. I have to be a little careful not to "advise" her on ways to think about his behavior... or even offer my honest opinion, in some cases.

At this point, I'm just trying to help her keep it together, keeping her focused on doing stuff - with the weather being biblically wet (as in, I NEED an ARK!!) - we haven't been able to do much outside yet. So studio interior it is....
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lighter

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2024, 10:56:00 AM »
I wish Hol could see S without seeing herself or taking anything personally.  He's doing what he does....I don't think he'd do anything differently if Hol wasn't in his picture.
Taking his actions and words personally seems to create a lot of sadness and conflict for Hol.

Needing him to have more, say more, be more is the crux, me'thinks.

Sorry she's struggling.

Lighter

sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2024, 09:32:07 AM »
Since B has gone for another load, we talked again last night. Or argued, is more like it.

She totally gets that she can end all this, on her own via her decision BUT is still refusing to do so. That makes my head spin, exorcist-style. Finally I said, if you're NOT trying to control his behavior and yet after 5 years you think he will still change to suit you, then all you end up with is the same misery and something (one) else to take care of - at his convenience. And I left before I could say any more.

It bothers the hell out of me, that she seems to fear that letting him go or demanding he leave means no one else will ever love her (and it can be argued that the lack of respect and consideration for her feelings ISN'T love). And of course, she blames me for modelling this behavior for her. SIGH. I suppose that's why she latches on to the first guy to take an interest in her, repeatedly. She does tend to stack up resentments once in a settled relationship, even though the patterns & behaviors were right there in front of her plain to see. All while saying she just wants him to be happy and do what he wants to do... pretty much creating her own double bind.

I think I'm going to stop being so available to her microscopic detail pseudo-analysis sessions. We have LOTS of farm stuff to talk about and do. But those conversations are consistently hijacked for the same hamster-wheel loop.

I desperately need a break from it.
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Hopalong

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2024, 01:20:48 PM »
I often think about how I get the most distressed when somebody I care about is affected by something I have struggled with in myself (too many times).  I think what you said to her is the unvarnished truth. But has she gone to therapy to place this deep struggle within where it belongs? Or is she gravitating back into the familiarity of fight with and/or blame my mother because that takes my mind off the work I have to do on me.

What would happen within you, not Hol, if you rewrite this to be about you, not Hol?

if you're NOT trying to control her behavior and yet after 5 years you think she will still change to suit you, then all you end up with is the same misery...

I don't think I've ever heard you in more misery and emotional pain than back a ways, when you struggled with her over and over and over. At the same time, it devolved into big fights and her disrespect, entitledness and expectations and (NOT my favorite) blame of you. Anything she could throw at you or the wall, because she couldn't face herself when she repeatedly turned it into YOUR problem.

Dunno if I expressed this very clearly, but it instantly jumped out at me. Hol can blame you, blame S, fight with you, fight with S, but as long as either Hol OR you are wrapped up in the blame-fight-react trap you've been in before, no change will happen.

IMO, it's completely HER problem, and this is that old cycle of you becoming therapist and winding up sucking mud yourself. I don't fear it's going to be a long cycle this time...you have learned so much by learning to step back. And GOOD for you for recognizing it more quickly this time. Made me happy (at first) to read this:

I think I'm going to stop being so available to her microscopic detail pseudo-analysis sessions. We have LOTS of farm stuff to talk about and do. But those conversations are consistently hijacked for the same hamster-wheel loop.

I desperately need a break from it.

Maybe it's going to take a pretty simple conversation with Hol, soon. Ex: "You know I love you and get hooked by your distress. I've learned that it's really not good for me to climb into conversations about you and S. A good therapist, even online, is what can help you -- and I hope you'll find one. But I'm gong to steer clear of these analysis sessions, because they wind up damaging both of us. Love you." Sumpin' like that.

Too much advice from me today, as I majored in doing all the unhealthy things I could see so clearly in others. Draining, exhausting and painful. In one relationship, with Poet, we've actually gotten to the miraculous stage where we monitor ourselves for unsolicited advice-giving. I'm better at it now, and when she is highly distressed or agitated about something (usually her partner) have reduced myself to saying sympathetically, "Gosh. What do you think you're going to do?" and then shoving a metaphorical sock in my mouth.

What do you think you're going to do?

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2024, 10:56:14 AM »
Oh... it's not as if she REALLY BELIEVES the blame is mine Hops. Things get said in the heat of the moment and I know they're rubbish; and they still hurt. Apologies often follow.

And I'm pretty restrained on the advice side of things - only SHE can make those decisions. But she is a verbal processor and MUST talk out all the stuff in her head. My job is to just listen and when she poses a question, my usual preface is that it's what I think; what I do; what my opinion is. All of that is "take it or leave it", doesn't matter to me except for expressing my wish to not see her cycle back into the same misery trap over & over.

It's been an insanely frantic morning here; with deliveries and moving studio stuff. I'm just having a bit of a sit down before I go run some necessary errands.

OH... and next week, Hol's drainage issues will be amended and we'll get 14 dump truck loads of gravel on the drive. It's 2-3 miles long. VERY nice young man with his own company and Hol's eyes lit up like lighthouse beacons meeting him. Said he was very cute but likely too young for her to chase; she noticed he didn't have a ring on - which for tradesmen is just a way to protect their hands. We giggled silly giggles over how smitten she was. He on the other hand, was very professional and all business. Liked having what he calls an easy job.

She has another friend here helping to move a sofa from the studio that's going to auction. And another will be coming out to complete the greenhouse with her. So, she's already replacing S, practically speaking. Oh, and the ladies will be here for Walpurgisnacht... altho S will be noticeably absent; AGAIN.

So YEAH, Hol's been driving herself nutz being way too much in her head. It's good to see her moving/doing again. Fingers crossed her situation resolves one way or another without me.
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lighter

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2024, 03:21:07 PM »
Two phrases come to mind, regarding Hol.

"What are you gonna do about that?"

and ....
"Let me know how that works out for you."

Not saying it's easy to stay mum when a child is struggling.  Just saying it takes us out of the equation if we (yes, the royal, Hops) step out of the way so all the child sees is themself with nothing else to push against besides their issues.

You can't solve Hol's problems, Amber and I know you know that.

You aren't abandoning her if you allow her to have her problems fully, on her own, IME.  You're opening up space for her to identify options and realize her power, IMo. 

I think that hits people hard .... that helpful chemical dump accompanying the realization no one will save us, so we better save ourselves, IME.

Really feeling the responsibility settle on one's shoulders, bc no one else is stepping up to carry an ounce of it feels......
very real, IME. 

Sobering.....focused..... seriously in need of resolution.

It's raining here now and I want to check on all the new transplants.  I hope you find joy and focus on your stuff, Amber. 

I'm trying to take my own advice regarding a struggling  DD today.  I've been distracted....changing travel plans ...trying to position myself, but it's not easy.

And so....into the rain I go, hoping peace and clarity fill and keep me calm.....at a flexible, but consistent distance so DD finds she can trust and count on herself. 

The journey continues.

Lighter

sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2024, 08:32:59 AM »
In this episode of the young(ish) and anxious...

Holly's drama factory has spawned yet another "threat" to worry about. An old friend who's actively turned threatening and refusing to accept her rejection of his persistent advances. Both B and I have offered her practical steps to take to protect herself. She may call another friend of hers, who has strong law enforcement contacts. This is on top of the S issues, trying to maintain a social life and getting things done in the studio, plants in the ground, dogs cared for.

I think she's pushing herself to a breaking point. I haven't seen her actually RELAX in weeks. And she's nitpickingly critical - and desperately clinging to trying to control for every variable in the universe while holding herself blameless. To the point of hurting my feelings pretty intensely a couple days ago. Despite her claims to the contrary, I think she's completely losing her shit. Hopefully, it's just temporary.

I'm hanging in there - but have been VERY busy what with deliveries, swapping items in the studio, planning/ordering and trying to cope with her verbal processing sessions. But my list of to-dos is only growing as the mountain turns green... the house needs to continue getting a spring clean... and I need to remember to eat. New contractor is supposed to start today - he promised; he said he's be here Monday and I have a job that NEEDS to get done that will interfere with his work.

I got a LOVELY assortment of more medicinal herb plants from Richter's (in Canada) again. I really need to get them in the ground and start working outside while Hol finishes the ceiling. First batch of seeds needs tending today, finish laundry... start working on beds & plant the onions/garlic. I'm late getting those in but it's been wet and I even got chilly enough I had a fire going a week ago.

SO busy this time of year! I'm trying to stay focused on the to-dos and NOT navel-gaze over the same ground that HAS solutions but no one seems to want to go there. So, I'm going to carve out my own path and let Hol flail a bit more. FFS, she's old enough to be able to sort all this out and take care of herself better than this. She doesn't need a mommy. She knows this - and despite me shifting out of that mode, to more friend mode of interaction - anything I say or do for her CAN trigger a resentment reaction.

B has his own drama factory "back at the ranch". He said he's packing light and leaving as soon as he can for the next month's appts. We aren't talking as much as either of us likes. But the connection is still strong and clear. He's definitely a rock... with feelings too! LOL. A rare gem.
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sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2024, 10:04:58 AM »
Well now, the mysteries are cleared up.

S invited Hol down to see a movie and go to dinner, Sunday while I kept two of the dogs; she brought Beeb home for a vet appt this week. Monday early, she texted she was on her way back - way early for a "romantic overnight" ya know. One look at her face, and I knew what happened. I'd actually had a premonition of it too.

He has a new hiking "friend" - M - that he wants to pursue more of a friends with benefits situation with. But he ALSO wants to come out & spend the same quality of time here with Hol, that he has for 5 years. Hol understands somewhat the "non-manogamous" lifestyle, intellectually. But clearly, she's not cut out for that and wants an engaged, active partner. Good thing we're under a burn ban still or she woulda had a huge bonfire already.

I think she understands now, about her choice Lighter. She spent 6 hrs with me yesterday verbally processing all her feelings and beginning to wrap her head around this. She is still having to guess at just what S really wants, and is hanging onto the POSSIBILITY (however slim) that he'll come dragging himself back here, a changed man. She knows it's a longshot. He's told her he isn't happy here - feels lazy & incompetent. She insists he's the only one who can change that. He said she isn't "fun" - because she's working herself to death on the projects she wants to develop out here. Likes sharing that with her friends. I don't think he's on the friend list even, any more - despite her claims otherwise. She understands she's been used as a stepping stone to his "new life".

So, this morning she's in a whole new world and has an opportunity to not make the same mistakes again. Thing is, he sold her on essential green man, homesteader lifestyle - only to wind up in a basement apartment in the DC suburbs. Not even enough yard for his dog. He made a lot noise signifying nothing REAL about his ability or desire to actually make the effort required. He just wants to surf from one temporary hedonistic high to another with no accountability. I don't find this a redeeming characteristic - especially as judgemental as he is about others. (He's still afraid of B - despite how much B has helped out & fixed the things S broke.) Hol is still insisting that S is a good person... sigh. If he is such a good person, why didn't care enough about what SHE was feeling and needing help with?

Whatever. OPPs. But I think she's past the stage where the facts were smacking in the face to the point that she now has to corral some of her feelings into a new direction. She does need to come to terms with her hopelessness about meeting someone new and better suited. And the tendency to blame herself (where does she get that, I wonder?) for why he couldn't/wouldn't do more.

We have a little bit of priming left to do in the studio, then we can start painting. Work is good for her. Contractor's are about done with driveway; much nicer than the neglected country road in TO the driveway. Most of the cabinet stuff is here now. Custom cabinets won't be ready till June.

Contractor is here, checking progress. Maybe getting his check too. Didn't take the whole 5 days he estimated. We're definitely offering him a couple more jobs! All veterans and they don't dilly-dally.
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sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2024, 08:03:57 AM »
WELL. She certainly processed all her feelings about S in record time. I guess all the pre-grieving she did does have a use. She's back centered & grounded and now the topic is how she can get away to do things she's interested in with other people, as a way to meet someone new.

This weekend she'll have her group of lady friends out for Beltane fire. Studio is ready to paint, too.

Contractor is DONE with driveway, two days early and a grand under the estimate. But he'll be back to build a couple projects - fence and equipment shed - so she can check out all his guys. LOLOL. I am really impressed with this guy; younger guy - Hol thought he was VERY attractive, jumping right to, to get things done and doing math in his head. I definitely like him and how he operates/does business. He was recommended by the biggest, oldest commercial site prep company in the city over the mountain and is a local guy to me. And he likes our place.

B will be home Monday. He can help me with the garden, I need to get some stuff planted NOW.

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Hopalong

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2024, 11:52:32 AM »
Whoosh! And, gee willikers.

Dunno if I "disapprove" of open relationships or just think they're deeply unrealistic, and except for a few, usually wind up in HURT. I might've once viewed it differently, when I still had hormones. Of course it'd be nice if Hol fully freed herself, but her path may be rocky to give her strong muscles for the future.

I'm bemused. There are humans, including attractive intelligent male ones, in the town near y'all. There must be a few peaceful pubs. But finding some group activity there would be a more practical way to connect. Volunteer for something local if she's willing. That's what I'd do in her lonely shoes. She doesn't have to give up the city and work connections, but maybe find some local ways to connect to the social web.

Sounds like she works like an engine just like her Mom. I personally think you both work too much, and perhaps that's one observation S made of Hol that could be fair to ponder. But what floats one boat sinks another and you two are sorta Amazons and seem to be happiest when pushing to the limit. Lighter is too.

I've completely lost track of what full productivity looks like, but I've turned out to feel happier the less that's on my plate. As Stanley Kunitz once said to me, "Carpenters at work look busy; poets at work look abstracted." (Probably told this one here sometime already.) But I'm at peace with the abstraction, which gets nothing done that's externally practical or productive.

Hearing about your absolutely whirlwind lives is fascinating and engaging to me.
I wish you happy-busy, same to Hol, and loved seeing your comment on B, too.

Hugs,
Hops
« Last Edit: April 24, 2024, 02:33:36 PM by Hopalong »
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sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2024, 09:34:43 AM »
Yeah, I think her BRAIN thinks this non-manogamy is something she SHOULD agree with. She's not entirely sure about that, as regards her feelings. My observation is that everyone actually defines that philosophy differently; we used to call that "playing the field", right? Secondly, what she WANTS from a partner is a solid, show up & help out type with some skills... that she can also enjoy spending time with and have fun adventures with. I mean, don't we all want that? In some way shape or form?

So she's willing to simply add more friends to her circle for now. And I think that's wise on her part. We started talking about the benefits I found in being alone. The thing I wasn't - much or often - was lonely. I enjoyed my solitude a great deal. She's definitely seeing the opportunities for her to explore and grow in this new phase. And she's seeing through the bit of manipulation S is trying to run in having his freedom yet still enjoy all the privileges he had before. She's not finding it an attractive arrangement - it means he'll be less engaged & present here than he was when he WAS here. She's exhaustively analyzing what she wants to do about this; how she really feels.

Working physically, for both of us, is a way to turn off the hamster wheel thought loops. Being IN our bodies and feeling that, feeling competent and safe there... is good stuff for how both she and I are built. It's taken me some time to be ABLE to do that again, but it's been worth it. She intends to also sign up for tai chi again. It's a chance to meet people and it's another good tool for quieting the mind. Connecting with one's self. She's realizing that she can help out & give more to her lady friends too. Whether just babysitting kids or connecting and supporting them. Through those local friends - she can go out more and meet people. Just because we live rural doesn't mean that's a hopeless cause. It takes a bit of coordination, support and planning but it IS doable.

So, I need to give her some space now that I know she's not going to fall apart emotionally and make some reckless impulsive decisions. Let her chew on this some more. I need to do MY stuff, with/without her help. There's no absolute deadlines, except for the planting.

B is so anxious he even packed his phone already! Heard it vibrating and had to repack that ruck. LOLOLOL.
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lighter

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2024, 03:42:08 PM »
Good riddance to S..... when and if Hol accepts his proposed arrangement to give much less.  Ptooh. I can't see her making peace with that, particularly as it takes up space for something and someone new. 

I do have to say..... I appreciate S' honesty. He didn't have to tell the truth.  He did.  That's information Hol can't ignore or explain away.  Whatever unconscious belief systems are behind her willingness to accept so little from S can be discovered and sorted, it's hoped.  Maybe all her busy-ness can be stilled for a while...... to just feel what's real and follow the feelings where they live.

Is the bonfire done?  I would have like to participate from afar.

Lighter




sKePTiKal

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Re: Captain's Log - 2024
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2024, 07:26:14 PM »
Oh, there will be more fire. We have a massive amount of cardboard from recent studio purchases and old cabinets that won't be reused.

And maybe a few other things, if Hol gets tired of waiting for him to decide if he's in or out of their relationship. Like I said, she doesn't really "feel" this non-manogamy thing. Her girlfriends shared their experiences with her and I think that helped. She's planning on working on herself with the extra time she has now.
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