Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Expectations, accusations and insecurities, oh my

I'm going to start this one out with song lyrics, because it captures my mood and my frame of mind of late. Yes, Ang, despite all the crazy, this IS my state of mind...explanation to follow:

A drop in the ocean
A change in the weather

I was praying that you and me might end up together
It's like wishing for rain as I stand in the desert

But I'm holding you closer than most cause you are my heaven

I don't wanna waste the weekend
If you don't love me pretend

A few more hours then it's time to go

As my train rolls down the east coast I wonder how you keep warm
It's too late to cry
Too broken to move on

And still I can't let you be
Most nights I hardly sleep

Don't take what you don't need from me

Misplaced trust and old friends
Never counting regrets

By the grace of God I do not rest at all

New England as the leaves change
The last excuse that I'll claim
I was a boy who loved a women like a little girl

Heaven doesn't seem far away anymore
Heaven doesn't seem far away

This song, perhaps more than any other, captures where my mind is and has been for several weeks. 

Truth time. 

Five years ago, I was in a relationship that was...wonderful. In part. I'm going to try to make a long story short here - pray for me, LOL. Let me set the stage. In RL at this time, I was dealing with my terminal father, the recent ugly end of my marriage, and my D/s and bff relationship with my then and still roommate going through some major changes and essentially morphing into something...insecure and unstable. In short, RL was...a mess. So I got involved more heavily into SL. 

In SL, I was a few months into having been abandoned by my first significant relationship there. I was ready to move on and try again. I applied for a *match* service at HoV, and very quickly found something that caught my interest. A Dom/Domme couple, rl and sl, that wanted a 3rd, a sub/switch to share. I messaged them and introduced myself, and we arranged to meet that evening. When I first laid eyes on the woman, I was lost. Just...gone. The guy...was a good person, a sweetheart, funny, sexy, smart, fun, just...not her. We wound up in a complicated relationship with my RL involved to some degree as well. We all got along beautifully, and had talked about meeting, as we were only a few hours apart. 

Mind you, I was head over heels for this woman - who you, lovely reader, know as Angela...from day one, and it got nothing but stronger as the relationship progressed. Egos happened..miscommunications happened, bullshit moves from butthurt people (myself included) happened, and her RL decided that the relationship as it was wasn't working for him, so they decided to focus on each other. I was still welcome in the family, however, just not in the same role. 

About this time, my first SL *partner* reappeared, and re-entered my life. I was..flabberghasted, to say the least. I introduced my family and them, and it was...tense. Long story short, things started to get dicey for Angela, and I put her feelings and her RL relationship ahead of my own, and I chose to leave rather than cause more pain. I went back to my old partner, who - surprise - disappeared again. 

We tried, Ang and I, to stay close during the next few months, but eventually she - and her RL - left SL I was lost - just...completely lost. 

Over the next few years, Ang would return periodically, and whatever mistaken relationship I was involved with at the time would take a backseat, as I knew they were all only an attempt to find someone half as wonderful and perfect as she was. She stole my focus, my attention, my heart and my soul, everytime she re-entered my line of sight. I say stole, but they were always hers, and she knows this. Our own bruised egos kept us from admitting how we felt, and while we both hoped the other still wanted to be together on each return, neither admitted it, for fear our hopes would be squashed. As a result, it never happened. But she never left my heart. After every failed relationship, my RL, who remains my best friend to this day, though we are just roommates for the past few years - would ask "What happened this time? Oh right...she wasn't Ang...".

This last time...RL was again falling apart. I was miserable, for a series of horrid decisions on my part, and in an attempt to regain some measure of happy, I'd fallen into a relationship with a wonderful woman who needed me almost as much as I needed her - maybe moreso, looking back on it, idk - hard to judge. Anyways...we had a beautiful relationship, hopeful, extremely satisfying, for what it was, for a few months. Until it got too close to home, and the idea of taking it beyond SL became less of an idea and more of a demand. It was at that point that I realized I couldn't do it. I didn't know why..I loved her, very much so, but...I couldn't. I just...couldn't. So..rather than tell her that and break her heart, I came up with a plausible reason why I couldn't be with her in RL, knowing it would cause our relationship to fall apart because - as I'd known from the start but hoped wasn't the case - I wasn't what she was looking for. I couldn't be. I deeply regret that I hurt her, that I was dishonest with her. But it happened, and I won't deny it. My feelings were no less real for my dishonest way of ending things. You can read back through my blogs if you'd like to confirm the timeline, but suffice it to say, that was the beginning of the end. Taking that RL possibility off the table was the death knell of our relationship. 

A month or so later...lo and behold..the prodigal kitten returned to SL. As was my usual mode of behavior, I immediately was drawn to her - my focus, my attention...I wanted her around all the time. I knew she didn't want to be *with* me, but I still wanted her around. So I tried to include her, tried to foster a friendship between her and my gf. They actually seemed to get along well. Until things really started hitting the fan. 

When I was informed that I wasn't *enough*...not mean enough, not rough enough, not Dom enough, not sexy enough, not not not....for my gf....I was...crushed doesn't even cover it. Devastated. As much as I wanted to be the Daddy Dom she needed and wanted, and tried to be, our relationship had gone in a different direction, at her insistence, and with my permission. Now, she wanted what we almost had in the beginning -- just not from me. 

This hearkened back to me hearing that I wasn't "the right kind" of sub/playmate from Ang's RL and the old wounds were reopened - in a big way. I needed distance.  I demanded a night off to think, left my gf to her own devices and went out to think. Ang was, of course, in my IMs and came along to keep me company. I opened up to her, told her what happened, what I was feeling, and brought up the old wounds. Brought up the fact - after several martinis - that those wounds had kept me from ever admitting my feelings for her when she came back. Whoops. Not whoops - it was a good thing to admit, and it was time. 

Well...as it turned out, she had felt the same way - still did - and wanted to give US a chance - fucking FINALLY. So...I was all in. I asked for time and patience to put a clean compassionate end to things with my gf...which, as it turns out, would never have been possible. But I tried. 

So...finally...after some drama and BS...I was with Ang. Again. In a different form, in a different role, but still with her, relearning one another. It was - and remains - a beautiful wonderful experience, even the dark twisty parts. Sometimes especially the dark & twisty parts. 

So the idea of meeting in person comes up again. Cotton candy land we call it. Only one thing stands in the way, beyond the practicalities - I have to be friends with her RL. Her RL - who was the main source of the problems and the end of our relationship 5 years ago. Her RL, who got butthurt that I was closer to her than to him. Her RL, who was the main reason she didn't feel confidence enough to think I would want her anytime over the previous 5 years, that had kept her from trying. I had to be friends with him. Well, shit. 

Understandably, I was reluctant, unsure, insecure. Especially when he was still making boneheaded asshole mistakes - with her AND with me. But you know what, I DO like him. I always have. He is still a cool guy, a little more grown up, still smart and funny as hell, still very sexy, there is still a spark...there just isn't a fucking spontaneous combustion like there was and always has been with Ang. Its like the difference between a campfire and burning man. The campfire can keep you warm, roast your wiener, toast your marshmallow, all that happy horseshit...but its not the awe inspiring, hypnotic spellbinding spiritual life-altering spectacle of burning man. Sorry, but..its not. 

So its been several weeks...and some wall of resistance in my finally broke last night, in response to Ang's last blog. I IMd him, and did this morning too, and we hung out a bit this afternoon and chatted. I think it was good progress along the road to the kind of friendship that would make cotton candy land a distinct possibility. 

Except...we spent the rest of the day dealing with perceived expectations, perceived accusations, and massive insecurities, and boneheaded behavior that perpetuated it all. While I can see both sides, it is ridiculously difficult for me to not choose one. Sometimes I want to shake them both like a British nanny and scream WAKE UP!! You LOVE each other!! Realize that and stop being an asshole about it! I am fairly confident that they will get through this..I know they've gotten through a lot worse...I'm just...scared, I guess. 

At first, I was scared that I was going to be tossed aside like the trash again, which is what I felt 5 years ago. I (mostly) got past that. I am, however, afraid that their insecurity issues will ruin the possibility of cotton candy land. 

That shouldn't be such a huge deal..except...it is. I've spent the last 5 years regretting my own actions and my own decisions and the fact that I lost her - that I lost THEM, if I'm being completely honest. I can admit that now - I'm past the anger and hurt enough to admit - I want them BOTH in my life. I want that sense of family back. I've never felt anything like it before or since, and in whatever form, I want it back. I want a chance. I really do feel - with every fiber of my being - that its possible. More than possible - probable. If everyone can take a breath before acting on somewhat self-centered impulse and realizing what effect their next action might have on the person they are most committed to. If everyone would place that person first in their list of priorities, and give them the attention and consideration that they deserve. 

And because this is my blog - mine and Ang's, but this one entry is MINE...I'm being selfish and giving voice to why I need this to work. 

My life the past 5 years has been one shitty decision after another. One dead end situation after another. One hopeless endless miserable existence, only briefly colored by the hope for something real, that was always squashed. The hope for something fulfilling, that was never quite right. Again, because "they aren't Ang"...well, and they aren't Ang & M...they aren't the family I had and lost. 

Reconnecting with Ang...the thought of cotton candy land and what might come after...the hope for changes and something more meaningful..for a new direction for my life..the very real possibility of starting over on my own with friends - family - nearby and always in my life - its everything to me. Its given me HOPE. Hope to go on. Hope to wake up everyday. Hope to take necessary steps that I've been putting off and putting on the back burner. 

Lately, that hope has been getting snuffed out by "expectations, accusations,and insecurities". Damnit, I need that hope. So quit it, LOL. Quit sniping...quit suffering in silence until shit blows up and bubbles over. The both of you. Open up. Talk to me. Let me help, even if its just as a sounding board. You both love one another. Neither of you is seeking to replace the other in any way.  You both think the other hangs the sun and the moon in your own eyes, though you won't admit it out loud to each other. And y'all call ME stubborn....

The sooner you both accept these truths, the sooner things can get on toward happy land. So - that is my expectation. Open up and talk. To me, to each other, all of the above. I care about you both - individually and as a couple - so damn much. It hurts to see you both in pain when there is NO damn reason for it, other than neither of you believing that you are worth love and devotion. I'm here to tell you - you are. 

I've been chasing my heaven - the feeling of being part of *our family* for 5 years. I thought it was lost forever...but here it is..just out of reach...mocking me..beckoning me..help me reach it. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kitty Korner: The Get Along Shirt

The phrase goes “Happy Wife; Happy Life.”  Although I am married in neither of my lives, I am starting to see the validity in that statement.  Lately, I have not been a very happy “wife” to either of my guys.  It all started Monday, with some arguments, some work foibles, and with some near tragedy, all which cost me emotionally and spun me to a dark place.  At the risk of getting too personal, we’ll just leave it at that.  I haven’t seemed to be able to shake the darkness.  Just when I think it’s gone, it crawls right back up and rears its head.

I think some of my darkness is because I don’t feel like my guys get along.  Without rehashing the past in too great detail, early into our friendship, M (my RL fiance), K, K’s bestie and I had a parting of the ways.  There were some insecurities, immaturities and situational changes that made it tough for everyone to be in the same room as each other.   M and K’s relationship suffered the most: strong, stubborn personalities too prideful to admit that the other had wounded them deeply.  To this day, while they can be in the same room as each other, it still feels tense.

When K and I finally realized the depth of our feelings for each other and fell into our relationship head first, it wasn’t without concern as to what that meant for M and K’s relationship.  K was ever respectful and M was ever trusting, so it works…in theory.  I think I am finding it doesn’t work in practice.

Another joy of K and I finally realizing the depth of our feelings for each out is that again we are entertaining the idea of meeting.  We’re only 4 hours apart, which is the perfect distance for meeting in the middle for dinner.  We hadn’t dared dream it since the 4 of us were first friends, eons ago.  Now it’s at the forefront of my… no our… minds.  We are each genuinely excited to get around a table together and break bread, seeing where that might lead.  Even M and K are looking forward to meeting each other… until they get in the same SL room to try to establish some sort of pre-dialog.  Then the hurt comes back, and the insecurity, and the reticence to ignite the whole thing again, and neither knows quite how to approach the other.

Insert me, smack dab in the middle.  And while, that’s not entirely an unwelcome place to be, it is at the moment because I feel like I’m trying to push to magnets of same polarity together.  Truth is that, though they will never see it or admit it, they are so similar.  Passionate, kind, blustery and macho on the outside, gooey on the inside, sarcastic, funny, dreamers, artistic, shy and introverted, except in SL where they put up good fronts of being cocky flirts to anything in skirts.  And both will bristle at the comparison and the characterization, though deep down, neither can dispute it.  If they would just forgive, forget, and be themselves, I know they will get along great.  But… yah, there are self-preserving walls up that are not moving, and predictably, there's no convincing the other that the other other wants to get to know the other.

Previously, I’ve taken on the role of the “creamy center” trying to sandwich these two tough cookies together.  But like oreos, the cookies never quite touch.  I feel frustrated, because I KNOW how great things could be, tired of trying to budge two immovable objects, and I’m starting to feel like the only one fighting to make things work, but am just failing by trying too hard make things work.  I push too hard, or say the wrong thing, and ultimately just enable them not interacting with each other by being the conduit.  I feel like I’ve aggravated an already tense situation.  I feel like I’ve failed and I hate failing.  So I am tendering my resignation as peace-maker and leaving these two fellas to their own devices.  If it’s meant to be, it will happen.  And I know it’s meant to be otherwise it wouldn’t feel so great and hopeful to dream about.  I just don't know how to summon the patience to sit back and let it happen without nudging (okay shoving) one side towards the other.

I feel like the only way to end it is “Ball’s in your court, boys.  You figure it out from here.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

20 Personal SL Questions - 'Berry's Blog Challenge

A little bit deeper 'Berry challenge blog this time. I guess I'm feeling the need to write, but not about anything specific. I'm sure my emotions will catch up with my brain at some point and everything will pour out like word vomit onto the virtual pages, but for now..I blog simple stuff. Everything in SL is wonderful, btw... :) Its all good emotions!

  1. When and how did you discover Second Life? – About 6 years ago, a friend of mine told me about this awesome “game” he was playing, lol. I signed up, made an avi, and never got off noob island. 6 months later, my RL roomate told me they were on SL, and helped me make another avi and get a real start. The rest, as they say, is history!

  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? – I had heard of SL in the news – various stories about ugly divorces and lawsuits over “virtual currency” but I had no clue...I'd been in various chat clients for years, but never anything like SL.
  3. Has Second Life met your expectations? – In most ways, far exceeded them. I never knew or even imagined that something like SL existed, or that you could do and experience the kind of things that you can here. Its really pretty amazing.
  4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? – You're going to meet an amazing blonde kitten that you will fall head over heels for..when it comes to a choice – DO NOT WALK AWAY!!! Stay and fight!
  5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? – Hmmm....flying I still have issues with...driving vehicles I'm pretty damn good at, lag not withstanding. It took practice though!
  6. Do you have a mystery alt? – I do not. My closest friends know all of my alts, and the purposes of each.
  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? – A little bit of both. My personality definitely comes through, with all the associated positives and negatives of ME. Physically – obviously – I'm not a male model, LOL.We do share some qualities though..a love of vodka being one...

  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? – I've been inspired by a LOT of people I've met in SL – some in positive ways (I want to do that, I can do that..I should do that...I should get off my ass and do SOMETHING...I could really make this work with her...)..some in negative (OMG do NOT turn into them....I can NOT be around this person...I have to get away from this negativity...). SL connections definitely have an effect on my RL.
  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? – I do. I have a hard time making friends in RL – I'm not a very sociable person. In fact, you might say I'm just a horrible human being because I wind up alienating myself from all but a small tight knit group of friends with my intolerance for ignorance and stupidity. I have the same problems in SL, but I tend to meet more people who are like me – and hold on to them! My friends' list right now has about 20 avis on it, that reflect about 8 actual individuals, almost all of whom I have some kind of contact and connection outside of SL with. Meaning I keep in touch with them by phone, by skype, by FB, etc etc. Or at least, have the option to. I hold on to people who are worth holding onto. The rest fall by the wayside when they show their asses.
  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? – Having been in chat clients )AOL, mIRC,yahoo, etc) for years prior to SL, I knew it was possible to develop loving feelings for someone you hadn't met in person. However, I never knew just how DEEP those feelings could go. I certainly never imagined that D/s connections could be fostered and thrive in a virtual environment before I got here.

  1. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – I've learned that its critically important to discuss expectations for potential RL involvement prior to getting serious with someone in SL – and to be painfully honest about them. I've learned that as much as some people say RL=RL, SL=SL, never the twain shall meet...its BS, lol. Emotions transcend, and your heart doesn't give a flying fuck what boundaries you try to put up. I've also come to realize that Sl relationships, even the ones that say from the outset “SL ONLY”, thrive on the fantasy of RL. The occasional comment in an intimate moment of “I wish you were here...” or “If I was there, I could...” You can't tell me its never happened to you. It happens to everyone – its human nature. And when those bubbles are burst, it tends to do irreparable harm to the relationship. People speak of a “*WALL*” in SL...a limit of growth in a relationship, a turning point, where things have to move beyond SL or expand out of it in some way shape or form, become more real or at least break outside of the confines of the viewing platform – in order to continue, to grow. I firmly believe that. Not saying every SL relationship has to go RL to continue beyond a certain point, but it does need to deepen and move beyond your standard SL relationship of “let's go out dancing tonight” or “let's stay home and fuck”. Whether that's “Hey, want to call and BS for 3 hours about nothing while we sit on our couches and log off the damn computer?” or “Hey, how about we watch a movie together on netflix?” or “Hey, how about we plan to meet for dinner next month?”...all depends on the relationship.
  1. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – . I want a work from home job so I can spend more time on SL, LOL. As far as SL employment – I prefer not to work in SL since I work in RL. I'll fill my linden coffers as needed from my RL coffers. 

  2. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. – My relationship with Angela...my RL Roomate's relationship in SL (as I'm generally the relationship therapist)...my friendship and establishing comfort level with Ang's RL fiance. So, I guess, my connections overlap significantly.

  3. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix) – I think yes...that would be pretty freaking awesome, actually. As technology hasn't expanded to that degree yet...I'll just have to settle for making cotton candy dreams come true...

  4. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? – I think many people are freer to be their ideal selves here...but many more are free to be assholes without borders – consequence free – because of the anonymity. It helps to discern the decent human beings from the wastes of oxygen. Character traits – both positive and negative – are usually exaggerated in SL. If you are a nice person in RL, you will be a wonderful person in SL. If you are an asshole in RL, you will be a MEGA asshole in SL. 

  5. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? – I never really gave it much thought. I mean, I've always had a shopping problem in SL, LOL...but I tend to stick to my budgets and bargain shop. I have my own look that I stick to in SL. I go to every fair and event to see all the new stuff that comes out, but if its not my style, I'm not going to buy it, no matter how bleeding edge it is. I will, however, point and laugh at anyone who does if so deserved :D 

  6. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? – I think a bit of both. While SL teaches you to be more cognizant of the value and tone of your words, it also gives you free reign to abuse them – within the limits of your own conscience. This again is another thing that separates the wheat from the chaff...creative, intelligent people will take a platform like SL and run with it, use the tools it provides and the power of their own imagination to enrich their experience and that of others. A boring, ignorant person will essentially become a “pose ball humper”. 

  7. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? – I think if you communicate well and take the time to get to know people...emotions are rather easily communicated even without that type of technology. Words and word choice are incredibly expressive and powerful. When you add in decent emoting of body language or whatnot...who needs electronic communication to know that someone who is “sitting on the beach, holding my knees to my chest, rocking back and forth, and quietly letting the occasional sniffle escape” is sad and hurting and in need of a hug?

  8. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. – Emoting...photo editing...virtual clothing design.

  9. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? – HAHAHA!!! Ummm....probably a little confused...and embarrassed...which would tickle me to no end.

Have you ever SecondLifed blog challenge - from Strawberry Singh

Its been an...emotionally intense...few weeks, and I thought it was a good time to do a light blog, something fun. What better way to do fun that with a Strawberry Singh blogging challenge? You can find them here.

So, without further ado:  (some pictures included throughout to emphasize)

  1. Have you ever owned a sim in Second Life? – I did own one full sim years ago - it was a PITA! I've had a few homesteads, however, and love them! Landscaping and sim design is a passion of mine in SL, so I love having that kind of freedom and EM rights. Here is an example of one of the homesteads I did that I was most proud of, and a link to the FLICKR ALBUM with others:
  2. Have you ever created content in Second Life? – I have - from simple furniture to buildings to clothing - none of it very good, mind you, LOL. 
  3. Have you ever driven a vehicle in Second Life? – Loads of times. I rather enjoy driving a motorcyle, racing along various tracks and trails – its relaxing to me. Riding horses is an especially fun way to explore park-type sims as well!

  4. Have you ever gone sky diving in Second Life? – I have not, but adding that to my list!
  5. Have you ever played a sport in Second Life? –  I don't do sports in RL, I don't do them in SL either.
  6. Have you ever gone clubbing in Second Life? –  Ummm..its SL....if you don't go clubbing, why come on??
  7. Have you ever fangirled/fanboyed someone in Second Life? – Does stalking Skip Staheli's FLICKR feed count??
  8. Have you ever taken a picture of your avatar in water in Second Life? –  I've assisted with a couple...
  9. Have you ever taken a picture of a sunset in Second Life? – Who hasn't? :)
  10. Have you ever taken a nude picture of your avatar in Second Life? – I'll echo Strawberry here – do you even know me at all?! LOL!!
  11. Have you ever dated in Second Life? –  Yeah...I've dated, I've been engaged, I was even partnered a long long time ago, and I'm very much involved with a woman that I've been in love with for 5 years now. Relationships..connections..are a HUGE part of why I'm in SL to begin with.
  12. Have you ever had or attended a wedding in Second Life? – Had one, attended many, photographed a few. They are usually disasters fraught with technological nightmares – but still beautiful.
  13. Have you ever drank, smoked or taken drugs in Second Life? – Yes, yes, and if smoking a hookah counts, then yes.
  14. Have you ever engaged in sexual activity in Second Life? –  ….I'll just leave it at YES.
  15. Have you ever been to Bukkake Bliss in Second Life? –  Not that I can recall, but I've wandered quite a bit in my 6+ years here...