You move as a unit...the penis...stays all the way in the vagina and the bodies rotate and move about this primary connection...any number of positions can be found. In fact with every centimeter you move, your bodies configure into a new position. (Richardson,D 2003:132)
In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson. - Tom Bodett
Week 18 is a week finds us on the one hand celebrating our progress, but find the week in general to be dominated by crisis. I see this as a Test, but maybe i'm a masochist. Anyway can the balance and harmony engendered by our karezza journey help us withstand external crises and personal weakspots? Do i, in adversity, become better acquainted with himself? Hopefully.
Had a couple of good long walks in the weekend.
Last night she was a bit fragile from the burdens of life, and yet in spite of the presence of visitors still managed to be affectionate and reached out to offer to hold me on the couch at one point. Then in bed the same, when normally she would be shrinking inside herself with worry, she allows me to hold her. Again in the morning, instead of getting up, i stay in bed for a half hour to hold her close. As a general rule i no longer get erections when we cuddle, although this morning i did briefly, but it feels undemanding. I tell her she makes me happy.
There’s two things going on with qigong. One, my legs are struggling to keep up with the new series. On one hand they say to persevere in increments, but on the other they say not to cause pain. So I’m not sure there. The other is that as my breathing becomes more natural, it feels like my lungs can’t provide enough air to satisfy my belly. I know this sounds odd, but that’s what it feels like. I’ve had the briefest and lightest of head colds the last couple of days that consisted of about 3 coughs, and 5 croaks. Its felt strange like a cold that isn’t a cold. It will be interesting to see if qigong actually has any noticeable effects on my health.
Day 120 PM0:4,23,10, Post O Me/her:8 days/38days, POST PVI/Other: 2 days
Outside in the cool clear morning, qigong takes on a whole new beauty. I’m holding Cohen's/Chen's second position, when a (normally skittish) wild hare comes to visit me. I’m standing like a tree, amongst the trees, the rising sun at my back. The hare comes to rest just above the shadow of my head. It sits there square on to me, upright, ears pointy, calm, watching me for about 10 minutes. Then my little friend takes a circuit around me, then wanders nonchalantly away.
Yes, there’s definitely something changing in my breath. The way the belly inflates feels more obvious, dramatic. That’s the best i can describe it at the moment. I’m on decidedly new ground.
She arrives home in a right state. I’ve never seen her like this i don’t think. She looks like a zombie, and basically ignores me, heads straight to her laptop and immerses herself there. I’m sort of pacing about the house tidying and temporarily adrift. I’m aware of wanting to leave her to it [ie. flee], but once that registers i get some resolve. I have to literally man handle her so that i can hold her from behind while she fusses pointlessly on the laptop. I massage her neck and back, and then brush her hair at length, she’s trying to ignore me but cant. My attention is slowly seeping in, but its like inflating one of those awful air beds, nothing seems to happen for ages, then slowly slowly a vestige of smile forms. She finally tells me about her woes, a nasty combination of things happening in her world. Family, work all conspiring.
As much as these circumstances are quite a bit to have on a worry-worts shoulders, its a macrocosm or larger version of how she normally lives her life. So oddly its familiar to me, even if larger than life. Eventually she falls asleep in my arms, me holding her tightly, about 8. I take her to bed, mindful that tonight's date has gone very very pear shaped. I assume the point of the schedule is to make sure it happens especially when we don't feel like it. In my mind we have three choices, a) try to get her to just even connect and sleep, b) do something small in the morning, c) postpone til tomorrow. On the other hand maybe the best thing i can do to hold the helm is give her some space, and try to stay out of it.
She’s awake now and i start to mention some of this, but she just looks blankly out into space. I ask her what she’s thinking and she says about all the things i have to do. I say to look at me, which she does reluctantly, but as we gaze into each others eyes, she’s kind of there, but not there, definitely in pain. I remind her to take each problem at a time, when each arrives, no point worrying now about things that haven’t actually happened yet, or those things already fait acompli. Still conflicted i turn the light out when she promises to sleep and not lay awake worrying. But she does lay awake worrying and i lay there regretting my decision to let it slip.
Darryl's admonition for the males of the world to grow a spine, and my ardent support of same, is all too fresh in my mind. I know thats my Big Challenge. I am a wimp, thats the reality. I ponder this as we eventually drop off to sleep the date awash in a sea of silent emotion.
I wake abruptly at 4.30, get up and meditate til 5.
I’m all too ready to transfer my want of firm helm into her rejection of me. I can almost see how it could happen, how its trying to happen. It’s fascinating actually. Painful but fascinating! This is all a test upon our newfound stability, and I’m not sure that I’m entirely prepared.
Day 121 PM0:4,23,10, Post O Me/her:9 days/39days, POST PVI/Other: 3 days
I make the uneasy decision to post something on reuniting about what’s going on. I’m supposed to be tough, i don’t need help, who me, I’m not vulnerable, for a male isn’t that the all american way? The replies mean a lot to me, and are right on, of course.
I did manage to tell her before she left for work that i would make sure we have some time together tonight, despite the fact that we were supposedly having guests. I'm not sure how much strength i have. I also found out yesterday my fathers prostate cancer has spread and he’s been given 6 months. I’m not close to him, and file this to deal with later.
I wouldn’t say i was toppled exactly, but am certainly distracted or flat all day and if it were not for the sensible decision to go work outside straight off, that i would probably have got nothing done all day. After lunch i look at chainsaw websites, the male equivalent of shoe shopping. Finally a little work work around 3-5. Dealing with clients snaps me back into a world where people aren’t stressed.
Then when she arrives home, she’s in a different mood. She’s stuffed it down somehow, and has put on a face of 'professional' 'ok', or as they used to say in the nineties, 'fine'. I stall a bit but finally ask the people who were coming for dinner for a raincheck. It’s a bit uneasy, I’ve had to be staunch.
Once in the bath her angst all returns, and it’s a short bath. For her, now, stopping itself is problematic. And she is yawning prolifically, doesn’t want to do any breathing exercises, and flops on the bed and stares out into space. I can get her to look at me for a bit then she develops a sore neck. We do talk some, and i tell her what some qigong writer said about thinking about a smile, about how infectious it is in terms of body relaxation.
In time, she sees that I’m just here for her, and starts to relax. I read her chapter 14. We laugh about how we’ve already mastered chapter 14, before we even read it. I kiss her and that seems to do the trick. She perks up, stops yawning for a while, and we manage a half hour connected. I don’t think she’s doing it for me, and i don’t think I’m doing it for me, both know that it will be good for us as a whole. I can tell when she’s done and get scissors sorted. She goes out like a light bulb, and still connected i lay and watch over her for a half hour.
When we wake up at 5, i try to cuddle with her, but she’s resistant. I ponder all the things this incident has shown me, about her, about me and about us. It really has been an almost laboratory grade opportunity to study some of the core dynamics of our relationship up close. Specifically how when shes stressed she retreats, and it doesn’t mean anything in particular about how she feels about me, as i have all too often wrongly interpreted. The difference is that we are now experiencing this from an unusually stable baseline space, created by our four month karezza journey. Previously she was pretty much like this 24/7, and taking it personally was more or less inevitable.
Of course i know something about retreated family members well. I had plenty of them. Both in person and those literally departed.
20 minutes of qigong seems an eternity. My jaw is set firm and my tongue not gently resting but thrust onto the upper palette. Thoughts form in abundance. But its kind of a louie style reflection and my thoughts are gently on my progress.
I realise that this is day 10 of my third reboot, and so far there’s no withdrawal symptoms at all. Nothing, except if you count that excuse of a head cold. It’s like with usb ports, with mini-b just when you thought they couldn’t make them any smaller they come up with micro-b. 45 days, brief interlude, 30 days, brief interlude. Where to now i wonder?
Day 122 PM0:4,23,10, Post O Me/her:10 days/40days, POST PVI/Other: 1 days
Kind of a silly question really. But maybe the answer will turn out to be that all this training to overcome my stubborn PMO addiction will turn out to be useful in learning to manage my response to my beloveds disappearing behavior.
I had a good day, but feeling a bit tired, and a bit behind with work and need to apply myself to avoid letting people down. She comes home after a 'frustrating day' a day where nothing goes right. She hits the wine and falls asleep in my arms at 7. I put her to bed at 8, when she asks me for my laptop, she left hers at work. I don’t know what i was thinking, it caught me off guard, after all thursday is date night, but i gave it to her without comment. That was a mistake, not one that i will soon repeat. She consumes an hour on facebook reading inane sound bites from near strangers, while I’m laying beside her quietly fuming.
We hadn’t discussed it, but given the events of the last two days, i had sort of assumed that our wednesday date was in lieu of both tuesday and thursday. But here was an hour where it could easily have occurred. I roll over and bury my head in the covers. She asks me if I’m mad at her, and just say that the light is bright.
But after rising at 4, i ponder what a good opportunity this is to examine my reaction to this recurring rejection pattern. After all, the last two days show pretty graphically what’s happening for her. She’s just doing what she does when stressed. Healthy or otherwise its her business. And it was me who let the date go, so i have no one to blame but myself.
The lesson learned, for now, is that holding the helm means learning to be firm with her [ed. ok i haven’t got it yet], to make sure we connect in at least some way, regardless of whether she’s present or zombified. I need to find the strength for this, she needs the tlc, and our relationship needs the balance and stability. So its a no brainer. But... there’s also a hurt laying buried in me, that remains ever illusive. [ed. uhuh]
After some reflection, the kind that only 5am quiet allows, i imagine how as an adult that i can either help manage the behavior from my loved ones drama [ed. or my own] and the resulting 'neglect', or i can seek other sources of comfort. In other words i have choices. Not so as a child, neither of those options were open to me.
Day 123 PM0:4,23,10, Post O Me/her:11 days/41days, POST PVI/Other: 2 days
This all gets worse before it gets better. I should have listened to enlightenmentgirl, and others advising to just let her work it out.
After she got up yesterday i go to her, give her a big hug and tell her some of what I’m thinking about my lab experiment, about how I’m learning from this, but she doesn’t like being a science experiment, finds a single word to react to, and we end up arguing about me adding to her woes. I guess given the history it was inevitable that i wouldn’t be able to stay out of it for ever.
We part both of us very upset, this contrasting dramatically with the preceding several months of harmony. I skip qigong because i suspect that ill just worry through it, and instead go do some work outside for the morning. By the time i come inside, almost all of my clients without exception are all trying to get hold of me.
When she comes home she looks like someone who has stuffed all of this and more down. Frankly she looks like she’s ready to explode. She desperately tries to bury herself in her laptop again. I ask her if that’s really what she needs to be doing, and recognising that she might just well hurl the thing, miraculously she does put it down. There are tears forming, which she quickly wipes away.
When in the bath there’s more yelling and for my part at least i have her attention, she’s engaged. Her, 'You cant possibly know what this job is like, how everyone is so demanding, i just need some time to myself without you taking it personally'. Me, 'our relationship has to come before our jobs'. But as we argue, we both gradually deflate, until we are talking quietly. Its mostly me making the concessions, there’s just too many good clues in there to ignore, to stubbornly stick to my indignant hurt. For a start i don’t miss the fact that the comment above about at least i have her attention is very childlike. Then she hits me with, 'its like you think that when i retreat ill never come back'. The inarguablility of this strikes me, and i figure ill never crack this if i don’t accept such gifts of common sense and clarity from a person who is just so way off balance. 'You didn’t plan the schedule disruptions properly', i take on board not as, why was it my responsibility, but as, if i wanted to be firm then that was a good a place as any to use it, making sure the schedule renegotiatons occurred smoothly.
For the first time in 3 days she begins to look semi-animated, de-zombiefied. Ironically our fight seems to have done her some good. For her part she says that expressing her feelings is something she’s been afraid to do in case her SO leaves. I missed the significance of that at the time. I’m kind of glad she got to yell now. I think we have both grown up some more this week.
Day 124 PM0:4,23,10, Post O Me/her:12 days/42days, POST PVI/Other: 3 days
Its saturday, Im up at my favorite hour, and enjoying a good qigong session, finally completing all 4 sequences in turn. The four stages all play a role, warming up, purification, building qi, and spreading qi. Until yesterday i didn’t even know that the fourth stage existed, its taken me so long to work through the first 3. I probably wouldn’t have had the strength to sustain them anyway.
At 6.30am I’m almost done when she starts getting fidgety, is about to reach for the laptop, so i go to her, slightly earlier than we'd agreed. As she has work commitments on sunday we had previously agreed to move sunday morning to saturday morning. The miracle of all this is that she hasn’t spat the dummy and completely relinquished all commitment to the schedule. I interpret that, and it’s very much confirmed after our session, as that it has become too valuable to her to let go of.
We have a lovely session as good as any previous. We discover, in the pursuit of movement and comfort, a couple more position variants. I’ve given up cataloging them all, positions between other positions, momentary snapshots in time of a dance of limbs. She’s smiling the whole time, and incredibly relaxed inside, which feels so nice. By 8.30am we are done, such efficiency, we laugh, as she gets on with her day of home work.
I reflect on how the role of my penis has changed, how i feel about it has changed. There’s a new association forming between it and the wonderful sensation of being truly connected with her. That’s got to be a good thing, no?
I do some practical tasks to help her out in the morning, then sleep away the afternoon... again, its the second day in a row. She’s happy to have completed her work, and come evening we watch adjustment bureau and i offer to hold her, but shes adamant she wants to hold me. She's buoyant in spite of all that’s going on. All is well in the world of mr and ms treehouse for now.
Day 125 PM0:4,23,10, Post O Me/her:13 days/43days, POST PVI/Other: 1 days
There’s lots going on and my writing this week is likely somewhat incoherent. On Sunday I find out some more about my childhood from my mother which will likely be the subject of next weeks post. But it’s also more and more likely that my beloveds mother will die soon and the subsequent travel will disrupt posting, work and life in the near future. Thanks reuniters for just being here. Thinking about you all beavering away endeavouring to make your relationships more harmonious will keep me going I am sure.