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confused and in circles
September 29, 2008
6:11 pm
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oak
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hi.
i'm confused. i keep going around in circles. i know that i can't figure it out but i don't know how to get support. can someone please share any similar experiences/and or how they sought help?

i've only been in relationship w a man for 3 months. we've broken up 14 times during this process. our words don't seem to mean anything. i wasn't in relationship the year before i met him. prior to that, had some i think, unhealthy connects w narcissistic people. maybe --i'm not sure for certain.

that doesn't and shouldn't matter. but it is difficult for me to trust and to see clearly. i've never felt more confused about love and relationship.

i do have a counselor and we do talk about this issue, but it seems to keep circling in ways that i don't understand.

i break up with him because i sense that it isn't a good fit. then i feel regretful and i reinitiate. so does he. that isn't as much of an issue as i can't tell if it is good or bad for me. a couple things have happened that i'm so confused about.

i think about sex more and it keeps me from feeling present. it isn't the kind that has me browsing internet porn sites. mostly, i just have cravings for him that i've never experienced w/ a man before.

i don't understand why i don't want him but then i feel overpowering desire for him. we have intense sexual experiences.

i beat him up a couple weeks ago. i'm only 5 feet. i'm tiny! and we were having sex and for some reason it made me feel so angry the way we were having sex. so i beat the shit out of him. it felt great. he cried. and then he thanked me...said that it felt therapeutic.

i have never done this before to anyone.

i feel the most confusion right now because i want to be in relationship but it isn't quite right and the sexual attraction drives me crazy at times and is so confusing. i can't tell if it's perfectly fine to want to have intense sexual experiences. i've never really given myself to this as an adult. so it's nice. and also, i feel guilty. or i feel i'm doing something wrong. or i feel that he's not what i think he is. i know we've popped each others fantasy bubble...and i know we started intimacy way too soon. which is partly why i want to separate. but then the confusion about wanting him back as soon as i break up with him. i'm getting so sick of myself and the circle.

September 29, 2008
6:16 pm
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oak
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to clarify: i didn't beat the shit out of him. i hit him a bit on the chest...

the part about it that makes me feel weird is that i know he was abused as a child big time...

and since we have started seeing each other,he says he feels like he did when he was young and has never experienced this before.

i felt terrible to hit him initially --i want to make that clear. it made me cry. and then it felt strangely good because i feel there is an anger in me that he too is tapping into inside of me.

but then i feel ---shit, i just beat someone, and i don't want to be a violent person. and why did he like it? and will he ask me to do it again? we haven't been physical since then --it was 2 weeks ago.

i don't like that i obsess over him during the cycles when i break up with him. that's the part that bugs me.

yes, have read about codependency for a long time. yes, aware that this lives in me.

the part i like is that the circles/cycles reveal things in each of us that we are individually seeking help about. the part i don't like is the neurotic part of the cycle...

i don't know what to trust...if it is ultimately healing
or ultimately
destructive

September 29, 2008
7:21 pm
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fantas
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It's good that you have many questions about this relationship. I think on one level you two can help each other heal your wounds because you seem to trigger that in each other. However, I do not think that hitting each other or the push pull nature of your relationship is what will do it. You both need intense therapy before you can have a calm relationship. What are your wounds from your childhood?

Keep posting!

September 29, 2008
11:53 pm
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IslandMermaid
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oak,

"and we were having sex and for some reason it made me feel so angry the way we were having sex. so i beat the shit out of him. it felt great. he cried. and then he thanked me...said that it felt therapeutic. "

Without knowing more details, I wonder why you got so angry that you wanted to hurt him. The fact that he said it felt therapeutic is disturbing to me. I know that there are men out there that enjoy pain. There are men that are turned on by pain or degradation in fact cannot become sexually aroused without it. There is a whole subculture of men like this. Some of these men will deliberately antagonize women so they lash out verbally or physically. They get aroused by the degradation. He may have been sexually abused as a child and reenacts this childhood trauma through the abuse he invites.

Some people like to be whipped or beaten because they claim that feeling that pain is the only way to overcome the pain that is deep inside them. They claim that is how they transcend it. If your partner is like this, it may take years of intensive therapy before he can have a normal relationship. I would recommend therapy for yourself too.

September 30, 2008
10:31 am
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oak
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thank you for your replies island mermaid and fantas.

i want to clarify that i am in therapy and have explored therapy for many years. this man is seeking therapy too.

i am aware that he was deeply abused as a child. a lot of child abuse by relatives. major stuff. and therapy as a child.

i know too that he is experienced a lot of other challenging emotional issues --such as a partner who died in his arms while pregnant. he lost her and their unborn son. he was 21.

i can't imagine these things. i've been drawn to men who have histories of emotional andor physical abuse. i do not understand why and am exploring this in therapy.

i also have had strange situations arise in the last year or so --men asking me to beat them. i have declined these offers. i do not understand violence in relation to sex. however, as it came up in me a couple weeks ago --and i did hit my lover, i was really surprised to find myself inside of a situation i never thought i'd engage in.
why did it feel therapeutic to me? so much violence in this culture. i've experienced a lot of oppression as a woman and also a person raised in poverty. i know that violence isn't the answer and on some level, it felt really right to me. i can't explain it. i was troubled by it for the last two weeks and finally have had the courage to bring it up anonymously.

there is a desire for so much non-violence in this world. i have shut off the violent part of myself to believe that nonviolence and peace and other forms of healing is the way, so to speak.

well, i am owning and claiming that there is violence inside of me. knowing that i do not need to return to this, hving tasted and experienced it within myself, it is/was somehow potent, in that it is integrating a shadow aspect of myself. i don't need ot engage in it unconsciously. i don't have a substance abuse problem and won't find myself asleep to my witness self to lash out this way again.

why did it arise? i was making art. he was behind me asking if he could make love to me while i paint. i said yes. it was slightly more rough than i like. i continued to explore this while making art. i was drawing the image of a black widow spider --something too that i associate with violence and also the entrapment of a web --the poison and the danger of getting too enmeshed with someone. i started to feel such rage while making this image and feeling him behind me. i can't explain it. i turned around and pushed him. i went back to making the image and he continued to make love to me from behind. i did not say no because i was intrigued by what we were doing in relation to the making of this image...

as i saw the image take shape i felt a primal anger in me...deeper than my relationship to him or to my family. it was the violence of violence in general and the feeling of rage that is alive in me at times and does not need to be pathologized.

i turned and hit him. i told him i wanted to hit him. he said okay. and then it came kind of strong...partly because i felt that the way he was making love to me made me feel degraded slightly.

and then he cried and i saw in him a little child.

and then i felt terrible for what happened. but also that feeling inside of 'oh my gosh, i just did the one thing in the world i believed i would never do..' and the thought of that i am a violent person too, i cannot cut it off from me just because i think it is bad and wrong. i have it in me and so i am owning this. so i can accept it and work on it consciously.

he told me it was strange --that he felt he was asking for it by the way he was making love to me...that he understood my anger and felt that he provoked it. he felt strange about it too.

we looked at the image of the black widow spider that was being made while we were in this strange intense dance. it was strange to see her. exposed and primal and ugly and also beautiful.

that is in me but i don't need to be unconscious to it. i can see her and bring her to the light and not hide her.

for me, it is a way to own what is toxic in me and to be more aware that i don't need to identify with it and that i can move forward.

i don't know. we've not made love since then. he's away and i'm fine. he's looking at his own anger issues that have arisen in regards to our connection. i am too.

September 30, 2008
11:20 am
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fantas
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Oak, It's great that you are able to embrace all aspects of yourself. Each one of us is capable of violence, no question about it. As someone who has suffered a lot of violence as a child, I feel that our violent state isn't out highest form of being. I remember the looks of those who hit me and in their eyes was always loathing and detest for me. It's something that withers the the core of the soul. To realize that another human being has mustered the animosity and hate it takes to enable them to hurt you in a way that could possibly take your life, is very shaming and alienating.

IMO, the fact that he made love to you in a way that caused you to want to hit him and he admits that he did that intentionally, tells me that he wasn't coming from a loving place and neither were you when you hit him. Whether you realize it, this affects you or confirms to both of you the shame and hurt you both felt when you were hurt previously. The intensity you feel towards each other is, again IMO, not coming from a love for each other at all. You need another form of outlet that doesn't involve hurting each other. Have you considered the fact that he could turn around and kick the shit out of you for the same reason, in the heat of passion? Would you feel as loving towards him then or would you call the police?

It's great that you are in therapy. Keep going until you get to the bottom of why you are attracted to these men who want to be hurt or to hurt others. What type of childhood did you have emotionally, I mean.... Keep posting!!!

September 30, 2008
11:53 am
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oak
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I've never been hit by a partner. It would be terrible if he hit me. I don't want to think of that happening. I need to admit that I've been concerned a little about that. Or about some other weird outburst and yet I kind of go amnesiac on myself to avoid really feeling this as a reality because it seems so awful to consider. Because he is in anger management therapy, i feel a bit safer. However, I don't trust that he is consistent about his word. and that too is confusing to me. I feel discernment maybe over half the time, and then there are times when i don't, and so yes, the circle of confusion.

What kind of childhood? I can say in a nutshell that I do not remember it vy well. I know that mom and dad divorced when I was 5. I know that dad had problems. He died when I was ten --in prison, which had been hidden from me. He was in prison for insurance fraud. I learned most about him and my mother's relationship by discovering a lawsuit hearing filed by my mother. The prison neglected his health and so we eventually won a small amount of money for their negligence. And in the hearing was info about him --that he was emotionally a bit off prior to being in prison. That he was selling child pornography (i have no memory of being sexually abused by him) I was sexually mistreated by a babysitter and in school as a little girl --and did tell on each occasion.

I know that my father was a compulsive liar. He was probably narcissistic though who knows. I know that when I was with him the world ended becauswe he did interesting things w me as a kid --tried getting me into showbiz, which I really dislike looking back on now but at the time, thought it was cool to be in hollywood and trying out for different movies and what have you.

Mom said dad had substance abuse issues. I remember him visiting me when i was 8 and freaking out because he seemed strange and mom getting upset and yelling and him leaving the next day with a letter written to apologize.

I received his letters while he was in prison and they were very amazing to me. mom moved us to an economically depressed part of the country --where she was from --all the way from california.

so, his letters were amazing to me because he tried teaching me things that schools wouldn't teach me...like how to think. he sent interesting antique books and letters filled with math and english problems.

mom was not emotionally available.
i was in love with my father from a distance.

i sense that my dad was really emotinoally messed up. mom tells stories of how he abandoned my sis and i in a park one afternoon, i was 5, he gave me a dime and said,here,call me when you are ready.

i do not remember this.
nor do i remember him telling me constantly that he would come and see me and then not coming. mom said i'd sit at the window all day and wait. she'd say, he's not coming and i'd say yes he is.

i do not remember this.

my life takes on memory quality after we moved from hollywood.

i know that dad was a compulsive gambler --we lost a house to his gambling. i do not remember this.

the fbi came to our house looking for him in connection with his best friend who had robbed a bank. i do not remember this.

i remember him telling larger than life tales and being a mythic kind of figure in my eyes.

i am attracted to men who are vy intelligent but also who are a bit like what i remember of my dad: rebellious, lost, emotoinally hurt.

what freaks me out in my current relationship (which is sort of not in relationship status since the time i beat him up)
is that he lied to me big time once, and i thought --what if he is like my dad? and what if it is going to bring up all my dad stuff that i don't remember! and mom thought maybe dad was schizophrenic...and so as a child, why can't i remember some of the earliest stuff w my dad. was he a weirdo and i can't remember it? all i know is i attract men who are emotionally vy hurt inside. and men who are not available. and have chosen not to be in relationship for 7 years. have had a couple brief flings in between. but periods of celibacy and deep inner work. to explore my own inner stuff for some time...and so when this relationship came up, i was delighted to explore it, and have been amazed at how much shit has come up so fast. it's the weirdest relationship i've ever been in.

September 30, 2008
12:00 pm
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oak
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thank you fantas...for reading the thread and asking questions. i'm bummed that i can't feel my discernment all of the time. days when i can, i feel great, but then days when i can't, i feel i can't see and a weird numbing takes over me. trying to accept it --in therapy and outside of therapy.

also, it's great that this man is away right now. he's a folk musician and is on the road on a tour for 3 weeks. it helps that he is away. i say i don't want to be with him but then i call him to say that i miss and love him. and then i call to break up with him and then call to say i love him. why do i do this? this bugs me. in discernment, i feel more awake and see it and then the numbing and i override my own wisdom to call.

i know that i can handle being alone. yet sometimes the numbness of it hits so hard and i'm acting on autopilot.

i feel frustrated about that. particularly because on the days when there is numbing, he feels strange and aloof in response to me and then on days when there is discernment, we are having mature, conscious conversations. it's like walking a non-dual world with him where it is both/and, not either or. i hate that. i would like a healthy relationship. or not to be in relationship. i'm in conflict about that. maybe it is better not to be in relationship but it's brought so much to the surface that i'm so intrigued.

but then i think of the close calls we've had w violent outbursts in our language (and then me hitting him)
and wonder
this is helpful to me. i know i'm going in circles a bit here and there but honestly, it is vy therapeutic to get it out like this. even if no one reads it. it's great medicine!

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