I’m going to call the guy I see every Monday to talk about my brain n’ stuff Obi-wan because I have to call him something. I’ve been seeing Obi-wan for about a month now. Four visits, I think. He has some interesting theories about my life.
First, he likens my blogging to living on a reality TV show. No, he doesn’t know nor has he asked for the URL and he doesn’t know specifically what I write about, only that it’s about my sex life and deals with some specific kinds of kinky behavior and my submissiveness. I have told him how many people wander by to read my words on a daily basis and he knows the site has developed into a kind of resource for the things I write about.
In any event, he mentioned something called the Hawthorne effect which is a term I hadn’t heard before. Basically, the act of observing someone changes their behavior. I am definitely being observed here, though I entirely control that observation by selectively choosing what to write. I do think there’s something to his observation that the act of writing the blog has certainly created some of the things I’ve written about. Thing is, if I spend too much time thinking about that my brain ends up looking like a snake eating its own tail. There’s an Inception joke in here somewhere, but I’m too addled to come up with it at the moment.
So yeah, I do control the observation but I can’t control the interpretation of that observation by you readers. This was made clear when Drew showed up and I wrote about the relationship that followed. Even though I explained how that all came into being and Belle’s role in opening our relationship, there were people who commented who clearly didn’t understand what was going on. Either through ignorance or choice. Then, because I allow comments and feedback, they were able to share their sometimes hateful and misguided (though, to be charitable, perhaps well-meaning) thoughts and opinions. Then I, in turn, had to choose to ignore or respond, but in any case, those comments affected my future behavior and choices. It made me feel defensive and act defensively even and contributed to my angst since I knew there were all these judging eyes out there waiting for the doom and failure they predicted. Sure, there was also a lot of support, but that’s not how this works. I only really focused on the dark side.
This, I think, is a contributing factor to my anxiety. At least, it helped juice it up once it developed. Wrapping my head around that fact kept me from posting here for a while. It makes posting this more difficult.
The other thing Obi-wan has zeroed in on is what he calls my closeted existence. I used the word “compartmentalized” but he says closeted and since a closet is a compartment I choose not to argue the point. He’s right. I do live a closeted life.
I have my family, my job, my external interests and organizations, my sexuality, my submissiveness, my relationship model, and the secrets I keep in my pants. To me, those are all different worlds that intersect in different ways depending on who I’m interacting with at any particular moment. Only Belle exists in all those worlds. Frodo, one of my oldest friends, does too to a somewhat lesser extent. Drew is also privy to most of those compartments, but since I don’t live with and see either of them daily like I do Belle, she’s the fulcrum over which all my worlds balance.
I noticed most acutely how these compartments eat at me when it comes to Drew. When I’m fully engaged with my relationship with him, I feel very far way from other parts of my life like my job. When I become more engaged with those other things, Drew feels farther away. I can’t seem to be able to have all these worlds work together. I can’t be fully engaged in everything at the same time. This isn’t a time thing. It’s a mental bandwidth thing. An emotional bandwidth thing. The farther away I am from any of those compartments emotionally, the greater my guilt and anxiety.
Drew was here at the end of this past week. I had been feeling pretty good, emotionally, and was really engaged at the job and in the other groups I belong to and all that was totally at his expense. As his visit drew nearer, I felt twinges of anxiety that I was mostly able to bat away. Then he was here and I felt like I was walking a tightrope over an alligator tank for two days. And now it’s the weekend after his visit and here I am unable to sleep and writing for all you instead of taking advantage of falling ahead’s extra hour. Not, I don’t think, a coincidence.
Obi-wan thinks living with my various compartments is the source of my anxiety. That dealing with that anxiety exhausts me and leads to my depression. He’s asked me to imagine if there were no compartments. If everyone in all aspects of my life knew about all the other aspects. That I was bisexual and in an open relationship and kinky and all that.
It’s difficult for me to do that. I’ve always been able to skate along on bisexuality’s chameleon-like qualities. I’m a heteroromantic bisexual so can disappear into straight life. I have no reason to “come out.” If you’re monosexual (straight or gay), you need to come out to live your life. If you’re bisexual, you have the option of rounding yourself off one way or the other. And I have. And now I don’t know how I’d even describe it to someone. Or explain why I was doing it. Why does anyone need to know about my sexuality? It seems like I’d be telling them something perhaps they don’t want to know and have the right not to know since, after all, I’m not coming out so I can be with the person I need to be with to be happy. I’m already with that person. So why talk about it?
I’m obviously kinda processing this out loud. I’m also getting pretty tired and hope I’ll be able to sleep a few hours. Who knows. Whatever the case, I’m going to proof this then post it then try and sleep. Do me a favor and carefully consider any comment you decide to leave. Remember you don’t know the whole story. You don’t know the whole me. Don’t try and be Obi-wan. Don’t try and tell me the solution to my problems. Chances are, you’d just be pulling something out of your ass (and not in the fun way). I appreciate support, of course, but I pay a guy to psychoanalyze me. Leave that to him.
15 thoughts on “Brain droppings”
My only comment at this late hour is to send a hug to you, my friend.
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I have some thoughts, but you don’t want (and I am pretty sure don’t need either) my input, I will do no such thing.
Just hold on tight and get better.
If it helps, write your feelings down here, I will gladly read them and sending you all of my good wishes (OK, more like a lot of them, I need some for myself as well…)
Processing is good. Very good. You’ve made me think, which I always appreciate. I’d like to add some relevant, pithy quote from Obi-wan, but alas, my Star Wars knowledge doesn’t run that deep so I’ll just say, “Use the force, Thumper.” I have no doubt you’ll be in true Jedi form in no time. Hugs, my friend.
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Poor Belle. As I read this, I kept thinking about Belle and worrying about the amount of angst and trouble you were causing her and, for likely the first time ever seriously, how miserable you were likely making her.
I say this not having anything to do with your penis, my penis, or the fact that you owe me $3, but simply because, you’re an ass when you don’t get enough sleep and she’s gonna have a hell of a Sunday, even on a football day.
Now, about this post, since we disagree on my use of the word “proud”, just know I would use it here and really, really mean it.
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Being bi-sexual as well I can understand the anxiety of telling others. I have felt that only those that need to know should know. While I don’t hide it I don’t shout it either. So Daddy knows. My very lovely girl friend knew. (She has moved away) I wasn’t very open about it to anyone else. I have told some close friends but only ones I knew wouldn’t judge me.
I can also say that there is anxiety in anxiety. I find when I let my head run off I have a hard time keeping everything together. As a result this morning I had a break down. But Daddy was here to let me cry. Hold me. And I am feeling better. I too am seeing some one to talk through things but some times I feel while trying to keep things separate in the compartments life can feel over whelming.
I appreciate your posts. I appreciate all you share.
Hugs. Hoping your Sunday has been good.
A lot of really interesting stuff, thumper. I won’t necessarily “analyze”, but I’ll offer my own experience and from that you can take what you want. The description “heteroromantic bisexual introvert” absolutely fits me to a tee. I also keep the many aspects of my sexuality, much like you, compartmentalized. Probably moreso than you, because almost none of those aspects is openly displayed to anyone.
I find obi-wan’s thoughts on introvert / extrovert kind of odd. You’re about my age, so you have a lifetime of experience to know if you are one or the other. I know you were more experienced with your bi side at a younger age. I did some experimenting when I was in HS, but that was different in a way. After that, it was a long time before I dabbled again. In the meantime, there is no question that I was an introvert, and there was no compartmentalization about my sexuality going on at all. Now, having read what you wrote, can I see how this compartmentalization could accentuate my natural tendency towards being an introvert ? Sure, I suppose. I just know I have always had trouble talking to strangers, making friends, etc. And I really don’t think it has anything to do with sexuality. Though I’m quite sure if I found myself surrounded by a group of like minded people, that I really fit in with, I can see my sense of being an introvert easing somewhat. Whether that would translate to telling all my otherwise normal friends, coworkers, etc, I don’t know, but I highly doubt it.
I’ll have to better compose my thoughts on some of the rest, and come back later…
Hugs…. That’s all
First, I love your blog. Second, I totally admire your candor, which I sometimes find frightening. Third, as someone who self-identifies as kinky and who is wrestling with depression, I can identify with some of your struggles. And fourth, most relevant to this post, I have wondered for myself what “out” means in terms of kinky. Reading your comments about bisexuality, I wonder about the distinction between compartments/closets, and your (I think very apt) observation that you’d be telling people something they don’t necessarily want to know. I feel much the same way about kink – who needs to know? What purpose does it serve for them for me to tell them? I know what purpose it might serve for me, but is that the only way for me to achieve this benefit? Finally, I have my own personal Obi-wan, and it’s always been my feeling that if I’m telling her stuff, I might as well tell her everything. I’d be interested in your thoughts on why and where you draw the boundaries of what you share.
Living authentically is tough. Kudos to you for doing it. Deep gratitude for your sharing that process with us.
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I owe you an apology. Last year I was one of the people that thought Drew was a monster who was going to lead you to a gay life and that Belle must be home crying every night and I really wanted to tell you, but I did not because others did it for me. But, you did not listen to them and when it made me mad I thought I’d stop reading you because I did not want to read gay porn and/or accounts of your sexual deeds with a man, but I didn’t and I need to tell you I am happy I didn’t. I fully admit I did not get it. I was wrong. I was bigoted. I hated Drew. Then I took breath and actually thought about things and wanted to crawl under a rock from embarrassment.
Because of you and this blog and then Drew and his, I know more about how a relationship between a man and a man works and reading about him and his husband is just like talking about me and mine. Reading about you two together and the precision and thought and time you two have to invest made me realize it is so much Not porn, but life and relationships, but I didn’t understand that way back when. Somewhere in here, you opened my mind and I became aware that my thought process was dangerous and wrong. This year I found myself crying at the Supreme Court because I thought about what that meant for Drew, praising your son for telling you he was a bi child, and then worrying one time when Belle was injured, and I am devastated about Axel’s injury. I think of you as friends and though that may be wrong, you just have that effect. In hindsight, I lock my husband’s woo hoo and that gets me off, so who am I to have even once judged?
I am babbling, but I just want to tell you that for all the negative you two may have received, there are a lot like me, I assume, who you are changing. I am on your side completely, Thumper and wish you nothing but love, happiness, and fulfillment as you move forward.
“Basically, the act of observing someone changes their behavior. ”
Just an observation in general, but it seems to me that there’s an inherent tendency to “play up for the cameras” because one tries to make their actual life conform to the idea that one would like to have about one’s actual life. That leads to behaviors that might not necessarily be those which one would actually do if one weren’t overtly self-aware.
Sure, I just can’t tell which things are done for the camera and which things are made easier to do because of the camera. Lately, I think it’s more likely the case that there’s things I haven’t done because of the camera.
Oh dear Lord, having seen what you have actually done in front of a literal camera, this scares me a bit even figuratively 🙂