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.