September 10th, 2019

The Hermit Captain Contemplative

It's Where the Water Flows

Ack! I'm kind of wrung-out. It is hard to compose my thoughts. I feel tired. I kind of feel like writing but I'm not overflowing with inspiration. I keep wanting to get up from the keyboard and go do something else. I feel pensive and introspective.

I spoke to Lauralee today. She got to drive today. I didn't come with a pile of stuff to just dump, download, or otherwise disgorge, so she got to ask questions. So, she wanted to know about my relationship with L. She asked where the boundaries were. She wanted to know what I thought about L. She asked about the conversation with L. recently, where I told her that part(s) of me still wanted, still desired.

As usual, I was all over the map, trying to explain and answer the questions. I talked about my marriage, the way my relationship with Crystal had worked and how it hadn't. I talked about conversations with Lee and Renee (I think this is the first time I've actually typed my daughters' new preferred first names in this place, heh). I talked about the things I had not understood and what I had learned. I tried to explain the "it's complicated" that I have with L. I even talked about my disappointment with my parents and inability to comprehend how they could tell me that they loved me and would do anything for me but couldn't even talk about their inability to do the one thing that would have actually made a big difference: fix their dysfunctional relationship. I talked about my penchant for judging myself harshly. I talked about doing that Mankind Project group meeting, and how stuff from inside had kept bubbling up for a day and half after that thing had finished.

Lauralee pointed out that clearly I derrived a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment out of being married and having a partner. Then she pointed out that, whatever its boundaries, its possibilities, or lack thereof, I had some kind of emotionally involved relationship with L. These things did not surprise me, and I acknowledged the truth of what she had told me. When we wrapped up, she suggested that stuff might bubble up after our conversation too, and that I should ask myself why I wouldn't let myself want. She advised that I treat myself with curiosity instead of judgment. I pointed out that having that intention and catching myself being judgmental in the moment were quite frequently two different things.

So, I sat at my desk for awhile after we had said goodbye and thought about the question and what it meant to be curious about it, instead of judgmental. I tried getting into a curious frame of mind and then I realized that I was experiencing an internal resistance to doing that very thing. "OK," I thought, to my contentious inner parts, "I know how to address this." So, I asked that part that was resisting my curiosity if it would entertain my curiosity and if not, what was it hoping to accomplish and why was it resistant. To my surprise, what came back was an answer: "You don't really want to know what it is you desire and why you don't want to want and I don't want to entertain curiosity because we won't like how we feel if we answer those questions." Wow. I was a little flummoxed by this, so after ruminating not quite so fruitfully for another few minutes, I decided to go to the store and get some supper.

After I ate, I went into the bedroom and changed clothes and sat down and did a bit more aimless rumination. That was about seven o'clock, or an hour after things had finished up with Lauralee. I got tired and conked out. I woke up about an hour and a half later after Kuu jumped up on the bed and came over and meowed at me, wanting attention. So, I went back to thinking, while petting the cat. I was thinking about my marriage, what had gone down between Crystal and I. I was thinking of how our home had been broken, how we broke it, the various effects it has had on our daughters, no matter how relatively non-hostile the break was or how much Crystal and I can still associate as friends now. I just got an overwhelming sense of waste, of wasted opportunities, to connect, to heal, to grow, to thrive, and have a deeper partnership. Ah yes, another thin ice patch. Wonderful. Yeah, I felt and feel bad about things, about the things I didn't know, the things I didn't find out and wasn't able solve. I felt bad about my inability to hold our daughters' home together, about the ways I had hurt Crystal, both consciously and unconsciously...waste, waste, waste, hours, days, years nobody is ever going to get back. I'm sitting here, as I type this, wondering what the percentage in ego-payoff it would be to just omit the admission that I spent about half an hour crying. Thank goodness I'm one of those real men who do not wear mascara...otherwise I'd look like a reject from the rock band, Kiss. Ack. Most guys don't have to worry about mascara tracks, but then, most women don't have to get snot out of their mustache hairs.

I guess I still have a pile of sadness and grief about these things. I thought about things, and yes, there was a bit of guilt, too, but not much, and I think I have accepted that shame is not warranted and not really applicable for most of these considerations. No, it's almost all just grief. The waste bothers me, upsets me, makes me worried about whatever future prospects I may entertain. The waste and missed opportunities bother me, make me sad. What happened may have been an inevitability, given the circumstances and the people involved, but none of it was metaphysically necessary, as such. There were answers, had I been able or better motivated to find them, or maybe had more courage to look in the mirror and self-confront. I think I have more to think about now. Not sure, as usual, what to "do" with it. Wow. That was tiring to type this stuff out, but I think it feels good to have done so.