thoughts… relationships, sexuality, war, the shadow, and more coffee

Too much going on in my heart and mind for me to really write it out coherently.  But I’ll take a stab at it.

Where to begin first.  Well, perhaps with my relationship; I do not know where it stands.  It has been a bit over two months and I felt as though progress was being made.  I had worked on my openness, my communication, and my responding with verbal cues my appreciation for behaviors.  I sense, now, some resentment at constantly being told to give verbal cues, saying when I appreciate something or not, etc… and while I do not mind molding my behavior to some extent to accomodate the needs of another, I felt as though it was becoming the focus.

But this is the minor point.  The major one is sexuality.  I have been trying to overcome my unease in body image with her, and have on several instances felt pretty comfortable.  My comfort grew and I began to feel less and less as though I had a script to play out during a date.  I held her hand whenever I could, I kissed her often, I playfully grabbed her now and again, and so on.  We have not ventured into sex because this would be a big step in the relationship and we both want to be sure we are ready for it, and because I am awaiting the results of my STD tests three weeks ago.  So it was said to me that there was no passion between us.  This hit me from the blue.  We had been sitting, watching a video tape she put in the t.v. and she was laying across me.  It also brought up problems in the past with a woman in that I found it impossible to approach her sexually and dreaded her approaches to me.  All of this hit me with an emotional tidal wave and I was reeling in uncertainty.

It got worse.  Our conversation went into a philosophical area of sexuality and when I was asked if I had ever, or could ever, have an anonymous sexual encounter, I said yes.  Take out encounters where one or the other is running from or to a role or fulfilling a need, just simply a sexual act for the sake of sex alone… this caused her distress.  She did not see how I could do such a thing.  With a reaction like this I understood that I could never tell her about my many other sexual encounters where I tried to find the aggressor within me, the defensless within me, and so on.  Just the fact that I could have a healthy no-strings sexual encounter with another was shocking and troublesome to her.  I expressed that it is rare, not everyone can do it, and a person cannot have such all the time.  I am not saying that I am such a person… I’ve got issues!  But I’ve had it before and I can recall it.  Two times, Houston, I’ve enjoyed the comfort of a woman with no other baggage, no strings, and she too with me.  But in many cases where sex was possible I’ve not done so because I recogized within myself or her the needs and problems that are trying to be covered up by sex and as such I’ve said no.  This didn’t matter… that I could have anonymous sex was bothersome.

This wasn’t what I was worried about!  She comes from a religious family (Muslim) and she herself is not religious.  Scientific and logical.  I was worried that my spiritual views would be a problem with her.  It was during an earlier conversation about sexuality that she showed me openness and understanding that I felt comfortable in telling her my spirituality.  She’s expressed that she still doesn’t know what to make of it… but my sexual views trouble her.

We were at a restaurant and talking about things and I was telling her that I didnt’ regret anything in life that it all went to making the person I am now.  She said something that hit me… hard… that I was okay in killing people in order for me to be a better person (referring to my firefight in Iraq) and I had to leave the table.  I excused myself and went to the bathroom and sat in the stall and bawled like a kid.  When I thought I had gotten it together I came back out.  We paid and left.  Instead of walking to the truck we walked around the parking lot and to the back of the building.  She held my hand and let me walk.  I was hyper-vigilant and scanned rooftops and around us.  I was nervous and anxious at being out in the open and didn’t like it.  We sat down in the back alley.  A guy in a truck had taken a shortcut behind the bulding and sped up on us, engine growling, and I looked at him with great fierceness and anger.  I wanted to strike out at him.  She witnessed this emotion on me and said that it was the first time she’s ever seen me angry.  She expressed how puzzling it was for me to be such toward a person who meant me no harm, who hadn’t done anything.  Her words sounded like blame to me.  Didn’t I know this already?!  Shit!  I know it isn’t natural for me to get angry and want to lash out at innocent people who have done nothing to me.  I know I imagine percieved insults and threats!

We went to a movie.  After the movie she had said something… I can’t remember, but it was an affirmation of wanting to see me.  I kissed her hard and long.  It took her breath away and she asked why.  I told her because she didn’t throw me away.  That night, however, we had a misunderstanding.  I felt she had asked me to leave and I prepared to leave.  She hadn’t… I read it wrong.  We talked and again the themes from the night before came up and we talked about them.  It was a sticking point.  At the end, leaning close to her, I told her that I wanted to kiss her but didn’t know if she wanted me to or not.  She didn’t respond.  I didn’t kiss her goodbye as I left.  I had said that I was uncertain if she wanted to see me again because of these themes.  She didn’t know.  I didn’t call her the next day.  Two days later she called to tell me she had the ticket for Bodyworks that we got for donating blood and wanted to know what she should do with it.  No mention of anything else.

During our talk the night I left she had said that she needed more affirmation.  Basically the affirmations are to show that I am not a great sexual pervert and that I do not have great violence within me.  It hurt.  I have within me violence and perversity as I believe everyone does.  I’ve not shied from these themes and have tried to understand them.  I asked if I’ve ever shown anything but respect, tenderness, and admiration?  How is it possible that someone, me, who loves Beauty as much as I do, who finds joy in so much, has to prove that he isn’t a perverse killer?  Shouldn’t my actions and my bearing and my demeanor my look my touch my presence instill what I am feeling?  How am I presenting myself as violent and deviant?

Last night I lit some candles.  I was going to make bread and go outside for a full moon ritual.  I was tired.  My knees ached from working doubles.  My body was tired.  I wanted to sleep.  But instead I lits lots of candles and put some resins on a charcoal block and was simply at the altar.  I found myself pulling out a Rider-Waite tarot deck and asking what I needed to know to grow.  I laid out a celtic cross spread and found all the cards, save two, were either major arcana or court cards.   Among these were the King of Wands, the Page of Wands, and the two lesser cards were the 5 and 6 oif wands.  Meaning here?  I think so.  I read a little on wands and the connection of Ourobos with the Page and the King.  My mind was too tired to think and I simply put the cards up for reflection later on.  I’ll look at them in a minute.

I am reading “Romancing the Shadow” and find reflections of myslf in a few of the stories exampled from case studies.  Did I mess up in entering into this relationship under the guise of fulfilling a role and not being offensive and not exhibiting behavior/attitudes that she would find bothersome?  Perhaps she has areas of development she needs to work out as well?  Example… perhaps she could use more intuitive thinking, more feeling to balance her logical and distinctive thinking.  I don’t know… but I’ve moved out of my center and I can’t offer her anything of value in a relationship if I am not my own best self.  There is a tea recipe that I have that uses the number three in its ingredients signifying each individual and the relationship they create.  How can I have a wonderful relationship with someone if I am not my authentic self, or she her authentic self?

I do not know… but I’ve got a lot to think about and to process.  I’ve not had a counseling session in three weeks and one is coming up on Thursday.  I hope to have some sort of direction for when I go into the office that we can work on.  If only it were as simple as descending into a cave.


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