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#183146 - 09/28/07 11:53 AM How to Talk About Sexuality
kellygtx Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
To Female Spouses - How do you talk about sexuality?

Don't laugh - I have been married 21 years and we have never really talked about sexuality. I don't know how to approach the subject.

I do have sexuality issues...but that does mean I don't love her and have every intention of staying with her and not acting on my impulses - but talking about them with her may help. She thinks anything but 100% straight is immoral but I don't think I am 100% straight - but that does not mean I don't love her. I have not cut myself (and if any of you have read some of my previous posts you know this is a BIG issue for me) and have not acted out in over 9 months - but I still struggle sometimes (thank god for Zanex). Is just talking about it betrayal?



Edited by kellygtx (09/28/07 12:04 PM)
_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#183182 - 09/28/07 02:57 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Kelly:

I hope you don't mind but I've PM'd you regarding this.

S-n-S

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#183211 - 09/28/07 05:31 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: sweet-n-sour]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Kelly,

I'm hoping you get some public posts about this just because I'd like to read them. But thus far you've gotten at least two private PM's. Guess that shows what a touchy subject this can be.

So here's some of my feelings about this: Is talking betrayel? No, not necessarily. Is talking about the fact that having multiple affairs over many years was a lot of fun and fulfilled deep sexual and emotional longings and was (possibly is) more important than keeping your wife both emotionally and physically safe a betrayel of sorts? Sure. Because we enter into family-building with the assumption that we're doing so with someone who more or less cares about us -- at least enough not to keep us around merely for personal gain, at least enough that that person would shy away from exposing us to life-threatening diseases, etc....

No love is perfect and people make mistakes, even big ones. But 14 years is a lifestyle, not a mistake.

Your wife has given you her love, five children, a home, security, trust, etc.... She's given all those things that humans give eachother when we marry and develop a family. It's pretty difficult to accept that everything she's given you, and perhaps anything she could possibly give you, is a close race with anonymous sex with men.

This is no longer a simple issue of sexuality. It's an issue of life's meaning, of a hierarchy of values. On first blush it looks like men are so important to you that they're more important, not just than women, but your entire life.

Should you talk about this? Probably. But don't expect her to accept your "sexuality" as though it's disconnected from everything else, cuz it's not.

It's deeply connected to just what role she's been playing in your life, just what value you place on her as a human being with rights and wishes and dreams of her own, just what value you place on the fact she's given you and helped raise 5 children, cooked meals, made beds, washed cloths, worried about her children, her family, and you.

All this and a quick fling in the sheets with a man you don't even know is more important? More important than literally the life (AIDS) of the person who has given so much?

Sorry to be so blunt and I really do empathize with you as well because of the profound difficulties you've had in your life and respect so much the way you trying to turn things around. But I also really empathize with your wife.

I have no doubt you love her and have loved her but there's a difference between loving and loving well. Turning what ought to be expressions of love (sex) into a game of Russian roulette (possibility of AIDS, etc) isn't really loving very well, despite the fact you might in many other ways be a loving person.

So, now you want to know if just merely talking about sexuality is abusive? No it's never abusive. But talking about how much fun you've had while decieving,manipulating and threatening the health of your wife isn't exactly non-abusive, maybe it's not abusive per se, but it's not exactly fun either. And it would be abusive if it's not put in it's appropriate context: a pretty heavy and heavily destructive one. To assume it's a matter of the peculiar nature of sexuality isn't really what's at issue, though it's certainly PART of the equation, but it's a rather minor part at this point in many ways.

What's more important is whether you know without a doubt that whatever fantasies you may or may not have about men is irrelevant (though true) to your relationship at hand. If it's still really relevant then perhaps you need to let her know so that she can protect herself and make informed decisions, something she's been deprived of for a very long time. And something that's pretty fundamental to expressing our humanity.

Should you talk? Sure. Should you be honest? You bet. Is this abusive? Not at all. But to expect her to embrace the fact that you've been expressing wonderful sexual feelings and having a wonderful time for the last 14 years at her expense is abusive.

What do expect of her? "Oh sweetie, that's just wonderful, I'm so glad you like men so much and have had such a wonderful sex life with them all these years behind my back. I truly accept and understand your bisexuality and hope to embrace not only you but your sexuality"? SOME women actually take this tack -- and good for them. But to expect this is totally unreasonable.

From what you've written, you find men more sexually exciting in some way and are still trying to figure out the nature of the excitement.

You write that you doubt you're 100% straight. Yeah, I sort of doubt it too because 100% straight men don't find sex with men to be exciting. But what we mean, among other things, by the phrase "straight" is a deep emotional connection to heterosexuality. Bisexual or gay are not the only alternatives to the lack of this connection, there's other possibilities -- like an undeveloped sexuality, attachment disorders, attachments to non-relational things (one's own body parts, objects, etc...). But only you can figure that one out.

It's one thing to be involved with a man who is "bisexual", another thing to be involved with a man for whom men are more important than his heterosexual life (wife, children, etc...) and the common decency of basic human values. It's one thing to get over infidelity. It's another thing to be told that the infidelity was a wonderful and fulfilling experience..... and one that is deeply missed, pondered about, fantasized about, more exciting than anything you've ever experienced, etc....

It's been heartwrenching to hear Rob talk in similar terms. I've had to go very deep in my own self to sort this out. My conclussion? That when a mother performs perverse acts on a child the child grows up to be tragically perverse.

And it's not his sexuality per se that's perverse, it's how he has employed it, it's relational context. To me it feels like the lack of attachments gets expressed through anti-social sexuality (literally meant, "without sociality").

But when he talks about how thrilling sex with men is then I wonder just to what extent he's merely bisexual....

Or just to what extent he's eroticises destruction, bribing, sneaking, being the "bad little boy", etc....

It's pretty difficult to figure out, and frankly, like you, only he can. Neither alternative bodes well for me, that's for sure.

Take care,
Katie


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#183212 - 09/28/07 06:01 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
mmac Offline
Guest

Registered: 09/21/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PA
Kathryn,
Thank you for expressing your feelings on this often neglected subject. Sexuality is a difficult part of CSA and trying to be understanding as a partner is often an unattainable goal. Be good
to YOU my friend.
M

_________________________
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results."

I cannot take your steps, but I can walk beside you, if you'll let me.

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#183257 - 09/28/07 11:39 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: mmac]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


P.S.

It just seems to me that stark honesty is essential as well as a high degree of empathy.

It also seems to me that if sex with men is felt as equal to or more important than your relationship with your wife then both of you have some pretty heavy decisions to make.

And it also seems to me that a lot of men tend to live their "bisexuality" as though their heterosexuality and homosexuality exist on two seperate plains such that rather than the Kinsey scale or some such thing there needs to be two seperate scales. And while I have no doubt that this is how it's felt by some, the truth of the matter seems to me to be that this is a false construct and that a third position needs to be taken in which both the hetero and homosexual "selves" are brought into relation with eachother. Until then it feels as though men convince themselves that their homosexual attractions and behaviors have nothing to do with their heterosexual lives, and that's just not the case -- the effects are evident.

Also I just wanted to say that other than what I already wrote abuot bi vs. other explanations: there's of course "addiction to the trauma".

And finally, I ended my last post by saying that neither the explanation that Rob's bi nor that he's excited by men for other reasons doesn't bode well for me. And it doesn't -- nor for any other potentially healthy relationship (with few exceptions, some do make mixed orientation marriages work in relatively healthy ways, but most aren't that great). It doesn't matter to me why he's excited by men and it seems to me that if he's so exicited then he probably shouldn't pursue a relationship with a woman.

The only possible solution for me is that his excitations aren't that great. Period.

AND that he apply what conscience and empathy he has (and he has a lot in every other aspect of his life) to the impact he's had on those he's cared about and may care about in the future. This is really important and really has nothing to do with sexuality -- or love. It just has to do with refusing to put other's life at risk and playing things a tad more fair, and finding enough reward in doing so such that the thrill of not doing so isn't so thrilling. Or so it seems to me.
And it also seems to me that if men still seem thrilling once playing things fair is seems like the way to go, then he probably ought to pursue a man -- or at least a woman who can fully accept that he finds men as thrilling or more so than women.

Katie


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#183268 - 09/29/07 12:15 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
mmac Offline
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Registered: 09/21/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PA
Katie,
If he could understand all of his feelings together in formation and then add the realization that he is also projecting those feelings onto others, he probably wouldn't pick this mess to go through. TAKE CARE OF YOU until he reaches a time when he can. Don't wait around for it, TAKE CARE OF YOU. He will find his way, whatever it is. You need to find yours too. it might or might not be the same destination. But, when you get there, you'll be happy you choose for yourself.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
M:)

_________________________
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results."

I cannot take your steps, but I can walk beside you, if you'll let me.

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#183294 - 09/29/07 08:13 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: mmac]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
I believe what Kelly is asking is how to talk to his wife about this issue.
We can debate back and forth about heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual feelings, but the bottom line here is how does a husband address this confusion with his wife?
He has mentioned love, committment and honor in his post. He has said nothing about being unfaithful in any way. His acting out has to do with cutting and the tremendous struggle he has faced in this.
What happened to these boys has effected them terribly throughout their lives. I feel so much overwhelm for their pain that I am lacking in the proper words to express this.
My thoughts are simple. If any of us are truly honest and peer within our hearts, is it so difficult to understand having this confusion? We (wives, gf's) feel great intimidation because of this confusion...this identity issue threatens the security of our relationships. If our men decide that they would rather be in a gay relationship, where does that leave us? We will be the lonely soul standing outside the window in the winter while our men are on the inside nestled in by the warmth of a fire. That's what it feels like. The thing is, this issue is not about us...we are part of the guilt surrounding this confusion but it really has nothing to do with us. They were denied going through the normal stages of sexual development to explore their orientation when they were going through puberty.
How do I know this nothing personal? There was a post here many months ago by the partner of a male survivor. He was just as hurt, confused and upset by his lovers acting out with other men. It was a very profound moment for me. The survivor was in a gay relationship and still felt the need to act out, to push the person that loved him most away, to self destruct.
I believe that most of us if we truly dug deep within could see the want for someone to understand us, to completely accept without condition and to love/relate to us on the level of same-ness. I see all of us here feeling as if we are on different teams. Survivors vs. f&f of survivors when the great reality is all of us JUST want to be loved by the person we are with. No walls, no pulling back, no pushing away...we all just want a complete and trusting relationship minus the hurt and fear that we carry.

Those are my thoughts on this and I wish I had the answers for Kelly but I do not. I admire his concern for his wife's feelings and his desire to do the right thing to honor his relationship and her.

Best wishes,
S-n-S

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#183299 - 09/29/07 08:34 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: sweet-n-sour]
mmac Offline
Guest

Registered: 09/21/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PA
S-n-S,
Kelly has expressed his concern for the partner he loves. As you said, being accepted and loved for who we truely are is everyones wish. We ARE on the same team in this thing called CSA and their pain becomes ours and visa versa. Acceptance is the first step, understanding comes with time and love. We may not always get to where we think we should be (or end up) but the journey reveals our true self.
Kelly, find a safe way to discuss your feelings and the truth and honesty in those feelings will be the window to your soul.
Confusion can clear when we allow ourselves to be true. Hopefully, your partner will be that way to and together you BOTH can decide whats comfortable in YOU OWN RELATIONSHIP. That should be a decision you both make since you have decided to share your lives.
I wish you peace in this journey.
M:)

_________________________
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results."

I cannot take your steps, but I can walk beside you, if you'll let me.

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#183309 - 09/29/07 09:20 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: mmac]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


I could be confused but I believe Kelly has acted out with men as well.

I actually really empathize with identity confusion, I really do.

I also really empathize with sexual acting out -- it's basically the only reason I'm still with Rob.

But it's also the case that I empathize with the women involved in these situations.

I also really admire both Kelly and Rob for all the work they've done to deal with this (assuming I'm not confusing Kelly with someone else). And in the case of Rob at least, he's a really good person in most ways -- he really is. And I have no doubt that he'll be able to heal, just as I'm sure Kelly will as well.

Where there's been years of sexual acting out (if that's what it is) then things become a pretty delicate balancing act of empathizing with both the person who's done so as well as the person who's involved with them.

I doubt there are many women who would be overly upset with simple sexuality discussions, even where some level of confusion is expressed. I think what disturbs most women is action, not feelings or fantasies. At least this is the case in my experience.

K.


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#183313 - 09/29/07 09:39 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Thanks MMC, but things are going pretty well.

And Kelly, Rob's acted out a lot for many years. I haven't ditched him. But it's been very confusing and painful.

Again, I may be confusing you with someone else, but I don't think so. And like you, Rob has said he never stopped long enough to really think things through. Ok - while I don't really have an intuitive notion what this might feel like, I can take it at face value to a certain extent.

But if you talk with your wife now, and I think it's really important that the two of you at least try, then it's pretty important to slow down and contemplate what it's like to be in her shoes.

When Rob first began talking to me about this (after getting caught with a list of his past activities, he never cheated on me) he was just so happy to be talking that he expressed a lot of exuberance. He thought I'd be happy just to be getting the truth. He didn't really stop and think about how all this actually sounded to me.

I'm really glad he's tried so hard to be truthful but for the first many months I didn't feel that he was talking with ME, the woman who loved him and desired him. I felt more like a father confessor or one of his fuck buddies -- but not much like ME, if this makes any sense.

It's a delicate issue.

Rob explains his ability to carry on a double life as a function of splitting -- yeah, that makes sense to me. And I don't blame him at ALL for that. I really don't. And it also seems to me that based on what you've written (if I'm not confusing you with someone else) is that you probably have a similar thing going on, both in regard to sexual acting our/confusion and cutting. And like Rob, you probably can't really decide on your primary sexual preferences until the splits are more or less resolved. And like you wrote some time ago, concentrating on staying connected is probably an important aspect of healing.

In the case of Rob, he feels he's primarily heterosexual. Now it's up to me to trust this. A lot goes into that trust. I hope I can -- really can -- cuz I still really love him.

Take care,
Katie


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#183321 - 09/29/07 10:24 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
To be quite honest, I find the whole issue disturbing and threatening, even thought my bf never actually physically acted out with anyone. He went out to do it, but didn't do it and has acted out online with porn and I would guess other ways which i don;t know about. My experience has been to wittness the importance(to him) of his desire/fantasies about men and also how arousing that is and while I understand the theories around that issue, it is still the case that I feel less important, less desireable etc.........


I also feel that his approach to 'sort out' our situation, has been to basically demand that I accept his sexuality and then everything else will fall into place...........His theory being the fact that I had not yet been more accomodating/accepting of his desires/fantasies/whatever and therefore not fully accepting and loving him and that being the main problem for us. While I can appreciate his feelings about that, for me, until I felt more reassured about what exactly it all meant and what it would mean for my own life, I was wondering why he couldn't understand why I was so anxious about it all........bearing in mind that many of us partners here have been denied facts and lied to and decieved and basically kept in the dark as to a pretty large part of the person we've been with for many many years. The shock of it all is pretty massive and damn hard to get past.

Trust has to re-built and the whole issue of talking about sexuality can be a mine-field, depending on the emotional maturity and empathy of the survivor. If simply approached from the point of view of the need to be accepted, the survivor really needs to take a look at exactly what it is he is asking his partner to accept, or exactly what he wants to share and for what reasons. How it might impact on his partner's life, their sex-life together etc etc


My bf has actually appologised for not effectively reassuring me. He has acknowledged the fact of his missing empathy and consideration.....but still has not actually changed these things.


I sense that my bf would have liked/like to be sharing more with me about the whole issue of his sexuality, but I'm not sure about my ability to do that, at least not at the moment. For me, the sexual side of it is a thing i cannot share in any way. I am not a man, will never have a penis, lots of bady hair etc etc. Also for me personally, acting out his fantasy is just not something I relate to sexually, although he's not expressed disappointment over that specifically. I do know however, that if i had been interested, he would've been happy about that, happy to try it, happy to experience that etc......So you could say, that the impact of knowing his desire for men has taken it's toll in the most severe way for me. To say I now feel inadequate would be an understatement. I know my body doesn't drive him wild in that same, instant way. I know i can't offer him the satisfaction of exploring his fantasy. In short, I feel I can't please him which is fairly devastating for me, since pleasing my partner is very important to me.


Where our own personal situation journeys on to from this point, I don't know and since my bf still has much recovery to do/memories still repressed, it is hard to say what might change or develope.


Yes our men are confused and for sure that's not their fault and it breaks my heart to think of the devastation that has been/is for them.....but it's also important to remember the devastation which can be caused to us and the whole issue of discussing sexuality really needs to take that into account and take it very seriously.


peace
Beccy


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#183487 - 09/29/07 10:19 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
selene Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 221
Loc: midwest




Edited by selene (10/04/07 03:28 AM)
_________________________
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery from The Little Prince

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#183713 - 10/01/07 09:32 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Wow! So much to think about here. I am struggling but we seem to be talking more - and have more so in the last 6 months than the previous 6 years.

I am integrating my thoughts and my actions. I did act out sexually with men, off and on, for 14 years. It all started when my brother (my perp) died. Before that I was just cutting myself. After his death, I acted out but it was like a fog - like I was not even there. The more I acted out, the less I cut, and vice versa. I am by nature a very private person and not very verbal (in one personality test on communication skills the average male scored like a 65 - I scored a 10! LOL). So I disagree with Kathyrn's statement that it was a lifestyle - it was a coping skill. I am talking maybe 10 times over 14 years - but once is too many.

I know this is very confusing and very threatening for my wife. She wants the man she married to be 100% straight, a good Catholic, and a fun guy to be with. What she has is a guy who may be bisexual, is not a very good Catholic, and not a whole lot of fun to be with. But one who does LOVE her and has always taken good care of her and the kids. She will tell you that I have been and am a wonderful, connected father.

You have given me so much to think about and I thank you. I pray I can continue down this painful path and find out who - and what - I really am. Acting out and cutting are behind me - but I must discover the real me. When I am physical with her (better in the last 6 months then many, many years) it feels so warm, caring, and loving - nothing like acting out (so maybe my answer is in that statement!).

But that real me will always be by her side as she is my soul mate.

_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#183735 - 10/01/07 12:52 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Kelly,

What I meant by a lifestyle is a way of behaving that spans many years -- but I'm glad to know it was only about 10 times in 14 years!!!! Just cuz I hope you and your wife make it through this.

Rob is also an amazing father -- he really is -- one of the best I've ever seen. Oddly enough I find this fact confusing because it just doesn't mesh with the way he's acted. He's also a really good friend, good collegue, etc....

Like you, he describes his sex with men as being in a daze, haze or trance (fog). He also says he focuses on the sex act itself, not the man per se.

And yeah, I'd assume that what you said about sex with your wife pretty much answers your question, at least in a good-enough way -- or so it seems to me.

And yeah, this is way easier for me to say to somone else and much more difficult to trust in my own relationship....

Good luck Kelly,
Katie


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#183736 - 10/01/07 02:02 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Katie -

Peace be with you...I really mean that, to both you and Rob. We are working, the one week intensive couples therapy we went to helped a great deal, very cathartic in many ways. When I went home for lunch today thinking about this it just seemed so right to be with her.

Like you, she has said "How can the man I love so much, the father of my children, get so lost in himself." And that's what it is, I get so lost in myself, not in a selfish way (intentionaly that is)...just lost.

I could never call and talk about this with someone - just too shame-filled I guess (Peace and Love your way). The fear of losing her is so strong that I wondering if I am not sub-consciously trying to make it happen to punish myself.

But aside for the abuse, it's also hard to share with her that I am still sexual and I want sex to be fun and spontaneous, and not for her to worry that I am not "there" so I get worried about doing or saying something and she says "What are you doing that for...". Maybe part of this should be "How to we get the fun back?" instead of being so clinical. How much of that is my shame and guilt that stops me from getting close to her? It would be so much easier to just throw my hands up and say "Yeah, I like men better." and start a new life. But that is not what I want, but I don't want to cause her any more pain either. We both deserve so much more. Maybe we struggle so much because we have so much to loose?

_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#183743 - 10/01/07 02:42 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: selene]
kellygtx Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Selene -

Thanks for the info on Zanax. I only take 0.25 mg every week or ten days. Just enough to get past the nightmares. I do appreciate the caution.

_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#183744 - 10/01/07 02:45 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Originally Posted By: Kathryn


Kelly,

What I meant by a lifestyle is a way of behaving that spans many years -- but I'm glad to know it was only about 10 times in 14 years!!!! Just cuz I hope you and your wife make it through this.

Rob is also an amazing father -- he really is -- one of the best I've ever seen. Oddly enough I find this fact confusing because it just doesn't mesh with the way he's acted. He's also a really good friend, good collegue, etc....

Like you, he describes his sex with men as being in a daze, haze or trance (fog). He also says he focuses on the sex act itself, not the man per se.

And yeah, I'd assume that what you said about sex with your wife pretty much answers your question, at least in a good-enough way -- or so it seems to me.

And yeah, this is way easier for me to say to somone else and much more difficult to trust in my own relationship....

Good luck Kelly,
Katie


Katie -

I in no way meant to minimize anything when I said "....10 times in 14 years." If it sounded like I was rationalizing I did not mean to. As I said - one time in 14 years was infinitely too many times. I am sorry if you thought I was being trivial or less then empathetic.

_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#183760 - 10/01/07 03:37 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Kelly,


I just wanted to say that it sounds to me like you really truly love your wife, want to be with her, desire her, everything. Please hold onto that truth.


I have also sent you a PM.


peace
Beccy


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#183787 - 10/01/07 04:47 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: beccy]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Kelly,

I didn't feel you were minimizing.

Life is strange, isn't it?

K.


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#183798 - 10/01/07 05:25 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Thank you for all your words. You artfully blend thoughts and ideas that both comfort and challenge - and I thank you for that.

_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#183807 - 10/01/07 05:39 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Thankyou too Kelly:)


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#183809 - 10/01/07 05:48 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: beccy]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Kelly,

I suspect that as long as you and your wife are in therapy together that sexuality will eventually be brought up.

But I'd suspect that your therapist assumes to a large degree that sexuality per se isn't really what's at issue.

Take care,
Katie


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#184059 - 10/02/07 11:11 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
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Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Katie -

We are not currently seeing a therapist. We went thru the one week intensive and they said it was up to us if we wanted to continue. We are taking a break. We have both decided - that for us therapy 100% of the time week after week is not what we are looking for - help yes, but we have to live our lives. Plus we live over an hour away from any therapist and have five kids.



Edited by kellygtx (10/02/07 11:12 AM)
_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#184107 - 10/02/07 01:56 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
Kathryn Offline
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Posts: 303


Five kids -- probably makes acting out with men a bit difficult \:\)

Rob and I are both seeing the same therapist, though seperately, not together. Mostly because I've been an emotional looney case -- for which I blaim Rob completely -- if it wasn't for him I'd be the most healthy person alive, really nearly perfect. The therapist keeps trying to get me to see that I'm bringing my own crap into all this. No, it's all Rob's fault. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure WWI would never have happened if Rob hadn't done something.... Then there's that whole WWII thing. It's a dominoe effect.

Seriously Kelly, it seems to me that most men who have anonymous sex with men yet love their wives are suffering more from splitting/dissociation than dealing with sexual orientation issues per se. Of course there's the issue of being capable of finding sexual satisfaction of a sort with the same sex, but most women aknowledge that they could have sex with a woman, and most men do as well who spend a lot of time in psychanalysis. I always thought I COULD -- and probably in my youth I could have. And even now maybe I COULD under certain circumstances.

Anyway, I just read a pretty good article on schizoid withdrawel. Considering that you've had a problem with cutting and it seems that acting out with men is primarily (even if not exclusively) related to the same psychic stuff (and it seems that way to me) it might be good to read some stuff on this. It seems to explain a lot of what Rob has expressed feeling.

As far as the sexual orientation stuff -- if your wife can move forward, and it seems that she is, then it probably is a good idea to take this in baby steps, especially since you yourself are still trying to sort out your feelings.

I tried ot figure out how to send the link to the article, I'll keep trying when I have the time. It's pretty good.

Take care of all those young ones,
Katie


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#184111 - 10/02/07 02:06 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
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Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Katie -

Holy Cow - I can still laugh, just amazing. Come to think of it, I would be nearly perfect too if it was not for Rob! LOL - sorry, I could not resist.

The splitting / disassociation is a big problem for me. I can so easily check out and when I did act out it was in a fog. And then I would feel so emotional about that I would cut myself - and I had to see the blood on my legs, and I felt better. And then feeling better I would have to make myself feel worse, because what right do I have to feel good, so I would act out again, and cut again. What the hell!

We are moving forward, and the fact that we are intimate physically with each other is huge. I thank the therapist who told us it was very important to celebrate our love physically and not to use it to punish each other. She was so right. So we are taking baby steps...very small, steady baby steps.

Thank you -

_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#184124 - 10/02/07 03:19 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
Kathryn Offline
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Posts: 303


Here's the title of the article, just google it:

Schizoid Processes: Working with the Defenses of the Withdrawn Child Ego State.

I like this article a lot cuz it puts things in very humanistic terms.

And while it merely mentions addictions and self-harm behaviors, others find that those with addictions and self-harm behaviors often (if not necessarily) go along with schizoid withdrawel.

Take care,
Katie


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#184125 - 10/02/07 03:22 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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Posts: 303


P.S.

While this article's a bit "sketchy", I think it puts a lot in a little space, if only in outline.

K.


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#184358 - 10/03/07 10:41 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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The critics of post-modernism claim that we're in a schizoid cultural phase.

Some therapists believe that schizoid processes are the "illness" of today -- just as hysteria was the illness of Freud's day and Narcissism the illness of the post-war years.

The cultural critics point to things like: transitory career placement, t.v. (flip the switch, turn the channel, the remote control), the ever-increasing sexualization of human relationships, mind-body splitting, general up-rootedness, divorce, etc.... It's pretty interesting to read this sort of cultural criticism from those who identify with the far left politically as opposed to the more vocal/seen conservative right. While there's a lot of overlap in their critiques, they both begin and end in rather different places.

Anyway, I suspect that the emphasis on attachment theory, relational psycotherapy and the like (and which personally makes a lot of sense to me) is what it is as a corrective to the inward turn that began in the Renaissance and has brought us to the post-modern schizoid personality/and or processes -- not just on an individal level, but culturally as well.

Oh well, just some rambling thoughts.

K.


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#184368 - 10/03/07 11:14 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
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Loc: Texas, USA
"He saw schizoid personality at the disorder end and avoidant personality at the style end (p. 11) of this continuum."

“neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family –“
That's me - I am only emotionally interactive with my wife.
“almost always chooses solitary activities – “
Me again, I love to be alone“has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person”
Physical intimacy with my wife is difficult, when acting out it was compulsive, but again no fun or part of a sharing experience
“takes pleasure in few, if any, activities”
And again, guilty as charged
“lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives”
Zip here“appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others”
I am different here – I don’t like criticism, but I hate, I mean really loathe praise“shows emotional coldness”
Stone cold outside, but very emotional inside

“Schizoid personalities are often introverted and live primarily in an internal world. They may experience themselves as lonely, which may be felt as a longing for contact and love. In contrast to this longing, a common feature is terror of destroying others and of being destroyed by others. Often these people may appear outwardly contactful but are, in fact, emotionally withdrawn. Overall, there is a sense of futility and emptiness and a lack of integration.”

Wow – that is all I can say. This paper was a real slap in the face!! These are exactly the feeling I have. I live in an internal world and that is very difficult for me and for those living in an ‘outside world’. And that phrase ‘…a common feature is terror of destroying others and of being destroyed by others.’ That is so TRUE, SPOT ON. My acting out (and cutting for that matter) is not about sexuality or pleasure or anything like that, it is about my fear of destruction and feeling like I have to face that imaginary dragon, and if the dragon is not there I have to create one. What the hell??




Edited by kellygtx (10/03/07 11:15 AM)
_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#184370 - 10/03/07 11:22 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
Kathryn Offline
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The only thing that you quoted from the article that I sort of disagree with is the part about "neither desires nor enjoys close relationships".

Frankly, I didn't even catch that part of this article -- why? Because most people from a psychanalytic background disagree with this and rather believe that there's a very strong desire to connect, but that defenses have been built up out of fear of destruction to do so.

I really feel this way about Rob -- just feel it.

And I also get this feeling from you, otherwise I doubt you'd be participating on this board -- and expressing all the romantic ideals that you express.

K.


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#184372 - 10/03/07 11:25 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303



And also.... you wouldn't have produced 5 reasons to stay connected to others....

And lots of other stuff too.

I really like the analogy with the dragon, sort of a false battle -- the real battle is probably exposing the most vulnerable aspects of one's self.

Take care,
Katie


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#184427 - 10/03/07 01:47 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Wow, this really hit home home for me too. Wikapedia has lots of info too.

Stay strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#184437 - 10/03/07 02:34 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: mogigo]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


The DSM diagnostic category sort of has diluted the complexity of schizoid processes by breaking it up into schizoid, avoidant, dependent and schizotypal. With the DSM interpretation all you get are "outward" manifestations rather than an exploration of secret desires, fantasies and the like.

For people who write on the subject and see schizoid, avoidant, dependent and schizotypal as various manifestations or processes of schizoidism more broadly concieved, they tend to make a big deal out of the fact that a lot of these people have secrety fantasies of deep connection -- though they may take the form of fantasizing about being a rock star so that all the girls will love you, etc. -- and they take this as a really good thing and one of the things that makes schizoid people a joy for therapists to work with.

Anyway, I kind of like this more positive, and in my mind, more humanistic approach because it seems to me that a schizoid withdrawel is almost inevitable in cases of childhood sexual abuse. And it seems to me that all this sexual acting out (and other forms of acting out) are merely a symptom of trying to stay in contact with the withdrawn original or more authentic or more vulnerable self -- and as a means to escape possible harm to that self through creating a fantasy in which there's a semblance of feeling without the real risk. Sooooo..... it's sort of an indication that there's attempts/struggles to do the real thing. And I find that a positive interpretatoin of some pretty negative action -- which works for me \:\)

In other words -- there seems to be real desire to attatch, which is way more than half the battle.

Take care,
Katie


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#184440 - 10/03/07 02:44 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
A desire to connect, to have a soulmate, has been my reason from the start for trying to sort out (understatement) my problems.

Have loved this post, thanks especially to Katie, great stuff.

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#184448 - 10/03/07 04:13 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
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Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Kathryn -

I was diagnosed with an Avoidant Personality Disorder (as many CSA survivors have) but they also debated Borderline Personality Disorder because I do (or did) cut myself. But with the exception of cutting I did not meet the other criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder.

I agree that acting out and cutting are both ways to stay connected - but that is a false connection as both ways are emotionally detached. Neither acting out or cutting provided me, nor did I want, any emotional connection. But then I do understand your point that it is a struggle to express a real desire to connect - just not knowing how when you feel you will destroy someone - or worse yet be destroyed (rejected) by them.

You are too good (and too smart) at this!!



Edited by kellygtx (10/03/07 04:14 PM)
_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#184454 - 10/03/07 05:14 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

Thanks Kelly.

I've become pretty interested in diagnostic categories because my little boy is have some difficulties in school and thus far people have speculated that he has auditory processing disorders, he's a bit Asperger's, he has Non-verbal Learning Disability (which looks a whole lot like Asperger's to me), he has ADD. None of these things seem to add up to me -- except some Asperger's-like stuff or schizoid tendencies.

But.... he also has an exceptionally high IQ, so people who study high IQ kids are coming up with a new nomenclature to describe what others refer to as "Asperger's" or schizoid tendencies because they say that this is not "pathological" in gifted kids cuz it's just part of being gifted....

They're also encouraging a differential diagnosis be made when you're dealing with an exceptionally high IQ and are confronted with what might look like Borderline Personality -- cuz all those emotionally exagerated traits, including over-emphasis on moral considerations, are really just "excitabilities" when seen in a person with a higher than average IQ.

So I guess if you're really emotional and concerned about justice and are smart you're ok. If you're stupid, then you have a personality disorder.... Yikes!!!!

Sort of funny.

Schizoid Personality Disorder is rarely diagnosed in the U.S., but is a common diagnosis in Britain.

The DSM, and thus most therapists, define Borderline Personality in one way, but others define it in another way. Kernberg uses it to describe levels of functioning -- as in the borderline between neurosis and psychosis -- so a person can be Narcissistic at either the neurotic level or the borderline level, or Schizoid at either the neurotic or borderline level.

So I guess a person could be Borderline at either level as well. Maybe I'm Borderline at the neurotic level -- though I've never cut, never questioned my sexual identity -- but I sure do have a lot of "excitabilities" -- and don't even get me started on what I think's right and how the world should be -- and would be if there were any justice at all and I were God.

Some people think we all have a neurotic and psychotic structure -- cuz staying too much in contact with reality would fucking drive us crazy.

Still.... every once in a while a person will write about a pattern they see and it just sounds more or less evocative. Some of what's been written about schizoid processes strike me this way -- especially from people coming from the self and/or relational psychological schools of thought.

Cutting/acting out -- my therapist puts it in terms of trying to shock the self back into feeling life -- or something like this. Maybe it's a call to the hidden away vulnerable self to wake the hell up and drink a cup of coffee with someone you really care about.

Take care,
Katie


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#184457 - 10/03/07 05:31 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


I don't know, I'm thinking more and more that it's better to put things in terms of processes or preferred styles than "personality" cuz personality is so loaded now with the idea of structure, like houses and cares are structured. Sure, there's brain structures and other biological structures, and these are important, but they're important because becaue of the processes they open up which probably can't be predetermined based on the structure itself -- which certainly acts as a limiting factor, but doesn't act as a sole cause the multiple possible choices within those limitations.

I really like attachment theory. Maybe one day we'll speak in terms of attachment styles rather than personality disorders.

Anyway --

K.


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#184458 - 10/03/07 05:34 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
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Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Hey wait - my neurologist (who is also a board certified psychiatrist) says he thinks I have Aspergers Syndrome and that it is closely related to the neurological problem I have called Myoclonis Dystonia. Interesting you brought that up! I know you must be thinking "Holy shit this guy is really fucked up!" Actually I have been relatively successful in my public "self" although very withdrawn and isolated.

YOU ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!



Edited by kellygtx (10/03/07 05:43 PM)
_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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#184485 - 10/03/07 07:21 PM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: kellygtx]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


In studies that have tracked kids diagnosed with Asperger's they end up diagnosed as Schizoid as adults.

My son, Jason, had benign hydrocephalus (familial macrocephaly) when he was born. It's a form of hydrocephalus (extra fluid on the brain) that is not catastrophic and does not require surgical intervention. It's called benign because it's been assumed that the fluid get reabsorbed by age 2 and that it doesn't cause much problem -- just bigger than average heads.

But the few studies that have tracked these kids show a tendency both to high IQs and "learning disabilities" -- especially with neurological deficits like strabmismus (where the eyes don't track together), poor gross and fine motor skills, speach impediment (and delayed speaking), and oddly, turned out feet.

It's speculated that the extra fluid promotes high IQs because the fluid is intimately connected to the development of the brain, especially it's fold and fiber growth. But if there's too much fluid, then brain damage can occur -- and if enough damage is incurred then a lowering of the IQ can occur.

There's speculation that a similar process is at work in Asperger's -- or that some of these children grow up to be Asperger's and other stuff is at work in the case of smaller-headed Asperger's....

But then you have to define Asperger's. There's a tendency to broaden it's definition so much that a whole bunch of people could fall into this category.

For instance, there's no doubt in my mind that Jason has Asperger's like tendencies -- or schizoid like tendencies -- he introverted, likes daydreaming a whole heck of a lot (it's one of his favorite activites), there's a general, soft tendency on his part to not cue in when other children are approaching him --ie, there's a natural inward turn.

When he was younger he was also very sensitive to bright lights, loud noises, didn't like tags in his cloths, and I still have to buy the "right" kinds of socks otherwise he can feel the seams which he really doesn't like.

BUT.... He has good eye contact when you do get his attention, is very empathetic, enjoys and gets jokes, puns and the like.

I've recently gotten ahold of a neuropsychologist in another state who has a vita longer than this post. While she was reluctant to diagnose Jason over the phone she also wanted to reasure me and so told me that she doubts he's either Asperger's or Non-verbal learning disabled.

What she's thinking is that the hydrocephalus caused limited brain damage mostly to the areas which control for motor-sequencing tasks -- which ends up looking a bit like all the speculated diagnoses... yet doesn't.

She was pretty interesting because according to her a person with either Asperger's proper (or Non-verbal learning disorders) can't score as high as Jason has on the Verbal sections of the IQ screenings -- cuz past a certain point if you have to grasp the social meanings of language, especially play on words, humor, etc....

Still, if a specialist suggests he's a bit Asperger's or something along those lines I'm not offended because he does have certain tendencies in that direction. It's just that it's important to get a better or more de>

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#184630 - 10/04/07 10:55 AM Re: How to Talk About Sexuality [Re: Kathryn]
kellygtx Offline
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Registered: 07/11/07
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas, USA
Kathryn -

I don't know how to unravel the symptoms of the abuse, Myoclonic Dystonia, and , potentially Asperger's Syndrome. They all seem so intertwined at this point. I don't think they can be unraveled and have to be dealt with 'on the whole' so to speak.

I am much better communicating here or via email then I am verbally. And to sit in a room with you - well you would swear you were in the room alone. Talking to you - or just sitting still with out jerking or something like that would be very hard for me. Knowing you wanted to communicate with me would make me very uncomfortable. And forget about eye contact - I find it very intimidating. But when I do talk I have been accused of being very "Alan Greenspan'ish".

I find - but am getting better - that real emotional intimacy, thou I love my wife and children very much - is so damned difficult.

_________________________
I bid you Peace.

Kelly

The time is always NOW. Breath In. Breath Out. Move On.

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