Vulnerability and negotiation.

I’ve been slacking in general for the last week, and have been avoiding writing because I don’t want to write about what I need to write about. Instead, I’ve been busy digging through all the feelings and ignoring basically everything else. I am behind on homework, my house is kind of a mess, and everything has pretty much been on hold while I get my shit in order. With that in mind, I think I also have been getting nothing done because this blog entry really needs to be written and I’ve just been steadily avoiding it. However, I would like to catch up on homework, clean my house, and not get too behind in my life so it’s time to buckle down and spit it out as best I can, which will probably be less than my best but here we go anyways.

The theme since the last blog entry where I kind of vomited onto the page has been vulnerability. I’ve spent a lot of time beside Mr. Mister’s altar in contemplation about the concept of being vulnerable. There’s been a lot of self-conversations about it and I’ve made some notes and have a few conclusions but there are no answers and I don’t think there will be, at least for quite awhile.

I am a two-sided coin when it comes to vulnerability. In some ways, I am incredibly vulnerable. There are certain topics in my life where, if one were to poke at them in a negative way, it would cause me pain that I don’t like to feel. Those parts are fragile dried-out sandcastles that are reduced to sodden lumps with the first touch of the tide. I kind of hate that there are parts of me that respond to outside stimuli like that, but I suppose that’s part of the whole gig of being human, as pesky as that can be sometimes.

On the other hand, I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into not being vulnerable and into constructing walls that I foolishly have believed have both served me and kept me safe. They have done neither and, currently, they are part of the problem. Mr. Mister seems bent on me not having the walls that are unhealthy and, while He recognizes that not all of them are harmful, some of them are. This is terribly uncomfortable right now because it requires trust and vulnerability. Good times.

Why build walls? My gut answer is ‘why not?’ because I am feeling a bit bitchy tonight, but the real reason is to keep from being hurt and to stay in control. Neither of those are particularly useful reasons anymore, or at least not right now. Yes, not being hurt is a nice thing but if I am to do the personal work He wants me to do, I have to be willing to hurt and be hurt. It’s not that He’s out to harm me or cause me hurt intentionally, but that it’s part of the process and I have to come to terms with that. It already hurts and it’s going to hurt more. If He is really either in the process of or getting ready to dig into my heart, I had better be ready for some pain.

As for being in control, that’s rather complex. I’m terrified of being out of control. I think part of that is a bipolar thing and it ties nicely into the whole question of vulnerability. When I am actively symptomatic, my emotions feel out of control and I have to do a whole lot to reign them in. I am scared of strong emotional reactions because I am afraid it will push me into being symptomatic. I know I can have strong emotions without being symptomatic [see this past week], but the fear is there. I am keenly aware of what it feels like to be out of control in that way and it’s not a fun experience for me at all. With that in mind, I’ve put a lot of work into building walls to prevent that but it’s become a problem because the walls say that any emotional reaction is a trigger for symptoms and tries to shut it down. Not so helpful when you’re supposed to be working on feeling your feelings.

The control thing is a long-standing problem and it’s manifesting in an interesting way with Mr. Mister. I believe now that I am more in control of what happens between Him and I than I have believed in the past. I am certainly not His equal [far from it] and, at the end of the day, He is still the captain of the ship called Alex, but I have a lot more control than I have previously given myself credit for. This is both a relief, in that I have at least some power in the situation, and something scary, as I can’t throw my hands up in the air and renounce any personal responsibility for what happens.

I learned tonight that I’ve apparently been ignoring Him this week, though I would argue that I didn’t hear Him more than I ignored Him. He has apparently been urging me to negotiate with Him and that has been more than lost on me. It makes perfect sense. He’s a God of negotiation, after all. Why WOULDN’T He want me to negotiate with Him? He didn’t pick me up so that He could have some sort of automaton who jettisoned their selfhood in pursuit of the greater good. I think this is what the no self-sacrifice thing was/is about—I’ve got to assert my own needs and make a good case as to why I should have [or not have] XYZ. I have to learn how to negotiate and my first job is to negotiate with Mr. Mister. Nothing like starting with the small stuff. Though, to my credit, this would not be the first time I have negotiated with a Deity. Just, perhaps, the most intimidating time.

How does this tie into vulnerability? Well, He wants my vulnerability and, by extension, my openness. That’s his base offer. Now I have to make a counter offer with what I am willing to give and, of particular interest to me, what I want in return. I’m not sure if this is a situation where I’ll get to ask for anything in return or if it’s only going to be me attempting to hammer out the details of my vulnerability and openness but you can bet I’m going to try. I have some ideas about what I want and I think I’m prepared to ask for it, though I need to consider my words carefully. I kind of flashed my hand at Him this evening and didn’t get a ‘fuck no, are you crazy?’ in response so I’ll make my offer formally tomorrow night during my nightly contemplation.

In other news, I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten a no on one aspect of my devotional practice which is interesting. I’m not really having any feelings about it as I wasn’t really attached to the particular thing other than I thought that might be something that He wanted. I guess it’s back to the drawing board on that, which is really no big deal, I suppose.

In the end, though, I know all of this is good for me and I know He has my best interests at heart even if it makes me kind of miserable in the process. Through it all, He makes me smile a whole lot. I find myself completely entranced by Him and I am, despite the bumps, bruises, and black eyes, I am happier for having Him as the captain of the ship. It does not suck to be me, at all.

~ by Alex on February 13, 2013.

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