"you complete me"

"you complete me and i really need you"

That's what Impy said today.  He had been very busy this week that he hardly had time even for emails.  Yesterday, I had to initiate the email threads twice.  Today, no emails waited for me when I woke up.

I figured he was fading away.  Real life was pulling him away.  That's how most of my relationships end.  I was expecting the worst.  My heart was breaking.

But he came in this afternoon and, even though he couldn't stay long, our conversation was very heartwarming.  He reassured me that he wasn't fading away; RL was just really busy.

I told him what I needed to feel reassured, but I didn't want him to make any promises.  I told him how I felt, but I didn't want him to apologize.

He said he understood my insecurity, because he felt the same way only a couple of weeks ago.  It was around the time I was arguing with Wolfgang.  I assumed it was just because I was preoccupied.  And, when I'm hurting, I tend to withdraw emotionally from everybody.  I knew that he reads my blog, so he knew what was going on with my other affairs, but I didn't realize that he was also affected by it.

Honestly, I am overwhelmed.  The man fills my cup to overflowing.


This weekend, Wolfgang was also preoccupied with a real-life friend who was going through a very rough spot.  But our relationship is more stable this past week.

The next time we met after he re-leashed me, I knelt as I thought he expected me to.  But he stopped the animation and said that there was no need to kneel.  Even though we are using the collar and leash, he reiterated that our relationship is not BDSM.  He still asks if I want the leash before he puts it on.

The collar and leash are our only symbols of belonging to each other, because we're worried that his ex-friend is still watching Alt#27's profile, so we're not putting anything about each other in our profiles.

Something strange happened last Thursday though.  He suddenly said that I could take advantage of his body for 45 minutes before he had to focus on work.  Then he got naked.  And suddenly, I felt this nervousness, this shyness.  Of course, he was amused that I was "blushing" and "paralyzed" (his own words).  So, I ended up not taking advantage of his body because I was too nervous.

It's not that I was naked in front of him, because I was used to being naked with him in various degrees of nakedness.  It's not that we hadn't made love for a very long time, because it really wasn't that long.  He thinks it's because I was wearing the collar and leash outside RP, so there's more realness to our intimacy now.


Meanwhile, Rapido is coming into SL again.  I still rarely see him though. On his Sunday show, he greeted me on the air again as usual, but this time, he added, "My god!  The most beautiful..." Then he continued the rest of his sentence in Spanish.  This was the man who wanted my avie to be "gordita," just like I am in real life, so that comment was confusing, but it felt nice anyway.

Lucky Bastard also came in briefly after a very long absence from SL.  I was in the middle of filming for an ad and I couldn't move my cam or my avatar, so we just had a brief conversation about technical stuff in IM.

Two short respites during an emotionally difficult weekend.  Even though the "difficulty" is all because of my own insecurities.  :)

Ain't no sunshine

I was entertaining an out-of-town friend this weekend.  When I told Impy that I couldn't meet with him Saturday because of that, I sensed disappointment in the very brief pause.

So when he sent me this link (which I saw on Saturday evening), of course, my heart melted.

When I came back Sunday night, I got two surprise gifts from him.  I was stunned.

We had talked about going public with our relationship, but I'm having second thoughts now.  If everybody knew who the wonderful Impy is, some women out there (or men in female avatars) might try to steal him away.  Do I want that risk?   ;)

The power of little things

Last Friday, I met with Wolfgang briefly for a hug.  I decided to end the timeout after a week.  I still had no resolution, but I knew that I couldn't solve it alone.


Last night (or early this morning) was the first time we talked about it.  It was already past his time to head out for lunch, but we were still at an impasse.  We were repeating the same things we said before my timeout week.  I could feel my own anger and frustration starting to rise again.  I asked him if he was having a long lunch or a short one.  He said it would be a short one, and that was the last thing he said before he suddenly logged out.

He didn't log back in right away, so I figured he decided to go to lunch after crashing.  I thought he'd be back in about an hour.  So I browsed some freebie blogs and went to go to a shop that had a hunt going on.  While waiting for things to rez, I decided to brush my teeth and wash up to get ready for bed.  If we were still at an impasse, it was likely going to be a short conversation.

A lot of things went through my head.  Was there really no solution to this?  He turned down the only solution I had in mind, which was to go back to the BDSM relationship.

It was a series of events that changed our relationship:
1. One of his subs became jealous that my name was on his profile.  And my name was the only one that was ever on his profile.
2. Therefore, he removed my name from his profile to solve that issue.
3. Therefore, I became upset because it felt like I lost something, something more than his "protection" (in BDSM terms).
4. Therefore, I again asked him to create an alt just for me.  But he didn't agree right away, which I took as a refusal.  But he eventually created the alt, with a "limitation" about being unable to project into the new alt.
5. Only a short time after he started using the new alt, he released me, even though I was reluctant.  And he said that he felt he lost something, but he refused to do anything that I didn't enjoy.

When I got back to my computer, he had tp'd me back to where we were.  (I still haven't picked up that freebie I wanted to hunt for.)  His building lost power, and that's why he left so abruptly.

So, we continued our conversation.  Just before he lost power, we were talking about our issues with sex.  I had always thought that he didn't want sex, just the sensuality, because he didn't like the way he felt after sex.  As we kept talking, I realized that it was because he usually couldn't have sex because he could easily be interrupted irl.  I also understand why he gave me a different reason in the past.  After all, we didn't know each other well in the beginning.  I understood the "I cannot" much better than the "I don't want" or "I prefer not."  So we agreed that I won't expect sex even if we do "sensual" things.  But if he has the opportunity, he would give me a signal to let me know that there's a chance it would be more than "sensual" that day.


It's all symbols

We again discussed the issue of him claiming me.  When we talked about BDSM, he asked what I liked about it and I said that I liked the sense that he was claiming me as his.  And we talked about what indicates a claim.

The collar and leash was what we had because D/s was the relationship that we started with.  Having my name in his profile was also a way of claiming me.  Partnering (as Impy had chosen) was another way of claiming me.

To Wolfgang, the collar and leash were the most powerful symbols of possession.  But I didn't quite understand why.

I mean I understand why that is true for BDSM people.  Those symbols have acquired a meaning based on their use by so many people for a long time.  It's like words in the dictionary. A new word goes into the dictionary because it has been accepted by the public to mean something specific.  The society had "agreed" on the meaning and symbolism of that word.  It's the same with the collar and leash in the BDSM community.

However, Wolfgang prides himself in being individualistic.  He is not the type of person who would go with the crowd.  And he even says that he's not really a BDSM type either.  It was just something different to try for fun.  So it didn't make sense that he would think that the collar and leash were powerful symbols.

I suggested that we come up with our own symbols and assign meaning to those symbols.  After all, we were both very independent people.  Why would we have to use symbols that the rest of the world have defined?  And, besides, with new symbols, there would be no negative connotations that would affect me emotionally and psychologically.

I realized that even his alt is a symbol.  In fact, everything in this world and in the real world are symbols.  (That's another book idea right there.)  Anything that we attach meaning to is a symbol.


Adding the "h"

He asked what we should do.  I said we could stay the way we are until we come up with an idea.  He reiterated that he was fine the way we were without BDSM.  Then he joked...
[2012/07/23 05:12:42]

Wolfgang#3: ((and you look damn sexy leashed ;) ))

Alt#27: Then leash me!

Wolfgang#3: lol
Wolfgang#3: but you don't like that !

Alt#27: Will you fuck me if you leash me?

Wolfgang#3: leash is not necessary to fuck by luck lol

Alt#27: okay, here's what I'm saying....
Alt#27: If you make love to me each time you leash me, I will associate the leash with pleasure.
Alt#27: Then the meaning of that symbol changes.
Alt#27: For me.
Alt#27: And it's a very concrete signal that means "yes, today, we can fuck."

Wolfgang#3: leash claim you, it is not a message of fuck lol
But the idea of a symbol gaining a different meaning for me made him more open to trying it again, in case there's a possibility that I would associate the collar and leash with the concept of him claiming me, which I like, as opposed to associating them with oppression, which I don't like.

He said that it was my decision what to do next with us, "i just want that you are happy with what we do."  I was surprised.  And awed.  He's a dom by nature, but he was explicitly giving me the decision-making power.

When I thanked him, he said that, when he released me, it was essentially my decision too.  He knew that the only reason I didn't want to be released was because I was afraid to lose "us."  And to him, that was a very wrong reason to stay in BDSM.

We both know that there's no guarantee that it would be better this time around, so we agreed to try it for two weeks then we'll discuss it again.  Then I made the collar visible again, and he re-leashed me.

Right then and there, something changed between us and in each of us.  And he noticed it too.


The power of little things

I realized that we both had already associated a different meaning to the collar and leash.  But we had to "lose" the symbols, in order to see the meaning.  Like we need darkness to define light.

The reason we didn't see it before is because those symbols gained their new meaning during roleplay.  It was the night when we did our first "live" roleplay after weeks of RP in email only.  It was the night my character as a sub "surrendered" to his character as a dom after he "caught" me.  Even though it was just roleplay, we both felt very strong emotions and I remember thinking that it felt like a wedding.  Later, I remarked that the collar and leash bound us together like wedding rings, because even the leash ended in a "ring" around his hand, so he was as bound to me as I was to him.  Of course, at the time, he insisted it was different, even though he later called the leash "the string of our love" during roleplay.

So when he released me, it also felt like a divorce.  As he said, he gave me my "freedom" in more than one sense of the word.

[2012/07/23 06:36:15]

Wolfgang#3: that s funny how much 2 little things can make you so more desirable

Alt#27: The leash and the collar?

Wolfgang#3: yes

Alt#27: It's funny that the same two things make me feel closer to you.

Wolfgang#3: yes
Wolfgang#3: that is more understandable for me as it link us materially

Alt#27: For me, it's because of that night.

Wolfgang#3: the link was cut, and it appears again, symbol of it
Wolfgang#3: so it leads us to feel closer

Alt#27: /me nods.
Alt#27: Because of a meaning that we previously attached to it.
Wolfgang#3: yes
Wolfgang#3: power of little things

Examining the bar

I was ready to send Wolfgang an email last night to tell him I was ready to meet.  Then I realized that I was "ready," only because I miss him.  I still had no resolution to bring to the table.

A long time ago, I heard of a study of couples, done by John Gottman, who claims to be able to predict which newly weds would divorce based on micro-expressions on the couple's faces that are not visible to the human eye, but can be clearly seen on slow-motion video.

And as I was looking it up, I found this video of John Gottman himself, talking about building trust.



Around 3:10, he talks about CLalt (Comparison Level for Alternatives), where he said:
"Once you start thinking that you can do better, then you begin a cascade of not committing to the relationship, of trashing your partner instead of cherishing your partner, of building resentment rather than gratitude, of lower investment in the relationship, less dependency for getting your needs met, not sacrificing for the relationship, and escalating conflicts so it becomes an absorbing state."
And that hit home.  CLalt was that "bar" that Impy raised.

When I first surrendered to Wolfgang as his sub, he was very reluctant to add Alt#27's name to his profile to say that she is under his protection, as is customary in BDSM circles.  Even though he had other subs, he never placed anybody's name in his profile.  I had to argue that me putting his name on my profile as being protected by him wouldn't hold water if he doesn't confirm it in his own profile.

Impy wanted a partnership, specifically because he wanted my name in his profile officially.

I think I had asked Wolfgang to create an alt just for me since the beginning, but he refused because of his own philosophy about his own alts.  He didn't want a throw-away alt; he didn't want an alt that he would put to sleep after the relationship is over.  So when one of his subs threw a tantrum because he had my name in his profile and not hers, he removed my name.  I again asked him to create an alt just for me.  He argued against it again.  And it was the same time we argued about the tracker as well.  To appease me, he said he didn't definitively say "no."  And eventually, he relented and created an alt, but warned me that he probably won't give that new alt his essence.

When I suggested that Impy create a new alt for me in order for us to have privacy, he did so the very next day.

Wolfgang refuses to explicitly say that he loves me, not in any language.  He said that he prefers to say "I like you," but he never said that to me either.  He said that his actions should be enough.  And yet, one of his former friends started harassing me because she mistook his actions as romantic, instead of platonic.  He pointed out little clues in our RP, but am I supposed to accept his RP as real?

Impy is emotionally expressive.  Not just in his actions, but in his words as well.  I don't remember a day when he forgot to say he loves me, whether in English or in Spanish.

Wolfgang hates to talk by voice. Impy loves to listen to my voice.

Wolfgang never read a single blog post that I wrote.  He picked up my book long ago, but he still hasn't read it. Impy inhaled my blogs and my book, because he was very curious about who I am.

Is it any wonder that my CLalt zoomed upwards?

Granted, I'm not Wolfgang's best lover either.  He says I read things into what he says and I argue too much.

When he mentioned that all his other lovers were devoted to him alone and that I'm the only one with other lovers besides him, I took it as a complaint.  When he talked about starting a diet to lose a few pounds, I took it as an insult about my RL weight.  When he refused to arrange to have someone notify me if anything happened to him, he said that only his family and his RL friends would know when he passed on, and none of his SL friends would, ... well, what right did I have to assume I had at least some importance to him?

He enjoyed "sensuality" like dancing with me half-naked.  When I told him that those things usually aroused me and that I was left frustrated, he indicated that I should be able to find someone to satisfy me, even though I insisted that sex without emotions was not as satisfying and it was always difficult to find a good partner.  I started to tell him about an ex-lover who made a point of arousing me then logging off without satisfying me.  That was when he said that he's not my other lovers.  So I never got the chance to tell him that I broke off that relationship precisely because of that repeated sexual frustration.

I am not ignoring the wonderful things he does for me.  I am not forgetting that he refuses to do something if it doesn't also give me pleasure, that he compliments the work I do, that he gives me his time even while he's working, that he hurries back from lunch because he knows I am waiting, that he has confided in me more than he has confided in most people.

And I cannot dismiss the fact that I love him.  And he has, in fact, become a bit more expressive lately, more tender, more caring.

I still don't know what to do.  If we leave things the way they are, we'll eventually break up and just be friends, which means I'll just ignore him.

Maybe this is just growing pains.  But growing how?  If I'm just another "SL friend," is it worth investing more time and effort in this relationship?

Entrainment

The first time I heard the word "entrainment" was in a documentary, where they illustrated how people tend to walk in the same rhythm after a while.

It happens with me and some very close friends and, of course, with my sister.  We'd be saying the same thing at the same time, several times in a sequence.  Or, I would sense that a scheduled lunch would be delayed or postponed, because I'd have a hard time waking up that morning.

That seems to be happening more with me and Impy these days.  The odd way that we met again was probably the first incidence.  And very often since then, we would be in the same wavelength, typing the same thing, thinking the same thoughts.

And this past week, I've been having visions and "knowings" about him. No, I don't claim to be psychic.  So, we would test my "predictions."

Then, yesterday, he sent me a very sweet email about what I mean to him.  My heart melted, of course.  Later, he explained that, while driving, he suddenly sensed a deep sadness and an urge to hold me in his arms, and that prompted him to send the email.  When he got that feeling, I had already gone to bed.  But he sensed my mood before I went to bed.

I've felt that sensitivity towards other lovers who have been very close to me.  But it's very rare that a man would get that sense about me.

I'm still pragmatic, but, with Impy, I'm learning to expect the unexpected.

Rewinding

I was browsing back through old emails and chat logs, searching for clues where we got off-track, when we started arguing, when I started being unhappy.

Then I found the last email with our private roleplay.  He had sent the last response to that roleplay on May 6, but I didn't continue with the RP because the book had just been released so I had to focus on that.  And, besides, the RP was making me nervous.  It was coming up to a certain climax.

Then I had an idea.

This morning, before I went to bed, I replied to that email and continued the RP.  When I woke up this afternoon, he still hadn't replied.  He's probably still angry.

I think he'll argue against continuing the RP.  For one, we already gave up the D/s relationship and, in that RP, we are dom and sub.  Continuing that RP means we would go back to that kind of relationship.  And we left it because it wasn't comfortable for me.  And he refuses to do anything that makes me uncomfortable.

But, in a sense, rewinding back to that time and to that relationship would give us breathing room until we figure out a more permanent solution.  And there are benefits to it.

1. Doing an RP is better than not communicating at all.  At least we stay in touch.

2. Roleplaying opens up a way to express emotions indirectly and in a less threatening environment.  Our RP characters become another mask.  And, often, masks make it easier for us to express our inner selves.

3. A sub doesn't argue.  A sub can recommend, but the final decision belongs to the dom.  There won't be any power struggles.  At least, not during the RP.

4. When we switched from a D/s relationship to a normal relationship, he said that he felt as though he lost something.  He claims that without the D/s relationship, he becomes just another of my lovers.  By rewinding, I give him back what he thinks he lost.

Sure, I can try to change him instead.  But I've learned that you really can't change anybody, except yourself.

Sure, I can just walk away.  I can handle my own heartaches; I've had so many of them.  But if my leaving gives him pain, I cannot go.  His happiness is important to me.

So, I guess, on more than one level, I am surrendering to him ... again.

Who knows if it's good or bad?

In the book, I retold the Buddhist koan about the farmer and his horse.  No matter what happened to the farmer, he always said, "Who knows if it's good or bad?"

Impy and I had talked about how my other lovers would react if they learned that I was about to be partnered.  He said that if I continued to see them for the same amount of time as I usually did, they didn't have reason to be jealous.  But I knew it was more than that.  Because *I* would change.
[2012/06/26 18:37:12] 

Impy#2: better with Wolfgang?

Alt#24: Yes, we had a very long conversation last night.
Alt#24: I'll tell you about it tomorrow.
Alt#24: I think my relationship with him is changing.
Alt#24: Maybe affected by you.

Impy#2: ok, i'm very very glad to hear it, (to hear you are ok with him)
Impy#2: yes? by me????

Alt#24: Long story.
Alt#24: And you have to sleep!
Alt#24: tomorrow

Impy#2: :D  damm!!!!

Alt#24: LOL
Alt#24: Okay, quick answer....
Alt#24: You raised the bar.

Impy#2: :)

Alt#24: Because of you, I expect more from lovers now.


Last night, I asked Wolfgang for a timeout.  We've been arguing again.  Two days in a row.  And that's only because we didn't meet on Wednesday; otherwise, it would have been more days in a row.  He says I take what he says the wrong way and that's why we have all these arguments.  He admits he also needs to choose to interpret my words the right way.

[2012/07/13 06:20:38]

Alt#27: Something else is wrong, I think.... That's just a symptom.

Wolfgang#3: aha
Wolfgang#3: tell me

Alt#27: I would if I knew what it was.

Wolfgang#3: ok
Wolfgang#3: so what do we do?

Alt#27: How do you feel about being apart for two weeks?

Wolfgang#3: as you wish
We've kinda started using those phrases - "as you wish" to mean we don't like it but we are agreeing anyway, "if you say so" to mean we don't think the same way but we are avoiding an argument.  I started using them and he followed suit.  And those phrases have been appearing more and more in our conversations.  From both sides.

I asked him how he felt about the timeout.  He said he'd better not say.  He felt that his opinion didn't matter in this case, because "you have some need. i can't argue with a need."

But in the end, he admitted that he is angry.  It may seem like a strange reaction, but he once said that anger is all he knows.  He tucks away all other emotions into "boxes" and stores them away.  I said, all those emotions he was tucking away into boxes were actually seeping out as anger.  So they're not as "secure" in boxes as he claims they are.

I asked if it would be better if we shortened the time to one week.  He said that if I needed three weeks, it would be three weeks.

I had been thinking of doing this a long time ago.  But I was worried that, if we did take time away from each other, we would not get back together again.  He said, "I don't know," which usually meant he doesn't want to speculate about the subject.  But it also meant that he thinks there's a chance we would still get back together.

I had to ask him to hide his status from me so my heart doesn't skip a beat every time I see him log in.  He said I would have to defriend him, because he refuses to hide.  And that almost started another argument.



I know I hurt him by asking for those two weeks.  I am very aware that he tries hard to make "us" work.  And it is hard work.  He and I are not as easily compatible as Impy and I are.  But I love him dearly regardless.  And I'm realizing that he probably loves me too, even if he refuses to say it.

I don't know if I can stay away for two weeks. But we have to figure out why the arguments start.  It's probably my fault.  I find insults where there are none.  I find disagreements where it's just a difference in how we express things.  But if these things happen, that means there's something going on in my subconscious.  And I need time away to examine whatever that is.

I'm almost sure it has something to do with the bar that Impy raised.  But, really, there shouldn't be a bar at all....

"i m not your other lovers"

[2012/07/12 04:57:33]

Alt#27: You know, you're still my Dom.

Wolfgang#3: i didn't delete myself from your collar or i couldn't undress you

Alt#27: It's more than that.
Alt#27: It's just what we are.
Alt#27: I think there will always be a bit of D/s in this.
Alt#27: Because of who you are.

Wolfgang#3: aha
Wolfgang#3: because i'm dom inside?

Alt#27: /me nods.
Alt#27: You like to have control.

Wolfgang#3: hum i don't think it is that much simple

Alt#27: Maybe not.

 I still wear the collar although it is invisible now.  It was mostly so he could undress me and tp me, which I like.  He refuses to lock it himself and I kept inadvertently detaching it when I wear something that goes on the same attachment point.  So, I finally locked it myself.

But, last night, I decided to shop for new hair and to try blonde this time.  Alt#27 was originally a redhead.  A couple of weeks ago, I bought a dark hair just to test it with the new skin.  Last night, I switched to blonde.  I have Opal and another alt as redheads.  I have several brunettes.  But I only have one blonde, so Alt#27 becomes my second blonde.

Anyway, I was trying some demos when he logged in.  And I asked his opinion on the styles.  He didn't like short hair because it made me look too young.  He didn't like the bangs because it made my face too round.  I wanted to find mesh hair that looks good on me.  The good thing about rigged mesh hair is that the strands stay in front of your breasts even as you turn your head. The bad thing about rigged mesh hair is that you have to adjust your shape if your skull shows through the top, if you happen to have a longer head or a longer neck than the designer's model.

And he preferred the flexy hair anyway because he said the hairs would "dance during i fuck you strong".  (Hair designers, are you listening?  We still want dancing flexy add-ons for those mesh hairs please.)

Then somewhere during that conversation, he remarked that it looks like I've already decided, as though I really didn't want his opinion.  But I did want his opinion.  However, in the end, it was still my decision, while taking his wishes into consideration.  But because he noticed that I had decided, it felt as though he expected it to be his decision alone, simply because I asked for his opinion.

[2012/07/12 05:04:51]

Wolfgang#3: you don't feel free?
Wolfgang#3: that i don"'t let you space enough?

Alt#27: It's not a yes/no question.
Alt#27: It's a range.
Alt#27: I feel freer now than when we were officially D/s.
Alt#27: But, sometimes, I still feel that you're still asserting your domination.

Wolfgang#3: asserting?
Wolfgang#3: like how?

Alt#27: pushing
Alt#27: It's just a feeling.
Alt#27: Like when I decide on hair and you notice that I already decided.

Wolfgang#3: yes, it is just a notice

Alt#27: The fact that you noticed it means that it's not the usual way.

Wolfgang#3: ah yes

Alt#27: It's a change from the usual way.
A few days ago, I asked him to ask someone to send me a message somehow if he is incapacited or worse that he couldn't send me a message himself.  I have asked the same from many lovers, including Impy.

Wolfgang, however, flatly refused.  He promised that he would never simply disappear on me.  Even as I explained that many of my lovers did, he insisted that he is not like my other lovers.  He added that, if he passed on, his RL family would know and his RL friends would know, but none of his SL friends would.  It was the most hurtful thing he had ever said to me.  It felt like I didn't matter, because I'm just an SL friend.

I respect the fact that it's his life and it's his decision.  But it was very painful.

He probably sensed my pain because I was quiet for a while and then I changed the topic after, because he continued to try to explain his reasons.  I just nodded and withdrew my request.  There was no point arguing about it.


These days I sense a deep sadness from him.  Maybe these arguments are affecting him too, even if he doesn't let on.  The fact that he continues to log in when we're supposed to meet is very telling.  And he logs in with the alt that he created for me.  Once, he said that it was proof that he wanted to see me specifically, not just to be in SL to meet any friend.

I am INTJ.  They say INTJs move on if the relationship doesn't seem viable.  I had thought of moving on, many times.  But moving on never felt right.

There's a book called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman.  Maybe I just need to learn his language.