FA 066 Shame 3: Direct to VHS

Introduction topic

  • Rethinking monogamy today - CNN
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/12/health/monogamy-sex-kerner/index.html

  • Photos are of couples?

  • In fact, consensual non-monogamy can be a healthy option for some couples and, executed thoughtfully, can inject relationships with some much-needed novelty and excitement.

  • "There are as many different types of non-monogamous relationships as there are people in them”

Topic

Combatting Ongoing Ambiguity

  • Never foreclose on ambiguity

    • If you know certain actions do not bring you long-term happiness, stop doing them

      • One night stands

      • Drugs

    • Foreclosure delays clarity of self and direction to be achieved

  • You must allow clarity to come naturally during ambiguous points in your life

    • Artificial clarity that is achieved through foreclosure might temporarily relieve internal stress and conflict, but it is never enough to sustain inner peace for a prolonged period of time

  • Foreclosure is a form of escapism that keeps you from the overall goal in this stage of life: the acceptance of your true, inner self

    • It inhibits commitment to yourself and to others, and thus causes relationships to be fleeting and fickle, with no sense of permanence or progression

Relationship Trauma

  • Learn to accept that the you that is you is valued, despite what people might have said in the past

  • Move past any potential stinking thinking about relationships that you might encounter:

    • You’re unloveable

    • You will never find someone interested in you

    • You’re going to die alone

    • You’re incapable of love

  • Clinging to relationship trauma impacts your overall quality of life

    • Internal trauma never allows for you to be comfortable with who you are as a person and, as such, focus more on building a facade rather than being authentic

    • External trauma causes you to catastrophize everything: it’s not about there being another problem, it’s about when. Hypervigilance and accusations can fly wild.

  • Types of relationship trauma

    • Betrayal

      • When a partner cheats or undermines the relationship in a deliberate act. It is a long series of small deceptions, omissions, and white lies. This leads to relationship hopelessness.

      • To heal, you must accept that all people have shortcomings and that you should never blame yourself for the actions that other people take against you to conceal their shortcomings

        • Betrayal tends to have a source cause of emotional distress. If you seek to avoid betrayal, you must either find someone who is not emotionally distressed or someone who is distressed but recognizes and willingly works on their shortcomings.

        • If you are guilty of betraying others, you must resolve the toxic shame in your life and, when you are no longer avoiding shame, you will begin to trust yourself to not destroy your relationships automatically

    • Abandonment

      • You can be the victim of physical or emotional abandonment

      • Abandonment tends to source from a secondary emotion of shame-- anger in the relationship leads to shame for feeling angry which leads to catastrophizing the relationship as being failing and it’s their fault. They can’t talk about the problems due to shame, which fuels the anger, so the only escape from shame is to exit immediately

        • Emotionally, they can gaslight or put up an entire facade: everything is perfect! They withdraw and compartamentalize their reality from the fantasy they construct. This can arise from perceived invalidation, especially if one feels that they are not listened to or valued enough. Emotional abandonment tends to lead into physical abandonment

      • To prevent, you must foster an environment of caring and trust, to ensure that all opinions are considered and heard. Non-violent communication skills will go far for you here, as it avoids traumatic confrontation but ultimately the feeling or need for a partner to abandon the relationship entirely.

The Final Steps

  • Find interests in your life that inspire you that are uniquely your own

    • Never let someone tell you that it’s a stupid interest, or dumb to enjoy

  • Emotions like sadness, or anger, or shame, can be long-setting. Interests in your life inspire joy, which can be far more fleeting, a quick spike versus a long slump

    • Sometimes keeping a journal of your emotions on a daily basis. Report on a daily basis whenever you felt joyful, or happy, and what inspired you to feel that. Over time, you will notice it more and more as you confirm your life is full with joy and meaning.

      • You must be vulnerable and allow joy, a fleeting, intangible emotion, into your life. Recreate those actions. Create!

    • Love is a separate Meta-Emotion from Joy

      • Shame masks the sensation of love and makes it difficult to ascertain

      • Find love in the qualities that your partner brings to your life. Remind yourself of the small things, especially when you have an argument

      • Don’t give love freely away. Ask yourself what love means to you, and whether or not the people in your life make you experience that joy and wonderful feeling.

    • Integrity

      • Ask yourself what matters most in your life. Ask yourself where you want to be and what the type of person you want to become is.

      • The small decisions in life, the day to day choices, make up the whole of our life. With no integrity it becomes difficult to choose wisely

    • Remember to:

      • Never react while feeling intense emotions

      • Seek contentment over approval from others

      • Accept reality as being reality

      • Focus on your needs and your partner’s needs, and make them a priority when conversations happen

        • PUT DOWN THE PHONE DURING SERIOUS TALKS

      • Be nonjudgmental whenever possible

      • Learn to compromise: being right doesn’t mean being happy

      • Assess your responsibility in any conflict first

      • Refuse to validate the invalid

      • Value forgiveness over resentment

      • Let things be water off a duck’s back

Feedback

Question(s)

  • So me and my ex were in a LDR for a bit over a year and a half, and everything was going well. Basically, without giving too much away, I found out he was cheating on me and had been for over 4 months. His reasoning behind it was multiple-personality-disorder, and he claims he didn't know he was cheating on me that entire time, and the other one involved didn't know either (he was the one that contacted me once he found out). This happened a month or two ago, but I'm still finding it very hard to believe him. There are so many things that went wrong in the relationship and its a tonne more complicated than this too, but I dont think I can leave him totally (we've stayed friends) just in case he is telling the truth, I couldnt do that to him and just leave. I have let him know we wont be getting back together, I just dont know if I did the right thing here in staying with him. Any help/thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Closer

  • Next week’s topic: Debra Soh Sexuality and Gender

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Metriko Oni

Metriko Oni is a former government environmental disaster mitigations expert with a focus on outreach, education, and policy writing. He now works with computers. He has been active in the fandom since 2013 and has been an advocate for transparent lines of communication. His interests include philosophy, media, futurism, and speculative fiction.