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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.


This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C1325529963/E20090319113231

The little things that keep me in this world - updated

listening to the soundtrack from Meet the Robinsons

We're going to crawl inside my head again for a bit. Yeah, I know it's cramped, but it's clean.

Well, at least reasonably hygienic. *WEG*

That's part of the point here.

Given a choice, my "default" setting is an emotional disconnect from the world around me. I'm damaged goods, we've long since established that. We're not going to examine why, but we are going to talk about the connections that draw me back and keep me centered in the external world.

And it begins with emotion and sensation.

I've been called a libertine. I'm not really, my tastes in food and drink aren't exotic enough. But I do bury myself in sensation when I can. My kind of sensation. I've modified my house around it.

For example if you were to come over to my place, you'd find that I had the front drapes drawn. The living room is dim even on the brightest days. That's because even though I adore the feel of the sun, I have to have a place that is dark to retreat to or I get irritated and grumpy.

Okay, more grumpy.

Regular florescent lights give me a headache, the kitchen is the only room in the house that has them.

On the other hand, the furniture in the front room is built for snuggling. The statuary might have something to do with that as well.

I don't keep house plants, but I do burn incense. Those and the kitchen smells help keep me connected. That's another reason I have a breadmaker. Not just because I love bread, but because I need the smell.

That's probably why I prefer to go nude as well. I love the feel of sun and air on my skin. It's not arousing, but it does feel good. And I REALLY like moonlight on my skin, that does border on arousing.

I've told you that fellow-feeling isn't natural to me, and it's true. It's amazingly difficult for me to connect emotionally to someone unless I have a sensation to match with them, even if it's only in my imagination. These emotional links are what keep me from barricading myself in my head. Obviously not every emotion and sensation is going to do that. Somethings just make me really irritable.

But it's the sensations that keep me paying attention to other people and their needs. I really need that. It's what reminds me that they just aren't extensions of myself. I need them to grow. I need them to check my thoughts and passions. I really need the important people in my life to feel something good about me.

As extreme as this behavior is in my case, there's not a human alive who doesn't have the same thing.

When we are hurting, we pull back. We shut things out. We shut our loved ones out. We wrap ourselves deep in our strongest passions. We keep the world at bay.

Sometimes we invite pain and tell ourselves it's for love. Or even worse, if we endure the pain now, we'll be rewarded sometime. When the Other feels like it. If they remember. If they can be bothered to acknowledge the gift.


I have some experience with pain.

When I was a young man, I didn't understand why I couldn't connect with the people around me. I was ashamed that I couldn't. If you had met my maternal grandfather when he was alive, or for that matter my mother now, you would understand. Each of them was capable of connecting almost instantly with anyone they might meet.

Of course it was the Asperger's, but I didn't know that at the time. I just knew that there was only one advantage I had over almost everyone else, and that was my intelligence. Especially my ability to make connections between thoughts and ideas from "unrelated" fields.

That is probably where it would have ended, except I did meet someone. Someone who was a even more fucked-up personality than I was. Someone who pretty much lived to give and receive pain. Someone who was very good at manipulation. Someone who I let carve things into my back and shoulders.

I mistook the feeling for the connection, I didn't know how to channel one into the other.

Yes, it was an abusive relationship on both sides. Yes, it ended very badly. And yes, she ended up badly. She suicided.

But while I was with her, I could feel again. While I was with her, I thought I could control what I felt, or at least what I did with the feeling. The really ironic thing is that if she hadn't helped me get my emotional baseline up to something approaching normality, I never would have questioned what we were doing or who we were doing it with.

She aroused enough of my passions so that my conscience started working again. That's when she left. That's why she left.

Fast forward though several screwed up years, and through my climbing the corporate ladder using the stuff I had learned from her. Through my attempts to become a better person and failing. When the only way I could feel anything was by provoking a reaction from someone else.

And then there was one night. I've never been closer to ending it than I was then. And everything changed.

What I felt that night kept me here This Side. I can't tell you how “real” it was, I can just tell you that I am still here. I can tell you that I learned to feel without pushing someone else's buttons.

I learned that I didn't need to clench my pain quite so close to my heart.

I began to learn to let the passion flow. I began to live how to give back.

It's the secret to life you know. It's not just how we are touched, but how we touch.

So that music playing now, the smell of my mint tea, my toes curling in the fuzzy rug under my desk, those are simple joys that I have to pass along. Oh not exactly. Not everyone likes mint tea, you see.

It's how I stay human. It's the price I pay for staying in this world. The measure of a man is in the lives he touches.

Pain doesn't have to be the secret shame that you cherish and keep locked deep inside yourself. Just as joy doesn't have to be beyond your reach. It's all sensation. It's what you do with the passion that will shape your life.

And since this is Neo the movie guy talking, I'm going to leave you with a quote from Jacob's Ladder. Two of them actually. Both by the character Louis, played by Danny Aiello.

“Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.”
“If you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels freeing you from the earth. It's just a matter of how we look at it, that's all.”
Whatever you do, don't hold on to your passions. Feel the world. Experience life. And pass it on.


Blast it all to blazes, I knew I was overlooking something.

I am not going to go into details or justifications here, but there are relationships that rely strongly on power exchange and the giving and receiving of pain. I've toyed with that a little bit.

I'm also a borderline abusive personality.

There is a big distinction between an abusive relationship and one that uses BDSM elements. Yes, there can be some crossover, but pain by itself is not necessarily a sign of abuse.

I'd say willing consent before the fact is the difference.

Drawing again from my personal history, the first time she took a knife to my back, she didn't ask. That was abuse. After the fallout from that, we had an understanding and I had agreed. So at that point carving my back wasn't abuse. Of course then she had to find other ways, which I found ways to retaliate for. That was abuse on both sides. It wasn't a healthy relationship, even if the sex was intense.

Posted: Thu - March 19, 2009 at 11:32 AM

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