Seems like i am driven to post an update here whenever i return from staffing on a ManKind weekend.
This week marks 1 year of NC and almost 5 years since LE started. College had its first annual reunion a few nights ago and perhaps that too was playing on mind. I declined to go for reasons you guys will appreciate.
These ManKind weekends stir up a lot of difficult and painful feelings. Talking with other men where there are no manly con-games that us men use with other men is so refreshing. I have heart to heart connection with other guys. I am learning what if feels like to love and be loved without the energy of carnal desires getting in the way.
I know these weekends trigger my attachment wound like nothing else. The difference now is i can feel a gap widening between having these feelings and looking for the distractions to avoid being with them. I can see how over the past decade my coping strategies were wearing down. Initially it was an addiction to work and power, then spending money and when these were failing i found the motherlode of distractions, limerence. Now that no longer has an effect, i am left with myself.
At an unconscious level, SO spreading her wings and developing her own career must also be triggering some of my insecurities. And added to that, a second extended period of NC with my FUFOO is creating more head space for me to process. I now feel my sadness, being alone, an internal emptiness. I have nothing left to come in and fill that void, the hole in my soul. I see through all my distractions as just bullshit I’ve used to prevent myself from being with myself. And yet, i feel a strength in this space, in my vulnerability. I feel OK though, its different to the depression i grappled with when i was in the midst of my LE.
As others have written here, i am permanently changed from this experience. Developing such intense feelings for another and choosing to not act on them has been one of the most challenging and drawn out things I’ve faced. Sitting with the not knowing has been challenging. Learning to talk more openly about my feelings, fears, insecurities and inner demons with SO has been hugely challenging. Going NC from LO was challenging. Staying NC with my family of origin remains challenging. Continuing my own healing remains challenging. Touching my grief is intense and heart wrenching.
Growing from boy to man, individuating, stepping into my leadership is not easy. It is the price i’ve had to pay to let go of my co-dependency, my pathological romantic jealousy, my people pleasing, being aware of when im slipping into the victim, persecutor or rescuer, seeing my addictions for what they are, and being aware of when i’m looking to the (attractive) feminine to save me.
As i wrap this up, i am left with something about being seen. Running this forum gets me seen. Writing this update gets me seen. Coming from a narcissistic family, i was never seen. One of the things that stuck with me was LO saying she saw my soul. Maybe thats what was so compelling about the experience. I felt another human being really saw me. Perhaps she saw that wounded part of me that I had kept so protected and hidden. Hmhh
, i need to reflect on this.