Rat in the attic

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by A New Man, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    About halfway through the holiday. The drive was looooooong but uneventful. It was actually a good chance to meditate, practice staying in the moment rather than spinning off with fantasy or inner dialogue. Which reminds me, when i was in my late twenties i sometimes did highway driving actually looking at porn mag on my lap, because... well, yunno. Had a new thought in the car- "my life is no more important than anyone else's life".

    I've held a grudge against one of my sister-in-laws for many years because of something she said when my wife and i were struggling with infertility. It was something i couldn't let go of and didn't want to let go of (definition of a grudge), and it colored the way I interpreted everything she said. Anyway, we saw her and her family yesterday and it was nice. Only today did i realize i had not had one bad thought about her for months and months. The only explanation for this is the mindfulness practice and occasional tonglen exercises i do. I've never done tonglen specifically about this woman, or my feelings about her, but it's making a more general change in my brain. It is proof, as if i needed any more, of the power of Pema's teachings.

    Another drive up to see my parents tomorrow and more cousins. My parents are getting very old now so there will be unconscious stress and worry, but if i can stay in the moment and be present for that time with them, that will be a win.
     
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  2. Fish Hawk

    Fish Hawk Well-Known Member

    Yes, parents. So important yet for some of us takes almost a whole lifetime to understand. You are wise and forgiving, glad to have you here on this forum.
     
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  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This is incredible and wonderful. Often times the people who said the offending remark don't even remember. The above shows huge growth!
     
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  4. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Thanks @Saville They say to forgive others for your own sake and not for theirs. This is the first time I've really experienced that. The stress of coming back to this town is a combination of things, but mostly just the baggage i bring with me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  5. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Got through the holiday okay, but yesterday something happened which threw me.

    I got a knock at the door at about 11am. It was 2 women who used to work at my kid's daycare. They had been given the address by someone, or had misheard the address, and ended up on my doorstep. We recognised each other and chatted for 2 minutes about my kids. Afterwards for some reason my brain went into overdrive with fantasy about the encounter, how it might have ended in sex with these women. I knew I was a bit vulnerable after the holiday, but was surprised by the force of the fantasy. After a minute or two I put an end to it, with some effort. I had kids' sport stuff after school which made it easier to forget.

    Mindfulness is beginning to manifest in how i relate to people. One of my brother-in-laws is a bit immature and likes to poke and tickle people. He used to do it quite a lot, but these days he restricts himself to the kids mainly and occasionally me. This time he did it just as we were saying goodbye but rather than locking down, I tickled him right back- his reaction was priceless- shock and defensiveness. This isn't something i would have done in the past, but not really caring what others think of you allows you to be a bit more spontaneous.

    It's been a weird day. In the past i think i'd have relapsed on a day like today. Just got to sit tight and it will pass.
     
  6. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Way to go sir! I can see how that situation with those women could be a total derailment. Our fantasies can deal us a real blow. You were able to dodge a bullet
     
  7. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Fantasy really is a bullet. Recently my relapses haven't been to pmo but fantasy-mo. What fantasy does to the brain is pretty much the same....actually it can be worse because it holds my attention better than porn and takes longer to get out of my system.
     
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  8. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    definitely
     
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  9. TriGuy60

    TriGuy60 Member

    Hi @A New Man... Like reading your stuff. The 'Old J' was very interesting... Can't help but feel we have a lot of similarities with the withdrawal symptoms we have... And I really like that you use the word fuck almost as freely as I do:rolleyes:... Anyway, just wanted to let you know that people do read what you put down... Even if you cuss like a sailor...
     
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  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    When coupled with fapping it's deadly. Nothing kills my libido faster than FF (fapping to fantasy).
     
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  11. Outsider.

    Outsider. Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success

    This reminds me of those classical P scenes. It's so common and we've seen those kind of scenario so much times being ours screens that the fantasy pops up almost automatically. Hats off to you for having stopped that after a very short time!
    Impressive :D
     
  12. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Haha! I didn't actually believe you @TriGuy60 so I went back and searched my old journal for the word fuck and holy shit it's all over the fucking joint! lol I guess having to suppress my language around little kids in those days meant it used to come out more often in my journal.

    Had a funny conversation with a woman we know the other day. She was saying her mum had dropped her phone down the toilet because she keeps it in her back pocket. I made the comment "She must be one of those really weird people who doesn't use their phone on the toilet...", because I figure most people do this now instead of reading on the lav. Anyway she said "Why? What are you looking at on the toilet?!" and I was a bit taken back... I can count the number of times i have PMO-ed in the toilet with my phone on one hand (...) because my habit was always to use my computer/laptop. Anyway I answered "I dunno, googling stuff..." and she said "What STUFF?!" and then I realized she uses her phone to PMO on the lav (or at least she knows people who do). My wife stepped in and told the story of when I dropped a relative's tablet cover in the toilet. The wife knows I don't pmo anymore so she was trying to help me out. Anyway it was pretty awkward.

    Been having more success lately socially, making new friends, improving friendships, going out on a limb in different situations. Often i feel like jumping on here and saying "Hey guys! This great thing happened..." but i don't because a) i'm more wary of my ego these days, and b) when I think about it, this "great thing that happened" is usually just an example of me finally being a functioning adult, or something approximating to that.

    5 years ago I wrote "PMO is a fucking cluster fuck". My perspective now is that pmo is a tragedy. It's a personal tragedy and in many ways a tragedy for the people around you. If someone had said to me 5 years ago "This is who you'll be in 5 years time and this is how you'll feel" I'd have been astonished. Not to say "I'm this amazing person now..." just "I'm enjoying my life A LOT more".

    Also I like oranges. They are very tasty now.

    Fuck porn. That's right porn, you heard me. Fuuuuuuuuck you.
     
  13. nuclpow

    nuclpow Active Member

    I guess I'm just saying "me too" in this post, and not really saying anything helpful, but I'll post it anyway. I also mean that I'm finding your journal helpful and I'm supporting you in rebooting. For example, the story about how hard it was to ditch a fantasy a while back is a good warning to me, for when I start dealing with people without PMO again.

    I was thinking over the past week or so, that porn, and the normal use of it (PMO), are tragedies. It's life-ruining and the opposite of satisfaction. I'm thinking it's so bad for the people in it, and for the people who consume it. It's so pointless and enormously wasteful. It's a tragic waste of sex, which is meant for relationships.

    So many things become new and interesting to me whenever I start another rebooting attempt. I don't choose it, it just happens. It's wonderful.
     
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  14. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Thanks @quitprofoo. I really appreciate your post, and the posts of everyone who drops by. I often am at a loss to what to write on other's journals- I'm not very good at it, it's got something to do with my original problem of being too self-centered and unable to empathize with others or at least convey that empathy in a way that is not self centered... The Buddhism stuff is helping with this slowly.

    I've found fantasy and pmo are always connected to stress for me. I sometimes call it "ego relapse" when life overwhelms me. In those moments I start checking out/fishing for distraction from the discomfort of the present moment. The Buddhist idea is to experience the discomfort of these moments as a bodily thing- for example, with embarrassment feel the blood rush to your face (this happened to me last week when that woman basically accused me of pmo-ing on the toilet) but don't elaborate on it mentally by adding thoughts to the feeling like "Bitch embarrassed me" etc. I've been doing this for a couple of years now and it is a very powerful way of handling unpleasant feelings, including stress.

    Absolutely. PMO is a total dead-end. Life without pmo is open-ended and often surprising.
     
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  15. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Sickness is so connected to fantasy for me. I've come down with a head cold and woke several times last night. My dreams were about women we know and lying in bed, half-asleep it morphed very quickly into fantasy. I put a stop to it each time and fell back asleep. No wonder i used to relapse in these circumstances- it's like riding a bike, on a steep hill.

    More reffing duties tonight. Not really looking forward to it, as the parents think they're at the colosseum and not so much a football game for 7 year olds. The Chodron stuff has made me more resilient about such things, but i still want to do a good job. I noticed last time i reffed i used the Chodron mind trick (to minimize ego and not worry about outcomes) as a way to avoid taking responsibility. Anyway, it is still way better than the alternative, which is negative self-talk and possible relapse.
     
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  16. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Had sex last week. It messed me up pretty bad. The sex itself was crap as I spent the whole time fantasizing and didn’t even O. The following day I felt very low, but did Pema’s trick of not elaborating on the feeling and just sitting with it. Mid-afternoon I realized the awful feeling was the “soft spot” Pema talks about sometimes. When I realized this, things turned around. Sports coaching also helped to snap me out of it.

    The next day I felt like a million dollars. The turn-around was extreme. Mood swings are something I never noticed before because I’d watch porn or pmo as soon as I felt anything approaching discomfort.

    A couple of new things are going on in my life.

    There’s a group of dads who socialize at my school while our kids are doing sports training. I knew each of them individually, and now they all know each other, largely through me. It is very strange to be “the sociable one”. Cutting out pmo is the cause. Also dropping the alpha/beta crap and disengaging my ego has made it possible for me to make friends with men for the first time in my life. Apparently preferring the company of women is a Nice Guy trait (thanks Gil). For me, I think I preferred the company of women because any positive attention from them fed my ego.

    The other thing is, I’ve become involved in a social campaign. I won’t tell you what it is exactly, because I don’t want to leave too many breadcrumbs about my life on here, suffice to I’ve got a new source of dopamine and society is benefiting from my addictive quest for an ever higher dopamine high. Apparently dudes watching porn tube sites generate more Carbon Dioxide than Belgium. If everyone could just stop fapping and go plant trees instead, the human race might stand a chance.
     
  17. Outsider.

    Outsider. Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success

    Amazing post ANM! No PMO is really a life changing, your posts and reboot inspire me and motivate me like never. It remembers me that there will always be hope, even for me.
    Keep going on!
     
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  18. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Second that!
     
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  19. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I can relate. Sometimes I have some strong anxiety for a few hours and then it's followed by a deep sense of calm and insight. I think the key element for this transition to happen may be to stay with it instead of escaping or numbing it (this may calm down the anxiety short term but there isn't much insight after, if any). Who knows, maybe the more we stay with it, the more the mood swings will stabilize over time (this is only a theory though) ? Whereas always escaping them gives them more and more amplitude. As if they are asking to finally be herd louder and louder. And we need to finally listen.

    A good trick is to try to keep a certain distance both from the highs and the lows. To notice it is the first step. Hey I'm feeling low. Or kinda high. Keeping an observer's distance from it, while allowing it to be there without label (good, bad, etc.) but also without feeding it - just letting it unfold.

    I seem to be better at catching myself when overly high then when overly negative but slowly maybe I'll build some distance as well to notice the low moods better.
     
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  20. trapped7

    trapped7 "what you resist persists"

    Glad to see you're still free of watching P.

    Sounds good that you're not only socialising but acting as a social central point for an entire group.
    Not something anyone can do, and it helps not only you but also all the others around you.
     
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