Also, self-censoring. My one actual regret in my relationship with my ex was that I censored myself for zir sake -- but even though I only did it consciously in those aspects of my life where ze might be affected, it changed me. Really for the worse, and I'm finding it so difficult to climb out. When I was free, I wasn't very socially aberrant, so I have no concept of how to be free AND socially aberrant at the same time. And when it comes to conflict? I used to love it and actively seek it out. Now I feel neutral about it, and will happily meet it if it comes to me, but on things that could-be-conflict-or-could-be-nothing, I tend to let them be nothing. And that annoys me because I'm not sure why I do it. Do I do it because it's the wise thing to do (no pearls before swine and all that) or because it's the easy thing to do or because I've lost faith that people give a shit? That last bit sounds SO AWFUL but I think that's what it is. I just get so tired of the list of things that are upsetting to me and are normal to most everyone else (and I get sick of explaining OVER and OVER). It's almost enough to make me wish I'd stayed ignorant and could be okay with stereotypes and exclusionary attitudes and prejudice. Or at least, okay with all the subtle stuff like most people are. But anyway I have to learn how to be ME without hiding bits out of habit. ARGHHHHH it upsets me SO MUCH to realize just how much of a habit it has become to hide. ME, hiding! Fuck! I don't want to just swing the pendulum, but I need to increase my conflict at least for a time so that I can learn what is hiding/cynicism and what is sensible-refraining-from-useless-discuss
And then there's this strange idea people seem to have about me -- that I'm lovey and sensual maybe, but not very fierce or sexual. That doesn't bother me from people who don't know me, but lately I've heard something to that effect from several people who know me quite well (or should, as in the case of my ex who apparently thought I had little sexual desire). Where is this coming from? I'd had people tell me that they think that the idea of equalist sex (sex without the leader/follower or giver/receiver dynamic) is lukewarm, but that's also total bullshit. I don't get it and it pisses me off because I am a fiercely passionate person in sex as well as everything else. I am not neutered because I don't objectify people. I am not neutered because I don't get turned on by force or the imitation of it. Force =/= passion. Being committed to not crossing someone else's boundaries does not mean that I'm tentative or purely gentle or passive! It means I ask (sometimes with words, sometimes not) and then pay attention to signals. Sex doesn't become less when it's focused or communicative. Of course, the most annoying thing about this is that it's a misconception that I have no way of righting :-p No way that I'd like to take, that is!
Hmm, looking over this, I think there is a single core issue -- communicating more freely. I'm thinking about doing some kind of experiment, something to shake me into speaking. Maybe spending a week or 11 days asking every question that I want to ask and speaking every objection that I think without considering how a person might react. I'll reflect on it.