Dreaming of Elephants

I had a dream last night that was so strange and yet so in line with the struggles in my psyche right now!  There was literally an "elephant in the room"!  I'll try and remember what I can and put it in context...

First, some background leading up to this dream:

I've been progressing with S.  We had a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas day together.  He fit in well at my friend E's house, and we enjoyed our time at my brother-in-laws family home: we had a "dance party," with iTunes open and the kids picking songs; we sipped top-notch wine (bro-in-law's dad is very knowledgeable about wines) and had a civil dialogue about the Occupation movement and property destruction and human rights, which says a lot, considering our different political viewpoints; and I had a lovely time coloring with my niece - a bonding activity with her I've come to treasure.

It was a "big deal" that S had a positive experience with (part of) my family, since we are still recovering (in terms of family connections) from the memorably bad trip to Oregon in October 2011.

The morning of the 26th, S took off to spend time with his dad's side of the family and his young adult daughter, before she likely moves to D.C. for political work.  I understood why I was not invited, as he is still repairing and building his relationship with his daughter after a difficult divorce and separation from her during her latter teen years.  He wanted some focused dad time with her before she leaves.  I'm really happy for them and so enjoyed finally meeting and spending time with her at the 49ers game we attended a few weeks ago.

Anyway, prior to him taking off, he brought up the possibility of moving into my house!  The house where he's been living has become less desirable for various reasons.  We both acknowledged it might be a tad premature, all things considered, but could be wonderful too.  There is a studio room out back, separate from the main house, that would be good place for him to work and spend time, as well as allow us both our space.

All this to say, we've had a lot of good time together and our commitment to one another is rapidly growing.  Part of this growth, by the way, includes a decision to make a few last active attempts at pregnancy, starting with an appointment with a new doc on January 7th.  I will share more about this in another post.

But back to the dream... not unsurprisingly, as we become more committed, my intimacy fears become more activated.  My mind wants to fixate at times on the ways he is not perfect - primarily the ways he is not physically perfect - for me.  We have a lot of attraction for each other and - sorry for TMI - have regular, "hot" (at least the way I define "hot" :) sex.  And.  He is not "perfect."  I have been in relationships where I have had more pure, physical chemistry with someone.  For example, my old flame, R, who I shared about last year.  R was wrong for me on every other level, including being a raving alcoholic, and only became a worse match over time.  But we still had that strong, basic physical chemistry.  Thus leading to last night's dream (please excuse the "dream-like" vagueness):

It started with R and I in a school or place where we worked and leaving to meet up together.  I had awareness that he was still married and was feeling great attraction and compulsion to be with him.  Then we were together, and I remember a sense of not having anything deep to say to one another.  

The next scene, we're in his house and S is there.  I'm with S, and I'm touching his back and he has some sort of contraption on like a spanx thing or something (I know this is super weird!).  I touch the edge, and he acknowledges he has it on with a nod (I think that's acknowledging something about age or not having physical perfection.  Both S and I could afford to lose a few pounds).  R was siting across from us and it felt awkward.  I pulled R out to talk with him and try to smooth things over.  I told S that we'd be back in a few minutes, which was an important component to S feeling okay about it.

Then the scene seems to switch and R is gone, and there is a huge elephant coming up the stairs and into the room.  I run out the back door onto the roof or patio and try to block the door, but I know it's a feeble attempt and the elephant will be able to break through.  

I start looking for a way down off the roof and see that it's a loooong way down, but I know I've climbed down before and can do it.  So I'm trying to get the nerve and find the right spot to climb over the railing and work my way down the ladder trellis on the side of the building.  At this point, a couple people from the soap opera Days of Our Lives are there (one was Bo! and another female) and strategizing with me.  That's all I remember...

Crazy, right?  When I woke up, I had an insight that part of my fear is closing the door on the opportunity for "perfect" physical chemistry with someone.  I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I also thought about possibilities of us eventually having some "non-traditional" relationship, where another person might join us in commitment.  I've actually known other families with this structure, so it's not completely made up for me.  I doubt I would ever be comfortable with this, or that S would.  I know I would never be comfortable with an "open" relationship or with "polyamory," where each of us have relationships separate from our commitment/marriage.  But the idea of bringing another person into a commitment with us feels different.

I'm sure some of you are thinking I've gone off the deep end at this point!  Again, I likely would never do this, but I think considering and talking about it with S may be part of the journey of going over the line into acceptance and full commitment with him.

Have you heard of or known people who had alternative families like this?  Or, on another note, any comments on my dream?

If I don't write before then (S and I are going to San Diego over New Year's to visit his brother's family), I hope all of you have a Very Happy New Year!  And may you receive multitudinous blessings of your heart's desires and more in the coming year!!!


Happy Birthday to Me, and Happy Holidays!

I had a great birthday, though I can't say I'm excited about turning another year older!  The day started with brunch at an English pub.  S and I met a friend I know from my dance group.  She had actually organized the brunch, cancelled when not many people could come that day, then went ahead with it when she found out we would be coming, which was totally cool.  Her husband was originally going to join us but could only stop by for a minute.  We had a good time, though, and then another interesting couple dropped by for breakfast and a chat.

At the end of brunch time, my friend and I broke away for a half hour to talk.  We had been trying to connect for the prior week, as she wanted to discuss motherhood issues coming up for her around a family member becoming pregnant.  She reads this blog and knows my feelings and efforts in this area, so wanted to connect with me about it.  Her husband doesn't want kids, but understandably she hoped this might soften over time.  I feel for her and hope that something in the situation might shift as what she wants draws into clearer focus.  We discussed how, while it's not foolproof, sometimes it seems that one person's position can change when the other person becomes really clear about their own needs or desires.  Or maybe something will shift in her own feelings.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the morning of good food, good company, and meaningful conversation.  We headed off from there to watch "The Hobbit" movie.  I enjoyed it!  I guess it's described as "cartoon" violence, and this violence doesn't tend to bother me in the same way.  The science fiction, other-worldly aspect is fun... and I love Gollum!  He's such an interesting character from a psychological perspective - so broken and delusional.  We all have Gollum within us!  ha  

Finally after heading back to my place for some Zoey care, S and I went to a very nice dinner in our favorite neighborhood.  The same restaurant we chose for his birthday a year and a half ago!

* As a side note, this is one example of many "do-overs" we're experiencing, which feel quite healing.  Opportunities to experience something similar but from a radically different (and happier, healthier) place.  My whole birthday and hopefully the rest of the month including Christmas are actually "do-overs" in that sense, as we broke up at the beginning of December, casting a pall on the entire month last year (as many of you might remember).

But back to dinner... we actually had a lot of deep conversation over wine and delicious food, including talking about our possible paths to parenthood:  we both still feel a desire for a biological child, could also imagine adopting, and can even consider the possibility of living child-free, though this is not either of our preferences.  It's amazing to me I am able to even try that last one on, but I have done so, as I think I've shared here, entirely separate from him.

We ended with a yummy tart with ice cream and chocolate cake dessert split.  He gave me presents of chocolates, a book, and a trip to wine country, but I swear, going out to dinner makes me as happy as anything.  Eating out more often is definitely one of the perks of dating someone, in my book.  I'm laughing at myself!  Ah well.

I need to wrap this up and head to bed.  I did want to share that we've had two counseling appointments, and this is going remarkably well.  So far, we are able to maintain closeness and not become adversarial, which I was a bit worried about.  Also, we are getting to the heart of some of the issues that affect us, including his responsiveness to intense sadness or other strong emotions I may feel, and my grief and anger (yes I still have some anger) about the shock and pain of our break-ups.

And lastly, it took me longer than anticipated, but I did eventually rev up into the Christmas spirit.  My little tree is decorated (see below), gifts bought and sent, cookies made.  Really looking forward to going to a couple of friend and family events on Christmas and having S with me.  Glad to not be leaving the Zoester either.  I miss her when I don't see her for two or three hours; whole days are brutal!  Here are a couple fairly recent pics of my sweetie pie.  :)


The Ex-Boyfriend Chronicles and Holiday Planning

Yay, it's December 1!  I'm ready for December.  It's not like I have amazing holiday plans or anything.  In fact, my parents (Dad and Step Mom) are heading to Nebraska to see her sister, while my brother and sister head to their spouse's locales.

I'm considering two different holiday options but leaning towards number one.  The first option is hanging out here at home and not traveling anywhere.  My sister's husband's family lives in the Bay Area, so they will be here for a few days, but I'm not close with his family and wouldn't likely attend their Christmas gatherings.  I'm hoping we'd meet up at least a couple of times, though, and I would look forward to seeing my niece and nephew and giving them their presents.  I've been invited to a friend's for Christmas day.

The second option would be to drive up to Oregon again and hopefully catch my brother and family a time or two around their familial visits.  Of course I would love to see my baby niece, Vivian, again.  And I could see my aunt/uncle and cousins/family on my birth mother's side, including my Grandpa who is getting older and has been recently ill.  But the drive up is sounding horrible right now, as well as being apart from Zoey again.  I could try and take her, but I'm not sure how she would travel at this point.

Staying home, getting a little tree and doing lots of Christmasy stuff around here is sounding better and better.  And I could spend time with S, as well (I'll share more about that little situation later).  Yet, it might be kind of lonely right around Christmas Eve/Christmas without family.  Which option would you choose if you were me?

Everything's peachy on the Zoey front.  She is lagging on learning the "Down" command, likely because I've been inconsistent in my training.  I signed up for a training class for her on Saturday mornings starting mid January.  She's getting spayed around that time, as well, so it will be a big month for her.  She still loves playing fetch and is getting more focused and skilled with it.  For instance, she doesn't run off mid fetch to sniff something as often :), and when she comes back she kind of tosses the ball at my feet.  It's very cute.  We still love our cuddling on the couch and watching TV time, during which she's swaddled in a sheet and so adorable.

I'll end this post with an update on the "S Situation."  He and I have continued to spend time together and talk, though we have had our ups and downs.  For instance, this week he chose to have a friendly dinner with an ex. :(  Not the ex-wife that caused us to break up but an ex-girlfriend who did cause stress and strife in our relationship before.

The good news is that he is "showing up" more in terms of communication, and we have actually moved forward on counseling and narrowed our choices to two.  We are strongly leaning toward the one who has Non-Viol.ent Commun.ication experience, since this is a tool we know and use in our relationship.  In our separate phone conversations, we both really liked and felt comfortable with her.  Our first session may be as soon as this Friday!

A final confession:  S and I recently became "intimate" again and because it was around ovulation time, guess whose mind wants to ruminate about possibilities?  But since we "tried" for several months without success last year, and my age considered, of course the odds are extremely low.