My current therapist has diagnosed me as having Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); recently we discussed Complex PTSD- which is sadly still not in the DSM (the so-called “bible of psychiatry”). Yes, that diagnosis describes me well. My therapist and I have a great working relationship- we are both rather academic-minded and so we often share books, articles, topics. One idea I wandered upon was secure attachment; because of the abuse I've lived with, I'm not very securely attached to anyone, even my Master.
I wish I could remember where I'd read the explanation of “Find a person as an adult whom you can ask if they will be your secure attachment person.” Importantly (according to my source), you should ask the person if they will fill this “secure attachment person” role. My Master, He has enough of His own issues. However, Audrey suggested I ask her to file the role and she said yes after I asked her. Given that she's 69 and doesn't keep a “second shift life” as I do, she's often fast asleep by the time I go to bed a bit after midnight. So she recommended a bedtime ritual of “attaching to memories of [her].”
Both my Master and I have issues with anxiety; a friend of His bought us a queen-size weighted blanket. While at first I couldn't use it by myself- He works 3rd shift and I try to keep to 2nd shift- I've grown to find it comfortable and useful. So now my bedtime ritual is getting into the made bed (flat sheet, comforter, weighted blanket) surrounded by stuffed animals and laying on my back with my arms at my side as I focus on memories of Audrey. My mental voice meanders between Audrey's voice and my own, even as my memories work through each of my senses and sensory systems. I sometimes select specific memories, such as Audrey telling me that she couldn't spend time with me because she has other relationships to attend to, other things to do.
Now the thing that caught my attention as I was doing this last night- why Audrey, not Shaman (that's my Master's nickname)? To say “He has His own issues” seemed like a cop-out, even as I thought it and then wrote it. (Wrote it? Does it still count as “wrote” when I do my “writing” on a keyboard?) My mind started to create a table.
Physical. Nesting partner. (I had a 3rd thing, but it's not coming back into my mind.)
Virtual. Non-nesting partner. (I never did figure out a 3rd thing for her.)
Of course, Audrey made the offer; I'm still working on being able to ask Shaman for things I need that He's capable of acquiring and/or giving. As with another thing I worried, I think I have a ponder that's related to polyamory, not to the differences in Shaman's and Audrey's being.
I took to my blog to write this out because talking about Audrey in online support groups most often gets incorrect, offensive, “armchair psychologist”-type responses. Not too long ago, I ran to my therapist, upset that someone had said that they were very concerned about me and asking if I'd been screened for Schizophrenia- based on me stating Audrey's validity.
In the US, monogamy comes along with this expectation that partners should be everything to each other; I reject that notion. So why not Shaman? Because Audrey said yes.