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StephQJ
Down the Rabbit Hole
Muchness, Music, and Mayhem
Interests: Music, reading, lots of time at the gym, glitter, shoes, and whatever my kids are into
Recent Activity
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Stephanie discusses her sons. "I don’t want them to be grown men who need or strive for validation from their mother. (I’m sure I’ve done enough to screw them up that that doesn’t need to be another topic for their own therapist’s office.) They shouldn’t need my approval to make choices for themselves or their children, though I will always be happy to offer advice and support and encouragement. I may snark about their choices privately, but I will have done my job (and kept the freakin’ baby alive!) if they are in a position to even make those choices." Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2018 at Muchness and Light
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Absolem used to lament my penchant for hyperanalysis, especially coupled with my impulsivity. “You don’t think, and then you think, and then you overthink!” I mean, he’s not wrong. I can be suddenly and passionately reactionary, then take the time to process and ponder, then spend even more time breaking... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2018 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses heartbreak. "I don’t expect to do this again. There is no more surface of me to scar or fracture without breaking me open irreparably. My fear of emotional abandonment is consistently reinforced, and I have a direct role in choosing the relationships that undergird my insecurities. I do not trust myself to choose wisely." Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2018 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses love. "There is nothing more valuable to me, whether it’s romantic or platonic or familial. True love that cares and is concerned and active, not mimicry that makes someone seem a more palatable version of human." Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2018 at Muchness and Light
Stephanie discusses sexuality. "But what I’m realizing is that even now, four decades after it started, I am still powerless. I am rarely Self-led or centered in regard to sex. I am perpetually trying to find validation, even when there isn’t love. I don’t inherently believe love is necessary for great or even good sex. I do believe sex is better when it is the manifestation and expression of commitment and trust and respect." Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2018 at Muchness and Light
Stephanie discusses what she values in a relationship. "But one of the things I realized recently is that we didn’t necessarily value the same things in a relationship. Shared interests and similar social and political leanings cannot sustain romantic interaction, if both parties aren’t looking for similar things in romance." Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2018 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses the value of a partner. "Relationships are all about negotiating each partner’s needs and wants. It feels kind of seedy to think of it as a debit-and-credit system, but it is a similar give-and-take. In healthy relationships, both partners do a good job of expressing their own needs, of fulfilling what they can for themselves, and of being able to rely on their significant other to be willing to fill in any gaps that they can. It’s delicately symbiotic. If any partner consistently takes too much or gives too little, it quickly shifts to parasitic, and one or both partners suffer as the relationship dies." Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2018 at Muchness and Light
Stephanie discusses valuing herself. "All I can do is strive to be the best plausible version of myself. Trying to be the best possible leads me down a path of perfectionism and self-criticism. I will almost never live up to social ideals, nor to anyone else’s personal ideals. It’s taken me a long time to come to understand what is valuable about myself, to myself. The best way for me to honor that is to act in ways that support rather than undermine my value, and that includes the behavior that I will accept from others." Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2018 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses cowardice. "It’s hard as hell to admit that you have a role in the demise of your relationships. In my experience, it is never only one partner’s fault. Ever. No matter the circumstances. But to choose to hide your eyes and cover your ears to avoid your own truths, especially when you know it will mean you’ll continue to make the same mistakes over and over, hurting other people in the process, is utterly nonsensical to me." Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2018 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses "out with the old." "I am offering one last toast to disappointment, to broken promises, and to unfulfilled dreams. I will drink once more to each and every lost love, all of whom mattered and will always matter, but who cannot continue to keep me mired in the past. I have accepted my fault, and I have accepted theirs, but I cannot continue to define expectations for my future based on the past actions of people I will never see or speak to again. They had opportunity not to be ghosts; I am cutting their chains loose and setting them free." Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses changing traditions. "To everyone who is living tradition-challenging change this year, go with it. No matter the reason, find something in the newness in which to anchor yourself, and make it your own. There may be laughter or tears, unequivocal joy or breath-stealing heartache. Make them into what you need. They are yours to do with as you wish." Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2017 at Muchness and Light
Stephanie discusses redemption. "The redemption comes not through someone else’s choices in how they love me but rather in my own choices of how I love myself." Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses Bounder. "It is odd, a little unsettling, to think of life without the possibility of him. I gave up the possibility of him as a romantic partner long ago. Our life goals are different, and he would never be able to consistently meet my needs. But he was always this driving force of emotion and thought, even when we weren’t together, sometimes in contact and sometimes not. Music, in particular, became a daunting prospect for me, because everything could remind me of him." Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses self-compartmentalization. "The irony is that in dividing myself into these intricate parts, I have compartmentalized my own emotions, segmenting them and locking them away until I’m ready to deal with them—the very thing I hate most when others do it to me. To be ignored, to be dismissed, to be relegated to the dark and dusty recesses of someone’s heart until such time as I am convenient is enraging to me." Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses dating. "What I have finally learned is that the lack of agitation does not mean the attachment is secure. An absence of fluttery pangs in my chest does not equate to happily-ever-after. Because of the inherent insecurity on both sides, they are likely to bolt when they feel trapped by the intimacy they commanded. I’ve done the dance a dozen times and know the warnings signs, so I am always on high alert." Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses dating again. "But what happened before is not what’s happening now. I get to choose what happens next. My future is not necessarily determined by my history. I am not doomed to repeat my past, because I am still, constantly, learning those lessons." Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses Harley. "But what’s her purpose? I’m already hurting like hell; what good does it to do to inflict more, albeit different, pain?" Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2017 at Muchness and Light
Stephanie discusses the personal effect of trauma. "I have spent years in a constant state of fight-or-flight, hypersensitive to perceived threat. Sometimes those perceptions have been wrong, and I have misinterpreted experience through the filters of my own agitation. Sometimes the voices of those subparts have chattered and whispered chaotically, warning me of what they see, and I have accepted their perceptions as truth. They’re not always wrong. They are, however, always singular and myopic in what they can see from their standpoint in the past." Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses Internal Family Systems. "The goal of IFS is to allow the Self to access and connect to each subpart, healing them one by one. Thus, the Self leads the other parts in harmony and health. We become a whole, heathy person, rather than an amalgam of these smaller bits that exhaust themselves fighting to maintain a losing battle." Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses her lack of trust. "Maybe in the end it’s not just that I don’t trust others. I don’t trust myself. I adopted those skewed perceptions, and I’m no good to anyone until I can unravel that mess of barbed wire. But I am truly afraid I will weave into some kind of armor to keep others at a distance—including myself." Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses grieving her relationship. "But it’s going to hurt as long as it hurts. For me to feel nothing after a month, in the aftermath of a three-year relationship, would be unhealthy in its own way. I never wanted this break-up. I wanted to fulfill those promises of the rest our lives. It will take time to find peace in the acceptance of what we lost." Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2017 at Muchness and Light
Stephanie discusses the aftermath of Rango."So for now, for the foreseeable future, it will just be me and my young men. I’m not remotely interested in dating again. I’ll say maybe ever, but I understand the statistical likelihood of that actually happening. But if I even contemplate trusting someone enough to let them past my own mounting defenses, my heart and mind slam up those steely walls, unwilling to consider such possibility even cursorily." Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at Muchness and Light
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Stephanie discusses Rango. "Whether super-villain or impotent superhero, I seem to be making him worse. I tried my best to offer him a hand to hold onto, but he has turned so far away that he couldn't reach me if he even looked. I love him deeply and passionately, but sometimes that's just not enough. Sometimes, it's too much." Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2017 at Muchness and Light
Stephanie discusses being needy. "Who I am is demanding and needy, sometimes petulant and irritable. In a lot of ways, I am still that child seeking positive reinforcement. And just because someone feels the strong affection of love for me, that doesn’t mean they can reach me to actively love me—or that I will even let them." Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2017 at Muchness and Light