Update: Saturday, January 30, 2021

If people have hurt you and have never made amends, it is the most natural thing in the world to be in pain and to have dark feelings about it, whether angry or sad.

This applies even if the hurt happened years and years ago.

The trick, I think, is for us to express these darker emotions in ways that are healthy and safe, and which help us grow.

Doing things to hurt ourselves and/or others is extremely unhealthy; but there is nothing wrong with drawing pictures, writing poems, or telling stories to express our pain.

We can’t let our feelings run the show, but we aren’t doing anything wrong just by having them either.

Where we go wrong is when we ignore the darkness inside ourselves, giving it the power to trick us into destroying our lives.

Feelings come and go, passing through us all the time; but we remain. And it is really hard to remember this and live in healthy ways when we are grieving or enraged.

It’s even harder to remember if we try to ignore our pain and refuse to love ourselves in the first place.

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Update: Monday, January 25, 2021

My wife and I are ethically non-monogamous. (There, I said it.) This means that we both occasionally see other people when we are unable to fulfill all of each other’s needs.

We opened our marriage years ago after having lots and lots of couple’s therapy. My wife came out as asexual to me, and we almost got divorced over it. Almost all of our fights back then were about sex. But the couple’s therapy really helped us understand each other and this conflict in much clearer terms.

Even if my wife were not asexual, she is under no obligation to share her body with anyone, not even her husband. No matter how much the lack of physical intimacy might bother me, I am not entitled to anyone else’s body but my own.

At the same time, I am under no obligation to remain celibate for the rest of my life. I am a sexual being, and I deserve to be able to fulfill that part of my personality. My wife is not entitled to my body either; and as long as I am transparent with her about everything, I can share my body with others if I want to.

When we reached this understanding, we stopped fighting all the time. Now we could talk rationally with each other about our needs, and we could problem-solve together and find ways to meet both of our needs without putting all the responsibility for this on each other. I no longer felt guilty about wanting sex, and my wife no longer felt guilty about not wanting it.

I dated another woman for a little while after that, back before Covid brought the world to its knees. We were friends with benefits, and with no strings attached. It was exactly what we both needed. No drama, no involvement in each other’s lives; just meet for coffee every once in a while, catch up for an hour or two, then go take care of business. Once we were done, we’d go back to our separate lives and not really talk again until we needed to. And life at home steadily improved, because I was no longer pressuring my wife and she was no longer rejecting me.

It was surreal, but I learned that having sex with someone else does not negate my devotion to my wife at all, and that her not wanting to have sex is not the end of the world. Everything else about our relationship is truly fulfilling; why then should we separate just over sex? There are other couples who have great sex, but who throw furniture at each other. So I learned to compartmentalize my love life I guess you might say.

I believe the concept of monogamy is extremely toxic. We are conditioned from birth to believe there is only ONE person for each of us out there, and that it is this one person’s “responsibility” to fulfill ALL of our various needs in life. But this expectation is not at all realistic, or even humane. No one on earth can fulfill all of anyone else’s needs all the time; and imposing this expectation on people sets them up for failure. How many relationships would still exist and be healthy right now if the people involved in them DIDN’T have this expectation?

Of course, being non-monogamous isn’t easy either. Everything in society seems designed to chastise me for being the way I am. Most dating sites are for “singles only” and will actually give you the boot if they find out you’re married. Others will allow people to seek extramarital partners; but most of the membership in these sites are either swingers or people who are actually cheating on their spouses, and I am not into either of those things.

And then there’s the fact that there are people in my family who would not understand any of this. There are people who call me a cheater and a faithless husband. I do not believe it counts as “cheating” if your spouse is the one who’s BEGGING you to sleep with someone else just so she can get some goddamn peace. But some people can’t handle this idea because of their fragile Christian values.

I have expressed guilt in the past for being the way I am, and for needing to compartmentalize my love life in this way. But that is not really the problem. The real problem here is that SOCIETY tells me I am “wrong” for still needing sex when my wife no longer does. SOCIETY tells my wife she is “bad” for not having sex with me, even if she really doesn’t want to. To be honest, this isn’t really about sex at all; it’s about power. People are much easier to control when they believe a thing like love can be legislated.

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On Mental Health

For those of you who have been distressed by my posts as of late:

Yes, I have been in a very dark place lately. But Set is mighty, and so am I.

I for one am sick and tired of how we treat mental illness in our culture. Even people I love often do not get the help they need or deserve. Some are hardwired not to even ask for help in the first place because it is ingrained into us from birth that this is a “shameful” thing to admit, perhaps even to oneself.

And then there are the people who you think are dependable and you reach out to them for help, but they simply reject you because “they have their own problems to worry about.”

That is not how people who love each other should behave.

If I can transform my pain to make it easier for others to discuss these issues and find the help they need, then so be it.

I am grateful to each person who has reached out to me during this dark time to show their support.

As for those who cringe and turn away from the things I’ve been posting…Well, you can just mute me or unfollow me if it really bothers you that much. I’m not going to stop expressing myself. Maybe drawing pictures of your feelings would help you cope better with whatever you are struggling with, too. Please give it some thought.

Helping others is the best way to help ourselves. Dua Ma’at!

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Prayer Against Depression

O Dazzling One!
You who were made desolate,
But who never dies!
You who were rejected,
But who always saves the dawn!

Straighten my spine!
Make strong my limbs!
Open my mouth!

You are what makes me to STAND!
You are what makes me to FIGHT!
You are what makes me to SPEAK!

The Serpent strikes me every day,
But I will NOT be stopped!
I will NOT be rendered powerless!
I will NOT be kept silent!

Holy Outlaw! Divine Rebel!
You who lay tyrants to waste!
Put me to Your holy work!

Do not let me stop
Until MA’AT HERSELF
Decrees my descent!

May I never EVER stop
Bringing joy to loved ones
And strangers alike!

May the Serpent TREMBLE
Whenever I pass near!

DUA SUTEKH!
SO MOTE IT BE!

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