Category Archives: polyamory

My vocabulary, its origin, and a kid difficulty

Someone I know, a thoughtful person herself, complained recently about my “reinventing vocabulary” in reference to how I write and speak, and it triggered a number of thoughts about vocabulary in general and mine in particular, which in turn triggered thoughts on issues I have had in my development as a whole.

Not that I do, or do intentionally, reinvent vocabulary (well maybe sometimes I do prefer my own terms for certain things, such as “absolute enslavement” 😛 ). I have a fair background in both phenomenology and the philosophy of language, particularly with reference to Hegel, Heidegger and Derrida, and so the language that I most naturally use includes terms and structures that are not unusual in these writers but are not so commonly used. But along with this I have some Asperger’s traits, and fundamentally for me all language is in the first place a foreign language, English as much as symbolic logic, and am often non-verbal for long periods, so language that is unusual and seems foreign to other people doesn’t seem any more foreign to me that what is deemed common parlance. I developed my sense of language despite, rather than because, language in general is a natural or easy thing for me. But I developed enough of a sense of language to serve me decently in what I do because I also had an ability for languages, whether foreign or not :).

My aspies traits have been a concern for me very recently in general. I’m not unhappy about having them – I enjoy the abilities I have as a result and I’m not upset by having had to make a slight extra effort with things like language. I learned language quite well in spite of aspies, and learned other things – such as how to judge people’s perceptions of oneself – that are more difficult for aspies people than for the general population. Overall I’m quite content with the combinations of abilities I have developed – I was lucky enough that my aspies traits weren’t so severe that I couldn’t overcome things that I found necessary to overcome, and I learned many of the things I learned when I was too young to actually notice that it took me more or less effort than other kids.

The reason it has been a concern, then, is not particularly regarding myself, but regarding emmie and her son. Both of emmie’s sons are diagnosed autistics, but the younger one really fits the description of someone with aspies more than autism, while the older one fits the description of a medium to medium-high functioning autistic more accurately. I haven’t spent a great deal of time with her older son, who lives with his father in another state, but her younger son lives with us and is currently 9, which seems to be an important age for a kid with aspies. According to child development guidelines 9 to 11 is the age when children generally become social personalities. Up to that point children are an odd combination of self absorption and parent-centrism, they don’t come across as completely self-interested, simply because their “self” is still integrated with those that raised them, usually their parents in this society.

But between 9 and 11 years this changes, and kids suddenly take an avid interest in one another. Peer pressure first really develops at this age and so does the need to be close to other kids, rather than first looking for parental/teacher acceptance and only later for acceptance by peers. Along with this comes the development of, not self-awareness, but awareness of how one is perceived by others. Aspies and autistic kids are often labelled not self-aware but this is a mislabelling of the fact that they are not aware of how others perceive them. They are aware of their actual “selves” quite strongly as far as I can tell. A striking difference between a fully autistic child and an aspies one, for me, is the difference between not knowing that one is perceived as “ different” or “odd”, vs. knowing it, but not necessarily understanding it or being able to change it.

So her son is having difficulty integrating with other kids at the age that they are all beginning to do so with each other. This could be a very temporary thing, where her son is delayed developmentally and will start to develop that kind of other-kid-awareness a bit later, or it could be a fundamental short-circuit in his wiring – I simply don’t know enough about aspies or her son to be able to judge. From being aspies myself, in a less apparently severe way, I know that an aspies kid “can” learn that kind of awareness even if it’s not altogether natural or easy. But I don’t know if that’s true for every aspies kid or just for some. And if it can be learned by any kid that is by definition aspies and not fully autistic (if there is a hard-and-fast line, which seems doubtful) I don’t know about the best way to go about helping a kid learn it. The kid has ample reason to learn it – at present he gets picked on and his reactions to things – or more precisely how he allows people to see those reactions – makes it all the more likely he will continue to get picked on. Kids are sensitive and emotional creatures. It’s not that “normies” don’t get sensitive or have emotional reactions to things, but they learn more quickly than an autistic child what reactions are acceptable to show in front of whom, and what reactions will cause them to be made fun of or treated as “weird”.

This kid has it both good and bad when it comes to the severity of his difficulties. From the limited exposure I’ve had to his elder brother, he has much more of a chance than the elder sibling of living an apparently “normal” life. Where the elder child will always be treated as disabled in certain functional ways, the younger one may be treated as having been “developmentally” delayed, and may always be “odd” in certain ways, but will likely generally be treated as having “caught up” with everyone else. I use scare quotes on “caught up” because, as with many aspies kids, he has definite abilities as well as disabilities, and overall is very intelligent, so much so that despite an obvious learning disability he is in a regular school at the right grade for his age and is on the school’s honor roll. There are many ways where he will always be “ahead” of the average kids in his classes. Not that you have to have aspies to be intelligent or have abilities, he is simply one of the lucky kids that despite whatever problems and issues he might have, he has these abilities to fall back on.

I hope that with further study, partly of aspies syndrome, mostly of emmie’s son himself, we’ll be able to figure out ways to help him overcome the areas where he does have difficulties. The extra effort it takes him will be worth it in terms of living the life that he will eventually want to choose for himself, and with certain other things being relatively easy for him, he should have spare energy to use on overcoming his issues.


Working in the Middle of the Night

It’s an odd feeling working through the night at Domus Daedali. For one I tend to work in the bedroom, really I do a lot of things in the bedroom, besides the obvious ones. But this bedroom is home of Bed Major, a 9 ft wide combination of beds put together that serves to sleep all the adult population of the house. Yes all four of us sleep together in one room, one bed. And we all have laptops on wireless. In fact I have two of them. So back to working.

I often work from home, particularly on my latest contract, where due to the nature of what I’m doing (this part of the project is pretty much solo, it involves doing work at a client site I’m not yet allowed to visit, etc.) I gain no apparent advantage by being in the office. One thing people who never work from home don’t realize is that you tend to work harder at home. Sure you take breaks whenever you feel like it and such, but you make yourself always available by phone and at least within a few minutes by IM, and you take on and commit to producing much more work than you would have at the office so that nobody will think you’re slacking.

So I wind up with work due at 9am, and it’s 3:57. And my eyes are damn tired. In fact I decided to blog simply because I can’t go to sleep, but for various nefarious reasons have to do my work work on a laptop with a crappy screen, when I own a Thinkpad with a beautfiful clear bright screen, and can only use it for personal stuff. *sigh*

But there are some wonderful things about so often being up while everyone is asleep (I’m an inveterate insomniac even when there’s no work due). I can listen to mitda’s sweet little snores. emmie cuddles up against my leg in her sleep. Jubal sends me into stark amazement every night by his ability to be asleep within 90 seconds of hitting the bed, and staying asleep barring trips to the bathroom until it is his appointed time to get up.

Damn I love my family.


Pleasant Evening Out

Tonight emmie, mitda and I went to the local kinky happy hour, which happens every couple of weeks. Unfortunately Jubal couldn’t make it as he has night school now, going back to grad school to get his Masters in Counselling.

It was a really pleasant event. Getting to deal with the people we see at play parties in a more vanilla setting helps place them better in one’s mind as fully rounded people, not just “bdsm’ers” or some such label.

I’m now unfortunately stuck with a nasty headache having had the nerve to try a local Texas beer on draft. Actually the beer was quite good, but it was a dark, bittersweet brew that was destined to kick my migraines into gear.


Working in the Middle of the Night

It’s an odd feeling working through the night at Domus Daedali. For one I tend to work in the bedroom, really I do a lot of things in the bedroom, besides the obvious ones. But this bedroom is home of Bed Major, a 9 ft wide combination of beds put together that serves to sleep all the adult population of the house. Yes all four of us sleep together in one room, one bed. And we all have laptops on wireless. In fact I have two of them. So back to working.

I often work from home, particularly on my latest contract, where due to the nature of what I’m doing (this part of the project is pretty much solo, it involves doing work at a client site I’m not yet allowed to visit, etc.) I gain no apparent advantage by being in the office. One thing people who never work from home don’t realize is that you tend to work harder at home. Sure you take breaks whenever you feel like it and such, but you make yourself always available by phone and at least within a few minutes by IM, and you take on and commit to producing much more work than you would have at the office so that nobody will think you’re slacking.

So I wind up with work due at 9am, and it’s 3:57. And my eyes are damn tired. In fact I decided to blog simply because I can’t go to sleep, but for various nefarious reasons have to do my work work on a laptop with a crappy screen, when I own a Thinkpad with a beautfiful clear bright screen, and can only use it for personal stuff. *sigh*

But there are some wonderful things about so often being up while everyone is asleep (I’m an inveterate insomniac even when there’s no work due). I can listen to mitda’s sweet little snores. emmie cuddles up against my leg in her sleep. Jubal sends me into stark amazement every night by his ability to be asleep within 90 seconds of hitting the bed, and staying asleep barring trips to the bathroom until it is his appointed time to get up.

Damn I love my family.


Pleasant Evening Out

Tonight emmie, mitda and I went to the local kinky happy hour, which happens every couple of weeks. Unfortunately Jubal couldn’t make it as he has night school now, going back to grad school to get his Masters in Counselling.

It was a really pleasant event. Getting to deal with the people we see at play parties in a more vanilla setting helps place them better in one’s mind as fully rounded people, not just “bdsm’ers” or some such label.

I’m now unfortunately stuck with a nasty headache having had the nerve to try a local Texas beer on draft. Actually the beer was quite good, but it was a dark, bittersweet brew that was destined to kick my migraines into gear.


The beauty of my slaves

Today I’ve been struck, numerous times, as if I wasn’t already overwhelmed, by the beauty of my slaves emmie and mitda. mitda is a word girl, a Joycean full of wonder at the joys of language and full of wonder at the world they give meaning to. emmie is as meaningful in her silences, her hesitations, her stark pronouncements as Beckett. They go together as complementary colours in the beautiful tapestry that they have made my life. I love them both and love them always.


The beauty of my slaves

Today I’ve been struck, numerous times, as if I wasn’t already overwhelmed, by the beauty of my slaves emmie and mitda. mitda is a word girl, a Joycean full of wonder at the joys of language and full of wonder at the world they give meaning to. emmie is as meaningful in her silences, her hesitations, her stark pronouncements as Beckett. They go together as complementary colours in the beautiful tapestry that they have made my life. I love them both and love them always.


Collaring

I thought I would post some thoughts on the subject, since although the girls have been collared for some time, mitda for a fair length of time, last weekend we did a collaring ceremony for them together, and as a result it is closer to top of mind than it has been for a while.

Firstly, I love that they are collared.  Their beauty seems that much more radiant wearing their collars, and now that they can both wear their collars 24/7 they are a constant reminder to me of my luck and joy at mastering them.  They are also a constant reminder of my responsibilities in mastering them, and the standard which I have to try to live to.  I am currently studying the concept of unlimited responsibility, something that I think is particularly apropos and necessary in a TPE relationship.

Not that things are always perfect at House Daedalus.  The fact that the collars are identical reminds me of the occasional rivalry between slaves, the envy or jealousy that can poison any poly household.  And treating two very different people differently, as they require, but still equally, as they desire, is a difficult balancing act at times, and one  I don’t always succeed at.

mitda and I, as a former vanilla married couple, had the easiest transition to a TPE lifestyle.  emmie and I have a few more hurdles to climb.  We are in a poly married situation as far as our vanilla sex lives go, but it is new and like any newlyweds we are still learning each other’s tastes, wants and predilections.  And we have our pre-existing, comfortable relationships with our legal spouses to fall back on when things become tense for any reason.  That my spouse is also her sister slave makes her feel insecure.   That her spouse is a “top” sexually, and beginning to dominate in a bedroom bdsm sense, is an additional element and tension for me.  Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade any aspect of my family for any other in the world, but it’s only by being honest about the tensions that they will be resolved, as I always trust that they will.  The love I have for emmie, Jubal and mitda, and the love between all of us, makes all the tensions worth it, all the difficulties a temporary thing, and my overall life satisfying and full of joy.


Collaring

I thought I would post some thoughts on the subject, since although the girls have been collared for some time, mitda for a fair length of time, last weekend we did a collaring ceremony for them together, and as a result it is closer to top of mind than it has been for a while.

Firstly, I love that they are collared.  Their beauty seems that much more radiant wearing their collars, and now that they can both wear their collars 24/7 they are a constant reminder to me of my luck and joy at mastering them.  They are also a constant reminder of my responsibilities in mastering them, and the standard which I have to try to live to.  I am currently studying the concept of unlimited responsibility, something that I think is particularly apropos and necessary in a TPE relationship.

Not that things are always perfect at House Daedalus.  The fact that the collars are identical reminds me of the occasional rivalry between slaves, the envy or jealousy that can poison any poly household.  And treating two very different people differently, as they require, but still equally, as they desire, is a difficult balancing act at times, and one  I don’t always succeed at.

mitda and I, as a former vanilla married couple, had the easiest transition to a TPE lifestyle.  emmie and I have a few more hurdles to climb.  We are in a poly married situation as far as our vanilla sex lives go, but it is new and like any newlyweds we are still learning each other’s tastes, wants and predilections.  And we have our pre-existing, comfortable relationships with our legal spouses to fall back on when things become tense for any reason.  That my spouse is also her sister slave makes her feel insecure.   That her spouse is a “top” sexually, and beginning to dominate in a bedroom bdsm sense, is an additional element and tension for me.  Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade any aspect of my family for any other in the world, but it’s only by being honest about the tensions that they will be resolved, as I always trust that they will.  The love I have for emmie, Jubal and mitda, and the love between all of us, makes all the tensions worth it, all the difficulties a temporary thing, and my overall life satisfying and full of joy.


on perversion re: mitda re: jubal

mitda, commenting on jubal’s next-to-inaugural blog post, makes a few comments that make her worldview precariously relativistic.  Here is an adjustment I would make to correct her, since her ideas are my responsibility : ).

“we live in our own worlds- and for the 4 of us, and the kinky people
with whom we associate, those worlds sometimes overlap, creating our
own society with its own norms.”

Worlds are shared phenomena, Being-in-the-World is a simple, single structure, not a relation between independent phenomena the way it appears in English.  Even between radically different cultures there is a shared set of meanings that constitute a common world, and allow other structures of human being such as discourse and understanding to occur coterminous.  It’s not so much that worlds sometimes overlap.  Rather the result of World+understanding (among other existentials), things that always already have occurred in human being, and are therefore a priori to willed cognition, are unique, and huge contributors to what is variously, and loosely, called character, personality or self consciousness.

To quote Medard  Boss, a Swiss psychiatrist who was very involved with Heidegger’s ideas of human being, “We are not individuals locked up inside our bodies; We live rather in a
shared world, and we illuminate each other.  Human existence is
shared
existence.”