Originally on my Fetlife Page.
Specifically emotional needs. We all have them. I'm learning that ignoring them isn't good, and it adds to my pain. This is an attempt to put it all in one place because I really am a scattered person, and if I don't anchor soon, I will be swallowed by the crashing waves.
It would be easy to say I need Love. The problem for me is that I view Love as an umbrella. It's what you see, but it covers so many things, and I'm more inclined to break it down into bite size pieces. This is my attempt to break it down. In no particular order.
Touch: I'm not talking sex. Better a hug that makes me feel safe. Touching my hands, arms, shoulders and face. (with permission of course, unless we're close) The one thing this year has taught me is that I'm touch starved. It took a horrible breakup and new relationship with someone that sees right through me to make this clear. The first time I heard it, I wanted to fight, I wanted to argue, and call him a liar. He may be a lot of things, but he's not a liar, and he was right. Thanks to him, I'm no longer in starvation mode, but I can say that I'm still hungry.
Understanding: Really listening to my words, body language, and verbal cues. Reading between the lines. I'm very expressive. Yes, I've had people tell me that I "speak in parables" but it's my understanding that Jesus spoke in parables so only the ones meant to understand would. I couldn't be more clear right now.
Affection: Yes, touch is a part of it, but only a small part. Words also play a part in this. Not only in what is said, but how it is said. While my vocabulary hasn't increased in volume that much, I will say that there are words that "soften" me now that didn't before. It's all in the tone and usage. Experimenting and using those words on me has the same effect as a reward in my brain. The positive effect leaves me feeling good. Still, it's easy to "break" me.
Communication: Talk to me. Tell me what you are feeling, and also how I can make things better, whether it's just listening, a hug, or even assistance in problem-solving. I know that I prefer to just be heard, but if there's a different way you want a response let me know. My preferences (in order) are face-to-face, phone, email, notes and text. I have to really like/love you to text. Mostly because an actual conversation is faster. I do have a few people who I actually dread reading their texts. Please don't be "that person."
Comfort: This is another complex thing. It comes in many flavors. Touch, words, food, even a look from across a room or a table. That look of recognition, the sometimes shy smile. Looks like that can melt me in an instant. The nonverbal 'conversations' that only we understand. Sometimes just knowing what it means will keep me warm.
Kindness: Being cruel is so easy, but being kind in the face of difficulty takes only a little more effort. Smiling instead of frowning, trying to show some compassion, offering to help, and actually doing it. That last one can be as easy as making a specific offer, or even asking. No, I don't need any help. I just thought I'd add it because it's a good thing to keep in mind for others.
Routine: Okay, I'll admit it: I live a very unscheduled life, but planned activities and outings keep me feeling adjusted. Knowing that unless the world ends, or there's an emergency, or I'm sick, I'll be having dinner with some friends every Friday night is comforting. That's just one example, but it's a good one.
Honesty: Yes, even the "hurtful" things. The unadulterated unedited truth. My closest relationships are based on it. Does that dress look ugly on me? Tell me! I don't want to go out wearing it if it's unflattering. Especially if we are close, I expect feedback. Mostly though, I want to know what's on your mind, why you feel how you feel, and if you can tell me what you really did last week with that mystery person. I'll give it back to you as well.
What I Don't Need
Criticism: Especially if it doesn't come with specific ways to make things better. My desire is to be a positive influence and be helpful. (It doesn't mean I'm subservient at all. It's just how I am)
Extended Silence: I don't mean quiet time. I enjoy my quiet time. I mean a complete lack of communication. It plays on my abandonment issues.
Anger: Specifically, unresolved anger. Talking about what is causing the anger and working out a solution, agreeing to disagree, or using mediation is better. Sometimes there is no solution, but deciding how to handle those things is important.
Abandonment: Whether "ghosting," disappearing for extended periods, or just not trying to work with me. Better to just tell me so I can work it out in my head. Yes, I know that things come to an end, but discussing things liker adults make it so much easier.
Abuse: Whether it's verbal, emotional, or physical. Need I say more?
I'll stop here. I think it covers the important (to me) stuff.
Thank you for reading this. Thank you also to the people (members of my extended polycule) who inspired me to write this.