Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby some seeing eye » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:17 pm

Here is a focus to find a solution. You are going to be under stress as a first time burner, so drama and ridiculousness could easily diminish, even destroy your experience. The scenario you relate I would put into the destroy category. Clear you are the grown up here.

What is your goal for attending your first BM? Do you want to establish credibility and long term friendships with your planned camp? If you want long term credibility and respect from that group, suggest reaching out to them with your concerns. They may be hard core with your ex, or not.

You could easily join a new camp that appeals to you with your RV and without your EX. Almost any camp is highly supportive of first time burners. Again what is your goal?

BM is an event with thousands of stellar individuals. Without distractions you can fully engage and make long term connections to dozens in your first year, leaving behind the past.

And yes, with dustiness this year, RV's will become storm havens, check other threads on dustproofing your RV. Learn through friends and eplaya to be a good participant in whatever camp and with whatever co-inhabitants you select when your many campmates seek refuge with their *new friend* who has planned hours of diversions like games, cards, readings and your ideas.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby SeekingAdvicePlease » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:25 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:Hey, space in an RV? I'll play by your rules. There, that takes care of the extra room in the RV, finding someone who respects your views and would like the space in your RV wasn't so hard. Otherwise I'll be out in the dust..... I promise not to have sex with his girlfriend while you are around. More than he's willing to offer. Might be kinda harsh on mister loverman but, yeah, it's the BURN !!!!

You can tell he's setting you up because you already know.


You're right, it shouldnt be too challenging to find a fun person to join up with! I like that last line you wrote. Sometimes I don't see things that are so obviously in front of me, but when someone else points it out, it becomes pretty clear..
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby CaffeineGirl » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:00 pm

From what you have described of this guy, his having sex next to you might be the least of your problems with him.

When you take an RV into BRC, what you have going in is all you get for fresh water, tank capacity, propane and fuel. (yes, it is possible to get pump-outs, but they can take a long time to run down, and you may not be be accessible enough).

It takes a lot of procedures, rules, and mutual respect for a group of people to share an RV and keep it clean smelling and functioning, and this board is has many threads on the topic.

Since he has shown so little respect for you to date, what is to stop him from using all of your fresh water taking long showers, turning the RV into a stinky uninhabitable mess by shitting in the toilet, draining your fuel using the aircondtioner for long periods, and running the batteries down to where the RV will not even start to get you out of there? Not to mention leaving it such a dusty, dirty, mess that you will be stuck with a huge cleaning deposit.

Its your burn, and your name on the line for the RV. Just say no. And lock the door.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Sandstorm » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:17 pm

SeekingAdvicePlease: You've gotten a lot of good advice here. I'll do my best to add to it. My apologies if what I've written here is serious in tone. In the past I've spent a lot of time on an online support group website (I didn't just tell you about my past group sex experiences but how's that for TMI? :lol: )and in this post I'm channeling some of what I've learned/written on that website/via that process.

In one of your posts in your thread you wrote:

"As far as my EX manipulating me, I've always had problems with emotionally-abusive relationships. (oops, over-shared..). It's something that I'm aware of and am really putting a lot of effort into correcting."

I'm glad both that you wrote those words and that you're working to change your negative behavioral patterns as they pertain to your romantic relationships. Before I got to your post in which you wrote the above quoted words I had the thought that a lot of what you had written about regarding your interactions/issues with your ex sounded very unhealthy and co-dependent. Until now you've basically put all of his needs before yours. I hope for your sake that both in the default world and on the playa you take all this good advice that you've received here and set up permanent, non-negotiable boundaries with your ex. Once the burn is over consider going NO CONTACT with your ex. He clearly does not respect you or your needs.

Regarding you talking to your ex's new GF: No! There is no reason to trust her. Your ex sounds like a f*cking tool and while you are lucky enough to no longer be with him he has found a new GF who thinks that his "go with the flow" way of living is awesome to be around. You have NO idea what your ex has told his GF about you. He could have told her a river of lies about you. If you try to talk to her about your situation/interactions with your ex then you may find yourself in the midst of a whole new level of drama.

I would also be very cautious about talking to your new campmates about your ex. Again, you have no idea what your ex has told them about you or how tight some of those people may be with your ex. Your campmates may seem like happy, fun loving people but people are often not what they seem/present themselves to be. Back in '10 I burned with a woman who I'd met on the playa in '08. In the default world in late '08 I'd hung out and had sex with her and then post-burn in '10 I hosted her at my home when she was on a road trip. Well, last summer just before the burn I found out from a mutual acquaintance that the woman with whom I'd burned, had sex and hosted had been talking shit about me behind my back since '10 and that that behavior had started before we even got to the playa in '10. She and I and our mutual acquaintance had an AMAZING burn in '10 and had our mutual acquaintance not filled me in her friend's behind the scenes behavior I never would have known the truth about the woman who I'd let into my bed and home.

I'm not being bitter or jaded when I say that in recent years I've learned via BM and the Burner community how many damaged people there are in the pool of people who have a distinct lack of sexual boundaries. What I'm saying here is WATCH YOUR OWN BACK because few people if anyone will do it for you. In the situation that I described above I was incredibly lucky to know someone who said to me "Dude, she's not your friend".

Regarding your emotional well-being on the playa: again, the only person who's going to look out for you is YOU, so don't undermine your well-being and the quality of your burn by setting up/allowing situations that are going to stress you out and/or cause you to melt down on the playa. Yes, Burning Man can be awesome in SO MANY ways but it can also be/is a physically and emotionally intense and demanding environment even before a person starts ingesting alcohol and/or "stuff". Maybe you're a pro when it comes to how you handle your emotions, booze and recreational "stuff" but you've never been to BM before and thus you don't know how your body/brain/mind will respond to the situation.

I'll share with you one thing I've learned about BM. Come Sunday afternoon people are emotionally fried. Some of that may be due to the drinking, drugging and partying and some of it may be due to the demands that the playa puts on the body. However, there's another part to why it is that people are emotionally spent come Sunday afternoon and that's because there's a price to being 100% emotionally available for a week in BRC. I've randomly bumped into people on Sunday afternoons in BRC, people who I knew from previous burns or back home and when I saw them on those given Sundays in BRC their faces said to me "I'm emotionally shut down." Yes, they were happy to see me but they were also done with being 100% SUPER EMO and were ready to get back to the default world where they did not need to be/were not inspired to be 100% SUPER EMO all day every day.

What I'm trying to say here is that you are about to go into an environment that's going to both give and take a lot from you in ways that you may not expect and thus it's in your best interest to invest soley in your welfare and burn and not waste an iota of your time or compassion on your ex. This isn't about you being a bitch to your ex: it's about you putting yourself FIRST in your life and burn.

In regards to how you are trying to change/improve your inter-personal relationships let me give you a virtual gift. It's something I call "The Emotional Meat Cleaver". Up until a couple of years ago I had some of the same issues that you seem to wrestle with in terms of not being able to disconnect from people who are not as respectful and self-aware as you and I try to be. For years I let some of those types of people emotionally f*ck me up time and again and I did so because I had not yet come to terms with how f*cked up the human mind/brain can be. Well, somewhere along the way I learned to wield my "Emotional Meat Cleaver" with people who f*ck with me. I don't just cut people out from my life on a whim: I do my best to treat other people with compassion and respect. However, when my best efforts at treating others with kindness is returned by another person's BS then my "Emotional Meat Cleaver" goes "Chop! Chop! Chop!" and my life has been liberated of yet another a**hole.

Enjoy using your "Emotional Meat Cleaver"! I hope that your ex enjoys becoming a Eunuch. :P

BTW, if you were my sister or friend I'd have your back with your ex and I'd let him know that there's a "No-fly zone" around you and that if he got near you there'd be a steep price to pay.

Here's a simple bit of playa advice: if you are on the playa and having a hard time don't be shy about going to one of the official Medical Stations and chill out there. I say that because they are drug and alcohol free zones where no one is going to try to hit on/take advantage of you if you are in a vulnerable state. While I'm a self-reliant burner I have no problem with swinging by a medical station if I'm feeling sore (e.g. an aching knee or ankle) or overwhelmed (e.g. I'm unexpectedly feeling not simply drunk but shaky) and I'm miles from my camp. Some (all?) of them have cots where you can crash out and take a nap if you are in distress. Just be up front with the medical volunteers about why you are there.

I hope that you have an amazing burn. It sounds as though in some ways your on top of your game and it reflects well on you that you've reached out to the community for advice and support with this situation. I know that you know this but let me say that there are great guys out there who will treat you with respect and the more you improve your relationship with yourself the higher the quality of men you will find yourself being involved with.

Best wishes with your healing journey. Have a great day and an even better burn!
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Wrath » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:47 pm

SeekingAdvicePlease's ex wrote:No promises! It's Burning Man! It gets pretty crazy!

Wait for him to cross the line. Find radical guy. Use radical guy to steal new girlfriend from ex. Evict ex to sex tent and enjoy threesome with new triad.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Marscrumbs » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:55 pm

You all need a trip to Soul Mate Trading Company and a total drama make over. Hope for the best.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby SeekingAdvicePlease » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:39 pm

Sandstorm wrote:SeekingAdvicePlease: You've gotten a lot of good advice here. I'll do my best to add to it. My apologies if what I've written here is serious in tone. In the past I've spent a lot of time on an online support group website (I didn't just tell you about my past group sex experiences but how's that for TMI? :lol: )and in this post I'm channeling some of what I've learned/written on that website/via that process.

In one of your posts in your thread you wrote:

"As far as my EX manipulating me, I've always had problems with emotionally-abusive relationships. (oops, over-shared..). It's something that I'm aware of and am really putting a lot of effort into correcting."

I'm glad both that you wrote those words and that you're working to change your negative behavioral patterns as they pertain to your romantic relationships. Before I got to your post in which you wrote the above quoted words I had the thought that a lot of what you had written about regarding your interactions/issues with your ex sounded very unhealthy and co-dependent. Until now you've basically put all of his needs before yours. I hope for your sake that both in the default world and on the playa you take all this good advice that you've received here and set up permanent, non-negotiable boundaries with your ex. Once the burn is over consider going NO CONTACT with your ex. He clearly does not respect you or your needs.

Regarding you talking to your ex's new GF: No! There is no reason to trust her. Your ex sounds like a f*cking tool and while you are lucky enough to no longer be with him he has found a new GF who thinks that his "go with the flow" way of living is awesome to be around. You have NO idea what your ex has told his GF about you. He could have told her a river of lies about you. If you try to talk to her about your situation/interactions with your ex then you may find yourself in the midst of a whole new level of drama.

I would also be very cautious about talking to your new campmates about your ex. Again, you have no idea what your ex has told them about you or how tight some of those people may be with your ex. Your campmates may seem like happy, fun loving people but people are often not what they seem/present themselves to be. Back in '10 I burned with a woman who I'd met on the playa in '08. In the default world in late '08 I'd hung out and had sex with her and then post-burn in '10 I hosted her at my home when she was on a road trip. Well, last summer just before the burn I found out from a mutual acquaintance that the woman with whom I'd burned, had sex and hosted had been talking shit about me behind my back since '10 and that that behavior had started before we even got to the playa in '10. She and I and our mutual acquaintance had an AMAZING burn in '10 and had our mutual acquaintance not filled me in her friend's behind the scenes behavior I never would have known the truth about the woman who I'd let into my bed and home.

I'm not being bitter or jaded when I say that in recent years I've learned via BM and the Burner community how many damaged people there are in the pool of people who have a distinct lack of sexual boundaries. What I'm saying here is WATCH YOUR OWN BACK because few people if anyone will do it for you. In the situation that I described above I was incredibly lucky to know someone who said to me "Dude, she's not your friend".

Regarding your emotional well-being on the playa: again, the only person who's going to look out for you is YOU, so don't undermine your well-being and the quality of your burn by setting up/allowing situations that are going to stress you out and/or cause you to melt down on the playa. Yes, Burning Man can be awesome in SO MANY ways but it can also be/is a physically and emotionally intense and demanding environment even before a person starts ingesting alcohol and/or "stuff". Maybe you're a pro when it comes to how you handle your emotions, booze and recreational "stuff" but you've never been to BM before and thus you don't know how your body/brain/mind will respond to the situation.

I'll share with you one thing I've learned about BM. Come Sunday afternoon people are emotionally fried. Some of that may be due to the drinking, drugging and partying and some of it may be due to the demands that the playa puts on the body. However, there's another part to why it is that people are emotionally spent come Sunday afternoon and that's because there's a price to being 100% emotionally available for a week in BRC. I've randomly bumped into people on Sunday afternoons in BRC, people who I knew from previous burns or back home and when I saw them on those given Sundays in BRC their faces said to me "I'm emotionally shut down." Yes, they were happy to see me but they were also done with being 100% SUPER EMO and were ready to get back to the default world where they did not need to be/were not inspired to be 100% SUPER EMO all day every day.

What I'm trying to say here is that you are about to go into an environment that's going to both give and take a lot from you in ways that you may not expect and thus it's in your best interest to invest soley in your welfare and burn and not waste an iota of your time or compassion on your ex. This isn't about you being a bitch to your ex: it's about you putting yourself FIRST in your life and burn.

In regards to how you are trying to change/improve your inter-personal relationships let me give you a virtual gift. It's something I call "The Emotional Meat Cleaver". Up until a couple of years ago I had some of the same issues that you seem to wrestle with in terms of not being able to disconnect from people who are not as respectful and self-aware as you and I try to be. For years I let some of those types of people emotionally f*ck me up time and again and I did so because I had not yet come to terms with how f*cked up the human mind/brain can be. Well, somewhere along the way I learned to wield my "Emotional Meat Cleaver" with people who f*ck with me. I don't just cut people out from my life on a whim: I do my best to treat other people with compassion and respect. However, when my best efforts at treating others with kindness is returned by another person's BS then my "Emotional Meat Cleaver" goes "Chop! Chop! Chop!" and my life has been liberated of yet another a**hole.

Enjoy using your "Emotional Meat Cleaver"! I hope that your ex enjoys becoming a Eunuch. :P

BTW, if you were my sister or friend I'd have your back with your ex and I'd let him know that there's a "No-fly zone" around you and that if he got near you there'd be a steep price to pay.

Here's a simple bit of playa advice: if you are on the playa and having a hard time don't be shy about going to one of the official Medical Stations and chill out there. I say that because they are drug and alcohol free zones where no one is going to try to hit on/take advantage of you if you are in a vulnerable state. While I'm a self-reliant burner I have no problem with swinging by a medical station if I'm feeling sore (e.g. an aching knee or ankle) or overwhelmed (e.g. I'm unexpectedly feeling not simply drunk but shaky) and I'm miles from my camp. Some (all?) of them have cots where you can crash out and take a nap if you are in distress. Just be up front with the medical volunteers about why you are there.

I hope that you have an amazing burn. It sounds as though in some ways your on top of your game and it reflects well on you that you've reached out to the community for advice and support with this situation. I know that you know this but let me say that there are great guys out there who will treat you with respect and the more you improve your relationship with yourself the higher the quality of men you will find yourself being involved with.

Best wishes with your healing journey. Have a great day and an even better burn!


I will respond to the other responses on this thread, but this post in particular touched me. Thank you, Sandstorm, for not being judgmental and taking your time to write such a helpful and personal response. None of us are perfect and it makes me respect you for not simply dismissing me as some young idiot, and actually reaching out to me. It brought me to tears that a stranger would read some random post that I've written and put such effort into helping me. You have truly made my day. Thank you for that.

My heart rules my mind. It's my ecstasy and my agony. And I wouldn't have it any other way. A song that describes my feelings about this matter is Modest Mouse's "Heart Cooks Brain". Often times, my mind is quick to instinctively tell me what to do, but my heart overwhelms it. I'm trying to balance the two out, and it's something that I think about everyday.

I was considering talking to the GF, as others have suggested, but you're right - with his history, he likely could have made me out to be a bitch. And, anyone who would date him, I wouldn't want in my life as a friend or RV companion (wouldn't want my former-dating-him-self in my life now...) And, I really don't want to spread this drama to my other campmates. They don't deserve it.

About my emotion abusive pattern - I have seen a therapist about it after a particularly horrifying relationship ended a few years back, but the therapist was incredibly judgmental about what I told her. She would ask me these questions, and I thought it would be helpful for the therapy if I told her my honest feelings/experiences, but several times she would say, "Wow...." or just show her lack of compassion on her face. The whole experience turned me off to the notion of professional guidance, and I have been working on other methods of self-healing, reflection, and growth.

I like your suggestion of the "Emotional Meat Cleaver", and my mind knows it's perfect. It's just about my heart giving in. It is really a daily struggle. The only thing I want in life is to have a positive effect on others. I realize that this makes me susceptible to being taking advantage of, and that is still something that I am struggling with. It's a hard line for me to navigate and I am really trying to take care of myself but just wish there was a way I could do it without letting others down. I know in my mind what I'm doing is unhealthy and wrong, it's just a matter of not letting my emotions get the best of me. I'm thinking that the older I get (I'm in my early 20's), the better I will become at regulating my emotions.

As far as the drugs/drinking that occurs at BM, I do drink, but have outgrown drug use. I have tried every illicit substance that is readily available in the states, and I used to love it - i lived for it - but it doesn't work for me anymore. It takes to much of a toll on my health. I also found that a lot of the 'friends' that I hung out with during that time in my life didn't really care about me, just were lonely (as I was at that time) and just wanted someone to get high with. I've evolved out of that behavior pattern. I am apathetic to others doing drugs, but have zero interest in participating.

And, if this thread is TMI for anyone, I don't want to apologize again. I do my best to suppress the ego part of my mind that tells me to subscribe to other people's expectations for how I should be. I am not, however, ever going to be "normal" or fit the status quo. I know exactly how to be the person that people want me to be, but I've wasted far to much energy/effort/time/tears on that, and now I'm just me. Take it or leave it, but I will remain.

Thank you again, Sandstorm. I have tremendous appreciation for you sharing your personal experiences and allowing me to learn from them. The time you took to write your post is absolutely the most helpful thing I've read in awhile... sending you love and hoping you have a good time at BM this year.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby SeekingAdvicePlease » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:02 pm

CaffeineGirl wrote:From what you have described of this guy, his having sex next to you might be the least of your problems with him.

When you take an RV into BRC, what you have going in is all you get for fresh water, tank capacity, propane and fuel. (yes, it is possible to get pump-outs, but they can take a long time to run down, and you may not be be accessible enough).

It takes a lot of procedures, rules, and mutual respect for a group of people to share an RV and keep it clean smelling and functioning, and this board is has many threads on the topic.

Since he has shown so little respect for you to date, what is to stop him from using all of your fresh water taking long showers, turning the RV into a stinky uninhabitable mess by shitting in the toilet, draining your fuel using the aircondtioner for long periods, and running the batteries down to where the RV will not even start to get you out of there? Not to mention leaving it such a dusty, dirty, mess that you will be stuck with a huge cleaning deposit.

Its your burn, and your name on the line for the RV. Just say no. And lock the door.


I appreciate your advice as someone who has more experience and knows what I should expect. Some info I left out - I own the RV. I bought it in June for BM and have spend the past 2 months combing over every detail of how to best optimize it for playa conditions. Aside from reading and searching everything I can find on this forum, I've also camped in it a few times for 'practice', taken it to a friend who owns an RV shop in town for advice and tips, and done everything I can come up with to make it the best experience possible.

I plan to keep the RV locked at all times when I'm not in it. The original arrangement was for him and I to meet in the evening to sleep in it, and to hide out in it together during dust storms. He would never have his own key/access to it without me also being it it. The camp I am in has their own showers, bathrooms and AC-cooled community shelters. The toliet is not going to be used by anyone for anything. I've already duct-taped the lid down and built something around it, so it's not even an option.

You are right about his lack of respect indicating that he will likely care less about how he treats the RV. Thankfully, from the helpful advice and encouragement I've gotten from everyone in this thread, I've come to the decision that because I own the RV and I am doing all the work to prepare it for the playa, that it is mine to enjoy and if I get out there and want to invite anyone into my 'home', then I can do so as an act of kindness, not as a way to not feel guilty.

Thank you again for adding some helpful advice! Take care :P
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby SeekingAdvicePlease » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:07 pm

Wrath wrote:
SeekingAdvicePlease's ex wrote:No promises! It's Burning Man! It gets pretty crazy!

Wait for him to cross the line. Find radical guy. Use radical guy to steal new girlfriend from ex. Evict ex to sex tent and enjoy threesome with new triad.


Are you electing yourself to play the role of 'radical guy'? I kid, I kid... :)

I'm sure he'll find a way to stir up some drama, with or without me. I just got off the phone with him. Thanks to all of your support and encouragement, I just casually let him know that I plan to sleep solo in the RV and that it will be open to any camp/playa people who want shelter from a storm when I'm there, but other than that, it will remained locked. :twisted: Yay, guilt is gone! Thank you to everyone who talked me out of this potential catastrophe! Gasp... :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby SeekingAdvicePlease » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:09 pm

Marscrumbs wrote:You all need a trip to Soul Mate Trading Company and a total drama make over. Hope for the best.


Haha! I will always hope for the best from people and experiences, but am going to prepare for trouble. I'm curious to see the outcome..
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby SeekingAdvicePlease » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:28 pm

Bob wrote:Sounds good that you have some sort of project to work on.

Ignore the ex, filter his emails, block his calls, and compost his letters until you get home from the Burning Man.


"Until I get home from BM"? I hope to set a new tone with him where I can continue ignoring him indefinitely.. let's see what happens though...
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby darkfred62 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:53 pm

The Hard truth from a older man.

Ex is a typical user dude looking to get a threesome going in your RV.

You sound like you are a "have it all together" type of woman. Bought an RV and fixed it up for Burning man? You go girl!
Seriously you should have no time for "user" dude. He sounds like one of those used car salesman types. He can charm his way into anything? Am I correct?
The only way I see the deal working for you with user dude is if you do the no holds barred bit. Your RV may stink and need a complete hosing down afterwards.

Unless you are going to be in for the threesome, lose the zero. Do not be nice about it either. Being very direct will make it very clear.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Sandstorm » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:46 pm

Seeking: FYI, I responded to your PM.

Thank you for your kind words in your post and kudos to you for being so open about where you've been and where you are at. This may not be the typical forum for a person to bare their soul to the world but this is the internet and stranger things happen here all the time.

In your last post you wrote:

" I am not, however, ever going to be "normal" or fit the status quo. I know exactly how to be the person that people want me to be, but I've wasted far to much energy/effort/time/tears on that, and now I'm just me. Take it or leave it, but I will remain."

In your self-description you sound like a lot of other people who have visited/call BRC home. As long as you set and maintain boundaries with your ex on (and off) the playa then you'll stand a great chance of having a GREAT burn. In that spirit I'd suggest that you:

Don't give your ex a key to the RV.

Don't tell your ex where the spare key to the RV is hidden.

Don't let your ex in the RV.

Don't let your ex's GF in the RV.

Don't feel bad about not letting your ex or his GF in your RV when there's a dust storm. (No. Really. F*ck him. And you already have enough of your own concerns without needing to worry about your ex's current squeeze.)

Have you ever heard the song "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy? It's a goofy, feminist, self-empowerment pop song from the 70's.

http://youtu.be/mmifO2sKT7g

You may or may not be aware of the fact that the theme of last year's burn was "Rites Of Passage". Although you were not at last year's burn perhaps this year's burn is a chance for you to undergo some major "Rites Of Passage" regarding both your ex and you putting yourself first in your life, especially when it comes to the men with whom you get intimate.

Have a good night.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:04 pm

SeekingAdvicePlease wrote:
Bob wrote:Sounds good that you have some sort of project to work on.

Ignore the ex, filter his emails, block his calls, and compost his letters until you get home from the Burning Man.


"Until I get home from BM"? I hope to set a new tone with him where I can continue ignoring him indefinitely.. let's see what happens though...

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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby fresh » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:15 am

Keep the drama away!!!! Find a close friend in your camp that would consider crashing with you. Tell Ex that said person is actually going to PAY THEIR WAY and chip in for RV, even if you actually take nothing. You don't want this to soil your first burn. He should be cool since he is asking for ALOT and paying camp dues is more than enough for brining you to the camp as Eric said. If he acts like a dick or she's a bitch, avoid them and chill with the cool campers. If it turns out all good with em
, who knows, you might have that threesome, but then it's back to the truck for them. But there are plenty of fish out there. Reel in one or two and shake that rv so hard that your ex will hear it and wonder why he ever left you....
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby mgb327 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:09 am

Sorry to come in so late on this thread...it has been a very good read. There has been some excellent advice given. 30 years ago, I was that scumbag of a BF, used people without batting an eye. I now treat everyone with fairness, honesty, and respect. Very hard lessons to learn, it took me many years to break out of that nightmare reality mindset. Your ex BF is purely using you, and will live up to his character. Avoid him at all costs. Your first burn? How wonderful! There is so much sensory overload, even the simple act of feeding oneself is "new", let alone bring some unpredictable hand grenade with no pin. You will soon see who your true friends are, and he is not in that catagory. Lock his sorry ass out...RV/heart/mind/burn. You are going to blossom.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Sandstorm » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:37 am

mgb327: Great post.

Seeking: I'll give you one more suggestion that last night I thought about offering up to you but held off on doing so. A good night's sleep and mgb327's post made me change my mind about the matter.

Simply put, you've got an RV and thus you don't need to camp with your BF's camp. You've got a shelter that is wind resistant and thus you are golden. You could park your RV in another part of the city and enjoy a burn that is guaranteed to be free of the drama that being your creepy ex BF will bring to your first burn.

The fact that you've signed up for jobs in your BFs camp is irrelevant. As much as you have made nice internet connections with these people they don't seem to profile as being your friends. If I'm one of those people in the camp and I find out on the playa that you've decided to not camp with the group then I'd just move on with my life and burn.

Your well-being, joy and the quality of your FIRST BURN are what's at stake here.

I'll share with you a relevant story about last year's burn.

I attended the '11 burn with my friend of longest standing. She and I and I have known each other since around '86 when we met in High School. She's a long-time burner and lives in the Bay Area, whereas I live in NYC. FYI, before last year she and I had never gone to BM together, although we did bump into one another on the playa in '07, which was my first burn. The simple version of the story is that last year on the ride from the CA to the playa it hit me that my friend has an unmedicated and probably undiagnosed bipolar condition. I say that because for various reasons over the past 2 years I've self-educated myself in human psychology and by that I don't mean that I've been reading self-help books. I've done a lot of reading of serious clinical materials on human psychology. On that car ride last year I saw my friend act in ways that I'd seen her act in the past but bumped up a whole new level. Part of her behavior was verbally abusive. Well, last year we got to the playa 2 or 3 days later than planned due to the fact that my friend had been acting so weird in the Bay Area after I got there from NYC. (FYI, I had bought my friend her ticket to BM in exchange for her doing the driving to and from BRC. Even though that agreement had been in place for months it did not stop my friend from doing ZERO packing before I got to her place in late August.) Last year I went to the burn specifically to bring my paternal grandmother's ashes to The Temple and before we even hit the road for BRC my "friend" repeatedly almost upended that journey. Throughout that experience I kept taking deep breaths and pushing past my friend's erratic behavior simply so that after 7 years I could give my grandmother and her ashes an epic sendoff. A few minutes after we got to the playa last year I overheard my friend make a flippant remark to one of our campmates about why we had gotten to the playa so late, a comment that suggested that my friend played no part in our very tardy arrival in BRC. For me that was the last straw: I decided right there and then to not spend a second of my burn with my friend and I kept true to that decision. 2 days later I approached a burner whom I'd met in the neighboring camp and asked her if come Monday or Tuesday she could give me a ride back to Reno, which she ended up doing. I'll never forget saying to that woman that I needed a ride because my friend was being emotionally abusive to me and I did not feel safe riding back to Reno in the same car with her. My "playa neighbor" saved my ass and my burn and I'll always be indebted to her for doing so. I had a great burn and on Monday morning I packed up my friend's gear in her car and then told her that I was staying another day on the playa to just chill out. Since then I've not seen my friend again, had almost no contact with her and only recently sent her an email in which I laid out the facts of her behavior towards me over the past 2 years and set conditions on her and I ever re-establishing contact/a friendship with one another.

My point in sharing my story with you is to point out that if I in a split second can "Chop! Chop! Chop!" my oldest friend in the world from my burn then you can do likewise with people who are not your friends. Do you want to spend your first burn dealing with tension, anxiety and passive aggressive weirdness or do you want to feel what it's like to be alive and in the moment in BRC? Personally, I'd go with the latter.

You seem to be a self-reliant type of person and IMHO this is a good opportunity for you to strengthen that reality. That said, it's your life and burn and only YOU can make the right decision for you. Just remember that at this moment in time you still have the power to shape the foundation for your FIRST BURN for the better.

Have a good day!
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby DustHand » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:51 am

Great comments here...hopefully you can make one tough decision now, so your Burn will be enjoyable.
Drama is a terrible burden on a person's psyche. I have surgically removed it from my life over the last 18 years or so...and couldn't be happier. I hope you can do the same!
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:13 am

Sandstorm wrote:The fact that you've signed up for jobs in your BFs camp is irrelevant.

In a just world, these would devolve to your ex...

Bi-Polar is so effin' hard. My husband was bi-polar, with an anxiety chaser... Sometimes, you gotta cut them loose. (I didn't with my husband, and I'm leaving it at that.) On the other side of these things, you end up hating those who didn't stand by you. But that's not something that's relevent here, just in my bruised heart.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Sandstorm » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:21 am

DustHand: Congratulations on having removed the drama from your life over an extended period of time. I'm in the early stages of that process in my own life and while I'm disappointed about having to cut ties with certain people in my life I'm decidedly far more at peace now than I was a few years ago and going forward I intend to keep my life drama free.

Crypto: Big hugs for your heartache. In my life I've given a lot of support to a handful of people close to me who have BP and/or personality disorders and some of those people are survivors of emotionally and/or physically abusive backgrounds. I can honestly say that none of the people with whom I have had to contact can say that I did not stand by them or show compassion for their pain and/or mental/emotional health issues. Although I do not regret giving my support to those people I can no longer feed those psychological meters because in the end the price of my endlessly being there for those people was nearly apocalyptic in terms on the negative impact it had on my life. I'm trying to find new ways to channel my compassion for others into avenues that enrich my life and do not damage it.

May both of you have a good day and great burns if you're making it HOME this year.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby RevDusty » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:42 am

Lots of good info/advice here...I'll be brief.

The BIGGEST buzzkill at Burning Man (your first!!!! - how godamn wonderful! Really!) is drama and emotional issues tearing at you. It will keep you from being "there" and BMan is one of the best places I know to be in the absolute present and open to wonder.

There are thousands of brand new friends out there that you just haven't met yet.

In complete seriousness, do not spend time with him and his GF, and really consider another camp. Plenty will welcome you and you can sign up for work. Let your former BF and his gf take over your old shifts and enter the playa clear, ready, and open to the wonder that is there for you.

This is a special time for you...don't drag it down with a bunch of crap. Just look what has already started with his attitude toward you...it's not gonna all of a sudden get better on the playa.

Sometimes to be free, you need to cut the cords holding you to the past. Now's the time!
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Lonesomebri » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:49 am

Hmmmmmm.....reading all the kind supportive words laid down here, I totally get the feeling that I'm not gonna score that extra space in the RV.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby skippy3k » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:08 am

Do not underestimate the mysterious forces that exist on the playa. Nobody here is waxing poetic about the event...it's a very real phenomenon. Burning Man can make a grain of sand issue into a pearl...or a huge blister. What I mean is what you may feel is a small issue now becomes a huge one out there. Relationships are made and broken on the playa. My first burn, I lost a good friendship. We drove there together and left separately and sadly, I have not seen her since. We didn't sort our shit out ahead of time. Do not wait until you get out there to address anything because you will have your hands full with containing your senses and will not be able to sort anything out.

But that isn't a bad thing. Sometimes what you think you will enjoy out there you end up finding out you REALLY FUCKING LOVE IT, so it works both ways. You just don't really know how it will hit you.

The fact you are open to threesomes really helps your chances of finding friends though....our camp is very threesome friendly! (Sorry, I had to make this post not sound so grim!)
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby plantmandan » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:06 pm

SeekingAdvicePlease wrote: Who knows, maybe I'm making a huge deal out of something small and everything will be fine..


This is not small. Your inner being is telling you something. Listen to it.

Everything will be fine if you put yourself first and stop making excuses for your ex.

Finally, DO NOT GIVE HIS GIRLFRIEND A RIDE IN YOUR RV UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER. If he has a truck he can sleep in, he has room for her.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Lonesomebri » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:08 pm

plantmandan wrote:
SeekingAdvicePlease wrote: Who knows, maybe I'm making a huge deal out of something small and everything will be fine..


This is not small. Your inner being is telling you something. Listen to it.

Everything will be fine if you put yourself first and stop making excuses for your ex.

Finally, DO NOT GIVE HIS GIRLFRIEND A RIDE IN YOUR RV UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER. If he has a truck he can sleep in, he has room for her.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Hoolie » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:04 pm

I agree with the general consensus. I'll just reiterate to give you more support.

Sharing an RV with an ex and their new squeeze could be an uncomfortable situation in many ways. A reasonable person would completely understand if you did not agree to this request, and would harbor no ill feelings towards you for your decision. (Then again, a reasonable person would not have asked this of you in the first place. Not cool.) Just tell him you are not comfortable with it, and that he and his girlfriend should make other sleeping arrangements.

When you get there, I would advise limiting contact with the ex. That is not to say you should be standoffish and ignore him. Be friendly and cordial towards him and his gf, even hang out a bit, just don't hang out with him all the time simply because he's the person you know well. Focus on getting to know other people and experiencing all the community has to offer. (If you haven't already, read brody's excellent post about meeting new people.) There is more going on there than you can imagine. Soak it up, and try to leave broken relationships behind you.

Have a great burn!
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby gibson_ » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:17 pm

I TOTALLY THINK YOU SHOULD LET HIM STAY THERE AND HAVE SEX 1000 TIMES PER DAY ON YOUR BED WHILE YOU ARE TRYING TO SLEEP I THINK THAT WOULD BE A GREAT PLAN YOU SHOULD DO IT

Fuck literally every single thing about that. No.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby gyre » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:14 am

If you followed the plan of them sleeping in the rv, then when they have sex, break out the betacam and a big light and start filming.

Say "Dude, it's burning man!"

Of course, they might like that ...


You can be soft hearted and still not let people steamroll over you.
At least, some people can.

Once you learn someone doesn't deserve your respect, who cares what they think?
There is a whole world that needs people that are too kind.

Stress can be good.
Stress without control is destructive.


What happens to people at burning man is a well understood phenomenon, and not unique to burning man.

If drama happens, just keep going.

There's always drama somewhere.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Xavier » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:29 pm

As a ten year veteran and consummate poly buddha on the playa...

No. Effin'. Way.

You've set him with a ticket, and a place to crash.
He wants to bring a GF last minute? Okay, that's reasonably manageable, and can be successful.
He thinks it's cool to have sex with his GF, within earshot of you, when you're not ready? That falls under "unreasonable requests."

The "But it's burning man!" excuse for this particular shenanigan has been playa tested three times in my memory (for both sexes) and all three times it has failed, crashed, and napalmed beautifully all over everyone, in one case taking the entire camp along with it.

It can work, mind you, but only if all parties have open communication and expectations about it. The times I've seen it work, said ex's and new beau's camped about 20 feet away with intervening tents.
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Re: Awkwardly Camping with Ex & his GF Situation - Advice?

Postby Sandstorm » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:09 pm

xavier: Your post reminded me of BM '08, which was my second burn. That year I joined up with a medium sized theme camp (35 people) that had been around for a few years. It was not a party camp and it was run by a very down to earth couple. In the camp there were about half a dozen poly people. 1 of those people was a young woman who was dating another (male) camp member and he was also dating another female camp member who was also dating a different male camp member. My tent was physically situated in the middle of the camp's footprint and thus I had a front row seat to watch the winds of poly playa love and discord blow back and forth through the camp. Months after the burn I heard second hand that during the burn there had been a "poly spreadsheet" that was meant to oraganize the camp's "poly timeshares" as they pertained to the 4 above-mentioned 4 of the poly people.

G_d bless those people who can be poly or poly-ish and not f*ck themselves or others up in the process. The ones who cannot pull of that feat are painful to be around and I've been around TOO many of those people.
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