: 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?
)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.
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!