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Catalyst

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by rosemarythyme, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. rosemarythyme

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    We often talk here about the Catalyst as a short way to describe the person who woke us up, started some transformative reaction in us, that made us realize we are not who we thought we were and set us on a journey of self-discovery. Whether or not we had a relationship with that particular person. I've just read a wonderful novel - Andre Aciman's 'Call Me By Your Name' - maybe you've seen the film that is out now. It's a passionate story of life-changing love between two men and here's a quote that actually mentions the word:

    "To be who I am because of you. [...] He was my secret conduit to myself -- like a catalyst that allows us to become who we are, the foreign body, the pacer, the graft, the patch that sends all the right impulses, the steel pin that keeps a soldier's bone together, the other man's heart that makes us more us than we were before the transplant."

    I'm grateful to my Catalyst for unknowingly doing this for me. It's been a year and I'm still in love with her and can't imagine it ever being any different although I can never be physically any closer to her. Even if and when I 'move on', something of her is in me to stay.

    How do you feel about your Catalyst if you had one?
     
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  2. Che

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    I was my own catalyst :slight_smile: I'm doing a course that requires a lot of self reflecting and exploring my inner world. It was because of all this inner work that I became aware of what was always there and finally embraced it.
     
  3. rosemarythyme

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    @Che that sounds like a great course. And the best thing is that now having found your catalyst you will never lose her :slight_smile: Looking back, do you think you've been in love with a woman? I guess I'm just feeling in a romantic mood today and interested in people's stories.
     
  4. Lilbird

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    It’s grest to hear that things are going so well with your catalyst. Stories like this give me hope.

    The best way I can describe the feelings for my catalyst is passion. I have felt a range of emotions and physical feelings that I don’t remember experiencing before. This is simultaneously wonderful, exciting, and scary. Before, I was going through the motions but my life was stable. She has awoken something in me, and my life is now forever changed. I fear these changes I need to make to be with her, but I don’t ever want to let her go. I know it sounds cheesy, but when we touch and look into each other’s eyes, it feels like our souls are connecting.
     
  5. LostInDaydreams

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    This is a really interesting question.

    I have a catalyst in the sense that I crossed paths with her towards the beginning of my questioning, realised that I'd had a crush on her when we worked together (a couple years before), which made everything suddenly very real and my questioning more serious. Up until that point it'd all felt very theoretical. I don't know how quickly my questioning would have progressed had I not seen her that day, but it was a significant moment in my journey. But she has no knowledge of this, whereas I still have a bit of a crush on her. We've not actually spoken for years. To her, I suppose that I'm just another former colleague. I find it a bit strange, I think, that she will have no knowledge of the impact that she's had on me.
     
  6. Peterpangirl

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    By sheer coincidence this post appeared yesterday and today I may very well cross paths with my catalyst due to my job - after a period of more than 4 months when I haven't seen her at all. About 2 weeks after I last saw my catalyst I started corresponding with my now girlfriend. My heart was desolate at that time because my marriage had ended some months earlier and I doubted I would find anyone to love again....so the woman who I began to send messages was a very welcome distraction from sadness, loneliness and grief. Now that my attention is taken up with trying to pursue a long distance relationship with a woman who - at least for now - wants me back....the pain has eased, even though there are a lot of other difficult things to deal with in my life....my new relationship gives me a new focus and hope and confirms what I suspected - that it wasn't just her - my attraction to women is not specific to one woman.....

    So what will it be like, today? I never explicitly told her my feelings, though I think she will have had suspicions and I still believe she had some sort of feelings for me that unsettled her at one time. So if I see her today will I manage a warm smile? Will I colour up in the face? If I make eye contact will it reopen old wounds? Will I still feel attracted to her? I am mentally preparing for the likelihood of an uncomfortable experience that will elicit memories of an excruciating chapter in my life that forced me to face myself and at the same time telling myself that I have a job to do and that my life has moved on, though still in a difficult place.
     
    #6 Peterpangirl, Dec 5, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  7. rosemarythyme

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    @Lilbird that's beautiful and I'm glad for you. I may have given the wrong impression - I see her often but we don't have a romantic relationship. That said, I know what you mean about the unexpected range. I've never even touched her and it feels as if through my feelings about her I got my body back. I can only imagine what it would be like if...

    @LostInDaydreams and @Peterpangirl isn't it strange how sometimes people who mean a lot have no idea. Makes me wonder what if we have been similarly important to someone and we never know? Still, I like to imagine that on some esoteric/psychic/soul sort of level we all know more than we think.
    Peterpangirl, I hope it goes well and you can let yourself feel whatever you feel. It seems to be the role of the catalyst person to give us a lot of opportunity to learn about ourselves in the relationship to them. Even when it's a non-relationship. Whether it's a wonderful thing or a toxic entanglement. Somehow in sorting through all that we grow.
     
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  8. Peterpangirl

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    I saw her from behind walking in the distance and my heart quivered with apprehension...an echo from that old chapter in my life. Then, I bumped into her in the ladies toilets and....I thought "She is so ordinary really and not as pretty as my girlfriend". And she was pleasant - chatty - she spoke about some stuff in her life and I listened. I reported nothing of the changes that have happened and continue to happen for me and mine. When she asked how I was I merely answered "fine". I felt relieved. I didn't blush - I was composed. I feel I have moved on. I am still in a difficult place, but it is certainly a better place. I have a new relationship and a girlfriend who I share love, intimacy and laughter with - and we are supportive of each other. But I will always have very ambivalent feelings towards my catalyst. I will always have unanswered questions.
     
    #8 Peterpangirl, Dec 5, 2017
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  9. Peterpangirl

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    I'd add that it also depends WHEN your catalyst turns up in your life and what else is occurring at the time as to whether they will have an effect. It is more than the appearance of a catalyst sometimes - For me it was a confluence of internal and external events in addition to her.
     
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  10. Pole star

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    I agree. There could have been others who could have been the catalyst for me but it was one particular person who had the effect. I guess the circumstances in my life at that time was just right for me to open the door of my heart and let him in. Others had knocked but I didn't hear.
     
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  11. LostInDaydreams

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    This is a great point. My catalyst had no impact on me, that I was aware of, when I was actually working with her. It only when I was already questioning in a way and I was ready to see it, that she had an impact. Before that I was completely oblivious to what I'd experienced and I just thought I wanted to be her best friend.
     
  12. rosemarythyme

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    Same for me, I already knew her for two years before I was ready to feel how I then started to feel. Actually, something similar happens to the character in the book I quoted from at the start - a man is interested in him but he's oblivious to it, then someone else shows interest and that makes him start to consider his own feelings about men until finally he meets the catalyst and falls in love.
     
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  13. No1Wants

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    hmmmm so that's what i am to straight girls.... a catalyst...changing them to being gay...although not intentionally done...
     
  14. DesireEyes

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    Thank you for sharing. I needed to read this. Being separated from my "catalyst" while I go through my separation is agonizing. I have never known a love like this. I keep wondering whether we will be together once I come out of all of this and if our love will survive it all. Right now it's the hope I have to hold on to.
     
  15. DesireEyes

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    Yes, completely agree. This has been my experience
     
  16. DesireEyes

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    Yes! Passion, desire, longing, connection, understanding, intimacy, romance, so many details of a love I've never known could be real but what I have with her. It does exist. I just wish we didn't meet in these circumstances, but life is full of surprises.
     
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