Monday, December 30, 2013

Making it up as you go along

So I've been doing this DBT thing for well over two years now. For the past six months, I haven't been going to the weekly (more educational then process) group, mostly because of a lack of time, though my therapist was fine with it because I had been through the whole course several times. The skills that are taught in the group are to help guide you when your own coping skills and 'common sense' lead you astray. (I mean, you wouldn't be there if both of those things hadn't lead you significantly astray for a significant part of your life.) Just like anything, when you consciously use it enough, some of it will start to become second nature. 

I knew this week would be tough. When I moved in before Ginger, The Professor, and I had a new, bigger place that could accomodate the three of us and Ginger's son, I knew that it would be tough to stay at my parents' house again for a full week, especially during the holidays, which are already tough. It seems that when things are tough for me, I feel like they pile on and the list just gets longer and longer. Reasonable mind know that this is more how I see things than how things really are. As The Professor paraphrased yesterday, "Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike," and everyone has several shitty things going on in their life at any given time, just as they have several great things going in their life at any given time. But the point of dbt is to teach you skills you can draw from to get through those shitty things. 

 So this weekend I used some "pleasant experiences" to get me through this week. I have felt very distant from the Professor lately. He has been dealing with illness, the holidays, and just generally being "in the hole." It hasn't just been him, though. I also have had little energy or time for anything that wasn't necessary, usually plopping down in front of the tv when done. Having the weekend and the apartment all to ourselves, with the exception of some time Saturday when I had to work, we spent the whole weekend in rather intense play. I was happy to have the time to work on our Master/slave dynamic, which also helped to shore up our relationship all around. I believe that it helps everyone to feel like they belong and to have reasonable responsibilities appropriate to their abilities and place, whether that be in your employment or in your home. It might not be something we think about very often, but it is important all the same. I think these roles help give us both those things and this weekend reminded us of them. We also talked a little bit about how it would be more helpful for me to have a strong hand this week, for him to push me to be productive, rather than provide a sympathetic ear or leniency. I always do better when not home if I feel like I have to keep my shit together to help them out, like I try to do when they have a play weekend planned, when I want them to just enjoy themselves rather than have to worry about me. 

But this morning it just wasn't enough. I couldn't stop crying, could barely drag myself out of bed to go to the funeral, couldn't bear to look at myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth before my shower. My therapist likes to promote the IMPROVE skill for distress tolerance- Imagery, (find) Meaning, Prayer, Relaxation, One thing at a time, Vacation, Encouragement. In the book, they talk about Imagery as being daydreams or remembering nice places, those kinds of things. But I had developed something else that I use as Imagery, though it might sound weird. I would imagine another me. She was the embodiment of all my reasonableness, calmness, and ability to comfort. She would talk down my panic and distress and anxiety. She would even stroke my face and my hair. When no one else knew the right thing to say, she did, because she was me and deep down I knew what I wanted to hear. 

But sometimes it needs to be someone else that helps you. Or that part of someone else that lives inside you. Like when I needed the part of my uncle that lives inside me to tell me that I needed to get over the fears about being with Ginger and the Professor because they were causing me to suffer when deep down I had already made the decision to be with them. 

Today it was the part of the Professor, the part of my Master, that lives in me that I needed. I'd spent so much of this weekend with his words in my ear that conjuring up his voice wasn't difficult. He wrapped a hand around my wrist and held it to my heart. He told me that being a good girl was more than just what I did at home but it was doing what I needed to do out there in the world, but that he knew I was a good girl and he wouldn't ask me to do something that he didn't think I could do, so I needed to get cleaned up and go. I could cry as much as I needed to while there, because that was ok, but I needed to go. That is when my tears stopped. No not for the day, but until I got to the funeral, when I got to have a good and proper cry, because I was good and properly sad, over the loss of my client and all the losses it reminded me of. 

But, as I told the Professor later, it reminds me that I need to keep in mind that being a submissive, being a slave, doesn't mean I am not strong. It is a controlled (by me) giving up of control, not a giving up of strength and I am stronger because of it, that sometimes I must be stronger just to do it. As much as anything else, the roles that he and I have developed and are developing are coping mechanisms that I do truly believe help me (and I hope help him) to deal better with our lives, our sexualities, our demons, and our love. But just as the dbt skills work to point me in a better direction than I had before, there is trial and error, adaptions for each situation and individual, and no one right answer. 

I did go to the funeral. I cried shamelessly. I saw the casket to the gravesite. I ate lunch and reminisced and laughed with the family. The struggle never ends. The important part is that you are still struggling. 

"Don't for a minute change the place you're in"

[Started but not finished last night]

Stop This Train - John Mayer
No I'm not color blind
I know the world is black and white
Try to keep an open mind but...
I just can't sleep on this tonight
Stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't
But honestly won't someone stop this train

Don't know how else to say it, don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away
From fighting life out on my own

Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't but honestly won't someone stop this train

So scared of getting older
I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find away to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said help me understand
He said turn 60 and you'll renegotiate
Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
Don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train

See once in a while when it's good
It'll feel like it should
And they're all still around
And you're still safe and sound
And you don't miss a thing
'til you cry when you're driving away in the dark.

Singing stop this train I want to get off and go home again
I can't take this speed it's moving in
I know I can't
Cause now I see I'll never stop this train

I'm sure I've posted this before, but I'm really feeling it tonight. 

This is the dreaded week. While I moved in with Ginger and the Professor around Thanksgiving, I have to spend overnights this week at my parents' house while Ginger's son is visiting, as the room I currently stay in is actually his room. Since I have been with them, I have not handled nights spent without them very well. This has only intensified as I've spent more of my nights at their home, our home. Now I have a week adrift, not just alone but also lonely. I spent this weekend with The Professor in intense... well, we'd call it 'play' but it wasn't really playing. It helped me feel more grounded in my relationship with him, which I've felt rather distant from as of late. And even though I think that Ginger and I need the same kind of intense romantic weekend, we had an amazing conversation today after she got back, which gave me new insights. Until you cry when you're driving away in the dark... I am really hoping to use this week to get things done, to use this time well, to show to myself and my people that I can get through this time away from home just fine and they don't have to worry about me. 

But in addition to the usual crazy that I have to deal with, I am managing other things. I am trying to navigate those things that are supposed to be usual adult things but don't seem to be running very smoothly for me. My job is all over the place. My hours are all over the place, with last minute additional shifts and yet still never enough hours. I know that I need to look for another job, but I'm rather demoralized about those prospects and I really love the actual work I do, if not the unreliable nature of the hours. My car needs quite a bit of work so I was going to get a new (to me) car, but I've already been turned down for a loan at my credit union and I'm worried that there is no way I'll be able to get approved for financing for anything better than what I already have. I feel like there are all these things that I need to be able to do to live on my own, to live with my people, to have a kid, but I feel paralyzed by how hard it is. 

Of course, those aren't the worst thing though. I lost a client on Christmas Day. She had went down hill really fast, in less than a month total. For the past year, I've just provided companionship, but I've seen her two days, eight hours total, a week with her, more than most clients. While I have had clients I have worked with pass, they were not ones that I was currently working with and not ones that I was this close to. Tomorrow is the funeral and I'm terrified of going alone, terrified of coming back to my parents' house to nothing and no one. I know I won't be able to keep my shit together either, which will be embarassing. I don't want to do this but I also know that it is something I must do. It is also part of the job and I have to be able to deal with it to continue to do this job. 

 [This is where I fell asleep last night while writing this.]

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Vicious Voice in my Head: Bad Date Edition

There's no reason to love me. And no sane man would trust me. Who wants to have and to hold what's been bought, what's been sold, just to love me? There's no reason to know me. And what good man would need me? Who wan'ts to peer through the dust and forget all the lust, just to love me?

What does a girl like you expect would happen?  The things you want, the things you like, putting it all out there like you do, do you really think any man is going to treat you with respect or kindness?  I mean, how could he? You were lucky that this one talked to you like you were a real human being.

what kind of paradise am i looking for? i've got everything i want and still i want more.

And why are you put there slutting it up anyway?  Don't you have a lovely boyfriend and girlfriend at home who love you? And doesn't he give you sex how you want it but still manage to love you and care for you and be tender with you? A girl like you couldn't expect to get that anywhere and you've found a home where you do, so why are you going outside of it? Oh, because everyone is feeling off right now and no one is up for fucking? It hasn't even been a week, wasn't even half a week before you started seeking out ways to slut it up. You can't wait that out? What is wrong with you?

Because I revenge myself all over myself. There's nothing you can do to me.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Getting what you want is never how you think it will be. Even if your brain isn't in the clouds, your heart still is. Or at least my heart is. Fucking hearts. You can't tell those assholes anything.

I'm as moved in to the apartment with Ginger and the Professor as I'm going to get right now. Moneypenny took my cats, though they might not last with him because of his allergies. They will have a new home one way or another though. (Different story for a different time.) I have all my daily stuff there now. Ginger's son comes to visit over his winter break so the room will revert back to his ownership. I haven't put anything up on the walls so it will still make him feel like it is his room. I'll probably move all my stuff off the dress and night stand when he comes too. Of course after he leaves, until we get a new place, I'll make it more mine. 

But now I'm there 6 nights a week. They'd be fine with me being there every night but I like spending one night seeing my parents, doing laundry, and having a slightly shorter drive for work. Also, I choose to do it on the night Ginger always has off every week so they have time alone together. It's not guaranteed that they'll use it for play or sex and it's not like they can't do that with me there, as I'd be asleep most of that time anyway, but Ginger is still shy and I like knowing that I'm not standing in the way of anything. 

But even though I was spending 3-5 nights a week there before this, the adjustment has been more difficult than I expected. Even though my brain knew things would get more everyday, more subdued, even though I'd written about that knowledge, even though the Professor had tried to reinforce that before I moved in by making it more everyday and less "everytime that Ava is here is special," my heart (or maybe some other part of me) still thought "Yay! I'll be there all the time! Ginger and I can cuddle and kiss all the time. The Professor and I will play and fuck all the time and then he'll catch me up on the tv shows he likes in between. And it will be magical and sexual. And we won't feel like we have to schedule any of it anymore because I'll always be there. Yay!"

Yeah... life doesn't work like that. I have to work and my work schedule changes weekly. We still have to schedule everything. We just got to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire yesterday because that was the first non-football day we all had time off at that same time to go see it. And the Professor and I aren't always fucking or playing because we know that I'll be there tomorrow night and the night after so we don't have to push ourselves if we aren't feeling like it. (And, to be fair, the Professor really hasn't been feeling well lately, first a cold and being out of his medication, and now we're all just eating horribly and smoking too much because of the cold weather.) Ginger and I seem to be getting less time together and I'm not sure we are really getting more intimate. 

I also just spend more time working on the everyday working of the house. When I was just visiting, I would help out with stuff around the house but it was over and above. Now this is where I live and there are things that bother me more than, or earlier than, it bothers them. It seems unfair to come into their house and start telling them to do things differently. So I often take care of the things that are bothering me. I'm not complaining about doing those things, just that I spend more time and energy than I used to with these concerns. But so much time is spent on the day to day that I don't feel up to doing my own personal shit that I mostly just want to either have sex or veg out in front of the tv.

Yesterday was particularly tough. The Professor had gone to bed late the night before (and, as he told me later, has only been able to get 2-3 hours of sleep at a time before waking up) so it was difficult to get him up in the morning to go to the movie. But it was something we'd been planning on doing as a family for weeks, so he dragged himself out of bed and wasn't even too grumpy, all things considered. I had hoped he'd wake up over the course of the movie and we'd get some sexy time alone when Ginger went to bed, bu it was clear on the ride home that he would be going to bed when we got back home. This put me in a sad and lonely mood, then several things went wrong and my mood completely tanked. (I've been having a difficult enough time with my moods, I suspect because of the season.) Ginger cuddled with me a bunch but she had to go to bed as well, to maintain her third-shift sleep schedule. 

When everyone was asleep, I became increasingly depressed and lonely. I tried being productive, doing dishes, putting up the Christmas decorations I got from Ginger's mom, but it didn't help. I ate a bunch of food I didn't need. The only thing that saved me from drinking without permission was thinking about the Professor's disappointment. And that I had some Coke to drink instead. But I looked at pages of Craigslist ads and downloaded Blendr, thought about just having some random hookup. I was sure I'd be back before anyone woke up and no one would even notice. Later on that night, when I still felt lonely, even though everyone was technically awake because they were half asleep and in their own world, I had a horrible solo session where I just felt shameful and unfulfilled. I was too empty to even cry. 

Doesn't help that I'm not feeling very desirable. I know that part (all?) of it is the crazy. I can't see to hang on to someone saying they desire me for more than 5 minutes. But I've lost this weight and yesterday I looked really cute and little (for me) but no one noticed. No one wants to have sex with me right now. Even TyRoy, who is now single, doesn't want to have sex with me now. Well, like everyone else, he does but he doesn't. 

Ginger and the Professor half-joke that I'm greedy and a nympho. Maybe they're right. I think at this point the emotional component has pushed me from "looking for extra" to the compulsion to do bad things. 

Dammit! Where is all the sin of living in sin?!? How did it all get so boring and day-to-day so fast? And worse yet, how did it go from him wanting me all the time to sometimes barely feeling like he knows that I'm there. 

Addendum: Spent all afternoon looking at OkCupid and Blendr and Craigslist. I think I feel more empty and hollow than I did before. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Show Me How To Fight For Now"

Weekend with Moneypenny & his new gf, taking my cats to live with him.  Visited with friends of my uncle's,  ppl I grew up with.  Cried on the way back to Moneypenny's house from the suburb I grew up in, knowing it would never be home again.  I can't even drive by gram 's old house.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, this brokenness inside me might start healing. Out here it's like I'm someone else, I thought that maybe I could find myself. If I could just come in, I swear I'll leave, won't take nothing but a memory from the house that built me.

But going back only tells me part of the story.  An important part but still only part. The part that is who I was and where I come from.  The part that with each mile under my wheels I'm getting farther and farther away from as I get closer to who I will be, to who I am becoming.  In many ways the person I thought I would be someday, the person I couldn't figure out why I wasn't yet when I was in my 20's. I didn't know then that what I needed was more pain, real pain not just suffering. And time. And hard work. So much more hard work. Hard work that I have to remind myself to do everyday if I can ever hope to get what I want. Well, all that and a little bit of luck.  

I also never knew that the pain would change the color of whatever joy would come. Or that all that "being an adult" that I always wanted would be so hard.  You know it's funny how freedom can make us feel contained when the muscles in our legs aren't used to all the walkin'.

But this weekend, spending time with my bestfriend and his new girl and having an amazing time, feeling that joy for him, for them, something I'm sure neither of us thought I'd ever be able to do as his ex, and thinking about Ginger and the Professor and how lucky I was to have them and how I wanted to work harder on being a better partner brought so much joy to me as I was driving home, when I heard this:

'Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul
I can tell you there's no place we couldn't go
Just put your hand on the glass, I'm here trying to pull you through
You just gotta be strong

'Cause I don't wanna lose you now
I'm looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you're home
Show me how to fight for now
And I'll tell you, baby, it was easy
Coming back here to you once I figured it out
You were right here all along

It's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn't get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it's clear as this promise
That we're making two reflections into one
'Cause it's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me.

I just want to hold on to that joy and hope to reflect it back to the people I love.

"House that built me" Miranda Lambert
"Waste" Foster the People
"Mirror" Justin Timberlake

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Bringing My Best With Me, Nothing to Conceal"

For as much as I like to think I act with purpose and guide my own life, I often find that my feelings about something have changed while I wasn't looking. In my life in the last few years, I've had to do a great deal of moving on and letting go. While I often think I'm doing this consciously and with purpose, I often find that the biggest changes are those I don't realize while they are happening, but only see in retrospect, when comparing "how I felt then" to "how I feel now."

I had another one of those moments tonight. So there's this band that Moneypenny and I have seen an embarassing amount of times. He saw them when they first started out, before we ever met. I had heard their national singles on the radio and liked them, but hadn't had any of their music. After we started dating, we went to most of those shows together. In the last few years they've been playing again locally and we've gone to most of those shows. When we first started dating, when we were both very much working on ourselves and that was a path we were sharing, he played this song for me, because it really summed up how he felt then.

Closer-The Urge
Not too much I have to steal
Bringing my best with me
Nothing to conceal
Thought of the renovation
Made sure that I'm showing my appreciation
The future's wide open
Wide open
Wide open

Not much left to be revealed
She made this poor man rich
the freshness that she gives
This is something new
Does she feel the same way too
Future's wide open
Wide open
Wide open

She brings me
A little bit closer
A little bit closer to heaven
She brings me
A little bit closer
A little bit closer to heaven

So for over a decade, every time we've heard that song at a show, it's reminded me of that time. I couldn't imagine hearing it and not thinking about him. I couldn't imagine a time when that song wasn't special and about us. Or at least about those people we were then.

Moneypenny finally has a girlfriend who is cool with me. She's gone out of her way to be gracious and accomodating. She's bent over backwards to be friendly and to meet me and get to know me. And she's really nice and sweet, but in a way that doesn't make you want to gag. The last time I was in town visiting, I came to go to the Urge show with Moneypenny. While most of our previous Urge outings had been just us, I said that he should see if she wanted to go with us. Though they weren't really her kind of band, she'd never been and wanted to get to share this thing he was into as well as hang out with me. I knew that the time had come, the time when he'd have someone that those songs would now be about that wasn't me. I knew that it would probably be a little difficult for me, but I also felt like it was something I had to confront head on.

Of course, it didn't go exactly how I had thought it would. It was a little difficult for me but while I was lost in my own thoughts that night, while I was thinking about how this song was now about their relationship and about how excited they were to be exploring changes in their lives that they wanted to make together, it hit me what those changes where and the beliefs behind those changes and how just the sheer fact that I could never be the kind of person that he wants to be with in that sense. When we were first dating and this song was about us, we thought that the changes we wanted to make would bring us closer to the kinds of people that anyone would want to be with, not just that the other person would want to be with. But I know, hell I knew then, that he wouldn't have dated me if I wasn't on that path of self-betterment. He would have been my friend, but he wouldn't have been my boyfriend. And so I ended up twisting my path to better fit what I thought he wanted, which meant denying so much of who I really am. I feel like I'm still walking that path of self-betterment, if at a slower pace than I wanted to back then, but it will never make me the kind of person that he would want to be in a long-term romantic relationship with, even if it makes me better and a better person, because it will never magically make me a person that is better suited to him when I wasn't already. I remember thinking that night that if it wasn't for our shared history, I'm not sure we'd even be friends, our beliefs are so different. But from what I know of her, she does seem very well-suited to him. At the time, it was very bittersweet, but it helped knowing that I could never be what he was looking for, and also knowing that the reverse was true, that he could never be what I was looking for. I had just started getting serious with The Professor and Ginger and I knew that the things I had finally found in them I would never find in him. But I was ok with that and I knew it was a big step in the right direction, if one a long time coming.

Tonight, several months after those thoughts, Moneypenny, his wonderful girlfriend, and I went to another Urge show. When they played this song, I had a different reaction. Tonight, the song became about someone else for me. Or rather someones. This week has been incredibly difficult for me, much of it revolving around the pressure of this trip and bringing my cats to live with Moneypenny. (Short of it is that I'd like to stay as much as possible with Ginger and the Professor, both just to get to be with them and as a trial run for moving in together but The Professor is allergic to cats and I can't bring them with me while we're in the same smaller space.) Ginger, the Professor and I have all been having issues with our crazy, which makes it harder for any of us to know how to or be able to help either of the others. So this week when my stress level shot up largely as a result of something I was trying to do to be with them more during a time when I had a hard time seeing that they wanted me to be there, it made things even more difficult. But when I heard this song, I felt my attitude do a 180. I know that they've already proven time and again that they accept who I am, that I don't have to conceal anything or be other than who I am. I just need to find a way to run with that instead of letting my insecurities and my past experiences run the show. I've already had so many experiences that I had just straight up given up on and I know that when they are doing better they are completely invested in helping me explore the things that I want to do, try, experience, just as I am for them. Even when they aren't doing so great, they are still as supportive as they have it in them to be, which is still pretty amazing. But I need to keep turning my mind to how the future is wide open for me, not the ways in which it might be closed off, whether those are permanent or temporary, which is often something I don't know. I have to be reasonable with my goals, know that I can't make everything happen tomorrow, but that doesn't mean that it won't happen. And maybe with one fewer person in the hole, things will be easier and it will be easier for them to get out of their own holes.

Writing about this now, it doesn't seem to be such a big deal, but it made me so happy to know that this one song, a song I love and have loved for over a decade, has gone from an almost bitter reminder of unrealized hopes to a call to me to pull myself up, to make those changes to make my life better both for myself and those I loved, which is something that I never could have forced to happen.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Making Up for the Lag Time

Lag Time
There's really no hope for me
And that three second rule
Somethin gets dropped
And still I'm the slowest damn fool
Slow to realize what's really going on
Slow to know in a moment
Who or what has gone wrong

I wanna tighten down on the lag time

Your consonants were buzzing
Around your head like flies
Your true colors were showing
And your shape and your size
You were drinking your way though it
I was shrinking right there inside of my clothes
My eventual twenty/twenty
Arms crossed
Tapping her toe

I gotta tighten down on the lag time

Survivors are part turtle
We are part potato bug
We know enough to go fetal
'Til it's still up above
And you gotta crawl through the desert
Between when you hear it
And when you can play it with your hands
Just to rendezvous with whoever you are
When you finally understand

I gotta tighten down on the lag time
I wanna tighten down on the lag time
Gotta tighten down on the lag time

I was never as quick as others with a comeback. I've spent my whole lifetime in my head re-doing conversations with what I should have said. So of course it should come as no surprise that I would be no match for a lawyer. But that lawyer was a friend, so I didn't expect the "bitching about my home life" that I was doing, that I do with most of my friends, to turn into Matlock unraveling the alibi witness on the stand. And I'm stupid enough to have let it happen twice. After both conversations, I went over and over what I wish I had said, but I was afraid it would all just sound like me trying to justify myself after the fact. So I've spent three weeks having this conversation in my head. I finally figured that I needed to get it out, no matter how it sounds to anyone. I don't need to defend my life, but I do need to stand up for the people that I love, which I failed at doing at the time. 

One of the assertions was that I deserve better than The Professor. But if I deserve better than so does he. When he is in "the hole," I see my own depression, the months I've spent on the couch just staring at the tv, the endless hours of Law & Order and House episodes, with no sleep schedule to speak of, being both bored but too disinterested to actually get up to do anything. I know what it is like to be the ghost that others live with. I know what it is like to let everything happen around me, even if that means that it falls apart, because I'm too depressed to do anything about it and not yet ready to get help. And I know how hard it can be to take the leap of getting any help or making any changes because you are so used to life the way it is and there is no guarantee that changing or getting help will make things better. So when it's asserted that I deserve better than him, it's like saying that I deserve better than...myself? But questions of what we deserve often come up short because we can all be shitty, deserving nothing, and we can all be amazing, deserving better than whatever we could possibly find. We don't deserve to be treated poorly on purpose, but no one will always be able to treat us like the royalty we are at our best. 

In the same vein, my lawyer made the claim that if he was working and his partner was not, he would expect that the house be spotless all the time, meals be cooked, and sex be on demand. In the weeks since, I've often thought to myself that sounds more like he would expect a maid/cook/hooker combo. It's true that I don't have that, but, as Ginger says when people she knows try to argue the same point, no one knows what he does for me. The thing is, I can make my own money and clean my own house. Though I can't make any gourmet meal, I can cook my own food. I also don't think I could be Dommed by a man who gave me sex when I demanded it. What he does for me isn't something I can do for myself, or that I've been able to find anyone to do for me, for that matter. He can make me feel safe and loved even when doing things that would make most people run away screaming. He knows the exact right time to switch it up, before it goes farther than I can handle. He makes me feel loved not in spite of all the awful stuff in my head and in my heart, but because of it. He has never doubted that my place with him and Ginger, or if did, he never let it show. But it's not all serious Dom and relationship stuff. We can sit around watching Babylon 5 and bullshitting for hours. And even though he is on a different sleep schedule, he comes into my room just before my alarm goes off, to cuddle with me, to make my day happier when I wake up. He makes me breakfast because he wants to make sure that I have at least one decent meal during the day. He worried about me, but never tells me not to do things. All the rules I have were developed together, to help me. On my roughest week of class, he took the time out to say how proud he was of me. Ok, look, this isn't an all inclusive list here because I don't have the greatest memory and could never remember the cool little things he does for me that make me so happy. He's far from perfect but I never wanted that. He's screwed up in just the right way for me and we both think we're lucky to have found each other. I suspect that to the lawyer, this sounds like too little too late, but at least maybe I'll stop having this conversation in my head and I hope that the Professor reads this and knows that I know how hard he does try and how happy he makes me. I hope this makes up for the lag time I've demonstrated all around. 

(Yes, I know that I've said nothing about Ginger and all the awesome things that she does. But that wasn't the point of contention in the conversation. I'm sure I'll write posts about her too.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's Not Real Life Yet

Until March/April when the Professor and Ginger's lease is up and we can move into a bigger place with enough room to accommodate the Professor's allergies and my two extra cats, I'm splitting my time between my parents house where my cats live and the apartment where my significant others live. Now my certification class is over and I am hoping to be working more hours and/or a different job which will mean enough money to pay my own way. I also just found out that my cats could find a new temporary or permanent home with Moneypenny, so there is another roadblock taken care of on the road to living together full-time.

I should feel happy and lighter, but, judging by the tightness in my chest and the knot in my stomach, what I'm actually feeling is fear. We've touched on issues, had bad nights, been sick a little in front of each other, but I feel like I've seen the home side of them but they haven't seen the home side of me. They haven't seen me like I am now in mismatching sweat pants and t-shirt. I'm always wearing cute pajamas or pretty nightgowns. They haven't seen my huge piles of unfiled and/or undealt with mail, unread magazines, and unopened mail. They haven't seen my dvr full of unwatched tv shows that I feel weird about leaving behind or just erasing. They haven't seen me eat cottage cheese straight from the carton standing at the refrigerator. (Sorry Ginger, I know you think cottage cheese is gross.) While they're aware of it, they haven't seen me fall asleep on the couch in front of the tv and stay there all night because I'm too lazy to get up and walk to bed. I don't feel like we've really fought yet, like they've seen me be crazy at them about something they did. Hell, I don't think they've even heard me fart. How can I give up my cats and my little bubble of privacy when they've never even seen me with stubble on my legs? How can I be sure they'll really want to keep me when they see real life me, not just fun sexy-time me?

But even though I just spent over the last two days straight with them at our home and I'm sure that we all need our alone time, I can't think about anything but how much I want to be with them.

The Evil Bitch in My Head

Two faces have I
One that laughs one that cries 
One says hello one says goodbye 
One does things I don't understand 
Makes me feel like half a man 

At night I get down on my knees and pray 
Our love will make that other man go away 
But he'll never say goodbye 
Two faces have I 
-Bruce Springsteen

I haven't talked much about it yet on this blog but my relationship with The Professor is even more complicated than just being polyamorous, than just me also having a relationship with Ginger, who was his girlfriend when we met, than just all three of us having a relationship too. He's also a Dominant, while both Ginger and I are submissives. Actually, when he and I met, we were just supposed to be casual play partners. Things don't always happen according to plan, this time for the better. Obviously, it is still early, only four months in and we are all still working out our dynamics, as couples and as a whole, both in and out of the bedroom. Obviously, as a couple of almost four years, The Professor and Ginger have their own established dynamics and roles. He and I are still working out ours and, but we've touched on something that we both want to explore further, even one we want to let bleed out from the bedroom into our everyday life. We are trying to explore it more. We had definite plans to spend my first two full days off (yesterday and the day before) in intense exploration of the new roles. But it's never really that simple.

Because they both have ample experience with "the crazy," both as crazy people themselves and from dealing with crazy people in their lives, I am not quite as difficult for them to deal with as I have been for previous romantic partners who have never had to deal with the crazy. To my surprise, I regularly underestimate how much they will understand and how patient they can be, especially when I act out because I am feeling insecure or overwhelmed. Which I seem to always be right now. First I was overwhelmed simply by the new relationship. Then by the certification class that I've been doing for the past month. Last week, because of the end of class crunch as well as working over the weekend with a rather difficult client, I wasn't able to get back to 'our place' from Wednesday afternoon until after my final class on Monday afternoon. So I was feeling especially overwhelmed, which leads me to wanting to act out, and because I wasn't with them, I was feeling insecure, which leads me to want to act out.

Understanding and patience can only go so far. Especially within the bdsm dynamic that The Professor and I are exploring. When he is just my boyfriend in an open and honest poly relationship who knows that he's dealing with a stressed out crazy girlfriend, he's so far been more understanding that I could have asked for. (Same goes for Ginger.) But when he's Sir or Master, things are little bit different. Sirs and Masters expect obedience. Even when you disobey because of the crazy, there must still be consequences. Mostly, I'm a good girl. A large part of it aren't even things I'm trying to do but things that I just do naturally. But there's this other part of me, the part that wants to act out, to do reckless things, to say "fuck you, you're not the boss of me" when someone tells me to do something. The Professor likes to call it the evil bitch in my head, likes to say that the real me is the good girl but the evil bitch in my head gets in the way. "I don't want to break you but I do want to break her. You can be such a good girl or such a bitch. I prefer the good girl."

The problem is that you can't break her, or at least you can't break her without breaking me too. After some intense play, this was the conclusion we reached. I also realized that The Evil Bitch in my Head is there for a reason. She is supposed to keep me safe, or at least in control. Now, it might not be in the most life-effective positive-coping-mechanism ways, but she still has her role in my life. When I feel overwhelmed, she helps me blow off steam. When I'm feeling insecure in a romantic relationship, she reassures me, "Yep, everyone leaves, you might as well blow it up yourself by doing something or someone that will make you feel better right now," which at least gives me back some sense of control. When someone orders me around and I start to feel put upon, she is the one who refuses to move and says "Fuck you, that's why." Ok, ok, so none of this is making her, or me, look any better. The best thing I can say is that she isn't as in control as often as she used to be and that I am more likely just to let her take over my brain now than I am to let her take over my whole life.

Of course, I have no idea how to tame her enough to not get into trouble, so I can be a good girl all the time.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Unresolved Grief

I've been thinking about and talking about the last blog post, about how getting what I want doesn't feel how I thought it would feel like it would. When talking to my therapist, she asked me what I thought it would feel like. I guess 12 year old and 14 year old me thought it would fix everything. But, of course, it doesn't. Like I told The Professor, there's still this hole. Don't get me wrong, I'm way to old to really think that finding love would do that, but there's still that part of me...Sigh. Even though this makes me feel amazing, I feel like I should feel better, like I have felt better during the honeymoon phase of previous relationships.

I heard this song driving home from work last week and it grabbed me right away, made me cry before I could ever even pinpoint why I was crying. (Yes, I heard it on country radio but I think it would be just as comfortable on Alice or one of those stations. Go ahead and listen to it.)

I put that record on. 
Girl you know what song
and I let it play again and again
you're in every line
takes me back in time....

 I hadn't heard it since so I found it on youtube and listened to it just now. Even as the tears dropped, I thought, "Why the fuck am I crying to a break-up song? I feel completely resolved about my past relationships. There isn't a single ex that I feel like this about or that I'd leave what I have now for what I might have with them. What is this about?"

And it hits me. It's about him. About them. About the ones I've really lost. That it'll never feel like it used to because all those times where before. I tell other people that sometimes you never really get over it, sometimes it never gets better, but that you just adjust to what is now your new normal. And I firmly believe that, but sometimes it hurts like hell when it slaps you in the face again. Two and a half years on and it still seems to color everything.

Last week, in my CNA class, the teacher was giving us definitions of terms for the chapter and one of the terms was unresolved grief, grief that a person doesn't get through within a normal amount of time. I wanted to get up and ask what a normal amount of time is and basically just throw a fucking fit. Yeah, obviously, no issues there. We also learned complicated grief, which is grief that is complicated by some other mental health condition or substance abuse problem. Yeah, don't know anything about that either.

Last year, I read this blog post, which I can't find right now, about trigger warnings (completely unrelated to grief) with a quote that really stuck with me: "It's untenable to go through life an open wound."  I do believe that this is true. Sometimes my life feels pretty untenable. What I actually feel like I'm living is more like this quote from Being Human: "People love that cliche, time heals all wounds. But live long enough and you'll realize that most cliches are true. It's amazing what even the smallest passage of time can accomplish, the cuts it can close, the imperfections it can smooth over. But in the end, it comes down to the size of the wound, doesn't it? If the wound is deep enough , there might be no way to keep it from festering, even if you have all the time in the world." For right now, I'm gonna go back to my song....

I like to believe 
That you're just like me
Trying to figure out how a good thing goes bad

I don't know 
And I can't let it go
Yeah it's about to drive me mad

What are you listening to
Is it a cover band in some college town bar
Where it's na-na-na's and air guitars
And is it something to get you through
Just a sad song playing on the radio station
Tears still fall and hearts still breakin'
Cause you're hanging on
Or is it a love song about someone new
What are you listening to

Is it a feel good song gets you driving too fast
The one that gets you moving on pass to pass
Or the kind you can’t help singing along 
Singing woh-oh-oh-oh-woh

Is it headphones on on a downtown train
Or a window seat on an outbound plane
Is it LA sunny and Memphis blue
I wish I knew I wish I knew

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Can Listen With My Heart

I'm not sure I'll be able to get this down right and its difficult doing it on my phone but I don't want to get up and lose this moment.  It's probably that this is a new relationship driving this feeling but I'm still at that "I want to tell you everything because it feels like I finally have someone who will understand it or at least appreciate it being shared. "

Sitting here with an odd sense of deja vu. Raining outside.  I opened the big Window in my bedroom to hear better. From where I sit in bed,  all I can see are trees and rain. I had a big window like this in the apartment in University Park,  when I was 12. I'd open the window to listen to the rain at night,  sad adult contemporary disks playing on my stereo, softly so they wouldn't wake my parents on the other side of the bedroom wall.  Crying myself to sleep.  That was probably when it should have been evident that I had a problem. 12 year olds don't cry themselves to sleep every night. Or listen to adult contemporary music, for that matter.

The rain made me want to listen to Mary Chapin - Carpenter's "Rhythm of the Blues," then the whole Come On Come On album.  Remembered snatches of a summer spent at The Nightmare on Spruce Street, watching the rain through the big picture window,  cranking up my uncle's cds as loud as I could,  singing at the top of my lungs.  Probably crying to.  I've always had a weakness for the sad songs. The therapist tells me I shouldn't indulge it but some habits are impossible to break. 

"it's a need you never get used to-  soft,  fierce,  and so confused. It's a loss you never get over to the first time you lose."

In those early teenage years,  I longed for. .. well,  hell,  I'm not sure I knew what I was longing for.  Love,  sex,  companionship.  I know I thought of it in very simplistic terms.  Find the right guy,  as it was still a guy though I knew I liked girls too,  and it all gets better,  sorta itself out.  That summer I was 14, my uncle was marrying his college sweetheart and they seemed perfect for each other.  Just hold out long enough to find it and you're set. 
Almost two decades on, with my uncle having come out, divorced and been just as poly as I am working on being now, I can't help but laugh at how naive that sounds.

Right now,  one of you is at work and the other is sleeping so soundly that my trying to cuddle with him didn't stir him at all.  It's beautiful and complicated and yet sometimes much more simple than you'd think it could be,  definitely more simple than my mind wants to make it.  Last night,  all of us in different tired and kinda grumpy mindsets,  hung out together in the living room,  me doing homework, her reading,  him playing video games.  No weird sex stuff.  No drama. Just three people living in the same space.

Once again,  I get to the end of what I had to say without any point emerging. Maybe it's that I feel very ambivalent right now.  Memories of the girl I was flooding back,  trying to evaluate if she got what she ultimately wanted,  and how I feel about it not looking the way she'd envisioned it,  and how it all doesn't feel the way she thought it would when she got it.  "Some people remember the first time,  some can't forget the last.  Some just select what they want to from the past."

Friday, September 06, 2013

He Gave Me You

Small wet spots on the green linoleum and then I have to stop because I can't see anything anymore. I'd knelt down to clean the base of the tub and the toilet and somehow ended up crying there on the floor.

Playing the new Jason Aldean album while I cleaned the bathroom in anticipation of your first visit to my other home. As things in each song remind me of you, I'm hit by a wave of...i don't know. Sadness. Grief. Both and more, so much stuff that I can't separate it out. But that voice in my head is saying loudly and clearly "He gave me you. I never would have had you if I hadn't lost him." 

For I can't remember how long, I've told people that I can't feel like I'd change things in my past because I wouldn't be in the moment I'm in, wouldn't have the good things that I did, if I hadn't had all those things in my past, the good and the bad. And except for sometimes wanting to take back the shitty things that I had done to others, I believed that. Mostly still do. But if I only have this because he's gone, and I could change that, would I? It's probably best that I can't answer that definitively.

It's a bitter pill knowing that I wouldn't have this work that I really do love, this path that I'm walking, these loves I can't imagine giving up, without his illness and death. And, if challenged to discuss it logically, I would tell you that I know this can't be true, that this isn't how the mechanics of life work, but maybe the only comfort I can get from it is that he gave me this because I wouldn't have him. He knew I needed work that would fufill me, give me meaning, and people to love me, finally loves who understood my brand of crazy and my brand of love and sex. He had to wait a bit to give it to me, because I couldn't have seen anything when he first left. But he gave me back my bestfriend, the link to my past, then the therapy to help me save myself, and then the work and then you. Of course, with you, more than the others, he had to walk me through it, sit with me through those sad confused drives away from the life I was standing on the edge of, holding my hand while I figured out how to take the jump I really wanted but had not come prepared for. There's no way I'll ever be able to thank him for all he gave me while he was alive, much less all he has given me since. 

I have to hope that I gave him some measure while he was alive too though. I remember a conversation with drunk him where he said he confessed that his plan was to live in the suburbs of larger Midwestern city until my grandparents passed and then he'd do whatever he wanted, live wherever he wanted, but he had to be the one to stay there and take care of them. I was 18 and couldn't imagine not getting out for that reason. For days, all I could think of was the Tim McGraw song "Everywhere," about the man who sees the love who stayed behind in the small town they grew up instead of taking to the road with him everywhere they go. I'm glad he didn't do that. I know that life forced him out, but, if I mourn that he only got to live less than a decade out, I can't imagine knowing he never got to do that. I hope he knows how happy I was that he got out. At least I do know that he felt like I helped when he came out, even if I inadvertently pushed him out before he was ready to be out with my grandparents. (Not exactly my fault. Most of you know the story.) 

I got the Jason Aldean from him too, and the permission to hang on to my crying songs. I feel him in me as I'm making the drive to see you or the drive from you to work, how my body feels in the seat, how my hand looks on the wheel as I smoothly navigate the big highway between the home circumstances won't allow me to give up yet and the one you provide. Listening to Aldean's "Talk," I'm reminded of our talks, our-singular-male in between play, the long nights of getting to know each other more, and our-singular-female in the never long enough mornings, where I'm torn between never wanting to stop you talking to me for fear you might not feel that open again and wanting to touch you, hold you, kiss you. Then, "Don't Give Up On Me" is how I pray you keep standing by me:
"You tie the knot when I'm at the end of my rope,
You never stop believing in me when I don't know,
Who I am or what I'm supposed to be,
I don't give you no good reasons, 
But baby don't give up on me,"
But right now, I'm loving "When She Says Baby," though I wish I change it to "When They Say Baby:"

Some days it's tough just gettin' up
Throwin' on these boots and makin' that climb
Some days I'd rather be a no-show lay-low
Before I go outta my mind.

But when she says baby,
Oh no matter what comes ain't goin' nowhere she runs her fingers through my hair and saves me.
Yeah that look in her eyes got me comin' alive and drivin' me a good kinda crazy
When she says baby.
Oh when she says baby.

Some nights I come home fightin' mad
Feel like runnin' my fist through the wall.
Is it even worth it what I'm fightin' for anymore feelin'
Torn all the hell with it all.

But when she's says baby,
Oh no matter what comes ain't goin' nowhere she runs her fingers through my hair and saves me.
Yeah that look in her eyes got me comin' alive and drivin' me a good kinda crazy
When she says baby

Everything gonna be alright.
Just lay down by my side.
Let me love you through this life.

Yeah she's the perfect shot of faith.
When every bit of mine is gone.
Somethin' I can believe in a best friend
A heaven sent love to lean on.

But when she says baby,
Oh no matter what comes ain't goin' nowhere she runs her fingers through my hair and saves me.
Yeah that look in her eyes got me comin' alive and drivin' me a good kinda crazy
When she says baby.
Oh when she says baby.
Yeah that look in her eyes got me comin' alive and drivin' me a good kinda crazy."

But now I have to go to that work he gave me and the job that I keep because of the life I want to build with you. And i hope that I can make him proud, if nothing else, if I'll never be able to thank him properly. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Little Secret- I'm Not So Nice

You said that you thought I just did it to be nice, at least some of the time. All I could think was that you grossly misread my motivations.

Granted, sometimes I do it absentmindedly. When resting my hand on your arm or your knee, before I know it, I'll find myself petting you. 

Like many things, sometimes I do it just because you tell me too. With a crook of your finger, I follow you to the bedroom. When you strip down and lay on your stomach on the bed, I do what is expected of me. Gladly. Sometimes it leads you to relax. Sometimes it leads to sex or some other play. But either way, I am not doing it because I'm nice. 

At first, it was the one time we were just two people, when you were just my boyfriend not Master or Daddy or Sir. It disarms you. It's the one time I can feel somewhat in control, even if you initiate it. Very quickly, you can't think enough to give orders. I set my own pace, decide what to touch and when. When you haven't initiated it, I know that a minute of stroking your back through your shirt will lead to it coming off and a few passes of my fingers under the waistband of your boxer briefs will lead to them coming off as well. It shows me that I can do to you what I know you so easily do to me. 

But ultimately, I do it simply because it turns me on. Because I feel the little, and not so little, noises you make touch something deep inside me. Because you can make my breath stop when your breath becomes shorter and faster as I get closer and closer to particularly sensitive spots. Because it makes me wet to feel you start to tremble when I stay in particular spots just a bit too long. Because I get to see how long I can go just touching you, when I know that just a few well placed kisses will get me a whole new set of things I yearn for. Believe me, I definitely do it for me.

But I don't do it because I'm nice. When it's just you and I, there are very few things I do because I'm nice. I would have thought you would have known that by now. 

And don't even get me started on why I do it to her...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Stand back and watch it crash and burn and turn into ash"

I think it was the first time I've ever heard her call me her girlfriend before. I'd said it several times in her presence, but I don't think I'd ever heard her use say it. We talked for hours, while I did that light touch thing on her back. I felt a little better. I felt like she had heard me and she could see where I was coming from, what some of my concerns were in going forward in what is, for her and I, unexplored territory. Is it a triad? Is it her and him, and then me? Of course, though she validated my concerns, she's fine with it developing organically. The crazy doesn't even know what that word means. But I felt better.

He was still asleep and I went to lay down with him for 15 minutes before I had to go to work. I already didn't want to leave. Half asleep still, he apologized for sleeping in so long, rolled over, pulling me to him to spoon him. And I started to cry all over again. I thought I had finished that in the shower earlier that morning, hours and hours ago by now. The only reason he didn't hear me was because he was having his own issues, breathing issues. I closed myself in 'my bedroom' long enough to get it together, then splash cold water on my face, before saying goodbye for the day. For the week actually. I hate leaving and can't wait until we actually have a place of our own.

But I'm scared and I am realizing that I have no good way of expressing how scared to anyone. When you are reading the literature about borderline personality disorder, they use words like "attention-seeking" and "manipulative." When looking at it from an outsider's perspective, I see how it is viewed that way. But from my perspective, I have always had a hard time feeling like people heard me or took me seriously, like people understood how important something was or how intensely I felt something. When I was 11 and 12, I went through an aggressive phase, especially at school, where I punched and hit things, thinking that the outward display would make people care about the inward problem, but it didn't. I retreated into myself. By the time I was 13, just about the time we moved 2 states away, the depression had settled in and I rarely tried to tell or show anyone how wrong things were. The times I got so angry or frustrated that I cried were just the times that I couldn't hold it in anymore, though I still wanted to. Though, to be honest, sometimes I wasn't even aware that things were wrong, just that they hurt, all the time. By then, of course, I thought that was normal. At least normal for me. I don't think it was really until after high school that I started freaking out on people so that they would understand how serious I was about how I felt. Just as quickly as I had learned as a preteen that no one thought anything was really wrong when I cried, I learned that, when it got too much, if I could make it big and over the top, the people who cared about me would pay attention. And yep, I see how that's attention-seeking and manipulative from the other side, but from my side, I was doing the only thing I knew how to do to get any kind of help or validation or love.

I'm doing so much better and being so much more effective. Gods bless Marsha Linahan and her dbt. But romantic relationships seem to really be the test of all that new-found effectiveness. I feel all these things and I feel them so intensely. They can change so fast and they are so confusing sometimes. Not to mention that I'm in a situation that doesn't have a guide book and I don't have many people who can show me the path they walked because we aren't even in the same forest. Everytime I get scared or freaked out or unsure, I feel like I'm hitting the same wall. I try to tell him, but I don't feel like he hears me. Then I do something stupid and make some bad decisions that actually are clearly against the rules. The times that this has happened, in the correction of the transgression, I've worked through the fear or the uncertainty. Driving to work after the incident today, I realized that I don't know how to feel like I'm getting people to hear me, to take me seriously, to understand how intense this is for me, without acting out. I don't even know what that looks like. But I'd rather not let the crazy out. So I try to deal with it myself, internally. Then, I panic a little, do some not very effective, but still minor things- like crying alot, smoking a bit more, drinking a bit more often or a bit more than I should. Usually, after a bit of this, I'll work up the nerve to express that I'm worried or scared or freaked out, which is usually met by "Don't be worried/scared/freaked out. It will be ok." This does not assuage the crazy. It makes her mad and defiant and we end up acting out. I don't want to do that, especially now that I'm fully grasping how far back this pattern goes, but I don't know how to feel like I'm heard without the acting out, especially since the acting out is just so fucking effective.

So, what's the problem, you ask?

First, let me say this. It's been a long time since I've had a relationship that felt like it was going someplace from an early stage. Within weeks, maybe even less, it felt like this was going to be something more. Not only that, but the other person wanted that too. (It took a little bit longer for her to get on board, but it wasn't that much longer.) It took much less time for the other person to want something more in this than it did with TyRoy or my ex-husband or Moneypenny. And it probably hasn't been since my ex-husband that I've had a relationship where we talked about living together and kids and living a life together, where the other person brought up how that looked to them, not just me bringing up how it looked to me. (Yes, TyRoy and I lived together and we did talk about those things, but I still always felt like there was an expiration date on our playing house, even when I did want more.) In addition to this not being a traditional situation, which can be scary, or the situation I envisioned, which is scary, but it's the first time in a long time that I've really been thinking about a long-term situation. So every step along the way, I freak out about something different. Yes, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I wasn't freaking out about something. I know.

They just came back from a four day trip to bumfuck Midwest tiny town for her friend's wedding. Before they left, we had a practical talk about moving in together, like it can't be until March when their lease is up but we want a three bedroom place, we want to save for movers, if I bring my cats he has to have at least one room where no cats are allowed, and we want a king-size bed for puppy-piles. My unfounded and unrealized anxiety about their trip away was that they would change their mind about me and the whole situation while they were away. Of course, what actually happened was that they missed me terribly and came up with more ideas for how we could spend time together, the three of us. But they were wiped out. Her sleep schedule is completely messed up and I barely saw her in the past three days because she was either sleeping or at work. He needed time to do his own thing since he hadn't gotten much alone time in the past three weeks, so he was geeking out on his game. His allergies and asthma were also bothering him. My reasonable mind understood this. Part of this being home, not sexy-visit-sex-play, is that we aren't always on, aren't always having sexy visit sex play time. There are going to be times when, though I am there, I want to be left alone, to read, to talk to someone else on the phone, to do whatever it is I want to do. But it felt like they were in their own worlds and I still felt shut out, which is something that has been bothering me more and more lately. When I came into this situation, I had it in my head that they were a them and I was just something on the outside. It made it much easier to respect the boundaries made and their relationship in general. But as we three have started to become the we, or at least as he's expressed that that is what the two of them want, I'm trying to adjust my framework and I keep seeing the ways that it's not the three of us, but them and me. The past few days, I've felt that acutely, but didn't have a way to say it. So I smoked and I drank and I shoved it down. And when an interesting guy sent me an interesting message on a dating site, I talked to him. And when he said that he wanted to take me out on a date, I said ok, after getting permission, of course. What can I say, it stroked my ego. But as the anxiety of the idea of a date sank in, so did the reality that I didn't really want to go on a date with anyone else. They want me to, so my world doesn't shrink to just them. But what I really wanted to to feel more connected to them, to feel more like an us, and I realized that going on a date with someone else probably wasn't going to make me feel that way. When I finally got the courage to say that to him, I feel like he waved it away. Sometimes I think he forgets that I'm not her, that we don't have their four years of hard won trust and decade of friendship. I think he forgets that I don't have that kind of trust with anyone, where they can just say that it will be ok and I will believe them. When he got up after tucking me in, I cried until I fell asleep. And I cried when I woke up all by myself. Because when I don't feel like I'm taken seriously, there is only about 2 minutes of negative self talk before I get to a place where I feel like this person doesn't care about me, because I'm not the kind of person that people care for and no one is ever going to care for me and I'm always going to be on the outside, a sock without a mate in a world where no one has three feet. And in that place is where the dragons live, folks. Sigh. I've been seeing alot of the dragons lately. I can't seem to destroy that old tape.

And I'm writing this now because I can't not express it, but I don't know how else to say all this. I just want to have a way to tell people, not just him, not just them, but anyone, that something is bothering me, really bothering me, and have them really take me seriously, have them see how intensely I am feeling this, without going out and doing something stupid. I can only hope that this is heard.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Got To Get It Out The Way

Try to steel my courage.
So important to get this right. To do right by my friend, by our friendship. Hell, just do right by my own self.
A country song on the car stereo talks about a man's eyes being blue just like the ocean and I realize I don't know what color Professor's eyes are. We spend too much time in the dark or with my eyes rolled in the back of my head when we're close and face to face. But I think of what he whispered in the dark to me about my eyes, about why they drew him to me and my breath catches in my throat just like it does every time I remember flash back to it. After so long feeling like I could not live up to the goodness of my partner, I feel like I finally found a home with people who are dark and twisted but still manage to .... not overcome, but live with it and make a beautiful life where they love and take care of each other. They show me that I don't have to be that impossible version of "good" that I have in my head to love and take care of my family. Remind me all the time that I am good and I do take care of my family. Make me want to work harder to create more of a family and more for it.
And I know what color her eyes are. That green-hazel is seared into my mind. As is how her togetherness is what I thought was impossible for me to be, but her path has been harder and she does it.
And I touch the pentacle with the stag hanging on my neck, given to me by the friend I am striving so hard to prove myself to. Remember my uncle's admiration of it. Think of all the things on my body that are talismans of the people I love, drawing strength from them. After all I've done for people I love, this should be a cake walk.
Just erase the old tapes. Record new ones.
"We took down all the pictures
and then we took down all the walls
packed up our expectations
piled them in the hall
yeah we bagged our future
kicked it to the curb
and then we stood there unencumbered
and we stood there undeterred
cause we were done clinging
to the things we were afraid to lose
and the only thing left
was a breathtaking view
you looked at me
and I looked at you
and we said, "How about now,
"what you wanna do?"
now there's something in the way
In the way of my love for you
now there's something in the way
in the way of my love for you
i got to get it out the way
the way of my love for you
i got to get it out the way
the way of my love for you"
-Ani DiFranco "Out the way"
[While editing, I realize how the chorus might seem. To see what is in the way, see the verse above. It's not in reference to other people, but ideas. Just to be clear.]

Friday, July 05, 2013

"Had To Learn It From the One Who Let Me Go"

The first time Moneypenny visited me in Small Midwestern City, after our great visit in Mid-size Midwestern City and a month of talking on the phone whenever we could, he brought a mix cd with him, the most romantic of gestures when you're broke, in college and have fast and unlimited access to file sharing sites. It started out with songs of motivation and taking control of one's life in general and then at track 6 transitioned to songs that described how he felt about our burgeoning romantic relationship. Track 7 is Oleander's I Walk Alone. 

I can't take this anymore
And I'm almost pretty sure
I've been here before
I can't take this any longer
I won't heal until I'm stronger
Strong enough to not be afraid
Of what anybody thinks
Of what anybody says
About the way
About the way I am
So I'll wait until the day
When those feelings fade away
Then I'll make my break

I remember being so touched by the song and what it said about how he felt about himself in the relationship. But later lyrics made it hard for me to see myself in the song. (Which now, actually looking at what the internets say the lyrics are, I realize is a mis-hearing of the lyrics. Well, damn. Ok, I'm gonna write the lyrics as I heard them.)

Had to learn it from the one who let me go
Now I walk alone...
[Because she] had to step away
To make me want to be
A bigger man, a bigger man than that

At the time, it was only my interactions with Moneypenny that made me want to be a better person. My previous relationships hadn't really made me want to be a better person, just reinforced how bad of a person I already felt I was. If I was going to learn anything from the "one who let me go," that person was going to have to be Moneypenny, and him letting me go was not something I really wanted to think about then. 

Today I heard a little bit of it and decided to listen to the whole song.  Within six lines, I was crying and it just kept hitting me as the song went along. So many of the things that I'm trying to do now in my relationships, whether it be with the Professor and/or Ginger, or even with Troy, were seeded in my relationship with Moneypenny. I was a hot jealous, possessive mess when I was with him. I could not have imagined that in the course of a decade, I'd be able to have what I'm trying to have with the Prof and Ginger, where the biggest jealousy I've felt so far was situational and easily worked through. Or a whatever-we-have (-had?) with Troy, where I enjoy talking with him about the other women in his life, discussing the pitfalls of each potential situation, even while we're lying in bed about to have sex. (Hell, sometimes during sex.) Of course, the ability to do this, the trial and error, were things I lived through with BT and TyRoy, but it isn't the ones who let me go that are reaping the benefits of what I learned with them. It's these new people and these new relationships. 

I need you by my side
As I take it all in stride
I put away, I put away my pride
Oh I leave it up to you
Yeah I leave it in your hands
Respect your wishes and your demands
But if it was up to me
Honey we'd already be back at home
And living out

Something I'm struggling with more in this relationship with P&G is taking things at their pace. I believe I am doing well at respecting what they have in their relationship and in their household. It's the feelings part that is more difficult right now. I know that I feel much more strongly at this point than they do. I'd like to think that if I could I wouldn't feel this way yet or I'd slow down the development of my feelings, but, honestly, knowing me, I probably wouldn't have it any differently. Once I went all in, I was all in. As they are different people, coming at this from a different perspective and different experience, their feelings aren't anywhere near to mine. I do know this and I don't want to rush anyone, but the other side of that is that it can get pretty chilly so far out on this limb all by myself. It is difficult to just let it be, to not worry that because they don't feel that way now they never will, to not think that I'm making a gigantic ass out of myself, to not shut off my feelings because they aren't exactly reciprocated. 

Strong enough to not be afraid
Of what anybody thinks
Of what anybody says
About the way
About the way I am

I'm also struggling with this. To say that I don't care about what anyone thinks of me would be a lie. The bigger truth is that I often do what feels better for me with some measure of spite for what other people think. The big things in my life I don't do just because people might not like it, but it certainly helps when they don't, which is why I am often so vocal about doing or feeling those things that others might make others feel ashamed. Of course now I'm in a situation where that spite could actually have real world consequences and I feel like a giant hypocrite for not completely owning who I am, for being ashamed of who I am.

There are actually two issues here. The first is something I talked about in therapy a few days ago. Now that I'm in a bdsm relationship, I'm getting to explore parts of myself that I'd let lay dormant for a very long time. I think I'd honestly thought I'd never find anyone to explore them with, at least not anything past some rough sex and light bondage and tamer fantasies, so I'd shut it down. Now that I can, with each new thing that comes up, I'm having to struggle against my own definition of what a good or decent person is. A big part of my struggle with mental illness has been getting over feeling like I'm a bad person. I've not necessarily gotten to a place where I feel like I'm a good person, but I was at a place where I felt like I at least acted like a good person should. But the combination of the things I'm exploring in my head and the reality that, the more I'm submissive in one section of my life, the more assertive, aggressive and even downright mean I am in other parts make it difficult to hold that belief. There's also the added struggle that has come with playing with people who are much more in touch with their desires, desires more extreme than my own. Like the quote the Girls quote I used in this blog post, I am "letting everyone say anything to me." And the struggle comes from knowing that I don't think these are bad people. In fact, these are people I love and care about, who I trust. Hell, these are people I have let or will let do many of those things to me. But there's still this little disgusted voice that questions how I could be around them, much less feel this way, what kind of person am I that I still feel this way about them, that it often in fact deepens how I feel about them to know these things. 

Then there is the poly aspect of the relationship. I came out as bisexual when I was 17 because I couldn't stand to not be honest about who I was anymore and because I knew there would come a day when the person I loved was of my same gender and I felt I would be betraying that love if I was ashamed of it. Now, fourteen years later, I feel like I'm in the closet again. In my job, I work with the elderly, most of whom do not appear to be accepting of anything other than 'traditional' relationship arrangements. I feel like it's scandalous to them that I sleep over at my boyfriend's house. And I feel close to these people. I know that I am only the hired help and if they decided they didn't like me, for whatever reason, or for no reason at all, I'd be gone, but it is difficult not to form some attachment, especially when you know about each other's lives, when they ask with genuine curiosity about your life. But I don't feel comfortable being out as bi with my bosses at this job, much less out as bi and (trying to be) in a poly relationship with my bosses or my clients. When speaking to them, Ginger is my boyfriend's roommate or my friend. While both of those things are true, they are not the whole truth. I feel like a fraud saying them, but I am afraid that I might lose my job, or at least any standing I have with my current clients, if I told the whole truth. 

Aannnddddd I really don't know where I'm going with this. This would make a very poor high school essay. I just wanted to share the song and get down how I was feeling, how it parallelled things both positive and negative that I'm going through right now. When things grab me that hard, I feel like I have to get it out or I'll drown in it, so there it is. 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

"But Home For Me Was Always Someone Else, You Know?"

It's Wednesday morning, quickly slipping into afternoon, and  I figure I should start the dishes. We're supposed to go to the store later, but the Professor woke up with a bad backache and Ginger is currently giving him a very rough-looking massage. A part of me wants to stay right where I am and watch. I like learning from their interactions. But it also feels intimate, like I'm spying, like I should leave them along for a bit. I'm sure they'll come get me when they are ready to go and I don't feel it's my place to rush them.

But as I'm doing the dishes, things start to feel familiar. It sounds like Prof and Ginger have moved on from the back rub to playful couple 'fighting.' But they are happy. That much is evident. And I'm happy, in a warm, contented way.

Having a house full of people just living, interacting, both working and playing, separate yet also together, reminds me of happier times with my family. Being at Gram's for the weekend with people doing stuff, some work, some visiting, some playing, some relaxing, wondering in and out of rooms occupied by others, but knowing we'd all come together again for dinner. That 'out of the corner of your eye' awareness of what someone else was doing without getting wrapped up in it. Knowing it was all ok and all going to be ok.

Last weekend, when I was about to start the dishes, there was a short summer rainstorm. I went outside and stood on the back porch, just breathing it in. It reminded me of standing on the cobblestone road in the middle of the night in the cool rain, taking a break from painting my uncle's new 'fixer-upper in exchange for no security deposit' apartment in his college town. I was dirty and hot and covered in paint, bone tired, and we stood out there, barefoot on the road, the only ones up at that hour. I remember eleven-year-old me being so envious that adults got to do this anytime they wanted to, sure that this freedom was what it meant to be an adult. It was then and still is now, another life and then some ago, one of my favorite memories. Standing on that back porch last weekend, I cried alittle, but I felt like, as he so often has this last month or so, that my uncle was trying to reassure me. That this might not have been the situation I had asked for, but it is a good situation and he is supporting me.

(Yeah, maybe a month from now or a year from now, if/when this all blows up in my face, I'll feel differently, feel like I was completely delusional, but I need all the support I can get right now so I'll take it. Even if it's all in my head, I have to hope that it is that part of me that comes from him.)

As I do the dishes, I think of all the times hanging out with him and his (now ex-)wife. In some ways, as a kid who could only see the world in terms of couple, of pairs, I felt like a third-wheel. But they never made me feel like that, even when they probably should have kicked me out so that they could enjoy more intimate times. Actually, it seems like growing up an only child with my mom and step-dad as well as the time I spent with my aunt and uncle, and hell, to a lesser extent, the time I spent with my grandparents as an only grandchild, has prepared me for how to blend myself into a couple, perhaps create a triad, now. How to not feel competitive. How to not feel excluded when they focus on each other. (Though I have to admit that in this romantic and sexual context I'm still getting over my embarassment when one of them is focused on me while we are around the other. As well as when both of them are focused on me actually.) But it feels nice for everyone to already be comfortable enough that they can do their own thing and I can do mine, that I can feel connected to them as we do and enjoy the snippets of eavesdropped conversation and play. I miss the feeling of that larger, connected but still doing our own thing family. Of course,sadly, I rarely appreciated it in the moment as much as I do this now.

Later, in the car, as we run our errands, I ride in the back and listen with bemusement as they banter and bicker, the way that long established couples do. It reminds me of so many car rides with my parents or my uncle and aunt, that familiar feeling of being part of a family while also having my separate space, enjoying the eavesdropping as they talk to each other as if they've forgotten that I'm there. I know it sounds weird, but this is what home feels like to me. This is feeling like the home I've so missed since my larger family started passing away. This is starting to feel like home.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

With These Things There's No Telling

It's her day off so she's there when I have to leave for work. Even after last night, I'm still too shy to kiss her. But if she is not mine, at least I know that I am hers. And his. And that is enough for now. I sneak into the bedroom to kiss him goodbye and then hug her as long as I can before I must leave their happy little home.

With nothing good on the car stereo, I go for the mp3 player, deciding to play an artist I haven't listened to in a while and a song that reminds me exactly of how I feel when I am driving to the place I am leaving, rushing to see her before she goes to bed in the afternoon or leaves for work at night:
Maybe some other time
I can't slow down
Right across that state line
Right about now

Her hair's still wet from her bath
She's sittin' on the front porch
With a glass of iced tea
In my sweat shirt and her bare feet
This I gotta see
If I hurry I can catch
The colors on her skin from that sunset
And her face and that love waitin' on me
This I gotta see, this I gotta see
(Jason Aldean, This I Gotta See)

For the past several weeks, my uncle has been riding shotgun when I leave, helping me through my freak-outs about how much I care about the people in this situation I did not plan for. But today I don't need him there. Her sunny face and honest words are enough to soothe my troubled soul. As I turn onto the main road though I kiss the Celtic cross ring that reminds me of my uncle's tattoo, until I can adorn my body similarly. Overhead I see the Daytime Moon, my grandpa watching over me as I drive in my grandma's car. Smiling, I  feel bursting with love. I don't know how I could have panicked last night, feeling like no one could possibly love me, a tape left over from a previous life, and am glad I self-soothed until sleep, before bringing my unjustified fears to them and ruining the beauty that was shared.


After work, the car radio blesses me with a favorite song that I haven't heard in a long time, which also fits how I feel right now.

This is the first day of my life
I swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain suddenly everything changed
They're spreading blankets on the beach

Yours is the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
Now I don’t know where I am 
I don’t know where I’ve been
But I know where I want to go

And so I thought I’d let you know
That these things take forever
I especially am slow
But I realize that I need you 
And I wondered if I could come home

Remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning
And I thought it was strange you said everything changed
You felt as if you'd just woke up 
And you said “this is the first day of my life
I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you 
But now I don’t care I could go anywhere with you
And I’d probably be happy”

So if you want to be with me
With these things there’s no telling
We just have to wait and see
But I’d rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
Besides maybe this time is different
I mean I really think you like me