Monday, May 09, 2016

When All Else Fails, Clean

What do you do when you feel like you can't do anything?

It's the beginning of my work week. My weekend was pretty exhausting, with little to build me back up. I'm tired and already sleep deprived one day in. I'm training in a new area at work which makes me anxious and frustrated. The baby won't nap and won't stop pulling my hair. All these things make it easy for the depression and hopelessness that are already right under the surface to take hold.

Then this morning she found out some not great health news with the pregnancy. Since it is not something I dealt with, I do not know how serious it will be for her. She is feeling overwhelmed and upset and a million other things that she probably doesn't even know. I tried to validate her, and then, when it seemed like what she wanted was some help not being overwhelmed, I tried to be reasonable about it. But it did not work. Whenever we get to something like this, I do not know how to help her. If we were in person, there are many things I could do to help her. But like this everything I do just seems to make her more upset or wants to isolate herself more. I am grateful that she tells me things, but I do not know what to do. When you add it on top of everything else I am already feeling, I just feel so sad and hopeless and frustrated.

I took a few minutes to have my own little pity party, and then I did something anything at all. First I took my own advice and texted my therapist so at least she knew what was going on. Before I ever even heard back from her though, I started doing the only thing I could do or could think to do to help. I guess that tonight she will want his help, so I tried to take his money and part of it away as I could. Resolved not to latest on him, and then I started cleaning. Everyone in my life kind of thinks I'm crazy but sometimes that is all I know to do. To create a clean space for everyone. To take some impediments out of the way. So I cleaned the bottles and washed the dishes. I vacuumed the floor so they could set the fence out for the baby to crawl around in. I took the trash out. I gave the baby a bath. If I had had more time I would have finished all the laundry. I offered to take the baby with me when I went to my doctor's appointment today so that he could get a little bit of a break.

I feel a little better. I feel like I did something useful, like I am useful. I wish I knew how to help more. Maybe someday I will. Maybe this will be enough.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Only Time I Don't Like Being The Holder of the Secets

I can feel myself becoming a much different person than who I was when this started. I can feel myself becoming someone I don't exactly want to be.

I don't like secrets. I came into non-monogamy because I didn't want to feel like I had to keep secrets or that anyone else had to keep secrets. I didn't want to feel like I had to lie, and I didn't want my partners to have a reason to lie to me. Maybe that's why I feel so strange to be stuck in this situation. Let me preface this by saying that I don't have a good distinction in my head between privacy and secrecy. While I was never much of a liar, or at least not any good at it, when I started trying to get better I realized that the things I held back or the things I lied about where a part of my illness. We are only as sick as our secrets, as they say in AA. That was exactly where I was. I realize that the only reason I didn't want to tell someone something was because I felt ashamed, and the only reason I felt ashamed was because I was doing something wrong.

But now I am with people who have a different version of privacy. I am also in a situation where it feels like we can't talk openly about anything without fighting. We are really trying to keep a calm household for a while so that we can all heal, but that means that we mostly can't talk about anything. What I want to talk about something or ask about something, lately the question I ask myself is will this cause a fight or with the Professor be upset if I brought this up with him or Ginger. If I don't get the right answer than I don't bring it up. But I know a few things that I'm not allowed to say to one or the other, and I feel like the same is probably true for them. I hate that feeling. I hate feeling like the household is just surrounded in secrecy so that we can survive each other. 

"But maybe she's different when it is just you and her."

Sometimes I don't even know that I'm saying something secret. For the longest time, I would say things that I assumed the other knew, particularly that I thought Ginger had told the Professor, only for him to get mad at me. I was stirring the pot. I was causing trouble. 

I can't say how I feel either. The trouble is that I'm worse at hiding when something is wrong. 

Before the break, she had told me that she dreaded coming home when I'd be there. That was a big part of why I left, in fact. Not that she told me, but that she should feel that way. Now it is me who dreads. I am starting to not want anyone to tell me their truths, which is what I would like in the relationship, because they won't tell the other person and being the one holding the secrets from the other has made me a person that I don't like. They'd never tell me I couldn't tell the other something, but I know that my saying them would cause trouble doubly, first in the thing and then in that I told it, not the person they should have heard it from. 

I don't like who I'm becoming.