Thursday, August 31, 2017

Of Shields and Extremes

The last 24 hours or so have been very intense and complicated. I feel compelled to write but I don't know how or what to say. I worry that whatever I write will be taken wrong, taken as a slight or a judgment, or that I want something to change. I don't want any of that. I just want to be honest about my truth and have people read it. This may be a bit jumbled and is a bit long, so please bear with me. 

Last night was the monthly meeting of the M/s group, a thing that is my thing, that caters to how I best like to interact in larger groups and that I've been so happy to have The Emperor [yes, that is the pseudonym I've landed on] come with me to, so proud to be able to show off my Master and companion to the closest thing I have to my own group of people in the bdsm community. When we came home, we had amazing, painful, kinky, sub-space inducing, tear-inducing sex and bedded down to finish the first tv show we had started together, Sense8, while touching and kissing and talking. He said I was perfect for him, among a host of other complimentary things. I think between those three things, going to the meeting together, the sex, and the talking, the boundaries I usually have were completely down. We've had this happen before. One night, at the end of a particularly difficult week, once we got a night together, with time to play, we ended up doing less impact play than had been planned and more up close and personal pressure points work along with some breath play while sitting on the loveseat, our bodies pressed against each other. Soon, all the walls were down, the walls that I had that were not only keeping out the rest of the world and all my pain and grief and sadness but were also keeping him out. 

I spend so much time behind those walls. As I thought about them today, I couldn't help but think of the way shields are talked about in the Anita Blake books. For those who don't read them, it's a series of contemporary supernatural fiction, if vampires and shapeshifters and all kinds of other paranormal and psychic creatures/people lived semi-openly in this society, set mostly in my birth city, with a badass zombie-raising, rogue-vampire-executing curly-haired woman who over the series becomes part of triumvirates of power with other shapeshifters and vampires and feeds off sex as the main character. She uses psychic shields to protect herself from being overwhelmed by other people's powers or emotions. In the middle books of the series, while she is still trying to adjust to the first triumvirate, which is with two men she very much loves but who she struggles to choose between, she shields herself from them, which protects her emotions as she adjusts, but also makes them weaker as a force. Without access to the books, I was trying to look online to find the exact quotes, but I couldn't find any that exactly encompassed what I was looking for. I did find it telling that in one book when trying to describe shields she says that they can be made of any substance in your mind, fire, water, metal, stone, as long as it surrounds you in your mind and makes sense, so that no two will actually be alike. In the books, she envisions hers as a stone wall or a tower. I think that is very telling. Unlike water, which would let more things past but could also envelop things you didn't want in droplets of water, or fire, that would burn up anything that got past it, she envisions a stone wall or tower, like a medieval castle. 

The Emperor and I are just starting to read a book about how to deal with someone you love having borderline personality disorder. Something that I read yesterday has got me thinking. The author writes about how many borderlines by their 20s or 30s start to under-feel more often than over-feel, because what they've learned is that their emotions get them into trouble, are bad or wrong, are not what people around them want, so they find ways to not feel them, which can even be disassociating, though often all that emotion will come back with a vengeance when they can't push it away or disassociate from it. A cause of some friction in the relationship has been that I tend to withdraw from him when I start to get overwhelmed by emotion. I felt like this was a coping mechanism that I have been using for awhile to get some distance from my emotions, since I am usually aware that they aren't justified and I don't want to act on the emotion without thinking, to have things come out of my mouth that aren't true or fair. But now I wonder how much of that is disassociating from all emotion, how much that makes it all the more overwhelming when I have emotions that I can't withdraw from because everything has built up, and how much this is me putting up completely impenetrable shields. 

There is an exchange from the television show Bones that has stuck with me for years though I've only now been able to find the exact quote. The main characters are talking about getting together as a romantic couple sometime in the future. Bones, ever the scientist, says,"You know the difference between strength and imperviousness, right?... Well, a substance that is impervious to damage doesn't need to be strong. ... When you and I met. I was an impervious substance. Now I'm a strong substance.... A time could come when you aren't angry any more and I'm strong enough to risk losing the last of my imperviosness. Maybe then we could try to be together." I have always liked that idea, the strength it takes to allow yourself to be open. But I feel like all these years have taught me that I don't have the strength for that, that I only have the strength to hold my shields, not the strength to allow some things in but keep others out. I am always all or nothing. Open or closed. But being open to let others in is also open to letting me out and I feel like no one wants me to be let out and I'm not always sure that I've very smart about who I let in, or able to deal with the inevitable hurt that comes with that, even unintentional hurt. 

Letting those shields down with him is amazing. I can feel how perfectly we do fit. I can feel how safe I am with him, safe to express my deepest and darkest sexual and kink fantasies without fear of reproach, safe to enact those fantasies that are possible. I can fully feel how we can be the blank canvas that we each paint our desires on. I can feel vulnerable and small and cared for, as well as hurt and desired and pushed. 

But I don't know how to get them back up and being that open and vulnerable out in the world where I still walk so much of it alone is excruciating and tiring. It is probably more difficult to get those shields back down again, because I don't yet have a grasp on exactly how to get them down. They are so automatic that I don't feel them being there. I only feel when they are gone. But I don't know how to get them back up. And I don't know how to make them something that doesn't cut me off from everything, from my emotions and from my closeness to my love, while they protect me from the outside world and from the emotions overwhelming me. 

I'm also fighting with how extreme my desires can be. Even though they scare me, even when I feel like they are wrong or crazy or don't make sense, I am all or nothing, jump a cannonball into the pool instead of sticking a toe in, black or white, push it to the limit kind of a girl. No, I may not be as much of a masochist as others, may not be able to stand as much as others, but when I like something, I will want to push it to its extreme. When you're talking about the kink or the roleplaying or violence, that can be fucking scary sometimes. The things I want in my head can scare me sometimes. Not "oh, I'm embarrassed to tell someone this" kind of scared either. But the "this can get out of hand really quickly and borders on so much abusive and terrible territory, but it is such a turn on and makes me feel wanted and desired in a way that less than this doesn't" way. I don't write this because I want my sex or kink life to change, but in way of explanation, both in what I want and why I want it as well as in why it is scary and why I can feel so overwhelmed by it at times, that sometimes the carefully interwoven fantasy of fear and desire can be so easily unraveled, can so easily unravel me, when the enacting of it pulls just a little at the delicate fabric. This isn't to say stop, but to explain why sometimes suddenly can't breath and am about to cry or want to curl up in a ball or have to take a few steps back to walk it off when you thought you gave me what I wanted, when you just said a few words. Because anything you find worth doing, you find to be worth overdoing. Because you finally trust that you can tell someone your deepest and darkest, or close to, and she'll treasure you all the more for it. Because I want to take what you want to give, what you've wanted for so long to give, but where afraid would scare a girl off. But it isn't you that I fear. It is me. It is that I am not afraid that scares me. It is my own desires that scare me. But please, don't stop.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I'm taking the wrong streets home because you told me to get food on my way home. I don't want to eat. But I figured it would look worse, look more petulance, look brattier, if I didn't eat anything then if I choke down a crappy fast food sandwich. But it would be choking it down.

So early to already be here. Holding you hostage. Making you walk on eggshells. Both of us crashing into those things that angered us so much about previous partners or our parents. So frustrating and hurtful. I would cry if i didn't feel so fucking empty and lost and yet trapped. 

You must feel the same. You took your ball and went home when you could. Maybe it's time for me to do the same. I really hate being just like all the rest. I know i stay too long. Has it already been too long? 

What does it mean when you can find your own way there and own way home but you don't want to anymore? Not like how it did when i decided to look for someone but to really know what it's like to have someone to zip your dresses and put on your necklace, or better yet your collar, on every morning and do the reverse at night? 

Or maybe I'm not supposed to be with someone. The crazy is all the companionship i can take. Much more than any other person should be asked to shoulder. Your partner is yoked to you and shares your load but it shouldn't be that heavy all the time. 

But it would be so hard not to crawl back, over and over. I'm not that strong. The sex, the companionship. I'd have to blot out the memory of the address. Lock up my keys after 10pm. Lol. Yeah, that's it. 

Better go get that stupid sandwich. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

We Used To Be Friends

I went to the ER Sunday after a weekend spent in pain. I was supposed to have Mini-Me for that whole weekend. I only got to see her for a few hours during her brother's birthday party. At least my parents were able to help you get a break on Saturday. I think that you didn't believe I was sick until you saw me on Sunday. Or you didn't care. Help was offered as I left the party to drive myself to the ER, since my new partner, who has yet to get a spiffy pseudonym, was out of town, but I felt the politeness of it. Today when I went to pick up Mini-Me after my follow-up doctor's appointment, you didn't ask how I was feeling or what had been wrong with me. 

We used to be friends. I thought we still might be. I'm sure if I asked you, you'd say that is how it goes when you aren't living together anymore and that I'm not around anymore. To other people, I'm sure it has much to do with me dropping the ball with the parenting in the past few months, as we truly cut the romantic ties and moved into separate spaces. When things became more difficult on me, I broke and wasn't able to step up to the plate like I had planned. I have a feeling you feel like I chose a new partner over my kid(s), over the family we had. I know that I fucked up several times by not being where I was supposed to when I was supposed to. I know that for you and yours the why of that doesn't really matter, just that I didn't. 

But weirdly I hadn't thought it would make us not be friends, make us not care about the other. None of those things that we had in common went away. But you barely answer my texts. I don't hear about the kids, much less your life, not even when I ask. I guess that is what I deserve. My abdication made being a parent a bigger part of your identity than it now is of mine. It also burnt up any shred of care you still had for me. I tend to do that. Burn up that caring with need, even if it is a need I have created by my absence. 

Maybe we were never friends. Maybe we were lovers and then parents and we created what looked like friendship to fill the spaces. I had thought she was my friend too. Until I burned up her care and we realized how little we truly had in common. The more time spent apart though, the more I am unsure why I want to be friends except that ...well, I do that with exes. I feel this need to try to salvage the friendship we had, or that I thought we had, because I make my partner my bestfriend, in a world where I have very few friends to start with, so I don't want to lose that. But maybe your partner never really was your friend. Maybe when you operate the way I do, they are a different third category, the lover-friend? Lend? Frover? Maybe once one is gone, the other goes with it.

Honestly, I don't even know why i want you to care. Because that's really it. I want you to care. Just like I wanted you to care then. Like I wanted her to care. Care in a way that made sense in my head at least, which I've learned is the real trick. If you didn't then, why would you now? Why do I want you to? Why do I still care at all? 

And yet I go to bed tonight wishing I could have that easy conversation with you, sharing about parts of our lives or our minds or the world. Not because I want that romance back or the sex back. But just to have an exchange of a few messages with someone who is like-minded on the topic, or at least knows it. At this point in things, isn't that what friendship is? Or a significant portion of it for us? But that seems gone and I don't even know how to ask about getting it back. I think the answer is either that we were never friends or to go back in time and be someone else then and someone else now. 

Saturday, August 05, 2017


The time alone. More properly, what your mind will do in that time alone. That is not a part of the sales pitch for the poly or open lifestyle. When it is brought up, that time alone is framed as a good thing. Time for you to hang out with friends. Time for you to do things you want to do that your partner doesn't. 

I'm supposed to be at my parents' house, exhausted after a long day that had an early start and a nice playful evening with my daughter. I was supposed to get to enjoy being with my daughter all weekend and that would distract me from this time alone. Of the seven nights we were apart, i would be spending five of them with my daughter. The other two I would spend doing things in his house, our house, cleaning and unpacking. 

We aren't poly but not quite monogamous either. I had offered a hallpass while apart, especially as things this week went worse and worse. Except now there is a new complication so that hallpass comes with strict limits. This week hasn't turned out at all like it was supposed to. At all. It was supposed to be one of the most productive weeks in recent memory. Instead I have gotten almost nothing done. Hell, i didn't even empty the dishwasher. (Sorry Sir.) I am sick and in the worst pain I think I've ever been in, which I can only control if i lay down and don't move around very much, in our bed, alone, realizing in the past few days that I don't have anyone to take care of me. I'm trying to focus on my book, but all I can really think about is the seconds ticking away, between when i hear from him, between when i know what has happened and during which anything could be happening. 

Nope, this isn't in the sales packet. I always tended to keep myself busy during these times so I didn't have to think about it. Because I am me, this time is only twice as nerve-wracking as other time without him, as that time can still be nerve-wracking. (I am oddly comforted by the fact that he deals with the same feelimgs when I am away from him.) I just hadn't anticipated that I'd be alone, in pain, and laid up with plenty of time to wonder about exactly what is happening. 

But I didn't take back my limited hallpass. In the time I've been writing this, he's texted and the companion for his fun has gone home. I don't begrudge him whatever has happened between them, just as i didn't last night. This was not a trap or a trick. I wanted him to have an outlet and I am glad for whatever he was able to have. I much prefer that I gave it, even if that time of uncertainty stretched in my head into some of the longest hours of my life. I don't believe that it changes anything about our relationship. I don't believe we hold less faith with each other. 

But they really should put what that time does to your head in the packet. If only in tiny tiny print, read really fast, like they do on ads for medication. Maycauseanintolerablelengtheningoftimeduringwhichyouimagineeverythingyourlovercouldbedoingwithsomeoneelsebothawesomeandterrible.takeasleepingpillandwatchahappyshowonnetflixtilyoupassoutiffeelingscontinueformorethenfourhours.