Well, yeah! But OUCH!

In recent weeks, A and I have had a recurring conversation.  I’m not sure exactly what he’s trying to get out of saying so, but essentially what he says is: “My relationship with you is different than my relationship with my wife.  If my relationship with her ended, I would be devastated, but if you and I broke up, life would go on without much trouble.  I would be sad, and think it was too bad, but it wouldn’t be the same kind of pain as the ending of my relationship with my wife.”

Every time we’ve had this conversation, I have two responses:  1.  “Well, yeah!” and 2.  “Ouch!”

It hurts to hear someone tell you that you are not as important as other people, no matter how obvious it is that it should be that way.  It’s like my brain and my heart are arguing about the way I should think and feel, respectively.  They are at odds with each other for the appropriate reaction, so I have both.

Beyond that, the fact that he’s said a version of this a few times in the last few weeks suggests to me that there is something more behind his words. Part of me thinks it’s a justification that he doesn’t love me.  Or possibly him trying to compartmentalize the love he does have for me and the love he has for his wife and justifying the hierarchy in his brain.  Or maybe it’s him trying to subtly make the point that he doesn’t love me and that he won’t ever actually love me.  And part of me wonders why the fuck he doesn’t love me, but when I get into that line of thinking, it takes me to this place where I think about things and decisions I’m not ready to face, so let’s not go there.   

Maybe I’m off base.  He may not actually be trying to say something deliberately.  He may actually be obtuse enough to think that that is just conversation.  I think there is a message I’m not getting. The man is careful with words.

Among the other things he said was something about the duration of our relationship. Something along the lines of “My relationship with my wife will go on forever, years and years, but my relationship with you won’t.  It’ll end, maybe a year from now, it’s not meant to last as long.”  When I replied, I said I “didn’t think of it that way, my commitment isn’t any different because we can’t escalate’.  He backtracked a bit and said “Or it could be 20 years, who knows, but it’ll never be the same as my marriage.”

There are so many things that go through my mind when I think about these conversations.  It alternates between feeling unimportant and hurt by this to attempting to understand why he thinks the way he does about me and recognizing that it’s just part of his process in dealing with his feelings within our relationship and understanding where I fit in the context of the rest of his life. It’s not this horrible hurt or offense or anything, it’s mostly just trying to understand him, and as much as he likes to pretend he’s easy to understand, he’s not.

I recognize that splitting up a marriage, with years of history, children, grandchildren, a mortgage, debt and the rest of a shared history is harder than breaking up with a girlfriend who you share a hot sex life and a couple selfies with.  I recognize the permanence and meaning of a 20+ year relationship and how that is so substantial.  How sharing a life and a bed and sadness and happiness and being bored together and conquering adversity together is always going to be more substantial than the relationship with the girl you visit most Fridays to exchange great pillow talk and fuck.  I get that there is a tolerance of problems in a committed marriage that there isn’t going to be in a relationship with a girlfriend.  

What I also get is that I’m fun.  I’m the escape from reality.  I’m the safe place, the place of calm, the person who offers catharsis and support.  I’m unfailingly supportive, because my only concern in any of his stresses is him – I have only met a handful of his friends and none of his family and because of that,  my priority, when we are together and when we interact,  is supporting him and meeting the needs he wants filled by me.  There is no compromise in this. Within our relationship, there is just us.  There are no children, responsibilities, debts, assets, or stresses.  There is only us and what we choose to make of it. I also know that I’m the partner who is always willing to have sex as opposed to the one who makes excuses and takes it for granted.  I am a girlfriend, not a wife.

I don’t pretend to understand how he thinks about all this.  I know that he’s committed to our relationship, he makes a priority of me, and we have a fabulous time together. I’m not in a place where I need to change anything. I’m happy with where we are. But my brain doesn’t let me stop thinking about things that bother me emotionally even when I know intellectually that I don’t need to be concerned about them.  When I write a post like this, I worry about what his reaction will be at my bluntness, but in the interest of being authentic, and true to myself, I write as if he isn’t a member of my “audience”. 

I had never considered my commitments to my partners different than my commitment in my marriage.  Not that I thought from the beginning that they were equivalent to F, because that was never the case, because we had kids, 14 years together, and were completely committed to each other.  I never thought of dating someone for anything other than a committed relationship.  I have always acknowledged that each relationship has its own intrinsic limits and insisted that each relationship evolve in a way free from expectations.  I never considered that there was a guaranteed end to a relationship.  I see zero reason why I can’t be a girlfriend who is not a nesting partner but who is a girlfriend for the rest of my partner’s life. I don’t enter my relationships thinking that they are temporary.  Maybe I’m naive?  Maybe I’m too committed?  I just don’t think of my partners as disposable or unimportant and I don’t want to be thought of as disposable or unimportant.  Is it not possible to have a long-term or even lifetime committed relationship as the girlfriend of a married man?  And why doesn’t that married man love me yet?

 

***Sorry A, I got raw and honest and decided to put it out there tonight. You don’t have to respond. It’s me processing. I love you. ***

What, Why, and how I feel about it.

I have so many posts floating around in my head, but there’s one in particular that I think I have to write, largely because I don’t want to write it.  I’m not sure that makes sense, but here I go.  In a conversation with a friend who is new to polyamory a few days ago, I realized something about myself, and I need to work out if I can communicate it and process it.

We talked about how she’s transitioning from the world of being a swinger to the world of polyamory. The men she is interested have been swingers and the two she is interested in are both interested in seeing her exclusively, or as the exclusive other partner that isn’t her husband, anyway.  That part is really not important, but she was talking about how she is completely overcome with NRE for one of the guys but doesn’t feel as strongly for the other one, but he is sweet, kind, generous, fun and she is attracted to him and would like to date him too because of these comforting characteristics. (This really smacks of the difference in the way I felt about D and the way I feel about L).   

We were talking about the “exclusivity” thing and she asked me how I would deal with things if one of my partners had asked that of me when I was still married and I immediately said it wouldn’t be an option I would consider.  She said, “what if D had asked you?”, because she knew how overcome with NRE I was for him for our whole relationship.  She knew how deeply in love with him I was.  My response was the same: “I wouldn’t even consider it, but part of what I loved, appreciated, and respected most about D was that he would never have asked something like that of me.”

Then she said something about how completely I loved him and I said that the truth, as hard as it is to admit it, is that if he contacted me tomorrow and asked to date me again, I would say yes in a heartbeat.  It wouldn’t even be something I’d have to think about.  

For the last few days, I’ve been mulling this revelation over.  Part of it is how it “looks”; how people would react if I admitted it aloud; what they would think.  The other part is me analyzing the why of all things; trying to understand why I feel the way I do, despite my ability to look objectively at the way things ended.  The final part is trying to decide if it’s OK that I feel this way.

I’m not generally prone to caring about what other people think, but there’s something that triggers me when I think about how someone would feel about the fact that I would be willing to take D back after the intensity of the heartbreak.  In particular, the way the people who care about me most would feel. If they would feel less important or less loved because of my willingness to forgive D.  If they would be disappointed to hear that I feel that way.  If they would be concerned that I still have feelings and am pining after D.  I would argue that I’m not.  I think about him often, but it’s not with wanting or sadness, it’s just factual – I’m cognizant of what a great relationship it was and the memories I have are good ones, and if I’m completely honest, I just really miss him.  

That being said, I saw this article a couple weeks ago that resonated with me.  In fact, that seems to be a theme lately, articles that resonate so strongly with me that it feels like I was hit with a brick to the head.  This excerpt from this article, in particular, triggers the most powerful response from me every time I read it:

“…here’s another thing they won’t tell you about finding the love of your life: not ending up with them doesn’t disqualify their significance.

Some people can love you more in a year than others could love you in fifty. Some people can teach you more within a single day than others could teach you over the entire course of a lifetime.

Some people come into our lives only for a particular period of time, but make an impact that no one else can ever quite match or replace.

And who are we to call those people anything but the loves of our lives?

Who are we to downplay their significance, to rewrite their memories, to alter the ways in which they changed us for the better, simply because our paths diverged? Who are we to decide that we desperately need to replace them – to find a bigger, better, stronger, more passionate love that we can hold onto for a lifetime?

Maybe we just ought to be grateful that we got to meet these people at all.

That we got to love them. That we got to learn from them. That we got to have our lives expand and flourish as a result of having known them.

Meeting and letting go of the love of your life doesn’t have to be your life’s single greatest tragedy.

If you let it, it can be your greatest blessing.”

What this article did was make me realize that it was OK to no longer be with the great love of my life, while still thinking of him as my great love.  This really falls into the second thing I’ve been mulling over – the “why”.  I think that the reason I’d take him back is because he’s the great love of my life.  I’ve never been that completely in love with someone.  So much so that I was completely blindsided by our break up.  That makes it sound like I wasn’t aware of obvious problems, but the thing was, there were none.  I’ve been over it every possible way and there wasn’t a single thing that could have indicated to me that there were issues.  He’s that person I most loved in my life, and so for that reason, if he asked for me back, I would take him back immediately.  It’s in my nature to forgive, but that’s at odds with the fact that  I do not usually give people a second chance when they have hurt me.  Forgetting isn’t my nature.  In this, I’m different.  I wish I could understand the why of that. I guess love is just that strong an intrinsic motivator and remembering the incredible experience that dating D was is far more important than colouring it with negativity and rewriting history. 

Finally, I’m still trying to decide how I feel about the fact that I’d take D back.  I feel like I’ve done a damn good job of moving on from that heartbreak.  I’ve cried and processed and let go of my anger, hurt, and resentment.  I’ve hugged him, chatted with him, and didn’t feel anything but the same type of happiness I’d feel with seeing a good friend I hadn’t seen in awhile.  There was no hurt, sadness, anger, or even love that made itself known.  I wish I could be a person who could say “but he didn’t value me, so I hate him and never want to see him again”, because that anger would bring me so much comfort.  Anger is a great substitute when the truth makes us feel weak.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t hold on to that resentment.   Once I realized that he, as someone I loved, was making a decision so he could be happy, I had to let go of all that and just understand and accept.  

So how do I feel right now?  I feel like this is still a new situation for me. I’ve never left a relationship still thinking the person I was with was an excellent human being, the best kind of person.  Or thinking that everything about the relationship, except for its ending, was incredible.  So, I guess I feel weird.  Like this is uncharted territory and I don’t know how to proceed in navigating the emotions I’m feeling.  

And why did I write this?  Because it’s part of my process. It’s part of being honest with myself, knowing my own boundaries, understanding my strengths and my weaknesses.  Apparently my strength is forgiveness and my weakness is D.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t change anything.

Because, “If I let it, it can be my biggest blessing.”

 

 

Not heartless

The last couple days, I caught up on work around home, including a shit ton of yard work, and shampooing my carpet (having a 3-year-old with a UTI is glamorous, I tell you).  My mom and I took my kids out to an international festival where they have countries from all over the world that serve their signature dishes.  We hit up our favourites, mango pudding and chicken satay from Singapore and Malaysia, cevapi from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and tons of yummy Scandinavian treats from the Scandinavian tent.  My kids had a blast, we got soaking wet, and it was generally fun.  

    While we were out, F asked to borrow the van to pick up some bunk beds for the kids. When I returned to the van, the seat was far up and the steering wheel wasn’t where it usually is.  This clued me in – W had taken the van, not F.  I really didn’t care that she had driven it, just that he hadn’t told me it was her taking it.

    My mom started talking about the fact that the kids are going on vacation to F’s parent’s house for the last 2 weeks of August, and how she and my step-dad are also going on vacation during that time.  My kids announced loudly that they were driving to their grandma and grandpa’s house but W was flying out to meet them later.  There. That was it.  The first time I felt a pang of sorrow about my choice to separate from F.  Not because I want to be with him.  Not because she is with him.  But because she gets to go on vacation, with MY kids, to MY in-laws house.  For 14 years, they’ve been MY family.  I love them.  But now, she gets to go to their house with my kids, instead of me.  

    There’s truly no reason to be upset.  I don’t want to go on vacation with F to his parents house just months after our separation.  But I don’t want her to go either.  I don’t want her to have my family and live my life.  Even if it’s the life I chose not to live anymore.   I wonder if I would feel this way if I liked her at all, but I suspect I wouldn’t, and then that makes me sad too. My kids could have a great step-mom in their life, instead of this pathetic excuse for a partner that F has chosen.  

    Part of me is quietly happy that I finally had feelings about my separation, because I was feeling a bit weird that all I had was the annoyance of dealing with F.  I was starting to feel like there was something wrong with me after being completely devastated when D broke up with me after six months and hardly being upset after I broke up with F after 14 years.  I guess I’m not heartless.

    I don’t have much else to say.  I’ve assimilated the new information and no longer am sad.  But there was a moment where I hurt, just a little.  

 

All the feelings

I’m deep in processing things that have happened over the last week. I should be working on some prep work for my full-time job, or perhaps some extracurricular work for my casual job, but I’m finding myself highly unmotivated on the work front.  I’ve worked a lot more days in my second job than I have in a long time in this last week. Four day shifts, that are 12.5 hours each.  Of course, instead of adulting and going home and sleeping in between, I did something every night.  Day one I spent the night at L’s, Day 2 I went for drinks with coworkers who also found themselves single this summer, and day 3 I went out with my new metamour, L’s other partner and we ended up at an event for our local poly group.  I got about four hours of sleep a night and although yesterday was Saturday, I crashed at 7:30 and got out of bed at 9 a.m. I feel like a new person today.

This week was full of feelings on my part.  Not bad ones, not good ones, but just feelings that I don’t really like to deal with.  The twisty bits are often indicative of a problem inside me.  Not a problem caused by others, but one that deals with me not processing something properly or being too reactive about something. It means I’ve had to turn inward a bit lately and think about what my feelings mean, what I really want, and where I want to go.  

The first was the twisty bits with A.  I had thought it was me feeling a little unimportant and unvalued because of some jokes he was making about our relationship and what it means to him.  When I spoke to him about it, he assured me he was committed to me and explained again that for him it was less about the words and more about the actions, again.  I say again, because we’ve had this talk, and when I think it through, every time, I’m reminded that, yes, he does make me a priority in his busy life.  We have our weekly dates and steal away for drinks or lunch when we can.  It’s pretty great.  So, I was thinking I’d got over the hurdle, when I was in the shower one day and realized that while I was not entirely unjustified in the feelings of being devalued, there was a pattern with me.  That is that every time we fall our of our usual routine, or see each other less or there is a period of time coming up where we will be apart for a long time, I have an attack of feelings.  

Having thought about this a little more, it actually makes a lot of sense.  If he’s showing me that he values me through his actions, through making me a priority and spending time with me, then when he isn’t there, my subconscious reaction is to feel less valued. Of course, understanding this is good, but it’s not enough to just understand it.  He’s shown me over and over and over that I’m important to him, and there’s really nothing healthy that can come out of my doubts.  

So what do we do?  

Fuck if I know!  But I think that in the periods of absence, I need just a little more of the things that aren’t being in the same room where we can touch each other.  Checking in and chatting, good mornings and good nights, those things.  Part of it is that where we used to chat all day long, now it’s a quip here and there and the only real substance comes when we are together in person.  Add to that the fact that his wife is a little sensitive to him texting with me when he’s with her, where she didn’t before, and the next thing I know, we’re hardly in contact. What this means is a bit of anxiety about him going away for a few weeks and not being able to talk to him.  I think I just need to deal with it, with the hope that since we can’t fill up on time together before he goes, we can fill up again when he returns.

The other feelings had to do with L.  He was home but didn’t answer the door when I was stopping by at his house to pick up a few things I left there on Thursday night.  He knew when I was coming, and didn’t pay attention to the time because he was hanging out with his other partner.  I felt pretty damn unimportant. After waiting 20 minutes, I headed home to my parents to sleep. I was quite pissed about travelling about an hour out of my way to not actually get the stuff I needed, which included my nipple ring that had fallen out and I was worried about how quickly it would grow in.  In the end, I just made it clear that I was unimpressed and that it was bad form on his part.  I explained myself, he apologized, and everything is OK.  But what I realized in all of that is that I like him a bit more than I thought.  I was trying to control things and like every other time I do that, my heart has other ideas.  I’m not in love with him, but I care deeply about him, so when he didn’t answer the door, I was more hurt than I normally would be, had it been a friend or acquaintance.  There’s not much to do with this information other than acknowledge that it exists, but sometimes that’s the best way to process and understand all the feelings.  

I’m going to miss A terribly when we are apart for three weeks.  I’m going to spend some of that time with L.  But I’m looking forward to September, a regular schedule, and some normal again.  With my men a part of all of it.  

Disappearing stress

I was reminded today, by A, that I haven’t published anything in awhile.  It made me laugh, because yesterday I dumped some twisty bits on him and I’m pretty sure he came here hoping he would get more insight before he responded.  We laughed and joked and he tried to change the conversation, but in the end, we got through the twisty bits quite uneventfully, and ended up talking about all the other things.  

The last 3 days have been kind of amazing on so many different levels.   I truly don’t know where to start.  So I’ll start with A.  We had a great date on Friday.  Friday seems to have become *our* day, and I pretty much always reserve it for him.  I’m post-surgery recovering and can’t have sex, so we spent a much longer than normal time on the couch chatting, and I was several beers in before he arrived, so I was in a mood for fun.  For the first time ever, I jokingly tied him up and went to work having said fun. I figured that someone should have an orgasm in my house, since it’s been way too tame here lately.  Alas, I played way too much, but given the length of that blow job, I’d say he at least had fun.  Tying him up was totally not my thing though.  I like the responses when he grabs my head or moderates my speed or any touch, and taking away his hands just made it less connected. Fortunately, he just untied one arm and fixed that in short order and the night was saved.  Add to that the fact that I got a lot of other attention and I’d say it was a fantastic and much-needed night.  Twisty bits aside, I needed the connection, and I suspect he did too.

Saturday, I met the other girl L is dating, and we totally hit it off.  I’m eight years older than L, and she is six years younger.  We’ve been chatting pretty much continuously, and she is very much a 26 year old version of me.  He clearly has a type.  It’s funny.  Of course, L’s mind is blown that we both get along so well, but he takes it in stride.  After that, I went to roller derby again.  One of my very good friend’s husband wanted to talk about polyamory and emotions and how to deal with everything, and so I invited him along.  It was wicked awesome.  We had such a fantastic conversation, really enjoyed the match, and everything about it was great.  

Last week, I was chatting with D’s wife about her tubal ligation and asking about recovery time and limitations (mostly in sex, because, let’s be reasonable, I’m kind of needy when it comes to this – so says A, anyway), and I gave her a heads up that I’d be at derby because the time before was so awkward (in a hilarious way though).  When I had surgery, she wished me luck and I sent her a picture of my feet in these super fun hospital styrofoam slippers:

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She joked that she didn’t get anything like that for her surgery and I joked that I’d steal some for her, and asked her her foot size.  So, while I was waiting to go into surgery, I stole a pair, shoved it in my purse, and brought it to derby.  When she arrived, she spotted me, as far away as possible from where they sit, and texted to say she saw me.  I said I had something for her and to come see me when she could.  There was more joking and awesomeness back and forth that made me giggle.  She came across at half-time, and as my friend’s husband went out for a smoke, I see D walk by and he gives me a wave and smile and I smile back, and she says “Oh, D doesn’t want to interrupt your date.”, and I laughed and explained that it wasn’t a date and referred them to a group we are all part of to catch up on who he was and then chatted.  When D came back, he came over, said he didn’t want to interrupt my date, and I stood up and gave him a hug and explained that it wasn’t a date.  He bought me a beer and the three of us chatted, mostly about how my divorce is going and my new tattoo, but it was good.  It was so normal.  So at the end of half-time, they left to go back to their seats, and I said “Enjoy your long walk, I intentionally picked seats as far away as possible to mitigate the awkward”.  D’s response:  “Next time come sit with us”.  So I laugh and say “Does this mean the awkward is over?” and he says “Yes”, and his wife laughs and says “You two are so fucking weird!” and that’s how it ended.  I sent him a text to say I was glad the awkward was over and apologized for my anger and hurt and the passive aggressive way I dealt with my heartbreak, but didn’t get a response, but for me, it was the ultimate closure.  I just feel so damn good about it.

Oh, and her slippers fit:

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That night, I went to my good friends’ house.  They moved less than a block away, and they are derby refs, so we continued the night there. There’s not much to say other than it was a lot of fun. I was in prime drunken form and probably embarrassed myself, but it was great.  As seems to be the theme with them, there was some cuddling and love and tons of joking and laughter. It was amazing.  Honestly, Saturday was probably the most perfect day I’ve had in a long time.  A left so early in the morning after we fell asleep cuddling, I met L’s other lady, I had a great chat with my friend’s husband, I chatted and hugged and shed the awkward with D, and had a great, super fun non-adulting night with friends who accept me for exactly who I am.

Sunday, I had a Lego date with my 3-year-old, my eldest two came back from my parents’ and we had a cuddling movie night.  Then L came over, we chatted, and cuddled, and started a movie, and he decided to go home because he was tired, and the goodnight kiss ended up in more work on my blow job skills.  😉  (My main joke right now is that since I can’t have sex, I’m going to work on perfecting my blowjob skills and successfully deep throating.) It was just full of connection and awesome.  I like what I have with L.  He’s so sweet.  I describe him as the “cute new guy” to everyone.  He’s just lovely.  Kind, and funny, and strong, and accepting, and enthusiastic.  He’s a good match for me and my relationship with him is a good complement to my relationship with A.  A, I refer to as “sexy grandpa”, because that is exactly what he is.    

I’m back on OKC, on Friday, I eliminated the other 2 guys I was dating from contention for legitimate but rather boring reasons. They are both nice guys.  I’d have a great time with both of them.  But neither can give me what I need, so I needed to walk away.  Of course, this means that I’m talking to more men than I can keep track of, but it’s pretty great.  I have a date on Wednesday, and should have one or more others coming up.  A is going out of town next weekend, so I’m going out with L’s other girl on Friday, which should be fun.  

The biggest and most amazing thing is that F and I are in a good place again.  We had a great meeting with our lawyers today, and we are at the point of drafting a separation agreement.  I got basically everything I wanted and I think he’s happy too.  So much stress just disappeared from my life.

Now, if only I could have sex.  Because damn, 6 weeks is a long time.

 

Six long weeks

Smack dab in the feelings. That’s where I landed tonight.

A friend invited me to her birthday party in the first week of August today.  She specifically invited A with me, which is kind of awesome.  I invited him along.  Sure enough, he’s gone that weekend. Then he’s away for 2 weeks starting the weekend after.  And I’m gone the weekend he gets back.  So we just lost every weekend in August. Every. Single. Weekend.  I’m having surgery on Wednesday. I’m getting a tubal ligation and uterine ablation. As a now “single” woman, I need to be in control of my fertility, and this is the best way. Of course I’m safe about my sex.  Condoms are an investment I make in bulk. Sexual health is important to me.  But most definitely, my uterus is closed for inhabitation, and I won’t be leaving control of such a situation up to the men I’m having sex with or a piece of latex.

But the thing is, I’m going to lose a couple weeks of recovery time to this procedure, possibly more. The recovery time can be anywhere from one to six weeks.  So, we’ve also lost the last couple of weeks in July.  It may be as distant as September the next time we can have sex.  This makes me sad. I guess it will depend on my pain and how well I heal, and the ridiculous schedule the men in my life have.  I had absolutely incredible sex with L on Friday afternoon and what was going to be mind-blowing sex with A that was interrupted with real life on Friday evening, and then he spent the night for the first time in our entire relationship and it was amazing and I wish I could have enjoyed it properly, but he had to leave early in the morning, and biology decided to fuck with me and be a giant pain in the ass this morning, and my period arrived three days early, when I was really hoping to use those three days to bank all the sex I could before I had surgery.  So, now sex is off the table for the foreseeable future, A and I probably won’t be able to have sex for two to six weeks or so, and L and I won’t have sex for at least two to 4 weeks.  Maybe one of the other three men I’m dating/interested in may move in there, but the reality is that this girl who needs a little more attention won’t get the sexual attention she needs.  Chances are, regardless of need for sexual attention, the men in my life won’t be available.


I wrote this several days ago.  Yesterday, I had my tubal ligation and endometrial ablation.  I had a bit of hope when the nurse told me it would be only a couple of weeks until I could have sex, but the obstetrician burst that bubble just before I went into surgery and told me it would be 4-6 weeks.  The endometrial ablation basically destroys all the cells in the lining of my uterus, and so no penetration with anything is allowed for 4-6 weeks due to the risk of infection.  So, it’s going to be the end of August before I get to have sex.  I know what it’s like to need IV antibiotics because of a major infection, that’s not something I want to repeat, so I shouldn’t complain. It’s totally worth it.  But damn if it isn’t going to be hard. I should have had this procedure when I was still married to F and didn’t care if I had sex for months at a time.  Well, I’m sure I’ll live through it, and it’s not like I have to be a nun during that time.  I’ll find ways to enjoy myself and the men in my life.

Among the funnier things yesterday was my mom coming to pick me up from the hospital and asking me how I was feeling and me answering “I’m stoned”, and us both laughing about the fact that we never expected me to supply that answer voluntarily when she was picking me up.  The anesthesiologist I had was the same woman who gave me my epidural with baby #3.  Somehow, we ended up having a conversation about misogyny in academia and in her chosen profession, congratulations about separations, and everything in between.  In general, the whole thing was fun and interesting and relatively painless, thanks to some Tylenol 3’s and my parents who spoiled me rotten, and exceptionally good medical staff.  

Today, I’m feeling a little bit tender and swollen. I stole away for a lunch with A, which was, by far, the highlight of my day.  The man gives the best hugs and the after lunch hug has sustained me for the rest of the day.

I’m back with my munchkins now, having convinced F that he should put them to sleep to give me a little extra time to recover, since I’m not supposed to lift anything and I have a toddler who loves to be carried everywhere.  I got a lovely welcome from #2 and tomorrow will be full of cuddles and relaxation, while my new nanny gets acquainted with the kids.  It should be good.

The one

Now that summer is here and school is over, life is calm and easy and fun and fulfilling, which means I have packed my days full of socializing with friends, dating the wonderful men in my life, hanging out with my crazy army of monkeys, and working my second job.  Add to this getting used to the new parenting agreement and working towards establishing my independence, and you have a recipe for great change, worthwhile challenges, and some (very manageable) stress.

I’m fortunate enough to work somewhere with supportive people. After my “breakdown” a month ago, I actively decided to take it a little easier. Give myself time to process and heal and make myself a priority.  I told one of my supervisors this last week, and she just said she was glad I am taking care of myself and not to stress about anything.  Having a job I love extends past what I do to having amazing, supportive, and caring coworkers.

A few days ago, I had a flood of social gatherings during the day.  I had back-to-back-to-back-to-back dates, although only one was with a man I am dating.  First I met a friend from when I lived abroad, and had a lovely coffee date with her.  We caught up and giggled and reconnected.  Then I headed off to L’s house for what was supposed to be a very quick visit that ended up being closer to 2 hours and involved my clothes not staying on.  The last couple weeks, I’ve been actively limiting my time with L, because he’s not attached to anyone else, and I’ve been playing it safe to prevent us from moving too fast, because it’s pretty damn easy to fall into relationship escalation when there aren’t other people to prioritize in the form of other relationships and children.  So, I’m working on establishing a norm that works for us.  Then, of course, I had a bad day at my second job and ended up spontaneously asking if he wanted to go out for dinner the next day and had another date the next day.  Maybe I’m fooling myself?  But I digress.

The third date, which corresponded with dinner time, was with a girl who was my best friend in grade 10.  That’s right, I’m still friends with someone I’ve known for 25 years.  What’s unique about this friendship is that still, years later, even when we don’t see each other for a couple years, we just pick up where we left off.  I last saw her 2 years ago.  My youngest was still in his larval stages and we met for lunch and chatted for a couple hours. It was when I was adjusting to my PPD meds and I wasn’t at my best.  So, a few things have changed.  I filled her in on the happenings with F and then decided to go all out and tell her about polyamory. Of course, a friend of 25 years who has known me so long, doesn’t judge. She just accepts, asks tons of questions, and asks if she can email me with more questions in a couple weeks.  We laughed and reconnected and the whole meal was full of acceptance and love.  I got an email from her yesterday saying that she wanted to reiterate that she loves me no matter what.  She’s good people.

My final coffee was with a friend I went to grad school with and we had our normal in depth, intellectual, theoretical, and kind of ridiculous conversation.  It was also awesome.  I haven’t seen him for a couple years, so it was pretty great to catch up.  Then in the end, I headed to my parents’ house, where I have been sleeping when F is parenting, and chatted with my mom and my aunt and headed to bed.  It was great.  A day full of love and connection.

One of the things that keeps coming up, even in the people who know I’m poly, is the statement: “One day you’ll find *the one*.”  This gives me pause, because there is no “one” for me.  But many “ones”.  It feels odd to me to  be unapologetically positive about a tubal ligation next week, but it’s such an element of choosing to live my life on my own terms and do what makes me happy.  I love my kids, but I sure know I don’t want any more of them.  The “one” and the “no more kids” decision fit into the same general decision of making my life the life I want to live, choosing actively what is best for me, for my kids, and for the people I love, including the men in my life.  I guess I just have to explain to every monogamous person I know that “the one” doesn’t exist for me, and that truth is wrapped up, intricately, in my happiness.