Perfectly imperfect

I’ve been dating.  I had a fabulous first date last week with a guy I’ve been talking with for ages.  We have another date next week, and we’ve been chatting a lot.  I really like him.  I think there might be something there.  He might even get a letter in this blog the next time I write.   I’m talking to a handful of other guys, some of whom really interest me, some of whom I’m just chatting with because they are nice guys and I like getting to know new people.  But it’s good. I’m moving forward. Lord knows I need one or two more guys to fill the gaping hole in my sex life.  I always have more room for love, so that isn’t an issue.

What’s amazing and awesome in all of this is that F and I are doing well. We had our first meeting with our lawyers on Friday, and it was really positive. We came up with a parenting order.  The highlight for me was definitely that both my lawyer and his gave him shit for the way he was treating me, for being inappropriate, and making assumptions.  The look on his face was amazing. Second to that is when I called his discount lawyer on some assumption he was making about my position.  Sure, F was 10 minutes late, which translated to 45 minutes late to the actual meeting, costing me more than $150 just to chat with my lawyer, but we walked away with a parenting order.  He’s going to parent more.  I’m going to leave our house so he can stay overnight with the kids.  I’m going to get a break.  It’s going to work. I’m sure of it!!! We have another meeting set for early July, and things are moving forward. I’m thrilled.

What was cool was that afterwards, F and I had a great conversation. He felt much better, stating he was surprised we didn’t argue about parenting (despite the fact that I made it clear from day one that I wanted shared parenting!).  He was so friendly, and kind, and there was laughter and hugs and a dance party in the kitchen.  We really got along.  It was great.  I have so much hope, going forward, that we will be friends and co-parent in a productive way that means not only our children will be happy, but we will be too.

I saw A for drinks the other day.  There were several hours of talking and laughing and just being, it was wonderful, but it was very much a consolation prize compared to our nights together.  Lately, our schedules just haven’t been lining up. This is actually affecting me more than I let on.  While I love the chatting and joking and conversation and the endless teasing that happens between us, I want to *be* with him.  I want to cuddle and laugh and kiss and get annoyed with him and try to distract him from his joking asshattery.  I want to spend quality time with him. The kind of quality time that only he can provide.  I want to show him how I feel about him without saying it and have him do the same.  I just want it to work without missing him or wedging him in between other obligations.  

This last week also was characterised by funny conversations between A and I.  I have no doubt that he is committed to me.  He has so much to offer a woman, and truthfully, he could have nearly any woman in our age group, because he is that charismatic and that good in bed, but I think he is happy with what I offer him.  Among the funnier conversations was the one where he told me how much I need another boyfriend.  He said that I’m too demanding when we’re together, that he needs someone to fill the space in between so that I don’t completely wear him out.  This made me laugh.  Then, we talked about what kind of things I need in another boyfriend.  Although A is skilled in bed in way very very very few men have been, there are certain things that I would like to get from others.  One of the things that D was (extremely) proficient in was his oral.  So, we talked about how I needed a replacement for that awesomeness.  It was hilarious trying to come up with potential “interview” questions for someone for the position of my boyfriend given this criteria, and I used some on one of the guys I’ve seen this past week.

Among other things, A reconnected with an old partner this week.  They are probably meeting in the next week, which is awesome for him.  He’s cute in that he thinks she doesn’t want more from him than coffee/drinks, but he must know better.  A woman doesn’t text out of the blue to meet without wanting more.  I hope he enjoys their reconnection, but I’d be lying if I said I thought it was entirely a good idea.  He doesn’t have the emotional energy to devote to himself and his business, let alone another girlfriend. This is honest and sounds jealous, but the reality is that if both of us are having such trouble getting in the same place at the same time and just being together, adding another person to the mix isn’t going to make it easier.  But in the end, the decision is his and I’ll be happy no matter what he chooses.

Another thing he said was that when he came into my life as a partner in January, he was third.  Behind F, and then D, who was behind F, and that he was never prepared to be #1.  I had honestly never thought of him as #1, which might sound bad, but I guess I just always knew he had obligations and engagements that were going to be so far outside of our relationship that I never really considered the ramifications of the fact that he is my only partner right now.  But he’s right, he can’t be everything to me, and while I don’t expect him to be, it must be hard to be the married boyfriend of a newly separated, recently dumped, solo-poly girl with four kids.  Perhaps I should spend a little more time thinking about our interactions than just being?  Maybe.

In the end, I’m enjoying dating again.  I’m quite interested and intrigued by several men I’ve been chatting with.  K is still in the picture, and I’m hoping that our first date will happen soon.  The new guy has promise. There are about three more guys who also have potential, whom I am getting to know.  I hope to one day be musing about the hard decisions I have to make about who to prioritize and all the awesome sex I’m having.

As a side note, god I miss the days when I had lots of awesome sex.

Life is moving forward in its wonderful and crazy and complicated ways.  Some days are hard and awful, but most have moments of love and laughter and happiness.  Some are full of family and connection and love and perfection.  So many more are full of good than those that are full of bad.  I truly love my perfectly imperfect life.  

Broken

The last week has been amazing in so many ways.  Things are falling into place.  F and I are working together really well.  Our bi-weekly finance discussion went so smoothly this week that we ended up thanking each other for working as a team and cooperating so well.  We laughed about things our crazy kids did.  I offered to do some things for him, he for me.  It was so….functional.  

My job is gearing down for the summer.  This is awesome, because it has been, at times, rather insane, with long days and intense work stresses.  I love my job, but even a job I love gets overwhelming with pressure sometimes.  I  also had a great weekend with so many friends around me that love me.

So everything is shiny and beautiful and perfect, right?

No.

I’ve been really down the last couple of days.  This is completely unlike me. I’m normally a super positive person.  I usually have to focus on something super sad to even cry when I want to.  (Unless I’m angry, I can cry very easily when pissed off).  Yesterday, for unknown reasons, my date ghosted and I ended up alone in the evening.  This isn’t that big of a deal. I like being alone with myself.  I’m great company for myself.  But the overwhelming sadness just wasn’t going away.  I asked A to go out for a drink, but he was busy.  This isn’t surprising, he’s always busy these days, and I’m trying to be cognizant of exactly how much I’m asking of him, which in recent weeks has been more than he can give because I haven’t been coping with life that well. I know that sometimes I need to find my support elsewhere, and working out exactly what I need to do to get what I need and, truthfully, even recognizing what I need, is a challenge.  

So, since I was utterly alone last night, I headed into our gorgeous river valley to feed the mosquitoes go for a walk.  I decided I was going to focus on the super sad things that have happened in my life in the last 5 months, to see which one was the one that was trying to make itself known.  I had 2 grandparents die.  My dad was diagnosed with cancer.  My sister attacked me unfairly in a family text conversation and we haven’t talked since.  D broke up with me via email.  I asked F for a separation and we have had near endless conflict for about 9 months. I figured if I was sad, I probably had one or more of these things still to deal with. What this meant is that I was completely overrun with despair. I walked and walked and stifled tears the whole way.  I was feeling dejected and unloved and unwanted and weak and overwhelmingly hurt.  I can’t explain how bad I felt, I haven’t ever felt the way I did last night.  I got back to my car, sat in the driver’s seat and cried.  Full on sobbing, ugly tears, break-down cried.  It hurt in my heart and my stomach and my head.  I cried for probably a good 20 minutes until F texted me to ask me if I was coming home soon because he wanted to get to W’s house.  I figured if I sat there much longer, someone would call the cops because they would be concerned for my safety, thinking I was about to jump in the river or something.  So, I drove home with tears in my eyes, just hoping I could hold it together while I said goodbye to F so that I didn’t have to explain to him that I was broken but didn’t know why.  

Well, that didn’t work.  I walked in and he immediately asked me if I was OK.  I said I didn’t want to talk about it and stood their crying silently as he talked about the day he and the kids had.  He looked up and realized what was happening and stopped talking and offered me a hug.  I declined and he asked if I was sure.  I took the hug.  It was the first proper hug he’s given me since early February.  It wasn’t what I needed, but it helped. It got me out in the yard to do some work before I went to bed and helped redirect me.

I was chatting with X and K during the evening as they both asked how I was doing and I was honest.  X said he had been thinking that he wondered how I did it all, and he concluded that I am Wonder Woman.  K said that he didn’t know how I held up as long as I did and that I’m superhero strong and a real lioness.  In my weakest moment, two people who I care about deeply said something about me being so strong.  I felt so vulnerable and so broken.  I cried even more then, but it helped to realize that people who actually know me see me as a strong person, and that it was OK that I was sad.

I think what happened, or what is happening, is that life has calmed down.  I’m no longer running on adrenaline, putting metaphorical fires out, bouncing from one stressful life event to the next.  I don’t have constant conflict in my life.  I’m not busy like I was a couple months ago.  I’ve had sufficient, and even abundant, down-time lately.  Dealing with the stresses in my life, on top of parenting my children, maintaining my career, boyfriends, friendships, and family obligations has been overwhelming the past months, and I was just operating on autopilot, because I didn’t have the luxury of taking time to process.  I think my subconscious decided that now that I have time, it was OK for me to feel all the feelings.  All those feelings came out all at once last night.  I broke.

This is all OK. Actually normal.  Of course I couldn’t hold it all together.  Who could?  

My friend, the one who came for my birthday, when I posted about my crying in a group we are in together with four of our mutual friends, said: “ It’s normal to feel some sadness. While there are some great things happening in your life, there is also some not so great things happening in your life. Sometimes it’s great to have a good cry.”

Rock reforms with the pressure of water.  Water carves canyons and creates beautiful creations simply by running over it.  I’m hoping that’s what my tears are doing, helping me reform and create something beautiful.  

 

A good place

On Friday, I decided I was taking this weekend to myself.  To be alone and reflect and do some self care.  As alone as one can be when having to keep four young kids alive, anyway.  Saturday and Sunday, I spent in my yard.  I planted most of my garden, mowed the lawn, trimmed the trees, weeded flower beds, and worked.  I got dirty, sweaty, and hot; it was amazing. My kids ran around naked and played in the little paddling pool and got wet naked bums and went shooting out the slide into the pool. My little man learned a bunch of new words this weekend and came and grabbed my hand and dragged me to the couch for a cuddle, which melted my heart.  My girls were lovely, fun, and full of spunk.  The kids played with the neighbourhood kids.  It was easy and relaxing and fun and I processed. Oh how I processed.

I’m in a really good place. The knot in my stomach, the lump in my throat, and the pain in my heart are gone.  I’ve worked at accepting that I may never understand why D ended it the way he did and that I may never understand what my part in it was.  I’ve concluded that I can say it was not me, it was him.  The anger and hurt have dissipated and I think about D far less every day.  So much less that I am forgetting I’m angry about the way he ended it and happy memories float in instead.  As is always the case with me, I can’t stay angry or hold a grudge.  I process quickly, and I’m confident that in no time I’ll just be looking back at everything but our break up with a fondness for how amazing it once was.  The truth is, it was amazing. A relationship ending does not mean it was a bad relationship.  It was a great relationship.  It just had a bad ending.

In among the hurt that I was dealing with last week, F threw me another curve ball in our separation.  A and D had both been suggesting for a long time that I was being too nice.  So, I stopped being so nice.  I’m playing hard ball to his curve ball and he’s upped the passive aggressive bullshit and I’m tired of it.  So I’m going to just let it go and wait and see and try to enjoy my kids and the time I have with A. I need to let go of all the hurt and anger and just be. Take things one step at a time.  Lean on my people and just do stuff in the meantime.

Part of what I did yesterday was reactivate my OKCupid account. I really like getting to know people, talking to them and seeing where things go.  It’ll have to be a pretty strong connection to even get me out on a first date, but there’s no harm in chatting, right? I’m truly not “ready” to date, but I also don’t know when I will be, or if the good time will ever come.  I’m going to play things by ear and see where they go.  I’ve had a lot of messages on Fetlife in the last weeks and am still chatting with K, who I will almost certainly date one day.  The reality is that A’s schedule isn’t going to lighten up in the foreseeable future and we’ve fallen into a good routine with our one in home date every week and stealing a moment here or there otherwise.  I don’t want him to feel pressured for more than he can offer either and that means I might have to get my rocks off elsewhere periodically. I’m polyamorous, so it’s a little odd to have just one man in my life. (If someone would have told me I would write that sentence a year ago, I’d say they were nuts!) I’m just going to be open to possibilities right now and see how things go.

Either way, I’m back to being happy with the life I’ve chosen for myself. I know the decisions I’ve made were right and even though the pain of polyagony has been abundant as of late, living the life I was meant to live and accepting myself as who I am is worth every bit of pain.  I could, however, use a bit of a break.  

The dawn

Well, 9 hours after I got dumped for the first time in my life, I woke up at 4:30 am and baked a cake, chatted with G and K about my break up and have come to a reasonably good place.  Sure, I know I’ll go a few more rounds of feelings and hurt and processing before I’m done, but the reality is that I have bigger things in my life going on and they are way more important than my hurt and disappointment in D.

My primary thoughts are that I’ve learned something about him that I didn’t know previously.  He’s the kind of guy who will, out of nowhere, break up with a girl he says he loves, after six months without so much as one conflict, because he feels like she is an “obligation”.  He doesn’t try to get to the root of the problem.  He doesn’t communicate his concerns.  He encounters the first “problem”, and without communicating with the person he has the issue with, the person he says he loves, he leaves.  He walks away from challenge.  He does so without even having the courtesy of doing it in person.  He sends a lame email and he doesn’t even attempt to explain.  Lame, half-assed apologies are what he offers.

Well, my disappointment in him and how he handled this is simple to understand. I was blindsided.  It’s obvious that he’s not handling my separation well. What else could it be?  He’s excused every bad mood with how busy he’s been or how stressful work is or other things, never once did he communicate that he was having a hard time with me talking to him about my separation.  I had no idea he was internalizing my issues and that he wasn’t coping with my conflict. Had he communicated it?  I could have gone elsewhere for support. But he told me he wanted to be there as a source of support.

Let’s forget how lame it is that he can’t handle the complexities of my life, the complexities, I may add, that I’m navigating amazingly well with little impact on my life let alone the life of others, and focus on the fact that he had an issue and didn’t communicate it.  I don’t want to be with someone who thinks so little of me that he will drop me via email six months into a relationship that had zero issues with no explanation.  Now that I know this part of who he is, I don’t want to be with him.

So, this morning, I’m more focused on the one thing about him I will miss – his amazing oral skills and the best orgasms of my life.  The reality is that my feelings for him were probably intricately linked to those orgasms, so they wouldn’t come back anyway.  So I’ll mourn their loss in the same practical way I mourn the loss of what I thought was a near perfect relationship.

And I added getting dumped to my 40 things before 40 list. Because I’ve never been dumped before…..

A weekend with those I love

I’ve spent nearly all the time in the last 3 days with my munchkins.  It’s been awesome.  The highlight by far was G coming over with her son and her son calling my eldest daughter a “douche”.  It was beyond funny. G and I get a kick out of our kids trying to navigate the challenges of being kids without taking much very seriously. It works very well.

I’m really worried about F. As much as he makes my life very difficult, he is really not coping with life in general.  He was rather awful to our eldest yesterday and it ended in her doing an amazing job of communicating what was bother her and him completely failing to listen to her message.  The girls have been saying they don’t want daddy to take care of them because he yells and is angry.  It breaks my heart that the man who was such an amazing role model such a short time ago is doing such a poor job right now. Those kids love him.  They just want their daddy.  Right now, he still has time to be their dad.  But he’s slowly destroying his relationship with them, and one day, they aren’t going to want to be with him anymore. That breaks my heart.

I was talking with G today about all the things that are going on.  About A and D and K and H and all the other things in our cumulative lives.  Again, I realized exactly how incredibly blessed I am.  I have so many people on my team and in my life, who accept me and support me and love me (or like me a little) who lift me up and make me a better person and help me be happy despite all the stress.

One evening when I was telling D about what was going on with F and all the other things in my life and the hilarity of one thing or another that my little herd of assholes did, he stopped me mid-sentence and said: “You’re amazing”.  I didn’t understand why he stopped me to say so and although I’m working on my ability to take a compliment, I’m still not that good at it. So I asked him why.  He said because I have such a good attitude despite all the shit that I’m getting handed to me. That I never catch a break, but my positivity never changes.  I guess I can’t say it enough, but the truth of the matter is that I’m still very happy.  I have amazing friends, incredible family, and two men who provide me with everything I could possibly need in way of support and love and connection, even if I could handle seeing both of them more often.  I recognize that my problems with F are temporary.  That no matter what, I have four beautiful, innocent, and incredible kids who need at least one parent who is there for them through this all. Truthfully, I love those little monkeys, enjoy spending time with them, and while they are normal kids who drive me crazy and make me burst with love for them at near regular intervals, they are everything that matters and every reason that I move forward with a smile on my face.  I know this stuff with F is temporary. But my life with those gorgeous beings who grew inside me and I brought into this world is permanent.  They are my most important relationships.  In fact, G said today that she would not date a man who didn’t talk about his kids as part of his daily life.  That her primary relationship is and will always be with her child.  Indeed, my primary relationship is with those beings.  That is something that will never change.  So, as much as I said a few days ago that my primary relationship was with myself, I guess the reality is that I have four primary relationships, and a “secondary” with myself (or is it a fifth primary?).    

I am fortunate.  I am dating two married men. They don’t demand from me more than I can give them. They are both fathers. They know I understand that they have priorities before me. This doesn’t diminish my meaning to them, in fact, I think that it increases our connection, because we can choose to be who we are to each other, within the parameters that already exist in our lives.  D has chosen an involvement in my life that includes my kids.  He will eventually meet my mom when she becomes a little more comfortable with the life I’ve chosen.  He will charm her like he does everyone else. A has chosen to not be a part of my children’s lives.  That is also more than OK.  We have an amazing time together.  He’s met my kids, but he doesn’t have a relationship with th, and while that day may come, it also may not.  And that’s OK.  I think, although I don’t know, that part of the reason I mean what I do to A and D is because I understand their relationships with their wives and children and families and I don’t demand more from them than they want to give.   

I took the day off on friday to hang out with my kids.  In the afternoon, we headed to D’s work to collect a hug and a little love before he left town for the weekend.  My middle two were awake in the car while my little man slept.  D got in my car and gave me a kiss.  My second, says: “OOOOH, Mommy has a boyfriend!”.  D says “Hi” to the girls, my third says “Hi, I love you” (She totally loves D, it’s awesome), and my second says “Mommy, kisses are gross, you shouldn’t kiss boys.”  So I say “But you ask me for kisses all the time, you like kisses.” She says: “Ya, but adult kisses are gross, and you kissed an adult boy and that’s yucky.”  So I kissed D again and laughed while she made sounds like it was gross. Some day, those “yucky” hugs and kiss are exactly what keeps me happy and positive through the day. Not just driving round trip for an hour to collect a couple kisses and hugs and in total time of 20 minutes and then head home, but the knowledge that there is someone (or two) out there who cares about me in that way.  

Friday evening, A came over for the first time in what seems like forever.  It was incredible.  I woke up very tired on Saturday with bruises in all the right places, sore throughout my body, and recharged and grounded in a way that an evening with him provides. (And wishing for more). There was a point in the evening (by evening, I mean about 2 am) that I was falling asleep in his arms after hours of talking and drinking and naked time.  I was relaxed and happy and content in that moment.  He said something about me starting to snore and falling asleep and how he should go home. I just grabbed his arms, and wrapped them around me, and assumed the role of little spoon.  In that moment, that was everything I needed. It was the aftercare that helped me feel safe and secure and cared for after our night of exceptionally rough and hot and hard sexy time.  It was everything I needed.  About two hours later, I woke up and rolled over, feeling complete and happy and A got dressed and went home after a brief kiss at the door. (Did I mention I love that I don’t have to wash, even the best looking underwear, of my men?)

What is missing from this story is that in the two days before, we had had a miscommunication about love that left me feeling rather disappointed and sad, feeling like he didn’t care about love with me, when he meant that he wasn’t prescribing a path for love to take or concerned if we made it there, but just letting what happens happen.  In that moment, the moment I read his email that said “It doesn’t matter to me if we ever reach the point where we are in love or say it”, I realized exactly where I am with my relationship with A and what I want from it.  It was a profound moment, marked by disappointment and sadness due to miscommunication.  It reminded me of how committed I am to him.  It reminded me that I am more than willing to work through the frustration of our limited time together, due both to my schedule, but mostly his, because the alternative is unthinkable.  The alternative to having to practice patience is to not have him in my life.  And that is not an option that I’m willing to entertain.  There’s something about A that invokes all the good feelings and makes me happy with uncertainty and provides comfort in the undefined. I kind of like him a little bit.  😉