Guys, I did good!

My title is a bit of a joke and a bit of a pat on the back directed towards myself.  

For the first time in our relationship, A started dating someone that I hadn’t introduced him to.  Last week, when he let me know that sex was on the table for him and the new girl, I wasn’t particularly upset, but I had some confusing feelings that I needed time to process.  In the end, I realized they were all insecurities that I needed to work through and had nothing to do with him. I don’t want to really go into the details of the insecurities that reared their ugly heads, partly because it’s embarrassingly unattractive and I’m a little disgusted at myself for having them in the first place, part of that is that I was pretty bluntly honest about them with S and G last week, and I didn’t exactly get the response I needed when putting out all that vulnerability from S (G nailed it, as she always does), and because I’m mostly past them and really don’t want to re-feel all the feels.  Also, A and I had a total communication fuck up around the whole thing, he totally dropped the ball, I totally wasn’t clear about what I was feeling, and in the end it became a thing when it wasn’t supposed to ever be a thing and all I needed was some acknowledgment and maybe a little reassurance, so…ugh…no more.

So, A and new girl had their date the other day.  I was genuinely concerned with how I would deal with it, because it was a completely unknown situation to me.  A true first. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it popped into my mind a few times on Sunday night, but the thing was, it was more factual, like “I wonder if it’s happening now?”, and then super excitement for him.  No jealousy. I actually tried to dig deep to see if there would be some kind of upset feelings, and I couldn’t find any. It just didn’t bother me.

However, being proactive, I did ask him a few details over messenger the next day, and asked him to stop by for a debrief.  You see, I know myself well, and I know that my imagination makes up way worse things in my head than the truth ever brings.  So he stopped by after work and we had a (very disjointed thanks to the crazy assholes I brought into this world) chat about his night.  The thing was, he’s so cute. The smiles and exhaustion and general contentment were so amazing to see. I felt a level of compersion I’ve never felt before.  

This just makes me happy.  Happy for A, yes, but happy for me, even more.  I have an amazing relationship with A. We are so comfortable and stable and it’s really fucking good.  I realized the other day that while we’ll never have that NRE and excitement that we may once have had (I don’t actually remember it, because it was all wrapped up in the weirdness that was our beginning), what we have is so much better.  That compersion came easy for me, well, that just makes me happy, and reinforces, again, that this life I’ve chosen is right for me.

 

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Healing a lifetime of hurt

My dad died last weekend.  I found out on Facebook. I was shocked. I didn’t know who to call, so like anyone, I called my mom and then my step-dad.  A few minutes later, my step-dad called me back and I asked him what happened. He was shocked I hadn’t heard. Then he told me that they found out the afternoon before when they called my sister to wish her a Happy Birthday. Turned out she found my dad around 1 p.m.  He had been dead for a couple of days. My mom asked her if she wanted her to call me to tell me and my sister said she would call me. She didn’t call until 9:30 p.m. She had to call from my dad’s phone because I have her blocked. She didn’t leave a message. I was already in bed when she called.  I had noticed earlier that someone had sent me a message request on messenger but ignored it because I was enjoying my time with A. That message came in around 6 p.m. It was a message of condolence from my dad’s boss’ daughter-in-law. She knew my dad was dead a full 16 hours before I found out. I got her message and a message from an aunt and was so confused. I had no idea who died.  I went to my dad’s Facebook page and saw messages of condolence, all posted before my sister called to tell me. In the end, I called my sister and talked to her. She was obviously hurting as she told me the story. She kept saying “When I get the body” and “I have to…” I reminded her that I was there to help. I am still reminding her that I am here to help.

After I got off the phone with her, all I could think was how awful it must have been that she walked into my dad’s house on her birthday and found him dead in bed.  He had been there for several days. It must have been so very traumatizing, especially since she isn’t exactly medical in nature and she was really close to my dad. She hates me, and I can see how in that situation, it must have caused her a lot of anxiety just thinking about calling me.  I’m not sure why she didn’t leave a message. I wish she had. In the end, while I don’t think she dealt with the situation well, I decided that she had been through enough pain and trauma with finding my dad that forgiveness was the way to go about the way she dealt with telling me. I’m still working on forgiving her as I process my dad’s death, but I’ll get there, hopefully without ever mentioning to her how much it hurt that I learned about it after so many other people.

Here’s the thing about my dad: I mourned the loss of my relationship with him years ago.  I realized that I couldn’t go on being disappointed and hurt every time I saw him or talked to him.  I had to be the adult in our dynamic, because he never would be. It meant coming up with realistic expectations of who he was and what he could be in my life.  It also meant coming up with some pretty well defined boundaries about what was acceptable and what wasn’t in our relationship. This means I really restricted the amount of time he spent with me, especially after I had kids, because I couldn’t have him hurting me anymore and I couldn’t have him doing to my children what he had done to me as a kid.  Really, it was just a series of unmet promises and passive aggressive attacks. I don’t want to focus on those negatives, but let’s just say that I married a smart version of my dad in F, and repeated the history anyway. Now F is just doing the same thing my dad did to me to my kids.

What this all means is that I’ve been processing the death of my dad reasonably well.  I didn’t feel guilt or even sadness that I hadn’t talked to him for so long. My sister has enjoyed making quips about how “he felt the same about me as I did about him”, which I think to her means he hated me, but the fact is, I didn’t hate my dad. I loved him.  I just couldn’t give him power in my life and couldn’t let him be a big part of it. I want to get to the funeral and to the estate settlement part more so that I can be done dealing with my sister than anything. I just finally got her out of my life three weeks ago, and now she’s back in it.  The problem is that the details of settling his estate will probably be messy. I’m very actively hoping that he cut me out of his will and left everything to my sister so I can just wash my hands of the whole thing and not deal with her.

The problem is, as much as I am OK about dad dying, what happened was that his death took my capacity to deal with everything else away. This hit me hard this morning.  On Monday, after I found out about dad, I got my kids back. F and I had an amazing chat on my front step where we got along really well and I was really hopeful that we had turned a corner in our dealings with each other. Of course, this meant that I let my guard down and on Friday when he deducted money off his child support payment unfairly, I started crying in the middle of work.  Without getting into detail, my second job is in emergency services. Yesterday, I was triggered due to an event that happened that really was a nothing event, but brought back the memory of some really horrible things I’ve experienced in the job. I didn’t understand at the time, but I knew enough to ask my boss if I could have today off work. Now, I’m not exactly a delicate flower. I don’t show my “weaker” emotions often.  Usually, if I cry, it’s alone in my room with no one the wiser. Sometimes I’ll tell people after I’ve processed. It’s just who I am. Add to this that in 5 years working there, I have called in sick twice and I’ve never ever asked for anything from anyone. So when I advocated for myself to my boss, it was a big thing. Like huge. But I wasn’t over the top emotional or anything, I was just advocating for my needs. And he forgot.  At least that was his excuse this morning when our mental health support team lead talked to him about the situation. So, in the end, I came in to work this morning, pissed that we were not actually short staffed, and talked to this team lead and went home. I slept the day away. But as I did, I realized that so many things that have been making me emotional this week are because my capacity to cope is gone.

These things include A’s comment about me being “Temporary”.  Normally I don’t let words get to me like that, and would just talk to him and deal with it instead of let it cause me to really doubt him and our relationship. Normally, I don’t cry when F is being a colossal douchebag (he always is), I just get annoyed and then remind myself how happy I am that I no longer have to live with him and have a life together.  Normally, a couple harder calls in my emergency services job just make me sad for humanity, not cry in my car during my break. Normally, I don’t cry in front of several coworkers as I explain how my boss failed me when I reached out for help. The thing is, this situation isn’t normal. So much about my life isn’t “normal”, but it’s not normal to have your dad die and have your sister not tell you and find out on Facebook. It’s not normal to have to deal with babies dying as part of your job.  It’s not normal to have all this happen and not have time to talk to the person you love about something he said a week ago. Realizing that helped remind me that, as my mom says, I’m “a normal person reacting to an abnormal situation”.

Knowing why I feel the way I do, why I’m not coping well, why it’s OK that I’m hurt and sad is the key to me processing and moving on.  It makes it easier for me to understand and let myself be “weak”. Yes, I know that I’m not actually weak because I’m feeling all the feels, but this is who I am, and having others see me emotional is not comfortable for me.  It’s something I’m working on, but after years of being attacked for my emotional responses to things, hiding my hurt is my go to, and unlearning such an unhealthy protective mechanism isn’t easy.

I’ve been forced to show some pretty raw emotion in many situations this week because the shock of the emotion or the ferocity with which it hit have been too much to hide until I’m alone. This includes the tears I shed on A’s chest after I found out my dad died and today at work when I was talking to my coworkers/team leads about how I wasn’t coping and why I was triggered.  What’s more, I recognized immediately that I needed to explain to S and A what was really going on in my head, so I had to dump the horrible details about what triggered me and why it happened and acknowledge that my lack of coping with everything was affecting me in ways I didn’t understand at the time, but was only now processing. As hard as this has been, the fact that I was able to communicate the hard time I am having to both the people who love me and ask for help from the people I work with is a huge victory for me.  Me from a year ago never would have done that. I would have said that I was having a hard time, but never asked for what I needed and definitely never explained why I was having trouble. The most anyone would have gotten from me was a narrative after I had processed the pain and the emotions that told them what I went through in a casual, unattached, factual way. To me, the fact that I asked for what I needed, even if it wasn’t recognized, and that I communicated, while highly emotional, exactly why I was so upset, is a huge victory.  What it tells me is that I am really working my way towards healing from the dysfunction of my marriage. I’m not fearful of my emotions and how other people will take them any more, I’m owning my emotions and advocating for myself.

As I sit here and think about that fact, I think about my good friend who apologized to me when I told her something she said to me upset me many years ago.  How I was shocked and amazed that someone could apologize for something without blaming me for my response to what she said. She didn’t accuse me of being too sensitive or make excuses. She acknowledged my feelings and apologized.  She was the first person to ever do that. Years later, I’ve only just realized how F always blamed me for my feelings or criticized me for overreacting. Even when he hurt me so badly that I couldn’t stop hurting, he would tell me I should learn to take a joke.  A year after I asked for a divorce, thus removing his ability to minimize my emotions or hurt me for being human, I’m a completely different person. While being vulnerable is still scary as hell for me, I am not incapable of taking the steps to reach out to people around me.  This has a huge amount to do with the fact that I have really chosen the people in my life who lift me up and love me for me. A and S are the main people who figure into this fact. S, for validating my emotions, understanding my motivations, desires, and complexities, and for just being her.  We’ve never had conflict, so I don’t know how that would go, but probably a whole lot of functional conversation and giggles. A and I though, we’ve had our things. I generally write about them here, so it’s not exactly a secret. The thing is, there’s a theme too if you look at them. No matter what happens, when I tell him about how something he did or said hurt me, he apologizes.  Sincerely and without blaming me or attacking me for the way I feel.

It isn’t easy apologizing to me.  I don’t just take an apology and accept it.  In the beginning, I would have to force myself to just believe he was actually sorry.  I was always waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop as he blamed me for being too sensitive or attacked me or minimized my feelings, but that shoe has never dropped.  Sometimes, I was just so happy he apologized, I eagerly moved on without properly talking through what had happened. In those cases, the issue always reared its ugly head again and forced us to talk.  But all this time later, I’m no longer fearful of talking to him about an issue. OK, this isn’t entirely true. I still get all twisty and scared that my feelings will be attacked or he’ll be upset by my emotions and choose to leave me, but that’s years of indoctrination of fear, and I can logic my way out of that spiral pretty quickly.  I know I will always be listened to with respect and patience. I know he hears me and I know he cares about how I feel. I wasn’t scared to post my post about being called ‘Temporary’ yesterday because I know he loves knowing how I feel no matter how intense the hurt or emotion. I also knew he would read it and feel horrible about how his words affected me. (In this case, I offered him a chance to read the post in advance, but he wanted it published first). So when I received his messages apologizing to me and his comments on my post, he confirmed, yet again, what I already knew – he owns his shit.  He owns his shit without blame, pretense, drama, or hyperbole. What I didn’t realize until today was how much his ownership of his actions has meant to my healing. As I came to him with issues and we worked through them together, I gained the strength and ability to ask for what I needed from him and everyone else in my life. Slowly, one validation at a time, he helped me fix something in myself that neither of us knew I was fixing. How amazing is that?

 

Choosing to be happy

I’ve been completely devoid of inspiration for writing lately.  There was a ton of drama a couple weeks ago caused by W. It amounted to a day of stress all told and a lot of knowledge about people who I thought were my friends who weren’t followed by love and support from so many people who are my tribe.  So, I chalked it up as a reminder to not respond to her manipulations and that I can’t begin to counteract or anticipate or fight her version of crazy because I just don’t think that way. So, I’ll go on being me and not really worry about her.

As always, I’m impressed by A’s ability to acknowledge my feelings without compromising his values.  A few weeks ago he dropped on me last minute that he wouldn’t be staying the night after I was all snuggled in and ready to crash.  It was my fault for making the assumption that he would be, based on the fact that he’s stayed over every date night since January. I was quite shocked and hurt by this sudden news and didn’t exactly hide my disappointment (seriously, I completely lack a poker face anyway).  The next day, after processing a bit, I realized I just needed to ask him to give me a little earlier notice and I’d be fine. So I did. A, being A, just apologized for not giving me more notice and then the next Friday let me know a couple days before that he wouldn’t sleep over.  Problem solved.

Last night I did a presentation at an event that had me a little nervous and a lot of friends and family supporting me in the audience.  I brought A as my date. It’s the first time he’s seen me do anything even remotely professional or related to my career. It was amazing to have him there, in a way I hadn’t realized.  We have the most amazing dates and almost all of them involve only the two of us. I would never change this. I would choose a date that involved us lying in bed for hours, cuddling, chatting, laughing, and connecting alone every single time.  What I didn’t realize was how these awesome dates isolate us and our relationship from the rest of my life. Most of the other important people in my life haven’t even met A, let alone spent any time with him. It was pretty cool to have him temporarily step in to the larger part of my life and be my partner outside of my bedroom instead of on the periphery.  In fact, it meant a lot to me that he was there, even if he criticised my “ums” and “OKs” while all my other people were telling me how awesome I was. 😉

Today, I was talking to S about how she and I both are just generally happy in our relationships.  How we accept our partners for who they are and enjoy what we get and give in our relationships. Neither of us really ever complains about our partners, we just accept them for who they are and what we have.  In fact, we are both great at deciding to really enjoy the little positive things and disregard the things that are missing.

I’m not talking about major glaring red flags or abuses or the “big” things.  I’m talking about some of the things that could make things better, but really don’t matter that much. We choose to let small things that touch us mean wonderful positive things, which means we are just comfortable and satisfied in our relationships.  

This brings me to a meme that was posted in a poly group I’m part of.  

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My initial response is “HELL NO!”  Don’t get me wrong. I get that jealousy is an important and real emotion that deserves discussion and support in a relationship. I’ve been jealous and had amazing partners that helped me through it.  I’ve been the partner that attempted to help my partner through jealousy. But the thing is, spending hours reassuring a partner isn’t my thing. While I can and do offer reassurance in situations where it is warranted, the idea of ongoing and continuously dealing with jealousy issues has me wanting to run the other direction and not only give up poly, but give up relationships.  To me, the idea of spending a bunch of time having to reassure a partner or two because they aren’t owning their emotions – trying to understand the roots of their feelings, attempting to communicate them effectively, and working on discovering what will help them deal with their issues and then asking for what they need – drives me crazy. The fact is, my emotions are not caused by someone else. They are my emotional responses to an event and they are mine to process, work to understand, and then communicate with my partners.  This extends to my partners, who also need to own their own emotions.

What I realized is that part of owning my own emotions is choosing to be happy.  To take the happiness that my partners bring to our relationship. S and I concluded that part of the reason we are so emotionally competent is the we don’t get upset by perceived missing little things, we choose to see the positive in the small good things.  We choose to be happy. We choose to see what our partners are trying to give us, not what we are missing. We concluded that being happy with being loved the way your partner can and wants to love you is the good choice.

This is part of why we are people who don’t need big gestures of love or expensive presents (not that I wouldn’t happily accept these things) to feel the meaning and connection in our relationships.  It’s why we let things go. There have been a few things that have happened recently in both of my relationships that have bothered me initially that I realized were things that I just needed to accept, move past, and not worry about.  They aren’t things that are festering away in the back of my brain, they are just things that, while they initiated an emotional response, didn’t dignify me continuing to devote emotional energy to them. Choosing to be happy falls into the general category of respecting my partners, accepting them for who they are,  and being true to myself at the same time.

 

Unmet needs

The last week has kind of, well, sucked. My usual positive demeanor has been crushed into a pit of negativity and defeatism.  I’m going to just whine a bit, so be warned. I know I sound a bit like a spoiled brat. A’s on a much needed vacation. It’s been two weeks since I’ve been touched in a sexual way.  It’s been slightly less since I saw A last, but our dates where we meet for drinks, while full of intellectual and emotional connection, are nearly devoid of physical connection – unless you count a simple kiss as physical, but I don’t.  I got sick the day he left on vacation over a week ago and I haven’t touched an adult since. In fact, I haven’t touched a person I wasn’t responsible for keeping alive since. I’m dying for touch.

I’m in this lovely place in life where truly amazing people care about me.  They really respect me and love me. They look up to me and want to be with me.  These are good things. I cancelled on S the week before A left because I was so exhausted I couldn’t see straight and I only managed to kiss and grope her while drunk at the poly pub night with her hubby. Then she cancelled on me because she has amazing priorities.  Then I got sick and ruined everything and cancelled on her. So it’s been three weeks since I’ve got to hold her in my arms and I’m going crazy without her. I desperately need to reconnect with her physically.

The fact is, I’m going crazy with the lack of touch. The lack of connection. I think I’ve discovered the downside of solo-poly.  I love being strong and independent and in control. I do. But when you are sick, to the point where you don’t leave the couch for the weekend and to the point where you cancel all your plans because you don’t want to infect everyone you see, the truth is, what you really want is the person who will hold you while you are suffering.  I don’t have that. This is the first time I realized that. The reality is that I never really had that, I just had the illusion of that. When I was sick in the past, F would complain about what I needed. If I was sick in bed because I was unable to do more, it was burden on him. I remember about six months into our relationship, going away for a weekend together.  There was much build up about the physical nature of that weekend. On the Saturday, I got dreadfully sick with food poisoning and spent most of the day and night in the washroom. He spent that time openly complaining about the fact that we weren’t having sex as anticipated. Meanwhile, I wasn’t out of the washroom for more than 20 minutes in a 24 hours period. I felt just good enough to drive back home.  This was the first time that he turned my suffering into something about him. I couldn’t possibly itemize the rest of the times he did that in 14 years.

The fact is, right now, I don’t need much, but what I need is a little affirmation.  I’ve been reaching out to A and to S and the truth is, I’m not getting everything I need.  S is generally great. She reinforces my insecurities with love. She reminds me that she needs me.  She misses me when she can’t touch me. She celebrates my successes and laments my failures. Even apart, we are together in the daily milestones.  I send materially equivalent messages to A. I try not to be upset when he doesn’t respond, but the fact is, sometimes, it feels like he doesn’t care.  Sometimes, I need more than he can give. That’s where we are right now, I think.

I’m mad at him; I miss him; I want to touch him so badly.  I LOVE that he is finally getting a break, but I’m mad as fuck that he can’t be bothered to say “goodnight” or acknowledge my message that my real estate papers are signed for my separation, or even recognize that I ranted about my problems with insurance companies, or that I admitted how much I’m struggling with the lack of connection.  What I need is simple and he’s currently not giving it to me. Even when I directly ask for it.

I need love. Acknowledgement.  I need him to say I mean as much to him as he means to me.  I need to feel like he values me. Like he misses me, even when he’s in paradise with his family.  I need him to care enough to want to care for my needs while he is caring for his. And I’m not sure he does.  I’m in this weird place where I just want him to show he cares about me. I want more than a “Good morning” every day.  I want to feel like I matter, but I don’t feel like I do. I feel insignificant and unimportant and like I don’t matter to him.  

Most of this is a “me” thing, I know this.  When I was in Mexico in December, I took a picture of a beautiful beach side romantic dinner for two that was set up and waiting for a couple to arrive and captioned it “One day”.  A commented that it was amazing. I mentioned the dream that it was. A booked the equivalent romantic dinner for himself and his wife for their 19th wedding anniversary at the hotel they are at in Mexico.  I love that he did that for her. For them. It’s amazing. It’s something to celebrate. Fuck, someone put up with him for 19 years of marriage, that’s big. Compersion was my first response. Then I looked at the pictures.  I realized that even if the situation were different and it was he and I that were in the same place, he’d probably not book the romantic dinner for us. What’s more, it hit me that I may never be able to exclaim publicly, or post a picture on social media, how much he means to me or the history we have in the same way his wife can.  Normally, I can be quite pragmatic about this, it’s the reality of dating a married man who is not “out”. When his wife tags him in brunch posts or family posts or long-time friend posts, I don’t usually feel anything but happy for everything he has. This week though, the things I don’t have hit me in the feels.

Right now, he’s taking the time he needs. The time I know he needs, deserves, and more than anything, I want him to have.  In the meantime, my life hasn’t stopped and I need things from him that he isn’t giving to me and I’m angry about missing the pieces.  At the same time, I want to hug him, hold him, love him, and be one with him, because he fulfills me in ways no man ever has. This weird dichotomy is brought to you by functional relationships where you can love someone and recognize the things that are missing at the same time.

I told A how I was feeling last night, because I had a temporary lack of judgement, because wine.  Of course, he pissed me off completely (sarcasm-ish) by apologizing and being the generally amazing person he is by acknowledging my feelings, explaining his position, and being himself.  

I recognize where I am. These are temporary problems that are easily solved by time.  The next time this happens, I will be much better prepared to deal with the emotions of it, because I’ve experienced it before.  For many people, going two weeks without touch is not something to complain about; I get my privilege in this situation. In fact, looking at it practically, I see how amazing my life is that I feel loved, supported, and valued enough on a daily basis that I have the luxury of feeling sad because no one has touched me in two weeks.  Knowing this doesn’t diminish my need for touch, but understanding the root of my emotions is kind of amazing.

Significant

How about I start this like I seem to start every blog post?  The last few weeks have been insanely busy. So busy, that I found myself near tears the other day because a coworker kindly did something small to lighten my load.  This single event was the key to me recognizing I needed to take some time for myself, and the other day, I did just that. A pedicure and eyelash extensions later, I felt slightly more girly and slightly more relaxed.  Add in a date night with A that involved a lot of chatting, some hot, if tame, sex, and a night full of cuddles and love, and I felt like my tank was fuller than it has been in ages.

I really don’t know where to start.  I’m happily in love with S. So much so that we are a bunch of barfy girls in love who are so sappy and hilarious and loving.  Add to that her amazing hubby who makes me laugh and is a beautiful arm candy wingman when I need one because F and W show up at a local poly pub night and I have everything I ever dreamed of in a woman.  Add to that her Daddy who texts with me and will do sexy favours like giving her an extra orgasm and saying it’s from me, and it’s perfect.

A and I are…just us.  It’s fun and full of connection and sexy and never enough.  I love that man deeply and completely and I am so super happy with where we are.  I will always want more time (read: sex) with him, but I am also content with the way he communicates, his boundaries, and the fact that he generally makes a priority out of me. I am loving that his wife and I are becoming friends and seem to really understand each other well.  I love that we are planning winter vacations together and more. It’s all so….exactly what I wanted when I first heard of poly, but I appreciate it even more now that I know it’s not as easy to attain as I once hoped.

I’ve been overwhelmed at work. To the point where the job I love has been stressing me out.  Last week, I was lamenting my current stress and realized something rather significant: Last year, I didn’t notice my work stress.  I was so stressed at home that work was a break, despite the fact that I had so much more to do last year. That’s when I realized how incredibly normal my life is right now.  Settled. I’m content. Sure, I have stress, but it’s not even a small fraction of what I had last year. Last year, at this time, I was fighting with F daily. I was feeling unloved, unwanted, like a single random event could knock the fascade of my functioning life of its rails (See when D broke up with me), and I really didn’t know what way was up.  My kids were emotionally struggling with the horrible home we had provided them. I was coping with W and her lies and the fact that F believed her and deserted me. This year, I’m stressed because I have a lot of work. How awesome is that?

I have so many reasons I am content.  The date night with S when we shared some hot photos with her hubby and he responded with the funniest mocking pictures back and made him my favourite metamour instantly.  Texting with her Daddy and sharing our feelings on how amazing she is. Sex with S, sensual, full of connection, and loving. The amazing orgasms. How hot she is when she cums.  The fact that we managed to fit all of our boobs in one picture! Two amazing visits with A’s wife where we bonded over how much we love him. The date night where A got drunk and his sadist came out and I hit a subspace that left me without anything left but totally satisfied.  The subspace that left me in tears but the kind that had to come out because I had nothing left. The type of dominance that led to me being unable to roll over onto my boobs or sit on my ass comfortably for a couple days. The next morning, the pain left me wanting more, so he took me there.  The pain was intense, the edging was torture, and the orgasms were forced until I had trouble breathing. And in true A form, he rolled on his back and had me finish him off – the ultimate control. Days later, talking with A, I realized that he was so drunk he didn’t remember all that he did to me.  This could be upsetting, but to me it’s just amazing that he can do all that while intoxicated. Why? Simply put, it’s because I said one thing that night. It wasn’t a colour or a scream. It was a simply stated: “I need to stop, it’s too much” and he untied me, cuddled me, and rubbed the rope marks on my body until I collapsed in his arms.  That, right there, is why I know I have my perfection. The man who pushes the boundaries I want pushed. The man who listens to my desires and levels them up. The man who gives me what I need even when it’s not what I want. The man who listens, really listens, to me. You know what else I have? The perfection of a girlfriend who is almost as excited as I am about my date nights.  The girlfriend who wants to know the details of my nights and celebrates every orgasm and every orgasm that was denied. The girlfriend who is as turned on by the anticipation of date nights as I am. The girlfriend who gets me, like no one ever has. The girlfriend who makes me want her like no woman ever has.

My life is going to have stress forever.  I’m stuck with F for the rest of my life, thanks to parenting the coolest four kids on the planet.  I’m stuck with W as long as she is in his life, which will hopefully not be too long, but that man clearly doesn’t have the ability to think logically, so I hold little hope.  There’s also my sister who is still causing issues because F doesn’t respect me enough to also cut her out. These things, while upsetting, are not defining. They are just an inconvenience.  Those three, they are temporary and insignificant, like dog shit on my shoe as I stroll through a park.

What I have with A and S?  Significant. And the science nerd in me loves that and them.  

Strong

I have been surrounded by so much love and understanding in the last month. It’s truly amazing to me that I have so many people who love me, support me, rage for me, feel sad for me, and are just there for me.  My tribe.

The good thing about having this type of family is that I can be feeling any emotion, but I never feel alone.  I know there is always someone there who has my back and better yet, those same someones know and understand when I need time away and alone.  They check in but don’t smother.  They send love but don’t demand it in return. These are my people.

I’ve been getting a lot of messages from friends sending me love.  Among the many amazing things they say, are: “You are so strong.”  “You are the strongest person I know.”  “I can’t believe how strong you are.”  “Your strength amazes me.”

I like being strong.  It was an intricate part of my self-identity for a long time.  Strong, independent, opinionated, resourceful….etc, etc.  But always “strong”.  Here’s the thing.  Much of my strength came from not being able to turn towards others for support.  For doing things alone.  Starting in my teenage years with a highly dysfunctional father and an alcoholic step-mother, until they kicked me out of home and I was living “independently” in my last year of high school.  I had support of my mom, but I was resistant to her helping me.  I got myself in a lot of scrapes.  Then I moved to finish my degree and did my PhD and lived and worked independently.  Then I met and eventually married F.  In our relationship, I was emotional support for him, but he wasn’t support for me.  I looked the other way in many situations and got past (or blatantly ignored) some pretty abusive behaviours.  I was “strong” because I had to be.  It was me dealing with things alone and not asking for the help I needed, probably suffering more than necessary because I didn’t have the support system that everyone needs and couldn’t ask for help.

Being strong is idolized. My friends mean it as a compliment. It is a compliment. I’m just not sure that my old version of being strong was a good one.  I think I had to be.  But also, what it created was the inability to ask for help when I needed it. Or even recognize when I needed help.  I had this self-reflective epiphany months ago with O’s help.  I realized I was bad at asking for what I needed in favour of filling other’s needs, because when he asked me what I needed, I would deflect with a question or trying to choose what would make him happiest.  It was a huge realization of a major personality flaw.  I wasn’t just strong, I was trying to be my own fortress. The thing is, I can’t do that. No one can.  We need others. I have four kids to think about, and when I’m trying to manage everything on my own, it doesn’t help them.  It means I’m focused inwards when I need to be there for them.  So, going it alone, because I’m strong and don’t *need* help, isn’t the healthy thing to do.

The thing is, I’m in a situation now where I have a plethora of people who want to support me. They want to be there for me. They want me to ask them for help and support.  This is why, when I asked S to first postpone a date and then cancel a date so I could process, she said ‘yes’ without hesitation. This is why I could ask A for what I needed in way of distraction from my emotional state, and he provided it in the most amazing way possible (Seriously, subspace for 2 hours solid and at least 8 orgasms.  Amazing!) This is why I have friends checking on me and asking if they can do anything and just telling me they are thinking of me.  

Vulnerability is hard for me.  Asking for help and support is vulnerable, even with people we know who care.  Being vulnerable has been a thing of weakness for me for so long, since F exploited my vulnerability to make my issues about him.  But in this case, being “weak” is actually being so strong.  The strong realize that they are not stand alone fortresses, and ask for help from the foundation that holds them up.  

My tribe. My people. My support. My loves. My foundation.  

10 things I learned this week

  1. When your friend asks your boyfriend for a one-on-one date after a hot threesome, you might have some feelings on the matter.  It may surprise you that it is not jealousy – the idea of them having sex is hot to you  – it’s the fact that he already doesn’t have that much time for you to begin with, you don’t want to lose more time with him.  He responds in the most reassuring and loving way he can. It’s perfect.
  2. When you start talking about feelings with said boyfriend and then rather than feel the disappointment of his inappropriate response, you get ridiculously drunk, it is a bad idea to drunk text your ex-boyfriend who you have finally managed to get comfortable with being in the same place as you again.  You might make things awkward.  Making an apologetic joke about your train of thought derailing and then exploding is not sufficient to make up for your drunken ramblings. You might not care that much; rather, you just find it funny.
  3. When your friend shows the super sexy videos from your threesome to her rather hot husband, he may start texting you asking to experience your hot blowjob face.  You might like the idea and start planning a foursome.
  4. When another ex-boyfriend says he wants to acknowledge your relationship and what it means to you both on Fetlife, and you decide on “It’s complicated” because nothing else seems appropriate, you realize that nothing about how you feel about each other or what your relationship means is actually complicated, because you have good communication and boundaries and neither of you want a classical relationship, but it sure is complicated to try to explain that to others.
  5. When you know you have the most amazing friends because one contacts you because she wants to talk about your friendship and what it means to her, you know you have an amazing friend who communicates so very well.  
  6. When you come out to a favourite coworker and an old friend each in a matter of days  and they just respond with support and “How do you have the energy for all the sex?!?”, you know you have amazing people in your life who only want the best for you.
  7. When you see multiple people in a week who haven’t seen you in a while and they comment on how happy and settled and content you are, you know you are living your life exactly how you should.
  8. When you dye your 7, 5, and 4-year-olds’ hair with bright blue, purple, and pink hair dye, you will learn that it is a very bad idea to ever dye the hair of a 5 and 4-year-old. But fuck will it be cute.
  9. When you go for lunch with the boyfriend and the friend you had a hot threesome with and she says her neck was sore from your boyfriend choking her and you get jealous for the first time about him being with her, because he’s never choked you so much your neck was sore, you realize you are truly and completely a submissive, and it just all makes you so happy to have him as your dom.
  10. You sleep, alone, in your house after a night shift for the first time ever and you wake up with the incredible thought that your life is exactly what  you want it to be and you can do anything you choose with it, you realize exactly how truly and completely happy you are.