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Enough?

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts this afternoon as I was driving and they were talking about expanding sexual orientation in relation/response to non-monogamy.  The idea came up about not being queer enough to claim queer.  My first response is to call bullshit on this, but I know that I have internalized a lot of the “not enough” bullshit.

I do not feel “queer/bi enough” because I am currently a Kinsey 2.  I have a female partner who I have sex with, and might be interested in having sex with another female partner, but am otherwise not really interested in pursuing any other women.  In the past a great majority of my relationships have been with male or AMAB people.  Am I queer enough?

I sometimes do not feel “poly enough” because my saturation point is fairly low and in the past I have chosen to only have one partner when I was not mentally stable.  In that particular case I began doubting myself – not my identity, but myself, as being poly is rather central to being me – because I was not sure I would ever fall in love again.  Fortunately, that did not end up being the case.  But that still remains in the back corner of my head (more quiet than not these days).  I am not loud and proud about being poly, but don’t make much effort to keep it any bit of a secret.  Am I poly enough?

I sometimes do not feel “genderqueer/genderfluid/non-binary gendered enough” to claim that identity or to claim being transgender.  I tend to look lazy femme or just tomboyish in my presentation.  My dysphoria only flares up occasionally.  I do not have any issues with how my genitals look or work or the fact that I have visible breasts and other curves that may not be easily disguisable.  I strongly prefer they/them pronouns, but am willing to accept she/her in some contexts.  I am not out about this identity to anyone except friends.  Am I trans/NB enough?

I sometimes don’t feel “mentally ill or neurodivergent enough” to claim those.  My depression is cyclical and my anxiety is, in at least half of cases, controlled enough not to show.  Yes, I have sensory processing issues, but those tend to just come across as being a little weird to most people.  My ADHD is moderately well managed and also just tends to come across as a bit odd or flighty when not.  Am I mentally ill/neurodivergent enough?

I sometimes don’t feel “physically ill” or in pain enough to claim being a spoonie.  But the truth is – I have an autoimmune condition that I will have to take medication for for the rest of my life and does have an effect on my energy levels.  However, that’s under control and my migraines have mostly abated.  My joint pain is getting worse and I’m starting to think it might be something other than the barometric pressure shifts to that pain (the remaining migraines are definitely just that though).  My pain levels do affect my energy levels.  Yes, there are many people who have it worse.  It is hard to remember that my pain is also valid.  Am I physically ill enough to be a spoonie?

Am I enough of a partner for my partners?  The idea that I was defective because I was not the only partner a partner has, that they were looking for someone else because I am not enough never was an issue for me.  Instead it is a matter of other measures.  Am I available enough, physically or mentally?  Am I stable enough (physically and mentally) to be in a relationship with them?  Am I pretty enough to keep their attention?  Am I satisfying enough in bed for them to still want to sleep with me?  Can we build enough of a relationship to weather the years (can I contribute enough to the relationship to this building), if that is indeed something we want?

Am I enough?  To myself I can be, that I know.  And I am very glad that I am at a point in my life where this matters most.  It was not easy getting here and sometimes I slip back into old thoughts.

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Girl Scout Song

One of my favorite songs from Girl Scouts that I remember to this day is so simple and beautiful and has been popping up in my head rather often the last few days or so:

“If you love me, if you love, love, love me,
Plant a rose for me.
And if you love me for a long, long time,
Plant an apple tree.
Whether I stay, or whether I go,
You’ll have an apple or you’ll have a rose.
So, if you love me, if you love, love, love me,
Plant a rose for me.”

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What Love Looks Like…

Winter has been mehing all over me lately, so I haven’t been up to writing much – the brain’s still going with the ideas, but the translation to words has been a bit scattershot.

I was thinking the other day about the myriad of weird little ways that love shows up for me.

1.  Being concerned about me not eating/making sure I eat at least occasionally.  Not forcing the issue (if I am seriously not hungry or feeling seriously nauseated there is very little I am willing to put in my body), but poking at it every once in awhile.

2.  Long, involved conversations.  Especially if it is about something one or both of us is/are super interested in.

3. Pictures.  I like seeing myself with my partners and chosen family.

4. Calling me out.  No, seriously.  I may dislike you for a bit, but I hear you and often when I have time to process, I realize that there was a reason why it came up when and how it did.

5. If we’re intimate in that way, showering or bathing with me.  Or sitting and talking with me while I do, if not up for the water.

6. Playing games with me (and putting up with my odd taste in games).  Board games, card games, video games, RPGs, doesn’t matter.

7. Taking into consideration that I am neurodivergent, and mentally and physically ill.  I have aches and pains that show up, sometimes unpredictably, and they really impact my energy and mental and emotional health when they flare up.  When my ADHD meds wear off for the day or I forget to take them, I can be a bit erratic energy level wise.  I can mostly handle doctors’ appointments, but I really want to talk to the people I am close to about what goes on.

8. Giving me time to process internally.  I am not an external processor; trying to do so cruds up my whole process. ADHD piles on top of this – I will have things going on in my brain that hearing lots or taking in lots of information will interrupt.

9. Recognize and respect my boundaries and be able to set ones of your own.  I am far more able to respect that you are willing to stand up for what matters to you if you give me boundaries.

10.  If I’m not doing well, checking in on me occasionally.  Not often, as that can get annoying, but every once in awhile, just in case I need the help.

11. Tell me you love me.  Occasionally even tell me why, or how, or what for.

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Random January 4

Bullet your whole day.

  • Woke up to my first alarm at 6:40 – remembered to take my thyroid meds.
  • Tried to get back to sleep.  Failed.
  • Decided to try to snuggle Diplomat.  First attempt failed, as he was still mostly, if not entirely, asleep.  Second attempt, somewhat more successful.  Third attempt – success!
  • Second alarm at 7:55.  He gets a nosebleed.  I decide to actually get up and get dressed. (Note to self: buy Kleenex, stock in hall closet.  Also, look into humidifiers.)
  • He gets dressed while I look for socks.
  • Achieved warm socks then we both went downstairs.  I noticed that no one had fed the cat his wet food, so I grab the can out of the fridge and a spoon out of the drawer and put it on his plate, after scraping off what he didn’t eat last night.
  • Grab my jacket from the hall closet, shoes from near the door, purse from side table, and keys from right next to it, and then we’re off.
  • We get outside, give Diplomat a kiss goodbye, he tells me he loves me, I say it back, and tell him to have a good Wednesday.
  • Drive to work – went my usual route, but there was something going on at the interection at the bottom of the hill, so I flipped a U-turn and went to work the way I usually come back from it.  Get there basically exactly on time.
  • Log on to computer at work and go grab something to eat.  Come back to desk at work.
  • Work – answering phones and emails.
  • Talk to Lola over Facebook Messenger about going with me to social event for sex party group – it’s a go.  Yay!  Didn’t really want to drive alone.
  • Talk to Diplomat over Facebook Messenger about some stuff he had going on in his head.  I hope I was helpful.  Then talked about actually finalizing some of our anniversary plans.  Squee!
  • Work.  Then weekly meeting at work over phone and web conference – put in a check order and looked at hotels while I was on mute.
  • Lunch.  Talked to Diplomat about last night, which segued into an interesting conversation about perceived power dynamics in our relationship.
  • With 20 minutes left to lunch, I decide to excuse myself from the lounge area and, well, go find a private place.
  • Finish up, wash hands, then head back to work – end up being late back by about 5 minutes.  No big deal.  Also, totally worth it.
  • Decide it is finally time to dismantle the Christmas tree in the front area at work.  Manage to take it apart by myself, but getting it into the box proves rather difficult.  I end up rearranging the order of the pieces and manage to get it in, if not fully closed.  I consider this a victory and drag it off to the hall closet, where it will live until next December.
  • Bathroom break and go heat up a slice of pizza for lunch.  Have a conversation about intermittent fasting with one of my co-workers (The second most recent hire.  He’s a few years older than me.  We occasionally have long involved conversations over Lync/Skype at work about various subjects – he’s the only person in the office I’ll even touch on politics with.  Nice guy, seems to be a rather dedicated dad.)
  • Work.
  • Remember that I haven’t actually eaten the pizza and that I should probably do that, even though it has cooled off.  Cut it up and eat it.
  • Haul couch and chair back to front area (they move when the tree comes out).
  • Have a bit of a coughing fit.  After water and some of a candy cane, seems to be doing better.  Damn allergies.
  • Sign off on the pickup of our paper to shred – can’t talk to the guy, mouth still has pizza in it.
  • Finish pizza, push plate away.
  • Look at rental houses for my birthday trip.  Narrow it down to a few.  Will decide probably later this week, after I have a chance to run it by Trydaen.
  • Have more water and get back to work.
  • Think about a subject for a blog entry, then realize I have yet to do this one.

Currently doing this one – will do the rest of it as far as I think the day will go.

  • More work.  Probably fairly slow.
  • Finish off my water – consider whether I want to ask my boss to cover the phones while I’m off using the bathroom and getting more water.
  • If she is off the phone and her door is open, I will probably ask.  If not, if it gets desperate, I will ask one of my co-workers nearby to keep an eye out.
  • Refill water bottle, use bathroom.
  • Finish off candy cane.
  • Realize that I probably shouldn’t have had the candy cane so close to taking my thyroid meds.  Shrug and say to heck with it.
  • Take thyroid and allergy meds.
  • Send Lync/Skype message at 16:05 that I am logging off and that the phones are out to the folks who are here until 17:00.
  • Go do my usual evening clean up stuff, then grab my purse, bag, and coat, then leave work.
  • Drive home the same way I came in this morning, while listening to the radio.
  • Get home, open door, dog barks, cat notices me (if I’m lucky), and I put down my bag and purse on or near the side table.
  • I decide whether I want to take a quick shower before I go out tonight and whether I want to change, and do that.
  • Trydaen gets home.  I say hello, give him a kiss, and plop down on the couch, if I wasn’t already there.
  • Tell Trydaen that Lola will be by and that we’ll be going out to a social event.  He’ll shrug and probably ask what time I think we’ll be home.  I’ll shrug and say “11ish?” and promise to let him know when we are on our way back.
  • Lola arrives, I scurry to get my stuff together and shoes on, then we leave.
  • We talk in the car on the way there – may end up hitting the tail end of traffic.
  • I maybe get a message from Diplomat, take some time to enjoy it.
  • We get there, find the greeting table if there is one, get name tags and other assorted stuff (if there is anything), and I look around to see if I can pin down a table, bonus points if I know anyone there.  If I don’t, I introduce myself.
  • Lola is being a social butterfly.  She will probably want to spend at least a large chunk of the event with me and I may even get up to wander a little bit.
  • I get a drink, maybe Lola does too.  Hopefully also some food, maybe we’ll split something.  That tends to work out well for both of us.
  • Depending on what time it is and which one of us drove, the non-driver may have a second drink.
  • We probably will both start to get tired around 10 or so, and one of us will mention that we should probably get going.
  • We say good-byes to people and close out the tab.
  • Drive home, probably a bit quiter than the way there.
  • We get back to my place, I give her a kiss good night (or more than one), and head inside.
  • I talk to Trydaen for a little bit, brush my teeth, then head to bed.
  • I’ll read through Facebook and Reddit for a bit, maybe play a little bit of a game on my iPad, then decide I should actually get some sleep, plug it and the phone in, then get comfy.
  • Sleep.
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Random January 3

A book you love.

In general, I recommend The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

I like how this book takes on colonialization, by flipping the script.  It takes place in the Congo, right as the Congo was starting to undergo a lot of political upheaval.

A missionary family goes to the Congo – the father is very intent on converting the natives, the rest of the family is along for the ride.  The catch – the story is told primarily from the perspectives of the four daughters of the family (the mother appears to narrate two chapters, one at the beginning and one near the end).

I tend to describe the book as so: “Missionary family goes to the Congo intent on changing Africa.  Instead, they are changed by Africa in many ways.”

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Random January 2

Something you feel strongly about.

Lots of things?  Hmmm… to pick one.

Ah, the presence of pineapple on pizza.

Pineapple is one of the very few plant substances I am okay with on pizza – those being: tomatoes (both fresh and sun dried), spinach, garlic, broccoli, carrots, onions (green – all the time, others – some of the time), apple/pear, and pineapple.  This list has expanded quite a bit in the last few years.

Pineapple pairs wonderfully with pepperoni.  The pepperoni is spicy and umami and the pineapple’s tart sweetness contrasts very nicely with that.  For me, it is the perfect combination – plain pepperoni seems to be lacking something for me if it is not paired this way.  Heck, in a lot of cases, I’d probably prefer to have just the plain cheese than do without pineapple with my pepperoni.  I am okay with Hawaiian pizzas, though in most cases I would prefer to have the pepperoni instead of ham (one exception: Little Ceasar’s Hawaiian – that shit is amazing, for some weird reason).

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Random January 1

Five ways to win your heart?

1. Candid, forthright honesty.  Tell me what you like about me.  Tell me what you think I can improve on (bonus points if you can offer suggestions on how to do so).  Tell me what you think about the world.

2. Active listening.  I love to tell stories.  I get this from my dad (he will tell stories even to customer support when looking for help – my mother is much more straightforward).  I will tell you a lot about myself in my stories, about what makes me tick, about what I am looking for in life.  If you ask me questions about what I’m talking about, I know you’re listening and that makes me feel very special.  

And yes, I know sometimes I blather on – to tie into #1 – please tell me to shut up if I am.  I would prefer hearing that to disinterest/disengagement.

3. Remembering my little quirks.  Like what my love languages are and why I distinguish between giving and receiving love languages.  Like what my favorite cut flowers to receive are (roses), but that I generally prefer live plants.  My favorite foods.  How sensory processing issues manifest for me and making a comfortable environment for me without the bad ones.  Know how I like my bacon cooked.  So on, and so forth…

4. Take me to the theater/opera.  Talk to me about theater and opera.  Seriously.  I love getting the opportunity to dress up and enjoy a show, then talk to someone about it afterwards so I can process it.

5. Hold my hand in public.  I want you to be proud/happy to be with me where we are and skin to skin contact, especially on hands, helps me feel very appreciated.