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Update

So, as you may have noticed, I haven’t written in awhile. It’s not that I haven’t come up with a million awesome ideas for posts, including some awesome ones bragging about the cool people that I know and/or love, but I have been out doing things, doing people, doing work of all sorts. And clearly, not writing.

Depression hit. I struck back by starting light therapy in the mornings and getting more regular about taking Vitamin D. It seems to have died down quite a bit. My anxiety levels are still a bit higher than normal, but depression has mostly abated, giving me some more summer time to make connections and socialize before it gets bad. If it gets bad…. It feels fairly mild this year, honestly. We’ll see, come November through January.

Bit #1

Moss and I had a really tough conversation on this last Monday. I had hyped myself up to catastrophization levels and was sure we were done for. I even talked to my therapist about it pretty extensively – her two big remarks were to be ready to let go of the relationship if my boundaries couldn’t be met (I’m not sure I was, which is what I told him when he asked if I had been) and to talk about the difference between something being urgent and something being important. I talked to him briefly that weekend to nail down plans and asked if I had anything to worry about in regards to the conversation – no, no agenda.

We had a lovely picnic in the Arboretum by the water, first in the sun, then in the shade. We settled into our normal conversational cadence – smooth, easy, flowing, no pressure. Then we talked about the situation at hand, about what our needs were, what we wanted going forward. And my fears were eased – no, no break-up. In fact, I think we came out of the whole situation more solid than we’ve been for a month or so.

I had the overwhelming feeling I do sometimes, when I can’t hold a thought or a feeling back – that it is overwhelming my mouth and I can’t but speak its name and nature. And so I did – I told him that I loved him. In the five seconds that followed my brain did an amazing thing – Anxiety hyped me up “What if he doesn’t love me, what if that makes or breaks things, what if it is too big a feeling to handle?”, but Reason stepped in and said “So what? You’ll figure it out with him, you’ll communicate about it, everything will be fine”. And everything was fine. Everything was more than fine. And yes, not going to keep you in suspense – the feeling was very mutual.

So far things have been going well enough with Eve on his end, even after talking with her about the situation and what he and I had talked about together. It gives me great hope!

Bit #2

So, I’ve been trying the casual dating thing with a few people, each of which has been going very differently, but each has some continuing potential. In order of first dates:

#1: He’s super fun to talk about politics and the local poly community with. Decent kisser. Some sexual chemistry, but unsure where I want to go with that. Even if we just ended up as friends (maybe as friends who fuck? I don’t know where this is going, really), that would be a good thing.

#2: We knew each other through a local lunch group that I organized awhile back, so we’ve had opportunities to chat before. Quiet, but worth the listening to. He’s a bit hard for me to read, so I’m not 100% sure of the level of mutual interest, but he seems to keep wanting to see me and he spoke well of me to Lola at an event they both attended. Even if it only ends up being a friends who go out to things thing, it would be fun.

#3: We’ve known each other for a couple years, but yeah, life can be complicated, especially when it comes to poly. I always thought he was cute and enjoyed when I’d see him at events. He is actually one of the cutest poly stories I have – we were in the hot tub at a party together and we had been talking for a bit, flirting for a bit, and he leans over to whisper in my ear that he would really like to kiss me right then, but things were too complicated at the moment. A couple years later, let me tell you – that kiss was fabulous, if a bit delayed. Also, I was thinking about this later, but he’s the first person I’ve fucked on the first date (not counting people I fucked before the first date and people for whom there was never a date). So yeah… fun stuff. I will be glad to see where this goes.

Each of these has at least had second dates and has a third scheduled.

Bit #3

Inspired by my therapist I’ve been turning over in my head if I want to try to actually get a travelling notary public business off the ground. At my last session/my first session in awhile she had asked me about my work stuff and had suggested marketing my skills, as a paralegal and my notary public license, to GRSM (Gender, Relationship, and Sexual Minority) people, particularly the LGBTQ community, as having someone who is one of them around could be a big mark in my favor.

I would have to do a few things to even have a chance of getting it off the ground – stop procrastinating on getting my notary stamp/seal, look into getting a business license, get a phone number independent of my personal cell number, set up a separate email address and basic website, set up bank account stuff, and I am absolutely sure I am missing something – but I looked at the market in my area and it seems like there is space for more notaries before the saturation point is reached.

There is plenty of space for expanding services in different directions once I get stuff off the ground, but this seems like a possible and doable thing for me.

Bit #4

Things seem to have stabilized on the gender front, a bit – it tends to be fluid, but a lot of the time my gender ends up manifesting as, “Do I really have to pick a gender?” or as “Not today, thank you” or something ridiculous, like “fuck your binary gendered”. I am getting a bit more finicky about having people use my correct pronouns and am starting to go on mini-tirades in my head when I am in a situation where I am forced to pick one (bathrooms being my most common example). But yeah, I think this, like everything else about me, is going to remain fluid.

Bit #5

The woman who took care of me from basically birth to kindergarten and occasionally after, is dying of cancer. She probably doesn’t have much longer. The common impression seems to be that we’re talking maybe double digit weeks, if not a few months, but soon. On Sunday there was a party in her honor held at the home/complex she’s living at – a “celebration of life” thing. So I drove about an hour and a half to get to see her, probably for the last time. It amazed me how small and frail she looked, like I could almost break her, but her mind and sense of humor were still as sharp as a tack.

The whole event gave me some perspective on how far life has taken me away from my early days. Her son, who is somewhere around a decade older than me always seemed so tall to me when I was a kid (and looking at the old pictures). But he is actually around my height, probably an inch or so shorter (and I am 5′ 3.5″), It left me wondering how much of who I am is because of this woman, and losing that will be a blow.

I’m still doing a fair amount of processing on this and probably will be, off and on, for awhile. But that’s what I have for now.

So yeah. I will try to write more often, but because we’re heading into winter I can’t exactly promise that.

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Parents & Love Languages

I was just thinking about this earlier today and I think I figured out some things about how my family works.  Now, these are just guesses, based on behavior, but it was an interesting brain exercise.

Mom:

I think my mom’s primary love language (at least with us kids) is Quality Time.  She got super unhappy with my sister and I for not scheduling something for Mother’s Day this year – just anything that involves us spending time with her.  She seems to love to talk to us one-on-one, even if it just is for coffee, lunch, or shopping. 

It does also explain why I have run into some issues with her regarding how we express love to each other, why I didn’t think that she was a primary love giving figure in my early life – because to her, spending time with me was showing affection, whereas I much would have preferred being told that I was cared for (Words of Affirmation is more prominent as my Love Language in my relationships with my family – both origin and choice – than Touch).  I think she could tell that that was not working for me as I got older and more invested that time with my sister (for whom Quality Time is a bigger thing).  As I got into my late teen years, she became more involved in my life again, giving more time, and I started to realize that this was how she was showing her love.

It does still cause some strife with us – since it is not one of my major love languages, I have some issues understanding why it is such a big deal to her to spend time with me, and why it is such a big deal to her if I can’t.  I try to give it to her, without understanding why it is so important, but since my priorities are in different places, I don’t always know when I’m going to cause a tense situation with regards to time.  This is something I am trying to understand.

Dad:
I think my dad’s primary love language is Acts of Service.  He takes care of things around the house, makes meals, helps us kids with our car problems, and runs errands for my mom, just because.

Since I grew up with my dad as my primary figure (as my mom got along better with my sister), I understand Acts of Service far better as a love language than Quality Time. To some extent I think I give Acts of Service as a Love Language because of this, because some of the ways I give love are the same as my dad did growing up – making meals, taking up emotional labor, doing research for people, and helping with various tech issues.  Even if they are not my favorite things to do, I do them so other people can have a little less burden on their lives because of what I do.

My mom wants my dad to care more about me and my sister spending time with him for Father’s Day, but I don’t think he wants to.  He’s never made a big deal out of it, but is willing to schedule things (and take on emotional labor) for my mom for Mother’s Day and regular date nights because he knows they matter to her.
Me:

I wonder how much neither of my parents speaking my primary family love language affected me growing up.  And I wonder how much of my primary family love language is because of how I grew up and how my parents expressed theirs.  Food for thought.

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More Than Two 1.5

How important is transparency to me? If I have more than one lover, am I happy with them knowing about each other? If they have other lovers, am I happy knowing them?

Transparency is critical to me.  It is important for me to be able to share my joys and sorrows in each relationship with my partners, and that requires at least knowing the others – I do not do well with these things on my own.

I am not only happy with them knowing each other, as well as knowing them myself, but I think that this makes everything run smoother.  I don’t need people to be best friends, nor do I need to be best friends with my metamours, but having a good relationship, with lines of communication open (when wanted/needed) is solidly in the need category.

Let’s put it this way.  Currently (and this is my preferred way of doing things, TBH) my polycule is part of my chosen family and I think, for the most part, we operate like a family.  We know about each other, we talk with each other, we choose to exist in each others’ presence on occasion (actually, much more often than my bio-family).  Each individual dyadic relationship within the family – between partners and metas – is different.  Being a family doesn’t mean that we don’t ever have issues with each other, miscommunicate, or fail each other.  For me, it means that I am happy and proud to be with them and that I consider it very worthwhile to improve our relationships overall (I can’t speak for anyone else in the group).

I do believe it is important to have our own private things, as long as they don’t do any harm to anyone else.  I think that this helps keep things interesting and helps each person retain a sense of themselves as an individual in the context of their relationships (not being completely enveloped by the whole).

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November Write 24

Today is Thanksgiving, at least in this part of the world (happy very belated Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends).  That means so many things to me – it is so enmeshed in traditions, old and new, full of both bio and chosen family.  It is a holiday of family – and that is what I am thankful for.  I am thankful for the chance to get to create and make for those members of my family I can be with.  For those I am not with, I am sad that I am not, but I am hopeful that they have joy today.

The holidays bring up starkly some unpleasant feelings about what it is like to live with some of my life in the shadows.  And I cannot abide by that.  It is important to me to celebrate with my whole family.  It is important to me and who I am as a person.

You, my loved ones, you have given me the strength to work towards bringing my families together as much as I can, exposing them to each other, starting with my immediate families – chosen: Trydaen, Diplomat, and Lola (at least for starters – I would like to include June and Star and Lola’s kids, but I have to start somewhere), and family of origin: my mother, father, and sister.  I know this will not be an easy process, but I am working on it.  I am convinced that, whatever the pain to me, this is right.  I cannot live any longer with parts of my life in the shadows.  I cannot do this wrong.

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November Write 15

I am greatly enjoying my campaign of joy.  Even after just two days, the world looks just a bit brighter. That is not to say this is any cure to depression, but it has been helping me to have more overall joy in my life.

My experiment – to add to the group I have for this (so happy to see my family, friends, and spoonie folks all in the same place – that in itself is quite a joy), sending a few of my morning joys to Diplomat (unbeknownst to him until now – the inspiration for this whole idea), and, whenever I have a criticism of someone, no matter how large or small, to add something nice to it, something I like about them, even if i don’t know them, so it is superficial.  The last bit – actually actively looking for joy and pleasantness in my day to day life, even among the things that drive me crazy or just annoy me – has been a challenge and a gift, but I am enjoying the process. Binding joy to my life, even in the darkest of days.