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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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More Than Two 5.3

What does “commitment” mean to me, and why?

I think I covered this fairly thoroughly in my last post, but as a refresher:

I define commitment as dedication to sustaining and continuing the relationship (even if it needs to change nature or substance over time).

I used to say that I was bad at commitment, mostly when I was thinking in the monogamous sense, that commitment meant staying with one and only one partner and not letting my thoughts stray.  Obviously, at a certain point in time I had to revise this because this definition simply does not work for polyamory.

When I think of commitment, I think of my parents.  My parents have been married (monogamously) for let me see… 31 years.  They love each other and have worked through their share of problems, both with each other and with raising my sister and I.  And even now that my sister and I are full-grown adults out of the house, they are committed to each other, to giving each other space to be exactly who they are, even though that was more limited when my sister and I were still living at home.

I also think of my uncle and aunt.  They have been divorced for somewhere between 15 and 20 years now, but they were committed to raising my cousins in a healthy environment.  They were committed to finding peace with each other, even after growing apart, partially for the sake of my cousins, but partially for their own good.  They have been each other’s fans for a long time now.  Their relationship changed drastically, but they still worked to sustain and continue their relationship as human beings.

I have these models of longevity in commitment in my life, which may explain why I prefer longer term relationships, even if we end up transitioning to friends or acquaintances after we decide to no longer be together.  It also may be why some of the longest friendships I’ve had in my adult life have been with my former metamours; just because we no longer had a shared partner, did not mean that we weren’t committed to each other.

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More Than Two 5.1

Why do I have relationships with other people? (see also 4.1)

I have relationships with other people because I seek deep connection and varied connection, the kind that you just can’t get from just one relationship.  It also gives me a chance to give of myself, to open myself up.  Relationships challenge me to grow in a way I just can’t quite do (or have reason to do) on my own.

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More Than Two 4.6

What makes me feel afraid in relationships? Why?

I feel afraid when I don’t have scheduled time, a plan to schedule time, or a definite continued interest in scheduling time together.  When this drops off, it tends to be the death toll for a relationship, so I get afraid when it happens in relationships that I am emotionally invested in.

I feel afraid when I realize what will break us up.  In the past, this has meant that the relationship has less than 6 months left.  And if I’m still emotionally invested in the relationship, then this is painful to my very core.  Now, I’m not sure whether this is an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy, or just something that happens to happen every time, but it hurts.  To clarify, this is not an “I think this may be the case” or “this may cause a split” because those are usually addressable or short term.  When I have this realization, it has been an ongoing issue that seems irresolvable.

I am afraid when people yell at me or corner me with their bodies, especially men and other folks with deeper voices, even if they have no history of raising a hand against me.  This reduces me to a gibberish mess of crying and defensiveness.  If I’m already feeling vulnerable, I will just curl into a ball and disappear (mentally and emotionally) to protect myself.

I fear being in the position that I have to borrow/take money from my partners.  It took me a lot of time and effort to separate myself from my parents financially and, to me, that marked my final step into adulthood, not being financially dependent on any other adult to make my way in the world.  So to put myself back into the position where I borrow or take money from my partners makes me feel like less of an adult – when I do, I have to set up strict schedules for repayment so I can control some part of the process.  

However, I realize that some of how I choose to live my life depends on other people financially – I live in a house where my rent is income-based, so I depend on people to pay their rent to still have a place to live, and I tend to be the person who pays less often when I go out with my partners because I make less money.  I feel better about these because I know that these are adult transactions and that we all entered into them in full knowledge of what they meant to our lives.  And they can change if they need to.

I am terrified of the idea of the people I love dying.  I already lost Minx and that was devastating to me – there were months where all I could do was just put one foot in front of the other and get through that day.  And the next day.  And so on.

I am scared when people stop talking to me.  I understand and can usually reassure myself if someone just needs some space, but if they just drop off the map or only talk to be about banal things, I feel like I am no longer interesting to them and why are they in a relationship with me if I am no longer interesting to them?  And…brain weasel circus!

I feel afraid when a partners’ other relationships are going poorly or they are having conflict, especially if they are relationships that preceded my relationship with them.  I don’t want to be the cause of any relationship splitting, even if it is really indirect.  And I do tend to personalize this kind of stuff, regardless of whether it makes any sense to do so or not.  Stability tends to be better for everyone’s emotional health and I hate seeing people hurt.

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More Than Two 4.5

What makes me feel cherished, loved and secure?

In no particular order:

Having regular scheduled get togethers with my partners (the more entangled/involved the relationship, the more likely I am to want this to actually be on a given day that is ours.  With my more casual partner, we just see each other when we can, with the understanding that we want to keep doing that, but we’re both fairly busy people.)

Random touch – reach for me when we’re out walking,  give me a hug, cuddle up next to me on the couch, put your head in my lap

Random communication – reach out to me when you’re thinking about me, even if it’s just to check in or share something that you think I would like.

Occasional gifts – whether it be a physical object, time, or service, just giving of yourself to me occasionally makes me feel really loved and cherished

Active/communicative listening – when I say something or share a story, a problem, or a bit of advice, acknowledging that (even if it isn’t anything you’re interested in).  I’m not asking for right away, just at some point.

Tiny celebrations – celebrating the little anniversaries, the little victories in life with me makes me feel like I am important to you

Integration – The one thing that makes me feel the most secure in my relationships is working towards integrating me and our relationship into your everyday life.  There are a number of forms this could take: introducing me to your other partners, introducing me to your friends, taking me to events that matter to you, introducing me to your partners, inviting me to events with my partners, including me in pictures that you keep around, you spending time in my living space and you spending time in mine, opening up lines of communication for me (if/when needed – not a matter of depending on that in the long-term, just mostly as an introductory measure), and spending time with our cule as a group, just as examples.

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More Than Two 4.4

What do I bring to the table for others?

Questions like this require me to promote myself a bit and I am not very good at that, but let me try.

Passion:  If something or someone strikes my fancy, I tend to get very into it/them. I will, at least for awhile, talk to the moon and stars about it/them.  I don’t do things half-heartedly.  This has resulted in a near encyclopedic knowledge of some weird subjects.

Cooking skills:  I am a pretty decent cook/baker.  Tell me your dietary preferences/restrictions and I can make something you’ll probably really enjoy.

Humor:  I have a dry, British sense of humor.  It can verge on dark and sometimes morbid, but I can laugh about it.

Research skills: Tell me what you want to know and I can find it for you.  I am really good at using the resources at my disposal and forming the right questions and keywords to find out basically whatever I want to know.

Emotional awareness: I have a decent understanding of how my emotions manifest in my head and in my body, so I can tell you how something makes me feel.

Loyalty: I am very loyal to my partners.  I will tell you if I think something is a bad idea.  I will support you and your endeavors, even if I disagree with them.  I will talk about your charms to the people I care about.

Openness: I don’t believe in hiding the people I date, from each other or from other people I care about.  The only places I’m closeted are at work (even so, I have a picture of me and my partners at my desk and would be honest if anyone ever asked me about it) and to my extended family (working on that in therapy right now – it is my plan to change that within the next year or so).

Gah, that’s all I can think of for now.  Maybe will edit to add some later.

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More Than Two 4.3

Are there specific kinds of relationships that I know I’m looking for? Kinds that I know I don’t want?

Right now?  Mostly looking for casual dates – once a month, makeout at parties, occasionally go out for drinks kind of dates.  If we have sex, great.  If not, then no big deal.  I could probably manage another kink-only partner, as long as it was not a every week sort of thing (averaging out maybe once a month or so).

I don’t have room in my emotional brain for heavy duty relationships right now – I have three partners who take up most of my head space right now and even that can seem like too much at some times.  If a casual relationship looks like it is heading in that direction I won’t be entirely opposed to it, but I will lay out what my situation is early on and have a heavy discussion should it ever go in that direction.

In general – I don’t tend to like one night stand type of relationships.  It tends to feel less emotionally intimate and that doesn’t really work for me.  But my threshold for emotionally intimate enough is friends and casual dates – people I can trust in general, but specifically to talk to me if something comes up.  Sometimes I will choose to do “pick up” play type things at certain events, but I don’t make a habit out of it, and it tends to be with people that, if I’m not on that level with, then I could find someone who is very easily.