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The city below us
Cloudy sky above
The scent of your sweat
The night air
And your mum’s detergent
Surrounding us

A flash in the distance
Fireworks
City of magic
City of fire

Pushing the beds together
Not quite one bed
But close enough to spoon
To clasp hands across the chasm
‘You’re so far away’
I whisper
So you climb into my twin bed
And hold me tight
Hipbones sharp against my thighs
And finally I drift off

A toast to the couple
In our wedding finery
I sway in your arms and watch them dance
Countless new faces
My world gone bigger
Yet also smaller
I watch the palm trees outside
A gentle breeze, cooling after the press
Of the dance hall

A dusty attic, dusty books
The room of your youth, high in the hills
The stories I’ve heard come to life
In the sights and sounds of this city
A world of its own
Captured in your shining eyes
As you glance at me
And I see the boy you were once
Under the man you are now

I rest my head against your chest
Two thousand miles away from my house
Yet I am home

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Sick

This post contains references to self-harm and suicide. I just wanted to warn readers who may be sensitive to these things.

Last week, an important anniversary passed by. I had a post in mind; I wanted to celebrate with you all. I’d had a huge accomplishment.

One year ago, last Wednesday, I found myself in my doctor’s office, crying so hard I couldn’t breathe, asking for help. I’d fought, and I couldn’t fight anymore, and I knew I couldn’t continue. It was ask for help, or stop fighting. I asked for help. And last Wednesday, October 19, marked one year of fighting this war against my own brain. When I realized my tools weren’t enough. When I asked for that stick, because damn it, I was tired and battle scarred and hurting and I couldn’t fucking do it.

“Fighting bare-handed is great. Until you can’t anymore. Then you ask for a weapon.”

And I’ve put my loved ones through hell. I know it. I still am not sure why they stuck with me. But I’m grateful. And my girls at work have been like another family… checking in and holding on and crying with me. And my partners have held me together. My husband, my boyfriend… these incredible people who’ve been my glue when my bottle has run empty. My kids, who’ve made me hand drawn cards and bought me candy bars with their own allowance on the days when life hurt too much for me to get off the couch. My friends,who’ve sent me mental health check-ins via text and twitter…

I’m sitting here crying while I write, thinking of this incredible amount of love and support. I don’t deserve it. I did nothing to earn it.

And here you all are, anyways. I can’t believe how fortunate I am. And I’m well enough to realize how sick I was, and that I will get sick like that again. 

So, I store up memories and experiences… I live like The Bloggess, Furiously Happy, and build a bank of the happy times so I can get through the sick times and know there will be happy times again.

Last Wednesday, I wanted to write to you all, a post of hope and light. “Look at me!” I wanted to shout, like an addict with a year of sobriety. “I’m winning! I’m fighting!”

But reality has a way of getting awfully real.

And, last Wednesday, I was busy. 

A friend of mine, someone I love dearly, someone who fights her own battle and has given me so much insight into my own, she nearly lost her battle. Her war with her own mind got the better of her and she fell into a black hole.

I learned she’d harmed herself, tried to kill herself. Wanted to die because the pain in her head was too much. She wanted the emptiness to swallow her. This beautiful funny flawed imperfectly perfect friend thought our world was better without her in it.

You know what? Fuck depression. Fuck that bitch with a rusty sawblade. I’m tired of it destroying people I love.

Last Wednesday, I nearly went into a tailspin of my own, because I saw how fragile this thing called sanity really is. And it terrified me to know that, no matter how hard I fight, that Bitch is still gonna be fighting me and trying to take it away.

People ask me what they can do, to help me when the times get dark. Here’s my answer: don’t let the darkness win. Take care of you. See you health care professionals, all of them. Take your medications. Practice self-care. And keep fighting. We all need you here.


Sublime

“How are you two getting along?” Mr Awesome will ask of a new partner.

Usually, I will grin.

“We can laugh together… In bed.”

I did the math today, after a conversation about first experiences. I’ve been sexually active since I was 14. That was in 1994, 22 years ago. That was my first time with a man; my first time with a woman was a few years later. I met the man I would marry when I was 17, and so there you go.

And in 22 years of continued experiences, an even split of male and female partners, sex in private rooms, parents’ attics, hot tubs, pools, beds, cars, couches, floors, and once on a public walking trail, the lesson I’ve truly taken to heart is this: find someone with whom you can laugh in bed. Sex can go from the sublime to the ridiculous with one well-timed fart or badly placed elbow. You need someone to laugh it off with. The myriad of emotions that sex brings to the table (bed?) is amazing and leaves a person very vulnerable. Sometimes, it needs to be tender, loving and gentle. Sometimes, it needs to be rough, quick, and bruising. Sometimes it needs to be a bit of Colum A and a little of Colum B. But it always needs to be approached with humor.

Sometimes, the best foreplay is opening up, sharing vulnerabilities and fantasies. Sometimes, it’s teasing and touching and kissing until your body cries out to be fucked.

And sometimes, the best foreplay is a morning spent in bed, making vagina jokes with your lover and laughing until your face and sides hurt. 


More

One of the most common questions/criticisms I hear about the poly lifestyle has to do with people expressing concerns about my children. It’s second only to the questions about jealousy and time management.

“What about your kids?” people will ask. They frequently whisper this, like it is too taboo a subject to even speak aloud. I often just shrug. It’s a big topic to tackle in the space of what is usually a small conversation.

“Our kids are fine,” I’ll say. “They don’t know much; when you were eight, how much did you know about your parent’s sex lives?”

And that’s the crux of it. Our kids don’t know the ins and outs of it, haha. Our son is almost 13, our daughter will be 8 this weekend. They are far more concerned with Pokemon, social studies homework, and whether Gramma paid them for their chores this week. Our son is best friends with Velah’s son. They are the same age, share the same interests, and are frequently thrown together during social functions. I’m glad the kids can still be friends, and I hope their friendship will flourish. 

So, what about our kids? At almost 13, our son probably knows what happens when I send the kids to bed and take my boyfriend into my room with me. He knows that his dad stays over at Velah’s house. He sees us kiss each other, often, and passionately. He also sees us kiss our other partners. When I was kissing my boyfriend one time when he was visiting this fall, I saw my son looking at us and grinning. He knows this man makes me happy.He also knows that Splatoon is currently on loan from my boyfriend, and that he has another grown-up in his life to talk about pokemon with.

Kids have a very self centered view of their world. And in a healthy poly family, the kids have multiple adults with multiple talents and interests who are there to help them figure out this crazy world. Our group of friends and partners includes multple faiths, backgrounds, careers, and interests. I feel this provides a well-rounded safety net for the kids; if they can’t come to a parent with a question, chances are some adult in their life will have the answer.

It’s better than I had as a kid.

Somewhere, our society has lost the village… We tend to hole up in big houses and wall ourselves off from other people. Feeling like we need to be the only answer for our kids shortchanges them of the richness of experience that a different point of view provides to them. I’m not saying that poly is the answer for everyone; it’s hard work, and a person can do a lot of damage to a family if they do it for the wrong reasons or go into it with an unhealthy mindset. But, I think everyone can learn a little from the idea that more people in someone’s life can be a very good thing.That sitting down with someone of a different faith or from a different part of the country can give you a perspective on your own life that you might not have had. That having a group of caring adults looking put for a group of kids is actually ok… and admitting to ourselves that we aren’t always the best person to answer our kids’ questions or concerns.

When I think of the vast amount of intangibles that our partners and friends have brought to the table for our kids, I can’t think of raising my kids any other way. The poor kids get exponentially more parenting than they would have if we were doing it by ourselves. But they also get exponentially more love and support.

“Our kids are fine with it,” doesn’t even begin to cover all of this. “Our kids are better for it,” sounds smug. Maybe in writing this out, I will have found a better answer.

In the meantime, thank you for reading.


Words

I’d spent the whole weekend with my long-distance fella talking about my new meds and how I was feeling and how I wasn’t feeling. I was bubbly and happy and fidgety, something Mr Awesome says he sees and knows I am getting better. When I am in a heealthy place, I move and jitter and sing. And when I’m not well, I withdraw and get snappish and stop moving. “I’m sorry,” I said to Mr LDR at one point. “I know I’m talking about all of this a lot. But… when I’m well, I like to tell the people in my life what I feel when I’m not well. Because when I’m not well, I don’t have the words to tell the people I love how I feel.”

He held me close and said, “So, when you stop talking about it, then I know to ask what’s going on and make sure you’re ok.”

It’s been 2 days shy of a month since I started taking Cymbalta. I have a check-in with my dr on Tuesday, and I’m glad to be able to report good things to her. I’m not sure if she will increase my dose, but that is something we will talk about. I almost hope she doesn’t, because it is the middle of the holidays and I don’t want to be adjusting my brain meds during such a busy and stressful season. But, if she tells me that it’s best, I’ll follow her advice. I haven’t sought out a therapist yet. That is something I still need to do. But I feel a lot of anxiety around it, partly just my usual anxiety about meeting new people and talking about myself, partly just not looking forward to finding someone whois both poly- and queer-friendly. But it’s something I need to do. I’ve given myself a free pass through the holidays about it, but it is something that definitely is a priority after the first of the year. 

I didn’t sleep much, the night I spent with Mr LDR (I want to call him Ziggy, because he used to live on the moon and now he doesn’t. Also, he likes David Bowie a lot). But, I told him the next day, it was the best night I’d ever spent with him. I curled up next to him and felt him pressed against me and I watched the fish chase each other in the bookcase fishtank, and I was completely, 100% happy. It was the first night with him that I had not heard the voice of the Bitch, telling me lies about my relationship and my feelings. Eventually, I was able to drift off to sleep, and we woke up tangled like kittens, and spent a happy day together.

Late in the afternoon, I got the message from Mr Awesome that our daughter was sick. She’d been vomiting all day. I felt bad that he’d gotten sick kid duty while I was having fun with my lover, but I didn’t feel guilty. For the first time, there wasn’t a voice telling me that I’d deserved this illness, as a punishment for the happy times.

This is where I’m at now. And I’m putting it down in words in case the darkness comes back and the bitch wins again, so I can remember what it’s like to feel like a real human and not a cast-off from the Isle of Broken Toys. 

I. Am. Happy.

I feel healthy and whole.

I am laughing again.

I dance and sing along to the music in stores. Lacking that, I do it to the music in my own head.

I don’t hurt as much. Not the soul-searing deep pain in my joints. Not the pain of despair in my midsection, whien life gets so hard I can’t breathe.

I don’t merely crave sex, but physical touch and closeness, too. I want to be held and cuddled. And I am cabable of holding and cuddling in return. I can give back rubs (Mr Awesome is very happy about this).

I no longer feel like a setback is a punishment for some other happiness. I can see them as separate things, and take each one accordingly. 

I’m sleeping between 6 and 8 hours almost every night. In my bed. With my husband. This is huge.

Mr Awesome is thrilled to have me back. He cries when he tells me how much he missed me, and how good it is to have me back again. I feel guilty for not getting help sooner, but I don’t beat myself up over it. I wasn’t in a place where I was ready to get help earlier. And that’s ok. The important thing is I have gotten help, and I’m doing better.

And I’m getting my words back. I didn’t realize how much it had hurt me to have them go missing during this last dark spell. It’s nice to have them back.

It’s nice to have me back.


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