Tag Archives: polyamory

photo_2018-03-28_16-04-08

Doughnuts are totally a healthy lunch, right?

I’ve had the last seven weeks off. It’s been very, very strange.

I’m not used to being off work anymore. I’m used to working full time and being a mom full time and being a partner full time and… and… and…

And, since my surgery, I’ve been on medical leave. And it’s put me back in the place where I was when I first started writing this blog. Home all the time. Only this time, I’m earning money while I do it, thanks to my short-term disability payments.

I’ve been incredibly thankful for this time. There was a lot to process from my trip to Japan. I’ve been reading  a lot of books on Zen and Buddhism. A lot. Something about the ancient temples 5000 miles away from home touched me very deeply, and I’m trying to find the answers. Or at least find peace with the lack of answers.

I had my partner N home for two weeks. This was a treat, even if the reason was sad. I wasn’t expecting to see him again til after my birthday in August. I learned a lot about us from that visit. He had a family emergency that brought him home. Seeing the mechanics of our pod get him from one side of the ocean to the other within 36 hours was a magnificent thing to behold. He used my car, since I still wasn’t driving much, and was home almost every night for dinner, and slept with me every night, and put up with my silly stoned self while I tried to piece my Self back together. We saw each other at our very worst, we even got into a fight, and we came through it allright. He went home wearing my ring, a lovely band with a braided design to remind him that we are stronger bound together, and that I am always at his side.

I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping. First, in the warm glow of opiates and prescription Ibuprofen, later, as I healed, in the haze of fatigue.

I started working out again, and hired a fitness coach. I want to get back to the fitness level I was at before the endometriosis started ruling my life, and that seemed like a good place to start. I’m getting my strength and stamina back and it’s an incredible feeling.

I’ve reconnected with a few play partners that I haven’t seen since before Thanksgiving. It will be interesting to see where this leads…  remind me to tell you all, sometime, of the accidental orgy some months ago.

I’ve crocheted 2 shawls and knitted one hat. I’ve saved dozens of patterns on Pinterest, and watched 3 seasons of Downton Abbey. I deep cleaned my bathrooms, but only because of a septic line backup. Ew.

The kids are on spring break this week, and it’s been a treat to be off with them. Today we went to Powell’s Books and to Voodoo Doughnuts. Life is good. The last 2 months have been filled with introspection and spring cleaning, both physically as I’ve gotten stronger, and emotionally as I’ve had much time to reflect.

I’m torn, I love this easy pace but I dearly miss the bustle of a busy store and the friendship of my coworkers. It will be good to be back in a couple weeks.

 

Advertisements

No More Vacancy

So, I’ve just used up a bunch of my writing time to try and figure out how to embed a gif. Now I’m going to give up and leave this fancy internet shit to the youngins, because I am obviously too old to figure it out and I kinda feel like I need a nap now.

And really, all I was doing was coming here to talk about my hysterectomy and how well I’m healing up and how I oddly can’t wait to go back to work in two weeks.

For a bit of hysterectomy history, I’ve always had pretty evil cycles. This got considerably worse after I gave birth to my daughter. That was when the doctor who delivered her said something to me that really stuck. He mentioned that the C-section was difficult, because I had significant scarring.

Mind you, I was drugged at the time, and in that post birth haze where everything is glowy and weird. “Oh, like from my C-section 5 years ago?”

And he gave me a weird look and said the scarring was from endometriosis and he was surprised I didn’t know I had it and then left. And, being stoned on Percoset and mom hormones, I didn’t think about it. I continued to not think about it in the weeks that followed, since I had a newborn and my whole family caught the death by vomiting flu one week after I got out of the hospital. And, since I breast fed my daughter for about four months before my milk decided it wasn’t needed anymore, I didn’t have periods again until sometime in mid-2008. And when they came back, they were brutal.

I remember telling my doctor at the time something was different. Wrong. That something had changed. That my body was not ok.

He said I was post-partum. That having a baby can’t change your cycles. He said I was fat, and insinuated that I was lazy. He recommended weight watchers and a nutritionist and portion control.

I found a new doctor. And I loved her. She took good care of me until she left the practice and then I found another doctor who takes fantastic care of me and I really don’t think it’s a coincidence that these two doctors are both women.

Here’s the thing, though. It took me years to mention to another doctor that my periods were weird. Because I had internalized the idea that that stupid male doctor knew, somehow, better than I did about my body. That I was always going to hurt, and go through at least one or more boxes of tampons every month. I believed that it was just my lot to hurt so badly and feel so awful every 26 days.

Social conditioning is a bitch.

My mom believes in the “curse of eve” where it is somehow one mythical woman’s fault for our “monthly discomfort” because she pissed off god 6000 years ago. Combining that with an unhealthy dose of “suck it up and deal with it”  which is our family legacy, and I was set for another 20 or 30 years of misery.

Then about two or three years ago it started to reach an unbearable point. This is when I started my Cymbalta. This is when I started sorting out the difference between the pain of my mental illness and the pain of my physical maladies. The Cymbalta took away the  myalgia that depression was causing. It did not take away the pain from my cycles.

Hesitantly, I brought this up to my doctor at my 2016 pap smear and STI screening. She was dismissive; to be fair though, I didn’t really try hard. I’ll spare you the gory details, but my cycles got worse. More painful, more irregular, longer, heavier, just awful. I was in pain almost all the time. So at my 2017 checkup, I brought it up again, more insistently. She ordered an ultrasound to look for fibroids. I had that test done, and everything was clear.

Then my world fell apart. My mom nearly died and her health issues eclipsed my own as I moved into survival mode. And as she healed, I felt worse. Finally, the pain in my lower back was a constant companion and I was missing work, or unable to do a good job leading my team when I was there.

When I started thinking I would rather die than have to live with it much longer, I returned to Dr Monica and begged for help. A year of fighting for my mother’s health care rights had stripped me of my reticence around doctors. When my doctor said she’d order an ultrasound, I stiffly told her we’d done one of those already and I needed another option. She said that it was out of her realm and sent me to a specialist.

The specialist was a kind older woman… I could see her from another time, Coming down off the mountain to birth babies and getting paid in chicken eggs and fresh vegetables. She examined me and heard my history and said I would likely need a hysterectomy to treat what sounded like endometriosis. The catch was she wasn’t a surgical OB/GYN. And that had to be approved by my insurance. Two months of waiting later, and bumping right up on the holidays and my trip to Tokyo, I was in Dr Tan’s office. He approved the surgery, we set a date, and I cried tears of relief on the way home.

My surgery was February 7th at one of the big Portland Hospitals. I’d been experiencing immobilizing lower back pain, recurring vaginal and urinary tract infections, as well as digestive upset and extreme fatigue for months. I had powered through all of this for my Tokyo trip, living on Advil and having stashed a spare bottle of antibiotics in my luggage, just in case. I worked right up until the day before my surgery, although I know that last week or two I was pretty useless. I’d have to stop and rest often, and I’m still not sure if  was finally just feeling how badly I was doing because there was an end in sight, or if I was steadily getting worse.

And after all this lead-up, it almost feels anti-climactic. Jas drove me to the hospital in the morning and sat with my grumpy self (I was sooooo hungry) while they prepped me for surgery. A nice fellow wheeled me into the OR, put a mask over my face, and a few seconds later, I woke up in a dim room with a chubby nurse asking how I felt. I hurt pretty badly and they gave my oxy and, eventually, gabapentin. I drifted through that night at the hospital, texting with N all night since it was his daytime, and playing Bubble Witch on my tablet. The first week of recovery was both easy and awful, as my family rallied around to keep me down on the couch and resting. The drugs I was on made everything hazy and weird around the edges.

Then, N came home on an emergency basis, and I spent two weeks with him home. He got to go with me to my 3 week checkup, which is where I learned that my uterus was twice the size it should have been, and I had significant endometrial scarring. I felt triumphant and justified; there really had been something wrong. There was a reason that I hurt so badly and it was something that had been brewing inside for a long time.

The comment I hear a lot is that I look rested. Another friend has said that the pain lines are gone from my face. And it’s true. I simply don’t hurt like I used to. My back is sore as the muscles recover from years of abuse. My incisions itch and twinge and feel weird. But I’m doing much better than I have in several years. Finally.

 

 

 

 

 

 


From couple to Pod, or, what happens when your husband moves his girlfriend in

Apparently, I missed a few, some I’ve edited it to add them  🙂

  • People will ask how he convinced you it was a good idea. In all honesty, it was my idea. She was already over here so much, and often slept on our couch, or in my bed with him while I slept on the couch, that around this time last year I approached Jason with the idea. “I can move my stuff out of my craft room, and then she can have that as her bedroom,” I said. He cried with happiness.
  • You realize how much crap you have in your craft room.
  • In a mad dash to get her moved in by the first of June, you stuff all that crap into an unused not-quite-hallway. You fail, and, a year later, you still have several totes of random yarn in the garage.
  • People will start asking who sleeps where.
  • You’ll find out quickly that they never tire of that question.
  • Seriously, who sleeps where? becomes a huge theme and you start wanting to throw things at the next person who asks.
  • “What about the kids?” I addressed that in a previous post, but honestly, it’s no big deal. They do learn, though, that there is always someone home and they can’t get away with as much stuff.
  • You realize, on your 2nd (or was it 3rd?) trip to the ER with your mother that having a second wife at home is super useful when you text “OMG I’m taking Mom to the hospital and I don’t have anything planned for dinner and I don’t know when I’ll be home” and she texts back “I’ll pick up pizza and make sure everyone has a normal night. You do what you need to do.” You’ll cry in the lobby with the relief of it all.
  • One of your other partners has no other response besides “But what about us?” as if your relationship with him, which, let’s be honest, had been dying for months, made a huge impact on where your husband’s partner lives. You feel hurt about how selfish that response was, but you shrug it off, since your son is failing a few classes and your mom almost died.
  • You get scared at how easy it all is. She doesn’t so much as move in as she begins occupying a space that you didn’t realize was empty.
  • You learn the joys of day-drinking in your pajamas.
  • You learn that one bathroom is not enough for five people to share, especially if the household is 3/5ths women.
  • Contractors think you and she are a lesbian couple, especially since she’s fairly femme and you’re fairly butch.
  • You start finding her socks and underwear in your laundry basket, and vice-versa.
  • You learn how nice it is to have someone to watch trashy TV with when your husband is out on a date with a different woman and the velociraptors are attacking your sense of well-being. Velociraptors do well on whisky and chocolate and Charlize Theron movies, BTW.
  • You’ll get the giggles when she is preparing food in the kitchen with your Dom and the two of them are sharing anal sex advice.
  • On that note, your children learn a whole new vocabulary. Dinnertime conversation has never been so fascinating for them.
  • A thought that starts with “what if?” ends up with the two of you on a plane to Tokyo and neither of you are sure what happened. Your husband, incidentally, stays home with the kids.
  • People are still asking who sleeps where, especially when your other partner comes home for a few weeks.
  • Everybody hears everything. Everything…
  • She’ll hear you having morning sex with your husband and get up to make coffee for everyone. When you stumble into the kitchen, she’ll hand you a cup and grin at you knowingly.
  • You’ll dub yourselves The Matriarchy and tease your husband about how he asked for this life.
  • All three of you will be continuously amazed at how well it all works. And you’ll wonder how you ever managed in the time before she came into your lives.
  • And people will still wonder where everyone sleeps.

Edit:

  • Even he wonders where he’s sleeping.
  • When your husband goofs up, there’s twice the side-eye and grief.
  • Three adults who cook well, living in one home, means you eat really well all the time. You might also need a gym membership.
  • Cuddle piles are the best thing when no one has to go out into the cold at the end of the night.

Update on the kids

The second-most popular question we get as a poly household is “How do the kids deal with all of it?”

The first is “Who sleeps where?” which baffles us. We all sleep in beds. The rest is none of your business. Sometimes, I sleep on the couch. Anyhow…

The kids
They’re fine.

I know I’ve updated about them before, and I’m honestly not interested in talking about them much, because I feel like they don’t need to have their life splashed across my blog before they are old enough to tell me if it’s ok or not. But, parenting as a poly couple, which has evolved into a pod of four adults, is a big part of our life here.

And, actually, I’m kind of surprised at how fine they are.

We just celebrated our son’s 15th birthday. He planned the whole thing. He wanted to play Laser Tag at a nearby arcade. He wanted about 10 of his friends there, plus his girlfriend, and he wanted his best friend since forever to spend the night. He asked his grandparents if his little sister could spend the night at their house so he and his friend could have time to themselves. And then he presented this as a whole package, all we had to do was reserve the party room and pay.

On Saturday, I got to meet eight of the most polite young men I’ve ever encountered. They brought Steam gift cards, Mountain Dew, and Doritos, and talked about running Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. They flirted with the cute girl working concessions, and helped clean up the empty popcorn boxes and soda cups at the end of the afternoon. They thanked us for the day, shook our hands, and wandered off with parents who looked just as baffled as I felt. Baffled that these teeny babies that we carried under our hearts for nearly a year should be growing beards, buying cars, kissing girls, and getting jobs.

My daughter is now ten. This morning she asked me what a feminist was, and upon getting the answer, proudly declared herself to be one. She’s writing a book with a friend of hers, has a wild imagination, and is worried about starting her period at school or on a camping trip. She’s a beautiful and fierce little dragon, and I’m so proud of her.

There’s a security that they have, that I really envy. When I was 10, I was dealing with the first stirrings of depression and anxiety disorder. When I was 15, my father got sick. My folks always fought, and home was someplace I tried desperately not to be, at least until my anxiety paralyzed me in the 8th grade, and I couldn’t leave for a year.

They still have a safety net. Jas and I, of course. And Jason’s partner, who lives with us now. She plays video games with them and buys pizza on nights when the other adults work. They miss my other husband, N, who is in Japan for another few months, and they’re eagerly planning for when he comes back home. Because of our life, their experiences have been richer, I feel, and more varied than they would have been if we were a traditional couple. And the logistics of it doesn’t phase them at all. Sometimes, Daddy sleeps with his other partner. Sometimes he sleeps with me. Sometimes, N sleeps with me and Daddy is out late with someone else. Their world revolves with very little disturbance for them and there’s almost always a supportive adult at home for them to talk to.

My daughter says her friends think it’s weird that Daddy has two wives, that Mommy has other partners. But she sticks up for us, saying she thinks it’s weird that her friends don’t have a big family of loving adults. She tells them she’s lucky.

And my son? He wants to know if N can help him find a car this summer.

So, yeah, I think the kids are still doing allright.

 

 

 

 

 


I realized something

I’ve realized something and it made me pretty mad.

OK. Very mad.

Mostly at myself.

In restarting this blog and talking to people about how I was still writing all along, but not posting and then having to answer “Why not?” I realized that I had become afraid to post.

I had become afraid to post because I was with someone who was easily triggered.

And something that he had loved about me, the openness with which I talk about poly and mental health and everything else, that something became something I felt I had to hide from him. And he never specifically told me I had to, in fact, he told me he hoped I still would write and post and chatter on twitter and all that other stuff.

But then, when I did, it was like stepping into a minefield, and I didn’t know what was going to blow up. And one little phrase or word and he’d get angry and sullen and depressed and I’d get terse text messages and awkward afternoons and eventually, I just stopped. He took my words from me. Except, I didn’t see it that way, because I was still using my private journal.

But that doesn’t change the truth. He took away my platform.

I was never going to become that person, and I did anyway.

And I’m really sorry that it happened.

Lesson learned.

Time to move on.