Tag Archives: polyamory

bad brain

For clarity, my long distance boyfriend decided he liked the idea of me calling him Ziggy, here. I will update the cast of characters accordingly, when I get around to it. I hope.

Ziggy has ADD. This is helpful, as he is pretty understanding about what it’s like to deal with mental issues and the ins and outs of daily medication. He’s also gifted my life with a phrase that I really love.

Bad brain day. This is, for me, a day when things are off. When the meds aren’t quite cutting it. When the world is a little blue, and everything is a bit muddy and weird.

Today is a bad brain day, and I’m not really sure why.

I feel tired, foggy, grumpy, and a little blue. The tasks on my plate seem too big, too hard, too much.

And I’m ok. The best thing about bad brain days is that they simply are days. I can get through them. I’m at ronger and better than I was. I have tools at my disposal, and friends to help when the tools aren’t enough. Hell, even just writing all this down is helping a lot. 

Why am I sad? I don’t know. My cat died last week. David Bowie and Alan Rickman both died. And old friend of my husband’s is sick with cancer and in the hospital. Work yesterday was really tough. I’m in the middle of an extremely painful cycle this month. The yarn I ordered isn’t here yet. I had to take Ziggy to the airport this morning. I feel my son growing up and growing away from me. I spilled my hot cocoa while I was at new seasons this morning. 

All of these are valid reasons to feel sad, and I know what I really need to do is sit down and sort them. Process them, worth through them. I feel sad because my lap is empty when I sit down to knit. I am frustrated with my coworkers for not being more flexible with the scheduling, which causes long days and weird hours for myself. It was hard to drop Ziggy off at the airport today because he is going to a convention I want to go to, and I always miss him  when he is in a different state. I’m hurting for a old friend who was dealt a shitty hand and just, fuck cancer, all the way around. And I am more emotional because I am hurting physically and the physical pain is big and scary now that it is mostly gone. Because physical pain reminds me too much of the darkest times and I am terrified of those monsters coming back, now that life is finally getting so good.

So, today is a bad brain day. But I’m gonna make it. Because that’s what I do. And I’m gonna turn this around. Life is too precious and sweet to let one bad day ruin the rest. 

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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.


Affirmation

This whole learning how to be a person thing? It’s really fucking hard.

But, I have to remember that it’s worth it, too.

A month and a half on the Cymbalta. I’ve made it through Thanksgiving, and a crazy Black Friday at work.  I’ve been on my feet for weeks straight, stopping to sleep and occasionally cuddle a loved one, and I’m ready for a day off.

But I don’t feel flattened. I don’t hurt all over. I’m sleeping well and I have energy. I still haven’t started therapy, but it’s on the list.And the positives far outweight the negatives, even still. The medicine is worth it; I’m getting my self back.

It feels much like when I had my Lasik surgery earlier this year. The first few days were tough. Nothing was in focus, and I have flashes of bright clarity that almost hurt. Then, gradually, my vision settled down, and I could see clearly without glasses for the first time in my life.

The first weeks of anti-depressant medication was hard. I felt overwhelmed and fragile, with flashes of bright beauty. A pain-free day, an hour of laughter with my husband, a beautiful morning in the arms of my lover. And slowly, the clarity and beauty is becoming my reality.

I get dizzy. I forget to eat, because the meds kill my appetite. I sleep much more. It’s more difficult to reach orgasm. 

I connect with my loved ones better. I laugh more. I sleep more soundly. I perform better at work I have more focus. I hurt less. I snuggle more. I have more stamina for everyday activities. 

I’ve had many tearful conversations with my husband. This world of feelings? It’s hard and scary. Knowing that I will likely be on meds for the rest of my life? Kinda sucks. Having a bad day terrifies me because I don’t want the darkness to take over again. A sore ankle is frightening because it reminds me of when I hurt all over all of the time. 

The medication isn’t a one-time solution. I merely opened the door, so I could start a long journey toward healing. And I’m worth it. I deserve to laugh. I deserve to feel good. I deserve to connect with my loved ones. And I deserve their love and suppport.

I’m worth taking care of.


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.


Long Distance

So, it seems I am in a  relationship again.

It’s been a different experience this time. We met online, in the fallout from my breakup with Wash. He had some questions about the poly lifestyle; I had answers, and a great big hole in my life. We started chatting through Direct Messages, sending sometimes hundreds of messages a day. He lived several states away, in the southwest. We started chatting by phone, and eventually through Skype. And always through Direct Message, until my day didn’t feel right unless I had heard from him.

I wanted to fly out and meet him, but was unable to do so.  The messages flew back and forth, most sexy and playful, but more and more often they were serious. We talked about everything and nothing,  often for hours. I opened up to him about my depression and anxiety, and when I was having a bad day, his first response was always to ask if I needed him to call. My girls at work would tease me about my younger man… he’s 11 years younger than I. I realized that I got my first job when he was in preschool.

We finally met in person in July. I was horribly nervous; clinging to my phone and obsessively reading facebook to keep a hold on the panic in my body. This was someone who’d never touched me but had seen me naked; who’d whispered in my ear dozens of times but had never held me close. 

I was scared. What if the spark we had online wasn’t there in person?

Even scarier; what if it was?

An online relationship is almost easy. There is a barrier in between you and that other person, a safety net made of the screen and the keyboard. It’s easy to whisper about your terrors and demons to someone who lives a few thousand miles away. You don’t feel as accountable, almost, because that person is so far away they almost don’t seem real. 

And suddenly he was real. He was walking past security at PDX and we were getting dinner at New Seasons and we were holding hands and laughing together. He was in my home for a magical week, and then gone again. He held me when we said goodbye at the starbucks near my work, and promised he’d come back. And at the end of August, he did. He found a job and moved up here, to a town 2 hours from Portland.

And I’m learning a few things… long distance relationships are hard but they are worth it. Two hours by car is far better than two hours by plane, and if your lover lives at the other end of a national scenic byway, the drive is quite pleasant. Stocking up kisses to hold you over til the next visit almost works. Snuggling up with your iPad after online sexy times is not nearly as satisfying as snuggling up with your lover after real-life ones. Teaching crochet via Skype is challenging but can be done.  Having the house to yourselves because the roommate is gone is pure bliss. And always charge your phone before a phone date, or it may crap out during something important. 


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