Change in all the areas of my life...

Vicki82

Member
In this vein, I think you are lucky to be living with the people you love and able to work from home!
 

icesong

Member
Right now I’m alternating between anger and gratitude - given they’re at the same person for the same action, that’s a pretty weird mix, really.

As I’ve said here before, Artist and I _had_ decided that we were just going to consider each other’s houses one household for the purposes of all this. If anything it was more of a risk to me and the people that live here, given ArtistWife’s job, but I had accepted that and Artist had too. I mean, isolation pods are a thing, or at least that’s what how I thought of it.

And then he panicked yesterday, and decided while he’d still think about seeing me in person he was too scared of either getting the thing elsewhere and passing it to me or vice versa to touch me, and thought that continuing to combine households was too much of a risk of being a vector to the world.

(Did I mention that for a sadist he’s weirdly lawful good / cautious? Like, drives the speed limit etc. This is... not a thing I am.)

So on the one hand I’m _pissed_. He made a decision at least partially based on protecting me without talking to me about it - this is a thing that annoys me enough that I have a phrase for it, spidermanning me (based on a movie ending that still has me ranting like almost 20 years later). It feels like everything I’ve ever said or thought about non hierarchy was window dressing for something where I’m solidly a secondary. That everything I’ve said about our relationship being just as real despite having no logistical entanglements is so easily thrown out the window in the face of crisis. And he just dropped that decision on me as though it was obvious and reasonable and as though it wouldn’t hurt me - I think mostly because he was being practical and not emotional.

And yet.... this thing is fucking scary. So I get that. And I have to wonder whether me being ok with him being an exception was just me not being a grownup, and maybe he was and is being the adult I need him to be right now despite me not wanting him to - and so part of me is grateful for that. :):ironic laugh:: somehow my submission doesn’t usually extend outside the bedroom and yet in this moment it is and that feels appropriate somehow)

And yet, and yet, and yet, swinging back and forth on an insane pendulum. I don’t know how to be ok with this choice. There’s this irrational part of me that wants him to just come here for the duration instead, despite the house already not being big enough for the number of people who are in it 24/7. He’d be safer though, we’re so much more isolated than ArtistWife is or can be. Another irrational part that says if he loved me I’d be worth the risk and we should just go on the way we have been.

Rationally I know this is only a few weeks or maybe a month at most - I think even before social distancing officially ends the corner will turn enough that the panic can subside, and while things may take longer for work and school and travel I think the locked in one house will... must... come to an end.

Will I be sane at the end of that? That’s the part I don’t know. I don’t really know how to handle this anger. I don’t know how to believe in love without his hands on me - frankly even with the contact we have usually, sometimes it felt like I was “measur[ing] out my life in coffee spoons”, waiting far too much to be alive for a few moments of blissful intensity.

There’s a lot that could be said here about kink and trauma bonding and whether cramming so much into these little pockets of joy is healthy.

But those little pockets of joy were the last little tiny bit of normality and he took them away without even really asking me. And I understand final decision is what it is but I don’t understand why it was presented as a fait accompli. Though he didn’t really know what it would do to my rejection dysphoria, didn’t know that I already spend far more time than I should be five years in scared that something was going to happen and he’d suddenly fall out of love with me, that really only in the past few months - since last summer perhaps? - had I truly, truly managed to believe that this was as permanent as I believe anything is - I mean that’s why the collaring made sense.

He thinks I’m stronger than I am, really. Maybe it’s because I want to be the person he sees me as. And perhaps on some levels I can do anything for a bit ... perhaps if I could hit this with a sword or go shoot it with a gun I would be that strong. But locking myself away from most of the things that make me happy for some undetermined amount of time with the promise that maybe, maybe I’ll be safe? From something that might or might not hurt me as is? I don’t know how to do that.

It doesn’t help that this trap is making me into the world’s worst mother to MiniMe and partner to Knight - MiniMe is lonely and in my face enough I want to scream, and I just ... if I had had to choose which partner to physically distance from it would not have been him. I love him but I don’t need to touch him in the same way - I did once but he didn’t need it and it faded... and now he sees how much I’m hurting and he’s trying so damn hard, so very fucking hard and I still feel like I’m a thousand miles from him despite us being trapped here. I had started being able to process the way that my partners were just different and be ok with it, but now it feels like mockery to hug one partner when I want the other, when my skin fucking hurts just seeing a selfie today of the partner I want in a really soft sweatshirt that I know exactly how his body feels inside it.

And yet Knight is so good at calming my fears and taking care of me when I’m melting about this apocalyptic scenario we’re stuck in, and emotionally maybe he knows me better than Artist does - I wouldn’t have thought that in some ways, given the massive blind spots he’s had about me recently, and yet when I said Artist suggested that we could see each other without touching and I said that sounded more hellish than not seeing each other at all, his response was basically along the lines of “that couldn’t be more clear had you written it on the walls, I have no idea why he didn’t realize that”. And part of it I’m sure is that he heard me worrying back when ArtistWife’s partner left her and things were Weird In The Polycule, so it was more obvious, but... I guess everyone has their blind spots about their own actions.

I’m not really cut out for long distance, or this whole fake long distance thing. And as much as I like having Joan here I’m not really dealing well with her presence when I’ve been cut off like this, either, so that’s another thing.
 

Vicki82

Member
Rationally I know this is only a few weeks or maybe a month at most - I think even before social distancing officially ends the corner will turn enough that the panic can subside, and while things may take longer for work and school and travel I think the locked in one house will... must... come to an end.

I don't know about that, icesong. Our government is saying to expect months. Like summer at the earliest. I hate to make more rain on your parade, but I seriously doubt this will only be a few weeks, or if it is and people come out, it will be a terrible mistake. They're talking about China having people reinfected, so obviously this doesn't confer any immunity even once you recover. It sucks, but seeing loved ones isn't worth risking death over.

I don't know if that makes things any different for you... but I wouldn't be counting on it being such a short duration.

I'm sorry you're having a rough time. I'm already going pretty crazy myself from anxiety and worry.
 

icesong

Member
What I meant was that while we may still be in school off, work closed, etc - I definitely think that’s going to last until summer, honestly - I think that we’ll hit the point where making exceptions for one or two people becomes a lot less panic inducing. We shall see.
 

icesong

Member
Just like most of the world, I’m struggling. I honestly feel kind of guilty for struggling emotionally as much as I am - I mean, Knight’s doing pretty well work wise (surprisingly so!), so all I need to worry about is trying to teach MiniMe at least SOME stuff, cooking, and any personal projects I manage to find motivation for.

So far that number of projects is utterly zero. I just... can’t find any motivation for anything. So that kind of sucks.

I mean it’s understandable though - I mean, MiniMe is a LOT, for one. And there’s just extra stress from ... things that would have happened anyway without the quarantine but suck worse for timing. One of my cats died Thursday - we knew it was coming (kidneys) but thought we had a few more months or at least weeks. Instead he went from “still begging for food and wandering around seemingly fairly content” Wednesday night and even Thursday morning to “can’t walk” at 1 and gone at 3. Sooooo... that sucked.

But Thursday would have been weird regardless, I think. Knight had some minor stomach illness two days ago too, which was probably induced by too much coffee but still led to a lot of panic googling on my part as to the gastrointestinal version of the Current Plague, and very little sleep. (Did I mention I’m *also* a bit of an emetophobic? Doesn’t help.) Anyway he’s fine but when he came downstairs around 11 to come talk to me the conversation took an unexpected turn.

Suddenly my not that interested in sex nor in kink partner wants to play around with that sort of thing again? Well after I had put him in a box of “this is not who we are to each other”? A box that mentally made it possible for me to say yes, I want to be collared to my Artist? So... I’m not against the idea but I’m having to do some serious thinking as to exactly how to engage that side of me in such a different context. (It’s not something that I have to work out with Artist, exactly, as he encourages me to have whatever relationships I want to have other than him - as I’ve said before here, my two partners are poly to the core in a way I can only aspire to.) And in this current fucking hell of a quarantine situation, I also have to figure out how to engage that part of me without making my absence from Artist worse, especially if those experiments don’t go as well as I would like. So... IDK. We’ll see what happens - obviously this conversation happened before my cat became suddenly ill, and while we did end up having sex that night clearly it wasn’t about the kink side of things as that headspace just wasn’t there.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Suddenly my not that interested in sex nor in kink partner wants to play around with that sort of thing again? Well after I had put him in a box of “this is not who we are to each other”? A box that mentally made it possible for me to say yes, I want to be collared to my Artist? So... I’m not against the idea but I’m having to do some serious thinking as to exactly how to engage that side of me in such a different context.
Have you ever tried the dominant side? ;)
 

icesong

Member
Oh, I have, enough that I call myself a switch in certain circles - but the ways in which I express it are very very very not compatible with Knight. This is very gendered - and I suppose would be different if I dated someone more gender fluid? - but the two modes I top from are either I tend to be a little bit toppier with women, OR if a guy is really into me I can sometimes end up in sort of a bottoming from the top mode - I am inflicting the action or whatnot but only because they’re begging for it or even ordering it. So... yeah. Neither of those match up with Knight at all.

Come to think of it the most successful “me topping” scenes I’ve had with a male identified partner were with my expartner DinoActivist, who I thought was a cis bi guy at the time but who has since come out as nonbinary to some degree? (We don’t talk much but OKC keeps trying to hook us back up). I topped Artist once as he wanted to try it but even in service top / somewhat submissive mode it just didn’t fit in our dynamic very well.

I’m... *kind* of hoping Ginger might go that way (me getting to top a bit). Maybe. If I had to get a read on that at all it might be that we’re both switch?

Speaking of whom, she’s still gorgeous and we have a phone date tomorrow. Yay!
 

Tinwen

Active member
Speaking of whom, she’s still gorgeous and we have a phone date tomorrow. Yay!
Well that's some good quarantine news :))))
 

Evie

Well-known member
I'm not precisely sure how old MiniMe is, but may I suggest that the best thing you can do with MiniMe is read :)
Cooking is next, especially all the measuring stuff. Find a recipe you need to halve.
(source: teacher here)

I'm so sorry about your cat :(
 

icesong

Member
So it's been a month - a little longer, really, than I've seen Artist. The longest we've ever gone, before, was like three weeks and that was hard too, but this is... excruciating, honestly. We spend hours watching movies on the phone, and yes, intimate video chats happen sometimes, but it feels like a normal I just don't know how to settle into - don't know how to, don't want to, don't have the capability of handling. I mean, clearly I am still here, but I'm also literally on antidepressants for the first time in my life and I think it's the only thing making me even semi-functional (and oh, but I have deep philosophical concerns about whether I even SHOULD be functional though this, whether better living through chemistry is even the right answer.

The thing is that it's not even particularly prevalent here - enough that school is canceled til next year and that seems reasonable, enough to extend the stay at home a bit longer, but at the same time I would have still treated his house as part of mine for the duration so I sort of realize I'm irrational on this and shouldn't even be thinking about trying to break the distance. And yet it's so wildly unfair that so many people are doing so many stupider things with more people, and I just want *one* tiny exception, one tiny sliver of happiness. That would be enough.

Though even Artist says maybe at the end of this month. I don't know.

I'm still so very very scared that things have changed irrevocably between us. Like if we're actively on the phone with each other it's ... fine I think, although some of the silences are longer than they would be in person, but then that's perhaps just because our lives are so constrained right now. And I mean we still text just as much, if not more. But as I told him when this started, I have a very hard time feeling like anything is real without his actual touch - it's like he's gone, like I've imagined everything between us in some elaborate fantasy.
 

Vicki82

Member
Hugs. That's a lot of how I'm feeling right now, except without even the virtual contact.

I hope things will get better for us both.
 

Tinwen

Active member
I'm still so very very scared that things have changed irrevocably between us.
Probably not. You may have to go through some moodswings when you see him again, accumulated anger and frustration and grief being released. You may have to find some consensus on how to handle it if a similar scenario repeats itself. But I trust you'll be fine in the end. I cheer on you.
 

icesong

Member
46 days. Artist is still not talking about how he's even deciding when he's willing to break isolation to see me. I'm not even asking for a date, per se, just a ... wtf are you waiting for, exactly, so I can look at THAT as a marker and feel like it's something objective and not some weird dance of risk versus how much he values me. And yes I asked, last week during our wednesday movie, and he said he'd think about it and then we didn't talk about it Saturday during that virtual date because... well we were talking about kinky things and I wanted to leave that in a good space rather than go back to this fucking conflict. So unsurprising that both of us avoided the conversation though.

I've... been drinking too much and obsessing too much and working too much- and apparently the antidepressants make me more sensitive to alcohol so I really really really need to knock at least that part off. 'Course anyone who reads this blog would be unsurprised that I'd have issues with alcohol during this damn quarantine, given how problematic my relationship is it with even in "normal" times.

I'm not even sure whether he knows just how unhappy to the point of somewhat nonfunctional I am - I mean, I've told him, some, but he's not here to see it exactly and it's so easy to flippantly dismiss your own struggles in text or even on the phone. Hell, even in person, though he reads me better than THAT most of the time, despite my cynical mockery of myself.

I thought loving without logistical entanglement would make me feel chosen... and it does, except for when it doesn't. And maybe he's feeling just as bad and not telling me. I mean he says he loves me, over and over and over but if he does how can he choose this?
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
That sucks that he won't discuss it more specifically! It sounds very frustrating. My sympathies.
 

icesong

Member
Magdlyn - to be fair, I spent most of April specifically not asking to discuss the whole thing, because for a few weeks I thought it was a reasonable if difficult choice, and for a few weeks after that I thought I was handling it better because meds and could hold out til the end of the month. That was the date that was given to me at the beginning as when we'd reconsider, and I was trying SO hard not to be that person guilting their partner for making different choices than they were.

I mean, honestly most of the poly world is either in "we're going to do whatever" OR "we're going to be really strict about lockdown" mode and there doesn't seem to be a lot of in between or nuance to conversations, even amongst people I usually respect for their nuance. And even though I understand why the conversation is devolving into the level of polarity it is - people being people, especially when scared - trying to find any sort of middle ground is astonishingly wearing on me, in a way that starts making it so I can't even trust my own opinions at all and makes me feel selfish for having any sort of needs.

But all that said, we did talk last night, and if it wasn't a resolution in any sort of way, I can at least say I was honest about my needs, and how much I was not dealing with any of this, and how much I didn't understand his reasoning. I am not pissed at him for his actual decisions on this but I was and am angry about how he's communicating (or not) about it, and at how in many ways he's avoiding the issue which means that the brunt of this is falling on me. And I think that's fair.

He did promise in that conversation to think about his own choices more and discuss them with ArtistWife - usually I'd think of that as pretty egregious couples privilege but in this case it *does* directly affect her. I had the same conversations already with Knight and Joan before I even talked to Artist really, since it was sort of a moot point as to whether he was willing to come if they didn't want him to, given in this case it does directly affect them in a way that that choice wouldn't usually.

And to some degree I realized this morning I'm making the classic mistake of comparing what I'm feeling on the inside to what he's expressing on the outside - one of my biggest fears in all of this has always been, for many years (even pre lockdown) that I was far more into him than he was me. I was finally to a point where I didn't believe that, right around the time of the collaring, or perhaps back when we first started discussing it, and the way the lockdown went down stirred all of that RIGHT back up.

I suspect that my trying to be chill about expressing ...anything... slowed down our relationship, at the beginning. Probably for the better - my analogy for that at the moment would be (and given the baking fever that has swept the nation it seems appropriate) it was a bit like putting bread dough in the fridge to rise - takes much much longer to get to a place, but is tremendously richer when it's there. So.

I just.... I have such a hard time believing words when I can't touch someone. Or they don't touch me. I suppose there's a serious problem here, given that it's been such a recurring issue in my relationship with Knight and is rearing its head in such a completely not anyone's fault and unexpected way in a relationship that was utterly rock stable on THAT front. Maybe there's something there to fix, I'm not sure.

In other news Joan and I had a long and at least one-side-drunken (mine) conversation about my touch starvation (amongst many other things) the other night. There was even some conversation about playing around with shibari with her, as she obviously doesn't get to tie and I'm curious about it, having never really done it with someone with more of a clue (Knight was acquiring a clue for a bit years ago, then lost interest in both rope and me). Strangely, although she says you can end up with a high from it, it feels like it's different enough from the impact-and-mental-games that I share with Artist to not be as difficult to process as the idea of doing kinky things with Knight was.

I'd also like to be functional enough to quit obsessing over this thing between me and Artist so I can be more present for the people here, but that's... difficult. Right now I'm getting work done (weirdly I have more freelance projects right now than I've had in years) and succeeding at dinner and on REALLY good days I manage not to yell much at MiniMe and past that... ::sigh::

Oh, and the text flirtation with Ginger continues, which is lovely (eeeee! it's real flirtation with a gorgeous woman! who is NOT a partner of anyone I'm dating! eeeeeee!). So that's nice?
 
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Vicki82

Member
I think you and I are a lot alike in some ways, icesong. When I read your post it felt so similar in a lot of ways to how I've been feeling.

Hugs. This fucking pandemic is a nightmare.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
icesong, I'm not sure what you mean by poly people doing and feeling "whatever," or "really strict." And I think we can include people who are sharing custody of children.

I'm not seeing a second person now, just doing my usual "living with Pixi" thing. And she's going back and forth between our house and her bf/master's house. 4 days here, 3 days there. He lives alone and luckily is working from home. So that's been it for 2 months.

I am flirting with a new Fetlife guy. Who knows when we'll actually meet. He's local.

My (adult) son won't come see us, even though he lives with his dad, and they've been isolating together for 2 months too! I think he could come (and help me w yard work ffs lol) but he wants to stay pure.

So, are we "strict" or "whatever"?
 

icesong

Member
Magdlyn, I wouldn't say you were either end of the spectrum there, I would still go back and forth were I Pixi too. But there are people on both Fet and FB that would yell at y'all for that. And usually I.could give zero fucks about what other people say about my life choices, but the "if you don't do this you're risking someone else who wasn't part of the conversation" narrative has gotten to me.

And yeah, Vicki, this thing is a nightmare that I swear seems designed by the universe to psychologically screw with people as much as possible. I mean I can't think of any other scenario, even of illness, that would lead to separating people THIS much.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Magdlyn, I wouldn't say you were either end of the spectrum there, I would still go back and forth were I Pixi too. But there are people on both Fet and FB that would yell at y'all for that. And usually I.could give zero fucks about what other people say about my life choices, but the "if you don't do this you're risking someone else who wasn't part of the conversation" narrative has gotten to me.

I don't get whose lives we're risking. Pixi's bf sees no one but her. He goes to the grocery store quickly once a week. Washes his hands, doesn't touch his face, all that. Pixi and I were going to the grocery store every other week, but we decided to start ordering food and beer/wine this week. And that worked out well. We all wipe down our food items, all packages that arrive, then wash hands, wipe down all surfaces. table, counters, door knobs.

We decided to stop going out altogether partly because MA is not doing well. A local Walmart tested all its employees last week, and 91 of 381 workers were infected! That makes me wonder about the store we were going to.

And yeah, Vicki, this thing is a nightmare that I swear seems designed by the universe to psychologically screw with people as much as possible. I mean I can't think of any other scenario, even of illness, that would lead to separating people THIS much.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
Magdlyn, I wouldn't say you were either end of the spectrum there, I would still go back and forth were I Pixi too. But there are people on both Fet and FB that would yell at y'all for that. And usually I.could give zero fucks about what other people say about my life choices, but the "if you don't do this you're risking someone else who wasn't part of the conversation" narrative has gotten to me.

And yeah, Vicki, this thing is a nightmare that I swear seems designed by the universe to psychologically screw with people as much as possible. I mean I can't think of any other scenario, even of illness, that would lead to separating people THIS much.

Did you read that shitfest in poly and kinky?
 
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