Friends and lovers

I'm writing here cos I really want to write to an ex, but I know I shouldn't.

It's Grotto. I don't know how I told the story here but let me tell it again. Hmm. Well. There's too much. Maybe I'll write here, instead, what I want to write to him.

I still think about you all the time. And by "all the time" I mean, at least once a day, probably more.

I don't know why, exactly. Is it because I know you're still feeling the same pain over and over like Christ crucified anew every time the wafer moon is lifted above the altar? Is it because you're avoiding me, so there's nowhere for this liquid to flow, which used to flow to you? There's a missing pipe and a flood under me.

I got angry today because, fuck it, it was your decision to self-medicate and use me up. I was all used up by the time you decided to quit ice. And, by the way, you only told me you'd been using after you'd decided to quit. You'd already broken your pipe when you confessed to me. And by then, I was all gone. We'd had eight months of escalating crazy, til you could yell me foetal. You would say "why can't you underSTAND?" but it made no sense. Our conversations were like novels hacked up and glued together haphazardly, chapters reaching surprising conclusions before starting over at the middle of another tale then suddenly ending at a cliff-hanger preface.

But I get it, you were numbing the pain. You didn't want to feel bad. You wanted to feel okay with what was going on, what you'd agreed to by then but we're really really regretting. You realised you were strapped into this rollercoaster ride and you'd trusted it wouldn't be quite so violent and certainly not as long... Jesusfuck it is really nauseating, actually, the gradients are rather harsher, the curves more parabolic, than depicted in the carnival brochure. And you didn't expect it would go on for so many hours, days. Come to think of it, is it just me or is it looping around, this ride, it keeps at it apace with no intimation of slowing down.

So yeah, I get it. You realised you were trapped in something which only ends a couple of ways. You pull the emergency cord and get off and maybe I get off too? You're not sure anymore and where am I anyway? Or you get the fuck used to the ride. The meth and opiates were essentially anti-nausea medication for the vigorous undulations of living with me in NRE with Lobe.

And you're still off the meth but you keep drinking the tea, and you feel you need it, cos when you take the bandage off the skin comes away too and right there's the wound as wet and agape as ever.

It's not my business, but where do you go from here?

You say you're afraid of getting close to anyone again, because of feeling betrayed by me. But fuck it, I fought for our relationship. I wanted to make it work. I wanted to find a way that I wouldn't have to choose. I hate that I had to and I hate that I had to choose Lobe. But in the hollow of my heart I knew I needed to do that.

Maybe a more self-sacrificial person would have broken up with both you and Lobe. I'm not that kind of self-sacrificial. I please myself. I try to be fair, honest, respectful, all those noble elements we strive for, but ultimately, as you say, love wants what it wants.

But I didn't mean to bring that up. I wanted to talk about the recurrance of you in my dreams, the perpetual autopsy that fantasises about being a mutual vivisection-cum-taxidermy-cum-sculpture using found objects. I miss you. I miss making art with you in the dark.
That's very beautiful. Your feelings are deep and powerful and painful.

I definitely remember your relationship with Grotto. Or at least, what I remember is that it didn't work. That Grotto's emotions were extremely difficult and he kept blaming you and could make no progress. And you kept blaming yourself because you broke his request to not date Lobe.

And your relationship with Lobe worked and was good. And you kept trying with Grotto and it kept not working.

I do NOT recall you mentioning that Grotto used meth. Well. That is a big missing piece--Grotto is someone who uses drugs to cope. (And not just drugs, but just about the heaviest/hardest/worst drug). OK. That is about Grotto and not about you.

I am sad that you are still blaming yourself, and now blaming yourself for his drug use too. Telling yourself that Grotto's drug use was kind of your fault, that he was doing it to cope with jealousy of your feelings for Lobe. Ick, no.

I have read many, many stories on this forum of people driven to despair by their partner's NRE. None of them felt they had no option but to use meth.

Obviously you know this with your logic-brain, and you are just writing a letter from your feelings-brain /heart/dreams, but I figure I'll mention it just in case you are genuinely blaming yourself: Grotto has his own issues and they aren't about you.

Grotto does not sound emotionally capable of having poly relationships. You made each other very sad. He has to follow his own path (which hopefully won't involve more women who will absorb the blame for his problems).

Honestly, your letter to me feels full of guilt. More guilt even than love.

I also have an ex I still think of daily, who often haunts my dreams and who I compose imaginary letters to. He hurt me so much and was so cold to me. He never understood how much I cared about him.

He also blamed me for everything (including his own sexual problems!) and was so angry. Even though logically I know I'm not to blame, the emotion in my dreams is usually guilt.
Sorry that you went through what sounds like such a fraught, emotionally draining situation. I found that writing letters like this, letters that I never intended to send, to be extremely therapeutic for dealing with the pain, confusion, and longing inherent in some breakups. I'd hand write a letter, seal it in an envelope, and when I felt like I was moving past the feelings that were the subject of the letter, I'd burn it, usually while I was camped out in some far off place. I know it's probably a bit cliche but the burning really brought clarity and felt like it brought release.
MeeraReed, Refusnik - a very belated thank you for your replies. MeeraReed - your experience of being blamed by an ex sounds awful, I'm sorry you faced that. I wrote more to you, which I'll post later. Refusnik - I really like the concept of a burn letter. I've done something similar while camping, a kind of ritual, but not with a letter. Just other things I wanted to part from. The letter is good, I know I'll use that.


I have a small stack of "poly blog drafts", sadly undated, which I will post eventually! But I'll first do a big catch up post :)

The biggest news is that Ocean, Lobe & I bought a house together! It was a several month process due to various complications (it was an estate sale and probate didn't come through for awhile) but it's all finalised now and we moved in towards the end of last year. It's got plenty of room, mostly in rooms, which is exciting. There's a double storeyed main house, a self-contained bungalow out back and a decent sized shed. For now it's just the five of us (three adults, two kids) but there's room for housemates down the track. We can comfortably afford the mortgage without needing to rent out anything, though, so thankfully no pressure.

We've slowly settled in. Lobe has inhabited the shed, I have a little music room in the house and Ocean has a study. Other areas are in development. We've had a few gatherings here already and it's starting to feel like home. More than that, Our Home. A place we all have a stake in.

Fern and Elf are thriving - they are 3 and 18 months now! One of the first days after moving here, Fern disappeared outside. Some minutes later, he came back, completely naked and covered in dirt and he said "COME INTO THE FOREST WITH ME!" Turns out he had found the strip of giant plants down the side of the house. I love that this will be a magical place to grow up.

I've had a few crushes over the past year but I'm gonna keep things uncomplicated for a while. I've been doing some more therapy in relation to childhood crap (mostly) that's resurfaced recently. As part of that I feel like I'm coming through another phase of understanding how I've been shaped by my experiences of sexual abuse (both as a child and adult.) My part-time work for some years has been in a role supporting people facing violence in intimate or family relationships, and it sometimes hits home a bit too. I do regular debriefing through work but it does colour my personal relationships occasionally.

Lobe has drastically cut down alcohol and almost quit nicotine (he's vaping dregs at the moment) which are major achievements. Re alcohol, he lived alone for many years and got into the habit of irregular "binge drinking thinking" - excessive drinking as a way to process thoughts and emotions. This worked ok when we were dating long distance (barely affected me) but living together it required some adjustment and parenting together it was pretty incompatible. Mostly because it would always be spontaneous. My bottom line is now that I need it to be negotiated prior. But he's just kinda quit doing it altogether, which is also fine ;) We'll see. It's been several months now since the last incident. By incident I mean Lobe's suddenly very drunk and not functional so I need to keep kids and me away from him (cos he can get in a weird headspace, at times antagonistic) and then I'm stuck with parental responsibilities the next day too cos he's hung over. Really overall that's only happened no more than 10 times in total, but it's shit and really really doesn't work for me. It's deal breaker land and while it was getting better in stages, I'm glad we seem to have clear, shared expectations now. I think it helped to work out what he was using the alcohol for (space to be in his own head, putting up walls to prioritise himself) and trying to get that in other ways.

Ok, I'd best be sloping off to bed now. Will post some of the dated drafts next time. *sleepy waves*
One of my saved drafts (undated):

I lie in a curtained room next to Elf, who has fallen asleep at my tit. Pouted, milky lips a hair's width from my nipple.

In the next room, Lobe and Fern are having a bath and the sound of sloshing water through the wooden wall makes it seem like they're on a boat. When Lobe opens the tap again, it screeches like a sail turning.

I want to change this blog title to "Family, friends and lovers", but instead of starting a new blog I will do a mini restart from here. Family, friends and lovers are not mutually exclusive categories, of course, but I feel I'm doing much more of the family thing than the lovers thing right now, and there's definitely a poly overlay to family, for me, which I would like to write about. I'm interested in how our particular "poly parenting" dynamic is developing.


MeeraReed, I was surprised by you reading guilt more than love in my last post. I wonder if you are right. My dreams of Grotto are usually of him just being there, perhaps a peripheral character, occasionally someone more intimate. If there is emotion, it is usually a sense of crossed purposes or fraughtness. Now and then I have hurt him in dreams (once quite violently, in a semi-lucid dream). I did not identify guilt when I woke up. More sadness, and/or a sense of reaching out to him. But you're right, there isn't much love there either.

I don't know if I mentioned the meth. Yup, I know that's on him. His choices. I guess when he's talked about it (especially during counselling) he has explained why he felt he needed it. I also know he's tapered off opiates a few times over the years since we broke up, and one of the difficulties of that for him is the still-raw anguish of our break up beneath the poppy tea fuzz. He finds it physically painful, so he uses again. I say this to acknowledge how he feels about it, rather than to imply it's the only choice he has. I think his choices are not healthy and mean that he keeps deferring (and probably making more difficult) the heavy personal work he needs to do to get a useful perspective on what happened. I think if he got sober, gave his brain time to adjust, did some serious therapy etc he would be able to move on and even heal from the hurt he's carrying. He's choosing to cocoon. I know that. I also know he chooses that because it hurts less in the short to medium term than the alternatives.
Present day

Have a few more drafts to post but I'll interleave them with present day posts.

Lobe, Elf, Fern and I just returned from a trip visiting Lobe's family. A lot of animals (dogs, goats, rabbits, cats, rats etc far outnumbered the humans) which was fun for the kids. Travel with kids is not at all like a relaxing childfree vacation and I'm glad I took an extra day off work just for me, when I got back. (Today). Ahhh.

Lobe and I mostly had a good time. I think I finally got over a persistent negative mindset I've had around sharing life admin / chores with Lobe. Lobe is rubbish at multitasking, and he doesn't have effective systems to manage the manifold child-related tasks (immunisations, organising their food, laundry etc). What he is good at is being single minded about the activity in the present and being really absorbed with childcare in a direct way. So generally he hangs out with the kids while I make dinner (on the days Ocean doesn't cook) etc. I've felt a bit frustrated about having to remember the menial things, keep track of what needs to be done, schedule appointments. The mental load of parenting. I get resentful that Lobe takes it for granted. Meanwhile Lobe feels like I take him for granted, as if I am doing everything and he is doing nothing whereas he is mostly at work / caring for the children while I do other household things. It's something we've talked about a lot but I just decided to change my perspective on it because I don't want my main message to be that Lobe is not good enough. I actually want to express that I appreciate the way that Lobe goes about things, but I just need us to communicate better about tasks and expectations. I feel better already but we'll see as time goes on!

I think I partly don't like the gendered nature of the default roles, with Lobe. I like that Ocean is more of a home maker, it makes the situation more bearable. Lobe needs a lot more time and space to get in the zone with things like cooking and cleaning so it's just harder for him to do it when usually the kids are on top of him or wanting to play with him when he's around. I've discussed things like taking the kids away for a bit so he can do home things, but he doesn't like that idea (that I have to take them away from him). I think we'll figure it out as the months go on :)

Ocean is still off work and contemplating a career change. I like that he's having time off but I'm starting to get antsy for him! I know this is his deal and not mine (he's living off his savings at the moment) so will wait and see. I hope he finds something that feels fulfilling for him. Meanwhile he's doing more painting / varnishing around the house and working on his own projects.
If it helps any, have you considered an app or chart of some sort the details whatever needs to be done next? My husband is great and getting a job done when I tell him about it, but I do hate having to do the emotional labour of following up etc. This way I still have to list what needs done but he can be self directed about moving onto the next task. We use and I find it's worth the couple of bucks a month so we can share a task list on our phones. It's always close to hand and easy to mark off tasks when done or set an alarm or reminder or due date.

I've enjoyed reading your blog from the beginning and I'm glad that you were able to make that transition into having a family and all went well!
Thanks for your comments, Vicki! Yes a system would help a lot. I tried setting a couple of things up but they didn't take. It's now Lobe's meta task to establish a task management system that would work for him. His plan is to have something like a kanban board on the wall (
He set one up with masking tape but most of it wilted off in the heat over summer, before we started using it. Something, anything, will help! Maybe I'll give this issue another nudge. I don't mind muddling through in the interim but I've told him that this overall problem annoys me in a cumulative way. I periodically break over it and get pissed off.
Re kanban board, perhaps we can use better tape or maybe just paint it on the wall directly, or on something else (eg whiteboard) to hang up.
I'm down for online solutions too, cheers for the recommendation.
An ancient crush

(undated draft from approx 6 months ago)

Wow. Today I reconnected online with an ex, who I dated for a heady year when I was in my mid teens. We broke up cos we wanted to live in different cities and he didn't want to do long distance, rather than anything problematic with our interpersonal dynamics. The contact has caused such a rush in me. In an hour of back and forth we touched old intimacies, shared our own skewed memories, caught up with news about mutual friends, discussed our families, kids, parenting, partners. I feel really horny and distracted since we talked and am pretty surprised by it! I expect it's a common thing to feel for a "high school flame", but it's unfamiliar to me. It's like NRE, seriously.

He lives in a different country (thankfully) cos if he was close by it would be dangerous. It feels dangerous already. He's in a monogamous marriage and I would have no moral qualms fucking him right now if he was into it. I don't know her and feel no loyalty... Maybe I should care more, cos she is a real person and all, and perhaps I would care if this was a practical possibility rather than a fantasy. But right now I feel like it's his business how he does his marriage and if he's gonna flirt, I'm game. Phew!

I wouldn't say we were flirting during our conversation today but we were definitely feeling for handles at dusk. Afterwards I went to have a shower to cool down from it but was interrupted by Fern who wanted to have a shower too. Oh well :) This energy is fun to toy with. I don't need to do anything foolish, right? Let me keep telling myself that.
Two friends

(present day)

Last night I was helping a friend host a queer orgy. I've never been to something called an orgy before. Been to swinging events / sex parties many many years ago. This was kinda similar but more chilled out. I reckon cos cis men were not welcome; a first for me. I really loved the vibe.

My role was to be a safety/care person and also to do the music! I wasn't participating in the orgy sex itself. It was fun to be a kind of sex DJ... I've DJed dance parties before but this was more challenging. I got some positive comments, people liked my playlist. If I had to do it again I would go lighter on the explicitly sexy themes (about 75% of my playlist) and have more tunes simply with great licks or beats. One interesting difference from playing a dance DJ set is when I'm DJing a dance, my focus is on whatever keeps people dancing. That is the measure of success. Whereas with orgy music, I didn't feel like my job was to keep people fucking per se. More to provide an enjoyable environment for sex or relaxing. I'd definitely do again.

The people at the orgy were really lovely, too.

Today I have a visit from a very old friend from when I used to be in youth group at church! She and her family live in my city now, on the other side of town. We used to be rather inseparable about 15 years ago (in another country) but lost contact over the years. Since realising we both now live in this city, we have been inviting each other to each other's events (her daughter's first communion, my kid's birthdays) so we've seen each other occasionally but we haven't caught up one-one one yet. She and her two school-aged kids are coming over for brunch and staying for the afternoon. I can't remember if I've had the "we're poly!" conversation with her but I really can't be bothered. I'm just gonna let it roll and address it if I need to. Generally people find a way to ask. A common way people bring it up is to ask "oh so... who do your kids look more like?" which I think is a bit of a presumptuous question but it does the job of being an opening, at least.
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The conversation

(undated draft)

I raised the topic of non-monogamy with Lobe last night, most definitely prompted by the resurfaced crush (which I'm not pursuing at all, by the way. Haven't chatted with crush again since then and, to be honest, I am a bit afraid to!)

To recap - at some point in the long distance mess of dating Lobe via breaking up with Grotto, I offered to be relatively monogamous for an indefinite period, to simplify things. I said it would not necessarily be forever, and that I would want to talk more when things were more stable. It was not something Lobe asked for, but I felt it would help. He is strongly monogamous minded and the emotional effort for him, of me being open to other lovers, was impacting on both of us. Having other lovers wasn't a priority for me at the time and I felt we had a lot going on, so I was ok with "sinking lid" poly as a temporary arrangement and shifting the conversation to a non specified "later".

Nov 2016 (when Fern was just over 6 months old) we talked again but we were still dealing with so much sleep deprivation, plus newly living together and new to co-parenting business that it wasn't worth the work at that point. Deferred it for 12 months.

Coming up on last Nov I was pregnant again, it didn't feel like the right time either.

Now we're newborn-tired again, and again it's not the most important thing to discuss in the limited times we have to talk. I said I didn't need to talk now but I did need to do it on some timeline. I said I don't want default bi-amory (Ocean and Lobe). I want to have an honest discussion about hopes, fears, boundaries to see what agreements would work for us for me to be open to other lovers if possible. If it turns out it's too hard, I think I will be ok if I felt like we've talked it through and made a decision.

Lobe said from his perspective, monogamy is simpler, safer. It is risky for him to be open to me having other partners, because it adds an unknown element out of his direct influence, that impacts him. He says he will need to emotionally process all the possibilities. Especially as he feels now we have kids together, it is harder to walk away. If he is not happy with how something is going, he is more trapped.

To me, that sounded all pretty understandable feelings. I don't fully comprehend a monogamous mindset but I get what he was saying.

I said, for me it is important to have the freedom if it can be negotiated in a respectful way. I think non-monogamy can work around existing commitments and I would like to talk more specifically about the kind of impacts Lobe is concerned about, and if there are any ways we could open with him feeling relatively ok about it. But we don't need to talk and feel now.

We didn't make any particular plans for talking again although I said I really wanted to talk about it when it was hypothetical rather than with any person in mind. I said I didn't want to default to monogamy cos we kept putting off the conversation and that I would bring it up again. He said he didn't mind talking and processing if I wanted him to. I don't really want him to go through the emotional mill of it right now. We are dealing with baby stuff again and other household things. It is sufficient for me that we touched the topic again and he knows I will bring it up again.
(present day)

Had therapy today. It's the last of my initial lot of subsidised sessions and I might get a few more approved by my GP. I'm finding it really helpful so I'm thinking of self funding less regular sessions if I don't qualify for further subsidy.

Update from previous post - I had a few further convos with Lobe (shorter ones) over the next few days and he said he assumed we would open up again and he was ok with that, he just didn't have energy to process it right now which I totally get. I am in no hurry, I was just concerned that being "temporarily closed" would default to "closed forever".

Another general update, too - Grotto and I are catching up as friends again. I think things shifted towards the end of last year. I put on an event for my bday in October which I thought he would really enjoy so I invited him to it, even though we hadn't talked for a while. He couldn't make that but we did catch up not long after. He came to a Thanksgiving dinner at our place and finally talked to Lobe again. Grotto said he was worried it would be awkward but it wasn't.

Then it turned out he was going to be alone for Christmas Day so I got him invited to a shared lunch that was being hosted by some mutual friends and then invited him back to our place for dinner. That ended up with a sleepover with him and a couple of other friends and we spent Boxing Day recovering and playing an epic board game (Rune Wars, it's so ridiculously complex, I love it).

Fern and Elf love Grotto and he has a huge soft spot for them. He makes a very cute uncle. Fern badgers Grotto for fancy cheeses because the first time he came over he brought brie. Second time, no brie. Suffice to say he has not arrived without brie since then. Uncle Grotto got Elf a toy rabbit which is one of her favourite babies now. I feel really lucky that we're back to being friends, and he can enjoy being around the kids.

Grotto has finally quit opiates (seems like for good) and he says he feels better. We're not talking about any serious stuff and it's strictly platonic at the moment. It struck me recently that this is a first for me - cultivating a platonic relationship with Grotto. We were 'just friends' for a few months after I first met him in person but I was totally crushing on him. And then we hooked up and were dating for five years and then the horror breakup and about three years of emotional gunk around that, and now we're... doing the friend thing. Just being friends. Buddies. It's almost as if there's some drama missing but it's actually ok. I like him!

I do want to confront some of the hard topics between us, at some point. The friendship is ok but there are whole rooms we're not going into. We can live in half the house, I'm sure, but I think down the track it will get weirder to avoid opening those doors. I want to talk more with Grotto about one thing in particular. I actually can't remember if I wrote about in here, but I'll just flag it now for a later post.

It's raining heavily. I hear drips which I think are outside but they could be inside. Lobe is upstairs trying to put Elf to sleep. Ocean is asleep already I think - he had a big day of childcare today as I had work in the morning and counselling in the afternoon. He and I normally share childcare on Tuesdays and we have a "together" day. I miss it when it doesn't happen. Fern's asleep too - he's getting into longer stories now so I'm able to read him to sleep. Hooray!

I slept with Ocean last night (very unusual, see below) and he woke me when Elf woke up at 4.30am. I was a bit disappointed as I didn't really need to wake up for that. Elf generally self-settles in a few minutes (which happened this time). But I didn't want to disturb Ocean with explaining that so I just got up and went in to sleep with Lobe.

Since Elf was born, I've hardly slept overnight with Ocean at all. He hates getting woken up at night, which is par for the course even to this day. It's gotten slightly better in that most nights we get a straight stretch of 3-5 hours at some point but it's still pretty ragged. Fern was a much better sleeper than Elf at that age. Anyway, it's meant I usually sleep alone or with Lobe these nights. I try to sneak in daytime cuddles with Ocean but it hardly happens. We do hang out regularly but mostly doing chores or commuting together. I have some date ideas for Ocean and me which I really do need to implement. E.g. playing squash together. That would be fun.

Ok, zz time for me. Lobe mentioned watching a movie but I feel I will fall right asleep.
My days are full! And I'm mostly doing well.

Today I crossed a boundary at work that I'd been thinking about for a while... I work as a community worker and occasionally through work I come across people who I could see myself being friends with outside of the work context, but our relationship at work is me as professional, them as client. Am I able to respond to them as a friend, ever? Today one of my clients shared her situation with me. She had run out of supports and was now homeless. She didn't have a plan for where to sleep that night and hadn't had a shower in two days. If I had met her in the park, and we were able to talk long enough for me to trust her, I would have offered her a place to sleep and a shower. I definitely trust this client (I've been working with her for several months) but since I met her through work I felt there was a professional / personal boundary between us. But I couldn't help it. I told her that if she had nowhere else to go, I could check in with my home folks and see if we could help out.

I am so grateful that I have a boss I can talk to about this. It's totally against the policy of the big company that I work for, but within my small team it's understood that we work ethically but don't necessarily tow the organisational line. My boss was mostly concerned about my personal boundaries and self care (which I too am quite focused on!) The client figured something else out in the end, fortunately, but it felt healing (?) to go through the mental process of it and to come through it ok. It was like integrating parts of myself so I can be a whole person at work.

I did ask Lobe and Ocean about it. They both had some concerns and questions but ultimately trusted me to make the right call about it.

In other news -

I recently paid for membership at - a site I'd followed for a while (for free) for the writing and erotic art. I'm really enjoying the films! I haven't paid for porn very much but I'm not regretting this at all.

I'm very close to finishing a journal project that I've been working on for a couple of years. It's a printed compilation of contributions from people I know (this issue has some articles, poems and photos) and the idea is that I print a short run and post them out to people and then people post them on to each other if someone else wants to have the copy for a while, with contributors getting their own copy to keep.

Since last year I've been volunteering with a community education group and, mmm, I've got a couple of crushes on other volunteers. Just a couple out of quite a large group, so it's not excessive! It's handy to have a shared activity to do together so it never has to be about the crush. It's just a thing that's there (squee) but I'm not feeding into it or anything. I am enjoying feelings the potential of it, even though I have no idea how they feel about me, so it may not be any actual potential. The fantasy potential.
I've had a lot of things going on these days. Several thin layers interleaved. I signed up for some work training that develops a skill area I am inexperienced in but want to improve. It's like a master's course with quite a few practical demos where you have to perform and get feedback. I was terrified about it beforehand but I've been surprised that I grasped the concepts quickly. We had our first practice session today and I got very encouraging feedback. A promising start but room to improve, which is an energising place to learn from.

I usually manage a 6-weekish plan for all the things I've got on, but I actually haven't been able to make time and sketch things out. I've been operating day to day somewhat. At least when it comes to execution. E.g. I'm running a preschool music session tomorrow and I haven't decided what I'm doing yet let alone gather the materials etc. I've been sleeping poorly so inevitably I'm up for a few hours at night, which is when I'm getting things done. But I'm a little concerned that this insomnia time is being incorporated into my available hours such that I'm unconsciously relying on them. I guess I'll have to wind down commitments, to be on the safe side. Ok, it's official, no new commitments before the end of the year.

Lobe has been falling asleep with the kids recently. Whichever one he puts to sleep. It's sweet, but I miss him. I hardly see Ocean these days at night either because he tends to leave in the evenings, just before I get home, and then comes back after I have fallen asleep. We do get quality time on the weekdays I don't work, though. Not child free time however. Gonna have to work on scheduling that.

Elf and Fern are keeping us amused. They are finally getting to be real playmates, making games together and getting up to mischief. Some mornings they are both awake and very quiet in that worrying way that you know there will be a fascinating surprise when you finally get up and see what they're up to. One time Elf was covered in soap, like an Elf-shaped soap. Evidently that was fun until Elf decided to soap over her eyes, then there was some distress. She smelt very clean afterwards.

Fern sometimes tells people "I've got two dads" and introduces Lobe and Ocean as "that's my dad and that's my other dad". It's sweet. I'm ready for a day when this becomes a problem for him somehow but enjoying the happy family times for now.
Today I had a very pleasant snooze in the early evening. I could hear Ocean in the garden with Fern, and Lobe playing circus tricks with Elf downstairs. It wasn't planned... Spontaneous time alone is rare these days and I appreciated it very much. Fern is in the bathroom with Ocean now, and I think Lobe is taking Elf to bed. I feel really lucky in my home life at the moment.
Remembering Sharon

A couple of seasons ago, we had a - to me - magical guest in our garden. A spider that came out at dusk and made an enormous web across the path at the back of the house. We named her Sharon Webster. I noticed that, if there was an insect caught in the web, she would first immobilise it, then fix the web, then feed. Lobe and I would often watch her at night. Ocean was impressed by her too, and found out her species and other characteristics.

Then, one week, we had a lot of things to move and one day we had to do some shifting after dark. Ocean was a bit annoyed by Sharon's web in the way of all the moving, so he swept the web away and put Sharon in the grass, to clear the path for us. I was taken aback by this... It seemed wrong to me, and I wish he hadn't done it. From Ocean's perspective, it was necessary to minimise our work. If we had to route around the web, it would stretch out the task quite a bit. Anyway, it was done. I was really sad, and I think Lobe was too. Ocean was pragmatic about it, but did feel a bit sad later on when Sharon never came back.

Every now and then we think of her. Maybe we will have the magic of another web-weaving guest like that one day. Or maybe we were just lucky to have Sharon in our garden for a few weeks.

I don't know if I've forgiven Ocean for it. I mean, I have. Haven't I? I don't think I feel resentment but something a bit close to it. Maybe just wistful and maybe just the feeling of the thing. He just makes different decisions to me sometimes, and that's really a good thing. I appreciate our differences. And, I mean, it's not even clear that his actions caused Sharon to leave that spot. We'll never know. And... it's "just a spider"... and it was months ago... Am I actually holding on to a grudge? Or am I just missing Sharon?

This morning I took the day off work to drop Ocean at the hospital and pick him up after some day surgery he's having under general anaesthetic. He's actually looking forward to it! He's had work done under general once before and he was impressed by the falling asleep and instantly waking up experience. For me, I've had general a few times and I hate it... Not having control of my body, being immobilised in a room full of strangers. I sometimes have to get sedated so I'm calm enough for the actual anaesthetics.

I like that Lobe, Ocean and I have different personalities. I really do. So the Sharon thing is fine. I don't hate Ocean for it. I love Ocean. Sharon was cool, though. Really amazing.
Home remedies

Ugh, the little sore throat and feverishness from a couple of days ago has erupted into a head cold and chesty cough. Lobe's got it too. In the meantime, Ocean is recovering from his surgery and I am making him special foods and giving him the stream of medication he's been prescribed.

One surprising reaction I had last evening was to ramp up the care activities. Lobe was feeling rubbish too, so I sent him to bed (even though I think we were about equal in sickness levels). My "logic" (slash post-decision rationalisation) was that at least one of us could get a rest. Why should both of us suffer? It's gonna suck for me anyway, doing dinner and bedtime with both kids plus TLC (and dispense meds) to Ocean, so why not go all the way and do this alone. (The Ocean part was nice, actually. I rarely get a chance to care for him this way. He's pretty self-sufficient in the main.)

Afterwards I couldn't help feel like this was misguided (ha) and wondered if it was due to some latent martyr complex (thanks, ma) or gluttony for punishment? Hmm. I scaled back my expectations a bit because I also needed to do self care. But ouch that took a bit out of me. Rambunctious kiddos while your head is throbbing and your body wants to be foetal is the worst. Anyway, am up in the middle of the night now and just doing some gentle home remedies. Planning to do something not too strenuous tomorrow with the kids, and wondering if I can get away with a sick day on Wednesday.
Wooh! I just completed a major step in a project I've been working on for over two years. A print journal with contributions from people I know. The concept is a print version of a "bring a dish" dinner. It has a few articles, photos, poems and it looks really good. Did the final print today, so now "just" binding, website, organising launch parties (gonna do a few dinner parties in different places instead of one big launch) and posting out the other copies. I've only printed 50 so the idea is that people will post them to each other after reading. Will see how that goes. I initially decided to print at least two issues, but I think I will go for at least three issues now. I'm aiming to have the next one done around Sep 2021 so will need to work backwards from that goal that to schedule tasks. If anyone is reading this and is interested in the concept, send me a PM :)

Lobe and Ocean pulled through to watch the kids today so I could focus on getting this done. A weekend day off is so precious! I won't be home until after the kids are in bed so it's quite the luxury.

I'm still running on nervous energy re getting the printing done (it was a hands-on process) so gonna decompress from that a bit before heading home.
Got some emotional processing to do, so thought I'd write. A cousin of mine is getting married next year and the invites just came out. It was a website invite so it didn't specify who the invitation was for.

I'm relatively close to this cousin, but she's always been uncomfortable with my non-monogamy. Plus that side of the family is really weird about my living situation. They used to all be really warm with Ocean before they found out about Lobe and now it's kinda awkward. They are still nice but... polite nice. Like when you have to be polite. Not "you're part of the family" nice.

Anyway I've gone to lots of family events on that side of the family with Ocean but I didn't really know whether my cousin meant to invite me and whoever I wanted to bring or just me. So I asked her and I said - it's your day, be honest about who you want there. I promise I won't take offence. And she said - to be honest, just you and the kids. Which I will respect...

... but it hurts. I also wonder if I should have given her the option. I could have just assumed I could bring a partner (esp Ocean... I mean, fuck, we've been married nearly 10 years now.) And now I have figure how I'm getting through a big family event with the kids by myself. And also people will ask where Ocean is and I'll have to make up a lame excuse as to why he isn't there. Which will alienate him further from that part of the family. Plis it sucks to be forced into a single parent shape (not that there's any shame in that) but I mean, making important people in my life invisible because of other people's discomfort. And making it out like they don't support me when they do. Uggggh...

I guess I'm just also sad.

But it's still a few months away so I'll work my feelings out I'm sure.
How long is the trip to the wedding? My thought is that it would be far easier for the kids to stay home with Ocean. Kids will be happier at home with their toys etc rather than being at a formal event with a stressed out Mom. You sound like you will need the emotional energy to deal with family members who exclude your husband.

You probably shouldn’t tell people that you will not be hurt by something when in fact you will be. Maybe sometime after the wedding is past you can try talking to this cousin about how you feel about the family’s attitude.