In the garden

Puck usually has a pretty steady rhythm to his year - I know when the burnout is coming and when he starts saying things that I have to be mindful not to take personally because they would be quite hurtful if I let them be. This year, he's early. Largely because he's been burning the candle at both ends, and somehow the middle as well. It's not just about how many hours in the day, but all the different projects he's trying to manage and people he's trying to help. Usually this comes to a head in August and yet it's only April right now. Actually, something pretty significant must have been going on last April, too, since I threw in the towel for a while just about now.

So today he tells me how he just wants to go get a cabin in the woods and switch off his phone and talk to no-one for a week. Total alone time to recharge his introverted self. Unfortunately, he simply can't afford that right now, and I can't afford to gift it to him, as much as I really want to. He tells me that the two difficult members of the polycule are not coping with him expressing this need to switch off to recharge (they are feeling abandoned just because he expressed this need/want) and are asking him for attention and reassurance right when he doesn't have the energy to give that attention. Goodness knows I probably feel exactly the same way as they do, I just know how to manage my own emotions about it and not try and get him to manage them for me. It's hard, since I immediately jump to horrible "what ifs*" but I know that's a me problem. I also know (as should they, no-one is totally new here) that by next moon he'll be in a different place again. There will always be good times ahead.

*For many years, I didn't leave the country with the "what if something happens to a parent while I'm gone" fear. Well, I was still in the air on the way to the US last January when my dad had a life-threatening stroke, so no-one is ever allowed to tell me I'm catastrophizing again lol.

Update: My aunt just called...Dad went to hospital again this morning. Unknown issue this time. I've left Puck a message cancelling our evening call because I don't want to add more to his plate. I haven't said why because I don't want him to feel like he has to do any emotional labour in supporting me as I deal with this. Dad should be fine, they just need to work out what's wrong with him. Honestly, I just wish I could get in the car and go to see my parents, but my aunt has said that's not necessary. I'd be struggling to afford it, and I'm honestly too emotional to do the 4 hour drive safely anyway. But I'm scared. I'm scared that the current "stable" situation will turn in an instant.

Update 2: Dad's back home. I can breathe again.
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I'm not really doing so well right now. I've recognised how bad it's gotten so I've just started taking some serotonin and dopamine supplements again. I'm exhausted tonight, which might also be the 'flu jab I had this afternoon, free courtesy of work.

Work is...demoralising. I find myself wishing for alternatives. Unfortunately, I don't have the energy right now to actively create positive ones. I started smoking again, then stopped when my chest got too painful. So I started eating too much again, and am now trying to stop that since the scales found a brand new number.

I'm just so tired. I know this will pass, I just hope it passes soon. Winter is going to be tough.
I'm not going to derail another thread but I wanted to touch on sapiosexuality. Defined as finding intelligence sexy. I can absolutely assure readers that it is not incompatible with sex work.
About 3 weeks ago, I was feeling extremely...done...with life as it currently is. About 10 days ago, I pretty much lost my shit entirely, moved out for a week, and have since decided to move my three 3 1/2 year timeline for having a sabbatical from life here up to 1/2 a year, or just over. I'll see out the end of my work year, wait until flights are not obscene prices again, and hopefully have secured a job before I hop on a plane.

Of course, the universe being what it is might have entirely different plans, but right now, those are mine. I'm rather daunted by the number of ducks I have to get in a row to do this, but I'm simply not thriving here and I am going to take some time away from this small town, in a small country, a hell of a long way from anywhere.

I thought I owed my job some longevity, but there are more frustrations in this role than not. I'm very likely to get a massive culture shock teaching anywhere else (more than anything, with the rigour of the paperwork elsewhere, we really are quite slack here) but I'd love to work in an international school somewhere. Germany, Italy, possibly UAE although I expect I'll have to have some experience with a different qualifications framework first. NZ's isn't recognised anywhere else in the world (hint: it's rubbish).

Financially, well, that will be interesting. Adam and I aren't splitting assets at this point in time - he really wants me to come home once I feel I've had enough of being overseas - so I'm going to have to be able to start work very quickly. I'm honestly not quite sure how it's all going to happen. I actually might have to do some time in Australia first, save up a bit before crossing the equator (at least their school year matches ours). Right now, there are more unknowns than not, but the main thing is I need a break from being here. A significant one.
I'm glad to get your update on the big change you need in your life! Here's to getting all those ducks in a row.
Sometimes, I wish I could talk with Puck when I just can't. Time zones are a major culprit, and then there are other times when he's simply spending the day/night with someone else. The only time I would even attempt to interrupt him when I know he's with someone else is if there was an thing that I couldn't handle in that moment, like someone died level thing. That hasn't happened, and is unlikely to, so although there are times when I really, really wish I could talk to him because something else feels really big, I put it on the backburner until it's our time to talk again. Sometimes, that's not a comfortable feeling, I want to turn to him, he's my partner and a best friend. But I wait, because nothing right now is that important that I feel the need to intrude upon his time with a metamour. I should be able to touch base with him tomorrow, and then we have a three day weekend so I'm planning on being able to talk with him properly on Monday.

I'm staying at Nova's tonight. She's away visiting her parents and Adam is at work, but our flatmate is at home and I just wanted to be away, somewhere I could truly have the house to myself, even if it's not my house. I really appreciate that Nova is good with me coming and going. I suspect I'll be here quite a bit over the next 6 months.

I spoke with my parents this afternoon. They've chosen the same timeline to plan to move from an independent living unit to a serviced apartment in their retirement village. I didn't tell them my plans; it seems like the universe might yet throw spanners in the works, but I'm taking baby steps towards those plans anyway. I'm also pretty sure I woefully underestimate just how big any city anywhere else actually is. I've been looking for international schools and I have no idea how I'll manage to sell my self as a good candidate since I haven't taught IB before. Still, my subject doesn't have the same kind of lens that many of the humanities do, so perhaps it will be enough to be an experienced teacher who can adapt to new types of assessment.

Now I'm 45, I qualify for a free mammogram every couple of years. I have my first one booked for July. Mum always complained about how painful they were, and I'm a big sook when it comes to pain so I'm not looking forward to it.

Adam noticed today how uncomfortable I was with him telling me he loved me. We talked, I expressed that right now I don't really feel authentic in a reply in kind since I've built up a little too much resentment about living where we are, how we are. We moved here because he wanted to live in this town, and I didn't have a particularly better alternative at the time but, for a number of reasons, I don't want to stay here or even move with him somewhere else. I need more freedom than nesting allows right now. And so, even though I will technically have a home to return to, I'm going to move back to having two long distance relationships. I'm good with that. Very good.
I'm so glad to get more details about the big changes you are contemplating. It's good you have a place to go to be quiet and think things through.

As for mammos, I've had two or three. I have a D cup and they didn't hurt me. It was pressure, but it only lasted a few seconds. My last one was painful only because of the darn bursitis/arthritis I've developed in my left shoulder, because you have to raise your arm up in a certain awkward way for some of the imaging.

Pixi is a small firm B cup and she's had one mammo. I think they were more difficult for her because of trying to get the smaller amount of firm breast tissue into the machine part.

Everyone is different, so don't just go on what your mom said.
I have small boobs and my mammogram was uncomfortable but nowhere near as bad as I had heard. The worst part was one view where I had to drape my arm over the top of the contraption and the corner was digging into my armpit. A few deep breaths and it was over. How do you compare pain tolerance though? It was more uncomfortable than a pap smear or dental cleaning (which are minor nuisances) but less uncomfortable than an IUD insertion (or my terrible endometriosis periods before that!) and nowhere near appendicitis or a broken/dislocated elbow (which made me CRY).

I'm convinced that fear magnifies pain more than anything else - and fear of the unknown tops the list.
I know my mum also struggles with the pressure from a blood pressure cuff, so pretty low pain tolerance for squeezy things. I have no problem with those (except for one automatic one once that malfunctioned and didn't stop pumping up) so perhaps the squeeze of the mammogram will be okay for me.
I'm pretty sure that kinksters who are familiar with SM are better at handling minor medical discomforts! ;)
Yeah, I'm pretty picky about what types of M I indulge in lol, and haven't for a long time. Also, I gotta have a connection to the S person, and an imaging tech doesn't count I'm afraid 😞
Today, I moved into the second bedroom. Well, mostly, still have to sort out some drawers. I feel like I have a personal space again. This way I also don't have to share a wall with the flatmate. That was bugging me too.
SEASONED wrote: If I feel terminally miserable every time my needs aren't met through the attention of others, I need therapy, not partners.
I so totally agree with this.

TW: suicide


I had an ex who I watched get more and more unstable with their "needs" from our relationship. I left after about 5 months since I was getting concerned for his ability to cope with the nature of time management in a polycule. He verbalised more than once feeling unable to continue without me being available to him 24/7. Amidst this, he was also becoming nastier and nastier towards me.

Puck had an equally unstable partner many years ago, but they dragged the relationship on long enough that the day he finally broke up with her, she killed herself. He still carries that weight, and is in therapy to this day to be able to express and enforce his own boundaries rather than simply give and give and give to try to prevent that happening again.

The people who collapse without the attention of others are not healthy partners.
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Oh wow, that tells me a lot about how Puck deals with his seemingly endlessly insecure and needy partners. (I'm not saying they all are, but I know at least one current one is!)

You may recall I once had a date or two, and several long conversations, with a guy who then seemingly ghosted me. Somehow, a friend saw on local news a couple weeks after he stopped responding to my messages that he'd tried to do himself in, in a very public place. He survived, but it sure freaked me out for a good six months, and I barely knew the guy. I can't imagine dealing with the aftermath of a serious partner who actually made a "successful" attempt.

Way back when I was 16-17 I had an older bf (he was 24) who used to tell me he'd do away with himself if I left him. I left him anyway, cuz who needs that kind of unstable partner in their lives, especially as young teen? A couple years later when I'd moved to a big city for college, I saw him walking down the street between 2 ladies. It made me feel better and worse at the same time.
Puck's recently been involved in the organisation of a festival, which means I haven't seen him in nearly a week. We finally got to touch base this morning (my time) and catch up on some news. I still don't feel like we've properly reconnected, but I'm really hoping there will be a chance after work today for a longer call when he doesn't have things to do and I'm not 1. an emotional wreck from a bad dream and not being able to sleep since 4:30, and 2. having to get ready for work soon.

I have three weeks left until the mid-winter break and I'm very ready for it.
It's going to be a challenging next six months. So much uncertainty, so much to be done. So much damn debt to clear before I can even seriously make inroads to change. Gahh. I need this change, I'm withering here, but I really could have done with one more year before I snapped. Oh well, what will be, will be, and I'll be working to make the changes happen.
And with just over a week to go until mid-winter break, my body decides it's had enough and I've come down with something really weird. Covid tests are negative, but it certainly feels more like Covid-lite than anything else. I started feeling weird pretty suddenly last night at badminton, I could barely hit the shuttlecock, like way worse than my usual beginner styles. I didn't want to go to work this morning but had no choice, but Nova helped me deal with stuff I needed to do to be able to have tomorrow off sick.

I am planning three nights in Hometown over the holidays and originally lined up 3 dates. The keenest one cancelled when he realised that he couldn't do non-monogamy. Sadly, he'd picked a really nice restaurant. I have been messaging another one tonight, happily he lives in the same suburb as my airbnb so we'll just meet up very locally. Not as nice as going into the city for a meal, but a little cheaper, plus he's only available on my first night in, so I'll be knackered after the drive anyway.

I'll try to firm up a plan with the other guy sometime in the next week. I might make a night in the city not negotiable lol.

In the meantime, I just need to get better quickly. Adam has people visiting this weekend, gladly not staying here so I can be sick in relative peace.

I think financially I'm going to have to go to Australia next year, it's the only place that makes sense right now.
Hope you feel better quickly! Having company visit while you are ill is no fun.

As for the big life changes, it sounds like you are in as good a place as possible. They are stressful, but you seem to realize you need them. So, hopefully, they are as smooth as possible under the circumstances.

I can't speak for Puck, of course, but if one of my partners NEEDS to talk, I find that space. It's a tricky line, I know. We don't want to interfere with our partners' time with a metamour. We don't want to seem needy or intrusive. But sometimes you need to talk to someone you love. I think most metamours understand that too. Your needs matter.
If I actually NEEDED to talk with him, and he had some amount of advanced warning (doesn't always check his phone when he's out with someone), then I'm confident that he would make the adjustments to the date schedule so we could talk. We switch up scheduling for a lot of external reasons, so if I was really in need, I'm sure there could be an adjustment too.

Sometimes I just start thinking about the big stuff in my life and wish I could talk with him in the middle of it, but I can' matter where he is he's asleep. Time differences are just a part of our lives.

I mean, if I texted him and SOS because someone died, I'm sure he'd reach out as soon as he saw it.

I talk with him most days, so pretty much anything can wait until then. Sometimes his engagement with festivals gets a bit hectic in the summer (he helps run a site) so I don't see him for a few days, which can get a little hard and that's what's been happening recently, but waiting is.

He's probably going to Europe with Iris later this year, and she won't deal at all with him making calls to anyone but Renée while they are there, so that will be the longest we'll have not spoken. I'm not looking forward to that, tbh , especially as I have no problem with him calling anyone else when he and I are on holiday. But Iris and I are very different people in that way.

Oh, Puck and Renée just had to put an elderly pet down, so that's also been a very valid reason that I haven't seen him so much this week.

Y'know. Life.