Leaf on the Wind

AutumnLeaves

New member
I’ve decided to start a blog here because I’ve found other blogs helpful and because writing about things really helps me process my thoughts. I apologize in advance if my life is largely boring. The fault is entirely my own. I mostly like it that way. And please pardon this extremely long first post!

People:

Autumn: As I posted over here, I’m a bisexual female. I said late twenties there, but I’m starting to consider myself thirtyish. Nerdy, intelligent, introverted.

Guitarist: Husband, long-term partner, best friend. Thirtyish, male, hetflex, formerly monogamous. Nerdy, intelligent, introverted, brilliantly creative. Social justice warrior and feminist in all the best ways.

Purr: Guitarist’s girlfriend. Thirtyish, female, pansexual, polyamorous. A kitten in the shape of a human adult female, very fluffy, very snuggly, so cute you just want to pet her and protect her from the world.

Marian: Current interest. Mid-twenties, female, bisexual, polyamorous. Well-read, intelligent, articulate, fun.

Flame: Long-distance best friend. Male, fortyish, straight, monogamish. Nerdy, intelligent, fun. Emotionally bent but unbroken. All around cool guy.

Then:

I identified as lesbian from ages 9 to 19. My first crushes were all on really hot celebrity women, and it took a long time for me to realize that in real life tend to want to be physically intimate with people I’m emotionally intimate with and it doesn’t seem to matter what their plumbing looks like. In middle school, I secretly dated another girl until she broke my heart. It’s hard to hear that every lesbian lives a horrible and persecuted life, and that the girl you’re totally in puppy love with doesn’t want to be one. It didn’t help that my parents are homophobic and I was extremely closeted.

I spent most of high school being nerdy, introverted, and pretending to be straight. I’m not sure I was very successful at it. I had to break up with my first boyfriend when he wanted the sex. I had to break up with my second boyfriend when he also wanted the sex. By the end of high school I’d settled into a comfortable sexless LDR with a much, much older man I’d briefly met on the local college campus. I was 17. He was 26. After it was completely legal, I discovered that I enjoy physical intimacy with people I’m emotionally intimate with, regardless of what their plumbing looks like. But it stayed an LDR because he was not financially independent from his parents. We’ll call him FirstFiance.

I went to college. It was an eye-opening experience. Even my small, conservative, religious school was awash with anti-authoritarianism, sex, and homosexuality. I cautiously came out to my friends. They were overwhelmingly supportive.

I applied for a study abroad program for my minor in a foreign language. FirstFiance urged me to fully explore on my study abroad. He said that he didn’t mind if I had a romantic or sexual relationship, as long as I didn’t tell him about it. I was completely flabbergasted. I’d never heard of any such thing before. After lots of reassurances on his part, I took him at his word.

I had an amazing relationship with a woman overseas. We briefly kicked around the idea of her coming to study in the US. I was full of young love and I was sure I could make something work with FirstFiance. But at the end of the study abroad, I again found myself heartbroken. Due to the conservative nature of her culture, she was expected to get married after she received her degree. She was not willing to turn her back on her traditions and family, particularly not since the US wouldn’t recognize our relationship as valid. She didn’t want to stay in touch, a decision she phrased as something that would be less painful for me. It wasn't.

FirstFiance and I moved in together. We lived together for two years. His dishonesty and my inability to emotionally handle the toxic combination of his bipolar disorder and my depression pretty much ended. We eventually parted ways on bad terms. He now helps other bipolar people navigate the illness. We email occasionally.

My younger sister outed me to my conservative Christian parents as bisexual after college. They did not take it well. They still love me very much, but we also don’t speak about it. I find it really ironic that my mother is embarrassed about my grandmother’s rabid racism, but doesn’t seem to realize the parallels between that and her virulent homophobia.

After that, I had several relationships, some longer term than others, until I met Guitarist at a board-gaming group. At the time, I was dating someone and he was engaged. We became very good friends. After a while, we were both single at the same time and we started dating.

On a roadtrip to visit friends shortly after that, Guitarist said out of the blue, “I don’t do threeways.” That sparked a whole conversation about bisexuality and what it does and doesn’t mean. The conversation went along the lines of how you can have different interests, and one person might not fill all those interests, but you can still love them and want to be with them. Some of my statements nibbled around the edges of nonmonogamy, which at that time Guitarist was very against. I started joking that he was more monogamous than I am.

To be continued, because this is getting awfully long....
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Leaf on the Wind, Continued

More recently:

Fast forward five years. Guitarist and I have been married for threeish years. We don’t have or want children, but we do have a small menagerie of pets.

About a month ago, one day after I had returned from a solo vacation to the coast to visit a bunch of friends, including Flame, Guitarist texted me at work that we needed to talk about our relationship later in the evening. Protip: this is not something you want to text your wife while she’s at work.

My mind immediately jumped to what was to me the obvious conclusion. I decided that he must think that something went on between Flame and I. While I love Flame dearly, and Guitarist knows that I love Flame dearly, nothing physical has ever happened between us. But I was just on a solo beach vacation “with” Flame, complete with selfies, while Guitarist was at work… yeah, that could create a bunch of insecurity. My mind went into damage control mode. And after I pointed out that I wasn’t going to get any more work done over the day because I was too damn worried, Guitarist agreed to just call me at work.

He told me that he’d met someone. Heart sank immediately. I’ve known for years what a catch Guitarist is, even if he seems to think that he’s not. He kept talking, though. He’s thought for a while that Purr, the girl in question, was interested in him, but he only confirmed it with her while I was on vacation. Once their mutual interest was confirmed, he knew that he needed to talk to me right away.

He laid out some options. She’s polyamorous, and she wanted to hang out with him some time. I could say yes and they could see each other, or I could say no and they wouldn’t. He would break off contact with her, because he didn’t think they could be just friends.

Heart unsank. Some of our friends in Nearby City are poly. I’m not deeply invested in monogamy. But thinking that I knew how Guitarist felt about monogamy, I queried how his interest in Purr was different than a friendship.

He responded that his attraction was quite physical as well as emotional. But she insisted that she’d entirely respect our relationship, it will come first, she’s okay with him breaking it off with her if it turns into something that makes me uncomfortable, etc.

I agreed that they could see each other. Guitarist agreed to take it slow so that we can all work out our feelings.

Now:

Guitarist and Purr are seeing each other. We’ve hung out together as a trio a couple of times and they’ve had a couple of dyad dates. I feel a lot of compersion when he squees about her… but it’s quite another thing to unexpectedly wake up to a lonely house and a text message because they’ve gone on an impromptu date (the only kind of date Purr knows how to do, because she’s massively overbooked and has small children). Scheduling disruptions tend to upset me, even when they aren’t on the slightly touchy ground of my husband dating someone that isn’t me. He’s working on better scheduling, I’m working on being flexible.

Meanwhile, I got myself set up on OKC and initiated some conversations with high matches. I’ve had one date with Marian, who I like very much. We went for coffee, which turned into dinner, which turned into closing down the restaurant while talking about anything and everything. I’m completely flooded with NRE over her. I’ve told her how much I like her, and she’s reassured me that she likes me back. However, she’s in grad school and married and intensely busy. I’m trying to reign in my NRE and not come on too strong.

Flame laughs at my intense levels of squee lately and revels in my happiness. Even so, he’s a little worried about me because he’s tried poly in the past and it didn’t work out well. I didn’t point out that it probably didn’t work out well because in the past he had low self-esteem and a penchant for attaching to people who are intentionally or unintentionally emotionally abusive. I don’t think he needed me to. Anyway, he’s in a much better place now.

Purr is also interested in me. I know this because she said it. I responded that I’m not sure how I feel about that. She’s attractive and, well, it’s not at all shocking to me that Guitarist and I would find the same kind of person attractive. But the way she phrased a couple of things in the beginning, like how she would like to see “us” and how she expects that mine and Guitarist’s relationship will come first, makes me feel pretty cautious. I’d rather just let our relationship be what it will be.

In that vein, the “veto” idea went out the window in week one. I didn’t feel comfortable with it in the first place, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the reason why. The best I could come up with was that it doesn’t seem right to pull the plug on something important to someone you love is enjoying without any consensus and discussion, and besides, how would that make Purr feel. After reading More Than Two, my reasons have become a lot more clear. They all revolve around the fact that Purr is a human being, not a commodity. Guitarist shared an article about couples’ privilege with Purr. I hope she’s going to start feeling a little more empowered about her relationship with him, and more empowered about being solo poly in general. She has a lot of self-sacrificial tendencies. They’re really admirable, but she’s been taken advantage of in the past because she is So Damned Nice.

That isn’t to say everything has been perfect thus far. There has been at least one bout of floor-crying on my part and one meltdown on Guitarist’s part. There have been wibbles on all sides. We’ve had quite a few long discussions and some sleepless nights. But Guitarist and I aren’t codependent, and our relationship has always been built on trust, respect, and communication. Even though we love doing things together, we also have our own friends, our own bank accounts, our own vacations. He joked that he feels like we’ve been setting up for poly all along. Even with the added drama, our relationship is great.

Marian and I have a second date later this week. We’re going to get dinner and see a play. The week after that, Marian and her husband (I will call him Ranger) are going to come over to our house for board games. Guitarist would like to meet her, and I want to meet Ranger. Ranger is monogamous and, while I have Marian’s assurances that he’s entirely on board with us dating, I think I’m going to be a little insecure until I can get a read on him myself.

And that’s where things stand as of today. Clearly I needed to just start a damned blog already before it got too much longer.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I’ve been doing crazy amounts of texting at work lately. This is partially because the nature of my work is very cyclical (two weeks of OMG WTF WHY followed by two weeks of go at my own pace) and partly because a dear family member is having health problems and my concentration is shot anyway.

First, I was texting with Guitarist and Purr. We tend to group chat fairly frequently. Guitarist wanted to know if it was okay if he hung out with Purr at her new place. We had a date planned for when I got home with work, and Guitarist works third shift, so we tend to schedule even the basic things like watching TV. Normally I’d just say yes, since he sees her so much less often than me. But today was a sex date, and I was worked up about it all day, so I really didn’t want to give up that time. Fortunately, Purr had a chunk of time available in the middle of the afternoon, so it worked out really well.

I never mind when he’s spending time with Purr while I’m at work. I’m glad someone that I love is having fun somewhere, even more so when it’s with someone that I like. When I got home, he was sort of *shrug* about how it went, which was disappointing. He saw my disappointment and explained that he sometimes downplays how much fun he has with her (or to her, how much fun he has with me) because he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I explained that it didn’t hurt my feelings at all that he had a good hang-out with her. Quite the contrary, I was a little bummed that he didn’t have a good time. It turned out he did have a good time, and he bubbled on about it for a while, and all was well.

Second, I texted a bunch with Flame. Flame was in a remarkably good mood. He’s usually pretty low key, but today he was basically having a text-based dance party. Apparently he had good dreams last night, which is unusual enough to make me happy. The man deserves more good dreams.

Coincidentally, or perhaps not, Flame also scheduled a date with a girl he’s been interested in who lives relatively near to him. I have my fingers crossed that he won’t get his heart broken again. He’s taken a year off from dating to recover from his latest divorce, and in terms of self-awareness and self-confidence, I’ve never seen him in such a good place. I just hope he doesn’t get overwhelmed by NRE and throw his emotions on the sacrificial altar of a woman who doesn’t appreciate his good qualities and wants to “change” him “for his own good.” Again. But I’m cautiously optimistic. She sounds pretty cool, and I have to trust that his increased self-confidence is going to mean he’s going to be less inclined to bend to the breaking point for someone who doesn’t love him for who he is.

After I got home from work, date night went really well. I bounced out of the bedroom in good spirits. Guitarist is now in the living room playing Metal Gear, which is probably what he’ll do until he goes to bed shortly. It’s his equivalent of 4 am. I plan on writing for a while and, when my brain can’t take any more of that, playing Cataclysm DDA. The struggles are going to be trying not to obsess about my date with Marian tomorrow and getting some sleep.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I just got back from my second date with Marian. I didn’t sleep very well, I think out of nervousness. Have I mentioned how much I really like this woman? She’s smart, funny, cute, and we have a lot of interests in common. We had dinner at my favorite local BBQ joint and then went to see a musical at the community theater. One of the things we talked about at dinner was creating a date list for things we want to do in the future. The in the future phrase came from her, not me, and it made me want to dance around the table.

The musical was very nice, except I was having trouble concentrating because I was trying to figure out the best way to make a move for her hand. I hadn’t worked myself up to it yet by intermission. Then we met someone she knows from work at intermission, and she’s definitely not out as poly, so I spent the second half of the musical kicking myself for missing my chance. Ranger was supposed to pick her up when the musical ended.
He wasn’t waiting in the parking lot when we got out. She was a little worried, but it turned out he’d just lost track of time. That was fine in my book. We walked to my car and the “would you like to hold my hand” line works much better when you’re not in the middle of a crowded theater. Standing cuddling and lingering hugs worker better, too. I'm so tame.

I got to meet Ranger when he picked her up. He seemed nice, if tired. Me and Marian hugged goodbye. When I got home, I had a Facebook message waiting for me about how her and Ranger had talked on their way home about how he wouldn’t be comfortable with PDA in front of him. I double checked that the hug was okay (it was) since I want to respect his boundaries, too. All four of us (me, Guitarist, Marian, and Ranger) are going to play some board games at my house next week.

Tomorrow I have a date with Guitarist to loaf around the house and continue watching the fifth season of Walking Dead. We don’t have TV, so we only get caught up when it comes out on DVD. I’m more looking forward to the reconnection time than the TV time. He’s asleep right now, but he’s going to get a very serious cuddling when I go to bed.

One of the things that still feels weird to me about poly is that I really want to squee to my partner about a very good date I had with someone who isn’t him. The only thing that would make this lovely night lovelier would be curling up against him and sharing my happiness. It isn’t a bad weird, just a slight dissonance weird.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I decided to do a quick update while I’m home from work early, waiting for Guitarist to get home from his date with Purr so that we can get our Walking Dead on. Flame has a date with a girl and he was texting back and forth with her yesterday for a while. It turns out she’s been posting very poly-positive things on Facebook, which has led him to wonder if she might not be poly. It wouldn’t be super surprising, giving the area he lives in, but I’d feel less worried about a jealous significant other trying to run me out of his life. Not that that particular worry is strong, but it’s definitely there. I’ve met plenty of girlfriends who are upset that I’m friends with their boyfriend, even when I was married and perfectly monogamous.

I don't think the poly thing would make me less threatening, even though it should because, I mean, if I wanted to date him we already would be dating so chill out please. But now I’m not “safe.” As if there’s any safety blanket immediately placed between two people because one of them is married, like some kind of a Victorian bundling board.

And with that amusing thought, I’m going to get some Dark Souls 2 in before Guitarist gets home.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I was planning on spending some time with Guitarist’s family without him (his third shift schedule means we don’t see his family much and I really enjoy the company of his mom and stepdad), but I ended up canceling that because I just wasn’t feeling it. Introversion struck. The thought of driving and being social and more driving made my brain go ‘no no no no no.’ I ended up getting lunch with Guitarist at a restaurant we discovered just a short while back, watching some Netflix, rolling around in bed, and now I’m catching up on the forums and realizing I don’t really have other major plans for the day. Huge mental sigh of relief.

I mostly thought my desire to close myself up in my office and be unsocial was related to this allergy-driven sinus headache I’ve had for a few days, but then I looked at my calendar and realized that I’ve had something every day for the last week and a half. For me, that’s insane. No wonder I was feeling the desperate need for alone time. A few weeks ago I would have laughed at the thought, but between the increase in time I’ve spent with Guitarist lately, my friends, Marian, hanging out with Purr, and just general day-to-day living stuff (like volunteering and getting my stupid roof repaired and grocery shopping) I haven’t had much time to just chill in my office without having to watch the clock and make sure I’m not going to be late for something. … maybe I’m going to have to start scheduling alone time.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
What a long day. After going to bed at about 2:30 yesterday morning, my dog decided to wake me up at 7:30. She normally doesn’t carry on in her crate, so I knew something was up. Sure enough, when I opened the crate door she shot like an arrow toward the front door and did her “must potty” dance. So I only got five hours of sleep.

Guitarist and I had a poly conversation when he got home from work. He wanted to know if it was okay with me if he started a new relationship with someone he was interested in. He hadn’t told her yet that he was interested. The way he segued into it, it sounded kind of sketchy--she had apparently slapped his ass while they were talking. As far as I know, she knew that he was married but not about our open relationship. I told him it bothered me that she was willing to get that handsy with someone under those circumstances.

He told me that he’d casually let it drop to her that our relationship is open. My initial reaction was a huge “what the fuck” about being outed to a stranger without my prior consent or presence and when we aren’t completely out as poly. After a few minutes of trying to organize my thoughts on that feeling to talk to Guitarist about it, I realized that it was actually more a reaction to feeling involuntarily outed. Kind of like when my sister outed me to my parents as bisexual, which was a hugely traumatic experience for everyone involved.

Working through it with logic, I realized that my reaction didn’t make any sense. For one, Guitarist can’t feel out possible interests if they don’t know we’re poly, and for two, I have an OKC account, which is pretty much outing myself to strangers. It doesn’t change that there’s something viscerally different between telling someone something private about yourself and having someone else tell them something private about yourself, but at the end of the day I trust Guitarist’s judgment, so that is that. I got over it pretty quickly. I'm still a little weirded out by the thought of it, but it's not a big problem. I'll probably talk to him about it the next time we get a minute.

As far as my actual thoughts about him staring a new relationship, I’m not sure he should start a new relationship while he’s still in the developing-relationship stages with Purr. But he’s also a grown man and can make his own decision. I don’t see how talking to his possible new interest (as of yet un-nicknamed) about polyarmory and whether she would be interested in them getting to know each other better would really hurt, though. My only concern was the butt-slapping incident, and he clarified that. I’m sure other feelings will crop up, they just haven't shown up yet.

So that was my morning. In the afternoon, I went over to a friend’s house to play board games with my D&D group, which is transitioning into a Deadlands Reloaded group (that I’m going to run) because the D&D DM recently had a baby and probably isn’t going to have time to plan even our once-monthly games. We played Catan because my friend’s roommate had never played it, and then I completely slaughtered everyone in a game of Illuminati. Winning that game is so satisfying. Mua ha ha.

After that, it was about 8 pm, so I went to hang out with Purr for a few hours. Earlier in the day, we had a discussion over text about our relationship because I was worried I might be leading her on (because of something Guitarist said). I clarified with her that I like hanging out and I like cuddling, but I’m not interested at this point in actively dating or being her girlfriend. She said that she likes our casual thing and doesn’t care about how it’s defined. She doesn’t have expectations. That’s a huge relief. I was reading a lot of expectations from her in the beginning, and that made my walls go up right away.

We watched a video with her kids while she was trying to get them to go to sleep, and then sat around on the couch and talked for a while. We sat side by side at first, but it felt natural to put my arm around her, so I did. It turned into a cuddlefest with serious discussion and emotional support.

I probably have feelings for Purr. They aren’t the lightning-bolt-squee feelings I have for Marian, but more of the warm wanting-to-support feelings I have for Flame. I’m happy to let it be what it will be, and it’s a relief that Purr isn’t pushing for something more.

She’s marshaling her thoughts about Guitarist starting a new relationship, too, but I didn’t really talk to her in depth about that because I don’t want to influence their conversation. Whatever she feels about it is between her and him, not her and me.

And now I’m processing and unwinding and petting my dog with my feet and getting ready for bed... which I should do here shortly, since it’s getting late and I have to work tomorrow. Time to play some tug of war to tire out the dog out.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Today’s poly text conversation winner is: talking with Guitarist about unwittingly being the cause of some emotional wobbliness on my part by outing me to his new interest (who I’ve decided to name Sunshine, since her name is close to a person I think of that way and I don’t have any other information about her). And it really was unwitting. He just didn’t think about how it might affect me and Purr. Purr is even more poly-closeted than I am, since she has different job and family situations.

Anyway, I explained that my reaction was completely irrational. My mind was fighting the last war, so to speak. I said that my main problems seemed to revolve around not knowing Sunshine and feeling like his decision blindsided me. I said that I might react better with a little advanced warning last time or, if that wasn’t possible, at least telling me soon after it happened instead of dropping it as a ‘by the way’ in a different conversation. But I did try to emphasize that it was a brief and minor discomfort on my part, and if the difference was between bringing it up without talking to me first and possibly losing a connection, I'd support his decision to bring it up.

He said that he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings at all and something about thinking he will take it slower next time since he think he upset both me and Purr with his speed on this. For me, it wasn’t about the speed. If he’d told me the day previously that he was going to try to casually drop our polyness to the new interest, I would have felt like I at least had input in the decision. Even if the result would have been the same.

Anyway, Guitarist and Sunshine are getting coffee tomorrow to talk. This is his first time initiating with poly about anyone, and I hope it goes well.

The rest of my night is just going to be me-things. I have to prepare for a board meeting I have tomorrow, I want to spend some time with my dog, and I have some cleaning to do, and I want to play some video games. Eventually I'm going to cuddle Guitarist awake before he has to go to work... if I don’t accidentally fall asleep on the couch from exhaustion. Right this second I’m really feeling the combination of drinking yesterday, the late night with Purr, and allergies.
 
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AutumnLeaves

New member
Brief update: I failed at real life this morning. Our dog started to go insane at 7:30 am. I woke up all wtf only to realize that the roof guys were at my house. My brain went "but but but they're on my calendar for Thursday!"

Unfortunately, a calendar is only as good as the person making entries.

I texted Guitarist and felt horrible that I might have ruined his planned coffee with Sunshine. I would have called in to work... if I could reach my boss's secretary, which is kind of hit or miss before 10 am. I was a huge ball of anxiety.

But it turned out that since I'd payed half in advance, they didn't need anyone there while they're working. Huge sigh of relief.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
My board meeting ran long tonight, putting me in the unenviable position of having some free time, but not enough to do anything that I’d really like to do with it. I’m basically just waiting until I can wake Guitarist up and cuddle him some before he has to go to work and I have to go to bed. And focusing on how crappy I feel and how I just want the day over with so it can be tomorrow already.

Today has been one of the less-good poly days. Guitarist had his coffee meeting with Sunshine today. I sent him a message that I knew he wouldn’t get until he got home, asking him how it went. When he got back he just said ‘okay’ and that we’d talk about it later. That was kind of disappointing. I was hoping to have some compersion, because the morning had sucked until that point with the roof snafu and I’d hoped that would make me feel better.

I also tried to pin him down on whether he wanted to spend time on Sunday morning, because I would wait to depart for my Sunday plans with Marian until after he got home so that I could see him. Otherwise I wanted to know if he wanted to arrange something for Saturday. He said Sunday would depend on whether he would be spending time with Purr. And that he would like to spend time with me, but I had better not count on it. Not a word about Saturday instead.

To which I wanted to respond what does that even fucking mean. I asked because I wanted to spend time with him if he wanted to make time with me, or make other plans if he didn’t, and instead I got almost a complete nonanswer. ‘Whether I want to see you depends on whether someone else is free’ does not make me feel valued. I don’t want to sit around at home for two hours after I could depart on the whims of someone that doesn’t plan... or I wouldn’t be asking to plan. Tell me yes we'll schedule that time, or tell me no we won't. I don’t want to inconvenience myself for your sake if I’m just the backup plan.

Anyway, a lot of this could just be due to extra grumpiness today on the part of the dog alarm jerking me out of a sound sleep earlier than I wanted it to, and then having to frantically rush around trying to make sure that the roof scheduling situation was taken care of. I am NOT a morning person. And I had two other things I wanted to do today (revel in Guitarist’s good coffee date, and set up a time to meet Marian on Sunday) and neither happened. No wonder I’m so grumpy.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I cleared everything up with Guitarist last night. It turns out we were both really stressed out yesterday and miscommunication abounded.

He thought when I said that I was spending Sunday with Marian and did he want me to wait to leave until after he got home, that I was basically asking for his permission to skip Sunday morning with him. We do usually spend Sunday mornings together, but we talked rather recently about how I don’t want to consider those ‘our’ time because if I consider them ours, I’m going to get a little out of sorts if Purr ends up having it free and he goes to spend time with her instead, but if I consider it a happy circumstance that Purr doesn’t have time for him, I’ll feel a lot better overall. So I was asking whether he wanted to schedule it or not out of deference to the fact that we’re having Marian and Ranger over Friday, and then I’m spending all day with Marian on Sunday. Still, my question wasn’t a model of clarity, and I could see how a stressed-out Guitarist could have interpreted it differently.

It ended up working out that I’m going to leave early to go to Renaissance festival with Marian before Guitarist gets home from work, and Guitarist and I are going to spend Saturday morning together instead. The weekend is looking extremely busy, but I’m also very excited about it. Tonight is my alone time night in preparation for--going to a soccer game with a woman from work tomorrow; having Marian and Ranger over Friday; Saturday morning with Guitarist, Saturday afternoon baby shower, Saturday evening birthday party; Renaissance festival Sunday with Marian. Thank goodness my other work friend said she can’t make our Monday night exercise class. I’m going to need a solo night to recover from my weekend.

Guitarist’s coffee with Sunshine did actually go just okay. He said there was no spark there and it was really weird talking to a monogamous person about polyamory. He apparently spent a lot of time gushing about how awesome I am, and then felt kind of strange about it. So Sunshine isn’t making my signature yet.

I also didn’t mention this in yesterday’s post, but Purr is going through some tough relationship times right now. She’s having to take a step back from one of her close relationships because of a metamour. It seems like it really sucks. She apologized for leaning so hard on me and Guitarist, to which I responded whatever. I can’t speak for him, but I don’t feel overly leaned on. I just wish she was happier.

I’ll say this for yesterday, Flame really came through for me. I love the shit out of that man. He was basically talking me down from the edge of extreme annoyance and picking me up the entire day, which I really needed.

Today has been much better.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Not ten minutes after I typed that today has been much better, my mother informed me over a text message that my parents are getting a divorce. Followed shortly by my dad calling me. This is the third time they’re getting a divorce in the last five years. I really hope they actually go through with it this time, because their constant state of semi-divorced fighting (and dragging me into it) leaves me feeling very unhappy. They aren’t happy together and they haven't been for a long time.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
My parents' probable divorce has taken over my life today. I'm writing this at work, where after a night of poor sleep, I can't concentrate. There are a lot of moving parts, all made harder by the fact that they've cried wolf over divorce times before. This time seems much more serious though.

I had to set boundaries with both of them after waking up to a series of messages from thier joint Skype account. Basically, I told them that I love them both and they're both good people, but they just aren't good for each other. And I would love to talk to them and be there for them as this goes on, but 1) privately, not over a medium each knows the other will read, and 2) without the he did/she did or negative language. If they aren't willing or able to do that, I'm willing to cut off contact until after the divorce for my own mental health. I can't change their conduct, but I can change whether I'm exposed to it.

In pretty short order, I received two apologies for putting me in that position. Many assurances of mutual love and support followed. I hope that I don't have to enforce that boundary too often. It was Really Fucking Hard to to lay it out in the first place.

The rest of the day has been spent texting my siblings and talking logistics, fears, and feelings. It's been extremely draining. I almost want to skip the soccer game tonight, but I know I'll regret it if I do
and instead I'll just sit at home drinking and worrying, so I'm making myself go. I can't make myself have fun, but damn it, I'm going to try.

Guitarist got an afternoon date with Purr today and that really lifts my spirits. I hope he's able to give her some of the affection and comforting she seems to need right now. And I'll wake him up when I get home and get some of that myself.

Thank goodness for the rocks in my life, Guitarist and Flame, helping support me so that I can be the rock for my siblings without sliding down the hill.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
The soccer game last night was great. My work friend was super excited about our tickets (row 7, midfield) and I ended up fortuitously managing to catch the first goal on video. All in all, it was pretty awesome. Traffic getting into Large City at around 5 pm and out of Large City at around 10 pm was not awesome, but I managed to cope. I really hate driving in traffic. I was less successful about avoiding parental divorce drama, but I don’t care to relive that by typing it.

When I got back from the game, Guitarist and I cuddled and talked about random things for a while. He gushed about his date with Purr. It was nice to hear what a good time he had while he was cuddling me back into some semblance of a healthy emotional place. Have I mentioned how perceptive and supportive and sweet Guitarist is? He really is. I’m amazingly fortunate that this man is in my life.

He waited until I was calm and soothed and happy before he brought up that things between Purr and him had progressed to a sexual place and he wanted to talk about our sexual boundaries. The boundary we negotiated about a month and a half ago when opening everything up was “no sex, but we’ll talk about it again if it comes up.” So I’ve known that this discussion has been coming up for a while and I’ve been kind of mentally preparing for it, testing my sore spots and trying to figure out my comfort level.

Still, I’ve been pretty depressed the past few days so I said I needed to think a little before we talked about it. I wanted to make sure that my lack of negative feelings was because I don’t actually have them, instead of because the black hole of anger and depression that has existed in the pit of my stomach the past few days was sucking all of my emotions into it.

I thought for about half an hour and we cuddled and talked about different things before bringing I brought it back up again. In the end, our no-sex agreement went out the window, replaced by agreements involving safer sex practices (testing, barriers), how much information would be shared (that the other would like to know that one of us wants to be physically intimate with a partner before it happens, but details are not required or welcome), and miscellaneous boundaries (I simply do not want people in my bedroom, he is less comfortable thinking about me with men and we’ll have to talk about that if I start a relationship with a man). We’d previously talked a little about maybe possibly in the future perhaps maybe setting up a guest room so that we’d have an extra bed available for sleep overs, instead of just the air mattress. Fortunately, for now the only sexual relationship would be him and Purr. And because of Purr’s logistics reasons, time with Purr is usually spent at Purr’s apartment.

Today, Purr thanked me for being so open and accepting of her and I’ve had to spend some of this afternoon reassuring her that I really do mean it and I’m not concealing jealous feelings. She’s said she’s not used to having a metamour so open to talking to her about relationship things, welcoming to her, and respectful of her boundaries and desires. Gold stars for me! It makes me happy that she feels comfortable, safe, and respected.

Meanwhile, I’ve spent the day getting my hair cut and cleaning the house in preparation of Marian and Ranger coming over. Guitarist is very excited. So excited, he told me, that he didn’t want to go to sleep. He didn’t end up going to bed until 3 pm or something crazy like that, so waking him up at 8 pm should be… fun. I’ve bought an oatmeal stout I’ve never tried as well as one of my favorite porters, refreshed my scotch collection, cleaned the entire house, my white bean chicken chili is in the crockpot, and now I’ve got to twiddle my thumbs for a few more hours until it’s time. My stomach is all full of fluttery things at the thought of having my love and my crush in the same place at the same time, and I just hope everything goes well. Also there will be some board games I want to play, but at this point that’s really an afterthought.

I think I’ll go launch Dark Souls 2 or something. Sitting here and obsessing is just making me nervous.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I’m supposed to be spending the morning with Guitarist, but I asked him if he wanted to do anything and he said no, so now we’re in our separate offices doing computer things. I’m fine with this. We spent a ton of time together last night and had some really good sex, so my social bar is full in terms of Guitarist time.

Board gaming last night went really well. Ranger seemed very cool and relaxed. Nothing was weird and I didn’t get any awkward or jealous vibes. I feel a lot more comfortable already. I don’t think he’s a metamour I’ll be close friends with, but I also don’t think we’ll have any problems.

Guitarist also liked Marian and didn’t have any problems there, which I was entirely expecting but which is a relief all the same. Guitarist said that he had his first moment of compersion. It was really nice to hear him talk about it. He also said that she seems really into me, and that made me dance a little inside.

I’m a touch hung over and quite exhausted, since the hung over woke me up before I really wanted to get up. That should be fine, because my schedule for today is just a bunch of family stuff. Nothing big there. I’m just hoping that my mom will be chill about the divorce stuff. We’ve texted plenty lately and not a peep on that front and my dad didn’t call last night either. I think they’ve received the message. Fingers crossed.

I’m very much looking forward to Sunday with Marian. It will be a much longer time alone than we’ve had yet, and it’ll involve a long car ride. I love long car rides with people. So much good conversation happens. I’ll get to wear a costume, and costuming is one of my hobbies. I’ll get to hold her hand all day and maybe we’ll kiss or something. This is the most tortuously slow relationship I've ever had but I'm completely okay with that. The inside of my brain is a giant dance party right now.

But it’s time for coffee!
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Day went okay. No divorce talk from mom beyond logistics and general family concerns, definitely nothing crossing my boundaries. Whew. But what a long day. I’m an introvert. Being not only social, but social at large family parties for 11 hours, wow that was draining. By the end I wanted to curl up in a corner with a blanket and go to sleep just so that I could stop processing. Instead I found a room with a dog and sat on the floor petting the dog. My niece was also getting overwhelmed and tired and she made a good excuse to drag the rest of my family away from the party and all carpool home. It was nice.

In other news, Guitarist has apparently started a blog here. I’m glad. I’ve encouraged him to, since we are kind of short on male perspectives and he’s an eloquent speaker and writer. But it does bring up some questions in my mind about whether to read his blog, even though he says I can read it.

I’m not worried about him reading my blog if he wants to, since we share openly, communicate frequently, and I’ve told him that things I’m processing here may not be things I’ve talked to him about yet. Whether he decides to expose himself to my thoughts, even my negative thoughts that I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about yet, is his decision.

And it’s my decision whether to expose myself to his. Part of me really, really wants to know our story from his perspective, but another part of me (we’ll call it the playground kid part of me) is worried that I might hear some things that will upset me. Maybe the solution is to just read it from time to time and not to voraciously consume every frequent post, like I do with so many other blogs here. I don't know.

I don’t have to decide now. I DO have to clean up from last night’s board gaming party and try to relax so that I can sleep well and wake up early to spend the day with Marian. I'm so excited I probably won't sleep, but damn it, I have to try.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I’m in an extremely happy place after spending all day with Marian. We saw some good shows, had some fun, ate some food, bought some things. But more importantly, I now officially have a girlfriend.

I like to look out of the corner of my eye and see her serious thinking expression, I like to watch her smile. I like meeting her eyes and seeing affection reflected back. I like hearing her talk about her past, her story with Ranger, and I like hearing her affection for him, especially now that I know him a little better. I like the sound of her voice and the shape of her face and her freckles. I’m utterly smitten. We still haven’t kissed. I'm anti-PDA and I haven’t been able to find a quiet place and time to ask if I may kiss her, but the other chemistry is definitely there.

We talked about everything under the sun. Poly, not poly, everything. She’s just so easy to talk to. Our desires for what we want from poly and relationships and life in general match up in a lot of ways--not completely, but the differences aren't concerning. I feel like I can be myself with her and that she likes that self, and that's something very important. Deep in my heart is the closeted oft-rejected little nerd girl who secretly doesn't believe that anyone or anything could like her for real. I believe that Marian actually likes me.

I mentioned that I closed my OKC account and I could tell she was hesitant to bring it up, but she wanted to let me know her OKC account was still up and she’s still looking. She wanted to know if I was okay with that. I’m didn’t even have to stop and think before saying I’m completely fine with that. I didn't have any insecurity at all. She’s still newish to poly and she should totally see what other fish are in the sea. I’m not concerned about it affecting my relationship with her. I can tell how into me she is and, from the way she considers Ranger’s feelings and mine, she seems very thoughtful with relationships. If she loses scheduling availability and I stop being able to have a weekly date with her, I might start to feel neglected, but if that happens I’ll bring it up when it happens.

Ranger’s nice with a capital N, and seems very supportive. I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of resistance and things like that, since he’s also pretty clearly mono, but they’re clearly very in love and she has good taste, so I’m feeling a lot more comfortable. He seems happy that she’s happy. He opened the door for me when I showed up today and didn’t seem weirded out by me at all. I think the odd first impression from the parking lot pickup that one night was a fluke or product of driving to an unfamiliar location while being late.

And now I’m back to where I usually am after dates. Loafing in my office, waiting for Guitarist to wake up so that I can share my squee with him and receive cuddles in return. Meanwhile I'm sharing some squee with Purr, since she's available and seems to need cheering up. And generally being exhausted and happy.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
What a horrible fucking night. Very little to do with the poly, everything to do with my parents' divorce.

The short version, which is all I have time for, is that Purr wanted to hang out after work so I went to her place to spend time with her and her kids. Things were fine (not super amazing, she's sick and low energy but it was nice to just be in the same room) until my mom called.

That call was fine. She just wanted to let my know that she'd moved in with a friend but forgot her cell phone charger, so not to worry if I couldn't reach her. She started to get into divorce stuff but cut herself off, which was nice.

Purr handed me a well-timed glass of wine. Dad called ten minutes later. I'll just say he didn't respect my boundaries as well. In the future, any calls from him will go to voice mail first. He apparently can't call without taking his upset out on me, by picking a fight when I remind him that I don't want to hear some things.

I worry about his heart health in the physical sense, but I can't let that dictate that I answer the phone right away. I refuse to let him upset me like I was upset tonight.

Time for more cuddles from Guitarist.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I ended up calling into work today. It was a very good decision. I got very little sleep last night, and what sleep I did get was not quality. I woke up all puffy-eyed from my emotional meltdown yesterday, with a sinus headache from this sinus infection I’m trying to take care of, and said ‘fuck it.’ I called my boss’s secretary. She knows about my grandmother’s health and my parents’ divorce, which helps. No questions asked. Calling it a sick day. I love my job.

After I shuffled out into the kitchen, Guitarist wanted to know if I wanted to go over to Purr’s to meet her ex-husband. He wanted to meet us, since we’re around his kids. I thought that was fair and I tried to push any preconceptions I might have about him. And he does have good aspects. For instance, he’s trying to parent his children and maintain a cordial relationship with Purr. There are things about him I can approve of.

So we both went over there and met Purr’s exhub. Even with the things I can approve about, I didn’t like him all that much. Man, that guy is a whiner. Especially about his responsibilities. Like the kids. He has to *gasp* drive the oldest to school three days a week. My heart breaks for him… not.

In an effort to NOT tell him what a whiny asshole I think he is, I delved into my phone. I tend to speak my mind. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that actually wants to know what other people think. If I never have to sit and be cordial with him again, I’ll be fine with that. I don't do forced-cordial well.

It kind of wrecked Guitarist’s mood to have to solo-deal with exhub. I do feel bad about that. Mine was already wrecked so the only place it was going to go was me exchanging harsh words with him. I did not, did not, did NOT want to do that in front of Purr’s baby. I'm glad Guitarist stepped in. But still, that was a lot of pressure on him. I’m lucky he handled it like a champion, even if he didn’t like exhub either.

After exhub left and the baby was down for a nap, all three of us had a giant cuddle pile on the couch. Purr and I discussed some things. Purr and I have different definitions of what counts as sex. She was concerned that she crossed my boundary by doing some touching things (the things that prompted him to back off and us to have our sex conversation of a few days ago). While she knew our boundary was no-sex, I understand that different people might have different ideas of what constitutes sex. I wasn’t going to get all hurt and offended that she crossed a line she was unaware of, especially not when the only reason it existed at all was so that Guitarist and I could talk about it before they went further. No harm no foul. She almost visibly relaxed. I think the thought of me possibly being silently angry with her was really stressing her out.

I also don’t remember if I posted this elsewhere, but Purr has been a little insecure about my developing relationship with Marian. Purr asked me if Marian’s girlfriend status meant that we would have to end our developing thing. I was really confused why it would, until I realized that she JUST lost a relationship because of a boyfriend choosing to pursue a metamour who wasn’t as open to him having open relationships as would have been necessary for Purr and the boyfriend to continue. I was happy to reassure Purr that we have an emotional connection that has meaning to me and she does not need to worry about that kind of behavior from me.

I wouldn’t even cut off a friend because someone in a relationship with me didn’t like my friendship. Being comfortable with my current relationships, from friendships on up, is the price of entry into a relationship with me. Period. I can’t imagine breaking off with someone with whom I have a thing, even if that thing is ‘just’ an its-complicated-cuddlebuddyship. And I did put scare quotes in there because I don’t think of our relationship as 'just' anything. I don’t think it’s less valid because we aren’t head-over-heels squeeing about each other and making out every chance we get and planning our future marriage and so on and so on. I care for her. If our thing ends, it will be because we have different needs and desires, not because someone shiny and new comes along.

The clarifications, conversations, and especially cuddle pile really improved my mood. There was mutual kissing and touching in all directions. My mood went from one step above a depression doom spiral to something approaching okay. It wasn’t ideal, but I really enjoyed myself. The energy was really magnified, having two people I care about and who care about each other all entwined with me with petting and kissing and touching. I’ve had sexual three-ways before, but not emotional ones. There was a very different feeling there that I’m still trying to process.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
The roller coaster that is my life continues.

I had my annual doctor appointment yesterday. She's concerned about my weight gain and not sleeping. They're symptoms of depression. Well, duh. I realize I'm struggling right now, but I don't want medication or a therapist. I have nothing against therapy (I've been there before), but finding a good therapist is like finding someone to date. And of course when you're depressed, you don't want to do any of that.

I've struggled with dysthemic depression all my life. At this point, I'm pretty used to coping with it. I have the CBT tools I need and lots of experience at applying them. And I know that I need to make some changes in my lifestyle. I'm done drinking for a while. It will help with the overeating specifically and the depression generally. I'm going to meditate more. It will help with the insomnia.

Anyway, yesterday I got to explain to my sweet old Korean doctor about poly and why I wanted all the STD tests, just to make sure I'm clear. Once I reassured her that it was by choice and not coercion, she laughed and said it sounds like the new thing kids are doing these days. So receiving push-back from my doctor is one less thing to be anxious about.

The evening was great. Guitarist and I went to Nearby City to see a concert. I love going to shows. We also got to see one of Guitarist's childhood friends and one of my friends from college, since we all like the same genre of music. Guitarist was a little anxious about outing us as poly to his friend, but he ended up doing it and the friend was very "whatever makes you happy," so that was nice. My friend was a little weirded out, but we're making plans to hang out soon and talk more.

What wasn't so nice was rushing home and going to bed so that I could work today. I didn't sleep well. And then I was texting my younger sister a lot about the divorce this morning. She is a lot deeper into the drama because my mom provides child care for my niece at the house and my sister can't afford a different child care arrangement, so dad has been ambushing her on her way to and from work to "ask for opinions." Of course, if she offers an opinion he disagrees with, he argues with her. And mom has also been venting at her, no doubt in part because I won't let mom vent at me.

My sister struggles with anxiety, and the combination of her plans being disrupted, not having any security in being able to plan, being put on the spot, and being put in the middle really wears on her. Unlike with mom and dad, I'm willing to listen to my sister as much as she needs, talk as much as she wants, and reassure her that she's doing the best she can. She isn't trying to pick sides and is suffering as much or more than I am. Letting her vent (and let's be honest, venting in return) is the least I can do. But it's still emotionally draining.

I'm so amazingly thankful for the love and support from the people in my life right now. If not for Guitarist, Flame, Purr, and Marian giving me copious hugs, lending ears, and giving me good times, I'd be mired neck deep in depression and less able to help my siblings. Thier love and support has allowed me to pass some of that love and support on. That has been one of the most tangible benefits of poly thus far.
 
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