Leaf on the Wind

AutumnLeaves

New member
That's the nice thing about my relationship with Guitarist. We always talk about everything and, even when we're both upset, we practice nonviolent communication. It always seems to me like we're trying to reach solutions instead of placing blame.

Which helps me a lot because I'm the anal one and he's the laid back one, which means that the person getting upset is usually (but not always) me. I don't think that's because I'm some sort of superior person who fucks up less. I think it's just that he's more laid-back by nature.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I feel entirely, utterly unprepared to drive out to visit Flame this coming weekend. At the same time, I'm 100% over working and this is the slowest that time has passed in my life. Ugh.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I feel like every time I'm going on vacation, I've never felt prepared for leaving, with a few exceptions of having a couple days off in advance to prepare. Today, I was woken up by the following things:

I couldn't fall asleep to begin with. The bedroom was full of off-putting smells and I'm very anxious about everything so my legs twitched until like 1 am.
5 am, Guitarist coming to bed. For some reason it was like the bedroom door opened super loudly this time. I would have easily fallen back asleep except for
5:15 am, the doves in the pine tree by the bedroom window that I am literally going to burn to the ground, I swear.
6 am, my dog crying like she had an urgent need to go outside, except when I got up to let her out, she just wanted me to feed her. Uh no.
6 am to 6:45 am, dog crying and me unable to sleep but also refusing to reinforce her behavior by getting up and getting progressively more angry.
7 am to 8 am, messed up dreams.

I'm so tired. I hope I sleep well tonight before driving tomorrow but somehow I doubt that's going to happen.

I still have to pack literally everything and get all my medication in order. I also really want to hang my hammock so I can stop freaking out about Guitarist having guests in the bedroom when I'm gone and coming home and being unable to sleep in the bedroom ever again and then never being able to sleep period and losing my job and ultimately committing suicide from the sheer amount of undischargeable debt in my life in combination with being financially responsible for everything. (This is 'just' anxiety speaking though so at least there's that.)

tldr; I would like to be excited for this vacation but it's just not happening.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I have a love-hate relationship with my LDR with Flame. On the one hand, it's really nice to have a relaxing vacation with someone you love. On the other, I miss Guitarist and my pets while I'm out there. Now, I'm delighted to have Guitarist and my pets back in my life, but I miss Flame something fierce. I just want to move him and his entire wonderful friend group in next door so I can have all my loves in the same place at the same time.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Well, since I have a major headache but don't want to burn through my sick time and am ahead on my current work projects, I guess I'll post some more.

Seeing Flame was fabulous. The drive wasn't bad at all because of the variations in the landscape and because I was listening to Come As You Are, which I decided to do instead of listening to music. I had to turn it off to focus on driving through Chicago, which was the only time I got seriously anxious. The visit itself was a relay marathon of sex, binging Marvel movies (I got to see Infinity War, whee!), and hanging out with his friends, who are all awesome. I'm planning on going back in November and doing a mid-week drive and spending the weekend parts so we can hang with his friends more.

The last 24 hours sucked though. I was getting progressively more sad until at around 6 pm on my last day, he asked if I wanted to go over to his friends' house since they were grilling, and I burst into tears trying to explain that I didn't want to go because I was going to start crying any minute. So we didn't go. Driving home was better than taking the train in that one single way--it took my mind off how badly my heart hurt.

Guitarist had been at a family thing so I was expecting an empty house when I got home, but he headed home early to be there for me when I got back. I feel entirely undeserving of such sweet men in my life. I told him that my back hurt and would he give me a no-sex backrub, emphasis on the no expectation of sex because of how in pain and sad I was.

It did NOT end up being a no-sex backrub. The massage got me into a very comfortable place, and I started thinking about mouse brains and context. And then I did some being-present exercises, made a few suggestions from thinking about the sexy times worksheet, and hoo boy. We had ourselves a night.

Seriously. Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski. It is literally as good as everyone says. I am going to buy a hard copy and lend it to my mom. I sent Purr a text about it because some of the sections really made me think of her and how much she used to say she was broken. I want both Guitarist and Flame to read it, or maybe I'll read it to them.

I already mentioned how I hate missing the love I'm not with when I'm with the other love, so I won't go through that again, but I've been in a definite drop place the last few days. Work is hard.

Sleep is also hard. I didn't stress at all about the bed while I was away, and Guitarist did a good job of cleaning up after himself. But I've been having trouble relaxing enough in there to sleep. My sanctuary has been invaded, and if my brain pokes that thought even a little bit, it revs me up into anxiety. I keep smelling phantom smells, too, which is frustrating. It isn't even that I think I'm smelling Spice or Bee, it's that I'll think I smelled something only to sniff for a while and find out there's nothing there. But by that point I'm awake again.

I put like 20 holes in my walls hanging a damn hammock so I can sleep in my office if I need to, but I don't want to use it because I don't want to let anxiety control me. And there's also a performative aspect. I don't want Guitarist to feel like he did something wrong when it was my decision in the end, on something that he hadn't even asked for. Instead, I'm just not sleeping, so that's fun too.

What else. I'm chatting with a woman on OKC. I messaged her about a week before my vacation, and she messaged me while I was gone. There is a slow and deliberate quality to the conversation, and she's admittedly shy, so who knows. On not sure what to call her yet and I don't have the brain power to be clever right now, so it's just going to have to wait.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Ugh period blues, they are the total suck.

In poly news, I'm not sure things are going to go anywhere with the shy woman, but we did exchange numbers and are texting semi-regularly. She hooked me up with a podcast app that's been fabulous so far. I always had trouble figuring out how to get podcasts on my phone properly, and now I can listen to them again!

Meanwhile, I'm getting bubble tea with a different woman on Wednesday. She's some ridiculous OKC match, like 97% or something, who I sent a message to when I first opened OKC back up. She messaged me back yesterday, and we did the text version of hitting it off. So far she's fabulously witty and interesting. I'm going to call her Punk, since her interests include cyberpunk and punk rock.

She's in her early 40s and has a really appealing goth-punk style in her pictures. She was also in IT (sometimes I wonder about the sheer amount of poly-IT crossover in the local area), but she now parents her kids, nannys for kids with special needs, and drives Uber. I have a hard time getting my hopes up anymore, and I kind of snapped at Guitarist yesterday for teasing me about it being a "date," but it's promising so far.

I'm getting used to Bee being around and in Guitarist's life. A lot of the partner's-new-thing Feels are dropping away, which is a huge relief. And that's really it!
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Further proof that I don't post that much when things going well!

I had a great tea with... I think I called her Punk, but I'm actually going to call her Teal because that seems to suit her better. We really hit it off, to the point where we were just talking and talking, and then suddenly the mall was closing. I came home grinning like mad, and we exchanged some flirty texts the next day. Like... intense blushing at work flirty. Then Friday she didn't respond to some things I sent that afternoon. She messaged me back this morning saying that she'd had some meta drama over the weekend. Which is totally understandable. But if I needed any further proof that I'm strongly demisexual, the decrease in my emotion over the weekend would really clinch that for me.

Things with Shy continue in their slow way. I enjoy chatting with her even though we don't really chat frequently and more send paragraphs of text back and forth.

Someone posted something in my local poly group this morning that really made me miss Flame, someone was visiting their long-distance partner and was posting about how emotional it is to say goodbye.

I have two psych appointments this week, one with my counselor and one with my psychiatrist, and then one of Guitarist's best friends is getting married, so that's going to take up Friday and Saturday. It's going to be a busy week!
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
This one's going to be more mental health than poly stuff, but they kind of go hand in hand for me.

I'm fortunate to have some very good therapists in my life. My counselor on Monday notice right away that I was very high-energy and asked me what's been going on, so I had to admit that I've been probably hypomanic for about a week now. As evidence by not sleeping, racing thoughts, low concentration, and chewing the insides of my mouth ragged. So she asks why I think that is, and I detail a little bit about a vacation and a new attraction. And she looks straight at me and says, "But it's not all good stuff, is it?"

Nope. I've been so worried about Guitarist's depression that I have actively avoided thinking about it because I start to get tight in the throat and buzzy in my ears with how intensely worried I am. Because I think I've recognized a pattern of him "getting better" and then seeming to get worse in a way that reminds me very much of my presuicidal pattern. Pretty much a crashing stock market pattern. And then I start to think things about what if he commits suicide, and how crap life would be without him, and how I miss him being happy and enthusiastic and things. Basically how I want my husband back instead of this guy that doesn't sleep and lives in a fog and berates himself constantly about not getting things done (which is the opposite of helpful!). And how I feel very overwhelmed, and get frustrated, and then feel guilty about getting frustrated, and then beat myself up. And then think of fifty things I should do but feel incapable of doing any of them, and berate myself for not being better around the house, or able to help in the yard, etc etc etc.

So I just don't think about it. And I didn't realize until I was talking about it exactly how much I had bottled and shoved behind a wall of things I told myself I shouldn't think about or feel.

So she asked me, Do you want to get fed up and explode? Well duh, obviously not. Not allowing myself to feel my feelings is how you get fed up and explode, and that it's normal to feel some amount of worried and frustrated. And that I should worry less about managing his emotional levels and more about managing my own. So, pretty basic stuff I just haven't been applying out of fear of upsetting Guitarist further.

She also asked me if I want to leave him. Also no. Well, if I don't want to leave, I want to stay, but the environment is not healthy for me right now, I need to think about what I'm going to do to improve the situation, and where my boundaries are. She doesn't think "endure until you're suicidal again" is a good game plan, and neither do I.

It always seems to come down to stop caging up your feelings and just talk to him already. Unfortunately, I was raised in a very "caging up your feelings" environment, where some feelings are bad and you shouldn't feel them or talk about them when you do feel them.

Anyway, Guitarist and I had a good talk last night. And he said that he didn't realize how bad it had gotten until he had a friend who posted a chronic pain thing on Facebook earlier in the day, and he was realizing where he fell on that. He seems very willing to get help. It's the him being ABLE to get help that I worry about.

So that was last night. My therapist asked me to do a feeling exercise before talking with my psychiatrist, writing down why I was stressed and then underlining all the feeling words. Omg for worried/anxious/frustrated/guilty/embarrassed cropping up over and over, with a sprinkling of self-beratement about how I should be able to help more. I did that on my work lunch.

Then my psychiatrist today asked me how I'm doing. And I burst into tears and had to admit that I've been really struggling, and about what and why. "It can be very hard to have one depressed or anxious person in a house, much less two." So we were talking about that, and my other issue, which has been about a week-long depressed slump around my period every month. Basically, she doesn't think the SSRI is working for me (as they often don't for bipolar II people, but I was already on it and we needed to get me stable first when I was suicidal) and it's just ramping up my agitation and feeding my anxiety, so she wants to switch me to a mood stabilizer. And meanwhile, while we're tapering me up on that to see how I handle it, to up my anxiety medication to bring down my level of agitation, so that I can sleep.

I'm very not excited about medication changes right now. But even I have to admit that my chosen method of "just don't sleep and deal with it and I hope it will get better eventually" isn't working.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Well, last week was The Lost Week. Med changes led to some serious brain fog, nausea, and vertigo. "Mild" SSRI withdrawal was a fucking nightmare of constant headache and nausea, serious periods of brain fog (I still have these, but they're mild), vertigo, and sudden and crippling fatigue somehow coupled with insomnia.

So, that was fun.

But the hypomania is gone, and with it, my intense worries, agitation, and the accompanying irritation. As usual, it snuck up on me until looking back, I'm wondering how I let it get so bad.

Guitarist called the psychiatrist Monday, so hopefully that will start progressing soon so at least I can tell myself that it's only a matter of time until I get Guitarist back. I know psychiatrists are slow, but I'm willing to wait it out as long as Guitarist is following through. I hope I get the old Guitarist back eventually. I mean, I basically had to strong-arm him into getting me saltines when we ran out. It was all I could keep down, and the dizzy spells made me incapable of driving, but when I asked if he could grab me some while he was going to be out anyway, I was met with a constant stream of "but x, but y" that I wasn't in any position to handle. Not even "sure, but." Just a bunch of "buts." And that really, seriously bothered me.

To me, if someone is sick and they ask me to do a thing, I do the thing, because they're sick and I love them, so I want to take care of them. When Guitarist is sick, he just wants to be left alone and never asks me to do anything. I'm not sure it's fair to project my acts of service brain on him, but the whole issue with the damb saltines came off as a huge "I don't love you." Which I know isn't the case, but he's never been so apathetic when I'm feeling unwell before. So I don't know. I hope it's just depression shit and he'll go back to normal when he gets a handle on it.

Along those lines, it's becoming increasingly clear that I don't have the spoons for my illness and his at the same time. It's pretty much a world of suck, and I'm tired of being on the suck bus, and if I'm being honest, I'm approaching too exhausted to stay on the suck bus. Something has got to change, and I hope it's that he gets on top of treatment. Because his illness is feeding mine, and there is zero control that I have over him or his choices. He has to do the things if they're going to get done. And if he doesn't do them, I have to decide what that means for me.

Anyway. With the illness caused by the SSRI withdrawal, I didn't go to a friend's wedding over the weekend, and I ended up canceling a Sunday date plan with Teal. We ended up going out for dinner rather impromptu last night (I was able to do impromptu!) since her ex-wife was spending time with the kids, and then she came over and we just snuggled on my couch and talked and talked. It was super nice.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I'm also not feeling any of the weird ambivalence that I felt from Raven. She really seems to enjoy spending time with me and knows she's into women. And since I'm not extremely anxious right now, I don't feel any pressure to "make" it go anywhere. But it's also so new that I just don't know.

I'm still texting with Shy. She's almost certainly just going to stay a casual friend unless I push, and I'm not interested in pushing.

Flame is having trouble with his new car, but is otherwise living the Flame life.

And that's pretty much everything going on!
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I don't know why I'm here this early in the morning, except that it's Friday and it's accordingly hard to focus at work.

I had a good date night Wednesday with Guitarist, to celebrate the way our state supreme court came out on a very important issue. He babbled excitedly about music a lot of the time, something about revising the slant of his picking technique, and it was like old times. I was able to talk about political stuff without feeling extremely overwhelmed by all of it. It had been a while since we had a date date.

He was talking a bit about the wedding over the weekend, and how strange it was to be the one queer guy there. I think he put it as "non-straight," and openly poly. He said something about how strange people found it that he was like, dating others and openly said that he hoped me and him stayed together, instead of just assuming it.

And I started to feel very guilty, because I've been thinking a lot lately about where my line for leaving would be, but I hadn't had that conversation with him yet. So I straight up told him that I hoped we stayed together, too, but I had been doing a lot of thinking about when or why I might leave, with our respective mental illnesses not playing well together. And how stressed I have been with him being unwell and feeling like I'm the one solely responsible for carrying everything, and how I need our marriage to be a partnership, and I've been holding on by the fingertips for when that's the case again.

He seemed understandably upset. I was pretty upset. He said something like, it isn't like I've been skipping therapy, she's been on vacation, and I did call the psychiatrist but she hasn't called me back. And I said I know, it isn't like he hasn't been doing anything, but my worry is more based on worries that he won't follow through and won't get mentally healthy. I got very shook by how bad things got and when it looked like he wasn't going to follow through. I just keep thinking, what is the next thing going to be that kicks him lower.

It is not like his mental health doesn't affect me, even though I'm not responsible for him. Clearly, it does affect me. I am not capable of being the sole person responsible for everything in our family. It's too much for one person, much less one person with anxiety.

He asked some kind of question about what I needed from him (I think, or maybe it was what he wasn't doing that he needed to be doing), and I stressed follow through with his mental health stuff. That's really it. I know it will help eventually, and if he's following through, I will wait.

There was also something. I can't remember the context, but he reminded me about the time that I said I felt better once I realized that I didn't have responsibility for him. And I clarified, I know I'm not responsible for you, but you do have responsibilities to our partnership. And he seemed to think about that.

Talking about it always helps. Having everything in the open ALWAYS HELPS. I need to get this tattooed on my arm or something, because I'm prone to holding my shit in until it gets unhealthy, and that's not okay, no matter what good reason I think I have at the time.

He had counseling yesterday and was excited about music when I got home. He has an intake appointment with the psychiatrist. And I feel so much better having all that off my chest and not feeling like I'm bottling a bunch of difficult feelings and hiding them from him anymore.

Anyway. I'm feeling a lot better, and he was kissing on the back of my neck last night. I ended up having intensely erotic dreams. It's almost like with less stress, I'm more open to sexy times! Who would have guessed! He has a thing tonight with Honeybee but I hope we can get some ice play in over the weekend.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I haven't posted in forever. Updates!

The new medications are working wonders in most ways, except they have made my period miserable. Well... kind of miserable. I was kind of taken by surprise this "month" (I've never been regular) since my period wasn't preceded by about a week of depression. But this has been the most painful period I've had since getting my first IUD placed, and it turns out this medication has "period changes" as a side effect. As well as this medication is working, I'll weather it out, but I wish having your uterus removed was just a thing you could go in for and didn't have a super long recovery process, etc etc etc. I don't want the damn thing.

My oldest cat is showing signs of early kidney disease, so we're trying to get him on wet food. My oldest cat is also the weirdest cat in the universe and hates wet food. Piggy cat (who hasn't been the little cat years) doesn't mind that the older cat doesn't like wet food. So they wait patiently by the bathroom door to exchange positions, with old cat going for the dry food and piggy cat slinking in for the wet. Quite frustrating, but short of confining the cats from each other or to separate areas of the house, I can't think of anything more to do about it. And I think confining either of the cats would be heartbreaking for both of them, since they're close, and for whoever ends up getting less time with the humans. So that just isn't on the table. As it is, I'm hoping to just find a food that old cat likes so that he'll eat more than a few bits of it it before they do the switch.

Things with Guitarist are okay. Having that huge talk really helped. We had a second talk about how overwhelmed he feels right now, and how he feels like he's a constant disappointment to me, which I reassured him he isn't. You'd think he'd remember that we started dating when he was unemployed, I knowingly married a musician, and we bought a house that was half the cost of what the banks approved us for so that theoretically one person could handle the mortgage. I just can't handle the mortgage and all of the house and yard work that goes along with home ownership. I literally cannot be responsible for everything for an indefinite period. But it's no longer an indefinite period. Once he gets in to the actual psychiatrist, we'll be even farther on the path to getting him sorted out than we are with him seeing a therapist. So he's just in a holding pattern until we can get him on medication. It's the best he can do, and I understand how sometimes getting up in the morning and getting out of bed can take everything you have. Been there, done that. As long as he's willing to get and follow through on treatment (and so far he has been), I'm willing to give it time. It's not my ideal situation, but it's also not as horribly stressful as when he was depressed but not doing anything about it.

The new medication definitely helps me keep things in perspective. It's like someone has thrown a switch, which has set me back to my manageable level of anxiety.

Things with Flame are okay. He's entering one of those phases where he doesn't talk much to me because he's just busy with life and friends and things, and I miss him during these times. I'm trying not to imagine it as him feeling hurt that I've recently stopped playing a game we both were playing together. That's probably a figment of my anxiety. He tells me frequently that he loves me very much, and we go through times where we talk less, and that's all it is.

That game thing was a whole thing, though. One of the three people who heads the game made a bunch of rude comments that were erasure at best and transphobic at worst, and I Just Couldn't Right Now. So one of my main outlets for relaxation is on hold.

Things with Teal are okay. I love it when I get to see her and we have a great time, but it's a pretty rare occurrence. It seems to be about every other week at this point. Though, thankfully, one of the things I'm not feeling this relationship is the NRE desire to see someone all the time. Like, I definitely have the rush of new relationship feelings, but I entirely get that she's intensely busy with her family responsibilities. I hope that we manage to get more intimate than a surface level, since I'm quite attracted to her after a few days, which isn't all that usual for me, but I'm not breaking apart with self-doubt and so on like I did with Raven.

I've been writing at least 200-300 words each weekday since the middle of May and at this point have over 15k words into a novella. I'm starting to feel like a writer again. I'm considering doing some revisions on it and cleaning it up, and maybe tossing it on my website with a donate button. I'm also considering entirely changing my domain name to something more gender-neutral. And by considering I mean that I'm going to do that when I get around to it, which just hasn't been yet.

So pretty much my life is in a holding pattern. It isn't entirely pleasant or unpleasant, it just is, and there isn't much on the drama front to process or write about.
 

icesong

Member
A friend of mine with similar cat issues got a chip-opened feeder for the cat on wet food - thing on collar opens it so the other cat can’t get it - and a automatic multi meal feeder for the dry food, programmed to only spit on a few bites a t a time, so the dry food cat would eat it all before the wet food cat could get to it. Not sure if either or both would work for you.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I looked into the different feeder options and wasn't able to afford them. The inexpensive option of a spray bottle of water cut with malt vinegar has persuaded the younger cat to at least let the older eat at least half of it. He still picks at dry food but between the wet he gets and the water dish on the floor I hope that's enough. He had bloodwork for additional medication, but they never called me back, so I hope that means he doesn't need it. I game with his vet, so he's usually on top of that stuff.

Shortly after the car stuff hit, Guitarist's dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. He recently had surgery at the end of the week before last, but I have no idea what else is going on there. He had sounded pretty optimistic, though, so I hope things were caught early enough.

Meanwhile...

Polyamory life. Pretty meh. I see Teal occasionally, it's working out to maybe once every two to three weeks. For a total of maybe three dates so far, not including the coffee meet up. I don't know how long it's been since that started, but it feels more like a cuddle friendship than a relationship, to me.

I have enough friends. I really do. So I'm probably going to start looking again in earnest for a new prospect. Bringing up the age-old struggle of "I really want to date but I don't want to date men." The dating pool of local, queer, polyamorous women is pretty shallow.

I miss Flame. We mostly text on the weekdays and linger in pining land between visits. I don't have the time to take off work to make visits a more frequent thing. So that is what it is. Fortunately, he's distant enough that that relationship can be mostly sunshine. I'm sure that if he lived nearby he'd drive me crazy soon enough, like everyone else seems to.

Guitarist is doing the things he needs to do to get healthy. I'm holding on by the fingertips while he does the things. I have a lot of negativity in my brain that I'm trying to fence out, because I'm definitely a pessimist, and I'm trying to give Guitarist time and space enough to see if this will work without me freaking out all over it. Any which way, I'm not going to be in this place forever, and I've already been here for a while, so I can be here a little while longer.

Focusing at work has gotten better since the medication change. My depression has come up quite a bit, but without the depression, and with my anxiety treated, my current level of stress and unhappiness seems like it's just the background level of stress and unhappiness in my life. Which feels pretty extreme, but not... overwhelming, in the way depression makes everything overwhelming. At least I was able to find cat food for $60 a month instead of $90. At least the leaky roof was a quick fix by the estimate guy hopefully and the whole roof won't need to be replaced. I have a gnawing sensation in my left side that's worse when I'm laying down at night, which I suspect is probably an ulcer and I should also probably talk to my doctor about it (and the inevitable medical bill). My annual is coming up, and I'm off the SSRIs, so I'm not sure it's worth scheduling and extra trip and taking more time off work. So I'll probably just bring it up at the annual.

Anyway, that's why I haven't posted much lately. Stuff is pretty crappy without me dwelling on it.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
It's been awhile again. Let's see. Teal ghosted on me after the third date, which really sucked because I thought things were going well. I'm texting another woman regularly but I think we're going to just be friends, and I got tea with a different person last week. Xe's coming over on Saturday after a busy weekend of family stuff to just chill and write or read together, or maybe play a board game. I'm calling xem "Reader," since our first date thing involved a book store and the next one may involve reading together, but if things go the way they have been for me lately, I'm not sure I expect xem to stick around. I'm not sure that my jaded tiredness is very fair to xem, or the start of this relationship. I'm too cautious to sink into NRE for fear of getting burned, and maybe that's turning into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Nanowrimo is coming up, so if xey stick through that and I still like xem after, that'll probably be a good sign. It's my least available, most stressful time of the year.

I've gotten back into World of Warcraft again. It's been so long (since like 2005?) that I couldn't remember my account information. I'm playing regularly with Flame, it's kind of like our thing right now, and I'm going out to see him again in November. I'm my usual levels of stressed about traveling and excited to see him. The stress about traveling decreases with time, though. At least this time, I know what to expect with the trains. Maybe I'll even stick my head outside Union Station during the transfer layover, if I'm feeling adventurous. Flame is solid, and even if half the time I expect him to find a nice mono woman and end the physical part of our relationship, I know he'd still love me.

I recently had a breakdown with Guitarist that featured me sobbing and getting really short with him. I'd told him that I'd be okay with him going to a party on our anniversary, thinking I'd be okay with it, and then I really wasn't okay. I think he handled my unexpected (to both of us) mess of feelings very well. We had a good talk when he got home from the party.

I think that I keep wanting me to be fine with things I'm not fine with. And I say, I'll do the thing, thinking that I can maybe fake it until I make it. I think I should stop trying to make myself fine with things, but then I feel like I'm somehow not good enough at polyamory. I've got to stop judging my bushell by other peoples' measures, I think.

I've taken the bed back, so maybe it'll be "my" bed again instead of "a" bed so hopefully I'll stop feeling like I have no place at this house, and I already do feel better. And we talked about dating each other more instead of just the daily cucumbers. I'm pretty optimistic things will improve between me and Guitarist. He's JUST starting to feel the benefits of counseling and medication, and has a sleep study coming up soon, and things with the home have been much better. It isn't even just holding on anymore. The latest stuff has been all me.

And I finished a novel the other day. Which is pretty damn cool.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
The trip to see Flame was kind of a shit show. I picked up a bug on the train out, so I was sick the entire vacation. I thought I was getting better just in time to go home. Then the day after I got back, on my home post-vacation rest day, I got slammed with illness so hard that I was thinking about having Guitarist take me to a 24 hour urgent care. I held out for my doctor's office, where I was diagnosed with a sinus infection, an ear infection, and bronchitis. At this point I've been sick for a like a month now. Not QUITE that long, but November has turned into another lost month. I think I worked like 4 days last month. I'm glad I had a lot of sick time banked up.

Thanksgiving was exhausting. I'm going to hang out with Reader tonight and probably have the "what is this relationship" conversation, since we are approaching the end of NaNo and I want to know if xe wants to keep seeing me after it's all over. I suspect the answer is yes, but I'm also not sure what kind of label xe wants or expectations xe has, so I guess we'll find out. This will be the first time I'm going out to xer place and of course I'm stressing about the drive (to the point of having nightmares last night and during a nap this afternoon). Fun times! I'm trying not to stress out about it. Clearly I am not being successful at that.

Playing WoW with Flame has been a lot of fun. It feels like a lot more togetherness time than we were getting, really. I'm planning on dating my MUD again post-NaNo, too, so we'll see how my time management holds up.

My mental health has been solid. Not overwhelmingly so, since I had a minor meltdown around my period, but I didn't even know that I was about to start my period. Usually it is led up to with about a month of intense moping and irritability. This time I just had one freak out about the roof, because why is everything in this house always falling apart, and Guitarist and I arranged for a once-monthly house project time.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
It's definitely a Friday in my brain.

Things are generally going well, which is probably part of why I've been posting so infrequently lately. I don't really need a processing blog when I don't have much to process I suppose!

Me stuff. I've finally gotten over me bedroom anxiety to the point that people can be in there. I'm still very on edge and particular about it, though. It isn't completely comfortable for me, but I've leaned on that anxiety enough that I've largely gotten used to it. As long as something doesn't happen to ding my routine, like not having dry, clean sheets to put on the bed after another person has been in it.

The cats are both on wet food now, since the "little" cat needs to be on a precise diet to lose weight, and it wasn't clear how much of the old man cat's food he was eating. Old man cat is seemingly no longer picky and wants the little cat's cheap food. As of my January cat food delivery, they'll both be on a cheap food that's on the old man's "okay" wet foods list, hopefully making life easier for all. ... the old man will probably reject the food if it's part of this arrangement, because he's contrary and also a cat.

My friend Poker is really struggling right now. He's in a codependent not-relationship with his ex. He's been getting therapy and his therapist wants him on medication, but the ex just tore into him about getting medication. This, and a book he's reading about codependent relationships, might be what finally convinces him to break that off. He IS going on medication. This is a huge relief because I've been really worried about him.

Irish has been kind of a jerk lately. He's always kind of a jerk, but I think his overwhelming hatred for his newish job is not helping. I've been sending him job postings at my work when they come up, but that hasn't been often lately. I suspect not many people change jobs right before the holidays if they can help it. I felt kind of unwelcome at our tabletop grill after I missed a couple due to illness, so I stopped attending. Which was probably for the best, since I proceeded to get utterly knocked flat by bronchitis for basically a month.

Guitarist continues to improve in mood. If only his cpap could get nailed down, and he could get some sleep, I think he'd basically be back to himself. He's had a small med adjustment, which seemed to have cleared up some negative side effects he was having.

Flame is doing okay. Our weekly or sometimes twice weekly internet date is a lot more connect-y than just texting. I enjoy hearing his voice. I miss him. That list trip out was not a vacation and left me feeling starved for physical affection from him. Kind of like eating an appetizer and then the meal doesn't arrive.

Reader and I are still seeing each other and have had some intimate conversations, including the "what is this relationship" conversation. Xe invited me to xer winter work party in January and I agreed to go after we cleared the air about my anxieties and expectations. Basically, I didn't want to have to be closeted, as I'm so over that. Xe's on board. We're going to have a hotel room at the place, so cue anxiety? Our relationship isn't sexual so far, but I really like Reader, more than I've liked anyone initially since Marian. I'm still not feeling sexual desire but I expect it'll get there eventually. If nothing else, cuddling and making out are definitely planned and have been super fun.

That's about it!
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Oh, wow, it's been a while. I still lurk the forums but I haven't had a lot to post about since poly things really settled in. I'm still seeing Guitarist, Flame, and Reader. Guitarist is still seeing Spice and Honeybee. And Flame and Reader are both functionally monogamous with me, though Flame has been thinking about looking again. Which I fully support him in, even though with my luck he'll end up with some super insecure monogamous person. He says he won't let me be pushed out of his life again, and I value the relationship more than the sex, so hopefully if he finds a person, things work out.

Life things. One of my friends was murdered in the spring by someone who went on a spree of murdering women he knew. That really sucks, and I think about her kids all the time still.

My old cat died about a month after that, which was also super sad. The other cat clearly wants a cat buddy, but I'm so not ready for that. My dog required major surgery last winter and I'm hoping this winter isn't more of the same. She needs to stop eating inedible shit.

Fortunately, therapy continues going well! We're tweaking my meds presently to try to address my PMDD, but honestly I'm thinking about asking my doctor for a gynecology referral to look into a hysterectomy. Because between the PMDD and the cysts and the probable endometriosis, I'm completely done with this uterus. Unfortunately they won't let you return a defective model. I don't know how I feel about menopause in my mid-thirties but I'm not really sure that it could make me more miserable. I should ask my friend who got her business taken out when she was in her late thirties, but I just keep forgetting.

Thinking of uteruses, I've decided I'm agender but still keeping she/her pronouns and doing what I want with my look. Which is still heavily fat femme, just without the part where I shave my legs or yet to maintain makeup unless I want to. I'd probably prefer they/them pronouns, but with my chest and my utter apathy toward constant enforcement of that shit, it's not going to happen.

It's nice to have polyamory just be a part of my life that I don't have to think about so heavily anymore. Most of my relationships have sort of evolved into nonheirarchical heavy autonomy units, and everyone communicates and just gets along, which is amazing. My bed, which was a huge issue for me, has turned into a "share but change the sheets and be out before someone else wants to sleep" situation, and I have a spare bed in my office that I actually like sleeping in from time to time, usually when I stay up too late on the weekends.

That's it, really!
 

PinkPig

Member
I'm glad things are going so well for you poly wise, Autumn! That's so horrible about your friend :( I'm sorry about your cat.

On the hysterectomy, I had a total hysterectomy at 36 due to health issues. The ovaries were more preventive because of family history of ovarian and breast cancers. I have had the typical menopausal symptoms: hot flashes, mild night sweats, etc. And I had a period of recurring yeast infections that cleared. That and the constant need for lube are honestly the most irritating. But I don't regret the decision.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
Thanks for sharing! I'm really hesitant to ask people for intensely personal details like that, so it's super helpful to have them volunteered.
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I'm totally losing my mind over here. My friend's wife died after being exposed to covid in the hospital while giving birth to their kid, so he's now bringing up a baby on his own. My step uncle has also died. We weren't super close, but I knew him through family holidays. It's mostly the friend's wife that keeps hitting me with intrusive thoughts. She was my age. They had to stream the funeral. Let me tell you, a steamed funeral does not make up for an in-person funeral.

People keep asking me if I'm okay. Uh, no, I'm not okay. I have chronic mental illness and this is a very stressful time. I hate answering this question because it leads to either a polite lie, and I hate lies, or yet another really long conversation that I don't want to have. I want to scream at people to please stop asking but I know they mean well. Any other time, I'd appreciate it. Right now I'm on intense overwhelm.

I've ramped back up on my anxiety medication. I'm having several panic attacks a day, and I've actually thrown up from anxiety, which hasn't happened in who knows how long. My psychologist is doing phone meetings and we've increased those because I'm clearly having a mental health relapse. I've started doing yoga in the morning and a meditative breathing exercise in the afternoon. I'm paper journaling again. My psychologist is an absolute gift.

So are my partners.

Reader has covid. They are fine. I've really worried about them because of comorbidities, but they've just had a mild cough. They didn't get their test results back for a week and a half. We've been doing online dates as I feel up for them. We had a good kink discussion during the last one, this week I think we're going to play a game. They said something very meaningful to me, which is that I've always been there for them when they've been down, they have no doubt I love them even when I'm down, and when I feel bad I should remind myself that they love me. It has helped a lot.

Flame is on total lock down and has always worked from home, I trust him to be safe despite his really stupid idea to drive across several states to visit me for a weekend. Like, I could see where he was coming from, as he's stuck totally alone through this and can't even lean on his friends like he usually does, but lockdown means lockdown. I miss him too. We had tentative plans for him to visit this spring, but now that won't happen. I have asthma. Michigan is the 3rd hardest hit state in the country. I've left the house once since March 12 for prescriptions and groceries. I wonder whether my usual summer visit will happen. I think it unlikely. This makes me intensely sad and I have to remind myself that it's okay to grieve lost plans. He has really been there for me over text, and the random hearts he sends me make me smile.

Meanwhile, Guitarist is a gift too. Over the winter we were both depressed and that was a tough time. We had a really good state of things discussion before this all hit, and that was a big relief for my stress levels. We sometimes have completely different worries about things in our relationship and what each thing means. Then this happened, and he's just been completely solid for me. He's been very supportive during my various meltdowns, very attentive to his own mental health, and quick with the hugs. But also extremely understanding when I just need some space or don't want to talk anymore. I definitely remember why I've chosen to be with this guy.

So everything is a mess, but I have great partners and a good support system and I know I'll get through it. Just taking things one day at a time for now.
 
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