Redpepper's journey

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi redpepper,

I guess I'll vote that you "make" your opportunity, rather than thinking you "missed" your opportunity and now it's too late. Perhaps you could start the conversation by saying something like, "I don't know what your plans are regarding your marriage, but I'd like you to know that I'd be interested if you ever got divorced." That's a very rough statement off the top of my head, you might want to adjust it according to your own good judgment. But say something. Admit to him that you have feelings. Even if he distances himself you'll know you tried, rather than just waiting forever. How can you know whether he's staying in the marriage because he doesn't know how you feel? Somehow, open up the conversation. Tell him, "I don't mean to put you in a bad spot, I won't mention it again if you don't want me to." But do something. Don't wait forever. That is my vote. You only live once.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 
What are you referring to please?

The whole -I had quoted you as saying "Honor," and you didn't remember it, and someone backed me up but then said I was the mistaken one - thing? It's really not important anymore.
 

Derbylicious

New member
As I recall the dream was husband PN, mono, derby, Leo. Is the Leo you mention now the Leo from back then ?? What happened to derby do you still see / remain friends , etc ? Whatever happened to your ex wife is she still around ?

I guess there’s no better person to answer what happened to Derby than Derby herself. (I hope you don’t mind RP). My poly life is most definitely over. There were a few years in there of such extreme change and loss and pain that it’s something I wouldn’t invite into my life again. I live a fairly quiet and calm life now. I’m divorced, raising my kids and in a relationship with a man who has eyes only for me. The calm has been refreshing.

I am glad for my journey as I have learned a lot about me and about how people relate to one another. If I could I would change how I handled things in the moment. Hindsight being what it is shows you options you might not have been able to see while in the thick of it.
 

Leetah

Member
It’s good to hear you are doing well Derby. It did seem like a rough time you all had. Thankyou for filling us in.

Leetah
 

redpepper

New member
Hi redpepper,

I guess I'll vote that you "make" your opportunity, rather than thinking you "missed" your opportunity and now it's too late. Perhaps you could start the conversation by saying something like, "I don't know what your plans are regarding your marriage, but I'd like you to know that I'd be interested if you ever got divorced." That's a very rough statement off the top of my head, you might want to adjust it according to your own good judgment. But say something. Admit to him that you have feelings. Even if he distances himself you'll know you tried, rather than just waiting forever. How can you know whether he's staying in the marriage because he doesn't know how you feel? Somehow, open up the conversation. Tell him, "I don't mean to put you in a bad spot, I won't mention it again if you don't want me to." But do something. Don't wait forever. That is my vote. You only live once.

Regards,
Kevin T.

Thanks for this.

Since I've been back he's pretty much ignored me. The first day I got back to work (Tuesday) he just looked to see if I was back, the second he waved, the third I approached him and he said he had to go and then yesterday (Friday) he talked to everyone around me (something he never does, he barely talks to anyone but me) and then left. I was heartbroken. This is a married monogamous man. I need to back right off. I like your idea here though Kevin. I think I'll tell him where I'm at when I get a chance and then back off entirely. I need to move on... as best I can.
 

redpepper

New member
When I was away I made some discoveries. I'm nervous to share them here but I think I need to start really pushing myself to trust again that I can be vulnerable and that it will be better in the long run if I am. I've always benefitted from writing and sharing so I'm trusting that I will benefit now. I do a lot of writing these days but it launches me to a different end result when I share it... so here it goes.

I had what could of been seen as a lovely holiday with my boyfriend who treated me to four days in Las Vegas. His whole family was there as it was his oldest sisters 60th birthday. I get along famously with his family. There are five siblings all together, a nephew and niece and his mother. They, and all their spouses and friends, adore me. They cheer when I arrive at one of their family events ("yaaaay, RP is here!") and include me in everything.

His family aren't quick to show emotion but as I am, they have come to cherish that about me. I give all of them hugs and wear my emotions on my sleeve. Even if they don't understand what is really behind how I feel, I quickly get back to the "happy-go-lucky" mask. I think they really like that about me. They say things like, "you can always count on RP for a hug."

His mum loves me most of all. She's given me lavish gifts and lovingly watches me from the other side of the table when we are all together. She is very pleased her bachelor son has a girlfriend and they all wait for an announcement of marriage.

Most of all, his son, who is the same age as my son, loves me like a step mum. I have watched this kid grow from the tiny little boy he once was at age 11 to the towering gentle giant he is now at age 16. I love this kid. My son loves this kid. He cuddles up to me, even as the big guy he is now, and talks my ear off when we are together. He comes from a different background than my boy and I come from, but he always listens to my ways and balances it out with his own. I think I have taught him a thing or two and he has taught me...

Here's the thing....

I'm lying.

I feel nothing inside. I'm lying that I feel that all encompassing, grounded in certainty, I'll be here because I love you endlessly feeling. I feel blank. On the surface I'm a fantastic person to be around. I'm fun, adventurous, funny, gentle when its needed, kind and generous. I wear a good mask of how I want to be seen to them. It protects me from the truth... which is I am a quivering mess of guilt and deception about how I feel about my boyfriend.

I wonder sometimes if this is how mono felt with my family. It all looked so good on paper, but the feelings weren't there. It's excruciatingly painful to be living, what my morals believe is a lie. I feel so guilty.

Okay, so when I say I feel nothing, I love them all and I get excited to see my boyfriend, but not in the passionate way I have been with others in the past. He's a good friend and in my mind we are just having a good time until we don't and move on. We have sex and it's alright. I love that he's having such a good time. I watch him have fun from outside my body and it makes me happy, but feel hollow. I often cry in private afterwards. Because I remember what it's like to feel connected but I can't get there anymore. I've tried, with him.

This is what I have had a recent realization about... and yea, I'm about to start therapy, AGAIN! ...

When I first met my now boyfriend, I had just had my life decimated. I had been in self distruct mode and was drinking too much, allowing myself to be used by men and in a couple occasions had been beaten and raped. Yes... that happened.

When I found and wrote to this conservative, vanilla, monogamous, straight cautious man from a dating profile his sister made for him, I was so relieved. Here was a man that wasn't part of the world I knew. I jumped on the chance to be loved by him. He swooned over me in a teenager kind of way and when I found out he hadn't been in a relationship for most of his adult life, I thought that I'd hit the jack pot. He wouldn't have the same baggage that other men have. He'd have different baggage.. I was right... I did hit the jack pot, but I never fell in love with him.

I followed him around and did whatever he wanted when we were together. I made sure we didn't see each other too much and didn't involve him with my family until it became obvious that it would weird not to. I knew I had a lot of work to do on myself and I have done that on my own autonomously from him. He was always interested in how I was getting on with it though.

At the beginning I was a mess. I cried constantly, couldn't stop talking about what had happened and re-hashed over and over again, trying to make sense of it all. Life isn't like the movies, sometimes you never have answers and never get closure. I have never had these things and that has been the hardest thing of all.

I asked "why" constantly. I was angry, depressed, grieving, trying to hold on to my life. In 2015 I was numb and detached from my body. I was numbing myself out in whatever way I could, in 2016 I did what was best for my child, in 2017 I was suicidal Every. Fucking. Day. This man, loved me through all of it. He listened and listened and listened sometimes and sometimes I wouldn't talk for days. I just wore the safety mask and hid. He got used to this person that was me then. I put on my mask everyday and walked through life like a zombie, with the occasional moment of healing and many flashbacks. Quite often I was outside of my body and cut off from reality. It got to be comfortable.

I could of died if he were not picking me up and taking me out, spending nights with me shuffling around my house as I was a ghost in it. I hated my house and everything in it, I hated everything around me as it was a reminder of what had happened. I hated myself most of all and wanted to be dead. To him it was all new and exciting. Even when I shared I was suicidal he still held me and was excited to be with me. He never dwelled on it, just kept me busy and following his lead.

He helped me see how everything was mine now and how my life was mine to do with what I wanted. I was not held bound by partners, obligations and responsibilities to people who didn't give a shit about me. HE gave a shit about me. He taught me, as I looked at him actively reflecting back to me, that I am worth something. I could see, through him, that I was here and worth it.

I didn't think I existed anymore. My life was empty of people as they dropped me like a stone. It's the strangest feeling to suddenly be nonexistent. To be someone people look past and don't see. I felt I was becoming one with the walls around me and the nature I ran too often. Like a Sasquatch. I thought I didn't exist and he reflected back to me that not only do I exist but that I am lovable and deserve love.

He would help me fix my motorbike and I would stand back and marvel that he actually saw me and that I was actually there, standing in front of him. I wasn't a ghost. That to him, fixing my motorbike had purpose and meaning. It was worth fixing because it meant something to me, because riding it has been a large part of my healing.

The guilt of not loving him the way he deserves has been a ball and chain lately. I am not the person he thinks I am. He sees me as the person I was when we met because stuff happened to me, but that isn't me.

Now I go out, make plans to spend time with new friends, I like to spend time with people who have proven to be there for me and love me and sometimes that means I don't spend time with him. He has become a huge part of what people see me as and now that I'm okay, I wonder how that happened and how I let it happen.

I don't think of myself as being his girlfriend and he my boyfriend. I think of him as a close friend. I want him to know me as who I am now, but the fit isn't working for me. When I see him now I find him a little boring, uninspired, lacking goals and dreams that match mine. I'm launching off and he is still on the shoreline. I'm trying to find in myself something that is worth staying for and increasingly, can't find it.

My biggest fear now is, how can I let go and be on my own entirely without falling back into the destruction that I put myself through before? How will I deal with the loneliness?

How can I hang on to something with him? How can I move on without disappointing everyone around us. How can I explain to them all without sounding like I was never who they thought I was and that I care for all of them, but can't stay? How can I face his child?!!!! How can I possibly break his heart when he has been so kind and we have learned so much from each other? He helped me save my life... how can I possibly be so unkind to him by ending what we have?! How can I stay and find a balance between my moving on and being with him?

I used to think that if I find someone else then I'll move on, but as that isn't happening, I wonder if I ever will or if there really isn't a relationship out there for me. Maybe I'm not seeing it because I'm with him?

Am I feeling this way because we've been so set up by the monogamous escalator that says that it's time to commit more? Am I feeling this way because his family pressure us so much? My family pressure us too!

Big questions... and few answers at the moment. I hope therapy will help me discover if I really have this all wrong and he's really what is best for me now. The journey continues.
 
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Vicki82

Member
I don't know. Doesn't he deserve someone who genuinely wants him and feels that passion for him? Maybe it's not how you meant it but you make it sound like you're using him as a crutch. That sounds pretty horrible for both of you.

Sure, it may hurt him now, but you're going to break his heart at some point when he finds out you don't feel the way about him that he thinks you do. And the longer that is, the more it's going to hurt him.

You talk about what is best for you- what about what's best for him? He deserves the truth. Let him make that decision for himself, otherwise, you're not giving him the ability to consent to this.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi RP,

You seem to be unsure of whether you should break up with your boyfriend. I wonder if taking a break would help you decide. Like, a temporary breakup. Perhaps for about a month. Then you can observe what it's like to not have him in your life, and decide if that's something you want. Be honest with him though, tell him the reason why you want to take a break. Maybe he needs to decide too.

Maybe he was the right person to come into your life, at the time when he came in. A relationship can be a good thing, even if it's not lifelong. Like, it was good when the time was right for it.

And I don't know if maybe you could break up romantically with him, but still remain in his life as a (platonic) friend? I'm just kind of throwing ideas out there, I don't know the solution. Perhaps reading this post will help you get other ideas. In any case I think you should tell him how you feel ... even if that means telling him that you don't know how you feel.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Please consider, that holding back in love, or not feeling like your life is even real, can be due to past trauma. Don't be too harsh on yourself.
 

redpepper

New member
Things have changed fast these last couple of weeks and not because I made any decisions. As it happens my boyfriend got sick on our way home from our trip and has been self quarantining himself since. He has a different virus than the Corvid 19 one but his boss said he's to stay home with pay and isolate himself. He has done so and it's meant I have had a much needed break. We've talked on the phone and met one night with him sitting in his car and I on a park bench. We talked on the phone. It's been helpful for me to see how he fits in my life and I in his. I haven't been touched in ten days now and it's become an issue. If he comes over or I go to his place and we cuddle in bed, then I feel that is all we need. Really, that's all we usually do, so, I think, for now, I'll leave it at that.

In the mean time, HD has been obviously avoiding me but being polite with it. He tries not to look at me and talks to other people where ever possible. We have no one coming to our work this week due to increased social isolating because of the Covid 19 virus spreading so today I had a chance to talk to him a little, simply because of circumstances. He said he had to go before we talked about much beside the increased panic setting in about Covid 19. Tomorrow however, for the first time, I will be alone at work and he will be there alone too. This has NEVER happened! There are usually up to 15 people around us.

What am I going to say? There's time... there's privacy. I feel this could be a moment of huge significance, if we both decide that.

I thought I'd say something along the lines of asking if he is trying to avoid me and if he would prefer I do the same. Or should I say that I am still interested in him if he leaves his wife and has had the chance to find his feet as a single man? Or should I bother at all due to the way he's behaving lately. He didn't seem to like that I wouldn't tell him who I was going to Vegas with... is he jealous? Because the second idea of what I could say would cover that... or is he just sure that it's best to not have anything to do with me. Or both! I'm stumped.
 
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redpepper

New member
Well that went well, I think.

He came in to ask how things are going and what our plans are at work for the next few days. I gave him an update and asked if he wanted to sit for a sec. He said he couldn't and I asked him why... "really? You have to rush off to do next to no work?" He said that he had two minutes as he has a pick up. I told him that I was wondering how "we" are doing and gestured from my heart to his. He moved in closer and looked like he wanted to touch me. He didn't and moved back. He said we are "good" and smiled. I told him I wondered because I felt he was avoiding me since I've been back from Vegas and didn't want to talk to me. I said I wanted to know if that is the case. I told him I have very firm boundaries around him and that i have noticed he has firm boundaries also and that everything is fine because of it. I think my lip quivered a bit and I had a sad face on. Tried not to do that, but couldn't help it. He said that no, we're good and said goodbye. He was smiling and had a little bounce in his step. Hmmmmm.... wtf. So fucking confused. I'm going to thoroughly enjoy the break from all this for the next while as I'm exhausted by it and need to re-focus elsewhere.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
It sounds like there is definitely something there in the way of feelings being returned, but for now at least HD just wants to enjoy the crush, and not act on it. I could be wrong of course, I am just describing my impression of things based on the two posts above. I can't tell whether HD would answer directly and honestly if you asked him some very direct questions. So far the two of you are engaged in a sort of dance ... each one waiting for the other to make the first move. He is probably glad that you at least hinted about your feelings. But I don't know what the status is in his marriage.
 

redpepper

New member
It sounds like there is definitely something there in the way of feelings being returned, but for now at least HD just wants to enjoy the crush, and not act on it. I could be wrong of course, I am just describing my impression of things based on the two posts above. I can't tell whether HD would answer directly and honestly if you asked him some very direct questions. So far the two of you are engaged in a sort of dance ... each one waiting for the other to make the first move. He is probably glad that you at least hinted about your feelings. But I don't know what the status is in his marriage.
Thanks for this. His marriage is closed and he is trying to stay in it. He's said as much in the past. I think he was just glad to hear that my heart is still with him. I think he thought i had moved on. I'm trying to move on. At least it seemed to loosen up our lack of knowing where we are at again though. I have found that I am not as weighed down by wondering as I was. That helps. He can't expect me to just hang around forever though and for me, I can't do that. At some point I'm going to have to cut ties if nothing changes... but doing that and working with him is really hard. I'm really struggling to figure this out when all I want is a chance to know him intimately. It has been unbearable to work with him and be avoided, yet, really, how else can I get some space to move on if I can't find a way to handle being avoided and avoiding him. And how am I supposed to do my job?!
 
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redpepper

New member
Also, how long can someone "enjoy a crush?" It's been four years of this! Sure, it was way more intense to begin with and has had its cycles, but surely there's a limit on enjoying a crush. When does it just become absurd and a little manipulative somehow.... really? If he was jealous because I went to Vegas with some 'undisclosed to him' person is that really fair as he sits in his couples privilege having sex and love and sharing and goal setting and all the other stuff that comes with a relationship? How is it fair to "enjoy the crush" for him if for me it's a desire for the chance to see if it can be something more after YEARS of time. It's grown into that for me.

I guess I'm suppose to just sit here and take it. Feeling a little resentful of that as I've taken so much and had little that I get to decide on for ME because of the circumstances I've found myself in. Because everything in the last five years has been thrown on me I've had to make decisions in the moment based on what happens, not on plans and goals I've made. I've been dictated to and been so fucking patient with so many people and in so many aspects of my life for five years now. I didn't get to decide on having my kid full time, I didn't get to decide to live in the house I own so my kid could feel safe and like something's don't change over night, I didn't get to decide on the fact that I have to stay in my job for now so I can keep my benefits so my kid has coverage, I didn't get to decide on what my family dynamic would be when I was left by my two partners and I also didn't get to decide on who I am in a relationship with as I was in too much trauma at the time to make a rational decision.

Sure, sure, I can make decisions now that are about and for me, but I would benefit where my son wouldn't... right now I wait for others and have been responsive to being dictated to under emergency situations, including HD.

One day, I'm going to say "fuck that shit" and move on, because something is going to budge. It will budge when my kid has grown and left home.

So here I am, pining for more with a man who is simply "enjoying the crush" while having a lovely married life.

Fucking bullshit.

The universe/fate is a bitch some times, isn't she?!
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
She is, she is. :eek: Hopefully you will be able to move on soon, if it's been this many years, I doubt that HD will be there for you in the future.
 

Vicki82

Member
I don't see how it's manipulative. He can have feelings for you and enjoy them and it doesn't sound like he is expecting anything from you or wanting anything from you beyond those few moments. He's even then only staying for those at your request.

Why not just let it go, if it's causing you so much angst over someone else "enjoying a crush"?
 

redpepper

New member
It's amazing how the pandemic has changed my perspective on my relationship life. I've spent the last six months working with street entrenched, under-waged and people with various disabilities. It's made me focus on the priorities I hold as valuable because I see them depending on me and each other in ways that have bonded their communities together more than they were before the pandemic. I have bonded to my community similarly.

Relationships are a top priority right now as I navigate the new world normal on my own. I remember dreaming of myself amongst the people I surrounded myself with as an attachment to them. Like there was no boundary between the people I was partnered with and myself. The love I had overlapped so much it made a whole entity rather than a sum of parts. I was bonded and part of something that fulfilled and nurtured but in its collapse, also destroyed me because I had no boundaries. Losing it was like being drawn and quartered.

It's been five years and now my dreams are filled with me and only me. There are people in the dreams but they are outside myself and bare witness to who I am. I am not attached to anyone. I remember finding that such a strange concept before "that time" and a somewhat uncomfortable one to examine emotionally. Now I can't see how I'd ever be attached again as a blob of people all loving together and morphed together and wonder if I even want to be. Does this mean I'm healed? Is this a healthy way to be? I'm happy. I'm content. I'm successful... but then I felt like that back then! I don't know.

The people I trust most are from before "that time." What I am finding is that slowly they are shifting and moving away from where that trust is. I worry that I won't trust anyone again and I know I must take that painful step or I won't have anyone left, or very few. I've lost (temporarily I hope) a dear friend and this is hitting home hard right now.

This friend has been in my life 20+years. While I know she has "quirky" ideas about things, lately those ideas have become dangerous to those around her as the pandemic becomes more serious. I have decided to put our friendship on the back burner so that I can concentrate on staying safe and keeping my family bubble safe.

We are in a position where I see her and am around her often so it's become uncomfortable between us as I obviously am now keeping physically well away from her. I'm in a position where I'll need to report her to our boss if she doesn't follow the protocols for safety that our company has put in place to protect our clients. It's triggering my trust issues that she has what I see as "wacko" beliefs about Covid.

I trusted her BEFORE "that time," and now I feel I can't trust her to keep our clients safe and me safe by doing the things that are known to help prevent us from getting Covid. I feel as if she's lost to me in terms of me thinking I know who she is. She's becoming another person scratched off my list of those who were in my trust before "that time."

Because I am so unattached to others now I find it quite easy to allow myself to shrug her off and bail on our friendship completely and forever with no thought to how she may feel or interest in finding out what really is going on for her. That doesn't sit well with the old me and I feel, on another level, that I should participate in working on our relationship somehow rather than bail entirely. Instead I am telling myself to back burner it until a later date when I might figure out what to do. It's indicated that either I am still very much broken and need to go back to therapy for more sessions to work on trust, or that this is quite healthy yet just has that new tight and uncomfortable fit still. I'm not sure.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Losing friends is hard, even if the current circumstances necessitate it. Hopefully this particular friend doesn't put you in the awkward position of having to report her to your boss. She may have her own ideas about Covid, but this is a matter of adhering to rules that have been passed down from upper management, not so much of her personal beliefs.
 
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