the story of a secondary

AnnabelMore

Active member
I appreciate the cast list, although I wasn't having trouble following the show :)

Just wanted to say--as a fiction writer and teacher, I am really impressed by your character descriptions in this list! Quirky & original physical traits paired with quirky & original personality traits...you bring these people to life in two short phrases. Like a good author should! I could use something like this as an example in my creative writing classes. Good job!

And thanks for this blog. I admire how you're living your life and the success you're having.

Thank you thank you thank you! :D That's awesome to hear. I always wanted to write fiction, but I've always been crap at it. Creative non-fiction, though, that I can do.

You're welcome to change the names and some of the details and use this as an example if you'd like. Hee, I feel like the teacher gave me a gold star. ^_^

I actually worked and re-worked the descriptions above, because I was trying really hard to find a balance between "relevant and interesting" and "wouldn't necessarily make it immediately obvious who I was talking about to someone who casually knows a few of us and who stumbled on the blog and was skimming", the latter being my current extremely low standard for anonymity. And yeah, I tried to pair a physical trait and a personality trait for everyone except for Clay, whose physical traits I've already described in some detail because he's just so pretttyyyyyy, I can't help it. XD

Also, d'aw, thanks for the comment about the blog in general. Yay! Things are, in fact, kind of shamefully good right now.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
Clay and I have been involved for just about three months. This weekend, we stopped using barriers.

I could go on and on about my thinking. I outlined some of it here just now. It's a decision that really would have surprised the me of four months ago. I had to unlearn a lot of ingrained assumptions about what "high risk" and "low risk" mean, and overcome my plain old discomfort at Izzy's job. But in the end, I'm proud of coming to where I have about it. I feel like it was a truly rational and informed decision.

I had talked to Gia and Davis about the fact that I might be making this decision. Gia was fine with it. Davis stated very calmly and clearly that we would need to go back to using condoms if I stopped using them with Clay, but said that he wouldn't be mad.

I did a final check-in with Gia ("you sure you're ok?") before going ahead. I didn't do the same with Davis. I knew it would be an un-fun conversation, and I knew it wouldn't change anything, as I'd already made up my mind. I had the nagging feeling that I SHOULD talk with him more first, but I didn't feel obligated to, and in the end I didn't. I told him the day after instead. We ended up having a long phone conversation.

He was hurt. Said that he thought that he might not be able to be intimate with me at all now. Felt that I'd chosen Clay over him. Felt like I'd made a dangerous, foolish choice. Felt that I was throwing away any chance we might still have had at building a family together. I had to stop him at that and explain that if he was still basing his choices around that hope, then he needed to seriously reevaluate. Maybe it really would be better for us just to NOT be together at all, if that's really still what it's about for him, I said. I hatehatehate the idea of losing him in my life -- but in the end, his ability to lead a happy, fulfilling life matters much more than that, and there's every possibility that my presence in his life is hurting rather than helping. I told him that we need to strongly consider it.

Then it came out that we were having the conversation AFTER I'd already gone through with unprotected sex with Clay rather than before. And then he was livid. Hung up on me and called me back. He pointed out that I said I'd tell him before making any changes on this front. I was slow to accept that this was true, but in the end I had to admit that it was, I finally remembered it -- I HAD said that, and I didn't do it. I was shocked at myself, mortified at forgetting this commitment. He was seething. He said he needed to take some space, and that he'd check in with me at the end of the week. I contacted him very shortly afterwards via text, just to make sure he was ok -- he said he was -- and we haven't spoken since. It's just been a day and a half, but it feels like forever.

I don't know if I actually did just forget, or if I subconsciously chose to do things this way in order to push him away. Either way, it's pretty shitty.

I talked to both Gia and Clay about it. Gia was blase, she said that everyone makes mistakes, that I'd done everything that was required to be a decent person and had just messed up on an extra layer of courtesy. I was scared of telling Clay, scared he'd think less of me, since I know that courtesy to other partners is a big deal to him, but he took the same stance. His perspective was that Davis was really upset about other things, and I couldn't deny that that was the case.

I felt better after talking to them, but they're my partners, of course they're going to support me. Objectively, I fucked up and really hurt someone who loves (loved?) and trusts (trusted?) me. The intimate connection between Davis and I changed the moment I decided to forgo barriers with Clay. I knew that, and was prepared for it, but I don't know if we can ever even have the same sort of friendship now. And despite the fact that I think that might be for the best, I wish it weren't for this reason.

Most of all, when I think about he and I potentially stepping out of each other's lives, I get so scared at the thought of not knowing how he is. With all his ups and downs, who will help him stabilize? What if he goes into a dark place and there's no one to help him and I don't even know he's there? It's very painful to type these things. Then there's the thought that maybe he'll be much better off than he ever was before without me. Obviously that would be much preferable, and yet... it would still be strange. It would suck so hard to think that I've just been holding him down all these years.

Ugh.

There are other things I could write about -- Gia and I had a lovely date that actually involved dyad sex, for instance, everything about it was great. Clay and I continue to be smitten. But it all feels kind of frivolous right now.
 
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Cleo

New member
He was hurt. Said that he thought that he might not be able to be intimate with me at all now. Felt that I'd chosen Clay over him.

And in a way, that is what it is, and that is what is so painful. I was / am in Davis' position. My bf C., to me, doesn't seem to acknowledge that it IS a big deal, and very hurtful, to realize that he chooses to have this intimacy with his new gf and not with me, his partner of 18 months.
(it doesn't help that he cannot use condoms, so no PIV sex for us at all). Anyway, I just wanted to say that it would have made a big difference to me if C had told me that he misses that intimacy with me too, and if he had worked with me to find ways to bring another kind of intimacy back into our (sex) lives. As it is, I feel very alone with this feeling.

Davis could be upset about other things, as you say, but it is THIS thing that triggers it and symbolizes it.

Of course, it does all depend on wether or not you want to be in a relationship with Davis and what that relationship should look like. Foregoing barriers with Clay might be the thing to propel the relationship in a whole different direction - which could be one of the reasons why you did it and not told him.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
I'm sorry to hear about your situation, Cleo. Going from having PIV to not having it in a relationship would be really rough. May I ask why C can't use condoms? Maybe you guys could try female condoms?

I had been thinking that Davis and I could just go back to condom use, which was our standard until a few months ago when I got the IUD put in. Didn't seem like a huge game changer to me. But then, I know that being able to be barrier-free for PIV is generally a bigger deal for men then for women.

From my perspective, I did and I didn't choose Clay over Davis. From what Davis had told me, I knew that upping my intimacy with Clay in this way would mean losing that with Davis. I chose to do it anyway. But Davis's reaction is HIS choice, so... who's more "responsible" for the change in the end, the person whose choice kicks off the chain of events or the person who makes the final decision at the end of the chain? I guess it depends on whether you see the second person's choice as a free one. I know that Davis didn't see it that way, he felt like he had no choice at all.

Philosophical questions aside, I know that if I had really still been putting Davis in the "partner" box in my head, I would have handled this quite differently. I would have sat down and talked with him about it in more depth, really tried to work it out, taken more time to explore what the consequences to our relationship would be. Even if the result had been the same, the process would have been different.

I've been stressed lately, right on the edge of burnout, rehearsing non-stop, adjusting to the new balance in my interpersonal life, freaking out over things at work. Would I have handled this differently if I wasn't running on empty in some ways? Or was this mostly about NRE with Clay... certainly I've heard stories of people making rash decisions that they don't discuss or discuss too little with their other partners under its influence. Or was it really a wake-up call, subconsciously intentional or not, about how I view Davis?

I really don't know. It's strange not to understand my own motivations. :/
 

Cleo

New member
I'm sorry to hear about your situation, Cleo. Going from having PIV to not having it in a relationship would be really rough. May I ask why C can't use condoms? Maybe you guys could try female condoms?

:/

He has occasional ED, which becomes ever present when there's a condom in sight. I think female condoms would also be too big a pressure.

From my perspective, I did and I didn't choose Clay over Davis. From what Davis had told me, I knew that upping my intimacy with Clay in this way would mean losing that with Davis. I chose to do it anyway. But Davis's reaction is HIS choice, so... who's more "responsible" for the change in the end, the person whose choice kicks off the chain of events or the person who makes the final decision at the end of the chain? I guess it depends on whether you see the second person's choice as a free one. I know that Davis didn't see it that way, he felt like he had no choice at all.

:/

This is very interesting and something I've been thinking a lot about the last couple of days. It's true my BF made a decision, but I am also making a decision in hanging on to the hurt over his decision.
I know that for C, it was a big thing that he wanted to be free, and to feel free. For him, staying fluid bonded with me (which would have meant no PIV sex with his new GF) felt like a restriction I was placing upon him.
Ugh, it all gets so complicated! And yes, when you already have lots of other things, and stress, and work, and stuff, not to mention other relationships, it can get difficult to keep a clear mind.

Try not to think too much, is my only advice :) (not that I can follow it for myself) and spend some time with just you, to reconnect with yourself.
 

SLODurga

New member
Story of a Secondary

My dear, I hope your people appreciate you! It sounds like they are very lucky to have your love and support.
Having a new baby changes EVERYTHING...don't be naive about that.
Take it easy. Find things that give YOU joy. Take good care of yourself. Keep YOUR plate full and then you will not feel shut out.
This will not be an easy road and expect the nuclear family to need to bond with the baby. Things will ease up after a while and get back on track.

As far as expressing love...men sometimes fear that expression...they (some) want simple things...no drama, it scares them. Express it any way.

There is love and there is fear. I vote for love.

Best Wishes.:)
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
Davis called me today while I was at work. I closed my door and took the call. It was a short conversation. He said that he wanted to hang out tomorrow night (we had talked about doing that previously, but then had left it up in the air after our fight). I'm going to go to his place and cut his hair, he's going to cook dinner, and we're going to watch cartoons. He stipulated that I wouldn't be staying the night.

After we hung up, I put my head down on my desk and cried in relief. I've honestly made my peace with the idea that we might not be physically intimate any more. I half think it would be better. I'm just so glad to not be losing him as a friend (at least not yet, anything could still happen, of course). Who else knows me as well as he does? Who else do I know, for an absolute fact, will always be there if I need them? Who else is him? No one.

Gia got a new job! It pays better than her old one, and it's close-ish to my work. We'll be able to get lunch sometimes. :)

I was feeling a little melancholy about Clay today, like he'd been ignoring me and I didn't know why. Finally, I decided to message him in the evening, just to say hi, but I felt like a bit of a besotted fool for doing so. Then I checked our chat logs from earlier in the week and, well... he'd actually initiated contact the last THREE times we'd chatted! Where was my weird insecurity coming from??

I realized that the thing that was actually making me feel neglected was that, when we saw each other last, he'd asked me to set a time for us to get together next for a particular activity. The next day I emailed him some possible dates (of which there were basically no good ones this month), and he hadn't responded to the email. Scheduling and not being ignored, these things really are important to me.

But... we've already had a conversation about scheduling, I know he works differently than I do when it comes to communication around this topic, and he's been clear that I'm welcome to pester him if need be. Truly no reason for me to be out of sorts about it, none whatsoever. It helped a lot to think all that through. It looks like he and I will see each other the night after next (though just at a party he's running, not for the activity I'd emailed about). :) :)
 
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AnnabelMore

Active member
Try not to think too much, is my only advice :) (not that I can follow it for myself) and spend some time with just you, to reconnect with yourself.

Good advice! I'll have a lot of time to practice it in the first week of July, when I'm going across the country for a friend's wedding and staying a week at a hostel to explore her part of the world. It's going to be so very good to have that time to recharge and reset.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
My dear, I hope your people appreciate you! It sounds like they are very lucky to have your love and support.
Having a new baby changes EVERYTHING...don't be naive about that.
Take it easy. Find things that give YOU joy. Take good care of yourself. Keep YOUR plate full and then you will not feel shut out.
This will not be an easy road and expect the nuclear family to need to bond with the baby. Things will ease up after a while and get back on track.

As far as expressing love...men sometimes fear that expression...they (some) want simple things...no drama, it scares them. Express it any way.

There is love and there is fear. I vote for love.

Best Wishes.:)

Thank you! I feel like I took this advice, and love did, in fact, win the election. :)
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
My hangout night with Davis was low-key and pleasant. It was strange, the way we avoided letting our bodies touch, but otherwise it was very normal. I began to get tired early. When I mentioned it, he suggested that perhaps I should head home. He looked pensive. I asked him what was on his mind.

He took a while to gather his thoughts, then explained, in so many words, that he was still working on figuring out what he wanted us to be to each other. What he was comfortable with. Where he'll go from here.

In many ways, he's been building his life around me for a long time. I'm from the area where we live now but he isn't, he moved to this city to be with me. He even moved to the neighborhood that he lives in now to be closer to me. He said that he's considering moving, maybe far away. He said that he's trying to figure out what would really be best for HIM, and he doesn't know where to start. He said that he doesn't know whether to be mad or sad or indifferent about my handling of my decision regarding barriers with Clay, and still hasn't really dealt with that yet.

I let him talk. I told him that I supported him no matter what.

He said he'd let me know when and if he's up for hanging out next.

When he walked me to the door, I turned to hug him, and he moved away. It felt like I was living in a world that didn't make any sense... a world where Davis wouldn't hug me? At the same time, I felt like I understood, and I didn't take it too much to heart. He's figuring things out for himself. It's going to be an odd, awkward time.

He texted me later to apologize for not hugging me. I told him it was ok. I feel like the process that began months ago when I broke up with him is finally reaching a conclusion, but with him at the driver's wheel rather than me. I feel like maybe that is a better thing for him. To have some control.
 
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AnnabelMore

Active member
It feels vulgar to post about good times when things stand where they do between me and Davis.

But, well, my life continues on. And this blog is the chronicle of my poly life. So, I won't go into great detail, but I will at least record the basics --

I watched Bee for seven hours on Saturday. We had an idyllic day, spent a lot of time outdoors. He got petulant towards the end, I think he was pretty tired.

It was good to see Gia when I dropped him off, even if only briefly. I miss her. Our date last week was soooo niiiccceee -- we got great food, walked around, visited a cool store, and rolled around in bed. *happy sigh*

She's still struggling a lot right now. The med change seems to have made her anxiety worse. And she can't see her doctor for two more weeks. And she starts a new job tomorrow. YIKES. I offered to babysit an extra time at the end of this week, to try to help give her some mental health space, and she accepted.

Saturday night, after watching Bee, I helped Clay set up for a party he was hosting. Then I sat at his feet for a few hours, fetched him little things, and chatted with anyone who hung out near the registration table. It was wonderfully relaxing. Afterwards, he and Nikki did a bondage scene, while my roommate Eddie and I fooled around in another room. Zero pangs of jealousy for anyone, as far as I'm aware. Love it.

When the party was over and we'd cleaned up, Clay and I went back to his place. Had amazing sex, fell asleep, woke up, had more amazing sex. Then I brought him coffee, and he played video games while I rubbed his feet. Fucking bliss, y'all, I can't even tell you. Well, I could try, but it'd take a lot more words than I'm bothering with right now.

It was actually the first time EVER in our relationship that we've spent the night together and then neither of us had to work in the morning, if you can believe it. Normally we work schedules that just don't match up, but just this once he had Sunday off.

In the afternoon, we went to the local Pride Festival, met up with some friends, had festival food and beers, watched some drag performances. It's so wonderful, just continuously being casually affectionate with each other. Love. In Love.

Izzy wasn't at the festival because she was afraid of seeing her abusive former partner (who wasn't there, as far as I could tell). I HATE that that kept her away. Some day, I hope to find out if Clay and I will still be as comfortable being casually, publicly affectionate together if he's also being casually, publicly affectionate with her at the same time. I hope so. It'll be an adjustment, but it's one I very much hope to get to make. She deserves it. They deserve it.

This coming weekend, he and I are going away to a kinky camping event! We'll fall asleep together and wake up together twice in a row, both times with no pressing schedule to adhere to after rising. I feel positively spoiled by all the wonderful time we've been getting together lately.
 
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AnnabelMore

Active member
A couple of days ago, we had a big ribbon-cutting event for something I've been working on at my job. Davis came out and we got lunch together afterwards. As we were parting, he hugged me tightly. It was a relief not to feel so physically alienated from him.

He says he's doing a lot of thinking. He says he doesn't know whether his reaction was really mostly about my condom decision with Clay, or whether there were many issues and that was just the straw that broke the camel's back, but that either way the camel's back is broken and he needs to decide whether or not he wants a new camel.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
The kinky camping trip with Clay was **AMAZING**! You guys, it was just... well, I'll be posting about it on tumblr shortly if you want details. For the purposes of this blog, suffice to say that I'd been worried that I'd feel weird/ jealous, knowing that I'd meet several of his play partners there, and I didn't feel that way at all. We spent a lot of time focused on each other, and when he engaged with others I was interested and happy for them. I personally didn't seek out anyone else, because I just didn't feel motivated to do so.

We spent 48 hours straight almost entirely in each other's company, slept two nights beside each other, shared a bunch of intense, interesting experiences, and spent a lot of time relaxing together. *siiiigh* Sooo nice.

We're talking at least a little every day right now. I feel very loved and appreciated by him. I don't imagine he could avoid feeling the same from me. :)

Davis and I are reconnecting. We had slowly been becoming more affectionate in each others presence. Then he came out to see a show I was in on Friday, and afterwards invited me back to his place. I was hesitant -- were we just falling back into old patterns because they're easy and comfortable without examining them enough? But he said, very simply, that it was what he wanted, and I wanted it too. It felt very warm and right to be cuddled up with him again. When things turned hot and heavy, we got each other off with our mouths and hands, avoiding the issue of condoms for the time being. We exchanged "I love you's" that felt very real and heartfelt.

In the morning, we talked while lying in bed. He said he'd really enjoyed last night. That he didn't know if or when it would happen again, but at the very least it felt like closure. I started to cry. I had gotten so used to the idea of losing him. I had really accepted it... until the night before. Now, hearing him talk about us still maybe being done, it just hurt. He assured me that he didn't think that would be the case, but that he didn't want to make any promises yet. I feel much calmer thinking about it now. I still very much want him to do what's right for him.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
It's feels like it's been forever since I've been on this blog, but it's really only been a couple of weeks. I've just been so busy.

Davis and I have fully reconnected. We're talking and hanging out at the same rate and in the same ways that we used to, and we've gone back to having PIV sex (with condoms). All the distance has evaporated. It seems like the wound that I dealt our relationship has healed. It's such a relief. His support and presence in my life mean so much to me.

I haven't felt very deeply connected to Gia recently. We've spent some time hanging out and talking, and it's been good, but... hmm, I'm not even sure how to articulate the change, exactly. I guess it's that the distances between us used to cause this longing ache in my heart for her. Sometimes it was hardly noticeable, and sometimes it was sharp and painful, but either way it drew me towards her. Now that ache is gone -- I think because of Clay, because of how easily he's been able to give me loads of demonstrative love and sex and D/s in all the ways I've wanted from her -- and its absence makes everything feel off.

It's not like I WANT to be a bit of a wreck over her, but, well, I almost feel like I *should* be, like it's proof of my desire for her. I know that's dumb. I know that when someone can't give you what you want from them, pulling back is better. And while Gia gives me what she can, it's been a long, long time since she was able to give me what I've wanted from her. I do wonder if things will change between us in any noticeable way, or if the change is just in me and how I'm relating to our situation.

Things with Clay continue to be crazy-great. We went on a long bike ride together the other day, and then I cooked us dinner, and then we went our separate ways because we both had stuff we needed to do. It was kinda nice to know that we can have a great time together without sex or kink being a factor. :) Unf, really really want more sex and kink with him though, and we've got a date set for a couple of days from now, yaaay.

Outside of my relationships... SIGH, well, I'm in a really weird and not-so-good place. I like my job. But it can be overwhelming and I can be lazy. And I did a really dysfunctional, messed up thing six months back -- I started just ignoring a certain category of task I was supposed to be doing. I finally decided to stop doing that, and took a hard look at it the other day. My negligence has definitely caused some problems, which may or may not be entirely solvable, but which can't be ignored.

I need to lay it all out for my boss. She deserves that, she deserves to know the situation. I need to just explain to her what happened, and that I have no excuses for it whatsoever, and that she can fire me or I can stick around and we can work together to fix the mess, it's her call. It's going to be so awfully hard to do that. But at least I'll salvage some of my self-respect when it comes to all this.

More than anything, I'm afraid that this will ruin my reputation among a bunch of the folks in my field. I just keep thinking to myself "hey, it's going to be ok, you can always wait tables, your life will go on." I don't know whether that voice is the voice of wisdom -- after all, I can't make anything better if I'm falling to pieces -- or the voice of complacency that got me into this in the first place -- no need to freak out when the consequences own't be TOO bad.

Ugh. I hate hate hate that I let this happen. It really makes me question what's going on with me. I KNEW that this would come back to bite me in a major way, and I just kept letting it happen, just kept pretending it wasn't there... why the self-sabotage? What the fuck?

Similar questions to the ones I had to ask myself when I let things get bad between me and Davis recently. Simple solutions, and I ignore them and let things get all fucked up instead. I've got to figure out how to stamp out this terrible tendency.

Has anyone else experienced something like this?
 

nycindie

Active member
I can relate to this - I sabotage myself so many times, it isn't funny. Been doing it all my life, so I know it's a pattern I learned a long time ago, probably to get attention or to reinforce a self-limiting belief I have. Whenever we continually do something that brings us pain, it's usually because there is a pay-off. We always subconsciously know (or hope) we'll gain something out of it, whether it is justification of our own beliefs and negative feelings about ourselves, or to hold us back from being successful because we're afraid to take a risk and be vulnerable, etc.

The thing to ask is always "What am I getting out of doing this?" (and then seriously ponder that question and take the time to ask your inner self what is being gained from this behavior - it will usually be quite irrational). I still get caught up in this self-sabotaging pattern myself - I have no other solution than delving into that kind of self-questioning to become aware of the mechanism, because with awareness comes choice. If you know you might choose that behavior for whatever reasons you discover, at least you can choose not to.
 
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AnnabelMore

Active member
Thanks so much, Nyc. It's been hugely helpful to me to hear other people relate similar experiences... always good to know that, even if you're fucked up, other people have been there too. And your way of thinking about it makes sense, I hadn't thought of it in quite that way.

What would I gain if I lost my job... less stress (in some ways, likely more in others, like, y' know, "how am I gonna pay my bills?"), less responsibility. Less constantly feeling inadequate because there's always more to do than I can catch up with. Less feeling like I'm letting down the movement that I'm supposed to be serving by not being a super-motivated Type-A personality (never have been, never will be).

What do I get out of ignoring work in the moment? More time to either focus on other important work or just to goof off (more of the latter than I'd like to admit :().
 

SNeacail

New member
I need to lay it all out for my boss. She deserves that, she deserves to know the situation. I need to just explain to her what happened, and that I have no excuses for it whatsoever, and that she can fire me or I can stick around and we can work together to fix the mess, it's her call. It's going to be so awfully hard to do that. But at least I'll salvage some of my self-respect when it comes to all this.

I've found that this is the best way to go! Most of the time (I don't know your specifics), they won't be happy, but will be willing to work with you and in the end have more respect for you because they know you will own up to your mistakes. Good luck!
 

Cleo

New member
Yes, another one guilty of self sabotage here :)
I recently broke up with my BF, and really could not believe myself that I had let things go so bad for months.

But I'm slowly realizing that I DID get something out of that month long process, and I would not have learned so much, about myself, about what I want from relationships and my life, if we had broken up in March when it all started to go downhill.
 

AnnabelMore

Active member
I talked to my boss. She was glad I came to her and we're going to work things out together. Everything is going to be fine. *biggest-ever sigh of relief*

In other news, Clay said the other day that the natural and strong D/s dynamic that he and I have actually makes him feel more confident in his role as a dominant partner to Izzy. So, that was nice to hear. :)
 

fuchka

Active member
Oooh! Both really good things to hear :) I can imagine the first would be such a relief. I'm currently waiting to see what if any fallout there is from something I triggered at work... this shit can be so nerve-wracking. Glad things turned out so well for you
 
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