I just haven't had the emotional energy to devote to a long update.
It's been a really hard year. The pandemic has been fucking with all of us. The consensus is still that Henry would become seriously ill if he caught it, per his doctor, and I have some additional risk factors myself. So as a result, we do not have a "bubble". Our bubble is our household; we social distance with anyone else. We do not go visit people indoors, nor do we go out in public indoors except in absolutely required cases, and in that case we wear N95 masks. Necessities are delivered. It's been very tough on everyone's mental health, but mental health won't matter if we don't live through this.
So we were trying to find some creative way to get through this, since Charles has to work and he has roommates who are not as strict about social distancing and following the rules to suit our comfort level. Eventually we proposed that he move in with us, which eliminated the roommate vector, and wear an N95 mask at work to eliminate the engaging with the public vector. It's still slightly riskier, but we decided this was in our risk profile.
Charles has had a previous relationship where he lived with a girlfriend and her husband, although it sounded pretty toxic to me. So it made the idea both easier and more difficult for him than I would have expected but in different ways. He was afraid of losing his individuality while he's still figuring out himself, but the idea of moving in on its own was less intimidating on its face if that made sense.
He took a week to think about it. I know this is a big internal issue for him but we sat down at the end of the week and I told him that I just couldn't handle seeing him only via social distance. That pretty much everything else was up for negotiation, but that I couldn't do it anymore. He didn't want to lose me so he agreed to try.
The first couple of weeks were tough. He has his own space here but it's a rather small room. He moved a lot of his things over but is using our furniture. I know it's not quite home. Also moving in with a kid is a bit of a change- we now have four people in a house on the smaller side. But it seems like he's been doing a lot better lately and things are going smoothly. Everyone gets along well and we all like each other, we all have our own space, and we negotiate time together rather than have expectations.
Everyone's mental health is suffering because covid, and since Henry and I have chronic health conditions, it's been wearing harder on us. We've struggled a bit for time together not because of Charles but simply because we aren't feeling well. But we are all doing the best we can and the current arrangement is working. It's temporary- Charles still has his room at his place. We aren't making long term plans but instead taking this one day at a time.
He's been here for three months now, and I'm glad he made this choice. I recognize what he has had to give up. He had made his room at his place his own. He had roommates he enjoyed. He now has to social distance with absolutely everyone else or wear a mask nearly all the time otherwise, unless he's outdoors and 6ft apart. And he's doing it while living in a space that is relatively small and doesn't have all his things, in a time when everyone is under more stress. That's not an easy situation for him. The fact that he thinks we're worth it? That says a lot.
We've talk about how covid has put so much strain on our relationship but he feels it's also forced him to reprioritize his life. That he tended to get wrapped up in the moment and lose track of longer term goals, which is why things like our relationship slid down the priority list when his attention was elsewhere. He's been making a much stronger point of staying connected and showing me that I matter, not perfect, but who is? No one is batting 1000 right now. He's trying, and that means the world to me.
I know Henry appreciates that I have someone else to turn to for support, because he's been very busy with working from home. He's also been quite sick with his chronic issues. We schedule time together as we can but we're both missing some good connection time. Once he's feeling up to it. we still can't really go anywhere or do anything, but Charles can still entertain Kiddo so we can have some privacy. It's been tough never having a day off but what can you do?
I'm sure I'm missing things, but that's the gist of what's been going on.
It's not a big 3BR house. The master bedroom is mine. Henry has pretty much set up the basement to be his space in addition to storage/laundry etc. The two other bedrooms are small. Kiddo has one and Charles has the other.
Right now, all we can do is the best that we can. Henry and I can't sleep togehter right now anyway since his weight gain means he snores even with a CPAP machine and I sleep too lightly for that. So we do other things but I miss the intimacy of sleeping with him. I sleep with Charles about half the time, the rest of the time he stays up too late for me.
Sometimes poly is blissful, though. I tried to ignore the fact that the world is sliding back down into chaos and just to stay present in the moment today.
Charles planned a date for us, a picnic in the park. Wide open spaces so we could stay away from everyone else. He made homemade vegetable soup, fancy coleslaw, and yummy goat cheese and salami wraps. We had a wonderful time together and took silly photos, and then came home and had sex and cuddles. Henry and Kiddo were working in the garden so we had privacy.
Spent the rest of the day relaxing in the unseasonably warm weather with my book, and then Henry made us all delicious pizza for dinner and I spent some of the evening with him, too.
The world might be going crazy and my anxiety level is still at an all time high, but today was as good as it gets otherwise.
It gets too exhausting to write sometimes. I just don't have the spoons. All the covid stress is so exhausting. I try to write in my private journal daily, but it doesn't always happen, and my memory has gotten bad enough that if I don't write it down, it didn't happen. It's actually pretty scary some days but apparently it's a perfectly normal side effect of living this way.
We're still very much ivory tower quarantine here. Coming up on a year in pretty close to complete isolation. No one leaves the house without an N95 mask on, we don't go into stores or interact with people. Charles still works but he's the only one in his well ventilated space, and again, wears an N95 at all times. Kiddo has been out of school for nearly a year. Who would have thought we'd be here like this?
Charles has been living here for almost six months now and generally it's been good, although I know he misses having more of his own space and still has his own baggage. Henry is wearing down under the toll of all the isolation and pandemic stress too, but nothing to be done about it. We are all waiting impatiently to get the vaccine but even then, no idea when Kiddo will be able to get it and he's not going back to school until he does.
I'm tired and lonely and want this to be over so we can have some semblance of normalcy again. Pandemic fatigue'd out.