Vicki's Journey Continues...

Vicki82

Member
Oh man I just wrote a long post and my browser ate it :( Will try again later.
 

Vicki82

Member
Ugh- this new setup is so hard to read!

I've been tired and just not feeling like updating but I'll try to get to it.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
for me, too, it happens that long posts disappear.

I think there is still a "remember me" button to click when you sign in. This will prevent you from timing out when posting something that takes more than 10 minutes.
 

Vicki82

Member
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.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
It's good to hear from you, Vicki. I was wondering how you were doing. I'm glad Charles moved in.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I’m really glad y’all are together again. And yeah, 3 adults and a kid in a smallish house is a lot, I worry a lot about if Artist ever moves in for a bit how on earth we’d squish in 4.
 

Vicki82

Member
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.
 

Vicki82

Member
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.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
That's good. We have to concentrate on the positives as we deal with this pandemic. Sun, love, good healthy food, animals, nature, gardens. And sex! :)
 

Vicki82

Member
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.
 

Vicki82

Member
I am kind of surprised that I am affected as much this year, honestly. I don't think I've thought much of my xH in a long time, other than in the occasional conversation with Kiddo. (xH lives in another country and hasn't seen Kiddo in person for nearly two years now and rarely calls him).
A couple of days ago would have been my sixteenth wedding anniversary with xH. I was so young and full of hope, sure that we were smart and going to beat the odds against young marriages. We had a lovely destination wedding and at-home reception.

I am happily remarried now and would not take my xH back for anything. I know that my love life is much better now and that I have partners with whom I can be myself wholly. But a little part of me is sad that I will never reach those big wedding milestones with Henry, simply because of age if nothing else.

It's kind of silly. I know intellectually that time doesn't mean a stronger or deeper connection, but part of me wishes that I'd have a shot at 50 or 60 years with Henry so we could grow so deeply entwined together like that. But if I had met Henry when I was the age I met xH, we wouldn't have been good for each other, I know that. Plus then I wouldn't have my Kiddo.

I have more knowledge of myself now than I did at 18 when I met xH. I know I will continue to grow, but I have a much better handle on who I am and what I want, and how to handle issues- which means that my relationships are in a better place and have less conflict and more connection. I do not think that even if xH hadn't cheated and walked out, that I would have the deep connection with xH that is so important to me. I do have a strong and solid connection with Henry, and working at growing it with Charles.

I guess part of me is just wistful that I'll never have the opportunity to see how my connection with Henry would grow over that much time. I know that I love and appreciate him more with every passing year. I really know this time, that this is death do us part- we fit together like a lock and key. I know it couldn't have been any other way... but I guess I'll have to take quality over quantity.

Am I the only one who thinks things like this? I guess I still miss the innocence and being that young and thinking my whole life was ahead of me, too.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I guess I still miss the innocence and being that young and thinking my whole life was ahead of me, too
I've been really conscious of not having as much time lately, too, and sort of weirdly melancholy about the ways in which my life has changed. I mean, I love being a more independent / less codependent person in many ways, but things were so *simple* when I met and married Knight. I mean, it's interesting in that I've definitely had the same thought about wishing I had more time with Artist but knowing had I met him any sooner it wouldn't have worked; and it's interesting in that I have no idea what my relationship with Knight would look like if I had met him at 36 instead of 16 (to some degree I'm not 100% sure we would have romantically connected, but I could be wrong there - I'm pretty sure we would have been close regardless though).
 

Vicki82

Member
Sooo Charles and I have been talking about our relationship. Even with the pandemic, his life is SO full because he just spends so much time with different friend groups. Henry says that's not all that uncommon in your 20s so I guess I was just a hermit lol. But even with his time being all online now, between work and his social engagements, he's fixed pretty tightly for time. We discussed what things might look like after the pandemic and it was back to he didn't have a whole lot of free time. We left it there, because I didn't want to waste energy worrying about the future when we have enough to worry about right now.

We talked again the other day, and he says he wants to stay here, and I had more of a mixed emotional reaction than I was expecting since I do want him to stay and I worry how we’d be able to make things work if he didn’t, given how full his life is.

So I asked him to tell me what was going on in his head since I knew he had a bunch of reservations originally. Some were baggage from his last relationship where he was very young and lived with his ex-girlfriend and her husband, some were from moving into a house with a kid, some was about having adequate space, and some was just plain getting more entangled and deciding if that was what he wanted. I guess I wanted to know that he did the emotional work and he wanted to stay because he wanted to stay and not because it was easier or because he thought that I wanted him to or anything like that.

And surprisingly, it seems like he has. He said it made a big shift in his head when we took the last few items out of the storage closet in his room, more of a difference than he had thought it would. And he says seeing Kiddo as more of a person than a force of nature helped too. I told him that for me it feels more like there is an us. More like commitment. He says that he’s not worried about that anymore, although he wasn't sure about it before. That it’s a good thing. The only one up on the air for him is if he's able to actually find a job in his dream field (which he hasn't been able to do during the pandemic for obvious reasons), and I can understand that. I just hope there is a way to make things work because this feels so good.

Henry and I already had our chat about Charles staying and he thinks this is working too. There are so many advantages to having a third adult around the house! I mean even aside from the financial stuff, there's one more adult to help with Kiddo, one more to help with household stuff which means we are actually making progress on the to-do list instead of just barely keeping up with the necessities or falling even further behind. The two of them get along well. It's been nice waking up in the morning and finding the two of them at the dining room table sharing a pot of coffee. In fact it's a running joke that they squabble more over the coffee carafe than they do about me. If you call squabbling Henry reminding Charles not to take it to his room lol. That's seriously been the extent of the squabbles.

I've been feeling so happy lately... like even though the world is still awful that at least my love life is going well. We seem to have a pretty good balance in terms of time figured out and that's good things. But tonight I'm feeling really moody and anxious and of course it's the worst night since both Henry and Charles have online social engagements and I'm sitting by myself. I'm just worried about how this will change my relationship with Henry. I know he's easygoing and he wants me to be happy and he says he's fine but I still worry. He told me he is a little wistful about having time just me and him and Kiddo, and I understand that. I asked him to give me more specific examples of ways we can work more us time in and I will do whatever I can. Given Charles' social obligations, I suspect that there will still be plenty of times it's just us and I want some time for just us too. But I want to make sure I know what he wants so I can make him happy too. I just worry that maybe this will distance us or damage our connection or I don't even know right now- just anxiety. I love Henry so much and the last thing I want to do is anything that will harm our relationship. I don't know where all this anxiety is coming from.
 

Vicki82

Member
I see why I don't come here though. It's my own fault but reading about everyone going and doing things and seeing people... I know y'all don't feel like you're doing much, but when you've been in isolation for 392 days and literally not seen or socialized with anyone, or run an errand, or gone to any appointment that isn't virtual... it gives me so many mixed emotions and it's very hard to read.
 

PinkPig

Active member
When you read the posts about everyone going everywhere and doing every thing, maybe it helps to remember this is why the US is leading the world in total deaths?! Our governor dropped our mask mandate already even though only 1/4 of adults in the state have been vaccinated. It's very frustrating. I'm fully vaccinated and I still wear my mask in public (and still don't do much other than work and see my partners and a few vaccinated family members.) I really feel for you. I can't imagine how isolated you must feel. :(

Lol on the coffee pot. I'm glad that things are going well in your relationships! Your household sounds lovely. Hang in there, Vicki. The vaccine will change things for you.
 

Vicki82

Member
So yesterday was the big day. We rented a truck, and Henry and Charles went and moved the rest of Charles' stuff here. It feels different, though... before he was here mostly out of necessity because covid; now he's here because he's chosen to be here, and chosen more entanglement with me. No safety net place to return to.

I'm having feelings. Not the bad kind of feelings. Just adjustment feelings. Maybe a little bit of anxiety wondering how things will go and if we'll all manage well together. That and changing my image of myself since i never expected to want anything like this. One day at a time.

I am so very lucky to have these two men in my life, though. Henry worked hard all day to get Charles moved in, and he did it for me, I know. Because he wants me to be happy. And Charles goes out of his way to do the little things for me and it means so much. Everything else is still burning down in my world right now, but my love life is good at least.
 
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