Vicki's Journey Continues...

I was thinking about a similar question this morning in the car - driving time is great for thinking - and am adding another note to my blog for my own reference and so I don't clutter up your space too much.
I'm rather freaking out today.

So normally, I don't lose memory when I drink. I've only once had an issue with that, and both my partner and I chose to drink well beyond excess, so I assumed it was quantity.

Apparently on Saturday I had a conversation with Charles. I remember that. I don't remember the content of the conversation. I got concerned because Henry said I had mentioned something about breaking up with Charles and now I'm really worried about whatever it is I said.

It's true, that after I read back through my old threads, that the sad part of me thought about it. That it seems like every time I do this, there is heartache and I wonder if it's worth it. That, and I remember how often L and I chatted and how much I enjoyed that and how connected it made me feel, and Charles is much less chatty not in person. Part of me worried that this will be an issue down the road and maybe it would hurt less now.

So it's entirely possible I said something to him. I have no idea. I sent him a text last night that apologized, and basically summarized that I am not used to forgetting what happens when I drink, that I know we talked but I can't remember a word of it.

He sent back that we "had a little tete a tete", and that he's choosing to interpret it in light of the fact we were both drinking, as sweet rambling endearments and too frank truths/insecurities.

I don't know what that really means, but it sounds bad, and it's provoking a great deal of anxiety right now.
So, I saw Charles last night. I still don't know exactly what I said to him, but I decided it was better to let sleeping dogs lie. I know whatever I said is nothing that couldn't have come out of my mouth anyway, and so it's better to leave it at that. He told me not to worry about it, and he sounded like he meant it.

We seem to be okay. We played a game last night and then spent the rest of the evening in bed. It was slow and sensual, lots of kissing and touching and sexy sounds. I left bite marks on his neck.

The NRE is definitely holding. I'm enjoying the intensity so much. It just gets difficult at times because I know that it's just brain chemicals for now and I get so impatient lol. Which is funny- why do I get impatient when I am enjoying what's happening so much and if I rush through it, it'll be gone all the sooner? It doesn't make sense to me. I'm just greedy :) I want it all.

I just have to keep reminding myself to stop and smell the roses. What I have now is pretty good. What may come could be pretty good, or it could end. So take it for what it is now. Easier said than done.

I can't wait to see him again. My mind is full of little images from last night and remembering his scent and sounds and kisses. Yup- crazy NRE.
The home fires are still burning, too! I know I am writing a lot about Charles but I guess NRE will do that to you :)

Last night Henry and I had a date night. We indulged our D/s rituals together, buckled on his heavy leather collar (he wears a day collar that he never takes off except for medical reasons, too), and had three wonderful hours together. Pain, orgasms, and lots of loving touch and words.

Blissfully happy!
Henry's mental health has been bothering him lately. He says it has nothing to do with my relationship with Charles, and I believe him, but it still hits some of my buttons about my relationship with my ex husband. Mark used to say that everything was fine and then in a while he'd drop the other shoe and there was suddenly a huge problem. I believe that isn't happening, but it is hard to come home full of NRE and then be around a depressed spouse.

I'm offering Henry as much support as possible, and he's seeing his counselor next week.

Yesterday I took Charles to a BDSM 101 workshop. The presenters were all very good and well qualified, so I figured that it would give him a solid grounding in the basics. He says he didn't really learn all that much that was new since he's been doing his research, but making sure we were on the same page was a good thing, too.

We went to his place afterwards, and he made me dinner. We chatted for a little while with one of his roommates, then went upstairs to his room. The NRE is really starting to get overwhelming in a good way. We had really good sex and cuddles before Henry picked me up and we went home for the night. I felt feelings in the air... but I don't trust myself with how things go in that regard right now after all the crap that happened with Allen- details are in the last few pages of my old blog.

I'm still having that niggly little anxiety voice in my head, and I'm not sure what's up with that. It's starting to bother me because I feel like it's just my baggage and my mental health fucking with me but it's making me wonder if there's something I'm missing. I used to be able to trust these little things, but over the past few years I've learned that I can't anymore.

Jennifer, who is still a dear friend of mine that I used to date, tells me that I am overthinking and I should let it go. And she knows me well enough that she's probably right. But part of me is afraid that I'm walking into something that will break my heart hard, or isn't going to satisfy me, or that just isn't quite right and I can't put my finger on it. And I don't know what or which or anything and it's upsetting.

Charles sent me a sweet text message this morning and it always feels good to know that he's thinking of me.
Anxiety really is a bitch.

I've been exhausted lately, just not sleeping well. I have several sleep disorders so sleep tends to cycle for me and I've been scouting the low end for a while. Not much to do about it.

Last night was my date night with Charles and I just felt off again. No NRE, no glow. I was tired. We cuddled in bed and talked, then hot tubbed together, but I didn't get the feelings I wanted to indulge in. We didn't have sex, which I suspect would have kicked them in, but I just wasn't feeling it. That doesn't happen often (I had already had sex that morning with Henry and I do love the little slutty things like fucking different people in the same day), but I really was tired. Frustrating, though. And of course it heightens my worries that things are going wrong or going to go wrong. I'm well aware that my anxiety could end up torpedoing a perfectly good relationship and I don't want that to happen, but I also don't know how to shut off that little voice, or else to ignore potential issues.

I'm still exhausted today. Won't get to see him again until Tuesday, which sucks. I know apparently it's normal to only spend a few hours with someone when you see them but it's not what I got used to! I got into the habit of frequent overnights and spending big chunks of time with people. My friends are all telling me that's a luxury most people don't get and I hear it... but I miss it anyway. I like big blocks of time so I can do ALL THE THINGS... and not feel like I have to pick between activities. But what can you do.

Tired... not a great time to be thinky.
I'm feeling really droppy today, and I haven't really played or had sex, so this is a bit out of character for me. There isn't a real cause for it at the moment. It's not a fun feeling to sit with given that I have to finish my cleaning because family is visiting tomorrow, and I have plans for a serious BDSM scene with Henry on Sunday. Dealing with the family tomorrow is going to be stressful, but unavoidable.

I don't know if the drop is about Charles but he's been on my mind a lot today, so I figured I'd journal a bit.

I'm saving this thread here because I'm finding it helpful when thinking about Charles. That sense of urgency, of wanting to race into things when I really do actually want to stop and smell the roses, is a little bit of a thing to deal with, and it's contributing to my anxiety as well.

I want to squeeze every drop out of the NRE. I don't want to race through it. It's like what I'm thinking is that I want to read the last page of the book (which I never do with a book!) to find out if we do fall in love and stay together. But if I do that, I'll cheat myself out of all the fun moments in between so I don't know why I'm doing it but it's hard to kick myself out of the mindset. Not to mention that I'd have to get into a philosophical conversation with myself about success vs completion of relationships.

I find it telling that I called it the last page when it was about falling in love- so technically that means the book must be open ended or it would be sad regardless... and I'm not really looking for another lifetime partner. So where the hell do I think I'm jumping ahead to, anyway? If I got there and the relationship does last, then I'm missing out on the NRE :p And if not, I'd still miss out on the fun bits and skip ahead to the heartbreak.

My anxiety really has been sky high lately and that's tough to manage. I mentioned it to my counsellor and she said we will work some more on it next time. This month was mostly just an update on how I'm doing since we hadn't had a session in a while.

Charles isn't doing anything to make the anxiety worse; I am self aware enough to know that it's all in my head. He's been texting me at least briefly on a daily basis. He validates me when I tell him I miss him. He's not as emotional of a person as I am, but it's not that he isn't demonstrating that he cares. He told me when we were in bed together last that he carves out time to text me because he wants to make sure his girlfriend knows that he cares. And he did start using that term first and I like it.

He's always touching me when we're together; we hold hands or kiss or play footsie or just some kind of casual touch. I like that, too. It fills a need for me.

He's put in the effort to do the work with BDSM as well. He did my long checklist/questionnaire, which is pretty darn detailed and requires a lot of self examination as well as thought. We also have a shared Google doc where we write to each other when we have a few minutes.

He's never cancelled a date with me. We see each other at least once a week.

So when I examine things logically, he really is doing all the right things. I might want more, but I think that's not realistic. So if I'm being droppy about that... well, that's going to make me miserable in the long run for sure.

Henry's mental health has been up and down lately, which has been tough on all of us. He doesn't want to crush my happy, but if he is feeling out of sorts when I come home full of happy, it's hard on both of us. I want to support him, but by doing that, it pulls me out of the bubble. And I don't want it to be like poly vacation where I'm having all my fun with my boyfriend and then sad when I come home. On the plus side, he's making proactive plans to get help. I really want him to be happy. I don't want to make him worse just to make myself happy.

We also revisited our relationship contract, and added a new page for wants and needs so that we could discuss them with each other. We focused on what agreements we wanted to make in our relationship, and what our individual needs are with respect to polyamory. We did not make a set of rules for which other partners have to follow to be in a relationship with us. We focused on meeting our own needs, stuff like "turn up your awesome with spouse, when in a new relationship", and "add dates to the shared calendar at least one day in advance if possible". It's good to know where we stand on things, and that we're okay together.

On the plus side, he and Charles get along well and that helps. It was really nice hanging out with the two of them in the hot tub the other day. Henry was rubbing my feet and Charles and I were holding hands. I felt loved and relaxed and happy. I might not be into kitchen table poly but it's nice sometimes to be able to hang out.

Henry and I have a date night planned for Sunday that I'm looking forward to. We haven't been able to do as much BDSM as we would like due to the busy over the last year, so this is going to be important to both of us. It's definitely a need to build more space for that back into our lives.

I'm also so lucky to still have Jennifer in my life even though we aren't romantic anymore. She's still one of my closest friends and we help each other with our overthinking and processing. Having a good circle who cares is so important, I think.
Henry and I had a wonderful date day. We indulged in our D/s and BDSM as well as sex, all day long.
It was so good just to be able to focus on our relationships and enjoy some hedonistic pleasure together. 12 straight hours of just us with no responsibilities. We needed that, I think.
I know I'm writing a lot lately but I am noticing that my memory has been deteriorating. In one of my other journals, I can't even put a face to some of the pseudonyms I've used. I mean, obviously those were for more casual hookups, but it's a little embarrassing to myself.

I want to try and remember all the little golden moments in my life. I know it seems to be easier at times to remember the bad things but I don't want to live that way.

Yesterday was date night with Charles, and it was pretty wonderful too. I don't know if a switch has flipped or if he's more comfortable expressing things... but things just went really well. We spent a couple of hours just hanging out and chatting, which was lovely, and then we went upstairs to bed.

He was so passionate... telling me how much he was enjoying my body and visibly so into things. Then the cuddles and sensual touch and whatnot... it felt good.

We only had one date last week, and it seems like we get three this week :) He suggested that he stop by tomorrow before work, which I thought was nice! He's definitely being more proactive about things. And we're having our "usual" second date on the weekend, too.

I don't know if it made a difference that a couple of days ago we were texting a bit while he was at work and he said he pulled a muscle in his shoulder and was in quite a bit of pain. Henry and I were chatting and I mentioned it with no plans other than maybe to offer Charles some hot tub time if he wanted it. Henry suggested strongly that we stop by with some Robax because he said he's worked while in pain and it's awful, so we should help. I made sure that Henry got the credit for it, too. But I know Charles really appreciated it.

We are all going together to a big Halloween kink party this month, and I'm looking forward to that. Charles wanted to clarify what that meant- was I going with Henry and he was tagging along etc but I said that no, I was planning to go with both of them. I wouldn't leave a newbie "unattended" at their first party. Henry just asked that I come home with him afterwards because drop, and that makes sense. I won't be playing with Charles, this is just a dip a toe in the water experience for him, and I'll find a friend for him to sit with while I have a scene with Henry. Hopefully it will be fun. I have gone to this party in a previous year with Henry and Jennifer and it was wonderful. I love the BDSM community so much, where people who came to my wedding a few short months ago won't bat an eye if I'm all over someone new, and who will tell me how lucky I am that I get to cuddle both my partners at once.

I dunno, I'm not much for kitchen table poly in general and this is a bit more than I'm used to, but it's much better than the alternative. I'm pretty happy :)
So, he did in fact stop by yesterday before work :D He really has been as good as his word, every time. I need to remind myself of that when I am feeling bothered.

Also want to save this thread for when I am feeling insecure. There are some good nuggets there.

I notice that I am feeling more balanced since he's making it clear that he wants to put effort into this relationship. But I have to think about that one since I believe that my security should come from inside me and not be external. But that gets fiddly, because we do react to others' actions. I think I need to mull it over for a while, but comments are certainly welcome!

It is weird though. I'm feeling all the behavioural effects of NRE... I want to see him and talk to him, and touch him and whatnot. But I didn't feel the emotional bubbly thing I get sometimes, or what I think of as NRE. What's up with that? I have actually been wondering if I'm feeling emotionally flat lately, which is weird for me.
I had a lovely date night yesterday with Charles :) He cooked me dinner and then we played a game together, then spent the rest of the night talking and cuddling and having sexy time. Before I knew it, it was 2am and I was exhausted. Where did the evening go?? :) But I know that means I had a wonderful time.

Tonight, Henry and I are having a home tapas date night. We love little bits of things like that, and I'm excited. We planned a menu of healthy apps and then the rest of the night is wide open for sex or kink or whatever we feel like doing. I'm looking forward to it.

Right about now? Aside from my physical issues, life is pretty good. I'll take it :)
Hey Vicky, I am glad you have this new thing going with Charles.

I believe NRE is a melange of feelings. You get horny, you want lots of sex with the new partner, you think about them a lot (all the time it seems), you want to chat or get together a lot, and learn all you can about them.

But anxiety is definitely part of NRE, and that's the hard part. Established relationship intimacy (my term, ERI), is easier because you've developed trust with the other, you've been with them through thick and thin, sickness, health, etc. So it's more relaxing.

But this new person you are infatuated with! Who are they? What do they want? Are they authentic or do they have a hidden mental illness or hangups that will make them unreliable?

I've got NRE right now... I didn't have it with my last bf, we got along, he was fun, but somehow I didn't get head over heels, even at first. The new guy I call Harry, he seems like a "good catch," in general and checks more of my boxes. But then I wonder, is it "too good to be true?" I've dated a couple narcissists, got drawn in deep with one. He turned out to be a complete fake, but narcs are so good at pretending to be human, and mirroring your tastes and personality, so they seem like a great match. Until they tire of you and devalue you.

So, part of me is all giddy about Harry, but there's this little voice, what if he's a narcissist psychopath and he's just mirroring my tastes and personality just to use me, get into my pants, be entertained by me for a while, until the triangulation and gaslighting and word salad begin?

Anyway, I don't think you have that particular fear with Charles. But it's normal when we open up to a new person, to feel sometimes uncomfortably vulnerable, I think. Maybe you're not "emotionally flat," but just having a mature degree of caution. We aren't newbies or teenagers, we've had disappointments, so we don't idealize every new person who makes us cum.
Hey Magdlyn, I'm glad you've found someone new that you're enjoying!

I've been lucky enough I think never to be involved in a romantic relationship with a narcissist. My counsellor thinks my mother might be one, but I haven't heard those terms other than gaslighting. I'll have to look them up.

It certainly could be that. I've been reading over my past relationship history- went right back through this blog and my other one to see what I could learn from my behaviour in the past and how I handled things. What would be different if I was current me, in the previous situation, etc. I do worry this will be another short lived fling where I go head over heels and then heartbreak. I tend not to be all that great at holding back my emotions, so maybe this is a bit of self protectionism.

There definitely is a lot of, thinking about Charles all the time. I even notice my body self lubricates more with him than it does with Henry, which kind of annoys me but it's not like it's a thing I can control, right? And there's always lube on my nightstand so it's not an issue except to me. There is just less of the intense, overwhelming emotions... I've had it a few times so far but it's not ongoing like it's been in the past when I had a new person.

Partly, I think I'm trying to sort out my mental state. I am starting to wonder if the depression is lifting. It's been three really, really bad years in a row and I am used to feeling squashed and miserable, with brief moments of happy. I am starting to feel like my baseline mood is improving and I'm noticing more contented type things. I'm still analyzing things but I think I definitely see improvement, which is a good thing.

Not that my ex is helping with things. I'm much happier when I don't have to interact with him, and he's been causing a great deal of stress lately about seeing Kiddo. He only sees him 1-2x a year anyway and keeps asking for concessions and extra work from me to make his visits happen, plus he keeps standing Kiddo up on phone calls which is just plain cruel. I'm trying to remember what a friend said, that happiness doesn't have to come when everything is OK but it's internal. I'm working on that. But I don't feel as weighed down, which is good.

Things are still good with Charles and Henry, although Henry is sick and that sucks. I saw Charles earlier this week and we had a great time together and I did get a glimmer of the NRE bubble again which was really nice. Less anxious this week, too.

Overall, I'm doing better. Honestly, reading back over my blogs was a useful tool because I could see how bad my emotional state was in the past couple of years, and recognize that isn't me now. It's really good for me to acknowledge that there's been self improvement, even if I'm not quite what I consider "myself" yet. I guess I still have to reinvent that person, because the me from years ago isn't coming back- too many battle scars. And then I'd be denying myself all the changes that have come from this pain. While I would never want those scars because getting them was horrible... I paid for them, so I may as well take what I paid for. I survived, and that's something to be proud of.
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I had a wonderful date yesterday with Charles. We played a board game, and then he cooked us a wonderful dinner and we spent time listening to each other's music and drinking wine and talking about philosophy. It made me feel so connected. It was an affirmation that I'm not just enjoying the activities we're doing together- that I actually do like him as a person. I need that reinforcement when I'm feeling anxious about things.

And when we were in bed, the really heady intense feelings came back. I know a big part of that is oxytocin and endorphins from the sex, but it was wonderful. I tried to soak in as much as possible. The time just flew by.

The only sour spot is that it's still difficult figuring how to get around when I go to Charles' house. He doesn't have a car, and I can't drive for medical reasons. His place is walkable, albeit a rather long walk (about 45 minutes). It's something I wouldn't mind doing sometimes in the daytime, in good weather, but not late at night. The bus is nearly half of that time spent walking anyway, so it doesn't save a heck of a lot of time and then costs $3, plus the schedule sucks on weekends and that's when I'm usually at his house. And a cab ride is $12.

Charles usually bikes to my house when he visits during the week, because it's only a ten minute bike ride. Unfortunately, for health reasons I can't do that right now either. It might work in the spring, though. In winter, biking won't work anyway.

Henry has been griping a little about picking me up. He says he doesn't mind dropping me off but if he's waiting to hear when I want to come home, even when I give him an approximate time, it breaks up his evening and then he also can't have a few beers or take his pain meds because he has to be able to drive. Those are valid points. I'm struggling to find a balance that will work for the time being- at least for winter, and then renegotiate.

Last night I was really cranky and got flooded with negative feelings when he came to pick me up because I could tell he was feeling grouchy about it. I know it didn't help that we had a big kitchen job to do that evening but I had told him if he waited on me, I'd help. We bought 30lbs of ground beef and pork and we had to blend it together 50/50 and then make 1.5lb packages to vacuum seal and freeze. Our budget is very thin so we do everything we can to pinch pennies.

But I digress. It was just hard because as soon as I felt his negative energy it totally zapped all my good feelings from the evening and then I felt so frustrated with the situation because at times it feels like I'm always doing something wrong. And I think I'm overreacting because I was just flooded but at times it feels like no matter what he says to me, that maybe he really isn't OK at this moment with poly because the words and actions don't match. And that doesn't even make sense because we've always been poly and open. But it seems like most times that I have a date, there's something else I'm doing wrong and it just feels awful.

Yeah. OK, I'm reading this and I'm definitely overreacting, but last night and this morning I had an almost overwhelming rush of negative emotions and I've been crying and needed some alone time.

Honestly though, maybe it helped because having all these feelings is helping me process for when Henry has another romantic partner, that I don't want to be a buzzkill. I'm going to try really hard to carry my crap because there is no ultimate way of doing things. When you're negotiating different people's wants and needs, there's always going to be a little bit more or a little bit less or just awkwardness figuring out the best way to do things. You just can't do relationships period without navigating the obstacle course, and polyamory only magnifies that. At any rate, I suspect that I'll have some difficult to process feelings when he starts going out, and I'm going to try and learn from this and take something positive from it. I know he's not trying to be a buzzkill but unfortunately that's been the outcome for me and it's sucked pretty hard. The crash last night from the euphoria to that wave of negative emotion was almost physically painful.

We aren't fighting or anything- just working on processing stuff. I told him I wasn't ready to be productive yet. I tend to get overwhelmed easily with emotions and I couldn't put the frustration down yet. Apparently I needed to feel it for a while longer. I'm feeling a little better after writing it all out but I still don't really know what to do about it, short of being more precise/better about giving him a time, telling him if I'm going to be really late or if he makes himself plans that I can take a taxi, and asking him just to be patient for the winter and we'll better be able to figure it out in the spring when hopefully I can ride my bike, too.

Right now I'm just having some quiet time to try and get my emotional balance back and then hopefully I can get some stuff done. I still feel a little shaky but being a parent comes first, right? Sigh. And that just triggered the thoughts of all the misery Mark is trying to cause right now, but I'm going to leave that for another time. I've been working on reinforcing the positives lately and I can't deal with the neverending cup of negative right now.

In total fairness, Henry has been going out of his way to be sweet to me lately, doing little things that make me happy like baking things I like, or warming my bathrobe in the dryer so that I have something nice to put on when I get out of the tub. So that has been awesome. It's just the yo-yoing that I'm struggling with.
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Henry and I talked, and I feel a lot better. I hope he does too. It gets hard when one of us gets flooded and then the anxiety starts bleeding back and forth. We both have mental health issues, and very little emotional defense against each other, and that is problematic at times. We're both empathic enough to pick up each other's moods and they have a pretty big impact.

I know we'll be able to work things out, just a few bumpy spots.

I worked on the stepping up, making Henry feel lots of love and appreciation. I've made dinner two nights this week already and it's pretty much always his responsibility. Might do that tonight too :)

Last night was date night with Charles and I'm on cloud 9 again. He was tired, so instead of crazy wild sex, we just got in bed and talked and cuddled. And it was so good just having the skin on skin and the kisses and the getting to know each other better.

And then the conversation circled back on kink since I had asked him to pick a few things that he wanted to talk about some more. I've been taking things really slowly because I don't want to be That Dom who grooms their partner into thinking things need to be a certain way, or that they have to try stuff before they're ready, or if they can't give informed consent. Also, he tends to get spacey really easily, so I don't want to manipulate him into doing things when he's in that cloud.

He said he was feeling clearheaded, and did I have some things to show him? I took out some claws and sensory toys, and a low temp wax candle and did just a little taste test of both. He definitely liked both of them, so that was a good start. He also mentioned some things he had been wanting to try and we talked about that a little.

But, it kicked up the temperature in the room just a little. The more feelings I'm developing for him, the harder it is to keep the intensity of my D/s and kink desires on a leash (no pun intended). While I can do kink stuff just fine on its own, when I have romantic feelings for someone and there's this certain type of energy between us... it's so difficult to not want. I was struggling to figure out how to complete that sentence. The word that springs to mind is possession. I want all of them, in every way I can have them.

The talking slowed down and it was just kisses and sensual touch. I normally have trouble focusing on just one thing, normally I'm thinking about at least 2-3 different things at once so I really prize being wholly in the moment. I really, really wanted to tell him that I love him. It was almost pounding in my head when we were looking in each other's eyes. But I couldn't quite figure out how. Neither of us were speaking... just the kisses and touches and then the pauses to look at each other.

Then I decided to distract him a little and just kinda slide it in. He loves biting, so I leaned over to whisper in his ear knowing he'd be focused on anticipating the bite. I told him that I'm falling for him, and then started to bite his neck and he was just gone, begging me to bite more. He told me afterwards that in that moment he was wanting so badly to be mine, that he would have done anything for me in that moment. (hence the reason for my caution about the BDSM stuff!)

It just felt really intense then and think I wanted to possess him as much as he wanted to be mine. I knew he wasn't up for sex, but I asked him how tired his tongue was lol. I needed to orgasm so badly. And it was so wonderful when he helped me out with that problem :)

He had to go home not too too long afterwards, which sucked, but reality often tends to intrude on fun after all. But I'm still wrapped in that golden bubble right now and feeling pretty awesome about things. NRE got one hell of a kick today. I'm still not sure where I am on that spectrum of is this still NRE or is it love? But I told Henry I loved him at 6 weeks... sometimes I wonder if I just fall in love really easily. I don't do things by halves.

But for now, things are just really good, and I needed that. Golden days and silver nights...
I went to a Halloween party on the weekend with both Henry and Charles. There were a lot of moving parts; Charles had never been to a BDSM party, and Henry had been feeling off lately. I really wanted everyone to have a good time, and I think it was mostly a thing.

Henry needed a little extra time before the party with me to get in the right headspace, but we had a lovely scene and cuddles. Charles enjoyed watching the various scenes, although he said he could never see himself playing in public. He's not an exhibitionist nor really a voyeur, so I think his interest was more curiosity than prurience. It sounded like he enjoyed himself anyway. My favourite parts of the night were walking around with one arm around each of them, and later on being draped over the two of them on a couch, my head leaning on Charles and my legs in Henry's lap. Very relaxing and enjoying the Topspace!

Henry still hasn't quite been feeling himself lately, so I've found myself a little uncertain at times how to respond. My default is to tend to back off and give him a little more space. He told me tonight that he found it really helped when we did even a small thing that helped focus on our connection, either in terms of our D/s or our romance. I'm glad he was able to communicate that, because it wouldn't have been a thing I naturally tried. I think it will wind up being a positive thing for both of us because I have been feeling much more myself lately, which makes me want to fully take up the reins again of our D/s. If it is a thing that he needs as well then that fits just fine :)

I also want to make sure I'm building in enough time for play. We had a lovely scene this afternoon and despite the rest of the day being stressful, I still feel pretty good from that. It was very much a case of me topping him exactly how I knew he wanted it, because I wanted to make him feel good. I've always said that I view our D/s as him taking care of me on my terms, and me taking care of him on my terms :) That doesn't mean I can't decide to give him exactly what he wants sometimes. He might be struggling a little, but he's a wonderful partner and I love to make him smile.
Things are generally going pretty well, except that my ex husband is trying to make my life miserable.

Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that he picked the day after what was our anniversary to remarry? I don't particularly care, but it goes into the category of stuff that creeps me out a little, like how it always seems that Mark emails me on what were significant dates to us while not mentioning the date. But, whatever works.

There's just been SO much drama though. It's been tough to handle. I've been feeling a lot better and I'm starting to think the depression is lifting, although the anxiety is definitely still a thing. But then there are days that just yank me right back into the abyss- the yo yo is almost more painful than the consistent low.

Mark wanted Kiddo to come to the wedding after all, after telling him more than a year ago that he wouldn't be invited. But it's an international flight, and it's in our divorce decree that Mark is responsible for all travel expenses and also for providing a trusted travel companion for Kiddo. Every year because he waits until the last minute to book travel, plane tickets cost a fortune and he starts badgering me that Kiddo should be old enough to fly unaccompanied now. He's nine, and has a number of mental health conditions of his own, so hell no. Not to mention how many airplane incidents there have been lately. Then he wanted me to drive Kiddo to an airport over 5 hours away because it was cheaper/better flight times. NO. That means that poor Henry has to drive ten hours minimum plus however long it is at the border, plus there might be weather. It's ridiculous.

We finally settled Christmas, and then he mentioned that he wanted a casual acquaintance of his who is coming to the wedding (it's actually a vow renewal but they aren't telling anyone they got married 8 months ago for immigration purposes), to fly Kiddo there as his companion. I get so frustrated that he keeps pushing and pushing and pushing. I thought about it for a week and had to say no again. I don't see how that's much better than having an airline employee do the accompanying. This guy is a total stranger to Kiddo, and I don't think that putting a non neurotypical child in a stressful situation of a 5+ hour flight one way plus all the accompanying time is good for him.

Kiddo asked if I would fly him there myself, because he wants to go but he doesn't want to fly alone or with a stranger either. I suggested to Mark that I'd be willing to do so if he picked up the extra plane ticket. I was actually expecting a torrent of abuse for even suggesting he might subsidize a vacation for me :p

Much to my surprise, after three days, he said yes. There really weren't many other options to get Kiddo there since I figure he wasn't going to fly out to pick him up right before the wedding. So now apparently I am going to get a little bit of a vacation myself, although once I realized how much it's actually going to cost even with a free plane ticket I'm having slight regrets. But it's a few months away so I'm going to start putting money aside and see how it goes. I could sure use a mini vacation anyway, right? And it'll be nice to have some quality time with Henry, too.

But man, I could do without the drama. I wish that Mark would just get out of our lives and stop hurting Kiddo. I'm so tired of all the times he tells Kiddo he will call, and then doesn't. Kiddo doesn't even believe him anymore but I can still see the pain.

Sometimes though, it makes me sad that a 14 year relationship has come to this.
Last night, I went to a house party with Charles and his friends. I was a little nervous about it, since I'm pretty sure that none of them are poly (or even really seem to be dating for that matter, except one of them). They're all the gamer geek kind of guys, which I actually tend to like, but they do tend to be socially awkward and such.

It was fine, though. And it meant a lot to me that he was willing to bring me to meet his friends, and that he showed affection in front of them. I'm so sick of people who want to keep me as a secret just because I'm married. It's fun to have our own little bubble sometimes, but I want to be part of someone's life. I don't feel like a girlfriend otherwise, I feel like a mistress. And that's not my thing (even in the BDSM world!).

I'm having a rough day, though. It feels like I am just buried in clutter, and no matter what I do, I can't keep up. I keep trying to either sell/organize/throw out stuff and then it's like new stuff just miraculously somehow appears. I know a lot of it is that between chronic fatigue and mental health, things just don't get done right away and then it piles up, but I'm getting buried. It's crushing for my emotional health and likely my physical health too. Also didn't help that I had to fight with my son today to get his room cleaned and organized. It gets so frustrating when he says he can't and what he really means is that he doesn't want to.

I'm just so done. Wish I had a flamethrower.
Things are continuing to go mostly well. And it's really good to be able to write a sentence like that!

I woke up this morning remembering a dream where I had a conversation with the woman who was like my second mom. She died a little over two years ago but she had been sick for a long time before that and not really herself. She was so important to me and I don't know how I would have grown up without her.

In the dream, she told me that she loved me and that she was still looking out for me. I don't know if I believe that people's spirits can come to us after we die or not, but I do know that I woke up feeling refreshed (which is something that doesn't often happen to me because hello, severe sleep disorders). And regardless of anything else, it's a good way to keep her memory alive.

I also had a lovely weekend with Henry and Kiddo. We did a mini vacation to a nearby city and did a bunch of touristy stuff. Kiddo behaved pretty much the whole time, and so we were able to have lots of fun. I hope that was a good positive reinforcement for him that good things happen when he makes good choices.

Date night with Charles on the weekend was also mostly good. He's started introducing me to his friends, and they mostly seem like nice enough people. The part I really enjoy is that he doesn't expect me to keep the perhaps less socially acceptable bits of myself under wraps. His friends know I'm married and poly, and no one's said anything. When a joke came up the other night about ball gags, I whispered to Charles that I wanted to chime in and he told me to go for it, much to my surprise. He embarrasses easily, and I can't quite reconcile the two, but I'm happier like this so maybe that's enough for him?

We haven't had much physical intimacy time lately, due to fatigue and schedules, but we got just a little and it felt so good. Part of me had been wondering since I wasn't feeling as much urgency when we were apart, if this was just going to be a lower key thing for me. We're not talking/texting enough to really feed my NRE when we're apart, but it definitely hit again when we were together. I wish there was a way to kind of stretch it out, but then again perhaps I don't. I get more stuff done when I don't have to spend my whole time dreaming and fantasizing! But I do love the deliciousness of NRE heights.
Still kinda skipping along happily, but I guess that's why they call it NRE, right? I want to enjoy every little drop of pleasure, but I am a hedonist after all.

Charles came over for our regular date night, and Henry made dinner for us all. We played a board game and hung out for a little while, and then Charles and I went upstairs to have some private time.

We went through the toy box and I had him pick out some things he wanted to experience. He learned some new things about himself, which was a lot of fun :) I kept things fairly light since we were just taking it for a whirl, but we had a grand time together. Afterwards, he offered me a massage and I gratefully accepted. It was lovely.

We cuddled up in bed afterwards and started to talk a little and then kissed, and we had some pretty amazing sex afterwards. I really wanted him to spend the night and he wanted to stay too but we hadn't discussed it with Henry so we figured we would revisit it another time. It was hard to kiss him goodbye, though!

I still analyze my feelings sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if it's not love because it's less intense when we're not together, or I wonder if our minimal communication in between dates has lessened the impact for me. Or maybe it's just me? He hasn't used the L word either, but then again neither have I officially, beyond telling him I'm falling for him. When we aren't together, I feel less sure about what I feel, but when we are together it feels so right and I feel so relaxed and happy.

Confusing, but I can't see it being a bad thing. I just gotta keep hold of the crazy. This all feels so new still but it's also not THAT new... four months, twice a week for half days each time... we are getting closer. He seems happy with things, and I am too. But I am a champion overthinker, I am!