Dreams

Jan. 13th, 2017 09:59 am
greenstorm: (Default)
I had a very intense schoolweek, I guess it's been the second week of school. My classes are frontloaded into the week, there's mandatory home school stuff to get done in that period, and my intricate monthly schedule trying to see Josh and Tucker both in ways that are most convenient for them came apart, and I was exhausted (and still switching courses, since I didn't get my schedule till the first day of class due to "UBC is just like that").

Last night I made it to yoga. And then... I have every second Friday off. I woke at the normal time, then had breakfast and apparently caught up on some dreaming.

I dreamed I had a young/barely adolescent dingo I'd brought home, and I was trying to keep him in the room with the rabbits but he kept getting into the rabbits' enclosure, though he didn't hurt them, and also I was rooting around in the massive deep freeze trying to find meat scraps for him. I dreamed mom was making massive quantities of green and of purple grape jam from on-sale supermarket grapes (mom wouldn't do this). I dreamed dad (!) brought home a pair of rabbits (!) and put them in with my rabbits, and wouldn't tell me how old they were or whether they were neutered but they were mine now. I dreamed there was a family in the house that was going to an expensive student theatre production their kids were putting on, and they had so much money they just stank of it.

I know where a lot of these come from, and some have left me puzzled (hi dad?! Er).

In more outside-world news, the term-long capstone school project I was looking forward to because it had to do with the real world is... not the real world. They ganked data from a place (close to Josh's house) but our client is, unlike other years, entirely fictional. We will not be doing a field trip to the land, nor working with actual controllers of the land to give them a plan they could use. It is deflating, and changes the task considerably: our land is "private" and run by someone considerably like us who happened to inherit it; I've gotta learn about the rules for forestry on private land pretty quick, but we won't need to negotiate with a First Nation that's got actual human contradictions and needs.

One of the people on my five-person team is a gardener type, lives near Lumby with his fiancee, and they want to do market gardening in greenhouses. That's excellent. My chance of surviving this term with an sort of sense of self intact is suddenly so much higher. A tool I will use when I am about to spiral into awfulness is, "Nick, tell me X about your greenhouses/property" (they are currently rehabilitating a seabuckthorn orchard for the landowner).

I got some dog-snuggling time yesterday at school, and realise it would be really nice to have a dog. Still logistical difficulties, of course, but...

And now that I'm circling around to it: the relationship with Tucker is starting to mature, or rather, the NRE is slowly lapping out like a tide and is leaving... us. So we are starting to want to set our boundaries and enclosures with each other, starting to feel the work it takes to make it go, and basically develop sustainability in the thing. I haven't written about him much; you never got an intro post to him. Someday you will. But, he's very special to me and he's here in town and he's also otherwise partnered and so there are things to be figured out.

Probably the relationship is in the place it is because this will be a very demanding term. It requires a lot of physical presence, a lot of writing, and a lot of getting along with people. It is clearly my priority, unlike last term where I didn't much care. I want to get things done, so I will. But, that leaves limited time and energy for everything else, thus learning to set boundaries rather suddenly in the eddies of NRE and also the complications of a distance relationship.

In great news, I've moved into a connected-but-seperate suite in a house shared by my ?girlfriend and her partner. It's been a great decision, though it puts me half an hour further away from UBC: I sleep better here, I can wander around naked (so, so vital to my wellbeing apparently), I can have loud sex, and there are often snuggles and food upstairs in the livingroom if I'm feeling social. I feel more rested, more at peace with myself, and moe comfortable here.

I guess that's the most of it for now. Time for schoolwork. Be well.
greenstorm: (Default)
I'm good at doing things in my life that I'll like; good at making it into an edifice that suits me, that fits me. In general I'm purposeful about shaping my life to fit myself. I consider knowing what I want and need to be a practice, an ongoing activity that requires increments of time and effort on a regular basis to achieve. I get some pretty good results this way.

People are a little more difficult. My relationship to my relationships with people (apologies) is more complicated than I can easily get a handle on. Maybe it's only difficult because I don't like the answers.

I've been reading a bit of poly stuff lately (seems people have continued writing and evolving ideas on it in the last fifteen or so years) and a bunch of terminology has been helpful: comet, nesting partner, anchor partner, relationship anarchy. No one's used the term kite string, but I can visualise it as a slender anchor that would snap with too much wind. These words have been helping me to think about what I want from relationships, especially romantic or sexual relationships. I haven't really been mindful about them lately.

There is some degree to which I take what I can get. In general I like people, and I like being close or intimate with them in a lot of cases. Any one person is fairly unique, an opportunity I will not get again, and I don't like losing those opportunities. I want to experience people.

There is some degree to which I want more than I can have. I've been in a lot of relationships. Very few were entered with the idea they would end, and yet somehow here we are, with so much water under the bridge. There was something about all those people that was not a good fit, was not right, was not enough to stay together. Sometimes it was only they didn't want to stay with me. Sometimes, I didn't find them a good match. Here's a secret that's maybe not a secret if you've been reading all these years (I know you haven't, but I have): I want someone to stay, to weave through my life for a really long time. Many of my relationships are founded on principles that should lend themselves to some form of permanency, but I think those principles are inherently contradictory; I want someone sturdy and independent enough to survive me, but pliable enough to shape their life around mine; I want someone who grows and changes enough to keep my interest, but who retains a recogniseable self to which I can attach. I want someone who can live with me, share the daily routines of breakfast and bedtime, but I don't want my home or my heart to need to exclude my many loves for someone else's comfort. I think many of these may be impossibly contradictory, even granted that humans can contain multitudes.

There is some degree to which I want less than I get. My life is intensely engrossing and fulfilling. I really like my life, I really like engaging with it, and a relationship where I feel I need to stop my life or put it on hold is frustrating. It's a waste of time when often there are things I'd enjoy more, but frequently as a relationship gets older I feel like time spent is a duty rather than a joy or contribution, and yet I'm committed to it. Truth is, sometimes I'd rather be writing (or brewing, or on the pottery wheel, or dancing, or reading, or staring out the window, or researching houses, or or or).

There is some degree to which I don't trust other people. I have spent a great deal of time and effort shaping this life, and it's easy to steamroll someone else who likes it, and equally easy to be uncomfortable with how little mindful effort some people put into their own lives. I see that one's own user manual is becoming a Thing, now; I've been working on mine for more than a decade and someone who hasn't put that work into their own, who doesn't engage in /both/ introspection and active self-work, just seems like a lot of extra work for me. If you haven't bothered to learn how to make your life work on your own, how can your life work with mine, and why on earth should you think I should bother to put that effort in for you?

There is some degree to which I don't like other people near. This springs from the lack of trust. People are messy creatures, walls and emotions everywhere, and learning to navigate that together is a lot of work and gets in the way of other things I might be doing. More to the point, it often hurts and is disruptive and is made worthwhile when it becomes a shared journey. I don't like someone flailing in and it becoming my job. People are not my job, though partnership might be. People are their own job. I consider myself my own biggest work. If someone does not consider themselves significant work, pretty much all they can do play bull in my china shop.

Well.

No answers here, but there is a little clarity.
greenstorm: (Default)
I started running last week; it became apparent that yoga was going to take some working to make happen (I may have to drive to school for one of my classes on yoga days, to make yoga without completely sacrificing the whole evening, just with the placement of schedules and the general awfulness of buses) and my shoulders were sore and I'd just been generally neglecting my body. Starting to drink soylent in the mornings for breakfast got me past worrying about not having enough calories in the day (eating can be a challenge for me, let alone eating within my time and money budget) and so the next good body step was exercise.

So it has been a week. I'm starting the same couch-to-half-marathon schedule that injured me a couple years ago, but spacing it out a little but more to avoid that same outcome. It was pretty magical, last time, the way following a relatively scientific schedule got my body doing so much so fast, and I'd like to experience that again. I'd also very much like to be in good shape when I start work in May.

I still need to find a way to get yoga in, but in the meantime I'm not doing nothing.

And of course, my sleep is better now, my energy level is up, the swings in mood I was starting to experience have settled a little bit, at least so far. And... I'm feeling things better, as in, my emotional apparatus is working in a more nuanced way, and is more integrated with my thinking bits. Also, food tastes better, etc, all that normal exercise stuff. So I guess school wasn't as far from hitting my depression triggers this year as I thought, I was just maintaining a high mood while losing a bit of functionality.

Good save, self. Keep running now.

Incidentally, my mom completely self-medicates her depression with running. My mom's life is always both an inspiration and a warning to me, in this as in so many other things.

This whole thing is helping a great deal with sorting through my complicated poly/partner/identity/desire situation. My identity seems to be stabilizing somewhere between relationship anarchist and solo poly. I'm finding a middle ground between trusting my misgivings and just plain trusting. It helps to remind myself that I can place my trust in the future, in my ability to navigate the future, rather than in particular outcomes. It still leaves me in a shaky place sometimes, wanting things from people who in turn care about me and therefore don't want to hurt me (but maybe can't give me what I want) but wrestling with the issue is no longer taking up all my spare thoughts.

Without interpersonal demanding all my attention, I'm free to get back in touch with myself, and also with my career. The issue of stewardship is arising. Stewardship is forestry code for thinking in the long term, thinking in the bigger picture, thinking outside the axe and pile of logs that comes to mind with the word forestry (okay, fellerbuncher and processor, but those didn't start attaching to the idea of forestry till I started doing it). Stewardship over the forest is something that arose this summer: I was working with a 'stewardship-focused' person when I found a happy place this summer. Principles of stewardship also apply to friends and community. There's an underlying responsibility, I think, that if I can gently steer the future towards a place I consider to be better, I should do so. With forestry that might mean not cutting certain areas, replanting with a wider species mix than necessary, working in partnership with people who have other interests than I do. With community and relationship that has meant, lately, making safe space for emotions and human tenderness and just generally those things that make us feel a little vulnerable and also connected.

Well. Time's up, so have a lovely day. There will most assuredly be more later. And: this is also more, from later. For instance, my life will once again be mine soon: http://greenstorm.livejournal.com/757766.html
greenstorm: (Default)
I'm settling in here a little. A desk has been cleared for me, home to my sewing machine and my desktop computer. This means my music is accessible again, especially good because I left my cell phone on top of the land cruiser when I was taking lumber off before work and it fell off in the middle of a highway of logging trucks: no more cell phone. I have another on order but it'll be awhile to get here.

Went down to Vancouver to visit James last weekend. It was really good. That's settling into me more comfortably. I feel serious about it, and slightly overwhelmed by the logistics of that plus Josh plus career, but since nothing else is settled at all in my life right now it doesn't feel imminently overwhelming.

Starting to feel angry about Dave again, incidentally. It... feels good? Feels nice to be angry at someone who could be an hour late for a date and didn't care enough about relationship ground rules to notice when he broke them, let alone apologise. Being able to feel angry about it is liberating. I suspect the reason it's taking me so long to get past the anger part and into the 'we weren't good in a relationship' stage is that I haven't devoted any space to the anger yet. Either way, here it is.

The main garden is unrolling across the lawn like a carpet. Greenhouse is built, wired to ventilate at a high enough temperature, and planted. Raspberry bed is made, rose bed is dug and planted and has ornamental patterns of lettuces and tomatoes in it. This week we should plant fruit trees. I'm very happy.

Every day I want to go back to Fort in the summer more. It's difficult for logistics but it feels astonishingly like home. Even though this city lot in Williams Lake is also feeling a little homey and every garden I plant roots me somewhere, the city is not my home.

Revisiting thoughts of kids, but that's another post. Now I go help Josh with some experimental deep-dish pizza done with a really really high hydration dough.
greenstorm: (Default)
It has been a very hard week, and now I'm happy again.

This post would be so different had I written it this morning; I'd thought to do so. This journal has never sought to be a dispassionate recounting of external facts, not even close, and any story I tell here would be told differently a week later, and then different again a year later, or five years. I'm glad to be telling the story now and not earlier.

I haven't been sleeping well, and I have just started bleeding. These are maybe the root of everything, especially the former. Josh hasn't lived with a partner before; I didn't really come up here with the energy or intention of settling into permanent patterns nor really thought about making patterns with him. Our sleep logistics have not worked themselves out well, and I have been spending time on James as well, and work has been running longer than I expected many days. Sleep, food, and time to think to myself are the three things I should never be without. I've been without too much sleep, and it has felt terrible. A little more of it and soon everything would feel like the end of the world.

I had a nap this afternoon, and maybe I can put these things in a way where they are not the end of the world.

Work is the first and biggest thing. The people I worked with last summer, my first forestry job, were first intriguing and then important to me. I'm having a harder time finding my way into this set of people; the summer students are diverse in personality but not so much in age, they are (we are?) very much thrown together without other people's involvement, and although I can get along with everyone ok, more-or-less, I'm having trouble finding my way into really liking or caring about them. You know me, you've been reading what I write for so long, so you know what a strange statement that is for me. I can usually like people I spend time with.

The whole office is a little bit like that, and maybe if I spent a bunch of time with the individuals it would help a bit, but there's this sense of group othering that I'm never very comfortable with. Conversations can centre around "can you believe this group of people did or said this thing?" without seeking to understand the ins and outs of why or how. I don't like those. I miss the folks from last summer. I both hope I find a way to like this place where I am now, and am giving serious thought to going back there next summer even though it is very far away from Vancouver. And from both Josh and James.

I was going to end this post with him, leave you on a beautiful note, and talk about the garden and the rabbits in the middle, but here we are and he's come up in the same way he came into my life in the last little while: abruptly, surprisingly, but at the right time. I've been embracing that.

Here's the story: over a year ago I went to a friend's... birthday party? It was near Dave's apartment, I'd just moved in for a month before moving up to Fort St James, and a handful of us ended up going for drinks and then back to Dave and my place to hang out. The apartment was all boxes halfway between being unpacked and put in storage, it's a wonder we invited people back, but there we were and it was a lovely evening. There was a person I didn't know who ended up back at the apartment with us, no doubt participating in the discussion: eye-catching long tawny-gold hair and compact assurance, quiet but expressive in face and gesture, some combination of elegant movement and solid sensibility, a little well of gravity in the corner of the apartment I spent most of the evening either looking at or looking away from. Honestly I did more of the latter: Dave and I hadn't discussed how we'd handle flirting or dating while we were both living in that one-bedroom apartment or really in small party situations like that, so I kept myself under wraps. The closer you get to a source of gravity, after all, the harder it pulls, and I was leaving the city's orbit.

I went so far as to get him on facebook and that was a month of job-seeking, packing, exams, rough times with Dave, little energy, and then I was out of town. The next year I was mostly absent; away in Fort, and also emotionally absent when I came back to school. The source of gravity was still there, a tiny trickle of awareness across facebook when I looked at it, a little temptation which I had no energy to meet. When my exams were almost done I suddenly came alive again and there he was, as apparently eager for a date as I was, less than a week before I left town. The whole thing moved at... I was going to say 'my speed' but it was remarkably mutual, and so here I am up in Williams Lake living delightedly with Josh and putting in a garden but with, again, a long distance relationship. A joyful, loving, competent-with-the-internet, visiting-soon, who knows what will happen next? long distance relationship.

I am very pleased. I am (when I don't get enough sleep) drowned in poly guilt but sometimes clear-headedly ok. I am putting in work when I can. I am happy. He is wonderful in every way I could want.

So that's James.

Josh and I are putting in the garden still; it's slow and we have less time and energy than expected, but the plastic is going up on the greenhouse today. We haven't had our last frost yet and so many plants get hauled into the garage when the temperature is forecast low; we may finally be able to move just to floating row cover for the tender things until we get the beds in the greenhouse built. We have been enabling each other buying things that grow; lately iris and daylily and roses in addition to the veggies we've started from seed. We have fruit trees to plant. My soul feels good.

Mella has bonded to the baby rabbits, and they don't fight at all. They lie around snuggled all up together sometimes, or groom each other, and when I'm petting Mella, Odin will come up to be petted and Juniper will come up to lick her in the spots my petting has missed. The little ones have un-litter-trained Mella, but that can be dealt with. It's good to have them with me.

Next weekend Josh and I are going camping at Chilko Lake, which is "out west." From Williams Lake everything is "out west," "out east," "down south," or rarely "up north". The coast doesn't really exist in this dry land except as a mythic place. It is sort of its own centre for the surrounding smaller towns; neither Prince George nor Vancouver really has a pull, though Kelowna is perhaps the metropolitan centre it orbits.

It's dinner time now, grilled hamburgers and salad and contemplating the garden-to-be. I'm ok. I will try to sleep more; I will keep switching strategies until I find one that works. I like being happy, and my afternoon nap gave that back to me after a week without.

I can get through this summer.

Talk to you soon.
greenstorm: (Default)
Yes, it's a long time later.

1. What type of non-monogamous relationships do you have?

All my relationships are non-monogamous.

I currently have what I would consider a full partnership where we're very emotionally intimate and we spend a lot of time (3 or 4/7 days per week) together. We are seek each other's advice frequently but not permission, even for big changes like moving across the country. This hasn't been decided to be a permanent relationship; to do that we'd need to sort out the career/long distance/living/children situation and neither of us has been inclined to do that yet.

I also have a wide range of people who fall in the 'close friends and/or I love them and sexual intimacy is not off the table'. In practice this means I cycle into and out of closer contact with them, into and out of sexual relationships, into and out of frequent contact.

In the past I've enjoyed relatively stable arrangements with one domestic(live in) partner and one dating (2-3 days per week) partner but I'm too busy for that right now.

Revised: I currently have a part time/long distance partnership with Dave as described above, that has somewhat de-escalated with distance. The question of it permanence has still not been decided. I have a girlfriend who I've been seeing occasionally for quite awhile who is an important emotional and conversational person in my life. Now I suddenly have another boyfriend who is too new to classify, but at the least promises to be an adventure, conversation, and activity partner.

2. When did you first realize you were non-monogamous?

It's been difficult for me to accept that I'm nonmonogamous. I have been practicing nonmonogamy since I was fifteen or sixteen, but because of internalised biases against it and the difficulty of swimming against that current I have often needed to re-realise that this is an immutable orientation for me. I think I may have finally learned my lesson three or four years ago for good?

3. What have been the best and worst experiences you’ve had coming out as non-monogamous?

The best experience lies in being able to accept and present myself as I am, to feel like I'm authentically interacting with the world. I know this is maybe supposed to be asking about other people's responses to me, but it's my own response to granting myself freedom to speak about who I am and my experiences that really make me happy here.

The worst experiences, without a doubt, are when people tell me I don't really love my partners, when my partners tell me I don't really love them, or when I'm told it's just a phase. My ability to love is pretty deep in my identity and takes up a lot of my time and attention; having all that brushed off or ignored is the worst form of not being seen.

4. How do you feel about your non-monogamy?

This is a dangerous question. I mostly don't feel anything particular about it, I just accept it. Sometimes I find it very frustrating and painful, especially when it is a source of incompatibility in a relationship or when it leads me to feel excluded from casual conversations about my life. In actual practice, when I'm actually experiencing my people, I feel free and secure and comfortable and happy. A lot of the time I think it would be more convenient to be monogamous, it would give me a bigger dating pool and less need to sort quite so many internalised messages out and there would be less scheduling and less social and legal discrimination. The dangerous part is that I'm not monogamous, and when I try to act as though I am there are negative consequences, so thinking about the inconvenience doesn't benefit me.

5. How did your family react to you being non-monogamous?

Very neutrally.

6. What does marriage mean to you?

It's a public, social sanction of strong intention between two people who have identified significant life compatibilities and compatible life goals and are going to try to keep those lined up together "forever". I know other people use it for other things. Marriage being limited to single couples, I feel a little wary of it.

7. What do you think about hierarchical non-monogamy?

As generally practiced it may be too rigid for my tastes, maybe? Because all my people feel so different, it's hard and kinda gross to set up categories like that. I tend to prefer to have a fairly clear sense of my priorities in different areas with different folks. I can easily get behind being with one partner who is prioritized in many ways, but... I dunno. It's a pretty broad concept. Super happy for other folk to practice this way.

8. What’s a favorite picture you associate with non-monogamy?

I'm not particularly visual.

9. What’s your view on group sex?

I'm not sure what aspect of group sex this is supposed to address. Interpersonal logistics on group sex can be complicated; I've had some that was lovely and some that felt uncomfy and coerced. Easiest for me is pre-existing groups/couples having sex in parallel in the same space.

Needless to say, it should never be coerced. Not entirely sure what it has to do directly with poly, either. :P

10. What involvement have you had with non-monogamy groups or organizations?

Vanpoly and livejournal poly and dot poly snark community involvement for many years when I was starting. None now. I don't seem to enjoy poly communities much, preferring to figure my relationships out within themselves and find a different reason to socialize with folks, like maybe common interests.

11. What’s the stupidest argument or comment you’ve heard about non-monogamy?

Many folks don't have much knowledge about it. Usually I'm being asked questions, not told things. The undercurrent that I can't possibly love my partners makes me incredibly angry though.

12. What’s your favorite blog or site related to non-monogamy?

I more-or-less stopped reading poly sites several years ago. When I started I went to VanPoly, read a mailing list, was on the livejournal poly community and the lj poly snark community.

This journal, chronicling as it does most of my poly stuff, is probably my favourite resource for myself: I can se what mistakes I've made before, how they felt at the time, and make decisions with that data.

I haven't found books on poly to be super helpful. I think anything that helps with empathy and good communication in general would be excellent as a resource though.

13. What would you like to say to people?

Get over it. It really has nothing to do with you.It's just something I'm doing over here in my own time, with my own energy. I'm cool answering your questions if you ask them, I don't mind at all, and in return I'd love if you would stop interpreting my personal behaviour in the light of whether it would fit you or based on the assumptions in your own relationship(s).

I still make hard decisions. In your relationship you make hard decisions. There's no real difference at the heart of it. I'm not some free-spirit person who doesn't live by the rules of consequence. I get consequences. And I probably don't want to have sex with you, it takes someone very particular and special to get me engaged.

14. What do you want to end this series of questions on?

A sense of having created a coherent picture of my relationship style, but I don't think that will occur. Maybe a sense of understanding from others.

15. How do you feel about jealousy?

It's a great indicator emotion. It's unpleasant, like all the indicator emotions, so it calls attention to something. That something, for me, is usually needing more time/attention from a partner, or a different kind of time/attention. If it's ongoing it feels terrible and I can't imagine enjoying a relationship that was primarily or largely driven by huge ongoing jealousy issues. That needs some talking out.

16. How do you feel about compersion?

Compersion is pretty great. It took me years to develop a really good sense of it, but I definitely enjoy seeing my partners happy. It requires a certain lens or effort to achieve sometimes, but gets easier with practice.

17. How do you experience love?

This question has, maybe, this whole journal as an answer and then some.

18. Do you think non-monogamy is more natural than monogamy?

The word natural gets such a big side-eye from me. Too many weird assumptions. I think people often will see and like shiny new folks. What they do with that will vary. Um. Social structures around types of sexual and familial relationships will also vary, as will individuals' desires and actions in and out of those structures.

19. Are you currently looking for any more relationships?
No, my dance card is pretty full. Now that I've met another very interesting person I don't think I'll even have time for additional weekend flings even though I'm long distance.

20. What would your ideal relationships be?

I'll have to come back to this. Big answer.

21. Do you want to live with one or more of your partners?

Yes, I love domestic reationships with someone who fits me well. Where we'd live is a big question for me now.

22. How do your desires about having children fit with your non-monogamy?

I don't think this changes them substantially. Some partners would want to be involved with children, some would not, and a flexible relationship structure enables people to settle where they're comfortable in that regard.

23. Are you out about being non-monogamous?

At home, yes. I wasn't going to come out much up here in this small town, but now that I have two actively visiting partners I certainly will. This process started today and will be... interesting.

24. What’s your favorite book about non-monogamy?

Nope.

25. How do you feel about the portrayal of non-monogamy in the media?

Damaging. Gross. Took me/is taking me decades to resolve all the awful messaging baked into everything. I do not only really love my partners if I sacrifice everything for them. I really love my partners by knowing what I can offer, knowing my limitations and capabilities, and being honest about that. I still hear the little voice saying "if you really loved me you'd give up everyone else for me" though.

That voice is wrong.

My relationships are also just as weird and wonderful as anyone else's, with as much chance of failure. Unfairness to a partner comes from not taking their needs into account, not from the act of taking other lovers on its own.

26. What’s been the most rewarding thing about non-monogamy?

The amazing people in my life. Having the freedom to explore connections with folks without having to stuff them into boxes where they don't belong.

27. What’s been the most challenging thing about non-monogamy?

Knowing myself, my needs, and what I can offer with such certainty that it can't be shaken by externals.

28. What do you think is important for a successful non-monogamous relationship?

Self-knowledge. Communication. Love. Empathy. Time and energy.
greenstorm: (Default)
Oh livejournal, I only come to you when I can't find peace. I've been so quiet, that's been a good sign? I've been busy and it's been mostly good if a little overwhelming. But now...

I'm mourning the death of my normality today. Some things have happened. I need to tell you about them.

I read an article about the game Cards Against Humanity this morning. I learned someone I knew relatively distantly, but who'd knit a scarf I own and smiled a lot, died very recently. And my boyfriend doesn't want me to tell his family I'm poly or to go to pride with them (they're in town from the maritimes).

After I reposted that article someone said, 'me too'. And the only thing I'd heard said about it before? 'No one could feel that way'. Well, I feel that way. When you think something that I am or could be is innately hilarious and laugh about it when I'm in the room you hurt me and you lose my trust. Likewise, when you're ashamed of something that I am, when you're hiding it from people, not for my protection or on my say-so but because you don't want to be tarred with the same brush? You hurt me and you lose my trust. That's not a negotiable sentiment. That's the feeling of it.

I feel like I'll never be in a room where people aren't rejecting something that is me with half of their thoughts. I feel (as always, I suppose) that people love the abstraction of how forthright and open and honest I am about myself but don't want the consequences of being that way themselves and want me to hide myself just for them. I feel like I'm inconvenient to everyone except when I'm a symbol or entertainment. I feel like I can't trust very many people to be ok with my being who I am.

Thing is, I'm too invested in being myself at this point to stop. Thing is, you can't love me without loving those other parts of me; I don't know what you're loving then, but it is not me. I'm at a loss for how you could *like* me without being somewhat in line.

The song I'm listening to says 'what if I was made that way?'. I am made this way. I made myself this way if nothing else.

And I'm tired of it, but I can't put who I am away. I can't put it away and I don't want to, because I can trust myself to stand up for myself when I need, to protect myself when I need, and clearly I cannot trust other folks to do that for me. So this is what I get, tired but one foot in front of the other. Forever.

I've spent parts of my life wishing things were "worse" so I could feel like my emotions were legitimate. Dad was horrifyingly emotionally abusive: he ignored me, he said terrible things, he denied my feelings in all cases. I spent years wishing he'd hit me so my feelings that he was doing something wrong would be justified. Poly, sex, gender, orientation, nudism: I'm invisibled, the butt of the joke that friends laugh at, not mentioned, not on the list of choices given me, nothing that's done is a big deal. So I wish sometimes that people would say something truly awful, hit me, attack me so that it would be justified. Because being denied as a human, because not being included, because recieving defensiveness rather than empathy doesn't seem bad enough to justify my feelings.

Except it is. I feel these things, so it is.

And today I'm tired, but I can do nothing about it but go spend a couple days on the ocean with my mom who at the least does not do these things to me, who believes I'm worthy of love as I am, and hope she stays around for a very long time.
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I've been doing a crazy amount of learning lately, and I've been surging forward full speed on a bunch of decisions. Let's see if I can get some of it down.

Sunshine + exercise + food == happy Greenie. This is no news to me or anyone. However, I'd been depending on work for the exercise and sunlight, and work right now is a source of stress and not a source of any of those other things. I had been (have been) having a rough winter; I've got a lot of changes going on, much of the outcomes outside my experience or control, and I can't afford to let this stuff slide. So, I've let my competitive instinct kick in and started doing hot yoga like Dave, just... more often. Every single day I do it I feel better for hours afterwards. I am keeping an eye on overtraining issues and not doing absolutely every single say, but it's good so far. It levels my head so well and is conveniently close. I may keep this up even after I start bike commuting.

Sunshine was really forthcoming this fall until sometime in December, which is when I started to nosedive. Exercise can compensate to some degree for light, especially since I'm being kept too busy at work to get out into the light during the week. Ugh.

I'm getting real good at eating enough, and at asking for help when I'm having trouble. It helps that my neighbour is always up for eating together and I can use her presence to put myself into a better place for food. This all gets difficult when I'm financially stressed, though the meat box and farm stuff really helps.

Sex is a problem in a bunch of different ways. I thought I had this figured out; I thought that by taking back my bodily autonomy so I didn't have to ask folks permission before making choices around sex I would fix everything. Instead I only began a learning curve totally different from the one I've been on most of my life. How do I decide who to have sex with and when? How do I deal with humans when I decide to have or not to have sex with them in general? Per instance? How do I deal with the fact that in people's eyes when I don't have a primary partner I am always on some level available no matter how much I protest to the contrary? How do I let people know the ways in which I am more available than suspected, and how less? How do I deal with not having enough sex, or with feeling subtle coercion around sex? How do I deal with sex that I want beforehand but don't want in the moment? How do I calibrate desire vs complexity and work? How much do I like emotions involved in sex and what kind of sex do I like, anyhow?

I imagine you folks who weren't in serious relationships most of your life are laughing at me about now.

I'm learning that I probably want to have sex with fewer people less often than I thought I did, because the complexities that come with it are just not worth it. I'm also learning how sexual compatibility and emotional intimacy work together for me, and how they don't always go together regardless of how much I might want them to. I think I'm learning that when something works, I should let it work, and when I need to push and work hard on something, I should probably drop the sexual aspect of it.

I don't know that my original interpretation of solo poly will end up being what I choose, after all. Especially with the time and energy I'm putting elsewhere, it may just not be worth it.

Romantic relationships aren't enough. In fact, even non-romantic relationships aren't enough. I've made huge strides lately in learning to have friends, people with whom I'm close in non-romantic, non-partnery long-term and very intimate ways. That enriches my life immensely. I've been treating my home, careful selection and upkeep of my house, with as much attention as I have in the past given major relationships. I really enjoy the result. I have decided to add my career to the mix of important stuff to give that much time and attention to.

This has resulted in my making some information-gathering dates with folks at my old school, formulating a career path, and now doing some more information-gathering from folks in the field I want to head into and (this is scary) applying to, not a technical college, but a formal huge sprawling university-temple of academia. I'm formulating a support team (emotional, physical, logistical, motivational) which I can do really well based on my previous experience with working through my diploma. I actually feel pretty confident about this path of mine, though it's me against huge and arbitrary machines within machines, which is never easy for me to deal with.

I may not be in Vancouver forever. I may stay in the Valley forever or I may not, but a million tiny roots are shaking themselves and working their way loose. I had never thought to leave, before, but in a couple of years I will be able to if I so choose.
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Well.

Super rough couple days.

Here I am, awake on time. That helps. I got a ton of snuggles and a massage last night. That helps. I had time with no demands on it, where I didn't have to be hurrying somewhere or doing something. That did the trick best of all. Now I feel tired, but clearheaded and less overwhelmed.

Those hard times point out where the problems are, but I cannot possibly solve anything from within them. All I can do is hold myself with as much compassion as I can manage, love myself with as much mindfulness as I can scrape together, and wait it out.

I fell down on the last one. I was busy seeking external support and also busy Doing Things. It let me get way off balance.

Now that I'm back near centre, though: what do I want? What can I put up with? Who do I want to be, and for whom? How many faces am I comfortable wearing? How many closets am I okay lurking in, and to what end?

And here are some answers:

I want people who love who I am, and who I love as they are in return. People are not projects for me, except for myself, and I have no desire to be someone else's project. I am neither a fixer-upper nor a display piece nor a garment that needs just a little alteration to be perfect. I may choose to make some changes on myself for someone but that shouldn't be necessary or expected.

I can put up with a lot, and I will, but it makes me unhappy and I don't want to be unhappy in service of loyalty or longevity in interpersonal relationships right now. So my actual tolerance for putting up with uncomfortable things is pretty small except that it's so easy for me to accomodate folks that I often don't notice I'm doing it. Then I get increasingly constrained and unhappy and I don't know why. This is why I'm so happy my anger exists: it's great at showing me where I am putting up with things when I didn't know that's what I was doing. It's important for me to self-check when I feel uneasy and figure out I'm doing this. I don't want to put up with constant friction, with frequent backbends and contortions, with repeated amounts of unexpected relationship work. If I feel like I am not the driver of this work it's much more comfortable for me; I'm better with putting in work when someone else is meeting me halfway or more.

I want to be pretty much myself, who I am now, with a bit more focus on work and a bit clearer social mandate. It's important enough for me to have my close folks around me that I'm going to start my family dinner potlucks up every two weeks again when I am back living in town. I'm happy to put in that work to be a person surrounded by friends of my choice: the people I love most, who aren't necessarily selected in the same way by other social hubs (not that there's much of a social hub right now). It's important for me to sink energy and time into getting and maintaining a job I actually enjoy, one that's good for me. This will necessitate less general social energy since that's where a lot of my effort is bleeding off right now. I will try countering this with those structured social events.

Shifting faces for different people really holds no interest for me. Because it's instinctive in me to try and make people comfortable, to give them what I think they want, I've been exaggerating or suppressing parts of myself. I just don't get good value out of that sort of thing: hiding my self and what I want away to make folks happy just assures that I'm surrounded by folks who aren't happy with who I actually am. That's a bad scene: I start feeling bad about myself, the other person feels bad when bits of me peek out, no one is happy. It's better to part ways than to force the issue. There will always be a certain amount of presenting some parts of myself to some folks and others to others but I can't justify tweaking those faces much in one direction or another.

Of course that bleeds into the idea of being closeted. In order to have a venue where I can be closeted I need to meet new folks, since I'm pretty out to everyone who reads my facebook or my blog or who speaks to me about partners in any capacity or, or, or. What's been happening for me lately is that I've been encouraged to suppress some of my stuff, not for a new person in particular, but for his housemates and workmates and all that business. I find that very uncomfortable and it starts to make me ashamed about my stuff. That shame can only go so far because I know with such certainty this is what I need right now and there's nothing wrong with it, but I feel neutered, suppressed, muffled. My people are really important to me, both poly/sexy partners and close friends, and the shape of each of our relationships is fascinating and dear to me. Knowing I need to cut those things out of how I present makes me uneasy even if it requires no overt change of action on my part because it never comes up. So, I'm not into closeting myself except for brief, not-really-repeatable stints.

So there.
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I can tell I'm back to my own life in part because nothing goddamn stays the same for any length of time. And you know what? I'm good with that. I wear it much better than I wore the socially-expected stasis that was supposed to be easier on me, that is for sure.

So, Greenie, what's up, you ask? The answer is, everything. I realize that's not helpful, so:

I've discovered and enforced some boundaries around dating. I'm pretty proud of this one; I have spent so much time giving folks the benefit of the doubt, pushing through discomfort, feeling like I owe it to folks not to break up with them for silly/superficial/unacceptable reasons. Well, just at the moment I'm on top of this one. I'm exploring that same territory in sex, and I guess it carries over some into interpersonal. So, yay.

In fact, I think it may also carry over into work a little: the boundaries, not the sex, of course. Instead of pulling miracles invisible to everyone else out of my ass, I'm being a little more vocal about burnout, a little more vocal about how much work something will be, and have successfully got "thinking time" added to the paid part of my job description. This does lead me to hang out in the "maybe my job isn't so bad after all and I can keep it" zone a little more, which is a problem, but it's a step in a good direction.

And, hand-in-hand with being more open about things I don't want, I'm practicing being more open about things I *do* want. I still suck at this in a bunch of ways, but man does practice make it easier. Everytime I suggest something and no one freaks out or drops dead, it gets a little easier with that person. I'm afraid my general principles still believe that I'm either inconvenient or running the show, without a middle ground for negotiation, but on a per-person basis the back of my brain is becoming more reasonable.

I continue to dread the moving process. Right now there's not much out there that looks good, but hopefully things will move by spring. I'm thinking right now that I'll get a box (a la Ahhhsoeasy/pods/bigsteelbox/mobileministorage) dropped out here and fill it up with my stuff for Feb 1, then the box can either be transported to my new place or stored so there's not as much pressure on my house-hunt. I am sort of tired of this moving business and I don't want to settle half-assedly into a place I don't love.

My mourning process is still engaging in weird fits and starts, usually in public in restaurants or on transit. I've started wondering whether I should build "riding transit around for several hours" into my life to get through some of that stuff. You'll know when I'm engaging, of course, because there'll be a ton of lyrical, angsty, lovely posts here. Or... maybe this occasionally nagging sadness won't spill over into that kind of thing. I really cannot find it in me to regret, right now. I am just so, so done with pretzeling myself around other folks' issues. I mean, everyone has issues, but they need to have their issues some other goddamn place than their relationship with me, and come back when things are sorted.

I've slowed down on the brewing because I have too many competing ideas stuck in my head, which is cool with me. I am going to see if I can get some apple juice from the valley in the next week or two for 1) a second batch of graff and 2) the juniper-apple-(rowanberry?) wine. Apparently the Vancouver brewer's group found a place in Abbotsford that presses the stuff and will fill a carboy for something like 1.60/L. That's way cheaper than anything bottled I can find and has the benefit of being fresh and excitingly unpredictable. Everything I have smells amazing right now.

Intermittently cooking, pretty much avoiding gardening, looking forward to climbing, not biking as much as I'd like... I seem to have room for another filler-type hobby right now, something to think lots about but that doesn't take a lot of dedicated time. I don't think I'll end up geeking out about knitting so much, so I've no idea what will fill that space. Maybe pottery?

Well, there we have it, things ticking along pretty well. Be well yourself, guys.

Endo/Exo

Sep. 29th, 2013 02:03 pm
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Well.

Mom's moving, and I got some stuff from the old boat that won't fit in the new boat to take home. Among them are things I'd thought were lost from childhood; grandma's stand mixer, a chair, odds and ends. I also got a rug for the front of the fireplace, and some rugs for the rabbit run and for by the door or something, and a coffee grinder for spices. A bathroom cabinet my brother made in grade 10. Homey things. Then I went to the hardware store to get hooks for my pretty skirts to put them on the wall (I was asked what art I had on my walls the other day, where the answer is really 'between books and hangings and windows, what walls?') and some snips to break down the rat cage that now the lady who was going to buy it does not want. I was so looking forward to having it out of my hair, too.

I was gone for two overnights; I left lateish Friday night, returned early Sunday morning. It was too long to be away; I'm learning these things now, through trial and error. Taoshi was angry at me, she'd jumped the 3-food enclosure right before I got home (no cords damaged) and rattled the bars for hours after I got here. I laid down my carpet and ate, but have yet to start any of my projects. I'd quite like to

o clear off and move the coffee table so I can get the soft chair from Kelsey
o clean the corner by the deep freeze and throw out basically everything
o hang the oak shelves
o hang the new bathroom cabinet
o disassemble the giant Martins' cage
o wash the kitchen and near-kitchen livingroom walls
o wash the bathroom walls
o polish the bathroom light fixture and arrange the light bulbs in it

It's not a terrible amount of work to do, but I'm disinclined to do it just now. Instead I'm listening to Loscil's Plume and watching the trees dance in the wind and toasting myself at the fireplace.

I spent both nights and the intervening day with crushy architect okcupid boy (let's just call him Dave) brewing beer and cooking roast chicken and sourdough biscuits and fucking in his pretty awesome but sometimes overwhelming communal home. Two nights in a row, which a whole day between, is a LOT of time to spend with someone. It was too much for both of us, I think, which is definitely for the best. I don't really have that kind of time to give up out of my life.

I'm given to wonder, though-- what is it that made it so sticky for me, so hard to just leave the final evening before bed? It felt so very good to get home, feels so good to be in my house, and although I like him very much I wasn't feeling that body-longing to be close to him the second night, you know where it feels your soul is tearing itself in two to leave? Is it just habit? Is it the fear of losing the thing forever when I walk out the door, because although he enjoys my company he clearly does not need or love me and I don't trust liking to be enough? I need to watch that. I need to practice leaving, often, so I can teach myself that people are there when I return.

Though of course, he's a mono boy in-between big things, so one day he won't be there when I return.

His household was a very special kind of beautiful, too. One of his housemates was a father with a seven-year-old, one of the sweeter men I've ever met. Sitting in the breakfast nook listening to the two of them talk out in the kitchen in the morning was... I felt like a shrivelled winter plant with the first rays of spring sunshine on me. I absolutely have no words.

Turn a hundred eighty degrees and there's Graydon, opposite in every way to Dave: loving, reassuring, unconfident, living in a spare tidy nest in the sky and so isolated he might as well be a star. Recently he's uprooted from his well of pain and given himself permission to connect, and in responding to that I've found a love of play that is surprising and exhilarating. He's so private that I find myself closing up around him just through mirrored behaviour. These words here don't come easy.

So many things are new and dangerous. I'm playing with all kinds of fire at once. This is a very good set of fires.

Another hundred and eighty degrees (because how many aspects of a human are there, after all?) and there's Andrew like a small sun, constant, open, communicative, loving-- not a romantic relationship at all but kindred, family, reliable. And, yes, there's sex; he takes care of me, and loves it. I feel like, for the first time, I can participate in this incredibly unconventional exchange without guilt or hesitancy. Autonomy is pretty great.

So I guess that's a rundown of, maybe, the three anchors in my dating constellation right now. There are other people but I am holding back on all those, nervous of some things, avoidant of others. They are not where my energy runs. My friend constellation is huger and looser -- there's no one way to define a friend, so I'm so excited about seeing Trevor (it's been so many years) soon, and happy and content to know that Kynnin cares for me in the background, or that I can gossip with Sofia or hash stuff out with Kelsey and/or...

I'm running out of steam here and accomplishing very little household stuff, so I'll leave you with this semi-incoherent mishmash and go do something else, productive or no.

Be well.

Not A Week

Sep. 13th, 2013 08:33 am
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I haven't been eating enough; I'm shrinking physically, my breasts hollowing a little bit to what I consider their normal size, my belt suddenly another notch too small. I hadn't been eating well; broke and not wanting to go home to where all my food was, that's how it fell out.

Payday happened yesterday, and a counselor's appointment (free through work benefits, my boss doesn't even know) with someone I really hit it off with and now I feel super encouraged about counseling in general. I'm hopeful that I might not have to figure out my hard stuff totally all on my own, with no way of differentiating good from bad resources. The dude actually laughed when I said funny things, or winced when I said painful ones, and answered thoughtfully when I looked him in the eye and said, "do you honestly think..."

Then the rest of my tattoo got lined on. I had thought I'd feel a little sad to look in the mirror and know I'd never see my body free of those lines again, maybe a bit wistful for it sometimes. Right now, I look at myself in the mirror and feel complete. When my shirt rides up by my waist, my body reminds me "a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew". When I wear short shorts, or a short skirt, it tells the world "and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God".

How can that not make you feel complete?

I have been reconnecting with so many friends. So many! Crushy architect okcupid boy is keeping himself pretty busy, which is good; I'm not resealing myself to one person. I am migrating back to my dear friends, to my heart, to my web; I feel so loved and people are so gentle to me and so caring. I feel lonely and weird pretty frequently, but I can more or less always text someone if I don't want to sit with that feeling and they will respond.

And some people (like you reading folks who responded) just spontaneously be nice to me. Seriously, guys, it's like being wrapped in the strongest cocoon ever.

So I know this is the crest of a wave. I haven't been sleeping well; date with okc boy followed by a night in the livingroom (Blake didn't want to sleep beside someone who was tainted by the touch of someone else, I suppose) and then another last night. This morning he came out of the bedroom and said I could sleep in the bed with him if I wanted. I do want, but it wasn't the time or place for me to have a discussion about how I had every intention of being an icky dirty slutty slut slut and having sex or sex-like encounters with my friends on and off as I felt like it, and did he want me to disclose that before I took him up on the offer?

My sex drive has apparently woken up. Not surprising, I guess, that it wandered off after being poked by a painful stick whenever it stepped out of line (and honestly, mine is always out of line). Gonna be a challenge to keep it pointed in productive, non-harmful directions. I've gotta remember my pretty fantastic options for lovers are mostly available to me now and not automatically cross them off the list because it's too much hassle to come home to a sad house after.

Um, but I did eat well yesterday, and the plan is to find somewhere better to sleep than my livingroom tonight (Taoshi the rabbit has learned that if she rattles her cage beside my head I will get up to feed her to shut her up, which causes her to rattle the cage more, unless that was Mella doing that). I'm having food with people tonight, so another full meal, and hopefully my stomach will expand to a reasonable size again. I told my counselor that food and sleep were my priorities this week, and he agreed that pretty much made sense (totally by his facial expressions, not some weird formal counselor-language. I seriously love this guy).

And apparently I'm kind of back to journalling. It's pretty damn good right now. You'll no doubt hear when it's not.
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Blake and I broke up on Friday night. He was drunk enough that I felt I had to check in the morning to make sure he remembered. It had been coming for awhile, obviously, but I was hoping it would be a transition rather than a breakup. It still may be. I'm afraid that the timing might break that, or at least delay it. He's been really hurt by my poly-ness, and I'm not feeling like keeping it really under wraps for the rest of the month, till he moves out. I'm not talking about bringing anyone home to the house or anything, but...

...last night was my first overnight date in maybe a year or more? Out of the house for the night, not worried about or checking in with anyone (well, worried about Blake, but I can't imagine contacting him while I'm away would help anything). Also my first new sex partner in over two years. It was fun, and strange, much like you'd expect an unusual experience to be. I'd forgotten how much opacity there is in newness. I'd forgotten what it was like to touch someone as a surface, as I'm still learning to read them, before the skin is merely as close as you can come to the familiar light within. But that's not why I'm here.

I'm here because I'm thinking hard about what happened. I'm here because I don't want to forget, but remembering is so heavy.

He said some things, Friday night, that were terrible. He was in a lot of mental pain, and drunk, and he chose to say terrible things to me. He knew, because we were intimate because I had confided in him, what would hurt me, so he said it. I think at the time he believed it, and it sounded a lot like what my crazybrain tells me in the middle of a bad episode. You don't need to know what he said.

But that moment was the culmination of a very long time of his feeling awful about my doing poly, but assuring me that he wanted me to stay in the relationship and would become ok with it eventually, and of my believing him and still staying with him. I tried reducing my frequency of dates (one every three months!) in the hopes that it would take some pressure off, but it didn't. He could have admitted it sucked for him and left at any time, and I thought hey, as an adult he has a right to decide what amount of discomfort he wants to stay through, and when he will leave. But here's the thing.

He was not enthusiastically consenting to my being poly. And seen in that light, with consent seen not as mouthing of words but as a consistent set of supportive actions and behaviours, he was not consenting. And I was accepting the one in exchange for the other because... well, for reasons that I no longer will, I think. I have been there before, I don't want to be there again. And again. And again. But also I don't want to be there again because I'm tired of hurting people by being with them, just by existing as myself.

I have a network of people who love me enough to ask about my other people sometimes, to be happy for me when I'm happy with them. That's a network of friends/lovers that proves I can still include sex in an intimate dynamic without totally alienating people, even if the relationships are cyclic or rarefied or erratic. I can hold onto those people, lovers and friends, and know that what I want is coming from them, so it's not impossible to find in other people. I don't need to settle for grudging consent.

And by all the gods, I need to remember that.
greenstorm: (Default)
Unique access to my cunt does not make you a special snowflake. You do that yourself
I am larger when shared
I disappear into screaming resentment when hoarded
You don't share me or have me. Only I do that
There will always be moments I like other people more than you
There will be lots of time I don't think about you during most days
I will always love plants more; they're more patient than you
Being with me will not fulfill your escapist fantasies
Just because it's different doesn't make it better than what you're used to
Nudity is not sexy
A good conversation is second only to a good orgasm denial story for turning me on
I cannot be reductionist about bodies
I am a very tiny raindrop in a very big ocean. So are you. Get some perspective
I don't have to like you. I don't have to talk to you
Love exists as much as any other idea, like money or weather or indoorsness
I do good things as much for my own conscience as for the joy of doing them. Not out of the belief it will "fix" things
I'm as much a hypocrite as anyone, and that's ok
I dislike unexamined hypocrisy
Sex is a process between people, not a thing. When I am sex to you, I am nothing
Get over yourself
Then present yourself unashamed but humble; we are our own biggest lifeworks
Everyone has limited XP, and they put it in their own places
greenstorm: (Default)
I could never write when you were around.

Now you're gone I don't want to write a eulogy.

So I won't.

I haven't lived this long without learning that it's what I do that happens. If I get up in the morning, I'm the kind of person that gets up in the morning. If I bite back my tears my skin turns to rock.

Still, you've stolen my words for so long. I'm sitting in our shell, my home has always been my outer skin to invite people in to but you curled up like a parasite at my invitation and then started hardening the walls.

Sweetheart, I don't have walls. I have a skin. You know what comes through skin? Sweat when I am afraid, perfume when I am happy, and needles when you throw them at me. Long ago I decided my skin was not there to keep people out. Instead I awkwardly began to use my surface for touching, for welcoming, for the intimate rhythms of reassurance and communication and in doing that I opened myself.

Now my skin is as permeable as the surface of water: it's better to call it cohesion than constraint. By opening, over and over, I called this self into being until I had enough gravity to hold myself together.

I need to tell you that this decision is not hysteria. This is all me, together, agreeing with my own gravity.

I need to tell you that when you throw your needles, trying to puncture my skin and let yourself in, what they are hitting is not alterable surface but bedrock.

My love, you are already in. Your self is already in. I just don't understand what you're doing in here.

It looks to me like your only goal is to remake me in some image. Whose, or what image, I have never managed to guess. I have asked you to tell me.

I wish I could tell you a secret here. Tell you that I have so many images I still want to share with you, tell you that I want you embedded so deeply in my future that maybe we sometimes forget where one skin lets up and the next one begins. But I've already told you that secret, dear one, and all the other secrets I know.

What you do with them, that's what happens next.
greenstorm: (Default)
In the transition from new relationship to more-permanent relationship, there's the Poly Thing.

It's sometimes easier or sometimes harder to negotiate, but either way it's been a long time since I did so.

This instance, in my relationship with Blake, seems to be particularly difficult given the last couple of go rounds. He's smart, he's an arguer and a kick-back-er, he's not nice when he's hurt, and it hasn't taken long for all the skills I learned with Angus and Michael, where I watched my mouth and was gentle, to slide.

I don't like this. I don't like to be mean while I'm doing it, I don't like the feeling I get afterwards. I'm not a wounded animal in the corner of my life anymore; I'm a person who makes choices to share myself in various ways with other people, I'm pretty awesome, and I'm good at enjoying life in a whole variety of circumstances.

[livejournal.com profile] saxifrage00 reminded me last night that it helps to be very clear exactly what my position is during these discussions; I can't be clear to anyone else if I'm not clear in my own mind.

In the midst of the noise and pain of Blake's distress, I've been reacting rather than acting; I haven't been able to step back and look clearly at what I want, agree to shared goals, and figure out how to get there. Instead I've had more of the 'ohgodpleasestopallthishurting' reaction which ends up with nothing good or long-term-helpful happening, and myself making bad decisions.

I've taken some time to myself after work today, despite the 'are you punishing me?' questions, to sort my mind out some. I feel clearer than I have in a long time. My relationships tend to happen to me, and this one really has done that, with the result that I really don't know what we both actually want out of it, what he thinks a good long term relationship actually looks like, or any of that jazz. I've been busy with school, I've been caught up in the beginning-feeling, it's all good.

Now I have the opportunity to start the process of making this into a real relationship, of figuring out shared goals and plans and desires, and of co-creating a vision for the future that we can work towards. This is what will make an us-together rather than two very separate very strong-willed stubborn people.

There will be obstacles. I've been here before, though, and this is a strength I'm bringing to the discussion.

Wish me luck, please.
greenstorm: (Default)

Truths:

I like sex
I deserve to be cared for by myself and others
I am capable of being good to myself
I love people
I like making people happy
I am easily upset by the unhappiness of someone I love
I approve of relationship reciprocity but not necessarily symmetry
I feel a sense of obligation easily
I'd rather do something extra to add happiness than do something less to remove unhappiness
I venerate and approve of joy
When I am happy I like to share
When I am unhappy I like to close up and heal internally
I respect self-knowledge and the search for such
It's easy to think I want things based on what people around me want from me
I'm stubborn
I examine my thoughts and admit wrongness in myself or in my fit to a situation only when I don't feel pressured
Immediacy is the enemy of correctness
My gut instincts and emotions are important considerations
I respond more openly to questions than statements
I jealously guard my sense of self-agency
I am a romantic
I am an optimist over the long term and a cynic over short term
I distrust compartmentalization
I find it hard to be good to myself when I am not being perfect
I like and want to be loved
I enjoy people
I prefer intimate interactions of many stripes



























Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

greenstorm: (Default)
...is not the complication, the emotional wear-and-tear, the smaller dating pool and the constant need for awareness and fiddling and upkeep.

The problem with poly is that, the more people in my life, the more I love those I have. And more love for people isn't what I need.

I had been sliding into a grey numbness around romantic feelings, and perhaps I'm still somewhat there, but sometimes the curtains stir and I don't like it.
greenstorm: (Default)
First, the ambiance. As always, put it on and listen but forget the video:


Second, the post:

Look at this! Two posts in a row. I'm not sure how long I'll hold out for, my right wrist is tweaking a bit (did I mention yesterday I did six hours of hedging with a heavy vibrating powertool and I tend to take most of the weight on my right wrist, being right-handed?) but here I am with the luxury of time, a glass of boyfriend-squeezed vanilla lemonade (one step up from "fresh lemonade" I can tell you!), an internet keyboard device, and a bit of a nap under my belt.

There are a couple things I had been intending to write about which my nap toned down a little-- also some paper journalling and first dinner with a friend of mine who let me talk away about it helped me to get most of my thoughts in order. Basically (no seriously, don't laugh!) I seem to be back in the real poly pool, and I'm having some feelings about that, namely, stark terror and nauseating guilt. I am only being a tiny bit tongue-in-cheek here. It was my original intent to go on at greater length about these feelings, and to justify them a bit, and to contrast them with how I feel about monogamy and 'sorta open' relationships. Then I could go on and discuss primary relationships vs anything else, and how that's been for me, and how all poly has been for me, etc. However-- I have done a lot of this before, here in this journal, and I'm not really feeling it. Suffice it to say that there's some internal conflict there, and move on.

I am thinking very seriously about throwing my livejournal a tenth anniversary party when I get to that point. I'm not sure what that looks like-- if it looks like a day of blogging, if it looks like me having a party centered around word-games and writing, if it looks like... well, anything. It's just sorta exciting to me to think about that happening. Ten years of written personal history means a lot to me. It's the way I remember, and so it means my memory extends back a whole decade.

Earlier I also intended to write about love. I was feeling particularly lyrical; love is a lot of things to me, and there's a lot of it in my life right now. That deserves recognition and tribute above all other things. It also deserves description, it deserves to be committed to this written memory, it deserves that I give it my best behaviour and every ounce of strength I have in me. It is an occasion to be risen to. None of that is anything new, but that doesn't make it unremarkable.

What is this, a piece of writing about things I'm not writing about? I guess so. I'm not very deep in my head right now; that nap after so many consecutive days of so little sleep left me stuck in my body like a heavy warm blanket. I can't crawl up into my head easily. This is not necessarily bad.

What I really should write about is my relationship to food of late. Food is one of my hedonistic vices, like sex, napping, sunshine, blankets, language, snuggling; well, name anything I do really. Thing is, I do those things for fun/connective reasons, to be inside myself better, and most of them I can just leave at that. Food, though-- I need to eat, and I need to eat frequently. I need to eat when I'm pushing my body hard. I need to eat when I don't have time to switch my brain over to pleasure mode. I need to eat when there's no food around up to my admittedly high standards. More and more lately, when I need to eat-- I just don't go to the trouble, and that's a problem. Add that to the fact that when I'm somewhere stressy I can't eat in that location-- it would be making myself vulnerable there, opening myself to experience instead of locking it down in my head --and things get really funny. When I have a ton of cash to throw around I buy food wherever I am whenever the mood strikes me, and that's usually enough. When I don't have the money to throw around, though... I just don't eat enough.

That seems to work out okay when combined with not sleeping enough, but I can feel my brain leaking out my ears when I ride that edge too closely. I can do things but I can't think. I will definitely have to figure this out before low cash/high stress/high thinky school kicks in.

What I really want to write about is sex, but I'm not sure I can. It used to be I'd write a lot about that kind of thing and very openly, and if someone was uncomfortable with some level of detail of their sex life being revealed online, well, they could stop fucking me. I've got a lot more respect for people's sensibilities now, and perhaps the details aren't as important to me as they once were. I keep learning things about myself, though, and rediscovering things that had temporarily drifted out of mind. It's neat how many very different ways the same themes surface.

This kind of feels like a failed entry-- I won't write about this, this, or this --so perhaps I'd better quit while I'm ahead. It's been calming to write it despite the terrible knot forming in my right shoulder (you try holding a hedger up for six hours then your arms out the next day!) and if I get into rats or todo lists that will be obliterated.

Oh, except-- the first full weekend in August I have scheduled, written down and calendared, to lie around eating proscutto and melon (and maybe artichokes etc) and watching West Wing and DOING nothing. I am so fucking excited.

No Subject

Jun. 14th, 2010 11:23 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
http://issendai.livejournal.com/572510.html

http://www.polyamorousmisanthrope.com/2007/08/19/the-brave-little-toaster/

It's a thought that's been much on my mind lately. I think things are okay right now. I know people for whom they are not. I am particularly sensitive to these things cause I was in there for too long. I don't wanna do these things to people. I can't even think clearly enough to know what words to use or even what particularly I think, but the synchronicity of those two articles and a third situation someone mentioned to me today is interesting.

I have a lot to say. I don't know what any of it is. I am exhausted from being happy all the time, and also from eating extraordinarily poorly.

It's blood day.

I'm crashing from the weekend.

I wish I could lose myself in writing but I should sleep. Besides, I have baby rats that need attention.

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