Surrounded by Wolves

April 22nd, 2016

The only wall decorations in my living room are pictures of wolves taken from calendars my mother-in-law used to get me every year. Two or three wolves in each picture, adults or pups. I didn’t want any lone wolf pictures around me, I wanted families. To remind me, in my single home, that I am not alone. I am part of a family, part of a pack, loved and cared for and wanted.

A lot is going on in my world. Changes, adjustments, frustrations, and joys. I work a draining job, and a very fun job, and I apply for others. I wish things were simpler, but I know that would be boring. I juggle finances, responsibilities, and fun with nearly equal measure. I’m listening to books now, to balance not making time to read. I’m not writing enough, but whenever I remember that, I make some time.

I do love my life, and making plans for the future. I am grateful for the health I have, if occasionally cranky for the health I lack. I am grateful for all the love in my life, for the friends and chosen family, who have chosen me, too.

Spring is springing, new life, new joys, new opportunities.

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Love and Fairness

April 10th, 2016

Recently, a friend posted about how all love is different. For instance, you love your mother differently than you love your child. Or you love your first boyfriend differently than you love your best friend. More specifically, she was addressing that in poly relationships (or any relationships, really), that you love each person you are involved with differently, because each person and each relationship is different. This post led to discussion from other posters about fairness, priorities, and value.

Whenever I hear the phrase “X is not fair,” I instinctively respond with Westley’s quote from The Princess Bride: “Life is not fair, Highness, anyone that tells you differently is selling something.” On the stage show, we often refer to “fair” as a dirty four-letter word. Life, love, work, play, nothing is “fair” for everyone, because resources are not infinite.

Love is love, it cannot be measured, weighed, or examined, it simply is, so I do not believe it can be judged “fair” or “unfair.” Actions may seem fair or unfair, and certain people may judge these actions and say that one would not act that way if they “really loved them.” Or others, I have seen, say it’s “unfair” that a person won’t give them a chance to love them. Let me state right up front here, I don’t believe anyone is ever obligated to “try to love” someone that do not wish to. Nor do I think that a person should be asked to “prove their love” in a way that harms another. So, I am proceeding with the understanding that “fair” does not apply to love, and that people have free choice.

So, let’s talk about priorities and value. People have priorities in life, and they place value upon a wide variety of things. Some poly relationships are described as Primary, Secondary, etc. and it seems to be understood that the Primary has top priority, Secondary next, and so on down the line. These designations do not mean that the secondary is loved less, or even valued less than the primary. It can just mean that the primary has priority.

I typically see this in that the Primary are the couple who live together, and so they are financially, socially, legally, and familially obligatied to one another, and so their stability, and needs must take priority to preserve that household. Often, because if there is catastrophe in that household, no other relationships could exist. This does not mean the primary can preempt plans of the secondary on a meaningless whim, this is disrespectful to all parties. However, if there is an emergency, this could mean the secondary’s plans may get cancelled. One would hope, however, that if the secondary had an emergency, the primary would give over priority to them, as well.

I’ve heard in some cases, where a secondary feels it is “unfair” that the primary gets to spend more time than them with their mutual partner, that it must mean they are worth less to that partner, that they must love them less than the primary. Once again, I would state that priorities are not a measure of love, just a measure of resource distribution in a world that is full of obligations and short on time.

Let us also not forget, that a person sometimes has to hold themselves as a priority over their partners’ wants. If an individual is not taking care of their own needs, they cannot be a good partner. It may seem “unfair” of a partner to cancel on you because they need to go to bed early, but it can also be “unfair” to insist they come over when they are too tired to drive. It does not mean they love you less than their bed, it just means that bed is their priority in the moment.

Other comments I have heard are about the “unfairness” of mutual partner doing X or Y for partner A, but not for partner B. I feel that this has more to do with communication. If there is something you want and are not getting, you need to ask for it. If mutual partner does not want to do it with or for you, talk about why and see if there is a compromise to be reached. It may be that they did not know you wanted it, or it may be that it is a special thing, reserved for partner A, but there is something else available to partner B that will work just as well. Or, it could be that it is not something that person wants to do with partner B, in which case, partner B will have to decide if they can do without it from that partner or if there needs to be a change in the relationship.

Remember, every person, relationship, and love is different. Trying to make them “equal” or “fair” will typically only bring heartache to all. Revel in the differences and explore what they mean to you.

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Stress Relief

March 3rd, 2016

It’s hard to see how depressed and stressed you are until you come out the other side. I got a job today, an offer that puts me just above minimum income required to stay housed and fed. I haven’t worked since August, the first two-three months of which were planned, these last three have been super stressful. When I got home from said job offer, despite not being the “Job of my Dreams” ™, I was immediately psyched, and cleaned and organized my entire living room (aka my couch-desk of All The Things). I feel so much better now, and can breathe and everything.

And I can focus on finding that Job of my Dreams ™ without having to settle for whoever will hire me, because I need a job, ohmygod Ineedajobsobad!!! Thank you, to him, as always, for pushing me that extra bit, even if it upset and pissed me off at the time. I, all too often, feel like I Can Do It Myself! And I forget that other people are just an arm or a call away. And they love me, and care about me, and are totally willing to help me, even if it’s a kick in the ass at the right moment.

Now, I’ll have All the Busy++ to figure out and sort and balance. And he’s already offered to help, in any way he can. I just have to figure out what I need. But for now, celebrate. I have just over a week before new job training starts, and tonight I’m going out to dinner.

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For Just One Moment

January 23rd, 2016

“I Love You.” She looked into his eyes. “I’m sorry if I’ve been distant lately. Your pain is so hard to bear.”

Eyes. Everything is in the eyes. The soul. The pain. The love. Dancing with joy. Aching with pain so raw, tears try to soothe it.

She has always found it hard to look into his eyes. Afraid of what she would see there. Her voice catches in her throat, heart pounds, stomach clenches. The intensity there. Afraid she will be swept away.

Wanting to be swept away by it.
Afraid of losing herself.
Before she ever truly finds.

But she loves him so much, she could spend a lifetime lost in his eyes. The rest of the world paused for just a moment in that gaze.

The world moves so fast. Rushing along, dragging them in its wake.
“Can we just sit for a moment, and gaze into each other’s eyes?”
And share a lifetime with each other. If only for one moment.

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Try Love, Not Anger

January 18th, 2016

I read a post by a good friend of mine today, and it raised two topics in my mind, (one I have posted on before). Today’s post was about not taking things personally when people ask questions about your lifestyle choices. My favorite section of the post was:

“Everyone has their own stories, their own experiences, their own truths, and their own filters that they view the world through…why get angry because someone didn’t ask something in the right way? Or assumed something? Or had a wrong definition? Are you angry because you are truly angry? Or because you’ve read an article that says you should be angry if someone asks you insensitive questions.”

With all the political correctness going around, we tend towards offense if questions are asked in an insensitive way, or asked based on incorrect assumptions. She suggests that one not take it personally, but rather as a chance to share one’s truth. I think this is a great outlook, and a good way to face a critical world.

  • “Why aren’t you happy with just one partner?” Well, I am happy with one partner, but I am also happy when I have two.
  • “Aren’t you cheating on both of them if you have two partners?” No, in fact, they are both fully aware of each other and supportive of my relationships with each other.
  • “How could you let him do that to you?” We only do what we have both agreed and consented to do. These are things we both enjoy, is there a particular scene or interaction you did not understand?

People’s questions are not about you. They are about misunderstandings, about the person’s own beliefs and stories, the way they view the world. If you take offense and don’t take the time to think about why they asked the question, you’ll just perpetuate their misunderstandings, beliefs, and stories. So, next time you are offended by a question, try to take a breath, and answer with love and sharing, instead of anger.

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Introspection

November 19th, 2015

I don’t understand politics. I don’t understand people. I’m not good at being politically correct all the time. And yet these statements are not entirely true. I’m a negotiator, an arbitrator. I can see the crashes coming, and the moving of the pieces. But I also fall flat on my face, make sarcastic comments at the wrong time, tip over into upset easily, and stuff my foot down my throat regularly. I screw up, and make up, and rile up, and calm down. The veil is lifted, but I still reach out for it.

I am human… and sometimes I hate it. Some days I just want to crawl into a hole and hibernate through the cold. Life is pain – I’m a masochist, I know that. And hiding never helps, running only makes them chase. Stand up, and just keep walking. And keep your friends and family by your side.

 

Hope and fear. Love and hate. Been watching the Hunger Games movies lately. Been watching the news, too. These aren’t entirely connected, but they aren’t entirely separate, either. We are one world, one human race. We have to find a way forward before we burn everything to the ground around us. Fear and hate is not the way.

 

Confidence and insecurity. I’m a fairly confident person. Far more confident than I used to be. But I still cling tightly to my insecurities. I use my past to make excuses, afraid of an uncertain future. I hide behind my wounds, or is that hide my wounds. I hide behind my writing, and yet some things I am afraid to write.

“I am not a leader” and yet I lead, but “I am not The leader.” I organize, but I am not the voice. “I am not a teacher” and yet I teach, and call it tutoring. “I am not a presenter” and yet I stand before them, my body the blackboard, and I speak my truths.

“I am not <______> enough” and yet I am, and always have been.

 

I stand on the edge of the next precipice, fearing and daring to take the plunge. It is time to spread my wings and fly.

 

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In Sickness and In Health

October 9th, 2015

As someone who has been broken up with because he “can’t handle my disease.” As someone whose future mother-in-law asked her future husband why he couldn’t find someone who wasn’t sick or broken. As someone whose boyfriend asked her when she was going to “give up the idea of having RA.” As someone who get looks of worry or words of concern when I choose to carry something heavy, (or has it taken away from me because they think it’s too heavy). This post speaks to me: I Promise To Love You When You’re Sick.

My disease does not define me, but it does frustrate me. I can physically do most of the things that I want to do, but not all. And some of them I cannot do for an extended period of time. I work with my doctor, my drugs, my food, my body, my family – to do the best that I can for myself. But on some days, it just isn’t enough. On some days, I just want to scream and cry and throw things, but on those days, I’m often too tired, or it hurts too much.

A long time ago, I came to hate the word fragile. I am not fragile, I insisted, I’m just a little broken, and some days a lot broken. And anyone who has seen me play, or read some of my more physical scene descriptions, can attest to that. I am not fragile. I refuse to be. You cannot straighten your left leg or your right arm, they’d say – I’m going to learn Fencing, I replied. Every joint in your body is screaming, they said – I’m a Masochist, I insisted. I’ve seen your body try to kill you, he said – I’m going to fly, I replied.

Diseases like this are a rollercoaster. I’ve had periods of remission – when I felt almost normal. But normal to me is a lot different than normal to a healthy person. I have spent a couple years off drugs here and there. Most recently when eating a far healthier, far more limited diet. But even then, I wasn’t pain and flare free, and I’d rather be happier than totally drug-free at this point in my life. And chocolate makes me very happy. 😉

So, to all of those in my life, who do their best to understand, to support, and to comfort me. To all of those who love me without thought of my disease, or with every thought of my disease. To the (ex)husband who told his mother to leave off. To the (ex)boyfriend who taught me about healthy eating, but did not shut me out when I started taking drugs again. To my boyfriend who lets me carry anything I choose to carry, and makes sure that he or others are there to carry what I choose not to try, who has never treated me as fragile, but understands that I am sometimes more broken than I want to admit. To all of those who in my life who are suffering alike or differently. Thank you for being party of my life, for loving me. I love you, too.

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Mirror, Mirror…

October 5th, 2015

A couple quotes for thought today.

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” ? Isaac Asimov, I, Robot

“Life would be a lot simpler if you liked the people you were supposed to like.”

I get so frustrated at him sometimes, when I’m upset, or stressed out, and he holds that mirror up. Because I just want to be upset or stressed out for a little while. I want comfort, not solutions. Not permanently, just for a little while. But that’s not who he is. Don’t get me wrong, he is definitely willing and able to give me comfort if I need it. But he is also definitely not willing to let me wallow in self-pity or stress, when there’s no reason for it. Especially when it starts oozing out of me and trying to infect those around me.

I don’t need him to solve it for me, but sometimes, I need him to point out that I’m not solving it either, and I ought to be, and I can. And sometimes I do need him to help me solve it, if I’ve got too much on my plate, and he can help with some of it. I just have to ask. But sometimes it takes that damn shiny mirror for me to see.

Liking who “you are supposed to like” goes back to societal expectations. If this were the norm, I think marriage rates would be higher, and divorce rates much lower. The idea is you would like the person who is right for you, and not the ones who weren’t. Like the one you married and no one else. But we humans have a fascination with the dangerous, with risk, with the grass on the other side of the fence.

For my parents, I was supposed to like a nice, successful boy who faithfully went to church every week. For society, I was supposed to like just one man, after maybe dating a few, one at a time. For my poly world, I was supposed to like those with interest and availability that matched my own. But it’s never that simple, eh?

Then again, what fun would life be if it was simple. We are problem solvers. We thrive on figuring things out, on challenges. If life were simple, it would also be boring, IMHO. One last quote for the day:

“Life is pain, highness, anyone who tells you different is selling something.” ~Westley, The Dread Pirate Roberts, Princess Bride

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Post COPE Post

September 19th, 2015

It was a different event this year. A different crowd, a different feel, a different energy. He had a lot of requests, I was just planning on one scene with him. I demo-bottomed for one part of one class, attended one demo, and sat with him for part of a third. I did my usual service thing, cleaned his boots before opening ceremonies, got him drinks and food, lugged the gear, claimed furniture, and knelt/sat attentively for his scenes. It was a quieter weekend for us. The scenes went really well, for all of us. Four flogging scenes in a row Friday night, mine being the finale, and one more on Saturday. All very good and energetic scenes.

I usually do scene write-ups after big events, but I haven’t really got it in me this time. It was a good scene, it was what I wanted and needed. Flogging, paddling, even a jolt of electricity. There were screams and groans and tears, by the end I was floating high. But I don’t have the words for it. It wasn’t a journey of distinctive parts. I could probably identify most of the tools he used – floggers, the new butt hammer, thumper and paddle, and the stun gun. I can’t, however, remember the order, or the flow. It isn’t a stream of consciousness like I usually get in my head. It is more like a nice, hot, comfortable whirlpool of love, emotion, and connection. Except for the cross we used… that was fucking awkward. 😉 But we made it work, together.

I had another scene-ish thing this week, too. At practice, which in the near future, will be more like old practice once again. He was teaching people six-count. One of them was doing really well, so he gave her my back, to test just how well. They took turns, her more than him, and her aim was pretty good. Trying different floggers for weight and feel. It was nice to be doing that again. He even had me turn around to show her breast flogging. Doing quite the number on my chest between them.

Then he pulled out the dragontail, and they traded that off for a while. I pointed out to her at one point that she was the only person other than him who I let him me with that thing. He was teaching her to watch body language, processing and reactions. I only let her do it because he was teaching. She, who had not wanted to “hurt me” with the floggers, really got into laying red lines and spots with the tail.

Then she got into another conversation, and he proceeded to go through the toy bag to hit me with other things. He grinned at me at one point, “Do you feel thanked enough for your service this weekend?” He had not left a lot of marks on my during our scene at COPE, but he sure made up for it that night. Even going so far as to lay Uncle grid marks on my thighs at the end. Gods, I love him so much. I even got in some snuggles after, while he surfed the net, and we waited for the night to wind down.

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It is Important!

March 26th, 2015

I don’t feel well today. But I wanted to post something here anyway.

To all my friends and family (chosen and blood), I love you!  I am glad you are part of this amazing life I lead. I appreciate all of your love and support, and everything you do with me, for me, and to me. 😉  Thank you.

 

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