Things Were Not Good (pt.2)

Therapy.

Visits to the doctor to assess my meds.

Looking for a new job in frantic bursts, then doing nothing on that front for days at a time.

Hours spent in bed, hiding in a book, because fuck reality.

Crying, then raging, then going numb, then feeling fine, rinse, repeat.

I can’t say much more than that. Writing more would require being able to untangle whatever is wrong with me, which I can’t. Can’t make sense of it.

I need an 8 hour therapy appointment, but that isn’t going to happen. Slowly waiting for the dust to clear so I can see what we’re dealing with here.


Things Were Not Good

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Merry Effing Christmas (Part II)

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Papa Bear says that The Wifey is dreading the entirety of the holidays, because of all the tension in their relationship due to her exclusion of me from their Christmas event. She knows he’s angry and hurt, and is worried that Christmas will be ruined because he is so unhappy with her right now, but she won’t budge. Frankly, even if she did change her mind, I wouldn’t go anyway, but that’s entirely beside the point. Papa Bear also says the holiday season so far is sucking at their house, and he knows Christmas is going to be really tense.

He was scheduled to have a counselling appointment with a poly-friendly therapist last week, which we were both hanging onto as our only hope for things improving, but he ended up typing the wrong address into the GPS and completely missing his appointment. We both cried about it–we are that desperate. Mainly because he had already been on the waiting list for three months, and if it was going to be another three months for him to get in again, there would be no surviving the wait. He called her the next day, and she got him in for January 12th. Further away than either of us would like, but its better than three months.

That same day I called around to my insurance provider, took the list of poly friendly therapists in my city, and contacted them all for an appointment. The first to get back to me had my business–I will be seeing her next Saturday which I am thrilled about. I am so tired of feeling miserable, and I need to talk to someone who isn’t going to blame my misery on non-monogamy.

***

I am still planning on having a Merry Christmas, even though my heart hurts. On the day of the Christmas event I wasn’t invited to, I am going to see The Nutcracker with some girlfriends from work. I am SO excited–I have always wanted to go. We are going to get all dolled up, and it is going to be awesome. I can’t wait.

Papa Bear and I are spending the night of the 23rd together and after going for breakfast on Christmas eve, are going to come back to my place so he can give the kids the presents he got them and hang out with us for a bit. After he leaves and the kids go to bed, the Hubby and I will put the presents under the tree, fill the stockings, listen to Christmas music, drink spiked hot chocolate, and watch Die Hard.

My little family and I are going to have a chill Christmas at home, which we love. We wake up, put on coffee and put cinnamon rolls in the oven, and then we open stockings while we wait for breakfast. Hubby and I drink mimosas and the kids have orange juice, and then we open presents. The kids are always so excited and happy and its awesome to watch. It’s fun being Santa!

There’s also my work holiday party, which the husband is going to with me, and which will be tons of fun (I love my co-workers), and our work gift exchange/potluck/ugly Christmas sweater party.

I have also invited Papa Bear’s family over the week before Christmas for an evening holiday hang-out. We talked to his son and daughter first and nailed down a date. His daughter Lucy is bringing her girlfriend. Tonight he is going to mention it to The Wifey and see if she would like to come.

I have mixed feelings about this. I went to a polyamory support group a few weeks back and talked about everything. I needed advice. They all empathized with me, and we talked about what it was about the exclusion that hurt me. I said that it was important for me for my family to get together with Papa Bear’s for the holidays–that it didn’t have to be Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or anything, but that my version of polyamory is family-oriented and so a family event sometime during the month of December is important to me. That what hurt me the most was basically being told that I am not family. Even though I have accepted that I cannot be an equal partner to Papa Bear, to be treated like I am not family at all really hurts.

They suggested I host my own event and invite Papa Bear’s family–that The Wifey’s discomfort with me attending their movie night, shouldn’t stop me from having the people I love around me at Christmastime. I asked if they thought it would seem petty, and they said not at all–that I am not excluding her from my get-together  (it is her choice to attend or not), but that I do have the right to experience that togetherness if that is what I need.

So, I’m not sure whether or not she’ll come. Part of me hopes she doesn’t–mostly because, for her to attend, would be to basically be saying that she does not feel bad at all about excluding me. I feel that if she felt comfortable coming, it would mean she honestly believed she did nothing wrong, and did not feel the least bit awkward about it.

She’s a narcissist though, and part of that is not being able to understand anyone else’s point of view, or experience empathy for those you are in conflict with. I can’t hope for her to change, so if she is never going to feel bad about how she hurts me anyway, then I guess she might as well go ahead and come.

Sometimes I am so exhausted that it is really hard for me to care about any of this at all. But I am determined to have a wonderful Christmas anyway.


PMDD–Relationship Hell

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I haven’t written in awhile. I’m not sure where my reluctance comes from. I think part of it is fear of being judged, as silly as that seems at this point. Through so much of the life of this blog I have bared my rawest, ugliest parts. But now, in my first honest-to-goodness poly relationship, it just feels different, somehow. Harder to flick off the words in the comments box, because we aren’t just talking about my sex addiction or my sluttiness or my self-destructive behaviour–we are talking about my heart. My future. The tenderest parts of me. I’m a little drunk right now, which may be why I’m back. Slowly sifting through all of this is hard, and doubts or objections from the outside can cloud my mind on decisions I should only be able to make for myself. And I am. Thinking, trying, growing, figuring it out–slowly and pain-stakingly.

That, however, was not supposed to be the subject of this post, so clearly the vodka is doing its job.

I’ve received attempted diagoses of bi-polar in the comments section of this blog. I can see why some readers may think that’s my problem. I write when I have strong feelings–either in the throes of new relationship energy, the highs of good times, or the depths of despair. The swings can be jarring.

But. I have been to many a doctor and many a mental health specialist, and have never been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, despite being assessed for it. What I do have, is Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, and PMDD. PMDD is the one that’ll make you think I have bi-polar. If you Google “bi-polar once a month”, you’ll get tons of responses on PMDD–a simple but bad reaction to the hormonal fluctuations that happen to a woman when she’s primed to make a baby.That’s me. That’s what my doctor says I have. I have struggled with depression since my teen years, and have been on an anti-depressant since I was 19. It made a world of difference for my life except for PMDD week. During PMDD week, I can be anything from mildly irritable and slightly blue, to a raging, irrational, suicidal hot mess.

I talked to my doctor about it months back, asking if she could give me something. I was tired of living like this. It was destroying me, fucking up my relationships, throwing my entire life out of balance. She was reluctant to start me on anything since she’d just prescribed my anxiety meds (which allow me to fall asleep every night at a reasonable hour instead of staying awake until 1 AM playing angry birds), and she wasn’t sure that more chemicals would be good for me. So, I struggled. I snapped at my husband, screamed at my kids, and became an insecure basket-case where Papa Bear was concerned. They loved me through it, all of them, but recently I realized I really cannot continue to live this way. I just can’t, no matter what my doctors objections.

It was a Sunday, Papa Bear’s day with The Wifey. I was a disaster but couldn’t talk to him. The Husband was at work. The kids were home with me. And I just cried and cried. I felt a curtain of darkness so heavy descend on me that I just couldn’t imagine how I was going to go on. Thoughts of suicide were quickly curtailed by the thought of my childrens’ faces and the sound of their wails if they found out I had died. But even though I couldn’t make the decision to die because of them, I also didn’t see how I would continue to live.  I sent them outside to play, and lay on the floor, sobbing until I dry-heaved, mumbling “help” into the carpet.

It passed. It always does. By the time the hubby got home and I sat on the sun, chatting on the phone with a therapist friend, I knew I would be okay. Until next time. There is always a next time.

That night Papa Bear and I sat in his car, talking. He made an exception and came out to see me on account of the total dissolution of my faculties. I told him about the PMDD. He knew about my anxiety and depression, but he needed to know that once a month, there was a chance of my totally falling apart.

Later, I looked back through my journal, tracking the dates of all our major fights. They all happened between that 7-10 day window every couple of months when each and every thing that happened seemed like the end of the world to me. I needed to fix this, before I destroyed my relationship with him. Before my kids got old enough to realize that it wasn’t normal for your mother to spend half the day sobbing.

It is the very beginning for me, in terms of treatment for this particular hormone window. My doctor still doesn’t think I should add more anti depressants to what I’m already taking, and has suggested therapy. I am waiting for the referral to go through so I can go to this center that, funnily enough, a woman Papa Bear used to date recommended to me. They have emotional regulation classes, one on one therapy, support groups, everything that would be helpful to me. I also did some research and started taking a supplement recommended on the PMDD girl blog. I bought a three month supply to see if it will help. At least its all natural. I also downloaded the iMoodJournal mood tracker app, so in a few months I’ll be able to know the patterns more certainly.

I want to not live like this anymore. It has been most of my life, and it has been brutal. I want to be normal, and happy. It may take awhile for me to figure out what works, but I’m very, very hopeful. This is PMDD week. I feel myself getting short tempered and irritable, but I haven’t had a meltdown yet. Maybe the supplements will help. Fingers crossed.


Questions for my Peeps:

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1) Is it possible to live life without expectations? I feel that the more I try to have expectation-free relationships, the more I end up just expecting the worst, instead of anticipating the best. I steel myself against disappointment this way, but pessimism about the future seems to just be negatively affecting my ability to enjoy the present. Thoughts?

2) If you believe in neither love, nor god, what do you believe in?

Please answer in the comments!


Completely Un-fucking Hinged

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I am not having enough sex.

I don’t know how long it’s been since I had sex with The Husband, but I’m going to go ahead and guess it’s somewhere around two months–at least–and probably closer to three.

A strange thing has been happening to me.

I feel like–with all the logistical shit getting in the way–I am starting to close in on myself.

I hate the way I am, and I hate the way my body/mind/emotions work. I hate how strongly connected every part of me is.

I hate how not having enough sex, or a certain kind of sex, can make me feel like I am coming apart.

But its not just the lack of sex that is fucking me up.

It’s the lack of intimacy in general. I feel like I am starved for it.

The Husband and I touch each other so rarely that it actually feels awkward and unnatural when we do. We are used to sleeping spooned around each other every night, and that is honestly the only physical contact between us that feels genuine. I tried to kiss him the other day–must have been a couple of weeks ago by now–and it felt like he was pressing his lips together. Like he was purposely keeping me out. I haven’t tried to kiss him since then because it is too awful, but we kiss so rarely that honestly I don’t even want to kiss him anymore. I don’t know how.

Same with sex. I have to be drunk to have sex with my husband. If I am not drunk, I can’t get turned on by him. And its not because he’s not attractive–he is very attractive and is actually my physical ideal.No, it has nothing to do with the way he looks.

It’s just that we have been living together for so long as basically platonic co-parents, that I just don’t feel that way about him anymore. It may sound cruel, but I talked to him about it for years. on. end. I begged him. Pleaded. I told him I couldn’t take feeling rejected anymore and that I couldn’t live without sex and romance and dates and all the things we used to have and be. I cried and wailed and screamed. I wrote pieces about it and showed them to him. I told him that one day it would be too late. That eventually we wouldn’t be able to go back. That I didn’t want us to be ruined beyond repair. And every time, things would improve for a couple of weeks, and then we’d end up exactly where we were before.

The problem, is that we have never had it good. We’ve never both had decent paying jobs or not lived under a mountain of debt or not had babies or toddlers or preschoolers underfoot. We’ve never felt like we’ve had a handle on things. We’ve never had family or friends around to help. Never known what its like to not be diagnosed with anxiety and depression–the both of us. So, while under ideal conditions it would be easy to say “Fuck him–you deserve more than this,” we don’t live under ideal conditions. We never have.

Sometimes keeping us above water is all we have the energy to do. Sometimes we try to cuddle and are immediately screamed at by one or both of the little terrors who share our DNA. Sometimes we try to have sex and are interrupted. Until eventually its just easier to give up.

I feel a heavy, heaving, hopelessness. I feel like I want to burrow into the ground and howl. I feel like we will never get to a place where we can even see what we could be capable of being. I feel white-hot anger. I don’t know at what or at who, so it just bursts out all over the place, at the most inopportune times.

I need to be sedated. I feel like I am out of options. I don’t know where to go or what to do.

I made a “bad” sexual decision last week. And the result was happiness. I felt like me. I felt like a person. I had patience. I had a sense of humor. I walked around smiling. It didn’t fucking hurt to exist. I don’t want to have to make bad sexual decisions to feel like a fucking person. But everything else hurts. It’s too much, or its not enough, or its both and I just. can’t. breathe. 

I physically cannot bear the loneliness. I can’t bear the emptiness. I can’t bear the now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t, “here’s an appetizer, you aren’t covered for the main course.”

I can’t. I can’t. I can literally. not. bear. it.

I do not want to have sex with strangers. Its dangerous and seedy. And frankly, the risk of bodily harm is actually less off-putting to me than the risk that I will have done the work of finding them and setting a date and primping and showing up only to have them disappoint me. I am looking for something very specific, which is why no one on the loop of men who keep. texting. me will do.

I’m not sure what I am supposed to do. Just continue to hurt? To not feel the way that I need to feel in order to function? What is the point of being smart, of taking the long view, of assessing the risks or behaving responsibly if doing all of those things just makes me feel like shit? I am unbearable to be around right now. I am either numb, or I’m snippy, or I’m teary, or I’m hurriedly shoveling indiscriminate amounts of random food items down my throat.

I CANNOT DO THIS. I AM A FUCKING BASKET CASE.

This past Sunday was supposed to be the next round of my bad decision. And I cancelled. And now I am so angry and resentful and pissy I can barely see. I need what I need. Period.

And the worst part is, I can’t talk to anyone about it.

The Husband, who will listen to me whenever I ask, who works his ass off 16 hours a day, who struggles with depression himself, who will support me in any and everything I want do do, who asks for NOTHING–cannot help me. He cannot hear this. All it would do is pile guilt on top of all of the horribleness he’s already feeling. All it would do is make him feel like he HAS to fuck me. And it hurts too much. It’s too pathetic. It’s too fucking sad. I can’t. I can’t be honest with him one more time. Not one more time. I’m done. If he doesn’t want me, that’s not his fault, and I can’t ask him to try anymore.

I can’t talk to my boyfriend about it, because what is he going to do? It’s not his fault he isn’t around most of the time. It’s just not possible for him to be.

But none of that makes me feel better. None of that makes me feel like I have any options at all. All I feel…is that parts of myself are gradually being erased…and that if I don’t connect with that primal part of me, on a regular basis, I am going to disappear entirely.

And as I was writing this? Just now? The Husband told me that he would “really like to have sex tonight.” Probably because A) he’s been stealthily reading this over my shoulder, or B) He can tell that I’m starting to come completely un-fucking-hinged.

But it doesn’t matter. Because he doesn’t want me. I cannot get turned on by pity sex. Maybe I will get plastered enough to do it (I am on my third glass of wine), and maybe it will scratch the itch or do the trick or make me feel slightly less like I am dying of something horrible…

But he doesn’t want me. And even if I can pretend, while drunk, that it doesn’t matter? It does fucking matter. I want mutual hunger and heat and need. There is nothing more electric than when that explodes. And the man cannot even let me kiss him. I swear to god I have no idea when the last time we kissed for real was. We don’t even kiss when we have sex. He just fingers me and then we fuck.

It’s too horrible. It’s too painful. I can’t leave but I can’t stay either. I just want to distract myself. I want to step out of this into my own little world where everything feels good–the sun, the food, the sex, the music, the drinks–and nothing hurts. I want to indulge, utterly. It’s like bingeing. I want to gourge myself on pleasure so it doesn’t hurt so bad when its gone.


Ramblings–All Cried Out

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I’m exhausted. Its the time of year when it stays light out until 10 o’clock at night, and my brain cannot convince itself to get a decent sleep under these conditions. The kids’ bedtimes have already been pushed back by an hour and a half, because they cannot sleep when it appears to be the middle of the day, which means even less precious downtime for me.

***

I am getting over the flu. I have cramps. My children’s bickering is giving me a headache. The Husband and I cannot seem to patch together a functional relationship. He is overworked and underpaid and stressed out and depressed. I am emotional and sick and tired lonely. Whenever we try to have a conversation with each other, we either get interrupted by shrieking children, or we end up getting our wires crossed. He does not know how to communicate his needs. He was raised to put himself last. As such, it is nearly impossible for me to get him to agree to take time to himself. He feels like he has no worth (due to his inability to find a decent paying job), and therefore that he does not deserve self-care, or to be taken care of.

I have tried to explain to him that he is going to burn out completely and be no use to anyone if he doesn’t take care of himself, but he won’t listen. We have had screaming matches over me trying to convince him to just STOP DOING HOUSEWORK and STOP OCCUPYING THE KIDS and go do something for himself. I wonder if martyrdom is a form of self-harm? Is he trying to run himself into the ground to punish himself for not having a career yet? I’d ask him, but he’d just say he doesn’t know. Getting him to open up about his feelings is like pulling teeth. He doesn’t like to talk about how shitty he feels. It kills me.

I don’t feel close to him, so when he tries to be there for me, I brush him off. I don’t know how to talk to him about my feelings when he is constantly tense and agitated. The best we can do is, on the nights when he isn’t working, open a bottle of wine, and laugh and talk about things that don’t have to do with our lives. I know everything would change if he could just catch a break, work-wise. And I hate to admit it, but I’m getting frustrated.

I don’t understand. He is smart. He is good looking. He is educated. He has amazing references. Why can’t he find any sort of career? It hurts me for him, and it hurts me for our family because frankly we could use the money. But more than that, its his self esteem. Its hard to be a good lover when your self-esteem is in shreds.

Tonight he insisted on taking the kids out for me. I had horrible cramps and was crying from other emotional garbage. He had planned on taking a bike ride when I got home from work, but decided he’d occupy the kids for me instead. I couldn’t convince him otherwise. So while he did that, I did the dishes and took out the garbage–his chores. When he came in I was washing the dishes and crying. He asked why I wasn’t resting. I told him that this is the only thing I can actually do to show him that I love him. Lessening his load a little bit. He thanked me and gave me a lingering hug.  How sad is it that that is literally ALL I can do for him?

He takes the kids out for me. I clean the house for him. Is this what relationships boil down to when you have little ones? I would kill for an in-law within an hour of us to take them once in awhile. I would blow the first executive to offer him an office job so he wouldn’t have to work nights.

***

Its been a few weeks since Papa Bear and I decided to see each other less often, in order to focus on quality of time over quantity. I wish I could say its been going great, but actually, I just don’t know how its going to work yet. It seems we picked precisely the wrong time to change things.

The first Saturday of our new schedule, I was sick. Last Saturday I had a training for work all day, and Papa Bear had guests in from out of town. I saw him for maybe 45 minutes when he gave me a ride home from work and we stopped for an ice cream sundae. I did see him on Sunday for a couple of hours in the afternoon. This Saturday I also have a training, but will be able to see Papa Bear in the evening, and then we are going to a concert on Sunday.

I have been terribly lonely. There were some changes at work, so I am no longer working in the same part of our center as where I started. I’m super sad about that. I clicked really well with a lot of my co-workers in my old building, and though I get along fine with the people in my new one, its not the same. My new supervisor is also really high strung and unable to just go with the flow and trust us to do our jobs well, so its stressful. It’s like living under a microscope. It makes me really sad because I used to LOVE my job and now I feel like its only okay. I know that ultimately I’m there to earn a paycheck, and it could obviously be a lot worse, but I just wish she would chill the fuck out and not be such a buzz-kill. Our field is very relationships based and its hard to form strong relationships when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder. Sigh.

I was also becoming friends with people in my old building, and I don’t think I’d ever hang out with anyone in my new building outside of work. It almost feels like its back to the drawing board, friend-wise. I know I can still hang out with my other co-workers, but it’ll take more effort to feel like we’re still connected since we don’t see each other every day. I guess its worth a try, though.

I do know that I need to build other relationships that don’t revolve around sex and romance. I guess I feel like my need for companionship is most easily met through lovers, since they seem to be easier to find than platonic friends. There should be an OkCupid for friendships. OkBestie.com?

***

I have been crying a lot over the past few days. I feel like the little in me is back at the surface. I feel alone and then all of a sudden I’m crying in the bathroom and I acutely recall what it was like to be five years old. I came home crying from kindergarten one day, because the older kids on the bus had been mean to me.

I remember being the new kid in my 5th grade class, sitting with my head down on my desk at recess because no one wanted to be my friend.

Being picked on in Jr. High.

Not being invited to the party in high school.

So much pain, all rolled up in rejection and the need to belong.

I never outgrew those girls. I still carry them with me. When I feel alone, I don’t just feel the pain I’m experiencing right now–I feel the combined swell of every time in my entire life that I was ever on the outside.

That is a huge part of being little, for me. That I haven’t really changed–just collected more layers. I’m still five. Still ten. Still twelve.

The Husband had tonight off. So even though it wasn’t our scheduled day, Papa Bear offered to come take me for a drive. He knew I was hurting and really needed to just be held and listened to. We drove out into the country, cuddled in the back of the car (I like doing this for some reason–maybe the small space makes me feel safe), and I just talked and cried. He listened and wiped my tears and held me.

Afterwards he bought me dinner, and I felt a little better.

I’m hoping I’m all cried out, at least for now.