beginning of the end
So, here we go again. In hindsight it was the beginning of the end. It was the death of my ideals around my relationship with Cinder, The things that transpired over the next 6 months. It was one of the hardest and most draining times of my life, and I have been through some shit.
Our dynamic was this- Cinder had Lily and ďWillyĒ in her life, and I was to have Raven as my secondary. We set out some ground rules about sleepovers, time together. All of these relationships where with people not in our community so it was going to be pretty easy to control time and space. Raven came back into our lives, and we did initially spend three days together and re initiate our intimacy, together. Almost immediately Cinder was raising the idea that Raven should move in with us, which R and I thought was ludicrous, but Cinderís way. When we flat out rejected that it seemed to irk Cinder. She didnít like her ideas being rejected offhand. It was September, the start of Ravenís last semesters of school, and likely her time near our home. Cinder liked to remind me of this and put an end date of our relationship, which I felt was weird, but knew better than to rock her boat. Generally I would reflective listen and neither agree or disagree. It was a limbo of listening but worked to keep out the fighting and disagreements. Right off the bat the personality differences between R and C started to come up again. I guess I was the hinge in the V between the two of them, and tried to mitigate and translate emotion and purpose between the two of them. It was a lot of work.
A pattern developed. Cinder was committed to weekends in the city, completing some holistic training she was doing. This meant she was gone every weekend. It was Raven and Iís only chance to see each other, except for the very occasional weeknight, so she would make the trek out to see me and sleep over most weekends. We would hang out, sex it up, dinner. It was a nice time and we had a lot of fun. Our time together usually involved zero emotional processing which was nice. I was working a full 40h/week and also trying to renovate a vacation cabin nearby that Cinder and I had bought together earlier in the year, so my Saturday nights and Sunday mornings where my only down time and for about 6 weeks I spent them with raven, because Cinder was away. Sometime she was staying with Willy, sometimes Lily, sometimes just friends. Lily and I didnít see much of each other anymore.
As those six weeks progressed, Cinder began to get more agitated with the time I was spending with Raven. Jealousy? She began to find fault with raven, and their limited interaction together. Cinder would seize upon a perceived fault of Ravenís and harp upon it, question it, ferret it out. I donít know why she did this. It made Raven and I pretty uncomfortable. We would talk about it sometimes, question the intensity of cinderís behaviour. But we loved her, even Raven in her own way and tried to be understanding and supportive. Raven struggled with Cinderís judgement and emotional intensity, and I encouraged her to write it all down in an email. That way maybe they could start a dialogue and work out a basis of understanding. I was trying to be peacemaker.
I had accepted Willy as my metamour, we even spent some time together playing cards. We had some double dates, and all got along pretty well. He was very different than me, kind of a nerd ( I love nerds) very slight, not very masculine. I liked him, and could see he was becoming pretty attached to Cinder. Lily was pretty out of the picture for both of us, dating up a storm in the big city. On a rare foray weeknight into the city I dropped Cinder off at Willies place before having a date with Raven. I was a little late picking up Cinder, and she was pissed. It was the first inkling that she was not happy with my connection with raven, not at all. And I was about to find out how unhappy she was.
Cinder was furious I was late, and began blaming my relationship with Raven for a whole slew of perceived problems. I was not keeping up with the house work, I was not working on the cabin as much, Raven was a bad influence as well, she was lazy, drank too much etc.Ö I tried to use my communication skills to diffuse the situation, and it worked to an extent. I had become pretty good at navigating Cinders complicated emotional world. But at what cost to my own self-respect? How had the constant capitulation and caretaking affected my inner self? How much personal subjugation is too much? I am a dominant sort, alpha male. I found myself to be completely submissive emotionally to Cinder, and it did not sit well in my head or my heart. And I did it to myself, in a desperate attempt to make the woman I loved the most, who I had declared my life to, happy. But at what cost?
Around this time Cinder received Ravens email outlining her challenges with Cinders process and character. The whole thing blew up. Cinder went ballistic and off on an emotional bender. Things were already tense, and Cinder saw this not as an attempt to connect but as a character assassination. I tried to reason with her but that only made it worse. How dare I take her side! The switch had been thrown, Raven was again the enemy. All kinds of demands where leveled at me. Cinder made it clear I was to get in line and side with her in this tempest in a tea pot. But even the most trivial misunderstanding became world war 3. There was no mercy. Within the next few days Cinder had changed my phone number and forbid me from ever having contact with ďthat bitchĒ ever again. Things escalated so quickly. My phone. She changed my number. I lost all my contacts. I felt so grossly violated on so many levels. At the same time she dumped Willy, who as she said she could take him or leave him. He was way more into her than her him, so it was easy for her. I had, on the other hand, a real attachment to Raven, and to have in the space of a few day had her amputated from my life was heart breaking. Ultimatums where pronounced. If I ever contacted her again, we were through. Finished. Non-negotiable. I felt completely controlled and manipulated, depressed. Angry. We fought. I told her she was wrong on so many levels.
I was crushed. I felt so helpless in my own life. I felt I had no autonomy, no self-determination. In Cinders eyes it was a logical and justified move, so end of story. I was her man. Hers. Fuck that other Bitch. I felt like Chattel. Was I property? I had never felt more controlled, and of course I acted out. Rebelled.
I contacted Raven.