Is It Feb Already?
I've been legally single for one year and 4 days as of a few minutes ago. Doesn't really feel any different.
Back when it was looking like P was going to get the job in Indiana, we was also back onto encouraging me to find a female partner. I kept meaning to blog about it, but life got in the way. Yes, I'm bi-curious in the sexual sense, emotionally I'd say I've always been there. And yet, when he knows I don;t want any other partner, what kept making him think that just because a potential "other" might be female that it would make any rat's ass of a difference in me not wanting anyone else?
End of Jan P had a week off. An old friend/mentor in WA, Grumpy, whose been having health and caretaker and a bit of mental issues seemed to be taking a turn for the worse, so I felt I could no longer put off visiting. (Been trying for two years to convince Grumpy to relocate to my spare room so I could look after him - he doesn't want to be burden so he decided not to accept.) I asked, and P accepted my invitation to join me on the trip to see Grumpy. I offered to pay for airfare, and was already getting the rental car so we agreed P would cover his meals and half of any activities/entertainment.
I was soooo grateful to have P with me to keep me grounded. That first day, seeing just how Grumpy was really doing, I wasn't sure if I was going to break down crying or come out swinging. When someone you love is that bad off and mistreated by those who are supposed to be caring for him... Ok, yes, I'm the world's greatest co-dependant.
P wasn't comfortable staying with Grumpy. I don't blame him, and I was prepared for that possibility. If it were just me I would have still stayed there and been emotionally overwhelmed. Instead I knew where to find a safe, clean, bedbug-free room on the cheap. Still massively dinged my overall budget, and P spent so much time justifying and apologizing before I got the room - it was almost embarrassing, thankfully we were alone.
By the time the visit was over, Grumpy was doing much better. I think just having someone to connect with on a daily basis (and starting to take his meds again) made a difference. I'm still following up with hos social worker and his VA contact - letting them know my observations and encouraging them to find better caregivers or try to get him into assisted living. He may be pissed if they tell him it was me pushing - but I'd rather have him more healthy, not financially abused, and pissed at me, than how he is today. either way, I will be able to sleep knowing I have done what I can ethically.
I got to experience P having three temper tantrums. Twice over his phone (and the ensuing rant about wife PW not letting him get a new one) and once over spilled wine. I think he even stamped his feet and liver-lipped over the wine on his jeans. It was all I could do to not break out laughing over the way he was acting. I hadn't seen him have tantrums quite like that before and they didn't scare me off in the least.
Though every time he rants about PW, it really grates on my nerves!!!! He agrees not to do it to me, and still he does.
The last night we stayed with friends closer to the airport for our early morning departure. P and I went for a walk. He asked me what he was to me. Oh God. Why did he have to ask. I didn't want an emotional evening. So instead I told him I really didn't know (true in many aspects) but that I knew what I wanted to be, and that I loved him.
Almost the fake holiday of lovers
The return from WA was a return to reality.
A few days alone, coming back to grips and reminding myself he is just a friend with benefits whom I love who visits when he can.
Before I left, a good friend went into the ICU. I got to visit her a couple days after her release. It will be a year before she is back up to speed. In the meantime she is home only because her son and his fiance were willing to move in & care for her 24/7. I offered to be respite care whenever they need a break.
It was a wake up call for me.
P came to visit again. We were watching a show about lesbian life in NY. P wanted to talk so we paused the program. He reconfirmed he believed that we were at a point where we might add a third, have a triad with another woman. I lost it. Asking him how he still had the idea that I would want another partner if it were a woman when I don't want ANYONE else. Conversation ensued, and he tried to tell me he wanted to choose to be monogamous with me, while splitting his living time between me and his "best friend" (wife PW).
That aggravated me - he only gives me indications that she frustrates him, unfairly ties his purse strings, doesn't give him the time of day except when she needs transportation - and he has the gall to call her "Best Friend"?!? With a friend like that, who needs enemies!!!!
But the emotion that won over was just loss. I was crying. I talked & he listened. I poured my heart out - what if what happened to my friend had happened to one of us?
If it were me, he would not have been allowed into the ICU. I would not be able to afford to live without income for a year plus medical expenses without insurance (yeah - obamacare no help to me). Would she consent to him helping care for me daily physically, much less financially - I highly doubt it.
If it were him, I could not have seen him in the ICU. And if he needed to be close to the hospitals & docs his insurance covers he would need to stay in the house with his wife - would she consent to me being there to care for him - I doubt it.
If it were her, I would offer to assist with her care - not because I give a rat's ass about her - but to support my Love, my P. But I doubt she would consent to even that.
So we're all screwed.
So I further resigned myself to I am financially alone, and without a partner I can truly count on to be there to help. I permit myself to love him one visit at a time.
P acts as if I'm the only one who encourages him, believes in what he wants to do with his career. I am just a mirror so he can see what is already there in him.
I cannot hold my life because he says he needs me. I am codepenent enough. He says he feels he is a burden to me. I disagree. His emotional support to me is better than I have ever known.
I'm trying to figure out what I want to do. I need to ramp up my income & get at least health benefits. I am applied to go back to college, but can't decide to do that - for athletic trainer ($$ but really job I'd want) or for marketing (I'm passionate about it for my own business & the non-profit we volunteer for) or to go to a tech school to become an ADHD Life Coach & add that to my current business. College didn't get processed in time for spring semester - thanks to a transcript delay from a college I took two courses at for fun 2 decades ago - so I have some time to figure that out.
As much as I'd like to sit around waiting to find out if P will find his dream job, where it will be, and if PW will follow him, dump him, or stay put and just expect him to send $$. I can;t afford to put off my own life. Sounds so selfish. But I am responsible for my own situation, and sometimes emotional happiness has to get set aside for survival. I did it for 22 years of my 23 year marriage, I'm sure as single person it won't be as difficult? Or maybe worse because I actually know what it feels like to be loved?
Life sucks. But at least I'm getting better about asking P to reimburse me for expenses he has made promises to cover. Separate checks are OK. Baby steps. I can't afford to subsidize someone whose income makes mine look paltry just because I don't have to ask permission of anyone else to spend it in the first place.
I even told him perhaps he should be grateful that she relieves him of the burden of having to decide what he can afford or not. This was after he had asked me to go "toy" shopping with him and I said the trip wiped out any discretionary funds for a bit.
Add to it my empty nest looming with the loss of what my son's GF contributes towards utilities and realizing the well used appliances my son owns that will go with him & need to be replaced (vacuum cleaner, rice cooker, slow cooker.)
Life sucks, but the sun will rise tomorrow. And I will awake, get dressed and go to work. P will be here for a two night visit when I return. Perhaps we can FINALLY get to that relationship agreement he had agreed we would work on? Not holding my breath & not wanting to be the parent & always nag.
P is so sad
P just left. Holding back tears.
I wish it were different.
Before he left we had a "short sleep" that lasted longer than we had anticipated, so we didn't get around to making love as we had planned when we crawled into bed.
We never did get around to the relationship agreement.
This morning he asked when I might be comfortable with him leaving clothes here again. I was honest and said I didn't know.
But he did ask if I wanted him to stay more. YES!!!!!! But I let him know it would be different, that if that happens I could not put off things that need to get done. He asked or examples. Like housekeeping, dishes, work related stuff. And he said it would be more like living together.
Yes, but I would still not consider it living together, it would be longer visits. With thinking of it as living together I would have expectations, like financially contributing to the household, and I know he is unable to do that - so I can't allow myself to think of him being here in those terms and cope.
He got sad, pulled away and said it would be him passing through. No, I wanted to shout.
I said we don't have to define it in the same way, but he pulled further away and said that, Yes, we do.
He was very sullen as he dressed and packed to go home. He messaged that he loved me. I love him with all my heart and soul. When I came back in the room he kept pulled away. I reminded him how much I love him. "You don't even call me your boyfriend." No, I don't. I'm not going to lie to him. To protect my heart, I do not call him my boyfriend nor a partner. He is my love, my soulmate, even more than he is my "friend with benefits for now."
He knows I love him. And I wish he could see into my heart. I reminded him to look at my actions.
P is home now. Messages that is fine, but shaken. And that he needs to digest the differences in how we define our relationship.
I asked if I had misled him in any way, and he reassured me that I haven't.
Time to do dishes and get ready for this evening's work. Tomorrow life "alone" returns, and with it all the responsibilities. Fortunately I have a friend coming over in the morning to help re-caulk around the tub. Will probably make lunch for him as a thank you.
Life goes on. I will see P again on Wed when he visits again.
Every relationship should thrive or fail on its own merit
This time I put off working on the "expectations."
He blames ADD
We both agreed, after my insistence, that we would work in it second night of last visit as we had "work" the first night. Second night comes. And I make we shower - he asks what I'd like to do for the evening. Seriously, you don;t remember? No? We agreed we were going to work on our relationship expectations. "Ok."
I make dinner. Time to eat, he turns on a video, except it was an hour video. When it is over, I suggest we set another time to work in it. He was surprised. I reminded him it was an hour until I wanted to go to bed. He seemed shocked that it would take any longer than that. Seriously?
So we finished an article for a newsletter, I tasked him with doing the dinner dishes, reminded him he needed to make his lunch for work, and by the time we got to bed it was 45 min later than I had really wanted to turn in in the first place.
Friday is my early work day (early for me.) I'm NOT a morning person.
He ended up leaving upset and me upset and crying.
Yes, I believe an hour is not enough time to go revamp our expectations document. I also want time to process and relax before going to bed. I understand he had been upset about what he called "punitive" language I had earlier suggest in the expectations - but didn't I immediately remove or revise those when he balked - so why hold that against me now?
He leaned in to kiss me and I pulled away telling him I didn't want a kiss right then. He got upset that it "cut him"
I did have sense to message before he got work, that we were both overly sensitive and understood that neither of us had intended to upset the other.
I was grateful for a long workday yesterday.
Being able to come home and collapse into bed without too much time to think about being alone.
This morning we messaged for a few minutes.
He is good with being alone. When he was 7 he had essentially become an only child (older siblings all gone.) I had a very close family, growing up until high school with my brother and an uncle very close in age, and many aunts and cousins. I had a lot of alone time as well, but I was never isolated when I didn't desire.
In this relationship I feel "forced" alone. Forced not the best word or the right one, I know. It is my choice to be "alone" when he is not with me, and i freely make that choice because the alternative is too painful for me to consider - of feeling guilty for treating one partner or another as "less than." I feel that trying to accept be feeling of being less than and forced alone is only choice I can live with and still be "with" him, and this choice is so hard for me I question how long I can maintain it.
Perhaps workable Poly is being willing to be selfish without it feeling selfish.
I never felt selfish living Poly with my ex-hubby, because I never saw where actively having more than one detracted from what he/we shared in any way, and I was very sensitive to ensure that it never would feel that way for him. without my otherlove, I never would have been able to endure those many years with him.
Bottom line still rings true, poly only enabled me to continue trying to salvage the marriage for waay too long. Just because you love someone does not mean you should be married to them or partnered with them.
Every relationship should thrive or fail on its own merit.
I wish I had been wise enough to realize that decades ago with my ex. Even living mono and years of counseling when he was finally able to commit to trying was not enough to save that marriage.
Where does that leave me with P?
I'm overwhelmed. Depressed.
I unexpectedly jumped into a position of great responsibility with my trade association. The learning curve is steep.
I need to see a doc to get ADD & depression in check, but I'm still uninsured.
Haven't even made a dent in my business expense accounting for last year, so taxes can't be finished. Guess I need to apply for an extension & get my estimated payments for this year in.
So many projects need to be done on the house.
Acutely aware of impending empty nest when my son & his GF graduate from college & move out.
Still in the "what are we" mode with my love.
If I could see any upside for him to his marriage and the majority of his time he spends at his home, other than fulfilling his sense of obligation, perhaps I wouldn't mind the alone time so much. It is not up to me to decide or even my place to understand his other relationship(s), but they do affect me.
He still doesn't seem to understand how I feel rejected or abandoned every time he leaves. He does nothing to encourage that feeling, if is all mine. And yet, when I even mention taking a break/running away for a short time to get myself together - he feels abandoned.
When I first got hit with the feeling of being overwhelmed I wanted to run away to visit my best friend out of state for a while. He spent two days in tears at work and his home before he messaged and asked if he could run away with me, mistakenly believing I wanted to permanently ditch everything I wanted a break from - including him. I had to reassure him that was NOT the case. And it turns out it wasn't the best time to visit my best friend, and I hate to be one to impose even though I know she would ALWAYS open her door to me for any length of time I would need. So I stayed home, trying to plod through the emotional avalanche.
I still want to run away. I asked him to run away with me, to move away with me. Only now he says he can't because of his obligations. Why is it different when he thinks I'm dumping him vs asking him to go with me? I told him to give two weeks notice & even found a house I could afford near a town he believes he would love to in & there is more work possibilities in what he wants to work in. He said he would seriously discuss it, but like everything else it seems unless I push it doesn't get talked about. He blames ADD. Getting harder & harder to accept that, even though I'm sure it contributes.
Loss of a Platonic Love, etc
End of January P joined me on a visit to WA to see what I could do to care for my friend Grumpy. Earlier this week I learned that Grumpy had passed away last month (no one was notified). I was so grateful that P was with me. I'm still fighting tears and the full impact of my loss is starting to sink in.
Grumpy was a best friend, mentor, confidant for over 24 years. We "adopted" each other when I was just 21 and newly married, in a new town with a husband out to sea. Although I had only seen him in person a couple times since I moved away over a decade ago, we were still as close emotionally as ever. I loved him, and he loved me. I tried for over 2 years to get him to move in with me so I could care for him as his health declined. He did not want to "be a burden" on me and refused.
I did contact the coroner to offer to claim his body and arrange a proper send off with military honors, but was informed that his family was involved. (I'll reserve my opinion of those worthless @#!&*)
I am so grateful that I did not wait to visit, though I did not think it would be the "last" time I held him and kissed him goodbye. I am grateful I had the opportunity to share this awesome person with the one I love, and have them enjoy each others company.
I am sad I do not have any photos of him, only memories. Background - my ex-hubby was a major flipping bigot (black, gay, bisexual, mexican - you name it he disliked). Grumpy was black. So I didn't dare have any pictures of him in our photo albums, I was limited to visiting him where we worked and at his home or the rare occasion we went out for dinner. This visit, he requested I not take a picture because he was embarrassed of his condition - fat, balding head turned grey, loss of teeth, sitting in a grungy t-shirt and depends. I wish I had at least snapped a picture while he napped. I didn't care. I loved him. But I honored his request.
Yes, I have other close friends to bounce things off, but no one nearly as close as he was. I feel like a chasm has opened in my heart.
I'm hurting emotionally from relationship stuff regarding P right now that Grumpy would have been there for me on, to listen & not judge. My closest gal friend lives far away and has taken to preferring texting to communicate & I don't have a texting plan - plus she doesn't get poly. My former long-distance partner is available and willing, but he is having relationship issues of his own and I don't want to give him any idea that I might want to rekindle our physical relationship.
I hope time will ease the pain.
|mono, monogamish, poly to mono|