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  #61  
Old 01-18-2017, 12:13 AM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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The con was... complex. Emotion-wise, that is. I had a really rough time the first night, to the extent of full-blown panic attack. Saturday, another rough patch, but this time it was anger toward my boyfriend about plans that were not clearly communicated, leaving me expecting something that turned out not to be the case. We sorted things out, and set plans in place to avoid a situation like that in the future since this wasn't the first time we've had that kind of misunderstanding. For a little while, though, I wasn't sure we would sort things out, or whether I wanted to...

But it wasn't like in the past when I've gotten upset. I mean... in some ways it was. I'm still learning to manage emotions and relationships. But I didn't catastrophize, and I didn't hold myself responsible for not understanding something that wasn't actually explained to me. So progress...

Thank goodness for my boyfriend's female housemate; she's a really good friend, and although she wasn't staying with us at the con, she was there quite a bit and used our room as a clothes-changing/get-away-from-people space. She listened to a LOT of my venting both nights, and she was so incredibly supportive, I can't even say how much I appreciate it.

Other than those two issues, though, it was good. I didn't see everyone I knew who was there, and I didn't really meet anyone. I was introduced to a few people, but I don't think I would recognize them if I ran into them on the street.

During one event, a guy kept watching me, and he was pretty cute. I talked to him a bit later, because I ran into him at a different part of the con... but I was on a mission (it was during one of my volunteer shifts) and was so one-track-minded I didn't even think to give him my name. Ugh.
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  #62  
Old 01-21-2017, 02:50 AM
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Following a train of thought from Spork's blog:

Sex positivity. Something I've tried, really, really tried to have. But it's really hard to be positive about something that's done so much damage to me and to Alt. Intellectually, I can separate rape and sexual assault from sex. Emotionally... it's hard work, but I can usually manage it.

I've blogged here before about how I was brought up. A father who left porn literally lying around the house (living room floor, kitchen table, etc.), and a mother who made sex sound like the most horrible thing any female could ever do unless it was because her man wanted it. And that made me the "bad" one when I was molested and assaulted, in her eyes.

My first husband, Alt and Country's father, was much the same as my mother. I kind of had the feeling he hated sex and hated me for having it, but that was what married people did so we had to.

I tried to raise my offspring to believe what I desperately *wanted* to believe: That sex is a good, enjoyable, positive thing when done with someone you actually want to do it with, who cares about and respects you. I told Alt and Country that they didn't have to wait for marriage if they didn't want to, and they didn't even have to be in love, but that I hoped they would at least wait until they were sure they were ready and that their first time would be with someone they at least liked and trusted.

When I left their dad, I had sex with a lot of different guys. Most of them, only once or twice. I was friendly with all but one of them (that was an intentional one-night stand; I wanted to see what I thought of those). I started believing what I'd taught my offspring. For the first time, I owned my sexuality, and I enjoyed myself without guilt or shame.

Then I got involved with Hubby. I've blogged here before about that too, how he, not maliciously or even intentionally, destroyed the progress I'd made about viewing sex positively by insulting everything I asked if we could do sexually. We opened our marriage because I got tired of "paint by numbers sex" and told him I was no longer going to accept having to define my sex life by his unwillingness to vary or compromise.

I've had to fight my way back to where I was before I met Hubby. Dating my boyfriend has helped a lot; he's very sex-positive and completely nonjudgmental. I've talked some about it in therapy. And I worked my way through that workbook I mentioned a page or so ago here, a book that's all about helping women form a more positive view of their bodies and sex. (It's called Sexy Witch, for anyone who's wondering; it does have a witchcrafty slant, so if that isn't something you're okay with, it isn't the book for you.) One of the exercises in the book, which touches on something Spork mentioned, is spending a long stretch of time--the book recommends an hour--looking at your vulva in a mirror.

I just mentioned my boyfriend being sex-positive. And I tried to be sex-positive in *general* even when I couldn't be *personally.*

Spork was wondering in her blog what "sex-positive" actually means. I would say that for me, anyway, it means believing sex is a good, enjoyable thing, and that whatever is done sexually between/among consenting adults is okay as long as no one's being harmed. (Differentiating "harm" from "hurt", because in some aspects of BDSM being hurt is desirable, but that doesn't cause harm because it's agreed-on.)

But being sex-positive also means being positive about your own sexual interests. And that means *not* showing off your body if you aren't okay with doing so. It means *not* having sex with multiple partners, or *not* having sex as often as your partner wants to, if it isn't what *you* want. Being sex-positive means accepting what others do amongst themselves, but it also means accepting what you are and aren't okay with doing, and honoring that.
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  #63  
Old 02-09-2017, 09:50 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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We're having a blizzard...

Things are going pretty well here. I've had a lot of discussions lately with my boyfriend about polyamory in general and our relationship in particular, because a few things I've learned lately are causing me some cognitive dissonance. I don't know whether I'll get the hang of it or not. I am trying, and he and Hubby are both being incredibly supportive and patient. (Hubby because when I reach a point of feeling like I can't talk to my boyfriend, or feel like I've been talking to him too much, I talk to Hubby...which he's okay with, to a point, and he's good about telling me when he hits that point.)

I reconnected with Tie Guy. We went out to dinner a couple weeks ago and clicked better than previously. We're planning to see each other again next week or the week after.

To my surprise, Site Guy messaged me a couple of days ago. I hadn't heard from him since before New Year's. He said things have been hectic for him and he hopes we can get together in the next couple-few weeks. We'll see if that happens.

My self-esteem is not in the best of places. I keep being afraid that my boyfriend will realize that I'm more fucked-up than he thought and that other women he knows are better for him than I am. It's been a rough few weeks, though there have been a lot more good patches than rough ones. It's just that I'm making some major changes in my thinking and my self-perception, and that isn't easy to do.
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  #64  
Old 02-17-2017, 11:35 PM
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I've been having a really hard time lately with wrapping my mind around the way my boyfriend does poly. It's partly the "kitchen table" thing; I'm still very uncomfortable with the idea of socializing with any of his other partners. And it's partly insecurity when he talks to me about those other partners, because while I am able to feel happy for him, I'm also worried that he'll decide I'm not good enough or too much work, and it's very lonely for me I know he's with someone else and I'm here alone because Hubby's at work or deep in game-land.

He keeps hanging in there with me, though. I do talk to him about how I'm feeling. He isn't responsible for how I feel, but our relationship is affected by it, and he wants to help me feel better about things. It also helps me to hear his perspective on situations, and to have him clarify things since I don't always understand or perceive correctly.

He's also trying to help me with social skills, because he agrees with me that I might not struggle quite as much if I have other people to hang out with, whether those people are platonic friends or some level of partner. One of the issues I have is that right now he's almost my entire social life, because most (though, fortunately, not all) of the people I know are *his* friends and I'm having trouble thinking of them as *my* friends.

I'm also not even slightly comfortable reaching out to any of them to say "Hey, want to go out for coffee" or anything like that, because I don't know them well enough. To which my boyfriend's response has been "How are you going to get to know them if you don't socialize with them?" But I feel like I can only socialize with them with him present, because as I said, they're *his* friends. I don't even have contact info for some of the ones I would like to spend more time with. Which leaves me still sitting here unable to even bring myself to message the people whose contact info I *do* have, because I don't want to bother them or I can't quite believe they would want anything to do with me independently of my boyfriend.

Added to that, my car is now completely unsafe for the road. With the snowstorms we had the past week, I couldn't drive it at all; it sat in my in-laws' driveway from last Wednesday until today. If the pavement is even wet, the car slides all over the place. Forget about trying to drive it if there's slush or ice.

Which means I'm feeling even more trapped and isolated, because I can only go places by public transportation, and some of the people I'd like to socialize with are in places that aren't public-transit accessible. Plus I'm limited by the public transit schedules, and that really bugs me. We aren't willing to get the car repaired, because the repairs would cost more than the car is worth, and we can't afford to replace it right now. Fortunately, my boyfriend's place *is* accessible by public transit.

Site Guy got back to me about getting together, but he lives too far away to see if I don't have a car. So I still don't know when or if that's going to happen. But at least he was willing to see me on a different night of the week than before.

Tie Guy and I have another date planned for Monday. He's also in the easy-public-transit geographic area, so the lack of car isn't an obstacle with him.

For Valentine's Day, Hubby astonished me by coming home from work with a bouquet of roses! My boyfriend and I haven't had a chance to do anything for V-Day yet, but he has something planned.
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  #65  
Old 02-26-2017, 10:41 PM
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My car is being completely and permanently taken off the road. I can manage with it on dry pavement, but the inspection sticker has now expired, and there's no chance it would come close to taking another one. I've signed up with Zipcar for the time being; it's going to be inconvenient as hell having to either take public transit or reserve a car to go anywhere, but at least I'll stay alive. Depending on what's happening on public transit, anyway.

My boyfriend and I still haven't had our Valentine's Day. Something came up the day we were going to do it, so we still had our night together but it was too late by the time he got back for us to actually go anywhere. He promised me a raincheck, which we haven't followed up on because for the past week, I've been sick. Combination of influenza and a gastrointestinal virus. I'm still not entirely feeling human....

The other day, my boyfriend asked me to email a few people about plans for Saturday (last night). One of them said she was doing a gaming gathering in the afternoon, and seemed surprised my boyfriend hadn't mentioned it to me. (He knows I'm not much into games; she didn't know that.) She invited me to go...so I did.

There were only two other people there, a man and a woman who are both friends of my boyfriend. But of mine too, now, I guess. I couldn't understand the first game we tried to play. I don't grok the kind of game where you have little tokens and you "buy" water or laborers or whatever; I have no idea how to figure out what I'm supposed to "buy" or trade or whatever. On only my second turn, I was completely stuck. I apologized and said I was going to bow out, because I was not comprehending things and I didn't want to ruin their gaming.

In the past, at times like that, people have gotten angry or impatient, or at the very least have said, "Okay, see you later, we're going to keep playing this." But these two said, "No problem, we have other games. We'll just play something else so you can stay."

Neither of them knows me well. I don't think they have any concept at all of the impact that made on me. Not only were they not upset or frustrated...they were patient, tried to explain the first game, and when I still couldn't get it they just completely changed plans midstream. I had to fight with myself not to argue or try to talk them out of it, because that was just, to me, such an amazing thing for them to do.

So we played a few other games, until the woman had to leave and I decided to go get something to eat. The guy and the woman who had invited me--who didn't show up until just as the other woman was leaving--ended up at the same food place I did, so we sat and chatted while we ate, and then I headed to my boyfriend's. I felt proud of myself; I socialized with people I don't know well, in a setting that was not comfortable for me initially (because I felt like a bloody idiot for not being able to understand the first game), and I got really frustrated with myself for not understanding. But I hung in there, and things worked out really well.

In other news, Site Guy's been messaging and says he really wants to see me, but won't let me drive out there in a deathtrap car. Now that won't be an issue, since I can Zipcar it, so I need to let him know that.

I had to cancel my date with Tie Guy because of being sick, so we've rescheduled for next week.
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  #66  
Old 03-11-2017, 11:16 PM
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I'm not having fun with the lack of car thing. My ex (my kids' dad) called me yesterday morning and said a friend of his who owns a used-car lot has a few cars that might work for me, and that the friend would take my piece of shit in trade even though we still owe on it, and would make sure I got reasonable payments.

This is the guy who until six years ago I couldn't talk to without it resulting in yelling and me having a panic attack... And now he's trying to help me find a car and saying things like "We need to get you into something safe to drive." I told him I'd talk to Hubby about the car thing; I haven't had a chance yet because Hubby's been dealing with some work things. But since I've restarted the business I first started last spring, and part of the deal with that is that I'll travel to clients, having my own car would be very beneficial... I can use ZipCar if I do have to drive to clients, but that has the potential to run into a big cost depending on how far I have to go and how long an appointment is, and how many appointments I have. (So far, none...)

Since I don't have a car, I can't see Site Guy unless I get a ZipCar for several hours. I haven't decided whether I want to spend the money for that. Then again, he hasn't actually asked me over, he's just said a few times that he wants to, so it's irrelevant unless he actually asks.

I also can't go to a lot of the meetups and events I want to go to, because they aren't public transit-accessible, and again, the expense of using ZipCar is a bit prohibitive.

I had a date with Tie Guy last night. We ended up just sitting at a restaurant talking for over four hours, but it was nice. I'm getting along a lot better with him than when I tried dating him before. At the end of the date, he kissed me; that was the first kiss.
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  #67  
Old 03-20-2017, 10:35 PM
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I've been working on my business. And my confidence, or lack thereof, which is kinda hampering my business.

I know what I'm doing as far as the services I provide. What I don't have is the confidence to convince *clients* I know what I'm doing. Or to write a bunch of articles to post on LinkedIn and elsewhere, as Tie Guy suggested when we were talking at dinner. He knows a lot about marketing, so he's giving me advice and suggestions about that. And my boyfriend knows a lot about building and running a business, so he's advising me on the general business stuff. Between the two of them, at least I don't have to pay for consultants...

The problem is figuring out why I am completely confident in my skills and abilities, but I'm struggling with believing that *other people* will believe I know what I'm doing and what I'm talking about. If that made any sense.

I'm also dealing with issues with Country. She barely talks to me at all, even when I try to get in touch. During the fall semester, she was at least answering and having conversations with me sometimes... It's really hard right now. People have told me I should stop giving her spending money if she isn't going to visit or talk to me, but that just feels wrong; it's like the deadbeat parents who say "Why should I pay child support if I don't see the kid?" Country's legally an adult, but she's still my child, and I can't just completely unplug everything from her like that.

Her dad and stepmom, along with Alt and Alt's fiance, are going to sit down with Country this weekend and try to get her to at least give them some idea of what her problem with me is. Once again, I'm really astonished by her dad's support. I don't know whether Country will talk to them or not, but I do know that I've spent the past three days crying almost constantly about the situation... I feel like I was in mourning and now I've reached "acceptance" stage. I don't think she and I'll ever really be close, but it would be nice if I at least saw her once in a while...(It isn't because she's busy; she goes to visit her dad and stepmom once or twice a month, and talks to them once or twice a week.)

The car thing didn't work out; Hubby was okay with looking into it, but then my ex said we would need a down payment. If we had money for a down payment, we could fix the worst of the problems wiht my car so we could keep it on the road a bit longer... So now I don't know what I'm going to do. I just got an every-other-Friday gig doing intuitive readings, about 60 miles from here, which is gonna mean 8 hours minimum of renting a ZipCar. Probably more like 9 hours to account for traffic. Ugh. Kinda pointless when you look at it that way...I might be going up there to earn nothing at all some days. But I need to think positively. I will earn money, more than enough to cover the car.
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  #68  
Old 04-03-2017, 10:07 PM
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The car saga continues. My ex and I have/had a friend (my ex is still friends with him, I haven't spoken to him since the divorce) who owns a Ford dealership who might be able to get Hubby financed for a used car or possibly even a new one. Hubby's okay with the idea of talking to the guy, especially after I told him that between ZipCar and car rentals, I had to spend over $200 on transportation in March--and we're still making payments on the undrivable car. My ex's friend would take that car in trade. The trick is that the dealership is about 3 1/2- 4 hours away from us...

Things are somewhat better with Country as well. The day everyone talked to her, she called me and stayed on the phone with me for an hour and a half! She's never talked to me that long! I was so happy I kept alternating between wanting to jump for joy and having my eyes water... We've only talked a couple of times since, but she told me during the phone call that she has a lot of projects due because there's now only about 5 weeks left in the semester before exams.

She also said she's going to try to come home this weekend, at least for a night, and that between the end of exams and the start of her summer job, she's going to try to spend some time here. Which will be good; her job is at a summer camp, so she'll be gone for 2 months and will only have cell service once a week for an hour or so when she goes into town on her day off. And no internet service at all.

Things with Hubby are good, and so are things with my boyfriend. Tie Guy and I had another date since my last post, and that went well; we're starting to move toward some kind of relationship, though I'm still not sure of the form I want that to take. He and I have another date Friday afternoon, but I'm gonna have to cut that one a bit short because of Country's visit. I've pretty much written off Site Guy (I've probably said that before...) because I haven't heard from him in a month, since he said something along the lines of "Oh, you have ZipCar, we should get together."

I've been chatting on OKC the past couple of days with someone who seems to have a lot in common with me. Still early-stage chatting, and he lives about 5 hours away so I don't know that we would ever even have a chance to meet. But I'm enjoying the conversation.
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  #69  
Old 04-30-2017, 09:20 PM
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The OKC guy with whom I was chatting ghosted. Though he did first tell me he had a lot going on in his life and was dealing with "some stuff." I might message him again at some point, but probably not.

There's a guy I met at the club at one point (or, rather...a guy who says he met me at the club, but I don't remember; which doesn't mean we didn't meet, it means I don't remember). He's been messaging me off and on on Kik for months now, and he sometimes mentions wanting to get together with me. I think he's only interested in "playing," though, and right now I'm not in the mood for something that's solely sexual. That's pretty much what I had going on with Site Guy...who I still haven't seen and have barely heard from. Haven't heard much from Tie Guy lately either, other than some marketing info emails he's forwarded to me. But it's coming up on the time when he'll usually have a "slow week" work-wise, which means he'll probably get in touch soon to set up a date.

Country did come home for the weekend a few weeks ago, and it was a great experience. She talked with me a little about school and about her boyfriend, and we got along the entire time. Unlike previous times she's come home, she actually stayed the entire weekend, not only one night. I haven't had much contact with her since, but she's gearing up for final exams and I know she had a few papers due. Alt said they haven't really heard from Country much the past few weeks either, and they usually talk a few times a week.

I've been doing a lot of work on myself lately. Something I've tried to do before, but it seems more important this time. Over the past month or so, a lot of things have come to my attention that I really need to change, because they're problems for me as well as for Hubby and my boyfriend. A lot of it has to do with how I interact--or don't--with other people, which has been keeping me from making friends and often from meeting other people.

What it mostly boils down to, though, is fear and not having a good opinion of myself. Which is something that's been called to my attention plenty of times, but previously I haven't really done anything about it. I haven't felt like I was worth not feeling like I wasn't worth it, if that makes any sense. So I'm working on all of that through my own means and with my therapist. And, of course, with help from Hubby and my boyfriend, both of whom are completely amazing about it.

I'm putting myself out there more. Socializing has been difficult for me, but I'm trying harder. I have friends I barely see, and I'm trying to change that. I'm meeting more people too. I don't know how it's going to play out, but usually if I set my mind to something and try really hard, I can do it.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:54 AM
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The day after my last post, I heard from the guy who ghosted. He said he still had a lot going on, but he was sorry he hadn't been in touch, and he missed talking to me. We chatted for a couple hours, and I haven't heard from him since. I'll probably message him in a day or so just to see if he answers.

As predicted, Tie Guy got in touch a few days ago to let me know when he's available. I'm going to be out of town most of the week he mentioned, but we were able to find a time to get together. That isn't for over a week, though.

I've been doing a lot of work on myself, on changing my mindset and that kind of thing. I'm noticing the changes. I'm a lot calmer in general, and I'm coping much better when I'm told things about my boyfriend's other partners. For the most part, I've been able all along to be happy for him, but that happiness has always been tempered with "But *I* don't have that." I'm doing a lot better at not thinking that "but" and not being upset about sitting home alone with the cats while he's out having fun. I'm also meeting more people, so hopefully there won't be as much time sitting home alone.

(Hubby's still here, obviously, but he's become very withdrawn lately. He's dealing with a lot of stress, and when that happens, he won't talk to me. Not about the stress or about much of anything else.)

I've become friends with a woman my boyfriend has known for a long time; he introduced us. We have a lot in common, and we've talked about going to an event together that she's gone to before and that I want to go to.

I've also become friends with a guy who my boyfriend has also known for a long time. I've met him a couple of times at events, and the last time, a week or so ago, he and I talked most of the night. The next night, with a bit of intervention from my boyfriend, he took me to dinner and a concert. He says he isn't in a head space to date right now, but he wants to be friends and spend more time with me. Maybe things will go further in the future; if not, he's a cool guy, and I can always use more friends.
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