My advice to the partner of a Leeroy Jenkins-style Polyamorist

After nearly 5 years together, she tells him she’s poly.  After allowing him four weeks of “adjustment” she’s got dates lined up and tells him she’ll “probably” have sex with these guys.  He’s not ready.  She’s going all-in.

This is my advice to him:


I’m gonna share with you some of my thoughts on polyamory and how it can work in the abstract. This is by no means the one and only way shit works – this is just what I’ve found to be the healthiest way in my experience. Then, after that I’ll give you some examples on how to approach a very, very necessary conversation with your girlfriend and how to tell if she’s open to polyamory with you, or some sort of alternative in which she’s not really valuing your future participation in her life.

Polyamory in general can be, in many ways, a vehicle for personal growth. Some polyfolk like to say that it’s “more” love, but I think that’s just an imperfect translation. It’s “many” love. I’m going to use an imperfect analogy to illustrate the difference. You have a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, a box of Lucky Charms, a gallon of milk, a bowl, and a spoon.

Monoamory in its most ideal form is selecting one of the cereals, filling the bowl, adding the milk, and using the spoon to eat it.

Polyamory, in one of its most ideal forms, is pouring some of each cereal into the same bowl, adding the milk, and using the spoon to eat it.

Picture a monoamorous person sitting in front of their bowl of Lucky Charms sitting side by side with the polyamorous person sitting in front of their bowl of a mix of Cheerios and Charms.

The poly person doesn’t have “more” cereal. The poly person has more variety in their cereal. They have “many” cereal, not “more.”

(Don’t put the cereal analogy away yet, I’m going to come back to it later.)

Now, for this – I’m not gonna go into some of the more complex makeups of polyamorous relationships, meaning – no triads or quads or relationship anarchy types. Not gonna go into the ratio of charms to cheerios, either. In fact, for this – I’m going to focus on what I know best – which is how a monoperson (me) can be in a happy, harmonious relationship with a polyperson (my partner).

There is a metric fuckton of self work that has to go into successful polyamory, whether you’re on the mono side or the poly side. You have to be able to accept your feelings, analyze your feelings, dissect your feelings, explore your feelings, and communicate your feelings in ways that minimize their power over your actions. I’ll probably end up writing a whole book on this, so there’s no way I’m going to get through all of it in a comment, but…. the basic tenets of successful polyamory have a whole lot to do with personal responsibility, honesty, trust, empathy, and patience.

These are the bowl, the milk, and the spoon of your relationships.

When you think of your “needs” try to separate the difference between YOUR needs and the needs of your relationship. When someone is dating multiple people, it helps to think of each relationship as its own entity – therefore the “needs” that are attached to that relationship fall under the responsibility of both parties to be aware of.

Example: for me, sex is a relationship need. I have been in relationships that did not include sex, and it made me miserable. One of the things poly people sometimes say is “I can get my needs met with others that i don’t get with you…” and something they frequently advise when someone is complaining that they’re not getting enough sex with a partner is “Just go get sex with someone else!”

For me, sex is not the same as enjoying a fine, hand-crafted cocktail. That’s a want. That’s something I enjoy doing, and if my partner didn’t drink, I would be fine with finding someone else to enjoy cocktails with.

But, for a relationship (for me) – sex is a need. For me to feel happy and fulfilled in a relationship, I need fairly regular sex. Whether I had one relationship or twenty, they’d all need that. (There’s just the one, thanks.) That’s the spoon. Trust is the bowl. Empathy and validation of my feelings are the milk.

Without ALL of them, eating that bowl of cereal will be very problematic. Not impossible, but certainly not ideal. It doesn’t matter if I’m having Cheerios only, or a mix of Charms, Cheerios and Cap’n Crunch – I need to ensure I’ve got everything I NEED (and to make sure I’m not overfilling the bowl) in order to be in a happy and harmonious polyamorous relationship.

Now to the part where you need to set some boundaries and working that concept of personal responsibility with your girlfriend.

Relationships *should be* at will. Nobody should be coerced or forced to stick with a bad situation. I get that this happens, and that requires a level of help I’m not quite capable of giving – but in in this case, nobody is forcing you to stay with your girlfriend if you are not getting your needs met in a relationship.

If she is serious about exploring polyamory WITH you, then she is going to have to give you more than a couple weeks to adjust to the idea. That means having to listen to your fears, your insecurities, and your concerns and *validating* them. Not ignoring them or telling them you won’t know until you try or saying “eeh…i’mma do what i want, deal with it.” She’s got to LISTEN to you and understand what your issues are, even if she doesn’t feel them herself.

I remember I once worked somewhere that was folding into another company. They offered everybody who was leaving severance: One month’s pay for every year you worked at the company.

Your girlfriend basically gave you a WEEK per year you’ve been with her to adjust to a BRAND NEW RELATIONSHIP.

She thinks “But at least I’m being honest!” And yeah, she’s being honest. She’s telling you the truth – that she wants to date and sleep with other people.

But is she being honest about wanting to be sure that you’re okay with it? Is she being honest about wanting very much to keep you as a priority in her life?

Her recent actions tell me not so much.

And when people’s actions don’t match up with their words, I start to question just how “honest” they really are.

The NCSF has a listing of poly-friendly professional counselors. If she’s serious….truly serious, ask her to go with you to a counseling session. Ask her to read the books with you and discuss them. Ask her to go to local support group meetings or to join the poly groups on FB to get some feedback and learn how to poly in the most ethically responsible and healthy ways.

If she won’t…

Then just remember. Your relationship is at will. You deserve better than a handful of cereal with spoiled milk and no bowl.

Deconstructing the destruction: How Professor Snape and Lily Potter’s eyes can help you process your most recent breakup

I used to “fall in love” online every twenty-two minutes. That’s an exaggeration, but suffice it to say that as a very young adult (and sometimes teenager) I would meet people online and start developing emotional attachments to them very quickly. It was easy to do this. I didn’t know they snored. Or subscribed to the “If it’s yellow, it’s mellow / if it’s brown flush it down” mentality. I didn’t know they were rude to servers, or hated children. I didn’t know because I didn’t ask.

Why the fuck would I ask that?

“So, what’s your favorite color, what did you want to be when you grew up, and are you rude to servers?”

When you’re developing an online romance, you fill in the blanks of what you don’t know with the best case scenario. You assume they don’t do the things you HATE that people do because you are idealizing all the things they say that make you feel so good.

Guess what? They didn’t know the bad stuff about me either. They didn’t know that I regularly leave the cap off the toothpaste. That I wait until it takes DAYS to do laundry to do the laundry. That you will regularly find clumps of my hair circling the drain, and that I get terribly gassy when I eat too much garlic.

Why the fuck would they ask that? They just assume I can tolerate garlic like normal people do.

So, what’s this got to do with breakups and Snape?

There’s a thing that happens when a breakup isn’t amicable. You know, when it’s not the two partners sitting down and negotiating their way out of the relationship the same way we negotiate our way into them. The thing that happens is that one or both of them, (usually the person that was left, and not the leaver …but sometimes the leaver, too) start to question a lot of things. They feel blindsided by the sudden news that they were not wanted.

And it’s hard to process that, because….why the fuck would they have filled in the blanks with “this person does not want me the way I want them?”

Blah, Blah, Blah – communication. Communication, communication, communication. How many half-hour sitcoms would be over in 30 seconds if the comedic duo just TOLD each other what they were thinking instead of relying on innuendo and assumptions?

But, okay – in this case, communication was lacking at some point and the whole thing comes crashing down – and someone gets hurt. This next bit isn’t only about online or long-distance type relationships. It’s about ANY type of relationship.

Think about the Harry Potter films. The early ones, where Snape is such a DOUCHE. OMG, he’s taking that shit out on Harry just because Harry’s dad teased him in High School? GET THE FUCK OVER YOURSELF, HALF-BLOOD.

And why did he always look so fuckingconstipated?

But when you get to the end of the series and you find out what Alan Rickman knew all along – what he knew since the very beginning that none of the other actors knew – that Snape had the hots for Lily Potter. Not just a schoolboy crush, Snape was in love with her. And that he did everything he did to protect Harry because Harry had his mother’s eyes.

We didn’t have that information. That’s why we cried so much in the end when he died. Fuckin’ Snape was the unsung hero, and we’d had all these horrible thoughts about him, when he was a good guy all along.

That’s basically the OPPOSITE of what happens with relationships that fall apart. In relationships, what we get is the polyjuice copy of Mad-Eye Moody, where we think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread only to find out they’re really the 10th Doctor with Daddy Issues in disguise.

Wait…hold on…

Whatever. You know what I mean.

The thing that happens after the breakup is that we start questioning EVERYTHING. We don’t understand – “why did he/she say X when now they are doing Y?” I don’t think we’re trying to disprove our current reality – we’re not trying to go back to them and say “No, wait, you can’t be leaving me because three weeks ago you told me that that photo of my grandmother made you think that you couldn’t wait to grow old with me, so therefore you must love me and cannot leave!”

I mean, some people do that – but it doesn’t ever really work out well. I think mostly what we’re trying to do is re-calibrate our instincts. “Wait, was I wrong? How could I be wrong? What were the signs that I was wrong so that I can be more prepared to notice them in the future?”

We go back and watch all the movies again, now knowing what we know and start to see the signs of the truth. Oh yeah, remember that time that he said Cloris Leachman was a babe? Or the time that he insisted on vacationing in Boca Raton in February? Or that time he said it would be fun to learn how to play Bridge?

You go back and suddenly it makes sense why he would say he can’t wait to grow old with you, and then leave you a few weeks later for the octogenarian hottie he met at the Bingo tournament. He wasn’t lying at all. He literallycould not wait.

So. What happens next? You’ve done a rewatch. And a re-read. And you found new clues. And then you do another re-watch. And maybe another re-read and this time you pick up on other clues.

And you think, if I can just keep re-watching this I’ll have deconstructed this entire relationship so shit like this never happens to me again.

Meanwhile, there have been a ton of other great movies and books that have come out. Really good ones with bad-ass babes with bows and arrows and shit. But you’re still re-reading an almost 20-year old series, looking for clues.

Yes, there are stages of grief that include denial, bargaining, anger, and acceptance. It’s that last one – acceptance. There’s not an exact time frame when this should be happening. But, it should eventually happen.

The Collar

I have lots of collars.  Lots and lots and lots.  They’re accessories, though, like the many many rings i have and wear when I’m dressing up for a special occasion.

But not like the rings I keep tucked in a special box in my jewelry drawer:  my engagement and wedding rings.

Those are different.  Those are symbolic.  I don’t wear those anymore.

I don’t have a collar like that.  I never have.  Almost did, once.

This is the story about that one:

I always wore red nail polish.  She wore blue.  Whenever he got us a similar thing, I would get the red, and she’d get the blue.

She had a lot of insecurities.  Most of them were based on a lack of self worth. The angry part of me would tell you that her self-worth was probably right where it belonged, though at the time – I tried to convince her otherwise.

She started doing things….little things at first, to undermine my relationship with him.

He kept letting her.  He kept catering to her insecurities in such a way that our relationship (his and mine) would suffer.  Cancelling plans on me regularly. Changing our dynamic to please her. Subscribing to her near-constant emotional manipulation.

There was more.  Stuff I don’t want to get into because it’d bring up memories I don’t want to re-live and put him in a very unfavorable light.  He’ll read this.  He’ll agree:  he behaved very badly toward me, and he regrets it.  He’s asked for and received my forgiveness.

He’d told us he was getting us something special.  I can’t remember if I figured it out or if he told us point blank that he was getting each of us our own collars.  I was excited, because I’d never been given a collar before that meant something.  All the ones I had were freebies or accessories.  Costume pieces.  I’d wear them with him when we played, and I was attached to wearing them – but I wasn’t attached to THEM.

The last weekend we spent together, all together, she’d come over to our hotel room and unpacked her overnight bag.  She laid out, in the closet – on a shelf where it would be very visible – her corset, a leash, and …

A brand new, red leather collar.  He’d given it to her earlier in the week when they’d spent some time alone. He said the blue one was on back order and hadn’t arrived yet.

She known I’d seen it.  She’d known I hadn’t received mine yet.

I withdrew.  I was so upset. That was her intended result.  I left the room and went and sat by the hotel pool for over an hour. That was her intended result, as well.

He came up, eventually.  I told him how it felt seeing it.  How it looked as though he’d given her my collar because her insecurities had flared up when the red one had arrived and the blue one was on back-order.

He kept insisting that wasn’t what had happened.  That he’d intended for me to get the blue and her to get the red, contrary to the color-coding system we’d used for virtually everything in the short time we were all on the same continent simultaneously.

I couldn’t believe him.  There had been so many previous lies and manipulations he’d participated in, that the trust between us had been broken. No matter how often he swore to me that was the truth, I could never believe him.  I still don’t.

We broke up by the end of that weekend.  The blue one had come in a few weeks later.

I never received it.  That’s probably best.

The Photograph

It had arrived gift wrapped on her 29th birthday. A tarnished silver 5×7 frame holding the only remaining copy of a photograph taken years earlier.  Enclosed was a simple, unsigned note:  

Remember that once upon a time, you were cherished.

She’d thrown the framed photo back into the padded envelope it had arrived in and tossed it in a drawer. Days later, the note went out with the garbage.

They’d met the summer she’d run away from home to “see the world.”  At 17, she’d taken a Greyhound bus from a neighboring town with a large backpack she’d found at a rummage sale weeks earlier. Enough clothes to last a week, a journal and a pen, a can of almonds from the pantry, some toiletries, and all the money she could find.

Her father didn’t try too hard to find her. He probably hadn’t noticed she was gone until it he hit the bottom of the whisky bottle and was too drunk to go to the store to fetch more.

By the time she’d reached the big city, she’d run out of money and almonds.  He’d found her during his morning run; she was brushing her teeth in a drinking fountain in a public park.

“It must have been a lovely night for a camp-out,” he’d said, still jogging in place.

She spit onto the ground, and pushed the lock of dark hair out of her narrowed eyes. “It wasn’t so bad.”

“How are the stars at night?” he asked, still jogging.

“Brighter than I’ve ever seen,” she couldn’t help but smile as she recalled the vision of tiny lights glittering the darkened sky above the trees.

“Aah, well….they’d have to, to compete with that smile.”  

She leaned down to drink water from the fountain to conceal the blush in her cheeks.

He’d come back around at the end of his run and invited her out for a meal.  The meal led to an invitation to use the shower at his flat.  Which led to the shared warmth of his double bed. Which led to their shared summer, culminating in the day at the park with the rose.

That was the day he frightened her.

He’d just purchased a high-end used camera at a resale shop he’d passed on his morning run.  “It’s a Canon T-90!” he’d said, excitedly while she was heating up some leftover pizza in the oven.  

“I don’t know what that means,” she responded, unimpressed.

“It’s state-of-the art. Best technology there is right now,” he held the viewfinder to his eye and focused in on her.

She shrugged in response, and turned to look through the oven glass.  “What are you going to take pictures of?”  She asked, focusing her thoughts on the bubbling cheese as it browned.

“Beautiful things,” he responded as the flash went off

Later that day, they’d gone to the park.  She’d wanted to go to a bar, but he’d insisted on taking the camera out for a spin. She hated posing. He kept trying to position her this way and that, in front of trees, sitting on benches, leaning back over the grass.  She felt stiff and exposed.

He sat beside her on the bench, for the first time that day setting the camera down, and kissed her.  The kiss felt nice.  Sweet. “Can’t we go get a drink now?” she asked him.

“I just want one more shot,” he said.

She sighed.  “Okay.  What do you want me to do?”

He picked a rose off a nearby tree.  It was a deep, bright pink color that faded the closer it got to the base. “Hold this up to your face,” he said.

She pressed the bud to her nose and inhaled.  The smell was sweet and soft and reminded her of her mother’s garden growing up a million years ago.  She used to love the days when her mother would hand her the shears and say, “Let’s make tonight’s table special.  Go out to the garden and pick the six prettiest blooms for mum.”

She flashed on the memory of the night that those roses wound up on floor covered with shards of glass, beneath the bare wall streaked with water. Her father had sent her to her room. Hours later, her mother had come in quietly, setting the six roses on her bedside table.  “I love you, my darling,” she whispered.  She was gone six months later.

“I want you to look at me,” he said.

She raised her eyes up. He looked through the viewfinder and focused.  “You are so beautiful,” he said.  She smiled.  Sometimes he really made her feel that way.

He pulled the camera down and looked into her eyes.  “No, really.  You are so beautiful.”  He paused for a moment, taking in the contrast of her pale skin with the jet black short hair, and the bright rose against her cheek.

“I love you, my darling.”

*click*

 


 

She’d packed her backpack the night before while he slept and left during his morning run.  She left a note on a page torn from her unused journal.  “I’m sorry.  Thank you.  Goodbye.”  

She kissed the page, leaving behind the imprint of her red lips and left the key to the flat beside the note on the counter.


 

It was a great time to be a young adult without responsibility. The club scene made it easy for her to find a string of warm beds to sleep on, and most of the men and women who took her home would offer her at least a meal or some money before sending her on her way.

She was 21, three years past the rose in the park, when she met the people who would become her “family” for the next two years.  They offered her stability, room and board, in exchange for her services.  They called it “training.”

They hit her.  

But it wasn’t like with mum, she thought.  It wasn’t out of anger.  Afterwards, there was always some form of tenderness. A hug, soft words, hot cocoa.  She learned to enjoy the pain and anticipate the affection.. She learned to crave it.  She looked forward the nights when her training would continue. She wore a collar and she called them “Master” and “Mistress” and she called his friends “Sir.”

There were many, many “Sirs” during that time.

Then one evening, the man who looked too much like her father appeared at her bedroom door. They’d been properly introduced earlier.  She’d serviced him under the table during dinner at her Master’s behest, but without having to look at his face, he was just another cock to please.  She’d been far more reserved the rest of the evening as she fetched drinks and washed dishes.  He’d been leering at her from the sofa while she knelt at her Master’s feet during the game.

But that night he came into her room, as so many others had.  Master and Mistress had always told their guests to help themselves to anything in the house.  “What is ours is yours,” they’d say. Everybody knew she was theirs.

He turned the lights on.  Maybe if he hadn’t done that she could have gotten through it.  His voice was different, but his face…

His face was much too similar.

“On your back, little girl,” he growled.  She could smell the whiskey on him from three feet away and her stomach turned.

“Yes, Sir,” she responded obediently.

“No.  I want you to call me daddy,” he said.

They dropped her off at the bus station the following morning.  She had her backpack and enough money to get back to the city.

 


 

She worked the streets for a while.  It kept her relatively clothed and fed.  She got a job as an exotic dancer next at a dive bar in the shady part of town.  “You’re a little old,” the manager had said, “but if you put out, they won’t notice.”

She was 26.

 


 

He’d found her on Myspace in 2006.  She was 28 years old and earning a living as a web cam girl.  She’d started a live-journal blog where she chronicled her exploits – some real, and some imaginary, and used the social networking site to promote her website.

She lived with the webmaster and spent most nights in his bed as compensation for his services. On nights he had other women, she slept on the couch.

“How have you been?” read the first message.

They agreed to meet.  She didn’t have a car and had spent the last of her spare change on a pack of cigarettes, so he offered to pick her up at the flat.

They had coffee.  He looked good. Her hair had grown out and she’d bleached it blonde.  There were dark circles under her eyes and her cheeks were gaunt.

She told him stories. As she listened to herself talk she knew she was exaggerating, bragging.  She was making it sound as if her life had been lived on her terms.

His eyes looked sad.

“If you ever need anything….”

“I’m fine.”

 


 

Eight months later, the package had arrived.

She shoved it in a drawer and went out to look for a date.  Her webmaster’s parents were coming for an extended stay and he’d told her to go find somewhere else to stay the weekend.

 


 

She was no longer earning an income from the website by the time she hit 35, and the webmaster kicked her out. She packed up the seventeen year old backpack, patched and worn as it was, with clothes, toiletries, a box of granola bars, and all the money she had left.

Before she left the flat she looked around to see if there was anything else she needed.  She saw the drawer by the entryway.

She took the padded envelope out of the drawer and tucked it into the front pocket.

 


 

She’s in her late 60s now. Eventually her life stabilized. She’d gotten a stable job in used bookstore with a small studio on the upper floor. She supplemented her income by proofreading articles for a local paper and occasionally selling short erotica that she self-published on the internet.

She was comfortable now.  For the last ten years she’d been seeing a nice younger man.  They never lived together, but he’d been kind to her. He enjoyed her and made her feel beautiful in her old age.  He would remind her at every opportunity that he appreciated all the things she would do that his wife would never consider.

The framed photo sits on her bedside table beside a simple glass vase in which she always displays six roses purchased each week from the flower market.  She doesn’t have a photo of him.  The last time she looked him up, he’d gotten married and had three children. She tried to reach out to him on facebook when she found him there, but he’d blocked her.

She lays in bed and looks over at the glossy photo of a beautiful girl with dark hair and pale skin and such a complex mix of love and hope and fear in her eyes.

Remember that once upon a time, you were cherished, she thinks to herself as she turns off the lamp and closes her eyes to dream of the life she could have had.

 

What? No.

I have this ex. I had just turned 19 when I met him. He dumped me on Valentine’s Day after seven or eight months together.

Over the phone.

While I was shopping on 3rd Street in Santa Monica with my mother.

I guess actually receiving a phone call these days would be huge. My last two dumpings were via text message.

Last year he found me on facebook. Then he found me on OKCupid.

I haven’t seen him since we were together. That was eighteen years ago. Our breakup is nearly old enough to vote.

Every so often, (like this morning) I get a message from him asking for a ride somewhere or if I want to hang out sometime.

What? No.

There was this guy, Joe. He was hot. He fucked like a jackrabbit (that’s not a good thing) but he was hot. And his dick was nice. I was 23 or 24 at the time. Every time we had a date planned that included daylight hours or weekends, *something* would come up and he’d cancel. He was always available after dinner time on the weekdays, though.

He’d come over and we’d fuck. Several times. Jackrabbit or no, he could go several times in a night and that’s to be commended.

After another weekend date was cancelled, I called him out on the pattern. I told him I felt strung along and that being a booty call wasn’t what I’d signed up for.

He apologized. He said, “I’m really sorry. I just think you’re the type of girl I’ll eventually want to marry but I’m not ready for that yet, and I thought I could just keep you around until I was.”

I never saw him again, but a year later, he emailed me out of the blue. Looks like he was ready.

What? No.

And so it goes. Those aren’t the only two, nor the most recent.

Now, I’m not actively looking for any sort of relationship. My life is full. I don’t have everything I want from it but I have enough to keep me sated and happy. Sure, there are a few things that I miss doing – but nothing so badly that I’m going to go barking up an already dead and fallen tree to get it. (And if you heard my big announcement on last week’s podcast, then you know there are *other* ways for me to get what I’m missing).

Should the right guy come along that fits right and feels right as part of my life, I’m not gonna shut it down. But it’s gonna take some pretty spectacular mojo to make me want to give up my existing playmates or time in my schedule to make space for him.

If he’s spectacular enough, he’ll be worth it. I know I am.

The thing is – he’ll know I am, too.

Or else he’ll be hearing, “What? No.”

Random Made Up Break Up Scene

“Your room is a mess.” He stood in silhouette in the doorway, arms down at his sides. The light was coming in from behind him, as the blinds in the bedroom had been drawn for days.

“So?” She lay in the center of the king size bed. There was a collection of plates and mugs and ice cream sandwich wrappers on the two nightstands. The bed itself was clear of mostly everything except cat hair and her laptop. The floor around the perimeter of the bed was covered in clothes and shoes.

“Get up.” He hadn’t stepped into the room yet.

“Why?” She pulled the covers over her bare shoulders.

“Because I said so.”

“You don’t get to say so anymore.” Her words were laced with poison.

“Anna,” his voice softened.

“Don’t,” she cut him off. “Just don’t. There’s nothing you can say that is going to fix this. Nothing that will make me feel better. You have released yourself of having any responsibility over me, so get your shit and get out.”

“I still care about you. I still worry about you.”

“Get your shit. Get out,” she repeated in staccato.

He stepped in through the doorway and walked over to the large shopping bag she’d filled with his odds and ends left behind. At the very top was the collar he had given her.

He pulled his phone out of his pocket.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m calling your mother.”

In a flash she was out of the bed and struggling against him to reach the phone. “Don’t you dare. Don’t bring my mother in to clean up the mess you made.”

She was naked. Her breasts pressed against his arm as she reached for it. The struggle continued for a few seconds until he was able to pin her arms behind her back with his own arms wrapped around her.

“Calm down, Anna.”

“Let me go.” She didn’t mean it.

“I have to,” he kept her restrained as he said it.

“I still don’t understand why.” She tried unsuccessfully to hold back her tears.

He looked down into the bag with the collar on top. He looked back at her. Teary-eyed, naked, restrained, and in so much pain.

If the collar had been on her, he’d have had a hard on.

Without it, he felt impotent.

No matter what he did, he was going to keep hurting her, and he just couldn’t be the source of her pain any longer.

He let go of his hold on her and picked up the bag. She fell to her knees.

He turned around and walked out. The sounds of her sobbing followed him for weeks.


For eight months, he’d been her world. He was her Daddy. He took care of her.

Who would take care of her now?

Two days later, she realized it was time to start taking care of herself.

She’d need to learn how, so she called an expert.

“Mom? I need you.”

Vignettes in Perspective

I cried at a silly love poem yesterday in which a Dom loved his Brat with all her bratty ways.

There are reasons why things like that trigger me.

Here are some of them:

_____

Conversation with my Husband:

“I can’t remember the last time we had sex.”

“It wasn’t that long ago.”

“It hasn’t happened since before my last birthday. That was six months ago.”

“No, it hasn’t been that long.”

“It has.”

“Maybe this weekend.”

“You said that last weekend.”

“I’m a failure as a husband.”

“You’re a wonderful husband. But it makes me feel like you don’t want me.”

“Of course I want you. You’re the sexiest woman I’ve ever known.”

“Then why don’t you ever want to touch me?”

“I love you. I love you so much. I know you’ll leave me some day.”

“I’m never going to leave you. Never. I just want to feel wanted.”

“I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You won’t ever be without me.”

Tags: dead bedroom, neglect, emotional manipulation, depression, communication, marriage, sex, codependency

_______

With the first guy I rebounded with after Husband passed away: 

“Are you going to be there?”

“I wouldn’t miss it. I’ll be there.”

“I know sometimes you don’t feel up for it, but I’d really love for you to be there.”

“I’ll be there. Nothing could keep me from being there.”

Tags: neglect, lies, depression, broken promises, rebound romance, grief, needy, clingy, disappointment

______
The day I knew it was over with that guy:

“Where is he?”

“He’s probably not coming.”

“Has he called?”

“Nope.”

“It’s your birthday.”

“Yeah.”

Tags: neglect, sadness, friendship, breakup

________

With the second man I’ve ever loved – the one who shattered my heart:

“Say it.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Say it.”

“Please don’t make me.”

“Say it, now.”

“I love you.”

“I don’t know how to respond to that.”

“You don’t love me.”

“I don’t know what love is. I don’t know if I love you or not. But I’ll promise you this – no matter what, I will always be your friend.”

“Then just acknowledge my feelings. Tell me you know.”

“Okay.”

“I love you, Sir.”

“I know.”

Tags: emotional masochism, doormat, BDSM, love, emotions, vulnerability, fear, communication, long distance relationship, star wars

______

“I want to talk to you about something.”

“What’s up?”

“How would you feel if I took on a second sub?”

“Online?”

“Yeah, just online only.”

“I guess that’s fine. I love you, but you’re on the other side of the planet. If you need more than I can give you, I don’t want to stop you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Just promise me one thing….”

“What’s that?”

“I get to be your favorite.”

“That will never be a problem.”

“I love you.”

“I know.”

Tags: poly, long distance relationships, broken promises, communication, emotions, regret, love, submission, idealism, emotional masochism, unrealistic expectations, doormat, codependency

_____

“I’m coming to meet you.”

“How long will you be here?”

“Three months is as long as I can legally stay.”

“I love you.”

“I know. Look. I can’t promise you I’m going to love you when I meet you.”

“I understand.”

“And I’m not sure if I’m comfortable having sex with you.”

“I understand. I love you, Sir.”

“I know.”

Tags: excitement, anticipation, fear, emotional masochism, unrealistic expectations, doormat.

_____

“She’s coming to visit here a week before I fly out to you.”

“Oh.”

“I’ll call you every day.”

“Okay.”

Tags: No he didn’t.

_____

“I have something to tell you.”

“What’s up?”

“I told her I loved her last night.”

“I’m happy for you.”

“You are?”

“Yes. Because now you know how love feels, and you’ll know if you love me too when you meet me.”

Tags: This is not going to end well

______

“I unpacked your suitcase.”

“Good girl.”

“You should have told me yourself.”

“What?”

“You left the open box of condoms in it.”

“Oh.”

Tags: That was fucked up.

______

“Why are you crying?”

“Because you’ve been here three days and you still don’t know how you feel about me. I think maybe you just don’t love me. I really thought you did. I felt like you did. But you love her. Not me. You’re living in my house, sharing my bed, and you go downstairs each night and tell her you love her. And all you can tell me is that you know.”

“You’re silly.”

“Let’s just go home.”

“I brought you here because I wanted to tell you somewhere special. I do love you. I’ve always loved you. I will never stop loving you. I loved you before I flew out here, and I knew it the moment I saw you at the airport.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me?”

“I’m telling you now.”

Tags: timing, vulnerability, emotional sadism, fear, catharsis, vindication, relief

_______

“I’m in pain. It’s really bad.”

“I need to drive her back to her car.”

“It’s REALLY bad. I don’t know if I should go to the hospital.”

“I need to drive her to her car and I’ll come right back.”

*30 minutes later*

“I’m sorry. I have to drive her all the way back home [350 miles away]. She’s distraught and she can’t drive herself.”

“I’m still in pain. The cramps are horrible, I think it’s going to kill me.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll get a bus or a flight home tomorrow.”

Tags: That wasn’t even the first time.

______

“I don’t feel comfortable being myself when she’s around. She gets uncomfortable when you kiss me. She doesn’t even like it when you look at me.”

“Don’t worry about her. I’ll handle her. You be yourself.”

“It won’t end well. She’ll throw a tantrum like she always does.”

“I told you I’ll handle it. You don’t have to worry about it.”

Tags: unrealistic expectations, communication, emotional manipulation, I told him so

_____

“Look, maybe just don’t be so touchy feely in public.”

“You told me I should be myself.”

“It makes her uncomfortable.”

“You said you would handle it.”

“You were grinding on me.”

“I WAS NOT GRINDING ON YOU. That’s not even a phrase you would ever use. You got that from her.”

“It doesn’t matter. You do as I say.”

“Apparently, I’m the only one who does.”

Tags: Straw, meet camel’s back.

_____

“It’s over. When you come back, your stuff will be packed.”

“Okay.”

“I can’t believe you’re choosing her over me.”

“It’s for your own good.”

“You never loved me.”

“I will always love you. I keep hurting you, and I can’t keep doing that to you.”

“Then why are you picking her? Because she’s more of a challenge? Because you have to work harder to get her to do what you want?”

“Maybe.”

“I gave you everything you wanted, and you held back everything I wanted. You wouldn’t even fuck me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You should be.”

“I am.”

Tags: I should have started letting go then.

______

“Hey. You called?”

“I hadn’t heard from you in a week. It’s Christmas. I thought you’d have reached out.”

“So, nothing is wrong?”

“It’s my first Christmas without him. I’m not doing well emotionally today.”

“You should reach out to your friends.”

“I thought you were my friend.”

“I’m tired. Going to bed.”

“Fuck you. Goodbye.”

Tags: broken promises, asshole behavior, last time we ever spoke.

_____

And I haven’t gotten to the recent stuff.

There’s a reason why I’ve spent the last few days choking back tears.

Because the good girl never wins.