13/52 – Partnership

On a whim, as I was trying to decide what title would encompass this post, I looked up, “What’s the difference between a relationship and a partnership?”

A consensus emerged, without my actually clicking on any of the links. Blurbs are wonderful things, when one is in a hurry, aren’t they? In general, the distinction was that anyone/everyone has a relationship – with their parents, with the cashier who scans their groceries, even with strangers and/or deceased individuals. Relationship are, well, relative. True, the word relationship often adopts a romantic, or at least familial, connotation, but it isn’t inherently or strictly limited by those boundaries. So, relationships, technically, just are a byproduct of existence.

On the other hand, there are partnerships. Again, in general (based just on my quick skimming of the blurbs), partnerships seem to be characterized by two distinctions that relationships aren’t. 1) They are more active. Individuals in partnerships are involved in an active give/take/compromise process. Technically you have a relationship with 7 billion other people on the planet, but  it’s mostly passive – you share a connection, not a conversation.  2) Partnerships are more structured. Now, that’s not to imply that partnerships are never random or short-lived, because they can be, but unlike relationships, partnerships are not necessarily byproducts of existence (though I expect it could be argued that they’re byproducts of civilizations or communities).

I’m thinking about this subject, now, because of the events of my last post and the events that have happened since. To recap: my SO and I got into an argument that basically boiled down to a lack of communication . . . or, more properly, a lack of active listening. I was depressed by the situation, because I felt misunderstood and believed that my point of view was being overlooked by my SO. It was made worse, in retrospect, because he thought he was taking actions that were actually helping my situation, whereas I felt that he was just trying to prove a point.

In the end, we were both probably in the wrong. I should have been more understanding that he was only trying to help me in the way he knows how to, and he should have listened to my concerns. We were both making the age old mistake of thinking that the other didn’t have anything important to contribute to the situation.

We went to bed – if not angry, then at least not happy. The following morning, we went out separate ways – me, to work and school; him, just to work. That afternoon, he picked me up from the campus and said he needed to run two quick errands before taking me back to work. I said that was fine, because he seemed to be in a better mood and I wasn’t willing to let the argument continue to be a barrier in our normally very relaxed/open dynamic. He went to a parts store in an effort to locate an obscure bolt, stopped to get gas, and then stopped at an office supply store that neither of us usually go to.

Now, for the unaware, our argument had been over the existence and the availability of index cards with ruled lines on both sides. We’d looked for them in three places, I was ready to admit defeat, but he was refusing to accept that we couldn’t find them in any of our usual stores and wanted to extend our search radius. I was already at the point where I wanted to move on to studying another way, because my exam was only two days away.

Him, being him, spent his lunch break searching for the index cards. He found them.

I won’t say that I wasn’t happy. I was. I appreciated his effort and proceeded to very happily use the index cards to make flashcards for my pharmacology exam. I will continue to use them as I enter next quarter. That said, I kinda wish he hadn’t felt the need to be “right” regarding the existence of said index cards. Even so, that night, I washed dishes and made dinner, as thanks.

One of the other defining characteristics of a partnership is an element of symbiosis. An “I’ll scratch your back, if you’ll scratch mine,” type of mentality. Or, more kindly, maybe, “Let’s pool our resources to have more together than we could have separately. Let’s take turns standing guard, so we’re both are safe and rested. Let’s alternate carrying the weight, so neither of us stumbles.” It’s teamwork, and loyalty, and mutual appreciation.

That’s the specific kind of relationship I wanted as a kid. I didn’t care about romance, per se. What I want is the intimacy and security of a solid partnership. If there’s romance, that’s great, I guess, but the lack thereof has never been a deal breaker, for me.

Of course, love is another matter. I crave being loved, partly because I fear that I am un-lovable. I know this is probably an unfounded fear, because I know that there are people – my family – who love me . . . but there are also times when I fear that their love is more biologically engineered and happenstance than anything else. If they just randomly met me, would they still love me? I don’t know, but I hope so.

I’ve noted before, in another post, that my SO doesn’t love me in the traditional sense, but that I do love him in the traditional sense. It’s something that’s complicated and sometimes painful and sometimes a blessing. I’m sure that it will continue to be all of those things, but I’m okay with that, because we’re still in this . . . this dynamic? partnership? . . . . together. We’re still supporting each other, making sure both of us are okay, and helping each other to do the things we want to do.

It’s not a typical fairy-tale, but I think it’s better than anything Cinderella ever dreamed of while she was scrubbing floors and talking to the birds. In my humble opinion, Prince Charming ain’t got nothin’ on my SO.

12/52 –

All I wanted was a set of index cards with lines on both sides. That’s it. I’d even have been happy with wide-ruled ones. I just wanted to make pretty flashcards with witch to study for my upcoming pharmacology final exam.

But, alas, such things as index cards with lines on both sides don’t seem to exit. Not at Wal-Mart, or the Dollar Tree, or even Staples – that shining beacon of office supplies.

Unfortunately, while I’d accept defeat after going to Wal-Mart, my SO had not. It was starting to rain and we were in the Mustang with the leaks, but he wanted to make the effort to stop at Staples. I tried to bite my tongue. I’d already wasted more than an hour hunting for index cards that don’t exit. I wanted to give up and go home and study some other way, but my SO was convinced somewhere would have them.

Well, somewhere might, but not Staples. He had to ask an associate, to make sure. The associate nodded, somewhat sagely, and said, “Yeah. I haven’t seen those double-sided cards in like ten years. Must not have been too popular.”

Of course not. Why would I have the sense to want something that was popular?

The associate also; however, directed my SO to the computer system where he could search the 1.3 million products on the Staples website . . . something that I’d already done on my phone while they were talking.

I bit my tongue harder and followed my SO to the computer. I lost it, a little, when he started typing at what felt like snail’s pace. “Do you want me to do that?”

He said, “No. I want you to calm down.”

I lost it, a little more, “I just want to go home. They don’t have them. I already pulled it up. Even if they did, they wouldn’t ship here by tomorrow and they’d want ten dollars.”

He threw up his hands, started stalking towards the entrance . . . which you can’t use as an exit. I didn’t follow, waiting for him to realize the mistake. He did and came stalking back, toward the actual exit. He was angry and I was suddenly depressed, on top of being miserable from not being able to find the cards and from being so congested that I couldn’t breath through my nose.

Outside, I trailed after him. “I’m not trying to piss you off. If you’d just listen for a minute, you’d get what I’m trying to tell you. I -”

“Well, you’re doing a great job of it.” He cut me off, having only listened to the first part of what I said.

Instantly, the depression turned from something nebulous to something heavy in my chest. Two minutes later, at home, he started to pull up front and I pointed out, “Don’t you want to park in the garage?”

He said nothing, put it in park, handed me the house keys. I took them automatically, but must have looked as confused as I felt, because he said, “I told you! I have to park in the garage!” He rolled his eyes and I just sat there and blinked.

“You didn’t listen to what I just said, did you? I said, ‘Don’t we need to park in the garage?’ You didn’t say anything back. I was going to walk up with you.” I tried to keep the hurt from getting into my voice, but I didn’t totally manage it.

“No,” he said, sounding even more exasperated. “Walk up with me, if you want. I don’t care.” He waited, staring ahead.

No point in walking with him. No point in trying to communicate, right then.

The second I stepped foot inside, the tears started. I didn’t try to stop them, like I usually do. I’m just too tired. I let them come and folded over the bed and bawled for about two minutes. Dried my eyes, splashed water on my face. Came into the living room as he did.

“What?” He demanded, as soon as he saw me.

“What, ‘what?'” I muttered.

“You’ve got that sad look on your face,” he grumbled, passing me and heading to the bedroom. Annoyed by the display of feelings that I hadn’t quite concealed.

No more words. Just sitting on the couch. A run through my notes. The ones I’d wanted to turn into pretty flashcards. Oh, well. Now I just want to get rid of this ache.

Fifteen minutes pass. My phone rings. Someone or other wanting money that I don’t have.

“Who is it?” He asks.

“No one. A fundraiser thing.”

“Oh. Why do you still look sad?”

“Because I am still sad. I didn’t mean to make you angry.” There’s no point in saying anything else, right now. It doesn’t matter. People have arguments. We’re both stressed out and taking it out on each other when we shouldn’t be. It happens. Life moves on.

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Last night, laying in bed, I asked, “Yours?”

“Of course, mine,” he said. “Why do you always worry?”

I didn’t say anything else. I could have. I could’ve explained that I worry, because I don’t really feel that I’m lovable.  I could’ve recounted that, when I was eleven, my dad and I had an argument that culminated in him saying that he guessed I didn’t have a soul. I could’ve said that I don’t tell him that I love him, but that asking, “Yours,” has become a stand-in for those other words that I don’t ever let myself say to him. I could’ve reminded him that he’s told me that he doesn’t love me, except as a “pet.” I could’ve told him that all of those things add up to create this fear that he’ll one day decide he doesn’t want me anymore and then I’ll have to relearn how to live, without him.

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It’s been about six hours since breakfast and he’s in the kitchen, getting ready to make something for lunch, but I’ve go no appetite. I remember him saying, the other day, that heartbreak is one of the fastest ways to loose weight.

We’d been talking about low carb diets and I steered the conversation back that way.

He was talking about before me, when he was with someone else, and she left him. He’d lost twenty pounds in two weeks. I didn’t want to talk about the “Heartbreak Diet” though, because I didn’t want him to realize that part of the reason I haven’t been eating much lately is due to that very issue. He’d just get angry again, and tell me to grow up.

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I think my mantra, since I was a kid, has been to “be better.”

Still feels like I’m best at fucking up though.

_________________________________________________________________

Of course, I’ll feel better. This happens. I get over it. LIfe moves on.

Time to review my notes again. Respiratory, GI, and Cardiac, oh my. . .

 

 

1/52

There are all kinds of inspirational quotes to be found online regarding staring new and exciting things at the beginning of a new year. Some of them are wise, some of them are trash, most of them are somewhere in between. I, personally, don’t have any.

I feel like I stumbled into the new year, rather than stepped into it.

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I would recap the end of last year – it’s been a month (or two) since my last post – but I really don’t want to. I am so overwhelmed by what’s happening right now that I can’t afford to pause and reflect on the things that have already passed. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, or not, but it is what it is.

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I have just three New Year’s Resolutions, this year.

The first is simple: Write at least one post a week here on this blog. Hence the whole 1/52 title. If I can make it to 52/52 . . . that’s great! If I don’t . . . well, that’s less great.

The second is also simple: Put at least $5.00 a week into savings. This should be doable. In the end, I’ll have $250 in saving . . . . Not a lot, by some standards, but more than I’ve had.

The third is not so simple: Get my associate’s degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX.

I have successfully completed three quarters of school and started the fourth on Monday. I have never felt so terrified in my life. Well, not true. I have felt more terrified numerous times. But! I have never felt more pressure before. This quarter, I am taking just two courses . . . Fundamentals of Professional Nursing and Pharmacology. Each of those courses; however, have three components – Lecture, Lab, and Clinical.

It is – where I am – almost 8:00P.M. on Sunday night. I have managed to complete all of my assignments for the week. I think.This is the first quarter I’ve had that everything is campus based, rather than online. I’m not completing confident that I’ve remembered everything I needed to complete, but I think I have.

Everything that could go wrong this week, has gone wrong.

I didn’t get my official schedule sorted out until the day the quarter started, my SO got sick and now I’m coming down with what he has, the ball python we rescued last month died, my best friend of twelve years said she’s thinking about moving halfway across the country, and my laptop keeps crashing in the middle of my note-taking.

That said . . . I believe in looking for the good in things, too. So here are five things that have gone right or been positive or made me smile within the past week.

  1. My boss at the call center has assured me I won’t be fired due to my schedule.
  2. A Starbucks with a drive-thru opened that’s en route to both campus and work.
  3. The first grade I got of this quarter was a 100%.
  4. My favorite YouTubers both uploaded new content.
  5. I was able to use my new planner for the first time.

Sometimes it’s the little things that are good that make the big things that are bad seem less unmanageable or scary. “Don’t hold your head so low that you can’t see the sky . . .”

“Happy” Birthday to Me.

Birthdays are an interesting part of American culture. You have your first one before you’re even old enough to properly blow out candles and some people say their first birthday is one of their earliest memories. (I don’t personally remember mine, but there’s a picture of me as a baby looking somewhat perturbed by my cake – a two-tiered, white iced thing, with plastic clowns on it . . . I’m not sure what my mother was thinking.)

Birthdays can serve as milestones. Turning thirteen, having a sweet sixteen, getting a license at sixteen. Buying a lotto ticket at 18. Drinking legally at 21. There are all sorts of expectations for birthdays. They’re s meant to be special. A sort of congratulatory party, because you made it through another year of life. Cake, singing, presents . . . and so many cards from so many coworkers who you ordinarily don’t really speak to.

This year – today, actually – I am twenty-five. A quarter of a century old.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to feel mature and responsible, or young and carefree.

Right now I just feel sort of worried.

Last night, I confessed to my boss that I don’t think I’ll be transferred into online courses this semester, which puts me at missing about ten hours of work a week – not counting my exams that also have to be proctored at the campus. I was nervous about telling her and tried to test the waters by noting that my SO had asked, “Will you be fired, if you can’t transfer to online courses?” He didn’t ask that, actually, because he’s not worried.

She immediately assured me, “Oh, no! Little muffin, I wouldn’t do that. We’ll work it out. Life happens sometimes, to all of us.”

I felt like a fifty-pound weight was off my chest . . . but then . . .

I messaged her this morning with the confirmation of the bad news. I can’t transfer to online courses. Essentially, I received a, “Because reasons,” answer from the school on it. I let her know and crossed my fingers that she wouldn’t be angry or upset.

What I get is, “Okay. When you get in, tell me what hours you’ll be out again. I’ll have to let Roger and Jose know. I won’t be able to do anything until after that.”

Wait, what? Last night it was, “Don’t worry, we’ll work through it.”

This morning it’s, “Well, no promises.”

It would be a hell of a birthday present to be fired, I suppose. I’d have the rest of the day off, so I could job hunt. Maybe I’d even get a sympathy hire??? Technically, I do have an in at Dunkin’ Donuts, working the midnight to five shift. I’d be a decorator. And I’d be making $2.00 less and working 15 hours less. Not ideal, no. But better than nothing.

On top of this worry about my job stability (which, ironically, is a worry I’ve had since I first started working when I was nineteen), I’m worried about breaking the bad news to my SO that my tuition costs this semester weren’t properly showing up. Instead of getting back roughly $2,000 next week, I’ll owe $530 by the end of this quarter. On top of still having to pay off the credit card balance of $1,400 from last quarter.

So. This is what student debt feels like.

My birthday is not entirely without bright spots. They’re balancing the negatives (sorta).

Last night, my SO picked up my present, which he’d had on layaway . . . a brand new PS 4, complete with Call of Duty III. I didn’t set it up last night, because a) it wasn’t technically my birthday and b) I had to complete a Health Assessment assignment that took the better part of three hours to finish, because of how detailed it was.

Tonight, my SO and I will hang out at the house, maybe watch the presidential debate, while I study for a quiz tomorrow. I have my fingers crossed that he’ll set up the PS 4 while I’m at work, so that I can play some during study breaks. I also have a birthday dinner with my family on Sunday, so that’s something to look forward to as well.

Falling asleep, last night, I kept telling myself, “This will all be okay. It will all work out.”

My SO – who was really more my Owner, in this context – stroked my hair and “Mmhmm’d” at me, but he didn’t realize that I wasn’t just talking about one thing. I was trying to assure myself that everything will work out . . . school, work, us, me, life.

I don’t know if it will, actually. I feel sometimes that I’ve only stumbled through the past twenty-five years, rather than really living them. But, twenty-five years is more than a lot of people get, which makes me lucky. And here, where I’m at, the weather is great.

So, if I do get fired, at least I’ll be able to walk home while enjoying the day.

Not the End of the World

I met him – my owner (who I call my SO for the sake of simplicity) – when I  was twenty. My best friend in the entire world, Harley, was moving in to the house that he also shared with his pseudo-stepson, D, and D’s at-the-time girlfriend, Tink. And their other mutual friend, Biggie. I’d known Harley since I was thirteen and we were going to a small school for troubled and delinquent girls (I was troubled, she was delinquent). I’d known D and Biggie since I was sixteen, because Harley dated D for about two years during that time and Biggie was his roommate then, too. Tink I’d met briefly a few times before.

He was the only unknown variable in a time when my anxiety had been – for months – so high that I could barely leave the house without it feel like death. But Harley needed me to help her move (she was leaving a bad relationship). I did my best to help her pack and unpack and honestly tried to ignore the man sitting in a towel on the couch, because . . . well what the hell was I supposed to say to the man sitting in a towel on the couch?

But – somehow – I did find myself talking to him. And the next thing I knew we were discussing all of my darkest fantasies over the FaceBook messenger. And . . . for the first time in months . . . I didn’t feel like I had to take a Xanax. I felt dizzy and off balance, but it was because he was tipping me, not because I was falling. I wanted to pace, but only because he was drawing me back out of my own head. It was like taking a cold shower after a nightmare. It was like being saved from walking off a cliff. That sort of awakening.

Within a month, I was wearing the collar. I held out six months before we had sex (and it was “only” anal and oral, because I wasn’t on birth control and neither of us wanted any risk of pregnancy). By the end of the year, I was spending about half my time with him. Two years after we met, I moved in with him. And we’ve been in our apartment ever since.

It’s strange to think of our dynamic in terms of years. We’ve been “together” since January of 2012. We’ve had four “anniversaries.” I know a lot of people both in and out of BDSM relationships who didn’t make it past the one year mark. Harley herself has never been in a relationship that lasted longer than three years. D’s longest was two. Tink hasn’t ever hit the year mark without cheating on the person. My own parents only lasted five years before they fell apart when mom came out as gay.

It’s weird. There’s only one other couple within our group of friends that has been together longer than us. That would be Matt and Iris. They’ve been together since 2010 (or 2011, depending which one you ask). They got married in 2013. Iris is the mutual friend that D and I know who encouraged us to go to school, because she graduated last year. They are quite happily planning their family and their future.

When that’s contrasted with my SO and I, I feel somewhat . . . cheated? jealous?

I guess that’s true. My SO and I do have plans for the future, of course. I’m looking forward to starting a career in nursing, he’s looking forward to being able to work less than 40 hours a week. We both are looking forward to buying land, building a house, traveling.

But there’s no wedding in my future. No plans for children.

When I was twenty and first met him, I didn’t expect that to ever be an issue. I was the one who told him that I feel marriage is overrated and having children would be insanely impractical . . . but when people tell you that your views on such things may change as you get older . . . they aren’t always wrong. I’d mistakenly thought that since I hadn’t wanted those things during my teens, then I wouldn’t want them ever. I was wrong.

Not so much about the marriage thing. Though marriage works for some BDSM couples, I don’t hold any thoughts that it would work for my SO and I. Partly, this is because I know his background. He was married when he was twenty, had a son with his wife, and then lost them both to his wife’s anxiety and paranoia (the irony is not lost on us that his second-longest running relationship is also with someone who has anxiety). He’s estranged from his son – who is now only two years younger than me, at twenty-two. He hasn’t actually seen him since he was seven. His attempts to contact him have all been met with silence. It hurts him on a daily basis, because it’s unresolved and unmentioned

Also, I do feel that marriage is mostly over-rated. I’m not religious so I’m not worried about living in sin or anything like that. But is bothers me that I won’t be able to give my mom the happiness of seeing me all dressed up in white, walking down an aisle.  And she makes comments about that pretty much whenever she sees me, because I’m now the age she was when she and dad got married – even thought that didn’t end very well.

So. Marriage. I can leave it. That’s fine. It’s not something I need from a relationship.

(I’ve been asked, a few times, what I want from a relationship that I’m not getting in my current dynamic, because my current dynamic does – sometimes – wildly depress me.)

Children. This is trickier. Thought I never let myself verbalize it, I’ve always expected to have a child. Just one, mind you. I don’t know why, but I never felt comfortable saying so. It never seemed terribly relevant, because I expected to stay single for forever and always sort of thought I’d end up with a sperm bank. That doesn’t really seem practical, now.

We’ve  – my SO and I – have circled around the topic. His bottom-line is that we must be financially secure and preferably living in our own house, rather than an apartment. I agree with those terms. But I would also personally prefer to have a child before I turn thirty. He hasn’t ever come out and said whether or not he would prefer to actually be the father, or if he would rather it be anonymous and he be more of a god-father/mentor.

If I’m honest, then I have to admit that I do want a child out of a relationship. But I’m pretty flexible regarding what role he feels comfortable taking with that. It’s a personal choice and I understand that he might make a different choice. I’m okay with that.

So What do I want from a relationship? I’m still not entirely sure.

He apologized, on Thursday night. I asked what he was sorry about – because I was curious about whether or not he felt his comments were over the line, or if he’d just done something else that he’d felt sorry about in a small way. But he said, “I over did it, Wednesday. I drank too much. I should have let you drive us home. I don’t really remember much after I fell into bed when you got in the shower.”

And I brought up his comments. About me, about nursing school. And he was shocked and asked if I’d taken it out of context. So I went back over the whole conversation and what had started it and he apologized. He didn’t remember any of it. He knew he’d snapped at me, because he remembered me crying, but he didn’t remember the conversation itself.

I’e been intoxicated and said things I later regret. And this was the first time in our relationship when he’s done it. He’s forgiven me worse. Way worse.

And so I’ve forgiven him.

And now that it’s been several days, we’re both borderline amused at the situation. And we’ve moved on. Because of something is broke then an effort should be made to fix it. And we’re not even terribly broke. Just a little bit. And that’s not so bad, really.

It’s sort of interesting how one night can seem like the end of the world until morning comes and puts things in perspective.

Deadly Introspection

Last night’s Untitled post was my effort to shove in my own face how deeply I’ve fallen. I wanted to have a reminder of it, this morning, because I’m usually able to do a wonderful job of minimizing those hurts and conflicts that are closest to the core of who I am.

I’m good at convincing myself I’m not really bleeding.

It’s not a femoral slash – only a paper cut.

But that’s a lie. And not even a comfortable one.

The reality is maybe in the middle. I’m bleeding out through a million paper cuts.

Bad day at work, yesterday. Troublesome customers who left me feeling totally worn out and pointless. Thoughts of the future (namely, nursing school) kept me leveled out somewhere between apathetic and calm. Got home and he wanted to eat out. Went to the place with .99 margaritas. Ate one taco and had a frozen strawberry margarita in the time it took my SO to eat an entire cheeseburger and down five margaritas. Back at home, took a shower, crawled into bed where he was already out like a light. Only 9:00pm.

Watched him sleep in between watching HGTV reruns. Smiled to myself when he started mumbling in his sleep – it’s been a while since he drank and he must have been having colorful dreams. Finally, about 10:30, I felt sleepy enough to curl up next to him, under the covers. A few minutes later he woke up and said that he needed to inject (his insulin).

I thought he already had, while I was in the shower, but he hadn’t.

He asked for a glass of water and downed it in about ten seconds. Wanted another one.

I was a little grumpy – having been on the verge of falling asleep, myself. I started to lie back down after giving him the second glass and he snapped at me that he still needed to inject. I was confused and defensive and told him that he’d just said that, but pointed out that was kinda a one-person thing and did he really need me to be awake for it?

He pointed out that I could bring him his injection stuff. I was doubly confused. He doesn’t inject in the bedroom. Not ever. He does it at his tray in the living room, because he stores all of his things in the minifridge that also doubles as a living room side-table and a snack fridge.  He needs a flat surface to check his blood sugar, before he injects. And laying in bed (which he was doing) is not something that I thought was conducive to injecting himself with the pen-style insulin injector. I asked, “You mean you’re injecting in here?”

And he rolled his eyes and said, “No. I want you to bring the stuff to Wal-mart. Thought it might be nice to do it there.” And he heaved a sigh and I tried to shrink through the floor, because I’d climbed back out of bed to get him his things even as I’d asked the question.

That little throwaway comment hurt my in a visceral reaction sort of way. It was mocking and it was sarcastic, but more than that it was a small and thoughtless cruelty.

I can handle him being deliberately sadistic – I can even get off on that. I’m his and our relationship dynamic is one that is on the extremer side of the BDSM scale. Mindful cruelty, mindful taunting, mindful cutting . . . I’m okay with those things. Sometimes I crave those things, because of the release that follows (for both of us, usually).

But I have trouble composing myself when I’ve unintentionally irritated him to the point where he is being reactively mean. It feels like a complete failure, on my part, because I’m supposed to be there to make his existence better – not to make him so frustrated that he automatically responds in a way that feels meant to reduce me or hurt me.

So. I got him his things. Watched him inject, because he doesn’t like needles and doesn’t like anyone else touching him when he has to use them. I put his stuff away, after he was done. He rolled over onto his side, away from me. I got into bed and sat up against the headboard, curled in on myself, because I already knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I’d let myself cry some of the hurt out. And it did hurt.

Another paper cut. Number one million and one.

But this happens, sometimes. Life isn’t perfect. Neither am I. Neither is he.

I kept my sniffling to a minimum, but he heard me blow my nose and asked (accusingly) if I was crying. I told him the truth as it came to me, because he wants me to always be honest. I said, “Yes, but it’s irrelevant. Go ahead and sleep. I’ll get over it.”

But he then pressed – still facing away and sounding half asleep. I explained that I was crying, because he’d hurt me with the mocking/sarcastic Wal-mart comment. I’d asked an honest question – one I’d felt justified in asking; he’d responded in an unthinkingly sharp way and it’d hurt my feelings. Plus, I was still sleepy and PMSing and had an overall lackluster day. I just needed some relief from that – crying worked, though it wasn’t one of my first choices (being spanked and/or being able to cum – neither of which could happen without further disturbing him/needing him).

And then he said, “Jesus Christ, toughen the fuck up, Sam.”

Another paper cut. Or maybe a scald. Or a fucking ice-pick.

I didn’t say anything. I was too shocked. I”d gone numb automatically, defensively.

He went on. “How do you expect to be a nurse? You let stupid things like that affect you.”

I want to think that I bristled at that, but really it just felt like I was sinking further into the ocean, into the darkness. I pointed out that I deal with disparaging remarks all day long at work, from strangers. I can deal with them as a nurse. From strangers. People I care about only in a professional capacity. “It’s different, because it’s you saying it. And I care about you.” It’s different, because I fucking love you so much it hurts.

But I never ever say the L word to him. Never. I don’t even say it with regards to other things, when I’m talking to him. Because he doesn’t love me back. And we both know it.

He said, “Well it shouldn’t make a difference.”

I was confused, again. How can caring about someone – loving them – not make a difference in how I respond to them? Doesn’t he want me to be driven to act in ways that please him? And isn’t caring for and about him the thing that most gives me reason to want to please him? And now he’s saying that I shouldn’t care more about his reactions than the reactions of the dozens of people that I talk to on a daily basis? What? How?

I was silent, because I couldn’t coherently answer him. And he fell back asleep within a minute and was once more snoring. And I was falling to pieces, silently. Breaking, without making so much as a sigh. Not an ice-pick. This must have been the destructive impact of an object traveling 2,500 feet a second. I was rendered blank by the chaos of it.

I don’t know, now, just exactly he meant by those words. I don’t know if he means for me not to be motivated to please him, because I care about him. I don’t know if he means for me to not show that I care about him. I don’t know what he wants from me.

When we first met, it was simpler. I didn’t start loving him until almost six months after I became his. It started out just as a strict M/s dynamic. My first, in truth. And then I realized one night that I loved him. It had happened without my intending it. And I didn’t know what to do about it, so I kept quiet. Because I knew then and I know now that he doesn’t see me quite that way. He’s said it before, in careful conversations.

Essentially, he does love me. “Like a sort of pet, or dog.”

Not in the way I wish he did. Not in a way that makes me feel anything, but failure.

I’ve loved him for four years. Day in and day out. And I’m his, totally.

But I am lost. And I do not know what he wants. And I’m afraid to ask.

Because what if he decides he doesn’t want me at all?

It’s too much. Way too much. And now I have to go to work and smile and ignore all of this, because my only other option is drowning. I must try to kick to the surface. Even if he’s not there to help me find it. I must try. Even if I don’t feel like it. Even if drowning seems like the more desirable path. Even if breathing seems ridiculous.

Objectively, these are just paper cuts. And I shouldn’t bleed out.

And who really needs ten pints of blood anyway?

Untitled

Almost midnight. Tearfully searching online for how to stop loving someone who doesn’t love you back – when avoidance isn’t an option.

Came across what may actually be the truest and most painful thing I’ve ever read anywhere.

“Unrequited love takes on a whole new meaning when he literally owns you.”

It does. It really fucking does.

#FML #BDSMslavegirlproblems

A Found Receipt

I came across a Publix receipt whilst finishing my cleaning up of the living room. Usually, I save receipts to scan them into the Receipt Hog and Ibotta applications on my phone, but this one escaped me sometime during the middle of the week, because it was a trip that my SO made to the grocery store on his own and he just put the receipt in a pile with some other paperwork that included mail and his doctor appointment cards.

It made me giggle, because some of the things on the list would have been purchased by either of us, but some of them are very distinctly his choices and not mine, or ours.

 Meat: Meatloaf (the ready-made kind from the deli . . . we ate that for dinner, last night)  Fruits/Veggies: White grapes, two boxes of organic strawberries, watermelon chunks  Liquids: 2% Milk, Orange Juice, Raspberry Lemonade, Cocoa mix (all him!)  Fridgeables: Pickles and olives (him), chunky applesauce (also him), sliced cheese  Pantry: Poptarts (blueberry for him, wild berry for me), cheese danish, chicken noodle and beef and veggie soups (four cans – all him), Hershey chocolate syrup

I would not have bothered getting the meatloaf, because of the price compared to the quantity, though it was pretty tasty. I don’t really like watermelon, but would have gotten them for him. All of the fluids are things I don’t drink – though I do use milk for cooking. I don’t like pickles or olives, usually, but will put olives in pastas. I love apples, but hate applesauce. The sliced cheese gets used for grilled cheese sandwiches and bologna and cheese sandwiches. I don’t tend to buy poptarts, because of how many better breakfast choices there are, but they work in a pinch. The cheese danish is delicious. I don’t like canned soup, but he’s been sick and can keep it down. The chocolate syrup gets put on ice cream and in chocolate milk, for him.

Over all, I would have made different choices! I don’t even like to shop at Publix, personally. But that’s okay. Because he doesn’t like some of my grocery shopping choices.

Like my insistence that yes, we really do need five different flavors of yogurt in the fridge.

 

“How are you not unconscious?”

I’m not surprised that was the first question out of the mouth of my Significant Other’s new primary care doctor. Doctor S. is not a stupid man – so far as I can tell. But he is a man of numbers and secure facts from a world of white coats and sterile surgical steel.

When faced with a medical conundrum like my SO the first thing he does is try to quantify him; he wants the solution to the puzzle and he wants it rapidly and in simple English.

My SO is not a man of many words, himself.

He shrugged at the question and asked, “What’d I tell ya, Doc?”

They were speaking about the fact that my SO’s blood sugar count was just over 500. And that his triglycerides were at 818. And that, oddly, all of his other numbers were normal.

Allow me to go back to July of two years ago: My SO and I were involved in a motorcycle accident. I got out of it with just a bit of road rash, but he broke all the ribs on his left side and his clavicle. Two of the broken ribs punctured his left lung. He was in the hospital for two weeks and was on a ventilator for a week of that time. He was also diagnosed with diabetes. When he was admitted, his blood sugar was roughly 600 . . . he hadn’t eaten in several hours. For the unaware, normal blood sugar levels fall somewhere between 70 and 100 (a little more, depending on who you actually ask). Most meters won’t read past 400 or so – they simply say HIGH. And above 500 is diabetic coma range in most everyone.

The hospital’s doctors weren’t so much worried about the aftermath of the accident. They were worried about the fact that he was in the hospital for two weeks and they’d only managed to bring his blood sugar levels down to about 300 or so. He was discharged and firmly told to begin seeing a regular doctor to work on his diabetes and his blood pressure (which was also abnormally high for a fully functional middle-aged male).

He was “good.” He went to the new primary doctor for about six months. His blood sugar was brought down to a comparatively reasonable 100 – 150 and his blood work was good. But then he started to have differences of opinion with that doctor. And stopped seeing him. And put off finding a new doctor for about three months.

In that time, he got sick. His blood sugar went back up. He started feeling feverish all the time. He wasn’t able to keep much food down. For about a month he was essentially a vegetarian who had to pee more often than a pregnant woman, because he was drinking two gallons of water every single day – in addition to about another gallon of misc. liquid.

He finally caved in and went to a new primary doctor when he weighed himself and realized that he’d lost 50 pounds since leaving his old doctor. He went from just over 350 down to 309 in about two months. He was 309 on the Friday he went for his first new patient visit. And lost another fifteen pounds between that visit and his visit yesterday. When he found out about his current sugar and triglyceride levels.

Now, he has new prescriptions for an insulin pen and blood pressure medication. Two things out of the five that the doctor initially wanted him on. Doctor S. has agree to compromise and let him try just the essentials, first, to see how things are at the end of the month. My SO is grudgingly content with Doctor S. He may even eventually not mistrust him on sight – he doesn’t like doctors, even though he tends to like nurses.

For now, my SO is on the couch, sipping hot chocolate and shivering a little.

This is one of the hardest things about him. He is very self-contained and is a dominant – in just about every definition of the word. Ours is not a traditional boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. We have a dynamic, but we are not “together,” because that implies equality. I’m his and have been for four years and hope to be for however long we have left. I love him, simply put, and I’m his submissive/slave/take your pick. I can’t force him to go to the doctor; I can only tell him over and over that he should. I can’t make him take the medications; I can only lay them out and remind him of them.

He’s stubborn and feels that he knows best for himself. And he might, actually, but times like these are still hard. I wish I knew the words that would make him take a more conventional view of modern health, but I know he knows all the arguments already. It doesn’t make either of us any better off for me to scold him again and again – it just makes him more determined to go his own path to prove himself right. It’s a flaw, admittedly.

But he is not unconscious. And he wants to get better, healthy. He’s realized he needs to.

And so his medications are not merely his responsibilities – they are ours.

I will help him as he tries to help himself. Even though I don’t completely agree with his methods. I know he can bounce back. Because he has before. And hopefully he will realize, this time, that he can’t stop taking the meds just because he feels better . . . because the meds are what are making him feel better. It’s a simple, small thing, but something a lot of people can take various issues with.

I’m not one of those people. I grew up with medical issues that are still a more or less constant facet of my live (asthma, anemia, and epilepsy, oh my!). But he was “healthy,” up until the bike accident. Or, at least, he was undiagnosed.

Which, unfortunately, he views as more or less the same thing.