Saturday, 29 October 2011

Preserved

My skin is soft and smooth. I don't have stretchmarks and my vagina has not been distended or torn by birth. There are no caesarean scars on my stomach. My breasts don't look so very different from when I was a teenager. I have never lactated and no infant mouths have pulled on my nipples. A few thread veins swirl on my left thigh but you have to look closely. With age and exercise I have become more muscular and sinewy but no bigger overall.

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Friday, 28 October 2011

Milestone

Finally I have had sex with someone else. An almost-totally solo adventure.

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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Delusions

Things continue very sweet and loving between me and Virgil. He is very affectionate and thoughtful. We don't bicker. Declarations of love are up. One could think of an open relationship as merely the price for his happiness and this amiability. It doesn't stand up to any kind of close examination, this thought, but I think it anyway.

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Options

I have started to count the days, the days since we had sex, that is, not the days until anything. Virgil is not to be pestered for sex this whole week. He has a big thing coming up this weekend and must spend all his energy preparing for that. He knows and I know.

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Monday, 24 October 2011

Not safe to leave

The less safe my relationship feels, the less I'm satisfied with it, the less I want to venture outside it. I sit in and fume, hating the dusty, cramped hovel it has become but not wanting to leave it either. Maybe I'm afraid that only my presence in it is keeping it together, that if I go out all there might be to come back to is a pile of straw.

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Dream

He came home at 5 and was as quiet as a mouse. Even so I had woken up, alert to the familiar tap of his shoes. We hugged in the hall. Then we curled up and went back to sleep. It took me a long time. I had to get up at 7. I thought about feeling resentful.

I dream that I am losing Virgil. We're supposed to be together but whenever I look around he's wandered off with other people. He's slipping away from me. I can't control my temper and he no longer wants to be around me. He sees my fear of his leaving in my face. He tells me that I should watch out because now he can go round to Sarah's and fuck her whenever I'm nasty to him. I hit him twice in the face hard and know that I have crossed a line.

I wake up and feel so relieved. What would the woman I want to be do?
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Saturday, 22 October 2011

I Went Out

Fake it til you make it is a motto of Virgil's. Tonight I managed to do so. I did go out and I did enjoy myself seeing friends and some unexpected old faces. It was much more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. Now I'm back home and although it's only eleven o'clock and... no, fuck it and goddamn it I really don't want to think about what Virgil might be doing now. So I just won't think.
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Parched

My jealousy is like a desert. Every drop of love Virgil gives me gets swallowed up and is gone. There simply cannot be enough love. I ache inside. Can I do this? If I can't, what will happen?

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Friday, 21 October 2011

Corrections

I'm ashamed of the nasty, mean, childish sentiments dribbled out in my last blog entry but I won't edit it. It can stand as testimony to the corrupting power of jealousy on one's better self.

Time to grow up a git, I mean, a bit...

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Sandy Eyes

It has been a bad night for sleep.

Virgil had a date yesterday, with the woman he seduced in our flat when I was away. Ava was supposed to be taking my mind of it but she bailed, with a migraine. She didn't know that was my ulterior motive for seeing her so I couldn't complain, just told her to get well soon with probably about as much honesty as with which she told me that she had a migraine.

It was too late to arrange anything else so I decided to go with it, sit with it, see how it felt. He was gone when I got home. I was worried about how slowly the time would go but the evening passed reasonably. I wasn't exactly leaping around with glee, but I was ok. I worked on my Halloween costume and practised white-face make-up. Healthy food slow-cooked on the stove. Admin. I tried not to think about what they were doing.

Having heard about its open-relationship subject matter, I watched half of Bob & Carol & Ted and Alice. Then I realised that it was after midnight. I had mentally prepared myself for Virgil coming in late and decided that it would be better to be asleep when that happened. So after a bit of reading in bed (still not tired), I put on precautionary earplugs and an eyemask. I wondered what I would look like to Virgil when he finally did come back.

I lay in the total dark hearing rain on the windows. I wondered about Virgil cycling in the rain. Earplugs were a bad idea. They let just enough sound in to be distracting. Then, after about ten minutes, he did come in. He was feeling affectionate. He wanted to talk and cuddle and told me how sorry he was that Ava had cancelled. He smelled alien, of cigarettes and more. I told him and he said that was weird because the date he had been with smoked but hadn't smoked with him. But I could smell her all over him.

I said, Something you should know about me is that I have an excellent sense of smell, and how could you think I would be ok with cuddling you while you smell like this? He said he had thought of washing when he came in but had got distracted and forgotten. Then he said sorry for being so thoughtless. He went off to the bathroom and I heard him splashing around. When he came back he smelled more like himself but he hadn't done a very good job because the fingertips on his right hand still smelled of her. He asked if he should have washed his hair. He said that would just smell of her flat and dinner.

So thanks, Virgil, for managing against my express wishes to tell me exactly what you did on your date and literally rubbing my nose in your sexual activities. I was upset: I'd been doing quite well and now felt grim (and still feel fairly grim this morning, to be honest). We talked. He comforted me. We cuddled. We didn't row, which is the important thing. But I didn't sleep well either.

I have had a few dates with someone else, but I think I might have blown it - that's a different blog entry. We'll see. I feel like I just have to do this, to persevere with it until I stop feeling jealous. It would help if my own non-monogamous sex life was shaping up in the way Virgil's is. We both recognise this but it's just one of those things. I can hardly expect him to wait until I meet someone first. I should be glad for him, and I suppose I am. I mean, I can't bear to think of him hurt, vulnerable or sad.

Jealousy. I'm jealous of the fact that in spite of the fact that we played yesterday morning (He initiated it, reader. I can have no complaints. He made a big effort to tie me up and please me, first orally and then with his fingers and a vibrator) he refused penetrative sex because he was saving himself for sex with her. More than that, by having an orgasm with me he was preparing himself for sex with her later.

I can't get my head around it. My stupid head. Virgil loves me and he lets me know it. He's making a big effort. We're talking and talking. We have an appointment with a counsellor later today. He's being all kinds of nice and loving at the moment. Our sexual activity levels are higher than they've been for ages.

But then he does something really utterly fuckwitted and thoughtless like getting into bed with me smelling of the sex he's had with another woman and he can't really see that that might not be cool. Would he turn up on a date with someone else smelling of sex with me? Would they like that? (Note to self: ask him that next time.)

He asks me how it's different from him smelling of other women after we've been at a sex party. Just of course, of course it's different. It's not the same thing at all.
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Sunday, 16 October 2011

More Wrong Things

Sitting here on the graveyard shift, it's hard to believe that exactly one week ago I was sobbing in my sister's housemate's bed.

We're still talking and there's a lot more of that to do. We keep finding new things wrong with our relationship. Last night Virgil tells me that my habit of eating his food is a really annoying ongoing issue and I have to stop doing it. You have to stop making me responsible for your food choices, he says. It drives me mad. But I only want a little bit, I protest.

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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Pits

I give up on writing well but I still want to write. When the boundaries of your life turn fluid (and not in a good way), a diary will always inject a little solidity into the proceedings. The feeling of agency, even if it's just an illusion.

If a self-pitying wailing meltdown is not to your taste, look away now. If you want to see someone at the end of their tether and acting like a baby, read on. I'm not proud.

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Monday, 10 October 2011

Summit

I am back home, temporarily. That is to say, I slept here last night. Now I am killing time on the sofa, waiting for Virgil to wake up so that we can talk some more. We spent four or five hours yesterday, on the sofa under a blanket, talking about what's gone wrong for each of us and what we need to change in order to try to carry on. Then we went to bed and watched an episode of Breaking Bad and went to sleep, curled up.

There is a lot more still to do. He's still not sure. To be honest, I'm still not sure. I want to save it but I don't know it is reconcilable. At the moment there's a lot of resentment on both sides.

My issues:
Sex. We need to be able talk about it. I am not allowed to initiate sex. Every time I raise it as an issue he attacks me (this has happened periodically for years). This cannot be right? I don't think he puts enough energy and enthusiasm into sex with me. I get jealous when I think that he is more enthused about sex with other people. I also think he has other issues with sex that he won't talk about. It's like an elephant in the room. I know that I haven't always raised it in the right way, and that he feels hurt and undermined. I want to try to do better and change that. From what was said yesterday, I don't know whether he is prepared to try to change this at all.

Outside space. I need to live somewhere with outside space, a balcony at least. I have now lived in Virgil's flat for 18 months. It was only ever supposed to be a temporary arrangement. I am not happy here. This feeds in to the wider issue of...

Compromise, which is that we both have different needs but we should both be willing to try to make things happen for the other person. I now know that I enjoy: theme parks, cigars, five star hotels, the occasional bit of junk food, dressing up, not having a TV, living in a modern apartment, 3D films, ribs and pulled pork (my meat consumption has increased exponentially), Wii (sometimes!), drugs, sex on drugs... I'm sure there are more. Being with Virgil has broadened my experience immeasurably and I am thankful for that but it doesn't feel like a two-way street. He's just not interested in trying new things for my sake. I wouldn't even mind if he'd try them and decide they weren't for him but it's not even that. He's single-minded and it's his way or do your own thing. Independence and doing my own thing is fine, but it's also fucking rude at times, like for example at a sex party where he's just not interested in anyone you point out, not even willing to try.

Now I'm getting angry again. There's too much to write. There are too many things. We talked endlessly about open relationships and what he 'needs' - which seems to come down to being able to have sex with other people in our bed. I am really against this. It feels like an invasion of my intimate space. It's something that he just won't put down. He won't see my side of it or respect my feelings about this. While we argue it starts to seem so surreal and meaningless. But I cannot agree to it - the idea makes me very unhappy. How can I agree to something that makes me feel like that? I say that I am willing to review it in the future but that I want to feel more comfortable and right about the open relationship that we do have. He looks furious. I wonder if this is worth it at all.

He seems different. Not as lovable. Nastier and resentful.
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Sunday, 9 October 2011

Plate tectonics

How can you be going along, knowing that you have your issues but that you love each other, one day, and single the next? How must it feel for people who come home to find a letter and no one there? One day you're telling people about him and that although you have your issues it's a good relationship. A day later you split up and move out. You hadn't even known that you were going to do it but the pressures must have been building up underground because suddenly you are both saying things and suddenly things are moving very fast indeed.

Virgil and I didn't touch on our last night in bed together. I came home from work at 1.30 and he was already asleep, just a smell of cigar smoke to tell me how he'd spent his evening. I edged in to my side of the bed, careful not to touch him, and lay on my side facing away. I couldn't bring myself to touch him although on some level I wanted to. I don't know whether he woke up but he turned and I felt the small of his back briefly touch mine and knew that he wasn't going to curl up against me, which is what he used to do.

We used to call it the octopus of love the way we would lie entwined, with two bodies joined and eight arms and legs. I'd never believed you could love anyone as strongly as I loved Virgil back in the day. We slept like that for ages. I really couldn't see it ending.



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Hope and Self Hatred

When I'm sad and alone I sleep with the light on, even though I know it doesn't make for a good night's sleep. I don't know why I do it but there it is.

In the end I slept quite well. I woke at 5 and lay in the dark, waiting to feel sadness. I thought, Oh God, another 10 hours until I meet Virgil to talk. So I made tea and read a book about trees until I feel asleep again and then I slept until 8.30. 

Killing time and thinking of my priorities, I look for flatshares and part-time jobs. I glance briefly at Facebook and OkCupid to see if anything interesting is happening. It's not, and it makes me think that I will have to separate from Virgil on these forums too and how hard that will be. These aren't good thoughts. I don't know how to not think about these things. Inevitably tears come and that crumpling-in-on-itself body ache. 

I have a ridiculous, hateful hope that he will say come back home and let's try again, but I don't think he will. I wish I didn't have this hope. I think about how I don't want the petty arguments and tensions either. We lost each other at some point. Avoiding conflict, we must have stopped being honest and drifted. Even though we were still together we weren't talking, telling each other the important things. I don't know what's been going on in his head. There's so much I hadn't told him until yesterday, about being angry with him.

If I love him why can't I be respectful of him, kind and nice to him. Why am I such a fucking monster?

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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Break Up Day

It's five months since my last blog post. I'm sitting on the sofa in my sister's living room. My lovely sister, who could only confide in me one month after the abortion that she had last year and was so unhappy about. This morning when Virgil shouted that he didn't want our relationship anymore, that was it, it was finished and I should get out, I knew I had to go. I picked up my phone and thought about who to ask for help.

I couldn't think of any friends who I was prepared to call on in such a situation (Hello, it's me. How are you? Not good actually. I haven't been in touch for ages but now I need to come and stay with you and I'm very sad and won't be any fun to be around - is that alright?). Family is different. I phoned my sister and said pretty much that and she said, Fine,  no problem, I'll come and pick you up and you can stay as long as you need to. Amazing. Thank you, Gabi.

She's meditating now and then my mum's coming over for the evening, so it'll be three of us. More explanations. I don't really want to see anyone, but it's probably better than being alone because that's when grief rips through me.

My mantra for today is: Don't think about it. Just don't think. Only focus on right now, not about what's going to happen in the near future or how your life will change. That's how I packed some things and got out of the flat and into the car without crying. Virgil had gone out. I had asked him to go and give me the space to collect my stuff and leave. He was shocked that I had made arrangements so quickly but I said that if he stood by his remarks then he was getting no more than what he asked for. Once the decision is made there's nothing to say. I can't cope with contact. Being kind and sympathetic with each other makes it more painful. I didn't want to touch him or talk to him.

I don't particularly want to talk unless it's to make up and get back together to try again. There may be time in the future for a relationship debrief where we can try to be friends and comfort each other and say that it was best that we split up. I'm nursing a hope that tomorrow when we meet up to talk we will make up, and that's a chance I'll take because I really wanted this relationship to work. I really wanted to be family with Virgil and spend our lives together. But my intuition is that tomorrow he will wake and feel sad but know in his heart that splitting up is the right thing to do. That's the feeling I had when my last relationship finished.

Before he left we stood in the hall and held each other and I recapitulated and said to him: Please don't go. I still want you. I've never loved anyone like I've loved you, and my heart is breaking. Then someone in a yellow jacket saying they were a BT engineer buzzed the intercom to be let in and while I was distracted by that and the decision not to let him in, Virgil left and I heard his boots clicking down the hall.

I'm not the victim here. Don't think for a minute that Virgil's outburst wasn't caused by some very bad behaviour of mine - it was, but my rancour was not without some kind of justification. I was angry that in three days he hadn't emptied the dishwasher. It contained dishes and a load of soggy rice, the remains of a meal he had cooked for a woman he had entertained and had sex with on the sofa while I was away last week. I was complaining bitterly that I didn't think I should be clearing up after him in THIS way. Of course it was my decision to empty the loaded dishwasher at that exact moment. I was upset that he was in bed under the covers, claiming to be too tired to have relationship crisis talks with me. I don't sleep well when I'm upset. I had been awake since 7am. It was now 10.30am. I decided to do some cleaning to kill time and soon discovered the things in the dishwasher. It all blew up from there.

He said he wanted to try to fix things and that he loves me but that it would have to change completely. He told me (correctly) that my behaviour toward him had changed completely over the last year and that my criticism, put downs and rudeness were impossible. He needs us to have an open relationship where I don't explode with jealousy. I don't know if I can do these things, although I know that he deserves to have them. There are things that I am not getting in this relationship - needs of mine not being satisfied - and this is why I am angry, frustrated and jealous. I don't know if we can make it work.

So Virgil's words didn't come out of the blue, it's just that he sounded so very definite, as though internally he had reached a decision and now we had to act. And to be honest, I have had some dark moments recently where I have doubted the rightness of our relationship. So I had to leave, basically because it was Virgil's flat when I moved in to it and now that we're splitting up I'm the one who has to go. I didn't much like it anyway, which was part of the problem.

I think I knew before today that this was going to happen but it feels like a giant hand has reached in and pulled me out of my life.
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