Listening to Antony and the Johnsons “Another World” on repeat.
I feel like writing for the first time in a long time. I’ve been keeping a private journal and perhaps sometime I’ll share bits of it here for you all. Sometimes I feel as though I can’t write if I’m not going to be able to tie up a post or idea with a nice ribbon for you, my readers. Yet, both here and in the rest of my life, I’m learning to accept the unfinished, knotted, dribbling on of ideas that more accurately represents lived experience. So here’s a bit of that for those who’ve missed me.
I am deeply in love with Feathers. It feels like it came out of nowhere. He’s always been very special to me, but I had no intention of going this deep with him. I suppose that’s the magic of this lifestyle; when you let go of well-laid plans or expectations on the development of a relationship and instead allow it to evolve naturally, the results can be a surprise.
We are practically living together, spending 6 or sometimes 7 nights a week together. As it turns out, we each have some very real mental illnesses and personal struggles. But, it seems, they compliment one another’s in a way that is working. For now anyway. I’ve gotten used to the idea that the only answer I need to have is for now and the immediate future. On a practical level, he has taken on all the shopping and cooking and I have taken on all the laundry and cleaning. We went through extensive talks about this “trade”, not wanting either of us to eventually resent the other. So far so good. So good, in fact, that I’ve lost 10 lbs just because he is regularly feeding me healthy food.
On an emotional level, the exchange is not that simple. And perhaps viewing a relationship as one big barter doesn’t make sense. Or maybe it’s the most logical thing a person can do. In any case, with all this shared time, my PTSD and his ADHD cannot be masked. He has been unbelievably patient, kind and caring for me and I believe I have been the same to him.
We have something of an ethos for our relationship. We want to be a good thing in one another’s lives, we want to help one another reach the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: flourishing. It all sounds very nice and balanced and dreamy.. and it is.. but it’s also tough work. Creating this unique relationship, this bubble for us, all while being conscious every step of the way is challenging. But we’re doing it. And I have truly never felt so supported by a partner in my life.
I have this feeling all of the time that he truly wants me to thrive, whatever that looks like. I am back to old hobbies. I am writing again. I am finding my way and even though I’m doing it alongside him, I don’t feel that I have to give up myself to be with him the way I did, at times, with Spouse. He really doesn’t seem to see me as an extension of himself and so his investment in my behaving a certain way is quite low. So I feel free.
Also. The sex is blowing my mind. It didn’t start out that way either, it’s grown as our intimacy has grown. It’s very playful, even though that sometimes means serious. Costumes and toys and some role play. I’m relatively uptight day to day, so to have this adult playground bedroom space has been so wonderful.
Essentially, I’m just trying to soak up every minute of this time. Being newly in love and designing the shape of things together is enthralling and I don’t want to miss a thing. I knew I could never fall in love the way I did with Spouse again. This is different. It’s not as reckless and it involves navigating more baggage. It’s more careful and perhaps braver. Because this time we both know more about what could happen and we’re doing our best to stay open to it anyway.
I imagine you’re wondering if we’re still open.
Yes, we’re still open. I suppose I could imagine periods of monogamy again, but I’m certainly not needing that now and maybe I never will. Storyteller has come back into my life, which is a story that needs its own post. And he has a woman he sometimes sleeps with trying to make plans with him. Neither of us is consciously looking for new partners though. For now, what we have is pretty all-encompassing.