Tag Archives: dating angst

A rough patch

Y’know…when I first moved in with The Dandy and Dandette (and more specifically after the two of them resumed their relationship, which effectively killed a bunch of stress that was building in the household), I loved it there. She and I became close really quickly and even developed a snuggly kind of relationship. We weren’t outright sexual with each other but in a way it felt like we were dating, too, and so instead of her being just The Dandy’s other girlfriend who I had to figure out how to live with, there was love flowing in all directions.

But now it’s different and I don’t entirely know why but I hate it.

The first major setback is that Dandette ran out of anti-anxiety meds and wasn’t able to get more right away. I thought what she was on was supposed to take a while to leave the system, so maybe it was just placebo effect in reverse or something but Dandette almost immediately started having panic attacks and other manifestations of her anxiety, like, a lot.

When she’s having a panic attack, she shakes with adrenaline and doesn’t want to be touched at all. She’ll stumble backward away from you all terrified if you even look like you might approach. And she becomes convinced that her panic attack is inconveniencing everyone, which makes her panic more. So you can’t try to help her in any way; she will perceive it as her issues inconveniencing you and she’ll freak out. But you also can’t let her know that her panic attack is, oh I dunno, scaring the shit out of you and twigging your own anxiety really hard, because that’ll convince her, too, that she’s a terrible person who ruins everyone else’s lives.

For the most part, her thing of not wanting her attacks acknowledged or helped works for me just fine. I’d come out of my room in the morning, see her in the living room shaking and hyperventilating with her eyes all dilated and weird, say “‘morning” in a cheery voice, walk past her to get some cereal and go back into my room again to eat it. She doesn’t consider this rude. She doesn’t change her mind once the attack is over, either; I mean it’s not like she says “leave me alone” during but then after she’s like “WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME ALONE WHEN I WAS PANICKING YOU ASSHOLE” so cool.

But one time she had an attack while we were out running errands together and I was kind of stuck with her and it was the most awful thing. She was clearly all fight-or-flighty and vulnerable and I didn’t want her walking home alone like that, so I had to pretend that I just happened to feel like walking home anyway and then walking back to complete the errands. It was such a lovely day out, after all. I definitely felt like taking a nice long walk. And of course the walk home was a grim deathmarch during which I contrived to act casual and comfortable and make light conversation that didn’t require any replies while making sure I stayed beyond accidental touching distance and trying not to let it show that my heart was hammering. At one point she was stressing out about how much work she still had to do at home (her whole housewife thing) but when I tried to comfort her by saying “I can help with anything you need” she barked my name all angry-like, meaning “stop making it worse by trying to help me” so fine, I guess I was supposed to let her sit there and stew in a cage entirely of her own making, then. And then partway home – cutting through the parking lot of the grocery store I’d been aiming to circle back to when Dandette started panicking – she insisted I leave her and do my grocery run but then a car started backing out of a spot and almost backed into us and I yelled “HEY” and my yelling triggered some kind of fugue state in Dandette. I could see her go even more wild-eyed and freaked out than before. But I knew if I insisted on walking her home, she’d scream at me not to, so I just kind of walked away. Dandette did end up finding her way home, but when she got there she wasn’t wearing shoes and she didn’t know why. She couldn’t remember anything after my yell. She was standing in the parking lot and then she was home, with nothing in between.

And any random thought could trigger one of her attacks at any time, which made me not exactly want to spend a lot of time around her. Plus I became afraid of ever touching her in case she’d begun having an attack and I just hadn’t noticed. Before then, I would touch her affectionately in passing all the time (and vice-versa). I didn’t even think about it. Suddenly though it seemed like there was a chance she’d be horrified and recoil and I didn’t want to be rejected so I kind of kept my distance and waited for her to initiate, which she…kinda didn’t. Maybe it was a vicious cycle; maybe she stopped being touchy and snuggly because I did. But for whatever it’s worth our whole ambiguous snuggling thing came about in the first place because she started it, so she sure didn’t mind making the first move before

The second setback for us was that Dandette had a sudden second health problem. She had a cyst a year or two ago – I forget the name of the kind of cyst it is, but basically it’s a zit that gets so huge and impacted (like, the size of a golf ball) that a doctor needs to slice it open with a scalpel to drain it. It’s right under her tailbone, where it presses on her sciatic nerve, so in addition to being all under pressure and hurting to sit on, it’s fucking with her actual nerves and causing pain that way. And a week or two ago, it started to come back.

I knew she was in pain and I assumed (correctly) that she’d be in no shape to fix us the amazing dinners she usually made. The Dandy and I fended for ourselves/ordered food in for a week or so until Dandette’s cyst was big enough to get drained. Please believe me that I was not on any level feeling bitter about this or thinking “humph. She should suck it up and cook for us anyway.” No no no. She was not doing well at all and clearly needed rest. Buttttt the nature of my psyche seems to be that I have certain things that make me feel loved, which in turn will make me love the person back. And if I’m not getting those things from someone, my feelings for them can switch off amazingly quickly. The main things that make me feel loved are affectionate touches (which she’d already withdrawn) and being fed. And so my feelings of love for Dandette…winked out. Just like that.

The third setback is that – overlapping with Dandette’s whole cyst thing – I had a fairly terrible week. I am a nocturnal person; at this point in my life, if I have to wake up in the morning more than two days in a row, I start to feel seriously depressed and fucked up. That’s even if I’ve gotten adequate sleep. Well, I had six days in a row of working 10am-1pm and I didn’t sleep well during any of that time. My bladder was doing this hilarious thing it sometimes does where it forgets how to empty entirely so within half an hour of taking a piss I’d desperately have to go again; I was getting up ten times a night to pee. And I was having issues with insomnia. And The Dandy was snoring. And my stupid asshole cats were being restless for some reason and would randomly jump on me at night and stuff. So I had six nights in a row where I didn’t, at all, even once, get into the deep dark black part of sleep that is actually restful.

Y’know how clinical depression is caused by low levels of a brain chemical called seratonin? The thing that restores a person’s seratonin levels is sleep. By the end of my week of hell, my anxiety and depression were off the charts. I was full-on crazy, like “nobody in my life really loves me, they’re all just pretending, they probably talk about me behind my back” crazy. Everyfuckingthing The Dandy or Dandette did seemed like a plot to fuck with me or a secret code spelling out that they didn’t like me or want me there. Oh and in fairness I also wasn’t cleaning the kitchen (my one official household job) to my usual standard, so maybe Dandette wasn’t feeling loved, either.

On the Thursday of my hellweek, Dandette got her cyst drained*. Presumably the stitches etc hurt after that but the draining process would have relieved all the pressure and nerve pain and stuff so that she was a lot more functional. And indeed, on Friday morning she set her alarm specifically to get up and make coffee for The Dandy, as she does every workday (except while the cyst was hurting her). She brought his coffee in to him and left it by the bed, like every workday. And then she went back to bed without fixing me breakfast.

(For contrast: when I had a solid week of work just a few weeks before, she woke up and made me breakfast every day, and packed it up so I could sleep in later and eat it on the bus. She packed me a lunch, too, when I had a two-gig day. And these were good meals, man. Fresh-squeezed orange juice. French toast. The lunch included dessert. Dandette made it clear that a) she loved being a housewife and considered feeding me like this to be her job b) she expresses love through cooking c) she receives love through appreciation of her cooking. And boy, did I ever appreciate it. I gushed to her so much I was afraid it might come off as fake. And she glowed and kissed me goodbye on the cheek and wished me a good day at work every single morning.)

The living room was in disarray and Dandette decided it needed a major reorganization so she pulled an all-nighter Friday night to do that. She was still awake when I got up Saturday morning and started getting ready for my sixth consecutive morning shift, but she didn’t make me breakfast. What she did do was hold up my old mug with the QWERTY keyboard printed on it and ask “do you use this?”

“I keep pens in it,” I said (or rather, I did at my old place and then I moved and didn’t know where it or the pens had gone).

“Do you want it still? Because if not I’m taking it to the garbage room.”

“If you hate it that much, I guess you can toss it,” I said.

“It’s not that I hate it, it’s that we have too much stuff,” Dandette said, and she left with the mug and some other things of hers. Then I immediately changed my mind and flung open the door and got it back from her. I like that mug and it feels like I’ve given up entirely too much lately: a shit-ton of my belongings so I wouldn’t have to pack them to move; my big dresser which got destroyed in the move by accident; exclusive use of The Dandy’s cock; having my own room… It’s too much. I wanted my fucking mug. So I told her I changed my mind, and she handed it back saying “Well, just don’t let me ever see it again.” Which I’m pretty sure was, objectively, a really fucking rude thing to say to me, but also remember I was suuuuper crazy from lack of sleep so it really hit me badly at that moment.

I said nothing and just stomped off and put my mug in the bedroom. The Dandy was in there putting clothes on because I’d begged him to drive me to work. I bitched to him furiously about what had just happened. I mean, Dandette regularly finds major pieces of (admittedly pretty cool, usually) furniture in the garbage room and puts them in the apartment. SHE BROUGHT IN A GRANDFATHER CLOCK a few months ago. All that fucking thing does is take up space doing the same thing a five dollar watch would do. Just a few weeks ago she brought in a huuuuuuge hutch and transferred all our dishes and silverware into it (four full sets of dishes, two sets of silverware, and maybe five sets of glassware, by the way, not including mine), and when I was like “Hey, now we can get rid of the previous hutch, which is sort of ugly and most of the handles are broken, anyway…” The Dandy and Dandette completely ignored me and decided to put the stupid thing in the front hall and keep shoes/umbrellas/etc in it, instead. The shelving unit that had previously been used for shoes/etc got crammed into the storage closet. The Dandy, meanwhile, has a bunch of assembled sets of Star Wars Lego on display. Ewok cities and X-wing fighters and a bunch of other shit whose only function is to be looked at and that’s been sitting there so long that I doubt anyone in the house even consciously notices it anymore. Neither of these people get rid of anything fucking ever (and I have been delicately sort of sniffing around the idea of them purging some things for a while, because the apartment is big but in serious danger of being totally subsumed by furniture etc and having no more usable space than my old tiny apartment). I’d been tactful and gentle in my urgings and both of them had seemed kind of hostile so I dropped it. They have a different aesthetic and different priorities than I do, and part of living with other people is accepting differences like that, so I worked on doing so. And now Dandette has a wild hair about clearing out the living room and my one little mug is too much but the Lego and grandfather clock stay? Fuck off.

The Dandy didn’t say anything during this rant of mine. He often goes silent when I’m angry. This time his expression wasn’t that frozen-up/scared thing he does when I’m mad at him, though. It was aggrieved, like “Ugh, why do I need to be listening to this right now?” When I saw that I reined in my ranting. But boy was I pissed.

A little while later when The Dandy and I were by the door putting our shoes on for the drive to my work, Dandette was like “Can you take this to the garbage room on your way out?” and gestured at a piece of furniture. It was facing away from me and lots of dressers etc have a cheap particle-board back on them so it took me a minute to realize what it was, but then suddenly I did. The Dandy said there wasn’t time or the dolly was in the car or something so we couldn’t. I walked straight out to the elevator without saying anything and just glowered pointedly at The Dandy while I waited for him to catch up.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, once he was finally next to me at the elevators.

“What’s wrong is Dandette and I never discussed throwing my bookcase out. This is the first I’m hearing about this.”

…Oh.

I held it together until we got in the car and then basically broke down and sobbed the entire way to work about how Dandette seemed to have abruptly decided she didn’t want me there and was taking pains to let me know. The Dandy said he’d talk to her (and, thank god, said he wouldn’t mention some of the not-very-nice side-points I’d made in my ranting** and just focus on “hey, you appear to be getting rid of Cowgirl’s stuff without permission; what’s up with that?”

The verdict (reported by The Dandy when I got home) ended up being that Dandette had thought I did say I would get rid of the bookcase – and in fairness I probably did say at one point that I was thinking about it but hadn’t decided yet. So that was a misunderstanding. And the mug thing was just cranky, underslept, ass-stitches-hurting, up-all-night-organizing Dandette phrasing things in a really unfortunate way. And all of this was of course magnified by me being jussssst fuckin’ batshit crazy from lack of sleep. And Dandette apologized to me later and said she never meant to make me feel unwanted at all, she really did think I’d said I wanted to get rid of the bookcase.

I believe both of them (although I couldn’t manage to stop feeling persecuted and suspicious until I’d had a massive cry and an even more massive sleep and set my brain mostly back on kilter). But I still feel like something’s up, dammit. Maybe Dandette wasn’t actually trying to squeeze me out of the apartment but I increasingly feel like she’s not that happy to have me there, either. Not the way she initially was. And I don’t know if I did something or the NRE just died really fast or her initial enthusiasm was all an act to suck up to The Dandy or what.

 

*After the draining, The Dandy drove her home. They came in and I paused my Netflix show, thinking Dandette might want hugs or to talk about the ordeal or whatever. She just gave me a hostile look (or was my underslept brain just seeing it like that?) and went straight to her bedroom. Later, when The Dandy and I had gone to bed, she kept having things to say to The Dandy and calling out to him to come over for sec. Like five times in a row she did this, and he’d clamber out of bed and go into her room where she’d talk super-animatedly at him for a few minutes. And then he’d come back to bed and it would repeat again and this was at ONE THIRTY IN THE MORNING BTW but anyway a few days later Dandette referred back to the cyst-draining aftermath and said sorry if she was a bit withdrawn that night but she just couldn’t deal with people. Why am I “people” and The Dandy isn’t? When I first moved in Dandette said we were family, we were all in this together, we’d help each other through things. She supported me through some things and I wanted the chance to do it back but she just doesn’t seem inclined to lean on me. At all.

**I may have yelled a bunch more about the grandfather clock and the four sets of dishes and gone on a whole huge tangent that maybe Dandette is so used to finding all her furniture in the garbage that she’s kind of “easy come, easy go” about these things and doesn’t get that I had to work and save up and buy my shit. I didn’t even mean this as a jab at her not working; I really meant it at face value, and still believe it even though I’m less mad now. None of my furniture was a spontaneous “Oh cool, someone tossed this out, I think I’ll take it” affair; I had an idea in my head of a specific item that needed to fit in a specific spot and I went to stores armed with a tape measure and wrote down stats and prices until I found exactly the right thing, which I bought with money earned at a job I didn’t necessarily like, and possibly paid for delivery too, and in many cases assembled myself. I feel like that’s gonna make a person more attached to a piece of furniture than if they hadn’t even actively wanted a particular item but it just showed up for free and it was like “Meh, what the hell.”

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Becoming everything I didn’t want.

I like living here. The apartment is HUGE and pretty and I pay very little rent. It’s actually kinda nice having people around, especially these particular people. Dandette planning and cooking most of the meals is a total game-changer for me and lets me put so much energy into other things (instead of figuring out how the hell to feed myself) that it’s just amazing. There’s a sweet doggo to hang out with, and an additional cat who is also sweet when he’s not using my stomach as a trampoline like a fucking bastard.

But there are a lot of adjustments. Like…a lot. There are a lot of things about this arrangement that twig my anxiety or even threaten my sense of self.

Like…from the end of my marriage twelve years ago up to now, I prided myself on being independent. Even like two months ago when I was desperate to get away from the Harpy downstairs, I was looking for an apartment that was just mine, even if it was the size of a closet and cost a thousand dollars a month and I had to ramp up my sex work activities in order to afford it. It was that important to me to live alone and depend on nobody else for my well-being*. My ex husband was in charge of all our money back in the day (and sometimes I didn’t work and he supported me) and this made me feel dependent and infantilized and I never wanted to be beholden to anyone like that ever again. And The Dandy has even made a few creepy comments before about how Dandette feels obligated to be extra nice to him because he pays her way, and he likes that. And now I’m living with him and letting him subsidize my living expenses. O.o

I’ve also always been kind of possessive and inflexible when it comes to my stuff, and now I’ve merged all my things with Dandette and Dandy’s – to a point, even, where I’ve given Dandette carte blanche to use my dildos (well, I did earmark two of them as just mine) as long as she puts a condom on them and runs them through the dishwasher after. And needless to say I can’t be as calculating and possessive about food as I was when I lived alone. “Okay, there are nine eggs left, that means I’ve got breakfast for the next three days” is simply not a thing that can happen in an apartment where there are three people and one of them bakes. I’ve told everyone that the drinkable yogurts are mine (I use them as work snacks and buy exactly enough to last me), but aside from that the fridge is kind of a free-for-all. On the up side, there are always delicious leftovers around. And I don’t seem to be getting the killer food cravings I got before (I assume because my diet is far more varied thanks to Dandette’s cooking so I’m not deficient in anything now) so it hasn’t been to hard letting go of control of the fridge. I mean I’m not having that thing where my body suddenly tells me EAT SOME FUCKING TUNA EAT IT NOW and then it turns out I’d mis-estimated and there is no tuna and I feel like I have a hole in the centre of my world (as has happened in the past). I seem, so far, to be able to be like “I’m hungry. Let’s see what’s in the fridge” and there are a few appealing things and I pick one, the way I’d imagine normal people do.

For the record, when Minx moved in with me we realized we collectively owned doubles of several different movies. She said we ought to sell the redundant copies (the “redundant” ones being whichever version looked more beat up). I agreed to this but kept “forgetting” to do so because I didn’t want to have to re-buy anything if we broke up. Which was prudent because we did break up in the end. With The Dandy and Dandette I’ve gotten rid of most of my cookware and cleaning supplies and my hair dryer and I forget what-all else, because they have those things already. I think I have a bit more faith in this relationship lasting. Mind you, the plan is for us to move to a bigger place where I have my own bedroom and The Dandy has an established history of continuing to support an ex and be on good terms after breaking up with them, so there’s that. ūüėõ

There’s the thing where I’m part of a harem, which is quite frankly going fine so far but it irritates me on principle because it often feels like half the world (the kink world, anyway) expects women to be in some guy’s harem. And that it must mean the women are bi and submissive. I know that what people outside our polycule think doesn’t have any actual bearing on my life for the most part but still.

There’s the thing where the thought of having my life all entwined with someone else’s scares the shit out of me.. For the past bunch of years I’ve basically been solo poly and that suited me fine; I kept my partners at arms’ length enough that they never expected me to hang out with their parents or friends. When I broke up with someone I’d lose only them, not a whole ersatz family. And now I’ve let myself get all enmeshed with two people. Truth be told, I’ve been kind of secretly wanting a family and commitment and shit for a while. But it’s still scary as fuck.

And last but not least, there’s how much like a (weird, two-wived) 50s household we are, here. Not in the sense that Dandette actively wants to be a housewife to us. I mean: The Dandy is just chock-full of entitlement. He’s a middle-aged white dude and he comes from a pretty rich family (private school, multiple university degrees that his parents fully paid for so he has no student loan debt) and he’s just…really out of touch. Dandette says that when she’s talked about what it’s like to be poor, he was like “Oh, I¬†know, at my first job out of college I was only making 30k!” (*Headdesk*) He seems to think of Dandette and I as his underlings, or perhaps he just has no idea what we do to keep things going and thinks the house cleans itself.** The way Dandette summons us to dinner and he swans in beaming with a kind of smug benevolence and eats the awesome meal she’s prepared without comment and then doesn’t bus his dishes just irritates the shit out of me. He’s sort of opaque…he’s deceptively cheerful-seeming pretty much all the time (including when his dad died a few years ago, apparently) and he has a solid track record of not communicating well so that the rest of us have to guess what’s going on with him. Dandette often talks about him to me as though he’s weather – this inescapable circumstance whose vagaries she’s at the mercy of. It makes me sick but I find myself commiserating and acting like he’s weather a bit, too. Neither of us has a lot of leverage with him since we don’t have the means to live on our own right now, so yeah, we have to try to figure out his thought processes and head off potential issues at the pass even though he won’t actually tell us there’s a problem. We need to ensure our continued security and livelihood.

I never wanted to be the kind of woman who talks about her partner like he’s some alien species and then rolls her eyes like “Oh well, what’re you gonna do?” and goes back to loading the dishwasher. But now that’s who I am. That’s the part I hate the most.

I mean, he’s also really good to us, and he’s pretty together on the feminist front. He doesn’t (or doesn’t consciously) believe that women are lesser or anything. He’s an okay guy. But god, that poor-little-rich-boy obtuseness. It kills me. One time a few months ago when I was apartment-hunting, I got turned down for a place because they didn’t feel I made enough money to afford it***. And the place demanded a money order for first and last month’s rent to even apply, and stipulated that if I got accepted I¬†had to take the place – or at least that they wouldn’t give me my money back if I got in somewhere else. So the application process stalled my apartment-hunt for several days right at the beginning of the month. My current living situation had gotten so bad that it was giving me PTSD, but the housing market is so dire that it pretty much seemed like every half-decent place was taken within the first week of the month (I would call every half-decent ad on viewit.ca on the first of the month – sometimes twenty phone calls to twenty places – and I’d get maybe one viewing out of it if I was lucky! And this happened several months in a row!). Because I work freelance and am behind on my taxes, my only way to prove my income was to show printouts of my bank statements – and I was just starting to enter my slow season at work. I realized that I’d have to either get approved for an apartment somehow that very month, or start taking cash out of my line of credit and depositing it into my chequing account on a regular basis to make my income look more steady than it was. I was horrifically, crushingly stressed out with no end in sight, is what I’m saying. I had gotten to a point where I wanted not to be alive anymore (not suicidal ideation, mind you. Just…I couldn’t keep living where I was, every place in the city was seemingly either unaffordable or unavailable, and I didn’t have the resources to move to another city. The dilemma was breaking my brain and I wanted to wink out of existence so I wouldn’t have to struggle with the issue anymore).

So anyway, the day I got rejected for that apartment, I had plans with The Dandy. I took the bus to our appointed meeting spot, crammed between two strangers, trying not to cry or have a panic attack. I got to the spot and The Dandy he came striding over from where he parked his car, beaming benevolently as he does, wearing $300 shoes and a vintage designer wool overcoat and, I dunno, solid gold pants and a diamond shirt or some shit. And I knew that although he would understand in theory that I was stressed out, he’d never, ever really get it. He makes $93,000/year at an office that gives him paystubs and would write him a letter of employment. He’s been there a few years and his credit is fine. As long as there’s nobody ahead of him in the queue, he can apply for an apartment and get it. Even if it costs three times as much as the place I applied to he’ll get it. The most stress he’s ever felt about apartment-hunting is probably “Boy, I hope the place with the marble countertops and dishwasher gets back to me first. I liked that one marginally better than the one with the sunken tub and fireplace.”

And tbh I really, really wanted to punch him in the face.

 

 

 

*Platonic roommates are not exempt from this. If a platonic roommate was struggling financially and couldn’t always pay their share of rent on time; if they were passive-aggressive; if they were a loud partier; if they were often palpably sullen or cranky; all of these things would add to my stress levels exponentially. Do not want.

**I’ve agreed to be the official kitchen cleaner and I’m fine with that but The Dandy doesn’t even bring his dishes to the kitchen when he’s done. He’ll leave his half-finished plate of spaghetti to congeal on the table and just wander off, and a lot of the time I don’t notice until well after the food is dried on. If he’d scraped the food refuse off his plate and stuck it under running water for a sec, it would be an extra five seconds of effort for him; the fact that he doesn’t means I have to soak it and try to chisel all that shit off later on instead of just tossing it in the dishwasher. He’s making exponentially more work for me. Yesterday I mentioned this, just casual-like, and asked if he could just put his plate in the sink and run a bit of water on it from now on. We’ll see if he remembers.

***NB: I’d given them six months of banking records along with my application and in all of those months but one I made over a thousand dollars more than the rent of the place cost (enough excess money to cover that one shortfall and then some). So I don’t know wtf they wanted from me. Maybe they had a weirdly high idea of how much the average person spends on food and bills…

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Money

So I’m still struggling to get on disability for my anxiety issues. I’ve been fighting for this for a year or maybe two, now (appealing two rejections) and got to the tribunal stage (the final showdown where they either reject you forever or they accept you and can’t take it back) and the lady at the tribunal approved me(!).

Unfortunately, now they’re saying they can’t actually give me money until I prove to them that I qualify financially (they never asked me my income in all this time. WHY DID THEY LET ME JUMP THROUGH ALL THESE HOOPS WHEN FOR ALL THEY KNOW I MAKE TOO MUCH MONEY TO EVEN GET HELP). I just got a letter with a huge-ass list of shit I have to provide to prove my income etc.

The real kicker is, after my tribunal in December of 2016 where the lady said “congratulations! You’re in!”, the disability office literally forgot about me for five months. I had to call twice to remind them I was alive. Then sometime after the second call (where they were like “Oh shit, okay, we’ll try to find your paperwork and put it through”) they apparently assigned me a worker but never told me that – I only found out another month or so down the road when I still hadn’t heard anything so I called yet again. They gave me my worker’s name and extension. I left a message on her voicemail basically going “so…I got approved…um…when can I expect cheques in the mail…?” And she left me a voicemail a week later saying she’s behind on her paperwork so just wait (and that my welfare cheques won’t be discontinued until I start getting disability cheques. Well, cool story but I’M NOT ON WELFARE. I’ve been treading water and hoping desperately for disability to bail me out of poverty).

And now – seven months after the tribunal where they told me I was approved for funds – I get this letter with a huge list of documents I need to provide the disability people in order to get any money…AND THERE’S A DEADLINE ON IT. Of less than a month.

Oh and I’m sure it goes without saying but the letter says that if I can’t get all that shit in by the deadline I have to call them and give them reasons why. Ummmm BECAUSE I HAVE ANXIETY THAT INTERFERES WITH MY EXECUTIVE FUNCTION. IT IS THE MAJOR REASON I’VE APPLIED FOR DISABILITY. Oh also their list of documents that they want includes tax info and I haven’t done my taxes in like five years. BECAUSE. I. HAVE. ANXIETY. AND. I. AM. NOT. GOOD. AT. GETTING. THINGS. DONE. OR. DEALING. WITH. BUREAUCRACY.

TBH, now that I’ve moved in with The Dandy and Dandette and am paying half the rent I used to, I probably won’t qualify for disability. It’s my slow season but between the lowered rent and The Dandy paying for the lion’s share of groceries and toiletries, I think I can mostly make it through the summer okay; in winter I typically make much more so I’ll do just fine. But my understanding is that once one gets approved for disability, they give you a retroactive lump sum dating back to when you first applied. Which I believe in my case would be well over ten thousand dollars. And I’m hoping that even if they don’t think I should get anything going forward, they’ll see from my history that I did qualify back then, and give me that lump sum to make up for the hardship of the previous year or two. You guys, I’m a terribly anal retentive person and compulsive worrier/planner. It’s been killing me to have to live month-to-month for the past five years or so. If disability gives me that lump of cash I’d finally have an emergency savings fund again. I wouldn’t have a repeat of last summer where I estimated my finances wrong (and was too afraid to check my account and know for sure) and ended up in the negative and paying off like two hundred bucks in NSF fees. Or at least, I wouldn’t have a repeat of last summer for probably a pretty long time, if this living situation holds out.

It’s so hard, though. I hate that they’re making me produce so. Many. Documents. And in fact I probably can’t produce all of what they want, so maybe I’ll go through all this work for nothing. And if I’m actually able to get on disability and get a cheque each month, that’s more bureaucracy to deal with – I’ll have to send them proof of my income every month, and they’ll make deductions from my next cheque depending on what I made in the current month (I think that’s how it works) so my income still won’t be steady, and doing my taxes will be even more of a clusterfuck because I’d be getting income from yet another source…it’s tempting to give up.

I realized that The Dandy is a big factor in this, for me. He’s been partially supporting me, and he hasn’t complained about it but I don’t know that he’s thrilled about it, either. And he knows I have a shot at getting a regular income, all year long, for the next three years; enough income that I could pay my own way entirely, year ’round. If I don’t take that shot, how will he feel? Will it look like I’m taking him for granted? Like I’m assuming, without ever having asked, that he’ll pick up my slack financially?

So over the weekend, while angsting about this stupid list of documents, I asked The Dandy point blank, “If I just totally give up on this [process of getting on disability], am I an asshole?”

“No, not at all,” he said. “I mean, look, you do work. It’s just seasonal. You may have to contribute less during the summer, whatever, that’s fine. My income is steady. I can cover us. As long as you’re contributing what you can.”

OMG OMG OMG. This is such a relief. Because, here’s the thing: I decided from the getgo that I will pay my fair share here no matter what. If I don’t do that, I’m afraid The Dandy will see me as a child/invalid or start thinking he owns me or some other nefarious shit. So when he and I first spoke about me moving in here, I negotiated a rent of $450/month – one-quarter of the full rent here. My reasoning there is that Dandette has her own room but I’m sharing with The Dandy so I’ll pay half of his half of the rent.

But. With how little I make in the summer months, it was looking like that $450 would tap me out completely – I’d be able to pay my rent and maybe bills but then have nothing left over at all.* And it strikes me that there are different kinds of “fair” – paying an amount of rent that matches the amount of apartment I use is fair, but I’d say that paying an amount that’s commensurate with my income (so that The Dandy pays a bigger proportion of rent but we each end up with enough discretionary cash to feel like we have basic human dignity) would also be fair, in its way.

We’re on a waiting list to move into a three-bedroom unit where I’d have my own room, and I’m not sure exactly how much those units are but based on what the rent is in our current 2-bedroom, my guess is that a third of the rent for a three-bedroom in the building would be at least $700 if not a bit more. I’d been working up my nerve to talk to The Dandy about him subsidizing me a bit, at least in summer. Like maybe an even third of the rent during my busier months but $300 in the slow season. Now it appears I don’t need to have that talk. ūüôā

 

*As it happens, I got a few lucky breaks recently that have made my summer look a lot less tight. But that’s not really the point.

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Humph. :P

Dandette introduced me to a guy-friend of hers who is hot and poly and awesome. He’s also 22, really outgoing, and in three serious romantic relationships. So as much as he and I had some good banter when he was over, I figured he’s a busy, “polysaturated” guy who probably gets along with everyone and would not have fixated on our banter as anything special.

After we met he friended me on Facebook, but lots of people do that. I have people on my friends list I’ve only ever talked to once.

But then a few days later he asked me out for coffee. ūüėÄ

During coffee, he said that he finds both Dandette and I interesting and attractive but he doesn’t wanna jump into anything too quickly. He said he’s acted too fast before and screwed things up, and so he doesn’t do casual makeouts anymore and hangs back a while before engaging with anyone in a more “dating” type capacity. Fair enough.

He came over again yesterday for a movie marathon with us and we all snuggled on the couch (Dandette and I snuggled with him, I mean; The Dandy was at work). Which was lovely. But he kept kissing the tops of our heads (and my mouth, once, when I swiveled to look up at him; although he may have been aiming for my cheek) and even caressed me, including sliding his hand under my shirt a little ways. It felt a bit mixed-message-y to me, but I liked the kissing etc, so I just figured I’d roll with it, bearing in mind that it probably wouldn’t go any further. As much as they say “actions speak louder than words,” I think people’s words are important, and he had expressly said that he didn’t wanna start anything up with either of us. His body language said otherwise, but that doesn’t mean I should believe his body language over his words, it means his brain and body are in conflict and very likely his brain will freak out at some point and try to override what his body is doing.

And indeed, he phoned me today and apologized for sending mixed messages. He said he really does need to keep things platonic because he needs to reserve all his romantic/sexual energy for his established partners. He wants to keep on hanging out with me, and even the snuggling is okay, but we should reel it back to where we’re not practically making out.

I’m both disappointed and relieved. I mean on one hand, his initial story was that he wanted to take it slow, not that he didn’t want to engage romantically/sexually at all. I’d been hoping that the smoochy snuggling was just him moving a bit faster toward me being a FWB than he’d meant to. But now I’ve gotten a definite no and I’m sad I won’t get to kiss him. On the other hand, I hate ambiguous situations like this because I’m a person who likes to initiate and when someone has said that they don’t wanna get physical with me but then kind of seems like actually they do want to, I can’t initiate without looking like an asshole. And sitting there being clit-teased all night but afraid to respond too openly just kinda sucks.

And he was quite clear that he likes me and thinks I’m amazing and that we’ll still hang out and he’ll introduce me to his partners and friends and generally keep me in his life. So that’s cool. This boy is awesome enough that I’d hang out with him even without potential for sex. I’ll still feel that pull toward him, but I can ignore it. It might even fade with time.

I feel worse for Dandette ’cause he had this conversation with her today, too, and before that he’d been outright sexting with her. I mean just this morning she told me “I think we might be in a D/s relationship now.” And this afternoon I guess they talked and he was like “Sorry, nope.” He was never that blatantly sexual with me, so I didn’t have my hopes up.

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Pedant Time

A few days ago I was hardcore freaking out about the fact that I’m now living with and enmeshed with The Dandy and Dandette.¬† Living with just The Dandy is bad enough; it feels creepily like monogamous commitment to me and I have no bedroom of my own to bring other guys to and wash that taste out of my mouth. But no, I had to go and commit to two people, which effectively triples my chances of things fucking up (The Dandy and I could develop problems, or he and Dandette could, or Dandette and I could, and any of these eventualities will add stress to my living situation).

So I was freaking out and I texted The Pedant asking if I could see him sometime soon. Basically I wanted to fuck someone who was not The Dandy so that I could get it out of my head that I was trapped. Also, The Dandy’s sexual palate is extremely limited and I was dying to connect with someone I could get toppy with and who would actually make sounds when aroused.

The Pedant can be flighty and hard to nail down sometimes but this time he really came through for me. He told me a night he was free and said if I booked a hotel on my credit card he’d pay me back for it and we could have a whole night to ourselves. So I did, and we did.

He was working til 7pm and I only had one gig in the morning so I arrived first and checked in and stuff. I’ve never booked a hotel or checked into one alone before. I managed okay, despite my anxiety. It helped a lot that the place was in my own city, in a neighbourhood I know well. I dropped off my big giant bag of sex toys etc and then went to the grocery store and got a selection of food for us – something I’d volunteered to do and he’d liked the idea. Plus I wanted to chip in something to show my appreciation for him paying for the room.

I was starving though and broke into our food stash early. Good thing I did because The Pedant never ended up eating that night. He arrived, kissed me hello, showered, then came out into the room damp and naked with a rather adorable, awkward “Well…here I am…” smile. It still wasn’t entirely clear to me whether he planned to partake of the bed-picnic I’d spread out or not, so when I stood up and walked over to him, my first few kisses were a bit tentative. But things escalated quickly and pretty soon I flung him down on the empty part of the bed and quickly gathered up the food and set it aside so we could roll around as needed. Then I stripped, straddled him, and we kept on making out (god, his lips are so plush and smooth and amazing. And he lets me take the lead and vary the kissing in a way that The Dandy does not. Kissing, with The Dandy, is kind of a lost cause; he has prickly face-fur and keeps insisting on doing smoochy puckered kisses no matter how much I try to linger or extend things).

The Pedant kept whispering dirty talk like “I can’t believe after all these years you can still make me submit so completely” – he said several iterations of this – and yeah, I can’t believe our chemistry either TBH. Also: hot. Incidentally, he was reciprocating my kissing and touching more than is typical for him (and has been doing so for the past few times we’ve been together). I like that.

He’d told me during the planning stage for this outing that he wanted to get me off first, since his own orgasms usually knock him the fuck out. I was on board with this. So after a nice long time of kissing and teasing him, I told him to go down on me. Or, well, I didn’t have to tell him, per se; I rolled off him onto my back and scootched a piece of fabric under me*. When he gave me a questioning look, I said “I’m in the final days of my period so there’s a slight chance of precipitation. Your mouth will be up here, though” – and I pointed at my clit – “so you’ll be safe.” And he immediately positioned himself between my legs.

As usual, The Pedant’s technique in giving oral was pretty hit-or-miss (although he seems to be actively hurting me less often than he used to…), but the stuff he did felt good about fifty percent of the time and his enthusiasm was hot. (Have I ever mentioned that The Dandy won’t give oral, like, ever?) And I think I have a mild kink for it. I like the intimacy of someone going face-first into my business, as it were. So that got me turned on as all hell and eventually I added my dildo to the mix, then had The Pedant back his face up so I could use the Hitachi. I got off once and then told The Pedant to stay where he was (ie keep holding the dildo inside me) and I rested for a bit. I’d actually had sex with The Dandy that very morning, plus a bit of an orgasm marathon a couple of days before, so my stomach and thigh muscles were still sore.

After a while of staring at the ceiling and catching my breath, I told The Pedant that I thought I probably had more orgasms in the queue but I just wasn’t sure my body could take it. He responded by starting to shunt the dildo back and forth again. Quite quickly; more quickly than I would have requested. But the g-spot stimulation got me turned on and I applied the Hitachi to my clit again. The Pedant did something with his free hand – pressed the Hitachi harder against me and/or manipulated my clit (whatever part wasn’t blocked by the Hitachi) with his fingers – and I came with a mighty banshee-shriek.

And after I was done, when I asked The Pedant to remove the dildo from my body, he made direct, burning eye contact and placed it in my hand. I found it odd that he did that instead of chucking it onto the side table or whatever, but okay. And then he crawled up my body and kissed me and whispered “Would you like to watch me lick your juices off it?”

Oh, that’s why he handed me the dildo directly.

And that is how I ended up watching The Pedant fellate my dildo for my viewing pleasure OMG.

And! After he was done with that, he petted me for a while, unbidden. And I mentioned that my legs were gonna be sore the next day and he massaged them without me directly asking. And eventually he rolled me over and massaged my back, too, also without me asking. And instead of constantly asking “Feeling better?” (which always sounded to me like “I’m bored, can I stop now?”) he would occasionally check in and ask “Is this helping?” WHO THE HELL TAUGHT HIM TO DO THESE THINGS?!?

Eventually I said that we should figure out how to set up the under-bed restraint system I’d brought. The Pedant said “Yes, but first, maybe…” and quietly, breathily, urgently told me a fantasy of his, as he is wont to do. I get simultaneously aroused (because he’s opening up to me) and mildly irritated (because it comes across a little pushy, although of course I could just be like “Nah, Imma do something else) when he does this. It’s always fascinating hearing his thoughts and how he phrases them, though. The thing he suggested was that I position him on all fours so I could “see everything” and fuck his ass (with whatever was at hand, I guess? I can’t remember if he specified). He couched it as something he’d be doing for me, of course (which is doubly funny because my preference is for him to be on his back; he’s the one who seems to adore being on all fours). He used a lot of flowery language about how he’d be submitting to me. I wonder what his deal is? He clearly enjoys the feeling of stuff in his ass, but there seems to be a bit more to it; a humiliation factor, maybe? Like he wants his asshole clearly visible to me because it’s more invasive that way? Does he just feel weird about his desires and not want me to make eye contact while I penetrate him? I just don’t know.

But after making out with him some more and putting wrist restraints on him, I briskly said “Okay. Face down, ass up” and patted the mattress. His breath gave that adorable little hitch of arousal and he immediately assumed the position. I fastened his wrists to the headboard just to add to the overall effect of him being prostrate and powerless. He seemed to enjoy this. I fucked his ass slowly with my lubed finger for, I don’t know, a long time. Then I replaced my finger with a steel plug and undid his wrists. The Pedant clambered into a kneeling position on the bed next to me. It’s unclear where he was going with that but I started kissing and caressing him. He said he didn’t want to come too soon and I said “Oh, you won’t be coming for a good long while” and he gasped in anticipation. Or terror. More likely terrified anticipation.

I kept on kissing and caressing him and even lubed my hands and started touching his cock, sometimes idly, sometimes – briefly – rubbing him vigorously and with intention…but always stopping just as his breath began to speed up. I reached between his thighs to rattle the base of the plug and make him gasp. I made eye contact and made sure he saw me lick my fingers before applying them, smooth and slippery, to his nipples.

After a while, I said “Right, so let’s set up the underbed thing.” He managed to shake off his sexual stupor and we passed the straps under the bed to each other. Turns out I’d forgotten one of the ankle restraints at home somehow but the kit came with a length of nylon strap so I just used that to tie his ankle to the bondage ring. The rest of his limbs got proper restraints, and then he was spread-eagled.

I climbed aboard and began to ride and his reactions were slightly anticlimactic. I blame the condom.** Or maybe I overstimulated him with the hours of teasing, but anyway I miss the times when he’d gasssssssp as I slid him inside me and whimper any time I teased him by pulling back. But I forged ahead, thrusting and fingering his nipples. After a while he said, in a surprisingly neutral tone, “You’re going to make me come if you keep doing that.”

“Do you want to come?” I asked (I couldn’t tell if he was warning me for my sake, or indicating that he didn’t want things to end yet). My question unleashed a torrent of really, really hot begging, and in retrospect I wish I’d kept him on edge some more and really savoured that. But instead I granted permission and started thrusting hard and fast and he went sailing over the edge – again with a bit less of a physical fanfare than I might have liked, but what can you do?

Overall it was a good night indeed, and gave me exactly what I needed. Plus The Pedant insisted on paying me back extra to cover not only the hotel as promised, but the food I’d bought and the tip I’d left for the cleaning lady.

 

*I always carry a big piece of fabric with me to sit on when I’m modelling, and I’d come directly from a gig, remember.

**I’ve¬† started using condoms with him again because I assume barebacking privileges have transferred to that stupid girlfriend he waxed so lyrical about. Although, come to think of it, I never actually asked about that; I just assumed he’d want me to use one and he didn’t stop me. I have now texted him letting him know that I only did that for his benefit and if I’m wrong about the situation to let me know. I prefer him bare.

 

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Romance

Welp, The Dandy spent the night last night and it was lovely. I found myself gazing at him with huge moon-eyes almost constantly. And I started having a big inner debate over whether to tell him I love him.

On one hand, it seems like he already knows. Already knows, yet hasn’t opted to say the words himself despite it being very low risk for him. Which probably meant he wouldn’t say it back (not feeling it? Feeling it but weird about expressing emotions?), which would bother¬†me and possibly lead to the end of the relationship. On the other hand, the few times I had feelings for a guy but didn’t tell him, it always bugged me. Even after we broke up and I didn’t love the guys¬†anymore it bugged me that they¬†never knew in the moment that I had those feelings. I’m an expressive person and I guess I think that if someone makes me really happy, they deserve to know it.

So I wanted The Dandy to know I had feelings for him, but I also didn’t want him to feel obligated to say it back, ergo just dropping an “I love you” on him and then sitting there looking at him in deafening silence wouldn’t do. But did I really want to say it at all, though? I was still irked about that time he hinted strongly that he knew my feelings, and yet didn’t take that opportunity to say something first and put me out of the misery of uncertainty.

Meh, fuck it. Today as he was getting ready to leave my place, I intercepted him in the middle of dressing and caressed his face and he was standing there with his eyes closed enjoying my touch. I chose that moment to quietly say “You know I love you, right?”

The Dandy¬†opened his eyes and grinned at me. He¬†said yes, he’s known that for quite some time. I smiled at him but inside I was thinking “Yes, AND…….?!?!?” I mean if he’d just humbly said “I guess I do now” I could maybe (maybe) have stood it. But for him to (again!) make a big thing of¬†knowing how I feel about him¬†but not say it back? It feels like he’s rubbing my face in a power imbalance. This is far worse than when I said it to The Bunny or The Pedant and they just politely ignored me or deflected.

He pulled me in for a hug and stood there rubbing my back as my brain twirled in a thousand different directions wondering what the fuck I should do with the clear implication that The Dandy not only didn’t feel the same way I did, but was reveling in that fact. Then, almost as an afterthought, he said “Don’t worry, I reciprocate.”

“Left me hanging there for a few seconds, though, didn’t you?” I said pointedly. He didn’t say anything to that; no apology, no explanation.

The Dandy is quite expressive in the sense of being physically affectionate, being able to say what he wants out of a relationship, and being able to articulately talk about what went wrong in past relationships. But there’s a part of him that’s walled-off; there are things about himself that he either can’t or won’t talk about. Earlier today I¬†pointed out that every time I move or remove my clothes to facilitate access for him, he makes some big comment about it. We were in bed and he’d just been caressing my chest above the blanket and I shifted the blanket down so he could reach more of my skin and he said something like “being a little obvious, are we?” Which is weird and gloaty and slut-shaming and not like him at all. And it was far from the first time that he’d acted like that. So I pointed it out and asked him “Is it such a novelty for you for a woman to get naked and want to be touched that you have to point it out every time, or…?” He lapsed into silence. He seemed like he was thinking about the question. But a few minutes went by and he¬†didn’t answer me and I felt like prompting him would seem pushy so I let it go for now. And a few hours later when the whole “you know I love you, right?” went down, I figured it would look pushy (and he’d go silent) if I asked why he couldn’t say it back/why he didn’t say it first/etc. So, again, I didn’t pursue it.

But one day I intend to.

In other news, I went straight from a day in bed with The Dandy to going on a date with a guy from Fetlife. Dude is pretty cute, I enjoyed talking to him, our kinks seem to line up, and we kissed at the end. Like…for a while. So that was nice. We’ll see if it goes anywhere.

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Things that hit my “no”-button

In my previous post I said I’ve become super bitter and angry and will dismiss a guy I was potentially interested in at the slightest offense. Just for fun, here’s what it’s like to be inside my head as I browse Fetlife profiles of guys¬†who initially seemed okay (and who I might have given a chance at one time).

One or more of his profile pics depicts the stereotype of a dominant woman (thin, white, long hair, high heels and a whip, blah blah blah): NOPE. NEXT!

His fetish list has anything about wanting to see a woman in lingerie or heels: NO. FUCK OFF.

His fetish list is mostly (or all) sex acts: UGH NO.

“I want to serve a dominant woman” without specifying¬†how¬†(spoilers: these are always the guys whose fetish lists are mostly¬†sex acts): GTFO.

“I want to serve a dominant woman…by letting her ‘use’ me sexually”: PLZ LEARN WHAT “SERVICE” IS AND THEN JUMP UP YOUR OWN ASS AND DIE.

“I’m looking for a beautiful dominant woman to -” NO FUCK OFF.

Calling women “females”: DIE IN A FIRE YOU FUCKING FERENGI.

Saying anything about women being superior: NOPE NOPE NOPE.

Saying that he needs a dominant woman or needs someone to fulfill his fetishes: ALL ABOARD THE EXPRESS TRAIN TO FUCKOFFVILLE.

Beseeching women to “teach” him or “help” him: RANDOM WOMEN ARE NOT YOUR MOMMY. OFFER SOMETHING IN RETURN OR STFU.

Using the word “subby”: NO.

Using the word “mistress”: UGH NO.

Using the word “dominatrix”: UGGGGH JUST SHUT UP AND GO BACK TO WATCHING YOUR PORN ALREADY.

Being titillated by how dirty and naughty his kinks are: NOOOOOOOPE.

Foot fetishist: MEH.

Obsessed with giving oral: HARD PASS.

“I won’t go to kink events/the fact that I’m kinky has to be sooooper sekrit” – NOOOOPE.

“I’m actually submissive but I list myself as a switch because women seem to only want dominant men”: WHY WOULD I WANT TO BE WITH SOMEONE WHO CLEARLY PRIORITIZES GETTING HIS DICK WET AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE OVER HAVING A FULFILLING INTERACTION WITH SOMEONE?

Like I said, I might have tried to look past these things at one point. “Oh, he’s probably well-meaning but just doesn’t realize the connotations of that word.” “He’s clearly a bit conflicted about submission but maybe positive re-enforcement will get rid of that” “Okay, most guys with a fetish for feet or oral refuse to follow instructions and just wanna touch me whatever way turns them on, but maybe¬†this guy will be different!” “Okay, most guys who say they wanna ‘serve’ a woman actually just mean ‘I want to lie there passively while you do things to my dick'” but maybe¬†this guy will be different!” But right now I do not have the patience. I just don’t. Fuck it.

 

 

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