I’m stuck. I’m stuck between giddy happiness and immense sorrow.
I’ve been given a gift, a gift I never thought to receive (see the 05/18/2011 post for discussion on this). I found someone who is a great love of my life; one whom I was sure didn’t exist and could never be. You see, after my marriage died, I made a wish for someone to come into my life who would get the oddness that makes me, a me. See, I’m kind of weird and quirky and the someone I want needs to be as weird as quirky.
I’m smart – really and scarily smart. I have this brain that just won’t stop. My brain runs at 100+ mph when most of the rest of the world runs at 55mph. So I need someone who is smart and can either keep up or pass me.
I’m kinky (as if you hadn’t already figured that one out). I’m a masochist and a submissive. I need someone who understands that I need a level of pain in my regular life. There’s probably a whole level of psychology I haven’t fully delved into regarding the brains and needs of sadists and masochists (there will be a later post about this subject), but suffice it to say that I need someone who can deliver pain in a proscribed and ritualized manner. It calms and centers me.
Oh, and I’m a feminist, independent, and self-sufficient. And, that being said, I also want someone who will take charge. I mention in many places that I am “she who must be obeyed” in my professional life. I like and crave the chance to come into a space where not only am I not in charge, I’m subject to someone else’s will. For me and my partner, this is something that is delimited to the area of sex and the bedroom. Otherwise I want an egalitarian relationship. I tried and just can’t quite get to the place of full consensual non-consent. There are parts of my life over which want to retain control and I want to share in decision making because a relationship is between two people and my paradigm requires share responsibility and control.
I am polyamorous and have other relationships that are important to me. I need someone who will understand the commitments I’ve made, will support them, and allow me to retain my freedom.
I am someone who is empathic, has some kind of healing talent, and is a member of a religion of clergy. Sometimes I need to be able to minister as needed. Sometimes that manifests as me performing a counselor function at work or when I’m out with friends, or even just talking to people socially. It’s a great talent and something I’m compelled to exercise, but these things come at a price of personal energy. I need someone who can support me in doing what I feel I’m called to do. Sometimes that’s listening to me, sometimes it’s just being supportive and helping me recover.
Last but not least I have some chronic health conditions, both physical and mental. I absolutely admit that I’m pretty bad at making sure my own needs get addressed, like food, sleep, or just down time. Sometimes it seems I’m either going full tilt or collapsed in an exhausted puddle on my sofa or bed recovering because I pushed too hard, tried to do too many things, or just didn’t pay attention to my own needs and have fallen into a kind of emotional overload and just can’t face any more people. Having someone there to remind me to not do too much, take it easy, or plan some down time to I’m not in overload is kind of essential.
Wait, there was one more thing. I date others and love them. However, I discovered that, as my heart healed from the breakup, I wanted someone who could make a full time commitment to me. I’d commit full time to them, but I wanted something that would fall into a “primary” type of relationship yet still allow me to maintain my secondary loves.
Kind of a long and rather specific list of what I want, isn’t it? Notice, I didn’t specify gender, financial status, or physical looks. Those things are not terribly important to me. Hey, I used to be the fat girl in the corner ignored by people. I’ve had enough of dealing with attractiveness factors – I just wanted someone I could connect with. I really didn’t think that I could ever find someone who would meet all of these criteria. Besides, I made this wish two years ago. And I kept looking but never finding someone who could meet all the criteria. Many people came close; very close. My faith faltered. I started trying to manage my own future. Yes, there’s trusting in faith, the universe, deity to provide and then there’s going out and making your own future. Because my faith faltered, I started planning a different set of options.
I’d been interested in trying to accommodate some of my needs by investing time and energy into alternate family and marriage structures. I’d discovered that there were friends, close and dear friends, who thought like I did and were interested in trying out this alternate family structure. Yes, they were married but also polyamorous and loved and cared for me enough to consider trying to make this new kind of family work. We moved forward to trying out living together to see if this would work out. I agreed and then it was just a case of me marking time until my lease was up and I could move in with them.
And then something happened. I reconnected with this man I met about 15 years ago. I delivered Girl Scout cookies to him when I was helping my niece with her orders. I just meant to drop cookies off and go onto the next appointment of the evening. We wandered through his house, talking books, housing repair, computers, and then stumbled on kink. It was as If a light went on and a voice echoed through me. “Pay attention. This is important.” Eventually I pulled myself away, but the seed was planted.
We started talking. Emails through Facebook. Then IMs. Finally I just asked if perhaps we should meet and see how things might work out in person. I scheduled a time. Rescheduled it to allow me an additional recovery day from a party.
The day came. I was kind of a basket case for the entire day but managed to hold it together long enough to make it over to his house. Somehow he understood I was nervous – really nervous. Finally he let me back into his library where I could focus some of my attention (and nerves) on the books. We started talking. Then he asked me over and kissed me (or did I kiss him?). Everything else after that was just building on the spark that flared between us at that kiss.
What? What happened? That wish, that wish I’d made TWO YEARS earlier manifested. Here was the person I’d wished for. Real, alive, tangible. Oh crap. No, SERIOUSLY, oh crap. WTF? I honestly had lost my hope that I could ever find this theoretical person and focused instead on resigning myself to the sad fact that there were too many dichotomous criteria to ever exist in one person. Yet, here he was.
I was giddy. I was shocked. I was disbelieving. I had a panic attack and told him there was no way he could exist. He rolled with the punches. He told me he was real. And, dammit, he didn’t go away, run away, or just evaporate into thin air. Shit, what the hell am I going to do? I had plans. Commitments. Duties. Aw, dammit! Shit, piss, fuck. This is NOT good. I screamed. I yelled. I railed. And eventually realized that my heart was with him and no longer with them. Here was my heart’s desire and I still had a connection and commitment to this beautiful and unsuspecting couple.
I had to tell the truth and be honest. I didn’t do that very well. I hurt them. I’d been in overload and just plain sick for about a month prior to meeting Him. I hadn’t been very good at maintaining contact. Then I was stuck in the moment of the new relationship energy and hyperfocused on what was happening between us. I kept M and B at arm’s length until I forced myself and was forced to contact them. I still made a hash of telling them. I can’t believe how nice they were. But I hurt them and they are indeed hurt. They were ready to proceed down a path and I’m bailing on them.
So here I am. Thrilled that there is this wonderful man in my life who has met every single criteria I listed. And both sad and ashamed at what will not happen because these two paths are mutually exclusive, at least in my mind.