Monday, May 11, 2009

Jumping Back into the Deep End

So I debated a bit before posting this. I weighed the possible consequences before deciding to go ahead and post this and decided that I wasn’t being true to myself or to my original purpose to this blog – sharing those deepest darkest thoughts I can’t give voice to in real life – if I chose to censor myself on this. It is interesting that I started writing here with the idea that I was writing for myself and not for others so I could share anything. That worked for a long time, until I started to meet and care about other bloggers and to care what they thought of me. I need to get back to that original purpose so that this blog doesn’t turn into “Memes R Us” or “All Fluff All the Time” as it has been lately. I will feel bad if my topics cause some readers to leave or to ream me in the comments or email, but I will survive. Things are what they are and no meme, no internet quiz, no freakin’ haiku is going to adequately serve me and my purposes here. None of those comes close to giving voice to my deepest and darkest and most unspoken thoughts.

BJ and I have what I would call a semi-open relationship. We are each free to “have fun” with others as long as it is with permission of the other one. We have agreed that mostly this will be with us together but occasionally may mean one or the other of us individually. For the most part I’m good with that. For the most part. Most of the time. I don’t know if we ever specifically made an agreement, or if based on discussions I assumed we had an agreement, that condoms would be used with anyone except each other. However, that’s the rule I thought was in place.

And all was good until. . .

During a recent phone conversation BJ brought up that “Esther” had shared a “weird piece of news” that very day with him. Apparently, a man Esther “knew” (don’t you just love the overuse of quotation marks?) tested positive for gonorrhea. Apparently they were together before she and BJ were together (yes, I knew, and yes, I gave permission) the weekend I was at Drama’s. Now she’s being tested and BJ told me so is he. I sat for a moment thinking things through. Then I said to BJ, “Well at least you used a condom, right?” He hesitated, then said “Well, not really.” (I think that just means “No” while trying to make it sound not quite so bad as “No”) Deep breath. . . I didn’t say much more about it at that time. Since then we’ve talked about it a bit, very calmly and rationally.

The good news is that he told me up front about the situation.
The bad news is that he didn’t live up to what I thought our agreement was – using condoms every time. Not that he wouldn’t still need to be tested, but at least it would be somewhat less likely for him to have it.
The good news is that we talked about it all very calmly and rationally.
The bad news is that this is one more nail in the coffin of my trust of BJ. . . and unfortunately right when I was really letting go and trusting again.
The good news is that he was tested today.
The bad news is we may not have the results in time for us to be able to resume activities if it’s an “all clear” before his daughter arrives for a week long visit.

It is a fact of life that if you choose to be non-monogamous you will run risk of diseases that could be avoidable merely by being monogamous. We each choose what level of risk we are willing to take. My biggest issue with all of this is that I thought we agreed to one level of risk, and he took it to a different, and more dangerous, level.

Now, on to the really whiny self-pity portion of the show. (Note: you’ve been warned so proceed with caution. You may wish to end reading here.)

I feel like I am really very giving and understanding and open, more so than many women are. I feel like a man should feel a little lucky to be with me if he is not inclined to be monogamous because I can go with that flow. However, I do have limits. Goodness knows there aren’t many, but the ones I do have I expect to be respected. It makes me angry to think that for how few restrictions I would put on things, even those can’t be respected. It hurts my feelings. I try to act all “oh it’s no big deal” and not make a big fuss about it, but it doesn’t stop the feelings from being there. It doesn’t keep me from crying over it in private. It doesn’t keep me from wondering if there is any man anywhere who would meet me in the middle and stick to agreements about what is okay and not okay.

Enough of the whining self-pity and back to real life.


Jeni Angel said...

I have a quite a few thoughts rolling around my brain, so I apologize in advance if this turns into a novel.

1) I'm glad you got over the hump and posted what is going on. I know how it can feel, being worried about what people think in the blogging world.
2) Any man would be fucking lucky to have you-monogamous, non-monogamous. Whatever. Your willingness to be open about the other stuff is just icing on the cake.

You know what? It's shitty. And it's OK to be upset by it. The first thing that popped into my head was Tim McGraw's The Cowboy in Me . Specifically "Girl I know theres times you must have thought, There ain't a line you've drawn I havent crossed. But you set your mind to see this love on through, I guess that's just the cowboy in you"

Boys are so fucking stupid. I've been there. Where you feel like "Dude, we just are finally getting over your last round of bull shit. Get on board!!"

Every single day I have to ask myself "Do I still want to be here? Is it all worth the lack of trust, etc?" So far, everyday I chose Michael. It could stay that way or it could change. I don't know. Only you can decide when enough is enough.

But that doesn't mean you are not allowed to feel bad about. Or cry. I think the biggest mistake most women make is thinking that being "strong" means not crying or allowing themselves to be hurt over something. It's OK to feel what you feel. It will help you move on that much more quickly.

(I'm not even going to try to re-read or proofread. Sorry)

Sailor said...

I'm going to echo Jeni in some respects, sorry!

1 Write for you, good for you for recognizing it and getting back to the substance *you* need to get off your chest.

2 Anyone would be lucky to know you, much less "have you".

3 That sux. Giving an inch, taking a mile, and all the cliches in the world wont change the fact that your trust was violated, and of course you feel badly about that.

4 "Whine" away, it's your blog, your space- and for those that wont be scared off by honest feelings, and care for you, well, we'll understand and send hugs.

Hope it turns out okay

Summer said...

While I don't really understand an "open" relationship in a loving relationship I do understand the abuse of trust. If he's not concerned enough about himself to wear a condom he should be concerned about your health. Trust is so important in a relationship and being burned again in that area sucks. You deserve better.

Val said...

Wow - unfortunately I have a hard time wrapping my head around the "open relationship" concept (but you probably already realize that monogamy is one of my hot buttons) - but I am trying! (OK, OK, I can't help but type it => seems to me that the open relationship concept always winds up lopsided in favor of one partner. For instance, I'd love to hear MR Bitch, pHD's side of the story if he had a blog!) Anyway, it IS huge betrayal of trust for BJ to go bareback & he's damn lucky he only caught the clap. You have every right to be terribly upset - I remember how learning that MY ex had fucked his little sleaze w/out protection took things to a whole new level of outrage - yes, he went for full-scale testing, fortunately she didn't get PG (on THAT occasion), and I took him in the shower for a mostly symbolic cleansing w/surgical scrub before I allowed him back in...
Think about it... have you enjoyed any "friends w/benefits" since you & BJ have been a couple? (not that I'm suggesting that kind of score-keeping)

Trueself said...

Jeni - Feel free to write novels here anytime. I particularly liked (and perhaps agreed with a smile on my face) the following line:
Boys are so fucking stupid.Sailor - 1 & 4: good points, and I am trying my best to get back to blogging accordingly.
2: not so sure you're right on this one, but thank you
3: trust is so key in a relationship I think, and that's why this really hurts

Summer - Yeah, I know a lot of people don't get open relationships. Sometimes I think I do, and other times, like now I think I don't.

Val - Think about it... have you enjoyed any "friends w/benefits" since you & BJ have been a couple? (not that I'm suggesting that kind of score-keeping)My mind has gone down that road repeatedly the last few days.

Emily said...

I don't think you are overreacting. BJ has put you at risk by being careless and selfish. Hopefully it will all be fine and that particular STD is curable, anyway.

But what if it wasn't? What if he got HIV and gave it to you? What if you got sick or even died and your little boy was left alone except for his selfish father who doesn't seem to care about him?

This could have had very serious consequences and not just for you.

If it was me, I would reconsider my relationship with BJ. I certainly wouldn't be having sex with him without condoms, because I'm afraid he has shown he can't be trusted.

freebird said...

What I would have said if I'd got here earlier(!) has already been said now, but betrayal of trust AND putting you at risk are BIG issues. Is he worth it?

cassee01 said...

I think you have the same problem I have, which is sticking up for yourself when people shit on you. Instead we try to be "understanding" and mature instead of telling the person who is not about themselves. As everyone else said, you deserve better.

Trueself said...

Emily - What if he got HIV and gave it to you? What if you got sick or even died and your little boy was left alone except for his selfish father who doesn't seem to care about him?

This could have had very serious consequences and not just for you.
I know. I shudder at the thought.

FB - That really is the question, isn't it?

Cassee01 - Yep, sounds like the same problem.