Thursday, February 7, 2013


I was talking to Hermit last night (we had a date night, yay!) and he told me, in no uncertain terms, that I need to start posting again. I have been holding off for a while because (apart from being ridiculously, amazingly busy) I just don't feel like I have anything to talk about. He kind of verbally beat me for a while, in the kindest possible way, just listing things that I could write I feel like I've just been lazy for not posting in, like, a year.

Basically yes, I am lazy.

So I should give you all a bit of an update about where my life is right now. I'm still in grad school though I feel like it was touch and go for a while. My first semester was incredibly rough. I went through several months asking myself everyday why I was putting doing this, and on top of that I was horrific to live with. It was very, very unfun. Then Christmas was wonderful, I spent most of the time sewing and totally ignoring work as much as I could, whilst still working on a paper and having language classes. I finally relaxed for the first time in forever. I went back to the UK and spent some time at home and then had a minor breakdown the night before I flew back to Baltimore. Which I think terrified my Mum :/ I did NOT want to come back to this strange country, and put myself back into this school which was killing me last semester. And then I spent about an hour on the plane crying, and I was in the worst mood when we finally landed :( it was a sad thing. I felt awful for Minx and Hermit because they were so happy to have me back, and whilst I was happy to see them and the child again I was so scared about being back and going back to school.

I'm back at school now, and it's surprisingly ok. It's just over halfway through the second week, and I have not totally died yet. I even did an archaeology report yesterday that I didn't totally fail at, which is THE most amazing feeling :D Things are looking up, and whilst I'm sure I'll have other low points I think I can do this, and make it all the way through.

I will try and start posting again. No promises - but I'll try.

Friday, October 12, 2012


I have neglected this blog. I know. I'm sorry :(
This is going to be a neglectful update also, but I think  probably better than nothing?

It's been a very challenging few months since I got back to the States and started grad school. To put it bluntly, I have no time for anything except work any more. I struggle to find time to spend with my wonderful family who are, against all logical explanation or reason, still here. Everything non-essential has been brutally cut including, I'm afraid to say, regular blog posts. I won't even say I'll try to be better because I suspect that would be false hope.

Things are hard. I feel almost daily like I want to give up. Things start to make sense again and I see a glimmer of hope, then I'm either crushed by the sheer volume of work I have to do, or something happens and I feel like an intellectual ant again. I'm not entirely sure what to do. I'm awful to live with (and that's not just self-deprecation). Minx and Hermit hardly see me because I'm always working, and, when they DO see me I'm either stressed because I feel like I should be working, or I'm grumpy and mean because I'm so tired and stressed. And scared. I'm scared a lot these days.

I'm just so tired. All the time. I want to go to bed and not wake up some days, because when I wake up I feel crushed and suffocated once again by school and by my own stupid expectations.


This is very angsty. I'm sorry. When I'm not angsting I adore living with my loves and think we're carving out a good life here. I even have friends! Unfortunately, I also have these things called 'midterms'. In a week. So I should go and learn Hebrew vocabulary. Yay.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Settling In

I've been back in Baltimore for about 3 weeks now, and I'm almost settled in. It's taken me a while, I know. I've had a lot to deal with. Not just the nuts and bolts of moving to a new country and starting a new school, but the scary thing of actually leaving my parent's house and moving out on my own (well, kind of)...and then on top of that there's the sadness of not going home to the UK for a year. My mum and step-dad will be visiting in March, which will be wonderful, but I will be in this strange country and culture for an entire year before I go back to where I am most comfortable.

I actually had a minor freak-out about this the first full day I was back in the US. Thankfully, Hermit was expecting this (would have been nice to have had a warning...) and had ensured that we would have time for me to have my freak-out. That was a really fun day. I cried, I cried some more, Hermit spoke to me calmly, I cried, and eventually calmed down. We talked a lot, and we talked a lot with Minx as well and whilst I'm still not happy about not going to the UK for so long, I am at least comforted to know that it will get easier. It's easier as well now that the house feels like mine again. Even with the best of efforts, being away for so long meant that coming back felt slightly like coming to live in someone else's house. I've unpacked properly and rearranged my room at least twice, so it feels like it's mine. I've cooked in the kitchen enough for it to feel like mine and slept in our bed every night since I got back. The city is beginning to feel more comfortable, too. I know how to get to the grocery store, and the route to university and the Child's school. I've even started to make friends with some of the other grad students in my department, which is very reassuring. Especially because classes start next week, and I'm a bit anxious about them.

It was also reassuring to hear that my supervisor has been telling one of the other students how excited he is about me arriving...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Greetings From Olympic-Land!

Hello! I am currently in lovely, rainy Britain visiting family and sorting out passport/visa stuff. I am stupidly busy and have clearly organised too much stuff to do in the short 2 and a half weeks I'm here, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait until I get back to Baltimore on the 17th for a proper update :(

There will be real posts, I promise!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gut Instincts

Much of my immediate family are great believers in 'gut instincts'. That is, we are more likely to trust how something feels to us than what may suggested by logic and reason. Some of the worst decisions I have ever made have been decisions in which I have ignored how I feel, and some of the best ones have been ones where I trusted it entirely, against the advice of logic, reason, and a lot of people. Of course, a healthy does of realism is helpful in these situations too. If I had the gut instinct that I could fly, then it is generally a good idea to listen to the logic and realism which tell me that there are better ways of testing this than jumping of a tall building.

I was introduced to the idea of polyamory at about age fifteen, when I read a book my Robert Heinlein. It's called 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' and is still one of my favourite books. I had a gut instinct then that this was right, but it took me almost ten years to truly listen to that instinct and act on it fully. Some of the unhappiest times for me were when I tried to bury it completely, and to convince myself that I was wrong, that it wasn't me and that I could be happy with a single person. Most of this occurred during a 4 year relationship with my second boyfriend, Henry. In what became something of a pattern, I met and developed feelings for Henry when I was still with my first boyfriend, Chu. Chu didn't take too kindly to this (for which I don't blame him). I ended our relationship based partly on the fact that I hated feeling like he was allowed to dictate who I could and could not be friends with, and partly because it just didn't feel right any more. After a month or so, Henry and I began dating. For the first year things were fantastic. We were in love, he was wonderful and everything was great. During that time he moved away for work, which was sad, but I knew that I could cope with long-distance (Chu and I lived about 5 hours apart for the last year and a half of our relationship). Then, true to form, I found a friend. An awesome, amazing man, Renshai, who I still hold in very high regard. He liked me, and I liked him, and we liked each other too much for Henry to be comfortable with. I was pretty miserable for a while because I felt like I was treating Henry poorly because of how I felt about Renshai but I did not want to stop seeing him because...well, I didn't want to. I wasn't going to leave Henry for him and I didn't see why Henry was so insecure about the whole thing. Henry's reaction aggravated me so much that I broke up with him. Guess what? It didn't feel right any more. At this point I should have stuck to my decision and got on with me life. That's not quite what happened...

Henry and I got back together in less than 2 weeks, he persuaded me to stop seeing Renshai socially (one of the worst decisions in my LIFE, I still can't believe I actually agreed to it) and we stayed together for another 3 YEARS. I think at least 2 of those years I spent waking up next to him on the weekends with this knot in my stomach, thinking 'this is just not right'. I convinced myself that things would get better, especially when he moved closer to me (something that was always going to happen, but never quite did). I found another inappropriate friend who sadly had to move away to the US, Henry broke up with me because I finally told him I couldn't do monogamy. The thing that most sticks in my memory about that particular fight is me telling him that all I could give him was my love, and him telling me that it wasn't enough. We got back together the next morning. I spent that summer as a counsellor at a summer camp in upstate New York. While I was away, Henry and my girlfriend (yes, I was allowed a girlfriend, with severe physical restrictions when Henry wasn't with us) basically had sex. This was a HUGE departure from the rules we'd all agreed. I'd always said I'd be fine with it, but as she and I weren't allowed to do anything beside kiss when he wasn't around I was NOT happy with him doing anything more. For some reason, I didn't make a big thing of this. I have no idea why. What did strike me when I saw him again after 8 weeks away was that I really hadn't missed him that much. I'd loved the freedom to talk with and hug whoever I wanted without fear of upsetting him. I came within a gnat's whisker of breaking up with him...and he persuaded me not to, again.

The following year I met Hermit and, as can be guessed from my track record, got 'too close', very fast. It ended up eventually being the breaking point for Henry. He broke up with me 3 months after Hermit and I met, and I think it was the biggest relief of my life to date. Writing it all out like this, I don't know why I thought it would get better with Henry. He consistently showed himself to be unhappy with polyamory, and unwilling to share me with anyone. I deeply regret being who he wanted me to be for so long, and regret that I wasn't strong enough to stand up for my friendship with Renshai. I will never again sacrifice a friend or a family member for someone's self-esteem. There is one, rather large, positive thing that came out of all this though. I know who I am. I know what freedoms I need in my life and I know that I will never be anyone other than myself, no matter how nicely someone asks. There is also the fact that if Henry and I had stayed apart after the first time, I may never have met Hermit and Minx. And that would be a terribly sad thing. They are most definitely worth it :)

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that however logical or reasonable something seems, if it doesn't feel right for you, it probably isn't. And however crazy or insane something else seems (like following a married man to a different country, say), if it feels right then it is most definitely worth a try.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Moving On

It hit me last week, quite suddenly. I am going to be leaving my job in just over two weeks. I'll be leaving the boys, and this house, and embarking on an entirely new adventure. Actually, I'll be leaving the boys in only a week because they're going on vacation and I'm on cat-sitting-duty again. I don't quite know how I feel about this. Despite my initial problems with the boys I have grown really very fond of them. The Baby is...well, MY Baby. He's grown so much in the past few months. He's walking, his talking is improving day by day and he knows ME. He is happy to see me on Mondays and we spend an awful lot of the week laughing and having fun together. He also said my name for the first time on Monday, which made me feel fuzzy :) The Toddler is a delight as well...affectionate and smiling and nowhere near as grumpy as he was when I started. And in just over a week, I won't see them. I'll visit in August, but that'll be it for a year or more. I'm not entirely sure how to explain to the Toddle that I won't be able to come to his 4th birthday party...which he reliably informs me will be a Batman party. I've tried telling him that I'll be far away, but he said I can just come to England for the night and then go home again. It's very sweet, really.

I will miss them. But at the same time, I am so excited about what comes next! The house is almost ready for us to move into, I'm feeling good about my PhD and I get to go home for a couple of weeks too. I've been feeling pretty homesick recently and a couple of weeks in rainy England will be just what I need. Everything is going to change again though. It will be good change, but it is more change nonetheless.

I'm also somewhat apprehensive about going home.  I'm very excited about it, but things are strained between my Mum and one of my sisters. The sister is...not happy, to say the least, and is taking a lot of that unhappiness out on my mum. Unfairly, might I add. She won't admit she's not happy either which makes the whole thing ten times worse because she won't see how cruel she's being, because that would be an admission. Apart from anything else, she needs some home truths and someone is going to tell her soon...which will make things either significantly better or significantly worse, and no-one quite knows which way it's going to go. I'll go into more detail on that at a later date.

So for now, I am enjoying the time I have left with the boys and trying to remind myself of as much Akkadian as possible before classes start in August and I start feeling like I'm totally faking my intelligence again :/

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

4th of July

This 4th of July was by far the most enjoyable I have spent in the USA - though it's only the 3rd I've had! The previous two have been while I was at camp, which was enjoyable, but not exactly exciting. Lots of fireworks though. This year, we were invited to go to a party at a Quaker Meeting House on Capitol Hill, with a couple of friends of Minx and Hermit, along with some Quakers that Hermit has met but who were new to myself and Minx.

I was...nervous about this. The group of people don't know my relationship to Minx and Hermit and probably wouldn't be overjoyed if they found out. Not that they'd be cruel or mean - these are Quakers, after all, but it would probably not be a terribly positive reaction. So I was stressed about this before we even left the house. To my surprise, it was actually a really good evening! It was a tad awkward when we arrived because, well, everyone knew each other and we didn't. But the people were nice, and there was good food. I thawed slightly when a group of us sat down to play a card game. Now, I'm not really a game person. I am overly competitive, which is not a trait I like in myself. I also do not play any game that does not function on a computer screen often enough to be any good at I am a competitive person who does not win often. It's not a very good combination. Because of this I try to limit how often I play games. It was actually a pretty good game. It wasn't one where a single person could win, which is great, and it was easy enough that you could talk to each other while you were playing. Fun was had! People thought I was a spy and didn't believe me when I said 'no' because I blushed, which is unfortunate for them because I blush when there is a lot of attention on me, not when I lie. There were attractive men and I got to sit next to Minx which I always enjoy :D

Then we went onto the roof! In Capitol Hill! And watched fireworks! We could see about 15 different firework shows from the roof, including the big one organised by the government. So I spent that evening sitting on the roof, watching fireworks with my loves and a collection of some very friendly people. And an attractive man who voiced the opinion that I should do 'all the talking' so he could listen to my accent. Which was lovely to hear.