CategoryRelationships

We Walk A Lonely Road

It’s a strange and anxiety-filled place to be. Pregnant after a loss.

I don’t feel like I fit in most of the typical “PALS” (Pregnancy After Loss Support) groups. So many of those ladies had late-pregnancy losses. They know the gender of the baby that died. Their baby WAS a baby, not just a grain of rice that was there one day and then gone. I feel silly about how fearful I am, when I didn’t have to endure giving birth to an infant that didn’t live, like so many of them.

But I am fearful.

In fact neither Aiden or I can muster the courage to be happy or excited. I took a pregnancy test a week ago. And then I took another. There was no cute “You’re going to be a dad” or a surprise announcement set up when he got home from work. I just told him, and he said “Oh” and I said “Yeah”. Neither of us knew the right thing to do, so we effectively did nothing. I’m afraid to let myself get attached to the idea. I’m afraid to let myself be hopeful that this won’t end in another rush of blood all over my mothers bathroom, and sobbing in her arms until I could barely breath. I’ve avoided going to the doctor because I don’t want to be sent for tests and subsequently get phone calls from concerned nurses that my hCG isn’t what it should be. I don’t want to watch another ultrasound technician squinting her eyes to see something, anything, where something should be. I don’t want to wait in that dimly lit room while she rounds up a doctor to come in and confirm what we already know.

I’m going to a doctor I don’t know on Wednesday. We moved away from the best doctor I have ever had, and it’s too far and impractical for me to drive back to see her.

I’m filled with anxiety and dread, but I am mustering up all of my courage so that I can get through this. I just feel so alone, and that’s probably the hardest part. Aiden, for his own reasons, just can’t seem to be emotionally available right now. He’s working through his own feelings I am sure, but it’s shitty when I feel like I can’t even lean on my husband (yeah the wedding happened, it was lovely, more on that later). I didn’t tell very many people about the loss, and I am even more reluctant to tell people I am pregnant this early on. It just feels like a very solitary pathway, particularly because I don’t feel like I have a place in the communities that were supposed to be designed for people like me.

My loss doesn’t seem tragic enough.

Don’t Be Afraid Of My Scars

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin.

-Excerpt From: Mouthful Of Forevers by Clementine von Radics

I have to admit, this is the third or fourth attempt I’ve made at “planning” this upcoming wedding. Truth be told, I’m not wild about the idea of getting remarried. It’s a scary place to navigate, knowing so intimately the destruction and devastation of separation and divorce. I tread timidly, only to be startled into sprinting the other direction.

It’s not that I don’t want to be with Aiden. I do. I don’t think that a split, even when unmarried, is easier or less complicated. Our finances are already tangled, which as it turns out is the least of the difficulties (Jack and I sorted the money and debt between us in less than a day or two of negotiating). It’s like I have a mental block. Every time we move towards the proverbial alter, it’s as if the flaws in our relationship become magnified and insurmountable. And there are flaws. We’ve been going to couples therapy (again) since August.  Not because we are at the end of our rope, but because we wanted to improve our communication and uncover any residual difficulties before they got out of hand.  It’s been a really positive experience for us, and while the miscarriage was one of the most difficult things we’ve gone through, we turned towards each other in our grief, not away.  It cemented us together, and things have been actually quite peaceful ever since.

The tragedy of it all actually brought out a part of Aiden that I’d never witnessed before, and melted away many of the doubts that I had.  He stayed by my side for hours while I suffered and labored and nearly had to be rushed to the hospital for loss of blood.  He was so gentle and careful, making certain I had water, pain killers, a heating pad, and whatever else I needed.  He held me while I cried and cried, soothing me quietly, promising me it would be ok, even though neither of us could really know that for sure.  We were at my mothers when it happened, and since then even she has been different towards him.  She remarked to another family member (who related it to me) that she hadn’t expected it from him, and that she could see how deeply he wanted that baby, but how selflessly he sheltered me, in spite of his own very visible anguish.  He was my champion, and it did not go unnoticed.

So it was, in the throes of our mourning, that I suggested we should get married this summer.  I needed something to look forward to.  Something else to focus on, to drown myself in.  My mother, at one time our biggest detractor (she knows all about the poly, the open marriage, the full-meal-deal regarding how Aiden came to be in my life) is now our greatest cheerleader.  She’s been absolutely amazing when it comes to wedding planning, throwing herself into helping me with an enthusiasm I never could have imagined.  It’s likely the main reason I haven’t spooked this time.

I haven’t quite put my finger on what scares me so much.  All the divorcees that I know just nod knowingly when I express being a reluctant second-time bride.  It’s difficult to put into words, and yet it seems to be a universal truth among us.  Maybe it’s a fear of failure, or of being judged for not being able to hold it together.  Nobody wants to get divorced once, let alone a second time.  I’m mystified by people who seem to think nothing of walking down the isle a third or fourth time, I don’t think I could do it.

Marriage is important to Aiden, and I can’t fault him for that.  Despite my scars, he remains adamant about pledging his heart to me for the rest of our lives.  Fear isn’t a good enough reason for me to refuse, it’s simply an obstacle that I will overcome.

Post-Polyamory

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling particularly well, and so I spent the day re-reading the old blog, in reverse. Oh memory lane.

First, it was interesting to see, objectively, the way my writing changed over the years. It definitely improved, which was actually surprising to me. Mostly because I always fancied myself a pretty good writer, even from Day One, but my writings definitely matured over those years.

Second, OMG angst isn’t even a remotely strong enough word for what sums up that whole disaster. My early commenters/dissenters were right: I was super bad at poly. Especially at the beginning, with K. Oh lawdy what a trainwreck that was. What a self-righteous and self-obsessed asshole I was. Many of my posts were so cringe-worthy I have a hard time reading them. Just, so much drama and self-loathing and rebellion and acting out.

I had been considering reinstating all of the archives here, but to be honest, I’m pretty embarrassed by a good deal of those posts. I mean, I was young. Mid-20’s and boy did I think I knew it all. 10+ years older and wiser now, and I’m ashamed of a lot of the person I was back then. I still haven’t decided if I will import all that content here, maybe it’s best to let sleeping blogs lie.

Reviewing all of that old content has definitely stirred some feelings. Even though Aiden and I closed our relationship when I separated from Jack, and kept it closed, I’m not opposed to the concept of polyamory. For that matter, poly/open relationships are somewhat surprisingly common in our current circles. I am quite good pals with several people who are poly, and speak openly about it. I’ll admit I admire their courage at being “out” and have hope that non-monogamous relationships will become more widely acceptable over time. It’s just not for us, although there are definitely aspects of it that I enjoyed and occasionally miss. Aiden works out of town now, and the weeks when the kids are with Jack can be a bit lonely. I don’t feel *alone* like I used to so frequently (what was up with that?) but I’m definitely lonely at times. I will admit the appeal of having a man to spend my weekdays with has crossed my mind from time to time, but I don’t linger on those fleeting thoughts. I miss dating sometimes, but I definitely do NOT miss all the crazy, all the jealousy, none of that. I’m not cut out for sharing, and I spent too many years trying to force that square peg into a round hole.

It’s interesting to look back now, so many years down the road, on what happened between Jack and I. Opening our marriage was actually not where things began to break down, it had begun before that. Polyamory just magnified the weak spots, and created gaps that could be filled by other partners, to our detriment. We both made choices. Younger me couldn’t stand to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility at the time, but in reality, my feelings towards Jack changed and his feelings towards me didn’t. I left. There’s no use denying it. We both contributed to the series of events leading up to that point, but ultimately, I chose Aiden.

I don’t feel like I have to apologize for that anymore.

There Aren’t Any T-Swift Songs For This

I would have been 23 weeks pregnant today.

Instead, I’m struggling to lose the weight I gained during my two months of depression, grief, and emotional eating. I’ve had a “normal” cycle since the emergency D&C, but we aren’t ready to try again. I’m not. I’m afraid. When the miscarriage initially happened I wanted to try again right away. Anything to distract myself from the agony of loss. Now, I just have residual fear and reluctance. With the wedding looming, I’m using that as an excuse to postpone, even though my 35th birthday is just around the corner.

Aiden is working away, and I’m ovulating today, and I’m almost relieved that I don’t have to worry about how good his pull out game is. Maybe dropping an egg is why I feel so emotional, not to mention sexually frustrated.

I do want to try again. I’m just afraid. The miscarriage was traumatizing, basically every single bad thing that could have happened in that event, did. I never want to go through that again, but I realize every pregnancy is rolling the dice, with an ever-increasing chance of failure.

Also, I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about my grief. Aiden and I have been so content lately, which I just really need right now. I don’t want to keep bringing it up. My closest friends have their own struggles with infertility (not uncommon in a group of ladies our age) and it feels unfair to be sad when I already have two children. Also the D&C was over a month ago, I don’t feel like I get to keep being upset. Truthfully, I don’t think about it most days, but sometimes I do, and I feel very alone in those moments.

Thankfully, I always have this little piece of anonymity that I can dust off when I need it.

I Have Died Every Day Waiting For You

Maybe I will muster up a visit every three years, just to let everyone know that I’m not dead.

I had hoped that I would begin writing here again, just for my own sanity, but…it’s hard, ya know? I’m not really “Shasta” anymore. I don’t really identify with that person, or that part of my life at this point. It seems like such a distant memory now.

Aiden and I have settled into a comfortable life together. In fact, after nearly two years of being engaged, we have finally decided to pull the trigger and get married this summer. I put a deposit down on my dress today, after I take it off for you, and we watch come gallery together of the 60 Nude Pics of Sexy Hayden Panettiere – Ximage.

I was also pregnant, briefly, in November. We found out at eight weeks that the pregnancy wasn’t going to be viable, which was a devastating disappointment, considering we had been planning for several years. We intend to try again once my body recovers from what was a horrendous series of unfortunate events, that culminated in an emergency D&C just last week. I had my IUD removed in September and caught almost immediately, so we are optimistic that it won’t take long the next time around.

So, yeah, I would say that we are signing on for the long haul with each other.

My children with Jack are turning into young adults. 12 and 14 now, and it feels as though time passes more quickly each week that goes by. Speaking of Jack, he is well. Still single, as far as I know, but he dates quite a bit. He just hasn’t found the right woman yet, and I do hope very sincerely that it happens for him. We remain a close family. We continue to have holidays together, and to participate in each others lives. We collectively attend sporting events, parent-teacher interviews, and Christmas concerts.

The Infamous V and I remain the best of friends. We are attending a bridal show this weekend, and she will stand next to me on the big day, filling that role for the second time.

K and I worked at the same company for nearly two years, after he helped me get a job there. Unfortunately due to the economic state of our province, and the nature of the industry, I was laid off in the fall. So, one of my other closest friends and I decided to start a business together, and thus far, it’s quite rewarding and our potential seems very promising.

It might seem mundane, from the outside, but life is good and calm and exactly what I want just now.

Tonight I’m Going To Bury That Horse In The Ground

I’ve been reading through the archives of this site.  I did keep them, although they are not accessible to the internet public.

My initial motivation was to remind myself of who I was when Aiden and I began seeing each other.  You see, unsurprisingly, we’ve become very different people over the course of the relationship.  Many of the changes in me were at least partially fueled by what happens to a person when their marriage ends.  According to my therapist, it takes at least 2 years to begin becoming “normal” again, after such a traumatic and life-altering experience.  While I have certainly dealt with a lot of the emotional aspect, I am definitely not back to my old self yet.  And maybe that old self is dead, but in her place is a person I am not usually very happy being.  I have grown vindictive, bitter, un-trusting, cynical, and jaded.  I am often vicious, without really meaning to be, but scathing remarks just come out of my mouth.

This has taken it’s toll on us, both as individuals and as a couple.  Some might say we are getting what we deserve, but I don’t believe that’s true anymore.  We aren’t bad people.  We didn’t set out to ruin Jack’s life.  Everything that happened was a result of the decisions we all made, both collectively and individually, and we can all own that now.

Aiden has adapted to my viciousness by becoming distant from me emotionally.  He’s quick to anger, and while we have both remained affectionate, the efforts he used to make to romance me are fairly non-existent.  At times we have lived like roommates, only touching in bed, because it’s confines leave us little choice.

However, at some point in our relationship we began a little ritual, wherein we set our alarm clock 30 minutes before we get up, and we spend that time cuddling.  It’s automatic now, but still meaningful.  No matter how badly we had been fighting, nor how angry we were, we continued the morning cuddling sessions, because sometimes it was the only indication that we still loved each other at all.  That, and the fact that neither of us ever left.

That 30 minutes in the morning was just enough to keep us going.

Lately, I decided that I didn’t want to live in a miserable loop of fight-get along-fight-get along-fight for the rest of my life.  I agreed to go back to counselling, and I decided on my own that I wanted to find out what was so different about the early days of our relationship (besides the obvious).

I hadn’t given this blog much thought for a couple of years, when I remembered that I had written a bunch of stuff here.  I prayed that I had kept it somehow, and started digging through my control panel, shuffling though the various places I hide my stuff on the web, and then I found it.  It was all there, and I started reading intensely.

The thing that struck me the most, was how genuinely nice and thoughtful I was.  I did things without having any apparent motivation to do them, aside from being caring.  I didn’t seem to expect my partners to do things for me FIRST, I just…did stuff.  Really great stuff.  I didn’t say “Well, when HE is nice, then I will be nice”.  Nope, it wasn’t tit-for-tat back then.  I didn’t keep track.  I just loved, and gave, and got in return.

Somewhere along the way I became too angry to just give without expecting anything.  To be kind first.

So, last week, I was just…nice.  I was mindful of the things I said, I went out of my way to be extra generous and thoughtful.  I said very loving words, and acted in very loving ways, and wonder of wonders, everything was peaceful!

Aiden didn’t react at first.  I had to bite my tongue a time or two, but after a couple of days, he started doing something really great too!  He was nice back!  Not only that, but I started to see that great and romantic guy that used to drive all night just to see me for a few hours.

I know, it sounds terribly stupid and obvious when I write it, but if you knew how really disinterested and indifferent to him I had become (and he to me) and how strong my drive to just lash out irrationally is, you would understand why this was hard.

Everything I had become screamed at me to stop being so nice, because why should I have to be nice first?  Why should I have to make all the effort?  It’s like being 5 again.  Ugh!  So awful.

This week was equally peaceful.  Aiden was SO excited to come home from his job away.  I got tons of really sweet and loving texts all the time he was gone.  He was super forgiving about the less than stellar shape of the house (to be honest I did try, and most of the place was pretty tidy, but other areas of life got in the way) even though in the past he would be annoyed because who wants to come home to a place that looks like wild animals live in it?  He said we might even play tomorrow!!  I am trying not to get my hopes up, but fingers crossed 🙂

The me from back then was a far more gracious and generous human than the me of a month ago.  Oh don’t get me wrong, some of my writing just oozed self-importance and arrogance.  I thought I was pretty hot shit at times.  I am embarrassed by some of the things I used to say, but I just kept reading between the lines, gathering together bits of information on my behavior, on what made me so appealing to the men who loved me.  Even if I *was* a bit self-obsessed (don’t even get me started on the level of angst) I was still a pretty loving and kind human being, at least by comparison.

I want to be that person again.

What Ever Happened To Shasta Gibson?

I will admit, it has been a great surprise to see that people still check in on me.  I am touched, honestly.  I’ve missed this place, and all of you.

I wasn’t going to dwell in the past, but I feel that in light of you taking the time to come over and say hello, I will provide this small update.

This blog was taken down shortly after I announced that Jack and I were separating.  Aiden moved out, and I moved in with him, more or less.

For a time things were very bad.

However, after the initial pain and anger had subsided, Jack and I were able to be amicable.  Lawyers were never once involved.  We both recovered fairly quickly (I would say incidents of hostility dropped to “rare” within 6 months) and decided that for the sake of our kids, we needed to pull it together and be adults.

It’s been, hmmm, 3.5 years since since I moved out, and we are still a family, all of us, it just looks a little different now.

Aiden and I are still together.  It’s been a struggle, but there will be more on that in the future.  Jack and I have become what I would describe as close friends.  We talk often, and all five of us still spend every holiday together (we take turns hosting, Aiden and I just had Easter at our place, Thanksgiving will be at Jack’s, etc) and birthdays.  Saydie is turning 10, and this Saturday we are all going to Laser Tag with her and a load of kids from her class.  We still co-parent, we just live in different houses.

I am not going to say things like “It’s better this way” because I feel that it cheapens what Jack and I had.  I did truly love him, and a part of my always will.  This is where we are now, and we are working together, and that’s the important thing.  Our kids are happy to have all of the adults they love under the same roof on a regular basis.  They get a lot of support, and are loved dearly by a great many grown ups.

Now, as for polyamory, I am sorry if it disappoints anyone, but after many a long discussion, Aiden and I decided to be monogamous.  Our relationship has been…fragile, ever since we went from a triad to a couple, and we both recognize that adding more people is frankly, stupid.  We wanted to wait until we were solid before we re-visited the idea of being open, and we’re not there yet.

Kink has been utterly non-existent as well.  Aiden and I haven’t played since before the separation.  I still wear my collar much of the time, but it definitely doesn’t mean what it used to.  We are trying to get back there (more on that as well) but we’ve had larger issues to deal with.

Currently I work 10 hours a day, 5 or more days a week.  Aiden works a job out of town, 4 days away, 3 days home.  He’s been at that for a month, and maybe eventually I will get used to it.  We are still ridiculously busy people, and that will probably never change.

Many of the people I used to write about here have slipped away.  The Infamous V is still around, of course.  We’ve been the best of friends for 17 years now, and she’s not going anywhere.  More recently K and I have been talking again, just casually.  He’s been with a really great woman for 5 years now, he seems very happy.

My life has become rather domestic.  I spend a lot of time working and cooking and cleaning.  I have horses now, and several gardens, and I am obsessed with canning.  Long gone are the nights of wild parties, and leaving a string of confused men in my wake.  I don’t stagger home at 5 in the morning, trailing glitter and glow sticks.

I traded in my stilettos for a pair of steel toes, and maybe that will make me less interesting, but I am ok with that.

Sunday’s Are Always The Hardest

It’s always so awkward at the beginning, writing, that is.  I always feel uncertain, even though it hardly matters.

You left for work again today.  I especially hated to see you go after having such a peaceful weekend together.  The three days never seem long enough, even when we are fighting.

I’ve been wandering through my old sex blogger haunts.  It’s sad, because it’s a bit like a ghost town.  Many of the “Old Crew” no longer write.  Almost all of the blogs I used to visit are dead, left to collect cobwebs, or disappearing entirely.  I wonder what became of some of them.  I wonder if anyone wonders about me, or us.

I feel like a stranger now, like I don’t belong in this corner of the web anymore.  Maybe I don’t.

I do hate to dredge up the past, but in this case, it’s allowing me to piece together a person whom I haven’t seen in a long time.  The person I was once, before everything changed, and turned us into people that seem normal at this point, but who are so different from who we used to be.

Four years is a lifetime, on the internet.

Turning over stones can be discouraging.  This evening I found an email I wrote to you in 2010, but it may as well have been yesterday.  So many of the same troubles.  Maybe they will never go away entirely.  We will probably never match up just right, but maybe we can get close again.

It’s not all bad.  I found some erotic text messages, and quite a few words of love.  We used to be quite playful with each other.  We still are, but there’s always pain and hurt bubbling so close to the surface.  Even the slightest nick sends it hemorrhaging out, broiling and burning.

I miss you.  The bed is so empty without you.  Even when I am furious with you I still long for the warmth of your body next to me, of you skin against mine, the soft murmur of your breathing in the dark.

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