TagHistory

And So The Adventure Begins

During the recent course of reconnecting with some of my old online acquaintances (here, on their blogs, Twitter, FetLife) someone asked me “What have you guys been up to all these years?”

I think I’ve gone over all of the relationship stuff, but there are also a lot of really fabulous things we’ve done that I haven’t mentioned. Here’s a bit of a list, for those curious readers:

– Hiked and backpacked literally hundreds of kilometers. Spent dozens of nights in a tent
– Backpacked twice on the west coast (of Canada) both as a couple, and with the younglings
– Took a cruise to Alaska
– Went on a 10-day roadtrip of the Yukon
– Camped and backpacked in the winter, in the mountains
– Flew out east to visit family several times
– Moved three times (every 2 years, on average)
– I’ve had at least 8-10 different jobs. There are probably some that I don’t remember. Not because I can’t keep a job, I quit or was laid off due to the difficult economic situation here in Alberta the past few years. It took me a lot of trial and error to find jobs that I liked. My recent couple places of employment were for 2+ years each.
– Aiden has had three jobs, he’s an apprentice, so that’s not uncommon. He moves around every year or two in order to get new experience and opportunities in his trade.
– We were vegan for around a year, for health and environmental reasons
– Adopted two cats
– Traded in the Nitro for a brand new Dodge Ram almost 5 years back. Last year at Christmas I surprised Aiden with a new-to-him Dodge Dakota. It’s Alberta after all, so…trucks for everyone.
– LARPed some, and then quit LARPing, and then started LARPing again
– Dehydrated everything from venison jerky to lentil chili
– Took up hunting, doing all our own butchering, etc.
– I wrote words in other places, but I think I was just burned out and it always felt forced. I gave up writing for a long time
– Took V on her first backpacking trip (she and I have done two girls weekends and one group trip together so far)
– Made another very best friend, at a time I wasn’t expecting it. She’s going to need a name, so I think I will call her Lyra.
– Started a small business with Lyra, and we are getting consistent sales, and there is so much potential, and I’m very excited about it all.

That basically sums up the highlights. I’m sure there are things that I missed, and I’m sure there are things that people don’t find remarkable, but they stand out for me. Plus this will help if I refer to any of these things in future posts, so now everyone is more or less up to speed on the 6ish year absence.

This Is How We Heal

I’m addicted to the past.

It’s like reading someone else’s story now, not mine, not ours.

I poured over K’s old blog. I can see the appeal objectively now, following the shared drama like a weekly soap. We were ridiculous, there were so many comments, I really understand now why we drew such a following for a time. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, I’m not, I have the good sense now to be embarrassed. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the entertainment for entertainments sake. A poorly written novel can still have it’s moments. It was still a better love story than Twilight.

Really I’m killing time. Between purging and packing I give myself moments of respite, and bury myself in this strange yet familiar history. It’s mostly foreign to me now. My heart has forgotten all of the anguish, it healed, even though I never thought it would. Not just thin scabs, but hardened scars, fibrous and strong, protecting all of those vulnerable spots that used to bleed so freely.

Time, it seems, does indeed heal all wounds.

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.

I’m On Your Magical Mystery Ride

On Friday I had dinner at a pub with K and his girlfriend, Tia.  K and I hadn’t seen each other in almost 4 years, and it was a surprise visit arranged by she and I (we’ve become quite good friends, over text message and Facebook, as it were).

It was a little bit uncomfortable at first.  In fact I felt so nervous I thought I might throw up.  Tia was nervous too, mainly because, well it’s kind of weird being friendly with your mans ex, and all.  We all ordered food and eventually the conversation picked up.

I tried not to talk too much about “way back when” with K, because it would be disrespectful, and Tia wouldn’t be able to participate anyway, which is a bit rude.  There were a couple of stories (I actually don’t remember much of that time anymore, apparently we went to a hot tub party once…) but for the most part, we stayed out of that territory.

Turns out Tia lived in the same town where Aiden grew up!  She was only there for three years (and there is an age gap, so it’s unlikely they directly knew the same people) but we chatted quite a bit about that.  Small world!

We talked about work and pets and other everyday things.  It was fun, but the pub was super loud.  I would prefer somewhere quiet I think for actual conversation.

K has changed and yet, he hasn’t.  He’s grown up some.  He doesn’t let people walk all over him anymore, and he’s become a little more jaded and cynical (life will do that to ya) but he seems happy.  Tia is good for him, and it’s really great to see him happy and more or less settled in life.  He’s still K though, quick with the flirty comments, and charming in his way.  Still the “give you the shirt off his back” type.  There weren’t sparks.  There weren’t twinges of jealousy or longing, just contentment that he’s found his way.  I did worry for him for a good while after we parted company.

We spent 3 hours together and then I went home and crawled into bed and waited for Aiden (he was out for games night with some of our other friends).  I fell asleep, but woke briefly when he snuggled up beside me sometime around 1am.  We may have exchanged a sleepy “How was your night?” but I don’t recall.

My reply was likely “It was nice to catch up with old friends” 🙂

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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