I know the monkey had started to (on paper) write an entry, but I'm here in front of a keyboard so I'll have at it.
We're still both poly: she in the "I get romantically involved with other people" (just one person, I feel terribly full with Top and her) sense, and me seemingly in the "I take on, train, mentor, and work with other people" sense. I'm still not 100% happy with all phases of her relationship, but I'm working toward it.
The monkey has another Mistress as well, a cruel one who has also been making demands of me. Her name is Sallie Mae. I refer to her as an abusive spouse, generally. While the monkey is at this point spending her own money (that she had previously given to me) on these debts, it is only a matter of a few months until that runs out. Next month, I think. On top of other debts I'm now paying for her. Top is referring here to the hospital bills incurred after we were run over in late December.
It bothers me that the monkey has a masters, and it's not really being applied. I suppose I see it as a tool: if I had determined that I had the need for an expensive tool, that I'd be certain of its need, and its use before undergoing on purchasing it, knowing full well I'd be paying it off for many years.
Here's the thing. I didn't have a good enough GPA in undergrad to get into a PhD program in the humanities that was remotely attractive, so I went into the Masters program viewing it as a bridge to a PhD program, to show prospective schools that I was capable of doing grad work. About halfway through my Masters program, I realized that I was rather sure a PhD program, at least at this point in my life, was not right for me. The program I attended was actually geared towards working teachers who wanted more credentials. So, uh, if I got a job teaching I'd start off making more money (in theory) and it would make me more attractive to schools I applied to work at (again, in theory) but (a) I have no teaching certification and (b) with my social anxiety where it is, I don't think it would be wise to enter teaching at this time. Though in my job searches I have found part time English professor openings at community colleges, which I actually think might be a good idea.
I've been pushing her, gently but persistently, to find work. I somehow think she'd do okay as a barista at either Starbucks or the local chain: the time on her feet would probably not be great for her (my back/neck/shoulders are in pain every day lately, made worse by activities like doing the dishes), but it's customer facing, and would give her some experience. Maybe some social comfort. I've also told her to submit an application at the library to become a page. Thusfar, it's been a big problem. It terrifies her. The most I've been able to do at this point is get her to fill out a template job application, so all her info is there for when she fills out others.
We have a bookstore within easy walking distance, where she might do well, too.
The eventual goal here is that she manages to cover her student loans, and put at least 10% away to savings: the rest, as far as I'm concerned, can be "fun money". Comics, dates, road trips with the girlfriend, trips to literary conferences. I have not asked the Top to pay for any of these things in the past 5 months, at least. He has offered on a few occassions to buy me comics, I have expressed hesitance, he has insisted. I handle the living costs.
She told me last night that she really doesn't feel like a "good slave." I don't believe this to be the truth at all. I'm guessing he means that he believes me to be a good slave, not that he disbelieves the validity of my feelings on the matter. I always see room for improvement, but I know she's fighting the good fight against depression and other personal problems. I know it's not easy.
Right now, I've been putting most of the focus, every day, on printing out a list of things I'd like her to do throughout the day. This has really helped. Chores, personal projects, GRE work, grooming. I've forbidden her to get on the internet each morning until she's both eaten and showered (this has been good for me); there's been too many days in the past I've come home to find her still in what she slept in. (At some point, I would love to be able to have software to do this.) On this list I try to put our evening's plans, as well as something I will do for her that day. I find that unnecessary; I mean, letting me know probable evening plans is nice, but so far as doing things for me every day, you already do that, just by being my Master.
She's been back in therapy for a month or so now. It took more than a year of asking to get her to do this. Because I feel guilty about the cost.
She'll be going back to the chiropractor tomorrow. This too took many months of prodding. Because I feel guilty about the cost.
Maybe, slowly, taking care of herself will not be such a hard concept. We're working on it. It's tough because Top didn't know me 5, 10 years ago. He can't see how far I've come, how bad things were at times. Yes, I had a job then, which is a big sign of progress to him. But my mental health state was far, far worse than it is now.
We went through our Netflix queue and tried to delete all the "depressing" movies from it. We've been watching a lot of Miyazaki, and we've been slowly going through Night Court.
I still love her more every day. I have been feeling similarly.