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So, the monkey and I happened by Leather Etc. in San Francisco yesterday afternoon.

While I've never been overly impressed with their quality, they do have a lot in the way of selection, and that's been my primary interest.
Every time I pass by there, I catch some of their display windows and it made me wonder.

After all, the monkey now sports some Breast Reduction scars, like at least a few of my friends do, both my trans friends as well as those who, like the monkey, had the procedure done to alleviate severe back pain.

Some Background

In doing breast reduction work, there are basically three types of incisions they can do, shown well at the bottom of This Page. In short, the monkey had the most intrusive type of incision: the "anchor", and coming to terms with these new scars has carried some stresses.

Anyway my thought is that a chest harness serves to draw the eye away from the scars, and by contrast, makes people look at the gear. I was even hoping for something that went under the breast and hid some of the scarring.

While we found a few things that were interesting looking, what we eventually decided on was an "X" harness, with an O-ring in the center and buckles in back, attached to another O-ring. It's made of exceptionally soft, almost glove-quality leather, and the monkey wears it really well.

If you've been to the Folsom street fair, or just tried to visualize the word "beefcake" you know the kind of thing I'm talking about. This type of harness is nearly synonymous with the gay leather culture.

Putting it to Use

While my initial interest was in having the monkey wear the harness like a collar, as an "around the house" sort of mark of being in a submissive mode, or perhaps just as a "wearable handle" to use to toss her around a bit, once she got home and tried it on, she bent over the bed, and I experimentally tried her from behind, in a sort of "so if I were to do this, would you be comfortable with that." Was he ever.

At that point I discovered what I should have known all along: It's like wearing a set of handlebars for sex from behind: Snug, stable, comfortable. And with her over the side of the bed, we went at it. It was awesome. And unlike most of the other gear we own, this is designed not to restrict movement, but to enhance it.

So again, I say, dear SF Leatherman's Community: Why didn't you tell us these things were this awesome?!

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Hey there, I go by the first initial D, and I'm "The Top". The monkey and I have been on hiatus for a while, both trying to figure ourselves out, and our relationship, but things are going well. The time and distance has not always led to a place where one wants to write about new discoveries in yourself and your loving partner when they're on the other side of the country.

That said, we chose Livejournal for several reasons, some of which still apply and some of which do not.

First, is that LiveJournal was a community where a lot of our friends were reading. Facebook has kind of flattened this.

Second, is that we were able to make this blog something that you could add to your LJ friends list, or if you're not a regular LJ user, you could just add it to your RSS feed. Facebook doesn't offer RSS feeds, because it's not in their interest to do so.

Third, because we recognize that some people are reading this way, we post all posts full-public or full-private. We have told LJ not to publicize the list of who follows us (although for those users, it will show in your "following" on your profile).

With regard to comments, we screen them all, but mainly to protect your privacy. Sometimes, we'll reply briefly (which requires unscreening) and then re-screen.

At some point in the future we may move to DreamWidth, and at some point we may move to a private blogging setup (again, because facebook is not the thing it once was). If we did this, we'd probably subscribe to facebook as well, not as either of us, but as our own entity, just for "there's a new article" notification, for those who prefer things in their feed.

That said, the monkey and I are very much alive and well and still discovering and re-discovering each other, and I think I speak for both of us, when I say we've missed this.

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Sometimes, I need to just cry.

I'm in a distance relationship, where I'm the mostly-dom half of our D/s pair. I have a high-stress position at work, with no real set hours (things can break any time at all). I run IT for a local convention. I run a webhosting service. I'm head of my household of presently-one, but maybe soon The Monkey will move back.

And every once in a while, things just go horribly wrong, because of other people's lack of planning, because of shit situations, or just plain bad luck, things break.

In 95 percent of the situations, I accept it, move on, solve the problem. Hell, I was hit by a car and woke up in "crisis mode" and started polling the people staring down at me for status updates. Sometimes, the minor things build up in what the author of Hyperbole and a Half calls a sneaky hate spiral, and even then, I cope with it mostly through minor bouts of insomnia, comfort food, and minor amount of self-medication.

But, sometimes, despite months of planning and acceptance that things "will be okay", backup plan on top of backup plan, things go awry, and the reality of "you're not in control here you moron, did you think for a moment you ever really were?" crashes down.

Sometimes, like the main character from fight club, I need cry. I need to trip off the "always in charge" circuit breaker, I need to be put against the fence, flogged till I sob, and made to go to sleep, nose still snotting.

Like a bone that needs to be re-broken to set, I have to occasionally lose control of my life and myself to be able to reclaim it.

This is one of those times. Unfortunately, the subset of people I trust, who are local, and could see myself letting do this is pretty small right now.

Can anyone else identify with this need?

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Things have been interesting and rough here, but if you don't recall, my name is D, and I'm Very Much In Love with a space monkey.

However, in the spirit of the day I wanted to record a snippet of conversation here:

This is not the monkey speaking, but someone else I care about very much. Someone who today, I told I loved. Not because of a hallmark holiday, but because the time was right and I was sure.

"I want you to be happy.. I also want you to be proud of me. You're more of a father figure than my own dad or [redacted] ever was because you are just.. that kind of person. I want to make you happy and proud. I want to learn things from you as well."

As for the rest, the tale of the monkey and I? It goes on, and I hope to be able to tell you all it very soon.

topthemonkey: (Default)


...that is all.


Feb. 18th, 2011 05:07 am
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The monkey is being slow to work on a few goals I've had set -- she's been better than before, and causing me less stress, but there's still so much room for improvement.

She had been going back to school, but there were financial issues with her registration, due to a past semester (where she had taken no classes due to having out-of-state rates, but the classes never got dropped cleanly). Because of this, her current-semester registration was blocked. Rather than resolving it by getting on a payment plan, she stopped going. Note of course, that we're still going to have to pay for that past semester. So the math would have been:

about a grand (paid over time) + about $300 AND "productive" and student loans are put on hold


about a grand (paid over time) AND not-productive, loans in forbearance until march.

I've pretty much accepted that I will wind up paying her student loans. I resent this. I've said, outright, from the start of our relationship, that this was the one thing I wouldn't cover. However, if I don't cover it, she gets stressed, and it damages her credit, which in turn damages our chances of finding a nice place to live (at least, until I'm in a position to buy a place on my own).

In other news...

  • We looked at a couple of apartments recently. We're not at the point of moving yet, and are quite comfortable in our current month-to-month setup, but speaking to the leasing agent slammed home the fact that when that time comes, I want her to have a steady job (even if it's one day a week) with steady pay stubs that can go on a lease application.

  • We cleaned up our storage bin a little bit last week, collected a large box of books that can be put up on ebay. While that was a good accomplishment, I'd be quite happy if the monkey spent some of her time at home actually managing the ebay inventory.

  • We've signed up for a class at a local community center that has some tools people can use. That's next monday and it looks like fun. Depending how that goes, I hope to do that about once a month or so.

  • The monkey made an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon for a breast reduction (she suffers back pain as a result of her chest), and has a few more opinions to get from others -- but she's been doing poorly at making/keeping appointments with her chiropractor and therapist. I've asked her, numerous times, to start using a PDA, or a little black book, or something for all this. I've offered to buy her the device of her choice. Instead, she gets appointment cards, and then misplaces them, writes them down wrong, or whatnot. There have been at least a couple occasions where I think it wasn't her fault, but it still seems like a regular enough occurence that on the rare occasions it's really not her fault, it's little solace.

  • She's been working on her writing and poetry a lot. She feels I don't respect it and/or take it seriously. Part of the reason there is: I don't "get" it. I don't have an ear for it, any more than she has the interest or ability to review perl code I've written. (The tongue-in-cheek difference is, the perl code pays her student loans). On a more serious subject, I still haven't read her thesis, so I can't argue completely with her assessment. Yet.

  • I keep meaning to shave her hair down again into a more classic mohawk, and one day I swear I'll remember to go get the shave gel. In the meantime, she looks cute.

  • She's been keeping the place really clean, which is awesome.

  • She's been staying on top of keeping her body shaved, which is also awesome.

I think I'm going to spin up a copy of RT, aka "Request Tracker" on a spare system so that I at least have some basis for a go-to place for tasking.
Even if it doesn't manage everything I'd like yet, it will be better than what we have now. More on this in the next post.

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I admit that while I don't post often and it seems more often than not I've been posting about the negative, things seem to be pretty good with the monkey and I.

  • The monkey has made a number of appointments to take care of herself well.

  • We went up to her college, and took care of some problems. She's once again a student although we're waiting on some more paperwork to finalize it all.

  • After asking repeatedly about job applications, I decided that we won't worry about it until "q2" (i.e. april).

  • She sat down, just a few hours ago for a haircut. No fuss, no muss. She's now sporting a mohawk. which still gives me something to grab, even though it appeals to my short-hair fetish.

  • She's been doing well in keeping the house clean, and in taking care of me during an event we were recently at.

  • Her body has been staying shaved.

  • We've been getting to bed at mostly reasonable hours. My plan of "get to bed early, then get up and spend time doing things until she wakes" seems to be mostly cohesive.

All in all, I feel really proud, and hopeful. It feels like a good start to the year.

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The monkey is back from a 21 day trip across the country, visiting friends and family for the holidays.

While I did not thrust her into protocol directly off the plane, I want to take a few days and be very strict with her -- let her realize what I want from her, let her be sure she's ready to do this.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like our goals are in alignment. I've asked some very challenging things of her in the coming year, but I wouldn't be upset if I didn't feel she was capable of it.

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Top and I have a lot of amusing exchanges that I make a mental note to post here and never do. Here are some I remember.

Me: I have to sleep on the far side of the bed! I can't be that close to the window!
Top: We're on the third floor. Who do you think is going to break in, Spiderman?

[For some reason I had to go to bed without Top, so I used his comforter (we don't have a single one we both like that's big enough to cover the whole bed) for, uh, comfort. This was the next night.]
Me: (sniffing Top's comforter) Aw man, it doesn't smell like you anymore! (thrust it at him) Here, stink this up!

(repeated often, usually while holding back laughter)
Top: Baby, I think you might be insane.
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I want to post some "life-goals" for the monkey. We've discussed some of this prior to my posting the last post.

Part of the reason for my disappointment and unmet expectations is because, in the larger scheme of things, when I think of the goals in this entry, having an entire day where "I want you to walk to the library" as the only thing I ask, be unmet is daunting. I understand chronic back pain. I understand body issues where it becomes difficult to get dressed. I understand that with even with all these meds, some days it can be DAMNED HARD to get out of the house. I don't not care, but I need improvement. I feel like you don't really understand my depression and anxiety issues.  I have trouble hearing about how I don't understand it when I don't feel you're doing all you could to help it.

That said, I think there's none of the things on this list that the monkey cannot do.

  • Get medical issues paid off. (This is all me to pay, but the bills are hers, as is the credit being damaged).

  • Get back to school, which will re-enable loan deferment.

  • Get a job. Even a stupid 2-day a week thing, because when we go to move, 2 people with steady income is better than one person with steady income and one not. I want her to eventually have a career, but right now, just a McPaycheck is enough to rent a nicer place than what we have. I'm fine with her keeping the money. I might perhaps make her responsible for paying one utility bill as a means of establishing credit and residence, but beyond all that, hers to keep.

  • Get "closure" back home. That is to say, get all things that are important to her that are there, to here. That isn't going to give me closure. I'm not going to get closure here. It's not a closure situation. This is why I put it in quotes.  I mean more of a "logistic" closure with regard to the "what happens to my stuff if my mom moves" situation.

  • Improve her relationship with her girlfriend. The distance is making it strained, and they care very much for each other, and in the absence of her girlfriend's affection, I am not happy what the void has been filled with. By "improve" I mean either "see regularly, and pay the expense" or "the girlfriend returns". I don't talk much about this here, because the journal is supposed to be about us, not about girlfriends. In summary, I want her to have regular time with the girl, wherever the girl is, and when those occur I want it to be fun and relaxed, not harried with a mess in the wake.

  • I want her wisdom teeth out by mid-year, or at least have the process started.

  • I want her to get a consult for a breast reduction, by mid-year. I want her to make an informed decision once she does so. I wonder at times if it mightn't be easier to get a full (ftm-style) reduction; wonder which would help with the body dysmorphia issues. I don't want complete removal. I just want my back to be less fucked up.   And there are varying degrees of "less".

  • I want her back to seeing her therapist regularly.

  • I want the monkey to have her driver's license. This will likely mean calling a company for a lesson and a loaner car (my car is large and unwieldly, suboptimal for a road test).

  • I want her to be organized and free from clutter and crap. It's already proven to be somewhat of a problem when needing to find important papers. She has the ability to control it, moving forward. I want her to know the procedures I do of making an hour a week to simply clear away the clutter so you can come back clean to a thing. I'm a packrat. I have a lot of stuff. I've been this way my entire life. That's not an excuse. Just tough habits to break.  Okay, so I want you to make progress in that direction.  I have...some ideas for better use of tools.

My own desires for myself:

  • I want to be completely out of debt and (student loans aside) want the same for the monkey.

  • I want a two-bedroom apartment, which will rent for a little more than the STUDIO we're paying for now. This will give us an extra room for work, and guests, and for her family to visit, and for her to do her crafting in.

  • I want to improve my credit, by buying a car. I want to give this car to the monkey for the monkey to use. The monkey does not LIKE the car I want to buy, but I don't care. The car in question is a Smart. She has expressed her dislike, and I have told her that she is welcome to buy her own car, but this one's free. So there.

  • I want to be de-stressed enough that I'm able to fit in more exercise, and start dropping this tonnage before it kills me.

  • I want to fix the three "shortcomings" I put on my cover letter when I send out a resume.

  • I want a $3000 per-person safety buffer, in the bank collecting shitty amounts of federal interest and otherwise untouched and not tied to a debit card.

  • I want to take road trips to interesting places, and have fun doing so. I used to do this. What the hell happened?

  • I want to do a cross-country train ride. (This may in fact coincide with buying her a car on the other coast, and driving back).

  • I want anyone else we have in our life, or at least anyone else who wants to wear a collar for me, have an equally clear path forward on thing like this.

  • I want to get a vasectomy so I can use my monkey any time I like. For various reasons, various types of protection do not work for us.

  • I want what I have back on the other coast moved here. Sorry for the intentional vague.

  • I want us to have a place that doesn't clutter so easily. We share a closet and two drawers right now to hold all the clothing for two people, and it's suboptimal. (Given my druthers, perhaps she'd just wear spandex everyday, which compresses well for storage). That is the next phase of my life, and it requires efforts on her part that I cannot do, in order to get to that point.

I have a similar set of goals for another pet I have, but that's a different journal. Perhaps I'll post that on fetlife.

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Note: this entry was started december 3rd. At that time, the monkey had not yet departed for the holidays. Much else seems still time-relevant although some of it has come to resolution. Other things are more pogniant now.

I admit that in the past I've written some mean and at some points bitter things here. And I'll further admit that I haven't been blogging lately, because when I write upset things, the monkey worries about how other people will see her.

Our sex life is fairly diminished to the point of her getting me off before bed. We don't "play". Our local playspace has closed down and there's some "issues" with the other one, in the city. I feel disappointed enough in so many other times we've tried to play that have ended badly, that there's a number of things I can't be bothered to try.

She recently made friends with a couple at a coffee shop in the city, and started playing with them regularly. She did things that I wasn't okay with, and things that I would have told her "absolutely not" had I been asked about them beforehand, which I feel I should have been. But I wasn't. When she asked about "can we do knifeplay" she wasn't clear on the fact that they'd also be doing deliberate marking and scarification. They did pattern-based knifeplay that, nearly a month later, looks as though it's going to scar. She was having penetrative sex with one of then when the condom broke, and I wasn't told until a few days later, after being woken up from a dead sleep.

She continued to ask for sleepover time with them, even after sending me a text that said "Don't want anymore sleepovers for a while, too much time away from you." Even when she made plans and I told her, outright, to break them, that I needed her there tonight, she went to them. And I went for the Nyquil, because it was easier than trying to address the disappointment to someone who wasn't listening.

I told her I don't want her to see them anymore, and she hasn't, but I still feel like I've lost something. I look at the marks on her, and it feels like she's not mine, and I just see disappointment, bordering on disgust. I don't feel either she nor her new partners have been responsible people, and I feel they've done damage, both to her own body as well as in my trust and feelings for her that may never heal.

At one point, I blurted out that I think we should just break up. I stated just a few minutes later, that I was in no place to be making any decisions at that point and didn't mean it. It's crossed my mind, how things would be different, how things would be easier, how things would be harder. I dwell on those thoughts when I'm alone and out of touch with her.

She's gone back to the other coast for the holidays. I'll be alone for Christmas and New Years, and I'm dreading it already. I thought I had made my expectations and wishes clear on that front clear as well (that we'd go together, after the first of the year) but she has her emotional and familial reasons for wanting to travel now. I fear that eventually I'm either going to start suffering serious depression, or I'm going to turn into a workaholic and spend every night at my office till 5am, only sleeping when exhaustion forces me to.

The monkey recently sat and let her hair be shaved down, partially as my own assertion that she's mine, and partially as an allowance to go see her play-partners (this was before I told her not to see them anymore), and I recognize the sacrifice that that represented for her. But there's other things she could be doing, some of them so trivial: "I want you to walk to the library and return your books", "I want you to apply for some jobs online", "I want you to call your job and ask if they're keeping you on", "I want you to make another appointment with your therapist", "I want recycling to go into my car whenever I get home", "I want the sink empty of dishes every night". None of this is new.

To put a customer service spin on it, my expectations, from a variety of sources and not just the Monkey, aren't being met. I feel incomplete and unsatisfied, and I feel like I work hard and deserve more than this.

As she's at home, I suspect there are at least a couple of people she'll be sleeping with. One of them, her old Dominant (who she never really cleanly broke up with, they're "taking a break"), I am oddly okay with. Another, well, has been discussed before, and we call him "X" here. He's the one that casually forces himself on her, and she complies. More often than not without protection. And I've never been okay with any sexual interaction between them, and have made no mistake about being inexplicably clear on this.

I sent the monkey a text earlier saying "Have you done anything yet this trip that would upset me?". No answer. I wonder.

update: Yes.

Losing It

Jun. 1st, 2010 03:51 am
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The Monkey has been struggling with "freak out" attacks for as long as I've known her. These are times when she'll scream, and then start hurting herself, attempting to bite herself, or hitting her leg or her head or some inanimate object. There are weeks our of the month when this is a more likely occurence, mainly before her period starts.

Handling this behavior is somewhat of a challenge to me. I usually do the worst possible thing in response to this: I fight her, or yell at her, or tell her to "shut up". These things don't help, but I can't maintain rational behavior when I have someone screaming in my ear. Sorry. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation.

Today, she missed a train to go see her girlfriend. And screaming ensued. I told her, in the spur of the moment "okay, now you're not going at all." I said it because I didn't want to feel like I was rewarding this behavior, and because I was angry that such a beyond-her-control thing could cause this.

I tried to take her phone away. She cursed at me (a common one is "fuck you"), she threatened to bite me, and she cried a lot after that. I got out of the car, walked around to her side, wiped her tears, and held her, and we worked out a plan to recover from a missed train.

And within a half hour, she was remorseful, and just felt more terrible about herself for having done and said those things.

I hate this. I hate that there's something inside her so broken that this is the default action. The fact that she screams in her sleep seems to suggest it's a "hardwired" behavior, not something conscious. I hate that the drugs she's been assigned for this basically knock her unconscious for 8 hours. I feel as though it's the action of some spoiled child who can't get their way: except instead of not getting her way from the parent, her unconscious expresses this frustation at someone to whom screaming at will not help. Screaming at me will not make the train stop, it won't help her find the bra you can't find, and it won't fix her back problems. Neither will hitting herself, the interior of my car, or me.

Worse still is that she's been warning me of this. "If I feel the need to smash something, don't worry, it won't be your laptop". The best I can relate it, I suppose, is to Tourettes Syndrome. (I went to a High School that had a program specializing in it). One of my friends who had it explained their tics as "I know it's coming, and I can delay it, or hold it back, but it actually hurts to do it". That is, knowing it's coming doesn't mean you can stop it. Just because it's exploding slowly doesn't mean it's not exploding.

It saddens me that she does this around me because she feels safe enough to do so. Her girlfriend has never seen her like this. She doesn't (generally) do it in public places, or crowds. Just when she's with me. Should I feel privileged?

I think the best/only things I can do here, sadly, are preventative:

  • If you can't make a train with 20-30 minutes TO SPARE, you're not making it. You don't know if I might have to stop for gas or have trouble with the car. You can't predict when you'll lose something and we'll have to go back upstairs for it.

  • Need to develop a better meditative/relaxation technique. Yoga, breathing, stressball you carry everywhere...anything.

  • You can clearly recognize when is the worst time for this. You know when a storm is brewing, how can we work with that? Can you go somewhere, alone, and do it, and get it out? Scream into a pillow? Tear up a phone book?

I've got a pounding headache and it's 2:30 AM. I'm still at work. The monkey is off with her girl. And even despite writing all this, I don't feel totally calmed down.

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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.

topthemonkey: (Default)
The Top put my collar back on two nights ago, after shaving the underside of my head, to above my ears. I made it clear that a haircut was not something I wanted. He made it clear that he would feel far more at peace with our relationship if he cut my hair. I did what slaves are supposed to do; I made the sacrifice. I did what I was told. I submitted. I put him first.

I have a deep emotional attachment to my hair, and sobbed on and off for hours after he cut it. He was so happy, so proud. I was not and made no pretense. I know I'll get over it. Hair grows.

Yesterday I was still sad about it. He kept asking me what was wrong, what he could do to help. This is an area of our relationship that I'd imagine causes him inner conflict. He wants me to do what he wants; more than that, he wants me to want to do what he wants. That's not always going to be the case.

Sleepovers with my girlfriend have been put on hiatus indefinitely, since shortly after he wrote that last entry. We've been doing day trips during the week, and that's worked out well. There have been times he has been particularly pleased with me (after sucking him off, for example) and offered to let me have a night with my girlfriend. I don't think he's ready for it, I don't think he makes that offer after putting genuine thought into it, so I've said no. I don't want it to be a reward, I want it to be something he is actually comfortable with.

I want to reinforce/reestablish our relationship, as does the Top. Putting my collar back on and cutting my hair helped with this a lot. But those aren't things that can be done on a constant basis. I think we need to spend more "quality time" together. The problem is, the Top and I have differing opinions on what constitutes "quality time." He counts anything that involves us being in the same vicinity. I do not count errands or times when he is at the desk and I am on the couch and we are both on our computers. Cuddling, bedtime story time, going out to eat where it's just the two of us, geocaching, taking day trips - these I think of as "quality time."

We have reinstituted bedtime story time (reading a chapter a night of Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe, I think/hope we're going to go through all 7 books) which has helped.
I have been sleeping naked, which I know he prefers, though it makes me uncomfortable (body issues).
topthemonkey: (Default)

Edit:I wrote this late at night in an odd brain state, but I think I can put an executive summary on it.

  • I'm telling the monkey no more sleepovers with the girlfriend until further notice, you can do as many day trips as you like, but at night your place is with me. At least for now.
  • I'll give her occasional sleepovers, but it will be a reward, not something she should ask for. And it may be a while before I'm at that point.
  • She's got to get her collar back on.
  • She's been doing better, but I still need to see more effort on some things, mainly health-related.

Previous angst goes here:

Note: It's late, and I'm doing stream of consciousness here, so this may be less than coherent.

The monkey is off with her girlfriend.

I'm at work at 4amalmost 7am. Not because I have much to do, but because I am fucking dreading -- to the point of being near tears -- the thought of going home to an empty bed.

I have, in the past, expressed venom at the monkey's new Girlfriend, and I no longer think the girlfriend deserves this, I feel the venom is being childish and unfair.

But the rest of it? What I'm feeling now? Right now, I'd like nothing more than to drag the monkey to the playspace, and unload on her: I call this "stressballing", and I normally won't do it to a person. Unless the agression I'm feeling is actually toward them. And it is.

The monkey and I texted earlier, it went something like:

     Me: I still hate this.    
     Her: You gave permission.    
     Me: I hate that response, too.    
     Her: What should I say?    
     Me: "I'm sorry sir, I shouldn't have asked, I'll try to stop doing things that make you feel this way."    
     Her: I'm sorry I make you feel bad but you said you'd work thru this and it would just take time.

Yes, I did. And I've been wrong before. I think I'm either wrong about this entirely, or we don't understand the approach curve enough.

I still feel like I'm losing her, like she's becoming a person different from the one I love.

I let her go out of state to have sex with another person, after hearing how he's "all about the protection". He wasn't, came inside her 'I lost count' how many times. She smoked pot while she was back there too, and her defense the whole time was that I said "have fun" or "do what you want" in disgust. Yup, I'm the enabler.

She still isn't wearing her collar. Things that I've previously outlined as "expected behaviors for being allowed to go see your girlfriend" still don't seem to be happening to the degree I'd like them to. She managed to refill her meds, but there've been other things: a library book that I'd hoped would be back by now (I'm returning it on the way home), medical appointments, therapy appointments, etc. I'd be (pleasantly) surprised to find that she was keeping up on keeping her body shaved, but I doubt it. I ran out of laundry AGAIN this week.

I feed her. I clothe her. I house her. I'm about to start paying for her cellphone. I provide healthcare. I try to be patient when she screams in the night, and I deal with the PMDD and the near-screaming agitation that comes with "my tits are too big", or "I can't find my shirt". I really do try to be comforting and hold her and act like I understand these problems, when in reality I don't understand why they're a problem any more than she'd understand a segmentation fault. I'm in the process of paying ungodly medical bills for her, and me. asking too much right now. I need her there at night.

I'm supposed to be in charge in this relationship: why can't I simultaneously have her by my side every night AND not feel guilt for demanding that?

Perhaps, if I'd been introduced to the girlfriend and we'd done SOME thing together (I have no idea what interest the three of us have in common), I might feel okay with sleepovers, say...three to six months into the relationship, as opposed to "on the third date".

Maybe if "no sleepovers" were something that was clear from the outset, that they're something that I determine when I'm okay with, this could be worked out, but to be fair I did NOT see this coming. And I am still REALLY angry that after I express the way they make me feel, she still asks at all.

I'm a pretty gregarious person, and believe in many cases that by asking, the worst a person can say is "no". In this case, I feel the net result of "yes" is worst than the net result of "no", which in turn would be worse than the net result of just not asking.

I think I'd be so much happier if I had said "day trips are all you get for right now". I mean, I work predictably late, and hell, I even get down to that area a couple times a week so things could be arranged easily. (As a side effect, the Day Trip theory would mean she'd have to get up in the morning to make the most of it, and I could drop her off at the train station in the morning).

And my mind goes more and more to the fact that, after I've gotten as comfortable as I have with having her being by my side every night as a CONSTANT, if I can't have that, I might as well prepare myself for the worst, and just start prepping to be without her. I fear that the answer isn't that I'll get comfortable with it, but that I'll just decide it's my way or the highway. I tend to be very polar on many things, and this is (to put it in CS terms) the leftmost bit on a signed int: it's NOT the bit she wants to flip.

With the same hurtful certainty that I was able to tell another of my subordinates "No, I don't love you", I can tell the monkey I do love her: this is not in question, but the goal of giving her anything I can think of that makes her feel more fulfilled is both hurting me, and giving her a get-out-of-guilt-free card, and for what I'm investing, I feel I deserve better than that.

I should not have to feel what I'm feeling right now. And I should NOT just have to suck it up and deal.

topthemonkey: (Default)

As mentioned in our last entry, the monkey and I are trying to adapt to poly.

I'm hurting about this. I'm feeling jealous and resentful, which, despite being my apparent right, makes me feel really, really unfair. Does a person have a "right" to feel jealous and resentful in poly? I'm not sure.

During some pillow-talk, I told her "I'm not going to give you a contract that says you can see this girl. I can only speak to my feelings now, and to my desires for you: I am not happy, but I can see you are, and that's important." I'm hoping I'll adapt. Then again, during that same pillowtalk, I told her that I also had no bias against this person, unlike a previous relationship I'd stopped the monkey short on, and had to assert benefit of the doubt. I mentioned to her that she's had numerous other friendships with people I loathe, so this is nothing new. I can only think of my friendship with the previous partner you just mentioned.

Put most harshly, my feelings are something along the line of: you can have permission, or you can have me happy with you right now. Pick one. That's also very black and white.

We sat down and found the time to talk about her new girlfriend, perhaps even enough for me to try and mentally arrange things in a way I'm comfortable with, a way that her new girlfriend (who is also dominant of her but not like the Top is, I'm not her slave, which she knows and respects) fits into my own dynamic, which is to say the "divorced parent" analogy. I think this analogy is far too harsh, and minimizes "Daddy'"'s role. Daddy pays child support and she lives with me, mommy cooks better and does better things. "Better things"? It would mean, quite frankly that I would be able to at the very least send an email to her saying "don't forget, the monkey has homework that needs to be done, please make time for this"...or something. (Note that the "mommy" and "daddy" titles are for the benefit of the reader: ageplay is not assumed here, on any party), although I do see the monkey in a somewhat adolescent light at times, I don't see her as inherently capable of taking care of herself, and I don't see her as capable of getting things she needs to done. This hurts me, though I know it's founded on much empirical evidence.

The monkey's expressed that this girl is respectful of our relationship, and has even gone so far as to leave notes for me thanking me...on the monkey. But either she didn't use a permanent enough marker or the monkey showered really, really well, because I wasn't able to see them. Which is a shame. It wasn't permanent, as she thought it was.

Of course, now, as I write this, the monkey is off on the other coast, having sex with someone else. Someone who paid her airfare so she could go out and visit friends. And all she could say to my objections is "you said it was okay." You gave me permission. I asked specifically, can I leave for these dates to go there and stay with this person. You said yes. I gave him the go-ahead to buy the tickets, he spent his money. It no longer involved just me. I made a commitment to another person, and he would not have gotten his money back; also, I think it's really rude to cancel on people at the last minute, particularly when it's a big thing that's planned. Which is just the world's biggest angry button for me. I previously have gotten angry responses when asked if she could get herself off and I said no. I think I responded angrily twice in over two years. I previously have said in frustration "do whatever you want", which meant "okay, let X rape you". (She concedes that I have good empirical evidence against her always being able to make the best relationship choices). "Always" should get more emphasis here I think.

And this time, I said it was okay because I felt guilt about making her cancel her family trip back over the holidays, and because travel is...uncomfortable at best for me (I'm heavy) so this is not something I can really do with her. But as she reminds me, I still said yes.

Yes, I said it was okay a month ago, and I had no idea the headspace or state our relationship would be in now: at a time when I most desired stability and reinforcement, and togetherness, and time to adapt to the new status quo, I get more of the same poly rammed down my throat, and I get to be without her. It's too much, too soon, and it's moving too fast for me. I didn't think I was ramming anything down your throat. I didn't realize these events would coincide.

In a recent conversation, she told me she'd rather have her girlfriend pick her up when she returns than see me immediately. That really hurt. This was based directly on an extremely hurtful private entry the Top had made that I had read that afternoon. 

It's making me question way much more than I'm comfortable with. I wanted to do things with her before she left, but there wasn't the time. I wanted to put her collar back on her, but I'm afraid of hurting her back or causing more problems with airport security.

I'm letting the hurt and the anger and the fear, uncertainty, and doubt shadow the love I know I have for her, and want to show her but can't. I hate this.

topthemonkey: (submissive)
We haven't made any public posts lately, but there have been several private ones. In a way, I think this violates what we set out to do, the openness we strive for; on the other hand, some things we're not ready to be open about yet.

I've started dating a woman who also lives in Silicon Valley. I am quite taken with her. My burgeoning relationship with her has caused a great deal of conflict with the Top. But it's good, in a way, I think, because it forces to the surface assumptions we had both made regarding our relationship. Things we need to talk about, adjustments we might need to make. I feel often like I don't know who I am anymore, and I don't like that. I struggle with becoming more independent, something he encourages, partly because there are specific ways he wants me to do this, other ways he wants me to remain very dependent.

And what "polyamory" means to both of us. I understand now why he has always pushed to have me be a part of scenes he has with other partners, why he has never taken me up on the just-them time I so often offered. To the Top, us being poly means bringing other people into our relationship. This is usually awkward for me, as I have little to no sexual and/or romantic interest in any of his other partners. I don't mind hanging out in a group, but I do mind sitting awkwardly on the couch reading a book while he gets his dick sucked, for example. It certainly doesn't help that we basically live in a studio apartment.

To me, poly means having more than one relationship, whether those other relationships involve one or both of us. My new relationship doesn't involve him. I'd love it if they could be friends, but I am deeply uncomfortable with the idea of making her part of my relationship with the Top. He would need her to be submissive to him, something she has no interest in doing. She has no interest in male partners other than her primary. I don't think they would "click" the way we have, and to try to force us all together would be incredibly problematic.

He has so much anger inside, regarding this, and I have so much fondness for her. It hurts. I am fiercely determined to walk away from neither of them. Whether either of them walks away from me is their choice, but I don't believe they will. The other night I seriously thought about what would happen to me if the Top and I weren't together anymore. I didn't like those thoughts or the feelings they inspired.

The Top and I are going to have a Talk(tm) and try to work out some of the bigger issues this has all brought to the forefront.
topthemonkey: (Default)
Last night the Top got very upset about the amount of clutter we have around the apartment. We define clutter differently, I think. He wants surfaces to be bare. He wants all papers put away. We have really limited space within the apartment and I will be the first to admit that my books are the primary problem right now. I need to let go, put more of them back in our storage unit along with one of the bookcases. I need to use the storage unit more often.

But the piles of paper are what really gets to him. So much of it is papers that need to be filed. So much of it is mine.

I've been kind of a crappy slave since we got run over, and though he has told me to take it slow, I know he's not pleased. He doesn't understand why I don't take pain killers, even if it's just Tylenol, when I'm, y'know, in pain. A big part of it is, frankly, I'm scared. I have a history of abusing pharmaceuticals and an extremely addictive personality. Another part of it is, taking them makes me feel weak.

I know the Top's upset last night wasn't entirely due to the clutter. I know it's because he cannot stand not feeling in control of his life, and his surroundings and me are what he most often uses to feel back in control. And right now, I think, he doesn't feel entirely in control of me. I've met a few people I'm starting to develop . . . something with, one in particular. And that makes the Top feel insecure, which hurts me, but I try to reassure him. I mean, that's at least what I think is going on lately.
topthemonkey: (Default)
Since the hit and run incident I've been feeling rather drained emotionally. My physical resources are going towards healing my body and that also lowers my emotional resources.

I do the vast majority of housework. I have no issues doing this. The problem comes when I'm physically unable to do housework. Then the Top does it, it goes undone, or I eventually just push myself to do it. The Top isn't used to doing housework, so it's not something he does automatically. I hate asking him to do anything. He pointed out that he often has to ask me more than once to do something (I am admittedly forgetful) so why shouldn't I do the same? Because it pains me. Because I have to force myself to ask him to do anything for me at all. Because it feels selfish and just plain wrong.

Neither the Top nor myself likes having a messy living space. We both have our breaking points, the degree of chaos we can tolerate before we jump in and just start manically taking care of things. I reached that point this morning. Similar things have happened before; I am unable to do housework, the Top says he'll do something, time passes and he doesn't, I get sick of it and do it myself, he gets upset with me for doing so. For me, breaking points often involve screaming and/or violence, generally towards myself. This time I screamed.

The Top hates it when I scream. It makes him want to hit me, scream back, tell me to shut up. It makes him feel like I'm a child, that I'm incapable of handling my problems. Then I get upset because after 2.5 years of being together, I would think that he'd have adapted somewhat to this. But then, I've seriously regressed emotionally in the past year or so. We've discussed this. He knows I've become less mature, capable, independent, largely because of our relationship. These are characteristics he has cultivated in me, characteristics that make him think less than of me. He has expressed astonishment when I have told him that there have been times in my life I have worked full-time, paid my own bills, exercised regularly.

I don't know what I'm doing with my life. I know I'm not doing something he approves of, or wants for me. I feel like I can't come out ahead. I feel like I'm in the wrong no matter what.
topthemonkey: (Default)
As some of you know, the Top and I were on the hit end of a hit and run. Crossing the street, 20-30mph limit, driver going at least 60. Didn't slow down or stop, nobody was able to give information beyond "truck with a camper attached" of which there are many in this area. We were taken to a local trauma center. The Top was discharged after several hours, but I was kept overnight for for observation. We're both basically all right, I'm a bit more banged up but he has 11 staples in his head.

As most of you know, I wear a locking collar made of solid titanium. This . . . was a problem. My neck was swelled and the collar was pressing against my skin on one side and the traction collar on the other side. Discomfort to the point of pain. Neither the Top nor myself had an allen key. There are locksmith people at the hospital apparently, but they were all gone for the night and unable to access the locksmith's tools. Bolt cutters wouldn't work, they said. They were able to take some scans of the area, but the collar interfered. The trauma staff were NOT happy with the situation. One said that it was the weirdest thing she had ever seen in trauma, which made me think she must be new. A co-worker who followed us to the hospital went to find a hardware store that was open so he could buy an allen key. Hospital staff were looking and someone finally found one that worked. Got more scans, found out my neck wasn't broken, relief all around.

Several times throughout the ordeal I commented that I never wanted to wear the "necklace" again. The Top has suggested that both of us keep an allen key on us, mine encased in glass so he would know if I used it. Honestly, I am hesitant to do even that. My neck is still in a lot of pain; sore, difficulty turning my head. I'm feeling kind of traumatizing from the whole thing, and there is a VERY strong connection in my mind still between that collar and incredible pain.

I had to have the collar taken off months ago for an x-ray. I expected to feel at least a bit out of sorts, but I wasn't at all. I haven't had any sort of collar on since the titanium one came off and I'm not eager to put one on before my neck feels better. I'd really like a collar I can wear everyday, put a padlock on, and use the titanium one for special occasions, like when we go to the local dungeon. But not anytime soon, I'm feeling a bit paranoid about having anything around my neck right now.


topthemonkey: (Default)

October 2012

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