How? (Freewriting)

How does one tell their boss “Your management style isn’t good for my mental health”? That’s not something people are used to articulating. But yet that’s what I find myself wanting to do.

Granted, my mental health hasn’t been ideal for awhile. I was doing a good job functioning reasonably well. Then there was that whole being triggered by an acquaintance’s suicide thing in September. Add to that the realization that my boss has done a lot of things that I know really aren’t ok because Kevin used to do very similar things to me right alongside the holidays. Not good. Thanks largely to my meds and my loves, I’ve managed to keep some of my marbles. I also forced myself to take time off work (yay FMLA) so I can start to get my head straight.

It wasn’t until I didn’t have to think about work did I realize just how lost I was. Can’t help but take it personally when someone tries to excuse their poor behavior on work stress. It’d be easier to be told that a person is struggling a little and is aware their behavior might not be completely on par and asks for patience. Exact same situation, different attitude. You’ve got it rough? I feel for ya. You’re gonna use that as justification to treat me poorly and tell me not to take it personally? I’d prefer not to continue to be in that kind of a situation.

I know what I’m capable of, and all I want to do is grow, not fall back into accepting less that I deserve.

Sometimes, Wanting To Get Married Isn’t About Marriage


There used to be this notion that a widow/er had to wait a specific amount of time after their spouse died to date again.  I’ve contended for about a decade that the only two people who truly understand a marriage are the two people who are in it.  Alongside that, when that marriage is over for whatever reason, the choice if and when to date is solely up to the individual.

I never set out to get into another relationship after Kevin died, but I never thought I’d meet anyone like my Sweetie.  He’s a wonderful man and wasn’t scared off by my widowhood label.  We enjoyed each other’s company and were kind to each other.  We’re still that way, but as time passed, we fell in love.

About a year and a half after Kevin died, I began to have a new thought when cuddling with my Sweetie:  “Marry me.”  I knew that there was something more to that thought than wanting to be a wife again.  There had to be–I knew that I didn’t want to get married again (still don’t).  I was finally finding autonomy and was just starting to comprehend how obligation in a relationship was a breeding ground for resentment.

As those thoughts kept happening over the next few months, I started to take note of them and see if there was a pattern.  There was–in that moment,  I felt bliss.  I was starting to build a new life with my Sweetie where I didn’t have to give up anything.  I could love someone without having to amend my true self, and I was offering the same kind of love in return.  I felt content, loved, and happy to a degree I never imagined feeling after Kevin died.  I didn’t want those moments to end.

Upon further introspection, I realized that “marry me” actually meant “I’m so happy being with you in this moment and I want to capture this feeling forever.”

I extended that thought a bit more–is that why so many people rush into marriages that end up failing? It made sense. The notion of romance is alive and well, and we love a good fairy tale. Who wouldn’t want to see a movie of a woman who had a tumultuous relationship with a genius, lose him to suicide, and meet someone again who helps her heal and they get married? I might. But willingly choose that path? Nope. Fiction can be tinkered with to near perfection, but time goes by too quickly for that luxury.


Well, I was kinda surprised to find this draft. I’d completely forgotten about this draft that never got posted. I think back then, it was a little bit too personal. Or I simply forgot about it, as I got a job a couple days after I started the draft.

Marriage is a different thing for me now. I’d love to get married, but the kind of marriage I’m after isn’t available in my country. For now, in addition to Sweetie, there is Darling. We’ve got this neat little Triad going and it’s going quite well. It would be ridiculous to think of only two of us marrying each other. It’s tempting to want to make a test case of plural marriage, but that’s a battle I’m not willing to fight. My relationship is not a test case, but a relationship, and I don’t want to attract attention because I feel like society has to legitimize my relationship. We’re so not there yet as a society, unfortunately. Expanding domestic partnerships to more than two people is a start. That would be huge in giving people in poly relationships legal protection without having to string together the proper paperwork.


Laughing at myself for not posting this yet. I’m learning that it’s better to get the thoughts out as coherently as possible, rather than to let something sit and never get expressed. I started writing again because I loved it and I missed it.

Surviving Amour Fou #5: The May/December Thing

I just finished reading Priscilla Presley’s book about her time with Elvis. Last year, I bought Mayte Garcia’s audiobook about her time with Prince. Sure, Kevin was just an excellent tech, not a worldwide musical sensation. . . but I saw some similarities that had nothing to do with profession. So it got me thinking.

I want to address the May/December Thing as a relationship between two human beings. While the stereotypical dynamic is that May is a young woman and December is an older man, this is not always the case. What I’m speaking about is May being under 25 and at least 10 years younger than December. Sure, our society applauds Ms. Decembers who find themselves a Mr. May, but feminism does not mean that it’s okay for women to be predators as well. (Not all Decembers are predators, but it’s a potential red flag May needs to know about.)

Full disclosure: I was a May, as I was barely 21 when I met Kevin, who was 33. My current loves are over 10 years younger than I am, but we’re all over 30. I did not fully comprehend this dynamic’s downsides until after Kevin was dead. (Gotta love that 20/20 hindsight!)

I fully understand that it’s hard to convince May not to be with December. Those who tried to warn me were thanked for their concern and my opinion did not change. I knew I had to be with Kevin, full stop. It’s a powerful feeling, to be May and find yourself being admired by December.

Perhaps you’ve always felt like an old soul, and here’s your proof at last? While it may seem that age doesn’t matter, in important ways, it kinda does. The thing to remember is that December’s brain has finished growing and May’s still has a little ways to go. December also doesn’t have the trappings of youth, and can offer needed perspective to May. It’s not unique to December, though–anyone slightly older is going to have that kind of insight.

The attention can become addicting for both May and December. May’s still learning to process these types of emotions, and December is intoxicated by a chance to revisit youth. May’s initial surge of clinginess is both flattering and annoying to December. This is where watching out for that red flag comes in handy. December, don’t make May jump through hoops in order to contact you. If you need to put up healthy boundaries, go for it.

May’s also facing a lifetime of adulthood, which is frightening. December offers a way out of the typical young adulthood struggle. The more uncertain May is about what direction in life to head, the more attractive a life with December appears. You just get absorbed into that life, and start to make it your own. There’s not much wrong with that, as long as you’re also encouraged to have whatever interests and friends you had before December walked into your life. It’s not good to make one person your whole life like that while you’re still trying to figure out who you are.

So be in love and enjoy it, May. Just keep your eyes open and know not to give up your individuality in order to make December happy. Also know that if you have to leave, it’s ok to do so. December existed before you and they will exist afterwards.

Oh, and December? May must have things in their life that have nothing to do with you. Don’t share one of May’s interests? Find something to do while they’re away. Keep this in mind: If you create a dynamic where May ends up resenting you, the sex will suffer. (That motivation enough?)

Love, but don’t control. Love, but don’t lose yourself.