Saturday, February 24, 2007


Couple of really cool things happened this week.

Three, actually; the third thing is that I got a job. Money is bloody essential at this point and I even like the job, so nearly unalloyed good news, but my online time has been drastically cut back. I'll still try to post here a couple times a week, though.

The really cool things, though. Both sort of small scale, but just ... nice.

Round about Monday or so, Ray and I decided to slip off for a bit of nookie. We usually try to at least let Tim know (and invite him along if so inclined) -- I'm still always a little nervous about excluding one or the other of them, so I try to be careful about it. Tim wasn't so inclined but certainly didn't object to our fun, and I bent down and whispered in his ear that I loved him. So did Ray, which was cute enough as it was, but Tim smiled up at us and said, 'And I love you both'.

You both. It was so sweet and perfect and he just said it as if it were perfectly normal. Which for us, it is.

And then there's Ray. I'm getting awfully fond of him. I've spent some time thinking about how I feel about him, and wondering if 'liking' has slipped over into 'love' and being fairly cautious about things. I've said the L word unwisely before and I want to be really, really sure, this time.

Last night I got Ray connected to a chat thing full of people who are very dear to me. And they thanked him for being part of what's made me so happy out here in Colorado. He got to talking with a few of them about gaming; he's putting together a game for a few of us and wanted some advice. In the discussion it came out that he's been pretty nervous about GMing -- which I didn't know; he's seemed pretty confident about it all so far -- but, he said, he's had a lot of help with the confidence. As he put it, he has two people who love him unconditionally helping him out with things and believing in him.

There have been lots and lots of times where reading that would have squicked me. How dare he assume he knows how I feel? How dare he assume that? I'd've felt trapped, as if I had to pretend to those feelings whether I had them or not. As if I'd led him on.

I sat there and thought, 'Wow. He knows. He understands.

I do love him. I don't know if I'm in love with him yet, but I do love him.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Becoming myself again

I recently left a not-particularly-healthy relationship. I'm not going to take all the blame for its failure, and neither am I going to heap all the blame on my ex; we both bear responsibility for it. I've spent the last few months discovering all the damage I suffered over the last fifteen years, and slowly beginning to heal it.

See, somehow I'd gotten to this point where Lewis's approval was more important to me than my own opinion of my life and what I was doing. So the least little 'failure' on my part would send me into paroxysms of guilt and shame. He didn't help with this; he had an unfortunate tendency to point out the bad at the expense of the good, and then to overreact to said bad.

His first words upon coming home from work were more often 'this place is a wreck' or 'all I smell is litterbox' or 'aren't you making dinner tonight' than something more loving like 'hi honey, I'm home, how was your day'. I longed for the occasional times he did express a bit of that love, and eventually got to the point where I'd put up with any amount of yelling and grumpitude, then excuse it after a kind word because 'see, he does love me and so it's okay'.

Then there were the times he'd come home and I hadn't scooped the litter boxes, or hadn't made dinner, or some other 'failing'; and he'd had a bad day at work, or a tough ride home; and where I might say 'hey, I've had a really crappy day, I'm going to go and hide in my room for a while so I'm not an asshole' he'd just explode, yelling over the least little thing and blaming me for his mood. Eventually he did begin to tell me, once he'd cooled down hours later, that the problem wasn't actually me; but by then the damage had been done. If I messed up, I got yelled at, and that was the lesson I learned.

So I've a fear of messing up, and I've had a very hard time not carrying this over to my relationships with Tim and Ray. Much more Tim than Ray, since in a lot of ways Tim reminds me very much of my ex (fortunately not in the bad ways!). I've caught myself cringing from fear of Tim getting upset at me for something like making the wrong thing for dinner. I know in my head that he won't; he's happy enough just to not have to cook himself, and quite frankly he eats just about anything. But that fear is still there. My rational mind can say 'he's not like that' all it wants, but in the back of my head I still expect a scolding.

He's caught me at it, too. I've done something dumbassed but minor any number of times and then stood there, cringing, and he'll quietly and patiently tell me I've done nothing to apologize for. And then, half the time, he'll lean over and lick my nose or something smartassed like that. Even Ray's caught me doing it once or twice; and they both do their part towards pushing me to make my own decisions.

And I've made progress. I've made decisions for me; big ones, like 'which job am I going to take'. I've made decisions for the lot of us. Mostly small ones, like 'what's for dinner' or 'where are we going today' (though 'what's for dinner' has a lot of baggage for me) but one fairly big one, that being 'we're getting Tim to the hospital now'.

I've made progress in other ways, too. Tim can say 'hey, you're doing a thing that annoys me' and instead of groveling and apologizing and feeling as if I've been Bad I simply apologize and try not to do it again. He can say 'when you get home we have something to talk about' and I'm not terrified until the conversation happens. This stuff? It's all pretty new.

I caught myself while I was back in Pennsylvania for Christmas. I was having a bit of trouble breathing; there's more oxygen in the air, but all the extra humidity in the air apparently sets off my asthma now. I looked at myself and said 'I need to get into shape'. The problem was when I wondered if I could get enough exercise in a week to make enough of a difference that Tim would notice it.

And then I caught myself. I'm not doing this for Tim. I'm doing it for me. Could I get enough exercise that I would notice the difference?

Which I didn't manage (though I have done so since then). But the mental shift was more important, right then, than beginning the exercise program.

It's a small step; they're all small steps. But each one is a step and each one gets me closer to being me

And I could say that every small step is one step closer to me and Tim and Ray all in a happy triad...and that'll be a lovely thing if it works out, but that's not what it's about. It's about me becoming me.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Late, late night.

So Tim's been sick as anything. Coughing, achy, fever going up and down and up and down and up and down. Course he didn't tell me about the history of spiking fevers with delirium until last night, so I wasn't too worried until then -- as soon as he said that, I knew I was going to be staying at his and Ray's place for the night instead of my apartment.

For those still catching up, Tim is the gay man mentioned in my earlier post, and my lover. Perhaps an odd thing for a woman to say, but the situation is an odd thing. He's perfectly capable of appreciating a pretty woman; it's the typical female way of thinking that's not attractive to him, and apparently I'm sufficiently male in my thought processes that I count as a guy in his world. Which is fine by me; nay, bloody brilliant. Mostly I try not to think about it too hard, in case it stops working.

Ray is his boyfriend. Ray's more into girls (and he's plenty into me, and vice-versa) but somehow Tim and he work just fine. I did say it was an odd thing, didn't I?

Ray means well, but he also sleeps pretty deeply, and hasn't got a lot of experience with fevers. I do, and I sleep lightly, so I figured I'd crash on the couch and if I heard Tim talking to orcs (which is what he did the last time he had a bad fever), I'd haul his butt to the hospital.

Tim couldn't sleep, so he alternated between lying in bed for a while and snuggling with me on the couch. And the fever went up, and down, and up, and down, and never quite reached 102 but kept coming close. And then the fever would break and he's shiver and I'd wrap the blanket around him and hold him close and pray. And then it'd go up and he'd moan and sweat and ... it was awful.

Probably would have been fine had the thermometer not broken. I can tell if he's warmer than usual but I can't judge it finely enough, so that was when I decided it was time for the hospital run. Woke up Ray, got everyone bundled up and into the car, and off we went.

Which was the part I hadn't been looking forward to. I don't like hospitals much anyway, and on top of that there was the possibility of them giving Ray and I a hard time when we both wanted to stay with Tim.

Which they totally didn't. Didn't blink, didn't look at us funny. Nothing.

Ray went to deal with the financial stuff while I helped Tim out with the triage nurse. He was hanging on pretty hard but I could tell the fever was making him fuzzy-brained. Ray wasn't done when Tim and I went back, but they readily agreed to go and get Ray when he was done with the money.

And there we waited. And I know anyone paying any much attention could tell what was going on. Ray and I holding hands, then Tim and I holding hands, then Tim and Ray holding hands, depending on who was where and needed a hand to hold. I fell asleep against Ray at one point. Ray expresses anxiety by hanging onto Tim and telling him he loves him so I know they got a good eyeful of that. And? Not a blink, not a mutter, not an odd look. Everyone who came in quite deliberately addressed all three of us.

The best part, though, was the way the three of us worked as a team throughout the whole situation. It's what we've been trying for, but it's hard. Tim and I are used to working together; Tim and Ray are used to working together. Ray and I are still getting to know each other (though it's going very, very well so far). And integrating the three of us into a whole has had fits and starts, great leaps forward and a few backward. It's slowly getting better, though. Little by little.

And that's fine. We don't want to rush it; we don't want to rush into anything. I've spent years and years trying to find the right two people to be with and have had it fail terribly every single time before now. I don't want to mess this up; it's got far too much potential to be very, very good.

And Tim? Ibuprofin is keeping the fever under control. He's got a mild case of pneumonia but we caught it early and he's already on drugs. And they gave him a nebulizer treatment for his wheezing.

See, his father has severe emphysema. Can't even visit Tim in Colorado because there simply isn't enough oxygen in the air. Has to do a nebulizer treatment every couple hours or so. Eventually, and probably fairly soon, that emphysema will kill him.

Tim's been trying to quit smoking for years. Hasn't smoked for a couple of days anyway, since he's been so sick. But that nebulizer treatment? Really drove home that if he doesn't do something about it, he's going to be his father. So he's said 'this time, for sure' and I'm going to do what I can to help him stick with that.

I'm at their place now, even though Tim and Ray are both asleep. I don't need to be; Tim's fever is well under control and Ray doesn't seem to be coming down with it. But I just feel better here, where my two men are, blogging and catching up with email, and sneaking into the bedroom every once in a while just to watch them sleep.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In the interests of all bigendered folks everywhere...

The four links at the bottom of this post reference a very lovely story I first saw run by the BBC last week. Seems in the process of signing folks up for the upcoming elections, they ran across one Chanda Musalman. Physically male, but considered by herself and the rest of the village to be female, Chanda asked the election team to simply erase the terms 'male' and 'female' on her form. Not only did they oblige, they instead wrote in 'both'.

Wouldn't it be cool to be able to put 'both' on your records where it says 'gender'?

(Okay, for those of us who are, anyway.)

They haven't yet worked out how this will affect Chanda's marriage rights. With luck, they'll decide that 'both' means 'she can marry anyone', not 'she can marry nobody' (or, I suppose, 'she can marry another "both" but that's it').

I note with amusement that the BBC carefully avoided using any pronouns whatsoever when referring to Chanda. I use the female pronoun, of course; that's the way she thinks of herself. Another story, this one in the India Times, makes this clearer than the BBC story -- Chanda 'dressed up as a woman and danced at weddings and other social functions in Nepal's Terai plains' -- though that same story persistently refers to Chanda as 'he' and 'him'. quotes one Sunil Pant, head of Nepal's Blue Diamond Society, as referring to Chanda as a 'metis'. I'd only ever heard the term used in Werewolf: the Apocalypse but like so many other thigns it seems they stole it from elsewhere. In Nepal, apparently, 'metis' is defined as 'a man who dresses and identifies as a woman'. Whether or not it's considered derogatory I don't know, though I doubt Sunil meant it that way. In any case, he was the one who encouraged Chanda to 'demand the citizenship that truly represents themselves, not as a man or a women but as transgender'. This article uses 'she' and 'her' for Chanda, not surprisingly for a site that's likely a bit more open to the concept than the India Times. MSN wins points for being the only mainstream news organization I've run into so far which does as well.

Rather to my surprise I haven't come across anyone denouncing the decision. I'm sure it'll come; in the meantime, I'm just gonna sit back and dream of 'both'ness.


I am a bisexual woman with occasional delusions of maleness, in a loving relationship with a gay man, who's in a loving relationship with another man, who's really more interested in women but makes the occasional exception. (We're hoping to close the triangle, so to speak, but that's another day's weirdness.) I frequently occupy a chat room filled with transwomen, women like me who really want nothing more some days than a cock to call their very own, and an assortment of other odd and kinky sorts. I can name you four five seven long-term stable triads offhand, and if I sit and think about it I can probably add a couple more. I've participated in a lot of attempts to add to that total, with, alas, fairly ugly results.

I say all this not in an attempt to add to my queer cred, cos I'm not worried about that. Sometimes, though, it's of use to write it all out and then just sit back and look at the weirdness that's become my life.

It's a pretty instructive weirdness at times, I'll admit. I can't think of a lot of situations you could throw at me that would, well, throw me. Except that my own life throws me on a pretty regular basis, and as I doubt I'm the only one out there, I figured that writing about it would help, and so would putting it out there where anyone can have a look if they like.