Category Archives: cefyn

Perspective: The Mountain Analogy

When this whole situation first began, I saw it as a mountain. The peak was a long way up, but you could see the sky behind it, clear and crisp and beautiful, and you knew that as long as you kept putting one foot in front of the other you’d reach the top. Then you’d get to the top and the descent would be so graceful and easy with the bottom in sight that you’d forget how hard it was to reach the top. And reaching the other side of the mountain is what it’s all about, in the end.

We reached the top and I had a brief moment of triumph before I saw the way down. On the way down there’s a forest in the way. It’s so tall that it blocks out the sky, and so thick that you can’t see more than a few metres ahead. It’s depressing that you don’t know how much further you’ve got to go so you focus on the few metres in front of you and it’s tough because there are all these roots. It’s dark and gloomy and you trip because you don’t know where to put your feet. I’m remembering what the sky was like on the way up and wondering why I was ever in such a hurry to get down the other side. The journey to the top was hard, sure, but it still had all the hope of what was to come. And I could see what I was doing and where I was going and remember why. This… well this is just horrid.

And in this forest, it’s so difficult to forget that the ground underfoot slopes downwards. That each tree you pass and each root you step over is one that you need not think of again. That each step takes you closer to the other side and that when you get out the other side you’ll see the sky again. And better than that, the air is thicker because you’re lower down and it’s easier to breathe. It isn’t as cold and there are flowers blooming down the slopes. And at the very bottom you can see a little tea shop so that you can have a piece of cake and take stock and pat yourself on the back and decide that you never want to do something like that again.

But most of all, because you’re so focussed on not slipping up, you forget about the person with you. The person that made you want to make the journey at all. The person who on the way up was always so clearly right beside you and when you tripped they just reached out a hand and helped you up. In here they’re busy with their feet too and they keep tripping too and you want to reach out and help them but you’ll fall over yourself if you do. And it’s only in those moments when they trip that you look up and realise they’re still there. And you wish you could help them and get you get frustrated because they’re just out of reach. You get so lost in the forest that you forget about everything else.

Then you reach a bit with a clearing, and the sky peeks through, and it’s just as clear and beautiful as you remember and you wonder why you didn’t think of it before. You’re on steady ground for a moment and you can stop and catch your breath. You take the hand of the person that you’ve been unable to touch because you both got bogged down in stuff and the sunshine sends down shimmering rays that light up their face and you get lost in awe at how beautiful they look and how warm and soft their hands are. And you look at the rest of the forest and how much further there is to go and a strange peace comes over you. You’ve haven’t forgotten how difficult the rest of the journey has been but it doesn’t matter. This next bit is all that matters. And as long as you’re together you’ll get out the other side. So you squeeze their hand and steel yourself and carry on, because now that you’re here, you’re damn well going to finish what you’ve started. You’re going to conquer the mountain.

That tea shop is going to be so, SO good. Because you’ve fucking earned it.

My Erotic Family and Me

I originally posted this at eroticmeet.net but it’s in keeping with what I’ve going on here so I wanted to add it anyway. I added an extra surprise on the Erotic Meet version but if you want to see that you’ll have to go check it out for yourself. 😉

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This is a different kind of Erotic Meet Write Up. It’s also very long, so please be patient.

When I first went to an Erotic Meet in May, I was interested in meeting other people who were trying to make their way in this business we call Erotica. I wanted to learn about websites, and how to write better, and how to get published, and how to convince myself that one day I will make my fortune as a writer. I went to the second meet because I’d had so much fun at the first, even though it took me three hours to get there and three hours to get back and I only got an hour and a half in the pub when I got there. I already felt part of a thing that I couldn’t miss out on.

I went to my third meet up a different person. I was not a happy camper at home and the family at Erotic Meet were becoming some kind of haven where I could express all the things I wanted without being reproached. There were a whole boatload of experiences I wanted out of that weekend and I didn’t get any of them (for one reason or another). But I was still there primarily professionally and I came away having networked and I was happy with that.

Erotic Meet started to change after that. It got very big. It wasn’t just a networking place any more. It was a social event. Admittedly it was always social, but I got a bit upset because I didn’t feel these two things should be mutually exclusive. There were a couple of people that really got me cross because I felt they’d missed the point. The first Meet that I missed was the beginning of the stage show but I couldn’t help but feel that as a writer of fiction looking to make money out of my words, I was being edged out by people that just wanted to be kinky and meet people they could talk about filthy sex with.

The next meet that I went to was the first one with Cefyn. And that was when Erotic Meet changed for me. I hadn’t written for a while because I’d been moving house and splitting up with my husband and starting a new job and watching my life implode as Cefyn told me he was married and that he was fucking off with his wife for a month to let me mull over that news. I didn’t need a networking event. I needed the family of people that have taken me in as a kindred spirit and cuddle me and love me and keep me going when the rest of the world is difficult. Cefyn had never had that kind of family before. I think it was a big eye opener for him. We went away as two people not sure quite what was going on and came away as a couple knowing what our future should be like. Erotic Meet will do that to you.

I think we Erotic types are a bit different to other people. You’ll have to forgive me if I’ve got this completely wrong (and please let me know) but I have a theory. We’re not afraid of talking about sex. We write about it, we think about it, we revel in it. Our love of sex isn’t what makes us different. We are able to openly express an intimate connection with sex that most people are too scared to admit they even have. But what makes us different is that our open expression of sex equates to a comfort in our own skin that most people don’t have. We understand our desires and we’re okay with them. Is that fair? I’m not saying this in a “everyone else is wrong” or “we’re better than everyone else” kind of way. I don’t really want to imply there is an “us” and a “them,” even though there kind of is because most of us are leading double lives to express these desires so openly. Which means that this comfort in our own skin for a lot of us only exists when we are together. Not necessarily around the “normal” people that we live and work and socialise with on a regular basis.

What I’m trying to say is that being together is an incredibly powerful experience. And for me, this has kind of taken over as a main reason for coming to London. The networking is valuable. I’m making a name for myself. But more than that, I’m putting faces to the Twitter handles that get me through my day to day. I come to meet and laugh and just be with the people that really get me.

This Erotic Meet just gone was the first weekend that Cefyn and I have had together since we came to London for Erotica in November. I had a vague awareness that we were all over each other like a rash and it probably comes across that we’re like that all the time but the truth is we were making up for lost time. (This is not to say we’re not like that when we’re together the rest of the time, just that we don’t have a heck of a lot of time in which to do it.) I was a wreck and I knew it. I was in constant pain because I’d spent two weeks slicing my arms open and whilst I anticipate everyone would have been understanding, I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I wasn’t really me. I was trying to be me, but I couldn’t work out how. It was nice to see everyone but I felt detached from reality.

Then along came Molly. I cannot tell you how much time I have for this woman. She keeps me and Cefyn going so much just by text that being in the same room as her has a kind of soothing effect. I can’t hide from Molly because she gets inside my brain. I often think she knows my thoughts better than I do. Which she has every qualification to be able to do, as it happens, having been there… but anyway. I digress. Molly made me cry and I let her, for which I am very grateful. I find crying one of the most cathartic things on the planet. I do it a lot. You may notice.

And actually, that was the high point of my evening. After that I “found myself” a bit. There were loads of other things that were awesome about this meet. I met a whole ton of new people, Rose and Black Silk Blog (and perfectlytwistd, it turns out!) amongst them. I stood in a corner getting very cosy with Lady Grin Soul and Cefyn (more to come on that one.) I caught up with the rest of the “family” – Liz and Annie and Shalla and Josh and ILB and Jilly Boyd (and many more besides that I will clearly have forgotten to mention. Please don’t take it personally). I spent a lot of time hanging outside passively smoking with John-Joe-Stu and Lady Grin Soul and discussing deep issues like how we cope with stuff. I realised that we’re all broken in one way or another and that is an after effect of being painfully “real” people. I left the after-party with a handprint on my ass that was still there when I got home on Sunday.

But if anything sums up my evening, it is that talk with Molly. It epitomises everything that Erotic Meet is about for me – helping each other get through the ridiculous things we expect of ourselves that everyone in the “normal” world just doesn’t get. And that goes so, so much further than trying to make a living out of writing smut.

Sleepwalking

I wrote this for a Wank Wednesday prompt or a Fuck Me Friday thing last year (document is dated Friday 12th August 2011), but I could bring myself to post it because it wasn’t fiction. I was scared of what it meant. I’m not scared any more.

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I never realised I was asleep until you woke me.

Perhaps I had been drifting for a long time. Perhaps it was mere moments. You found me in a place where I was nothing. I was not feeling, not doing, perhaps not even living. I was just there, and then you came and took my hand and whisked me away and my eyes opened and suddenly there was a world, where before there had not been anything.

I was a sleepwalker. I was just filling space, following patterns and plans that I was barely even aware of. I did not see. I did not know where or what or why. I was a leaf being tossed about by the breeze, going here and there without control, without purpose. That was before you.

You awoke things in me that I had never known before. Some of them were things I think I had dreamed, but not really expected could be real. Some of them were entirely new things, beyond my imagination or my experience. You led me through them all, images and sounds and emotions that flew past at immeasurable speed. You filled me and stretched me and I began to change into something new, into something real.

At first I was terrified. I did not understand. I was scared of what I was becoming, scared of the things that you were showing me and the things that you were making me feel. I was scared of me and the changes I was beginning to see. I was no longer content just to be; I needed to live or there was no point. I did things for me because I wanted to. I was not controlled by someone else’s rules or desires. I was free to be what I wanted, to do what I wanted, to love and fuck and live by my own predisposition, not the whims of another.

I don’t really know who you are. I don’t know if you planned to wake me, or if you stumbled on me by chance. I don’t know if you freed me because of me, or if I was merely a side effect of the ease with which you flowed through life, not a leaf but the breeze itself, buffeting and guiding and caressing everything in your path. I don’t think I can ever repay you for what you did except by breathing each breath as a tribute to you.

Thank you.

Never So Deeply Entrenched

I wrote this on Monday about last weekend and I feel the need to post it now:

This weekend – starting from Thursday, really – has been about rediscovering myself. I cried a lot on Thursday night. I was so exhausted I couldn’t help it. It was just so damn long since we’ve had the time to be us that I had forgotten what it felt like. I looked back over the past few months – the weekends that I have spent seething and physically unable to speak to him because the sheer awfulness of the situation means I physically can’t breathe. The days that I spend constantly looking at my phone to see if he’s messaged me. The black hole that happens when he finishes work and I know that he can’t talk to me any more because she will be in the way. The nights lately that I have spent cutting myself because I don’t understand what’s going on or who I am or why I feel so bad.

And I realised that I have stopped looking forward. It has been so difficult just to live from one end of the day to the other that I do not have the energy left to remember why I am doing it. When he was lying there in my arms I thought about how much different life will be when he is free from this. That I will be able to spend my weekends with him, not wishing that he could be free to text me. That when he holds me in his arms I don’t have to cling to him because I don’t know when the next time will be. I don’t have to cry when he leaves because I hate knowing what he’s going home to. And in the distant future, I can imagine not having to leave at all. When I say goodbye to him it will be until later, not until next week. I won’t have to think about the nights I spend without him because there won’t be nights that I spend without him.

I’m reminding myself about this now because it took less than a week to get so mired down in all the crap that we’re involved in that I lost sight of it again already. I am lying awake feeling like I shouldn’t want this future that makes us so happy because of the pain it will cause him to achieve it. I have spent all week selfishly pushing and pushing him because I cannot bear to live without him and only this afternoon has the enormity of his task really hit me. I should be more patient. I should accept that he’ll do it in his own time. I shouldn’t constantly expect him to have done something – anything – to sort stuff out because he is the one dealing with it, not me.

Except then I remember that it is not just my future I am selfish for. It is his. If I needed reminder that he needs to go through with this then I just have to remember how I felt watching him with Her when I met Her for the first time last year. Once I’d had a few days to process I wrote this email to Cefyn:

When you first said you were married, it was a shock, but lots of things made sense. Of course you’d be married, you’re such a wonderful, sweet guy that any woman would be lucky to have you. It took me a while to get my head around the bits of you that aren’t what I thought and I eventually realised that you haven’t changed, because you were completely you all along, and you’ve rarely told outright lies to protect your position, just omitted information when you’ve reminisced about stuff etc. That’s why I didn’t flip when you told me. In my head I knew that you being married doesn’t change anything between us.

That was step one. The next bombardment of questions was why you’d kept it a secret and why you hadn’t walked away if you were so unhappy. Combined with the way you talk about Her sometimes and the fact you’ve been together so long, and I really didn’t understand why you didn’t just work it out with her. I didn’t believe that I could really be so much better than Her that you’d pick me. I was afraid to hope that you’d pick me over her, because you’ve got so much history and it’d be so difficult to split that I expected you to realise that I wasn’t worth the effort. I thought I was going to be stuck in limbo forever while you kept me on the side to supplement your marriage. And if you’d said that’s how it’s going to be, I would have stuck it out while it lasted and it would have been good but it wouldn’t have been forever…

Meeting Her was a difficult experience. I think those were the longest 16 hours of my life for a very long time. She is nice enough, but the little jabs at the end of every other sentence grated on me. What was worse was seeing you – like there was a bit of you missing. There was a little bit of deadness about you and it terrified and upset me more than I thought possible. Still I didn’t understand why you didn’t just leave her or ask her not to pick on you like that. I don’t like you being a doormat. It doesn’t suit you. It’s taken me these last few days to realise that you genuinely don’t notice much of it, and that doesn’t reassure me much but I’m glad to know you take it better than I did.

Now I’m starting to see where I fit. This is probably going to come out all narcissistic or something, but I’m not perfect, just trying to make sense of stuff. I didn’t see that Irish stifled my ambition until my workmates started to ask me and I got embarrassed to talk about him. I thought there might be more to sex but I didn’t look for it until I started having graphic dreams about Little Man and ultimately embarked on my journey of awakening with you. I didn’t know that Irish and I didn’t really talk or have things to do together until I spent week after week being late for everything because we talk so flipping much. When I spoke about you very early on in our fling I said “I’m kinda gutted I didn’t meet you first,” and someone stopped me and said “that’s not what it’s about.” And back then, it wasn’t, but I realise now how much I meant those words. I was genuinely surprised that I had never realised before how much we have in common, how much you embody all the things I always wanted from a guy and had convinced myself that I couldn’t have.

I see now that you weren’t happy with Her and you weren’t looking for someone to take you away from her, just someone to help you live with her. I realise that even though it has taken you much longer than me to reach breaking point, your reasons are the same as mine – I left Irish not for you, but because you made me realise that I could never live with him knowing all the things that I’m missing. You’re starting to find the strength inside you to say that enough is enough and you’re finding it because I’ve already proved it possible. It just took time for you to get that far… I have faith that you’ll leave Her because you’ve changed – what wasn’t possible before is possible now. Whilever you hold onto the life that you have now, that spark that I see whenever I’m with you, you cannot live with how things are any more. You’ll need to remind me of that when I can’t bear to see you in pain and want you to forget about me so that things will be easier. And you need to remember that when you feel comfortable with how things are – it’s only temporary. I could cope with Irish when I was embroiled in it and then I fell apart whenever I went away and had to come back…

So you see, this is going to work. Because absolutely nothing has changed since I wrote that email. If anything, it is even more apparent that Cefyn and I cannot live without each other. The reality is even harder than we had both expected. But the prize has not changed. It is still just as incredible and just as rewarding as it always was. It’s just a little bit harder to see because there’s so much pain and so much stuff in the way before we get there.

The title of this post is only half finished. It should read “never so deeply entrenched that I cannot find a way to fix my eyes on the prize.” And I will. I’m going to hold it to my heart like my life depends on it.

Fragile

It’s fragile, this thing that we have. Sometimes I feel we are strong enough to survive anything and other times I think that we only have so long until we shatter and that will be the end of us.

Something happened over the weekend that I probably shouldn’t write too much about here, but it made us both aware just how quickly we could be over. Thankfully I worked through it and he forgave me, but I can’t forget the look in his eyes when he said “this is what I’m afraid of, that I could lose you so easily.” And I realised that perhaps he could, and I cried like a baby. I was scared for both of us.

Today it is my turn to realise how easily I could lose him. He has so many admirers that I often cannot bear to watch. I managed about 24 hours following all the things that get tweeted at him over the course of the day before my insecurity ate me up and I realised that for my sanity I need to not know. I feel that they resent me. They see him and how amazing he is, how romantic and poetic and deeply devoted to me he is, and then when they see what he is devoted to, they see… me. And what am I? Scared to be vulnerable, only sometimes able to express how much I love him. I’m still working through a lifetime of not being worthy of love and affection and sometimes he is so much to me that I shut away, incapable of processing just how wonderful he is. And I think they see someone who is cold, someone who doesn’t appreciate him when they would, someone who mistreats him for trying to be loving. Someone completely unworthy of being the object of his affection.

What they don’t see is how hard I am trying to learn to let him love me. How hard I try to be someone who deserves him. You think I don’t see how amazing he is and wonder every day what on earth he is doing with me? How much I want desperately to feel that it is only his approval that matters. My biggest fear is that someday he will listen to them and instead of saying “I’m very lucky,” he will say “you know what, I’d be better off with someone who appreciates me more,” and then he will leave me. All I have done to earn their scorn is have him love me, and yet I carry it around with me like a noose, just waiting for the moment when it will hang me for not being “good enough” for him.

Stuck Record Syndrome

Last night I started writing a post and it got hijacked by a completely different set of worries, but I wanted to come back to my point. So here is where the post should have gone, after I’d mentioned Boy, exactly as my train of thought took me.

The issue Boy is so huge that I want to out it. It would be the most massive step I think I’ve ever made. But I think that with so much going on I shouldn’t get into this. I need Cefyn’s support and he isn’t around much as he has his own shit. Why does he continue to let it persist?

There are times when I think I’m going to explode if I have to keep waiting. I don’t know what his problem is. I would be going completely nuts if I were him. We haven’t spoken much at all lately because we’re both busy at work and she is being clingy in the evenings. I’m trying very hard to have my own life that I’m happy with and I’m not jumping at every opportunity to be in touch with him, which I think is a good thing. We’ve got a bit of distance between us. I’ve told him that if he hasn’t (at least) told her he wants to leave by the end of January then I’m not going to talk to him again until he’s sorted it.

If I’m going to cut him off at the end of the month I need to know that I can live without him. Shit, but that is going to be difficult. I was saying on Thursday that giving him an ultimatum was some way of getting control. I can’t change what he is doing, but I’ve changed my attitude towards it. On some level, I’m hoping that giving him an ultimatum will give him a shove to get on with it. But honestly, I feel that he will do this before the end of the month on his own steam. He keeps saying soon and dangling it in front of me like a carrot when his definition of soon and mine are so completely fucking different. Right now I want him to do it so that I can actually be in touch with him. So that I can stop waiting. He said that he wants to manage my expectations – just having the conversation won’t change things overnight. But he doesn’t understand that things will change overnight. Our circumstances won’t change drastically, but I will be able to stop hoping and start looking forward to him actually being mine. My wait will largely be over when I get to stop wishing that he would just get on with it.

I long for the day when my every other waking thought won’t be fear that he isn’t going to leave her and I will be stuck in this eternal limbo between the most incredible love that I have ever experienced and the knowledge that there is a catch. I long to be able to enjoy the beautiful things he says and does without worrying that he’s saying it to someone else or that tomorrow the beauty will end. There is a level on which I feel that this is karma, coming to get me. I fucked up so badly that the one good thing I thought came out of this mess has to be the knife that stabs me in the side every time I roll over. I can’t see a way out of it very often. So sorry to be a stuck record, but until I can get out of this rut I don’t think there will be many more words on anything else.

I Keep Stumbling Over the Foundation Blocks

For the last few days I’ve been lying awake thinking about all the things I want to write about. Perhaps unsurprisingly a lot of them revolve around men. Whilst I have had relatively few relationships, they have all impacted me very deeply. But every time I’ve had a few moments to myself, I have done something else. I’m avoiding writing things that I know will help me.

I sat down to write and the first words that tumbled out come under the heading of Boy. He’s under the heading Boy because I don’t know if I remember his name. I say I don’t know – the experience is so traumatic that I get a complete block whenever I try and talk about it. I think I know his name but the effort required to process that experience is so great that even thinking of his name is going to take me down a deep dark pit and I don’t know if I can get out. I told my counsellor I would  write about it, because I completely choked up when I tried to talk about it with her. I’ve never mentioned more than a few words about the experience to the last few men I’ve been with. I’ve only mentioned it at all because it’s a huge block to me sexually. Even two years ago the idea of oral sex terrified me because of it. I really enjoy going down on Cefyn, but he can’t ask me to do it because I can’t. Even thinking about being asked makes me sweat. There are tears at the corner of my eyes. It pricks at something so deeply ingrained in me that I don’t know how to write about it. I want to write down what happened but I don’t know if I can. I don’t know what would happen if I opened the box that memory lives inside. I feel that it would swallow me up completely and I don’t know how I’d recover.

I want to overcome this, but I need the right support around me to help to survive the experience. And right now, I don’t have it. Because I have to wait to be told that I can even phone Cefyn. I have my contact with him dictated to me like I’m a filthy secret. Which I am, quite frankly. Very little differentiates this situation from my first boyfriend (henceforth known as Tim, which is a pseudonym I gave him when I wrote about him back then), who would date me when he was on the rebound and would deny me to anyone that asked. I remember going out on a “double date” with him and my sometimes-best -friend of the time with her boyfriend. We were having a fairly awesome time hanging out and then we saw someone that we knew and he hid our clasped hands behind his back so they wouldn’t see. I felt like I was worth nothing. He treated me like I was worth nothing. I believed that I was worth nothing. I spent most of university trying to get over the crushing lack of confidence that he inspired in me.

But here I am, still someone’s secret, still living from day to day off the scraps of affection thrown to me when it’s convenient. I know that he considers me his sun, moon and stars. But every night he goes home to someone else, which puts a price on just how much his sun, moon and stars are worth. And honestly, in some ways this is worse than being with Tim, because at least Tim was honest about how little I meant to him.

Have I learned nothing?

Just Another Statistic?

New year. Funny really, nothing has changed since yesterday. It’s just a new day. But things feel different. 2011 has been and gone. It has been the most traumatic year I can remember. It’s been the year with the most changes, the most pain that I can ever remember. It has been the year that I have singularly failed at the most important thing I’ve ever done. The year that I tried my best at something that didn’t ultimately work. The first time I’ve ever conceded defeat and given up. I think perhaps that was my biggest lesson. I needed to learn to give up. There were lots of other things that happened and I feel I can finally look back on them without feeling they’re only a few days over. They’re now last year. That’s a big thing, right?

This new year brings me hope. This year Cefyn will leave his wife and we will be together properly. We will be happy.

See, even writing that looks pathetic. It’s fucking difficult to convince myself that this will all work out fine. Statistically speaking, men do not leave their wives to be with their mistresses. Why do I think that I will be different? What makes my love any more special than anybody else’s? Where can I have got this notion that the fact that other men don’t leave their wives doesn’t seem to apply to me? The more time goes on, the less sure I am that Cefyn is fully committed. I’ve been a wreck for some time and I haven’t been me and I don’t like it. When Cefyn was here on Friday I felt like me towards the end of the day. On Saturday morning I grinned and grinned and felt amazing. And it has worn off already and today is only Sunday. I frequently consider that Cefyn leaving his wife isn’t going to change us much. Am I really going to be happy if our situation is better? Am I ever going to really trust him? Am I not going to worry that he’s about to run back to her or find somebody else the moment my back is turned? Is this what is meant about a leopard changing their spots? Things are different. Cefyn is not the man I fell in love with. The man I fell in love with wasn’t fucking married.

The truth is that I cannot trust him until he’s done it.

I know this. He knows this. He can reassure me to the moon and back but his words are meaningless until he has backed them up. We’ve had this conversation a hundred times and I have tweeted and tweeted and everyone has reassured me that I am the one in a million, that I am different and that he is not bluffing and all we need is time and we will have what we want. Their reassurance makes me feel better for a few minutes, a few hours maybe, and then I am back where I started. I am going out of my mind with impatience, with insecurity. I explained to Cefyn on Friday that it is like the situation with Bird in my first year at university. Everyone was telling me one thing and he was telling me another and I had to choose the lie that I could live with. I had to make myself believe what my eyes told me wasn’t true in order to keep going.

Deep down, I know that Cefyn will go through with it. The point of not believing him is self preservation. If it doesn’t work I have no reason to be upset because I wasn’t expecting it. It’s easier to accept that he won’t change even though it hurts, because then I don’t have to consider the things that could have been incredible that I will never have.