Thursday, December 22, 2016

First Sharing of Journal

July 5

Very quiet day, as expected. When I got back from feeding this morning, he was up, apparently Hamish had been barking while I was gone. He didn't stay up though and I may not see him for quite a while. But that's ok, we are both dealing with an emotional hangover, and he with a real one, lol, so a quiet day is appreciated.

I talked to Starry again, let her read what I have written here. She is very interested in our journey and as I have said before, I appreciate her input and comments. We talked for quite a while, and she said she was captivated by what I'm writing. She called it a true slice of life, about relationships and how they develop and are nurtured. I was a little nervous, because she is the first one to read this and because it is so personal and because it is also filled with small details, I didn't know if she would be bored. She said she wasn't at all. Of course, she knows us both so that may account for her interest. She said it gave her such insight into both of us and into the scope of Michael's demons. She asked if I had written down a treatment plan with benchmarks and rewards. I told her no, I hadn't and that really isn't something I feel comfortable doing. At least not right now. Keeping this journal is my way of measuring progress, and frankly, since I am flying by the seat of my pants here, I have to constantly make course adjustments based on new insights I get into Michael. Starry said that it is incredible the progress I have made in such a short time and that made me feel good. After I sent it to her I reread the whole thing myself and relived many of the episodes I wrote about. I was able to call up the emotions I felt at the time and I, too, was pleased at seeing how far we have come. But I certainly can't rest on my laurels, we are just an inch into a many mile journey. But I can already see that, as expected, this is turning into perhaps the most significant journey of my life. Certainly it is the first journey I have put huge amounts of thought into and actually have a plan for. Everything else in my life has been kind of a “go with the flow” response from me. I don't know whether to attribute this to age and experience or something else. Just don't know

July 6

Another quiet day, Michael has days and nights mixed up. Went to bed at 7am, got up about 2pm. Spent a lot of time with Mary. We had a nice dinner last night, and I got a hug after dinner. That is almost the extent of the time I have spent with him in the past couple of days. These are also non drinking days, He seems ok, but still more quiet and withdrawn than I would like to see. Patience, Linda.

July 7

Darla the housekeeper came today and I had already asked Michael if he wanted to go with me to Costco while she was here, he said yes, so I proceeded with that in mind. He did, but it was like we were back on the trip, he was silent and sullen. He had not had anything to drink for the past couple of days, and he had killed another black widow spider during the night, this one in the house, and it freaked him out again and he couldn't sleep. But after we got to Costco I started to see him open up a little. In the first place he kept getting after me because I was doing things he thought he should do. Pick things up, carry things, reach things, that sort. He was actually teasing me. It was nice, then we decided to go out for lunch at BJ's, which we both like. After lunch he started talking a blue streak again. We had to go to Walmart and he was ok with that, and we were laughing and giggling the whole time. It continued on the trip home, then when we got home I gave him the remainder of the bottle of run and he started making himself small drinks. We talked, went over some of the same stuff we always do, but in doing so, it helps us (me) internalize it. His insistence that he knows how hard it is for me when he can't or won't talk to me for a couple of days, but because I leave him alone and don't bug him, when he is able to, he spends more time with me and we talk about many important things. He was telling me that he can talk to Mary because they have some of the same issues. And it is more lighthearted. With me there is more substance to our discussions. Yes, I must have patience, and understand that he has these periods when he can't seem to talk to me, but that he is aware of it, feels badly about it, though I don't want him to, and knows that if he and I just give him another day, it will be better. I will get used to it. I told him during the time he doesn't talk to me, I am confronting my own demons and trying to lay them to rest. Right now he decided not to drink and to play a little and see if he wants more drink later. Gives me a chance to do a little writing, before I start playing. Overall, things are going well, just not as I expected, but my expectations were not realistic in the first place. This is reality, and when it's good it is very good. When it's not good, I'll just have to deal, and I can.

Later same evening

We did some more drinking and talking. Actually, Michael didn't drink much, stopped at a good spot, and wants none tomorrow, just save it for Thursday raid. We talked for a couple of hours, a lot of the same, and some new stuff. Or rather new insights into old stuff. We talked about Mary, and how he knew he had been talking to her more than to me, and he told her about that. So tonight, she went offline to give us time to talk. Nice :D. We touched again on how he appreciates me giving him space. We talked about this book. He doesn't want to read it for a long time, but likes the idea of our talks being material for the book. I told him there were things that would embarrass both of us in the book, and he was fine with that. Agreed it probably lent authenticity. We laughed a lot, hugged a lot, and discussed how far we have come in just two short weeks. He wondered where we would be in two more weeks. I told him I am more interested in where we will be in two years. A lot of time we just go over the same thing, the uniqueness of our relationship, the harem, Mary, how comfortable I have made him feel, but that repetition reinforces the decisions we are making and our future together, for however long that may be.

Even later, same evening

It is 3 am but I wanted to write this while it was on my mind. I went to bed about 10: 30 and straight to sleep, but as has been happening lately, was awakened a couple of hours later. I heard Michael go outside and I decided to join him. He was drinking my bourbon because I had forgotten to take it with me when I went to bed. So he drank and we talked and we finally got to some new content. We started talking about medication. He knew I was thinking about it at some point, but he doesn't want to take any. More than that, he gave me his reasons.

His depression and anxiety run on both sides of his family. He says everyone in his family is on medication and can't function without it . I shared that I feel the same way, that I am not the person I want to be without my antidepressant. But he doesn't feel that he wants to just give into a pill. He said he has been close to beating this before, but hasn't been able to sustain it. He is brought down by guilt and people around him. He says it's like he falls off a cliff and everyone just keeps kicking him until he is all the way down, then he has to climb back up the cliff, one hand at a time, and start over again. But he feels he can do it. He says medication never works on him like it is supposed to. Exercise, a place where he is comfortable, no one guilting him, someone who cares for him, these are the things he needs to climb out of the hole and then sustain it. He feels he has that here, with me. He tells me he feels better now than he has in a very long time. His head is clearing, the mist is lifting. I am still not convinced he can sustain a recovery all on his own, but it is what he wants to do and I will support him while we see if he can. He recognizes that both of us had some unrealistic ideas about how this would go and neither one of us realized how hard it was going to be. I admitted to him that I have been fighting my own demons at the same time I am trying to help him. He acknowledged that he has been disappointed in himself somewhat, but that he is now not beating himself up over it. He knows he is a heavy drinker and that he needs it right now, but he is also planning and often succeeding in reducing the amount.

I told him I was hungry and he decided to make me a grilled cheese sandwich. While he was making it he asked me to get the rum so he wasn't drinking my bourbon. I did, and brought down the bottle, but I said to him “I am concerned that if you keep drinking this, that you will have another 3 day hangover.” It stopped him in his tracks. He said I was right, that he was going to finish the drink he had and then go to bed. He said originally he was only going to have one drink then go to bed, but I came down to talk, and talk and drink go hand in hand, but he was very glad I said something to him. It was the first time I injected a comment about the amount he is drinking. I did it gently, and followed it up with the fact that he is a grown man and must make his own decisions. I will never nag him and I will stay with him if he decides he wants to continue to drink. But tonight, at least, he decided to stop. He fixed my sandwich and I shared it with him,. He again thanked me for saying something to him and told me that any time I think he is drinking too much I needed to let him know. He knows he is not good at monitoring his consumption, and I see that as one of the ways I can help him. The desire to quit or slow way down is firmly there, but the ability to see when it is enough is underdeveloped at this time.

Again, I got the big hugs I love and the “I love you, damnit” that accompanies them. Then he went to his room and I came upstairs. I was in my bathroom and I heard him come up and put the bottles on my craft table. He doesn't want them near him. He doesn't want to drink tomorrow (or later today as the case may be). He wants to be able to have some sips on Thursday right before raid, not earlier in the day. He says that it is ironic that he came from a place where drink and cigarettes were readily available to a place where drink and cigarettes are easily available, but the difference is huge. There he felt trapped, here he feels free. He feels good now and revels in that feeling of clarity. I still don't know what I'm doing and going primarily on instinct, but so far, at any rate, it seems to be working.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Horses, Chickens, Kids and Family

July 2

Quiet day, but this may be the plan for a while anyway. I took him some juice this morning before he woke up, he drank it and liked it, then I didn't see him again until dinner. Then things got funny. It seems he likes to check expiration dates, and is horrified to discover that I have a ton of stuff out of date. I mean really out of date. I just had to laugh, though. So after dinner he went through my fridge and pantry and we tossed a lot of stuff. I literally haven't cooked in a long time, at least nothing regular. I have done more cooking in the last week than I have in a really long time. So, I buy things with the best intentions of using them, but I dislike cooking just for one. Now that Michael is here, and he loves to eat, I am cooking dinner at least on a regular basis. It is fun right now. Once school starts again he is going to be in charge of cooking on Tuesdays, that's taco Tuesday, and then raid days, making us sandwiches or something quick because I don't get home until just at raid start time.

He seems in a good mood, and after dinner asked if I wanted to sit and have a drink, just one. I said sure. At this point, it is all good and he is weening himself, sorta. Then right after we both went back to our computers, he comes up and says there is a heroic raid starting and did I want to come. Of course I did, but he said well if he comes he has to have a drink. Sneaky bastard.... There wasn't much left in the bottle so I gave it to him. Normally he could finish that entire bottle in one night, but it has taken him two, so I count that as a win. We will get even better with time.

Observations:

I was taking with Starey online this morning. She observed that Michael is like someone who has been in prison and just released. A good comparison. It makes me very sad that I have no real support in my family for this venture, so it helps me a lot to talk to her, her insights really help me. I realize I have been impatient and wanting too much too soon. I knew starting this that we had to take baby steps. Michael isn't going to adjust overnight, and as long as he can make baby steps, I need to be satisfied with that. There are certain baby steps he is making that I haven't even acknowledged, like sitting down to dinner with me every night. That never happened in Minnesota. He had limited contact with his cousin, everyone went their own way in that house, and now he is being “forced” to be social with me for at least a small portion of the day. We still do a lot of communicating via the computer, which is ironic as we live in the same house. But it is more comfortable for him. Another way we are going to start taking baby steps is with the drinking. I have mentioned this before, but it is good for me to put it into part of my “action plan” for him. I am going to let him have one fairly stiff drink after dinner. It will help him relax a bit and will help me because it is about the only time we talk. I like the company. I know he will try to expand it, and initially I may let him, but he is already drinking a lot less than he was in Minnesota, so these baby steps will lead to a weening, hopefully. Cold Turkey is just too had for both of us. On Saturday we have been invited to have dinner with Anne Marie and her family as they are camping. Jarrod says he will “give the guy a chance.” That's all I can hope for. I think Michael will go if I promise him booze. It will still be stressful for him, he will still have to be social with people he doesn't know, and the amount of booze will be limited, but it is just another baby step.

July 3

Saw a little more of Michael today than I have in the last couple of days. I went down the hill to do some grocery shopping and got home around noon or so. I didn't hear him so I thought he was still asleep, having not gotten to bed until 6 am. After I put everything away I came upstairs and looked online and he was on. I told him I had gotten a couple of things for him, nothing big, a trash can and some ant spray,so he came out and was all excited about the trashcan and the ant spray. He showed me where all the ants had been and was just tickled pink he was going to be able to spray them. He also showed me the dead black widow and told me how freaked out he had been, and he described how he had trapped a mouse behind the washer and dryer. Now he is all worried that it will starve to death, a slow horrible death, rather than a quick one. He cracks me up. But he was very proud of himself for dealing with these things that frankly scare him, and not just tell me about it and want me to fix it.

He hadn't eaten anything yet, so I fixed some juice and he had some leftovers, and we chatted. I told him I had to take care of the horses because Anne Marie et al., were camping, He said he would go with me later. So about 5:00 or so I asked him if he was hungry and he said yes, so I started dinner, then remembered about the horses. He stopped what he was doing, telling his ladies what he was going to do, and we went over to Anne Marie's house. First he loved the chickens. He had never petted a chicken before and these are fairly friendly. Then he was entranced by the horses, basically has never been close to one before. He did the watering for me while I fed. Then he went in the house. To say that my sweet daughter is a lousy housekeeper doesn't really begin to describe the situation. I'm discovering Michael has some real sensibilities, like his insistence on discarding things that are out of date. The house horrified him. I'm used to it, but I knew it would be a shock. He said he would come with me again to feed, but he didn't want to go back in the house. I totally understand. I will probably come over early in the morning and I doubt he will be up, but on the way home from dinner tomorrow night we will have to stop to feed and water. On my way out of the house in trying to keep the cat from getting out the door, I stumbled and hit my arm on the light switches by the door. It took a big chunk of skin off and was pretty messy. Michael put some bandages on it for me and remembered, when we got home, that it still needed another one. He was frankly shocked at how easily I can be hurt. He can be so considerate and caring. My skin is like tissue paper. I told him if he had bumped into it like I had, probably wouldn't have even left a mark. Goes a long way to explaining all the scars on my legs.

When we got home I fixed dinner and he really enjoyed it. He said his appetite has come back and he is enjoying all the cooking I am doing. He helped me clean up, talking a blue streak the whole time, and then he had one drink. And not a very strong one. If he sticks with that for tonight it will be a big step. Even if he asks for more, it is still a vast improvement as he is leaving space between drinks. But we will just have to wait to see. He had several last night but said he felt fine this morning, and has been in a good mood all day. I wonder how long it will last.

July 4

Michael did ask for more drink last night. He actually got fairly drunk, though he drank less than “normal.” Whether he admits it or not, this camp out dinner we are going to is making him anxious. He wants to meet Jarrod, but he knows he may be adversarial. He's not afraid, but definitely anxious. He knows how much Jarrod means to me and I know he hopes they can be friends. But he said he is just going to be himself, not try to put on a facade, and what ever happens will be fine. I told him, and I mean it, I would never ask him to be anything but himself. I am never going to ask him to be on his best behavior or anything like that. I am never going to criticize his hair or clothes. Michael is very presentable in a bohemian kind of way. His manners are excellent, his caring nature very evident, I wouldn't change any of that for any reason. I do just want him to be himself because that is more than trying to win anyone over. Jarrod can be a very intimidating man, but he is fair. If he says he will give him a chance, he will.

So, he drank more than he should last night, but still less than a whole bottle. I am taking the bottle with me tonight, and he doesn't know it but I bought two bottles so I poured some of the other bottle into the original one. He has about half a bottle. I have seen him drink half a bottle and not be drunk, so if he needs it to relax, it will be there.

After dinner Michael got back on the computer and started playing with Xelle and Amber, and talking in skype. After an hour or maybe more, he asked if I wanted to join them in Skype. He had been helping me with an achievement and Xelle and Amber had helped too. I said of course I would join them, and I was very pleased he asked me. I never want to intrude on his time with his ladies. So the four of us were having a good time for quite a while, and then Michael asked me if he could have another drink. I made him one and he and I went outside while he drank it and he smoked. He thanked me profusely for allowing him drink when he needs it and not making him feel guilty. That's when we started talking about Jarrod and meeting him. We went back in and continued playing, with him asking for another drink in well spaced intervals. Then, at some point probably around 11:00, I went out with him while he smoked and we were talking. Just talking like we usually do. He said he just wanted to talk to me, that Xelle and Amber needed time to talk to each other, so we talked for probably an hour. Then he decided to check on the ladies and discovered they had dropped the call. He figured they gave up waiting and went to bed. Xelle is in NY and I'm not sure where Amber is, but it was late for both of them. Rather than being upset that they were gone, he was glad because, he said it again, he just wanted to talk to me. I am embarrassed to admit how pleased I was because I know how much Xelle means to him. But I realize that he just plays with his ladies, in that he never gets serious with them, but he opens up to me probably more than anyone else in his life.

We sat and talked until 4 am with him dipping into the rum we had set aside for the camp out. Much of what he said was nonsense, he describes his thinking by saying “Most people have a train of thought, but I have a whole train station going on at once.” Listening to him go from one subject to another and back and forth and up and down and all around gives me an insight into the thinking processes he has and how exhausting it must be to try to sort through all the simultaneous thoughts. Drinking seems to help him focus better, but we are still going to find a better way. He really wants to stop, or slow way down. I made the mistake of taking the bottle downstairs during the evening, and if he sees it he wants it. So I will have to limit his access better.

We talked a lot about us and adjusting to each other. He says we have made a lot of progress in a short period of time. His ability to read me is uncanny, and frankly a little scary. He said he knows I want more time with him, that I had hoped to have more companionship from him, and he said we are working towards a middle ground where he can have his space and privacy and still give me the company and attention I want. He tells me that I have made him feel extremely comfortable, put no pressure on him and allowed him to adjust in his own time and generally made him feel like this is his home. He says that he was able to leave the guilt he felt at being a shut-in behind him. That has been my goal, the more relaxed and at home he feels, the more progress we will make towards our mutual goals. His thinking is clearer, his breathing better, he generally feels very good and all that is just as it should be. He also told me that I probably saved his life. He reiterated again, he will never “terminate” himself, but recognizes that his smoking and drinking could ultimately do the job if not changed. My allowing him to get out of the environment he was in and make a fresh start, he feels, will enable him to get rid of two bad habits he knows are killing him.

He rambled on about many subjects, often repeating things he had said in previous talk sessions. I was stone cold sober so I was paying close attention to him and just listening. He has a strong need to talk because it does help him sort out his thoughts and put them into words. He often stops in the middle of a sentence and says he has overlapping thoughts and needs to sort them out, and will think for maybe 30 seconds before continuing. He is extremely eloquent at times, and at others pretty clumsy. For instance, he told me I looked like the wicked witch of the west, but that I was the most beautiful person he had ever seen. He was, of course, referring to inner beauty vs physical beauty. It was a clumsy attempt to tell me to not worry about my wrinkles and lack of hair and just know that I am beautiful to him. I accepted it as the compliment it was meant to be. I am very comfortable with him and don't feel I need to always look my best. I run around with no makeup, my hair sticking out and frizzy and he is used to it. We have no need for modesty, though neither one of us really thinks about it. He is fully expecting to help me bathe and dress after surgery, though I doubt I will need a whole lot of that. Helping me dress, probably, but I think I can manage the bathing part by myself.

It was another long language session of learning to speak “Michael.” I'm not fluent yet, but understanding is definitely coming. I will report back after the meeting with Jarrod tonight. Wish us luck :D

LATER THE SAME DAY:

The evening went much better than I could have hoped. Michael had a wonderful time. I gave him a “bracing” drink before we left, he was a little hungover from the night before, and he drank quite a bit, both rum and beer, while we were there, but he never looked drunk and he had a wonderful time playing with the girls and talking with Anne Marie. He and Jarrod didn't say much to each other, but I talked to Jarrod privately and thanked him for letting him come. He told he while he was uncomfortable with the situation, because it was me and because he knew me, he was willing to give him a chance. That trust that he has for me means so much. I love Jarrod, he and Anne Marie have been married almost 20 years, and I know him well. He calls me Mom and he is closer to me than his real mother. While it wasn't a whole hearted endorsement, his willingness to give Michael a chance takes away the stress we were both feeling.

Michael was over the moon on the way home. He kept saying “who knew I was so good with kids?” Well, he has that very childlike side to him and his love of play and just general love of the girls shined through. He also knows that Jarrod may take time to completely win over, if ever, and he is fine with that. He respects Jarrod, says he is definitely a man's man, noticed his marine corp hat, etc, but also noticed how much he loves his family and how good he is with the girls. Jarrod also has a childlike side, a gentle side, something that only those close to him realize.

My niece, Lysah was there with her boyfriend and his son. She is actually my niece by marriage, having been married to my nephew, but when they divorced, we kept her. We like her better. But I realized today that Anne Marie and Jarrod have had some experience with what I am trying to do. Lysah is bipolar and was in and out of hospitals for quite a while before getting stabilized, and Anne Marie and Jarrod helped her a lot. I talked to her last night, explained a bit about Michael, and she shared that her boyfriend's family just found out that she is bipolar and are unhappy about that, so she has strong affinity for what we are going through. When we left last night, she gave Michael a big hug and welcomed him to the family. That meant a lot to him..

We were there about six hours and it was dark when we left. I was very surprised we lasted that long, and I think Michael would have stayed longer, but we had to feed the horses. When we stopped to do that, he climbed in the pen with Gotcha and petted him. It was the first time he had ever petted a horse. Gotcha is a very gentle animal and probably enjoyed it, but got spooked when the neighbors set off some firecrackers, so Michael got out of the pen, but wasn't frightened by his running around, and I told him we will come back some time during the week and I will pull Gotcha out and he can brush him. I think he will like that. All these new experiences for Michael, like petting the chickens last night too, just put such a big smile on his face and stimulated his sense of wonder. It is lovely to watch.

After we got home, he was so full of the evening that he wanted to talk. He talked about being able to play with the kids, his love of play and a whole variety of things. At one point we started talking about death. I shared with him that I have been afraid of death since I was a child. I told him about my cousin Gale who died when he was about 14 and I was about 10. Gale lived in Colorado and I didn't even know he was sick. One day my mother called to Paula and to me and said to come in, she had something to tell us. I turned to Paula and said “Gale died.” It was the first psychic experience I had that I can remember. Gale had been born with some kind of congenital heart problem. They were going to fix it, but apparently in that time, it wasn't fixable and he died on the table. I told Michael I could remember lying in bed at night thinking “If Gale could do it, I could.” Michael asked me what I meant, and I said that if he could get through dying, so could I. He said it was my first taste of mortality. I agreed, but I have always had very mixed feelings about death. Given my spiritual views and my firm belief in reincarnation and the continuation of the spirit, it is surprising that I should feel as I do. But it isn't death itself that bothers me as much as the discontinuation of Linda. Talk about ego, but this is the only life I remember right now, and when it ends, Linda, as I know her, ends. Michael said it is the fear of the unknown, and of course he is right. He shared his belief that all life, all matter, comes from cosmic material and that when we die we return to that material state, perhaps to be reborn again in some way. He quoted the only passage from the Bible he believes in, the dust to dust passage. He told me about some funerals he had attended and we talked about how death should not be viewed with sadness, but rather funerals should be a celebration. He said that when he dies he wants one of two things to happen, either he dies and no one notices, which I told him wouldn't happen, or he is remembered with a big celebration, and lots of booze. Michael said that normally he wouldn't be able to talk about this heavy subject, but that it seemed to be a night for heavy talking. It was a significant discussion that led us to greater understanding. At one point he put his hand on me and looked at me and said how he understood more about me now than he did. Usually it's me who gets the insights into him, but this time, it was reversed. We talked for a couple of hours, more but I finally just gave out. I hated leaving him alone, but I had to go to bed. I think he played a couple of hours then went to sleep himself.

Note: Not for the first time I have wondered if I am doing the right thing with him. I am scared that I may have bitten off more than I can chew, that my help will not be enough for him. I don't know if he will accept professional help and right now it is all on me. He trusts me completely and I don't want to fail him. I am going primarily on instinct and experience with kids, but what if it isn't enough? I don't want to make things worse, but I love him and will do anything to help him conquer his demons and become the person he is meant to be.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hermitting and Fapping


June 30

Michael seems to be retreating into Hermity mode more as time goes on. I feel very distant from him. No hugs today. I have been trying to leave him alone, but apparently I'm not doing a very good job of it. He told me tonight he doesn't feel his privacy is very private, that I keep popping in on him. To be fair to me, I have to say that I have left him alone nearly all day, and only popped in this evening when our internet was acting up. And each time was less than a minute. But to be fair to him, he is not used to that at all and it must be like a pin prick each time I do it. It hurt when he told me, but I'm glad he did. It will be a week tomorrow since we got home and about day 2 or 3 of not drinking, and I'm sure, or at least I hope, that this is just adjustment. He is also out of cigarettes and doesn't want me to buy him any more. That may be playing into this as well. He fixed dinner tonight, and wanted to do it alone. I don't know how long this will last, or if this is the permanent situation. It is way too early to tell, but if it looks like it is going to be the norm, we will have to have a talk at some point about what he wants to accomplish. No good coming here and doing exactly what he was doing in Minnesota. He did say today that when he “gets his head together” he wants to start exercising, maybe walking. However, as I said, he is still adjusting and this depression is no doubt normal for that. Tomorrow I am going down the hill for a pedicure. I will extend that time, do some shopping, maybe see a movie. I don't know, but I will give him as much space as I can right now. I suspect it is a good thing surgery was postponed as I doubt he would have been able to get through that very well at all.

July 1

I didn't see Michael at all today until dinner. It was a rough day for me, not knowing what was going on. I tend to blame myself for everything that happens and that may be a form of hubris actually. Not everything is about me, and I discovered that this situation was like that. At dinner Michael started to talk about yesterday and last night. First he apologized, then he told me he had had a very bad headache, he was feeling very hermity, and he had not been very good in telling me he needed more space. He asked me if we could have some sips and just talk. Of course, I said yes, in fact, I was on the verge of suggesting it. I'm glad we did. I poured the drinks so while we had more than we wanted to, Michael had considerably less than he might. He is still slightly drunk, and will probably suffer for it in the morning, but now I know what is going on. He says the more space I give him the more loving and affectionate he will become. He told me he doesn't need drink to love me and be affectionate, but there are times when it is just hard to show that. And he told me that before we started sipping.

We discussed how we need to understand each other and meet in the middle. I am very social and he is antisocial. We are both adjusting to that. I did nothing wrong last night by popping into his room, he just wasn't able to tolerate it. I told him that I have had a hellish week, with the cancellation of the surgery, and the rescheduling of it for August 3, 3 days before school starts. My own state of mind has been very fragile. I told him that what he said to me last night hurt me, but that I needed to hear it and to act on it. Somehow we got started talking about masturbation. I think it came from his concern that I would just walk in on him while he is “fapping.” We have talked about masturbating before and he has even given me tips when I was stressed and not being successful. Michael hasn't had real sex for about 6 years, and apart from my short visit to Hawaii, I haven't for even longer than that. I shared my own experiences with masturbation with him, how since I have experienced what I call my “sexual renaissance” I no longer feel guilty about it and indulge in it frequently. He told me about some of his experiences too. He calls himself a “fapmaster.” and some of his stories are hilarious. But we both agreed that it is a means to an end, just sort of “gets it out of the system” as he put it. There is no lasting feel good feeling that comes with cuddling after sex with someone you care about. But, for that very brief moment, it does feel good and does reduce stress. Under different circumstances, with a smaller age gap between us, we could probably have comforted one another, but as that isn't going to happen, we do what we can. The fact that I can write this down, for other people to read, is a strong indicator of how far I have come recently. An old friend helped me come out of my sexual shell where I had been hiding for a long time. He did it by a lot of “talking.” We have been friends for years, but it wasn't until I asked him about flirting and how to do it that the tone of our conversations changed. They got very hot at times and then he would encourage me to go “take care of myself.” It was probably one of the most liberating experiences I have ever had.

Now, after tonight's talk, I think I can give him the space he needs and not feel as though he doesn't want to be with me. I have my own demons I need to tame, and I think Michael will help me do that, just as much as I can help him. Only he and I realize the reciprocity involved in our relationship. I got lots of hugs tonight and lots of “I love you”s as well. Tomorrow will be another quiet day, with me leaving Michael alone. Actually that won't be hard because my guess is he will be up most of the night with Mary, now that he is in a talkative mood, and will sleep much of the day.

We realize that this is the first of what may be many episodes of hermity behavior, and we need to keep in mind that we each have needs. I will leave him alone and he will, in turn, show me the affection and love I need from him. But we now understand each other better, and that understanding will continue to grow. Our relationship is unique, different from any other relationship either one of us has had before. As our understanding continues to grow, it will ultimately bring us even closer together. We are the Odd couple, for sure.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our Honeymoon Time, and Family Issues

June 27

Surgery canceled. Infection still present in culture, clear in urine. Very disappointing, but not unexpected. Before I found out Lea called and said her painters were back and the house was torn up, so she made reservations for us at local Comfort Inn. Called her and let her know it was canceled. I think she may not be comfortable with Michael staying there, so before the next surgery date, I will have to come up with another plan on getting up to Irvine.

Anne Marie came over with the girls in the afternoon. That was good fun, Michael had had just enough to drink to be able to be silly with them, and they loved him. He fell in love with them too. But while they were here, Anne Marie said both Lea and Paula had called her and were upset about this arrangement. That Ben and Andrea had called too. I don't know whether to totally believe her or not, frankly, but if it is true, it pisses me off. I am 68 years old and I know what I am doing. I realize they love me and are worried, but they need to have more confidence that I am an adult and not stupid. Apparently Jarrod is mad at me too, though not for that. I didn't tell him about the issue with my eyes so he apparently thinks I was keeping it from him deliberately. I know he loves me too, but I wasn't keeping it from him, just hadn't had a chance to talk to him about it, and frankly, figured Anne Marie would fill him in.. It isn't comfortable for me to think my entire family is upset with me, but not much I can do about it or willing to do about it. It is their problem and they will need to deal with it.

Because of the cancellation of the surgery Michael and I did some drinking last night again, and had another long talk session. This one was more interesting on a lot of levels as it dealt with a lot more than just how he feels about his harem.

The biggest thing that came out of it was his desire for me to understand him, good and bad. He emphasized that on several occasions. He spent a long time telling me about “the monster within” as he puts it. I will try to explain: Apparently Michael and his sibs all have had anger issues and are no stranger to violence. Michael himself says he has worked through those anger and violence issues, but that while he never seeks violence, when/if it presents itself, he embraces it, that it energizes him and he loves it. He calls it a product of his “Nordic blood.” He says that he would never use violence generally, as there are many other ways of dealing with a situation, but if I was ever threatened, or Hamish or the girls, he would not hesitate to use violence to protect us. He told me repeatedly how much I meant to him and he will let nothing happen to me. The sentiment is very sweet and very loving and I accept it for what it is, though he and I both hope it never comes to his demonstrating that.

He also talked in more detail about his parents. He has a serious love/hate relationship with his father who apparently has drug and alcohol abuse issues and has had most of Michael's life. He has mentioned his father before, but this time was more indepth. I think Michael would like to have a relationship with him, he says he loves him, but then he calls him a cunt and a few other bad names. As to his mother, he had nothing to say bad about her, except that she is covered in tattoos and looks like trailer trash. I suspect that in the future, more will come out about them both.

Michael loves (so far anyway) living with me. He loves the house and the property. I don't think he has ever lived in this kind of place before, and in a quasi-family situation. When we were in Minnesota, David called his house a bachelor pad, and in many ways it was. Each one of the men had their own domain and they didn't associate all that much. It was a nice house, clean, but not well decorated. My house is small, but lovely and very cozy. Michael helps me in the kitchen, cleans up after himself, we sit together in the breakfast room to eat and we plan meals together. An altogether different experience from what he is used to. He has never lived with a woman before, except his mother and sisters and that was a long time ago. This is a generalization, but I suspect when men live together as room mates they do much as Michael and the two Davids' did. But we talk and enjoy each other and spend hours together. It is very interesting to me because, at this point anyway, he would rather spend time talking with me than playing in game and talking with the harem. I don't expect it to be like this always, after he is settled in and we are used to being together, he will spend more time in game, but right now, it's nice. [Very true.]
After we came in from being outside, around midnight or so, he took me to his room to show me stuff. He wanted to share some of the music he loves with me. He was going through different kinds of music, worried that I was bored, which I wasn't, and said he had never shown this to anyone before. Oh, he had played music for people online, and sent them links, he did that with me, but to have someone sitting next to him, talking and listening with him, was a new and pleasant experience for him. He was extremely affectionate the entire evening which, as I have said before, I enjoy, but it was more spontaneous and relaxed. He also is much more accepting of affection from me, even asking for back rubs and scratches from time to time. He has told me he generally doesn't like to be touched, but he doesn't mind with me, that he trusts me and is comfortable with me touching him. I'm glad because I am a very touchy/feely person.

We ran out of booze during the night and I have no intention of buying any more. At least not that I will let him know about. He said he would like some for raid, and I guess I am going to make the drinks for him. One before raid, one during break, and one after raid. I will be able to control the proportions and maybe start reducing those a bit. He also won't be smoking as much as I won't let him smoke in the house and he is fine with that. He wants to switch to e- cigarettes, ones without nicotine. Initially more expensive than regular cigarettes, but much cheaper in the long run. And hopefully without the nasty side effects.

June 28

Quiet day, pretty much as expected. I slept in until abut 9:30, almost unheard of for me, and Michael got up around 11:30. He was sleepy but in a good mood. We fixed breakfast together, making some orange strawberry juice in the juicer that was very delicious. We ate breakfast, he helped clean up. Then we parted as I knew he needed a day to himself. I saw very little of him. I had to do laundry which is in his room so saw him briefly then. When my laundry was done he offered to carry it up stairs for me. Then he gave me a big hug. I fixed dinner later and we ate together as is becoming our habit. Conversation was free and not awkward. He has gotten a sunburn and some hives from all the time spent in the sun outside. He says it doesn't bother him, but he needs to be more careful. His skin is so pale it is almost translucent. I need to get him some sunscreen.

It was a no booze day and he got quieter as the day went on. But he wasn't cross or upset. The comfort is still there, even when he is quiet, and that's what I was looking for. He didn't want to talk to anyone, not even his harem. I left him pretty much alone, and will do so tomorrow if necessary and for however long it takes for him to feel sober and recovered. This is where the work begins and I must just be patient and confident in the fact that our caring for each other is mutual and real.
Cute note, I was doing a dungeon with Simon and said I had to go fix dinner. He said “It's hard being a housewife.” Smart ass. Lol. I finally got around to telling him about us a couple of days ago. He and Michael have had their issues in the past, but now that he isn't raid leader, I'm hopeful it will sort out. He said something about hearing about drunken penis touching. I laughed and said at no time had his penis touched me anywhere, then I suddenly remembered what he was talking about. (Ironically, I know the length and diameter of Michael's penis because he told me, lol.) That last raid night, before we left for CA, when Michael and I were so drunk, we were sitting on the floor together and I put my hand on his leg. He was only wearing skivvies and started making jokes about me feeling him up. Talk about hyperbole, but, as the saying goes, the crowd went wild. I don't think anyone in guild had ever heard me drunk before and they got a kick out of it. 

[Ah, the good ole days before things got hard.  We still have good days, but the innocence and "rose colored glasses" days are behind us now.  Now we are in the hard work phase of our unconventional relationship."  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Complications

June 24

Interesting day. Took Michael for a haircut and a shave. He got his hair in the style of Jared Leto. Looks fantastic on him. He is a very handsome man and now he looks like it. Hairstylist thought he was adorable and he said he enjoyed it. Then we went to lunch, grocery shopping and I had to do another urine test to see if the bacterial infection is gone. God I hope so, I don't want to postpone this surgery.

I did get a phone call from the preop nurse at the hospital and learned something very interesting. The Amlodipine that I thought was a blood thinner is really to stop angina. I think that is why I have been getting chest pains at night, because I went off it a week ago. I certainly hope so. Michael also told me that he really wishes he didn't have to go to the doctor with me tomorrow, that he needs a day alone. I told him that was fine, I'm able to go to the doctor by myself. He was very relieved. It seems that the last few days have been taking a big toll on him, no surprise there, and he is hanging together by a thread. He wants to save himself, so to speak, for the important things, like the surgery. I was a little disappointed, but also understand where he is right now. We have only been home one day. He said that he went on the longest car trip of his life, and he hates car trips, then was forced to be social, has had no alone time in days, and he really needs a few days to be hermity. I really do understand, and I don't mind since I need some alone time too. I can drive to Orange County and listen to my music which I didn't play at all while we were driving cross country. I am finding myself a bit (total understatement) stressed at the prospect of this surgery. Michael made me promise to be totally honest with the doctor, even if it means postponing the surgery.

Michael seems really happy here, so far, and he feels it will only get better. He saw a hummingbird today, the first he has ever seen. He also saw a lizard and was entranced by it. He has spent so little time outdoors that he has missed a lot. He loves this place.

Another thing, I refuse to let Michael smoke in the house, which he is fine with, so he has to go outside. He likes company then and I find we are doing a lot of talking. Tonight we discussed our relationship and where it is different from and the same as his with his harem. I made the mistake of calling them playmates which he didn't like, but didn't get mad at. Wanted to make a point of the fact that they are friends, not just playmates. We talked about how our relationship still seems to defy definition. It seems to be separate from his harem, has a separate reason for being. I think the fact that he is here is proof, if any was needed, that ours is special. I doubt it is lost on him that no one else has offered to help him, and I also think it is time for me to just accept what is and not worry about it. He has become exceedingly affectionate, and enjoys talking with me a lot. At times he would rather talk with me than with Xelle. Perhaps the difference between a virtual relationship and a real one. However, something strange happened. At one point he looked at me and asked me what I wanted. I asked what he meant. He said that was probably his answer. I said “Are you asking me if I want a sexual relationship?” and he said yes. I told him that I knew he wasn't wanting that, but if he had been inclined I would be fine with that. However since he isn't inclined, I am fine with it the way it is. He said he isn't inclined, but he also said he isn't inclined with anyone. It was an odd little snippet that seemed to come from nowhere, though I'm sure something I said must have triggered it. At any rate, we are continuing to really get to know each other. We are very comfortable now and it is nice to see him looking and acting so content, or as content as he can be under these circumstances. He isn't hiding or being grumpy, and that is a huge improvement over his behavior in the past. He did tell me it would be easier when we were together, and I think he was right. Easier for both of us.

June 25

OMG, one of the worst days in recent memory. Michael picked the perfect day to stay home as this was, without a doubt, the longest, most frustrating day in a very long time. Complications have come up with the surgery and I spent the day trying to sort them out. Will have to go back to Orange County tomorrow to take the chest films back, but first, have to see an ophthalmologist to see what is going on with my eyes, could be the eyes,or could be my brain. Neither prospect is pleasing. I may know more tomorrow, or I may not.

But Michael is taking this very seriously. I sent him messages occasionally during the day and his reply was always that my health is paramount and nothing else matters. Then he gave up raiding tonight so he could wait for me. He was outside, waiting when I finally pulled in, 10 hours after leaving home this morning. He was drunk, but it wasn't the time to discuss that, but he was really happy to see me, wanted to hear what was going on, telling me I had made the right decision in being honest with the doctor. He have me tons of hugs and held my hand almost all night. He kept thanking me for not making him go with me, that he would have freaked out with all the shit that happened. I told him I was really glad he wasn't there, that having him with me would have added to my stress, not helped it, because I would have been so worried about him. And, I also told him that knowing he was here, that he was taking care of Hamish and waiting for me to get home meant more to me than anything. He asked me if I really meant that or was I just bull shitting him. I told him I really meant it, and I did. There are times, like today, when a day is just so horrible and yet can be made so much better just by having someone who cares waiting at home.

He brought up the sex thing again, wanted to make sure I wasn't offended. I told him he had made his position clear weeks ago, that servicing and pleasuring me was not the reason I brought him here to live, and no, I wasn't offended. Our relationship doesn't need sex to thrive. In fact, sex would probably get in the way. So, yes, I am fine with the way we are now. I love him, he loves me, but sex is not the way we demonstrate that affection. His foregoing raid to wait for me to get home after a bad day says more to me than any number of blow jobs.

June 26

More talk. 9 hours and missed raid again. May be the last time we have a talk marathon for a while, it was the last night of drinking. He told me to hide my bourbon. Wants me to buy some more rum, for “emergencies,” but hide that too, and he promised not to look for it. We'll see. Of course, a sober Michael means one that is more withdrawn and more fragile In many ways. However, the stress we are under right now will improve with time and hopefully that will help him learn to be a bit more relaxed. He was very affectionate last night, touching me, holding my hand, and apologizing that he may not be that way for a while after he quits drinking.

We discussed – again – the nature of our relationship. I don't care anymore that it doesn't have a label, and I am seeing a bit more clearly how it looks. His harem is very important to him, especially Mary, whom he now admits to loving, but even she is only a voice at the moment, while I am real and right next to him. I am the one who is changing his life, who is tangible, who can give him the hugs he needs, the one he can help directly that makes him feel like he has a purpose and a job, the one he can tell anything to (and does). I am very real and immediate and this will cause problems at some point I'm sure, but we not only love each other, we respect each other and our privacy and our needs. We have real plans for a future for the two of us; real obstacles to overcome; real triumphs to celebrate. Last night we sat and made a grocery list together. That mundane task takes on new meaning when looked at in the context of a viable relationship, not just a virtual one. I still have my own insecurities I must deal with, but time and patience on both our parts will hopefully go a long way to bolstering my own ego and helping me accept his love and that of those around me. It is also going to help me put limits on those around me as well. Michael has already started acting as my “pitbull.” He talked to Anne Marie yesterday who wanted me to bring her some caffeine, and told her to deal with whatever she needed to do at that time and not to bother me, that at this time my needs must come first. I have always had a hard time saying no to her and consequently have often felt “used” by her. With Michael's help, perhaps she and I can get our relationship on a more mutually healthy footing.

Surgery is still an unknown. I got cleared by the ophthalmologist and talked with my doctor. What I had was called a transient ischemic attack. Something in my brain stem triggered it. Could have been low blood sugar, heat, a million things. It is not indicative of a possible future stroke, but if anything like that happens again, I need to go to my doctor immediately and further tests will be required. We still haven't gotten the results on the urine culture, and that is the only hurdle left. We are proceeding as though the surgery will happen on Monday. I will call the hospital and see if it is still scheduled. I suppose it is possible they could call Monday morning and cancel it, but I hope not. We are going up to Lea's to spend the night. She lives very near the hospital and can take us there in the morning. She has to come here to pick us up because I won't be able to drive for at least a week, but she doesn't seem to mind, though turning around and driving us back right away might be imposing too much. But Michael, with his new shorter hair and trimmed beard, looks very presentable. I don't think he will scare her, lol.

[It is interesting to reread these early journal entries.  To see the seeds of jealousy starting to poke up, to hear how I deny that I would really have liked a sexual relationship with him.  I am adding these comments a year and a half later and the situation is very different.  I refuse to edit out anything from this journal because it is what I was thinking and feeling at the time, but hindsight can be amusing and embarrassing as well.]


Monday, November 21, 2016

The Real Adventure Begins

June 11

I got back from Hawaii last night, late. It was an absolutely perfect vacation. I took lots of pictures, Sam and I got along great, he treated me like a queen and our sex was very good too. However, ironically, we decided that we have a number of differences that probably make a permanent relationship unlikely. For one, he is 3000 miles away, is a neat-nick, and very frugal with his money. Generous, but frugal. I am much less of a neat-nick and not particularly frugal. Plus I will have my hands full with Michael for a while, so we agreed to be good friends, and lovers when we can, but as much as I enjoyed my visit, and I really did, this is better. From my point of view, I need a person who is more affectionate. He is very affectionate in bed, but when we are out, not so much. He got to the point where he would hold my hand, but only if I linked my arm with his. But that's all ok. We had a fantastic time together, and I will always be grateful for the wonderful time he showed me. I kept a journal of the trip with the thought of including it here, but I don't think it is really pertinent. Plus it has a number of intimate parts that are better kept just between us.

While I was gone I used the mobile app to keep in touch with the guild and with Michael. He was very terse the entire time I was gone, and to be honest, that made me feel a little bad. I got home at midnight last night and sent him a message, inviting him to skype me when he felt like it. He did almost immediately. Mary was in skype with us too, though that's no big deal. He is very comfortable with her, and so am I, so we were able to talk, and we did until 4 am. One of the first things he said was that he didn't respond to me much while I was gone because he wanted my mind on Sam, not on him. And he teased me about asking people to keep an eye on him, lol. Well, I think he did fine, but he also said there is some anxiety building, but he is keeping it at bay with the excitement. He was very proud of himself because he finally sorted through his closet, with Mary's help. She kept him company on line and that was the big job and now it's done. He also told me had had talked to Rolland and he is very positive. He is hoping the three of us can get together before we have to leave. He has another friend he says he is having a hard time telling about leaving, but he will get it done. And he said he was going to wait until the last minute to tell his older sister and his aunt, because both of them have big mouths, he says, and as soon as he does, the entire family will know. He feels that while it is possible they may be supportive, it is more likely they will try to change his mind and give him grief about the decision, and if he does it right before he leaves, there will be little or no time for them to react. It is totally his decision how he wants to handle it.

Now that Hawaii is over, this move is imminent. The Grand Adventure is really about to start. Today is Thursday, and I am home today, but tomorrow I have to go to Orange County to do some blood work and have lunch with my sister. Saturday I am having my nails done, and need to pack because I will be leaving about 4am on Sunday morning. There is a long, tedious drive in front of me, but after that, the fun begins. I'm keeping a “weather eye” on the weather as I drive across the plains because bad weather is forecast. So Michael was giving me tips for avoiding tornadoes, lol, like I wouldn't just go in the opposite direction if I saw one, and/or die of fright. At the moment, it isn't looking bad, so maybe it will be a boring trip after all. In a way, everything I have written since the start of this book is prologue, and once I get to MN, the real story begins.

June 12

Well, the best laid plans some how always have a way of going awry. My car broke down today. Looks like the alternator and it will cost $500 to fix it. They will get it fixed tomorrow so I can leave on Sunday as planned, but with considerably less money than I thought I would have. Especially since Jarrod wants $1500 from me for the roof. He will just have to take payments for that since my income is dipping in August by $750 because my retirement incentive is done. We will be ok, but it will be a bit tighter than I wanted, and I think food stamps from Michael will be a big help.

Jarrod picked me up from the repair shop and we talked as we drove home. He is thinking that they might move off the hill, and even thought about the idea of a house big enough for all of us, but unfortunately, the “all of us” didn't include Michael. I'm hoping that he and Michael will get along and that he doesn't want to do this right away. Maybe by the time it becomes a reality, if it does, Michael will be able to contribute and he and Jarrod will not be wanting to kill each other. I really have my doubts about whether that idea of all of us living together will work out. But I'm not going to borrow trouble at this time.

Michael was extremely drunk tonight in raid, same last night and more than usual. I think he is experiencing some anxiety and trying to keep it at bay with rum. And he knows he won't be able to drink like that after next week. Good thing too as he is killing himself this way. Self destruction clothed as alcohol to reduce inhibitions? I hope not. He told me he talked to his friend Chris today and I don't think it went really well. He says Chris needs more time to think about this. That his only comment was “You have friends in California?” He feels once Chris realizes he has made a firm commitment to starting a new life that Chris will accept the situation. Regardless, Michael remains committed, even if the anxiety is rising.

June 13

Well, the shit is well and truly hitting the fan right now. Michael's anxiety level is off the chart and I am hearing about it. I have also seen it first hand last night in raid. He was drunker than I have ever seen him, and it was a bit scary. Mary tells me they had a conversation that didn't end well, that he told her he is trying to push her away and accused her of ganging up on him with her friend Amber. Amy said he won't open up to her, but she noticed the heavier than normal drinking and the increase in swearing and sexual references in raid last night. I am going to try to have a talk with him and see if I can calm him down. I want to remind him of his reasons for wanting to make this move, and they haven't changed, but I suspect he isn't aware of what is happening to him right now, or maybe he is but is helpless to stop it. I don't know. In a way, it will be the first real test of this Grand Adventure, and I'm not even there yet. I hope that my being there will calm him, but that is still 3 days away. I wish he would just go hang with Rolland for a couple of days until I can get there. Rolland is a good influence on him I think. The unlimited access to alcohol he has right now is fueling his anxiety rather than keeping it at bay.

After a very frustrating day I finally connected with Michael. He had been beating himself up because of his meltdown, but in true Michael fashion, he talked to all the parties involved from last night and worked things out. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, and he admits it just got away from him. He didn't realize his anxiety was getting to critical mass. He thought he could keep it in check, but he “popped” as he put it. Better now than while we are in transit I guess. I didn't even have to remind him of his reasons, I don't think he ever considered not going through with it. But he was scared and it was all just too much.

I don't know if I can be the safety valve for growing anxiety for him, but if I can't I can at least help put him back together after the fact. I think it will be easier for both of us when we are back here. He says for the first time he can let go, and be himself totally. I asked him if he could do that with David and he said no, absolutely not. He says there is just too much baggage, he calls it Catholic Guilt, and he wants to just leave it behind and start fresh.

It's funny, at the beginning of this year I made a conscious decision to not be alone anymore. I started looking on dating websites, which is how I met Sam, but it's funny that my companion turns out to be Michael. I would never have believed that would happen. I told him that and he understood, and said we are in this together, this isn't about him or about me, it is about us, as a couple, a very odd couple indeed.

So, I'm packed and nearly ready to go. Just a last few things. I want to go to bed early tonight so I can get up early and get on the road. I need some rest anyway. I had a very disturbing thing happen on my way home from Anne Marie's house. I was driving down the road and suddenly I couldn't see straight. It was like my eyes were crossed and I couldn't uncross them. I stopped the car, closed my eyes several times, and each time I opened them it was still there, until finally it was gone. It went on for several minutes and I thought I was going to have to call for help. I'm glad I didn't. I don't know what it was, maybe a sudden drop in blood sugar. I haven't eaten much since I got home from Hawaii. There is hardly any food in the house. I'll go grocery shopping when I get back.

June 23

Back with Michael in tow.

It was a long trip, over 4 thousand miles, and not exactly what I expected.

I arrived in Minnesota and Michael and I met for the first time in person. I had been prepared, I thought, for him, but still he was different from what I expected. He has hair, lots and lots of hair, everywhere. His hair on his head is long, more than half way down his back, and somewhat wild and unkempt, and he likes to wear it long and free. His beard covers much of his face, and my opinion is that he uses his hair to hide behind. His hair is a brown mahogany, his beard is ginger, and his chest is covered with a mat of black hair. Nothing matches. He is not tall, about 5'10”, but he is a big man, very barrel chested, and a little bit overweight, but not too bad. He has full lips, a very straight nose, and chiseled features. His eyes are a beautiful blue. His skin is very pale, consistent with someone who seldom gets outside. I have no idea what he thought of me, but the initial meeting was awkward, very awkward. And only because he was having such anxiety over the whole thing that he could barely function. I kept expecting him to tell me he had changed his mind and I even asked him if he had or wanted to, but he was determined, just completely freaked out.

Shortly before I arrived, I had a call from my surgeon's office. John, the PA, told me I had failed my blood test, that I had a bacterial infection in my urine, and that if it isn't cured, surgery will have to be postponed. I think I brought home an unexpected souvenir form Hawaii. I told him I was in MN and he said to give him the number of a pharmacy and he would call in a prescription. I called Michael and asked him for the number of a local pharmacy which he got for me. After I arrived and had gotten my things in, I could see how uptight he was so I suggested he show me the pharmacy. He had trouble finding it, partly because he was nervous and partly because he doesn't drive. I picked up the prescription and a bottle of wine. After we got home I gave him a bottle of rum I had bought for David, but to help with his anxiety, I suggested he have a drink. That helped a lot and he settled down, but it was necessary to keep him fairly drunk for a couple of days to get much out of him. During those days I didn't get much sightseeing done. I made a couple of trips to the Mall of America, but felt I needed to be close to him when he was awake. On the final day, Friday, he still hadn't finished his packing. The drinking became extremely heavy for both of us. I was well and truly drunk too, and I was listening in to raid while Michael played. During break Michael and I got a little carried away. He and I were sitting on the floor beside each other, and for some reason, he was wearing only his skivvies. At one point I put my hand on his leg and he started yelling that I was trying to touch his penis. I honestly don't remember what I said, but I have heard about that incident since I got home. Apparently the guild loved hearing me be something other than the goodie-goodie they think I am. If they only knew....

After raid, and after he finished talking with Mary, he and I spent several hours talking and he was still drinking. He was very affectionate, just like he always was, and kept looking at his closet saying “One more drink and one more cigarette and I'll get started.” That went on for about 3 hours. I kept him company, listening and doing a little talking, until 4 am when he finally collapsed and we were able to get a little sleep. I slept in his bed and he was on the floor next to the bed. However, we only got about 3 hours because we had to leave the next day by noon and we still had the packing to do. It was so very sad to see him so hung over, I'm surprised he could function at all. And of course, with the hangover comes the depression. We were finally ready to go at noon and got started. Leaving David was probably one of the hardest things he has ever done. I almost cried. But he made it fast then proceeded to sleep or try to sleep for the next six hours until we got to Kansas City where we met Pol. That was a lovely evening, but he was still very quiet and depressed, so I bought him a couple of drinks, not enough to get him drunk, but enough to loosen him up. The next day he was very quiet again until afternoon, when the hangover finally seemed to wear off.

The hangover wore off, but the depression and anxiety were still there, in spades. We didn't speak much the entire trip back. I should have realized what would happen, but I forgot that the drunk Michael is not the real Michael – yet. He hates car trips, change in general, and any talk that is deals with things more than a day away. His quietness was his way of dealing with his freaking out, but it was still difficult for me. That is my problem, not his. He is not only freaking out over the move, but over the surgery that is next week. I kinda take it for granted, but I keep forgetting his irrational fears about it.

The final leg of the trip, today, was the best in some respects. It was fairly short, and he had the tablet I brought along to play with, to keep him occupied. The last 20 miles were harrowing for him. We had to go from the desert floor up to 4 thousand feet, and the only way to get up there was by a very windy road with long drops. He held it together, mostly. He is afraid of heights and being in cars in treacherous (as he put it) situations. If he hadn't been so pitiful, it would have been funny. Actually it was very funny anyway and he told me later he was hamming it up.

We finally made it home a couple of hours ago and he is in his room sorting things out. As soon as we got home, he gave me a big hug, the first I have received since we left. His mood was much lighter, and he was talking a blue streak. We still have a lot ahead of us, but this trip gave me an insight into what I am facing with him better than anything that had gone on before. He is still the Michael I love, but setting that other Michael free isn't going to be easy. He doesn't want to drink. Has made that abundantly clear, and I admire his strength of character to keep to that. He says drink is behind him and the new life will have to be mostly without it. So a lot of us are going to have to get used to a new Michael, one that is more quiet, more difficult to get along with, but still, very much worth the effort.

Later same day:

It is amazing what a little time can do. Michael got his computer up and running then spent a couple of hours with Mary and Amber, then decided he wanted to spend some time with me. We were talking like we haven't done in days, weeks. We were sitting outside, he was having a little wine, and I a bourbon, it was so relaxed. He really likes it here. He loves his room, and the property is quiet and beautiful. Anne Marie came over and spent a couple of hours. They ganged up on me about telling the doctor about the episode with my eyes.. I didn't tell either one of them that I have been having chest pains, because I think everything is related to stress.

Anyway Anne Marie and Michael got along very well, he and I spent a lot of time together, I am getting hugs all the time, he is smiling and talking. He called David and told him we had arrived and that he was really enjoying it here. He loves Hamish. I know it could revert in a heart beat, and no doubt will, but I will be better prepared for it when it happens, and in the meantime, the affection and conversation is just what I needed, so things are ok for now.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Pot Starts Boiling

May 26

Michael called me on skype last night about midnight and we talked until 3 am at which time I had to go to sleep. I had a busy day planned and at that I only got about 3 hours sleep. Michael is getting better about knowing some people aren't insomniacs, but when he is like that, he likes company.

During this time we talked about, what else, moving here. He told me he is going to tell his cousin Rolland, His older sister, a friend, and his aunt, and that's all. He would like me to meet Rolland when I am in Minneapolis. Rolland is very important to Michael and I would like to meet him and reassure him that I'm not kidnapping Michael. I told Michael what David had said about Michael's father and Michael said he doesn't want anything to do with his father, and he isn't going to tell his younger sibs he is leaving because they are too close to their father. He said he really loves his brother but he can't seem to see him much because he is always busy doing things with their father. Then Michael said that maybe some day, when he is more comfortable with himself he can “live through the bullshit that he dishes out.” and “meet again” to get to know each other. I think he would like that.

He also said that he has worked hard for the last few years to make himself invisible to the family, and he has succeeded. Therefore, he feels they won't even know he has moved. At least not for a while until someone tells them. I find this so incredibly ironic and sad. Michael is a larger than life man who has had a tremendous impact on the people he has met in the guild. He is liked, loved, and missed when he is off line even for a short period of time. Yet to his family he is “invisible.” How terribly sad that they can't see the man I do. He has a heart 10 sizes to big, gives to everyone he knows without thought of any return. Is the most perceptive person I know, so smart, so loving, so charismatic. How can he be invisible?

May 27

Michael asked for a base ball bat or a blunt instrument today. Said he grew up in a bad part of Minneapolis and is anal about keeping doors locked in the house and the car. He will have some adjusting to do to my rather trusting methods in Anza. For my last house I lived in for 10 years I didn't even have a key to the door. And for the five years I have lived here, I have always had my sliding door open for the dogs, even when I'm not home. The same sliding door that is now in his bedroom, lol. However, since I lost my little dog, 2 months ago, I have kept it closed. I'm down to one dog, Hamish, and he is very good in the house for long periods of time. But, I'll look for a baseball bat for him. Ever since that incident at school, probably isn't a bad idea to be more careful.

May 30

OMG I am knackered. Another all night session with Michael, then a trip down the hill to have my hair done and small errands. All in all, 30 hours without sleep, and then only 3 hours since I got home. Guess I'll go to bed real early tonight and see if I can be awake enough to get ready for my trip tomorrow.

But it was an interesting conversation. Michael was drunk as usual and we discussed that health wise. The big thing that came out of that was his strong desire to quit drinking. He says it is making him sick and he really wants to take a permanent break from both drinking and smoking. He drinks rather than eats and sometimes he gets really hungry but drinks because it is easier than fixing something to eat. He asked David to buy a pizza last night and he said he ate ½ of a deep dish pizza all by himself. That he had a couple of slices, went back for more, waited a bit, went back for more. He said that is how hungry he was. Both David and David Sr. are heavy drinkers and smokers and David always has it available. Michael says if it is there he will drink it. He did warn me that when he stops drinking and begins exercising to get in shape that he will require more calories. I'm thinking food stamps, lol.

He is very interested in changing our eating habits. I told him about making juice and we talked about starting a garden, small, with a few melons and berries at first. Maybe we'll see if we can do anything like that when we get back from MN. It will only be the middle of June. We might have time. Carrots are a fast crop, might be able to do something there, assuming we can control the gophers. We may have to look into container gardening. He also said he would take the responsibility of fixing dinner for me on raid nights so we can have a good meal before we go kill bad guys. That would be a very nice change for me for sure, lol
Then the discussion turned to, as it frequently does, Michael's Harem. He feels so glad to be surrounded by “beautiful and loving” women who make him feel loved and wanted, and for whom he can provide a similar “service” (my word, not his). We talked about his desire, or rather his lack thereof to have a closer relationship with one person and how he wants to be able to spread his love to many. He feels he has made big improvements in that area and that Michael's Harem is responsible for his improved moods. That led to a discussion of what we wanted to do when he got home. I told him I felt that, as much as I have helped him so far, I'm not enough. I tried to explain that he needs more help than I am able to give. I'm referring to professional help, and he didn't seem to catch on to that. He just kept saying he knew he needed more, but felt that the women in his life would be that “more.” I am concerned that he may feel professional help isn't necessary as long as he has his harem. But I will gently push him in that direction. I know how this game goes, and people come and go in it, sometimes very suddenly. Even in our guild, which is quite stable, turnover is inevitable.

We discussed jealousy and how he knows when I am feeling “neglected.” I work very hard not to be jealous of his time with other women. I am actually pleased he has so many people he feels comfortable with, but I will admit that at times, especially when I can't talk to him because he is with Mary or someone else, I feel peeved. Small on my part, I know. But it is what it is. However, apparently he picks up on that. Remember I said he is very perceptive, and even though I don't say anything, I think he can read that pretty well. I will leave him alone totally if I see he is talking or playing with someone else. I asked him how he knew and he said it was sometimes in the way I said things, or rather didn't say anything. He hasn't figured out balance yet, so when he is with one person, whoever it is, he is totally there, but apparently, not unmindful of nuances of conversations directed to him. Sometimes he is scary. His ability to read people and respond to their needs is often uncanny. My relationship with him is totally different from his with others as we often have things of substance to discuss. I will send him messages he will see when he gets up. He said something about the difficulty of reading “essays” when he first gets up. But he also says he knows that it is probably the only way to get some information across to him in a timely manner. It should be easier when he is here. We'll see. [It's not...]

Later, we were raiding, and we were both beyond tired, and he was about ready to pass out I think. I was playing on my shaman and asked him, in a wsp, about how to handle positioning during a particular fight. He answered in vent, in a very dismissive way. Told me not to ask him raid strategy questions right then and proceeded to give me some information I already had. I became angry with him for answering me out loud rather than typing a response. I found it embarrassing, but I was also beyond the end of my tolerance for anything at that point, so I logged off and went to bed. Probably one of the many bumps in the road we will encounter, and hopefully we can work them out. However, no point in talking about something when we are both sleep deprived and he is totally drunk.

May 31

Day after tomorrow I leave for Hawaii. I will be with my sister most of tomorrow. Probably pack when I get back. I haven't had a chance to say good bye to Michael so I left him a message. I asked Mary to keep an eye on him. I don't know if he will get nervous about things before I get back, but it wouldn't surprise me. However, Mary is leaving on Monday for a week, so we are both gone at the same time now that I think about it. She will be back before I am, I think. However, there are other Michael's Harem members who can fill in for us, lol. Sometimes I think we are all interchangeable.

To be honest, I am going to try to put him out of my mind for the next 10 days or so. I will be with Sam and I want my total attention to be on him. If I have some down time I will try to check in with the guild, but they are in good hands, and so is Michael. Maybe I'm hoping they will all miss me. It is nice to be missed sometimes.

[I didn't realize it at the time but Michael's anxiety levels were steadily rising. In hindsight, deciding to go on a 10 day trip to see a man I was interested in who lived in Hawaii might not have been the best idea. It left Michael without an outlet for his anxiety and frustration. He wanted me to have a good time so he didn't want to talk to me while I was gone. I still don't know all about what was happening then, but I do know that when I got back things were “difficult.” More about that in the next blog.]