OK, the ball is rolling inexorably forward, so I feel like I can talk about what's going on, what my plans are, and what changes are happening in my life right now. My apologies for being vague up to this point, I didn't want to jinx things or have to retcon or back peddle about them.
OK, let's start with the divorce. I know a lot of you have said they never saw this coming, though others say they aren't surprised. The fact is that there have been issues building between us for a long time. Some of them were being worked on, some were being ignored, but in the end, they built up until they blew up. These issues had nothing to do with Jessica, though her visit was probably a catalyst for bringing them to the forefront. It boiled down to two main things: the issues were not being handled, and neither of us was getting what we wanted. I wanted a greater level of involvement, emotionally, and believed I could not have it. She wanted to pursue her fetish desires and continue on a more polyamorous direction. I was OK with doing this, but it wasn't anything I was into or enjoyed, so it was little better than playacting. I knew it, she knew it, and it wasn't going to keep working. Meanwhile, I stayed cold and distant, and this was a recipe for disaster. It's a good thing that we are doing this when we are. We're able to recognize this and make it all go smoothly in our separation.
We're being very friendly about it all. She's pursuing those desires, and has hooked up with a BDSM/poly family in Seattle that she's been friends with for many, many years. It's giving her the things she wants and desires and is helping her in a lot of ways, and I'm quite happy for her, since it's what I could not give. I hope it continues to work and continues to make her happy. As for myself, I'm pursuing what I wanted, and I found it in a way I never expected. Jessica and I have known each other for even longer than I've known Di, and we've always been very close. I knew I felt a lot for her, and having her here made that even more so. However, I did not expect it to go as well as it did.
I have, all my life, had a bit of an issue with being emotionally disconnected. I don't form or feel the kinds of close bonds that I see or feel others have, I've always been a little chilly in my connections. I thought I knew what love was, and figured it was just another emotion that I suppressed. I assumed I'd just not have it like I didn't ever have true happiness (I rarely get excited about things). I was OK with polyamory because it didn't matter. When your love is kinda bland and disconnected, there's no big deal in having more of it. However, once Jessica and I spent time together, I found what I thought did not exist for me, and I was a little scared, to be honest. I felt in a way I'd never felt, believed in a way I'd never believed. I was unsure how to process it, how to approach it, because I could see the difference. It took a long, emotional conversation involving tearful breakdowns between us to realize that I'd found my True Love, and so had she.
Yes, if you are looking at my Facebook, you've seen the relationship change to being engaged to her. I understand that you may feel this is premature, and I can understand that feeling. however, she and I have discussed things extensively, and continue to do so. She is my life as I am hers, and neither of us has any desire for anyone or anything but to continue our life together. There's a long road to go between now and when we can make that happen, but we chose to make that commitment anyway. I'd been keeping that bit out of the public eye, out of respect for the household, but Di and I talked more, and with her commitment to her new family, agreed that there was no reason to keep the secret from the rest of the world. She's as happy for us as I'm for her, and agrees that Jessica and I are tailor made for each other. I usually try to avoid cheesy phrases about things, but someone I talked to recently said "Sounds like she's your soul mate"...and I believe she is.
OK, that's enough about that. Let's look at more present situations.
I've been a househusband for eight years. When I moved down here, I quit my job at Earthlink, and started looking for work here. Nothing was biting but we were doing OK, so Di said that she was OK with my not working. I took are of the house, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, etc., and she didn't have to. I got all my time for myself, and she got to not worry about the house. Even during lean times, we were OK, so that never changed. However, the present situation shows that it screwed me. No work history for so long looks pretty bad on a resume. Sure, I can claim I was running my graphic design business, but that doesn't get me many job offers. I've long since lost or forgotten any contact info for old employers, and most places don't care past the five or ten year mark, anyway. I've been busting my ass looking for work. No matter how I spin it, the fact is that my resume goes to the bottom of the pile when it has no verifiable experience on it and others' do. I've been lowering my standards, but what I can get makes so little that I'd be here forever, trying to save up enough to get out on my own, and I know that it's more difficult for Di with me being here, and for me as well.
Few days ago, Di says she has to talk to me. When she took this new job, she took a small pay cut. Also, she's working across the state line in Oregon, and that means state income tax. Now that she's been working long enough to see how the pay goes, she ran the numbers and is coming up $600 a month less than we need. Thus, we can no longer make rent on the house and will lose it. Needless to say,t hat's not good. She has options: she can move into the trailer at her folks' place, she can live at Erik's other grandparents' place, or she can get an apartment. none of these, though, have any place for me, which would leave me homeless, and still with no job. The only option that would work was for me to grab pretty much any job I could and pay the difference until we can both get out. however, $600 a month is a lot to pay, and it would leave me so little to save that I don't know when I'd be able to leave. I was completely behind the eight-ball, as it were.
In the end, losing my damn mind, I called my Dad to see if he had any ideas. Lord love the guy, he stepped right up to the plate and started thinking, trying to come up with ideas and angles. Plus, though he's retired, he still has contacts in the auto trucking business, and tried to see if he could get me on anywhere. A job idea was in Seattle, but was a no-go. He mentioned that, worst case scenario, he'd pay for a train ticket to him and put me up while I get my life together. The more I thought about it and the more I looked, the idea became more and more attractive, and I decided to take him up on it. It will allow me to restart my life in a less stressful place, without the worry of keeping a roof over my head, etc. He'll continue to help me out finding a job and with transport, and all my cash can basically go right in to savings, meaning a lot sooner that I can get out on my own again. The downside as far as my friends go, of course, is the fact that I'm picking up and moving to Wisconsin. Still, I'd hope that people can see the validity of what I'm doing and support me in it. Maybe I'll stay there a couple years and then come back or maybe I'll love the place and stay, I have no idea...but for now, it's the best option and the safest one I have. Meanwhile, I'm sure he can use the help around the house.
Jessica had gone back to school and had taken a break to visit. She'll be starting back up in November, and finishing her medical admin degree. There may come a point down the road that the rest of her classes could be taken online, we'll see. That gives me plenty of time to reboot and reestablish myself. When such time as both those things come to pass then she'll move to be with me and we'll embark on any further life, but we agree that we want to do this right, and we're willing to wait and go about it the smart way (I had an offer to get my ass out to her now, but that would not be good in the long run, and we both know it). In the meantime, we have what we have and we love it, and we'll get what more we can when the opportunities arise. And, hey, Wisconsin is a helluva lot closer than Portland to Virginia.
I think that's it. Yes, I'll take questions form the audience.
Meanwhile, my train to Wisconsin should be leaving November 1st. That gives me ten days to pack my stuff and find a place to store it until I can have it shipped out to Dad's place. I don't really have anything to "put in order" here, so that's really the only thing to do. I'll pack my clothes and my computer and head out East, and the rest will follow soon. I feel like a huge weight is off of me, and so much stress has disappeared that I'm almost high from it. I slept better last night than I have in days.
So, I'd love to see people before I go, since it'll probably be the last time I'll see any of you for a while. Sunday afternoon, then, I'd love you all to come by. Won't be anything special happening, but it would suck to have to leave like this and not get to say goodbye. I'll still be online and have LJ/FB/IM/Skype, of course, so it's not like I'll disappear.
Life exploded - Frank found true love - Crushing weight of despair - Moving to Wisconsin - Come by Sunday as I may never see you again