Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the "Story So Far" Page above this and the "New Readers" tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


I think I have written before about Feminism. I know I have also considered kinks, pornography and relationships.

A whole host of factors tonight - planning for work, reading articles, and failing at parenting our daughter - mean that I was looking up 'feminist porn' just to see. And, you know what, it looks great. The descriptions are quite powerful actually - and not in the one-handed visceral nature of most porn sites, but in the region that...

See, I didn't expect it to hurt to read them.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Black Butterflies

I wonder if, rather than a black dog, my own experience of
that curious lack of emotion known as Depression could be
personified by black butterflies?
This is a necessarily short post. Re-reading my recent output and reviewing recent activities I can safely say that the black dog is out again. No, I am not asking sympathy, but I am publicly acknowledging that because it has been an influence recently.

How do I know? I think this is worth recording (for myself if no other reason). I have not enjoyed an ale since late August: the time in the local without happiness last week ought to have tipped me off here, but I can now add to that the fact that tonight I have not had an ale and it has been a good day, a good week and I have had the opportunity to have one. I have managed no joy in my pootlings online, which is unusual, and even playing games has been mechanical. Drifting toward captions I have seen the sort of thing I enjoy, usually, and the styles of stories that appeal. I have gone to art sites that are not sexual-related and stories that do not rely on TG or one-handedness and got nothing. I have glutted myself on Cracked's After Hours and enjoyed that, with real laughs, but it has been entirely passive in terms of my engagement. When I become a passive receptor I know that I am being a tad depressed - I lack the idea sleet and that, even if I do not act on it, is a feature of me not being depressed. A lack of it must therefore suggest depression.

Note the addition of a catheter that
would necessitate some padding.
Tellingly, I have signed up on emlalock again, despite having no means of lockable chastity. To play and to pretend I guess. This has been a feature of previous depression too, especially since March 2014, and mostly that is a safe place. I can pretend and act out there - no message boards, almost entirely private playing with numbers and games - without fear of harming or interacting with others. Except that, this time, I have been contacted and asked, genuinely, what I would like to have happen. This appears to be a professional person and/or group that can offer free services (presumably to hook and thus offer paid services later, or else someone who genuinely enjoys what they do - which I would suspect to be vanishingly rare) on the chastity front. And, for a moment, I was tempted to get fully involved. But I am lying and playing, I can offer no proof of anything.

Oh, and this would be proper cheating if I did. I would be outsourcing sex and sexual satisfaction fully and completely in a way that, despite previous activity, I have never done before. It's a red line. And the initial impetus, the gut reaction to do it is indicative of the self-destructive streak that I associate with me when depressed. It was the canary in the mine and it would appear that, yes, the late nights and late mornings are, as suspected, the symptoms of that depression once more. In essence, it was my wake-up call. I did not have it with breakfast in bed and have not requested room service with a newspaper.

Could this solve the issue? She wouldn't need to do or control
anything and I would be able to pretend anything I liked.
Conversation with Tilly, planned soon, on my cross-dressing (and her feelings on the matter, which she accepts are unreasonable) will now have to include, I feel, chastity. I know that she has no more to say or to give on the sexual front - she is happy with what we do, with the frequency and the style. None of this is likely to change and I would be unreasonable to assume that she could change her views on that. It behooves me to find a way to make things work within her parameters so that I get some compromise. Perhaps, and this is a big perhaps, chastity may offer me a way to do that without impinging on her feelings of what is and is not possible.

In the chessboard of my life and that of people whom my wife I and I know, I am uncertain how much is shared between the front row and the back, and how much relations between the two queens would be changed by revelations on this blog - in short, I know not how much of this here place is shared between qp and his Imperator - but I said I would remain honest. I suppose this is me remaining honest! So, good things, and something about which my depression will find it harder to lie.

Black butterfly curtsy
- strangely close to being exactly what
I was looking for from the search terms.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

And now you're back, from outer space...

I've done that thing again. And I'm committing faux-pas by referencing it (however obliquely). Nevertheless, here I am.

Pictured: not something I actually looked at this last week.
Apparently I downloaded it sometime in 2012.

Interesting though?

Eh, probably not.
I have been a bit crap with work lately and part of that has been the result of, the rest the cause of, pootling about where I ought to know better than pootling. I'm not talking about commenting on blogs like Dee's, by the way, because that is something I ought to do more of and, mainly, is not part of my poor internet habits. No, I am talking of the rest of the places I visit like milovana and GetDare and the like. Because they are not good for me. Certainly not whilst trying, and failing, to get my head around Families and Households for work.

Despite preparing much data noodling in advance (and I can noodle data well) I am not attending to updates and changes as well as I should. Despite attending to my employee problems (and I'm historically poor at this) I am not marking like I ought. Throw in the late nights (never earlier than 11pm) and you have a heady mix. Oh, and coffee. I may have mentioned how I don't usually drink caffeine in the past, well, it effects me a lot. So a couple of coffees... Oh, and my back went on Sunday. It sort of... went. I couldn't move and it was pain. Anyway, that's going away now because I can wait (I think I covered this) and things like this go away if I wait long enough.

Ha ha, I'm not female, not in a chastity belt and Tilly doesn't
care enough to make the whole 'no sex' thing funny.

Or... something. Mini-depression, you make your own rules,
apparently. I may have read too many Cracked articles...
There are upsides. At least, maybe. Tilly reckons that, had I not thrown out my back, she would have been up for couple-y shenanigans of the bedtime variety - sex. Oh, but she has book-panic at full effect, so maybe not until after the deadline for that (end of October, sports fans!), but y'know, the back thing, that's a dampener on relations of the sexual kind. Hence part of the visits to faproulette and rollinfap (yes, these are actual places I seem to frequent now). Crushing mini-depression (so not the full-blown thing) has stymied my beer blog, nothing new there in ages despite having reviews stacked on my phone, and compounded the sleep problems - late to bed and late to rise (6.45 this morning! I can't even begin to tell you how crap that is!). The back thing did prevent badminton this week, which is crap, because I do precious little actual exercise. Did I mention the twat that destroyed the mirror on Vanessa making her illegal to drive? Still no word on the electric car either. So there is sad.

Not quite these boots, but near enough these boots.

Actually, looking at it, maybe these boots after all.
I also pulled my boots on, you know the ones, and ended up pulling the top off so they are no longer usable as well. That was galling given the insane lack of wear I have had from them. But I did see some walking boots with heels in a local charity shop for just over a fiver. I have agreed with myself that I shall buy them if they're there next week. Oh, and I went out to have actual beer in an actual pub on Saturday - which turned out to be a bit depressing all alone and without the compunction to review ale. I took no pictures, wrote no reviews and felt totally unfulfilled on the way home. Yay? I was out just under an hour.

At work I am finding actual work hard. I have two new courses to plan out, and I am doing poorly with both. I mean, at least the History based one is easy to bullshit my way through with enough understanding that the students aren't being failed by me - but the Sociology one is... well, it's not my forte. I'll have to actually, y'know, read and stuff. And, for the first time ever, my mind is teflon coated. Well, no, I did it with Frederick the Great and eighteenth century warfare back in my MA, and with my stuff on the Reivers for my BA dissertation... and politics in seventeenth century Europe... and my personal study at A Level... and... you know what, this seems to happen a lot with anything involving being out of my comfort zone. So, okay, not unusual, but bloody annoying.

Now, the whining:
Wah - can't parent.
Wah - Tilly more engrossed with book than me. And her writing buddy. And, well, pretty much anything else. Wah. Wah wah fucking wah.
Wah - tired.
Wah - bored.
Wah - beer brewing makes poor home-brew. Quelle surprise.

Now, off to find oddly specific porn.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

My Confusion

This was in 1996, apparently. If I had
known... I would have done bugger all.

Claire as 'Mother of all battles'.
Devouring the Grayson Perry biography I have been rather challenged and discomforted, the best sort of feeling to get from any tome, and it comes in the midst of travelling up to see my nephew have a thanksgiving service. Thus my family have been rather sharply contrasted with Perry's and his experiences with mine. I took the role of whipping boy over my rash decision to go electric in the car department - itself something I first mooted in the 1980s to the derision of my parents (along with recycling, teaching, writing and home schooling any future children) - and there were no casualties but pride.

I realise that I am a poor transvestite. I never dressed in anything feminine until the first year of university, which I did in private and in scrupulous secrecy, and I never actually came out as one (though I suspect pretty much everyone knew and probably better than I did). I have had but one romantic experience with cross-dressing involved that was with a mad person and had no future. I have never created nor maintained an actual wardrobe and I have been out and dressed (hardly) once in my entire life, in October 2011, with my platform heel shoes and, briefly, a skirt. The rest has been indoors and in private. Okay, there was the time I went in a mini-dress to a club with Toby but that doesn't count much as it was entirely shit. Okay, and the school-girl occasion on Toby's birthday, that was positive and never repeated and dressing up.

I am a poor human being. Today we were discussing what people wanted to do in school, I think my brother was being harangued (again) by my father over his 'non-job' (my father's words) of Christian youth work started in his gap-year. My brother never made it to University and his gap-year became his life work. I worked out that I had never had a really defined aim. A family, go to University and that was it. I have achieved these aims. I've tricked a woman into bed long enough to have two children and fooled academia long enough to dispense it as a career. I get paid for what I do. In the last week I even got a review from my immediate boss that reads like a fucking love letter. I'm not complaining.

None of it is me.

Do I spy Juana Galan in this image? I think I do, there to the far
left. I find it interesting that there are men in it - the story has
it that only the women were involved.
As a child I had my warzones and soldiers. Ruff, my puppy, was regularly captured and became a guerrilla leader before I was ten. Soldiers, cars, robots and transformers would battle it out on the bedroom floor with me as out of the picture. I dreamed in third person, always the observer and never present, with stories increasingly without character or emotion that focussed on the feel and the atmosphere rather than character or plot. I piddled about in art, where my work had no spark or soul or even ability. Somehow I wrangled a 'C' out of that. I wrote, and I thought I was good at writing, and dreamed of a book that would be published with my name on. Not my actual name, but a name that was mine. It was feminine. When I was 16 I went 'public' with my pen-name of S. C. Charlton (the S stood for Suzanne). Ha. I make it sound grand, I wrote it on some shitty writings in an old rough book my mother had got from her school. No one cared.

Yeah, I daydreamed in lectures, fell asleep in seminars and
didn't read widely at all. I blagged in Politics and fronted in
my main. I went to bed at 9pm mostly and woke at 6am.

I was pretty shit as a student. Imagine if I had embraced my
cross-dressing. Imagine if I had lived.
At University I failed to either party or study. I wrote even more close-packed and stunted prose that had an intellectual backing but nothing that set it apart. I thought I was good. I was shit. I did not embrace the opportunity to be me. My upbringing and my shame at what I suspected made me tape everything down harder. It was in my first year of work that I began to actually explore the feelings beyond the masturbation over the wordy and dense porn I discovered on fictionmania (was it my friend who introduced me to that, QP?) and that was, for many years, as far as I went. I discovered sticky-site (now defunct) at the end of that year and started going out with Toby soon afterward. It was staying over at hers in the summer of that year that I cross-dressed properly for the first time, I wore her T-shirt to sleep in. I bought a pack of knickers. At the end of the summer I wore her dress, I've spoken about it before (search the tag 'mad-ex' if you're interested), and then ordered my own stuff for Christmas that year - sharing it with Toby when she came to visit in January. That was the dam that broke.

Oxford. I bought roses. Derivative. Doomed.

I still love the colour yellow and would like to try a
half-tester again. It is laughably unlikely I ever shall.
I have never 'let myself go' sexually, emotionally or creatively. At least, the most I have was when I was with Toby. Then I packed it all up again. There was a potential release and acceptance offered with Catherine and the dress incident, along with the photo, but then it was back to privacy and in my own home. I could have developed but I met Tilly. I told her, I know I did because she likened me discussing her drinking with my mother (something she was very upset about) to her talking to her mother about transvestism, which is something she proudly didn't do. This was before that first Christmas, before we went to Oxford, very early in the relationship, and she wonders why I was secretive about it. We spoke about it again, in Oxford, and again when she moved in (I showed her my wardrobe in the racing green metal trunk by the bed). She was not interested. I tried one last time when we filled in sheets before we were married, I wrote in the "things I wish my partner knew about me" section that "sometimes I just like to wear clothes made and designed for women, like dresses and skirts." She asked if I'd done it since she moved in. I hadn't. That was the end of that.

Sexually I was disappointed. My naivete led me to believe that most people went beyond missionary, that most people were playful and experimental, ish. I always assumed that I would be the brake due to my own very set ideas and resolved to be open to anything once. It didn't help that going out with Toby was my only real experience of women who were sexual and she was mad.

Spring Harvest Big Top Praise.

This is from 2012. I haven't attended since 2005 I think.

Last time as a worker, rather than a punter, (and this is better
methinks) was in 2004.
I have never met with nor talked with actual transvestites or cross-dressers in real life. Hell, I didn't even anywhere else until I wrote this blog and it was a revelation that there are so many of us! I never sought it out in literature or libraries. I sort of denied it completely, utterly convinced that it was the precipice of destruction and, well, ill-defined Bad Things Generally. I approached masturbation the same way, nothing in my upbringing or my church-life informed this (indeed, in summer work, I'd read enough books on Christian relationships that were, really, more sex-positive than the one in which I currently live. Hell, some of them were positively filthy in what they suggested for couples with prayer - I realise my own church-life and religion is different from most other people so, I guess, YMMV). Nevertheless, I kept it secret and was even addicted for a few years in my MA and immediately afterward. However, like most of my actual addictions, I broke this by brutal cold-turkey and my own self-imposed spartan nature.

Apply the scrubbing pad to your fucking skin to remove the
stain. Nothing sexual or masochistic, it just fucking works.
There's no stain nor dirt that can stay if you scrub off the skin.

It's why I shall never have a tattoo. I'd scrub the ink out. It
would bleed.
I wash myself similarly. I can scrub myself raw to remove ink-stains or paint or, memorably, warts. I had a wart on my toe. Application of wire-brush, alcohol gel and my nails to the point of blood and stinging for three weeks sorted that out. This stands as metaphor to my approach to anything else. Too many energy drinks and caffeine? Cold turkey until the headaches stop and I don't think about buying them. Sweets? In a tin and see how long I can leave them untouched (three years before I simply stopped counting, that was in 1995). Computer games? Shut down and wait. I can wait a long time. I am good at waiting. I am actively divesting myself of extraneous shit. I continue to actively wait in terms of sex in my relationship. I can wait a long time. I am good at waiting. I managed two years without anything sexual. I managed three years without sex. I've managed seven years and counting with dysfunction. I'm waiting. Scrub with alcohol gel until it goes numb and stops bleeding, cut it off, rub it out, pulverise it with rocks until even the dust marks are gone and the concrete is scarred more than my flesh. And it fucking works. It's my one special ability, my one method that is mine. It really isn't for everyone. I can do it because I am single-minded and broken. I am not better than others in this regard, I am different. It is, perhaps, my only difference.

Eye bleach!
My only failure of this method so far has been cross-dressing, transvestism. Yet I still persist in trying my method because part of me resents the fact that I can't let this part of myself go. I have spent so long in my life rolling back my borders, scrubbing traces of myself from my life and those I meet and the environment in which I live, fading into the background, the observer and no more, that my failure in this regard still rankles. It carries bitterness and reading the biography has brought home, once more, how successful I have been and how much I have still failed. I am not one nor the other and thus have the disadvantages of both and the advantages of neither. It is The Fear, about which I have also written. But it remains. It will likely never go. And I shall never know the freedom and release of Perry, of the other brave souls who embrace who they are that I read about through this vicarious life on this blog.

Waiting has destroyed my writing urges. I have scrubbed and gone cold-turkey and I have succeeded, it is dead and gone. I no longer harbour dreams of publication, I assassinated that part of me. There is some pride in that. My last unrealistic goal purged so that I shan't feel bitter and sad when others see success in this regard. I can no longer be insulted and hurt when people do not like what I have written because I no longer write anything. I never get as far as opening the documents any more, I have stopped jotting down dreams and ideas, the still-births no longer haunt me. People like Perry, like my friends, my wife: true creatives - they create. They have the resilience and the ability. I do not create, I copy and twist. I have never had an original thought or idea and, frankly, I don't think I want one, it seems like a lot of work and emotional investment. As an emotional illiterate I believe myself incapable of the latter and as a lazy cunt I dislike the sound of the former. I do not sally forth to seek asymmetric battle with terror, I withdraw and hide in the hinterlands. There is no Alan Measles, only Ruff - the forgotten hero abandoned before I was 12 because soft-toys were for children - and his long forgotten and abandoned conflict. I have withdrawn because I am a coward. But I am alive and cannot be killed. Better a live coward than a hero disabled. I have skull-fucked my dreams and they have stopped, slick in their own blood and mouldering on the abattoir floor.

But I can't manage to stop the cross-dressing.

My children will have dreams. It is my wish and my desire that they do not self-regulate to my excess. But I am slightly autistic and, though spectrum-y, neither of my children yet display any of my hallmarks regarding self-control and active waiting. With Tilly as a mother perhaps they never will, and I shall be glad.

Stopping now, being remarkably self-indulgent.

Friday, 11 September 2015

I'm so excited

And I just can't hide it

There's also a section where he stops being able to play the
game. It reminded me of Allie Brosh in that both instances
resonate. Is this what everyone feels, then?
I was a little over-excited actually, but my parcel arrived at work today. I'd ordered a replacement copy of Hitler: The Rise of Evil (because, even though the government is determined to remove the study of this from the examinations for, well, for reasons, I think it's an important parallel in these post-financial crisis days) which, apart from a small panic at the Dutch packaging, is good and working. There was also the Roots DVD box-set for the slavery course, which is a bit exciting too.

No, what caused me to lose my head a bit and actually 'squee' in front of students (though they were unaware of the reason) was the Grayson Perry biography. I read some of it whilst popping out to get Chinese with the £20 from my father because I can't stand the Mail and Sun that it seems all take outs supply for waiting patrons. I find this doubly confusing as the families that run them tend to be the very sort of people that these papers despise and, in at least one case, they are immigrants themselves - so why support a media empire that actively hates you? I digress.

The first few chapters are already very interesting. I did not have an Alan Measles, but I did have guerrilla warfare; I never did make Airfix models (I tried, once, and ended up with a ball of plastic cement and an unhappy looking floor for a half-track), but I did collect military themed toys of varying scales and time periods that would be thrown together; I have never had a shed, but I did retreat to my bedroom regularly and often, once disappearing so effectively that I didn't hear my parents calling me down for tea and they thought I'd gone somewhere else (I never did work out why they didn't check my bedroom before ringing all my friends' houses and sending out search parties to the local parks).

All that said, I lack the creativity already being referenced. I lack the practical skills of this man. I lack, in essence, the soul.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

You got the Brains...

No marking yet, but look at that top and the glasses!

First full day back with actual teaching taking place today. Of course I am losing my voice and totally shattered. No worries, it is always thus. I have thoughts on poetry to share, but lack the time and inclination to type them all up now. Suffice to say that I found the title of the poem that my father showed me (The Way Things Are) and the poem referred to by my good friend in the last post (This Be The Verse) and did some digging on the authors and their meanings in the poems. It was illuminating. I do, as a consequence, need to speak to my father about it though.

Also, dice games. On the Haven one of my favourite parts of the Forums is the section on Dice Games. I think I may have spoken of this before. Well, part way through the recent holiday season I started putting one together. It remains unfinished but I hope to share that here at some point before the eventual heat death of the Universe. Also, in a similar vein, I was struck by an old idea that I wrote when I was around eleven. I have spoken of that before: Boy to Girl. It was a story in which the protagonist wakes up in the body of a girl having been a boy and responds to life thus changed, all the while not knowing why or how the switch has taken place. Apart from being heavily influenced in tone by Quantum Leap and my own school experiences it is notable for being bilge in terms of reactions. Tellingly, there is no examination of the physical changes or clothing, instead there is much that suggests that eleven year old me saw no difference in friendship dynamics between girls and boys. The girl characters are all human beings and, apart from being girls, are largely indistinguishable from male characters in other attempts at writing contiguously from the period in question. The main focus of the story was the masculinity used to silence enemies and critics within the story, as being unexpected, and revolves around (I shit ye not) understanding and fascination with the First World War. That's... it. Eleven year old me clearly thought that masculinity stemmed from study of and fascination with the First World War - like knowing facts and figures - along with revealing this information in a low, threatening, snarl and aggressive body-language. So... not actually a typically masculine thing.

However, I did get to thinking that maybe I could noodle about with that again and offer a more mature perspective on it. Mainly on what exactly would be transferred in such a switch and what would make the biggest changes. I think the lack of introspection on physical aspects and clothing, for an eleven year old, may well have been accurate and interesting. The complete lack of sexual overtones was also something that seemed to resonate in my much older brain as I remembered it. What brought it to mind in the first place, by the bye, was the family of the girl with whom the boy switched (neither were ever named) - the father was the one who took the girl to school, who saw her off and said nice things (but with no 'typical' female pet-names used at all, nor particular terms of endearment) and thus being not at all like my father. Mind you, it was to a boarding school so... I don't know. And the mother, who, in the story, was emotional and readable and strangely absent in person despite being a clear influence in the 'home life' section that served as prologue to the girl body that the boy had switched into (she woke the girl up from behind the bedroom door, provided breakfast but was not in the kitchen when the character arrived and called out as the father took the girl to the car). These depictions of familial love and situation were the mirror of my own life (and that may have been deliberate on some level).

I no longer have a copy of the story, but remember these details as they were 'important' it would appear. It seemed fitting when reviewing the recent trip to my father.

I also totally missed the Pet Shop Boys signal in the sky from Dee, I am losing my touch and may have to turn in my Extra Benefits Fangirl card!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Illusions of the World

We drove down to a wedding. Three hour journey, wedding was at 4.30pm. Of course we left at 9am and arrived hours early. There was a beach, the children played in the sand and created a mound of pebbles and shells. We walked up the cliff and along the seafront. In the actual ceremony Tilly took my hand. She has fond memories of our wedding.

It's not all bad, it's been the first proper day back at work, I'm in a maudlin mood. Last Thursday ended positively, she never did actually say yes but we did the act and I not only actually completed my end of the bargain, I did it first. That has never happened before. So that was good. And, yes, I was able to keep going so she could too. We fell asleep afterward. It was nice. Then preparation, travel, wedding, my father, home.

I have no real problems with my family, I know, plenty of people (Tilly included) have genuine family issues. I just have parents who are a bit strange. The visit was alright but... I don't know. My father showed me the book he had planned to get for my birthday way back when but explained that he liked it and didn't think I would and so kept it. He showed me a poem by Roger McGough, for twas a book of his poetry, about how a father tells his child truths of life (including McGough lines such as "no, son, I don't think deckchairs will work as a unit of currency" and bittersweetness where you're never quite certain what McGough is poking fun at more like "there is no hand out to catch the falling star/and I'm sorry son, I'm really sorry/but it's the way things are."). He watched me read it. Took the book and put it down, nothing more was said. He handed me a £20 note and said "I thought you could get yourself something." And then we were on to his work.

Indeed, the whole visit was like that. Some hints that I didn't get about things I didn't understand related to events I am unaware of and then exposition about my father's situation. Reading between the lines: my workaholic father has passed up a job opportunity he would enjoy to support his wife at her behest, that's quite something, and he's struggling to parse this one. I was taken to task for not getting my children to ring to say thank you to his wife's mother for a Christmas present (we did) and his mother in general (ugh, she used to be good at the manipulation game, now it's just sad - we took her for a meal recently and send notelets every month with photos of our children. And, yes, we rang on everyone's birthday, fuck that game). I feel like I missed something huge.

The Boy exploded - not unexpected given the long journeys and late night - my father expressed surprise that I would be ready for this. "Why do you expect that?"

I explain.

"You never did that. Except once, when I did get a bit angry and shout, but you stopped."

Yes, father, I know. We drove six hours for a wedding in Wales, no hotel to stop in, and I was sick because I ate banana. Yes, I was ill and tired and grouchy and about four. I exploded. I'm sure I did. It was the only time we ever went so far afield for such an occasion. I imagine my temerity to explode and vomit a lot was part of the decision-making process that meant we never did it again. I do not recall the telling off. But it doesn't surprise me. I said none of this.

I did not get stressed about work, that's good, right? And now I am tired and maudlin.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

For whatever you need

Here's the strange thing. I had an evening to myself and the children were asleep, I had access to my full wardrobe and I didn't dress. I couldn't really get into it, if you see what I mean, I couldn't embrace that feeling that I had in September 2013 or those evenings when I took what I still consider the best photographs of me ever taken. I had no work stress (looming worry perhaps) and no major issues, apart from the sexless marriage that perpetuates, but I just couldn't dress fully.

Don't get me wrong, I found it welcome to wear the platform heels and full briefs, it was still comfortable, but I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to go further. The most ridiculous part of this is that, if I had mustered the enthusiasm, it would have been even more comfortable, I know this. I would have enjoyed the experience. It was just that I couldn't actually be bothered. And I got to thinking about going out to see Inside Out and how it was a film where the threat was, essentially, depression. That is, the inability to feel emotions.

On my drive to work this morning I dwelt on this. Why? I can feel the detaching of emotion again. I've been through it enough times now to notice when that grey shadow begins to fall on my emotions and I spotted it coming. Would dwelling on it speed it up? Was I secretly pushing for another bout of it? Could I evade it? Should I just give in? The usual morning mantra, now that I'm preparing for the new term in earnest, has reasserted itself. Let me explain: in a morning I tend to get irritable and crabby, but with myself. Don't get up with my alarm? I'm just a lazy fuckwit. Daydream when drying the pots? Stupid cunt. Don't get out of the bath? Lazy piece of shit. You get the idea. This keeps going as I leave the house, drive the car, plan the day, turn a corner, stop the car, get into my room, check e-mails, print the stuff I need to print, compose the exam report and so on and so on. These internal insults, sometimes spoken, have morphed and become harsher over time, of course they have, and they make up a big part of my internal monologue for most of the day. I think I am now used to it, I don't even try and stop it or challenge it any more. It just is.

And, last night and this morning, I was ruminating on the situation. Specifically, the sexlessness situation. Oh, I know, I moan about it a lot. And, I know, we've been managing once a month since February. Well, okay, March. And we didn't in August at all. But, see, this is still better than this time last year. Yes, I may have had to throw away about 15 condoms (from a pack of 20) because they're out of date now (we bought them in 2013), but we are actually having a sex life. Is it therefore wrong of me to feel bad about the lack of frequency? Tilly is ill again, the pain in her side that started when she was hospitalised last year is back to the levels of needing hot water bottles to comfort it, she can barely walk or carry anything. She is stressing about her book deal, which is perfectly reasonable, and she's been in constant pain since Christmas, it's just worse now. She doesn't talk about it, you see, because she knows that I don't want to hear about it all the time. And all of that is what it is. In the middle of this I'm upset because we don't have sex more than once a month? How selfish am I?

Except that it is coloured by the fact that there was such a period of drought beforehand. I'm stuck with the very real possibility that I've had pretty much all the sex I'm ever going to have and I'm left with unsatisfying 10 times a year missionary and then sleep. Maybe the occasional hand-job. I find asking difficult too. In the past Tilly has made it clear that me even bringing sex up is pressure for her (she hates being pressured) and that pressure is likely to make her say no, even if she later regrets that, and she won't then ask me for fear of offence. Also she's told me that if I don't push and force the issue then she is likely to ignore it and forget about it with her hectic life. And that dropping hints in a romantic fashion is a bit 'rapey' if I expect sex after nice acts on my part. All of this seems injust to me, but, at the same time, I'm being very patriarchal and it's not Tilly's fault that I decided not to try sex with other people before meeting her. Or that we had a child before we were married and so soon into our relationship.

Yet, in all of this, tonight we were joking around and...
Tilly: "Oh fuck you!" - this is how we joke, we're an odd couple.
Me; "Chance'd be a fine thing."
Tilly: "You could just ask."
Me: "Well, okay, I am. I am asking. But I know that you have pain and that you blew off the last time."
Tilly: *hurt face* "I didn't mean never again, ever! Just... well, bleh."
I was off shopping, so we cut it short.

On my return, "So, I am asking. For sex. What say you?"
Tilly: "I've got a lot of work to do, I'm not saying no, just... well..."
We then had a conversation about her book and other tribulations of the day.

As we put the children to bed.
Me: "Well, what about tonight?"
Tilly: "Maybe if I'm not too stressed. Or tired. And I'm going to have wine. But maybe."
Me: "This is probably why I don't ask."
Tilly: *hurt face* "Well, give me a hug."

And so the evening has gone. Tilly has worked on her book, she has got stressed, and she has drunk wine quickly enough to get a bit tipsy. She's going to bed, I asked again, she prevaricated. It's still not a 'yes'. I don't want to be That Guy, you know?

Huh, no images.