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, 18 December 2018

Quantum Leaps

My story was about someone called
Anastasia Cable.

It was before Fifty Sheds of Grey was a
thing. Apparently, the knitting is an
Anastasia Cable Knit. And now you know.
Back in 2006 I undertook my first, and arguably last, NaNoWriMo. I say last, it was the last one I got to spend any time on, and the last I wrote the wordcount in a contiguous piece. It was the last one I enjoyed. In that year, one of my fellow writers wrote a rather funny little book (no, really) but it took a while to get going. The opening to that book seems appropriate, as does the TV show which was ripped off for that opening, so here it is:

Theorising that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. He woke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

This is not his story.

Although there are certain parallels.

And there are.

The Leap Home

No teesh Missus Tittlemouse, no teesh.

I have no tonsils.
There was illness, there was a bit of pain. Tilly and the littlest one were hit by tonsillitis. Somehow the elder two escaped (I have no tonsils) but Tilly had it bad and the small one couldn't keep food down. For around a week that was all that was happening. I'd work, come home, have the small one on my lap and so on. I think I may have spoken about this already. Anyway, upshot was that there was a hiatus in our discussions. Then, after a week and then into me feeling sick, Tilly inquired after me feeling unwell. I struggled to formulate a response and explained that I was not used to being asked if I felt well.

Tilly responded badly. This was a bad thing, you see, this was not who she was. She had learned how to be unsympathetic from me. I had broken her and she had then gone on to break me. It wasn't right that I was unclear about what to do because it meant that she was being uncaring and she had learned how to be uncaring from me a long time ago. We had, apparently, discussed this at the beginning of our relationship - my lack of sympathy was down to the way I was brought up and so she had learned from me how to not care about my illnesses as I did not care about her being ill. Clearly I had made a change recently, what with the tonsillitis and all, but it was only recently.

I am shit at playing games. I watch other people
play them on youtube. I wonder if there is an
extension of this metaphor to include that?
I pointed out that I was merely making an observation that I was used to being told that me mentioning feeling ill was 'going on about it' and that I did not really know what to do with her apparent concern, I was busy brushing it off. But, I conceded, I had to remember that, as with all things, it was my fault. I could bring things up, I said sarcastically, provided I remembered that it was all my fault. I got her message loud and clear.

Tilly got angry. She hit back.

Fine, I said, I was waiting for a decision and she still hadn't given it. I suspected that, in itself, was a decision.

There was a long pause.

Our lips touched!

We actually kissed on the lips!
Then she hugged me and offered an actual kiss. We went our separate ways. I get it, it's guilt. She doesn't like feeling guilty, who does, and that is why she lashes out and seeks to assign it elsewhere. Once I realised that it was easier to let her do it.

Later on that evening, Tilly approached me again. We would have to do many more such talks, she said, we had much to work through. And she would have to concede that she may not succeed, there was still the physical stuff (she shuddered) and that may not work. But she had made her decision: she could put up with my ASD. I pointed out that my ASD was part of the same Hydra as 'the physical stuff' and she would have to be ready to contend with that. Was she certain? Tilly said that she was. We hugged. She kissed me on the lips - first time in a long time - and we hugged some more.

Since then she has made a point of hugging more, offering kisses, and even inquiring after my day. We have, briefly, discussed the fact that it was she that stopped me sending what I thought were romantic texts on a morning (I would pull in on the way to work and tell her about the sunrise and liken it to her etc) because she was suspicious that they were not real, that no one actually felt that way. I pointed out that, well, I did.


The top of the pile here.

Not sure I have all three of the others... No
matter, there were four in the laundry, Tilly
just saw the top pair here.
Over the weekend, as my father and his wife were up (and we talked shop about latest developments in my relationship, I have been using my father and mother as sounding boards since early November), I had to do the laundry. Tilly saw a pair of knickers that I had hidden badly, as in not at all, and got shirty. Now, I was unaware she had seen anything. Not until later when she irritably told me she'd seen them and was angry about it. It was just another example of how hard it was going to be to trust me: she was under the impression that I'd stopped wearing knickers. I point out I'd said no such thing and that I had worn knickers as I'd run out of boxers. This was a lie. A bare-faced lie. Tilly called me on it but I remained firm.

Yes, I lie to Tilly about these sorts of things. Can't imagine why.

Tilly remarked upon trust again. But said that she was working on it, it was her issue, not mine, and something I shouldn't have to hide. I pointed out there was no 'should', I just did, for her and at her request. Another pause whilst child things happened. That is, we were called upon to be parents for a few hours. Oh, my father and his wife had gone.

When I first met Tilly, I would visit her in her flat.

Her underwear would festoon radiators in her house, and
most of it was... well, it was small knickers. Even thongs.

She'd get upset if I pointed this out or brushed them.

When I dry mine I hang them on the big dryers we have and I
hide them behind t-shirts and shirts and trousers. If you don't
know they're there, you won't see them. Because, as I recall,
seeing them just made her irrationally angry.

In that sense, I suspect nothing has changed. But I'm doing well
because Tilly didn't know I was wearing them.
Then she confronted me again. I shouldn't lie to her, she began, it was the lies that were the problem. Much to-ing and fro-ing about this from me: what did she mean? Did she want me to announce when I was or was not wearing knickers? Tilly: what about all those times I had proclaimed no knickers when pointing out what difference underwear made (she's right, about 50% of the time I was lying)? Was it just when she spotted them? What? Tilly got angrier and angrier, why couldn't I just be honest in the narrow area she was allotting and then, just, lie by omission? I pointed out that she was the one that had said lying by omission was just as bad and had also told me to lie better because what she didn't know didn't hurt her. Yes, agreed Tilly, I was right, why couldn't I do that? Because it was impossible to do both. And that, argued Tilly, is why she can't trust me.

We paused, I bit back the part about this being a bit unfair and something of a trap from which I could not escape. She set the boundaries and then complained that the boundaries meant I lied to her. I said nothing and just waited. Again, it's guilt. I get it.

Fine, she spat angrily, it was about how I shouldn't have to hide all this from her. She appreciated what I was doing, she understood it was for her, and that I wasn't going to stop. Fine. I shouldn't have to lie. If she asked, could I tell the truth? And, if she didn't ask, could I just not say anything? Don't ask, don't tell.

I warily agreed.

Yay for Boy vomit!
We hugged again. She didn't want me to be in a position where I had to hide things from her, she said, finally, her anger dissipated. But then we were interrupted, literally, by the Boy being sick. And so ended Sunday, day something of this saga.

And that's been it. I've been on the sofa again for a couple of nights whilst the Boy recovered from what we suspect was food poisoning and I've been struggling (and failing) to keep up with work as I count down the days until the end of term and some holidays. Things seem... well, if not positive, they have moved a little in a positive direction. We are in a better place, it would appear, than we were at the end of October.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is good. I just... I just wish each move wasn't accompanied by the anger and the vitriol and the blaming me and the lashing out. I get she gets to a better place if I just let her get on with it, but I feel like I'm being used as a punchbag in the meantime and it's hard. Also, it still makes me feel stupid to talk about all of the positives so soon after hitting the panic button. There's a reason I shared the anecdote about not running away from home. That kind of shit is hard-wired into me now, and, well, I feel stupid.

Not sure how I'd pass...
Inamongst all of this, I spoke to my mother. Initially I rang to let her know that there had been a positive move in the relationship, my mother has been touching base with me every couple of days since I first told her around the 7th or so of November, and has been praying for us etc. She is of the opinion that Tilly is odder than I and that I am not autistic. I love my mother, I do, but she is strange sometimes. Anyway, I had also told her, again, that I was a cross-dresser. I called the fact that she did not remember the first time. Anyway, she wanted to understand better, she said, and asked if I wanted to go out dressed. I think she was asking how far I want to take it? I answered truthfully, yes but I didn't think I could pass, along with affirming that I don't wear women's clothes - they're mine.

So... an eventful couple of weeks.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

You know my weaknesses

I was reminded recently of an episode from my youth. I had an argument with my parents, I would have been about 7 or 8, and I threatened to leave home. It must have been bad, my parents essentially said: "go on then." So I tried. But I was 7 or 8. I packed clothes and toiletries, a couple of cars, and then walked out of the house. No one stopped me. I walked down the street. Nothing. But I had nowhere to go. No mobile phones, no way of letting anyone know I was coming, and no one who would take me in without asking questions. I didn't have close enough friends to stop at their place - none of their parents would look after an extra child. I had no income. My bank account book was still in the house, my parents kept it for me, so I couldn't even access my savings (would have been a couple of hundred at the time). In the end, about half an hour, I had to go back.

My parents initially did nothing. When I raised it, they laughed. Should have planned better, they said, don't make threats you can't keep. Also, they pointed out how silly I had been, I was a child, I couldn't run away. I'm sure they were attempting some form of parenting psychology. What I learned, however, was that my feelings on a matter were irrelevant. No one ever said they were glad I hadn't gone. My emotional blackmail had failed.

It prepared me well, I suspect, for my current situation.

The family went to Birmingham for a night to visit Tilly's friend for a day. They had a lot of fun. I, meanwhile, watched a couple of films and fell behind deadlines at work because I am struggling. The weekend is busy, plans to meet up with Sierra and Pik and their children today if Tilly isn't ill again, and thus I fall further behind. No more discussions, some more hugs, still no word on the decision of whether Tilly can live with my ASD approach to romance and relationships enough to actually try having a physical dimension. Is she actively hoping it will go away? Probably. Who knows?