There are just *no words*

…that can even begin to adequately describe my cowardice and shame. Even just re-reading my own posts from this year makes me feel physically ill. Given that fact, you can only imagine the inner turmoil which has me finally posting again. My absence is either 100% justifiable, and perhaps even wise; or, well, I made my own bed and now I ought to have the balls to lie in it rather than avoiding the room altogether.

Around the beginning of April I had the bright idea of sending Mr. Trustworthy the link to my blog. It was definitely impulsive but frankly I was counting on how crazy busy his life is to keep him from doing much exploring. Well, at some point between my last post and now I found out how entirely incorrect that assumption/hope turned out to be; he definitely did some reading. Suddenly all of the secrets I thought I still had were actually already exposed, things I was consciously holding back from referring to for various reasons: E’s brutality, my eating disorder and self harm tendencies, and of course everything I’ve written about Mr. Trouble. When I asked Mr. Trustworthy if he knew about some of these things from reading my blog he confirmed it and said only, ‘I assumed if you wanted to talk about it you would.’ Seriously!? At a minimum I expected a reaction over the fact that I never did manage to force myself to recount at least the relevant parts of my text conversations with Mr. Trouble in which I feared I’d said too much and tipped my hand and that the guy who was possibly going to become our boss in the near future might suspect exactly who my FWB was…

I am still confounded by his reaction. Then again there’s plenty I just don’t get about his life so maybe I should just be grateful he seemingly took everything in stride and didn’t seem to feel betrayed or think me even half the coward I clearly am. I’ve literally not been able to bring myself to write since because I know Mr. Trustworthy reading whatever I say is a very real possibility. I’ve been trying to see him and have a chance to talk in person but that hasn’t worked out since my latest bout of questionable decision making. Which I’d almost say has been a relief because I have no desire to hurt him any further and telling myself we should talk in person is such a convenient excuse to put off sharing something I’m not exactly proud of; then again, his not knowing is likely contributing to my feelings of despair. Which is beyond fair…I did something I knew I’d probably regret and he shouldn’t have to deal with any additional emotional burdens from me. To tell or not to tell? That is the question. Hell if I know the right answer though…

It’s been three weeks now I think since I told him I couldn’t continue with the sex & BDSM aspects of our relationship. You’d think it would be easy having never doubted that he would respect this and always remain my friend. Well, it wasn’t easy and, sometimes, it feels like it just hurts even *more* than it did the day before. I don’t even feel like I have the right to be hurting since I’m the one who called it off. But what we’d become to one another had precious little in common with the arrangement we’d originally agreed to something like nine months prior. Even so, I thought we had an unspoken agreement not to say the actual words. Apparently it was so unspoken as to have been nonexistent because right before we left he looks down at me and says, “you know I love you, right?”

I assume he had no idea that it was the exact wording as years ago when B told me he loved me for the first time. I don’t think I even managed to get any verbal response out, I think I maybe just nodded? Maybe I had fooled at least a part of myself into believing I wasn’t going to put myself through this kind of pain anymore. But Mr. Trustworthy was always married and I always respected that. It’s perhaps a bit ironic that he repeatedly made comparisons between our relationship and things between me and Mr. Trouble considering the reason I told him about the tumultuous state of affairs between Mr. Trouble and myself was due to being tempted to sneak away with Mr. Trouble for the weekend and wanting someone to talk to about that whom I trust. Anyway, I think Mr. Trustworthy and I realized how deep we were actually in this when he was going out of town for work and both of us entertained the idea of my going with him. We didn’t and that conversation in which we agreed that couldn’t happen was probably the beginning of the end. There was no room to fool myself any longer, this had definitely gone far beyond our intentions and, perhaps more importantly, also far beyond anything his wife would be okay with. That’s a line I never intended to cross and the guilt was eating me alive. Now in addition to being heartbroken I also still feel guilty for a variety of reasons.

I don’t regret any of it, but I do feel bad about showing Mr. Trustworthy ‘A Whole New World’ of BDSM and then backing out. I also feel I am to blame for giving in to temptation where he is concerned, more than once, and sexting with him. Seems pretty cruel of me to send signals THAT mixed. He has asked multiple times about the possibility of us scening again in the future and I am too cowardly to actually say, ‘no, I don’t think that’s going to happen’ and instead think I’ve basically said ‘maybe’? How fucked up is it that I’m not even sure how I’ve responded when we’ve talked about this multiple times!? I know I’ve for sure left the door open because I want to so badly and, selfishly & as I’ve told him, when a relationship ends which incorporated BDSM I fear every time that I’ll never find that again. Soooo yeah, not only have I been sending the worst mixed signals ever, but I’m also doing it for entirely self serving purposes. Cuz I’m a jerk! He told me he thought we’d be having that conversation when there was a new person in my life as he’d always been very clear he’d retreat immediately from the more intimate aspects of our relationship when that occurred. It was an extremely vivid and strange thing to feel my world tilt and seem to be slipping out from underneath my feet just realizing he’d thought about how this would end and I definitely hadn’t. So much for thinking I’d learned anything from my previous affairs with married men 🙄 I suppose I can add ‘delusional’ to my already lengthy accounting of my flaws. If I believed in anything one could pray to I’d do so without hesitation just to beg that with a little time and distance I will somehow manage to stop being in love with him at some point.

In other news, sure enough, Mr. Trouble did indeed get the job as our new boss. Maybe this is why I still talk to Mr. Trustworthy about Mr. Trouble sometimes – Mr. Trustworthy is my only friend who knows me so well and has some understanding of my extreme apprehension that this indeed came to pass. Or maybe I’m just being cruel because I can’t for the LIFE of me figure out how or why I ended up telling Mr. Trustworthy recently that Mr. Trouble and I had a history of sexting. I can’t remember him ever sounding so shocked as he did when he repeated what I’d just admitted to verify that he’d heard me correctly I guess? Talk about instant regret, I couldn’t even look at Mr. Trustworthy when I confirmed it. I mean sure, at least one of my prior posts from this year included that the two of us talked about sex but even when I go back and read what I wrote, while true, it sounds a lot worse than what I recall actually happening. Then again I also know I have pretty much zero healthy boundaries so my flirting probably did get way more interrogative than it should’ve but since he was in the hot seat and not me I simply didn’t restrain myself in my ongoing efforts to convince myself that Mr. Trouble and I are not compatible and there is no reason in the world for me to find him tempting. Also I feel the need to mention that this was well before Mr. Trouble got promoted.

Regardless, I’ve been beating myself up emotionally ever since Mr. Trouble and I got back in touch. Why was I trying so hard to be friends when I had zero intention of things ever getting intimate between us; when I was quite pleased with how things were between Mr. Trustworthy and myself; and when I didn’t find him to be someone I could trust on a personal level based on our history…long story short when we first met he was between marriages lol and the only reason we stopped texting and sexting constantly is because J went through my phone and read some of our messages and I didn’t want to lose him; then, the final nail in the coffin was when I heard through the grape vine that Mr. Trouble had gotten married a few months prior and the two of us were still talking nearly every day. If we’d been actual friends a few months is plenty of time to mention BTW I got married. J said that Mr. Trouble was grooming me and while even the suggestion infuriated me, eventually I couldn’t ignore the fact that Mr. Trouble had to have gone out of his way to avoid mentioning having gotten married considering how much we were still talking. I cut ties then because there was no reason to invest any of my time or attention in someone whose integrity I couldn’t trust. Another prime example of one of my most long-standing flaws, a propensity for black and white thinking!

Anyway, I won’t deny that when Mr. Trouble and I started texting again we fell almost alarmingly easily back in to old patterns. A number of months ago I expressed my apprehension over the content of our messages and pointed out how his wife of only a couple of years would feel if she read them. He basically said he didn’t feel bad because it was just talk not actions but even so we agreed to delete our text string and start over, with the agreed upon plan being that we’d keep things rated PG going forward. As I recall that worked for all of a few days…avoiding temptation really isn’t one of my strong suits! This was before he first floated the idea of me sneaking off with him for the weekend when he had to travel for work. I was caught completely off guard by how tempting I found the suggestion, hence talking to Mr. Trustworthy about it so I could get someone to reinforce what I already knew to be a terrible idea and add some bonus accountability because now someone would *know* if I decided to take that perilous step. It sounds so strange now, laying it out like this, because at the time I was still under the illusion that things between myself and Mr. Trustworthy were not serious and that either of us could do whatever we wanted with no major repercussions provided we continued to be honest with one another. Now I see clearly just how wrong I was!

Back to the point I was driving toward – a couple weeks ago I actually got a welcome reprieve from my emotional self flagellation regarding Mr. Trouble from a totally unexpected source, my Mother! I can’t even remember what possessed me to start talking about Mr. Trouble that day nor do I recall what I said, although she was previously aware of the broad strokes of our history and remembered once I reminded her. Anyway, I admitted how I’ve been judging myself incredibly harshly for even so much as giving him the time of day, let alone making an effort to see if we could ever be actual friends. She must have asked some questions as I ended up vaguely admitting to the discussion in which I pointed out how his new wife would feel about the tenor of our messages and we agreed to start over. Whatever I said, her take away boiled down to Mr. Trouble owned his mistakes and learned from them and that’s rare and more than enough reason to give friendship another shot? I’m embarrassed to say I was so desperate for any emotional respite that I clung to this harder than is probably actually indicated given that I’m quite sure I never actually told Mr. Trouble that the last straw was his having hidden the news that he’d gotten married and that’s why I ghosted him a couple years back. Even so, I am done beating myself up over wanting to be friends. I’m giving myself permission that I probably shouldn’t but again, not so good at avoiding temptation!

Okay, scratch that…I’m not completely over beating myself up; there is definitely a part of me that hates myself for having any level of voluntary contact with Mr. Trouble. But our chemistry, our flirting, it all gave me what felt like a safety parachute in case things indeed got out of control with Mr. Trustworthy. I can’t recall quite when or how, but I came to believe that one thing that would immediately end anything outside of friendship between Mr. Trustworthy & myself was if I slept with someone else. Which seems totally fair, particularly given our forays into BDSM and the level of trust and communication required for Risk Aware Consensual Kink. So while I never had any intention of things ever actually getting physical with Mr. Trouble, he was the person I had the easiest access to if I was suddenly looking for a meaningless hook up. I guess the idea of Mr. Trouble being interested not only flattered me but also helped me feel more in control as I was quickly falling hard for Mr. Trustworthy and still trying to convince myself I wasn’t in love, that there was no reason or need to stop.

Anyway, Mr. Trustworthy and I are still friends and I’m truly trying to figure out how to have healthy boundaries so we can remain close friends. But sometimes I wonder if he’s still too invested in me for that to be a true possibility. One of the things he made sure to tell me after I called things off was that he still wants to know what’s going on in my life, he wants to know…I can’t recall how he phrased it, if I start seeing someone or get a boyfriend? Whatever his word choice, I got the distinct impression he wanted to know if/when I slept with someone else, but perhaps that was just my emotions running away with me and my confusion in my surprise. I responded without actually committing to sharing this information, figured I’d cross that bridge when I came to it!..that said this was yet another example of me being purposefully evasive, manipulative even, responding in a way he could take as assent when technically I was vague enough to get away with arguing that I didn’t actually agree, just acknowledge the request. I always feel I’m at my ugliest when I intentionally manipulate the people I care about in ways exactly like this. Added on top of my recent responses essentially telling Mr. Trustworthy that we might scene again in the future when in actuality I don’t believe I will ever be able to do that and I’m dishing out knives in the back as if Mr. Trustworthy could ever deserve such treatment. In another moment of questionable decision making, I felt such dramatic relief after giving myself permission to want to be friends with Mr. Trouble I mentioned to Mr. Trustworthy that I’d talked to my Mom and was feeling a lot better about things between Mr. Trouble and myself. He of course asked ‘how so’ which I absolutely should have expected but somehow didn’t and suddenly realized this was definitely one of those things that probably should be discussed in person. I asked if we could talk about it later and changed the subject and, you guessed it! Never did talk to him about it later. What exactly that says about me and/or these two relationships I’m not certain, but it definitely isn’t flattering. Maybe I need to start hanging on to the preference to be judged for who I truly am rather than for who I’m not and all the ugliness would hurt less…

Seeing as we’ve already established that I am entirely self centered and extremely callous, now let me back track to defend myself…as well as reveal yet another manipulative word play I’ve recently implemented against Mr. Trustworthy. He was asking me why I can’t scene with him and asked if it’s because of how I feel about him. I agreed with this, which (you guessed it!) is technically true, and probably even the #1 reason I can’t. However, there is a second, nearly equally weighty reason which I have carefully avoided sharing – part of why submitting to him worked so well for me was because I was being so extremely honest with him and really working hard at not holding anything back that would impact our relationship in a way that would potentially affect our choice to engage in BDSM. Sure I didn’t tell him about the abuse when I was 18 or mention specifically those last couple of things I’d held back until I was with J the second time around; which, as it turns out, he learned from my blog anyway. Now that I’m trying to set new boundaries in our relationship so we can be close friends but just friends, there are things I either don’t want to tell him and/or things I don’t think I should tell him because it would be heartless and I’ve already caused him pain he did nothing to deserve. And I’m finding the things I’m working so hard to not say lately absolutely preclude my ability to scene with him. I told him before and I meant it, that I only consider him able to consent to our power exchanges if he knows what’s going on with me and where I’m at. That’s one level of trust I refuse to violate…no matter *how* badly I miss him and want more of how he makes me feel. I still can’t avoid thinking about Mr. Trustworthy every damn time I hear this song – which is that much harder knowing he was never actually mine…

I think I’m going to plead the fifth on what songs make me think of Mr. Trouble; can’t let *all* of my confessions fly at once! 😝