The last couple of months have been...challenging. If you've read through this blog; then you know that Mistress and I live apart. Although we have daily contact and may actually talk to each other more than people who live together; the actual in-the-same-room time is limited. Generally, we get a single weekend a month with maybe a day-trip tossed in between.
We didn't see each other for the entirety of June.
It's just the demands of our lives. We had a weekend late in May and vacation was scheduled for early July. Because funding is limited, we had to choose whether to have more time together at vacation and skip overnight trips in June, or have our regular trip in June and then see vacation reduced to little more than an average trip. We chose to have four days together in July.
We also planned a day-trip for June. The plan was for us to meet at a small waterpark in Connecticut (with my kids present) and to have a long, fun-filled day. However, those plans were cancelled because both of my kids got in trouble at school. We can't reward bad behavior, so the adults ended up losing out because of the kids. This is just how parenting goes. It was the right decision, but it was a last minute change that took away the only time we could have had together in June.
Such a lengthy time apart is not easy for me (Mistress has Her own challenges - but She can speak about them, if She wishes). I have the demands that come with parenting a set of very active seven-year-olds who are way too smart for their own good. I love them, and I cannot imagine a life without them, but they are exhausting. Unlike my childhood, they are not left unsupervised for lengthy periods and I plan daily events with them and for their benefit. This means that I am often as tired as they are by bedtime - or earlier.
There is also the very human need for touch and affection that goes (somewhat) unmet during these times apart. Yes, I get a lot of hugs and kisses from my kids, and they are enough to keep me going. But there is a level of touch and affection that they cannot possibly give me. There is a hunger for Her touch that nothing else can relieve. The only bright spot in that hunger is that I know, in a short time, I will feel Her touch again. When we are together, I drink in Her touch like a sponge, charging my "touch-batteries" for our time apart. This helps me get through our time apart, although I always melt into Her embrace as soon as I can.
Having an unexpected delay in recharging my batteries makes it more difficult to bear being apart. The sudden loss of an expected day-trip was emotionally draining for me. It was like being punched in the gut while the rug is ripped out from under my feet. But I'm an adult, so I push through it. As I often say, "The only way out is through."
I feel like I need to make something clear at this point: I gladly suffer the loss of Her touch. There is no other touch from anyone else on earth who could take away the pain of not feeling Her feel me - and if there were, I would refuse it until She could lay hands on me again. As much as I hate being away from Her, I have come to accept and even enjoy the pain of being away. It's hard to explain, but if it didn't hurt to be away; then it wouldn't be so good to be in Her presence. I guess that either makes sense or it doesn't. I can't explain it better. The point is: I'm not complaining that it hurts to be away from Her, I'm just describing it. She makes it worthwhile.
Of course, there are also the kinky needs that throb with hunger, too. I want the combination of pleasure and pain that She grants me. Again, if I had the freedom to seek satiation with another; then I would refuse it. I know that some people hold their emotions separate from their kink - but for me they are tied together in an extremely tight package. I could (theoretically) feed the desire for sensation, but I would still be left hollow inside if it came from anyone but Her. Again, not complaining - I'm glad to have someone I can yearn for - I'm just describing things.
Additionally, there is a strain on my finances. My paychecks come and go with the school year, and I don't qualify for unemployment (in part because my job doesn't pay enough for enough weeks...). I get the benefit of spending summer with my kids, and not having to pay for childcare...but it comes with a lot of anxiety over bills and worrying over every dollar that goes out of my wallet. At best, my next paycheck will be in October. Depending on several factors, it could be less than expected. (My quasi-employment status is something I've been trying to change for some time, but the suck-ass economy has made changing careers difficult.)
So there have been the emotional demands of parenting, along with the physical exertion of it. There has been the aching for Her touch. There has been the longing for sensation and release of emotional-energy. There has been worry over finances. Then there has been one more monster hiding in my closet...
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. It isn't tied to any specific happening in my life - it isn't episodic. It is like the free-floating sense of dread that comes with anxiety, but with sadness. I am extremely fortunate to have access to medication that keeps it under control. Believe me, I am thankful for that - and for the people who make it so. Even in the best of times, it lurks in the shadows. I count every day that I get out of bed and get happy to be a victory. Sometimes, just holding it down to a level of grouchiness is a victory.
As I've learned to live with it, I've learned what triggers it. All of those needs that I described? They serve as triggers, to some extent. I've learned to avoid HALT (Hunger, Angry, Lonely, Tired) feelings because they can spiral quickly. I've learned to eat well and exercise. I've learned to process emotions in small helpings so they don't build up. I deal with it, but it's always there. It makes good times slightly less enjoyable, and it makes hard times even harder.
I made it to our vacation, though. For two days, we had only to worry about each other. She picked me up at the train station and we spent the day holding hands and touching, having lunch and shopping. Then we checked into our hotel and collapsed into each other. We laugh and loved and all of my needs were fed. It was a wonderful time, and it went by far too quickly. It made the time apart worthwhile, by a longshot.
Then we picked up my kids and had two more days together. Obviously, the activities were different, but the hotel where we stayed had a separate sleeping room for adults. That gave us a bit of privacy, and I was grateful for that. Still, the dynamics are different when there are kids involved, and we are both mindful of managing what children are exposed to - you know, like adults SHOULD do when kids are around.
Those two days were over quickly, as well. Four days of heaven that were somehow simultaneously enough and yet not enough. If vacation is judged on how many recovery days are needed; then I needed two and a half. Of course, all the same stressors are present that were there before vacation - but my touch batteries are recharged and I can make it through to our next weekend. In the meantime, I will focus on being a good dad and making the career change that will allow Mistress and I to be together.