Depression is ruining my life.

Delighted to hear from you simpilot. Wishing you a big fortune turnaround.

Also glad you checked in simpilot.

We're here when you need us, and sorry to hear about Al.

Thanks for checking in. I'm sorry you r situation hasn't improved, but I'm glad you're still with us.

The lack of game playing is not a reason to leave. If I get in 5 hours a month, I consider that a lot right now.

mudbunny wrote:

The lack of game playing is not a reason to leave. If I get in 5 hours a month, I consider that a lot right now.

QFT

I agree on so many levels. I'm here for the people, and the connections/friendships/support I am lucky enough to have in this space. The gaming is secondary to that in so many ways.

Hang in there simpilot.

Yay Sim! =)

Thinking about your retraining woes - a bunch of us are doing the Coursera Python course. I'm finding it loads of fun and often potter around with new ideas instead of gaming or watching TV.

Going back to what I said upthread: accreditation is nowhere near as useful as a portfolio for changing jobs and the MOOC stuff is free. If nothing else, a good project helps keep my weasels quiet - it's hard for them to whine when you're getting something done.

I'm in a pretty bad place right now.

I've arrived at a nightmare situation where I have been unemployed for a very long time. I'm in an uncomfortable living situation with a sharp person I don't entirely trust. My family aren't the kind of people I ever want to talk to again. I've made a couple of new friends, but most of this is stuff I can't burden them with. I'm so alone most of the time.

It's at the point where I'm going from being consumed by anxiety to long bouts of staring into the abyss. I feel like I could turn things around if I had a job but it seems like it's impossible to find work until I turn things around. And even then, the only things available will probably be pretty awful, dead-end kinds of jobs. Oh god.

This is a disease that seems to shove you into hiding under a dark rock at every opportunity. It's hard not to be paranoid about everything you write online when you are looking for work. I can only assume that 'depression' is now a keyword associated with my google account or whatever other online identity of mine that might exist. It's a secret I desperately want to keep away from everything in my life, but all the self-conscious hiding is driving me crazy. I don't know how you guys do it.

For the longest time it has felt like I'm standing out in the cold, looking at the warm people in this thread that have the professional help already, like it was just another 'successful people club' that I couldn't break into. I made the first appointment today though. That process in itself felt awful. I'm in a new city, so no previous GP, and I was just lost in a sea of not knowing how on earth to find the 'right' one when there's no-one to ask, and next to no meaningful information online beyond practice names and phone numbers. I have no idea how this is going to turn out. I'm in a 'fell through the cracks' situation where I'm not covered by the usual government healthcare, and the remotely affordable private insurance all doesn't cover anything to do with mental health, so I don't know how long I'll be able to make it last.

The other all-consuming thing is my best friend that I could talk to about my life is uncontactable again in a way that has been dragging out on and off for months. It is not his fault, he is in a bad position himself, but I can't help feeling hurt and angry over what has happened. It hurts so much. He was virtually the only real life person I had and now I can't even get a sign of whether he's alive or not without potentially making things worse and more complicated.

I want to stop living like this. I just want to hear from my friend and for him to be ok and me to be ok. But he's lost to me, possibly forever, and everything feels like a thing I can't do.

It's not like I don't have hope, making the appointment gave me a little strength, as has reading all your stories in this thread, but my life just is not going that well.

Thanks for listening.

Thanks for posting.

For the longest time it has felt like I'm standing out in the cold, looking at the warm people in this thread that have the professional help already, like it was just another 'successful people club' that I couldn't break into.

Please don't feel that way. We're more a group of survivors, swapping war stories, who've found a common space so we don't all feel so alone with this.

If you have this god awful disease/affliction/curse, be it diagnosed professionally, or otherwise, you have a place in this thread with us all.

I find by sharing in this thread, I give up a little bit of my isolation. Sometimes it's just a rant, sometimes I seek advice, sometimes, I just read from others' experiences, and take a little comfort in knowing someone else thinks 'that sucks' too.

Being alone can amplify what you're feeling. Losing contact with friends, doubly so, or at least that is what I have found through my own experience.

You've taken a step in a good direction, you've made contact with a therapist. It might be great, it might not, but you did it. Sometimes getting up the courage/effort/willpower to just 'act' is an insurmountable task. Be proud of that accomplishment. You've also affirmed you want to stop living like this. That too is important. The first step is identifying that there may be a need for change to be made, so again, kudos.

If you're being ravaged by brain weasels, well, I think you deserve some bonus points too. Those little f*ckers can really be a kick in the 'do something' motivation centre.

And don't forget, you're always welcome here.

I don't know where to put this. If this is the wrong place, let me know.

-------------------------------

I lost another friend today. It doesn't help that she was very old, had been suffering with like three serious medical issues for years, was in constant pain. I hadn't seen her since spring due to this job thing.

Ms. V. didn't leave any family behind. Her husband and son were both dead, and she hadn't had any siblings or anything. Our main interactions consisted of helping her with her elbow and shoulder on the backswing of the Wiimote and her trying to set me up with her nephew. But even as an ancillary to the whole thing I got hit with the first two usual platitudes right in the middle of Starbucks when the bus driver that takes them to the grocery store and all their appointments told me the news. I managed to respond kindly, but I came home with my stomach twisted with my real feelings.

This happens with fairly predictable regularity. There's an assisted living complex a friend of mine volunteers at about a block away from my place. I help her out sometimes with technical issues like hooking up the Wii and managing a bowling tournament or fixing someone's computer when they follow a link sent by their grandchild somewhere no one should go and pick up a digital gift that keeps on giving. So I get to know these people. I run into them in the grocery store and when I'm out and about. They're my neighbors, and since I live in an apartment complex and people are constantly moving in and out, they're more likely to stick around longer than my closer ones. But they're all old and sick; if they weren't they wouldn't be there.

I know my reaction to those condolences is my problem, not theirs. Our society really doesn't have anything to say about death that isn't empty or obvious. That combines, Voltron-like, with our focus on fixing things or doing something about things to create a collection of vapid phrases that don't actually have anything to do with the actual problem. That goes to battle with my own feelings of not being able to do anything and my own reaction to this kind of grief. After it flings a barrage or two of these inanities at me, I end up in a haze of rage that I have to work hard to keep from using on the next poor person who was just trying to express their own feelings of pain and try to find something constructive to do in the most helpless of situations.

This isn't a thing I picked up when I started playing Wii Bowling with all those little old people. It happened the first time when my aunt died.

We were all sitting around Gramma's house, dressed uncomfortably in black, stiff clothes we weren't allowed to do anything in and not really sure what to do. The grownups were milling around and there was a constant string of "She's in a better place now," and "At least she's not suffering anymore," and "Time heals all wounds." To my Gramma they topped it off with the ubiquitous, "Is there anything I can do?" She just kept saying no and thanking them, through her tears. Before too much of that I was backed up into the little corner between the china cabinet and the stereo, furious.

The caring feelings those people had for my family that impelled them to be there and say those things are good. I was grateful to them because they were there to help her. But saying those things didn't touch on the reason why I was sad, it didn't look like it was helping her feel better, and none of this did anything about the real problems I could see.

They're mostly true, at least the first two. She probably is somewhere better than this world. Most religions and philosophies agree that things are better on the other side. But I don't care where she is now. She can be in Heaven or Nirvana or Gehenna or One with the All. Even if you're an atheist and think people just disappear, well, then you go to the second trite comment. The part that matters to me is that wherever she is, she's not here and will not be for the foreseeable future. And no one can do anything about that.

The second picked up the sick feeling of watching her body simply give up and shut itself down one system at a time over a 10 month period. It wasn't just her suffering; she had to leave behind two children who went on to suffer through the rest of their growing up without her, and are still trying to fix the damage it did to their lives. Her mother, siblings, and friends lost something bright from their lives. I lost a loving friend and confidant that would have made the rest of my growing years better. If that's the "least" that can be done, well, I'm going to have some words with whoever is in charge of things when it's time for me to go wherever we go.

The third is flat wrong. Time doesn't heal anything. The fact that she's gone doesn't change with time, and it doesn't mean anything to someone who's suffering the first shock of loss anyways. I will say that you can at least learn some better ways to live with that fact over time, but you have to actively do it. Telling someone grieving that somehow time will magically make it go away seems a cruel lie to me.

28 years after my aunt's death and 22 after my Gramma's, I can tell you that I still miss them both. I wasn't alone in that. Six years later we lost Gramma to cancer. Reading her diary where she wrote about that time she lost her child, and her fear she was losing her son to the same disease was heartbreaking (he did die of it, but after she was gone). She didn't dwell on it with a lot of drama - that wasn't her way - but it was a thread through the rest of her journal. Sometimes her perfect penmanship shook with her own anger at God and everyone else for what had happened to all her children.

It is kind when people offer their help. It's the closest thing to constructive you can do in this sort of situation. Especially if you manage to convince someone like my stubborn, self-reliant Gramma to actually take some of your help. That takes some heavy follow-up and a strategic approach worthy of Wellington at Waterloo, though. For myself, over the years I've come to hate that one from both sides. I'm not any better at accepting help than she was, and too many times it's been an empty phrase the person had no intentions of ever following through on.

Not saying anything doesn't help either. Things hurt because those things mattered. It's true in every sort of loss. Ignoring how important that person was to their surviving family or even to yourself is a recipe for estrangement and more pain and loss for them and for you. When you're in a position of trying to figure out what to say, it can be scary because you're afraid of making things worse instead of better. And there is a chance of that. But if you don't say or do anything, there's no chance it can turn out well. And even saying something wrong is better than saying nothing at all. This is one of the cases where you get points for effort.

I don't have any good answers. It's hard no matter what you choose, and I suck at this. I don't have much in the way of suggestions that are any better. I can say that I will always do my level best to take these things in the spirit they were intended and not the way my own pain tangles them.

I do my best to have ways of expressing those feelings myself that don't involve blasting someone down to their boots or me sitting around weeping all the time. On top of everything else going on now it's really hard. But I'll get through. I always do. And Ms. V. will join the list of people who I think about every time I pick up a Wiimote.

I'm so sorry, momgamer. Ms. V sounds like a really great lady who had a huge and positive influence on you.

I'm sorry I have no better words to say I'm so sorry for your loss but thank you for your writing and for introducing us to Ms. V. It is important she made an impression on you and I'm guessing you did the same for her.

I've been struggling with this fact that there are no words too since losing a friend earlier this year. It still makes me anger and I wanted to find those words so badly not only for myself but for my other friends and for his family.

You found the right place for it Momgamer.

Your thoughts echo a lot of my wife's. She lost her mother to cancer when she was young (pre-teens) and had to hold the family together as her Father focused on his job, her Aunts and Uncles 'didn't know what to do, so did nothing', and her grandmother became a focal point for her own anger and frustration at losing her Mum.

She told me of a time they had a giant fight. She was lashing out, and her Grandmother finally snapped an asked her what was going on.

She told her she was tired of everyone saying they were sorry for her loss, and how they were sorry she was gone. She was happy her mother was dead, because now she wasn't in pain or suffering. All her grandmother did was hold her while she cried, and whispered in her ear 'me too dear'.

When her Grandmother died, years later, that loss hit her the hardest. Her grandmother had been hit with either dementia, or Alzheimer's, they weren't fully sure. She had reverted to just speaking German, and was frustrated that no-one in the assisted care understood her. It didn't help that when she saw my wife, she confused her for her own daughter (my wife's mother) and kept asking her about how her beautiful children were.

It kind of tore her up inside.

I don't even know if that helps, but I guess, grief and loss are fertile ground for weasel burrows. I know it's a big part of my own issues too, although of a different kind of loss.

But I guess that's a story for a different time. The house is starting to rouse into alertness, and it's time for me start making breakfasts, etc, so, if it helps Momgamer (((((hugs))))) for you, and some for Ms.V's kin too.

So sorry Momgamer...

So good news and bad news.

This is hard. I feel embaressed that this happened, but I want to "come clean", so I'm posting now while I'm drunk to commit to my revelation and not push it back down.

Bad news:

I screw up real bad and asked for my ring back. She still loves me. She said the nice thing about engagements is that I can always ask again. It got real bad. I had to be hospitalized this morning for "suicidal ideations". She went on an interview for a full time job, and I told her she should call the police because I was feeling like I wanted to slice my wrists when she left. I didn't want to die but I didn't want to live. I asked her for help. I'm really glad I reached out because I'd probably be dead if I didn't.

When i was discharged, I realized that we need separate lives, so I can find myself without the burden of a relationship. Rather than move out, we are going to get a two bedroom so we each have space together while I get healthy. I love her so much, and I want to feel like I deserve her.

Good news:

I had a breakthrough. This is the part I need to post while I'm drunk because I might push it away again while I'm sober and lose progress. I want it in the open so I am commited to dealing with it.

I might be a transwoman.

I've felt this way before. It's come up so many times. It's possibly that I'm not and I'm deflecting and something else is wrong. But I know that when I talked to a supportive friend before, and she suggested I try some things out, I enjoyed it. I know that it feels like a weight off my shoulders. My therapist said I could have an emergency sesssion this week even though I jsut had one friday and we are scheduled for 2 weeks right now. I'm going to tell her. She needs to know. I might be wrong, but she needs to know. She'll be able to ehlp me through this.

I've pushed these feelings away for so long. So long. But they have always been there. When Hyp and Clocky came out here, I wanted to come out too. I didn't because I wasn't sure and I didn't want to steal their thunder. Maybe these feelings are hiding something else. But My therapist needs to know.

Tough post Garden.

I'm not going to quote it, incase you do want to 'change it later', but seriously, you know you're in the right community for support, however you need it.

I'm glad that call was made, and you're still here to tell us about it.

Best of luck, however you guys go moving forward.

Heartfelt best wishes, and support from across the interwebs, as well as some additional strength for digging into that revelation, it's root cause, and it's eventual conclusion, in therapy.

(((((hugs)))))

Huge respect for getting help and moving forward Garden. Pulling for you from the frozen north.

I'm so glad you asked for help when you needed it most, Garden!

And, as M0nk3yboy pointed out, you're in the right place for support here - we're all rooting for you and very, very glad that you're still here and are moving forward. Lots of hugs and support, Garden, whenever you need them.

Good on you Garden. It sounds like you may have taken a much needed step, even if you had to walk over or into fire to do so. Best of luck to you and thank you for sharing your struggle with us.

Today is harder. This "roomates for a while" sucks. I think it's the right thing, but it sucks. I wanted so badly to kiss her and say I love you on the way out the door.

I only had one serious relationship before her, but that was... well, if not outright abusive, I was taken for granted for 7 or 8 years, right out of college. I put so much into both of those relationships. I've always defined myself in terms of my relationships to other people. My... I guess she's my roommate now... said I have a deep need to please. Highschool was easier because I had fewer people to please. I never really formed an identity that was my own. I was starting to after before I left PA. Things were bad for a long time, and I realized that for my own sanity, I had to have something that was mine, so I found a D&D group. I felt trapped, and I had extracted some piece of myself from the relationship, so that one didn't hurt as bad, and was kind of a relief. And afterward, I had a support system. I had friends, and I was going out to meetups. But I hated my job after the company was bought, and I resented living in PA because we moved there to be close to her parents. I needed to move someplace that was mine.

She has run from relationship to relationship, several of which were abusive. And now ours is one of them. We hurt each other so badly. We were good when we first got together. We hit it off immediately. I made her feel safe, like she could settle down in one place for the first time in her life. She needed someone to save her, and I needed someone to save. We met literally 12 days after I moved to Seattle (our anniversary was yesterday) so I never had the chance to settle in and find myself here. I fell into the same bad habits.

Now, 2 years later, I still hadn't really gotten anything that was my own. We both put most of our effort into each other. She was ready for therapy first. She kept pushing me, but said she couldn't make the appointment for me, I had to be ready.

The big thing between us is that she wanted an open relationship, and she brought that up after a threesome in which I felt ignored, and like I didn't need to be there. It's more complicated than that, but that's the gist. I made her my entire world, and when I found out that I couldn't be everything for her, I was devastated. I felt worthless and like a failure.

I am not able to assert my needs, or protect my happiness until I hurt so bad that I explode. On my good days, I just feel happy for her. She's getting her needs met and we were working towards being comfortable being intimate again. But on my bad days, I feel jealous and insecure and I explode at her, and she explodes back. She said that long term she needs an open relationship, but she could wait if I just gave her a loose time frame. I didn't want to hold her back, so I said no, she should do it now. Things like that kept happening. I told her to operate based on my good days because I want nothing more than for her to be happy, but what she needs kills me and now we have fought so much about the same thing that we can't be together right now. I'm especially jealous about one particular person (the guy from the threesome), her other partners don't bother me, but this guy became a wedge between us, and I couldn't assert my needs, so he became a wall.

So now we're roommates. We're still best friends. She has close friends, but I don't have anyone else to talk to, so she's going to be a friend for me and just listen (though now that I've come out, uh, twice, there are some local Goodjers who are probably happy to lend an ear). She just got a job and we're going to move into a 2 bedroom. We will each have our own space, we'll have clear boundaries, and improve communication, and maybe, when we both know who we are outside of a relationship, we can try again. We love each other so much it hurts, so I hate this, but I know and she reminds me that if we try to explore and find ourselves while we are a couple, it's only a matter of time before we are back her again, only next time it will be permanent. But it hurts so bad.

I know we can work. I don't think her being poly will be a barrier long term. A friend of hers is poly and her primary doesn't really look for other girls. He just does his own thing on nights she isn't with him, and is confident and secure in the fact that she will come back. I think I could do that when I'm healthy. Heck, sexuality is fluid, so my needs might change. But right now, for the next several months at least, we have to be roommates, and I hate it.

Garden Ninja wrote:

I've pushed these feelings away for so long. So long. But they have always been there. When Hyp and Clocky came out here, I wanted to come out too. I didn't because I wasn't sure and I didn't want to steal their thunder. Maybe these feelings are hiding something else. But My therapist needs to know.

*hugs* I'm sorry you felt like you needed to hold that back. We're around, and we'll be supportive no matter what. I hope that actively working on figuring out whatever feelings you have will help improve your life across the board.

Hypatian wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

I've pushed these feelings away for so long. So long. But they have always been there. When Hyp and Clocky came out here, I wanted to come out too. I didn't because I wasn't sure and I didn't want to steal their thunder. Maybe these feelings are hiding something else. But My therapist needs to know.

*hugs* I'm sorry you felt like you needed to hold that back. We're around, and we'll be supportive no matter what. I hope that actively working on figuring out whatever feelings you have will help improve your life across the board.

I hold back with everyone. It's kind of my fundamental problem. That's the problem with not feeling like I deserve happiness: I push my own needs aside because I don't want to bother anyone. I did that with my fiance. I couldn't articulate my needs, and I didn't want to be a burden, or keep her from doing what made her happy, but it tore me apart. So we fought. I'd get mad and yell, and she'd get mad and yell, then I'd feel awful for hurting her, and I'd back off, and push away my needs again, because it doesn't hurt on my good days, so if I can just get to a good day, I can be better this time, I can be what she needs. It's happened so many times and gotten so bad, that she started pulling away from our relationship, which just intensifies my feelings of abandonment, and makes that cycle even worse.

I have to break this cycle. I can't keep doing this to her. I really hope she will still want to be with me when I'm healthy. I really hope I haven't ruined us. But I guess, even if I have, I need to figure out who I am and find an identity, so this doesn't happen again with someone else.

I was trying to have a good morning. I felt positive coming out. Not so much anymore. I just got off the phone with the leasing office and they want an absurd amount of money to transfer to a 2 bedroom. I need to call back and find out of that is negotiable at all, but in the mean time, she is looking craigslist. In some ways that might actually be better because we will be on top of each other even less than as roommates, and she'll still come over to visit me and our dog, but I'd rather she stay. I want to hope that we'll grow and learn our boundaries and learn to communicate again, and maybe in a few months we'll be able to be a couple again. But if she's gone, I don't know. I worry we will drift apart completely.

Whether you are a "trans" is a very big thing. It requires soul-searching. Soul-searching requires peace, space and healing.

And people to babble to until you start making sense to yourself, sometimes. Yay thread

clover wrote:

Yay thread :)

QF(MF)T!

Garden, I am so sorry. I hope I am not off-base here and it is certainly not my desire to be so. But if you ask ANY really skilled relationship counselor of any type about "open" relationships, they simply do not work. One person always has the dominant role and dictates to the other. But the bottom line is this: the answer to any relationship problems between two people is NOT to bring a third party into the relationship in any romantic/sexual way! Whether it is the same person or a steady stream of one-nighters, the only thing that will happen to you is every time you will be reminded that you alone are not meeting her needs and actually being there and witnessing it will only make it more painful.

I certainly wish you all the best and know you love this woman. But she clearly is not ready for a REAL relationship where you give all of yourself to your mate. A real relationship is NOT 50-50, it is 100-100! Both giving total effort and commitment! But from your description, you are getting 33-100! Not a good deal for you my friend!

I know my words are cheap, but at least right now if she is telling you she needs an "open" relationship, she is looking out for her needs and not yours. I could ask you 20+ questions right now that might make my point better, but I won't do that as they would only be painful for you and you already have that by the truckload.

I wish the best for you my friend! But I'm afraid that is clearly going to be separating from this woman until she can tell you that you alone are not only "enough" for her, but all she desires.

Don't you deserve that?

Spoiler:

You do!!

Don't let Jonman hear you say that.

I'll respectfully disagree on open relationships and poly. I've seen them work. You typically end up with either Triads, or Primary and Secondary partners. I know several people with poly or otherwise non-monogamous relationship work and be healthy, but both people have to be on the same page. Then can work, just not for me, right now. Hell, it's something I'm even interested in, though I'll likely end up on the poly end of things, rather than open because casual sex makes a nice fantasy but I think I need an emotional connection with any partners. You're right though, adding more people to a rocky relationship doesn't work. It has to start from a place of strength. She said she needed it long term to be happy, but would put it aside if I could give her a time frame to look forward to, even if it actually ends up being longer or shorter. I went back and forth, and tried to operate based on my good days, so I told her she should do it now. I didn't want to hold her back and I wanted her to be happy.

I'm not sure this is what you mean, so I apologize if I'm putting words in your mouth, but putting 100% of yourself into one single relationship isn't healthy. That's how I got in this mess. I put 100% of my emotional capacity into my relationship with her, to the point that I pushed my own needs aside completely. I basically did that in my previous relationship as well. It was just easier there, because I really liked my job at the time. I sometimes went to movies with the guys from work, and I played co-op games with them. Here, I never really connected with people at my job, and there don't seem to be that many Goodjers on the West Coast to co-op with. So that, plus my partner needing to be saved, because she was so broken, I put all my energy into building her up, and being what she needed. The most I did for myself was go to a slap and tickle or two, but I also specifically didn't go to a couple of things because she wasn't up to it, and would therefore be stuck in the house because she doesn't know how to drive, and the buses in that area stink.

She told me she didn't feel emotionally safe with me, but I don't either. I convinced myself that even if it wasn't my fault, it was my responsibility to fix things. I had to make her trust me again, but I kept sabotaging things because I don't trust her or feel emotionally safe with her either. The fundamental problem, is that I do push myself aside for my partner and think more of her happiness than my own, and she kept stepping on my boundaries, but I hadn't asserted them, so she didn't know they were boundaries, and when it happened and I blew up, I just kept pushing them back down and acting like they didn't matter, so of course she steps on them again: I told her that it was my problem and I'd get over it. I wanted so badly to get over it and be what she needs...

Garden Ninja wrote:

Don't let Jonman hear you say that.

Indeed. I know a metric f*ckton of open and poly folk, myself and my nearest-and-dearest amongst them. Many of them are in long, stable, loving relationships. Some of those relationships are troubled. Some are idyllic. And the exact same thing can be said about all the monogamous people I know.

simpilot wrote:

But the bottom line is this: the answer to any relationship problems between two people is NOT to bring a third party into the relationship in any romantic/sexual way

But this I agree with, strongly. Very, very strongly. Opening a relationship introduces a lot more moving parts to it, and a lot more potential points-of-failure. If your relationship is not rock-solid going in, then you're likely in for a rough ride.

simpilot wrote:

Whether it is the same person or a steady stream of one-nighters, the only thing that will happen to you is every time you will be reminded that you alone are not meeting her needs and actually being there and witnessing it will only make it more painful.

What you're describing here is a dysfunctional open relationship. It this hypothetical situation, it ain't the open-ness that's the problem, it's the partner who's oblivious to the pain they're inflicting on one partner through their interactions with their other partner(s). That's not the definition of poly, that's plain-old douchebaggery.

But if you ask ANY really skilled relationship counselor of any type about "open" relationships, they simply do not work

Except for, all of the skilled relationship counselors who specialize in open or poly relationships, that is.

Do people search for their names, or does a little birdie PM them when they're mentioned?

sometimesdee wrote:

Do people search for their names, or does a little birdie PM them when they're mentioned? :)

I think we have a lot of lurkers with this thread. Either for reasons of identifying with those of us who post, but don't want to themselves, or people who have concerns for those of us who participate, and like to check on us from time to time to make sure we're travelling OK.

Personally, I'm fine with both

Spoiler:

Plus Jonman has spooky psychic skills anyway, it's a little known side effect of the poly-lifestyle.