A Traitor In Our Midst / The Next Chapter

I haven’t written lately and I apologise for that. If I’m being completely honest I’ve been in considerable pain, but as someone who lives with and is used to pain, I’m sort of not very good at knowing when my body really wants me to stop. The pain that I’ve been in has been intense, right-side, upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back. For a time I put it down to IBS, or perhaps (and embarrassingly) trapped wind, or even gastritis. It couldn’t be my appendix I didn’t think, it was too high up for that.

I tried all sorts – laxatives, heat pads, bland diet, eating nothing, but nothing worked. In a panic I even started to wonder whether it was my gallbladder but again, I didn’t have any other symptoms besides pain. The other thing, I concluded, was that my diet isn’t nearly high enough in cholestrol (or low in variety) to entertain that possibility. So what gives?

Per chance, it was only when I sat down to do some blog work did I realise the way that I was sat. My knees were outside of my desk but my torso was twisted to the left. The cushion I’d put under me to give me some comfort and support had shifted and my posture in general left a lot to be desired. A quick look at at a muscle map confirmed a much more likely possibility – I’d pulled my external obliques.

So I tried to correct my posture, but any time I did that my tummy felt tight and my back hurt. I did some more research and treated myself to a (purple, naturally) foam roller. I’ve never used one before for sure, but if people say they work.


I let out a sigh of relief as the pain in my spine goes, but then another problem soon occurs – spasms.


The spasms aren’t like what I’m used to with RSD, where there’s a bit of jiggling and it hurts but I’ve sort of developed a sick sense of humour where I can usually laugh at my body (through the pain, I know) doing whatever the hell it wants to do. This is new, it’s intense and it’s making me breathless. I couldn’t sit up, I had to lie down. I had to be straight.

“I feel like I’m going to birth a fucking cow” I groan as my abdominal muscles jolt and contort, Matt can’t help but laugh. It’s nice to know that I’m still funny, even when my end feels near.

I put a heat pad on my side and fortunately things settled down in about twenty minutes. Anytime that I try to stand up though, the spasms start again.

The next day they are less, yesterday things are even easier but my muscles still feel sore. Today I am mostly okay apart from if I sneeze, laugh etc. Needless to say the cushion has been unceremoniously discarded on the floor, my knees are both firmly tucked under my desk and my back is mindfully kept straight. I’m also making it an intention to start working out more often, plus yoga to strengthen my core. I’m not going through that pain again, even if I’m paid to.

I’m a masochist, yes, but even I have my limits.

Despite my sufferance I did manage to put together two tall Keter store-it-out units, mostly through putting Voltarol cream on my side but also through generally being the tenacious little cowbag that I am. I wasn’t going to be beaten, I wasn’t going to let pain stop me. I could go a week without blogging, sure, but I couldn’t go a week with two large boxes in the hallway.

I couldn’t un-order them – I’d buggered myself in the five days between me placing the order and them arriving. It’s one of those ‘part of life’ things, and the show must go on.

“Just do what you can” Matt tells me, so I do what I can, taking moments in between to breathe out my pain. It takes me two days but the buggers are up and their boxes are out. That feels good.

One of the units will be home to our pop-up gazebo and folding table, along with all kinds of other afresco dining paraphernalia (I was going to say eating out, but, well, that’s something else), and the other was a moment of genius on my part: our under-the-stairs cupboard is choco with cleaning bulk buys, so having a kind of storage space near the flat (and not as far down the garden as the shed) will allow us to put them out there but still have them reasonably close to hand. Result? Organised living and cleaning supplies available when we need them. Perfect!

I was supposed to organise under the stairs yesterday but, well, I haven’t got quite that far yet. That’s alright, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I can get organised after this post and take the bulk buys out tomorrow, no biggie.

Matt did speak to Lewis on Thursday – they went to the pub for a drink and to chat the whole situation through. So it transpired, Lewis had been looking for love on a dating app and Claire was on there too. They matched and Claire messaged Lewis, she told him that she’d broken up with her fiancĂ©e two months before (weird?) and she had feelings for him.

That “I’ve got feelings for you” is textbook talk from Claire, even Matt has said so. Truthfully we don’t think she really has feelings for anyone so much as she has feelings for what they have to offer, still. Leopard. Spots.

But, Lewis being Lewis, he bought into it. Claire fluttered her eyelashes his way and Lewis fell. Lewis has never been lucky in love and so he was easy prey, and Claire knew. It’s annoyed me no end that she’s prayed on someone like Lewis, he’s a good friend to me.

“I’m not sure which I find sadder” I say to Matt, “the fact that a good guy like Lewis is so desperate to find love, he’s resorting to using dating apps to try and find it. Or the fact that Claire is so out of victims, she’s using dating apps to find her next one.”

“Claws away, Mrs S” Matt warns, I smile apologetically. It was a bit mean, sure, but I’m not sorry, not really. They both hurt him, so then they’re both fair game.

She hurt me too, but besides.

It turns out Lewis had wanted to tell Matt about his decision to date Claire, but he was warned against it by someone I’d told myself – my brother.

I’m admittedly angered by that little revelation – what the fuck?

“I just want to talk to him” Matt says, “I’m not going to hurt him, I’m not that way inclined, I just want to know why.”

It takes me some time to think about the situation but in the end I encourage forgiveness.

“I don’t think he meant any harm” I say, “he probably thought that it would hurt us and if we don’t know, it can’t hurt us”. I know my brother and he’s depressed, entitled and opinionated, sure, but he’s not malicious. He wouldn’t do something like that to hurt us, he’s always seen it as his duty to protect me. He idolises me, in fact, he was even inspired to paint paintings because of me.

Reluctantly, Matt accepts my conclusion.

Matt and Lewis do plan to start hanging out together more often again – possibly once a month – though to be completely honest I’m not sure how long that will last. Not because I wouldn’t let them (the only time I text Matt was to ask whether he was coming home for food or whether I could order myself a cheeky Nando’s), but because they have both grown up and apart and both live their own lives now. If things do get serious with Claire – and they could – then Lewis will be busy there. These are high school friends holding on to high school days. Not every relationship ends with a flash and a bang, some change or simply end with a fizzle. When they do, it’s perfectly okay to let go.

They do text often about the football though, and that’s also okay. I’m not against them being friends, I just don’t want them both forcing something that neither of them really wants out of obligation and being nice to the other. I care about them both and they are both nice guys who do nice things, often at the detriment of themselves.

I did think about trying to be friends with Claire again, though to be completely honest, I think I’m over that idea by now. If her relationship with Lewis becomes extremely serious, then I might think about making an effort to keep things civil. The only other time would be if she asks to try and be friends again with me.

She ended it, so now she can repair it. I’m a beast, I know, but I know my worth.

I am concerned about Matt’s friendship with Lewis still in one regard though, because if Claire does walk away from Lewis like she did Matt but I, her ex-friend, have stayed, then what is it I have that Claire didn’t have? What is it I do that Claire didn’t do? Lewis already praises our lasting relationship and he knows I have a way with words, sometimes he even tells to stop because he already knows I delight in some (sometimes not-so-subtle) innuendo play and it makes him blush. He already knows my mind is nowhere near as pure as perhaps my face suggests, and once that curiousity piques, that’s usually when they fall. If a friend’s exes aren’t off-limits, what guarantees can he offer for a best friend’s polyamorous wife? What if said wife rejects said best friend’s potential advances (because she’s not interested), what then? Should a man’s wife shag the best friend she isn’t into, just to keep the peace?

Wait, don’t answer that question. The submissive in me can ready feel the sadistic smile of the Dominants reading this post.

“Lewis knows about us” Matt says. I’m shocked.

“About D/s?” I ask. I’m amazed, he’s normally so private about that side of us. He shakes his head.

“About poly” he says. Oh.

“He doesn’t approve, he’s a traditionalist” he continues. I shrug.

“Well, and with all due respect, but I’m not for shagging your best friend’s ex behind his back either” I smile, “but at least with my poly you got a say in it.”

Something else did happen for me this week – actually two things, but these two things aren’t linked. First I discovered – just like how we discovered the last one – that my husband and I are both mutually curious about the pet play kink. The other is that I met someone else, someone new.

The situation with Chris is a bit odd, because it was in not looking for someone romantically that I potentially found me someone romantically, again (that’s also how a girl wound up married for the past ten years, but I digress). I suppose I’d always accepted that possibility in my existing poly dynamic, that even with the best intentions and even if we planned to stay exclusive, one of us could still feel feelings for someone else as well. Then what? You can’t tell someone what to feel.

I just hadn’t anticipated that that someone would be me.

The funny thing with Chris was that he really messaged me on the back of my ‘friends’ post to ask me what video games my husband plays. He was open to being my friend as well of course, but he wanted to know my husband first. I told him, they compared games, we got talking more.

Then through getting to know me, Chris started to see my appeal. My wordsmithery and my suble sexiness, he says, leaves him wanting more. Another one fallen, then.

Somewhere inside, some part of me likes that Chris calls me ‘babygirl’ and I like that he’s told me he wants me to be cheeky anyway, even if sometimes he tells me not to. He’s not rushing anything though, and what’s most important for him is that we feel safe and comfortable with one another. Joking is good, but put-downs are not cool. The man gives high hopes.

So you’re a northerner then, mind me asking where up there you’re from?

Chris is from twenty minutes outside of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, though he now lives much more local. He, just like my husband, is a lifelong Newcastle United fan.

Also just like my husband (and my Sir, for that), debasing me already seems to be a new favourite hobby. There’s mention of watching Newcastle United play and having me serve beers topless and with nipple jewellery on.

We could call it Toon & tits, Chris suggests. Brilliant.

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