The issue with Susan is, well… transforming, becoming less of an issue. Certainly it is not gone, by any stretch of the imagination, but positive choices on my part and gentle predictions on Michael’s part have gone a long way toward dispelling my anxiety and creating a life I can truly enjoy, not just endure.
I am still adamant in my exhortations that I will not remain a long-term secondary partner. I will not sublimate my desire to be held and kissed and cherished (not that these are necessarily reserved only for a primary) and put before all others (that one is necessarily reserved only for a primary) for months or years on end. Blame it on my astrological sign, or my date of birth, or my middle-child nature rebelling, but I will insist on being the most important person in a man’s life if I am to remain with him for an extended period of time. As Michael said in a rather humorous conversation sometime in the middle of fucking me recently, I want to be the one chosen to be fucked first, not the hypothetical other five lined up and waiting.
Michael very clearly understands my desires because I have never changed my mind, never wavered in my resolve, and never pretended otherwise. He knows, because I have told him, that I allow him the privilege of my company as his second on a day-to-day basis because I enjoy being with him, I get a great deal of comfort and love from him, and because the positives of our relationship outweigh the negatives at this point. It is a carefully calculated decision meant to serve my own self-interests, not a choice made out of desperation or doubt about my true value to others.
During the time when Michael is occupied with Susan I live my life. Let me restate that more emphatically so it is not missed: I live my life. Not a life lived for him, not a life lived waiting for him, not a life lived without him, I live my life. I take care of myself, I indulge myself, I learn about myself, I love myself in a fashion completely foreign to me prior to this. I take myself shopping, or to the driving range, bookstore, park, zoo, movies… wherever my little heart desires. I listen to my inner voice that makes suggestions based purely on what I want and I go for it. Often with exuberance and almost always a child’s sense of wonder.
I need this free time, this exploring, loving, spoiling time as much as I need Michael. I need time to loll around in bed without feeling like I should be serving someone or missing someone or in anguish because I am not being paid attention. I need long afternoons at the beach re-reading The Great Gatsby to learn what taking care of myself feels like and what I really, really deserve. I need time away from Michael without feeling guilty so I can figure out who I am, how I work, and what I want. I need to learn how I should be treated so I can clearly and unequivocally convey it to my partner and understand when I am not being treated the way I deserve.
So I take advantage of the fact that for now Michael has a primary partner who exclusively occupies a portion of his time. I see this as an opportunity too precious to be passed up or relegated to complaining or negativity. I am on an ever-widening path that can only lead to receiving exactly the kind of love and attention I want and which warms my heart. If I take the time now to figure out what it feels like to be loved by me, then I will know exactly how I want to feel when loved by others.
And Susan? Well, I’m just going to give her and Michael their own time and see what happens. I trust that Michael is a big boy fully capable of making his own choices and deciding how to get his needs met. If their relationship forges blindly ahead toward its own destiny, there is nothing I can do except accept the results and make future decisions based on the outcome. In the meantime I have whisperings in my ear that would tend to cause me to savor my time alone, knowing that it may soon become a scarcity left only for those hours when Michael is working and I am not.