Is this even a real word? Language evolves to meet the needs of a society or community as it changes over time. When I Google Metamour definition, the first thing that pops up is an entry on Urban Dictionary. Next you will find a plethora of polyamory related web pages, in fact the 11th and 12th entries link right back here, to Poly Nirvana.
Metamour relations can be tricky. They can be downright difficult. I liken it to in-law relations, mainly because I still view many things through the glasses of traditional monogamy, in that I make sense of poly things by relating them back to mono things. Anyway, you don’t choose your in-laws, and while it isn’t absolutely necessary to be best friends with them, it sure does make things a lot more peaceful, and a lot more fun if you do genuinely enjoy each other.
So what’s the etiquette for interactions with a metamour? Should you meet early on in the relationship or later? Should you give them a card or a gift on their birthday? Is there a basic assumption of obligation to your partners’ other partners, as there would be with, say, a mother or sister-in-law?
(I don’t have the answers to any of these questions. I can offer no deep insight. I’m figuring it out as I go, and, I’m afraid, not very gracefully.)
The latest of my less than gracious reactions to a metamour, included me, sitting with tender feelings and a bruised heart, because although I have had an abundant show of support and love in this week since my car wreck, via text, internet, and in person, from both friends, and family…. I hadn’t heard a word from CC. I didn’t need anything. I didn’t want anything. If I had texted her for any reason, I know she would have done what she could for me. But I didn’t want to ask. I wanted to be one of her Important People, and if the roles were reversed, I thought, I would have contacted her immediately, and I projected that onto her. My feelings were hurt.
It wasn’t fair for me to put that on her.
But I stewed about it for a few days, as I began to feel more and more isolated, with my slowly healing body, and my labile emotions. I felt left out and forgotten, as SMF made another date for a big party that I had been looking forward to, and was now not going to be able to attend. I was mad. Mad for reasons that I was making bigger in my head. I was left out. Circumstances had conspired to shrink my universe down to my body, on my bed, in my house. And life went on for everyone else. And I wanted someone to stop and notice that I was missing.
We really are the centers of our own little universes. It’s easy to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around me when we are talking about things or people far away and unknown to me. But it takes self awareness and mindfulness to stay on top of the fact that there are lives that overlap mine, that affect mine, but that I am not a priority.
So I had a meltdown, or rather, several small meltdowns. Both Special Man and CC tried to fix it. But it was too late, and I had to start putting myself back together. I’m processing. I’m being gentle with myself. I’m trying not to berate myself for not handling this unexpected speedbump better. I wanted to run away from everyone last night, especially SMF, and there was a small sane part of my brain that switched into logical nurse mode and said, “Wait. This is the pain meds, and the trauma to your body and to your spirit. Wait.”
So I waited.
The anger faded, but the hurt is still there. I am weary of taking care of myself. I want to be kissed on the forehead and tucked in to bed. I want to know that when I wake up, someone who loves me is still there, waiting for me. I want to be taken care of. Just for a little while.
“She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! Alas! She must confess to herself that she was not wise yet.” ~Jane Austen, Persuasion
6 thoughts on “~Absorb~”
Oh dear. Many, many warm, fuzzy thoughts to you!! I am sure that you are well loved, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now! Speey recovery, dear….
All is well. Today was a much better day. 🙂
I’m afraid I can relate to this more than I wish I could. Also, I love that Jane Austen quote; Anne Elliott is possibly my favorite Austen heroine. It can be so easy to get caught up in your own momentary wants and needs and emotions and to end up projecting things onto others. I think it’s a common human nature thing, but it creates so much unnecessary conflict.
I hope your recovery is a quick one and that you are surrounded by loving helpers.
Thank you, I’m glad you found my blog! ~Ginger
This made me cry.
One of my greatest fears about poly–and the one that made me initially reject it–was of being alone when it counts. When I have nothing left to offer others and *I* am the one in need, do they just drift away to their other lovers? Their “real lives”? I feel like if I can’t count on the people I’d lay my life down, it’s better just to be alone. It seems like this is survival of the fittest and as soon as I’m not sexy-funny-wise-rich, I won’t matter and I’ll be alone; so maybe it’s better to just be content with hobbies, meaningless sex when I can find it, and a fat retirement package.
Of course this is all bullshit. The moment I fell in love the bullshit was obvious, and the moment I got my heart broken made me run back to the bullshit just as quick as I could.
Here’s another C.S. Lewis quote (I noticed you quoted him in a different part of your blog):
“I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. “
I know what you mean, all too well. We get these ideas about what constitutes “real life”. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. (I love your smiley avatar, by the way…) ~Ginger