Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~Burn~

Last night, after dinner out with friends, a margarita and a few bites of Special Man’s Cancun Platter,  I sat with him on my bed as he went through his laptop and compiled a list of music to make a CD for me to take with me on a quick road trip.  He was doing something nice for me, I think, in part to show support for the fact that I’m driving several hours for a date with someone new.  Someone he knows I think is smart and funny.  Someone he knows must have caught my eye, as he is of the (fairly accurate) opinion that I am picky, (though I prefer the term selective).  I know he worries and is protective of me.  He asked me last week, why drive, when there were probably 300 men I could connect with, within a fifteen mile radius of my house; why this guy? (That’s when I told him that the Sheriff was smart and funny and I liked him, and that didn’t happen very often, which may have made him nervous.)

I like to verbally process things.  Special Man is different.  He will listen and discuss and analyze with me when I need or want it, but his process is very different.  He works through most things quietly, and internally.  I’m still learning this.

I think burning this CD for me is his way to poly up and show me that he’s good, even if he’s uncomfortable.

I love that.

(More about the Sheriff later, and no, he’s not actually a Sheriff.)


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~Birth~

I get paid to watch over women during childbirth.  It is incredible, and amazing, labor-intensive and sometimes heartbreaking.

There’s a moment, when a woman realizes that this thing she is doing, is really happening, and there is nothing she can do to change it.   In this moment, there is a look of panic on her face, as her eyes lock on mine, and I hold them there.  I do not look away, and I say to her, I know.  Sometimes she will fight it. She will try to get away from it. But eventually, the realization comes to her: This is mine to do.  

I love watching women change during childbirth.  For that brief period of time, rules of polite society are put aside. As she sinks deeper into herself, she cares less about what is happening outside of herself.  She is focused on one thing.  It’s raw, and it’s honest, and sometimes it’s ugly.

After years of this work, I was taught a new lesson this week.  I observed a girl, in her first pregnancy, labor so beautifully, so instinctually, so powerfully that I was stopped in my tracks.  I was awe struck by her peace, and by her connection with the process and with her body.  The way she moved, as she worked through contraction after contraction, could not be taught.  No class or book could ever standardize the way she gave herself over to this thing that she had never experienced before.

After many (so many) hours of labor, and many more hours of pushing, during which she was completely present, for reasons completely out of her control, I ended my night with her in the operating room, numb from the chest down, covered in blue sterile drapes.  She could not move, as her baby was pulled from an incision in her abdomen.  She had done everything “right”.  She’d had no medications, as few interventions as possible, and good labor support.  She had walked and squatted and used gravity to ensure safe passage for her infant into the world. She did everything within her power to get that baby out the way she had planned and desired.

And it was not going to happen. It didn’t happen.  She didn’t get the natural vaginal birth she desired, and had worked so hard to give herself and her child.  I was disappointed.  Perhaps a little disillusioned.  I wanted so much to see her get the beautiful moment when she pushed her baby out and heard him cry.

It is easy to become cynical sometimes as a caregiver.  I see so much that makes me roll my eyes.  People in ridiculous situations of their own choosing.  People in horrible situations through no fault of their own.  Women who are so caught up in themselves, that they choose meth or other drugs over the lives and safety of their babies.  I’ve heard the wails of women who are told that their perfect, almost ready to be born, babies have simply stopped beating their hearts, and there is nothing anyone can do.  And then I’ve watched, as those dreadfully still and silent children are born.

I’ve sent women home either giggling or tearful, because I’ve told them that no, their water did not break, that they simply wet their pants.  I’ve sent women home angry, because I cannot predict, nor influence the time and the day that their labor will start.  I watched a woman punch her stomach and call her unborn child stupid.  I’ve been snapped at by women who later apologize; I’ve been sworn at by women who never apologize.

We get the hand we are dealt.  The cliche is appropriate.  There are things we can control and there are things we can’t.  Knowing the difference, and making the thoughtful choices when they are ours to make is the secret to contentment.

I only hope I’m playing my own cards wisely and thoughtfully.

Something about this particular patient made me remember what it is that I love about what I do.  I’ve lost some of that over the years, and I want it back.  I came home after this delivery exhausted and aching and a little melancholy.  At the same time, I was content, and I was happy.

I’m a lucky girl.


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~Twitch~

Dear Potential Partner (girlfriend, boyfriend, fling, hook-up, or play partner) of Any of My Partners or other Persons Important To Me, Current or Future:

When our paths cross, I will shake your hand, and smile and be honestly pleased to meet you.  I am sure that there are lots of good things about you, things that my partner sees and enjoys, and may even love about you.

I want you to know, that I may be slow to find these things.  I will regard you carefully.  I will watch you from a distance. I will keep my ears open when anyone speaks of you.

I am protective.  I worry that someone I love will get hurt.  I will not think that you are good enough for my Loved One, until you prove to me that you are. I am not jealous, I am not being a bitch; I am not here to sabotage your relationship, whatever form that may take.  I’m careful, and I do not trust anyone quickly or easily, even people who are attempting to get close to me.

I am cautious.  Do not mistake this caution for cattiness.  I am not afraid of being replaced by you. I am secure in my unique relationships.  I have worked hard to develop meaningful ties to my people, and I continue to work to maintain those bonds.  You will make your own place, and find your own space with your Important People.  Eventually you may find yourself close to me, and my mamma bear claws will twitch when new people come around you.

(Or maybe you won’t.)

~Ginger


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~Addendum~

After a brief text exchange with Special Man, in which I told him that it was pretty “shitty” for him to say that I was being disingenuous, when he wasn’t out either, he clarified that he was speaking for himself, and how it felt that he was hiding a big part of his life, specifically, from my children.

I’m so on the fence about this whole “being out” subject.

I must mull.

 


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~Language~

Special Man Friend asked me to prepare for a “relationship maintenance” talk a few days ago.

I said I would think about it. And then I tried to get out of it.

I’m conflict averse, which gets kind of dicey for someone like me, who is also a verbal processor. If given the chance to work through things out loud, in a thoughtful and engaged manner with someone I feel safe being vulnerable to, I usually do okay, with a little patience. SMF knows this about me, and I think he tries to nurture me through hard conversations. He lets me talk, and ramble, as I try, desperately to avoid talking about the hard things he wants to discuss. He gently called me on it last night, as I was lightheartedly talking for about twenty minutes about anything and anyone besides myself and our issues.

I just want things to be fine. I just want things to not bother me, to not worry me. Sometimes I just think that if I’m quiet and good, and I smile a lot, the part of me that is unhappy or dissatisfied about this or that aspect of our relationship, will be lulled into complacency, and leave me to my ninety-two percent satisfaction rate with everything else that makes up the Two Of Us and our dynamic. After all, things can’t be perfect, right?

During this conversation, which hit on a few different issues, he used the word “disingenuous” with me, referring to the fact that I am not completely out to my family and my children. The kids know that we are not exclusive, and that SMF has another “significant relationship”. They do not know that he is married. I have used the phrase “not exclusive” with my father is well, when he asked me last fall about what the course of my relationship with SMF was taking. I stopped short of using the words married, wife, or polyamory.

I don’t think this in itself, makes me disingenuous. Google lists synonyms for disingenuous as dishonest, insincere, untruthful, false, duplicitous, lying, and mendacious. And hours after the conversation was over, it really started to bother me that he had used that particular word. After all, he himself is not completely “out”, and neither is CC.

Mendacious is a cool word. Could we all be mendacious, maybe, instead of disingenuous?

Of course it’s now almost three in the morning, he is asleep across town, in bed next to his wife, and I’m here, tucked into my bed alone, thinking. Sometimes I think that THINKING is the bane of my existence. If only I could soothe my little analytical brain into being quiet.

“There, there,” I would say, “Everything is alright. You don’t have to work so hard figuring stuff out. Just let things be, and go to sleep. There’s plenty of time tomorrow to do all the thinking you want. Good night now, little brain.”

But no. Instead, I lie here. Thinking. I suppose it’s time to have a sit down with my Dad.

Good night, little brain.


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~Slice~

I’m heading in for my fourth twelve hour shift in four days.  I miss my kids, I miss my sleep, I miss my blog!  My sleep today was restless, I dreamed of sitting outside on a cement driveway with CC, and we were both sad and mad about something Special Man had done or said that I can’t remember and probably doesn’t matter.  It’s fascinating to me how the mind attempts to work out stress through dreams.

I’ve got five minutes to finish my coffee and finish watching an episode of Portlandia.  I’m looking forward to a night off tomorrow, and then one more shift before I’m off for a week.  Tomorrow I will be dead on my feet, but I plan to write and lay low, and finish this season of Portlandia (which I’m loving) in bed.  One more shift.

I can do it.