Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory



Sometimes when I want to write, I’ve got nothing to share.

At least I feel that way.

The truth is, I have a million things I could write about.  But I tell myself:  Meh.

This morning, laying in my bed alone in the dark, listening to my children get ready for school, I found myself wishing that I could have had a child with SMF.  As soon as the thought entered my head, the following conversation, with myself, ensued:

You are crazy.

::I’m not crazy. We would have beautiful children together.::


Next weekend is the Beyond The Love poly conference in Ohio.  I presented last year, and loved it.  It’s a huge disappointment to me that I can’t attend this year, but I’ve already been making plans for next year.  The reason I can’t go is big and complicated.  Myself and three of my children have something called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2A.  Google it if you like, but it’s a genetic syndrome that carries a 99 to 100 percent chance of medullary thyroid cancer.  (Yes. 99 to 100 percent.)  It’s super rare, and I’ve been told by an excited doctor that we are the largest “cohort” in Idaho.


So on Tuesday my 11 year old, Leo, will have a total thyroidectomy, four weeks after his brother, and four weeks before his sister.  It’s a four hour surgery, and as the mommy, it’s nerve-wracking, and complicated, and tiring.  When we discovered it a few years ago, I had two distinct types of cancer.  I’m lucky.  It’s gone now.

And I still would rather be at Beyond The Love with my friends.  Dumb cancer.



My ex-husband is mentally ill.

Not simply mentally ill.  He is utterly disabled.

It is something that I had to deal with for many years, as he deteriorated, and became more volatile and violent.  He was verbally and emotionally abusive to me and the kids, and sometimes physically abusive.  When I took the kids and left, I had absolutely no idea he would continue to deteriorate to where he is now, and  I would be here, six years later, about to say this:

My children’s father is now a ward of the state, and is currently at the state hospital in Blackfoot, Idaho.

It’s kind of bizarre.

It’s also heartbreaking, tragic, exhausting and emotional.  Especially because I see my oldest child exhibiting many of the same red flags, and it hurts my heart.  For a long time, I thought if I said the right things, did the right things, and walked on the right eggshells, that I could control, fix, or manage things.  I was horribly wrong about that.

As it happens, Mrs. A also deals with her own demons, and this weekend I witnessed some of the emotional instability that she struggles with.  I won’t get into details here, except to say that I took the brunt of it, with her venomous closing sentence to me being, “I’m happy that hurt you.”

I can’t.

I can’t be in that position.  It’s taken years for me to be able to stop internalizing the irrational actions of my ex and my child.  I took much of that on myself.  And in the end I was angry and resentful and hurt and so, so weary.

So it seems I have a boundary.  I won’t knowingly get close to someone who’s mental illness causes them to hurt me or those I love.  I am not insensitive.  I am not uncompassionate.  I can be kind and friendly, but I will protect myself and my heart.

I’d really like to veto this whole situation.  I can’t, and I won’t. But I am a mamma bear who is desperate not to see her people hurt.  But this is the difference, to me, between a rule and a boundary. My boundary is for me. I’m unwilling to make a rule…for him. I have to step back and let Special Man manage his relationship with her. I don’t really like it, this watchful waiting. But I love him, and that won’t stop because he chooses to have a relationship with someone I am not comfortable being close with myself.

I can’t decide if this makes me a bad person or not, but in the end I suppose it doesn’t matter.

I just can’t.



“What I’m afraid of,” I told him softly as we were laying in bed, “is that you’ll forget about me.”

“Ha,” he said.  He was kind of scoffing at me, but he quieted down and just listened.

I think.  A lot.  Special Man sometimes calls me an overthinker, but he knows I hate that, so he doesn’t do it often.  He knows  ME, and he knows how I process and integrate things, so mostly he lets me be.  He listens.  He disagrees sometimes, but I see him really trying to  acknowledge how I’m feeling nonetheless.

It wasn’t always like this.  SMF is a fixer.  A thinker, also, in his own right, but his process is much more “get in, get out.”  If I was struggling with something, I would want to work through it out loud.  Talk, discuss, mull, integrate.  He has always been able to compartmentalize things, and not spend time stewing.  And he would give me his advice, which would often end with, “Try not to think about it too much.”

And that was that.

Anyway, since our failed breakup, (or our fake breakup, as my 8 year old calls it) I think we’ve all (me, SMF, CC) shifted the way we communicate and relate to each other and we have found a comfortable place.  I have found a comfortable place.  I feel safe and accepted.  That isn’t to say that I don’t have insecurities that come up that need processing.

“CC’s your wife,” I said.  “You guys have this history, and she’ll always be the one who got here first. Mrs. A is cute and fun and new and exciting.  I’m not new and exciting any more. It’s like I’m the middle child now.  I have middle child syndrome…”

We kind of laughed about that for a minute, but it’s been on my mind for the last couple of days.  CC told me this week, that we all just need to “jostle around a little to find our spaces.”  This is a new space for me.  A new dynamic. This is what I’m doing.

You can’t BE poly, without DOING poly. So here I am, doing poly.

Just don’t forget about me.


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Last weekend I celebrated my birthday with my kids and Special Man and CC.  At least that was the plan.

We were preparing our Tiny Food (for our Tiny Food party), when my mother walked in. I heard her voice from the kitchen as she walked in.  “It’s my mother,” I whispered to SMF.  Now he’s met her, multiple times. I believe she liked him, until the day I told her he was in an open marriage.

“I had no idea he was so dysfunctional,” she told me. (Not sure what that says about me, thanks, Mom.)

I introduced her to CC.  “This is SMF’s WIFE.”  Mom was polite. Appropriate. Surprised. I could almost see the wheels turning in her head, as she debated how she would proceed. My mother considers herself a morally responsible person, who has a duty to make her moral position clear. To everyone.

I’m sure it killed her not to say anything. But she didn’t. Not even to me privately.

When she left she made a point to call CC by name and say goodbye and that it had been nice to meet her. They didn’t really interact, but I suppose that’s okay.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that after three years, I’m truly OUT.

And the world didn’t end.

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“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

~Neil Gaiman



This is an excercise in non-structured structure.

I’ve set my timer for fifteen minutes, and I am just going to write.  I have been worried and tense lately, and though I usually feel as if I am keeping my head above water, lately I feel myself choking on the seawater more and more frequently.  I can’t write, though I want to, often.  My mind is everywhere, and nowhere,  and I worry that my lack of focus will make for a very substandard blog post.

(I’m a perfectionist, ya’ll.)

I had a long dinner with Mrs. A tonight.  It was supposed to be a quick dinner, but…it wasn’t.

What is it about non-monogamy that makes people act so weird?  (Myself included.)  She’s madly in love with the man I love.  He loves both of us, as well as his wife CC.  I’m a little freaked, Mrs. A’s a little freaked, and though I haven’t talked to CC this week, I expect shes at least slightly freaked.

I’m not sure if Special Man Friend is freaked at all.

Anyway.  Upcoming topics:

~My Tiny Foods birthday party last weekend, at which my mother showed up unannounced and met her daughter’s boyfriend’s wife.

~My grand plan to start my own photography business in 2015 and greatly reduce the number of hours I work as an RN.

~Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, Type 2A, and what will be happening in 12 days.

~Blackfoot, Idaho.

~Intimacy vs. possessiveness.

(Fifteen minutes isn’t very long…)




Sometimes I look around and wonder what on earth I was thinking.

Poly is hard, guys.

Special Man has a new interest. I suppose at this point he might refer to her as a girlfriend, though I’ve not heard him say it out loud.  I know she considers him a boyfriend. And I know I’m supposed to be happy and compersive.

But I’m not, exactly.

Oh I get fleeting touches of it, this elusive compersion. It’s nice to see that someone he likes, likes him back. I like that he is happy.  But mostly what I’m feeling is territorial. I’M supposed to be the girlfriend.

It’s all very decidedly UN-poly of me.  (Commence pouting.)

She’s a great person. No, she’s a fantastic person.  She’s beautiful. She is creative and artistic.  She is strong, energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, funny, and she has a great laugh.  Also she looks wonderful without makeup.  She likes animals.  (SMF loves animals.  I mostly just like a few, and tolerate the rest.)  And I KNOW it’s not supposed to be a competition, but humans are fickle creatures, and I’m a little insecure.

He will debate that he and I first met Mrs. A on the same day, but really, she was my friend first.  SMF and I met Mrs. A and Mr. A for coffee, after they contacted me online, and were interested in  dipping their toes in the kink community.  At that point they were monogamous. So add that to the list of Things That Make Ginger Nervous: people brand spanking new to poly.

I genuinely like and enjoy Mrs. A. She is kind and thoughtful, and I think she’s a wonderful addition to my poly network. I really do.  This too, scares me.  If I’m struggling with this new girl in spite of the fact that she’s considerate and loving and mindful of others, what does that make me?  (Add guilt to the pouting.)

Underlying this new relationship, is the attempted breakup with SMF at the beginning of the summer.  We spent a few months in limbo, trying to let go, but never quite being able to.  Then came a renegotiation and redefining of our relationship.

The pendulum has swung, and though I’m committed to my partner and my people, I’m having a little poly performance anxiety.

(End pout.)



Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Pinkie Pie…

It doesn’t matter if you know who Pinkie Pie is or not. (But if you do, you are very, very cool.)

~Introduce yourself to people you don’t know yet. Everyone is a potential friend.

~Smile. Smile to make yourself feel better. Smile to make other people smile.

~Be nice to your friends. Be loyal. Be kind.

~Tell lots of silly jokes. Giggle and look adorable when you get to the punchline.

~Use your enthusiasm for good!

~If you don’t have anyone to talk to, talk to yourself. Also, giggle more.

~Apologize when you have hurt someone. Look precious while you do it.

~Sing! Make up silly songs about anything that comes into your head. It’s adorable!

~More giggling!

~Curls are AWESOME!

~Attend parties, plan parties, host parties. Themes are fun!

~Don’t be afraid to be silly. Giggle, skip, sing, laugh, and love, the best you can, with people you care about.

(Oh, and then, more GIGGLING!)



First thing Monday morning, I texted a friend I hadn’t seen for at least a month.

::I had a dream about you last night::

::Is everything ok?::

It wasn’t a particularly long or involved dream. Nothing screamed DANGER to me. In my dream, I was in an airport, which was very light, with high ceilings, and though I knew it was an airport, I began to wonder if there was a hospital hidden amongst the corridors. I was sitting on the floor, my back against a wall and I saw my friend down a long hall. She looked tired. She looked worried. She wasn’t smiling, which is unusual for her.

She wore a bright purple floral shirt. I knew the shirt was important, and I needed to remember it.

I got up from the floor to go find out why she was in this airport (hospital?) but she walked away with some other people and I lost her.

When I woke up, something made me send her a text. No small talk. No hi or hello. Is everything ok? (That’s what friends do.)

My mom died Saturday, she said.

I flashed on the shirt. I have pictures of her mother in that shirt, from a photo shoot we did not long ago. Her lovely mother, with her icy white hair, and her perfect ruby red fingernails was a wonderful woman. I have some amazing pictures of the two of them, prayer beads in hand, chanting together. It was beautiful and I feel so lucky to have photographed them when I did.

I wanted to share because I want to say this: listen to those fleeting feelings, to those thoughts that feel utterly random. Listen and take action. Life is just too short to second guess everything. I don’t know if my subconscious was just telling me to check on my friend, or if it was something else…but it doesn’t matter. I acted, and I was there when my friend needed me.

I don’t want to know how many opportunities like this I may have missed, because I was too busy, or too tired, or I wasn’t listening, or hearing.

Take care of each other, friends.

The end.