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…)