Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory

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I like to be in control.  It both calms and exacerbates my tendency to panic about things getting done.  At least if it’s my responsibility, I know what’s going on.  I’m not in suspense about anything.  This goes hand in hand with my tendency to procrastinate.

Being self aware is a pain in the ass sometimes.

I’ve been a little introverted lately.  Large groups of people make me nervous.  I cycle in and out of this, and it’s making it difficult for me to make connections with other people, any kind of connections, really…whether platonic or romantic.  I have space in my life for new connections, but I need to get out and socialize more.

I don’t know how to make myself do this.

I detoxed from sugar, starting five weeks ago.  I feel good, though I am still adjusting to some things.  I am acutely aware of how I use food for comfort.  What I’ve figured out is that the act of eating is a quick physical fix for mental discomfort.  I’m sure a bajillion people have figured this out, but I’m starting to get it.  I’m listening to my body, and I’m listening to my body, and I’m listening to my self- talk.  It feels as if the world has suddently gotten ten times larger, and I have to say, it’s kind of awesome.

Special Man Friend and I had a big fight this week. We were both triggered in the same conversation in our deepest places of insecurity, and I shut down for a few days.  We talked yesterday, and some of it felt like old baggage and I found myself wondering… Do we ever get to put the baggage down completely, or does it just shrink slowly over time until it’s lighter, and easier to carry?   Does it ever just go away? 

I don’t know the answer.  I know a lot of things in the poly realm are much easier for me than they were almost five years ago.  I know myself, and what my ideals are.  I know I have room for more love and for more connection.  I know I still get insecure and lonely sometimes.  I know I get hurt, and resentful other times.



I don’t think that makes me a poly failure.  I think that makes me a real girl.

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Oh, jealousy.

I was driving to pick up Georgia from a friends house this afternoon, and Pandora spit out Natalie Merchant singing Jealousy.

The whole song is comparison and sadness. I really wish I understood jealousy better.  I’ve read the idea that jealousy is a manifestation of fear, or insecurity, or grief.  I want to dissect it. I want to understand it. I want to be over it already. 

There was a day a few months ago, when Special Man was talking about a date he’d had with Montana and how I would have hated it because they talked and talked about congressional law.  He was almost giddy with it.  And I was pleased that he was happy and excited and that she was interesting and different than I was, and in that moment, I wasn’t jealous.

I think I was actually compersive.  And I want more.

I want friends and lovers and partners and I want good mushy feelings and I want more of that content feeling.  It’s a shift for me, but seriously, I want that ideal.  I don’t know if it’s unrealistic to want this as I’ve long held the opinion that compersion is a myth. But I’m different.  Maybe it’s okay to dream big.

I am rambling tonight.  Time for sleep.  But first….

Here’s my three-years-ago take on compersion:


And Natalie Merchant, my favorite:




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I’m amazingly tired. Like “there’s no way this can be normal” tired.  It’s frustrating. I have things to do, things that I’m happy to be doing, wonderful things that I’m looking forward to.

And….polyamory takes energy, man. Pursuing new connections seems to always fall to the bottom of my list of Very Important Things To Do.  Every week, I’ve got two jobs to manage, children to keep clean and fed, and a committed relationship to my Significant Other to maintain. As much as I long for more connection, going through the effort it takes to find those new connections isn’t a priority.

I suppose it won’t be a priority until I make it a priority. Which ultimately means stepping out of my comfort zone.  People who know me laugh when I say I am shy. But it’s so true!  First dates make me so nervous I want to throw up. I hate that feeling of being sized up; evaluated. 

I am funny and smart and passionate. I am kind and thoughtful. I have drive and creativity.  I’ve also been told I’m kind of an amazing lay. 

I’m just too tired to find new friends to share those things with.

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We ate steak, at 4:15 in the afternoon, two days before Valentine’s Day. When you’re polyamorous, you have to be flexible; creative.  It only bothers me on Christmas, this holiday flexibility, but even then, not as much as in the beginning of my experience with polyamory.  I gave him a stack of books, individually wrapped, chosen on a late afternoon trip to the bookstore.  I wandered the aisles, running my hand along the spines, pausing on the shelves that held stories about things that he loved.  I chose a book about puppies.  A novel with a deep sea fishing theme.  A coffee table book that showcased Idaho, a compilation of cult movie classics.  A hardbound book all about wind and weather, with beautiful pictures and scientific explanations.

It felt good, to know someone that well.  It didn’t feel boring, or old.  It felt comfortable and stable.  I had tickets to a showing of “Say Anything” at The Egyptian on that night, the night that wasn’t Valentine’s Day.  I planned ahead, I wanted to do something fun.

I didn’t print the tickets soon enough, technology kind of screwed me.  We missed the movie.

We ended up having an intense conversation about our functioning parameters as a poly contellation…about comfort levels, and discretion.  Special Man asked me if I wanted things to be different.

I said yes.

We are more compartmentalized than I would ideally like to be.  It’s just what we developed into over the years.  Early on, there were many struggles, things between CC and myself that I never expected we could come back from.  We have a comfortable relationship now, which still feels a little…polite.  We are both cautious with each other, and I feel an underlying tentativeness when we are all three together.  While it is not distressing, it is there. Still, there is an comfortable ease that is not unfriendly.

Do I wish it was different?  Yes.  And that was hard for SMF to hear, and understand.

Polyamory is hard.  That doesn’t mean it’s not also good. I think he gets that.  I hope he gets that.

Later that night, we stopped by a bar where our local poly group was getting together for karaoke.  Montana was there alone, and as I watched Special Man Friend talking with her, I realized that this compartmentalization has been the norm so long that I haven’t had enough exposure to seeing him at ease and enjoying another partner.   I felt a little awkward and out of place.

Which really only proved my point.  To myself.





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Montana is great.  She really is.

The other night my two youngest were hanging out in my room before they went to bed, and out of the blue, Georgia says, “Is SMF dating anyone else besides you and CC?”

It’s been four years, and while there have been other partners here and there, none have been involved with my children as another partner of Special Man, besides CC. “Yes. He’s dating Montana. Remember her? She’s been to poly potluck a couple of times.”

“Wait,” Leo said, with his hands up.  He paused, I paused, and I thought ok, here comes a big philosophical question about polyamory…or sex…or feelings…I’m ready… bring it!

He looked at me and said, “I’m not being rude (oh-oh) … but does she have cancer?”

Well that threw me.

“No.. why?”

“Her hair is really, really short.”

“Ah. Well, yes, she keeps her hair very short.  She likes it like that.”

“Oh. ok.”

And that was that.

We moved on to brushing teeth and saying goodnight. It was a complete non-issue.  Polyamory is just something we do.

It was a nice moment.



Arizona was beautiful.  Blue skies, cool weather.  It was a hard trip, and a good one.  Special Man’s parents were kind and welcoming, but ultimately there was much more for them to focus on than worrying about what to think about their married son’s girlfriend.  I did what I could to help, and Special Man had me for extra support.  I enjoyed being able to do that.  I also got to see my sister, who is having some of her own life stresses, and offer some hugs and giggles.  I do wish we lived closer.

When SMF and I left to drive back to Idaho, his dad, smiled and said, “We’ll miss you.”  It was lovely.  A few days after we got home, he passed away with SMF’s mother and hospice at his bedside.  I am so grateful that I could be there for a short time.

The poly community here continues to grow.  Every month our potluck gets bigger and people are so excited to connect.  I just can’t wait to see where we are going, it’s such a great energy to be around.  I have tried to be open to making new connections, but I fear I’m an awkward maker of friends.  It’s kind of ironic, considering how much pleasure I get from learning about people, watching people, understanding people.  I’m a great hostess, a good group facilitator.  But I get a little lonely.

I’m planning a few trips for the next year, and I’m really excited!  Seattle in April, Atlanta in June, Columbus in November.  I have projects and things that are inspiring me, and I feel good. It’s been a while since I could say that.

I’m back, baby.