Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~Birthday~

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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~Uno~

Special Man Friend and his wife came for cards and pizza.  It was the first time CC met my children.

I cleaned my kitchen and sent one of the boys to pick up pizza. I was really nervous.  When I came out to my kids as poly, I was genuinely surprised at the neutrality of their reactions.  The worst I got was, “Huh.  That’s kind of weird.” and the best was, “Hey, the important thing is that you are happy.”

But meeting Special Man’s wife?  I wanted it to happen. I want the big happy poly extended family.  It’s been a long time coming, this first meeting, and truthfully, there was a time I didn’t think it was possible that we would ever make this step.

Life is full of surprises.  We are constantly changing and evolving as human creatures, and I am so grateful for that.

The whole thing was uneventful.  My kids were polite, well mannered, accepting.  My 19 year old had told me in advance that he was supportive but uncomfortable, and wasn’t sure if he would stay and hang out, and I was happy that he was able to tell me that.  He did meet CC, and stayed for a few minutes, but soon retreated.  We ate dinner, and then played a few rounds of cutthroat Uno, and it was easy, and casual, and relaxed.

We are already planning Thanksgiving.  Things feel good.


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~Polite~

Oh my.

CC’s parents are here in town for Thanksgiving. CC’s siblings are coming tomorrow, they are planning a big dinner with both turkey and lamb, and they are spending most of this week doing family things. I’m not exactly sure what spurred CC and Special Man to decide that this would be a good time for them to come out as poly to her parents, but they did. I haven’t had a chance to hear the details of how the conversation when this morning, but SM texted me mid-afternoon and said it was “a little awkward, but okay. As long as we’re happy they’re happy.”

So tonight, 6:30pm found me sitting in my car, in the parking lot of the sushi restaurant where Special Man and I had our first date more than two years ago, psyching myself up to go in and have dinner with my boyfriend, his wife, her boyfriend and his wife’s parents.

I was freaking out, gentle readers.

Not because I expected anything dramatic. I was fairly confident that there wouldn’t be any talk of polyamory specifics, and that I wouldn’t be fielding any difficult questions. It was just completely surreal. I’m on the verge of being completely out as a person that I absolutely never envisioned, for most of my adult life. Two of my sons and I have had fairly in depth conversations in the last 24 hours, and they know that meeting CC is forthcoming. They know that she and SM have been together for many years and that they live together.

Somehow, the kicker for me, is the fact that they are married. I have stopped short of telling them that part, but I refuse to have them meet her until I’m able to say it, knowing that once I do say it, I am completely and totally out to my entire family. I am letting them absorb, or at least I’m telling myself that I am letting them absorb before I give them this final bit of information.

I raised my now teenaged children very conservatively, in an extreme religious environment for most of their childhoods. I am living a life and teaching them things now, that are completely at odds with where we were ten years ago. I am afraid that this will be too much for them. That they will be angry, confused. I mean, really, even I was confused when I first started exploring polyamory. Of course they will be confused.

Dinner was pleasant. CC’s parents are adorable and kind and just downright nice. CC’s boyfriend, who I can’t think of a clever name for, was also there, and that helped my comfort level a little bit. I kind of wondered what they were thinking about this whole situation, but everyone seemed content with small talk, and so I certainly wasn’t going to interrogate them.

I’ve felt a bit emotionally distant from SM since we got back from Ohio. I can’t put my finger on why exactly. It was hard for me to be with him for those four days, and then not have him here at all. It’s almost as if I’m having some Partner Withdrawal. I need a hit, man!

This afternoon the kids and I had a mini-Thanksgiving ourselves, as I have to work both Wednesday and Thursday nights this year, and will be sleeping all day Thursday in between my shifts. My brood will spend Thanksgiving day with my mother, and I’m grateful for that, as it lessens my Mommy guilt just a little.

Tonight, as I left the sushi place, CC’s father hugged me and it really did feel good, and okay. I’m interested to talk with her, and find out what it means to her to be out to her parents. Though I’m out to my own father, I am fairly apprehensive to have that conversation with my mother.

But it needs to happen soon. If only so my brain will stop thinking about it.

Good night, little brain.


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~Spoken~

I choked.

Special Man and I were at dinner with Dad and his long-term girlfriend. And I was emotional and not feeling well; I had all but decided to let things go for another conversation, another day. After all, why did Dad need to know anything about my alternative relationship structure? Who the hell cared?

We sat at dinner, eating a fantastic gumbo, and chatting.  My ribs were aching, and it was only the second time I had been out since the car accident ten days before.  I was idly wishing I was at home in bed.  Special Man and Dad carried the conversation easily, and I was content to mostly listen, and comment occasionally.

And then my father, in all his wisdom (or fatherly sixth sense) said, “So is there a reason for this dinner?”

And there it was. I hadn’t seen it coming. I couldn’t speak. I started to cry. It was stress, it was emotion, it was fear.

SMF asked me if I wanted him to talk and I nodded. I had no words.

Of course Special Man said all the right things. He expressed his love for me and his commitment to me. He talked of honesty and openness. He spoke freely of not knowing exactly what our relationship would look like in another two, or five years, but that he could not see his life without me in it in some way.

I wish I had a transcript of the things my father then spoke. Amazing and beautiful things about how I deserved to have this love and tenderness. Insightful and wise things about owning my choices and my adulthood. Thoughtful and kind things about reassuring my children when we get to the point of being completely out.

As we parted, he hugged Special Man. “Welcome to the family,” he said. And I know he meant it. Then he told me that he loved me and that I was a good girl.

It was like a damn Lifetime movie.

I spent most of the next day trying not to over analyze and second guess everything that had been said, or not said. Today I feel relieved.  My Dad loves me and that’s all any little girl wants to know.

Funny thing is, I haven’t felt like a little girl in a long, long time.


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~Patriarch~

My dad grew up in an unhappy, sometimes violent, certainly emotionally abusive family.  His father essentially abandoned his family when my dad was 16.  He left for another woman, with whom he’d had an affair and subsequently married.  My dad swore he would never ever do that to his children, or to the mother of his children. Ever.

The promises we make ourselves to preserve our sense of honor, can come back and make things hell for those we love…and for ourselves. My father grew up, and like his father, also had an affair.  My mother was apparently aware for years, but due to an unrelenting religious point of view regarding eternal marriage and a fundamental belief in unconditional love, she waited, and watched, and prayed that he would leave the girlfriend.  I don’t know all the details of the heartache, the conversations, or the promises made.  I do know that he maintained his extra-marital relationship for almost ten years before he and my mother eventually divorced.

My dad is the best example I know of someone who made bad decision, after bad decision, and then decided it was enough. He was a distant father, difficult to please and very critical.  Looking back now, as a grown woman, I see it.  I felt the criticism that came off of him in waves, and it was never really about me.  It was him.  It was always  about him.

At some point, in my thirties, after he and my mother had ended their marriage, something shifted for my father.  He  apologized.  To everyone.  He was humble.  He told his children he loved them, and he told them often.  He hugged more, he criticized less.  He made sure that he was always available to his grandchildren.

He showed up.  

Tomorrow night, Special Man and I are going to dinner with my father, and his significant other, the same girlfriend he has had for fifteen or so years.  The irony here, is so exquisite, it makes my teeth ache.  This man, who I grew up afraid of, and intimidated by, who was never able talk to his children, or be true and honest with himself for years, and years, is who I’m choosing to come out to as poly.

It’s time.  I don’t know how he will react.  I suspect he will be sad, yet supportive of me as a person who makes her own choices.  I don’t know how quickly I may choose to tell the rest of my family.  My sister, the Beautician, is aware that SMF is married, and she and I have talked about what it means to be poly.  She thinks the whole thing is weird. She feels I am being taken advantage of.  As for the rest of my family…it’s only really my mother who scares me. She will be at once heartbroken and righteously indignant.  She will wonder how she failed me. She will more than likely tell me that Jesus still loves me.  She may not talk to me again for some time.

But that is a worry for another day.  I have no fear of my father any more.  He loves me, and will continue to love me, even if he does not understand or agree with my choices.  I’m okay with that.

Because I believe he will continue to show up.