Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~Summary~

~Job interview was good, nerve-wracking.  Haven’t heard anything, and I have no gut feeling one way or the other as to whether or not a job offer is forthcoming.

~I am having some wanderlust.  I want new places,new things to look at, new people to watch.

~I paid off my car this month.  Friday it wouldn’t start.  It remains in the parking lot of Old Navy, until tomorrow when I can get it towed to the mechanic.

~I’m idly wondering why Reporter hasn’t asked me out again, though he has still been in contact.

~I am having some angst about our local poly community, which is completely tied up in the kink community, and, in addition, has a big rift down the middle, which in a large city wouldn’t be such a big deal, but in a tiny place like this, means everyone knows EVERYONE.

~Special Man has things going on, in his family, and in his other relationships that leave me at a loss. I don’t want to hover, or smother him, but I want him to feel supported. I want to be a good friend, and a good partner, but the golden rule doesn’t always apply to relationships when needs can vary so greatly from person to person.  If I’m struggling, I generally want to talk.  And talk.  Until I get it all out and can make a little peace.  Therefore, the first kind of support I think to give, is to listen, and to encourage conversation.  Except I don’t think that’s his coping mechanism.  I think he internalizes and works things out in his head.  Quietly.  So then I feel kind of helpless, like there’s nothing for me to DO.  I’m working on it. I think he knows I’m here.  I check in with him, but I don’t know what else to do.

~I feel good about most things. And if I don’t feel good about everything, that’s okay too.  I feel optimistic.  I feel good about myself, and there’s not much more that I can ask for.


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~Late~

Ten minutes after yesterday’s early morning post, Special Man Friend sent me a text.

Come back to bed.

I was downstairs on the couch, he was upstairs in my room; he felt so far away.  I climbed back into bed, he curled around me, and I had to wonder if he had somehow read my words already.  We didn’t really talk for a few minutes, and even then, it was just him, whispering that no matter what else is going on, no matter the bad days that come and go, that he loves me and that hasn’t changed.

Our Valentine’s Day plan was to take a drive to some small outlying town, wander the second hand shops, have coffee.  What ended up happening was breakfast at a very busy little place in town, where our ticket got lost and the food took forever, and the Relationship Maintenance talk, that we planned on scheduling later in the week, happened spontaneously, though both of us tried to avoid it.

I love him, and he loves me.  I think the bottom line in this relationship, as well as in most relationships, is the Ideal vs. Reality. It’s about expectations and expectation management.

We didn’t end up making it out of town. We did end up feeling good about each other and where we are, right now, today.  And I think that’s a pretty good Valentine’s Day.


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~Early~

It’s six in the morning.

I can’t sleep.  Special Man Friend is asleep upstairs, in my bed.  I feel so far away from him, but I can’t tell him that.  He’s got his own demons, and he’s holding them very close to the vest.  (What an interesting phrase that is…)

I don’t know what to do or say.  I want to make him talk.  He’s told me in the past, that when he gets like this, which isn’t very often, that he just needs me to be okay on my own, and not take it personally that he’s shut me out.

I hate it.

My mind goes everywhere. I know that he is spread so thin, that something is going to have to go, soon.  I’m afraid it’s going to be his emotional well-being.  My deepest fear is that it’s going to be me.

I’m not perfect.  But I work really hard to be a good partner.

Mrs. A read my whole blog.  It didn’t go over well.

How do I write and continue to grow in my poly if I’m gagged?  This has been my place for self expression.   I don’t have anyone to talk to, except SMF and CC, and there’s issues with being completely open with each of them, because of their relationship to each other.  I’ve gotten the feeling lately that I’ve over shared with CC, and that puts her in a strange position.  We both have issues surrounding Mrs. A, but peeling away the layers of that situation is proving to be difficult.  Yes. I would have some processing and adjusting to do with any new girl he started to get close to.  That’s the nature of this kind of relationship configuration.

But I have some real and valid concerns.  Even if they are only valid to me.

Special Man goes back and forth.  He says he respects how I feel, but then I feel that he is impatient and has different expectations.

I have this sick feeling that he just thinks I’m doing bad poly.

But he would be wrong about that.

I told Mrs. A that she should not read my blog if it was going to bother her.  I suppose I should tell Special Man Friend the same thing.  He and I need to talk, about a lot of things.  But he’s asleep and I’m awake.  And I don’t know how far away from me he will be when he wakes.

This has been a challenging week.  At the beginning of the week, we both said we needed to have a relationship maintenance talk as soon as we could.  Between work, and scheduling, last night is the first opportunity we have had to be together, and he was not ready to talk.  I can’t go another week.

I was so looking forward to Valentine’s Day this year. I think I want a do-over.


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~Flight~

Wendover, Nevada.

Oh my goodness: A thirty eight minute flight on a plane which was filled with excited and chatty senior citizens.  Special Man Friend found a dirt cheap weekend package, and apparently it’s very popular with the over 65 crowd.  It’s been a good giggle. (I know I’m no spring chicken.  But come on!  I’ve got fifteen years until I’m even sixty!)

We are here until tomorrow.  It’s been good for me I think.  Mostly the sleep.  SMF played poker last night, and I slept from 8:30 on.

Wait.  Maybe I am ready to be part of the Senior’s Fun Tour.  Darn.

SMF saw Mrs. A several times in the last week.  It was hard for me.  I hate that it’s hard for me.  I am trying to be gentle with myself. I have been able to relax more about his weekly date with her.  But midway through his third time seeing her in a week, I just had reached some kind of critical mass.  It doesn’t matter how secure I am in the fact that he loves me.  It doesn’t matter how reassuring he is.  It doesn’t matter how many self-love techniques I use, or poly books I read.

I am a poly girl, with a mono- minded heart. I work hard to be happy.  I am loved, and I know that SMF will be there for me, whatever I need.  But man, it’s hard sometimes. I  am not sure how to navigate this specific issue. In three and a half years with him, I haven’t ever had to deal with him having three dates with someone else in a single week.  It sounds silly when I type it out, but it is not silly. I am a good person with real feelings.  I have to forgive myself for struggling, because the last thing I need is to be mad at myself for having feelings.

So do I suck it up and deal?  Do I ask him to slow down a little for my sanity?  Do I just wait and see if it happens again?  I think this week may have been a fluke, but I was completely blindsided by the intensity of my discomfort.  CC is out of town, and there has been so much going on the last few weeks, that date nights have been moved around and his time with Mrs. A has been inconsistent.  I tell myself that he has consistently been there for me, and I am not losing time with him.

But there’s still part of me that is uncomfortable.  I think I’m afraid.  Afraid that he doesn’t have room for all three of us, and that I will get the proverbial boot. Afraid that she is cuter, funner (funner is totally a word), thinner, newer, smiley-er, easier, simpler, sexier… happier.     And who wouldn’t want to be around someone who was happy.

Things have been really heavy lately.  Special Man has not once, batted an eye about taking on what he can in an effort to support me, and to support my kids. He is my best friend, and my biggest supporter. The bulk of my life falls on me, and he knows that.  But when he steals me away for a cup of coffee, or lets me cry while he holds me, or takes the kids to the library he gives me the chance to breathe.  The chance to regroup.  The chance to find some peace again.  He honors his commitment to me.

That’s what my logic tells me.  I wish my little emotional heart would listen to my amazingly logical brain.  Damn heart.

I’m sitting on the fringes of a noisy, smokey casino, with a very bad cup of coffee, while he upstairs in our room, stealing a nap for an hour.  (The biggest shock to my system on this little trip has been the smoke filled casinos. In Idaho, you can’t smoke in public places unless you’re in a designated smoking area, so this level of second hand smoke is making me nuts!)

Tomorrow we head home.  I feel good.  I had a doctor’s appointment a few days ago (a follow up for my cancer history)  and she found a few things in my bloodwork that we are hopeful will be able to be corrected with changes in medication and , supplements and I’m making a six week recovery plan to deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of the last few months.

I feel positive.  I’m looking forward.


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~This is what remains.~

The note said, I’m sorry if I left a mess.

It didn’t say, I’m sorry I left a mess. That single word, IF, left me fuming.

(Today’s emotions are brought to you by the Second Stage of Grief: ANGER, and by my First Night of Real Sleep in ten days.)

If?

Of course you left a mess, you bastard. You left people confused and hurting and picking up the pieces of a life you chose to leave behind. You made a choice for yourself, and in doing so, took away the choice of every single person who cared about you, loved you, disliked you, or even hated you.

You have no idea what you have done to your children.

But I do. I got to say the words, over and over, to beautiful faces who only ever wanted their father to be okay. To be happy. To be healthy. To be present.

I have to tell you something. It’s very bad, I said.

Your dad died last night.

The look of horror on my child’s angelic face was one of the most raw moments I have ever lived through. I still cannot think of it without feeling a mixture of bile and hot tears in the back of my throat. One of my others, in his moment, sucked in a breath of air so sharply, that the silence of his exhale left me wondering if he had simply ceased breathing all together.

This is the mess you left behind.

He killed himself.

I had to say it. They had to know. And I had to tell them.

You left this mess, but I get to clean it up. And I rejoice, you fucking bastard. I rejoice in the glorious children who remain, not because of you, but in spite of you. Do you hear me? These kids are wonderful and smart and funny and bright and shiny and WILL move forward, IN SPITE OF YOU.

I got to sit at the funeral, my arms around my children, helpless to fix what you’ve done.

Our daughter cried tiny tears, which she wiped quickly away with the single tissue crammed in her small hand. She didn’t want me to see. When I reached over to brush the hair out of her face, she pushed my hand away, and moved her body so that the space between us was larger. She’s only eight. It’s too much, it’s too big, and I hate you for doing this to her.

This is the mess you left. This is my mess.

They are not your legacy. I won’t let you have them. They are not monuments to who you were. They are a testament unto themselves, and to the beauty and resilience of human beings who are able to survive ugly and difficult pasts. The mess you’ve left? That’s now part of their history, their story. And this is the worst thing you could have ever done to them.

And I am sorry. Tomorrow, or next week, or maybe next year, I will feel something different. This is what the books say. This is what my therapist assures me.

But today I get to be angry.

Bastard.


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~Footing~

Life is messy.  It just is.

I started writing my blog because I needed to think out loud.  I needed to organize my thoughts, in words, sentences; paragraphs.  Along the way people noticed, and that was good too. I got feedback and validation and support.  I heard from people who liked that I was so honest about the sometimes downright weirdness of polyamory.  As if I could be anything else.  I’m not an expert.  I’m not even very good at it.

I’m tired.  And there’s no sun in the sky.  There’s been an inversion that makes everything dim and gray.  Today I had all my lights on, my windows open AND my lightbox on, in an attempt to get some UV light.  I wanted to go to bed and just lay there.  Instead, I made my bed.  I got dressed and ran two small errands, and had my hair done.

I’m exhausted.

I fed the kids, I finished editing two photo shoots.  These are successes.  I should feel productive.  I should feel good. Instead the voice in my head keeps a running list of everything I didn’t get done.

I’m okay.  (There’s not an actual voice in my head, I’m just a little depressed, not hallucinatory.)

Things are very rocky with Special Man Friend and me.  But I don’t think I trust my judgement right now.

And writing that, just now, actually makes me feel a little better.  I don’t need to do, or decide, or figure anything out right now.  Not tonight.  Not tomorrow.  He’s not going anywhere.

Now if I can just remember not to go anywhere either.


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~Review~

I haven’t been able to eat today.

I’ve tried. My brain says eat. But I feel sick. Sick with that dread feeling, when there’s so much spilt milk that you are certain you will never be able to clean it up. There will always be another spot, another drop, another puddle.

In the Mormon church, there’s this scripture, about how there “needs be opposition in all things.” It’s used to comfort people in hard times, but also to make people feel superior when bad things happen. I think when I was a girl, I mixed up the scripture with Newton’s law, the one about “equal and opposite reactions.” If you get really good things in life, then you have to get really bad things too. That’s balance. That’s life.

The problem with this theory, is that there is no real balance. The starving, dying children of the world, do not have anything equal, but good, to counteract the fact that they are dying in multitudes. I suppose you could balance out the starving masses with the obese video- game playing children of the world who have plenty to eat, but I doubt that’s what God, or Newton had in mind.

I had a really, truly, to the core, rough year. It could have been worse, I am very aware. I had three children, each with a rare cancer syndrome (which they were gifted by me), undergo major surgery; all three within eight weeks of each other. As sole emotional, as well as financial caregiver, I am utterly exhausted. I keep telling myself to be grateful that nobody died. To be thankful that nobody needed long courses of chemo or radiation. I’ve reprimanded myself for emotions that range from feeling sorry for myself, to downright anger. My emotional reserves are depleted, and yet, the emotional demands on me remain the same. I’m still the mom. I’m still the grown up. I still cannot escape.

I am not really coping as well as I expected.

Add to the mix, a very intense relationship that almost ended, and several strong friendships that ended very badly, and it all makes for a very bitter girl, who is tired, and simply cannot lift her head up to see over the walls she has built in order to protect herself.

I sat in the hospital, in the dead of night, so angry at one friend in particular, because I loved her with all my heart, and she should have been there for me, and she should have been there for my children. I know her heart, and I feel the loss of her every day, and I know my kids miss her too.

Everyone leaves. Everyone changes.

This is the lesson I’ve learned this year. People can be mean. And people includes me.

For 1209 days, I have been loved by a man who is just as broken as I am, though I may have finally built my walls high enough to keep him out too. This beautiful man, with eyes the color of root beer, looked at me last night and told me he wasn’t sure we should be together. The light was fading from his eyes.

I’ve finally figured it out. It doesn’t matter if I’m poly or not poly. Not one bit. It only matters that I can accept the love and happiness that he gives me, for what it is, without fear of the pain and uncertainty of what might come with it. Will probably come with it. Because for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. You take the good with the bad.

Because this man makes me happy. He sees good in me. I’m a better person, because he holds up a mirror and doesn’t let me look away. In the mirror I see a scared girl, who can almost always hold everything together, until she can’t. And he isn’t afraid to tell me that I’m starting to drown, and he can’t come with me.

“If you give up,”  he said, “if you drown, I can’t let you drown me along with you. So please, swim for your life.”

So I’m treading water, and trying to decide which direction to go.

I don’t know what to do, I said.

“Breathe,” he told me.

I’m breathing. It’s all I can do.