Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


Leave a comment

~Hi~

I’ve got holiday burnout.

(What?  Already?)

Yep.

I think my enthusiasm tank was running low after Georgia’s surgery, which I haven’t written much about.  There were complications.  She’s fine.  Mostly.

Yesterday we had our “official” Christmas dinner.  We did it early. I am working the Christmas holiday this year, which means I work 12 hours on Christmas Eve, and 12 hours on the night of Christmas Day.  And that’s really okay.  It’s my turn, and I’m fortunate, being in healthcare, that I only work every third Christmas.  Anyway, Special Man and CC came for dinner and movies.  I had a puzzle for the kids.  Rabies kitten the kids had named it, for the whipped cream froth on the kitten’s mouth (from drinking hot chocolate, while wearing a Santa hat, of course).

It really was peaceful. Low key.  Nobody had to entertain anyone.

I am working on my own peace. I’m starting to feel like the crotchety old lady who is always yelling at the youngsters to “get off her lawn!”  Everyone kind of annoys me.  It’s not a pleasant state to be in.  Friends, family, strangers.  I want them all to go away;to go live their small lives away from mine.  People are loud, and stupid.  They say stupid things and make stupid choices with their stupid faces.

So do I, I suppose.

This will pass.  I’m being nice to myself.  I’m managing expectations for a quiet low-key Christmas with the kids.  Mostly though, I’ll be asleep on Christmas day.

And that’s okay.

My poly has settled into something that doesn’t feel like Poly with a capital P any more.  It’s just life.  It just IS.  It’s a good place to be.


4 Comments

~Cookies~

I stayed up late last night, baking mediocre cookies and building a gingerbread house.

I was so tired.

I didn’t want to bake cookes.  I wanted to have cookies for today’s monthly poly potluck, which was a holiday cookie exchange, but I am not a baker.

I should stick with what I know. I should have just bought some amazing bakery cookies and put pretty bows on them.

The gingerbread house, was an obligatory holiday thing I needed to do for the kids.  It came from a kit, and it wasn’t a big deal, really, but I had promised the kids we would do the decorating today, and I wanted the house to dry overnight.  So I did it.

When I woke up this morning, my throat was hurting, along with everything else. I was tired and a little weepy. Special Man Friend suggested I stay home from the potluck.  It was such a relief. I had a running list in my head of other things that needed to be done.  Leo needed a book from the library for a book report and new shoes for his band concert this week.  Georgia needed patches sewn on her Girl Scout sash.  The gingerbread house needed it’s candy decor, and it’s Necco wafer roof. There’s laundry, and a clogged bathtub drain, and I’m back to work tomorrow night and Georgia needs a blood draw and prescriptions picked up and I’m nowhere near ready for Christmas, and I’m trying to keep my head above water, but it feels like I’m drowning.

Just like almost every other single mother out there.  This isn’t a poly thing.  It’s a me thing.

SMF stopped by just little while ago and brought me cookies.  Special flourless peanut butter cookies, because he knows I love them and too much flour makes me feel sick.  He’s having his own stress, and wants to withdraw. He says I’m pretty good at not letting him though.

“Oh yeah?” I said. “That’s just because I kick my feet and throw a fit if you do.”

“That’s not a bad thing, Love,” he said.

*Good answer.*

So today I got a few things done, and left a few for tomorrow. I made an easy dinner of breakfast burritos, watched a distracting show (*”Helix”*, a series from SYFY that is available on Netflix, two thumbs up for solid entertainment), and I’m almost done with the Girl Scout sash,

(Here’s to small victories.)


Leave a comment

~Easy~

Thanksgiving was wonderful.  There’s no other word for it. It felt happy and comfortable.  My house was full, the food was delicious, and my kids didn’t embarrass me. After years of parenting, I figure if my children know this one rule, it covers most behavior:  Don’t embarrass me.  Fortunately, they can all quote this rule without any prompting.

IMG_1234

Special Man and CC were here, and I had a particularly nice time being in CC’s space, and having her in mine.  I think we’ve finally made it to an authentic commitment to each other, as a part of this bigger picture of our individual relationships and how they affect us. It’s not just about being polite any more, which we were sometimes (too many times) not very good at.  Anyway, she is a much fancier cook than I am, and she made some amazing food, the kind that you take pictures of.  I’m the mother of many teenage boys…I made the basics, and yes, that included stuffing from a box.  Somehow it all worked together, my instant potatoes and gravy, side by side with her spinach gratin and pumpkin cheesecake.  I think that while cooking is her thing, getting my kids fed and happy is my thing, and everyone was satisfied.  We even had a ham and turkey.

I thought it was interesting that while I am fully about time and simplicity when it comes to food, It was important to me to have a pretty table, and nice dishes.  I conceded with super nice, heavy clear plastic plates, but we had tablecloths and candles and a few festive decorations, and we ate together.  It was a nice balance of formal and easy. I loved it, and everything just worked together.  My green bean casserole, with the canned soup and those exquisite fried onions, sat side by side with CC’s fancy brussels sprout, apple, bacon, almond, cranberry dish, and everyone was happy.  (Well, I was very happy.)

IMG_1184

CC’s partner of a few years was also here, as were SMF’s sister and a date.  We had sixteen people and I didn’t stress out too much. I stressed out just the right amount, actually. The kids played Rock Band, we put a movie on, we colored with markers.

I can’t wait to do it again. I’m thinking about maybe instituting a monthly family poly dinner.  Sometimes small, sometimes larger, but just with people we are genuinely connected to.

Tomorrow is Georgia’s big surgery, and so I am in preparation mode.  SMF is here, after struggling each of the nights before the last two surgeries, I finally just came out and asked him to be with me the night before this one.  Monday night is generally the night he spends a few hours with Mrs. A, and I kind of wondered if it was unreasonable of me to even ask for him to be here instead of there.  And I decided, after two horrible “night-befores”, where I felt overwhelmed and worried and stressed out and alone…that it was better to say what I needed, and how I was feeling, and what I thought would help.  So here we are, I’m packing and puttering and baking banana muffins, and he’s working on job-related stuff upstairs, and everything feels just a little better.  He’s my people, and I’m glad he’s here. It’s nice to have a friend here, and he’ll stay tonight, and leave straight for work in the morning.

I’ll be on my own tomorrow, while Georgia is under anesthesia.  Special Man couldn’t take the day off of work.  I’m disappointed, but I don’t feel alone.  I’m important, and I’m loved, and I can do this.  Three major surgeries in eight weeks…  I’ll be relieved to celebrate New Year’s this year, with these behind us.

Good night.  Time for sleep.


7 Comments

~Touch~

 

IMG_1034

I named him Leo, after Leo McGarry from West Wing.  He was born ten days before I started nursing school, and he’s an enthusiastic, energetic, creative, affectionate and loving kid.  This sucks.  I’d like to say, all’s well that ends well, but right now even my bones are exhausted, and Leo just told me I should take a shower.  I guess two days of stress and worry can make a momma bear a little frayed around the edges.

And stinky, apparently.

Yesterday was a long day, with surgery lasting just over three hours, and a long recovery period complicated by violent vomiting that would not stop.  He was given drug after drug, a fluid bolus, acupressure wrist bands that might help (they didn’t), more drugs, and, when a kind nurse told me she was trained in “therapeutic touch”, and offered to work on his energy, I said bring it.  (I wish I had a picture.)  She was a very kind woman, who didn’t bat an eye when he began to throw up during her healing session.

We tried more drugs.  Finally. Peace.

And then my important person was there  I had almost tried to let him off the hook earlier in the evening. He texted me right back.

::I need to be with you, kitten. I’ll be there in 30 minutes::

(He calls me kitten sometimes.  It’s my favorite.)

He apologized for getting upset when I told him I wasn’t happy he was leaving town this week.  “I wasn’t thinking,” he said.   He isn’t going anywhere.  And, in three weeks and six days, when it’s time for Georgia’s surgery, he’s taking a personal day at work so he can be with us.  And that is how I want my relationships to work.  Communicate, adjust and readjust, move forward.  I’m fortunate that I get to recognize these small milestones, because that’s how I see them, as important little relationship mile markers.   Look at us, I think sometimes.  We are really doing this.

Tonight CC and SMF were both here.  She sat and crocheted, he ordered sandwiches and managed the bedside table for Leo.  I sat on the floor, my arms wrapped around my knees and did not cry.  It was easy, this being together, and in my exhausted state I felt emotional, and raw, and grateful.


3 Comments

~Sometimes~

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.::

Whatever.

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.

Great.

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.


Leave a comment

~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.


1 Comment

~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.


1 Comment

~Secret~

My ex-husband lives in a homeless shelter, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  In the six years since I took my children and left, he has deteriorated into a person I hardly recognize.

I started to read something today, about the #WhyIStayed stories trending on the interwebs.  These are the stories of abuse victims, and you can either Google or check out Twitter if you are interested.  I had to stop reading at one point, because some of the words hit so close to where I live.  My secret is that I stayed because I wasn’t strong enough to leave.  And it took me a long time to forgive myself for that.

Today I am strong.  I am independent.  I am also guarded, and slow to trust.  It affects me, every day, and it affects my relationships.  So be it.

Special Man and I are in a new, solid place with each other.  I’ve come out to my children;  my mother. My Meta CC is coming to meet the kids in a couple of days.  We have  pizza and Uno planned.  I am both optimistic, and terrified.  I want it all.  I want my big happy poly family fantasy.

But I’ve been disappointed before.

 


Leave a comment

~So~

My ex-husband is getting married. In two weeks. I found out about this a week ago.

Being formerly LDS, and married in the LDS temple, where “eternal marriage” is considered the most holy of ordinances, I received a letter from the church asking me my feelings about him being “sealed” to another woman.

“Hallelujah”, I thought.

“I have no issue with him remarrying,” I wrote.

Of course this has brought up questions from the kids about marriage, and relatiohships, and when I’ll be getting married again. Because that’s what you do, when you’re old and single. Get married. My daughter, Georgia, says I should just say, “Man, I wish someone would propose to me”, and then Special Man will marry me. It’s been a rough week. Not only do I get to process some residual feelings from my failed marriage, but I get to deal with some of those mononormative knee-jerk reactions that I still carry. Marriage is romantic and dreamy. Weddings are exciting, and everyone is full of hope for the future, and love for each other. Weddings validate. It doesn’t matter that my children have yet to meet this new wife of their father, or that this wedding is happening extremely fast for any sane person’s taste. They are still validated because marriage is the ultimate stamp of respectability and acceptance.

I have a stable relationship of two and a half years. A wedding would not make it any more stable or loving, but it’s hard to get away from those societal norms. To be perfectly honest, I think Special Man and I would be terrible domestic partners. Seriously. (I’ve told him this before, and he disagrees, but I think he knows I’m right.) Still, the dress and the doves and the declarations of love…what little girl hasn’t been told that this is the ultimate accomplishment of her young life? And the fantasy still makes me sigh a little, though I’m a realist and I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever marry again.

A romantic commitment ceremony in the woods, however, might be another story.

A few nights ago we had birthday cake for SMF with the kids. It was good, and comfortable. I wouldn’t want to trade my alternative relationship configuration for another automatic marriage. I couldn’t.

IMG_0434


4 Comments

~Complicated~

It always is, isn’t it.

I’m not even talking specifically about relationship structures, and interpersonal interactions. I’m just talking about LIFE. Making sure that there’s milk in the fridge and toilet paper in the closet, and that you take your iron pill every day. Keeping an eye on the laundry so that you aren’t being shaken awake by a child on a cold school morning because he can’t find any clean socks. Birthdays, and car registration, and paying the electric bill on time.

Oh and don’t forget doctor’s appointments, puppies,car troubles, and ex-husbands while you’re also working full time and wanting a little bit of a social life, for which you struggle to not feel guilty over.

So what’s the modern woman to do, with so much on her plate?

Find more to do! Do all the things!

Yes, I’ve got it down. I’m researching a new camera and signing up for a photography class! I need a challenge and I need art. Special Man Friend gave me a subscription to some photo magazines, and now I just have to settle on a camera.

Today I got my nose pierced. I don’t know why exactly, except I’ve been dying to do it for a couple of months. I think SMF was tired of hearing me talk about it, because he made the call, and drove me over while we were together today doing mundane, every day, LIFE things. I picked a tiny iridescent opal stud that I love. Opals are my birthstone, and I’ve always liked them.

Now I can’t wait to get a tattoo!