Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~(untitled)~

When I write, I generally start with a title.  Often it’s just a single word, chosen carefully to capture the boiled down essence of what I want to put out into the world, on that.

Today I have no title.  No message.  No common theme.

Everything is messy.  Half my life is packed into boxes.  I don’t have a concrete move date yet, I just know it will be by the 24th of June.  I’m excited to move, I’ve been purging material things, and it almost feels like emotional things might be following.

I think I am realizing that I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who has three “Big R” Relationships.  I can’t remember where I heard the phrases “Big R” and “little r” as a way to describe the different levels of entanglement in polyamorous (or other) relationships, but I kind of like the terms.

Special Man Friend has been seeing Montana since last August.  They have quietly moved  into Big R territory.  CC and SMF  are a Big R.  SMF and I are a Big R.

SMF has said that he wishes I wouldn’t compare relationships.  Fair enough.  But I am not happy, and when I look around to see why not, I see that my relationship is not meeting my needs. My wants and expectations are not aligned with what he can give me. With what he chooses to give me.

Ok, so one of the core poly tenets is that if your needs aren’t being met, it’s ok, even desirable to fill those needs somewhere else, whether that comes from another relationship, or from within, and from your relationship with yourself.

I cannot dictate Special Man’s relationships.  I can only choose feels good and right, for me,  within my own dynamic.  I told SMF today that the only thing I can think to do, if I don’t want to be one of three BIG R’s, is to renegotiate my relationship with him to a little r.  

I don’t know what that looks like exactly.

I just know that I want to be happy and, and I want him to be happy too.  I’ve been compromising for so long, that it feels like I’m settling, and this makes me sad because I know this has been a long held fear of his.  I want to be with him.  But not like this.

 

 

 

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~Girls~

An interesting thing happened when I wasn’t paying attention.

I started getting butterflies in my stomach over a girl.  Or three.

Girl One:  My sweet long distance friend who has always made me a little giddy, from the first time I read her writing, and eventually was able to spend time with in person.  (That sounds a little stalkerish when I put it like that, but it’s been a fantastic friendship.)  Special Man and I are heading to Seattle for a real mini-vacation next week, and I can’t wait to see her and talk and laugh and actually be in each other’s personal space…and the thought of getting to cuddle and smooch and see where that may lead, makes me smile every single day.

Girl Two:  A sparkly girl who took me by surprise and I found myself daydreaming about what it might be like to date a girl.  How it might feel to be romantically and emotionaly invloved with a woman. Then an interesting thing happened…She and Special Man Friend started to chat and she and her partner and SMF and CC did a few things together, and now tonight, he’s out on a date with my sparkly little girl crush.  I was mad for a few minutes.  Okay, I was mad for a few days.  I felt like he had stolen her or something.  I’m not mad any more, and I feel kind of silly about it, but I’m not daydreaming about her anymore.

Girl Three:  This is more complicated.  She and her partner are fun, friendly and just downright nice.  She is smart and honest and I just want to kiss her face off. He is funny and fun and thinks I’m pretty. I have had some frank and awkward conversations with each of them individually, trying to sort through their wants, and their agreements and boundaries with each other. I don’t.want to play by any rules that I wasn’t part of creating.  I’m not a unicorn. I also don’t want to get vested and then get hurt.  Even as I say that, I  realize that there is no guarantee, no matter who I date or become attached to. And,  I’m already vested.  I really like both of them.

Yet, I am starting to date two individuals who are partnered.  And it’s completely new and scary.  It’s scary for me, and it’s added a layer of uncertainty with Special Man Friend.  I think he’s happy when I am happy, I really do.  But he is nervous, I believe.

I am too.


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~Atlanta~

I did it.

I flew to Atlanta, presented two classes at Atlanta Poly Weekend, and flew home.  I did not get lost, I did not miss any flights.  I navigated an entire three days of high level social interaction, on my own.  I knew a handful of people, and that made a huge difference.  My friend Amul was very much my saving grace, and I hope he knows it.  He picked me up from the airport, and delivered me to the conference hotel, even though he had plans that night with other friends.  He graciously extended an open invitation to me to join them, but I needed to prepare for my classes, and some alone time in a hotel room sounded perfect.

I forgot a few important things, first, my camera, which was disappointing because I love doing portraits, and a poly con would be an awesome place for some divine people shots.  And the second thing I forgot, was my hair product.  Now, don’t laugh. A curly haired girl in Atlanta with no hair product… I almost cried!  But I learned a wonderful thing.

Nobody cares.  I had a great time, and my curly hair did too…

I met a new friend, who was interesting and funny, and ended up talking me through using the public transportation system in Atlanta to get myself to the airport for my return flight.  It seems silly, I mean I function in my every day life as a competent single woman, with all sorts of responsibilities and things I’m in charge of, but I was amazingly overwhelmed in Atlanta.  I’m truly a small town girl, and I didn’t even realize it until I wasn’t in the small town for a few days.

I led an amazing discussion on polyamory and mental health.  It was so very well received, and I am positive I got as much out of it as I put into it.  Such wonderful and self aware people and the discussion was just fantastic.

My cute new friend attended my solo poly discussion and stood out as very well spoken and thoughtful in his contributions to the conversation.  He sent me a text a few days ago, saying he was looking forward to reading my blog write up about the weekend…  He needs a name, so I’m naming him Texas.  Not particularly original, but it suits him.

I wish I had a hot and heavy encounter in an elevator to write about, but the truth is I fell asleep on his shoulder my last night in Atlanta, in the middle of a story he was telling me, and he gathered me and my things up and walked me back to the room I was sharing with Amul. I’m shy and he’s younger than me, and he’s very pretty.  The next day he made sure I made it onto the MARTA so I could make my flight home, and I found myself wishing I had another day to hang out and hear the rest of his story.

I have two potential dating partners here, not counting Special Man Friend, but I’m stuck or something.  I feel a little whiny and worn out, like a three year old who needs a nap.  “But I don’t wanna get to know new people.  I don’t WANNA date.”

Except that I really do want additional connections, and dating and newness, and everything that goes along with it, is the process.  I see SMF, and how energized he gets with new potential connections, and honestly I’m envious of the enjoyment he gets out of that great unknown.  Where he gets excited, I get a stomach ache.

I need a nap.   


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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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~Onward~

Sometimes a really horrible thing can quickly shift your focus.  Reorder your priorities.  Give you some clarity.

I’ve applied for a new job with a local hospice.  I’ve made some peace with Mrs. A.  I’m determined to love my people and let myself be loved.

I’m also not sleeping well.  I dream all night, every night, and while they are not classic nightmares with monsters and dark threats, they are very busy and stressful dreams that startle me awake with a pounding heart and a racing mind.  I dreamed I found a suicide note, taped inside a yellow freezer.  The note was black, the writing was white.  It was from my exhusband, and I have no idea what the words said.  But my mind keeps turning the dream over and over in my mind.  I am purging, processing.  It is exhausting.

On Thursday Special Man is taking me away for the weekend.  Just a border town, a big hotel casino. I have naps planned.  Naps and reading.  Food and sex and then, more naps.  People watching with a virgin drink in front of me.  I am so excited.

This past Sunday, Special Man and CC came for brunch.  We made it a Valentine’s theme, and yes, I know it’s still January, but I wanted to enjoy some red and pink paper crafts and do a little holiday decorating, and kids love themes, so I bought paper and glue and stickers and we cut and pasted and made a big mess after we ate waffles and strawberries with pink whipped cream.  It was great, it was easy, and it was enjoyable.  We plan to try and do brunch monthly, and I am looking forward to it.  Relationships take effort and nurturing.  I want the kids to be comfortable with all of us together, just as much as I want to be comfortable myself.

I feel something akin to separation anxiety from SMF this past week.  I tell myself it’s understandable, he says the same thing, considering the intensity of recent events.  I fear that I am clingy.  I fear that I will suffocate him with the sheer volume of need for him that I feel right now.

People leave.  People leave, and then life continues on.  I feel so…small.  That’s it.  I just feel small right now.


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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.