Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~March~

So March is my anniversary month for the blog.

I love my blog.  I have gotten so much pleasure and satisfaction from it.  I love that I have readers in Germany, and Canada, and dozens of other places.  I love the comments and the commenters.  Sometimes the stories spill from me in an instant, and sometimes I don’t write for weeks, because there’s nothing there.  It’s not time yet.

Then, when the stories come back, I feel so good, so settled, so whole.  When the words elude me, I sit and stare at the screen of my laptop, and wait.  Sometimes I wait a long time, before closing my computer and promising to come back later.

I am able to see some of the search terms that people use to find Poly Nirvana.  They can be downright hilarious…

  • polyamory secondary gets scraps (ouch)
  • I am terrified of the game changer polyamory  (Right there with you, sometimes.)
  • compersion love hot poly  (Hey, as long as it’s HOT poly.)
  • polyamorous relationship bullshit  (haha)
  • strawberry pumpkin pet name (Aw.)
  • ginger girl finds succubus (Love it!)
  • professorpolyamory daughter (weird, right?)
  • he doesnt communicate oftenly. does my manfriend really love me? (Oftenly?? But YES to MANFRIEND!)
  • succubus wants my cock (awesome!)
  • emotion fucks thought  (Word.)
  • fuck you back  (How on earth did this search term get someone here??)
  • unicorn girl polyamorous  (Oh no you didn’t…)

I seriously love that this little space of mine is two years old.

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~Reviewed~

In the middle of the summer, I was contacted with a offer of an advanced copy of a new book on polyamory, and a request to review it on my blog.  The book has since been released, and at least once a week, my partner pokes me and says, “Hey, did you write your review yet?”

No, I haven’t.  I’ve never reviewed a book before, and I keep thinking that there’s some dry, intellectual, and boring format that Official Book Reviews are supposed to follow, and I’ve been putting it off.  And putting it off.  So, this morning, as I sit in my favorite coffee shop, I’ve decided to write my own kind of review.

When I first started to learn about polyamory,  I was very interested to read about different experiences with open relationships.  I didn’t know anyone else “like me”, a single person doing polyamory. I started reading the standard, recommended poly books, and quickly realized that the bulk of information out there was for couples. Even chapters that referred to “secondary” relationships, seemed more about how to manage primary couplehood, in spite of “outside” relationships, rather than how to just be a good person, with healthy and whole relationships. I felt outside. I was the outside relationship; all the books said so. This ultimately sparked my own involvement in the larger poly community, my writing, my discussion group, my love and desire for community.

I didn’t want to like “More Than Two”, by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert.  I’ll admit it.  I’m a tough customer, and I think that comes from having to muddle through a lot of popular polyamorous muck in order to arrive at my own vision of happy and healthy relationships. (I believe I’m an optimistic cynic, however, so there is that.)

This book is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for a thoughtful, reasonable approach to polyamory, no matter who you are.

(That’s it. That’s my review.)

The things I look for in healthy poly relationships, are the things I look for in any human relationship. Polyamory doesn’t excuse anyone from being a good and kind human being.  Healthy relationships, whether with lovers, friends, co-workers, or family, include such things as responsibility, boundaries, communication, nurturing, and self-care.  “More Than Two”, offers a realistic and rational approach to being a whole person, who is mindful of self, and of others.

~finis 

(Have you read “More Than Two”?  What did you think?  Comments welcome!)


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~Year~

One year ago today, I posted my first writing on Poly Nirvana, titled “Perfect Poly”. I actually had written it a year before that, out of frustration with the larger poly community and this feeling of not fitting in anywhere; of not being evolved enough to feel true compersion, or mature enough to not ever be jealous. Or lonely. Or sad. Or any of those feelings that we are all trying so hard to get away from, and that everyone talks about, all the time.

I received this message this week, and I’m posting with permission from the darling friend who wrote it.  I’m sharing it because it resonated with me, and I’m also sharing my response.

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Hi Ginger,

I have something that I’ve been struggling with and I was hoping that I could get your perspective. I hope you don’t mind. It has to do with polyamory, metamours, jealousy, hurt, and my reaction to hurt.

I’m trying to get some different perspectives–not because I don’t trust people around me, but I’m really just hoping to cast a wide net and hope that something works for me, because I’m really struggling. I really respect your thoughts, from reading a lot of your writing… and I’d appreciate your input.

So here are the basics: A person with whom I am in a relationship (going on three years) has a new(ish) partner, and I’ve been struggling with this new(ish) partner from the beginning (about a year and a half). I’ve reached a lot of peace about the situation, but sometimes I just feel so HURT when I know that they’re together. I’m working through that. What I’m really really struggling with is a desire to hurt my partner back in some way with a mean or jealous comment, by withdrawing, by screaming or yelling. I know that something is being triggered within me and I know that I need to figure that out, but that desire to hurt, to hit back in some way, is really upsetting me.

Do you have any thoughts on this, or experiential learning that you’ve done that you could share? 

_________________________________________________________________________

My response:

So when I first read your message, I was immediately like, “Oh , I so know exactly what that feels like.” The problem is, that I don’t always know how to best deal with it, in a healthy way, except to recognize it, accept it, and possibly verbalize it, which it seems like you’ve done.

There’s a knee-jerk reaction that we have sometimes, that is a defense mechanism when we are feeling vulnerable. We do it as children when we lash out, and we do it as adults. When I’ m feeling insecure, I find myself saying something that I know will make him worry about the stability of our relationship. It’s not nice, and I didn’t realize that I was doing it for a long time, and it didn’t happen very often, but once I recognized it, I was able to at least be a grown up and choose to simply tell him instead that I needed him to tell me…whatever…I needed to hear. Once I said it out loud, it lost it’s power, and I could see it for what it was. “Tell me you’re not going to dump me for the 24 year old stripper with awesome legs that you just met because my legs are thick and meaty and I’m an old lady”. Usually he just looks at me and says the right things, which I knew anyway, but I just have to process it out in the open.

Feelings are hard. I read a sentence in a blog recently…

“I think the poly world puts too high of a premium on being un-feeling ever-compersive robots, but reality is that we all handle things differently.” (Link here.)

And THAT screamed at me, I’ve been feeling that one for a long time. At the risk of sounding like a know it all, read this…   “Perfect Poly”

And remember, my sweet friend… It’s what you do with your feelings that matters. If you recognize that you want to lash out, and you consciously choose to DO IT anyway because it feels good and satisfying to hurt your partner for just a minute, then you’re giving up. If you feel your feelings and choose to handle them the best way you know how, and explore ways to handle them even better, then you are doing good poly, good relationships, and good human being-ness.

(It’s early, and I have a headache, and I suspect that this is somewhat rambling and scattered, but sometimes a stream of consciousness thought process works… Maybe…)

~Ginger

________________________________________________________________________

Thank you. It does make sense and it helps, and I appreciate the words of your blog entry from a year ago. I get into these moments (sometimes week-long moments) when everything seems like it’s crashing in and like I can’t stand the hurt and the confusion a moment longer–like I’m going to have to change something in my relationship or do something drastic like scream and yell, and then I kind of snap and say, “Um…this kind of misery is not part of my relationship. I have created this in my head.” And then I take a step back and I look at the big picture, and I realize I’m making decisions about the direction of my relationship (without my partner) and I’m deciding what’s in their head for them, rather than keeping myself open and vulnerable. Oh, god, the vulnerability of not assuming where something is going or what’s in someone’s head, and leaving myself open to “what will be.” And even though I have those moments when I feel fearful and hurt, and I want to say something hurtful or something that would damage the relationship, I know that in the long run it’s not the choice I want to make. I’ll probably never be the 100% secure and compersive partner because I seek out relationships that push me to grow as a person, and growing is painful and it can be confusing. I just have to remember to not get lost, right?

_________________________________________________________________________

I think I wanted to share this on the blog, because it always makes me feel better when I know that other people struggle with the same things I do.   And it’s inspiring to me when I see others trying to be good and kind and thoughtful in their choices.  It inspires me to try to do the same.  I not perfect, and I don’t do perfect poly.  I’m just a girl who is trying to find her way, along with everyone else.

Happy anniversary, little blog.


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~Reality~

I’ve been asked a few times if my little poly network knows that I blog about myself, about my relationships, and about them. I’ve been asked if it affects my writing, if my important people do read what I write.

The answer is yes. They know. And yes, it affects what and how much I share.

I’ve actually debated starting a completely anonymous blog, so that I can put more out there, but I can’t realistically maintain two blogs, and I love this one like a favorite cousin.

I write about me and my perspective. I try to respect my others, and remember that they didn’t really consent to being characters on my Poly Nirvana stage. A few months ago, an acquaintance at our local non-monogamy discussion group, asked CC’s boyfriend, MSquared, how it felt to be famous because he’d made it into the blog that week. (I’m pretty sure MSquared was not impressed by this overblown tidbit.) However, it left an impression on me, and I try to tread lightly. You will not hear me talk extensively about my metamour, CC. I know it would make her uncomfortable.

If I had it to do over again, I might start my blog and keep it absolutely anonymous. Then again, Poly Nirvana has become such an experience and a joy for me, that I’m not sure I’d want to have to keep it a secret, and not share it with my people.

Really, I have no advice as to what others should do when contemplating putting their writing out into cyberspace. It’s a pretty personal decision. For me, it is what it is, and I’m pretty happy with my real life peeps knowing that I write here. It comes back to bite me on the ass from time to time, but I can deal. I’m a big girl.


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~Grateful~

If you blog about poly, you are an activist.

Some of you know this already. Some of you are thinking, “I’m just writing about my life. I’m not an activist. Why would anyone want to be an activist?”

I don’t know if anyone wakes up one morning and decides to be an activist. I don’t know if anyone says to themselves, “Self, I want to be a poly activist and the best way for me to do that, is to start a blog. Yes!”

Here’s the thing. There’s a huge poly community spread across the world, and yet, in my face-to-face life, I interact with few, truly polyamorous people. I have very few examples of successful, healthy, honest, long-term non-monogamous relationships. I felt weird, and alone, for a long time.

Then I started blogging.

People found me. All of a sudden I was aware of this network of people who were trying to do good poly. I saw kind and thoughtful people who were seeking out others, and who were becoming stronger in their convictions about love and life, as they learned and explored. I made contacts with ethically non-monogamous people all over the place. I began to feel a sense of community.

I didn’t feel weird anymore.

And that’s activism. That’s what all you badass Bloggers have done for me. I read what you write, and I nod my head as I read. I get it. I feel it.

I see you.