Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~Really~

I really don’t get people sometimes.

I spent my morning supporting a family through a patient’s death.  All I can really say, is that as a hospice nurse, my perspective is constantly being refocused.  There are big things happening to people, everywhere, all the time, and we don’t even realize it.  Today someone’s father died.  Someone lost a child, a mother, a friend.  There is so much going on in the world, and most of us get to be oblivious.

After I left this family, I went to Sonic.  I needed to sit in my car and decompress.  I ordered a diet cherry lime-aid and I planned to space out on Facebook for a few minutes before heading to my office to do paperwork.

Well.

I moderate a small local poly discussion group on Facebook, with CC.  We have 80 people or so, and it’s had some slow growth, but it’s been a solid little group.  Yesterday someone posted that she was having her first poly “date” tonight.  She was excited and engaged.  It was adorable.

Today someone posted that her husband was going out with someone “repulsive” and so unattractive that it was gross.  “Gross”!  (I can’t even imagine someone saying this!)   Do you see where this is going? The girl from last night was going out with the husband of the girl who posted today.  I was appalled.

I came late in the conversation, apparently it had gotten heated and very ugly, and while the group rallied, people were upset and defensive, and the thread was deleted, I think by the original poster.

People act like this?  I just don’t get it.  At this point, I want to delete this person from the group…but maybe that’s not the right thing.  From what I understand, yes, she did know that the girl her husband was going out with was in the group, which pretty much makes her post a passive aggressive personal attack, and that makes me sick.

Yes, the excited girl from last night canceled the date, and I don’t blame her.  I certainly wouldn’t want to engage with someone when the potential metamour is either that jealous, insecure, or just plain mean.

The end.

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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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~Community~

I go back and forth about the poly community.

Let’s backtrack.  There’s not much of a poly community here.  It’s a small-ish, conservative, fairly religious area.  Polyamory is still considered immoral by a lot of people, even if they aren’t religious at all.  I wasn’t out as poly for a long time, and now, though I’m mostly out, it’s a quiet “out”.  My friends and family know my partner is married, and that his wife is actively supportive.  They know I’m non-monogamous.  Sometimes I think it makes a couple of them uncomfortable, but I haven’t had anyone aggressively confront me with negativity, or drop me as a friend (or as a sister, or as a daughter.)

This is why community is so important to me.

I want to be around people who embrace my choices.  Not simply tolerate them.

I don’t consider myself a poly activist, but since I WANT community, I have to go out and pretend to be one.  Except I’m kind of shy.  (Also, sometimes people annoy me and I just want to stay in bed.)  What I really need is a fairy godmother who will conjure me a fully functioning polyamorous community, complete with established events and nice people.

Ugh.

So tonight, I was Googling “polyamory community”, in an attempt to find an article that I could share in my (very small) local super secret Facebook group, about how to build a community.  I want people to get proactive with networking and socializing, so that I can, selfishly, have my dream community.

I didn’t really find an appropriate article.  So I’m writing instead.

Why community is important, by Me.

1)  We get to learn about ourselves, by learning about others.

2)  We get inspired and encouraged by the examples of other people.

3)  We get to see how other styles of relationships work.  (Or don’t work.)

4)  We get to have fun!  We get to socialize, and laugh, and eat, and do things!

5)  We get to create our own social norms, within our groups.

6)  We get to feel accepted.  We get to belong.  We get to love, and be loved.

Community.  I want it.

 

 

 


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~Proven~

I like having relationships.  I like connection, and intimacy, and comfortably “fitting” with another person in some way.  This includes my children, my work friends, my sisters, not just romantic relationships.

On my OkCupid profile, which really should be rewritten at some point, I say that I “hate” first dates.  This is probably an understatement.  I also say that I’d just like to be teleported into Date Three, and that would be just fine, thank you very much.  Unfortunately, nobody has found a way to do that for me yet.  Both the Hippie and the Reporter kind of dance around me, saying hello, making small talk, confusing the hell out of me.  I told my sweet friend Amy this week, that I’m not in any mood to spoon feed Reporter my awesomeness.

I was sort of kidding.  But mostly not.

I’m too old for this.  I want sincere, honest, open people who know what they want.  I don’t want to make small talk forever! Tell me what you want.  You want a casual twice a month lunch and afternoon sex date?  Let’s negotiate.  You want a lust filled, mad love affair?  Let’s talk.  You want to explore a deep emotional connection?  Tell me more.  Do you want a chat buddy?  Meh.

I’m a busy, busy girl…


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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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~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.


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~Hurt~

Conflict is painful.

Everyone thinks they are right.  Nobody wants to be wrong.  If you can get to a point that you can even admit that maybe you were wrong, you certainly weren’t that wrong, and there was a very good reason for what you did, or what you said, or how you acted.

I can’t stand it.

It makes my stomach hurt.  It makes my eyes ache and my brain noisy.  I can’t sleep.

There’s a rift among my little poly constellation.  I’m involved, and I’m not.  I feel like everything is spiraling wildly off into space and nothing will ever be the same.  We don’t exist in a vacuum.  All our individual relationships, romantic or otherwise, make up this larger creature that becomes maimed when conflict finds parts of it.  I’m trying so hard to know what to do, what to say.  Right now I’m frozen, as I watch my people move farther and farther away from one another.

One of my favorite things about poly is the idea that we can be close to our partners, and our metamours, and their partners.  There’s a secret part of me that would have fit right into a commune in the 1960’s.  I adore the concept of the extended poly network.  The chosen family.  The clan.

I can’t talk about all of it.  But it is heavy on my mind, and my heart hurts.  I can’t take sides, except for my own.  I can’t talk to any of my people.  It’s a lonely place to be.  Events are being cancelled because this person can’t be around that person, or these people are mad at those other ones.  I’m stuck in the midst of it.  And I want out.

People aren’t disposable.  People shouldn’t be disposable.