Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~Strange~

Tomorrow morning is our monthly poly potluck.  It’s a community thing, and it ranges from a handful of people, to around twenty people, depending on the month.  I don’t always attend, as I generally work Sunday nights, and I like to be home with the kids and then I sleep in the afternoon.  This month I’m off, and I’m going.

I got a message from Mrs. A, asking me, that if she decided to go would I go as well, or would I stay home.

(Ugh. I don’t want to do this.)

She and I haven’t spoken or had even a polite kind of resolution to The Episode. I know it’s going to have to happen.  I hate conflict.  It makes my stomach hurt.  I told her no, I probably wouldn’t go if she decided to go, since we hadn’t hadn’t talked yet.  I can’t do the awkward, stilted, not-conversation tomorrow.

My counselor asked me, would I consider a thirty day “respite” period, wherein I give myself permission to not make any decisions about how to move forward, as I’ve been pretty focused on what on earth I was going to DO, what was best, what was reasonable, what was both kind to her and still mindful of my own boundaries.

I told her, Yes, I was going. She told me, she would not.

I don’t like this one bit. But I don’t know what else to do.

I am exhausted, I have not caught up from my few nights in the hospital with Leo. Last night was date night. Special Man and I had a quick dinner close to my house, and wandered an awesome toy store for a little bit before coming home and watching a movie with my kids.  It was perfect.  We climbed into my bed, and did little: random small talk, internet. I curled up and slept, he did not.

It was wonderful.

He woke me after a couple of hours, and made love to me.  It was warm and comfortable, and when it was over, it wasn’t over.  I cried.

He’s used to it, these tears that belong to him.

I cried because I was safe.  I cried because I was happy.  I cried because I have so much more than I ever expected, and I cried because still, I want more.

And I cried, because I know, it will come.

In the morning, I woke early and left him in my bed while I had coffee and worked on the computer.  He sent me a message.  You should come upstairs and kiss me.  

So I did.  This time there were no tears.


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~Touch~

 

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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.


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~Singular~

You know what I kind of love?

My one-word titles.

It wasn’t always like this, the single word blog post title.But it evolved fairly quickly.  Now I find choosing a title, almost as pleasurable as writing a good post. That’s a little weird, right?

I don’t care.  I’m weird.

Sometimes the title comes first.  Sometimes it comes last. But it always gives me a small tingle of satisfaction, to choose that title.

I chose the word Singular for this, yesterday, simply in reference to my single word title tradition.

But today, it’s appropriate for something completely different.  As I’m preparing for my little Leo to have his big surgery tomorrow, I find myself wondering how much longer I can be alone.  Single.

Now this was a really random thought that floated through my brain late last night.  Because I’m not exactly single.  I do think of myself as attached.  But functionally, I am single.  Solitary. I do not have a “nesting partner”.  (I absolutely love this phrase, nesting partner.)  In the generally accepted language of polyamory, I do not have a primary

What this means to me, is that as important as I am to Special Man Friend, I stand alone in much of my life. I’m alone in checking the mail and walking in my house with a handful of medical bills that will not stop any time soon.  I’m alone in packing for tomorrow, and in making sure I’ve got the pantry stocked for the other kids.  I’m alone in making sure I’ve picked up the prescriptions, made the follow up appointments, planned for the financial challenge of being off for several weeks with each child’s surgery.

We aren’t connected in that way.

He’s a huge support to me, emotionally. He loves me, and he truly loves my children.  But this is all on me.  As is planning for retirement, making sure I schedule for the sprinklers to be blown out, doing the laundry, deciding to move, or disciplining my children.  He will be at the hospital, tomorrow after work, and likely Wednesday as well.  But he’s giving everything he has available. I know this, and yet, today, it doesn’t feel like I have what I want.  Ironically, I don’t really WANT to intermingle finances with anyone, and I certainly don’t need someone else parenting my children. But I want my important person by my side. I will sit alone tomorrow, waiting for my child to come out of surgery.  Because it’s all on me.

This is where I am, as a polysingle, solo poly, secondary, satellite partner.  I don’t know which term I like, because most of the time I am just ME.  I don’t identify as any of those words.  I know I am loved and cherished.

Over the weekend, SMF told me he was moving up an out of state trip, planned for two weekends from now, to THIS weekend, and he’d be leaving on Thursday, most likely when Leo was still in the hospital. It wasn’t a discussion, he was just informing me.

And that hurt.

It took me a day to be able to process what was going on with me, in my head.  I didn’t want to sit and stew about it.  I’ve done that in the past, in an effort to avoid conflict, but it always comes back to bite me.  I am working towards much more transparent and healthy communication. I texted him from work.

::I have to tell you I’m kind of disappointed you’re leaving town this week, before we even see how Leo does.  He’s your people too.  I don’t think you are uncaring.  But this is a really big deal and I feel solidly alone in it::

There was some back and forth.  He has a lot on his plate too, and needed some alone time, and while I really, really do get that, THIS IS A BIG SCARY THING THAT HAS BEEN ON THE CALENDAR FOR SEVERAL MONTHS AND MY PERSON WANTED TO LEAVE TOWN.

Then I got to have the internal dialogue in my head, about whether or not I was being selfish, or doing good poly, or being a good partner.

But you know what? After everything we’ve done to establish ourselves as committed to each other, I have the right to say, “Hold on.”  Sometimes it really does come down to whose needs are greater.  Does that make me selfish?  I’m not sure.  In this moment, maybe.  Yes.

I didn’t tell him I was upset about him leaving in order to guilt him into anything.  I told him so that I wouldn’t swallow that hurt and resentment down so hard, and so deep, that it would eat it’s way back up and explode on him in the future.  That just doesn’t seem fair to him, or to me.  My plan was to tell him, exactly what I needed to say, and then at least he would be able to make an informed decision about how this could affect me, or us. He could never say, he didn’t know how I felt.

I am not sure if he will go or not, but I feel good about trying to be healthy in my relationship with him.

Now I’m off to the pharmacy to pick up pre-op prescriptions.


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~Forward~

I’m really excited about a lot of things.  I’m also nervous, because I’ve decided to take some risks which put the possibility of failure on my figurative, full to overflowing, plate .  Still, it’s a fantastic feeling to have plans and ideas to look ahead to.

I’ve cut one shift every other week at the hospital, so that I can move forward with my plan to supplement my income with my photography. I know I’m on a steep learning curve, but I love it, and I’ve gotten some wonderful feedback on my work.  I plan to cut another shift in the near future, so that I’ll be working two twelve-hour shifts per week, instead of my current schedule of three shifts one week, and two shifts the next.  Honestly, I never thought I’d attempt to have my own business, but I’d never found the right outlet before, either.

This is it.  I know it.

In addition, I am making plans to attend two poly conferences, with an eye towards presenting.  I loved my time at Beyond the Love last year.  It is a challenge for me, living in a very small conservative area, in a very conservative state, to have the face to face community that I think can be so important to any group of people who are “outside” of the box.  Much of my learning and socialization and feeling of community within PolyLand, comes, for me, from online and long distance interaction.  I am not sure exactly where I’d be without my online community,my friends, my discussion groups, my blog.  The things I assimilate and integrate into the way I practice relationships, and the way I function in my relationships are very much influenced by the things and people and writings I have access to through the internet.

I think this is an amazing thing.

So, I want to give back to this bigger community.  I want to contribute too.

The last thing I’m looking forward to, is opening my heart to the possibility of another significant relationship.  It’s time.  Special Man and I are very solid now, months after The Great Failed Breakup of 2014. I have been closed off, and, well, downright scared.

I’m not scared any more.

I am however, skeptical that I will find anyone local that I connect with.  I am careful, cautious, and slow to love. And I’m really okay with that.  It does mean that finding kindred partners is a challenge, especially when you factor in the previously mentioned very small conservative location of my existence.

Oh well.  The first step is opening your heart to all the possibilities.

So, bring it. 


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~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.


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~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.

 


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~Time~

I’m in the mountains this week.  It’s green and lovely, and I can hear myself think.

My main thought last week:  Poly is hard, y’all.

This week?

Relationships are hard.

Special Man and I broke up.  Nothing is ever all good, or all bad.  No person, no relationship.  But poly is especially hard.  Especially when we are taught that good poly means that all your needs do not need to be met by a single relationship, and that it’s okay to take the good from a relationship and look elsewhere for your other needs.

But I wasn’t doing that.

I made a huge space in my life for SMF.  And he tried to fill it, within the parameters of the smaller space he had for me in his life.  But I found myself always settling.  Adjusting.  Making due.

It was painful for me.  And painful for him.  I thought that we were working towards a similar vision of poly, but I realized about a month ago that I was wrong.  He is a good man.  I love him, madly.  But we want different things.

The question now is, can we maintain any kind of relationship, any level of contact, where I can make space for another person, or people, and still remain involved with this man who has taught me so much about myself and about the world?

I’m honestly not sure.  How do you make a relationship … less?  You can allocate less time.  You can mandate less contact.  But emotional and mental space?  That’s the tricky bitch.  He wants to find a way that we can stay in each other’s lives.  And I’m not so sure.

I’m not dating anyone else.  I’m not involved with anyone else.  I’m choosing to be alone, rather than make SMF a default partner.  I want to be healthy, and happy, and open to possibilities.  Open to new connections.  And I didn’t allow myself that, three years into this poly relationship.  I made him my priority, instead of myself.  And our dynamic developed to the point where he expected to be my priority, and I don’t think it was healthy for either one of us.  There was a lot of hurt, a lot of expectation that went unmet.

It’s nobody’s fault, and it’s both of our faults.