Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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~Consider~

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” ~ T.D. Jakes

What’s your passion?

 

 

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~Absorb~

Metamour.

Is this even a real word? Language evolves to meet the needs of a society or community as it changes over time. When I Google Metamour definition, the first thing that pops up is an entry on Urban Dictionary. Next you will find a plethora of polyamory related web pages, in fact the 11th and 12th entries link right back here, to Poly Nirvana.

Metamour relations can be tricky.  They can be downright difficult.   I liken it to in-law relations, mainly because I still view many things through the glasses of traditional monogamy, in that I make sense of  poly things by relating them back to mono things.  Anyway, you don’t choose your in-laws, and while it isn’t absolutely necessary to be best friends with them, it sure does make things a lot more peaceful, and a lot more fun if you do genuinely enjoy each other.

So what’s the etiquette for interactions with a metamour?  Should you meet early on in the relationship or later? Should you give them a card or a gift on their birthday?  Is there a basic assumption of obligation to your partners’ other partners, as there would be with, say, a mother or sister-in-law?

(I don’t have the answers to any of these questions.  I can offer no deep insight.  I’m figuring it out as I go, and, I’m afraid, not very gracefully.)

The latest of my less than gracious reactions to a metamour, included me, sitting with tender feelings and a bruised heart, because although I have had an abundant show of support and love in this week since my car wreck,  via text, internet, and in person, from both friends, and family…. I hadn’t heard a word from CC.  I didn’t need anything.  I didn’t want anything. If I had texted her for any reason, I know she would have done what she could for me.  But I didn’t want to ask.  I wanted to be one of her Important People, and if the roles were reversed, I thought, I would have contacted her immediately, and I projected that onto her.  My feelings were hurt.

It wasn’t fair for me to put that on her.

But I stewed about it for a few days, as I began to feel more and more isolated, with my slowly healing body, and my labile emotions.  I felt left out and forgotten, as SMF made another date for a big party that I had been looking forward to, and was now not going to be able to attend.  I was mad.  Mad for reasons that I was making bigger in my head.  I was left out.  Circumstances had conspired to shrink my universe down to my body, on my bed, in my house.  And life went on for everyone else.  And I wanted someone to stop and notice that I was missing.

We really are the centers of our own little universes.  It’s easy to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around me when we are talking about things or people far away and unknown to me.  But it takes self awareness and mindfulness to stay on top of the fact that there are lives that overlap mine, that affect mine, but that I am not a priority.

So I had a meltdown, or rather, several small meltdowns.  Both Special Man and CC tried to fix it.  But it was too late, and I had to start putting myself back together.  I’m processing.  I’m being gentle with myself.  I’m trying not to berate myself for not handling this unexpected speedbump better.  I wanted to run away from everyone last night, especially SMF,  and there was a small sane part of my brain that switched into logical nurse mode and said, “Wait. This is the pain meds, and the trauma to your body and to your spirit.  Wait.”

So I waited.

The anger faded, but the hurt is still there.  I am weary of taking care of myself.  I want to be kissed on the forehead and tucked in to bed.   I want to know that when I wake up, someone who loves me is still there, waiting for me.  I want to be taken care of.  Just for a little while.

 “She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! Alas! She must confess to herself that she was not wise yet.”  ~Jane Austen, Persuasion


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~Write~

About a month ago, I was referred to on another website as a “blogger”.  Oh pish posh, I thought, I’m not a Blogger.  That sounds kind of serious, like some kind of commitment to have something to say, all the time…  I’m just fooling around a little…

And then, a few days later, it hit me.  Holy fuck. I’m a writer.   

Every day I write.  I can’t stop.  I wake up in the middle of the night composing sentences, and I speak these sentences in my head, as I lay in bed, staring into the dark.  I have a voice, and I have a hundred stories to tell.  Sometimes I think if I can’t write, I will implode.  These stories and sentences will become heavy and dark as they melt together into a mass of tangled words that will never come out.

When I sit down to write, I go into my head and pull out one of these sentences.  I watch, as it appears in front of me, like a magic trick that only I know.  I choose the words, the rhythm, the flow.  My power is in words, and these words are gloriously mine.

When I was a young girl, there were things I knew, without ever being told.  I knew that there was so much more to me than anyone thought. I stayed quiet and good in the world, even as I was screaming in my head that I had something to say.  I knew I had a voice, hidden underneath all of the rules and restrictions and expectations of a false perfection that had been assigned to me.

Today is my declaration of intention.  I’m a writer.  And writers write.  I’m not afraid of it any more.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”   ~Ernest Hemingway


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~After~

I came out of an ugly, sixteen year marriage angry and exhausted.  A lot of my anger was directed at myself.   I had worked so hard to be the wife who didn’t upset him, the woman who didn’t look at him the wrong way, the girl who didn’t say his name in That Tone Of Voice.  As time went on, it became harder and harder to keep the peace, and I was too tired to walk on the eggshells any more.

So I left.

Fast forward to Friday night.  This very last Friday night, August 24, 2013, at approximately 6:15pm, Mountain Standard Time.

Special Man was upset.  Irritable, tired, and a little snappy.  It doesn’t happen often, and it didn’t last long.  He had worked himself up over something I’d said, or not said,  that, to him, looked and felt very different than the actual conversation we’d had a few hours earlier.

I don’t think this exchange lasted much more than ten minutes, before he apologized the first time.

But I couldn’t get over the sick feeling in my stomach.  I told him to just take me back to my house and go home.  He told me no, we were going to dinner, and he kept driving.  I felt like I was going to throw up.

He apologized again.  He said the words, “You’re right.  I’m sorry.”

And I couldn’t get away from it.  All the unspoken things my voice hadn’t let me say for all those years, with a completely different man, were sitting, clenched into a knot, at the base of my throat.  I kept swallowing, and trying not to cry.  I felt afraid, and I felt hopeless.  I had failed to make this man I loved desperately, happy.   I was doing it wrong, and I had messed everything up, because I hadn’t anticipated his unspoken needs.

Even as this anxiety was taking hold, my brain was soothing me, feeding me all the logical and rational comfort that it could push onto my neuro-transmitters:  He is not that man.  He is not your husband.  You are not going to pay for this later.  He loves you, he adores you, and HE IS SORRY.  

By the time we got to dinner, he had not only apologized a third time, but it was over for him.  He was relaxed, he was happy to be with me, he was affectionate and conversational.  He had moved on.  Gradually, I thought it was over for me as well.  We had dinner, and then we spent the rest of the evening in my home with good conversation, plenty of physical touch and periods of comfortable silence.

The next day I woke up feeling unsettled; restless.  He was home with Meta, and as I went through my day I just felt off.   Work necessarily kept him unavailable to me, but I found myself needing to connect.  We had a brief late dinner that night, and though I felt alright, there was a thought playing on a loop in my brain.  What if I say the wrong thing? 

He called me on it.  “What’s going on in your head?”

I didn’t know, I wasn’t sure, I couldn’t say.   I started to cry.

“My stomach still hurts from last night”, I said. “I can’t come down from it.”  And then, “Maybe I have PTSD.”  I giggled and tilted my head away from him, wanting to make things light and make things better.  (I’m pretty skilled at deflection.  It’s a gift.)

He just looked at me.  “Maybe you do.”

I couldn’t speak.  “He would go after me for hours,” I said, so quietly, I wasn’t sure he had even heard my words.  I looked away from his eyes, and slid my sunglasses on so that the very busy Mexican restaurant would be spared my breakdown.

“I’m sorry,” he said, again.  “I don’t want to ever make you feel the way he did.”

I tried to tell him, that it wasn’t him, it was me. I wanted to tell him that I was broken and ruined, and maybe I’d never be fixed.  But I couldn’t speak.  He looked at me, and I looked at him, and I stayed silent.  He didn’t look away.

Special Man held my hand, and smiled, and I could breathe again.  He led me outside into the parking lot of the restaurant, and we wandered around a small gathering of  classic cars.  I fell in love with an exquisite, deep red ’53 Corvette.  I stood there, with a man I loved, appreciating a beautiful car, on a summer night.  I wasn’t ruined.  I was loved and cherished.

(Also, I really wanted that car.  I’ve never lusted after a car like that.)

Conditioning is a powerful thing.  The present  reaction I was having to conflict with him, was reinforced by a past bad relationship, an unpredictable, sometimes violent man, and a scared voiceless girl.  I am not that girl anymore, Special Man isn’t that man, and this is not that relationship.  There are so many “inspirational” quotes out there, that speak to not living in the past, not letting the past determine your future, yadda yadda yadda.  I did a quick Google search  for some kind of quote about reconciling past and future,  and I thought my teeth were going to fall out from the sickening sweetness of the sentimentality.

Except for this:

“What’s past is prologue.”  ~William Shakespeare, The Tempest

It just IS.


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~Wake~

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”

~ Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934


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~Tears~

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.”

~Washington Irving