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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~Another~

I’m going out on a First Date on Saturday.

Maybe.

I get the distinct impression that this guy expects (anticipates?) first date sex. He seems nice.  He’s smart (I think), sort of funny (hard to say), super enthusiastic (like a lab puppy that I’m not quite sure I have the energy for).

He’s older, educated, used to be a reporter.  The Reporter found me on OkCupid; there’s been chatting, not much else.  He doesn’t even have my number.

I was also propositioned by two men today, and called a sarcastic bitch by another.  All on the lovely internet.

I’m too shy for this. Wait. No, I’m an introvert. That sounds much cooler.

Last night I had a quick dinner with Special Man at Whole Foods.  He invited CC along, after her dinner date canceled on her.  It was good, comfortable, easy.  We’ve earned it.  I sat there, very grateful in that moment.  We made plans for two weeks out for games and tacos with kids and family.

Some days I wonder if I should just be happy with what I have. Just be fucking happy.


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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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~Hunt~

Today on the big bad interwebz, I read a brief rant and subsequent discussion about the term “unicorn hunters” and are there really that many out there, and how it seems like there are more people who complain about the unicorn hunters than there are actual unicorn hunters.

Umm, no.

Here are my thoughts, in random and meandering fashion, because, well, that’s what I’m good at, and I might as well stick with what I know.

As a single female, my complaint about unicorn hunters is that they come at you from the following place:

“Hi!  We are looking for Our Unicorn!”  (And usually from the female partner. I’m not sure why.)

Not: “We are individuals in a committed relationship, exploring additional emotionally attached human relationships. We would love to explore a triad with the right person, what are you looking for?”  

Or, better yet (and yes, I’ve seen ads and gotten messages that are almost this blatant):

Hi! We are looking for Our Third!  She will be sexy and fun and equally available to both of us to play with or not play with, but only with the two of us together, because we are a couple and a unit and nothing will ever come between us, so basically there would be US, and there will be you. Because you know, we’ve been together for a long time and we intend to never let anything get between us, even a unicorn, we want fun and sex and this new thing called Polyamory sounds just great!  Oh, and by the by, there are these rules that the two of us made, so that we can feel safe and good with each other, but don’t worry about that yet.  As long as you don’t feel closer to one of us over the other, or text one of us when the other is feeling insecure, then it will be fine. And maybe try not to be TOO cute or TOO sexy, because, jealousy. No matter what, our relationship comes first.  So, you know, wanna be Our Unicorn?     

Is everyone like this?  No.  But there is a reason that it’s a stereotype.

My eye starts to twitch, every time I see the infamous sentence “We are looking for Our Unicorn”.  I’m not sure if it’s the words themselves, or the whole stereotypical attitude that I’ve seen attached to them, over and over and over.  But do yourselves a favor. If you are a Unicorn Hunter, just don’t.  Approach people as individuals, as potential connections, as possible friends.  State what you are looking for, but also, ask what potential partners are looking for.  If you want a casual occasional tryst as a threesome, awesome.  Find someone who is looking for that too.

But here’s the thing.  There are a lot of solo-polyamorists now, (who may be UNICORNS) who are looking for different kinds of relationships.  We want fulfilling, emotional connections.  Don’t say you want one thing, when what you really want is another.  We are each open to different levels of connection, but the bottom line is, we are people.  Not a label.  Calling me a unicorn, is akin to calling me a MILF.  Yeah, yeah, maybe it has it’s place.  But it takes away my personhood.  And when you say, We are looking for Our UNICORN, you are reducing me fill a slot, a slot that you have defined, and any old unicorn will do.


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~Fine~

Disclaimer:  This is the real poly that goes on in my imperfect life.  It is neither enlightened, nor glamorous, despite what you may think of my awesome poly skills.  You have been warned. 

Alright, poly peeps.

Let’s say, you’re having a crabby day.  And, in an effort to cheer you up, your partner sends you a picture of a kitten, which you dismiss with a “Nice try, I’m immune to cute animals.” text.  Then comes another kitten.  “Nope.” you type back.

So then, your partner, thinking that a cute picture of HIM will cheer you up, sends a picture you happen to have seen once, because his newest partner showed it to you before, in a gush of NRE.

But even if you hadn’t seen it before, HE should know, that you might not want to see a cutesie picture of him, in his new girlfriend’s sunglasses, making kissy smoochie faces at the camera, on a date with her, while she took the picture.  It’s a study in freaking New Relationship Energy, and you simply don’t need a picture of it.

And it’s moments like these, that seem so silly and small, that make me think, What the hell am I doing here?

Seriously, where’s all this compersion everyone else gets so excited about?  Where’s MY compersion?

Ok.  Deep breath.

Honestly, I know this has to be tied up in the layers of conflict that I have with Mrs. A. I don’t think he intended to be insensitive at all, though I am holding him to his subsequent insensitivity after I was explicit in what bothered me about that.

DO YOU HEAR ME, SPECIAL MAN FRIEND?

I know I really screwed this one up.  I keep thinking I can detach, and be over here all mindful and self-aware, and he can be over there managing his relationships, but it really does bother me that things are so complicated, and I can’t fix it.  And I’m worried and stressed and I should have gone with my gut and gone to bed early, before any of this happened.  I wish I could take it all back.

(But you still shouldn’t have sent that picture.)


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~Intersection~

This is where my real relationship and my blog writings intersect.  Everything I write is true.  All of it.

It is not, however, the entirety of my relationships.  I cannot write enough to adequately represent the fullness of my life and the love that is between me and Special Man Friend.  I self-edit, I pick and choose how I portray myself and the people I love. I try to maintain most of my anonymity.  How open can I be without possibly hurting someone I care about?  My metamour, CC and I have an amazingly complicated relationship.  It’s not something I can work out in this public forum.  I blog from a place of openness, but I never forget that by putting my life out there, other people risk exposure and examination and even criticism.

This is for Special Man.  He is very special.  He is important and loved.  He is also kind of annoying, really really likes to be right, and his ankle makes this cracking and grinding sound which makes me cringe when he chooses to point it out to me.  He’s often late, and he doesn’t plan ahead very well.  As a mother with a large family, that drives me batty.  He mispronounces words sometimes, and I don’t correct him, which takes a lot of self-control.  When we argue, he likes to be right.  (He loves to be right.)  He’s a coffee snob and an intellectual know-it-fucking-all, which is maddening, because he usually does know (it all.)  He’s stubborn, opinionated and, well, can get kind of self-righteous.

I’m a real person.  I’m writing about real poly.  And some days, it bites.  It’s not all flirty fun and first dates and shared Google calendars.  I get lonely.  I think about walking away.  It gets complicated.  I’m not an easy person to be with.  My brain is constantly processing and rethinking things.  I don’t think I get everything I need, and worse,  I don’t think I even know what I need exactly.

We try to be there for each other.  Most of the time we do okay.  Sometimes, we don’t and life gets messy and frustrating.

(I hear I can be pretty fabulous in the sack though, so at least there’s that.)


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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.


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~Resting~

I slept thirteen hours last night. Hard.

Who sleeps thirteen hours?

I spent an hour last night at the local Hobby Lobby, with my baby sister and her fiancee choosing flowers for her wedding in January. I used to dabble with flower arranging, worked a in a flower shop or two, and helped out on holidays here and there over the years. It’s a big project, and feels even bigger because I’m not quite on board with the idea of her getting married at such a young age. She is just a baby! I realize I’m projecting some of my own personal baggage onto her, but I’m trying to keep it in check. She and Fiancee will be getting married in the local Mormon temple, which means that anyone who is not a worthy member of the LDS church, will be unable to attend. As a sinner, I get to wait outside while the ceremony takes place inside, and then the couple will come out and we will disperse to the church meetinghouse for a reception in the cultural hall, which is pretty much a multipurpose room and gym and sometimes there’s a stage on one end. Of course, they raise the basketball hoops out of the way for things like wedding receptions.

Lest you think I am not respectful of other people’s life choices, I am. I will make the flowers beautiful, and I will truly wish her well. I hope that she is happy, and that, unlike me, she doesn’t feel, in twenty years, that her choices were limited by the Mormon status quo. I used to be bitter. Now I’m just a little regretfully wistful.

I seem to be fighting with Special Man, and I’m not exactly sure why. I see a pattern, in myself, that I’m not sure how to change. I’m a terrible fighter. I want to withdraw, run away, apologize and make it all better. It’s not the apologizing that I take issue with. It’s that I use it as an avoidance strategy. It’s one I used with my exhusband often. Walk on eggshells, be the compliant good girl. Lose myself in keeping the peace. And now I’m hung up on being heard, and I wonder if it’s making everything worse; if I’m making everything worse.

So there it is. I’m going to nest in today, let the kids order pizza, eat some chocolate, and watch movies. If I can get some puppy cuddles in, all the better.


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~Politics~

This morning I had a small explosion of page views on a post from about six months ago, titled “Five Things Your Metamour Wants You To Know”.  I was surprised, but the internet is unpredictable, and I was happy to see it pop up again, as it is the inspiration for one of the sessions I’m presenting at Beyond The Love in two weeks.  I’ve been just a little worried about this one, as my personal story with metamour relations has not been a blissful fairytale, but we both keep trying, and I think that speaks volumes.

Poly is hard.  I ran across a discussion online that started with an article debating whether or not Polyamory was a choice or rather, an orientation.  And seriously, all I could think was “Who cares?”  Maybe I’m not academic enough in my poly.  All the talk of anthropological analysis, and how our ancient ancestors were wired, and whether or not the animal kingdom embraces patriarchal fidelity or how biological reproductive drives fuel sociological relationship structures… I don’t care.  I.  just.  Don’t.  Care.

What I care about is mindfulness.  Self-awareness.  Making good choices, for me, whether or not there are ancient natural biological urges to be monogamous or non-monogamous.  Maybe the intellectual dissection of polyamory is interesting and important, but I am so present-focused on being in my relationship, that I get weary of the constant back and forth.

I received an email today with the subject header, POLYAMOROUS POLITICAL ACTIVISM CONCLAVE FEB 23 2014: BERKLEY, CALIF.

I’ll be skipping that one.