Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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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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~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.

 


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~Try~

Last night a couple of my demons came out from their hiding places, just to remind me that they are still there.  They are smaller, and less threatening than I remember them being, but they still took me by surprise.  Special Man and I had a date which for some reason, was difficult for me to relax into.  We drove several hours up to some hot springs which closed earlier than we expected.  The roads were icy and rough, which made my palms sweaty as I closed my eyes and flashed back on my car accident last September.  SMF and I never ran out of things to talk about, but I found myself tense and worrying.  Later, as we cuddled and laughed about silly things in bed, I felt myself relax.

And then,some time after,  in just a few seconds, something happened.  There was a look on his face, a look I’m so familiar with, a look that makes me feel loved and wanted and needed and beautiful and connected.  And I went from elation, to a great longing to keep that look for just myself.  I felt possessive and territorial.  I flashed on him sharing that look, that moment, with others.

I didn’t like it.  I felt emotional.  Vulnerable.  I didn’t like that either.

It’s a hard thing to be completely bare in front of someone, and I don’t mean baring your body.  Laying your fears and demons out in front of someone you love, and risking rejection, judgement, or worse, indifference.  I wiped away tears.  He held me, kissed my forehead,  gave me sips of water, and when it was time for him to leave, he covered me with a quilt and I was asleep before I heard his car drive away.


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~Twitch~

Dear Potential Partner (girlfriend, boyfriend, fling, hook-up, or play partner) of Any of My Partners or other Persons Important To Me, Current or Future:

When our paths cross, I will shake your hand, and smile and be honestly pleased to meet you.  I am sure that there are lots of good things about you, things that my partner sees and enjoys, and may even love about you.

I want you to know, that I may be slow to find these things.  I will regard you carefully.  I will watch you from a distance. I will keep my ears open when anyone speaks of you.

I am protective.  I worry that someone I love will get hurt.  I will not think that you are good enough for my Loved One, until you prove to me that you are. I am not jealous, I am not being a bitch; I am not here to sabotage your relationship, whatever form that may take.  I’m careful, and I do not trust anyone quickly or easily, even people who are attempting to get close to me.

I am cautious.  Do not mistake this caution for cattiness.  I am not afraid of being replaced by you. I am secure in my unique relationships.  I have worked hard to develop meaningful ties to my people, and I continue to work to maintain those bonds.  You will make your own place, and find your own space with your Important People.  Eventually you may find yourself close to me, and my mamma bear claws will twitch when new people come around you.

(Or maybe you won’t.)

~Ginger


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~Pace~

I want to write every day, but sometimes all I am thinking of is the laundry that needs to be done, and the children who need to be fed. I am wiped out from a busy weekend of much visiting and socializing, and that takes a lot out of a mostly introverted girl, who loves a taste of the extrovert, but finds it absolutely draining. I’m laying in bed, with the fan on in the background, and the clean laundry in the corner, unfolded; waiting. I suppose I could get up, work for an hour and then give myself permission to crawl back to bed with a snack and watch Netflix.

That sounds like a good plan.

This weekend was Meta’s birthday party. And it was enjoyable and pleasant. Watching Special Man fret and stress about the party and her gifts, and wanting so badly to see her happy and loved, was good for me. It is easy sometimes to exist in place where my relationship with him is as far as I see. I think that this is good and healthy, in that I understand that the relationship between myself and him, is different than the relationship that the two of them have together. But 90 percent of the time, I am one on one with SMF. I may go many weeks without seeing Meta, or I may see her on three consecutive days, like I did this week. The longer we go between interactions, the more unsettled I might feel, and the more uncomfortable I think SMF feels. His discomfort comes from not being quite sure how to be in the same space with his two significant relationships, and not worry that one of us is feeling like he’s ignoring us because he’s paying attention to the other one. I know that he loves Meta and they’ve been together a long time. I watch him orient himself around her, and sometimes as a result, I am all at once, in their space, but alone. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes we do it all wrong.

But this weekend was different. It was better. I have to think that the dynamic was easier because there were some old friends of theirs here for the weekend, and everything felt relaxed and easy. Those extra people broke up some of that “triangular tension” (I just made that term up by the way). It was such an eye opener for me. I saw a bigger picture, the one that I only fantasize about. I caught a glimpse of perfect poly.

Just a glimpse, mind you.

There’s no such thing as perfect poly. Just imperfect people doing the best they can. I saw people doing their best this weekend. And it made me feel satisfied and validated that I am on the right track, for me.

Hope your weekend was good as well, friends.


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~Word~

Oh, how I love words.

Words hold power. A word can instantly represent a thought, an idea, a concept. I find language fascinating and beautiful. All at once, a word can mean different things to different people, and there is no better example of this than when learning the language of PolyLand.

Let’s look at the word Secondary.

I have never had so many conversations about an individual term, it’s meaning, it’s implications, or it’s effects on a community, as I have with this single word in the last two years. I came into the Poly world, bright eyed and idealistic. I didn’t particularly love the word secondary, but it didn’t bother me either. After all, I thought, that’s what I was. Not first. Secondary.

As I slowly got my footing in the poly community, both locally and online, I became more aware of the baggage and assumptions tied to this word, especially from couples in a primary committed relationship. Ironic, but this is the power of language. It can be subjective. It can be limiting, and it can be misleading. If my partner were to say, “I have a primary, and I have a secondary,” there is a myriad of meaning behind those words. Some of it may be accurate, depending on who you are and what your experience and interpretation of those roles is. Much of it will be inaccurate.

This is especially damaging, when an established couple sees the Secondary role, as disposable in the big scheme of things. (The big scheme of things being that their “Primary” bond is always, always the priority, and must be protected at all costs, even at the cost of the secondary. Because secondary is not as important as primary.) There may be rules and mandates placed on the secondary relationship in an attempt to clearly delineate boundaries, and regulate feelings. The secondary is seen as temporary,or transient. Disposable.

I am secondary. But I am not second. I am not “less than”. I am cherished and important, and I am a priority. There came a day when Special Man Friend turned to me and said, “You really are my Other Significant Other. Don’t forget it.”

The power of those words hit me hard. I had bought into the Secondary terminology, and all the expectations, no, all the limitations, that came along with it. On that day, in that moment, I released the labels, and all the definitions that I had allowed other people to put on me. I may still use the word here and there, but I use it without judgement. In fact, one of my most popular posts uses this term. But my relationship is mine, and it stands alone, it is not defined by you, or by your words, and it is not less than simply because I got here last.


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~Madly~

I wish I could say I am poly on purpose. But the truth is, I fell into it. Stumbled over it. And almost two years later, I’m still trying to find my footing. Granted, I knew that Mister was married, I had read about and researched polyamory before we ever even met face to face. But I think, honestly, that if there hadn’t been a palpable chemistry between us on that very first date, I would have gone home and continued floating along in my monogamous mainstream thinking.

So I suppose I’m poly by circumstance. I’m poly because I would do anything to be with this man. I take him for what he is, and part of that is the fact that he has another significant, committed relationship.

However.

I haven’t really had to deal with a “new” girlfriend. He has Meta, and he has me. Wife and girlfriend. He’s had a date here or there, and he’s even had friendly sex on occasion, and those things were new and uncomfortable to me, especially the idea of him having sex with others. I don’t think twice about him enjoying Meta in bed.  (Alright, maybe I’ve thought about it, but it hasn’t been a struggle at all to share him. With her.) I imagine what it would feel like, if he fell in love with someone new. I imagine it, and then I  stop thinking about it as soon as I can…

And what about myself? I am open to an additional relationship but I am hesitant to divide my attention. I still carry the idea that it would somehow be disloyal to him.

I think I’d be fairly well suited to polyfidelity, or a small closed group of partners. I like stability, sameness, security. It takes a long time for me to be vulnerable to another person, and I value the few people I let into the crazy that is my true self. Mister loves first dates. I hate first dates. I even hated our first date. How do I reconcile that his feelings for me and commitment to me, are unrelated (in his mind) to his enjoyment of flirting, pursuing, and connecting with other women?

This is the big poly question, isn’t it.

I am far from the poster child for polyamorous relationships. And yet, here I am, twenty-two months later, madly in love, deeply committed, and constantly learning how to love and accept myself while loving and accepting him.  I don’t have all the answers.  I may not have any of the answers.  But I’m still here.

Rock on.