Coming Out Sideways

If you don’t deal with feelings they don’t come out the regular way and instead burst a hole to the side, creating a lot more wreckage.

I’ve heard people say they never get jealous and you know.. I don’t usually like to be so harsh.. but fuck you and your self righteous bullshit. I know, I know. I’ll probably get emails or messages about how “no.. I am a special and unique human being and I never get jealous. I might be insecure at times, or something far less stigmatized than jealousy, but I don’t get jealous”.

The people I have really known who say things like this tend to have a jealousy problem. It’s like people saying they hate drama. Drama creators are usually the people you hear vocally spewing about hating all these people with all this drama. They whip everyone around them into drama filled scenes and then moan about the drama, never owning that they draw it to themselves. You can’t stop being a drama llama if you think the drama is always everyone else. I know that I am the maker of most of the drama in my life, either directly or indirectly playing my part, and that’s the first stop toward unraveling drama.

Jealousy is much the same. I don’t care how evolved you are. You will feel jealous at times and if you own it, understand it and will look at it, you won’t stomp over the tender hearts of all in your midst as you passively aggressively exert your desire for control and relief from your jealousy.

We can plan out too, and think how okay things are, only to find these ugly little surprises. All of a sudden we’ll have this thought, or this fear, and that is okay if we can deal with it directly and maturely.

Most of the time I really love watching Traveler fuck a woman we are with. I love seeing his passion from another side. I love knowing how she feels. I love watching their pleasure. It’s hot. But of course I’ve had little moments. I will have more I am sure. Once when it happened I realized it was me pulling away and got back in there and helped. What is NOT okay would be bursting into tears and slamming the door as I storm out in an emotional explosion. It’s okay if later I need to curl up and ask for extra kisses or need to talk about my feelings with my partner or a friend.

In poly I see it often as people display their jealousy by getting territorial or reactive and emotional or withdrawn. Sometimes it involves a lot of insecurity, and sometimes people hide from their jealousy and say they are just a little insecure for a moment.  They do little meddling things to fuck with each other. They keep score. They try to exert control in the other relationship. They get petty. They try to make sure they are given better or best or more. They try to limit others, or sabotage even. I have seen it over and over. It’s corrosive when ignored and even more so when denied, and for what? Foolish pride?

Jealousy is not inherently bad. It can be used as a healthy signal for self-examination and a sign that there is a need to be met. I hate the bad rep jealousy gets because it isn’t all bad and it can be a really helpful and healthy reminder.

But I’m telling you… jealousy is a dirty bomb when allowed to explode. Get it out, or it’s coming out sideways.  Just sayin’

 

He's Getting Remarried

Okay.. so.. I had the 5 year anniversary of my father passing, which was the same day as my old wedding anniversary to my now ex-husband.  If you are just joining this or don’t know the history, my ex and I were together for 13 years, married 11 of it and monogamous about 11 of it. We opened up and became poly, and he left me for his girlfriend that I had also been dating until he was too jealous of her and I to continue. He told me he couldn’t be poly, and then that he could, and again that he couldn’t. He began dating our old dog walker in secret while we were separated but talking about working it out.  We have been apart about 3 years now and are divorced.

third marriage

I did pretty well this anniversary and thought mostly of my father. I miss him, but it was somehow sweet this year to think of him, and not the aching pain of other times in my grief over him. It was good.

I messaged him and learned that he’d proposed to the dog walker and they were engaged. (He and the girl he left me for broke up in October of the year we separated and after we’d decided to divorce, and he’s monogamous with the dog walker since then).

Continue reading

Veto the Veto

Veto power doesn’t really work. I know a lot of us start out wanting to have some kinda failsafe, some kind of pilot eject button for if things get scary or hard or threaten us. A lot of us start out with a veto.  We say we’ll dip our toes in the pool of poly dating, and if things get hairy or go horribly awry, we’ll pull the rip cord and close up shop or cut off an undesirable partner.  Problem is.. we’re dealing with humans here.

I get it. I do. I get being scared. I get wanting to protect a great relationship to a person you love. I really do understand this. When I opened up with my husband of 11 years I wanted a safety valve too. I wanted to know that if we dated other people we’d be okay. I want to know now while Traveler and I date others that we’ll be okay. But you know… love is risky.

I say love is risky not to warn people against poly or something. I say love is risky because it just is. I think there are ways to protect a relationship as you add others to a point. I think we can make agreements and prioritize making sure we get time with our existing partners and nurture those relationships, no matter how crazy in love we get with a new shiny thing. I think existing partnerships can work to make sure they don’t take each other for granted, and set date nights, and keep pursuing interests and hobbies and choose to keep a space for the people that have stood by us.  I think we can take special care to nurture our connection. I think we can communicate well and often. I think we can do many many many good things as we find and fall in love with new partners.

But I don’t think cutting off new partners is a great idea.

  1. Veto sucks because you are choosing for your partner what they can have in their lives and who they can love to suit your selfish jealousy, fear and insecurity. This is a shitty thing to do to someone you love.
  2. You are saying you know better than your partner. Think about this. Do you really think your partner is a dummy? An oaf? A less-than-complete-adult who cannot decide things for themselves?  If so, why are you committed to a relationship with this person?!?!?
  3. Is it possible that your partner has feelings and thoughts and reasons that you don’t necessarily share? Is it possible THEY are having some need met or growing in some way that they are drawn to that you don’t necessarily share?  I’d think long and hard about yourself if you think you are some “better judge” for your partner than they are for themselves. I have to admit I cringe when people say they know their partner better than their partner knows themselves. Or worse… that they know what is best for their partner.  I gotta call bullshit here.  There is ZERO chance you know more about your partner than they do about themselves. You know what you have experienced with your partner and what they told you and what you’ve observed. You don’t know the innermost workings of your partner better than they know themselves. What an ego.
  4. You might break your partner’s heart.  If they love someone and you cut it off, you are hurting them.
  5. If you and your partner actually respect each other and share your thoughts and observations with each other, isn’t it better to let your partner hear your thoughts and input and decide for themselves? If you have a healthy relationship, why wouldn’t you listen to your partner’s input and respect their thoughts? Traveler doesn’t need a veto, because if he leveled with me about a partner I would listen to and respect his input as the intelligent and capable man I know him to be. We do sometimes see things that people in the rush of new love don’t see. This is truth. But that can be a reason to share your insights with your partner so that they make the best decisions possible for themselves.  Right?  Even if it’s not on your time schedule?
  6. There is a reason your partner was drawn to this person. And there is a reason they want this relationship. You cutting that off doesn’t actually answer that.  Sometimes our partners need to learn a painful lesson and sometimes our job is to support them in doing so.
  7. The person you are vetoing is a human being. They matter too. Or they should. Human beings aren’t put here to spice up your marriage or your life. They have feelings and thoughts and they matter.  If you are upset or jealous or hurt, the answer isn’t to run ramshackle over other humans. It’s to figure out what you need and want in your relationship. The answer to “I’m insecure” isn’t “dump that other bitch”.
  8. Breaking my partner’s heart and demanding control over them doesn’t actually make our connection more secure.
  9. Punishing your partner for doing something bad by calling in your veto card to punish them doesn’t make your relationship better.
  10. Did you really think it was okay to weigh in on relationships you aren’t even a member of?  Our relationship will be hurt if I hurt my partner. If they choose to honor my veto, they may resent me. At the very least they know that *I* broke their heart. If they choose not to honor the veto, now what?  I don’t have a magic wand that lets me make the people I love only want the things I want them to have.

So.. what do I do if my partner is with someone I don’t want to accept or can’t accept?

I share my thoughts with my partner and let them make decisions for themselves. I can stay with them and help them pick up the pieces when they learn this lesson. Or I can choose not to be with my partner if I can’t trust their decisions or deal with the results of them living as they choose to live. I can choose for myself what I am willing to experience.  But I can’t really choose for you. Even if I have a veto and FEEL like I can choose for you, I can’t. And that’s why veto’s don’t work.

tumblr_o0mxdzpen11spe4pno1_1280

They Can't Take That Away From Me

Man. I’m a nostalgic mf’er these last couple of days.  I made it past my old anniversary without thinking of it.  Part of it is that I’m not really paying attention to the date, what with being on summer break. Part of it is that I think it FINALLY settled. I don’t feel the strong hurt I felt around my divorce, and the way my ex acted. I don’t worry about him as much. I even sort of accept my daughters not being in my life.  It sucked. Of course it sucked. But it is what it is. It’s sad that it ended the way it did, and sad that my ex was that person.

But.. I’m okay, and I’ve been okay for a long time now. The wounds are old.  I’m not saying they’re perfect, but they don’t sting.  A few weeks ago I teared up in the kitchen with Quinky and Traveler. A song Evan loved came on and I hadn’t heard it since we’d parted and I teared up. I realized it was the first time in a long time that I’d teared up about him.  I teared up more maybe because it was a moment when I remembered how much we loved each other, dancing in the kitchen.  I don’t really think about him much, and I don’t think about how we were really at all these days.  I’ve fallen in love again, and I’m a lot happier most of the time.  I love my ex because it’s the way I am built. But it doesn’t hurt anymore.  It’s more just that I hope he’s happy.

I think it’s healthy sometimes when long deep loves change.  In monogamy we stay because of duty, and security, and comfort. In poly sometimes we don’t acknowledge a relationship that isn’t whole. It can hobble along indefinitely because nobody has to be EVERYTHING to anybody, but really because it can be a crutch for not looking at how we love and are loved by THIS one person and how it’s not a whole or functional relationship. Other people fill serious gaps. Continue reading

Stir that Lemonade

Sometimes a thing just resonates with you, like a sounding rod, like a shot right to the core.  It’s the weirdest thing, but I am there with Lemonade, by Beyonce.  It’s her new visual album.  I watched it the other night when I desperately needed a break from school and zing.. it just struck a cord.  I can’t stop thinking about the ideas and the things in it.  It stirred up some shit in me.

gorgeous underwater surface image found at https://sandroworrell.wordpress.com/. Check them out. GREAT stuff.

The other night I just kept thinking about lies and lying and the dishonesty with those we love. I thought about my mother’s lies, the root of my hatred of lies.  I thought about lovers and friends and my chosen family and the lies.  I keep thinking about other things in the video.  I thought about love and redemption and trust and healing.  She just went there, like for real.  And she came out of it too, and I thought of my own times recently when I’m remembering who I am.  I’m remembering what I am.  I got a little lost there for a while, hurting, healing, reeling maybe.  But I’m not that girl.  I stayed there a long time maybe, but I can’t live in self pity or fear.  I’m not that girl.

I am my father’s daughter.  I am resilient and forgiving and strong and tenacious.  I feel deeply and widely and strongly but never easily.  I don’t like being vulnerable, but I’m learning to be okay with my capacity to do so.

It still bothers me, this way I need people.  But I know that the fact this bothers me is the real bother.  People need people and I am not immune.  It’s the weird thing about vulnerablity being a strength.  My love can wear it down.  I’m remembering that I love me too, just not more than I love you.  I am remembering that I make plans and dream and actually make some of it happen.  I’m remembering that there is a long line of times in this world that you love someone as trully as you can and maybe they just can’t go there.  But it says nothing about you.  It’s about them.  And no.. this isn’t remotely about Traveler.

Traveler can go there.  He’s learned to speak and I’m learning to listen more and more and more.  He says the stuff because I love it, but I’m seeing it too.

And family.. well.. that one’s hard.  but isn’t it always?  Family is loving people beyond the parts of them that make you crazy.  I chose my family, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make me nuts.  Love them anyway.

I don’t know.  I just feel a lot of things popping up to the surface that have maybe been down under the waves for a while.  I feel myself rising to the shimmering surface there.  I can see the bubbles and feel the pressure of my breath held so long, but I feel it faster and faster.. I’m coming up.

Harder and Harder

It gets harder and harder to be without you for a day or a few days or a week.  Some funny thing will happen in my day, or I’ll want to tell you something.  Sometimes I send a text but usually I don’t.  I know your time with them is important and precious, just as your time with me is.  We try not to intrude on your time with each other, and so usually I wait.  I’ll see you tomorrow or the day after that, and I’ll tell you all the funny things and the news then.  But I miss her too, so sometimes I text her, not every time I want to or every time I miss her either, because her attention needs to be with you too.

It gets harder to not have you here and I know it’s harder on you, missing that home when you are here and this home when you are there.  Nobody tells you when you’re entering poly how much time you’ll spend missing people.  But they also don’t tell you that it’s a little easier when you think of this family you have made being happy.

When I think of you being loved as you should be… when I think of you happy and cared for and cherished, the ache is less.  I’m happier then, thinking of you happy and loved.  But I still kinda wish there were a few more of you to go around.

True Colors

I can’t believe how corny this is, but I just listened to True Colors by Cindy Lauper a bunch of times in a row.  There’s life just being life really, the things of loving and working and sleeplessness and school, but it’s just that it’s the end of a day where I worked 12 hours to turn in my big paper.  I just miss my dad.

Fuck, I miss my dad.  I miss the way he loved Cindy Lauper.  He loved her so much.  Here he was, this 40 year old Dad and he was just so tickled by a song my friends and I listened to.  He’d laugh and smile and smack his leg.  “Oh man!  Look at that Holly!  Look look look! Is that a chandelier on her head?”.  It’s funny to watch the video again.  He just got such a kick out of her.  But her song said something too.
You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
Sometimes you just need home.  Sometimes you get lost and your cheeks hurt from salt and you are so bone wearyingly tired.  I end up longing for memories of a grandmother I didn’t have.  I miss my dad, playing guitar and singing like Bob Dylan, only somehow more screechy.  I miss my dad playing Cindy Lauper’s records and the way he was sad and comforted by her song. I think when you loose someone it’s just that time wears off the edges of the thing so it cuts less, but every now and then you find a burr.  I miss him like it was yesterday.  And everyone misses the people that they lost in this unique and lonely way.

Continue reading