Conflict

“One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand about those of us who did not. We who control our feelings, who avoid conflicts at all costs, or seem to seek them. Who are hypersensitive, self-critical, compulsive, workaholic, and above all survivors. We are not that way from perversity, and we cannot just relax and let it go. We’ve learned to cope in ways you never had to.”
Piers Anthony

I hate conflict.  But I also sometimes create it or add to it.  Sometimes my feelings bubble up and I can’t hold them back and they come spilling out in a mess.  And I spend a LOT of time apologizing for that when it happens.  I know how much it sucks, and for someone who hates conflict it is the literal worst.  It feels like I betray myself.

Otherwise, I avoid conflict with anyone I care about. Even if it has nothing to do with me.  Even if I have a legitimate beef with you… Even if I caught you lying.. if you were mean or unfair or cruel.. even if you were the one that treated me badly, my tendency is to want to take the hit if it will just end this gnashing of teeth.  The FIRST thing I think when anyone I care about is upset is, “what did I do?”  I apologize for my feelings.  I apologize for wanting.  I apologize for being a mess and for needing.  I apologize for having felt hurt.   Continue reading

Fuzzy Landmines and Invisible Fences. Damn. Thanks Aggie and Minx.

Sometimes things are really uncomfortable to read or to hear because I really need to read or hear them.  The truth about a thing I’m not proud of makes me cringe.  This happened this week.  I’ve been doing some work on some insecurities and jealousies and judgements of my own and I came across Aggie’s post on Solopoly.net, titled “Entering an Existing Relationship.  What’s the Problem?”.  You can find that here.  It’s pretty fucking brilliant and I recommend it to any non-monogamous person. Then I heard Minx’s podcast about it at PolyamoryWeekly.net, Episode 401 “Fuzzy Landmines”.  You can find that here.

Dammit.

cute felt bombs found at www.kotaku.jp.

cute felt bombs found at http://www.kotaku.jp.

This first example.. yeah.. it hits really close to home.

EXAMPLE: Joe requires his wife Sarah to spend every weekend with him (and no other partner) as a symbol of his primary rank in her life. Joe and Sarah realize that admitting this to anyone, including potential partners, would highlight Joe’s insecurity, which would embarrass both Sarah and Joe.

So Sarah claims to be flexible about her time, but then avoids makings weekend dates with her boyfriend Sam. Rather than explain the true reason, Sarah always has an excuse ready when Sam asks or complains about this pattern. Or she tries to dismiss each instance as isolated and “not a big deal.” Such diversion cuts off opportunities for the three of them to explore options to collaboratively resolve the underlying issue of Joe’s insecurity and possessiveness.

Since Sam has a demanding weekday job, this time restriction significantly limits how his relationship with Sarah can develop. Eventually he breaks up with Sarah in angry, bitter frustration.

I’ve been here so many times this past year.  Cleveland I have been working out some of our stuff, which mostly stems from my frustration at the limits of our relationship.  We’ve talked about it now a few times, and he’s been a LOT more accessible and I’ve been pretty happy about that overall.  We’ve had more time for relating.. more dates with things like trivia and trips to Ikea and watching a show.  We’ve had time to do more than fuck and that’s really been pretty awesome.  I hated bringing up at all with him that I’d been so unhappy with our once a week dinner and a fuck.  And I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass and I wanted to be very sensitive to his situation.  I don’t want to be too demanding.   Continue reading