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

Feeling The Wrong Stuff

Sometimes in polyamory I feel 47 things at once.  Events happen or situations exist and I feel for those I love in them, or I feel the mix of this for them and this for the other them and this for me.  Sometimes I feel stuff I don’t want to feel or stuff I “shouldn’t” feel.  I want to be a Grace Kelly, ever wise and gracious and good.  I have heard poly people say they thought poly made people “more emotionally evolved”, and I totally disagree.  I think it gives us more obvious examples to work on our shit though, if we’re willing to do it.  But people in any kind of relationship deal with stuff.  Humans have to deal with stuff because we are human.  I still want to be loved and accepted.  I still get scared and frustrated and envious and prideful.  I react poorly to things at times and entertain negative thoughts here and there.  I’m in NO WAY emotionally evolved or exempt from feelings.  I have a little practice looking at this stuff and working on it, but I’ll never be done.  I can’t swear other poly people aren’t like this, but anecdotal evidence would suggest it’s true since they are human.

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What might be different is that some people who seem to do well in poly examine their feelings and talk about them.  They ask themselves why they feel the things they do and try to address those needs within themselves and in their requests to their partner.  Thing is, this is NOT just a polyamorous thing and it’s not common to all poly people either.  And none do it perfectly all the time.  We are all, all of us, subject to pride and envy and fear and loneliness and insecurity and need.  We’re also all capable of grace and support and love and compassion and generosity and courage. Continue reading

By the Way…!

It’s official and the entire world reads this damn thing.  One of my roommates found the blog and recognized our livingroom in a pic of shelves I built.

A) One of my roommates is trying to work with me to find a compromise because hearing me have sex bothers her.  Before you jump on that, I’d like you to know why I’m trying to work on this with her and really try to see it from both sides.  I like living here and I like my roommates, as I said.  It’s also important to me that we are ALL as comfortable as is reasonable in our home, which I also said.  It’s just as clear to me that I cannot have any kind of sex I like here, because I’m the only one that matters, as it is to me that a roommate cannot expect that adults will quit having sex or have to make it impossible for their roommates to tell that sex is happening at all.

So we are taking some steps.  For starters I’m going to let her know the evenings that I have dates so she can choose or not choose to work around those days.  I know it’s not something that adults should have to do, but I’m trying to help.  We are also talking about a white noise machine, me continuing to be reasonable with the noise and using my music, and maybe having her consider some kind of headphones or playing the TV or something.  We are going to keep working on it and we had a nice opening conversation about it.  The other roommate said she hasn’t been disturbed at all since things have been quiet.

B) I did not mean to imply that my roommates were prudish.  I don’t think that about them.

C) The loud stupid sex I totally understood and stopped.  I felt so stupid but I hadn’t had roommates for nearly 15 years and just wasn’t thinking.  The quieter sex though I was frustrated to think would be upsetting or would become a wedge making things weird in the house.  Being able to tell sex is happening (not loud obnoxious sex but normal sex) is a thing most adults accept.