November 24, 2009
I hope it’s ended, this strange up and down of emotional intensity. I hope. I still don’t completely understand what happened off in Vermont. Why those choices were made. It does make me question most everything about what it means to be open and what I want. I know what I don’t want. I never want to feel this way again.
He takes on most of the responsibility and maybe that’s as it should be. All I know is that it hurt. And I don’t really care that she hurt too. Because I have no connection to her. I never did. And maybe that was a big part of the problem. I used to think I wanted something like this — something real and possible and connective. And now, the thought of something like this is unnappealing.
Do I want tribute? I don’t think so. I think, though, when you start things the way this started, that’s the dynamic you will end up with. Supplicant and ruler– one seeks permission to remain where thery find themselves, in the heart — in the head — in the life. The other weighs the possibilities and then grants or denies access. When they feel they have been properly acknowledged. K traded sex with T for a steak. At the time, it seemed appropriately pragmatic.
Not for me, though. It’s not what I signed on for. I feel so healed and better. And then I trip into these gaps inside myself that go much deeper than I would like.
November 7, 2009
We had what can only be described as an amazing get away. I don’t really understand what I am supposed to be learning through all this turmoil– maybe to be more specific about my needs? Maybe to realize that no matter how hard things are, I can do it? He met her at the airport on Wednesday night. I was running a training for work which was scheduled by someone who then wasn’t able to complete the task. My kids were leaving for my ex-wife’s wedding. The people who were supposed to show up to help me with the training didn’t show up. So, pile o’things. Again. Ugh. And he was late getting back. (Note to self, TSA notices more than you might think. 🙂 )
They had a good talk, I guess. It sounds like it was healing in all the right ways- at least for him. And now we are moving forward, together, and that feels really nice.
November 4, 2009
Some days feel longer than others. Yesterday felt like a weight that crushed all my feelings out. I used the f* word a lot. I expressed my most selfish, unenlightened feelings. I tried to reach for the most gallant in me and couldn’t reconcile it with the aching wound.
Things I want: a time machine; fewer emotional conversations; a faster process
Things I don’t want to want that I want: to be okay with her hurting or feel bad too
Things I need: to feel safe with you; to re-center; to celebrate all that we are
Things I feel: afraid; angry; sad; hopefully; safe; caring; tired
Things I remember: that you love me; that I love you; that in the end this is just a moment, among the others.
November 4, 2009
Sometimes I really miss being Mormon. It was so simple. I knew what was right, what wasn’t right, who I should be friends with, who I should date, what I should wear, and how I should eat. I had a ready made community. I didn’t drink coffee or alcohol so my entertainment expenses were lower. I know my friends and I used to talk about how people didn’t want to be part of the church because it was so “hard”. Really, it wasn’t hard. It was just rules. And while sometimes rules can feel restrictive, they can prevent a lot of extra worry about things. I know when I left the church, I felt so adrift. I didn’t know what would get me in trouble anymore. And that didn’t feel freeing, it felt terrifying.
With the overwhelming amount of “processing” my partner and I have been doing , the idea of a series of specific rules feels like a gift. I am trying to keep the part that gave me joy, the certainty that things would work out for the best. That there are no challenges I would face that I don’t have the strength to meet well. To remember to pause and be grateful for the many gifts and joys in my life. I don’t need the church for these things. It did help, though, to have a community of people remind me of these important realities.
November 2, 2009
I keep feeling better, only to wake up on Monday and feel burdened again. I am really trying to trust that I am not making the same mistake. Again. We went to a party on Saturday. I had spent a couple of weeks really focused on it as a date night. Us time- no kids – connection. We had different ideas about what that meant and I just disconnected. I went to the party and spent my time doing my own thing — together and also separate. More like when we met. I played the Chicago soundtrack this weekend and he asked me if it was a warning. He was kidding. And yet… maybe it is. I won’t be physically violent. I have been emotionally and spiritually damaging in the past. Ripping myself back and into myself, little tendrils hanging between me and the other that I slowly either reject or reabsorb.
I have been reaching out to people in ways I haven’t in awhile. I don’t know what that means. Playing on OKC. Chatting with folks more.I have this part of myself that I am holding in reserve. Waiting to give it back to you or keep it until someone shows me they appreciate and value it.
October 23, 2009
So even though I said in my blog title these confessions are from a “poly” woman, I mostly use that as a shorthand for convenience. I don’t really identity as polyamorous. It’s not “who I am”. It’s “what I want”, in terms of my relationship style, which means I am “in an open relationship”.
People who identify as “monogamous” have a strong attachment to the importance of sex and romance being an exclusive act. People who identify as “polyamorous” have a strong attachment to the importance of sex and romance being shared in appropriate times and ways, as defined by the people involved in the experience. However, I think someone can identify as monogamous and still be in an open relationship.
In a monogamous relationship, the evidence of your commitment is often encapsulated in what you don’t do — have sex or romantic connections outside your couple. Most couples have a variety of ways they show their love and commitment, but when someone breaks this larger agreement, it sends them spinning. There are people who identify as polyamorous who have this “monogamy” mindset — these couples behave like monogamous couples with hall passes for sex. They structure complex agreements to handle the intricacies of this behavior, but in the end, the way in which you behave with other people is a huge part of the evidence of your commitment.
For me, an open relationship is about having the freedom to fully pursue your personal growth with a lifelong partner to support, encourage, comfort, share, and delight with you. It can include the expression of romantic and physical connection with other people, but the larger purpose is to create an environment of opportunity. So someone can have a sexually monogamous desire and practice while still engaging a relationship structure that creates opportunities for independent growth and expression.
In this type of relationship the importance and specialness of the commitment rests less in behaviors with other people and primarily in behaviors towards the other partner. Because my partner and I are in an open relationship that includes sex and romance with other people, we have some structures around that. Less specific rules about external activities and more rules that indicate respect for our relationship. And ultimately they are rules that easily apply to how we handle money, free time, employment, parenting, etc ..
1. No surprises (we should be connecting both regularly and openly enough that anything about to happen should have been well telegraphed)
2. No decisions in the moment (they can make it harder to remember anything beyond what you want right now)
3. Don’t make decisions for your partner (if they say they want something a certain way, believe them. and don’t engage in behavior that can affect them without their consent and knowledge)
4. Be sure you are meeting the needs of your family and your ongoing commitments first, before you start making new commitments
5. Manage risk responsibly and with awareness of your partner and how it will affect them.
October 21, 2009
I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve. Right now my guts are out there though. An acquaintance of mine has an open wound in his side — very thin flesh covers and protects his most vulnerable internal organs. He wears layers of protection and walks with awareness that any random, accidental movement could bring him down and possibly end his life. I guess emotional damage isn’t nearly as dramatic. My life isn’t going to end because I am really, really sad about some things. I do feel like I have this layer of cellophane between me and everything else. It’s part roller coaster, part marathon. These ups and down happen and I want to just curl into a ball. And I have a life that requires I pace myself and I keep on going. Which is most likely a good thing– I think being able to indulge ourselves in our bouts of self-pity is rarely a good thing.
What your risk reveals what you value.
You spent me without counting the cost.
I want things, too. I just keep choosing to be here and now.
I worry that you are so used to being the star and the focus that you think you somehow are entitled. That I don’t have a choice. That you can treat me with disregard and say it’s the nature of our relationship. We are in an open relationship, which means we get the freedom to explore opportunities and delights. It doesn’t mean you get the freedom to ignore me or devalue who I am to you when it’s convenient.
October 20, 2009
Ugh. Healing. I think we found the mending point. We’ll see. Baggage is heavy to carry and sometimes fairly invisible.It’s really nice to be in this with someone who isn’t rushing just to fix it or smooth it over. Instead we have both been sitting with the yuck while we try to work through it. And, after 2 divorces, I know myself well enough to know what I can let slide and what will sit on me for the rest of eternity.
In the end, marriage is falling in love with the same person, over and over again. And it feels like we are on time 3 …
It did bring up for me how incredibly interconnected the past and the present are. How my triggers and insecurities are so wrapped up in how I was formed as a human being. And while it’s been a crummy, crummy time, it’s also made it clear to me that he’s here, for real, even when it hurts. I honestly don’t think I have ever had that before.