Adventures in Polyamory

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I'm Kitten, a Neutral Good pansexual poly pagan geek mom living in Seattle, actively searching for new ideas and new connections. I've been living the poly lifestyle since 1997, am married with two children, and enjoy the attention of two additional partners. I moved to Seattle in 2011, and have been openly poly ever since. This has opened up a whole new world to me, as well as new pitfalls that I'd never been aware of. Join me as I chronicle my journey into this incredibly rewarding lifestyle.

Note: Nicknames or initials will always be used in this blog. If you think you know who I'm referring to, DO NOT call them out by name or use identifying characteristics.

"A slut is a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you."

-Dossie Easton

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…if I’d only freaking LISTEN.

While chatting with a friend today, I mentioned how very important the concept of “fairness” is to me. It pretty much defines how I look at life. If something is unfair, it bothers me, and the more unfair and unbalanced it is, the more I choke on it. I can’t watch or read about news stories where someone is taken advantage of, or where justice isn’t served, without getting worked up. Sometimes I rage at the screen…which is particularly awkward if I’m reading a story at work. ^.^

The friend I was talking to made a point that gave me pause. He said something along the lines of, “Then I bet this whole divorce situation really makes you upset.”

Normally I would have said like, “Well, yeah,” and moved on with the conversation. It’s kindof a given. I am not being treated fairly by my ex OR my parents, and haven’t been since this whole mess started, and yes, from the beginning the very unfairness HAS tied me up in knots.

I went from sharing my life with my greatest love and best friend, absolutely secure in the knowledge that no matter what, we were committed to working through any issue, and living with my darling son, being directly involved with every aspect of his life, tucking him in most nights, being there to see him make new discoveries, learning to see the world through his eyes…and literally overnight, that was over. I still cannot believe how thoroughly my life was shattered, and at how completely I’ve been excluded from my own son’s daily existence, how I’ve become a part-time parent…entirely against my will. And there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. 

That’s where the epiphany comes in. All of those things flash through my heart and soul like a drumbeat whenever I allow myself to think about the situation, and this sense of raging helplessness begins to rise in my chest and strangle me. This time, that started to happen, as usual…and then all of a sudden the light came on, and all my angst and pain simply drained away in this rush of realization. Maybe this whole situation is the universe trying to teach me the lesson I’ve never been able to learn: that life simply isn’t fair, and that I need to learn to accept that.

I’ve never had much trouble accepting just about anything else in life. I’m very adaptable and changeable, for the most part. This one thing, this hangup about my NEED for things to be fair…I’ve never been able to overcome it. I’ve learned to work around it, but that’s avoidance. And now, looking back over the journey I’ve taken, I’m recognizing there’s been a series of lessons the universe has put in my path about fairness…and each one’s been tougher than the last. 

All of my life, my father told me, “Life’s not fair, kiddo…get used to it.” I HATED it when he would say that to me. It seemed so dismissive of whatever injustice I was complaining about. I would outright reject the very idea, and believed that it COULD be fair, it SHOULD be fair.

I’m not black and white about much at all…but on that one concept, I most definitely am. A situation either was fair, or wasn’t, and wasn’t RIGHT if it wasn’t fair. And that meant that Something Must Be Done to address it and bring about justice and balance.

But life ISN’T fair. And nothing is going to make it fair. I can do my best to balance that with how I treat others and how I live my life, but I can’t change others’ actions - and guess what? It’s not my place to try to change others’ behaviors. I can, and should, only be attempting to change myself, not others.

Plus, railing about the lack of fairness in any situation does nothing productive. Nothing.

So there it is. Life. Isn’t. Fair. Yes, my situation sucks, but there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I cannot control what others are doing, but I CAN control how I react to it. And allowing it to hurt me, make me bitter and angry, isn’t the healthy path.

I’ve always been proud of my strength. I’ve survived some crappy stuff, and come through it stronger than before. But I’m starting to think it’s gone from being an asset to a liability. I can only be SO strong before it’s going to do me harm…if it hasn’t already.

I need to be like a reed, bending and swaying with adversity, rather than the rigid tree, resisting the current. That’s only going to get me broken or torn up by my roots.

And I think I’d better learn this lesson quickly. The way they’ve escalated over the years, the next assignment will be a doozy. Whatever it is that is directing these situations, it’s been trying its damnedest to get my attention, and I haven’t been listening.

So. Surrender to the currents, and count the blessings I have (which are myriad) rather than focus on injustice. In my particular situation: I still have my son; if not as much as I would like, I AM still a part of his life. And I cherish every single precious moment.

Surrender. Learn to breathe through and embrace the fear of what letting go will mean.

Surrender. It somehow conjures an image of peace breaking free from the clinging grasp of fear.

Could it truly be that by releasing my grip, I might actually fly free rather than falling?

I can do this. I can do this. I CAN do this. I would absolutely welcome any suggestions on how I might be successful. What’s worked for you?

I’m scared.