I'm Kitten, a Neutral Good pansexual poly pagan geek mom living in Seattle, actively searching for new ideas and new connections. I'm a strange mix of experienced and n00b when it comes to poly; I've been actively living the poly lifestyle since 1997, but have lived in mostly small towns, and have kindof stumbled into partners by accident. I have never experienced a poly community...until very recently. 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
This. Oh, this. http://tacit.livejournal.com/378670.html It’s not that new relationships aren’t threatening to existing relationships…they ARE. It’s how you handle it that makes the difference.
Particularly these lines: “…adopt a policy of resilience—to know that even if things change in my relationship, I will be OK. Another is to advocate for my needs; if I need something from my partner that I’m not getting, but I don’t ask for it, clearly and directly, then it’s not my partner’s fault if I don’t have it. Still another is transparency—always sharing with my partner, even things that might be hard to talk about or that I’m afraid my partner might not want to hear.
These tools don’t make it 100% safe for my partner to start new relationships. But then, nothing can do that; there’s no choice my partner makes that’s ever 100% safe for our relationship, and I think it’s time to acknowledge that.”
And I think this is my motto, which I already practice and believe in, but Franklin says FAR more eloquently than I: “Any new relationship will potentially introduce new elements and new stressors to my relationship. I don’t mind, as long as I know that my partner is dedicated to preserving our relationship, and that my partner and I have the skills, the willingness, the desire, and the intention of making choices that will protect our existing relationship.”
In response to a post of mine in which I mentioned I was struggling with some baggage and insecurities as a result of my divorce, a very dear friend sent me this blog post. It’s about what some of us do in the void between communications, and how very damaging we can be to ourselves.
What do you project into the silence?
That blog post is spot-on. When there is no communication, when I’m waiting to hear back from someone and the time stretches on, I begin to fill the quiet with my own interpretations, and they are invariably the most damaging to my psyche.
Why do I do that? Part of it is conditioning, from past relationships. And part of it is insecurities - I don’t think all that highly of myself, and so I keep waiting for others to see what it is that I see in myself. For clarification, I don’t necessarily think poorly of myself, I think I’m pretty neat…but I don’t think I’m anything all that special, either. And the way things went down with my divorce really reinforced that for me. I’m still clawing my way back from that.
In addition, I have this coping mechanism: when I have an emotional reaction to something, I tend to take a step back and disassemble it. I try to separate it into its components and understand what’s going on underneath the emotions. Once I can understand the mechanics, the emotional reaction tends to dissipate. However, I run into a roadblock: sometimes, even when I understand the mechanics, there’s a piece that I can’t fix myself. It requires the input or effort of another person…and I struggle with feeling as if I’m asking for too much to request it.
I keep feeling like I have to fix it all, do it all, myself. I’m poly, therefore I’m responsible for my own well-being, right? I’m supposed to take care of myself, of my own needs, and not place expectations on my partners.
That’s where I’m stuck. I’m currently deep in introspection about two things that have come to my attention, and ferreting out how much of these two things are due to my own expectations, and how much I should be expected to handle on my own.
The caveat: I honestly feel like I should handle it all on my own, that it’s not my partners’ responsibility to alter anything about them or their lives in order to accommodate me and my issues. So, if I can’t fix it, I have to learn to accept it.
And in trying to figure out how to accept it, I’m running smack into the aforementioned insecurities, and I’m suddenly feeling very broken and afraid.
In discussing this with a metamour (thank GODS for amazing metamours! <3), I was given this quote: “Fear is the mind killer, fear is the little death which brings total obliteration.”
I need to conquer this fear. I’ve done a damn good job so far with not allowing the fears programmed into me by the demise of my marriage to overtake me, and prevent me from experiencing the joy I’m currently basking in. I need to keep that up, and not let the fear nudge me into messing things up.
Because, honestly? My current partnership is the best partnership I’ve ever experienced. So much love, peace and joy on a daily basis.
Can’t let my brain fuck this one up.