As the Tiger Sniffs the Rose...

"Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life."
-Angelina Jolie​

On the morning of July 7, I received a phone call from one of my cousins- my mom's twin's oldest daughter. She and her older brother are really the only people on that side of my family I care to stay in touch with- aside from my grandparents.

The timing of the call was odd. The 9am phone call made my stomach drop. Something was wrong. I felt the panic in my veins as I answered. I could hear the heart wrenching breaks in her voice as she told me that she "had bad news".
"What happened, Hun?" I asked as my brain raced through all the possible tragedies I could expect right now.

I couldn't believe what she told me. I asked her again, hoping for another answer as everything started to blur out. I could feel my legs start to give out around the time I felt my boyfriend move me to the couch.

I sit in cold disbelief as I listen to my 19 year old cousin explain to me that her big brother commit suicide the night before. My favorite cousin. The other oldest.
"Im on my way." I told her as I hung up the phone.

The next week was pretty much a blur. As has been the past 2 months after that. Seeing the backlash of the family drama. Watching the underlying truths of the state of his mind and his life unfold has been mindblowing. Seeing someone who deserved so much fall into the pits of so much pain.

I've experienced a lot of death in the last 5 years. My best friend and my stepdad died within two weeks of each other. My mom died suddenly a year after that. My husband lost his grandfather and then his own dad two weeks after my mom.
It's all been terrible and tragic. Each one comes with their own load of pain and struggles. But nothing has ripped me apart quite like this.

A week after my cousin died, the whole world heard about Chester Bennington hanging himself also. Not only was he the lead singer of one of my cousins favorite bands, we played one of his songs at his funeral not even a week prior to that. Along with the number of suicides, I see all of the rioting of the white supremacists and people coming forward with all their hatred and judgement of each other, feeling completely justified and reasonable in their judgements.

I have never felt anger the likes of this before. Explosively violent anger at the state of the world. People's lack of compassion and will to understand each other sickens me to no end. Two of the greatest human beings I have ever known are gone because of careless selfishness of the people around them. And now on seeing this on a grander scale, I feel a hopelessness like no other.

Meanwhile, over the past several years, my husband and I have built a life and a massive poly support system far beyond anything I could ever deserve. Within all the hardship and struggles has come consistent love and understanding. Our current family situation is now over 2 years old and stronger and tighter than ever. They have been the primary ones pointing out my unhealthy state of mind. Holding me accountable for my explosive anger, no matter how drastic and damaging my mistakes have been.

And then I look back out at the world again and still want to burn everything down.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
They say anger is one of the stages of grief ... I hope you'll pass through that stage and eventually find some healing. I'm so sorry. :(

There's a lot to be angry about these days. Sometimes I feel like there's no hope. But there has to be hope. We have to keep going.
 
They say anger is one of the stages of grief ... I hope you'll pass through that stage and eventually find some healing. I'm so sorry. :(

There's a lot to be angry about these days. Sometimes I feel like there's no hope. But there has to be hope. We have to keep going.

I'm never going to forget the way he looked in that casket. No one should ever see someone that young in that state. And seeing someone that was the closest thing I've ever had to a brother is something I never thought would happen.

My husband and I knew he was in somewhat of a bad way. His parents were far from attentive. We talked about moving him in with the poly family, but just never got around to it with everything else going on. Even though we should have. He would have been happier.

I've got a pretty good life going on, with plenty of love and distractions. Going to the gym 4-6 days a week helps me get out the aggression. Otherwise I don't know what I would be doing with it that wouldn't be toxic and a waste of time.

It's also shaken a deep reality within me of who my real friends are. Which has been a relief in some ways, in others, it kind of makes me want to set their vehicles on fire.

But I digress. Life would be good otherwise. I know my cousin would appreciate where I am right now with everything. I just need to move forward. I am, however, probably going back to therapy. My bad days are far more terrible than what I want my family to have to decipher. I'm pretty introverted and suppressive as it is, so when my issues start leaking through the cracks of my insecurities, it can get messy and I tend to lose most mental capacity to move forward because of it.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Therapy would probably be a good idea.
 
About to go to therapy with my husband and I'm honestly super terrified. The fam. was over surfacing some things everyone needed to talk about which spawned about 3 major sobbing panic attacks. I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of everything feeling empty. And the fact that my family keeps telling me they don't feel like they can trust me is just making everything so much worse.

I have another appointment with my own personal therapist on Thursday.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Sounds like the personal therapy will be more helpful to you than the couple therapy. I could be wrong of course. Sorry to hear you are struggling. I'm alarmed that your family doesn't trust you; why are they saying that? I hope you get some relief and normalcy soon.
 
Sounds like the personal therapy will be more helpful to you than the couple therapy. I could be wrong of course. Sorry to hear you are struggling. I'm alarmed that your family doesn't trust you; why are they saying that? I hope you get some relief and normalcy soon.

Therapy went...eh. We got a lot of things out there that we needed to.

As far as why they don't trust me, it has a lot to do with my level of understanding and empathy for each persons situation. I also tend to avoid confrontation and don't really like expressing negative feelings toward people, especially if I suspect they will be defensive and deflecting anyways. It's something I'm trying to work on. But I'm quick to dismiss my own thoughts and feelings because I just don't see it being worth my time to address if people aren't going to try to understand it.

But there have been several instances where I get a certain idea or feeling about a situation which ends up evolving past the initial negative response or feelings. If I communicate them at all, even just trying to work through them, and then get someone else's opinions or feelings on the matter, my own concerns tend to subside or something else is highlighted that I didn't think about.

This change in me typically comes back to bite me because they are upset that I didn't bring up the negative thoughts or feelings I was having initially, even though they may have been resolved or become irrelevant to the situation.

I hope that's understandable. I just don't know how to fix it...I don't feel like I'm necessarily in the wrong for evolving and being open minded, but they're seeing it as more of a trust issue because it makes me come off as secretive and unreliable. They have a hard time knowing what's really going on in my head and it's weighing really hard on my relationships with everyone.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Sounds like a simple communication gap, nothing so extreme as to warrant mistrust. I could be wrong though, this is just my perception of things.
 
One of the main points that I took with me from my last therapy meet, was that extreme losses can sometimes trigger alot of unresolved feelings, issues, trauma, etc within the grieving process.

Since then I have had two dreams. One about my grandfather, who died almost 10 years ago, trying to make contact.

And the other centered around my stepmother, who has notoriously left some pretty deep emotional and physical scars in my life. I've spent a good portion of my adulthood brushing off the damage that was done, but my entire poly family is aware, at least to some extent, of how much hell she put me through. It's instilled in me a deep mistrust of females. One that I really don't feel like I've gotten passed.
Along with the damage she did, she also was the sole reason I was separated from my mom's side of the family and therefore also my cousin that just killed himself. Everyone knew how wrong it was of her to keep me from them, but now that separation has been highlighted even more in my cousin's death.

As much as I know I shouldn't get caught up in the coulda/shoulda/woulda's, everyone is pretty familiar with how terrible she was to me. Everyone also knew how much my cousin and I loved each other deeply and how much we wanted to spend time together way more than what we did.

I also know that I never really worked out how deeply my stepmother affected me, even just then. The busted blood vessels in my face, being drug down the hallway by my hair, having the wind kicked out of me when I was around 12. The consistent bruises on the backs of my arms and welts from leather belts over things I knew I didn't actually do. Nor did it call for being beaten.

I remember one occasion where I was staying with her grandmother over one summer. Her daughter was around 6, I was about 12 or 13.
Her grandmother suddenly went off the handle one day and called my stepmother. I already knew this old lady didn't like me, so that wasn't a good sign.
About 40 minutes after that (long before my stepmother was supposed to get off work), I saw my dad's Monte Carlo barreling up the driveway. My heart dropped, knowing I was probably in trouble for something, I just had no idea what.

My stepmom came in the door and as she drug me to the bathroom, I remembering seeing a hint of a smirk on the old woman's face.
"What is going on?" I wondered.

When we got to the bathroom, my stepmother slapped me across the face and proceeded to hit me all along my backside from my shoulder blades to my knees. The only reason I didnt get it more was because she didn't have a belt. But I remember her proclaiming that I "had some nerve" and something about me calling her daughter a "bitch"

I still to this day have no idea where that even came from. I've gone over it and over it in my head and in no point during the day was I ever even remotely frustrated with he daughter. Even if I was, I would have never have called her a "bitch". It was just an unfounded excuse to use me as a punching bag, as far as I can tell.

That is just one of many stories that have rung in my head over the years. I've even tried confronting her since then and she completely minimizes everything into "I'm sorry if you ever felt unloved. I was just really stressed."

IfI ever felt unloved?? You were stressed? Is that really what this is reduced to? All that calculated mindfulness about what you did when my father was around vs what you told him happened when he wasn't was you being stressed??

I guess what I'm trying to say is. There's a whole lot of unresolved shit there. Alot of really terrible trauma that I don't even know where to begin with. And I think only 2 people in this world really know how deep and how bad it really got.

So I've been thinking about writing a letter to her. Maybe a few. Detailing everything, with an end goal of forgiveness. I might send them to her (I have access to her FB) or I might not. Currently I'm leaning towards sending them to her. I want her to live with my reality regardless of how she takes it or how she responds.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Well, you do have some baggage to unpack. I'm so sorry to hear that your stepmother treated you that way. Cruel and unfair. :(
 
In the process of finding another therapist. I may start going to my husbands therapist as he's helped us a few times when we've needed to go in together so he therefore has a decent background and knowledge for me to work off of as well as a support of our poly lifestyle.

I've had at least three really terrible spirals since I last went to my therapist and she's either cancelled or moved appointments, or like this time, simply not replied to my email and I can't take that anymore.

I've noticed my paranoia become more intense and has started building on itself. In trying to manage my emotions without putting them on people, I'm having severe panic attacks over small things and when I try to talk to my partners about it, especially my BF, I'm told I'm putting it on them and being unfair when two months ago they were begging me to talk more so they could know me better.

That's resulted in pretty much severing friendship with my meta. It feels like all we do is talk past each other and stress each other out. Which has made it easier for my BF to get frustrated with me, resulting in heightening my paranoia because I have no idea what she's telling him when he vents and talks about me.

The only way I've been able to manage myself even remotely has been staying distracted. I'm reading 8 different books, taking 2 online courses, constantly listening to podcasts, going to the gym 5-6 days a week, on top of 20-40 work hours a week.

In the mean time, I keep hitting low points and spirals of irrational emotion based on paranoia, feeling lost, empty, alone, less than, etc. My self image swings from feeling incredibly confident and knowing exactly where I stand to feeling hatred for myself that I can only describe as almost an out of body feeling. In turning to a good friend of mine of over a decade, who has a masters in psychology, he pointed me in the direction of seeing that some of these traits I describe point to the possibility of having a specific personality disorder. Which has become another thing I need to bring to a therapist.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I hope you find the right therapist for you ... Your husband's therapist sounds promising.
 
I hope you find the right therapist for you ... Your husband's therapist sounds promising.

I think he will help. Some people have said they don’t think that’s a good idea, butmy husband has a hard time understanding my anxiety though he says he does. He also invalidates my concerns for a deeper problem because of his own improvement without a diagnosis or medication. Hopefully his therapist hearing my side as well as his separately, he will know how to bridge that communication objectively.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re:
"Hopefully his therapist hearing my side as well as his separately, he will know how to bridge that communication objectively."

That would make sense.
 
My husband and I split from our poly family.
I really want to talk about it. I really want to share my story so other poly people can hear it and learn from it, but I currently don't feel very safe and I'm trying to handle this as maturely as possible. But I know I'm hurting and I wanted to at least share that.

If anyone reading this wants to know what happened, my inbox is open and I can talk about it there, just not ready to post about it publicly.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Whatever it is, I'm sorry it happened and that you're hurting. :(
 
As this chapter of my life closes, it's really hard for me to not spend a lot of time reflecting on the past 3 years. While I know Kenny and I have both learned and are learning several lessons from it all, I think only time can really drive the lessons home.

In the mean time, we have both been working on finding our new footing and moving forward with a new start. We signed a lease on a new house and are in the process of painting, personalizing, purging, downsizing, and moving. I've poured myself into my feng shui interest as well as guides on decluttering and downsizing. The 3-bedroom house we've been in is far too big for just two people. While that may seem like a decent problem to have, when you become as distracted as we were, things can get crazy if you don't stay on top of things. Of course, manic cleaning and purging is actually pretty typical of me when I'm going through a breakup, but this is a much needed change for both Kenny and I.

Probably the most exciting part of our house is going to be the bedroom. Red walls with black trim, fiery and passionate artwork for the walls, low lighting, deep burgundy furniture and at some point we want to get a canopy for our bed. We want it to feel like a royal dungeon, at least that's the idea. I have a basic style idea for each room and we're really excited to see it come together.


As far as social life goes, our circle has already expanded and become more solid. I've had my friend Nicki stick by my side pretty hard. Apparently she had wanted to be closer to me too and I didn't even know *yay* And as it turns out, we own half the same decorative stuff, which is always a weird kindred spirit feeling. Needless to say we've tagged around together quite a bit lately. A few times in the same location as the exes. Nicki has noticed some harsh glares being thrown her way by the Ex-Meta. I just told her to shrug it off cause she's really just jealous.

Kenny and I have also gotten closer to a friend whom I'll call Eskimo. She is a couple of hours away and married, but she and her husband are pretty open. It's pretty easy to pick up on why Kenny likes her and wants something physical and she and I seem to have bonded really well. We're now all talking about going to The Keys in the fall all together. We actually found out that she had also had a fling with Orlando, the first guy I ever brought into our poly world. Apparently she's been trying to get him to come to The Keys with them for 3 years now, but now we anticipate with both of us going, his schedule will likely magically clear up. ;)


Which brings me to Orlando. I hadn't actually seen him since we had broken it off two years ago. We've talked a bit via social media, about that as well as just life. He was a good friend to me lately in the tough times and was one of the only people that was consistently supportive when I was depressed over my cousin's suicide. Since Kenny and I have gone through this break up, he's made it pretty obvious that he wants to be close to me again. Then this week came around and he said he was driving through (he's a few states away) and wanted to stop to see me and say hi. I was at my new house so I got to show him around so he could see what I was working on. He's very artistic himself so he seemed to really enjoy seeing my progress as well as me covered in paint.

About 20 minutes into his visit he came in and hugged me...for an....awkwardly...long....time...and just stood there and wouldnt let go. And then passed several signals letting me know he wants things to be like they were before. He latter dropped that he wanted to stick around for a show that evening so he wanted to hang out and asked to use our shower, which of course wasn't a big deal. We met up with Kenny and he and I rearranged our plans to attend the show with Orlando. Overall it ended up being a really fun night and ended with a long hug from him and forehead kisses (*ohmy*)

Overall, I feel really good about where things are going, though I'm still having moments of sadness and pain. It sucks to still see The Exes out and still live so close, but I actually feel like I'm putting my best foot forward in moving on and making my life more positive and fulfilling.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Glad to hear things are looking up a little.
 
Well, guess my Ex blocked me after I blocked Ex-Meta. Mainly did it because she’s told me numerous times that we don’t have to be friends. Then when I cut it off, she kept in with her manipulation because she can’t stand not being the one in control and tried to appease to my peaceful side to stay close to Kenny. I can see through it like glass so I blocked her.

Ex ignored me for 2 days and this morning Ex-Meta told Kenny he’s mad because I’m mad at her. So he blocked me.

At this point I’m honestly both baffled and like 🖕🏻
 
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