Needing support

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member

Carmina

Member
Thankyou - although I wouldn't frame my problems as jealousy and Jessica Fern is very clear that for people with attachment trauma this is deeper than just jealousy (although obviously that may be one reaction, for me it's not the dominant one most of the time)

I was using some techniques last night, breathing, diversion, gardening, reading, movie - and finally the tablet - managed to sleep pretty well and she has called to check I am ok and on way home so thanks for helping me get through this
 

Carmina

Member
Do you think it would help - since obviously it looks like the overnight went well and they will be progressing at their own pace and at some point this will become sexual - that is clear - for me to find someone myself? I don't feel comfortable with that being on a sexual basis right now - it takes a lot for me to feel I can open up sexually and for me sex needs to be bound up with emotional connection and safety or it becomes painful, but even a cuddle friend to spend time with when she is away might help?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Only you can answer that. What is your bandwith right now vs your need for cuddle time.

Would it be better because you have another companion to spend time with? (maybe bucket fill)

Or would be it be worse because now here's this other person making requests when your plate is so full already? (maybe bucket drain)

Plus dealing with whatever reactions/responses hinge partner has when you become a hinge yourself. Will she be fine with it or will she start having transition issues and look to you for extra support with that? (maybe bucket drain)

If the need is mainly about touch and cuddles, could volunteering to go cuddle animal at a shelter or babies in a NICU meet that for now without adding another bucket drain? I know it's not the same thing, but you sound like you have limited time and energy right now.

Galagirl
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
'Hinge' - do you mean as in a door that swings both ways (metaphorically)?
A hinge is just a poly term for a person that has 2 partners, in a MFM V configuration. So say there is a woman who has 2 bfs. She is the hinge, and they are the legs of the V.
 

Carmina

Member
I think I'm experiencing an emotional backlash after things going better than we both expected on the overnight stay itself. Yes I coped pretty well on the whole but in retrospect I realised it was largely through diversionary activity and then using a drug to help me sleep. Over the weekend it really hit me how much this is changing our relationship and how I am not the only man in her life now and that's really hard to take, I feel extremely depressed and a profound sense of loss. I do not like the idea of permanent insecurity, it just sounds like hell to me. Even the most pro polyamory websites and authors make it clear that to do this well you need to be able to examine and overcome your own sources of insecurity and have strong self esteem, I don't have that at all, and examining my own trauma just takes me to very dark places. However the alternatives are even worse, splitting up, which neither of us wants or condemning my partner to being unable to explore other relationships, which would make her unhappy. I think the depression comes from feeling all these options are bad and pretty much trapped, the least worst option is me trying to deal with it and allowing her to continue and I'm trying to be pragmatic about this, hoping over time it will get easier, but I don't know if I'm strong enough. At the moment I feel I just have no energy and whatever I do everything is going to fall apart.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
Over the weekend it really hit me how much this is changing our relationship and how I am not the only man in her life now and that's really hard to take, I feel extremely depressed and a profound sense of loss.

Normal to feel that. Things have changed. And changed for something "unknown" right now. You might hope it will transition well in the end, but that time is not here. You are in the "up in the air" time of the "old normal" being gone and the "new normal" not being here yet.

I do not like the idea of permanent insecurity, it just sounds like hell to me. Even the most pro polyamory websites and authors make it clear that to do this well you need to be able to examine and overcome your own sources of insecurity and have strong self esteem, I don't have that at all, and examining my own trauma just takes me to very dark places.

So... is that like the weekend? In life, you would use diversionary tactics to not have to heal the trauma? If this had remained monogamous, you would still not address this area?

I think the depression comes from feeling all these options are bad and pretty much trapped, the least worst option is me trying to deal with it and allowing her to continue and I'm trying to be pragmatic about this, hoping over time it will get easier, but I don't know if I'm strong enough. At the moment I feel I just have no energy and whatever I do everything is going to fall apart.

Even without trauma stuff, it would be a challenging time.

You have a LOT going on as it is with eldercare and other stuff on your plate. A person could get depressed from those things too -- being so weighted down with responsibilities and feeling spread thin.

I notice you mentioned several times about "not being strong enough." What does that look like to you? Strong enough to do what? Keep going despite all these things piled on? Start saying "No" to new requests and STOP doing some of the tasks to lighten your load? Something else?

There's a visual aid on this page for the stages of change.


I don't know if that helps any.

Galagirl
 

Carmina

Member
I notice you mentioned several times about "not being strong enough." What does that look like to you? Strong enough to do what? Keep going despite all these things piled on? Start saying "No" to new requests and STOP doing some of the tasks to lighten your load? Something else?
I guess 'strong' means having the 'ego integrity' to handle poly better, not to feel so threatened, to have an inner core of self esteem to draw on instead of getting it from helping everyone else, so yes maybe also be more assertive for myself. I know I take on a lot but I do that by ignoring and suppressing my own needs and I understand that is unsustainable but its a hard habit to break.
 

Carmina

Member
Anyway today has been better, we did a bit of reconnecting yesterday, which I think got skipped over due to my partners anxiety over her job and not feeling well, which is completely understandable, but now we have talked about the need to make space for ourselves as a couple for a while when she comes back.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
I guess 'strong' means having the 'ego integrity' to handle poly better, not to feel so threatened, to have an inner core of self esteem to draw on instead of getting it from helping everyone else, so yes maybe also be more assertive for myself. I know I take on a lot but I do that by ignoring and suppressing my own needs and I understand that is unsustainable but its a hard habit to break.


This is a big ask not only for other people, but for yourself as well. It's a lot to take in and manage and finally, navigate through. I would cut yourself a bit of slack. After all, Rome was not built in a day. :)
 

Carmina

Member
Thankyou. Thing is my partner is keen to push ahead and wants to have another overnight next week, I don't feel great about this but equally don't feel I can really do anything about it, or even if I have a right to say no. We had agreed a sort of timescale, which this goes against, but part of me realises that's a stupid and futile thing to do anyway. Frankly I don't really know what to do, I'm so tired I can't even think straight.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Thankyou. Thing is my partner is keen to push ahead and wants to have another overnight next week, I don't feel great about this but equally don't feel I can really do anything about it, or even if I have a right to say no. I don't really know what to do, I'm so tired.


Ok, first of all. Deep, deep, deep breath. Then do it again. :)

Now then. I guess the question is what do YOU yourself want? If you don't know, that is perfectly fine. A lot of us don't, we just pretend to. :)

Does the decision for the overnight need to be made right now? If so, ask your partner why that is and then watch their reaction closely. Take note of what is being said. If not, take a day or two to sort through things and tell your partner that this is what you are doing. If it is important that your partner help you work through this, then tell them that. If you're anything like me, tell your partner that you need to take 48 hours (give a time table, not a nebulous time frame) or what have you to sort through your feelings. If journaling helps, do that. Heck, there is a free one right here. Use it to your advantage. Ask more questions if that feels like something you need to do. Write them down and any questions you may have for your partner later on. Take a long hot bath with some relaxing music to turn your brain off for a minute. This stuff gets overwhelming and I don't blame you for being a bit tired and worn out.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thing is my partner is keen to push ahead and wants to have another overnight next week, I don't feel great about this but equally don't feel I can really do anything about it, or even if I have a right to say no. We had agreed a sort of timescale, which this goes against, but part of me realises that's a stupid and futile thing to do anyway. Frankly I don't really know what to do, I'm so tired I can't even think straight.

Could be honest with partner. That there was a timescale and this request goes against that. Another overnight so soon is too fast for you. You prefer to stick with the time scale that was agreed upon and have the next overnight on that schedule.

Galagirl
 
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FallenAngelina

Well-known member
I guess 'strong' means having the 'ego integrity' to handle poly better, not to feel so threatened, to have an inner core of self esteem to draw on instead of getting it from helping everyone else, so yes maybe also be more assertive for myself. I know I take on a lot but I do that by ignoring and suppressing my own needs and I understand that is unsustainable but its a hard habit to break.
You're on the right track regarding the fact that long term security is an inside job, but strong people aren't necessarily able to handle poly better, strong people are better able to stand by what they value. What's important is that you become ever more clear about what you want, what brings you joy - not that you conform to someone else's wants and joys. Focusing on what brings you joy instead of focusing on being able to handle poly is the path to greater peace of mind. That emotional independence is the path that's most likely to lead to harmony in your relationship. That's the path of emotional health and yes, it's a habit, too. It definitely can become your new habit if you practice it little by little.
 

Carmina

Member
Thanks all - we've had a sad weekend with my father who is very close to death now and it could be any day, so the staying over thing is on hold anyway; my partner is still planning to meet for a day date this week but only if my dad is still OK.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Sorry about your dad. I guess it's a small blessing if at least that overnight date has been pushed out some.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Thanks all - we've had a sad weekend with my father who is very close to death now and it could be any day, so the staying over thing is on hold anyway; my partner is still planning to meet for a day date this week but only if my dad is still OK.


I am terribly sorry to hear about your dad. Please take care of yourself and I wish you peace.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope these last days are peaceful for him, you, and the rest of the family.

hugs
Galagirl
 

Carmina

Member
Thanks he's still hanging on but hardly eating

Partner has gone for a day date today - I am teaching all day so have plenty to occupy me but am worried about how things will progress after this.

Read Polyhell then remembered I had read it before - very useful
 
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