The Best Life Yet

Reverie

New member
I imagine myself inhaling the things I wish to focus on: love, abundance, serenity, etc. And exhaling the things I wish to let go of: fears, insecurities, etc. We'll see if it works!

Also, I don't think of Blue as emotionally distant but emotionally preoccupied when he's with others...so not withdrawing his love and affection, just not focused on it at the moment. It's weird...I genuinely feel strong compersion... it just all depends on where I'm at headspace wise...If I'm in a negative headspace, I'm less likely to feel it, if I'm in a positive headspace, I'm more likely to feel it...and feel it more strongly. And, of course, it depends on how fulfilled I am with our relationship at the moment. I know there's some jealousy and envy (within my insecurity and fear), and yet, there's lots of love and compersion. That's why I'm hoping meditation will help - focus my attention on the positive things so I attract more positivity...

For me, it's wholly dependent at this point on who the person is. But I will definitely try this! I hope to be able to post some kind of progress here. I feel like I am reaching some sort of "poly rock bottom" right now that I luckily get this break to process. And the weird thing is, there isn't even a person right now. It's the IDEA that I am becoming increasingly weirded out by, even as I have been living it. I was so sure the opposite would happen, that it feels weird to be wrong.
 

Reverie

New member
One more, on a very "post-y" day. This one's for breathesmusic. ;)

So, like, good things have happened too!

I basically had the conversation with Rider of EVERYTHING I posted here, and he said these phrases in return:

I'm certain that I picked the right life path with you. You're perfect for me. <3

I think that feeling will probably fluctuate in time and you'll be happy that we're poly with each other.

In any event, I want to be with you. We will figure it out. <3

I guess we're doing something right, then, if you're so satisfied with me. I'm really glad.

You have time to figure it all out. I'm here to help. <3

And last night's band practice with Perry and our drummer Rebecca went super well. Everyone was telling me how good at the bass I am getting. And tonight is going to be a lazy night where I work on my laptop and Rider and I just lie around and eat tacos. Good things. :eek:
 

GirlFromTexlahoma

New member
And I kind of...just stopped being interested in MORE from other people, other than the odd sexual adventure. Being fulfilled, having my needs met, pretty much completely erased my desire for more "real" partners. Occasional sexual variety? Sure, especially during ovulation, and especially with close FWB like Sam. But dating? Another boyfriend? Another life partner?

I hear this, so much. I love that Andy and I can connect to other people - love them, support them, share experiences with them, have crazy hot sex with them. But I don't feel any desire for more "partners" in life. And I'm not sure I could handle it if Andy wanted that.

Is it still poly? Well, you read my blog, you know how much I agonize over that ;) I'm just happier over all with my life when I stop trying to force myself to be ok with "real poly" and just enjoy the weird whatever-it-is I have.

But if he's with someone new, spending one-on-one time with them, getting to know them intimately, he probably very well does NOT wish I were there with him. And that part of me that casts outside of myself, feeling around for him in the universe, knows that. It feels like a door that is usually open for me in his heart has been shut in my face.

I totally do the "casting" thing, too. With Andy, with Dag, with my dad, and with my two closest girlfriends. I find it so comforting, it's like wrapping my heart in a warm tingly blanket or something :eek:

The only time I have had the shut door sensation have been the times I dated someone who had the common poly "don't interrupt my time with other partners" rule. I HATE that. It physically hurts me, like heartache, to know my connection with someone has been shut off that way... That for some period of time I am unwelcome.

Andy and I have always texted friends while we're together, or spent car trips with one of us on the phone with a friend and the other half listening. It never occurred to us to make a rule against doing that with partners. Or to go radio silent on each other during dates. I've never thought twice about reaching out to him if he's with one of his friend-girls. Honestly, I could text Andy, K, and D all through a date with Dag, and it would still be less phone stuff than his constant reading of work emails :rolleyes: So at this point I won't date anyone who asks me to "disappear" at certain times. It just messes with the way I connect to people to be cut off like that.

I hope you can find some solution to feeling disconnected during Rider's "other people time"... Because I know that feeling is rough.
 

Reverie

New member
The only time I have had the shut door sensation have been the times I dated someone who had the common poly "don't interrupt my time with other partners" rule. I HATE that. It physically hurts me, like heartache, to know my connection with someone has been shut off that way... That for some period of time I am unwelcome.

Yes, that exactly. The idea that I am welcome EVERY OTHER TIME to be part of the experience somehow, or to be in touch, and IN THIS ONE TYPE OF CIRCUMSTANCE all of the sudden I am unwelcome, unwanted, and on the other side of a closed door...it makes that circumstance—that circumstance that is the only thing unlike every other circumstance—seem terrible! I mean, Rider and I even talk through the (literally closed) door to each other while one of us is pooping sometimes. There is literally no other circumstance where I'm unwelcome.

So if "other person" = "only circumstance in which I am alienated"...why WOULDN'T it freak me out? It's like dogs that are only taken in the car to go to the vet—they are going to come to associate car rides with scary experiences, whether or not car rides are neutral themselves.
 

GirlFromTexlahoma

New member
Yes, that exactly. The idea that I am welcome EVERY OTHER TIME to be part of the experience somehow, or to be in touch, and IN THIS ONE TYPE OF CIRCUMSTANCE all of the sudden I am unwelcome, unwanted, and on the other side of a closed door...it makes that circumstance—that circumstance that is the only thing unlike every other circumstance—seem terrible!

So I'm poking at this here a little but in that "let's work on this" way ... Not a "you're doing it wrong" way... Ignore me if you want ;)

Are you sure, though, that you're unwelcome? Is that feeling coming from inside you, or from Rider, or is it leftovers from the whole Claire mess?

Because honestly, there is nothing I like better than getting a "Miss you! Love you!" text from my husband when I'm out on a date :eek: I am forever texting pics of what I'm doing with Dag to Andy, and vice versa. I don't get bugged at all if Dag talks to his wife while we're out, or texts her... I have never understood why people see that as such a no-no. *

And I'm able to feel wholly connected to both of them, no matter which one I'm with physically, or who else they are with at the moment. (Even when we don't text non stop, lol.) There's just no split, no one vs the other. I'm always emotionally with both of them, the same way I'm always emotionally with my closest friends.

*Though one time my ex took a call from his wife WHILE WE WERE FUCKING. Like, he didn't stop, or even slow down, just kept going. That was beyond weird. She was talking about going spray tanning and I could hear her through the phone and ugh, no.
 

Reverie

New member
So I'm poking at this here a little but in that "let's work on this" way ... Not a "you're doing it wrong" way... Ignore me if you want ;)

Are you sure, though, that you're unwelcome? Is that feeling coming from inside you, or from Rider, or is it leftovers from the whole Claire mess?

Because honestly, there is nothing I like better than getting a "Miss you! Love you!" text from my husband when I'm out on a date :eek: I am forever texting pics of what I'm doing with Dag to Andy, and vice versa. I don't get bugged at all if Dag talks to his wife while we're out, or texts her... I have never understood why people see that as such a no-no. *

And I'm able to feel wholly connected to both of them, no matter which one I'm with physically, or who else they are with at the moment. (Even when we don't text non stop, lol.) There's just no split, no one vs the other. I'm always emotionally with both of them, the same way I'm always emotionally with my closest friends.

*Though one time my ex took a call from his wife WHILE WE WERE FUCKING. Like, he didn't stop, or even slow down, just kept going. That was beyond weird. She was talking about going spray tanning and I could hear her through the phone and ugh, no.

Well, you're totally right on that. A little text would probably be OK. And sometimes Rider would text me from the bathroom if he was with Kelly, and send me pictures of her cats or his cute outfit.

It's more like...that feeling of "this is their adventure and I'm not welcome on it." And so when I do my "casting" thing, I run into MY OWN WALL of "I'm not welcome there with them; they are doing their own thing and if I was there it wouldn't be what they want."

Because with any other friend-adventures he's on, or if he's out by himself, he DOES want me there. And so it feels weird if he ever doesn't want me somewhere. Not that we both don't enjoy our time apart, but it's usually that one person is "opting out" of the activity (ahem, usually me)—we're usually always INVITED to everything. We're best friends.

And while, logically, I know that to maintain external relationships, he'd need that one-on-one time with the other person, viscerally, it cuts me that I'd ever be uninvited (by him) to something he wants to do. Which is why it's the whole poly thing I'm questioning. It's part of why I'm cool with group sex and with wing-personing him (in which case I invite myself out of the picture so he can do his thing), but not cool when the situation "by default" isn't supposed to include me.

I know it's super weird, but it's how I feel.

ETA: That is beyond the pale about the phone call thing. I can't even imagine! WTF?!
 

GirlFromTexlahoma

New member
Because with any other friend-adventures he's on, or if he's out by himself, he DOES want me there. And so it feels weird if he ever doesn't want me somewhere. Not that we both don't enjoy our time apart, but it's usually that one person is "opting out" of the activity (ahem, usually me)—we're usually always INVITED to everything. We're best friends.

This sounds EXACTLY like how Andy used to feel about me dating, so I had to consult him.

Me: You know how you used to get upset because you felt excluded from things I did with Dag, and hurt that you weren't invited? I realized that I never get that vibe from you anymore. What changed?

Andy: You guys started inviting me to things!

Hmmmm, he's got a point. Before Dag and Andy met, if I wanted to do Big Fun Thing, I had to choose one of them to do it with. That sucked for me. It sucked for Andy, too.

Dag and I still get lots of alone time, Andy and I get lots of alone time, and Andy gets alone time with Steph and Anna-Louise. But our overall attitude is that if it's an adventure/activity type thing, everyone is welcome. Partners, friends, whoever wants to go. Alone time lately is more "we have the house to ourselves lets get naked" time ;) Or grabbing lunch or a drink, or browsing the bookstore, or going for a walk.

We're all pretty busy, so there are plenty of times where, say, Dag and I come up with something fun to do, and we invite Andy but he's not free. Dag has an open invite to join us at the lake anytime we're up there, but he only makes it once in a while. Andy knows me well enough to know there are some things I just won't be interested in, so he plans that stuff with Steph. So we do get "couple adventures". But most Big Fun Things are open to everyone. It feels more comfortable to us, since that's how we've usually done it with friends.

I'm not sure if any of this helps you... But I figure more perspectives can't hurt :)
 

Reverie

New member
This sounds EXACTLY like how Andy used to feel about me dating, so I had to consult him.

Me: You know how you used to get upset because you felt excluded from things I did with Dag, and hurt that you weren't invited? I realized that I never get that vibe from you anymore. What changed?

Andy: You guys started inviting me to things!

Hmmmm, he's got a point. Before Dag and Andy met, if I wanted to do Big Fun Thing, I had to choose one of them to do it with. That sucked for me. It sucked for Andy, too.

Dag and I still get lots of alone time, Andy and I get lots of alone time, and Andy gets alone time with Steph and Anna-Louise. But our overall attitude is that if it's an adventure/activity type thing, everyone is welcome. Partners, friends, whoever wants to go. Alone time lately is more "we have the house to ourselves lets get naked" time ;) Or grabbing lunch or a drink, or browsing the bookstore, or going for a walk.

We're all pretty busy, so there are plenty of times where, say, Dag and I come up with something fun to do, and we invite Andy but he's not free. Dag has an open invite to join us at the lake anytime we're up there, but he only makes it once in a while. Andy knows me well enough to know there are some things I just won't be interested in, so he plans that stuff with Steph. So we do get "couple adventures". But most Big Fun Things are open to everyone. It feels more comfortable to us, since that's how we've usually done it with friends.

I'm not sure if any of this helps you... But I figure more perspectives can't hurt :)

More perspectives are definitely always welcome and better.

That kind of thing definitely helped fuel my unhappiness about the Kelly thing. Like, he met her because she was a roommate of the friend he had always stayed with when he traveled to Football Town, and he'd always talked about how excited he was for me to go there with him like his previous two girlfriends always had (when he'd been mono). I love being his road trip buddy, and since we'd started dating, whenever he went out of town, he always invited me, whether or not I could actually go. But suddenly, when he started hooking up with Kelly, I wasn't always welcome on that trip anymore. I was basically booted from the roster so that some trips could have a date night for them. It stung!

When it comes to the idea of Potentially Scary New Person, my thing is, like, we just got here! So everything is an adventure! Almost every bar or music club or restaurant or neighborhood is a fun new adventure. And I don't wanna miss out! If Rider is ever out at a bar or music club with friends, he always wants me there. But if he were to go there with an "interest"...like...it would be a date, so I wouldn't be invited. :: plaintive mew ::

I dunno. It's all so weird.

There are so many examples of women I have been super compersive (is that a word?) for him with, whether he was just pursuing them or actually ended up doing something: Allie, Elise, Candace, Desirée (until she turned wicked), Kitty, Lily, Laura, Molly...even having a threesome with Oona. Rider jokes that his "number" has exploded since getting with me just because I am so likely to wingwoman him and incite threesomes. I am even eventually hoping to line something up with Aurora.

I can't imagine feeling anything but stoked for him no matter what he chose to do with anyone on that list, or with any of my other friends, even. I think at this point I'd even be fine encouraging things with Kelly, if the circumstances aligned, despite having a history of being jealous about things to do with her.

It's those Mystery People: Rita, Downtown Bar Girl, the rude redhead from the other night, as yet undiscovered people...those people are so SEPARATE from me that I am pretty sure that if Rider went to hang out with them, I wouldn't be invited.

It's not that that feeling can't be fixed. It happened with Elise. When I met her for the second time (the first was very brief), she was inadvertently kind of rude to me. I wasn't sure whether she was deliberately snubbing me or if she was just too drunk to realize what she was doing. But I gave her a second chance, and we all hung out together, and by the end of that hangout, I had as big of a crush on her as Rider did and I was back into wingwoman mode instead of paranoid mode.

Say that the next time Rider runs into Downtown Bar Girl, it's a night that I'm scheduled to go hang out with him downtown, and she's just there by chance. Say she's nice to me and we all end up hanging out and having a good time. Once I've gotten her "vibe" and determined whether she's friend or foe, and once I'm a "real person" to her so she sees what poly looks like, I'll probably be totally on board. I just need to get in on the ground floor. Stuff taking off without me—Rider off having adventures with Mystery People without me—feels like bad juju.

I guess if there are degrees of poly, I am definitely somewhere on the spectrum. But my reaction to that stuff that is out of my spectrum reach is so, so, so intense that it makes me want to ditch the whole thing sometimes.
 
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Reverie

New member
For Tinwen:

I'm actually starting to believe that there's rather a mono/poly "axis graph" just like there is with sexual orientation, politics, and a lot of things.

On one axis there might be the desire you have for more than one person, starting on one end with totally mono and traveling through occasional sexual encounters with others but one main partner, polyfidelity with two or more people, all the way up to total free-for-all sexual autonomy. And on the other axis is the level of comfort you have with your partner having other partners, which is about the same thing but for the other person.

I think that the point on the graph that any one person might be varies from time to time, depending on a host of factors. And I also think that two people don't need to be on the exact same spot on the graph to be happy together, but that relationships will run most smoothly if each partner's "what they want" is about equal to the other partner's "what they are comfortable with their partner having."

Obviously, this is not a perfect model. I haven't really thought out where each configuration would actually go on the axis, or even if a third axis (3D-style) might be needed. But I think it's a fairly serviceable model all the same.

I think that in the absence of any kind of personal issues, hangups, or inner work that needs to be done, ideally everyone would be able to place "what they are comfortable with their partner doing" at the far end of the axis near "whatever the hell they want."

But I think that, realistically, most people fall somewhere in the middle, from ostensibly mono people who don't believe that kissing is cheating, to people who are OK with almost everything but will speak up if they feel like their partner has gotten so polysaturated that they aren't getting enough time anymore.

For me, for a long time I really believed that I needed multiple relationships to be happy, since I'd always liked more than one person in that way. Over time, I found myself actually kinda NOT liking more than one person in that way now that I'm with Rider, at least not beyond the occasional sexual attraction. But I still value the freedom to pursue it if something were to develop out of a friendship or something. I just have zero interest in searching, and nothing seems to be developing organically.

And for a long time, I believed that I was pretty close to the "do whatever you want" end of the other axis, because when I'd tried poly the first time (for five months) I'd felt that way, and also because for the first 8 months of my relationship with Rider, I had zero feelings of jealousy or trouble. What I came to discover over the intervening year and a half, though, is that I'm actually somewhere about three-quarters down the line: do ALMOST whatever you want, but unknown people really freak me out as it turns out, so I'd prefer if we could all establish some kind of hangout precedence where I can get someone's "vibe" before you move forward in a more-than friends-capacity with someone.

And of course my goal in having a four-month break is to get over my other life stress so I can be in a good spot work on myself and inch that graph point closer to the ideal of "do whatever you want."

I'm pretty sure that I am SOME kind of poly...regular mono people do not try to wingwoman girls into bed with their fiancé, nor would they be fine if he started romantically dating their best friend, nor do they think it's perfectly awesome to occasionally sleep with their fiancé's best friend. The question is, am I "poly enough" for Rider, given that he ultimately desires that total freedom, and I am currently unable to stomach it without panicking? And if I am currently not "poly enough," can I get there before it causes us irreparable damage?

Does this make sense?
 

GirlFromTexlahoma

New member
On one axis there might be the desire you have for more than one person, starting on one end with totally mono and traveling through occasional sexual encounters with others but one main partner, polyfidelity with two or more people, all the way up to total free-for-all sexual autonomy. And on the other axis is the level of comfort you have with your partner having other partners, which is about the same thing but for the other person.

I love the idea of a spectrum/axis thing, but I think it also needs to somehow take the emotional dimension into account, not just the sexual one.

Me, for instance, lol. I could happily be sexually monogamous, but never emotionally monogamous. I need to get close emotionally with, well, pretty much anyone I feel a strong connection with. I could never have made it in any relationship where "emotional affairs" were off limits.

And on the flip side, you have people who are totally cool with their partner doing anything sexual with anyone, but have strict no-feelings rules.
 

Reverie

New member
I love the idea of a spectrum/axis thing, but I think it also needs to somehow take the emotional dimension into account, not just the sexual one.

Me, for instance, lol. I could happily be sexually monogamous, but never emotionally monogamous. I need to get close emotionally with, well, pretty much anyone I feel a strong connection with. I could never have made it in any relationship where "emotional affairs" were off limits.

And on the flip side, you have people who are totally cool with their partner doing anything sexual with anyone, but have strict no-feelings rules.

Maybe we could make sex a pink "OK-to-fly zone" and emotions a blue one, and it'd be purple where they overlap? LOL. Now I'm just getting silly! :p
 

Reverie

New member
After all the Heavy Shit over the past week or so, I'm finally ready to post a real light & fluffy update. :rolleyes:

The first piece of big news (at least to me) that kind of got lost in the shuffle was that the other day, via IM, Sam told me he loved me first. The love I have for him is...unique...it's mostly friendship, but definitely slightly romantic, and it's sexual whenever it can be. It's like a cuddly, sexy, fun thing but without any expectation or need or entanglement—and it would never stand on its own. It depends wholly on his friendship and super-long history with Rider. But at the same time, it IS its own special kind of thing.

I had messaged him last week saying that I'd had a stressful day and wished I could cuddle him, and he wrote back "working on magically appearing." We chatted back and forth, and I could tell he was kinda drunk. He's only ever forward with me when he's drunk. When we went to sign off, he said "love you, love face" which was just about the sweetest thing he's ever said to me. I tell him I love him every time I see him, and sometimes over IM, and usually he says something vague like "back atcha" or "ditto" or "thanks, I need that right now." Never has he ever said it first or even explicitly. It made me feel warm and good. I hope he visits soon.

Speaking of visits, big news number two is that Pablo is coming here on Friday. It was kind of out of the blue. He suddenly decided to quit his life and come out here. He has multiple people here to bounce around to, but he's going to stay with us the first few days. It should be interesting. Pablo has always been chaos embodied. Rider is excited to see his sometime boyfriend again. I'm looking forward to seeing him too.

And then Rider and I were having a conversation earlier (touching on the heavier stuff again). We were revisiting it because I was complaining to him because Oona decided to use my recent struggles as an opportunity to again beat the dead horse of how I should have stayed single for a while before getting with Rider. I swear, she tells me that so many times, like she thinks I can reach into the past and change it. She acts like somehow I would have figured more poly shit out by being single than by actually being in a poly relationship, which I just don't think is possible. I finally had to be like, "Dude. Advise me all you want about what to do in the present and the future, but pleeeeease stop harping on what I 'should have done' in the past. The past is the past and it can't be changed." So I was talking to Rider about it...

Rider: "Just on a personal note, regardless of our outcome, this has been the healthiest and most successful relationship that I've ever had with another person, ever. If we're married and we spend the rest of our lives together, or if we break up because we figure out that we're somehow irreconcilably incompatible, this is still the best. You know I want to be with you forever and don't like talking about the possibility of breaking up, but I figured I should mention that."

Me: "I feel like the only thing that would make us break up is this one difference. Everything else seems to fit. And I'm working on it."

Rider: "Yeah, we'll figure it out one way or another. We're too smart not to, IMO. ;) I think it's too late to talk about what-ifs concerning stuff that happened over 2 years ago. We have to deal with right now."

Me: "If it's super-important for you to be able to sleep with Scary Mystery People, I'll either have to figure out how to make it not scary, or you'll have to figure out how to make it not important, or we're incompatible. I'm definitely trying super hard on my end."

Rider: "It's probably a solution somewhere in the middle. I appreciate that you're working on it."

So, like...I just love him sooooo much. I feel completely overflowing with gratitude that I have someone so understanding, and so willing to compromise and work toward a solution, and so understanding of my struggles. Even when I need something that requires a sacrifice on his part, it takes him next to no time at all to turn cheerful about it and happy to be doing for me what I need. This is why I need to find a way to complete my part of it: he's a one-in-a-million kind of amazing person and I would be a fool not to do everything in my power to make it work with him.

Also, we got a package from Rider's mom today. The woman bakes so well! She made us toffee-turtle cookies, which are kind of like little mini blondies with pecans. So good! She also sent us a shot glass for our collection, and a card with a sweet message. I reminded him that we needed to get our mothers gifts for Mother's Day. I always get my mom some nice, all-natural bath stuff, because that's what she always wants. :)

So that's my happy-and-not-at-all-depressing report for today. Now off to read more of the Buddhism book before bedtime!
 
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Tinwen

Active member
Thank you for writing, Reverie. I see you tried to reassure me a little, and it does make perfect sense. Since your blog has moved on since, I put the answer back to mine ;) (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showpost.php?p=327754&postcount=13)
I hope your break will help, actually I think it will help with that particular issue, because once you are less stressed you will surely find it easier to cope with change.

BTW, meditation. I tried it a handful times over the years and never sticked to it, until recently. When I was supposed to study for final exams I found this technique:
http://actualized.org/articles/meditation-techniques-do-nothing
The idea is, that you sit still but stop controlling your attention, let your thoughts do whatever they want to. You only let go if you become aware of an intention to control your attention, "think something out" etc. That's kind of different from the Buddhists who usually have some object to focus on. I know everyone needs something different, but for me, this is THE technique I will stick to. I found out on the first try, that it brings me nearly instant relaxation, better then any "relaxation" technique I have ever learned (I am usually unable to apply those when really stressed out :)).
Case you find it helpful.
 
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Reverie

New member
BTW, meditation. I tried it a handful times over the years and never sticked to it, until recently. When I was supposed to study for final exams I found this technique:
http://actualized.org/articles/meditation-techniques-do-nothing
The idea is, that you sit still but stop controlling your attention, let your thoughts do whatever they want to. You only let go if you become aware of an intention to control your attention, "think something out" etc. That's kind of different from the Buddhists who usually have some object to focus on. I know everyone needs something different, but for me, this is THE technique I will stick to. I found out on the first try, that it brings me nearly instant relaxation, better then any "relaxation" technique I have ever learned (I am usually unable to apply those when really stressed out :)).
Case you find it helpful.

Thanks! I will check it out!
 

Reverie

New member
Pablo is such a ball of chaos. He messages us today to let us know that it's actually TONIGHT that he's arriving, not tomorrow. And so we adjusted our plans and worked it out.

And then he messages us later and says, "Oh, fuck. I'm not coming after all. It's $80 to check my bags and I don't have it, and now I'm stranded in [the other city he was visiting] airport with no one to pick me up and nowhere to stay."

Rider and I had a little side conversation, in which I suggested that we could lend (ok, give, it will end up being give, let's be real) Pablo the $80 to check his bags so that he doesn't have to forfeit his plane fare. "This is what I fell in love with," said Rider. "I can't help it." It's cute that he still loves Pablo so much.

We told Pablo of our decision, and he said, "I just canceled my plane ticket because it was supposed to leave in half an hour."

I went into scramble-plan mode and first picked Pablo's spirits off the ground because he seemed to believe the situation was hopeless. First I explained to him that even if he canceled his ticket, they will let him on a later flight if he explains what happened and asked nicely. I have missed flights 3 or 4 times before and they always help you if you're not a dick.

Then I found out how we could wire him some money without his having to leave the airport. I found out what terminal he was in, and what terminal there was a currency office, and I wired the money.

And so he was able to get on a slightly later flight, and now is getting in around 1 a.m.

But, dude. He has no idea how to adult, and he's a year older than I am. He was ready to just give up and sleep in the airport with his bags for an unspecified amount of time, presumably until someone rescued him. Which we did.

I joked to Rider that sometimes I feel like that character "The Wolf" in Pulp Fiction—the one who steps in, assesses a situation, and then directs everyone to do exactly what they need to do to solve their problems. I do it all the time, especially for Rider, and historically, for Oona before she had Toby (who is a pretty good Wolf himself). I don't even mind doing it...hmm...is "freelance problem solver" a real job? Rider said that if it was, I would ace it.

My boss told me I could work from home tomorrow because Rider and I have an event we want to go to downtown and that will make getting there easier. We'll be bringing Pablo. Rider also wants to show me the bar (of Downtown Bar Girl fame) that he likes to go to after work. Maybe she'll be there and she can become not-a-scary-mystery-person.

I am a little bit nervous about what it's going to be like to have the Incredible Pablo Shitshow in my house for several days on end, but I'm happy that Rider gets to spend time with his lover—the only boy he's ever loved like that—and I've also missed him myself. Not as much as Rider has, but I have.

I'm sure there will be some crazy adventure stories that come out of this...there always are.

ETA: I just realized that last month's medium-sized unexpected expenditure was a nice purse for Kelly's graduation. And this month's is Pablo's bag checking. If I ever doubt how "poly" I am, I should just think on how naturally and spontaneously generous I am to people I know mostly through them being or having been metamours. That makes me feel...good.
 
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Reverie

New member
So, in my thinking stuff through to write this post, I found a tangent that I didn't want to go off on over there. Basically it spun off from this part:

But some women, the ones that I can feel compersion about, come to us with, I think, kind of a Golden Rule mentality. If she were me, how would she want her lover approached by a new interest? How would she want to BE approached by a new interest of her lover's? She wants to be with him, but she doesn't want anything he and I are already doing to crash and burn because of it. She's thoughtful, and engages both of us, and is communicative and open. She understands that to make friends is the most likely way of making everything peaceable—to find that unlikely sisterhood is a thing of beauty. She may never even say it out loud, but I feel it in her body language and her motions. She's never possessive of him in her body language around me. She never elbows me out. She smiles at me with her eyes.

And those women? With those women, I can return their consideration and openness in kind, without any difficulty. I feel true compersion—sometimes elation, even. It makes me want to be generous and kind and give them what they want, whatever I can give without giving away what I need. We can FMF our asses off and it's fine!


It makes me feel like I felt at the beginning of poly, before I knew that Claire hated everything to do with me: I wanted her relationship with Rider to succeed, and I wanted to be part of what helped it to.

If a woman came to me and said (like I wanted to say to Claire but she could never bear to look upon my face), "I know this has to be a little hard for you, but I'm glad you're welcoming me into your lives. I respect your relationship, and I know how much you value each other. I hope that we can build a friendship and all hang out sometimes. And I hope you'll let me know if you're having difficulties, so that we can work on it together."

Well, shucks...how could I say no to that?

I wanted to do that with Claire—even TRIED to—but she didn't want to hear it. She even publicly scoffed here on the boards about my letter to her in which I (in my usual whimsical fashion) spoke of hoping to be teammates in making Rider's life magical. She literally said "vomit" in regards to it, before knowing that I also posted here. I tried to tell her all of the ways that I'd been on the side of keeping their relationship happy and how I'd advocated for her, trying to provide evidence that these weren't just empty words, but she merely took it as my bragging about how it was me who goaded him into paying attention to her, like I was insinuating that he never cared to begin with.

So those women—the ones who come to us not with an agenda of "let's compete; I'm in it for me, so let's see what you've got for you. We'll tussle for every scrap!"—but the ones who come to us with an acceptance of what already is, and no desire to erase what we've built to make space for themselves...those are the ones who are not scary. Those are the ones with whom I think we could make FMF work.

And that's my thought about that.

So, completely related to all of this, Rider and I had a minor breakthrough last night when I was telling him I was thinking about this. I realized that there was something we hadn't been communicating about that was contributing to my Fear of Unknown People: I suspected—but did not know—that he wasn't being up front about being poly with new people that he meets. I knew he wasn't narrowing his pool to only poly people, but I didn't know whether he was narrowing his pool to POLY-FRIENDLY people, which it seems like would be a good idea.

I always am up front about that with new people I'm flirting with. I don't always just Mack Truck them with "WELL I'M POLY, SOOO..." in a way that makes things awkward, but I might drop "Well, one of my partners..." into the beginning of a story so that they know without having to stop to discuss it, kind of like if you're a non-poly partnered person, you might casually say "my boyfriend" to let someone know you're off the market without dissing them. If I meet people through OKC, obviously they know out of the gate, but in face-to-face meetings, there are ways to work it in.

The only time I am ever super Mack Truck about it is if we are really short on time and I want to exchange phone numbers or Facebook info with them. That's what happened with Beckett: we were at a fetish party and he was about to leave when I finally got to talk to him, and I was all, "So I want to trade Facebook info with you, but before we do, you should know that I have a serious boyfriend and we're in an open relationship." And he was cool with it, so we did, and we ended up dating for like a month.

I feel like anyone who will run screaming when they find out someone is poly is not someone who I should be dating. And I feel like the same goes for Rider. If he's interested in someone, he should make sure they are on board with the way his life actually is before getting attached. I feel like that's a great pre-screening to avoid trouble.

I talked to him about this, and he confirmed that, indeed, he was not telling people. He said that he thought that telling them he was poly would feel like he was prematurely inviting them into a relationship, when he might not yet know if that's where he wanted things to go with them. I told him that it definitely was not. I don't think anyone would assume that when you're telling them something about YOURSELF ("hey, I'm poly") you're actually making an offer ("hey, come be poly with me"). I told him that there are subtle ways of letting people know (like the thing about just dropping it in without making it the topic), and he said that makes a lot of sense, and he praised me on my communication skills.

I told him it would make me feel a lot better—like, A LOT A LOT better—if I knew without a doubt that anyone who accepted exchanging info with him also accepted that he's poly and that I exist. It seems like, while it doesn't COMPLETELY remove the possibility of crazy people and cowgirls, it cuts it to a significant degree. Someone would have to like him immensely right off the bat to be willing to go through the trouble of, well, making trouble. Whereas if someone has already been flirting with him for weeks and THEN finds out that he's poly, they might already have enough NRE invested for it to be worth their while to go after him despite my existence, even if they are not comfortable with it and will end up making trouble.

I think it will also run off the thrill-seekers (which is what I believe that girl at the party was)—the ones who get an ego boost out of feeling sexy and desirable enough to make a man "stray" from his agreements with someone else. One poly guy once told me that women would hit on him all the time despite his wedding ring, only to be creeped out when he told them he was in an open marriage and available. When they thought it was unethical, they got a charge out of the idea of being attractive enough to challenge his ethics, but when they found out he was just "allowed" then there was no special sauce about it—it was just one more available guy who was flirting with them.

This one little piece of missing communication was causing a lot of trouble, I think. I already feel so much better about the idea of Rider meeting people if I know he's going to be honest with them about poly, even if it fucks with his "game." The people who run away are the people I want gone. The people who stick around will be the ones worth getting to know. I'm going to sit with this for a while, and if I keep feeling this much better, this break might be a lot shorter than four months. :)

ETA: Dude, you guys have NO IDEA how relieved this whole thing makes me feel—and it's the tiniest thing! All it is is even more honesty and communication, but directed outward instead of between us. Why the FUCK didn't I think of it sooner?
 
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Reverie

New member
In other news, Pablo has been driving me insane all day while I have been trying to work from home. He's been kind of like a super-chatty kindergartner. I finally had to lock myself in my room. :rolleyes:
 

AutumnLeaves

New member
I already feel so much better about the idea of Rider meeting people if I know he's going to be honest with them about poly, even if it fucks with his "game." The people who run away are the people I want gone. The people who stick around will be the ones worth getting to know. I'm going to sit with this for a while, and if I keep feeling this much better, this break might be a lot shorter than four months. :)

ETA: Dude, you guys have NO IDEA how relieved this whole thing makes me feel—and it's the tiniest thing! All it is is even more honesty and communication, but directed outward instead of between us. Why the FUCK didn't I think of it sooner?

Probably the same reason I didn't think of it until I was reading your post just now and went WAIT HOW DID I NOT REALIZE THIS WAS A THING. It explains so much about why my hypothetical situations involving Guitarist or Purr finding someone at a party are always so much less comfortable for me than them getting involved with old friends or people from OKC.

Anyway, I'm glad this break is working out so well for you and that you're getting so much processing done. Like, really really glad. Much gladder than I should be about things involving people I've never met :rolleyes:
 

Reverie

New member
I have officially caught Rider's cold. Ugh. We were supposed to go to the fair today but not only am I sick, it's also rainy and nasty outside.

I determined yesterday that Pablo has gone completely insane. I'm getting used to it, but there was a long stretch of time yesterday when I thought that I might kill him and was seriously regretting what I'd gotten myself into by allowing him to come stay with us for a while. When he arrived Thursday night, I was super excited to see him, but it was late, so I didn't hang out long enough to catch on to anything being wrong. The following morning, though...it quickly became apparent that something wasn't quite right.

He explained that he has been diagnosed as bipolar and is currently in a manic phase, but that he's on medication and feels like it's working. I'm...not sure it's working as well as he thinks it is. He says it feels like it's working because he doesn't feel paranoid and can talk to people but...he talks to EVERYONE.

Yesterday after I finally finished my work, I took him downtown on the train to meet up with Rider, and he wanted to talk to every homeless person and hawker on the way to the train station. And he kept wanting to be super affectionate with me, but I had spent all day being really annoyed with him, so I didn't feel that way AT ALL. And yet, I felt like I had to not tell him that so that he wasn't emotionally destroyed when I handed him off to Rider.

It was a little easier once we met up with Rider. He saw me struggling and was able to distract Pablo a bit so that the manic attention was not all on me, so I could breathe a bit. But I still think I have overextended my humaning reserves.

We went for a bit to an outdoor Prince memorial, then to eat, and then to Rider's favorite downtown bar. The place was really cool! I liked it there a lot and definitely see why it's Rider's favorite. I will go back and hang there with him sometime. After two rounds we headed back to the house and just watched movies until Pablo fell asleep and Rider and I went to bed. I was glad when Pablo's energy finally wound down.

This morning he was maybe slightly less crazy. Slightly.

I have been mostly able to use my cold as an excuse to be withdrawn and lazy. Currently Rider is taking Pablo on a walkabout to try to wear him out a bit like you do with a puppy. They should be back soon and I am supposed to go with them to sushi.

I have been enjoying having the house to myself.
 

Reverie

New member
You guys. What have Rider and I gotten ourselves into? What became "a landing spot for a competent partner-ish person for a few days while they establish themselves and move on to another friend's house" has quickly become "being totally not sure what to do because a mentally ill person who—as it turns out has burned a lot of other bridges—has taken up residence in our apartment 2,400 miles from his family."

He very obviously needs professional help and a medication adjustment. I guess we need to inquire about his health insurance (which I think he still has through the job he is on leave from) and see if there is a local psychiatrist we can get him to? And beyond that, I might contact my therapist cousin upstate and see what she suggests we do, and contact his best friend, who is the brother of a friend of ours?

It's literally like we have a child right now. He is high-energy, impulsive, can't sit still for more than ten minutes, can't see beyond his own sphere of attention, reads everything he sees out loud...if I was burnt out before, I am slowly disintegrating now. And then he suddenly runs out of energy and just passes out a couple of hours before Rider and I go to sleep, so we get to look at each other and sigh and do "grownup time."

This has, of course, completely destroyed both of our attraction toward him. I am in alternating modes of caretaking for him and protection of myself lest I completely go insane as well.

He said his old friend for 20 years in [last city he was in] ended up throwing him out on the street and showing zero compassion. After his being there for a month. Let me tell you—he is not staying here for a month. It's written into our lease that we're not allowed to have guests stay for longer than two weeks, and I intend to keep to the letter of the law, if I even last that long.

Just because he has been Rider's lover does not mean that he can occupy the futon in our already-small one-bedroom apartment indefinitely. There has to be somewhere we can send him, and someone willing to take him. He's always been chaotic, but now he's straight crazy. I literally have a crazy person in my home. Send help.
 
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