I’ve been busy these last couple of weeks. Life is like one big roller-coaster ride. For the most part, I’ve been enjoying it. There have been a few rough moments, relationship wise. One of my lovers, you will find out through-out this blog, is very much a challenge for me – in that her particular attachment style is not something I would have normally tolerated in the past. I consider working on accepting those parts of her that are uncomfortable for me – a part of my growth, in a way. I’m more of the type of person that when things start getting hairy, I disengage entirely. I think it comes from some previous abusive relationships in where I was often in “flight” mode.
She, of course, doesn’t consider herself polyamorous, so there are many aspects of my “lifestyle” that I have to take into account because they may not ‘sit’ so well with her. Most of the time, I never think about that. Being thoughtful is not one of my talents. Being in any relationship takes lots of communication, honesty, and trust.
I threw her a loop when my solo-poly ass made a huge decision to move someone in with me. Now, I value my space and alone time. This move wasn’t made lightly and took a couple weeks of contemplation and talking in circles with another lover of mine. But once a decision like that is made, it impacts all my other relationships. It deeply affected her, and it’s residual effects are still being monitored.
With regard to polyamory and personal responsibility, I just want to take a minute to express the responsibility that comes with being in a relationship:
While, not two months ago, you would’ve heard me spout off to her something that resembles, “I’m not responsible for your emotions and insecurities. Hit me up when you’re over yourself.” Straight. Up. Asshole. Now, granted, that is very out of context because one of the reasons I like her so much is the fact that she matches my assholiness. Meaning: we fight the same. The reason I’m telling you this is because while on one hand I can’t change the fact that sometimes she is overly emotional and she can be super-insecure (which actually could just comes from being a woman in this society), I AM responsible for how I respond to her when she is feeling that way.
I can’t change her feelings. I can’t FIX it. I can’t do the work needed to be done to quell her own insecurities – but I can love her through them, support her through them, tell her she is a bigger asshole than me, but that I love her anyway; I can make sure that she knows that I know who she is and how she feels, but that doesn’t change who we are to each other. And just that support and comfort is actually my responsibility for remaining in that relationship. I can stop any time. I can say “Fuck this, I’m out,” and keep on going without skipping a beat. But as long as I CHOOSE to stay there and I CHOOSE to remain in her life, then I have a responsibility to my friend to actually be a damn friend. Meaning: Not forsaking her in her time of need. If space is needed, space is taken. If a talk is needed, a talk happens. If it’s too touchy to talk and we hiss like cats at each other via text for an hour, that happens also. But at some point, we have a responsibility, that by choosing to be in a relationship, we are choosing come back to that space of acceptance, of personal responsibility, realizing that our actions have an affect on our significant others, and we choose to help them work it out within themselves.
I think with my past history of abuse by a narcissist, I tend to disengage to anything I could perceive as emotional manipulation. Including other people’s emotions. She and I have talked about this and how sometimes, I am negatively affected by her being upset or angry. Though I tend to also be passive/aggressive, her passive/aggressiveness is a trigger for me. Going outside of my comfort zone and actually talking about these things has helped us both tremendously when it comes to personal growth and responsibility within our relationships.
Communication aftercare is especially important when changes are made that impacts someone (or all those) in your polycule. Remember being poly is not glamorous, weekend-long orgy parties – it’s not just all the fun. It’s all the work and effort. It’s all the love and understanding. It’s also all the reward (including maybe an orgy party or something). I’m totally kidding, that’s not really my thing.