It's about the one liners: a guy, a girl, 3 dogs, 2 cats and two mice walk into a house..
With everything going on in this world, I thought it high time to have a blog. I have a lot to say, and whether I say it into a void or if I actually get people interested--I'm not sure. I think some of the things I have to say will be helpful or interesting. As I add entries to the blog, I'll add more to the description of the blog.|
May your muses sing!
|I usually try to not let what’s happening in the news affect me so heavily, but the current events going on in America right now is scary. Trump supporters storming the capitol, rooting and rioting. I would love to say I was surprised by the events that unfolded, but I wasn’t. Not really. These are the same group of individuals who condemned BLM for “rioting” in the streets, condemned kneeling in silent protest for the injustices in a place that is supposed to be the home for all.
No. I think what surprised me was the complicitness of the government and the police. I’m so used to seeing protests met with such an uneven show of violence and vicious cruelty. Even days later, many are dancing around putting the true name to what happened--domestic terrorists attempting to incite an insurrection. Seeing the peaceful reaction--before, during, and after--was, and is, scary.
When people of color protested the murder of their people at the hands of power drunk, uniformed officials that swore an oath to protect them, they were met with chemicals, rubber bullets, and batons. When Indigenous people protested the simple right to clean water on promised land, they were met with police dogs and arrests.
Now? We have privileged, self-important white people, armed and frothing with false facts and conspiracies treated as peaceful protestors. Their actions have been justified by a small would-be dictator wannabe afraid of a future without the power to absolve his many many sins.
It’s frustrating, and it’s frustrating because I can only begin to understand as an outsider looking in. How alone and angry and scared and hurt people of color must feel seeing how different their skin weighs on their scales. I fully recognize my privilege. I fully recognize that my position in life was given to me at least in part because I am white.
When I was pulled over for speeding last week, I didn’t think twice about where my hands were. I never once entertained that the policeman would hurt me. I don’t worry that my brothers are going to be shot for walking with a hoodie on. For sleeping in their home. For being children and playing with toys. There is something so inherently wrong with this world when entire populations of people have to exhaust mental anxieties just to not appear “threatening” or to conform to a normalcy they had no say in creating. My heart aches for the injustice, and I wear the guilt of my complicitness.
This last year was a year of eye opening revelations. Through my friends, through reading opinion blogs, I realized that even the anger I have felt on behalf for people of color has been through the eyes of a white person. It’s always been about me and how racism has affected me. It’s been an uncomfortable experience really ripping the layers of institutionalized racism and my role in it’s continuation and the ways that I actually can help that isn’t just meant to make me feel better as a person, but is an actual step toward progress.
I don’t want my anger and indignation to be performance art. It needs to be more than that. It needs to be intentional, and directed in a way that people of color have reached out and told their allies they need help. They know what they need. It’s time we stopped and listened.
So, last week’s events at the capitol were scary. I see a dark and dreary path ahead before America can heal. But, that fear comes from a place of white privilege. If there is this fear in my heart, I can only imagine the emotional roller coaster and exhaustion that people of color have felt.
|Change is difficult, and nostalgia can be a dangerous thing. Sometimes, I catch myself in a reminiscing mood, which in itself isn’t a bad thing. I’ve had a good life, and a wonderful relationship. My husband is a whirlwind romantic, and I have such wonderful stories of things he’s done for me through our decade together. In previous blogs, I’ve talked about the girl that existed before my epiphany, before all the changes that happened. But, I’ve never talked about how difficult it was for that girl to change, to become someone different.
It was easy, really, to decide to try poly. It has always been something I’d entertained in my deepest thoughts--thoughts I’d not really realized I’d fantasized. I remember reading that article, my heart sinking and burning in mourning for a man that I’d never met (if you haven’t, read the blog Pandora’s Box). I remember thinking, I can’t...I can’t let my husband suffer like this.
Laid before me was a choice. My husband. His happiness. And, eventually, our marriage. Or. My ‘morals’, for lack of a better term. Everything I’d been taught growing up swam in protesting thoughts, struggling to take hold and throw me back into doubt.
Marriage is sacred. Between TWO people.
It’s cheating. Adultery. You’ll go to hell.
You think your marriage is falling apart now? Wait until he leaves you for the other person.
You’ll never have a normal life again.
Of course, I knew ‘normal’ was subjective. Many of my friends lived unconventional lives that most people would not consider ‘normal’--I knew others that lived a similar lifestyle and as far as I knew, they didn’t have an existential crises on a weekly basis.Approaching the idea of a poly relationship balked at everything that I knew. I had to rewrite the most essential parts of me.
Or, at least, I had to rewrite how I saw those most essential parts of me. Sometimes I think I was just playing a role in a play, uttering lines I’d memorized before birth. My heteronormative world had been fed to me since birth. A steady view of what was acceptable. What I should do. Who I should love. How I should love. How could I be any different if I did not know that difference existed? It’s almost as if the more I befriended others that did not share my worldview, the wider my perception became.I was exposed to the possibility that there were more ways to live my life than a white picket fence, 2.5 children and a dutiful husband. Honestly, the way children are set up in the assumption that they are cis and straight and how the culture supports assumed gender roles is its own blog. I’ll tackle that on another day.
My husband and I just didn’t fit that picture. I’ll venture to say that we never did. We just kept trying to play our parts in a play written at our births. Now, four years into this life, it’s become our new normal. I don’t really see through that heteronormative lens anymore. I have to step away from my body to really understand that the way I live still isn’t considered “mainstream” or “acceptable”. Sometimes I am reminded by how cruel people can be when I realize that I can’t hold both my husband’s and my partner’s hand in public. The closet is a deep, dark place that I would rather not be in, but the truth of the matter is, both my husband and I are afraid for our professional careers if our partners were discovered. Of course they understand, and we are “out” in all the important, personal areas of our lives. But, it can be tedious to have to be careful to not show affection to my boyfriend in public on the off chance that we meet up with someone that I know--lest they think I’m having an affair.
The holidays are especially strange. I would love to share my partners with my family. I think they’re awesome people (obviously--or I wouldn’t be with them) but the fact that I’m bisexual and poly is very very much a secret from my immediate family. My brothers know and love my people, but I shudder to think about the reactions of my traditional parents.
And that’s sad. Because that’s a big part of who I am, a big part of how my life is spent now. To keep that aspect hidden about me is to hide a lot of my life. It’s like a wall between me and my parents--or maybe more accurately a chasm. I know one day it won’t be a secret. I know one day, when my brothers are grown and out of the house and I have the option for my parents to just accept who I am or to not...on that day they’ll know. I dunno. It’s in the works.
A lot of people don’t think about that. Or, if they do, they don’t understand the gravity behind the decision to be in the closet or to be out. I know a lot of people who just roll their eyes and dismiss the issue. I’ve heard the arguments. It’s private. What does it matter if people know?
That’s the point though. It doesn’t matter if people know. It matters that people can’t know. Every action I take, every decision I make, every public action I do, I do with the full knowledge that on the off chance that someone discovers that I live anything other than a heteronormative life, they will take their opinion on something that does not affect them and directly affect me and mine’s life. Imagine having that burden on your shoulders all the time. It’s more than “Oh no! I can’t hold my boyfriend’s hand because someone will find out.” It’s. “Oh no! If someone finds out that I have a girlfriend, we’ll both be harassed or told to leave or not be served.” That’s a bit different in connotation.
And, I’ll be honest. I have it a lot easier than most in the LGBTQ+ community. I have a husband. We, at least, “pass” as a hetero couple. We can function in mainstream life without prejudice. Some of my friends don’t have that luxury. It makes me angry. Society has gotten better, but it’s still so much further than it should be. We take it a small step at a time, traveling different paths. Some of us in closets, some of us out and proud, and some of us hiding in plain sight. Hopefully one day our culture will just let us love the person--or people--that make us happy. We’re all just works in progress.
|#3 to the personal relationship part of this blog. What can I say. Lots to get off my chest.
Sometimes I look at all of this, all the changes in our life, and I wonder at how I was able to make the leaps and bounds in creating that momentum of change. How did this stubborn as fuck girl that stayed so steadfast on a sinking ship finally decide to grab a life jacket, to learn to swim and protect the relationship that is the most important thing in her life?
Cause, let’s be honest, both my husband and I had consigned ourselves to our lives. While not entirely unhappy, we were unfulfilled and full of untapped potential. Toxic in ways we hadn’t realized, we loved each other far too much to let go. I smile—if a bit sadly—thinking back on it. We both have our own special kind of stubbornness and I am happy for it. There were so many arguments, so many unhealthy ways of trying to resolve conflicts…so many things left unsaid that should have been spoken.
Neither of us handled things in the best of manners, but I lashed out in spectacular ways. I don’t say that in any manner of blame or to garner pity. I look back at this girl and I understand and empathize with her. She was so terribly frightened of losing the other half of her soul. And fear can do terrible things to the person. So, when her husband—depressed and confused and scared—reached out for help, she withdrew into her own depression and confusion. Instead, she researched and sought advice in places that she never should have.
During this time, my husband was struggling with his sexuality—trying to quantify it in a way that didn’t make him feel guilty and failing spectacularly. Was he gay? Was he bi? One thing for sure, he was not straight. I had been his first real relationship, and I honestly believe (despite his assurances both presently and in the past otherwise) that he would be healthier had he been able to explore himself and his sexuality before getting saddled with me. For the longest time, he hid these feelings away in his mind, locked in his deep lies that he preferred male physiques.
But, that wasn’t just it. There were desires, harder and harder for him to quash, and they were causing such horrid guilt to weigh on his soul. I remember each time he tried to breach the subject with me, and I remember each time how I would rebuke it or dismiss it or accuse him. There are things I still feel guilty for that girl doing, things I still atone for despite him never feeling like I should.
But, there was a day when the levee broke. I listened. I saw that pain and that hurt. I wish that was the end of the story. I wish I could say that I took him in my arms, that I told him I loved him unconditionally and in every manner that came with taking the oaths that bound us.
I did not.
I took that pain and that hurt. I braided it with my confusion (have you been lying to me all these years??), my insecurities (wasn’t I enough? Are you even attracted to me at all? Are you going to leave me to find a man?), my anger (you took my idea of a white picket fence and normal marriage and you squashed it! How dare you be anything other than heteronormative?), and I lashed out with it. I ignored his anguish and purely focused on what his sexuality meant to me, and to my life.
I’m not proud of it.
I’m not proud of those thoughts in italics. That girl, crumpled on a bed—confused, crying and seemingly alone—is not me anymore.
That was a part of our history. His hurt, his confusion, and self loathing. My anger, pain, and insecurity. A lattice of toxicity that blanketed our home for weeks.
And during this time, I scoured the internet (the one place I should not have looked for for hope. Let’s be honest), looking for anything, anything, that could save us. All I found was confirmation bias. Stories of broken hearted men who ‘had’ to leave their women because of their realization of being gay, broken hearted women that lived a lonely life where they looked back and wondered. I read relationship therapists that denounced it, that shamed the men for what happened. That said that the men often used the women as scapegoats (even if only subconsciously) to live a normal life until the pressure became too much.
As strange as this is going to sound, that thought was the turning point: that horrid, horrid viewpoint. There is no person that knows my husband better than I (I’m going to ignore the more pessimistic in the crowd that would like to believe that I’m deluding myself right now). In the past or now. Even in some deep recess of my mind, I always knew he was pansexual (spoiler alert, that is our very loose label we use right now)—that he even leaned more to men than women. Hell, there are funny, awkward moments that made it so painfully obvious that I ignored it then…but we tease each other about now.
There is no one more caring, more attuned to me…more in love with me than this person. In all of this, his love and devotion was never a question, never a wonder. If it had been, honestly…it would have almost been easier, because then we could have walked away from each other, consciences clear. It made one thing so crystal clear in all the murky unsureness. I was not this man’s scapegoat. He did not stay up comforting me while I wept for his own sexuality and my own perceived losses while his insides tore himself up just so he could use me as some normalcy front. That was beneath him, beneath us. I would not entertain that idea and belittle our relationship.
And, honestly, reading through the viewpoints of those that lived it—none of those men used those women as scapegoats either. There was true love there, a different sort of relationship that was not able to survive the truth of the orientation, and that’s okay. But that doesn’t make what they felt at that given time any less. Shame on those therapists for invalidating and belittling fellow human beings for that.
But, I needed that perspective, that extreme, to understand where I actually stood. Next step was to understand what I wanted to do. I changed what I searched the internet rabbit hole for. Also not promising. Some part of me was still stuck on what life is supposed to look like when it’s successful and happy. Heteronormative. I was fixated on this grandiose idea of idealized ‘old people love’ (for lack of better phrasing). Where my husband and I would be these doddering 90 year olds married for sixty odd years and people would look on in awe and ask us: “How do you do it?” and we would just give that little smile and die in the sunset together, holding hands.
Anything else than this exaggerated glimpse into my old psyche was abhorrent to even contemplate to that girl I once was. I felt cheated of my perfect world—and there seemed no way out. Because my perfect world had my husband in it, no matter what. And every story I read I read online seemed bleaker and bleaker. And more tired. He’d tried to reach out, to tell me that he could bury these emotions down, deep, again. If he’d done it for over half a decade (hell, his entire life), he could do it longer.
Pandora’s box had opened, and I knew better.
I remember the article that I read that finally made me wake up. It was a Cracked article, one of their lifestyle pieces written in a POV of a gay man that had married his best friend. Their situation was entirely different than ours, but his turn of phrasing, his emotions hit such a raw nerve and left me breathless. I saw my husband’s pain in him, and I saw the future of our relationship if we traveled this well worn path. It was nearly certainly fate driven for me to read it—released during a time that I struggled with a deep and bottomless pit of depression and ugly thoughts, the article offered me a rope I hadn’t initially thought I would get.
I know it sounds funny. Not real. Fake. But I swear that it was simply reading that Cracked article. Reading it at work and weeping at my desk, that made me realize what we needed to do. As trite as it sounds, it’s the truth.
I realized I loved my husband more than I loved my idealized view of what my life should be. And, who had decided that vision? I honestly didn’t remember ever personally waking up and going “golly gee, I want 2.5 kids and a completely normal 1950’s sorta style life!”. It was something just…expected…. of me. And of course, I still even now work on separating what I personally wanted and what others wanted for me. Those two worlds became so seamlessly garbled up together that it’ll take a long time working through it. I’m lucky that during this time, this trying and harsh time, was when I was also making my closest friend who really helped wade all of this.
I still remember the night I started the new dialogue. When I told him we couldn’t keep going like this, that things had to change, and that I was willing to try in very very very slow steps introducing the idea of polyamory. (No, it wasn’t that graceful of a conversation. It was messy, flawed and beautifully, painfully human) It’s been a defining point of our relationship, of our lives, and so much had to happen to fully make me realize that neither of us were conventional people and that a conventional relationship isn’t necessarily for us.
In Greek mythology, Pandora’s box was the introduction of chaos and hardship. I won’t lie. Opening our own box, our emotions, has been a painful, painful process. And all these changes even now remain chaotic (though, I do not think of chaos as a negative or a positive, but simply an agent of change). But, like the box of myth, hope rests at the bottom of our chests and we share it with everyone that makes our lives a little bit better.
|#3 to the personal relationship part of this blog. I promise; I'll eventually write something different and more interesting!
Sometimes, looking at the changes in my thought process from BP (Before Poly) and comparing them to how I think now is truly a strange process. I know, ya’ll hear me muse about it a lot (or you will…depending on what order I decide to post these blogs in) but it can’t be emphasized enough. I truly, utterly, unequivocally feel like a different person. Even the way I approach analyzing other relationships from an outsider’s view at times.
And, you know, have you ever had a moment what you had just a single thought, a single epiphany where in that moment you felt yourself… evolve? (Fine, fine. We all thought it. Pokémon style) Where you knew from that moment on that nothing was going to be the same, that no matter what (for better or for worse) things were just different? They are rare, special moments in life, sometimes made even more absurd when juxtaposed to the purely mundane activities we’re involved in when the thought decides to go traipsing in and fucking with our whole world view.
I can’t be the only person to ever experience this. If anything this journey has taught me, is that the only thing special about me is that I thought I was unique. Humans can have wonderfully similar paths to tread, even when hiked in different shoes, and many have very similar coping mechanisms that I thought was unique to me only.
So, take that moment when you had your sunlit epiphany that changed everything in your life and hold onto that moment. What did you smell? What were you doing? Who were you around? All of it, no matter how many years it happened..it’s all wrapped up into that thought until it becomes the armor that protects it.
I was standing, doing dishes. My husband and I had been in our new direction of our relationship for a few months by then. At the time, we had someone we spoke to online. He was a mutual friend who understood what we were struggling with and was willing to talk to both of us, both as a group and individually. He was long distance, so I personally did not feel the pressure and/or (fear?) of a physical contact yet. We were testing waters, with constant communication on how I felt, how my husband felt, with the conversations that we were having with our friend. It helped, in some ways, that we’d known him only surface level prior to this and he initially had not been close to us. It allowed space for our relationship with him to grow in whatever direction it needed to, without any preconceived notions.
I was still struggling with what I wanted, with what I needed. I’m going to be perfectly honest….I was still in the slight resentment stage with my husband, of not understanding why I myself would not be enough to sustain our relationship. I was in utter denial of my own sexual preferences and relationship preferences up to this point—honestly, deep down I may have resented him for being able to discuss his attraction to the same sex while I was still trying so hard to keep my attractions clamped down and rooted—but my husband continually let me set the pace of whatever we decided this relationship would do and would go.
I would read his messages to our friend. Not because I didn’t trust him…but because both he and I agreed that that would be the best way to decide what I was comfortable with. No one could know a mistake was being made unless it was communicated. So, his phone and his computer was always open (and vice-versa) so that if I felt things were moving too quickly, or he (or our friend) said something that made me uncomfortable I could quickly discuss this and why and we could take a different direction. And our friend knew we were doing this, that basically whatever was said amongst all of us was for an audience of three. He was okay with it.
We were new. We wanted to do this right.
Imagine my surprise that I was….okay…..with the messages. Sometimes more than okay. Sometimes, I would feel these little flutters of happiness, something I’d been afraid was long past gone, at reading flirty texts my husband had sent to someone that was not me.
So, was the resentment that still rested beneath my itchy skin at my husband, or was it at me? I was tortured because I did not know. I was caught in this tangled and poisoned web of what I wanted, what I was hiding, what I was terrified people would discover, what was expected of us, and what I was enjoying.
And in all of this, I’ve been struggling and talking and crying to my closest friend. They had been in polyamorous relationships before and have one of the kindest, most open soul I have ever encountered. In them, I found a person that I could speak to and not find judging eyes staring back at me. They heard the ugly, the confused….and for that I will always love them for it.
So, here I am doing the dishes. Thinking about my friend. Thinking about my husband. Thinking about our mutual friend and how I hadn’t messaged him today because…I was just not up to it at that point. I had so many conflicting emotions.
Then, the thought came and struck me at the back of the head. It was so sudden, I literally leaned forward. My breath snatched in my chest, I’d realized what was wrong.
I loved my friend, and while I did not love the friend that my husband and I were messaging together, I was also beginning to care deeply for him.
And I still loved my husband.
My world was not falling apart. I was not eaten up with jealousy and fear of my husband leaving me, and I was not jumping ship to run away from my husband, like society and the media had always told me would happen. If anything, creating these new relationships in my life had forced my husband and I to communicate in ways we never had before, and made us closer than ever. I can never emphasize this enough.
My epiphany is:
Love is not a finite resource.
When you love someone, that does not lessen the love you hold for another, nor does it cheapen the bonds you two hold. I think the reason that we as a society are so caught up on the idea of romantic relationships (or close friendships for that matter— my ‘best’ friend, etc etc) as a coupling is because we utterly underestimate the power of love, and the capacity we as individuals have to love.
How many times do you hear the parents of multiple children say “I only love this son, or I love this son the most?” (In a healthy relationship?). Yes, I realize those are different kinds of love, but English is actually one of the few languages that uses a single word to describe an intensely complex emotion. There are so many ways to work with a polyamorous relationship, or a monogamous relationship, and none of these ways (as long as they are healthy) are wrong. They just need to work.
Often, we look at someone, and how they love a person and automatically become competitive. Love becomes a commodity, something to be won and coveted. A trophy. A war. Someone must win. And someone must lose. And this is perpetuated again and again and again in media. How many love triangles do we see play out? How many nice guys and/or assholes ‘get the girl’. Looking through it with new eyes, with this new light, I see so much untouched potential. We take something infinite, something beautiful and ever expanding, as the concept of love—and we smash it down into something as banal as a simple line. Love this person over here or this person over there.
Honestly? It’s a bit unhealthy to see that as the only option. It can be an option, but for some of us, it just doesn’t work out that way. But, our loves are no less than those that are monogamous, and no less deep.
And that’s what I’ve had the greatest struggle with in the past and even now. The few people who know we are poly automatically assume that my husband and I don’t...love each other as deeply as monogamous couples do. They assume our poly lifestyle is simply an excuse to fuck who we want unapologetically. They cannot understand that I’m actually not lying when I say, “my husband is staying at our boyfriend’s house tonight” and I’m legitimately secure and happy. (And vice versa—believe it or not!). Yes, I care so very deeply for our boyfriend of nearly three years, and yes I love my husband as my other half. And yes. These emotions can exist in one heart without competition and without conflict, no matter how foreign that idea may seem.
So for us, for now, and maybe for always (and if it’s for always….honestly, that’s okay with me), our love is not a finite resource that can only be shared between my husband and I. Yes, our love for each other is different than the love for our friends, and for our significant others that we choose to spend our lives with, but love within itself is infinite and complex enough to be able to handle that.
|#2 to the personal relationship blogs that happen to escape into this blog.
Sometimes it’s hard to think about what to write. See. Another reason I’m entirely just not good at the concept of a blog in general. I could have the most noblest of intentions in the world. Hellfire, it’s even to the point that I’ve had the briefest—if not vaguely funny—thought that perhaps the reason I have a somewhat decent writing head on me is simply to be able to tell my story to the world.
And it’s a struggle right now. Trying to balance maintaining anonymity and giving a bit of background. I swore to myself that this wasn’t going to be a chronological blog. Honestly it doesn’t make sense for it to be chronological. Better to be topical, where I could draw from multiple examples from all time periods: BP (Before Poly), DF(During Freakout), AP (After Poly). It wouldn’t do for you to get to know the girl at the beginning when she no longer exists in the same capacity.
But, I could at least haphazardly drag out the building blocks for your understanding. I owe y’all this much. You deserve some sort of background, something to relate my crazy antics and thought processes to. Otherwise, I feel like it may become impossible at times to really bite down and understand what I’m trying to say, or why something was so difficult (or, you could be on that opposite end of the spectrum where you can relate in such a way that you’re like thank merciful heavens and the gods above somebody has had these sometimes ugly thoughts too!!!).
So, buckle in and prepare to meet this beast of an intro. I only nibble on occasion.
I grew up in some backwoods that a deity set up as a garden and forgot to tend a few eons back. I lived deep in the Appalachian mountains, and those hills shaped me in such microscopic ways that sometimes I feel completely alien from other humans. There are beautiful moments and ugly moments to living in a culture that is so misunderstood and tainted by complicated sociological issues that they are their own blog monster, but for its intents and purposes, they do affect some of the things I’ll talk about. If there is an interest (assuming anyone will read this! HA!) after some of the topics have been discussed, we could totally explore the complexities of my culture, the culture shock of leaving and how that has affected me in not just my relationships but everyday life.
But, like I said, a different beast.
Except to say, I grew up isolated. I am not a unique case, but I am a rarer case. I wasn’t only growing up in the Appalachian mountains but actually in the mountains. I lived on top of a mountain, quite literally at its highest point in a tiny tiny community that had a school so small we had one class per grade (our largest class had twenty five students!). We lived thirty minutes from the small city and forty five minutes from the slightly larger small city—that meant thirty minutes from whatever medical care or ‘fun’ one could think to have. I had no computer until I was sixteen years old, no internet except dial up until I went to college. I grew up the majority of my life without cable, and beneath the very strict eye of a religious mammaw. My mother was strict, but she at least enjoyed fantasy and horror movies, but my mammaw…she was something special. My mammaw thought Harry Potter was gonna turn me to wicked ways of witchcraft (nice try mammaw, but the trees are what did that….long story…another blog). Even outside of the eye of mammaw that seemed to have her special brand of scry magicks, there wasn’t a lot of exposure to anything—how else to say it but… “Other”.
And I’ve always craved that, in one way or another. Sometimes unspoken because I felt unfulfilled though never fully realized to myself. One would think that going to college, it would have me release my rather short hair down, but no. By that time, I had caged everything inside me that whispered to me, “You aren’t happy living like this. This is not your life.” I believed that these thoughts were dangerous, the makings and ravings of something unhealthy. So I bottled and corked it away, buried it for it to take roots years and years later.
Nobody told me I shouldn’t do these things. Mental health isn’t something you just…talk…about in my culture. You got up and you do. You don’t discuss any stigmas that could make you seem weaker. It’s a pride thing. Everybody got sad now and again, and no matter what’s going on in your life—guess what? Someone somewhere has it worse off than you. Never mind my region, my culture, my people have some of the worse suicide/mental health disparities statistics in America…
But that’s another beast, isn’t it?
This begins with a happy beginning. A marriage. My husband and I have been together for over a decade now, married six. (Yes! We lived in sin for almost half a decade! GASP in shock!). And we’ve been happy…but it was that bottled cork buried stuffed thoughts kind of happy. We fed a beast, brought it to life on our own. There were unspoken truths that I always knew about him, and I mean always. Inklings that told me I should ask him those hard questions that would have harder answers, but what would those answers mean? And there were things he knew about me in the same way…that I didn’t know of myself, or had buried so deeply that I hadn’t even thought it yet, except in brief, uncomfortable glimpses.
By the time those beasts had rooted themselves inside us, and demanded to be let out—we were so involved in each other. So madly in love, for better or for worse. And in some painful ways, that was for the best. Maybe that was future me whispering to me to not ask those unspoken truths from him in a time I wasn’t ready and I would have ran. Who knows?
So, in these ramblings I hope you can find context. Context for the struggle to accept new thoughts, the desire to run, and the pure stubbornness to stay. I attempted to say this in my first blog, but I will reiterate it as a warning: I’m not going to be sugarcoating my thoughts, glossing them over for a sensitive audience.
I’m human, and I have faults. A single thought does not encompass all that I am, and in all of this I want to show the good and the ugly, because I know some people will come out of trials similar to my own battle scarred but proud…and a little guilty. It’s okay to have those ugly thoughts, to think them and then reevaluate them. I am not the same person that started this journey, but I love both the girl that I was, the girl I am, and the girl I am becoming.
Strap in. Now that you’ve met this beast, help me feed it.
I am usually a private person. I think that’s why, in the past, blogs have not worked for me. I’m not particularly fond of reading them, and, when writing them, I’m not particularly fond of the introspection needed for anything deeper than: “Look! It’s a recipe with 20 dozen pictures!”. I mean, sure…I would start them up—get generally positive reviews for the snark, sass, and tone that drips off people’s screens. But, it can hurt pretty deeply when I start digging at my skin to share what’s more than surface level deep.
And other people? Hurumph, I says to myself, why would I want to know what’s going on in their life? Just because they want to put it on broadcast doesn’t mean it’s any of my business what they have to say. A bluntly honest look, but there ya go.
Until it was my business. Until I needed help, and I thought I had nowhere to turn to. And ya know…I don’t think it’s not so much that my ”problem” (we’ll get into the quotation marks a bit later, but you’ll understand soon. I’mma bit of a tease) is rare—it’s more that my issue, my life, my relationship…my very existence in some ways is such a taboo subject.
Piqued your interests? Good.
It wasn’t always like that, ya know. I was a straight laced Christian gal that might have had a few ‘strange’ friends, but I didn’t judge them, and they didn’t judge me. We lived—and I lied—in relative harmony. I thought I was happy- and who knows? In some ways I kinda was-- but there were pieces of me missing, and I kept seeking them in the wrong ways, looking for anyone else but me to fill the holes.
I’ve been wanting to document this journey—for several reasons I think I will get into in another blog post. But, it’s almost an almost overwhelming endeavor that I froze at nearly every time I tried. I literally feel like a different person. I was reading through a journal entry that I wrote at the beginning of all of this—this confusion, this hurt, these revelations—and I cried for the girl I was looking at from the mirror’s past. She’s almost a stranger to me, but she’s more familiar to me than who I am at this point. I feel stuck between that lost and fragile and broken girl and the person I am now.
So, I talked to my husband about starting a blog about our journey and how our relationship has changed, grown, evolved…
And not everyone is going to be okay with it.
This blog is part me accepting that, and part me helping those who may find themselves in that past stranger’s shoes. I feel that during this journey and communication and struggle, we are in a good place in our relationship for me to reassess all the emotions and development that I kind of….bottled up?...while trying to repair what I previously thought beyond help. My emotions, my thoughts, have been packed away—not in a way that they have pressurized, but more so in a way where they’ve been preserved until I was in a better headspace to organize my thoughts, my feelings, my sexuality, my husband’s sexuality, our relationship and where it goes from here…
What to even call our relationship now. Is it open? Polyamory? It’s a strange word that tastes odd on my tongue. A life I never imagined. A life that I’ve stumbled and learned through, researching and stretching in my own comfort zones.
Am I figured out? Fuck! That’s a laugh.
I’m…better. I have moments—brief instances of insecurity—almost like tripping when walking on a flat surface. It catches me unaware, makes my breath snatch in my throat. But, I have such an amazing support group that my husband and I have gathered around us during these times, that they constantly remind me that I’m okay, that I’m safe.
This blog is supposed to be cathartic for me. It’ll be candid. Starkly truthful. I’ll go ahead and put the spoiler on the first blog post: despite our struggles, despite whatever irritations I write (what actually truthful relationship doesn’t have issues?), despite the emotional stress and revelations I have struggled through…I would never—not for a moment, not even for a glance….I would never ever go back. I am happier even in my most depressed moments than that broken stranger that I look back at.
I also realized throughout the time that I attempted to reach out, to seek help in the beginning of all of this, that my family unit is not a rare situation, but the examples of a healthy relationship and conflict resolutions on the internet are very few and far between. Take a journey with me-- Imagine…how heartrending it is to be vulnerable and raw after having a painful conversation with your husband (that….let’s be real…you’ve known was coming for a long long time). You get online, looking for some light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel. All you find are the overwhelming examples you find (both from the ‘professionals’ and ‘real life’) are of “women being abandoned by men realizing they were gay, or men choosing to be with women despite being gay (regardless of their own emotional wellbeing).
Nobody wins that way! I saw only pain and heartache and the potential loss of my life partner who still loved me then, and loves me today. There were only rare, rare occasions of happy ending mixed- or changing orientation marriages, and even fewer that involved the partners being a healthy part of each other’s changing/growing orientation.
There is your disclaimer, your spoiler, of what most of the pieces I'll be writing will be about. There is a desperate need for a true look at a polyamorous relationship from the beginning. Something that isn’t sugar-coated. Something that doesn’t just…show the ugly side of it either. There is a need for something real. Something that is flawed but continues to work—cause that is what relationships are. Work for the person(s) you love. There is a desperate need to normalize other types of relationships than the traditional white picket fence, one husband, one wife, and two kids scenario.
There is a world out there, and that world does not fit that picture…and neither do I…and neither does my husband…and neither does our boyfriend.
You’ve been warned. This is told through my eyes. But, I’m not going to lie. I can be very vulgar, and I write in my Appalachian vernacular quite often. I will offer no apologies for purposeful mangling of English grammar.
I am a flawed human being.
I am unjustifiably arrogant, socially awkward, painfully naïve, horribly jaded, uncomfortably insecure, completely dependent, powerfully independent…unconditionally loving, unfairly suspicious, idiotically kind, absurdly selfish…at least somewhat humorous, and perhaps cruelly sarcastic. I offer no apologies for the kind, uplifting and/or insulting words that will inevitably fall onto this page. Writing is my therapy, my obsession.
I’m just hoping that others will benefit from it, where I had nowhere to turn to.
I’m not sure how organized I will be. I doubt there will be any chronological means of thought to this. I figure I’ll more look at our relationship, my life and my husband’s life through the lens of a topical eye. I’ll hit on sexuality, the struggle of accommodation, communication…religion (ohhh boy)… If I haven’t touched on a topic you’re particularly interested in hearing about—be patient with me. It’s likely up there in my noggin. Or, reach out! I am by no means a shy person.
My goal is for this to be a weekly endeavor, and sometimes, it might not even be a blog post, but more a poem. Who knows? It’s all about my cathartic therapy, and y’all are along for the chaotic ride in my mind. I also don’t mind a bit (if this takes off) to share others’ experiences, at my discretion, of course.
Despite my initial discomfort, I know from past experiences that having my skin scratched away to reveal what’s beneath will in the end help me. And if I can help just one person that was in the position that I was in know they are not alone…. then it will be worth this initial discomfort of becoming a public, poly, married mixed-orientation couple.
So, grab a seat. Heat some popcorn and prepare for grimaces, giggles and …did she really just say that???
Cause yes, yes I did just say that.
|This blog has seen better days. Old and weathered and written by a different person than who is here now. This entry is just a quicky. The tone of this blog is going to be different than it used to be. I’m excited to get it up and running again, especially after someone anonymously gifted me two months of an upgraded membership. I want to make sure that I use it to the fullest!
Now, most of these entries will also be personal pieces in another folder on my portfolio, for numerous reasons. For rating reasons, organization, etc. Sometimes I may write a quick piece, like this, that won’t also be a personal piece. I’m hoping the versatility of it all will encourage me to write more.
I’m excited to keep adding, and to keep writing.