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-   -   Times of Hardship and change - Positivity (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2479)

Ariakas 04-09-2010 05:04 PM

Times of Hardship and change - Positivity
 
While I am not feeling overly negative, I am also spending time reflecting on the most recent life changing point in my life - discovering polyamory. I have survived, emotionally I am stable, but at this point I am not confident I will find *it* again in the future. So a way for me to work through that is to remember some of my previous life lessons, that I not only survived, but walked away stronger.

I was wondering if others would want to share. Discovering poly is just another speed bump in the road...we obviously don't need to detail every change, but I have a few that really stand out

I met my first "wife" when I was 17. I was an odd kid who played football, grew up fighting in the streets, committing various crimes and generally a pain in the ass to society. I was also a socially inept d&d playing, bbs creating kid who believed he was smarter than everyone around him. This women (she was 25) captured something in me. I moved in with her, dropped out of school and got off the streets (I didn't live on the streets, I was a gang banger who lived with his parents). Catch 22...no longer fighting or breaking the law...but now a drop out.

Move forward 6 maybe 7 years and I find out she cheated on me. With both a person AND drugs. I was never jealous, letting her have her own party life (I was never interested) but then I found out she cheated...I was hurt and betrayed. I was actually more devastated that she was using drugs. I walked out of that relationship bitter and cynical towards how I perceive loyalty. Ironically, I believe now, if she had simply asked if she could have sex with someone else, I would have said yes. Walking out of this relationship I vowed a few, childish things...

1 - never commit or fall in love again
2 - never go out with a straight girl (obviously there is more to this, but I don't want to detail my entire life)
3 – Live life to the fullest…this in turn created one of my life rules “try everything once”…which has led to some fun times, and some very uncomfortable times.

I rebounded with a girl who identified as gay but really liked me. We spent 6 months high and essentially discovering our sexuality. I did a lot of experimenting and enjoying life in the moment. We fell in love, had some great times. Unfortunately we were not practicing safe sex, she got pregnant and proceeded to have an abortion without my knowledge. We split, I was in a lot of pain, but I came out of this more clear and knowing what I wanted out of life and a relationships. In turn introduced her to a female friend of mine, they are still together today. You would be shocked at how often I used to get the “she left you for a girl”… I am still surprised at how childish people are with sexuality.

Those are the ones that pop into my head. Times in my life when I thought the world was caving in around me…but survived and walked away stronger. Discovering you or your partner are poly or even non-monogamous can be a momentous discovery but is one that can come with lots of bumps in the track as it were. It wouldn’t be life without some bumps and bruises :)

EugenePoet 04-11-2010 07:48 PM

Good thread. Thoughtful topic.

#1 lifechanger for me: I met my teenaged son in a Thai restaurant for lunch. He'd been living on the street and said he was hungry. When he opened his backpack I saw a sharps container full of needles and knew that he'd moved from smoking meth to injecting. And I knew he would keep on stealing from me and lying to me as long as I let love tell me to give him the chance.

Love, it turns out, does not mean giving someone else inordinate power over your life.

Now when I read personal ads that say "want that special someone to make my life complete" I think, No thanks. I am the one who controls my life, the only one. If you want to be the center of someone's existence you'd best just move along, move along, nothing for you here.

I can see an argument for that being limiting. I can also see an argument for it being adult. I can love; I just require artistic control of my part of the play, and I do not want to control anyone else's part. I truly believe I connect fast and open up honestly when I meet the right person. Feedback I've gotten validates that. I'm not in hiding, I'm not closed down. I own me.

Living with an addicted son is pretty dark. I wrote a bunch of details and then deleted them. But, being a hiker, here's the metaphor I use most:

I lived for a long time in a dark valley by a swamp. Then I walked out. I struggled over windfall logs and through brushy patches. The forest opened up, the underbrush thinned out. The trees grew farther apart and the light started coming in. I reached a few meadows, some promising open places. Then in July 2009 I came out above timberline. Now I can see everything opening out before me. I don't need any trail: I can walk anywhere my desire and my abilities take me.

It ain't heaven. The hills are still steep, the going can be tough, it's still gritty and sweaty and requires as much work as ever. But I can see and I am free. And I don't have to go down from the high country ever again.

*laughs* I'll see just how that little fable plays out when my son gets out of prison in mid-June, huh? He'll want to step right into the role he had before he fell. Gonna be stressful. But I can handle it -- I've gotten real good at self-control and emotional triage.

Ariakas, I envy you your experience with relationships. Same for a lot of the rest of you -- you've done so much. I'm really naive and behind the curve in that respect. So I treasure the chance to learn from you, even if it's just words on a forum. Thank you all!

Krazykitty 04-11-2010 09:04 PM

Quote:

I lived for a long time in a dark valley by a swamp.
Unbelievable, that's where I'm currently living! Hope I get there someday too. =^..^=

SourGirl 04-11-2010 10:10 PM

Truer words,....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EugenePoet (Post 26228)
Love, it turns out, does not mean giving someone else inordinate power over your life.


I can love; I just require artistic control of my part of the play, and I do not want to control anyone else's part. I truly believe I connect fast and open up honestly when I meet the right person. Feedback I've gotten validates that. I'm not in hiding, I'm not closed down. I own me.



Wow. Great use of words. That sums up my thoughts on the subject of 'owning one`s self ' entirely !

vandalin 04-11-2010 10:25 PM

Quote:

*laughs* I'll see just how that little fable plays out when my son gets out of prison in mid-June, huh? He'll want to step right into the role he had before he fell. Gonna be stressful. But I can handle it -- I've gotten real good at self-control and emotional triage.
I really hope he can clean up and stay clean. I have a similar although a little more distant story. A very dear friend who I've known for 15+ years is a recovered Heroin, Cocaine and Pot addict. She is like a little sister to me and when I could not help her, heal her, in essence control her to quit I learned some valuable lessons.

1. People won't change until they are ready. It sucks, but it's true. She has spent time in jail, time in rehab, had some major losses in her life and almost died after her ex beat her up. Through all this she was a heavy user. Then, about 2 years ago, practically out of the blue, she decided she had had enough. She quit the hard drugs cold turkey, on her own. She quit smoking pot about a year or so later. She has been clean ever since.

2. Being there for someone can be enough. Through all of this turmoil, there were only two people who were there for her, willing to listen and not judge her, encouraging her that she could do better if she wanted and when she was ready. That was my mom and I. To this day, she still believes that if we had not been there for her in her darkest hours she would have killed herself a long time ago.

Not sure what else I want to say to close this post, so I'll just say good luck and Love your son, and not the mistakes he makes. Let him know that when he is ready, you are there to support him, emotionaly at the least. :)

Ariakas 04-12-2010 04:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EugenePoet (Post 26228)

Ariakas, I envy you your experience with relationships. Same for a lot of the rest of you -- you've done so much. I'm really naive and behind the curve in that respect. So I treasure the chance to learn from you, even if it's just words on a forum. Thank you all!

Thanks...I really don't find I am that experienced. I find myself thinking about your statement and thinking what I always think when people tell me how great my relationship life has been...I feel confused...I think with each new relationship comes a new dynamic, I am naive everytime I meet a new relationship (friend or lover). haha... my poly life at this point is a fail, my past...well is my past.

As to your story, kudos to you for making the changing moment to work with a hard situation. Drugs are a tough thing to break. I wish you continued strength and hope your son comes out clean :)


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