feeling down about the closet
So, I recently attempted to start a poly facebook group. We now have 16 members. We've made the group "secret" meaning that nothing that gets posted by members will show up publicly (it's only able to be seen by other members), but several people messaged me about privacy concerns.
It was then that I realized that even when a mutual friend of mine first brought up the idea of creating the site, I'd felt fear and anxiety. The first time I posted in it and saw something I'd written about polyamory scroll down the news feed, I felt a flutter of panic. I'm out to my family and most of my friends, but there are some friends and certainly all of my coworkers who still don't know that I'm poly.
I don't want them judging me and assuming all sorts of negative things about me and my partners and my partner's partners. Not only that, but my partners (etc) have their own reasons for not coming out to friends/family or co-workers and I have to be careful to respect their wishes as well.
This week, for some reason, maybe just seeing the nervous reactions of the people joining my group, maybe because of this three year build up of silence about who I love and why, I've started getting down about being in the closet. There is such a big dichotomy between the joy I feel about my partners and my metamores and the harsh or petty judgments people have about the way we live.
That's it. I'm just venting. Is anyone else feeling sick of the mothballs? Any advice on how to deal with the closet blues?
Where I'm utterly inexperienced in poly relationships, the closet is familiar enough. It sucks some serious cajones when you feel a certain way and just want to have that accepted but can't. I chose that if I was coming out, I was doing it right and accepting myself first.
Mothballs aren't my favorite, but I'm used to them lol
Browncoats unite! ;)
It helps to have someone close to, like a friend, whom you can talk openly with.
I'm somewhat used to the sort of "half in, half out" because the people that really matter to me know and are alright with it. Most of my coworkers and friends know but very few of my family knows.
For me, the worst is having to bite my tongue when people talk about relationships. Today at work (I work with adults with special needs) we had someone getting lectured by one of our other counselors regarding relationships and she said "If he's not willing to date you and only you, he doesn't care about you as much as he should." Which, in the instance of who she was talking about, was actually true but in hearing things like I want so badly to contest it but I cant.
I'm also ready to punch the next person in the throat who says "Oh I couldn't do that, I'm too jealous!" I'm so profoundly tired of that response and EVERYBODY says it. I realize its not particularly vapid or insulting, its just that its invariably the first thing out of someone's mouth when they find out.
Me: "oh, you couldn't? That's too bad. Sucks to be you. I *love* having two boyfriends."
(purely theoretical, no one has dissed me yet. The people I care about all know. I'm only out to one person at work, though my mentor suspects. He is the kindest man I have ever had the privilege to work with, and I'm certain I would not lose his professional respect.)
Or, how about:
"Too bad for you; lucky for me, more boyfriends available!"
[BTW, Helo, hello! Love your avatar. Stitch is one of my most favoritest.]
Thank you :) I dont know why I find Stitch as endearing as I do, considering my profound dislike for virtually everything else Disney.
Discussing polyamory with mono people, in my experience, follows one of several conversation trees. Its like a bad RPG.
It starts the same:
Me: I'm polyamorous. (Usually after being asked for clarification on labels of lady friends)
Them: What's that?
Me: Its a romantic relationship involving more than two people where everyone is aware and accepting of all the participants
At this point, a question follows:
1. So do you all, like, have sex?
2. Where do you all sleep?
3. Isn't that cheating?
4. Dont you get jealous?
Which I usually respond:
1A. Some relationships choose to do that, others dont.
2A. Each relationship is different, you make the ground rules about things like that with each other
3A. Cheating is having multiple romantic partners while claiming to be monogamous and lying about your other partners.
4A. Sure, but you deal with problems like that openly and honestly and most people can adjust.
Which is followed by:
1. (Female Response) Ugh, I dont know if I'd want to have sex with more than one guy at a time.
1. (Male Response) Sweet! Two chicks at once!
2. I'm too jealous to share.
3. I can barely handle one relationship, let alone multiple!
4. I'm too jealous to share.
I swear, its like a programming language.
Helo, I howled when I read that. Yes, it's like a script. Word for word.
Fayerweather: Yes, the closed is confining. My fiancee's family is conservative fundamentalist and they're all in the dark, at least until after the wedding, and even then we're going to let them figure it out if they want to. All they know about C's gf is that she's a friend she's had since high school. Only her aunt knows and she's very accepting and discrete.
My side of the family is like, "So...?". I'm lucky in that regard. We have to walk on eggshells around her family. So I understand the feeling.
'She's my girlfriend.'
"Then who's the blond?"
'She's my girlfriend too'
then be quiet. It's when you offer your own label, 'I'm polyamorous,' that they think they get to run that script.
Or make up a story~! I was just mentioning my dumb genetic condition on another thread. Because my joints are loose, I fall down or bump into stuff more than most. I also bruise fairly easily. I have learned to say stuff like, 'it was a bar fight.' or 'you should have seen the other girl' Nobunny wants to hear that I walked into a door. Although, my favorite is when I bruised my fingertips by blowing my nose. You can't make this shit up. But it's too ridiculous for people to believe.
When I was living in the lesbian community, I got a similar script from straight men.
'Oh you're gay? You like girls, hunh?'
'Can I watch?'
Oh, I know. Just tell them they're sister-wives, and their husband had to go outta town, and you're helping out.
sorry. It's not tequila tonight, I'm just a little ded ~ I've been moving for two days.
Fayerweather, this is my version of painting the closet; if I have to be in it, it might as well be fun.
I have never been good at closets. I'm too much like a jack in the box.
I have to admit that for all the people who have exited my life over my sexual preference (came out at 18 when I got my first girlfriend) or my telationship dynamic ( came out Sept 25, 2009 just after realizing what poly was and that it fit me) -
None are missed and I am thrillingly glad to have 'cleaned out the closet' of judgmental asses.
Boyfriend and husband are out at work and friends and family as well.
When I returned to college I was nervous about how it could effect grades. But-stuck to my guns and dropped the bomb in intros. Its been an amazingly liberating feeling to be flat out honest.
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