History in progress
I created an intro thread here if anyone wanted to see how that went. I wanted to a blog journal document thing about how I came to poly and how the heck I going to continue being a poly relationship.
The thing I know is that I would not be able to handle any relationship without the supreme example of love and commitment my parents were able to demonstrate (and still continue to demonstrate) during my life. My parents love each other to the exclusion of all others, including their children. Financial hard times, a child born severely autistic, sickness, obesity, stress stress stress...through it all I have seen my parents love each other never ever in doubt that they were meant to be together. I have more than enough reasons not to be happy about my childhood, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. By the example my parents lead I learned how to love.
I try to do better though. I want to love my lovers, not to the exclusion of the world, but to better it. That I can spoil my lovers with time or presents and still have room for friends or to help planet Earth even in a little way. I want to be a better person for myself, because that helps my lovers. In a way my parent's love was very selfish. They fulfilled each other in a way I have rarely been privileged to see, but I am living that track of fullfillment myself. With them as my model for how a relationship can work I have only ever emulated that in my romantic pursuits. Yet I don't want the selfish component to be part of my life.
So, some history. Though I had a fantastic model for heteromonogamy, I never actually accounted that my love life would take that path. Both of my parents had been married before I and my younger sibling came into the world. I have an older sister from my mother's first marriage. My parents never said much, and I never asked much, about their first marriages. I knew they both left their own respective marriages because they did not/could not love their spouse anymore. My home community was small (>500 population ), all white from what I knew, and probably 99.9% Christian.
I could see my parents, every day, a perfect example of what the white Christian God expects a married couple to be...except they were both divorced. My parents only took me to Church until I was 7. But I didn't need to be at Church to know the message of what is or isn't acceptable Christian behavior...the air was thick with it. And I know many people looked at me as just a bastard from a second marriage. There has never been a point in my life where I believed the stereotypes of life. I had my doubts about them and about the example my parents gave. Maybe they got lucky? Maybe I could never find someone to truly love?
My child's mind left no possibility as unpluasible. The extremely white Christian overtones had an effect on me, sure, but never completely. Not even close. I wondered what if my true love lived in the Phillipines? What if my true love lived and died 1,000 years ago? What if I married a guy and a girl? I actually remember asking some Girl Scout mother of a girl in my school if I could grow up and marry a guy and a girl when I was about 8 y.o. She snapped at me, she blew up, I was not prepared for the bout of homophobia she spewed. Then she told me I need to go to school, meet a nice boy, then he will propose, then I marry him and take his last name, and join his family, and bear his children. I am still scared of marriage thanks to that experience!
to be continued...
Selfish love...how can I explain?
I want to try and accurately relate how my parent's love and marriage was selfish.Explaining how is the trouble. I see their relationship as so good, yet to the detriment of every other relationship outside of their marriage. I only know what I know.
I know their marriage is selfish because every day my father came home from work he would first greet and kiss my mother. Even if if I tried to wait right inside the door for him, just as a little kid, their daily reunion was like clockwork. He would always walk up to my mother, big smile on his face, say "Hi honey", plant a kiss on her, and give a small hug because he was still holding his breifcase. Then he would greet/acknowledge his 2 kids and go upstairs to change from work.
My father always came home for dinner. Dinner would be served, I made my own plate and then went to my room to eat alone. My little brother ate alone in the room next to the kitchen. Dinner was for my parents. They had to discuss their days, and make any plans for tomorrow. They would hold hands and kiss at the end of dinner. Some of my earliest memories are when my little brother was still in a high-chair and he had to be fed. I was now able to feed myself, so I was taken out of the kitchen and had to eat alone. It was clear to me dinner was for my parents. I would try to watch them be together, they were at their happiest together, but I would be shooed away...my watching being a distraction to their together time.
I know that on the weekends, no kids in school, my dad was off of work, mom and dad have breakfast together. Kids have to find their own breakfast because the mornings on the weekend are for mom and dad. Every meal for mom and dad...only on special holidays did we ever eat together. It is these things that every day the kids have to occupy themselves because mom and dad need their time together. Only twice while I lived with my parents did we ever have extended family over (except my older sister, but that's nuclear family). While I lived with my parents never did I see them have friends over, my parents had no friends. No play dates with other parents and kids. No one was allowed over. Except for my birthday I never had a friend over (not that I had friends).
Everything has about them, their marriage, each other. I admire their commitment to keep their marriage a priority, to keep their love so alive and happy. But I don't know why they did it as cost of every other connection they had in life. I even asked once, my mother wasn't offended, she admitted what I said was true, but she didn't have an answer.
A lot to do.
I have a lot of work ahead of myself. I've been gathering up all my notebooks I have ever written in. Since I was 12 years old (when I first had my first crush on my current lover BB) I have written down all my thoughts. It wasn't necessarily journaling, I just felt better getting all the thoughts out of my head since I had no one to talk too. So far there are 3 paper ream boxes full of notebooks. A lot of them are schoolbooks, but I need to go through them because sporatically in the pages will be my personal thoughts and perceptions.
Something I always worried about, when I was younger, that I would forget my perceptions and experiences as I felt them. That how I felt would be completely replaced with hindsight and other retrospective processing. I have tried very hard to keep both my thoughts and feelings from when they were new, and also let my present self feel how I feel about past events...I think I need a better way to describe that.
The plan is to scan all my hand written works, and put them in a chronological order. Thankfully I almost always wrote the date on pieces of paper so chronological order will be the easy part.
Just before the internet was a daily life thing, I used to write letters back and forth with my cousin BB. At some point when I was 14 or 15 they had proof of some suspicions they had between BB and I, and they unreasonably and beyond any measure needed freaked out at me. Later, I can write that down in here. But they took all the letters BB had written to me. He still has all the letters I wrote to him, but I really wish I had his letters.
This week sometime I am going to ask my Mother if she still has the letters my cousin wrote to me. I highly doubt they survived, but I have to try. This will also be another hint of sorts that I am romantic with BB. I thought of doing a combo for being out to my family of possible hints. Like a plot for a bad movie or something. Its the best idea I have right now, but she might just see it as me asking for papers of mine.
/End of *I* statements today.
Part 1-My first love BB
My way of coming into Polyamory wasn't very smooth, and I hurt the people I care about the most. I never cheated, but if I had feelings probably would have been hurt just as bad.
Super way too long story incoming! I feel like I have to write out this whole thing, because a huge chunk of my life (about ages 3-14) I had set my mind on what I wanted, and then it was shattered. Even though I was young, I had a very strong mindset as to what I wanted for a relationship, only to have to reevaluate and change all my ideas suddenly and out of my control. Which ultimately would lead me to loving plural...
My whole life I have adored and loved BB. He was an older kid than me, so I didn't quite grow up with him, as in the same development level, but we grew up in some proximity to each other. I remember when my family moved into a new home right before I turned 4 years old. His family, and other aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents, came over for a visit. He would come up to me and pick me up way over his head and always make me laugh and be happy. Even though he didn't mean too, he got stuck in my mind. I couldn't even begin to guess how many daydreams, dreams, and wishes I had that went along like: When I grow up I want to be with a guy just like BB, or When I grow up and get big like BB maybe he could like me too.
From between the ages of 3 to 12 my thinking ended up being that I should see if BB could like me too. Starting puberty between 10-11 really upped my level of feelings and a definite physical desire. Even though I was very young I had the idea that I never wanted to date. I wanted to find someone to be with, marry, and live our lives together. There was no religious push on me to think is (though I was probably influenced by the general Lutheran Christian culture around me in America) I really was very lonely. If I loved someone and they loved me back then two people would never have to feel lonely...that was my idea for a relationship. But I had no idea if BB could think of me as more than his cousin. So, I had to figure that out first.
When I was 12 years old the side of the family I share with BB was having the biggest family get together in over a decade. I was going to spend almost a full two weeks sharing a house with my beloved cousin. This would be the single longest stretch of time we had ever spent together. I decided that I was going to make my move, and see if BB could possibly feel for me what I felt for him. If you are taking the time to read this, you must have noticed I am vague on how many years BB has on me. I am going to be the one to initiate a romantic advancement with BB, not him, I expressed myself him, pushed him, challenged his ethics, and got to admit to something he felt that he NEVER would have expressed otherwise. And I am damn proud I did! I will say he was a man over the age of 27 and that is as specific as I want to get here.
Anyway, at the end of the first day of the visit most of the people in the house went to bed early. I could not have imagined a better set up. Every one is in bed expect me and BB. We are still up watching Batman on TV. It had been something like three years since I had last seen BB, a bit of a time stretch, but I decided to try acting like nothing had changed at all and snuggled up right next to him on the couch. He moved away to a solo arm chair. It went on like this for a little bit, I silently kept moving to where he was and tried to cuddle into whatever he seat he had taken, and he gently pushed me away and took a seat solo. It is hard to describe but I could feel a different energy from him that I hadn't ever felt before. Maybe it was that he moved away, but never left. He could have easily told me to back off and go lock himself in the bedroom set up for him. He never looked at me, but didn't not look at me. Was it instinct that I noticed this? My excitement was boiling over, it seemed like the crazy feelings and dreams I had, had for years were based on something tangible, not just a puppy love crush from a little girl.
One thing after another I kept putting myself into BB's space, effectively forcing him to have some kind of reaction. At some point I noticed that he had been the one using the remote control for the TV. For the first time that night we started to talk. I taunted him that he should give me the remote for a while. He taunted me back that only guys can use the remote control. The silly taunting continued, at some point he waved the remote around daring me to get it away from him. Once again fate was on my side because I fell reaching for the remote he waved around. I tripped up on the circular floor carpet and started to fall in a bad way. BB was quick enough to grab around my shoulders and halfway fall with me, preventing me from hitting my head on the hardwood floor. But that was the turning point, I had no doubts now. Because he caught me, we ended up paused while he held me up to his chest and made sure I was alright. It only took a moment of being close, full eye contact, all the ducking and avoiding he had been doing all night was removed and I could see and feel that he looked at me in a way he really felt he shouldn't.
Now at the time, I didn't fully understand what consequences someone in the age of majority might have faced if they even admitted to romantically liking someone who was a minor. I knew it was considered wrong, but in the context of my life I wasn't going to let that get in the way. And I was only at the point of trying to find out if a mutual attraction was possible anyway, one problem at a time.
He let me go and moved away back to a solo arm chair, put his head in his hands, the look on his face was obvious distress. I sat next to him on the floor and did my best to reassure him that I was ok from the fall and that I was ok with him. The last part caught his attention, since he was trying all night to not have those thoughts show to me. He encouraged me to go away because something must be wrong with him, but I kept reassuring him that I liked him and that he is ok just the way he is. With a lot of patience I stayed by him and was quiet for a while, while he calmed down. I must have been convincing, because he did calm down and eventually we both sat on the couch cuddled up next to each other, holding hands, and watched some TV together just being still.
From then on whenever I saw a chance to be alone with BB I would cuddle up next to him, hold hands, and we had the best talks together. That was a very nice two week vacation indeed.
The next year I had a chance to see BB again. Less than a week this time, and we were not sharing a roof this time. To be clear he never initiated anything. I believe the first chance we were "alone" was during a trip to the store, or something. And we were left in the car while my parents went in to shop. When we were alone I asked BB if we could hold hands again, BB asked if I really wanted that, I just grabbed his hands as my answer.
And then the next summer, I was 14, another extended family get-together. This was going to be the biggest gathering of people yet in my lifetime. For a week and a half. Something different was that every one was staying in a hotel. I could get specific (but to the point already!), I know what some things I said and how I acted gave strong hints to my family (my sister in particular) that I had strong feelings for BB. I would end up paying for being myself and letting my feelings slip out (more on that later). Like the previous year the first chance I had to be alone with BB he sort of ignored me, acting aloof. This year I caught him in an open janitorial room for the hotel, I went inside, he pretended not to notice me. I gave him a little kiss on the cheek while he ignored me which surprised him a lot, he left the room with me in it and went to where all the main party action was, but he was smiling.
It was either the third or fourth night I found myself nicely alone with BB in the hotel lobby. I was actually surprised because I didn't think he would let me get close to him in this potentially very public space. But I was happy to sit with him and hold hands. We weren't talking really, just being next to each other for some time. At one point he turned to me and said he had something serious he had to ask me. I turned and made eye contact, then he asked, "How do you feel about me?" I will never ever forget my answer, "I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, like you." Immediately I regretted it, I had already said I like you many times before. I was so worried that I had ruined it, he was giving me an opening for the first time ever to advance anything and I didn't take it! Well, he just smiled, paused briefly, and then replied, "I just wanted to let you know that I love you." Then it all too easy to finally say "I love you too". Who started I don't know, but we kissed on the lips for the first time. Sweet, soft, and one of the best moments of my life.
(wow I reach the post limit....)
Part 2-My first love BB
After that he talked to me many times that I don't have any obligation to him, and he encouraged me to try and like boys my own age. If I didn't love him anymore it would be ok. I adamantly dismissed his concerns, but I put them here so you could read. Because I know that some people would always be of the opinion he never should have let me be that close to him. Believe me I would be very concerned hearing this story because of age difference. All I can do is vouch that for me this was the best thing that could have happened. If rules weren't as they were I could have benefited more if I was allowed to pursue a legitimate relationship with BB. I was a very lonely and quite socially undeveloped girl. The person I reached out too had more integrity than I knew possible. The talks we had always helped me with school and encouraged me to try and make friends, and with his help/support for the first time in my life I did make friends.
We were writing back and forth to each other as pen pals. All the other years we had known each other we never kept in contact between visits. And sometimes I would arrive early to school and use the pay phone to call and talk to BB.
This added a new level of hiding my affections for him from my parents. My parents, but more my mother, had always had a vendetta of sorts with his parents. My parents extended that vendetta onto all the children but one (unfortunately BB was not the spared one). The vendetta was over a religious point of view that have been let go a long time ago, but my parents held a grudge in this instance. Since BB shared the religion, like all but one of his siblings, the vendetta was put onto him as well. So Stupid.
In a way too long post here I detailed these events. But to be short, one day I left out a letter BB had written to me. My mother found it and when I returned home from school both my mother and father freaked out in a terrifying and out of character way. In the end my parents had destroyed almost everything I had of BB, and prevented me from being able to contact him again.
I was distraught and destroyed inside. My parents had taken away the one person who I truly connected with, and blamed me for being a slut and a whore for loving him. They did not cut off ties to protect me, they did try to lie to me. Saying that he was too old and I was in danger. No, their actions were not of a protective parent. They tried to hurt me as much as possible...or maybe they were trying to coerce me into hating him. If I turned on my true feelings and went along with their allegations that he abused me that would be the ultimate revenge in their vendetta against his family. My parents really tried their best to hurt BB in his life, but I didn't cooperate one bit. And their evidence of letters with nothing but a harmless 'love you' at the end did nothing to hurt BB in the end.
My parents put me in the position to choose myself, my truth, or their acceptance. I choose myself. It wasn't that, oh I loved him so much I could weather anything, no. I choose to remember myself and what I wanted. So, even though I couldn't contact BB or even knew where he lived anymore I never stopped loving him. My feelings of love never abated. Even though in a few short years I tried dating boys in High School, I even thought I could love again, but that original love never left. I see that as the beginning of polyamory. Because I was actively loving more than one. Thinking of the relationship that was, could've been, and might possibly still be (once I turned 18) and the boys I was dating. How would it all mix together? I thought a lot about that.
I feel very fortunate that I have never had to date anyone in "the real world". The last time I dated anyone new, was shortly after graduating High School. My best friend from school! How I came to date someone whom I had always had a crush on, but never thought would date me, involves some atypical trauma and abuse from the people I knew during the time.
I only seriously dated two boys in High School. They had the same name, but for anonymity I'll call them John1 and John2.
John1 was a charmer with green eyes and dark curly hair. He was a bit of a loner, and he randomly meet me in the hallway after school and just asked me out on a date. I was in 10th grade, he was in 11th, and really I only said yes because he asked me. We went out for four months. He seemed to actually like who I was and included me in with all his friends (the most social interaction I had ever had). I even ended up having sex with him, to all the public knowledge this was me losing my virginity, and I was more happy at not having to pretend to be a virgin anymore than having sex with him. Honestly I figured even if we did ever break up I wouldn't regret having sex with him. He decided to dump me a few weeks after we had sex, right on Valentine's Day which was a bit hurtful. Then he asked out the only real girl friend I had which was double hurtful, because I lost a great friend and a guy I actually thought I could really like.
So that left me completely isolated. I was back to no having no friends because of that. I only started making friends since I was about twelve, to suddenly go back to having no friends was much more difficult than I would have thought. I got used to having people to talk too. That is when I met John2. He was also in 11th grade, and we also meet randomly in the hallway. My first reaction of him was that he wasn't trustworthy, but I had no one else to talk too. So when he asked me out on a date, even though my gut said no, I said yes. We had a nice first date so I decided to give him a chance to be my boyfriend. In the first week we were together I had sex with him, it was stupid and totally on me. I was horny and from being so lonely at school I just wanted to feel someone. We dated until after I graduated High School, at least two years. I dumped him after long considering it because he had some very violent tendencies. At the time I felt bad for him, he had some disadvantages growing up and I thought if he could've just dealt with his anger issues we might've been able to be friends or something. But he started being violent towards me and I left.
But John2's violence with me wasn't done and it reached a level I did not anticipate. I broke up with him because I was scared he might really hurt me. He never got physical with me, but had started to get very verbally abusive. At this time I had also restarted a friendship with John1, because I thought we could be friends. Only a few weeks after I had broken up with John2 he asked if I would come over to his family's house for dinner. I had gotten to know his family over the two years we were together and I got the impression they were the ones who wanted to see me (plausible at the time).
But I was tricked. When I got to John2's house it was just him there. He tried to invite me inside, but since I could see no one else was there I said no and said I was leaving. John2 got upset and told me to stay but I turned my back to leave, I was outside on the entryway steps. When I turned around he attacked me, dragged me inside the house, where we then struggled inside the house. I didn't stand a chance, he was a big man who had training as a security guard. Somehow He ended up slamming my body against the stairs inside and I blacked out from my head hitting a stair. I was only somewhat aware, and unable to do anything, while he dragged me up to his room where he raped me. I had the most vivid hallucination. It had been four years since I had seen or contacted BB, but right then and there I hallucinated that he walked into the room, picked me up, and took part of me out of there while John2 was raping me. BB told me that I would be ok, that I was strong and beautiful and I would be ok. For a while it just seemed like I was in BB's arms safe and warm. Then BB told me to wake up.
I did wake up. Saw John2 and heard his apologies and asking me to forgive him and blah blah, that was why I was leaving he was trying to trap me in a cycle of abuse. I got dressed, not saying anything I left the house very calmly and got in my car to drive away. To be honest my head wasn't right, it didn't seem like I could see clearly and in hindsight I know my head trauma kept me from thinking clearly. The only thing I could think of, was going to John1's house. I was planning on seeing John1 later that week, and it was the only course of action I could think of. I thought I would go there and ask John1 what I should do based on what just happened. I traveled almost an hour away to John1's house, his parents and family were home with him. I told them all everything that had just happened with John2, and then I asked them if we would call the cops or something (if only my head had thought of this earlier).
This is the worst part, they said no. John1 said I should not call the police because my head was hurt and no one would believe me so I should just forget it. Why did these people say that? Well, they were pot smokers and apparently had drugs in the house and were known to the police as being dealers, so they were too damn selfish to help me in my hour of need. They convinced me to stay there, not call anyone, and get over it. They also gave me pot and drugs and put me to bed with my HEAD INJURY. I never used drugs, but I wasn't in my right mind to protect myself. But stayng with John1 and family was safer than staying in my dorm room.
Side track: The first day I meet my dorm roommate she told me we should not be friends, because she was already popular on campus and wouldn't have a first year tarnish her reputation. But I got desperate from being around John1's house and left to visit my dorm, hoping I could reason with my roommate to let me stay peacefully in the dorm. I had only ever spent a few nights there and my roommate was always hassling me and telling me to go away. For reasons I can't comprehend my dorm roommate put drugs in my water bottle while I was out of the room for a minute. I know I was drugged because the water tasted awful, I only swallowed a little bit, then I threw the bottle away. My creepy roommate and her posse watching my every move.
Back on track: It might have been LSD because I hallucinated for three days straight, before I lost all sense of reality (in the first hour after drinking the awful water) I called John1 and asked him to take me to his house again. While I was there they tried me to convince me that I imagined the whole attack and rape because I was a drug addict. No. They also took advantage of me and I ended giving them all my savings from my bank account. Since I "owed them" for room and board for taking care of me in my troubled time. So after I was beaten, raped, and traumatized I got used by selfish drug addicts to help them fuel their drug habits.
The person who saved me from them and my dorm was Ave. I haven't talked about him at all in this post! My best friend through High School, we only meet when he and I were in the 11th grade. If only we had been friends one year earlier maybe none of this awful sh*t would have happened to me. At the time my parents had kicked me out of the house, because in their mind they were helping my social development by forcing me to live in a college dorm. My dorm frightened me so I didn't sleep there, I had even slept outside in the middle of MN winter rather than sleep in that dorm. Ave didn't want me sleeping outside anymore and when he discovered what John1 and family were doing he invited me to stay at his house for the Thanksgiving Holiday, November 2002.
Enough horrible stuff, next time I will post how Ave saved me and became my sweetheart!
I left a cliffhanger in that last post...
I wanted to mention how I discovered polyamory as a way of life. Between 2006 and 2007 I left Ave because I thought my feelings for other people (BB in particular) made me a bad person.I thought I must have been born to lie and cheat so I left Ave hoping that he would be better without me. In reality this was the worst hurt I could ever do to him. I knew I was hurting him but everywhere I looked I couldn't find any evidence that loving more than one was even a choice in life.
After six months I couldn't stand hurting Ave anymore, and the only solution of just choose one guy over the other wasn't working. BB had never heard of polyamory either, and neither he nor Ave knew each other at all, but BB encouraged me to find some other way that wasn't cheating. In shear desperation I logged onto an advice forum, something like notalone . com. I asked if it was possible to love two people at once and live in a loving manner. My whole life I had always pictured myself with two people, my whole life people abhorred my fantasy. After a dozen or so dissenting posts some random person said what I wanted was called polyamory.
My world opened. There were crazy people like me who had multiple love feelings at the same time?! I told Ave immediately of my discovery, and kept him up to date as I learned more. He hadn't pictured such a concept in his life, but would support who I was completely. BB thought the idea made sense, and liked the idea of models of commitment outside of the Conservative life he knew.
It's probably strange to read me describing Ave just accepting me, it comes off as selfish. During my confused time, where I left Ave, I thought being single would help me sort out what was wrong with me. (I did not have any intimate times with anyone during this time, I didn't break-up to have sex conscious-free). This multiple love feelings was the only topic of my life I hadn't shared with Ave. From this we truly had shared everything with each other. My experiences and thoughts about/with other people was a taboo subject I thought a girlfriend wasn't supposed to share with her boyfriend. I'm not the type of person who follows the crowd, but I did/tried too in this aspect of my life and not following my heart to love all I can love caused more pain than anything else I've ever done.
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