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-   -   A new term maybe. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5880)

GroundedSpirit 01-24-2011 02:39 PM

A new term maybe.
Hi everyone,

Dam isn't life funny !

In another thread here we've been back on the topic of jealousy and envy (again!)

And low & behold, in a personal situation I just witnessed how nasty this inherent capability is in us all.

And it brought to mind that maybe we need a new term in our vocabulary.

IFU - Insecurity Flare Up

I likened it to an injury that although healed, can flare up again later under the right conditions.

Read a joint injury that can resurface to a degree under the right circumstances of humidity or temperature.

Insecurity seems to be such a weakness.

Despite what we all go through to become stronger, more confident etc, it's entirely possible to have a "flare up" at some point in the future triggered by something in our environment.

Stress and major life events are common culprits in this realm. They shake us off our comfortable platform of confidence and dump us on our face. It happens to everyone I think. Then the first thing you know, old injuries can flare up. We tend to forget that those injuries were long healed. We overlook the fact that we HAVEN'T re-injured the old area. But the pain is still there, and just as real. Or so we believe.

Until maybe we take a nice hot bath, reflect back, and realize again that the pain is likely MOSTLY 'biologically remembered' pain (cellular memory - brain or otherwise).

We've just experienced IFU ! Phew ! :)
We can put this in perspective better now that we recognize it. We know the steps that will help make it go away - or at least become bearable until it does.


FlameKat 01-24-2011 02:54 PM

Hey there GS :D

I have to say I rather like your new term :D

What you describe sounds very similar to the effect of my son's adjustment disorder... he has events which will trigger memories and insecurities and fears of his... his psychologist informed me that studies have shown that in his age group he needs a period of not less than 2 years without any triggers in order to heal completely and for the triggers to no longer trigger him...

(In a family of three females - all with their own adjustment disorders and of course pms, this healing process is not likely to happen for him - though we make every effort - his triggers are loud noises i.e yelling, slammed doors, sudden noise, and the like...)


I like the term Insecurity Flare Up... it is a very concise and non-judgemental way of phrasing it...

BrigidsDaughter 01-24-2011 04:04 PM

I'm right with you on that one G.S. I think that's exactly what happened to me last week - my uncle's death, a friend outing me as bi, to my mother, via posting pics of me making out with a girl on facebook, added to the person we'd (our quad) recently come out to as poly trying to tell me how I was supposed to be feeling about a recent situation created the right circumstances for IFU.

As a result, I completely overreacted when Wendigo was angry at/ with me and took his needing some time to sort things out as I was losing him, apologized w/o ever asking what I'd done wrong, and cried myself to sleep in Wolf's arms. We talked the next day, after I'd had some time to realize that my reaction was one that I'd thought I was long since past, and I discovered that the truths I'd given him in the e-mail I sent were the straw that broke the camels back over the whole situation with said friend. We're still trying to figure out our next move where said friend is concerned, but we're all on the same page about who is to blame and where our feelings came from.

So yup, IFU, it's good to finally have a name for it and to be able to move past it.

nycindie 01-24-2011 05:52 PM

I see "IFU" and I think, "I fucked up."


sage 01-24-2011 09:03 PM

I wouldn't have seen it as that prior to you posting it so thanks Nycindie :)

It's a good tool in polyamory both for the afflicted and those in the firing line. Awareness and acknowledgment that we can all have them may help others not to get triggered and react, starting what can become a chain reaction.

LovingRadiance 01-24-2011 10:39 PM

I like that idea!

That is precisely what we've been talking about-the need to MANAGE one's own IFU. ;)

GroundedSpirit 01-25-2011 12:21 AM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 62998)
I see "IFU" and I think, "I fucked up."


There often is a correlation there isn't there :)


Del5158 01-25-2011 12:47 AM

IFU indeed

Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit (Post 63065)
There often is a correlation there isn't there :)


Or it could mean "I fucked U" and that's why he/she blew up.

HappiestManAlive 01-25-2011 05:43 AM

Yikes, lol.

Good timing with this one GS, as less than 24 hours ago I experienced my first really serious case of this phenomenon in many years.

As I write this, the situation that caused this flare up plus the issues it triggered may or may not have completely destroyed our entire household in one fell blow. Violet and Lana left a couple of hours ago to "cool off" and may be back in hours - or days - or not at all. Adrian and I are trying to avoid each other around the house as each time we speak we either cry or fight or both.

I'm sitting in the garage chain smoking, surfing the web, landing on the poly boards, and thinking about the colossal irony that is my screen name right now.

GroundedSpirit 01-25-2011 02:33 PM


Originally Posted by HappiestManAlive (Post 63138)
As I write this, the situation that caused this flare up plus the issues it triggered may or may not have completely destroyed our entire household in one fell blow. ...............

Sorry to hear that Man,

But I think that's one of the reasons I suggested coining a term and using it. There's something about labeling something that takes the harsh edge off it. It's human nature. Once we feel we understand something it makes us feel we have some handle in controlling or at least managing it. That takes away much of the fear. If we feel (and believe) we've traveled this road before and come out the other end alive - maybe even better- for it, it's easier to take a deep breath and dig in. Confident we can do it again. And like any other skill, the more we do it, the better and more efficient we get at it.

I think it would lead to better conversations with our partners if we were all on the same page with this. It's much easier to look at someone and say ..."I think we may be suffering a bout of IFU here. Why don't we let it drop for a bit and have a coffee/tea/drink and think back through what we did before that made it better". Get some emotional detachment for a bit and look for some clarity.

Often when this happens we discover what it was that ACTUALLY triggered the flare-up and, at least in my experience, we discover that it's external to our lovestyle and should have no bearing. The boss reamed us out. We had a minor car accident or close call. The kids have been monsters. Someone said something that hurt our feelings. The external sources are limitless ! But our brain has a tendency to make faulty inferences until we take the time to clear out and make the right associations.

No different than when something happens in the world that makes us sad. We call it out (I'm feeling very sad right now), explain it, take some time to work through it (again), and get past it.
Same skills.


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