I felt like writing this 'out loud' here, because I wonder if anyone else has a similar experience of self-questioning in relation to polyamory.
One of the reasons why I had to back out of this forum for a year or so was that I was dealing with a lot of unexpected issues to do with childhood sexual abuse. So now I'm on an acceptance-journey (or something less pretentious-sounding) about the fact of having been used for sex by both of my parents, independently of each other.
What I find myself wondering is how this relates to my life-long interest in polyamory. I'm sure it's not possible for it to be entirely unrelated, and in a way, the point of this is not to end up with a flow diagram, it's just been necessary for me to acknowledge some connexion there.
What I've come up with so far: on the one hand, there's fundamentally nothing extraordinary about wanting to be part of a loving triple (it's only culturally extraordinary in my culture). And on the other, there's a fear I experience when I'm alone with someone that perhaps drives me to want to be with two. I don't know why I should believe that I'd be less scared with two than with one (since I've yet to test this theory!) but I seem to. And fear is only part of the mix anyway, and not the governing part any more, thanks be to me.
The thing is, I know from experience that my abuse history impacts on my (so far monogamous) relationships, so it's reasonable to assume it will have some impact on any relationship I have, with one or more people. Not that I'm going to let that stop me from looking for the other two thirds of my dream triple(!) but it's important to me to keep some awareness around this.
So I wonder (and there's no pressure on any of us) whether any of you out there are dealing with similar questions, and would like to talk about them here.
I've no experience what-so-ever in terms of the issues you have raised...but I would like to congratulate you for starting the non-prententious version of an acceptance journey :)
And for having the courage to open up a discussion regarding what would be some very deep hurts and betrayals in your past.
Our parents are supposed to give us our sense of unconditional love, and sadly that does go terribly wrong too often.
It would seem a valid set of questions to be thinking about though.
And I'm sure there would be shrinks all over the world suggesting the reason you may want two would be, in part...linked to some sort of subconscious desire to have a witness present, someone who could protect you.
The fear of being alone with someone driving you to want to be with two sounds like it could just as easily be linked to an issue around unconditional love. And that the abuse happened independantly. Or there may be no links at all....hard to tell..(especially from my zero experience position)
If it's not pushing too much, are you able to explain what the fear of being alone with someone means to you/feels like/is to you ?
There are generally 2 types of drivers for our behaviours;
1. Avoiding negative events/emotions (fear leading us to run away from the lion)
2. Seeking positive events/emotions (Making sure we ring that person so we can can see them again)..
And you mention that fear of being alone with one is a driver for you. So, it sounds like you're focused on avoiding negatives emotions - I understand that...especially with abuse in your past - especially that.
Trying to avoid a situation where bad stuff may happen to you is a wise course of action. But being vulnerable is a very important part of being human, making connections, accepting love and giving love, with 1 person, or 2 or 3..
And being accepted and loved despite the fact you're vulnerable or scared or fearful....is unconditional love - return to second paragraph re lack of unconditional love from parents.
My thoughts are that unconditional love plays an equal part in mono relationships as it does in poly relationships. It's the potential issue of unconditional love not being established and valued and cherished during your childhood that stands out to me. Only an opinion though...
Have you had the opportunity to talk with someone professionally ? Such massive hurts...Sounds like you're doing loads of work - Best wishes !
So focusing on two others in the relationship... forces communication and creates a different energy.
Everything we bring to the relationship effects the relationship... the good, the bad, the ugly. This is what makes us who we are... and our journey and our lovers make us better people.
Oh yes - I've spent absurd amounts of money (ironically inherited from said parents) on counselling to sort through the mess they non-deliberately caused. These days, I'm more self-counselling, as there's enough straightforward love coming up from the inside now to do that.
And these days, I'm not running so much (I'm inclined towards caring risk-taking - it's very healthy!), just making sure I'm aware of the urge to run (whether towards or away from :)), and what's behind that.
When I'm alone and intimate with someone, whether it's a man or a woman, there's a part of me who can quite easily feel scared of being overwhelmed, and that part tends to feel 'used' - which can lead to me being angry and the partner being hurt and confused by that. Just recently I've been seeing someone, and found this coming up again, but much more manageably than in the past (this is my first sexual/intimate outing since I started dealing with my mum-stuff). So I'm much more able to contain the fear/anger stuff if it arises, but also aware that it's likely to pop up whoever I'm with.
What I wrote about in my original post above is meant as speculative thought. It seems possible to me that I want two lovers partly because I'm afraid of being alone with one. It seems possible to me that I want two lovers (and I definitely would like one of each) partly as a healing from my upbringing. It seems possible to me that neither of these possibilities matters all that much, and that they're just factors in any equation of me and intimacy with someone/two. I don't really need to know for certain, I just need to keep this live in my mind, so that I don't get too many surprises if and when I get together with someone/two properly in the future.
I am spending some time working on this as well. Mine has been brought about due to my beginnings in AA. It has a strong direction in self reflection. Even at my worst I liked looking at myself, but found out, I wasn't looking at everything.
With the help of friends, lovers and AA I have begun to serious look at myself in every way.
How that relates to poly. Well.. it has to. It is part of me. My desires, wants and needs are all rooted in something. I would love to fix that something, but can you turn back time. Can I now not be poly. It is impossible. I deeply love two women and know I can love more. If I hadn't been exposed to poly, who knows, maybe I would never have bothered to find it. Poly brings out my worst fears and insecurities, while also stroking them. I need to find my root problems with fears and insecurities so, the next time I enter into anything remotely poly. I am fine with myself. Ironically these are things I thought I had beat years ago, its amazing how it can all come swooping back to me.
So yes in a round about way I agree. honest self questioning is really important. How can you be honest with the people you love, if you can't be honest with yourself.
Something new has come out of my reflecting. Please note: this is only about my experience, not anyone else's!
I had a flash of 'insight' on the bus yesterday (public transport is great for that...) - I was sitting on the top deck of the bus, pondering polyamory (as one does), when it suddenly became clear to me that an important part of my desire to be part of an MFM triple is to do with my ongoing exploration of my ambigender self.
I've always felt that I am both genders (which is why no terms involving 'trans-' or 'inter-' ever felt like they fit me), but up until the end of last year, I've been fighting it, one way, or another, or another... I'd always assumed I had to "choose one and stick with it", and last year I finally realised that's bolox, and have come to rest more and more comfortably in being me, who is somehow both (not physically, but certainly psychically and somatically) and that's neither "okay" nor "not okay", it just is, like having blue eyes.
Having been abused by both parents makes this complex. That experience has certainly sat behind the feeling of having to "choose one", and the fighting against it (well, that and the many metric tonnes of cultural pressure). But I think my dreams since childhood about being part of a triple, and the desire I've had for being that, is partly an expression of wanting to bring myself and these two "sides" of me into harmonious relationship, make for us a loving union.
This is great: it means I can explore the possibility of being part of a MFM triple (or not), but that I won't be doing that just to meet some unconscious need, I'll be doing it knowingly with love flowing from the inside outwards, rather than just looking for it to come to me to fill a void - because there isn't a void, it's already full of me!
I'm partly writing all this just to say it out loud :) - but also in case it resonates with anyone else's experience. I'm not assuming it applies to anyone else but me!
Just wanted to say hi Yoxi and let you know I'm glad to see you back. Good luck on your journey... nothing to say at the moment in terms of support other than that, but I am sending a hug. :)
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