This week was uncharacteristically hectic. Most of my weeks are packed and busy; I'm a multi-tasker from way back, and have been accused of being a robot by how I mow through tasks. Despite these hardworking tendencies, this week had me panting by the end of every day, and steeling myself with determination for the day ahead each morning.
In the midst of all of this work excitement things continue to unfold with Sync. I had encouraged E and her to have a nice long chat on Tuesday, as he was home from work after tweaking his back. They chatted for hours, and had some really nice interaction; it was really good for my heart to release that fear around them having independent communications. My inexperience/naivety made me really gunshy around this previously, but now that E and I are totally on the same page, I am relaxed about it. I've had a couple different folks on these boards put forward the idea that those boundaries might fall away as trust was established; how right you were, wise folks.
E. and I enjoy complete transparancy with our online words. He has all my passwords, I have all of his, and with his permission I logged on and read their chats. I noticed a trend that was happening that made some red flags come up for me, and when I talked to E. about it, he shared my concerns.
While I have always had a balance of masculine and feminine energy in my life, there was a time in my younger life when I had a larger proportion of male friends than female. I found their friendship easier and less complicated than women, but it wasn't until I was a little older that I realized that the convenience of it was based in an unfair power dynamic.
I remember discovering the secret, tortured love of a man that I thought had just been my best friend when he sat me down one night to tell me that he was finally over me. He had moved away to another city – I thought for school, but in truth it was because he knew he would never get over me if he didn’t leave our small town and stop seeing me every day. I was BLOWN AWAY – sure, on some level I knew that he thought I was attractive, but I thought we were just friends. It made me realize that I had been irresponsible, and from that moment on I worked to maintain friendships with men that were ex-lovers, ex-boyfriends and gay bois, and kept a healthy set of boundaries around men who I was in essence, leading on. There are women who like that kind of safe attention where they hold the power. I am not one of them any longer, although I can admit that before I knew that it was hurting someone I loved, to some extent I was.
With women I enjoyed the slow honey of emotion - effortless and honest intimacy and laughter, a common understanding of the female experience bonding us together. I used to laugh at some of the comments of the way that I approached friendship with women, "It's like we're six, on the playground, and you simply walked up to me and asked me if I wanted to play with you." Happy to be in their company, I drew women towards me and we built bonds of steel as we navigated through the complications and challenges in life. As I matured I acquired more and more lady friends. I love my female friends in this fierce lioness way, and am the first to stand up to them when I see them faltering "You deserve to be treated better than that. What if I was you, and you were me - what would you say to yourself? Would you condone your best friend being treated like that? No? Then what makes it okay for YOU to be treated like that?" "When was the last time you asked for a raise? Do you know that statistically women get paid less than men for the same jobs because they don't ASK for raises?" I love my lady friends. The investment with them is different than that of past male friendships; it hangs in the balance of emotional investment, in equality and respect. When you subtract sexuality, you are left with your own heart and theirs, and finding the balance between the two with real friendship.
I have met ladies here and there that take a different approach to friendship. They are competitive, lean towards jealousy and envy, and are into gossip and backstabbing. I don't like it, and I don't participate in it and have only been fooled into having friendships with ladies like this a couple of times (miserable!) To me, we are part of a sisterhood, and to betray each other for the attentions of male energy is brittle and hollow, and can only rob us of our self esteem and collective female power.
As I was reading Sync's chats, I felt some of the above; some of that insecurity and cattiness. I read her idealizing E., his personality, his actions, and starting to categorize and demonize me. She gravitates towards E. with her language, loving him, reverence for his masculine/emotional balance, how she doesn’t think they could ever have a fight about anything. She talks about perceived differences between us, the implication being that her and E. do not share differences.
I understand that she's had a hard time (we all have), and that she is confused and raw from old emotions rearing up; I attempt to draw on that empathy and consciousness, but I couldn't shake the feeling that her love for E. is making her compete with me, because she doesn’t know how to have female friends – she has very few, and has slept with her closest female friend’s husband a number of times. She sleeps with almost all of her male friends to boot, tapping into those old feelings that I have around that whole dynamic. I have witnessed this competitive/comparative side before, as well as the “all appealing male subjugation” side of her. I am an outspoken woman, unafraid of speaking my truth – I do not simper or verbally/emotionally cater to men, nor do I use sexuality to bind them to me – I very much see these traits in the way that she approaches E. Male ego stroking = barf-tastic badness to me.
His heart hurts for her upset/pain, but he sees her judgements coming out of a place of low self esteem and a lack of understanding of me as a person. In his chats he was protective of me, while still doing his best to allow her space to express herself and be open. She ridiculed parts of my life, and our collective life, and he was not happy about it. Obviously neither am I.
I gave it a couple of days to get clear inside of myself, because if I’ve learned anything from this whole experience it’s that life is less complicated when you don’t react from an emotional place. As soon as I was clear, I took her to task on these issues properly.
We ended up having a very long chat about those judgments. I was somewhat offbase, in that it seems that she has done this same kind of judging with all of her romantic partners in the past and it's less about the female to female dynamic. She does definitely not have a lot of female friends though, and we talked about that, and about how she finds my uber-femininity both attractive and offputting all at once. We dug around in the rot and worms of these longstanding issues, and had some really rich communication come out of it. The next morning I woke up to a heartfelt letter of apology, as well as some romantic and sweet texts to follow throughout the day. It felt really good; to meet an issue like that head on, to communicate well about it, and move forward. I have no issues standing up for myself when I'm in my power. I am so glad that I’m in an emotionally stable place again – I am such a better partner when I’m not behaving like an insecure lunatic – go figure.
And so…. Her mum arrived by plane, and helped her pack up her place into a van for the long drive home. She texted me later in the day to let me know that she had seriously considered pulling off the freeway and bringing her mum to meet me at my business, but had decided against it. She stopped at a visitor centre in a nearby city to use the restroom and the lady at the counter actually recommended my business as a great place to visit in the surrounding area. Sync took it as a sign, and made quite a monumental decision. She came out to her mum about the relationship that she had shared with us, and the fact that she identifies as poly. I am blown away – to date, she had told her mum that we were all friends, and when the shit hit the fan, had lied and said that I had developed inappropriate feelings for her, and that it had put my marriage to E. in jeopardy and we had to stop hanging out with her. A cowardly, but understandable lie, and I actually thought it was quite a clever explanation LOL.
I txted her my heartfelt congratulations on her courage and honesty with her mom. That regardless of what unfolded with us, that it would help her mum know her on a deeper level. E and I shared our total disbelief that she had taken such a huge step. According to our txts this morning her mum took it really well, and Sync was glad she had told her.
Between prising open her bullshit judgements with my head-on style, her coming out to her mum, and her romantic little txts today my eyes have some stars in them. We’ve all seen some deeper issues inside of each of us, yet remain in each other’s lives. I don’t know how things will unfold, but I can say that I continue to be pleasantly surprised – not because I’ve grown cynical, but because this story has taken on a life of its own, and I no longer feel the need to write the plot ahead of time.
Life is a curious place. I am grateful for my open heart and mind, my ability to forgive, my ability to heal. I love to love the lovers, who love to love the love.