so it's one week, many escalations and strange happenings and one suicide threat later. and in light of this, my perspective on things has changed quite a bit.
all of this has just seemed so much less difficult in the context of all the other crazy shit, that I ended up pretty much solving a lot of it quite easily, just because of the comparison.
First thing I did was talk to my flatmate. It was a really good conversation. I've come to terms with the fact that in her current state our relationship can't involve too much sensibility, and if I'm clear on that it can be a good relationship anyway. I managed to make her feel safe enough to admit that she does feel unappreciated in the situation, and we have a communication basis now that can overcome all of this because we know we're capable of talking all of this out.
My older lover has realized that I'm completely overwhelmed and I feel a lot less stressed about meeting him because it just seems so clear to me now that all that matters is keeping the people important to me close.
Thank you for all your thoughts and suggestions. I have a lot of respect for this forum, and it's amazing how much inspiration it gives me to read all of your stories and insights.
@ vios: your questions are ones that I've heard often, but I've never quite understood them. My understanding of relationships doesn't work that way, I think. Probably because of my lifestyle.
There's usually not somewhere I want to "go" in my relationships. In every one there come up things we need to work out. But in the end: in my life, there are places I want to go. And I depend on myself to get there. Then there's people who I love, and fall in love with, and who I have many other beautiful feelings for. All I want from that is being close to each other while we each live our lives. And as long as it is part of our desires in our lives to be close to each other, we share the places we choose to be at. I love them for whatever they are right now, for everything they are. That's what I want: to be able to touch that and be part of that, and at the same time, to live all the other things important to me. The only thing I expect from people I'm in a relationship with is to let me live my life and respect me for that, and as close as we can get for as long as we want on that basis, that's our relationship... I don't know if that makes sense. But what I ultimately mean by that is that the only plans I have are the ones I build for myself in my life journey. I don't have any plans for relationships with people, usually. They explain themselves: we want to be close. On whatever terms that fit for both of us with all the other things we are and want. As simple as that....
@lovefromgirl: hmm, I agree that I don't owe anyone anything in that way. But here's the thing: while nobody has the right to blame me or make accusations at me for not being monogamous (and for many other things), when I get close to people I want to get to know them, and that also means I want them to show me their vulnerabilities. It's a fine line, because while everyone has the right to be hurt by anything, they don't have the right to make others feel bad about certain things. But for example: I want my lovers to show me when they have a hard time, when they're scared and hurt and jealous, because I want to get to know them. AND I want to be there for them. BUT that doesn't mean they get to blame me, OR that they get to put me in a place where I have to "work to make things right again" or feel like I have to make up for the way I am. And sometimes someone can add "but I don't blame you" and it still feels like an accusation. It all depends on HOW it is done. In this case, I truly feel like my new lover is doing the very best he can and being honest and most importantly: he himself is conscious of when and why he has a hard time with saying things clearly. And when he can't communicate about things, out of fear or whatever else, then he communicates about that fact instead. So I feel good in that situation anyway, because I see that he is working on it a lot, and I get to feel the process.