A lot has happened since I last posted, but first I'd like to reply to your messages.
Originally Posted by Kernow
You don't have to work out why you are reacting in certain ways otherwise you will drive yourself mad. You just have to own your feelings and reactions and put them into words as simply as you can, 'I am jealous' or 'I am afraid of losing you' or 'I feel rejected'. Some of those are not comfortable feelings to own or express, but unless you do that Salamander will not understand and will not be able to reassure you. Don't worry about what is normal, what you feel is normal for you so just deal with your reactions and don't compare yourself to anyone else.
Well, actually, I have to. If I don't analyze my feelings I'm unable to talk about them. It can take days for me to actually feel anything. It only happens after i analyze the situation and put it in words. If I don't analyze, I will never reach a feeling. Luckily Salamander understands this. Also, I don't really react. I'm too slow at processing social situations. When I finally reach a reaction the situation is usually over. This is a good thing too, because I never explode at anyones face. I also have time to process the situation objectivly and to see what triggered my reaction (when it eventually comes and I recognize the feelings etc.) so I don't jump to conclusion or say things I'd regret later.
Originally Posted by Kernow
Just try to find what works for you and be brave, you have done much more complicated things than this, you have children so you know that you can take risks and adapt to changing situations. If you get it wrong sometimes don't worry, it is normal to mess up sometimes, just pick yourself up, do what you can to put things right and try again.
Thank you for these words. This is something I've tried to focus on, but it's good to be reminded.
I like how logically your mind works. You are right, the anxiety is the same, but at the same time I feel like you are also wrong and that the anxiety is not the same. It's like I need to know what is causing the anxiety to find the right way to deal with it. I feel like I could take a lot more of newbie anxiety than new thing anxiety, so if it's the first one, I could push myself further than with the second one. So to recognize the problem is a major part of solving it.
My list is in the order I thought of the fears. I suppose I am most afraid of 3 and 4 because thos are most likely to happen. (It's easier to think of small fears, it seems. The bigger one had to be approached carefully.) 1 is least scary and I think it is what I've chosen now (and feel a lot better right now). It's not like I've declared to be permanently non-poly. But I feel like I'm just not ready for this yet, and that I need time to process some things alone and that we need to do more talking with Salamander before we try again.
After my third anxiety attack within a day he said that he'd talk to Sunflower and say that they need to wait and if she doesn't want to wait, then he'll accept that too. He did say that in a chat, and she replied with just one word. After that, no communication on her part
I feel really bad for him (and for her too). I also feel a little better for not being the only one who isn't so great at this. At least I communicate.
Salamander and I talked about what we each want from polyamory, and what we need to do to actually make it work (help me over my issues and make the changes smaller). Right now I'm thinking about referring to our relationship as an open one rather than trying to be poly. Maybe this would also help when we try to explain to others what we want.
The most important thing I discovered, though, is that I've felt exactly like I felt in emotionally abusive relationships over the years. This is the cause of the panic attacs. And this is something I did to myself (nothing abusive in how Salamander has treated me). I lost the trust I had towards my own thoughts and feelings and started thinking I'm crazy for thinking this and feeling that. That other people have better judgement. This is the reason why I'm not willing to try to push the change anymore. At least not for now.
I thank you all for putting the time into helping me in this situation. I'll be around, trying to absorb the poly attitude.