Suggestions for a long dark spell.
Hello everyone, I decided to skip the introduction thread because I felt it would make parts of this post slightly redundant.
This whole community seems like the most open, supportive, and most importantly intelligent group of people I've come across in possibly all of my internet comings and goings. That being said, I could really, really do with some openness, support, and understanding.
(i'll change the names of everyone concerned since it seems like a good idea. Also, i will notate them with 'chapter' numbers, merely because i like books and it might help with reference in hopefully the ensuing discussion.)
(Get ready for a very long read. For those of you who do read it all, i appreciate it immensely. If you don't consider complete context necessary, feel free to skip to the middle or end, or whatever your heart desires.)
In August last year, I fell in love with a girl named Lily. We were smitten as small adorable things in small cozy hand warmer things (kittens in mittens? perhaps. perhaps.), and head-over-heels from the start. The only negative thing that developed as our love grew over the months was this faint underlying fear that, try as I might, I could not dissipate. I felt like I might eventually become different in a way that would hurt her, or would somehow become unhappy. I didn't know what the feeling meant.
Around four or five months into our relationship, I posed the idea of opening things up a little. I hadn't heard of polyamory, and still wouldn't for another few months, but merely reasoned that since Lily and I were so perfectly happy with each other, we might try to share it a little since we felt we couldn't damage our impervious relationship. I also thought it would help assuage my fears, which Lily and I were worried about and wished to be gone. Unbeknownst to me, she was very frightened by the prospect of opening up, as we were both trying to find an explanation or an answer as to what I wanted and she didn't feel exactly the same way. She didn't let on because she wanted to make me happy and was afraid I would be upset.
There was a girl named Azalea who I went to school with (here I'll mention that Lily and i go to different schools) and had been friends with for a few months who I liked and who had a rather big crush on me. It didn't help that I had been helping her cope with a negative relationship she was in, and when she and her boyfriend eventually did break up, she told me how she really felt. I told her exactly how things were, and how far I would be willing to go (barely even hand-holding. i would have liked trying further, but as things were even that was quite a lot for Lily to handle and i immediately saw that things were looking not good) and we tried it out for a few weeks. I felt bad that I couldn't be closer to Azalea because she was suffering from her break-up (of a year relationship), but I would not do more than Lily would be comfortable with. We all three at one point went out for coffee so we could collect ourselves. After a short while we had to break it off because Lily was suffering and I realized the extent of what was happening. I told Lily that I would try not to let it happen again. Thankfully Azalea understood the situation and we're still as much friends as we had been before everything began.
During that whole period of time, I had been getting to know a friend of mine, Dahlia. She went to my school but was a grade above me. I spoke to her often, because she was also going through trouble with a boy who was really not treating her well (ay, there's the rub. i feel i'm not one to talk as you'll read), and she was helping me sort through my troubles with Azalea. After Lily and I ended the Azalea business, I'll be honest, I don't exactly recall the next chain of events. Dahlia and I realized we liked each other which I told Lily, and we kept talking about this and that for weeks, helping each other with any sort of problems. We talked about anything at all. We fell in love. I was still deeply in love with Lily. I was confused and in absolutely alien territory. I kept Lily informed, but everything was separate and disorganized at the same time, and I had been asking before if Dahlia and I could hold hands, and Lily wanted so terribly for me to be happy that she left the decision to me, and we were constantly discussing limits and expectations and predictions, and Dahlia and I said to each other that we loved each other. I told this to Lily, and she was devastated, and I didn't know what to do, and just picture when Darth Vader informs Luke of their true relationship. The realization, the emotion, the pain, the confusion.
Dahlia and I immediately stopped saying I love you, because it hurt Lily so much. We decreased communication in general. Lily was in tatters, I was awful, both of us cried. It was the first time I had cried in probably two years. We feared for our relationship, we didn't know what was going to happen. I still had not heard of polyamory and thought I was a freak, that I was overlooking something, that I was clearly wrong in a most fundamental way. It was all so many kinds of bad.
(Again, my apologies, my memory is beginning to fail me. I feel that I'd like to just leave this section of my life behind but it's direly necessary for context.)
After Lily and I recovered, we came to the conclusion that Dahlia and I should keep talking (as we were both still very in love) but that it would be easier for Lily if we didn't say 'I love you' (Dahlia and I, that is). This was painful for Dahlia and me, as we were pretending to ignore our feelings for each other and could never address them, but I couldn't let myself hurt Lily. (at this point i believe it was... late February? early March perhaps?) It lasted about a month, maybe. Much to Lily's pain, which also meant to my guilt, we had to start telling each other of our love, it could no longer go unspoken.
Fast forward through around two and a half-ish months of an unstable on and off happiness cycle (for Dahlia and me. Lily went these months sleepless from tears. i still haven't forgiven myself), with the 'happiness' never truly living up to its name and the depression getting deeper each time it struck. No one got what they want; Dahlia and Lily both wanted me alone, yet they both wanted me to be happy so they couldn't tell me to make a decision, which I would never have been able to do anyway because I love/d them both so deeply, and I wanted both of them but I also wanted to make them happy, which was impossible in the situation. Though sometime in here, I discovered the term polyamorous, and found out that I am not alone and everything wasn't because of some kind of mistake in my wiring (please understand, I live in a Catholic household, and the only person I can confide in within my family is my oldest sister). This discovery helped somewhat but didn't change things.
Mid June. The end of the school year. In the week after school ended, Dahlia and I met in town to hang out a few times, and Lily and I continued seeing each other as usual at our houses or in town or at the movies, etc.
Everything was getting bad. We weren't falling out of love, as Dahlia had ventured might happen. She couldn't keep feeling like she was loved, but 'not enough'. A second choice vibe that she had never been able to shake. She decided that we should stop. It wasn't out of nowhere, she had literally been suggesting it for months, but I knew neither of us would be able to, and it would be unbearable. This time she was serious. We kissed for the first time and then parted thinking it was the end. It lasted three days, three of the worst days in my life at that point. I-
Upon recalling this, I've realized I grouped two of these experiences together. I suppose these details aren't important. Just know that on two separate occasions we both left a meeting place in tears after letting them fall for hours discussing if we really had to stop. One at a café, the other in a parking lot. One of the silences only lasted three days filled with despair, more tears, and at least forty texts from me to her, unrequited. She couldn't take the silence, and we started talking again, with Lily overjoyed that I had some happiness return and that I wasn't exceedingly depressed, but afraid that things wouldn't ever stop. Her main fear was that things would progress physically.
After the second full-stop and then start again (i don't know how long the pause was), I told Lily that she needed to tell me what she wanted. I couldn't go on hoping she would make a decision. She said that she could not decide. I found out that what had been making her lose sleep and wring her hands and bite her lip even when we were together was this fear of physical progression. I told her that I would draw a line at hand-holding. I told her that she should sleep peacefully.
Less than a week later I broke my promise and I ruined everything. Dahlia and I got very slightly physical when we were hanging out and I didn't stop it because I wasn't thinking about the consequences, I was in the moment, and I don't regret anything I've ever done as much as that moment. I told Lily and she was destroyed by it. Dahlia and I stopped talking because as much as it hurt there was nothing else that could be done. I was worse than ever in my life, Dahlia was absolutely anguished, and I feared if Lily would trust me, or anyone, ever again.
It was a bad scene.
[continues in next post. don't worry, it's almost over.]
hit the bottom
hit the bottom,
Last edited by arpeggi; 08-20-2009 at 08:17 AM.