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Old 04-25-2014, 11:12 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default Renaissance of Realizations

I am no stranger to these boards, although in some ways I feel brand new as I stepped away for some time for a period of reflection. I have learned so much from everyone's stories over the past couple of years and have so much respect for people's experiences and hard won wisdom.

I have been ethically non-monogamous since I was in my teens. I have never identified with monogamy as a fundamental philosophy although I have participated in it for periods of time when a partner desired it. I have been a part of Vs, Ns, triads, dyads and quads. I have created some epic disasters through my blunders, learned an incredible amount about myself and others, and been part of some beautiful successes; 'tis the nature of all relationships and love stories, I suppose.

I largely exist in a cerebral world, and find my emotional life confusing and overwhelming on the whole. I come from a family of intelligent, creative, unique and hardworking people; my legacy is to put forward an image of success and happiness no matter what one's internal world may contain or the private shit storm that might be happening in our lives. There was never much time for emotional matters in my household, and I fell in line with an unhealthy way of handling negative emotions. I have witnessed my family deal with their weaker sides with a great deal of secrecy and shame, and there is a certain lack of acceptance, and fear of exposure of our shadow selves.

The last year of my life has been a reformation of this truth; an opening of a deeper sense of self realization and a rebirth of self as a woman who is more in tune with her feelings and truth than ever before. It has been an awakening that I never could have anticipated being so uncomfortable or difficult. It has also been an absolute and utter relief to put down the burdens of constantly striving for perfection, and to find an internal forgiveness and gentleness in seeing myself as a more unified, beautifully imperfect human being.

Pseudonym time.... Along for this journey is my honest, honorable and gentle male partner Daith, (Irish for beloved) and my loving female partner, Viveka (Sanskrit for discernment/wisdom). Both have been incredibly supportive and accepting of me during my chrysalis, and stand resolutely beside me as I step into this integrated sense of self. To say that I love them is an almost perverse understatement. Our relationships are based in total honesty, integrity, openness and respect. Consensual, conscious non-monogamy with a gooey center of real admiration and devotion. I am pretty damn blessed. Viveka has two other partners. Daith is monogamous. I date other women occasionally as both of my partners live some distance away, but it is rather casual at present.

I am nothing if not into fearless self inventory and evolution; I am devoted to finding wholeness after some recent and present tumultuous and challenging times in my life. I currently work weekly with a feelings and narrative based counselor as well as another that will be working with me bi-monthly from a cognitive behavioral perspective. I also work with a life coach that helps me reach personal goals and integrate the truths that surface inside of me into a more whole vision of self. I journal, read and meditate, and am an avid hiker, trail and road runner. I am a successful, confident and capable woman in all things external and believe in making a difference in the world around me. I am very grateful for the life that I have built for myself and do not take my life or my loves for granted.

Last edited by CherryBlossomGirl; 04-25-2014 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:52 AM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default Uphill.

Traversing mountains is such a perfect metaphor for life. The anticipation, the push and strain of moving through space and time to reach incredible peaks, the descent to a sense of satiation and wholeness. The challenge and burn of things at times, and the unbelievable perspective when you get to the top. Cereb and I drive to my place and sink our teeth into dinner, and talk over a movie.

I am excited to get my gardens going for the year; Daith built me these exquisite wooden pyramid planters in his friend's wood shop and my handyman will be bringing in a truckload of soil to fill them with. I cannot wait to invest in, harvest and share the bounty with those I love. Got all my shit done today, so the whole weekend stretches out with friends, hikes, walks, fires, cooking meals together, dates, and a birthday celebration on Sunday night for an ex-lover.

Had a solid life coaching session this morning. We talked about the relief that comes from seeing yourself as a whole, the beauty in acceptance of your biggest fears and worked on some recent challenges for me that are way outside of my realm of influence/control. Working with a life coach is so different than counselling; it's about the integration of everything that you've learned and is very goal and result orientated. I tell her that it's like she takes the swarm of bees and puts them all back in the hive in the order they're mean to be in. She's been in my life as a teacher and guider for over two years, and I'm super grateful for her wisdom and guidance. We talk about our mutual struggles with the concept of control, and the beauty that exists in relinquishing it.

Viveka and I texted a lot today about bravery in the face of shaming and judgement. God I am lucky to have this woman in my life - she is the epitome of support and solidarity. We've grown so close over the last little while; saw her through a challenging time with her primary recently and it was nice to be able to return her kindness and compassion for her during that time. I fully support and invest in their partnership, and was fully present for her process. It was kind of awesome. I like the rhythm of her and I and love watching the friendship and respect between her and Daith as well.

My weekend has been a date sandwich already - one yesterday night, one tomorrow night, both with the same woman. Our worlds have been brushing up against each other for almost seven years and we have connected/collided into each other with quite a force. Not sure where it will head but we will be solid friends regardless. I am up front and open about my life and lifestyle, and of my attraction to her and was pleasantly surprised to find out that she has had experience in the same realms as me, and has also had me in her sights. Date on Monday with a woman I have been seeing for about three months; still relatively casual but the whole thing has this kind of sweet connection and innocence to it that I really enjoy.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:55 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default Context and perspective.

I've been thinking a lot about the concept of context and perspective as of late. The idea that looking at anything through a certain perspective isolates you from a certain level of understanding. I think about some of the ways that I have looked at partners, work, or self only to have life spin me 180 so that I could see the exact same issue from the opposite perspective.

I remember so clearly, dating this one married man. He told me that his wife had given his full permission for him to have a lover. I was younger and didn't think to verify this with her; I trusted him and since I had done such careful work to open the relationship I was in at the time, assumed that he had done the same. We were having a beautiful love affair and our connection was golden. I had an online journal that I wrote in daily; it was pretty innocuous, and friends from all over the world kept in touch with my life through it. I woke up one morning to angry comments from a woman on a number of posts, and realized that they were from his wife. When I called him, it turned out that she had gone through his internet history and found emails between us, as well as my blog and was facing the full weight of his betrayal. I was mortified at having been deceived, and called my sister to get her advice. She told me to break up with him; that a man who was capable of displaying a lack of integrity like that to his wife would carry it forward in his life. We had been due to move in to a room in her shared house to carry on with our trysts, and that door was quickly shut, and she shared what was happening with everyone in her household. I talked at length with some trusted friends, and their advice was the same. That this style of betrayal would play itself out again in my own life if I stayed with him.

I remember thinking that there was no way that they could be right. He was out of love with his wife. She was controlling, angry, didn't give him what he needed sexually and was prone to drinking too much. He told me that it had been over for awhile and that I was simply a catalyst for change in his life. I stepped back from the relationship to give them time to sort things out and sent her a number of emails explaining to her that I had no idea that I was party to her deception, and sending her my respect and good intentions. She never wrote me back.

I met a girlfriend in the city for dinner, and after some text correspondence between him and I, he met us in the dimly lit restaurant. I was caught between feeling angry that I had been complicit in hurting someone else, and happy to see him. He walked with me outside, and insinuated himself on my physically, kissing me and telling me how much he missed me. It was so confusing. I went back to the friend's place that I was staying at, and wrote a long letter that I never gave to him that I recently refound while going through forgotten about drawers. About the feelings that came up inside of me when he asked me to compromise my own integrity for his own sexual and emotional pursuits. About how it felt to have been made the other woman, and for even now, him not to be respecting either woman by contacting me and applying pressure for physicality. I was free and clear to do what I saw fit in relationship, and was already in love with him. It was a terrible place to me.

We did end up making a partnership. Years later, the same thing did happen to me. Putting other women before our relationship even with us trying to be open in an honest way, pigeon-holing me tighter and tighter into a place of being unwanted, unloved, and increasingly insecure and controlling. It didn't take long for me, when standing in that woman's shoes from the exact opposite perspective to see my own past selfishness and ignorance for pursuing a relationship with a man so capable of deception and betrayal. Life had slowly but surely turned me around so that I could look at myself from the perspective that I had ignored in my compassion so many years prior. Working in counselling I wrote a long letter to her, and while I never sent it, it serves as a reminder to me.

I also watched the women that he chose to play out this same pattern with. Watched how they tried to have integrity and honor our marriage, but ultimately did what felt good and right for them. They compromised their own integrity at times, listened to his silky smooth words, and bought into the idea that I was a monster. They saw my suffering and insecurity as control and evilness. They played into the dynamics that brought out the same qualities in him as before, and the same qualities in me that his ex-wife had experienced. I knew what it was like to be them. Knew what it was like to be the object of his undiluted desire and to be gently and easily bent to compromise what was the truly correct thing to do. I swung between the anger that his ex-wife had experienced for me once upon a time to pleading with them to see my side, to apologizing to them for being so insecure. It was wretched. I watched myself behave in ways and chose misguided and inappropriate methods of trying to protect myself and our marriage that I experience a great deal of shame about, and work hard to be gentle and have compassion for my flailing self. To have a man look me in the eyes and swear on the life of his mother that he is telling you the truth, only to discover that he is not? They cannot know what that is like or have the perspective to know how that feels. I do, and that helps me soften against myself and his ex-wife, understanding the things that can be brought out of betrayal and pain.

The only perspective I have not experienced firsthand is his and I try to work through the judgement that I feel towards him to find compassion. I struggle to see things as he must have, at any time, and the grains of my lack of understanding slip through my fingers. I ask my friends, my family, and they have wisdom to share with me, love and support. I watch him grind his teeth and rail against me for my shortcomings, and refuse to do the same. I will continue to love him and hold him in my heart with sweetness no matter how much it hurts at times. It's the only way I will ever be able to understand his choices - to see them with my heart instead of my mind.

I think that is one of the most beautiful gifts that solidly developed friends and family give you. They can offer you that perspective that you cannot see in your own experience, and allow you to vision through what it would be like to see things from 180 degrees without having to actually live out that truth. Some of my teachers would argue that this is the path of life; to allow you to experience that which you need to grow your soul, and put you in the shoes of those that you have wronged, or who have wronged you so that you can heal the wounds inside of you and move forward with a more wholesome experience of self and life. I am beginning to see this, but also have gotten much more perceptive of warning signs that I would have simply ignored in my past.

When trusting someone, I look and see - are they truly trustworthy? Have the decisions that they made in their life built on been like mine? Are we people who have the same core values and come from the same place in our hearts and souls? I think about my partners at present - both are in counselling and are fearlessly facing their own demons regularly, as am I. Both are willing to invest in the talks needed to keep both of our sides of the street clear of our unhealthy patterns and come from a place of honesty and moral forthrightness. Both are self made and have their own careers that they have developed with diligence and discipline. Daith and I are on the same page financially, and sometimes we laugh that we should really record more of our conversations for a book that we are going to write together; we speak from our core values and the places inside of us that we allow to define the vast majority of our lives - honesty, integrity and respect, love and honour. Qualities that are increasingly rare in today's fast paced, multi-option world.

My ex bullies me. He shames me, harasses me and continues to violate agreements that we have made. I struggle with judgement and skewed perspective and context in his story, and feel what it must like to be shamed. I can see how I have done that to him in the telling of mine in the past, and my heart fills with compassion for both him and myself. Forgiveness springs from compassion in my process, and I can feel that blossom starting to open in the warmth of acceptance and hard work. Fearless. It's the only way to truly live a life - to be wide open to the perspectives that it offers you and see yourself from different angles until a whole self starts to emerge.

And so in context, and with perspective, I step forward into a new life. I never would have chosen some of the things that have unfolded in my life over the past couple of years, but I have experienced both successes and failures. I have kept my chin up and moved forward with my own wounded heart, and refused to allow judgments of others define my own experience. I continue to look for opportunities to put myself in other people's shoes and sit in meditation, looking at myself through other people's perspectives to see what truths and lessons lie for me in those contexts. Forgiveness is such an incredible gift to give oneself and others. It's a letting go of how we wanted things to be, and accepting life as it is and releasing oneself from previous versions of self.

Stayed up so late last night with Cereb talking and slept clean through the early morning. Days off are so fucking glorious for that. Listening to the ever wonderful S. Carey and dreaming of steaming cups of hot coffee and a good book in bed.

Last edited by CherryBlossomGirl; 04-26-2014 at 06:05 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-27-2014, 09:40 AM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 212
Default Beauty and Loyalty.

The sun streamed everywhere today; through the leaves in the trees, dappling every surface, catching itself in my hair and on my skin. Quiet at home, reading and drinking hot and sweet things, visiting with friends online, via text and in person. Hanging out on the patio talking about serendipity and fate, skateboards propped up in the hallway and friends joking in the kitchen.

Mid day I got a phone call from Viveka. She was horrified and incredulous as she informed me that my ex had taken it upon himself to harass her via facebook; yet more boundary transgressions. She told him in no uncertain terms how inappropriate and unwelcome his contact was. That was that. She doesn't dick around, this girl. It made me crave sexy times with her like nobody's business and sent me spinning in ERE for her. Cannot wait to cradle that fine jaw of hers along my palm and feel the quickening of her breath in my mouth.

Cereb picked me up after we couldn't stop talking on the phone, regaling me with stories and opinions over copious amounts of sushi. We could talk for eight years straight, I swear. God he makes me laugh my ass off. We sped down the roads like bats out of hell listening to the YeahYeahYeahs and waxing poetic about our lives. That man is good shit lollipop, and I cannot imagine him not being in my life.

Home to tidy up, my date arrived, her hair a hot mess of sexy curls and her tiny frame curled around me in a lingering hug. We spent six and a half hours talking, curled up within inches of each other, sipping wine I chose for her days ago and carving into a local cheese and specially chosen crackers for her dietary restrictions. Succulent strawberries and rich chocolate, spicy nuts and glasses of cool water. Feels good to care for those that I revere. My little dog curled up by her for pets as the night became black and the conversation took some interesting turns. I am curious. She is curious. We'll see what unfolds. Looks like we are going to some upcoming dance parties together, and I will certainly be hiking with her next week if circumstances allow.

Excited for Daith to come out for the week - we are slowly lengthening the amount of time that we spend together as my comfort and trust grows. We have a shit ton of stuff planned and I cannot wait to curl into his sizable frame and catch up in person - phone and Skype are nice but nothing beats real life. He sent me a massive bouquet of flowers that have permeated my entire livingroom with their scent. Roses and lilies, accompanied by one of his signature letters that he sends ahead to the florist. So romantic. He knows how to effortlessly invade my space and remind me of him constantly, and informs me of his plans for me upon his return.

Heading out for an adventure early morning tomorrow to celebrate a birthday and have a little getaway for the day. Lazy and fun Sundays, weekends of perfection. Have been coming to so many realizations and am looking forward to writing about them.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:43 AM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Posts: 212
Default Ugh.

Life is so full of emotion and wonder. I love the depth and breadth of experience that one can have in a day, the multitude of connections with people, and the sense of purpose from a solid day's work. Satisfying.

Home to walk my dog in the sunshine and called Daith to catch up, hear about his weekend and connect. I was both shocked and dismayed to learn that my ex had not only contacted Viveka this weekend, but Daith as well. Same as with Viveka, he gave him a link to an online journal that he keeps and invited him to read it. It is hard for me to stay present and not get drawn into feelings of being violated, attacked and angry. Daith and I have outstanding communication, and I have never kept my failures or mistakes in my past relationships secret from him. There is nothing for him to discover there that he doesn't already know, and he has a very different take on things than my ex does, or than I even do for that matter. Regardless, he has no interest in reading it. He is understandably feeling very protective of me and is unimpressed with this behavior. It was challenging to talk about, and I found my PTSD symptoms coming up in great proliferation. He is on his way out to me tonight so that we can get a jump on our time together and spend some more time talking and reconnecting; a week is a long time to be away from each other.

I share the same qualities of loyalty and devotion as my partners and am glad of it. I don't commit lightly, and these two people live inside of my heart. Who they have been in past relationships has nothing to do with me; our relationship is our own, and it is what we make of it. Every person has the right to make mistakes, to learn from those mistakes, and to move forward. I love them as they are, in this moment, here and now. It is the same for them. Each day that passes with that shared experience only builds that love deeper and wider - 'tis the way of things. I am so looking forward to a time of peace, with no more harassment.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:35 AM
Wiseyes Wiseyes is offline
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Default Observations

I must say, I admire your courage and determination to shake yourself off, learn from your mistakes and take steps towards living a life surrounded by people who love and accept you for you. Sounds to me like your ex is a bully that is trying to get attention by any means necessary. Sort of like a 5 year old jumping around saying, "look at me, pay attention to me!!!". What he needs is for everyone to turn their heads. Don't encourage the ridiculous behaviour and maybe just maybe he'll go away..one can only hope.

I know this story will have a happy ending, I am just sorry you had to endure such traumatic events.. here's to a brighter future!
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