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  #11  
Old 02-04-2013, 09:50 PM
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Default 18 months in hell

Then in the fall of 2011 the Pidge started to get very very sick. We spent the next 3 months fighting with doctors to try and get a diagnosis. She was wasting away in front of me, slowly starving to death, and in constant pain. Nothing else really mattered as much as keeping her alive. All of our relationship issues went to the back burner. Finally, they took her gall bladder out and we hoped things would improve. And for a while, they did. She gained weight, was able to eat regularly, and although we still related more as best friends than lovers, things were outwardly getting better.

Then in August of 2012, her health took another nose dive. Again, I watched her starve, and fought with doctors about what was wrong. Finally, out of desperation, I started trying to devise a plan to save her life without doctors. I prepared all of her meals, determined what she could tolerate, read everything I could get my hands on about motility disorders, and joined online forums for people with the same symptoms. We found a drug, not prescribed in the US (Die, F.D.A, bastards!!!) and started ordering meds for her from New Zealand.
We tried herbal remedies, over the counter combinations, anything we could think of. The doctors ordered useless test after useless test, tried to imply all of it was in her head even with the proof that she had lost over 30% of her total body weight in just 4 months.

Slowly, we discovered what worked for ourselves. We patched together a plan that works, and now she is heading into a remission of her gastroparesis/CIP. None of her doctors except one sanction what we have done, but the prooF is there in that she can eat again, she has stopped losing weight, she can do her job, and she actually feels good part of the time. By this time, we've been in best friend/health aide mode for 18 months. Our romantic relationship is functionally gone. We still love each other, but we sleep in separate beds, we don't have sex, we don't go on dates, we don't flirt.

About 2 weeks ago, I had to admit to myself that this relationship has changed so fundamentally that it no longer fits any definition I know of for lovers. I spent 7 years nursing MD Guy, trying to pretend that sexless, passionless relationships based on friendship and support were the same as love affairs. Having to face that they aren't, and that not once but twice in a row I have gone from lover to health aide just about burst my brain. I still have no ideas what conclusions to draw from that.
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2013, 10:13 PM
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Default Up to date

So that pretty much brings this blog into current time. In the next couple of months, I'll be moving two hours away to our little farm. The Pidge has let my daughter and son-in-law become her housemates, so she'll have people here who love and support her health challenges. I finally broke silence and told her that our relationship has changed so fundamentally that it's time to look at other options. She was able to hear that, and didn't fall down dead. (This fear sounds ridiculous, but in light of how hard I have fought to keep her alive, it doesn't feel that way).
A couple of days ago, while trying to make sense out of all of this, I asked myself a question that had never crossed my mind before...What if all these years of having relationships not work were problematical because I was not a heterosexual monogomist? If I am a bisexual polyamorist then no wonder things never fit. Maybe it was more than a square peg and a round hole. Maybe it was a rainbow colored, triangular peg trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle. A very very dense peg, at that.
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2013, 12:13 AM
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Default A bright light

Recently on another thread, in response to my comment about the seemingly somewhat negative tone of the average post, Autumnal Tone wrote:

(Quote)
"And the folks who have years of happiness where it doesn't fall apart--you think they're going to be posting about all of their non-dramatic continuation in their relationships? Would anybody want to read a post that says, essentially "Still together, yup"?"(End quote)

I responded that yes, I thought some people might like to hear about something implying a happy ending was possible. While reading Phy's blog today I came across some interesting other remarks which suggest to me that I am not alone in finding good news and normalcy reassuring.

JaneQSmythe wrote to Phy:
(Quote)
"From my perspective, please keep posting! People tend to post here when they have problems. Being able to point to "successful" poly relationships I think has beneficial effects and is encouraging to those who are just starting out." (End quote)

rory wrote to Phy:
(Quote)
"I think there are way too few examples here of stable, drama-free poly living. I don't know what exists in the 'real world', but the relationship corner is full of stories one more horrifying than next (though not all posts over there are like that), and I feel this forum gives quite a disproportional picture of what poly must be like. I think it must be healthy to have at least some members writing who are making it work without huge amounts of drama. Even if that means that we don't often feel there's much poly related to post since it's just life." (End quote)

I hope it is acceptable to quote from other member's comments from someone else's blog. I saw nothing clearly forbidding it, but apologize if it was out of line.

I think there is an element of learning what *not* to do in reading some of the crash and burn threads here, and that has value. I also believe that for those of us who want the minimum amount of drama in our lives, these success stories can give us hope that our dreams can possibly come true. Thank you to the members quoted above, and to Phy, for shining a positive light out there for this newbie.
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  #14  
Old 02-08-2013, 01:03 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Everyone needs positive reinforcement and that DOES often come from hearing/seeing or reading other people's happy stories.

But, Autumn is right, most people who are happy-are busy enjoying their happy lives. Whereas, the people who are online desperately seeking-are the ones who aren't happy.
Thus-you end up with the majority of posts being made by people struggling through some issue or another.

THAT SAID-I wanted to say a few things to you.

1st-I'm enjoying reading your blog. It's funny and sincere at one time and I appreciate that.

2nd-in the midst of what feels terribly like crisis-we are living life and sometimes "crisis" is just a lesson we are learning.

3rd- About happy endings.

I met GG (my boyfriend) 20 years ago this coming April. We have been lovers, friends, sexually intimate, not sexually intimate-the whole spectrum over that time (ok-except exes-we've never been exes).
The piece that remained constant was that we love one another, that we care about and care for each other, that we are committed to being there for each other.
But-in what form? That has changed so many times over the years! None of those changes was a "bad" thing. In each case, it was a matter of life circumstance and our personal needs.
I think our story IS a happy ending. In fact, it's a happy beginning, happy succession of time and a happy ending-though of course with the end of each day, moment, experience, we are already beginning a new one-so we haven't ended really.

If you read through my blog on here, you will mostly read about the ups and downs my husband (Maca) and I have struggled through. You won't see a lot about GG and I-not because it didn't matter-but because it gets so repetitive.
We're happy. We love each other. We wish there were more hours in the day. Sometimes we get mad or hurt or sad or lonely-but we always find our way through the darkness together.

Though the rocky spots have been much more..... wild? with Maca-I could say the same is true for he and I. We met 25 years ago. We started dating 15 years ago and we married in July of 1999. We've been through hell-with GG right in the midst of it all. But, the key word isn't hell, the key word is THROUGH.
You see, we made it through. I imagine there will be more hell to get through before its all said and done. I have no intention of dying yet (though as you noted it could happen that a bus took me out tomorrow).
But we too are a success story. We navigated through an affair, abortion, into polyamory. We're raising children (21, 13 tomorrow, and 5) and enjoying our grandson.

And finally, there is the V which is myself, Maca and GG together as a family with the kids, grandkids and extended family. We too are a success story. We're making progress financially, looking at buying a second home in the next year or two (have to find the one we want). We've cleaned up credit and paid off debt. We've survived several medical crisis with each others support. We've successfully raised and given our daughter in marriage, witnessed the birth of our first grandson, with a second on the way. Tomorrow we will celebrate the 13th birthday of our son. In June we will celebrate the 6th birthday of the daughter we created together (long story written elsewhere).

We've built a family amid the dysfunctional mess our parents raised each of us to be. We've pulled that family through the fires of hell and the ash and debris that were the aftermath of some pretty idiotic choices.
Today-we are living our lives, looking to the future with curiosity and to the past with relief AND more importantly a sense of accomplishment and success.

So, yes, it is a struggle to FIND the success stories. But, they do exist. Don't doubt the existence just because it doesn't appear the minute you type it in a search engine.

And-as for the research-it's in process! Many of us are already researching poly. But it will take time to process enough info for it to be functional statistically.

Keep writing, keep living, keep loving, keep learning.
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2013, 02:02 AM
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Default Thanks, Loving Radiance

I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read, and for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts.
This kind of feedback is incredibly helpful.
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  #16  
Old 02-10-2013, 02:25 AM
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Default Square One

Today the Pidge and I had another long, hard talk. I'm not sure there have ever been two people more awkward and floundery when it comes to conversations about feelings and perceptions.
We talked about events from 2010, and it was horrifying to realize that one event we both remember, we saw completely differently at the time, and have seen differently every since. Something I said in frustration some months later
has been hanging over her head like an ominous threat since then. She has been severely curtailing normal human interactions in order to try to reassure me, while I am Captain Oblivious. The list of misperceptions seems endless, and painfully self-destructive, and just so unnecessary for two reasonably intelligent adults.
She thinks she is messing things up, I think she's coping as well with her illness as any person could. She thinks my saying that if our relationship ended, we would still be friends means I want to break up. I think it means I don't want her out of my life. She thinks she's the problem, I think the problem is she never wants to tell me when I've got my head so far up my ass I can see my tonsils.

She is crying so hard she can barely speak, I am cold as ice the whole time. Finally, she just says "If you are in love with me, and want this relationship, why can't you just SAY SO? Sometimes people need to hear the words! All you ever do is ask me how *I* feel, then stop speaking at all." Yeeeech. I'm just an ass. Here, let me kick this puppy, pluck the wings off some butterflies, and pee in a blind man's coffee....then I can finish this blog entry.

Bottom line...When I feel a relationship is in jeopardy, and the outcome is out of my control, I will shut my feelings down. Hard, cold, dead. As I told her, I would rather kill something myself of my own free will than have it taken away from me against my wishes. I will pull my own heart out of my chest and throw it away before I'll let someone else break it again. Pidge is not that way. She is a much warmer, much kinder person than I am. And yet, for a year and a half I have been by her side, caring for her, keeping her alive, and that's not actually an exaggeration. I have demonstrated my love and my committment to her in tangible ways. For whatever twisted reason, I just can't actually speak it in words.

How does this relate to poly relationships? Well, if you could have seen the fear and sadness in her eyes when she asked me if I would be able to open up to a man the way I have never opened up to her again since that steaming pile of bullshit happened in 2010....you'd understand.
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2013, 07:29 AM
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Phy Phy is offline
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Hey there

I have been following your blog as well. Let me tell you that I feel for you with all that medical struggle and health issues. But somehow, I wish there was something I could actively do to improve Lin's health, like you who worked so hard for Pidge. I hope things will continue to get better for you two.

And in regard to this problem that you discovered in retrospection: Lin and I had a similar situation not so long ago. The only difference was, that we immediately talked about it. Checking in with your partner is so important, it avoids those sitautions. Harboring negative feelings never gets you to a place where you will be happy and content. Speaking about everything that doesn't sit well with you is the way to go. I hope you will be able to clear this. Speaking up is something both of you need to bear in mind. I know how hard it is to talk about feelings, I have that crack as well. But I am getting better. And she seems to lack the currage to confront you about all this earlier. That was 2 years in the past already and it still hung over her head. She should have spoken up earlier. I hope that your exposure to poly will help you discover the full set of possibility of this important tool for maintanance that every relationship so desperately needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StudentofLife View Post
Recently on another thread, in response to my comment about the seemingly somewhat negative tone of the average post, Autumnal Tone wrote:

(Quote)
"And the folks who have years of happiness where it doesn't fall apart--you think they're going to be posting about all of their non-dramatic continuation in their relationships? Would anybody want to read a post that says, essentially "Still together, yup"?"(End quote)

Quote:
I think there is an element of learning what *not* to do in reading some of the crash and burn threads here, and that has value. I also believe that for those of us who want the minimum amount of drama in our lives, these success stories can give us hope that our dreams can possibly come true. Thank you to the members quoted above, and to Phy, for shining a positive light out there for this newbie.
I was questioning the same thing when I got those responses. Does it make sense to tell happy stories when others are so desperate? It does indeed, as there is merit in the negative experiences as well. That's how I delved into it. Reading every negative bit I found to not make those mistakes as well. It worked, mostly.

We have been quite lucky up to now. There is normal relationship stuff going on, but no real negativities in regard to poly. Our overall happiness has taken quite a hit right now, but again, nothing poly related. I hope that this tendency will go on (even though I hope for some happier times right now for sure). Therefore: you are welcome I hope the light doesn't cease to shine on. ^.^
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  #18  
Old 02-10-2013, 05:09 PM
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Smile Thank you, Phy!

Phy,

I so appreciate your taking the time to comment on my blog. I know from reading yours that you really have your hands full right now, and it means a lot that you spoke to me. I know you can relate to watching someone you love so much struggle for their health, and I deeply hope that both Lin and your mother are doing okay right now. I also hope that your desire for a baby comes to a happy resolution for you. You deserve the good things in life.

I agree 100% with everything you said. Communication is the life raft that will save Pidge and I, if we can just be smart enough to climb into it. Yesterday I was a bit overwhelmed with the intensity of our conversation, and more than a little horrified by how frightened and sad she had been about our relationship, when on the surface nothing much showed. I can't escape the irony that I was so afraid to upset her by speaking of difficult things, yet it was my silence that was terrifying her.

We agreed yesterday that what is needed is a fresh start for us together, to let go of the hurts of the past, while retaining the lessons there to be learned. We went to a book store after our conversation, in search of non-violent communication method reading, and other books I have heard of here that we thought might help. We've agreed that no matter how difficult honest talks are for both of us, they must and will happen from now on. Scheduling time for talking will now be done, and we will hold each other accountable.

I am glad that we gave ourselves this year to get into a good place together before we tried to involve another person/s in our lives. We both still want that, but as things are now it wouldn't be kind or fair to anyone. Still, we agreed it remains as a longer-term goal for us both.

At the end of the conversation, I told her I thought we just needed to let the past go, it was beating a dead horse. I asked her if we could do that, and she laughed and said "Well, we may need to circle the corpse a few more times, counting flies, but then we'll bury it or cremate it, for sure!" I just love that girl.
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2013, 06:57 PM
kclynn kclynn is offline
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Default Me too

When I read your post.. ."Bottom line...When I feel a relationship is in jeopardy, and the outcome is out of my control, I will shut my feelings down. Hard, cold, dead. As I told her, I would rather kill something myself of my own free will than have it taken away from me against my wishes. I will pull my own heart out of my chest and throw it away before I'll let someone else break it again."

I had to reply. That is exactly how I am only you put it into words I can never seem to articulate to anyone. I too shut down. Let me be the one to hurt myself, rather than it be from someone that I love so much. I even jump ahead into that ending even if what that person was trying to tell me was not an ending but just a discussion. Because from there....the only obvious ending (in my mind) is an...ending.

I have bee reading your posts and want you to know that I really love your directness and honesty. I am new to being Poly. Not even sure I am....Poly. Just trying to figure it all out.
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  #20  
Old 02-10-2013, 07:31 PM
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Smile Hi kclynn

I wanted to say thank you for your response, and your kind words. It would be great to talk with other people who are struggling a bit with the process of getting our skills to grow.

I think I need to really look at how unproductive my old patterns are. In terms of dead horses, I don't know if it's worth a huge amount of time to worry about the history behind it. Maybe what would truly help is to become aware of the patterns, recognize them consciously, and have a stategy in place for moving in the direction I need to go, instead of down the same rutted path. I don't want to spin in circles of "Why am I this way?" I just want to stop being this way!

That said, the Pidge does say she understands it's just the way I protect myself. I want to get to the point of not feeling so tender that I require that level of protection. The walls that should protect me isolate me, isn't that how it goes?

Anyway, I'm glad you're enoying my crazypants blog. I swear when you dig down to the root of it, you'll find the desire for a poly relationship. Maybe I can console myself by thinking that the experience of two people trying to find the right way to open a relationship has merit, along with the people who write about how it turned out later. Or, I can console myself with pie... Pie......
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