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  #131  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:15 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Wildflower -- Interesting... I don't think having a fav expression or processing mode of "intuitive" is avoidy. At times I go with logic. Other times I go with intuitive. Sometimes it is a mixture. We all have our favorite ways to connect, but if the desired outcome is the connection? Can't be to attached to the method then.

Whatever works, works. And what works is common language between the two people trying to connect.

What I find avoidy is not being responsive.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-29-2013 at 07:25 AM.
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  #132  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:16 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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ON ARTICULATING NEEDS: "SMART CRITERIA" (part1)

Here's an older thing that popped in my head from this thread. (note: Small edits for typos/fixes I didn't have time for in the original)

Quote:
Quote:
"we agreed that when I got home, we'd put off dating for a couple of weeks, to give us time to adjust to being apart before adding other people to the mix."
Quote:
To me - the method she's chosen to ease her pain increases mine.
I am not hearing specific on the limit.
What is "dating" to each of you? It is _____? I get confused sometimes because people mean "dating" like "having sex with."

"The mix" of WHAT? The bedroom for sex? Emotional relationship? Friendship?

I am not hearing specific on "the method" that bugs you either. That she overshares this information in general? She tells you at night when you are tired? Drives you nuts with texting? There are no specifics on how to communicate in the 2 week window to ease transition of "being back at home."

SMART check:

What (s)pecifics? No slang or euphemism. Let's get clear with GF.
  • No intercourse or outercourse or kink of any kind for 2 weeks when you get back to UK? General dating is fine?
  • Or not talking/flirting or general dating much less sexing with anyone new for 2 weeks when you get back to UK?
  • Or not TELLING you about the sex she has/talks she has/flirts she has for 2 weeks?Because overshare makes you nuts?
  • Or not TELLING you this stuff in (email/cel text) method that makes you nuts and doing it in THIS (phonecall) way instead, please.
  • Not hearing (s)pecifics.
  • I am hearing (m)easurable. 2 weeks.
  • I am not hearing (a)ttainable because 2 weeks is attainable but the specific is unknown still.
  • I am not hearing (r)easonable because 2 weeks part is reasonable enough but specific is unknown still
  • I am hearing (t)imely -- 2 weeks is an ok turn around for settling into regular life post trips.

This agreement is almost SMART criteria if you can iron out the specific.

Could also consider rewrite the agreement so it is more focused on what you want more of and "do this" , and not written from what you do not want -- "do not do this."

When GF asks you if you would like a beverage? "Do not bring me milk, please" (what you do not want) is not the same thing as saying "Do bring me orange juice, please." (what you want)

She could spend all day bringing coffee, tea, vodka, milkshake and you get pissed there is STILL no OJ and she gets pissed she's carting drinks about trying to satisfy you and you still are not satisfied.

Could maybe try to be more clear, more specific about your need that you want her to meet.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-29-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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  #133  
Old 01-29-2013, 05:20 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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ON ARTICULATING NEEDS: SMART CRITERIA (part 2)

Here is why "OJ" popped into my head.

I was talking to my depressed friend. I still worry about her. We were talking and I started feeling so frustrated. I initially went into things willing to listen, to be a Safe Ear. But I got a defensive prickly person accusing me of being/doing things I am not doing in the conversation. VERY defensive. I felt my own hackles go up in defensive mode.
Ms Emotion kicked in with:
  • What the hell? Am I not offering to LISTEN here? If she's gonna devalue my willingness and my time, why do I bother to offer to listen as a friend?

My own temper got riled up. Then I chose to breathe and let it go. This is my hurting friend. She's lashing out in her hurt.
Ms Logic kicked in with:
I went with those top 3's since they floated up first. But it was challenging.

Other than "Just be an ear" I did not get any direction from her. She did not specify that the HOW mattered to her -- how she wanted me to be an ear. "Be an ear. And be it like THIS" would serve her better if she could actually articulate her needs more clearly.

I defaulted to my own style of Ear-ness. Then I had to listen to her tell me how I'm not listening right. Do not do this, do not do that.

(Inside Meta voice From my POV -- it would be a lot easier if you tell me the HOW of "Be Ear" for you. WHAT TO DO! I am trying to platinum rule you, that is best. Treat you how YOU want to be treated. When you give no information on that, then I have to go Golden Rule -- treat you how *I* like to be treated as the next best guess then.

GOAL: I'm trying to treat you kindly and compassionately when you are flooding and having a tantrum. I am sympathetic, I've had emotional flood before too. I am trying to reach the Understanding Place.

ASSESS: You, madam, have no idea where you are trying to reach in this communication. Work with me here, lady! Ugh.)
I didn't say that out loud. It wasn't the time. But I still felt like I carted all sorts of metaphorical drinks about trying to satisfy her request of "Listen" when I don't even know she wants a beverage. Maybe she wants a listening burger and not a listening milkshake? She doesn't even know. And that's just the vehicle -- we are still not getting on to the THING.

Her communication was not clear. It left bits outs. I was trying to reach understanding. What do you DO with a person like that? Try to get the clarify.

She was hogging the floor and not letting me get a word in edgewise. When I could, I prompted her with "And?" like "please continue, tell me more and elaborate that point please" and she launched into new fusspot about how I was dismissing her and her problems.

I did not say "So what?" I was not dismissing her. She assumed I was dismissing her. She was confused and did not ask me for a clarify. If she had? I would have said "AND. Like tell me more on that... continue. And then what happened?"

That poked my buttons. Dealing with an assuming person complaining about people assuming things. Ugh. Again I had to put my own emotional response aside.

Though she did not ask, and I wanted to withold comfort from her because she was dinging me? I offered the clarify myself. "I don't mean it like that. I mean "And keep on telling me. What happened next? AND?"

She paused. And she kept going. Filling in the missing gaps. I chose to not use "And" as the prompting word. I went with "Ok... keep going..." for directional tether.

Being Undefined Ear? It's HARD to be present and be with someone who is SOOOO hurting they lash out indiscriminately. We are willing to do this with babies and toddlers. With adults, less willing. We expect them to handle themselves a bit better. Exhausting to tiptoe around eggshells but still trying to get the sense of where this is all at because the person does not communicate clearly. But even adults get themselves in a tizzy.

To be compassionate? Back off. Go with the known. I knew she wanted me to listen. So I listened. It felt like a different highway but I know this highway ride. Not just from my own flooding experiences.

When I ride the Alzheimer Interstate with Dad I know just ride and wait for the next appropriate exit and try to steer him there. If he doesn't bite, wait and try at the next exit. It could take a few exits before we get to come off the Alz Interstate. Just... be patient. Keep trying to change the channel.

My friend was riding the Emotional Flood Interstate. I had to sit and wait and try to give direction tether for how to step off.

Can't add that layer of feedback right now either -- about her communication style being weak and not serving her needs. If she could improve that, and make her needs known more clearly, maybe they'd be met more often by the people she requests at.

But she's not in a hearing place herself, where she can be receptive. Because then the defensive person clams up even tighter. Perceiving that they are being "judged" for having their feelings. Assuming all kinds of wacky.

Rather than perceiving that it is being offered as feedback on the communication style with which they express their feelings.

I cannot tell her that she isn't going to get her needs met (validate my feelings!) because she cannot speak her feelings "right." There's other cues for me to pick upo on to see her upset.

I'm not going to dangle candy and not offer. That's not compassionate. That is mean. We can work on smoother interstate road later -- right now just get on with it. Find the exit.

I decided to just listen and let whatever go on by. Just go for VENT & VALIDATE and not bother with VENT, VALIDATE, AND IDENTIFY PLACES FOR IMPROVEMENT. A multi-step thing wasn't gonna fly here today. And whatever gets dumped out -- I don't have to pick up that baggage in the unload. Just... unload. I ignored all the places she was not being logical. She was not in logical mode. She was in emotional mode. Feelings dumping out make no sense. Sort logic later. Just dump NOW. Hopefully she can stop seeing red. Then go back thru the rubble later.

She was still kinda prickly but eventually the quills vent down and some deep, deep sadness came out. It was palpable.

And it came out because I sucked it up -- this lashing out prickly business, my own emotional grr. And validated her feelings where possible. Clarified that I was not dismissing her, I was saying "And?" for her to keep it coming. Information still needed for me to see the whole picture. She finally felt safe enough to let it out. And express that horrible sadness.

I don't even know if venting was enough. I hope it was enough for NOW and that she feels better for the unload. Holding that yucky in is not healthy. I hope unloading some leads her to more permanent solutions for managing her best healths here.

But somewhere in that conversation I started to think "Good grief. She does not see where what she wants here is just not a realistic expectation. She is unwilling to let it GO, this unrealistic want. Until that happens? Hello, more suffering later. Sigh." She is not at that vantage point. Too many trees. Cannot yet see the forest.

She tells herself she wants OJ, and wants just keep trying to GET the OJ. She's unwilling to see that OJ? Cannot be had here. They don't sell that here. This is a limit. So she's exhausting herself running around try to get milk, vodka, tea, whatever.... trying to make it do the work of OJ in a zone where OJ will just not be had. She's trying to reconcile things (her OJ want) with limitations (OJ not sold here) by FORCE. Make OJ appear out of thin air.

That dead horse won't fly. She's so deep in the stink she cannot see.

So what do I do? What can I do? Other what what I already do? I listen. Let it be where it is and see if Time can do the work that I cannot. Because if nothing else, Time can bring a new point in Time. Maybe things will look different to her from that vantage point. Maybe not.

Only Time can tell.

And on my end? All I can do is choose to spend the time there with her. Supporting in appropriate ways. Listening.

Maybe someday when she is calmer we can talk about OJ and getting it in SMART ways. But that comes after discerning it is even sold at this store. Sigh.

I hurt for my friend. I care for her. But this is not my battle. It is her inner conflict thing only she can resolve inside there.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-29-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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  #134  
Old 02-13-2013, 07:50 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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WHAT I GET FROM MY MONO-POLY RELATIONSHIP
(Bookmark: Generosity of Spirit)

Excerpt from this thread.

Quote:
Are you the Mono or Poly in the relationship?

Polyamorous. DH is monoamorous and polyfriendly (Verified) but unsure if he is polyamorous himself.

What value does having this kind of relationship bring to your life?


None, if you mean the question just like that. I am poly. I am a woman. I have two feet. So? It brings no value. It just... IS.

I think you could mean...

"what value does choosing to be in the monoamorous-polyamorous relationship that you currently have bring to your life that is more rewarding than choosing to be in a mono-mono or a poly-poly configuration instead?"


For me? I get to be with him. He knew I was polywired when we were dating. He knew it before marriage. He knows it now in marriage. He loves me just as I am. Full on fierce.

And I have only experienced that ONCE -- from him. That sort of full frontal ACCEPTANCE.

Even BF2 it was not without initial qualms because he was monoamorous himself and worried. Yet he still pursued tho I was up front about polywiring and there being BF1 in the picture already.

BF1 now DH? Just accepted. I used to think he was just nuts to be this way. Too much "wear my heart on my sleeve." But I've learned a lot from him about generosity of spirit over the years -- he is incredibly generous with his non-tangibles. His time, goodwill, benefit of doubt, compassion, compersion.

I enjoy receiving this from him. I stick around to get more.

What value does this bring to your (primary) partners life?

I cannot presume to speak for him fully. I can share some things though -- he also gets to have ME in relationship and all I bring to the party. He says loves my intense, my honest, and my ethics. Tells me that all the time.

He tells me he enjoys the things he's learned from ME about life and living it. Like "Life is long -- doesn't all have to happen up at the front end."

What value does this bring to your relationship with your partner?

The "monoamorous - polyamorous" thing? Nothing. It just is. He is a man, I am a woman. He is mono, I am poly for wiring.

I think you could mean

"What skills required in a harmonious mono-poly mix benefit your relationship with your partner the most?"
Our willingness to be honest? Communicate? Willingness to verify, clarify, and hold each other accountable to our agreements and shared personal standard? Accept things how they are and keeping it in actual reality?

Rather than indulging in perceived realities and tempests in teapots and what iffing. Trying to change each other into something we are not? Accepting one another in the present and leaving space to grow over time and being willing to bear witness to that evolution and remain in relationship?

We have a shared relationship and we've built both trust and commitment here. It's stable, and we do the tending required to keep it so. *shrug*

He's been my easiest relationship ever. He says the same about me. We said that 2 years in, 10 years in, now 19 years in. It works because we are very compatible and have a good understanding of ourselves, each other, the relationship we share, and our goals we work toward. We've developed "our way of going" and "how we relate to each other" to the degree it needs to be to weather Life challenges. Births, deaths, job changes, aging, whatever.

If one wants to be in harmonious relationship, one has to be prepared and willing to pay BOTH the "price of admission" AND "continued membership" if you want to be in the shared relationship like a "member in good standing." It isn't enough for just one partner to do that. ALL partners must be willing to do that. Then the relationship (whatever shape or size or number) can fly true.

Fall short of meeting your own and your partner(s) wants, needs, and limits? Watch the turbulence increase on the ride then. Sometimes? To levels where fit hits the shan.

HTH!
Galagirl
Thinking a lot about DH. We've been really tight lately -- emotionally close, mentall close, physically close... when those align it could lead to nice poking me in my Soul from him. Moving me deeply. And he does. Yum!

Thinking a lot about DH today in another sense -- generosity of spirit.

Spending time helping my formerly Abused, now Divorcing Friend with her paperwork for the next hurdle in the Divorce journey. She's got another court date coming. It's tiresome, tedious paper shuffle. For me? Since I'm not a direct emotional participant, it's boring. I have to deal more in HER emotional stuff than the actual papers. Insert Tab A into slot B type busy busy. Forms online, checklist it, done.

But that sort of minutia could seem overwhelming to people in emotional duress. While she has enjoyed being free of abuse, she's still not quite over the hump. Tying up loose ends in the divorce process.

I'm sure this is not fun for HIM either. But what is the point in dragging it out? He has to pay that price too. Just get it DONE and BE done.

But I review the stuff I have and I see gaping holes. Ugh. Shenanigan-er making more shenanigans?

Here's the vocab lesson of the day:

Quote:
NON-PLUSSED.

adjective

1 so surprised and confused that one is unsure how to react: Henry looked completely nonplussed <--- this is my friend

2 North American informal not disconcerted; unperturbed. <--- this is me.
Same experience being shared. She's experiencing it one way. I'm getting it another? What's that got to do with poly?

Accept the "pretty bowl / pretty fish" is a part of the reality of relating. DH and I just had this last night. I don't even remember know what it was. I just remember standing near his desk looking at whatever thing it was when we were talking about our house repairs. And it came up... and I said "Pretty bowl, pretty fish" and he kept bringing it up. And I revalidated him. Like "I METAsee that." He sees it that way. I see it this way. We are at a pretty bowl/pretty fish place in the road. Got it. Now move it forward. Not spend time stuck there.

How you perceive it is not how another perceives it. That is why it is called perceived reality.

So... what's in your toolbox for finding out ACTUALITY? That's a good skill in general, not just in poly.

Here it is him and her in the divorce process, her and me in this crazy prep time, me and DH watching this unfold during our Engagement time taking notes. Regardless of the dyad or the filter? It's a truth -- how one perceives it is not how another perceives it.

I am tempted to get all GRRR with frustration. I keep letting it go. "Pretty bowl, pretty fish" I mutter to myself as I slog through paperwork. "Keep moving it forward" I mutter to myself as I staple and file.

And in my head I thought about what I rather be doing. I rather be with DH messing around with our hobbies, making love, anything but this work. But that's the job in front of me right now.

I had one of those moments not of WWJD, or WWUUD, but "What would my spouse's attitude be toward this? What would he try to cultivate?"

And the answer that floated up was "generosity of spirit."

So I went with it. I felt better. Thanks, DH.

Now that I traveled the long thought circle, here's the bottom line META that revalidates the excerpt for me.

What do I get out of being in a mono-poly relationship with DH? I get to enjoy me being with DH. That simple.

You could even toss the mono poly out of the sentence. What do I get out of being in a relationship with DH? I get to enjoy me being with DH.

I can't get that anywhere else. The me with him that I am and get to be? Can only come with him.

Oh, I could arrive here in this Me Place with another -- content, stable, happy. Come at it from the pretty bowl side.

But I only get the pretty fish views and experience here with him.

I can live without the bowl. Be fun to get to have bowl too.

But I know I want the fish. So here we be. We keep on choosing each other. Daily.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-13-2013 at 08:27 PM.
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  #135  
Old 02-14-2013, 04:53 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
... What do I get out of being in a relationship with DH? I get to enjoy me being with DH.

I can't get that anywhere else. The me with him that I am and get to be? Can only come with him.

Oh, I could arrive here in this Me Place with another -- content, stable, happy. Come at it from the pretty bowl side.

But I only get the pretty fish views and experience here with him.

I can live without the bowl. Be fun to get to have bowl too.

But I know I want the fish. So here we be. We keep on choosing each other. Daily.

Galagirl
Egads, YES! Brilliant.

"The me with him that I am and get to be? Can only come with him."

The me that I get to be at this moment is the me that I am with him - I would not be that me if I weren't with him. I would be a different me - that isn't to say a worse me or a better me - but the experience of being with him, of choosing to continuously be with him, shapes and informs the me that I am. Over and over - an ongoing process.

Now that I am with another him too? - that also shapes the me that I am. Now I am the me that I am when I am with them. It's not a generic - "this is how I am when I am with two people". It is very specific - this is the me that I get to be when I am with these two persons - who are the them that they are because they choose to be with the me that I am.

Which does NOT mean that we aren't complete people in and of ourselves. I am a whole person, whether I am with many people or none - but I am not unaffected by the people I choose to be with...so I am careful who I choose (I like enjoying being the me that I am! - pretty fish in pretty bowl - Joy!).

JaneQ
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #136  
Old 02-14-2013, 02:41 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Yup. I am whole in of myself. I don't need anyone to "complete" me.

But the company we choose to keep? It matters, since the company we keep affects us. That companionship from those people is either bringing us toward our best selves or NOT bringing us toward our best selves.

That's why parents worry about the kids their children pal around with. As adults -- it STILL matters. Who we pal around and keep company with.

Behooves us to choose wisely.

Galagirl
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  #137  
Old 02-20-2013, 02:06 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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ON MASLOW

Just a lot going on in my personal life. Also my friend's lives. Hanging out with Divorcing Friend and helping her prep for mediation. I hope her STBX goes with it because it's a lot cheaper for BOTH to settle out of court than be difficult and have to take it to a judge. But she's preparing for more shenanigans from that quarter. Plan for the worst. Hope for the best. Sigh.

DH and I continue in a kooshy zone. I don't need to be with other people to value what I have at home. A sane, sensible, solid partner person.

I was telling him the other day I just do not understand why people choose to go at it the way they do sometimes. I guess it's just the human animal. Who knows.

When I was single and dating him, I KNEW I was not ready. It was FWB for a year as I got myself back together post serious break up. I just wasn't ready to offer something bigger at that time. I was close, but not there yet -- hitting the top of my Maslow's needs triangle (8 stage model) over into "transcendence" where I have something to offer someone else, a willingness to help them become their best selves.

So we are here, engaged in taking stock and inventory of the polymath tiers currently available.
  • Am I full on my triangle as Me? All my needs topped up?
  • Is he full on his triangle as him? His needs topped up?
  • Is the couple full on the couple triangle as a couple? The couple needs?
  • Are we healthy, functional and sound? What polyship health could we offer?

Then if person ever appears it's taking stock of the missing components we cannot possibly examine before hand.
  • Is the new person full in the person's triangle?
  • Is the new group ok enough to go find out of the group can fly in polyship straight?

And when things go haywire (not IF, but WHEN) are we prepared to resolve conflict in a healthy way?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

I am reminded of my kid's little friend. We took the kids out for a playdate and all agreed that if anyone got lost at the park, we would meet HERE by the statue. Kid cheerfully went "Yup. Better safe than sorry!"

Nobody got lost. Had a great time. There. That so hard? Mind boggling.

Before we Open (if we go there) there will be some papers notorized and filed. If DH and I can't hack talking it out while we are good? Settling child custody, property, assets, debts? We have no business Opening and ending up at a place where we have to try to solve that kind of problem when we are NOT good.

Helping other people sort their relationship gone haywire things is hard enough. I don't need it to be some of my own that could be avoided with some thought.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-20-2013 at 02:14 AM.
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  #138  
Old 02-28-2013, 08:47 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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ON SUFFERING

Too much going on in my life and in my friends' lives. Some joys, some concerns, some sufferings. Don't feel like details. I'm on a meta track in conversation in my head with myself.

Suffering is a part of Living. You weather it out and make it through. Hopefully not just in one piece, but in good spirit and with a decent attitude.

Knowing when I hit my own personal limitations? That's a limit. Limit achieved. To unsuffer? I have to let go.

I may even have to let go of many ropes.

But sometimes that can be a gift -- giving the gift of a LIMIT to someone else. So they can stop swinging around in Hang Time and have solid ground again.

BAM. There it is. SOMETHING solid. A LIMIT. Now you have a reference point to recalibrate and navigate again to set off again in Life Journey in a better direction.

Not flapping around lost and blind and with no recourse. Just aimless, endless suffering suckage.

My one friend saw the lawyer moves on to the next step in the divorce.

My other friend is not sure if divorce is in his future.

I've got all kinds of eldercare concerns.

But this afternoon I turned my face to the sun, looked at the blue sky, and dumped rope. Sometimes I could give that gift to ME.

I don't know where I go to next, but I know I go lighter. I know I go toward the light.

Galagirl
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  #139  
Old 03-06-2013, 02:36 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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QUIET

I'm ok. Just quiet. Still digesting things. Several family deaths -- people in my extended family network of my childhood. Major figures actually -- like on the grandparent tier generation.

It's just the passage of time. These elders moved into the 80's a while ago, some of them crossing the veil now is not unexpected.

But it leaves me feeling the need to just be quiet and still inside. My soul feels ok, but my heart is heavy with some sadness and grief so I need to just let that blow on through.

I sent my godmother aunt a letter of comfort in this time. That helped some. That's another interpersonal skill to cultivate -- the skill to write good sympathy letters and not wimp out with a Hallmark greeting. But even that is better than saying nothing in a time of someone else's suffering. People need to be SEEN.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-06-2013 at 02:39 AM.
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  #140  
Old 03-18-2013, 01:23 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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STAGES OF GRIEF WHEN OPENING
Bookmark: "polydrop"

Still a bit sad on the family deaths. Overall happy and content in my own immediate life though. Kid is doing well. DH and I seem to be in a phase where we are really into in each other. Kid even asked when we're going to STOP flirting. We laughed.

My Formerly Abuse, Divorcing Friend called really late one night this week sobbing. I tried to comfort her. We both acknowledged it could be stress from an uncoming court date.

She's still on her way through the stages of grief and seems to be back in the "4. DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS" place. She seemed to move on to 5 and 6 but slid back a bit. Sometimes the stages of grief jiggle up and down a bit til you are really out.

It made me think of this post I made in this thread.

Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by duke
My wife communicated to me she felt like they were young and hot and indeed said she was afraid of being rejected by them, so to request a meeting might up the seriousness too much. She has a suspicion I'm requesting to meet them in order to 'screw her out' of her experience. This is certainly not the case. I look forward to knowing and liking this couple.
Well, you might not like them. You might like them. I think laying eyes on them helps you put down some anxiety/fear about them being weirdos. Your wife is precious to you, so you want to lay eyes on them to try to put some of the anxiety/fear down that they could treat her poorly. There is no GUARANTEE in anything in life but it could help you. Maybe explain to her that way? Dealing with "Fear of the unknown weirdo" is one of my biggest ughs.

Have you guys made the time/space to talk about loss?

Because while part of you could be like "Great! I'm ready!" the other part of you that is "Argh! It comes at a price tag! Now it is NOT just me and her!" may need some air time to feel better.

It could sound obvious that if you are Open, you are no longer CLOSED. But maybe that needs to be articulated, acknowledged together and mourned together a bit even if you both are reaching out toward Open because you both want to be there.

Like "Yes. This is a milestone in our journey together. This era of our shared time is now past. We are entering a new era now. I'm in it with ya, but yeah. CHANGES. Whoa. We will never be the same."

Could that be it? You are stage 4 of the stages of grief? Kinda skipped the 1-3 front chunk because there you both chose to tread willingly so there's not shock, denial, anger, etc. But you still have to digest on through the rest of the way?

It's ok to feel weird. The "new normal" is going to feel weird until it is the "old normal." Could try to focus on what you have and not focus on what you do not have. Give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you need to feel.

Sun is sun. Rain is rain. Emotion is emotion. Internal weather just IS. Do your best to let it blow on through in appropriate ways. Cheesy at it sounds, you only get rainbows after rain. Y'all are chasing the Open Rainbow. Figures you have to get through some rain to get there. You will be ok. Do what you need to do for self care while you weather it out.

Galagirl
I've had that feeling. Jiggling through stages of grief. And in terms of Opening? I have talked to DH about that loss of primacy, of not longer being closed.

HE is the one who said to me "I don't think of it as loss. I think of it as.... expanding."

I remember smiling in the car and thinking to myself "God, he's incredibly generous. And cute. And nuts. Even if it is expanding to include more people, there is still the need to process that loss. May not be a big ding, but it is a ding."

And it's me who is the known polywired person in this mixture.

I've brought it up over the years in a "what if" way and more seriously this summer. He's told me over and over -- if there I want to tread, he's willing to entertain the thought. He's told me also Yes. I can go there. Yes, we can talk about the HOW to go there well.

And I still had to process grief over "loss of primacy." I'll process it again, if there we go. He'll process it. I don't think it is a one time pass there. It is pass and repass.


I remember feeling it when we had the kid. It is no longer just us. There we chose to tread -- into parenting. But it is no longer just us. Especially in those newborn days that were so rough -- ugh. I remember missing it being just us! I didn't even love my kid until a few weeks in. She was some demanding stranger. I needed time to get to know her and while still demanding as a newborn, I grew to love her. But I wanted to hear from DH that he acknowledged it too -- it was no longer just us. That time was now over. It might come back when she grew up and moved out but it would be different. Because of the journey to get there. "Empty nest" is not the same as "never parented."

Brain drugs are so interesting. When I see friend crushes, I feel all goofy and crave seeing DH. That brain cascade of "Whee! Gimme more!" Sometimes I don't get another hit right away from DH and I experience withdrawal. And I experience that like non-interest in DH and a desire to see the friend crush for the new hit. Doesn't mean I do not love DH. It means I need a few days to clear the brain dump. I'm just not gonna get to ride the cumulative ping-pong effect this time and get a double dose of “whee!”

I feel that way after kink -- deliciously tranced out. And coming out of that can have some hangover time. I crave another hit, and if it does not happen, I go through this withdraw thing. Aversion. Like morning sickness - just don't even want to THINK about it.

The brain dump of grief is no different -- it can have some hangover time. It just feels like it skips the first few stages if it is experienced as grief post Opening.
  • There's no 1: Shock and Denial.
  • There's no 2: Pain and Guilt.
  • There's no 3: Anger and Bargaining

We choose to Open -- so it's not any "betrayal" stuff to get through first.

You land right into
  • 4: Depression, Reflection, Loneliness.

And have to work on through the rest...
  • 5: Upward Turn
  • 6: Reconstruction and Working Through
  • 7: Acceptance & Hope

And it should be felt -- experience the change and note that it did indeed change. If you Open, you are no longer Closed in the way that you were across many layers of the math.

To Open is a huge paradigm shift in the family math /poly math! To not feel anything at all would leave me wondering. Does the player understand what this is? Will there be a backlog later of emotional hooha coming to crash down later?

Where I think explosions happen is when brain drugs mix.

"Grief of loss of primacy + Jealousy" is a powerful cocktail.

When it happens in a swinging context where there's been the agreement of "sex but no feelings" that's naive to me. You share sex with someone, you are GOING to get brain dump. Ask anyone who's had a kink scene. You need appropriate aftercare. Go having naive swinging sex with someone, and not aware of that brain dump? You start growing feelings for the sex partner. Now you are in violation of your agreement with first partner. Now what?

If no space has been made to discuss changes or findings, you are sorely tempted to withhold information from old partner so you can keep getting your drugs -- in the arms of the new partner. Which leads to stronger feelings. And lies of omission. And guilt/fear of being found out. And resentment of old partner as a co-creator of the uncomfortable situation (the limiting agreements).

When it happens in a polyamorous context it's the same thing. "Drunk on NRE and neglecting the ORE" happens how many times to people?

The "brain drop" also happens in monoshipping -- stop with the pink fluffy lala clouds and enter the realities of being together. Rose colored glasses are off – and you experience withdrawal from the brain dump. Sometimes you think you no longer love your person or that “the magic is gone” – it's not necessarily gone. It's just not pink fluffy lala time any more.

Monodrop" gets a lot of things written about the experience. There's a some articles about subdrop and aftercare too. I always wonder why I can't seem to find any on "swingdrop" or "polydrop" and what the aftercare for those things would be written specifically from those angles of it. Drop is drop, really.

That transitional space where things feel weird because this is NOT the "old normal." And the "new normal" is not yet "normal" -- it is alien. Have to move through the change and.... arrive.

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-18-2013 at 01:31 PM.
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