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  #151  
Old 07-23-2013, 09:57 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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I was feeling very disconnected from MrBrown for a couple of days. I realized that some of that comes from the fact that I am experiencing some sort of withdrawal from the C drama. Even though things weren't a lot of fun recently, we communicated so much, that with that connection gone, my life has become much more quiet. I know MrBrown is not going to fill that void, but subconsciously, I want him to.

This weekend I received an email invitation for a party he and his GF are throwing end of the summer. Its some sort of combined birthday party, but the invite has a picture of the two of them, a beautiful pic of them in a loving embrace, and it's very clear that it is THEIR party. My very first reaction was joy about being invited, and then I started to freak out, what would my position at this party be, was I 'just' a guest like all others, while I feel myself to be his partner as well? I could not get myself to the place where I could be grateful for being invited, I was so stuck in the place where I worried about going and feeling awkward and not being seen (my major issue with C - and a major trigger for most of my anxiety issues).

I tried to connect with him but he wasn't online much, did not repsond to messages, and panic set in.

But last night he contacted me and we had our first Skype date (it was actually my first Skype date ever!) and it was great. We talked about the party, my issues with it, and I was open , and he was listening, and reassured me, and I felt so much better.
We ended a couple of hours talk with some nice webcam sex (another first) and I never knew that could be so much fun! I'm still glowing from it, and feel like we had a 'real' date.

I must be careful to not let my sadness over the break up spill over into causing abandonment issues in my other relationships. The ones I have are pretty amazing, and I want to enjoy them and be grateful for them.
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  #152  
Old 07-23-2013, 01:27 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I must be careful to not let my sadness over the break up spill over into causing abandonment issues in my other relationships. The ones I have are pretty amazing, and I wat to enjoy them and be grateful for them.
Oh, this is a great realization to have!

When I still so very stuck in the muck and mire of feeling devastated and abandoned by my husband after he left me, I started seeing Shorty. There would be times when I would just start crying while he was fucking me. He would stop and say, "Are you all right? Did I hurt you?" and I'd tell him, "Don't mind me, just keep going." Hahaha, how odd I must've seemed. But I knew all this emotion was just going to come out & I didn't think I could control it.

I didn't see until I read your post just now that I was really overlaying all my abandonment issues on him. I had already realized that I really wasn't ready to be in a relationship at the time, but I hadn't exactly looked at it this way before. When he broke up with me after a few months, stating that I wanted more out of the relationship than he did, and basically that I was too needy and clingy. I had let all my feelings of fucked-upness and abandonment color too many of my interactions and expectations of him. But it's a familiar mechanism with me, too, because I have abandonment issues in general, over my father abandoning my mother and our family when I was very young, so it is a pattern of mine I need to always watch out for.
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  #153  
Old 07-26-2013, 07:45 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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Another thing that I must be careful to not let spill over into other / new reationships, is the fact that I had a very close, 'domestic' relationship with C and I miss not having that. Well I have it with Ren of course but it was such a new adventure for me to share this with someone else as well (something I never even thought I would be interested in, but it all flowed so naturally with him). Being in his house, cooking, feeling at home there, having his key in my bag at all times, sometimes I spent a day alone in his house, writing, while he was at work.

I noticed that I am reaching out to MrBrown more to plan dates and stuff, and this is not our / his style, and it upsets me when its not happening, and then I realize I don't really WANT the 'domesticness' with him. I just miss that part of my relationship with C.

I also want to make sure I approach new people with an open mind and not with a set expectation of what a new connection should look like.

New People: not giving hem names yet, but!
I have a date planned with 99%guy for next week. We are having a nce email exchange, he's cute, smart. I think it's possible he is a little too inexperienced in poly for me.. I am really not looking forward to another guy testing this out with me. But, we'll see, I'm very interested to meet him in person.

I also contacted a guy from OKCupid I'd been corresponding with last fall. I think we tried to plan a date, but somehow schedules did not match, and then the conversation sort of fizzled out, and then he dissappeared from OKC. But I recently saw his picture again and was reminded of the nice email exchange we had. He responded immediately and we have a date for next week.

I also contacted the guy I had my first one on one date with 3 years ago. After Ren and I had tried swinging for a bit (and found that that wasn't really what we were after) we met this couple online, and had one date the 4 of us. After that we weren't really dating as a couple anymore, but I did have one more date with just the guy. But this was so soon into our poly explorations, we really weren't ready. I cringe a little when I think of it... Ren was quite jealous, and I had a time frame of about 2 hours alone with this guy, and then Ren came home, guy and me had just rolled out of bed, and Ren had been in a bar with the GF of the guy... and they both came home, and then the 4 of us had a glass of wine, and it was one of the most AWKWARD situations ever.

He popped into my head the other day because he was actually the first person to mention the word poly to me and I was writing about how my introduction to poly had started off. I found his number still stored in my phone, sent him a text message, (hoping that was still his number!) he replied that he's on vacation now but will get back to me when he's back, and that he's looking forward to exchanging stories. I am aware of the fact how dangerous it can be to rekindle something from the past. So I am trying to have no expectations about this. he's a great guy though, and any connection we could form (even just one night of sharing experiences) would be lovely.

So, busy.
But I also have a lot of extra time now that I'm no longer travelling to see C all the time. It will save me a bunch of money, too (which I can now spend in bars going on first dates haha)
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Last edited by Cleo; 07-26-2013 at 07:53 AM.
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  #154  
Old 07-27-2013, 06:51 PM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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I emailed MrBrown a couple of possible days for a date and he replied he doesn't want to schedule anything right now. It makes me anxious and sad, because this could mean I won't see him for a very long time - he doesn't want to plan in the next 2 weeks, then he's going away for 2 weeks, and then I am going away for 3 weeks.

I know he's picking up on my abandonment issues and insecurities. I recently read the relationship anarchy pamphlet that Marcus links to in his sig, and that's my MrBrown, to the last dot. He is completely independent and will only do things because he wants them to. He will never placate me or say stuff I want him to tell me. And I love him for it, and our relationship is special, and the D/s dynamic is in place here too - he call the shots. I do believe in his love, it's just really hard at the moment to not feel vulnerable, to not ask him for reassurance (which would only backfire - so I don't).

I've ben spending a lot of time by myself lately, and am reaching out to friends. I KNOW that I have to work on my relationship with myself first and foremost.

But it seems like I feel more sadness about C being gone from my life as time passes. The freedom and feeling liberated high I was on the first week has definitely worn off. I dream about him every night. And feel like crying at least twice a day
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  #155  
Old 07-28-2013, 04:43 PM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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I do have the best friends, I am so lucky. I was talking to a dear friend, who is mono, but very interested in me and my life. She also happens to be the person who cuts my hair
I was talking about my break up with C, issues with MrBrown, and feeling down. She said: You need some fun! You just need a nice date or something with someone who's interested in you.
I would never have told her about the dates I have lined up, I always feel a bit weird about talking about that to monogamous friends. But now I answered.. well, yes, I do actually have a date in a couple of days..
And she said: But then I have to do your hair right now! You have to look awesome for that!

I still amazes me when my friends who live very different lives are open minded enough to think with me and for me about my life.

So she cut my hair and I do look better
And yes I'm ready for some nice attention from a nice someone.
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  #156  
Old 08-01-2013, 09:45 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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Quoting Marcus, from another thread

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Originally Posted by Cleo View Post
The defining characteristic for which "type" of relationship style you are most suited for seems to boil down to one trait (with two applications). So I would focus less on which relationship type you fall into and more on your personal approach to relating with your partner.
1. Authority and Responsibility: do you believe that you have authority over and responsibility for your own time/feelings/body? Do you believe that your partner has any "duties" related to tending to your emotional state? Do you expect that they should maintain partial ownership of you?

2. Authority and Responsibility: do you believe that you have any authority or responsibility over your partners time/feelings/body? Do you have any say in what they do with their time/emotions/body? Do you expect to maintain partial ownership of them?
In the end, this is the building block of how you are going to relate to your partners. This is the one trait that keeps popping up on these boards and in the relationships around me, and in my own previous relationships.

If, like me, you claim total ownership of your own time/feelings/body and claim no ownership of your partners time/feelings/body then you are polyamorous by default. More precisely you would fall into a relationship anarchist or independent poly type.

At the far other end where a person claims a great deal of authority over their partners time/feelings/body and expect this interdependence from their partner as well... that would be what I would call a kind of tyrannical monogamy or hell on Earth. The other styles fall somewhere in between, but the classification of your relationship style is far less important than understanding fundamentally how you relate to your romantic partner.


********
Been thinking a lot about this lately and how it relates to family relationships. I'm having some issues with my parents lately. We've never been close, they've never supported me, we have no emotional connection, basically they've let me figure things out for myself and the only 2 things they ever really taught me was to a) be afraid of everything (just like them) and b) if things get rough, pretend everything is ok.

I managed a pretty distant relationship with them , where on the surface we pretended we were ok, but not having much contact (sometimes I would not call my mom for more than 2 weeks).

Now, my dad is in hospital and quite sick, and they expect me to 'be there for them' (they literally said: we never expected much from you but we always thought that in crisis, you would step up)

I don't even know what the 'stepping up' means. Sit at that bed and talking small talk, just like we always did? They don't talk about emotions. They never have and they are not learning this skill now. I don't want to 'be there'. They've never 'been there' for me.

Of course part of me feels guilty, a feeling that's triggered by lots of people not understanding why I am so 'cold' about my dad's illness.
I guess I feel that this is a relationship like any other, where both parties should put in the same effort to build something good. I guess it's the cultural norm that family relationships are different - you are supposed to love your family no matter what, blood is thicker bla bla bla. And it is that norm that is feeding my guilt.

Anyway, I know it's not very poly related, although in a way it is. Poly relationships have taught me so much about being independant and autonomous, and I guess this is spilling over into my family relationships, where I find it harder and harder to just go through the motions and pretend.

Was just wondering if other people have experienced something similar?
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Last edited by Cleo; 08-01-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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  #157  
Old 08-01-2013, 01:03 PM
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blood is thicker bla bla bla. And it is that norm that is feeding my guilt.
This made me chuckle.

My brother has called me "cold" before. That classification always makes me think of the movie State of Grace. Long story short, the brother is emotionally bullying the sister and she finally tells him that she's not having any of it. He tells her she's "so cold" and she responds "Cold is what we call people when they won't do what we want them to anymore"... love it.

I find that I have given my family (my brother in particular) a great deal more leeway than I have other people. I guess it's the fact that he and I grew up together. The problem comes in when this distant sense of childhood connection brings me to feel like I "owe" him something. To him I'm always "so cold" but I feel like I'm just giving him the respect he is due (not much).

In the end, guilt and duty are horrible reasons to take action when it comes to personal relationships. We should take action because we want to, because it feels good to do so, not because we will feel guilty if we don't or we will be judged by someone for saying "No, I'm not going to do that".

Family is tough and I don't think your confusion is unreasonable.
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  #158  
Old 08-01-2013, 01:12 PM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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He tells her she's "so cold" and she responds "Cold is what we call people when they won't do what we want them to anymore"... love it.
Ha, that's a good one! Very true in all sorts of relationships.


I think my problem is with the 'do things because it feels good to do so'...
I feel like a bad person because being a loving, caring daughter to my parents, doesn't make me feel good, but makes me want to run, scream, and drink a lot of wine instead

I've been in touch with MrBrown whose life's philosophy is very much the same as yours Marcus (in fact numerous times I've thought you must be one and the same person, if it weren't for your pic, your description of your partners, and the fact that MrBrown doesn't speak very good english )

He says I should write down what I want, without thinking of the other voices. I need to make a choice and follow through, instead of doing what is basically what my parents taught me - muddle through and hope the bad things will go away by itself.

I know that's what I need to do. But it's hard.
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  #159  
Old 08-01-2013, 03:38 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Was just wondering if other people have experienced something similar?
Similar-ish possibly. I come from a family of very different and very independent people. My bro works in dangerous areas of the world and likes to fill his time with travel and danger and hard work. My sis has lots of children, lives with her partner and believes that marriage is the proper way to live. I remain militantly unmarried and childless, live on my own, work part time and study for fun.

Our mother is terribly unemotional. She has never told any of us that she loves us (although she does very much so - she just can't say it) and she shows massive favouritism toward our brother (although she denies that if we ever point it out to her). My sis and I maintain relationships with her, care for her and mostly talk small talk with her because that's what she can do.

Our dad died last year after a long, horrible battle with dementia. Mum cared for him at home for most of the time (we have no idea how she coped) until eventually social services stepped in, took him into a home where he quickly contracted pneumonia - he died after 2 weeks of dehydration and starvation.

While dad was at home, we did what we could to help. My sis lives nearby and she would sit with dad when she could. I would ring mum daily to check how she was and to hear the daily litany of all the inappropriate places dad had peed. My brother would stay with mum during his holidays.

Mum didn't nag any of us to do more and we didn't nag each other. We all did what we could. There was no pleasure in this for any of us - it was a horrible, stressful, nightmare few years and during it, there was very little support available for any of us from the family (understandably - my mum was at the end of her rope and not capable of offering help or support to anybody).

One of my dogs died after a long, horrid illness and when I told my mum that she was dying, mum told me not to expect any support and that she hoped I'd be okay. I have some very good friends who did help and support me so I was fine. I finished a degree and graduated during that time too - I went to the ceremony on my own and received hugs and congratulations from the friends I'd made on the course. (I did and do sometimes struggle with the lack of help and support from mum but I understand why it happened and so I don't resent her for it. I'm just glad that I have a good support network around me and was able to cope).

Then dad got ill and we all spent two weeks mostly sitting in hospital watching him die. We talked small talk - my bro and sis are like mum and don't do emotions. I got emotional support from my friends and my SO.

We didn't turn up and offer our support because it made us feel warm and fuzzy. Watching a loved one starve to death over a period of weeks isn't going to make many people feel warm and fuzzy - it's brutal - the stuff of nightmares. Nor did we do it out of obligation or to avoid guilt. We all did it because people we care about needed help and support and we are all lucky enough to be physically, mentally and emotionally solid enough to provide those things.

I hope that you are okay - even when we don't get along with our families, it seems that it's hard to cut them loose altogether. Take care of yourself and make sure you surround yourself with people who support you as much as you can do.

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  #160  
Old 08-02-2013, 03:06 AM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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I can relate somewhat; I'm not close at all to my mom and she always wants more than I'm willing to give. It took me a long time to feel comfortable saying no to requests that felt unreasonable. I used to say no but feel guilt or stress about it.

So I definitely think its a good idea to try hard to figure out what you are comfortable with, and what your boundaries are, and try to act in accordance with that rather than out of guilt.

But also try to keep in mind that all of your family may have done the best they could, even if it wasn't very good. Even if the end result was that you were neglected, it is probably (or at least possibly) fair to say that this wasn't their goal, which might make you less inclined to reject them now.

For me, I know it hurts my mom that I'm not close to her, and so even though it's completely reasonably that I'm not close to her, the situation troubles me, because I'd rather not hurt someone unnecessarily. This makes me more inclined to try to do thing for her, not because she's my mom, but simply because she's human. And because I'd rather avoid the possibility that later on, when she's not around, that I will feel regret over how I acted or over how little effort I made. I know I probably won't find the relationship that rewarding of itself, but perhaps I can take some satisfaction from having been kind. And I can try to change the dynamic to something more satisfying, even if it is only the satisfaction that I don't get as upset about it as I used to.

So I don't think you're obligated to your family, and I put no stock in blood is thicker...

And I don't think you should just go through the motions and pretend.

But I do think it's worth thinking about how you may feel later on, or even whether if you reframe the situation it might feel right to do something now - from your own choice, rather than obligation. If nothing else, it's worthwhile to have clarity about what you're willing to do, so you're also comfortable with recognizing the things you're not willing to do.

It may not suit you - I just reread your later comment about how being caring doesn't feel good at all - but maybe it's worth asking a bit why it makes you feel bad, and if it has to.

I don't think I said any of this terribly clearly, but i hope at least some of it makes sense.
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