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  #31  
Old 02-05-2014, 11:38 PM
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Haha, I love low-maintainance relationships.
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  #32  
Old 03-16-2014, 09:34 PM
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In several scattered posts in other boards/threads, I have mentioned that I have psychological disorders and take meds to manage them. Since this is "my blog thread" and my psychological condition says something about who I am, it occurred to me that I might want to lay it all out in more detail here.

The lengths of the lists in this post surprise to me, and perhaps will alarm you. But I don't mean them as a cry for help, as things have finally evened out for me after some 25 years of trial and error. I have a good life now and despite the nightmares that haunt me almost every time I sleep, I find life considerably less frightening than it used to be.

I have had counseling on and off since the 90's and while some of it helped, much of it seemed to be futile or inadvertently counterproductive. Overall it was the meds that saved whatever grace I had left, so that I can show some grace in my posts, and somewhat less consistently, in my live interactions with my loved ones. My late wife LV and my current poly partner Snowbunny both sacrificed much time and effort to get me the help that I needed. They also endured my panics, rages, shouting, freak-outs, emotional meltdowns, and extreme frustration over the years, and they took some verbal barbs from me that qualify as psychological abuse. For those who wonder, can a person with as serious of psychological problems as myself be a tolerable part of any poly (or mono) relationship, those women proved that, given the patience of Job, it can be done. I am grateful for their patience and loyalty, and remorseful for my many sins.

My life hasn't been all terrible; I have been treated to much joy and wonder. Much of my life has been a roller-coaster: brief ecstatic highs followed by lengthy devastating lows. I like the milder track the ride now offers much better.

My chronically angry mother was extremely critical toward her children and a master of cutting words, and while her rabid hanger beatings inspired physical terror, it was her verbal beatings that insinuated deep and far-reaching roots into my soul. I am my own worst enemy and metaphorically flog myself for my least mistakes. When posting, I mask the damage that hard criticism from others does to me, while my loved ones witness and put up with the effects of the profound upset and agitation that can persist in me for days. I am determined to learn how to take criticism into stride and so I sometimes expose myself to it against my better judgment. I think I am making progress and becoming more resilient, but I am also trying to establish healthier boundaries.

---

Professional diagnoses I've received (in roughly chronological order):
  • depression
  • attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • bipolar disorder (rapid cycling)
  • schizoaffective disorder
  • Asperger syndrome (mild autism spectrum disorder)
I have symptoms of all of the above, but Asperger's is the official current diagnosis.

---

Psychotropics (and other prescriptions) I've tried:
  • Abilify
  • Anafranil
  • Ambien
  • Amoxapine
  • Buspar
  • Celexa
  • Cylert
  • Depakote
  • Desipramine
  • Effexor
  • Emsam
  • Geodon
  • Haldol
  • Invega
  • Klonopin
  • Lamictal
  • Latuda
  • Lexapro
  • Lithobid
  • Lunesta
  • Luvox
  • Metformin
  • Paxil
  • Propranolol
  • Prozac
  • Remeron
  • Respen-A
  • Restoril
  • Risperdal
  • Ritalin
  • Rozerem
  • Saphris
  • Seroquel
  • Topamax
  • Trazodone
  • Trileptal
  • Valium
  • Wellbutrin
  • Xanax
  • Zoloft
  • Zyprexa
Currently taking Zyprexa, Metformin, and Xanax.

---

A few non-prescription aids I've tried:
  • acupuncture
  • fish oil
  • kava-kava
  • melatonin
  • mixed Eastern tea
  • St. John's wort
  • rosemary
  • valerian
  • vitamin D
Currently taking melatonin, vitamin D, and fish oil.

---

Obviously, most of the stuff I've tried ending up helping little if any, and in many cases yielded some nasty side effects. Zyprexa is a mixed blessing because it comes with a diabetes risk and diabetes already runs in my family. But because Zyprexa's done so well at soothing my troubled moods, I feel somewhat constrained to stick to it for now. I can only hope that the Metformin will contain the weight gain Zyprexa can cause, as weight gain also increases one's diabetes risk. I really suck at exercise nowadays and have less than zero motivation to do it, so eating less will have to suffice. And yes I might try cannabis at some point. Luckily it's legal in the State of Washington.
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  #33  
Old 03-16-2014, 10:41 PM
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Thanks for writing and posting all of this. I am in the process of maybe moving in my boyfriend, and the thought of sharing time and balancing everything is a bit daunting. As the hinge in a MFM vee, I feel a lot of responsibility in keeping everyone happy and things on an even keel. Honestly, I would love to hear about the ups and downs of the early years in your configuration - you wrote that you had lots of stormy stuff, but you eventually worked it out. Reading about pitfalls others have been through sure might help me!

Thanks bunches!
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  #34  
Old 03-17-2014, 02:33 AM
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Feel free to dig through my blog. It talks about all sorts of pitfalls we've worked through.

Kevin-You are so cool.
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  #35  
Old 03-18-2014, 09:04 PM
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Thanks LR.

Bluebird, I think moving in together is a monumental undertaking, especially if you are in the early stages (first few years) of your poly relationship together. I'll tell you what really put the whammy on me, is the layout of the house. It was a great layout for people with a comfortably worked-out dynamic together, but it was a terrible layout for people just now attempting polyamory for the first time in their lives.

The killer for me was the lack of an attached bath for my bedroom. This severely undermined my sense of privacy. It meant I did not have a cave I could bury myself in during my times of turmoil. I was going to be forced to walk past the living room every time Nature called. These trips I made back and forth to the bathroom punctuated the fact that I wasn't quickly warming up to Brother-Husband's company. For me that was normal; for him that was a sign of rejection. He felt like I was rejecting him. Whereas from my viewpoint I just needed more time alone before I'd be ready for a lot of socialization. Brother-Husband and I were raised in two different worlds. The difference in how we were raised affected how we perceived even the little things, and those little things were killing our rapport with each other.

The next problem was that I did not see myself as a primary partner, and that I did see myself as being vulnerable to the "law of veto" should Brother-Husband choose to invoke it. In official terms, our V had no secondaries and there were no veto powers. Hell if Snowbunny had been forced to choose him or me, I'd have probably "won" that contest. But that's not how I felt. I felt like my position in the family was very uncertain.

Now add to that the fact that Brother-Husband was just newly getting acquainted with the concept of his wife having sex with another man. He was trying but I don't think it was easy for him. At the time I definitely didn't think it was easy for him; in fact I suspected that he was not succeeding. This suspicion was reinforced when Snowbunny and I were alone together in my bedroom, and Brother-Husband was out there, frequently walking right past the bedroom door, making lots of extra noise compared to the usual, lots of noise in the kitchen etc.

No doubt some of this was exaggerated perception on my part, as I was afraid he was mad about me "sexing his wife" and as a result confirmation bias raised its ugly head in my mind and well, I gotta tell you, it ruined much of the mood for me and sometimes it ruined all of it. Which was a disaster because back in those early days I desperately craved sex and was reduced to a pile of bitter wreckage whenever a planned/promised sexual encounter fell through.

All of these factors piled up and increasingly aggravated each other until the only solution was to get Brother-Husband and me out of the same house. It became necessary for me to have a place of my own, a cave I could absolutely retreat to that was totally, securely out of the range of Brother-Husband's sight and hearing. So, he and Snowbunny moved into a townhouse in Albuquerque, and shortly thereafter I moved into a small condo unit about a ten-minute drive away. The drawback was that Snowbunny had to drive back and forth to spend time with her two men. The benefit was that it saved our endangered V relationship. It didn't save it instantly. A long spell (a year or two) of detoxification had to go by before I was really ready to start living in the same house as Brother-Husband again.

And even then, everyone now understood that Kevin's bedroom absolutely needs a connected bath at all times. In order for me to feel comfortable about "hanging out" with Brother-Husband, I had to know that I had a completely autonomous space I could retreat to if and whenever my own feelings got out of control.

Of course as you can see from my above post, I have many personal problems that the average guy doesn't have. So there are things I would need that the average guy wouldn't need.

But even taking that into account, I would still strongly caution anyone who is about to move in together. Maybe I wouldn't say, "Don't do it, it's impossible," but I would say, "Be really careful, there's a lot of things that can go wrong -- and establish privacy like nobody's business in the beginning." Needless to say, I'm an avid advocate for connected baths. They do wonders in the way of creating "cave suites" into which a person can hide when things get really tense, awkward, and/or plain old bad.

I can tell you more about the early struggles our V had, but those are the main things that come to my mind for the moment. Questions about specific details may ferret out more of my memories, memories perhaps that would be especially useful to you.

In general though, I just think it's hard for almost all poly units when they first get together. Lots of jealousy and insecurity. Lots of fears and frustrations. It takes people a long time to learn each other's quirks and idiosyncracies, and that learning is necessary before people can figure out how to live comfortably together.

I once heard the maxim, "First year forming, second year storming, third year norming." I wouldn't call that a scientific formula you can plan on, but it does express the general idea that, "Hey, you are going to have some rough times together. You have to prepare yourself for that, and don't beat yourself up when it happens. You're not failing, you're just going through a natural part of the process together."

I hope this post serves as a starter for you to prepare for your year of storming -- and maybe it won't be a year; who knows what it'll be. Just know that it's hard for people to get to know each other when they're just starting out on a poly venture together.

And know that, as my case demonstrated, each individual will have very different and unique needs compared to each other individual.
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  #36  
Old 03-18-2014, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Of course as you can see from my above post, I have many personal problems that the average guy doesn't have. So there are things I would need that the average guy wouldn't need.
Now, that would depend on who you are hanging out with to have a reference for average. Looking around my circle of friends, you would be average.

Private cave = Connecting bath and a mini fridge. Ok, maybe a toaster oven or a microwave too.

This can be very important anytime you have multiple adults living in one house, unless they are used to being roommates and sharing a bath.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:55 PM
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I think you are pretty damn awesome. Our pasts are what strengthen us. Not define us. I would still share my Krispy Kreme doughnuts with you. (The light was on this morning.)

I applaud you for having a successful live in V. It would drive me nuts. Living with Matt is more than enough. I need plenty of personal space, and most people would not be able to maintain my standards of neatness.
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  #38  
Old 03-18-2014, 10:12 PM
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@ FullofLove1052 ... mwah. And Krispy Kremes? Down under? Oh man, I have been officially badly influenced.

I think a key simplification that makes my live-in V possible is the lack of offspring. Shoot, I'm more comfortable around kids than I am around adults, but parenting would be sooo stressful. For me. Poly is complicated all by itself. I don't know how live-in poly-with-kids people manage to do it.

Re: neatness ... heh, love it, now if it just wasn't so darn much work.

@ SNeacail ... heh, I need to hang out with your circle of friends.

Re: mini fridge and toaster oven/microwave ... those are definitely nice perks and I'd never turn 'em down, but for a guy like me who could afford to lose 70 pounds anyway, it's almost better for me not to have the temptation. Plus one can technically say "no" to the tummy for many many hours, versus my bladder which is known to demand my attention every 20 minutes. Stupid bladder. It's not always as bad as that but you get the picture.

But yeah ... living together can be quite a challenge just for platonic roommates. Add to that a newbie poly dynamic, and wow, you can get enough sparks to start a bonfire.

Scary.
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  #39  
Old 03-18-2014, 10:39 PM
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Wow, thanks for all of that! Certainly helpful. Right now the idea for us - if we decide to co-habitate - is that I will stay in the big master suite and each of my guys will have a separate, private bedroom of their own. They won't have a private bathroom, except if they stay the night with me, in the master suite. Otherwise, there is a bathroom on each floor of the house - so 3 others to choose from. There is one directly across the hall from what would be my boyfriend's bedroom though.

My husband is already used to staying in the other bedroom, when I have sleepovers. He is amiable to keeping that one, especially since he has an early rise time and it gets the most light early in the morning. Other than that, both bedrooms are exactly the same size with just a tiny difference in the layout. Both have the same walk-in closet, carpeting, paint, etc.

I have never heard that saying, "First year forming, second year storming, third year norming." To be honest, I haven't had that experience with my other live-in relationships, but I will keep it in mind. Certainly I've only had two - my ex-husband who I was with for 12 years, and my current husband of 8 years - so I am by no means a pro at this! lol I will definitely keep it in mind.

How did you split the costs of living - evenly, like normal roommates? Or did you pay a specific rent, as you were moving into an already established household? We've been talking about how to do things and there really isn't a ton of guidance out there, that I have seen yet.

Did you have a lot of issues surrounding spillover noise from bedrooms? You mentioned you could hear your metamour outside your door during sex, that sounds awkward!
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  #40  
Old 03-19-2014, 12:02 AM
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Re:
Quote:
"How did you split the costs of living -- evenly, like normal roommates? Or did you pay a specific rent, as you were moving into an already established household? We've been talking about how to do things and there really isn't a ton of guidance out there, that I have seen yet."
I think there are so many possible ways of doing that. It almost needs its own thread (if it doesn't have one already, I haven't thoroughly searched). In my case, our V came together just at the time when we all moved together from Michigan to New Mexico. So the house was new to all three of us. As for money (house payments, groceries, whatever), we've always mostly pooled our resources and called it "funny money." But I know that many poly units split the costs very specifically with the individuals involved, and everyone is responsible for making sure their part gets taken care of. Whereas in my V, Snowbunny really takes the lead in managing the money -- all the money that is: our combined funds.

Re:
Quote:
"Did you have a lot of issues surrounding spillover noise from bedrooms? You mentioned you could hear your metamour outside your door during sex, that sounds awkward!"
Exactly. If I could hear him, I had to assume that he could hear me. Let's just say I tried to keep the noise level down to super spy level, and Snowbunny tried to do so too but found it to be more of a challenge ... I mean, come on, it sucks when your only opportunities to have sex, you feel like a jealous male nanny (i.e. the sex police) is out there taking notes of your every moan and shuffle. That was crazy!

We solve that problem now by only having sex when we're at home and Brother-Husband is at work. Honestly, I think that makes it easier for him as well. He's all onboard with this poly ideal -- in theory -- but out-of-sight/out-of-mind is a much easier way for him to live the ideal in practice.

Keep the questions coming, I always tackle them with a willing spirit.
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