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  #31  
Old 08-24-2012, 06:11 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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ON OPENING UP AGAIN: AS A MARRIED.


I just updated my Introduction thread to include this reply to refer back to this blog thread that talks about opening up well as a married couple.

Quote:
I actually have moved on to start stuffing some of my replies into my Blog Thread.

We are still Closed, and not Opening any time soon. Neither of us wants to mix active early childhood parenting with Polyamory -- it just doesn't appeal to us, and I have yet to come across a possible exception to the rule that moves me to renegotiate with DH sooner on that boundary limit.

I am loathe to act too fast too -- with eldercare pressures on my mind and hands. That's a huge Time and Brain drain.

We are not fit enough to offer ourselves as partners to Other(s) at this Time/Place.

But we've agreed to Open in Mind and Heart to just ourselves. Discuss and negotiate just us two to start for the next year. Work on ourselves and our relationship to walk the perimeters, smell the roses, do the checks, and do an honest assessment. If we WERE to Open -- what new Playground would we be seeking? What configuration? How to best execute that mission?

So lovermine, here we are NOW. Where should we go next?
He's been walking with me and traveling 'round the Sun with me near on two decades. I value his input.

I have started the thread for us to collect bookmarks for deeper offline conversation. (DH tends to lurk and read me and then talk to me in person or over email.)

We'll see where all that ends up when we are done talking. If we decide to park it there for longer or move it forward to Opening in Body and Soul too. And actually move it over to an active dating phase.

There is a Time and a Place for Everything. Everything should be at it's proper Time and Place.

Some things are NOT in my control in Life. But some things ARE. Like when I choose to be Open to More Love to Come In and when I choose to be CLOSED because there is too much going on already.

I always am amused at people who think they are not "really poly" or it doesn't "really count" as polyamorous practice unless they are actively dating or actively in a multi-partner configuration. I think polyamorous people are polyamourous 24/7! When are we NOT tending to the matters of the Heart? Our own Heart to start, and then that of our chosen Loves?

My merely being Open To More Love doesn't mean it will come at all, or come in the shape I want it to come. DH himself arrived in my life much too soon -- and I had to grapple with that then. A possible VERY Right One, but not quite at the right TIME!

I never bought the idea that there is only ONE Right One for me out there. I think there are MANY Right Ones out there -- but they don't always come at the Right Time or at the Right Place.

That is on me to discern for myself. Am I at a Right Time? Am I at a Right Place? Is he? Are WE?

So I think a lot. I know I sometimes think too much. It's constant Conversations Already in Progress inside my own head.

I like to yammer.

GalaGirl
I was amused because this blog thread points to my intro today and then I made my intro point to this thread.

And it's just one simple recursive loop around within my internal circuitry of Head Thinks.

I cross reference and cross index a lot. I tend to think out in webs. Not just linear, or multilinear. But knitted webs tapping many internal buckets of Logic, Reason, Emotion, Intuition, Experience, and more for possible useful reference points on the pass before I arrive at the final Conclusion. Whatever that is. A new partner would have to get used to that style of processing.

"There IS a method to my madness" is something I sometimes say to DH.

"I know I'm intense" is another.

So's "I'm trying to stay in good temper here, dude! Work with me!" which is a volume knob improvement from yesteryear's high volume of "Goddammit! I am fucking PISSED OFF! You make me NUTS!" I'm owning my own bag like an older grown up person, not a young grown up person. When I used to say he made me nuts, I know he can't MAKE me feel anything. But the SITUATION is making me nuts, and he is part of the situation making, so play ball! And play RIGHT!

He sometimes shakes his head at me and goes "You'd think after living with you so long I'd just LISTEN to you the first time and trust that you know what you know and you aren't really as crazy as you sound. Because that totally worked!"

Once we went to buy outdoor chairs at Home Depot and when we got to my car I asked if I could help him get it off the dolly.

DH: I got it.

Me: Ok. (And having learned that we end up quibbling if I press too much, I just let him OWN the Process of Putting In the Chairs. I'd done my job. I checked in. I offered. I was now doing my job again -- to let him have space to OWN IT.)

And I stood in the parking lot watching him fight with my car and our new chairs for a good long while. 5 min? 10 min?

I watched him go through cranky, fussy, upset, then wry amusement and then finally articulation.

DH: Is this one of those times where I should just listen to my Wife in the first place?

Me: Yes. Would you like me to give you advice now?

DH: (laughing) Yes. I would like to hear advice now.

Me: Stop trying to shove it in like that over and over via the trunk. It clearly will not work. You have already tested and re-tested it completely. Yay. So come in from the side via the back passenger door. It will be snug but should just fit.

DH: (executes, chairs slip in snug, but with just enough room to clear. He is pleased and amused and owns his own silly.) I should just learn to listen to my Wife more often when she offers me advice.

Me: Yes, your Wife agrees. I may not know everything, but I do know the shape of my own car pretty well.

I also know the shape of my own Mind damn well.

DH always tells me he loves that, and it's one of the many reasons he loves me. It may seem like spaghetti code all crazy. But it's more like a fractal layers. I know which one I'm on. I may not initially explain well which one I'm currently on, and may not notice if you are lost right away but that doesn't mean *I* am totally lost. I know where I am in my head. I just don't get it out of my mouth and into your ears well all the time.

I could be lost. I sometimes do get lost and brain fart. Most of the time I'm not lost though. I worry sometimes though as I age and deal in this chronic patient health biz of mine -- I'm gonna start to slip one day in Mind more permanently than the occasional brain fart. Sigh.

But that is speaking to future, and tonight? I'm in a happy layer so yay.

Happiness and off to find my honey bunny to play snuggles at bedtime. Whee!

GalaGirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-24-2012 at 06:03 PM.
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  #32  
Old 08-30-2012, 04:12 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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ON ABUSE AGAIN

I am sad today. The same friend is struggling so. The ones I think Opened without enough framework. That is one kind of problem. To do it from a rocky relationship just augments the trouble. Because that kind of thing never turns out well. Opening from a non-stable place just magnifies all the cracks that were there all along. It's not going to fix them. Worse they had some serious problems!

Friend grieves. Things got weird, ugly, abusive.

Communities like swinging, polamory, BDSM, etc -- most of the time you can meet the nicest people. But the nature of the thing is such that it will also attract some really messed up people, some predator people. Gives ethical swing, poly, and kink folks a bad name and a bad taste in their mouth to come across people flying under false colors.

Abuse is real. And choosing silence does not help the victim. It only helps the abuser.

As a friend? I do not judge. I just listen. I encourage turning to local aid where needed -- lawyer/therapists for the mind bucket, doctor/shelters for the body bucket, counselor/friends/outlets for the heart bucket, minister for the spirit bucket perhaps. When it is too hard to think as a Whole Person it is sometimes easier to think about tending each bucket in turn -- mental health, physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health. To help you keep putting one foot after the other so you can keep moving it forward even in baby steps.

But my own heart is heavy and grieves that this has to happen at all.

And in Opening Up conversations of my own it begs the question...
"Hey, DH. What if one of our Spice is a nutjob? What if we're too NRE blind to see it right away? How would you help me to protect me?"
But we are both much too drained with the drama around here to go there on that one tonight.

Perhaps tomorrow will be better -- especially for our hurting friend.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-30-2012 at 04:23 AM.
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  #33  
Old 09-04-2012, 04:43 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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ON COMMUNICATION: I VALUE STRAIGHT UP AND DIRECT

(The excerpt is from this thread talking about how to tell someone you are interested in a friends-with-benefits type relationship with them.)

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mya
I'm not sure how I'd react if someone said to me something like GalaGirl suggested. I guess in these things I like to see if the attraction/connection is there and if it is, then just go with it. That kind of direct suggestion feels a bit too...rational for me. Like a business proposal.
Amused.

Everyone has a different style even at different points in life.

My style as a married IS going to be business like because I want it CLEAR that there's no cheating going on here, and I'm not interested in a fling thing rocking my marriage with crazy drama people. I'm not a single -- I'm a married. And the potential honey has to meet or call DH at least. (I have agreements to meet with DH.)

DH himself actually was my FWB before he was a BF or husband. I was a single then. With him? We hung out a lot as friends and one day I just grinned at him and said, "Hey. I need to take a shower. Wanna join me?"

Whether full on flirty or more paced out business like I've just always been very direct and clear about what I want and what I'm after.

They don't have to say "YES." But if they do they know exactly what they are saying "YES" to. LOL.

GalaGirl.
I'm having a good day and feeling optimistic about various people in my life.

The abused friend is slowly better. Friend has been hurting but is taking the baby steps forward that need taking and is being very up front about things when talking to me. I appreciate that directness. I told friend to just tell me to shut up if I overwhelm or cross a line -- I don't want to be pushy but this whole drama triggers me. Abuse is horrible. Friend has had to tell me to hold up a few times and I've respected the limit immediately. Because it is NOT about me there. It's the Friend's deal. Friend says "Alright. I am FULL!" and I cut it the fuck out. My job here is not to make the choices for her. It's to remind her resources are out there and where to find them. She will figure out her path. I told her that's what I wanted my job to be and only that -- and she's holding me accountable. I told her MY limits -- and hold her accountable. We are doing ok and in relationship to each other then -- even if her other situation is just soap opera city.

Another friend apologized to me last night for being all caught up in her own stuff and failing to respect my limit and adding to my stresses. I told her it wasn't a big deal but I appreciated her owning it, I forgave her, and it was enough to own it. No further amends needed making. We've been friends for decades. I know Life happens, and anyone can have a bad day. I'm not friends with her this long because she's Ms. Perfect. I remain friends because she eventually owns it when she's being all "YAAARGGGGHHH!" and she realizes she's overstepped. So we're doing ok and in right relationship to each other. I sympathize with her SAHM blues and her tired/cranky making her short tempered. She sympathizes with my plight here with the abused friend making me stressy with worry for my other friend.

THIRD friend is having difficulty in their Open rship. Who doesn't have challenges? That's why this whole support board exists! Why there are counselors! But that friend is under a heavy heart burden right now, and coping. I offered an ear even though this friend isn't as tight as the previous people. The friend is getting close to the place of articulating wants, needs, limits to their partner and I hope they both rise to meet this latest challenge and they manage somehow to pull through decently. DH and I like them -- however it plays out we hope for the best for them. They too -- trying to own it and keep it real. This is why we are friends with them.

Things in Life just happen. Life is NOT static. What's so hard about just reporting internal weather then as you catch the waves Life hurls at ya?
  • State what it is you feel, what it is you want, what it is you need, and the limits.

Then people know where you are at, where you are coming from, and have a clue as to how to be with you in relationship!

I went to lunch with a fourth friend today and we got to talking about non-violent communication and good skills that can be learned there. DH had a date with our kid -- we'd had time as a couple, as a couple out with friends, today was to part ways and be individuals. Hence my lunch date with a pal and him taking kid off to do their dynamic duo thing. That's important -- tending tiers in the polymath relationships.

Anyway, pal and I geeked on Communication Skills. She's all down with NVC right now and was sharing some of that with me. I can see why it turns her on. I've skimmed some of that and I could get deeper into it. Things like

I can see where it could apply in my life.

I really value direct communication. I don't want to dance around. I don't want to play games. I don't want to mind reader. I want to ask a question, get an answer, accept it at face value as a truth shared, and be able to proceed from there. I dislike people lying to me. How can anyone proceed with correct information received from liars? Argh.

Even if a person is confused, I rather hear "I feel confused" as a more accurate weather report than listening to "balaaaaaaarrrrgh!" and crazy acting out stuff or playing the Avoidy game or making shit up and lying.

I really would love to hear more positives. I pointed out to DH the other day -- counseling, support boards -- that's a skewed reality.

The polyships that are running well? They are running well and mind their own business.

I think we do well.

I told him last night point blank that while I could be open to other configurations? My favorite is me as the MFM hinge. Duh. We had it before. There's a reason!

He laughed and told me I just love being the center of attention.

I laughed and said "YES!!!!!"

Then he told me loves that I'm point blank honest about it.

And I said "YES! I have selfish-osity preferences! Wheeee!"

And he said that I'm not being selfish about stating what it is that turns me on the most.

And I said I knew that. And it is true.

But then I felt all flirty and silly and wanted to shout around the room "Me! Me! Make it be all mememememememe!"

And he laughed at me and there is devolved into silliness and sex and the game of "sternly taking me to task for being sooooo bad."

Bliss.

We're not done talking and negotiating. But you know what? If I end up a hinge again one day it is going to be because I just SPIT IT OUT to him directly. And we worked on terms and agreements.

I just don't want it if I can't have it the way I want to have -- in a Good Share.

And he wants that too. He says the ONLY share is in a Good Share.

So no. I'm not a single any more.

I'm a married. I proceed with caution, and much slower speed. Because I'm responsible for not just my own but his buckets of well being -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health.

And if it comes to that dating place again? Hell yah, I'm going to be VERY direct and to the point about what it is I want/seek.

How else can one hope to actually GET IT?!

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-04-2012 at 04:45 AM.
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  #34  
Old 09-04-2012, 05:20 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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BOOKMARK: LOVE THEORY

I told DH I wanted to get his pulse on love theory and he drew a blank.

So I wanted to put it down as a boomark. That will be a fun convo.

GG
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  #35  
Old 09-05-2012, 04:00 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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ON RELATIONSHIPS: THE HUMAN SIMMER
BOOKMARK: The language of "shoulds"

More inner ramblings. I had a good day. Lots to think on. Doing my rounds of my village.

Today ANOTHER friend vented at me all kinds of things that are bugging him. He says he feels like he leans too much on me.

I told him that's on me to state and report. My limit.
  • I have the responsibility to know and state my wants, needs, and limits.

He could just hold his own baggage and could expect me to own my own baggage and trust that when I get too full, I will firmly say "Dude! Enough! I'm filled up here. Bookmark that for me to digest later, I've gotten to capacity here already. Limit reached! Talk next week!"

I had to remind him not to cross that boundary -- denying me my right to own my own responsibilities in relationship. Do not assume or presume. Let ME hold my own bag. If I did not want to be in conversation with you and listen to your hooha, why would I be talking to you? I can walk away. I want to own my end of the deal. Let me own it!

Part of his prob is he takes on all kinds of pre-thoughts, what-ifs, and "shoulds" and ends up clouding his own mental channel with needless static. He's trying to learn not to do that. As a friend, I try to give him the air time to practice.

The business of being in right relationship to people -- whether it is family, friends or romances... this is part of the whole Human Condition. Ditto the business of being in community.

Sharpen skills on friends, dude. They are safe, they are known quantities, they will forgive you your trespasses, and hand you your ass firmly and compassionately when you need to GROW.

So will ORE partners. But you won't get to the ORE place in romantic partners if you plod on like a dunderhead thru the dating phase and once the crack of NRE fades a year or so in... then what? Do you have good communication skills with this new romance person or what? can't say boo about their end of the sticks -- but have YOUR sticks been sharpened and held up?

That you do have control over.

Avoiding interaction because it is "too hard" -- lame. How can it ever get easier and you grow the skills if you do not engage and try to stretch? (My depressed SAHM friend is struggling there. It's ok to take a break when full. To check out permanently? What's that all about? You have become the dead and to stupid to fall over?


We all need time out breaks in the game of Life, but sooner or later you have to get back in it or grow stale.

Get thee to medical help if you have capital "D" Depression and sort yourself out. Otherwise - play ball and stop bitching you have no skills. PRACTICE so you can grow them then! Get some skills! You can read a book and take a class but sooner or later -- you must actually be amongst people to exercise it!

It is only in the Human Simmer brushing up against Other People (and their random unpredictable) that we get hammered and shaped into our best selves. You get to learn where you CAN handle relating situations. You get to learn where you still need work in your relating.

Why am I not a lurker on this board any more? So I can be hammered and sharpen my polyamory skills.

I'm giving back as best I can to help create positive community. What's my take away? Having to deal with easy people, harder people, really challenging people -- via "safe" posts.

Because if/when I get to the dating place again I'll be dealing in same in real time when I do not have the luxury of internet stranger distance. Sifting through the dating pool to seek/find my next honey will be all up in my face. And in my DH's face.

And I'll be dealing with him dating and all that ensues. I'll have to relate to metas, won't I? Why ostrich and avoid?

It's fine to want only Jedi players and not Muppet Show nutjobs.

But Jedi players still ENGAGE -- they don't stand around doing thing. And it is not a duel to the death. But what is poly but edge play of the heart? "Play well -- RELATE!" (Rather than "En garde!" )

Other people are like mirrors -- they hold you up to Yourself so you can see your strengths and weaknesses without the subjective POV clouding your vision.

I told my friend M. this weekend -- some people are gonna like me. Some are not. Some won't care one way or the other. SO WHAT? Aren't there enough people in the world so everyone can find their place to be in? Their best people to be with?

It's not like I can keep up with all of them or want to be tight with all of them. I'm content to stick the ones I choose that feed me in a positive way -- esp those that push me to grow, call me on my own shit, hold me accountable.

Even with the drama of my abused friend. It's a challenge to be in relationship with her right now. Because I get torqued off at the situation and I have to keep reminding myself it is NOT MY FIGHT TO FIGHT.

I have to be her friend while guarding my limit that I want NOTHING to do with her partner. I tell her this. That's her deal to solve, but I wasn't friends with partner before and I'm not gonna be now. I disapprove of his inappropriate behavior and whether it stems from a place of evil or a place of mental health problems and him needing medication --I do not know and I do not care.

To keep ME emotionally safe I need to stay the fuck away from trigger people like him. That is my HARD LIMIT.

But I can be her friend -- she does not trigger me, and she's basically a decent person. I can't stand her situation and would not wish it on anyone, but her current situation is not her. So I do my best, ask her for her buckets and report my own.

I report when my limits are in sight -- "I'm 5 min from blow, I'm full now!" And we back off and talk about something else to take brains off hook. I keep pointing to professionals to aid her but I get the value to also steam valving to friends.

And she gets some support in a taxing time of her life. And me? What's my take away? I get to support her and I get to learn to hold my own leash well so when it is MY turn for a taxing time I can police my own self well.

The SAHM friend asked me why I don't just dump her. That she's too much trouble and she worries about my well being. Well, should I dump the depressed friend too then? Because SHE is too much trouble? None of them have done anything to break the rules of being in right relationship with me. I'm supposed to dump friends because we're in stormy weather?

The Human Simmer is the struggle together. What are friends and romantic partners if not people to struggle with together? Who needs fair weather floozies?

My widowed friend I checked in on recently. She reports she's getting close to the "unload on friends now" place -- she's had to spend Hang Time at the Forge grieving with therapists first. Who expects to be widowed so young? Nobody. Life just IS. Should I dump her in her time of need because it is too much trouble?

I know my Hard Limits. I'll guard them.

My dad is weak with emotion skills and he always goes on about "people bringing problems" but even he seeks out the relatives and friends after secluding himself for a while. It isn't so much that people bring problems. It is that Humans are social critters, and no man is an island. Some are extroverts and need a LOT of contact in the Human Simmer pool. Some are introverts and need less. But we all need the dip.

The Human Simmer.

Both wonderful and horrible. We do not have to take on more than we can chew. We have the right to Choose who we want to be in Relationship with and what format that relationship is -- friend, lover, business, something else. We can Choose when to end that relationship. All relationships come with a clock attached. We don't have to tend all gardens forever. You do get dirty sometimes though. It is what it is.

Polyworld is a part of that Human Simmer I choose to be in and live in. It is both horrible and wonderful.

Life moves fast. Keep up, play ball, love your people Hard! Love them intensely, and love them in hard times too. Guard your own limits.

Play well like Jedi, not Muppet show.

En garde -- RELATE!

GG
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  #36  
Old 09-06-2012, 02:54 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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BOOKMARK: POLYCONFIGURATIONS FROM DH'S POV

Last night DH announces he wants to bookmark a conversation about polyconfigurations from his POV.

I asked him to put that into context.

He said his personality is such that he wants to break it down into components to examine and then build them back up.

I said ok, thanks for elaborating. And he does -- he likes to tinker and break things into pieces and them put them back together.

Me? I do same but in a different way. I learn visually so I like to write things down or draw pictures first. He learns via ears, so he has to think out loud.

He knows which ones are my favs -- V's and N's. I wouldn't mind a quad with the right people.

But even if I don't think I have an appeal, I still write them down on index cards. All the Open Models I'd be willing to discuss and where my limits are. I know I want a polyfi vibe because I have a low poly saturation point. Whatever the shape it comes in.

I've been breaking it down for myself on index cards and noting what I'd get from it, what I'd have to put in. What I think he'd get from it and what I think he'd have to put in.

He has to run his own pass thru them and do it from his direction. What he would get from it, and what he would put in Then his thoughts on what I get/put in. It's the reality check/calibration thing so we're both talking about the same thing and on the same page.

Then tonight we visited it a bit today. It's still a much bigger conversation to have but I told him it's been teasing my in my head all day because I love how he talks and thinks at me. So pllllleeeease give me a "for instance" to hold me til we make time for a larger conversation.

He started talking to me about lines and dotted lines and nodal points and stable and unstable in that geek science math way he does. He likes atom bonds as metaphor. Then he articulates his emotions in big 50 cent words that also turns me on as he starts laying out his limits to me. Which I want to hear and know about.

It is fun and productive certainly to be in conversation about Open Up well in future. But really? Gah. Just hanging out with him shooting the shit in the way we do turns me on because HE turns me on. I love the quality time/couple time/emotional intimacy. I ended up hugging him and kissing his ear.

"Gah! See! Work on cloning yourself, dude. Then I could have TWO of you and I'd be set on the polyhusbands along with the incest fantasy to boot! Woo!"

He laughed.

Then I grinned at him. "All kidding aside -- seriously. I love your hot ethics. And I love you. Now let's get ready for bed. Long day tomorrow."

We're so nerdy. Bliss.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-06-2012 at 06:22 AM.
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  #37  
Old 09-06-2012, 03:40 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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DECISION MAKING: ON EMOTIONAL FLOODING, KNOWING AND STATING WANTS NEEDS LIMITS, FINDING ENOUGHNESS LINES, FINDING THE COMFORTABLE UNCOMFORTABLE

Sometimes when I talk to other people trying to help them, it is like I'm talking to myself and DH.

We're in the talking/sorting space.

This is good to remember while in that space as we figure out our own lines of COMFORTABLE uncomfortable and "enoughness."

(Meta: I really do think in recursive loops!)

GG
---------------

(Excerpt from this thread.)
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by foundwanting
GalaGirl: You have it all in order. The choice has been given to me, which is why I made my way here to find assistance. The weight of that choice was starting to close in around me. Thank you sincerely for breaking things down for me in such a digestible way that I can more clearly see the facts of this thing. Especially the reminder that choices can be made between two stinky options rather than good and bad.
Glad to be of service.

BREATHE. If you are currently emotionally flooded, do not decide anything major just yet.

But perhaps make a small decision for yourself such as
  • I am emotionally flooded. I have decided to do some self care to cope with emotional flooding first.
  • I will hold myself accountable and tell my polypeeps that...
    • I am flooded, and doing self care: I already posted online about my problem. I will be doing ___ next to help me get a handle on it.
    • I will check back in on ____(date)___. Then I'm not tempted to be all avoidy/shirky on this issue and they know I'm not shirky/avoidy. I'm processing quietly.
    • In this time, what I need most from my polypeeps is (time? space? don't bug me while I'm thinking? Cookies? Something else?)
Then go read things about emotional flooding and how to cope. Here's 2 places to start:

http://www.simplemarriage.net/floodi...-to-start.html
http://portlandrelationshipinstitute...l_Floodin.html

You can't make a good sound decision when overwhelmed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by foundwanting
I'm not completely sure which way I'm leaning. I go back and forth. The old me would cut losses and try to be friends, but this past year has been an overwhelming opportunity for change in my life outside of this relationship, so I'm trying to figure out if these pains are, perhaps, growing pains. I'm willing to buck my trend for the sake of my own evolution as well as this girl being so incredibly dear to me.
Alright. You sound like you want to give the harmonious "V" thing a go then. And lose the belief rather than the woman.

So after you do your self care, if this is still the choice you are simmering on the back burner? And you are going to really invest in it and put it on the front burner?

Spend some time with yourself. You can google "change belief" and get all kinds of things for how to change core beliefs in a step by step fashion if you are not used to doing that kind of inner work.

You also spend time with yourself to KNOW you wants, needs, and limits from this harmonious "V" thing. Get them in order you can then STATE them to your polypeeps and enter the conversation of discernments so everyone steps up to the negotiation table with their cards and you work out what is best for all. You prob have to set an appt date so they have time to gather their thoughts in order. Figure something out that takes ALL of your wants, needs, and limits into reasonable consideration that is fair. The happy medium you can all be good with.

What do you want out of it? What do you need to feel safe in it? (Mental, emotional, physical, spiritual health buckets)

For instance -- do you need your open relationship model to come in a polyfidelitious shape -- where it is just the three of you and only the three of you? Is that a soft limit (for a time of X months/years and then open to change to deal with the others dating) or a hard limit (No WAY, Jose! NEVER more than the 3!)

Do you all communicate well in all your polymath tiers of this configuration? Deal with conflict resolution ok? How flexible are you as people grow, age, etc? Do you check in often enough with "state of the union" talks to get the temperature checks on how all feel/are doing along the way?

Have you done enough reading and learning on polyamory and common situations like jealousy? Division of labor/money/time?

http://www.morethantwo.com/
http://www.serolynne.com/trianglelove.htm

You do not have to be perfect. You do not have to know all the answers before going there. You just have to know enough to feel ok enough / safe enough flying in a polyship and feel like when Life Happens, you and your polyship can roll with it with some confidence/grace and will help each other through it. Some of that comes with preparation, some of that comes with experience over time. Can't rush the experience over time, but CAN do some prep.

Where are your "enoughness" lines at? Some places will feel comfortable. Some won't. Do you have a place that is COMFORTABLY uncomfortable?

Figure it out.

Hang in there! Personal growth is challenging.

Namaste,

GalaGirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-06-2012 at 03:43 AM.
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  #38  
Old 09-07-2012, 02:29 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is online now
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INTERNAL CONVERSATIONS: STAYING ON TOP OF ANXIETY

I have stress/anxiety/panic. Pretty well managed sans meds, I've learned a lot over the years. But there's still leftover Xanax in the cabinet if I ever get blindsided.

I do not like stress. It triggers anxiety/panic attacks for me.

DH has lived with me this long -- he's seen it all. I'm proud of us for navigating all that. (Remember the endoscopy for my maybe ulcer and seeing the nurse's brains up her nose?)

I take internal temps daily when I wake up. Not literal temperature -- emotional temp. So I'm sitting here checking my internal vibe and came to find thus.

A snapshot peek at internal conversation across my Brain Board of Trustees.

---- SNAPSHOT OF CONVERSATION ALREADY IN PROGRESS --------------

I am good. Where earlier in the summer I was feeling all like this...

"Ugh. Not happy! Ugh! Sad! Ugh! Must endure the Ugh!

I am safe, I am not crazy, DH is right here, we agreed to this -- to be Open in Mind and Heart for a year of discussion.

Ugh! I am mourning loss! Ugh!

I have not lost anything. I am right here. He is right here. I am letting go of one thing with him so I can take hold of another with him.

Ugh. I feel like crying. Ugh. I feel like vomit. Ugh. I will endure. Ugh.

I am not crazy.
Ugh.
I am enduring internal weather.
Ugh.
It will pass
.

Ugh. I feel weepy. Ugh. I still want to throw up. Ugh.

He's right here and I will not punish him or act out at him over what is essentially internal static. This we both chose to do. And we're not doing anything but talking seriously.
Ugh.

He's not doing anything to hurt me or doing anything wrong.

Ugh.

I am not doing anything to hurt me or doing anything wrong.
Ugh.
I will endure.
Ugh.

Stop ughing and go do something constructive already! Clean something!"
------- END SNAPSHOT ------------

There's always something to clean. I always clean to defray anxiety. I also clean for fun, and I also ignore cleaning. But I always clean to defray anxiety. DH notes with humor that I have not rearranged the furniture in this house.

It's been a happy home. The only time furniture moves is because we bought a new furniture or an old one went away. I do not do it as displacement activity here to try to put a new order in my external world to try to create order in my internal world. Or at least create an outworld that doesn't add to the UGH of my internal world. In our first two apartments I was changing the furniture around all the freakin' time. Here? Our third home? Hardly ever.

If I am stable within I can tolerate a whole lot more mess without. If I am stable within, I don't feel the need to rearrange my without.

Today?

I'm sitting here quietly reviewing FACTS rather than PERCEPTIONS.

-------- ENTER NEW SNAPSHOT PEEKIES ----------

"Hrm. Strange. Lack of UGH factor. Where did that go? How are we?

(silence. No ugh)


I am fine. DH is fine. Actually we've both been enjoying more intimacy -- (heart) emotional intimacy in deep conversation and (body) physical intimacy in lots of sex. There's (mind) intimacy too in the conversations when they take academic turns rather than personal relationship ones. (Poly in general vs poly for ourselves).

(silence. No ugh)


Extending outwards -- it's led to me cleaning up some of my other relationships and getting a bit more formal there too. It's all been positives there.

(silence. No ugh)


Extending outwards -- it's led me to put other areas of my life in orders -- house, financial planning, I have estate paperwork to look at, volunteering. Changes for me in hobbies (ex: belly dance class exploring) and maybe school/career now that kid is aging and I can start changing the shape of the SAHM thing more easily.

(silence. No ugh)


So... was it worth the UGH factor?

Yes.


And did it kill me?

No.


Did we love it?

No.


Did we endure?
Yes.


Did it reaffirm I'm not crazy?
Yup.


Did it reaffirm that I know how to hold my own bag?

Yup.


Can I hold my own bag next time then? Even if the circumstances/situation is another thing?

UGHHHH! WHAT KIND OF SITUATION?! WHERE? WHEN?"
And whoo! There it is! The stomach UGH/wanna vomit/anxious feeling thing!

"Ugh. I feel ugh. Why do I feel ugh?


Because I put a stick in that bucket and stirred it up looking for ugh where there was no ugh. It was all clear just a minute ago. Thinking about anxiety makes me anxious.

Ugh. Ugh! Hate anxious!


I know this. I will firmly put that stick DOWN and stop stirring up UGH. STOP wittering. "

------- END SNAPSHOT ------------

And I sat here. Breathing. Deeply. Mentally backing away from that corner. Relaxing my muscles and not holding my body in tension.

I am not under threat.

And if I'm stirring up my own anxiety bucket, it's on me to fucking stop stirring it.

And in the quiet? When I'm dealing with only one channel of emotion -- anxiety? I can put the fucker down.

I can feel whatever it is but I can choose to act with intention and not feed it further.

Actually, I can manage several emotions at once in crisis -- anger, anxiety, sadness, etc. I grow cool, efficient, and single minded. Slash and burn, accomplish missions, worry about emoting later.

Done it before, I know I can do it again. It's just that I don't WANT to be doing high level triage all the time in polyship. Polyship is more about the wonderful for me than the horrible.

So keeping horrible to minimal slosh would be nice. I don't want to Open just to function at high triage all the time. Just because I can do, and do well, does not mean doing that is FUN.

And doing keeping horrible down to minimal slosh requires knowing my own damn self quite well -- no Muppet players, no stressy stupid that can be put down, clear communication, clear emotional (and stress!) management, clear limits and consequences.

And now from within my perverse internal Board of Trustees, the one raising a hand to speak is the committee member named "Annoying Wry Humor at Inappropriate Times."

-------Enter Snapshot --------

Yes? You wish to speak?
Yah. So if/when you Open and if/when you date and if/when you have committed to some new Honey.... are ya gonna be slamming the doors and stomping off in your car like you used to a billion years ago when you and DH were trying to figure out conflict resolution skills and how to fight fair in a newbie relationship?
I hate you. Smartass.
hahaha!
Yeah, probably. Sigh. We'll see. I suppose DH can give them the leg up and tell them really it's all cool until I start rearranging the furniture. That distracting me with humor helps. Being good at just Hard Truthing it to me helps. Calling me on my shit helps. Owning your own shit helps.

Because then I'm not punching my hand thru drywall. THAT'S not somewhere I want to visit again in any relationship.

Yah, but DH would help you patch it again if Other pisses you off that bad. It wouldn't be new experience there. HAHAHA.
Yah, he's a sweetie. Shut up, smartass. Let's just not HAVE to break out drywall repair gear to begin with. I don't need new endoscopy for new maybe ulcers.

-------End Snapshot --------

Heh.

GalaGirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-08-2012 at 02:14 AM.
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  #39  
Old 09-07-2012, 10:11 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is online now
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GG- you rock. I really am appreciating this blog!
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  #40  
Old 09-08-2012, 03:34 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Default Thank you!

GG - thank you for this blog and for your contributions to this forum.

The day before yesterday my anxiety flared - heart pounding, pulse racing. Why? (My co-workers got quite concerned - which lead to some funny conversations...)

Husband good?
check

Boyfriend good?
check

Where panic? Nowhere but head. BUT amorphous - no target, overthinking. (Need to touch my boys - which bucket is this? They are not "real" unless I can see them/touch them - is a common meme in our relationship(s)).

Jane("Thinking-on Ugh!")Q
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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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