Tag: Polyamory

05 – A Thought, Post-Anger

05 – A Thought, Post-Anger

There is a hum when I am with John.

Forgive me, there was a hum when I was with John.

I felt that hum the first time we met. It was quiet then. Not at full volume yet because I was too busy processing the Mount Everest amount of information he had handed to me with an encouraging smile. The hum picked up again in July of last year when I was able to spend more time with him. The hum reached a crescendo when I flew to Pluto to see him (Note: Pluto is a euphemism for the country he was in for about a year, in case you are marvelling at my easy access to space travel.)

The hum was beautiful. Like the whole universe was vibrating in its agreement with the relationship I was now in. He made me feel calm, at peace. I would have an awful day and sit next to him and feel amazing in five minutes or less.

I loved everything about John. I loved his smile. I loved his hands. I loved his eyes – there’s been plenty of times when I looked into them and would find myself grinning like a fool. Ear-to-ear, huge smile. Quite an accomplishment for someone with a small mouth. I loved the way he spoke. I loved the way I could snuggle into him and feel protected. I loved the way he made me feel safe.

Oh, the safety.

The man used to make me feel like nothing in the world could hurt me when I was with him. I wore his love like armour. Nothing could get through. I was protected from negative thoughts, less than kind intentions, hateful ideas.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t indestructible. The armour turned to ash when it came up against him. And me.

I used to wrap him in my love. I used to envision it protecting him. I used to do the same thing for him that I believed he did for me. I used to hate the idea of anything, anyone trying to hurt him. I hated seeing him in pain – any kind of it.

The armour needs to be continuously maintained though. Re-energized. Polished. Buffed. Checked for holes; wear and tear. We forgot to do that. Other things got in the way, the armour was getting weak in some areas – it tried to get our attention. We were deaf to its cries.

Something got under the armour. The first blow was a complete lack of attention. The second, his disinterest in spending time. The third, my words.

Oh, my words.

They do nothing but hurt. I shape them, I work on them with an obsessive eye till I am sure that it will do maximum damage. And I let them fly, with the accuracy of a sniper. I watch as he takes blow after blow. I wince at what he throws back. I throw harder, faster. I don’t want to lose this battle. Our armour falls to the floor, and at that point, the weapons are more powerful than ever. He pulls out a club embedded with giant sea urchins. I get my acid-covered boulder ready. The weapons get more and more damaging.

I look at the man I once truly believed loved me. His arm is pulled back, ready to deal the next blow. There is no love in his eyes anymore. There’s not even hate. There is only hurt.

I wonder who put it there?

04 – Fright Night

04 – Fright Night

This was a bad night that took place almost exactly a year ago

Have you ever had to slowly start erasing people out of your life? I’m talking about the erasing that has to happen even when the damage it will do to you after could be catastrophic. The kind that leaves you cracked right down the middle and blurred around the edges.

Have you ever had to wipe the moments of happiness, love and joy from your mind before beginning the physical process of detaching them from your sight and then your life? Losing a worthless friendship is one thing. But losing love that has been built for a significant period of time in a single night because of something minute that you did is impossible to fathom.

She screams. He breaks things. I shrink. I wonder how I got myself into this mess.

She rants about how she has done everything and us nothing. He grabs her and cries, trying to force a hug out of her. She pushes him away. She is hell bent on hurting us as much as she can. She is succeeding.

Eventually, the tears and the yelling and the accusations end. The mind and the body can only handle so much. At some point, I realise that there is no resolving this tonight.

I lie in bed next to him wondering what I got myself into. He cries. He shudders – full body rolling motions that are painful to watch – every other minute. It’s a keening cry. A cry that mourns the loss of something once sacred.

She hears him. She envelops him in a hug and they cry together. For a moment, I breathe a sigh of relief. Perhaps this was all they needed, a good cathartic cry. A simple expression that had to go through the motions till everything was laid bare. I hug him from behind. The sounds of their pain is worse than anything I have ever heard.

She pushes him away again. I’m not too sure why. She says something. I can’t hear it. I don’t want to either. I am tired of her voice. I am tired of looking at her.

But I want it to work. I don’t want to walk away. I grab her hand in the dark. I want her to know I am still with her. That she hasn’t lost me. She pulls her hand away and I implode.

I cry into the back of his shirt. He tries to comfort me. There is no comfort here. There is only pain and sadness and loss. I pray for sleep – the one remedy that has never failed me. For the hell of it, I pray for a time machine. One that could either go back the past 24 hours or turn back the clock 9 months.

Morning comes. I get up to shower. I wash the previous night off me. I feel the marks leave my skin but can’t get her screaming face out of my head. I can’t stop hearing his cries. I can’t stop myself from seeing his anger – it had frightened me so. I don’t understand the need for such extreme emotions. I try to connect with these feelings as I wash my hair. Try to imagine what has to occur for me to get to that level. I can’t.

Is this love? Am I not in love then?

Sleep failed this time. Morning has brought nothing but regret, disgust and apprehension.

 

 

 

03 – A Scene from Misunderstanding and Miscommunication

03 – A Scene from Misunderstanding and Miscommunication

I don’t know why we have to make things so hard on ourselves. Some things are easily resolved if we are willing to put away our pride, apologize and be vulnerable enough to talk. Sometimes it’s even simpler – just a compassionate hug and all is good. Most of the times we just have to look past our own nose and see what’s happening in the other person’s life.

We listen to the words from the other person but not to the emotions underneath, not to the pain in their eyes or the seemingly meaningless ticks that are exhibited when expressing something uncomfortable.  Communication is so much more than watching a pair of lips move.

It’s not easy though, is it? Looking into someone’s life and being able to offer some honest sincere empathy? Something far more profound and empathetic than the requisite and empty “Oh, I’m sorry.”

How often are we able to listen to the confessions of a friend, colleague, sibling, parent or partner with zero judgement or incredulity.

You think that’s a problem?
Well that’s just silly.
How many times am I going to have to listen to this?
Is she still blaming this on me? Really?

We listen and keep listening and then talk and talk and try to put a plaster on things. We listen to the words from the other person but not to the emotions underneath, not to the pain in their eyes or the seemingly meaningless ticks that are exhibited when expressing something uncomfortable.  Communication is so much more than watching a pair of lips move.

I don’t know why I am unable to understand what Jane is going through. She feels things very deeply – far deeper than I do. In those moments when she is most in touch with her pain, anger and frustration, she is completely inaccessible to me. I offer physical affection and it is denied. I offer the time and the space for her to communicate to me however she deems fit and it is denied. I offer my sincerest apologies but those fall on deaf ears – ears that have been deafened by the overwhelming amount of apologies that have fallen on it. I offer and offer till the only thing left to do is give her a berth of space and hope that she heals in the day-to-day experiences of her existence.

That’s the thing about communication. The first rule – the most important one. More important than communicating correctly. More important than saying things in a way that are clear and objective oriented rather than emotive. It is about wanting to start communicating. The willingness to unlock the gates, break down the wall, bear your heart open – the willingness to be vulnerable. And in a time and world (both real and virtual) where vulnerability is mocked, attacked and bullied mercilessly, allowing someone to see this side of you takes courage – more than most of us understand since the majority of us have never been transparent with even ourselves.

Jane is the only person in existence to have seen everything that I am. In real time. She has seen the depth of my anger, the giddiness of my love, the childishness of my expressions, the equal opportunity ridiculousness and relative intelligence of my words, the tears that I don’t feel the need to control around her. She has seen all of me and I barely thought twice before showing her.

My openness with her sometimes upsets her because I don’t feel the need to filter anything around her. I say ‘sometimes’ but given recent developments I should swap that with ‘usually’. What do you do when the person you’re most honest with would rather see the filtered, society friendly version of you? I am brash, energetic and can be a true asshole. But I love her – always have and always will. Her love for me gave me the strength to just be me.

As much as Jane feels hurt – so do I. There is a strange pain in being rejected because of the way you choose to express yourself. I now feel uncomfortable saying what I want to. I am afraid to speak my mind. I am terrified of rocking the boat. What if it tips, capsizes and only I resurface?

It’s a full painful cycle. One that we are all familiar with regardless of what model your relationship is – even if you’re creating your own. Arguing, upset words, feelings, thoughts. Time apart, time alone, time in loneliness. Someone making the first move to communicate, talking things through, talking things out, talking about things in the past, present and future. Sometimes the talking fails – you backtrack. The whole cycle repeats itself again and again and again until you’re both finally exhausted and want nothing more than to move forward.

Relationships are hard, every single one of them.

But do they have to be?

I have heard that phrase so many times in my life that I don’t even recall where I first read or heard it. It is a true indication that the idea of an easy relationship is akin to that of a fairy-tale.

I do believe in happily-ever-afters. I do believe that we can all have them but that it doesn’t happen without a lot of elbow grease and sincere ‘I-come-with-myself-laid-bare’ conversation. To me, arguing is a part of it. It is the phase that comes after the ‘first day of school.’ It is the phase of adjustment. The phase where we test the boundaries of our partner(s). See what they’re willing to put up with. See what triggers negative reactions. See how they/I/we recover. From that, we build the foundation. We build the trust and the loyalty. We weave the pom-poms that we need to whip out when our significant other(s) needs their own personal cheer-leading team. We build the believe and faith in the concept of ‘us’. We rebuild desire.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that: showing up in love despite pain is what it’s all about. Just be present and be there.

Then the communication and understanding can begin.

triad polyamory

02 – Triad, a Reality Check

02 – Triad, a Reality Check

I know what you’re thinking.

Wow! Three people! I wonder how many bed-frames they go through a week.

The honest answer is zero. The honest reason for that is because John and Jane had already broken theirs through ahem some extracurricular activities.

When a typical two-person monogamous relationship starts, you are treated to all the good stuff. You have what I usually refer to as the ‘first day of school’ phase. The two of you will wear your best clothes, be on your best behavior and are eager to please.

Before getting my feet completely wet, I figured that a triad and a regular two-way relationship couldn’t be very different. I mean, the operative word for both these romantic models is still ‘relationship’. How different could it be?

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01 – How the Hell does that Work?

01 – How the Hell does that Work?

I met them when I was in my twenty-seventh year of life.

I had always dreamed of the moment when I would meet the love of my life. I had wondered what he would look like – tall, relatively dark complexioned, nicely toned but not overly muscled. What his profession would be – business, a white-collar job or perhaps a teacher. What his favorite genres of movies were – please God, preferably action and comedy because I do not want a man who thinks the perfect date night movie is The Ring.

triad, throuple

I had never imagined that the love of my life would be two people – John and Jane (Spoiler alert: fake names obviously. I don’t think I could ever seriously date a couple with the names John and Jane) – who were already dating. So I suppose I should correct that: the loves of my life.

They were a couple who had already been together for eight months. In those eight months, they had moved in together and seriously discussed the possibility of marriage in their future. They had discussed what kind of house they would like to get. They had discussed the places to which they would like to travel to. They had discussed how their respective families would react to the prospect of their union.

They had also discussed bringing in a third partner into their relationship. Aaaaand that is where I come in.

Up until I met John, I had been a straight monogamous female. I had my fair share of relationships and was going through a single phase. By phase, I mean three years. Don’t get me wrong, it was great. I spent a ton of time with my girls and got to rock a full bush without having to explain it to anyone.

Anyway, I digress.

I met John on a very popular dating app. He was excruciatingly honest about the type of relationship that he was looking for and the kind of lifestyle that he wanted to live. He even had Jane’s profile linked to his! They were on the site together looking for their magic number 3. I remember stumbling across his profile and having to go on Google a couple of times to fully understand the words/labels he was using. I was familiar with the general LGBTQ+ phrases that were mentioned in there but the word that really threw me for a loop was ‘polyamorous’.

A word so out-of-the-norm that Microsoft Word keeps insisting that it is a spelling error of some sort.

I remember Googling that word for the first time and being completely flabbergasted at the results. It spoke of a type of relationship that involved more than two individuals. My immediate notion was to link it with polygamy – an instinctive reaction that I have seen many of my friends have when I ‘came out’ to them.

  1. But with a little more reading and watching YouTube clips and generally just keeping an open mind, I came to understand that the concept was simple, though the practice of it may not be. A polyamorous relationship simply meant that an individual could have more than just one partner. All parties involved were consenting adults and there was full disclosure from the very beginning.
    When I first realized what it meant in practice, I distinctly remember thinking: how the hell does that work? Being the only person who I have ever come across who was so open about this specific romantic lifestyle, I hit the ‘like’ button on John’s profile and started talking to him.

No, I didn’t think I would enter a polyamorous relationship. I found him interesting and more than anything else, I wanted to pick his brain. I wanted to know why someone would decide that this approach would be what was best for them. There were people who had shared their views on this through certain online platforms but I wanted to have an actual conversation about it.

So talk we did, strictly over the app for about a month and a half. Contrary to all my romantic ideals, we didn’t text for hours on end and he didn’t set my heart aflutter from the first moment. We exchanged respectful messages that mainly involved me asking 8 million questions and him patiently answering them in the longest texts anyone has ever seen.

I met John about seven weeks after we first started talking. It was his birthday. We sat under my apartment building, smoking and chatting. To be specific: he spoke and I listened. I had continuously kept putting off meeting him for a few reasons:

  1. He had to pass the psycho check
  2. I genuinely didn’t think we would ever be anything other than friends
  3. I was acutely aware that he had a girlfriend

However, within the first ten seconds of meeting John, it was glaringly obvious that I was attracted to him in a way that I had hoped to feel my entire life. We spoke for four hours and at the end of it, I was smitten enough to know that I had to meet his girlfriend and at least try.

I fell in love with them slowly – individually and together. To be honest, there was more than once when I tried to talk myself out of it. But that’s the thing about love, I suppose. You really don’t get to choose who you fall in love with. Or how many.

Jane and I didn’t have the smoothest of beginnings. She had already written me off – very understandably so – because I identified as straight and monogamous. But once we started talking, there was no stopping us. We instantly connected and realized we had much in common. Apart from some hesitant exploring during my pubescent days, being anything other than heterosexual had never occurred to me. But I found myself instantly comfortable yet shy around her – two attributes that only flare up when I am seriously crushing.

I don’t think I will ever forget the first time the three of us met and ‘hung out’ together. It was weird because it didn’t feel weird and I was, still am, someone who takes a fair bit of time to warm up to people.

I fell in love with them slowly – individually and together. To be honest, there was more than once when I tried to talk myself out of it. But that’s the thing about love, I suppose. You really don’t get to choose who you fall in love with. Or how many.

triad, throuple, polyamory

It’s been ten months since that first meeting and we are a fully functioning triad. A triad, also sometimes referred to as a throuple, (don’t look at me like that, I don’t come up with the names) involves three individuals who are all equally romantically connected to each other. We date as three separate couples and as a whole.

Just like any other monogamous relationship, there have been some really great times and some pretty awful ones. But I wouldn’t change a second of it for the most perfect tall, relatively dark complexioned, nicely toned but not overly muscled teacher with a taste for action and comedy movies.

I have mulled over what I want this blog to accomplish. And at the end of the day, I want to provide a real workable answer to that question I asked myself over 10 months ago: how the hell does that work?