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Day 357: So You Want to Know About Poly?

Several months ago a family member who knows that I am polyamorous asked how being poly “worked” for me. The question caught me off guard because I’d never had anyone ask me in-depth questions as to why I chose to be polyamorous, and the last person I ever expected to be curious was a family member, though in hindsight maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me much at all. So, in case anyone else is interested, here is a little bit of a roadmap for how I got here, some of the differences I have noticed as compared to monogamous relationships and things I wish someone had told me when I first got interested in the possibility of a nontraditional relationship. I would also like to add the caveat that this is how I choose to live my life. Polyamory is not for everyone and that’s okay. I will never bash traditional monogamous relationships just because I’m not in one.

 

I am lucky enough to have grown up in a household where I always knew what polyamory was even if it wasn’t the relationship model I saw at home. I have never feared the idea of my immediate family knowing that the people I choose to have an intimate relationship with are more than just good friends. Extended family is somewhat different but the older I get the less apologetic I find myself being, so if someone asks a question, I will answer truthfully and if they think less of me for living authentically that is their problem, not mine. when Oz and I first started, dating we discussed the idea of a polyamorous relationship partially because of my disability. There are things that he is interested in that I couldn’t experience with him, longer/ non-accessible hiking trails for instance that I would feel bad if he gave up just because I was in his life. I also dislike the idea that a lot of people have that once you are in a committed relationship you must only do things the other person enjoys. Personally, I think that is ridiculous. Just because we don’t have all of the same hobbies or pastimes doesn’t mean we can’t still love each other. In a lot of traditional relationships, I have seen there can be a lot of resentment build up between partners if one spends a lot of time doing a hobby the other does not or cannot share with them.That is one of the nice things about polyamory, Oz can find someone who (among other things, I’m sure)enjoys hiking the harder trails I can’t follow and therefore is less likely to resent me because he felt he had to give up something he likes doing just because I can’t. On the other side of that coin, I have always enjoyed the Society for Creative Anachronism and Oz is currently on the fence about it. I would like him to go to at least one event but even if he does go and decides it’s not his thing, Dylan enjoys it as well so I wouldn’t have to feel like I was twisting someone’s arm just to get to go to an event.

 

Poly is a lot of talking. If you’re not good at verbalizing things be prepared to write a lot. Communication is key to any relationship and that is magnified exponentially in polyamory. Some little thing bugging you? Talk about it, even if only results in a two-minute conversation because staying quiet does nothing except continue to rub a sore spot raw. One of the things I was asked was how I made sure my emotional needs are met, the answer is more talking. Most people do not claim to be a mind reader and therefore one of the things that one or the other of us has said repeatedly is “I can’t fix a problem I don’t know exists.” A good rule of thumb I have found is that if it’s bothering you talk about it. If it’s something that’s bothering you that you don’t want to talk about then you should definitely be talking about it, it probably won’t get fixed overnight but at least it can be worked on.

 

A lot of people may ask how individual time gets worked out between everybody. The answer is that it is different for every relationship. Right now Oz and I live in Tennessee and Dylan and Sera live in New York State.Gods bless Google video chat.Oz and I have DVD delivery from Netflix plus the streaming service so at least once a week so at least once a week we make it a point to watch a movie or a couple episodes of television. It’s a good thing we’re all a bunch of third shift working people at my house because I don’t get funny looks for going to bed at four or five or later in the morning because I refuse to sleep until Dylan is home from work. Also, I going to visit them in about a month yay!

 

A specific word or two about terminology. Many poly people use terms like primary, secondary etc. to differentiate between their relationships. For example in a lot of cases, I have seen people use the term primary relationship to refer to the relationship they have with their legal spouse. A lot of people would consider Oz my primary relationship because he is the one I currently share living space with on a regular basis and finances etc. I do not personally care for labeling things that way. If it was necessary and within my capabilities to do so I would give whatever was needed to those I love, whether it was blood, money, food, organs, a roof over their heads, bone marrow etc. and they all know this. I don’t do things by halves if I’m in your life I will stay there as long as you will let me and while I’m there I will support you in any way that I can.

my-sig-24

Authors note: This is what polyamory looks like for me there are as many different forms of it as there are people who are in polyamorous relationships.

 

 

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Day 240: I Don’t Give A Damn About Paperwork Just Let Me Buy a Dress and Throw a Party

In a little less than three weeks I will be moving out of state to live with both my boyfriend and my girlfriend who moved in with him from Colorado a few weeks ago. Most of my immediate family are supportive of my decision or at least have the good sense to realize that their dissenting opinion won’t change change my mind and therefore keep their mouths shut. The only person in my family who is being deliberately kept in the dark at this point is my grandmother who is over 70 years old and most definitely would disapprove. She is not being kept in the dark because I fear her disapproval but because she is involved in some of my legal affairs and until I can get those changed I am better off letting her believe what she wants to, which is that I am engaged to my boyfriend and we will eventually marry. In reality though I’m not sure if we will ever be legally recognized as committed to each other largely because the commitments of more than two adults to one another are not legally recognized in the United States yet. To be honest I have rustled with my feelings on the subject quite a bit. I love them both for different reasons because they are different people but with the same level of intended commitment and it isn’t fair that because of how long is commonly written I would have to choose one over the other . That being said I find myself arguing with myself lately. Largely because of my disability very few aspects if my life have been within spitting distance of normal and a ceremony is one of the few “normal” things I’ve ever wanted id only to be able to thumb my nose at the people who said or thought my disability precluded me from committed romance.

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Day 239: Sometimes You Just Don’t See The Lightning Coming or Manuscripts, Facebook And Cross-Country Running

Jacob'Ladder

 

I feel as though I have been running cross country for most of my life, at least mentally. Earlier in life it felt as though I were always running away from something, trying to put distance between myself and my disability, other people’s expectations of me or sometimes lack of expectation and a laundry list of other things. If someone drew a picture of my mental self at that point I would probably have all kinds of small cuts on my face and arms the needs of my jeans would be worn through and money shoes would probably look as if they might fall apart at any second. That’s definitely how I perceived myself anyway. At some point it changed though, instead of running away, trying to outdistance something I began to get the feeling that I was running toward something though if you asked who or what I was chasing I couldn’t give you much of an answer. At the age of 12 or 13 a man I couldn’t place as anyone I knew or had heard of at the time began showing up in my mind both while I was asleep and awake. Since I had begun writing at that time (mostly historical romances that I wouldn’t pay Harlequin to publish if they asked now) I assumed for years that he was a character I simply had not found a story for which still isn’t uncommon for me today. When I was a sophomore in high school I had to write a short story for class and since he was still in my head on a regular basis it seems natural that the lead male character would look like him. Fast forward to present day I am still working on that short story although it isn’t so short anymore. After I completed the assignment my English teacher strongly suggested that I expand it to a full length book. My graduating class has its 10 year reunion this year and I’m still tweaking the story. Christmas of 2011 I did something highly uncharacteristic for me and that I joined a dating site without someone twisting my arm to get me to do so. Much to my continued amazement somebody responded. I looked them up on Facebook only to discover the man who had been silently in my head for over 10 years staring back at me. If I had been sitting in a regular chair at the time this are probably would have knocked it over. In that exact moment I knew who I had been running toward for half my life.

Photo Credit : Possibly the coolest example of a Jacob’s Ladder I’ve seen was found at http://nova.innovation.rit.edu/csi2/main/node/Arc via Google Image search

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Day 227: At the Closing of the Year

New Year Celebration
New Year Celebration (Photo credit: thisreidwrites)

So the closing of the year is upon us. Christmas has come and gone once again. This year has had its share of tears for many people, myself included. Occasionally you run into divider moments, events which lead to a person thereafter marking time as life “before” a particular event and “after” it. For me it has been one of those years. Life will never be quite the same again. Fortunately this year has brought with it happy changes to balance the sad ones.I’m still not quite certain why my life decided to take a 360 turn from where it was to wear it is but I’m glad it did. Our relationship model doesn’t make sense to most people and it doesn’t have to. Within the last year I have grown so much as a person that I almost don’t recognize my previous self. It may sound cliched but it’s true. I have a wonderful man and woman in my life and would not trade the for the world. Looking forward to a new year I hope everybody laughs more than they cry and makes an effort to take the time to pay it forward when good fortune comes their way.

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Day 223: To My Girl

The woman I’m with is the jewel of my life, We have been through hell and back and then all over again. I have been a really ssucky girlfriend and a rough excuse for a friend at times. I deserve her in my life about as much as much I deserve to win the lottery which is to say not much in my opinion. She is a beautiful, amazing, who I will strive to show how much I care.

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Day 200: My anniversary is the day AFTER The End of the World

Bedroom Door
Bedroom Door (Photo credit: anastaz1a)

I realized something kind of funny just now…the one year anniversary of relationship with Oz is the day after the world is supposed to cease to exist. For anybody who didn’t follow that let me clarify, the end of the world is supposed to be December 21 2012. Our anniversary falls on December 22 20 12. Personally I find it very funny because the end of the world has come and gone at least twice in my lifetime, three times if you include the Y2K scare. If we are lucky to be in the same state on our anniversary (very unlikely) at some point its going to occur to one or both of us, “hey we survived the apocalypse….” I feel sorry for anybody who decides to come visit within the next hour, they will probably find something thrown at them,(by me, he’s nicer than I am). Knock at your own risk.

 

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Day I97: The Very Best Thing I Almost Didn’t Do

This past year has been amazing…..amazingly chaotic. There has been stress, death, and tears of frustration cried over everything several times.Somehow this year has also been the happiest of my life to date. Roughly about this time last year I did something totally out of character: I voluntarily joined an online dating site. It ws because that site that I met one of my soul mates. Happy birthday my Love, even though we must be apart for now I love you more with each day that passes and always will. You have made my life better in ways I will never be able to adequately describe though I promise to spend the rest of our lives together trying my best to tell you.