Going everywhere and nowhere at once.

With the awesome help of my sister, I finally found a place to live. It’s a room in a recently divorced dad’s house. Fairly large, private bath, all utilities included. I start moving today.

I should be more excited.

It’s not that I’m not relieved that this came up so serendipitously. I am. But. It’s all happening very fast. I emailed on Saturday. Saw it, agreed to take it, dropped off paint so my new roommate/landlord could paint it on Sunday. Picked up the key and dropped off the first month’s rent on Tuesday. Starting to move today.

As I said last night to my husband, this is the first time (save for a week and a half twelve years ago) I’ve ever lived with someone I don’t know. Ever. So there’s that.

There’s also the fact that I still don’t think I can be fully me there.

And then there’s the thing that hit me as I was packing up this morning.

This all is just a constant reminder of why I’m here in the first place. And it makes it hurt all over again, almost fresh. I had gotten to the point where talking about it didn’t hurt much anymore, and I could say her name without wanting to puke. But now, packing everything, it reminds me of the last time I put things in bags. Heart blown apart with betrayal, but functioning in numb auto pilot. Preparing to get the fuck away from it and not be hurt again. Anger simmering somewhere beneath the surface but too afraid to look at it.

Just keep moving forward. Just keep going. Just get out.

I was in the middle of doing laundry when I found out. Our laundry. The sheets from what had become our marital bed. I wanted to cut them into strips. Set them on fire. Leave them out on the lawn and uproot a tree and just set the dirt ball on top. Some kind of physical representation of what it felt like he’d done to my heart. Our marriage.

Instead, I folded them. I folded his clothes, too. I piled them on the bed and got my shit together and left.

It may be part of my PTSD kicking in, or hormones, or just the overwhelmingness of the whole damn situation, or maybe all of the above. All I know is it feels like I just found out all over again. Except this time, I’m letting myself feel it, sob about it, grieve.

When I found out in April, something in my brain shut off emotion. Yes, I had glimpses of anger and grief, but they continually got overrode by auto pilot. Don’t feel. Just do. I talked to my sister before she had an interview for a job she wanted. I couldn’t break down on the phone with her while she was going into the interview. So I auto piloted it. I called my brother-in-law to ask if I could come back and explained the situation. I couldn’t lose it on the phone with him; he was at work. I just kept it together. I just kept going. I felt numb and removed from myself talking to my husband that night. Piecing things together. Getting confirmation. Hearing the pain and anger in his voice.

And telling our girlfriend. Leaving her, too. Knowing I was too broken deal with any relationship. The lack of trust I felt in just about the entire world was staggering. I’ve never been like that. Well, that’s not entirely true. I haven’t been like that in decades. I have had what others have called a sunny personality, but when I was younger, it was an act. Even wrote a song about it. Now, I try to believe the best in people, not feed into the negative. I don’t watch the news. Yes, I know there are murders, kidnapping, pedophiles, rapists, and all manner of other sick, shitty people out there. I try to focus on the good. I spent too much time growing up being afraid. Shutting out the bad, you actually wind up shutting out the good as well. I learned that the hard way. So I gradually opened up. Accepting the light and dark in humanity, even myself. But when smacked directly with the dark, I had a lesson in the practical application of the light and dark we all carry. And I didn’t know how to process it besides self-preservation. Get to higher ground where you can be safe. So I headed to the place where I’d had the closest thing to stability I’ve had in years. And here I am now. Reminded that the place I came back to isn’t mine anymore. Because I chose to leave. Coming back, I knew my time here was limited. My sister says this will always be home if I need it, but…it can’t be. There’s no place for me anymore. So I’m moving out on my own. Except I don’t fucking want to be on my own, really. Yes, it’s nice to think about how to decorate a space that’s wholly mine, since I’ve never had that. Yes, it’s great that I’m getting some independence. Yes, it’s wonderful that I found what seems to be a clean, safe place to live.

Someone dear to me recently said that he found it surprising that I was able to talk about burlesque. Given that I’d put years of my life into it, and the way I left was wrapped up in complicated, he expected it to be complex, at best, to talk about. When really, it’s not. I miss the people. I miss the performing. I miss the preparation. But it’s not…I had already been gearing up to phase more towards becoming a mother. I was preparing for it long before it happened. When it did, it sucked that it was at the same time as finding out about my husband, but it wasn’t really that which made me make the decision. It contributed, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t planning to leave until I seriously was planning to get or actually got pregnant.

Why do I bring this up in the middle of everything?

Because yes, decorating, independence, and clean, safe places to live are things worthy of celebration. But that independence? Sure, it’s great to push out on my own and all…but I just…don’t want it. I want to be married, dammit. I want children. A family. A unit. To be part of, belong to, feel connected to. This is what I’ve been working towards. What I’ve been hoping and praying for.

I know I can’t have it now. I know this is, though it may not feel like it now, moving forward. I know and have been told that that there is time for children, a house, a solid marriage. It’s entirely possible that my husband and I will come through this and be more solid for it. As evidenced by referencing talking to him above, we are talking regularly now. There are seeds of hope. I don’t know what that means for the future, but it’s where we are now. Seems to be a theme. I don’t know what this means for the future, but it’s where I am now. Since that’s really all I can control, I guess I have to work with what I’ve got and go pack summore stuff.

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“I’m not an addict. (Maybe that’s a lie.)”

So, what do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about where you’ll be sleeping in a month, concerned that you don’t make enough money to move out on your own, plagued with conflicting thoughts about your marriage and what to do about it, reeling from family opinions telling you you’re not mature enough, berating yourself for not doing more than you are even though you’ve pretty much packed your schedule tighter than a duck’s ass, still mourning the loss of people you love and thought would be in your life forever, head swimming from the sermon your minister gave today about how fragmented we’ve become, wondering if you’ll ever find a place where you felt like you fit in as much as you did when you first found Rocky Horror or started a burlesque troupe, missing the Northeast yet feeling a slow, spreading love for the South, questioning your ever-evolving ideas about polyamory vs. monogamy vs. open relationships vs. dear-god-please-just-hold-me? Wait…you don’t eat half a bag of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips? But…

It’s not a habit, it’s cool; I feel alive.
If you don’t have it you’re on the other side.
I’m not an addict. (Maybe that’s a lie.)

It’s over now, I’m cold, alone.
I’m just a person on my own.
-“Not An Addict” by K’s Choice

Yeah. I’m totally an addict. A sugar addict. I fought the label for years. Justified it. Hid it. Beat myself up over it. Lied about it. Spent money I didn’t have to get a “fix”. However, comparatively speaking, it is cheaper (in the short run) than antidepressants.

Sometimes, I don’t even realize I’m addicted because there used to be such a steady stream of sugar into my system that I didn’t pay much attention to it. That’s just the way it was. Grab a doughnut (or two, if you order the special at Dunkin’…plus coffee, light and sweet) for breakfast (because eating something is better than eating nothing, right? Justification much? Anyway.). Have a soda with lunch. Pile on the salad dressing. Eat some cookies as a snack. Dip (and dip and dip and dippity dip) the chicken in BBQ sauce for dinner. Nom upon a cupcake for dessert. Enjoy girly “adult beverages” while late night TV-bonding with your sister. There was a time this was a pretty accurate snapshot of my daily sugar intake.

Currently, I don’t do nearly as much of these things on a daily basis. I’ve weaned myself off soda and sweet tea, and rarely do coffee drinks anymore. I try to steer away from doughnuts for breakfast even though my niece is a terrible, horrible person for telling me about the local place that makes them just like Krispy Kreme. I have an “adult beverage” 1-2 nights per week. I tend to enjoy my salads with far less dressing these days, and most times will do the “dip the fork in the dressing then spear pieces of veggies” rather than slather.

Modifications are good. That and the 4-5 paid hours of exercise a week I get these days have helped save me from ballooning to an even unhealthier weight. But let’s face it. I’m already at an unhealthy weight. Sure, some of the things I’ve told people over the years are perfectly true. When I was younger, I was in tap, jazz, ballet, gymnastics, musical theatre, and modern dance. Not to mention the fact that I rode my bike or roller skated everywhere and if I wasn’t doing that, I could usually be found at the park running around or in my or a friend’s pool. I was hella active and as such, I’m much more limber and strong than I look. I still dance and love to teach water aerobics and can kick ass when taking an aqua zumba class. On the rare occasion that someone wants to know my weight (and I tell them), they are generally surprised. They knew, of course, that I am overweight. They just didn’t think it was that much. Someone once told me that I carried myself so well that no one would ever know I had self esteem issues about my body, nor what I really weighed.

It’s great to know glamour spells still work sometimes.

Underneath it? Fairly toned, fairly strong (and getting stronger every time I work out), fairly obese, fairly addicted to sugar to even me out. Fairly scared to show my naked body to anyone. In the past, people I thought were supposed to love me and accept me said some fairly hurtful things about my body. That’s hard to get past. Even as I know there are people who’ve expressed appreciation for my body, ranging from my husband to the date I had who wanted to know my thoughts on going to a nude beach (My answer: not favorable, thanks. I mean, I don’t have a problem with other people being nude, I just don’t have enough self confidence in my own body to do it. Also? I hate beaches in general. Now skinny dipping in a pool with the right people…I might could get my head around that some day. But I digress.)

As I’ve said above, I’ve tried to gradually decrease my sugar intake, especially as I’ve been doing more research and reading lately (including starting to read the book called Deep Nutrition: Why Our Genes Need Traditional Food by Catharine Shanaham, M.D. and Luke Shanahan that a dear friend bought me a few months ago) about sugar and healthier diets.

Speaking of, how’s this for mind-blowing? As a woman, I’m supposed to only have up to 25g of sugar a day. That’s 6 teaspoons. The bag of chocolate chips I’m all-too-quickly making my bitch? 220g of sugar per bag. If I’ve eaten half of it (Fine. More than half by now. Shut the fuck up.), that’s at least 110g of sugar just for that one snack. FOUR TIMES the amount I should have. And that’s not counting the mostly healthy fruit smoothie I had (because natural sugars count, too), the salad dressing I had on my chef’s salad for dinner, or the cherry lemonade I had with lunch.

Seriously, my name is Genevieve and I’m a sugar addict.

One of my favorite authors said in her book Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer:

“To whom the fat rolls…I’m tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hopes of a fabulous new life. And I hate the message that women can’t possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans. I don’t find these stories uplifting; they make me want to hug these women and take them out for fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecake and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don’t matter. Unfortunately, being overweight isn’t simply a societal issue that can be fixed with a dose healthy of positive self-esteem. It’s a health matter, and here on the eve of my fortieth year, I’ve learned I have to make changes so I don’t, you know, die. Because what good is finally being able to afford a pedicure if I lose a foot to adult onset diabetes?” -Jen Lancaster (last sentence emphasis is mine.)

I closer to 40 than 30 these days, and while I can barely afford to keep myself afloat without living on my own so I definitely can’t afford a pedicure (although I never thought I’d like them as much as it turns out I do!), I still need to worry about losing limbs to adult onset diabetus. (Which, btw, I used to think was just a comical way of saying it but living in the South I’ve learned that people really pronounce it that way.)

Because really…I’m addicted. I get shakey when I haven’t had sugar in a few hours. I physically and emotionally relax when I eat chocolately goodness. Within the first bite. It doesn’t matter how much I love vegetables and fruit if I eat more sugar than I do fruits and veggies. If I eschew an apple in favor of a brownie sandwich at Taco Bell. If I almost finish an entire fucking bag of chocolate chips in a 12 hour period.

Thankfully, I know what I need to do. I’ve done it before. Quite simply, stop. Cease eating processed sugar in the obvious snack/drink/dessert forms. Then start cutting out the hidden sugars like sauces/dressings/prepared foods/white starches and carbs. It’s going to be hard. Especially living where I do. I love my sister’s house, but there are at least 4 different kinds of white bread in the house at all times, not to mention the adult beverages, ready supply of chocolate, clearance baked goods, pasta, and impressive array of delicious sauces. Yes, I recognize these things as the excuses they are. No one is force feeding me any of these things. However, it is a slightly easier to begin a new dietary regime when the people around you do as well to limit temptation. But again, that doesn’t make the poor choices I’ve been making anyone’s fault but my own. There was part of me that was waiting until I moved out to really attack my addiction head on. I had dreams of leafy greens and bowls of fruit, nary a processed granule of sugar anywhere in the vicinity of my enlightened abode. Which basically boils down to buying into the “Arrival Syndrome” of “I’ll be able to do this once all the conditions are right. I’ll be happier and healthier when things are exactly as I want them, some time in the nebulous future.” Bullshit. If I’m going to make it happen, I need to just fucking make it happen. I’ve got to learn how to handle myself when it seems like everyone in a ten foot radius of me is mainlining sugar. How to make healthier choices regularly, instinctively and not just after a binge. How to put on my healthy girl panties and stop letting “well, my family made pasta for dinner so I just have to eat that” be an excuse and cook my own damn food if I need to. (And suck it up and deal with the fact that yes, I’m creating more dishes for myself. Bright side: whooo, more standing and movement is better than sitting on my ass!)

So it’s going to come down to picking a day and just doing it. Like I said, I’ve done it before. On October 1st, 2010 I threw myself into paleo. Gave up sugar (except for a once a week “treat”) and cut wheat from my diet. I did it successfully for many months and lost a little bit of weight. Not nearly as much as I thought I would’ve, though. I have to keep in mind that I’m also fighting with my thyroid and PCOS. But those can’t be used as excuses for why I can’t get healthier. They need to be further incentives.

I know it’s coming soon. It has to. Because there are things I want to do that I can’t right now: jump into the arms of someone I love and wrap my legs around his/her waist, be fucked up against a wall, shop in “normal” stores where clothes are less expensive, and be a good role model for the kids I still distantly hope to have one day. Also, at some point, I will be able to afford (or be treated to) pedicures regularly, and goddamnit, I want to have both my feet so I can get both of ’em painted up pretty.

Okay. Fine. Saying it’s coming soon isn’t changing anything. Saying I have to isn’t doing it. So. September 15th, 2013. That is the day. I will change my life, my eating habits, and make consistently healthier choices. It’s about fucking time to, once again, Go For It, Genevieve.

“Can the child within my heart rise above?”

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac

It was pointed out to me that everyone I’ve expressed interest in or who has expressed interest in me, relationship/dating-wise, lives about 1,000 miles away.  A very astute observation.  The same person also pointed out that I’m where I need to be.  Another astute observation.  However, the latter was actually made before the former, so I’m not sure if that denotes a subtle shift in opinion regarding where he thinks I belong or not.

Yes, the people I actively have feelings for all live 1,000 or so miles away from me.  Which is probably for the best.  Because right now?  Not a good time for me to be a in a relationship.  I feel too weak, too damaged, to scared, and honestly too ambivalent (on some days) to be a good partner.  My baggage is poorly packed, my heart is making a bloody mess on my sleeve, and I’m not at home in myself anymore.  Not a good partner in any shape or form.

My minister, when I first went to see him a few times before I had a therapist, asked me what in me makes me think I deserve to be treated the way I have been.  He recommended that I read Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood by Wayne Muller.  To be frank, while I did plan to give it a look over, I really thought I had healed from the shitty childhood I had and wasn’t expecting much beyond blaming and shaming poor parenting, and really, I’m just done with that.  I’d had the requisite years of therapy, some stellar and some sucktastic.  I am (mostly) able to write about painful things in my past without breaking down.  Talking about horrendous episodes had gotten much easier.  I was fine.  I AM fine.

FINE.

Then I started reading the book.

You know what really sucks?  When you’re not as fine as you really want to believe you are.  Not nearly as fine as you think you should be after all this damn time.  That some scars may’ve stopped hurting but that’s not because they’ve healed but because they’re kind of numb.

It also really sucks when you read a book that exposes the coping mechanisms you’ve gotten so good at they almost felt like they were just normal, healthy parts of living, all the empty spots that you’ve tried to fill in various ways unsuccessfully, and those myriad ways you feel inept, unwelcome, and unworthy:

“When we doubt our own belonging, we grow desperate, and we learn to grab almost anything – a job, a sexual partner, a lifestyle – and make that our place of belonging. In our desperation we lose both our serenity and our sensitivity to the needs of others. If I need your company to feel that I belong, then I am more concerned with how I impress you than I am with your particular needs and desires. You become merely a vehicle for my belonging, an agent to my comfort, no longer [someone] with your own hopes and dreams. As I approach you, it is not you that I touch, it is my own desperation.”

And it’s simply amazing how painful things that happened long ago can translate into adult lives:

“When we are convinced how little is a available for us, we feel confused about how much is enough.  How much can we ask for, what can we hope for?  When we resign ourselves to a life where love and joy will never come in abundance, we reduce the depth and breadth of what is possible for us,  making our lives small and sparse.  ‘Ask and you shall receive’ rings hollow in the heart that has grown to expect less and less.  There will never be enough for us; why bother asking at all?”

These passages both hit me like a hot pink brick truck.  I’m too desperate, hungry, and raw to be a good partner.  I’ll either wind up giving everything (or simply more than I should) away again, trying frantically to phoenix my way through it, and be left wondering why I’ve been reduced to a smoldering pile of ashes, or I’ll go in selfishly, aggressively trying to get everything I hadn’t gotten in the past, ruthlessly making demands, and being disappointed at the inevitable shortfall and fallout.  I have things I need to sort out, one of which is not being afraid to ask for what I want.  Yet also finding a balance between my desires and those of a partner.  There’s so much that goes into maintaining a relationship that right now, the thought of doing it again exhausts me.  Of course, I just have to think about a hug, a look, a tone of voice, a gentle surprise, a touch and I’m reminded of why it’s all worth it…once I get my head and heart back on straight.

 

Louder than words.

There are many famous people whom I have a crush on. Recently, I rediscovered an early crush from my teens: Robert Fulghum. Around 20 or so years ago, I read All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten and felt my heart go a-flutter. Here was a gentle man, a thinking man, an artistic and sensitive man. I both wished he could’ve been my father and that he could take me out on my first date. My brain is an awkward place sometimes.

Throughout my life, I’ve had people make fun of my adoration of Robert Fulghum. They’ve called him treacly, overly sentimental, boring, and other things I couldn’t possibly disagree with more. It bothers me for a little while when this happens, when people I care about can’t see what an awesome guy Robert Fulghum seems to be, why he’s a mentor to me on how to live life and why my heart beats a little bit faster when I think about him.

It’s just…the voracious way he goes about inhaling life is incredibly invigorating, inspiring, and, well…sexy. His writings are all about exploring the world around him, from bugs to love to death to kids to sports to war to various cultures and customs around the world he’s lived in or visited or read about. In the book I’m reading right now alone, What On Earth Have I Done?, half is set in Crete, Greece, where he lives part of the year. It also touches on the Massai, an African tribe that lives on the Kenyan-Tanzanian border, a story from when he gave the blessing in Geneva, Switzerland for a dinner honoring people who fought for human rights, and his time growing up in Texas as a side-lined football playing teen who was awarded MVP. Not for some touchy-feely “everybody’s a winner” thing, either. It makes sense, when you look at it from a certain perspective.

And I think that’s what I love most about Robert Fulghum. His perspective. He comes from a place of constantly learning, growing, exploring, discussing, observing, sharing. His stories are not ones of complaint, of bemoaning the future of humanity, of all that is wrong in the world. Yes, he writes about difficult, terrible, painful things. But always with hope. Always to expose the commonality, the unification possible, the things we can learn and grow from. He is the opposite of bitter and I find that intoxicating. I also love that he inspires me to be a better person. I want to see the world through such excited eyes.

Here is an example of what I admire so much about him:

One of his stories is called “The Meaning of Life”. Cliff Notes version is that he is attending a two week seminar on Greek culture. At the end of the seminar, the universal end-of-class question was asked, “Are there any questions?”

Fulghum had one. “Dr. Papaderos, what is the meaning of life?”

Some may read this and think Fulghum was being snarky. Like at a concert when the singer asks if there are any requests and someone always yells out, “Do ‘Stairway’! WHOOOOO!”

However, Dr. Papaderos saw that Fulghum was asking in earnest. So he answered him. First he took a quarter-sized round mirror out of his wallet. Then he began to speak.

“When I was a small child, during the war, we were very poor and we lived in a remote mountain village. One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place.

I tried to find all the pieces of the mirror and put them back together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine – in deep holes and crevices and dark closets and behind walls. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find.

I kept the little mirror, and as as I went about my growing up, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game. As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game but a metaphor for what I might do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light nor the source of the light. But light – the light of truth, understanding, and knowledge – is there, and that light will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it.

I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world – into the dreary hearts of men – and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.”

This is why I love Robert Fulghum. He shines light into places and the reminds us through the illumination that we can do the same.

On a similar note, there’s a song from the off-Broadway musical “tick…Tick…BOOM!” It is called “Louder Than Words.”

Why do we play with fire? Why do we run our finger through the flame?
Why do we leave our hand on the stove although we know we’re in for some pain?

Oh, why do we refuse to hang a light When the streets are dangerous?
Why does it take an accident before the truth gets through to us?

Cages or wings?
Which do you prefer?
Ask the birds.

Fear or love, baby?
Don’t say the answer
Actions speak louder than words.

Why should we try to be our best when we can just get by and still gain?
Why do we nod our heads although we know the boss is wrong as rain?

Why should we blaze a trail when the well worn path seems safe and so inviting?
How, as we travel, can we see the dismay and keep from fighting?

Cages or wings?
Which do you prefer?
Ask the birds

Fear or love, baby
Don’t say the answer
Actions speak louder than words

What does it take to wake up a generation?
How can you make someone take off and fly?
If we don’t wake up and shake up the nation we’ll eat the dust of the world wondering why.

Why do we stay with lovers who we know, down deep, just aren’t right?
Why would we rather put ourselves through hell than sleep alone at night?
Why do we follow leaders who never lead?
Why does it take catastrophe to start a revolution?

If we’re so free, tell me why? Someone tell me why so many people bleed?

Cages or wings?
Which do you prefer?
Ask the birds.

Fear or love, baby?
Don’t say the answer.
Actions speak louder than words.

And that’s honestly where I’m at right now, in most areas of my life. Words are nice. They can be pretty. They can settle in a place in the heart that wants to believe.

But actions speak louder than words.

Disquieting thoughts

The last few weeks have been incredibly tumultuous. My work schedule has been upended, but I still don’t make enough to move out on my own yet. I just came back from a business trip that spanned two states and new experiences, as well as seeing my estranged husband and ex-girlfriend for the first time in four months. On top of all this, I’m beginning the paperwork for divorce, looking for more work, trying to schedule the work I have, all while trying to figure out my life in terms of what I want relationship-wise.

Most recently, a very dear friend asked me to remove the phrase and/or theory that I “wasn’t/am not good enough” from the equation and then delve into why my marriage to my ex-husband and ex-wife didn’t work. What it taught me. What I would do in hindsight. He suspected these were things I hadn’t fully answered…only scabbed over. He acknowledged that it would be hard (if possible) to answer. But that it is also a piece of me that’s missing and without having a better grounding in that piece, I won’t be able to make sense of the other pieces I’m struggling with pertaining to current relationships.

He’s right. As he frequently is. I’ve been thinking about it.

One of the things that’s kept coming up for me, for over a decade, has been hard to articulate. But this blogger hit the nail on the head with a recent post:

At the same time that I have an intellectual appreciation for the approach of polyamory, I think I still have the emotional approach of monogamy. I don’t know whether that’s because I’m naturally more of a monogamous person or because I’ve been socialized to think of intimate relationships only within the bounds of monogamy. In either case, though, I find that I am emotionally attracted to the idea of loving one person more than anyone else. Of having a favorite. And being someone’s favorite.

I’ve been really hesitant to admit that, even to myself. I’ve converted to polyamory, after all. Anything short of the ideal is weakness in myself. I can’t allow jealousy to rule me. You know? I hate being weak. I hate not being able to follow my convictions.

And I am afraid of the idea that polyamory may not be right for me. If it’s not, then what am I doing with my life? What will I lose when I change course? It’s almost too scary even to contemplate, which now that I say it out loud, I find very interesting.

I know I can love more than one person. I do love more than one person. I have, for many years, loved more than one person. Even right now, not technically being in any romantic relationships, I love more than one person. But for me, the practicality and reality of being in polyamorous relationships haven’t…worked out as well as I wanted.

The triads I’ve been in have short-circuited my brain and heart in one way or another. The second could’ve been because I didn’t fully heal from the ending of the first. And also that it imploded spectacularly from a direction I didn’t see coming. But it also could’ve been because I’m not wired that way. Not sure.

I dated a few people, with permission, while I was married. One person was also married, himself. The other person didn’t have a significant other. It sometimes felt that the relationship with the person who didn’t have a SO got a little imbalanced. She wanted a SO and might’ve wanted me to be hers, but that wasn’t what I or my husband and wife wanted. But still, both were good for their duration, yet I wound up ending both to focus on my marriage. A friend once told me he thought I might be looking for things I wasn’t getting at home in outside relationships. So I redoubled my efforts to invest in my marriage(s). Two months later it(they) were over. They’d been ending for a while, but still…it was kind of like a mega blow. Within two months, four relationships were over. God, I’m not sure I ever put those numbers such plain terms. Two months after that, I was laid off. Two months after that, I moved halfway across the country. The first half of 2012 was all about change. The latter half was…fuck, the latter half was just as change-driven as the first. New jobs, new loves, engagement…and now we’re 2/3’s of the way done with 2013, and I feel like I’m just catching my breath and actually looking at things. Finally processing, finally trying to make sense of things instead of hurling myself headlong into the crazy winds of change.

And what I’m coming up with is all over the damn place.

I’ve read many essays on more egalitarian and less couple-based polyamory, which made sense. This one, especially, by sexgeek railing against “polynormativity” got to me. Hit way too close to home. I began testing in my head that maybe I didn’t have to do couple-based, hetereosexual(ish), hierarchical, rules-laden poly. Maybe I should truly do what the authors of The Ethical Slut preach and “let each relationship seek it’s own level” without imposing my own desires and possibly fears on them. I spoke with some close friends. Asked them how they “do” poly. A friend who expressed interest in dating me (after I’d had proper time to heal from the boatloads of upheaval) mentioned that he thought I was more heterosexually inclined. The pansexual poly chick in me bristled. No. I love everyone. Boys, girls, girlyboys, and butchie babes, trans…whatever. It didn’t matter the body you were in. I typically like a balance of male and female in the people I’m attracted to.

However.

It seems that my track record says something different. It seems that my current desires say something different.

There’s a likelihood that I just haven’t given my new thoughts and ideas enough time to take wing.

Another possibility is that I’ve spent and continue to spend so much damn time searching for answers and solutions to problems that might be solved if I were more honest with myself.

I’m not sure which it is. But I’m leaning towards the latter.

Which means that my first marriage(s) might’ve ended partly because I was constantly trying to make the relationship be something that it clearly wasn’t. And when it clearly wasn’t, instead of coming to the conclusion that I didn’t find it fulfilling and I also didn’t feel comfortable or fully engaged, alive, loving…nor like I was being fully engaged or loved, and then instead of acting with grace and dignity and leaving, I stayed. And continually tried to make myself fit. Many times I checked my grace and dignity at the door to try again and again. “We’re working on some issues” became the subtitle of my love life. My sister finally said to me a few years back that relationships do take work, but they shouldn’t constantly be so much work. In the end, she was right.

But what was it I wanted? I wanted a primary relationship with my then boyfriend, turned husband. I wanted to special. I wanted to the be favorite. And I wasn’t. Or at least I quickly became not. There are some even further difficult implications this has that are hard to admit. It may not be anyone’s fault. And maybe the fact that I was looking for that meant that I wouldn’t find it. I don’t know. But this knowledge is really fucking disquieting. I don’t know what to do with it right now.

“Take a closer look at what it is that’s really haunting you…”

“Digital Ghost” by Tori Amos

It’s odd when you finally hear something that you’ve been waiting to hear about. That you’ve been morbidly curious about. That has the power to cause so much pain, and has for so many months. An event that destroys something you thought was pure. That brought you such happiness and hope.

Humans want details.

There’s an anticlimactic nature. A band-aid ripping off. Oh, look. A wound. Of course I knew that was there. The bandage was covering it. Bandages, whether they’re real or emotional, cover places that hurts. That’s what they do. So…of course there was a wound there.

Questions:
Are you sure you want to hear this?
Yes. No. I want to not have a “this” to hear. But it’s too late for that, isn’t it?

Why doesn’t this hurt more?
Oh. Numb. Right.

Oh GOD, why does this hurt so much?
Please, dear god, make it stop hurting.

Please.

Please?