Saturday, November 19, 2011

One of the problems with polyamory

I don't know if other people sit around in their off-time listening to songs and trying to place them onto various relationships.  Particularly, today I am listening to Adele's Someone Like You.  The way she talks about the song in this video is striking.  It has dramatically altered my hearing of the song.

I miss Steve and Tom.  I think I would be able to be the kind of person Steve could be friends now.  I think I have changed my reactions to some of our patterns.  I didn't like how I treated Steve, but I liked Steve.  I would have broken him if I had stayed with him.  Instead I ran away.  I didn't just break off dating him.  I stopped going any place he might be.  I avoided his friends like the plague.  Anyone who knew us both lost me after the break up.

I walked away from my life.  I broke all ties.  I changed my major in college.  I dropped out of college.  I broke up with Steve just a few months before our wedding and then I evaporated like a drop of water.  But there were a lot of reasons I wanted to marry him, you know?  He was a really amazing person.  I miss him.  I miss the things he brought into my life.  I don't want to have sex with him, that part didn't work well for me.  But I miss him being my close friend.  I dated him before I had ever told anyone the full story of my abuse.  Before I was out publicly as a rape survivor.  I could still name every single person I had ever had sexual contact with.  I had two lists.  One of girls, which was very long.  I didn't tell people about that list.  And the boys, which was long but not frightening because I don't count my rapists.  Oh wait, there was a third list in my head--the rapists.  I could still count my positive boy-sex experiences on my fingers with Steve.  Steve was the first boy who ever gave me an actual orgasm. I faked it before that.  Uhm, sorry people from high school.

I miss Steve a lot.  He was passionate about things the way Noah is.  I love basking in that kind of joy in the simple act of attaining knowledge.  Steve liked to learn.  He was inspiring to be around.  He isn't book smart, and it was by choice.  He came from a highly educated family.  He was a self-didact though.  He knew how to do an amazing array of things.  And if he didn't know how to do something he would figure out how to learn.  Nothing daunted him.  I miss that.  I didn't know how to deal with it when I was 18.  I didn't know how to explain to him that things were harder for me than him because I didn't have this loving background telling me I could accomplish things, I had to move slower than him sometimes.

Enh, I don't remember the particulars well enough to analyze it.  Whatever.  That's not the point.  I would really like to know what kind of man he has become.  I'm pretty sure I was right back then when I knew that I wouldn't enjoy living with him long-term.  But I think I could be his friend now.  I think I would know how to listen to his interests without bashing him over the head with my issues.

I ran from Steve to Tom.  In a straight line.  Jumping on a few nice people along the way.  I was 18 and living with a lonely old lady who wanted company and I wanted to be surfing the internet looking for sex.  As soon as I became involved with him I started using his house as a base.  I was there a lot when he was at work because I didn't have anywhere else to be.  His internet was paid for, he didn't seem to care.

I'm not sure he understood how much time I was there.  How much time I spent auditioning a life in that house before our relationship got all that serious.  I picked him.  I wanted him.  I didn't have to look around the local community for more than three months before I was damn sure he was the only person in that lot I wanted to seriously pursue.  And I did.  And on our first date he told me that he was looking for the One.  The One he would marry and have children with.

I am not going to get into it much right now.  That's too big of a story.  I can't do that today.  I can't write it down today.  But I can sit here and listen to Adele sing.  And I cry.  Because I can't write that story yet.  I am in the middle of another one.

I date Puppy because I was trying to replace Tom.  Puppy was the most abusive relationship I have had as an adult.  If he had not ended it when he did I think he would have hit me.  He was escalating in his violent displays when I didn't react how he wanted.  I wasn't good enough for him.  His family hated me and picking me would have meant ostracizing his family.  Or having to have relationships with them that involved no discussion of his life with me.  He didn't think I was worth it.  He was a nasty piece of shit to me trying to get me to break up with him.  When my response was to cry for a while then try to problem solve he freaked out.  He wanted me to do something nasty so he had justification for his behavior.  I feel like my relationship with Puppy absolves me of my guilt for treating Steve so badly.  I learned how to control that anger.  I'm really sorry I fucked up like that at 18.  But I learned.  I changed.  Some people never do.  I'm proud of myself.

I am too angry with Noah.  Almost none of it is directed at him.  I'm not angry because of anything related to Noah.  I'm just angry.  At so many stupid things I remember and can't let go of.  So many things that I'm trying to write down and be done with.  Puppy left me with a nasty email about how I will end up bitter and alone.  Just. Like. His. Mother.  Yeah, that's about me?  I think not.

I don't need to feel bad for my part in that any more.  That was a shitty relationship.  I don't think it escalated to abuse but it wanted to.  It didn't partially because I learned to control my temper.  That's pretty cool.  I needed to do that.  It was essential in helping me be a good teacher.  And oh boy is it more important as a mother.  I'm sorry I hurt Steve.  But I forgive myself.  I had good reasons to be angry.  The more of this book I write the more I understand why people in authority positions widen their eyes when I tell my stories.  I should be exploding with anger.  I should be standing on top of a tall building with a machine gun taking my rage out on all of humanity.  That's what a wounded animal as smart as me would do.

For all that people tell me I'm an angry person, I'm not.  Not really.  I was.  I'm sad.  I'm afraid.  Writing my story down all in one block and thinking about how many years of my life I have spent alone in a room is hard.  I don't know how to have a real live actual family.  I'm scared.

I dated Tom for more years than I lived with my brother Jimmy after the age of three.  I lived with Tom for almost as many years as I lived with Tommy.  We were very close.  But he could never decide if I was really worth so much effort.  He wasn't interested in getting married and having kids with me.  I think that given his life priorities, he made the right decision.  I'm not the right kind of girl for him.  And that still hurts.  I wanted to be.  I tried so hard to be what I thought he wanted.  Oh so many things I want to say.  They come over me in waves, these memories.

But I don't think I can be friends with Tom.  We were too much.  I want too much.  I miss too much.  I want too much of him still.  I don't know if anything could ever actually work.  I'm not going to let myself think about it.  I can't.  I ran away.  I slammed the door on that part of my life pretty hard.  It has taken many years for me to figure out that some people in that community can be my friends because they aren't actually interested in being his friend.  I didn't have to ask them to pick a side!  They came pre-picked!  I'm a shallow piece of shit.

No, I have problems with boundaries.  I don't think I would be able to have any if I spent extended time with Tom.  Once again, I don't know that it is even sex I want.  I want to crawl back into his head.  I want to once again hear him tell me about the most intense parts of himself.  I want to watch him enjoy driving.  I want to be tied up.  I wouldn't mind it being non-sexual.  I miss being enjoyed for just being there to look at.  That's something that's hard to communicate about objectification.  It means that someone doesn't have to know all of my dirty stupid little secrets, they can enjoy looking at me.  Maybe I am beautiful.

Maybe if I write about what I really miss in enough detail I can find a way to get those specific needs met in other ways.  It's worth a try.  But not today.  Maybe someday I will find someone like Tom.  Maybe I will be able to figure it out.

Daydreaming is weird.  Because I have these thoughts.  I have them a lot when I'm driving.  Polyamory means that I can have my Bridges of Madison County track in the back of my brain and know that I am not being disloyal to the people in front of me.

I feel sad that Noah does the same thing.  I don't know that he does it exactly the same way I do.  But he has similar yearnings to not feel like doors are closed.  There is one girl he is kind of bitter about.  I handled it badly.  He really was falling in love.  It felt like watching my chance at stable happiness leave every time he went on a date.  I don't trust that anyone else can love more than one person at a time.  My family couldn't do that.  One kid at a time was "special" and whoever wasn't in the center... well... when my brothers weren't at the center it was because they weren't there.  Sometimes when my mother and I lived alone somewhere I was the center.  That was wonderful.  Anytime there was anyone else around I was ignored.  She had missed those kids the whole time she had me.  She had talked about that endlessly.  She didn't talk about me in glowing terms the way she did them.  She didn't idealize me.  She lived with me.

I don't want to be that for Noah.  I'm scared.  It is so hard to trust him.  It is so hard to trust anyone.  There is no one else in the world I would even bother to try to trust like I trust Noah.  I can't.  I'm not capable.  And that hurts.  Once people have been close to me like that, if they fuck up even slightly then I have to completely and totally evaporate from their lives.  I can't handle being demoted.  When Noah starts paying attention to someone else I feel demoted.  I go from being the wife to being part of the harem.  Now I'm "one of Noah's girls".  I feel disposable.  It's not true.  I know Noah doesn't feel that way.  Not even slightly.  But that's what I feel.

You know.  Once I get the problem nailed down this specifically it's time to talk to the California Mindfucker.  I like NLP.  It's a convenient tool.  I keep hitting this same wall.  And it's not rational.  I can explain it 50 more times and they will all come down to the same thing.  I want to change my irrational feelings and I'm not managing on my own.  There are tricks for that.


  1. Out of pure brain hacking curiosity, do you have doubts that Noah can love both kids and you, all at the same time? Or do kids manage to be different from you in your head?

  2. The kids are different. They just don't fill the same *cough* niche. You know?

  3. Which makes sense, but I asked because you specifically noted that the "he'll stop loving me if there's a new shiny!" feeling seemed to come from watching your mother love one kid at a time.
    I don't know if there's a way to convince your brain that if it can believe he loves Shanna and Cali at the same time, who are both in the same niche, it can believe he can love you and another woman at the same time?