Sunday, June 24, 2012

Treading Lightly

I'm in a bad place.  I feel like I'm walking through my day carrying a time bomb, and I can't see the timer.  I never know what is going to set it off, I never know if today is going to be a quiet day or a catastrophe.

Mentally I'm feeling vulnerable and laid bare.  It's hard to be really open and forthcoming in this space sometimes; I know that some of the people who read this blog are people who have negative opinions of me, who want me to fail, who think I am not worthy of the relationships I have.  I have scores of drafts sitting in my file, awaiting a click on the "publish" button, a click that will never come.  Censoring myself in order to reduce the drama in my real life, to maintain the peace in my partners' lives, makes me crazy.

The Mister and I are struggling.  

We have been struggling with these issues for far longer than we have been polyamorous.  Becoming poly hasn't amplified the problem so much as it's made me aware that most people don't live with this stress day after day.  We'll go through periods where things are perfect and beautiful and quiet, and then suddenly we'll hit a patch where every day is a battle over nothing.  I'm not going to go into details, that's not the point of this post.  

I'm treading lightly because boundaries are being renegotiated.  Where I want to be and where I'm expected to be are not always the same place lately, and it's stressful.  What I want my life to be is not what I was okay with it being a year ago, and that's hard to explain to the Mister.  While I'm in this place of insecurity, things keep happening which threaten me even more.  It's like trying to navigate foreign territory with no map and no compass.

Yes, I have people I can lean on, but even there things feel tenuous. I don't want to further add to their drama by heaping on my own.  My mother's advice boiled down to "marriage is hard."  The Prime said the same, but he was a great listener and I think truly wanted to help.  The Libertine is doing the best he can to be my rock, but he is going through a divorce and has his own series of challenges to get through right now.  I try to be there for him, too, but lately it's felt like we're pulling at each other instead of working together.

The more I think about what I want and what I need, the more I come back to the following:
  • I cannot go back to being monogamous.  I will not sacrifice any of the relationships I have to keep only one of them.
  • I want to come out to my family within the next year.
  • The Libertine and I need to negotiate the future.  There has been talk of Big Things.
  • I want to be able to write from my heart and publish what I say.   I do not want the "What Ifs" to rule my writing.
  • I want to advocate polyamory and nonmonogamy without having to become an active member of the Chicago poly community (because of incidents of exclusion/cold shouldering).
More than anything, I want to be able to openly express these things without feeling the judgment of others.  I want to be able to admit that my marriage might fail without feeling like I didn't try hard enough.  I want to make peace with the feeling that life is too short to dwell on the little things, the perceived slights, and the mistakes I've made.  I want to be able to stand up and say, "This is who I am, you can like it or hate it, it doesn't bother me either way," and mean it.

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