These writings contain my experiences and opinions. The opinions are personal in nature, not professional. I am not a professional; I have no degree. These are the insights I have gleaned from living four years in a polyamorous relationship.
Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.
The Positive Side Effects of Poly
Iíve started this monthís column half a dozen times, and Iíve scrapped every one of them. Theyíve been too whiny, too negative, too bitter, too sarcastic, too something every time. Iím not coming from a particularly good place this month. Itís only been two weeks since I was forced from my home of the last five years, two weeks since life as I have known it for so long ended, two weeks since the only family that was ever really important to me imploded, exploded, and was left in painful, smoldering ashes. Given those circumstances, I donít feel that I have much to offer this community at this point in time; I donít feel like I have much of anything positive to say.
Despite all of this, however, I still wholeheartedly believe in poly. I still believe that love is infinite, and I still believe that itís possible, and even natural, to share your life with more than one love. So what to write about? In considering this, and scrapping column after column, I keep circling back to one common theme.
And not just any friends, but friends from the poly community. I didnít come here looking for friends, per se. Iím not really a people person, so I didnít even think I needed friends. I came here looking for like minded people who could understand some of the issues my family was facing. I came here looking for people who could empathize with our sorrows and celebrate our joys. I came here looking for people who wouldnít judge me or mine based solely on our chosen life and love style. I found all of those things. As a by product, Iíve found some of the best friends Iíve made in my whole life. I found people who empathize, understand, donít judge, celebrate, and support. I found fabulous friends.
When all of this chaos, pain, and confusion started happening in my life, I felt totally lost. I had no idea where to go or what to do or where to turn, since in effect, my support system had turned on and away from me. I felt utterly decimated by the woman who claimed to have been my best friend for the past two decades. I felt totally abandoned by two men who claimed to have loved me. I thought I had no one. I was so very wrong. I had my friends. My poly friends.
Iím speaking of everyone here in general and of Pegasus and Renaissance Man in specific. When I gave up on everything and everyone, they refused to give up on me. Both of them grabbed me by my proverbial bootstraps and yanked me out of the abyssóthe abyss that I was voluntarily letting myself fall into. When I first moved, I literally didnít have anything more than a bed, a desk, a computer, and my dog. Peg and RM made sure I could cook a meal and make a phone call. I donít know if either of them has any idea what that means to me. Even more importantly than that though, they made sure I knew that I wasnít, in fact, alone. They made sure I knew that I hadnít lost everything that was important to me. They made it apparent that I do still have friends and that I wasnít abandoned by everyone that I love. They didnít let me give in to the dark thoughts and desires, and most importantly they helped me back on the path to finding myself. Iíve been so lost in other people for the past five years that Iíd forgotten who I used to be and that I actually liked that person.
I still have some very dark moments. I still just sit and cry. I am still prone to fits of rage that would frighten Saddam Hussein. I still unravel over the smallest things. I still forget to eat for a couple of days, and I still lie awake most of the night. Iím not ďfixedĒ by any stretch of the imagination. I am, however, not nearly as alone as I thought I was, and thatís one of the wonderful and unexpected side effects of poly. I didnít come looking for friends, but I certainly found them. I wouldnít trade any of you for anything in the world. Even my ďold lifeĒ back. Iíd do pretty much anything for any one of you, and if you call on me, Iíll do my level best to be there.
I love you all.
PolyAnna; August 07, 2006
PolyAnna is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.
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