AlmostFLYin2 is a single person who found Poly as a member of a quad. Even though her long term marriage ended due to that relationship, she has realized that the Poly lifestyle is still something she is open to. She is breaking into the world of single life as an adult for the first time after a 14 year relationship. She has 2 kids she also has to coordinate her time for. She is tackling not only the world of dating as a Single mom with baggage, but also trying to find Poly relationships while discovering a new sense of self at the same time. She will be sharing the milestones and ideas she has on the entire journey by using quotes that she has found that fit the situation.
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I am who I am, Even though I don't feel like myself right now
How often have you done something and thought it was so out of character for you that it is a shock? Something triggers a reaction and it surprises everyone, including yourself?
I recently had one of those moments and it was HUGE. It is not easy for me to talk about it, but I think it is important because it has really made me look at how I view myself in relationships with other people. It has also made me question my desire and ability to live in a polyamorous relationship in the future.
"I am who I am...."
That's really all anyone can be right? What I had forgotten was exactly who that person was, I AM a loving person who enjoys doing fun things with other people, who enjoys sharing hugs and hands and happiness with others. I AM a person who likes to work hard and have a sense of purpose in doing her job. I AM a person who thinks that my children are the greatest gift I have ever been given. I AM a person who enjoys spoiling my friends and family and who takes a personal satisfaction of accomplishing this while staying within my means. I AM curious and creative and thrill in sharing my creations with others. I AM someone who others find interesting and caring. I AM determined to insist on what is right and wrong. I AM a good friend.
These are all the things I AM. The problem is that at some point, even with friends and family reminding me and reassuring me of all of this, I simply forgot who I was and morphed into something different, I was no longer myself.
I am someone who is in a major transition in her life, I am a person who has a lot of new challenges to overcome. I am a person who is exploring new ideas while recovering from the shock of old ideas being evolved and ripped away.
The Idea of polyamory has been an "idea" in my head for a long time, but without a title. I had family members that lived on a Kibbutz in Israel. Their lifestyle, their community has always been attractive to me. On the other hand, I have been exposed to the swinging lifestyle but could never really wrap my mind around the idea of "casual sex", it just never seemed like a good idea to me. maybe I am paranoid, but there are just too many physical risks out there for anything concerning sex to be "casual". I insisted that I needed a lot more from a relationship than just sex. When I found I was falling in love with someone else's husband and my husband with her, I wasn't sure what to think. I guess I was thinking we could be swingers with these people, but only because we were getting to know them very well. I had heard of swinging, I had heard of Master/slave relationships where one person could have multiple slaves, but for me this still felt like "casual sex". I had never heard of Polyamory, until now.
During this time I had started looking into the BDSM lifestyle and I liked the idea. I started talking to the few people I did know who were active in it. I also started noticing that almost everyone I already knew, had some form of "alternative" lifestyle going on in their lives. This was a huge shock! How had I gotten in with these people? How come I had known many of them for so long and had never seen their "deviations" from the norm? Then another shock, was I one of them? I DID have an interest in BDSM, and a strong idea where I wanted to be in it and why I wanted it. I DID have an interest in forming close communal relationships with other friends. I DID have a curiosity about having sexual relationships with other people as well, since I had a distinct lack of examples to compare in my own life. Hmmm guess I AM one of them after all.
"......Even though I don't feel like myself right now"
I think that would be one of the worlds biggest understatements.
I mentioned that I seemed to have changed. I did. I had become a cynical, depressed, judgmental, argumentative lonely person who refused to have fun and only existed to seemingly make everyone around her as miserable as she possibly could. She was a failure at everything she had tried. She had caused so much hurt to others and herself in her own life that she got lost. She could see no more reason to exist. She could do no good for anyone, even the 2 people who needed her more than anyone else, her kids. She figured it would be better for the world if she were no longer in it. It hurt her too much to stay and the strong woman who was looking forward to her new life, simply ceased to exist.
Luckily it didn't work.
I spent the next 10 days in the hospital, terrified of what I had done. Terrified of this person who I didn't know. Terrified that I had come so close to doing something I never thought I would do. Terrified that I had hurt my kids more. I couldn't even call them for days, my guilt was so strong. In the hospital the biggest trigger to my becoming myself again was the fact that the doctor I had, really didn't seem to care about me. Here I went from insisting that no one cared to being really pissed off about the one person who really should have at that point. Her only solution for my treatment was to give me medication that took weeks to become effective and send me back home to the things that had made me depressed in the first place, after only 3 days. I panicked and in a rare moment of clarity, formulated what I felt I needed in terms of care. I explained my concerns about my "treatment Plan" and decided not to take the meds, in part because it would be a band aid to the problems I was facing, and in part because it made the doctors have to work a little bit harder with me to get me healthy again. I decided I wanted to take the meds, just not until after I had gotten the psychological care that I needed to make them part of an effective treatment plan. This cause me no end of grief though as there were legal measures taken against me and only the people who didn't matter thought that I was actually thinking clearly about what was going on. I felt like a sane person screaming "I am not crazy" in an insane asylum.
I didn't feel like myself, I didn't feel like the person who could love so many people, who could accept everyone's differences. I couldn't even accept my own. I found myself getting frustrated when I didn't hear from the new friends I had been making. I even managed to hurt one persons feelings terribly by telling him everything he was doing wrong in looking for a date. It scared the crap out of me how I had changed, how easily I had let the anger, hurt, and frustration take over.
So now what?
I had to find me again. Or at least know where she is hiding when she is not right out in front. I AM keeping in touch with my new friends, its not just there job to say hi. I AM going to be going to school, something that will be hard work but I have wanted to do for years. I AM going to be a great mom. My kids and I already have an unusually open relationship. We respect each others feelings and as a family we make decisions together and consider each others feelings. I AM going to continue looking for those friends who will become more than just friends. I have met many new people and going into the dating world poly is interesting. I can justify dating multiple people, pursuing other relationships and as long as the people I am pursuing have the knowledge ahead of time and they understand. What I have now would be considered all Long Distance relationships, but they are relationships none the less. Some of my best friendships were formed over the Internet I can't discount them so easily any more. My kids have expressed a concern about me dating too many people at once, but understand that it is a time saver as much as anything else. We have discussed the "being able to love more than one person" idea as well. They have been spooked by their father forcing them to accept his relationship and I have tried to accept their concerns even if it means I have to set slightly tighter limits for myself on their behalf. I AM going to find people who love me, and I will accept that its not always just words when they say it. I had one dear friend say it and it almost sounded like it slipped out on accident. I think he might have meant it to some degree since it has happened a few times since. it made me feel really good. as much because it was said and because I could accept it. I never realized it but there are millions of people in this world and they cant all hate me. Just because the local population seems to be a bit biased or simply does not care in the slightest, it is not my fault. I shouldn't try earning their sympathy, I should try to be their friend.
I am going to make it through this, everyone keeps telling me this. It will really suck at times but that's when my friends are there. I know they would be at my door in a heartbeat if they could be. The fact that so many are still my friends, means that they truly love me for ME. Even though sometimes........
"I am who I am, Even though I don't feel like myself right now".
But don't quote me on that!
AlmostFLYin2 is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.
AlmostFLYin2; August 9, 2006
folks have read this article.