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Apr 30

Opening the door

This one will be harder on me than it is on you.

If you read my repost on Saturday it should have given you some clue that I have some secrets, that these secrets suffocate me, and that I am trying my best to survive.

Today, I am going to open my closet and try and throw out a couple of coats. I am going to try and give myself a little breathing room. It should be easy for me talk about this. After all, I blog anonymously but in reality, at least one person I know irl (besides Jerreg and Nissa of course) reads this blog.  Outside that fact, if I fuck up somehow and people make solid connections between me and this blog, I stand to lose a lot of people I care about. This is a BIG fear for me. Nonetheless readers, I need to breathe so I am going to say “fuck all” and do this thing.

I am polyamorous.

Three simple words. Three horrifying words. Three words that changed my life.

Let’s go back a little while to when Jarreg and I met. I was a hopeless goddist creature then. No amount of “god loving me” was ever going to teach me to love myself. No amount of fucking for all the wrong reasons was going to fix the damage my step-father left. No amount of cutting was going to suddenly make me sane.

Jarreg did these things. He loved me so much, I couldn’t help but love myself and everything else followed after.

I healed, not completely but some. I healed enough that when things got hard for us, I left. I told him that I didn’t love him anymore (though I did) and I made him go.

It was the hardest thing I ever did. I spent the next year and a half of my life crying myself to sleep. I know how terribly teenage this sounds (I was a teenager after all) but there was no doubt in my mind that Jarreg was it for me. He was my true soul mate, and I let him go. Years later I came back to him. He was married. He left her when I came back. Tales get told and the story of Jarreg and I became a tiny legend amongst our circle (a little beyond too). People look to us and say “if you can’t make it, I don’t know that anyone can” and “you two were meant to be together.” Damned if we didn’t believe it too. There were struggles, but fuck we both knew how much the world sucked when we weren’t together. Neither of us for one second entertained the thought of separating. We were of and for each other.

We were soul mates.

The soul mate myth persisted well after we no longer believed in souls. We ceased having an explanation for it but we both knew that there was something special in us. Strike that everyone knew. Everyone told us. Our love could conquer all.

Cue meeting Nissa. There was a strong connection when Nissa and I met online. Instant friendship. I gave Nissa a level of trust that went well beyond my average amount of trust. She returned the same trust in me.

Then she fell in love with me.

She was always flirty. Jarreg’s jokes about my new girlfriend were coming true. She was in love with me and now I know. It hurt to know how she felt. I wanted to help her not to love me. I thought surely she just loved what Jarreg and I are like so many other people. Surely I could help her find love (even if temporary) in someone else. While trying to help her stop loving me, I ended up growing ever closer to her. I started to daydream of her with my family. I imagined taking her along on holidays and vacations with all of us. I wanted Nissa to be an influence on my children.

I was falling in love with her.

This wasn’t hidden from Jarreg. He was constantly updated. I fancy myself to be a compulsively honest person. Don’t think for a second that my honesty is altruism. I just hate to lie to people I care about. It turns me into a jumbled mess inside. Before I ever realized that what I was feeling for Nissa was more than platonic yet loving friendship, Jarreg knew.

And then the bombshell hits me. I feel about Nissa the same way I feel about Jarreg. The way they both occupy my thoughts. The way I want them in my life. The way I want to touch and hold both of them.

I am in love with two people.

I fall to pieces. This can’t work. I feel it inside but what I feel is fucked up. What I feel is wrong. Jarreg gives me the science. He tells me it is real to be able to love two people. He tells me it is called polyamory. I just assumed that people had open relationships. Loving two people though? No that was unimaginable.

I went through, am going through, a roller coaster of emotions. Jarreg is not poly. I see the hurt I have caused. I cannot help but view my love, what I am, as substandard to his love, to what he is.

I cannot help but hate myself.

I have so few people I can talk to about this. When I do talk, I feel like I am waiting for them to tell me how perverse I am, how cruel I am to force this upon Jarreg. I know that I have manipulated them both into loving me and deep down I know that they both deserve more than what I am inside. For the last year plus now, I have been everything. I have been self loathing, hopeful, suicidal, angry, and giddy with new relationship energy.

So many things compound to make it harder. I can’t hold Nissa.  For reasons I plan not to explain here, I can’t even see Nissa in person.  I live in a town, a state that would probably kick me out if they could for my heathen ways. Nissa has a girlfriend of her own, and I am not immune to jealousy. All these things though are nothing compared to the simple truth that I don’t love myself anymore. No matter how much these two fantastic people continue to love me, I can’t forgive myself for letting it happen.

I am trying to get better. I am trying to learn to forgive myself but fuck am I scared this might break me. I am fucking scared I might break everyone else while I die slowly inside.

That is about all I can really explain here today. The tears flow while I write this, and I don’t need any more bad days right now. I needed to come out here though. I am scared though. I am scared that connections will get made and my life, my children’s lives will be altered by me opening this door. I couldn’t breathe though. I needed to talk about it. I needed to do this, so take this coat I have given to you as you will.

It is no longer mine to drown in.

22 comments

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  1. 1
    tori

    Please don’t feel bad about this. This certainly isn’t anything to hate yourself over. This is a common problem that bi people face, or so I hear. You can’t help how you feel.

    You know what would have been a shitty thing to do? If you saw Nissa behind Jarreg’s back and you weren’t honest about your feelings. But you were. If this is bothering him so much, he should just ask you not to see her.

    As someone who has never been in a relationship before, I probably shouldn’t be the one to dole out advice about it. However, it sounds like you shouldn’t see Nissa anymore. While I might say that it’s worth working out if you were able to see her, you aren’t and it doesn’t seem worth it in that case. It just doesn’t sound like it’s healthy to you with all of these negative feelings it’s producing, and closure might help. Long-distance relationships rarely work anyway, unless that person is able to come closer. At the very least, it might help if Jarreg is polyamorous too.

    I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time at it. 🙁 I know what it’s like to feel like you’re just making things worse for everyone else. It certainly isn’t worth hating yourself over, trust me.

    I hope everything works out.

    1. 1.1
      Xanthë

      As someone who has never been in a relationship before, I probably shouldn’t be the one to dole out advice about it.

      Well, you got that bit right… and as a result, the advice you followed it up with sounds very presumptuous. Moreover I don’t think your suggestion really does anything to address what WilloNyx’s concerns and anxieties centre around, which she articulated very well in the post. :/

      1. tori

        Wah, I didn’t mean to do that. 🙁 I was only trying to help out. My apologies for any hurt feelings. *sigh* I’m sure this is all much more complicated than I realize. It just didn’t seem like polyamory was working out for her all that much if it’s causing this much anguish.

    2. 1.2
      WilloNyx

      I waited till today to reply because I wanted to make sure my response was reasoned and not clouded with emotion. I understand why you think letting go of Nissa is the simple solution. The deal is though it doesn’t get to the core of my problem. See I have identified myself as capable of only loving romantically exactly one person for over half my life. I had accepted that others could love multiple people (maybe or maybe not at the same time) but I thought I was exempt somehow. When this/happened it turned my existence upside down. No amount of science or comforting word on the part of Jarreg or Nissa or even the rest of the world could quite fix it because it was my identity in question. It was a shattering of faith far stronger than when I lost faith in god. Even if I give Nissa up, I cannot return that faith in myself, in what I am. That door has already been opened and letting go of Nissa will just be painful without actually fixing anything.

      I am not angry that you think or thought it was simple. You coudn’t know that the suggestion would be hurtful. I thank you for your attempt to find a solution even if I cannot take your advice.

      1. tori

        Oh I see. I just kind of figured that it was pretty much a given that most people are capable of loving more than one person, but that most people just never have to be put in that situation. For the people it does happen to, I figured that they A) ignore it, B) choose between the people, C) Cheat or D) Engage in an open relationship. I thought “poly” referred to people who decided to take the last option, not just to those who are capable loving more than one person. Love never was some solid thing that existed in a limited quantity, so why should it be when it comes to romance? Again, I’m probably sounding extremely naive about this.

        Thanks for being so gracious towards me, though.

        1. WilloNyx

          Not everyone is capable of loving multiple people at one time. Not everyone is capable of loving romantically at all. There are all sorts and I am just in the process of refiguring out what sort I am after thinking I had it all figured out to begin with.

          Poly refers to people who are capable of loving multiple people romantically at one time. Beyond that there is no distinction. Some are poly which do not pursue poly relationships. Some pursue poly fi (short for fidelity) relationships where there may be multiple partners but have no intention of including new members. Poly fi would best describe me because while I love two, I have no interest in seeing other people.

          Generally people who want open relationships where sex is a component but romantic bonding like love isn’t are called swingers and are not necessarily polyamorous.

  2. 2
    BibleName

    This was painfully beautiful to read. I do hope this work out for all of you somehow, but I love love love that more people are “coming out” polyamorous, however possible. And for a lot of us, only a little bit is possible, but it’s good to able to do that. Thanks for doing it.

    1. 2.1
      WilloNyx

      Coming out as poly is a lot harder than coming out as atheist. A lot of it probably has to do with the fact that I feel shame about my poly and I don’t about atheism. The rest of it is that I fear how my kids will be treated. I fear the horrible perceptions of love that others will try and force on them. I haven’t come out to my kids yet. I fear how they will react.

  3. 3
    Anna

    I think that this may be a big step in healing the self hate. I can only go by my personal experiences since my issues are not the same but I have similar feelings. Being trans I had a part of me that frightened me. I knew that being myself would upset other people, the ones i cared most for. I didn’t come out. I didn’t want to hurt them.

    That part of me was still there though. I ended up trying to kill myself. I ended up wreaking my life. I was never happy. One day instead of dying ( I was very much on the edge of that) I came out. I transitioned. I accepted myself rather then die. A funny thing though, I was happier. I was calmer, I could contribute, and the people around me, for the most part, found I improved their lives by learning to accept myself.

    Don’t get me wrong I lost some people. But I couldnt hide who I was. I don’t think you can hide a part of yourself either. Its who we are. Both of us dealt with horrible things in childhood that make us have even more trouble with self esteem and self doubt than our personal issues already bring to the table. I still hate myself alot of the time. I am who I am though, and I can be better for everyone around me by being the best I can be within that context. Denying a part of myself made me no good to anyone.

    I don’t 100% agree with Natalie on closets not being a good metaphor for trans. For me the closet is hiding from myself. Trying to ignore a part of me I cant ignore. I had to let it have sun.
    Honestly, once i let it have sun I realized that this part of me made me who I am, and I don’t think im all that bad.

    IMHO you are more than not bad also. The poly part makes up part of the person you are. I hope you can integrate it into you without hate. It’s a constant battle to self accept. But everyone deserves acceptance. Even yourself.

    1. 3.1
      WilloNyx

      Gosh Anna you have some kind words. I am trying to accept this part of me little by little. I don’t hide well who I am to the world. I think maybe if I can ever be in full sun this will be easier over all. I hope at least.

  4. 4
    Stephanie Zvan

    I’ll just repeat what I said before. You’ve had to learn once to trust that you’re loved and lovable. That’s not an easy thing for anyone who has been abused and let down by the people the world tells her should love her, but you managed it. Now you have to learn that over again.

    I don’t know why it sometimes work this way, but I have seen it before. Maybe because you convinced yourself the first time that Jarreg loving you wasn’t completely about you as a whole person, but about some special circumstance or what you gave to the relationship. But with both Jarreg and Nissa loving you at the same time you feel you’ve done something wrong, you’re confused and in a bit of a panic. You don’t feel you should get a reward for that, but getting confirmation that you’re lovable in many circumstances is definitely a reward.

    I suspect it will take a bit of time to sort all the pieces out so it makes sense, but I’m guessing Jarreg and Nissa are worth it.

    1. 4.1
      WilloNyx

      Yeah it is a confusing mix of emotions at times. The absolute warmth from being loved so completely by the two greatest people I have ever known and at the same time feeling that I don’t deserve a bit of it. I am trying though and it makes me feel better that you have seen at least one person get past this. Most every where I have read people just realize they are poly and want to pursue it, I don’t really feel all that poly. Love for me is not something I just do. It take special kind of person for me to trust them enough to ever love them romantically. It takes almost nothing for me to feel sexual attraction and I can love platonicly quite easily too. Combining love and romance has happened just twice and even that much is a more than I can handle sometimes. The thought of going out and looking for romantic/loving partners is WAY beyond what I ever want. I just want to settle in and cuddle between the two people who love me most in the world. I want to do it and and not feel shame/panic/fear.

      And you are right they absolutely are worth trying to sort this out.

      1. Jason Thibeault

        I doubt anyone “feels all that poly”, any more than, say, we “feel all that atheist”. It’s not something that’s necessarily a sensation in and of itself, just a recognition of other feelings and facts about your existence.

        I am happy with what I have now, myself, and do not intend to go out looking for more partners. That doesn’t mean that others, who choose otherwise, are better or worse. Those sorts of value judgments are the domain of people whose morality was received dogmatically. If you can shed those vestiges of indoctrination, I would imagine you will come to feel less shame, panic or fear. And that’s on top of the self-esteem problems Stephanie pointed out.

        Pulling for you.

  5. 5
    Dalillama

    While I don’t have enough information to give specific advice, I do have some experience with polyamory. First off, I can’t stress strongly enough that this doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, nor have you done anything wrong in this situation. For all we like to think so, we cannot control our emotional responses to others to a great extent. Jerreg and Nissa both fell in love with you because you are a person that they can love with that strength, and because you and they were lucky enough to have met. Conversely, you didn’t choose to fall in love with Nissa either, but merely followed where your acquaintance led. The most important thing in this type of situation is honesty and communication, and it sounds like you’re on top of that. I realize that the situation that you find yourself in is difficult, but there can be solutions, if everyone is willing to work on them a bit. I also realize that you have other things going on regarding trust /relationships as well, and I can’t offer as much help on that score, but you have whatever support I can offer.

    1. 5.1
      WilloNyx

      Thank you. The trust thing with Jarreg and Nissa is easy. It is how I loved them in the first place. I cannot love without trust. It is myself I no longer trust, I no longer love.

      1. Dalillama

        I know how hard it is to not trust yourself fully, and my heart goes out to you. If you need someone to talk to who’s outside the situation, you have some of my contact info, I’m usually around, time zone differences allowing.

  6. 6
    Xanthe

    One hard lesson to learn, especially if you’ve suffered the years of religious indoctrination poisoning your mind with fear about not being a well-behaved little zombie, is to accept yourself for who you are in spite of the cognitive dissonance. I overthrew a fairly mild amount of religion in my family, but still had a degree of internalised fucked-up attitudes, being bi, poly, and trans. The combination of the first two blighted my first long-term relationship, as my partner was a classic control freak and would play emotional guilt games about me being unfaithful (which became a fait accompli, I broke up).

    I’ve not been lucky to ever find someone who I thought a “soul mate”, so while I’m aware it does happen for some people, so I’m not a believer in the idea that there is only a single person who is an “ideal match”; in life one doesn’t have infinite iterations to search out every possible partner. The things I’ve found desirable in partners has not overlapped with any of them being comfortable or interested with polyamory, which is something of a regret for me but not in any sense a major one. So I’m certainly not wanting to intrude on your decisions, but from my experience honesty and transparency about your feelings with your partners and to give one another the trust and autonomy to express their needs.

    Yes, so there’s horrible mind fuck from all sides saying polyamory is bad, and I can’t imagine (being in commie Australistan) living in a place where owning up to your atheism, or being bisexual, or being poly, would expose you to shaming and shunning from the people in your community: but it can’t be said too loudly or too long, that being poly does not make you a bad person. I’m inspired that you’re being true to yourself and I wish I could offer more than just mere words of wishing you well on a blog – so love to you and Jarreg and Nissa.

    1. 6.1
      Xanthe

      The “well-behaved little zombie” is a Doctor Who quote. Something went awry in the long sentence ending the second paragraph where I meant to say those sorts of things are the fundamental ground that has to be tilled, to let you make something of your partnerships. (Writing long screeds on phone is far from ideal.)

    2. 6.2
      WilloNyx

      Truthfully I haven’t really believed in soul mates for a long time specifically but that doesn’t mean that somewhere deep down I didn’t think somehow Jarreg and I were special. I still think that. We have a unique bond that most people never find in relationships and in my heart I believe it comes from Jarreg. I used to think it was us together but the recent poly stuff has made me doubt that I bring anything of merit to our relationship.

      Instead, in my head, it is his love that makes us special.

      And while I don’t think that being poly alone makes me a bad person, I think it makes my love less pure than Jarreg’s if that makes sense. My rational brain can tell the rest of my brain that this is not the case but it is how I feel nonetheless. Maybe one day I can believe it. Maybe.

  7. 7
    Cthulhu

    Willownyx, I”m a guy, a hetero guy, so I can’t know what you’re going through. That said, there are people in my life who ARE bi, and I love them with all my heart. I’ve seen the pain and anxiety they go through with the societal pressures that are put on them and that they carry themselves.

    I have no answers, only support and kind words. I do know that honest is the best policy, and you’re doing right on that account. And I know that no honest feelings of love for another human being is ever a bad thing. Me, I wouldn’t say anything to the kids until and unless I was actually about to engage in a poly relationship, but you have to steer your own ship. I wish you the best, and if you do go for a poly relationship, I wish you lots of happiness and love.

    1. 7.1
      WilloNyx

      Thank you for the kind words. I am technically in a relationship with Nissa albeit a complicated one. It is not to the point where telling the kids is an imperative of any sort though which is good because the thought scares me to death.

      1. Cthulhu

        Truthfully, though my ex has re-married, I’d happily go Poly with her and her new husband. I’m not the jealous type, and I love her enough to go with what makes her happy. No rule says you can’t love two people at the same time, except stupid societal ones, and who says they’re right? Most of our ideas anout sex and relationships come from a bunch of VERY sexually intimidated and repressed Victorians, mostly male. In this day and age with the economy being what they are, one would think intigrated family groups that manage to throw of the yokes of Victorian repression would benefit as a whole. More income, more parents around, slower family groups and time spent as family. I’m ok with the idea.

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