Fragile

There is a thing that happens when people are infected. There is a blood-brain barrier that locks out nutrients from the brain so that it remains safe from the toxins in the blood. Body suffers one affliction (infection) while the brain suffers another (starvation). When we are infected, we cannot think properly. The same happens when our hearts are fucked over. Heart break makes thinking difficult. I feel small when I cannot shake the pain. I flinch when everything around me feels like a trigger. There are so many that don’t give a second thought about me at this point.

The thing that I never considered properly is that I would love deeply. The ends are brutal. Polyamory…means more ends unravel. More heart break is possible. I quit.

i am hopelessly fragile and so very small
i am easily forgotten and not worth risking it all
you tell me you love me but you will not call
my mind will starve before infection scales barrier wall

my blood carries toxins that pollute its path
my heart is pressure pumping wrath
when did anger blow up this empath?
i am losing again and again, sink down in the bath

i want to quit and run and hide
i am ready to scream enough, and go out with next tide
i still want to be there, even if i can't sit beside
i might can hold on, but grip slips with tears cried

tonight, again, i asked what I knew
that i am the past and not new
i am complicated and difficult and blinding hue
this is what you saw when you entered the queue

they say i will heal and feel better with time
this presumes that i love like every other rhyme
i do not, he knows it was true and once in a lifetime
and yet, decision made and i am left mute like mime

i gave everything willingly to be in his eyes whole
i still want it now even with the fear inflamed soul
trust and comfort have both over payed toll
i have apologized and tried to view his world through pinhole

but too little too late, and changes already made
the cut too jagged, too rusty the blade
we didn't know what we were doing, and with fire played
and now infected, the decay displayed

i hate what has happened and i want him back
i hate that i cannot do anything to ready my pack
i can't get there nor stave off fatal attack
i am breathless - this last blow landed with unwarned thwack





Perceived Inequity

In polyamory, or non-monogamy, or any power dynamic…actually, in any relationship ever…perceived inequity is an enemy to peace. Peace is lost when I feel like you shouldn’t want to be with her as much as you want to be with me. Peace is lost when I feel like my lover has another partner who sets them on fire in a way I cannot or do not. Peace is lost when that NSA didn’t happen in reality the way we planned in theory. Peace is lost when I cannot give you all you want or need or deserve. Peace is lost when I can give you everything but you don’t trust that I can or that it is even possible. Peace is lost when perception of balance is off.

Is perception real though? Is it actually inequity?

I know I get a version of you that not even your wife gets. I know that you are open to me in a way that you are not open to another person on this earth. I know that you know you get that from me also…

Is it fair to say that this statement is possible with more than one person without being untrue?

Every pairing is its own thing, but the expression of that balance is predicated on perception. Can you feel it when I intend it? Can I feel it when you intend it? Can we learn to adjust our feelings to meet the intention?

Peace requires equity – actual balance and perceived balance. How much balance are we capable of managing? Where will our skills fall short so that peace is disturbed?

Shower me with your affection. Tell me how you feel. Tell me when I make you hard. Tell me that you need me in your life. Tell me your news. Make time for me in your world. Give me your truth without hiding. Share your fears with me. Learn and grow with me and for me.

My affections are yours. My feelings are yours. You make me wet all the time. I need you every day. You hear everything that crosses my brain. I find you every single day. You get everything I can give..and that is a bundle of fear much of the time. I am scaling the learning curve for you with every agility I have at my disposal. I should not accept anything less in return.

Everyone deserves peace, honesty, and equity…mirrored energy, understanding and intent.

New normals

I am in the array of many brand new normals.

The world is starting to open up again, for better or worse, in this COVID-19 environment. I can leave the house now, but still, I feel like I am exposing myself to harm whenever I do. I am divorcing, and that journey is forcing brand new sets of normalcy. The lives of my children are changing too, and my role as a mother is changing too. I am no longer actively fucking multiple partners. I am focusing my energy in on place…on my love.

I need peace.

There is an excitement that is offered by multiple partners, playing without permission, and exploration of sexuality in general. My world is on fire in many different areas, and the excitement is tainted heavily by chaos and discomfort. I cannot manage the transition of divorce with the desired grace while I also feel responsible for the emotional well being of others.

This is the new normal I would like to voice. I need the simplification of partnerships so that I can learn NOT to feel responsible for the emotional well being of others. I am not saying I shouldn’t care for others…I just need to learn to care without carrying.

So I simplify and learn this new skill set. I learn peace. I learn stillness. I learn care through independence.

I will learn to be a better partner, and I let him learn to be mine. We will learn that new normal together…and expand from there outward to be what ever normal the future will bring us.

Maybe that will be some variation of nonmonogamy. Maybe that will be some variation of polyamory. Maybe that will be kinky as fuck. Maybe that will be simple, loving, vanilla and beautiful.

I suspect we will have many new normals in succession. That is life.

Still, I miss pieces of the old normal…and maybe some of those pieces will be future normal again.

The peace must be part of it for it to be sustainable.

Not before my fucking coffee…please

I was ambushed this morning by spouse with heavy transition discussion. I haven’t slept well in forever, and I am ever conscious of performing with grace even in such circumstances. I cannot lose my temper or my viewpoint is dismissed. I cannot be unclear, and even with my clarity, my point is often missed as if I am speaking another language entirely.

Not before my fucking coffee, please!

This is a reality for me across all of my life. When I cannot rest, I do not perform. My ability to care for others is compromised. My ability to think and synthesize for problem solving is catastrophically impacted. I am no good for anyone.

Let me rest. This doesn’t mean “leave me alone.” It means that I need help with the work. This is hearing me when I tell you what I need. This is telling me what you need so I can care for it without the obligation of mind reading first.

My partners outside of my marriage are really good at this. They each make concessions that most would not…or that most have not. They do their work, each in their own way. We are all learning through intention. They don’t leave me alone in my work, which allows me to carry some of their work too. They make sure I have the coffee and the rest, the snuggles and the care, and the comforts of shared joys as well as shared work. I am really lucky.

I want this for my every day reality. I am no longer interested in being ambushed before I have had my literal or proverbial coffee.

Polyamory: Support

In recent post Polyamory, I outlined intended topics:

As I stare at destruction, I realize how much supporting I do for others…and how desperately I need to be supported right now. As I leave my marriage and the destruction is littered with shit I should never have had to face. So as to be real about blame, fault and responsibility – I absolutely mixed in volatile fuel and hand crafted incendiary device. I am not blameless or faultless or escaping responsibility.

I have partners who also have other lives, obligations, and skill sets. As I walk away from complete dependency on one person, I look at the support system potential within polyamory. It is really quite beautiful.

“I will be there for you as much as I can.”

“You aren’t alone. People love you. Not just me, but me too.”

And then there are friends who are ready to send me cute distractions, crack bottles of wine, and just be nearby.

I am a social creature, and I have invested primarily in one partner for more than two decades. What do you do when that construct breaks entirely?

Strip it back to ground zero, and build again with better information.

Polyamory: Labels

In recent post Polyamory, I outlined intended topics:

Devil lives in the details. How do you define a complicated, delicate and very important agreement? Do labels help or do they make a mess of what is most assuredly very particular to any two people or agreement with more people?

I am currently not practicing “ethical” nonmonogamy as my marriage partner is not aware or consenting. I will leave my marriage for this reason among others not related. There are labels within ethical nonmonogamy:

  • Open relationship – There is a primary relationship that takes priority, but each consents to sexual partnerships outside of the primary. Generally speaking, the primary partners don’t date or seek emotionally charged partnerships outside of the primary. Infrequent activity might fall under the Dan Savage term “Monogamish.” Subset of rules to be negotiated.
  • Swingers – The couple plays together with other couples either at parties or in private hosting events. Subset of rules to be negotiated.
  • Polyamory – This is a practice of be open to or actively engaged in multiple relationships of a more emotional nature, and there are varied levels of commitment possible. Tiered relationship structures sometimes denote some sort of hierarchy, or equal footing a in polyfidelity, or just agreed upon lack of definition while in a relationship with more than one person.

So then I browse the shelf, and say, “I think i will take a little polyamory but will try to shake out the hierarchy, maybe I can learn a little swinger for my partner if he digs that.” But maybe I don’t know what I am doing or what I want and I am paired with people who also don’t know what they are doing or what they want. So fuck it…put a label on it and make me feel more at ease.

I am in an era of intense feelings. I cannot see my way to make sense of any of this even if it were clearly defined. I just know I love my people and I need them. So maybe I don’t worry about all the other stuff. I just open my mouth and call them by name.

My name is Aria Scarlette. I am a practicing polyamory to the best of my ability. I have a love a world away and a local partner. There are people who have come and gone…many doors. One is maybe not closed all the way. They feel important and significant and vital. They show up for my shit show and tell me it is magnificent…not sure what to think about that, but I will accept for now.

Today, I must make a cut. It will be very painful, but I am not going to accept the label of cheater. I am not going to accept that I am responsible for the emotional work of another whose primary language is that of dismissal. It isn’t the only reason…but today, I leave my husband of nearly a quarter century.

Polyamory: Safety

In recent post Polyamory, I outlined intended topics:

There are obvious risk issues when considering running in circles of polyamorous relationships, particularly if all relationships have a sexual element. I don’t worry about monogamous sexual health in the same way. But obviously, fluid bonded partnerships have an impact on health. If we are sharing the sauce, I get to know what else is being thrown into the mix. This means my partner needs to feel safe being truthful. Not just with the things we have overtly agreed to, but the wild card shit too.

“So you drank too much and fucked a rando? Okay, cool, maybe drink less and let’s celebrate with a round of STD testing for giggles.”

“Wait, you put your junk in a hole and you didn’t see what was on the other side. Okay, cool, again we celebrate with swabs up your urethra.”

“Your other partner has other partners who have other partners?” Sigh. Yep, maybe we shan’t be fluid bonded.

But that is the same when dating, you have to trust and be trusted, and you have to be rigorously fastidious about the health of the junk you throw about.

How about emotional and intellectual safety? And how about the safety also involved in relationships which require secrecy and discretion?

How do we mitigate for risk of getting hearts broken when there are more people in the mix?

How do we protect the sacred intellectual growth required to have and support multiple partners? How do I stay safe and not burn out?

How do I ensure that the discretion I need is preserved by each of my partners? And how do I be damn sure I protect each of them?

More people equals more risk…perhaps more reward in theory…but for fucking certain, there is more risk to my safety.

Is it worth it? Ask me hourly and get varied responses.

The answer may always be “hmmmm…..it is complicated.”

Polyamory: Room to grow

In recent post Polyamory, I outlined intended topics:

This entire journey is straight vertical learning. Growth is so fucking fast and the people are important, so getting it right matters. When just casual, and unattached, the journey feels abstract. When love is on the line, and the feelings of those you care for are in line of fire, it is hard to continue learning at the same rate.

Even so, maybe I learn this thing called Polyamory. Maybe I learn to define a version that works for me and any/all of my partners at any given point in time. And maybe I change my mind too.

When I first got married, and in the nearly twenty years of partnership, we endured the learning curve of parenting. We endured the learning curve of supporting family and friends around us. We didn’t do as well watching and learning each other. We lost track of our own selves as individuals and of us as partners. We didn’t make intentional space for growth. We are accustomed to what we had, and we are comparing what we are to that history with an unfamiliarity that is very uncomfortable.

I want to be sure on the other side of what is sure to be divorce now that I don’t make this same error in neglect of growth expected. This isn’t unique to Polyamory, but when more people are in the commitments, there are more growth trajectories to watch and there are more people who feel the ripple effects caused by any one source.

Every person has an individual growth that they must tend. As a partner, I want to be sure that my loves have the support they need to grow as they desire. I hope they see me and encourage my growth also. So far, they are exceptionally understanding and beautifully encouraging. They inspire me to be better.

My lord, I do not want to let them down with sub par learning. I do not want them to suffer even an ounce from my inability to adapt quickly. I want them to hear me when I tell them I am in trouble, but I really want them to trust me when I say I am on track and strong.

Where do you see yourself in one year…in three, five, or more? Who will you be? And who will be by your side?

In one year, I will be open and truthful, though I feel I may always hide when my journey actually started.

In three, I will be an empty nester and independent.

In five, I will be well established with my love if he will still have me.

In more, I will have been through many more adventures.

This means my partners must be smart, they must adapt, they must be intentional, and they must be responsible for their own grown and awareness. If each of us is aware and growing, we can handle the growth together.

As is, both my spouse and I have hidden and spent large chunks of time not being aware of ourselves or each other. We grew, and now we no longer recognize ourselves much less our partnership.

Polyamory: “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.”

In recent post Polyamory, I outlined intended topics:

This philosophy of consenting nondisclosure is something with which I struggle. My partners outside of my marriage know of each other. They know of my significant friendships and attractions. Why is nondisclosure so difficult for me?

One partner is intensely private, shy and so very considerate. He values the integrity of secrets and autonomy of individual relationships. I absolutely see his point of view as beautiful.

Another partner is very open to the idea of complete disclosure. I am not talking about details of other partnerships that are secrets, or smutty details of other intimacies, but of the interactions and the meaty substance of another partnership. We are experimenting with very radical transparency, and that is also beautiful.

What hurts when we hear of other relationships? What is at the heart of the feels? Perhaps it is perceived inequity or insecurity. Perhaps it is our own baggage and feelings of not being what our partners need. Mostly, I think we want our partners to be happy, and we shy away horribly from even the safe edge of causing pain for our people.

Is the pain nonexistent if we don’t know? Or is a different pain still present because we know that we do not know? For me there is a void left by nondisclosure.

My void isn’t of more importance than the need for privacy for my partner’s other relationship(s), but the pain of my void matters too.

Am I hurt by what I don’t know?

Yes.

Am I hurt by what I do know?

Sometimes.

Am I hurt by fear that my disclosure will hurt someone I love?

Sometimes.

Am I hurt by the actual pain I cause by disclosure or nondisclosure?

Yes, but it isn’t present as much as I fear it will be.

I think we exercise the music of hearing our partners by listening and reacting with grace. I think we build trust in that successful repetition. I think disclosure is my preference.

Can I learn consenting nondisclosure?

I can learn anything…

Will I ultimately be able to live in that as a permanent way of being?

I don’t think so. I think I would choose monogamy over consenting nondisclosure.

What choices will I be given?

Polyamory: Communication

In recent post Polyamory, I outlined intended topics:

Earlier this week, my love said that we won’t end up hurting each other just by being ourselves. We both have partners whose being is counter to us being healthy. They don’t intend to be harmful, they are just being. He said that we talk the shit out of things and thus avoid the incidental hurt. It made me laugh.

We do talk the shit out of things.

We have a spreadsheet too. The spreadsheet has goals, and reports status, and records agreements as they change. We report it, feel the feels as needed, and then we try to throw out the bad stuff to make room for growth.

We talk every single day. We talk about the hard stuff. We talk the SHIT out of the hard stuff, and we talk about the other stuff too when distractions are needed to soothe the fatigue.

We hit an obstacle broad side with bleeding everywhere. He did not run, nor did I. He said, “Let me hold you today…I’m worried that you will retreat…Please stay close to me…” Fuck. Who are you and where have you been all of my life?

We spent nearly four hours in the middle of my night working out an issue. He held me through words, and I cried while word vomiting into a screen. We have been in a similar situation before in which I was the grounded, level energy. We fight so hard, and sometimes something creeps into my periphery wondering if it is supposed to be easier. But life is this hard. It just is, so I choose the partners who step up to the fucking conversation as a habit, a discipline, and an act of intentional love.

After the cart has been put upright, all the shit put back in, and is ready to head forward on journey, I realize that I have more to communicate…because I don’t just have one partner.

What happens when you have to talk the shit out of an issue with one? There is ripple effect that can be felt by my other partner. So I step up to that conversation even though I am tired…because he matters to me and he deserves my energy also. He deserves my everything…not my proverbial leftovers.

At the end of that, round two, I can rest. I can think. I can settle into something that I have build with two beautiful people. This moment….is when Polyamory is sweet, and I feel like I have done something correct.

Tonight I will celebrate with some erratic dancing, some laughter, and some truth telling to more people. People matter to me and make my life a joy. I deserve to celebrate.