Friday, August 21, 2015

Poly Emotions

I make decisions about what to share on this blog, and what to keep to myself. On some subjects I can get quite personal, even to the point where I wonder if I'm over sharing. (I get past that by reminding myself that I'm not forcing anyone to read my blog if they really don't care about my ramblings.) There are other things though that I keep to myself for various reasons. Maybe it concerns someone else and I don't have their permission to write about them. Maybe I'm still working things out in my own head, and am not ready to share. And sometimes I eventually find myself ready to share things that I've kept to myself.

Polyamory: Having a relationship with more than one person. Often shortened to poly.

I've always been fine with friends who were polyamorous, though I admit it did surprise me initially. I first learned about it as a teenager when my then best friend had two boyfriends, and the only problem I found with it was when this friend of mine freaked out over "What if they both ask me to prom‽" (I'm afraid that dateless me laughed in her face, quite unsympathetic, though these days I would have suggested she go with both of them.) I got so used to the idea of polyamory that I even suggested to another teen girl from outside of my usual social circle that she date two guys since she couldn't decide who she liked more. That's when I discovered that the poly life isn't approved of by everyone, and I also found that a girl can silently scream "slut" with just a dismissively disgusted look.

That teenage friend of mine wasn't the only person in poly relationships that I knew, but she was the first. Actually, I seem to attract friends who are polyamorous, now that I think about it, which hadn't really occurred to me before. Maybe it's the people I hang out with, or maybe it's just more common than most people realize. I don't know.

Getting to the point though...

If you guessed by now that I've fallen for more than one person, you win a prize. (Actually you don't, sorry.) And it turns out that I didn't have the same calm attitude when it came to finding poly feelings in myself that I do when my friends are poly. Like being queer, it's something that was easily accepted in others but then didn't know how to handle it in me.

Without getting into too many details, let's just say that my first realization of this fact during spring term of last year contributed to a month long migraine. And then there was my second encounter with these surprising feelings last summer. Waking up one morning and realizing that I had a crush on a new friend resulted in the absolute worst panic attack I've had. Really, it was less than ten seconds after I woke up. Imagine your body saying "You're awake, now here's a panic attack! Yay! And it'll hang around for two hours! Isn't that fun?" Basically, recognizing and then responding to these emotions was a particularly unpleasant experience for me.

For a while I only discussed my confusion with people who I knew were fine with polyamory, either because I knew how they viewed poly people or because they are poly themselves. I didn't want to find myself in a position of having to defend what I might be while still making sense of myself. Recently though I'm realizing that I'm tired of hiding it, and if it somehow comes up in conversation (oddly enough it's been a natural part of conversation twice this summer) I go ahead and mention that I'm in love with two people. Though, I'm still only dating my boyfriend. And yes, he's one of those I've been talking to about this all along.

So, yeah, I've got poly feelings. Polyamorous emotions. Whatever you want to call it. And when I realized that I've been thinking for a few weeks about how to write on this subject, I thought it was time to share.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I hope you will act on both loves and explore both relationships fully, being honourable and open with each partner. That's the best way to grow and understand yourself.

Sarita Rucker said...

I can't say where we'll go with this, but the three of us are talking about this with each other.