And so it begins…..
Doug Lindsey and I had an amazing weekend. But first a little history.
We all had met at Atlanta Poly Weekend this past summer. We were instant friends because of a shared interest in a game called INgress (viva La Resistance) . Doug, Lindsey and I all met again in Florida a few months later to play the game and we had a great time and there was some chemistry there for sure.
Lindsey and he had been chatting for some time online now and there was an obvious interest to discover more about each other. He and I, for whatever reason, had not connected on social media and really didnt know that much about one another. He and I also shared a connection through a different person in Ohio.
Lindsey and I discussed the vist and she shared with me a few texts and messages that led me to believe this visit would have time for me to get to know Doug a bit better. I got excited at that thought and set an expectation . I did not express or communicate to Lindsey this expectation other than saying, ” That would be nice I’d like to spend some time with him as well in a group setting”/.. Or something like that. And we agreed that spending time together would be good for us.
[Learning NOTE: When you set an expectation in your mind be 100% clear to your partner what that is EVEN if you think they implicitly know and understand you]
Saturday, Lindsey, Doug, myself, and the rest of the available family went to lunch together. We spent a couple hours together hanging out and then went our seperate ways. Lindsey and Doug to go hiking, the rest of us went to watch Black Belt testing for our Taekwando class mates. Before we left Lunch I stated I would cook dinner for everyone and BBQ.
I went and got all the BBQ stuff and then watched Black Belt testing then I went home and started cooking… and cooking… and cooking some more. I had WAY too much going on and not enough help. Lindsey or Melissa normally help me in the kitchen when things go crazy. I started feeling it right then, the dread, that hard knot in my stomach. The feeling of abandonment. But I acknowledged it as a fear of loss and that I should be happy that Lindsey and Doug are getting to experience each other. After all when they get back we can all hang out a bit. We did plan on playing games that night.
I wasn’t’ quite finished cooking when they came in and they got bum rushed by Ashley who wanted to tell them all about her day and hear all about the Hiking trip . (Shes 11) . Consequently, Lindsey didnt get into the kitchen for about 15 mins to tell me hi and give me a kiss. [ Learning Note:This started a feeling of resentment .She ALWAYS comes straight in and kisses me and tells me Hi…. OMJG Something is different.This must mean something. ]
My brain went into freak out and I was now on Life support. Scared that I was now going to lose her forever and Doug had won….. “But wait Brain…… This isn’t a competition, different doesn’t mean better.” (self reassurance) FInally after a few minuets longer she walked in the room and gave me a hug and quick kiss. She asked if there was anything she could do….. YES oh yes so many things. ” Hold me! Wait you mean cooking? If you wanted to make a side you can. ” Mashed potatoes? ” – “Sure if that’s what you want” And I went outside to check the BBQ. And also to avoid her seeing me as being emotionally struggling.
INternal dialogue was going along the lines of. ” Why are you acting this way? What are you feeling threatened by? DOug is a nice guy. You arent losing anything. SHe is gaining something. …….” All the while freaking out emotionally .
I was so emotionally compromised that my normally really awesome BBQ was simply not up to par . SOme of the chicken wasnt even cooked all the way and had to be microwaved to be finished. I now felt bad about that on top of everything else and was really feeling like a loser, a failure and down into the pit of self hatred I went! But I was determined to make this work.
After dinner we started our game night with the whole family. This was a great group interaction. I was having an ok time….. but i was feeling really down. Lindsey had barely touched me at all since she got home. Typically, everytime we passed one another we reach out to touch … if only a brushing of fingers. (OMJG SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT I am really losing her this time for sure… I bet she already has a bag packed and is waiting till I go to sleep to leave” ) No seriously I thought that in my head! That is the voice of someone who has lost all reason and logical thinking ability. After we finished the game we were playing. (i did not win) I asked to speak with Lindsey for a few minuets to explain my feelings….. After all its best if she knows what I am feeling and maybe she isnt aware that she has , in my mind, ignored me.
We chatted and I explained all of the above to her … and she listened to me…. and I cried…. and she apologized… and I cried… and she said she would try harder to connect with me… and I cried….. then I dried it up and we went to play Cards Against Humanity. Which was a ton of fun, but only cause I won and by won I mean I had 27 Black cards at the end.
But it was late and I was getting tired. I knoew they woul be sleeping together…. Maybe sex… IDK, after all I dont know what Doug’s life rules are about sex on a first date. I said good night, and explained in brief to Doug my feelings about the night and what Lindsey had done to comfort me and reassure me. and he Understood and thanked me for sharing with him my feelings. [ LEARNING NOTE: I always think it is a good idea that all those involved with the emotional situation be aware of where the emotions of others are. They may not be at fault, but they can lend support. NEVER PLACE BLAME for an emotional situation on the new person or the existing partner…. Its usually an internal thing that you havent realized. ] I asked if we could all cook breakfast together in the Mornign and got a tired but what seemed to me to be a positive affirmation that cooking breakfast would be a nice group activity for the 3 of us.
Its 1:30AM and we say good night. Scared I may overhear their romantic noises from the room next doo I decide to plug in my earbud crank up the EDM and write. ANd write i did. I started smashing out feelings and asking questions, developing a self trust work sheet Q&A to go through and the a Partner Trust worksheet. then a New Interest Trust worksheet…. I asked myself questions like. Do you trust your reaction to the situation to be safe and healthy for all involved?
IN the partner trust I asked things like ” Do you trust they have no intention of causing you harm?”
And in the New interest category I asked this…” Do you trust the new person to keep your feelings in mind” ANd that’s when it hit me WHat was causing all this stress, all this emotional turmoil….. the answer I gave shocked me…. “I don’t know. ” ANd I tried to make it a Yes No answer… I could never answer definitively either way… it was always I do not know. ANd with Bassnecter blasting from my ear buds, I began to reach inward and ask Why? Why do I know know if I can trust him.. DOug is a nice guy (and cute too). He is fun and caring, I should be able to trust him… I think back to previous relationship maybes from other partners, I had felt the same way. Scribbling on my tablet, Pattern Established … to the very beginning of my relationships……. I didn’t know the person , I couldn’t say if I trust them…. I needed a connection with that possible metamour to understand them. I was missing out on an experience to get to know someone. Someone I thought may be a really cool person who I would like to be friends with.
Its now 330 AM… I am very sleepy, surely they must be finished with anything they may have been doing… Put down my pad and take out the earbuds…. Sleep time feeling good that I did the work I needed to. Looking forward to sharing the thoughts in the morning while cooking breakfast.
8:00AM I wake up. Getting ready to get out of bed excited that I get to cook breakfast with everyone and share in an experience. I roll out and start coffee, I am trying to be respectfully quiet as I can as Lindseys room connects to the kitchen. I go ahead and start cooking after all they want to go to yoga at 11am so they will need to be fed by 930/10 am. Biscuts, gluten free and regular, from scratch take a while to make. So I started on that. After both batches were in, I started on the next phase, 1.5 lbs of bacon.
8:45 , I start thinking, they should be up soon, Im sure they wanted to help me cook, they said so… I see the dog go down the hall to Lindsey’s room. sitting as if he hears something… I call him back. I start the water for the grits.
9:15 , the dog has made 2 more trips down the hall. I am convinced they are awake now, although I can’t hear anything as I have put my earbuds back in….. And out of respect for their privacy I choose to not go knock on their door. Grits are almost done.. They surely know I’m out here cooking.. Im sure they will be up any minute to help. flip bacon round 2, start eggs.
9:45 everything is done, I start to get out plates and take things to the table…..
10:00 they emerge form lindsey’s room, happy smiling as if they have really enjoied eachothers company.. “good for them. I think…. ” WHat about my happiness… doesnet it matter?” A snide ugly tone in the back of my head screams at me…. Ok… I need to have a talk with them… I cant eat now my stomach is in knots and I have lost all appetite….. I just want to run away and hide. So I tell them I’m not hungry and I am going to go in my room. I don’t want Doug to think I’m some emotionally devoid asshole of a partner that is trying to control the experience. I ask Lindsey to speak again. In tears I walk to me bedroom and sit on the bed. I feel horrible for even having these feelings. I’ve been poly for like 20 years… this should be an easy thing to overcome…. [Learning Note; It doesnt matter how many years you’ve been Poly. If you dont slay the demon that causes you the issue and you use coping mechanisms to circumvent the real issue, you will always have the same problem with every new partner and metamour.]
To be Continued….