Wednesday, March 08, 2006

So You Had A Bad Day

So where is the passion when you need it the most
Oh you and I
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost

Cause you had a bad day
You're taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don't know
You tell me don't lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
You've seen what you like
And how does it feel for one more time
You had a bad day
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

-Bad Day by Daniel Powter

When I went to bed last night, I was fighting a mild case of melancholy. I was sick and tired of all the alone time, tired of the highly inadequate and frustratingly garbled phone calls that I endure, and tired of constantly waiting for the next time when I will be held. I didn’t think that the ‘lonelies’ were going to last thru the night and into my morning, but they caught me off guard and roared with a vengeance when I spent yet another few minutes on the phone this morning with poor reception threatening the call, my bad ears struggling to hear, and the announcement that plans for the weekend were changing. It is quickly turning into a bad day.

As someone whose cell phone is permanently glued to her head, I hate being partially deaf whenever the reception isn't optimum (and with cell phones, we all know that's almost all the time). I also hate my new cell phone because the one place it doesn’t work is my apartment, which is ironic considering who I have as a carrier. And as a Taurus, I hate when plans change. Change is bad, nkay, and it gives me a headache.

But being in a poly relationship is all about compromise and going with the flow. So I’m going to have to learn to live in this manner. Otherwise, I’m totally screwed.

I suppose I could combat the ‘lonelies’ at night by buying one of these ‘Boyfriend’s Arm’ pillows ( and judging from the picture, it is only half of a body... that's all I'm really asking for much of the time). But I’d have to hide it in the back of the closet any time someone came over since as far as I’m concerned it seems to be almost on par with a blowup doll!

When I'm lonely, it often feels as if I’m the only person going through this polyamory thing. I search the crowds, bookstores and the internet for someone else who knows what it’s like to be a (future?) secondary in a poly relationship. Sometimes the bookstores are helpful, but more often then not, I find what does not apply to me, over and over and over again. I truly feel for women that grow up in these disgusting and oppressive households. When asked whether I think polygamy should be legalized, I often stop and think about my response. Sure I’d love be able to legally marry the love of my life. However, if it means that polygamy allows the misogynistic culture of some subgroups to thrive, then my little legal piece of paper comes at a great sacrifice. And I’m simply not willing to do that others. When I think of polyamory and polygamy, I think of Consensual Adult Relationships. If you don’t have all three, then it isn’t appropriate and it isn’t meant for anyone. Period (Besides, there's already a tee-shirt out there for me and I'd be happy with that).

I find it futile to speak to friends and family. Sure they love me. Sure they are there for me but I don't know how they can truly help me since they don't fully understand. Once when I was having a bad day and I relayed my frustrations about various aspects of my hectic life to a person close to me, I made the mistake of going on about this budding relationship. Their response to me was that I wouldn't have all these problems if I just left this sticky relationship behind. Okay... Um, let me try and explain how much that hurt and how ridiculous it sounds by this example: My best friend in getting married. Not only that but she's also applying to a dozen law schools, moving in with her fiancé, and her cat just died. When she talks about the financial aspects of the wedding or how difficult the planning is going to be over the next 18 months, I sit and sympathize with her. I would never, NEVER tell her that she wouldn't have all these problems if she simply called the wedding off. Because you just don’t do that. No one is supposed to think like that. And no one should ever say that to someone. So why it’s acceptable to say something like that to me, I just don’t know *shrugs*.

So far, the one place that I found to be extremely helpful is Ilada's Polygrrl blog. I look forward to every post she shares about her life with the polyamorous couple Margo and Wayne. She's honest and funny and heartfelt with everything she writes. And it all hits so incredibly close to home, each and every single time:

“I was so upset that he was sleeping and I was standing here wide awake with the whole day in front of me. This was our time. How could he waste it like this? How many Sundays do we get when it is just us and nobody else? I was naked baking cookies in the kitchen on a sunny Sunday morning for god's sake!! When will I be able to pull that off again? Months? Years? And he could have been there with me, but nooooooooooooooo! Instead, he was wasting our precious, precious time snoring away!... To me, every second alone with Wayne is gold. It is something tangible that I can hold. I am ravenous for that time and when I have it I want every single second to be used. But is that realistic? Am I the poor kid who gets handed a twenty and thinks I have to spend it all right here, right now?”

-Ilada, October 2005

I know exactly what she’s talking about. It seems like there are just a few precious moments that I get to spend with my Loved One. When I’m near him, I can’t think straight. I hate to sleep because it’s a waste of time when there are too many other worthwhile things I could be doing instead. When I spend the night at their house, I often have restless and fevered sleep that I suffer through in order to make it to morning. I spend it close to them, yet still far away. The frustration level is always high on those nights. But I suffer through because it seems necessary.

I hate to be another item on my Loved One’s agenda, something else he has to find time for. I don’t like to make demands and I don’t like to be a burden. And I absolutely hate feeling as if anyone has to pencil me in anywhere on their schedule. But sometimes I feel like the poly situation demands that and it causes more trouble than its worth. Another thing that compounds the issue is his illness which (thankfully) has only one major side effect causing him to wear out more easily than the average person. He needs more down time than most people but he doesn’t get nearly enough. And I feel as if I’m asking too much of him and getting in the way when I fret about not having enough time to be near him. He knows his limits but sometimes he compromises them in order to make those around him happy. I try to tell him that I’d be much happier having him around this world longer at the expense of not seeing him as often. At least I know he’s here, even if its not next to me.

“...Culturally, my role in their lives is unacceptable. So, I am sometimes hidden or forced to pretend I am something that I am not. Having to do this underscores the unspoken… When I am placed in that position, I feel a dull ache in the pit of my stomach and it throbs threatening to overtake me. It takes so much to smile and play the family friend. It hurts to see Margo and Wayne hold hands and snuggle and know that I cannot do those things. I have to sit and watch from a bubble that keeps Wayne at a distance. And when it is alone time again and I am allowed to show my affection, it becomes difficult. The bubble that started off thin and fragile hardens and becomes this barrier that has to be broken.”

-Ilada, February 2006

I know that bubble all too well. I read a short story one time about a man who was married to a very beautiful woman but he couldn't get near her because she was frightened and terribly inhibited. When he spoke to his Rabbi about his frustrations, he said that being married to her was like "floating through heaven in a bubble made of hell". That's exactly what this life is like sometimes. I love to be out at their home, with them as much as possible. There is an overabundance of life spilling out all around them every single second of the day. I love the energy and the chaos of it all. I love to experience new things with them. I love just sitting quietly listening to all the sounds that the household makes- dog paws on the linoleum, kids scurrying for juice and snacks, the unmistakable sound of wallball being played in a bedroom, the endless loop of Spongebob SquarePants episodes, the beautiful, albeit sometimes choppy sounds of a piano being practiced, the murmurs of happy cats bounding about, the rustling of quilling paper… there is always something going on and I never feel alone when I’m at their house. Yet, as wonderful as it all is, I can’t fully enjoy it because I feel as if I’m at an unspoken distance. I am the stranger. I am the weekend guest. I am simply The Friend.

I am waiting with bated breath to be accepted into a multitude of roles that I want to fill. In the meantime, I have to hide how I feel. I have to hold my hands in my pockets rather than reach for someone’s warm fingers. I have to be careful about what I say or do in public. I turn my head when he leans in to kiss her because I know I’m not going to get the same. I have to go on with my separate life here and pray that they will remember to share just a few daily moments with me when the weekend comes. It feels like a heartbreaking existence now and then and when these bad days sneak up on me, I feel at a loss as to how to deal. But I keep one foot in front of the other, moving forward, even when it feels like I'm stepping backwards because I can't imagine my life without them. I just can't imagine it any other way.


Blogger ~ i said...

Hi, I am sorry for your pain, but thank you so much for writing this. I have lost the drive to write because I thought no one was really listening, that no one cared. It soothes my heart and my ego to know that someone cares about my blog and that I am not alone in the great expanse talking to myself. *hugs* ~Ilada

10:37 PM  

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