December 19th, 2012


uncertainty about what I thought permanent / building my center / reality without observation/proof

I feel like I am just starting to get a glimpse of the my current self; the alchemical process is starting to coalesce, or maybe I'm recognizing the ingredients. I think I got very off-center for a while, and spent my energy like it was endless and then had neither the time or energy to really see myself. I don't regret it but I feel glad to be beginning this shift. Also pretty intensely scared and nervous because I don't know where my life is going. The only things I feel certain of are that I intend to continue school and I intend to continue spending time with Topaz. Things I feel uncertain of include: my polyness, my sexual identity, my level of community-building, my living situation, my cat caretaking, my Atlantianness... all things that had been stable for at least two years.

I had intended to spend the rest of my life with Kylei without any gaps, but the longer our break goes on the more I realize how lost I had become in the context of our relationship. I am not good at maintaining my center when someone else is off-balance; I compensate without even realizing what I am doing. I had lost part of my self because it didn't work with how we were living; I did this with Abby too, and before that with Arizona. I think if someone doesn't have a passion they center on, and I am passionately connected with them, we just sort of fall into orbiting each other, closer and closer until we collide and break (or until I see that coming and stop the relationship). I need to remember to be centered in myself. It feels like it's sort of naturally happening as I am with Topaz because ze has two very central very intense passions, which combine/conflict to form the path that ze sets intentions around. I feel free to center my life on my own, and I am remembering dreams which had faded to near-nothingness. This is why I have been writing more and making more long-time dreams happen and creating more. This is why I have lost the fear of losing people. Even Topaz -- I cannot imagine not wanting to spend tons of time with zir, but I can imagine myself without zir or anyone else, being okay, being alive, wandering the world and tasting it. I don't feel a horrible deathlike loneliness at the thought of losing all of my people, which was true until very recently. I think I went hungry for such a long time. I'm slowly coming back into focus in my own eyes. I missed me. I am still not back, I still do not feel passionate love for myself. I feel my healthiest state is when I can have a date with myself and feel as sexy and desirable and exciting and nourished and seen as I can when I am with someone external to my perceptions.

Relatedly, something that has only happened with Topaz is that I can feel the reality of us without documentation or external observation. I've realized that one of the ways I establish the real is through being seen, by myself in reflection or by others. I usually need some level of proof; I need photos to look at or words from others, unprompted by myself, in order to believe that I am not making it all up. My connection with Topaz feels more real than possibly anything else I've ever experienced, and I feel like a part of me that has been exhausted with constant searching for reality has come to rest. I still want to write and photograph and share, but I can believe fully without those things. And strangely at the same time dreams and illusions have become more real, and I have less trouble believing in all my own experiences, without needing someone else to say "yes that makes sense" or "yes I feel that too." I feel I am bringing my non-real and my real into a synthesis; I am closer to this than I have been since it was broken when I was a child.

trueself emerging / still depressed / progression of relationship w Topaz / poly? / ethics of desire

Topaz makes me feel more myself. I feel in touch with my badassness. I feel able to do all the scary things, I feel able to explore, I feel like nothing is too big, I feel like I can write and paint and create. I feel happy, connected, alive, nourished, seen, loved.

At the same time my exhaustion and depression are never far away. I feel my life is like traveling on narrow ledges between pits, and I can never go fast because I might slip. And most of the time I'm okay, if a little wobbly sometimes, but all it takes is the merest bump and boom, I'm over the edge and in the pit. Being nourished means that the pits are a little shallower and I can get out of them a bit faster, but the more often I have to recover the more exhausted I get, and the more exhausted I am the deeper the pits grow as well as the harder they are to deal with at all. I just want the ledges to widen, I want to be able to re-balance when I get bumped instead of falling. How long will this take? What do I need to do? more rest, more self-care, yes. How much of this is chemical? Am I hoping in vain for ledges to widen when they could only do so with medical help?

My relationship with Topaz is barely 2 and a half months old, and it's already where I was with Kylei after 9 months and Hannah after our first visit and where none of my other relationships have gone (including my 8-year marriage). We have a significant amount of minor but very emotional conflict, which I think we handle pretty well, and I'm amazed to see such rapid increase of skill. And yet some of the baby-new steps were just skipped -- we haven't actually negotiated our relationship. That's so strange and we've been intending to do it but we're so in harmony so much of the time that I actually forget about it (which has never happened to me before). And I know it is a wise thing to do and we have intended to do it but just haven't yet.

And Topaz is new to poly and I am new to this feeling of not really wanting to spend time with anyone else, and actively wanting to spend all my time with one person. For a while I was wondering if I had turned monogamous -- and that idea didn't even scare me. I'm starting to feel desire to spend time with other people, but it's slow and small (about once a week I'd like to spend 2-3 hours in one-on-one time with someone other than Topaz). I think it will be a while yet before I have any desire to build with someone other than Topaz, and I don't know how intensely it will return.

The only reasons I want to negotiate a poly relationship rather than a monogamous one is 1) I don't like the idea of prescriptive exclusivity 2) I don't want to take romantic aspects out of my other connections. I think going forward my 'rules' are going to be very different. I used to spend a shitton of energy trying to balance my relationships and make sure everyone felt equally loved and felt like they had a fair amount of my time. I don't EVER want to do that again. I want to follow desire. I want people in my life who understand that a 'fair' amount is an amount that is desired by both people. I want very clear statements of desire always. I do not want anyone to ever feel entitled to my time because that is how I end up wandering on narrow ledges between sharp slippery ditches; that is how I end up feeling completely unvalued and like nothing I do is ever good enough. That is how I end up spending every speck of energy I have and getting net-zero nourishment from my connections.

I want an ethics of desire. I want people to spend time with me only, ever, because they desire to spend time with ME, and I want clear communication about that. I want people to give to me their love and their energy and their bodies only, ever, because they desire to. And I want to be with people who desire to give as much as they want to get. I would rather be completely alone than have someone give to me out of obligation. I would rather push people away than watch myself give to them out of obligation.