Coming home for the summer, walking down the bridge to my senior year of college, and being incessantly bored, stressed, and overwhelmed all at once. It feels that this topic has weighed on my for years and won’t leave.
Before reading this: Don’t patronize me about this topic. In return, I won’t patronize you for talking about your daddy issues.
I spent hours looking through endless activist posts about LGBTQA+ people and I stumbled upon one that included that polyamory flag. (see above) This flag is not a well known symbol of practicing ethical non-monogamists. Honestly, most people who practice non-monogamy ethically or not tend to be quiet about it. It isn’t like being gay or straight, or anything in between. It isn’t like being transgender, its like being a monster.
Polyamory is often grouped into a fetishistic place similarly to bisexuality. It’s not considered a sexual, romantic, or gender identity that sets you apart and simultaneously groups you with other queers or straights cisgender people. But instead, it leaves you out in a weird waiting room, alone. I feel I’m in a glass box with tinted windows. I can see out perfectly, but when others look inside they just see a dark figure looming in a corner, not a human with so much love to give.
I could yell and scream for help from the inside of the box, but the people looking in at my tinted darkness see a raging beast of uncontrolled desires. And then it seems to make sense to them why I’m here in this box where I’m hidden from the mono-sexual normative world, because I’m a freak. Humans practice mono-sexual relationships because you only need one love.
“one love, one life,” etc.
Then it comes down to needs. “I only need you. I only want you. I ONLY SEE YOU.” all of these SINGULAR ideas. No duplicity. No multiplicity. Forget more than one, there are none but one. And having anymore is simply problematic.
Because monogamy is simple isn’t? or is it? The whole point of it is for you to some how find your single soulmate in a world of billions of people. Meanwhile, the average person only has physical access to less than millions in your area, fewer if you’re on a tiny island somewhere or an isolated rural town. And if you only have one soulmate and you can’t find them, whats the point?
Some people scoff, and say “How could I let my partner see other people? I’m way too jealous and in love to allow that!” and similar ideas. That’s fine. I mean, if you know yourself well enough to know that more than one partner makes you feel unstable and bad, then don’t have multiple partners. But to tell me that people any where should only have one partner and that its disgusting, ridiculous, overly complex, and immoral to have more than one partner, is pretty hypocritical. I’ll respect you for having one partner, because your happiness, sexuality, and interest in a romantic partner is NONE OF MY FUCKING BUSINESS.
I don’t feel jealousy like others feel. I don’t own my partners. I don’t own anyone. The point of polyamory is to be free. And happiness is found in the ability to love — in whatever way that may be: sexually, romantically, both, neither, etc. — for everyone, to everyone, by everyone.
But the word mono-sexuality is only known to even a select group of people who are even aware there are other options that just one partner at a time. A lot of people get things confused with serial monogamy, and polygamy, and polyandry, which aren’t the same ideas. These ideas don’t cater to the core meaning of polyamory which is freedom for everyone. Of course every relationship has rules to help respect and love each other, but they are on the terms of EVERYONE involved and not just the person in control or “wearing the pants” in the relationship.
This idea of the relationship not just having more than one person, but also being on the terms of EVERYONE and not just the traditional dominant lead male role or the nagging submissive female role blows everyone mind. That a relationship of more than one person is about equality and consent of everyone.
So that’s why most practicing non-monogamist stay quiet.
I haven’t been quiet like everyone else, and I seem to be losing more friends and likability over it.
Maybe I have to be quiet now, and I’ll find a new way to communicate these ideas. But to everyone who is so afraid of polyamory. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. If you don’t like cake, don’t eat it. But don’t hate everyone else because they had their cake, and they ate it too.
I wondered to my piano sitting up against the deep ocean blue wall where I broke it setting it there. I found myself composing, but then stopping and not liking a single note or style that I played. So I played old songs from high school and before. My oldest songs. I found them so utterly depressing I cried.
I’ve struggled with a number of puzzles, and I know now that everyone sees the world through different eyes so certain puzzles are easier for some people to figure out than others.
But teasing out this mystery, the one where we plan out our lives isn’t a simple science, and constantly finding only the easiest path is setting yourself up for a way that is building a circle around yourself.
It won’t expand out.
Building a little protective circle is a bubble. An echochamber. Safe Space.
Exploring and expanding out beyond what you predicted your limits. Where you start to put puzzle pieces down and build the bits into a picture.
Everyone starts somewhere. It gives you the first couple pieces, the ones that you can see clearly, but you’ve grown so used to seeing them around you they are no longer seen as puzzle pieces of but reality attached to your personality. Things you cannot rebuild or eliminate. They are alterable, but sometimes, never replaceable.
Then out beyond lies the shapes that aren’t familiar, drifting around you advertizing parts of itself, paths that lead to infinite other paths. Each is ethereal and some more unpredictable than others. Picking them is difficult, because uncertainty is scary. It is a feeling that people try to avoid daily in conversation and action.
But because of instability, uncertainty never scared me. Like others, whose foundations were set in family values, mine was set in unstable ground, walking on egg shells over a glass surface forever. What I saw was always unpredictable and unstable, so looking out on the world of mystery, I found more joy where they found plethoras of fear.
I stepped out, alone, with a support system that I created with a foundation of sand. Slippery and changing with every movement.
Others stepped out, but instead of looking forward they looked back. They saw that stability behind them and then in front of them the clouded mist of decisions to be made a lone. And instead of knowing that they would always be alone anyways, they hid in the things that had previously known. Afraid to be truly alone. Afraid to know the truth. To step out of the cave, the light blinding them and cowering in pain behind their hands shielding themselves from the barrage of truth and mystery.
Backwards into the dark comfort of womb-like existence. Back to stability.
There was no going back for me. No place left. There never was stability to begin with, and returning to chaos where I was not in control of anything was more terrifying than creating a world for myself that I could control at least three aspects of. My choices, my body, and my mind.
My puzzle was simple, to solve it I had to leave the box and create my own.
For others, maybe their puzzle is like mine, but they can’t bring themselves to leave.
Or maybe I can’t see their escape from the outside. Only they can see it from the inside. And they are staring at it, eye agape, mouth wide, and ears bleeding. But they are immobilized by fear of the unknown. The unstable outside.
But it’s ok to come out.
The unspoken rule of college is claiming seats for the semester. Once somebody consistently sits somewhere, that’s their seat. And the earlier you show up on the first day, the more likely you are to get your preference. I prefer to have a visual sight over most of the classroom because I’m always prepped for threat. I have a easy escape if I can see a threat coming before it can hurt me, and I’m always closest to the exit. Sitting in the second row of my Communications 101 class room, I can’t see everyone as I would usually prefer, but now it’s because of a threat .
I know he is just sitting there directly behind me. Not doing anything at all, just existing, taking notes, talking to our mutual classmates on either side of him, but each time I have to look at his face an icy river flows through my veins and I clench my fists. I feel like I make a pained face and wince away turning my body into itself. It’s just his face. I don’t even know his name.
My therapist gave me this analogy: “You’re seeing something that looks like a grizzly bear, it’s big, furry, and had claws, but it’s not a grizzly bear its a raccoon. Maybe it’ s a grizzly bear but its behind a fence, and it’s not the same one.”
I know this. I know it’s not a real threat. But my body is trying to alert me to something that looks like the threat that hurt me before that I didn’t take notice of. Slowly, I’m unraveling the past that has made others around me notice the same things. They notice I am very capricious and dual-natured, both loving and apathetic, cold and happy. It seems strange, but through deep analysis, I figured out why and how this dual-nature came about.
I did this little survey called the Jo-hari window, it has the user pick 6 characteristics that they think I possess. I picked 6 as well, these fall into one of 4 boxes, the “Known to self and hidden from others” box. If they pick one of the words that I also picked, it goes into the known to others and to self. If they picked words that I didn’t pick, it goes into another box, “Not known to self, but known to others.” If consensus grows on certain words they become highlighted against the others.
Sitting back, I know that the reason I can be both loving and apathetic/cold is because I keep my emotional distance, but I care deeply when I feel allowed or safe to do so. Sometimes I don’t notice I’m totally emotionally detached until I say something so unempathetic in a situation that requires at least a hint of empathy. I lash out without thinking because I have no emotional forethought.
To conclude this daily life post, I also want to address the antithetical ideas that surround my duality. I also am so emotional. It comes in many waves, spurred from things I can’t predict sometimes, and if recognized as a trigger of emotion, swell up and spill over even more; as if they were all the sudden given approval and allowed to overwhelm me. Maybe this recognition just seems at first like a swelling and then crashing wave, and maybe I’ll soon adapt to be the sand, able to withstand the constant crashing, and able to change with the rising tide.
I wont wince away anymore, cringe internally and externally. I won’t avoid it, but face it all.
(Aside: This is a piece I wrote for the Matrix magazine that I am the junior editor of.)
When the cheating starts, the fighting, the lying, the crushing anxiety. When the fear sets in, and the threats start coming in waves and you want to crawl inside yourself and never leave. When you hide yourself, not your face or your body but you, the colorful, nurtured, lively you. The one who dances in fields in their dreams and has flowers in their hair.
No that person is hidden underneath the shame. Underneath the lies.
The biggest lie is that there is only one way to love.
I was told that loving was limited. The prince and princess and their one love.
Heterosexuality. Monogamy. A singular unity between two people.
This is a lie.
I was scared to question my feelings. I was scared to share with my friends my doubts. They’d say: “No, there is no way you could be a lesbian.”
And I say lesbian because, yet again I thought, it can’t be possible for me to like more than one. I must be greedy. Lustful. Out of control. I must be ravenous for some kind of contact.
But I’m not. I just have a capacity to love more than one gender and more than one person. And that was a well too deep for me to look down into, and when I did look I thought it was just an illusion and it was actually shallow. Shallow as if being more capable to love more than one gender and more than one person was crippling to my heart.
Then, knowing that monogamy and heterosexuality was an incapability of mine, I was unable to love at all.
1. While running around during the day or sitting idly at night, waiting for things; planes trains and automobiles, and during times I want to escape I have these vignettes that play in my head. Sometimes they get very complicated, going into extreme detail about the manner of my life’s course, career, hair style, particular characters with many idiosyncrasies.
Recently, I had a funny one about myself as a stand up comedian. For me, as a failed aspiring actor, model, singer, dancer, performer of every type, I like to think of this as another failed pipe dream I’ll never be good enough at regardless if I pursue and practice it with some flavor of natural talent. This particular vignette was the comedic act itself, not the process of my life getting to that point. So some of my jokes had to do with self deprecation of course, as every comedian should learn to do first, better to make fun of yourself than to be made fun of by others and not be able to take it, no matter the true or untrue allegations made.
“Being a blonde, dyslexic, woman, I shouldn’t be taken seriously. My brain is too wrapped up in a mess to be trustworthy.”
I can’t remember the exact idea I was talking about in this particular speech, but it definitely had to do with my appearance and how ironic it is.
2.A lot of my friends that have known me a long time are very hyper aware of my appearance and they make it very clear to me how they think I look and what that opinion means to them. Positive or negatively meant, I usually get “Barbie Body” comments, “You’re a fucking twig, eat something”, “Everything fits you/ everything looks good on you, I’m so jealous”, and stuff like: “I wish I could pull that off, you’re so confident.” Now, don’t take these things to mean I don’t know how to take a compliment, but at the same time, most of these compliments risk the integral identity of the comment givers. They make it seem like I shouldn’t be allowed to be this way, because they can’t, or won’t, or any other incapability. I don’t want to be complemented at the sacrifice of someone else’s beauty that is in a place so far from comparative to mine, in a place where we are actually equally and so differently beautiful. No need to bash barbie for looking a certain way, simply address the real problem, that all beauty is equal, different, and uniquely amazing.
One thing that gets me everytime is the “eat something” comment. I had an eating disorder for a long time and didn’t weigh more than 110 for most of my highschool career. Now, after leaving home and eating by myself with no one around me that knew of my eating disorder I could eat perfectly fine like a normal person. Or as my partner would say, twice the normal person. Coming back home this Winter 2016 break, everyone is picking on me about my eating habits. “Oh, you’re not gonna finish that I’ll take it”, assuming that I’m not going to eat something on my plate and taking it before I could even respond. Constantly having my eating habits picked at and scrutinized is rude, regardless if I have an eating disorder or not.
- How I live now
- Good Fellows
- Taxi Driver
- Hurt Locker
- Sun Shine Cleaning
- Decoy Bride
- Blue is the Warmest Color
- Soylent Green
- Ultra Violet
- Water world
- Day Breakers
- 20 years after
- The Host
- I love Take.
- He loves me too.
- We have nice animals friends who are fluffy and adorable and happy .
- They make us laugh.
- Cozy closets.
- Weird items that are oddly comforting.
- Ice Bat – ugly doll
- Middle finger kitty
- T: Finding your clothes mixed in with mine .
- T: Waking up and taking showers
- Coconut oil
- not feeling sick.
- When technology works
- Cozy blankets
- Good Weather
- Happy Memories
- Learning an instrument
- Soft skin
- Sweet touches
- Cute outfits
- Hair cuts.
- Stoner Pits
- New places to hang out
- Familiar paths through the tiny woods.
- Old creaky buildings.
- I have to remind you to breath
- I love this because the old as time saying “You take my breath away” is real for us. As cheesy as that is, I’m happy about it. But it gets a little weird when I’m laying on your chest and it stops moving for a little while and I look at you and say “Breath” and you let out the bits of air you were holding and start to inhale slowly. I always kiss you when this happens, and it starts all over again.
- You hate waking up.
- I do too, but lately when I wake up I can’t drift back to where I was and I’m so frustrated by it so I just want you to be a wake too so we can cuddle and talk.
- You make me food.
- one of the three items on the “Happy Zanthia” list, that must be completed daily or else I die, and you do this so well and happily…. I hate when people do things for me that inconvenience them or make them annoyed but because you love to cook and I love your cooking, everything is copasetic.
- We barely need alone time.
- Because both of us are so close and we don’t need to be having conversation together when we are together we barely need alone time. I mean occasionally both of us need to go and recuperate but I love being alone with you most.
- You are as curious as a 3 year old in a thrift shop.
- I watch you pick things up and touch them and feel how they work and it’s so entertaining watching you be fascinated so easily by random objects you find. Sometimes I’ll catch you playing with an assortment of weird metal bits and I’ll ask “Where do you find those?” and you’ll look up at me grinning and laughing like a kid and say “I don’t know!” and shrug your shoulders defensively. It makes me smile now just thinking about it.
- But at the same time, you make messes because you find things and never put them away or organize them. You go from one discovery to the next with no interludes or productivity, simply letting your brain lead you places physically without you consciously understanding that I can walk in your room without finding the most weird and disgusting assorted piles of items.
- You are a rolly polly baby.
- When you are stretching, frustrated, tired, concentrating, or simply laying down at all, you roll around in your bed on your stomach and become the cutest bundle I have ever laid eyes on.
- This also means your covers are always a mess, and your hair. But I love it.
- You are a furnace.
- I need this. Chronically cold feet and hands because of my health issues is a curse, but you are my savior with your very hot skin (in more than one way).
- You like to sing in the stairwell
- `Going along with your hilarious curiosity, you discovered that the echoey noises your voice makes in the stairwell is really pleasing and you go in there to sing just for fun… I don’t know a single person who would do this just purely on their whim.
- To be continued.
- Settle my belief disputes
- Process the year of my life torn in different parts
- familial love
- How to function in my room again
- See people I love –
- Who matters ?
- When reality settles in will I be ok?
- How will I cope with being away from him?
- Can I understand my closeness?
As I sit here crying because I’ve just rewatched my favorite film “Cloud Atlas”, I am reminded of change and dreams.
For a long while now, maybe a year, I’ve been in a slump. I’ve been thinking over and over about how my life is a “drop of water in an endless sea”. Pondering over how tiny I am, how mortality is so finite how could any of us bare the idea of immortality? How I will die inevitably and everything in our waking world is a distraction away from this death, it’s a monolithic movement toward a fake idea of eternal life. It doesn’t come from the Christians, although they now propagate this idea, and it was before the Greeks, before the Babylonians (pre-Judaism), and it was before writing. Humans lie. We lie to ourselves about our fate.We try to block it out, pretend death isn’t lurking under every rock, waiting to trip us up and break us, we shout “DANGER” so quietly.
I’m trying to be honest to myself. Telling myself of my death, that whatever I do, I will die. I’ve been giving up hope, I’ve let all my dreams go. In my depression and in my turmoil I have said “It’s impossible, I’m 1 and 8 billion+ and I am nothing.” I am nothing because I choose to be, but not because I am.
In Cloud Atlas Sonmi said “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”(David Mitchell, author). When she said this, she is staring at a room full of fighting. Everything knows death is inevitable but they are fighting for a better life. Dying for a better life for the other.
My eternal best friend Savannah said to me: “You aren’t great because you are great, but because I say you are great so you have to be, because I want you to be.” Now this sounds very backwards, but I knew exactly what she meant. She meant that even though I don’t think I’m great, or have purpose, or meaning, I am great because she knows so. Then she said “You may think you don’t have a purpose, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself one. Make one up!!”
A few hours later a woman came out of an Irish bar on to the sidewalk where Savannah and I were standing, I gave her a light and she said to me “I want to be your mothah!” and then “Go do something amazing, change the world.”
More than all the religious and socio-political philosophical truths, I know that humans are only human with other humans. And we can only change when we step into the view of the other. The moment we see the point of view of someone unlike ourselves who is apart from us can we begin to understand we aren’t so different. The only way we can learn or affect the world is by changing ourselves.
I heard once that you don’t have to change the whole world to be marvelous, you only have to change one tiny world of someone else’s to make an impact. I hope to change a few, even if those worlds are just my immediate friends and family, I can be ok with that.
I won’t give up though, I’m revisiting my dreams of being a writer, a musician, an archaeology, a teacher, a lifelong learner. I am finding another path and I don’t walk alone, but I am connected with those I find, everyone’s whose path touches mine.
Those who are great most of the time never knew they were. They died, maybe for a cause to fight for the other and are remembered as great because they changed one tiny world, that created a wave to affect many. They weren’t great because they thought they were great, they are great we because we think they are. We think. Present active Indicative plural. We are plurality and individuality and we are being.