Lately, I have been struck many times with an overwhelming feeling of love for my husband and for my online friend. I sense many good things coming from that connection, though it seems to be definitely testing my patience greatly. Regardless, I know in my heart that I love them both, in a strong overwhelming, passionate way. That is truly amazing to me!
I have hypothesized for over a decade that it was possible to be “truly, madly, deeply” in love with multiple people. At certain points I found myself saying that I loved a partner in addition to Nathan, but thinking it was more of a familial love, not in love, not passionate and all consuming, not the kind of twitter-pated love which I was longing and looking for.
For you see, our hearts are as infinite with love as the Divine. We can love unconditionally as easily as waking up in the morning, if we allow ourselves. I know because it tends to be the thing that causes me grief. I give love freely. If someone shows me respect and contributes to my life in a meaningful manner, I almost can’t help loving them. They have shown me that they care enough to be genuine, honest, and helpful, and that wins my heart over every time. My heart is always inclined to reciprocate.
The grief comes in when I’m already over extended, already stretched too thin; and trying to accommodate one more request, one more thing that someone needs help with; simply because I have already put them in my heart. I find myself juggling an impossible task list making promises to those I love, those I’ve let in my heart, hoping beyond all hope that I will manage to get it all done in a timely fashion and before I collapse from lack of energy, all the while praying that great fortunes befall me so I can just pay for outside help to accomplish everything. That is my biggest source of continual grief.
Yet, in saying that I know that even when you love someone, you can’t guarantee that you’ll never let them down. I love my parents, I love my siblings, however, I know that at this point I am so different from them that my views alone have let them down. They expected me to be like them, and I will never be, nor would I want to. I am my own person, and in my universe: just because I have different views than they do, doesn’t mean that I should love them any less. I would welcome any of them into my home any day of the year (though I highly suspect they would cringe at the thought). For me love is enduring, even when things get rough. I still hold out hope for even the one brother that has hurt me repeatedly throughout our lives, I believe that maybe one day he’ll see the folly of his ways and wish to make amends. ‘Til that day comes I’ve chosen to send love from my heart, at a distance.
Beyond my physical family, I know I have let Nathan down repeatedly. He’ll never say it, but when my anger or depression wins and my brain goes on a very negative tangent I know that hurts him. The same with my kids. I will never be able to make up for the moments where my brain’s malfunction caused them pain and suffering. I also cannot make up for our poverty, I have tried thousands of times over, but there is no way for me to fix their perspective that we are missing out on things that friends regularly get to partake in. Eventually when my kids are grown, I hope that they see I did my best, but it still leaves them disappointed in the present. All I can do is love them and continue to do the best I can.
AND I do still love x-partners. I love them as the very close friends that they were. I wish them well even though things didn’t work out between us. If I could have made things better in some way, I would have. I don’t hold the failed relationships as a reason to love them less. In fact I think that when relationships fail that is when people need more love, so I do my best to continue to send that love every time one of them crosses my mind. As human beings, they deserve it. Yet, I acknowledge that the love I’m sending them now is like the love for a distant relative that you see occasionally, but probably would not call out of the blue. They are a part of you, but not necessarily pertinent to your daily life, and I love them as such.
So then, if I have several of these past relationships that failed, and the love I feel for them is so muted, why keep trying and holding onto the idea of Polyamory?
Simply because I want love to win.
I want that passionate love to overrun me, and wash all the negative life experiences to the extreme background. I want to feel a passion so intense I can’t think of anything else, especially my worries. I want to know that there are others that feel the same about me.
And I do. I know for certain that Nathan does. We love each other so deeply we feel each other from a distance, we complete each other’s thoughts, and we know when the other is in pain- feeling each other’s headaches and even body aches. It is a love that is so intense and so amazing that I have managed to fight depression for 15 years because of it. IT keeps me going, and it makes me want to cling to Nathan forever. I know our souls are connected deeply and I know his support has literally kept me alive. I am so utterly grateful for him, and words are not nearly enough for how I feel about him.
Now I have an inkling of that same intensity with the man online. I can feel him, not 100% and not all of the time, but I know I can. I have been gifted with many, many messages about him, not all of which I even understand, and that brings an excitement to me I’m relishing in. That the other side would put the effort into trying to convey something about him to me, means that he is special in some way. A way that I can’t wait to find out. I just need more patience- as the other side told me, by playing a song I’d never heard before, while driving my route. It was Guns N’ Roses “Patience”.
And that is where the title comes in: I worry. I have fears. I carry Guilt.
Polyamory doesn’t fix that.
For instance Nathan is older than I by a fair amount. I worry about him dieing, which I know is inevitable some day. We all will die at some point. However, I worry like it is tomorrow. I worry about all of the bad things that could happen if I lost him. It wrenches my heart and I have to play the new anti-rumination game to convince myself that I’m all worked up over nothing. It makes me cling even harder some days.
I have fears about things not working out with/for my online friend. That he wont find a solution to his conundrum, that the relationship won’t develop like I’ve seen, that he will curtail things and sever the connection before we’ve even gotten to really test any possibilities.
I am ever afraid of saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing, with either of them, and possibly causing them both to want to run for the hills. I feel guilt over not being a better mom and wife. I feel guilt about our financial woes and housing situation. I feel guilty that I have inadvertently pressured my beau at times, even though it was far from my intention.
These are all parts of the negative feedback loop in my brain that has so carefully constructed itself over the 34 years I have lived. Polyamory has nothing to do with the fears, worries, and guilt being in me. I am the sole cause. However, polyamory doesn’t help either, it merely amplifies what is already there. You think you worry when you have one husband you deeply care about. Multiply that by 2 people and you get twice the worry. So, my homework of late has been to ramp up the anti-rumination. Knowing I have a long standing pattern to break, means lots of homework and massive amounts of practice. One little thought at a time, for who knows how many days or weeks or years. Ugh.
I gradually replace the worries, the fears, the thoughts of guilt, with more positive thoughts of what I hope might one day be. Not only does it help me feel better in the moment, but it helps me to keep my brain in good working order. It seems each day that I think good thoughts of the future, it seems to get just a tiny bit easier to do that and eliminate rumination. I’m so grateful to my therapist and the book “The Depression Cure” for this skill. It brings hope that one day maybe my brain will heal and I’ll never struggle with anger/rage/depression ever again. When that day comes it will make the struggles of my journey worth it, at least for myself and my world view.