Tag Archives: family comes first

My Polyamory

I have intentionally not written much on this topic because about a year ago I went and posted a bunch of links and good info from other sites. There are so many aspects to look at and perspectives to consider that it is all just too much for me to even attempt.

However, Nathan suggested that I write at least once on my experiences and opinions on the matter. So, I’m taking his advice.

First and foremost Polyamory is many loves, a plural relationship based in a foundation of love.

From the view of a successful balanced poly family, I’ve not had much luck, at least in maintaining such a plural commitment. However, I have had lots of fine tuning and reevaluating, which Abraham says is always a good thing. I’m going to agree.

Nathan and I used to be, what gets labeled “Unicorn Hunters” by more forceful poly opinions. We were ‘significant-others’ seeking a single bisexual female to balance my bisexuality. After several failed attempts to find our good fit, we relaxed into accepting that our perfect woman might come attached to another person. It might also happen that we find several people to meet both mine and Nathan’s needs and desires.

Our hesitation with accepting the concept of multiples, initially was brought on mainly by fearful thoughts of: how do you get multiple adults on the same page and keep them in agreement and in cooperation. Especially regarding children in the family, rules of behavior, setting expectations, and even logistics of cleaning and cooking. However, at this point in our marriage we have come to the conclusion that those are challenges any relationship faces regardless if there are 2 or 12 people. We also now have lots of experience dealing with each other and multiple attempts at significant-other additions. We’ve also come to conclusions that some things are easier if approached like companies handle staffing: creating schedules and assignments of tasks, which can always be adjusted and changed as needed.

So at this point we’re much more open to alternate options and arrangements for our family structure, and have a better grasp of the interpersonal needs that entails. Our main goal now is that a variety of needs and desires are met, and that all adults act like adults and remain considerate of the family as a whole when making significant decisions. If those decisions are likely to impact the family in a huge way (move, replace belongings, or decisions regarding educational or medical concerns) then the family should be consulted with a proposal before final decisions are made.

Informed consent is a mainstay of poly whether it’s in regards to sex, reproduction, or any familial life event. Furthermore, informed consent requires a certain level of communication skills. You may have a great idea, but if you can’t make your case well to those involved it’s likely to fall flat.

So those elements have become our biggest priorities.

Beyond that, previous relationships ended due to factors involving but not limited to: personality clashes, instability due to processing previous traumas, and a lack of commitment by one or multiple parties. So we have simplified our request to the Divine that: future partners have their own stuff figured out at least well enough to cause only more minor bumps, previous severe traumas have been healed likewise, and that all parties be willing to commit enough to work through remaining glitches. All relationships have bumps, bruises, and fights, but it’s the severity and willingness to work through them that enable the relationship to last. Everyone coming together to learn and grow and heal, leads to happy long lasting family.

Acceptance of our humanness, and unconditional love allows for infinite growth. To me that means that I might get mad or frustrated with someone, but as long as I can refocus and remember we’re all human and that I do love them, then I can work through the upset to find a solution. That is the place of understanding that I aim for everyone in my family to hold.

There are also factors like honesty, openness, truthfulness, cooperative attitudes, and open mindedness which would be very important.

Finally, I wish to add compromise. A mainstay of finding solutions is learning how to compromise. There is almost always an answer that everyone can live with. It may not be perfect in everyone’s opinion, but gets the job done. Finding those compromises is paramount to maintaining family cohesion, and adults wishing to be in my family need to demonstrate an ability to compromise.

In conclusion, my ideal of Polyamory has evolved over the last 15 years to be less about the fine details and more about overarching qualities that I wish for people to exhibit.

Not to be too cliche, but can’t we all just get along, and all you need is love, would be the more concise mentality.

May you all find your family based in love and acceptance, but which committedly works through compromise to ensure everyone just gets along.

With love, be well. Siva Hir Su.

Jingle Bells, tummy turns, and Happy New Year’s

So I’ve been super busy. Working 7 days a week still. It’s going well all things considered.

The man I was filling in for came back to work, but not at his best, which wasn’t great too begin with. So management decided to hang on to me full time in a, just in case, sort of way. I did the decorations (see last post) and then began working on odd jobs that mostly amounted to cleaning up other’s messes. Other than being an odd situation, I have done well and hung in, completing each assignment in a reasonable amount of time. I was careful not to move to quickly to land myself without work, but not too slow to undo the trust I’d built with management.

I cover weekend entertainment, which meant I had a good time with salvation army carolers and our cookie party 2 weeks ago. It was a blast- they had me direct jingle bells intentionally leaving them hanging mid-chord to encourage money tossing (see pic below), and afterwards I received a compliment from the manager I thought least likely to ever compliment anyone. It felt really good.

That was right at Yule and we celebrated Yule after work with a fire and Nathan’s (Girlfriend)… I use that term loosely because I’m not sure they have decided to commit that label yet. I enjoyed hulk-smashing a couple of logs for the fire and watching Ian and Anya get their fire element on. Then I burned all of the leftover incense that I bought the one shopping trip in September (I wrote about it too). It was necessary release, and after a few tears I felt better.

Then last week I caught a round of stomach flu and spent Sunday and much of Christmas Eve sick in bed. My dad had visited for the holiday to bring kids gifts which was much appreciated, but since I was down sick he decided to cut his stay short and left Christmas Eve afternoon. Katherine spent Christmas day sick and Nathan was sick the day after. I think because Ian and Anya had been sick the week before they were spared from this round. Regardless of having gotten sick I very much enjoyed the resulting 3 days off, and admitted that sometimes I think I get sick to make sure I have some downtime.

Our family had a good holiday and kids enjoyed their gift receiving. Grandad was very impressed with little Katherine, how aware she is, being very interactive, and how well she was able to stand, squat, crawl, and creep along furniture. He kept saying she’s going to take off really walking any day now, and we just kept agreeing.

This week I have just New Year’s Day off, and I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth, as it’s my only day off in January.

I’m very much looking forward to starting the new year with a day off and being healthy; besides it’s a Pig year and being born in a Pig year that means I’m supposed to have great fortune this year. I’ve decided that’s a good omen, a lucky year starting with an actual day off (I’ve not always had New Year’s Day off, so it counts).

May you all find this year lucky and have just the right amount of time off for yourselves.

Meew… is for comfy.

That’s Missy, she’s comfy, very comfy.

This week has brought a lot of things. Mostly neutral to okay, but I’m doing my best to ignore the few negatives and focus positively.

The best part of this week was having a couple of days that I could sleep in and spend with children. It was very nice, even if it meant I couldn’t move much. A king sized bed is useless if 4 littles keep you trapped in a one foot section of it! Priss, Buddy, and Missy are great at strategically stationing themselves where Katherine isn’t, to ensure I won’t be moving. See:

I was able to spend time with little Ian playing with trains and Lego’s, we went to the park and dog park and took walks.

Zen puppy has gotten good at keeping his herd of people from wandering too far apart. It’s very adorable.

We were privileged to see Big Ian in his performance as part of a Coterie Theatres teen camp production of “Spamalot”, which was very funny, and amazingly well done, especially considering it was a handful of teens with only 2 weeks of learning and rehersing.

It also turned into a pseudo date waking around the Plaza area since we were dressed up for the occasion.

And baby is doing great still too. 3 months old, perfect health, growing great, and learning fast. She’s now able to walk at a normal pace for a toddler, as long as she’s got hands to hold and either naked or disposable diaper. When she figures out balance, we’re screwed, in the best possible way! … I didn’t help matters, in that respect, by finding a baby walker at the thrift store. Now she can even practice without help. Oh my.

And yes she has; she took a few steps in the store, and today she worked on figuring out it goes other directions than just forward.

She’s also started laughing, though it’s more of a giggle so far, and kitties are now fascinating to her.

All in all its been a good week and I’m mostly enjoying life again. More mantras definitely helped, but mostly I think it’s my concerted efforts to focus on positives and find quiet mind periodically.

May all of you have comfy pleasant weeks.

Wishes and Dreams

Today the work theater presents “The Greatest Showman”. I’m only 15min into my resident-sitting-movie-gig, and it’s a reminder of the threads that have kept me going. My wishes and dreams.

It seems that my wishes and dreams may be working their way into reality. That reversie card I wrote about, may be finally at play.  It seems the messages from the divine (or simply the other side) are getting louder.

The last week brought messages from my friend’s late uncle about her grandfather’s ill health. He worked very hard to warn her using me as the middle woman. It took days to figure out because I knew they were messages, but it wasn’t until I started showing her pictures of the messages that she put the pieces together. She’d sent me a copy of a picture of the uncle to show me who was communicating, and later in the evening his picture (on my phone) opened itself right as she was being informed grandpa was being taken to the ER.  It was eerie, but fascinating validation. Luckily by morning she learned that grandpa had a very treatable temporary setback. He’d be okay.

That was in the midst of finishing my portion of my taxes to get them turned into my accountant. I really hope she’s able to work the same magic as years before, because between baby and moving we’ll really need a decent return.

Speaking of moving, that’s part of the reversie card. 

We never did find an adequate yet affordable home. However, my friend (Hannah) with the talkative deceased uncle, has offered their home, and to simply split the existing costs. 

We’ve been friends for several years, but lately we’ve discovered how intensely we share goals, hopes, dreams, skills, preferences, and even health challenges. We grok each other, an understanding on a deeper level. We’ve gotten very close, and I feel like she’s family in my heart. So, when they offered their home, and even to help make necessary adjustments to accommodate us, I couldn’t say no. I feel like it’s an honor to have her support and love. I can’t see the full puzzle being put together yet, but definitely feel like she’s a very important piece, and one I’m glad to call family. I definitely feel my heart blossoming and growing with more love for a greater family than I could have imagined. 

I’ve shared with her my thoughts on all my previous messages and including the picture with the elephant figurines and the happenings with the boy, and she is in agreement. She agrees that he’ll eventually return and I just need patience and to keep my hopes and dreams alive. 

What’s more is what she’s found in helping prep for our full move in. She’s found her bulbs of the ‘Lily of India’-5 of them, she’d already planned on planting them, but they’d already begun to sprout in the cellar storage. 

Then there was the elephants her grandmother played with as a child. She knew they existed, but as she was sorting belongings she found them, 5 to be exact.

It gives me goose bumps and spine shivers every time another sign like that shows itself. It’s validation that I’m not crazy and that at least some things I see are indeed messages. I look forward to seeing the full manifestation of all of these divine signposts. To that end I keep repeating “my miracle is on its way, just keep believing”.

It was one such moment that I realized the car in front of me had a plate that said “4SHIV”. I snapped a picture and sent it to Nathan and Hannah to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. (I’d put it here, but I don’t have their permission and the photo would give away their state which could jeopardize their personal information.) Regardless, both Nathan and Hannah validated it very much said what I thought, and we all had an OMG’s moment. I pointed out, there was enough characters for the A on the end of Shiva. I was left with a strong sense it had to be for me because the shortened version isn’t commonly used here.

 It was very much a perfect alignment of astronomical odds that I know was a message for me from the divine. For that I am forever grateful. It’s those seemingly small kernels that mean massive amounts to me and help me get through this chaotic time of 3rd trimester diet craziness, moving, working an insane amount, squeezing in taxes, and then doing my best to have at least a few minutes of quality time with my kids before falling over from fatigue each night. It will all be worth it when my growing family is using our miracle to build Atira.

I very much look forward to that. Those will be wonderful days.

Cleveland: Family Comes First

We’ve returned from our trip to Cleveland. Everything went as well as could be expected, but it wasn’t the vacation and relaxation I had hoped for, being it was so desperately needed. C’est la vie!

Despite having a rudimentary knowledge of french, I feel that exclamation really does fit, life goes as it pleases and you just have to go for the ride sometimes. There is planning, but rarely do plans go as expected for me.

The drive to Clevo was sunny and warm, weather was fairly great for Northern Ohio in early March. We get there and Nathan’s parents were very happy to see us, but I was aware that they were stressed over something. We celebrated Mom’s 80th birthday by taking them out to a Mongolian grill restuarant, and the next day she treated the kids to the Science Museum. During all of the festivities, she was filling us in on Nathan’s aunt Lee- his Dad’s sister. Apparently, they were worried about her, because there had been a phone call from the phone company about her not having paid her bill in a while, and there was concern from both  Nathan’s mom and the other Aunt about things that Lee had been saying on the phone. Essentially they were worried about her state of being.

The day that we went to the science museum, they attempted to ring Lee several times to check on her, and every time they got busy signals, something that never happened previously. Late that evening, Nathan persuaded them to call and request a well-fare check with her local police.  The officers sent a social worker, and the lady called us back within 20 minutes saying that Lee was awake but confused, and couldn’t remember what year it was. The worker suggested taking her to the hospital to make sure she was physically ok. We knew that if they did that she would have no way home because she didn’t drive, so we insisted that the hospital speak with us before releasing her for that reason.

Once at the hospital it was decided that there wasn’t anything physically wrong, no diabetes or other issues that could cause confusion, so they suggested it was dementia. We again informed them that she didn’t drive, and no one was close enough to give her a ride home, so they needed to assist her with that if they were releasing her. They kept her until morning and had the hospital social worker give her a ride home. After a convoluted mess of legal requirements, we managed to get the apartment manager to check on her and the manager discovered all four gas stove burners on/open but not lit. The manager was extremely concerned because that could have blown up the building, but she needed us to get written permission from Lee to speak further. When all was said and done, Nathan and his parents jumped in the mom’s car, drove 6 hours to West Virginia, picked up Aunt Lee, grabbed as many clothes as they could fit in the car, tried to get her important papers, and brought her the 6 hours back to Cleveland. Once that happened, it was very evident that her confusion was not new. After supplying the consent letter, the apartment manager filled us in that it really started showing about a year ago, and that since then there had been many lapses in memory including paying rent 3 times one month, and forgetting to 2 other months, and that her neighbor had been feeding her because she was forgetting to go shopping.

During that whole mess, I was left in Cleveland with the kids, and Ian was not happy that his daddy left and wasn’t going to be back before bedtime. I had a melt down from the crazy mad child I had on my hands. Needless to say, I was very relieved when Nathan and family returned.

The following day was spent taking care of Lee. Nathan (because of the 12 hours of driving) took a nap while I worked on packing the van back up for our return trip home. It was very evident to me that Lee was no longer what is called “High Functioning Dementia”, she was very much the opposite and needing care. Nathan’s dad, her brother was shocked, unfortunately I wasn’t- I’ve seen this before, and it’s much easier for me to understand how something like this can seemingly sneak up unnoticed. I sat Nathan and his mom down, and tried to see if there was a game plan. I kept repeating “Family Comes First” if you have nothing, you have family, even if you don’t agree, and even if you don’t always get along, you will always have family.

In the end, the game plan was that they would figure out how long there was to deal with Aunt Lee’s apartment and straighten her finances out, and then if needed Nathan would be sent on greyhound back to West Virginia to physically deal with things, and possibly even rent a U-haul to take her belongings to Cleveland. At this point, they have figured out that we have until the end of April to do that. The details have yet to be figured out.

This whole situation makes me think though. I work with nursing homes, I see how they function, and even the best of the best and most expensive still lack individual care. Things get missed, people have to wait for simple things like using the restroom, showers are given twice a week, and don’t get me started on medication policies. If a resident refuses medicine, it is crushed and put into food or drink, and a resident can not make their own decisions to eliminate medication. I have literally had residents that were on just enough diuretics to keep their lungs from filling up with fluid and drowning them; they weren’t comfortable- they were miserable, but the medicine kept them alive. I’ve had Lewy-Body patients that couldn’t talk, couldn’t move, were stuck in a wheelchair or bed all day, couldn’t feed themselves, and couldn’t even sit on a toilet anymore, but they were on enough medicine to keep them alive longer, but not enough to kill the pain. I would sit with them giving massages to try and help the pain, but I could always see it in their eyes and on their faces. -Which, by the way, my services are out of pocket expenses, they are paid on top of the thousands of dollars per month of nursing care.- I’ve had 3  residents live in that exact state for over 2 years, with me visiting weekly to attempt to provide any relief. Can you imagine spending 2 years unable to do anything except suffer! IT disgusts me, because I thought the creed of western medicine was first do no harm- how is suffering for 2 years no harm.

If it were my choice I would not put anyone in mine or Nathan’s family in a nursing home.You can drop 50 grand a year and still have your loved ones miserable. I much prefer home health, and suggest it at every turn, so that is what I did with Aunt Lee. I said she should stay with Nathan’s parents as long as possible, and I sincerely hope that it’s long enough for me to build enough space for all 3 of them to live in. That way I can help them live as healthy a life as possible, and if they should get to a point where they can’t do anything and are suffering, eliminate all drugs that would just prolong that suffering, and encourage doctors to dose enough pain medicine to at least remove that portion of the suffering. There is no medicine that gives motor skills back, no medicine or surgery that can help someone be able to eat or use the bathroom once it has been lost; so that type of suffering is sometimes inevitable, but at least we should eliminate the pain. If you can’t change anything else, at least prevent prolonging the inevitable, and kill the pain- that is possible and available if doctors are made to care. Too often the nursing environment causes medical staff to quit caring. They see too much complaining, too much dysfunction, and they become numb to it thinking that everyone is just being grumpy and exaggerating, and too often will not supply more pain meds unless the family demands an increase. I get that our society currently has an outbreak of pain medicine abuse and addiction, but I will be the first to tell you that if you are in REAL pain, your body will gobble those meds up trying to quench the thirst of chronic pain. Yes, sometimes it is an insatiable thirst that won’t diminish regardless of how much medicine is given. I had one nurse tell me that if they gave a particular resident any more pain meds it would be too much for their liver and eventually kill them, but the alternative is allowing a living being to suffer PAIN daily under your care. I wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for keeping someone alive in a state of suffering, but of course that is one of the many reasons why I didn’t go into nursing to begin with.

It doesn’t matter if that pain is from Fibromialygia, Lewy-Body, Congestive Heart Failure causing your legs to be 2 or 3 times their normal size, collapsing vertebrae from severe osteoporosis, or any number of other real medical causes, No-One should have to live with chronic pain for years on end when we have the tools to handle it.That’s my somewhat educated and compassionate opinion, and I’m sticking to it.