Finding the balance.
When I was in elementary school, we had a playground on the hill that had a huge barrel roller. Did you have these? Certainly they aren’t still a thing, considering how the world protects us from ourselves these days, but back then, this was the contraption that definitely prepared us for what death would look like. A giant tube made of lumber, tall enough for an eight year old and three or four buddies to stand up in and take off running. As we ran, the barrel would spin and spin. God help you if you lost your footing, as the barrel wasn’t about to stop, and your former running mates weren’t about to make it easy on you.
You were going down. You were maybe getting spun 360 degrees before you died. You were ruining your shorts, your knees, your elbows, perhaps losing some teeth.
I hated that death trap.
And yet, running in it was exhilarating. Being a part of a group that was running for the same goal was exciting, an experience in friendship. But wow, could it sometimes hurt.
That barrel reminds me of polyamory.
As I’ve written before, I’m not yet convinced I’m poly, but on paper, it appears I am. I have a husband I adore, and a boyfriend that I do love. Is that all it takes?
I can’t say it is.
Right now, and since the beginning, I’ve been trying to navigate the ins and outs of these relationships, everyday learning as I go. I try to read stories from other polyamory writers, I try to research strategies that make sense to me. What I’m finding out though, and I should have known, is that there is no one strategy. Every relationship is different, complex, beautiful and complicated. The way we love isn’t a one size fits all, despite what the world likes to believe.
I get a bit of hate mail about my lifestyle, especially now that I am still involved with a man who is no longer “allowed” to be seeing me, as his wife has vetoed not only me, but his entire foray into the LS. Are we being selfish? Yes, I suppose we are. The problem is we fell in love before she vetoed…and saying goodbye hurts too much, though we did try. So yes, we are selfish. Him for not going along with her wishes, and me for not shutting it down. If you need to berate me for that, I understand. But I also hope you never find yourself in my shoes. It’s hard. Love is hard.