I didn’t want to believe her. What I wanted to believe was that the harm Franklin caused was not intentional or conscious. That it was a one-off. That Franklin was a nice guy who had made a few wrong steps. I hoped against hope that it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.
It seems incredible now, but I once thought the notion of intentional families was a simple one. Who wouldn’t want a family actively chosen from people whom you love and who love you with their whole heart instead of some of those conflicted fuck-ups we are saddled with by blood and/or marriage?
Juggling time is a huge deal in a open relationship if the type of open relationship you have means investing in every relationship you develop. And it’s not only in your intimate relationships, it’s time spent with their parents, their brothers, sisters and depending on how close they are, cousins, uncles, aunts and the rest. It’s the emotional labour of negotiating holidays, cultural and family traditions and personality dynamics.
I sincerely believe we’ve achieved what we’ve achieved because our relationship was already open and has been since its inception. Our relationship was open and sexual. It is still open but non-sexual. Timing in our case, was everything.
Instead of working towards a community being aligned in values, we must now work on constructing a sadder, wiser dynamic which accomodates us all as far as possible. Maybe it’s more like a family than I’ve ever realised.
For me and after extensive self-work, I feel safe in saying no to those I trust, but saying ‘no’ to sexually advancing strangers is highly stressful for me. Understanding and being able to accept my reality, this reality has been a gift.
After many such processing sessions and respective conclusions, I’ve come to a grand, meta conclusion. Whilst I might long for multiple connections, I function better alone. I learned some years ago that a solo style of polyamory would be the smart choice for me; that’s a bit of a conundrum when you’re already in a household of six which includes two small kids.
I know my desire for change might make me an incredibly hard person to live with for it is like an addiction. But I also know myself and I know what I need. I need change, I need the story, I need life.
If only she knew how much I love you. How much it hurts that you, that we, are not acknowledged. How you are regarded as some disposable piece of detritus. How fickle and worthless she believes my love for you is.
She had no piece of paper, no recognised validity save what she and my partner felt for one another. She was a guest in my home–the home of a woman she hardly knew–but it was also her boyfriend’s home and she knew him a lot better. My lack of trust was understandable, acceptable even, but that didn’t make it easier for her to handle.
Open comes from old english/anglo-saxon openian meaning to open, open up, disclose, or reveal, but it also meant “exposed, evident, well-known, public,” often in a bad sense, “notorious, shameless.”
They were once my family, I was not born to them but I chose them. How foolish I have been to think that I am healed, that I am whole. There is always more to work on. More wounds to re-open. So as I saw them, I remembered how much I love him, and how much I still miss him.