I have always said Adam is my rock. Stable and solid, safe and secure, but not immovable. It takes a good bit of effort, but I can nudge him this way and that, and even pick him up and carry him about if needed. He’s always there for me to fly home to when I need solidity and security.
Warren was a rolling stone. Secure and strong, too, but more easily moved, and with the added bonus of being able/willing to initiate movement – to roll – on his own.
Viper is, in his own words, a mountain. He’s the immovable center of the world around which his wife and daughter – and now me – live their lives, returning to succor in his steadfastness, knowing he cannot be moved or shaken.
But I – I am a hummingbird, or so W dubbed me long ago, flitting from person to place to thing, never alighting for long.
I need my rocks and my mountain to return to. But rocks and mountains can be heavy and inflexible. I need other hummingbirds in my life to balance them out. People who are willing to fly with me, to take a chance, who can keep up with me and adapt to the changeable nature of life.
I’m actively trying to cultivate those kinds of relationships. For awhile, I have been, if not closed, at least somewhat withdrawn. School, my poly relationships, my family and, to a lesser degree, grief, have all taken up any available energy I had. Social anxiety has also played a starring role in my hibernation. But I’ve begun to extend myself, to throw myself out there as I call it, and I have found that I enjoy it when I do. I never regret spending time with my friends and family after I have done so. It’s just so hard to actually get out there and do it. It’s like pulling teeth, I swear. Even when I know I’m going to enjoy myself.
I had a crochet date with a friend this past weekend. She called it a “knit & bitch.” We didn’t actually bitch, but we had hours of really good conversation about relationships, poly, sex, drugs, boys and lovers and life. Oh, and crocheting. It’s nice to have someone to talk to that knows and likes my polycule, but isn’t sexually or romantically involved with any of them, so that I feel safe in sharing things in a way that I can’t, here, at times, as I used to when I was involved with W. I have made a promise to myself to make this happen more often.
On Wednesday, spur of the moment, I had a couple of people over to Adam’s so we could watch the premier of The Magicians. That – having people to my/our house spontaneously – just isn’t something I’ve ever done. But it was fun and relaxing and no big deal. It wasn’t scary at all, nor stressful. Again, maybe it’s a thing I could do more often. I like people, and I’m actually quite social, once I get over the social anxiety. I need these people in my life.
I did have one of my old issues crop up when I got back to my place on Wednesday, though. I’ve gotten much better at being alone, and even crave it at times, but this wasn’t one of them. V and I have had a strained week or so while we dealt with scheduling issues and misunderstandings, and when I expressed feeling lonely to him on the way home in text, and how weird it is to me to be walking home alone, in the dark, to my own place, he just seemed to shrug it off. I don’t think he has the ability to empathize with me about this, because he’s never had to experience loneliness. I wanted his company, if only by voice, or his comfort, or…something. I mean I really wanted his presence, but of course that’s not possible. But he doesn’t ever really try to find a way to help alleviate that need either, and more than that, doesn’t even seem to understand it, or care that I am feeling it. (I am sure he cares, but since he doesn’t express his empathy with me, it feels like he doesn’t.) I mean, it’s my problem, not his, I know this, and his “solution” is always to invite Ad over, but, clearly, it’s not Adam who I want at that moment. This is one of the great failings of this type of poly for me. Enough so that at times I wonder if I want to be poly this way at all. Maybe what I should do is try to find one person that fulfills most of my relationship needs and settle down with him or her, rather than having two half-relationships that sometimes leave me half-satisfied, since I know I will never find the kind of relationship structure I had before. But when the half parts are satisfying, they are wonderfully satisfying, and I can’t imagine being without Adam, V or our little poly family. So here I am, living and loving and learning.
In any case, part of my own attempt to alleviate some of the occasional bite of loneliness is to cultivate these other friendships, to fly a bit with other hummingbirds, to spread my wings beyond my safe little polycule and stretch myself a bit. To be a friend as well as have friends. I have a craft-day planned with a few of my friends on an upcoming Saturday, and a boozy brunch planned with girlfriends tomorrow, and am trying to schedule a dinner date with another friend midweek. And between all that was a game-night with V and Ad last night and a play party with V tonight, and school Monday and homework (ugh!) and, well…yeah, when it rains it pours, right? I am trying to be judicious about monitoring my social schedule vs relationship-time vs school, but sometimes…well, moderation isn’t my strong suit. That’s why there’s D/s, right?
I do think all this is helping me not be so needy though. D/s both feeds and exacerbates my own penchant for neediness in a relationship. The validation and deep connection inherent in D/s is good for me, making me feel valued and wanted, while giving space for me to show someone else how much I value and want them; but it also exacerbates that neediness at times. Having a full-time-D/s, part-time-in-person relationship can make balancing the neediness with the necessary independence a bit tricky to navigate. Sometimes I don’t wanna be independent. Sometimes I want more attention or time than he has available to give, and still be able to give what he needs to his primary relationship and family. Still, I crave being micro-managed, something I never wanted before, but have found to be a positive thing for me. The question is, how do we balance that with my unwanted-but-necessary independence? I think being able to find those instances where he exerts control over pieces of my daily life, even when I am not with him physically, will be key to finding that balance. And that’s also why it’s so necessary to cultivate my relationships with others; to learn and cultivate self-care – because it has to be a balance, a balance that I learn to maintain for myself.