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belenen

June 2017

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Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.

belenen: (intrigued)
time w Evelyn & Quinn: clearing tension, overcoming previous miscommunications, setting intentions
icon: "intrigued (a photo of a snow leopard with ears flattened, peering intently over a log)"

Back in early November Evelyn had told me that the reason they couldn't be with me was that it was too stressful for Quinn, and that Quinn felt somehow inferior to me and didn't want Evelyn to be with me. Evelyn has since told me that they told Quinn that they had set boundaries with me around touch (which they had not, but had thought about it so much that they felt like they had: not because they didn't want it but because they were afraid of Quinn's reaction) and that I had touched them anyway. Quinn was understandably resistant to the idea of Evelyn dating me with that idea in mind. Evelyn said they had cleared that up with Quinn but I was feeling like Quinn must have a terrible impression of me and I wanted very much to fix that.

I also just wanted to clear the sense of tension and establish that I feel a desire to community-build with Quinn, that I want to approach their feelings about me with compassion and be as helpful as I can be within my resources. I don't do the whole "keep your feelings about me to yourself" thing with metamours (lover-of-my-lover) and friends. I am not going to take responsibility for someone else's feelings, but I do want to know as much as possible so that if I am able to adjust my behavior to help someone feel more safe, I can. And it is my responsibility to take care of myself and let the other person know if I cannot meet their needs, NOT the other person's responsibility to guess what I can handle and not ask me for more than that.

So I went to Evelyn's yesterday after work to hang out with them and Quinn, who I hadn't ever had a real conversation with. I was so nervous I was shaking and driving distractedly, so I stopped on the way and got a coffee, which helped. (sooooo glad that it was payday and thus I could do this!) When I arrived, Quinn wasn't there yet because they had to do something before that went long. So Evelyn and I sat and talked a little but we were both so buzzing with nerves that we couldn't really connect. When Quinn did arrive, we sat around for like two hours talking about random stuff, while I tried to get up the guts to address the whole reason I was there. Evelyn talked a lot while we mostly sat silently. It was so stressful. At about an hour before I was supposed to leave I started feeling like I was going to end up leaving without ever doing what I came to do, having drained myself of days' worth of energy for literally nothing.

Finally Evelyn was distracted with looking something up on their phone and there was a long enough silence that I was able to ask Quinn, "can I ask you a really awkward and uncomfortable question?" (knowing that they'd already expected such a question) and they said yes, and I asked how they felt about me. They were taken aback but gamely attempted an answer. I don't remember exactly what they said, but it was sort of generally about feeling bad for having indirectly caused the distance between Evelyn and me. I assured them that I did not blame them for it, and we talked about the community-building emotional stuff I mentioned earlier in this post.

They then asked me if I remembered meeting them, and I did only in the most vague way (I remembered meeting someone by that name and I remembered the location). They told me that they had talked with me about polyamory and their personal situation, and that I said "oh, you're penis-monogamous" and laughed and then left shortly after. I was like holy shit, RUDE, so sorry! I have no memory of that conversation but it does sound like me. (the things I remember from that night were getting more drunk than I expected and leaving the party to go have sex with Kylei at the back of the apartment up against the wall: I was QUITE drunk) I can imagine that in my head, at the time, I was making a casual statement and then when they stopped talking to me I assumed they were done with the conversation and did not even realize I was rude. To me it was a summary of what I just heard, confirming that I was listening and making a joke by restating it in hyperbole. (this is why I usually don't make jokes, because god do I flop at them. My sense of humor makes no sense to other people) After Quinn mentioned this experience I was swamped with the realization that I've probably been unintentionally rude to a LOT of people. Especially during the time that I was dating Kylei because I met a lot of strangers then and it takes knowing me a little bit to be able to read me with any accuracy, since I express so differently than most.

Anyway, I was very impressed that Quinn brought that up because it was the only way for it to be recontextualized, but it is taboo to point out that someone has been rude. So I felt like they understood the need for telling me that, and they wanted to clear the static between us enough to break the taboo and tell me. And I was pleased that when I exclaimed over how rude I was to say that and apologized, they accepted my explanation without any resistance. It having been like five years ago, they could have built up a whole structure of belief in me as a dismissive, cruel person because I had seemingly mocked them when they were trying to connect in a way that was vulnerable, and they could have defended such a structure. Instead, they allowed me to be the one to give meaning to my actions, which is so utterly necessary for me to feel safe.

I'm really not talented at communicating. I know it seems like I am, especially here, but it's because I am so naturally terrible that I have built up amazing skills through LOADS of practice. In my most natural state, I say shit backwards and upside down to how most people talk. And my skills are mostly non-oral in that I am skilled in writing, not in speaking out loud. I can't organize my thoughts well enough to speak them most of the time and when I can, it's through dropping the filters that protect me from insulting people. My options are: communicate through text and say what I mean and be understood; communicate audibly and don't share anything meaningful but manage to avoid hurting or offending people; or communicate audibly and share meaningful things and definitely upset anyone who doesn't know me very well already and/or anyone who isn't willing to let me be the one to assign meaning to what I say. One has to be willing and able to say "it sounds to me like you're saying this ____. is that what you mean?"

This is part of why reading my LJ matters so much to me. You cannot know me if you don't read my LJ. Most people are really meatspace-centric and auditory-supremacist and they think that what you say out loud, in person, is the truest expression of what you think/feel. That is so fucking untrue when you have multiple lines of thought running all the time that often jump tracks AND you have an unbelievably glitched memory. When I go to a therapist without having written stuff down, it's completely useless. I usually can't have any important conversations without writing about it first. My LJ is more me than anything that comes out of my mouth, ever. Relatedly, Quinn also mentioned that they occasionally read my LJ and I instantly felt more understood and more trusting. I'm always surprised and flattered when someone reads my LJ without it being at least partly as a favor to me.

Since last night Quinn and I have texted back and forth a good bit and I feel like we could be really great friends. I feel excited and hopeful, but also nervous because it seems like every time I try to build connection with someone they leave my life, and that would be doubly upsetting if I became invested in them and then they cut me out. But things seem to be finally turning around for me after losing person after person last year. And Quinn and I relate in some ways that I don't have anyone else in my life to relate to (terrible biofam that's still trying to insert its unwanted self into our lives, for one) so I think that could be really nourishing for me.

I feel a little worried that Evelyn may lose interest now that I'm not essentially a symbol of the unattainable, but I think that's irrational? I think that they care about me for who I am and not just what I stand for. Also a little worried that they're gonna just want to hang out as a group and not want one-on-one time with me, and I don't have any proof to reassure myself about that so I'll just have to stick a pin in it and wait for time to tell.


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belenen: (connate)
time w Evelyn: they speak my language & believe in me / positively overwhelmed / playing by heart
icon: "connate (the characters Keenan and Joan from "Playing By Heart," facing each other with their faces so close that their noses almost touch, both with eyes almost closed, wearing slight smiles)"

So since I last wrote about them I've had two dates with Evelyn, and both times they came to my house AND there was no big struggle to plan or need to reschedule. There's not even been occasion to question whether or not they wanted to come over, because it required so little effort on my part, comparatively. Unfortunately a lot of it has fallen into the cracks of my memory already, so this is just gonna be a mishmash of impressions from what I can remember.

When they first arrived, I opened the door while standing behind it like I always do because my neighbors are terrible and I'm never wearing anything over my boobs at home unless I'm sick or really cold, so they walked in and there was a pause while I shut the door and then they made a tentative reaching motion while I started to ask if they wanted a hug -- I may have gotten it out or maybe not -- and I snatched them into a hug. And I wanted to cry because it felt like such a relief, but I was also in shock and not fully convinced they were actually there. I felt relief and gladness from them too.

At one point later when we were cuddling they said "you're real" in a tone of wonder and I felt so much resonance with it I felt like screaming, like there were not enough ways to express how extremely and exactly I felt that. Those few hours we spent together that day included a lot of cuddling and talking about the last time we saw each other in November and how it was painful for both of us, and expressions of gratitude on both sides for being reunited. A lot of kisses and sweetness and a lot of frank and occasionally painful discussion.

I once again feel able to be just utterly blunt with them. I don't have fear of being misunderstood )

I'm realizing in writing this that being trusted to be truthful even if it doesn't make logical sense is vital to me. Because I am truthful, but sometimes I don't make sense. I think that's one of the things that hurt me so much about Kylei -- they would never believe me when I told them how I valued them and wanted time with them, despite all the proof I offered. It just felt like a constant invalidation of my core self, to not trust in my love and my dedication. I need to know that the people I love believe in my love, believe in my dedication, believe in my truthfulness. Else being around them makes me feel a dissolving of my self-hood and my own faith in my worth.

I told them that I'm still building up my tolerance to their presence )

I also keep getting overwhelmed by all the experiences I want to have with them but I can't do them all at once and it feels like there is so little time. And I know a part of it is this fear in the back of my mind that they're going to disappear any moment and if I haven't done the things yet I won't ever have the chance, but I do not want to do any of the things out of fear, not even out of fear of no future chances. So I actually end up moving slower toward those things because I am resisting the shoving of fear. I know it hasn't even been two weeks yet and that fear will fade.

We watched Playing By Heart last time )

This Friday we have a plan for me to go to their house and hang out with them and their spouse, who I've yet to have any real conversation with. I started freaking out yesterday because Evelyn was talking to me in a way that made it seem like I was supposed to be on my best behavior, so to speak? being polite, talking about inconsequential shit? and I'm terrible at that and I already spend so much fucking time and energy on it with work and Topaz' family and to some extent my biofamily. The idea of adding respectability to the one part of my life that didn't yet have it in it was just awful. I expressed this (in less extreme terms) and they checked with their spouse and confirmed that it was okay for me to just be me in all my *waves hands* non-neurotypical impolite glory, I guess. So, I'm still nervous but not stressed out, and I feel hopeful that it could be really lovely.

I've more to say but it shall go in my sextalk filter. Opt in or out.


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