Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Watching


One of the hardest parts of polyamory for me is watching my partner hurt, seeing them go through the dissolution of a relationship that has meaning for them, and watching them struggle with letting go. It might not directly be "mine", but when something impacts one I love deeply, it is painful in an entirely uncontrolled way that I find rather unpleasant, and very personally impactful.


As changes ripple through the chain surrounding me, I left wishing that I could just do something. Instead, I wrestle with trying to not do anything that isn't directly requested. To remain open and supportive, when closed and stepped-back sounds much safer.


I am in a position where there is no direct input in what is going on, and the best way I can contribute to the well-being of my partner is to just wait and see if they need anything. It is like being on a 24 hour emergency services shift. There is no sure way to be sure when the shit may hit the fan, there is only the assurance that there will be shit that is going to need to be cleaned up. If I am fortunate, it will be a small pile, but the elephants could go tromping by at any point.


Fortunately, all of us have gained skills since something like this last occurred, so I am hopeful that working through the difficult feelings that are coming up will be more smoothly dealt with, in a shorter period of time, with a higher degree of "leaning into" the support system in place. So for now I watch, I wait, emotional fire-extinguisher in hand, knowing that we are all equal to the task, knowing that no one needs to go it alone.
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