Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Worst Case Scenario

When people are new to poly, they often have a "worst case scenario" that is to be avoided.  Most of the "rules" are designed to try to prevent this thing from happening.  When my previous partner and I originally opened up our relationship, and transitioned to poly, I had that "worst case scenario" in mind.  When I found myself in a counselor's office 8 years later with that tape playing out, it was devastating.  Here's my WCS-

"You are an amazing person, and I hold you in such high regard.  I love you, but I'm not "in love with you", and never have been.  You are not sexually attractive to me, and I no longer wish to be physically intimate with you.  The other relationship I've been in just gives me "more" emotionally and sexually."

This was my first love, a partner I'd been with for 15 years, the person I'd had a child with.  All the positives weren't enough. Someone else was more, and in just about every way I took pride in about myself.

There was a lot of crying.  I had a lot of support through that grieving process, and emerged the other side with strong relationships, and a stronger sense of self.  All of my current relationships have been poly from the get go, and that seems to make a lot of things easier, with less reprogramming to do.

So, when S and I were talking the other day about his new shiny, and just relationships in general, and this WCS baggage reared it's ugly head again, it was tough. One of the things I realized, and was able to finally put into words is that terminology that puts things in terms of relative value is pretty much guaranteed to set me right back into that awful emotional space in the twitch of an eye. "More.  Better. Deeper. Hotter. Most.  Best." and so on.   Don't use it with me.  Ever.

On the other hand, I'm fine with things like, "Intense. Different.  Unique. Important.  Deep. Hot."  I don't pretend that my partners don't have significant relationships, important connections with others, but comparative language is something that is a hard limit for me.

The challenge to deal with my own baggage about WCS stuff continues.  It's one of those processing things that apparently will only be taken in chunks, and will continue to pop up at inconvenient times.  Having had that experience with sexual assault as a child, where it still sometimes surfaces unexpectedly, I can recognize that this emotional trauma is something on par, although in a completely different way.

It stinks that my current partners, and my metamours, are still having to deal with trust issues and hot buttons not of their creation.  My hope is for continued patience on their part, as I keep working through this from my end.

Hi.  I'm Gina.  I've been poly for 11 years now.  The worst has happened, and I'm still standing.


Anonymous said...

I applaud your candor and honesty. It is conditioned in us from a young age to compare everything... cars, grades, emotions, events. But that same tendency in poly usually results in unfair comparisons. Each relationship is different - and it is sometimes challenging to not compare.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have seen the worst and am still standing. My partner of 25 yrs has had a gf for the last 2 yrs. Neither of us knew of the other until 3 weeks ago. The betrayal and hurt I feel are overwhelming. I am still standing but only barely so. Thank you for your blog. When my mind starts dwelling on unhappy things your words bring me solace and hope.

Unknown said...

Not comparing means not allowing yourself to notice when there is a difference of amount. But amounts exist, and they can differ, and I have no idea how to make myself not notice something about my own experience.