I’m propped up in bed for the first time in days. Conscious, instead of the passed out, sleepy state that I have been for the four days prior. My muscles still ache, I’m still a walking, talking inferno and I have the most ludicrous honk-cough possibly ever known to man, but the room has stopped spinning now and I’m starting to feel just a tiny bit more energetic. I’m starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I might pull through this one in time to taste the Christmas turkey.
Let me be clear, retiring to bed in times of illness is not commonplace for me. I’m normally someone who soldiers on regardless, but this time around I’ve conceded that maybe I am ill and maybe I do deserve to rest and take it easy. Call it lessons from the past, if you will. It’s not that I don’t listen, I just don’t appreciate being ordered around.
Outside of what I’ve consented to, anyway.
While I lie in bed, twice in the past few days I have heard Nick Jonas’ song “Jealous” on the TV. It irks me in a way, but it speaks some truth to me too:
“You’re too sexy, beautiful, and everybody wants a taste, that’s why.”
Suppose that I am? I worked hard to get here. You don’t just inspire people by merely existing, you do that by finding your strengths, embracing them and using them to help others. You do that by, heavens above, by being a decent citizen, by accepting people for who they are and defending the rights of others (and your own) when it matters. You do that by treating others with kindness and respect, be they a crown court judge or a waste collector, two legs or four. It’s up to each and everyone of us to leave a good lasting impression. I can’t do that part for you, dear reader, you have to do that yourself.
“It’s my right to be hellish.”
Really? And it’s my right to want nothing to do with you if you are. I grew up in a dramatic household, I’ve been clear I think that I choose not to have that for myself on a romantic level. You either treat me with respect or you won’t get to treat me at all. Simple.
“I wish you didn’t have to post it all.”
And I don’t. That’s why there are no nudes on my blogs, no thirst traps, no blow by blow (pardon me) accounts of my lovemaking. I like to keep a little bit back, if you know what I mean? NILIF.
Yes it’s a dog training technique, but it’s perfectly applicable elsewhere too 😉
It’s not that jealousy is uncommon in polyamory, it’s that there is a right way to handle it (incidentally, the same way as in a monogamous relationship) and a wrong way to go about it. The right way is to openly and calmly discuss those anxieties, and lots and lots of introspection. The wrong way of course is through controlling behaviour.
Before I continue, I want to share with you this very poignant strip I found a few days ago which speaks volumes to me:
You see? This is my attitude and approach to the abuse that has been inflicted on me in my life: I will not go on to abuse other people, other innocent people. What I will do, though, is push that pain back on up through the system. It really is that whole “that sounds like a you problem” thing.
Incidentally it’s also why I went into therapy, why I do a lot of journalling and introspection. Why I practice forgiveness each day, even when it is very, very hard.
We are all responsible for our own pain. How you handle your emotional pain determines the type of person you are and the relationship you will have with others. Choose wisely.
I deleted all pictures on Wednesday, sort of a next step in the healing process. I’m sad that things went like they did and yet I also know that I did all I could. I know that I probably did make some wrong choices along the way, and that’s okay, it’s learning and growth for next time. What I do know is that I can walk away now, knowing that I gave all that I could give.
That ties me into something else I’ve picked up lately, that I will share with you – my early warning toxic person detection system. If someone complains to you about people who ghost, just stop and ask yourself why that might be? People get busy, sure, but if someone keeps getting ghosted by lots of people, there is probably a good reason for it.
I had this happen to me a few weeks ago, with another gentleman on Slowly. He complained about ghosters, and I explained the reasons that I ghost men (unsolicited dick pics/sex chat, namely). A few days later he told me that he doesn’t pay for Wifi on cruises with family, even though it’s available and even though a settlement could be made (ie you do chores before you go to save up and pay for your own WiFi and once it’s gone, it’s gone – an approach my parents used to take on camping trips). He doesn’t pay to take the family on vacation to be ignored, he says, which is fair enough, but still something about this whole arrangement feels “off”. Then it strikes me – he withholds the WFi so that he doesn’t get ignored. He manipulates the situation so that he has someone to talk to. That’s a red flag.
We chat for a bit more, and despite being hectic (and ill) pre-Christmas, I still manage to dart him off another letter.
Two days later, he replies.
First, it strikes me again how often this man uses ‘I’ statements. Not as in “I feel sad when you…”, which is great problem-solving communication, but as in “I think..”, “I …”, “when I” etc. This guy loves talking about himself and his opinion.
Second, I note that he hardly ever asks any questions. There’s no natural flow of conversation, it’s more like a parental lecture.
Third, he says that my last letter is “short”, which has me perplexed. Looking back, it’s no longer or shorter than usual?
Ooh! Must be a dig, I conclude. Rude.
He said he let’s his actions determine who he is, and now I have him concluded as rude, manipulative, unappreciative and self-centred.
I let him go.
“Hey Kitten, did you hear about the man who was afraid of escalators?” Matt asks this morning. It takes me a moment in my current soup-for-brains state, but I get it eventually: A joke. He’s telling me a joke.
I shake my head and wait for the punchline.
“He took steps to avoid them” he says, trying to stay straight-faced.
Ooh! Puns. We like puns.
“I’m sorry, my dear” I say in my croaky, nasal, flu-addled voice, “but it’s going to take much more than your Dad jokes to LIFT my spirits today.”
Oh yes, even when she’s deathly, she’s not dead.
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