Sunday, June 6, 2010

Faith (& Poly)

"Her wounds came from the same source as her power." Adrienne Rich - On Power

It has been an excruciating week...again. Last weekend Knight and I went to Harbin Hot Springs, which was a very healing experience on many levels. The first 24 hours was pure joy, feeling the love between us and the love that infuses the land and water of Harbin. Then because of a book I was reading, I had some significant insight into myself (I hope to write a separate post about that), which sent me on an emotional roller coaster for awhile, but Knight held amazing space for my process. As he held me, I recognized that I had been looking my whole life for someone to hold space for me to be the intensely emotional woman that I am. I've also been looking for someone willing to do the work of conscious relationship with me. Things were really, really good.

Until Monday. I had another significant insight that took me into some grief, right before I had to leave him so he could get ready for time with someone else that night. I had to go home with my pain while he went and had fun with another woman for the first time since our sort-of triad last year. That was really, really hard to sit with.

The next day, when I went to see him at lunch, he told me they had sex and my body went into immediate fight-or-flight response. My entire being buzzed with agitated energy and I felt like I just wanted to run and run and run away. I also became sick to my stomach. Knight tried to hold me in my heartache. He expressed every intention of being willing to bear through it with me, but I couldn't trust him.

I was triggered and once I am triggered, all I can see is the fear. For the next 24 hours the only option I could see was withdrawing from Knight as a lover. I told myself and him that I needed to listen to what my body was telling me (which was true, but I was misinterpreting the message). I told myself and him that I'm not ready for poly. I said I am too broken, maybe even too crazy. And I devastated him...again.

Then the fear-fog suddenly lifted and I started seeing clearly again. I paid attention to all the things I said to Knight and realized how caught up in the fear stories I had become. I was choosing fear all over again, but at least I am seeing more clearly what it is that I am afraid of.

I am afraid that I will die crazy and alone like my mother did. This is why I have been unable to find peace with my mother and her death. After years of struggle with depression, narcissism and addiction, my mother had a psychotic break in the months before she died. Constant pain issues that couldn't be resolved were part of her illness for many years. But then she believed that "fibers" were growing out of her skin and she created sores all over her body trying to remove them. It started on her head, so she shaved her head to pick at the sores and wore wigs out in public. It spread to the rest of her body, becoming more and more visible, and the school she worked for was about to make her go on leave because she looked so sick. My sister and I talked the week before she died about the possibility of having to take steps to take care of her because she was no longer able to take care of herself.

My mother died from an accidental prescription narcotic overdose. I can blame her mental illness for her death because it is the reason she was taking so many medications (although I also blame the irresponsible doctors who gave her meds to shut her up--sometimes meds that were actually contra-indicated and caused more harm).

I have a mental illness inside of me and I have healed myself; not only into functionality, but into a thriving, healthy and productive life. For years, rather than accept that my mother was mentally ill beyond help, I have told myself she just didn't try hard enough and didn't love herself or us enough to get better. I believed it was a choice for her just like it was for me. I have not been able to accept her crazy because if I do, I have to wonder if I might really be crazy in a way that can't get better, too.

I am so afraid of being crazy because crazy drives people away. My mother drove everyone in her life away with her crazy. We all gave up on her. I am afraid that my trigger events are a kind of crazy and that neither Knight nor my friends will want to continue holding me if they hear or see the truth of those experiences. I am afraid they will give up on me. So when a trigger event happens, I run away, telling myself and the other person that I am too broken and will only hurt them.

"...It's an act of faith to allow things to unfold and unfold and unfold, and to be willing to include in your life not just what makes you happy, but also your agitation, confusion, doubt, and personal displays of ridiculousness without drawing harsh conclusions. Actually, faith begins to look a lot like fearlessness. It looks a lot like genuine confidence." Susan Piver

I am not crazy.

I need to have faith and confidence that I am not crazy. Trigger events do not make me crazy, they just mean I still have wounds to heal. Getting lost in the fog of fear sometimes does not make me crazy, it makes me human. I always find my way out and experience more healing on the other side.

It is reasonable that my emotional evolution has been incredibly intense the last two years with the Imps, my mom dying, and trying to have the first truly healthy relationship of my life. I am in the midst of significant psychological and spiritual repair so that I can have a happier, healthier life. It will not always be this way. But I will heal faster if I stop resisting the experiences that feel crazy and learn to hold space for myself, which will allow me to trust others to hold space for me.

Healing comes from moving through the heartache, not resisting it. I need to have faith in my own strength. I need to have faith that the healing I have done is real and that more will come. It won't always be this hard and scary. It won't always hurt so much.

I need to have faith that Knight and my friends desire to hold all of me, including the most terrifying parts. I need to have faith that I am worthy of that kind of love. I don't think my friends realize just how scared I am that I will lose them or drive them away and why I try so incredibly hard to do relationship right (why it may seem like the only thing I talk about!). Emotional health is my mission (and obsession).


As far as polyamory is concerned, and Knight having another relationship, I need to have faith in our love. I need to trust in my knowings of what Knight and I share. What we have is unique. We cannot have it with anyone else. It doesn't matter what we call it. It doesn't matter what other relationships we have. What matters is that we remain committed to consciously growing into deeper love and healing with one another. What matters is experiencing the sacred purpose in our relationship.

If this relationship fails, it will not be because of another person or relationship. It is not other people who are acting out in fear and creating rifts in our intimacy. Right now it is me. I can blame no one but myself for pushing him away and undermining the progress we've made the last four weeks. Now it is up to me to repair the damage I've caused and work to heal the parts of me that get triggered so that I don't cause more damage in the future.

I choose love.

1 comment:

Dave Berman said...

"I choose love."

Good choice :-)

I've been encountering a lot of things lately that look at the brain chemistry of happiness. This has led me to recognize when I'm telling myself unhelpful stories that I'm only hearing from my left brain (ego). So I stop and consciously ponder, what does my right brain have to say about this? My presence derives from my ability to observe my ego, yes, and more specifically from my ability to facilitate communication between my left and right brains. Your current healing process is a wonder to behold and I hope this is something you can explore incorporating into your own development.

Peace and Love,