Chaos, Uncertainty, and Mixed Signals

Things have been a bit of a wild ride this past several days.  In fact, it’s been rough for over a week now.  There are things happening that are at least good for me, and I’m hoping that they’ll eventually turn around and be good for all of us.

For my part, last weekend, J and I clashed over what should have been a simple miscommunication.  Instead of an easy resolution, we had an entire day where we both felt uncertain and unhappy.  By Saturday afternoon, when he went to T’s room and I heard the door close while I’d been in my room (with him) waiting for him to finish what he’d been doing, I completely fell apart.  I cried so hard that my face, not my head, my face, hurt for hours afterwards.  That was followed up by ending up getting left behind on Sunday.  T and J went to church, I opted to stay home.  I wanted time alone to think.  J had things to do after church and I asked that they come back and get me so I could go as well if T was going with him.  I heard nothing until I sent a text asking what the plans were.  I saw neither of them until 9:00 that night, and then only briefly as I was going to bed, J was suffering from dehydration, and I guess T was pretty wiped out as well.

But a strange thing happened through all of that.  As the day wore on, on Sunday, I began to feel this peace within myself.  I began to feel a sense of contentment, self-acceptance at a level I never dreamed of, and a sense of love.  I felt, fully, just how much I love J, and T, and life in general.  I wanted to be with them, but I wasn’t, and suddenly that was ok too.  I realized that I want to have a life with J, with T if possible, but I don’t have to have that, and it doesn’t have to take the form I decided I wanted.  I just simply let go, at last, of all the attachments to outcome and to everything.

By Monday morning, the feeling had grown exponentially.  I began to realize the space I had entered is what the Sufi teach about being able to find on the other side of the "Dark Night of the Soul."  I thought I’d found this before, but no, this is something that has literally remade me.  Overnight, I see things differently, and experience everything differently.  I feel like an entirely new person, and I have to admit, it’s a great feeling.  I’m still me, but everything about how I interact with the world has changed.  I see it, I feel it.

Monday evening was to be my night with J.  I went home so excited to be able to tell him what had happened with me, how deep these changes are, and to apologize to him for not having been capable of letting go of so much pain and "need" for set outcomes much sooner.  When I got home though, J wanted to talk to T and I both about his feelings.  In short, he’s overwhelmed.  There has been just enough stress and anxiety running between us all for just long enough, that he’s approaching a breaking point himself.  As he talked, he and I ended up talking about some of the lingering issues in our relationship.  T was wonderful, and helped us understand one another better.  She really stepped right in there and helped us begin to communicate again.  I was so thankful to her for the help she was giving us.  Then, just as he and I were truly connecting at the level we normally connect at, for the first time in the last 2 months, T started looking like she wanted to say something.  I asked her if she wanted to add to the discussion.  What she added wasn’t what I expected at all.

T basically stated that she can’t handle J and I being close.  It makes her feel ill, it makes her stomach hurt, it makes her want to run away screaming, and… she doesn’t think she can stay with us.

Wow.  That was unexpected.  I know that when we went to the fireworks show she spent the night giving J a similar message about how she didn’t think she could stay with him and I spent the night bored to tears and basically ignored while they talked and then made out/made up on the blanket right in front of me.  It was bad enough that J and I couldn’t enjoy the next day together, which I had taken off of work so that he and I could have a day together.. our first day together in almost 4 months.  He was too upset, I was upset, and we basically spent the day trying not to snipe at one another and trying to just stay out of each other’s way.

So, she and J ended up spending the rest Monday evening together, talking.  They came out to watch a movie with me, and then were alone again through the night.  J did come and invite me to sleep next to him in T’s room.  Because of this deep peace, I wasn’t bothered by him sleeping in her room that night.  I understood that when he said he had really wanted to spend that night with me, he was being truthful.  We had both felt the reconnection and both had wanted to be able to spend the night together helping that connection go forward and become more substantial.  Sadly, T falling apart had prevented that, and she’d made it clear she needed him with her.  So, he and I said our goodnights.  I tried to cheer him before he left my room, but I think I only succeeded in assuring him that I wouldn’t be letting go of our relationship.  So, I took his hand, placed it over my heart and said to him, "You don’t have to be sad, we’re together, right here.  I won’t be missing you, I’ll just look forward to the next time we can be together."  He hugged me very tightly, and while his eyes still held sadness, and he told me again and again how much he misses me, he left and at least looked a little less like he’d lost his best friend when he did.

Tuesday, again, T seemed to monopolize J’s time.  He still maintained as much contact with me as he could, giving me a hug when he passed by, or squeezing my arm as he sat beside me or blowing me the odd kiss.  By the time we went to bed, I still hadn’t had a chance to tell him about what exactly is going on with me.  All that we had time for was for me to tell him that there are rapid, and deep-seated changes happening, and I want a chance to tell him what’s been going on.  He did at least get to sleep in my room without her being upset, and held me tightly through the first part of the night, which was wonderful.  J’s arms are a perfect place to sleep, IMO.

Wednesday, J stayed out in the common areas of the house for the most part.  He was quietly affectionate with me, often reaching over to put his hand on my leg or brush his hand against mine.  We have found that apparently he can’t sleep on memory foam and that by bed is wrecking his back.  I began to get very sad because I can’t just run out and get a different mattress right now, and likely won’t be able to for a month or so.  (I’m also sad because I sleep like a drugged baby when I’m on memory foam, and this means getting rid of it.)  Suddenly, T offered to swap rooms with me so that J could sleep comfortably on her bed and we could still have our nights together.  While it was a surprising and generous offer, it isn’t yet decided if we’ll take her up on that or not.

We also talked about coming out at my company picnic this weekend.  It turns out that there are others in my office who have either open or poly relationships, so given that it won’t be career suicide for me, we’ve opted to go for it.  I don’t like being in the closet anyway, and hopefully, knowing that she and I can both be with J without having to hide will help T feel less insecure.

I did remind J, as the evening wore on, that I will not likely see him today as I leave early in the morning and he and T are going to a concert tonight and will not return until well after I’m in bed. (They didn’t leave me out, I’m just not a fan of this particular artist… not enough to buy a ticket for a concert.)  I asked him to consider staying with me again for the night.  When bedtime rolled around, he had decided that yes, he would stay with me for the night.  He went to tuck T in and ended up falling asleep, so even though he came to bed after I went to find out if he’d changed his mind, we didn’t get much of a chance to talk.

We did have a brief conversation though.  I have some very real concerns about T and about her behaviors.  For the record, I do sometimes wonder if her actions are a deliberate attempt to split J and I apart from one another.  I do not truly believe that’s her intent, but sometimes, I can’t help but wonder.  So, after J came to bed, we talked about how we both are not liking being kept from one another.  He told me that he misses me constantly, and he hopes that I can see that he does, but that he feels that he must help T through these things right now.

I had to get honest with him.  It was a different message than I’d have given a week ago, but it was not easy to give to him, especially not knowing that his heart is being torn right now.  But I had to tell him that I do not like feeling like our relationship is held hostage.  he asked what I meant, and I pointed out that we only get time when she decides to allow it, and that we’re only able to be as close as she allows.  If we try for more time or a public display of being closer, she falls apart again.  I told him I don’t think it’s deliberate, but it is happening.  I also told him I have two concerns about him dancing so closely to the tune of her moods.  Firstly, there has obviously been damage to our relationship, and distance between us that hasn’t been there before.  We’ve come close to the point where the distance becomes too great to overcome and the relationship ends.  I told him I do not want that to happen to us.  Secondly, how will she ever be able to be comfortable with he and I being close if every time she falls apart, he runs after her and our relationship is again on hold.  What will she do when he decides she’s going to be ok and starts reaching out to me as much as he says he wants to?

He agreed with me on all counts, and said that yes, this is a bad situation, but also said he wants to keep trying to help her feel secure.  He also said that he misses us being able to be "us" and that he wants, badly, to be able to be with me as he chooses again.

So, there is no resolution on that front, but, at least he and I are on the same page again, and I know that he does want to be with me.

One thing we’re hoping will make a difference is that my company is having a picnic this weekend.  T has decided that she wants to be "out" about our relationship.  This is a good thing, and will not be an issue with my co-workers over-all.  Hopefully, she’ll realize that yes, she really is just as important to us as we are to her.  We never wanted to be all secretive in the first place, that was her request, based on fear of how others would look at her.  So, maybe she’ll ease up a little after the weekend.

I really do think though, if things aren’t turning dramatically within the next couple of weeks, I’m going to have to sit them both down for a very serious talk about this behavior and about the need to get a resolution of some sort.  It won’t be easy to do, but it needs doing if things don’t shift.  I’d probably do it sooner but I have a kid visiting and don’t want to ruin the visit with a lot of polyamorous drama.  At least the kids like T so far.  It helps that they’re accepting her being a part of my life and my household.  It helps me anyway, I hope it’s helping her.

One thought on “Chaos, Uncertainty, and Mixed Signals

  1. alumiere says:

    Hang in there. It sounds like you’re making the best of a tough situation.
    And a comment on the bed – I have a 6″ temperfoam topper on top of another 4″ of eggcrate on my air mattress. It is the most comfortable bed I’ve ever had. But when I stay at a hotel or not at home half the time I need extra cushioning, and the other half the time it’s too smushy and I need a bedboard. Maybe you can fix the temper problem for J by doing the reverse to my bed at home – adding a layer of plexiglass or semi-rigid plastic a few inches down from the top to stiffen that side of the bed.

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