Allowing Myself to Feel

I’m back with my self-work, trying to get my head and my life straightened around so that I’m happy and healthy and in fulfilling, nurturing relationships. Today, I’m working on my feelings. For years now, I’ve made it a habit to stuff my feelings down, to deny them and to reject them. Because the feelings I was having hurt and I didn’t want to hurt. It’s a natural response to not want to hurt, but one needs to learn how to respond to the feelings as they happen in a healthy way and I had simply made whatever was going on worse by rejecting them.

To be honest, I’ve been working on understanding my feelings since the start of my rediscovery process and I’m glad I have because it’s really opened my eyes to what the problems are and how to work through the things I can change vs. the things I can’t. It’s probably one of the reasons I find myself on the verge of tears so often, and in most cases, I just don’t know why. I think it’s just old, raw feelings coming up to the surface to be processed.

I do a lot of processing these days.

One of the things that I’m noticing as I work on allowing myself to feel is that my pain tolerance is different. While I haven’t had a chance to really test it, I’ve noticed that I’m enjoying more intense pain. I’m coming to think that one of the first things I closed up and denied myself when things started down this road was my pain/pleasure connection. Instead of allowing myself to feel it, I shut it down, rejected it and in some cases quit early just so I didn’t have to feel it. In part, I believe, is that I didn’t think I deserved to feel good. I was so down on myself that the only thing I knew was misery and for some weird reason it was comforting at the time. I hope that I can experience more pain that I did before – purely because I find it quite pleasurable. I’d like to know where this new sensation takes me and I want to know how far it goes.

Feelings are changing. I’m enjoying being happy. I’m finding reasons to be happy and while I’m still down some days and outright depressed on others, it isn’t a perpetual feeling.

Let’s think happy. Always happy.

The Loss of Monogamy: A Many Year Grieving Process

I’m still working on me and here I am with another poignant thought in my healing process. I’m reading a book about co-dependency and tonight’s chapter was about grieving. Often, what causes co-dependents to act they way they do and develop behaviors that they have are because of changes in their reality. That loss of control and the inability to accept change is a huge loss. Often this comes from a place of addiction, but I think for myself it had a lot to do with the dreams I had in my head about what marriage was going to be like with KM. When that changed, through no control of my own, I refused to accept it. That started a downward spiral that I’m just recently coming to terms with.

I’m very obviously grieving the loss of monogamy and the exclusivity that I thought I’d have with KnyghtMare. It’s been the greatest point of contention, the place where hurtful words and phrases come from and it’s the place I’m still not at a point of acceptance for myself. I accept that KM is poly. But I have yet to accept what that means for me and my dreams and my future with him.

In re-reading about the grief process, and for those of you familiar with it, you’ll know that depending on the greatness of the loss for the person, grief can take mere moments or can last a long time. And the only way to heal is to go through it. I believe I’ve been back and forth through all the phases and not once reaching any acceptance for myself for years.

I said something to KM a few weeks ago that hurt him, but I don’t believe it was intended that way. I had finally been able to pinpoint and put my loss in words, “Sometimes I wish we were monogamous again.” I know why it hurt him, I understand that it sounds like I don’t accept that he’s poly but at the core, it was simply my own loss and that I’ve not come to terms with it yet. I haven’t fully mourned the end of monogamy and the change in our relationship (the many changes) that have come out of it.

I really do think that in his first poly relationship I was bargaining a lot. If I do threesome stuff with his other and I he’ll still want me. If I try to be friendly to them as if everything is perfect, I’ll still mean something. If I just drive myself into slavery and withdraw all personal thought, drive or opinion, maybe it won’t hurt as much. In doing this phase for so long, it killed my drive for submission (along with another incident) and now I’m here re-learning myself and trying to get through the grief so that I can finally accept this new life and find my place in it.

I envy KnyghtMare. He was able to accept this life change so much easier and has come out the better because of it. He was able to come to terms with the loss of what he knew and embraced this new self, watching me flounder in my own grief when I couldn’t even put a name to it let alone express it.

I’m not done working through my grief, but I feel like being able to know exactly what it is is helping me. I know I will never technically be monogamous again. I’ll always be the mono side of a mono-poly relationship. Figuring out who I am in all this isn’t going to be easy, but KM has shown he’s there for me and supports me. I know I will have him to cheer me on, give me a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. Because rebirth after a loss isn’t easy, and I certainly don’t want to do it alone.