This article is awesome. Please read it, it’s worth your time.
Monthly Archives: April 2013
It’s been a hell of a weekend.
On Sunday, I wrote The Price of Admission. I wanted to make it clear that this particular post wasn’t aimed at any one person or event. It was the culmination of several thoughts and conversations I have had over the past several weeks with people all over my life. And it was a good way to put my thoughts in order about something that is very important.
You see, I don’t give up on people. I am incapable of it. There are people I haven’t seen in 15 or 20 years, and if they dropped back into my life and said they needed me, I would be there for them. That’s who I am. I don’t know how to give up. I think part of that comes from being fairly stingy with my energy in the first place. It takes a lot for me to trust someone enough to let them into my heart, so if I’ve gone to the effort, and they are worth the effort, they become worth the effort for life.
So what happens when I see someone hurting, and I want to help, and it’s beyond my power or energies, and that price of admission starts creeping up?
I get lost. I don’t know what to do or how to help. My heart aches and I lash back at the person for not being who I want them to be. I worry and fret and I look for the perfect opening to have a conversation with them, to try to help. Because if they are that important, I don’t give up.
So, after I wrote Sunday’s post, I sat down and wrote an email to a very dear friend. And I told her how I was feeling and how much I missed her and how worried I was for her and how I wanted her to be better. I told her I was there for her, that I needed her in my life, but I needed the person she used to be, not the person she currently is. And, heart in my throat, I sent it off. And I’m glad I did… I feel better, and the friend in question is taking those first terrifying steps toward getting better.
I’m proud of her. It’s a hard journey. And I want her to know I am there for her, every step, and that I love her dearly and I am so glad to have her back again.
I like this video. I like it a lot. I like Dan Savage. I think he is interesting and intelligent and makes some wonderful points.
I’m not here to talk about Dan Savage, though. I want to talk about the Price of Admission, and what it means to me, a person in an open relationship with many other rich and varied friendships and experiences in my life.
If you can’t watch videos where you’re reading this from, I’ll summarize. In every relationship, there are things about that other person that work well with your personality, wants, and needs. And there are things that aren’t that perfect fit. And there are things that are deal-breakers. If you have too many deal-breakers, you will never have a relationship in which you are happy. But if you are willing to change your ideals slightly, and overlook a few of these things, you may be looking at a lifelong relationship. And those little things that we have to put up with in order to get along with other members of the human race are called the price of admission. If you want to “ride that ride” as he says, you have to put up with a few things that might kind of suck about the person you want to spend your time with.
I want to share examples from my own life. I am exceedingly introverted. Anyone who gets close to me needs to know this and be willing to work with me on it. I am also a bit touch adverse and get easily over-stimulated. My Husband is an exceedingly touch-feely extrovert. He also has Asperger’s Syndrome. We have learned how to deal with these quirks in each other, so that both of us get our needs for touch and contact met without stomping on the needs of the other person. That means sometimes, I get touched more than I would generally prefer, and sometimes, he doesn’t get as much touch as he feels he needs. That is our price of admission for loving and living with one another. And, if you ask me, it’s worth it, to have him in my life and by my side.
Any relationship there are gives and takes. Wash lives almost an hour away. But time together is worth the drive, so we deal with it. And we text a lot. He also has health issues that change the dynamic of our physical relationship. But that is also something I am willing to work with, because he is worth it to me.
I’ve long since realized the truth of the idea that no one person is perfect for any other one person. We are all a crazy, mixed-up bag of quirks, preferences, habits, and ideas. Poly has been a good fit for me partly because of the way my partners fill needs that the others might not. It makes it easier, sometimes, to pay the price of admission for something. And the way that I love, which is with everything I have, makes it easy to overlook the things that don’t quite match my ideals.
Where I am getting stuck, and something I would love to hear from other people about, if what happens when the price of admission gets too high? What happens when you just can’t stand that issue any longer? What happens when a behavior that was OK at first escalates into something that you can’t live with anymore? What happens when you are doing all the talking, and doing it correctly, and they aren’t listening or responding?
This is something that has been on my mind. What do you do when you are no longer willing to pay that price, and they aren’t willing to negotiate? I don’t give up on people. If I love you once, I love you always. If you are hurting, I hurt. If you are happy, I am happy too.
What happens when the last thing you want to do is give up…. but things just can’t go on the way they are?
I welcome comments on this post. I would like to hear how other people are dealing or have dealt with this touch situation.
“If you have the ability to help other people, then you have the responsibility to help other people.”
And that’s really all I have to say today. Doesn’t matter what you can do, how much or how little. Just do something to help someone today. Even if all you have to give someone is a smile. Give that much. Put some love out into the world. We all need it.
The darling Velah left this on my Facebook this morning.
I’ve had a particularly shiny couple of days. And an unexpected visit with Wash last night which has left me a little giddy and blissed out. I can’t usually go to his place. His girlfriend doesn’t want him entertaining when she is home, and she is a bit of a hermit and never leaves the house. But she was out of town last night, so he texted me and asked if I could come over.
It’s a rare treat to be in a place with no children or in-laws or dogs. They have one, very mellow, nearly non-existent cat. It’s worth the drive across town for the time alone. We could play, and have fun, and make noise, and not bother anyone.
I’m beginning to admit to myself that my experiment in casual sex has failed. I don’t think I’m cut out for it. I can’t have any level of intimacy without loving someone. Neither can Wash…. for many reasons, casual hook-ups are out of the question for him. I’m falling for him, and trying to be very careful here, because I don’t want to screw things up or hurt people. At all. Ever. The girlfriend has some serious, and well-founded, trust issues. She doesn’t want him getting serious about me. I see her as being triggered by the current behavior, even though things are healthy and above-board this time, because in the past certain actions meant a very unhealthy and secretive thing. But I don’t know her well, and I could be reading it wrongly.
So, I’m aglow in the feeling of a new love, but not in a position where I can tell him that in those words, quite yet. I can share it with him by my actions. He tells me he is so glad to have met me, that I have been good for him, and that I am forcing his relationship with his girlfriend into a healthier and more honest place. I am glad for that.
Trying to find where I fit, and trying to remind myself to not force it. Things will fall into place when it is time for them to. Waiting for fullness, like in the Heinlein novel. Something more than a fuck-buddy but not a girlfriend. Friends With Benefits doesn’t seem to cover it – but oh! the benefits! But FWB seems to be where I’m at right now, and I’m content with that. I don’t have to label a relationship for it to be real, I don’t have to justify its existence for it to satisfy me. I can sit back, and enjoy the journey and the companionship, and grow in the connection with another soul.