missmaven: MM (Default)
You have the right, without shame, blame or guilt: In all intimate relationships:
  • to be free from coercion, violence and intimidation
  • to choose the level of involvement and intimacy you want
  • to revoke consent to any form of intimacy at any time
  • to be told the truth
  • to say no to requests
  • to hold and express differing points of view
  • to feel all your emotions
  • to feel and communicate your emotions and needs
  • to set boundaries concerning your privacy needs
  • to set clear limits on the obligations you will make
  • to seek balance between what you give to the relationship and what is given back to you
  • to know that your partner will work with you to resolve problems that arise
  • to choose whether you want a monogamous or polyamorous relationship
  • to grow and change
  • to make mistakes
  • to end a relationship
In poly relationships:
  • to decide how many partners you want
  • to choose your own partners
  • to have an equal say with each of your partners in deciding the form your relationship with that partner will take
  • to choose the level of time and investment you will offer to each partner
  • to understand clearly any rules that will apply to your relationship before entering into it
  • to discuss with your partners decisions that affect you
  • to have time alone with each of your partners
  • to enjoy passion and special moments with each of your partners
  • In a poly network:
  • to choose the level of involvement and intimacy you want with your partners’ other partners
  • to be treated with courtesy
  • to seek compromise
  • to have relationships with people, not with relationships
  • to have plans made with your partner be respected; for instance, not changed at the last minute for trivial reasons
  • to be treated as a peer of every other person, not as a subordinate
The Relationship Bill of Rights by Franklin Veaux, More than Two
missmaven: MM (Default)
Separation anxiety happens when an individual experiences anxiety regarding separation from home or from people who they have a strong emotional attachment to (e.g. a parent, caregiver, significant other or siblings).
Separation anxiety is a natural part of the developmental process as infants and toddlers grow and are given more independence.

We often hear about separation anxiety in relation to animals and young children. (e.g. the first time a new mother leaves her baby with a babysitter, a new puppy that whines all night when left in another room, or child that’s shy and nervous on the first day of school)
So why are we talking about this in relation to poly? Just like children grow and becoming more independent from their parents, a person can also grow or branch out in various ways from their partner. This may happen, for instance, when a new couple is just getting into poly and they begin to date and spend time with more than each other, or when a new relationship in an existing poly dynamic takes off.
A small amount of separation anxiety in these situations are normal and to be expected. It’s important for all parties involved to find healthy ways to deal with this stressor.

Below are two examples of encountering separation anxiety in poly relationships.

Example 1 - Jane and Dave )


Example 2 - Kate and John )
missmaven: MM (Default)
Very few of us were fortunate enough to be raised in a loving and supporting poly household. And even for those that were most of the movies they watched, books they read and relationships they saw were examples of how to monogamy.
We don't get a lot of examples on how to poly, so there's a lot of unlearning and learning to do.

When learning new behaviors or concepts you don't just pluck out the old and replace with the new. It's not a switch in the brain.
It's muscle memory (actually more neural pathway) and we have them because it makes life more efficient. I don't have to think through how to make my coffee in the morning or start my car, I've got it down. My brain just auto pilots.

In the same way, you've learned how to survive in a situation that no longer applies. You've developed an ingrained response, and a lot of these are so second nature we don't even realize we have them.
Trying to develop a new, more healthy way to do it is gonna take time and patience. Each time you practice the new, more healthy thought process it becomes a bit easier. Over and over again you have to mentally choose to respond with the new tactic. Until one day it becomes your go-to response. But even then, in times of stress, you're likely to fall back to those old habits.
missmaven: MM (Default)

A prescriptive label is calling something what you want it to be (regardless of if it is) often in the hope to make it that way. 

e.g. Calling her your girlfriend after just one date isn’t gonna make it true, buddy. 

A descriptive label is a term used to describe an already existing dynamic.

e.g. There wasn’t really a day that we started dating, after about six months we just realized that we were. 

Prescriptive labels are ‘wishful thinking’. They’re bad because you’re assigning a value to something that doesn’t exist and asserting a level of pressure on the other person to conform to that ideal.  
Descriptive labels tend to form organically and arise after everyone involved is comfortable using that term. Sometime you just start using them because that's what you are and have been for a while. Sometimes you have a conversation about what everyone's comfortable with and come to a consensus that way. 
Why use a label at all? Labels exist because we use things like words to more efficiently communicate. You know that coffee cup sitting on your desk? Does it really only ever have coffee in it? Do you sometimes use it for water, too? I bet you do. Then why call it a coffee cup? Why use such a limiting label for something that could be used in so many diverse ways. Did you know you can put things like pens in those, too? You can’t even drink pens!
We use a label like “coffee cup” because that descriptor let’s us know what it generically looks like. It’s probably ceramic and has a handle. If I said tea cup you’d have probably envisioned a more demure vessel. Possibly one with a saucer.
Being human beings we understand that it's more efficient to communicate with word despite how imperfect they are. We also understand that labels do not always minutely encapsulate the entirely of an object or idea. We understand it’s simply a word used to communicate a general concept and that that concept is flexible, organic and may vary among different people or cultures. 
missmaven: MM (Default)
Yes. There are people who become entrenched in the identity of being the broken one. In my experience, they are outliers and not the norm. 
More often than not, people do not need another to rob them of their agency and fix their problems for them. Even if you're successful, it can be more damaging and humiliating to have another do that than to continue on struggling to fix your issues on your own. 
Fixing ourselves is how we grow. 
What most people need is the space to sort through their issues on their own and in their own time. Sometimes that space is telling things to someone only to hear ourselves speak, or that just voicing them in itself overcomes the fear that it will make us less lovable.
That being said, it is also not anyone’s responsibility to be the one that holds that space for them. 
I remember specifically, years back, when I was sorting through several of my issues. I routinely hashed out my head meats to my partner. One day he said he was tired of it. He didn’t want to listen to it anymore. Not that he wasn't supportive of my growth, just that he wanted to be able to come home, relax and unwind from a stressful day at work. 
And you know what I did?
I found another support group that was willing to listen to me as I worked through my issues. 
I didn’t get angry at him, I didn’t get resentful or insist that he was failing me because he wasn't willing to listen to me drone on and on. It can be a lot to be the person that quietly holds space for another who is sorting through their pain. 
Everyone has their own limits, their own battles and we need to be respectful of their agency as well.
I think it's the responsibility of the person who's venting to first ask. We've all just opened up and poured out our feelings to a friend because we're so entrenched in our own heads. It happens. 
But, especially for the bigger stuff, it's important to ask first if they've got the bandwidth to listen. 
Some days they don't. Some days they're fighting their own battles and just don't have the energy to back you as you fight yours.
I've had many situations where I've listened, then told them I was at my limit and the next step is to get some distance if they ignore that boundary.
It's sad because you know they're turning to you because they feel a closeness, an intimacy with you. But you can't sacrifice your own sanity and stability to be there for someone. 
You do that then you just have two broken people.
missmaven: MM (Default)
How to Handle a Rumor: The Test of Three

Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you either hear or are about to repeat a rumor.

Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?
Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me something good?
Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me going to be Useful to me?

If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?

Taken from here.

missmaven: MM (Default)
I remember the day my son asked me to replay a song on the radio. When I tried to explain to him that I couldn't, that the radio was much like broadcast TV - live streaming and not on-demand play - I realized he'd never really experienced either radio or broadcast TV. 
I was flabbergasted to realize that most his generation will grow up having largely experienced only instant, on-demand access to things. 
I even find myself frustrated at times when I can't track down a desired movie and have it available at a moments notice. I've become so used to the on-demand access.
Recently Praxx and I were watching Westworld, as it aired. There was something wonderful about the anticipation, the guesswork involved in having to wait and discover what would happen a week later.
This video made several good points about how life has changed in this culture of immediacy.

I want to come back and talk more about this video and some of the points it touches on. 

missmaven: MM (Default)
 I’ve been seeing a lot of comments lately about the aberrant behavior of people. It’s from just a random gathering of conversations and situations, nothing specific. But I have noticed a similar refrain being repeated as a response - They must be mentally ill/unstable/having a breakdown. I hope they get the help they need. 
It’s meant as a compassionate thought. It’s also labeling the action as a one off or outlier of the person’s overall behavior. 
Maybe this person’s just a horrible human being? Maybe they never learned how to treat people with kindness and respect even when they aren’t getting their way or are angry. Maybe this is the type of person that does’t just go off on a store clerk but also goes home and berates their spouse everyday. 
And more than anything what I hear in these comments is silence that this behavior is unacceptable and that the people on the other end of that vitriol in no way deserved to be exposed to it. That THEY are the real victims here. 
At this point I often think back to one of the most personally hurtful and destructive points in my life - my divorce. It was nasty. 
He was nasty. But he had been for years. Behind closed doors he was severely controlling and verbally abusive. And perhaps because of that very abuse I was determined to never project my anger or hurt on someone who does not deserve it. 
And I never did. At no point did I loose my tempter and yell and scream at someone. No matter how much pain and hurt I was in I never chose to lash out at the people that where there for me - because above all I valued them, their love, trust and kindness, their support of me. 
I never lost sight of that.
When we were in meditation, at one point the mediator came back to my room and told me that my soon-to-be-ex was angry - very angry. He’d been yelling and his anger was “palatable” she said. She looked obviously shaken by his display. 
She looked at me after saying this as if it was supposed to motivate me to cave. 
I just looked at her and said, “That’s why I’m doing this, so that I don’t have to be in the same room with him when he’s that angry ever again.”
No amount of pain or anguish in my life makes it okay to abuse a bystander, a loved one or a friend. 
When you make the choice to do so you damage your character, and risk destroying the relationship you have with that person or business. 
We all make mistakes. We all act in a way that isn’t aligned with the person we’d like to be from time to time. It’s important that we apologize and make amends for those transgressions whenever possible. 
Otherwise, people are left to assume we’ve acted well within our comfort zone. 
There are people that believe it is okay to lash out in hurt or anger. That their pain validates their actions. And their wrong. 
They’re just wrong. 
Words and actions live on after the moment of anger has passed. And you can destroy a relationship that took years to build in a single moment by lashing out in anger. The victim of that vitriol is not to blame for rightfully setting a boundary preventing you from ever hurting them that way again. 
There are so many stories I can tell about this. Times I was told it was my fault for causing their anger. That if I only had said this, or done that they wouldn’t have lost control. 
Times I had learned enough to put my foot down and say this behavior is not acceptable and I won’t put up with it in my life - only to be guilted by a loved one that I should be more forgiving. That I was being stubborn and difficult for saying I would not allow someone to continue to abuse me.  
And I’ve hit a point in my life where I don’t care anymore. Judge me all you want. I will set my boundaries on what behavior is acceptable around me. And if you can not conduct yourself in that manner I will no longer allow you in my life. 
And it becomes so simple, once you are sure of that boundary. Once you can see it as unacceptable and draw that line in the sand. It’s simple. 
It can make some social engagements or scheduling tricky. But having those people out of my life makes my life so simple. 
There’s so much less hurt, pain and anguish. The fear of saying the wrong thing when you know saying anything is the wrong thing, and saying nothing is even worse. 
The endless circular conversations that solve nothing and only give them more ammunition to attack you with. 
After my divorce there were times my life felt down right empty - the lack of convolution and confabulation left my life empty. And that’s something people don’t talk about a lot - that when you remove these toxic people they leave a hole. That they have taken up so much of your time and engr. that there is an emptiness when they are gone. it’s a hard thing to work through. Some people go on to fill that emptiness relapsing and going back or finding another similarly toxic person.
At first I frantically filled it with hobbies and doubling down with work. But eventually, over time it leveled out and now I’m just me. 
I’m busy as hell. Between my work, kiddo, kiddo’s school and trying to fit in a social life I don’t have any time to spare. I often get frustrated that I can’t find any down time, or time to focus on myself. 
The point is once again my life is full. But it’s full of better things. So many better things. 
Inevitably one of those toxic people reappear, or a new one shows up in my life and I have to reaffirm that boundary. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard. It’s not a fix-it and forget it situation. It’s an ongoing lifestyle. 
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