Prompted by @possiblyamory on Twitter:
I’m not as important to my terror of abandonment?
I’m not entirely sure what they meant, but it made me think about my own insecurities around being alone.
You’d think being poly would mean that you’ve always got someone, even if you break up with one person, you’ve probably still got another one or more to spend time with and love. But it doesn’t work like that. Each of my relationships is a seperate discreet thing. I love M and I love S – those loves don’t impinge on each other and I love them each for who they are.
I had a talk with S last night after weekend plans went spectacularly wrong (although with hindsight LARPing in a muddy field in the midst of Storm Katie would have probably been more of a disaster) and I managed to say entirely the wrong things. And I was scared of losing him. Not of losing one person I was dating, but of losing S himself. It didn’t matter that M was across the hallway, and that he was there for me, and I’d still have him, I was terrified I’d lose S.
I have a distinct fear of people leaving me, probably because I have so few close friends – I get twitchy if L ignores me for too long, or people don’t respond to my messages – and because each relationship is just that, a relationship. Poly for me doesn’t mean I just have a bigger pool of love to swim in, it means I have two or more different pools with different temperatures and amenities and the loss of one is heartbreaking even though I still have the other, different, ones.
I don’t think I could do solo poly where there’s no ‘core’ or ‘base’ partner as M is to me – I will admit that having that marriage and commitment there is reassuring – but I am equally committed to S, just in a different way that doesn’t involve legalities and certificates. I wonder if that need for a ‘core’ partner is down to my insecurities and fear of being abandoned and left with no one. It’s an interesting theory, although I wouldn’t say I have ‘core’ friends although my best ones are very close to me and it’s taken a long time and a lot of trust to be as close to some of them as I am. I’d be devastated if I lost one, let alone all of them.
I have actually gone through losing my closest friend when my best friend for many years made the decision that he (most of my close friends are male) couldn’t cope with both my mental breakdown over a bad patch with M and his own problems and for want of a better phrase ‘split up’ with me although there was never anything in that sense between us at all. Looking back, while it tore me apart back then (we’re talking 8 or so years ago now), it was the best thing for him at the time and I don’t blame him for doing so. It has made me wary of losing other friends if I lean on them too much though, but as of yet I haven’t, thankfully.
In some ways I wonder if I prefer poly because it gives me multiple ‘options’ and ‘fallbacks’ if one relationship fails – although I know I’m secondary with S and being primary is not a possibility. If I’m totally honest, I think that’s probably part of the reason, along with just fancying and loving multiple people. I do wonder if someone did an investigation if poly people were more insecure in some ways, even though you have to be very secure in order to open up your relationship without jealousy. It’s an interesting thought, and not an entirely flattering one, but I do really love my partners for themselves primarily and not as a back up plan; although I can’t speak for my subconscious.
Following last night’s chat, I’ve not lost S, thank any listening deities, but he does want some space (and not just from me, which I’m grateful he pointed out as that would have set off other insecurities about what’s wrong with me) and this is going to be one of the hardest things I’ve done. My insecurities want me to poke him, check he’s still there, check he still has feelings for me, check he still wants me, ask when he’ll be back to what passes for normal. And I can’t. I can’t swim in that pool while its ‘under refurbishment’ and I, and others, can just watch it for now, and maybe sneakily dip our toes in when it’s quiet.
Yes, there’s other pools, some deep, some shallow, but they’re not the same, just as good, but different. As long as I have the hope that I can dive back in eventually, I think I can cope. I hope so. I just wish I wasn’t so scared that I might not be able to.