Cheers Sexy People!
I have missed you and am happy to be sharing with you again here. Unfortunately, what I have to share starts with telling you that I just had the worst “coming out” experience of my life. It is frustrating that even with all of my research, pondering, preparation and work that I do to try to act ethically and compassionately while living an (untraditional) authentic life, shit can still go horribly, horribly wrong. I’m not going to get into any details in this post, partly because the outcome is still unknown. But suffice it to say that I was not prepared to “come out” as polyamorous to anyone this weekend (my hand was forced), and it ended with one of my guests (a new friend) crying at my husband’s birthday party shortly after the revelation. Woah! Undo, UNDO! How do we undo this?!? Oh right, we can’t. It’s done. I fear the friendship is now irrevocably damaged, but I don’t yet know, because there is no response to my text or my email (heavy sigh). Please send some good karma my way in the hopes that this friendship can still be salvaged.
I’m doing my best to not allow this experience to fill me with shame or guilt for my chosen lifestyle, or have me regret my decisions about who I tell or my choice to not announce my alternative lifestyle upon first meeting someone. I am not brave enough to wear an “I am polyamorous” shirt around everywhere I go – not in today’s world anyway. There is a balance between privacy and openness that I am still trying to navigate and figure out where the “line” is. Where does your personal life end and your “I need to wear my freak flag now” begin? And when is the best time to “come out” to someone? I can tell you from first-hand experience – it’s NOT at your husband’s birthday party, and NOT when you are not prepared to do so. We certainly can’t predict or control what other people will do or think…
If you choose to live an alternative lifestyle, you better damn well work on your self-confidence and your self-esteem so that when the shit hits the fan (and it will), and people are possibly judging you or are upset with you for the choices or decisions you make, you can still stand in your power, and be who you are, and be proud of yourself.
There are also moments in your life where you will need to forgive yourself…
Kitty, this is one of them. You did your best. Overall, the party was a success. And one of the two people who had this revelation made to them is totally cool with it. That’s a 50% success rate for the day! Hooray!
In an effort to sort through my thoughts and feelings about this debacle, I started reading Lessons in Love and Life to my Younger Self by Louisa Leontiades. I am halfway through the book, and all I can say so far is WOW! This book is utterly fantastic, and exactly what I needed to read. It’s also trippy because it almost feels like I wrote the book in the future to MY younger self of today. Louisa and I have had many of the exact same experiences, revelations and struggles in our respective lives and polyamorous journeys. I am so proud to call her a friend of mine. Louisa, you just rock, girl!
I’ll share a few nuggets of wisdom that really resonated with me in regards to this weekend’s events:
No matter what you think you’ve done, lose the shame. It’s the product of internalizing other’s people’s judgements.
If you feel rejection for your choices, the answer is not to choose something ‘more acceptable’. The answer is to work enough on your self-esteem until you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that your choices are the right ones for you.
Practice makes perfect, and this holds true of hope. Practising hope means you can carry on even when the world seems to be crashing around you.
All people have the right to be treated with compassion and care, regardless of the type of relationship they are in or the longevity of their relationship.
You no longer fear rejection, and even when it happens, you know that honesty is your best policy. With it you have grown to realise the power of your own voice. Your messages cross cultures far more easily, you are empowered and, more importantly still, you empower others. Live to dream!
Passive communication might make you more acceptable to society, but it can damage your sense of self and destroy your relationships. Try wherever possible to say exactly what you mean, but always temper your words with compassion.
Pain signals new life and new understanding. The more you embrace pain, the less you will suffer.
Well, here’s me embracing pain. Thank you, pain. Welcome back. You suck, by the way, but I welcome you anyway – because I choose to live in the world of reality, and not suppress this shit. I have learned that when you suppress shit, it oozes out sideways when you least suspect it. And that’s just EW!!!!!! (sorry for the graphic, but it gets the message across, doesn’t it? Today is not a roses and butterflies day.)
I am now going to go for a run, and work out some of this angst. Feel free to comment on anything here, offer gems of wisdom or share your own experiences with coming out. And please click any of the links here and order Louisa’s awesome book! It’s a fantastic and worthwhile read. More on that after I finish it.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)