Excluded

Throughout my life, I’ve felt excluded. To start with, I come from a well off professional family, and I was sent first to prep school, then to be a border at a very nice public school.
Something I’ve only just come to realise is how that has affected me. A problem of going to a private school, quite apart from all your neighbours not going is that the school terms are shorter, and the holidays, therefore longer.
I, therefore, spent lots of my holiday time playing by myself. My parents both worked, (my mother part time) and didn’t have the time to drive me the 15 miles or so to my friends house. Not that I had that many friend’s, as I have always been a bit geeky and shy. I don’t make friends easily.
The result of this is that I’ve always been alone. The outsider. The boy that the girls ask to help with their science homework, but ignore the rest of the time. It’s ok, I guess, I’m used to it now, but I always find large gatherings of people difficult. Parties especially so, though any social gathering where I don’t know many people. I’m too shy and polite to push in (where I’m not wanted), so I end up sitting in a corner, or hovering just outside a conversation.

I’m not quite sure what to do about this.

Separation

It’s something I should be used to, being away from my boy; but sometimes, just sometimes, it seems to bite more than others.

I’d like to be holding his hand, introducing him to people. Letting them see how much he means to me. Even when that is not possible, I’d like to include him in my conversation.

That is currently impossible, in so many circumstances.

The discussion seems to become distant. I become quiet. To each sentence I want to respond “Mat says…”, or “My boyfriend and I…”, or some other reference to someone who may be far away, but is so often in my thoughts. Instead those unsayable sentences echo around my head, and I nurse those thoughts and feelings inside myself.

It certainly makes me appreciate those people with whom I can share. The people who can accept my polyamorous side. Who can understand that Mat and Perrin are both dear to me, and share my life in their own ways. The people who won’t judge me harshly for loving more than once, and sharing honestly.

One day, I may find a way to share that more widely. For now though, it remains largely a secret. Just between you and I.

New Year, Old Friends

After a lovely Christmas with my family, we had arranged to spend the new year with our oldest (and best friends). Its something we’ve been both looking forward to and dreading for some time. Looking forward to, because we hadn’t seen our friends in far too long, and dreading because, though they are our best friends, they knew nothing of our new(ish)ly discovered kink and polyamory.

So it was with much trepidation that we made the journey to their house. We had decided, you see, that we could not go on hiding this side of our lives from them.

Our friends were as lovely as they always are, and fed us a lovely meal, and provided much good wine. It was, much later into the evening (or was it morning by then?) until we could finally summon the courage to admit our new found sexual freedom.

The thing about Real Friends, though, is that they are understanding, both of your personal ups and downs, mistakes, and large surprises, such as coming out as poly.

We are very lucky to have such friends, especially those who we shared the new year with. We should have told them much sooner. Of course they would have understood 🙂

Relationships

So this post on Actuaria’s blog inspired me to dust off something I’d started writing a long while ago and see where it went.

I’ve been thinking about the kinds of relationships that people have; and I can see four distinct kinds.

Firstly there are friends. These are the people you’d want to go over and talk to at a party. You have something in common and enjoy sharing it.

Then there are partners (boyfriend/girlfriend). These are the people you’d take to the party. There’s a level of emotional and practical commitment, expectations on both sides.

Then there are lovers. These are the people you’d have sex with after the party (or during it; it depends on the party). I think this involves more than just kissing, and some level of continuation. One night stands are not a relationship after all.

Then there are confidantes. These are the people you can tell about having sex at the party! These are the people you can trust with anything, who will listen and accept you for who you are.

In the past relationships have generally seemed to grow gradually from friend to partner to lover to confidante. I think I’m happiest with that last stage when someone is both lover and confidante. It is very rewarding in lots of ways. At this point though they usually dump you (perhaps telling them about the sex at the party was a bad idea)!
My relationship with Perrin was quite different. We went from friends to confidantes to lovers to partners. I guess it says something about someone when you can really trust them so early on.

Over the past few months I’ve been privileged to explore some other relationships, which also don’t necessarily follow the standard pattern. I can certainly see places in my life for people who fit into any of the above categories in various combinations and I value them all.

I’ve come to realise though, what is most important to me, is the confidante, someone I can be honest and open with, and who is comfortable being open and honest with me. There is no greater treasure than that.

Relationships and communication

Have we become too used to modern communication?

When I was growing up, you could write to someone, visit them, or phone them. And you couldn’t leave messages on the phone if no one was there. The phone was attached to the wall too (permanently, in our case), so there was no escaping to the privacy or a bedroom.

This meant we all formed our friendships in person. To talk to a friend, you had to arrange a time where you’d either both be near a phone, or meet in person. Everyone would spend time apart from their friends, and really enjoy the times you had with them.

We now have mobile phones, the Internet, email and Twitter. Our friends can follow our actions almost as we make them, whether they be next door, or the other side of the planet. This is a good thing! Rather than being isolated, everyone (with a computer) can express themselves, find like minded individuals, form friendships that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

And yet…

I think maybe I (we?) might have lost something in this. Where is the trust I used to have, that just because I hadn’t seen my friends for a few weeks over the school holidays, we were no longer friends? Just because a friend has not been in contact, does not mean that they are not a friend, just that you need to catch up.

I write this in part because tomorrow I’m going to be visiting a friend who I have known since I was 12. For most of my adult life, she has been living with her partner, and had been married to him for the last 9 years, or so.

You may note the past tense. In the space between my last contact with her, and now, a gap of over a year, her marriage broke down, and they are now divorced.

While you might argue (rightly imho) that I’ve not been a very good friend, a friend I remain – no question about it, despite the many and various gaps in communication that have occurred in the quarter century that I’ve known her.

I would do well to remember this trust, and apply it to my other friendships, online and offline. Friendships are very important, communication is valuable, but it doesn’t have to happen continuously.

ivy