So, here’s something horrible my brain did to me.
I was talking with my girlfriend the other day. She’s been going through a lot lately: moving house, family stuff, stress all around. Our schedules haven’t matched up lately, so we haven’t been able to get that much time together. It sucks missing her so much, but those moments that we do get together are super bright and wonderful. And I know that this is a temporary arrangement, and eventually we’ll be able to see each other more often.
I was checking in with her, making sure that she was feeling supported and loved while all of this was happening. I was trying to tell her that I understood if she needed some extra time for herself, to be able to relax or see her husband, or just kind of not feel stressed out about having to see me. This is what I wanted get across, so she would know that I understood what was going on for her, and that I wanted to be there for her in whatever way that I could.
Instead, what I said was that I didn’t want to come between her and “real life”. Those words were barely even out of my mouth before I was shocked and appalled that I could even say such a thing.
I immediately apologized, and she was much more understanding than I was. She said that a lot of the time we spend together is in this cuddly space, and that we’re not ever really dealing with everyday issues like paying the bills or running errands. She took it in stride.
I was the one that was offended. Because my relationships are all super-real to me. I was saying to Jamie the other day that I was glad that our relationship had “relationship permanence”: even when it’s out of sight, and we’re not in the same space as each other, we are constantly thinking of each other and wanting to communicate. And I do that with everyone that I am with. The idea that my brain had tried to insinuate that these relationships were somehow not “real” was horrific to think about.
I’m afraid that this thought came from social indoctrination. That this is monogamous culture not taking my other relationships seriously. That this is polynormativity treating a relationship that’s not with my wife as disposable and fanciful. And that this is all rattling around somewhere in my head, and I managed to have it come out right then. I want to crawl into my head with a flamethrower and burn that bullshit right out of there.
I mean, fighting these ideas is part of the reason I started writing in this blog. It is the reason that I want to do more activism, and raise poly awareness. It is the reason that I have so much patience answering newbie questions at meetups. It is part of the reason that I want to come out of the closet more fully, so that I can be an example of how this exact thought process is crap, and needs to be evaluated.
I hope this was an aberration. But I’m going to keep a closer eye on how I think about these things for a little while.