There have always been at least two people in my romantic desire field, and sometimes as many as six. But everyone I’ve ever been in a relationship with before now (all of my previous relationships have been very monogamous) has been staunchly anti-polymory, and treated my feelings about it very unkindly. Being now, at last, in two relationships with people who are themselves poly, something just became obvious.
It has literally only just occurred to me that this “stay hidden or be chidden” experience of being polyamorous was just as much a contributor to my PTSS as transphobia and homophobia (and the abuse and bullying stuff) have been.
This is the first time in my life that I’m able to be fully “out” as being in love with more than one person, and to act on it, and to have them respond back wholeheartedly the same way, and it be accepted and rejoiced in by all of us – and I can tell I’m still wary and flinching, expecting anger and punishment for something that’s entirely normal and has always been a part of my experience. Again.
I name this tormentor: polyphobia. I have had partners in the past literally declare me mentally unwell for just having feelings for other people as well as them (even though I never acted on those feelings, having agreed/resigned to monogamy). The relief at being with people who just empathise with and affirm this experience brings up both joy and sorrow.
What a thing.
It’s reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago, which I think I already posted here at some point – but I’m going to do so again. This is for all of us who have been made to fear our true selves. We may look, and love, at last.
So there’s the great ocean there
And one day, you glance out
Out beyond the land
And you know something bad is coming
Gulls start from the waters, yarring
Bubbles and things rise, float
Stillish seas no longer still
Disturbed sun shatters in sparkles
Long ago foretold, long feared
Rising from the very roots
Finally you glimpse it
Dark vast shape surging
Inescapable through the depths
The ocean dances and bows to it
And it breaks through the surface
And it looks at you
And looking into its eyes
You see your scared reflection
And then with fine cloth, and your warm breath
You gently begin to polish it