So much has been missing from my life for the last 19 years, that i’m hard pressed to write a full and complete list.
Big things: Affection. Warmth. Love. Passion.
Smaller but no less significant things: Being listened to. Being appreciated. Being considered. Having what I say; my opinions, thoughts and feelings, taken into consideration.
The big things you hit the mark. Bang on. Moreover, you charmed me into falling head over heels for you. Encouraged it even.
You showed me I was special. That in and amongst all the others — and frankly, my dear, there are literally too many to count — I was special to you. Unique. Unparralleled — or at least close.
That was sweet. Flattering. In my heart, I knew it wouldn’t last, because it never does. For all of the above, read NRE. Yes, I know I’m still special to you. Just no longer as special as once I was. I came to terms with that, difficult though it was, and made my peace. Poly is, after all, a team sport, so I couldn’t expect to continue to be pedestalized as I was initially. You know, when I occupied the hallowed ground of *your new toy*. It was a wonderful three weeks, and then the glow faded, and the day-to-day kicked back in. I got it, I accepted it, and I moved on. It was still you and me, (and me and my others, and you and your others) which was enough.
Inevitably, others have come to occupy said hallowed ground. Not always easy initially, stabs of the knee-jerk envy that I abhor abound until i can tame and neutralize it. Not that you notice. You breeze along, as careless and thoughtless as ever, ploughing through peoples’ lives, thinking nothing of whom you knock down and trample along the way. Less poly – which requires more than adequate communication — and more greedy. Must find. Must see. Must touch. Must have. Days — weeks even — of unparralleled excitement… and then the bloom fades from the rose, and it’s on to the next one.
All of this I accept. I shouldn’t. I should demand a level of communication of which I am worthy. But with this, I am also realistic. Setting expectations where they should be is essential for my sanity. So I temper them to what I can expect and move blithely on. Because the bottom line is that I’d rather have some of you than none.
Except for the one tiny little thing that I cannot overlook. You know my situation, but I feel that despite your super-intelligent level of thought and rationale, you manage to miss one small-but-super-significant issue. The list of smaller but no less… things, as detailed above — primarily appreciation and consideration. When a person does something for you, learn to show appreciation. If you want to make a change to the thing, have a care for the fact that when you blithely turn the whole thing on its head, the message you are sending is “I don’t care that you made an effort for me. Your effort is not appreciated. Ergo, neither are you.”
I’ve had that message sent to me loud and clear for 19 years. Enough. No more. As near-impossible as it seems to me, I have to draw a line here. It’s not rocket science. Treat people like shit, and they have two options: to reject such an approach out of hand, or to enable it and suffer.
I’m done suffering. I will no longer enable behaviour that hurts me.
I’m worth more than that.