Communication Breakdown

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I’ve been doing a lot of reading about polyamory and it is a whole new language and set of concepts: unicorns, triads, polyfidelity… Whatever a thing is, it’ll be labelled and categorised.

The key concept that repeatedly comes up is communication. That’s no surprise, any relationship needs this at its core, in a form that works for whoever is involved.

TSH and I do communicate and over-communicate and whilst not always in the same language, it is one of our strengths. When we don’t talk, we know there’s barriers or one of us is holding back and it’s not comfortable for either of us. Recently I have had barriers. Because TSH is still working my poly out, I’ve not felt able to talk to him about some things. I’ve not wanted to overload or overwhelm him or give him reason to say no. And I’ve certainly not been able to talk to anyone else about it, as I don’t know anyone that closely who’ll give me a safe non-judgemental space.

FLG and I have talked about communication and agreed that it’s important but we both forgot to do it this week, when it really mattered. Everything to date has been easy and straightforward, other than when my head spins out of control and he reassures me. So we’ve not had to think too hard or plan too much. However, between us, we’re away for twelve consecutive days.

Previously, we’ve agreed to have a video call once a week, but last week got away with us and by the time we realised and I reminded him, he wasn’t sure we could manage it, but would let me know. Only he didn’t. And then once he was away, I knew he’d message less but he saw some of my messages and never replied at all. Going from consistent messaging to that felt like a drop.

And I have said to him that it feels like I’m pushing things forward all the time and that if I don’t he’ll disappear. I know this isn’t true but it’s still the way I feel and it doesn’t feel altogther comfortable. If I let it, that’s when my head starts spinning. He’s really busy with a work project that’s consuming all of his thinking and time but equally, I do wonder how much of it is him being busy and how much is him. I guess time will tell…

I don’t think it would have felt like a drop the other night if I hadn’t have had such a shit day. A close family member who’s normally queen of passive-agressive went from that into full-on agressive, gas-lighting bitch mode. I knew what their pattern of behaviour was going to be and even correctly guessed at some of the words and concepts they threw at me but they still took it to a whole new level that left me reeling. Despite my best efforts, I ended up with my headphones on, listening to loud angry music that blocked out the world and my brain. I literally went and rocked in the corner.

So things that normally aren’t such a big deal suddenly flared into big things. Why didn’t he video call? Or return my messages? Perhaps I really was as awful as I’d been told.

When I’m knocked sideways like this, it’s a weird thing. On the one hand, my brain sees the situation for what it actually is but I have a really bad emotional response. And living this conflict is knackering. Consistency in things really helps; if I know boundaries and expectations, it takes the pressure off. Without knowing them, I flounder, second-guess, overthink and start believing in the worst.

I know it’s why I look for some kind of (D/s) dynamic – I need the reassurance and the guidance to keep my head under control. Having an external perspective really does help. And when I am struggling, having someone there who voluntarily takes some of that pressure off is amazing.

I think what this post really is about is that it’s easy to talk about communicating, but actually doing it is sometimes a lot harder and easy to get wrong. These last few days, though pretty dire, have helped me work a lot of stuff out about how and why I react the way I do and what I need in terms of self-care and care from others.

It’s the culmination of about six weeks for me, where I’ve headed further and further away from who I am. Feeling overwhelmed with decisions I haven’t wanted to make, not being authentically me. On Friday, I got some St. John’s Wort and started taking it. It’s the lowest possible standardised dose and if I feel better for it in a week or so, I’m hoping to feel more me and get some of my bounce back.

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