A poly Journal Entry
I’ve been in various poly relationships for the last 25+ years. I make it a rule to always try to be as honest and open as I can and I try to be honest with myself and do hard work to get to know people before I start letting that dynamic fuck with my long term relationships. That’s one of my personal rules, and always has been. I’d never fuck up my relationship just because I was physically attracted to someone. There would have to be a real future.
Several years ago, B and our group of friends went to see Turquoise Jeep. His friend, J, happened to be at the concert, and he was visiting home from Korea where he was stationed.
J and I hit it off, in a very fast way, we had a lot of similar interests regarding things like beer, philosophy and music. I decided to ask B if it was okay if I pursued J and saw if things could be something and he said ok.
I talked to J and he seemed all in. I think that B and J talked too.
Over the next few months, we got to know each other, chatting regularly, and eventually, B decided that we should visit Korea, and I agreed. This was when I was still dealing with really serious PTSD and leaving the house for a trip anywhere, much less overseas was really hard for me. I spent most of the trip panicking or crying.
During that time I figured that I would maybe go on a ‘get to know you better’ date with J, and we discussed that as well. When we got to Korea, things were discombobulated the first night or so (separate thing) and our clothes didn’t get in until the next day at the airport. It was too frantic to chat. The next night when we were settled, I messaged J to see when a good day would be to hang out.
He basically turned me down flat.
Said that he wasn’t comfortable with the situation. I was pretty floored, considering not getting any kind of feedback like this prior to visiting. We had gotten to know each other, had intimate conversations/etc.
I didn’t expect some crazy grand love story, rather just to spend some time talking to him in person, maybe listening to some music, just getting to know him one on one. My concern was doubled as I had gained some weight and I thought maybe he just thought I was ugly/fat now and decided that when he saw me. He never really explained anything after this and just went cold when I tried to talk to him. I’ve never had anyone treat me like that.
Anyway, he really hurt my feelings, and B helped me chill out and make something of the rest of our trip. The rest of that trip anywhere near J was horrific and I didn’t want to spend any time with him because I’d basically had the rug pulled out from under me and I felt sick. It exacerbated my anxiety and I barely remember anything.
I felt used and like I was some kind of joke. Looking back at our conversations, I think he was probably bored in Korea, and talking to me was, was for lack of a better word…easy.
The next time I saw J, he was in our house around the holidays, possibly B’s birthday, but it had not been that long since the Korea stuff.
He went out of his way to flirt with and cuddle with a girl I didn’t know in front of me. As it turned out, this girl, P, was good friends with B.
Later on possibly that same year, B asked me if it was okay to date P and I turned him down flat. She smoked and I’m allergic. Deadly allergic. I was a little angry that he asked me to date her, even at that time.
I was also uncomfortable because my assumption was that J told P about he and I, and them being in my face (to the point I ended up hiding in the bedroom the rest of the night with my friend, during a party in my own home) seemed VERY purposeful. My friend was mad for me, asking why I even let J in the house after what he did, much less how he was acting. I said that he’s still B’s friend even if he was a complete piece of shit to me.
So cut to a couple weeks ago. P, who doesn’t really talk to B all that much, and has not been a part of our lives, asks him to lunch, and they have lunch, and then they go to her place.
B comes home super late (without checking in) and I know something is up, but I figured hey, whatever he’ll just tell me if he’s going to tell me.
Cut to 2 days later. B asks me if he can pursue this girl. I reminded him that I wasn’t okay with it before, why would I be okay with it now??? He tells me that she came on to him and it caught him off guard, but specifically that she ‘expressed interest’ and that he shut it down.
We talk a bit and then I eventually decided to let him see her and we talked about the fact that he really doesn’t know her. Despite that, I felt like I was being unfair to her and that I would be okay with it but they needed to get to know each other.
Does she want to get to know him? Is this a fling? Does she want to be a part of our lives? How does she even know we are poly? Did she know? Did she think he was cheating? I certainly don’t talk to her and I doubt B has mentioned it (as of everyone I know, I’m the only person who talks about all this stuff), then I thought- Must have been J. I don’t know that he told her what happened with me, but the timing of them making out in my face was…suspect.
During this time, I had a lot of good, deep talks with B. Talks we probably needed to have anyway, but I also got this really sinking feeling that something was off.
2 days later
B and I are chatting about the situation more and some other personal stuff, and I told him about how I had to break it off with my old boyfriend D, cause I caught him smoking (he’d been making me sick), and B tells me he just realized that P still smokes and did so while he was at her house (odd that it’s coming up now) and I had to remind B that smoking is my hard limit and there’s no way that I could have him dating someone who smokes. He said that he also didn’t want that, and remembered that his ex wife smoked and what that was like (specifically them kissing, this is important later).
Then came the guilt.
I started hardcore kicking myself because I couldn’t help the situation. Not only do I get trauma and anxiety triggered by my PTSD around the smell of smoke, but I also get incredibly sick, to the point I can’t even have people hang their smoky coats near mine. I get sinus infections, bronchitis, laryngitis and then pneumonia. I had to leave my band over it, and I have scar tissue in my vocal chords from it. My doctor said I have to stay away.
I felt like a villain because I was keeping B from being able to see this girl for something I couldn’t help, and also the whole time I was nervous cause they just didn’t know each other and ANY kind of intimacy felt super rushed to the point that I was even uncomfortable with him going over there that first time and him insinuating that there was flirting and that they expressed interest in each other.
All of this time, B did not tell me that it wasn’t just flirting and expression of interest. There had been at least a kiss.
He’d been leaving it out for fear of (rightfully) pissing me off, but my decision in the beginning to be okay with her wasn’t based on the truth, it’s based on how B wished it had gone.
I basically pried this out of him when he’d gone to talk to her and it seemed like she took it worse than I thought she would. It was at that point it must have gone further than just flirting.
I asked point blank if they kissed, and he told me about the kiss(ing?). He said it didn’t go any further than that.
I’ve been hurting and I’m starting to heal, but I wanted to get this out, because I’ve been treating her unfairly based on the shit with J for years, but those are also my only interactions with her, because she’s not been in our life. I also think she should probably know what happened there, and we have talked, but she can’t have any idea how this shit has affected me or us.
It’s going to be hard for me to trust B right now. I know that he wanted to fix things and he got caught up, but leaving out the fact that he kissed her AND potentially could have made me sick just makes me feel like pure worthless garbage. Having anyone lie to me or omit truth is basically the way to make me lose it. I do pretty well most of the time, but it’s a major trigger after having someone manipulate and gaslight me for years while they took advantage of my agoraphobia.
Meanwhile, we hurt her in the process. This makes me feel guilty as well. She didn’t know our boundaries, because B didn’t express them to her before he let it go too far.
I have issues with trauma and not remembering the details of things, so I wanted to get this down. I’ve been lied to and used for most of my life, by most of the people I know.
I don’t want that, and I know that radical honesty and openness is hard, but I just can not do it other ways. This post is for me and also for her.
I’m sorry, P.