Driving home from a partner’s house recently, I relished the ability my brain has to work through things while I’m traveling. At the time, one of the things I was dealing with was remnants of jealousy and insecurity regarding a metamour. My brain kept eating me alive and I did everything I could think of to deal with it up until that point: smile through it, put it aside, pack it up, ignore it, poke it gently with a stick, kick it in the neck. Y’know, the usual.
But when I get in a car or on a train and there’s a long trip or, at the very least, 30 minutes or more on a highway, I go into parsing mode. Meeting things head on, feeling my way through them, exploring ways to actually deal with them rather than constantly pushing myself into survival mode.
And a nifty thing happened while I was letting my brain ramble and unwind. It went something like this:
Anxious, scared brain: This metamour is younger and into things you’re not.
Suddenly, another voice joins in, soft but solid, of a new friend with whom I had been marveling recently about all the good/interesting things that were happening in our lives that we never expected to. The phrase they used was “and yet.” Two simple words to ground you and bring you back to the fact that those good things were happening.
So my anxious, scared brain goes: This metamour is younger and into things you’re not.
Soft, solid voice answers: And yet, your partner still wants you, too.
Anxious, scared brain goes into tizzy and tries to hurl something scarier at this new voice: Yeah, well, that metamour is closer geographically than I am.
Soft, solid voice replies again: And yet, your partner still wants you.
Anxious, scared voice is freaking the fuck out, thinking it’s about to be put out of a job and goes for broke: This metamour is thinner, and more attractive, sees your partner more and your partner wants said metamour more than you.
Soft, solid voice bitch-slaps back with a simple: And yet. It doesn’t matter, ultimately, about “more” or “less”. Bottom line. No getting around it. It may’ve taken some time but there is a part of you that knows this to be true now. Your partner finds you attractive and still wants you.
Anxious, scared brain will not be defeated and decides to go for completely batshit low blow and shouts: YOUR PARTNER IS GOING TO LEAVE YOU FOR METAMOUR. YEAH! “AND YET” THAT, MOTHERFUCKER.
Soft, solid voice smiles and says completely calmly: And yet. My partner has not left me yet. Our relationship isn’t based on a relationship escalator, and while I would love for it to go on for a long time, the success of it is not measured in longevity. It’s measured in, to quote Rent, love. You know poly means that your partner can care about, play with, date, have sex with, love, be with, whatever-the-fuck-you-wanna-call-it with other people and it does not mean you’re getting left behind. They are NOT mutually exclusive. They coexist. You coexist. You wrote a fucking piece about it here and everything! Your partners care about you for you and their other partners for who they are and the wondrous variety of it all is what makes it so goddamned beautiful and awesome now shut the fuck up and let’s sing some showtunes!!!
Wow. That soft, solid voice apparently grabbed a megaphone and some spirit somewhere along the highway because, daaaaammmmn. Anxious, scared brain walked away in a huff, promising to come back with better ammunition. I turned on Hamilton and sang along to “That Would Be Enough”.
About a half an hour later, anxious, scared brain gets back online and wants to go again.
ASB: You know that new person you like? There’s no way they could like you, too.
SSV: And yet. Have you talked to them about it? Have you asked how they felt? Do you know that for certain?
ASB: No…but…screams and stomps off I WILL FIND SOMETHING!
SSV: And yet. I will likely refute it.
I sing more Hamilton. Put on some Fleetwood Mac because I’m suddenly feeling more mellow and relaxed. Replay some of the happier moments from my time with my partner. Just about then, that jackass ASB struts up.
ASB: You’re a terrible submissive. You can’t be a director and a /s and a switch. They don’t go together. What’s wrong with you?
(Wow. What a smug asshole my brain can be sometimes. What the fuck? C’mon, SSV, don’t fail me now…)
SSV: And yet. I am all those things. At different times. With different people and situations.
ASB: You’re not submissive enough for your Sir. You’re not good enough. You’re too old and out of practice.
SSV: And yet. Sir says he is pleased by me more often than not and when he’s not, corrects and/or punishes me to his liking accordingly. It is not my job to second guess what he says he is pleased by. It is my job to trust his word and actions.
ASB: People won’t respect you for being a switch, especially in public.
SSV: And yet. I played in public on the right side of the slash in a place where I was in charge of a portion of the event recently and have so far seen no diminishing respect from colleagues, friends, partners, or anyone else. If anything, I’ve gotten many compliments on how happy I was that day as I went (what felt like) fairly seamlessly from the right side of the slash to the left as appropriate to the scenes I was having.
ASB, muttering under its breath: Fuck you and the “and yet” you rode in on…
SSV: And yet…that sounds like fun.
ASB explodes in a POOF
So. For the rest of the car ride, I just kept throwing “and yet” at all the insecurities that popped up and lo and behold, it’s been slamming them down right and left. I’ve even done some kneeling meditations on it and it’s held up strong. I don’t expect it to combat everything…
And yet I’m glad for what it’s doing right now.