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Mark Atwood
"Love stinks"
In the fall of 2007, I met the most amazing woman.

A few months later, I realized I had fallen in love with her. She was the first person I have ever really fallen in love with.

We went on trips and adventures together. We spent huge amounts of our time together. My fear was evaporating like puddles in sunlight. I was so happy. I thought she was so happy.

I told her that I loved her. She said she loved me.

More months passed.

Late in the summer, she felt "disconnected" with me.

She emotionally withdrew, but kept sending mixed signals, and we still spent time together.

I was confused, and fearful, and fumblingly tried to make things better, but they kept getting worse.

This past winter holiday season, she suddenly replaced me with half a dozen shiny new lovers.

And I finally got her to talk about it, but only a little bit. She said she thought I had "figured it out" months ago, and thus didn't think we had needed to talk about it.

And a lot of assorted additional "poly drama" happened. I was deceived and "handled", considered only so far as was I able to hurt them or drama their other "loves", and then dismissed as, at best, an annoying embarrassment to be pointedly and publicly ignored.

The first two months of this year, I felt more pain than I have ever felt ever before in my entire life, and it lasted for weeks on end.

With the help of therapy, talking with my family, and the help of the few wonderful friends I have found that I can trust, and because I have a dream job that does inspire me, I've been getting better. A little better each week.

The sage who said "It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all"... I still think that is utterly full of shit. It's just survivor selection, that the human mind is designed to have the memory of pain fade over time.

"Emotional Intelligence" and "Open Conversation about Relationships" have never been my strong points. They are, in fact, someplace where I've been pretty weak. And so the first time I fall in love, it is with someone even worse at it than I am. Fate has a sick sick sense of humor, no?
17 comments or Leave a comment
awfief From: awfief Date: March 23rd, 2009 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)

ooh, assumptions!

She said she thought I had "figured it out" months ago, and thus didn't think we had needed to talk about it.

Wow, that's a pretty lame excuse.
puzzld1 From: puzzld1 Date: March 23rd, 2009 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
The icon says it all. Empathy and hugs
docorion From: docorion Date: March 23rd, 2009 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
"didn't think we had needed to talk about it."

Well, I would be very scornful of this...had I not done the same thing, over and over, until I learned that it Doesn't Work™.

Which doesn't make it right, but...I am now better at it. Not yet 'good', I suspect, but better.

Suck. I'm sorry to hear about this. Hope you're feeling better, and more better soon.
dip_thong From: dip_thong Date: March 23rd, 2009 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Generally when someone does something I've also done and hated myself for, I go ahead and scorn them, and declare myself to clearly be more of an expert at x shitty thing than they are since I've done it myself.

And that, folks, is how you turn a sordid past into solid gold social hacking credentials!
lishablog From: lishablog Date: March 23rd, 2009 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
((hugs)) sorry about the ick. And yeah, I think I kinda agree with you on the whole "better to have loved and lost" thing. And yet... I still find myself wanting the love part.

If they prohibit heroine for its addictive properties and the way it destroys lives, why haven't they prohibited love?
chaosdancer From: chaosdancer Date: March 23rd, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I still believe that "loved and lost" thing, though I doubt it every time I go through shit like that. Sometimes it takes a long time to start believing it again. Sometimes it takes years. But when I start being able to remember the good stuff without being knocked breathless by the pain of the bad, then it seems true again. Probably it is just brain architecture, but then so is everything else, so it's no more nor less true than any other perception of the senses.

I'm sorry this happened to you. I think there's a reason stuff like this usually catches us when we're teenagers; it's got to be a lot harder to have first times when we're adults and are deeper in every sense of the word, including our capacity to feel pain. I've known quite a lot of guys who have gone through this in their thirties - goes with the SF fandom territory, I think. It's always hard but that's *really* hard, and not everyone makes it out alive - I've talked more than one person down from up on a chair with a rope around his neck. I'm glad you have enough faith in the world to still be here, though, and I mean that even though I don't know you personally. We would have all been diminished by your loss.

It really does get better, and I'm glad you've got good friends, therapy and a good job. I hope there is a next time, and that it's a really happy one.
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: March 24th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I was very nearly that bad off, the "chair and the rope", tho a bit more bloody minded. Main thing really stopping me was that I couldn't do that to my family right before my birthday, and then later also because it was the cowards way out and I had so much still to do.

Thanks for the good wishes.
amythis From: amythis Date: March 23rd, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Mark, I don't know what to say. But hugs of course. And I'm glad you're healing.
silona From: silona Date: March 23rd, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
sorry hon... big hugs when we have tea this week.

I have to admit in most cases I am happy to have loved and lost... but not all.

I guess w many most of those people I still love them in some form...

but there have been two that I regret w all my being having been with but i have found - that they never did actually love me. While the others it was real just didn't fit right.

But I am fortunate in love.
mauser From: mauser Date: March 23rd, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know you believe in Poly, so this is the only time I'm going to criticize it.

There's an expression "A man with a watch knows what time it is, a man with two watches is never sure." Substitute Lover for watch and love for time, and I think there's some more wisdom to be had.

As I said, I hate to be critical of your lifestyle, but from my perspective, most of the folks I've seen in it are actually very insecure in their relationships. They call it Poly, but in reality, they are defending themselves from both commitment and loss. They're less serious about relationships, because they have other lovers to go to, and less worried about the inevitable failure of those relationships for the same reason, even though that is the cause of that failure. They seem to be on a never-ending quest to start the next relationship as a hedge against the loss of the current one. Or maybe it's the thrill of a new love that overshadows the connection of an established one.

And this is always in conflict with the desire that everyone has to be loved forever. With every relationship doomed to be temporary, they are always troubled by a background feeling of emptiness and disappointment.

There are a very few people who can make it work, who really and truly are "Polyamorous", but they are a nearly invisible minority, and they are far fewer in number than the people who think they are like that. They are outnumbered by either cynics, or the insecure, and a lot of good people get caught and ground up and spat out between them.
intrepid_reason From: intrepid_reason Date: March 24th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow! You stated my thoughts on poly so clearly. I am shocked. I really thought I was alone in my opinions.
mauser From: mauser Date: March 24th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's part of the version of Political Correctness you find in the alternate sexuality scene. When I was first getting involved, I bought into it, but over time, the veil has lifted from my eyes. Being a Monogamous Het White Male Dom, and without any piercings or tattoos, you get dumped on by the "Tolerant" enough that it's hard NOT to get disillusioned. (And when Politics comes in, not being far-left Liberal, it gets even worse. To them a Libertarian is just as bad as Pat Buchanan.)

What's funny is that I echoed this comment on the journal page on FetLife, and got a similar reaction to yours, and some compliments on my courage for saying it. That anyone thinks this is courageous is merely proof of the peer pressure in the community for conforming thought.
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: March 24th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
What's your ID on fetlife?
mauser From: mauser Date: March 24th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mauser (Kind of a gimmie there....). I've got that listed on my Contact LJ entry.
intrepid_reason From: intrepid_reason Date: March 24th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Being a Heteroflexible/ White/ Female/ Toppy Switch/ Militant Agnostic/ Secular Humanist, who has a fence pole firmly planted in her ass with Libertarian Leanings isn't any easier. I try to avoid labels though. ;)
mauser From: mauser Date: March 25th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but they sure do seem to come up with a lot of them. That's something I see a lot in discussion on FetLife as people try to shave the labels finer and finer.
hearts_treasure From: hearts_treasure Date: March 25th, 2009 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
We are praying for you and will put your name in the temple. Hope you know we love and miss you! Hope your heart heals quickly and loves again.
17 comments or Leave a comment