Erfalaswen, FoxyJonno, Jellicle Cat, Man of Taste, Mother-In-Law, My Gentleman Friend, Princess Lex and a number of others will probably have previous conversations with me referenced.
Someone used the phrase ‘brutal honesty between friends’ the other day. Someone else voiced an opinion that until you’ve got the ability to do a monogamous relationship down you shouldn’t even attempt a poly one. I definately don’t agree with that one as it stands, because the reason I stopped doing relationships was my inability to do monogamy happily and successfully (and that
eventually led to the Jellicle Cat and I starting our relationship on polyamorous terms). However the person in question was talking about the fact that you need really good communication in order to do poly. That takes me right back to a remark made in a Pagan Soc meeting a few weeks ago, the notion among some people in monogamous relationships that ‘poly people are bigger on telling the truth than if you’re in a normal relationship’.
Gods thats awful.
See, I have no real filter when it comes to a lot of things. I have concepts of public and private that don’t gel with the other people around me. So it does weird me out at times that people seem to like telling me things. Because surely they’ve observed that I just talk and half the time inopportune things come out of my mouth that are none of my damn business and I’m just shoving my own conception on things. Yet for years now I’ve been ‘Aunty Mish’ to too many people. No, not too many, because I do like that people are comfortable enough with me to talk to me. But I worry that I’m going to end up telling people things I shouldn’t, worse is when I write and I find that the previous conversation has come out in verse when I really hadn’t meant it to.
(Yes, sometimes I do put things down in poem or fiction from conversations that I’ve had with people, from situations that I’ve observed but the point is, when I do it deliberately I fictionalise it – I fantasize that things are going this way whereas in real life it’s obvious that they are going that way.)
The trust that people put in me by friends, lovers, complete strangers sometimes and everyone who comes everywhere in between and around those neat little labels, has me panicked to death sometimes. I know that I often fail when I’m trusted, usually it’s in the worst way, ie. that I betray a trust because of my inability to label as ‘appropriate’ and ‘public’ and ‘private’ in the way that everyone else does. (To me that seems a worse way to betray a trust than to deliberately go against someones trust…maybe.)
At least if people put things to me in the context of a tarot reading I can put them into the professional quarter of my brain which doesn’t plug into the ‘gossip’ centre.
This does have relevance to something other than my own insecurities, my point is that relationships require trust. Usually trust has to be built over years though I have found that it can almost occur spontaneously in certain situations or contexts. ‘Brutal honesty between friends’ is all very well but I find that I can’t help but be honest with people and that it needs to be the basic point for all my friendships etc. I am Mish and I need people to know that before anything can be built, I like it when people flash themselves up like that from the first as well. When you’re in a relationship then that trust has to be absolute, you need to be able to talk about anything and everything. Equally you need to know when you need to talk about stuff and when you don’t, but the basic ability to talk and just be whoever you are needs to be there and everyone needs to be comfortable with it.
This is why I twitch when people tell me that poly needs you to be more honest than mono, they both need honesty. The only difference is that in a poly relationship you need to be talking and being honest with more than one person. The trust needs to exist between however many people are involved, though yeah that trust doesn’t need to be as absolute between people who aren’t directly involved. Without trust everything just falls down. When people lie that’s where the relationship is stuck.
I’m glad people trust me, but I need to get involved, get my hands stuck into all this feeling that surrounds me, I can’t pull back from it or that means not being Mish. Eventually this is going to lead to some sort of painful dichotomy again.