How I Love

(Content Warning mentions therapy and ASD, there’s a frank mention of sex at the end).

I’ve written here before, about two or three years into my relationship with The Jellicle about the way I feel love most within a group of interconnected loves.

M-i-L has been very grateful in the past that my way of showing love involves loving her friends and loves. Especially when she’s too tired to entertain and has houseguests.

My sister has on occasion loved it and on occasion hated it. I’m pretty sure Giggles absolutely hated it but never told me at the time and so I didn’t realise until far past the point of break up.

I love the constellations that people are, actually that’s a poly term in some circles so maybe I shouldn’t use it, or maybe it’s linked to the way I feel in useful ways. In poly a constellation is a network of interlinked relationships; romantic, sexual, the usual gamut of poly. What I mean though, when I call people a constellation is me thinking in terms of my spiderlights, those linking light threads between everybody loving everybody else.

I realise that when people show love to me and concentrate on the people around me I may be making more of that than it is for them because I show love to them through their linking lights. Other people see that as prioritising the people around them over them as individuals whereas I’m parsing the whole thing as a loving act to the centre of the spiderlights, the jellyfish tendrils of constellation.

Through a combination of drugs and job choices over ten years I numbed my sense of self and love and then last year found myself at home quite suddenly in a romantic situation that has always been where I locate love. No wonder it felt quite so intense, no wonder I completely lost myself within it.

Now I’m reading up on how to be better in romantic relationships and yeah I know there’s a bias towards monogamy there but honestly it’s hard reading. I don’t believe any person is toxic, but a lot of the way I love comes right close to reading like a manipulation/stalking technique called breadcrumbing, that of being suddenly present to all of the friends of the person you’re interested in. I don’t think it is that and I am trying to be gentle with myself about last year – intense love whilst working myself into a nervous breakdown? Yeah that was never going to go well.

I think it’s ok that I feel love the way that I do, I think it’s ok to feel the highs and the lows, but it’s about being very clear in how I communicate it. Part of my ASD means I tend to think about what is rather than what something looks like and that’s not good for mutual understanding. I’ve worried before that the way I love in groups and the love between the people in those groups is about lacking family, I’m sure there are elements of that and some kind of psychological reading you could make about what’s going on in my head but honestly it feels right and true and very me and I think with the right people it’s ok. Some of what my therapist and I talked about last year was the very real possibility that some of my emotions are under-developed or not there at all. Actually I think with most of them I’m just horrifically disconnected from them, maybe a few of the nuances ones I’m missing.

My gods though, coming back from benumbed emotions to rediscover them with two of the most passionately in love people that I know? I couldn’t have picked better tutors. I know that’s kind of horrific to say, I hurt two wonderful people and I’m grateful for myself that the situation put me with them. I am not very nice at times.

When I’m with M-i-L a lot of our dates involve FJ cooking for us, which can be a bit weird considering our history but mostly just makes me feel warm. When the Jellicle and I talk, as we do a great deal, about who each other is flirting with then there are echoes of that deep love that I feel when people are grouped and loving and feeling all along the spiderlights extending between everyone involved at whatever distance.

I suspect this is why I have enjoyed a great deal of group sex in the past.

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