So stressed, so anxious, so damned everything

My anxiety is through the roof lately. I’ve been so incredibly stressed about Jessie. My jealousy, insecurity and inexperience with a poly lifestyle is being taxed to the extreme right now.

A few weeks ago Jessie told me she was texting/flirting with her ex John. He struck me as kind of a drama queen and slightly toxic, so I wasn’t a fan of the idea. But it’s not my place to judge and I don’t control things so I shrugged and went on with life. Then I guess his girlfriend found out as this wasn’t really okay and put a stop to it. Jessie was heartbroken all over again and really frustrated at not being able to get what she wants. I was there all weekend to support her, make her feel better, and really just be there for her. I think I did a great job and she told me how she felt so supported and I felt good about that. I didn’t like the drama but I’m glad I did my part well.

A few days later she told me they’re back to texting… I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I chose my words carefully and told her I didn’t think it was a good idea. She snapped at me and flipped out and didn’t take it well. I apologized and I told her it’s not my place to judge or be critical and she admitted that she was being overly defensive. It seemed to be sorted out but it bothered me quite a bit. I guess she felt like it was settled and I didn’t. Maybe because I didn’t feel heard really.

A few days after that she went to her company party, she told me she was getting drunk and then we didn’t talk for the rest of the night. She didn’t say goodnight which we do every night without fail so I suspected something was up. The next morning she apologized for not saying goodnight and said it was a ‘crazy night’ but that she would tell me about it later. I immediately assumed there was something she wasn’t telling me. It worried me all day. When we finally saw each other that night she was still nursing a hangover.

Despite that, she sat down and started showing me pictures of her company party. Here’s my boss, here’s the girl from HR, here’s this other coworker – I hooked up with him last night… and then went right on telling stories. She tried to gloss over it, she tried to slip it into conversation and that deeply bothered me. It felt awkward and deceptive. I pointed out that she was clearly skipping a big point here. She proceeded to tell me about getting way too drunk and hooking up with a coworker. I immediately asked if she had used protection as I was desperately afraid she was going to tell me she hadn’t. She assured me that it was totally safe and that there probably wasn’t much to it. It affected me but there’s nothing against the ‘rules’ about what she did. Although I think it’s a questionable decision, I let it lie and went on with the night.

The next day she told me that he had called again and there might be something there after all. This is not the first time she’s told me there’s no feelings on the line and it turns out there is, it’s very stressful for me. She also told me about a date this week with yet another person. This guy that she’s ‘made out with’ but isn’t even sure if it’s a date. I’m pretty sure it’s a date… This seems to be an MO with her where she underestimates what something means with someone and it turns out to be a lot more. I feel like that’s likely going to happen again.

So yeah, things went from being very smooth and working well to suddenly just one thing after another after another. I felt my jealousy rearing it’s head, and my concern rising and rising with dating coworkers, and being wasted, and dating some other guy who might not be a date, and her ex and flirting and I’m just overloaded. I woke up this morning crying. Just woke up fucking crying. I know that a lot of this drama isn’t about me, doesn’t affect me and isn’t really even my place to judge.

I wanted to immediately fly off the handle, to say like 8 paragraphs of things. I knew that would be a mistake. I wrote it down in a notepad, then I rewrote it in 2 paragraphs, then I thought about it long and hard and I rewrote it one paragraph. Trying to get to the essence of the issue. It’s one of those instances where I think I made the absolute right move, but I still don’t feel happy about it. I realized after thinking about it that a lot of it just wasn’t my shit. As much as a lot of it worries me, and it makes me jealous. That’s not HER problem. It’s mine. So when I thought about the only thing that she COULD do for me it was to feel supported.

When Carrie and I experimented with “swinging” I remember being so anxious, so jealous, and when she would come back from it we’d immediately make out like crazy and hook up and be super intense. It was something I think we both needed to reassure each other. I still love you, I still want you, you’re important to me too. I haven’t thought about that for a long time. But the same thing happened. When Jessie told me about her coworker I was put out. But afterward she climbed in my lap, kissed me, told me she loved me and gave me affection. It helped a lot. Because I think deep down the jealousy makes me worry that she cares less about me, or that I’m not as important.

That’s what i asked for in my 1 paragraph. Something along the lines of “Hey there’s a LOT going on right now, and some of it makes me anxious, and I think I need more love and support right now to be okay with this”. Once again, I think this was absolutely the right thing to say. It’s all I could ask for really, and it’s all she would be willing to give anyway. She was willing she was receptive and we had good communication about it. So why am I wide awake, my heart pounding, thinking about her with this other-other-other dude tonight who “might not be a thing”. ¬†A lot of people who are poly tell me – it gets easier – that you have to get through some hard times, facing down your jealousy. I feel like I’ve been thrown into the advanced class with no training.

I can deal with the fact that she has other partners, or a random hook up. It’s a bigger deal to me than it should be, but I get over it, I come to grips with it. It’s like baby steps. When 4 of these things happen in a week I’m a hot mess. I’m so freaked out I’m considering ending it or stepping back in the relationship. It’s made all the harder by the concept that she seems to think we’re amazing and fine and ‘in this together’ with zero doubts. She’s not good about empathy or understanding other people. Honestly I appreciate her faith in us and it helps. I just don’t think she understands the level to which this affects me. And even if she did she wouldn’t want to alter her actions or her choices. She’s going to have a lot of weird adventurous experiences and that’s been made perfectly clear. I can accept her for how she is or get out of this situation. I want desperately to accept her. I want so badly to not be jealous and just be the kind of zen master who can say “these other people don’t affect me” and go on being happy with my partner. I know in my logical brain that’s how it should be.

Yet here I am, heart racing, stomach in knots, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I think I’m frustrated because I’ve done all I can. I did the right thing and I don’t feel a whole lot better. Any more discussion would dip into unhealthy topics and make things worse, I feel that in my bones, I know how I can be. So really I just need to grin and bear it. To get through what I’m going through. Identify it (Fear, Jealousy, Concern, Insecurity, Abandonment) and experience some damn growth and become a better person. My friends told me to take a step back if I need to, and I can’t seem to do that, at least not emotionally. I can’t just suddenly not love Jessie or love her less. But I do think that maybe I need to date more, to have other things going on in my life. I need to stop acting like someone with a girlfriend and that’s it, and start living the lifestyle I’ve chosen. If I had 4 women lined up this week I would be ecstatic. I would feel like I’m on top of the world and probably doing pretty well. With things with Bonni ending I feel twice as alone and twice as invested in the one person remaining. That’s maybe not doing me any favors.

I feel better laying it all out here, at least it makes sense and it’s sequential. The older I get the more I think writing things down really helps me. I seem to think better in text, in the written word. It’s so much more tangible for me. Sometimes I think Jessie is a fucking genius and really doing life right, not living it for anyone else and going for the throat in all of her endeavors. I wish I could have that kind of wild passion and pure intention. A clear plan and a clear execution. Other times I think she doesn’t stop to think about the consequences of her actions, how she affects people or makes them feel and that she can be almost a little heartless. Part of me wonders if she will be good for me in the long run, and part of me wonders if that’s not the point, and that I don’t need to worry about the long run and just be in it because I want to be in it. Accept that it might and probably will end at some point and other things will follow. Still it makes me sad. I miss the false illusion of security I got with monogamy sometimes.