brk UP

I was just contemplating the phrase, breaking up, and the various ways we use it in language:

Breaking up with a significant other.

Your friend loses signal on the other end, and starts to break up.

A mother breaking up a fight between a cat and a dog.

Seeing the snow fall broke her up.

She stood and stretched, looking at her watch. I better take a walk, she thought, to break up my day.

 

Advertisements

Standing in a Portal of Sound or, A Year’s End in a Car

Regular Friends

It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m sitting at a bar in the center of a large restaurant, watching Z hustle around preparing for the evening rush. I had always known Z was a bartender; he would send me silly selfies and text me during slow hours from behind the bar.

I look around. Immense windows exposing a bright, bustling avenue in Downtown Seattle. Passerbyers scatter along, clutching their coats with hunched shoulders. The intriguing shape of the mosaic-tiled bar reminds me of a golgi apparatus. Wooden beams hang parallel, one after the other across the entire ceiling. His managers spend the early afternoon fitting the space with gaudy decor. Two gold balloons floated on either side of a cliche banner that read: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! also in gold letters.

A couple walks in. Z smiles wide and yells, “Hey you guys!” They start talking about their vacation to Hawaii and the manatee that they “kind of” saw while snorkeling. Eventually, I become part of the conversation. I mention that I am from the Bay Area, and that I’m up here visiting Z. They become excited and ask how we know each other. I say that my partner kind of knew him in college, and we all moved out west and connected out here.

The couples’ names are Lisa and Mark. Lisa is a painter and photographer, and Mark is a 3D graphic designer. The three of us delve into conversation about muses, our livelihood, and then of course I bring up the documentary I am producing.

There’s a sparkle in Lisa’s eye. She says, pointing to Z. “Hey!  He’s working til past midnight, right? What are you doing later? You should come out to the pre-funk party at Catherine’s!”

I explain to her that I made loose plans with some one-off friends, but I was open to anything.

“We’ve got this friend, Catherine, who is really, really cool. I love her. We met her in the desert taking photographs! You should meet her. She’s working on a documentary too. You’re welcome to join us!” Lisa said.

We exchanged contact information.

When I meet people who want me to meet their friends, typically that means something.

The In-Between

I spend the quiet hours at the restaurant doing a bunch of work for the documentary. Before the dinner rush, I ask Z to recommend another cozy place to work. He suggests Little Oddfellows, a bookstore and cafe. I beam at the suggestion– I fucking love bookstore/cafes.

I spend time writing a blog post. Killing time. Productivity! I get a message from Mark with his address and to meet at their place at 8:15 pm. I drop my backpack off in Z’s trunk, and make my way to their house. It’s a seven minute walk from where Z works. Easy.

1
This is what I looked like all day.

The Portal of Sound

Upon entering their home, I immediately see a life-sized Storm Trooper at the opposite end of the room. The apartment is a carefully curated museum of quixotic art. Bonsai trees fill a corner, various textures and odd memorabilia fill the space. Big paintings hang about.

2

Lisa comes down the stairs at the opposite side of the apartment. She is wearing a corsette that looks like sexy armor from a world dominated by flora. She says she is just about done with her make-up, and turns to go back up stairs. She stops. Looking right at me, she asks, “Do you have any neck pain?!” I say, “Kind of? I’ve got shoulder pain.” Lisa looks at Mark. “She should do the thing! Come on up.”

I follow them upstairs and down the hall, into a small room full of costumes. Masks, leather trinkets, textured, sanguine art. Hanging on one wall are beautiful corsettes that remind me of gnarled trunks with curling vines, made of gold and bronze. She says they’re from Berlin.

E9984EB2-CBAF-4C15-955F-86D925BFDC66

Three singing bowls of varying sizes sit in the center of the floor. She hits the largest one with a mallet a few times. It begins to emit a low, resonant hum, beckoning me.

“Stand in this one,” Lisa says. I step into the singing bowl. I feel feel the vibrations run up and through me.

“Put this on your head,” she says.
It’s a donut-shaped pillow.
“Now, keep this balanced.”
She hands me another singing bowl.
It’s heavy.
I put it onto my head like a helmet, and balance it on the little pillow.

She picks up a mallet with one hand, and a smaller singing bowl in the other. She walks in a slow circle around me.

Slow, calculated steps.

She is gently hitting the smaller singing bowl. The sound waves resonate through the bowl on my head.

I breathe deeply.
Slowly.

My eyes are shut.

Sound and vibration encircle me, droning frequencies that run like electricity through my skin. She stops, and takes the bowl off my head.

“Isn’t that a trip?!” She exclaims at me. “It’s like doing drugs without the drugs!”

I step out of the portal of sound. “Am I a new person now?” We all laugh.

Before we leave, Mark asks if I want to take mushrooms. Lisa and I split half of a psilocybin caramel treat. Mark eats half.

And not so suddenly, I was along for the ride.

505

Mark buzzes the apartment where the pre-funk party is happening. #505.

Standing behind us are two guys. One of them says hi to Mark. We all enter the apartment and go up the elevator together. I am introduced to them, Jordan and Gavan, brothers.

We enter. My senses are flooded with hues of cayenne, warm lights, and a cozy vibe. Framed photographs are carefully placed along the walls. Upbeat electronic music is buzzing in the background. I am immediately attracted to the beautiful patterns on the fabrics hanging on the walls, and on the pillows, fractals.

All around me, I see art that reminds me of my friends. The following collage reminds me of my friend, Coco, who is a collage & multi-media artist.

52B9064D-899F-4A4C-A3C4-916E2FA9EDF8.jpg

Mark hands me a glass of champagne, then shuffles me over to a man named Nacim.

“She’s the one making a documentary about anarchists! Here, talk.”

Nacim is a lawyer and a self-proclaimed anarchist. He and I talk about the premise of the documentary and the convoluted definitions of “anarchy” and “capitalism.” At one point we both realize that we are both wearing minimalist shoes. “Cheers!” I say, and we clink the tips of our Vevo Barefoots together.

(The next hour or two were a lovely, giggly mix of story-telling, quirky introductions and staring at inanimate objects that are suddenly way more interesting you thought.)

I meet a woman with a huge ring. Apparently it’s her, “DON’T FUCK WITH ME,” ring.

And I see color palettes that remind me of Bobbi. Scarlet and gold and emerald. All of my friends are with me. I sense them, and I feel warm inside.

When Mark and I start peaking, our laughter becomes uncontrollable. The chandelier in the main room looks like a spider. I glance over at the snack table– a vase with long, silky pampas plumes draw me in. Mark reads my mind. He pulls out his phone and gestures at me to take a photo. I begin face-rubbing the fuzzy plant. I can’t stop giggling.

0F99CDE0-F259-44EC-A3C6-6293C9732E3C

What I love about mushrooms is how silly mundane things become. The things in life we take seriously, or see every single day that we take for granted, suddenly become quite meaningless– in a positive way. In this, we start to understand ourselves better. We shed the weight we put on ourselves. We find out what truly is important.

I hear someone say, “Tonight’s going to be AWESOME. I can’t wait.”
The woman he’s talking to asks, “Yeah? Where are you going after?”

I turn to Mark and say, “Isn’t it funny that on this specific night, New Year’s Eve, everyone in the world is waiting for a single moment: midnight. Yet here I am, already having the time of my life at the “pre-party”, and I already feel like this is it. This is where I want to be. I don’t want to wait around for the next great thing. I want to be living it.”

He smiles at me and agrees, and I see his thoughts drift into colorful spirals. He’s tripping waaaay harder than me. My phone buzzes.

“Travis is coming!! He just got off work.” (Side note: Everyone in Seattle knows Z as Travis. Everyone from New Jersey knows Travis as Z).

Kissing in the Car

After some more intense conversations, Mark, Lisa, Z and I leave for the Mercury, a members-only Goth club. Z offers to drive. As we seek parking, we hear screaming from various directions.

“What happened?! Oh shit– is it midnight?” Z asks, while pulling up to a stop sign.

The entire car confirms that it is, indeed, midnight.

Z parks the car, and I see Mark and Lisa kiss.

The next moment is wonderful. Z gently pulls me towards him. My lips are pressed against his, ever so simply. We remain like that for what seems like a long while. His cool fingers hold the sides of my face. And it’s over.

“Well, that was cool!” Z says out loud.

We find a parking spot, and hurry down the street, down an alley way, and through steel doors.

Baptism

Black lights. Industrial music shakes the floor. We’re at the Mercury, Seattle’s Goth club.

The woman at the front desk verify Mark and Lisa’s membership, then Z and I are signed in. Stamps on the inner right wrist. Tunnels of people; old friends swooping in from left and right to say hello. I wander through, admiring the corsettes and suits, costumes with fringes and frills and lace and metal, chains and gears and ribbon.

After sipping on a drink, I hear a Crystal Castles song start to play. I start to laugh out loud, recalling high school, but determine that I actually did want to dance to Alice Glass’ abrasive voice. So I donned my things, and snaked my way to the center of the dance floor.

The song is called, “Baptism.”

I feel my body curl upwards,
my arms snaking further into the air, hips swaying,
My eyes are shut. Hair brushes the edges of my face.
I feel powerful. I feel like a huntress.
Terrifying and beautiful:
My independence.

To dance, by myself, is one of the greatest acts of self-care I can do for my mental and emotional health.

When I open my eyes, Lisa and Z are dancing beside me. Z and I leave not too long after that.

January First

I think this is the part where I reflect on everything that had happened. During one conversation at the pre-funk party, I was speaking with a man named Gavan, who I told this to.

We are capable of curating our own realities.

He agreed with me whole-heartedly.

I can’t say I believe in fate, or even coincidence. I think, through a very, very long chain of events, magic occurred. Magic in the timing. Magic in the openness of each person part of this story. Magic in the celebration of humanity surviving yet another full trip around the sun.

Let your choices unfold the lives you want to live. Choose the shiny path. Explore the unknown and learn to enjoy it. Dance with your eyes closed, with friends. Kiss in the car, because it doesn’t matter where you celebrate love and friendship.

The greatest thing about this day was that I felt alive each and every moment. The feeling of embracing life’s surprises is absolutely worth taking a plunge into uncertainty. I think I just felt so certain about myself, about where the story would lead me, and that it would be great. I filled my mind with abundance, and the most wonderful experiences unraveled before me.

Maybe you should try it sometime, dear readers.

 

 

External Impositions, Part 2

Misunderstandings

I start to receive a series of messages from Kim. I start to feel anxious, and ‘x’ out of the Facebook Messenger app. I try to continue reading the article about crowdfunding, but I can’t concentrate. So, I pull up the messages again. Gotta face the scary things. Turns out, not so scary.

I’m the only one in the entire restaurant, so I start to talk to Z about my immediate thoughts.

“It makes me feel sad and frustrated that she constantly views Todd and I as “primary partners,” when I’m actively working to not be that.”

He asks, “Oh so you and Todd aren’t doing the hierarchical thing?”

“No. Neither of us want that.” I say.

He goes on. “The few poly relationships I had in college were mostly like that. But it never worked out. I think I want to try that out, but I don’t have any partners–” I look at him and raise my hand, shyly. “–except for you.” I took a sip of my coffee. “But you’re long distance. It’s a ‘lil different.”

“It’s really tough because the external world imposes couple privilege onto us. And yeah, we live together, which also privileges us. Ideally, we want to live in separate spaces– but it’s the Bay Area.” I say.

He said, “Well, she went into the relationship knowing that you guys live together so. That’s all on her.”

Thinking about it all made me feel slightly uncomfortable.


I told him, “I wouldn’t want you to feel secondary. I’m trying really hard to treat everyone equally. When i’m present with someone, I will show that person love and affection, regardless of my other relationships.”

I think it’s got a lot to do with time. I’ve spent so much more time with Todd, and the connection I have with him was able to grow because of that.

Z said, “I can’t ever be Todd. When I think of my friends, Jordan and Louis, I will always see them as Jordan and Louis. And when I think of you, I think of ‘Todd and Claire.’ You will always be ‘Todd and Claire.'”

Part of me felt strangely sad about that. Maybe not sad, but a sense of discouragement. What if I wanted to be Claire and Z? Maybe not forever, but for the time being? Then I understood, what if Kim just wants to be Todd and Kim?

I think the deeper conflict here is in the structure. We are conditioned to expect Person A and Person B. It’s either you and them, she and him. As a society, we aren’t used to including more than two people in our visions of partnership.

And it becomes so much more apparent when i’m trying to actively work against that.

External Impositions, Part 1

I just want to make note, that the following conversations are quite long, complicated and extremely tricky to navigate as we were using Facebook Messenger, a less-than-ideal medium for communication of this sort.

This post is mainly for reference and to save for my own records. All of the colored text is conversation between Kim and I.

Claire is PURPLE
Kim is BLUE

Conversations with Kim

Claire

HAPPY NEW YEAR ! It’s early but I won’t see ya! I genuinely hope you have a magical, beautiful and heartfelt New Years Eve with the people you love & love you ^__^

Kim

Thank you @Claire
!! I hope you feel loved, and happy, and strong, and surrounded by magic on New Years!! also, thank you so much for your time and spirit today. I am really grateful to be having these conversations with both you and Todd, even in the moments they veer into difficult territory. I feel really fortunate that we can love and support each other, and create a safe, peaceful environment to grow in.

Claire

You’re SO WELCOME !!! ^____^ I’m super happy bc I just found out that I might be getting a New Years kiss after all hahaha 😹 there will DEF be magic.

Kim

I know that I kind of retreat into myself sometimes, and I apologize if that ever makes you feel uncomfortable. Just know in those moments that it’s me navigating my inner world, and it’s not directed at you, or done to make you feel like I don’t want you around. I want you around.I value you. I have genuine love for you, and I 110% want to support you, and be a person you can relate to, talk to, and show all sides of yourself to, without ever feeling like I won’t accept a certain part of you because it’s hard to love. I promise to love all parts of you, equally, and support you like a sister.

Claire

I will respond in a bit I am w viva !!!
no rush at all on responding. focus on viva, and please give her a big hug from me. I will just finish my thought and say that the more I get to know you, the more I genuinely feel like I want to have a deeper friendship with you, and build trust. Like I want to build a pathway of true communication… a bridge of sorts is how i see it when I close my eyes and think deeply about it. Not out of some sense of obligation or convenience, or because it’s ‘easier’ if we can ‘get along’, but because I think you are a truly kind person who will bring positivity and support to my life, and who I want to do the same for. I promise to try as hard as I can to reroute negative thoughts, communicate, be open to hearing your side/perception, consider you in my life decisions, and not shut you down in difficult moments.
There is this part in this book that I am reading, and as I am communicating my thoughts now, it made me recall highlighting it last night:
it’s this part which lays out five ‘co-commitments’ you make to yourself and promise to uphold with your closest relationships at the start of this book. When you are setting out on the emotional journey. This is “co-commitment #4” :
“I commit myself to the full empowerment of people around me” it goes on: “Co-dependance thrives on supporting people for being ineffective and helpless. When you are co-dependant you have a secret investment in people being less than they are, so that you will be able to get away with being less than you are. In co-commitment, you are taking a stand for supporting people in being everything they are. You are for empowerment, for supporting people in opening up to their full abilities. Recall a definition of POWER from mathematics: the multiplication of a quantity by itself, as in raising a number to the second power. When you are for empowerment, you are for assisting people in multiplying their energy by itself. You are not forcing them or enabling them to make them more powerful, you are simply supporting them to make the full use of who they are. “
“In making this commitment, you are going on record as being in support of your partner’s full development. You will not limit that development, you will support it in every way you can. So few of us have had that kind of support that often we are not able to imagine it at first. Giving it to others is a priceless gift.”
Even though this book is only giving case studies of monogamous couples/pairs, and using language that implies monogamy, when I read this part; “In making this commitment, you are going on record as being in support of your partner’s full development.” –In my mind, that also applies to you, Claire. And when I search deeper in myself, that also means fellow female artists who I am directly working with, or who I have the power to make a direct impact on.
I hope I can empower you to be your best self, and feel confident and fulfilled in your life.
I never want us to compete, for Todd or anything else. I only want to support you, and add positivity to your life. The fact that you have reached out to me to do this hard work has been deeply touching, and really meaningful.
I obviously feel this way about you as well ( x1,00000000!!), but I feel like you know that/feel that. It is just becoming apparent there is a need arising in me to express this to Claire, too, because it’s something I truly feel, and might not be so apparent. Even though we are not in a romantic relationship Claire, I believe we either have the power to make each other’s lives better, stronger, more peaceful, and more meaningful, or we can just give in to whatever the alternative is. I want the first option, where we all feel loved and empowered, and cannot wait to wake up each morning to create and immerse ourself in work that we love, that we have created.
One of my favorite Norwegian sayings is:
En høyvann reiser alle båtene or a high wave(tide?) raises all boats.
Let’s be a high tide together. and like, FLOOD 2018 with beauty and strength. Have a safe trip! See you when you come home!

Todd

I appreciate so much the time you both gave today, have given, and continue to give to maintain and build a system of love and support. It means so much to me, and even with said challenging points of conversation, I felt an environment of care and compassion.
Thanks for sharing those excerpts, Kim. I am so incredibly excited by all the amazing opportunities for growth we have to come
😊❤️

Kim

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ me too 🙂 🙂 🙂

Claire

Hi Kim! Finally have time to respond to this while Z makes breakfast! ^__^ You’re so welcome. I completely understand where you’re coming from in a lot of your anxieties and worries.

Creating the time and space to be together is super important and it makes me happy that you feel more comfortable! I understand how hard it can be to spill your guts, especially in this kind of dynamic, and I have to say you have been so fucking brave. Seriously.

Yeah– I do notice your self-retreat at times and all I can do is be patient. I’ve never felt uncomfortable, it’s more like knowing I can’t do anything, and not knowing what to say or respond. The retreating to me comes off as a type of roadblock of sorts, so at times yes it is difficult for me to connect because of that. I really appreciate you bringing this point up as I personally didn’t really know how to.

The bit about supporting me as a sister totally made me tear up last night with Viva haha :’) There’s so much about you that I respect and want to learn about, and I know for sure we have a ton of amazing skills and ideas and thoughts and dreams we can share with each other over time!

Honestly, getting to know another human being takes a lot of time, patience, deep listening and energy, and the past half a year definitely had us strained for those resources. So I really really look forward to being able to chill! Hang out at an asian market and marvel at cute things or enjoy some tea and do some watercolor painting together. 🙂

A bridge is perfect. That is essential, and definitely a peaceful & easy way to be able to share our genuine thoughts, intentions, wants and needs. A bridge as a practical and useful structure, solid enough to withstand the emotions and exchanging of great ideas and people, and love, of course.

I really appreciate your words about my persona, and I really really just want to outshine all the darkness with positivity!!! Hahaha. As a teen I used to think of myself sometimes as this beacon of hope, as I was close friends with a bunch of people who were seriously fucked up and depressed and sad all the time.

The process of rerouting negative thoughts while being able to deeply listen AND communicate is a feat that even I have not yet mastered, but we are all on our way to confidently being able to recognize, accept and act accordingly– when the negative fantasies or anxieties arise. We will never be able to get rid of them. They are a part of being human, and our job is to stand up to them and in the most brilliant way, say “FUCK YOU! WE LOVE EACH OTHER AND I’M MAKING YOU UP!” And the nightmare fades into sunlight.

I love the block quotes about commitment and co-commitment. Especially:
“In co-commitment, you are taking a stand for supporting people in being everything they are. You are for empowerment, for supporting people in opening up to their full abilities.”

This is definitely a concept/practice that is not obvious, nor was it easy to create as a habitual mind-habit (referring to empowerment of partners). It’s almost like a doing a power stance – even if you don’t feel like it, DO IT ANYWAY, because it’s positive, and because what matters is the support you create for your partner(s). I know it sounds counterintuitive but at times when I feel like shit and I know for ex. todd is gonna go out to meet someone, I’m posed with a choice:

A) I feel like shit and i feel jealous/afraid he’s going to leave me, I could either cry or mope or be distant (which he will definitely sense) or I could approach him about my negative feelings and let him decide what to do.

B) Take personal responsibility for my emotions (they come from within me) and be like, “Yo Todd! Have a fuckin amazing time w/ __blank__ and I hope you guys connect on some level and become friends!

With scenario B, I am empowering him instead of transferring my negative energy so he can go off into the world feeling confident rather than feeling bummed about me feeling bummed.

Typically after him leaving the best thing to do is ANYTHING haha, keeping busy with fun shit or hanging out with people I like. That actually equates to = being independent and valuing/appreciating alone time. Which I 100% understand, Kim, that you are so OK being alone and that you are very independent– I feel similarly, but there are times when I *DONT* feel that way, and times like that I need to remind myself that I’ve got my own life and can make myself happy!

I think one aspect of my misunderstanding of you is that I am comparing how I think now (how exactly I deal with my thought patterns/disarming negative fantasies) and how I can successfully overcome anxiety/negativity with your struggling to do that, and part of my brain is like ” DUDE ISN’T IT OBVIOUS?!” But NO, it isn’t! It is so not obvious, and it’s not something that one can easily slip into one morning and be like “I’m suddenly free of my fears and anxieties and i’m going to feel super happy for my partner’s when they explore other people even if I don’t feel secure myself!”

I actually just found an old blog and some posts that I wrote when Todd and I first started branching off individually and making new friends. I’m going to send them to you, but I swear the language I use and the concerns I have are EXACTLY what you have been going through. Frankly, it’s blowing my mind and it’s interesting that sometimes we can forget where we’ve come from, especially after we’ve changed so, so much. I apologize if I’ve ever come off as expecting you to already be further ahead than where you are. This shit takes so much time and work and even I had forgotten how hard it can be at the beginning.

“I hope I can empower you to be your best self, and feel confident and fulfilled in your life.” Yo Kim! We are friends! We will do that for each other! And best of all, we can empower not only ourselves, but our current lovers and future lovers, so THEY can empower their lovers and future lovers! Love is infinite and grows that way 😀 Isn’t it awesome?!

I don’t ever want to compete for Todd either. I don’t even really know what that means! I just want to stay true to myself and make sure that I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket, and making sure that the happiness I derive from life is coming from a diverse amount of sources, people, activities, hobbies, etc. Like I said in my personal message to you a few weeks ago, Todd is but one of many genuine relationships I have and treasure in my life, and I want you and I want him to be able to live the lives you want, with the people you want to live them with, and find fulfillment not only from relationships and love from those relationships– but from the art and wonder of true human connection. It is so so amazing to move through life learning from others, loving others, being loved by others, and independently feasting upon the cosmic buffet of so many amazing individuals.

thank you, kim, for all of your words, and yes, let us be a huge fucking wave and we can all watch the sunrise from the highest ocean.

Here’s the blog I mentioned. Old posts from a while ago, just a few.
https://campalamedadotcom.wordpress.com/

Kim

Thank you for your words. Both your response to my message, and for sharing your past thoughts with me.

I first want to say that I think you are really brave to have written all of that, and even braver for sharing it. I respect and admire your interest and drive to understand yourself, and to allow yourself to feel things.

Reading this (blog) allows me to know you (and where you have come from) better/deeper, and I value it for that reason. I know you shared this with me because you think that I am in the place where you were, and it’s kind of you to try and comfort me in this way, but I can honestly say that I do not relate to this content in the way that you thought I might. These are not the fears I am having. And I think you misunderstand where I am and what I am going through, not only because I have trouble communicating it, but because I have been less communicative with you than with Todd, and that is my fault.

I want to interject before I go on, because this medium is imperfect, and I want to try and convey my tone here; As I write this I feel: calm, thankful, inquisitive, positive, hopeful, and driven to communicate. I do not feel: angry, frustrated, negative.

In another way, reading your thoughts and what you went through has been helpful, because it is helping me realize what I am NOT actually experiencing. I think when I feel my panic, anxiety, etc, I have trouble communicating what I feel, and then I go quiet, which means that I sometimes allow people to speak for me (I will elaborate more on this). I can be so hard to read in those moments that I may become some sort of blank canvas, where you project your current / past fears to try and rationalize what I am actually feeling…. and that is NO fault of your own. It just means you care, that you are compassionate, and you are making a real effort to empathize with me through your own life experiences, which I appreciate so so so much.

The thing is, (and @Todd, maybe I have hardly been able to express this to you, because I am still figuring out exactly what it IS that I am afraid of), I don’t think it’s as easy as saying : “I am afraid of being left / replaced with someone better”.
Like, honestly, I am not afraid of that. This may sound crazy, but in my mind, I AM that someone. I don’t feel like I am going to be ‘replaced’. I know my worth, I feel very secure in what I have to offer, and I genuinely love myself. If Todd up and decided tomorrow that someone else was ‘better/more appealing’ than me, in my mind that would only say something negative about him, not about me.

And I respect that not everyone feels this way, that it’s a struggle to hold on to your self worth for some, but that has been my saving grace throughout my life, what has kept me from being swallowed by darkness, and from living my life as a victim. The fact that I knew that even if no one else loved me, even if everyone else abandoned me (and that’s how it felt being 14 years old with no parents), I knew I loved myself, and felt certain that I had a purpose and gifts to give this world that transcended that.

And I have known for many years now that there are TONS of fish in the sea, so to speak. I have a wide net of friends with varying degrees of intimacy who I love, who love me, who lift me up and really SEE me…. I have never, even for a second felt disconnected from those things since being with Todd, or held on to a hope that Todd would become my ‘everything’.

So I guess I am trying to say, these things you mention in your blog are valid, real, and I respect them like hell. But they are not my fears.
I think (and of course I am still figuring this out), my fears are:

1) That there is no ROOM to grow what I want to grow with Todd. That his relationship with you will always mean he has one foot in, one foot out with me. That I can never depend on him fully for anything, because you are a number one priority, and I am second.

I know this works for some people, having primary partners, a ‘number one’ priority, but that does not work for me. I feel like it would be a waste of time to live my life this way, because it’s not what I truly want.

This is not because I am placing all my eggs in one basket. Or because I feel there will never be another place I want to grow these things, that Todd is just ‘it’. I know that I have had my eggs in many baskets for many years, and I know that I will always continue with that. I will always maintain connections with loves I have grown before, and will grow after Todd.

But the thing is, I am CHOOSING to place more eggs than usual in this particular basket (Todd, I have reduced you to a basket – I am sorry).
And really, it just comes down to this: I want to have my own basket with Todd. And I am not afraid to say that. This does not mean IN ANY WAY that your relationship is lesser in my eyes, that he needs to ‘give you less’, etc.

Strength and love and security only breeds more of the same. I think in supporting each other’s needs, and both of us feeling like we are able to curate the relationship we want will only make all of us stronger and happier in the end.

While I know we both exist, and both relationships exist, and are valid, beautiful, of equal ‘importance’, I still want what I grow with Todd to be ours alone to a degree. I don’t want to HAVE to be forced into a triad relationship simply because he is also in a relationship with you. I want to be able to grow our own thing, and feel that the deepest parts of our love belong to just us. We both deserve to feel that, Claire.
I have not known how to express any of these things. Maybe I still don’t. But I need to say this, because it’s hugely important to me. I am not saying any of these things to hurt anyone, or sound demanding/entitled, but I realize more and more that this is important to me, to not feel secondary.

And I know that you said in your last message that you ‘dont even know what it means to compete for Todd’, but I think you do. Even if it’s on an unconscious level, you do know what it means. And I think this is something we should both be aware of, and talk about, rather than act like we don’t know about it’s existence, because something like this has the power to breed some very real resentment between us. And I absolutely do not want that with you Claire.

That last thing was hard for me to write, because it makes me feel kind of scared you will react negatively, or angrily, or defensively, but I think it’s necessary to communicate about this, because it is a real thing that has brought us both anxiety. I bring it up with love, and with the understanding that we are both in the process of learning how to be heard here.

I look forward to continuing this conversation, and hearing your side / your view / your feelings, Claire. They really matter to me, and I am here to process and genuinely listen to however you react.

And hey, 
I love you girl. I am sending you love and light and friendship in waves. Waves that swallow everything else. I hope you have the most magical night ever, and that you feel your beauty and power and truly KNOW how incredible and strong you are.
<3

Claire

Thanks kim!!! I, too, look forward to discussing this all with you when I return from my trip. 💜💜💜 I’m glad it’s in writing, and it’ll be nice to have this time to allow me to read it all over a few times. Enjoy your night guys!! 🤠
One last thing!!
THANK you for sharing that.
^___^

Kim

Thank you too, Claire. For sharing, and for listening.