Monday, December 2, 2013

Our Poly Family

One of the things I want to do with PatientC that is not medical or disability related is to get more material out here that is about real life poly families by talking about mine. I was asked some questions to help with a friend's paper, and that got me thinking. You know what happens when I get thinking, I post it here for your potential cerebral pleasure!

Answers to questions asked for a friends’ paper on poly families:

  • Okay, that is some list! But it does look like a very good place to get started, good job there. =) I may use what I write here as the skeleton for a blog post unless that would weird you out. I think my responses are in order, but I may have missed some {questions} - if anything does not seem to synch up, feel free to ask for clarification.
  • Yes, as far as the Minions go, we have always been this way. The only change was when we all moved in together.
  • They have always known {we were a poly family. Well, at least since they could understand words like that}. Now, if you are asking when did they figure out when we were "romantic" by a more complete definition of that word than you have when you are three, probably a year or {few} after we started living together, so 8 years ago, maybe? They would have been 9 and 7, I think.
  • I raised them with the idea that although most adults are taught they can only romantically love one other person at a time, I practiced a romantic love that was like my family love. They both knew that I love them completely but differently, and that was how I felt about their Dad and the Boyfriend. Now, when that idea was challenged at school One came home saying "Mary's mom says you cannot have a husband and a boyfriend at the same time." I said, "Well, tell Mary to tell her mom that indeed I do and she is a close minded bitch!" Then we all laughed and I delved more into definitional polyamory to help them explain to what friends they decided were able to handle it.
  • They {my girls, otherwise known as The Minions} seem mostly nonplussed. They do use it as a litmus test to see if a friend is going to hang around after they find out, I suspect. One has stated that she will probably not be poly, that love seems complicated enough to her right now. Not that she was judging us, she wanted us to understand. =) Two is a little more militant.
  • Yep, we are who we are wherever we go and whoever we meet (representatives of the state being the exception {and we tone it down a bit at school functions}). We will usually wait to see if a neighbor is staying or if we like a new group well enough to hang around and need to explain if it is not plain at the start.
  • For the most part, they {our neighbors} do not seem to care. If they disapprove, they keep it to themselves. Some of our neighbors thought it odd at first, but they are mostly older black matriarchs that care more about our kids and our yard being well tended than what we do in bed. We joke that we are those "crazy crackers on the corner" and get along pretty well, now that I think about it.
  • No, they {the Minions} seem to have a fairly easy time of that. They have been teased and rejected for not being Christian. Hey, that may explain it: the people that would judge their poly family are already blown off on the religious question and never get as far as their poly family. And family structures were already becoming more fluid before the economic downturn, now everyone has extended family living with them or broken up partners still living together... I am not saying that the nuclear family is dead, but it has been coughing up blood as far as I can personally tell.
  • We are all supportive of the Minions. G and I, other than a six month break at one point (long story), have been together for over twenty years and he has always been an accessible Dad. {The Boyfriend} and I started our odd journey right before I was pregnant with {the eldest}, so he has always been around for them. One of the perks of ploy is that the girls always have a grownup around. And one of us almost always finds a way to relate to whatever they may be going through at any given time. While not being able to sign things for them or stuff like that, {the Boyfriend} has always been "an adult that should be respected and listened to like Mom and Dad." 
  • No, {on me being open and poly} I have not seen anyone {else} seriously for years. Being sick complicated that issue so I do not know if I would have otherwise. But they would have needed to be cool with my home life and my home life would have needed to be cool with them if it was serious. I have had sex with a friend or two, but with no eye to changing standing relationships.
  • Umm, hopefully that is a good start. Whatever strikes your fancy to ask about or discuss is okay so far, so feel free! {Same goes for you, Dear Reader, feel free to chat below!}

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