On Shaming in the polyamorous community

I’m so done with poly-shaming:
“If you love someone you’re not possessive. True love is not the desire to possess”…

I come accross this sort of comment on facebook group dedicated to help and support new members of the community, as a response to cries for help. It happens too often.

Polyamory is nowhere near mainstream yet. Which means people are raised (for the most part) in a society that only promotes one type of love, one type of relationships, and idealises it until it is all you can see, all you desire.
Success, in your mind, is the capacity to fulfill that ideal, and it will feel good when you do.

But humans are also programmed to respond to other types of stimuli, and being surrounded with all types of love, many relationships can also feel very very good.
For many long-term practicioners of Polyamory, it can feel so wonderful and fulfilling.

The missing gap here is that it takes a crazy amount of work.

you will probably have to break yourself over and over to reform what you considered to be ideals.

You will have to break what you thought was love, and what you thought was self-love.

It takes time, it takes hurting, it takes learning.

The process is sometimes a dirty one, but you can come out on top, and discover emotions you never thought you could feel.
And you can also fall off the wagon, because relationships are also messy, and people are not perfect, and we hurt one another even if we don’t always want to.

Some people become quite good at transitioning, and feeling compersion for one another.
Others were much luckier.

They seemed born this way.
Whatever happened, they never had a problem having compersion, and letting go of other people.

And that’s truly wonderful.

But then they fail to have compersion for other people outside of their polycules. They judge harshly people who struggle to find these burgeonning emotions in themselves, and  get carried away in the difficult path. Fall off the wagon.

For a community who prones compassion and compersion, what a disconnect! What judgement!

I came accross the comment up top, one morning:

“If you love someone you’re not possessive. True love is not the desire to possess”…

That’s not the full comment, i don’t want to put it exactly as it was, because I wish for this person to remain anonymous. They’re not the point, and I don’t wish them harm. I just want to fuel a reflection on the topic.

TRUE Love  … There is no “true” love. There are people, connections, past, traumas, memories, moments.

Neurological reactions

Two people do not live the same thing, even in a relationship. What is more, it is possible to live many emotions at the same time, including Compersion and jealousy.We are not monolithic, and we can have fears desires, which are not rational.

To want to possess someone is to want to respond to insecurities, and it is natural. We may want to work on it, try to refrain from guiding the life of the other  because of our own insecurities, to grow, but that does not make the emotion as such “bad”. And that certainly does not invalidate any love there may be.

There must be no confusion between abusive relationships which are indeed ONLY based on the desire to possess, and which consider that they are entitled to, with  relationships that have as one component among others: the desire to possess.

This kind of judgment is not positive, and it makes it difficult for those who are new to communicate these feelings. It also makes their progress more difficult if they aim to diminish this kind of possessiveness. One does not improve if one has to be made invisible and repress difficult feelings because the host community tends to be recalcitrant towards the less experienced members. It’s pure and simple shaming.

It’s ableism, and it considers that neurotypicals (or a specific ideal of them) are the desirable norm.
I am more and more disappointed with marginal communities I come accross who simply reproduce mainstream oppressive structure, with their name tag on top.

[Edit: someone pointed out that I am not clearly enough laying out how ableism is at play. Here is a bit of the answer.

Ableism is at play here in that it promotes a view of the possibles and expected from everybody, based on a normative and ultimately impossible ideal of mental health.

It shames people for not living up to it without flaws.

It also assumes that the work to put in to repress possessiveness requires the same energy for everybody, and demonises those who struggle to maintain this level of energy.

This does not minimize in any way the emotional labor being put in by people who are neuroatypical. In fact, it is a recognition of that work and of its great cost.]

Be better, accept flaws and novelty.
Accept failures and attemps.
Accept pain and difficulty.
Use the compassion you so often preach.

Mahault

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