Parents & Love Languages

I was just thinking about this earlier today and I think I figured out some things about how my family works.  Now, these are just guesses, based on behavior, but it was an interesting brain exercise.


I think my mom’s primary love language (at least with us kids) is Quality Time.  She got super unhappy with my sister and I for not scheduling something for Mother’s Day this year – just anything that involves us spending time with her.  She seems to love to talk to us one-on-one, even if it just is for coffee, lunch, or shopping. 

It does also explain why I have run into some issues with her regarding how we express love to each other, why I didn’t think that she was a primary love giving figure in my early life – because to her, spending time with me was showing affection, whereas I much would have preferred being told that I was cared for (Words of Affirmation is more prominent as my Love Language in my relationships with my family – both origin and choice – than Touch).  I think she could tell that that was not working for me as I got older and more invested that time with my sister (for whom Quality Time is a bigger thing).  As I got into my late teen years, she became more involved in my life again, giving more time, and I started to realize that this was how she was showing her love.

It does still cause some strife with us – since it is not one of my major love languages, I have some issues understanding why it is such a big deal to her to spend time with me, and why it is such a big deal to her if I can’t.  I try to give it to her, without understanding why it is so important, but since my priorities are in different places, I don’t always know when I’m going to cause a tense situation with regards to time.  This is something I am trying to understand.

I think my dad’s primary love language is Acts of Service.  He takes care of things around the house, makes meals, helps us kids with our car problems, and runs errands for my mom, just because.

Since I grew up with my dad as my primary figure (as my mom got along better with my sister), I understand Acts of Service far better as a love language than Quality Time. To some extent I think I give Acts of Service as a Love Language because of this, because some of the ways I give love are the same as my dad did growing up – making meals, taking up emotional labor, doing research for people, and helping with various tech issues.  Even if they are not my favorite things to do, I do them so other people can have a little less burden on their lives because of what I do.

My mom wants my dad to care more about me and my sister spending time with him for Father’s Day, but I don’t think he wants to.  He’s never made a big deal out of it, but is willing to schedule things (and take on emotional labor) for my mom for Mother’s Day and regular date nights because he knows they matter to her.

I wonder how much neither of my parents speaking my primary family love language affected me growing up.  And I wonder how much of my primary family love language is because of how I grew up and how my parents expressed theirs.  Food for thought.


Brain Weasel Introductions

So, one of my favorite poly bloggers has a name for her brain weasel, which I think is pretty cool.  Mine don’t so much have names as titles/job descriptions:

What If They Only Like Me Because I _______?

What If They Think I’m Dumb?

Why Don’t/Can’t They Do ______ With Me? (And its friend: Why Do/Can They -or Will They – Do That With Them And Not Me?)

Why Won’t They Talk To Me About ______?

Why Don’t We Do _______ Any More?  I Liked Doing ________.

Why Can’t I Find The Questions To Find Out What I Need To Know?

What If I Fucked Something Up By Saying or Doing That?

Why Won’t They Touch Me (in whatever given circumstance)?

Nobody’s Listening To Me

Nobody Cares What I’m Saying

Why Am I Being So Needy?

Where Do I Fit In All This?

What If _______ Is All There Can Be?

Stop Crying

Why Are They Yelling At Me?

What Did I Fuck Up This Time?

I Am Fucking Things Up By Being So Open and Honest About What I Need And Want.

What If I Can’t Figure Out What I Need/Want?/ Why Can’t I Figure Out What I Need/Want?

Why Can’t I Be Happy With The Time I Have?

You’re Being Inconvenient/You Are Inconvenient

Why Won’t They Keep Me In The Loop?

Why Did I Have to Hear That From Someone Else?  Don’t They Care About Me Enough To Tell Me About It?  Is Me Knowing About Things That Inconvenient/Unimportant?

Why Am I The Only One Asking For Things In This Relationship?  Am I That Problematic/Needy?

Why Can’t You Keep Quiet?  You’re Fucking Things Up.  Stop Talking.  

Stop Asking For Things. Be Happy With What You Have.  Why Can’t You Be Happy With What You Have?  You’ve Already Asked For So Much Already. 

Imposter Syndrome – This is a full family of weasels.

You’re Not Living Up To Your Potential

You’re Going To Feel Underwater Forever

Why Won’t They Tell Me How They Feel About Me?

I Need Words of Affirmation In This Circumstance And I Feel Lost Without Them, But Asking For Them Directly Would Defeat The Purpose, So What The Fuck Do I Do?

Why Do I Keep Doing This?

Why Am I So Defective?

What If I Never Have The Money To Figure Out What’s Wrong With My Health?

Why Are They Putting Up That Wall With Me?/Where Is The Reciprocity, That Exchange of Ideas and Information?

Why Are They Treating Me Like I’m Made of Glass?

Why The Fuck Do I Have So Many Brain Weasels?  What The Fuck Is Wrong With Me?

And to give you some idea about these – these have all come up for me in the last few weeks, most of them multiple times.



What do you let go of?

What do you hold on to?

What can you let go?

Who can you let go?

At what point do you say,

“Fuck this, I’m either all in,

Or all out.  There’s no in between.”

But secretly think that maybe it would be safer, in between?

At what point is ambiguity not enough?

At what point do you hope?

Where is that hope from?

When do you put it on the line?

When do you call it quits?

Where is love in your questions?

Where is sweetness?


More Than Two 5.3

What does “commitment” mean to me, and why?

I think I covered this fairly thoroughly in my last post, but as a refresher:

I define commitment as dedication to sustaining and continuing the relationship (even if it needs to change nature or substance over time).

I used to say that I was bad at commitment, mostly when I was thinking in the monogamous sense, that commitment meant staying with one and only one partner and not letting my thoughts stray.  Obviously, at a certain point in time I had to revise this because this definition simply does not work for polyamory.

When I think of commitment, I think of my parents.  My parents have been married (monogamously) for let me see… 31 years.  They love each other and have worked through their share of problems, both with each other and with raising my sister and I.  And even now that my sister and I are full-grown adults out of the house, they are committed to each other, to giving each other space to be exactly who they are, even though that was more limited when my sister and I were still living at home.

I also think of my uncle and aunt.  They have been divorced for somewhere between 15 and 20 years now, but they were committed to raising my cousins in a healthy environment.  They were committed to finding peace with each other, even after growing apart, partially for the sake of my cousins, but partially for their own good.  They have been each other’s fans for a long time now.  Their relationship changed drastically, but they still worked to sustain and continue their relationship as human beings.

I have these models of longevity in commitment in my life, which may explain why I prefer longer term relationships, even if we end up transitioning to friends or acquaintances after we decide to no longer be together.  It also may be why some of the longest friendships I’ve had in my adult life have been with my former metamours; just because we no longer had a shared partner, did not mean that we weren’t committed to each other.


More Than Two 5.2

What needs do I have from my partners, in terms of time, emotional availability, commitment, communication and intimacy?

That depends on the nature of our relationship.

Note: One problem with the English language (and maybe others, but I’m only fluent in English, so that’s what I have to work with), is that there are no really great ways to describe relationships with certain traits without falling back on imperfect terms, some with meanings that are beyond what I intend.  So, I use them and try to make do.  Anyways, back to the main plot.

In general, if we are dating, that generally means that we want to spend time with each other on a regular or semi-regular basis.  So, about a once a month, at the barest minimum?  With my central core relationships (Trydaen, Diplomat, and Lola), once a week or so seems to work out fairly well.  With Moss, we’re still figuring stuff out, but we have gone from once a month to about once every couple weeks (depending on availability) and that’s working out well for me.  My needs/wants around time are one of the main reasons long distance relationships just don’t work well for me – I desire more time together than long distance allows for easily.

As for emotional availability, this is a tricky one.  I need to know that my partners (both central and satellite) will listen to and acknowledge my emotions when I express them, on a soonish basis (like within a day or two, barring extenuating circumstances).  I need them also to be aware that I need to internally process stuff before I know what to do with it, how to feel about it; my raw, stream of consciousness emotions tend to not actually reflect how or what I think about things, just what emotions are closer to the surface on that given day or in that moment.  I want my partners to understand that either I may need time to process things (which I am getting better at asking for) or that they will be getting feelings that may have little to do with my actually feelings and thought on the subject.  As for my availability – I try to be as available as possible (because that is important to me), but there can be circumstances which make me less able to help them process or to deal with deeper emotions, such as prolonged or extreme pain flares, lack of sleep, or general emotional overload.

I define commitment as dedication to sustaining and continuing the relationship (even if it needs to change nature or substance over time).  I need to know if someone is doubting their commitment to our relationship, and if so, if they think that there is I can do to help (if there is anything).

Communication is the key to everything.  I want to know about my partners’ lives – the good, the bad, the ugly, what makes them tick, what drives their lives, what they need to stay the truest to themselves.  Sometimes what I ask for may seem like minutiae or unimportant, but staying in the loop is important to me because it helps me build my story of people.  I want to be kept in the loop about schedules (particularly anything I wouldn’t know to ask about or other out of the ordinary events, like trips or first dates or visitors), partially so I know when to bugger off for a bit or not to expect any sort of answer.  Because Words of Affirmation is so high on my Love Languages, I also need to hear that I am important to my partners and that they are thinking of me, even if it just means a quick text just to check in.

I am frankly not quite sure what the authors mean by intimacy.  Do they mean it in a euphemistic sense, as in to mean sex?  Or alone time together, or deep, personal connection?  I think this question may be a bit vague for me to actually answer it in any meaningful way.  But I do need all of those things on a semi-regular basis at the very least.



I have been trying so hard to hold shit together and I think it may be getting better on the whole.  However, today…

Today started out wonderfully – I got to spend a fantastic afternoon with June, exploring around the city and having a sort of impromptu tea at a tea house neither of us had been to before.  Amazing, right?

Then I came home, attempted to take a nap (failed, but got to lay down for a bit), then went to a meeting of our dual-household LLC.  And everything crashed.

That dream of a household all together in a house we own – yeah, one of the things I’ve been planning my future around – may not happen.  A number of people can’t see it happening, and the group is splitting apart.  When is brutally painful.  And I had to watch it fall down around my ears.

If the group can manage to recombine in one of the houses in the meantime it would mean losing the cat here that I have developed a close connection with, and I just can’t even.  There’s been some times that cat has been the only thing holding me together – the fact that I don’t want him to hurt and that I want to make him comfortable, happy, and spoiled in his old age.  He means the world to me.  I don’t know if I can make the sacrifice to leave him.  He matters to me.  Quite a lot.  At that point I was mentally out of the meeting – it was more than I could handle.
So we went home and we get grumped at for the dog being left outside.  Which I didn’t know about, and I said as much.  Which was apparently worth yelling at me about.  And being yelled at is a hard limit for me, especially when I’m already hurting.  So I left.

So now I’m at Applebees, don’t really feel emotionally safe going home – wherever home is.  I thought it was here.  But it certainly isn’t if you take my kitty away from me because I don’t technically own him.  Or yell at me for not giving 100% of my shits about the dog – as much as he is an adorable creature and is definitely worth care, I can’t give fucks I don’t have.  Fuck deficits are too fucking complicated.

Home isn’t my parents’ place, the place I grew up anymore.  It hasn’t been for a long time.

It isn’t any of my partners’ places, for various and sundry reasons, none of which is my relationship with them or with my metas, but more to do with time.

It isn’t the other house – probably because I don’t have as much invested there emotionally.

And right now, at the place where all my stuff is, where Trydaen is, where I have history, where I have emotional attachments, I am wondering whether I can be safe emotionally when one of my roommates is there.

This roommate refuses to acknowledge that his socialized gender does have an impact on how much his yelling will affect people (or that it will impact others, period), will never apologize for doing so, refuses to do his share of the work, refuses to acknowledge the work done by others, and seems to care more about the dog than about the people living with him (sometimes including his own partner, Butterfly).


Questions I don’t have answers to

How much is too much?

How much can I ask from someone before it is too much?

At what point does expressing my needs/wants in a relationship become needy?

How can I find balance in relationships where I have/express more emotional needs and wants than my partner?

How do I explain situations where my intent and my actions don’t match up completely, where someone might think something of me that was the result of me having portrayed what I was feeling or thinking incorrectly (for whatever reason)?

How often do I have to wear the human mask?  Is 75% of the time ok, or is 95-100% required?

How do I separate my sense of me from my mental illness?  I know it’s not possible to do for my neurodivergence – I am who I am because of the differences with my brain.  But is it possible to chemical unentangle “me” from my depression or my anxiety?  Or therapeutically?  Or are my depression and anxiety as much of my neurodivergence as my ADHD, high sensitivity, and sensory processing issues, and thus not possible to entangle in any way?  How much of “me” am I willing to sacrifice to try to find some relief? (I have the general answer to this – not too much – but I don’t know what that entails.)

What am I willing to sacrifice to make my dreams come true?  And is the sacrifice worth the dream?