awakening to the “dollhouse moment”

“Why not just give [polyamory] a try?” some ask. “What can it hurt?” But it isn’t that simple. Some simply do not desire more romance in their lives– and there is a greater reason, I think, beyond that.

It’s terrifying.

I read a play called A Doll’s House when I was in college. It made a lasting impression on me. It’s about a woman who is living a traditional life with her husband, but she has a secret. When the secret comes out, this is what happens

Husband. And can you also make clear to me how I have forfeited your love ?
Nora. Yes, I can. It was this evening when the miracle [did not happen.]
Husband. Explain yourself more clearly. I don’t understand.
Nora. I have waited so patiently all these eight years for of course, I saw clearly enough that miracles do not happen every day. When this crushing blow threatened me, I told myself confidently, “Now comes the miracle,” [and it did not come.]

She lives a beautiful, perfectly good life. That’s the thing about living in a doll’s house. It isn’t a bad life! In fact, it can be much, much better than being disappointed. It’s full of sweet nothings and cookies and warm memories.  But that is all destroyed when the beautiful moment she is hoping for does not happen. (To be fair, what she wants is more of a mutual self destruction rather than mutual pursuit of happiness, but the point is that she is pretending and that pretense is killing her).

Afterward, he calms down. The crisis passes, after all. He wants to go back to her being a doll in his doll house. And she does not.

Many people are content to live in a doll’s house, and for good reason.

Where everything is nice and perfect, and we don’t have to talk about anything that might upset us.  It’s only a half life, in my opinion, living like that. But it is safe.

When you open yourself up to that sort of moment, as, say, when one enters a polyamorous life, you never know how your loved ones will react. Your family, your trusted friends, and, above all, that one person you believed you could count on. No matter what.

What happens if they betray us? If they turn out to be smaller, colder than we believed? When my friend explained her need to be kinky to her husband, he embraced her.  When my daughter’s friend came out to her mother, her mother wholly accepted her.  But what if my friend’s hsuband had shunned and shamed my friend instead?  What if my daughter’s friend’s mother had rejected her?  None of us expect betrayal, yet it happens.

….it’s not insane for a tiny part of oneself to think, “But what if they don’t?”

I think it’s worth the chance. To be honest about yourself. Even if it is difficult. You owe it to yourself.  Whatever that might mean.  Being queer, trans, poly, anything and everything.

Nothing has ever meant so much to me as that beautiful, priceless connection with another human being. That is worth the risk for anyone that wants to live their fullest measure of happiness.  Believe in yourself, and take the leap.

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