Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Moving Letter from a Woman Polyamorist in Bulgaria

One of the most exciting things happening in the world of polyamory today is it's rapid growth in new locations around the world.  Though the growth of interest in and the practice of polyamory in the United States has increased so there are many fewer polyamorists isolated with no real local community, such people still exist.  So, too, do they exist in other countries.  (See my post about my delightful connection with Leonie Linssen in the Netherlands who is pretty much single-handedly organizing poly community in that country.) 

I received this week two compelling messages from a very isolated polyamorist in Bulgaria named Violeta Stoykova-Jakobson, and she has given me her permission to share them with all of you.  She is an excellent example of how it is that no matter what our race, our nationality, or our religious background, some of us just know that we were never meant to live a life of monogamy.  And it is messages like these that inspire me to continue my advocacy work for polyamorists everywhere, especially those who can't advocate for themselves in their own home town.  While I appreciate her kind words, they truly apply to all the wonderful polyamory advocates I know who are working to make things better for all of us who consider ourselves polyamorous. 

Vili, as she signs her messages, writes:

Dear Anita,

Thank you for the work that you are doing.  Depending on the perspective, in 21st century the world might look smaller or greater, crowded with loving, amicable people or with alienated ones.

To be born and to grow up in your little corner of that world (Bulgaria in my case) is not easy.  In my life I never saw working, mutually rewarding monogamous relationship between straight individuals.  I didn't have positive role models.  So,when I identified myself as bisexual and polyamorous I felt both open to the experience and shocked by it!

"Why me?  Why it has to happen exactly to me?", was my initial reaction.  Because of Internet (providing me the necessary information I can learn from) and due to the important job people like you do, I have hope for my future, the future I am not willing to spend as an outcasted victim - weak, silent, invisible.

I intend to relocate to California pretty soon, to live with my husband and see what America can offer me...and what I can give to myself and my beloved ones.

I certainly intend to help her connect with local poly community when she has relocated.  Vili continues in her second message: 

I have always felt like an old soul, like someone who, in the past, was imprisoned in the vulnerable body of a child but bore in it the insights of timeless wisdom.

You might (reasonably) want to ask me do I believe my heart is unbreakable now.  No, I came to the realization that a heart can be "broken" only in the context of someone else"owning" it.  You know the patern- "I'll come and hurt you by creating a chaos inside you or by telling you what you should feel in your heart because I've been hurt in the past and that's the only way of  'living' I know!"

Well, my person grew up enough for a shift of the paradigm, I opened myself up to the new ways in which I perceive life at present.  Why am I so dauntless?  I am full of surprises.  I am a member of the LDS church, usually called the mormons.  I joined it at the age of 19, completely oblivious about my sexual, spiritual,and relationship orientation, so to say.

When I came to terms with the truth about myself more than three years ago, I wanted to resign from it because I couldn't reconcile the church's policy about its GLBT members (and alternative lifestyles in general) with the unconditional love of Christ, with the same love I felt to be the core of my being. 

.... after eight years in the church I met two young men, serving their mission in my hometown, who turned my world upside down.  One of them became my husband (though not in law yet - for political/practical reasons), the other one I call "my smallest bit of paradise".  They "introduced" me to the reality of polyamory and I'll never regret that!

...My husband's ex-girlfriend turned [out] to be someone with serious mental issues.  Being unable to accept the fact that he no longer wishes to be with her, she drove us crazy.  She wrote nasty,malicious handwritten letters and e-mails to both of us.  She bothered me on Facebook - I had to delete my profile because even though I blocked her she continued the harassment by sending her aquaintances to abuse me.  They pretended to be potemtial friends of mine, but after I opened the door to my universe all I heard was how I am sinful/will burn in hell or abandon my beloved one for another woman(since I am openly bisexual).  She even googled my name!

I resisted all attacks.  I know what love is.  I am sure how it feels for me - not limited by gender or number.  My husband (he's much more than the institutionalized word for me; he's my sweet accomplice in life's adventures) loves my strength, courage and openness.  In a kind of society where everyone is masking everything he loves my nature, my real face.  He still has a lot of work to do to catch up with me. 

My letter already became long,so I want to say only one more thing.  Honesty is my policy.  Being bisexual and polyamorous doesn't necessary mean that I will be engaged in multiple, parallel relationships with both men and women.  They might happen to me, they might not.  I may crave for them, I may not.  Love comes to us when we are ready to decide whether to follow it or to stay the miserable grey mice in the corner.  Who I am is the fastest way to freedom.

Best regards,


P.S.  Please stay in touch with me.  The desert of loneliness is unbearable.

So much of what Vili writes resonates for me, especially her comment in the last paragraph about when love comes to us and about being who we really are being the fastest way to freedom.  And the religious harrassment she endured via her husband's ex is an all-too common story for those who identify as polyamorous and/or bisexual.  But the most compelling of all is what she says in her postscript.  It can indeed be lonely to be the only poly-identified person you know.  But she is surely not alone.  If you would be willing to be Vili's polyamorous pen pal, please send me your name and email address and a little about yourself and I'll send it to her. 

1 comment:

Marco said...

Very eloquently written I must say. She sounds like a very sincere woman and I wish her all the best when she and her husband finally arrive in California.