A lot of people think being in a triad (or throuple, as some folks call it) must be hot. Like, super, scorching hot. And it is incredibly hot… but not for the reasons you might think.
First of all, I’m not going to talk about my sex life, so no worries (but, yes, I’m happier than I’ve ever been with it, thanks to polyamory). Second, I don’t want anyone who reads my blog for the genealogical content to be put off by this. But I would like to share a few things because we can always use more polyamory-positive voices.
Many people wonder how polyamorous relationships “work” and I have to say that I never thought I would find myself in one. My attitude toward them used to be, “It’s not my thing, but I think it should be a thing and I’m glad it is, because we’re all different.” So I’ve always been poly-friendly anyway. In fact, I wanted an open marriage the first time around, however my ex believed in imposing an OPP (poly definition: one penis policy), and that doesn’t work for me.
I come from a privileged background, insofar as I’ve never had to be in the closet for any reason, including my religion (Pagan) or my sexual orientation (pansexual). I’ve had romantic attractions to and involvement with people of various genders, and I am also strongly kink-oriented.
Now that we got the what I am out of the way, let’s talk about who I’m with and why I love it so much. Again, what makes a triad wonderful might not be what you expect.
I have two male partners/significant others. If you’ve fallen in love, you know it’s equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. Being in love with more than one person is tricky, unless you dig into and embrace ethical non-monogamy, and commit to relationships that are fair to everyone involved.
What do I love so much about this relationship? It gives me an added sense of security, the knowledge that I have the emotional support of two partners, not just one. There’s something inexplicably freeing about know I have this polycule to support me with all this love. It’s as simple as that.
This, of course, is what makes any romantic relationship wonderful, regardless of whether it’s monogamous or not. I also lean a little bit toward relationship anarchy, because it’s a mindset that I can get behind – almost fitting in to the Heroine’s Journey archetype, where the main character of the story develops a support system that helps her accomplish what needs to get done.
My nesting partner (the person to whom I am married) is NOT more important than my other partner/significant other. This isn’t hierarchical and one partner does not take priority over another. Instead, we take everything as it comes, giving support and love and attention to each other always, but if someone is having a bad day or big challenge, we’re there for them. And since we all face bad days, big challenges, and more, so our “turns” all come.
So if you were anticipating some big, special revelation about why being poly is fantastic, I’m sorry to let you down. What makes this relationship so hot is how loved, supported, and protected I feel by the other people in it.
We also have different things to offer each other in the relationship. Each of my significant others has different qualities that I value. One is more introverted and pensive than the other. One is a more complementary foil for my playfulness. And, yes, one of them is also into genealogy. Lucky me! Yes, sexual compatibility is important, too, and those bases are definitely covered here.
I am also protective of both of my significant others, perhaps because I’m the dominant person in the relationship(s). However, the main thing that makes my triad so hot is knowing that they are both here for me, and each other. There are many relationship paradigms and dynamics,. As long as the dynamic you are in is loving and supportive, as well as fair and ethical to you and the other people involved, then that is what matters. <3
It’s late summer and I’m melting. I decided I’m not going to continue with 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, because I wasn’t having much fun with it. The writing prompts are handy, but not my cup of tea at the moment.
I’ve also decided to take a step back from being as active on WikiTree, due to some concerns about leadership. Specifically, how leadership treats those of us in the LGBTQIAP community. A few months ago, a member asked about reporting a project leader for making homophobic comments/statements toward them, and then that same member disappeared from the WikITree Discord server. I don’t know exactly what transpired but I know that, regardless of my sexual orientation, I’m not okay with it.
So I guess this is just a little update on where this blog/site is going. I will certainly be sharing more genealogy. In fact, I have something I’m working on right now, but it’s going to take some time to put my thoughts together. Also, the heat does my head in, so that’s not fun.
There are plenty of other things I want to share and talk about, but I’ll get to them. Right now, I need to slow down, recover, and then move forward from there. Honestly, I feel a bit like I’m screaming into the void anyway, but I always hope someone will find something useful here someday. 😀
As much as many of us may look back at 2020 and say, “What a dumpster fire,” it seems 2021 isn’t much of an improvement. Though I’d like to think we’re going to eventually get to an overall better, more positive place by the end of the year. Besides, I think I’ve let go of the idea of “good years” and “bad years” and, really, it is what it is – a little bit of both – and that’s just life.
Personally, I’ve experienced two losses so far this year and that has certainly shaped my attitude about 2021. My only paternal aunt passed away and it wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it still fills me with sadness to know she’s gone. The other was our parrot of 10 years, Avery, whose loss is heartbreaking. We didn’t anticipate it and, sadly, that’s often the way it goes with birds.
People, of course, are asking or saying – if I’m being honest – dumb and insensitive things. “I didn’t realize he was that old”/”How old was he?” He was 10, thank you very much. “Was he sick?” No and, again, thank you so much for asking. Oh, and sending me pictures or videos of why parrots are so great. Um… pardon me, why? I’m grieving a sudden loss and these things are really twisting the knife. When someone loses someone precious to them, why do people feel the need to ask the how, what, and why? Especially when there is an understandable degree of guilt, since that life was your responsibility? Pet owners often feel guilt, even if they shouldn’t, and these kinds of questions push that idea that somehow it was our fault that our pet died. If that’s what you’re trying to do when people lose a beloved pet, congratulations. You succeeded. If that isn’t your intention, would you please simply say, “I’m so sorry for your loss. Do you want to talk about it?” and leave it at that?
So that’s my mini-rant about that.
Anyway, we never plan on having another bird. Getting one was originally my husband’s idea, because he’s a bird lover. However, he soon realized the amount of work that goes into being a “bird parent” is disproportionate to the amount of energy and attention he was actually willing to put in. I became Avery’s bird mom and loved every moment of it, after never in my life considering having a parrot. We’re all feeling the loss, though, and we know that we don’t want to go through it again. Even our cats have noticed something has changed (namely, Avery not plucking their fur, pecking their paws, and sitting on their backs), and they seem a little gloomy about it.
There are, of course, good things to share. It’s not all sadness. My son went to prom for the third and, likely, last time. He’s a senior and partied his Saturday night away with his class. It was an exciting but sad moment for me. I remember going to the prom with his dad 28 years ago.
My son took my weeping in stride, thankfully. My husband got a kick out of it and obliged me by taking tons of pictures. Graduation is only 3 weeks from now. I’ll be sure to bring copious amounts of tissues.
My daughter said she doesn’t want 2nd grade to end. I don’t blame her, and I also reminded her that she was the one saying she didn’t want school to start last August. She laughed about that, and we talked about beginnings, endings, and how everything has it’s time and place and cycle.
As far as genealogy, I’m turning my attention to my husband’s family. He descends mostly from recent immigrants from so many different countries, that his ancestry presents a unique challenge to me. The majority of my ancestors have been in New England since the Mayflower and Great Migration. There is a branch from Virginia and North Carolina in the 1600s and 1700s that ultimately sort of folded into my New England ancestors, and then my few recent immigrant ancestors are from England, Ireland, and Italy. All very familiar territory for me. My ex-husband’s ancestors are also mostly Great Migration New Englanders, as well as settlers in New Brunswick and Quebec. I know my way around New England and Canada fairly well, genealogically-speaking.
My husband’s ancestors are from Ireland, Quebec, and there are two or three lines that were in the U.S. by at least the 1700s, that went west from Pennsylvania and Virginia. Other than that, I’m looking at countries I’ve never had to work with: Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, and Switzerland. Working on each line is challenging, because none of them are well-documented, except the ones from Quebec. DNA is a helpful tool here. Many of my husband’s matches still reside in Norway, Finland, and other European countries.
I’m also looking at both of our mtDNA lines. My ex-husband’s mtDNA line was super easy to trace. He’s an A2 and we were able to document him back to the daughter of Chief Madokawando, who’d married Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie de Castin. Many of my ex-husband’s mtDNA matches with a genetic distance of zero (15 matches) also descend from this couple.
My mtDNA haplogroup is H1aj1 and that’s the one I’m most interested in exploring right now. I have only 2 matches with a zero genetic distance, however. One is my maternal uncle, so clearly we know which ancestor we share – my nana/his mother. However, we have another match, born in Sicily. As this is the Italian side of my family, I’m hoping to pinpoint how the other match is related to us. Recently, I dedicated many nights to working on our match’s maternal family to see if it might give me clues about mine. The most recent maternal ancestor I can name is my 4th great-grandmother, Angela Giusto, probably born in Cogoleto, and definitely died between 1842 (when my 3rd great-grandmother was born) and 1865 (when Angela’s husband, my 4th great-grandfather, Tomaso Pedemonte, remarried in Cogoleto). Since records for Cogoleto during this time frame aren’t available online yet, I need to be patient.
Working on my match’s family was quite interesting, since he had documented 3 maternal generations, and I was able to add 5 more through vital records in the towns of Lascari and Gratteri, in Palermo, Sicily. The interesting thing is my maternal family is from northern Italy, while his entire family is from Sicily, two completely different regions. Will I find our shared maternal ancestor in Sicily? If so, when and why did my family go north? It’s a project I’ll be working on for the foreseeable future. One neat thing of note is that when you click my 23andMe ethnicity results to look at the breakdown for Italy, it does show Sicily as one of the regions. Sooo, who knows?
Finally, I ordered my husband’s full sequence mitochondrial DNA test and that result came last week. He is haplogroup V11. He has fewer matches at a genetic distance of zero than my ex-husband does, but many more than I do, with 8 matches. I think there’s a good chance that at least a couple of them will make a good basis for comparison as far as finding out more about my husband’s maternal lineage. I’m specifically focusing on the Scandinavian matches or those with most distant ancestors with Scandinavian names, since that’s where I’m sure we’ll find a connection.
The most distant maternal ancestor I have for my husband is his 3rd great-grandmother, Maria Ursula Taescher, born about 1853, maybe in Switzerland. She married Emil Anton Ospelt on 6 November 1876 in Liechtenstein, and they emigrated to the United States. They were in Dubuque, Iowa for some time before moving to Washington County, Oregon, where she died on May 9, 1930. I don’t have the names of Emil’s or Maria’s parents, and don’t know if their death certificates will yield that information, so I’m starting there (I placed my request this weekend), and will work my way back.
I might try to work on a more in-depth post about working with mtDNA in the future. For now, though, the rest of spring will probably be a flurry of activity. We have an awards night at the high school for fine arts students, so I’ll be attending that, followed the next night by my son’s last concert in guitar and choir. And then there will be graduation. Meanwhile, my daughter is supposed to start softball this year. We signed up last year, but it was a wash due to Covid. However, my husband, son, and I are all vaccinated, and my daughter is eager to play. We’re all hoping for a kid-safe vaccine soon!
Well, that’s the news from here. I wish it was happier, but I’m grateful for the years I had with my aunt and my Avery.
It’s been a hell of a year for most people and I am well-aware that we lucked out in our household. We have a roof over our heads, income, food, and the ability to meet our needs. Not everyone can say that.
There are certainly things we’ve personally lost, not to mention the greater losses that touched most of us over the year. No matter how difficult this year has been, I’ve also tried to remember that I’m privileged in so many ways. I’m grateful for my privilege and have tried to use it constructively. Unfortunately, what I have can only go so far. But it’s the little things, and we are all capable of something.
Here’s hoping 2021 brings all of us health and safety, love and joy, and more.