I spent the days following my last post thinking and talking over the situation with a variety of people, many of which are experienced in poly dating. I was able to get a lot of validation about my position. Once I felt more clear-headed, I wrote her a very calm and reasonable letter to state that I felt that I wasn't being heard or understood, and went on to explain where I was coming from.
A couple of days later, I got a long wall-of-text letter in reply, telling me she was shocked to have read mine and then choosing to focus on semantics and the language I chose, instead of any real issue. In fact, the only real issue here is that we each have a boundary that is in direct opposition to the other. I couldn't manage to get her to discuss this point, instead she kept trying to bring misinformed and irrelevant elements into the argument, such as wildly misinterpreted words and phrases. She seems hell-bent on being pissed-off at me, grasping at anything she can as further reason to hate me. She accused me of manipulating and guilt-tripping her. She signed off by telling me that if I felt the need to discuss it further, to bring it up with her Owner, as her patience on the matter has been exhausted.
I sat there, floored at the animosity and because so much in her letter was flat-out wrong and full of misunderstanding. It was so wrong that it felt like a punch in the gut. I couldn't let it rest like that. I wrote her back to clarify; she'd taken huge issue with my use of 'D/s' and 'poly', so I tried to explain what I'd meant. I told her I'd always had realistic expectations of our relationship and that we were on the same page there. We had only discussed that there would be other people, and we were each free to do whatever we wanted on our own time. I pointed out that we had never had a discussion about how to handle other partners, just that there would be others. I ended by saying that I understood if she felt she had to walk away, but that she'd be missed. Thanks, it was fun while it lasted.
She wrote back right away, and instead of addressing anything, took immediate offense then to my use of the word 'partners', saying we weren't partners and my using the word lets her know I'm a fucktard or whatever (paraphrased) and 'yes, it's a loaded word for me'. She then told me she was pissed off and annoyed that I couldn't or wouldn't see that not talking about dating violated our agreement. And ended with, "And that's all I got... seriously."
At this point, I realized there really was no further arguing with her and that she was hell-bent on being pissed off at me, grasping at whatever she could to justify that stance. Most of the stuff she said had nothing to do with the actual issue, they were just ways to paint me as a clueless, inexperienced poly failure to avoid having to get to the heart of the matter. Her last email made it clear that there was no rational discussion to be had and that she would derail my attempts with irrelevant details and fallacious arguments.
So...... I gave up. I didn't bother responding. I felt like anything I could possibly say would just piss her off, it wouldn't matter what it was. What's the point? Going down that road, I would be driven mad by trying to argue with someone who is being incredibly irrational and self-centered. I threw up my hands and moved on.
She, however, has not -- far from it. She is incredibly angry at me right now and it feels profoundly unwarranted because I didn't do anything! All I did was speak some very reasonable feelings, which was met with outrage and then she immediately turned on me. If anyone should be pissed here, I think it would be me, no?
Last week, I went to a mixer for my leather girl club and had the fortune to run into one of my good friends, who knows everyone in the scene. She saw that I was a little out-of-sorts and asked what was going on, so I started to tell her. All I had to say was, "Well, I was in Ma'am's service for a month and a half... we had a disagreement, I tried to talk to her about it, she freaked out, and is now super pissed and not talking to me."
My friend calmly replied, "Oh.. yeah... She does that."
"Yep. She's been here since, what, November? Already she's got a string of people she's done this to and everyone knows it. If she's not careful, soon everyone will avoid her."
Immediately, a weight lifted and I felt a thousand times better. Later at the mixer, I talked with another friend, who, completely independently of the first, said, "Oh, yeah. She does that."
Here I was, worried that she would be trashing me and ruining my reputation, when she is the one with a reputation! It made me feel worlds better to know that it had nothing at all to do with me. I felt like I'd received a gift, the 'why', which would have driven me crazy otherwise. It was super validating to hear two different people tell me the dirt. I now know to ask my girls about people in the future!
Pride was upcoming and my friend asked if I was going to attend a particular girl party. I told her that I'd been planning to, but that Ma'am would be there, so I wasn't going to go. "What? No! Fuck her, you're going," she proclaimed. "I'll be there. You're going."
And that is how I wound up having one of the best days ever! I asked some friends if they wanted to go, and I was able to roll up with a posse of two hot femmes and a handsome butch, all of whom are genuine, fun, and wonderful people, so I had the best company all day. Once they heard that Ma'am would be there, they all got protective and said, 'Oh, girl, we got you. Don't worry.'
We got there, I scoped the place out, located Ma'am for avoidance purposes, and got some drinks. Eventually, we made our way outside onto the sunny deck, me following them to what happened to be a rather conspicuous spot. When we first arrived, I saw her outside and she was smiling and having a good time, so I'm pretty sure she saw me because after that, she looked pissed and no longer seemed to be enjoying herself.
I was genuinely having a great time and completely forgot about her, so I lost track of her whereabouts. We headed inside to get more drinks and ran smack dab into Ma'am in the hall by the bathrooms. It took me entirely by surprise and I quietly said, "Oh, shit. There she is."
There was no avoiding walking past her and once she noticed me, she was visibly taken aback. I was nervous and in the brief moment of eye contact, I tried to smile. She frowned and pointedly looked away. I just continued the smile, shrugged a bit, and kept walking to catch up to my friends at the bar. "Well, that was awkward..."
It's cool, though. I'm glad I was challenged to face my fear in this area because I can't avoid her forever. We have friends and interests in common, which means we are going to see each other around. I would have avoided her all day, but I was gifted a face-to-face meeting, something of which I was most afraid because I wasn't sure how it would go down. I suspected it would be like this, her being pissed off and acting like she didn't know me, but I dreaded any sort of angry confrontation. So, now that I know what it's actually like, I feel much better.
I'm good, actually, and pretty much have moved on. I never had the romantic feelings or whatever she thinks, so I've been able to calmly and reasonably accept the end. Mostly, I feel like I dodged a bullet here in a bunch of ways.