I’m Dani Kelley,

and I do lots of things.

Haikus With Dani: Splinter

I mentioned somewhat in passing last post that I’m exploring polyamory. It’s been immensely rewarding and fulfilling, though at times extremely heart-wrenching and difficult. (The good far outweighs the bad for me, however, and so I’m rather content.)

Dating in general has taught me a lot of things about myself. About what I need in a relationship, what kind of dynamics are healthy for me and my partner, how those dynamics differ relationship to relationship, how to communicate and listen effectively. Perhaps what it’s teaching me most of all is how much of myself I hold back for fear of overwhelming someone with my Muchness. And, unfortunately, how much I need to hold back … if I don’t want to lose someone.

What I’m realizing, however, is that holding things back does make me lose someone, every time.

It makes me lose myself.

I know I’m a lot. My love and passion and excitement are every bit as deep and all-encompassing as my PTSD, sadness, and despair. And I need someone — lover, friend, or family — who doesn’t expect me to hold back for their comfort. There are so many people I know who, like me, overflow with Muchness. And that’s not something we should have to hide in order to earn or keep someone’s love and affection.

i may be pretty,
seem wholesome and charming. but
i am not simple.

i house hurricanes
of cacophonous feelings
behind this rib cage.

take me as i am,
or leave me where I be. just
choose carefully.

you may have all, or,
if my muchness is daunting,
you may have nothing.

so before you pick me
as a potential lover,
please make sure you know:

i am all passion —
love and desire, bound up with
suff’ring and sorrow.

i overflow with
both grief and merriment — they’re

i contain many.
i am large in body and —
even more so — heart.

i am all of me,
and i refuse to splinter
for your convenience.

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