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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


Try Not to Cause More Hurt, Please

Our family has been through the wringer in the last weeks.

Reading here may have given outsiders a glimpse into the turmoil and devastation that has befallen us, but let me assure you that what you can see is the tip of a very large iceberg -- there is so much more that we have not shared, and I hope will not share.

We are deeply immersed in chaos and trauma.  There is pain and anger and bewilderment -- for us all.  And the truth is that we are in conflict, with one another.  Things are not easy or settled or comfortable or happy in our world.

Those of you who read here are faced with choices when trying to decide how, or if, to respond to what we've shared here.  I understand that it has been terribly difficult to read the tale of these last days, and I understand that there is some "natural" impulse to make judgements and choose sides.

Please do not do that.

We are at the very beginning of a very long, and probably very difficult road that may, someday, bring us to some kind of healing and peace with one another.  Before we can get to that distant future, we have a lot of work to do...

--We have to define all the components, and variables, and differing perceptions of our conflict with one another.
Even as we passed through the events of the last two months, we each formed our own reality -- and our realities do not match.  We disagree with one another about some very basic elements of the stories we are telling.  As long as our stories don't match; as long as we are at odds with one another at this most basic level, we are each left feeling unheard and misunderstood and devalued.  That hurts.  We are working at it, but we are not there.  Not yet.

--We have to acknowledge all the feelings we are each experiencing, and the scariest of those is hatred.  At some very real level, we have hatred for one another -- coexisting with the love we've nurtured for so long.  
 Hatred hurts.  Emotionally and physically.  We are all tangled up in that and it is eating away at the very foundations of our lives together.  We know it and it scares us, and we can't seem to entirely let it go.  Yet.  I believe that we'll outlive the current feelings of rage and hatred and betrayal.  But that is going to take some time.  

--We have to forgive one another, and then forgive again, and then again.  And we need to be willing for that forgiving to not change anything much in the short run.  
We are, each of us, "up against" our own human sense of hurt and betrayal, and while we want to not cause further hurt, we are in enough pain that it is very hard not to lash out; not to pour out anger and frustration onto one another.  Except for this blog, we really have no other, "safe" outlets for all of these feelings.  We are pretty much "all in all" for one another.  Right now, in the midst of this mess, being "all in all" makes us simultaneously supporters and enemies.  Maybe, in time, the repeated act of forgiving will bring us some peace.  In time.
--We each need to apologize -- for our part in all of the awfulness that has happened; for choices made and actions taken; for the consequences, however unintended of our actions; for inflicting pain piled on top of pain; for blaming; for not hearing; for discounting and demeaning where we should have loved.  
To apologize is seemingly simple, but for us it is complicated.  We each need to apologize, and we eachneed to hear the apology -- and we need, more than that, to repair the damage done.  An apology is a start, but not the end of it.  Not by a very long way.  It is hard to offer the apology, and know that it is such a small bit of the work that needs to be done to make this all right.
--We're struggling to learn to empathize with one another.  Clearly, healing isn't going to begin until we can feel that we've been listened to and heard.  We need to validate the honest feelings that we are each experiencing.  That is damnably hard when each emotion in the other brings up strong emotions in us.  
We are trying to listen.  Carefully.  Trying to really hear the words, but the deeper emotions too.  And we are feeling our way along.  It is scary and it feels really bad.  Some of what we have to say to each other; some of what we have to hear from each other feels mean and nasty.  Knowing that the person you love thinks badly of you, discounts your opinions, and suspects your motives is just awful.  And that is exactly where we are -- trying to listen with hearts and minds.
--We are beginning to know that we are probably going to have to let go of some things that feel like "must haves" and "won't do's" and "I just never could's."  
What is becoming clear is that, much as we love one another, we don't see eye to eye on some things -- and that may never change.  We are going to have to find a way to accommodate that as we move forward.  If we can.
--In the end, the question remains whether our love for one another is strong enough.  Because, when this part of our lives recedes from view, it might be that we will still love enough to live on and find something good.  

... And that is why I am, tonight asking readers here to stop judging; stop assigning blame; stop thinking in terms of good and bad, or right and wrong.  Do not assume that there are "innocent" victims here.  There is not a single one of us who is innocent.  Do not assume that there is a need to assign blame.  There is plenty of blame to go around.  Do not assume that some of us need your support while others deserve your scorn and censure.  Please... be careful, and if you can, be tender with us all.
Tom is hurt.
T is hurt.
I am hurt.
We are trying to survive and we hope to someday heal.
If you can offer words of encouragement and friendship, that may help.
If not, please -- try not to cause more hurt.
Thank you.



  1. Sue, I am phenomenally impressed by what you have written here, which clearly reflects work that you all are attempting to do. The thought and love and suffering that has obviously gone into it takes my breath away.

    We speak so glibly of suffering in our world of BDSM in all its multiple incarnations. But the sufferings of the heart, the spirit, the sense of self... these aren't so sexy and can't be soothed with ice packs and soothing creams.

    Thank you for letting us into your home - or at least leaving open a curtain so we can peek in through the window. I suspect we can all learn something from what your family is going through - and for that if nothing else you deserve our support.

    Thank you, too, for the explanation of why you - we - lay our lives and struggles before passing readers. It's true. There's a great relief that comes from thinking that we might find others who understand something of the dynamics of our relationships, dynamics which to many if not all of our friends are unknown and would certainly be incomprehensible.

    Be strong.
    Be loving.
    Be vulnerable.
    And find peace - whatever shape that peace may take.


  2. I think my "goal" for commenting on almost every post lately is just to let you all know I'm here and listening and hurting along with you all. This whole situation breaks my heart...I can only imagine the pain and anguish you're all going through. I hope your post eliminates the "uglies." Hugs.


  3. Thank goodness for the delete button, and thank goodness that we aren't (as owners of our blogs) obligated to keep posts that are not worthy of being read. :)

    And btw - if anything I've ever written came across as negative or unsupportive I apologize. My intent was always, in every comment, to offer support, encouragement, acceptance, and love to ALL of you, no matter who had written the post. I fervently hope that is how my words were perceived. You are all very special to me, and I continue to hope for the very best possible outcomes for the three of you.


  4. Anonymous9:48 PM

    I have only posted a couple of times and usually get deleted because I do not always word things so nicely. I will try harder to make sure I am more sensitive in my posts. Just so you know, I have not posted to any of the latest issues. I am too lazy to sign up with a name but will sign my posts with a K.
    I have been reading for a long time and am sad you all are going through such agony. Remember that anything worth something never comes easy. And Sue, go easy on yourself. I am not saying you making that call was wrong or right, but I can say I would have done the same thing. When we fear for someones safety we react. I am sure Tom knows this also, it is just hard for him to see through his pain. (least that is what I think)
    One thing that is obvious in post from each of you three, is love.
    Hoping you guys will heal quickly.


  5. The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. As long as you are feeling *something*, don't discount the possibility for hope.

    I'm sorry I'm so late in reading through all of this - I've not been online on anything but Sparkpeople and the occasional facebook glance for a while.

    Just know that I love you all and am rooting for you.



  6. Peace and love to all of you. Many of us have gone through crisis and trauma before in our lives, very few of us have done so publicly. You all have always been open and honest, sharing your greatest triumphs as well as your pain. I think that reading all of this has (at least for me) brought back personal, painful feelings and memories. Reactions that have been posted here may be reactions to much more than your personal story. I need to remember that all of you are going through an incredibly hard time right now. You are hurting and your hurt is raw and new. It is easy, but also wrong to draw conclusions and make judgments from what has been presented here. Be well and be gentle with yourselves and with each other.

  7. Sue, A long time ago I was going through a crisis in my marriage and some words you wrote were so meaningful to me at the time that I copied and saved them. (How's that for a compliment to your wisdom?!) I offer these words back to you, Teresa and Tom now. I know the post is somewhere on this blog - but I'm not sure when or where. Your words:

    "Sometimes, there is this myth that players who are experienced with each other don't need to negotiate ... Negotiation, no matter how thorough it is, is based on the here and now. In spite of how much we may resist the facts, it remains that the "there and later" will be different. Over time each and every one of us will change, as will our partners and the myriad circumstances in which we will find ourselves. Inevitable as it is we can still be surprised by change. As resistant as we maybe to it, it never ceases. We will age by the very fact that time continues. Aging may bring wisdom or folly, expertise or failure. Over time our bodies, minds, and emotions will evolve. There is no stopping the graying of hair, the weakening of muscles, or the growing diminishment of our senses...

    However we might fantasize all of this, or might have thought of it at some beginning point, that constant fact of change and evolution is the simple reality. None of us, Master or slave, is today, as we were a day or a month or a year ago. Physical, emotional, intellectual needs and abilities and potentials shift, and if we are wise, we must move with them. As partners, we need to re-negotiate the bargains we make.

    A very real and powerful part of walking this path is our ability and willingness to go, naked, into the depths of our own souls, to seek out the truth of who we are and offer it to one another. That is the best of our bargaining. We simply must be willing to know and understand what it is that we bring to the negotiations, and then make the very best bargain that we are able. There is nothing at all contrary in doing that. That is the epitome and essence of power exchange. That is the best of what we do with and for one anoher."

    Keep moving forward. Keep negotiating.

    All my best,

  8. Anonymous6:22 PM

    I've quietly read along and followed your joy and sadness all these years...but I'm compelled to say something now.

    I see you all hurting. I hear the devastation (and the love) in the words each of you type.

    I just want you to know that I love you all, and I wish you peace, joy, self-love, and mutual love. I wish you less turmoil. I wish you, dare I say it right now...happiness.

    Sending my positive thoughts to all of you. I know we barely know each other...but I'm here if you need an ear or a shoulder.

    -Techiechic (Abby)


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