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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.


An Old Friend

In the very beginning of my blogging endeavors, back some six years or more, the earliest commenter at The Swan's Heart was Malcolm.  For a very long time, he was the only one to visit regularly and leave words of encouragement or wisdom or simple friendship.  Over the years, Malcolm has poked at me and prodded me.  Sometimes he has overstepped, at least in my view, and I've come roaring back at him.  He has remained a steadfast friend in this place.  Malcolm, if I've never said it, I am grateful for the time you have gifted to me over the years.

Most recently, in a comment on my "Magic" post, my friend Malcolm has written words that I imagine cost him some time and energy.  They are, as is the norm when he speaks to me, not entirely easy to hear/read, but they point to a deep part of my own personal set of struggles and fears for this part of the path, and so provide me with an opening to say what is true for me in this instant:

...Well, Sue, I have been reading your blog on and off for years. It's never been more interesting than it is these days, because we are now into real, universal problems. You have been allowing comments recently that are very critical, and I'm sure that's a good thing... Sue, your problems will never be solved by thinking. You have to become soft. To submit. To relinquish control. It's so ironic that I'm saying this to one whose who has devoted much of her life to submission! Now you have to submit to one who has much greater, infinitely greater, power than your Tom's personality. This "one" is none other than a vital part of yourself. You will not be betraying Tom by that ... I have come to realise that the Universe (God?) is friendly, will give me and has given me what I need if only I stop trying to direct the show ... You are trying to defend your habits of thought ... It's counterproductive to try to defend them or reconcile them with other systems. Habits of thought are just that, nothing of great importance that you need to keep...  just now it's what you don't understand that is causing you trouble. Your training in submission is not being used for the greater purpose it could fulfil.


That's a lot.  There's truth and wisdom in these words.  I am struggling with defending what I think against what feels like an assault.  I know that perception is not entirely accurate.  No one is "out to get me" or "out to get us."  The people that we are dealing with are doing the best they can too -- believing what they believe because it works (or has worked) at some level for them.

Malcolm pokes his finger into the place where I've claimed the description "submissive," and called me to account for the doing of it.  And that's an awful lot of my problem just now.  I do not know and cannot know what will remain of our D/s when all of this settles, and that scares me.  Master is so unsure of this new reality.  I can see His struggle with the step 1 admission of powerlessness -- how to reconcile being powerless with being Dominant; with being "Master?"  I feel like I have to let Him go into the hands of these "AA'ers" who claim to have the magic that can save Him and us, but I am terribly afraid that the "healing" they promise will leave us nothing at all of the life we once valued -- the dream I thought we shared.

So many people say to me, "just go to Al Anon," but I can't imagine that there are very many Al Anon meetings where I could lay out the contours of our dynamic and erotic orientations -- and get much in the way of understanding or "help."  No one is going to hold onto me while I cry my way through "maybe never being slave again..."  I just don't see it.  And while Malcolm suggests that it is now time to submit to something bigger than Tom, I can't picture that being an adequate replacement for what I think may be lost forever.  I cannot go back.  We cannot go back.  The life we had that was driven by alcohol wasn't good either.  I want to believe that there will be better things in the future; that something good and healthy can come out of all of this... 

It is all such a muddle.  I am so confused.  So afraid.  What if I don't do the right thing?  What is the right thing?  How will I know?  Who can help me?



  1. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Anon, atheist, AlAnon pushy here, haha. Okay, yes, I know I'm pushing AlAnon. Is it right for everyone? Of course not! My brother and sister went to crappy meetings, hated it, never went back. They both went to private therapy; my brother found a great therapist, my, not so much. She left, found another one a year or so later, found a good one (yay!) and finally started healing and growing.

    Sue, there just isn't one pat answer. I'm sorry but there is not. I wish there were.

    If AlAnon doesn't fit, then it doesn't. If a therapist doesn't fit, then they don't. Listen, I don't know of anyone who shares exactly my spiritual beliefs or framework. Not even my nearest/dearest. We are all sightly different in our take on it all.

    I'm hammering on AlAnon because it doesn't look like you've tried it yet. It helped me so I'm going to be all gung-ho about it. But maybe it won't help you. Or maybe it will.

    I'll end with this; you say you can't lay out the contours of your dynamic and eroticism in an AlAnon meeting. Well, I have similar feelings in that area and never brought those feelings up in a meeting. It just wasn't part of what I needed to address. You're sub, okay...but that isn't what's broken. The meetings aren't going to be about that kind of thing; the meetings are focused on other parts of our lives. It doesn't matter, as far as the program goes, that you are submissive, that you and T and Tom are in a poly relationship, really, those things never came up in the meetings. That's not what the meetings were about; whether we are single or married or poly or sub or dom or gay or straight or black or white or female or male...

    Those personality traits were never the topic. You know?

    It's okay to be confused and scared. It's okay to muddle through. This isn't a contest. :) This is about you guys healing. Whatever it takes. If AlAnon, yay. If AA, yay. If self-help books, yay. Just find what makes your soul feel nurtured and go in that direction. Good luck again!

  2. Dear swan and family,

    My heart goes out to each of you in this continuing struggle.  It's a new and challenging situation you are in.  God, or whatever name ones give to the Unknowable Essence really distills down to Universal Love in my mind.  As a Reiki Master and Hospice worker of many years, I cannot define what It may be, but I do believe in the eternal energy that I have felt too many times to deny. But then I don't really understand solar winds either.  It comes down to what I can feel.  And I can feel Love that is not of me, and I can feel energy not me, so far more perfect then I could ever manage.  

    I leave you with this prayer that has been more comforting and helpful then I can say:

    O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit.

    O God!  Refresh and gladden my spirit.  Purify my heart.  Illumine my powers.  I lay all my affairs in Thy hand.  Thou art my Guide and my Refuge.  I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being.  O God!  I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me.  I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

    O God!  Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself.  I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.


    I don't know why it helped so much, but it did.  
    Best to all,

  3. Anonymous1:31 AM

    "No one is going to hold onto me while I cry my way through "maybe never being slave again..." I just don't see it."

    Get a hold of yourself, girl. Do you not see that each and every step you are taking now are exactly the ones you should be taking as his slave? Questioning your ability to be his slave is no different now than at any other time in past years that you have done so for other various reasons. And just as in the past, there is no reason for it.

    Illness or an earthquake to the family of any sort produce similar feelings. One of the points I made with Master at the begining of his illness last year is that while the disease was in his body, we all had it and all suffered for it. Funny thing was, when push came to shove, the years of conditioning and training he had put me through - showed in all their glory. I never, NEVER felt more enslaved to him than I did holding him while he battled this battle. He never even thought about owning me but owned me more fully then - just as Tom does you now. Time to get busy moving forward and not worry so much about things that serve no purpose - you are to serve him - not play slave to imaginary fears and doubts.

    (Besides for all my bravado, I'll hold you and understand when you cry and wonder if you will ever be slave again. Been there, done that got the T-shirt.)


  4. Anonymous1:40 AM

    Malcolm's words helped me with my ongoing struggle to relinquish control to my HP. So.... Thank You Malcolm.

  5. wandering traveler8:39 AM


    you can't think yourself through surrender. AA is just another way, just as good as any other. you don't have to buy the whole package, just use the tools. you won't become "one of them." you'll still be you. only a you who has walked right to the very edge of their helplessness and then said, "please, i can't do this by myself anymore. i need help/grace/love/god/mystery/fill-in-the-blank." you can think the "right thoughts," do the "right things," but magic key is then asking for help and letting it come.

    count me as sending the very best to all of you during this exciting, dynamic, scary, hopeful time!

  6. I do not know what God is. I think there must be "something" greater than me... I mean who made the trees, the animals, the ocean, the stars, humans? All of this stuff was created by someone or something - but it is something I cannot define. I do not like people who believe they understand this greatness and want to define it through a narrow framework of Jesus or the bible.

    Whoever or whatever created this universe - my life - it is a wonderous and miraculous GIFT. This world is AMAZING! I think the most appropriate way for me to honor that gift is to show my appreciation of it. I don't have to understand where it came from or try to define it. I have to use it to it's fullest and not waste it.

    I honor and show my appreciation of it by taking care of it - of myself and those around me. I honor and respect all of the creations I come into contact with - big or small - because they are all a part of this great gift. In turn, I must not let anyone or anything harm or disrespect ME - including myself.

    I also show appreciation by finding enjoyment in the gift. Isn't that what we want when we give a gift to someone? I delight in the flowers. I am exhilarated by dancing. I am awed by the feeling of love. And those who are so concerned about heaven or another after-life existence are missing the whole point. The gift is NOW.

    I hope this family can find enjoyment in life again. I think you are taking the steps -however confusing they may be - to take care of yourselves. That is the greatest way of worshiping "God" that I know of.

    Wishing you all the best,

  7. I did a very long response to your last post and just as I was finishing the stupid computer froze!

    But, two quick comments:
    I know the god language is a problem for you. Maybe it would be easier if you thought of the Amerindian "great spirit" whenever you hear the word "god".

    My guy found his dominant much stronger after he'd been in recovery a while. Not at first, too distracted with learning what he needed to stay sober, but later because he was able to function as who he truly was without the interference of alcohol.

    You all still remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Impish15:05 PM

    There is so much here that I don't have an answer for, but you've shown me this. That being a dominant is who Tom is, being a submissive is who you are, and T knows who she is. Being sick, being wounded, being afraid doesn't change the basic of who we are to our core although it may shake our understanding of it and stunt our expression of it. When all are healthy, you may find it changed, but healthy, happy people express who they are more fully than ever.
    I send you caring supportive thoughts...please try to have some patience with yourself, and try a little time if you can.

  9. Change is so dang scary.

    Submitting to the unknown, to the change, is really really scary.

    While dwelling in a time of trauma and transition in the past, Master used to tell me "It's OK not to know." I said harumph.
    Master also told me to Breathe. I said double harumph.
    As always, Master was right. Even when I didn't like hearing that. (He got a big head.)

    Trust in yourself and in your family and in the Universe enough to stop trying to make it be what you want it to be, and just breathe. Let go of the need to know. Relax.

    I know, I truly know, how hard that is for you - it was that hard for me too. So many folks don't understand that our choice for submission and slavery is actually a way to have ultimate control. And right now, you don't get to have that control. I won't lie, for awhile I could barely function. My medical practitioner placed me in an "unable to work" status, and I was blessed to receive full sick pay as I struggled through the aftermath of my son's suicide attempt. In so many ways you are so much stronger than me - still working full time while simultaneously dealing with all that your family is dealing with.

    I admire you - all of you - and hope that you will feel my support and encouragement. You are faced with so much uncertainty, the unknown sucks. Eventually it will all become known, and you will be fine. No matter what the future holds, it's OK. You don't have to know or have the answers right now. Just breathe. You have enough to do today. Let the future unfold at its own pace. You really will be OK. No matter what.

    Peace, for you, for now, for all of you, for always.


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