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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.


All the King's Horses, All The King's Men, Survival Is What Remains of Life After the Fall

Sue, I too have struggled to think what to say about my/our present reality as you express in "Borrowed Words." My present is so bleak and dark, and yet changing.

Nothing is accomplished by layering blame onto each other on top of the overwhelming remorse we all feel, accompanied by the grief at the losses of family members we have all recently experienced adding to our burdens. If we have proven anything over the last year, it is that guilt and remorse have achieved nothing of any benefit for us, other than perhaps providing something to hold onto as we pulled ourselves forward, hour after hour and day after day, as we slogged our way past sign posts that told us there was an end to pain in our own deaths. I have enough remorse and guilt for all of us. If there is some help in owning blame, let it be mine. I won't feel any worse and it may help you.

I know that living with me and contrasting this holiday season with times past (back in the days when you proclaimed living with t and I at Christmas was like having moved to the North Pole with Mr. & Mrs. Claus) it is clear that I am broken. It would be silly for me to try to pretend I am OK, when it is so obvious my present experience of life is basically hollow and worthless. I am sorry that I am not the celebrant I have always been. The aspects of life I enjoyed most at this time of year are gone. My sense of self is smashed and I have found no way to recreate it.

Too, I am better than I was a year ago. I hate this existence, but I no longer waste time feeling remorse that I don't have the courage to end my life. That is meager progress, but it is something. I find the life that remains amidst the horror that is 12-step recovery, probation, shame, grief for our lost loved ones who died over the last three years, my lost career, major health upheavals, and my loss of D/s orientation, bleak and gray, but it is better than the acute agony I was in a year ago. I am finding that with time my memories of what it was like to experience being a man dim from a previous reality to become a sort of conceptual vapor....................................something I can think of, but which feels so unreal that I know it could never be again, if it ever even was. Eventually this reality has become the phenomenology of my present. Perhaps someday coffee,kool aid, Christmas music, not being in jail, the fact that we don't live on the street and have food, will be enough to feel "good" again. Maybe this is some neurological inability to modulate reality up to happiness at the end of the first year of sobriety. Maybe the joy I used to feel in life, was all just pathological.

I only know that while I had "issues," as they say, in the past, I also had periods of joy, excitement, and felt great I was who I was. I loved you both, and wanted to wake up each day to have another day with you both. I cannot imagine life any other way than with you and would be devastated to lose you. Now there is no joy. There also is no drinking. There are no episodes of drunkenness. I cope with life without that. I am told that there is great value in "living life on life's terms." It is one of the huge "gifts" of 12 step recovery. AA-ers pray to God thanking Him for allowing them to live life on that basis. For me it is a living death sentence. I found living life on my terms a great joy. Life dictated by life is bereft of hope and light.

I am sorry you are feeling remorse. I feel sorry that I caused that to the extent I led to it. I imagine it was/is mostly my fault. Everything is.

We need to find a way to survive. It is what remains. Remorse and guilt get in the way. Don't we hurt enough without doing that to ourselves? I hope you can become free of self-flagellation. I no longer have blame and anger. I don't have enough value to feel anything close to that, and it changes nothing..............and hurts you. I want you to heal.............maybe, at least, you can live again.

I love you.


If this is "health," I'll take pathological joy.


  1. Impish19:11 AM

    Swan, Tom, you are not broken, you are wounded, hurt, damaged from battle perhaps...broken implies a type of permanence that is not there - please believe that. You feel broken, I get that, and nothing makes you feel more lost and alone than feeling that way during the holidays. When you feel the loss of your warm, loving home during the season when the most grinchy are being kind and generous and spouting it's joys...well you can feel sad, mean, all kinds of things. Have faith, continue your journey, there are many feeling what you are right now. I know that does not make it one whit better, but perhaps it will help you to not feel so lone.

  2. Just sending hugs...lots of them.

  3. Impish 1 thank you for getting back about this. I hope you are right. I read your comment over and over, the words sound so hopeful when nothing else seems to be. Thank you for the energy it took to express them.

    mouse thanks for the hugs. We can use all of those we can get these days.


  4. Anonymous4:37 AM

    I have hesitated so often about whether or not to respond over the last few months as I have read your journey.

    One thing I see happening so often is laying of blame. There is no need to keep jabbing at yourselves for what happened. It happened. You can't change it.

    I fear, from what I read, that unless some happiness can be found, it will not take long before that bottle is open on the table again. I know a ~lot~ of alcoholics, both in my family and all of their friends. The ones who stay sober are the ones who find happiness in a sober life. Not all of them are in AA. Not all of them can cope without AA.

    The only defining characteristic of all of the ones who have remained sober for years is a joy of being alive.

    I hope that you find such a joy Tom. In something. I, a perfect stranger, am glad that you are still alive. I believe in you.

    I believe in you all.

  5. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Stumbled onto your site over the weekend and was totally mesmerized. Spent all of Sunday reading your blogs from the very first till the last. My head is still spinning from the depth and honesty of your entries on your lifestyle choice and what it entails.

    I admire your courage and that of Tom and Theresa to share such things. My lifestyle is strictly vanilla but feel everyone is entitled to their own personal lifestyle as long as it is consensual and not harmful.

    Your blog evoked emotions in me that I don’t understand and will probably never understand. I truly don’t “know” you but yet feelcompassion for the problems the three of you are enduring and sincerely hope you all find your way through this troublesome time.

    I fret about Theresa and how this is affecting her (even though it is none of my business) as she is also a valued member of your triad. The blog came about as an outlet for your feelings. But what about her? It seemed as if she was left out of the picture most of the time. The ugly thoughts of “how can she be so understanding” and not “jealous” kept passing through my thoughts as I read.(See, beyond my comprehension) Is she suffering the same type of, for lack of better words, “growing pains” during this tumultuous time as you? No answers expected, just wanted an outlet for some of the emotions your blog stirred up.

    Perhaps, as Tom stated in his last response, “loss of the D/s orientation” and you having troubling thoughts about gaining or giving up control, this would be a perfect time for the three of you to forge ahead into the uncharted waters of a new type of relationship that will bring happiness to all. Remember biology? When an organism stays stagnant and never changes with the environment, it dies. The same can be said of a relationship as it is a dynamic, ever evolving entity.

    Sue hope you can come to terms with your past and move forward. Tom, as on who lives with a recovering alcoholic it takes time for your soul to rediscover the joy of living sober. Theresa you are an understanding wife far beyond my meager comprehension.

    Sending prayers and wishes for the health and happiness of your Triad.
    PS: sending as anonyous as this is the first time I've ever responded to someone's blog or for that matter read someone's blog. Guess maybe I'm growing and changing :)

  6. Hi there! I am so glad to have stumbled on your page. Master and I are the survivors of a triad gone wrong too. Fortunately we do have each other.
    Knowing how much work it takes to keep this precious relationship we have now makes it difficult to entertain going poly again for now if ever. We may decide to entertain and play, but involvement is. . . well. . . so involved!


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