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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.

1/16/2012

Ambiguity

We Herons are awash in ambiguity, and with us, those who persist in reading here...

Our story, to this point, is just full of the things that make our BDSM and polyamory lifestyle communities just crazy.  Humans don't like uncertainty, lack of definition, confusion, contradiction, upheaval, chaos, paradox, and inconsistency -- and I am convinced that the poly and BDSM communities are even more averse to ambiguity than the rest of the crowd.  We like things defined.  We like to know who is who, who fulfills which roles, what the relational hierarchies are, and where the power lies.  And, furthermore, once we know all of that, we like things to stay put -- no shifting and switching!  Masters should stay masterful, and primaries should remain primary -- and, of course (as I have repeated over and over), submissives should submit.  Get it all laid out, nice and neat and tidy, and then leave it alone.  Yeah.  That.

Except that life seems to delight in the very swirl of ambiguity that makes so many of us just squirm and avert our gaze.  We Herons, of course, have embodied the complexities and contradictions of life.  We've described our life and our love here for something over seven years, and when I go back and look at all those 1389 entries, I am struck by what we thought we were doing -- contrasted with the stark reality that I can see from this present moment's perch.  Sometimes we thought we were "up;" on top of the world, riding high, with everything going our way -- other times, we've been, like Icarus, a flaming, streaking, disaster; plunging to earth after having dared to fly too close to the sun.  Either -- or.  What is so interesting to me, in retrospect, is that we never seem to have a clue; we never see it coming; and we pop up, time after time -- believing pretty firmly that it will "all be better when things settle down."  Hope springs eternal.

The newest research tells us that we are not alone, finding that 47% of adults in the U.S. suffer with addiction.  Nearly half!  That's a huge secret that we tend to keep close to the chest; after all, it is easier to keep on believing that only those of defective character and weak will fall into the pit of addiction -- if they are not US.  Science is finding the truth -- a perfect storm of genetic predisposition and environmental opportunity that works to capture those with the hidden vulnerabilities even though they make the same seemingly inconsequential choices as their peers.

So, as some warned over the course of the years, ours is a family that has had to confront issues created by addiction to alcohol.  In doing that, we've learned to acknowledge and confront the multiple instances of child abuse by His mother, and by mine.  We've begun to untangle that morass, learning slowly the pathways by which we come to react to one another as angry, frightened children -- rather than the intelligent and loving adults that we are in other instances.  It is a confusing and befuddling transformation that happens in an instant, taking us from tranquil and happy to full on battle mode.  Utterly exhausting.

It has, as friends might imagine, played havoc with our power dynamic.  The question of "who is in charge," is living large in our intimate lives.  We are uncertain of ourselves and of each other.  We are each hurt.  We are each on unfamiliar ground, becoming something completely new and unexpected -- and we have no clear sense of where that will ultimately take us.  Now and then, the spinning brings us around, face to face, so that we can see exactly what a wondrous thing our love is -- but then we whirl off again in different directions and the clouds come flying back in.  Somedays, He giggles, and on others He mourns.  Somedays, I glow with joy as He fastens my collar around my neck with a familiar certainty, and on others I curse the impossibility of dealing with the sadness and seemingly endless misery that engulfs Him, and so all of us.

I know, we all know, that some might judge us; have judged us for being in this position to begin with, for taking so long to address what might have seemed a clear problem to those who were not IN the middle of it all, for flailing and faltering and fighting our way through this first year of sobriety.  I know that there are those who believe that they would have never fallen into this kind of situation; would have chosen more wisely.  I know that there are those who KNOW with an unwavering certainty that they would never have remained in this relationship, AND I know that there are others who are convinced that they would have been a much better slave through it all than I have been.  I know.  I can, on a day when I'm up for making myself miserable, list the names of those who's silent judgement speaks so loudly...  They will never, ever understand me, and they will never "get" the truth of this family and our lives together.

A couple of weeks ago, toward the end of my therapy appointment, Dr. J. laid it out pretty clearly for me.  I was twisting myself into knots around my mother's continual negative judgments through my growing up years.  I was fussing about the sound of her in my head, telling me that I was incapable of making good choices -- too stupid to manage my own life.  Dr. J. looked at me, and said, "You've been with Tom for ten years.  That's a long time.  A lot of living, good and bad.  If, today, you had to decide whether to do it again, knowing what you know now; knowing that there would be all of this; knowing that you would have to live through this year of hell -- would you?"  I sat there looking at her through teary eyes, and I could hear the blood roaring in my ears, feel my heart pounding in my chest -- and then I heard my voice, steady and strong, say an absolutely unequivocable, "Yes."  She smiled a big, broad grin that lit up her face -- and said, "Good."  We went on from there, finished my appointment, and I headed on home to my crazy, unpredictable, and completely ambiguous life -- but that YES has reverberated in my mind.  I would do it all again.

Maybe I am completely crazy.  Maybe no one else will ever understand it.  Maybe it makes no sense.  That YES is mine -- that YES is His if He wants it.  The ambiguity is just the way things are.

Sue

14 comments:

  1. Sue,

    Really hope someday, when you've all come through the darkness that you'll reread what you've written here and see the strength of your words! And also know that some of us are sitting quietly beside you.

    With much love and hugs,
    mouse

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    Replies
    1. mouse -- thank you for your steadfast friendship. I have read back through your blog, and I know some of the path you and Omega have traveled. Each story is different, and it still helps me to know that there are others out there who have been through this and lived to tell about it.

      Sue

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  2. Judging others seems to be a pastime that too many enjoy. Until we have been in your shoes, noone should judge. I smile at posts like this, and cringe at the sadder ones. But I know, for sure, you are all doing the best you can. I am rooting for all of you. abby

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, abby... We've been cheered on by your upbeat comments all the way along.

      Sue

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  3. Anonymous12:02 AM

    Perhaps this post should have been signed by "Peggy Sue" rather than Sue? :) Thinking of you all every day...

    magdala~

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    Replies
    1. Peggy Sue? Hmmmmm.... I don't know. Good to see you, friend.

      Sue

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    2. Anonymous11:00 AM

      I cannot possibly be the only person who recalls the movie..."Peggy Sue Got Married?" The one where she went back in time to a teenager to change the outcome of her life and realized along the way that she wouldn't change it for the world. It's the first thing I thought of reading this post.

      Good to see you too :)

      magdala~

      Delete
  4. We are with Omega and mouse ("some of us are sitting quietly beside you.") :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you are... And it matters. It really does.

      Sue

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  5. Anonymous8:51 AM

    Its been a rocky trek with many pitfalls for sure! Still wonder how Teresa is handling all of this. The blog is basically yours to document your journey with Tom. Teresa is a part of that journey. She suffered a life threating illness early in her relationship with Tom. Had to give up her BDSM activities and contend with the addition of another in her marriage. Had to adapt to a poly triad. Now she's traveling through all of your and Tom's turmoil. You and Tom may be Master and Slave but Teresa is an integral part of your triad.

    Are you there, Teresa? How are you faring? Thinking of you.
    Joyce

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  6. I too smile to read of these good days.. and the 'ah ha!' moments that come along. Hopefully each step up the mountain for each of you results in stronger steps together. That you have such a strong 'yes'.. is a excellent sign, and hopefully.. one you can all move forward with. Life is a state of flux and change, and I'm learning that we have to just go with the flow as best we can.
    All ways warm hugs and thoughts to all,
    Mystress

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  7. Life is ambiguity isn't it? It's messy and has all those unseemly loose ends - it's not like a novel at all. So blogs (which reflect our real lives) never have those tidy moments of pivotal change and perfect resolution.

    It's good to know that your answer to whether you would do it over again, if you knew what was coming. I think that's a very good sign.

    -sin

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  8. Anonymous4:33 PM

    This is a beautiful and poignant note. I hope he says yes as well i spent over a year of my life saying yes to some i loved and with whom I had a long history. He wouldn't hear it, and I was almost ready to stop saying it, but somehow, finally, he said yes as well.

    ReplyDelete
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