MORE MAGAZINE #23
Aeterna Saltatus -
Eternal Dance - Andrew Gonzales
Looking at the miracle of a pearl we
see how a grain of dirt and the irritation it causes
stimulates a natural response whereby in the process
of protecting itself, the oyster creates a jewel of
While in the midst of learning the
art of relationships, it seems almost impossible to
see how polyamorys dirt: jealousy, insecurity,
fear, lack of communication skill and a myriad of
other perils can be the stimulus for our personal
evolution creating the pearls that await us. But its
true. Perhaps my path may best illustrate this.
I was a "mistake" when I
was created. While in the womb my mother was deathly
ill, tortured with her own guilt as she was unsure
that she really wanted me. When I was born, my poor
confused, schizophrenic mother alternately adored me
then repeatedly tried to kill me. My Pleaser was born
as a protection method to insure my survival. Having
to focus on Mother and her needs and learning how to
effectively pacify her violent part, I perfected the
art of accommodation, even at my own expense.
My models of relating were my
parents; two people who said they loved one another,
yet rarely talked nor showed affection. My Father
loved me, but he was emotionally unavailable as he was
suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a
result of being a veteran of WWII.
Neither Mother nor Father were ever
diagnosed nor helped. We all just lived with it, and
the repercussions of such a life.
I took these early patterns into my
intimate relationships. In my teens and twenties, I
tended to play victim. I externalized and blamed,
making the other partners the villain. Trying to
escape my dysfunctional family, I married very young;
at age 16. It was like jumping from the frying pan
into the fire.
My first husband suffering from his
own childhood of physical abuse, beat me and cheated
on me, had sex with other women (and denied it) and
abandoned me. Our interactions consisted of either he
being in my face in rage or abandoning me completely.
When I look back on these days what truly amazes me is
not that the abuse was happening, but that the little
girl I was back then put up with it.
I repeated that pattern of
recreating my dynamics with my parents in my
succeeding relationships in varying degrees for most
of my life. Victim was my lifes theme. With each
succeeding relationship and reinforcement, my primary
subpersonality became Pleaser and I identified with
her and thought she was me. I was always the sweet
little innocent girl who didnt make waves and was
so soft-spoken and sweet, I bordered on the angelic.
My second husband, a true knight in
shining armor, rescued me from disaster. After our
initial passion, Jim progressively abandoned me as he
was a workaholic. I was so lonely my emotional
distress was severely affecting my health and I became
Meanwhile, in my search for some
form of intimate connection I fell into my computer
and discovered a fascinating new invention called the
internet. That was 1991.
I met a married man who lived 5000
miles from me which eventually led to an affair and
the end of the monogamous chapter of my life. After
two "failed" marriages spanning 24 years of
my life, I figured there had to be a better way of
relating than the painful marriages I had endured that
seemed to offer little happiness.
And thus began the collection of my
I deeply love more than
one in an intimate, passionate fashion. When I
fell in love with Evan, I did not stop loving my
husband, Jim. What an incredible personal revolution.
It is every bit as wrong
to be the victim as the victimizer. As my life
progressed I realized that the dynamics of dyads seem
to foster my dysfunctional relating, allowing for no
external system of checks and balances. With each
succeeding relationship, my partner and I eventually
became blind to our system as we moved further into
our drama; our co-creation in a subconscious effort to
reprogram and heal ourselves from our childhood wounds
and the hurts from relationships before our current
By shifting my physical
location I could change my entire perspective and open
my life to greater joy. When I moved from PA to
HI, I realized my cultural conditioning and
restrictive society I was living in was repressive and
I was literally suffocating and dying. My distress had
manifested itself in the form of lung disease and I
was dying. Moving was perceived by my family as an
extremely selfish thing for me to do, as my parents
were elderly and needed me. I was in a no win
situation. By learning what I wanted and giving myself
permission to follow those wants, I began to
distinguish who I really was from Pleaser, who had so
dominated my subconscious. I began to develop an aware
ego, or center and find me.
Pearl 4: There are no fairy
godmothers or knights in shining armor. Evan
couldnt rescue me anymore than Jim could. I have to
do it myself.
Pearl 5: Polyamory may not feel
any better than monogamy. When I moved from
Pennsylvania to Hawaii, I began exploring various
structures involving multiple partners. I became
enormously uncomfortable as I couldnt escape my own
dysfunctions by disappearing into many relations as I
now had more to bust me on my stuff.
Pearl 6: Always be
played mistress in Hawaii with Evan for two years. At
times the wife knew we were seeing each other and
other times she didnt. It didnt feel good for
any of us and I felt guilty and my inner critic really
beat me up.
Pearl 7: I need to be included.
I lived in what may be described as an "open
marriage" for 4 years with a boyfriend where he
didnt meet my partners and I didnt meet his, yet
we knew about the others. That hurt. I felt lonely and
abandoned. I punished myself with my new self-imposed
rules of polyamory that I "shouldnt" be
jealous, and I felt horrible. I found that I like to
discuss our adventures and learned the hard way that
some people dont care to know what the other has
done. I am far too curious for that to work for me.
When I dont know, my abandonment issues come up and
I find myself feeling quite jealous when Im not
there. As a result, Ive learned to cut myself a
break and honor where I am in the moment. My personal
growth does not have to be huge steps which will only
shut myself down. Baby steps are just fine.
Pearl 8: Despite how it looks,
mirrors can be a blessing. We attract people who
enact our inchoate, underdeveloped, suppressed,
despised or otherwise disowned aspects, inner voices,
shadow subselves and hated habits. We see in those we
attract what we like least about ourselves. These
"mirrors, reflect parts of us we need to accept,
honor and enjoy n order to feel whole. In a
polyamorous lifestyle, we have many mirrors to reflect
back our many worts. We get a chance, with multiple
lovers, to burn our karma on a polyamorous pyre.
By this time, I was gathering enough
pearls to make quite a necklace.
Three years ago, I met and married
Dr. Sasha Lessin, a poly practitioner of 30 years. For a
while I thought all my dreams had come true; my
prayers answered. In reality, being involved with one
of the most poly men on the planet put me on the
emotional fast track. Sasha--involved in several
tantric, polyamorous love nests across the country--had numerous lovers. Since he had just spent a year on
the road visiting them, most of them reciprocated and
arrived on our door within those first three months of
our relationship. Their non-verbalized expectations,
either of me or of Sasha, required me to not be
jealous. Oh boy, big trouble. At that point, the dam
broke lose and I reacted adversely to just about
everything. I felt jealous, hurt, insecure, abandoned,
afraid, terrified and once quiet little angelic Janet
began to cry, scream, yell and throw fits.
Pearl 9: Relax. Slow down.
Pearl 10: I am absolutely,
positively the worst candidate for community. I
need my privacy. I get cranky from too much confusion
and interaction. I need my own space.
Pearl 11: I like having a
husband. I dont share very well.
Nine months into my marriage with
Sasha all hell broke lose. We had opened up our
community to another couple. The man, Sam, thought he
was a poly expert since he had lived 15 years in a
large poly community in New Zealand. I felt he was a
"poly Nazi." His melodramatic wife was
subject to temper tantrums. I had vetoed them from the
start yet Sasha wanted them. Sasha and I had developed
financial problems which destabilized us and we had
moved into an intense negative bonding pattern where
we frequently fought. Sasha felt those poly
"experts" could help. This brew was an
unstable mixture bound to explode.
The other couple convinced Sasha
that I was his main problem and threatened to leave if
I didnt stop crying, quarreling and being upset.
One thing led to another and soon I found myself on a
plane; banished, alone and living on another island.
I had now found myself in my lifes
darkest hour. Having survived my extremely painful
existence, I had at last earned my reward and found my
greatest love, my deepest soul connection and twin
flame. Now Sasha and I were finished, forever. We
would never touch again. I was truly alone. I had
never felt so sad in my entire life.
Pearl 12: Love
in the midst of my greatest pain, I came to a
realization that despite the fact of all that was
happening, I loved Sasha. I may never see him again,
yet that did not change what I felt. I love Sasha. I
knew in that moment that I loved him, forever, always
and completely, unconditionally, no matter what else
happened. I knew that I have love and I have this
incredible ability to love and that love is with me
always and forever and that no one can ever take that
away from me.
As awful as this felt, if I had not
dared to venture into this incredibly difficult and
frightening poly path, I would never have realized
this most precious pearl of all. By knowing love and
experiencing love outside of myself, I grew to realize
that the love was really not "out there" or
"in them" but that the greatest love of all
is right here, always with me, inside me and it IS me.
Our love was too strong to allow us
to part. Stubborn thing, love is. Sometimes, despite
all reasoning and logic, love seems to prevail. Sasha
and I couldnt leave each other and thus we gradual
found the way back home to one another.
Somewhere during my struggles I
evolved and realized that could no longer blame the
other and the world and had to take responsibility for
my life, my issues and my actions. Here I thought I
was "safe" having married one of the worlds
greatest shrinks as surely he would be able to deal
with my issues. Reality is, hes human too.
Despite all this clarity, I still
have the tendency time and again to revert to blame.
Reality is, I am very difficult to live with and I
have only to blame my own inner triad: me, myself and
When I think about it, my poly life
has perhaps been even more stressful than my
monogamous one. In monogamy I could at least remain in
some fictional world of denial and dysfunction.
Polyamory somehow is more real, alive and in my face.
Polyamory can end in divorce. One
couple we know, married for 9 years are now
reconstructing their relationship by getting a divorce
and remaining business partners and friends. Another
couple married for 10 years plus had a huge public
party celebrating their divorce. Shes getting
married to someone else next month. They too have
decided to remain friends. Yet another long-time
married couple are "married" once a week.
Every Wednesday they are totally committed to one
another for that day, with complete devotion for the
duration of their interaction, then total autonomy in
the interim with no questions asked till they meet
again the following week.
Frankly, it amazes me when people
attempt this alone. I dont know how anyone out
there does any kind of relationships; monogamous or
polyamorous without counseling seminars, workshops, or
emersing themselves in a psychotherapeutic community.
Sasha and I have arrived at our
bliss. What works well for us is inclusive loving,
with each of us having a veto on one another's sexual
involvement. All sexualloving takes place in each
others' presence. Relating to other couples has to be
right for each and every one of us, no small
requirement, since we're bi, eccentric and intense and
need all-round approbation with our lovers. We have
discovered that tantric healing, regression therapy
and reprogramming work. Were now dating couples and
singles committed to full-clearing as well as
polyamory. It is a life-process. We now enjoy the
When loving others together, when we
or someone we are dating becomes upset, we honor the
upset whenever they occur and stop whatevers going
on, even sexual celebration, and focus our attention
on the upset person. If we cannot resolved the upset
in the present, we ask the destabilized person to
return experientially to earlier times or even
pastlife images of similar upsets that may be fueling
her current upset.
With each revelation we continue to
gather the pearls. Now they are not only our own, but
include our dear beloveds.
One recent revelation I had
regarding the perceived dichotomy (monogamy vs.
polyamory) which creates the division, controversy,
stress, seizing children, adversity and even sometimes
violent reactions to polyamory, is how conflicted we
feel when not coming to grips will the parts of
ourselves which create our personal hells.
My own personal struggle, "am I polyamorous, am I monogamous" has created a great
deal of distress for myself.
As I fell asleep the other day, I
had a realization which I expressed to Sasha.
I said, "Is it ok that I am
monogamous? I mean, I really am. I am mono (one)
gamous (married). I am married to one and I really
have no desire to ever marry another. Yet, I truly am
poly (many) amorous (love) as I love many and want to
make love to them."
He smiled and his eyes sparkled as
he said "Of course!"
And I fell asleep and had the
greatest peace Ive known in the longest time.
All parts and voices are in us and
valid . We truly can at last give ourselves
permission to have our cake and eat it too, then
others may relax and find peace as well.