I have seen some pretty messed-up folks hiding their dysfunction under the guises of poly or kink (or both). The idea of actually having stable relationships *before* starting into things like this seems to escape them.
Yup. I've seen it too. And not just polyamory or kink. It boggles my mind when monoamorous people want to engage in a relationship with a partner and have done ZERO work on themselves.
The first tier or relationship in ALL relationship models, IMHO?
The one of (me <--> me).
How do I related me to myself? If I do not know my own self, if I avoid
knowing my own self well, then how on Earth am I to articulate my wants, needs, and limits to another person in a monoship? To several others in a polyship? Good golly, in a BDSM kink scene?
In fact, look at your own damn triggers and examine whether you can even tackle the topic from a levelheaded place.
I've experience emotional flooding at times -- and it is not fun. I agree with CdM -- it is a sign of maturity/self control to recognize "Wait! I'm emotionally flooding now! I cannot continue this conversation in a useful way at this time. I'm checking out to self care, we can regroup when calmer."
And there we go right back to the (me <--> me) tier of relationship, no?
Nobody is perfect all the time. But I think that being self-aware most of the time is a Good Thing and something to aspire to.