It really wasn't any one thing in particular. Concepts just started stacking up until I stumbled across the term one day. I looked up what it meant and then it hit like a bike lock to the face; holy fuck, this is me! It resonated so strongly that I knew in my heart of hearts THIS was me, THIS is how I want to live, THIS is what I need to be happy in a relationship.
I was told later by several friends that once they knew what poly was, they could have told me years ago that I was poly.
Monogamy to me was always the norm, it was what you did, it was the only way to live, the only way to love. I didn't think about any other ways of being because I didn't really have any other ideas to contrast it with. I always felt...confined somehow, muted, dimmed, constrained with the idea of monogamy but I could never articulate exactly why. When the idea of polyamory came along, I just exploded outwards and I felt more like myself than I think I ever have in my whole life.
A very strong sense of homecoming and personal realization, not that I didn't fight it tooth and nail to begin with. It was such a left-field thing that I thought it must have been an abberation, a defect, a fault in the programming that had to be found and eliminated. I spent several months trying to force myself to think more "normally" even going so far as to dip into "repairative therapy" bullshit and trying to use some of their principals. After four or five months of making myself depressed and stoking the fires of self-loathing, I sat down and decided that I was not faulty nor was I in need of help.
This was who I was. It was inconvenient as hell (I was engaged to be married at the time to a VERY mono woman) and caused no end of problems but this wasn't going away and rather than try to make myself miserable trying to fit a demographic I clearly wasn't, I said to hell with it and set fire to pretty much everything around me. An extremely difficult period but one of the most worthwhile personal decisions I've ever made and I dont regret a second of it.
I even bought this little poly heart pendant and wore it everywhere. I used to be somewhat irritated by people who did shit like that; if you're happy with who you are, cool, but do you really need to put it around your neck or on your shirt? Wearing that was kind of like planting the flag; THIS is who I really was, it was a "fuck you" to the years of not knowing, the years of feeling uncomfortable and trapped.
Man, that was an essay. I must be more stressed than I thought.
I am as direct as a T-Rex with 'roid rage and about as subtle. It isn't intended to cause upset, I just prefer to talk plain. There are plenty of other people here who do the nice, polite thing much better than I can. I'm what you'd call a "problem dinner guest."