You invited comments...so I am going to make some
First off, thank you for sharing your story (and feelings) with us. I am sure that there are many "lurkers" on this board who feel that they are "not poly enough" to participate ... and you have outlined a number of reasons why.
There is no "rule" about how poly you have to be to have an opinion - you don't even have to identify as poly to be a member of this community. From my perspective, based on what you have posted so far - "Iím currently in a Vee with Herman and Jasper." - THAT'S poly right there. That is what your situation is, THAT is your poly - no better/worse/more valid than my poly or anybody else's.
"I've been in two relationships for years now." That doesn't sound like you are even much of a novice! Many "poly-identified" people haven't had relationships that lasted that long. If a significant portion of that time was spent as a "cheater" then I could see how you would feel that that doesn't "count"...(and I would likely agree, but if you aren't cheating NOW then ... well, LOTS of people come to poly via cheating - not that I would ever recommend it - my current config came about by events that seemed really REALLY close to cheating. All you can do is make the best decisions you can RIGHT NOW to move on from that).
As to your other concerns -
Communication is something that can be learned and worked on - some people are natural communicators and others are not. Others here will likely be able to suggest resources for you to consider.
I, too, worry that my boys are agreeing to this because it is what I want and not what they want for themselves. BUT, they are adults and responsible for their own wants and needs. Ultimately they choose their own paths...they choose to walk this one with me.
Plan/No Plan - this may be a personality (as opposed to a poly thing). I want a plan for just about everything BUT relationships. (Dude and I collide on this frequently - he doesn't believe in plans AT ALL). You can't plan feelings - you can only "prepare for possibilities"...(again, only my personal take on this)
"Shame" for not being out? You don't need to be an activist to have a poly relationship! This is between you and your partners - you can listen to what others have to say...think on it, and decide it is not for you. Yes, being out has benefits (to you and others) but it also carries risk...only those of you IN a situation can judge it.
Just one person's response to your posts...