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Old 10-30-2011, 12:58 AM
FeyLady FeyLady is offline
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Hello,
My 27-year-old older sister recently came out on google+ as poly and bi. My mother has known for a week or two, but I found out through the social media outlet. Her post said the following (because she posted in publicly, I don't feel as if I am invading her privacy):

"I'm polyamorous and I'm bi. Take me for who I am, ask me questions if you want, but if you don't like it, move on. I'm not changing for you."

My mother and I were a bit confused and hurt by this post because, as a family, we are generally very open and have never asked her to change herself. (I should mention that we are not telling my father, who still thinks that sexuality is a choice =/ ) We're not entirely sure where this anger-or appearance of anger-is coming from. In the last few years, my sister has pulled away from our extended family and skips most family events. She and I have never had a good relationship, but I always chalked that up to our extreme differences of personality. We don't live near each other and rarely talk, but there is no on-going feud or animosity.

I am straight and mono, but have many gay and bisexual friends. This is, however, my first interaction with polyamory. I was hoping I could get some insights to how the relationships work and how I can further understand my sister's lifestyle. Any thoughts would be great!
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeyLady View Post
My 27-year-old older sister recently came out on google+ as poly and bi . . . "I'm polyamorous and I'm bi. Take me for who I am, ask me questions if you want, but if you don't like it, move on. I'm not changing for you."

I was hoping I could get some insights to how the relationships work and how I can further understand my sister's lifestyle. Any thoughts would be great!
It's great that you want to know more. Well, polyamory is often defined as something like "the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved." It is known as a form of ethical non-monogamy.

But, really, beyond having a focus on honesty in handling multiple loving relationships, there are a gazillion ways to live polyamorously. Therefore, there really is no one specific poly lifestyle to tell you about; hence, no one can tell you how your sister embraces and lives poly, other than your sister.

In her announcement on Google+, she said to ask her questions if you want. I would take that as an invitation to find out directly from her what poly means to her and how she lives her life. Consider it also an opportunity to connect with your sis again and get to know her better.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:50 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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I wouldn't necessarily take it personally... her defensiveness may well have had nothing to do with family, maybe she's received critical retractions from friends or is just generally afraid of rejection and is trying to rip off the coming out bandaid all at once.

This is a wonderful site for learning more: www.morethantwo.com. But really, ask her questions if you want to know more about her life... everyone's poly is different!
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:12 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I certainly agree, I wouldn't take it personally at all unless you and your mom were the only people who get her updates. She might have pulled away from family BECAUSE of tenseness about not being able to be honest with people about who she is. Making an attempt to talk to her that is loving and open could make all the difference to her in the world right now.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:49 AM
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You have an incredible opportunity here! I am excited for you actually. She has invited you to ask questions, support her, find out more about her life and become closer. Her attitude comes from fear of rejection not from anger.... don't show her that you will reject her; use it as an opportunity to be closer.

If I were you I would read up about poly so that anything that could shock you won't. Then show her how much you know by asking about how she does poly. Ask her if she has any partners, ask her if you could meet them some time, tell her about this forum as it is a place for support, let her know that you think she is very brave to of come out but that you are so glad you did because it means you get to understand her more even if poly is not the choice you picked.... then let her talk about make herself vulnerable to you. Listen and be there for her. She doesn't have an easy road, but it will be made easier if she knows she has an advocate in her family.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:51 AM
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This is a wonderful site for learning more: www.morethantwo.com.
Annabel, you could put this in your sig... it could save you time.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:16 AM
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Annabel, you could put this in your sig... it could save you time.
I've thought about doing that, actually, and I may yet.
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:31 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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The thing is, I think I would just end up typing "Check out the link in my signature line" a lot when posting in this section, which I guess is a few fewer characters? But functionally it'd be about the same.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:10 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Hello Feylady,

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeyLady View Post
..........

My mother and I were a bit confused and hurt by this post because, as a family, we are generally very open and have never asked her to change herself. (I should mention that we are not telling my father, who still thinks that sexuality is a choice =/ ) We're not entirely sure where this anger-or appearance of anger-is coming from.
So.....does this bubble you have been living in have a name ? Or do you just call it 'bubble'.

Ok - enough of being factious.

You seriously don't "get" the struggles people from alternative lifestyles and belief systems deal with in trying to navigate the 'normal' world ? So it seems. How else could one suffer from shock & awe LOL

So it seems this can be a real eye opening experience for you. A chance to see and learn about how a large segment of the population lives. What they endure. Maybe some wisdom and empathy will accompany this.

Good luck. Embrace it.

GS
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:53 PM
LittleSara LittleSara is offline
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Also... if this is a new thing for her... she might still be defining what it means to her. So, it's good to ask questions but, be careful not to grill her and if she doesn't know how to answer something, or has an imperfect answer, don't pick it apart. Sometimes it's hard to explain yourself when you are still learning about yourself. Be understanding... but, it already sounds like you are.
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