After many such processing sessions and respective conclusions, I’ve come to a grand, meta conclusion. Whilst I might long for multiple connections, I function better alone. I learned some years ago that a solo style of polyamory would be the smart choice for me; that’s a bit of a conundrum when you’re already in a household of six which includes two small kids.
We attach to those of our ilk, beyond rationality. And few of us have enough self-awareness to overcome it. The law and our systems were designed to counteract this; ‘the law is reason free from passion’. The very concept of the American electoral system is based on a fundamental belief that some people are able to be more objective than others and will vote for the benefit of all. And yet because of the strength of their own self-interest, the strength of their own reptilian instincts, they will naturally fail to do so.
So white folk, we have a task in front of us which might seem huge, but really it isn’t. It is to face our own prejudice when the most obvious and comfortable way to survive is to stay in our bubble. It is to step up and be accountable for our ignorance, even if ignorance is part of our humanity. I will hold your hand as we overcome our fragility and cultivate empathy and battle our minds which tell us that it’s not our problem.
In-groups are formed by what we consider to be ‘relevant’ familiarity. Children, and even adults, process most of our information visually which means that varying skin tones might be not only the first but also the only indicators for who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’.
In a polyamorous household especially those with children, there must be a disproportionate number of families which include individuals who may understandably be less invested in creating a well functioning community than say, the biological parents. In those situations and for other communities comprising differing beliefs (including religion) Jess Mahler’s discussion framework–using concepts of hard boundaries and soft boundaries from the kink world–comes in handy.
Your limits are otherwise known as your boundaries, they’re what you use to protect your power, to govern it responsibly. They’re what allows you to interact healthily with others.