I hadn’t cried like that in a long, long time. Crying is something I usually do for very short bursts, then it ebbs. Maybe a minute? Tops. And then I have done what I needed to do and can either sit with the emotion or start to recover from whatever triggered the collapse.
But this was way, way past that. I needed to cry so hard it wore me the fuck out. Because I could sense if I didn’t go balls-out on a good session of sobbing I’d be having random outbursts for an indefinite period of time and I sure as fuck didn’t have time for that.
The evening before, I’d had a conversation with The Dominant Guy that started out well. Very well, in fact. he was giving me direction regarding writing he wanted me to do. I was pleased because this is stuff we’ve had on the table for a while now, so I was glad to get a handle on it. But I felt oddly guarded and kind of off balance. I chalked it up to the fact that everything has been off-balance of late, we haven’t been communicating with as much consistency and life in general has been full of Stuff & Whatnot.
In the midst of the conversation there was a switchback, where I had to get some check-in and I’ve written a bit about what that was like.
The part that was only thinly referenced was what motivated the insane crying jag that erupted the next morning.
Now…in being involved with poly people, one has to assume that, well, they’re gonna do what poly people do and have other people in their lives. In the case of my being involved with The Dominant Guy, the mitigating circumstance, for me, was that the preexisting conditions in his life were known quantities to me. Wife, check. Girlfriend, check. Play-partners, check. According to the job-openings on his profile, he was looking for a slave.
So technically…technically? Logically? There was no reason for me to have a fuse lit when he told me that he and Mrs. TheDominantGuy were opening up discussion about again having someone in service to them.
Emotionally however…holy shit.
The first sinking feeling passed and the logical mind had hand firmly on the lid on of the box where the BrainHamsters live. The other hand hefted the lead pipe we sometimes need to employ to get the attention of the Bad Voice. And Bubbles…my Bad Voice? My demon… Was PISSED.
Emotionally it felt like a 180° reversal of what I thought to be true: that my relationship with him was about to be compromised in its singularity, and that the parameters that were keeping me safe were being ignored, and…and…but…
“This doesn’t change anything about our relationship. Remember we had someone in service when you and I first met.”
“Well yes sir but that was different…”
I found some refuge within the logical part of my thinking that tried to defuse the fuse that was slowly burning. SO I stood down. I listened to what he had to say, I upped my own bravery to remember that it was OK for me to tell him how I was really actually feeling. And the prefix “un” was sprinkled liberally in my self-assessment. Happy, safe, certain had all obtained that sullen prefix and I didn’t know how to avoid the boiling fury that Bubbles was working.
I got through that night by focusing on the work he’d given me to do. I woke up the next morning so unhappy I could hardly see straight. And Bubbles…well. She did what she does best and tried her best to defend us from the pain that was slicing, slowly and unerringly through our heart. The logical detached factual shit wasn’t at all interesting to her. Not. One Bit.
You might as well get the fuck out of this right now. What is this bullshit? Now he’s going to get another slave because you aren’t there?
Holy shit calm down. No. someone being in service to them isn’t the same as me belonging to…
Semantics!! Are you fucking ….are you serious? It is pretty obvious you aren’t enough or why else would he ~
They. THEY are negotiating this.
He is half of they right? That is some fucking bullshit and you know it this compartmentalization shit is going to compartmentalize you right the fuck out of the game plan, ya fucking idiot. You aren’t rigged that way. Not really.
WHO the hell knows how we are rigged anymore? And they ARE poly and he DOES compartmentalize his life that way. we’ve seen evidence that he is consistent in —
Consistently making you have to stretch and adjust and compromise and re-evaluate…oh I don’t know…EVERYTHING??!! Go ahead drink that Flavor-Aid, fucking dumbass. What is he, the fucking Jim Jones of BDSM? And you’ll just skip along until you’ve killed off everything that YOU need, that YOU want And how the fuck well is that shit working for us? Huh? He still gets to say “Oh my well! I need someone to clean my house and how convenient! Here’s some submissive who will come in and do it and get the attention you aren’t getting and get the training you aren’t getting and get the playdates you aren’t getting ~
Please. My god…this is terrible…You think I don’t hurt already?
But clearly you aren’t fucking hurting enough! How fucking stupid do you have to be? If its this now what will it be next? You’re a fucking idiot. You talk such a good game about standing up for yourself and the very basis of your agreeing to even try this fucked arrangement is kicked from underneath you…
This continued for about a day, this corrosive destructive litany. It was Bad.
I spoke to several of my friends and tried to ground myself out from the seething downed wire that I had burning me from the inside. It wasn’t working. I walked through the shit I had to do…almost broke down crying during the show but I’m a fucking pro. dammit. There’s no crying in theater unless that shit is on cue!
I kept the communication open because The Dominant Guy had told me to. Even when I started feeling a little crazy…even when Bubbles voice merged seamlessly with mine and the real fear slicked the surface of my communication, I kept talking.
I finally got the Zen Brick of Doom that I half expected TDG would apply upside my head but it was uncharacteristically subtle. And it wasn’t even upside the head. No, this time the hard truth was just put in front of me for me to trip over.
“I’m not going to save you from yourself,” he said.
…and immediately in my head I barked
Oh…oh. Kay. OK.
Yeah kiddo. That right there is letting you know what the fuck your problem is. You want to have this all go away and it won’t so now you want him to fix you?
This is your growth. And yes, sometimes growth feels like trying to poop a porcelain porcupine. But you gotta push through. Even if it bleeds and tears and aches…you HAVE to do it. Yourself. Or it won’t stick.
Demonscreaming had broken down, finally, to a wheezing sob: she was worn out. Which almost never happens but as I sat meditating on the representation of her I now carry on my arm we both thought the same thing
“Let’s go to an AA meeting, eh? I know it is not central to our sobriety at present and yet it would be nice to focus on not ourselves for a bit..”
So, we went. And the topic was “attitude” and I told the other drinks and junkies about how my attitude towards my alcoholism had changed in the past 4 and a half years. And I introduced them to Bubbles. And whaddya know…some of them told us about their own demons. And several of them spoke to me afterward about how hearing that helped them understand something about themselves. And I smiled…because @TheDominantGuy told me once that Bubbles was one of my greatest teachers. And maybe she has stuff to say to other people, too.
I did the show. I reached out to friends, I asked for help. I got the help I needed.
I did this myself.
Later that night I thought about what I could do to make sense of this overload. I thought it might be too much, that this was the final straw. That my not being able to be there to be in service was the thing that would bleed the energy out of our relationship.
SO DON’T FUCKING DO THE SERVICE. How about them apples?!? Damn you’re slow. Do that whole “detach from outcome” thing you keep going on about. How about you fucking detach from service…and see what’s left. What happens if you don’t DO SOMETHING. If you aren’t working what are you? What’s left? See how THAT fucking feels…
I took a deep breath. And hit send on the email that I feared might be the beginning of a countdown to having to drop it. All of it. To step away and say “I tried. I really, really did I tried. But if I can’t be there, as we all knew would be the case…if I can’t be there as much as you need to provide service, and you need to go have someone else do it…someone who is closer and who makes it easier for you? What is left?”
I was angry and scared and resigned as I considered my Prime Directive. And I saw the only way out of burning out entirely was to remove from this mix the idea of my being in service. I am compelled to do what he needs done. It eviscerates me to know that this core part of who I am –
This core part of who I am isn’t enough…
It is enough.
…enough to keep this together. If I’m not doing what the fuck is the point, Lord? And where have you been?
The Dominant Guy isn’t the only one in your life who moves on their own schedule, girl. Deities have full calendars, too.
I could use some help. I can’t see what the point is of my trying to be in service if I can’t be there to do it. And it makes me cry to think of someone else doing it.
Yes. What is the point? What would he say?
He would say…
Yes? Think. Try to remember. When did he tell you he wanted to own you so you could clean his house?
Didn’t he once even specifically say he didn’t care about you doing that for him?
Yeah, actually he did. That was when we were first talking about M/S stuff…
And what did he say he wanted you to DO?
He uh…he never did. It was kind of infuriating in fact
Really. Infuriating because you were focused on what you could DO to be in service.
Yeah and it was always this vague…well, he said he wanted me but…
But what? Did he say he wanted you to serve him in these ways or those ways and here is a list? Was it about tasks? About you being his servant?
Breathe again. You are very close. What did he want?
Yes. In all of your fullness, all of your wondrous humanity, all of your specialness, all of your ordinariness.
But if you are in service…
Let’s forget that. There is a substantial chance you added that filter yourself…there is a Very Good Chance you missed the point of what he has been saying to you for over a year now…
Humans being. Not humans doing.
Yes. He likes to remind you to be and not worry about doing. That’s his job. What it is you do is his job to decide.
Oh. Oh wow.
Indeed. So. let’s look at this again.
What does he want?
He wanted me. To be. And to be his. With everything that I am.
That is right…and I think you thought you understood that.
I thought I did.
So. Keep going. What do you need to do to please him.
Be. Breathe. Thrive, Trust.
I’m not seeing housework in there.
So what has changed?
Nothing between us. Actually…no. That’s not true. Something has changed.
Indeed. Keep going.
My perception has changed. I have nothing to do, prove, earn…I just have to be me.
Don’t shortchange that. Being you is quite a bit of work. Goodness, keeping you in one piece is a bit of work.
I know Lord. I’m…
No no. You aren’t sorry. You are never to apologize for yourself when you are being authentically you. You do, however, need to listen more carefully and with less self-judgment.
This really is simple. It truly is. You doubted him when he said it was. And I understand…you were looking at this the best that you could at the time. And you’ve done so well. You have trusted and leaped. I am quite proud of you for that.
I didn’t feel I had much choice.
No not much. But you did have some. And now you are past the breaking point.
What’s that mean?
You managed to wind yourself up so tightly you broke down your own wall. You’re a rather wonderful slave. Breaking yourself in is a delightful service you’re providing there.
That takes talent.
Yes. And trust. Remember how, when you were really starting to unwind the other day how he said he was not going to “save you from yourself” ?
Yeah that seemed…mean.
Indeed but a clever, right-thinking master does neither himself nor his charges any good by providing the false security of a temporary respite. You had to do this yourself. Plus, my dearest, my love, light of my heart…you are seriously hard-headed. If him telling you point-blank wasn’t going to make you see, all he could do was wait.
And there it is.
And there it is.
So all I have to do to be his is…
To be it.
And THAT IS my service. And whatever is after that…is his business.
Can you dig it?
I can dig it. Thank you…
Of course. Hey, I’m all about removing obstacles.
Yeah, even when the obstacle is ourselves.