I am just rambling a bit…I have a great deal on my heart and on my mind but the process is still in process and lots of it really is a bit more personal than can be dissected in the public forum of blogs and such. But I have to write something, and I’m a compulsive sharer, and this way I can further procrastinate on real work while pretending to be productive. :-)
Sometimes, relationships are rough. Sometimes we make choices that have blowback that is more substantial than we expect, and then ya just gotta step back and pick the shrapnel from your face. Blah blah blah, I’ll have a McYadda with cheese, hold the pickles, hold the lettuce.
Let us just say I’m looking at and chewing on some challenging emotional shit these days.
Today was a day with a bunch of emotional push-and-pull, heavy lifting, you know, the fun stuff. Its kind of funny when part of the Thing That Needs To Be Hashed Out involves the very core of relationshit, and that’s communication. I’m a big fan of the stuff. And it really is all you’ve got in terms of glue when you are doing long-distance relationships. So when that communication stream becomes an issue? You’ve gotta talk about it. And you’ve gotta make time for that. But what if the dwindling, finite resource of time in which we can make communication happens is at the root of the turbulence…? Yeah. Catch-22 caliber funtimes.
Some of that is under my control, and much of it is not. And some of it is under The Dominant Guy’s control and some of it is not. Lots of it boils down to differing needs and variations in styles, and yet all of the responsibility for my saying “This isn’t OK for me right now.” falls on…ta da…me. Prime Directive, baby. Protect yourself first.
And so it goes.
It is tough when you have to say to ANYONE “As a result of your actions, I experienced these very difficult, painful emotions.” and it is, in my opinion, a step more difficult when I’m compelled to say this to someone towards whom you feel a profound compulsion to submit and obey. The temptation is to shelve and swallow the pain, because what will happen if I tell him I’m feeling disconnected, dismayed or upset? It is a fearsome thing. I know I am not in a situation where I risk retaliation and ire for telling my truth with openness and respect. I am in a situation where, sometimes, my needs aren’t met and THEN I have to…shudder…DO something about it. Not martyr up. Not shut down. Actually have the ovaries to pipe the fuck up and work.
I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere in the past 1 year, 2 months, 18 days I stopped feeling like tough situations in my relationship with The Dominant Guy were reasons to bail. Which kind of makes them even more difficult to deal with, right? When I felt like “OK, if this bugs me too much, I’ll just fucking drop it.” there was that internal brinkmanship bullshit. Nowadays, however, I am in a mindset of “OK, this bugs the shit out of me and NOW we have to fucking deal with this. Fuck.”
Progress. Sometimes it manifests in stickyprickly ways.
This relationship isn’t easy.
Is it worth it?
I think so. The Dominant Guy thinks so.
Things worth having are often the things for which you have to fight thehardest. In my case, I’m fighting myself, and a lifetime of conditioning and many years of investing in being a particular type of submissive. Now I have to learn to trust myself and my instincts. Even when my instincts, sometimes sounding like hypersensitive paranoid fantasies, are absolutely on target. Sometimes the sneaking suspicion isn’t a paranoid fantasy. Its your intuition explaining to you that yes, there is something just in the liminal periphery of your mind’s eye and it’s comin’ ta gitcha, gonna bite your ass, so brace yourself.
I sat this evening chatting with my roomie Laura, who has many more years of doing and thinking and writing about power exchange than I have under my belt. As I sat pulling apart some of my thoughts on engaging in relationships that are highly challenging, she shared with me some of her emotionally challenging relationships. It struck me how, even as she described wince-worthy situations, none of these were viewed with regret or rancor. I asked her if she thought it was pathological or destructive to engage in relationships where there was substantial emotional pain, and risk, and challenge. She related to me a teaching story of two samurai who served two very different masters. One who was wise, just, even-tempered, fair, wise and kind. And the first samurai served him faithfully and well. And the second samurai served a master who was foolish, capricious, foul-tempered, ignorant and cruel. And the second samurai served him faithfully and well.
“Which samurai performed more admirably?”
“Yeah, the second guy. It is far more challenging to submit when you find yourself in a situation where there is difficulty and much suckage.”
I may well have deliberately chosen the most difficult path I could take. Maybe it is because I need to traverse this emotional desert of blistering heat and searing cold in order to find the root of what I need. Maybe I’m an emotional masochist who has only now found a way to use the “harm reduction model” of slavery to have a safe space to experience, process and move through these feelings.
Many years ago, I read Vi Johnson’s autobiography and when Iput it down, I though to myself “I’m so glad I read that when I did, because I’m clearly not a slave. I’d never ever put myself through that kind of torture just ot serve someone.”
And no, I wouldn’t. Because that path was uniquely hers, as she advised me when I met her several years later. I had to walk my own path, and find my own way to what slavery meant.
Today? My pain is present. I sit with it and wonder if it will actually eviscerate me, or if it only feels like it will. SO far, it has been only the latter. ;-) But I am not afraid of it. I am not afraid to hear “No.” or “Yes.” or “I don’t know.” I am more afraid, actually, of NOT telling my truth as I experience it.
My mind trots back around again to the ever-simmering question: it is worth it?
Well. Is it?
Even in the moments I falter and I say “I just don’t know.” I can then follow up by saying “Whether or not it is worth it to endure this pain, it is worth it to feel the joy in the upswell. And it is worth it to KNOW I tried my very best to get what I want. To make sure my needs are met.
The simplest things sometimes burn the most energetic calories.
Sometimes, I hesitate to share my difficulties with people. Some people go for the whole “Oh honey, I hate to see you in pain, you should do what it takes to get out of there before you’re really hurt.” thing. And for a while, that scared me. I wondered if there was something wrong with sticking around even though it hurt sometimes.
Nah. I don’t think so. I mean, sure, it sucks sometimes. But other times, it doesn’t suck at all. Sometimes, I experience the most beautifully complex, rich and deep feelings I’ve ever had. Am I willing to suffer for that? To feel that pain?
Well, yes, yes I am. For him, because it pleases him. And for me, because it makes me proud of myself.
Plus I would never forgive myself if I chickened out. I’ve already double-dog dared myself to play this ongoing trust game and let myself fall. I have a great deal of trust in The Dominant Guy. Not because he is perfect and never does shit that fucks me up. Because he does. And sometimes he does that shit deliberatelyeven. But because he faces it, and deals with it, and owns it. Those are the markings of someone who can face me, deal with me, own me.
OK. done for now. The rambling mess has gone on long enough.