Easter Sunday

i’m feeling a little lost today.

A little empty.

Easter was the last semi-normal day i had with my beautiful nephews.  i try to not think about that morning, when my ex and i collected them from my mother, who had the baby dressed incorrectly.  i’m serious.  The baby was wearing house slippers to hunt for Easter eggs at a church.  He had a wet diaper and a dirty face and incorrect clothes for the weather.  i was mortified and quickly collected him to dress him appropriately from the diaper bag i had brought.  Anyhow…yeah….i try to not think about that part.  What i remember with joy is the lovely Easter egg hunt we had at my ex’s mother’s house.  She made a ham and it was a perfect afternoon.  My boys were happy.  Jacob kept giving me his chocolate, proudly, saying “Mama, Mama” and making the sign for eat.  At 21 months, he was still using ASL and not spoken words other than my name and Barbara’s, whom he called “Da Ba”.  He refused to call me “Auntie” which i had a great deal of angst over but eventually i stopped correcting him.  i was afraid i was cause him to not speak when every time he spoke a word he was corrected.  It took long enough to get him to not called Barbara “Da Da.” 

Anyhow, it was just a wonderful day.  i have pictures of them.  One features me shoving a melting hershey’s kiss in my mouth.  Jacob and Da Ba hunted for eggs and played with her niece, who was a truly delightful child.  i felt like i could breathe again.  The boys were coming back home with us, where they lived six days of the week. 

The next day, my world imploded.  Their “mother” showed up with the police and took the boys away.  In a barely contained panic, i packed up clothes, juice, milk, and the rest of the organic mac and cheese we had for lunch.  My brother had been arrested already but i didn’t know that yet.  The police officers were kind and waited while i made sure the boys had everything they needed.  One of them thanked me and told me he was sorry he had to do this.  He said it was clear that they had a home here but i had no legal rights.  i had no idea where they were going.  All i knew was i had no choice and i was terrified my brother would kill me.  i told the police to make sure he knew that they were there, that i had not just handed them over to the mother, who was high.  Again.

i’m trying to not think about that.  i finally snapped yesterday and bought candy to devour in my frustration at hearing the last minute parents gathering baskets and eggs.   i keep trying to shut the memories down, stop thinking about how i imploded, how my heart and guts were ripped out when the kids were taken away. 

It’s been four years.  There is no “getting past it” but there is a “getting through it.” 

i don’t celebrate Easter from a Christian standpoint anymore.  What i taught the kids was more pagan in nature, that we were showing thanks for a new season, that many babies are born from eggs, and how a new season is being born. 

i had wanted to decorate the altars here, in thanksgiving.  Alas, i couldn’t find flowers here that were not artificially colored.  That wouldn’t do. 

i’m focusing on the here and now, which is a wonderful life.  A peaceful life.  A world removed from the overwhelming pain of that other life.  One thing i know, for sure, is it would have all turned out differently had i been with Sir Raven with my boys.  That gives me a sense of peace.   She would have figured out a way, would have loved them enough to work something out.  i don’t know why that matters to me, but it does.

And so, i can focus on the now, the right this moment.  i take a deep breath, and i let it out.  She is here, with me.  i was not even out of the bed when she teased me with a brief light caning, just enough to wake me up.  That has never happened before and i was surprised that my body responded.  i had figured, wrongly as it turns out, that i would not be able to respond to that before my nuerontin was in my system.  Good to know. 

i’m practically praying that she beats me today, because i’m about out of patiently waiting and holding myself calm and still.  And yet, every time i think that, i find more strength inside to keep holding still, calm and waiting.  Accepting.  Open.

Today, i give thanks for the birth of a new season and for being with a woman who gives me a life that makes me thankful every day. 

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Quiet

i’m trying to find the quiet places inside. 

i’m trying meditation again and the idea keeps resurfacing that there is a place inside of me without pain.  i keep trying to remind myself of this, though my first thought was a jaded, “Where?  where the fuck is that place?”  And i wound up falling asleep the moment the meditation is over.  As if my body responded by telling me that the only place semi-free from pain is when i’m asleep.  But, of course, there must be a better answer and i need to keep trying to find it.  Frankly, the only time there is no pain and exhaustion is in the moments and hours following a hard beating.

Enough whining on that topic.  More than enough, i’d say.

i’m having technical issues which is really upsetting me.  For reasons i cannot begin to understand by little old laptop shut down and evidently needed a rest of its own for days.  Then my very large somewhat newer laptop had its own issues, along with shutting down unceremoniously in the middle of important work.  Not fun.  Not appreciated.

Easter makes me feel tender.  i miss my nephews more around this holiday than most of the others.  i miss their laughter, holding them, playing together, raising them.  They have spent more of their lives outside of my arms than within them now and all i can do is pray they are safe and happy.  That somewhere inside they carry the spark of my love and can recall how much i adore them.  Somehow, i doubt that anyone would have the all-encompassing adoration for them that i do, that mommy love that overtakes your soul.  i hope somewhere inside they remember that, even as i hope they forget me. 

That is a lot of hope for someone who doesn’t believe in hope.

Yesterday was unexpected and nice.  i got to spend some time with a friend, though the day ended in a sort of comedy of errors, we still enjoyed each other’s company.  i obtained a non consentual photo on my phone, of a certain Lady riding on the bus with a life size teddy bear on her lap.  The bear got a few hugs from the both of us before he was donated along with two huge suitcases of assorted items.  i was surprised that the shelter here was clean and bright.  i was expecting something that felt a little more prison like. 

i also got a lot of schoolwork done in the last two days, so that is good too. 

We are looking at addiction and eating disorders.  The research on teaching controlled drinking was very interesting to me.  Though the text treats the topics of addiction and eating disorders as seperate, i think there is enough similarity there to consider teaching controlled drinking and controlled eating in the same way.  i had to really dig to find anything that backed up my hunch.  As it turns out, there is a similarity in a particular method of dealing with eating disorders, in which the parents step in and control all eating.  Then they step down as the client takes back more control for themselves.  i see the logic in this approach because, unfortunately, you can’t choose to abstain from eating.  If i could take a pill and side step eating all together, i’d do that.  i suspect many people with anorexia and bulimia nervosa would just be thrilled if they never had to deal with eating again.  The newer research points to fasting for days after a binge, which made me frown a lot.  After all of these years, it still can pop up.  It is one area that i’m entirely capable of doing my own thing unless there is a specific directive.  i can’t quite understand how that contolled eating things would work based off my own experiences and knowing people who had severe eating disorders.  The only thing i can imagine is someone telling them what to eat met with a gigantic “fuck you.”  Maybe not as directly from bulimics because they seem to be perfectionists who are people-pleasers.  Reading about their traits, in fact, sounds like reading about the “ideal” submissive personality.

We say, “Fuck you” with oreo cookies, thank you very much.  😛

i tend to think of myself as not a terribly submissive person and dislike that label applied to me.  i get a wake-up call though when i’m reading psychological texts and research because i’m sitting here thinking that all of those submissive traits mentioned apply strongly to me.  Heh. 

i think my objections to that label come from thinking that a “submissive” person can’t say no, or can’t deal with someone not liking them, and i don’t really care about those things on a personal level.  That being said, if someone’s energy speaks to me, yeah…its true.  i do feel bad when i mess things up. 

Last night, when we were heading home, i sort of took off in the station.  i was heading to the pole we always stop at and couldn’t hear Sir Raven calling me over the noise of another train coming (or going?) on the other platform.  This is why i sort of inwardly giggle when people talk at length about how they go to great extremes to not look like what they are in public.  We don’t have some kind of elaborate hand signals for, “hey woman! What in the world do you think you are doing walking off?  Haven’t we already talked about this?  Why are we needing to talk about this again?”

Though, you know, the elaborate hand signals for that message would likely be very conscise. 

Do you think Sir Raven gives two damns about anyone happening to overhear this? 

Nope.

She does stop short of slapping my in public, which there have been two other occasions she would have done it, had i not sweetly reminded her that there are cameras everywhere and someone might called child protective services.  i may have mentioned that child protective services would totally believe ME. 

Last night, though, i was busy looking at my feet.  There wasn’t actually some good answer to these questions of rhetoric and a bowed head confirmed this.  After the second round of questioning, i attempted to answer but quickly reverted back to shoe-watching because there was clearly not a good answer. 

i could feel her angry gaze boring into me and was glad, right that moment, that we were in public.  i felt like the incredible shrinking woman as it was.

“Willfull,” she prounounced the word with disdain.  i haven’t heard that word in months and it made me feel even smaller.  My head bowed and shoulders sagging, she shephearded me onto the train.  We spoke no more. 

While i get the concept that people who are eavesdropping did not consent to seeing our relationship dynamic, this is New York.  You hear all kinds of private things on any given day walking down the street.  i’ve heard total strangers birthing stories, information about their gyn, their sexual habits, impotent rage about one’s mother’s.  i figure if i happen to hear all that and not die from it, they can hear our conversations too without passing out or dying from it.

Is it obvious that was an M/s exchange?  No.

Is it obvious that there is a power differential?  Yes. 

It’s obvious everywhere, to anyone paying any attention at all.  We don’t go out of our way to put it in anyones face.  Nor do we go out of our way to hide anything.  i think when you are trying to hide something, it puts a neon light on you.  People are sensing you are uncomfortable, are hiding something, and therefore pay closer attention.  The reptilian brain is looking for signs that you are dangerous, because you are clearly putting a lot of effort into hiding something, right?

That is all have right now because this is jumbled enough as is.  🙂

 

Reflections on Character

Sir Raven and i both pride ourselves on two qualities:  our loyalty and our strong work ethic/dedication.  Neither of us can simply “let it go” if these character traits are called into question.

We will respond immediately. 

i do it by attempting to prove myself via redoubling my efforts to demonstrate my loyalty, dedication, and strong work ethics.  In a situation where loyalty is a commonplace discussion, i feel primed to continuously prove myself, continuously strip search myself and scrutinize every decision i make. 

It has been used against me. 

i need to figure out how to deal with that in the future because i struggle mightily with showing loyalty, even once i recognize that i need to cut all ties. 

Loyalty is about me, not about the situation. 

If i sense that my behavior could possibly be interepreted as disloyal or not dedicated, it causes me much upset.  The urge to always prove myself as loyal, dedicated, and hard working is right up there with my urge to breathe.  Quite possibly, it is stronger than my urge to breathe.

Sir Raven understands this and can see with clarity how these things benefit her but also how it is a place that i can get stuck, when people are actively using these things against me.  i feel like i am powerless to do anything but prove myself, far past the point of physical or emotional exhaustion.  i need to learn a better way to deal with those types of situations and i have no idea where to start.

One thing i observed very closely when i was getting to know Sir Raven was her sense of loyalty, her work ethics, and her dedication.  All of those things show up strongly in the work she does, the friendships she has, the people she has gone out of her way for, and the organizations she has supported. 

i’m learning through Sir Raven that sometimes, despite your level of loyalty and commitment to dedication, you cannot always keep putting yourself out.  i have watched her struggle with herself sometimes.  i have watched her set limits and step back when her fine qualities were being taken advantage of.

It’s been quite an education.

We joke around here about almost everything.  It’s commonplace for her to tease, “What kind of a slave are you?”  Or for us to joke, “A good Master would _________ (buy me chocolate, be able to read my mind).” 

The one thing that is off limits is to joke about our work ethics or loyalty.  Once, just teasingly, Sir Raven called me lazy.  My eyes filled up with tears and i imagine i had a look on my face like i had been kicked in my stomach because she immediately embraced me and asked how i could ever think that she really thought of me as lazy. She launched into a laundry list of what i do in a common day and surprised me that she could recite all of it, even though i make a special effort when she is home to not be running all kinds of errands or scrubbing everything.  She prefers that i am calm and am not cleaning under her feet all day.  🙂

 Part of my feelings on loyalty are due to being Italian.  In my experience, there is nothing more important than loyalty, and it is a very frequent topic of conversation.  It is pointedly tested.  Family loyalty trumps everything else, to the point that doing anything else would not occur to you. 

When my brother damn near killed all of us and we knew it was not an accident, when the police and paramedics showed up on the scene, my mother and i never said a word to anyone.  We all knew that would never happen.  It wouldn’t occur to us.  It would be disloyal. 

Secrecy was always a part of family loyalty.

That is a part of loyalty that i struggle with.  There were a lot of things that i did not discuss with Sir Raven about the Leather family, things i felt i had to let her see on her own.  i said things to encourage her to pay attention to what her intuition told her but that was out of a growing feeling loyal to her as well, rather than thinking she didn’t know to do this.  Sir Raven and i were not at a point that she had become my family (yet) and she understands, agrees with, and respects my former silence on many topics. 

i don’t know how to answer the question of how you express loyalty to a former family.

All i know for sure is i believe you should keep family secrets from outsiders.  But even that has its limits because when it comes to my mental health, it has become far more important to me to share in a safe (for them) way than to keep secrets.

My mother always said, “You are only as sick as your secrets,” which is interesting, given how much our family prized secrecy to preserve loyalty.  We lied to child investigation services, lied to police, lied to teachers, lied to therapists, lied to doctors.  Before each interview, we were reminded of family loyalty, and were told this was an opportunity to prove that we were loyal. 

Loyalty shouldn’t be about secrets and lies.  As an adult, i have to decide where to negotiate those lines.  Would i lie to protect a person i’m loyal to?  Yes, without question.  Should there be a pattern of lies and secrets?  No. 

In my family of Sir Raven and her close friends (who have adopted me a little), we can tell the truth about ourselves and each other.  It is seen as loyal to be honest inside the circle because we have seen what happens when people “drink their own Kool-aid.”  

Sir Raven and i laugh about how i will blog about what a genuine fuck up i am.  i will put right out there that i had laundry backed up to the tune of six loads.  Yeah, yeah, i was sick blah blah blah.  The point is, we laughed about this just yesterday.  When i pointed out only a bad slave would let this happen, we both laughed as she agreed with me.  We are willing to put our faults out there because we are real people and all people are failible.  Even the great Sir Raven.  🙂

i’m trying to mentally tease aparty loyalty and secrecy as concepts and i have a long way to go to figure it out.  There has to be a middle ground between keeping every fault a secret and putting it all on blast.  Just the idea that there can be a middle ground is a new concept for me.  i’ve always put truths about myself out there and that helps a great deal because i never felt diminished as a person for doing it. 

i need to figure out, with Sir Raven’s help, how much loyalty a former family deserves.  Somehow, lots of things have ended up in the loyalty category, such as never ignoring them.  i’m going to have to work on these ideas and i need help to learn where to draw the line.

It is very telling that Sir Raven and i have never had to discuss loyalty, hard work, or dedication in terms of our relationship.  The simple truth is that you know it when you see the same impressive strength in another person.  We understand these truths about each other in a self-evident manner, so easily that there is no need to ask what the other would do in certain situations.  We know.

This has made me consider that the endless discussions around these topics had much to do with controlling and manipulating me.  It’s easy to see where i’d be manipulated on an unconscious level.  Only the comparison of being here has led me to examine these things, turning them around in my mind, paying attention to the differences.

Knowing Sir Raven’s feelings, loyalty and protectiveness run together in her.  Because of this, i know that some situations we have dealt with from outsiders has caused her angst.  There is a part of her that really wants to just deal with people in such a way that they never become an issue again.  But she balances that with an ethical code, and a strong desire to not be seen as isolating me. 

i wonder what it feels like to have a trump card that big and powerful and not use it.

i admire so many things in her that i would write a million pages about it.  Especially, i admire her patience, her willingness to get vengence later, to see a whole series of chess moves at the same time.  i lack that quality entirely.  i have a child-like inabilty to clearly see the motives of people around me often. 

There are times, if i was in her positions, i would not give a flying fuck what it looked like to anyone.  i’m the type of person that i’d shoot first, and ask questions later, if my protective instincts were challenged.  i know she has that inside of her, and tempers it with the patience of an older man.  Maybe, in about twenty more years, i’ll have developed that level of understanding.  Maybe.  We’ll see.

It is an amazing gift to never worry about what kind of woman i will become, in time, with her.  We are like stones, rubbing against each others rough spots, smoothing each other out, making each other shine. 

Sir Raven told me once that i make her a better Master and a better man.

Certainly, she makes me a better woman, and hopefully, a better slave…though that is for her alone to consider. 

We will just keep learning, and making each other shine.  i know because with our combined loyalty, hard work, and dedication, anything is possible. 

Writing your LIfe Story

Sir Raven and i enjoy our Sundays alone.  We have coffee slowly and she plays soft jazz.  There is no sense or urgency and the whole day is peaceful and relaxed.  We don’t get dressed or make plans.  i don’t worry over the house chores.  The day unfolds slowly, calmly, as if we have all of the time in the world.

Saturday, Sir Raven called me on her way home.  We are so connected that she knew somehow that i wasn’t home and called to offer me help to carry the groceries and the last of the laundry home.  i politely declined but she used her “Oh?  That is what you were thinking?  That’s nice” voice and showed up anyhow in time to help.  i joke that i was afraid she would get lost coming to the laundry mat and she makes heaving noises loaded down with the groceries.  Sir Raven notes that she doesn’t miss these jobs a bit and i beam a little.  We are both relieved that order and structure has returned to the house now that i have gotten everything caught up. 

She offered to order in Chinese and sushi, my favorite food, on Sunday.  Sir Raven is very generous with me and i was excited.

But Sunday came and she wasn’t feeling so well.  She was feeling a little like she had jet lag and so i asked if i could roast a chicken instead.  We spent the day just relaxing after my test was completed.  i think it was exactly what we both needed.

We both spent some time reading and relaxing.

i spent time reading on fetlife, which really boggles the mind.  One slave was having a problem with a house chore and pointed out that the situation around it was causing her problems and tapping into feelings from her bio family.  So many people jumped on the bandwagon to say, “You need professional help or your relationship is DOOMED.”  Good grief.  i don’t worry about people who realize what the underlying issue is.  i worry about people who don’t. 

Thank God for Oprah’s Masterclass which had Stevie Nicks, talking about her experiences.  At the end, she noted that as a child she wrote in journals and when she went back and read them, she had basically scripted the life she had now.  She wrote in great details, what her home looked and felt like, how she felt about her future life, the friends and family she shared it with.  Stevie said that there was power in that, she always knew how her life would pan out, always believed in herself and the kind of story she wanted to create with her life.

Thinking about this, i have done it as well.

When i was between the ages of five and seven, my mother ran a day care with 20 some odd kids out of the house.  We had the neighborhoods only black baby, a precious child named Lauren.  Looking back, that is the first time i fell in love with a child.  She was a happy baby as long as i was near her or holding her.  i can still remember her smell and her way her hair felt on my cheek.  She was delicious.

This may have been what caused my mother to say for years that i would grow up and marry a black man.  i had not thought of this in many years but it has come to fruition.  i had not thought of it til one day Sir Raven referred to me as her bride and i thought, “Oh, my God, this was a premonition.”  Not to mention, i feel very confident Sir Raven and i have been together before in another lifetime.

When i came to New York several times as a child and again in 2001, i was always surprised that this place felt comfortable to me. It just felt like home. It flies in the face of introversion and a life largely spent in rural places to feel comfortable here.  Yet, here i am.  Comfortable, happy, and in love with New York too.

i read obsessively about slavery as a child, starting in elementary school.  i chalked it up to loving history but was fascinated by the stories.  Eventually, i stumbled into slave diaries that revealed that a few women choose to stay with their former Masters, even when they had adult children who would have happily taken them into a comfortable home.  It didn’t fit with the horrors i had associated with slavery.  i figured they had been brainwashed or worse.  Looking at it though, i was always interested in slavery as a topic.  History which most facinated me included strong themes of force, and extended to the relationships between Queens and Kings and their servants.  Clearly, all of these relationships are about Power and Control.  i’ve yet to discover a more intoxicating aphrodisiac than the idea of a King and Queen relationship because though she is raised high, her very life exists only as long as he remains pleased.  And she knows it.

All of these elements are present too.  i never had fully formed ideas or expectations for what a Master would be, other than smart and capable of being cruel and fair. 

Then there is the idea of a Daddy.  When you don’t have one as a child, you have a lot of time to think about the things you want him to be.  My child list included someone who cared about my grades, was fair, would giggle with me, would have high standards, and would love me more than any other little girl.  Check, check, check.  Thank God i don’t have PTA meetings because SR would be there early, front and center.  This part of us, this Daddy/girl stuff is the smallest part of us.  But its there.  What is interesting about it is that i do have my own set of expectations for a Daddy.  Even physical attributes (strong, tall, capable, smart).  It is also interesting that i will accept a certain amount of cruelty there.  It’s not an accident that when Sir Raven is beating me, if i’m pleading and calling her Master, she doesn’t change what she is doing.  But by the time i get to pleading and begging for Daddy to stop, she always gets harder, more exacting.  She is not detached from those moments, it is active and her energy is…excited and intense.

i have zip control over what i’m saying during S/m so its not as if i could choose to address her as one way or another or think logically about what is likely to happen.  But there it is.  Interesting.

There are also a million little things, like wanting a home that was full of books and art and music.

There are big things, like my childhood dream of wanting to be a Psychologist.  i won’t get that far because of the expense involved, which is a bit of a shame.  But…i will be doing work that matters to me a great deal.

i wanted to be a writer and i’m commited to the idea of publishing with Sir Raven one day.

The only thing i wanted with all of my being and won’t get this lifetime to is get to be a mommy to a child (or several…what i really wanted as a child was what i thought of as a rainbow family) that won’t ever be taken away.  That is okay, there is always our next life.  Maybe i will enjoy better health in the next lifetime and have more money. 🙂

i have a lot of other things i have yet to give birth to, like my art and books.

This is the first time in my life that i am okay about the idea of coming back again, if i need to.  i would come back again just to have her child.  i believe we would find each other anywhere.  We just fit together.  And it’s not an accident. 

We each wrote our stories with such conviction that we were written into the Book.

Nothing else matters.

Practice

The other day, i wrote about how Sir Raven and i had a great talk about when we decide to share personal things with other people.

i share to help most of the time.

She shares to increase intimacy in relationships.

i thought about it.  And then i thought some more.

She has good friends, people who have reached out to me, and kept reaching out.

i’m not good at making calls or emailing first, because it almost seems like an imposition to me somehow.  Inevitably, when i do call someone first, i do it with a question about if they are busy first. 

i’m trying to get better at this, because it seems like an important skill to me.

i’m trying to get better at sharing for different reasons.

Yesterday, i reached out in a way that is pretty damn novel for me.

i needed to process something personal and important, which is something i tend to do in writing, here or in email.  i don’t call people for this kind of a thing, as a rule.

Not only did i call someone, i called someone who i am aware brings out my inner child side somewhat.  It was calculated on my part to do that because i needed to trust, and be willing to expose that i was hurt and angry and scared about that damned email. 

Lo and Behold, it helped.  Not because i’m so good at sharing through speaking, because i’m not.  i rambled.  i looked at it from fifty-two different angles, all of the ways i didn’t hold boundaries, or failed to see things early enough.  It was my inner child talking for sure because i was realizing i had been hoping that things could work out, and needed help in understanding that it won’t.

She gave me a concrete idea, something i could tell my inner child, something that was not about the shame i felt for not being able to fix anything.  The adult part of me understands it wasn’t mine to fix.  The child part hasn’t fully embraced that idea yet.  And now i have something clear to tell my inner child:

The other “family” doesn’t fit who i am now. 

Simple.  Not blaming myself.  Not blaming them.  Just…it does not fit.  i can’t make it fit.  And that is okay.

That is exactly why i called someone who brings out my inner child side….because not many people do.  i knew what to tell the woman/slave parts of me but i had no idea what to say to the little girl, who just wants everything to work out in a way that will make everyone happy.  That is not going to happen.  It is not my fault and i can’t fix it.

When Sir Raven came home, we talked for a long while.  She wasn’t clear on what i meant when i said that i had no education about what it should feel like to make mistakes, or to not have the tools i needed and have people help me and not blame me.

i gave her a few examples of how i had been given contradictory instructions and then shamed for not knowing what to do.  How i had made innocent mistakes, and been treated in a heavy handed manner.  How when i had tried to have any boundaries, it turned into something humiliating and everyone joined in.  How when i asked for clarification because i did not understand directions, i was told i was “a smart ass” or “trying to not understand” or i was threatened with things that scared me.

i understood, in theory, that i should have been able to say to any Master, “i don’t understand what you are asking me to do” and should have had the directions re explained to me.  But i had no practice, before, in what it felt like to be able to say i did not understand and receive different information and not be afraid, be threatened or shamed.

i understood, in theory, that i should be given tools for a job but had no emotional understanding of what it felt like for a Master to take responsibility for this.  When i went over to a house to help out a little, months ago, i carried cleaning supplies with me because i had no exposure outside of Sir Raven to being provided with the tools i needed for a job.

i was surprised that when i got there, everything was already out for me, including gloves.  When i forgot where something was, even though it had already been explained to me, i asked again and was shown again.  There was no humilation to it, like i was so used to in life before.  

Being able to say i don’t understand something, or can’t remember a detail, or don’t know an answer safely is tremendous.  

The idea here is that a Master is responsible for giving good directions, teaching and reteaching a skill set, and being aware of follow through to make sure the slave understands what is being asked of them.  The idea is it is supposed to be okay for me to ask for information, try my best and not be afraid to not be perfect at the job.  The idea here is that i can focus on doing my best.  If i don’t get it perfect, it means i don’t have that skill set down yet.  Its not a comment about me as a person or me as a slave.

It lets me feel comfortable in practicing new things. 

So, here, i ask for help.  Here, i speak in groups.  Here i practice saying what i think and feel. 

When Sir Raven first asked me to elaborate on how i was feeling last night, i asked her to please read the blog. But she wanted more information so we had a long talk. At the end of it, she pointed out that she has told me before that i can and should direct people to her when they are not acting in a way that is acceptable to her. So, i will have to practice that too. That gives me something that work on. It reminds me i have help, i have backup. The idea makes me feel a little funny and i’m not sure why, other than i have no practice at this. It doesn’t really matter why it makes me feel funny. i am just glad that we talked about it because i don’t think to direct people to her instead of trying to deal with it myself.

Because i’m now surrounded by people who take this life as seriously as i do, i am getting new skills and a better education.

It is amazing.

Letting Go

When there is a situation and heavy emotions are involved, i go inward, like Sir Raven.  i look for ways that i have contributed to the problem because i have always believed that an unexamined history will always repeat itself.

When i figure out what my part in the situation has been, i want to go to the people involved and talk it through calmly.

Some people are not safe to do that with.

When i met someone a few years ago, i realized immediately that she reminded me of my mother in some ways.  What i should have done was stop right then and consider how to assess if i was safe and how to make sure i remained safe. 

What i did instead was think, “oh, good, i know how to make these people happy and know how they wanted to be taken care of.”  And then i did those things.  By the time i realized, for sure, that i was in over my head….well, i was already in over my head.

Especially with people who can effect vulnerable (little girl) parts within me, i need to be damn sure they are safe first.  i need to keep firm boundaries in place while i am thinking and watching to see if i am safe.  i have failed myself a lot of times in those ways and i contributed to the problems that resulted. 

i’m learning that.

Last week, SR turned on “Tabitha’s Salon Take Over” and it was on for hours.  i like the show and left it on for background noise because i’m convinced the mouse won’t come out if it hears the tv and thinks people are everywhere.  (Yes, Really).

It occured to me that i’d like to tie a certain Leather person to a chair and force her to watch it for days.  Why?  Well, remember that poster, “All I ever need to know about LIfe, I learned in Kindergarten”? 

Dominants should have to watch “Tabitha’s Salon Take Over” to get the message that “What I really need to learn is about how to accept responsibility.”

Without fail, Tabitha does Masterful things, like:

1. Observe the situation to see what is really going on.

2. Take over.

3. Talk to everyone to see what their thoughts are about what is or is not working.

4.  Remind the Owner that it is their job to provide support, structure, rules, consequences, education, a healthy environment, and the right tools for the job.  It is their job to set a good example, follow through, set the tone for the environment, and check in with everyone to understand from their view what is or is not working.

5.  Give people a chance to practice all of these things.  Reassess what is or is not working.

There you go.  Basically the inner workings of an M/s relationship right there.  If those things are happening, you are Mastering yourself and others.  If they are not, it is because you did not do one of the steps.

So, back to me, and my resonsibilty in that i failed to set up boundaries and assess if i was safe on an ongoing basis. 

i’m realizing that before i came to New York, i lacked an education about how Master’s should treat other people’s property.  i had the right ideas, the right theories, but i had no practice in what it felt like.  i had no education about what it should look like and feel like.  You can learn a hell of a lot about a person by who their friends are.  It really shows when people have a similar moral code.

i was very hung up in my twenties about not being judgmental and i allowed people in my life who did not share my moral code.  i paid for that mistake.  Dearly.  It might be a noble concept, but in reality it just won’t ever work out right.

What i thought though, when i noticed that other people did not have friends or did not have friends or lovers of good character (in my estimation, atleast) was that they were trying the whole “I won’t judge people” thing too.  Because i was still trying to not judge.

Maybe some things in life should be uniliaterally judged.

Because if i had paid attention to things like the moral code of a persons friends, i would have steered clear of a variety of bad situations.  It tells you something about a person and it is very important information.

Friends are the family you choose.  And that has to count for something.

i have gotten an education here about how property should expect to be treated in another Master’s presence, home, company.  In every case, in every situation, i felt genuinely cared for.  i felt safe.  i had no worry that anyone would scream at me or lie about me or take advantage of the situation in some way.  If anything, i felt that i would be treated fairly and with honesty and kindness.

The slaves that Sir Raven has taken a special interest in because of their dedication and good qualities she sees are the people she encourages me to form friendships with.  There too is the same feeling of being respected as a human being, in a genuine manner. 

Most of all, my feeling is that Sir Raven is respected a great deal.  Being hers means i should expect to not by harmed by anyone.

People are, of course, people and might make mistakes.  Thats okay.  We could get past that, its no big deal.  Everyone has an “off day” or whatever.  There is no pattern of behaviors here that tell me i need to be leery.

They say, “knowledge is power.”  i disagree.  i believe, “Applied knowledge is power.”

i have the education about how i should be treated now.  If something did upset me, i know i could say so without fear.  That alone is a huge lesson to me and i keep paying attention to how that feels, what it looks like and sounds like.  It is a totally different thing from what i knew before.

i have to figure out how to best apply what i have learned.

i have to let go of being mad at myself for what i did not know and did not do.  Some of the accountability is my own.  Just not all of it.  i need to let go of the parts that were not mine and forgive myself for being too afraid to stand up for myself.  It is not that i did not know that the boundaries were loose.  i did.  i was just too afraid to say anything.  i was too afraid to say, “Please stop screaming at me.”  Removed from that situation, it sounds lame.  i know this. 

i think i need to make some rules for how to handle people who i know bring out my little side, and therefore can really hurt me.  i need to make it a rule to make sure those are the especailly safe people to have around me.  i fall too easily into wanting to please, catering to them, getting sucked in emotionally and wanting to fix everything.  Knowing that means i need to create some bigger boundaries there. 

The interesting thing is i would have no problem quietly and politely asking Sir Raven to not yell.  She isn’t a yelling person, ever.  But if she yelled at me, i would think to say something about that.  i’m not afraid of her.  i’m not afraid period.  That is important lesson.

i need to let go of the residual fear.  Embrace the good lessons.  And let the rest go.

Communication Yeah I Hear Ya

We hear so much about how it’s important to communicate in relationships, many say this but I’m at a loss at how little people know how. We have been participating in a book discussion and by we I mean the royal We. It was my idea, but then people were really interested in it and I had to actually get it together, yeah go me. The book we are reading is Power circuits polyamory in power dynamics. It’s a really great book and has a lot of food for thought. I’ve read it twice and am glad that the girl and I have been having lively conversations before and after the discussion about it. One point in the book could not have come at a better time. Due to recent events  the chapters in the book gives an example of how the dominant gave general instructions to two very different salves and how soon after the dominant learned to think about and communicate clearly what they wanted. Due to the mess their lack of good communication had caused between the slaves. This is true with all relationships but I find that some so called masters have no clue on how to get what they want or even how to ask for it. The reason I believe is because it’s “grown up”, it’s an “adult” action that some if not many did not grow up seeing. I think I tried to convey this point once before?

Because the master doesn’t have this skill they are “winging” it. Instead of doing the “grown” up thing and asking for help. there’s nothing shameful about not knowing, the shame comes in willfully staying ignorant. This is true for those who make it a point to make a “name” for themselves in the community. what happens is that they are so busy professing that it’s for the community out of one side of their mouth, while grandstanding and propping themselves up with half truths out the other side of their mouths. while the sad truth remains that they don’t have a clue. At the book discussion this issue of relationships being hard and having to do the “grown up” thing came up. to a resounding moan and agreement.

But that grown and agreement was like music to me, because it meant to me that judging from the people in the room all of whom I know on several different personal levels that they understood and were at some level of doing just that. Growing and still growing up.

The girl and I talk a great deal and although I tease her that she is chatty she really isn’t. The funny teasing talk is always happening between us, but the serious conversation happen as well.

Here’s the wonderful thing about communication, you can’t be afraid to do it, fear comes in when people feel that they can not trust the person they may be communicating to. In M/s although there has to be plenty of communication, there too has to be trust and without it most are on the river denial. And that isn’t fun for anyone, it’s a cycle I refuse to partake in.

Which brings me to something I read over at Ms. Constance’s blog on traaaaaspartancy! In her blog post South Plains II Yep the ole transparency word. I agree with Ms. Constance that the slave is required to be transparent to the master, but the master does not owe the same to the slave. Yep I said it, although I believe I’m transparent to my slave, I dictate how transparent I will be. On the flip side she has no recourse for being transparent to me. I can at any time ask for and will receive any thoughts, or feelings she may have. full disclosure. Why? As Ms. Constance pointed out if the slave has given me control over their lives, that then includes thoughts, and feelings. I think we (meaning me and mine) use the word transparency not like those in the “community” do since we talk all the time. She can’t keep a secret, what I do expect in the way of transparency is that if something has my slave feeling like she is being wronged, disrespected, made to feel less than by people outside of our world or infringing and or disrespecting our relationship she has to be transparent in letting me know this no matter how she thinks I may feel. It is not her job to think for me.

Case in point, she received a message from another “master” which she thought I should know about given what was written in it.  My first thought was to pick up the phone, and I did reach for it to call this person, but then I took a couple of deep breaths and put it down.

Instead, I thought what part have I played in this situation? And wrote a message stating the part I felt I played and apologizing for it. Simple as that, I was wrong and apologized. and this was a time that I felt I had to be transparent to my slave, so I forwarded her the email. I wanted her to know I was wrong and had to man up, which I did. For me this is what being transparent is for the one in charge. But communication should be happening all the time.

And that’s all I have to say about that.