Gratitude

So, i’ve been thinking about some things, but was spurred on to write this by a blog written by Kaya, over at underhishand.com.

She makes the salient point that slavery can be damned uncomfortable at times.  Were you just thinking of being tied to the bed and wanting to scratch your face?  No.  Not that kind of uncomfortable.

The kind where, truly and deeply, there is something in our slave DNA that wants to make Master’s happy.  We want to make their life easier, calmer, better, cleaner.  We want them to have more free time as a result of our work and labor.  We want them to be doing what makes them happy.  Yes, really.

But days have a way of turning into weeks where one small slave feels about as important as the chair she is sitting on.  It’s there and she expects it to be there, ready and willing to hold her weight and ask for nothing in return.

The thing is though….i’m not a chair.

Someone in the comments over on Kaya’s blog disturbed me greatly with her assertion that “slavery doesn’t mean being tied up 24/7.”

Well, no kidding.

We know that.  We expected to work hard, perform hard labors, refine our ability to always be full of peace or joy or contentment.  Always be ready to be a pleasant conversationalist, a quiet companion, a cook, maid, chef, errand girl.  Those of us who have lived this for years know that the times of actually feeling balanced, loved, adored, appreciated, wanted, desired are never going to equal the number of time spent feeling none of those things.

The thing we didn’t realize, going in, was that the thing that Master’s were going to do with all of the free-time we provide is to ignore us outright.  And then proceed to ignore their own rules and expectations.

The days that i mind being ignored are fewer than the days i do.

i am genuinely smiling when i make her snack plate and hear her laughing on the phone with other Master’s, calls that linger on for hours, when she has literally said perhaps five words to me in days.

When it does hurt, when i do feel frustrated, the standard advice is to communicate.

First of all, it’s an awkward conversation.  It’s awkward because on one hand what i truly want is for her to be doing what she wants to be doing.  It’s just that i also want to be one of those things, some of the time.  She seems to suffer from the malaise Kaya referred to aptly as “basking.”

In her world, everything is great.  She needn’t be bothered with things, like me, that can wait.  She is on her vacation from work and her days are full of relaxing and rest.  Homemade chili and cornbread, chicken noodle soup and farmer’s market pie.  Phone calls that linger.  Group dates where she is more interested in the other Master’s than me.  Movies and youtube videos.  And i want these things for her.  i do.

i’d just like to be somewhere in them.

i am constantly surprised that even when the opportunity presents itself daily, there is a lack of s/m, a disinterest in sex, a lack of human warmth, a lack of just simply doing things together.

i perform the mental gymnastics necessary to not push her away like she literally pushes me away.  To not beg for attention.  To not be a burden by wanting anything for just me.

i write gratitude lists because there is always a lot to be thankful for.  i notice the things she has done and lavish her with thanks.  i try and change my perspective and want less, need less, go without.  Resentment isn’t a good look on a slave.  i pour more of my time and effort into cooking from scratch.  i try and do things that make the house look more comfy, like buy pillows.  i read, or try to.  i spend time with my sister.  My ability to focus intently, like i need to for school, turns to shit but my Master’s needs are cared for and i struggle on in silence.

Yesterday, the morning started abruptly.

i was on my first cup of coffee, waiting for my meds to do something, when she came in and said, “We are doing this the easy way or the hard way,” while picking up the strap.

i sat, mute, remembering our conversation in the dark the night before.  She had asked me if i needed the strap back in our relationship and my mind raced.  Several long moments passed as i tried to make my mouth not form the only word it knew: “Yes.”

Had she asked me if i wanted it, that was a totally different question.  Want?  No.  What i want to do is throw the damned thing out the window.  But do i need it? Yes.

It appears we both did.

Afterwards, she left me alone for awhile, as is our custom.  Then, i got dressed and went out to buy what i needed to make homemade soup and wine.  i cleaned the kitchen and made sure the house was ready to receive her guest for lunch.  While the Master’s talked, i sat at my Master’s feet and she surprised me by stroking my hair.  i realized it had been several days since we really touched or connected.

In a relationship based on control, it occurs to me that punishment might be something that draws us closer.  For one thing, i hate the convoluted mental gymnastics that have to happen while i try to follow rules, live under tight control, that feels monitored only by me.  Motivated only be me.  i start to have dark thoughts, rebellious thoughts.  i wonder if the control is still there, if the structure is sound.  Punishment tells me it is there and i can  relax.  It lets me be free to focus on putting myself into the work that needs to be done rather than feeling like a one-woman show of M/s.

Yesterday gave me a sense of gratitude for another reason as well.  It put her back in command of the ship, in a way she hasn’t been in months.  It let our fears melt away.  The house feels lighter.  i feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my chest and for that, i am full of gratitude.

Crime and Punishment

Recently a few friends and I were talking about punishment in our dynamics. One does the military dress down type, the other does what I call the school room punishment. I on the other hand do the old fashion type, corporal. I explained it’s not what I’d like to do and in the past I’ve done a combination of both (stated above). But that doesn’t work in our dynami.,It was difficult for me to use this kind of punishment having grown up, hearing “I’m beating you because I love you.” I always thought if you loved me why not buy me some ice cream? But when one is young growing up in a West Indian home the strap was the way. It worked on most of us, one time was enough to make us straighten up and fly right. And I have to admit, that it wasn’t until much later that I would move into knowing the consequences and do a thing any way.

These many years later I am conflicted on punishing my slave. Early on in our conversations she had told me this is what works for her. I remember thinking maybe I can get around that? In the beginning tried, I would have long conversations about what was not acceptable. Realizing that I would have to use the belt. Every time I have to punish her(which is not often) I remember the one and only time my father beat me with a belt. Afterwards, he cried. I never gave my father a reason to do that again, it hurt me more then he would know to see him like that.

Many may think punishment is only being done to the slave, in our house it’s done to the both of us.

I love my slave and although it pains me, it would be a crime to our dynamic not to punish her to get her back on track.
Even if I cry afterwards inside

Shoving it Down

i’ve been shoving it down, lately.

The anxiety and the knowing-things-aren’t-quite-right and strip searching myself for answers behind the anger and the not sleeping through the night and you moving away from me in your sleep.

i’m trying to remember the last time and am interrupted by shoving it down again…

i’ve been shoving food down and doing anything to get a little numb and

too many things have hit a nerve.

i went shopping today.  i bought pillows.  Not a wife task but a slave one.  i stand there and consider what colors and fabrics would please her.  i never think about anything more.  i chose four.  Two for the reclaimed bench from the library.  i should ask SR to take pictures.  i also bought two floor pillows, since i tend to be on the floor a lot, and other slaves might be more comfy with a floor pillow.  Again, i think about what colors would please her most.  For Karida, i choose a flatter, denser pillow so she could easily prop up her leg on the playpen (the sofa, in other homes).

It’s also my job to always make the house feel sweet, and i work with the energy using scented soy candles.  It helps because the cleaning supplies and smoke could be a bit much.

Karida has been an angel of a sister today, and every day.  The girl’s heart is made of leather and steel.  Tonight, i ran her a bath and brought scented candles.  The tub has sandalwood lotus blossom bath salts and salts to help with the pain.  i hold her in the tub, bathe her, and have to walk away.

i’m a slave.

She has no idea what a treasure she is.  That pains me to the core.

In other news, i’m slowly freaking out because the strap has been moved, back to her desk, where it lived before the great-slave-escape of 2014.  There is so much to be punished for that i can nearly smell my tears filling the room.  i am also soaking wet from fear and keep cleaning myself.  i haven’t bothered to shave in weeks, my silent lack of cooperation clear.  Evidently, my vagina mutinies.

Karida and i crawl up in the big bed together and i point it out, wasting no time in getting to the point.  The strap has moved and my stomach fell and lurched.  There is so much to make amends for.  i can hardly hide my anger and am hiding out in the room.  Which means the strap is within my sight, if i could see in the candlelit room.

i am trying to talk myself through it.  Through the pain that is coming, wanting to push the envelop and resisting the childlike urge.  Actually, i am really trying to focus on curling up afterwards, kissing her foot and hands, knowing i paid enough, falling into a sleep so deep that lets me wake up being me again.  i need to be her good girl again.  If she sees that i’m not being good enough then that is reason enough.  i have been punished for things before that mainly boil down into “not having enough perfect focus on Sir Raven at all times.”

Karida kissing my forehead, gently reminding me that i have not been Grace itself as of late.  She understands this is going to happen, period, and it is something i need to fix me.  i am so grateful she is here.  Beyond words or measure.  She truly is my leather sister.

Come undone

Sir Raven is on the phone with a friend, and thinking about how in the world to get a new playpen from Brooklyn, for Pete’s Sake.

i’m in a pain spike, waiting for the meds to work.

i’m so angry, at the pain, that you snarl at me, “What’s that look on your face, girl?” as i walk by, after bringing you some ice water and a clean ashtray.  immediately, my hands to behind my back, and i feel flushed.  Heat.  That tinged slice of air between us makes my throat go dry.  i bow my head, fix my face to appear pleasing and focused, and exit in shamed silence.

i bake a fresh batch of cornbread and the house smells warm.  i offer bacon and eggs, but she declines the offer.  i scarfed down brownies for breakfast, before i was even awake.  i needed to take my medicine.  My weight is going up again and no matter what i promise myself, i can’t stop it.  i just don’t give a fuck right now.

i clean the kitchen again, and frown because i need to take the garbage and recycling down but my body won’t cooperate yet.

i feel like i need to sit in someone’s lap ….

or better yet,

under their boot, at their feet, and cry it out.

The shame, though, has gone on until it has gorged down.

i show my rage with silence.

Utter, total, complete silence, no matter what.  i was taught by the best.  i want to laugh when Master’s can’t understand it when what they are looking at amounts to bits of stockholmn syndrome and some depersonalization issues, for some.  On paper, that is what it seems.  Dependent personality, submissive, nurturers.  Some of us are permitted to push back (i love you, Karida) and other’s are not allowed to even momentarily have a less than pleasing facial expression.

It does take a Control Freak and a lot of will broken down, by both people, deliberately.

For me, there does have to be something dark, under the  surface.  If a person is a Sadist, i will smell them in the room.  There is no other way to explain it.  i am a Beta Wolf.  i will aggressively defend the Alpha in my life, even to myself.  The truth is that i always want you to win.  i’m become competitive, for you.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t times that i need to have the anger, the frustrations, the rage, used out of me.  My feelings of shame are so great, that i can’t get out of my own way anymore.  i’m waking up, with my mind racing, looking at all of it through the existing models of Power and Control.  We don’t fit in that picture, in this house.  Ninety percent of the stuff on that paper, is standard here.

There are times that i feel like screaming inside.

All of the trauma work i’ve read talks about the importance of being inside of our bodies, not climbing about in our heads too long.  i lept from grace.

Eyes closed, jump off of a building, kind of fall.  Epic.

i can’t seem to get past the pain.

i’m exhausted.

podcast

We had our crew over last night, for chili and cornbread, wine and chocolates, and endless conversation.  The topic seemed to circle around Discipline and Punishment.  i found myself needed to take small breaks from the room, the intense energy, and to recall the new rules to not wait on everyone.

The word “strap” caught my attention from the bedroom, where i was talking to another slave, and i stopped speaking mid-word.  i may have stopped breathing for a moment too, my attention captured intently on the words coming from Sir Raven.

She said that she comes from a place, from a people, who beat you because they love you.

That resonates for me, it’s truth as bare as a blank canvas.

It is proof of love, proof of trust, on both sides of the slash.

That i will let someone in, enough to make me cry, enough to make me beg or yell or scream: that is trust to me.

It’s a luxury, to have no control over myself, to fully be immersed in the experience of pain and redemption.

Last night, i kept hearing the idea volleyed around that punishment means that the slave has done something wrong.  

That isn’t what it means to me.

i’ve done something wrong, independent of if i’m ever punished for it or not.  Punishment is the way back home, the wall coming down, the start to forgiveness, the end to self-recriminations, the return to softness, the ability to be me without the weight of shame and guilt and frustration and anger.

One Master considered that if the dynamic was working “right”, without human error, the slave would never need to be punished.

i pointed out that if this is the case, then in all likelihood, there are simply things that the Master is not noticing or the Master has stopped raising the bar all together.

It’s supposed to be a power exchange.  

In exchange for my freedom or word, thought, and deed, i am expecting and needing things in return.  One of them is for the Master to fulfill their duty to discipline and punish me.  To not have that erodes the foundation of the relationship.  i’m honest about all of this, early and explicitly, because i think one ought to have a strong stomach if one’s path is to be a Master.

i’ll give everything in me.

Everyday.

And there will still be days that it isn’t enough.

i don’t deserve for the shame to eat me, for the anger to rise up in me, for the fear to displace me.  In due time, that is what happens, because it begins to feel that all of the weight of the relationship is hoisted upon me.  That is should seem effortless, every day, to give and be and do and smile and share and not be disappointed or angry or frustrated or cross.  Put on lipstick and remop the floors.  Be gracious and not tired and not stupid and try harder.  Work harder and think harder and give more and love more and overlook sharp tones or careless behaviors or thoughtless habits.

We are human, first.  With a full range of human emotions.  There are simply times that you have to let some steam escape or you go numb.  You start to wonder if your emotions need to be a part of this at all, so long as you can be of good cheer and not appear to be tired or sad or lonely or frustration or inconvenient in any way.

You think about stockholmn syndrome and shudder.  You think about crying in the shower but can’t.  You wonder what you are upset about at all, and the shame and guilt come back.  You shove it down, try to sit with it, try to understand but it’s there.

Punishment is not about me doing something wrong.

i already did that.

It’s about the weight being taken off of my shoulders, being given a way to release the shame and anger, and being able to trust completely.

Is it a redemptive experience?

Definitely.  It was never a safe thing for me, as a child or an adult, to let people see that i was in pain from their actions, that i could be forced into loosing control enough to not be kind for ten minutes.  Long enough for my inner child to scream i hate you, without the worry that i’d be killed for High Treason.  Or worse.

Afterwards, spent, exhausted.  i feel nothing but gratitude, especially if i am left to cry myself to sleep, and can wake up feeling like me again.

Reflections following the Master/slave Conference

i’ve been reflecting since the Master/slave Conference. i noticed that Sir Raven and i have fallen into a pattern of sorts. It seems that when we are alone, and i can call her Daddy, she feels the softness from me and we are more in tune.

When in public, i default to calling her Sir Raven or affectionate terms of endearment.

Since we made it a goal to socialize and enjoy the Conference this year, rather than run from class to class, i had some time to notice some patterns.

Sir Raven responds with intention to slaves in high protocol. Additionally, she has a visceral reaction to hearing, “yes, Master” following orders. Every time a slave did that in her presence, she subtley stood taller and paid attention to that slave. She tuned out when she heard the same reply with the word “Sir” rather than “Master.”

i think Sir Raven might have reached that point in her journey where she is mentally ready for that switch to occur. She admires Masters and is humble enough to maybe not have wanted to place herself among their ranks, even if it was a term of address. Even if it was me, and she knew for sure that she is always my Master.

i am thinking i should bring this to her attention, that maybe one way we could avoid diconnecting and for her to feel my softness is if we used a higher protocol and let me call her Master more often.

Sir Raven has always said that i can call her whatever i want but she has always shied away before from the word Master. Now, something have shifted, and she was responding to hearing it.

One of my goals is to figure out how to not get disconnected from each other and asking for a higher protocol while acknowledging her as Master might help.

i’ve tried saying “Yes, Sir” but we both still associate that with someone else, something else. It doesn’t build closeness. She reacts with some anger,

i’ve tried saying “Yes, Sir Raven” but she seems to tune it out often. Indeed, i will sometimes have to call her several times that way before she will respond. i thought this wasn’t conscious on her part, nor was her responding and paying attention to the word Master.

She is my Master and my Daddy. i am quite inclined to use either term with pride and deference. i always feel humble when i say i am her slave or that she is my Master. This could be a useful way to avoid sounding too forward as well. Sir Raven says that i will sometimes be happily quoting research and be unaware that i sounding like i am speaking “from a seat of power.” That would be rather hard to do if you are feeling humble to begin with.

Maybe it’s a transition she would like for the both of us. i’ve thought about it for a few days, and it seems like it might help with some stumbling blocks we have encountered.

From my perspective, she doesn’t always want to feel close and warm with me. And that is fine, if thats the case. What i am not fine with is feeling suddenly disconnected.

Watching high protocol is like watching a beautiful dance. Like all beautiful dances, the people have to be tuned into each other, have to be focused and aware. Maybe the change of address to “yes, Master” would help the both of us, when she needs a bit of emotional distance to do what needs to be done and we still want to be aware and connected to each other.

One thing i’d really like to have specifically addressed is when i should be speaking. i’m really okay to revert back to being seen and not heard. From what i understand, though, Sir Raven wants to me participate in conversations. Still, there are times she directl tells me to be quiet but then doesn’t think to let me know i can talk again. Later, she will privately tell me what she means is for me to talk less or pause or get my energy together. It seems like it would be helpful if i just knew for sure when to stop and start again rather than trying to figure that out myself.

One slave noted that when she was in high protocol, she was aware of it because she wore additional wrist cuffs. The visual aid might work well for both of us, because it is often a good thing for us to have visual and kinestetic feedback. i wouldn’t have thought of that as an idea. i figured people just said, ‘hey, we are going to be in high protocol in these situations…” or whatever. We are both visual people and kinestetic people. Maybe we need to develop our own hanky code way to communicate on this.

It would be helpful for me to have a way to indicate that i might be aware that i need to be on a shorter leash at times as well.

Speaking of a shorter leash….school has started up again. i’m aware that i am going to need greater support, in light of last semester. It’s a huge blow and i’m feeling insecure. i tried to talk to her about it, about needing to understand how that will work. Basically, i was looking for greater structure and what works for me in this regard is punishment. i’ll figure out how to avoid the strap, even when i’m pretty damn sure that the paper i’m writing is crap. All Sir Raven said was that i should be able to do it on my own, basically.

The theme of this Master/slave Conference was “Creating Our Reality” and what i heard from every Master and slave couple was that if a slave needed something to give the Master all of them, the slave got that security. One Master remarked that she did not use punishment because her slave needed the security that he wouldn’t be punished for being ADHD. Another remarked that he did because that is what worked for his slave. They both had ADHD but had different needs for feeling secure. In the latter case, the Master said that the slave was never punished for having ADHD but for not using the tools available and that work (a list, a chart, their shared calendar). Hearing this helped me forgive myself for being human and having needs of my own. i didn’t realize that i had some teeny place there that still felt bad when something i need requires effort from my Master.

These kinds of relationships are work. i can’t feel guilty for asking her to work at it any more than i would want her to feel guilty for asking me to work at it. We are both responsible for the energy and intent we bring to our interactions.