Notes on the journey

1. Grad school requires being able to read and absorb endless chapters, which is excruciatingly slow for me.  We upgraded my reader, which helps some but it’s taxing.

2.  i have to transcribe mock therapy sessions.  The good news is that they actually help my “client” and my professor remarks that “I’m a natural at this.”  The bad news is how many, many, many *hours* it takes me to transcribe and code all of our words and behaviors.  Thank God Sir Raven sends me off for manicures and i have black nails all of the time so i can sometimes see when i’m touching the pale client.  Heh.

3.  Inside, i’m trying to bring the girl part of me back and i feel hollow about it.  There is so much anger, so much fear of being abandoned again.  It’s bigger than me and seems like a thing that needs to be locked up tight.  How do you ask someone who is also hurting to deal with that?  Is it fair?  We both know that she can beat me through the rage, past the pain, and into sobbing.  It might work one more time.  Maybe i’v got one more shot in me, to let go all of the way to zero.  To feel.  To let her see me come undone.

4.  So much of this journal has been me trying to accept.  Sometimes, what i was accepting was not getting my basic needs met.  i justified it (She works hard and needs to relax.  i want to take care of her.)  i’m bone dry now and it’s going to take a real commitment on her part to be able to embrace me, all of me, again.

5.  The good news is she misses the little girl in me.  Maybe a lot.

6.  The other good news is she is agreeing to work on it.  i should be happy for that, whatever the reason.  But i feel like i fell through floors i didn’t know i could fall through, over and over again, for so many months now. We aren’t talking ancient history here.  Just last week we hit a new low.   Even in the best of times, i have said that we need to focus on each other, use s/m to connect, use sex to connect, be present.  These are needs.

7.  She returned the collar, “The broken collar,” she said.  i have mixed feelings about it.  It feels like me, and her, and us.  That is remarkable, considering.  But it also feels like i’m wearing the scarlet letter.  Okay.  Yes.  i did it.  i was the runaway slave and i own it.  But at least i don’t feel like i look like a whore anymore and that is how i felt for five months.  A whore is not about sex, not really, but a woman who gives away parts of herself and gets nothing back in return.  In my family, a whore was the lowest of low because even a prostitute knew she had some worth.  It was just a trade.  Money is power.  Sex is power.  A whore, however, is an unwanted and powerless thing.   Something shameful and disgusting.  Something no one wants.

8.  Issues much?  Why yes.  Yes.  Right now it’s all raw and exposed and ripped open.

9.  i have never more felt like that five year old whore child.  i thought i was trading myself to keep my family together.

10.  When he left us, my mother went into her first rage attack, beating me with wire hangers and sending me outside with my little bag to see if anyone wanted me.  i was five and thought that the passing cars knew what had happened and that my mother was telling the truth.  In fact, she was.  No one wanted my brother or me.

11.  Inside my head, i chant, “let the circle be unbroken.”  i imagine the steel around my throat melding together.  Of course, i want something new, for the new journey we are trying.  i pin pictures on pinterest, like a little girl filling her hope chest.  It’s me offering hope for the road.

12.  i haven’t felt like a broken child since i was one.  i don’t know what to do with this but notice it.

13.  i still believe love is stronger than anything else.  We still love each other.

14.  i’ve been trapped in the house for two days, let out only to take a break from school work to do laundry.  It does not motivate me whatsoever.  All it does is make me feel like i’m being punished for not being able to think clearly long enough to turn out work.  And i can’t.  Certainly not like this.  i know she isn’t meaning to be punitive, not really, but it does shit to improve my morale.

15.  i didn’t get the floors mopped today and it’s freaking me out.  Seriously.  The least i can do is make sure she has a clean house, a frig full of food, hot meals, and clean clothes.  She has tried to help me by taking me to BJ’s (in a rental car, no less) and has been grabbing her own snacks.  It’s weird, like if your cat suddenly started opening up it’s own cat food.  i’m so used to doing literally everything and i’ve never been unhappy about that.  i like taking care of her.  i just want to be appreciated for that and for people to understand how much work it actually is to take care of everything.  It’s a full time job all by itself. Even slaves don’t like to feel taken for granted, which is stupid of me, considering.  Part of why i gravitate to a Roman style of slavery is that slaves were actually prized for what they managed to pull off everyday.

16.  i fell out of bed hard last week, busting my tailbone, and it’s making me utterly miserable.  Ugh.  i feel like i get all of my chores done in slow motion, thought i’m told that is not the case at all.  And i’m exhausted from taking the meds i need to get through everything that must be done.  i’m also exhausted from the pain, which ramps up to a ten out of nowhere, leaving me shaking in it’s wake.  When i fell, she woke up in an instant, and was on the floor with me trying to help.  She said, “oh, my baby, oh my babygirl” and i melted to hear those words, in that tone again.  i keep thinking about it, when the pain ramps up, when it consumes me.  Right now, it is gearing up, spreading so i think i’ll dust the bedroom and get off my tailbone for awhile.

Broken Human

i am trying to work and am treated to intrusive thoughts.  Thoughts on being broken, waiting to be picked back up and built back up.

Last night, i had a dream where i felt the warm sun on my face, where i felt like a girl again who still believes in making wishes on pussywillows and telling stories in the dark.

We made a pact, you and me, promises in the middle of urban life.

i wish it was all easier, that i could just brush my ass against you or kiss you deeply and ignite passion,

For me.  Passion for me, for us.

But i can’t.

i have no influence and no way to know and no more wishes and no more hope, save one.

Puzzle pieces

i’ve been thinking about this post for nearly two weeks, turning it around in my mind, examining it all.

i read something about quiverful families on facebook, an article about how women and children are expected to behave, with cheerful obedience at all times.

They quoted books, titles and names i recognized as the only reading i ever saw my mother accomplish.  She had tapes she played in the car as well, with the very same people who recommended beating a child until they fully submit.

i read the comments, many from women who escaped from this life.  One mother wrote that she thought this is what she had to do to save her children.  My mother, however, was looking for a way to justify what she was already doing to me.  She didn’t beat me out of love.  i think what she felt for me was often disgust and pity.  Pity because i just never saw it coming, what she really was, underneath her beautiful china doll mask.

A lightbulb went off in my mind while i was reading.

No wonder i thought.  No wonder she used those books to feel justified at beating me, even more so because while i was obedient, i was so emotionally shut down that i was not cheerful.

She was so heavily invested in the idea that i had destroyed her life by my birth that any punishment seemed reasonable.  Because what could be “enough” when someone destroyed your life?  And that was her perspective.

What really got my attention as well was “blanket training.”  I was shocked to discover that i had done this with my children as well, except for that i arranged toys around the perimeter of the blanket and sat down with them to show them how to use the toys they went to.  My mother had taught me as a child to not let babies off of the blanket, that no matter how much i cleaned, it was too dirty and that i needed to “teach them to obey young.”  i was horrified when she told me i should be slapping their hand when they got off the blanket and i couldn’t do it.  i just would sit there with my stomach in knots, rearranging them on the blanket and trying to keep them happy about it.

i realized that in my adult life, in my power exchange relationships, i have responded to blanket training.  To this day, after a beating i don’t move until i’m told to.  It doesn’t matter what kind of beating, for pleasure or punishment.  Muscle memory is an interesting thing.  i will also stay in whatever area is designated as “my spot” if i’m not cleaning.  No wonder i was so upset when the playpen got taken away as my safe space.  i wondered why i had such a childish reaction to it.

i also thought about the “therapy” offered by the different religion shopping my mother did, to justify herself and to remind us often that we children were “demonic.”  It’s because i was so shut down emotionally that i wasn’t cheerful.  i was quiet, withdrawn, passive, and a damn hard worker.  i exceeded expectations.  i still do, despite the level of pain i live in or what i have to do to accomplish everything that must be done.  i don’t complain.  i don’t ask for a lot.  i keep my head down and work.

With my inner child muted, i seem frustrated more often.  i am so focused on “getting it right” and figuring out how to earn some love that i look frustrated.

Frustrated doesn’t look cheerful.

And non cheerful obedience signals disobedience.  It did as a child and adult.  It might now as well.

The more i struggle for understanding, the more i appear to be frustrated, the more it might seem like i’m not obeying.

The thing i ask for is consistency, because i want to understand and because i don’t necessarily want to live shut down emotionally.  The frustration is interpreted, i think, as something else by Sir Raven.  We both end up dissatisfied.  Resentful.  Angry.  But only one of us has to never show these things, and not have a way to vent them out.  That is what play, sex, and discipline do for me.  It lets the steam out of the pressure cooker (quite possibly for both of us?).

Last night, she made it plain that she would be punishing me consistently, from now on.

i am struggling for steady ground, to feel claimed totally, to experience total surrender again.

i suppose we both are.  Perhaps this is a start.

Acceptance

The main source of peace i’ve found in life is through acceptance.

Even when the path is hard.

Especially when the path is hard.

Several days ago, i posed a question to Sir Raven.  What i needed to know was if it mattered to her to have the softness, the vulnerability, the total trust, of my inner child available to her.  i have struggled, in the face of her rejecting me, to keep myself open.  My fear was that if i closed away parts, that this was tantamount to taking back control.

i reasoned that if you couldn’t control a person’s emotions, then what exactly where you controlling?

Perhaps all of that struggle was for naught.

i can live and breathe and function as a woman.  i feel less of a range of emotions, but perhaps that is not needed here.  i figure that Sir Raven will need time to think on what i asked, because it’s a pretty broad and abstract concept, this business of the child inside.

If she decides that she needs her then she will have to find a way to reach her.

If not, i can accept it.

What is most important is the accepting.

The end of the struggling inside, desperate to find a way to keep myself fully open, is a relief in a way.  It’s not what i would choose for myself.  That doesn’t mean, however, that i can’t accept whatever she decides.

It’s timely, i think, that we are working on Adlerian theory.  The words attached to me, early and often, was that of fighter, survivor, and good wife.  Less comfortable to me was to be called a miracle, though it might be way my life has always contained a feeling that i’m somehow not living up to what my life was spared for.  Within these constructs was my early childhood desires to be a nun and also the same reasons that compel me into a life of slavery.

i have to be mindful of what i am fighting for.  The fight to keep my relationship working, to make my Master happy, matters a hell of a lot more to me than being able to feel everything.  i am a survivor, a chameleon, and will always find a way to bloom despite all odds.  i was a one pound, seven and a half ounce baby.  i was born a fighter and a survivor.

Of course, i can be a good wife, an attentive partner, a good slave and not have my inner child intact.  i’ll still be mostly me.

The end of the struggle is good.  It was causing me a great deal of agony, when what i perhaps should have done a long time ago was to divorce my emotions enough to let her decide which parts of me matter enough for her to fight for.

i have to make room to let her do the fighting for us now.

i do have faith in her, and in us.

Where blind sorrow is taught to see

i have done what i promised myself i’d never do again.

i slid into the grey.

It is familiar, the nothingness, the sensation of sinking into a tepid lake on a late summer afternoon.

It is quiet here.

The anger, the rage, the sadness sink down, slide down, into the grey.

i remember the last time i felt this kind of resignation.

i spent days crying, defeated, and i painted for days sitting on the floor.  Oil pastels mixed with tears, photos on canvas, more painting.  No sleeping.  Only paint, a joint to calm me down, and endless rocking.

The little girl in me went away.  She wasn’t needed, or so i thought.  And so i’d put her away, gently if i could.  Along with my little girl feelings, sensibilities, vulnerability, and belief in things like miracles.  Hope.  Wanderlust. Pure joy.

What i found out was when i ceased to be vulnerable, in the monster’s eyes, i ceased to be human.  And in freeing myself from pain, i freed her to turn to more and more aggressive acts of cruelty.  If i could touch the daddy in her, make her see i was just a child, the beatings were at least not life-threatening.  But no.  When i put that child in me away, somewhere safe and deep, i was left with the grey.  There is no fear there.  No anger.  No shame.

i gave her a lot of room to learn how to be more cruel.  It was easy enough to do to just a woman, a woman who had tried to leave.  That was when the chain came, and the glint in her eye returned.  i had no way to effect her emotions anymore.  It turned more ugly than i could ever say.

When i escaped, years ago, i promised myself that i would rather feel anything than feel nothing again.

i promised myself i wouldn’t put aside my inner child again, because i think she is the most valuable part of me.

i lied.

i lied to me.

And so here i am, in the grey, my inner child tucked away inside.  Mute.

The woman in me doesn’t feel a whole lot.  i’m just a woman, focused on keeping a clean house, serving an excellent meal, disinclined to be hurt by anything.  i’m just a servant, and my feelings don’t need to happen at all.  And it’s fine.  It is.

Something strange has happened.  i stand and greet her when she comes home, not the child-like exuberance and sheer joy.  i don’t look at her like she hung the moon.  i’m just there, ready to take her coat, pour her wine.

Yesterday, she surprised me by grabbing my throat, and then kissing me.  It sends something through me, something with no name.  i am aware of being alive, of wanting her to take me, have me, have whatever she wants.  It puts me a little off balance.  It makes me feel a little high.

She did it again today.

Other than having her grab my collar, this is second best.  It reminds me that somewhere inside she still wants me, still wants me to be hers.

In the tiny room that feels like we are in Confession, we spill our secrets slowly, like blood.  Each time, i feel surprised at the anger and pain.  Each time, there is a part of me that wishes she would take me home and beat me, and then tuck me into bed.  i have violent dreams, dreams where she uses her strap and fucks me in a way we don’t fuck.

Tonight, she puts her hand down the back of my dress after dinner, and her hands make slow circles on my skin.  Nothing in this world feels like her touch.  When she wants me to put my head on her knee, like i used to, she grabs my hair and puts me there.

Maybe it’s a good thing, to put my inner child away, even if most of my feelings go with her.

It’s a price i’m willing to pay.

There isn’t a price too high, a place i won’t go, to be Hers.

Without her, i lacked all feelings of identity or purpose or direction.

i was completely lost, and i got very hurt and abused while i was away.

i can’t chance that again.

And so i’m trying to look at my life here differently.  i’m thinking of putting away my stuffed animals, of the things that remind me of feeling small and happy.

It’s bedtime, she said, so i’m off.