Put it down

We had an interesting MAST meeting, one that i’m still thinking about.  We had a class that had required group participation involved, where we slaves were asked to hold an imaginary tray and pile on all of our various jobs.  i was the last slave up, and in true Sir Raven style, she was the only Master to attempt to calibrate my arms to perfectly position said imaginary tray.

We were supposed to be practicing letting go, placing some responsibilities and the weight of them back onto our Masters, and let ourselves be supported.

None of the slaves seemed relieved to put the imaginary trays of weight down, because we all felt that this meant a mess that we would have to fix later.  i don’t know about anyone else, but i couldn’t even put down my imaginary tray when the teacher said to.  i automatically looked to Sir Raven and paused, waiting for permission to set it down.  And when i did, i felt greater and not less frustration.

When we had to pass off the tray to our Owners, we were tasked with adding more and more weight to the tray.  i felt uncomfortable. i joked that i felt i needed to make a list.  It seemed we all needed a laugh and the energy in the room vastly improved after i invited us to all poke fun at me, and my endless lists.  😀

i don’t know if any of the slaves felt supported, or even had the expectation that we would be supported, except for one.  That seems to be a House with a large emphasis on emotional communication and connectedness.

i’m sure i’ve mentioned before how i am always attempting to not be a perfectionist, but the problem there is there is no way to do this perfectly.  So, um, there’s that little issue.  The only way i’ve ever found to handle this is to basically find a way to be perfect using my Master’s definition.

i had experiences in the time away that left me breathless in their wake.  For one thing, i give what i am asked for.  The person who has told me for years that she feels a pleasant demeanor is “fake” and wants only honesty didn’t appreciate the honesty she got.  The Bigs who spent years teaching me to expect to have a family and be a child were unable to even give me a weekend to feel safe again.  The mommy figure who promised me love delivered the same filth talk about me that was previously the realm of my biological mother in terms of unfair attacks.

i was massively confused because i gave what was asked for.  And if you want something different, thats cool, just make sure i can understand what that thing is.  Whatever it is, i’ll give it over to people i love.  Money. Time. Work. Emotional support. Warmth. Candor.

i just am not well equipped to handle multiple points of view, multiple directions, at the same time.  i’m not able to even figure out what it is that i want until i feel sure that i can please everyone.  When that isn’t possible because i don’t know how, i get stuck.

In my experiences-collectively-there are negative consequences from expecting to be supported.  People disappoint me, let me down, judge me without asking “why?” or listening to the answers.  To be fair, i think they were disappointed too.

The auntie was disappointed to find, in her own words, that she failed me.  She was disappointed that she had become the critical and verbally abusive father of her childhood rather than the mother who she calls a saint.  i feel a lot of compassion there, because that is a very hard thing to know about one’s self.

The Bigs were disappointed to find that they had never been on the same page in terms of needs.  One of them wanted to rewrite history, wherein i was somehow something inflicted on her life, instead of the person she begged to not leave the relationship years earlier.  i can’t pretend that didn’t crush the child inside of me.  Again, i feel compassion because in some ways i feel like the woman had to try and choose between caring for her husband and her child. From my perspective, there was no choice. She made vows with him.

The family that made promises was too divided.  Too quick to judge without talking.  Too eager view everything from a lens of Black and White.  Not enough talking, putting ideas into context, to sharing points of view. If someone isn’t given any chance to put an idea into context, then of course things will go sideways. If i’m trying to please five personalities at the same time and one is sabatoging progress, nothing can work. Not to mention, i arrived in a highly fragile state, something no one gave any thought to. There was no place for me to regroup, most limited interactions with one member was fraught with goading, and no matter how much i gave or did or provided-well-it was never going to be enough. Because their aren’t enough ways to perfectly cook, perfectly clean, perfectly care enough when someone is terrified of success. Four out of five personalities being happy won’t negate the one that is loudest. i feel compassion here too. i really do. i can’t imagine how confusing it would feel to have multiple personalities, and one seems hell bent on destroying everything good and seeing something bad in everything to do with me.

And all of this is a lot of weight, which i put down every day. i know who i am, what i’m about, what my strengths and weaknesses are. No one can shake my confidence because of how hard i have had to work to be comfortable in my skin. Comfortable with my station in life. Proud of my progress.

That leads me to my renewed commitment to myself. i refuse to let myself or my sense of worth to be challenged by anyone. i know i hold my own. i know me. i know that i will put countless hours, dollars, sweat, and tears into making people i love feel loved. That is who i am. Some of the previous family members tried to give back. Most certainly. But i realize that i’m just not like other people, who give expecting a return, beyond what i really need to be my best self. i’m not looking for anything extra. i don’t expect a hell of a lot, but i know damn well i’m worth more. More than i receive.

If i can’t even put down my imaginary tasks, how will i ever truly hand over the weight of my burdens? Why would i? Everything in my life has shown me that there are negative consequences when i believe in people and trust their promises. When i expect something back, like understanding or forgiveness or compassion. And i can’t let that define me or that i continue to find understanding, forgiveness, and compassion.

i am a slave.

i give with my whole heart, my whole soul, and every ounce of my faith.

That is me. i can’t change those things without changing me. At the same time, it seems fair that i should be getting what i need to be the best version of myself.

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