We finally made it through August. What a freaking whirlwind! Two Spiritual birthdays, Onyx Pearl Bar night, Onyx Pearl group meeting, One week long Residency, One Amtrak ride from hell, and four days later….the Master Slave Conference.
The major takeaway of all of this for me is that Sir Raven and i are genuinely really tight, both within our dynamic and as a couple. For the first time, she gave me the honor of shopping for needed things for her Spiritual Birthday along with other duties. When we had little misadventures, we handled them with grace and humor. With all of the stress-and this was extremely stressful for both of us-we never once had an unkind word or nasty exchange. Sir Raven is always stressed this time of year from just the pressure of the Spiritual Birthdays, let alone adding all of this other stuff on top.
The misadventures included her controlling the shit out of everything so hard that we were packed and going out to the Amtrak a full day early and made it two stops from home before she double checked everything and we got off to call Amtrak. This was partially a issue with Amtrak, which confused us by closing down Penn Station two weeks after we made our reservations and rerouting us. It was also my Beloved Master reacting to the stress of the entire thing and missing a detail.
So there we were, both dripping in sweat because of the humidity and hauling suitcases up and down stairs, with me trying to call Amtrak with this damed automated thing that really doesn’t like my voice ever. We finally got confirmation that it was tomorrow, with a time change, and i called Ro to tell her to cancel her wild party for the night. Heh.
While we were soaked in sweat and waiting for the train to take us back home, i leaned over and kissed her and laughed. “This is exactly why we would be getting married in New York, because this would be totally us trying to get to the Altar, on the wrong day and dripping sweat.” i had just been trying to hold things for her and remind her to drink her water, and she had just been trying to wipe my sweaty face with her already soaking wet handkerchief. We laughed about the whole thing.
i realized how much being hers has changed me, in that when things like this happen, i want to soothe her more than anything. There is absolutely no anger or annoyance or anything on my part. It’s an opportunity to show grace, compassion, and that i’d follow her anywhere-even if it was a sweaty ride hauling what felt like half my body weight up and down stairs. It is a reminder that she is human too. It is a chance for me to show adoration, in remembrance of all of the little times she could find fault with me and doesn’t.
Our other misadventure was going back home, when our train got delayed four times, and we ended up not leaving Atlanta until midnight. i had already made arrangements with the front desk to pay to stay late and we had then checked out before the delay notices came, so it wasn’t possible to just pay the half day rate and rest until 8pm. That would have been better. Nope. We ended up chilling on the pool deck together, where they had really awesome sofa-like seating around private tables. i colored. i tried to go swimming but the pool literally felt ice cold and wasn’t going to happen. We talked about setting money aside to go stay in a hotel locally together a few times a year, just for the opportunity to get away and fully connect. We both really enjoyed after my classes (which ran from 7am-6pm) meeting up in the suite where they had wine and lots of fresh vegetables, salads, soup, and trays of cheese.
Actually, the hardest part of the Residency, for me, (other than the pain) was not being able to serve Sir Raven. She pretty much always takes care of me in brand new spaces, or spaces where the lighting and people preclude me being able to serve drinks and snacks. This place had bad lighting for me, and i was just unable to make her snack plates at all. i tried once, desperate to serve, and made a mess. Sir Raven took it all in stride, even going out each day to have a lunch ready for me at the pool deck, where we could sit together and enjoy being out of the building.
We both felt like we were in a non consensual leather contest, because-yes, we were always being watched-all of the students are. And we stick out in any setting, so it was very easy to spot the blind girl and her stunning Master.
The residency experience itself was really awesome! i felt really lucky with the professor and classmates i got. She let everyone sit on the floor, even though i was the only person to do it for much of the class because the chairs were hellish. She let everyone bring laptops, which helped a lot as i had been told we had to handwrite notes only. We got taped and got lots of practice both being the counselor, and the client. that was incredibly fun! i was really humbled at all of the personal things that classmates shared.
At one point, there was a brief discussion about having to break confidentiality to report because it is our duty and obligation under certain considerations, and our professor remarked that these people whose job it is to respond to allegations of abuse have tremendous capacity to hurt. She shared a personal story which illustrated her point.
All i could think of was sitting infront of a caseworker with a black eye almost swollen shut and second degree burns that were huge oozing painful boils on my hand. The first thing i told her was i didn’t want to talk to her, that i didn’t want anything to happen to my mommy. She replied that she had already talked to her, that my mother had told her i did this to myself, and that because i was worried about my mother-she was certain that i had hurt myself and blamed her. She went on to say that abused children shouldn’t care what happens to their mothers and fathers.
As an adult, that is exactly what i would expect an abused child to be worried about-the person who hurt them, especially if that person is a family member.
The strangest thing-to me-was that it was my right eye that was nearly swollen shut (the only eye that sees anything) and my left hand that suffered from an iron (i’m left handed). So even looking at this-i’d guess that if a person was going to self harm, they would have at least damaged body parts that they don’t actively need all day long. But i had already been checked into another psychiatric hospital for “self harm” so it didn’t really matter to anyone what happened to me.
Still, it was a bit of an interesting preshadowing that i remember thinking with the lovely Olivia if she was looking at the scars on my hands and then that came up days later. i don’t often think about those things at all. Suffice to say, i have been damaged by any person that i tried to report abuse to lifelong. Whatever preconceived notions they have about what abused girls and women are, they have unilaterally used their position to re abuse me. Even the most benevolent cases, where psychiatrists told me they knew without me telling, but simply couldn’t guarantee that i would end up in a placement in foster care that wouldn’t also get me abused was hard to handle. Florida, at that time, was ripe with abuse and mistreatment happening in foster care homes, in particular those that were deemed “theraputic homes.” Those homes got substantially more money for taking a couple of extra classes. Guess where you went if you were already labelled crazy by your mother dumping you off in psychiatric hospitals after knowingly and inappropriately drugging you? Yep. Those homes.
So, that was a bit to unpack and think about.
i am always trying to make sure that i am not becoming a therapist out of some fucked up desire to save the world. Or me. And i’m not. Inside, somewhere, is that beaten up kid and i wish that i was able to feel compassion for her, but i just can’t. i couldn’t at the time. My dispassionate observer was already there, coldly laying out the facts, the number of years left on my sentence as a child before i could leave her. Of course, by then i was unable to even formulate that idea.
And on that note, more updates later. i’m going to have more coffee, take a nice hot shower, and get ready for the farmers market. i’m behind in making the sauce that i put up for winter. A vat of sauce is on the menu for today, and i invited a friend over to smoke and talk and do con drop together. 🙂