Tough

So, this is going to be hard to write.

It’s taken me a long time to process, and be able to write about.

A couple months back, we were tasked with formulating a diagnosis for a client with scant information for class.  Mainly, we were told that the girl had been playing softball and got hit in the head, but not hard enough to loose consciousness.  She didn’t vomit, didn’t have a bruise, and seemed fine.  Over the course of the next few months, she had personality changes, decreased ability to focus, decreased interest in friends because of the effort it took her to pay attention now, and trouble sleeping.

The girl was subsequently diagnosed-correctly-with a traumatic brain injury.

Maybe six months ago, Sir Raven and i saw a documentary where we heard lots of medical information about traumatic brain injury in football, and that the guys who had been using pot had sustained less damage as a result.  i remember remarking to Sir Raven, after we watched it twice, that it may have been the pot that kept me from dying while i was kidnapped.

i didn’t want to smoke, then.  i needed to keep my wits about me, and the stuff Dawn got a hold of made me very tired.  She did it to have increased control, in that it took the edge of my pain to keep an immaculate house, as demanded.  And because i was convinced that i couldn’t survive the pain without it.  She knocked me totally unconscious at least ten times in that year.  Long enough to move me from the livingroom to the bedroom.  Long enough to fuck me while i was unconscious.  There were at least three times i remember having damage that i could feel on my head, larger than the size of a half dollar, places where my head felt soft like refrigerated biscuit dough left out.

Then, there was the last time i had head trauma, some four years ago.  Same biscuit dough, soft spots.  Same lack of medical attention.  Same disassociation that lasted days at a time.  This time, though, no pot.

Since then, i notice that i have the same thing happen.  i will go looking for something-a favorite pink shirt i wore when my skin hurt, a shirt i thought of as a friend, convinced that i just had it.  i will search drawers, closets.  Hours or days later i will recall that shirt was something i haven’t had in seven years.

Or i will go looking for a photograph, sure that i must have it, and days later it will occur to me-again-that i don’t have any photos of myself as a child.  Or the special black and white pictures i took of Jacob.  Or the art i made a decade ago.

Or Sir Raven and i will sit and watch a show, one i’m sure i have never, ever seen.   She will gently tell me i have seen it several times.  Sometimes, something at the end will cause me to brighten and remember.  Often not.

And when the pain is bad, i will read the same chapters for school over and over and remember nothing.  i will sit to work and write, the kind of APA hellish teeny error that can cost you a grade writing, and nothing.  i get ahead.  i get behind.  i languish.  It’s exhausting.

i wonder what in the hell i am fighting for.

i think i can probably do the work itself, as the part of my brain that remembers things connected to emotions seems intact.  And that is largely what therapy deals with.

i don’t know if i will be able to do the procedural things, that are part and parcel of billing and being paid.  And i’m scared.

i am so tired of fighting myself, an uphill battle always.  Even for the sweetness of another A.  Even for the pride i feel, the savage bit of me that revels in every success that surpasses what anyone else in my family could do.

Those smug fucks who outscored me on every IQ Test, but never read a book, never did graduate work, never completed a damn job without me there for half their lives.  They told me sure, i was brilliant, but flawed.  That i should gracefully accept my limitations and not hope for more.

And maybe….maybe they were right.

i can keep an immaculate house, cook delicious meals, and be pretty enough to please.

i am so scared of being found out when i try to do internship work.  i’m scared of being found by my kidnapper, being unable to keep my little disability checks, being penniless, being me.

Yesterday or the day before, everything just sort of hit me at once.  i realized with a great deal of shame that i held a grudge toward Sir Raven, when she has accepted responsibility all along.  It’s there when we laugh because i really can’t remember what we just watched.  It’s there when i’m upset because i can’t find something that i haven’t had in a decade.  It’s there when i can’t remember what i just asked or what the answer was.  she knows.  She knows what effect it had.  How could i have not seen it when this is so obvious?  She didn’t push for an MRI or CT scan because she already knows.  The combined damage put it over the top.  We both have to live with it now.

i get angry thinking she can’t understand what it is like being me.  She sees the difference over time, she has to.

Maybe its just July talking, in part.  June and July are always dangerous, always lurking out, ready to show me down with memories.  Nightmares. Flashbacks. Pain.

i can stay grounded enough for the most part.  Summer time makes the pain worse, always.  June and July have a lot of shitty anniversaries, and i never get far away enough that i don’t notice on some level.  That is the price of trauma.  i accept that.

Maybe its time to stop priding myself on being tough, being strong, being the one who beat every odd stacked against me.  Maybe its time to let go of whatever dreams i have left.  The world won’t end if i don’t practice therapy, never get my doctorate, never even finish my Masters.  i’ve done enough to be sure that i am smart enough, always was.  Maybe that has to be enough?

 

Each day, a new beginning

i am trying to treat each day with a fresh start.  i noticed that while i was working through my upset feelings by myself, that i was having actual heart pains.  And it scared me lots.

i am just going to not deal with the things that crushed me.  i suppose Sir Raven is right-who cares what happens to my bones when i’m dead?  It’s not like my mother could hurt me again after i am already dead.  i was being overly sentimental about the idea of my mother getting my body, getting to put me in a plot next to her, already bought.

We were talking with friends and someone brought up what they wanted when they die and it made me feel funny inside because there is a plot, its where my grand is, right next to her.  There are two spots in one grave, for my mother and i.  i was surprised to realize Sir Raven wouldn’t care about me being in that plot or my mother having access to my dead body.  She said, “who cares?”

Combined with other things, it sent me over the edge.

Really-though-it doesn’t matter.  If it did, Sir Raven would make other arrangements.  To me, it read that she won’t protect me legally in life, and doesn’t care what happens to me in death.  So that is what i was reacting to inside of myself.  i don’t think she was intending to send that message, and many times she doesn’t intend her behaviors to send the messages they do.  i can overlook.  In the grand scheme of things-really who cares?

Like i said, i was being overly sentimental about an idea.  God Forbid, i would have a nervous breakdown if Sir Raven’s resting place wasn’t somewhere i could continue to take care of her.  If i had no ability to be with her until she was buried.  In fact, because she is a Priest, i know very limited details about what to expect should that happen.  i just know who to call.

i can’t let myself get upset about any of this.  It’s silly.  i’m silly.

In the end, our souls will either find each other or not.  All i can do is what i always do-focus on giving my best each day.  Focus on being my best self for her.  Be the person she wants to come home to.  Let the rest of this stuff go.

So, that is where i’m at, each day is a new beginning.

 

 

Just keep calm and serve

Yesterday, i did all of the chores, including all the weekly ones.  There isn’t a speck of dust, i washed walls, i went through a ton of swiffer cloths, and i worked until i was drenched in sweat.

i had woken up from a dream, where i had put together an experiment so she had to face the messages she gave me.  Then an art project, where i had her draw on my body those messages-

You aren’t worth my attention.  You are not worth my focus.  Your feelings and thoughts don’t matter to me, and I will just deny them.  I will shame you in public.  I will shame you in private.  

By the time i had the house done, i also had a handle on my feelings.  i know what Sir Raven does when i finally am angry, she just withdraws even more and ignores more under the guise of “giving space.”  i didn’t ask for space.  What i asked for, was for her to understand what she was doing and that she was doing it to a small child.  

Then i asked that she find a way to engage with that part of me, the part she loves best.  It is on her to make up for hurting the little girl inside so badly that she had to go away again.  i feel betrayed because i gave a clean slate, not because she deserved it or earned it, but just because i became aware she needed it-and this is what she wrote on me.

She needs to develop ways to reach out to me, the little girl parts, and i think she doesn’t know how to do that really.

If she wants access to my feelings, then she can’t keep hurting me.  She must learn that i have to protect myself, because the cycle is one where i get hurt.  Emotional pain makes the physical pain worse, triggers flares, makes it harder for me to get work and school and everything done, and the only person who seems to pay or redouble their efforts all of the time is me.

No one sticks a gun to my head.

That is just me, just who i am.

So, anyhow, after making everything immaculate i went to do laundry.  While i was sitting there, i realized i was having chest pains.  And i was just like….no….just no.  i can’t carry this pain and sadness around in me.  i can’t let someone inside my heart and end up with heart pains.  When it kept feeling weird, i asked SR several hours later to check and my blood pressure was low and my heart was beating fast.  Which is just weird.

i am just taking it easy today, trying desperately to get caught up in school.  i should have NEVER taken two classes during Summer.  Its just too much on my body, too much stress.  i am super stressed about being behind and struggling to understand some of the assignments.  i need to get caught up immediately and its just a lot.  i was doing so well too.  The last few weeks have been really rough.  i just have far more pain and flares during Summer.

When Sir Raven came home yesterday, i asked for a kiss.  i always have to make the first move and i can see she is hurt too.  i don’t want her hurting.  i told her that i will let it go, but will let her know in the moment next time, and that i love her.

This too shall pass.

Imploding

We have been going out quite a bit, and that means it has been more opportunity for me to see what isn’t working.

First, i tried to ignore it.  Then, after seeing a pattern of ongoing behavior, i tried to calmly and gently explain.  Now i’m in a bad place emotionally.

At a bar night, Sir Raven snapped at me the whole way there and otherwise ignored me.  We go in, she gets me a soda, sits me down somewhere and spends the next hour talking to someone else.  At some point, she sits next to me for three minutes, and i’m happy for just that.  Literally, as soon as i thought that, she got up and moved away to sit next to the person she had been charmingly chatting up for hours now.  And then she says, “I only domestically partnered with her for the health insurance.”  Hurt and humiliated, i tried to make a joke of it, by saying that i only did it for the cinnamon rolls we had at Burger King right after.  Because it was about as nonsensical as what she had just conveyed.

After my emotions cooled, i tried to explain that the total sum of the message she conveyed was that our relationship has no romantic love to it, that it is acceptable to ignore me, and that it didn’t matter that the person she was speaking to ignores me as well.  Granted, health insurance was a major reason.  But i pointed out that saying something like, “I knew that owning jade made it my responsibility as a Master to provide for her and be sure she has good medical care, so we got domestically partnered,” provided a very different subtext.

At the Botanical Gardens night show the next week, she was grumpy and irritated every time i spoke.  She would just sigh at me.  However, she was able to have a perfectly charming conversation with our friends just fine.  To me, it was sharp commands: “walk” “go” “walk through those people” and “watch out, jade! Don’t walk into those people,” combined with grabbing my arm all night, likely harder than she was meaning to.  i was trying to engage her, apologized for the big crowd, and it was just another night.  A night that i had worked for to provide, that i went out the night before and several times in the rain that morning, and still had to take a test when we got home because i was taking care of the house chores and making sure that everyone had drinks, snacks, cigars, etc.

The next event was Folsom East, where i was surprised that she took someone else to walk around when she had never done that with me.  We have been three or four times, and she has refused each time to go with me so i could shop and enjoy.  And what was i focused on?  Getting her a beautiful cuff.

She posted some update on facebook the day before, about doing self care for both of us, and went to bed.  She was on the phone saying how exhausted she was, leaving out that she spent two days in a row coming home very early and spending hours napping.  Or that she went to bed, and i was up doing All The Things so she has nothing to do but relax.  But the impression she leaves is that she is taking care of us.  Um-no.

The next thing was my birthday.  She had agreed to take me to the Met, then let me know that wasn’t going to happen on my birthday.  Then she said maybe the Cloisters.  Then just to the Botanical Gardens, which wasn’t possible because it was closed.  Seeing it go back and back and back, i just gave up and said we should just have a quiet day at home.  It is the one day a year i feel comfortable asking for exactly what i want, so i did, and every plan got rejected.  Including just playing with me at home.   This year i carefully managed my expectations, and i was really okay with it, but the day before still hurt.

The last bar night was her snapping at me, per usual.  It is just a volley of ignoring, snapping, talking over me, and then being perfectly charming to everyone else.  It was so bad on the way, that i was seriously thinking about going into a Dallas Bar B que and telling her to come pick me up on the way back home.  Karida had come over, and i had served her and cleaned up and then went to be playful and kiss her in bed, which she just ignored me.  Two minutes later, as i’m cleaning things, i hear her laughing with Karida.  My first reaction was to smile, because i love her laugh and was happy for them.  But then i felt bad, because i had just been rejected, but she can manage to not do that to other people.  When me feelings are hurt, i try and redouble my efforts to please, offer more things, trying anything-and then got snapped at for that.  i was seriously thinking about staying home.  It just gets old.

At home, alone, yeah she ignores me and does her own thing.  i care a lot less, because i have plenty to do besides just sit there and feel awful and try to not let anyone see i’m hurt.  She also doesn’t snap at me constantly most of the time, when we are alone.  i think part of that nasty behavior is her anxiety, but she made the choices to get involved with the Pearls or have people over or go out, so really-don’t take it out on me.

Saturday, it just reached it’s zenith.  We don’t go out alone very often at all, and i was trying to just enjoy lightly talking over dinner, and trying to get more than two words out of her was exhausting.  We were standing online forever, it was a hot mess, and i was feeling really crappy.  And when we got home i snapped.  i told her she needed to watch her grimy tone at me.

i have been trying to ignore, let it go, meditate, try harder, explain gently.  Every time i try and say, “When you use this tone, it conveys annoyance.  When you respond sourly with “well, you know” when someone asks how you are, that means that you just conveyed something negative.  When you deposit me someplace and don’t touch me all night, you are conveying that i don’t matter.” Her first reaction, always, is to deny it.  She says she doesn’t snap at me, doesn’t have a tone, doesn’t sigh, doesn’t ignore, doesn’t lie about me or taking care of me.

If i treated her how she treats me, she would never be able to handle it.

i am tired of the pain that Summer always makes worse, and that stress makes worse, and not being comforted or held by someone who is supposed to love me.

Last night, i asked her to cuddle me, and she said, ‘I don’t think that is going to happen.”  i point out that it is her responsibility to respond to the fact that she hurt me, that this is how she could be serving the dynamic, because her behavior has been bad and caused hurt.

Growing up, my Grandmother would do the same thing.  Two or three times a year, my mother and i would go over to scrub everything and she would hardly talk to us at all, when she did it was pretty condesending.  She referred to us as, “You people.” The phone would ring, and she would have this suddenly animated conversation, when she had jack shit to say to us.  My mother would look so hurt and dejected.  It is the only time i can remember seeing her actually sweat because she would actually help a bit.  She would whisper to me that this was what her childhood was, knocking herself out to please, and getting ignored.  She said she would listen to the phone calls as a kid, hoping to hear anything kind about her.  We even had a phrase for this behavior, it was so common-“the belle of the Ball.”

Take any other person-from a random stranger in a grocery store-and my grandmother could turn on the charm.  She could have a perfectly lovely conversation, her face and voice all animated.  People would think she was great.  We never got the Belle of the Ball.

When she would talk about how beautiful an Italian cousin was, her voice would always get very dramatic in the explaining of her bedroom eyes, her beautiful skin, ohhh she was gorgeous, her lips, and she was so sweet, like an angel.  When she was dying of dementia, i left the nursing home just long enough to shower and bake muffins and came back.  And she told me that this cousin from Italy had been there earlier with fruit, how she was still so beautiful, so sweet, still an angel.

It was me there that morning.  My grandmother never said anything positive to me about my looks my entire life, save once and that mistaken identity.  Being compared to someone my grandmother had called the “epitome of feminine,” was jarring and heart soaring.  Who knew?

i remember my mother’s sad moon face, her crying, while i tried to get the cleaning done expertly and get us out of there with the jobs done.  The Belle of the Ball made my mother cry.  We were never mentioned, and my grand gave the impression to everyone else that she was this charming person who was loving and who had no family there sweating and scrubbing for her.  To us, she had little to nothing to say really.  It wasn’t until i was well into my 20s that she and i started talking, because i had a cell phone and she could call me directly without dealing with my mother.  It took a year of her calls for me to stop flinching every time it was her, because i was expecting to be snapped at or blamed or criticized.  i was also expecting she would be the one to call and tell me my father was dead, and that was my first thought that first year of calls.  i was genuinely surprised to be able to enjoy her calls, that she wanted to know how the kids and i were doing.  She would tell me i was a good daughter, a good girl.  One-on-one, she always told me i was a good girl.  In a group, she was really a frightening person, esp if my brother and mother were in that group.

The Belle of the Ball would get more nasty and snappy around people.  When she called me, she was just her.  And it was so much more than enough.

It took years for me to trust that she wasn’t going to attack or blame me.  i don’t understand what any of this was about.  i do see the patterns in my own life.  i wish i had stood up to my grand, maybe we would have had a better relationship sooner.  She had to admit her bad behavior, and she did that.  Then we were able to move forward, and she worked to regain my trust.  She showed a genuine interest in my work, in my boys, and in me.  She was the only person that i could have shown up penniless and she would have opened her door for me.  i didn’t need her to be the Belle of the Ball.  i needed her to be her and to acknowledge how hard i worked on her behalf.  When that was our norm, it changed everything.  i stopped feeling like a disappointment, or the reason my mother was crazy.  It couldn’t have happened without both of us being honest and reaching out to each other.

This thing with Sir Raven requires the same things.  Honesty and learning to lean in to each other.  Some repair work is needed, because i’ve absorbed too much negativity and shame from her behavior.  i know i’m worth that.  Hopefully, she will figure that out too. i love the woman, and i’m not going anywhere.  i need her to put her pride aside and do some work.  Either she will or she won’t.  i’m not going to pretend it isn’t happening anymore.  Trying to focus on and acknowledge only the good has made the behaviors worse.  So i’m trying being vulnerable and honest.

seeing red

Something happened yesterday, and i’m still seething.  i’ve been trying to decide since last night if i can let it go or not.

i just want to point out that when a normally mild mannered person is visibly angry, there is a damn good chance that she was provoked repeatedly.  That you might have just seen the final thing that put them over the top.

i want to point out that when a woman stays, it doesn’t mean they deserve what happened, or what will happen, or that they don’t need support.

We have a former friend who was pretty much considered to be a Bitch by everyone who knows her.  When i met her, i really did wonder if she was being poked and poked and poked in private, chided in public, and would explode in front of people because it made her feel safer.

One of the legacies of being an abused child is the lasting fear that no one will believe you, or that no one can see what is plainly going on.  Or that even when someone does see, they can’t or won’t do anything.  When that happens enough, you feel crazy.

In other news…

Karida finally got to see our new home, yesterday.  She came over and made guacamole, which is always the best thing ever in the history of food.  Except for maybe her salsa.  i ran out and the guacamole gods smiled upon me by letting me find five perfectly ripe ones, cilantro, lemon, and garlic.  i got pictures of her in her apron, which always makes me grin.  i had washed it carefully when we moved, and asked her if she wanted it, and then hung it up next to mine because it always makes me smile.

Sir Raven ate a whole bowl of her snacks, and then passed out cold in bed right next to the bowl.  It was so freaking cute.

We went to a bar night and there was a renowned bootblack there, who worked on my kitty mary janes until they purred.  i was really freaked out, bc SR was making me get into the book black chair, which is up a huge step, with stands for your feet.  i couldn’t see the chair at all in the crappy lighting, which was quite unhelpfully tinged red from red bulbs.  i was convinced i was going to fall.

And then i had one of those rare but horrifying body dysmorphia moments where i am 700 pounds in my head, and imagined the chair breaking, and tumbling down.

i tried to quietly plead to not go up there, but SR made me, and up i went.  The boot black was nice, and half way through i reminded myself to relax and breathe and enjoy the very rare moment of being pampered.  i am actually really lousy at being pampered.  i get…really awkward….its hard for me to just relax and receive.

When she was done, i motioned with grabby hands like a baby, for SR to come help me down.  She said, “Are you planning on paying her with your good looks?”  i laughed.  “Well, actually, i am since you are giving me the tip money.”

She handed me a bill.  “What are my good looks worth these days?”

She handed me another.

Later, at home, i processed what had made me angry.  i think that people misunderstand what mindfulness means when it comes to things like anger.  Make no mistake, i was aware i was angry, from the first pinprick to the expanse of waves of it.  i just sat and noticed, felt it, decided that i wasn’t ready to do anything yet.

i try very hard to not deal with anger when anyone is exhausted, hungry, or drunk.  Sometimes, getting a good sleep does a lot to change things, and i find that i can let it go.  It is fairly rare that anger really stays for me, and when it does, it is because it is a pattern of behavior that i ignored for too long.

So, i’m still thinking, deciding.  Talking about things should not ever make them worse, but if they might, i just try and avoid.

i am very tired today, didn’t have time for a nap, but chores and errands are done.  When Sir Raven gets home, we are going out to applebees for dinner and then doing our big monthly grocery trip.  She offered to do it tomorrow, but i know that she really does need a quiet Sunday at home, and i’d rather that she have that.  So we will enjoy a meal and then push through the big grocery trip.  i’ve been craving burgers for two weeks now.

i’m going to lay down in my playpen now and just be quiet and be.

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Typical Day

Nora asked me what a typical day was like for me.  We like questions around here, so here is the answer.

i wake up and serve french press.  Sometimes, i wake up too late to serve Sir Raven’s coffee.  i can wake up at 7:30 in the morning and find she has already left.  When that happens, she minds far less than i do.  Because my morning is just incomplete without her applause (for the coffee, not seeing me).  i serve in total silence in the morning, until she speaks to me.  She might ask how i slept or am feeling, and i answer quietly and quickly.  She likes quiet and coffee.

i take meds, and on a good day that means i can start chores in about an hour.  i use an app called wunderlist, which lists my chores and i just check them off as i go, so SR can see what i’m doing in real time, if she is so inclined.

Morning chores:

Make Masters bed, put away clean dishes, clean kitchen, sweep and mop house, clean bathroom, tidy up, sort recycling, bring down recycling and garbage, check email for school, meditate.

Afternoon chores:

Run errands (dry cleaning, buy wine, etc), grocery shop, sort/pretreat laundry, prep dinner, nap.

Evening chores:

finish cooking, serve dinner, clean up kitchen, pack her lunch, set up french press.

Weekly:

change sheets, dust (twice a week), wash walls, laundry (twice a week), clean out frig, wash cabinets.

As needed:

Get my hair done, mani/pedi.

If i wake up and feel really bad, i’m lucky in that i’m allowed to complete the chores in little bits and do homework as i can.  i’m also allowed to do things that help me relax and not focus on the pain like read, color, and play my save the pets game on fb.  However, in general, all of the above is done at least an hour before SR gets home.

She generally calls me or texts me in the afternoon, to check in, see how my day is going.  That is my chance to ask if i need to put off a chore, or see if plans have changed in some way, or let her know i’m really having an exceptionally bad pain day.  It is also my chance to tell her i miss her already.  ❤

If i need to go anywhere besides for groceries, i ask her the night before.  If where i am going requires that i can on a bus or train, i text when i am on the train and when i arrive.  Once a month i have a pain management appointment and i try really hard to go see Karida once a month.  Sir Raven generally lets me go out once a month, to go have lunch out.

On Wednesdays, i do everything on the list, walk a mile to the farmers market in the Botanical Gardens, and buy her pie and fresh veggies.

Along with all of the other lists, i am a Grad student, working at my Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health.  I’m a quarter based student, so all of my classes are 12 weeks long.  One is full time.  I take two.  All of my work is online, and quite a bit is self-taught.  There is a huge amount of reading, writing, researching.  The hard part of keeping up for me is that it is much harder to write cohesive, clinical, apa papers when i’m in pain than it is to do anything else.  Sir Raven expects all A’s, but will allow B’s.  i send her an email of all of my grades, as they are available.  If i’m turning in things late or are in danger of that, i have to tell her.  i don’t really know why per se, but she wants to know.

An hour before she gets home, i finish up any chores not done, straighten up, fix my hair and make up, change into a clean dress if needed (slavery is sweaty, friends), light candles in the house, and am ready to serve.  We call this “get pretty for Daddy time.”

When Sir Raven gets home, i rise and take her bag, hug and kiss her.  As soon as i hear the door, i’m up, delightedly calling out, “Is that my handsome Master?”  i get her settled in her chair with her slippers usually near by, serve chilled white wine, and tell her what is for dinner and ask how soon she wants to eat.  Then, i am deliberately quiet, so she has time to wind down from her day.  She watches tv, plays on her computer, watches youtube, or reads.  i finish dinner, keep the wine and ice water or iced hibiscus tea flowing.  i serve her meal, take her plate, clean the kitchen, and am around but generally quietly occupy myself on my playpen.  If we are watching something together, and chatting and relaxing, she is on her chair and i’m across the room in my “playpen” (a leather loveseat that she calls my playpen).

She always compliments dinner, which makes the time i spend on it worth every second.

When i can’t think to do homework anymore, and the evening chores are done, i ask if i can change into pajamas.  She always says yes.  If she takes her evening shower, i offer to wash her back.  If i take a second shower, i ask if she needs anything first.

When she goes to bed, i clean up and glasses or whatever, bring her ice water if she asks.  i am usually up later than she is, trying to fit in study time.  i make sure lights are off, doors locked, french press is set up, and so on.  When i go to bed, i usually watch netflix on my laptop while she snores away.

On her days off, i try and get everything done as unobtrusively as possible.  When she goes to nap in bed, i busy myself doing everything else in the house. When she comes out to be in her chair and chill, i work on the bedroom.  We try to go to the Botanical gardens together a few times a month, which is always really nice.  We tend to have some kind of function a few times a month (perhaps a podcast, a leather bar night, a meeting to attend, and our huge grocery trip). Lately, we have been having some SM a few times a month, and that has literally been everything for me.  It is the one thing that i get back that recharges me on a emotional level.

As Karida pointed out, lots of people do what i do, not just slaves.  i can’t disagree with her, however, i think a difference is my intent and the degree of control SR has over everything.

For example, the order of how cleaning is done, how many cleaning supplies i’m allowed to have, if she wants a different dinner than what i have prepared, if i got out of the house at all, and many more details are all things she controls.  It’s not how i would do things left to my own devices.  For one thing, i really love having lots and lots of cleaning supplies.  For another, i like to clean by job and not by room (wash the walls in the whole house, dust whole house, whatever).  She wants the room done completely before i move on to another room.  The order of how i sweep is determined by her.  The amount of attention i pay to being aware of her is different, in that a part of me is always listening out for her to ask for another drink or snack or whatever.  Or i’m always noticing if its been a few hours since i’ve offered.  Our relationship is such that i’m a part of her to be used, like her hands.  And i’m a reflection of her, so i have to be very mindful and aware always, because i’m expected to have a constant pleasant demeanor.  i am always thinking of ways to bring her comfort, joy, treats.  i thank her every day for something.  It is very clear in everything that she is my focus, everything is about her.  Very little of the focus is on me, in a lot of ways.  Sir Raven says that my companionship is an important service to her.

 

 

The gift that keeps on giving…

Why it’s PTSD, of course.

June and July are difficult months for me.  There are difficult anniversaries, which time makes different but not really “better.”  Some years, i think i’m sailing through, just fine.  And then something happens to remind me that every cell has a memory, and some part of me will always remember.

This year, it was having such a severe nightmare that i literally pushed my poor Master out of her bed at 4am and she couldn’t wake me up.  i don’t recall any of it.

There is also resilience and self compassion, hard won, from just enduring and still being sweet and loving.

The weather definitely doesn’t help, as humidity equals crushing bone pain, and intense pain.  The pain itself can be triggering.  My tailbone got broken at 14, and it changed everything.  i have multiple herniated, bulging, broken discs, and my spinal cord is being pushed on constantly.  Even with that admission of awareness-i am genuinely lucky to not be paralyzed.

Sometimes, the pain is just too damn much for too long, my pain meds don’t touch it, and i can’t wait for Sir Raven’s even breathing to tell me she is asleep before i silently sob.  Last night was one of those nights, and i cried myself to sleep.

i genuinely wish that everyone understood that pain medication isn’t fun and you don’t get high when you live in pain.  It keeps me from wanting to die, gives me a better quality of life, helps me keep moving and get things done.  Thats it.  It doesn’t take the pain away as much as just make it dial down to a tolerable level.  Literally, the medicine represents life to me.

i also wish there was a better understanding of how much harder i have to work because of the pain.

Today is super rough, and i’ve got the chores done, am going to try and nap.  Or color.  Anything to keep my mind off the pain.  i have-of course-tons of homework, but even i know its just not going to work for a few hours, at least.  In general, i’m not good at know when to keep pushing myself and when to take breaks from the constant demands of school.  i have never been good at that, and tend to push myself to exhaustion with working and get upset when i can’t get anything done.  It’s actually a lot harder to force my brain to work than my body.

Sir Raven’s Godfather came over to secure the air conditioner, and i excitedly grabbed his hand and showed him the house.  We paused at the bedroom window, and i said she didn’t think this was a view, but i did and gave thanks for it everyday.  He suggested hanging a half curtain, so she wasn’t seeing the roof of the next building.  i said i would ask her about that.

He said i should just surprise her.

i said i get to surprise her in the culinary department and with treats, and that is it.

He laughed.  He knows his Goddaughter.  Amused, he gestured at her tools (aka toys) hanging from the bed frame in a neat row.  He said that i may be right, and wouldn’t want her using one of her paddles on me.

i know he knows exactly what we do, and has the basic understanding of our relationship.  But in nearly 6 years, he has never directly said anything to me, other than a vague “I know you need to ask first” sort of thing.

i’m glad he didn’t say the strap, because just hearing that word makes me flinch.

Heh.

So, anyhow, he is coming over for dinner one night next week.  i’m so excited.  i have a genuine love for this man, and is one of the only men that i allow to touch me.  When i hug him, we really hug very tight.  We embrace.  It’s not a self conscious “no boob hug.”  Actually, the only other man i let really touch me is Sir Josh, though we rarely do.  We did, several years ago, and i would tease him and tell him that we would hug until he tapped out.  Someone told him i was uncomfortable with him touching me, and it never happened again.

Anyhow, time to rest.  SR will be home in a few hours and we may be going out tonight, if i can manage.  Tomorrow is our big monthly shopping trip to BJs, and a night event with the Pearls.  And i get to see Karida!! She called today, and it was so nice to just hear her voice and gab.

Oh…actually…i was asked a question about a typical day…so i’m gonna do that blog post today or tomorrow too.  i didn’t forget, Nora.  🙂