Friends?

I have been sitting apparently staring out the window at the falling snow, while in reality seeing nothing but the scenarios rolling through my head.

I’m heading to the dungeon tonight, assuming the snow stops as forecast. For the first time, I will have my own play bag with my own toys. I already feel like a conspicuous imposter. I’ve been exploring my switchy side for a a bit now and I’m taking that side out on my first planned adventure.

I wrote fet notes to my dungeon compadres, taking an attendance straw poll, hoping for a couple of friendly faces as I officially begin this phase of my journey. Neither of the two women who I look for most often will be there. I was(am) truly disappointed.

This got me thinking about how different things are in the lifestyle. These two females, whom I barely know anything about, I call friends. In the muggle world they would be considered friendly acquaintances yet, in the dungeon, they are friends.

I mentally cataloged the things I know about them. I don’t know any of the tidbits I would know if they brushed my daily life. I don’t know what either of them do for a living. I don’t know the cities in which they live. I don’t know their living situations.

I do know one of them is divorced. I do know the other is not married. I do not know if her husband died or if they are divorced. I know one of them has children. This is only because of the “Hey are you going to [insert event]? – I don’t know. It will depend if I have the kids that weekend.” conversations.

I have seen both of them naked. I have helped both of them dress. Both have solicited me for advice – some casual, some significant. I have seen one of them consensually beat, shock, and torture people. I have seen the other consensually bound, beaten, and crying.

How strange it is this sect which we populate. How interesting the shifting definition of “friend”.

Because they really mean as much as everyone says they do.

In the before time, she saw many posts about the power of “good girl”. Each viewpoint she read earned a scornful smirk. Oh come on now? Are there really this many grown women who need their hands held? Who need external validation? What a load of mass hysterical hooey this is. Though she never gave them voice, she had these thoughts in the before, when she could not begin to understand. The thoughts were born of ignorance. She is not proud of this.

In the before time, she could not know how impossibly difficult this life would be. She could not know that one person could become the focus of everything she is. She could not have known the crushing devastation of disappointing Him. She could not have known the brilliant internal illumination set aflame when being introduced as His girl. She knew none of this.

In the now, when she hears the incantation good girl she understands the power. There is a strength of emotion invoked that is belied by the simplicity of the words. For this reason she knows they are magical. They must be. There is no other explanation.

It is not always easy to hear. When she has failed, when she has disappointed, when she has been chastised, the words burn. When she needs to hear them most, they stab. They wound. They rend. She shakes her head in denial, at odds with them being spoken when she feels they cannot be true, while knowing He would not speak them if they were not accurate, authentic, sincere. She wants to be left alone to punish herself for whatever error she has made. Festering in failure, she wants to cover her ears, to tell Him to stop, to tell Him it hurts, to tell Him she is anything but good.

She has never been able to separate failure, the act, from failure, the person. She firmly believes if she fails in a behavior or task then she, the person, is proven once again to be a failure. As if the thing she could not, or did not, correctly do defines her. It is a brutal way to live, to go from one failure to the next, always knowing there will be a next. Each one a tick on the balance sheet of what a horrible person she is, knowing no matter how she tries, no matter how much good she does, it is not something she will ever, can ever, overcome.

And still, with all of this, given the countless times and the innumerable ways she has failed Him, He still says You are a good girl. He makes her say it, each word chipping away at the definition she has for herself, I’m a good girl, Sir.

You are my good girl.
Yes, Sir.
You are my good girl. Say it.
I am Your good girl, Sir.

And every once in a while she believes it.

.

 

The Swimmer and The Lifeguard

It is as if a marathon swimmer narrowly escaped drowning immediately after a near fatal shark attack. The Swimmer, who so once loved the water, can now barely stand a whisper of the idea that she might, perhaps, at some point, get the tip of one toe damp while standing safely on the shore.

The Swimmer always loved the water. Always. Always wanted the buoyancy. The sparkle of the sun on the waves. The communing with sea life. The working of muscles against the resistance of the current. The burning in her lungs as she pushed the limit of her physical endurance. When The Swimmer was not in the water, she thought about being in the water. She longed for it. She pined for it. She counted the days until the next time.

Maybe next time, if everything was perfect, she could spend an entire day swimming instead of just a couple of hours. She imagined how grand it would be to never have to come out of the water. Wouldn’t that be something?, The Swimmer thought, I could live with the fish, as a fish. Never to return to dry land. Surely, if I just try hard enough … maybe with just a bit more training … maybe then …

Then the thing happened. It was so much worse for being beyond The Swimmer’s control – for the lack of causality in spite of repeated examination. Mercifully, most of the memory of it has been banished to The Hall of Lost Memories. The Swimmer is pretty sure this is a good thing. Mostly sure. The Swimmer wants to believe this is for the best. The Swimmer also has a nagging voice that says perhaps the key to getting back in the water lies in The Hall of Lost Memories.

The Swimmer sits, swim suit in hand, toes buried in the sand, watching the water, trying to recall the joy. She sits next to her personal Lifeguard, close enough to feel the Lifeguard’s body heat. This is the very same Lifeguard that pulled The Swimmer from the water that horrible day. Though much is lost to The Swimmer, she remembers clearly, being held in the aftermath, with a gentleness that belies The Lifeguard’s strength and size. How The Lifeguard called for assistance and there were two holding The Swimmer. The Swimmer recalls this living fortress. Feeling completely safe while she recovered.

The Swimmer logically understands that it is statistically unlikely that the shark will be there when she braves the water once again. Logically, she does understand that. Logic does not slow her pounding heart when she smells the water. Logic does not regulate The Swimmer’s breathing when she closes her eyes and tries to imagine being submerged in the place she once loved more than any other.

The Swimmer understands that staying on the shore will not bring back her love of the ocean. The Swimmer pulls out her suit every night, pressing it to her face, inhaling the faint scent of salt that no longer washes out, wanting desperately to have the increased heart rate be due to anticipation instead of terror. Wishing it were so.

The Swimmer knows unshakably that, on her return to the ocean, The Lifeguard will be there. He will keep The Swimmer safe as He always has. The Swimmer knows if The Lifeguard had seen the shark coming it never would have happened. The Swimmer knows there is no way to predict the return of the shark.

The Swimmer knows there is no benefit in going back to swim class at the local Y. The Swimmer knows there will be no time spent in the shallow end of the pool. The Swimmer knows she must jump off the pier. She must close her eyes, hold her nose, and jump feet first.

The Swimmer knows all of this. The Swimmer understands. What The Swimmer does not know, what The Swimmer cannot begin to imagine, is how she will ever find the courage to simply stand on the pier … much less jump off it.

Learning

Prompt: What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?

I am a visual learner. I can talk about something for hours. I can fully understand it however, I will retain very little if I don’t have a visual anchor. I stand a much better chance of remembering if I involve as many of my senses as possible.

It is critical that I learn in an interactive environment. It takes a minimum of twice as long for me to comprehend something if I’m sitting by myself trying to figure it out. There are things I cannot learn at all by just reading about them, any mathematical concept being among those things.

Though I can learn in a group, I tend to learn more quickly one-on-one. In groups, I can get distracted by something I don’t understand because I can’t give voice to it immediately. I will turn the thing over and over in my mind looking for an answer, paying attention to the thing instead of what is being said, potentially missing critical information.

Conversely, in a one-on-one situation I feel pressure to be exceptionally bright. I can get distracted by whether or not the instructor is frustrated with my pace, if I don’t grasp what is being taught in what I feel is a decent amount of time. I do recognize this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as my cyclical thinking hijacks my learning process.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….
Today I am grateful for: decorations
Today’s funny moment: n/a
Sad moment: DH choosing football over family
Protocol: Teaching by example – responding to a one line note with a note including proper salutations, punctuation and sentence structure.
Water: 4 liters
Corset: 24″ am, 24″ pm
Hood: n/a

I know, it’s irrational

So I’ve been trying to shake this irrational fear that I have now. Since our last anal adventure and the accompanying injury, I have had a little voice in the back of my head giving me agida about all things anal. “Be careful” it says “Be more careful than that … you’re going to hurt yourself … uh oh … that discomfort is going to become pain .. better be safe and take it out… take it out .. take it out now!”

This voice is the primary reason my training has slowed to what feels like a crawl. I can no longer just pop in a plug and go to bed when DH’s home. I have to skip the night’s he’s home. I’m restricted to during the day. Most often during my morning nap. There is no doing it quickly anymore. I understand you aren’t a big fan of the “jam it and go” method of installation. It’s not my favorite either but given jam and go or not at all, in the past I have jammed and jammed often.

I can’t anymore. Not even maybe. On good days it takes a solid fifteen minutes to have the plug where it belongs and I’ve had it take as long as a full 45 minutes. I know it’s psychological. I understand there is little to no rationale behind the thoughts. I get it. I can’t shut the voice up no matter how much logic I throw at it.

Now, knowing that I’m going to be seeing you in less than 48 hours (Whee!), I’m nervous. Nervous that I won’t be able to play at the level you need. Nervous that I’ll end up hurt again. Nervous that my nerves will make things so much worse than they have to be. Nervous like I’ve never done this before, which is just plain absurd.

Maybe getting drunk Friday night isn’t such a bad plan.

…………………………….
Today I am grateful for: All things leather
Today’s funny moment: They’re so flat it’s like poking a little boy.
Sad moment: n/a
Water: 5 (count ’em, 5!) liters
Corset: 23″ am, removed to push the Great Hydration of 2013