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Playing with Fire

I am not the easiest person to get close to anymore.

There was a time when it was much easier; where conversation and connection was a casual thing and I didn’t worry about what could happen or how I would get hurt or.. any of that.

Time and trauma are funny things. I’m 27 now. I’ve kept this blog since I was 22. In those five years I have changed and grown so much. I remember starting this journey unable to fathom polyamory and having insecurities left, right, and sideways about it. Now.. I can’t imagine not being polyamorous. Only choosing one partner? HOW? They all fill such different needs.

I can’t imagine my life without kink either, though there are times when I’ve tried. Lately my needs haven’t been met in the kink department. Part of that is my own doing; life has gotten in the way to a large extent and having spoons and capacity to get to events is.. hard. I’ve had prior commitments and partners going through some bumps that required emotional support that overshadowed my need for a good beating. Part of it is because trusting people is very, very difficult for me these days.

Trauma changes you. PTSD has left its mark on me in the form of a brain that is not neuro-typical, and it makes dating, especially in the kinky world, harder. It also doesn’t help that I can play very heavy when in the right headspace and that can scare new tops. I have a very, very sweet partner that’s the closest to vanilla I’ll ever go these days; a big bear of a man by the name of Rowan. He’s a cowboy, and I ride him frequently (saving lots of horses, ba dum bum tish). The sex is fantastic. We wrestle, and bite, and fuck each other senseless..but he’s not comfortable choking me. Or hitting me. Or pulling my hair. The poor man offered to earlier today when he saw I was close to squirming from lack of heavy play and I had to explain that the bottom doesn’t enjoy having the crap beaten out of them unless the top enjoys themselves as well. It’s that sadist’s grin I always look for. And my sweet Rowan is no sadist. He’s a fantastic human that can handle me when I break and that has a very very pretty penis. But he’s no sadist.

A man that is, and a heavy one at that, is Cal. As long as we have known each other we have only played a handful of times, for so many reasons. There’s always this wee bit of tension between Cal and I; words left unsaid that will likely never be said. We circle one another like predator and prey, one or the other lunging forward from time to time and initiating something more than our typical friendship. After the mentorship, and after one of Cal’s longer-term crazy ex’s, he became one of my safe people. He had no interest in me, I thought, and so there was no chance of partnership. No chance of him seeing more of my broken pieces than he already has. There are gaps in our history of knowing one another. In those gaps.. I changed.

It was a few weeks ago. I was at BaGG. Ryan left early because of a very long day and I was left to my own devices. This typically means head pets and drinks from Cal (of the non-alcoholic variety these days. 9-5 necessities).

I was.. poorly behaved. Venting about Ryan and some of the on-again off-again issues we had been having. Ryan and I are going on two years of dating. It’s not new and shiny anymore, and I am the partner that sees the most. It’s a good thing and a bad thing, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Returning to the current conversation, Cal and I flirted, as we often do when I’m at BaGG and there’s alcohol. He offered to beat me. I said yes.

I shouldn’t have. Not with alcohol in his system and me already worn and without a partner there. This is very much on me.

The scene itself was good, as our few scenes often are. I ended up on the spanking bench, which is much less enjoyable for me than the cross because I can take less, but I wanted catharsis. Cal hits HARD. He’s not afraid to be mean. Sometimes I need that, I admit. He says the right sadist things, like how he loves seeing my tears. He pushed me to breaking. I fell, and called yellow when I felt too much. Outside of a couple hits that just..didn’t land right because of how my frame hits the horse it was exactly what I needed but was afraid to ask for.

The aftercare.. was on me. I started crashing HARD, and managed to crash midway through a heavy conversation with Cal. My body typically gets very cold after a heavy scene. I physically shiver and need contact or a warm place to come back down. I felt the shivers, felt my level of fatigue, and realizing that I didn’t have capacity to communicate that I needed more aftercare I did the next best thing. I vocalized that I needed to go.

I have my goodbye routine pretty well down at BaGG. When I’m at max capacity I go and I find James. I give him a hug and a nuzzle, tell him to get his stubborn ass home, and I peace out.

I was waiting for James for that goodbye and could see him, finally. I had to wait. Cal was waiting too. He had wanted to walk me out. I saw him behind me for a moment and then felt an arm around my neck.

Normally I like choking. It’s one of my favorite things, along with hair pulling and face fucking and hard smacks to the ass and… you get it. Because of where I was mentally it was NOT a good thing. It was a shock to my system that thought the scene was long over and needed to go to bed and caused my crash to intensify. After the choke Cal crushed me against his chest. Normally this is also a very good thing, but I could see James. I could see him but couldn’t get to him, couldn’t get out of Cal’s arms. Panic grew. He finally let me go and I ran, frazzled, out of the club. At home I broke, horribly, with one of my partners holding me while my brain fractured into too many pieces. Eventually I crawled into bed at about 3 am somewhat put back together.

I had a date with Ryan the next evening. He already knew that the night had ended rough and checked in with me in the morning to see how I was. I was at a stage where I was having issues with words, even to him. It happens when I break sometimes; words feel like they’re trapped in quick sand in my mind. It’s so difficult to vocalize and I fight the urge to shut down and turtle.

That night I curled up in his lap and we talked through the evening, even the parts where I vented about him. Ryan listened intently and asked the right questions, a frown forming on the face when I told him about the choke at the end of the night. He asked if I had reached out to Cal and told him any of this yet. I answered honestly that I hadn’t. That I didn’t plan to. My brain did a thing and it wasn’t his fault.

It was Ryan that pointed out that alcohol may have played a part and misreading the signals that I was done for the night, and possibly the removal of alcohol would make for a much safer scene and aftercare. I couldn’t argue. Cal and I have done one scene at the Citadel together and though it was heavy and my height makes things more challenging for him it was absolutely fucking wonderful; heavy impact that made me fly with a force that I only ever have gotten from James. From a safe person.

Ryan is my Daddy, my protector. He asked me what I needed to feel safe around Cal. I made up the rule of removing alcohol from play, and contacted him the next day.

… To say it didn’t go well would be an understatement.

Cal has the ability to make you feel like a shining star when his full attention is on you. He also has the ability to make any human feel damaged, or broken, or worthless. My hurt ended up hurting him in such a way that he through up walls so quickly I got whiplash. He said that we were incompatible. That clearly he had misread the signs and the scene didn’t go well. That I had chosen to blow him off and not tell him what was going on the day before. There were other things I really don’t feel like rehashing and I’m not to a place where I can scroll through the messages and give ya’ll direct quotes. I got thrown away again, as I have been in the past. But he wanted to be friends. With slight censorship to our conversations. So, friends but not really.

I was surprised how much the rejection from Cal hurt. I knew I loved him. I don’t think I realized until then how much I actually wanted him. How much I wanted him to want me as well. There was a part of me that I think saw the play as a positive thing; something that could even become regular. I had often debated asking Cal if we could try going on an actual date and drop the circling act. Just.. dive in and see what happened. He was the first one in the kink world to notice me. That has always meant something. He’s also the only one that I’ve let throw me away over, and over, and over again. Because he was special. Because he mattered. Because he was safe, and I loved him even though I saw he was very flawed. I do not idolize him. At this point I know Cal way too well to. I call him on his bullshit at times.

I called him on this. I said something akin to he was too busy kicking his own ass to actually here what had happened and what I was asking him for. When he kept going I asked for space. He kept going again. I asked him for more space. I asked him not to reply. And control freak that he is, he replied.

I remember staring at the last message, crying, and throwing my phone.

I haven’t been to BaGG in two weeks.

Ryan has no interest in going anymore, which breaks my heart on a couple levels. He has so much going on that we haven’t played. In that time my brain has been eating me alive thanks to other things, always coming back to the fact that I’m broken. That I’m defective. There was..more hurt than I want to admit from that exchange between Cal and I. There was a lot of disappointment and a lack of trust.

He will catch me if I fall, so long as he didn’t cause that fall.

Today he texted me, a sweet check in. And I don’t know how to respond to it. Someone that used to be one of the safest people to me in my mind hurt me.. a lot. Not in a bad scene. Not in a bad drop or aftercare. But after. When I said things had gone wrong for me and this was the boundary that I needed to feel safe.

I won’t have Ryan with me at BaGG next week. And I need to get past this fear and just.. go. I feel frozen. Overwhelmed. There are no spoons. Life is pummeling me and there’s no relief in sight. I don’t know when the next time I will play will be. The number of people that are safe for me continue to dwindle. My world continues to shrink as I try so hard not to collapse under the weight of needs that I cannot fill for myself.

I gave into the temptation to play with fire. I got burned. And I don’t know where to go from here. If there’s anywhere to go. I don’t know what Cal sees when he looks at me anymore, or what he thought about me before all this.

I guess I’ll never know now.

Yours, hurting but slowly mending,

Rene

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When the World Comes Crashing Down

There’s no how-to for the worst. No one likes to talk about the hard truths of M/s or 24/7 dynamics; that they are hard, almost impossible to maintain. That they require time and energy and commitment on both ends. That they can be draining on vanilla life. On your mental health. That unless you have the spoons and tools and time to put into it, that you shouldn’t do it. M/s is BEAUTIFUL, but there are degrees in it. No one tells you any of these things until it’s too late. This is the letter I needed to see a little over two years ago.

Dear little lost one,

Breathe. I know it hurts. I know everything is on fire and numb all at once, but you need to breathe. It’s going to hurt long before it gets better.

Put away the phone. Out of sight, a little bit less in mind. I know you don’t want to hear this, but distance is the best thing in the world for you right now. You’re not going to wake up and have everything suddenly get better. You can’t undo what’s been done, nor should you. The world is different. There was a collar and now there isn’t. It’s okay to hurt, to feel it. It’s okay to cry, and scream like an animal, but don’t get lost in it. Each time it feels like too much close your eyes and breathe. Get through the pain bit by bit.

Next challenge is eating. No one is going to tell you to. Not even if you check that phone that should still be living in your purse for another week or so. Nothing is going to taste good. But like I said, it’s going to hurt a lot before it gets better and it can’t get better if you die of malnutrition along the way. Instant meals are your friend, for now. Consume as needed.

You don’t have to pretend that it’s all okay. I know it isn’t. Your direction is gone, and that’s terrifying. Your protector is gone. Your safe space is suddenly the most painful thing in your life. You aren’t anyone’s.

Here’s the thing. Before you were anyone’s, you were yourself.

There was a time before the collar, just as there will be a time after, and while it’s hard to remember through the haze of pain you survived without the collar around your neck. Without a man called Master giving directions. Without having to ask permission for dates, and food, and play.

Now that you’re breathing, your phone is safely hidden, and you’ve gotten some food in your stomach here’s what you do.

Keep a healthy distance to allow time and space for healing. Do NOT go to a play event two days after breaking up and try to get him to spank your ass. Do NOT then drive him home and have to sit alone in a car with him till 5 am wondering if he will touch you or not. He won’t, and it will continue to confuse the fuck out of the reality that you two are done and everything is different.

Please understand that I am friends with a good portion of exes and former lovers. I’ve identified more and more as Demi as time has gone on. It takes an emotional closeness for me to want to be fucked senseless (although trust me, that’s there), and more often than not that means a fantastic friendship is built up before romance. Even after a romantic relationship ends I have typically resurrected a friendship in its place, but that takes time. A breakup puts you much further back than the beginning. You’re not starting at zero. You’re starting at -100 for trust, caring, intuition…did I mention TRUST? All of that takes time to heal, and won’t be easy. Time apart before trying to sew any sense of relationship together is a very, very good idea. It will feel strange, but until you’ve put yourself back together and remembered who you were before you were a WE there’s nothing to be rebuilt.

You can’t go back in time. Wanting you two back together is one thing, but don’t try to resurrect what was when you spend time together. It will be very hard to call him your ex. It will be hard to say friend. Or former partner. Practice it, to yourself. And no, you’re not a freak for doing so. Practice saying his name instead of Master or Sir, over and over, until you stumble less. It’s not a curse word. It’s not too informal, and sometimes it can hurt less to say “Oh James and I aren’t together” rather than, “My ex Master”. Especially if his first name is foreign to you after having titles for so long. That little bit of the unfamiliar can give you a little extra time to adjust and heal. That phase of the relationship is over. There’s no definite on what will happen after, but you and them part one is closed.

Come up with a mantra or sentence for sticky and overly-painful situations where you don’t quite have the words. Like when someone asks you how your Master is and you just want to cry. Or scream. Or flip him the bird because he’s across the room and could see you do it. It’s going to be hard to respond with what you need to, that you two aren’t together anymore. There are going to be nights when you have to repeat it five, ten, twenty times because of circles you two run in, and it’s going to be a lot easier for the one that removed the collar than for the one missing it. These tough situations often mean freezing, or saying ‘good’ out of habit instead of answering with the long mouthful that is the truth. This will end in trouble if not remedied. Nothing causes waves more than the idea of you denying the breakup, and not being able to spit out that mouthful will look to your former partner as if that is what you’re doing. The phrase will absolutely suck, but give it time. It does eventually hurt less.

Decide what level you wish to be involved in the community. Or rather, what is a healthy level for you to be so. Relationships tend to change our relationships with the communities around them. Some need a break to recover. Others want to throw themselves back in at full speed

Be careful with breakup burnout. It’s a thing, where suddenly you go from taken to banging everything that moves until you crash and burn into an emo pile of woe and angst. Breakup rebounds are legit, just be careful you don’t throw yourself in with such gusto that you forget to feel the feels. And yes, feeling the feels is required. Numbing it with others won’t work. They’re not going to be able to itch that scratch that only one specific top cam, no matter how many souls you bottom for. It won’t make that itch go away. You’ll still want that specific touch, and the more you try to replace it with others instead of letting yourself feel the pain the more likely you’re going to cause more emotional trauma.

You matter as more than just “X’s Girl”. I know that’s hard to fathom after being someone’s is your entire identity. You were someone’s. Now, you are you, and that can be an amazing thing in and of itself. I know it seems like a lonely thing right now, but it being you and not the Master you always hide behind gives you space to sparkle. Be seen. And yes, you do deserve to be seen and you are worthy. Give it time. Give it some play parties that you go to alone, maybe ones you never went to with him. Give it nights out with friends that know just how to distract you and maybe even dates with other partners (especially if you’re poly).

In time, your relationship with your former Master may not be what you would want, but it will be what you need. It’s hard. You want them to scoop you up again and call them yours and bite you. But then you see the bags under their eyes, even when they aren’t having to worry about scheduling you in. You see lack of room for a partner, or all these issues you never noticed were there. Do you want to rebuild a friendship? Do you want to distance yourself and wait it out and see where romance could go? Do you want to continue to adapt to he changing relationship, or do you want to cut the chord. Guess what? You aren’t a slave in this choice. You have equal say in whatever this future will become.

Rebuilding anything will take time, and it very likely will not give you your hearts desire, but rebuilding at the start of friendship allows something unique. Suddenly your former Master is a man. He’s taken off his high horse and is human just like the rest of the men and women around you. Suddenly, flaws are visible. You watch and see mistakes. You see where something is his fault, or where he caused that. You see that not everything that went wrong was your fault. That there were two flawed humans in a relationship and sometimes that doesn’t end well.

You were human. So was he. That is allowed. And here, with formalities removed, you have the power to tell him no. To say something is too much. To call him an asshole and unfair when he’s being an asshole and unfair. You have the power to ignore your phone, and to avoid interactions and to draw boundary lies.

You both have the power to say what you two adapt into. That may mean a platonic friendship, that may mean a new romantic relationship with a switched up dynamic. That may mean both of you going separate ways down different paths. Either way, you will go on. You are more than just your Master’s. IF your brain is unkind and tells you that the opposite is true, you can always count on this.

Your Master picked you for a reason. There was something about you, in the beginning, that drew their eye. It was there before. It will be there again to draw another eye. You are so much more than just your Master’s, and if anything you will grow from this experience. It will hurt, and ache, and I can’t guarantee or promise that itch to be under that particular hand will ever be scratched for another. It hasn’t for me. I can’t promise that there will be a time that you aren’t hyper aware that he’s there, or what his needs are, or if he’s sick or tired or cranky.

I can say that in time you will laugh again. That food will taste good again. That eventually the hurt lessens, even if the small ache never quite goes away. You will come away knowing yourself better, both in what is healthy for you emotionally, and what you have the capacity to overcome. You are so much stronger than you think you are. Let a powerful relationship teach you, not bring you down.

I learned from my collar coming off that I was resilient as fuck. That I mattered in the community as more than James’s sqeaky toy and somewhere along the line had become an asset to them. I learned how to properly get in to a Citadel event when you weren’t a plus one, and discovered that I enjoyed being able to get myself in without the help of others. I enjoyed once again choosing what kink events I was involved in and which ones I missed. I controlled my schedule and didn’t have to double check with another every time I made plans.

You are so much more than what you think. You are capable of so much more. It’s okay to change with the loss of a collar. I can’t wear collars that lock, it’s a hard limit for me now. It’s much easier to be led by a harness than by a leash. I don’t submit as deeply as easily as I once did. There are lots of trust road blocks, and often play dynamics go at a very slow burn buildup for me. But I discovered a dynamic I didn’t even know existed in me with the partner that followed my Master, and while some itches aren’t being scratched so many new ones are. Different is very okay, and there’s so much more out there than M/s.

There is more than just this relationship. You will keep going. You will be okay.

Yours, then and now

Rene

 

 

 

 

 

Things Left Unsaid

368FFA55-D996-469B-9E7B-CB3A71A9D030I don’t normally end dates with Ryan in tears… He’s actually one of the few sadists in my life that dislikes making me cry. Tonighthas been… a lot

Let me backtrack.

Today started out a little rocky to begin with. I hadn’t realized that the partner Ryan had the slip with was spending the night. He had forgotten to tell me, and I found out in a nonchalant ‘she just left and I’m gonna go take a nap’ message.

I twanged. Badly.

I took off my mark from him and let myself cry and try to process. It hit hard because it felt like he was hiding it from me. That is illogial. There’s no reason he would hide it from me. He tells me when he has dates with others, as I do him. He told me about the date. He just. Neglected the overnight. And honestly thought he had told me.

Which is something my brain still doesn’t trust.

I got there, eventually. Bruised, and a little bit weary logical brain started kicking in. It had to. I had a date with Ryan two hours after I found out his other partner stayed the night and I couldn’t show up a hot mess. I wanted to have a good date with him. The one before had been..nice. Mellow. Low key. But Sundays were when we usually played. It had been over a week since he’d touched me in any way sexually, the longest since we started dating, and I wanted his hands on me.

He’s had a busy last couple of weeks. One of my meta’s came in to town and spent the weekend last week, and work, a case of the sniffles, and a date last night had him worn. I could see that long before he disappeared for a couple of hours for a weekly meditation group. Logic brain braced myself for lack of play and told myself that it was alright. That just because we didn’t play tonight didn’t mean he doesn’t want me.

Illogical brain, however, was still craving touch. When he confirmed that he wasn’t up to playing tonight I swallowed  the illogical frustration and did something stupid. Without thinking, I reached out and vented to my roommate to try and calm down. Ryan knows me and my reactions well, and I do flair up emotionally quickly and easily before coming back down. I wanted the flair to die off faster; wanted to just get on with the rest of my night and enjoy it. Venting helps.

He saw the venting. He ended up frustrated and upset. Which. Made me even more upset and unsettled.

He voiced frustrations of how pressured he feels by me, and how often he finds it difficult to say no because of my reactions and I felt.. lost. I don’t know how to respond to that.. When I tell him truthfully that I really want to play and he’s not in the mood he gets frustrated by seeing my disappointment and feels pressured. When I don’t express the need to play and try to swallow what I’m feeling and get over it faster I get chided for not telling him when something is wrong.. But what’s the right reaction at this point? What’s safe? I want and desire my partner. I can’t just turn of the “damn that sucks” when I feel it without it showing a little..  And that’s all it is. It’s a “damn that sucks” moment that fades as I adjust. Touch is a huge love language for me. And he does touch me in nonsexual ways often. He will stroke my arm when we cuddle watching a movie or pet my hair. But there’s a difference between that and grabbing my ass while we cuddle, or slipping a hand under my clothing as he used to. It’s touch expressed in a very different way. And I miss it. I’m allowed to miss it. I am an emotional squishball. It takes me half a beat to adjust, and sometimes he just can’t understand why. He doesn’t need that half a beat, and I envy him. I do. I can also see why it frustrates him, that I get hung up on feels between points A and B sometimes  I’m getting better at not being ruled by my emotions but they still make an impact when they hit. There is a step between “oh, I was looking forward to that” and “it’s okay things change and these plans will be fun too!”

Lately, it’s been harder to adjust. I am very secure in poly so long as I know my place and know that place is good. I am Ryan’s little girl. A lot of that ends up being expressed sexually. We indulge in dark age play rather frequently, and thanks to Ryan a lot of things that I thought were too taboo have turned out..not to be so. Our scenes have gotten wonderfully twisted at times and I love them…but they seem to be happening less and less. He beats me at BaGG fairly frequently with his hands which I enjoy quite a bit, but the nights that we could go to the dungeon often get claimed before I can ask for them (there was a little event at Catalyst I had wanted to go to this weekend..and chickened out on bringing it up because he mentioned having a date Saturday with the other partner before I could, and I feel too guilty to ask him to bump the plans to another night). I see him after work, which is lovely, but often ends with him fatigued. We used to play at his place with impact from time to time, but he told me on Friday that he was afraid his walls were too thin for our impact. That was an honest disappointment. We did a scene months ago that ended with him fucking me while he hit me with the curry comb…and I loved it. It was raw and brutal and hurt in all the right ways..and it’s not something that would happen at the Citadel.

Right now he’s my only regular sexual partner, and that is on me. He mentioned during our tough discussion that he thought me finding others to sate my needs would be really good for him. Great. Yes. Fine. I”m working on that. “I’ve heard you turn down dates. They don’t have to be kinky.”

Here’s the problem. They kind of do. At least, for me.

I am not a collector. I am poly because I am realistic in that no person can sate all the needs of another. No one can fill all the slots of another or check all the boxes. And the needs that aren’t being filled for me are those deep, dark, submissive urges. My slave side. The part of me that craves protocol and formal D/s. I’m not going to get that from a vanilla relationship. I don’t honestly think I can have a vanilla relationship anymore. The kink community is too much a part of my day to day life. It’s a Dominant’s voice that turns me on, that gruff, toppy, no nonsense tone. It’s firm hands that will hold me down and fuck me one moment, beat the crap out of me at another moment, and pet and stroke me after all of it. Express that to a vanilla person and you find them running for the hills. And I’ve tried. I always end up feeling like the freak.

The problem with wanting, craving, the level of D/s that I do is that.. new partners don’t come easily. It’s hard to get that deep. It takes time, and there’s no guarantee of it. So, I can invest a year or two into someone and then it just.. stops when a wall gets hit. I am a LOT, with a lot of moving pieces and I’m aware of that. Get deep enough with me and you will find some jagged edges you can’t see at all from the surface. That takes time, and trust, and not something that can happen from a shallow relationship. I don’t find them fulfilling or worth my time. I work a lot. My time is valuable. And I find dating.. exhausting. With the shit I’ve been processing interracting with others has been MUCH harder than it’s been in the past, and this is interracting with established souls in my world. Trying to pull new people in right now is too much when I fear I’m already at max capacity.

Another problem is.. it’s not just about me getting laid. It would scratch an itch, yeah, but not the right itch. I have a very good relationshp with my favorite vibrator. I can take care of myself for quite a bit sexually. It’s the lack of contact with that particular partner, that lack of bond, that does fucked up things to my brain. Especially when I know play has happened with metas in the time that he and I have had a dry spell.

I feel.. displaced, tolerated instead of wanted, lost and confused and just.. placed on a shelf, picked up when useful and put back when I become too much. And I miss my Daddy. I haven’t been able to really little, really be his little girl, in weeks, and I miss that connection so much it physically hurts. There’s nothing that replaces that, no way that someone else could check those particular boxes. It doesn’t have to be sex. More than friendly pets, an extra hair tug, pinning me to the wall at BaGG and kissing me till my toes curl. Anything that hinted at want and desire, even if the body wasn’t physically up for it.. Even words. “When Daddy has the energy we should try BLANK. Would you like that, sweetie?” He used to mind fuck me, tease me, tell me naughty things we would do or try. There was a time early on where I teased him so much that he ‘made a mess’ in his shorts while he was at work and it turned me on so much I was close to cumming. I’ve tried engaging lately with hits and jokes and photos and it just..falls flat.

I don’t know how to ask for any of that without feeling like I’m pressuring him. I asked if I could write out a ‘little list’ about a week ago about things I wanted to explore while in little headspace that I don’t often have the words for when I’m there. He said it was a good idea. I haven’t been able to really start it…because I feel guilty for asking for anything. I don’t want him to think I’m greedy and asking for too much.

He’s disappearing for nine days this coming Friday, for a meditation course that I know will do him good. Him sitting settles a lot, and I’ve seen him more frustrated than normal and in poorer moods than his norm outside of anything between he and I. It will be amazing for him, and I’m so happy he’s going.

At the same time, the illogical, emotional little wants attention from her Daddy. Wants to be wanted by her Daddy. I asked if we could have a date on Tuesday and his immediate response was that he needed time to himself. He’s seeing me three days in a row. That’s a lot. But. They are three days where the chances of sexual contact are slim, especially before a meditation course where he will be abstaining from sexual anything. I’m staying over Thursday to drive him to that on Friday in the early afternoon. BaGG is purely social; no pink parts. By the time he gets back it will be a couple days shy of a month that he’s taken any of my holes, or wanted me naked. Or. Wanted me.

I am trying to at least get some play in during that time. The Dominant that I played with last Master’s Den reached out and suggested getting a cup of coffee or a drink and I jumped at it. I like him. There’s chemistry, and he’s vetted by my roommate. He’s safe, and knows how to hit the way I need, and made it no secret that he was attracted to me. I’m excited to see where it goes. I’ve also reached out to Grey to set up a long-overdue date, along with another friend that used to be a roommate. He understands the social anxieties well. We’ve had a not-a-date planned for eons, and while I don’t quite get a lady boner for his body his mind is INCREDIBLY sexy. I’ve been seeing Chris more often lately, and while we don’t have a sexual relationship I enjoy his company a great deal. I even have spent a bit of time with Cal, nonsexually of course. He’s safe, wonderfully safe. The way I figure it he and I are both jaded enough and have fucked up enough with one another enough times to realize that friendship needs to come before all else, and that our friendship is good and rock solid and REALLY not worth fucking up for a fuck. Even if it’s a good fuck.

I am not hermiting. I am actually trying to be more social than I have been in a long time and fill some needs that can’t wait around forever. It’s just. None of them are Daddy. None of them can be Daddy, nor would I want them to be. Every person whose company I keep are unique and different in their own ways.

And. I miss Daddy. I also love him, a lot, and that sometimes means putting someone else’s needs and, especially limits, before your own.

I can’t force him to miss me or want me. Nor would I want to. I can’t ask him for more than he’s willing and able to give, and for now sexy anything seems to be on that list. It hurts, I’m not going to lie. It hurts like a motherfucker when it seems like my metas are getting their slices of pie and I get half of mine. But. That’s not my call to make. I will cry. I will process. I will let myself be sad when I’m alone and try to be in the moment and enjoy what Ryan can give me when I’m not. I will not think about my metas, or what new pretties are joining the roster, or my place. I will drive him to his meditation course. I will go on more dates and try to social more. I will let myself feel the feels but not be swallowed by them. I will hope that eventually Daddy will have time and space for me, but not put an expectation on when that time and space will be. I will give what I am allowed to give and not ask him for more than he is willing to give me. I enjoy being the one that has keys to his apartment, and the one he calls on for rides or to watch his cat. I enjoy being the partner that does the most of the day to day with him, even silly things like laundry or grocery shopping. Hell, I enjoy doing his dishes. I will do my very best to focus on what I do have, and what is fulfilling me in the relationship between Ryan and I rather than miss what is lacking at the moment.

There are going to be a hell of a lot of growing pains. I predict that multiple crying spells will happen. But I have headache meds for that shit. I will do my very best. Ryan is a good human. I am lucky to have him in my world, and even the best relationships sometimes have bumps.

Sometimes the bumps knock you off the road for a little bit. Eventually, you get back on.

I am not okay, but I am confident that I will be in time.

Yours, as always

-Rene

In My Defenses

It’s amazing how people and habits shift as time goes on. You think yourself the passive observer, and then you discover that you’ve become something that you never thought you could be.
When I was being mentored, I was bothered by how Cal compartmentalized his partners, both past and present. We were all placed in boxes with different labels, and he would divy up his attention between all of us depending on how much value we had to him, and what priorty we had in his world. As someone new to poly, it bothered me horribly. He was never fully present when we were together, and compersion was a very new, unknown phoenomenon to me at that time. I felt neglected, but malliable. I morphed into what he needed me to be.
It wouldn’t be the last time I morphed; accomodated to suit the needs of partners. Ryan calls it resiliency. I suppose I am resilient. I survive. I go on.
I did it with Kane, attempting to adopt the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mindset to function through the relationship and not feel like his dirty little secret. I’ve done it with Chris, sensoring what I share with him and put on him so that I’m not too much of an emotional burden when I know he’s going through his own emotional work. And Godde knows I’ve done it with James; walking on eggshells and morphing to his emotional means and depth, limiting myself to keep him comfortable. And my sweet boy, my Ace.. he has so many brain squirrels of his own, a world away. He.. did not react well to some of mine. Certain things just don’t need to be talked about between he and I, especially with so many other things on his plate for the time being. I’m in his life and I’m not all at the same time. Grey… pops up too sporaddically to really share things with. No one, romantically, has seen all my bits and pieces. Ever. Even when I was monogamous. Hell, even before I was dating, I morphed and adapted to be the shadow that followed my pretty best friend around through high school and middle school.
And that scary, scary thing that I’ve never done is the main thing that Ryan is asking me for. Uncensored, unboxed, unmorphed, me.
I’m. Not sure I know who that is.
I realized while Ryan and I were talking the other night just how much my poly practices began to resemble that of my former mentor. Instead of putting my partners in boxes, I put myself in them. I cut off certain aspects of myself that I deemed “too much’ for them to take, sometimes without asking, because I became use to partners like Kane and James. Loving, good men, but with so many stressors of their own they couldn’t handle mine. Kane saw one of my anxiety attacks at one point and absolute froze; he had no idea what to do. How to fix it. I remember the lost panic in his eyes… and knew I would never let him see one again.
There’s always been fear as to how easily Ryan has gotten under my skin.. Bit after bit, he’s hacked at my armor, dug out the holes of my past, and tried to heal what he could. He is.. a Daddy.. A caring balm unafraid to push and correct me when necessary. And he’s wormed his way deeper than I ever thought I would let him. There was a DO NOT PASS GO line when his primary partner was in the picture, but they parted ways a month ago and since then… That line has been erased. With that invisible barrier no longer in place, suddenly a lot more of me is aired into the light. I find myself showing him more, and more, and more…pieces of myself that no one has seen in years, if ever. And he still wants more. He hasn’t shrunk away from the danaged parts of myself. He tries to push me through them. I am grateful..and also overwhelmed. Terrified. Spent. Last time someone tried any sort of process like this… Well.. James had a tougher lover approach, but…
Yeah. You get it.
The last talk between Ryan and I got..intense, raw. I found myself much too bare underneath his gaze; he sees too much. I could be wearing a fucking parka and he would still see too much. He knows my manerisms too well at this point, and could see when I slipped back into old defensive habits. I couldn’t meet his gaze. I fidgited. I refused to touch him. I tried to put my walls back up while he asked me, over and over, what was wrong. The more I shared, the more he seemed to ask the impossible of me. The more got shook loose. The louder my head got and the harder it became to actually answer him. The more intensely he stared.
“I will nto let you think of yourself as a burden. I. WILL NOT.” But… that’s all I’ve ever been in my mind. A weight carried until dropped. Shaking an idea that’s been with me for twenty six years is… Is it even possible?
For the longest time, my nickname has been Shadow. My friend back in NJ, Dragon, gave it to me a world ago.. I think we were twelve or thirteen at the time? For half my life, I’ve been the little shadow. The reprieve for others but never for myself. The safe space without safe spaces that simply fades into the background when no longer useful. It’s a solitary existence, but it’s suited me relatively well until now.
Now, my Daddy is asking me to shine. And.. I don’t know how. I know in some ways.. I shine at parties, and at BaGG. I put on a persona and can perform like nobodies business. I kick ass in a world that so many fear entering.
But in the normal world? How do I shine in the normal world?
I have always been overlooked. I don’t mean that in a self-depricating way, just as a fact. I’ve always been the supporting cast rather than the star. The backup that keeps the others going, the supportive best friend to the pretty, sexy girls who dress girly and sexy while I tend to be plain. Even now, I’m sitting around in one of my dad’s old button ups, hacked up jean shorts that are two sizes too big, and an ill-fitting but comfy tee shirt from Surrender years ago. How do I shine, when I’ve trained myself so well to hide?
I.. I need help. And I’m so scared to ask for it.
If I let him in more.. if I show him all of me… then what? Ryan asks me often, what is it that I’m not telling him. What is it that I’m afraid to share.
Everything, love. Everything. You are the first, the only, to ask me to share so much… and I’m not sure I know how. I’m not sure I have words for the fear and panic in my belly at you seeing too much..at me loving you too much. At me letting myself fully fall.
If I hold myself in check, if I block parts of me off, he can’t reach primary-level closeness in my mind. He’s not one that practices hierachy, and for the most part I’ve stopped as well.. But. He was never supposed to get this close, never supposed to see so much.
Physical pain is so much easier for me to process than emotional pain. It acts almost as a relief, especially on days when I am feeling more masochistic. When Ryan and I were talking I got defensive and laid the bratty sarcasm on hard, hoping that would stop him from trying to dig deeper. He treatened to beat my ass with a broom handle and I almost jumped for joy at the chance. Yes, beat me. Make this horrible feeling and buzzing in my head stop. In odd ways.. it was a reality check.. The more in pain I am emotionally, the more I crave the outlet physically. The physical pain silences the emotional and buries it back down deep, and I can continue functioning.
He didn’t beat me. He continued talking.. and my loud brain spiral has continued.
There’s a familiar panic in my soul. It started when I sat with my parents, waiting for an event last week, and the subject of Ryan came up. My parents are trying their best to understand poly, and kink, and to their credit they haven’t run screaming yet. They have a rhudamentary knowledge of my world, and work with what they can of it.
“So,” my dad asks, a grin on his face, “is Ryan your primary?” The only question he could think to ask to try and explain the closeness between my partner and I.. To explain to himself why I light up when he walks into a room, or my body relaxes just a tad more. Why my dad saw me more and more with stupid, shit-eating grins on my face every time Ryan was mentioned. And the term triggered so much in my screwed up little head.
Brain squirrels. Horrid, rabbid brain squirrels. They haven’t ceased knawing on me since then. Because what if the answer is yes. What if it’s no. What does that all mean. Can I even do that?
…is it safe to love him that deeply?
If I show Ryan all of me…do I get the same level of transparency in return?
Do I take the risk? Or do I do what I’ve always done?
Do I run like hell?
I could run.
.
.
.
……
No I couln’t.
There is a part of me that loathes myself right now. I felt the changes in my yesterday; the armor that I had let fall away steadfastly being put back into place. We were outside Ryan’s work. He was talking to me.. and I only half heard him. He kept trying to meet my eyes (something I’m bad with in general with people.. I can only really do it comfortably with James and Ryan) and I kept looking at my heads.. I kept walking defensively, with hands in pockets, and hesitated to return touches from him and reach out to him when he reached for me. I could feel myself closing in. Backpetaling. Going “Nonono! You got too close! You’ve seen too much! You’re done now!”
… I don’t.. I don’t want to. I REALLY don’t want to… But something got shook loose the other night. My head is so loud… and I am terrified. And I don’t know how to tell him how I need him. How the fuck do I do this?
Yours, torn to metaphoric pieces,
-Rene

Same Dance, Different Steps

 

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The rhythm of routine is a comforting one in a world that no longer makes sense to me.

I see hate in so many places and cruelty where there once was kindess. I admit that I hade in the welcoming arms of my community. I mark, I protest, I growl with the rest of them, and then I run back to my land of misfits to dance another day.

My routines are simple, and exhausting. And I suppose, simply exhausting. I go to BaGG every week, managing to show up hours early to sit across from the stubborn asshole I love while he works and I work.. and then we dance.

We have yet to physically play, James and I. Not since he took my collar, slave ring, and pendant. I often wonder about the box they’re placed in. Is it plain, decorated. Does he take it out, along with photos and momentos, love letters and notes, and godde knows how many gifts, or does it stay locked away in some corner of his closet, another mistake he doesn’t want to look at? I don’t know. It’s eight months today, and I still don’t know.

What we do end up doing is dueling. Trading cards. An old game called Yu-Gi-Oh that he’s been into for eons, and that I enjoyed as a kid. I never played before him. I ‘built’ decks in the loosest of terms, with the childlike mindset of “Oh, this is pretty! Let’s put this with this!” and never had anyone to actually play with. Eons ago, a world ago, he tasked me with learning the game again. I did…and then the world exploded. And exploded. And exploded, and playing cards was the furthest thing from my mind.

After I was released, there was a time when playing cards was…all we ended up having. He shoved the fact that I hadn’t build a deck in my face during our breakup, and my rebuttle was to show up at the Citadel two days later with my skeleton of a deck, ready to duel. Since then, it’s been the only thing guaranteed safe to talk about. When he’s in a foul mood during a ride I bring up Yu-Gi-Oh. When he’s overly stressed and obviously needs a break from work, like he did today. When the dungeon is slow on a work night and I can seek him getting stressed. We duel.

It’s become such a lovely ritual as time has gone on. The banter has increased, to the point where there is quite a bit of sexual tension with our duels. There’s more joking, more teasing, more… comfort, and slowly, bit by bit, we have begun to feel like our old selves. He’s more approachable and less intimidating, and things like sitting in silence together have stopped feeling so uncomfortable. They are, in many ways, oddly comfortable. I know why he’s quiet some nights; I can still read his body like a book and can tell when he’s stressed, or sore, or in a mood.

That being said… the duels are all I get. I can’t touch him. I can’t snuggle him, or kneel at his feet, or go in for the big, long hugs that other can. I still am only permitted a hug goodbye most days, and I am touch starved. We spend so much damn time together that in certain ways it can be cruel smelling him, hearing him, being surrounded by him and yet being unable to reach him. There are times when he looks so damn fucking good… and I curse that he still pushes all of my fucking buttons. All of them. He always has, and I have no clue anymore what I push of him, if anything good.

Today, we dueled as always. He brought out his Blue Eyes deck, I my Lightsworn, and he destroyed me like he always does. He topped me through cards, because he could. Any progress I make he lets me do. I’m well aware of this. It’s always been that way with James. Any progress I’ve made, it’s because he’s let me. The banter, the dance, lasted until a friend mentioned that she played.

This friend is not a threat in any way. She doesn’t make me jealous, at all. She is safe, a beautiful soul who still calls James my person and is well aware at just how complicated she is. And the truth is, I love watching James duel. It’s fun sometimes when it’s not me. It wasn’t that they dueled… it’s that they interrupted the ritual that triggered some brain squirrels in my mind.

He doesn’t top me right now, in any way but the cards. That’s all I get. I don’t get swatts at BaGG. He won’t pull my hair, or bring me to my knees. I’ve forgotten, for the most part, what his lips feel like. I don’t get casual kisses or bites. He still won’t even just… poke me in the arm in a friendly way. Touch was so much a part of our love language that it was one of the main things taken away when we ended, and so I cling to the cards. I cling to the ritual of every Wednesday I get my dance with him. He will give me time, top me, and then go off to the others.

Today, that wasn’t the case. He played a few rounds with me, and then moved on to someone else. It was bound to happen. The nature of games is that you play other people. It’s a silly game; it’s fun. But… it’s our fun. It’s our thing, and for an hour I sat and watched while they played. I watched the bit of time I normally get with him tick away, and as it did I felt more and more invisible to him.

Emotions rarely have logic, and unfortunately for me my emotions are almost always written on my face. If anything, I’m sitting and writing this all out to get the kicked puppy expression I know I’m wearing to disappear. I am posessive of the few points of connection that I consider mine with him, logical or not, and I don’t think I realized how posessive until tonight. I felt.. inferior. Our friend is a better duelist than I am, with more experience. She was more of a challenge for him, and he and others commented that despite having months of practice now, she played better than I have. She lasted better.

There was a moment, hearing all of this, that I realized how easily replacable I could be. I wonder what value I still hold to him, this man that never seems to want to know his own heart. Over a silly game of cards that have been our safe-zone.

Maybe it’s the time of year; that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I remain without a primary. Maybe it’s looking around and seeing other people valued by partners, and finding myself at war with my self-imposed loneliness. Maybe it’s that fear that… I’m just another background piece for him now.

None of this is logical. Time is gold to James, and more than anyone else I get his time.

Except, for when I don’t.

When the dance gets interrupted, the partners changed out, and you find yourself doubting if it was a dance at all.

It’s time for BaGG. Perhaps I will be brave and approach him for a different type of dance.

Yours, in routine

-Rene