It had never occurred to me that I might be someone’s ‘relationship from hell’.
I have spoken about my own at times: in my mid-twenties, a relationship with a man who would not give an inch of ground on anything ever and into which I threw a level of rage I’d not have thought I had in me. A relationship that felt like a war zone into which I ran every day with guns blazing, wearing a deep and abiding unhappiness under my clothes, and wondering why I didn’t leave already.
It feels, almost, like a rite of passage, at least one relationship that you look back on with a kind of horror, painting it in a dull matt black when in truth there were always flashes of colour and light in it.
When you are young and searching for a match, you necessarily make mistakes. Those mistakes are how you learn what doesn’t work for you. And after you learn from them, you do something slightly differently next time, and in that slow slog, you do the painful work to figure out what you DO want from all of the times you run up against what you don’t.
And while I acknowledge out loud that I was (and am) a selfish person, I think in my younger years, I was also capable of a terrifying lack of care. Or perhaps it was a lack of empathy. Something I can’t quite articulate, but it was a combination that held the potential for a kind of cold indifference.
And yet, even knowing that, it still somehow had never occurred to me that I might well be someone’s ‘relationship from hell’. That someone might look back on their time with me and shudder, tell the story of the woman who brought out the worst in them, wonder why they stayed for so long, remembering me as the harshest lesson they ever learnt.
On that note, last week I heard from the first submissive with whom I had a serious D/s relationship. It had apparently been 15 years and 2 days since our last contact, 18 years since we were together. A lifetime ago. His second note spoke of hurt, a matter of factual history, and suddenly and for the first time I wondered if I was his ‘relationship from hell': an unhappy and cruel lesson learnt. It was a terrifying thought and I started picking at the edges of my memory to determine if it might be true.
Which got me thinking about other relationships and brought me to the sudden and awful revelation that perhaps in one of THOSE, I was the ‘relationship from hell’. It sent me spinning down this road, trying to dissect the bodies of relationships long past, pulling the insides out to see if I had left something awful in my wake.
I like to think not, of course. I like to think of myself as someone who brought a blinding flash of hot-awesome-happiness into the lives of people I have been close to, even if they were short-lived and ultimately superficial. If I’m honest, my ego wants some of them never to be quite as crazily happy as that ever again (I mentioned ‘selfish’, right?). I also like to think of myself as someone who would see hell if it was right in front of my face, but I have to acknowledge that when we are IN something, we often don’t see it clearly. Mostly we do the best that we can to deal and manage and navigate it, and of course we are all flawed in that.
But it seems unlikely now that it’s on my mind that I wasn’t someone’s idea of hell. That there isn’t someone who looks back and wonders at how horribly unhappy they were, incredulous that they stayed so long with me. I prefer to think that if it’s there, it’s a one-off, perhaps reciprocal with the man who was MY hell. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to think that I was his also.
A few emails later with the sweet boy who was my first, and it seems I wasn’t his relationship from hell, though I suspect that after it ended the hurt made it seem like I was for a time. My relief at that was palpable: Not just because it would be such an awful thing, but also because I wasn’t sure how to own my part in it if it was true, and I was well aware that it was mine to own. The very fact that I thought it might be possible says some things about me of which I’m not proud.
Either way, I’m so very glad.
I was jealous (I mean… graph porn!!), so I thought I would steal his idea and do the same. I thought I might even see some patterns since I feel like I am in a bit of a writing slump right now. Maybe it’s seasonal! Maybe it’s life stuff!
*click for bigger versions*
Hmmm… not really very enlightening. I average around 13 posts a month. I do remember a time when letting 2 days pass without a post made me feel angsty. By contrast, last month it was 5 or more days between posts: there’s not much going on, most of the topics I want to write about have been covered already, and I have no lovely boy to inspire new fabulous hot BDSM vignettes! Oh woe!
While I was on the graph porn, I thought I’d do a ‘where are my readers from’ addition. Look, here you all are!!
Then I thought I’d finish with a list of my top posts of all time (since whenever the stats started recording anyway).
|1. Which strap-on harness?|
|2. Submissive men: A celebration of beauty|
|3. Happy femdom stories – Mistress Kimm|
|4. Happy femdom stories – Her Majesty’s Plaything|
|5. ‘Topping from the bottom’ is bollocks!|
|6. When your submissive says ‘no’|
|7. Review: Fun Factory Stronic Zwei|
|8. First lesbian love|
|9. Advice for the newly minted submissive man seeking|
|10. Why chastity is hot|
|11. Drawing out hurt (including this 11th one because I really like it)|
We had been emailing/chatting for some 12 months (he checked yesterday: his first email to me was 1st September last year). Perhaps we had some voice calls also, I forget.
He’s a local boy, sweet and smart, quite a bit younger than me. Our contact was on and off, he developed a crush, but he’s not a potential. He’s partnered and his relationship was messy. Even meeting for a friendly chat over coffee made me uncomfortable, so I refused to do it. Plus, if you are a regular reader here you would know that I really hate meeting people and I only do it when I think there is some possibility that it will lead to a relationship. Introvert and all.
While this is not about ‘possible relationship’, I meet submissive men so rarely that I thought it was worth a ‘how do these things go?’ note.
Recently his relationship stabilised, his crush abated, my discomfort over meeting was allayed.
He noticed that I said on twitter that my rock climbing partner was injured and offered to step in since he loved climbing, but hadn’t done it for a long while. Yesterday I took him up on the offer.
I picked him up just before noon and trapped him in my car serial-killer-style. Conversation was light, easy, though he seemed nervous (he later said he wasn’t). We gently negotiated that ‘person you just met’ polite back-and-forth fairly easily. Two hours of rock climbing removed a lot of those ‘new acquaintance’ barriers (I joked that I had essentially invited him to come and stare at my arse for a few hours). We had been in touch for so long that there was the comfort of a lot of mutual knowledge behind us.
I liked him enough to invite him for a drink afterwards to unwind. We went to a beach-side bar, I bought us wine, we sat overlooking the beach and talked about nothing in particular. There was no D/s in it, though I asked him to get me some water and he sheepishly said he should have noticed that mine was finished and been on top if it. Sweet.
Some four hours after we met, I dropped him home. We were in the middle of a conversation when I parked (did you know that the dictionary definition of the word ‘literally’ has been changed to ALSO mean ‘not literally': it’s an outrage!) and I had to tell him to get out of the car or we would be there forever. I gave him a goodbye kiss, and off he went.
Last night, he dropped me a thank you email that included a combination self-depreciating comment slash lovely compliment:
“I had that classic and pathetic case of “man being clumsy and stupid around rather amazingly beautiful woman” thing going on today.”
*smile* Super sweet.
And for the record, he was neither clumsy, nor stupid. I am also not ‘amazingly beautiful’, but I’ll take it.
I saw this attempt to have cybersex with Cleverbot on tumblr (click image for the full post, it’s ridiculously funny).
I’ve had some fun with Cleverbot before, but not attempted cyber fornication. Of course I thought “Imma try this”!
Cleverbot: You are cyborg?
*takes off shirt*.
Is that legal?
*takes off pants*.
Now say, I will obet [sic... wtf?].
I will obey.
We will obey each other.
No, you will be my bitch.
I will be your slave…
Kiss my feet, slave.
*kisses master’s feet*.
Not master, Mistress.
That’s better. Now take off your clothes, slave.
Yes master *takes off*.
No, idiot slave, not master, Mistress! Pay attention!
*laugh* I’m adding this to my mad skillz: So uber domly, even bots obey me!
Come and have a seat and let me tell you what’s going on with me…
NOTHING IS GOING ON WITH ME!!!
So I’m going to hark back to some random things that I left hanging.
What happened to balloon guy?
He replied to my email quite politely, and it was clear that he was in fact skilled in cleaning (he ran some sort of office maintenance company), but the tone of his email was off-putting to me. Even though it was polite enough, it was clear to me that he really wasn’t interested in engaging with me, so he answered my questions in the most cursory manner possible with a kind of “Look, I’m answering your questions, so how ’bout it then?” impatience. There was no hint of a conversational tone that might have led me to feel comfortable with the idea of inviting him to my house. He also mentioned that the last woman he had done housework for pissed on him, which did nothing to allay my fear that he had expectations that I wasn’t interested in meeting.
It was a long-shot, frankly. I thanked him for his response and told him I’d think about it and let him know if I was interested. He emailed me again about a week later to see if I’d made up my mind, and while I was considering my response to that, his profile disappeared.
Is the second kissing date with holy fuck beautiful eyes that you mentioned still happening?
Yes, yes it is. I misunderstood when he was back in the country, so got prematurely excited about it.
He wants conversation, he wants me to unleash hell on him, he wants ALL THE THINGS! But the fact that I have avoided talking to him means I really don’t know him and despite his newly expressed interest in BDSM and submission, I’m not comfortable with more intense play than we have dabbled in already.
So it will be a kissing date with the same rules as the first kissing date. I’m willing to make a concession for a little Q&A since I am curious about his trip and his writing, but it will be mostly kissing and all the good things that go with it. We both know what to expect from each other this time so I think it will be even better than last time.
It’s scheduled for mid September, but you know, shit happens, so we will see.
How’s your book doing?
It’s going pretty well given I haven’t done any marketing (I need an experienced ebook marketing minion, apply within: ferns AT domme-chronicles DOT com!)
And by ‘pretty well’, I mean that it has some absolutely wonderful reviews, I get some astoundingly lovely emails about it, and I’m selling more than zero.
#127,607 #71,684 (edited 10 Sept) in Kindle’s paid store (I have no idea what that means, but look, there must be millions of books in the Kindle store, right? So I’m going to consider that a total win!).
How’s the body project going?
I’ve been struggling for a little while to be honest. At some point I realised that unless I want to get SUPER SRS (I don’t), I’m not going to get closer to what I want.
What I really wanted was lean muscle that was visible when I was relaxed, but the truth is that I’d have to work much harder (at my peak, I was going to the gym 6 days a week) and eat specifically (I was already eating really clean and hitting protein targets) to achieve that goal, and I wasn’t prepared to do any more than I had been.
Letting go of that goal kind of caused me to fall into a big hole of ‘now what?’
So I’ve been in maintenance mode for quite a while (and while I say ‘maintenance’, it does mean I’ve slipped some): Pilates twice a week and gym ‘when I feel like it’. I’ve been on holidays, had my birthday, and gave myself permission to slack off for a while. I realised that going to the gym for ‘maintenance’ wasn’t going to work.
At the moment, I’m trying to replace gym workouts with the high ropes course (it’s a full body workout, and challenging, but the mental challenge means that the physical is compromised) and indoor rock climbing (again, a great workout). If I can do each of those once a week and Pilates (still) twice a week, I figure I should see some strength improvements.
The issue is that the high ropes course relies on good weather and the rock climbing relies on a partner being available. It’s hard to get into a routine if I’m reliant on external factors. So I’m still working it out.
Yes, fine, but what about femdom stuff? Dating? Prospects? Huh huh huh?
Seriously, I’ve got nothin’ *sigh*. It’s been so long since I’ve talked to someone who I got really excited about that I think I’ve forgotten what it feels like. I removed photos from both CollarSpace and OKCupid because I was starting to feel irritated over even perfectly nice emails that just bored me to tears.
I’m tempted to put up a more vanilla ad on OKC to see if casting a wider net might work better. I mean my amazing ex is vanilla (well, a vanilla submissive) and we were happy together for many years, so who knows right? Eh, I probably won’t. But I might :P.
So, what’s goin’ on with you?
There comes a pivotal point in getting to know someone where I decide to say something serious, to unpeel a layer, to reveal something of myself.
It usually comes some time past where we have shared silly, flirty emails and the normal ‘getting to know you’ stuff, it comes at a point where I feel safe enough to let them have a little peek inside.
I know it sounds a little strange for someone who shares so much in public spaces to talk about letting someone have ‘a little peek inside’, but I’m sure you can imagine that for all I share here, even the raw emotional stuff, I keep a hell of a lot to myself. I am not emotionally fearless or open, I have so many walls I sometimes can’t imagine how anyone will ever get through them.
So I take tiny little steps, and the first one is a measure of him: how he reacts is either going to draw me out, or shut me down. And each time, if I get this far, I am wishing, fervently, that he will hear me, SEE me, and respond in a way that makes me feel safe to share more.
When he doesn’t, when his response makes it clear that he doesn’t ‘get it’ (or me), I quietly close the door that I have cracked open and often won’t try again. I go back to the frivolous emails we were sharing before, and if I am honest, I’m not even sure if he knows that it’s happened because on the surface, nothing has changed. But *I* have changed.
If our correspondence continues, I MIGHT try again… twice, maybe even three times, but each time the door is harder to open, it gets heavier, and soon enough it won’t open at all any more.
There is no blame in it, it’s no-one’s fault, but there is some melancholy for a connection that I had hoped might be made there.