The email landed in my inbox a couple of weeks ago. It’s been some six years since our last contact, since he broke my heart.
At first I thought it was spam, I frequently get spam that appears to be from my own contacts. He used a name I recognised and an email address I didn’t.
It landed softly this time, a confusing flutter as I realised it was him.
He called me Ma’am, and acknowledged that he probably shouldn’t anymore. His voice strange and unfamiliar and wholly familiar.
What followed was a stream of consciousness from someone who had been drinking, who was alone, who was questioning himself.
He apologised for behaving ‘not unlike a dick’ at the end. He did. He hurt me in ways that I didn’t need to be hurt and he hurt me in ways that we have never spoken about.
The main thing: I hope you are doing well and I wonder about you constantly… I am so sorry for the way I made things end between us…
Bygones. It doesn’t matter any more.
He talked about how everything with me was ‘too real’, that it led him to facing things in himself that he had been denying and it was too hard, that he couldn’t bring himself to talk to me about it. So he ducked cowardly out on me.
He talked about how he is in that same place now with his Domme (his love, his owner, his partner, his fiancee, he didn’t call her any of those, but all of those are truth). He has two Dommes now, he said. He is overwhelmed and reaching out with the same headspace he felt with me, just as he reached out to someone else when he went through it WITH me.
Have you learnt nothing, boy?
I don’t think he reads my blog. I don’t know.
I haven’t replied. Not out of spite or hurt or resentment.
I just… I don’t have words for him.
I don’t need uneasy, stilted, and superficial conversation heavy underneath with the weight of our history. Saying nothing of substance to someone who had your all, who had everything, feels like skipping stones on an ocean you almost drowned in.
But saying something of substance is pointless, heart breaking. I am not his confessional, and those words involve digging into things I’ve worked hard to put away safely in their lead-lined box in that deep dark drawer right in the back corner of my scarred heart.
The silk-soft shiny parts get taken out and petted every now and then, but the others: No.
I feel them there though, in response to hearing from him, rattling around and restless to be given air. But giving emotional energy into a long-past relationship from which I struggled to heal and from which he has long moved on is a fraught and slippery monster.
I don’t know what that leaves, I don’t have anything left to give him.
If I reply, then he will respond or he won’t, and however the conversation goes, it will end quietly and I fear it will leave a big gaping black hole out of which no goodness will come.
Neither a response, nor lack of one, will bring me any joy.
The idea of it, some exchange, is not like opening old wounds exactly. It’s more like scratching at long-closed scars that you did your own surgery on, more than once, that healed so very slowly and badly that they are thick and ropey and ugly. A testament to how hard it was to put the pieces back together.
I don’t know what he wants from me though at the same time I understand the urge to reach out. I am strangely grateful for it. Despite this writing, it is not sitting heavily on me.
It reminds me some of this scene from Sex And The City where Carrie (the most self-involved character ever) is wanting and demanding something from the ex she cheated on, she is talking at him, all angsty and self-centred, and finally he shouts ‘YOU BROKE MY HEART!’
I am scared to poke at that old scar, I am scared that some small thing will open it up again, I am scared that underneath is some deep unhealed gangrenous tissue and I don’t want to see it. There are only so many ways I can be hurt.
So this is my reply, if you are reading:
I am glad that you wonder about me constantly because I am selfish and I want to know that I own that piece of you still and forever. It makes me happy, that heavy impact.
I appreciate you reaching out even though I have no clue what to do with that. Thank you for your apology and for explaining more of what was going on with you back then, I am surprised and saddened that I didn’t see it or feel it.
I said this at the time, and I believe it still: I know you did your best for me for as long as you could. For that, I thank you, still, with the full weight of the joy you gave me behind it.
I have long since forgiven you.
To those feelings that are overwhelming you, those that you recognise: Trust your Dommes with your fears and doubts. Don’t look elsewhere, to me, to others. Don’t run. I’m sure they love and care for you very much and will want to help you with your struggles. Don’t make the same mistake again.
I am glad you are loved up and that your angst is about being on the cusp of getting what you want, no matter how frightening and confusing that might feel. And if it doesn’t work, if it isn’t what you thought or hoped, you always have the option to change your mind. You can’t go back, of course, but you can change direction, and those who love you will look after you. Trust them to do that.
Despite the swirling maelstrom that caused you to reach out, I genuinely hope that you are as happy as we were for that brief shining moment. No happier though: That would be unfair.
And to answer your other question, there is no particular way a boy who would have sex with people for money looks, though if you are making eyes at many drunken strangers in foreign bars, and they are baffled by your attention, they might think, ultimately, that you are touting for business. Ask for much more than you think you are worth. Be safe.
I found this to be a completely fascinating post as it falls so completely outside the realm of my experience. I have had very few relationships in my life and for the most part, once they have ended, that’s all there was. Time and distance have worn them away until they have faded into transparency so that even the thought of someone from my past ever reaching out to me would be a complete non sequitur.
While those things may have left some cracks in my heart, they have long since been paved over and incorporated into who I have become. The only one exception to that has been my latest. However, even there it is an exercise in practical problem solving and a quid pro quo arrangement that forms the framework of our relationship now.
So, when you describe thoughts and feelings that appear to me to be so complex and nuanced, I cannot help but be a bit amazed at the way you process them and are able to render them so completely. That a correspondence from a past relationship could be parsed is such a way was a bit of a revelation to me and makes me wonder if either I have learned to compartmentalize my life quite successfully, or is there merely a dark void where my heart should be.
I keep a space in my heart for those who have been significant in my life. No matter what happens afterwards, that piece belongs to them. It might diminish or erode over time, but it still exists.
I make those kinds of connections rarely, so there aren’t many. Perhaps that’s a reason why they get to keep that part. I mean, hell, my first love still has a place :).
I have always assumed it’s common (though I am made happy when those from my past tell me I still have that piece of them so perhaps I don’t assume it as much as I thought).
“like skipping stones on an ocean you almost drowned in”
This hits me, hard and achingly familiar, in that space between the deep cavity of my chest and the hot tight knot in my throat.
I too have a lead-lined drawer full of memories, carefully packed through the pain of gnarly-healed wounds, and the prospect of opening that Pandora’s Box of mixed nostalgia, beauty, and pain…
The way you have parsed your experience here, the thoughtfulness and love that flow through your response… You are twice the person I could ever be in such a situation, and I admire you immensely for it.
Thank you so much for your kind and beautiful comment.
I’m glad you could relate to all the overthinky thoughts.
Some doors are best left closed Ferns
hugs you tight
And thank you for the hugs :).
Lovely wise response!
(As a male sub, I empathise with the overwhelmed thing. Even without normative gender roles to add to the pressure, the sense of loss of autonomy is scary. Giving in to the submissive undertow is ultimately liberating, though.
I also recognise the experience of acquiring self knowledge and being in a D/s relationship and suddenly understanding what I could have done to make previous relationships work,
However, being in a committed relationship and reaching out to an estranged ex to reconnect rather than to just say “sorry”? That just seems untidy.)
I gathered from his email that there were a few things that prompted him to reach out, though yes,
I imagine he has little or no support outside of his relationship/s, and that can be isolating if you are struggling.
So yes, some things to do with D/s revelations can be difficult, but I’m not quite sure what he wanted or expected to happen. I guess maybe he thought that I could be that supportive friend. I don’t know.
What an incredible blog entry. I don’t think I have ever read a better scripted set of thoughts in what must have been an emotionally difficult situation, despite what you wrote about the healing you have managed to achieve.
I think you were absolutely correct not to reply directly. As you said, it is a no win situation and a slippery slope that cannot end well. But more that that, it would be giving air to a betrayal of his current Domme that should not be taking place.
I am normally not allowed to write to other dominant women but my Domme has given me permission in this instance and she approved what I wrote. I wish you well.
Thank you so much for your comment (and to your Domme for her permission). I appreciate your lovely thoughts and good wishes.
Years ago, I ended things with an incredible spirit of a woman primarily because it scared me how well she understood who I really was. She completely accepted me and encouraged me to be what I am. Soon after that she died from a rapid onset of a rare kidney disease and it still haunts me that I couldn’t set things right or apologize for my immaturity. I think of her every day when I see her brand on my right tush.
Oh my. That’s a tough situation to deal with and a very hard lesson to learn, and I’m so sorry.
Thank you for sharing it.
“I am surprised and saddened that I didn’t see it or feel it.”
It used to be sad and frustrating for me to hear things like I can’t go on with this. Until I looked at it from a different point of view. Men usually can’t manage feelings. It’s kind of a relief when you understand he didn’t mean to hurt you, he just ran away from his own feelings. And when you learn he’s not still ready to face problems, some years later on, you don’t feel frustrated anymore: one can’t make someone else grow, that job is up to him, and an inmature person can only give you trouble in the end.
I don’t feel frustrated, not with someone who meant so much to me and who was struggling.
I think I do (still) underestimate the fears people have, and I overestimate my ability to see them. The result is that I don’t think I am particularly good at creating a safe space for genuine relationship-risking conversations. Not least because I can’t promise that they *won’t* be relationship-ending. So it’s never *really* safe. I need to think about that some more.
And I agree with you either way: No-one can make someone else grow. At best you can support them in their growth, but even then, you can only do that IF the ways they are growing still work within your relationship.
I commend you for having the strength to not re-engage. To recognize that it ultimately won’t be good for you. It’s so difficult. xo
Whoops! That was me :)
Heh. I recognised you!
It is difficult, and I do hope he reads my blog so he knows.
I will always care, I will always wish him well, but I can’t.
Hey, you’re seriously good at dealing with bad, unexpected stuff and even doing it with incredible class and generosity.
I still fail spectacularly sometimes, but I do try :).
It’s okay, really.
I’ve done both. I’ve reconnected and let it lie. Neither seemed to help or hinder either the ones reaching out or me. They needed to decide for themselves how to successfully navigate their existence and no amount of guidance or lack of it from me could create those supports for them. Honestly, in his case, were it me, I’d likely respond with a simple “If you’re truly sorry, then decide here and now to never make these mistakes again and go address these issues with the appropriate people. Goodbye.”
However, saying nothing communicates that same thing and ultimately what matters in this circumstance is what works for you because you is all you’ve got in this particular interaction.
I think I said what I wanted to say here. Even if I don’t send it, it’s here and it’s said.
I hope he sees it so he knows.
I think this tune fits the thread nicely
Apropos of nothing the lead singer (Fish) signed my boobs once, a long time ago when the world was young, and people actually wanted to see them!
Lucky him! :))
I understand both sides of this all too well. There was a woman a couple years ago where we both had feelings, but had a hard time admitting it. She understood me better than I understood myself at the time and that scared me. Thoughts of her and what could have been still haunt my days at times. There are times I have wanted to reach out, but I fear it would all be for naught.
Just reading what he wrote you makes me believe he thinks you are the one that got away. I hope he finds peace and doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Much like you, I am afraid of poking at that old scar because I am not sure what would come out other than more pain.
*one more big hug because this post hit me hard*
@Joe: A belated thank you for the hugs.
Sometimes you can be friends after enough time has passed, sometimes not. I have nice happy feelings about my three exes; how could I not? I spent years with each, we shared a lot of good things. But I let them be if they make it clear they don’t want to hear from me. I won’t bother them, though I think of all three frequently. It’s a case-by-case issue, though it’s more problematic if your Domme dumped you because she found someone better, younger, better looking. That hurts. When she wrote me after six months, I didn’t write back. I don’t need to be hurt again.
I think it is absolutely on a case by case basis.
I am friends, still, with most of my exes. My best friend is my longest term ex. They are wonderful people who I love still.
But sometimes you can’t. Even if you have good feelings towards them. As you say, when you are hurt, or when you have just drifted apart, or the residual emotions leave you vulnerable to further hurt…