balance

Love thyself

aime-toi

i’m in Portland, staying with a close (vanilla, non-lifestyle) friend of mine. i found out last week that she’d gone through a breakup several weeks ago. Her live-in boyfriend of several years left her over the holidays and she’d been struggling through it. i picked up something on a Facebook post that told me the answer before she’d replied to my text asking what was going on. So i invited myself down as soon as the Portland snowpocalypse ended.

She is drowning in grief. i remember that feeling. And it’s more than a loss of a companion, a lover, additional income, the beloved dog he took with him, the debt he left you straddled with, the lies you now realize, it’s the loss of your former self, that strong, assured, self-sufficient woman, PERSON, you were when you attracted him in the first place. It makes you mad, sick inside, that you let it come to this. How did i let myself down and let another person, a relationship steal my self-worth?

And you feel like you’re never going to get it back.

You will. But the answer is not in anyone else–it’s in you. It’s been there the entire time. No, you are not going to be the person you were before, ever again. That person is gone, but in its place will be someone stronger, better, smarter. You have to believe this. But its going to take work. i know it sounds cliché, but you have to fall back in love with yourself.

And you have to forgive yourself, stop beating yourself up for being in the relationship, for whatever damage happened to you. Let it go. Don’t let it poison yourself any more. It happened, it’s done, dust yourself off and move on.

So i’m here to be a shoulder, an ear, arms to hug and hold, maker of soup, and out-of-the-house-taker-outer. We drank champagne, toasting her strength and our unending friendship. i’m proud of her, her accomplishments before and now. And i look forward to watching her fall back in love with herself.

Categories: balance, relationship, relationship needs | Tags: | Leave a comment

Feminism in Lifestyle and D/s

girls women females

Feminism is the ability to choose what you want to do – Nancy Reagan

i started writing this several months ago, and just hadn’t finished it. It’s something that comes up now and again in D/s…how does feminism fit in the lifestyle and aren’t you setting women back a century by submitting to a man? i even worried about this when Maximus and i were first starting.

For me, feminism is about having the choice to do whatever the hell it is you want to do rather than being held within the constraints of social expectation. The key word there is choice. As a feminist, i decide what it is i want to do, based upon my needs, wants, and desires. This is how i was raised–do whatever it is you want to do, the sky’s the limit. And this is how i have lived my life.

i never picked traditional visions for myself as a young girl. my dreams were to become a doctor, an astronaut, or work in public safety–none of these were “normal” choices when i was a girl. And i persevered, breaking into a non-traditional profession with a group of the first women in my place of occupation of all men. i was very successful and became the first woman to hold leadership where i worked, and climbed through the ranks to be a “leader of men” so to speak. i was great at it, it fit me, and i loved it.

And then i needed a change. It was my choice. i decided that this role was no longer feeding my soul, but service, a big part of what i did in that occupation, certainly did. Maximus offered me the opportunity to pursue that with Him, and after careful consideration, i retired and came to be with Him in our 24/7 CEO/COO D/s relationship.

i know for many my choice makes no sense to them. How could i go from a “position of strength” to a “position of weakness”–essentially throwing away my feminist power? The truth is, i didn’t. i’m not weak, i’m not helpless, i didn’t throw away my power–i discovered how to use my strengths and power in a way that serves both Maximus and me. And i chose it, because i have the power to make choices in my life.

Maximus is my Dominant and i am His submissive, but it is my responsibility to make sure this household runs smoothly and efficiently. i run the tactical side of our house while He runs the strategic side–that is my service to Him. He does not micromanage me, He certainly hasn’t got time for that, and i operate within defined parameters with my autonomy intact, able to make decisions. Maximus desired me for my strength and leadership, someone He could delegate to, and would never want me to be a shrinking violet, requiring huge amounts of direction.

Being His submissive allows me to use my skills, all my non-traditional skills i have acquired and developed throughout my life. And it allows me to embrace my femininity, something i pushed away during my career. To me, it feels more balanced, and i am happier. Does it negate my earlier life? No, i think it honors it, that i can continue to use those skills to help others and myself.

i suppose this is rambling, but the key to it is that this was my choice, not an expectation i bowed down to. This is why i characterize my submission as a gift (which is another area of contention with many others in D/s). First, i am gifted as a submissive, it is my gift or talent, and i use it to serve. Second, it was my choice to give my submission to Maximus, a gift i gave freely and fully, not to be taken back. i believe this is the greatest attribute to feminism, the choice to decide what is best for ourselves, and to do it unapologetically, loud and proud.

Categories: 24/7, balance, BDSM relationship, D/s, Dom/sub, feminism, submissive, submissive housewife, Total Power Exchange, TPE | Tags: | 1 Comment

Forgiveness

forgiveness

Maximus and i were finally back together this morning. We took some time to dialogue two things that we needed to go over to finish the resolution of our conflict. The two things regarded eliminating absolutes and Ms. W.

Eliminating absolutes revolved around how my discovery that Maximus had lied and concealed His communications and meetings with Ms. W during the last two months while i worked on my rage set up a perfect storm of three major rage triggers that overwhelmed my ability to control my rage about it. The triggers were being lied to by my partner, having my partner conceal important issues from me, and abandonment. What do these have to do with absolutes? Well Maximus had told me from the beginning of, well actually before, our relationship that if He ever lied to His partner, the relationship would be over–this was how He described how important honesty and trust was to Him in a relationship. So when He admitted that He had lied to me, these triggers, especially the fear of abandonment, were just too much for me–i was simultaneously hurt, scared, terrified, and overwhelmed by my belief that He was now done with our relationship and i didn’t understand why. i had nothing to lose, He was going to leave me, and i raged–the worst rage ever. i acknowledged that He had made a choice to leave me and told Him to go, and then begged Him not to leave me, back and forth and back and forth. So in our dialogue today, we agreed that absolutes like that set us up for failure as they do not allow us to work on issues in our relationship that lead us to feel insecure, unsafe, and risk or lead to changes in our behavior that aren’t congruent with our morals. If y/You do _________, i/I will _________ doesn’t let us be human and recover from mistakes, and we ARE human and WILL make mistakes. Moreover, i really feel that i have made great headway against my raging, and had i not been confronted by this perfect storm of triggers, i don’t think i would have raged again.

In our talk about Ms. W. i shared with Maximus something that Fern had said to me at my last counseling session, something that i did not understand at the time but became clear yesterday after He and i had dialogued over the phone. Fern told me that Ms. W was a symbol for something. i didn’t agree with her, replying that no, Ms. W was a person, not a symbol. However, after doing some reflection about our phone dialogue yesterday, i realized that Ms. W WAS a symbol, a symbol of my fear of losing the emotional intimacy in our emotionally monogamous relationship. i had a belief that Maximus and Ms. W shared emotional intimacy, but that just isn’t the case, it isn’t fact. Ms. W may desire emotional intimacy with Him, but He has not, does not, doesn’t engage in that with her. The fact that Maximus had lied and concealed the continued contact with Ms. W reinforced my belief that not only did i think they were emotionally intimate, but were having an emotional affair; but when looked at factually, He had not had time to meet with Ms. W yet to go over with her the changes He was going to make in their relationship.

The significance of these two dialogues had to do with trust for both of us. First, a request for Maximus to trust in me that i am able to control my rage, that this was an isolated event due to extraordinary compounding of triggers for me. Second, my promise to trust in Maximus that He is not emotionally intimate with anyone other than me, that we are indeed emotionally monogamous.

At the end, i asked Maximus to forgive me for my mistrust and for my rage, and He forgave me. Maximus then asked me to forgive Him for lying to me and concealing the contact with Ms. W, and i forgave Him. Honestly, before yesterday afternoon, i did not even think forgiveness was going to be possible for weeks for me. In fact, prior to yesterday’s dialogue, my agenda for today’s discussion was going to be about confronting Maximus about the emotional affair He was having with Ms. W. i am so very thankful, again, for the courage Maximus had to initiate the dialogue yesterday that opened up my eyes, mind, and heart and allowed me to understand.

i am extremely hopeful that this, indeed, is the end of this chapter for us. This past week has been full of brutal truth. And as Gloria Steinem said,

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

Ending a chapter on brutal truth is so much better, in the long run, than ending a chapter on concealed truth. Even though it was painful, it got everything out on the table, in the open, for us both to see and deal with. It gives us a true clean slate to move on.

While this blog is my submissive journal and the main purpose is as an outlet for me to process my feelings and document how we develop in our D/s relationship, i do realize that it is public and we have had followers who came to it interested in the BDSM, D/s aspect, not relationship drama. So to those readers, if you are still with me after this two month period of drama, thank you for sticking with us, and we will be getting back to our regularly scheduled program! That being said, however, i do think that it is important for me to share the reality of developing a D/s relationship, in that it involves real people, with real emotions and real lives, and all the baggage that comes with that. D/s requires enormous trust and a grain of sand can cause enough irritation to hobble. Perhaps our story may help another couple dealing with their grain of sand whatever it may be, to help them seek counseling and learn to really communicate, really listen, and make it through the other side. And to not give up on each other.

Text from Maximus: Hey, I got a message from your ass saying it needed a butt plug. Just wanted to alert you…

Text reply from gabriella: KK. i’ll check in with my ass…my ass says “ahhhh, thank you Sir for informing g what i needed!”

butt message1

Looks like we’re back!

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, communication, conflict, forgiveness, honesty, Imago, relationship, relationship needs, trust | 1 Comment

What Do i Do Now?

Ok, so i came to the conclusion in my last blog post, Can Trust be Restored?, that i should stay and give Maximus another chance.

i’m still hurt, still angry, still horribly disappointed, confused, lost, disoriented.

Kirshenbaum has another six questions for me to answer. These are the questions i need to answer in order to restore my feeling of trust. There is no timetable for this process, it varies for everyone, but they work as a guide:

  1. How will I ever cope with this?
  2. Does the other person really care about me?
  3. Can the other person really see me and understand how his betrayal hurt me?
  4. Can our relationship survive?
  5. Can we make things safer and better between us?
  6. Can I forgive him?

1. How will i ever cope with this?

It is normal to feel and act crazy–most people encounter an overwhelming sense of insanity when betrayed because someone we trusted to take care of us hurt or abandoned us. Nothing makes sense anymore. However, you are not actually crazy, it is what you are feeling, and it’s part of the natural healing process.

Now is when everyone is expecting the crazy, so you might as well give it to them.

You are coping, this is coping, hang in there. What you feel now is not an indicator of whether or not the relationship is worth healing. Don’t do anything you’ll regret.

If you still have any kind of relationship left by the time you start being a little less crazy, you’re in good shape…If you’re not blown apart, it means there is some glue, some degree of caring, and that makes all the difference here. Believe it or not, the trust-restoring process has begun.

i felt like i lost my mind when Maximus admitted to intentionally, justifiably lying to me about Ms. W. The rage was horrible, exhausting, frightening. i even told Him that i thought i had lost my mind. i truly felt i had lost my mind. This is what confused me about what to do next–if this relationship had gone to such an extreme that i lost my mind, went insane, why on earth would i want to stay in it? Why would i put myself in that position to permanently damage myself?

i eventually calmed down. But i still get swirls of anxiety. Swirls of extreme hurt. Swirls of solutions, things that seem like solutions anyway, that will do nothing but cause more hurt, to both of us. i feel like Odysseus tied to the ship’s mast, agonized by the Sirens’ songs of craziness. When will i get past earshot of the Sirens? Perhaps i am coping by the sheer fact that i have somehow tied myself to the mast, unable to break free and lose my mind.

But i’m also just overwhelmingly sad–and it upsets me that i’m so sad.

2. Does the other person really care for me?

The anger in the aftermath of betrayal is what people expect but find the most difficult to deal with. While anger is a feeling, it’s also a tactic, a way to sort out if the other person really cares about us. If the person who betrayed you can hang in there while you’re furious, they’ve passed the “do-you-care” test–they really do care.

…when you realize that the other person cares about you, however ignorant, confused, and clumsy he may be, then you’ll have the motivation you need to rebuild trust.

This may take weeks to figure out. You’re angry, you want to know why. You will grill them for answers. But the danger is that while anger makes you feel safer, makes the other person scared of you so they’ll never hurt you again, it makes them distance themselves in order to provide for their own feeling of safety. Don’t get into a cycle of anger where you hurt the other person, they hurt back in defense, you retaliate and hurt them more, and on and on and on. This will kill the relationship. The less anger we allow ourselves, the faster healing will happen.

Consider saying this to your partner:

Look, I know this is hard on you too. And I wish I had some kind of timetable or road map that would tell me when my anger will start to die down. But I just don’t know when that will happen. I do know that I want it to happen. I want to find a way to trust you again. And I know you want to be trustworthy. But here’s the thing. When you hurt me, that gave me the message that you don’t care about me. That I wasn’t worth your caring about me. But if you can hang in there with me while I’m still so angry, that will tell me that you do care, and that means everything to me.

Be aware that if you can’t trust each other, don’t trust each other, you’ll be watching every moment for an attack or scary gesture, causing you to bristle and attack. This is a mistrust cycle, where mistrust breeds more mistrust, just as the anger cycle breeds more anger. Break the mistrust cycle by sharing with your partner what you need to feel safe, and allow good things to happen. This lets your partner know that rebuilding trust is possible, that your anger is not infinite, that he can recover from his mistake.

i do believe that Maximus cares for me. i just am having trouble understanding why He did this. i want to be able to trust Him again. i know i am stuck in the mistrust cycle, that i am watching for proof, making Him feel under the microscope. my mistrust risks pushing Him away, which will make me feel more abandoned and give me proof that He’s not trustworthy and doesn’t care. This is a big step for me.

And it’s only been 4 days. i’m certainly not here yet. Kirshenbaum notes that it can take a month to get out of the anger stage, but i don’t think i can handle being there that long. And i don’t think these steps are particularly linear, that you have to complete one stage before going into the next one–i think they overlap, at least they seem to be for me.

So this is where i’m going to stop for today. i have a lot of work to do in these first two steps. i can’t rush this. i, we deserve that i not rush this. Just because the cast on a broken arm is awkward and itchy doesn’t mean it’s ready to come off–you only want it off because it’s unnatural, restricting, bulky and keeps you from doing things you regularly enjoy. You have to go through the healing process in order for things to heal correctly.

Maximus, i’m upset. i love you but i’m hurt. i want to trust You again and i know you want to be trusted again, without suspicion. i don’t know how long this will take. i felt like you didn’t care enough to really listen to my fears, didn’t care enough to protect me from repeating things that have harmed me in my past. i felt like i was given a false gift, a fake, a precious package that turned out to be a Jack-in-the-Box with a mocking jester that blew-up in my face and mocked me. But if you can hang with me, stay with me even while i’m hurt, when i need you the most, give me aftercare i need from this scene, it will show me that you do care, will start to put drops back into my love tank. That will mean everything to me and help me come back, help me trust you with my whole heart again.

Love,

gabriella.

Categories: aftercare, anger, balance, communication, conflict, counseling, trust | Leave a comment

Priorities, What’s the Conflict, and Leaps

priorities

i think it’s safe to say that the Imago dialogue has been one of the best tools for our relationship. While we’re not perfect at it, stumble through it most of the time, it has given us a framework to be heard and takes the volatility out of communicating our misunderstandings. This week we had a disconnect on communication and scheduling. i really started to feel i was not a priority to Maximus. And really, right now, it is hard to write this blog in much detail because it has been so diffused by our dialogue that it feels like a non-issue!

The crux of the issue were behaviors that made me feel that i was not a priority, not that i wasn’t a priority to Maximus–there is a huge difference there. But, as perception is reality, my feelings were MY reality. i shared my feelings about this with Maximus via text, but He was viewing this through His lens, His world, and responded by telling me all the reasons i’d not heard from Him, all the reasons our plans had been rescheduled. i could see that He was not considering my feelings and, in fact, i prompted Him to take some time to consider how it might be helpful for Him to mirror and validate and have some empathy about how i might be feeling rather than giving me a list of reasons that felt like He was invalidating what i felt, thus confirming my feeling of not unimportance. We were at an impasse, texting was not working, so the discussion was stopped until He would arrive the next day and we could do Imago.

Interestingly enough, by the morning, Maximus texted, “In reflecting upon yesterday I would like to profoundly apologize to you. I will work harder to better communicate to you regardless of the events that are surrounding Me at the time. you’re in My thoughts every moment of the day but I need to work harder at communicating that to you. Again, I apologize from the deepest part of My heart. I love you and I can’t wait to see you very soon.” i was still hurting and knew that texting or talking on the phone while He was driving down would not be effective, so i let Him know that i needed to wait until He arrived at my home to talk about this.

We went through the Imago dialogue process and it really helped Maximus understand how i was feeling. And it gave me a chance to feel heard, without blaming or critcizing Him. This seemed to help Maximus consider how He was prioritizing all areas of His life, Relationship, Family, Work, and Fitness, and realize that this was occurring in all four areas of His life, not just with me. We discussed strategies to help both of us.

This could have been a horrifically volatile event. But it wasn’t. Were there tears? Yes. Was there raging? No. Was there understanding? Absolutely. Is there carry-over resentment? Absolutely NOT! It’s so well communicated that i’m having trouble blogging about it now!

What’s the Conflict?

question marks

Once we are able to dialogue about issues, Maximus and i can move on without underlying static. It really is remarkable. i don’t feel there is any unfinished business, no unheard issues.  This allows us to really be able to talk and share later, without grudges on old business, days later.

Last night, in a change of plans, Maximus and i decided to go out for happy hour and dinner. We ended up staying for hours, talking and talking and talking about us, how counseling was going, how the framework of Imago dialogue was helping. And we had some epiphanies, two in particular.

The first epiphany was about how Maximus and i define conflict. And it was really akin to Bill Clinton’s response during grand jury “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Maximus was explaining that He visioned our relationship completely free of conflict–happy. This seemed completely unrealistic to me. As we sat at the bar, i decided to use an analogy to explain to Maximus how i felt having an expectation of a conflict-free relationship set us up for extreme failure. My analogy was about work, that overall, when He considers work, He finds it fulfilling, enjoyable, challenging, and that He really, really loves what He does. However, there are times when it is aggravating, frustrating, there are disagreements with others, conflict, and issues need to be dealt with, but that does not change the overall feeling that He loves His work. He did agree with that, but noted, “but there’s no conflict there.” This confused me, because i had just described a linear timeline of years of his work relationship with lots of little conflicts over the years that were dealt with but did not diminish His love for His job. i ran my finger along the bar in a timeline, showing a linear relationship of time with little stops of conflict all along, but that this did not divert from a feeling of happiness and satisfaction at the arrowhead at the end that was still moving forward through time. Maximus pointed about 3/4 through the line and said, “But there’s no conflict there,” and i pointed all along the line and said, “There was conflict here and here and here but it was dealt with.” And then we realized…i define conflict as a disconnect, something that requires an intervention of some sort to deal with a misunderstanding, a clarification, whatever, to prevent a catastrophic event; Maximus defines conflict as a fight, a rage, something damaging and huge, the catastrophic event!

whats the conflictWhat an amazing revelation! And how important is that? i’ve been thinking Maximus is unrealistically expecting a relationship free of misunderstanding, when He is describing a relationship free of damaging fighting. We completely agree on our relationship vision, we just define the words differently! He did not view disconnects or misunderstandings as conflicts, as i did–of course!

Leaps

leap

The final epiphany had to do with my communication needs. Maximus had been considering His communication style, in light of our dialogue the previous morning, in regards to me understanding the commitment in GOT. He shared that He thought He finally realized why i had trouble with this, something He felt was so clear and strong. He shared with me that He just couldn’t understand why i would have the question, “Why did You choose me?” when it was so obvious to Him. But that He is realizing now, that the question, “Why did You choose me?” was not questioning His decision to choose me, but that it was a request for validation, for Him to share what things led Him to choose me! This was a leap in thought for Him!

And this was clear to me! i started to giggle actually, because this became completely clear to me two weeks ago when we did the couples intake forms for Fern! i realized, when Maximus answered the question about what made Him fall in love with me, that we’d never discussed that before, and it made me cry to hear Him answer it. i know i’m great, a great catch, i just wanted to have that validated from Maximus.

We are back on track and better than before. We have developed techniques to enhance our communication and to deal with the occasional misunderstanding/conflict in order to avoid catastrophic conflicts. And we both feel we are ready now to have guided communication with Fern about the elephant in the room–Ms. W. The groundwork is done, the framework established, and we are ready to move forward.

Categories: balance, communication, conflict, counseling, Imago, relationship, relationship needs | Leave a comment

Hitting the Nail on the Head

notaboutthenail

i had another session with Fern yesterday and it went really well.

On my way to my visit, Maximus called from His business trip in California so He could share with me where He was at in our healing process. His intention was to share that with me, but to let me know what to share with Fern about His progress. Maximus is healing and feeling like we are making some forward progress, like the train is starting to move forward on the tracks, taking on fuel, building up steam, and starting to accelerate. He now feels confident that i am working on my issues and doesn’t feel at risk for my raging at Him like He had even just a few days ago. He praised me for the work i’ve been doing and what i’ve been sharing with Him.

Fern and i started with me sharing with her the breakthrough that Maximus and i had when going over the couples intake form together for her. She was very, very pleased with this and glad that we have been communicating so well and coming to a better understanding, using what we have been sharing and truly listening to each other. i also shared that i was going up to Maximus’ in a week, something that was a big change from just a few days ago, and illustrated a big step for us.

She then shared with me the types of rage that i have been having:

Survival Rage. This is triggered by basic needs not being or feared not being met and leads to a fight or flight response. It is related to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In my case, my basic fears are loss of self, loss of freedom/feeling trapped, being taken advantage of.

Impotence Rage. This is raging out of a feeling of helplessness, feeling powerless to effect changes.

Abandonment Rage. Triggers for abandonment are related to a fear of losing an important relationship.

Shame Rage. This includes the triggers of feeling disrespected, unheard, embarrassed, or ashamed.

It was interesting to have her share these with me as i had come to the same conclusion about my triggers and identified Abandonment and Shame Rage as types of rage i have been experiencing. i had not read about Survival or Impotence Rage, but i had sort of lumped those things into Abandonment and Shame. She acknowledged that i had done a great deal of work discovering these triggers in evaluating my raging and felt i have come a long, long way in my progress already because of that.

She asked me how i felt in my progress and what things i felt i needed help in. i shared with her that i felt very good about acknowledging the fact that i had unresolved issues from my second marriage and that those things triggered raging behavior in me now. i have done a really good job in not letting the communication break between Maximus and me trigger me into raging behavior, something that would have been an issue before. In fact, it was one of the things Maximus praised me for, as i’d not raged when He needed space and not raged the night before when He was having cell phone connectivity issues that prevented Him from calling me (in the past, i would have been infuriated about that and assumed that He was using that as an excuse not to talk). So in those areas, i feel very good. The one area that we haven’t encountered again since my last rage and now have to do with my reactions related to Ms. W and as that has been such a strong trigger, i was very nervous about it and really wanted to develop techniques for dealing with them to avoid undoing the progress i and we have made.

Fern asked me to define our relationship, whether it was poly or something else. i shared with her that we are not poly but emotionally-monogamous, only able to love one other person, but sexually-nonmonogamous. i explained what that meant and how we had worked very hard to define that early on in our relationship. We then talked about how Ms. W fit into that, any agreements we had about their relationship, and how i felt about it.

After this discussion, Fern asked me about boundaries, how i felt about my boundaries. i shared with her, as i had last session, my problem with keeping boundaries in relationships (see the excerpt from Eat Pray Love in this post about my boundary issues). my problem in past relationships is that i have always dissolved into the other person and lost my self, my soul. i gave up my friends, family, hobbies, and absorbed theirs, championed their interests by totally immersing myself in them. This caused a lot of damage to me, to my ego, and was illustrated by friends and family saying, “Yeah, gabriella’s back!” when i had split with those partners and rediscovered myself. This was a big part as to why i was so afraid of having another relationship again, but, being that Maximus lived hours away, was my fan and championed my interests, i felt i might be able to keep my boundaries and not lose my self in this relationship.

This was an important discussion for us to have, because i had realized this week that while a lot of the raging was about past hurt and irrational, there were some bits of truth in the rage, hidden in the irrationality, which had to do with my fear of losing control of my boundaries. Fern was glad to hear me say that, that it was important for me to understand that while there is a lot of past involved in my rage, there are things, albeit small things, in this relationship that triggered those past feelings; and it would be important to include Maximus in this discussion because it deals with how we relate and how we can best communicate these things. For this, Fern will be using Imago therapy that focuses on communicating needs, wants, fears, desires, etc without shaming, blaming, or criticizing. My homework for this week will be to write down things that i feel imbalanced about or concern me about my boundaries so Maximus and i can discuss these in our couples session with her. And we will be doing this session in a week via Skype with Fern when i am up with Maximus.

Another bit of homework this week will have to do with some writing to create new neural pathways for me. In this assignment, i will be writing a dialogue between History and Wisdom, the personifications of my sources of self-talk. The dialogue will start with History asking Wisdom for help. The most interesting part of this is that when i do this writing, i will be doing this with pen and paper and use my non-dominant hand when i write History’s dialogue and my dominant hand when i write Wisdom’s dialogue. i think this is fascinating! And it makes sense to me. When i was struggling to learn how to breathe bilaterally during swimming, someone suggested that while i was doing this i should brush my teeth, use eating utensils, etc with my non-dominant hand as to help train my brain to do things on my non-dominant side. It helped! In this case, this will empower Wisdom to become more dominant than History, reducing the high level of counsel History currently has. Interestingly, when i shared this with Maximus, He totally accepted this as well as He had used this technique in college water polo. i will work on this dialogue this week.

Maximus and i talked for hours about this session–it was great! i was a little concerned about sharing about this session as it dealt with boundaries and Ms. W and needing to have guided communication about concerns and imbalances i have felt about her and in our relationship. i didn’t want Him to feel defensive about this. And, i didn’t want to do too much communication about this without the guided technique as we have worked on communicating on these things throughout our relationship and not resolved them, so i didn’t want to continue an old pattern and perhaps upset each other. However, Maximus did want to talk about this, and i was honest and told Him about my fear of talking about it early. It was a great conversation, though. Maximus was sharing His confusion about why i had no issues with Z-Baby who was very clearly in love with Him and had no qualms about making it known but huge insecurity about Ms. W, who he felt had no love interest in Him whatsoever. My response was simple and is the same response i have always shared with Him, “Because Z-Baby was nice to me and i felt Ms. W has always treated me horribly. Ms. W’s behavior has always made me feel that she was trying very hard to make it known she didn’t like me and was trying to block me, physically from You.” i explained the examples, how Z-Baby and i were friends, did things together with and without Him, talked and texted, whereas Ms. W. was dishonest to me, woudn’t look at me or talk directly to me if He was present, put me down, clung to Him in my presence. This made me feel there was something to be fearful of. And this time, Maximus heard me. This will be very important for our discussion next week.

Later, Maximus and i were talking about the discussion that Dan and dawn had on their latest Erotic Awakening podcast about Slave Journals. i shared that Dan prefers written journals to electronic ones and we discussed our preference to having mine online. i shared with Maximus that i felt that we would not be as far as we are in this healing process if i’d not had this online journal, and He agreed completely. i went on and said i didn’t think we’d be together today without it, and He strongly disagreed with that, saying that He would not have abandoned me, that we would have still been communicating, but that we wouldn’t be nearly as far in the healing process without it. As we are in a distance relationship, an online forum works best for us, He can access my journal any time, any place–if my journal was on paper, He’d only get to see it when we were together, and we need to share about my journaling more frequently than that allows. He did go on to say that some times it is painful for Him to read some of my posts, not often, but occasionally, as in the instance of the post about my recent nightmare. This was the first time He’d mentioned anything about this, so i asked Him to explain. For Him, this nightmare was just so vivid, as my posts always paint pictures and tell our story, and it pained Him to read about Him leaving abruptly and permanently. Just as it was difficult for me to determine when i first awoke whether it was a nightmare or reality, reading about it gave Him pause as He struggled with the feelings those images evoked in Him.

So another great session, some more work to do, healing happening, toxins dissipating, communication flourishing.

To end, i thought i’d share a video i saw this week. What an illustration of Blue and 8, how Maximus and i describethe differences how men and women often differ in communication needs between problem-solving (logic) and empathy (feeling) (see more explanation in this post). Maximus and i both got a kick out of this!

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, communication, counseling, submissive journal | 1 Comment

Nightmare and Dreams Come True

nightmare

Last night, well this morning, i awoke with a nightmare. i dreamt i was raging at Maximus again and it was awful.

In my dream, we were at my mother’s house, having a discussion about something, and i felt that i was getting frustrated and triggered by it. i asked Maximus for a break to settle down and after a few minutes, He came into the room i was in and started the discussion again. He wouldn’t stop and i hadn’t had enough time to settle down, and i ended up yelling at Him. As soon as i did, He said, “That’s it! We’re done!” and stormed off. He got into His car and sped away. i was crushed and went outside to the edge of the woods on mom’s property and started gathering pieces of photographs of Maximus and me that were hanging on branches and blackberry brambles, appearing to have been strewn over the area.

That’s when i awoke, not spontaneously, but by an alarm. i don’t know what was going to happen next. It was a horrible way to wake up and for a moment, i wasn’t sure whether it was a nightmare or a horrible reality. But, as it was set at my mom’s house and had the photographs strewn in the woods, i deduced it was a nightmare.

While i’m feeling better about what’s going on with the raging and my emotions, i’m obviously still scared of repeating a rage.

On the flip side, Maximus and i will be getting together in just under ten days, something that was not even on the horizon just a day or two ago. i had wanted to go up to His home immediately after i’d had my last rage, to reassure myself that we were okay, but Maximus had said no. This was an awful feeling as He’d never refused me before. But, given time, i realized He was right in saying so–we needed space. Yesterday my schedule freed up and during our phone call last night, i asked Maximus if i could come up during my unexpected vacation, and He said He would love to have me come up and that we would be doing something with His kids to celebrate June birthdays and Father’s Day. Not only did He mention we’d be doing that, but that the kids had been asking about me and wanting me to join Him. He was excited that i was coming up. And this made my heart sing.

Maybe that’s why the nightmare. i’m probably worried about messing things up. But, nightmares don’t have to come true. We can wake ourselves up when they start and avoid the terror–which is exactly what i will do if ever i feel triggered in real life–wake myself up and live in the beautiful dream come true instead.

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, dreams | Leave a comment

A Breakthrough

heartbrain

Yesterday Maximus and i worked on our couples questionnaire for Fern. i had already filled out my answers and forwarded the questionnaire for Him to finish, but Maximus requested that we go over His answers over the phone and have me type them out as writing is my strength and speaking is His forte. i thought this was an excellent idea as i was pretty sure the intention of this questionnaire was that the couple complete it together.

This was an amazing process for us! We had breakthroughs when we did this and i wonder how much of the questionnaire was for Fern and how much of it was to get us to talk about things. i’m going to include the questions and our answers here and then talk about the breakthroughs.

Describe your previous individual or couples counseling experience if you have had any.

We have not had any previous couples counseling together.

gabriella had couples counseling, primarily solo, toward the end of her second marriage, as her spouse was not interested in going to counselling. He went begrudgingly twice, once with each one of the two counselors she met with, trying to find someone he would feel comfortable with. The second counselor advised me, after a few sessions and after meeting with my spouse, that i needed to consider whether this was a marriage worth continuing. i ended my counseling relationship with him then and then, eventually, the marriage.

Maximus was in individual counselling 3 times a week for three years, 1998-2002, at the end of His first marriage and after their divorce. He went to four times with first wife, but it was of no use, as the marriage was too far gone at that point. In 2003-2004, He was in couples counseling with second wife prior to their marriage. His last experience in counselling was 2011-2012 where He was in individual therapy related to the separation and divorce from His second wife.

What would you most like to get out of our work together?

gabriella would like to stop raging. she would like to restore her ability to trust in a relationship and believe that Maximus has chosen to be with her, and not question that.

Maximus would like gabriella to realize that there is a commitment in the phrase He presented to her, GOT (Growing Old Together). He would like for her to deal with her rage and jealousy issues so that we can get back on the same life path that we were previously on together.

Attraction Phase:  Describe falling in love with your partner.  What were the traits they possessed that made you decide to connect with them.

gabriella never intended to be in a Relationship again and really didn’t think she would be in love with someone again. Maximus and i had known each other for several years, had been friends in the swinging lifestyle, having met each other with our respective spouses in that arena and played together (although our spouses did not like each other at all!!). Maximus and i got together after both of us had our divorces, not to start a Relationship, but to reconnect as friends, enjoy sex with each other, and divorce support. We both really understood what it was like to be twice divorced and during conversations, discovered that we had both come to the place where we just wanted to embrace our Ethical Slut, enjoying that lifestyle, enjoying friends, cultivating fun relationships, realizing that marriage just wasn’t our thing.

We also share a common passion for endurance sports, Maximus being involved in that for most of his life, gabriella more recently. Maximus was very supportive of me.

The traits i love about Maximus that made me fall in love with Him, despite my belief that i was not ever going to be in love or in a committed relationship again were:

  • Complete openness and honesty in communication. We talk for hours and hours about our pasts, about our current feelings, at a level i had never experienced with anyone before. We call this a principle of over-communication and it has been a big part of our relationship.
  • Common interest in non-monogamy, swinging, high sex drive, adventurous sexually
  • No interest in polyamory, complete agreement and understanding of emotional monogamy
  • Amazing fitness level, supportive of my time requirements for training
  • Professional, educated, intelligent
  • Wonderful social being who lights up the room.
  • Financially stable.
  • A neat freak like me! This was a huge issue in my second marriage.
  • He’s my biggest fan. i’ve never had that before.
  • In love with life, “Life is Good!” attitude
  • A desire to travel and travel together
  • And despite me telling Him that i was not ever going to fall in love or be in a relationship again, He had the courage to tell me He had fallen in love with me and asked me to reconsider.

Maximus: There has always been a connection with gabriella. We met through mutual friends at a swinging party. Whenever we attended parties that these friends hosted, we always looked for each other, and when we were both there, at some point, we always got together–and it was always more than just sex to Me. I was unaware of what she did for an occupation and I was also unaware that at the time, that she was 70 pounds heavier than she is now.

gabriella reached out to me in 2012 when she heard that I was separated. she reached out to me as a friend, there was no sexual intention to that contact. The relationship started as we started to get to know each other. I invited her up to My home to stay during an athletic event she was participating in, as two friends; that’s when I learned about her occupation, her leadership, all these things, that she’d lost all this weight, and she was into triathlons and working out. There was a shared view of work, in other words, we are both leaders, and we had a lot of discussions about this. her business philosophy was very impressive, and she had the extra barrier of doing that in a male-dominated field. Because I have three girls, I have always championed women breaking glass ceilings.

The sexuality was spectacular. her experiences were right aligned to Mine. I was looking for a partner in this area.

I learned, after the race, her intelligence, how smart she was, and more about her. I didn’t really know a lot about her until then. I thought, she’s cool, athletic, professional, sexy as hell, and she’s been married twice, no intentions of being married again–finally I find someone who was a kindred spirit to where I am now. I cannot think of a time that I didn’t enjoy her company.

In Las Vegas, September 2012, I verbalized what had been occurring in my heart. I was being transparent and honest. We had talked enough that I thought she would understand. I don’t think I knew her as well then, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Because it’s real. A little later, I came up with GOT and that was it.

I just love gabriella and love being around her. We have so many things. It’s hard for Me not to get a little pissed off about what’s happened. We shouldn’t be having this conversation because I just love her so much and am totally committed to her.

I never thought I would fall in love again. I wasn’t opposed to it. I love the concept of having an emotional relationship. I feared I was toxic to people. Falling in love with gabriella was a wonderful thing that’s happened, the sexuality is extremely powerful, but you can’t fuck 24 hours a day, there has to be a connection with someone. Conversations are just natural and wonderful. I have no jealousy.

I enjoy talking about her. I enjoy sharing about her.

I don’t have to entertain her. she is self-reliant, self-confident, doesn’t need me to find things for her to do—this was a problem in my second marriage.

Power Struggle: (Things changed when…)

For gabriella, things changed when we went from Friends with Benefits to a committed relationship. i told Maximus i was terrified when He shared that He had fallen in love with me and wanted to have a committed relationship together, because i realized i hadn’t done any work to prepare for having a Relationship, only had worked on restoring my ego or self. But, i realized i was in love with Maximus, He was in love with me, and i thought that would conquer all. i believed, at the time, that these wonderful traits of Maximus, the fact that He was in love with me and my biggest fan, would automatically make me feel secure and trusting. i truly believed that.

i had not felt insecure about any of the other women Maximus had been with, including Ms. W, when we were FWB (friends with benefits)—not even an inkling. It wasn’t until we were in a committed relationship that i began to question His relationship with Ms. W, and particularly her, not any other women He was with sexually or socially. She has been my focus of insecurity and jealousy.

Maximus says…with the rage. There are four particular cases.

What do you imagine it is like being in an intimate relationship with you?

For gabriella, i think it’s difficult to be in an intimate relationship with me. i am impatient, headstrong, over-analytical, require a lot of communication. i think a large part of my desire to never be in another relationship was my fear of being lied to and taken advantage of. On the good side, i am 1000% committed to the person i’m with, give them a huge amount of attention, pay attention to their interests, desires, needs, wants, take time to find special things and gifts from my heart, things that often surprise them due to their specificity to them, and am their biggest fan in the world. i will defend them to the end of the world, am their champion. And i am enormously passionate, of them and sexually.

For Maximus, you have someone who will love you unconditionally, will accept you, will hold you when you cry. I will spoil the shit out of you, money is meaningless, if I want to get something I will and if it’s directed to you, so be it. A relationship with me is also a relationship with my profession and my kids and swimming (working out). At times, that 4 legged stool is balanced, and other times it is not. There is competition for my time. I try to balance that. 

What are the strengths of this relationship?

Despite some very ugly and hurtful episodes of raging from gabriella, Maximus is still here. i think that is amazing and truly says everything about His commitment to this relationship.

We are communicators, about EVERYTHING.

We are on the same page sexually, desire the same things in our relationship and in our sexual relationship.

We both have a desire to be in counseling. We actually talked about doing this four months ago, before things got to this point, and weren’t able to due to things going on in our lives.

Maximus says,

Communication

Communication

Communication

The only thing is, at times, communication can be two sided sword. I always want to be transparent. When I tell her, she gets jealous, or she misinterprets. Should I not communicate and we not have a problem? I don’t want to do that, don’t want to withhold anything. 

Is there anything else that would be important for me to know about you and/or your relationship, past experiences or your current challenges so I can be of most help to you?   (Use the back of page as needed.)

gabriella has included journal entries about this.

From Maximus,

gabriella can be very social, but her power meter goes down in that environment and she is expending personal energy. To recharge, she needs alone time for solar recharging. I am the opposite. When I’m by myself, I’m happy, but the battery is running down. Mine charges up so quickly from people.

We had a recent episode meeting another couple and I got completely energized and engrossed, fed by the social interaction, but failing to get signals and hear gabriella saying she was not connecting with them and wanted to end the meetup. she could have stabbed me in the thigh and I wouldn’t have noticed. We need to figure out a better way to communicate so I don’t repeat that. This was a raging event that I can’t blame her for.

To Me, I have the best relationship, I am proud of it. I have introduced her to the kids, and they love her. My brother’s heard nothing but great things from my kids about her. What’s not to like and love about her? I’m proud of that. I enjoy bragging about her. I love telling people about her kicking My ass, a beating, when I took her to Kona to train. I have no desire to compete with her. I enjoy time together. Few people could keep up with her. I was glad to complete the things I did. I am happy about that. I don’t have to beat her. It’s something we can do together.

I think for gabriella, there is the fat chick in this hot chick’s body that can’t believe I chose her. And she’s waiting for me to see the fat chick and leave, confirming it.

Our Breakthroughs

The breakthroughs for me were about how Maximus fell in love with me and the things that attracted Him to that. And that He felt there had always been a connection with me, even while we were still married to others and without future divorces on the horizon. It made me tear up. I was actually kind of amazed that we’d never talked in depth about this and realized how important it was. And despite everything, He is still absolutely in love with me and still my biggest fan.

For Maximus, the breakthrough came at the end of the questionnaire. When He made the comment about being fearful of over-communicating and that perhaps He should just withhold stuff as to not get Himself in trouble, i shared with Him that i need the over-communicating and that my raging was not because He had been honest and open with me, it was because i had taken that information, over-analyzed it, and distorted it into something completely different. The problem was within me, not Him–He’d done nothing wrong! Failing to communicate fully and openly would just prove my fear of things being hidden from me.

He asked why i was doing that and i explained the history of how ex-husband, OneGuy, used to hide information and when i discovered things and wanted to talk about it, he absolutely refused to do so, going to extremes by not looking at me, not acknowledging my presence, not talking to me, including not answering the phone or texts, for periods up to a week. i was constantly lied to, including lies by omission, so i had to use other means to get the truth, including body language, phone history, etc. i got very good at picking up on non-verbal cues about OneGuy’s lies.

Maximus asked when i started raging and i told Him it was after living in this environment that i started raging at OneGuy. i felt like i was being treated as a prisoner, behind bars. After time, being ignored this way, i just started to yell, scream, stomp my feet, banging things against the bars to try to get the guard’s (OneGuys) attention, just like prisoners do. i think this is human nature, and is even shown in the Zimbardo Prison Experiment in the early 70s, a psychological experiment i had even studied with fascination prior to my relationship with OneGuy. i turned into an inmate, and i’ve never dealt with that.

During this discussion i shared with Maximus that during these past two weeks, as i have recalled the raging events, the things i’ve said, i’ve come to realize that i am still raging at OneGuy. In fact, the things i have yelled and screamed about to Maximus are not even things He’s done–they are things OneGuy had done. The feelings of being taken advantage of, being trapped, ignored, lied to, used financially, are all feelings i had with OneGuy; Maximus has not done any of those things. i am screaming at Maximus for what OneGuy has done.

This last part was the big breakthrough for Maximus. He has been just devastated that He could not figure out, for the life of Him, what He had done to cause me to rage at Him–it wasn’t making any sense. All He could see was that i was bat shit crazy and coming up with things out of thin air. He couldn’t understand my rage and what He’d done wrong. It makes sense to Him now as He can see that i have been projecting my anger from my last marriage upon Him. In His gut, He had a feeling that i’d had unresolved issues from my divorce.

Maximus shared, “Today I took a huge step toward you. I feel closer to you now since our trip to Las Vegas. And I feel very good about that.” He shared that He has all the confidence in the world that i’m working on this an not going to fuck this up. This breakthrough removed a huge chunk of the toxin He’s been injected with. And i shared that it my toxin he was suffering from.

“This is what I want,” He continued. “I’m willing to take a chance.” And then He shared,

Love bears all things,

Love believes all things,

Love hopes all things,

Love endures all things.

Love never ends.

~ Corinthians 13:7-8

We are so blessed.

i could hear the improvement in Maximus’ voice, He has come back. Our phone calls ended with “I love you” again, and He’s texting and calling. We are recovering together. Patience, space, and guided communication has helped us. Maximus is my biggest fan, so incredibly committed to me and us…i cannot question His commitment. He is Maximus, not OneGuy. He loves me unconditionally. i get it. i will not fuck this up.

if he

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, communication, conflict, counseling, honesty, openess | Leave a comment

It’s No Thing

meditate

i had my second session with Fern yesterday. i was just too wiped out last night to write about it (i went immediately from that appointment to have my Mirena IUD removed and replaced with a new one as it had been five years and time to replace it. While the process to remove and replace the IUD was much, much better than the initial placement, it caused cramps and i was just worn out by early evening). I did share the bulk of this with Maximus on the phone last night, but told Him there was a mantra i was working on and would share with Him later when i had a chance to really take time with it.

This session was the first time for Fern to do some in depth investigation into me as the first session was really an introduction of me and the situation. We started with having me “check in” with her about how i was feeling, what things were going on, or if there were any stressors on the periphery that could impact me, my reactions, thought processes, or stress level. i really was feeling great. Maximus and i’d had some really great conversations, which i posted about and more that i didn’t (just general conversations), and i felt really terrific about this. The only stressors on the horizon had to do with Maximus letting me know that The Englishman was going to be coming for the weekend and that he would be busy with him and starting on a huge yard project and therefore probably would not hear from Him a lot, and He didn’t want me to read anything more into it than what it was. i shared that with her because it could be a stressor, but that i have been working on not letting space between communication throw me. Next, she wanted me to commend myself on something, give praise to myself. i shared with her the conversation about how i was feeling when Maximus continued to say, “You can’t do this again,” and how i was proud of myself for doing that and the manner in which i did it. i also praised myself for allowing myself to start to not fear my emotions. Finally, Fern asked me to set my intention for this session, which was simply to get started on the healing process with her.

For the rest of the session, Fern had questions about my relationship with OneGuy, how that started, how i felt in that relationship, etc. i shared about how we met and what was going on in my life with my father’s illness and how i imprinted upon OneGuy and his family, seeing it for something i was losing in my life and not the reality of what it was. As we talked about that and my great relationship with my father and family, my personal drive to succeed and fear of failure, Fern asked me to start naming the players of my self-talk. It was a little difficult for me at first, but i came up with three during the session: Wisdom, History, and Rescuer.

Wisdom. Wisdom is the one who is logical. This player picks up on things going on and looks at them concretely, for what they are. Wisdom doesn’t over-analyze, takes things for what they are. Wisdom looked at my relationships and said, “things aren’t safe, you need to go.” Wisdom looked at me and said, “you are broken and have lost your soul, you need to repair yourself.”

History. History is the one who analyzes and compares the current situation with the past. This player evaluates EVERYTHING and has a mind like a steel trap–nothing escapes History, no word, no nuance, no body movement, NOTHING. History believes there are signs everywhere and looks for patterns, proof of situations repeating themselves. When History hears hoof beats, History assumes there is a horse coming, never a zebra. History is very loud and persuasive.

Rescuer. Rescuer is the one who loves to help people, who is can see others’ issues extremely clearly and also see the root causes and resolutions for them. This player LOVES to be helpful, wields a sword to defend friends and family and strangers. Rescuer is very drawn to people who need help, volunteers to help people before they ask for it.

Fern asked me to speak to her as if i was each of these players individually introducing themselves to her. This was hard for me to do. i did better just talking about them and what they would say. She also wanted me to talk as if each player did not know the others, but for me, they are three friends who get each other in trouble a lot–and, as Fern noted, with the best intentions when they do, it’s not malicious. History is really loud and convincing, usually pushing Wisdom out of the way when Wisdom is quietly saying, “well wait a minute, there’s no proof that is happening this time in this situation…” History means well, does this to protect me from things that hurt in the past. The Rescuer is less of a player now than it was years ago, because Rescuer got me into situations that got me drained, hurt, and taken advantage of, so History and Wisdom won’t allow Rescuer much leeway anymore. Moreover, Rescuer can see very clearly into external situations, but cannot see internally well at all. Rescuer has the ability to make great recommendations to Wisdom and History on how to self-rescue, but Wisdom and History have repressed Rescuer.

Fern has recognized that i am introverted, that is, my source of power is internal. This doesn’t mean that i’m antisocial, quiet, shy, it means that i get recharged by alone time and drained by large groups. It doesn’t mean that i don’t like parties and group situations, it means that after i am in those situation, i take me-time to recharge. Fern wants me to use this time to meditate, empower the strengths of these three players we’ve identified so far. my concern, however, and i shared this with her, is that more often than not, alone time opens up self-talk and overanalyzing that i’ve not been able to squelch. i need to learn how to have the recharge time without the spinning.

So out of this discussion came my assignment for the week. My assignment was to come up with a mantra that i could use to help me stop the spinning, something i could repeat during mediation if I was overanalyzing or feeling triggered. She gave an example of what she uses, something a colleague shared with her, “Life is meaningless.” This phrase does not mean life is hopeless, it is meant to say, lots of things happen that don’t mean anything, there is no reason for something happening other than, it is, and not to analyze it to ascribe meaning more than that.

i want my own mantra. As i drove away after our session, i started to think about this assignment and go through other mantras and phrases i’ve heard. Maximus’ is, “Life is good,” and while a wonderful one, it’s His, not mine. “Life is meaningless” is Fern’s and, well, i actually have a problem with that one as it just seems too encompassing and risky. Then it came to me, and i’ve been rolling it around the past 24 hours, researching it a bit, and have decided to adopt it: “It’s No Thing.” Now, it doesn’t mean it’s nothing–it is something, a concrete thing, a word, a phrase, a nuance, a situation, but it’s not a thing to analyze, it’s just a thing! But also, nothing to analyze.

i’m very happy with this mantra. And interestingly enough, when i did a web search of “It’s No Thing,” i discovered a blog of the Devotees of  guru, Nithyananda Swami, and a particular post, The Biology of Enlightenment, about meditation:

Let’s look inside for just a brief minute….

How long can you keep the mind completelly [sic] silent?

If you try to stop thinking it just starts right back up again.

Words, verbalizations, thoughts, thinking and emotionalism are completely automatic.

You can’t stop it by controlling it, but you can (eventually) stop it by non-judgementally watching it.

The brain works completely by it self.

It has nothing to do with “you” doing it.

This means that you are not the doer of deeds nor the thinker of thoughts.

The mind/body is an “it”, not a “me”.

The brain’s thoughts and body’s reactions are just the result of cells doing work.

We are not the physical body/mind and its senses.

We are not the mind and it’s automatic rambling thoughts.

We are the still, conceptless, silent Awareness that is aware of them.

We are the Awareness that is watching the body/mind’s automatic functioning.

We are the Silent Formless Observer.

We are the Life/Consciousness/Awareness that is simply aware of Itself as existing.

We have mistakenly identified ourselves as being the physical mind/body.

It was an erroneous belief all along.

The real “you”, the Silent Aware Mind, is not confined to a brain, or anything else.

It’s infinitely Everything beyond physicality.

It’s the formless Allness of Existence.

It’s No-Thing, yet Infinitely Everything.

But thinking about that won’t help you realize and experience that.

Only meditation can help us get there.

How amazing is that?

i do believe in the the law of attraction, that we attract people, experiences, by negative or positive thought. These past ten days proves it to me yet again, that i have been attracting the things i need, as by fate, Fern, with her supporting history, my mantra for meditation, developed in my mind for me, aligning with a spiritual guru’s guide for meditation. i feel i am traveling in the right direction, attracting the things i need and will support me in my healing. This is not a negative path, this is a positive one, one of growth out of my past experiences.

And really, Life is Good! It has been, i’ve just let my past cloud it.

No more. It was just a thing, my past, and It’s No Thing. This love, this connection, this life with Maximus…It’s a Real Thing, a Lasting Thing, a Great Thing.

Categories: balance, BDSM relationship, communication, counseling, law of attraction, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Awakening

Quite a bit of really good things to talk about today, some revelations, considerations as i/we move forward through this process of healing.

Yesterday, during my run, i decided to change from music to the Erotic Awakening podcast. Since the blowup, i’ve really stepped back from reading/perusing/listening to podcasts/etc. about BDSM because it was too much for me. i was reeling at the potential loss of that aspect of my life, embarrassed that i’d endangered it, and i just couldn’t go there. But, i thought it was time to go back, trusting that Maximus and i are in reparation mode not separation mode, and i generally seem to pick up some kernel of insight or something to think about when i study BDSM, even if it’s merely a new position or toy or scene.

The latest EA podcast was EA255 – How to train your slave. At first, i have to admit, i was leery about listening to this one because i’m feeling like a horrible submissive right now, having acted so far outside Maximus’ expectations, but i’m so glad i listened. i picked up some very important things from Dan and dawn’s discussion, things i think will be important in adding into my/our healing process.

Behavioral Modification Training

One of the things that Maximus and i really like about Dan and dawn’s D/s relationship is that it isn’t so high protocol. dawn is allowed to look at Dan in the eyes, she is able to speak freely, she is not chained to the house, goes to college, has interests and leadership roles outside of their relationship. These are things that have been cultivated by Dan in an intentional but not strict structured way–this is very similar to our D/s relationship and has been important to us.

During their discussion about slave training, Dan was discussing how His training focused on modifying behavior for what His expectations are so that the submissive will modify her expectations of her own behavior. When He said this, dawn brought up a recent situation where she was slipping into an old behavior pattern and that Dan simply put His hand on her leg and said, “Old Pattern,” and she immediately switched back into the new behavior pattern. Dan believes dawn came to Him because she was drawn to certain characteristics that He possessed that she desired in herself, and she has adopted those behaviors and patterns through their relationship and training. In this way, the slave reflects the Master, holds herself to a higher accountability through her desire to please Him.

i think this is an important lesson. i really do want Maximus to be involved in my process of learning how not to rage. It’s not that i believe He’s the cause, He’s not, but i really do feel right in our D/s relationship, protected, cultivated, and He’s present when i have raged and therefore the best person to help me not go down that path. my concern, however, is how He can do that without it causing an escalation in the situation, as i worry that Him trying to redirect me will only piss me off and give me yet another thing to rage about! We talked about this very thing this morning–He has the same fear about this. He’s tried to redirect me, but the rage comes on so fast that there has been no time for Him to redirect me–one rage came on while He was asleep and had no way to know i was raging.

The key to this will be me working on creating new neural pathways first. There is no way for Maximus to beat the speed of a nerve impulse, which travel anywhere from 2-200 mile per hour (see this table)! Once new neural pathways are developed, it will take time for impulses to detour back to the old, obsolete pathways, allowing Maximus to see me back-tracking. And, we will work with Fern to help me learn how to accept guidance from Maximus in this situation, to not get mad at Him for helping me stay on track.

Duration of Punishment

When Dan is training a submissive, He is clear that , “I am punishing you,” and “Now punishment’s done, let’s move on because it’s over with.” This is very helpful for those who can punish themselves worse than any other person could punish them. Dan finally had to tell dawn that she was not allowed to punish His property without His permission. When punishment is done, it really is done and over.

This is a lesson for me. In each and every one of the raging episodes i have had, Maximus has instructed me, very clearly, that this was the last time this was going to happen. And i agreed, but i was so absolutely mortified by my behavior that i have punished myself internally for months, which has led to Shame-Rage. This is a cycle that i need to stop. Yes, i have behaved monstrously and i have been punished by Maximus, but i am working on modifying my behavior–punishment is over. Punishing myself serves no purpose but to increase shame. i need to stop punishing Maximus’ property and respect it.

Respecting your Dominant’s Property

The other thing Dan worked on early in their relationship was in regards to helping dawn get over her attachment to her body image. “i’m large, i’m not pretty…” Dan stopped her and asked, “Do you doubt your Master? I’m telling you you’re beautiful.” She learned to trust His words.

i really identified with this. i don’t think i have a big body image issue, although Maximus believes otherwise. i did identify with this in regards to trusting the Maximus chose me. Early on in our relationship, i felt out of my league with Him, that He was so athletic, so gorgeous, so affluent, so amazingly perfect in every way that i somehow didn’t deserve Him. In fact, i even told Him that i could not believe He chose me, that i pictured something completely different for the woman He would choose, someone tall, blonde, CEO, huge tits, etc. And when He told me i was the Best Piece of Ass (BPE) He’d ever had, i questioned Him on it, not believing Him. Well, that’s just downright disrespectful to do that to Him! When i put myself down in that way, i am essentially telling Him that He’s chosen someone who is not the things He wants, has made a bad choice, and that He’s an idiot! Why would i ever tell my Master that? Maximus is extremely intelligent, knows what He wants, and has picked me because i AM the things He wants! If He says i am beautiful, i AM beautiful! If He says i am BPE, i AM BPE! If He says we are Growing Old Together (GOT), we are certainly going to GOT. Doing anything to question or reject that is simply telling Him He’s a liar and that’s just completely disrespectful.

Shared Goals

Dan believes that the key to dawn’s training was that they had the same goals. In their case, that dawn become a stronger, more confident, more self-reliant being; and to embrace their sexual fantasies. Since their goals were aligned, they could train toward that. Training won’t be effective if their goals are not aligned.

i do believe our goals are aligned. We spent quite a bit of time this morning discussing what Maximus’ expectation is for the end result of our healing process and i agree with His vision. We received the intake forms from Fern this morning and there was an entire section the Maximus and i have to respond to about goals and expectations we have as a couple for this process. i have filled mine out and forwarded them on to Him and i look forward to seeing what He includes. This is one of our many strengths, that we do have a shared goal about resolving this and for our relationship.

i was excited to talk to Maximus about what i’d heard on the podcast. He listened to the podcast this morning and we talked afterward. It was a great discussion and we are very upfront and honest with each other about fears and concerns. It was great to have specific things to discuss, and these podcasts have been great for that throughout our venture into BDSM.

i brought up a concern this morning that i was initially going to blog about and then discuss with Maximus after He read it, but it came up during our conversation and i decided to address it then. As we have talked since the last rage, Maximus has stated over and over again that this can never happen again. i have never said anything to the contrary and fully agree. Addressing my rage has taken full focus and number one priority in my life–even over Ironman training, which is a significant part of my life. i cannot go through another rage situation, not only for what it does to Him, but whether He’s with me at the end of this or not, i cannot live with being a raging person–i simply cannot explain how horrible it is to be in the skin of a rager. i have been starting to feel invalidated when Maximus tells me yet  again that this can never happen again, as i feel like i don’t know what more i can say or do to show Him how hard i am working on fixing this–i’m feeling like He’s not hearing what i’m saying or seeing what i’m doing. In fact, i feel like i’m getting hit over and over on the head with a hammer. my ultimate concern is that at some point, my feeling of being unheard or invalidated will trigger me into yelling, “I KNOW!!!!!” at Him, and i just don’t want that to happen.

Maximus listened intently when i explained this and when i was done stated, “This is the best conversation we have had yet.” Wow, i was so relieved, as it was difficult for me to start this conversation, not wanting Him to feel attacked. Maximus volunteered that He would not say that anymore. He was repeating it because in the previous times post-rage i have assured Him that it wouldn’t happen again, yet it did. However, my actions are significantly different this time, in that i have agreed to go to counseling, am reading, blogging about it, and have admitted that i have a problem with rage. He acknowledges that this is a huge step and a huge change from before and will recognize that. i’m very glad that we had this conversation.

my next appointment with Fern is tomorrow. This evening i will go through all my posts and distill out main themes as she asked me to do. i will probably capture that in a post.

Categories: anger, balance, BDSM podcasts, BDSM relationship, communication, Dan and dawn, Erotic Awakening | 1 Comment

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