conflict

Beginning Imago

relationships

Maximus and i had our first couples counseling session with Fern. We did our session over Skype, He and i together and Fern remotely. It was a good session, setting a foundation for Imago therapy. Maximus was a bit confused, however, trying to figure out how we were supposed to use Imago to stop a rage event, but after He and i discussed it further after our session, we both understand that Imago is used to guide communication to resolve conflict prior to rage, to prevent me from having a raging event. This provides a framework for me to feel heard and for Him to not feel attacked.

Imago, developed by Harville Hendrix, PhD and his wife, Helen Lakelly Hunt, PhD, is based on theory that most conflicts are 90% triggered by past wounds and only 10% about the present situation. Furthermore, it is based upon your partner being the most ideal person to help you resolve those past wounds. Imago uses the connection between the partners to dialogue about issues rather than discussing them, in a safe space, at a time when both partners are able to fully be present for each other. The process  starts with one partner requesting an appointment to dialogue and then proceeding through a structure of Mirroring, Validation and Empathy.

Making an appointment is a crucial step in beginning this process. This requires the partner who has something to dialogue, be it an appreciation or a conflict, to request the presence of the other and to be able to articulate what the general topic would be. The other partner can either agree to discuss it right then, or request that they discuss it at a specific time later, when they are more able to commit to the process.

During mirroring, the sender articulates their thoughts, feelings, or requests using “I feel” or “I need” or “I love” statements, from their perspective, not shaming, blaming, or criticizing the receiver. The receiver listens mindfully, not interrupting, not stopping the sender. When the sender stops, the receiver starts by saying, “Let me see if I got what you’re saying…” and repeats back what the sender told them. This requires the receiver to really listen to what’s being said. The sender then can reply, “Yes, you got it,” or acknowledge things that were correct and  recommunicate things that were not picked up. When the receiver has mirrored back the sender’s communication correctly, the receiver asks, “Is there more?” The sender should ponder and add more if necesssary, and the cycle repeats, or acknowledge that they have communicated everything about this issue. At this point, if the sender is done, the receiver will then summarize what they have heard the sender communicate by starting, “So in summary, what I heard you say is…Did I get it?” The sender needs to listen and acknowledge or reiterate anything that was missed.

In the next step, validation, the receiver starts. In this step, the receiver acknowledges the sender’s perspective, but does not judge whether they believe it to be right or wrong. They are merely showing the sender respect for their reality, accepting that both partners may have different viewpoints. During validation, the receiver often starts, “That makes sense to me because…” and describing how their behavior or communication might have been received by the sender different than their intention.

The final step is empathy. Here, the receiver starts by communicating how they think their partner might be feeling. “I imagine you might be feeling….about this. Is that how you are feeling?” The sender now has a responsibility to acknowledge whether they got it or not, and if not, share what emotion they are feeling about the situation.

Imago Phrase Cues

SENDER
I would like to dialogue about . . .
Is now okay?
I feel . . .
I love . . .
I need . . .
What’s bothering me is . . .

RECEIVER
1. Mirroring
Let me see if I’ve got you.
I heard you say . . . or You said . . .
Am I getting you? or Did I get that?
Is there more about that?
Summary mirror
Let me see if I got it all . . .?
Am I getting you? Did I get all of that?
or Is that a good summary?

2. Validation
You make sense to me, and what makes sense is . . .
I can understand that . . .given that . . .
I can see how you would see it that way because sometimes I do . . .

3. Empathy

I imagine you might be feeling . . .
Is that what you’re feeling?

Maximus and i practiced this with Fern using an appreciation rather than a conflict. This allowed us to practice the steps without having to focus on a new way of communicating AND an issue. We stumbled through it. This is really a new way of communicating for us and we are not yet used to the structure of it. But, we did see the value in it. A big concern for Maximus is the empathy step, as he feels he is not an empathetic person and has difficulty assigning feelings to situations. Fern understood this and will be sharing a list of feelings with him for him to refer to in these situations. i don’t think Maximus is un-empathetic, i feel that the generation he was raised in devalued emotional/sensing/feeling response in males, seeing those as feminine qualities. i have, many times, been able to relate situations Maximus has encountered that were similar to something we are talking about, so He could put Himself back in that situation and remember how He felt at that time and apply that to our current situation and how i am feeling. This works if i know of a situation to relate it to, which isn’t always the case! i know Maximus IS empathetic, it will be a matter of developing that skill that was not valued, and i think Fern can be helpful in this.

Another thing we discussed with Fern, in context of Imago, was in regards to overcommunication. Maximus is still concerned about His overcommunication or oversharing and how i communicate better in writing and He communicates better orally. Fern shared that it is important to be able to contain ourselves when communicating, that we consider the impact of sharing every thought and thought-process rather than crafting the communication to share the thoughts more succinctly.  Maximus uses His communication to think out loud and that can be confusing for me, especially since as a writer, i present my thoughts on paper completely analyzed and edited to say exactly what i want to communicate–i don’t share the non-edited version. i take His communication as if it is edited, not a work in progress.

And it was a good thing we learned this concept and practiced Imago dialogue with Fern, because we had two instances to use this technique later that evening.

The first instance was right before dinner, about two hours after our session with Fern. Maximus and i had been discussing the session and playing with the Imago technique, summarizing our thoughts with each other. We had to cut the conversation short, however, as The Englishman came home before we were completely finished. When The Englishman wasn’t paying attention, Maximus shared with me how much He felt we were on the right track and held His hand up, wiggling His right index finger, and said, “And this [the ring i gave Him] will be back soon because of it!” The air was immediately sucked out of the room for me and i felt like i’d been sucker punched. i’d had no idea that He was not wearing the ring intentionally because of my last raging episode and worse, i’d not even noticed. i immediately excused myself to the bathroom to sit down and respond to this in private. i was horrified, sad, upset that i’d not noticed, upset that Maximus shared that when The Englishman was present (not that he’d seen it, but that i felt like i couldn’t talk to Maximus about it now and i felt set up for failure). i returned to the kitchen and motioned for Maximus to follow me. We went upstairs to the master bathroom and i asked Him if we could have a dialogue about the ring, and He agreed. We stumbled through the process and it really helped me to be able to calmly explain my feelings about it, feel heard, and for Maximus to understand my feelings, perspectives, and how that felt hurtful to me. He shared that His fingers had swollen in Las Vegas, which i knew, but that He had decided to wait to put it back on after we were back to normal, even though His fingers were no longer swollen, and do that with me ceremonially to celebrate our renewed togetherness. He had not, however, realized that i had not noticed He was not wearing it, assumed i knew He wasn’t, and it had not occurred to Him that i would feel hurt by Him not wearing it. This dialogue helped me feel heard, helped Him understand my feelings and perspectives, and make changes that benefited us both–He is wearing the ring. And no raging occurred. Raging would have most definitely occurred in the recent past with something like this.

The second instance was after we went to bed. While Maximus was on His business trip, He mentioned to me that He was planning on heading to Nordstrom to go see what He could find to get for me as a surprise. i thought this was wonderfully sweet and i was looking forward to seeing what might be in my drawer when i got to His home at the end of the week, which has been a thing that Maximus has done in the past to surprise me. He did not get a chance to go to the mall on that trip, however, but the expectation had been set up that He was planning on getting me something. There was nothing in my drawer when i arrived, but Maximus mentioned that He wanted to take me to the mall, to Nordstrom the next day and was very vague about it, so much so that i thought that was the new plan, to go together for that something for me. Unfortunately, our day got very full and the session with Fern went long, and we did not have time to go. As well, i had not brought clothes to go to the mall in and when we started out to go, Maximus felt He was peacocking me, overdressed in comparison, and then canceled our trip. i later asked what this trip was about and He said it was to go get Him some new dress slacks, which to me, seemed odd for Him to have been so vague about the trip if that was what it was about. By the time we went to bed, i was feeling that i had somehow disappointed Him with the session with Fern or how i’d dressed, and it caused Him to change His mind about getting me a gift. i ended up getting triggered about it during some rougher sex and excused myself to the bathroom to compose myself–Maximus allowed me this time to cry and breathe and return to Him to dialogue. i started by asking Him if we could dialogue about Nordstrom and then as we dialogued, i realized that my feelings were really about His overcommunicating. He actually thanked me for talking about this issue and how it made me feel; He had no idea that He was doing this, setting up my expectations for something that was on His list to do at some point, picking up a gift for me from Nordstrom. He’d not realized that His thinking out loud set me up to believe that i had a gift coming and could see how there being no gift and a canceled trip to Nordstrom would make me feel the way i did. “You’ve helped Me become a better person with this,” He shared.

It’s not intuitive yet and it’s not easy either, but we do see the merit in this process. It did help me not rage. i believe that it helps by requiring me to request a dialogue, knowing i’ll have His full attention, and that i have to give a topic of conversation, a focused conversation. Additionally, it allows me to talk without interruption and hear back from Him what He’s hearing, allowing me to clarify when we’re not on the same page. i feel heard and that my feelings are validated.

Categories: communication, conflict, counseling, Imago | Leave a comment

A Breakthrough

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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

Shame-Based Rage

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The last type of rage i experience is Shame-Based Rage. This is to a lesser extent, and related to the shame i feel after the times i have exploded in sudden abandonment rage. i get horribly embarrassed and feel humiliated by my actions, beat myself up internally. Only once has this been the sole type of rage event for me, but it is a secondary issue in episodes of Abandonment Rage.

Shame is both a feeling and a belief. It is an unpleasant feeling of being totally exposed to people’s criticism, where the person  can come to believe that they are somehow defective, broken, flawed, damaged. The instinctive reaction to a moment of shame is to flee, run away, or hide, to become invisible so no one can see your flaws. While running away makes the person feel safer, it triggers a self-defeating spiral where they feel additional shame for fleeing. However, in shame-rage, the person tries to get rid of the feeling of shame by giving it to someone else–dumping all their anger on someone else.

The time i experienced Shame-based rage was during a dinner with Maximus and The Englishman. Maximus and i had confided in The Englishman about our relationship and difficulties i was having as he had overheard a Skype episode where i had raged at Maximus in December. The Englishman started to, what i perceived, lecture me in front of Maximus about how i needed to trust Him and that He loved me, something we had worked out. The Englishman didn’t have all the information and i felt i needed to defend myself from this onslaught, ambushed. i started to feel my emotions take over and in effort to calm down and not rage, i excused myself to the car to breathe. As i was sitting in the parking lot, a man from an adjacent car started banging on the car window and yelling at me, i have no idea why. i locked my door, put my face in my lap and he went away. Soon i heard the driver’s door open. i assumed it was Maximus, so i sat up and leaned into Him for Him to hold me–however, when i opened my eyes, i saw it was The Englishman and i exploded inside, felt invaded in my safe place. i yelled for him to leave me alone, ran out of the car and ran down the street. i ran and ran and ran. i was angry at Maximus for sending him out to me–my assumption as to what happened. Eventually i settled down and decided to go back to the car, however, when i returned, Maximus and The Englishman started yelling at me from the restaurant entrance. As i didn’t want to see The Englishman again at that moment, i tossed my stilettos and beautiful necklace Maximus had purchased for me at the car and ran away again. i tried to get a cab from an auto shop to go home as i had left my cell phone in Maximus’ car, but they never called one for me. Eventually i returned to the restaurant where Maximus tracked me down in His car, frantically searching the area for me, and i got into His car only when The Englishman left to another restaurant. i was furious with Maximus, thinking He’d sent The Englishman to shame me more, accused Him of sending “a rapist to rape me some more!”, screaming at Him. At one point i ran from the car, telling Him i was going Home and we were done. After i sat and breathed for a few moments, i returned to the car and He drove me home.

At those moments, all i want to do is run. Run fast, far, away from my shame, away from the hurt, away from, what i feel, are critical eyes, embarrassed, humiliated.

9 Steps to Tame Shame-Based Rage

1. Make a strong commitment right now to gain control over shame-based rage.

I’m so there!

i, gabriella, promise today to quit raging. Specifically, i will refrain from raging against anybody, especially the people i love. If i feel personally shamed by something others say or do, i will step away until i gain control over my urge to attack. i will use no excuses to justify shaming, blaming, or treating others with contempt.

Part of this is that during discussions or when i feel overwhelming emotions starting to build, i need to let Maximus know that i need a break. There are times that i have run away without telling Him this and walk away, which prompts Him to ask me to come back and not walk away from Him–i usually return and fail to tell Him i’m needing a break, which further accelerates the situation. i have to own my commitment to communicate my needs.

2. Follow the shame-rage trail back to your own shameful thoughts and feelings.

These are not caused by what someone else says, even though it feels like it, it is based upon what is going on inside my head. No one’s blaming me, they are discussing things because they care, so don’t take this personally. This will be extremely important as i work to eliminate raging as it will require me to discuss these things with Maximus, with a counselor, and with the two of them together–i will feel intense shame, guilt, remorse, and i need to manage that without letting it take me over.

3. Discover how you temporarily get rid of your shame by raging.

My shame gets aimed at Maximus. When i had the episode with The Englishman, i blamed Maximus for allowing The Englishman to ambush me, which was not true. He never sent The Englishman out, He was stuck inside the restaurant trying to figure out what was happening and trying to pay the bill for a very expensive dinner we had ordered. He could not run out after The Englishman, He could not go out to me until He had dealt with the bill.

During episodes of abandonment rage, i call Him the things my shame was telling myself about me. i’m attacking Him as if He is my shame.

4. Reclaim your shame to break the shame-rage connection.

i have to accept that i feel shameful, that i have behaved in a manner that is causing me to feel embarrassed and humiliated in front of the person i love. i need to own it and i need to deal with the abandonment issues that trigger the raging that makes me feel ashamed.

5. Challenge the validity of the five core shame messages.

It’s time to replace negative self-talk with healing thoughts. Change:

  • “i am no good” to “i am good.”
  • “i am not good enough” to “i am good enough.”
  • “i am unlovable” to “i am loved and lovable.”
  • “i don’t belong” to “i belong.”
  • “i should not exist” to “i am.”

i need to be patient and kind to myself in this process. It is already a bit of a struggle here because as i have wounded Maximus so deeply and He feels poisoned, He has pulled back from me, which i have focused on as humiliating. This has changed our communication patterns dramatically, as text messages and phone calls have drastically reduced, bringing up feelings of loss, memories of abandonment in past relationships, and is extremely uncomfortable. it is easy for the self-talk of, “look what you’ve done” to start and i have fear in feeling emotions right now. i am so afraid of having another raging episode that i fear my feelings, wishing i could will them away, but realizing that it is natural and normal to have emotions, i just need to deal with them effectively. Healing self-talk during these times has been helpful.

6. Treat others with respect and dignity at all times.

This has a lot to due with the last paragraph. i have wounded Maximus; He is feeling pain and loss too, trying to both heal and protect Himself. i need to respect what He needs and realize that He’s not doing that to hurt me back. i respect that He is still here, that He did not end our relationship, and i give Him the benefit of the doubt. i will use the little things that return and celebrate them.

Potter-Efron suggests the Five As for ways to be respectful:

Attend: Take time to really listen and give complete attention.

Appreciate: Like what Maximus does and how He does things.

Accept: Maximus does not have to change, He’s okay how He is.

Admire: i can learn from Maximus. He does things with grace and skill. He has dealt with past abandonment which, in many ways, were so much worse than i encountered, and doesn’t resort to raging. i admire that and wish to learn from Him.

Affirm: i am so happy that Maximus is part of my life. i cannot imagine my life without Him. i want to celebrate our lives together and embrace GOT every day.

7. Give praise instead of criticism.

i will stop looking for something wrong. i will notice thoughtfulness, creativity, generosity, appearance, individuality, intelligence, and accomplishments and then give praise for it.

8. Surround yourself with people who treat you respectfully.

i do this and will continue to do this.

9. Watch for relapse signs that your shame rage is getting out of control.

i will monitor the self-talk and the feelings of anxiety that come with dealing with the aftermath of these raging incidents. When i feel them growing beyond simple emotional responses, i will work to calm myself down, breathe, not let the emotions go out of control, take a time out, ask for space, do something else to occupy my mind and feel fulfilled.

And never, never give up on myself. i can do this.

Believe that we will heal. Believe that we will be stronger together. Be patient in the process.

Categories: anger, balance, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling, fear, rage, relationship needs | 1 Comment

Abandonment Rage

abandonment

i am actually looking forward to this blog as i have learned some critical things about myself and my raging. i am encouraged by what i’ve read and am putting the information into action already. i am not a Polyanna, however, i recognize that this is not going to be easy, it will take a lot of work and guts on my part, but i have a better understanding on what’s going on and a plan to deal with it.

The major triggers of my rage are real or imagined threats of abandonment, betrayal, and neglect, known as Abandonment Rage. Most frequently, children who have grown up in unstable environments have this type of rage, however, this is not the case for me, thank goodness, as the damage from that type of abandonment is so deep-seated that it is difficult for those adults to recover from it. My fear stems from two failed marriages. This fear leads to a feeling of insecurity in my relationship with Maximus.

This insecurity is what gave me the feeling of being “terrified” when Maximus first told me He had fallen in love with me and wanted to pursue a committed relationship. However, i did jump in, which is typical in this level of insecurity. i tend to worry about how much Maximus loves me and if it’s equitible and often find it difficult to believe that He chose me and will stay. This insecurity makes me distrustful. Here are things that i identified with in the book, Rage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Explosive Anger by Ronald T. Potter-Efron, MSW, PhD:

  • i look for proof that the person who says they care about me cannot be trusted
  • Feeling neglected or ignored by the person i love seems almost intolerable to me
  • i struggle with intense feelings of jealousy (and deny it vehemently)
  • i sometimes feel cheated by my partner because i think i give them more love, care, and attention than i get back

So what made me fearful to start with?

Unhealthy adult relationships can strongly affect you. Certainly trying to love someone who really does lie, cheat, and steal is a formula for insecurity. Your entire relationship history, not just your family of origin, molds how you feel about relationship bonds.

This is the clincher for me. Let me describe my two marriages and how my unresolved issues are affecting my relationship with Maximus today.

PiperC and i were married for 11 years. We never fought–NEVER. We met at work, held the same position for a long time, which worked well. However, i began to promote up the ranks and he began to despise the distances in our ranks and the positional knowledge that gave me. He became professionally jealous and this eventually began to poison our relationship. He began disrespectful and hostile and our interpersonal and sexual relationship began to fail. i ended up having an affair with a woman toward the end of our marriage, desiring emotional and sexual fulfillment. Things declined to the point where he began to encourage me to apply for management positions in other states and made it clear that he would not follow me. i started to make an exit strategy which accelerated after an incident where he nearly accidentally injured me but showed no remorse–this lead me to dissolve the relationship immediately. (As a note, as i write that, i see how my abandonment rage is so very similar to this and how i am treating Maximus how i was treated then…i certainly need to change)

i felt absolutely betrayed by PiperC, who promised to love and cherish and stick by me for better and worse–and when i became better at my job, he despised me.

i was only legally divorced from PiperC one month when i met OneGuy, although we had been separated for four months. The lack of emotional and sexual intimacy for the last years of our marriage had left me severely wanting and i was anxious to get back into dating even though friends and family recommended i wait to heal and recover. OneGuy and i became very serious extremely quickly, and ended up moving into my new house i purchased just six months after we started dating and married a year later.

The relationship turned horrible the moment we moved in together with his two teenage children. OneGuy had assured me equal status as an adult in the household, able to be involved with decisions of the family, which did not hold true. He undermined my decisions, belittled me in front of them. He believed household chores were child abuse, which he did not divulge before we moved in together, despite many discussions about home life, and the house was constantly a state of hovel, which i could not tolerate and ended up constantly cleaning. i came home to days of dishes and rotting food, clothing, animal filth, and my beautiful home i purchased was being destroyed. Unfortunately, in my desire not to fail at another relationship, i thought things would change.

Financial problems plagued the relationship as well. OneGuy was embarrassed that we were engaged without a ring, but he didn’t have liquid cash to buy one. He asked if he could borrow money from me to buy the ring and that he would pay me back once he sold an ATV. i had money from the sale of a house that i was going to use to buy household items we’d need for a brand new house, so i loaned that to him. However, when he sold the ATV, he used the money to pay a huge credit card debt i had no idea he had instead of paying me back. It was impossible to get the money back now that it was paid to a credit card company and i was out.

He did give me money to contribute to a down payment, which i had refused to accept initially. However, i did not realize until we did taxes the first year after we were married that he had sold stocks for this money but did not pay taxes incurred. We were hit with a HUGE tax burden which he did not have money to pay. i had finally recouped money i lost from the ring fiasco and ended up using that and credit to pay the tax debt. i thought we were done with taxes until we received a letter from the IRS that we were not getting the family tax rebate because it was applied to an enormous back tax debt of OneGuy’s from 2001. He insisted that he did not owe it and that it was from an error his ex-wife made and had been refusing to pay it. After searching through boxes and boxes of unfiled paperwork, i found letter after letter after letter, many unopened, from the IRS about this debt. Now that we were married, the IRS was taking my money to pay his ginormous debt that was growing exponentially from late fees and compounding interest. He refused to do anything about it.

On Christmas, his ex-wife called asking to be paid out for her divorce settlement early. He had promised me that he had no outstanding debt from that divorce and that there were no future payments from retirement accounts that had to be dispersed to her. He had lied. The stocks that he had sold to give me the down payment were legally hers through the divorce agreement. So what he had done was basically given a piece of my home equity to her. He was able to disuade her from taking that money now, due to the economy, not telling her what he’d done, and she agreed to wait. i was horrified to think i was at risk of losing my house to a decision i had no part of and no idea about.

During all of this, i tried to talk with OneGuy about these issues. He refused to discuss them, told me they were none of my business. His tactic was to stop talking to me and ignore me, for days and days, acting as if i was not in the house. He would not reply to text messages, not answer the phone. After a while he would talk to me, but never about the issues–they were swept under the carpet. Eventually, i began to rage when this happened–this is when my raging started. i could not stand being ignored for days and i was devastated at what was happening to me in my own home.

We did start swinging during this relationship, which was, ironically, the strongest part of our relationship together. However, during a trip to the beach, OneGuy gave me his phone to look up a website and i found it was logged on to an adult dating site called Ashley Madison, which is site designed for married people to meet others to have discreet affairs with. i didn’t ask him about it, but i did create a false profile on the site which he immediately contacted (i did not contact him first) and after some chatting, arrangements were made to meet. i never met him, i canceled at the last minute after he left the house to meet this make-believe person, realizing that he was having affairs. i was very upset that he was having affairs as we were very actively involved in swinging together and he was having sex with lots of women with my full knowledge and consent–why did he need to cheat?!? i had intention to confront him about this but the next issue came up immediately and i didn’t even need to bring the infidelity up.

The final straw was a horrible undermining of me in front of his son, a horrible lie that could never be undone, where he said that i hated his son in front of him. i adored his children with all my heart and was leveled by how he so intentionally destroyed my credibility with them by doing that–and i knew i’d never get it back. He had torpedoed me. i divorced him immediately. The financial disasters continued as he demanded more money from me, knowing it was cheaper for me to pay him than to fight it in court. i also gave him the ring, much to the dismay of my family, as i just could not stand to see it anymore, knowing it’s financial history.

i was destroyed after this marriage, as i noted in my previous blog post. i felt so betrayed, unloved, abandoned, lied to. i just willed myself to living a life on my own and never having to deal with all this risk again. i never dealt with these feelings.

So, am i doomed to be insecure and fearful forever? Thankfully, no. Research has shown that people can and do change attachment patterns and no matter how insecure i feel today, there is reason to hope that i can learn to feel safer within my relationship over time. But i will have to be patient as it is a gradual process and requires diligence.

Seven Steps to Prevent Abandonment Rage

1. Learn everything you can about with whom, when, how, and why you turn your fear of abandonment into rage.

With whom do i rage? Maximus

When do i rage? i am most typically triggered by some sort of mention or text from Ms. W. Other triggers include scheduling struggles, whether scheduling time to see each other or to talk.

How do i rage? i say very hurtful things, things that are not true, are spiteful and inflammatory. i yell, stomp, swear, flee, return and accost verbally.

Why do i rage? i rage because i have a perceived threat that Maximus is in love with Ms. W and that He will leave me for her. i fear that she is trying to push me out and that she will win Maximus over, leaving me without the love of my life.

2. Commit to quit raging, no matter how jealous, empty, lonely, hurt, insecure, or unsafe you feel.

At the beginning of our relationship, i shared with Maximus the trust issues i have stemming from my marriage to OneGuy. In effort to be completely transparent and show me that He was committed and fully honest with me, He gave me the passwords to His email and lifestyle dating accounts, as well as His iPhone, and instructed me to feel  free to access any of these if ever i felt insecure. He felt so strongly about this that He had this included in our BDSM contract. The problem was, this was like crack cocaine to me. i got completely obsessed with my ability to check His email, phone, accounts for signs that He was being dishonest. At one point, He got a security warning from His email service that another computer was logged in to His account and He changed His password. He told me about this, thinking that He’d been hacked, not even imagining that it was me who was logged on, and i confessed that it was me. Not intentionally, He did not give me His new password, and i didn’t ask, as i was mortified about the situation.

Initially, i was beside myself about not being able to check His email, but after a few days, i realized how freeing it was to not feel compelled to have to check it. i later told Maximus about this and asked that He not give me the password, and He complied with that. When it came time to renew our contract, however, i refused to remove this clause and asked for His password, which i didn’t get. i demanded He give me this password during my last rage.

The iPhone has had a similar effect on me. Maximus gave me free access to it, which i eventually told Him i felt would be better that i requested to see His phone rather than just picking it up and going through it behind His back. He said it wasn’t necessary. But again, this became obsessive for me. i find myself staring at His phone, wondering what’s in there. i have gone through His phone and i hate myself for doing it after i’ve done it.

my preference is to not have carte blanche access to His email and phone. It’s not necessary and just increases my level of insecurity and then shame for going through them looking for prove that He loves only me. Maximus, please do not give me your email password. i will work extremely hard to fight the urge to go through His phone. It is a habit that brings me shame and i am going to break this habit. i am requesting that we remove this clause from our BDSM contract as well.

You will need all your courage, commitment, and conviction to get through these moments. You will find them occurring frequently when you try to quit raging about abandonment issues…you can keep screaming, yelling, whining, and badgering your partner until he or she really does leave you, or you can make and keep a commitment to quit raging, no matter how unsafe you feel.

i recognize that there will be triggers sooner or later (probably sooner) that will trigger doubts, but i must keep my promise not to explode.

3. Make your main goal to exchange the sense of distrust that fuels abandonment rages with a willingness to trust.

When i feel fearful or overanalytical, i need to stop the self-talk that starts the spinning inside my head. This self-talk perpetuates itself and grows to include other minor things as proof until i have a tornado of rage from often inconsequential things. The author suggests substituting these thoughts when negative self-talk and analyzing begins:

  • Today i choose to trust Maximus.
  • From now on, i’m going to trust Maximus.
  • i’ll give Maximus the benefit of the doubt.
  • i want to be more trusting. i can be more trusting. i will be more trusting.
  • i am more trusting now than i used to be and i will continue to develop trust.
  • my world is safer than it used to be. i’ve just got to accept that fact.
  • Maximus loves me and wants to stay with me.

And for goodness sakes, hasn’t He proved that?

4. To gain greater ability to trust in the present, focus upon people whom you have been able to trust in the past.

My family has always be a source of trust for me. However, i am not comfortable in sharing this information with them. Instead, i will use the lifetime of trust as a model of how i do have people who i can trust and Maximus is part of that family.

5. Replace jealous, suspicious, and distrusting words and actions with trusting ones.

First, i am making a promise, a commitment, that i will change my words and behaviors, stop the destructive self-talk and searching for proof of dishonesty RIGHT NOW.

Second, i will give Maximus the benefit of the doubt that He deserves. No more accusations or demands for proof that He loves me.

Third, i will catch myself starting the self-doubt and stop the paranoia.

Fourth, i will develop a trusting vocabulary of “i trust You” and “i can depend on You.”

Fifth, i will act in a manner of a trusting person! even if it doesn’t feel natural.

6. Learn how to accept reassurance when you need reminders that you are loved and wanted.

Believe Maximus when He tells you that He loves you, that you are the BPE (Best Piece of Ass), and trust that GOT means a lifetime commitment. i will breathe these things in deeply and hold them in my heart. i will believe that i am loved, appreciated, and accepted.

7. Challenge yourself to let go of especially painful feelings of neglect, abandonment, rejection, or betrayal from the past.

Maximus is NOT PiperC or OneGuy. They are out of your life, stop holding Maxiums accountable for their actions. i will leave the past in the past and believe that i am not doomed to repeat past pains. i will forgive PiperC and OneGuy and stop holding the grudges about past betrayals.

i will continue to journal about my progress, pitfalls, and wins.

i will go to therapy to help me deal with my past demons and learn techniques to keep my commitment of trust.

Categories: anger, balance, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling, divorce, rage | Leave a comment

Rage

rage

So i’m working hard on trying to figure this all out. It’s beyond important to me. i realize it’s going to take at least a week before i can see a counselor, especially due to the holiday, and i really need to start working on this now.

i started searching the internet on anger after divorce, anger in new relationships after divorce, anger management, and even went through a free on-line anger management course. But while they had great information, they all focused on telling yourself to quit being angry, to take a time out, etc., and honestly, if i could have done that, i would have! i told myself to do that, Maximus told me to do that, i tried to do that, i did it and instantly came back into it after leaving the room, over and over.

i went to Amazon.com to find books i could read on my Kindle. And i found a book that seemed interesting and had great reviews by counselors, Rage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Explosive Behavior by Ronald T. Potter-Efron, MSW. PhD. For the first time, something is describing what i’m feeling. And it describes how telling yourself or having someone tell you to take a time out doesn’t work with raging.

Potter-Efron describes six types of rage, two of which are how quickly they develop, sudden or seething, and four that are reactions to threats, survival, impotent, shame, and abandonment. Things that make me more likely to rage are:

  • i have a history of emotional trauma that has left me feeling scared, vulnerable, and defensive.
  • i react very strongly to situations in which i feel abandoned, rejected, or betrayed.

My raging is sudden. Something triggers me and i fly into a rage.

Seven Steps to Stop Sudden Raging

  1. Be hopeful. Believe that you can learn how to stop raging. Do not give up on yourself.
  2. Make a commitment to work hard and long to contain your rage. No more denial, i have a big problem called rage. i admit it, i accept it and i need to do something right now about it. my goal is to stop every one of them. i will learn everything i can about  when, how, why, where, and with whom i rage. i can’t expect perfection but i can expect to make fairly rapid progress if i commit work on this.
  3. Take the time to identify your rage patterns.
  4. Look at past near-rage episodes to learn more about how i sometimes prevent myself from raging.
  5. Look at partial-rage episodes to learn more about how i stayed at least somewhat in control even during rage.
  6. Make a safety plan to lessen my risk, such as gathering a support system, getting anger management training. Now, here the author suggests medication therapy and the common problem of reluctance of people in taking medications. He believes many people do indeed have chemical imbalances in their brains that cause these…i would believe this for myself if i had this problem consistently throughout my life or in all areas of my life, but i don’t. i am choosing not to chemically alter myself.
  7. Work on long-term issues to make permanent changes in your sense of self and the world so that you feel secure with others good about yourself, sane, and healthy.

i also have a component of shame-based rage in that i am super-sensitive to criticism. i always have been sensitive to criticism and am my own worst critic as well. Generally, i have already beat myself up to a bloody pulp over something, so having someone else bring it up again is very difficult for me. i can usually deal with this without raging, due to a quote from my mom that has helped me my entire life:

“Criticism is proof that somebody cares.”

But i had a fairly recent episode with The Englishman and Maximus that dealt exclusively with shame-based rage, which i will address in another post specifically about this topic for me.

The largest component of my rage is Abandonment Rage due to feeling insecure in my relationship. This will be an area of intense study and work for me. i know i have this difficulty, i’ve shared it with Maximus, i need to learn how to manage it and trust Him.

i know i’ve posted a lot. It’s for me, not for anyone else. i need to write this down and i wish to be as transparent and bare with Maximus about my issues, what i’m learning, and what i’m doing about it. i am certain these are too painful for Him to read right now and maybe will be too painful for Him to ever read, but at least He has that option.

i can do this. Thank You for believing in me. You have no idea how much staying with me is helping.

Categories: anger, balance, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling | Leave a comment

On the Couch

onthecouch

i’m feeling better today, still reeling, but not as emotional. Maximus and i have touched base and i’ve been working on finding counselors. The priorities for counselors include, kink-friendly, deal with anger management, and have ability or willingness to do couples counseling via Skype due to our distance relationship. i would prefer to find a counselor who works with my medial insurance program, but it is less of a priority.

The counselor who was interested in helping us in January wrote back that she would like to work with us, so i am waiting for her intake forms to fill out. my hope is that i can work with her one-on-one immediately and we can include Maximus in by Skype when He’s not in town, and include Him in the office when He is.

i have been thinking about things and want to write these things down to capture them to bring to the counselor:

  • i need to figure out how not to let things trigger me into these angry outbursts. Why does this happen? Why can’t i stop them? Even at the time i know i shouldn’t do it but i cannot seem to stop it or want to stop it. i am horrified to realize there seems to be an endorphin rush in this while it’s happening, that i feel a sense of release during this and gives me a momentary flush of relief, but the reality afterward is horrendous. It’s like i’m expelling a monster, but i’ve aimed it at the person i love the most.
  • This only occurs in my relationship with Maximus…it’s not occurring in any other part of my life, not professionally, not athletically, not socially, not with my family. But it’s not Maximus, it’s something inside me.
  • i need to resolve the stuff from my second marriage that hurt me so badly. Maximus is not OneGuy, yet i am attacking Him for all the insecurities i have from that marriage. My marriage to OneGuy was full of mistruths, secrets, financial dishonesty, emotional abuse–Maximus has done none of these things, yet i treat Him as if He has. How do i get past this?

After my divorce, i realized i had lost my soul, my self. i spent a great deal of time learning to love myself again. i went to group sessions, sacred spirituality, tantra events, all of which helped me recover my soul. i was in a great place! i came to a place where i was happy and joyful and totally recovered, about me. i had come to a conclusion, however, that i was done with relationships and was best to be in love with me and have a strong marriage to myself. i never expected Maximus.

When Maximus told me He had fallen in love with me and asked what i thought, i replied, “i’m terrified.” i told Him i was scared of having a relationship other than with myself, that i had never expected to be in love with someone else again. But i did love Him, and i told Him that. my deepest fear was that i hadn’t done anything to prepare myself for someone else, but i thought i’d be ok–i’m so clearly not.

  • i want to be able to trust again.
  • my period started today. i don’t want to think that these outbursts are hormonally related, i’ve always thought that was a crutch. Maybe i need to consider that. Is this age? my early 20s were fraught with dysmenorrhea and migraines, controlled by birth control pills to manage hormones.
  • i DON’T WANT TO BE MEDICATED.
  • Please tell me this is not who i am. i can’t be this way any more. It’s destroying me. i’ve lost all confidence in myself. i’m destroying my relationship with Maximus.

i’ll have more to add. These are just things right now. i want to be prepared when i meet the counselor. i so want this to stop.

 

 

Categories: anger, balance, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling, fear | Leave a comment

Blown It

blown it

i’ve blown it. Ruined a wonderful thing. Hurt the person i love the most in the most horrible, unimaginable way.

It’s been three days of hell.

i’m horrified, sick, devastated, begging for mercy, hoping we will somehow make it through this.

 

And i’m so scared. i’ve never been so scared.

 

i exploded at Maximus. And i mean yelled and screamed and stomped and gesticulated. i used every obscenity in my vocabulary, accused Him of things, berated Him, belittled Him. And i couldn’t stop. He tried to get me to stop and i wouldn’t. Deep down, part of me wanted Him to engage me, to scream back at me–but He didn’t.

Finally a break, a nap without napping, and i started again. A bath, please together, i ask. He does, i am upset again because He’s exhausted, head back, eyes closed and all i want is for Him to look at me. i leave the tub and go to bed. He follows eventually and i wrap His arms around me for fitful sleep.

The morning, He awakes, He throws a pillow over His head and i’m offended, i take it personally. i go downstairs, make coffee, sit on the couch and wait for Him to join me, thinking He will, but He doesn’t. He’s upset at me and i want Him to sit with me. i get angry again and demand that He take me to the airport NOW! hours and hours early.

i grab my bags, fight with the car over and over, in and out of the car, yelling and kicking. Third try and we’re on the road. i hissed and verbally bashed Him all the way there. i jumped out at the curb, grabbed my bags and stormed into the airport with out looking back.

i hear my name as i walk to the ticketing agent and turn to find Maximus. i think He’s come to beg me to stay. “you forgot your phone,” as He reaches it out to me. i hiss at Him, grab it from His hand and walk away. And He’s gone.

An angry email later. Angry phone calls. From me. i’m awful. We go over my email and i start to calm down. We talk about counseling. He wants to do it separately, i need it together. We make it through the list and He brings up something from the trip and i’m instantly upset again because He’s accusing me of not apologizing for it, which i did and we’d discussed it at length while we were on the trip. The phone goes dead in the middle of a sentence–He’s hung up on me.

i hurt so bad. i lay in bed, hear nothing from Him. i need to stop this, it’s killing us. i text Him goodnight, like i always do.

and nothing

A fitful night, no sleep. i don’t know if we are together or not. i’ve exploded so many times, said so many things.

i text Him good morning, like i always do.

and nothing

Anguish all day. All i want is to hear from Him. i’m so frustrated. And i’m worried about Him. i send a text about a concern knowing that while i mean well, it’s going to offend Him. i tell Him that in the message.

i call.

no answer.

A text that He’s busy working.

i can’t accept it. i call again. He always has time for me. Please answer. i need to tell You i want to fix this. i’m so hurt that You didn’t respond to goodnight and good morning. i miss you and i’m so so scared.

He demands i stop interrupting Him and His work. i’ve called the cell and house phone over and over. Please pick up i need to tell you i’m sorry and i want to stop this.

i stop. He’s given me a time to call me and it’s hours away.

 

He’s so angry and i deserve that. i’ve hurt Him so badly. i don’t know if He will ever like me again. i can tell He’s not sure. He tells me my words are poison and have damaged Him and He can’t see through this black storm of mine that i’ve surrounded Him with.

i’m so scared. i’m being calm. i need this cycle to stop. Please stop, Maximus, please help me, i’m begging you.

i’ve contacted the counselor from January, the one who would do Skype sessions with us. Maximus had initially been interested but then was unsure about doing it through Skype and it fell apart. i thought we’d be ok without it. We weren’t. i wasn’t.

i need to start this soon. i need to have Him there with me when we do this. i need to have Him see me get this help. i need to have Him tell the counselor the story of how i acted. i need to have Him see me listen to the counselor, hear the words they will say, so He hears it for Himself, not biased through me in my report to Him.

i know He does not understand that, He doesn’t want to go with me, wants me to go alone. Doesn’t He see that i need to have Him watch this, i need to be stripped down in front of Him, i need Him to see my hurt.

and i need Him to see how badly i want to repair me to repair our relationship, that i’ll do anything for that.

i do love Him. He did say He loved me too. Thank god for that and thank god for Him.

This will not be easy or quick. I’m terrified about the time it will take, not because i don’t think i have the time to do it, but that i will be impatient that it doesn’t heal as fast as i want it to. i want it to be healed now, tomorrow, this week so we can move on, but i know that won’t happen.

i can’t lose faith, i can’t lose patience

i need to heal whatever is broken in me, and i have an idea what that is.

i can’t lose Him because of that hurt.

 

Please believe in me.

 

Categories: anger, bat shit crazy, BDSM relationship, conflict, counseling | Leave a comment

Reflection

Maximus asked if i would write about my observations/reflections of His past week i spent with Him. i found this to be a very profound request. While i want this to be a purely objective view, it cannot be, as the events of the past week touched me as well, and my love for Maximus makes me empathetic to anything that affects Him, so my observations are tainted with subjectivity.

Friday, the supposed End of the World, as the Mayan Calendar expired, was the date for the mediation step in the divorce process between Maximus and JB. i have NEVER been witness to such a contentious divorce process in my life–the stuff movies like The War of the Roses and Intolerable Cruelty have been modeled after. Let me correct that statement, because in those movies, BOTH parties were cruel and nasty, intentionally damaging each other, but this process dealt with constant mudslinging and attacks from JB. It took over a year to get to the mediation hearing. My observation is limited only to the past ten months–an overdue gestation period for certain. While it is true that my perspective is tainted by the fact that i never did like JB, am in love with Maximus, and had only the capability to observe from the vantage point of being His supporter, i honestly did not see Him ever participate in any nastiness or retaliation. He was heartbroken, devastated that this woman He loved and adored turned into someone He could not recognize and attacked Him with the sole intent to ruin Him emotionally and financially.

Maximus never let Himself rest during this period. He will deny this. His mind was always working on the most recent subpoena or demand. He was on military ready-reserve, simultaneously proactive and reactive. i’ve watched as this process has drained Him, watched Him pace, watched Him work to compartmentalize His life to complete everything to its usual state of perfection, despite of it all. i’ve listened to Him intently and patiently as He explained what was happening, often just gladly being a springboard for Him to think aloud. And my heart bled. There were a couple of times the last two months that i thought something horribly tragic had occurred, as He would be ashen, crestfallen, withdrawn. Most of the time though, He was manic, moving, cleaning, attacking work, workouts, legal demands with the fury and precision of a ninja fighting a band of simultaneous attackers.

He was ninja Maximus this week, most of the time. And i was so scared for Him because of it–i worried about the crash, the point of exhaustion that i knew would come, that He denied was inevitable. i made plans to come up for the week to help Him, not to help Him with the attack, but to take care of all the other things in His life, the house, cooking, errands, etc. so He could focus and the things He needed to do for mediation. He didn’t need the added stress of everyday things and i also feared He’d not eat if food didn’t magically appear in front of Him.

The unfortunate thing was, that right before i was set to come up, i attacked Him verbally, emotionally, mentally. He had no fight left. It was awful and caused Him to pull back from me, to protect Himself, to keep His focus on the task at hand. i didn’t know if i should proceed with my plan to come up, afraid i was now a distraction rather than an asset, but during a conversation it was apparent that He thought i was still coming up, so after thought, i decided to continue with the plan. He did, however, ask The Englishman to stay because He really didn’t know what to expect from me. i appreciate that He did that, truly.

We fucked when i got there. It was a release for us both, for many different reasons, but did not dissipate the tension we both felt. Neither of us wanted to deal with our interpersonal tension this week and prior to me coming up, had agreed to table any discussion about it until after mediation. We went to the pool and swam, but for the first time since i’ve known Him, Maximus did not finish His planned workout. His attorney was panicking as JB’s attorney had demanded more information; His attorney was behind due to another trial that had gone over two days and prevented her from preparing everything for Maximus’ case. Maximus had given His attorney notice that He’d be unavailable for an hour for His swim, had a set distance planned, but He was distracted, i could tell, and i found Him standing in the end of the pool about 40 minutes into the workout. i asked Him if He was ok, if He was done and He told me He was fine and had another 200 laps to go–200 laps?!? How could He have that many left? i realized He could not even compute His workout, which for an All-American, nationally ranked master swimmer, was a sure sign of struggle. i found Him standing in the end of the pool again five minutes later and He was done.

A bevy of panicked emails awaited Him. He spent the afternoon sending information to His attorney, working to calm her down. He came out of His office occasionally to update us on the situation, to think aloud. i went in occasionally to check on Him, give Him a hug or a kiss, and followed any request He had, including blowjobs, sex, exposing my body, whatever He wanted as a stress relief. The Englishman and i made dinner, spent a lot of time talking and bonding. Maximus ate and returned to His work for the rest of the evening. The Englishman and i ended up fucking after dinner, much to Maximus’ delight, as He’d been trying to orchestrate this through the afternoon and dinner–He enjoys hearing me with others, and it seemed to provide some relief for Him to hear us fucking. i came down every once and a while so He could touch, taste, fuck me, which He delighted in.

The Englishman was “knackered” and passed out! i returned downstairs because i could hear Maximus working on dishes we’d abandoned, and i absolutely did not want Him working on household things whatsoever. He sat on the couch with a bourbon and we retired upstairs when i was done. We fucked and for the first time, due to sex talk we were having about denial as a component of D/s, i began to deny my own orgasm as a denial to Him, pushed Him away, bit His fingers hard, and we had some sex fuck-fighting, which He kept saying was so hot! as we were doing it. When we were done and laying there, getting ready to go to sleep, i needed to ask Him a question about a text i’d read on His phone…seriously, what the hell is wrong with me?!?  i told Him all i needed was an answer to the context of the text and that i didn’t want to discuss the whole jealousy mess, but it ended up being a two and a half hour conversation. i told Him many times that i wanted Him to stop and table this so He could sleep, but He insisted that He needed to get stuff out and was NOT going to stop and go to sleep. It turned out to be one of the most important conversations of our relationship (see The Gift of Gabbing).

The next morning Maximus left early to go swim with Swim Guy, one of His best friends. i had decided to talk with The Englishman, per Maximus’ recommendation, to get some perspective about His relationship with Ms. W and i also wanted to clear the air about my meltdown that he’d overheard. We walked for hours in the rain and it helped me beyond belief. When we returned, Maximus came out of the office and updated us on the morning’s events–JB’s attorney had sent over her demands–including over a million dollar settlement request! The demands were unbelievable, incomprehensible. His attorney was spiraling. i was beyond terrified. i listened as he calmly listed everything, breaking down inside, not wanting to show Him i was scared. i could see He was in a state of disbelief, shaking His head and chuckling at the list. When He went back into His office, i took laundry upstairs to His bedroom, sat on the bed, and cried. i realized i needed to be strong for Him and worried when His breaking point would be.

i headed out to get groceries. i didn’t want to cook, but i needed to get out and allow myself time to get the worry out and recompose myself away from Him. Thank god i did, for when i returned, Maximus greeted me in a state of pallor, nearly disoriented, to the point of almost babbling. i went outside in the rain with Him as He filled bird feeders and talked incessantly, all over the board, difficult to follow, obviously thinking aloud. i let myself be His tree trunk, sounding board, safe room. He had to go to His attorney’s office to strategize–we went into His office, shut the door, He sat on a leather ottoman and He brought out His cock. i pushed Him back onto the couch, straddled Him, fucked Him, squirted all down His legs and puddled the floor, giving myself to pleasuring Him and let Him lay there and be pleased. It was necessary, He needed someone to take care of Him, He needed a release, He needed something to give Him energy and restore His mind and soul. He regained His strength, resolve, and color by the time He left.

He returned four and a half hours later. He described His attorney’s panic and His calm. She was screaming and yelling and He finally told her to calm down, that they had everything and that He was the most well-prepared client she’d ever had. It shook her, she realized He was right, and she apologized. He discussed their strategy and feeling that mediation was going to fail and they’d end up in court. Maximus ate and then decided to show The Englishman about spanking, flogging, and cropping. The Englishman was in utter disbelief that i was submissive, so Maximus wanted to share how, in fact, i was. Maximus dressed me in heels and a santa claus hat, laid me over the dining table and they both worked on me. There was ice, nipple clamps, photographs taken, and it was wonderful. He delighted in sharing this with The Englishman. It was a short session, as Maximus had more work to complete, and i went up with The Englishman to fuck Him as He was very aroused.

The Englishman passed out and i returned downstairs to clean up after our dinner. Maximus concluded His work and we went upstairs to go to bed. i was fully expecting to go to bed and sleep as He had His mediation in the morning and hadn’t slept well all week. Maximus rolled over and we made love. i curled into His arm afterward and He rubbed my shoulder and yawned, “Ok, time to sleep,” and two minutes later became completely animated and chatty. He talked for hours, literally hours all about past relationships. i couldn’t get Him to stop, He didn’t want to, and i learned immense amounts about Him–all important, wonderful stuff. i don’t know where this came from, but He needed a catharsis, i think. He finally rolled over and fucked me and we went to sleep.

Mediation morning, He left early to swim with Swim Guy. He told me He’d text me to update me during the day and i told Him i would not be texting Him, only responding to His texts, because i didn’t want to bother Him at all. The Englishman left and i busied myself with projects and swim workout. i heard from Him right before the start and after the mediator left the first time, and learned He felt good about her, but then nothing the rest of the afternoon. By 5:30PM, i started to think they might possibly be getting close to a deal since if things were at a standstill, they would have certainly concluded the mediation as it was the Friday before Christmas. i put on music, specifically, Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which for some reason is a song i need sometimes to flush out all thoughts and chill. i set it on repeat, turned up the volume, walked around the house singing the words, trying to stop worrying. Halfway through the first repeat, i got a text from Maximus, “Done. Writing it up !!!” i burst into tears of relief. i had been so worried that He had another month of this terrorism ahead. i was profoundly relieved that this chapter of His life was closing and He’d be finally able to move on and live His life without the daily assault. And i realized that i had never really known Him without this–not known Him without being occupied with details of a drawn-out divorce and the trauma that comes with it.

i worried about what to do next. i knew that while this was momentous, it really wasn’t cause for high celebration. i’ve been divorced twice and settling, signing, finalizing a divorce, while a relief, marks the true end of a marriage, something you entered into full of joy and lifelong expectation. i was concerned about what i should wear, what music to play, the mood. And i also thought i shouldn’t be there. my concern was that i’d only been in Maximus’ life for several months and He had family and friends who have been in His life for years, supported Him, and needed to be able to show their support now. He gets energy from people, and everyone knows that. He was going to feel pressure that i was there, feeling He needed to come home instead of sharing this moment with those important people who need to share in this with Him–particularly His kids, who needed closure too. i felt like i was robbing them of His time. He called me to tell me all about His day and the mediation process and confirmed what i had been thinking, that everyone wanted Him to come over. His son, in fact, wanted the two of them to fly to Las Vegas that night. i told Him that He should do that, honestly. He said, no, that while He was very tempted, it wasn’t the right thing. He was, however, going to go to one of His daughters’ homes and share a celebratory drink with her and another daughter and their families–which i encouraged. i did share that i didn’t want to prevent Him from doing what He wanted to do, that i knew people knew He got energy from people and that He’d worry everyone by telling them He was just going to go home.

He returned home much quicker than i expected. i asked Him what He wanted, what He needed, if the music was appropriate…and He said, “you’re overthinking this, don’t overthink this.” But, honestly, i was waiting for the crash. He got a bottle of champagne and we sat on the couch as He explained what had happened. JB went ballistic on the mediator, made a fool out of herself, screamed and yelled, and lost the case. Maximus was calm, cool, collected, organized. The mediator spent all day with JB, Maximus spent the day on work stuff. We toasted the closing of a chapter. He went upstairs for something and i noticed that He stopped in the middle of the stairs and looked around for a moment before continuing. i figured it was finally sinking in that He’d not lost His home, that this was still His.

And then i had a toast. i toasted that we have had a wonderful time together so far, it really was wonderful, and that i realized that we had never been together without the divorce process, and i was looking forward to how much more wonderful it will be without that being a distraction. Maximus’ face screwed up, He covered His face, and a sob broke through His fingers that He was going to get emotional. And i began to cry. He was finally able to be emotional about my outburst and it pained me. i love Him for His honesty, “I just don’t understand how you could do something so stupid and go batshit crazy when I love you so much.” i just let Him continue. He did not berate me or belittle me, but shared His hurt and concern. We shared some very deep seated, heartfelt, honest things. We sobbed together. i shared that i brought His main Christmas present with me because i had expected to be asked to leave when i arrived and wanted Him to have it–that pained Him. And i shared that my meltdown had been based on false assumptions. i hadn’t wanted to talk about it until after mediation, and certainly not tonight, but it needed to be said. i told Him that i was afraid He wasn’t going to believe me, but that after we’d talked and after talking to The Englishman, i had come to peace with Ms. W. and that i was lifting my restriction about sleeping together, because i truly understood the dynamic. He was in utter shock, thanked me, and we sobbed in each others arms…until He shoved a finger in each of my nostrils to break our tension! “you’re stuck with Me, you do realize that don’t you?” He said. And i do realize that.

We went to bed, despite Maximus’ attempts to watch a movie (He could not stay awake, though He denied He was sleeping). i thought we would just sleep, but we ended up rubbing and stroking, telling each other we were going to sleep. We dozed off and i awoke stroking Him, which got Him aroused. i wanted to please Him unconditionally, didn’t want Him to please me back. For some reason, probably because of champagne and bourbon, i decided i would restrain Him using the bed restraints hidden under the mattress. He mocked and cooed as i did this. And He would NOT be quiet–He babbled and mocked incessantly. This irritated me so i got the crop and floggers and decided to show some dominance to quiet Him, which only set Him off more. i shoved a flogger handle into His mouth and started again. After a few minutes, i could hear that His babbling had changed into a sort of cry. He was saying over and over, “I just love her so much, all I want to do is hold her, all I want to do is hold her.” It was horrible! i have never felt so horrible and quickly went to His face and reassured Him, told Him i was releasing Him and that i was so sorry. i released Him and held Him as He fell asleep. i regret doing this and will always remember not to pursue BDSM while impaired.

i woke up early the next morning. i just couldn’t get back to sleep. i tossed and turned and ended up waking Maximus. Finally, after He fell back to sleep, i just got up. i made coffee and did some computer work. After about an hour i heard Maximus call downstairs from bed, “baby, are you ok?” i reassured Him i was fine, was just awake at my normal hour. He called down about 20 minutes later, “Please come cuddle with Me. I had a dream about you and rolled over to hold you and you weren’t there.” He’d dreamed we were laying on a beach, simply that, laying on a beach. We laid in bed and held each other. i apologized for the night before. We made love. He shared with me that the night before, while walking up the stairs, He’d realized, “This is really not a time to celebrate.” i agreed. i shared with Him that my thoughts about that and how what He thought was me “overthinking things” was my realization of that. He said appreciated that now, that He’d not realized that then.

He had plans to go swimming with Swim Guy. He asked what i wanted to do, suggesting i could go with them. i appreciated that, but i really wanted Him to be able to be alone with Swim Guy to talk about yesterday. i decided to go run instead. He told me, “I have plans for something when I get back, something romantic. Something before you go home today.” i inquired what i should wear, and He told me to dress warmly and told me we were going to a lodge near a waterfall. We went down, had some coffee and yogurt, played briefly on the leather ottoman in His office to replay a little bit of the scene before He met with His attorney, and then He headed out.

i packed and went for my run. The run gave me a chance to think about something He asked me the night before, something i was absolutely not prepared to answer when He asked. He asked me for feedback on when i thought He should tell His kids about me. His kids are all adults and they’ve picked up on the fact that He has someone in His life, but He’s not shared this with them. i’ve insisted that it wasn’t appropriate until after His divorce was final, and He agreed and honored that. When He inquired, He’d made a mention about possibly waiting six months. That seemed too long for me. i sorted my thoughts during my run.

It took much longer for Maximus to return than i expected. i figured that He had a lot to tell Swim Guy and just relaxed about it. It gave me a chance to pack up everything into my car, remake the bed, etc. i was on the couch with my laptop when He walked in, and He looked horrible! i thought something tragic had happened. “What’s wrong?!?” i gasped. “I bonked.” He quietly replied, and collapsed onto the couch onto my lap. He finally crashed, the thing i knew was coming. He’d lost it in the pool, got dizzy, unable to swim. Swim Guy helped Him out of the pool, helped Him get back together, and they went to breakfast instead. i stroked His hair and face while He laid back against me, wrapping my legs against Himself with His arms. i reassured Him that i loved Him, had been watching for this, knowing He was going to crash at some point, despite all His efforts not to, and that He was wonderful and safe. He insisted that He was going to continue with His romantic plans, just needed about twenty minutes’ nap–He napped in my arms and i’ve never loved Him more.

We went on our date. During the drive i shared my thoughts on telling His kids and we had a wonderful discussion about that. He took me to a beautiful lodge with an attic lounge and we got a table against a wall of windows overlooking the falls. It was magnificent. We ordered wine and lunch, and when the wine came, He toasted me and thanked me for supporting Him, not for this week, but for the entire time we’d been together. He shared how much that meant and how amazing it was that we have come through this week stronger for what happened with my meltdown. i realized He hadn’t thought that would happen. And He shared, “We are going to have an amazing life together.” We walked along the overlook trail for the falls, held hands, talked, loved each other. It was an amazing thing, and amazing start.

i drove home, leaving Maximus to sleep and regain Himself from His crash. And i realized, for the first time, i was driving home in complete calm, complete peace. There was no static, no underlying worry about attorneys, divorces, jealousy, just love. i still feel this today. We are just beginning.

Categories: BDSM relationship, communication, conflict, divorce, flogging, jealousy, mediation, relationship, relationship needs, riding crop, submissive, togetherness | Leave a comment

Humor, the Double-edged Sword

It’s been a very emotional week, full of highs and lows, and yes, some conflict. While i know i’ve said that healthy conflict is good, that it causes people to learn and grow, i’m feeling weary of it today. It’s probably due to being sick with tonsillitis, i’m exhausted.

Maximus came down this weekend, which was wonderful. We had a marvelous time! i haven’t blogged about that yet because i’ve been too tired to write, and now we’ve had some conflict and i need to write about that too. So i’m going to write about the conflict first and get it out of my system.

Last night Maximus had a dinner date with Lele–totally cool. He and Lele have been friends for years, played together with their respective spouses. Lele has been a great friend to Maximus during His divorce and He to her with some relationship issues she’s been having. They’ve not slept together for some time. She has, however, used His house to be with lovers when He was away. He and Lele have been talking about throwing a play party at Maximus’ house.

During dinner, i got a text from Maximus that as He predicted, Lele had decided to leave her husband. He added, “she is also getting into BDSM, too funny. I told her about you. She’s in the bathroom so will talk more later.” It was really so nice to hear from Maximus that He’d told Lele about me, as our relationship has been under wraps until recently due to divorce issues. i looked forward to hearing from Him later.

He texted again asking about the availability of two weekends in January for the play party. We settled on a date and exchanged my contact info with Lele so we could chat. When they were done, He texted that He had some errands to run but “lots to share” and would call me as soon as He was done running around.

An hour later, i got a picture text of something black on white marble that i couldn’t recognize that said simply, “trophy.”

 i replied, “Don’t understand.”

Maximus wrote back, “No sex but I got her underwear. Dom move. hehe.”

i felt my blood instantly drain. Dom move?!? She tells Him at dinner she’s into BDSM and He’s now Domming her?!? This violates one of the first rules in our contract–i am His only sub!

“YOU ARE NOT HER DOM,” i texted back furiously. i had inquired where that picture was taken and He’d replied, Crate and Barrel.

“Yes, my bad. Wrong very wrong term. Will explain in the car in a few mins. My poor attempt at humor.” Maximus replied.

“YOU BET IT WAS. It’s not funny and never will be. Do you get it,” i answered.

Maximus returned, “Yes, very poor humor. So so wrong of me.”

“But you did it anyway. And dommed her in Crate and Barrel. Dick move.”

“No, she left already. I took the pic there to be funny.” said Maximus.

Maximus told me He was going to call me from the car, which i told Him i would refuse to answer. It wasn’t that i didn’t want to talk about it, i refused to have this conversation with Him while He was driving. First, it’s not safe. Second, the connection is never good while moving, words get jumbled, calls get dropped, and it’s poor communication at best and extremely frustrating to me. Third, i want His full attention and don’t want Him multi-tasking and not using His entire brain for this discussion. So we had about 15 minutes of back and forth about this topic alone. He finally pulled over and parked in a parking lot to call.

i explained to Maximus that i felt so extremely hurt that He said that He’d Dommed Lele as it was an essential rule in our contract. The fact that it was made into a joke was even more hurtful, because i have the utmost honor for our contract and it means the world to me; using it as fodder for a joke made me feel like He didn’t respect our contract, our agreements, or our relationship. Furthermore, i was frustrated that while He has several pairs of trophy panties, none of them are mine and He’s never asked or taken any–i wondered why and felt hurt by the omission.

We had a lot of discussion. And it took a lot of work to make sure we stayed on topic, discussing THIS issue and not making His evening with Lele the issue. i had no problem with His dinner with Lele, i had issue with the text He sent and what that meant. He had not Dommed her, she had found a pair of panties in her coat pocket while they were at dinner and He asked to take them, as a joke. He was frustrated because He felt that by sending that text He had ruined the whole evening and wouldn’t be able to talk about anything they’d talked about at all. i assured Him that this was about the text. In fact if He made it into the whole evening and refused to talk about the rest of it later, i would be very upset and we’d have a whole new issue.

We resolved it and came up with some things to amend in our contract. It took quite a while to communicate. There was no yelling, again, so we’re applying lessons learned. And we’ve instituted a new rule of saying, “I/i love Y/you” at the start and end of each point of discussion. We took a break and He called back later so He could tell me about His evening, because i didn’t want it lumped into this discussion.

The thing is, these are exhausting. And i feel responsible for them. Maximus has told me over and over and over that 95% of the conflicts we will have will be because of something He’s done, not anything i’ve done. And i am just horrified by that statement–am i just that oversensitive to let anything go? Why would Maximus want to be with someone like that? i hate that it’s been me having issues with something He’s done, like i’m ruining a great thing. Why would He tie Himself to someone like that? He deserves better than a suspicious, oversensitive sub.

Categories: BDSM, communication, conflict, D/s, Dom/sub, Dominant, relationship, relationship needs, submissive | Leave a comment

Battling it Out

En Garde!

Note from gabriella: i’m writing this post because when writing Keeping the Bedroom Door Open i realized that i hadn’t blogged about a fight Maximus and i had, and i should add, i HATE calling it a fight. And when i thought about it, we really had two of them, one before we started this BDSM journey together and one right after we started. For the sake of having a complete journal of our relationship, i am including both of these here. We are in no means having problems, on the contrary, we are doing GREAT, and through these conflicts, we are learning how best to communicate with each other, as we both discovered when we worked through the issue in Keeping the Bedroom Door Open.
***

Maximus and i have had two fights. Well, i should say, i initiated two fights with Maximus. While i hate that we’ve had these fights and i really hate that i initiated them, we did learn a lot from them. There definitely could have been better ways to have dealt with the issues involved than for me to get angry, no, incensed. i work now to control the initial reaction of getting mad so we can have constructive discussions.

Fight #1
This wasn’t so much a fight as it was me walking out on Maximus, and i did walk out on Him.  This was actually a very critical event for us. i don’t think i’ve ever communicated to Maximus just how close we came from being finished forever. Timing was critical, Maximus’ timing, that is. Had He not arrived the moment He had, i would have been gone forever, and i don’t think He’s aware of this.

This occurred exactly a month before our talks about BDSM started. It’s strange to realize that, as when i was thinking about the timeline, it felt much further back in our history than that.

Sunflower had invited me to a fundraising concert she was organizing for the charitable organization she founded and runs, and asked if i would also join her and Mountain Man afterward at their after party at a very upscale hotel. The after party would transition into a swingers party when vanilla guests left, for the “real” after party, and they wanted me to join them and stay the night. i asked if i could bring a date (i’d only just met Sunflower and Mountain Man, and while i really liked them, i didn’t want to be a third wheel), and they thought that was great. i carefully brought up the topic with Maximus, as i knew one friend was going to be at the party, Z Baby, and figured Ms. W might be invited as well, and i didn’t want it to be a conflict for anyone for me to show up with Maximus as my date. Maximus had only just professed His love for me a mere few weeks prior and i was concerned about the reactions of Z Baby and Ms. W to this. He said He would love to be my date and we both wondered if Ms. W was going to be there. It turns out she was, and after some discussion, we decided that it would be great if all three of us would go together and get a room of our own in the same hotel. i’d met Ms. W. once before, really didn’t get to know her well, so i was looking forward to spending some time with Maximus’ dear friend and developing a friendship with her as well.

Ms. W was at Maximus’ home when i arrived; Maximus was swimming, so we had time alone together. This was intentional (at least between Maximus and me, i don’t think this was discussed between Maximus and Ms. W, in retrospect) for a couple reasons, first, Maximus really wanted to find the two of us playing together in His bed when He arrived home, and second, it would give us some one-on-one time to get to know each other. However, Ms. W was out of bed, in a bathrobe when i arrived, and it was very clear to me that she was not interested in playing. We visited while waiting for Maximus, but i never got the sense that she was very comfortable with me. She wasn’t adversarial in her conversation, but she was not agreeable, took opposite viewpoints, pointed out fundamental differences/flaws in my part of the conversations, held a negative tone, all of which made me uncomfortable. i worked very hard to find topics of conversation for us, looking for common ground, something we could discuss in a positive manner, hoping to make a connection with her, but just couldn’t achieve it. i was relieved when Maximus arrived…He was crestfallen that we were sitting at the dining table talking, not fucking in His bed.

We headed into town and spent the day walking around the city. i was my playful self and worked hard to include Ms. W in this, refusing to write-off a friendship with her. i clasped my arm in hers while we walked, pointed out items in stores and storefronts, told jokes and giggled, held her hand, but i just could not break through the proverbial ice.

We returned to the room, which was magnificent. Maximus had to run out and get wine and left us to get ready for the concert. This room was amazing, a clear pane glass wall separated the bedroom from a pedestal tub in the bathroom, which filled from a spout in the ceiling! All i wanted to do from the moment i saw that room was to take a bath. i told Maximus i was going to bathe and we whispered and giggled about me including Ms. W in it. i told Him i wasn’t sure if she was going to go for that, from the vibes i was getting from her, and i questioned whether she really was bi-sexual, as He had told me. But Maximus encouraged me to try, saying that she was very submissive and that i just needed to initiate it. i filled the tub and invited her to take a bath with me, which she agreed to with some hesitation. i got in and she followed, sitting at the other end with her arms crossed tightly over her breasts. Ugh. i did finally get her to turn and washed her back, but that was the extent of it. Maximus joined the two of us briefly when He returned, but by then the water was getting chilly and we stepped out.

Ms. W just didn’t appear happy at the concert; she plugged her ears, didn’t get up and dance around or clap as Sunflower, me, Mountain Man, or Maximus did. She clung to Maximus at intermission while i flitted about meeting people, which is what i do. i just felt bad about it. i realized then that we were just so different and that while we could be together in a purely social situation, we just weren’t going to be friends, no matter what i tried. i had gotten the same vibes when we’d first met several months before. i decided that i would talk to Maximus about it the next day after Ms. W left.

We then arrived at the party. We were late, having stopped for dinner beforehand, and the party was in full swing when we got there. Ms. W never let go of Maximus and i simply joined into the action, as i love swinger parties and was getting a lot of great attention (see Objectify me about this). Ms. W gave Mountain Man a two hour blow job while he was tied down to a massage table (i bound his hands with a handcuff knot and tied them down to the table early on in the evening) but she did not play otherwise. Maximus found me at several times during the evening to check in and told me He loved me. i had a great time! Eventually, however, i was tired and as Ms. W was still working on Mountain Man, i told Maximus i was great, spent, tired, and was headed down to our room; i assured Him i was fine, which i was.

When i was in the room, i started to reflect on Ms. W. i was a bit befuddled because Maximus assured me that she liked me from the first time we’d met, even though i told Him didn’t feel great vibes coming from her then. Out of curiosity, to see what she really did think, i picked up Maximus’ cell phone to check their texts to see if it would give me insight. Maximus had given me carte blanche access to His cell phone, email, calendar, day timer, etc. and i’d never taken Him up on that before. i didn’t see anything to cue me in on her thoughts on me, in fact i wasn’t discussed at all, but what i did find was a  plan for them to get together on a date that Maximus told me He had to be home for an appointment–it was my birthday. He’d been down for several days prior i had thought He was staying through my actual birthday and i’d made plans, only to surprisingly find out that He was leaving the day before. i’d asked Him if it was for another date, and He assured me it was not.

i exploded inside. HOW DARE HE! i stormed over to His day timer and saw that He did indeed have her down on my birthday. He’d promised to never lie to me, assured me just a few weeks before on our trip to Vegas where He told me He loved me, and here it was, a lie, and on my birthday. No wonder she didn’t like me–he obviously loved her.

That was it, i had to go. i changed my clothes, packed my bag. i realized that i had the room key, that if i left, they’d have no way to get back in the room. So i wrapped the key in paper, wrote His name on it, went back up to the party room and slid the key under the door so He’d have it to get in. i returned to the room. i decided to check the texts and the day timer again to make sure i hadn’t read things wrong. i actually had looked at the previous year in the day timer, which had her down on my birthday, but it wasn’t written on this current year, which made me even more mad, that He’d intentionally omitted putting her on the calendar so i couldn’t see it. The texts, though, were clear. i started to the door and just as i reached the door handle, Maximus opened the door.

“Hey, you’re up!” He chimed. “i was just telling Ms. W how it was just like you to think about others, realizing that we’d not have a key, so you left one for us. You’re just so sweet!” And then He noticed my bag. i’d turned to get my jacket off the coat hook. “What’s going on?”

“i’m going home,” i said.

“What? Why? What’s going on?” He asked rapid fire.

“You lied to me.” i told Him. i turned to face Ms. W and asked, “Where did you sleep the night of [my birthday]?”

“I was at Maximus’.” she replied.

“You lied to me.” i repeated to Maximus. “You said You had to go home for an appointment. i asked You if it was for a date and You said no. i read your texts.”

“i had nowhere else to stay.” Ms. W started.

i stopped her. “This isn’t about you, Ms. W, this is about Him.”

“No, stay.” He pleaded. “How are you getting home? Your car is at My house.”

i told Him i was taking a cab to His house, getting my car and driving home. “You promised to never lie to me,” and i walked out the door.

i expected Him to chase after me. But He didn’t. i sat on the bench at the elevator lobby for a long time, sobbing. i sobbed because i was angry, because He’d lied, because He didn’t chase after me. Because it meant the death of some very special plans. i don’t know why, but after about 15 minutes, i went back to the room and quietly knocked.

Maximus opened the door, pale, face pained, “I’m so glad you’re back.”

“i don’t want to talk about it right now,” i stated as i entered.

“Tell her what i told you,” Maximus said to Ms. W as i walked back in. “Tell her what i said.”

Ms. W looked at me painfully and said quietly, “He said He felt like He’d just gotten His balls cut off.”

i couldn’t even look at either of them. i took off my clothes and got into bed. Maximus was in the middle, laying on His stomach, arms pinned underneath Him, a position i’ve never seen Him take in bed. It was as if He was terrified to touch either one of us, as if it would show preference to one or the other. i couldn’t stand it. i got up, my mind reeling, put on a robe and sat in the dark on the floor of the entry, typing notes into my phone for what to talk about. Maximus came to me, knelt on the floor and begged me to return to bed, but i refused, i couldn’t. i told Him to go back to bed, and He refused, stating He was going to lay on the floor with me until i came to bed. i needed to be alone, to write down my thoughts and i needed Him to give me the space to do that–i told Him this as He curled His body around mine on a heap on the floor.

“We need to talk about this and we need to talk about this without Ms. W here. We can’t talk now without her listening and it’s not about her,” i said. “Go back to bed, let me have my space. i have to get my thoughts written out, You know this, You have to let me do this. i’ll come back to bed when i’m done.”

The morning was awful, i felt terrible, brokenhearted. i took a 30 minute scalding shower–Maximus came in for a bit and tried to play but realized i wanted none of that. i got ready and waited for them in the lobby. Everything was pained. Maximus snapped at me at one point during the walk to breakfast, something about “oh what didn’t i communicate now?!?” and i quietly said, “stop…” i knew it was just a reaction, not like Him at all, but i didn’t want to have a fight in the middle of the city on a sidewalk with Ms. W. We returned to Maximus’ home and Ms. W left leaving us alone.

We sat outside on His patio and talked about what happened, my issues.

Here are my notes from my phone:

This is MY issue.

i enjoyed the event and party. This has nothing to do with that. i didn’t return to our room because of any problem at the party…i was done and satisfied and wanted to have my space. That’s how i recharge.

This stems around:

  1. My trust issue that i didn’t realize was a problem until now
  2. Being scared about falling in love
  3. Lack of chemistry with Ms. W

i’m terrifed.

i felt scared when You told me You loved me. i didn’t tell You because it felt nice to have someone tell me they adored and loved me. i am afraid to be in love with You because being in love always consumes me.

i’m also worried that there has not been enough time for You to heal from JB. JB and Covert Ops are a lot of Your conversations with Ms. W. It is a big shadow for you both. i worry that i might be part of Your healing process, like a rebound, rather than a sustained relationship and my heart cannot handle that.

i’m having difficulty trusting. And i hate it. i’m not sure what to do about it. my trust issue is not related to people, my trust issue is in believing that we are legitimate. i think that stems from my fear of being consumed and then devastated if i’m wrong. i was wrong before.

i came back to the room legitimately to sleep. Party had lost my interest and i was bored. i had no trust problems there.

i was thinking about how i just wasn’t comfortable as a non-sexual or sexual threesome with Ms. W. For me, this is like taking one for the team. She isn’t interested in me. She’s not someone i would choose to be with socially or personally. She’s negative, passive. You ask me to basically force myself upon her. She’s so not interested and i’m not interested in uninterested people. i don’t break-in women. i feel like there is an expectation to make her into a bi-sexual woman.

When we’re all three together i don’t feel the Maximus i’m used to. i miss Your spontaneous touch and affection. It feels You are so worried about equity that its equal absence. i’m not comfortable in this threesome.

i DON’T feel uncomfortable with You and Ms. W without me. i DON’T feel uncomfortable with You and ANY other woman alone. i DON’T feel uncomfortable with you and i with another woman or couple where i have a connection.

i was curious what she really thought of me. i didn’t trust what You’d told me, that she liked me but was uncomfortable with cramps. It’s odd to me that she’s always on her period and “it’s awful” each time. So i decided to look at Your phone. That’s when i saw the thing about Tuesday. i was devastated and incensed. my heart broke.

The text from Airplane Girl about Tuesday while we were together was still on my mind. In fact, i was still unsettled by it.

While we were in Vegas, the plan to meet Boat Guy and Aussie Girl was for Monday or Tuesday of my birthday week because You’d be here through the morning of my birthday. Your schedule change to leave the day before my birthday was a total surprise to me. And it hurt my feelings frankly as it was a night to celebrate my actual birthday on my treat someplace special. It wouldn’t have been a big deal otherwise.

i like the distinction of the “who we came with rule” and coming all three of us doesn’t work. We did that rule with The Englishman but not Ms. W.

GOT. Why? What brought this? i don’t understand why this applies to me when You have been with Ms. W so much longer. Why isn’t she Your GOT?

What does this look like? Why me? Is this unique to me, or not? i don’t understand how our relationship differs from the one with Ms. W.

i want something that’s unique to me, i guess. And not meaning the acronym.

i want you to consider the perspective of this in the context of how You felt when Covert Ops was telling JB he loved her.

What happens when your divorces are final? What then? Where will she be (sounds like not where she is now). What is your relationship? What is her GOT? What does “tap tap” mean. Is that her GOT?

You said at one of our first times together that You didn’t know what You’d do if Ms. W fell in love with someone else. What if you two decide to have a traditional relationship. What about me? my heart will not take that. It scares me.

Ms. W asked me yesterday how long i’ve known You. It appears she knows little about me. i know a lot about her and her marriage and situation. Why is our knowledge about each other so different? What does that mean?

i’m not going to write out His responses to all of these questions, other to say that He answered all of my questions fully and without getting offended, and to a degree in which i was satisfied. He shared with me how our relationship differed from the one with Ms. W. Explained that while He had to leave early for an appointment, Ms. W was not the appointment, it just worked out that He was going to be home that evening because of that, and that allowed an opportunity for her to come over. We learned we needed to be better about communicating, especially in regards to getting together with other people, and needed to share our schedules fully, including coming up with a shared electronic calendar.

A lot our rules come from this weekend and the discussion we had. It uncovered a lot of issues, helped us discover and share our limits. Dishonesty is a hard limit, for both of us, and Maximus saw firsthand just how hard of a limit that is for me. It’s intolerable.

Maximus asked me never to leave Him like that again and i promised i wouldn’t. i didn’t have the heart to tell Him that had He not arrived just then, i would have been gone forever. i think Maximus’ impression was that i had been waiting by the door for Him, waiting for Him to stop me. That wasn’t the case. This blog post will be the first time He learns this, and it’s not that i held that deliberately from Him, but i couldn’t get the words out in front of Him without collapsing.

i’m thankful for some divine intervention that delayed me in that room long enough for Him to arrive.

Fight #2
This was a knock-down, drag-out fight…not in the physical sense, but in the angry, yelling, stomping, sobbing sense. Yes, i had a tantrum.

And it also dealt with a miscommunication about Ms. W. It’s frustrating to me that both of these fights and the frustrations we’ve had have been issues surrounding her. They aren’t issues ABOUT her per say, they have been our (my) issues about Maximus’ behavior that pop up, and my perceptions about what is going on. i’m not saying i’m perfect here…not at all! i over-analyze things and have had a tendency to assume the worst.

Maximus was traveling extensively during November. We Skyped, texted, and emailed a lot. This was when the topic of BDSM came up, so we were extremely chatty about that and terrifically turned on! We’d been texting and talking while He was at the airport. He’d been looking at toys and clothing and telling me to check certain websites. He was so aroused. The last thing Maximus texted before He had to shut off His phone for the flight was, “Be advised…Warning, Maximus is very very in need of gabriella. Round the world for sure. you will be wet from head to toe. It will look like you just got out of the shower. Continue in Chicago.” During His flight, i got a fantastic idea, and i texted Him while inflight, “gabriella could come service Him tonight if it would please Him…” i actually started packing, realizing i could beat Him to His home and be waiting for Him–i was super excited!

Unfortunately…when He landed, i received, “Maximus would love that but two homeless people will be there. The Englishman and Ms. W. Damn.” i was immediately mad. “So Ms. W get all Your ardor. Kinda pisses me off. Goddammit i can’t even be spontaneous with you because of Ms. W.” He asked me to be patient and i replied, “No! i’m tired of being patient about it. Officially pissed off. She has the primary relationship with you [referring to the clause in our newly agreed-upon contract that stated WE were each others primary relationships]. If i did, it would be no problem for me to come up. That’s fucking bullshit, Maximus. This is why i asked if she knew about us because she lives like she’s your wife.”

Maximus was trying to get to His gate for His next flight and i was impatient to talk (yell) at Him. “i promise waiting on this is not going to make it any better.” He replied, “I’m walking thru the fucking airport baby. Give me a break.”

i waited a bit and asked if He would talk. He replied, “I always want to talk with You. In the red carpet club downloading work messages before I have to get on my next flight. This conversation is over until I get in the car at home and can talk.” This infuriated me further as His last words before His last flight were about continuing our sex talk in Chicago…now He had to download work emails instead?!? I simply responded, “Goodbye. If work messages are more important than You made Your decision. i will never be second fiddle.”

“Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. There are 300 people here and there is no private place to talk. Please stop,” He responded. “i don’t think You get it. Then MOVE! Unless you are willing to let us go over first class waiting,” i added.

“My head is going to explode,” Maximus replied. i simply responded, “my heart already did.”

It was relationship hostage-taking at its worst, for both of us. i fired the first shot, however.

Maximus ended up moving and calling, but i had gotten into the car to drive anywhere…to get out because i felt like i was suffocating in my home. i pulled over in a school parking lot and started to talk, but Maximus kept interrupting me, defensive, which angered me and i started to yell. We weren’t communicating at all. We couldn’t hear and we couldn’t talk. The call ended in silence, which eventually cut off automatically. i sent Him a last text, “i’m really at a loss. Don’t know what to think. That was not the conversation i needed or wanted to have.” “Agree. Closing door. Will be drinking heavily.”

My heart sank. i couldn’t leave things this way. i really wanted to see Him and apologize for yelling, for throwing a tantrum. And really, some conversations are just better face to face than over Skype, text, phone, or email. So i decided to meet Him at the airport and made the three hour drive and met Him when He exited the secure area. “I knew you’d be here,” He smiled and giggled, embracing me, “I thought, gabriella’s a woman of action, she’ll be at the airport when i get there, and here you are.” i just apologized and sunk into the crook of His neck.

My plan was to talk at the airport and then drive home. i did NOT want to kick Ms. W out, but Maximus had already contacted her and she was going home, which made me feel awful. He insisted that i stay with Him, which i kept trying to convince Him wasn’t my intention of coming up, but He won over. We talked in bed, promised to communicate better, listened.

i’m not proud of my actions. i’m stubborn and hardheaded and tend to ramp myself up, something Maximus chalks up to my heritage. i’d like to say that we’ll never have conflict again, but i know we will. However, i’d really like to believe that we, i in particular, have learned through these experiences how to better communicate. We both feel that how we dealt with conflict in Keeping the Bedroom Door Open was a huge step, proof that we’ve grown. i do trust His love for me and commitment toward us and i hope He trusts mine as well.

Categories: BDSM, communication, conflict, D/s, Dom/sub, Dominant, relationship, relationship needs, submissive | Leave a comment

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