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My Latest To Sue in the Aftermath of Our "Impasse"

Two posts below, in "Impasse," I described our most recent developments as we continue to struggle through my/our recovery or sentence or whatever it is this now year long passage has been/is. The aftermath has led me to question what is the basis for our power exchange relationship, in that it has clearly profoundly changed from what it was through our past years together.

I am struggling to figure out what it is that can still work for us. I am seeking her involvement in that process with little success. Anything I do feels to me as though it is defined as being abusive, no matter how I try to approach it..............or that is my perception.

I wonder if since Sue has trouble discussing this with me in person or IM if perhaps corresponding here she will feel more comfortable responding to these issues.

Perhaps too someone else has some wisdom that can help resolve this.

Anyway this is an email I wrote to Sue this morning, after my trying to discuss the issue of what the status of our current M/s is in the aftermath of the events of the past week, and then having that discussion being ruled out as one that she could engage in because that was an excuse to beat her up. So here is my email:

OK so I get that somehow you think my feeling sad and hurt about the end of our M/s is some sort of abuse or one-up-manship or something................I don't understand what.

Maybe if I write to you it will make some sense. It is clear that you are in control of this relationship. You control my life. You want to be benevolent in that control and you want me to express a sense of power too (if I ever have that sense again). You would welcome that.

I am confused entirely about this business that you want to assert your power and then you want to go back to what we had before--our M/S or something like it. You want to dictate the terms of that relationship by making ultimata of what it must be or else you will pull away or end it. I may not share about my feelings if they are topics you have ruled out of bounds, or you will end conversations or go away. I don't understand how all this can be true..............I am Master who is dictated to.

The M/s we had you sought and you defined. I certainly concurred and then took the Master role from your definition and consent. I had ultimate power to decide. There was never anything like you telling me what you would or not discuss. There never was anything like you telling me if I stepped out of line by discussing things you didn't want me to you would just walk away or leave. That was totally out of bounds. Now we have this............and your need to label what we are now M/s, and my huge need for us to be OK together and to feel some sort of well-being between us again.

Please do not see this as some sort of "abuse." Talk to me...............or if that is not possible write to me.

What is it you want under the lable of M/s. You want me to give you your collar back. What does that now mean? I don't get this. I am not trying to abuse you. I am lost, confused, hurt. I don't know how to relate to you or what I can say or do. Could it be all we have to do is negotiate a new power exchange (DUH as I write that it is so obvious to me I can't even believe it took writing this for me to express it.)

I was dumbfounded this morning when you told me that you were ending the conversation because for me to bring this topic up was just a way for me to beat you up. I don't know where I can go with you in conversation.

Then when you bemoaned your not having a collar despite this, I feel like I have landed on some new planet where I am dealing with an alien with no cultural commonality as a basis for conversation.

So what is it you want for us to be? Let's go back to M/s if that is what you want. What would that mean to you? I will respond from my perspective as best I can, although I don't know that I have enough sense of my self to even know what it is I want....who I am to want anything.

This is just yet one more final loss that I don't understand, don't know what to do with..........

I love you,



  1. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Tom, I am probably the wrong person to say this and indeed I may be wrong in what I'm thinking, but from my viewpoint I think the problem in many ways lies with you. I do not think it is your fault as in a personal failing or character flaw. Abuse at a young age does terrible things to people that are intensely difficult to overcome. The same goes for addiction, and you are struggling with the aftermath of both.

    I think the problem is you want to be (and Sue wants you to be as well) in control, dominant, Master, but you are not in control of yourself. You don't have control over your feelings and you have trouble picturing the situation and past events from any vantage other than your own, so you do not have the most basic kind of mastery: self-mastery. Without self-mastery, you are not in a good position to exert true control over someone else, because if you exert control over them without being able to control your own feelings and reactions and without being able to picture their emotional position, you could hurt them. Badly. And that's why Sue, as deeply as she craves your control, cannot trust you with it and therefore feels the need to establish boundaries on your control. So you won't hurt her and therefore yourself.

    You are unstable and scared of what you have lost: all those walls you had to hide your true instabilities behind are gone. The alcohol is gone, the unfettered control you had over Sue was gone, your social pride, personal freedom, and sense of security in your home are gone.

    I can see you are really trying to find the way forward, but you are trying while burdened with tremendous anger and loss and fear and even hate. I don't know what the way forward is for you, but I think you have that kernel of faith in your family that is what it takes to turn the situation around. Just remember that the circle of your control begins in your own heart and mind and you just have to grow it outward until it is big enough to reach someone else.

    I've been following the story of your family for a year and a half now. It's been wrenching to read...I grew up in a family deeply steeped in patterns of addiction, isolation, and verbal abuse. I really wish for you to find a way past the "impasse" and the despair and hurt. Every time a family turns to a healthy way of relating, it gives hope to all of us out there hope we can heal the scars too. And you know, the deeper the abyss, the higher you will grow to overcome it.

    I really hope this helps even just a tiny bit, and please delete it if it doesn't.

    Best, to all of you.


  2. Anonymous --P what a wonderful, articulately stated, and well composed comment. It feels good to know that there are readers of all this who have followed along with us and who have actually listened and heard. I feel like you really do get what I am struggling with. Thank you for listening and taking this time to reflect. I think you may well be summarizing where we stand at this passage.

    Thursday night after AA I returned our collar to Sue. I know it means nothing in terms of D/s any longer. Maybe it can again someday. I have a hard time imagining it, but then I could never have imagined my life as it currently is in my worst nightmare either. I told her it means a great deal to both of us and particularly to her. It can serve as a symbol of our love and our being together until, and if, it means something more again someday. If not, it can stand for what is.

    The Irony in all this is that when I was drinking a great deal, she consented to and felt fulfilled by my Dominance. Now that I am, as of today, 291 days sober, I am entirely unfit to be Dominant. Life is just entirely too strange to survive in tact.



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