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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.



I have, over the course of all these many years, formed some pretty specific opinions about what is, and is not, appropriate behavior for the "one down" partner in a power exchange relationship.  I know that there are as many ways to do this thing as there are combinations of people practicing it.  So, I want to be clear that my views on this are mine, and not intended to be prescriptive for all the rest of you.

Somewhere along the line, I came to believe that asking for His attention was outside of the boundaries of what was appropriate for me inside of our dynamic.  Asking, in any of its forms, seemed to me (and please note that it was never anything He expected of me) to impose my expectations and wants on Him.  While I have always been clear that He could surely just say, "No," to any of my requests, I still felt uneasy about putting Him in the position of having to do that. More and more, as time went along, I got less and less comfortable with anything that created that sense of demand between the two of us.  I was determined not to "top from the bottom;" not to become a "do-me sub."  Eventually, that eliminated (or mostly eliminated) asking, hinting, bratting, teasing, plotting, scheming, manipulating, begging, and any other affirmative "I want this" move from my side of the equation.  I could get pretty frustrated, but I figured He would do what He chose to do -- and it all seemed "right" to me somehow.

But we are in a new place, beginning from here and now.  I'm not sure what the definition of our dynamic really is.  He is definitely feeling more switchy; happy on some occasions to be on the receiving end of spankings.  I don't think we are exactly "equals," but it does seem that it makes sense for me to let go of some of that rigid, dogmatic, "twue slabe" stuff that I took on myself over the years.  He is no mind reader, and it isn't fair to expect that of Him.  He is, on the other hand, a GUY with a distinctly dominant bent.  As long as things are working for Him, He doesn't always perceive that there is any other set of needs or wants floating out there unanswered.  So, I am slowly shifting in my thinking about that whole "asking" thing.

Our usual pattern is to spank in the morning on weekends.  School days are just too wild, and we get up too early as it is.  While we did, once upon a time, set the alarm half an hour early to allow for time to play and make love, we've lost that urge as we have aged.  That extra half hour of sleep is way too tempting for us both.  So.  Weekend mornings have become our accustomed play time.  We wake up.  We cuddle and snuggle and chat a bit.  We spank.  We make love...  And then we get up and get on with the day.  AND, if that does not happen, we never, ever get back to it later in the day.  We might SAY we'll spank later, but we never do.  Once the day gets going, it is over with.

Yesterday, we woke up and I ended up spanking Him.  He'd been in a "spank me" campaign for several days, and so it went.  We have a new riding crop, and that played a starring role in our little scene.  I'm not a bad top.  He was left with a very cute, very stingy, very rosy butt.  Made Him very happy :-)

Today, then, I sort of figured it would be my turn.  But, we woke up late and made love.  He was hungry.  No time to play.  I was disappointed, but around here we have a host of health issues that require us to eat when people are hungry, and that includes the reality that I can drop right into a serious migraine if I don't eat at reasonable intervals.  So.  Breakfast.  Scones, as previously reported.  Nice.  Yummy.  All of that.  But not the spanking I was hoping for...

Then it was time for football.  And laundry.  And the usual Sunday afternoon routines.  At about 4 PM, as the football game drew near to its end, He looked at me and asked if I was interested in going for a walk.  I was feeling pretty sad about not getting the spanking I'd looked forward to.  My Christmas break ends on Wednesday, and while we've spent a lot of time doing things together, there hasn't been much in the way of play.  So, I took a deep breath, put on my pouty face, and told the truth:  "Sure.  Since we aren't going to spank, we might as well go walk."

Unmistakable.  Clear declaration.  Without writing a whole treatise about feeling sad and abandoned and neglected, I managed to convey the sense of need I'd been feeling all day.  He heard it and it wasn't long before I was "sunny side up" over His knee.  I got a more serious spanking than I've had in a very long time; complete with plenty of squealing and begging and groaning and tears.  He left me with a very stingy, very tingly backside.  He was thrilled and so was I.  I "sort of" asked for what I wanted, and He happily delivered.  I don't think either of us felt our dynamic was jeopardized in the event.  Duh!  So there's a bit of a change that happened and it all turned out just fine.  :-)



We tend to sleep late on Sunday mornings, worshiping at St. Mattress...  Once we get ourselves up and going, we tend to make a late breakfast, watch our recorded Sunday morning talking heads shows, and get settled in for football (at least this time of the year).  I've got a repertoire of healthy and yummy breakfast goodies, and it is usually just a matter of what sounds good to Himself.  Today, that turned out to be apple/raisin/pecan scones served up with cheesy scrambled eggs.  My recipe for scones is pretty simple and relatively fool proof:

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/3 c. white or brown sugar (I use Splenda)
dash of salt
cinnamon to taste
fruit and / or nuts (dried or fresh as you choose)
1-1/4 cups of milk or cream (I use Silk Almond milk -- unsweetened vanilla, and I substitute about 1/4 cup of sugar free maple flavored syrup)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients.  Add fruit and nuts.  Mix to coat. Mix in liquid until it forms a thick batter.  Spoon the batter onto a greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if desired.  Bake 12-15 minutes.  Serve warm.

  And, yes... I know there is nothing kinky about pretty breakfast scones, but that's all I've got.  Enjoy!  Tom did :-)



How to Be...

As my Dear Tom indicated in His last post, life has brought us around again, and things feel good for the first time in a very long time.  We are wrapped up around one another, finding joy in just being here together now.  It feels like we have been snatched out of the maelstrom of misery that engulfed us, and settled onto some quiet and peaceful shore.  For us, it is enough to breathe and laugh and touch and sleep without those simple things feeling like trauma heaped on trauma.

It is a new beginning.  At least, that is what we have called it.  There is some sense that we have been given a second chance, and that we can now move on into the next part of our lives together with the potential of doing it “right” this time.  It feels good to know that is the possibility, however it feels daunting (and a bit presumptuous) since it is the NOW that seems good.  I think we are feeling tentative about trying to project very far forward from here, and I know that I am feeling unqualified to figure out how to do it “right.”

So, I am torn.  Part of me wants to just relax into this.  I feel like I could be happy just packing some sort of emotional picnic, and settling into the quiet here alongside Himself.  On the other hand, I am so very aware that we sailed merrily into this last calamity with no real plan; simply going along believing we had it all well in hand...  It begs the question:  would it be better to move more planfully?  How does one “stay in the now” while planning for the “not now?” I'd sort of like to fall back onto the traditional "submissive" role, and put the whole responsibility for figuring this out in His lap -- but that hardly seems fair. We got ourselves into the mess together, and we have survived to this point together, and with any luck at all, we will figure out how to make what life we have ahead of us be good for all of us ... together.

There is a list floating around the social networks, taken from Keri Smith's book, How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum. I think it is meant to guide young scientists and artists (or perhaps not only the young ones) in approaching the world as a studio or laboratory, but it seems to me that the world of intimate relationship might also be happily approached through these ideas.  It feels more open-hearted than that urge to grab control but more conscious and aware than my floaty picnic image.  A middle way maybe?  Loosely, here it is:

  • Alway be looking.
  • Consider everything alive and animate.
  • Everything is interesting.
  • Alter course often.
  • Observe for long durations.
  • Notice the stories around you.
  • Notice patterns and connections.
  • Document your findings.
  • Incorporate indeterminancy.
  • Observe movement.
  • Create a personal dialogue with your environment.
  • Trace things back to their origins.
  • Use all of the senses in your investigations.

So, maybe I can relax and actively engage simultaneously.  Maybe I can live and learn in the same moment.  Maybe I can be in the now with awareness that each now drives me and us into the next.  Maybe, finally, I can stop my endless and lifelong rounds of “what if” questioning, and simply see what is around me.  Maybe that will be enough of a plan.



Where To Begin................Again:)

Life feels good.  Yes that is right!  It is me saying life feels good for the first time since 2009 and the loss of my career, and my crashing and burning due to drinking, and not understanding how impossible drinking was going to be for me in the aftermath of my gastric bypass surgery, and the subsequent horrific legal consequences, devastating impact on our relationships, financial hardships, two more major surgeries, and all the other blah blah blah that has been recounted here ad nauseam for the last three plus years.

In early December I finally did the psychiatric version of the proverbial descent to the "bottom" and spent three days in the hospital......not just any old hospital and not for surgery....I was in a psychiatric hospital and that experience plus the cumulative impact of insights, changes, and learning from my approximately a year and  a half of psychotherapy have finally born fruit.

The real game changer was the first ever in my life psychiatric consult.  Serendipity or providence had it that I,  by the luck of the draw, wound up in the care of a woman, a psychiatrist, who had experience treating patients who had undergone gastric bypass surgery.  She is informed by a  small but growing body of science that indicates that some people who have undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery are experiencing a mysterious deficiency of a chemical which is a subject of fairly esoteric study in neurology:  L-methyl folate.  For some reason some gastric bypass patients are terrifically deficient in this substance.  The thing is, you see, without sufficient L-methyl folate the neurochemicals which control mood are incapable of functioning.  Besides a number of more subtle medical changes this can create, it can result most commonly in deep and profound depression.......depression that is intractable.....depression that cannot be effected by typical treatments, even medications, because one is physiologically incapable of the neurochemical transactions which control mood.  She started me on a prescription medication that provides the missing substance, and the change I have experienced has been revolutionary and almost immediate.

I now experience my past, whether good times or traumas, in a reality that I describe as being "documentary-like."  Whether it is issues from my childhood, or my failed marriage and the resulting virtual loss of my kids, or my surgeries, or my career's ending, or the police and jail, or whatever, I am aware of what happened...but it is not NOW.  NOW IS NOW!!!!!  My present is what is now.  I know this must sound silly, and like I am stating obvious realities, but believe it or not this is an entirely new reality for me.

Her hypothesis seems to be that I likely have struggled with PTSD and depression since childhood, and have never really had support in dealing with it.  It lead to my self-medicating with drugs in my youth and eventually with extensive use of alcohol as that became more legally convenient.  Then the gastric bypass surgery made my ability to process alcohol virtually impossible and simultaneously lead to the loss of this chemical crucial to mood control, leaving me in a hopeless but fortunately quite readily reversible situation.

I am amazed at the miraculous nature of my transformation, but my life has felt changed profoundly.

The psychiatrist I saw also started me on a low dose (10mg. prozak b.i.d.) of SSRI but that is only beginning to kick in.  The change I have experienced was almost immediate with the replacement of the L-methyl folate.  She suggested the SSRI kind of almost "in case," suggesting that likely my issue was not serotonin deficiency (due to my aerobic exercise) but rather my body's inability to use the serotonin and other mood control neurochemicals due to this crucial deficiency.  This is a new adventure.  I've never had psychiatric medication before and I will give it a few months trial to see if it is of any benefit, although it appears at this point, it is the replacement of this missing chemical that is the critical puzzle piece that has put me back together.

The psychiatrist has also been able to give me insight into the effects of alcohol in the aftermath of gastric bypass.  She told me of one patient who had literally passed out in the midst of an important professional business meeting after one glass of wine, leading to the loss of her career.  To say the least I had been consuming way more than one glass of wine per day (today is now 709 days two year sobriety date is only just over three weeks away!!!!!:)

I am just beginning to feel my way...we are beginning to feel our finding out how we use this wonderful holiday gift to rebuild our relationships and strengthen our family, but finally our downward spiral is reversed and we are climbing again.  None of us knows where we will soar........I do know I awaken glad to be alive and glad to be me for the first time in over three years.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you've imagined.



He tells me He is ready to start again; to start over.

It is what I have been waiting forever to hear.

I am holding my breath; unsure what to do; not certain what to think...

What exactly does "starting over" require of us?  Shall we just hold hands and leap off into the adventure again -- just as we did in the first instance?  Or is it time to proceed with some sort of deliberate and cautious plan?

I have not a clue.  I hope that, since He seems ready to take up the leadership again, He knows how to do this thing that lies ahead of us...




My mother would throw me into the cellar under the house.  She clearly thought I did not deserve to live in the light...

My husband believed that I was sick, perverted and wrong...


I wonder if they were right.


Birthing Something New

"Lynn Twist, activist and author, speaks about the process of metamorphosis and how the earth bound caterpillar becomes the liberated butterfly:
During the later stages of its development the caterpillar becomes ravenous, and unable to satisfy its hunger, devours everything in sight, ultimately consuming hundreds of times its own weight. Eventually, too bloated to move, it attaches itself to a branch and forms a cocoon. Soon, from within the caterpillar’s body, new cells, called imaginal cells, begin to emerge. Because they’re completely unlike any of the caterpillar’s existing cells, they’re perceived as invaders and are promptly attacked by the caterpillar’s immune system. Outnumbered and under assault, these tiny indomitable imaginal cells keep right on coming. They begin to multiply, to recognize one another, and then to band together and to organize. Eventually the caterpillar’s immune system is overwhelmed and the caterpillar dies. And yet, what looks at this point very much like disintegration is in fact, an act of transformation. The dead body of the caterpillar provides a “nutritive soup” for the new life that’s in the process of emerging. Ultimately the caterpillar’s tomb becomes the butterfly’s womb." 

I think that little piece might come close to what we've been experiencing in the last few weeks (or maybe months).  Something new is coming into being here within our lives and our family.  It is exciting and scary at the same time.  I can't really say much more about it at this point.  Maybe, once we've lived through this transformation, there'll be something we can share about where we are and where we've been.  For now, we are becoming...



I found this image a few days ago, and had such a visceral reaction...  I've held on to it, while my mind teased out what it was that was stirred up in me by this picture.

Look at her.  She is waiting.  Every fiber of her being is yearning toward the object of her desire.  The wind, the water, the sand...  all of it is flowing along, and she, clearly, expects what she is waiting for to come into view at any moment.

I think that the submission that I have lived and practiced looks like this.  If there were a single word to characterize what I have done, what I do, most of the time, that word might well be "waiting."  Waiting to know what was.  Waiting to find and be found.  Waiting to be here.  Waiting for Him to come home.  Waiting for Him to wake up.  Waiting for bedtime.  Waiting to see what He might want.  Waiting for illnesses to end.  Waiting for surgical procedures to happen.  Waiting for the healing that has to happen after surgeries.  Waiting for the weekend.  Waiting for the next paddle stroke.  Waiting to hear that He is pleased... or not.  In fact, as I think of it, much of my "vanilla" life is taken up in waiting, too -- on a whole variety of fronts.

Entering, as we are, into the holiday season of gift giving, I am reminded of those long-past childhood years when I waited, impatiently, for Christmas morning, and the time when I might see what treasures had been delivered by Santa Claus.  That childhood waiting would begin, each year, with the arrival of the Sears and Roebuck's catalog.  My brothers and I would pore over the pages, filled with every imaginable toy, and compile long, detailed lists of all the things we wanted.  We'd write out our lists; we'd whisper our longings into the ear of the local department store Santa; we'd silently amend that list to our prayers each night... and then we would wait.  Long, winter days spent waiting for the fulfillment of all that childlike waiting...

As I read around the blogging circle here, I can find others who are engaged in various kinds of waiting.  Over at Swan's Myst, there is the frustration that derives from waiting for a demanding do-me sub to figure out what his role is and ought to be.  Morningstar eagerly awaits the day when retirement finally arrives and allows her to finally embark on her new life with W.  Oatmeal Girl's Master is dealing with health issues, and so she waits.   Kaya, too, healing from her own surgery, and awash in all the complications that life brings, waits...  Different stories, but in every case, there is that common sense of waiting for some expected outcome.

And that sense of expectation is precisely what has me thinking.  Waiting seems to me to be about expecting something.  Wishing for something...  It might not go all the way to the level of a "demand," but then again, it might.  When I wait, there is something for which I am waiting, and I expect it to come to pass.  Without the expectation of wish fulfillment, the waiting evaporates.  By definition, waiting is about remaining inactive in one place while expecting something.

So, I wonder, if waiting, in itself, is a matter of seeking to control; trying to shape and define the future to match up to our wants and our desires.  I think it very well might be, and that begs the question:  If I have sought to relinquish control, to enter into a relationship within which the control does not rest with me, does waiting (for whatever) remain a consistent choice for me?  Is there anyway to wait and not create some sort of expectation or demand in the process?  And, if the answer to those questions, is (as I suspect), "No," then what?  Can a person just stop waiting?  Can I?  What would that mean?

If I weren't waiting all the time, would I stop projecting forward?  Not waiting might mean just being.  Now.  Right here.  Without any sort of expectation or demand.  I'm not sure if that is even possible.  I'd have to pay close attention to be able to catch myself leaning forward into that expectant, yearning posture.  Could I?  Would I?  What if I did?



Weekend Pancake Breakfast

** I apologize.  Blogger seems to want to put this up in ALL CAPS.  I can't figure out why...  I am not yelling, no matter what it looks like...  swan

I know this isn't supposed to be a "recipe" blog, but really, the food is incidental to telling you just a little bit about our mornings together...

Our weekdays start early, and between the moment when the alarm clock sounds and I need to be out the door, there is not time for anything extraneous.  Our weekday breakfast menu is healthy but pretty prosaic and unimaginative.  It keeps body and soul together, but no one is going to write home about our Special K and banana habit...

It is a luxury, on the weekend, to have something a little more "interesting" and satisfying for breakfast.  Most often, I'll make French Toast with a wonderful, hearty, multi-grain bread that we buy at Costco.  It is simply, made for being turned into French Toast.  I can also whip up a pretty yummy batch of scones, and we do that sometimes.  Or waffles.  Or, on a day like today, when He wakes up in the mood for pancakes, we like this recipe -- a modified copycat version of IHOP's Harvest Grain pancakes.


3/4 cup Quaker Oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups Silk Milk, Unsweetened, Vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/4 cup  Splenda
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, cashews, or almonds

**Other possible additions:  peeled, chopped apple; raisins


*Makes about 20 small pancakes*

1. Grind the oats, almonds, and walnuts in a blender or food processor until fine, like flour.
5. Combine ground oats, almonds, walnuts, and pecans with the whole wheat flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.
6. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk-like mixture, oil, egg and Splenda and mix until smooth.
7. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients,and mix well.  This can be done in the blender jar.
8. Pour the batter onto a hot skillet, and cook the pancakes for 2 to 4 minutes on each side or until brown.
9. Serve with sugar-free syrup. Enjoy!


Moobie Gets on the Table A Lot

Our Moobie has gotten to be quite the character.  Anyone who has ever raised a kitten knows that there is an "adolescent" period during which the once "precious" kitten can be alternately delightful -- and then just pure aggravation (not unlike human adolescents, I guess).  Moobie definitely has her moments.  She is unbelievably curious, and more than just a little bit stubborn.  Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, she wants to be right in the middle of it all.  A lot of the time, that is just fine and not any problem.  She is fun and friendly and very personable.  However, try to sit down and eat a meal when the curious, flying fur beast insists that she ought to be allowed to jump right up and check out whatever interesting things she might find on your plate...  The continual refrain, around here, is "Moobie!  Get off the table!"  It is a command that Moobie routinely ignores, necessitating some sort of intentional move from one of us to enforce the idea that cats do not belong on the dinner table.

When I am home, I can summon up my "mean Mom voice" and scare the heck out of her.  When I get loud and growly sounding, she will head for the hills.  The problem is that I am not here during the daytime.  Moobie and "her Daddy" are here all by themselves all day everyday -- and He doesn't seem to scare her even a little bit.  Somewhere along the line, I joked that I thought the best way to break the cat of her table walking habit was probably going to involve spanking Himself every time the cat got up on the table.  We had a good laugh about that one...  Now, however, it isn't unusual for our Saturday morning snuggling to wind its way around to the point where He will quietly mention that, "Moobie got on the table a lot this week..."  And the truth shall set you free :-)



Movie Review -- The Sessions

We saw The Sessions over the weekend.  It was playing at one of the three "art house" theaters here in our town.  We'd been waiting for it to arrive since seeing the trailer for it awhile back.  We were not disappointed.

It is, on the face of it, a movie about sex, and I can imagine that in our sex-negative culture, there will be those who will take issue with the content of this film.  That's sad.  It is, simply, a sweet, interesting, deep, honest essay about the nature of being human, and what intimate connection means to us.  The story of Mark O'Brien, who lives his life flat on his back, and mostly inside of the iron lung that keeps him breathing, takes an unflinching look at the part that sex plays in the life of a normal adult human.  The movie is surprisingly lacking in prurient or sensational cheap shots.  Even as the characters engage in frank sexual talk, and work their way along a path toward sexual satisfaction, and even with some significant full frontal nudity, the movie stays steadfastly focused on the human beings at the core of the story -- their hopes and fears and failings and triumphs.  John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy shine.  It is well worth a look.



Poopie Caves

Here we go -- another post that has nothing to do with spanking or BDSM, or any of the other "juicy" and "salacious" stuff that you can sometimes read here.  I know ... it is just that I am home today, feeling crummy with some sort of icky stomach bug (probably shared with me by one of my darling students), and I have lots of time on my hands.

We have, as you may be aware, two feline creatures:  Callie, the old lady house cat, and Moobie, the magical summer kitten.  I know that some of you are cat people, so you will get it when I tell you that having two cats in the same house presents challenges.  Our crotchety old lady is not at all happy with our new addition, and while the household is not a war zone, the truce that reigns is not exactly peaceful either.

Early on, when we were first acquired by Moobie, it became very clear, very fast, that the two cats would not happily or nicely share a litter box.  It was also obvious that Callie was going to bolt from her litter box anytime that the little one bounced into view -- and the kitten just couldn't resist the urge to tackle Callie in the litter box.  Chaos!

I figured that things might be better if I could find a litter box that would give Callie some privacy where she would not be ambushed easily.  I found what seemed to be a great solution (although not an inexpensive one) at the local Petsmart, and so brought home for Callie the Cadillac of all kitty litter boxes -- The Booda Dome, or what has come to be referred to around here as The Poopie Cave:
The Booda Dome, works to give the cat privacy, and the steps help to prevent litter tracking.  It has a charcoal filter in the top and does a pretty good job of containing the smells.  Nice unit.  Big, but nice.  Callie was happy, and it seemed that all was right with the world, until Moobie fell in love with the thing and decided she liked it better than her kitten-sized litter pan.  Within days, the kitten had acquired the grand Poopie Cave, and Callie was contemplating turning the whole house into her own personal litter box.

So, I hauled myself off to the Petsmart, and bought another one.  Hence, we now have two Poopie Caves.  Tah Dah!  Happy cats.  They are a wonder, and I really like them -- now if someone could help me figure out an easy way to clean these behemoths...  Please.



Elite Seat -- A Rant

This post will have nothing at all to do with anything related to spanking or BDSM or any of the things that people come here to read.  So there's the disclaimer.

This post is a rant about a product that was supposed to help with the last bit of straightening on Tom's knee replacement -- a product manufactured by Kneebourne Therapeutic called Elite Seat.  It is likely that most of you will never encounter this beast.  It is, from all I can tell, a very specialized piece of equipment used mostly by physical therapists and sports medicine types...

The device is meant to help straighten the knee when it is bent due to muscle contracture or some other sort of orthopaedic injury or deformity.  In Tom's case, after the successful completion of his surgery, and after months of regular and intensive physical therapy, his affected knee still was not at zero degrees -- not straight.  He achieved great flexion, well over the 120 degrees that is considered successful after knee replacement, but never managed to get the leg straighter than about 3 or 4 degrees.  Being less than totally straight can lead to ongoing pain, and can also cause unwanted wear on the prosthesis.  Straight isn't just a cosmetic plus, it is a medical necessity.

When all the good efforts of a very good physical therapist, and all of Tom's hard work failed to get that knee all the way to straight, the PT recommended the Elite Seat.  It is a fairly simple, light weight, and portable contraption that exerts a (patient-controlled) stretch on the knee joint.  The goal is to, over time, correct the contraction in the muscles and allow the joint to straighten.  Using it requires several 10-15 minute sessions a day.  It is "out of network" for our insurance, and so when He made the initial arrangements for the device, He was told that the company would take what the insurance would pay, and our portion would be a one time, prepaid charge of $400 -- 20% of the monthly rental cost.  The rental term, He was told was unspecified -- "keep it as long as you need it."  We paid that $400 and the Elite Seat was shipped to our home.  He's had it about a month.

Today, He got a phone call from the someone named Brandy, representing the supplier -- the selfsame Brandy who had sold Him on the darned thing to begin with.  It turns out that, today, Brandy has a very different story to tell about the financial arrangements regarding to the rental of the Elite Seat.  Today, the story is that there is a MONTHLY $400 rental charge, and nevermind what you were or were not told at the outset, that is just the way it is.  Suck it up and send us the money.

It is the worst kind of durable medical equipment scam; a completely fraudulent business practice.  He is working to get some sort of resolution from the company -- seemingly three people doing business as both Kneebourne Therapeutic and AKT Medical.  Both use the same phone number, and both are located at the same address in Noblesville, Indiana.  Right now, the "business manager" is purportedly reviewing His file and has promised to call Him back.  If that call does not come fairly soon with some sort of reasonable resolution to this mess, I imagine that there will be phone calls to the Better Business Bureau, and the fraud unit of the state government.  What a mess!  I am sure that no one who reads here will ever encounter this company, or need this piece of equipment.  I sincerely hope not.  Still, this is the forum that I can use to vent about this rotten company.  It won't make any difference, but thank you all for being willing to listen.



What is a Spanking?

I've been getting spanked, and spanking, inside of this relationship for over ten years.  I can't even begin to think about or count how many spankings that must be.  We've spanked across a wide spectrum of "styles" from erotic to disciplinary, and we've used just about every spanking implement there is.  We've used bondage furniture of various kinds, and we've done the almost "traditional" over the knee thing.  If there's a way to spank, probably that has happened in our house.  I've been inclined to think about spanking as just that -- spanking.  Period.  End of discussion.

And then, this morning, waking up slowly and snuggling and rubbing and thinking about an impending spanking, it dawned on me that, at least for me, a spanking is way more than JUST a spanking.  A spanking is ...
pain pleasure touch heat surrender battle obedience submission connection sex thud sting burn rhythm mystery energy dance power discipline joy anger fear triumph hope glory beauty shame prelude finale percussion muscles skin nerves heart mind breath physics love hate gravity resilience balance danger safety defiance risk trust gift ...  

Did I miss any?  I am sure I must have.  Feel free to add to the list.



Another annual Love our Lurkers Day has come and gone.  The cyber event, initiated seven years ago in our part of the cyber universe by Bonnie of My Bottom Smarts, is ostensibly an opportunity for those who "lurk" on our various blogs to come out of hiding and say "hello."  While I don't participate, and haven't for years, I observe the festivities played out on many blogs around the circle.  This year, I note two "new" manifestations around the whole business.

This year, it seems that there were a fair number of bloggers who chose to offer various incentives to their lurkers.  Apparently, many people have determined that it is not sufficient to offer an invitation to the ubiquitous lurker.  The consensus seems to be shifting toward the belief that the only way to get the hidden ones to show themselves is to bribe them into offering a word or two.

The other phenomenon that I noticed this year is that some bloggers feel disappointed in the "turn out" they got out of the event.  I saw several discussions about how many actual lurkers commented, and there is a bit of consternation that, in fact, many of the LOL Day comments are left, not by lurkers, but by regular reader/commenters just making the rounds and saying, "Hi" to friends and neighbors.  Again, the feeling I get is that the "invitation" doesn't seem to accomplish what is wanted.

I, myself, am bemused by the continuing dedication to this exercise.  By definition, a lurker is someone who reads but does not contribute.  At the instant that a blogger manages to convince a lurker to offer some form of participation in the discussion, that individual ceases to be a "lurker."  So, LOL Day is really not about loving those lurkers as much as it is, in reality, about converting them to participating partners in our blogging enterprise.  Too, in a more basic, pre-Internet sense, the act of lurking is about remaining hidden; existing furtively and unobserved; sneaking unseen around the edges; even lying in ambush.  Much as we might like to imagine that there are great, unseen hoardes of FRIENDS waiting to be met (just add water and stir...), the truth is that we do not know, cannot know, the motivation of those who lurk around our various blogs.

I have "met" some wonderful people through the act of writing this blog.  There are people who have become companions and even "friends," albeit with the caveat that we've never laid eyes on one another.  For those people, I have a deep affection and an enduring gratitude.  Those relationships are valuable to me, and I appreciate the effort invested in building relationship by the reader on the other side of the screen.  Lurkers however, do not enter into that sort of interaction.  They come here to read, and I choose to make this place open and available in that way.  I can "see" those readers in my statistics, but I know nothing at all about those people.  They are, for me, "audience" in some sense, but they are not people that I know or care about very much.

I think that, for many who blog, Love Our Lurkers Day is sort of fun.  It is an Internet variant of a neighborhood garage sale, or maybe that convivial Halloween Trick or Treating sort of wandering from house to house that happens in some places on the evening of October 31.  Sometimes, lurkers observing the merriment might decide to take a chance and join the party, but it isn't about them...  LOL Day is about us.  The community likes to do it -- and so it continues.



Truth Telling

Working with our therapist, Judy, Friday, she suggested a new strategy for me.  She called it "truth telling" and described it as coming out of Buddhist cosmology.  I have this troubling on-going issue.  It is distressing for me and is hurtful for sue and t.  The concept of the truth telling technique, as I understand it, is that when I feel betrayed in my ongoing obsessive thoughts that t and sue called 9-1-1, and had me hunted by swat teams, and jailed twice, and convicted of two very stigmatizing crimes, and forced into mandatory participation in A. A. for over a year, and costs of over $10,000........When that happens I need to stop.  I need to recognize that I know there was no malicious intent on their part.  I need to recall that they did not know what would happen when they called 9-1-1.  I have to realize they did not want me put in jail, or to be treated as I was, or to be charged and convicted or any of the other things that occurred.  I need to remind myself they did not develop A. A., or have anything to do with its being mandated for me.  Now the twist in this is that Judy recognizes I do feel that...that I can't prevent my mind from having those thoughts and feelings.  She knows I recognize intellectually those thoughts are irrational, but that my dilemma is, they occur repeatedly daily, obsessively despite my knowing they are irrational.  She asked in this "truth telling" technique that I simply do not say them out loud.  She reminds me that if I say them out loud, they will only exacerbate our relationship issues, and that makes all three of us feel immensely worse.  So I have undertaken truth telling and therefore belying my obsessive internal thought process.

I struggled with this much of the weekend.  I can do it easily enough.  Like most of my various changes the last two years the things I change center, not around doing things, but about not doing something.  It is easy enough for me to just not say those things out loud, but somehow too, this easy exercise had me  in emotional knots.  As the weekend progressed I went on to become ever more morose.  I was thinking that I have no pride, no honor, only self-hatred, weakness, shame, self-concept the last two years.  Sunday came and for the first time in three weeks it was not a day long shouting and screaming match between sue and I.  We were tentative but pleasant.  I was pensive and plagued with internal monologues like the one I described.  As we progressed on to late afternoon, I felt like I had to do something to change  the way I felt....I needed to find something to divert me from, or blast me out of, what I was thinking and feeling.  Our repertoire of  "things we do" has become pretty limited, but we do go to movies, and there were some that have recently opened (or are coming up soon) that we have been interested in.  I suggested we go see the movie "Flight" at 5:30.  Fortunately t and sue were amenable.

As we sat in the theatre watching the twenty-seven minutes of previews that preceded the showing of Flight (yes that is right 27 minutes of previews!) I was mulling over my internal monologue.  I began consciously chanting to myself there was no maliciousness intended when they called 9-1-1.  They were afraid.  They didn't want to hurt me.  All the harm I experienced had nothing to do with what they did.  They were afraid for me and for themselves and tried to get help.  They didn't want to hurt me.  This became a mantra like........ cyclical.  Suddenly I had this warm feeling....this sense of freedom.  For the first time in two years a terrible burden felt as though it was gone, and I felt a warmth for t and  sue that I haven't had for two years.  It was an amazing moment!

It was short-lived...the movie began and I focused my attention on that.  This movie's occurrence in my life at this moment was, at the least, amazingly serendipitous synchronicity....or maybe something more magic...who ever knows.  "Flight" is a story of a commercial airline pilot who makes a heroic landing of a jetliner which saves most of the plane's passengers and crew in a situation in which any other pilot would have lost everyone on board.  The rub was that when he did this he was drunk.  The movie turns out to be the story of his coming to eventually deal with his prison.  There are many graphic scenes about his alcoholism, drug addiction, and myriad related life issues.  The unique thing about him was that his professional functioning was above was superior to his sober peers. It was his health and personal life that was an ever worsening disaster.  My life was like the one depicted in Flight in so many ways.  I was watching the behaviors that t and sue dealt with in me.  I was watching someone rationalize that his life was good...after all look at how well he functioned?  At the end of the movie, in prison, at the end of his first year of sobriety, speaking to an AA meeting, he talks about  how wonderful it is he is free for the first time in his life, and for the first time he begins to discuss the quandry, "Who am I?"

These two experiences, the pre-movie revelation about my feelings regarding sue and t, and then this powerful film and its relevance to my life, left me shaken...but in a positive way.  I kept thanking t and sue last night. They were trying to care for me and for themselves.   I needed to thank them.. They didn't try to harm me.  They didn't mean to betray me.  I feel devastated by what happened and feel betrayed. That is not their fault.   My feelings are my feelings....nothing more nothing less.

When I was in graduate school in counseling psychology I volunteered for a suicide drug crisis hotline agency as a crisis interventionist.  Once I did an outreach to the home of a very poor hispanic migrant worker family.  The mother in the family had a psychotic split, and the result of the outreach was our driving her to the hospital to stop her from chasing her family up and down the street with a knife while she rambled incoherently.  (I am amazed, as I recall this, that she didn't wind up in jail...but I digress:)  I visited her several times in the aftermath and will always recall her looking at me and calling me "her big chicken" (in her state of mind that morning when we came to her home she for whatever reason decided I was "big chicken" and the name stuck for the rest of the times we talked.) As we spoke she would frequently repeat "crazy is crazy" no mas o menos, a mixture of Spanish and English meaning crazy is crazy no more no less.  My feelings are my feelings....crazy is mas o menos.

I am grateful for my sobriety.  It occurs to me that however I got it it is worth it.  I am sorry for what my family had to suffer through with me.  I am devastated by what I went through on the way.  I hope that will get better.  If not there is a great deal that was gained in the exchange and the harm that was done was not done by my family.  They were not punishing me.  They were trying to survive, and wanted good things for me.  My god!!!!!!!

Now I am on to the next day and dealing with more.  I awakened happy in this new realization but seemingly unable to let myself be, I am now onto mulling over how empty life feels now.

The wild thing is ("crazy is crazy no mas o manos") that I felt relatively good about myself two years ago, when I drank, before there was jail and police, and convicitons, and treatment, and AA.  I apparently was alone in that perception ...but then I didn't have to deal with me drunk:)  Now I feel terrible yet, now I am, and feel, healthier.  I enjoy really sleeping.  I enjoy no hang overs.  I can remember the ends of every evening.  I don't have to ask what awful thing I did at the end of an evening when I wake up the next morning.  We could no longer support my drinking financially what with our changed economic realities and the legal expenses this has cost us. So there are many good things in the transition.

Maybe someday I will feel like a man again.

In ten weeks and 2 days I will be sober two years.  All of the health benefits I mentioned, and more, have come to me, and my family never deals with me drunk.  That is good.

I never feel as though I celebrate being alive.  I used to like to feel that I enjoyed my life and thrilled at what a gift life was.  I ate really well.......Now there is gastric bypass surgery and I am way healthier....there is no celebration.  I drank. I firmly believed alcohol was the aqua vita of Roman mythology, and felt the spirits literally and figuratively in my drinking.  I am much healthier and feel much less alive.  I used to smoke.  I chose to end that one.  I felt smoking was a continual momentary pleasure that celebrated life.  I am impressed with how spiritual native American mytholgies are about tobacco.  I am much healthier now...I have not smoked for 12 years.  I will live longer.  I save lots of money.  I have way fewer health issues.  I am  much less happy.

It is amazing that through all of this I still have sue and t.  They are hurt by my feeling less than animated by my "new life."  sue has posited numerous times, that if the absence of these things in my life makes me unhappy, then I must not love her.  If I loved her enough she would be all I would need to be happy.

"Truth telling" not only intervened into the external dynamics between sue and t and I, but effected a much more potent change in my emotional experience.

If I am so much healthier, then why don't I want to be alive like this, why don't I feel like a man, how do I manage to feel like I have my life back, or a new life, or whatever it is that is the mythical "recovery?"


Crazy is crazy no mas o menos


Turning the Queen Mary

There are things that happen quickly and easily, but turning an enormous, ocean-going liner, like the Queen Mary is not one of them.  In the days of screw driven ships, turning around in the open ocean was an undertaking that might take two or three hours.  Today's modern ships can be turned in as little as 30 minutes... although probably it takes longer in the tight quarters of a harbor.

Sometimes, I think that what we are trying to do, as we work to bring our relationship around and set it on a new heading, is a lot like that... turning the Queen Mary.  We have to overcome the momentum that carried us along our previous path. We have to overcome the inertia of a long-term relationship with plenty of history.  We have to create new patterns, find new currents, learn new habits, try to understand an intimate world that is completely "other" than what we recognized before.

In the world of big ships, the thing that does the work of making that turn happen is a small flap on the main rudder called a trim tab.  In terms of the physics, a small adjustment in the trim tab, changes the dynamics of the ship's motion, and so creates the turn with way less effort and energy than you might expect.  A small, effective change can be the beginning of a much bigger movement.

For us, the small triumphs; the seemingly ordinary moments, the otherwise unremarkable happy events act as that relational trim tab.  And so, when we find our way, as we have this weekend, into spankings that leave us flushed and giddy, when we make love, when we enjoy a pleasant meal, when we come out of  a movie feeling like we've shared something special together...  it is way more than what it might seem on the surface. What those things become for us, are the trim tab that helps us change the direction of the ship we've been sailing.  If we are to finally succeed in turning the Queen Mary here, then I think this weekend was a beginning.




We had an awful Sunday last weekend.  He reacted to the post I wrote about Making Space, and I, sensing attack (where there probably was none), went immediately into a snarling defense that left us both shaken and exhausted after an hours long standoff with one another.  In essence, His question was about what, exactly I meant by that phrase, and because I did not really know what I might mean by that, I could not tell Him in any sort of coherent and succinct fashion.  That frustrated Him, and His seeming inability / unwillingness to hear my metaphorical, allegorical musing made me feel as if I could not BE heard under any circumstances.  It was a mess.

Eventually, we wore ourselves out, found a quieter way to approach each other, and resolved to start again. We made it through the week in a sort of sad and tentative truce, and slowly, slowly relaxed toward the weekend.  Today, has been pretty good again, although we are both (I think) wary with each other.

I still don't entirely know what I mean exactly with regard to the notion of "making space."  I don't feel like it has to be a literal "moving apart" as He insists.  I feel like the idea of "space" is more complex and more subtle than the prosaic and expedient path of packing a bag and moving away.  That isn't something I want to contemplate.  I've fought hard to still be here.  I am invested.

I just keep thinking that there is space that is full of stars and planets; space that I create in the early spring as I thin the seedlings in my vegetable garden to allow the remaining plants room and resources to grow; space between the notes in a bit of music; green space that makes my neighborhood lovely and relaxing; space in my closet; spaces on a checker board; parking space; space around my dinner table; space within the atoms of the universe...

I don't yet know what I need in the way of relational space -- what we might need together.  I have not spent much time, in the last ten years, thinking about space.  While I think about it all, I offer some of the thinking that others have done about the subject:

Humor does not diminish the pain - it makes the space around it get bigger.
Allen Klein

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor E. Frankl

We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.
Max de Pree

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.
Joseph Campbell

The extent of your consciousness is limited only by your ability to love and to embrace with your love the space around you, and all it contains.
Napoleon Bonaparte

As long as you don't forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.
Isabelle Holland

Love is space and time measured by the heart.
Marcel Proust

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.
Orson Scott Card

Our time here is magic! It's the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique, in. It's the only space.
Ben Okri

I think that the ideal space must contain elements of magic, serenity, sorcery and mystery.
Luis Barragan

When friendship disappears then there is a space left open to that awful loneliness of the outside world which is like the cold space between the planets. It is an air in which men perish utterly.
Hilaire Belloc

Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it.
Dee Hock



I have what is called Normal Tension Glaucoma.  It is an unusual form of glaucoma which usually manifests with elevated pressures in the eye.  That high intra-occular pressure damages the optic nerve resulting in progressive loss of vision.  In normal tension glaucoma, the pressures that are measured within the eye are within the range that is considered to be "normal."  However, even though the pressures seem normal, the disk of the optic nerve, visible at the back of the eye, shows clear evidence of damage.

In the early stages of the disease, there are essentially no symptoms.  One doctor described it as being in a room filled with 1000 lamps.  If one lamp, here and there, gets switched off, odds are you won't notice -- unless you are looking right at it.  The progressive loss of visual function is not easy to observe until the damage is well advanced.

I have been lucky to be monitored by very good eye doctors, and my glaucoma was detected very early.  It has been watched carefully for many, many years, and has been "stable" for about four years.  I don't notice that I have diminished vision, although the visual field tests that my doctor performs twice a year clearly show the damaged spots in my field of vision.  He says that I have moderate to advanced damage...  but it has been controlled by medication, and kept stable.  Until today.

Today, my regular checkup showed progression in the damage visual on my visual fields test, and the measured pressures in both eyes are higher than they have been for years.  Not dangerously high for a normal person, but too high for me.  The recommendation is to increase and expand my use of three different prescription eye drops to try and bring the pressure back down.  He'll check it again in about 3 weeks.

And then...  He told me that he is moving his practice to another office, and limiting his hours to mornings only.  There are other glaucoma specialists in the practice that I can see, but I am worried.  I feel uncomfortable about losing this doctor (who is no charmer) because he is very good at what he does, and he has followed my case from the very beginning.  It scares me.

The whole thing scares me.  I have lived with this for many years, and not really looked at it very closely.  I have lived with the fantasy that I could just go on as I have been, taking my eye drops and seeing the world as I do today.  Now, I am faced with the potential that this may, over time, result in a significant loss of functional sight.  No one can tell me when or how much.  The prognosis is unclear and unpredictable.

I am shaken.  Worried.  Afraid of a future that I cannot control, and cannot avoid.  Tonight, I want to sit in the light, write on my computer, watch the television, and look at the faces that I love.  I feel, somehow, that I ought to remember, everyday, that I will not ALWAYS be able to do that.  The things that I love; the things that fill my world with visual interest and joy -- they will be taken from me, bit by bit.  And I cannot even begin to guess, how long I will have...




Making Space

On Marriage
 Kahlil Gibran
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. 

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. 

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

We have, as He indicated, both started back into therapy.  We had a relatively calm summer, without many overt symptoms related to His PTSD, and with very little of the acute craziness that I am prone to in reaction response to that (which seems to have no fancy name, so let's just keep on calling it "my craziness").  The therapist (Judy -- as He has indicated) is clearly going to focus on the harms done to Him by His abusive mother.  With me, she seems focused on helping me negotiate my own craziness with strategies and "friendly advice" about how to cope in the event.  While she is clear that I have my own abusive history, it is clear to both of us that my really nutty episodes are wrapped around His.  In general, I'm level when He is, and I am totally nuts if He is mired in a PTSD episode.  I believe that much of what Judy will try to help me figure out is how to make "space" in my life with Tom.  

I admit that I am afraid that creating separation between us will forever push us apart.  She assures me that is not the case.  She insists that a healthy space between us is necessary for us to come together fully again.  I can hear that, and somewhere in my brain, it feels true -- and I am still scared of the actual doing.  

I have, for ten years, lived and breathed inside of Tom's energy.  There came to be, over time, very little of our life together that was not directly or indirectly influenced by Him.  I willingly (for the most part) shifted my physical and emotional world to conform with what He wanted, needed, directed.  A lot of that was my own wish, my volition, my desire.  I wanted to be close to Him.  I wanted His approval.  I wanted His love, and I wanted to live out the love I felt for Him.  It seemed right and good and natural and easy (usually) to move into being "His" in that intense and intimate way.  I knew, as we moved along, through the years, that I was losing my voice; losing my capacity to say "no" in even the most elemental ways.  I understood, that, while He loved me, there were places where He'd let me be desperately unhappy rather than abandon what He wanted in the moment.  I kept on believing that, wherever I would find myself struggling, with those realities, it was a failing in me -- and never about something that ought to be examined and changed between us.  

Now, it seems that if we are to ever find our way to something that is genuinely good and happy again, we are going to have to fashion a different sort of dynamic between us.  Judy believes that we will again feel deeply connected and play again with the power we share, but she is clear that we will have to do that with a new set of understandings.  I think the phrase she used with Him was "codependent psychosis."  Not sure that is a "real" diagnosis.  I think it probably isn't, but it may be an accurate description in my case.  The trick I have to learn is how to express to Him how much I love Him; have always loved Him; will always love Him -- while not getting dragged down into the muck and mire with Him.  How can I figure out a way to make a space to stand that is safe enough for me, without somehow giving Him the message that I don't love Him even as He struggles.  Because I do...  Love Him just the way He is.  

Over and over again, as I have worked with Judy, she has asked me if I would choose this life and this love even if...  Even if the sex went away and was never ever fantastic again?   Even if the spanking stopped forever?  Even if He never does feel sure and confident and secure enough again to take me in and hold me and tell me I am His?  Even if He and I never find the place where we step into the flow of our shared power and soar off together?  Even if...?  Over and over again, my answer has been "Yes."  Unequivocably.  Forever and always.  The rules seem to have changed.  Radically.  I changed them  He changed them.  Maybe they never really were rules to begin with.  I don't know.  I only know that I love this Man.



Court Call Day---Started Again and Resumed

I wrote this yesterday late morning through midday as I was getting ready to head off to my third of my my weekly psycho-therapy sessions since my most recent foray into acute PTSD symptoms.  I had had a pretty good week due to the interactions and expressions sue and I had posted here.  Yesterday, however,
I was starting to feel worse again, and was panicking as I was feeling myself losing the relief I had felt for a few days.  I did post this as I left for the 50 mile drive to my therapist (not only is a good therapist difficult to find, but it is particularly challenging to find an excellent one who is poly and kink friendly, thus the distance we travel to her.)  When I returned home I felt ashamed of having posted it....shame being my primary emotion the last two years.  Too I feared that leaving it visible here and courting reactions from others might damage what I hoped would be a good weekend for the three of us.  As I have processed yesterday's  therapy, and we have embarked on what feels like a nice weekend, and partly in response to ordalie's comment asking what became of this post, I have decided to put it up again, with a slightly amended title.  I have added this introduction and will discuss what occurred with my court call and my therapy afterwards.  The following is the original post which had been here entitled simply "Court Call Day."

Today is the day that I have to phone the court to find out whether I have to report for jury duty Monday.  The call is mandated to occur between 1:00 and 3:00.  Of course I have my therapist at 2:00 and it is an hour drive to her office.  I will leave early and phone them on the way.  It amazes me that now I have almost no time commitments or appointments in my life...typically one or two in any given week..... the court always manages to schedule any mandated activity exactly when they occur.  I had a 9:00 AM Monday appointment with my surgeon who preformed last June's knee replacement this Monday.  This was my 4 month follow-up exam.  I have rescheduled it. Court is of course at 9:00 AM Monday.  The appointment will now be in mid November...... likely that date will be my next mandated court appearance.  My last mandated appearance was at the time of one of my last physical therapy appointments. It is as if somehow they have my calendar to find ways to make anything they require as intrusive and painful as they possibly can....even now that they no longer have charges against me.

I have been feeling pretty well as this week progressed.  Getting to write about the events that happened almost two years ago (two days remain to that anniversary) and their consequences from my perspective made me feel stronger.  Sue commented to me that it is like I recovered my voice to an extent.  It is good to reach out and interact with others somewhat meaningfully even if it is via the internet.  The last two years I feel so ashamed that I avoid facing anyone that I knew before this.  Obviously I relate to t and sue and a couple of times a year to my son.  I'm not agoraphobic.  I go shopping, and buy gas for the car, and go to medical appointments.  I limit my interactions with folks.....but  I am socially pleasant so long as relationships are very superficial.  This is a change.  I was hugely socially interactive before.  In my career I was a small scale celebrity.  I was involved with politics.  I frequently spoke publicly whether to community audiences, or testimony in legislative bodies, guest teaching appearances in universities, etc.  t and sue would joke that if I was alone with someone...say for an elevator ride I would strike up a conversation and frequently have a superficial friendship by the end of the ride.  It was not uncommon for me to be on TV and/or radio a couple of times a year.  Now I can't handle risking interacting. anyone seeing me.  Friends call and I just don't respond.  People who knew me....this year it was a state legislator who wanted me to contribute to (like I can afford that anymore) and work with her campaign call I don't respond.  I answer phone calls from t, sue or my son.  All others I just ignore.  I feel as if I have some horrid disfigureation that no one should be exposed to....or rather that I am too ashamed for them to see.

I am slipping again this afternoon.  Is it the approach of this court contact? Is it my therapy at 2:00? Is it that Sunday is the anniversary of all this followed  by a trip to court the next morning?  Is it that it is dark today?  Is it that I am insane?  Is it that............

My thoughts are invaded by awakening out of being drunk and passed out on my couch, the middle of the night, Halloween 2010, alone in our condo, surrounded by 5 police who pick me up handcuff me and carry me from my home.  I don't know how they got in............I had had no idea they were coming....when I was carried out my front door there were numerous police vehicles with lights flashing and quite a number of police....and to my complete amazement t and sue who were spending the night somewhere else,  or so I thought, were right there with them.  The horrific reality dawned on me that they had called them.  They had made this happen.  My heart broke.  It was only 3 days since sue's 9-1-1 call claiming I was suicidal had brought out the swat team.  I had had numerous assurances from both of them there would never ever be a 9-1-1 call ever again.   Here we were.  Here I was.  Here were the police.

I was fighting and struggling as much as I could in handcuffs carried by five police.  They threw me in the back of a police car.  I tried to kick it apart, beat my head on the window, anything I could do to resist.  I was really not getting at all what was happening or that they had the ability to do this to me.  I actually believed  the crap about your having civil rights in your home then.  I was so naive.  I didn't know that is all drivel and amounts to nothing at all if they and courts want you.  They have carte blanche to do anything they want to you.  There are no limits.

They moved me to a new police car and restrained me more completely so that I could not continue to batter their vehicle.  They drove me about 25 minutes to jail.  I was furious and quite certain this had to be unjust.  I had been asleep in my living room.  I had done nothing.  I was carried out in shackles to be taken to jail.  I was non-compliant when I got to the jail, but finally let them take my mugshot gave them my name etc.  answered the processing in questions.  They took me to a cell.   I was stripped completely.  I was given a sort of padded quilt.  That was my only toilet soap there was an inch and a half thick plastic pad on the steel cot.  That pad and my quilt were the only things in the cell.  I was kept there like that for three days. This was to keep me from committing suicide.  I have never wanted to end my life more.  I was allowed out of the cell for an hour typically at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning when no one else was up.  Then I was allowed to shower, and walk around as much as I wanted in the cell block or watch TV.  The night after the first day they let me call sue. I was forbidden to call t...they had trumped up a domestic violence charge so we could not talk.  I asked her how this had had I gotten there?  The first morning I was allowed a set of orange overalls and sandals and shackled hand and foot to a waist chain I was hauled to court.  I asked what I was charged with and how I had gotten there?  I asked who had charged me?  My lack of understanding was veiwed by the court that I was likely criminally insane.  After court it was back to jail..stripped nude...and back into my cell for what I asserted was solitary confinement...but I was assured it was not solitary it was "suicide watch."

Well that is all for to therapy.

That was the end of yesterday's post.  I phoned the court as ordered when I arrived at my therapy appointment a few minutes before we were to begin.  I reached a clerk who couldn't find my name and asked if I really had been told to call.  I couldn't resist asking her if she thought that I would call and ask about jury duty Monday, in the middle of the two hour window you are mandated to call in, with my prospective juror number, if they had not sent it to me.  She looked further and finally said I did not have to appear Monday she thought.  It is frustrating not knowing, imagining that if I am to be there Monday and don't appear, they will come get me again.....but I will have to trust the information she gave me.  I have rescheduled my surgeon appointment Monday for no reason.

I went into therapy.  I talked about the last week, our posting here, sue's first appointment with the therapist Thursday evening, and we delved on.  The Therapist ( seems so impersonal to refer to someone who has been so important to the three of us as "the therapist") is pushing a lot into the issue of how ashamed  I feel of this whole experience and how crippling that shame is for me.  She eventually into asking me what I had done I was ashamed of.  She cannot see any behavior I engaged in that should have warranted the treatment I had at the hands of the justice system.  She can understand why I would be enraged, hurt betrayed, unhappy depressed all of those feelings I certainly have had and have processed through significantly.  But she is mystified by my sense of profound shame.  The most I can come up with by way of explanation is that people are not treated as I was unless they are profoundly damaged, evil, wrong, guilty, horrid, awful, etc.  She told me (she used to have a practice doing psychology with jail inmates thus she is a credible informant) that that is quite frequently the case frankly that the system does this kind of thing to people unreasonably and without cause.

She wants to explore why it is that this has been so totally debilitating for me.  She can imagine my hurt, pain, expense, discomfort, record etc. but this overwhelming shame-based inability to function at so many levels seems curious to her.

We (well she and I following her) arrived at the realization that the great depth of what I am feeling is not about what happened at the hands of the police, or t or sue, and certainly not about drinking (although she thinks my not drinking is a good thing) but is about a powerful predisposition I have to see myself as profoundly defective as a result of my mother's abuse of me as a child.  She tells me that in 25 years of psycho-therapy the child abuse I lived through is the worst she has ever seen.  She wants to work with me on healing that.  Over the next week I am to work at having imaginary conversations with my mother in which I tear her a new one for the things she did to me.  She has other things she intends for us to do regarding this.

She also gave me a pep talk reminding me that PTSD does not just go away but is rather diminished overtime by decreasing frequency, intensity, and duration, of acute episodes, and how far I have come since she met me a year and three quarters ago.  It was really poignant for me when she told me that I will get my life back.    Judy told me too that if this had not occurred during a three year period in which I had four major surgeries, lost both my parents and my mother in law, lost my career, lost 55% of my body weight, and lost my daughter, I might have had greater resiliance too.  She also told me to ignore the assholes who want to describe this all as a function of alcohol (which I haven't had any of for nearly two years anyway), or being a "dry drunk," or just not letting go (like I wouldn't let go of this if I had a way to do that...this hurts!!!!), or any of the other crap that people on the Internet who are ignorant and not friends will say.

As I have processed this, I realize that I have not felt well, good, happy...since October 28, 2010.
This morning with sue we played and made love and interacted and I felt like there was sort of a small window.  Not that I felt well, but that I could imagine the possibility of feeling well again someday.  I can see how much better I am now even at my lowest points than I have been since this began.  "Well" doesn't feel like something I experienced before all this and will never feel again.

Who knows maybe a corner has  been turned, or is at least coming into sight.