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I Do Not Know What to Call This

I keep hearing myself, in my head, talking to myself.  One of the things that I have been telling myself in the last few days is that "it feels like we have turned a corner."  Not literally.  The idiom means that if something or someone turns the corner, their situation starts to improve after a difficult period.  We have come through a very difficult period, and it feels like things are beginning to improve -- on a number of levels. 

That is good news.  Better is better.  It is.  I am convinced we have been carried along by powerful magic, pure un-redeemed stubbornness, remarkable good luck, and perhaps some friendly spirits.  I'm guessing that not one relationship in a hundred would have withstood the period of two or three years through which we've just passed -- and remained intact.   

So, here we are, having turned the corner.  Or seemingly so.  There is the odd sensation that I can no longer see what was.  It is behind me, around the corner, and out of sight.  All that remains is ahead of me.  What that is, I do not know.  This is such unfamiliar territory.  There are none of the familiar landmarks, and nothing that I recognize or could use by which to orient.  This side of the corner is utterly foreign.

He is feeling better and better, maybe even starting to feel good.  As that happens, He and I are beginning to circle around the resurgence of our D/s dynamic... and I am a mess.  I failed so utterly at being "slave."  Clearly, I am not up to the ideal of "no limits" slavery.  I have limits -- definite and incontrovertible, and when I am pushed, I will fight like a wild cat to protect myself in those places.  I still read around the BDSM blogging circle, and I can see where and how I fall short of the mark.  Everywhere I look, there you all are:  trusting, confident, softly submissive, sure of yourselves and sure of your dominant partners.  I tried that path; made a thorough-going mess of it, and now it is a fact that I am "in control" in our relationship to some degree.  The part of me that wants to be "good at this;" the part of me that wants to be "doing it right;" the part of me that values "success" is horrified at that truth.  I am ashamed at my weakness and inability to do what others seemingly do with ease and joy.  

My therapist tells me that there is some of my power that is mine alone; that it should never be given away; that I was foolish to ever believe that could be done safely.  No sensible person should give away all of their power to another.  She contends that, knowing that, I can choose deliberately and consciously how to share my power and create a relationship that works better than what was before.  It all sounds so rational; so sensible.  Sitting there, across from her, I can nod assent to those ideas.  Intellectually, they make perfect sense -- and then I leave and they sit inside of me like a stone.  To hear the life I dreamed of characterized in that fashion makes me feel small, foolish, diminished.  How can she be right (and I imagine she is "right"), and that make me feel so bereft?  

I am conflicted.  I love Him.  Still.  Always.  I want to be His.  Am His?  Don't know what that means.  I know where I will not go again.   I know what I will not tolerate ever again.  I imagine that requires some sort of "negotiation," and I have no idea how to do that with Him.  It sets off my famously convoluted capacity for asking "what if," and always brings me to the awful question:  "What if, after all, He doesn't want me anymore?"  

Then again, what if He does -- want me?  Still.

Sue (swan)


  1. Maybe you aren't that woman anymore, and he isn't that man. And now you'll have to discover whether the woman you are and the man he is still want each other. I think I know the answer. I hope I know.

    1. sin -- Probably you are right. I think that woman vanished in the chaos created by my hysterectomy -- never to be seen again. I've mourned her; tried futilely to resurrect her; pretended she was still around... All for nothing. I miss her. She was carefree, adventurous, brave, strong, and sexy as hell.

      I always imagined that, someday I'd grow up to be a wise old woman like the ones I so admired in my younger years. Instead, I've come to this, sad and defeated with the broken bits of dreams (and even those, I am told, were silly and wrong).

      Getting old just sucks. And, even given the alternative, I am not sure it is worth the hassle.

      Sue (swan)

    2. Anonymous2:36 PM

      I bet that woman is still there. Maybe your revolt against being "slave" is part of her expression? Maybe she has changed her desires.

  2. hi swan,
    i haven't commented on here before but have been reading all the updates on your situation. i don't know if this comment will help or be appreciated but i figure it's worth a try.

    i'm guessing that i fall into the group of "trusting, confident, softly submissive, sure of yourselves and sure of your dominant partners" slaves in the BDSM blogging circle that you read about, but that doesn't mean i don't have limits. i think that every slave does, even if they haven't come up against them yet. There may well be a situation in my future where Sir does or requires something that i just can't give, that goes against my very nature as a human being, that kicks my survival instinct into operation and i would act in similar ways to what you and T did. And i think that goes for every slave out there, because we're all still human at the end of the day.

    i think it is possible for you and He to forge a D/s relationship again, based on new understandings of each other and where your limits lie so you can feel confident submitting fully to Him again, knowing there's a few no-go areas He won't touch. i wish you lots of luck and truly hope it works out for everyone involved.


    1. libby -- I agree with you on the subject of limits. I find myself wanting to shriek that "NOT YET" line at every "no limits" slave I read. I know I was probably that sure myself once, and that knowing makes this even worse. I did believe that He would always keep me safe, even as He hurt me and tormented me beyond what I thought I could endure. I believed in the strength of our connection, and trusted His love. And the unthinkable still happened. And that makes me "not slave." Given that, what am I? I do not know. And, it appears there is no one who can tell me...

      Sue (swan)

  3. i don't want to say 'i know how you feel' i don't want to say 'that's where i am now' cause truthfully - though my situation MAY parallel yours slightly - it is nothing like yours.

    i do know we are still working very very hard to find a way of doing D/s that works - for both of us. I do know I have been very open about my limits...... and funny enough he has been very open about his limits. (i never knew he had real true limits!!)

    I do know - we will never be where we were - and I have no idea where we will end up - but I do know I am finally enjoying this part of the journey more....... I think we are both more comfortable with each other - again.

    I think all we can hope for - you and I - is to forge a new way of doing old things - that fits and works for us.

    I know you will do it..... I know I will do it. You'll see - around these corners are wonderful new ways of being exactly who we are !!

    big hugs.

    1. I hope you are right, morningstar. I want there to be some possibility of something that can work. Right now, I am not convinced.

      Sue (swan)

  4. Anonymous10:14 PM


    I congratulate you on working through the difficulty of the past few years.
    I don't know if this helps but will offer my two cents worth. In any relationship
    be it Vanilla, D/D D/s etc. There must be communication and trust. I would surmise that
    as you build your relationship back those elements will strengthen. If you truly wish to have a
    successful D/s relationship then you have to communicate your limits and trust that he will not
    push you past them, but may take you to the brink of them. If there is not trust then you can't truly submit. Best of luck to you.


    1. C -- Thanks for the wishes. Communication is such a challenge. Humans seem to be wired to do it, and yet we are so very bad at it. Time will tell I guess.

      Sue (swan)

  5. Anonymous1:43 PM

    "My therapist tells me that there is some of my power that is mine alone; that it should never be given away; that I was foolish to ever believe that could be done safely. No sensible person should give away all of their power to another. She contends that, knowing that, I can choose deliberately and consciously how to share my power and create a relationship that works better than what was before."

    I mean this with no criticism or negativity at all, but I agree with your therapist. Several years ago, a bomb went off in my long-term marriage. It was preceded not by a single action, but the consequence of a series of devastating losses that came one after another. The result: I became depressed and withdrawn (I tried not to be depressed; I did everything everyone told me to do--therapy, drugs, etc., but I remained depressed.) My husband began to believe I did not love him anymore. As a consequence he began an affair with a much younger woman. I discovered the affair about six months after it had started. My husband refused to give up the young woman. I couldn't believe it. I kept thinking, how can he expect me to live with this. I did everything I could to make him stop: I was nice, I was sexy, I was angry, I was cold, I dragged him to therapy, etc. My psychiatrist tried to make me understand that I could not change him. But she also tried to make me understand that my life had to be more than responding to him. I had to speak from my own power. This was the very hardest thing I had ever done. Not because I was his slave (we do bdsm in our sexual lives but not 24/7), but because all my adult life I had depended on him being a part of my life, being my husband, loving me. (I did not depend on him financially, though.)

    For about 8 months, I stayed in my marriage alternating between being angry and being sad. I snooped, I hunted down clues. My whole existence was defined around the way he had hurt me and (worse) his absolute inability to stop hurting me.

    Eventually (mainly because of the good luck of leaving the situation for several months) the affair ended. Eventually my husband recognized what he had did, expressed remorse--which was all I really needed. We were tentative with each other for a while, but we now have a good marriage. But it has changed. I still love him very much, share everything that is important with him, serve him sexually. But I no longer cede him the power to make my life complete or real. Were something else to happen (which I do not expect), I would leave. I don't tell him that, but I know it inside me.

    I think your therapist is right. You give someone your power, and as long as giving power away enables you to have what you want or need, you acquiesce. But for me, I had to know, deep down inside, that in the end, it is my life and my decisions. I now understand that, for good or ill, much of my happiness or my sense of living a worthy life comes not just from my marriage but also from me, even sometimes a part of me I do not share with him.

    And just to say, my therapist gave me exactly the same advice yours gave you; it just took me a really long time to understand what she was saying.


    1. L -- You think my therapist is right... OK. The advice she gives me fits your situation, and your life. OK. It still feels just as awful to me.

      Sue (swan)

  6. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Sorry you still are experiencing pain and doubt. Perhaps you must first define and find yourself, your true self...your inner core. Not the person who is defined by her relationship as 'slave'. Or the person who is what she thinks another wants her to be or who she has been in the past. Your identity (as described in previous posts) is to be tied to who and what Tom wants. If his needs or wants change then growing and changing with him might be the answer, if it is too painful, then search for an alternative. Something only you can decide. None of us are who we were in the beginning of a relationship. All things change over time...Organisms, relationships, people...if not... we stay static and wither away. How we handle the changes, chart our future direction in life.

    Wishing you the best as you find your true self and direction.

  7. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Point taken.


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