It's been a good weekend for us. We played yesterday. Pretty intensely. More intensely than we have for a long while. I dropped into subspace about midway through it all, and floated along on the endorphin cloud for the rest of the session. Took me some time to come back up out of the fog, but when I did surface, I was feeling all warm and fuzzy -- and thrilled to be in that space. It was warm here today (for February), and the sun was out in a gloriously blue sky day. We took advantage and went for a bike ride. Fun. It is also my birthday. I got new bike shorts, and they were duly and officially broken in (in conjunction with my birthday spanking) before we took off this afternoon. Two good spankings in two days. My butt is tender, but my head is easier than it has been for a very, very long time. Too, in the spirit of His new found "switchiness,” I managed to give Him a pretty good spanking as well – because He actively campaigned for it. LOL.
For many in this lifestyle community, that probably all seems pretty ho-hum, but for us, the interactions of this weekend are signposts along the road to healing and wellness. We've been a mess. There's no hiding the ugliness we've struggled with this year. Our catastrophic crash into the legal and interpersonal traumas of alcohol addiction and recovery has been drawn starkly here for all to see. We were not graceful, grateful, or gentle about any of it. Some, but far from all, of what has transpired inside of our family this year has been written here -- and I am sure it has been uncomfortable and difficult reading.
What has been truly remarkable, as we've stumbled our way forward, is how many of our readers have been willing to sit with us in our pain and our anger and our confusion. The strength and skill and gentleness poured out here for us have been breathtaking. Of course, not everyone comes by to cheer us on. We get the occasional negative and judgmental comment, like these from anonymous readers in Louisville, Kentucky and Raleigh, North Carolina:
… Is this the meaning of "dominant"? It sounds a little more like "domineering" to me. …
…I too went through a year of this kind of crap…eventually I just felt annoyed…we have to be responsible for ourselves. And that is true for him as well as for you (though he doesn't, in my view, seem very willing to accept that.)
We often see that in the lifestyle. Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of seemingly good, solid relationships hit the rocks. Something goes wrong and the power dynamic falls apart. And what happens in that event? Often, maybe too often, the parties throw up their hands, throw in the collar, and give it up. People who, in the beginnings of creating their relationship, may have negotiated for months and drawn up formal contracts and ironed out every single niggling detail, fold up their tents and head for the hills at the first rumblings of trouble. And, we who observe from the outside, rush to judgment, choose up sides, and cheer the dissolution. How very sad.
I will admit that I have a (slightly – or maybe not even slightly immodest) vision of us, healing and growing through this awful time, and leaving here in this place, a trail that others might someday follow. I really think that there should be some kind of structure or mechanism for finding your way through the really hard places in our power-based relationships. Our unusual family dynamics make it nearly impossible for us to take advantage of the typical supports available to mainline marriages – there isn’t a “marriage counselor” option for many of us in D/s relationships -- we don't always fit into the traditional view of couples or families. Like so much of what we do in this realm, we have to create it for ourselves. And that is a tall order, especially when you are in the midst of an intimate relational crisis; especially when the person you normally rely on to hold you up and keep you safe is desperately trying to stay alive themselves – and cannot help you. I don’t propose to advise others, and I am not in any way qualified to act as counselor to those in distress, but I do think that our story (and the stories of others brave enough to speak truthfully of these things) might be a source of hope and solace to others – you can survive, you can heal, you can thrive again, you can LOVE again, do not give up.
We aren't all the way into safe territory yet. We have tough times still. But we also have some times that are better -- even good. There are more good moments all the time; many more than there were a year ago, or six months ago. Tonight feels hopeful. That's all we ever get anyway.