I haven’t written anything non-fluff about my life in a while because sometimes the honesty seems like too much to bear. But the omission of certain things makes stories untrue at their heart and makes for finished writings that taste of synthetic flavoring.
This shit is hard.
It seems like it should be easy. I tell him what to do, he does it. Hell, I’m even easygoing about it: I don’t want a TPE because that sounds like work, I don’t want someone who wants to be micromanaged. I don’t have stories that mark me out as dominant since I was young, I don’t have weird playground stories, nor had particularly unusual teenage fantasies.
What I do have is years of power struggles within relationships. It’s not kinky. Some of those relationships were abusive, and I struggled against being subsumed. Against fear; of my partner, of being lost. Some of them were growing pains; struggles against partners who were just ill-fitting pants.
I finally made my first forays into bringing myself into the kink scene a little less than a decade ago. I’d had kinky sex, as a bottom, I’d even “sold” myself at a “slave auction” for charity at a “stand and model” fetish party, and been flogged by a terribly awkward dude, who’d have been a better top if he’d concentrated on the flogging and not whispering porny nonsense into my ear. I had no idea what” the scene” actually looked like, but instinctively I knew it didn’t look quite like the flashy parties I’d been to.
Where I went from there is hardly important in this context, only that I was in a time of learning about not only kink, but myself. I was thinking about how much I enjoyed a new top skill I was learning. I was thinking about not thinking of myself as just one thing to one person vis a vis kink. I was feeling like someone had walked up to me and said “hey, you’re holding that map upside down, oriented to where you’re trying to go.” It was a time where I was thinking about how to lay down those struggles.
I’ve talked about this before. How I was unprepared to meet KillBoy. How him at my feet felt good and right and also terrifying. I would go into this with no expectations because how could I have any? This was a situation we were inventing whole cloth. There were hiccups. There are always hiccups. That’s not exclusive to kink, that’s inclusive of all relationships.
But now I have a different angle on tearing myself up. I’m supposed to be in control. If things fail, how is it not my fault?
Life makes us all its servants, no existence so orderly that surprises do not derail occasionally, unexpected demands we must attend to. Ever since he moved to be with me, we’ve had transition, worries about the basic necessities of life. Kink has been a non-starter.
And then there’s the mental illness. Depression, anxiety, the well-worn paths of self-loathing that ex partners tried to pave into permanence. It’s been ugly lately, with his coping mechanisms leaking as they overflow, and my dammed up reserves bursting as I tearfully insist that I will never ever be better never and he should divorce me and save himself.
I’m grateful that my bold talk about no one being perfect is bolstered by Berkson addressing head on Eiren’s mental/physical needs in his blog, by Miss Pearl’s recent post about Wildcard’s being chronically ill. Because even if we work through the difficulties we have, treatments for our troubles aren’t cures. I suspect it’s a common experience, to believe that no one can love one’s troubled brain, one’s flawed body forever. Caregiver fatigue is a real thing, and how many years can he take, where cleaning me up after I’ve cried until I’m red and hiccuping, is a slightly less than monthly occurrence in the good times, weekly in the bad? Will he ever believe me that his ailments are something I know will keep happening to at least some extent, and that I balance it against the good, finding him always worthy?
Stack all this together, and in my dark moments my brain tells me absolutely and without a doubt that I am a terrible wife. That the idea that I could even be a real top, nevermind a dominant is the dumbest thing I’ve ever been mistaken about, who did I think I was even kidding? There’s a certain grandiosity to the lowest of the lows; it seems reasonable to think that I’ll find myself divorced, again, and that my friends will all look at me and know I was a fraud, and I’ll never be able to show my face in the scene again because somehow everyone will know that I’m a fake. I’ll think: It’s just as well that the toys are gathering dust, because I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m boring at best and inept at worst, and KillBoy just doesn’t know the difference through lack of experience with people who actually do know what they’re doing. I’ll think: he wants me because I showed up and offered him what he thinks he wants but what he actually got was a hot mess.
We talked recently, about how to structure things to make them better and more workable for us, because things were badly defined, and things going unsaid sat under our skins like splinters. It was good. Hopeful. But when you spend this much time with a brain that generates its own poison, it’s hard to trust that things will work out just because you want them to. Regardless of whether things go well or badly, I have to work at knowing what’s me being realistic, and what is years of mental illness causing me to carve myself up again.
All I know for sure is that recently I read something written by another woman about how knocked off her feet she was by a submissive, just kneeling and giving her that look. I know the one, I know how much I miss that feeling of being on the receiving end, and I cried to read it.
We both want it back in working order, but that’s not going to magically happen without effort from us both. I can’t tidy all of that up or hide from it, not without embroidering our story until it’s an utter fairy tale. I’ve never lied here, but I have tried to tuck things away as if I were cleaning for a party and stuffing a closet with clutter.
So let’s start again.
I’m Ms Killjoy. I have anxiety, depression, not a lot of accomplishment to my name or a lot of faith in myself, but I do have KillBoy. He’s the one that gives me that look, especially when I wrap him in satin and chain. This is our life, where we care for each other as owner and pet. This is my love letter to him and to the dynamic that feeds us, though it may have spots of coffee and blood and tears in places.