Tag Archives: hope

The Shrinking Man

tumblr_nlvqxguBOC1rkbqbko1_500

I love the Dominant men I’m involved with, in their different ways for the different relationships I have with them. I’ve gotten the closest to three; the man that found me, the man that owns me, and the man that pushes me. Each relationship is radically different from the last, with different levels of closeness.

Despite all the differences between the men and the relationships I’ve had with them they, along with most Dominant men I’ve met, have had a common trait; one that often clashes with the submissives in their care.

Submissives, by nature, are made to share. To be emotionally honest. To share every last detail, last thought, with the Dominant men in their lives so that the Dominants can be assured that their submissive is healthy, physically and emotionally, and that this relationship is still okay for both of them. In essence, we talk a lot. We share a lot. We can yammer until we’re blue in the face, especially if we’re nervous (just ask Kane…).

Dominants, from my experience, tend to do the opposite. They take any emotional burdens in on themselves. They want to process through emotional stuff on their own. Smith gave me the term “shrinking man”. He’s admitted to shrinking when he’s upset, or going through a hard time. He pulls away, gets quiet. Trying to balance and talk to submissives turns into another emotional burden, making the situation worse.

There’s nothing wrong with not being an emotional talker, with not wanting to express every last emotion and empty out what’s going on in your head. It’s just such a different approach than most submissives take on communication and processing emotions. This can be a bit of a mental mindfuck for subs, especially inexperienced ones.

This journal entry hits close to home for me.. it’s something I personally struggle with, seeing those I care about in emotional turmoil but being unable to help as they help me. A Dominant’s job is to be able to put together all the pieces of their submissive. To know what makes them tick. Know what their triggers are. In that knowledge, they ease their submissive during tough times more so than anyone else. Kane is the first man to see me at my worst, my most depressed, and know exactly how to bring me back from the emo ball of doom that I was in. He did it so easily, so effortlessly, that I hadn’t even noticed what he was doing until after, when I was curled up in his arms and my mood was 20 times lighter.

As a submissive, it’s hard not to feel like a failure when you can’t do the same for your Dominant, or a Dominant in your life. We want to make everything better, to please, it’s a need for us. We need to make it better… or we’re not doing our job, right?

Wrong. This can be the HARDEST thing for a submissive to process. Submissives, who are groomed to be emotionally open and pleasing and cause pleasure for those they care for and trust.

Sometimes you just can’t make it better, and that’s okay.

You, as a submissive, are not a failure if you can’t pull a Dominant in your life out of his funk or mood. It’s hard, because your focus is on them, You get pleasure from their pleasure..and if there is no pleasure for them… falling into their spiral of unhappiness is all too easy. “Why should you be happy” the bad voices say “if they aren’t? Why should you do well, take care of yourself, when you can’t take care of them?”

Because, in the end, taking care of yourself is your job. Yes, you gain pleasure from pleasing Dominants. Yes, I’m sure you care about the Doms in your life, probably even love some of them, or all of them, or one of them. Maybe you only have one spectacular Dominant man in your life who owns you, and you completely come undone for him. Maybe you have other players in the band who don’t have quite that much power over you, but let you come undone all the same. No matter how many men you have holding the flogger in the wings, you are, in the end, your Dominant’s prized possession. If you are not in working order, not taking care of yourself, you cause so much more harm than good.

The easiest way to help a Dominant who cares about you is to care for yourself. Keep going, Don’t shrink when he does, but don’t push either. Continue with your day to day life and do things that make you happy. Keep yourself okay, so that when they’re okay again you’re emotionally healthy enough to really be in their lives. It’s okay to be supportive, to let them know that you are there if they want to talk, or lean on you.. or, you know, beat some of their frustrations out on you if that’s your thing. But it needs to be okay with you, subby sub, if they say “Thank you, but I have to get through this on my own.” It’s not personal, it’s not against you. You are not a bad submissive. Your Dominant is just human, just like you are. Humans have flaws; cracks in their armor, even humans you worship, kneel in front of, and beg to use you for their pleasure. Dominants are not gods.

Polyamory adds a whole other twist to the mental mindfuck of pleasing the Shrinking Man. My friend says often that polyamory helps make you a better you, and that each partner helps bring out different parts of yourself. That may mean that when Mr. Domly Dom goes into shrink mode he turns to another partner instead of you.

This is not a personal attack, subby sub. You are in that person’s care for a reason. They play with you, or date you, or do wonderfully wicked things to you, or snuggle with you, for a reason. If you are in their lives, you hold importance to them and you have to remember that. Polyamory is a juggling act, making sure that every partner feels special and unique and secure in their particular relationship with you. That particular relationship may mean that another partner shoulders the heavier emotions so that your particular relationship with Dommy Dom remains healthy.

I have heard it said, and have said myself, that being a Dominant is a damn hard job. Supporting your submissive, anticipating their needs, and thinking of 12 different outcomes to one event is hard work. But being a submissive can be hard as well. It takes courage to submit, and strength in knowing when to submit and when to merely support. Don’t let the shrinking scare you off from the Dommy Dom, and please don’t read this thinking that all Doms shrink. Hopefully, this will just help a couple subs navigate emotionally choppy waters if it does happen. If you support the people in your lives, and still manage to support yourself, you are a good submissive. Keep going. Things will get better.

Yours hopefully helpful,

Rena

Happy?

tumblr_ngdir2pT9Y1u1s8vmo1_500

I’m working on that whole happiness thing…

Today I got this crazy idea. I was driving to job #1 of 2 when I heard on the radio one of those ‘be the blankety-blank caller and win Disney tickets’ things.. Disney tickets? Excitedly, I called, and called, and called..as I drove mind you. I called sixteen times when all you needed to be was caller number 97.

There’s no magic fix button. Relationships are hard. Poly relationships can be even harder. I can’t magically go back to Disney, to that perfect weekend where we just..were. And there were no worries. And he could proudly call me his girlfriend.. I could call him my boyfriend. He could show me off instead of keeping me a secret. We could geek out and listen to Sci Fi audio books on the eight hour drive back.

The first time Smith and I talked at length was the Saturday at Surrender. He sat me down and asked what my happiest memory was. Immediately, my mind went to Disney. To when I was his princess, if only for a weekend.

I’m honestly grateful to Smith, especially lately. Normally when I can’t see Kane I become an extreme introvert. I curl up in a ball and don’t move until absolutely necessary. It hurts too much. Every time I try to recoil or pull away he’s been pulling me back.. in ways I haven’t expected. Smith has a primary partner long distance as well as several partners in his area. I’m… semi long distance; he’s in Long Beach, I’m in San Francisco. I’m starting to think the man has the patience of a saint. He listens..and listens..and LISTENS when I’m missing Kane. He listens to me ramble and tell stories and will say things like “I can’t imagine how he looks at you. He’s so lucky to have you.” And it’s genuine! That’s what shocks me! The man does not have a jealous bone in his body. I’ll call him crying on days when I ache and he’ll listen to my schpele.. and then go, “It will all work out. Of course it will all work out. He LOVES you. You love him.” But it’s not that simple, I protest. “Life isn’t simple” he tells me. “But love is resilient. You don’t take on ownership of someone lightly. From the sound of things you and him were inevitable. It’s not like you two wanted this to happen. It just… did. That can be the best kind of love.”

It’s true..it is. When I curl up in Kane’s arms I breathe better, easier. I wish… I wish I had the ability to ease him like he does me. I am so very worried about him..

The other day, my insecurities were in full force. Nothing is certain right now. Kane has so much on his plate that so much as saying how much I love him stresses him out because it adds obligations to his already full plate.. He has to then take care of me. To make sure he loves me too, etc.. A lot is kept unsaid because of that. I admit, I’ve become guilty of some bad habits lately. Stress eating, comfort eating..yeah.. And I can feel the five pounds I’ve gained. It’s not much, but it’s enough that it’s visible to me.

I was working job #2 and had stopped for a dinner break, thinking nothing of it. I parked, got out, and walked the block to the local kink cafe..and then noticed something very wrong with my collar. A ring that Kane had given me, that normally encircles the band of the collar like a dog tag, was missing. I, as I often do, started crying. I retraced all my steps. I searched the street. I even went so far as to retrace some of my stops from work… nothing. And all I could hear was Kane’s voice in my ear. “Keep this safe for me.” Over. and over. and over. I had failed him, and managed to lose the part of my collar that I love the most.

As I pulled my car into the garage my collar broke off, sliding down my chest and laying in my lap.

I feel naked..unclaimed. Bare. I keep reaching to my neck out of habit to play with the ring and..nothing. I asked Kane what to do.. “That’s up to you” he said.

Smith stepped in halfway through my meltdown. I had left work early and was driving home watching my phone buzz. “You would never hurt him on purpose.” he said. “This was an accident. It wasn’t your fault”

I was careless. It feels like my fault. Every day I wake up, send a morning photo to Kane (the only ritual I’ve never fucked up), and look over at the collar, unsure about how I should proceed. That collar is such a huge sense of security for me. It’s a reminder of who I belong to when I’m afraid…

Afraid of what?

Afraid the man I love will disappear.

I can’t ask him for more..because he just doesn’t have it there to give. He acknowledges this often.. too often. “I’m sorry I can’t be the man you need me to be right now.” He says. Over and over.

I don’t need anything other than to see genuine happiness on his face again.. I haven’t seen him happy in almost two months. Even when I got him for a week after Halloween he was a ball of stress..

I am lucky. I remind myself of that often. I’m slowly digging myself out of financial trouble, starting a new job.. in essence getting my shit together. I have a man that loves me. A family I am extremely close to. A new partner who’s making sure I don’t dissolve into a depressed ball of emo poop. There is no reason to wallow. No reason to be negative.

Part of me feels so incredibly useless because I can’t make the man I serve happy. I can’t fix it. No matter how I serve or what I do there is so much else in his life.. an hour with me is a small miracle to arrange these days.

I forget what nights with him are like.. it’s been so long. I try not to hope when the next night will be. I’ve been clinging to this hope of “Just get through the holidays and it will get better.” Now.. I don’t know..

I’m not going anywhere.. And when he does take me, when he does dominate me.. Godde am I happy. I see a glimmer of the man I’m head over heels for when he dominates me. The weight of the world disappears from both of us, if only for a moment, and we can just be. I can serve, my complete focus on him.. and he can get lost in the dominance. A simple thing like just being held by him for a moment eases all these aches and pains I wasn’t fully aware I had.. Being held by him makes me breathe easier.. When he wraps his hand around my neck, however..that’s when I finally feel relief.

Mr. Smith was originally Mr. Dashing. I changed it in the entry..because the nickname stopped making me happy. When I met Smith, his first reaction to me was to do a double take at my appearance, go “wow” several thousand times, grab my hand, bend at the waist, and kiss it. Who kisses hands like that anymore? And then this dapper gent runs off without giving me his name. GAH. I felt like some strange reversed Cinderella. I thought “Mr. Charming” would be too corny of a nickname and chose “Mr Dashing” instead.

It was a mistake.. It bothered and hurt my Dominant. I could see that every time he brought it up and tried to play it off..and it ended up hurting me when he mentioned he was going to call his secondary “Ms Beautiful.” … After gaining a little weight and feeling like shit for quite some time I didn’t like the idea of someone else being his beautiful girl when I was…what?

BLAH

I fixed it.. I hope. I’ve been fixing a lot of things lately. I’m so fucking tired…

This trip to Boston is so needed. I will be staying with one of my dearest friends from college and seeing three others.. It’s funny. When we met me and two others were single. Now one is in a common law marriage, one is swimming along brilliantly with her boyfriend, one is looking at apartments with her boy, and the one who was originally in the relationship is slowly ending hers after six years.

And me?

My heart is taken. My body is owned. My mind is cared for so that my heart may continue to give as it needs. I have a dominant. I belong to him.

I just want him to come back…

The trip with his dad is coming up in about a week. I’m hoping that will help quite a bit. He told me he wasn’t even bringing a laptop on this trip and I wanted to do a fucking happy dance. …Maybe between my trip to Boston and his trip cross-country we will slowly become happy again.

Please let things get better…please. I miss him so much.. and I desperately want to get back to Disney someday.

I have to sleep. Smith cracked down on my insomnia tonight and did the dom guilt. “Will you try to sleep for me?” FAAAKKKK. There is no saying no to that when you have subby tendencies -_-. Topple that with Kane going “Take care of my Rena.” and you have a Dom guilttrip sandwich. The body therefore must be shut down from time to time to recoup.

Please, Universe, please be kind. Please make life easier for my Dominant. Please make things easier for me in time.. for us. I like us… I miss us… but I will not push for us. Us will come back when it should.. And in the mean while I do what I can to help, which includes keeping myself emotionally healthy… which is partially thanks to Smith for keeping me from being antisocial turtle woman…

Relationships are hard. Poly relationships can be even harder.

Yours exhausted,

Rena

Waiting..and Hoping…

tumblr_nfb652h9Wg1rs4xi1o1_1280

It has been twelve days since I’ve seen my Dom… Twelve very long days.

Once again, I’m back in New Jersey. It’s great to see my family, as usual..but my chest is so tight.

I don’t know where we are..what we are… I miss him so much I ache.

It’s not a simple matter of communicating through technology while he is gone, filling the void how he can. He has horrible reception where he is, and he dislikes talking on the phone. I am an incredibly tactile person. I close my eyes at night and I crave his touch, the way he traces his finger around my face as if he’s trying to memorize it. I crave his scent… I miss the security of curling up right in my spot next to him, our bodies wrapping around one another. I miss his voice, and his face… I just miss everything about him.

He’s been so busy, getting everything that needs to be done, done. I understand.. I’m trying so hard to, but I feel such a distance between the two of us… He and I had a falling out about communication before I left for home, and then again once I got here just two days ago.

The weekend before I had done something I hadn’t in so long. I went and I played with others. I went to Dark Odyssey’s Surrender event and actually connected with a dominant man for the first time since Kane and I got more serious. I partially went out of my own loneliness, and partially went because he had tasked me with getting back to that place while he was gone, the one where I could have fun with others without feeling this knot of guilt, as if I was betraying him. I played, sort of.. I couldn’t do full on, intense scenes.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. One of my best friends in the kink community was there, someone who can be very paternal with me. Before the weekend was over I asked something of him that I have never asked of anyone. I asked if he would beat me. I am not a pain slut, far from it. I have a very low pain tolerance compared to most submissives out there…but I was in so much pain. I wanted Kane there… All these intimate scenes, people connecting around me, and I just wanted my Dominant to take me and put me on the cross, flog me with the red and black flogger we both love..

He flogged me, and I felt nothing. Spanked me..paddled me… I started laughing. As odd is this sounds, that’s a bad sign for me. When I actually get into sub space I become very quiet. I sigh a bit, let out little noises, but I never laugh. I broke down about a minute later and was sobbing so hard my friend refused to continue. He flipped me around, hugged me, and ended up helping me with a different sort of aftercare. He took me over to the side, sat me down, and had me list all the reasons I am thankful Kane is my Dom. Then list all the negatives of him being gone for so long, and see if the pros outweighed the cons. They did, by a long shot..

The other day I found out just how much my outside play bothered him, and just what insecure thoughts he had floating around in his head. Since then… I don’t know. He’s been texting me from time to time, and I’ve been texting him, but nothing D/s has been discussed. Nothing deep and emotional has been discussed. It’s been light, cute.. friend like.

I’m hoping I”m just emotional..reading too much into something when I’m far away and can’t fully connect…but I can tell you straight out that I would give quite a lot to hear him tell me he loved me right now. I haven’t heard the phrase in so long..I think that’s what shakes me.

Photos are hard for me..especially of my lower body. I don’t like my stomach, don’t like my pudge. In an attempt to connect after an awkward day I made a video for him, something that I don’t do… I sent it to him. He mentioned being excited to watch it… and then he was gone for the night. I hope he watched it.. hope he liked it..but I don’t know. I don’t know if it was right to do, if he wants me submitting to him now or to wait until he sees me in person.

I don’t know anything right now, and I don’t know whether or not he has the time to reassure me and calm the frantic thoughts in my mind.

And so I wait..and I hope… I will see him sometime around December 1st, hopefully…

Until then, I stare at my phone. I send him what I can. I try to keep him involved without spamming him when he can’t respond. I try not to beg when I know he is tired and stressed and busy. I love, fully and completely, and try to tell him so at least once a day, support how I can when it’s a world I don’t know.

I pray the pit in my stomach is wrong.

Yours, waiting

-Rena

Getting By

3551_793715763977436_56069064_n

I often have to remind myself that just getting by is not a bad thing when you’re only twenty-three.

My parents are good people. I’ve talked about them many times before. They are masters of getting by, but not so much masters of saving. I never had a college fund (something my parents now regret as I face 75,000 in loans to pay off just for my undergrad), and a retirement fund is a foreign concept for people like my parents. My dad is 57 and still looks month to month on paying bills. Admitting that my daddy, my superhero, is flawed is hard, but he starts a million things that were always supposed to make things better and never finished any. I finish things as a result, I just need a kick in the ass to start most of the time.

Regardless, just getting by is all I’ve known. I never felt like I went without; if we couldn’t afford something one year we would do it the following year when we had more money. I was just taught that this was part of being a starving artist. This is why you got a real degree, because art is unstable and hard to make a living at.

I am at a place right now where I am just getting by. I got strong-armed into quitting my job, and while I finally have income coming in again I am back in survival mode. Five dollars is a lot for me to spend on something that isn’t essential and every last rat cent goes to rent until I can securely pay it. Once rent and bills are taken care of then I can enjoy extras.

A good job, one with salary and benefits, is looking like a distinctive possibility in the near future, which has me very excited, but until then, until I’m back to a secure amount of income my existence is very solitary.

I have not gone to the dungeon in two months. I hate it. HATE IT. Those are my friends, that is my social outlet, but i can’t afford over thirty bucks to park and play once a week. Kane mentioned loaning me the money for this week’s play party…but it’s not one I’m comfortable going to without him. I’m technically too young to get in without him, as weird as it is to say… and I hate loans. i remember all of them. I know I still have 500 I need to repay to someone and 230 to another. I would rather not go then have MORE loans to pay back.

And so I stay home. I throw myself into cleaning, and in working with art materials that I have. I have been popping out chainmail pieces like a machine, and that has felt good. I’ve been leather working and loving the familiar ache it gives my hands. I go to work, I come home. Until I feel better about my finances that’s all I feel comfortable doing. Gas costs too much.

I am okay. I find myself chanting that over and over in my head. I hate the timing of this financial slump because it’s October. It’s my favorite time of the year. Halloween is my Christmas. Give me pumpkin everything, sweaters, hayrides, apple picking, hot cider, candy, and costumes.. If I could still get away with it I would so Trick-or-Treat. Being cut off from so many of those traditions geographically and others financially sucks, I’m not going to lie, but there will be other Octobers. Hopefully I will be home for Thanksgiving and get that last taste of colorful, crisp fall that I love before winter takes over the east coast.

The only thing that makes me feel bad in all this is Kane… I get him maybe 30 minutes a day when he can drop by because his wife is home. It’s hard on him, and me, and he constantly apologizes for our situation. I remind  him that i agreed to this, because it’s better than the alternative. I didn’t go in blind. I knew this would be hard. it’s also hard on him to see how I live when he doesn’t take the reigns and I’m not under his roof. I tell him stop feeling guilty. I’m the one that quit my job. I put myself in this situation…and I would rather live exceedingly lean than ask him for help.

In truth I am lonely, but okay. I get to walk by the beach in Pacifica twice a week thanks to my job. I have a man that loves me and parents that are proud that I’m making it work. I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I could be in much worse shape, and have been before. I would rather be here than where I was in May, in a shoe box surrounded by strangers with no privacy and achingly alone.

I am a work in progress, a starving artist, and for now I am okay with that.

-Rena