the silver lining of these days

within the grey, the beauty of the rain,
the endless swell of jilted wakings,
wishing sleep could stay.

the empty pillow next to me –
11 days.

when you arrive I will sink deeply into you,
taking you in with great gulps of air, the balance returned to who we are.

I won’t need words (- forbid me to speak), we used them up in weeks of lunchtime calls, the broken lines and daily blocks to communication. when you arrive I wish only to speak with my body, to serve; to sleep at your feet and find peace in being your pet again.

when you are gone,
leave me with marks that last until the days begin to stretch and I can face the mornings with more strength again.

I am learning patience and the benefits of waiting, and whether you bring punishments or rewards, both are as longed for in the loneliness of this new-year-empty-ache.

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Ways to know life: reflections on Anais

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
– I look for the things that are hidden or obscured. I’m drawn to the confessional. I want to pour it all out and I don’t care if no one’s listening. No fear or shame in the dignity of your experience (Kerouac). If you don’t like the way I write, you don’t have to read my stuff. If it challenges you or you disagree with something, join in. I love to discuss and develop ideas. Don’t hang back, please. This is how I learn and interpret better.

“I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live.”
– This world falls short all the time. Not the natural world, which astounds me with its awesome, sublime, magical, fierce beauty every day. But the socially constructed world. These days if you can make it to adulthood without being seriously angry-sad and screwed up about the state we’re in, you must be emotionally dead. Wake the fuck up. The rainforests are nearly all gone. What happens then, people? But just keep consuming your acres of plastic and petrochemicals and happy fucking fried whopper-zinger-hormone-pumped dead animal patties and nothing else will matter, ‘k?
Greed and entitlement engulf everything, it seems. I want what’s mine and what I’m owed, they say. So they take it and turn blind eyes to those in society that are unable to stand up and take, have no way to compete for the resources that the few hold while the many go without.

“Ordinary life does not interest me.”
– I reached this point around the age of 10 and started to withdraw from the ordinary. My visions and dreams were so much more absorbing anyway, so I wrote them down. The journey inward began and my exploration of inner space which is endlessly fascinating and limitless. When I’ve had to conform to a prescribed, contemporary lifestyle for any length of time, I’ve become a weak and flickering shadow of myself. I need to be able to leave here and go to the other dimension every day in order to stay vital. Music helps. The sea helps. Drinking tea helps. Loving people helps. These things, I firmly believe are magical, not ordinary.

“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.”
– It doesn’t matter how you get it, just that you do. Pick up the fragments and keep them with you. Piece them together, bit by bit. Notebooks help. Photographs help. Art helps. Dreams help. Connections begin to emerge and take shape when you can put the pieces together in one place and allow them to syncretize. And moments of instant illumination can and do happen. They are astoundingly beautiful when they occur.

“People living deeply have no fear of death.”
– The death urge has always been strong in me. I faced it down, at 10. It was going to consume me if I didn’t. Now, in my 40s, I see friends facing their mortality for the first time: wrinkles and grey hair can do that to you. I wonder how life would have been different if death hadn’t featured on my radar so early on but really I can’t imagine having lived all these years without having come to terms with it. It was liberating.

But your answers won’t be my answers and your way to liberation could lie somewhere else than mine. I just hope that you find it. Seek it out and don’t wait another day. Remember this: Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

Thank you, Anais.

Overcoming a Dementor when you don’t have a reasonable Patronus charm in your bag of tricks

I had to face something disturbing about myself today: I tell lies.
He calls them “small half truths” and I receive that as a kindness which I know I don’t deserve. And I realize that I have been fashioning the truth for years. I could accept it as creative licence for rewriting a reality I don’t accept but that doesn’t feel like it comes close enough to what I owe to make redress.

Maybe it was just a defence that I got too comfortable with. I can know how dirty, tragic, vulnerable I am, but if I let him see it too then I’ll be lost. I need his good opinion of me so badly. But why didn’t I trust that I could be real and he would still accept me? In the moment of not-trusting, the fear became a self-fulfilling thing. And so the real crime here was my own doubt…. doubt that I AM a good person. It’s my fault. I behaved badly, damaged his opinion of me… caused him harm, even.  I don’t know.

I write this much and walk away for a few hours.
Put the kettle on.
That’s how I work lately.
There is so much I’m processing that I can’t get perspective on it.
I try reading poetry or erotica here – stuff that I used to love a few weeks ago – but the words won’t line up coherently and make any sense in my brain.
Some words jump out at me. That’s as good as it gets. I force my eyes to track along the lines but the sound of my voice in my head reading the words is gone. All I can hear is that extended beeeeeeeep that the TV used to make when the programmes finished late at night. I used to like that time: switch off. Enforced single-pointed focus. The time when you knew that the best option was to go to bed, maybe read a book, but you’d be asleep with it on your chest within half an hour. Now I have the option for constant communication with someone in the world somewhere at any time and the circle of people I care about is truly global. It’s eating my neural pathways and turning me into a goldfish.

Whilst hopping around and wondering where this journal entry is going, I read this:

Growing up I didn’t have the luxury of venting, saying negative things I didn’t mean. I couldn’t just say something and take it back later. Being angry wouldn’t have been an excuse. I was angry for decades, and I still had to watch what I said… {A World Where People Don’t Say What They Mean }

My childhood was like that too. You learned to be careful about what you said. Anything you said might be used against you later in anger, twisted around to hurt you by a parent that couldn’t deal with their own emotional lability. Only one person in my household was allowed to vent. And she was also the one that always had to remain blameless, whose virtue and glory we all tried to uphold for the sake of world peace.

But it got me back to thinking about my small half truths.
My mother was like a highly trained sniffer dog, hunting out your little gems of joy and nuggets of experience; a kind of Dementor, only one that couldn’t be deflected by a Patronus charm or thinking happy thoughts. I learned to hide my truths and gems and nuggets of life in places where she couldn’t find them. And you had to hide the trail too, so that her suspicions weren’t aroused. Put the little shiny thing in a sealed container, inside a locked box, in a dark corner of an abandoned room in the furthest reaches of your heart-palace. Brush over your tracks on the way out and wait until you were fully and safely and properly alone before returning and taking the precious treasure out to turn it over lovingly in your hands. This usually took place at night, when I felt safest to travel there. I would stay there for as long as possible and enjoy the silence and the space. The being alone-ness. Then creep back into my human shell before dawn for some deeper sleep before waking up in the Mad World once again: the world of walking on eggshells around this crazy woman that could go off at any time.

And here I find myself, wondering why, despite everything he and I have said about honesty, I’m still covering my tracks and hiding small half truths in places that I hope he won’t find them.

 

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good

I am chaos.
The more order you try to instil upon me, the more I rebel.

I could enter a 12-step programme to quit chaos.
What would my life look like then?
I might be less stressed, more effective.
I might be more level and calm.
MIght even be a ‘normal’ person for a while,
Stop dressing like a fuckable slut for ordinary stuff.

Is that what any of us want?

You want me horny all night,
riding you till my hips ache; your flesh is raw,
waves of climax crashing out of me,
wearing us both into exhausted collapse.

You want the madness that possesses me,
so I’ll beg for you to fill me up,
to slam me round by hair and throat
and crush the air out of my lungs.

You want the fear as I recoil from
further pain yet dripping cunt still
egging you on to do those things,
to tear and bruise my skin.

I need it too.
Delivering chaos to me should be your job.
Perhaps I’ll tie you up and keep you here
for days like this? When calm and steady
is too much.

Just this to help me sleep:
the dark intensity you bring.

The night and the half light, emotional rape and seriously, why aren’t you here?

I can’t write. So many people in my sacred space at the moment. So many others to consider. Feelings that prickle my skin. It’s delicious and I’m privileged to be this way; to be able to connect so deeply with others, if I choose to. But sometimes it’s a heavy weight to carry.

And it wasn’t always a choice.

As a child, and a young woman, it was emotional rape. People reaching into me, putting their feelings and desires in me. Controlling me with what they wanted me to be for them. I was fuel for their unrealized hopes and dreams. By the time I understood and knew what the situation was, it was too late to protect myself. My inner being was in tatters. I bled emotions, if I could even feel them in the first place. Most stuff to do with feelings had been dissociated and pushed outside my body as much as possible. Except for the stuff in my guts. That’s where it always got lodged; literally stuff that I couldn’t digest. IBS that became so bad when I was a student at university that I spent weeks in bed in constant pain, unable to eat.

When you realize you’ve been psychologically or emotionally abused all your life you don’t have any solid sense of self to ground yourself upon. It wasn’t like I had any happy memories to grasp. Childhood was just raw. Painful. I don’t know, I became quite skilled at forgetting things. I only ‘knew’ those milestone events and the dates they occurred. I held on to them like a mnemonic that proved I was alive. I must be real, because in 1983 I started at this school and I was in this class. And so on. But all of those things like birthday parties and christmases were tainted by the feelings they were drenched with. The suffocation of being holed up in the house with all that negative emotion swirling round. Christmas was the worst, and usually included conflict that centred around my Mother. I considered myself lucky if I was allowed to retreat to my room and shut the door with a few good books. But usually I would be dragged out to be ‘sociable’ whether I wanted it or not. I learned to accept being told what to do. Later on in life, I couldn’t figure out how to make choices for myself. I never connected the two parts of my life. I have an IQ of 148 so why can’t I make my own choices? Because I never had the chance. I was a puppet.

Two years ago, I did the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I extricated myself from an abusive partner. You see, when you grow up with abuse, you just keep repeating the patterns. It’s ‘home’ to you. Everything in your head and heart is FUCKED UP. Your instincts lie because they’ve been programmed to accept abuse. Trying to find the answers to myself nearly drove me insane. I was seeking for the key that would unlock me and hoping, really fucking hoping hard, that there was still going to be something left inside when I found out how to unlock myself.

At 29 I met and fell in love with a man who treated me like a rare and precious thing and wanted to give me everything good in life. Until an unplanned pregnancy occurred. It took three days for him to do an about face and DEMAND that I have a termination, without any discussion between us on the matter. I was given an ultimatum. Get the abortion or leave our home. He put me out on the streets that night. He packed my bags and took them to the street. I’m not kidding. I gave a good fight first. I lost. That was the first time I realized I needed to learn to fight better.

A year later, as a single parent with very little support, I began to unravel. My natural instinct was to draw into myself, curl up and protect myself from the blows. And so I began to withdraw from life. Mentally the decline was really rapid. Paranoia set in as well, which made keeping up friendships pretty tough. And there was just no one I could talk to who got it. No one I felt I had anything in common with. My mum-friends from ante-natal classes were all enjoying the early years of marriage and realizing their dreams of starting a family. My old friends, pre-motherhood mates, didn’t have kids and were still living the single life. They tried and they showed interest with my son but he was like a novelty toy they could turn up and coo at and cuddle for a while, and then they’d leave and I was fucking shaking again. Literally terrified. My nerves were shot to pieces because here was this little creature that relied entirely on me that cried and cried in the middle of the night, and lots of the day. I stopped sleeping. I’ve never been one who could catch up with the odd hour here or there. And frankly, once it got to 3am the whole pursuit of sleep was pointless. I called that the dark hour. Somewhere between 3 and 4 am was when the voices started in my head. I was shit scared. I’ve never practised so much magick as I did in those years. Every protection spell I could find. Every charm I could make. If nothing else, they kept me distracted. Eventually I had a powerful wand made for me and I could cast a circle with it that would hold pretty well.

As my son grew older, some things got easier. Not the constant battles with his father, who couldn’t decide if he wanted in or out of his son’s life. The only thing that was constant was his hatred of me. Clearly I’d tried to trap him or done some sort of spell on him, he was sure (I absolutely declare that I did not… the consequences are too severe when you play with that sort of stuff). He was just a malevolent force in our lives that kept showing up, and disappearing. It seemed that I was now stuck with him forever, in one way or another. He’s just popped up again, after 4 years away, so yeah, maybe I manifested that. Now I have to deal with his shit all.over.again. Now he wants to see his son, who at 11 is under no illusion that this man will ever be someone he wants to call ‘Dad’. He’s just going to hang around and give me grief for a while, as punishment for the fact that Child Support has been taking money from him for the last eleven years and he thinks that’s a bitch. I mean, he earns like £100k as a Consultant Psychiatrist with the NHS, and I figure his £500 a month is something he can spare that makes a big difference to us. But he begrudges it nonetheless.

It’s just my path. What I have to deal with, in exchange for that little share of genetic material that he deposited in me 12 years ago. But it’s not OK… And I’m scared. I wish I’d been strong enough to run far and hide in 2005, where he couldn’t find us. But I don’t protect myself. Childhood conditioning again.

However, it’s not him that I had to fight so hard to get away from. It’s the one who came after. I spent most of my thirties with that one. That’s just lost, miserable time that I don’t want to relive. He never gave us a thing except misery, confusion and fear. He drained my savings and lodged himself firmly in my home so that when it came down to it I had to make him intentionally homeless to get him out of our lives. It was the hardest thing to do, because it was so cruel. I tried everything else to end that relationship. And for 6 years it did nothing but make me ill, and make my son frightened. I can barely even say that because that is the worst part. That I brought a man into his life that he was scared of. A man that hit him. A man that destroyed his self-worth before it had even had a chance to grow. So once I’d pieced enough of the pieces together to understand what was going on (because gaslighting is really fucking tricky to get your head around) and realized what I needed to do, I had to come up with a plan. And that plan centred around me. More than once I thought about the big burly male friends I wished that I had. Guys that might come round and threaten him, throw him out on the street for me. But all I had were my now-elderly parents, who would cause more trouble than help if they got involved, and my 9-year-old son. I was responsible, I believed, for protecting all of these people. So I came up with the necessary plan of action and began.

It took one week, and bigger cojones than I realized I had. On the day when I physically came back to my home to remove him and his things, I was shaking violently, heaving and sobbing. Luckily he was a broken wreck of a man too at this point, and really put up no physical resistance. His preferred methods of control had always been mental and emotional, and that’s where I needed to arm myself. But, making a broken person homeless and removing your care and attention from them completely…. really fucking cold, you know? And the parallel to how my previous partner had evicted me was impossible to ignore. I just wondered how people could be happy. I mean, were people happy? Because it felt like I would never touch happy. So I focused on just the one thing that needed to be done there and then because if I let my mind wonder, or my empathy and compassion begin to stir, I knew I’d be lost again, and potentially condemned to another 6, or 8, or 10 years of living with this man. Losing my forties as well. My goal was to get myself back for my forties. Who was I kidding? To find myself for my forties because I knew then that I’d never had myself. I’d always belonged to someone else. Been someone’s puppet on a string. Jerked around for their own needs and wants.

Well I did the hardest thing. And woke up the next day and knew that I was free. And the journey of awakening myself began. I didn’t have any expectations. I didn’t actually want much. I wanted to turn 40 and do what the fuck I felt like doing, not what someone else said I should do. I wanted my home space to feel like mine. Dirty, tidy, noisy or quiet. It wouldn’t matter. No one would criticize because it had nothing to do with anyone else. I wanted to sleep in the whole of the bed by myself.

Honestly, I had no interest in sex. I was so switched off from that part of myself that I really didn’t care. I didn’t feel attractive to anyone and didn’t want to go out meeting men or women for fucks. And I definitely didn’t want to do anything that could lead me into starting a relationship. I spent quite a bit of time on the phone to the Crisis team at the psychiatric hospital where I was an outpatient that summer. Panic attacks would just come out of nowhere, usually at home in the evenings. They weren’t the most awful attacks I’ve ever had but it was a new approach for me, to actually make the call and ask for help when things were getting tough. I overcame my natural inclination to withdraw and hide. I’d promised my Psychiatrist that I would do this, and I stuck to it. Sometimes the person on call that night was a dick but more often than not, they were kind-hearted souls that tried to listen and guide me back to a place of calm. And after a couple of months, I just didn’t need it any more. The crisis had abated.

And now. Here I am. Still so new to this world. Feeling empowered, liberated. Feeling attractive. Reconnected to my own powerful sexuality… something that I hold most sacred. Exploring the possibilities. Giving myself permission to bust out of the confines within which I was raised, the strict religious lifestyle that my folks still adhere to. The years of hearing words like slut and whore in my head, and denying myself, my arousal, out of shame. I won’t do shame any more. I won’t accept fear without a challenge either. Maybe you can see why I do what I do? I hope that you can. Controlled experiences of masochism and utter sluttishness = healing. = awakening myself and empowering myself. = finding out what makes me feel alive and beautiful. THIS. This makes me feel alive and beautiful. Connecting with other people and expressing ourselves together, exploring our power. That’s beautiful and honest and real. I find integrity and authenticity here. I find levels of communication that just blow the bloody doors off every time. And so I open to it more and more. I have faith in it.

And in the middle of all this, the playing and the orgasms, the delight and the pain… you appeared. You saw me first. We recognized each other almost straight away but tiptoed carefully around each other because of “It’s complicated” and because you’re really careful like that. You’re not really of this day and age, and I loved you for that. And I joked in our chats, “Seriously, why aren’t you here?”… though you weren’t all that far. You said you’d done International Rescue before but I didn’t want to play the damsel in distress card like that. I was strong, I knew that now. I wouldn’t play the vulnerable princess to ensnare you. If this was anything at all, there would have to be 100% honesty between us and total authenticity.

We smashed through the training wheels phase, like we’d done this before somewhere. I checked in with my data bank of shit about Narcissistic Abuse, just to be sure. Were you love bombing me? Were you projecting your ideal, putting me up on a pedestal? I have my own tests to apply these days and you’ve passed them all. Proven to me that you are worthy. You’re real, and brave and true. You know how to make me laugh and how to make me melt. All the feels, baby. You bring them too.

And so while I’m discovering myself, creating myself, there is this, and you. We’re both so new to this and we don’t know how it’s done. You’re hurting, and therefore I’m hurting. You’re conflicted and I’m feeling guilty. Why am I choosing the things that I choose? Why has this thing called Polyamory lodged itself here for us to figure out? You flex and extend, resisting the urge to make demands about what you will or will not accept because you know that would spell the end for us. Just as I know that NOT doing what I need to do to be Me would finish us too. For the first time in my life, I have to define my own status against all of the odds. I’ve never done this before. I have to do it, even though it feels like such a risk.

You tell me you want these things too. That it just takes time. I have plenty of time, my love. I’m a patient woman. I’ve waited this long to become my real self. You take as long as you need. Just come back to me, please. And don’t forget that I’m hurting too. All the old conditioning, to please an other and to open my chest cavity for the full emotional rape is here. The old tricks spinning round in my mind that I just won’t play because, you know, authenticity. Because why would I be standing here, speaking about the need for integrity if I didn’t mean this; if I didn’t genuinely think that this is the right path to take?
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths; the blue and the dim and the dark cloths, of night and light and half light, I would spread them under your feet. But I don’t and that’s just a poem (albeit a fave). And so I spread myself under your feet, naked and unadorned. Tread carefully, my love, for you tread on our dreams. And if not, I don’t want to be here: smash me to smithereens.

The First Blow

The first blow comes out of nowhere and knocks me to the floor. I’m up on my feet, sharp, in seconds, spinning around, fists clenched, guard up like you taught me. I have to land a punch but you’re hiding in the shadows, out of reach. You want me on the edge of fear. The adrenaline racing and flooding my cells. Senses sharpen as the night air cools my brow. I catch a glimpse of movement and react like clockwork: jab, jab, cross… I feel my fist connect with head, and bring my right leg up to take you out at the knee with one sharp kick, just like you taught me. I feel the impact, hear you land, the dull exhalation of breath as you’re winded by ground slamming into lungs. This might be my only chance so I take it now, picking up pace and pushing off hard, legs spongy, not fully my own.

You’re light and fast and I’ll tire before I get to the trees. Chest burning, pushing harder now, I run with all I’ve got. I’m freed from thought, pure animal survival kicking in. The trees are getting closer and I just might make it, every inch of me taut and straining hard. And then your breath on my neck, your hands reaching at me. I duck under your arms and move in close, weaving with the punches, just like you taught me. This is my strength: get in close and under their reach. Your best defence is to attack, you always say. But you know this. You know all my moves, my weaknesses and strengths and pushed to the limits of my response it’s simple for you to take me down – I’ve nothing left to draw on here and you slam me into the ground, the prey captured, ready to be devoured.

In that hunted moment, your lips crush mine and I taste iron. There’s no air in me and you could suck the life right from my mouth, a dizzying reality that I can’t fight. The whiteout coming over me so that I’m nothing but where I feel your hands tearing and clawing at my clothes and skin. No barriers between us now. My legs spread roughly by your knees, the weight of you on top of me and stones and branches printing their crude marks on buttocks, ripping through flesh, the rawness keeping me alive. No words exist but your hands pinning mine into the ground and you drive your cock into me hard, in steady, pounding thrusts and tear the climax from my shuddering limbs, a deep and primal longing, as you cum in howling agony and fill me with your load. Collapsing, giving in. I open more, enveloping, taking you in.

We walk back to the car park, rubbing elbows free of grit, shaking twigs and leaves from hair. My thighs are sticky from our lust, drenched in sweat and shaking wildly from the workout you’ve just put me through. I catch you look my way and lightly smile but the teacher in you returns,
“Your kicking’s really coming on. Keep your stance wide, stay sharp and focused, whatever your opponent throws your way. Same time next week?”
I grin. Best £40 I’ll ever spend.

On safewords and fear

Last night I shouted Red for the first time.
Motherfucking evil pair of nipple clamps from hell.
Applied once and then removed; when they were brought out the second time, apparently I recoiled in fear. I think I pleaded, No!
Not that it would do me any good. He gave me a choice, of which the better option must have been the clamps as they were reapplied quite soon.

The weirdness is not remembering things. I couldn’t recall exactly what triggered me to use the Safe Word. I asked him today. He said it was when he tugged the chain on the clamps. All I remember is the flash of pain. Head swimming. Breathing speeding up. Not wanting to be touched. And my concern for his concern, which I could feel around me. His gentle questions checking I’m OK that I could not respond to there and then.

I wanted to find the edge of my fear. Last night it was there. I know it won’t always be there, in the motherfucking evil pair of nipple clamps from hell. I change and evolve, so I’m sure my fear does too. There were slivers of fear in between the stripes from the belt, the blows from the paddle, but mostly it dissovled into the dissociative state that my mind has learned to adopt to protect me from danger. I’m sure this isn’t subspace though I haven’t been there yet.

I wonder what it is about fear that makes me want to stick my hand into the fire and smell the hairs on my arm burn, the flesh turn red. More than one Dom has said to me that fear should be a Hard Limit. Anyone whose bottom is bared and prepared for a lashing or twelve should experience some fear, though.