Tag Archive: mental health


As cliche as it sounds, it feels truest to me, right now.

I accidentally erased my text message cache with Master today, and my disappointment was immense. Gone are long conversations about the feel of my mouth on his cock, about what exactly he will do with me the moment he has me alone.

A visit around Canada day was not nearly enough, with my parents around and cramping my style (including arguing with him, loudly, when he introduced me to his friends as his wife. “You’re not married yet!” mother cries. And six-and-a-half years of dating and nearly three years of cohabiting are worth what, exactly?) and keeping us from what we do best. An hour to ourselves was not nearly enough time, though it was enough time for us to get up to a quickie and a short massage.

Mostly, it felt good to lay there, with him, and be held. I don’t have the same protected feeling when T holds me, as when my Master does. He is slender, but he moves with grace and power, and when he holds me, that power is focused on cradling me with gentleness. It makes me sigh inside, and writing about it brings tears to my eyes. I often cry when writing about him, and re-reading what I’ve written. The last letter he sent me made me cry, tears of longing, missing him, but I re-read it every now and then, when I want to feel that familiar bubble inside my chest, that tells me that I am loved more than I will ever truly understand.

I worry, as I am wont to do, that my love is not enough, or that I somehow do not love him as much as I should. (That word again.) The reality of the situation is that our love for each other is reflected back and forth so many times it is impossible to truly measure even the magnitude of it, least of which whether it is adequate.

He reassures me, soothing me in that way that I suspect he would soothe no-one else besides his own children, that my love for him is enough. I meditate on these thoughts, in keeping with my promise to try and take his love for me and hold it close, closer than I tend to hold my worry. I am learning to self-soothe, a task many people learned as young children. I am learning to repeat his words inside my head, in his beautiful voice, framed by his lips; that knowing that I am here, and that I love him, is enough. He is satisfied, he insists, as I fret about my perceived inadequacy. I am here, and I love him. That is enough.

I am missing him acutely now, officially in the part of our separation where we are apart the longest. It hardly feels as if the last time I saw him was almost exactly 31 days ago. It feels like far longer, and I have three weeks left to go.

Our separation has had the side effects of making us cherish each other more. Living together, a couple hardly discusses things like how they would love to snuggle in bed and breathe each others’ scent. After months and months apart, it’s practically all we do. I am going to have to be careful about who gets to touch my cell phone, however, as my cousin grabbed my phone from my hands to play with it just at the instant Master sends me a text message inviting me over to give him a shower and a blowjob.

Awkward.

A year ago I would have freaked, but now I just laugh and move on. Master has imparted many things upon me, including the wisdom to roll with the punches. His flexibility in sticky situations has always been a trait of his that I’d admired, and I recently had somebody compliment me on my own ability to keep on keeping on. It doesn’t seem like heroism (to me) to continue your life after it’s been shattered by tragedy, but apparently it appears heroic to others.

I am revelling in these new found skills, skills I did not realize I had developed until I had to live without my Master. His traits keep popping up in me, in dealing with everything: other people, my own feelings of inadequacy, my abject fear of the future and the unknown. This move, where we pack our lives and move far away from everyone we’ve ever known, it is simply a grand adventure to him, a spot of fun, and he’d like to do it more than just once. Growing together, I’m realizing that it doesn’t matter where we move to — if he is there, it is my home.

I am shocked at my composure, honestly, and my ability to handle this. Relatively few teary moments, continuing to function in my life. We won’t get into how I didn’t sleep hardly for the first few months, to the point where my boss dragged me into his office to ask me what the hell was wrong with me that I looked so wrung out. We also won’t get into how I lost 30 pounds because without him there, my appetite fled entirely, causing me to go several days at times without eating, without noticing that I wasn’t eating. An acquaintance recently commented that she doesn’t know how I handle him being gone. I deliberately neglected to mention the spare boyfriend in my bed, but I did mention how I was handling him being gone: insomniac anorexic that I became.

I have since figured things out a little — sleep is better, and I gained back about 10 of the pounds I lost through the magical technology of actually ingesting food. I am no longer worrying about my inadequacy as a girlfriend and simply dreaming of the days we can spend together finally, imagining his hands on my body as they were the last time we were together, the look on his face, mouth slightly open, pupils dilated as wide as dinner plates, as we made love.

It’s the love that’s pulling me through, to be honest.

Every text message (as douchebaggy as it seems to communicate entirely via SMS, in a paramilitary slash high-stress medical shiftwork situation, it’s the only tool we have to communicate at times) where he stresses how he misses our bed, with me in it, how he misses my breath on the back of his neck, how he misses his Shower Assistant, and how I, unlike the other men he is presently living with, do not annoy the everliving fuck out of him, is another thread, cast in my general direction, and my job is to catch as many of them as possible and make them into a rope to hang on to for dear life.

Oh, it is hard. It is the hardest thing I have ever done.

But if only to realize exactly how much we love each other?

Worth it.

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Precocious

That’s the word for me. To develop exceptionally early or exhibit mature qualities at an exceptionally early age.

I taught myself to read before kindergarten. I grasped cosmic concepts (the immutability of time, the certainty of death) before age 5. I was a generally strange kid who didn’t socialize well, from what I remember. And sex. Well, sex came entirely too early for me.

It wasn’t even my cousin telling me the plumbing of how it worked. (We were like eight and six, respectively.) It wasn’t even when my mom caught me playing with the Barbie dolls. I think it was when she found out I’d been playing “house” with the neighbor kid, and the not-minor freakout she had over this knowledge. Before third grade, I not only understood how sex worked, I understood that it was important to hide this kind of activity from my parents, lest they have a gigantic meltdown. No talk. Ever.

I’m never going to forget the way she asked me, stooping down to get in my face, in a confrontational manner. “Did you suck his dick?” she asked, browbeating me. “Did he jack off in your mouth?” I felt like a horrible, filthy, sick, perverted, twisted, disgusting person. I was eleven years old, eyeing older men, wondering at what an act of rape would be like, wondering at the experience of sex.

Because I couldn’t trust my parents, everything I ever learned about sex was something I learned from somewhere else. Pornographic magazines, the internet, the radio. I’ve talked before about how Sue Johanson is one of my personal heroes; I’m lucky to have had her while growing up. I’m lucky to have grown up riding public transit, where the government publicized links to places like sexualityandu.ca. I feasted on reliable and correct information, and used all the birth control correctly.

I was armed with a false sense of security, knowing what facts I needed to know to keep my body from being physically damaged. I was completely unaware of what place sex served in a healthy relationship, however, and so when my boyfriend-at-the-time started correcting me every time I said “If we have sex” to say “when we have sex,” I didn’t take it as the pressuring I should have. I didn’t see how he was trying to control my boundaries, by setting them for me verbally. I didn’t feel the profound sense of violation I’d feel now, knowing my boundaries. Boundaries had never been explained to me. I was a slut. Sluts don’t get told about putting up boundaries. I was wrecked anyway. I was sixteen. I was fucking a man nearly four years older than I was. My mother was convinced his relationship was based entirely around his ability to use me for sex. I believed otherwise.

The day she figured it out, or rather, the day she screamed about me fucking him, throwing it in my face, and I gave her an answer that wasn’t “fuck off,” … that’s a day I will never forget. There was tons of histrionic crying and hysterical screaming, shouting, threats, shows of violence, and emotional abuse. For the next six months, my mother froze me out of her life. I fantasized about suicide.

“I just don’t know how I’m going to tell my family that my daughter is a slut,” I remember her whispering, between sniffles and tears. I fantasized how my skull would fly apart from a self-inflicted shot to the head. I imagined dying slowly of a wasting disease, leaving home, becoming pale and cachectic and thin. I wondered what it would be like to die of a drug overdose. I was too scared to jump off a building. Guilt, guilt, guilt. My boyfriend was no help. He lived alone, and complained about my mother constantly. I ground my teeth down to painful stumps. He threatened suicide. At first I was scared, concerned for him, missed him, loved him. Later, the attention-seeking behaviour became exasperating. Then, came the Master.

My Master met my boyfriend and lived with him for a short time. I was pressured often to spend time with him, in compromising situations, often asking me to use my Master or my best friend as a pretext to borrow a vehicle and be afforded additional freedoms. At first I exploited this, and Master was given many opportunities to observe me with this strange man. I was depressed and sullen. Then came a night when I deliberately didn’t invite him along somewhere, because I knew he would try and make me have sex with him, and I had no interest in being effectively date-raped. It was at this time that I realized he didn’t respect my body, or what I wanted, or my boundaries. I began avoiding him in earnest, and the histrionic behaviour erupted in full. I didn’t break up with him, because I was terrified if I did, that he’d kill himself.

My Master, who by then had moved out of my boyfriend’s apartment, felt that this was an opportunity to act. I remember listening, horrified, as he detailed to me the list of things he observed while living with the man who would come to be known by many names besides his own. The behaviour obsessing around sex (and calendar marking to match.) The misogynistic comments. The sense of entitlement. The arrogance. The ignorance. I sobbed on the phone, after my boyfriend had yelled at me for lying to him to keep him from being able to have sex with me. He knew I was avoiding him, but I had no idea how to tell him I was terrified of him, that he made me feel unsafe. The Master stood up for me, tearing a strip off of this man on my behalf. The act was sealed when Master returned with the report of how guiltless, entitled, and arrogant the boyfriend had been when Master insisted he treat me as I deserved to be treated. “Are you going to talk to her, too?” he asked, as if my Master was my parent to mete out punishment on the boyfriend’s behalf. Instead, he told me the truth. Master saved me from a pitiful little man, rescuing me from a situation where I, and my precociousness, were being taken advantage of. I smiled for the first time in years.

The ideas about sex stuck, though. I was shocked when I was discovered to be having sex with Master, and my mother was amused rather than infuriated. I was convinced, down to my bones, she was going to kill me and gouge Master’s eyes out with her fingernails. With no explanation, she laughed instead. I learned nothing.

I still believed, as I had when growing up, that I was broken or tainted or unworthy in some way, because I was a slut. From being made fun of by my little brother for being a closet lesbian, getting caught using porn, slurs based on my more boyish appearance, my strangeness was polarized for some people. I hated myself. I wasn’t a virgin, I wasn’t thin, I wasn’t pretty, I wasn’t stereotypically ‘hot’ (big-titted-narrow-waisted), I wasn’t popular… I didn’t even think I was particularly smart. I’m almost ashamed to say that my relationship with Master was not one of romance — I leapt out of a sick and sorrowed relationship, out of a fountain of emotional abuse, into him. I crawled up his leg, into his bed, and unloaded, piece by piece, my months and months of pent-up need for, and lack of, love.

Fortunately for me, Master was smarter than that. He insisted that that not be the direction things take, and caught me, carefully, and put me down. I tried to take advantage of him, sexually. He held me at arm’s length, until I stopped with the force, and he held me close, until he wanted to do more. He picked me up, bandaged my wounds, and didn’t let anything complicated develop until he felt comfortable with everything. He was gentle and careful, calculated and slow. For months and months, our sexual activity consisted of me crawling into his bed, naked, so we could nap together. I had no idea how to expand things, how to get what I want. I had no idea what I really wanted. We built a sexual relationship out of teenaged fumblings, and it’s taken a great deal of time to get comfortable talking about sex and about what feels good. I still feel guilty for asking for things (such as oral) despite many reassurances to the contrary. I still feel like an asshole when I tell him to stop because it hurts.

My precociousness and my armament of knowledge didn’t lead me into good choices, and I was unable to distinguish between sexual attraction and an actual relationship. I wasn’t protected by being shut out. I was unable to seek advice. What should have been a strength became a weakness. I grew into this idea that I should be this totally willing and submissive little thing, a real slut, with no desires of my own, since I was value-less after having lost my de facto virginity to the man before Master. My precociousness, my early development, should have been an opportunity to teach me how to wield the weapons at my disposal, how to protect myself. I was taught to ignore that part of me, and later, taught that it diminished my worth. “Who wants to marry a person who’s not a virgin?” asked my schoolmates, at Catholic school, and later at college. “Not me!” they’d chime. I’d remain silent, trying to shrink myself smaller.

The first person I had a healthy sexual relationship with was my Master… and it seemed the strangest thing, at the time. He insisted on the above — that I tell him to stop when it hurts, that I not have sex I don’t want to have, that I not do anything I don’t want to do. This seemed foreign to me at the time. I remember being stricken with a dermatitis or vestibulitis of some sort from having reacted to a particular brand of lube, and every act of sex was excruciating. Halfway through, Master noticed my pain, and I was sorely chastised for letting him hurt me like that for his own benefit. I have value? I was bewildered. This man I had known before Master, this man who was three-plus years older than Master, who was so much more experienced … he’d never made me feel as if I could ask for what I wanted, or refuse. He’d never made me feel valuable, sexy, beautiful. I had missed out on the best part of sex entirely.

I thought back to my sexual experiences prior … on the ex’s inflatable couch, being groped, knowing that within a time frame of hours he was going to take me to his room and try to have sex with me. Instead of acknowledging the feelings I had on the subject, how distasteful I found the idea, instead of refusing, I simply talked myself into it, trying to relax, detached, for when the inevitable moment came. I ignored my revulsion at the completion of the act, and tried to ignore him as much as possible while he was performing it. I was emotionally detached.

I think my mother’s idea was that she was protecting me, by making sure I knew nothing. Her idea backfired in the sense that I learned everything there was to know — factually — but nothing about what there was to know — functionally. I could tell you brand names of birth control pills, but nothing about intimacy. The solution my mother came up with was to pretend that intimacy wasn’t possible because of my age, my sluttiness. Or maybe she just forgot to mention it, what with all the talk of what a whore I was and asking me if I did it ‘so I could feel loved.’ I was never asked a single question about sex that didn’t sound like a personal attack before I’d even answered. I was terrified of her, but knew sex was as normal as breathing. I had to figure it out on my own, somehow.

I hear this type of thing is genetic — my grandmother developed early and so did many of my aunts. My child might end up being much like me, in this way, and I think about it all the time. How will I handle it? Will I have to explain to an eight year old or a six year old, one day, what sex is, without lying to her or making her feel as I did, as if she were a filthy valueless little thing? And if I don’t, if I indeed tell her (or him) the truth, how many people are going to come crashing down on me, thinking I’m setting my child up to be assaulted sexually? Truth be told, I had no concept of what sexual assault was until I was over the age of 18. Several of my friends had experienced it without realizing, this non-consensual-but-not-totally-forceful sex, myself included, without seeing that we were being taken advantage of, with no advice on how to protect ourselves from things besides pregnancy and disease.

I had no power to say ‘no’ and no idea of when I should say ‘no’ or why. It’s this that I feel it most necessary to correct. I had a significant decrease in my self-worth with the knowledge that I was a slut, and so have vowed to never make my child feel ashamed about their sexuality. It’s a huge part of me, and of my life, and trying to shut off that part of my personality, or not being allowed to experience it because I’ve been taught it’s ‘wrong,’ is one of the bigger travesties of my teenagedhood. It’s part of why I have felt it so important to write about sex, and my sex life, and my sexuality. I need to come to grips with this somehow, to jackhammer the idea out of my head that this is somehow wrong, or bad. Fortunately, I have Master, T, and my good friends around me. My children will grow up happier than I did. That’s a promise.

1993

That was the year I first remember hurting myself deliberately. I concentrated very hard, considering what I was about to do. I remember assuring myself, steeling myself, saying to myself, the next step, this next step, I’m going to do it, no matter how much it hurts. Continue reading