The other day someone asked me if there were singular moments, a time when I realized that I had surrendered, that I was comfortable with my surrender and I that I was not going back. I looked back through my journal and found a series of emails I exchanged with a good friend and her Master about two years ago… it was about a time when I had not surrendered… I had decided it was not going to work and tried to tell my husband that I was not going to do it anymore.
What follows is a story I have assembled from the emails… Some of the names have been changed… my Master is not named Dick. Blame his twisted sense of humor that he demands that if I must refer to him by a name in my writing that I must use the name “Dick”.
Xantu had always wished that Dick would be her Master, and despaired. It always seemed that if Dick knew what she wanted he would do the opposite. But Xantu was so enamored with the concept that she had pretended. She imagined his orders, and obeyed. She offered herself to him without limits, begging him to tell her what he wanted, how she may be more pleasing to him. She told him he was her Master. Dick often looked perplexed and somehow at a loss at Xantu’s antics. But sometimes he did little things to appease her and most of the time Xantu was satisfied with that. Xantu told herself she was satisfied with baby steps. She did not realize how far they had taken her.
Only a day after the incident, Xantu lay in the hot water of the bathtub, listening to Dick slamming things around the kitchen, muttering and cursing about the cupboard doors, not being able to find things, generally being Dick. Xantu had no idea why he was complaining about the kitchen so much. She had cleaned it up really well yesterday afternoon despite the pain. Dick had said, “Clean up the kitchen and run the dishwasher.” A precious command, one of the few he had ever given her. It did not matter that her back was in constant spasms, she cleaned up the kitchen. He had given the direction yesterday morning before leaving for work and her back had gone out right after lunch.
As the water cooled Xantu looked idly at the myriad little bruises scattered down her legs. It had taken them about twenty four hours to show up. There was a small rug burn on her knee and a few more on the tops of her toes on one foot. She knew they matched the little on one the tip of her nose. She wondered what hand prints on her ass looked like but the stiffness in her back had kept her from twisting around to look.
Xantu knew that she would have to get up out of the bathtub soon and carefully planned on how she was going to manage this. It seemed like the slightest movement could make her whole back seize up and only the fear of making it worse kept her from falling to her knees.
Dick had been very attentive, helping with all the little things, feeding her, bringing her medicine, helping her dry off, even helping her put on her panties. (It was literally impossible to lean over.) But his manner was amused and not a little satisfied.
Xantu thought back to the email she had sent a friend early in the morning after it had happened but before her back had gone out. As usual she had been unable to sleep in his bed with him and slipped away to write and to think about the lessons she had learned the night before.
I learned something important last night. My husband is my Master, completely and totally, and just because it did not look the way I expected it to; it did not mean it was not there.
I have a personality flaw, a thinking error that I am completely aware of and manage to keep control of most of the time but sadly sometimes I become a little crazy. And I did it again yesterday. If he does not make love to me, I tend to interpret that as rejection. He sometimes goes long periods of time without initiating intimacy and will refuse me if I ask him to make love to me. (Not scenes, just plain old "please hold me under the covers" loving). I become increasingly whiny and demanding and irritable. I am perfectly aware that this is not helpful... but it is amazing how crazy can keep going even when the sane person inside your head is yelling stop.
His being sick the last two months has not helped with this. My fears and anxiety about his illness and his tendency to withdraw even further when he does not feel good, increased that gap between us. He is much better but still was not "paying attention" to me. And I had a tantrum last night. And because I completely totally hate the idea that he is perhaps making love to me because he is "indulging" me and not because he wants me, I rejected his eventual overtures, and I told him not to bother. Then I said that I take it all back that I did NOT want him to be my Master, that he could just be my husband, that I did not want to be good anymore and then I got quite rude and very disrespectful. He began to spank me and I told him he could not do that anymore.
LOL... I found out that once you give it... at least at my house... you cannot take it back. After a pretty dramatic wrestling match I found myself hogtied with an extension cord and getting my bottom blistered. It still hurts to sit.
We will probably never have any spoken rules, and my leash will be long, but it does not mean it was not there.
All evening he was justifiably pretty angry at me and kept giving me looks, like "I dare you to try that again" looks that I think were calculated to communicate to me that I better fucking behave myself. That being good is not my choice. He gave me a direct order to sleep in our bed. (We rarely sleep together because I can't sleep.) I tried, really tried to sleep but after 3 hours of lying there thinking I slipped back upstairs. He followed me up and gave me the look again and I pleaded that I could not sleep and I had tried for 3 hours. I asked if he wanted me to come back to bed and he growled that he would think about it but then went back to bed without me...so here I am here in the middle of the night, writing you.
And I find myself in a very pensive mood. I am a little angry and a little amused at myself for all this time thinking, just because it did not look like the way I expected it to look, that it was not there. That it had been there all along and I had it in my hand and did not appreciate it for what it was. I still have my Master/husband/lover, like I said it is not mine to take back. He is not going to allow me to stop being his.
And I feel a little overwhelmed and a lot guilty... and for some inexplicable reason still a little angry at him... because he is not one to say things out loud, to say what is or is not true... he is very emotionally secretive, distant and in many, many ways mysterious to me. I want it to be easier, to have him tell me exactly what the rules are, what he wants from me, but I know I have to accept it for what it is.
So I am owned and I do have a MASTER. I had it all along. SURPRISE...
After a few hours of being awake, Xantu slipped back downstairs. She did not usually do that but now things felt a lot different.
When she woke in the morning much of the anger had dissipated and she knelt at Dick’s feet and laid her face on his knee. “I’m sorry.”
He did not speak.
She looked up at him and whispered, “How may I serve you.”
Dick rolled his eyes and then muttered, “Get me some more coffee.”
As he left for work today she asked him again. “Is there anything you want me to do while you are at work today?”
Again he rolled his eyes and frowned and then said, “Clean up the kitchen and run the dishwasher even if it isn’t full.”
Xantu worked on her stories and emailed friends most of the day, watching the clock. Typically she was waiting until the last minute to do the cleaning. It was around 3:00 pm when she reached behind her back to adjust the cushion she was leaning against and ‘pop’ something clicked or snapped and she felt a stabbing pain in her back. “Damn it!”
The last thing she needed was Dick getting all apprehensive about hurting her. She stood up and the muscles repeatedly tried to contract and cramp up. She literally forced herself to relax and went and cleaned the kitchen. It only took a little while but it was a ballet of trying to appease the angry pain in her body and get the work done all the same.
She took some anti-inflammatory medication and got out an ice pack and tried to find a marginally comfortable position on the couch.
Dick came home and Xantu casually mentioned that she was having some back pain and did not get up off the couch. Dick laughed and said that she shouldn’t have fought so hard, and went to sleep in his chair. Clearly he had not slept any better than she had. Xantu sat as long as she could and then moved into the guest room, and trying very hard not to cry out and wake him, lay down on her back, carefully secreting her icepack between the mattress and the knot in her back.
It was late in the evening when Xantu could not stand laying there doing nothing any longer and carefully, agonizingly eased her feet to the floor and levered herself to stand. Dick had moved and was asleep on the couch, her couch. She eyed his big recliner and put some pillows on it to help support her, put her laptop within reach and gingerly lowered herself to sit.
Her friend had written her back, speaking of her more structured relationship with her husband/Master. Talking about how her Master handled her disobedience. Her friend had mentioned that perhaps Xantu had had a wish answered.
Xantu wrote back.
In the ‘be careful what you wish for category’... our little… um "learning experience" of yesterday was very strenuous. I DID NOT COOPERATE. I fought him every inch of the way. I have never done that with anyone ever in my life. I made no attempt to attack or hurt him but I did everything within my power to escape. He literally overpowered me, pinned me to the floor with my arms twisted up behind my back, held me there until I was too tired to fight any more, and then reached for the closest thing within reach (an extension cord) and tied me up... pulled down my pants and then gave me the spanking I had said he could not do (like you, I am not a crier. I hollered a lot, but never once felt like crying.) After that the sex was very strenuous... "Stand up, lean over and put your hands on the floor." …kind of strenuous...
…and because the universe has a cruel sense of humor... and I am a little old for this silliness... this afternoon my back has gone into spasms.
Dick has been helpful and empathetic... if not sympathetic. It is now in the 'see you should behave yourself category', but I’ve been stuck lying flat on my back with ice packs most of this afternoon. I am just barely up, carefully supported with more ice packs and checking my emails. This is only the second time in my life that I have had any back pain.
Because every D/s relationship is unique... and my Dick is a very unusual person, we will probably never have a structured Master/sub relationship. He hates rules, he is not consistent. He would rather do things for himself than be bothered with telling me what to do. He could not be less interested in monitoring my behavior. Or having rules like set a place at the table or sit here, or wait for me to eat. Like I said my leash is quite long. So long I did not realize it was there until I decided to try and (even just as a rebellious gesture threaten to…) take it off and got jerked up off my feet.
I was not serious about leaving him. It was just the crazy part of me that feels like he does not want me sometimes. It is not even about being horny. It’s about wanting to feel loved and valued. He is pretty emotionally distant a lot of the time and making love is one of those times I can feel close to him. He has a pattern of teasing me with it... acting like maybe today... oh never mind... go sit down. Sex is one of those places that the leash is very short.
Part of me likes my freedom, but there is part of me that wishes for more structure. I wonder which one is the stronger. I may never find out.
I am over the angry feelings. And he seems more amused by the whole incident than pissed. I was having trouble getting situated and got a little tangled up in my computer’s power cord and while he was helping me get straightened out, he teased me that I must have liked the extension cord yesterday, to get this twisted up in wires again so soon.
The husband and Master to her friend had read her email and written back that Xantu seemed quite good at pushing buttons but that he understood she must have been very frustrated. He spoke of how he handled discipline in their home, speaking of transgressions and punishments. Xantu wrote back.
I certainly did push a button... and it pushed right back... or perhaps I ran to end of my long leash and had my feet snapped out from under me...
One time I heard or read that each person in a relationship is comfortable with a certain emotional distance. Some people need more, some people need less, that in every relationship some agreed upon (either openly or tacitly) distance exists. And if one person in this little game moves too close, the other naturally backs away and in most relationships there is a pursuer and a retreater. I do know that when I get withdrawn Dick is all over me, intruding, demanding. I suspect when I try to play the sub/pet/slave a little too enthusiastically, he finds that moving into his comfort zone and he becomes more distant.
It is a dance, a cosmic dance with two hearts revolving around each other, a binary system, attracted by mutual desire yet at the same time trying to leave orbit for fear of crashing too hard against the other, kept at a safe distance by our own momentum and fears... And when the madness takes me and I mindlessly test the gravity, pulling and pushing at those invisible bonds, I count myself lucky that Dick has the strength to put us back into balance.
Procedure? Transgression? Punishment? My friend, I was in all out rebellion. I wasn't just bad... I was worse. It was very uncharacteristic of me and yet I think I needed to do it to see and feel that there was a limit in our relationship. He will never have any rules that are overt, spoken. When I ask him what he wants or if he liked this or that, he refuses to answer directly and retreats from me further. And when he becomes too remote, his orbit taking him away from me, I find myself feeling lost... I can't feel the gravity anymore... you say frustration... I say panic... like I am falling... that’s when the madness takes me.
There will be few if any formally stated rules in this dance of ours, and fewer formal punishments. But the leash is there holding me from falling too far.
And now perhaps because the universe does have a perverse sense of humor, I am dealing with back pain. Perhaps there is such a thing as karma. Or perhaps I am punishing myself.
This was meant to be a quick short note... silly me... and here I go all Carl Sagan on you...
Xantu read the last email aloud to Dick before she sent it. When she spoke of punishments he snorted in derision. “Your punishment will be what I decide.” But he nodded at her statement about his strength to put back the balance. And he laughed at the Carl Sagan statement.
It was Dick that had decided a soak in hot water would be good for her back, ran the bath and helped her to stand and undress. He was there to help her balance as she carefully put one foot and then the other into the steaming water. He nodded in satisfaction as she eased herself down into the bath. “Good, heat is better than cold.”
Xantu wasn’t sure he was right about that. The ice seemed to be helping. But she knew better than argue, not with her Master.