I said in my #MasturbationMonday story, Insightful, that I would write it in two parts and also write a companion piece to try and explain a bit about the reasons behind the story. It’s taken me a while to do this for a number of reasons, but this, finally, is the companion piece. You’ll notice that I still seem to skirt around the actual issue, and I apologise for that. But maybe this might make it all a little clearer.
“I’m absolutely terrified of being tied up.”
“The thought of a blindfold can make me physically sick.”
There: two things that only a very limited number of people know about me, and even less of them understand, or try to understand. Very few have watched the change in my demeanour and behaviour if I come into contact with items specifically designed to restrain, or the way I burn up and my eyes fill with tears at even the mention of a blindfold coming anywhere near me or, by extension, the very mention that it might.
The repercussions of this on me are severe, mentally and physically. I have been to two evens in the last year where, if you’d watched me closely, or were aware that it might happen, you’d have found me struggling to cope even being in the same room as others who clearly do not have issues with restraints or being restrained. I won’t discuss the specifics of the incidents or relationship which created this utter terror, but will say that people, and Doms in particular (or those who say they are), who use any kind of physical restriction in reality or in threat without knowing or caring how this might affect the recipient of such restriction, have absolutely no idea of the potential long-term damage they are doing.
Interestingly, I was listening to the Loving BDSM podcast earlier today, and this was a point which Kayla Lords and John Brownstone touched upon in their show about real and fake identities online (if you haven’t listened to the podcast before, then definitely listen – I love everything they both do, the show is amazing, and Kayla is literally my inspiration on a day-to-day basis *extremely pink fangirl blush*).
It was very comforting for me to hear that people who really know what the hell they’re talking about feel the same way as I do about anyone who is using BDSM without thought or due care, and the dangers of the real damage it can cause. I’m testament to such damage, and the party involved wouldn’t have had, and likely still doesn’t have, a clue about the way they screwed me up. I spent a very long time believing this was all my fault – I didn’t respond the way I was meant to, I was a useless submissive or, worse, that as a submissive I was expected to feel scared and threatened and demeaned, and that that was what submission was.
Consequently, I used to spend a lot of time hiding my fears from people and it’s something I have found myself doing again in the last year, but not very well, and I’m not even sure why. It took me a long time to realise the reason for this in the past was down to my lack of trust in them – trust in their judgement, in their empathy, in them knowing what is ‘best’ for me, and, importantly, knowing how my psyche, emotions and sensibilities work – or, in notable cases, knowing that they don’t actually care that I have fears that affect me in this way.
Trust has never come easy to me, neither has the relinquishing of negative associations directed at me. From a very early age, I was ‘trained’ by certain family members (not my parents) and other adults to believe that I was no good, that I would never quite be capable of doing anything as well as I would like, no matter how hard I tried. Internalising that, I think, allowed me to accept the behaviour of people who put me in situations to demean and degrade me, just for a laugh. One of these situations involved restraints. I unwittingly became a ‘victim’ without even realising it was something I didn’t have to accept. Weirdly, though, I could stand up to someone who held a knife at my throat until they backed down. But I had full control over my demeanour and the way I could look at this person and that made all the difference to me.
I have to assume, then, that what matters most to me, unconsciously or not – and usually it’s consciously – is control over what I am capable of doing, physically and mentally (and I am a total perfectionist control freak in everything I do). So how can I possibly manage this fear of rope and blindfolds as a submissive? How the hell does that all fit together?
The honest truth is, I don’t know how to handle it. That is not to say that it is impossible to find an understanding and extremely sympathetic Dom. Far from it. But, for me, it is less about how my Dom would deal with this than how I am able to find ways to manage my fears. It makes me well up with tears to even tell myself that I do want to be able to conquer these fears, never mind attempt to do something about it. Ultimately, I think it comes down to trust – not the trust I want to gift to my Dom, but the trust that I have in myself to know that, sometimes, and with someone you love, that it’s possible to hand over the control of my fears and let them be nurtured and cared for, just as the rest of me is.
Ultimately, then, the only thing I can do is what I have never done before: Trust someone other than myself with my fears, and trust them not to make those fears worse. And only when I manage that will I feel, in myself, truly submissive. Choosing to do that is the biggest relinquishment of power I can offer.
You can head to part 1 of Insightful here.