My M is pretty amazing. He has been my lover, my biggest supporter, and my constant for over 20 years. His response to this lifestyle was more than I could ever have hoped for. He is my natural leader, I am so very proud.
But, it would be a lie to say that all of this has come naturally, for either of us. I’m not even sure that is possible, except in fiction. Our lives are not a fictional story. We fuck up. We stumble. I try to offer insight into both the highs and lows of our relationship. I really try to not just write our highlight reel. I’m not here to glorify the positives or be overly dramatic about the lows. I just journal.
Yet, there are times when there is something that is too difficult or personal to share. One such issue is our aftercare ritual – we have had some difficulty with this over time. I shared the most difficult situation in I Know but I didn’t share the entire story. I have had some thinking to do and so has M. We’ve had to talk, a lot. And practice.
Over time, as our play has gotten much more intense, the need for more intense aftercare has increased. This has been an ongoing area of strife for us. I know I’ve had problems communicating to him exactly what I need. I found myself wishing he’d just ‘get it’ and come to my rescue all on his own, on my time, which is ALWAYS faster than his. He has paid attention to my needs, I know this. He just processes slower than I do. He puts things into practice a bit at a time and this is one area where, when things are very intense, needs must be met. He admittedly has fallen short in providing at times.
Just before vacation, we had another stumble. I felt he was lacking and he did not. I felt rejected and betrayed and he felt like I wasn’t noticing what he did do, that I only saw what was missing. We agreed to do some thinking on vacation and he asked me to write out for him what I need, with examples of both behavior and words. To devise a checklist, so to say. I did.
I’ve been nervous about talking about it. I’ve had anxiety about having any play sessions. I hold him in such high regard, it’s difficult to think of him as not being able to meet a need. It is beyond difficult to admit I had doubt. That I had fear. But, I did.
Yesterday, we talked at length about it all. I wondered why he hadn’t yet wanted to read what he asked me to write for him. He told met that, if I could just have faith in him, he is certain he can get it right, he won’t let me down. He wants to get it right on his own, to feel that sense of accomplishment, but also to make me proud.
Until yesterday, I hadn’t had the courage to tell him the core of my anxiety, for many reasons. It felt silly on the one hand, but it also hurt beyond words. I told him I wanted to tell him the real reason I was so worried, but I could only say it once – I never wanted to have to discuss it again. I never wanted to think what I was thinking and draw any parallels with what we do. He stopped me…he said he knew. He told me he’d figured out that when we do very intense things, especially, if he isn’t there for me, to provide safe, warm closure, I could potentially feel like I did that night in college. That betrayal and hurt and abandonment that came after, when there was no one. I did feel that once, that night M wouldn’t hold me and he knows that, but it was our fault, not just his. It’s a risk, we both knew. He assures me it won’t happen ever again.
Do you know why I love this man so much? He figured it out, all on his own. In his own time, yes, but he knows me. All of me, even the dark places. And, he is right here.
I have faith in him, just as he believes in me. I am right here, too.