Does exactly what it says on the tin. I am so not offended if you skim this.
I am catching my breath from a good cry and taking off my nail polish. Buckle up for another chapter of ‘Belle is feeling a lot of feelings and identifying them is going to be a very long process.’
Today my Dom asked me if everything was okay, and I articulated what I’ve been wrestling with in more definite terms. I told him that I felt like our relationship wasn’t working. I’ve been discouraged and frustrated and just generally down, which is exhausting, because our schedules have been mutually exclusive, and I don’t do well at all with a lack of time spent together. I have felt disconnected from him, increasingly, for a while. We talked for a while and in the end we parted ways.
It was amicable, sad of course, but okay. I had a bit of a cry earlier because I really hate having hurt him. It’s one thing for me to have promised myself that I will never stay in a relationship where my needs are consistently not being met, or where I feel that unsettled melancholy where something is off, where I am disconnected, where things just don’t sit well with me and I’m shoving down feelings because I want to ‘give things a chance’. It’s quite another to enforce such a promise, and more than anything I hate having caused someone else pain. But I know it’s for the best, and I know it wouldn’t be good or right or fair to continue when feelings are not mutual and the relationship just isn’t working.
And then I came home from work. Did a few chores. Ate some supper. Messed around on Tumblr because this is my one night off for the next while, watched some Breaking Bad. Expected myself to nap after a week of extroverting, but nada. Which was weird.
Then I started thinking. And then I started crying.
For a little while I felt rather relieved, because I’ve been struggling with this for a while, and it’s just nice to let go of the situation that causes the need that is very difficult to fulfill on my own. There is something a bit…freeing, to be honest, about not being submitted to someone who is not helping that situation. I want to be clear that my former dom was and is a lovely, wonderful, decent person and I have a great deal of respect and care for him; he did nothing wrong, we just didn’t work out. But it’s still freeing when I as a submissive no longer have to follow the rules that were in place and end up feeling frustrated and lonely.
Hence my nail polish removal. I’ve been keeping my nails painted for months for him, and taking it off just feels a bit like reclaiming myself. I needed that. I needed to cry, and then to start enacting some self care and begin pulling myself together. Because I’m feeling more than relief and guilt.
So I have a cup of tea, my good tea, my very expensive green tea that tastes ‘like buttered spinach’, and I’m writing. Because I need to think. I’m still not sure that everything I’m thinking about the relationship is going to go on here, because I do want to respect privacy and some things just shouldn’t be posted for the whole world to read. But thinking is good.
I don’t think I realised how much it hurt. I don’t think I let myself feel how much it hurt, is perhaps more accurate, not until it was all over. I kept telling myself that things were nowhere near like my last relationship (and thank God for that – this was a beautifully drama-free relationship, with a very honest, level, positive-beyond-all-belief person), there were no emotional breakdowns, no days spent sick because of stress, no genuinely insane events, and he certainly wasn’t doing any of this on purpose. So I dealt with some drop, it happens. So we were unable to do more than engage in small talk, it happens. Then it was more like, so I haven’t gotten much-needed cuddles in over a week, I’ll be okay, I can take care of myself. So we haven’t played together in almost five weeks, life is about more than that. So it feels almost awkward when we hug because I feel like we’re almost strangers and have to get re-used to this person…
I’m not blaming him. He really is one of the best people I’ve ever met. I just…I’m still me. I still need someone who has time for me in his life. I still need daily cuddles. I still need consistent, full conversation or the connection wanes. And it is rather miserable when the other person feels this incredible connection and the other doesn’t. I felt like I was betraying him or not trying hard enough or expecting too much or I don’t even know. I’ve been busy too, my schedule is consistent but in phases, and I keep myself occupied, particularly when I’m struggling with situations like that and it’s just easier to keep myself distracted and remain functioning. Our lives didn’t fit – mutually exclusive schedules.
Then I keep thinking about Love Languages. I know that mine is time. Quality time spent together. Which is why the mutually exclusive schedules were a source of misery for me (not that he was unaffected either, but he certainly seemed to bear it better). He has a different love language, which is great, and I like to think I spoke it well. I hope so, he deserved to feel that way. I don’t think, though, that I realised how much it bothered me. It felt kind of one-sided again. Which was like my last relationship. I had a dream a few nights ago where it was my former dom but I identified him as my ex, the one from the very toxic relationship. Which was very strange, they are remarkably different people, it’s one of my favourite things about my former dom, and I have never, ever thought that he was like my ex to the extent that this kind of a dream would make sense. But it was so vivid that it stuck with me, and I’ve been puzzling over it. Then during surprise-emotional-response #2 I realised things became one-sided again. I felt like I learned quickly how to please my former dom, what he liked, what produced the desired positive feedback (although I do think that there is one particular area that is not my strong suit which does mean a lot to him, but not delving because that’s personal and this is not the place). But I felt like things were not reciprocated. Genuine effort was made, and I know that my mind and personality are not always easy to navigate and a definite learning period is required. But I think it bothered me that we didn’t just fall in step with one another at the same time. Then the busyness happened, and all progress was halted, and then it felt like we were taking steps backward because the intimacy floundered, and I pushed all of this down until tonight. And I pushed them down because I felt like I didn’t have a legitimate reason to fully feel what I felt; like because I’d been through worse or because he meant well and is a really decent, lovely person, that my emotions lacked validity and therefore did not need to be granted experiential existence.
Now I have feelings. Fantastic.
I don’t think he did anything wrong. I think that we just didn’t match as well as we wanted to. We didn’t work out. It happens. And I’m the one who broke it off, and I genuinely think and feel that it was the right thing to do. But here’s the kicker.
I still have all these emotions to process. I’m still sad because I miss getting to talk to someone every day. Because there was some intimacy and it meant a lot to me, he meant a lot to me. Because I hate having caused him pain. Because I had high hopes, I really, really wanted everything to work out. I know he did too. Because I’m a little mad at myself for not talking about this sooner, although I’m not sure that would have changed anything. I know I’m mad at myself for convincing myself that this relationship was the one God was directing me to and as such it must work, because I had this idea that I had to choose someone from those who responded to my ad (this, by the way, is lesson number one for me from this relationship, and as such I am not placing an ad again).
I think, and here feel the need to emphasise the intense subjectivity of this entire blog – there are two sides to every story, and my experience and current befuddled emotions are definitely not an authoritative account of the relationship or the character of my former dom – that I felt unloved. Not in a romantic sense, just in an affectionate, caring-for sense. Because for me, I feel loved and cared for when someone spends time with me. When there are cuddles. When that happens so consistently that I know 95% of the time how long I will be waiting for the next conversation opportunity, when I can share the things of my day and get to know this lovely person, where we can be wrapped up in each other’s minds and company for a while. Without that, it is brutally hard for me to enter into that submissive space; I still obey, that’s conscious choice, but I don’t feel the cozy freedom of submission, I don’t feel the comforting intimacy, and this is perhaps a bit of why drop happened. I didn’t feel heard or taken seriously either because I thought, and I could absolutely be remarkably wrong here, that I had been clear about how important these needs were for me and the effect being without them has. I am very glad, still, that he felt this wonderful connection and that I got to make him feel the way he did; but until tonight, I don’t think I realised how much it bothered me, how unfair it felt, that I didn’t feel it too.
And it is so not his fault. We both had high hopes. We both wanted to give our relationship a good chance, and I think we did. Which is why I don’t quite think it was a mistake, and I’m not overly mad at myself (still somewhat, but that’s par for the course). We simply didn’t work out. He did nothing wrong; he is a fantastic person and oh my gosh, when he finds the woman who is meant to be his submissive and partner they are going to experience this incredible relationship that is going to make all of this pale in comparison. Objectively, he’s awesome and I’m lucky to have gotten to know him and be with him. I know too, though, I’m not that woman.
I feel lonely and discouraged too a bit. I don’t want to be alone again. I miss getting to submit like I got to before, I miss getting to experience that deep submission and intimacy. I miss the freedom and catharsis and affection of a relationship like that. I don’t want to be in a relationship just to be in a relationship, and I am okay being alone. And given how little time we were able to be together the last while, I already felt lonely – there’s just something about being alone now, it feels…melancholy. I know it’ll pass, I’m okay being my own person, and I know I can be satisfied with it. I read on Tumblr a while back this post about how someone dreamed of being the single aunt who never married and traveled all over the world and brought back crazy, fun gifts for everyone. I could totally be that aunt. I’d also take everyone to Disney World and have an acreage/hobby farm/animal rescue, and I’d have to find the perfect people to take care of the animals while I’m away, but I could totally do that.
So this is my processing and self-care. Step one was crying. Step two was a step into being an un-submitted submissive and actively removing my obedience to a rule (for whatever reason, it’s something that when my former D/s relationships have ended, each under quite different circumstances, it helps me stand back up on my own two feet). Step three was writing and processing. Step four was accepting that I feel a mess of things, and that it is okay. It’s okay to be alone. Life is still so, so good. God is good. Oh is God good. And on that note, I know I’m not really alone. Timely messages and reconnecting with old friends is not something I think was accidental today, and it helped shut up that grey voice that only talked about loneliness. A sincere thank you for that help ❤
I'm not really sure what to do next. I don't know if this is normal, and I don't exactly have someone I can ask (so by all means if you have comments I welcome them) who's been through this as a submissive, but like when my other relationships ended I feel this kind of 'I don't know what I'm doing' sensation. Aimless, maybe. My routine is disrupted, could be as simple as that. I have a long to do list, as always, and I will do some things on it to see if that gets the ball rolling. I know I want to write more, because I need this, and now that I'm letting myself feel things again (good grief, speaking of patterns I need to stop already) the writing certainly comes more easily. And self care. Lots and lots of genuine self care. I already got rid of the cookie dough indulgence because that was definitely not helpful (I swear it just fed the aforementioned grey voice), and I'm deliberately taking care of me. I want to rejoin the gD community, because I really miss the blog section and being engaged in discussion with the lovely minds there, not to mention I have a massive set of FL articles to catch up on.
God is good.
And if this far, wow. Kudos for surviving that rambling mess of 2300+ words. Now to title this beast…