Sir and Sub Brother have been home for a few days. It’s been nice to have them back. But it is also lonely because it feels as if my issues are walls that keep us all separated from each other.
Tonight, I took my meds early, took several deep breaths, and then asked Sir to play. I expected him to say, “no.” He’s relaxed the “no touching” rule since they’ve come back, but… play is a whole other level of… potential landmines.
Instead he asked me to sit and had me explain my feelings and thinking to him. I squirmed and stammered and blushed a lot. It was uncomfortable to ask him for what I wanted. It was uncomfortable to be afraid he would say no. It was uncomfortable to feel vulnerable. But I told myself I had to prove I could do this much or he’d never agree to go physical.
In the end, he agreed, but with parameters. We go slow. We go light. SB watches my face. We pause and check in. We pause and give time to see if I’m going to react poorly. Many parameters. But he agreed.
We started downstairs, just experimenting (and it is an experiment with my brain, these days) with how it felt for him to touch me through my clothes. How it felt for him to swat me lightly, rubbing gently afterwards, even though he started out too lightly to hurt.
I was anxious. I was nervous. I was afraid my own brain would rebel against me and not only make him stop, but make him afraid to ever try again.
My fear kept making my breath go shaky, kept triggering false alarms and stops and rechecks to make sure all was still well.
I fought to stay honest (Sir’s demand) with myself. Not to allow my desire to rebuild our dynamic overshadow the needs of my body and psyche.
A couple of times I felt the fear, the phantom pain of old wounds, press up against the dark windows of my mind. A couple of times I threw back my hand, my safeword, a pause… I was terribly afraid that that would be the end of our experiment, that the pressure would crack the glass, that the darkness would surge in and fill me, and even if it didn’t, that Sir would be too afraid to continue if I told him of the leviathans at the window.
But Sir waited, watched, listened, spoke softly… then trusted me when I said I could go on.
We moved ourselves upstairs to the bedroom when Sir asked if I wanted more than his hand. I did. We pulled out the toy bag.
Each implement he used lightly… slowly… rubbing, stroking, petting, reassuring between each stroke. Slowly he built the intensity, giving me pain, but slowly, controlled, never letting fear rise up amidst the sting.
Each swat became more painful than the last, building, layering… pain and a deep, profound, sense of relief… of safety… of comfort.
Sir was gentle, kind, attentive. Sub brother was quietly encouraging.
As we reached the end of our endurance, I asked for a further intimacy, contact we haven’t had in months, another level of danger for my minefield brain.
Sir was tentative, but agreed. Sub brother joined us. The fear of my fear arose again as I leaned back on the bed, and the pain of hundreds of swats, even lightly layered, took my breath – a comfort, an excitement, and a threat.
I asked for the clamps. Sir put them on, but back where the pain was less intense… a slow building ache in my chest. I flinched as he touched my belly and he pulled back, but returned when I nodded him on.
I tensed as he touched me lower, and he retreated again until I could handle his touch, his eyes never leaving my face, murmuring soft encouragement, to stay with myself, to listen to myself, to tell him my truth…
He had to remind me to breathe as my body took control from my brain. I did, and I survived the moment of terror I’ve never been able to shake, the loss of control, the surge of sensations, the feeling I’ve always been told is the best in the world, but which I only tolerate because it satisfies something primal in my body. And because of the deep and vulnerable intimacy it weaves between these two hearts and mine.
We all rested in the bed, invited the dog to join us, I laid between my partners, my dog laid his head on my belly, and Sir asked me to check in.
For a moment I felt serene, peaceful, almost happy. Then abruptly the glass cracked all around me. The darkness seeped through like cold smoke, like panic, and I tensed.
“No,” I told it, as if it could hear me. As if it can be warded with words. “You can’t have this. You can’t be here. This is a safe place…
“This is a safe place…”
I pulled the warmth of my partners into myself. I pulled the rhythm of my dog’s breath into myself. I pulled the comfort of all of the love into myself. Sub brother pulled a blanket over me. Sir laced his fingers in mine. I could sense their worry but I couldn’t let it in. I couldn’t let anything in.
I scrambled to build a structure. A shack. A house. On the beach. In the sun. Paint faded and flaked away by sea air. The cry of gulls. The golden glow of sunlight.
The darkness tried to press in. I pushed it back.
“This is mine. This is safe. You can’t have this. You can’t have this.”
I whispered it in my head. I whispered it out loud.
“This is a safe place. You can’t come in here.”
Warm blanket. Warm bodies. Warm breath. Golden sun. Murmuring surf.
“This is a safe place.”
The walls of my little house creaked and groaned against the onslaught. Tears rose in my eyes and I pushed back.
“You can’t come in here…”
It felt like hours.
It felt like decades.
It felt like the echoes of my entire life.
Slowly, the darkness retreated…among murmured threats to return… always return.
But I retreated into the warmth of my house with the faded paint and the walls built of the beating hearts of the love surrounding me, and I was safe…
We have come back downstairs. We have donned the fuzzy PJs, and the fuzzy slippers, and curled up under the fuzzy blankets. We have poured the tea with the honey and the cream. We have put on a movie about light and love (and Nazis, but… mostly love).
My little house is once more strong around me.
For this moment.
Golden sun. Murmuring surf. Calling gulls.
Safe enough for now.