Monday, June 13, 2011

How I'm Moving On

So many people have written or called to see how I’m doing, and to offer their love and support. That means a lot to me.

This post is about how I'm dealing with D these days, since we do live under the same roof for now and still have to untangle a few things like who owns what, etc.

I'm really writing this more as a journal piece for myself, but writing with the intension of publishing it gives me the chance to have people offer their own perspective to what I have to say.  And I welcome the input.

So, how am I dealing with D?

The first thing I can say is that this dissolution is remarkably different than any I've lived through before, and that has everything to do with what choices I'm making, and almost nothing to do with what choices she has made. 

Let me quote from an email I sent a friend yesterday who was offering their support and checking in with me. I wrote:

I'm already on the road to recovery. I won't be a victim. I won't wallow in self pity and I won't make a friend with revenge. I don't know how many years I've got left but I don't want to waste any of them feeling sorry for myself. 

I've already started a healing journey, and even included D in part of it. 

As Robert Frost, said, “All I know about life can be said in three words: it goes on.” 

I guess you can’t have joy without sorrow, pain without pleasure, or life without death. It is what it is. 

I can't deny nor diminish the pain and hurt that I feel. But I CAN choose how I want to respond. Choosing to dive into a pit of self-pity and flailing about asking "Why me?" is just not going to help.

I might feel better temporarily by exploding in rage, or flogging her mercilessly until she crumbles into a  sobbing pool of tears, or figuring how clever ways to sabotage her as she moves on, but what's the point? 

I'm not as angry as some would quickly say I have "a right" to be, I'm actually feeling more sorrow for her and the choices she's made, and for the journey she must now make to do the work, learn from her behavior, and create a new life for herself.

She's damaged a lot of people - she hasn't destroyed lives, but she's tossed a grenade into innocent lives and that's going to take a lot of therapy and self-examination and personal forgiveness for her to move on – at least in my opinion.

And I don't want to invest in anger at the expense of making good healing choices for me instead. It's tempting to get righteous, but it's simply not worth it. 

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." And I'm not going to give consent!”

So, after the dust settled when the first conversation took place on last Wednesday evening, I did a lot of reflecting, I gave myself some interior space to sort this all out, and by Saturday, I was ready to talk to D again, from a completely different perspective - that of one who knows the truth (or enough of the truth, at least).

And so we did. We talked and talked and talked. We cleared a lot of air. We 'fessed up to much smaller issues we'd both been keeping secret or holding back or otherwise avoiding because we were afraid of upsetting an applecart or hurting the other's feelings or perhaps just admitting to ourselves.

I'm going to grieve the loss of my loving relationship with D for quite a while, I suppose. It is gone and probably will never return. That being said, we reached a place where we both feel we might actually remain in one another's lives in a much different - and much more honest - way. 

Please know that I haven't lost my senses. I'm not crazy. I have my heart very carefully protected and that's going to stay that way with her for a long time. I fully recognize that it's one thing to say you're sorry and it's another to demonstrate you've made real, fundamental change and grown from your mistakes. 

And I'm not being tolerant or understanding or even forgiving because I'm holding on to a secret hope that we can work all this out and go back to the way we were. I know the relationship we once had is over. Dead, and soon to be buried.  

But can I forgive her? And does that matter? 

I can, and I will, and I've started to do just that. I'm not doing that for her sake, I'm doing that for mine. Holding on to what most would certainly called justifiable angst and judgment and anger and all of that isn't going to serve me. I'm not exploring forgiveness to make her journey easier; I'm doing to heal myself

Beyond that, I believe my forgiveness of her doesn't really matter, at the end of the day, in terms of her own healing journey. I suppose it might be easier for her to know that I'm not going to play the victim card, and that I'm not going to do things to sabotage her life.

But that still doesn't take her off her own hook when she looks in the mirror. She knows what she's done; she's taken responsibility, and those are the first steps. Maybe even the easiest steps. Now she has to do the work. 

And, to be honest, I have to do my work as well. I have to face my own issues, such as the tendency to look the other way when things aren't working, rather than putting them on the table. The issue of always wondering, "Am I good enough, smart enough, patient enough, attractive enough?" The issue of becoming so comfortable in my own skin that I can be alone and be okay. 

So here's the way it is. D and I are certainly on "speaking" terms. We're going about the important (and required) business of finding separate places to live, and sorting out our mixed collections of everything from kitchen gadgets to furniture. We're working it out. We're not walking on eggshells. 

The one thing that I think is recoverable from this earthquake, the one thing that might be salvaged, is the friendship I have always treasured with D. Not the romantic, loving, exclusive and intimate relationship, but the friend I could engage in conversations about politics, or world peace, or great movies.

As I dash from the pile of rubble grabbing my emotional possessions, trying to sort out what to take, and what to toss, that's what I hope to keep. 

So that's how I'm dealing with D. Just in case you wondered. 

When you hit the perfect storm, there's always a proverbial silver lining: reinvention. Let go, move through the confusion, embrace the ambiguity, focus on attracting what you want, let go of the outcome, and trust the process. Or, pour yourself a double Scotch. 

It's five o'clock somewhere, isn't it???


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunrise, Sunset


sunset-boat_779386i.jpg


As the song goes:

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years.
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.

There are at least two things no dom can do: make someone fall in love with you, and make them stay in love with you.

My three year saga with D is now in it’s final chapter, at least in the form that it began. We are moving apart, and more importantly, we are not going to be a “couple” anymore. While we’ll remain friends, we will both be moving on.

For newcomers to this blog, you can read all the posts about how the relationship began (with this blog, actually) and about our loving relationship that followed. But nothing is forever, and our relationship as lovers has entered the end game.

The beginning of the end actually came many months ago. You can read D’s take on it here: and my first reactions here.

I’m struck, as I look at my post, with the final paragraph:

I just hope against hope that all of this stuff - health issues, financial issues, and so on don't prove fatal to what has been the most incredible, powerful, loving, amazing relationship I've ever known. 

Indeed, they proved fatal.

They say people come into your lives for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime. D came into mine for all three – but not in the ways I might have expected.

Perhaps the reason she came into my life was to allow me to affirm who I am, and embrace myself completely, rather than hide my “kinky” side, not only from the world, but from myself. I am what I am, and through my relationship with D, I learned to celebrate who I am.

Loving D and having the kind of relationship we had for three years is a long season in the sun. It is something for which I’ll be forever grateful. If I’ve given D anything I’m proud and humbled at the opportunity to have touched her life. It’s very clear that D has given me much more than I had dared to hope for and she has touched me more deeply than any other person ever has.

Our season together was wonderful, amazing, empowering, fun, delightful, and so many other things. We proved to ourselves that love is possible, that it is worth the risks taken to find it, that it is the source of growth, compassion, and purpose.

I shall never stop loving D, no matter where her path takes her, or my path takes me. I hope that she will feel the same way – but again, even if not, one thing I can’t lose is the choice of loving her and hoping she finds a path with heart.

When D’s challenge with menopause (and other things) began to overwhelm her, I reacted in the classic first stage of grief: denial and isolation. I hoped and believed that this was temporary, that she’d handle it (and we’d handle it) and things would soon return to normal.

I was overwhelmed and unsure how to be supportive and helpful, but I did my best. I tried to be there for her when she wanted companionship and affirmation, and give her space to have “alone time” when she wanted that.

Time passed, and the menopause and other factors (one financial crisis after another, for example) continued to interfere with a return to normalcy. Predictably, as I look back, I moved into the second stage of grief: anger.

I was really, really angry – not at D, but at the whole damn world and the factors that were taking away everything precious in my life. During this period, both of my parents passed away, my college-age daughters completely withdrew from my life for reasons I still don’t understand, and my business continued to languish in this lousy economy. These were all things well beyond my control and I felt helpless and angry.

It was like the proverbial clich├ęd metaphor – everything I cherished was slipping through my fingertips like sand. 

Angry? You bet I was angry – but I didn’t know what to do with the anger, and so I bottled it up. I wasn’t angry with D, (none of this was her “fault”) and I didn’t know how to share my anger with her in the midst of her own physical and other challenges. I couldn’t bring myself to add to her burdens the burden of “being there” for me.

So I bottled it up.

As time moved on, our financial problems forced us into an uncomfortable situation. We were both strapped, and to make ends meet, we had decided to move back in with one another. It was an arrangement born of convenience but not of real choice. I moved into her townhouse, and remain there to this day. It was far from ideal – it has always felt like “her” place, and we’re cramped and have too little privacy. Not ideal, and certainly not healthy for a relationship in trouble.

But perhaps it was the fact that the townhouse was sold, and the new owner let her know he would be raising the rent and asking for a year’s lease that forced the two of us to finally talk about all the things going on under the surface.  We’d been living together, being civil and friendly and staying as much as possible out of each other’s way. I was still hoping her physical troubles would end and that we’d go back to how we were, but that’s not what was going to happen.

So, we both admitted to each other that we had to move. Even though I believed (and continue to believe) that we could find another place that was bigger, more private for each of us, and still save money over renting two places, D was very clear. What she needs right now perhaps more than anything is to be alone, on her own, and finding her way. She even entertains the idea of moving out of state (or out of country, for that matter).

It finally became very clear to me that our relationship – the one we’d started as a result of this blog and had for over two years before all of the crap started happening – was over. I’d moved from stage three of grief: bargaining (If I just do this or that, perhaps “the universe” would let things go back to normal) into depression.

Which is where I am today. Depressed and isolated and rather immobilized. I get the feeling that D is as well but she’ll have to speak for herself.

We’ve cleared the air, we came through that conversation intact and without the all-too-common fighting, blaming, etc. that characterizes the end game of so many relationships.  That was never the way we were together – and it won’t be now, either. She’s not leaving me for another (nor am I leaving her for another). She’s not leaving because I wasn’t “good enough” or because I acted in ways that she couldn’t accept.

Like the movie title, “She’s just not that into me” anymore. She’s had a change of heart.

Or perhaps it’s better to put that another way. D doesn’t find, in the possibilities of a committed, intimate, and yes, kinky relationship with me, what she wants and needs right now. She hasn’t felt that way for a long time – and she was much too compassionate to tell me “It’s time to move on” earlier – because of all the other things I was dealing with (like the deaths of my parents and my children’s behavior). There just never was a good time until the issue got forced by the new landlord.

So I’m depressed but aware there’s a fifth stage of grief: acceptance. And to be honest I can taste it already. Over the past six months, I’ve had plenty of time to begin to experience what it might be like if we dissolved this relationship as it was constructed and found independent paths to follow. It’s probably easier to move from depression to acceptance when the cause of the grief isn’t so sudden. The signs have been there for a long time even as I tried to deny them, get angry about them, or try to bargain them away.

So what’s next for me?

First of all, a new place to live. Much as I have moving, it’s unavoidable. I’ve already begun the pruning and discarding of old, unwanted things. (That’s been symbolic as well – as I discard the old, I know I’m making room for the new.)

And what will become of this blog? Well, I haven’t been very active with it in a while. I don’t know where it goes. Perhaps as this last chapter of our initial relationship comes to a close, so does this blog. 

I’ll leave it up for now because I know there are so many people (particularly in the kink world) who want to know some truths about finding, maintaining, and even ending relationship such as ours. Perhaps I’ll blog some more in the coming weeks about my experience of life “alone again, naturally.”
And I hope, and know that those of you who know both D and I will wish for us both peace, love, and joy.

To all the tops and bottoms and doms and subs out there, let me remind you once again: you can’t make someone love you, and you can’t make them stay in love with you.

What you can do, what you always have the choice to do, is to love others, unconditionally. The most important insight I have about my experiences with D is that I, perhaps for the first time in my life, was able to love her for her, without condition, not because she loved me, not because of what she could or would do for me, but simply because of who she is. Maybe that’s the reason she came into my life – so that I could learn what it was like to simply, unconditionally, love another person.

Bon voyage, D. May you continue to walk the path with heart. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Boardwalk Badness Weekend in review

I know it's been a while since I've blogged. What can I say?

I've just returned home from Atlantic City, where I was among the 200+ guests at the (now becoming) famous Boardwalk Badness Weekend party. D and I were there last year, but this year, it was just me. D is just not quite ready to return to the scene. (But she didn't stay home and moan and groan about it - she went to Florida to watch the shuttle launch!)

I had mixed feelings about attending the party. For starters, I hadn't played with anyone at all in the past several months. It was a bit odd to imagine myself going from complete deprivation to total immersion in one fell swoop! I wasn't sure exactly how I would feel when I would find myself surrounded by old friends (and new ones as well) who were all not only in the scene, but ready to play!

For another, I'm not at my best in parties (of any kind) when I'm on my own. Interestingly, I'm fine - I'm in my element, actually, when I'm in charge of an event involving large numbers of people. I can get up in front of them, make presentations, be funny, be in command of the unfolding event, and so on - but if I'm simply a participant, I get shy and reserved, and often feel like I don't belong there. I know that's foolish but it is what it is.

So off I went to Atlantic City - and getting there turned out to be a challenging adventure. Because of the tornadoes that struck the south last week, flying was not easy. I made it to D.C. on the red eye fairly easily, although we had to circle the airport for 45 minutes before landing. Then the fun began.

My connecting flight to Philly was delayed, and then cancelled. They were able to reroute me through Harrisburg and then on to Philly, but then THAT flight was delayed. And then it was delayed again. And when it finally came to pass, I knew I would miss my connection flight to Philly. And then there was the question of whether my checked luggage would make it (I had started out on United Airlines and was now being booked on a US Air flight.

I finally made it to Harrisburg, and then got paged because they had pulled my checked bag OFF the plane. They realized their error, and told me they would put it back on the flight back to Philly. My connecting flight was late as well, so I was able to board it and get to Philly. Upon arrival, I learned that my checked bag was lost. LOST!

Getting to Atlantic City was my next challenge. I have a friend who had agreed to meet me at the airport that morning and take me to the train station. Now it was evening, but she really came through for me - meeting me at the airport and driving me all the way to AC. I was very grateful.

And the next morning, my luggage was delivered to the Chelsea Hotel. All's well that ends well - and I kept reminding myself that hundreds of people in the south had a horrible experience with the tornadoes, and my traveling challenges paled by comparison.

But it did take about 23 hours, mostly awake, to get from home to Atlantic City. Phew!

Anyway...

I won't review all the party in this post - perhaps next time. But here's some headlines:


  • The party was amazingly well organized and lots of fun for just about everyone I talked to. The organizers are getting lots of kudos afterwards, and they deserve every single one. If I were to attend only one spanking party per year, this would be it. 
  • I had the opportunity to play with a few people, and it was indeed fun. Whatever I was worrying about it terms of total immersion simply disappeared. It was just like old times. 
  • One of my highlights had to be spanking people bare bottom on the bow of a 60-foot boat that was rented for the exclusive use of 44 intrepid souls from the party as we cruised out into the ocean. Hard to spank, keep your balance, and not fall overboard all at the same time.
All in all, I had a good time, and I was glad I went. But I missed D a LOT. In particular, Saturday evening, which was the theme dinner party. Everyone, including me, was dressed in Boardwalk Empire outfits and lots of people had put a lot into their appearance. I'd even purchased a genuine beaver bowler hat for my outfit (and got several complements). But in the middle of this dinner, I suddenly felt incredibly lonesome and missing D a lot - in part because I knew how much she would have enjoyed getting into some kind of 1920s outfit, and in part because I just wanted to have her on my arm at an event like this. It wasn't about spanking at all - it was about being together and enjoying an event together like we had in the past. 

So I left that event early and went back to my room and just allowed myself to feel my lonesomeness for a while. 

The next day (the last day) was quite fun, in spite of the fact that I thought that for me the party was over and I wanted to be home. It began with the Disciplinary Court which, as always, was a laugh riot. Then came the "sea cruise" which was a new event not officially part of the party but organized by a participant. 

We arrived at the boat about 5:30 or so to find it was not at all what anyone had in mind. We boarded a 50 or 60 foot fishing boat, which didn't have food, drink, or music (all of which I had imagined), and off we went. 

Well, perhaps the boat wasn't the prettiest or the fanciest, but with 44 spankos aboard, it was just a blast. The jokes about our "three hour tour" began in earnest, and comparisons to Ginger, Mary Ann, Gilligan, the Professor, and all the other characters soon sprang into life. 

And here's the funniest part: the ship's captain thought we were an "Adult Speaking Group," (whatever THAT is), not an Adult Spanking Group. This gave rise to a new fetish on Fetlife: being "into" Adult Speaking. 

Coming home was another adventure. I set my alarm for 7 PM instead of 7 AM by accident, and consequently completely missed my scheduled return flights and had to book a new flight home. I finally dragged my tired butt into my place at midnight - no late flights, no rebookings, and no lost luggage. Phew!

So - it was a fun party, and I'm glad I went. I still wish D had been able to be with me - it simply wasn't the same without her. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Making adjustments

D and I have settled into the new reality, I believe. While neither of us is happy with the tumbles in our lives right now, it feels like we've at least accepted what's going on. And I suppose that's a key toward moving forward.

It's been a journey of starts and stops for me, as I try to become as supportive of D as I can as she comes to grip with menopause. Sometimes I give her space and "alone" time, and other times I spend with her just "hanging out." I don't mind either time if it's helpful to her.

I do get the feeling that sometimes I get it backwards, meaning I'm giving her space when she actually wants company, or I'm hanging out with her when she's craving some alone time, but we're working on that. I know it's incredibly hard for her to both feel the symptoms of menopause and try to "teach" me how to best be supportive.

But we're inching forward, day by day.

It's funny and almost irritating sometimes how my spanking gene refuses to lay low. D may have lost her kink, but not me. It's been persistent even as we both dealt with our challenges. I still want to spank. The urge ain't going to go away, nor is it going to lay low.

D and I talked about it for awhile last night. The bottom line (no pun intended, really!) is that, with D's encouragement and support, I am going to put some feelers out there for play dates who happen to live in our area.

We've both played privately at parties, and we both trust one another completely. So, for me to make a date to spank someone else outside of a party is, as we see it, a natural extension of party play. And it's something I have intended to do anyway, long before D's hiatus began.

I feel a bit awkward, however. I don't want to create a vibe for a play date that says, "Hey, let's play, but just until D gets better," after all. So let me make it clear: if I have the good fortune to meet someone who is on the same page with me in terms of spanking, she will become a good friend for as long as we both feel the chemistry. When D returns to Kinksville, as I believe she will, I will continue to spank others, as I have at parties.

By the way, for the curious, this new adventure is not about sex. It's about spanking. From funishment to punishment, from role playing to "just because." I am NOT looking for a sexual relationship.

I know, I know - the debate about whether spanking is sexual goes on and on. That's for another post. I know the differences, I know where they overlap, and I'm confident that one does not have to lead to the other.

So, we'll see what happens. I'm going to encourage any potential play dates to contact D before we meet, if they want a "reference," and to check out my story as well. They can email her, phone her, or even meet for coffee. Neither of us have anything to hide.

Meantime, it's 7:30 a.m. and time to get started with another day. See you down the line!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crumbling Dreams

If you've read much of this blog, you know that it's the chronicles of D and I, who met as a result of this very blog. We began our relationship nearly three years ago.

Tonight, as I write this, it feels like all my dreams are crumbling around me. I know D feels the same. You can read her blog for some of her perspective.

Last year was a rough one for both of us. For me, it was the year that both of my parents passed (in January and November). It was a year when my business revenue hit new lows, to the point where I had to file for bankruptcy in December.

D and I had found an ideal living arrangement (for us) which involved renting two houses that were only three blocks apart. Situated like this, we could easily be together as much as we wanted, and get plenty of "alone" time as needed. It was perfect. I loved my little house, and she loved hers.

With both of us struggling financially the second half the year it finally made no sense to pay for two places, so I gave mine up and moved in with D. While it works on a financial level, it's been less than ideal on a human level.

For instance, D had to give up being able to park her car in her garage, since it's now filled with a lot of my junk that is stored there. I had to give up my cute little house and move into a bedroom on the first floor of the townhouse. We both had to give up a lot of privacy. Yes, we've been saving money on expenses, and there are some other advantages to living together that we enjoy, but this place is "hers," not "ours," as much as we try to see it differently, and it's cramped quarters for the both of us.

Then, D began to experience symptoms of menopause a few months ago. As they progressed, our relationship began to change. She lost her libido and her kink. Poof! Gone - vanished - disappeared. So, there went our sex life, and there went our mutual interest (until then) in spanking and such.

I began to research menopause to see what I could do to help. Frankly, beyond the obvious, there's not much I can do. I can be patient (and I am), I can make sure I don't take her mood swings personally (I don't), and I can give her space when she needs it, and be available to her when she needs that.

But the net result of all this is that so many of the dreams I had when I first published this blog, and which began to come to fruition shortly afterwards, are now crumbling around us. Neither of us wanted what's happening to happen, and both of us feel like forces far greater than us are at play here.

D is the most important person in my life, and I stand ready to do whatever I can to be her friend. For example, if that means we move once again into different apartments, then that's what we'll do.

D had planned to come to the Boardwalk Badness Weekend with me for some time now. We had such a blast last year. It dawned on me that this year, she was probably coming only because she cares enough about me that she wanted me to come and have fun. She didn't want to play, but she did want to connect with old friends. I discussed all of this with her, and "released" her from any obligation to attend.

I appreciate her willingness, but if her heart's not into it, then she shouldn't go. I still plan to attend, unless additional financial pressures make it impossible.

I just hope against hope that all of this stuff - health issues, financial issues, and so on don't prove fatal to what has been the most incredible, powerful, loving, amazing relationship I've ever known. 

Time will tell.