One-Way Street

Jenn,

I’m sorry, but I have a serious problem with something you said in your post about love.  Love is a two way street.  It has to be.  You can’t just keep giving and giving and not get anything in return.  That’s completely unhealthy and abusive.  And even you don’t actually live that way.  You talk about your relationships and it’s obvious that you have expectations.  So it can’t be a one way street.  No one can be happy with a relationship like that.  I don’t understand how you can love someone who doesn’t love you back and who doesn’t give you anything back and be happy.  I’m sorry but that just doesn’t make sense to me.

Beck

Hi again, “Beck.”  It’s been a long time.

Come on, did you think I wouldn’t recognize you?  You can use a dummy email address and a nickname (that was really too easy to see through, by the way), but you should’ve known better than that.  No one knows my boys the way I know them.  You repeatedly said that I knew you better than you knew yourself.

Did you think I’d forget?

And you’re putting words in my mouth, and twisting my meaning.  I mean exactly what I say (come on, you know this).

No, love doesn’t have to be a two-way street.

But relationships are a whole different creature.

But before I get into that, I want to address your comments about being happy.  I can love someone who doesn’t love me back and be happy because I don’t rely on anyone else for my happiness.  Happiness is not something you get from other people, or things, or accomplishments, or status.  Not lasting happiness, anyway.

Because every single one of those things can be taken from you.  If all your happiness comes from outside, what happens when you lose the source?

A man I loved recently learned that lesson the hard way.

And happiness is not something that some people are just born with.  Some people aren’t just “luckier” than others when it comes to happiness.

Happiness is not something you have, or even something you are.  It’s something you do.  Actively.  Consciously.  Every.  Fucking.  Day.

When your happiness comes from you, then you don’t need reciprocation, you don’t need that validation from someone else.  And for the men I love who don’t reciprocate, why, if I truly love them, would I pressure them into either lying or feeling unbelievably uncomfortable by me expecting something they cannot give?  What kind of love is that?

That’s not love.  That’s insecurity, and that’s a fear of being alone.  I’m not insecure, and I love being alone.  I’ve faced all my demons, I’ve confronted the parts of myself I’m afraid of, the parts of myself I don’t like, even the parts of myself that I hate.  I’ve acknowledged it all, and I’ve accepted it as a part of me.

There’s nothing in my head that I cannot handle, so being alone, losing myself in my head doesn’t bother me.  And because I’ve acknowledged, accepted, and embraced all those parts of me, there’s nothing anyone can do to shake me.  Not for long, anyway.

I’m still human, of course.  I have moments of insecurity, I have spikes of jealousy, or envy, or greed, or hate.  And I’m not invulnerable.  It took me a long time, one of the hardest lessons that I had to learn (and admittedly one I still struggle with) is that strength is not the same as invulnerability.  True strength is absolute vulnerability, and absolute vulnerability is fucking terrifying.

Which, incidentally, is why only the strongest can do it.

But those moments never last long, because at the end of the day, I’m secure in who I am, and I choose to be happy.  I don’t need someone to reciprocate love because my love is not conditional, and I don’t attach any expectations to it.

Three of the five people I’m currently in love with have said they love me back, and two have not.  It doesn’t matter to me whether they do or don’t, because that doesn’t change the way I feel about them.  And because I don’t need the validation of them loving me back.  My validation comes from me, not from them.

When your validation and your happiness come from you, instead of outside sources, it frees you up to love without expectations, or needs, or conditions.  And frees the recipient up to experience and feel your love without pressure, or stress, or worry.

It’s just better all the way around.

Relationships are a whole different story.  And you don’t need one to have the other.  Plenty of relationships exist without love, and plenty of people not in relationships love each other.

But I’ll take that a step farther, and say that plenty of successful relationships exist without love.

Because a relationship requires three things to be successful: mutual trust, mutual respect, and honest, open communication.  Everything else you can think of that a relationship needs boils down to one of those things.  Because when you trust and respect someone, negotiation and compromise are easier.  When you’re free to be honest and open with someone that you trust and respect, needs are more easily met, and responsibilities are more easily delegated.

When you genuinely trust, respect, and are able to be open with someone, you enjoy spending time with them, and you go out of your way to show you appreciate them, just as they go out of your way to show they appreciate you.

But you need all three for a successful relationship.  Two out of three isn’t enough (we learned that the hard way, didn’t we?).

Love is not a requirement.  Sure, it’s nice to have, but contrary to popular belief, not a requirement.  I think that’s part of the reason why so many relationships fail.  Too many people put love up on this pedestal, and assume that it’s the end-all, be-all of relationships.

And yes, a relationship has to be a two-way street.  One partner cannot do all the work, cannot keep the relationship going by themselves.  That’s when things get unhealthy, or even abusive.  Both partners need to be equally invested in the relationship.

And that’s when love becomes unhealthy, too.  Have you ever tried talking to someone who’s being mentally/emotionally/physically abused by their partner?  Have you ever tried convincing him or her to leave?

“But I love him/her” are four words that inevitably come out of their mouths.  Love blinds them to the abuse, to the fact that the recipient is narcissistic/selfish/sadistic (not in the good way)/insert-adjective-here.  It makes them endure the abuse, it makes them believe that they simply can’t be happy without that person.  It makes them easily manipulated.

And whyWhy do they feel that way?  Why do they tolerate abuse?  Because they get their validation from that person.  They believe that person “completes” them, and see themselves as “incomplete” without them.  Take that person away, and you take away the source of their validation.  You take away their source of happiness, as warped and fucked-up as it is.

And before you bring it up (because I know you will), I will come out and say that yes, I foster that kind of dependence in my relationships.  I want my boys to need me, despite the fact that I will never need them.

Does that make me a hypocrite?  Yeah, probably.  But let me explain my reasoning here.

First of all, you have to remember that I’m very deliberate with my words.  I say what I mean and I mean what I say.  And I will never say anything I don’t mean out of anger or spite or whatever.  That’s the linguistic anthropologist in me.  Words mean too much, they have too much power, to just be thrown around carelessly.

So there is a big goddamn difference between need and want.

I want my relationships.  I want my boys.  I want to be with them, I want to stay with them, I want our relationship to last.

And in that same vein, I don’t handle needing someone very well.  As soon as I need someone, I start to feel trapped.  Then I feel claustrophobic.  Then I feel anxious.  Then I start looking for a way out.  It doesn’t matter if I love them or not.  It doesn’t matter how deeply I feel for them.  I have to get out, or I feel like I’ll suffocate.

That’s part of the reason why I struggled when I was pregnant, and when the spawn was first born, because suddenly I found myself dependent on Kazander for money.  And that was not a pleasant feeling.  It still isn’t.  But with her not hitting the acceptance lotteries for the charter schools within a twenty-minute drive, and with us not being able to afford the $24k/year tuition for the private school I wanted to put her in, the options are either homeschool or public school.  With Nevada having the worst fucking education system in the country, you can guess which option I’m taking.

So the financial dependence isn’t going to end soon.  But that’s physical.  It’s as easy as going out and getting a job.  I don’t like it, but I can handle it.

It’s emotional dependence I can’t handle.  I don’t want to stay with someone because I need them.  That implies that I don’t have a choice, that I’m “stuck” with them.  I want to stay with someone because I want them.

But

I do foster that dependence with my boys.  It’s a dependence that will never be reciprocated, but one that I want, and something I actively work to create and enable.

Why?

Not because of any selfish reasons (well, sort of… hear me out).

So much of my particular brand of D/s is mental.  That’s my expertise, it’s what I’m best at, it’s what I have the most experience with, and it’s what I have the most fun doing.  I get into their heads quickly, I go deep, and I use what I find there to tailor the specific D/s relationship I have with them.

I don’t know what kind of D/s relationship I’ll have with a boy until I get to know him.  I don’t know what the end goals will be, I don’t know where I’ll take him, I don’t know what I’ll do with him, until I find out what’s in his head.

And learning about him, finding out how to get into his head, is my first goal, and it starts from the very first message he sends me.

Once I’m in his head, I use that to take him deeper, darker, farther into my BDSM world.  The journey for each relationship is different, but the end goal is always the same.

I want to break him.

The ins and outs of how and why warrant a post of their own, and I’ve already gone long here, so I’ll save that for the next post.  But I want to break him.  In more ways than one.

To do that, I need a number of things.  One of those things (sometimes the most important, depending on the boy) is a sense of dependence on me.  Because, like it or not, that’s the way the human mind works.  Trust comes easier if they’re dependent.  Obedience in the face of fear comes easier when they’re dependent.  I can take them further, I can break them more completely, and I can build them back up stronger, if they need me.

And once that happens, once I’ve broken them and built them back up, a whole new level of intensity begins, and at that point, it’s really pretty mandatory for them to have that dependence.  I can do without it if I absolutely need to, but it’s much harder on me, and much harder on him.  Everything takes longer.

You already know this, but I do want to point out, for the sake of my readers, that I’m not cruel.  I’ve seen what cruel women can do once they’re inside a boy’s head, and I’ll never do that.  I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror afterward.

Hell, that’s why I quit my most recent job.  I found out that the company I worked for scammed people, scammed the very people I was trying to help, and I couldn’t keep working there and maintain any sense of honor.  So I gave up that financial independence, because I’d rather be dependent than dishonorable.

There was no question for me, and despite Kazander urging me to stay for the sake of the paycheck, and because I was damn good at it, I simply wouldn’t.  Tarot and astrology are controversial enough as they are.  And finding out that the company I worked for was openly scamming people took away any kind of belief that I was doing a good thing.  I couldn’t have pride in myself anymore.  I couldn’t take pride in my profession anymore.  And I just wasn’t going to be a part of it.  I didn’t even give 2 weeks’ notice.  I couldn’t stand the idea of working there another day, taking one more call from someone with real problems, knowing that they were being conned and lied to, with my name attached to all of it.  I thanked my boss for the opportunity and I left that same night.

Oh, and by the way, if anyone is considering or already has gone to one of the professional psychic websites, I will not type the name of the company I worked for here, but message me and I’ll let you know which it is, so you’ll know to avoid it.

Anyway, I know that it’s possible that any one of (or more) of my relationships could end.  Just as ours ended.  And you know full well that I took the time to disentangle you from my influence, despite the fact that…. we’ll put it nicely and say we “didn’t get along.”  Because I wasn’t going to leave you like that, still dependent on me, and leave you struggling to get over me.  I’m a better person than that, and even though I didn’t like you very much then, I still knew you deserved better than that.

And that’s the way it is with every relationship that has ended.  I’ve always taken the time to help them end that dependence, to help them move on from me.  And I always will.

 

 

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