Alright, so fair warning. I’m a teensy bit buzzed. I’m not great at not-rambling when I’m stone-cold sober, and I really don’t wanna write this post sober, so just be prepared for a lot of rambling.
Eventually I’ll get to the point. It’ll be an adventure.
Fair warning though (Part 2) the point is kinda a downer. I want to make sure you all know, so it’s not like going on a roller coaster and then as you get off, you step in dog shit.
Oh my gawd, and poor Sounder! He caught the brunt of my drunken ramblings, him and one of my girlfriends who made the mistake of commenting on a drunken Facebook post I wrote (inspired, incidently, by Sounder. And did you know that wine tastes nasty when you drink it through a straw, because the smell is like this huge part of the wine-drinking experience, and with a straw that interferes with the smell, so you basically just get sad moldy-grape water).
So there’s your science-y lesson for today. This blog is crazy educational.
Oh and fair warning (Part 3): This has been my brain lately:
So we’ll meander, but we’ll get there. It’s all about the journey, anyway.
Relax, no one died, although that does remind me of something I want to point out when I get to that point in the story, assuming I remember the damn thing.
If I do, we’ll all be surprised together.
M’kay, so I’m settled down with my wine, I’m currently on my 33rd repeat of Wannabe by Spice Girls as loud as it can go in the headphones (dude, don’t ask, it’s a really long story. I think. But it makes me happy, so whatever), I’m that perfect level of “happy drunk,” and I’m going to explain what’s up so that the readers can understand, while being vague to protect people’s privacy.
I have no idea if this’ll work on paper, but it works in my head and Drunk Jen says go for it.
And that bitch knows her shit. I trust her. She’s never led me astray.
Except those two times.
Yeah I know that reference was forced, but I’m drunk and can do what I want. And my other favorite Force Awakens Han quote, “Okay, how do we blow it up? There’s always a way to do that,” (it’s funny because that’s usually my Plan A with a lot of things) just wasn’t going to fit. And I was feeling a Star Wars reference right this moment.
Oh and also keep in mind that I’m primarily telling this from my point of view. For reasons, there may not be an abundance of the other point of view for awhile, but — Oh Jesus Christ, this is all vague and cryptic as shit.
Fuck that. New tactic.
Steel is no longer my collared submissive.
Fuck, that’s going to make everything else make so much more sense. Critical knowledge. That’s it. There ya go.
He no longer wears my collar.
We’re done. We’re over.
Shit, and that’s not helping.
Okay, so there wasn’t a big fight or anything, and I could see this coming months ago, and we both sort of knew it was heading this way for at least the last few weeks. We talked about what was wrong in the relationship, we talked about this possibility, but we never gave it much thought, because we both instinctively recoiled from the idea. We didn’t even like thinking about it, much less talking about the possibility of it.
Not being together wasn’t an option.
Until it became the only option.
So what happened? What did I see back in October that told me this was coming?
In short, the distance. The distance became too great of an obstacle to overcome.
No, that’s not right. That’s not the right wording, anyway.
We live 2500 miles apart. And we both felt that distance, every second of every day. The times that we were able to be together were amazing, and we always loved talking to each other over the phone and Skype, but it wasn’t enough.
I had been getting increasingly frustrated with the status quo. It was quickly becoming clear that this wasn’t working for either of us.
And there is nothing I can use, drawing from my own experience, to compare to the frustration, helplessness, and anger that I felt when I saw him hurting, saw him needing me, and I was completely powerless to help him.
I don’t do powerless well. And I started becoming restless. In the last couple of weeks, it was more than clear to me what needed to happen. But my whole soul recoiled against it so completely, I honestly didn’t know if I had the willpower to actually do it, instead of selfishly keeping him under my thumb from 2500 miles away.
It was killing him, and the idea of letting him go was so repulsive to me, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it to keep from hurting him more.
I didn’t know if I could do it, and I didn’t know what to do about that. How do you tell the man who is desperate for you, the man who loves you, the man you adores you and worships you, that you have to let him go? How does that conversation even start?
The possibility occurs to me that maybe I wouldn’t have had the strength to do it on my own.
The probability occurs to me that maybe I wouldn’t have had the strength to do it on my own.
There’s not a lot on this planet that gets to me, there’s not a lot that hits hard enough to knock me off balance, there’s not a lot that can reach deep enough to hurt me.
Because I’m a hypocrite. As I tear down the walls surrounding my subs’ minds, I use what I learn from them, I use what I learn from their coping mechanisms and their defense mechanisms to make mine stronger.
He learned how to reach me. I’ll never forget the first time we met, after I’d collared him for a couple months, and he said, “Your expression is really hard to read. Harder than I expected.”
As it turns out, he didn’t need it. He picked up things I was so sure no one could see. He threw me off balance by seeing through these disguises I meticulously put together.
Disguises that were strong enough to convince literally everyone else in my entire adult life.
Even B, the man who saved me, the first man who could reach me, couldn’t read me the way Steel can. When I took a knife to my arm, leaving gashes that should’ve had stitches, with scars that are still significantly raised to this day, 12 years later, I had dinner at his house the next day, and he had no idea anything was wrong, until his son, my best friend at the time, noticed them under my sleeve and called attention to them.
I was comfortable in my solitude. It was easy. It was simple. I was more than confident in my ability to keep everyone fooled, keep everyone at a distance. Even when I showed vulnerability, it was a conscious choice, done only to a certain person, in a private conversation. No one else is privy to that.
I could keep everyone at arms’ length, and I’d gotten so good at it, I didn’t even have to think about it anymore.
Until my daughter’s fourth birthday party. I don’t even remember what was wrong. I was dealing with my inlaws, and there was no alcohol at the party, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. But I remember I was talking to him on the phone, standing in the inlaws’ dining room, and he asked one innocent question, and I froze.
How did he know that?
He shouldn’t have known that.
He threw me off balance, he opened himself up to me, and in taking control of him, I opened myself up, too, to a degree that I wasn’t used to, wasn’t comfortable with.
And in the end, no, I couldn’t give him the depth he asked for. That depth, that darkness, and the way people will react to seeing it firsthand, is the only thing on this planet that scares me. That fear was too familiar, too comfortable, to give up, even for him.
I compromised, promising that when we were together physically, we would revisit the topic, and I would give him what he asked for.
And I meant it. It scares me enough that even thinking about it, even thinking about him learning what’s there, thinking about the look on his face as he realizes the full extent of what I am, is enough to make my fingers shake, my throat feel tight, and tears prick the backs of my eyes.
But I would’ve done it, for him. Somehow, haltingly, with a lot of drinks, and probably a panic attack or two thrown in for good measure, I would’ve done it.
He broke through my walls, he even found a way, the cunning bastard that he is, to break through them even as I threw more back up. When I became worried that he’d get past my walls, my instinct was to pull away. But somehow, I think without even consciously realizing it, he recognized that, and opened himself even more, gave even more of himself to me, made himself even more vulnerable, and it kept me from freaking out.
He figured it out, he reached me, and he’s one of a very few who are alive today who have the power to hurt me.
And I knew I was hurting him. Just by being with him, I was hurting him.
But was I strong enough to do what needed to be done? Was I strong enough to let him go?
But then, as has happened eerily often, the Universe intervened, finally pushing Steel to the point that he acknowledged that this isn’t working.
There’s something you have to understand about Steel. He’s a Capricorn, through and through. He rolls his eyes at this stuff, and a bunch of my readers might, as well, but that’s alright, I’m drunk and my tongue is numb, so I’m going to write about what I want to write about.
And for some reason, that string of logic makes perfect sense right now.
So I always have high expectations of my subs. There have been three cases, however, in which the sub’s expectations of himself have exceeded even my high expectations of him.
I have no idea if that sentence makes sense to sober people. Three subs have had higher expectations of themselves than I have had of them.
Two of those are the two Capricorns I owned when I woke up this morning.
But add a lot of distance, over a period of more than a year, to a sub who opened himself up early on to a phenomenal degree, and who constantly expects the best of himself, sometimes to maybe an unrealistic degree, and his struggle to see the value he has in my life, and it’s not pretty.
When the distance first started really getting to him, it was hard to watch, and a million times harder for him to feel. He felt guilty for letting the distance get to him. He put blame on himself for the fact that he needed me there with him, and I wasn’t there. We talked about different solutions to the problem, but each one simply started that spiral over again. He felt guilty because it seemed like I wasn’t enough for him. And he felt like he was failing me.
And I watched this happen, I saw him start those cycles, and man, sometimes I just saw red.
I wasn’t angry at him, I was never angry with him. But I was furious with the miles that separated us, and the very many things keeping us apart.
Because this cycle is one that I know, and one that I can fix, so easily, if I was just there.
I could take all of that weight off his shoulders, I could give him room to breathe, I could help him find the balance that our relationship had caused him to lose, if I was just there with him.
God damn it, I could’ve fixed this, if I was just fucking there.
I hated knowing that he was hurting, needing me, and there was not a fucking thing I could do. I know I became very aware of my tone of voice when talking to him on the phone. I didn’t ever want him to think that I was frustrated with him. But he can read me like no one else can, from 2500 miles away, and he felt my frustration, which did nothing but add to his own.
It wasn’t fucking fair!
But life isn’t fair, and the fact of the matter is we reached a point where the status quo was no longer an acceptable option. And as much as I love and adore him, moving to where he lives is not an option, for a great number of reasons I’m not going to get into.
At this point in his life, moving here is not an option for him.
That left us with one option. We both knew it, and neither of us could do it on our own. I don’t know if I would’ve been able to let him go, on my own, even though it was for his own good, even though being mine, feeling that distance, killed him a little more each day.
I don’t know if I’m that selfless. I don’t know if I’m that strong.
But somehow, as he always does, he filled those holes in my armor with his own. And it happened quickly and smoothly.
Honestly, I remember very, very little of the conversation, and I’m totally fine with remembering very, very little of the conversation.
I remember one moment. I don’t remember what, exactly he said, but he acknowledged that this wasn’t working. It was really the first time I’d heard him make that acknowledgement, directly and out loud.
And that’s what I needed. That was enough to remind me that it’s my job to take care of him for as long as he’s mine, and that it’s my job to help him untangle himself from me once he’s no longer mine.
It reminded me that he was fucking hurting, because of me, and I owed this to him, God damn it. He’d suffered for me, suffered for my absence, for a year and a half. He took all of it, he gave me all of himself, even to his own detriment, even when he knew it would just hurt him more, even when he was afraid of how I’d react, even when he was afraid I would judge him, and he opened himself up to the influence I greedily, perhaps recklessly, presented.
It was so intense, in the beginning. So many things went so perfectly right, the entire God damned motherfucking Universe came together at exactly the way we needed it to, it was like un-fucking-real.
There were things that should’ve been red flags, but weren’t. We both knew we were falling too hard, too fast, for someone we knew very, very little about. Neither of us are particularly emotional. Neither of us are particularly open or talkative about our emotions. This wasn’t like us. And neither of us were blind to the fact that there were 2500 miles separating us.
I told him once, very early on, “Let’s just enjoy each other now.”
And we did.
He opened himself up, to a level that still amazes me, even now, and laid himself out for me to see. He pushed himself to give me more, and every shred of control he offered up, I took eagerly, wanting still more.
It was new territory for both of us. Neither of us were big on long-distance relationships, neither of us had really had one before. And his willingness to open himself up drove me to take him deeper, deeper, without thinking of the effect it would have on a sub who isn’t physically here, with me.
I realized far too late my mistake, when his vanilla life started faltering because he was so deep in the headspace I just instinctually put him in.
We both acknowledged that it couldn’t continue, and he pulled back for a couple of weeks, giving himself time to regain his balance. That bothered him. I told him, “Take all the time you need. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right here when you get back.”
And he did. And when he came back, things were smoother. But it didn’t take long for me to realize the damage had already been done.
And yes, the very thing I would’ve called a blessing if he were here became a curse. I’d already gone too deep in his mind, and I wasn’t there with him to guide him and steady him.
I thought I could counter it by holding back, by holding him back, and for awhile, that worked.
But it worked like a single strip of duct tape holding a skyscraper together. It was a fragile fix, that wouldn’t last long. And one night last October, as we were talking on the phone, his voice coming through the speakers of my car (I even remember what street I was on), it really hit me.
This isn’t going to work. I can’t keep him.
But no, that’s just pessimistic bullshit, and I’m an optimistic person. We can make this work. I am a very firm believer in the idea that there is always a solution to a problem.
We had a problem. By its very nature, the problem must have a solution. We just needed to find it.
Months passed, we tried different things, and none of them worked. And the realist in me kept interrupting the Little-Engine-That-Could-like stubborn singlemindedness my inner optimist kept spouting.
We can do this. We can do this. I can fix this. I can fix this.
It’s not working. It’s not working. You’re hurting him. You’re hurting him.
No, but letting him go would hurt him so much more.
Yeah, that’s a great reason to keep actively causing him pain every time you talk to him. By all means, keep doing that.
Most of this, Steel didn’t know until now. He’s learning it the same way you are, and that’s by design.
I never told him. I never attempted to keep it from him, but I never told him. Partly because that’s not my nature, but also because I knew I could handle it, and I knew telling him would do nothing but add to a burden that I’d already made too heavy.
I never needed Steel the way he needed me. I never needed reassurance, I never needed to feel him there with me, the way he needed to feel me there with him.
Don’t get me wrong. I would actually, legitimately consider cutting off my left tit, one of my two favorite parts of my body, just for half an hour with him curled up in my lap. Like, I’m serious. They have stuff for mastectomies, they have breast forms and all that, and my tits are heavy enough to make back pain a daily thing. I could make that work.
Just half an hour with him right now. I wouldn’t even play with him. Not intense play, anyway.
But no, I never needed him the way he needed me. I knew I could handle the pain of missing him, I knew I could handle the anger and the frustration, and yes, even the doubt.
I never hid it from him, but I never told him because I knew that knowing this would’ve hurt him more, as I know reading it is painful to him now. He’s protective of me, and I knew he’d instinctively want to protect me from it. Without any conscious thought, he’d try to take it on himself, he’d heap just another expectation on top of the pile already on his shoulders, because he’d rather collapse under the weight than do something he thought might hurt, or burden me.
And no, I wasn’t going to let him do that. He heaped the blame on himself, but the cold, hard, unemotional, objective facts are that I created this.
Knowing the extent of how badly I was hurting would’ve devastated him, and he would’ve felt guilty for being the cause of my pain.
And I know that because I felt guilty for being the cause of his pain.
And no, I wasn’t going to let him take that on himself. That wasn’t his burden to bear. It was mine, and I created it, in the very beginning, by urging him to dive in with me, even when he hesitated.
“Let’s just enjoy each other for now.”
With no thought, no plan, for the future. I took him deep, I took him dark, without considering the variable of such a large distance, and the effect it would have on him.
And he’s the one who suffered for my recklessness.
Things remaining as they were wasn’t an option. Me moving there wasn’t an option. Him moving here wasn’t an option.
Staying together wasn’t an option.
And he somehow knew, without even realizing it, exactly what to say to remind me that I’m a fucking Dominant, and he gave himself to me openly, without reservation, without limit, trusting that I would take care of him. Just a comment made, almost in passing, was enough to remind me what was at stake.
His mental and emotional health were at stake. Our relationship was at stake. Our future was at stake. If we’d tried to stay together, the pain and frustration would build, and would turn to resentment. That resentment would turn in on each other, and would destroy us irreparably.
We have no idea what the future holds. Maybe six months, a year, two years from now, he’ll have the chance to move here. If we’re friendly, if we end the relationship on good terms, there’s hope for a future. But if he moves here six months from now, and we’ve stubbornly stayed together to the point that we’ve grown to resent each other, then the distance won’t matter.
To protect him, to protect us, I had to let him go. So when he said the words, haltingly, hesitantly, reluctantly, I confirmed them.
I told him that yes, I would take my collar from him (I didn’t actually say those words to him. I couldn’t.
And writing them now is the third most painful thing I’ve done in my life. That was something I was not expecting, and was not prepared for.
I would release him. Hearing my confirmation made him hesitate, and I hesitated with him, my strength faltering. He suggested a trial, and for a moment, I ran with that, suggesting a set period. But then I remembered who the fuck I am, and who the fuck was on the other end of the line, needing me to be strong enough to let him go.
No. You’re not going to hurt him anymore. You’ve done enough.
“It’s the right thing to do,” I told him. “This isn’t working.” And God, I hope I sounded more sure of myself to him than I did to myself.
I didn’t. I know I didn’t. And I heard it in his silence on the other end, as we both tried to think of something to say.
The rest of the conversation is honestly a blur. I remember hearing his voice, I remember hearing the pain and the guilt there, I remember hearing the resolve and the strength there, but I don’t remember what he said.
Later, we had the chance to continue, without interruptions. And that was much better. We’d both had the chance to process a bit.
And I know this will sound strange (and surprise! This is what I wasn’t sure I’d remember), but it almost reminded me of a wake. The conversation before that had been the death. Painful, with both of us overwhelmed by the loss of this strong, incredible thing we had.
The conversation tonight was like the wake. The pain was still fresh, but the focus was more on the memories, what brought us together, the things we love about each other. It was a good way to have closure.
It’s not going to be easy. I told him we needed some separation. We needed a few days without communication, so he could start the process of untangling himself from me.
There will be things that will be painful. For example, the first rule I gave him was that he could not use my first name. He called me Ma’am. It was something I loved hearing from him as much as he loved saying it.
The first time he calls me Jen, will hurt. The first time I read it or hear it will hurt.
A great many things are going to hurt.
But I am not afraid of pain, and I don’t attempt to avoid it, and I don’t pretend I don’t feel it. It won’t last forever. And I’ll help him get through it, I’ll steady him if he falters, I’ll support him until he can stand on his own, completely independent of my influence.
And his pain will fade as he distances himself from me. It’s something he’s reluctant to do, but I will push him along if I need to. He needs to distance himself from me. He needs to untangle his mind from me.
Which he will. He won’t like it but he’ll do it. He has the strength to do it, and he is capable, once he achieves a level of distance from me, of compartmentalizing and keeping himself focused on the task at hand.
He’ll get back to neutral soon.
But he may be a bit quiet on his blog for awhile. He asked me if I would write this post, the post we were both dreading, and I told him of course I would. It was something I was intending to do anyway. It was my idea to come out on the blog, even though he would’ve preferred to keep it quiet. He obeyed me, he trusted me, he gave himself to me. Of course I’m the one writing this.
And I’m the one letting him go.
Because I can handle it. And I owe it to him; a man I truly love, admire, and cherish.
Yes, it’s the right thing to do. I know that. He knows that.
But that doesn’t make it hurt any less.