September 2nd, 2010
Everyone says communication is they key. I have talked about it being one of the most important things in poly. He and I have discussed how important it is to maintaining and protecting our relationship. In scene and out of scene, communication is the avenue to safety for all involved. Communication is what keeps people together. So, when communication fails, things fall apart.
I fell apart recently, and I took communication down with me. Clarity followed pretty close behind with self-worth tagging along for the ride. At so many points during this fall, communication could have kept me from hitting bottom, but I was so wrapped up that I did not catch the offered hands, or reach out for the sides of the hole. When I hit bottom, I started trying to climb back out on my own, trying to find my way back up, but I just ran circles in the dark for a while, reinforcing doubt and confusion to the point where I just gave up and sat down.
He tossed me a torch, like he has so often done, and I picked it up and looked around, but still could not find my way. So he tossed down a few more, the hole was now well lit and getting very hot, but I could finally see more clearly. I looked up and saw him waiting for me about half way down, I had pulled him down with me and we have quite a climb to get back to the top. So, I picked up a torch and started climbing. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time, to get back to him and get back out of this hole together.
That is a lot of words without saying anything very clearly, but it’s an illustration of how I have felt these last two weeks. I’m a writer, I get a little flowery at times. I am not ready to put details here, and while they are important to him and myself, they are not the point of this post.
Clear communication is. It took me quite a while to get clear with myself so I could be clear with him. The first weekend I appeared to be clear with myself, but I was still reacting blindly and from a place of broken confusion. I sounded rational and clear to some people, and while some of the things I was saying were true and in need of addressing, by the time I got to him, I was still not in a place to be truly clear. This caused the damage of miscommunication to multiply.
It took another week, two more conversations and two very long writing sessions and some reading, for me to finally be fully open and clear with myself, to find the truth in my actions and my heart. So that now I can start clearly communicating with him again.
Over the last six months, I have worked on communicating with him more verbally and less through written word. I often would write him emails about scenes or to answer questions I felt I had not fully answered. We chat online almost every weekday. However, talking, face to face, makes for much better communication, much clearer reading of meaning, intention and tone.
He is a public speaker, a leader. He is used to thinking and speaking on his feet. He often asks me to think out loud and expresses frustration when I fall silent. I am not a social person, I write and am afraid of public speaking. I form my thoughts and words more slowly. But I have been trying, for him, to be more communicative. I have been trying to learn let myself ramble even if the thoughts aren’t fully formed. It is unnatural for me, and I am not good at it, yet. I still fall silent quite often, I stare at the floor or the ceiling or the wall, or just off to the right, trying to compose in my mind, gather my thoughts before speaking. He occasionally asks if he needs to get me paper and let me write so I can talk to him, trying to tease me into speaking, and it sometimes works, and sometimes hurts because I am truly trying to speak.
In trying to be more verbal, however, I have left myself lacking. He found it odd when I was talking to myself the other day and generally I don’t do that out loud, unless I’m scolding a joint for hurting, but that’s what my writing is. I get more clarity for myself by writing. I am more honest with myself with a pen in my hand, or a keyboard at my fingertips, than if I just sit with my thoughts. I have been making less time for writing lately, and I have suffered for it. So, in my plan to create better and more clear communication with him, I have included writing, so that I will be more clear with myself as well. More writing about my other relationships probably wouldn’t hurt either. All the better to have good communication and healthy relationships.
So, my dear readers, what methods of communication do you find work best for you?
May 20th, 2010
These last few weeks, I have not done justice to myself, my partners, or to you, my readers. Last week’s post was the best of the bunch, a description of a wonderful scene. But what has been going on? What’s been happening along my journey? What were those cryptic and scattered posts about? And what ever happened to those needles? Let me begin by acknowledging my failures and then discussing them.
Firstly, when I brought him the needles, I did not beg for him to put them in me. I had been told to do this, and I had agreed to do this, but I did not. Since realizing that failure, I have only begged for the needles twice in person and once on IM. Other failures and issues have come up, and I do want the needles and we have talked about them here and there, but I find myself putting aside this want while I work on other things. It is important to me, but I continue to give other issues priority.
My second failure was letting fear and uncertainty keep me from going into object space. I was not initiating it and when he tried, I was putting him off with some form of ‘not yet’ and then not going back to it myself. Since acknowledging this failure, I had two evenings when I began initiating but did not follow through, one evening when I followed through and only slipped up once, and one evening when I followed through for a majority of the evening, but then let outside influences disrupt my focus.
I also had last week’s scene where he put me into object space for the majority of the scene. I felt very grateful that he was willing to take me there again. Within the scene, it was also a very helpful anchor for processing as he had taken away my anchors of sight and touch. The focus that it created put me in a mindset of being an object for his pleasure and his use and allowed me to not just endure, but enjoy the pain, the fear, the tears and the relinquishing of control.
My third failure involved acting like a spoiled little child. I did not just question his decisions, I flat out told him no. I whined that I was learning and and that I was doing what he asked, all the while, doing the exact opposite by the very objections and fight I was putting up. I let my initial confusion turn into fear and doubt instead of being clear and accepting and communicative. I was so far into myself that I could not even see what I was doing. He took the time, once again to hold up a mirror and shine a bright light on it until I could see. He gave me back the paragraphs I had copied for him about being looking beyond imperfection, being happy, working hard, doing without question, being intelligent, helpful, serving and not letting fear and doubt get in my way. I had failed to do any of these things, and I was to keep the papers until I could actually live up to them.
The previous day we had a scene which had me kneeling for forty-five minutes, fifteen longer than I had ever previously done. It began with begging for the needles, and ended with the only thought in my head being that I could not get up until he told me I could. I had given over all my wants and needs to that one single thought, that one want – to please him at the expense of all else, by staying on my knees. It was quite a delicious scene, to let go that fully – freeing, and cathartic as I cried for the last ten minutes of it. He ended it by lifting me off the ground and onto the couch, covering me with a blanket and bringing me water. Our time was limited that day, but he made the most of it, for us both.
The next day, he had concerns that I needed time to reflect on that scene. Walls were broken down and I needed time to reflect and heal stronger. He also had concern for the number of people installing programming in my head and the possible dangers in that. Conflicting programming could lead to hesitation and doubt. Two people pushing the same button could take things further than intended if they did not know what the other was doing or thinking. This led to more communication with all my partners about wants and needs. Defining boundaries more clearly for all involved.
My fourth failure was being presumptuous and selfish and in a hurry. I tried to give back the paragraphs. I tried to play the I’m learning card again, forgetting that what he was asking of me was not just learning, but doing – putting the learning into action. And putting it into action consistently, not just for a few days. Giving the papers back was not ‘the next step’ it was four or five steps further along my path. I had only just begun putting my lessons into action, and in fact, just two days before, I let others ruin my focus and keep me from doing what I wanted.
I spent this conversation on my knees, where I had gone to offer the papers. He kept me there until I answered his questions. I stayed there because I had put myself there, offered that submission to him, and it was his until he was done with it. I did ask to get up once and accepted his denial. At the end, he set a timer for five minutes and told me to think about how not to end up there again, not on my knees, but having failed in that way again. He would burn the papers the next time, if we both did not agree I had lived up to them. I do not know how long I was on my knees that time, over thirty minutes I know, but beyond that it did not matter. I focused on what I had done and why, and on putting learning into action. When the timer went off, he asked me if I needed to get up. I said yes, and he told me to stand. I forced myself up onto completely numb feet, using the table for support. Looking into his eyes, and using my drive to do ask he asked as motivation, I was able to stay upright while circulation returned. Determination and motivation are wonderful tools.
My fifth failure was lack of focus and attention. I had some trouble assisting with suspensions last weekend. I had not been keeping up my tying practice. I did not read situations as quickly and as well as I should have been able to. I did not keep my eyes moving between all the participants of the scene. I am grateful that he was able to communicate with me about these situations and explain to me more clearly his expectations. We had five good suspensions each night, and the patrons all enjoyed their flights and are eager for more. I have since practiced my ties, and have a clearer idea of my responsibilities in our scenes. I expect further insight on this topic once we have both had time to reflect and discuss.
So, where does all this put me now? I am learning and growing and doing. I am making mistakes, I am failing, but I am still moving forward, albeit sometimes with tiny steps. I am lucky to have him holding my hand and guiding me – showing me the path when I lose sight of it or get turned around. Our love and trust for each other keeps us together, and enables us to overcome challenges, failures and miscommunications. The image of a feudal system just came to mind: I serve him and he keeps me safe. Sometimes, he asks more of me than I think I can give, but his belief in me moves me to go beyond my own expectations and push harder and reach further than I thought possible. I have a wonderful life, wonderful partners and I am learning and growing and doing more than I ever imagined was possible.