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Old 11-10-2008, 11:36 PM   #76
eastern sun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intothewoods View Post
So the writing does what? Romanticizes everything? Or you become aware of yourself in the moment and think, well, how will this sound when I write about it? What is it that is happening vis-a-vis the posts here?

Writing is something that is therapeutic for me. When there is something that is bothering me, but I am stuck in the angst of it all, I feel so much better when I can unpack all of that, and get to what's really going on.

The writing I enjoy the most is honest and self-aware. Stay with the "no, I don't want that" thought, and look at it.
You pose excellent, and challenging, questions. You may be able to see me more clearly than I see myself, but here's my perspective . . .

I started writing this thread to capture snapshots of my life.

There are moments in my life, both mundane and extreme, that resonate with a certain feeling I identify as belonging to a "slave's" experience. (It may or may not be unique to a slave's position. That I couldn't know. It is simply what I feel.) The feeling is fleeting, highly erotic, often complicated, and usually heightened by the fact that it's taking place in public, even if no one else knows what's going on in my body and mind.

When one of those moments happens, I am always struck by the intensity of my body's reaction. My pussy tingles. I get wet. My vision blurs. I usually smile or laugh. (Or if it was characterized also by fear, I feel intense, almost euphoric relief.) It's not an orgasm. But it is a physical and psychological release of some kind.

So, when I started writing, I got so turned on by the ability to capture these moments, I had to be careful I didn't write them into events where they could exist, but didn't. I have tried and, I think, succeeded in letting the actual sensations dictate what to write about, rather than a sort of "wow, this would sound good" criteria. (and I have thought "wow, this would be great to write about," and then dismiss it, because the moments didn't actually have that visceral quality I was trying to capture.)

I also wanted to stick primarily to non-sexual activities initially. I started writing about sex because this is a forum about erotica, and as soon as I realized people were actually reading the thread, I wanted to give them "the money shots" for pure entertainment and to satisfy what I assumed was their latent curiosity. People started making really nice comments. I started offering my opinions in response to people's questions, and, by then, my ego was thoroughly engaged.

The writing definitely romanticizes the moments I'm describing, because I'm able to extract the salient details and leave behind the stuff that doesn't interest me as much (or even turns me off). I'm painting a self-portrait with erotic underpinnings. I am trying to capture truths of my experience, while celebrating, and not despising, it.

And I think that's how I move into the "no, I don't want to" moment. Since I've spent the last few days painting a self-portrait in a certain style - even if it pleases him - even if he encourages me to keep writing (with commentary to keep me honest along the way) - it allows me to create an image of myself to hang onto, intelligent, attractive, erotic, flawed, faithful.

And, then, I am.

And in my being, I am not a portrait.

In the process of removing some old hard limits, a process that's been going on for a few years now, I find myself in a moment when my reality doesn't match the portrait I've painted - and I opt for the portrait.

I think Homburg is right. The "no, I don't want to" moment is definitely a reflection of fear. If I'm really honest with myself, "I do want to," it's just that I'm afraid of what the fact that "I want to" means about me. I'm afraid that even if "I want to," I won't be able to. I'm afraid of the difficult, painful experiences that will accompany the pleasurable ones.

I have kept journals that I use for therapeutic writing. I think this writing is different. This thread satisfies a deep exhibitionistic streak in me. It allows me to see my experience from the outside, as something created by certain conditions. It allows me an opportunity to share myself with you, both as entertainment and, maybe, friend. It certainly allows me to express aspects of my life that are usually hidden from view.

But, as stag of oberon, pointed out, it does strengthen the very ego that I spend so much time tearing down, and may not be in my best interests.

Did I actually answer your questions, intothewoods? or just ramble myself into greater confusion?
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:54 PM   #77
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Thanks for the post, eastern sun. So, you are a sexual exhibitionist, and occasionally in reality, you're just not in the mood?

I find that a heck of a lot more compelling than knowing your pussy is tingling, but that's me being blunt at this late hour.

It would be nice if all moments were sexy, hot, easy. But that's not my life. Not that I am a slave or anything. I have my days where I've worked my ass off all day, and then I cooked him dinner, and if it's just the two of us, he decided on a whim he wants a nice long blow job. I have had moments where I haven't wanted to. Funny, but the cooking dinner or other things aren't a challenge. But I do sometimes have a block about being told to enthusiastically suck cock. It's hard to be enthusiastic about sucking cock all the time. I'm not a freaking porn star. But I do it. Because if I wanted a relationship where I could say I don't feel like it so piss off, I would have signed up for something else.

He's not so particular about soy sauce, so I guess I have the rest pretty easy. He does like his beer poured correctly, good food, oh, other stuff. I don't know. Guess I'm rambling now. It's late.

ETA: And I know. It's just a blow job. I didn't have to lick cum off the ground or anything. It is a privileged life I lead.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:07 AM   #78
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Sigh, I remember when moon and I first started dating. She called me up to let me know that we'd be going out to eat tonight and gave me simple instructions for the night. When I stopped by her place that night she had clothes picked out for me in the bedroom, pink skirt, a pink top, and a really fluffy rose sweater jacket (I despise pink in all it's many shades... I'm determined that whoever made it did so for the sole purpose of giving moon something to torment me with) After getting dressed I drove over to her work and waited for her in the passenger side seat. She took us to a local Thai restaurant and for the entire time we we're there she forbid me from talking, including to the waiters. To top it all off she took the scarf she had set out and wrapped it around my wrists, not so much as an actual binding but a reminder that I was forbidden from using my hands at all. I think I fell in love with her on the spot, she picked out a mix of my favorite foods and the extremely spicy stuff that I hate, alternating feeding me them while slipping a foot under the skirt.

Now not to say all our dates were like that, sometimes we just went to the local Indian restaurant in comfort clothing but it's fun not knowing what she has planned for the evening or if we'll be doing any public play.

-poppet
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:35 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastern sun View Post
I also wanted to stick primarily to non-sexual activities initially. I started writing about sex because this is a forum about erotica, and as soon as I realized people were actually reading the thread, I wanted to give them "the money shots" for pure entertainment and to satisfy what I assumed was their latent curiosity.
I prefer the non-sexual posts. The glimpses into the eroticised everyday are more compelling. It is not difficult to eroticise sex. It is not so simple a task to eroticise shopping for soy sauce.

--

Quote:
Originally Posted by intothewoods View Post
ETA: And I know. It's just a blow job. I didn't have to lick cum off the ground or anything. It is a privileged life I lead.
One woman's distasteful chore is another's great priviledge.

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Old 11-11-2008, 06:00 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by intothewoods View Post
Thanks for the post, eastern sun. So, you are a sexual exhibitionist, and occasionally in reality, you're just not in the mood?
Except that it wasn't because I was not in the mood.

The desire he was telling me I had that night deeply threatened my sense of security, and I knew that we were going to start working towards it.

I didn't "want to" because I was afraid. And I was going to have to give up a certain piece of myself to pursue it.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:30 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homburg View Post
I prefer the non-sexual posts. The glimpses into the eroticised everyday are more compelling. It is not difficult to eroticise sex. It is not so simple a task to eroticise shopping for soy sauce.
My experience is that things can escalate quickly in BDSM. Not always to good outcomes. Maybe this thread is just one more case in point.

I used to be addicted to drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Then it was adrenalin and sex. Now it seems to be ego. (And that's never a pretty sight )

Thanks for your comments throughout, Homburg.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:58 AM   #82
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on working with ego

He suggested I just tell the anecdotes without getting so caught up in the fact that it's "me" telling them. Focus on the craft of writing, and, by extension, the experience of the person reading, instead of on how it makes me feel to write it.

And I will, of course, try to do just that.

(I am always surprised by him, even after many years together.)
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:13 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homburg View Post
I prefer the non-sexual posts. The glimpses into the eroticised everyday are more compelling. It is not difficult to eroticise sex. It is not so simple a task to eroticise shopping for soy sauce.
Lol, that's still sexual. Nothing wrong with it. We're on a porn board.

Quote:
One woman's distasteful chore is another's great priviledge.

Or it's both? Damn these fucking chores, the laundry, the kitty litter box, cum licking? Calgon, take me away!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastern sun View Post
Except that it wasn't because I was not in the mood.

The desire he was telling me I had that night deeply threatened my sense of security, and I knew that we were going to start working towards it.

I didn't "want to" because I was afraid. And I was going to have to give up a certain piece of myself to pursue it.
Ah, thank you for explaining.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:37 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homburg View Post

One woman's distasteful chore is another's great priviledge.



i suppose this deserves a reflection of its own. the first time was in the middle of a very sexed up weekend. it was probably easier to eroticize the overall experience because of that. we were at a motel in NY for my collaring. we had just been playing, and i was dripping down my leg as a result. a mix of him and me starting to drip onto the bathroom floor as we waited for the shower to warm up.

he told me to squat down and let it drip onto the floor. i froze. out of the plethora of positions i take i think i hate that one most of all. its very hard for me to eroticize squatting anywhere while something drips from me. it reminds me of going to the bathroom. ive gotten better about it since, but this time, the first time, was very difficult.

i hesitated, and he upped the ante. im a bit fuzzy on the details here, becuase it was several month sago in the middle of a weekend jam packed with memories, but three things happened, and only two of them would have originally. (i learned very clearly that day the lesson of "if i hesitate it will give him a chance to come up with something even more evil then before"). the first was i squatted, and allowed his cum to drip from my pussy, all the while burning in complete and utter humiliation. the second was i found myself on my knees, nose to the floor licking everything up. the third was he had possession of the camera and took pictures to document the event.

the second time was in his basement. becuase of the location i suppose the first time was easier physically. it was a tile floor. bathroom or not, the floor was smooth and not too dirty. the second time was on cold concrete. rough, dirty, scratchy on my tongue. i got dirt and grit and hair, and whatever else was on the ground. at first i tried not to think about it. to concentrate on licking up Masters cum, that he had purposely let fall to the ground. after the first few tentative licks, i found myself getting more into the task. letting go of any problems i had with it. letting myself like it.

call it personal growth, growth as a slave, or just acceptance of my job and service, but now, id kneel in a heartbeat to lick Master's cum of the floor, whether its the bathroom, or the basement, or anywhere else he decides.
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i didnít think that I would fall
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my heart, beating upon the ground
you picked it up and helped me see
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im Master's slave, and i am smitten


screwed into slavery by red hot penis power

my story: http://www.literotica.com:81/stories....php?id=283221

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Old 11-11-2008, 10:47 AM   #85
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Fuck, you're a classy bitch MIS.
That made the_mgp and I laugh out loud (in a good way) when we read it.
Photos were a nice touch.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:54 AM   #86
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I assume the "distasteful chore" part refers to blow jobs, not licking cum off the ground, since it's sort of a cliche that women find performing oral on a man to be a chore.

Quote:
He suggested I just tell the anecdotes without getting so caught up in the fact that it's "me" telling them. Focus on the craft of writing, and, by extension, the experience of the person reading, instead of on how it makes me feel to write it.

And I will, of course, try to do just that.

(I am always surprised by him, even after many years together.)
Interesting post, eastern sun. Writing is often a mix of the inside out (what the writer wants to project) and the outside in (what the writer wants the reader to experience).
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:06 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kinkyknickers View Post
Fuck, you're a classy bitch MIS.
That made the_mgp and I laugh out loud (in a good way) when we read it.
Photos were a nice touch.
thanks. the photos were all him. i swear he could make anything more evil then it already is if you give the the half second's hesitation to think it over. (but i love him anyway )
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i didnít think that I would fall
so far, so fast, but above all
in a cave of emptiness you found
my heart, beating upon the ground
you picked it up and helped me see
like puzzle pieces, you and me
your baby girl, your doll, your kitten
im Master's slave, and i am smitten


screwed into slavery by red hot penis power

my story: http://www.literotica.com:81/stories....php?id=283221

slavery: carved into my heart, branded into my soul, echoed on my body
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:12 PM   #88
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i have a fear of bridges, founded in a dream i had when i was 5 years old. it makes no sense, and i cannot seem to let go of it. i have learned to manage the fear, and the physical reactions that accompany it, but it's still in the back of my mind.

just before driving over the George Washington Bridge last weekend, he put his hand on mine, looked at me and said, simply and decisively, "You're going to be fine."

being given permission to let go of my fears (or insecurities) is when it strikes me hardest, that i have given myself over to him so completely.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:49 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intothewoods View Post
Lol, that's still sexual. Nothing wrong with it. We're on a porn board.
I was making the distiction between sexual and erotic.

--

Quote:
Originally Posted by myinnerslut View Post


*snip*

call it personal growth, growth as a slave, or just acceptance of my job and service, but now, id kneel in a heartbeat to lick Master's cum of the floor, whether its the bathroom, or the basement, or anywhere else he decides.


--

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinkyknickers View Post
Fuck, you're a classy bitch MIS.
That made the_mgp and I laugh out loud (in a good way) when we read it.
Photos were a nice touch.
Yeah, she is, ain't she?
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I am not usually one for titles. In my world, titles are reserved for relationships.
Millificent (aka "viv") and myinnerslut both call me "Master".
You can call me "Homburg". Still accepting Rope Bunny applications, of course.

Disclaimer: Live your life how you want to live. Be secure enough in what you do that _my_ words won't affect you. Because my opinion has no material meaning in your life beyond what you let it have.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:57 PM   #90
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With my shopping and research, I had a pretty good dinner planned tonight - linguini with pesto, broccoli and olives, Caesar salad. Food I knew my whole family would enjoy.

He calls from work. "Do you want to meet somewhere?" "Sure. . . ok," I say. The fact that he hasn't asked what I'm planning to cook means he's already made up his mind. He names a restaurant. And the time he'll arrive.

In the restaurant, we look like a pretty typical family. The kids are talking to him about their day. I'm ordering for them, fixing their plates, helping the waiter make room on the table. It's the moment when he eats from my plate, while he talks with the kids, that I drop my hands, and watch, as he spears the choicest bites.

The couple looking at us from the next table would never guess why I'm smiling.
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:09 PM   #91
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I've become so self-conscious, it hurts. Ah well, it will pass.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:52 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catalina_francisco View Post
This in part is us also. Some of the depenence with us is about the financial dependency, his being almost my only (definately by far the most) social and conversational contact, language bridge when needed, and my main point of reference for the world I find myself living in. But then added to that is the realisation we have both come to that it doesn't matter what he does to me, what he says, how he treats me, I will stay and serve.

Catalina
I have been thinking about this post, Catalina, and of conversations I have had with other slaves.

These kinds of social and cultural isolation really do intensify the dependency in the relationship. Add a language barrier and he is the center of your world.

When I met him, we lived in a very small world, cocooned from the mainstream. We were together 24/7, living and working with a group of 10 men and 2 women, in a setting marked by adrenalin and fear. Though we interacted with people outside the group, it had some of the characteristics of a "cult" experience under the leadership of a sadistic dominant. And my husband was his protege.

In such a small community, there just aren't enough people around to absorb or deflect the stuff you don't want to bring into the relationship. Every interaction carries more weight. We all knew each other intimately, the strengths and the weaknesses. We could even tell which one of us had just farted by the sound or smell alone.

So in this setting, the TPE dynamics developed. It's an incredible feeling to realize that you can't hide. You can't run away. That the truth of who you are will be revealed.

There's a nakedness in that isolation that has nothing to do with the state of your body.

On the other hand, the same isolation liberated us from the expectations and norms of mainstream society. We were making up the rules as we went. We didn't have to fit into a box, an image, a lifestyle. We were just alive, and thrilled to be so.

And we learned in that setting that the whims of the more dominant member of a group will be enforced - out of pain and fear, if not voluntary submission. But the longer we stayed together, the more apparent it also became that everyone's needs have to be met, or they'll wither and die.

It takes tremendous maturity to realize that you are responsible for another person's life. (that's why it isn't such a good idea for children to have children) My husband can't afford simply to follow his whims. He must take into account the lives of the people who depend on him.

Today, as mature adults with children, we are part of the mainstream we isolated ourselves from. Our lives, on the outside, look pretty much like any other urban middle class family. I am no longer socially isolated, though I spend a lot more time alone. The nature of our relationship is very private and internal, hidden even from our children.

And he has told me, in response to this thread, that he feels like he could write the story of our life today with himself in the role of the sub. He has made sacrifices. He has gone out of his way to meet the needs of his family. He feels responsible for our well-being. In much the same way I feel responsible for his.

So why do I feel like a slave?

Because in every moment of my life, I treat him as my master. As though the measure of my life can be gauged by his happiness.

As though my life depends on his whim.

And we are both happy when I do.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:32 AM   #93
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the laundromat

For some reason, I rarely feel like a slave when I do laundry. No. Laundromats make me feel like a total slut.

Once a week, I gather and sort my family's clothes, and carry three huge bags to the laundromat near my children's school. It usually takes four hours to finish the load, from washer to neatly folded piles stuffed back in the bags.

And every week, I look forward to those hours to myself, watching daytime tv, writing in my journals (I'll call them "the laundromat diaries" if they ever get published), and losing myself to the slow rhythms of the seemingly endless cycles of wash, wash, spin, rinse, spin, rinse, dry.

The laundromat feels like the old communal well. Before it closed, the one near my house was the center of the neighborhood, the source of gossip and news. You could find out the nature of the most recent crime wave. And get to know neighbors you'd never see anywhere else.

But the new one is huge and anonymous. You never have to wait for a dryer. Sitting in those curve-bottomed chairs, I am distracted from my musings by the comings and goings of strangers. We stake out territories that we mark with our carts. We watch each other from a distance, glimpsing into the shared secrets that only dirty laundry can tell.

There are regulars. The Thursday folk. I live in an immigrant neighborhood, where the men sit and watch tv while the women fold their clothes at the tables. And the women and I share glances and shy smiles, along with a deep understanding of how things are.

It's the single men that really distract me, though. There's something incredibly sexy about a single man doing his laundry. I love to watch him fold his clothes. Some fold with military precision. Others are awkward or careless. A few look like they just got out of prison. But I always watch his hands and imagine the way he would touch my body. And then fill my own hands with sex.

Once I stood in the laundromat, folding my underwear, and caught the eyes of a handsome stranger. He saw me, with my underwear in my hand, and watched me with a smile. Standing there, the textures alive in the palms of my hand, I folded my clothes, matching their contours, smoothing the creases, and we shared a rich, totally deniable moment.

And I felt like such a "slut" showing my sex to this stranger.

Now every time I'm in the laundromat, I look for those moments. Petty seductions over frills and denim. I can feel the heat rise between the tables as we fold. I'm aware of the shape of my body as I bend over to reach into the dryer. I am flustered if he picks up a sock I've dropped. And honored when a stranger offers to carry my bags to the car. But I always feel like a "slut."

and rarely a slave.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:11 AM   #94
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correction

At the restaurant, he took three pieces of broccoli, not the "choicest bites."




(This may be a matter of perspective.)
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:44 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastern sun View Post
I have been thinking about this post, Catalina, and of conversations I have had with other slaves.

These kinds of social and cultural isolation really do intensify the dependency in the relationship. Add a language barrier and he is the center of your world.

When I met him, we lived in a very small world, cocooned from the mainstream. We were together 24/7, living and working with a group of 10 men and 2 women, in a setting marked by adrenalin and fear. Though we interacted with people outside the group, it had some of the characteristics of a "cult" experience under the leadership of a sadistic dominant. And my husband was his protege.

In such a small community, there just aren't enough people around to absorb or deflect the stuff you don't want to bring into the relationship. Every interaction carries more weight. We all knew each other intimately, the strengths and the weaknesses. We could even tell which one of us had just farted by the sound or smell alone.

So in this setting, the TPE dynamics developed. It's an incredible feeling to realize that you can't hide. You can't run away. That the truth of who you are will be revealed.

There's a nakedness in that isolation that has nothing to do with the state of your body.

On the other hand, the same isolation liberated us from the expectations and norms of mainstream society. We were making up the rules as we went. We didn't have to fit into a box, an image, a lifestyle. We were just alive, and thrilled to be so.

And we learned in that setting that the whims of the more dominant member of a group will be enforced - out of pain and fear, if not voluntary submission. But the longer we stayed together, the more apparent it also became that everyone's needs have to be met, or they'll wither and die.

It takes tremendous maturity to realize that you are responsible for another person's life. (that's why it isn't such a good idea for children to have children) My husband can't afford simply to follow his whims. He must take into account the lives of the people who depend on him.

Today, as mature adults with children, we are part of the mainstream we isolated ourselves from. Our lives, on the outside, look pretty much like any other urban middle class family. I am no longer socially isolated, though I spend a lot more time alone. The nature of our relationship is very private and internal, hidden even from our children.

And he has told me, in response to this thread, that he feels like he could write the story of our life today with himself in the role of the sub. He has made sacrifices. He has gone out of his way to meet the needs of his family. He feels responsible for our well-being. In much the same way I feel responsible for his.

So why do I feel like a slave?

Because in every moment of my life, I treat him as my master. As though the measure of my life can be gauged by his happiness.

As though my life depends on his whim.

And we are both happy when I do.
Wow, that farting thing is something new to me....I am sure I could never tell who did it by such means!! As to the dependency thing, I'm not sure it is the same concept as you pose of him being the centre of my universe, thus leading to dependence. Truth be told, being so independent and alone most of my adult life, I have the knowledge I can and could go it alone if need be and survive, and I tend to amuse myself often more so than depend on him for my entertainment. Being I didn't enter into TPE with any concept of leaving being an option, it seems to have ingrained itself deeper than just saying it, to a point where reality is I cannot leave as it would be a betrayal of both him and myself and just not possible. It is not easy to explain in words. I tend to not romanticise the whole thing....think he rid me of any notion of that long ago, for better or worse. It is what it is, and we both are very open with each other about the less than perfect moments when we may love each other on some plane but not particularly like each other in that moment. It is life, raw, honest and beautiful.

Catalina
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:48 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catalina_francisco View Post
As to the dependency thing, I'm not sure it is the same concept as you pose of him being the centre of my universe, thus leading to dependence. Truth be told, being so independent and alone most of my adult life, I have the knowledge I can and could go it alone if need be and survive, and I tend to amuse myself often more so than depend on him for my entertainment. Being I didn't enter into TPE with any concept of leaving being an option, it seems to have ingrained itself deeper than just saying it, to a point where reality is I cannot leave as it would be a betrayal of both him and myself and just not possible. It is not easy to explain in words. I tend to not romanticise the whole thing....think he rid me of any notion of that long ago, for better or worse. It is what it is, and we both are very open with each other about the less than perfect moments when we may love each other on some plane but not particularly like each other in that moment. It is life, raw, honest and beautiful.

Catalina
Perhaps I did misunderstand your earlier post. I had the impression that you did not speak the language of your new community as fluently as he did, putting him in the position of interpreting for you. I then imagined that, if he chose to wield that power capriciously, or you felt at all socially withdrawn, it would put you in a very dependent position. I should know better, though. Nothing in your posts has ever led me to believe you were not fully capable of taking care of yourself, even in that situation.

But I totally understand the nature of your relationship you describe it above. It is one I am living too. And it is beautiful. And raw. And difficult. And painful. And honest.

And, I dare say, romantic. But not blindly so.
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:38 PM   #97
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one of the moments that test you

My daughter did not want to lose any teeth. We called her "shark mouth," which she loved, because she had two rows of teeth on the bottom when the new ones grew in.

Even after the baby teeth became so loose they were dangling by the proverbial thread, she refused to wiggle them, and wanted to keep them forever.

Teachers began to mention it. Other mothers. Her dentist wasn't too worried, so I'd shrug and smile. But it started to feel strange.

One night, when she found herself in tears because she'd almost lost one, I asked her why she didn't want her teeth to come out. I pulled out the old, "you don't want to be a little kid forever, do you? think of the things you can do when you grow up" speech. And she told me she didn't want to grow up.

She didn't want to be a woman. Like me. "You're so old. You don't have any fun." And she sobbed and sobbed.

I died a little inside. And I saw myself through her eyes. Since she'd gone to school, all she'd seen me do was clean house, run errands, cook dinner, wash dishes. I wasn't even playing with them any more, since they were old enough now to play with each other.

My heart broke. I knew where my head was at. And I couldn't explain it at all.

I had misplaced my center again. He had taken a regular job that didn't include me. Both kids were at school. I was lonely at home. And I was trying to keep him present while he was away.

I was spending the time he was at work getting ready for the moment he'd return. And when he came home, I was trying to please him by focussing on him in ways that were intrusive.

And my daughter was watching.

I resolved that night to change.

Vigilance. Flexibility. An ability and willingness to change. And the capacity to see when change is needed. (God, I pray for this every day.)

For the sake of my daughter, I shifted my focus. I developed an independent life while the kids were in school. I joined knitting circles and took on AA sponsees. And I focussed on my children when they came home from school. Sharing my creativity with my daughter. Making faces and puppets. Singing. Dancing.

It sounds silly, perhaps. Or too obvious to warrant the telling. But for me, it was huge. Because I learned the difference between trying to serve and actually serving. To truly serve someone else I have to be centered and strong. Otherwise, I react to every hint of displeasure like a reed in the wind and my actions are weak and ineffective.

The Buddhists are harsh. They claim that love is not only the desire and willingness to bring joy to another person, it is the capacity to do so. Not only the desire and willingness to relieve another's suffering, but the ability to do so.

In other words, it is only the fruit of your action that matters.

I wonder what my daughter sees today.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:31 AM   #98
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emptiness

My mind has been so empty the last few days, it's been hard to find the words.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:06 AM   #99
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open defiance

the first moment of open defiance since I began writing . . .

Monday

He was injured on Friday, and spent the weekend on crutches. And he had to show up for work on Monday.

I discovered lice on Sunday night, and spent the morning at the laundromat washing bedding.

A friend called needing help. Her application for public housing had been denied and she needed a ride to her mother's house from the temporary shelter. I have to soothe her screaming baby while she gathers her garbage bag suitcase. (I don't mind helping, but I had to postpone food shopping - so dinner will be a problem.)

My daughter and her friend have a major social studies project due, and I pick them up from school to work on it.

My son brings home an excellent report card. He wants, and deserves, recognition.

The basement construction is over. The crew is leaving. I need to verify that all is to specification and pay the balance due.

The girls just want to have fun. It takes forever to get them settled down to work.

As the crew leaves, and the girls get to work, I call him to find out if takeout is ok. I could make spaghetti, but it would be a lot easier to order pizza or Chinese.

As I dial his number, I see him on the sidewalk. Heís come home early.

Heís in pain. Heís hungry. There is no dinner ready. And I'm leaving for my studio around the corner to monitor the girls' work. His mood is dark.

After a few minutes, I call him at home. In a series of phone calls, we arrange for takeout from both the pizzeria and the Chinese restaurant. The double order reflected both my husband's preferences and my son's, who still deserved to eat a dinner he liked in recognition of his achievement.

Anyway, with two takeout orders, delivery is out of the question (two tips, too much). (I kind of think it will make our life easier, this is an unusually complicated evening, but I don't argue.) He offers to pick it up. And wants me to come with him so one of us can just run in for the order.

That would mean leaving the girls alone in my studio. (they're 8 years old)

Not only do I know that they would stop working and just goof off, with all my tools and art supplies at hand, I also know that the parents of my daughters' friend would be appalled if she came to pick up her daughter and found them alone. We've had extensive conversations about whether our girls can walk home from school together. The other parents have made it very clear to me, they do not want their daughter unsupervised.

I say "no, honey, I can't." Silence. "I can't, honey, I can't leave the girls alone." "They'll be ok." "No, I really can't." I am immovable.

I can see how he feels. He's on crutches. It will be difficult for him. But I cannot leave someone else's child alone against the parents' wishes.

I start thinking, "we should just have it delivered" and say so. "No." We hang up. And I know this is going to hurt.

Tuesday

He's still angry. Though most of it is now directed towards the other family. And he's home sick.

I will do whatever I can to reassure him that things are back to normal. And they are.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:29 AM   #100
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addendum

Lest I be misunderstood . . .

I felt more physical pain while we were having sex last night, than I did on Monday after being defiant.

No, punishment for my act of defiance entailed a cold withdrawal of affection coupled with silent disapproval and the kind of black looks that signal his anger and disappointment. And the warmth does not return until I have demonstrated that I understand what his needs are and am willing to meet them without flinching.
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