The last 24 hours or so have been very intense and complicated. I feel compelled to write but I don't know how or what to say. I worry that whatever I write will be taken wrong, taken as a slight or a judgment, or that I want something to change. I don't want any of that. I just want to be honest about my truth and have people read it. This may be a bit jumbled and is a bit long, so please bear with me.
Last night was the monthly meeting of the M/s group, a thing that is my thing, that caters to how I best like to interact in larger groups and that I've been so happy to have The Emperor [yes, that is the pseudonym I've landed on] come with me to, so proud to be able to show off my Master and companion to the closest thing I have to my own group of people in the bdsm community. When we came home, we had amazing, painful, kinky, sub-space inducing, tear-inducing sex and bedded down to finish the first tv show we had started together, Sense8, while touching and kissing and talking. He said I was perfect for him, among a host of other complimentary things. I think between those three things, going to the meeting together, the sex, and the talking, the boundaries I usually have were completely down. We've had this happen before. One night, at the end of a particularly difficult week, once we got a night together, with time to play, we ended up doing less impact play than had been planned and more up close and personal pressure points work along with some breath play while sitting on the loveseat, our bodies pressed against each other. Soon, all the walls were down, the walls that I had that were not only keeping out the rest of the world and all my pain and grief and sadness but were also keeping him out.
I spend so much time behind those walls. As I thought about them today, I couldn't help but think of the way shields are talked about in the Anita Blake books. For those who don't read them, it's a series of contemporary supernatural fiction, if vampires and shapeshifters and all kinds of other paranormal and psychic creatures/people lived semi-openly in this society, set mostly in my birth city, with a badass zombie-raising, rogue-vampire-executing curly-haired woman who over the series becomes part of triumvirates of power with other shapeshifters and vampires and feeds off sex as the main character. She uses psychic shields to protect herself from being overwhelmed by other people's powers or emotions. In the middle books of the series, while she is still trying to adjust to the first triumvirate, which is with two men she very much loves but who she struggles to choose between, she shields herself from them, which protects her emotions as she adjusts, but also makes them weaker as a force. Without access to the books, I was trying to look online to find the exact quotes, but I couldn't find any that exactly encompassed what I was looking for. I did find it telling that in one book when trying to describe shields she says that they can be made of any substance in your mind, fire, water, metal, stone, as long as it surrounds you in your mind and makes sense, so that no two will actually be alike. In the books, she envisions hers as a stone wall or a tower. I think that is very telling. Unlike water, which would let more things past but could also envelop things you didn't want in droplets of water, or fire, that would burn up anything that got past it, she envisions a stone wall or tower, like a medieval castle.
The Emperor and I are just starting to read a book about how to deal with someone you love having borderline personality disorder. Something that I read yesterday has got me thinking. The author writes about how many borderlines by their 20s or 30s start to under-feel more often than over-feel, because what they've learned is that their emotions get them into trouble, are bad or wrong, are not what people around them want, so they find ways to not feel them, which can even be disassociating, though often all that emotion will come back with a vengeance when they can't push it away or disassociate from it. A cause of some friction in the relationship has been that I tend to withdraw from him when I start to get overwhelmed by emotion. I felt like this was a coping mechanism that I have been using for awhile to get some distance from my emotions, since I am usually aware that they aren't justified and I don't want to act on the emotion without thinking, to have things come out of my mouth that aren't true or fair. But now I wonder how much of that is disassociating from all emotion, how much that makes it all the more overwhelming when I have emotions that I can't withdraw from because everything has built up, and how much this is me putting up completely impenetrable shields.
There is an exchange from the television show Bones that has stuck with me for years though I've only now been able to find the exact quote. The main characters are talking about getting together as a romantic couple sometime in the future. Bones, ever the scientist, says,"You know the difference between strength and imperviousness, right?... Well, a substance that is impervious to damage doesn't need to be strong. ... When you and I met. I was an impervious substance. Now I'm a strong substance.... A time could come when you aren't angry any more and I'm strong enough to risk losing the last of my imperviosness. Maybe then we could try to be together." I have always liked that idea, the strength it takes to allow yourself to be open. But I feel like all these years have taught me that I don't have the strength for that, that I only have the strength to hold my shields, not the strength to allow some things in but keep others out. I am always all or nothing. Open or closed. But being open to let others in is also open to letting me out and I feel like no one wants me to be let out and I'm not always sure that I've very smart about who I let in, or able to deal with the inevitable hurt that comes with that, even unintentional hurt.
Letting those shields down with him is amazing. I can feel how perfectly we do fit. I can feel how safe I am with him, safe to express my deepest and darkest sexual and kink fantasies without fear of reproach, safe to enact those fantasies that are possible. I can fully feel how we can be the blank canvas that we each paint our desires on. I can feel vulnerable and small and cared for, as well as hurt and desired and pushed.
But I don't know how to get them back up and being that open and vulnerable out in the world where I still walk so much of it alone is excruciating and tiring. It is probably more difficult to get those shields back down again, because I don't yet have a grasp on exactly how to get them down. They are so automatic that I don't feel them being there. I only feel when they are gone. But I don't know how to get them back up. And I don't know how to make them something that doesn't cut me off from everything, from my emotions and from my closeness to my love, while they protect me from the outside world and from the emotions overwhelming me.
I'm also fighting with how extreme my desires can be. Even though they scare me, even when I feel like they are wrong or crazy or don't make sense, I am all or nothing, jump a cannonball into the pool instead of sticking a toe in, black or white, push it to the limit kind of a girl. No, I may not be as much of a masochist as others, may not be able to stand as much as others, but when I like something, I will want to push it to its extreme. When you're talking about the kink or the roleplaying or violence, that can be fucking scary sometimes. The things I want in my head can scare me sometimes. Not "oh, I'm embarrassed to tell someone this" kind of scared either. But the "this can get out of hand really quickly and borders on so much abusive and terrible territory, but it is such a turn on and makes me feel wanted and desired in a way that less than this doesn't" way. I don't write this because I want my sex or kink life to change, but in way of explanation, both in what I want and why I want it as well as in why it is scary and why I can feel so overwhelmed by it at times, that sometimes the carefully interwoven fantasy of fear and desire can be so easily unraveled, can so easily unravel me, when the enacting of it pulls just a little at the delicate fabric. This isn't to say stop, but to explain why sometimes suddenly can't breath and am about to cry or want to curl up in a ball or have to take a few steps back to walk it off when you thought you gave me what I wanted, when you just said a few words. Because anything you find worth doing, you find to be worth overdoing. Because you finally trust that you can tell someone your deepest and darkest, or close to, and she'll treasure you all the more for it. Because I want to take what you want to give, what you've wanted for so long to give, but where afraid would scare a girl off. But it isn't you that I fear. It is me. It is that I am not afraid that scares me. It is my own desires that scare me. But please, don't stop.