When I was 16 my first ever real boyfriend broke up with me. Steven and I had only been together for six months but the split was cataclysmic. Steven gave me his undivided attention, and was the first person in my life to love me unconditionally. Everything I did was cute and funny and lovable to him. I’d never had this before with anyone – not with boyfriends, friends or even family.
When he split with me*, I was devastated. I cried for months. I experienced my first major bout of depression, and became suicidal. I had therapy and tried to fuck my way out of my despair – I became incredibly, recklessly promiscuous; I just needed to feel something other than heartbroken.
This breakup left a deep, indelible mark. I was in such agony, for so long, and I never wanted to go through that again.
Unbeknownst to my brain, my heart made this decision: we are never going through that again. And so in all relationships thereafter I chose weak men. Men who would not leave me.
This was not a wise choice, but certainly a safe one. It lead to a long string of marriages and divorces as I partnered up with men I could keep at a distance and leave when I had to.
I put myself in relationships where I morphed into whatever the other person wanted. I found I could do this for years, until which point something in me would snap and I could no longer hold the musical statues pose I had been perfecting all that time.
When Stewart broke up with me last week, it was the first time this had happened to me in 31 years. Like Steven, Stew was someone who I could be entirely myself with. Also, as I had done with Steven, I shared things with Stewart that I had never shared with anyone, ever. I suppose I felt I could do this because we started from a place of casual fuckbuddies rather than pursuing a serious partnership – the risks had somehow seemed less.
Our fuckbuddy status quickly changed to a partnership, but by then my heart had already opened up and Stew had climbed inside. It was too late to suddenly become something else, so I carried on being me**.
This breakup hurts just as much as the last one. However there is a huge difference: I am now mature enough to see that it’s not about me, and I am very clear on this fact. It’s about Stew’s stuff, not mine. I did nothing wrong and I could not have done anything to make things different. I am proud of the fact that I was never anything but myself with Stewart. He took me as I came, in all ways.
The day after the split I woke up to a foreign new emotional landscape. I cannot go back to how I was pre-Stew, sublimating my needs and desires for the sake of someone else’s happiness.
Over the past six months, I have fully embraced my submissive self. Being submissive does not mean giving up control, or giving up my self. For me it means being my true self – which is actually a vulnerable, sometimes fragile and almost always very needy person.
In work I can be tough and strong and powerful. However, I understand now that in my primary relationship I need to be a pet, looked after, stroked, loved and to receive nearly constant attention.
Much like a kitten.
And every kitten needs an owner, a Daddy.
By sheer stroke of incredible luck, James happens to be the perfect pet owner. Thoughtful, incredibly attentive, firm, loving and above all, responsible.
Being myself is all new territory for me, and for James, too. The Daddy/kitten dynamic makes this safe and gives us a solid foundation to exist from.
*because I was not punk rock enough, and I had an 11pm curfew that got in the way of my being more so.
**It would appear to the naked eye that I did ignore my needs in order to please Stewart. However, this was more due to the journey we were on together than my trying to be something I wasn’t. Stew and I were like children, exploring brand new ideas and concepts, trying completely new things. You have to try new things to find out whether you like them or not. There was a fair amount of ‘fake it ’til you make it’ along this road, and in most instances, I just didn’t make it.