I have decided to see a therapist to work out – something. I don’t know what I need to work out exactly. I hope the therapist will help me work out what it is I need to work out.
I wonder how I should start the first session…
‘Seven months ago I met Michael and became a sex slave…’
‘I had this thing with Stewart, which has ended and I don’t know how to deal with it…’
‘Do you know what D/s is? Yes? Oh, good. That will save time…’
‘I have a serious bite mark on my right shoulder and I’m really happy about that. I like being beaten, quite a lot…’
Or is it simply:
‘I am having an affair and will eventually leave my husband. How do I manage the emotion that surrounds all of this?’
And I think of that poor therapist trying to process all of the shit I am about to chuck on him and thinking, ‘what the fuck have I agreed to here?!’
However, he has already shown good boundary setting skills. This is crucial. Especially because he is a man and, well, I do have a way with men who don’t have good boundary setting skills.
It is ‘low-cost therapy’ so I am not surprised to find the therapy office is in a run down ex-council building. I am exactly on time, and therapist Bill meets me at the door.
I like him immediately. He is Hugh Laurie with a lived-in face. He is wearing cool new black Chelsea boots and has an earring. He looks suitably ‘alternative’ for the conversation we are about to have. This bodes well.
He shows me into a calm therapy room. Ikea chairs, low lighting, bottle of water, glass, tissues. We go through the usual paperwork (be on time, give notice if you won’t be here, confidentiality, etc.) and I hand over my £20.
Bill is soft spoken with an Irish accent. I tell him I don’t know where to begin. I go with the simple route, ‘I am married, I have an autistic child and I also have a lover…’
I ask him if he has an understanding of D/s and he does. I then start at the beginning, and talk about always knowing I am a submissive but never having the language for it. About meeting Michael and how this turned my perception of myself on its head.
Bill asks me to explain this, so I tell him a little about my life, about the work I do, how I get stuff done, that I am generally an alpha female.
‘So,’ he says, ‘in your vanilla life you are an alpha female, but in your sexual and romantic life, you need to be a submissive?’
I think to myself: Bill just said, ‘vanilla’. You don’t use that word if you don’t know a thing or two about this lifestyle.
I answer, ‘exactly. I didn’t know I could be both. I didn’t know I could be one way in day to day, outside-of-my-house life and one way at home. This was a revelation.’
I go on to tell him about Stewart. I start to cry. This cataclysmic relationship suddenly ended and I have no one to speak to about it. No one could understand. (Except Stew.) Bill hands me a tissue and acknowledges how deeply I am affected by this.
The conversation then moves on to James. Amazing James. James who lights up my heart and lights up my sky and lights up my skin with bite marks and cane stripes. I talk openly about our dynamic, how we are together, the tasks and the cooking, about everything James helps me with. About the fucking and the beating and the bondage. As the words tumble out, I feel a weight lift from my chest.
Bill says, ‘it’s obvious you have found something wonderful.’
I have just told a perfect stranger that I am having an affair, my husband doesn’t know, I am regularly beaten and aggressively fucked, I am a kitten with a Daddy, I’ve been to sex clubs and had threesomes and foursomes, I’ve told huge, complicated lies to cover my tracks. And yet, what Bill sees is the shining, core truth: I have found something wonderful.
I have come to the right place. There is no judgement here. I will be able to talk of my feelings and experiences to Bill and he can help me work through these things. Feeling torn between two lives. Feeling guilty for not feeling guilty. The loss of Stew.
This is a very healthy step.