“I’ve just had an apostrophe.”

A few months ago, I told someone special that my confidence was all an act.

I was mistaken. Sometimes, to get onstage, or get out in front of a crowd, I need to take a kernel of my core and inflate it. Make it bigger. “Fake it till you make it.”

There have been times when that’s taken over. Times when I didn’t know me anymore. I only knew how to get back…but that’s difficult when another person or other people are inextricably involved in helping you get there.

In our culture, there’s a distinct self-help message that’s propagated; and I think Rupaul says it best. “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else?”

It’s possible that for a time, I struggled with loving myself. It was easier when someone else loved me. When someone else looked at me and said I was beautiful. When someone else desired me. Society looks at that and says, “but you need to love yourself first. You can’t get your approval or sense of self-worth from other people.” There’s truth in that. Especially since it’s devastating when only flaws are seen, love is withdrawn, and desire becomes the urge to recoil.

So I took a step back, gave myself some time and space to heal, and rediscovered and reinvented myself.

Along the way, I’ve remembered (and been helpfully reminded) that humans are stronger together than on our own.

And I’ve discovered that I am confident in myself. I have determination, beauty, passion, love, dominance, and submission to share. Sometimes, though, these things don’t come out very easily. Sometimes, it takes another person (or people) to elicit their appearance.

In the last few days, I’ve been reminded in various ways, about the importance of connecting with other people. It’s come in a sound of desire in a loved one’s voice. A simple sentence that’s taken my breath away. Support and compliments from new and old friends. Promises and hope for the future.

I’ve also been reminded of why both sex and D/s are important to me. They both, in their own ways, clear through the confusion and cut straight to the core. I can just be. I connect to myself and the person I’m with in such a pure way.

It’s the moment when the chaos gets shut down.

That time when the world stands still and I remember who I am, and who and what I love.