“You don’t need me here to cut you free.”

Title quote from “Machete” by Amanda Fucking Palmer

Battling brain monsters lately has been fun. It doesn’t help that this is the most stressful time of the year for me at work, what with the largest, most labor intensive event of the year coming up next month. I know I’ll get through it, it’s just the process sometimes eats me alive from the inside.

I did something recently that I don’t want to talk about publicly yet (or possibly ever. I have told a few close, trusted people), but it was immensely freeing and allowed me to help two people I care about. However, while it felt good and right to do and I have literally no regrets, it’s also stirred up a whole bunch of related thoughts and desires and questions about submission. Looking back over the years, I’ve learned and done a lot and all those memories are flooding back now. Along with the hunger.

This morning, I decided to take a page from my mentor/ex. Especially when we were in a LDR, he always had exercises and rituals that made it clear to me that he was engaged and cared, even across the distance. One of them was when he would tell me to set aside time for him to kneel for him. He didn’t have to be there. But he gave me a set amount of time and it put me in that headspace and made me feel connected to him, especially when he would either remind me or ask me if I’d done it.

So this morning, I knelt.

Not for anyone, per se. I’m not collared to anyone nor am I anyone’s official submissive. Just…to remind myself who I am. What’s at my core. To think about possibilities and the future. To reconnect to that part of myself in a visceral way.

It was hard. I hadn’t done it in so long, and it shook me how familiar but thoroughly foreign it felt. How my legs felt weird. My back hurt. My arms felt awkward. I cried. I thought about the past. I felt the ache to simultaneously to push through and also to leap to my feet and forget it all again. There was no one here to stop me if I wanted to get up. There would be no punishment. There was also no one to reassure me. To help me push myself. But even so, I did it myself and I stayed another minute or so more. Through the pain. Till the tears subsided.

While it was only a few minutes, I’m glad I did it. It hurts in many ways and I feel the fire kindling inside and it suffocates me some days because I have no consistent place to direct it, but I’m still glad my inner submissive is awake again. She’s out of practice, though. In a fit of really low self esteem and doubt, I recently asked my mentor if, in his estimation and experience, I still had worth as a submissive. I was feeling old and out of practice and not sure what to do with myself and all this awakening. His reaction was priceless:

There are only two kinds of people who think you are “too old”, or “worn-out” to be desirable as a submissive:

  • Shortsighted, foolish people.
  • You.

I have to get myself out there more. I have to meet more people, find more opportunities to exercise her. Get out of that mindset of not being good enough any more. Submissive shouldn’t equal passive. Nor should it be weak. While this reawakening process is painful, it’s necessary. I’m reminded of the story I’ve carried with me since my time as a landscaper/gardener when the woman I was head over heels in love with taught me how to transplant geraniums.

She set the larger pots out in front of us and gave me a tray of plants in smaller pots. With one hand laced into the plant’s base above the dirt, she tipped the geranium over and pulled it free from its pot. The roots were a bound into the perfect shape of the pot they’d just came from. She discarded the pot and thrust her newly freed hand into the root ball, wiggling her fingers, then pulling the bound roots free. There was a sickening ripping sound and I recoiled in horror.

“What?” she asked, continuing her work.

“What are you doing?! Isn’t that going to kill it? You’re destroying it’s roots…” I don’t know how she had made me start caring about plants, when I’d previously had a black thumb, but here I was with constantly dirty hands and kind of enjoying myself. Until this here killing spree we were apparently setting out to have.

“I thought you said that transplanting them would help them grow bigger and stronger. How are they going to do that without roots?”

She grinned at me and her eyes twinkled. “I’m not destroying all the roots. You’re right; if you do it too much, it will kill them. But the right amount…it stimulates new growth.”

It stimulates new growth.

That’s stayed with me, for close to 20 years.

This pain, this hunger, this awakening, all the things that have been happening over the past few months, and even last year when I spent a large chunk of it hibernating from the world, save for the few times I did events, it’s part of the process. And even then, it was like a long winter…the ground might have been hard, and I might not have opened up to much, but seeds were there that I had no idea about. It’s taken a while for Spring to get here, for things to sprout. And while things are springing slowly up and I keep telling myself to have patience, there are some parts of me that need to be dusted off. I’ve got some roots to grab.

It’s time to stimulate new growth.

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