17/52 – Successful Adulting

There is a meme of sorts that has been floating around on the internet for quite a while now. It’s something to the effect of finding yourself in an uncomfortable or stressful situation and realizing, abruptly, that you are the adult in the situation . . . but then looking around for an, “adultier adult, someone better at adulting.”

I had somewhat of a misadventure in the course of my adulting a week (or was it two weeks?) ago. I accidentally made less than the minimum monthly payment for my health insurance for three months in a row, which caused it to be canceled. Understandable. In today’s society, you rarely get something for nothing and I completely understood why it was canceled . . . even when the missing portion only amounted to three dollars. After all, one can be arrested for stealing an .89c candy bar.

That said, I had a few options – doing nothing, doing something, or calling my mom (an adultier adult than myself).

I did two somethings. I called to see if I could get it reinstated by making up the balance owed and I created a contingency plan in the event that I could not. I left home on Saturday at noon to go to a concert with my mom and my sister, not getting back until one in the morning. When I woke up the next day, after my Other had already left for work, I found that an envelope from my health insurance company had arrived and was sitting on “my” side of the couch along with another letter for me.

I did not procrastinate and practically tore into the envelope.

The news was good. My insurance will be reinstated, pending I get my account properly up to date. What’s more is that the lapse won’t show on my account and I will thus not be fined the tax credit.

I consider that a moment of successful adulting.

16/52 – Adversity&Determination

If the road is easy, chances are you’re going to wrong way. – Terry Goodkind

The road I’m currently on certainly isn’t an easy one. I feel like I keep stumbling over my own feet and walking right into spider webs. And I forgot to bring snacks!

Last Friday morning, I signed into my health insurance portal with the intent of making a payment to bring my account up to speed,  because I’d fallen a month behind. Once I signed in; however, I was greeted with a little message stating that I could not make an online payment due to a change in my account status. Well, that was unexpected. I did some snooping around in my account and discovered that my coverage was canceled as of March 31st of this year. Erm . . . what?

Immediately, I checked my bank history and saw the payments I’d been making.

Dismayed, I called the customer service number only to be told that the office wasn’t open until nine. Okay, that’s the same time I start work, but I’ll just take a long lunch and get this issue sorted out and my health insurance reinstated, because I can prove I’ve been making the payments, despite being a month behind. There’s such a thing as grace.

Lunch time, call in, speak to a very nice young man who places me on a brief hold and returns sounding genuinely sorry for me. “I’m sorry, ma’am. The cancellation wasn’t in error. You haven’t made the minimum required monthly payments at all this year.” He explained that I’d been paying roughly $90 a month, which was my bill amount last year, but my minimum payment had increased to roughly $91 at the start of the year.

I have no idea how I didn’t know that. I explained to him that I never received notice of paying the wrong amount and always just got emailed receipts that thanked me for paying. He couldn’t do anything else, though, except let me know that my $90 from April and May would be sent back to me via check within the next ten business days. He also transferred me to a not-so-nice woman who put in a ticket for a special enrollment period for me in an attempt to get it reinstated on the basis of my confusion over the total due. It will be thirty days before I know the outcome of that.

My first instinct was just to call it quits and curl into a little ball of self pity.

But I took a deep breath and took a step back and asked myself . . . what can I do?

Not in a sarcastic way, not in a self-defeating way, not as a throwaway, but really.

And I came up with a few options. All of which were better than nothing. I actually made a plan of action. Determined how I was going to handle this situation now that I was in it, instead of spending time dwelling on the problem itself. I looked for the solution.

First, I’m going to deposit the refunded money into my savings account. I’m going to add to that the amount that I’d planned to pay when I originally signed in. In thirty days, if my health insurance does not get reinstated, I will continue to deposit the $90 dollars I would have put towards it into my savings account, instead. I will not let it turn into Starbucks coffees or Redbox movie rentals or day trips to Daytona. I’ll have about $810 in savings at the end of the year, from putting my “health insurance” bill into it.

If my hasty research into the matter is correct, then that will be more than I need to cover the tax penalty I would be charged for not having insurance for nine months. If, that is, I actually get charged the tax penalty, which I may not. My income has dropped drastically, since I started school. I may qualify for hardship status. In either case – fine or no fine – I am prepared for the situation. If I don’t get fined, then I’ll be starting the new year with more in savings than I’ve ever had.

  • I won’t continue to pay my health insurance bill into my saving account after December, even though taxes are filed later than that, because I’ll get insurance again during open enrollment at the end of the year.

The true downside, of course, is that I won’t have health insurance during the next six months, if it doesn’t get reinstated. That sucks, for a couple of reasons. I have asthma and keep an emergency inhaler on hand for . . . well . . . emergencies. I have about a third of my current one left, which will last me – maybe – the next three months or so. I also; however, have two daily use inhalers saved from when I went to the doctor and he prescribed them. I don’t like taking them, which I know isn’t good, but if I do start taking them as I’m supposed to, they should be enough to keep my lungs and bronchi in good shape for the next three months, which saves my emergency inhaler for the last three months. I also have access to a nebulizer and albuterol, if needed.

I won’t die, essentially, from not having health insurance. Indeed, from the age of eighteen to twenty-four I did not have health insurance. I managed. Not always comfortably, but always adequately.

The other downside, the one I’m really upset about, is that if the insurance isn’t reinstated at the end of thirty days, I will have to confess to Him that I messed up and lost it. He isn’t going to be happy, because he will be concerned for my health. I will, at least, have a plan to present to him. I think he will appreciate that and the fact that I was able to think things through and not just freak out.

A few months ago, this situation would have derailed me for weeks. There would have been tears and panic and eventually acceptance, but no real solution formed. Now, I can deal with this bear in the middle of the road without losing my head. I’ll skirt around it and be more vigilant in the future. I won’t get eaten by it.

Adversity is defined as difficulties or misfortune. Determine is a firmness of purpose, or resolve. I may face other adversity during the next six months as I continue along my Road to Elsewhere, but I am determined that I will make it to the end of the road.

At which time, I’m sure there will be other roads to explore.

15 1/2 – Rated R Update

It’s been months! Somehow, weirdly.

I just posted a general, vanilla update. “Previously, in the life of S,” if you will.

This post; however, is an update on my relationship/kink aspects of life, because there has been somewhat more progress in those areas than there was in others and I felt that it honestly deserved its own little update, because I realize that not everyone who finds themselves interested in my general life is also interested in my “lifestyle,” and the other way around, as well.

So, that being said, here is a list of developments, milestones, and mayhem!

  • “Came out” to my sister – she came over last month and I just simply forgot to put away all the toys in the bedroom/bathroom. This led to her seeing a large dildo (not actually mine, but still . . . ), a harness for my new wand, and my new wand itself. She was chill, just laughed it off. I have an awesome sister.
  • He installed tie-down points on our bed – at long last!!! I would fib and say that I’m not sure how I feel about being tied down and used, but that would be a lie. I liked that he wanted to play rough, because we’ve both gotten so caught up in the other parts of our life that the more intense aspects of our dynamic have slipped a bit. I also liked being tied down, because I just like bondage in general. I didn’t like; however, being naked and all exposed the way I was. I’m self-conscious about that.
  • He also took me by surprise and carried out a long-standing threat by tricking me into the shower with him (don’t ask) in order to give me an *ahem* golden shower. I did not like that. Nope, nope, nope. Not my kink. It is one of his, though, and the fact that he waited six years to subject me to it does actually show a huge amount of restraint and respect, I suppose. It’s actually happened twice in the past month and the only reason I’m okay with it is because I know it makes him happy and I like for him to be happy. Plus, it’s not like I won’t get peed on as a nurse, from what I’ve been warned, so I guess I just need to . . . go with the flow? Hehehehe.
  • We’ve been, in general, more playful with each other. From just verbal banter to him running his hands through my hair to me giving more massages. It’s been nice, because we’ve both been so stressed out that we’d forgotten to just enjoy each other’s company. I’m making more of an effort to not “grr” at him and he’s trying hard to be understanding of the fact that my schedule is more demanding than it was previously. We’ve found a nice balance, for now.
  • I’ve been forced to summon up something I didn’t know I had – a controlling/dominant side! It’s not easy to call it up by any means. I’m sub/slave through and through. Being more assertive, more in charge, is difficult. It’s also necessary, given that I’m learning to become a nurse. I cannot be idle or passive, as a nurse, or even as a nursing student. It’s fine for me to defer to Him in my day to day life, but I have to be able to stand up without Him, too. That’s still a work in progress, but I’m getting better at it and even my classmates have noticed that I’m “coming out of my shell.”

I believe that hits all of the highlights, as far as those things go! There’s more I could write, of course. For instance, I could write the golden shower or being tied down on the bed as a bit of erotica and I may actually do that, if anyone expresses interest. I’ve never actually tried to right erotica before, but I enjoy reading it and may like to try my hand at it in the near future.

As ever . . . thoughts, questions, and other comments are more than welcome.

Until next time – and I promise it won’t be so long!

15/52 – Pulse Check

“You know, the downward spiral is essentially a chain reaction.” – Jacob, from Ink

I can’t really grasp that it’s been three months since the last time I posted, but somehow or other that’s the amount of time that has slipped past. School, work, sleep, repeat.

It’s the first week of my two week break from college, but all that means is that I actually get to work 40 hours for the next two weeks. Which is great, really, though I’m daydreaming of a proper vacation. Disney, the Bahamas, New York City . . . away.

Things are more or less the same as they have been. Same friends, same anxieties, same dysfunctional family dynamic that always seems to work out in the end. I ended last quarter with an A and two B’s, which I’m okay with. I’m a little more nervous about this upcoming quarter. Nursing II and Maternal/Newborn are my only classes, but they each also have a clinical and lab component. I’ll be at the campus two full, eight-hour days during the first week. I’m fine with that, as long as it gives me a chance to get organized.

I’ve been thinking more about six months from now, when I graduate, but I need to remember that I still have a million and one little steps to take before I reach that point.

One of my many goals for these two weeks off include getting a schedule nailed down for this, my sadly neglected blog. I enjoy writing, as much as I enjoy reading, but I’ve gotten so caught up in school that the only of either I manage is related to . . . . well, school.

I also want to finish my competency Humanities course (which consists of three papers).

And it would be great if I could get around to deep cleaning the apartment . . .

13/52 – Partnership

On a whim, as I was trying to decide what title would encompass this post, I looked up, “What’s the difference between a relationship and a partnership?”

A consensus emerged, without my actually clicking on any of the links. Blurbs are wonderful things, when one is in a hurry, aren’t they? In general, the distinction was that anyone/everyone has a relationship – with their parents, with the cashier who scans their groceries, even with strangers and/or deceased individuals. Relationship are, well, relative. True, the word relationship often adopts a romantic, or at least familial, connotation, but it isn’t inherently or strictly limited by those boundaries. So, relationships, technically, just are a byproduct of existence.

On the other hand, there are partnerships. Again, in general (based just on my quick skimming of the blurbs), partnerships seem to be characterized by two distinctions that relationships aren’t. 1) They are more active. Individuals in partnerships are involved in an active give/take/compromise process. Technically you have a relationship with 7 billion other people on the planet, but  it’s mostly passive – you share a connection, not a conversation.  2) Partnerships are more structured. Now, that’s not to imply that partnerships are never random or short-lived, because they can be, but unlike relationships, partnerships are not necessarily byproducts of existence (though I expect it could be argued that they’re byproducts of civilizations or communities).

I’m thinking about this subject, now, because of the events of my last post and the events that have happened since. To recap: my SO and I got into an argument that basically boiled down to a lack of communication . . . or, more properly, a lack of active listening. I was depressed by the situation, because I felt misunderstood and believed that my point of view was being overlooked by my SO. It was made worse, in retrospect, because he thought he was taking actions that were actually helping my situation, whereas I felt that he was just trying to prove a point.

In the end, we were both probably in the wrong. I should have been more understanding that he was only trying to help me in the way he knows how to, and he should have listened to my concerns. We were both making the age old mistake of thinking that the other didn’t have anything important to contribute to the situation.

We went to bed – if not angry, then at least not happy. The following morning, we went out separate ways – me, to work and school; him, just to work. That afternoon, he picked me up from the campus and said he needed to run two quick errands before taking me back to work. I said that was fine, because he seemed to be in a better mood and I wasn’t willing to let the argument continue to be a barrier in our normally very relaxed/open dynamic. He went to a parts store in an effort to locate an obscure bolt, stopped to get gas, and then stopped at an office supply store that neither of us usually go to.

Now, for the unaware, our argument had been over the existence and the availability of index cards with ruled lines on both sides. We’d looked for them in three places, I was ready to admit defeat, but he was refusing to accept that we couldn’t find them in any of our usual stores and wanted to extend our search radius. I was already at the point where I wanted to move on to studying another way, because my exam was only two days away.

Him, being him, spent his lunch break searching for the index cards. He found them.

I won’t say that I wasn’t happy. I was. I appreciated his effort and proceeded to very happily use the index cards to make flashcards for my pharmacology exam. I will continue to use them as I enter next quarter. That said, I kinda wish he hadn’t felt the need to be “right” regarding the existence of said index cards. Even so, that night, I washed dishes and made dinner, as thanks.

One of the other defining characteristics of a partnership is an element of symbiosis. An “I’ll scratch your back, if you’ll scratch mine,” type of mentality. Or, more kindly, maybe, “Let’s pool our resources to have more together than we could have separately. Let’s take turns standing guard, so we’re both are safe and rested. Let’s alternate carrying the weight, so neither of us stumbles.” It’s teamwork, and loyalty, and mutual appreciation.

That’s the specific kind of relationship I wanted as a kid. I didn’t care about romance, per se. What I want is the intimacy and security of a solid partnership. If there’s romance, that’s great, I guess, but the lack thereof has never been a deal breaker, for me.

Of course, love is another matter. I crave being loved, partly because I fear that I am un-lovable. I know this is probably an unfounded fear, because I know that there are people – my family – who love me . . . but there are also times when I fear that their love is more biologically engineered and happenstance than anything else. If they just randomly met me, would they still love me? I don’t know, but I hope so.

I’ve noted before, in another post, that my SO doesn’t love me in the traditional sense, but that I do love him in the traditional sense. It’s something that’s complicated and sometimes painful and sometimes a blessing. I’m sure that it will continue to be all of those things, but I’m okay with that, because we’re still in this . . . this dynamic? partnership? . . . . together. We’re still supporting each other, making sure both of us are okay, and helping each other to do the things we want to do.

It’s not a typical fairy-tale, but I think it’s better than anything Cinderella ever dreamed of while she was scrubbing floors and talking to the birds. In my humble opinion, Prince Charming ain’t got nothin’ on my SO.

12/52 –

All I wanted was a set of index cards with lines on both sides. That’s it. I’d even have been happy with wide-ruled ones. I just wanted to make pretty flashcards with witch to study for my upcoming pharmacology final exam.

But, alas, such things as index cards with lines on both sides don’t seem to exit. Not at Wal-Mart, or the Dollar Tree, or even Staples – that shining beacon of office supplies.

Unfortunately, while I’d accept defeat after going to Wal-Mart, my SO had not. It was starting to rain and we were in the Mustang with the leaks, but he wanted to make the effort to stop at Staples. I tried to bite my tongue. I’d already wasted more than an hour hunting for index cards that don’t exit. I wanted to give up and go home and study some other way, but my SO was convinced somewhere would have them.

Well, somewhere might, but not Staples. He had to ask an associate, to make sure. The associate nodded, somewhat sagely, and said, “Yeah. I haven’t seen those double-sided cards in like ten years. Must not have been too popular.”

Of course not. Why would I have the sense to want something that was popular?

The associate also; however, directed my SO to the computer system where he could search the 1.3 million products on the Staples website . . . something that I’d already done on my phone while they were talking.

I bit my tongue harder and followed my SO to the computer. I lost it, a little, when he started typing at what felt like snail’s pace. “Do you want me to do that?”

He said, “No. I want you to calm down.”

I lost it, a little more, “I just want to go home. They don’t have them. I already pulled it up. Even if they did, they wouldn’t ship here by tomorrow and they’d want ten dollars.”

He threw up his hands, started stalking towards the entrance . . . which you can’t use as an exit. I didn’t follow, waiting for him to realize the mistake. He did and came stalking back, toward the actual exit. He was angry and I was suddenly depressed, on top of being miserable from not being able to find the cards and from being so congested that I couldn’t breath through my nose.

Outside, I trailed after him. “I’m not trying to piss you off. If you’d just listen for a minute, you’d get what I’m trying to tell you. I -”

“Well, you’re doing a great job of it.” He cut me off, having only listened to the first part of what I said.

Instantly, the depression turned from something nebulous to something heavy in my chest. Two minutes later, at home, he started to pull up front and I pointed out, “Don’t you want to park in the garage?”

He said nothing, put it in park, handed me the house keys. I took them automatically, but must have looked as confused as I felt, because he said, “I told you! I have to park in the garage!” He rolled his eyes and I just sat there and blinked.

“You didn’t listen to what I just said, did you? I said, ‘Don’t we need to park in the garage?’ You didn’t say anything back. I was going to walk up with you.” I tried to keep the hurt from getting into my voice, but I didn’t totally manage it.

“No,” he said, sounding even more exasperated. “Walk up with me, if you want. I don’t care.” He waited, staring ahead.

No point in walking with him. No point in trying to communicate, right then.

The second I stepped foot inside, the tears started. I didn’t try to stop them, like I usually do. I’m just too tired. I let them come and folded over the bed and bawled for about two minutes. Dried my eyes, splashed water on my face. Came into the living room as he did.

“What?” He demanded, as soon as he saw me.

“What, ‘what?'” I muttered.

“You’ve got that sad look on your face,” he grumbled, passing me and heading to the bedroom. Annoyed by the display of feelings that I hadn’t quite concealed.

No more words. Just sitting on the couch. A run through my notes. The ones I’d wanted to turn into pretty flashcards. Oh, well. Now I just want to get rid of this ache.

Fifteen minutes pass. My phone rings. Someone or other wanting money that I don’t have.

“Who is it?” He asks.

“No one. A fundraiser thing.”

“Oh. Why do you still look sad?”

“Because I am still sad. I didn’t mean to make you angry.” There’s no point in saying anything else, right now. It doesn’t matter. People have arguments. We’re both stressed out and taking it out on each other when we shouldn’t be. It happens. Life moves on.

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Last night, laying in bed, I asked, “Yours?”

“Of course, mine,” he said. “Why do you always worry?”

I didn’t say anything else. I could have. I could’ve explained that I worry, because I don’t really feel that I’m lovable.  I could’ve recounted that, when I was eleven, my dad and I had an argument that culminated in him saying that he guessed I didn’t have a soul. I could’ve said that I don’t tell him that I love him, but that asking, “Yours,” has become a stand-in for those other words that I don’t ever let myself say to him. I could’ve reminded him that he’s told me that he doesn’t love me, except as a “pet.” I could’ve told him that all of those things add up to create this fear that he’ll one day decide he doesn’t want me anymore and then I’ll have to relearn how to live, without him.

________________________________________________________________

It’s been about six hours since breakfast and he’s in the kitchen, getting ready to make something for lunch, but I’ve go no appetite. I remember him saying, the other day, that heartbreak is one of the fastest ways to loose weight.

We’d been talking about low carb diets and I steered the conversation back that way.

He was talking about before me, when he was with someone else, and she left him. He’d lost twenty pounds in two weeks. I didn’t want to talk about the “Heartbreak Diet” though, because I didn’t want him to realize that part of the reason I haven’t been eating much lately is due to that very issue. He’d just get angry again, and tell me to grow up.

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I think my mantra, since I was a kid, has been to “be better.”

Still feels like I’m best at fucking up though.

_________________________________________________________________

Of course, I’ll feel better. This happens. I get over it. LIfe moves on.

Time to review my notes again. Respiratory, GI, and Cardiac, oh my. . .

 

 

11/52 – Final (Fantasy & Exam)

There’s something about Saturday morning that lends itself to relaxing and goofing off.

Woke up this morning to a call from my sister, asking if she could come spend a few hours at the apartment, before she goes in to work. Of course, I told her yes. While I know that there are some sisters who don’t get along very well, we are not in that category. Even though she’s two and a half years younger than me, she’s somewhat taken on the role of the older sibling, ever since my anxiety manifested a few years ago.

Hands down, if asked whether I’d be more upset losing my parents or my sister, I’d say my sister, though I love my parents too. Anyway. I digress.

She came over and I let her know that I’ve got to study for my second final exam (the first, I passed yesterday with an 89%), but that she’s free to do whatever – use the computer, rummage the fridge, watch TV. She eyed the PS4 that was a Christmas present from my SO. “Can I play Final Fantasy X?”

And now, I’m sitting here, getting ready to start studying some more and watching her play the opening scenes of FFX. Now, this one is not my favorite FF video game – FFXII has that honor – but it’s not a bad one. Okay, sure, it’s a little hokey, but it was made more than ten years ago, so I have to give it some slack. Plus, the voice acting adds something that was to be desired in FFXII.

God, I can’t wait for the remake!

10/52 – Aspirations & Fears

Aspiration: A hope or ambition of achieving something.

Fear: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something is likely a threat.

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The other day one of my classmates, Twinlee, said, “Oh my god. You should just type mine up, too. You’ve got the words!” This was in reference to a small group project we were working on making a PowerPoint for during some down time in lab.

I was startled into admitting something that hasn’t come up yet. “I like to write.”

That’s something of an understatement. I’ve been writing short stories since the first grade. Have, actually, written three novels of more than 150 pages – two of which were part of a truly awful series that I did when I was about fourteen. The third was, I think, pretty okay. It was my NaNoWriMo novel four years ago. At present, I have two novel ideas that are tumbling around in the back of my mind.

I’ve always thought of it as both a good and a bad thing that I don’t ever have to search for an idea. Truth be told, sitting here, I’ve actually got closer to a dozen potential story/novel ideas, but only two are developed enough to be considered, practically speaking.

At Twinlee’s probing, I admitted as much as the above, and confessed something else. “Part of the reason I decided to go into nursing,” I let her know, “is due to the fact that I could work three twelve hour shifts, and then go home and write for four solid days, if I want.” She was, I think, both impressed and bemused.

It’s true though. When I was a kid, I expected to grow up to be a photo journalist, because I like to write, take pictures, and travel. As I got older, that somehow turned into something that I felt was impractical. It’s not that anyone ever told me, “You can’t do that.” It just . . . became a non-option, along the way.

My aspiration, I suppose you could say, is still to become a novelist. I don’t even let myself dream of real success, most of the time, but it’s fun to imagine seeing one of my novels on a bookshelf. Maybe even to daydream about seeing someone wander over to it and pick up while I stand there, pretending not to notice.

Of course, I don’t really think a person can have an aspiration without experiencing some parallel fear. Not only of failure, necessarily, but of the sheer possibility of success.

People fail all the time. It’s not unexpected. There are protocols, procedures, and policies in place to help people deal with failing. We have so many expressions and saying relating to failure that it’s not really something scary, in and of itself, at least not at a core level, for me.

“Why do we fall? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.”

The prospect of accomplishing something successfully is, realistically, more scary to me than failing is, because I’m not sure what would come next. Fear of the unknown is the biggest fear I have, and failing isn’t something that’s unknown . . . success is.

_________________________________________________________________

I haven’t written much since starting school, aside from homework and this blog, because I’ve been trying to narrow my focus to becoming a nurse . . . which is, honestly, an aspiration in itself. I’ll have two weeks off though, starting on the sixteenth and I keep thinking about trying to pound out a rough draft, at least, in that time.

A rough draft in two weeks would seem like a tall order, except the one I mean to write is one that I’ve had in my mind for years and it’s so ready to be written that it’ll feel just like typing out the outline of a movie I’ve watched a million and one times.

Of course, I don’t really know what I’d do with the draft once I finished it. I’ve never actually gone through the process of revising one. Now that I’m thinking about it, working to revise the school assignments I’ve done isn’t that dissimilar. Well, aside from the fact that the school assignments aren’t more than ten pages long . . .

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Also, as an end to this post, which was sort of off on a tangent, and as a follow-up to the post earlier today, I didn’t end up getting naked. He came home from work early, we had lunch . . . and then there was sex, but I got to keep most of my clothes on. Compromise exists, even in dynamics with heavy M/s connotations.

9/52 -Naked? No, thanks.

I know there are people on this planet who are comfortable with being naked.

My SO is one of them. The first time I met him, he was wearing only a towel and that’s because it was the middle of December and he felt a bit chilly. While not a nudist in the modern sense of living in a special community, he’s certainly got a proclivity towards being nude. He’s not self-conscious about it and it actually strikes me as odd when he happens to be wearing shorts while in the house – even weirder is when he’s fully dressed.

He takes off his clothes upon coming inside like other people kick off their shoes.

I, on the other hand, avoid being without clothes as much as I possibly can. I change quickly, I transition from dressed to a towel to the shower and then back again in fifteen minutes or less. I sleep in a minimum of a tank-top and pajama bottoms. I even swim in shorts and a sports-bra style top. Even during sex, I’m reluctant to remove my shirt and if it’s long enough to cover my hips, then I consider it a bonus.

It’s not that I’m hideous or particularly overweight – I’m 5′ 4″ and weight roughly 160lbs, but the weight is all the “right” kind of curves. He says often enough that he doesn’t consider me fat and likes the way I look. That’s great and all, I suppose, but it doesn’t alter the fact that I’m not at ease with my clothes off.

This is coming up, today, because he left the house this morning and instructed me to be naked when he comes back. “Naked?” I asked, hoping I’d misheard him somehow.

“Yes. Naked.”

“. . . like, with a towel on?”

“No. Naked.”

“. . . can I be in bed under the blanket?”

“No. You can be on the bed, on top of the blanket. Naked.” My silence made him raise an eyebrow at me. He eyed the paddle to the side of the bed. “Problem?”

It was 6:30 A.M. and I was too sleepy to fight, but . . . “. . . I don’t wanna be naked . . .”

“I know, but you will be.” And he left.

This is when being his becomes problematic. Submissives – such as I – are supposed to . . . well . . . submit. That’s not an issue for me, usually. I am naturally inclined to be submissive and to “go with the flow,” as it were. Getting his drinks, washing his clothes, going where he wants, even leaving him in control of the finances and major purchases is all fine with me. The second sex gets involved though . . .

I mentioned during the last post, I think, that I’m just not that interested in sex. I like to masturbate, sure, but the mechanics of actual sex just make me feel awkward and uncomfortable. Partly because of the need to be naked during most of it, but also just because I continually worry about doing something wrong.

*sigh*

There are always choices. In this case, I can choose to be good and be naked in 45 minutes, when he’s due home. Or I can choose to be bad and not be naked . . . and end up naked anyway, of course, because if he wants me to be naked then he’ll get me to be naked.

He’s got my permission to force me to be naked, of course. I’m his and it’s consensual even when it’s not – which is always so much fun to try to explain to people. *sarcasm*

Even among those in the lifestyle, I’ve realized that my relationship with him is an extreme that very few can actually fathom. In BDSM, it’s not unusual to find people who identify as being in a M/s dynamic. However, if you start talking to the majority of them, it becomes clear that we have very different ideas of what that actually means. For most of them, it’s a fantasy that they choose to live. One of the first things I ask when someone says that they’re a slave in the BDSM sense of things is whether or not they have hard limits. If they say yes, my next question is whether or not their “Master” is allowed to break those hard limits – for instance, “golden showers” is a popular one.

In every case, but one the person in question said, “Well, of course not. That’s why it’s a hard limit.” And in every case, but three, they didn’t then understand why I started giggling. In my opinion, you’re not a slave if you’ve got limits (which is, incidentally, why I don’t think of myself as a slave, even though He thinks of me as one). I tell myself that I have limits, but in reality, I wouldn’t be angry with him for breaking those limits, because I’ve given him permission to do so by calling myself His.

I’m one of only two people I know who doesn’t have limits – short of dismemberment/extreme mutilation and/or death. He doesn’t usually push me, because I’m lucky and he respects that this part of our lives is only one part of it, but if he wanted to, he could push it.

To me, the question of limits is not a question. I’ve been rereading 50 Shades in light of the new movie coming out and I keep giggling at the concept of a contract and limits and negotiating. It’s outside of my reality and playing like that would actually be more of a “fantasy” to me than the M/s dynamic I’m already in.

Here’s a really good example. I don’t call him Sir or Master. I never have. Not once in six years. He doesn’t require it of me, and I think of him by his first name. I only tend to capitalize “Him” in this blog, because I want to avoid using his name here. He calls me by my name, or pet, or slave – depending on the situation. When we used to go to play parties and munches, everyone was always somewhat put off by this arrangement. They either doubted my “submission” or questions his “authority.” Eventually, the core group got used to it, but it still raised some eyebrows here and there.

Now, if I were to call him Sir or Master, I would consider that part of a fantasy role-play.

I’ve killed half an hour, writing this, but I’m still not sure if I’m going to be naked when he gets home, or not. Decisions, decisions . . .

_________________________________________________________________

Normally, I don’t do direct questions to you, the reader, but in this case, I’m curious about two things and I’m going to go ahead and ask . . .

  1. Are you comfortable being naked? If yes, was that always the case? If no, why not?
  2. If you are in a BDSM style relationship, what do you think about the differences between being a slave and a submissive? Is it a matter of limits, time, semantics, or something else?

I’m genuinely curious and welcome any/all input!

 

 

8/52 – Anxiety v. Panic

I’m sure that a lot people – particularly people who write, it would seem – feel anxiety or panic on a fairly routine basis. Something about those “emotions” seems to drive people to write . . . either to reflect or as a distraction or whatever. I use the quotes there, around emotions, because I’ve never really considered my anxiety an emotion.

I tend to see it more as a conglomeration of things – feelings, thoughts, ambiguous fears.

Panic, on the other hand, I do think of as an emotion – the specific feeling of being both frantic and worried. It’s unpleasant, sure, but I have attacks of anxiety and not of panic, so I don’t take panic to be something complex or harmful, in itself.

This morning, for instance, I’m panicking a little. I realized as I wrote down my assignments for the next two weeks that I’ve made an error. We had to do two community education group projects this quarter – one for Pharmacology and one for Fundamentals. In my brain’s usual way, it blurred those two projects together and I thought they were one in the same. They’re not. I did the one for Pharmacology, but the one for Fundamentals isn’t actually due to be presented until this upcoming Wednesday.

Okay. Not awful. There’s time . . . but . . .

Now I’m at the mercy of my classmates, who apparently formed groups and picked out topics without my realizing they’d done it. I understand how this happened. One of my group members from the Pharmacology project was absent on the day the groups were formed. She was the leader of the group and the only one I know personally, so I just assumed that she knew what was going on. I didn’t worry about, because I thought we’d done. I’m an idiot, sometimes, but that’s part of being human.

I’m not anxious about this. But I’m slightly panicked, because if some group doesn’t take pity on me, this could fail me for this class. Not because my grade can’t take the hit of 30 points – it actually could do that comfortably, based on how it’s weighted – but because the actual presentation is part of our required clinical hours. *gulp*

I’ve sent out an S.O.S. on my class’s FaceBook page. And now I’m waiting and passing the time by blogging and obsessively checking my notifications.

To contrast this panic that I’m currently feeling, I did actually have an anxiety attack both yesterday and two days before. They both started at about 1:00 P.M. and they both lasted about an hour. Sometimes the anxiety is like clockwork, sometimes it’s not. It’s always a surprise. On Wednesday, it was during my afternoon lecture; on Friday, it was at work.

Both of the attacks were quiet, because I’ve learned how to utterly fall apart without making a single sound. Twinlee (not her real name, obviously) noticed that something was wrong, because I wasn’t taking notes and was starring off into space. She uses aroma therapy oils and insisted I use one she calls “Chillaxin’.” I did and was amazed, because five minutes later I felt better. Way better. I’ll have to find out what’s in it.

Unfortunately, at work, I did not have the benefit of aroma therapy. Instead, I just forced myself to work through it. It let up gradually, realizing, maybe, that I wasn’t going to feed into it. I was fine the rest of the day.

Anxiety and I have a strange relationship. I used to medicate with Xanax, but I haven’t had a Xanax in almost six years – not since I was twenty. I’m proud of that, because at one point I was taking triple my prescribed dose, just to try to take the edge off enough for me to go grocery shopping. Now, I still have attacks, but I’ve gotten to the point that they only truly get the better of me once in a blue moon.

Sometimes, I go weeks between attacks and that’s lovely.

Other times, I have them every couple of days . . . not so lovely.

(Also, side note, why is “sometimes” one word, but “other times” is two?)

My SO has awoken. Coffee is poured. The game plan for today is laundry and – hopefully – working on this group project that I went brain-missing for. Also, sex, if my SO has his way. It’s not that I’m not interested in having sex – I like sex, honestly – but there are other things that I would rather be doing, usually. Like watching Let’s Play videos on YouTube, or eating mac n’ cheese, or going for a walk.

Is that odd of me? Maybe.

But really good mac n’ cheese is practically sex on a fork anyway.