I know lots of stuff. On some specific (niche and uninteresting-to-most) topics, I know loads. I’ve learned a lot about myself too over the last few years; my character, my sexuality, my triggers and vulnerabilities, blind spots and biases. Sometimes this all gets in the way, meaning that I fall back on the knowledge I have already collated. rather than learning and adapting. There’s a small window of learning opportunity between fear and arrogance; sometimes I sidle through that window, other times I get stuck and flail about until I panic or get angry and fearful and sad. When that happens, Things I Know get filtered through Things I Feel and a vicious circle can develop.
This weekend was nearly one of those times. OK, the endorphin crash after a brilliant evening on Friday night took me by surprise since it didn’t come on until two days later when suddenly my raging sub-frenzy did a 180 and turned into guilt, shame and fear. Luckily, one of the things I have learned is to reach out and talk things over when my mercurial temperament starts jittering. There I was, flailing in panic; forgetting that relationships are not like articles of law or chemical formulae; there is no checklist or benchmark or process that guarantees a specific outcome, because people are infinitely variable, messy, chaotic creatures and I’m just another one of them.
I have great friends. Kind, compassionate people who listen without judgment and offer me their perspective and analysis, steering me away from catastrophising and balancing my doom-mongering with sound good sense. I’m really shit at having difficult conversations face to face (and pretty much anything on the topic of Feelings is ‘difficult’ when the other party to the conversation is a significant source of or target for those Feelings); and the one person I really needed to be communicating the Feelings to was unavailable for entirely legitimate reasons.
But thanks to the counsel and support of my friends, when I did make contact with the significant person; I was able to communicate my thoughts clearly, without freezing up in panic, or becoming excessively conciliatory out of fear; without prickling up defensively or plunging into monosyllabic despair. I talked, he talked, I talked some more and so did he. Air was cleared. Plans were made. Knots were unpicked, examined and straightened out.
So, despite all my Knowledge, I need to be reminded often that there’s always more to learn. Today I learned to feel and understand the truth of some things that I had only known in an abstract sense so far:
1. D/s relationships require openness, honesty, communication, trust and effort. Things don’t just fall into place because you want them to, and when they don’t it’s not necessarily because the relationship is wrong. It might be because there’s not enough communication going on.
2. Things that are worth having take time, effort, resources to build and maintain.
3. It’s better to get what you need than what you want, if you can’t have both right then.
4. I have great friends