New Levels Of Absurdity Will Be Reached Before The End Of The Day
Posted on February 8th, 2010 in Emotional Angst, Mating And Relating, Polyamory, Tie Me Up
Quite unexpectedly, one of the things I’ve found the most uncomfortable and difficult when it comes to my relationship with Aiden, is being really emotionally vulnerable with him.
I can be physically vulnerable, that doesn’t scare me at all, but when it comes to talking about my feelings, or God forbid, crying in front of him (the HORRORS!) I would rather eat a pail of sand.
I’ve always had kind of a hang up about crying in front of people. My family really frowned on the shedding of tears, even during moments when it seemed like the appropriate response. I very clearly remember my mother and my great aunt discouraging me from crying at my great-grandmothers funeral (she and I were very close and it was a terrible loss). It struck me as odd at the time, and in the weeks after, but looking back on it, that was just the way my family has always been. Crying was associated with being emotional and weak. We (my siblings were no exception) were expected to hold ourselves together and be rational. Even now, most of my family members will become extremely uncomfortable and change the subject if I attempt anything more than superficial conversation with them. Feelings are private and should stay that way, period. My grandfather, who was and continues to be like a father to me, and whom has always treated me like his favorite, used to always tell us to “toughen up” if we were hurt or sad over something. I don’t think he was trying to be callous, I think he was passing on what he had always been taught, and doing it to prepare us for the harshness of life later on.
Anyway, I can’t blame it all on my family, but that early conditioning does not make it easy for me to be forthcoming with my feelings.
Often when I feel wounded enough that I cannot suppress the tears, I will hide somewhere to have a moment with myself. If I can’t manage that I will avoid eye contact with whomever happens to be present until I can compose myself. I know at times it has driven those closest to me a little crazy. One afternoon, not really that long ago, I was driving somewhere with V and we were discussing something painful for me, and she could see that I was doing everything possible not to lose my shit right in front of her.
“It’s ok to let it out you know” she said, slightly exasperated. After being my best friend for over a decade, I think it still irritates her that I can’t just let it go. In my defense, I’ve gotten better, but I still don’t think my ability to talk about or express emotions is the same as most peoples.
The first time I cried in front of Aiden, it was during a scene, a punishment actually. In fact, that’s the ONLY time I can cry in front of him, even though there have been times when I felt the urge while we were not playing. Even though I still hate when it happens, and I feel intensely uncomfortable, I can’t seem to turn it off.
Most recently, he was punishing me after I’d been completely out of line for the better part of two weeks. I did not take my punishment gracefully, and in fact I struggled and resisted until finally it seemed wiser to just give up and take what was coming to me. That bothers me, that I didn’t really surrender, I just felt defeated, which is not the same thing. That, perhaps, is a topic for another day.
At any rate, he punished me, and though it wasn’t particularly harsh, I felt exceptionally emotional. When it was over, I cried, with my head in his lap, while he rubbed my back and praised me and told me to let it all out. He called me his good girl and although I still felt stupid and embarrassed, his response was supportive and considerate of my feelings, which made it slightly less horrifying for me.
I hate it sometimes that it has to be so hard for me to just let it go. I want to be open with my feelings, but I suppose I am afraid. I am afraid of how Aiden will react, or that I will be further wounded, or that I will say the wrong thing. We haven’t gotten to the point where I trust that no matter what he might say, he’s coming from love. It takes a long time for me to get there (I think I am currently averaging around six years to get to that point with people. Just ask V and Jack, heh). It’s not fair though, and at some point I am going to have to stop being so guarded and defensive and just trust that he loves me and that he won’t intentionally hurt me. I would say that nine times out of ten, when we are at odds with each other, it is due to the fact that I haven’t been open about my feelings, and that I have made assumptions about him, or expected him to read my mind.
It seems ridiculous to me that I can’t just say what I feel or acknowledge and embrace my emotions, no matter what they might be. It’s easy to tell myself that nothing truly horrible will happen, and that likely my being forthcoming will only lead to Aiden and I having a closer relationship, but in the moment it’s difficult to remind myself of that. In the moment I just want to avoid having to talk about it.
The progress is slow, but I think that things are getting better. Aiden has a good deal of patience, but I don’t really want to push it all the way to its limits.