Door: Change Driver

Door: Change Driver 

Aria Scarlette, 13 December 2020 

We started chatting in April of 2019, met very quickly, feelings articulated in June, quickly followed by the dance of withdrawal without articulation. He was the first man I met while playing without permission that truly drove change for me. I still don’t believe he was honest with himself or with me about what drove our change into feelings…or our change out of feelings. He was the driver for all of our change, and I didn’t have much say. His schedule dictated. His drive dictated. His desire dictated…and ultimately, I believe his fear dictated. I was a passenger, but I learned that I need shared partnership in being driver. 

____ 

So, you want to feel desired? 

Believe me, if I want you, you won’t be left guessing. 

Did you feel like the universe told you to pay attention to my profile? 

My directive to practice candid, radical transparency in communication was your hook. 

Did you think my hair was the source of my power? 

You bid me to stay present, my eyes through yours with you are inside me. 

Where else have I gone? 

I am certain I have only ever been with you – while with you. 

Should I have bid you to stay present? 

I waited for you to have time until I vanished out of your rear-view mirror, involuntarily. 

How did it start? 

You came to get me. 

How did it end? 

You drove away. 

I can still see you in my mind. Bright beautiful day, and the convertible top was down. You turned left with confidence after stopping at a sign that said “No Left Turns.” 

____ 

You taught me some really valuable lessons, and for that, I am grateful.  I can exchange my hurt for the value I received in our conversations. It was worth my while when the inventory is honestly taken, and the debits and credits accounted for… 

You made me confident in my gut. You told me my decisions made while sitting center saddle are spot on. Why did I need a brilliant man to tell me that in order to believe it? I did need it though, and I thank you for filling that need. 

You taught me about masks.  I don’t want the ones I have and am working to shed them because of the awareness you brought out in me. 

You are the first person to whom I admitted lies about orgasms. Now I don’t lie. I just have them or don’t as my body allows. I don’t judge it either. 

I should have fought for the connection we had earlier.  I suspected that, but I sat passive and waited for you. That learning will certainly have prepared me be more proactive in another relationship that I will save. I suppose though –back in our time, you also shared in that responsibility, and either didn’t see it or didn’t want it. 

Now I have the awareness and the voice to fight connection as I can recognize self-sabotage and retreat. 

There is so much I have to be thankful for in our learning.  I didn’t write about you because I was so angry…and hurt…and confused.  Now it is the lessons learned, written in some parable for me to reflect on… 

Ritual Comfort

There is something that I dearly treasure about ritual. I don’t consider repetition boring unless it is also laziness in service of obligation. My most treasured personal rituals: coffee, writing, art, and music. I love my coffee and drinking it every morning from handmade mugs. I love writing, and I need it for the casual list making and for the intense dumping of feelings to be processed. I need to make things with my hands, tangible products of my existence. I find resonance in music when I need my feelings validated, but I also use music as manipulation when my mood needs altering before I go under the surface permanently.

Love, relationships, affairs, power dynamics and kink…all of these constructs revolve around ritual for me also. I derive comfort from inside jokes, messages first thing when waking and when ready to sleep, painting dream intention, checking in throughout the day, sending pictures, and staying connected throughout the day with energy.

What happens when the ritual stumbles? What happens when the schedule alters once? How does it feel when the schedule morphs over time? How hard is the pinch? How long before it releases its grip?

When the time we spent every day shifted from open ended to structured, I adjusted. It took me a while, but I did. At least I knew what to expect. When our physical shifted, I understood why. We are layered in our relationships, and physicality isn’t a switch that you can just turn on and off. When coming back for night time ritual started being later and later, I expressed discomfort, and then adjusted to a different set of expectations. I hear the pinch of time as our lives and responsibilities change, and we must meet each other and care for the changing dynamics. I think to myself, it is all ok as I still have the ritual comforts I need most. He still works hard to understand me. He still shows up and gives me his most vulnerable self.

Then I stop being as flexible because I am scared…because I am hurt…because I am also tired.

The bend hurts more than it used to.

The stretch makes me feel like I might snap.

The strain is taking longer and longer to heal.

And…sometimes I am doing that work in isolation now too.

When you hand a child a beautiful, full, floating balloon of magical favorite color that lives in defiance of gravity…there is no joy like the balloon…

Until…

It pops.

Ritual comfort, without the ritual doesn’t retain its comfort. I am fucking cut loose and dropped into the abyss. I wait for the pieces to return and offer comfort again.

____

Rituals and repetition, driving energy in ostinato

Propel and carry the lyrics from bar line to bar line

Sway to the beat and know the comfort of expectations met

That chord’s tension will resolve…

The trying tone, though, held persistently suspended in agitation

The tempo paused and momentum lost

The listener has a choice to make…

Wait for resolution? Or change the station to help the dissonance settle…

Giving

I want to give zero fucks 

Give out, give in, then give up 

Cry mercy, burn it down, wallow in muck 

Judgment blur and energy disrupt 

___

Overwhelm and shut down 

Pull away and go dark 

Hurt is completely blown 

The emptiness in contrast stark

___

What use is staying close 

When the tides retreat 

To vulnerability expose 

And painful abrasions repeat

___

Pull away and undertow swept 

I expect it regularly 

Intimacy on a shelf kept 

The cycle is understood clearly

___

What are needs and what are wants 

What time is easy to endure 

When regularity of pain haunts 

Makes giving unsure

___

Continue to generously and freely give 

Hope we, through cycles, survive 

Or let love leak out through sieve 

Fearing, the hurt will kill the thrive. 

Thank COVID

Meeting with people in this COVID environment is tricky. I have barely been out of my house other than to work, get some exercise in local parks, and run errands of necessity at a smattering of local shops. I get anxious thinking about doing anything with many people.

I lost relationships with this absence. I lost friendships with the separation.

I also ended up with some extra time that I wouldn’t have had – that ended up furthering a relationship. Global pandemic means that two people on other sides of the world are similarly on lock-down.

As I look at the time COVID has afforded me, and I weigh it against the separation it has also engendered, can I fairly say it hasn’t been kind to me?

My anxiety is extreme, but don’t mistake that for poorly placed fear. The risk to me is real, present, and damn near all-consuming. I have lost 45 pounds vibrating in my own skin. Every email from my kids’ schools about a confirmed cases nearby makes vomit rise up. Every time someone from my household returns from the outside world, I make a mental map of every single thing they have touched before decontaminating properly. The wrongful dismissal of my very founded concerns has made me weak and small…weaker and smaller. I fold up, and I hide under my covers and shake.

I didn’t lose a job to COVID. I didn’t lose my place to live or my ability to feel secure that my family would be fed. I haven’t lost anyone I know to the virus…yet. I have lost my ability to feel safe in the world. Sleeping is difficult. Being still is impossible, but moving is also a challenge.

But, I have my love. COVID has delayed my ability to be in his space with him, but it has absolutely played a large role in our relationship and its glorious closeness. I rely on him in a way I might not have without COVID. I like to think it would be the same no matter the environment, but I know stars aligning makes the otherwise impossible more probable.

So the dichotomy lives. Fuck COVID for my loss of peace and safety…and thank COVID for making possible a different kind of safe peaceful reality.

I have indeed learned a lot about myself and others through the eyes connections needed to manage this new world. Whatever doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.

Please, dear gawd, don’t let COVID kill me.

______

Use this struggle to make me fierce

to test me and train me and make me endure

Use this challenge to make me see

to show me and teach me to see others’ obstacles clearly

Use this pandemic to make me resistant

to fortify me and adapt me into a super power of radiant joy

Use this separation to make me cling

to connect me and hold me close to the humanity of another

Use this time to make the unfathomable future crystal clear

to pause my fear and soothe my insecurity

and make way for the never ending time that is after

After now and on to the list of tomorrow’s infinite potential

Seeing red

There is a red set of bra and panties that I can no longer wear. They came out of the laundry yesterday, and they are clean, but they still cannot be worn. When I see them, I see red…or I don’t see.

The bra was chosen for me by my first Dom. I needed a new bra, and I sent him pictures from dressing rooms until he chose. For a long time when our dynamic was strong, I felt clothed in his care when I wore it. There was a long time toward the end of our practice that I didn’t wear the red as it wasn’t our default color choice. He used to designate the color of my bra and panties each day, and if he forgot, I was to wear default black. There was a long time toward the end of our practice in which I wore only black until the default ran out in my mind. He had forgotten me, and so I allowed myself to forget him also.

It is hard to forsake a bra that fits well, even when chosen by a Dom that lost his title and my submission. I wore it without association, and it often peaked out of otherwise conservative clothing. There was an edge of lace, the cup shape was round, and the straps were thick. The exhibitionist in me took pictures in just that bra in my car.

The red panties are lacy, and I have taken many a picture of kitchen ass sent to my love while making coffee. They are full coverage, pretty, and my ass hangs out the bottom. He always commented on the red ones.

There was a day of bad decisions, ultimately filled with catastrophic consequences still being managed…I wore red top and bottom. There is no wearing those again. Never. I lost time wearing those reds, I missed details, I destroyed trust, and I endangered my most treasured connection. Seeing that red isn’t a trauma from which I will easily recover. Neither he nor we may ever recover fully.

I see red for all of my traumas. I see connections to the language of my dependence on my spouse and the abuses he has perpetrated on my fragility. I can name the feeling I have when suicidal ideations fall from the mouths of those I love – having lost my share of treasures to suicide, that button is hot and very red. There have been many times I have felt trapped in my own body when it is a mystery to the modern medical profession. I have had so many surgeries, and I have felt so much pain and uncertainty. I am covered in infectious black ink turned blood red as this virus Covid threatens me from every angle. I watch my husband turn mean as he struggles to understand what has happened, and I have no fight left in me. Will burning these two, small, insignificant articles of clothing make the world settle? Will it wipe some of the red from my vision?

Probably not.

I burn them anyway.

____________

My red blinds and infuriates

My head struggles and debilitates

My heart pounds and won’t recuperate

My body writhes and pulsates

My breath increases and hyperventilates

My panic

My red

Oh, my…

Cuppa Contentment


We drink from this crazy cuppa confusion, thickly infused with dissonance cognitive 
Our hands tremble, soiling our clothing with spilled consternation 
Fingers burning while gripping handled curvature   
One after another 
Cuppa constant conflict 
Cuppa cutting chaos 
Cuppa complicated clutter 
… 
We drown in this cursed cuppa Covid, masked and dripping in cuppa contamination 
Our control challenged, carrying others with forced compliance 
Vulnerability boiling while crying in crescendo 
One after another 
Cuppa calcified crust 
Cuppa caustic chemical 
Cuppa chunky contaminant 
… 
We drink habits and taste with old pallet, tongue trained poorly by burning constant 
Our new course created, throwing out cloaked cloudiness 
Freshness creating while clarified water steams our creativity 
One after the other 
Cuppa quiet 
Cuppa clear 
Cuppa calm 
… 
We sit on couch cushions in sunshine’s energy clean, contemplating with growing certainty 
Our future seen, deciphering from clumping tea leaves through clarity 
Draping my legs over yours, on my knees rests your cuppa complete 
One after the other 
Cuppa cuddle 
Cuppa comfort 
Cuppa confidence 
… 
We breathe in and out taking sips cautious, cuppa compassion is robust with flavorful cooperation 
Our guts made sure, by cuppa care in two hands cradled 
Occasional cuppa chance, but not enough to disrupt our preference for cuppa chill. 
One after the other 
Cuppa celebration 
Cuppa commitment 
Cuppa contentment 

Dreams

We are the moon that governs the waves and throws around the ocean between us.We wiggle our feet in the sand warmed by long days and sigh into the breeze of the shifting moods. We find our peace on our beach whenever the world is in need of simplification. 

We are the field of childhood freedoms and memories of the time before obligations made our choices. We feel the sponge of fertility under our feet that feeds the grass’s inspiration to tickle our fingertips. We find our space together on our backs whenever we must smell the opportunity for newness. 

We are the tent far from all paths that will shelter us from outside expectations and misunderstandings. We hear the rain outside as only a reminder that we are joined inside safe from the world washing away. We find our isolation and insulation when the growing importance of being one takes over. 

We are our dance floor of unknown band with repeating rhythm already ongoing between us. We smell the sweat pouring from the energy we have always had even before the first note was played. We find our groove and grind when the words cannot be discerned but the intent is well understood. 

We are our drum booth at session’s end, the smell of cymbals still soaked in concentration. We break the focus over the edge of desire to be close within a confinement. We find our spaces within each other knowing the answer to separation is recording endless intimacy. 

We are our dreams so that we go where we cannot while the world around us layers reasons why not. We bathe dripping in the wealth of imaginations and realize our dreams are a fraction of what will be. We find our parting nightly so that we may fool our senses into a closeness we know is ours to claim. 

Goodnight, my love. I know where to find you. 

Story time…

Once in Kik, for the hell of it

I wanted to find a group for fun

Music or bisexuals, philopsphy, NOT politic

Find a cool place local to hang in the sun

Join a group – I found, Minnesota Glory

thinking that, yes, my state is cool

want to see more..but…….eeeeeeeeee

Was more of a lesson than life’s school

“Weird” he says “We don’t get many women here”

As I state my age, sex and location for the room

She wonders, “why uncommon,” but sips silently her beer

I like Minnesota, and there is more to see and do than I do

The room stirs, with new person added

More comment on a lady in the house

Makes me feel out of place, and needing safe room padded

Makes me retreat small like mouse

Welcome, new friend, this is Minnesota Glory HOLE

HOLY FUCK! Do what? With who? You don’t know WHAT is on the other side?

I have slipped through to the other dimension like blind mole

Beer sprayed through my nose, color me brightly RED, surprised

NOPE out right away, although no kink shaming for that

I just wanted to see my state more

I wanted to know cool places for coffee with chat

I sing, “No thanks” to dick through virtual or literal hole in door.

Moral of any story I suppose is this…

The possibilities online are infinite

There are so many options, find what fits

Make sure you see the you in it.

Nope out of the things not right

Lean into the resonance true

Find your tribe and your band and your light

Use it, as YOU want and need, but be sure you learn to be YOU.

Forgiveness

I was talking with a friend today, and he celebrates Yom Kippur. I have friends who are Jewish, but I haven’t asked enough about the holidays and traditions that are part of their faith. With the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently, I have been thinking a lot about how she expressed her faith through a dedication to justice – to be sure voices were protected by laws. Jewish faith has been more present in my mind this week that my otherwise ignorant ass will admit.

The month before Yom Kippur is the month of forgiveness. Fuck. I am late to that party. Yom Kippur is on us. Here we go…because I can absolutely get on board with the annual (if not more often or constant) evaluation of wrongs to be righted.

  • For my love, I am sorry for hurting you. I am sorry for my lack of forethought and consideration for your beautiful heart and the soul that you entrusted to my care. I am working to be the best version of myself I can be for you and for us. I am sorry that my communication needs feel like oppression for you sometimes. I am sorry for anything I have ever done or said that made you even barely question my love for you. Please, hear my apologies, and don’t shush them away with discomfort. I mean them, and you need to hear them in order to forgive me properly.
  • For my local, I am sorry I couldn’t offer you all of me. I should have seen in advance what power dynamics and that responsibility would feel like for me, and I am so sorry for the pain that was caused when we had to let go. I am so grateful for what we have and who we are, and for the understanding that has come from that hurt, but fuck. I am sorry for the hurt too.
  • For my former lovers – the lawyer and the musician… my intensity caused you both pain. I didn’t tell you that you were hurting me when you were, and I let you hurt me and make distance. You didn’t see it, and I didn’t tell you. I am sorry for keeping that secret.
  • For my husband, I am sorry for doing emotional work for you for two decades and then stopping without warning. That pivot was hard on you. I am sorry for the pain I am dragging you through now, and the pain that is still to come. My abilities are very compromised, and our process will be difficult. I cheated on you…many many times. I am sorry for that pain whether you know about it or not, though I am not sorry for the affairs that were essential to my process. I am sorry I wasn’t strong enough to both care for my own needs and yours.
  • For my children, I am sorry for the impact my current crisis has on each of you. I am not present for dinners and processing and life in the way I would choose if I could. I love you both and I want you to learn the strength I lack.
  • For my friends, I am sorry for the emotional drain that I am on each of you lately. You worry about me, and there isn’t anything you can do to help. I have caused you pain by shutting you out, but I have learning that has stretched me beyond being able to handle your well-meaning concern.
  • For Mom and Grandma, I am sorry my life makes you embarrassed. I am sorry you worry about me and that causes intense stress. I am sorry I am not able to offer you comfort.

Here is the rub in all of this…I look back at lists of atonement for things…and I am apologizing for taking up space. There must be a handbook for healthy atonement practice. And how do I forgive myself for the pain I have brought into my own life? How do I ask for and offer grace when the hurt is ongoing?

Oh, my heart, how do I atone for the cuts I inflict?

What ointment will heal, treatment’s positive outcome predict

My heart, I did this to you knowing the pain

I, self, me…my own apology’s fruitless refrain

Let me use my own fingers to paste firm my own heart

Let me use my own lens to see gritty debris picked apart

Please let the sea salty, winds wailing, and moans nauseated abate

Let self love and forgiveness in through the rusted locked gate

I am sorry, my self, for the wrongs and fright

Please forgive, my self, and atone to make right.

Developing…

I write oddly, I think. It leaks out sometimes, blurts out sideways sometimes, and other time it pours through the levy destroyed. Lately, I cannot contain it. I am stressed and saturated in feelings. I wrote this when I was talking with my love tonight, and I want to develop it:

Faith slower restored

Blinding pain not ignored

Energy lost, floored

Tears, endless, poured

As with any idea, theme, melodic idea, or artistic expression, development is magic. The first iteration is inspired although particularly raw in its crudeness. There is a vulnerability associated. The idea takes on growth, play, improvement, work. It struggles and flexes and trembles as it stretches. It fails sometimes.

I had an idea, to explore my own sexuality and my willingness to be open, honest, and vulnerable. As I developed that idea, I met people and I learned. The past several days, the development has broken down. I want to crawl back inside myself and stay there.

Faith slowly restored as debilitation cannot be ignored

Energy lost, my independence floored, while tears endless are poured

Bleeding heart, tunnel bored, to hemorrhage hopeless insecurity scored

Please hold me on beach shored, so water can clean the past torrid.