I am back from taking a weekend trip with M to visit her family in western Massachusetts. She showed me around the area, and we laughed and had fun being silly with each other. We window shopped in a few small towns while eating strawberry cheesecake gelato. I held it and fed her with the single spoon we had. We saw a lot of nice restaurants that we made future plans to dine at. We joked about how much weight we were both going to gain together on our future adventures.
But for me, the main highlight of the trip was when we drove to the top of a mountain. You could see far across to other mountains and far to each side up and down a valley that included a town and lakes. The view was so beautiful that it didn’t seem real, it didn’t seem possible that something that amazing could actually exist. There was a lodge there where we bought a local craft beer that neither of us had had before, a rich, creamy stout that we shared while looking out at that view.
It was a perfect moment. A moment in which words could only detract. A moment that compels you to slow down and give it your full attention, burning its details into your brain, so you know that even when your mind fails in old age, this moment will remain clear. Years from now, we will say "do you remember that time when…?" and it will be said not as a question of remembering but as an invitation to return together to that moment and share that elation again.
Although this blog might leave someone with a different impression, I think I am actually a fun person to spend time with. I like to joke and laugh. I like to go on adventures and share them with someone special to me. I consider myself a very happy, optimistic, positive person most of the time. Its usually only when I am alone with myself that I focus inward and experience the darkness there. Sometimes events can take me there, and someone like M can lead me there. I understand that these are two extremes in outlook that are hard to reconcile, and I’ve never really been able to reconcile them. But I think these two extremes are both genuinely me. I don’t think I have fun as a way to escape the darkness, I think I have fun because I actually enjoy it for its own sake. I think I feel both joy and pain more deeply than most other people. I can see both the beauty and the ugliness of life.
When M is dominating me, she takes my hand and guides me safely into the darkness. She did this again on our trip, when she took me on a walk into the woods. For much of it, I was blindfolded and wore ear plugs, and I was led around by a necktie that I wore over my t-shirt. It was humid, but I think I would have been sweating regardless. At one point, she made me crawl low under something, and my mind and my hands searched for clues to what that something was. Was I crawling under something, or was I crawling into something? Prior to our walk, she had made much of the fact that there were bears in the area…
In the end, much more was suggested than actually done, yet the experience made me very submissive. I was helpless and dependent on her to lead me around safely. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going, as she had taken me deep into the woods and spun me around a few times after I was blindfolded. I was tied to a tree for a time while she threatened me with a wooden paddle. She only hit me with it lightly a few times, but each time I jumped and yelled out from the fear she had built up and then released with the strike. She did just enough physically to produce a deep emotional response.
When it was over, and we began to emerge from the woods, it finally really hit me. I had been exposed in the woods, helpless, my mask gone, with only M to protect me from the danger that surrounded me. Now I was re-entering the other world, and that transition back from the darkness was much harder than entering the darkness. The darkness is comfortable. The darkness is home. I can slip into it so easily. The other world is strange and dangerous, and it takes time to build up my defenses back up to face it.
As we emerged, I felt separated from my body, floating along close by, like a balloon on a short string. We went into our bedroom without encountering anyone else, and I tried to pull myself back together, to put the mask back on. M comforted me. She asked what was wrong, and I just said "I’m wrong." And hearing myself say that, I started to cry.
She held me and kept telling me that I am an "amazing person." That’s very nice to hear of course, but every time she says something like this, there is an echo in my mind: "no, you’re not." She told me that I wasn’t a monster, and then the echo: "you are a monster." I was told that I have a light inside me that the darkness can’t extinguish, but I fear that’s not true.
When I heard her family come back into the house, I tried very hard to pull myself together to try to face them as a normal person. We had a photo of the two of us taken that night, but when I saw it the next day, I didn’t recognize myself. I hadn’t put the mask back together nearly as well as I had hoped.
M said that she felt really bad for me and what I was feeling then, and I tried to reassure her that nothing was wrong, that it was all OK. The helpless thing in the woods was me. The crying boy in her arms was me. I am at home in the darkness, and it means so much to have her there with me. If we didn’t have to face her family after, she could have continued working on me, taking me deeper. She could call me a monster and hit me. She could rape me while I cried. I like that she can make me cry in front of her: some of that emotion is a response to her cruelty of course, but the larger part is that I feel safe to cry with her. It feels good to get it out. Like being sick, its almost unbearable, but after the purge, you feel even better than you did before.
But it is nice that when I need to return, she is there helping with that too, comforting me again, pulling me back out. It just takes time to return to the other world, and I didn’t have enough time that night. I hope she doesn’t regret what we did, because I certainly don’t. I hope that she continues pushing me deeper into darkness. And as she does, she will also be going deeper with me.
The pain we experience together is as intimate and as good as the fun we experience together. Both bring me closer to her.
At one point in the woods, I was asked: "Why am I like this? What did my mother do to me?" The answer isn’t easy, and I wasn’t able to give one that night. Its not like there was a single, defining traumatic event in my life that flipped a switch within me, or the memory of which I am trying to escape or deal with. I am the way I am for several reasons that converged to create the perfect circumstances to corrupt my soul. It is the natural disposition of my personality. It is the environment I was raised in, and still live in. These led me to certain experiences, and those experiences led to other experiences, slowly accumulating over a lifetime and leading me farther off the normal path. I’m sure I will eventually recount all of those things in this blog. It will just take time.