He said he chose me because I didn’t treat him like an option. Then he treated me like an option.
He wanted me because I bound up all my hours, my secrets, my feelings in gold wrapping and handed them to him unreservedly. I sacrificed a thousand things so I could be there every time he wanted me to be. As for me, I was the one he chose when nothing better was available.
He felt adored. I felt abandoned.
With some people, giving turns everything to poison. Generosity becomes a one-woman act and taking turns a man into a one trick pony. The more he took, the less I gave. He railed against me for not being as available as I had once been. He was furious I’d removed so much access: how dare I? How dare I call myself a sub and then take back what I’d given piece by piece? He called me a fraud, not a sub. He never did ask whether he was a dominant.
Existing on the left side of the slash means throwing all your chaos and neglect at a sub until she has nothing left to give, doesn’t it? That’s when you run. That’s when you wait it out because she’ll put herself back together again eventually, and then you can begin to take again.
In the beginning, I gave him my body, and he felt entitled to it purely because I used the word ‘sub’ to define myself. Power exchange means jumping into forms of play that you know nothing about and delivering your mistakes without regret, right?
Eventually, doctors’ visits, illnesses and injuries piled up so high my earnings and health were reduced to scraps. “It’s not my responsibility,” he’d say.
When I began to create new limits and insist on more safety, he resented me. “Paranoid,” he’d say. At the time, I felt like a failure. I still do, in many ways.
Eventually, necessity required me to treat him the way he’d treated me: like an option instead of a priority. It was my final bid for self-preservation, but it still left him with enough to destroy. After he’d demolished every facet of my life, he left me buried in the ruins. Leaving was the best thing he ever did for me. Anger and I rarely mix, but truth be told, he’s the only person I’ve ever hated. I’m not proud of that, but so it is.
Weeks later, he told me he realised how much he had lost. By the time he wanted me back, I was gone, out in the world rebuilding my life. He remains one of my few regrets. I’m still learning how to trust myself. I’m still angry, but now I’m as strong as I was on the day we met. That’s all I need to know I will be just fine. I’ve rebuilt my home, literally and figuratively. The ruins have been relegated to history. I am almost whole.
Title by Anne Sexton
“I say Live, Live because of the sun,
the dream, the excitable gift.” – Anne Sexton