Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting Support as a Sub

I'm not going to give any solutions here. I just don't have any. That's part of the point. However, I do realize that this may apply to my particular dynamic of male dominant and female submissive.

Every relationship has problems. Mine with Master is no exception. While we try to work out our problems between ourselves there are times when one of us needs a friend or some outside help.

I've tried talking to old friends about my relationship and any frustrations I have that come up and have learned that it is generally a bad idea.
My friends know my history of abusive partners and are on the lookout for my continuing that pattern. This shows how much they care about me and I do appreciate that however, sometimes they gauge a situation wrong. I also tend to be submissive in general and that causes warning signs for them that aren't really necessary in my opinion because Master is good to me.
Also, my friends are quite liberal. So, they're open minded in many ways. However, most of them firmly believe that because I'm female and my partner is male that I'm at risk for Domestic Violence. Honestly, Master is at more risk from me but I'd never convince my friends of that.
My friends are my friends and by and large don't know Master. So when something comes up they're going to side with me. Plus, they just don't have a full unbiased perspective on things and can't get it from me.

Occasionally, I'll end up talking to my Mom about things. Now, I'm not 'out' to her and I never could be. She's a Feminist and from what I can tell she sees my submissive personality as anti-Feminist. Yes, I have a Master, but I'd like to think that I'd treat any partner of mine with respect. The efforts I take to show my partner respect seem to confound my Mom and say to her that I have no self-respect.

I've looked for ideas and support on various internet sites that focus on BDSM, in hopes that there the BDSM won't be a barrier to getting support. There's some very good information out there depending on what you are looking for. However, perhaps it is how I tend to read things or the information I found, but the impression I sometimes get is 'if it isn't abuse then the submissive should focus on him or herself.' I'm very glad that I'm not being abused. I'm willing to do a lot of work on myself however this approach hasn't been good for me long term. No matter how much I've tried to change my attitudes and worked on my communication skills it just didn't seem to improve the situation at home and my still being unhappy just seemed to indicate that I just needed to try harder/better/differently.

If my Master does a few things that hurt me and make it hard for me to be what he wants or how he already sees me, I don't necessarily want to throw my relationship in the trash if there's anything that can be done about it. However, I sometimes feel that there's a focus on the sub should do all the changing and if they have a problem with their current Master then they should go find a new one or just shut up/hide the pain better. Not my ideal solution, partly because I can't seem to hide my pain from my Master and that causes him pain. Plus, he doesn't want me to go so I have to find a way to work things out.

I've done years of individual therapy to help me with my personal issues. My most recent therapist, K, was excellent but I have to admit to not being entirely honest with her. Since I'd finally found someone who I trusted and was making progress with, I was hesitant to do anything that might damage that relationship.
One of the best things about K was that she remembered that I was giving her my perspective on the situations in my life and reminded me of that. She gave me the best advice she could on how to help myself and to best evaluate my life.
Eventually K recommend couples therapy so that someone could hear from both of us. We tried less than a handful of sessions with K but since K was *my* therapist neither of us felt entirely comfortable. Partly he felt he was taking away from my time. I was concerned that Master might feel K was biased in my favor.

So, we opted for couples therapy. Again, while the therapist said he was willing to talk about sex with us we did not disclose our D/s dynamic. We'd never met with this person before and he was a student. The couples therapy made things worse. The T managed to push all of the buttons that both Master and I have. I felt I was pushed to go against my nature and what we'd laid out for the T at the beginning of treatment. The resulting anger and 'wants' made me unhappy and caused additional stress between Master and myself.

We've made some mistakes. Disclosing our D/s dynamic and Master's probable Asperger's Syndrome would have been best in hindsight. However, our hesitancy is understandable, I have a disability and don't fully understand when someone might be compelled to report things to Adult Protective Services. Our income is quite limited so we don't have many options when it comes to therapists and have learned that sometimes no therapist can actually be the best choice.

The Kink Aware Professional List is often mentioned when kinksters complain about therapy options. I'm not sure how many people who recommend this resource have actually used the list to find a professional live in a small town, are on a limited income, and/or are picky about the credentials of their professionals.

My Master is my best friend but at times, a person has problems with their best friend and needs help to work those problems out. Unfortunately, I don't have such a person and I've run out of ideas on how to find such a person.