In the past month or two I have made some new friends within the community that are 10-15 years older than me and been active in kink nearly as long or longer than I have. They have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable. They want me to feel safe being my “true self,” without judgment or fear. They are really great people.
I find myself struggling with this. I’m not used to this. I’m not used to people just giving me the benefit of the doubt. I’m not used to people reaching out and making an effort to engage me. I’m not used to people accepting me… without wanting anything in return except my company.
Honestly, I’m used to feeling like I have to be providing something for someone to want to be anywhere near me or involved with me in some way. I know this isn’t a healthy self-image to have, but it’s the only one I have at this time, so I do the best I can with it.
Usually when I “reveal” the inner-workings of my submissive side to people it requires a long period of getting comfortable with them. It takes repeated contact and interactions that allow me to feel them out and how they might react to knowing that part of me. When I reveal it, it is almost always in a closed setting and it requires me going through a number of my past traumas (all of which I have recounted on this blog at some point) that shaped me. It is then, within the history between us and the context given that I am able to express who I am. Some people call me brave, but I feel like I’m a coward for needing to have it happen in this way.
The truth that I have accepted is that I am a disgusting pervert. The method that I use to reveal it most frequently leads to sympathy or empathy and I am seen more as a pitiable creature for being this way rather than some pariah deserving of scorn.
The reality I know in my heart is that I fear that if I was just open and told people “the what” without having the cushion of the why, when, and how, I feel like they will think that I am too disgusting to associate with. That type of rejection would be devastating.
The problem is that I’m not looking for unconditional acceptance, either. What resonates within me is that I know I should feel fucked up about what I am. I should be afraid of what other people would think if they found out. How much of this is pragmatism and how much of it is damage? I have always seen it as an, “expect the worst yet hope for the best,” type of a thing. It does me no favors to lie to myself. Or have I forced myself to believe my own lies because it allows me to stay weak? I can’t tell.
I know that feeling healthier, better, and stronger will require rewriting my inner voice. Changing that voice will help to remove my armor. I began wearing that armor for a reason, and letting it go scares the hell out of me.
What complicates it even further is that I have fetishized the feelings that scare me. A part of me craves the pain that sinks in when I see myself shift from being a person to a freak show in someone else’s perceptions. That feels natural and deserved and is actually when I feel the most at peace. If only it wasn’t so hard to be able to communicate that to someone else.