About a year ago, I spent a long weekend with my two best friends. I have known these friends for over ten years and count them among the closest people in my life. That weekend we spent together marked the endpoint of a long summer spent together, traveling together, taking trips to the beach, going to parties and concerts, and generally enjoying each others company. The final weekend of that summer, we planned to attend an outdoor music festival. We were going to see my all-time favorite band, one that I had not been able to see perform live because of their overwhelming popularity and the scarcity of (affordable) tickets to their shows.
So, that beautiful Saturday afternoon, we set out for the show. We were in high spirits. I was relaxed and tanned from long days at the Cape. I was still entangled in a relationship of sorts with D., but at that moment I had resolved to draw things to a close. I had enjoyed our time together, but I was starting to feel like I either wanted to be in a real relationship or be by myself. I was ready to be by myself for a change.
I was at the height of my confidence on that day. I had everything that I wanted. I mingled among my friends and the crowd at the festival, sure of my every movement. For once, I didn't care who was looking at me or what other people thought. For once, I was without anxiety about my appearance or my mannerisms. For once, I laughed with the kind of abandon that I had admired in those pretty girls in my high school class, the ones who were effortlessly unselfconscious.
I was finally self-sufficient. After years of bad relationships and bad roommates, I was living on my own and taking care of myself. I didn't need anyone. I had my friends and I had this moment and that was all I needed. I was never more independent in my life.
I met Him the next day.
When I think about my best friends, I remember that moment, that singularity. I remember the feeling of control and independence and I connect that feeling to my time with them. They know me as that independent girl, they always have. They couldn't possibly know that, even though I felt wonderful that day, there was always something missing in my life. They couldn't know that behind the bravado was a girl who was faltering under the weight of her independence. They have never seen the vulnerable girl that I am with Him, the little girl that he takes care of.
So when I spend time with Him and with my friends, there are always problems. I forget my place and my submission starts to fade into the background. The cognitive dissonance between the independent girl that I portray to the outside world and the vulnerable girl I truly am becomes too loud for me to bear. He reminds me of his ownership, often cruelly, during these times but that only makes me more confused. I don't know who to be. I don't know who I am.
I don't want to stop seeing my friends because I fuck up every time I am around them. I am not willing to sacrifice what I think will be lifelong friendships because I am worried that I cannot submit and be the person that they have known. I have to find a solution to this problem, but that solution must put Him first and firmly establish that I am owned above all else. He expects that and I cannot disappoint him any more. My time with my friends is the last place where I have held onto my view of my independent self. It is the place that I hold onto it the strongest because that independence forms so much of the girl they know. If I can't let go of this, I will not have truly submitted to him. It is what is keeping me from moving forward. He is going to think up some strategies for dealing with this situation in the future because, as things stand, my balance between my friends and my submission is very badly off.