Coming Out of the Silence

For a day or so after our intense argument early in the week, I was mostly quiet.  I agreed with Him and generally went along with everything without complaint.  I was still a bit scared of the man that I saw that night.  I wasn't sure how to mesh that person with the sweet man who chauffeured me to a doctor's appointment, who made me coffee each morning, and who held my hand as we watched a scary movie.  If anything, I thought maybe I had made part of that experience up, or that I had read the situation incorrectly?  Because people certainly don't go from pinning down their girlfriends and telling them that they cannot ever leave to being sweet overnight, right?

I found myself thinking about what I should do at the end of the week.  I could keep my intentions to myself and just head home, I could change my locks and drop off of the face of the earth.  I love Him, but I thought thought I was supposed to be able to leave if I wanted.  I thought that was the only rule.  In our 24/7 dynamic, I thought that the choice to leave, to say "I withdraw my consent," was the only rule that we still had.  I thought it was my last line of defense.  But he wouldn't let me exercise it, so I didn't know where I stood.  

We talked about it eventually.  I told him how scared I was, how I didn't understand why what he did was okay.  He recognized that it was an intense experience, but he didn't think anything was ever going to be normal with us.  We could never just walk away from each other.  We could never just put one another down and pretend like it didn't affect us to the very core level.  He is right about that.  

I told him that I didn't know how to process what had happened, only that I knew what he had done would have been unacceptable for anyone else's boyfriend.  If one of my girlfriends came to me with this story (...all of it...), I'd probably tell her to run away.  I kept feeling like that for days, focusing on the paradigm of the controlling boyfriend, until he stopped me short.  

"I'm not your boyfriend.  I OWN you.  I know what is best for you and I will do whatever I want with you.  Do you understand that now?"

I need to stop thinking of him as my boyfriend.  That's what he is to the outside world, to the people at work and my family.  But he's not my boyfriend, not really.  I've been thinking a lot about the public/private aspects of our relationship and the cognitive dissonance that that divide causes for me.  I remember all of the times when friends who know me as a Type A in-charge woman joked about how I probably wear the pants in the relationship while I looked down and he gripped the back of my neck tighter and tighter.  We always laugh that off, but I'm a little bit sick of behaving one way in public and another way in private.  

I used to think that part of the allure of my submission and all that comes with it is that it is taboo and wrong.  I thought that I was thrilled by my little secret and even worried a bit about the lustre wearing off as the taboos became an acceptable part of my life.  But that's not the case at all.  The ruse of the "secret life" is exhausting and I hate it.  I want to be who I am with him all of the time.  I want to stop worrying about playing to my audience.  I want for him to really be my owner 24/7 and I want people to know.  

I've ventured off topic, but I feel like this is an important point.  I got past the drama of that evening and we are back to normal.  I did not leave and he will be letting himself into my apartment tonight as usual.  But we are also back to keeping our relationship silent out of fear of whatever is out there.  Out of our own desire for privacy, sure, but also out of a desire not to face the judgment of the world that tells us that what we are doing is wrong.       


luna_lux said...

sometimes i think you're inside my head, because what you write is so dead on to what i'm thinking most of the time...

i've been at this spot. the one where you want nothing more than to go back to some earlier version of it, when everything was titillating and erotic. sometimes scary, but the safety net of "well, i could just leave," was out there.

in theory, because of the way the laws work, we *could* always leave. but it's not that simple, is it. this is where the whole "consensual nonconsent" problem occurs, and people get what *this* is confused with abuse.

so yeah, i keep quiet about it, too.

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad to hear that you've spoken to him about it. your last post left me slightly concerned due to the fact it appeared that your consent had been taken out of the equation..
love is a messy business.

Kitten said...

luna: I don't know why, but I do worry about what people will think, although I think the judgments come most from those who have no way of understanding this feeling. But anyway: yes, knowing that just leaving is not an option is a scary and wonderful place to find myself.

anon: Thanks for your comment and your concern, but everything is great on this side of the blog :-)