Sunday, May 13, 2012

If only things could be black and white

During the assault one of the things the authorities did was to hammer on this idea of a "BDSM lifestyle".  They did the usual stuff, it's sick, the women are just afraid they don't really want to live that way, blah blah.  At one point I was asked what it meant that I said we had a BDSM lifestyle, and I actually answered by describing the ideas about commitment and dedication we share.  But here's the thing, I DON'T say we have a BDSM lifestyle.  As far as I can recall, I've never said that.  The closest I can remember ever coming to that statement was to say that the lifestyle is not the play to people that seemed to wonder why the women weren't constantly prancing around on a leash wearing only a thong while displaying their pretty cane-striped asses.  The prosecutors are who said we had a BDSM lifestyle.  I should have asked them what they thought it meant. 
In any event, for quite some time I've had a real issue with terminology.  I avoid calling the Ladies submissive, I don't describe myself as dominant, and so on. I thought this discomfort was a residual effect of the assault, since we were very obviously targeted and punished more for our lifestyle as things went on than for anything else.  At one point my attorney pointed out that the prosecutors case was rapidly falling apart and suggested that it simply be dismissed.  The prosecutor responded "Either way, your client is a pretty fucked up guy, and we'll be going forward".  Fucked up guy is an exact quote.  In a blatant irony, immediately after I was arrested the lead detective informed Ginger that he'd been watching us and that I was much more affectionate to her than most husbands to their wives that he'd known.  Further irony is that while friends reflect that feeling, a stranger has never walked up to comment on how close Ginger and I obviously are, and that happens to Mary Ann and I fairly often. People we've never met will approach us just to say how sweet we are together.  It's nice, but a little weird!   Oh, and is it any surprise that detective is divorced now?  But I digress.  I thought this was a residual from our experiences, and I still do think that's part of it.  But I've also come to think it may be more. 

I've been thinking lately that my real problem is that we hang out with BDSM people, we enjoy some aspects of BDSM "Play", and we are generally perceived to be BDSM lifestylers by others in "The scene", but we aren't really.  The Ladies dress pretty much as they will.  Time was I bought most of their clothes but only because I liked getting them gifts.  They've never been forbidden to buy their own things and of late my mother, who loves to score a bargain and has lately bonded even more closely than ever to her two "Daughters in law"  has absolutely stuffed their closets with jeans and tops and shoes and belts and just general stuff. They keep what they want and send the rest to goodwill or other friends or whatever, and I may or may not be consulted.  And I'm fine with that.  Each of the Ladies has at some point mentioned that they might like to have a rule that I must be called "Sir" like so many of our one time friends had, but to be blunt I don't care for that.  Oh a friends woman or a stray self-identifying "Submissive" calling me sir is nice.  It denotes a respect that I understand and appreciate being given.  But it seems at the same time to be a bit cold.  To maintain an emotional distance that I don't want between my Ladies and I.  They call me by my name most of the time, though after the first couple of years together I found out that "Behind my back" as it were, they will occasionally call me Superman.  They do this in the same way they lately tease me about "Mere mortals sleep EVERY night, not just every third night" since I have been pulling an all nighter about once or twice a week lately as well as shifting from third shift to first and then back every weekend.  It's good natured and affectionate and not at all the strictly respectful and serious tone used by every "Slave and master" we've known.  We are way to freewheeling and affectionate and interactive for that.  We joke with each other and occasionally they are actually sarcastic with me.  Ginger, for example, has told a couple of people who ask if I am jealous or not that we have no problem in that regard for the simple reason that I am much to arrogant to believe she would ever leave me for another man.  She says it with a laugh, and I find it funny, but our "Lifestyle" friends seemed appalled that she would call me arrogant.  We just don't fit the dom-sub definition.  Or do we......

We very very rarely fight.  In fact we fight much less than most other "Lifestyle" couples we've known.  When we do have some argument, it's almost always over something that we all understand from the first isn't going to end up as a relationship deal breaker.  We argue over which style of rocker to put on the front porch for example.  And once a decision is made, whoever "Lost" just drops it, because really who cares?  We have a routine that I pay attention to in order to be certain the ship runs smoothly.  That routine was created cooperatively as opposed to being assigned at my whim, but I do insist it be followed as closely as possible.  There's no defiance about it when it comes up.  I just ask if they need help or when a thing is expected to be done and they get on it.  Just a gentle reminder is all that's needed.  Both of them are pretty blase' about most decisions.  If I ask if they want to go out I usually get "If you want to".  I've learned not to bother to ask where they want to go.  They don't really care if we go for Mexican or Italian and when asked I usually hear "Whatever you want".  It was the same way with the last car we bought. 

Me: "Car or truck do you suppose"?

Ladies:  "Whichever, you'll drive it most of the time".

Mary Ann did express a hope for four wheel drive, that was it.  (Of course she got it!  How can you spoil a girl without giving her the stuff she asks for, especially when she never asks for anything?)  So if they are not expected to do what they are told, I do have to admit that they generally will do what they are asked, when they are asked, how they are asked, because they are asked.  In fact at get-togethers they are often the most obedient "submissives" in the room, which is a bit odd because they are almost always the ones with the fewest restrictions and the most freedoms. 

I still have no answer to the questions about our "BDSM lifestyle", other than to defer to a version of the standard of the BDSM Community.  It's generally accepted that if the people in question define a thing as dom or sub or D/s, then others are to respect that.  Conversely, I suppose if someone considers us BDSM lifestyle I'm O.K. with it.  Still, that doesn't help with what terminology I want to use to describe us.  I guess for now we'll just flounder on undefined. 

I did run acrossed a song that makes me think of us though.  It's an oldie I had forgotten that popped into my mind a few days back.  I had had an awful day, and when I came home both Ladies were very kind and attentive and for whatever reason this song came strongly to my mind.  Follow the link if you're interested. You may have to cut and paste it, I'm not sure it is properly added.

Monday, April 16, 2012

O.K. Week

It's been an O.K. week.  I passed another training station at work and have been assigned to the next one.  The day I started we got a new foreman, which happily enough turned out to be a guy I already am aquainted with and get along with well.  Ginger had foot surgery and Mary Ann has been taken off some of her drugs in order to gauge if she still needs the same intensity.  I'm not thrilled at each of them having issues at the same time, but my mother and mother-in-law have been staying back and forth, so there's always someone here with them.  I'm told that last night my mother and my girlfriend sat up half the night giggling like schoolgirls at a slumber party, which is pretty damned cool considering the alternative nature of our relationship.  The biggest down to the week has been that we lease the house we are living in, and we were notified by the landlord that the property owner has complained about "debris" in our driveway.  I would really prefer to just get along with the owner, but I was forced to point out to the landlord that the "Debris", based on the location given, consists of my legally licensed flatbed trailer, which the city assueres me is neither a zoning nor ordinance violation parked where and how it is. Also, as I have done some leasing and am familiar with the law, I pointed out that the fact that I lease the house doesn't mean the owner is my mommy now.  If they don't like the trailer, that's just too bad as a matter of law.  As it happens, I'm not planning on keeping the trailer anyway, so hopefully it will all amount to nothing.  I'm just miffed at the principle of the thing.  Why does it seem there's always someone eager to piss in my cornflakes for no good reason at all?  We've been here over a year and never gotten a complaint from a neighbor or paid the rent late.  This house is underwater on the mortgage, failed to sell when listed, and sat empty three months or better when offered for lease before we took it.  The grass is mowed weekly, the gutters cleaned out as needed, and I'm repairing the back porcha at my own expense because I can do most of it myself.  Wouldn't you think we could just be left in peace?  UGH!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wait, where did this extra minute come from?

For the first time in a long time I have everything done today I needed to get done and nothing is getting put off.  Actually, I should be getting ready for bed, but I'm not yet really tired.  Since I haven't posted in quite some time I thought I'd take the opportunity.

Work is settling down a bit more.  I was getting a new assignment every few days, now I am getting left in place for weeks at a time.  I'm still being moved around for training purposes, but I don't feel so totally lost any longer.  Mary Ann has been out of state visiting family and though back in the state now she will still be out of town for the rest of this week.

Beings as we were on our own, I took the chance to take Ginger to a classical music concert.  She likes that kind of thing and I confess I enjoyed it as well.  I did make the mistake of leaving it to her to plan though, and things didn't go particularly well at first.  She knew only in a general sense where the theater was located, she didn't know where to park once we got there, expecting to just drive around until she found somewhere, and she had missed the fact that the food and beverage sales were cash only.  Not knowing this I didn't bring any cash, so we had to go without.  I realize it's actually my responsibility to have a plan, but I've always required my partners to maintain their capabilities just in case something happens.  Like lightening falls from the sky and catches me in the forehead, or former friends of the family go on a lying spree to (So called) law enforcement and the prosecutor forges ahead at all costs because he disapproves of our lifestyle choice.  You know, like that.  Well, I love Ginger, but it's come to my attention that she is going to need some remedial training.  Like I don't have enough to do.  lol

I've managed to clean up the leaves of last fall.  For some reason I had bags and bags of what looks like Oak leaves in my yard, despite the fact that I can't even see a tree with leaves like that from anywhere on my property.  I've also worked out a mowing schedule I think I can maintain even with the hours I work.  We've tried contracting it, but we have had no luck finding a reliable service provider, so I guess it's up to me.

We haven't played much past hand spanking on occasion.  I think we all have that bit of dread resulting from the assault.  Or more specifically, the statement made by the prosecutor that despite the fact that the case was falling apart that office was going to go forward no matter what due to the lifestyle.  The lifestyle was the thing they beat on us with.  At least for myself, every time we start scene-play I can't help being aware that I might have to defend this in court to a jury.  It's a distracting reaction to have to deal with.  Still, that's what I have to deal with, so I forge ahead in the hope that time really does heal all wounds.  Or at least scars them over well enough that some semblance of confidence in my constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of choice are restored and I can lose myself in a scene again.  At this point I think we are all content to take things slowly and just be content with things as they are and as they improve slowly but steadily.

And I've decided not to read blogs for a while nor ask my friends about their relationships, because so many folks seem to be having trouble in that area and the solutions seem so screamingly obvious to me.  And yet if I offer an opinion, I know I'll be told that "There's no right way" blah blah (Maybe not, but it seems pretty clear what you are currently doing is one of the WRONG ways, now doesn't it?  Because you've been crying to me about the exact same issues for weeks, or months)  and there will be hard feelings.  I get so frustrated because I want to dope-slap someone and just say LOOK, all you have to do is THIS and everything will be golden.  One skill I've learned over the years is to just accept when I can't change something without the cost being way too high, and these situations are in that category.  If I'm not aware I'm not antagonized, so I am working on not being aware.

There is just one thing I want to get off my chest.   I really do have trouble with this idea-de-jour that poorly treated subs are the helpless victims of their previous or current dominants.  I can see how some may say they are victims, but helpless they are not.  Invariably they chose the partner that didn't work out.  They can leave, even if it's hard.  There is help available and options that can be exercised.

I get so irritated at the lifestyle people that buy into this nonsense, because they are making their own lives harder.  As a dominant, or master, or even an HOH, how do you NOT get that accepting the "Helpless victim" theory insults and damages your own rights and lifestyle?  I wish these men could see that every negative term and word spoken about "That other asshole" would just as quickly be applied to themselves if the speaker only knew.  In the minds of the helpful social workers we are all abusive or mentally ill, depending on which side of things you live.  And that social worker will attack you just as fast and furiously as the other guy.  These subs made a choice.  If they were poorly educated or ignorant at the time, that isn't the fault of BDSM. And to be blunt, it is their responsibility alone to do their due diligence before giving their body to someone else to use.  BDSM is not about victimizing or taking advantage.  It's about acknowledging, accepting, and meeting certain desires responsibly.  Consent is the cornerstone, self protection is the mantra, and the information is more readily available to those interested than at any other time in history.  To those that have been taken in by this feel good theory that badly treated subs must be "Victims", I ask you to please stop undermining the progress made over these last years towards being able to openly live the lifestyle.  And to those subs that came to be convinced that they were the helpless victims of some evil mastermind that preyed upon their innocence, know that you were not helpless.  Not then and not now.  Don't allow yourselves to be told that you don't understand what happened or that you are in denial when you know better.  And don't settle for less than you want in the relationship because someone tells you that wanting (X) type behavior is a red flag.  Investigate it for yourself, find the facts, and make your own decisions.  Just because you are submissive doesn't mean you're a doormat that believes whatever you are told.  Right?

O.K.  I've probably changed exactly 0 minds with that diatribe, but at least I feel better for having shouted it into the wind.  Be well all.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bad news and good

So I spent two grand on car repairs about a month ago, only to have the same problem return.  Turns out there's another part that needs replaced and it's going to cost me another $800.  The car is sitting at the shop waiting it's turn.  I have the cash in the bank, though it will leave us all but broke again.  Meantime I'm driving our truck a little over 100 miles a day for work, which with the cost of gas is killing me, but it's only temporary.

We also had a meeting with a judge and our disability advocate concerning Mary Ann's condition.  The judge didn't approve disability but he didn't outright deny it either as has been the case before.  He requested more medical reports, which I have already requested from the doctors, so hopefully he will get them soon.  It's progress at least.

We've not been playing due to the stress of life, the Ladies each being sick one after the other, and my work schedule among other things.  I'm about to start the 4th of the 6 blocks of training I have to successfully complete to be made permanent on the job, and I am getting better at sleeping during the day for my third shift schedule.  Spring is here at least and the weather has been nice.  Hopefully things will calm down and we can move in the direction of a joyful and content life again in place of all this chaos we've endured.  At least things right now are headed in the right direction. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

So we had another appointment with a cardiologist for Mary Ann.  We were hoping to find someone that would continue the treatment her previous doctor was giving her (The previous fellow moved away).  Instead we were told that the medicines she takes are bad for long term use and there is no other alternative, Mary Ann will have to learn to live with it.  To be blunt, learning to live with it due to lack of medication could easily mean Mary Ann ends up in a wheelchair as opposed to walking freely with the aid of a cane, and is restricted to the house due to her potential to pass out.  This was not at all what we expected or wanted to hear.

We did agree in principle to allow Mary Ann to go off the drug long enough for the new doctor to run some tests, possibly he will find an alternative treatment.  Not completely buying the "It's no longer possible to keep using the old drug" story, I asked the nurse for anything she could give me about the affects of the drug and she kindly obliged.  On page 36 of the packet I found a reference to the long term use of the drug to treat exactly Mary Ann's condition, so I am looking for a new doctor.  In the meantime, I told this guy we can't run the test until the latter part of next month so that Mary Ann can see the several family members we expect to see in the coming weeks.  If we get that far, I can see some merit in the tests being performed at least so we can get new information.  That won't be the final disposition though.  I can't accept that.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Well that was no fun

Just as I was about to head off from one job to the next this morning, Ginger called to say Mary Ann was sick, could we take her to the hospital?  I said I'll be right there.  I arrived to find Mary Ann curled up in bed crying, her head covered in a hoodie to stop the light, and literally shaking from the pain.  I said fuck this and called the ambulance. 

Here's a tip, if you are going to the emergency room and have a free or cheap ambulance service (Like the city provided ones) take it.  It's effectivel;y the express lane.  You get off the bus and are wheeled straight into a room every time.  That's just procedure.  You never sit in the waiting room for an hour, you go straight to the front of the line.  That's what we did today.

They decided it was just a migraine gone wild, pumped her full of a drug cocktail via I.V. which put her right to sleep, and sent us back home.  Mary Ann ironically had stripped her bed last night (She keeps a third shift schedule to correspond with my work schedule) and then fell asleep, waking sick and in pain.  So when we got her home her bed was not made.  She's asleep in Ginger's bed for now, and Ginger is deciding if she should go to work at all today or just blow it off.  I'm going to get some sleep and then see about getting Mary Ann to her previously scheduled doctor's appointment this afternoon. 

It's never dull, I'll give it that.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just checking in

All is well here.  The Ladies have just returned from a trip to see Child perform in a school play.  A musical in which Child was a lead performer.  It's a big deal because after the run here the cast will travel to a sister school in Europe to perform there for several days.  I'm told Child did well.

Ginger's parents were there but were wise enough not to approach her.  Ginger did manage to catch a cold though, so has been in bed with my blessing all day.  Mary Ann has been abed most of the day as well.  She is not sick but is exhausted.  Due to her medical conditions she tires easily and it takes some time for her to recover.

My current work schedule leaves very little free time, but it also allows us to move towards recovering our financial security at a much quicker clip.  I'm hoping that eventually I can get into a routine that makes things smoother, but so far that goal has eluded me.  If I ever manage it, I hope to blog more effectively and regularly.  Until then, I hope all is well with all of those who read about our lives.  Be well, all of you.