I want to belong.
Over the years, I have realised that this is the fundamental need that drives me. I want to belong. I want to be approved of. I want to be wanted.
I have spent a large part of my life trying to please the people around me (with occasional insights into the fact that I was nothing like them and shouldn’t bother). I craved their approval and basked in the light of their smiles at me, feeling a little flutter of joy every time I was included in an in-joke. I fell all over myself trying to find other people interesting, trying to seem like their interests were mine, trying to do things they appreciated to the detriment of mine. The same in my marriage, to the extent that I have now lost my individual identity outside of “Mr. X’s Wife”.
My interest in BDSM had previously been limited to Story Of O and a vague fantasy of tying someone up and having my way with them. Some time back, I had the opportunity to read a BDSM themed story. It was quite well written and had an involved discussion of the submissive’s thought processes and evolution, from discovering her nature to ultimately settling with her Master. This was what spurred my creating this blog, because I hoped through introspection to figure out my crazy mess of a head. But it also made me look at myself slightly differently. What if this subservient need of mine to please others was just my latent submissiveness desperately seeking some outlet?
I immediately quashed the idea because I can be a pretty assertive person in real life. When not under the influence of my depression, I have real opinions like normal people. I don’t get walked over by people (other than my husband, but that is a complicated dynamic) and I have never been afraid of going against my family’s wishes on something. I think I stand up for myself reasonably well, therefore I figured I just couldn’t be submissive.
Obviously all of you reading this are knowingly nodding and smiling, saying, “Silly girl, you’ve got it completely backwards.” I realise that now that I’ve done a lot more reading on the subject – I can be anything in my regular life, even a leader, and still need to be submissive. I can be a feminist, an assertive person, exceptionally talented, yet still feel a need to submit myself to someone I can fully trust.
Exceptional unfortunately means you are excepted from confidences – this was the story of my school and collegiate life, and a very similar tale proceeded at my two jobs. I guess that’s why I clung onto my boyfriend and made him my husband – he was a domineering, intelligent man that I felt matched me yet could guide me, but unknowingly I forced my submission onto someone who just wanted an equal partner at everything, and who also was quite possibly a closet bottom in the bedroom. I attempted to mould him to feed my need to belong, and realised just a bit too late.
When I enacted my ‘tying someone up’ fantasy with an old lover and looked back on it, I realised what was turning me crazily on was not towering over him dominating and having my way with him, but paying attention to his needs and serving every single one of them. It wasn’t me getting off on the power at all. Even though he was the one tied up, all I wanted was to pleasure him, to enact his fantasy, to drive him mad with lust and then perfectly satisfy it. I made it entirely about giving rather than taking. I know this is also considered an aspect of Domination but I realised I was still being submissive from the top.
The truth I have discovered now is this, that I want to belong to someone. I need to belong to someone. I want that someone to be confident in their knowledge of me, and I want to be fully trusting in sharing every aspect of myself with them. I want a target for my affections, for my attentions. I need someone to take care of, to satisfy the needs of. I need that person to be completely trustworthy, to know how damaged I am and still value my complete and utter love for them as their most prized possession. I need for them to see that the only thing I want from them is their protection of me, my mind, my feelings; that I can trust I will always be safe with them. I would give them everything, anything in exchange for that.
I think until I find someone who perfectly fills this role to the last crossed ‘t’ and dotted ‘i’, I should stay unattached. I made a mistake by marrying the completely wrong person for me. I don’t know if he can ever forgive me, but at least I have now forgiven my younger self because she didn’t know. She had no one to guide her, no real parental figure to respect and love, and she was rather naively clueless. I know better now, and I need to quickly clean up her mistakes and move on with life as the new and improved, real me.