OT: The well of acid
(warning: this blog is long, and has very little to do with spanking. I’m processing stuff. If you want to skip out now, I won’t be offended.)
I don’t like to think of myself as an angry person. I can be snarky and cranky, a bit curmudgeonly, but truly, bitterly angry? Yeah, sometimes. I have triggers and buttons, like most of us, I guess. A certain type of person, certain behaviors, will set me off. And one of the worst of those triggers? When someone, for no good reason, tries to take someone I love/care for away from me.
I experienced this early on, as a 15-year-old, when my father met the woman who eventually became his third wife and who proceeded to make my life a living hell. She did not want him to divide his attention to her with anyone else: his friends, his colleagues, or even his own child. So she set out to machinate, manipulate and make trouble between my father and me, until the time came when his decision was forced — her, or me. He chose her, and he and I didn’t speak for 5 1/2 years. Fortunately, he came to his senses, divorced her sorry ass, and he and I were able to rise from the ashes of our burned relationship.
Cut to my adult life, and my time in the spanking scene. In my 16+ years, I’ve had my share of experiences with other women who had the same agenda — they wanted something and they hated me for having it. The fact that I never did anything to them to deserve their hatred and resentment was irrelevant.
Around 2004 (I’ve lost track of the exact timeline), I had a great top. I recommended him to a friend of mine, they hit it off as well, so then he was playing with both of us. It was a lot of fun; we ganged up on him and pranked him, teased him on a forum where we all posted, entertained everyone with our antics. Until the two of them decided to start dating as well as being play partners.
Suddenly, I was the enemy. She didn’t want him playing with me anymore. Nor did she want him to talk to me, IM with me, or post on my forum. I lost my top and I lost a friend, and that hurt a great deal. But that wasn’t the worst of it. They had a horribly tempestuous relationship, fighting often. And every time they did, I’d get angry emails from her, saying that I’d probably be happy when they crashed and burned, because then I could “have him back.” Somehow, all the problems in their relationship were my fault. They broke up and got back together about half a dozen times. Meanwhile, I found a new top and moved on. But when they broke up for the last time (and he contacted me and asked if we could take up where we left off — to which I said no), she flipped out. And told anyone and everyone who would listen to her that I had sabotaged her relationship, and what an evil woman I was.
I’d been in the scene for a while by then and had some friends… but she was an icon. She was a well-known spanking model who was idolized by many, and had been around a lot longer than I. Soon, I was hearing from third parties that people I thought were my friends were saying things like “Sever ties with Erica” and “Don’t be friends with Erica; she’s bad news.” I didn’t know who my real friends were or who was talking about me behind my back. It was horrible, it went on for a long time, and it nearly drove me out of the scene.
Cut to a few years ago. John was playing with a domme who was used to getting her own way about everything, and she wanted his complete devotion without a pesky girlfriend in the way. So she told him to break up with me. When he didn’t, she set about trying to break us up with some extreme and nasty measures, ones I don’t want to go into here. She damn near succeeded, too. It was a bad time, a bewildering and heartbreaking time, and I still can’t hear her name without grinding my teeth.
A year and a half ago, I’d been playing with my dear and special top ST for nearly two years when he met a new woman. They started dating, and he told her about me (she was kink-friendly). She uttered a single sentence: “I don’t think I like that.” And I was history. She didn’t know me, she’d never met me, I was no threat to her whatsoever. But I had to be banished nonetheless, and lose someone who had become important to me.
So here we are, in the present day. And when this sort of thing happened yet again, with Steve, I lost it. No, I didn’t lose him. Fortunately, he cares about me and doesn’t let anyone dictate with whom he can or cannot play. But the point is, this woman still tried to come between us, still wanted him to dump me. And I have found myself unable to let go of the rage and resentment.
Last week was especially bad. I had just found out some new information about this person, and right after that, I had to deal with car troubles and root canal. I found myself seething constantly, fuming and thinking angry thoughts. I did everything I could to blow it off — I worked out, I wrote a rather generic but pointedly angry piece for FetLife (which made K&P and got 145 “Loves”), I shared my feelings with a few trusted girlfriends. But the anger simply would not pass. My reaction was something like what I imagine people with PTSD go through. It was all-consuming.
This weekend, I talked about the situation at length with John, did a whole lot of raging and used a lot of unflattering words and phrases. (No, I didn’t use that word. No one will ever reduce me to that level.) At one point today, John chided me and said, “That’s not very nice.” And I screamed, “Yeah, I’m a bitch! I don’t care! She started it, and she wasn’t nice either! And I’m sick of it! I never did anything to her! And I never did anything to… [I went on to list all the women I’ve mentioned in this blog — stepmother, former friend, domme, etc.]! But they still fucked with me and I’m SICK of being fucked with! Why do these women always want to take people away from me??” And, to my shock, I put my face in my hands and burst into tears. John took me in his arms, and I cried and cried.
Beneath that seemingly bottomless well of anger within me is hurt. And fear of my own powerlessness, because there’s nothing I can do or could ever do about people like this. So, instead of playing the sad victim, I got angry. And I raged, got my bitch on, and went on the defensive.
I don’t want to do that anymore. Why did I title this blog “the well of acid”? Because I remembered that long ago, someone told me that harboring anger is like carrying around a vat of acid. “The acid only corrodes the vessel in which it is carried,” they said.
Yeah, it’s psycho-babble. But it has its truth. I’m not hurting the perpetrators, hauling around this rage. I’m only hurting myself.
I need to move on from this latest bit of insanity. This person has blocked me on FetLife, and lord only knows what kind of smack she’s talking about me. However, my situation is different now. I have many more years in the scene, and many more friends. It’s doubtful that anyone who matters to me will listen to her.
I will probably always have this particular trigger. I’m not saying I don’t have a right to my anger. But I need to learn to deal with it and channel it better. I want my side of the street to be completely clean.
Time to take some deep breaths, and think about dumping some of the toxic, corrosive acid. In a place where it’s safe, of course.