A rock feels no pain…
…and an island never cries.
For those unfamiliar, that is the last line of a Simon and Garfunkel classic, “I Am A Rock.” If you don’t know it, Google it, play it. it’s a great song, albeit depressing.
It used to be my anthem. And sometimes, it still returns to me.
Sometimes, I simply get so damn sick of feeling so much. The past few weeks have been fraught with feeling: loss, insecurity, and that old “I’m not enough” tape playing yet again. I have not talked about it here. As the Green Day song “Paranoid” goes: “Do you have the time, to listen to me whine?” No, you don’t. I don’t blame you. I’m sick of hearing me whine too.
Just read this on Twitter today, of all places:
Stop telling people about your problems. 20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.
Ouch. Even I can’t bring myself to be that cynical. But there is some truth there. In the world of social media where oversharing is all too easy, one can get carried away and talk way too damn much.
Which, of course, is born of feeling too damn much.
Then, in the midst of all this emotional whirlwind (and getting sick on top of it), Steve did something that (these are his own words, not mine) was stupid and bone-headed. In the overall scheme of things, it wasn’t that big of a deal. But it was the final impetus I needed to send me into another frame of mind, one that is shut down. Where I retreat, where I push my feelings down so deep, I lose them temporarily.
It’s a relief. Kind of like I imagine the relief addicts feel when they take that pill, gulp that drink. Oblivion. No more neediness, no more hurt.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain…
When Steve arrived yesterday, I was cordial and welcoming, as always. I hugged him, sat on the couch with him, asked him all about his vacation. And we did talk about his faux pas. He fully acknowledged it, he apologized. One thing I’ve always liked about this man: he never says, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” He will come right out and say, “I’m sorry I did that. I was an ass.” We even joked about it. But I was edgy.
In my bubble, I was reserved. Somewhere deep within, my subconscious was telling me to remain stoic, to not feel. To keep myself safe and protected. I had to keep my guard up, or else I’d be vulnerable.
I build walls… a fortress deep and mighty…
Steve knew I wasn’t there. “I want you back,” he said. “I want you to come back to me.”
Silly man. I’m sitting right here. But I knew that wasn’t what he meant.
“I think we both need for you to get over my knee, right now.”
Sure. Whatever. Mechanically, I assumed the position. Without preamble, he pulled my leggings and panties down and began.
I experienced pain differently yesterday. I was aware of it, but I was somehow removed from it. My body processed and absorbed it, but in my mind, it was almost as if it was happening to someone else. I did not have my usual reactions and movements; I was relatively still, and I made little sound.
Don’t feel. Don’t feel.
He asked me questions, making me stay engaged. I answered with monosyllables.
His hand was powerful and painful. But my sole acknowledgments of the pain were my feet twisting together, and my left hand clutching the afghan on the couch. He noticed, and gently untangled my fingers. I then thrust both hands under me, hunkering down.
He spanked hard. He knew he was spanking hard. I knew why. I knew what he wanted; he wanted me to feel. But I couldn’t give him that. He’d stop now and then, to caress, to assess the heat and redness. But then he’d start again. My upper thighs were getting a great deal of attention today, along with my backside.
“My hand hasn’t even begun to get tired,” he remarked after a long while. “I could do this for another hour if I have to.”
Go ahead. Knock yourself out.
But I knew he wouldn’t do that. He’s not a brute.
When he finally stopped and pulled me up into his lap, I was limp. I was sniffling, but not outright weeping. Normally, I will curl into him and wrap my arm around his neck. Today, my arm flopped against his chest.
“I love you, you know,” he said.
This was the part where I say it back. But I didn’t want to, couldn’t bring myself to. No. Don’t feel.
If I never loved, I never would have cried…
He took me into the bedroom, where I put myself over the pillows as he gathered a few implements. I still felt like I was behind a stone wall of sorts, but despite that, the pain was beginning to break through. I am only flesh and blood, not brick.
I touch no one, and no one touches me…
This time, I reacted more, with moans. I felt them coming up from my gut. “I know,” he said. “I know.”
He still asked questions. But now, all I could do was either nod or shake my head. Even the monosyllables were too much effort.
“We’re almost done,” he assured, picking up the heart-shaped paddle. Figured that’s the one that hurts so damn much. I guess anything to do with hearts has a way of doing that.
And wouldn’t you know it, that @#$%ing heart broke through.
My reserve crumbled; I felt it go. And then, without any forethought, I whispered one sentence:
“Please stop hurting me.”
I don’t think I was talking about the paddle at that point. And I really have no idea if I was talking to Steve, or to the universe in general. Please stop hurting me. I’m so tired of hurting.
It didn’t matter. Immediately, I heard the thud of the paddle as it hit my bed. And then he gathered me in his arms once more.
“Please,” he murmured. “Do something. Hold onto me, grab my shirt, anything.”
I did. Once again, as I’ve done so many, many times, I clung to him as if he were a lifeboat in a storm. I balled up his t-shirt in my fists. I wept.
“You’re marked,” he told me. “Don’t be upset when you look and see.”
Nah, I thought. It’ll fade away. It always does.
I was half right. Within a few hours, my bottom was just faintly pink, nothing more. My upper thighs were another story.
I will feel this for the rest of the week. There it is, that damned feeling again.
Sometimes, I really do wish I were a rock, or an island. Life would be so much more manageable.
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb…
But emptier, no doubt. Most of the time, I know the trade-off isn’t worth it.
Most of the time. That small amount of other time, I wish I could shut it all off. Just like my hearing-impaired friend turns off her hearing aids when the noise around her gets to be too much.
Erica , I believe that Steve, spanked you back to health. XXX love ya
I guess six is right here.
Though I should add that I wouldn’t be surprised that writing this post also did a significant part of the healing. It is accurate reflective, Reading it is understanding what you have been through. It is also a wonderful literary experience. Thank you so much for sharing.
Hi Erica ♡ I agree with Six 🙂 Steve spanked you back to health, You and Steve are AWESOME. I care very much about your problems, I never get tired of reading about them.I feel the same way, I wish I didn’t feel so much,I am fed up with being so sick for almost 3 year’s with no answers 😦 It’s very painful losing family members, I am missing my Grandmother and my Aunt etc, life sucks without them around anymore 😦 It is cruel for people to say that,they don’t care about your problems or that they are glad you have them.If it was them they would want people to care
Hi Erica ♡ I hit something by mistake and my comment posted without me finishing, sorry about that 😦 I am sending you much Love and hugs always from naughty girl Jade/ Emily Jean ♡ ♡ ♡
Six — perhaps.
MrJ — thank you.
Jade — no worries; it happens. And no one actually told me that they don’t care about my problems; that was just something I read on Twitter. 🙂
I don’t think those numbers reflect everyone you know. I’d say there is at least 20% who would want to do whatever they could to take away the negative feelings and help in any way they could. I can only speak for myself but I hope I fall into that category.
I know I am feeling pretty detached from the blogging world right now, but I did expect it would happen since I’m posting less “interesting” posts (if I post at all) and as such views are down and comments are nonexistent. I am sure I will start posting more often, but whether or not my readers will come back is a different story.
I definitely understand the building of walls and the hesitation/resistance of letting those walls crumble. Marks fade…hurt feelings do heal as well but it takes more time. (Sending love and hugs your way!) ♥
Jay — believe me, even I’m not so cynical as to believe that random Twitter post (which was not directed to me, BTW). I think there are some kind people out there who genuinely do care when friends are hurting. And yes, I know you fall into that category!
I’m getting waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay fewer views and comments since I moved to WordPress. Yet another thing that’s got me feeling like I’ve failed somehow. (sigh)
Hi Erica – I always search your blog out, WordPress or not – I’ve appreciated your open hearted take on our thing for years – since the Excite days with Becca.
I’m not a great commenter but keep it up – you’re great!
Theo — wow, you go way back to the Becca days! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.
If we did not want to hear you, we would not come here to read this. You have many friends.
Mark — I hope so.
If you don’t vent here, then where?
This is your blog and you have set it up to be an honest reflection of you (at least that is how I read it); therefore I would say keep doing /writing as you always have.
The one thing I personally hate about social media, Facebook, in particular, is that the majority of people only post the good stuff. That can’t be right or real. I appreciate honest posts and if I or anyone doesn’t want to read them we can walk (click) away.
Sorry for your inner pain, but here is to you honest voice which helps the healing.
Enzo — thanks for the kind support. You’re right; I’ve always endeavored to keep this blog real and honest. But sometimes, in today’s online climate where people have the attention span of a gnat, I think people are sick of reading and just want to see pictures. And if they do read, they want fun and light.
Erica to-day is my birthday July 10th 2015. I am 82 years YOUNG to-day. XXX Love ya.
Paul Simon is an amazing musician. He wrote another song called Having a Good Time. Part of the lyrics:
Yesterday it was my birthday
I hung one more year on the line
I should be depressed
My life’s a mess
But I’m having a good time
When I get depressed, Graceland is a source of relief. Sometimes.
Keep on trucking, Erica …
I’ve loved that song forever. However, I don’t believe for one minute the character talking to us in it means what he is saying. He is not a rock. He does not feel no pain. On the contrary he is very much a human being overwhelmed for the moment with the many and various and very great pains that can bring. His books and his poetry cannot protect him. Okay, an island never cries, but no man is an island. I think Steve showed you that you are not an island, that you are connected to people who care for you and want only to give you what you need and want. But then you wrote you sometimes wish you really were a rock, or an island, that life would be so much more manageable then. Believe me, it wouldn’t! Such a managed life just wouldn’t be life at all. I know, with you having come through so much, you know that, probably better than I. You know it gets better and feels better. I hope that is what is happening now.
Oh, and with regard to whining. In my favorite line from Frasier, Daphne is serving drinks at a party and asks Niles, “Wine, Dr. Crane?” and he replies, “Well, wouldn’t you!”
That song. Jebus. For a while in my late 20’s that song, literally, defined me.
Your blog is in no way a failure. It is more important than a mere blog. It is an online diary. I truly believe that you need to be a diarist. It is away to download some feelings and we all need that. You may have fewer readers but you have the the real hard core fans that do really care about you and your feelings.
I Am a Rock was an anthem of my life for many years and still is but not as often now.
Would your life really be better if you were an insensitive shitheel?
Well, it would make for one hell of a lousy blog. That’s for sure!
Anon E. Mouse
I am concerned. It’s been 10 days since you wrote this post. Please let us know you are alright…at least surviving.
I am also concerned – and MISS you terribly. Life is just a little more empty without you. Isn’t it time for a new post, even if it’s a short one?
Hope your mojo returns soon Erica and you shake away any isolation blues. With my warmest hug, Jon
Sorry but I do not know how to contact you except by blog comments.
All that I am seeing on our news is LA being eaten by an enormous wild fire. Are you , Alex and your friends all OK.
May you keep safe and well
So real, so moving, so articulate, so gorgeously written. Reminds me of some of Bookbabe’s stories. Thank you for this post – and for all the others.