…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.