Tuesday, 12 November 2013

We have no enemy except ourselves...

To paraphrase St. Francis, I am my own worst enemy.

Yesterday, I tackled the issue of my last, worst "bad boss" in an effort to put three gruelling years behind me. I have been dreaming of my last job; haunting, angry, anxious dreams where nothing goes right. Where I am abandoned by colleagues and friends.

Yesterday, writing that blog, I had a migraine: a blitzkrieg of flashing lights and tunnel vision. It told me I was on the right track: I was hitting a nerve. Today, as I've tried to write this, my depression has been so very deep and bleak.

There is no escaping that I was part of the equation in my "bad boss" experience. I need to lay bare my sins and failures, and take responsibility for them. I'll also lay bear some of my deepest fears and weaknesses.

I do this because it is (past) time to move on. If I don't, I am not only my own worst enemy - I am also my own jailer.

Let's start with my condition when I arrived 

at my job 3 years ago.

There is no possible way of holding my "bad boss" responsible for my condition in 2010. I had gotten out of my long-term relationship the year before. I had met someone new after I left my husband: I moved and took a job in another city for this new man. He disappeared... and soon the job did too.

Then my money started drying up.

I made mistakes in that job: the first was taking it. I felt uncomfortable through the interview process. My immediate supervisor was a peculiar woman, and I thought, "No one will please her." And I didn't, especially when I made a mistake, as we sometimes do, in the first few months of the job.

Of course, my first mistake was in not listening to my instincts. This is a common mistake for me in the job sphere. I often dive in, and don't ask enough questions, wanting others to like and appreciate me without respecting my own needs. Or finding out who they are. If they like me, surely they will respect me? Surely if they like me, that's all I want?

No. And no.

I am very likable. My friends are varied and many of long standing. I'm a good friend. I show up and help. I angst. I call and cajole. I hug and listen. I encourage and support.

I am also very good at sourcing out positive relationships with the opposite sex. When I divorced my husband, I got into BDSM. Many people have found themselves in dangerous situations when they first get into BDSM, especially if you are submissive, as I am. Allowing a stranger to tie you up, blindfold you, gag you, beat you and fuck you can open you up to great risk. But I choose (for the most part) good, respectable, respecting and responsible partners. I am friends with most of them now, 3-5 years later. I asked the questions that allowed me to get a good feeling for these men and increase my safety.

But in the job sphere? No: I relied too much on luck, and feeling that the odds had to work in my favour (for once!) That's a risky way to behave either in a job search OR in a man search. But I did it over and over again in the job search.

I think it comes back to self esteem. I have always been challenged, professionally, in this area. I've never really been mentored. I had to raise myself as the child of alcoholic parents and I pushed myself into a professional career when the others in my family are mechanics and electricians, farmers and housewives. I'm the only person in my family to graduate from university: that includes first cousins on both my maternal and paternal sides: possibly second cousins too.

However, as a result, I've also always felt out of touch with the professional world, like I didn't quite belong.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

My fault is I give them permission, by acting inferior, without them even asking for it. I lined up to feel inferior. I feel better, sometimes, when I think I have assumed my "place". Perhaps this "place" is safer for me, I think.

Yet I am sometimes stubborn, obstinate, mulish: dominant and loud-mouthed. I'm not inferior then. I can be arrogant about my intelligence. I have had people tell me that I am very intimidating.

But I don't want to do that either: I care about people. I'm empathetic. I have been judgmental in the past, but much of that is gone. I get disgusted, particularly by hypocrisy in our leaders: I demand honesty of (and with) myself. To demand something of others, when you give a "get out of jail free" card to yourself, is despicable.

And, yet, I might have done it, lately. You'll decide.

So, at my last position, with the "bad boss", I arrived bruised and broken, and broke. Frantic about money. I was living with a friend, who took me and my dog in. I slept in her daughter's bed.

I wanted to contribute at my last job: I had all the skills and I had the necessary experiences. I took it, at this small company, to learn how to do the boss's job - to move up. I took it at a lower pay than I had worked in 10 years, because I knew I was struggling with anxiety and my confidence. I gave him a discount because of my emotional state. 

When my boss would challenge me, or try to belittle my approach, I defended myself at first. I didn't just roll over. But instead of him backing off, or developing respect for me, it appeared as though he was determined to win. It would keep escalating unless one of us changed tactics. So, I just stopped debating. That was a mistake: because it made me feel like I was wrong and admitting defeat. It further affected my confidence.

I could have responded a different way. I could have been tackled the different communication styles we had head on: I had in previous jobs, and it had almost always turned out to be positive and created more understanding. But my lack of confidence led me to listen to my colleague (she of the "Mean Mommy" theory). She told me he didn't appreciate those kinds of conversations, and so I never had an honest conversation with my "bad boss".

Only I can take responsibility for that. I KNEW that honesty and being forthright was the best way to tackle issues of this nature, but I did not do it. I retreated. And as a result, I drifted further from my self, and diminished my sense of confidence.

I began to be insecure and behave defensively. What was I, if I could not even write a human resources manual? What was I, if I could not even propose a strategy? I had done such work for a large national organization but now I appeared to "know nothing" at this tiny organization.

And I bought into this idea that I knew nothing.

Then there was my work style: if I sent an email to my colleagues, asking a question, I was wrong to do so. I should walk out of my office and talk to them. Of course, the only person that bothered was him: I talked to my colleagues about how I did things. And often the email was a follow-up or a reminder for discussions they and I had had about the issues I was working on. It gave them a chance to send me content for things like proposals and newsletters. When I sent an email, the goal was to get an email response.

But nothing I did was right. Me, who had tackled issues around human resources, conflicts of interests, personality conflicts in the workplace: I was told I did not handle human relations well. Me, who had coached my subordinates back from substance-abuse and job termination to be productive members of the team, was told I did not know how to supervise people.

And I bought it. It took a while, but even as I started to realize that my supervisor was a "bad boss", I also started to FEEL like I was an immense loser. I felt broken. I contemplated suicide at least once a week for the first 18 months I worked at this organization. I had no money, I was a failure, I could do nothing right.

But I persevered. I got out of bed 18 or 19 days a month for work (there are on average 20 work days a month). Some of my colleagues were sick much more often than I was (it was that kind of place).

I should have left: some will ask my why I didn't. Given my financial situation, I couldn't quit without another job or employment insurance. I did look for other jobs: but if I got as far as an interview, I fell apart. Afraid, unsure how to sell myself. And each job I didn't get, became another reason to hate myself.

My anxiety was high, my thoughts were bleak, and my energy was shot. My confidence was less than zero.

That's when I started being unproductive, and letting things slide. Some things overwhelmed me. Some things I simply forgot, due to stress and anxiety. I'd try to track things on work sheets, like I used to in my earlier career, but because there was no accountability, there was no successes. No supervision, no encouragement. 

It was frightening to try to bring my mind to something, to solve a problem, and feel my mind skitter sideways, like a horse afraid of a car back-firing. It made me think of Alzheimer's, dementia, and a hundred other disorders. My mind had always been my servant: now I was its victim. I sought help from my GP, from a psychologist, from friends. It didn't seem to help. Sense of self, discipline, strength, fled me.

I became the bad employee all employers dread. And I had only myself to blame.

I hated myself. I hated my fears. I hated my situation.

I've talked about how my "bad boss" demanded a meeting in January one year, to discuss my performance, and then, despite telling me not to "let him off the hook", refused to meet with me the 8-10 times in January and February that I asked to meet with him.

Five years prior, I would have walked in to his office, shut the door, and sat myself down and demanded his time and attention. I would have been honest but professional. But I didn't have the confidence to do that. His discomfort (and I know he was uncomfortable) inspired self-loathing in me. I felt like I was beneath his consideration.


I should have been the person I am. I should have been courageous and just told myself to "fuck it: let him see me as I am". But I did not have the courage. For the first two years I worked there, I considered how I would kill myself if I lost my job. While I had my car, I considered driving into the lake. I thought of jumping from tall buildings.

I hated myself for getting rid of all the migraine medication I no longer needed: it might have been enough to kill me.

Now, this day, I struggle with the idea that I have no talent. That I am a dried up, waste of a human being. I'm still many, many positive things, but fearful I am. I freeze up at the sight of a blank page. I don't know how to do things that I used to be celebrated for.

I am afraid. I am afraid of failing. I am afraid of being told that what I do, what I know, what I AM, is not enough.

I live with this fear. I had it, in a gentle bud, when I met my "bad boss": but I allowed it to grow. I nurtured it and fertilized it with his words and my doubts.

It started to turn around for me when I met my current partner. He grounded me. Reminded me that I loved ideas, communication, people, and the work that I did. I did start to improve, the suicidal thoughts abated until this month, but the relationship with the "bad boss" was too far gone to change my situation at work.

Now, my fears are my biggest enemy. I have to cut those back, and prune them. Become functioning and contributing again.

I don't know how to do that anymore.

Monday, 11 November 2013

He wasn't an evil man...

But he was the worst boss I've ever had.

And that includes the one that used to hit on me on a weekly basis (him, I became good friends with).

What makes a bad boss or a horrible working situation? It might be one thing, or it might be many things. 

Here are some indications you may be a bad boss:

(Inspired by the fact that I'm still having nightmares about that job...)

1)    NEVER, EVER provide positive feedback. AT ALL. Providing feedback only allows the individual to know when they've done a good job, and encourages them to continue to do a good job. It helps them know what you, as the boss, consider a good job and helps them adopt your principles to guide their choices in the future.Now, who wants employees who do good work and know what's expected of them? Not a bad boss, that's for sure.

2)    NEVER, EVER be consistent. Because it's the employee's job to always be on their toes right? I used to joke (sadly, and with my head in my hands, tears in my eyes), that IF I were to say "black" to my boss, he would NOT respond with "white". Such a response would indicate some consistency: I could then do a George Costanza "opposite"

- No, if I said "black" to my boss, he would say "kangaroo". 

Or "barbecue".

There was absolutely NO way to anticipate how he felt about something. Even if he said something LAST WEEK, he would change it this week, and then treat you like a total fool for remembering (and following) what he had said previously.

My colleagues were already calling him "Sybil" when I arrived.

3)     NEVER acknowledge your own mistakes. Here's a great example: I had expansive experience writing annual reports; have been praised by industry leaders for developing some of the best annual reports they'd seen. I had worked with the leaders of Bell Canada and McDonald's and Deloitte & Touche on developing annual reports. So I approach my boss with my ideas for our upcoming annual report and he basically treats me like a total fool. Very disdainful. Tells me to go away and create a spec on the annual report that is - to the best of my knowledge and experience - totally wrong.

But I do it: he's the boss, right? I cringe as I write the specs in the manner he has demanded. I know it is absolutely, positively wrong, but I do it EXACTLY as he commanded.

A week later, I bring him back this messed-up spec on the annual report and he has the unmitigated gall to say to me, "What the fuck are you thinking?" (Okay, he didn't say "fuck"). He now wants me to do the annual report spec IDENTICAL TO THE FIRST ONE I GAVE HIM.

But he doesn't admit that he reconsidered. No! That would mean he's fallible! No: I'm TWICE A FOOL in his mind! 

As a note, this was the biggest thing that turned me off on that job. I went into a depression over this experience, and I never clawed my way out in terms of motivation or self-confidence. Because while I know he was the fool, I was totally vulnerable to feeling like a failure. This exchange destroyed any trust I had in myself - or him.

4)    Tell your employee, in a very general way, that they are a complete disappointment. Look them in the eye and say, "I don't even know what to say to you." Then say you want to meet with them in the new year to discuss a plan to "turn things around". Do this two days before Christmas and on the last day that the office is open, so that the employee's whole time off/away from this toxic environment is ruined. 

THEN, when the employee arrives back in the office on January 2nd, girds their loins, walks into your office to have the detailed performance review you told them you wanted, ignore them. Send them away. Do this three times the first week in January. Then do this once a week, whenever they appear in your office to ask for the discussion, for the next five weeks, until the 2nd week in February, when both coworkers and friends tell me, "Stop it! He doesn't want this conversation!"

Of course, one of the things he said to me right before Christmas was, "Don't let this fall off my radar."

THEN hold it against the employee for the rest of the year that you two never met for her performance review OR to set up work goals for the coming year. 

5)    When the employee presents you with her strategic plans, her work plans, her goals, IGNORE THEM. Either do not look at them at all, or imply that they are so horrible/so off-target, that you cannot simply bear to look at them. Imply later in the year, that you don't know what the employee has been doing or working on. 

Then two years later, pull out the work plans, and say, "This isn't bad. Why didn't we finalize this?"

Also, delay looking at content drafts, so that the deadline you insisted upon is completely thrown out of whack by YOUR lack of attention. But keep blaming the employee when the deadline is missed. 

As a bad boss, be very thankful that most employees in this situation are pacifists. Or have already been so badly beaten down, that all they do is go home and literally hide under their bed for two days, crying and contemplating suicide. 

6)    Ignore reports or belittle your employee's reports and updates. Oh, I know now that you were setting me up to be "re-structured" in the last year. But this started right from the beginning. When I provided reports about how we well we did in social media, how I expanded our reach, or how many media impressions we got, you ignored them. Or said, "Why are you wasting time on reports? Did I ask for them?"

You rarely shared my successes with your own bosses. You made it look like I didn't know what I was doing. That someone younger was needed to do social media.

No, I never went over your head, and won't even now, to tell your bosses about your behavior. I think you did a lot of these reversals because you were also learning your job: you were second-guessing yourself. I had a lot of sympathy for you. But I stopped respecting you and I stopped producing. It was too hurtful to give you work and know I would be abused for it. Plus, I didn't know what was good anymore, either to my own standards and certainly never to yours. You destroyed my trust in myself.

7)    Promote a work environment that is poisonous. First, you must really like working with aggressive people, who, when you pull the above behavior on them, just abuse you. And by "abuse" I mean: 

  • they yell back at you, 
  • they give you the silent treatment, and 
  • they talk about you behind your back to everyone else, including your own bosses.

Second, you must be the type of person who actually responds to this behavior. The employee who behaved that way to you? She actually has a name for it: she calls it "The Mean Mommy" syndrome. It means that as a male, you actually only respect women who abuse you and make you jump through hoops to get their approval. She told us this was how your wife treated you.

Forgive me if I am both too mature and too professional to behave like that. I wouldn't behave like a "Mean Mommy" in my own relationship, let alone in a work environment. 

But you ate it up, didn't you? The more abusive, or silent she got, the more you went out of your way to appease her. She loved it when you tried to win her over. She let you work for it, and you did. We all watched you. And if we didn't - if we did our jobs - she would point it out. "See, he's very nice to me today."

Yet, a professional like me, who covered for you, and worked to make you look better (at least for a while), you disrespected. The tone of voice you would use to me would have made Gandhi punch you in the face! I wouldn't sink to your level, or their's, by abusing someone (even you!), but you only respected that kind of behavior. Now you have two people who behave like that to you, and you approve of them both. But I know people are leaving the organization because of the toxic environment.

You would come into work - and maybe the wife was being a "Mean Mommy", maybe someone was ill, maybe you were upset with one of your employees - but you wouldn't even say hello some days. 

That's not mature. That's not leadership. YOU set the tone in the office, and you set a very bad tone. Your favorite employees abuse other workers (not just you). They talk behind both your back and their colleagues' backs. They undermine everyone's work performances. 

But you think their behavior is "honest".

Here's another thing about the work environment you fostered: In my 4th week working there, people started to tell me that no one in MY position had ever lasted a year. That you had fired 4 people before me: one each year for the last 4 years. Three separate individuals told me this, including one of YOUR bosses. 

Frankly, I take it as a win that I lasted three years. 

Finally, a bad boss is one who never takes responsibility for his own performance. 

Who always needs to find someone else to blame. 

Maybe this blog is my first step to addressing our outstanding issues. Where is my reference letter you promised? And we need to talk about the verbal references you gave to a perspective employer. You said I'm not a good supervisor: with your standards, who the hell are you to judge? 

I am considering suing you to get that letter of reference and/or additional money. I have good cause to do so. So, a bad boss is also one that incurs a lawsuit on behalf of his company. But I'm sure that you will tell your bosses that it's me who's being unreasonable. 

The three years I worked with you were three of the hardest of my life. It wasn't all you, by any means. I had had a divorce; moved cities for a new man & a new job - that both disappeared; came back; started using my investments to survive; was depressed, anxious and worried. 

But I was still confident in my skills and experiences when I started working for you. I wanted to contribute and build something wonderful. But from my second week, when you began to systemically undermine my instincts, my work habits, my experiences and my knowledge, it went downhill. I had no reserves to fight you, especially in the unprofessional manner you appear to respect.

You took a dog that had been starved and started beating her. And you wondered why she flinched away from you.

I'm hoping by writing this, that I can start to put this experience behind me. I want a new job, I want my confidence back, and I want to be productive and happy. 

Yep: I know my own faults (and I may detail them next, as part of this process of cleansing and moving on), but YOU should know YOUR faults too. And own them. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Hey, Troll! Watch this!

Taking down trolls who call women sluts, bitches and cunts is getting easier all the time. 

Really, people? That's the best you got?

(If you don't know what's wrong with this eCard, don't read my blog)

But I like this video: she gets warmed up after talking about sluts. 

Note: I am working on a couple of blogs about the Quebec Charter of Values and abortion: they'll be posted within the week!

Monday, 16 September 2013

What makes a "good" Dominant?

A 19-year-old just asked if he could call himself a "master" - he wants to be one.

Here's the answer I gave him... 

Personally, a 19-year-old "master" always seems odd to me. It's okay to call yourself that in play or in the relationship, but in general terms, what have you mastered to earn the title of "master"? 

(NO, not like him ^^^)

At the very least, as a submissive, I want you to have mastered yourself: your anger, your pride, your jealousy, and have a clear knowledge of what you know and don't know (so you do no harm).

Feeling stupid (or, rather, inexperienced) when you are learning something new is standard. Being afraid of feeling stupid is just pride talking: set your pride aside and you will take the first big step in being a good dominant. Pride or a hesitancy to admit you don't know something could lead to serious harm.

Second, DO NO HARM. Learn the possible downside of each thing you plan to do in a BDSM scene or in your relationship. Rope play can cause serious damage, as can flogging and caning. Virtually anything done to extremes can cause serious damage, including "just" verbal humiliation. Psychological damage is an injury that could take a partner years to recover from. 
Third, ALWAYS COMMUNICATE. If you are doing something for the first time, don't gag your partner. Let them be able to tell you if their hand has gone numb, or that they have a cramp, or that they are having trouble breathing. Ask them how they are. Many people use stop signals and a safeword to communicate how things are going in play, but I recommend clear language as well. Listen to what they say.

Fourth, COMMUNICATE AGAIN! Talk about what you'd like to try, and what your submissive would like to try, and plan a bit of a road map, especially if you are into formal scenes. I compare planning a play session to planning a dinner party. For my dinner party, I try to cook only one new dish: the other dishes are ones I've done before and are familiar with. That way, I can concentrate on the new dish. I search for the ingredients I need and any new pans or equipment to make it. I do prep and research. I know what might go wrong and I work to prevent it. I know that I may have to make the new dish a few times over the next little while to fully master it - and so I do! The same is true of a new form of play.

Fifth, debrief - which is another way of saying... COMMUNICATE! Submissives know a lot about their own bodies and minds. You want to know your partner well to play safely and to help both of you learn. But some submissives make a point of learning as much as they can, so you can trade info after the scene. I remember saying to Rodeo (see blog entry titled "Confessions" below), after a scene that went very well, that while the rope tie he did worked for me, for a sub with knee problems, they wouldn't have been able to maintain it for as long, if at all. 

Talk about what worked, and why. What didn't, and why. What toys are great, and why. How each of you did in the scene: what you felt comfortable doing as the dominant and what you didn't. Have your sub tell you if the flogger landed too close to a delicate area (they can wrap around and do damage on the other side of the body - you may have to adjust your swing in the future). You want the cane and the flogger or even your hand to land where you aim it!

Finally, don't get too tied to labels: it's great to want to be called a master, but your definition of what a master is (and does) may be identical to that of a very compatible sub who thinks she's looking for a dominant. No one is wrong: it comes down to personal preference and personal definitions. 

Remember: if you can't talk about what you want to do in BDSM, then you shouldn't be doing it at all.

Bonus points:
  • Don't think that being dominant means that you are the only one with something worthy to contribute to the discussion/experience: respect your partner. 
  • Don't think that being dominant means that you have all the answers: it's impossible for one person to know everything. 
  • Don't think that if a scene goes wrong, it is a challenge to your authority. Just learn from it. 
  • And if you hurt unintentionally, or do something wrong, apologize!

Thanks to all the great men who helped me learn what makes a good dominant. There are lots of ideas about how to be a good dominant - but I think it starts with a good man who is kind, good-humored, confident, respectful and appreciative.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

What I did on my first day off...

Here it is: the first day of the rest of my life. 

No work. Still getting paid. Have to get on the computer and do things for work (as I agreed).

But a report on the first day free from the shackles of employment. How did a midlife slacker and sex fiend spend her time?

Well, I was determined to get up semi-early, but I ruined that yesterday at 5:45pm by having the last half of my submarine sandwich for supper - with a can of regular Coke.

THAT could keep me awake until 4am. Let's recall that at the movie on Saturday, I drank 7 gallons of Coke (a regular-sized drink at the Cineplex) and was awake until 8am the following morning. 

Watching clips of The West Wing on my iPhone.

So, last night, when I went to bed at 8:45pm to talk to Kink Guy on the telephone and read, I took an over-the-counter sleep aid. Life brand something with too many chemicals to be good for you.

And I did fall asleep at around 11:45pm after watching clips of Season 3, Episode 10 of Game of Thrones.

I had a fine sleep. Some dreams. I think my mother was in them: she's often in my dreams right now. There's nothing like being jobless and having the woman who wanted you to get married and have kids at 19 haunting your dreams. But she seems mildly supportive, so I'll let her be for now. No exorcism required... yet.

Dog woke me up at 7:20am for food. I had to pee anyway. So, we do that and then both went back to bed. Me, intending to get up at 8:30am.

Dog wakes me up: very annoyed, because I think it is 7:36. Can't I fucking sleep in for an hour? is running through my mind as I ignore him, and roll over.

Again, the dog, off the bed, onto the floor. Nails on the laminate wood floor (I hate that sound!) Deep sigh as he settles onto his cushion by the bed.

Like I'm ruining his life.

Now, I begin to imagine his bladder bursting. And I'm feeling guilty, but - fuck! - he can go 15 hours, why not a measly 12 today? It must be only 7:49am.

Back to sleep. Dog sighs again. More guilt.

So, I think, fine: it has to be like 8:12. I'll get up now. Maybe I'll go back to bed until 9am. 

Who cares anyway, what I do?

I roll over, squint like the blind person I am and look at the clock: 9:11am.

Fuck! Now, I can't go back to bed when I finish the walk. Sigh. 

Being nice to the dog now. Yes, we'll go for a walk. Let me find pants... I have to pee again. And brush my hair. And my teeth. Okay, bags, for your 'gift'. Leash.

Out the door. It is still wet but not raining. Halfway through the walk (or the snail watch, as I think of it), the sun comes out. 

Excellent! I count 23 snails this a.m. Must remember to find out how they procreate. Get a medium Cuban latte and a ginger cookie.

Walk home with the dog.

Who promptly goes to sleep because that is what he would do if I was at work.

Tempted as I am to go back to sleep, I don't. I start sorting the things I've brought home from work over the last week. The books and my possessions I had accumulated there. The print samples of the work I produced for my portfolio. Things I had set aside to do and have to do this week. And my personal to do stuff. 

Sort, sort, throw out, why do I need this, what a moron I am, who cares?

Meanwhile I watch the last 7 parts of a bio on Marie-Antoinette, "The Last Queen of France". I keep wanting to correct that: there were other queens of France. In fact, there were six queens/empresses of France after Marie-Antoinette, including her daughter Marie Therese, though just for 20 minutes. But no one will listen to me, and who cares? The technicalities abound.

That ends. I'm still sorting. Dog is annoyed with me moving about. Writing lists. I put on a Tony Robinson "documentary" about the true king of England for 45 minutes while I finish. It's a foolish program, and I just learn that I could do a document about what people do with their toe nail clippings and have it received by someone. Thousands of someones.

It finishes, but now I'm hungry. Kink Guy texts, so I respond to him. I make a toasted, scrambled egg sandwich. Watch Louis CK clips while I eat. Saw an early one of him trying to do impressions on the Conan Late Late Show. See, everyone starts somewhere. Want another sandwich. Think that having another will mean higher food costs. Remember that I have Ontario strawberries I bought on Saturday still in the fridge, going bad. I decide to wash them and prep them. One makes a noise when I try to halve it: I throw it out. 

I start channeling George Carlin:

"Leftovers make you feel good twice. First, when you put it away, you feel thrifty and intelligent: 'I'm saving food!'" 

Meanwhile, I throw out rotten berries from last week that I didn't eat plus some black basil.

"Then a month later when blue hair is growing out of the ham, and you throw it away, you feel really intelligent: 'I'm saving my life!'"

I eat the strawberries with the yogourt I have. Decide that the treat from last week was the granola. Decide to splurge $7 on the granola again. If I'm careful, I can make it last 6-7 days. 

Decide that getting thin and being successful would be wonderful. 

Decide that these insights must be shared.

Off to walk dog, returning to do work, THEN to dentist. Home again to walk dog. Prep for meal with Kink Guy at his place. Must decide what to cook. I can buy food on walk with dog. Mexican is too expensive. Will check fridge for stuff and decide.

Thus ends the first half of the first day. I thought there might have been some masturbation at least.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A new fork in the road...

This one has been three years in the making.

I'm so happy and thankful it is here.

I feel like a load has been lifted from my shoulders. Yet I am nervous.

I am excited. Yet I am worried.

I was let go today. The job was not a good fit for me. I'll talk about why later. I take responsibility for myself. But they will take responsibility for their actions too.

What I want to talk about now is where I should go next.

The things I love to do:

1. Talk to people.
2. Write.
3. Sell ideas.
4. Help and mentor people to become MORE themselves.
5. Sex (well, duh)
6. Human rights. Not feminism, though I am a feminist. NOT men's rights movement.
7. Media is good
8. Design is good
9. Website, social media and digital of all forms.
10. Develop and manage relationships.
11. Problem-solve relationships.
12. Write.

I need to get that down to 10 things.

Freedom, respect, listening, support, collaboration: all are key in the next position.

I don't even know if I should go back to communications work or non-profit work, or if I should seek something radically different for a while. (The TTC was looking for operators...)

I just am tired of feeling small to be safe. I want to be big. I want to do challenging things. Learn again. Expand. Spread my wings. 

Backwards is not safe. I've been making backwards choices for too long. The familiar. If I had my car I would just go and drive.

Bad time to upgrade the dog's food to the more expensive brand.

Hope Kink Guy doesn't think I want to rely on him. As Kerberos can testify, I want to be my own hero. Even if that means I struggle in the water for a while until my ship rights itself. It's not that being treated like some woman in a movie, with dinner, drinks, gifts and hotels would be refused. But then there's real life -- my real life. And I want to be the hero of my life.

That involves standing on my own two feet, which I always have.

That involves feeling confident with myself and liking myself. I've worked hard for that and I won't have it ripped away.

That means staying sane and calm. Time to get into mindfulness and practice.

Deep sigh.

Another chapter. It can be managed and it can be good. 

I have new clothes I can return for the money.

I won't tell anyone for a few weeks. Aside from Kink Guy. (And the dog walker.)

I can get some things done that have been languishing.

Maybe I could write my novels. (Get one done.)

I can walk dogs. I'll advertise for the summer: Two hours walks to High Park and back. Includes 1 hour at the dog off leash area. $20. If I can get three clients a day, I would have $300 a week in cash.

I could be a professional submissive. 

I could be a professional dominatrix. (Costumes and equipment costs more.)

I could clean houses. (I hate cleaning.)

I can be a cashier. (Sure. At the new health juice place next door!)

I will sign up for all those courses and learn all I can. (Show the dimple, Shirley).

Should I cry? No. I don't feel like letting this job make me cry when I'm free. (It's made me cry too many times before.)

This is just stream of consciousness writing now. (Cough it up, bones and all).

Oh, hey! I just realized: this is the third year anniversary - today - of when I got the call that this job was mine.

That is some thinking on his part. My anniversary starting the job would be Monday. 

Or maybe it was the 17th? Hmmmm...

Either way: Bwahahahaha!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


Hi!" he says as I pick up the phone. "I'm not sure I'm parked legally. I'm on the street just south of the apartment."

"You should be fine," I say. "Do you remember where I am?" I give him the instructions to get past the gate again and remind him where my apartment is. He had been here, once, a couple of months before.

I hang up the phone and rush into the bedroom, moving things off the bed. I hear a noise and run to the bedroom door. He is here already, in the apartment – he must have called from right outside the door. He kicks off his shoes, looks around, sees me, and his face locks down, hard and fierce. My heart clenches.

"No!" I say, and take a step backwards. But he is on me. He grabs me, his hands around my head, fingers in my hair, and I push back at him with my hands.

"No!" I repeat in a slightly louder voice.

"Shut up, you slut," he snarls. "I know what you want." His hand drops to my throat and he squeezes it possessively. My eyes widen and I grab his hand with both of mine. He is pulling me into the bedroom, and I am struggling against him. "Quiet," he is snarling, as he wrestles me to the bed. "You are going to get it now."

He throws me on the bed on my back and I try to move away but he lands on top of me, hands grabbing mine, pulling them above my head, locking both my hands in one of his. Then he kisses me, holding my head and pushing himself down on me. I can feel how hard he is, his cock straining at his jeans. He seems larger, stronger than I remembered or even imagined. My wrist is fragile under his hand, my strength almost non-existent.

When he lifts his head, I beg him, "Please don't do this. Please don't hurt me."

"Shut up, you filthy whore," he says, his hand squeezing my breasts. I arch my back and try to throw him off of me, scissoring my legs beneath his. He is smiling as he holds me down, almost too easily. "You want this so badly," he says, his free hand going to the button of my jeans. He opens them, sticks his hands down my panties, and then laughs, low and evilly. "I knew it. You're wet," he accuses me. "You want to be fucked so badly you'll let anyone do it."

"No!" I shout, and renew my struggles to get him off me. He slaps my face, once, then twice and grabs my throat.

"I'm going to enjoy fucking you and making you my cock slut," he says, looking down into my face. I shake my head since I can't speak and he just grins. "And you're going to enjoy it too," he snarls. He releases my throat and starts to pull at my top, pulling it off over my head. When he releases my arms to do so, I try to crawl across the bed away from him but he lunges over me and pushes me face down on the bed. He releases my bra. I am crying out now, telling him "no" and "stop it" and begging "please don't". He picks up my discarded top and stuffs it into my mouth to stiffle my cries. He takes hold of my jeans and gets them off too, and starts to remove his own.

All the time, he is talking to me, telling me how he is going to take me, and use me, and how I am going to love it. He grabs me again, flips me on my back and lies down on top of me, his cock straining against me. He bites my neck, hard, and I whimper through the gag.

I want him so much.

"Where are your condoms?" he demands, and releases me so I can grab them from the bedside drawer.

I can be naive sometimes: my play with Kerberos had been very emotional the previous year (in a positive, mutually supportive way) and more sensual than pain-oriented. Perhaps I am also still new to BDSM, as I did not make the connection to what Kerberos was doing during some of our past play to other types of activities that I was reading about – and fantasizing about. And he, for whatever reason, did not mention his own fantasies, beyond swinging, even when we talked of mine.

However, during our reconciliation at the end of February 2011, he holds me down and places his hand over my mouth to muffle my cries. He has done this before and I revel in it, feeling more helpless and ravished by my enforced silence. I think he does it because I can be too noisy, squealing, moaning and crying out: I could easily imagine some men desiring a little silence to concentrate on their own fucking.

It is only a week or two later that I am lying in bed, reliving our play, my hand on my clit, when I think about these actions of his, the holding down and the hand over my mouth. How much like rape they are, I ponder (I warned you, I am naive sometimes). Then I think, "Is that intentional?" I pick up my cell phone and text him. "Do you have fantasies of rape play?" I type.

"Why do you ask?" he answers very promptly. I don't even know what country he is in.

"The hands over my mouth, holding me down," I text. "I have fantasies of rape play."

"I have the same fantasies," he admits.

"Want to rape me sometime?" I propose and add a wink.

"Let's talk," he types. We do, and exchange emails, and text again about it. I tease him with it over the coming weeks while we plan to get together at Easter. For all our talk, we are both careful to take into account limits, safe words, fears, and possibilities of freak-outs. We don't mock anything about others' experiences: rape is a criminal assault of the most damaging kind.

Yet for us two, this type of rape play builds on the intensity we have together. Specifically, it takes to a whole new level my need to give up control and to be used for another's pleasure, and ups his need to ravish a woman and bend her to his 'deviant' desires, as I teasingly refer to them.

When I tell my cyber friend, who has asked that I use the nickname of “Lethally Large” for him, of our plans for rape play, Lethally Large says, "Hmmm. I would have thought that rape play would have been a sensitive area for you after your experiences with Davidson."

I stop and think. Yes, Davidson's actions (he took off the condom during play, without telling me, and proceeded to fuck me with no protection) were a violation, but they weren't an attack. I don't see them in the same context, though some would. While rape is a violation, rape play is not, especially with someone who I trust, as I do Kerberos.

Lethally Large’s words, however, do make me consider the attack I experienced long ago, the one that added the "no choking" rule to my hard limits list. I wonder, 'would rape play now induce a flashback and cause me to freak out?' I imagine scenarios in my head and arrive at the conclusion that I don't believe any rape play that Kerberos and I do will cause concerns. The attack I had experienced as a teenager had not been sexually motivated, and I have clearly been able to overcome my fears of being grabbed by the throat – if not choked – when playing with a familiar partner. It's not that my fear of choking has disappeared, even with a trusted partner: there is still a part of me that stops, steps outside what is happening, and carefully watches what my partner does and how I am reacting to it. However, in a good play situation with the right person, that watchfulness actually heightens my experience.

When the rape play actually happens, I can barely fight Kerberos, so accustomed am I to being a submissive and doing what I am told, even though I used to love wrestling with my brothers when I was a pre-teen. I love the physical play and pitting myself against another's mind, will and body. Most importantly, I desperately want to fuck him as soon as he is on me, and in my bed. Where Rodeo demands passive obedience in bed, with Kerberos I am most often able to be as ravenous for him as he appears to be for me.

Now, for both our satisfactions, but mainly his, I force myself to struggle against him. To create resistance to something that I want desperately, namely him. I don't want to hurt him: I actually have when I tried to initiate some wrestling in bed last year. It had resulted in heads banging together, hurt brown eyes reproaching me, as he clutched his shiney, bruised dome; silly stuff. My great Dom struck me as fairly fragile at those moments and I had had to fight back giggles. I figure since this is our first time at rape play, so we will be going easy on each other.

After I present Kerberos with a condom, and he puts it on, he lunges back at me and holds me down, using his knee to separate my legs, and pulling my hair to keep my head back, my back arched. "Fucking whore," he says, and forces himself into me. I am wet and ready for him and I want to wrap my legs around him and pull him even deeper.

"Don't," I mutter while I push him back, but I'm actually just preventing myself from saying "Don't stop!" He fucks me hard, like a man taking his selfish, cruel pleasure, and I cum, which pleases him enormously: the ravisher making his victim enjoy her debasement. We are both panting when it is over, like we have run a marathon.

Weeks after our rape play, we chat about how much we enjoyed it. One of us mentions how we would like to rip or cut my clothes off and we are both instantly excited again. I volunteer to pick up a cheap outfit at Goodwill to wear, asking him his preferences. "Something tight and slutty," he tells me. Meanwhile, he ponders the knife he might use (safety precautions to be discussed, of course). I wish he liked rope work, as to have him tie me up and cut off my clothes while I struggle helplessly sounds like divine fun.

I tell Kerberos I will leave my door unlocked if he is ever in town. I'd like to leave it unlocked over a three or four day period, not knowing which day or night he would burst in. He emails me while he is in Europe about his "images of sneaking into your apartment, surprising you, violating and brutalizing you..." I play with the idea of giving him a key, so that he can let himself in some night while I sleep. All these thoughts arouse me dreadfully.

I tell Rodeo I am doing rape play and he asks me how many men. "Not a gang bang," I say. "Rape play. One guy." He shrugs as if that's the most boring thing in the world.

It's not.