I’ve been in this strange place recently, grappling with desires that don’t usually exist in the forefront of my mind. Submission, in some form. Power. Pain.
I’ve written about them from every angle I can imagine, deconstructed them a million and one different ways, followed my nice, logical thought process through to whatever conclusions and I still find myself coming back to these things, wrestling with them, fearing them, feeling ashamed that they are so damn prominent. I’m a fucking switch! my brain keeps shouting at me, over and over. And this is true. But that’s not a shield to defend against everything else, nor is it an exclusive concept. I am a lot of things, many of them changing and shifting and existing for small windows of time.
I think I always believed I was a person who would break, at some threshold. That at some pinnacle moment of desire, I would speak, and words would come bursting out of me like a broken dam. That’s how it is with writing; surely, that would happen with language too. I always believed that, given enough pressure, I would succumb. I’m learning, over and over again, that that isn’t true.
When faced with the choice to surrender or find another option, I always find another way. Fiercely headstrong and stubborn, I would rather do it myself than ask for help. That realization, more than any other, taught me that I cannot depend on reaching a breaking point threshold. I might, as my mother would say, cut off my nose to spite my face, but I will always, always, reject the notion that there is no alternative when backed into a corner.
I have to choose it.
To find the things that I want, to reach the itch under my skin, I have to choose it. Willingly. I cannot wait to break because I won’t. Not under any reasonable circumstance. If I am fighting, I will continue to fight, stubborn in my defiance, completely resisting whatever is coming- even when what’s coming is something I want.
I am afraid of losing something valuable. The tension. The push and pull. The balance and counterbalance that comes out when I fight back.
But not everything can be fought. At least, not every fight can be fought in a way that makes winning satisfying, depending on your definition of winning.
I think, if I were having this conversation, I would be accused of being vague. Broad generalizations feel so much safer than talking in specifics, but this is cryptic without a lot of reason to be, save my own pride.
I am afraid of sinking into the strangely submissive space that has been coming out in me lately. I am afraid to acknowledge the level of pain that I am interested in exploring. I am afraid that accepting these things now will mean the loss of them will be that much harder. I am afraid to see how far down this goes, how deep, how wide.
And I crave it. And the only way to reach it is to look at it, see it within me, accept it, choose it. Not because it is forced- because that doesn’t work, that never works- but because I want to. Not always. Not all the time. (I say that caveat, over and over like a mantra, partially to remind myself that it’s true, partially to reaffirm that I do not, cannot, do not want to be this, all the time.)
I fight against this within myself. I am afraid it means something, and I don’t know what that might be, and I am afraid of it. I am afraid of sinking into the things that I want, of sinking into this part of myself that comes out so rarely, it feels foreign.
But I have to choose this. Not because there is no other way, but because I could choose to fight it and instead, choose to sink into it. I never saw that as an option before, and it is, now. I have to choose it. To ask, to speak, to act. It’s not that these things come without fear- I think I always believed, at some point, fear would be overwhelmed. But that’s not the case. Choosing, not in the absence of fear but it it’s presence, to do the things that I want, to accept the things that I want, to allow the space to sink into the desires that frighten me… it is a choice I have to make.
I was not one made for breaking. That isn’t to say it can’t be done, but why bother? It’s more trouble for less reward. There is something to be said for earning trust, sure. But once that has been established, I get here and I balk.
I have to choose this. Not because I have no other option, but because I am willing to accept the complexities of my own desires and own them. Because I have to be willing to grasp them with both hands and hold them. Because the time for equivocating is long past, and I can only yield when I do it of my own volition.
I don’t know how to respond to these things. I do not know how I will respond, and that scares me. I am afraid that I will be less than for being this, right now. I am ashamed of these things, the double-edged sword where shame is it’s own arousing sensation. I don’t want to want these things, as yet here I am, still grappling with the yearning in my blood that has found a place to surface.
I have to choose this. The fear and the shame and the unfamiliar and the uncertain. This is not a weakness in me, but a new way of understanding strength. Power. My own capacity to hold so much more than I realized. I do not know these edges but they are further-reaching than I imagined, and I cannot explore within them without first taking a step.
It doesn’t come from breaking. It comes from choosing. And when the time comes, I have to reach into the core of myself and still the torrent that keeps me moving, fighting, resisting, defying.
I have to choose, instead, a different kind of movement, one in which I am entirely still. Because it is only in the quiet that I stand a chance of finding what I want.