To the Mentor who saved me from myself,
There I was, broken. Another failed relationship, another tailspin into self-destruction. Once a confident, independent woman; reduced to a pitiful shell of who I once was. I had fallen back into the abyss of depression, the nightmares were back in full force, I was having 1-2 full blown panic attacks almost every single day, I had sent my children to live with their father temporarily, I was cutting, and sleeping with men who I knew would physically abuse me just to try and experience enough physical pain to quiet my mind for a few minutes and make the emotional pain stop. You see, that's what people like me do. We do whatever it takes to escape our feelings. We will use and abuse drugs, alcohol, sex, money, food, people, whatever makes us feel good. Even if it's only for a few fleeting moments, and even if it fills us with guilt and shame later on.
That's how he found me. A 38-yr old woman with the coping skills of a 6-year old child, in a freefall of self-destruction. We met in a facebook BDSM group that I had just joined in hopes that I could find someone who would help destroy me so I didn't have to do it all on my own anymore. The details are very hazy due to the mental state I was in at the time, but I remember reading a comment from a Dom describing the great need he had to be needed by his sub. This caught me off guard because I had always been called too needy in relationships; that I expected too much time together and wanted too much attention and affection. I must have said something to that effect in the comments because then next thing I know, the man that was to become my Mentor said something that stopped me dead in my tracks and honestly changed everything for me. He said, "It's not that you're too needy, you just have needs that have never been met. Needs that could NEVER have been met by the men you were with." He went on to explain to me that I had been with mostly very passive men and it never worked because I was a submissive at my core.
SUBMISSIVE? Submissive my ass! I bowed to NO man. Not since the abusive sadist I was with in my teen years. I could not possibly be a submissive! I have a fancy corporate title with dozens of people under me. I am a single mom. I don't let people push me around. I've pretty much called all the shots in almost every relationship I had ever been in! Submissive? I think not!
He waited patiently until I was done with my tirade and began to tell me things about myself that I had never admitted to anyone. He told me that I craved someone else to be in control. He told me I longed for a man stronger than me, that would stand firm when I tried to push him away. He told me I had a terrible fear of abandonment. He said that it isn't about the role I played in my daily life, it is about who I am in my soul. In those few sentences, he made it ok to be me and to have the feelings I was having. In a very short amount of time, he was able to read me like no one ever had and he didn't recoil in horror. He told me it was ok and that the things I was going through were normal and that I didn't have to feel like that anymore if I was willing to keep an open mind and learn about the lifestyle.
After spending the majority of the night talking to him, I felt a fire in me that I hadn't felt for years. I was excited about life again. I wanted to run and jump and laugh and cry and scream and shout. Honestly, I thought I was having an anxiety attack. When I got quiet all of the sudden, he said, "Let me guess. Your heart's racing, your stomach hurts a little, you're breathing too fast, and your kind of warm." WHAT? How does this man know me better than I know myself? When I said yes, he said, "Don't worry, that's normal." Again, that one sentence made it ok to be me. It calmed my soul enough to get my bearings again. "Now get to bed. Rest well. We'll talk tomorrow." Tomorrow. For the first time in a very long time, tomorrow held hope and promise. I honestly couldn't remember the last time I was excited about tomorrow, but there I was and I couldn't wait for our next conversation to take place.
Although I didn't know it at the time, we had just embarked on our journey together with him leading the way as my Mentor. He told me to research the lifestyle and ask him any question I had (which to this day he probably regrets because I ask A LOT of questions). He explained all of the terms being tossed about in the rooms. Dom, sub, Master, slave, Top, bottom, Daddy, bg - it was all lingo that I needed to know to understand what these people were talking about. He also explained to me that he was a Gorean Master and what that meant. Once he told me of his Gorean beliefs, that set off another flurry of questions that I had to have answered. I quickly learned that while I respect my Mentor grately and respect his belief system, I do not have to agree nor adhere to the same principles. Instead of arguing until I was blue in the face, I learned the more reserved approach of "Agree to disagree". I was making progress. Unfortunately while all of this learning was going on, I was impatient. I wanted to fly before I even checked to see if I had wings. I joined a couple of BDSM dating sites and started looking for THE Dom. I announced myself as being "brand new to the lifestyle and looking for an experienced Dom to further my training". I might as well have wore a prime rib vest and walked into the lion's den.
As soon as I started telling Sir about all of the men I was chatting with, he told me I was to copy and paste all of the chat logs into the private blog I had set up earlier so I could write down my thoughts/feelings/questions for him to read over. It seemed a little tedious, but he had proven that he knew what was best for me, so I did as I was told. As luck would have it, I met The One right away. That whirlwind courtship lasted 4-5 days and fell apart. Nope, I guess he wasn't the one. Moving on. The next day, I met THE One. Again, a whirlwind of poetic promises of a wonderful future, and oh wait, what was that? You're married and just want to boss someone around? No thanks. Moving on. Then I started talking to LW. Now HE was The ONE. Attentive, smooth talking, and had answers for all of my questions. I ignored all of the red flags in the beginning. What did I know about red flags? I didn't want to over-react and miss my chance, right? Meanwhile, I kept posting the chat logs and running things past Sir. I was in over my head and Sir knew it. He also knew that he had to give me enough rope to see if I'd hang myself. He insisted on having a discussion with LW before I decided whether or not I wanted to submit, and that's when the red flags became engulfed in flames. LW had already talked me into doing things I didn't want to do, but then he flipped out when Sir contacted him. That's when LW gave me an ultimatum. I either had to choose him and cut ties with Sir and all other lifestyle friends I was making, or choose my Mentor. He said I couldn't have it both ways, and have me 2 hours to decide. I told Sir about the ultimatum and he sat back and waited for my decision. I didn't have to think very long. I knew within minutes I would choose Sir. The red flags were too great and I was not willing to give up the safety net of Sir's mentorship. I was actually relieved as I said goodbye to LW.
After LW came many nights of chatting with many men who said they were Doms. I continued to copy my chat logs for Mentor to read, not knowing if he actually did or not. The practice held me accountable and made me feel like someone was watching over me, so I kept it up. The experience with LW taught me to ask potentials open-ended questions to see how knowledgeable and experienced they were. After a week or two, I met GK and we hit it off quickly. We had some common interests and he was able to answer my questions with relative ease. I told him that before I would even consider submitting, he would have to have a discussion with my Mentor and gain his approval. I soon learned that GK was not the Dom for me. He liked to change the rules without notice and I was always in trouble and being punished. I started to feel like a failure and less than, but I was still intent on proving that I was a good sub and could please him. One night the situation took a dangerous turn and scared me. I blogged about it as usual and before long got a phone call from Mentor, yelling at me and scolding me for putting myself in harm's way in a situation that could have been potentially fatal in my case. I shut down and cried. Later on, Mentor called me back when he was calmer and explained to me the error of my ways and WHY it was such a dangerous situation. I definitely learned my lesson.
By this time I was giving up. I felt alone and wanted more attention from Mentor than he had time to give. I would do things to purposely garner a response from him. True to his title, he wouldn't let me manipulate him and much to my irritation, he never took the bait. He simply waited until I stopped acting out before he'd speak to me. I decided the best thing for me to do would be to get an additional mentor. I thought that a submissive mentor who had more time on her hands could give me another perspective on the lifestyle. When I asked Sir what he thought of my idea, he said he would step away from me if that's the choice I made. I was shocked and freaked out. I didn't realize that my question would make him so angry that he'd abandon me. I apologized and begged him not to leave me. It wasn't until months later, when I was helping a girl that did the same thing, that I fully understood his reaction to me. I felt that she was being unappreciative and ungrateful. I was hurt and felt a little betrayed after I had spent so much time trying to point her in the right direction. When that happened, I apologized to Sir once again and told him that I finally got it. Things had come full circle in a way. It was a hard lesson to learn, but one that was necessary.
After going through that long string of men in a short amount of time, I decided to take the advice given to me and stop focusing on finding a Dom. I spent time reading about the lifestyle and making like-minded friends. I began to understand why all of my past relationships had failed. I began to finally understand myself. Under my Mentor's watch, I started to piece together what it was that I really wanted. It was around this time that close friends in the lifestyle started to mention that it sounded like I wanted Mentor to be my Sir. I denied it repeatedly because I knew that as a Gorean Master, he preferred slaves and I knew I could NEVER do that. I couldn't be the kind of slave he wanted and he couldn't be the kind of Dom I wanted. The more I thought about it, the more confused I got. Eventually, in a moment of desperation, I told him I thought I loved him and I wanted to be His. As I was pouring my heart out to this man, I was scared to death of what the outcome would be. As I was freaking out, he was calm as always and told me that what I was feeling was completely normal. He explained that of course I felt that way because he was the first person that opened my eyes to the lifestyle and to myself, essentially. I felt like he had given me life and I equated that to being in love with him. When I asked him where we were supposed to go from there, he calmed me and told me that he would continue to mentor me until he felt it was no longer worked. I was relieved and embarrassed. He took it in stride.
A few months have gone by now and our relationship keeps evolving. I have my own Sir now and my Mentor has also become my friend. I have a great deal of respect for him and love him like a brother and a protector. We have had a few bumps in the road and at one point, I feared our relationship was completely over. With some painful and honest communication, we worked things out and remain friends. I lean on him less than I used to as I learn to lean on my own Sir, however I know he's still there for me, as I am there for him. I barely recognize the person I was when I met my Mentor, and he has told me his is proud of how far I have come over these last few months.
So how do you thank the man that saved your life? A simple "Thank You" doesn't seem adequate. I am so grateful that he took the time to take me under his wing and keep me safe. The only way I can think to show my gratitude toward him is to pass on the lessons he's taught me to the girls I now try to help. If nothing else, Sir, you have completely changed my life. Because of you, I am becoming the person I believe I was always meant to be and for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.