This new dynamic has forced me to look at who I am and how I can be what Tom needs. A fighting submissive? I don’t know, we are still working out the details.
Since he came into my life, mentally and emotionally, I am stronger than I have been in a long time. I find I am eager to give myself up to his desires and go where he leads and give what he wants. I am more content to follow and not lead but not quite always.
The single thing that has changed the most is that my sticking plasters holding me together are tougher these days. I don’t bleed fear so easily now. I trust Tom. This is a huge breakthrough for me.
I am still broken, I will not talk about my emotions, the depth of them, the feel of them, the shape of them. I will not open up the steel trap and release demons to be slayed by him. They are my demons, I earned them. I decide when they leave. They were 40 + years in the making. 3 months of happy will not slay them.
There is an even deeper fissure inside me filled with pain and anger and damaging memories that cannot be held together with any amount of sticking plasters, bandages or even the mighty steel trap! That well of raw emotion is what drives me to test Tom on a daily, sometimes minute by minute basis. I push him so hard so fast and without reason, I fear one day he will bow to the inevitable and leave. He says not, I believe him today. Today is a bad demon day, today has stirred some fears and anxieties in me I have not faced before.
Tonight is the first of two parties. Graham’s 50th Celebration has been divided into two parts, the first one is for those friends who he openly and happily shares his passions with, people he has disciplined, lovers, like minded friends who know about the other side of his life. A party so that we can all relax knowing we are not going to shock the hell out of some distant aged Aunt because we mention canes, or whips, or paddles etc. The other party tomorrow night has been dubbed his Vanilla 50th for family, friends and acquaintances.
So, there in lies my demons. We will be attending both nights, as will Stuart. This evening will be the first time my past will collide with my present and two of my lovers will meet. For most people this would just be an uncomfortable moment and then it would pass. For me, it’s all tangled up with Stuart’s longevity as a friend of 25 years, before he became anything more and his association with my ex-husband. His depth of knowledge of me and my past. Those are the memories that are running through my head, they are excruciatingly painful to revisit. Events, parties, gatherings were always a source of terror for me. I never knew what my ex-husband would say or do once he had a drink on him, but it would usually involve him humiliating me, or berating me, or he would flare up in a raging temper and drag me away stating I had embarrassed him and myself with my stupid chatter in front of friends, family and work colleagues, and then the row would start again once we got home, and would go on and on and on until I wanted to die.
Stuart had been a stalwart friend and supporter of me throughout that horrible time and that is where my feelings of affection for him are rooted. Without him, I’m not sure I would be sane now.
After the maelstrom of emotions yesterday, I’m not sure I am ready to stand between these two giant pillars, so ably represented by Tom and Stuart. I believe June will be present as well, I will deal with that when it happens, that holds no fear for me.
I have examined how I feel when Stuart’s name is mentioned, I feel nothing. Not even a slight pang for what might have been. We were not right for each other, he wanted to control all of me, he wanted to change me in a way that was too similar to my ex-husband’s control of me. He wanted to break the mould and remodel me into his version of an acceptable Gemma. He could have pulled it off too, if he hadn’t shown his rage to me. That was enough for me to turn away from him. It had been the beginning of the end of a very messed up time between us. It was the moment anything I felt for him became trapped behind steel.
I say I feel nothing, it’s safe to say you feel nothing when that person is not stood in front of you. I don’t know how I will feel when I see him. My biggest fear is that I will somehow betray Tom’s faith in me, in us, in who we are together. I still don’t call this ‘relationship’. I do call him mine. I do see myself as his.
If I wilfully ignore Stuart, it could be misconstrued as an act to hide how I really feel. If I speak to him, it could be misconstrued as me still feeling something for him. If I stick to Tom’s side like glue for the whole evening, it could be misconstrued as fear or that I don’t trust myself around Stuart. I have no idea how to calm my mind on this.
After much thought I have concluded my biggest fear is hurting Tom with my inability to be civil and polite with my past. I feel like I’m standing on quick sand.
Over the past three months Stuart has been mentioned a smattering of times in Tom’s presence usually by Graham or Sam. He has reacted mildly, shuttered eyes, tight lipped but no verbal reaction. He has never once said anything to me or asked me about my time with Stuart. Whatever his feelings are on the matter, he’s dealing with it privately.
Today I decided I needed to take the bull by the horns and broach the subject with him and clear the air. I need to know where his head is at. I need to get brave and trust he will be his usual supportive and understanding self.
In the end it was simple because he found me, I was sitting brooding at the kitchen table when he came in from the garden. He leaned down and kissed me briefly before heading for the coffee.
‘Can we talk about Stuart please Tom?’ I blurted the words before I could bury them again. I watched his broad back tense and then relax. He turned around and leaned his hip against the counter, ‘Are you sure you want to Gem? He’s been a no go zone since we met.’ His tone was neutral. I was encouraged by that.
‘I don’t want his past position in my life to affect us baby, I would like to clear him out and put it to rest. Can we do that?’ I had no idea what I wanted to say, I just wanted him to know we were sound.
Tom brought the coffees over to the table and sat down close to me, he sighed heavily. ‘Baby what do you want to hear? That I don’t care about your past lovers? I don’t. But, I’ve been watching you mull this over today and every other day this week when you’ve been alone and that tells me this Stuart is still a big deal for you.’ He was still neutral.
I sighed, ‘He’s not a big deal for me as a past lover, that’s gone. But we were very close friends for almost 25 years before that and I do still hold a deep affection for him in that regard. What came after was, in my opinion, a mistake and I am happy with the way things panned out. My concern is that in my head I know that’s how I feel, but I haven’t seen him since we parted company, and I don’t want you misunderstanding my reaction when I do see him. I don’t know what it’s going to be, I can’t predict the future, but I don’t want it to rock what we have. I don’t even know if I’m making any sense, I just need to know you understand that you and me is what I want, what we have is what I want and need and…’
Tom cut across my rambling half assed explanation. ‘Gem, it’s okay, I get it. I know you’re going to react to seeing him. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. Don’t get upset baby, I’m good with this.’ He leaned across and wiped a tear off my cheek with his thumb. I jumped, I hadn’t realised I was crying! I lifted my hand to my face and felt the wetness against my fingers. I looked at them in surprise.
He barked out a laugh, ‘you didn’t know you were crying? Damn baby, you really send my head places y’know.’
I wiped the tears from my face and smiled. ‘We good Tom?’ I asked cautiously.
He reached across and pulled me into his lap, wrapping his strong arms around me holding me to him. I looked up to see his face smiling down at me.
‘We are better than good Gem, you came to me. You opened up. You trusted me with us. This Stuart guy? He’s past history, you just gave me the present and future. I’m all good with that.’ His husky timber reached inside and turned me to liquid heat. He grinned, he knew the exact moment I went from wrung out to turned on, and he made full use of my change of mood.
He had caught the curve ball again and hadn’t dropped it. It was going to be okay.