In the Catholic faith purgatory is the place you go to “work off your sins” until you can go to heaven. You aren’t bad enough to go to hell. You haven’t been good enough to go to heaven. Purgatory you go.
I’ve lived the past year of my life in a form of purgatory. I worked off my sins at Weekend Reunion.
If you’ve been with me for a while you know that there is a love story here that was written and unwritten more times than should be counted. I met The Man in my 20’s. I will be 41 in October and he’s still a major presence in my life.
He introduced me to the lifestyle. He introduced me to my orgasm. He was my best friend in the world, even in the moments that I hated him and there were times I hated him. I’ve loved him virtually all of my adult life. I like to say that the book is written, and I am about 97% done so that is sort of accurate.
I wonder though at times if his circumstances change and I am called if I will kneel again. It’s the only place I’ve ever felt safe. It’s the only place I’ve felt the type of love so many of us dream about. I can’t minimize or maximize his presence in my life. In many ways he defined me.
I’ve spent many years allowing myself to be defined without bothering to define myself.
When he made the decision that his health was too fragile for us to be together I resisted. A part of my soul still resists, if I am being honest.
We’d tried so many times to get things right, we finally did, and then all of a sudden illness happened. I likened myself to a heroine from a novel. I would stay by his side and care for and love him unconditionally until I could no longer. He likened himself without me. He won.
I put up a tough fight though. For over a year I remained. Some would have left sooner – some would still remain. I never got tired of the fight, I simply did what I always have done – I yielded to his will.
This spring when it happened… it always happens in fucking spring…. I buried what I was feeling so far down it was having tea with Jimmy Hoffa when we finally addressed it in therapy.
In therapy I had to make a choice. Live or die. It was not a literal die. It was an emotional die. Eventually I chose life.
It was not a simple choice though. I’ve tried to move along in the past. I did not meet much success then. I was convinced that what I experienced was once in a lifetime, and while I was still in this life I could forget meeting #2.
I was wrong. It happens so rarely I didn’t see it happening until I was in the middle of it, and the middle of it was at Weekend Reunion.
In the days before I flew off the cliff. I had sex. Yes I write about sex all of the time, but my physical fast had gone on since December of 2011. My second longest drought of all time. A lot went into the drought, and how it evolved, but I decided before I went away that I would change just one thing about me before my trip.
It was through that experience that I understood what I was missing. I missed ME. I might be happy in service, but I also need to take time to serve ME. I’ve altered my life, hopes, dreams, and future for so many others. I didn’t take the time to alter my life for me.
Through those hours on Wednesday I answered a question I’ve asked for years:
Am I who I am because of him or am I who I am because this is who I am meant to be?
While I’ve been in love since The Man and I’ve been in the life without The Man, the connection and compulsion that I felt with him was never quite duplicated. Not even close even though I tried to force it once.
There’s only been one other person who came close, but it is not in the cards for he and I to be together.
My Wednesday showed me that while no one can replace The Man….my compulsion is not 100% unique to him. I was inspired to do things I don’t do. I was compelled to listen and learn. I was in that zone that happens when I need to serve, and the cherry on top of it all was multiple orgasms.
Our connection was evident, and the manifestation of what we both felt went beyond my expectations.
And then came Weekend Reunion.
I’ve shared the story about the difficulties getting there. Now I will share the story about becoming….
Over time I’ve crafted a very complex maze to get to the real me. Only one person was able to navigate that maze. It was in part protection, in part fear, in part habit. It was big, and daunting, and one could get lost inside of it. I was lost inside of it.
And on Friday night I began to break down those walls to my maze.
Every hug helped. Every laugh helped. Every smile helped. Every brown face helped. I walked into the dungeon, the same old “Nicole”. I was timid and fearful and I wanted to run back upstairs and hide under the bed. I crossed the dungeon, and was bathed in the aura of freedom. I entered the ‘littles’ area and I was baptized in authenticity. I picked up a coloring book and opened a bag of blocks and I emerged.
Every action I did tore down another brick. When I looked up and no one was pointing and laughing at me, another 30 bricks fell. I did leave the dungeon, and went upstairs to get Cola. [ My stuffed animal ] By the time we both walked back into the party…. my maze was gone.
That night I didn’t hide any part of me, and that night I remembered who I was.
I stood on my balcony smoking a cigarette in the sunlight the next morning and I tried to put my walls back up and found my ability to create impaired. I tried hard – very hard to put it back up and fuck it all I could lay no bricks.
I was faced with the choice to go out without my defenses or hide in my room. By now you know I did leave the room, but you don’t know how hard it was. Until I opened the door and there was yet another smile. Right now I don’t even remember WHO smiled at me. I simply know that it was going to be okay. And it was.
I stood in front of the room during the rope demo in a bikini I’d not worn since before I was pregnant. I was at peace.
I got into the pool that was too fucking cold and I was not hiding.
I put on my school girl skirt and carried Cola with pride and I was even.
I came back upstairs and put on a tank top and I was not home I was more. I was me.
I was the me that only The Man has ever seen. Others were now looking and it made no difference. I was still embraced. I was still accepted.
Freedom to be who you are can not be over estimated. So many of us live a life that is not who we are.
I got to alter that, and I found out…. I like it.
When I say that I’ve changed since Weekend Reunion it is evident.
It was my very own emancipation and like a slave following the North star and seeing the signs for Canada I am still running. I am FREE.
The freedom I found has given me the ability to do things I’ve neglected. I will not neglect them any more.
For those who’ve gotten deep into my maze its disappearance is unsettling. This is not unexpected, it is a little unsettling for me as well. When you live your life in a box and you are suddenly in the open plains it can be shocking.
Shit, I am shocked that I’ve not retreated to the place that is most comfortable and familiar. The thing is the box hurts – not in a good way – so I will not be going back. Fuck that.
I told my shrink today that this is the first time in my memory that I have shifted out of survival mode and into living mode. He smiled at me and said good now we can get some real work done.
I am up to the task though. Freedom can do that for you.
What I have not done is let go of my love for The Man. That will always exist in a form even if////though who we were is our history. History can be learned from. History can be positive. History has a place.
His place in my life right now is to remember him as I loved him and not as I’ve mourned the loss of our relationship.
To do that I will do the one thing I’ve never done – share a piece of him with you. It may not remain but it feels right to share it right now. It’s my blog I can edit it later when it no longer feels right but for now I need to recall the majesty that once existed.
While The Man you see here no longer exists… it seems only fitting since the woman I was no longer exists.
It has a place.