My therapist and I stare at each other, both unwilling to break the silence. She is patiently waiting for me to stop being stubborn and tell her what is bothering me. And I am patiently waiting for her to realize I can’t articulate what was bothering me.
It’s been over a week since I confessed my sins. In that short amount of time, I’ve stopped sleeping well and have had a range of migraines. And those blasted lists are always running through my head. I feel jittery…ready to jump out of my skin at a moment’s notice.
We continue to stare at each other, at an impasse.
My phone’s loud alarm slices the silence, causing her to jump in surprise. I automatically reach over and shut it off, before turning my attention back to her.
“What was that for?”
“I have a bunch of alarms,” I shrug. “This one is to remind me to eat.” I watch her eyes slide to the clock that faces her.
“But it’s 3 o’clock.”
I put the phone back into my purse and wait. When she doesn’t continue, I sigh. “I have trouble remembering things. Like…eating. And taking my medicine. And what day of the week it is.” I bark a bitter laugh. “I’ve always been like that. It’s the reason my lists are so useful.”
“So you have these alarms?”
“To make sure you eat?”
“Yes. Do you know how disconcerting it is to realize you haven’t eaten anything in 8 hours? And to realize it, you have to literally stop and think hard back to your last meal?”
“And the alarms help with other things?”
She taps her notebook with her pen. “How do your doms fit in with this?”
I gaze at a spot above her shoulder. I hate these questions. Every time. “They help remind me. I had one who would make me send photographs of my food to him as proof. He learned he couldn’t simply take my word for it.”
We both laugh.
“I’m sorry, I have to ask…” She leans forward. “Doesn’t your husband notice that you don’t eat? That you don’t take your medicine?”
I laugh again, this time not caring how bitter it sounds. “No, no. He pours all of his energy into work and our daughter…and our pets…by the time he gets to me there’s nothing left.”
“Sounds like you’re not a top priority. How does that make you feel?”
I shrug, unwilling to entertain the ache that threatens in my chest. “Whatever. I’m used to it. His health is always my top priority, though.”
She huffs. “Yeah, but being used to it doesn’t make it right. How does it make you feel, Ariel?”
I stare at her. “It sucks.” Tears threaten but I’m stronger. I push them back. “But like I said, I’m used to it. That’s why I have these alarms in place. And other systems…like I place my medicine next to my toothbrush in the bathroom with a bottle of water. So that I can remember to take it.”
“Yeah, but you’ve gone days before without taking it.”
“Well…yeah.” I chuckle. “But damn it, I do try hard to remember.”
“So…these doms…they care about you enough to make sure you’re doing these things.” It’s not a question.
I shrug again. “We enter into an agreement.” I think about my ex-Sir and take a shaky breath. “Some people, believe it or not, get off on taking care of someone else. It’s a real thing…a whole community is out there.”
She nods, scribbling notes. “I’m assuming them holding you accountable for these things make you feel cared for? Right?”
“I guess. Certainly helps to remember to eat!”
We laugh again before she continues, “What about your friends?”
I know what she wants. She’s constantly trying to find ways for me to reciprocate what a Sir does for me…without having an actual Sir. I feel sorry for her.
“My friends tend to look to me as a leader. It’s how it’s always been. And they come to me with their problems, not the other way around.” I don’t mention that the few times I’ve dared to bring up my problems, my friends have let me down. “People are inherently selfish. It’s not a bad thing. It just is. So I don’t take it personally.”
“Everyone deserves to be cared for. Cared about.”
I remain silent.
“Do you think you deserve to be cared for?”
“Outside of my short stint with bdsm, it’s never really happened. So I wouldn’t know.”
You can see my answer crushes her a bit. She’s always rooting for me. Professionally she won’t say it, but she has a horrible poker face. My pity deepens a bit, but I can’t lie to her. I honestly wouldn’t know what it would feel like to have someone 24/7 always watching out for me. I was always in charge of both myself and others growing up. Besides, my husband loves me, no doubt. He’s just not the type to ask how my day was (and care), or if I’d eaten or when my next doctor appointment was. He assumes I’ll take care of these. After all…I’m a grown woman, right?
Having a Daddy Dom was a breath of fresh air for me. It felt nice to have someone remember me at the end of the night. To inquiry about my health, mental and physical. And I didn’t feel guilty about struggling with those things even if I was grown because in the DD/lg world it was expected that I ask for help.
Anyway, we end with her frustration at my situation written all over her face. I make a corny joke to make her feel better. Then I laugh to myself. You know things are bad when you enter into a therapy session and have to make the therapist feel better after!
I go home and say hello to Husband before picking up my daughter. He offers a tired smile. I sit on the couch next to him and wait, but the how was your day? never comes. So I ask him about his instead and move on.