Each day in September, I will be posting a question about submission, along with two responses- the first written five years ago and the second from today. I welcome all who wish to join in this exercise to post your own answers in the comments, adjusting the question if necessary to suit your own roles and sensibilities.
What does trust mean to you in the context of submission?
Trust is something I struggle with even in the most mundane circumstances. I know I’ve hurt people before with my lack of trust (Paul, your comment really drove that home; my heart goes out to you and your wife).
To some extent, I can get by fine without trust. I can rely on myself. It may be busy and stressful, but I know it will work out (or know who to blame if it doesn’t 😉 )
But that’s a very lonely way to live.
2012 – Private
Everything. I agree.
This answer will get messy from here. I have a lot of strong feelings. I can’t express them because I don’t understand.
I know I have trust issues. I’ve been told this many times, it is common knowledge among those who deal with me even somewhat regularly. I know my lack of trust has hurt those close to me. I hate this, but I haven’t fixed the underlying problem (or even identified it) so I have no reason to believe it won’t happen again.
I’m fine with serious, physical trust, the kind in team-building exercises where you trust someone to lead you blindfolded, to catch you as you fall back into their arms. What ass would let you fall in front of the group?
I’ve always had trouble forming close relationships with peers, and I think it’s because of my struggles with trust. I have trouble trusting with the more low key, day-to-day things. Trust that a friend will turn up to have drinks after work as planned. Trust that a colleague will have their section of the report completed on time. Trust that when they call me a friend that they mean it, trust that their words won’t change as soon as they think I am out of earshot.
And it is so much harder to trust with this, with my core.
Instead, I reached out to someone twice my age on another continent because I don’t trust anyone closer. I am exploring in anonymity because I don’t want to risk laying myself open to someone I know- even someone I love.
Perhaps that’s part of why I’m attracted to this style of relationship, the ability to trust someone with my failings, trust them to punish and forgive. Trust them to give me pain but not damage me.
I find it hard to trust someone with my faults. This is the aspect of my submission that needs the most work. I don’t know much, but I know that for damn sure. I want to be perfect. Or to at least compensate for my shortcomings somehow. I don’t want to be disappointing. Punishment would be very reassuring.
Is it that I need to trust that I am worthwhile?
Physical trust is easy. At events, I’ve let people spank me mere minutes after meeting them. Some experiences are better than others, but I’ve yet to have an encounter result in any lasting damage.
And yet I have trouble extending this trust to more meaningful spankings. Trusting a partner to hear of my faults, to punish and also to forgive- this is harder. I trust them to spank me – harshly but safely – but what about the after? How can I know that our relationship won’t be irreparably damaged by whatever it was that I’d done wrong?
It never has; no one has disowned me because I didn’t stick to the nutrition goals we’d set, because I’ve been procrastinating on cleaning my apartment, or because I spoke rudely to a friend. Yet despite this large and growing data set, I still have my doubts.
I suppose I just need more practice.