The first D/s relationship that I was involved in was not officially called such. The level of respect and control was there, but the names were not. I gave to him. He was a liar, a fake, and totally unreliable.
The second was with a man who couldn't respect himself, much less me. Another liar. He fawned over me while we were together, but when the shit hit the fan, he treated me as a worthless piece of trash. A year or two later, he wrote to me and assured me that is, indeed, what he thinks of me.
Then there was the one who wanted me to leave everything to be with him. And when I say everything, I mean my family, my friends, my home, my life... My son. When that one fell apart -- because I couldn't do it, but I wanted to be of service badly enough that I was trying to figure out how I could, and eventually drove myself beyond insane -- he told me I was dead to him. When I wrote him a while later trying to explain and apologize and wish him well, he chastised me for doing so. Reminded me that I was dead. Nothing.
The next one wasn't too bad, but totally wrong for me. Didn't understand me in the least.
Then... There was K. We've gone through much of what happened there. It was sex to him. It was life to me. It didn't mesh. And, in the cases where I tried to explain what was hurting me and how it might be fixed, he took it as an insult. I bled for him in very un-fun ways, and he changed not at all as a result. It may or may not have mattered to him that I was being damaged.
I've made poor decisions. I've chosen men that cannot or will not take care of me outside of their own ideas. Outside of their own desires.
Every time I have to defend the man I love, I am afraid. I'm afraid that I am, once again, making a poor decision. Afraid that I'm blind to something that should be right in front of my face. I'm scared to be that girl that everyone secretly pities because she can't make a right choice. The one that runs from one crappy situation to another.
Now I have two men that I find myself protective over. Defensive if the slightest thing might be misconstrued as 'wrong.'
Please don't hurt me. My self-confidence can't take being wrong again.
And that, I tried to explain, is exactly why I said no. Because I will simply tell him No to such things, without consulting anyone. Because I'm feisty, and rebellious, and there's not a damn thing that I will ever do simply because he (or anyone) has 'said so.' I have to be convinced, manipulated, or bribed into doing anything I don't inherently enjoy doing.
After telling him all of the reasons I am not his slave, I finally got around to asking his opinion.
"If I want you to be feisty, then feisty doesn't mean you aren't my slave," He said. "I don't want you to not challenge me, and I don't want to change or suppress your nature. I know what the dictionary definition of slavery is, and it doesn't matter. What matters is you and I. Yes, you are my slave."
I smiled, of course. I worship him. I would do anything for him. Including try to suppress my nature -- and I did do that for as long as I could stand, once upon a time. (Not that it worked. At all. But I tried.) Of course I am his slave. He is my god. My One.
Remembering his dislike for the impersonal title, I was left with a question. "Does this mean you are my Master?"
"Yes," he answered. And then we made love.
He gave me words to say. Vows to repeat. And as I said them against his shoulder, I remembered words I had once written. Lines and vows that I had put to paper, intending for them to be a part of our Someday. Intending to say them as part of a collaring ceremony. The familiarity of what he asked me to speak was not at all suprising.
And, in the end, all I could speak was Him. Daddy. D. My god. My master. My everything.