Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It often astonishes me when suddenly as if struck by a bolt of lightning, the little bulb goes on and you have one of those “holy shit” moments. You know, the ones where it is as if the skies opened up and the sun spilled down and the murk of twilight want dissipates and you dive into clarity.

Of course, me being me, I find even those revelatory moments suspect, particularly in view of my experiences over the past six years during which my entire life turned out to be a farrago of illusion and deceit. In that relatively short time period, I watched every inner belief and conviction I thought inviolate and immutable, crumble and fall to dust, leaving me thrashing and gasping for breath in the detritus of folly and trust misplaced.

Out of the debris, I’ve tried to muster some semblance of normalcy and balance, and worked hard not to sink into reproach and despair; although my success to date is questionable. Most important, and something I work diligently at is the sometimes improbable goal of avoiding bitterness – the sourness of being bitter is by far more toxic to the holder than to its intended target.

But it is, I admit, an uphill battle – good thing I’m from good Celtic warrior (or if you’re British, terrorist) stock – because it is indeed an ongoing effort to avoid turning all harsh and astringent, particularly in hindsight about the men in my life, who pretty well entirely and, in some respects, thoroughly managed to spectacularly destroy any faith I might have had in professed love and regard, leading me at times to consider the merits of same sex relationships (but truth, the lack of a penis is definitely on the red side of the ledger and so far, is a deal-breaker – and yes, this IS sarcasm).

Certainly, I’ve had some revelatory moments which have provided a smidgeon of positive energy and in the knowledge, given me some tools to which I might otherwise not have had access.

And while I have specifically labelled the men in my life as my greatest adversaries at times, I do not place the blame all on their shoulders. For anyone who reads me will discover fairly quickly that one of the single most important guiding principles of my existence is my unshaken belief in taking responsibility for your own damn actions.

And thus I suffer the result of MY choices.

And while in hindsight I wonder if I would make a lot of those choices again, given foreknowledge of the outcome, I accept that it is MY choices that lead me to where I am now. For to even entertain the thought of someone outside myself controlling MY choices leaves me appalled. Damn it, my life may be fucked up, but no one fucked it up except me.

But with all the chaos engendered by many years now of an existence lived on quicksand, I’ve been offered a few salutary insights which have again, lead to me making some conscious decisions about my behaviour and the direction I take with respect to certain issues.

For instance, I recognized some time ago that I am attracted to broken people (http://seafoamselkie.blogspot.com/2008/08/you-just-cant.html) and in my arrogance, thought I could fix them or at least alleviate some of their agony. If sharing that agony is alleviating their own pain, then perhaps to a very limited extent, I did. But in reality, I realized that each of us must seek our own balm for our pain, that it is only through our belief in our own abilities and the desire and then decisiveness to follow that path, in which something broken can heal. All that I got from my efforts, in most cases, is pain and disillusionment.

Internalizing this of course, is different from recognizing the veracity of it, but I felt a moderate thrill of success as over the past few years, I’ve set limits with certain friends, slowly and as kindly as possible (but decisively) severed the threads of unhealthy needy relationships and tried to find a balance between retaining some degree of autonomy as selkie while retaining the essence of who I am.
But, despite the evidence (which if I had stepped back and tried to perceive the situation rationally would have been obvious), my most important relationship and primary cause of my agony remained elusive as a source of my greatest pain.

While I could clearly see that a particular friend for instance, had been sucking me dry for years, that her narcissistic, self-absorption was leaching me of energy, hope and optimism, I only very recently recognized those self-same traits in someone who I continue to love with a sadly malicious, obsessive and unwavering commitment.

I literally could list the behaviours and match them up – I just never saw it before.

And while I think the one might be engendered by a chemical imbalance, the other the result of emotional and spiritual trauma, the end result is much the same.

I hurt.


Loving Annie said...

Ah Selkie... You covered it all very well...

My empathy, for the hurt, for the understanding, for the awarensses and for the process of learning and becoming gradually more effective in self-respect and relationships.

I very highly recommend a website called ;

it applies to situations both with men and with women - and perhaps above anything else I've ever read in my life, has saved me and brought me sanity, clarity and emotional balance in MY choices, habits and decisions.
*May it bring you the same gift*

Loving Annie

selkie said...

Annie, thank you very much for your sympathy and for the website - I am definitely going to check it out - I sincerely hope I don't come across too whiney... but I've had some rather cataclysmic events happen in the past several years and am reeling somewhat ... the jury is also out on what is going to happen from ths point in.

I do want to point out that love was never the issue- mine for him and him for me (I? always get that grammatical conceit confused) - but one revelation I have had, is damn, LOVE is not ENOUGH.

Anonymous said...

For instance, I recognized some time ago that I am attracted to broken people

Oh...so am I....so am I...my first bf was so broken I stayed with him for 5 years while he emotionally tormented me...in a sick way...I liked it. I cannot believe I am saying this. And it continues with me...both in real life and online...
shhhhh!!!! so what does that make me? Crazy???

selkie said...

no sweet, empathetic, kind, caring - and credulous - like me - not bad, not even stupid (although we can be made to feel that way, especially in hindsight), just too soft when all is said and done, too much the tilters at the windmill types ...

but we CAN change. I know that I've made some real strides over the past few years- recognizing the most glaring example, however, has been recent.

M:e said...

I often wonder if there's something in the 'people pleaser' part of most submissive's make up that lead us to be drawn to 'broken people'? I'm not sure I can explain what I mean properly, but does their need to be needed give us a way of ensuring we have someone to please, albeit in a sometimes not necessarily healthy way for either party?

This posting has touched one of those 'just out of reach' thoughts inside me. I'm sure it will provide some 'musing' moments.

love and hugs xxx

Loving Annie said...

Nothing whiny about it, Selkie. You were expressing how you feel honestly.
Whining is wanting sympathy without intendeding to change - and that's not where you were coming from.
Love isn't enough... There must be common values, goals and interests and ways of seeing life and how you respond to it as well.
This is the biggest thing most people miss - and why there ends up being such pain.

Buffalo said...

Pain ... the amount of pain we feel is in direct proportion to the positive emotions (love) we have invested.

We try to help because that is what we do. At some point helping can morph into abetting.

The choice of the lesser of two evils isn't a choice. Hell, it isn't settling or compromising either.

Even a good choice, given time, can turn bad with time and circumstance.

We can only try our hardest to control our own actions. Emotions, forget it. We can hide them, but we still feel them.

Does any of my drivel make even a modicum of sense?

selkie said...

M;e- I think you're right and I've mused on that before; something many submissives must look out for- where the line between empathy, nurturing and "pleasing" spills into bad territory.

Annnie - thank you - I can't abide whiners - but you're right - I just need to vent sometimes. and you're also right on the nose when you point out that love alone is not enough to sustain a healthy relationship.

Buffalo - you make perfect sense and your first sentence stuck me right in the solar plexus - becuase that is exactly it.

and you're also right on the nose about how things, people, circumstances and the way we view things, tolerate things, put up with things can CHANGE.

Wendy said...

i just wanted to thank you for your comments on my writings. i know i don't respond. i just wanted to say thank you.

Anonymous said...

Your writing always stirs me. I read this in the middle of the night and it caused me to think about pain.

I think the most painful is the unexpected. The burn, the thumb in a door or unexpected head bump.

Broken trust is like that. but unfortunately it hits the heart and sometimes doesn't effect the head. Broken trust makes it hard to rebuild relationships, yet it also almost always is impossible to detour around.

My heart is with you. I know it hurts.