Trust your landmark and run through the smoke.

Lady reclining over her sofa, touching her pussy while wearing a medal from her landmark moment

This week Food For Thought Friday has asked us to think about Landmark in our lifes.

What, if any, have been your particular landmarks, either in relation to your blog or your wider life?

Do you have any future goals/landmarks you want to achieve? What are they?

I have been very quiet this month for a number of reasons. The first was my study. With the end of my module came assignment pressure and extra work took over. Alongside this life has thrown me an unwanted curve ball; managing this has taken up a lot of energy but also marks a significant shift in my wellbeing. Previously an episode like this would have floored me, but this time I have held my own… battered but not beaten. This in itself is a landmark achievement for me.

But it is not the one that I want to talk about today!

As I have mentioned previously I like to run. It was the one thing I was allowed to do for me while I was married, and after a couple of years break and significant weight gain the return of Sir heralded my return to running in January last year. Since before I met him I had the goal of wanting to run a marathon, and when he departed again in the summer he left me the task of running a marathon by the end of February. Losing him again was painful, but I had a goal. He had set me a task because he believed I could do it, even though I didn’t quite have the belief in myself. All winter I trained, loving the longer distances, the freedom of the miles, the openness of the big sky over my head. I had the race date for the start of february, a gloriously hilly first marathon. Local enough that I knew the area and could practise parts of the route. My beloved Dartmoor. Races leading up to the big day went exactly as planned. The longest run felt amazing and I could have carried on all day. I was ready! Body, mind, and soul working together.

My landmark moment had arrived.

Or so I thought. The start  of February brought snow to Dartmoor, the race was postponed. I went out for a marathon distance run that day, and ended up with an injury, catching the train home from half way. I was left feeling like I had failed Sir in my task. I wouldn’t be able to achieve the marathon I had been tasked with, I wondered why I should even bother to find another marathon seeing as I had let him down. What was the point? I had this one-sided conversation with a friend, venting my frustrations at him in text form. And as I let all the pain and frustration out my memory was jarred to Sir’s response to a task the previous summer. A plan had fallen through and I had needed to scrabble around to fulfill the brief. After everything had been sorted I had explained the level of stress which had threatened to overwhelm me, I was so upset about disappointing him when something outside of my control had happened. His response had obviously struck a chord with me:

N, you have never let me down. You always try your hardest and do everything you can to achieve my expectations, you have never let me down or disappointed me.

This exchange surfaced in my mind as I spilled the bitter disappointment at Slave Lytton. And from this came the realisation that I had not let him down at all. had been ready. had done everything possible to make sure that could complete the marathon in the time frame he had set me. Yes, I was disappointed, and I would probably always feel like I could have done more, but… those where the last whispers of depression and I had to believe in myself.

So I started hunting for a replacement race.

A marathon that I would enjoy for my first time, and one that fit into my child free weekends. And one that would allow time for my knee to recover, but without being too far away for me to lose the momentum. Finding more races to keep me inspired in the meantime, I stumbled across a marathon. A new one. Fairly hilly, well located, beautiful views, and most importantly….lots of cake for finishers! The date was set for the beginning of May. I spent the next two months rebuilding my distance and regaining my confidence. It was during this time that I realised that sir had set me this task because he knew how much I wanted to achieve it, even though I didn’t quite believe that I would be able to do it. Even as I sit here typing that I can feel the tears pricking at my eyes. He knew he wouldn’t be here, but wanted me to grow without him, to finally learn to believe in myself unequivocally, in the same way that he always had.

What a gift to leave me with?

Roll on to the start of May. I don’t know how many of you have completed a marathon, I had no idea what I would actually feel like during the race or after the race, but the entire event just blew me away. I loved it, the whole damn thing! I can’t believe that I hadn’t believed in myself all along, that I hadn’t found the courage to train for and enter a marathon before then. There were a few moments when I stopped smiling, and they were in the third quarter (I’m told this is a normal time to find it hard) when I realised that I wouldn’t be able to tell sir that I had completed his task, and to thank him for believing in me. When I finally reached that finish line I jumped for joy. My amazing friend S-W-L had driven for hours to come and cheer me across the line. I jumped for joy, and couldn’t stop babbling about how proud of myself I am. The first time I have ever felt proud of myself without first having to have someone (including myself) convince me that I should be proud.

So that is my landmark moment, and the lesson that has translated from BDSM to everyday life to allow me to achieve.

But what is next? Do you think I am going to stop there?

Nah, I don’t think I could enjoy a life without challenging goals to achieve.

To paraphrase a very important man: Set a goal, plan, achieve, take stock and set a new goal. [Repeat]

Next stop is an ultra…. watch this space!

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Trust your landmark and run through the smoke was first published on A Leap of Faith.

How can I tell you to stop?

 

Road sign saying "give way in 70yds" for the post How can I tell you to stop?

Stop is not a word I ever want to say during a scene, but having the ability to communicate that need is vital for me.

I have been in a number of sticky situations where I haven’t negotiated carefully, and safewords have been an unknown. In those cases I was always left unfulfilled. I had not been pushed hard enough, far enough. These occurrences were in the days when Sir had seemingly disappeared. I was also in the early days of my separation from P and in a dark place where I didn’t respect myself enough to care about my safety.  This lack of regard was unhealthy and foolish, but I can’t change what was, just learn from my experiences. I know that when I met sir I was very lucky, that he was a safe man to take me on my journey in those early days. He talked me through scene safety, ensured I knew his expectations on how we were to communicate. A 1-10 rating system with red in emergencies worked well for me, and I was able to communicate clearly with him at all times while he got to know me. Red was my safeword. My “stop.” I did use my red once in sirs presence, but not as a result of his actions. The inexperience of another threatened to take me away from my submissive headspace and I needed him to know. For the first time ever I had used a safeword, he understood and respected it.

The scene redirected and play continued, all four of us happy.

On the other end of the safety spectrum I had one with H. He wanted me to use Have Mercy which I had to work hard to remember. I didn’t need it during our play normally, a gentle sadist who didn’t push me over the edge for a paingasm. He did abbreviate my name (A BIG FAT HARD LIMIT!!!) and I called Have Mercy twice before shouting STOP!! His friend was the one to stop, and H joked that he had forgotten my safeword. For me that put an end to our play partnership, and really our friendship. It is important to me that my safeword is respected and remembered. I would only ever use it in an absolute emergency and what may seem like a small thing to others may in fact be a massive deal for me.

The mistakes of the past are lessons for the future…

…and along with the return and departure of sir, this time with guidance on safety and pre-meet discussions, I was in a much better position to move forward with future play mates. Fast forward to late 2017. I finally met someone I had been in vague contact with for years. CST is a safe player, and an enthusiastic negotiator. I have a folder on his shelf. My likes, limits and safewords. He has the potential to negotiate the fun out of the scene, but I found humour and comfort in his need for knowledge and order. He is also a thoroughly sadistic Dominant. And while I may never have felt submissive towards him we have shared a number of sadomasochistic adventures. With him I was able to ask to be pushed to my red in an impact scene. I knew he would never put me in danger, the risk to us both if anything were to go wrong was/is abhorrent to him, but I knew that he would take me to red so that I would know where it was, and so that I would be able to recognise it. When the time came he was close to calling it as I spluttered “Red” to our spotter, through rivers of tears and a flood of endorphin fuelled orgasms. The pile of discarded impact toys could wait while he wrapped me in a blanket and our spotter fetched me a glass of water and a cup of tea.

(Disclaimer: I could never recommend Red as a destination, but it was important for me to know if I would know where my limits were physically.)

What about if I can’t talk?

Gags, tape, hoods, cock… they could stop  my red! I have learnt over time that when I enter subspace (and I slip quite readily into the buzzed space) I love to continue playing but stop being able to communicate verbally. With CST we covered non-verbal safety communication before our first meeting. A way to communicate without speech. I had 2 codes, one was a hand waving for “Stop, come and check in” and the other was 3 times flashing my fingers signalling “can I come?” I also find that the better I know someone the more they can read more subtle forms of communication, if they are observant. They know when to change things up a little, or back off. Thus increasing the time we can continue with our play time.

I know we are all different, but for me safewords are a vital piece of kit on the play-bag


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