I’ve been very public about my struggles with Aspergers and how our dynamic is affected by that simple, yet profound fact. I was invited by Raven Kaldera to contribute to a second book of his that was just released – “Mastering Mind – Dominants with Mental Illness and Neurological Dysfunction.” (Alfred Press) I contributed an article in it, which talks about my history, my struggles and my tools for adapting and coping with Aspergers.
I didn’t expect the foreword to the book to affect me so much. I’d like to share a little part of it:
When I asked around the general BDSM demographic, my most frequent response was something along the lines of “People with mental illnesses shouldn’t be in charge of another person! They can’t even control themselves, and it wouldn’t be safe.”
It’s hard enough to get dominant types to talk to you about their flaws and challenges—actually, getting dominant types to talk about anything is often like pulling teeth—and we were unable to find ones who were willing to talk much about challenges such as personality disorders. Many dominant types worried that even writing about these issues publicly in a book might give the impression that masters were sick people—a worry that they did not, interestingly enough, project onto Broken Toys, the companion volume for s-types. “Masters are seen as sinister enough,” was the gist of their complaint. “We don’t need to add to the problem by admitting that some of us actually have diagnoses.”
I had to step back and think about the “bubble” that I often project around myself – the bubble that what I do work, how angie and I operate works very well and that because we work, because she is well taken care of, because we get through the crunchy parts and the squishy moments, that I might be seen as “sinister” or “shouldn’t be in charge of another person.”
Now, truth be told – and I’ve written about this both here and in the book, when I was first diagnosed, I asked myself that same question. I quickly realized that just because I had this diagnosis, it didn’t change who I was, or who I had been for the previous 7 years of our relationship. It meant I had a word and a world of information to help me better, and I had understanding and – most importantly – the tool to forgive myself for what I had seen previously as some integral character flaw that I could not learn. Self doubt is as much a killer to M/s as anything else, especially self doubt reinforce by a lifetime of being “different.”
Fortunately, while this book may be small, it is full of stories of people who, like myself, “are able to balance the trial of a glitchy brain/mind with protecting and caring for a submissive or slave, and while none of them would say that it is easy, their s-types seem to be quite happy—with both the treatment they give to the s-types and the strength they model in handling both challenges at the same time.” (again, from the foreword.)
And that is the message that I’d like to put out there to those people who are outside my bubble, both those who would make generalizations about mental illness and sexuality/relationships, and those Dominants/Masters who think that we shouldn’t admit our diagnoses. That it is fear and ignorance that leads to the outlier cases speaking for the majority of us. I’m not ashamed of who I am, the life I live or the things that go into that – including that I struggle with social/emotional issues related to the way my brain is wired. I hope that the examples I share, both in this book, in my blog, in our lives that you can see, show you a far different world.
Come to my bubble. Not only do I have really awesome cookies, beer, bourbon, cigars and naked slaves, but I also live in a world where we are imperfect miracles of perfection. No, it’s never easy, but then — what in life IS easy when the stakes are so high?
The book – “Mastering Mind – Dominants with Mental Illness and Neurological Dysfunction.” is from Alfred Press and is available for $12 printed, $5 PDF/EPUB.