‘First Intrusions of a Clandestine World.’
When Cynthia opened the door I stood before her like a frightened feral animal. Ravaged by life, feeling lost and desperate. We hugged as we usually do. Our bond is a deep one, formed from the common trials of raising a daughter with profound neurological deficits and the stressful antics of severe autism. I recalled some months ago, she had mentioned a therapy sheʼd undergone called EMDR and since Cynthia was a social worker, I valued her advice as to where to turn for help.
Iʼd picked up breakfast on the way for us but couldn't bring it to my lips. I knew that denying myself sustenance leading to anorexia all those years ago had provided immeasurable control over the grief of losing my innocence so violently. Iʼd falsely interpreted this self denial as courage, and couldn't help but feel comfort in the refuge of those familiar feelings now. Physical hunger gnawing at me was a masochistic consolation... A reward for self control, evidence of a boundary that would keep me safe from the outside world. It didn't make sense, but I felt it so.
She had never seen me so undone, so raw. “You want to tell me whatʼs going on?” It was more of a demand than a request. “I’m losing my fucking mind…” I replied. “We’re both already there, what’s really going on?” She half smiled.
“I got sick……pneumonia…and I don’t know why, or how, but it opened a can of worms emotionally….the vulnerability, the not being able to breath…”I hated to sound cliche, but I just was too exhausted to explain anything. She nodded expectantly, then slumped back in her chair, waiting for me to continue as we sat at her kitchen table overlooking the salt marshes sprinkled in a dusting of snow.
“This is stuff from way way back, something I had completely ʻforgottenʼ about..” “You mean ʻconvenientlyʼ denied.” she volunteered.“Yes”...." I... I suppose.." I replied tenuously, an unexpected embarrassing quiver had taken over my vocal chords. “And....”I couldn't say it. I just couldn't say the words. My throat constricted, my eyes teared, my hands trembled and my heart leapt into full speed like a runner from the starting block. I avoided answering the question.
Instead I asked her, “Why did you have the EMDR therapy?” instinctively knowing the answer. She confirmed my intuition. I was astonished at the parallels of our life journeyʼs and said so. I admitted my ‘experience’, was similar to hers but thatʼs all I could say.
We hugged tightly, a comforting aura of compassion surrounding both of us. Cynthia explained the process and confirmed the outcome had been a positive one for her. She could now speak of her trauma without experiencing visceral
effects overtaking her. She was successfully, emotionally, detached, from it. AH HA!! THAT’S exactly what I wanted….detachment! Immediately I recognized that this EMDR therapy was precisely what I had to do, but Cynthia had benefited from it with a practitioner in California.
On Monday I began making calls, careful to guard my words so as not to mention ‘It’. The desire for cocaine and the empowerment I experienced from extreme vibrations of cruelly dominant sexual energy had become overwhelming...a craving out of control. I seriously couldn't wait the two weeks before my first ʻshrinkʼ appointment, it felt too long to be treading water…too long to be left adrift with the resurfaced memories of my horrific demoralizing past.
It felt like I was burning from the inside out, stomping at the ground like a thoroughbred horse awaiting the release of the racing gate. The adrenaline intensified with so much force that I dropped more weight. I was down at least 3 dress sizes now, something my vanity was grateful for, but not my health. I was running on empty, still unable to eat or sleep, I took on the appearance of a fragile, insipid, sheath of my former self. I looked hagged….exhausted… and... old... and I felt like an empty shell.
Most disturbing about the whole ʻre-wakeningʼ was the night time,.. when those abhorrent snippets of my former experiences meandered their way like a slow flowing, caustic, lava into my dreams. During the day, the past came charging at me as random acts from a play. There was no order, no sequence, just seemingly isolated scenes, each one drawing intense emotions from their hidden shadows out into the light of my frightened consciousness. Sometimes there were just images of places that would flash uninvited before my eyes regardless of what I was doing or where I was, like flicking through a magazine of set designs.
Eventually a reoccurring theme emerged. A most powerful hidden memory that infused me with a sense of satisfaction, an unfamiliar notion of empowerment. The outcome never changing, identical in sequence of imagery and more intense in detail with each intrusion into the present.
It was always the same room that appeared;
* * *
a dim corridor that meandered to a forbidding double lacquered door adorned with a brightly painted Chinese symbol of power entwined by an elaborate gleaming dragon. It’s large eyes were painted to follow you where ever you stood. It’s long orange tongue menacingly ribboned across both doors. Highly polished, black wooden floor boards beneath a woman’s feet exaggerated the clacking of her stilettos as she walks towards the doors. Manicured hands and thin arms clad in shiny latex push them open, long crimson nails contrast against the gold leaf of the dragon’s talons. Beyond lies an experience she will slip effortlessly into, finding assurance and a sense of safety from the tumultuous alternative of her reality….and an experiential drama would begin….
ʻThwackkkkkʼ.... ʻthwackkkʼ... “AGAIN” his voice quivered with anticipation and delight. The intent was typical of sessions; to induce a surrender, a submission so profound in the ‘client’ that they would be forced to suspend their ego, at least whilst ‘SHE’ was ʻin chargeʼ. Letting go of their self-imposed boundaries and dissolving their obsessions with control was every intention. Relinquishing that self control to her, was a sense of power that she had become addicted to. This young woman, accused of being beautiful in a dark and unconventional way, derived intense pleasure both sexually and intellectually from the paradox of initiating suffering and ecstasy simultaneously.
She used every resource she had to penetrate the psyche of these men and hook them with the lure of experientially expanding the identities that were taboo in their ʻordinaryʼ lives. Such promise of the ensuing emotional freedom she was well aware, could be overpoweringly alluring.
Masking her features with leather, feather and silk, her eyes would never meet his without an intention that she controlled, yet her voice and it’s commands, her artful use of props, and her manipulation of the environment, would take her ʻclientsʼ on a journey of emersion. They would loose themselves entirely in the moment and be able to discard their former sense of self to merge with pure sensual energy.. completely void of any conscious private ramblings.
The ensuing vibrations of fervent ardor that would reverberate between Mistress and client near the end of a ʻsceneʼ, could be so intense that one man had folded himself up as he unashamedly released a sob of relief from pent up rapture ʻlet goʼ. Or perhaps it had been the release of guilt. All without physical intercourse. Guilt was a common theme amongst clients. Feeling bad about themselves for who they had become, how they had played the game that rewarded them with exorbitant wealth, and who they’d hurt to get to the top. Guilt was one thing, but true remorse or the willingness to seek atonement evaded them. Mistress knew that just because so many brought guilt to her sessions, it didn’t translate into the expression of a conscience. She suspected many were sociopaths.
She had developed quite a skill. She would tie and tease, torment and admonish to the brink of pain and passion thresholds. Her tone controlling the ebb and intensity of the sensory effects. She liked to hear them beg for relief, both of them knowing that this was a process of relinquishing oneself as opposed to seeking a final orgasmic result.
Both of them knowing that an explosion of sexual energy into orgasm in the traditional physical sense, would immediately dispense the ability to transcend into a form of blissful, enduring, resonance where the ultimate reward presided. Both of them fully aware at all times that this kind of play was Mistress acting a part and the client circumnavigating any real therapy.
Once the vibration disintegrated, the ʻsceneʼ was over and Mistress would no longer speak to them. Then the doors would close on the image of a satisfied yet exposed man and a master dominatrix exiting the room, the odor of sweat and incense escaping into the halls, wafting its way alongside her, lingering for a short while like a shallow footprint in moist sand.
The smile on her face, the gleam in her piercing blue eyes, the feeling of accomplishment...... the satisfaction of witnessing a rewarding surrender to a sublime sexual transcendence.....was mine. My name then, had been 'Genevieve'.