Trust Issues and Safety Bubbles
I’ve had trust issues all my life. From a very young age, I got taught that it was unsafe to show emotions, that showing weakness meant punishment. I realized that trusting someone with who you are, and with what you are feeling, could mean that they would use that information against you. This didn’t only mean that I only focused on the person in front of me, it also meant that I was unable to reach out for support. That in turn led to a lot of situations where I was unable to speak up, to talk about what was going on with me. We are conditioned by how we grew up, by what we got taught is safe, and what is a risk.
So I basically went most of my life being in shallow friendships and relationships. No one knew who I really was, what I was struggling with, my weaknesses, my likes or dislikes. I often voiced my opinions but always was extremely careful to not make them personal. I was known to be easy going, fun, and a supporter. Everyone always turned to me for a shoulder to cry on. The few times I tried to share something about myself, it got used against me.
When I was unable to hide my struggles and who I was anymore, my longest relationship up to date, fell apart. I wasn’t even sharing anything about myself, it was just that I couldn’t even hide the surface stuff anymore. But even that was too much for my husband at the time, and I was told more than once that I was a burden. Words like that really stick with you.
You could say that my trust issues didn’t get better, they accumulated. So when I began working in mental health, it was so very natural for me to focus on other people’s problems, and felt safe being in a position where I didn’t need to talk about me. I didn’t matter, what I did mattered. That was a beautifully freeing concept for me at the time.
That of course didn’t mean that I didn’t have a need to fully trust someone, to feel safe with someone. I wanted to be in a BDSM and D/s connection, but without being able to trust someone, how would I be able to truly let go? I tried being with someone who was very passionate but who unfortunately used the trust I put into him against me when things weren’t as lovely between us anymore. Another hurt, another valuable lesson of trust learnt.
The Safety Bubble
But then, then I got closer to my current boyfriend and Master. We started off as peers in the mental health support organisation we worked in. I felt a really strong connection with him right from the start! It took a long time to become friends with him because he was even more protective of who he was than I was with who I am! We tread carefully and started to get to know each other. I felt incredibly safe in his presence and eventually opened up to him. He became my strongest support in my life. He was the person I turned to for everything. And here is the thing: he never betrayed my trust. He never lied to me. And I gave him the same: honesty.
We started to build up something that I called our safety bubble. He was still careful with sharing things about what he felt and about his private life. But I was patient. I wanted him to trust me just as much as I had started to trust him. I had never felt that safe with anyone. And right up to this day, he has not betrayed my trust. He has not hurt me with what he knows about me. Instead, he thrives on that I trust him. He likes that I don’t hold back, that I communicate and share my thoughts and feelings.
The safety bubble that we had and still have with each other, became the foundation of our relationship. We first were peers, then friends and then, after a lot of communication (and hardships), we became romantic partners in a D/s relationship. Having friendship and trust, the safety bubble, first between us, was such a blessing. We know how to communicate with each other. I know that he never lies, that he only expresses emotions when he actually experiences and means them. When I ask him a question, he always gives me an honest answer. And I give him the same. There is nothing that we hide from each other, there is nothing that we want to hide from each other.
Without the trust that we have, I wouldn’t be able to let go the way I do with him. For the first time in my life, I am not worried being naked in front of someone. I feel safe. I feel attractive. I feel able to let go sexually with him. I am not afraid to talk about my needs and fantasies anymore. For the first time in my life, it is actually expected of me to express those things. I am not worried to be judged. I am not worried to get hurt. I trust him, with everything.
And it is not only that. I am a masochist, and I love humiliation, I love being controlled. For those things to be enjoyable for both of us, we need to trust each other. I need to know that he respects my limits, that he can read my reactions, and that he respects the safeword. And he needs to trust me to use the safeword, and to be communicative if any of my limits change. At the same time, I trust him to push me beyond my soft limits, to help me understand my real limits, and to take away certain fears. I trust him with my life, with my feelings, with my everything. I trust him to guide me. I trust to hand over control to him. I trust him enough to give him my submission.
And as we are now working more and more towards having a structured D/s relationship, I need to be able to trust that his intention is to help me grow, and to be good for us, for our relationship, and help me improve. And I believe that his intentions are exactly that, and you can’t imagine how safe, happy and free that makes me feel!
Trust is one of the main pillars of my D/s relationship, and I believe that it should be the main pillar of any D/s connection. Safe and consensual play, and safe and consensual power exchange, can only happen if all parts involved are trustworthy. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be communicative about your limits and your needs. Use the safeword when needed. Speak up when something doesn’t feel right. Some of those things are important in vanilla relationships too, but I feel they are even more so important in D/s relationships. If one of those areas is infested with lies or betrayal, then your dynamic is not safe anymore.
I am combining two memes with this post: the 30 Days of Submission Challenge and the SafeworD/s Club meme!! Day 17 of the 30 Days of Submission challenge poses the following question (you can read all of the question of the challenge here):
What does trust mean to you in the context of submission?
(Picture is of and by me)