Yesterday evening as I was swimming away the soreness in my body in the community pool, I was reflecting on my life, my present, my past, and what my future might bring. How having pain is changing my life, how my life may change if my pain disorder is diagnosed as a chronic condition. I find myself very focused on pain, what pain is, means, how it effects me, how it colours my world, my choices. The roles pain has played in my life.
I think in childhood, like many of us, a large part of my life was spent focusing on how to avoid pain. I was a fearful anxious child as well as a bright vibrant and creative one. I spent a lot of my time trying to avoid pain in my early years, pains of spankings, pain around fear of pain, pain of upsetting parents or friends. Being unpopular the pain of rejection or bullying, verbal or physical.Â Like many children, I grew up with a lot of fear around pain? Will it hurt? Fear of the vaccination shot, fear of the skinned knee, tears over stitches and blood tests. Afraid of falling and hurting myself getting on a bicycle to learn how to ride. Fear of the dark.. fear is definitely linked with pain, perhaps it’s a type of pain. The fears were all about the potential ‘hurt’ that might happen. I spent maybe the first 13-15 years of my life with a lot of fear and a lot of pain. Early severe mono, and having my appendix out, included in that early pain and fear phase.
Somewhere around 14-15, my focus on pain and fear started to change. I started to take control of it. I started reading books filled with pain, I took a liking to Russian literature, philosophy, erotica, and horror stories. I read banned works of the Marquis de Sade that my boyfriend had copies of. I began to ‘play’ with pain. Pain became linked with my sexuality. I loved biting, and nails, I loved roughness. I masturbated grinding my butt cheeks into hairbrushes or the tines of forks laying underneath me. I realized pain, controlled, and fear, controlled, was not only not a bad thing, but something delicious. Having clothes torn of in a public park, underage, sirens in the background. We’re they coming for him? Building my heat. I was later drawn to the kink/BDSM community when I discovered they existed. This was shortly after the internet happened. Before the internet, I didn’t know there was a kink community local to me.Â Â All my bdsm and kink activities were limited to private play, now I had an interested partner, as well as a community to explore it with him. Wolfe and I started going to events. I knew I liked to switch, and be both top and bottom, sub and dom, but entering into this community, chose to go in to learn via a submissive role. We started with the early “Mack” ( after Mack McKinnon) parties in Vancouver.Â In public I bottomed, in private I did both. As the years progressed, I topped more and bottomed less. I started to do professional domination partnering with friends of mine that did pro work, and loved it. I would occasionally see my own client one on one. It was something I did for the love of it, more than the money. I certainly did much more lifestyle play than professional play. I spent many years doing occasional ‘part-time’ professional domination. I never had a formal dungeon space, or ran ads, word of mouth, and the right connection, would bring me the occasional client that I shared special interests with. I had many offers for paid sessions that I would turn down, preferring to keep clients I had chemistry with, common play passions, and knew I would enjoy as much as any lifestyle play. Pain during this stage of my life, has always been about playing with pain, controlling pain, enjoying pain.Â Owning pain. Loving pain. I loved receiving controlled consensual pain, I loved giving controlled consensual pain. Fear of pain was phenomenally reduced. Needles, shots, blood being drawn, stitches, surgery, scraped knees, no fear any more, the pain fears of childhood washed away in playing with pain. Knowing all those little pains were easy pains for me to handle.
About three months ago, I started having body pain, unexplained aches and pains, like a very bad flu, like a full body workout post workout pain. Pain in muscles I’d never had pain in. Fatigue with the pain. Muscle weakness with the pain. Since these symptoms started with a bladder infection. I assumed the infection was really serious, and it was my body fighting the infection, and being worn down by the extra heavy course, and then second course of antibiotics I had to take to kick the infection. But then, the infection was gone, but all the pain, weakness, and fatigue.. continued. That and upset bowels, occasional urinary discomforts, weird things going on in my body. Hard to concentrate. tired all the time. Sometimes the muscles too weak that I can’t open a pill bottle or the tab of a pop can or the lid of a jar. The teapot to heavy to pour. The degree of pain, weakness, fatigue, would fluctuate.Â I started to get tested for all kinds of things, Dr.’s visits, screening tests, loads of blood tests, urine tests, x-rays, ultra-sound, nuclear medicine tests. Still no diagnosis, 3 months later. Most of the possible more minor and temporary possibilities have been ruled out. What’s left is some kind of auto-immune disease, and/or fibromyalgia.Â I go see the internist on Wednesday, and hopefully working with him, will be able to find out what kind of ‘pain disorder’ I’m dealing with here. Since pain, is my predominant symptom.
So now I wonder, if the next phase of my life, is going to be all about learning how to live with pain, unconsensual uncontrollable pain.Â I can control the pain partially with medication, but it’s constantly my companion to some degree. I can also control it somewhat via limiting my actions, not pushing my body/mind into further fatigue or weakness. I’ve learned so far, that it’s not steady, I have worse times and better times, and when the pain and weakness is less, it’s good to take advantage of that and do gentle controlled exercise like swimming to build up strength for when I have so much pain and weakness that I can do nothing at all. So far my life has been deeply motivated by, entwined with, pain, in different ways. So is everyone’s to some degree or another. But as a kinkster, I had many many years of playing with ‘good’ pain.Â Now I’m negotiating a brand new relationship with pain. Chronic pain.Â Fear comes back with it. Do I have the ability, the inner strength, to deal with a potentially chronic pain condition?Â How will I cope, continue to cope, if my situation is permanent… what if it is progressive? So far, no diagnosis doesn’t make it easy to predict my future with pain. But after three months of this now, I am facing the very real possibility I have entered a new relationship with pain that may be a life-long one.Â I’m going to need to learn how to navigate life through it…
Wish me luck.