As with most people in this lifestyle, we have accrued a few implements. Not many, but a few. One of the implements I hear many talk about is the belt. I've been pretty open about the fact that I have no interest in it. It carries lots of bad memories for me and I feel no need to change that.
I don't get a rush when I hear Musicman take his belt off. Even reading others talk about it sometimes squicks me out. Not using a belt is not a problem for Musicman, he understands me better then I understand myself most of the time. An interesting phenomenon has been occurring that is starting to change that view. It has happened quite organically too.
Musicman works at a job where he gets quite dirty. It's his habit to change clothes as soon as he gets home. If he's had an especially strenuous day he will change before he even lets me kiss him hello. He says he doesn't want to get the grime on me. Honestly, I don't care if he does, but he insists, so I wait for him to change clothes.
The lounge we often play on is in the corner of our room, next to his dresser. He empties his pockets onto the dresser and always removes his belt and lays it on the lounge. Can ya guess where this is going? Yep, sometimes during playtime, when I'm bent over that lounge, I spot it. Such an innocent thing, just laying there, no harm in that whatsoever.
The first few times it happened I felt a moment of panic and snapped my eyes tightly shut. Inevitably though, they would open again. There it was, still laying there, causing no harm to anyone. After awhile, I got to a point where it didn't bother me anymore when I my eyes landed on it. It's just an innocuous piece of leather afterall.
Then something changed. The last few times we played on the lounge, it was still there, it hadn't changed at all. What did change was how I felt about it. I wanted it, wanted him to use it. All of a sudden, I wasn't afraid of it anymore. At least, in that moment I wasn't afraid.
I haven't mentioned this to Musicman, yet. I wasn't entirely sure I was ready for it. I thought a lot about what it is that frightens me so much about it. What triggers those bad memories and ways to eliminate them. I realized that the sound of the buckle terrifies me, so does the sound of leather hitting leather when the belt is doubled back on itself. I don't want to hear those things. Just thinking about them now, as I type this, makes me feel a little sick.
But, I see a way to overcome the fear, to put the bad memories to rest. I see a way to broaden my horizons and experience the feel of leather. I do love the leather paddle we have, I thought maybe that would be enough. But, now that I see a way to conquer the fear and vanquish the demons, I couldn't let it go.
I took a belt of Musicman's that he never uses, he doesn't like the buckle. Good thing since I removed the buckle. I also measured it and cut it down so it could be used easily without doubling it over. I tucked it away, intending to give it to him on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Unfortunately, we've had no privacy to play, so it remains tucked away.
The more time passes and we are unable to use it, the more I want to bring it out and give it a try. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that this could be the answer. This could vanquish those demons that still haunt me when I least suspect it. This is the next step forward for me in living my life out from under the shadow of abuse. It's a step I'm ready to take.