Week Three as a Title Holder - Feb 12, 2016

From the Denver Wrangler Mr. Leather Colorado Beer Bust
From the Denver Wrangler Mr. Leather Colorado Beer Bust

This week has shown me how much work will go into being a titleholder as well as signs that my reach out is helping others.  There are tons of amazing events happening in the next couple of months and I want to go to all of them.  That being said, I have had to choose which ones I will and won't go to this year.  Much to my chagrin, Leather HEAT is not an event I am likely to make this year because the week following it, I am helping run Colorado Leather Fest (CLF) and I know that the week prior will be crunch time to ensure that CLF is amazing for all who attend.  I will attend   HEAT next year so please tell me all the amazing stories you will have from it.  

I will be at We Love Bootblacks in Windsor tonight and Saturday where I will be teaching my first official class as a titleholder.  It will be an overview of the basics of leather care for Colorado leathers.  The basics never change really but due to the climate in different areas, different products work best.  I am told that on the East Coast mink oil doesn't go rancid.  Here in Colorado, it can and in Arizona and other dry states I have spoken with many who have had it do so.  It will be fun to share that.  

I also will be at the Leather Party hosted by the RACK Room on the 19th and the Leather Dungeon Party at Voodoo on the 20th.  I will be blacking at both of these events as well as taking preorders for the wonderful pins I will have and be selling to help support my travels this year and next.  

At the end of the month I will be attending the Bootblack Bootcamp where I will be teaching my Let me in the Dungeon Damn It! class about bootblacking is a scene and is hot and sexy and belongs in the dungeon with any other scene and can be incorporated into any scene.  This is one of my favorite classes to teach and I hope to see many of you there.  I will be driving to Pheonix for it so if you want to come and need a lift, let me know.  

Part of my commitment to my community is that I will be out and open about living both as a bootblack and a slave.  That I will be open about BDSM, Kink and Leather and that I will share and teach about it.  For me, this includes reaching out to the local non-kink communities and also reaching out to those who might not have a community near them to help them learn about us.  On facebook ,I am very out and share about the lifestyle and leather both on my personal and professional pages.  I teach and share both within the community and outside of the kink/Leather scenes.  

This week I had someone reach back to me.  Someone who doesn’t have a very supportive community in their area and who wants to learn more and believes that they too will find fulfillment in their lives on their knees serving another.  It was a very touching moment for me.  When friends in my local community reach out for support and advice, I expect it because I reach out to them too when I need help.  To have a complete stranger choose to trust me enough to reach out and bare their soul to me like that humbled me.  

I am so honored that even one person was willing to reach out to me like that.  I hope I was able to help them feel a bit more supported and aware of the community.  I wish I could go and hold their hand as the attend their first munch etc.  This was, for me, the start of my missions fruits.  I want to be able to be there for those that reach out and help them find ways to find fulfillment.  I am honored to be trusted enough to be reached out to and I make a promise to each of you.  I am going to keep learning and growing and finding resources for us, so that when you reach out to me, I can offer you the best help possible.  I hope I don’t make mistakes and please forgive me when I do.  

Again this week the trust shown to me by my community and by strangers even has amazed me.  Thank you all for being so supportive and helping me be strong.  

On Wednesday this week I will share a different writing about blame and confrontation and how to deal with it in our wonderful world of Kink and power exchange relationships.  

~xiaoyi - slaveheart and bootblack at large

Year: 

Comments

Avoiding the Blame Monster - Feb 17, 2016

image courtsey of www.solarwinds.com/
image courtesy of www.solarwinds.com/

I don’t know about you all, but for years, I would search for and force the Blame Monster into conversations I had.  Statements such as “you didn’t ___!” or “who’s responsible for ___?” fell out of my mouth on a regular basis.  In all honesty, I didn’t really care who was responsible as long as it wasn’t me.  I wanted it to be somebody else’s fault that I felt what I felt.  Usually, these would come up when I was feeling angry, disappointed or hurt.  I wanted to blame someone else for how I was feeling.  I was looking to create a Blame Monster.

Here is the thing about Blame Monsters.  Any of us can turn into one.  If we feel attacked by statements of others and we start to get upset and defensive, BOOM!  We become a Blame Monster.  Another thing about Blame Monsters, like with most communication monsters, once they show up, productive communication ceases.  In the case of the Blame Monster, usually the Blame Monster will turn on you and try turning you into another Blame Monster and you two will spend a very unproductive time blaming each other for all sorts of things and only increasing the hurt both of you feel.

In time I realized that by going looking for Blame Monsters I was fouling the relationships I cared about and hurting people I love.  So I began looking for other ways to communicate what was going on in me.  First, I had to figure out what was going on inside me when I went looking for a Blame Monster.

To begin with I started keeping track of when I noticed myself seeking a Blame Monster.  Then I would stop myself and ask “what am I feeling right now?”  That is when I began to connect feelings of hurt, anger and disappointment with seeking the Blame Monster.  Then I would ask myself “What do I really want here?”  The Blame Monster training I had done for years told me I wanted someone else to hurt or to take responsibility for hurting me.  I realized that having them hurt wouldn’t change the hurt and anger I felt it would only increase it.   So what I really wanted was to find a way to stop feeling hurt and angry.

Next, I needed to find a way to talk to others about what I was feeling that wouldn’t be actively looking for the Blame Monster.  This script is slightly modified from Non-Violent Communication by Marshal Rosenberg and it has worked very well for me.

      “Hi ____.  Do you have a few minutes to talk?” *

*(note, if they say “no” accept it and try again later.  Do not allow this to create more hurt in you or you might become a Blame Monster yourself! If they say yes continue:)

       “Thanks.  I feel _____(hurt, angry,annoyed, frustrated) because I would have liked to see __________ instead of __________.”

Now as soon as I say that, the Blame Monster may start stirring especially since I had a past of going looking for it, so I would quickly add,

       “Can you help me find a solution for this?” or “can we try_____ instead?”

The Blame Monster cannot surface in someone who is thinking of ways to help.  Help is completely contrary to the Blame Monster’s skills and it simply cannot come out where people are working together on solutions.

Here is an actual example from my past:

     “Hey, Dragon.  Do you have a few minutes to talk?”

     “Sure love what’s up?”

     “I feel very frustrated because I would have liked to see the litter boxes cleaned before company came over yesterday. I felt really embarrassed when I saw that they hadn’t been cleaned part way through the visit. Can we find a way to try and prevent this from happening again?” (I used another feeling statement instead of the “I would have liked to see..” in this example but it still works)

     I could see him start to puff-up and the Blame Monster start to surface when I mention the litter boxes, this was not the first time I had been upset about litter boxes and I did have a habit of seeking Blame Monsters when litter boxes were involved. But as soon as I asked for his help, he turned thoughtful instead.

     “I’m sorry you felt frustrated and embarrassed. I really hate cleaning the litter boxes,” he said.  “Would you be willing to do those before we have company if I take over cleaning the bathroom?”

     After a little bit of negotiation, we came up with a working solution and it has not been a problem for us since. Now, my Dragon had also been reading NVC and so he knew that reflecting and acknowledging the emotions first is another great way to avoid the Blame Monster.  It is possible that if he had just jumped into “I hate cleaning litter boxes!” My Blame Monster would have started showing up and I might not have even heard his suggestion of a solution.  So it helped that he was using that too.

I have, with a lot more practice, gotten to where I can feel my Blame Monster start showing up and refocus myself on my actual feelings and desires. most of the time  Even when the person I am speaking to doesn’t response using NVC.  If you would like to learn other tools for helping your communication skills, I highly recommend getting a copy of this book and reading it and rereading it every chance you get.  You can even get the audiobook and listen to it while you drive.  The tools it suggests can help you avoid many communication Monsters, not just the Blame Monster.

Please let me know what happens when you try to stop the Blame Monster.  I look forward to hearing from you.

-xiaoyi

I am not formally trained in NVC (Non-Voilent Communication). I have many books on the subject and reread them as well as practicing this style of communication to the best of my ability. It has improved every relationship in my life when I do employ it.   

 

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.