The End (Part III)

    First, I want to say that I read everyone’s very kind and supportive comments about my blog and my decision to quit at the dungeon, and I appreciate every one of them.  I meant to reply to them each individually, because I found them touching, but I was too emotional to do it right away.  I will try to finish that soon.

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     I was an emotional wreck my last week at the Studio…but not, for the most part, in a bad way.  I was grieving.  For better or for worse (mostly for worse, but hey, it wasn’t all bad), the Studio had become a pretty big part of my life.  In a way, it became a sort of addiction.  It has a very unhealthy organizational culture–the most unfriendly dungeon I’ve worked in by a longshot–and there is a constant revolving door of crazy psycho bitches and dommes with Queen Bee personalities.  The clients, as readers will know, are all over the map.  The Studio is a zoo.  I might as well have worked in Arkham Asylum for two and a half years. 

       At the same time, it didn’t feel real to me.  It felt like living and working in a movie set.  It felt like it existed outside of the City, outside of society…hell, outside of planet earth.  When I was there, nobody knew where I was, or who I was.  I was off the grid every bit as much as the clients who would come in for appointments.  Paradoxically, the isolation made me feel safe.  Life in the Studio is in a sort of suspended animation; it’s static.  The cast of characters and the specific scenarios change, but it’s all variations on the same theme. The drama and craziness disgusted me at times–some of those women acted like being a lady was beneath them, I swear–but some of it was also very entertaining.  The job was dangerous and emotionally traumatic at times, but, I must say, it was never boring.  

       But, it became toxic to me.  

       If I had to put a date on it, I’d say that I started to wear out–to change–shortly after my Ex, the Surgeon, made his House Call last Fall.  

       He showed up unannounced, slammed the door in my face when I tried to close it, and sexually assaulted me.  I didn’t write about it on this blog because it was too personal and also because I was afraid of him and his lawyers.  I was also very confused.  It’s really a mind-fuck to come to terms with the fact that someone who said that he loved you could do that to you. 

       I thought that I shook it off in a few weeks.  I hired a lawyer and talked about what happened in therapy and I wrote it all down.  I thought that I processed it.  I didn’t have nightmares about it or anything.  I thought it wasn’t that big of a deal.  It’s certainly not the worst thing that’s happened to me in my life.  It’s not even the worst thing that he’s done to me.  That’s what I was telling myself.  It was fast.  He was out of my apartment in fifteen minutes, twenty tops.

       Anyway, maybe I didn’t get over it at quickly as I thought I did.  After a few months, I started having a lot of weird, bad feelings about it, and intrusive thoughts.  The quality of my life deteriorated and I started to isolate more–never a good idea for an alcoholic.  I also used to have at least a few casual boyfriends at any given time.  Internet dating and fucking for sport were my primary recreational pastimes for years, even after I (mostly) stopped drinking.  I had a lot of fun with it.  But after the House Call, I really shut down, I didn’t even try, except for that sailor I picked up during Fleet Week.  I’ve never dated so little in my adult life.  I’d be crazy to deny that there wasn’t a connection between that and what the Surgeon did to me. 

         Anyway, I digress.  My point is that my emotional health wasn’t very good, and I was mentally weak and vulnerable, and my life was becoming increasingly less well-rounded.  Then I put myself in the surreal pressure-cooker sanitarium that is the Studio, and, yeah, I started to feel sick and unhappy.  And angry if someone tried to push my boundaries or pull some sort of a fast one on me.  

        When I told the Russian manager that I was burned out and I decided (just like that!) I needed to quit there, I immediately felt better.

        Then I started to feel sad, but it was a normal, healthy sort of sad.  Like I said, it was grieving.  I’ve been doing this off and on since 2008.  That’s a lot of experience. 

         I had five more shifts, one of them the double shift I described in “Burning Out.”  It was a lucrative week for me–I went out with a bang, doing between two and five sessions per shift.  A lot of my regulars came in to see me.  Many of them expressed relief or approval at the fact that I was moving on.  One of them, a Math professor who must be at least 105 years old, gave me an extra $100 and said, “You are excellent, but, for your sake, I am glad that I will never see you here again.”  I’m still deciding how to feel about that.  It sort of pissed me off, to tell you the truth.

       Over the course of three days, I gradually cleaned out my locker.  I kept the best lingerie and my most expensive fetish gear, the leather dresses and steel-boned corsets that cost hundreds of dollars.  I kept the shoes.  The rest of it, I sold or gave away.  If you have a session at the Studio this month, chances are that the domme is going to be wearing a piece of my gear, because I had a LOT of stuff.  A LOT of stuff. 

       I made personalized goodbye cards to give to the women there whom I liked and cared about.  I also gave them little gifts.  They threw me a goodbye party.  I got a very nice, but bizarre, card signed by everyone in the dungeon.  I sort of want to frame it and hang it on the wall, but I don’t know how I’d explain it to company.

       It was a difficult week.  Change is difficult and painful, even good change.  I’d work the day shift at the Studio and then come home and pack up my property into cardboard boxes.  

       Some of the boxes were going into storage.  

       Some were going to UPS to be shipped across the country.

       It was killing me to do it, but I understood this much very well: if I was going to take a break from the Biz, I’d have to leave New York to do it.  In New York, there is too much opportunity for backsliding.  I needed to focus on my health, my sobriety, and my emotional well-being…and I wanted to get away from the Surgeon for a little while.

       I had to get out of town.

       To Be Continued.

3 thoughts on “The End (Part III)”

  1. good luck in this new stage of your life!! PLEASE keep writing and keep us updated! I LOVE YOUR blog and look forward to your new adventures. stay well!

  2. I’m a very recent convert to your blog, and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read here. I’m sorry to hear about your horrible experience, I hope you get better and I wish you the best.

  3. Look after yourself and get better. As someone who also battles alcohol addiction, I find your blog so acutely moving that I often cry. Your efforts are an inspiration to me, and even though you might feel it is a failure, your relapses make me feel like my own recovery might be achievable (I have also relapsed

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