I wouldn't wish days like yesterday on anyone.

I found out first of all from my doctor that there are no endocrinologists in the area that do hormone replacement therapy that take my insurance. This means I have to pay for all of my treatments up front and then hope that I get reimbursed afterwards, which means I have to budget far more than I would like for medical bills that, supposedly, should be the domain of my insurance company. After all, isn't that why we have them?

Next, my passport application has hit another snag. Now they want proof of my surgery. "It doesn't matter what your driver's license says; it's what's between your legs that counts." No, that isn't a direct quote, but that's the essential tone of the letter I received. Thankfully, they also said that if I hadn't had the surgery yet and needed the passport for the surgery, I could submit all of my other docs and a note from my surgeon saying when my surgery is scheduled. It's not a problem, but it is one more delay in getting the damn piece of paper that clears me for overseas travel, and they've flat-out admitted that they've lost my old one so if they don't give me the new one, there's going to be a real problem.

Finally, I contacted my bank to inquire about personal loan interest rates and found out that they don't offer them! They've got home, home improvement, car, et cetera, but nothing that doesn't involve some kind of major capital
purchase, and medical doesn't count. Again, it's not a crisis, but it's a delay in getting things settled and prepared for my trip. A friend of mine has offered to vouch for me to get a Navy Fed account, and according to him they'll give out loans on practically a handshake, so I'm not panicking but I am annoyed.

My weight was back up to 260 yesterday morning, and that always depresses me. I did such a good job of losing the weight, but I did it by punishing myself and generally starving myself, with the help of appetite suppressants which are no longer available over the counter. I even spoke with my doctor about getting back on them, and he just said the prescription strength ones weren't covered by insurance, which prices them out of my range for now.

If all of the above weren't enough, I've been worrying a lot about my finances these days. Trying to schedule a loan from the bank, I've felt increasingly under the microscope to pay off my debts to my credit cards and get back onto an even footing, but... 

... this is where my life gets extremely complex, or at least it feels like it does.

As I have established elsewhere in these writings, I am a very easily dominated person in certain basic ways. I'm very submissive, and I am, by my own admission, too easily influenced by the emotional states of my peers. The idea that one of my friends, someone I trust, being upset or mad at me, or even unhappy if I have the means of "correcting the problem," makes me sick to my stomach. I can take on any depth of self-deprivation if I know (or believe) that doing so will benefit someone close to me. I try to save the universe, and I fail because I don't know how to save myself first, no matter how much Ayn Rand I read.

Is it a fundamental lack of self-esteem? I don't think so. I do think, though, that it's a result of having grown up alone. All through my childhood, I made friends by doing things for them. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I suspect, is the fear that saying "no" to my compatriots will make them leave me. Jessie suggested it last night, and I denied it then, but looking at it, I suspect it's closer to the truth than I might like to admit.

I'm still afraid of being alone, and I'll hurt myself to make sure I'm not. I don't go in for masochism, but I'll put up with a lot of crap from people that claim to want me around. My first relationship is a good example of this.

The budget, then, is a major source of emotional headache for me. Because I control the purse strings in the family, my job is to say no to the requests of others, and every time I say no my guts clench up and I want to curl up in a corner and die. I'm still trying to win the approval of those from whom I know I don't have anything to prove. I don't make enough money to be able to say yes to everything, but I can't say no without feeling bad, and when it comes to money this is a dangerous game.

I'm going to change tacks for a moment, and switch over to a related subject. A few weeks ago, I entered into a dominant/submissive relationship with someone with whom I've grown very close over the years we've known each other. It satiates the screaming demons inside of me, to serve and know that even when I misbehave, my servitude pleases my mistress.

By "mistress", it's pretty clear I don't mean Jessie. Zie knows, zie accepts, zie doesn't understand entirely but zie supports and even encourages it somewhat.

So far, it's only been online, mostly because of the distance between us, but in part because of all of the above factors and because of my own mildly obsessive-compulsive tendencies. I fixate on things very easily, and in something so reality-warping, this would be a very dangerous thing again. I trust my mistress implicitly, even out of scene, not to do anything to hurt me, but she and I both agree that this should not become a relationship that overwhelms or controls either of us. We both have mates outside of it, and we both have lives, and if it ever interferes with either, it should be ended.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to actually play out some small measure of this, with someone not my mistress. Despite my would-be top not being overly skilled or interested in the scene, I still found it very seductive. I feel protected, knowing that at least within the confines of the scene, someone is going to take care of me, and that even if I'm punished it's out of tenderness. I know that to truly be a submissive, one must want what the dominant wants, even if it's self-detrimental, trusting in the top to protect and make safe. 

It's this sense of giving up control that I find so darkly attractive and so dangerous. I already struggle with the fact of being the primary income in my family. My mate, as much as I may love Jessie, is not well-suited to being "in charge". (If zie were, I think zie and I would have entered into that kind of relationship long ago and never regretted it.) The chance to not be in charge is one that I could far too easily accept as proper, and if I were to try I'd likely hurt many more people than just me. 

Having the chance to explore it in person, to actually experience the role of the submissive and then have someone critique me afterwards and give me pointers on how to be a better pet left me breathless and anxious. I walked around with the collar I had been given around my neck for the whole of the weekend and even wore it into the office on Monday as a piece of jewelry before realizing that I had been letting it take over my thoughts and removed it.

There is, I tell myself, a time and a place for everything. However, it's hard to confine an emotion that one would like to feel at all times to a limited set of times and places, even knowing that only by doing so does it become possible to experience it at all.

Now to tie these two threads together.

Jessie hasn't worked in eight months. Zie gets up when zie wants, goes to bed when zie wants, knows that the money is there to pay for small indulgences without having to think, has never been denied anything by me, and has, in general, little in the way of responsibility beyond keeping the apartment looking nice. Even that doesn't have to happen if something interrupts, or even if zie just forgets, zie knows I'll be irritated but I won't kick zim out.

In short, zie's been leading the life that I wish I could have, albeit with a bit more freedom than I might necessarily want.

I dumped core last night, telling all of this to Jessie at two in the morning. I've felt that Jessie hadn't taken the job search seriously. I'd had a background nervousness as the sole income earner for a while, but it's been really heavy lately with everything else going on, the times I've spent in the control of someone else putting the times I've
had to be the bitch about money into sharp relief and making me more uncomfortable.

I don't want to give up the satisfaction and happiness I find in servitude, but I need some way of keeping it from becoming an escape mechanism, and the best way I know to do that is to lessen the negative impact everything
else has. The fastest path to that end involves Jessie getting a job so that I don't feel I'm the only one supporting us and thus making all the decisions about where the money goes. It's probably a strange coping mechanism in my head, but it's there and I work with it and I've led a happy life so far, even with all the ups and downs.