Monday, January 21

Making my way back...

The signs had been good. Slowly getting back into wanting to play 'properly'. Certain types of scenes: caring, DD, and relatively easy headspaces. With time and practice and the desperate need to reclaim my head I was starting to get into proper roleplay again. Some times it's been easier than others but all the while I've definitely been moving forward. And within that, little by little, going deeper and deeper.

When Abel and I played a school scene during the week I felt I was almost back to where I used to be: so quickly had I slipped into Lucy's shoes; how easily I'd been that errant young student; and how ashamed I felt to have let myself and my school down.

And so I confidently planned scenes in advance of my recent visit to HH; I felt ready.

The first scene was to to start from the train and was intended to help me cast off my work persona and get into a good space to play. It was a fairly innocuous scene in theory: a young woman who'd lost her way and got into too much trouble, sent to a new guardian to make a fresh start in life. The idea was that careful guidance and a certain amount of discipline would set her back on track. There was nothing dark or abusive about it and I had planned to play her lightly - not taking the new life very seriously, at least at first.

To my surprise it was far from light. Ally turned out to be a complicated character and one I became so immersed in that I could see every aspect of her life: her past, her fears, her frustrations. All of which were hidden by the outward defiant persona that Mr Wilson (HH) was seeing. 

She fought back on everything from refusing to answer to Alison, to disdainfully wearing the clothes provided and insisting she wouldn't obey his stupid rules. She even refused to go across his lap for a spanking earned through her rudeness. Nor was it a cursory refusal as I would often do in a scene: it even getting to the point where it could have derailed the scene completely. Ally was outraged about being spanked and twisted and kicked and punched against him, but he was too strong for her. Finally overpowered, she gritted her teeth as she lay across his lap, waiting it out, trying not to show that it was hurting. Each time he paused to check on her attitude she threw barbed insults at him.

When he tried to take her knickers down the battle started afresh, with no let up from her, even when he threatened to rip them off. Normally in something like this EJ will take over and give in to keep the scene on the road, especially if a pair of knickers was at stake. But Ally was in charge. So Mr Wilson changed tack: sat her on his knee; explained how he could help her; made her aware that if he really wanted to beat her into submission, he could, but that her life had to change; emphasised that she no longer had any friends or family who cared about her and this was her last chance. It worked. Breaking into tears she let herself be hugged as she admitted she just wanted to go home.

Ally stayed in my head for a long time afterwards. And even when EJ eventually resurfaced I didn't feel at all like I normally do after great immersive play; I was down, upset for Ally and unable to forget her. The feeling lasted much longer than usual and it troubled me. Yes it was normal to have a period of resurfacing after scenes but these feelings were surprisingly painful. I couldn't cast off her despair. Was it because those feelings of misery were too like those I'm experiencing in my real life?

It made me doubt the other scene we'd planned: a much darker context. A maid who had breached her contract and had been sent to the House of Correction as punishment. It was to start with admittance to the institute and a private flogging which I knew would be severe. Despite changing the original premise of the scene, from one where she was blameless to where she was culpable of the offence and had redemption and hope when she finished her sentence, I still expected it to take me to dark places. I just wasn't sure I wanted to go there anymore.

I was worried about how I would feel post scene. What if I didn't fly? What if I got trapped in her misery and struggled to come out of the horrible dark place? I was also worried on practical level: I hadn't played a severe scene in a long time; I was afraid of how much it would hurt. In the end I decided to go for it, letting my fear build up as HH made his preparations.

Again I quickly slipped into Nancy's head: she was regretful of treating her employer so badly; wishing she had worked harder for him and not been so lazy; pitying herself for being sent to the House of Correction. Her hands shook as she made her birch, needing several attempts to secure the bundle. Blushed as he made her strip naked, laughing at her predicament. She was already crying by the time she was chained to the whipping bench. A properly terrified girl.

Anyone who's ever been spray birched can attest to how agonising it is and for Nancy nothing could have prepared her for the searing pain. She screamed in shock as the first few strokes fell, building quickly on each other; anticipated each following stroke in terror as she heard it swishing down with the shards breaking off every time it connected with her skin. It wasn't long before she was sobbing. At times she couldn't breathe, couldn't understand how she was surviving it. But she had no choice: whatever feelings EJ had on the matter were dismissed - there was only Nancy and the warden.

He was thorough and vicious: alternating between slow and fast strokes; ensuring the birch crept into the sensitive places exposed by how stretched she was over the bench; taking his time to land strokes precisely on her inner thighs, laughing at the louder shrieks of pain this elicited. He was a man determined to take her to the point of doing anything to make him stop: when he demanded what he wanted she didn't resist but silently complied. And then the last dozen strokes fell on her limp body as she lay crying silent tears.

Post this scene I hid under the bed covers on my own trying to come out of the scene. At this point HH always checks if I want him to stay near or leave the room. Either way he waits until I want him but he knows I can't be touched until I take Nancy out of the scene and then get out of her head. I cried until I retched, for her, for her misery, for the promise of more abuse to come, for the physical pain I was feeling.

But when I started to calm down and disassociate from her I cried even more to realise I wasn't feeling the usual relief in surfacing. The misery and fear refused to leave, the despair hung over, it all felt too familiar. Now I was crying for me, for the familiar feelings of fear and despair that are never far away. And I wondered why the hell I roleplayed such misery and fear when I've had so much of it, seen so much of it this year?

I didn't really recover from this scene until we played the rest of it the next day. When the Master took his turn to abuse her: birching her on her breasts and thighs, threatening a full repeat of her recent birching, so she was amenable to what he wanted. And when she faltered at a request, took a strap to her until she screamed, stuffed her mouth with his handkerchief to muffle the screams and then whipped her some more until he was satisfied she was fully compliant.

The difference with this scene was that I didn't go nearly as deep - I was Nancy, but EJ wasn't far away. But it brought closure to the character and in the end  I did fly and feel thankful that I could go back to the deep dark places and it wouldn't kill me. But then the real life deep dark places don't kill you either: you just make your way back, slowly, slowly, slowly.


Anonymous said...

You are so so lucky.
Wonderful way with words, wonderful connections & friends.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Emma Jane. I have always enjoyed your reading your scenes.

Happy New Year.