NOTE: Reddit folks, the URL you are looking for, for Shame, Shame, Shame, is here!
We weren’t even supposed to be friends; we became sisters.
Her roots were in the sidewalks of New York City; mine were in the soil of Central California. She was African American; I was English White. She was my Psych; I was her patient.
The Doctor became my friend when we first met in very rural America. In fact, she was one of the first people I met. We shared a love of theatre and performance. As a newcomers to the community my then husband and I joined the local theatre group and The Doctor was one of the leaders. Our friendship began there and only became stronger over the next 25 years. It continues even after her passing, for I carry with me her unconditional love, friendship, understanding, intelligence, and compassion.
After a very nasty marriage and several years of struggling with its aftermath, I turned to The Doctor for counseling and guidance. She only accepted to become my Psych because I would not trust anyone else in the office. And we both had a wonderful ability to leave in her office what went on there.
It was she who very gently pointed out to me that I was an “abused spouse.” I denied it for many years. All I understood was that I never really felt “good” in that relationship and avoided any others in the years after. One day, during a counseling session, she simply pointed to the poster on her wall. My reaction was “Oh, my God, I was abused!” He never hit me, but he raged, controlled, yelled, isolated, and belittled.
Once that realization was reached, we continued the sessions for several months during which I started a d/s relationship with a person I had known for a while. We were encouraged because I was willing to try again. However, The Doctor was concerned. She wanted to make sure I was not substituting a d/s relationship for the abusive one I had left.
With The Doctor’s help, I came to realize my own sexuality. I had been raised where “good girls” don’t do such things. They didn’t even masturbate. Through her probings, and she freely admitted she knew little about bdsm, she forced me to examine the relationship I was beginning, my feelings about sex in general, and my expectations in specific. We didn’t talk as Psych and Patient; we talked as two women exploring a new world together.
She helped me to understand that I was not strange, deranged, or just plain weird for enjoying that lifestyle. As she probed, I examined my reasons for bdsm and came to realize that, at heart, I was a submissive at that time in my life. I have since switch to domme. There was never judgment nor horror at the examination of the “darker side” of sex. The Doctor was truly curious as to why someone would do it. We explored together the psychological reasons for my preferences. I learned that my submission had nothing to do with abuse.
With The Doctor’s gentle probing I accepted both that I had a strong sexual appetite and that I was able to express it in unconventional ways. I came to understand that sexual experimentation and desire are normal human needs no one need be ashamed to express or explore. I, in turn, was able to help her with understanding other patients who harbored the same “secret” I did.
We continued with our friendship. We worked on community projects and shared life’s pains and sorrows along with the joys. We were truly “sisters” in every sense of the word. And we both marveled that in all our differences we never should have even been friends.
Eventually living separated us physically. However, having someone to probe and prod and force me to examine my sexual preferences has remained with me even after her passing. Her lack of judging fosters the same in me and has helped me to pass on her legacy of helping other women and girls to accept their own sexuality, whether kinky or lesbian or straight, without shame or fear.