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Untitled Update

April 24th, 2015 by

I am far too fond of alliteration for my own good.

I really appreciate everyone’s comments on my last post. They mean so much to me. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply. I don’t have the mental capacity to do so just yet.

It’s been a month since I was released from the hospital, and I’m only doing marginally better, physically. I still can’t tolerate much by mouth. Moderate to large quantities of clear liquids make me very sick and I can only handle a little “full” liquids at a time. My doctor tells me not to push it, to take it easy on my gut. But my stomach frequently complains how hungry it is, and that’s hard to ignore. Plus, I miss food.

I miss all the things I used to be able to do. Not just eating. I miss the things I used to do for stress or pain relief–baking, weight-lifting, taking baths.

Consequently, I’m doing much worse mentally. “For now” has, in my mind, stretched into “forever” and that’s hard to ignore. I’m still grieving. Others have projected an image of “toughness” onto me, and I’ve adopted it for myself, stubbornly trying to hold onto some vestige of emotional, if not physical, strength. So I project an air of “I’m doing fine” when I’m shattered inside. I’m still not able to work properly, and my supervisor is frustrated with me, which only makes me more angry with myself.

I’m falling into a lot of the same unhealthy patterns as the last time I was on TPN. This includes distraction from my grief–when I can’t work, I constantly occupy my mind with puzzles and music, audiobooks, or TV. This is not a thing I like to do. It feels empty, so I punish myself later.

And I’m also falling into the same relationship patterns I was as last time. And it kills me. Peroxide is a doll. He wants, desperately, to make things better. I recognize that he can only make things easier. I feel bad that this has come down not only on my shoulders, but his. And so, whether to punish myself or through a misguided attempt to “protect” him from the same pain that I’m experiencing, I push him away.

I did this with Shadow, before. And Peroxide’s feelings for me are much stronger than Shadow’s (and so are mine), so he’s willing to put up with more crap from me, and he won’t allow me to push. But he can’t keep me from withdrawing, so I do. Even though I don’t want to, I do. Even though it hurts me, quite possibly as much as it hurts him, I do. Because I don’t know how to do anything else.

Yes, I am in therapy. Yes, I’m trying to process. But trying is all I can do. The wheels are just spinning.

Marks

December 30th, 2014 by

A few nights ago, I, in my infinite grace and majesty, took a tumble down the stairs, the result of which is a significant bruise above my rump. The bruise is enormous–bigger than any I’ve ever had before, and is dark purple which Wikipedia tells me is called Byzantium.

This, among other things, has got me to thinking about marks.

I love leaving marks on H2O2, of all kinds. I carefully apply lipstick only for the purpose of leaving prints of my lips all over his face. I beat his ass to a lovely Byzantine shade, not unlike the one mine currently sports. Afterwards, every time he sits down, each resulting wince will remind him of me. I leave bite marks all over him. I write on his body–his chest, his ass, his cock. Loud and lovely proclamations that he is mine.

But marks fade. They are transient by nature. This seems like it should bother me, but it doesn’t. Their impermanence compels me to reapply them, frequently, in new and creative configurations; each kiss, each scribble, each bite a sign of my desire made manifest upon his body. My love emblazoned upon him, evidence that, despite whatever may come, I was here, this happened.

Chaos Was Here

Chaos Was Here

Margaret

July 17th, 2014 by

As she lay dying, we made the long drive back from his parents’ house. By which I mean, he was driving, not me.  I don’t drive, I don’t know how.  First I wasn’t allowed to because I wasn’t old enough, then I wasn’t allowed to because of medications, finally I wasn’t allowed to because of seizures.  Now I am twenty-eight and embarrassingly, still without a driver’s license. Unless I can get my health under control, I’m not sure that I’ll ever get one.

Her death was with me, weighing on me. I speak up about it, an attempt to lighten my load. I talk of her presence in the scene, how much of an impact it made on me, a young femme dominant. I talk about the tea party I attended at her house, and how much of my love of tea service can be attributed to her. I talk about the love I saw between her and her slave, how it was always something that simultaneously warmed my heart and made it ache, not knowing if I would ever get to experience that kind of love.

“That must be hard,” he says. “To outlive your owner.”  And at that I become quiet. There is too much to say, so I say nothing at all, and instead I look out the window, into the night roads, illuminated by street lights. Finally, I reply with a requisite: “I think it must be hard for an owner to outlive their property, too.”

And it must be, I’m sure, but that is not really what is on my mind, which is flooded with thoughts and sorrow.

I think about my property–him–and how, if our relationships lasts, he will almost surely outlive me, something for which I am self-centeredly grateful.

I think about how I always wanted to ask her for mentorship, and how I was intimidated to approach her about it, so I didn’t, and now I never will.

I think that while she lived a full and rich life, she still died too young. I think about the precariousness of my health, my uncertainty of my own life expectancy. I wonder if I will still be here in ten years, in twenty.

I think about myself. I think about heartbreak dogs, and whether those of us who are destined to die young are really worth loving in the first place. (I am not certain, myself.)

But most of all, I think about her, and her smile, and her class, and her generosity, and how I wish I had had the chance to know her better. I think how scared she must be, and how alone she must feel, and how I am certain she is handling it all with the grace and poise we have all known her so well for. I think on all these things and my heart fills with grief: for her, for her loved ones, and, selfishly, for myself.

Lock and Key

June 21st, 2014 by

This is not a post about chastity. (Sorry, chastity enthusiasts. Perhaps another time.)

Before I knew I was dominant, I still knew what I liked. I liked to be in control during sex. I liked collars. And I liked locks.

I make jewelry. I have been making it for very nearly my whole life; without a pair of pliers in them, my hands feel empty, and they itch for the tools with which they can create. And, of course, when I started dating, I would make jewelry for my my sweethearts–handmade chains that they would put on reverently, wear religiously, and rarely remove. (One of those things that, looking back on, makes you say fucking duh.)

In my early twenties, I was in a monogamous vanilla relationship. I became restless. Something was missing from my life. I wanted something, yearned for it, but wasn’t quite sure what. During that time, I developed a fascination with lock charms. I began to collect them. I could not get enough of them. Every time I bought one, I became dissatisfied with it, and would soon find another that I would have to have. And yet, I did not make anything with my lock charms, nor did I want to wear them myself. I just kept them.

Heart-shaped locks with filigree details, locks with the key attached, small locks, delicate locks, chunky locks. The prize of my collection was a sterling silver clasp that was cleverly shaped like a padlock. It didn’t actually lock, of course, but it worked like a padlock, and I thought, like one does when one is twenty, that it was the coolest thing I had ever seen, ever, oh my god, I have to have it. I attached it to a rubber cord and wore it around my neck, once. That felt odd–wrong, somehow. Uncomfortable. I took it off, put it in my jewelry box, and left it there for years.

And then I met Peroxide.

Peroxide and I both love the symbolic aspects of D/s, and from very soon after we started dating, I knew I wanted to make him something with that clasp.

Isn't he gorgeous?

My boy, my collar.

This collar is delicate–its lightness belies its impermanent nature. It was not meant to be a forever collar–training, consideration, what-have-you, I call it a preliminary collar. Still, it is, if I do say so myself, quite pretty. It still has the original rubber from when I first put it together, but now I’ve added onto it with a bit of silver chain, a ropelike weave of which I am particularly fond. I was worried it would be too feminine, but Peroxide, bless him, cherishes it and wears it almost constantly.

Peroxide and I recently discussed ownership. This means that it is time for a new project for my plier-itchy hands, a new collar, a symbol for “forever.”

Permanent collar

Gold and steel. Function and decoration. As strong as my love for him, as precious as he is to me.

We would like to use a real lock with which to close it. Unfortunately, as he discovered in his last relationship, he is sensitive to nickel, which makes most locks inutile. I have not yet figured out how to work around this problem, but I welcome suggestions. For now, the collar is one continuous chain, as unending and infinite as I hope our love will be.

As for my lock charms, they lay languishing in amongst my other beads. Their number remains steady, as my drive to collect them has vanished. I no longer feel as if something is missing; I’ve found someone who fits.

Image from http://www.sterlingsilvermall.com/

Image from http://www.sterlingsilvermall.com/

Platonic Fission

May 10th, 2014 by

This is a love story.  It is an atypical love story; there are no happily-ever-afters or till-death-do-you-parts.

Six years ago I met a tall awkward boy at a park for a first date. We talked for three hours. I did not think I would see him again. Later, much later, he would become one of the most important people in my life, one of my closest friends, my “Vanilla Ex”. That day, at the park, I did not think he was interested. I could not have been more wrong.

But that is not where this story begins. No, this story begins with a break-up.

******

We had been dating for nearly two years at that point and I very nearly hated him. We argued almost every day and there was an ever-growing pile of resentment weighing the relationship down. But even through all of that, somehow, I was sure I was in love. Until one day I looked in the mirror and realized that I not only didn’t think I liked him very much anymore, but that I didn’t like myself. We talked. We agreed it wasn’t working anymore. We ended it.

And yet, somehow, it didn’t stop. We kept talking, kept seeing one another. We kept having sex. And oddly, unexpectedly, things got better. We stopped fighting so much, started to communicate better. The resentment lifted. Now that I no longer begrudged him for not being all the things I wanted him to be, I could appreciate  all the things he was. He was accepting. He was supportive. He was funny and kind.

Our relationship wasn’t perfect, by any means. We still quarrelled at times. I still occasionally fell into the habit of wanting him to be something he wasn’t. But, mostly, things were great, infinitely better than they had been. We kept on like that, for years.

And then, it was time for me to move away. He helped me move across two states, drove me 1000 miles, all for the friendship and love he had for me.

The last night we spent together, I teared up. “DON’T,” he said. “DON’T DO IT.” He’s terrible with emotion, and I stifled myself. I knew it may very well be the last time we had sex, and I was worried that we would no longer be as close, now that we no longer had a physical tie to bind us together.

The last time we saw one another was five months ago. I was back home for the holidays and had been visiting with him, but it was once again time to say goodbye, and he walked me to the train station. The impulse to kiss him goodbye was gone. My lips had forgotten that need. Yet it was harder, much harder, to let him go. This time, unlike the last, I could not hold back my tears, and down they came unexpectedly. Despite the fact that any romantic aspirations for him had faded away, my heart squeezed something terrible in my chest. I did not know when I would see him again. The thought troubled me more than I’d thought it would and I cried.

No chastisement over tears came from him this time, no discomfort with my emotional display. Instead, he hugged me and told me he loved me, words that do not come easy from him. True, we had lost the same physical intimacy, but our relationship was not so different than it had been. I had been worried it would be, and told him as much. “I wasn’t,” he said mildly.

One of the things he provides is an unshakable faith in me. Even when I feel I am uncertain of anything and everything, I can be certain of that, and of his love and good intentions for me. Consequently, I trust and admire him more than almost anyone else in the world. I never want us to have a romantic relationship again, but I also never want to lose him from my life.

Our society values romantic love above all others. Romantic love is wonderful, I agree. But I’ve often thought that platonic love can be just as powerful, just as life-changing, and that is something that is rarely acknowledged.

Love can grow. Love can change. People are not immutable, nor are our relationships. But just because they are different doesn’t mean they are broken, or any less valuable. And just because a relationship doesn’t fit one particular societal mold doesn’t mean it should be discarded entirely.

The day we decided we could no longer be together, I cried and cried, mourning the loss of that relationship. But I needn’t have. We didn’t break our relationship that day. We fixed it.

Giving, Taking, Losing, Gaining

April 27th, 2014 by

There is nothing I love quite so much as a man on his knees, in front of me. Giving himself to me. And yet, somehow, when he does, I become paralyzed, unable to take action, unable to take him, in the way we both crave.

We have done it. It has happened. This is not the first time, but it is one of the first. Our bodies are not yet familiar with one another, there are no comfortable routines to slip into; instead, we have touches full of wonder, trembling kisses, and an occasional awkward, fumbling disengagement when something doesn’t quite work.

Even so, our bodies have done pretty well for themselves, and they lay tangled together, exhausted. I am still on top of him, my hands cupped around his face, stroking it.  His eyes look up from it into mine with a softness I rarely see, indicative of his vulnerable state. “Thank you,” he murmurs, “for taking my virginity.”

“Thank you,” I reply, “for giving it to me.” I roll off of him, but his arms remain around me and his face turns toward me, his eyes, like his arms, not yet ready to let go of me.

“I’m yours,” he whispers. “If you’ll have me.”

Will I? I don’t know.  Ownership of someone is something I have always longed for, but never quite reached, not by my standards, at any rate. It has been given to me in the past, unasked for and not necessarily wanted, dropped in my lap without any input on my part. That sort of ownership is not the same as one taken with intention, one discussed beforehand, considered thoroughly, and decided on together. That is the type of ownership I aspire to.

It is something I have wanted for ages.  It is something I am not certain I am ready for.  There are a number of factors to consider.

One is that, once again, it seems awfully soon to me. After all, it was not six months ago, that he belonged to somebody else. For me, collaring is nearly permanent, almost the D/s equivalent to marriage. It is not something I want to undertake lightly.

There is the responsibility of it all. I have spoken of this before, as well.

And then, of course, there is the commitment. I am more than mildly terrified of it. I have been independent for so long, and there is still a fierce streak of it remaining in me which I refuse to relinquish. I have always identified with the more playful aspects of BDSM, and I often think of myself as a mad scientist–calculating, hungry for power, but alone. Is there room for anyone else in my evil lair? While no scientist is complete without someone on whom they can experiment, I am still so very much afraid of this.

Still, I am awed as his willingness, his courage to offer himself to me like this.

And good test subjects are hard to come by.

Love, Terror, and Open Hearts

March 11th, 2014 by

Falling in love can be fucking terrifying.

He is, as he puts it, uncorked. I’ve just beat him to the point of tears.

The dam is unstopped
and we are riding
the wave of endorphins
together.
It crests and crashes, leaving us shipwrecked in a sea of emotions.

He is trembling in my arms, vulnerable.
The intimacy of it all takes my breath away.
It’s okay, I tell him. It’s okay.

The last two people who confessed their love to me were friends, people I loved dearly, platonically, whose feelings I could not return. Consequently, I felt like perhaps there was something wrong with me, that perhaps I was incapable of love.

I love you too, I tell him.

And I do.

And it is scary. We have not been seeing each other for very long–two and a half months. It seems fast to me. I worry that fast means reckless, that we will spin out of control and crash. I have pulled the tears from him, have I pulled love from him as well?

The last person I confessed my own love to was Shadow, who did not, for various reasons known not even to him, feel the same. He cared for me very much, but it was, ultimately, not sustainable and we parted. At the time, I already felt undesirable, unwanted, perhaps a contributing factor. His lack of feeling just confirmed the whispers my demons told me.

I have spent a long time keeping people at arm’s length and not letting them in, for various reasons. To protect myself, to protect them, because they weren’t submissive, because of my illness. It felt like there was a piece of me missing. The hole in my arm led to a hole in my heart, unfillable, leaking out my sense of self-worth. I was unlovable.

I do not question the veracity of his feelings, or of my own.

I don’t have doubts, but I do have fears.

First of all, I fear for his heart. Not only am I the one who holds more of the cards, but I am older and more experienced than him, and I want to treat him gently.

He is afraid of it ending. I don’t blame him for this, as it is scary, and the pain of his recent break-up is still fresh in his mind. However, I can recognize the value in relationships that do not last forever. Unlike his last, our relationship does not have an expiration date. But all relationships end one way or another. This is not my fear.

My chief concern is his heart.

I have broken hearts before, and to do so breaks me. I want to care for him and protect him and love him, in the fierce, savage, tender way I’ve come to know.

I know he fears that he is not worthy of me, but I think he is.

I fear that he is not fully formed. That once he is, he will no longer want me. What if he is secretly a top and just doesn’t know it yet? What if he only thinks I am what he wants?

And, yes, I worry about my own heart. It has been broken too, so many times. By submissive men, by vanilla men, by women, by my own self. Can it handle any more?

And though I am afraid, though I am terrified, I know I must have courage. I would never forgive myself if I lost him through my own cowardice.

And so I resolve to keep my heart open, and I pull him to me, and feel his heart beat against mine.

The Broken Temple

January 29th, 2014 by
The Broken Column, Frieda Kahlo

The Broken Column, Frieda Kahlo

 

This is about my body. My body is many things. It houses my soul. It has caused me more suffering than possibly anything else in my life. And, also, it’s beautiful. Sometimes, I forget that. Too often, I forget that.

There is a conflict between how I view my body and how it is viewed by others. This follows from the fact that they don’t have to live there. My body is fairly normative in appearance, but that’s as far as it goes. I have a chronic illness, which is mostly invisible. I’ve heard so many well-meaning friends and acquaintances have uttered the phrase that every invisibly-disabled person knows well and hates deeply: “but you don’t seem sick. You look so healthy.” When your body doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to, and society confirms this by constantly reminding you how pitiable and worthless you are, your healthy-looking body becomes a hateful shell, shielding the dysfunction that lies beneath. You walk a line between wanting your illness to be acknowledged, and not wanting it to eclipse the rest of your identity. It can be hard to see value in your body, or yourself.

Body worship is one of my favorite types of play. It’s very meaningful to me for many reasons, with many layers. On the surface, there’s my dominance; I am a fairly stereotypical dominant in many ways, one of them being that I love having attention lavished upon me. But it goes deeper than that.

There’s really no way to look at my body’s defects in a positive way. There are positive things that have emerged from it, such as greater self-awareness, the connections I have made with others in the disabled community, and activism I have participated in that I likely wouldn’t have otherwise. I am grateful for these things. But, in addition to limiting me, my malfunctions cause debilitating physical pain in many parts of my body, as well as fatigue, seizures, and more. The secondary effects are also numerous: frustration at my doctors, who are not equipped to deal with an obscure and untreatable illness such as mine, frustration at society, which is not equipped to deal with a broken person such as myself. It is, at times, difficult not to turn these feelings inwards, and feel hatred towards my own body.

On a physical level, body worship reminds me that my body is capable of feeling pleasure. That’s one way in which it does function, and when you spend so much time in pain, pleasure becomes something of solace. When I go for long periods of time without sensual touch, it’s almost like a surprise, a feeling that I nearly forgot existed. I’m not a spiritual person, but the closest I have come to feeling spiritual is the intimate connection I experience with another person during sex.

In a deeper sense, an emotional sense, it’s empowering to have someone take pleasure in touching one’s body, and being shown that pleasure. Even though I know, on some level, that my body is beautiful, it can be very difficult for me to truly internalize that as love. Instead I externalize my feelings of hatred, convinced that no one would want something so useless, so broken. But touch that is both gentle and eager, murmuring of appreciative sounds, and tender and hungry kisses are all evidence to the contrary. It is proof. Undeniable proof that despite all that feels wrong, there is something right about my body. If I can step out of feeling resentful and broken, if I can see my body through the eyes of someone who loves it and get a small glimpse of their love, this is an affirmation that living in my body isn’t tantamount to being trapped in a cage. At times, it can be powerful perfection.

My body lies in ruins. Reverence can take many forms: sweeping my hair across my neck to kiss my shoulders, tracing my sides with fingertips, touching me, touching my body with an admiration approaching awe. These actions are transformative and I am reminded that, despite its broken columns and crumbling foundations, my body is still worthy of reverence and of love.

Lacrimae

December 18th, 2013 by

Tonight will be intense. Tonight I will pull from him a fluid manifestation of his pain, but I am not going for blood. No, tonight, I will go for tears.

My voice is calm, my demeanor methodical, though my heart is pounding and my stomach is fluttering. This is unusual for me. Normally, I am unable to hold back my laughter during play, my joy uncontainable, my smiles so wide they hurt my face. Tonight, however, I am nervous; I have never intentionally made a partner cry before, but I am determined to do so now. I am wielding my “mean stick” as he calls it. Similar to a wooden night stick, it’s something like a cross between a cane and a paddle. Heavy and very, very cruel, it is one of my favorite toys.

My most favorite toy is lying on the bed, face down, naked except for his purple boxer briefs. Purple is my favorite color. He knows this, and that’s why wears them. This makes me smile. I aim right below the curve of his ass, above the line of the shorts.

Thwack.

He moans into the pillow, already in pain. “No warm up tonight?” he asks. Tonight is not about gentleness or slowly building pain. Tonight is about intensity. Tonight is about tears. “I am warming you up,” I say. “I could be hitting you so much harder.” I raise my arm above my head to demonstrate.

Thwack.

He twists and screams. “It hurts. IT HURTS.” I remain impassive, although I smile freely now, my endorphins overpowering my nervousness. I know it hurts. That’s the point.

Thwack.

My heart continues to race–no longer with agitation, but with excitement. My dominance is substantiated more as sensuality than sadism, and indeed I have never really considered myself much of a sadist. I do not think I am a very effective or skillful top. I do not think about ramping up the pain or whether something will sting or thud. I merely consider what I want, and then? I take it. And tonight, I am taking his tears.

Thwack.

“I. DON’T. LIKE. IT.”

Thwack.

“Hold still,” I tell him. He’s writhing around on the bed, and I’m having trouble aiming. I want to hit him repeatedly in the same place, to break through his body and tear the emotions from his soul and the tears from his eyes. But he won’t hold still. I move down his thighs. This hurts him more, and I know it.

Thwack.

“I want you to stop, I WANT YOU TO STOP,” he is sobbing. But it is dry sobbing. No tears yet. “That’s not the safe word,” I tell him. He moans: “I know.” I’m not stopping.

Thwack.

“It’s not about what you want,” I tell him. “I KNOW,” he cries.

Thwack.

My arm is getting tired, but I am resolute. No stopping. No stopping just yet.

Thwack.

“There are tears,” he sobs. “I’m crying for you, Boss.” I turn him over and see his face, red. For a moment, I think he’s messing with me–he is, by his own admission, “a bit of a brat.” But he’s not bratting me this time: I see a tear trickle down his cheek, a hard won spoil. The sight of it makes my heart do things I can only try to articulate, and I am awash with feelings which are raw and unfamiliar. They are, in a word, intense.

I gather him up in my arms, my brave, beautiful boy, broken by me, and hold him.

“Thank you,” he whispers.

We haven’t said our first “I love yous” to one another, but my heart is bursting with it. I do not think now is the time for those words, so I hold his face and make him look into my eyes, emoting as hard as I can. He senses my emotions and responds, quietly. “You’re very special to me, too.” His voice is ragged and my eyes prick. I wonder if I will cry, too, but I don’t. Tonight, the tears are his alone. I merely marvel at his beauty, his vulnerability, and my fortune that he is mine.

Questioning

February 2nd, 2012 by
I have recently jumped back into the wonderful world of dating. I have to educate people in my personal life, which is incredibly emotionally exhausting.  Not only does it require me to be immediately vulnerable to them, but there’s nothing that makes me feel less sexy than talking about my health.  What invariably ends up happening is that I just decide to not have a social life, because it’s too much work.I had this idea of making a pamphlet–“So You Want To Date a Chronically Ill Person.”  Whenever somebody asks me out, I’ll hand it to them.  It’ll save us both a lot of time and energy–which, for me, is extremely important, as time and energy are my most limited resources.Few people are more outspoken than I am in defending the rights of people with disabilities to have an equal place in sexual or romantic relationships and in society as a whole, yet I can’t seem to finish my “Guide to Going Out with Gimps.”  It’s too hard for me while I’m struggling with my own feelings of inadequacy about being a worthwhile romantic partner.

I feel like such a fucking hypocrite. I feel needy, reduced to a mess of insecurity, brought down by my own internalized ableism.

I want to write up my guide.  Maybe, at some point, I’ll be able to.  But right now, the only things that come to mind are questions, the questions I want to ask someone when they start to fall in love with me.

Will you still love me?

Will you still love me when I am hunched over the toilet, throwing up for the fourteenth time because my stomach has decided it doesn’t want to work that day?

Will you still think I’m clever when I can’t speak because my brain has experienced an electric storm, ripping me away from consciousness?

Will you still consider me brave when I am curled in a ball in bed and crying from the pain because there are tiny rocks building up in my ureters, damming the flow from my kidneys?

Will you still think I’m beautiful when I’m in the hospital, in a gown that hides my curves but reveals my shame?

Will you be okay with the fact that you will almost certainly outlive me?

Will you be okay with the fact that we may never be able to have children together?

Will you be strong enough to hold me up when I cannot hold myself anymore?

Will you be patient enough to come with me to doctor’s appointments, to listen to me ranting about my health insurance, to help me deal with the inevitable mishaps with the pharmacy?

Will you be brave enough to face the inevitability of my situation and to let me grieve?  Will you be able to comfort me without platitudes, without empty words of a hope that doesn’t exist?

Can you accept the fact that I will always have to put my health first?

Can you learn to live with uncertainty?  Can you learn to live to see the beauty in the moment?

Can you still love me even though I am broken?  Further than this, can you learn to think beyond positive and negative judgments, can you accept that is part of who I am, and love that person as a whole?

Will you still love me?

Can you?