Being Nothing

He told me to call him sir. He forgot to deserve it. He told me to learn his protocols. He forgot to learn my character. He told me his expectations—all the ways I was to morph into a thing that fit his desires, his personality, his needs, and so I melted myself down. I reshaped myself. I became, not his sub, not his lover, but his object.

I tried to evacuate every small need I had. What space was there for that when demand after demand was rolling out in front of me like an infinite scroll of entitlement? The Morphed Object must have no needs. It must contort itself until it barely exists. Then it will evaporate.


But evaporating was against his protocols, his desires, his expectations.

Funny how that works.

When the double bind of abuse pulls you in two opposite directions, the desire to submit becomes the need to become human again.

I couldn’t be nothingness and obedience at the same time. Failure was inevitable, and so I failed.

I failed so many times I began to believe I was made of flaws. My lack of self-worth was inconvenient to him, and so he raged. He raged and I learned that there is worse than being Nothing: being hated.

The trouble with hatred is that it leaves you in shards, so how do you walk away?

The trouble with walking away is that he will call for you incessantly until that one moment when wholeness gives way to nothingness again, and so I went back again and again. Each time, I became less than I’d been before.

It took a year to manage the impossible task of reshaping myself into a real person again. It was undiluted stubbornness that did it. It was anger that did it. It was time that did it.


It was friends that did it. It was their unrelenting insistence that I had value that did it. It was love that did it. The only thing I know about getting beyond nothingness is that you must cling to the people who care about you every time you hear him calling incessantly for you.

Maybe that’s all I need to know.

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