In the fall of 2006, my relationship with KnyghtMare was on the rocks. I was battling with submission and what it meant for my life with him. He was changing and growing more into his role. I think that we clashed because we just weren't prepared for the changes in each other. I got in trouble one night and in a moment of panic I ripped the leather collar off of my neck and gave it back to him.
I do not recommend ever doing that unless you are ready to end the relationship. It's childish and stupid. It was an insane thing to do and if I didn't have such a compassionate and caring Master I would have probably been single then. He decided to step back from D/s for a bit and kept the collar. I think he intentionally left it on his desk so that every day I saw it sitting there; reminding me of what I had and may (or may not) have again.
The realization of what I did hit me a couple days later and I cried and grieved for the collar and what it meant. While it wasn't his actions that removed the collar, his decision to not give it back to me right away was the same. It's not an easy process to recover from something like this but it is possible.
I'd like to share with you what helped me restore myself and ultimately seek the collar again.
It's normal to have a strong reaction to the loss of the collar. Submissives tend to attach a lot of emotional and spiritual meaning to the physical collar and when it's removed it can feel like a piece of yourself has left. We need to give ourselves the permission to grieve for it, to miss it and to fight the emotions that come up.
Also, prepare yourself for your partner's reaction to the loss of the collar. It likely meant something to them too and to have to remove it is affecting them as well. Communication lines need to be wide open and non-blaming if you are going to get to the root of the issue and start healing.
You can question why it happened and beg for it back all you want, but what really needs to happen in this phase is to accept that you do not have it. If your relationship is still intact then your goal should be to strengthen that, rebuild the trust or whatever caused the loss in the first place. Seeing what new goals are in front of you is that first step to recovery.
This is the longest phase of the process. Once you know what caused the rift you have to fix it. You need to take ownership of your faults and work to correct them. If this is a behavior issue, then change that behavior. If the issue is deeper, perhaps counseling will help. You may need to let this relationship go if it's not going to work out. Recovery from a failed relationship is also a part of this phase if it's necessary.
People can change, and I know that you can too. Find that strength to be who you need to be to wear a collar again. Be the shining example of your true self. And finally shake your grief from the loss, to begin with.
The baby steps you take now can help you restore your faith, not in the collar, but in your ability to earn one again. Depending on the state of your relationship, it may not be the one you were with, but commitment can come in many forms. This is a rebirth.
A new path is before you. It could be, as in my case, with the same Dominant. Things may have worked out and the treasure of a collar could be returned to you. (I was re-collared 5 months later.) Perhaps you are now looking for a new relationship, one where you can bring your new and untested self to the table. Whatever it may be that leads you to seek a collar again; do it with the knowledge that you've learned from your mistakes and promise yourself not to do them again. Best yet, keep that promise.
A collar could be waiting for you if you all but work to attain it. There is a Dominant that will love you as you are and just might offer you the commitment you look for.
Lastly, I'd like to remind you that I'm being optimistic here. Many times, relationships just can't survive the removal of a collar and it symbolizes the breakdown of the entire relationship. You can still get back on your feet and once again date again when you are ready. Wiser and stronger and more prepared than you were before. Learn from your missteps and don't let yourself fall into the same traps. Keep your eye on your perfect submission.