Until I met Daddy, I could count the people who truly believed in me, throughout my entire life, on one hand. Every one of them was related by blood, and every one of them told me I could do anything I put my mind to, that I could be anything I wanted to be, that they had complete faith in my ability to work hard and achieve my goals - because they'd watched me do it my entire life.
Those same people watched me marry and stay married to someone they considered the biggest damn fool. For a few years, I think they questioned me, my judgment, and my abilities. I think they felt sorry for me, believing that I was wasting my life and my potential. At this point, of those four or five people, two are still living. My mother and my aunt, now that their faith in my intelligence was reaffirmed through a divorce, every so often tell me that they believe in me. I'm always encouraged by their belief in me.
Everyone should have someone completely in their corner in life. A person who encourages you when you're dreaming, holds your hand when things get rough, and fights (or offers to) with you when you have to do battle - to save yourself, save your dreams, whatever. I know that not everyone is that fortunate. Many of us go through life believing that people believe in us, love us, want the best for us, but when life gets rough, we feel completely alone.
I'm not saying that vanilla relationships don't have this dynamic, but in my experience, that level of support was non-existent (before and after my marriage from every man I became involved with). I had to find dominance and submission (D/s) and good Dominants to experience this for myself. When I speak of commitment, communication, support, and encouragement, I'm not saying that these things don't exist in the non-kinky world. I've been told they do, and I choose to believe that. In my experience, this is a strictly D/s experience.
Many people use D/s for kinky sex and that's all. They play in the bedroom (or living room or kitchen or wherever), but outside of sex, they leave D/s behind. The lifestyle part of D/s isn't for them. Fair enough - I'm not talking about those folks. Some only "play" in D/s. They go to a club, hook up with someone, act out a scene, and move on. They consider themselves Dominant or submissive, but they don't want a relationship (for whatever reason). Not talking about them, either. I'm referring to D/s couples who are in a loving, committed relationship. If you consider yourself to be in a relationship, and you aren't experiencing what I'm about to describe, I suggest you take a good, long look at your situation.
I held myself back with Daddy for a long time, even as we played a bit with orgasm denial and orgasm control. When my co-workers asked who I was talking to, I was always very non-committal. I told my office-mate that I didn't think we would go too far, that whatever he and I were was a passing thing. I thought the relationship would be short-lived. I certainly wasn't looking for anything or anyone when I met him.
Then he melted the glacier around my heart. Not by fucking me senseless (which he did) or spanking my ass (which he did) or allowing me to kneel at his feet - even with all of that intimacy, my heart was still covered in ice, thawing, but definitely there.
I told him of my dream to write and publish my writing. I told him that I wanted to earn an income by being a writer, that my big, bad scary dream was to write for a living. His answer? "Well, of course you will. I'll help you."
Only one other time in my whole life have I felt my heart melt and expand and fill with love. One time before. It wasn't his words, exactly. What melted the glacier was the conviction in his words. There was no doubt in his mind that I could do it, and at that moment, I believed it was possible, too.
From that point on, he pushed - sometimes gently, sometimes firmly. When I became discouraged, he propped me up. When the mean bullies in the writing world made me question myself, he was ready to fight dragons for me. He reads nearly everything I write, and before a word is published, he reads it and gives me feedback.
He believes in me when I'm afraid to believe. He puts rules in place for me that help me achieve my dreams. I have to put the hard work in to get myself there, but he supports me all the way. His utter conviction that I can do these things, that I can make my dreams a reality takes my breath away. He believes in me. Every time he reaffirms this unlimited belief, I feel the power of his love wrap around me. I feel safe and secure, loved and cherished.
In the world of D/s, a lot is said about what the submissive gives to their Dominant, that it's a gift. I have always felt that I receive so much more than I give. He would say the same, though. To me, that's the sign of a good D/s relationship. If both parties (or all parties, if you're poly), feel like they're getting more than they're giving, they only want to give even more. The more he does for me, the more I want to do for him. It's a cycle of love, belief, and trust. I believe that nothing but good can from that.