My Own Crisis of Confidence

My Own Crisis of Confidence

My confidence in John Brownstone – at an all-time high.

My confidence in the people who care about me – high.

My confidence in my friends and family – high.

Don’t get me started on politics. Confidence? What confidence?

But in myself? That’s at an all-time low. And not because anyone has said or done anything to me. The world has not come crashing down around my ears (yet). It’s more that too much has happened at once. If everything on it’s own could be dealt with in a vacuum, it would all be easy. But life isn’t like that. Things hit you all at once, and they all seem small (except the things that aren’t), and they all add up.

So what am I talking about?

Well, there’s the problem of having our identities found out. We talked about it on the podcast but another problem kept me from being able to share the episode here. We’re handling it. Everything will be fine (eventually). But I decided to stay strong instead of having the meltdown I probably deserved. Everything comes home to roost eventually.

I’m still in a weird headspace about what I think of as “my submission” changing drastically. It’s making me crave his dominance and my own acquiescence. But neither of us have time for what we really want (and need). And John Brownstone has the problem of feeling less than dominant because too much has been taken out of his control – never a good feeling for anyone.

Old memories (aka “bad tapes”) of my previous marriage are haunting me. I don’t think John Brownstone will do anything like my ex-husband did. In fact, I know it will be better. But the memories I have of the struggle and stress never went away. I didn’t expect them to, but I didn’t realize how close to the surface they really were.

I’m feeling pressure to take on more work at a time when I don’t have time to seek it out. In a very short time, I’ll have the time I need but my anxious brain is spinning in circles, wringing her hands, and frantic with the need to do this NOW.

And then, right when I thought that was plenty to handle, every website I own (eight in total including John Brownstone’s) started to crash. Server errors hit this site hardest. All the others slowed down to a crawl. It took a few hours (in the middle of hitting a deadline on a massive article) to figure out the problem.

Our cheap web hosting was fine with six basic websites. And then I started getting ideas and adding websites and a community and having plans. That’s all well and good, but it never occurred to me that we’d need a better server to handle what we were doing. My limited understanding of servers is that this is where the websites live, and under the old plan, we shared that space with who knows how many other websites. Once I started adding sites, we began to use way too many resources for the space we were allotted and everything crashed. 

The fixes I could do to get the sites up again (although with really slow loading times) accidentally screwed up the podcast feeds for about a day. I was able to fix that, too.

See? Everything is/was fixable. My impatient babygirl AND businesswoman self wants the server change to be done now, but in the interest of our own sanity, it’s going slowly. But it’s being done correctly. Because this isn’t something I want to fuck up (again).

Like I said at the top, in a vacuum, each problem on it’s own can be handled almost easily. You figure out the solution, implement a plan, and move forward. That’s my preferred method.

Instead…chaos. Not on the outside. On the outside, I communicated with people on social media and by email, apologizing for the problems and promising a fix. On the outside, John Brownstone and I continue to talk through our feelings and insecurities, making plans, crossing off items on our to-do list. We’re staying positive, working hard, and looking to the future.

But on the inside? I’m a fucking basketcase. I can barely write the most basic article because there’s something in my head holding me back, making me think I don’t know what I’m doing, that I’ve fucked up so much other stuff, I’ll probably fuck this up too. God, I hate that feeling. I know it’s temporary. I know I need to be kind to myself. I know I need to rest.

I know these things, but that doesn’t make them easy to act on. Instead, I feel an unspoken internal pressure to keep moving forward, to do more, to not be a “slacker” (yes, I recognize the ridiculousness of that, too).

I’m obsessively checking my websites to make sure they load right now knowing they might not in a few minutes. I’ve hesitated to write much here because I hate the idea of someone getting an error message when they click on a link. Instead of saying, “Fuck it” and being a kick-ass chick about it all, I’ve been sidelined with headaches. Stress and tension headaches as painful as any migraine I’ve ever had knocked me out.

And when John Brownstone had to take over for a night because I’d turned myself into a mess who couldn’t keep her eyes open let alone cope with life, I couldn’t stop apologizing. I’m sorry I’m not handling this well. I’m sorry I’m not being a good submissive. I’m sorry you’re working twice as hard to pick up my slack. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry. I feel like I’ve been apologizing in one way or another to different people for days now. And it’s killing my confidence.

About the author

Kayla Lords

I am a sex blogger, podcaster, freelance writer, international speaker, kink educator, and all-around kinky woman. You can find me online sharing my innermost sexual thoughts and experiences, teaching other bloggers how to make money writing about sex, and helping kinksters have happy healthy BDSM relationships. I'm also a masochistic babygirl submissive with an amazing and sadistic Daddy Dom and business partner, John Brownstone. Welcome to my kinky corner of the internet!


  • Maybe the change in your roles is presenting itself so you can deal with it head on. 🙂
    You are doing great.

  • Thank you for sharing! I think many of us feel this way at times…that lack of confidence in ourselves, in our own abilities. You have a lot going on. You and John provide a great service to those of us who follow your podcast, blogs, etc. Remember, we all know that you are human! You don’t have to be super humans. I hope you will find time today to take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are amazing. Please take good care, nora

  • I can relate to so much of what you are saying and I think, when things become too much, I tend to react in the same sort of way. I start to try to micro manage which is what I did to control things before Sir and the D/s. I try to claw back some control with endless planning for eventualities that may never occur and then I feel that I am not submissive and have failed at that too. What I need then is to be taken in hand. To be told what is going to happen and to be forced to stop for a while. I hope that you find some peace soon. The new website is great and you have both achieved so much in a short space of time. ?

  • I saw this quote in an email and it made me think of you two.
    “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” –

    I think the way you two work together and take care of each other is just one blessing in the whirlwind happening right now. I know you’ll find more.
    Love to you both and karma will take care of those who dare to hurt you. XoXo

    • That’s a much more eloquent way to state my personal belief system – everything happens for a reason. And I know it to be true but sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. ((HUGS))

      • True, everything happens for a reason, but it’s how we handle it that truly shows what we are made of. Being as you two took it in stride and took steps to take care of yourselves instead of lashing out shows a hell of a lot of strength and restraint in a world that has no idea what that means anymore. XoXo

  • Dear Kayla,

    I am very sorry to hear that you have found yourself under such overwhelming amounts of pressure.

    For what it’s worth, I think you are handling matters superbly.

    Although I won’t ever claim to have been through anything like the challenges you have faced so far, past and present ones, I sympathise fully and can relate to some degree. Big warm hugs for you!

    Here at yourLayeredLife we have always felt that you and John Brownstone embody the central and defining idea of our ethos: real kinksters lead really layered lives.

    The management of all these different layers that make up anyone’s life is no easy feat. Throw in a kinky layer and it can only be done if both partners throw every ounce of energy into making it work. You shouldn’t feel guilty about asking for help from your best friend.

    As you say, time will help you get through this difficult period and you have to sit it out and wait until your exhausted body and your emotions catch up with what your brain is telling you: it will all be okay.

    From the outside, all any of us can see is competence and achievement. In abundant quantities.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Warm regards,

    Cruella deWinter

  • From an outside standpoint, you are kicking ass, Kayla. The way you are handling this situation (both of you) is unbelievable. You have his back, on the high road, holding hands through it all. I’m sorry it’s overwhelming, and I definitely understand the anxiety. You’re allowed to have shit days. Even shit weeks! You are human, too.

    I also have trouble if I feel overwhelmed or have a shut day when I know M is less than his normal self. I don’t want to burden him any further.

    But they need us to need them, too. John’s got your back, too.

    • I have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel what I feel and that it’s not a personal failing. We’re all works in progress, I guess. 🙂

  • I can so identify with where you are right now. That feeling that you seeming to be getting away with it and might soon be found out as some kind of fraud is where I am too.

    As others have said you are meeting every challenge and not just overcoming it, but as Kay says ‘kicking ass”.

    Life at the best of times is ‘layered’ as we juggle work, normal home life, kids, family plus the usual curveballs. Without the added emotional stress of a D/s relationship, general kink stuff, fear of discovery about a lifestyle that feels normal and web stuff that can affect your livelihood.

    From where I sit you are doing great. You have the lovely JB to support you and together you are a force to be reckoned with. Just keep doing what you are doing xxx

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