Tormented, I ripped myself away from my vile lover years ago, tearing off chunks of my flesh as though it were frozen to metal.  His powerful hands have left prints on my body, his seductive kisses are burned into my soul where he skulks in the darkest shadows.

He waits, knowing, trusting that I will once again be tempted, that I will return to him and give myself to him completely.  And he is right.  I am tempted.  I am often tempted.  I ache for him, my man in black.  I close my eyes, recalling the sweet delight in his deadly touch.  My skin comes alive, aching as his masterful fingers caress me from a distant time, from yesterday, from a hundred years from now.  I will never be free.

A tiny voice inside pleads with him to stop but a much louder one begs him to go on, to entice me, persuade me, to seduce me yet again. And he knows this.  He always knows this because that voice is his.  He hears my every thought, his sadistic laughter echoing through my heart as it loves and hates him, needs and despises him, craves and rejects him all at once.

Ever the trickster, sometimes he lets me think he is out of my head, that I am free at last. He deceives me, leaves me alone.  Allows me to forget him, at least for a little while. Just long enough for me to let down my guard.  Just long enough for me to get comfortable, to stop noticing the scars, to stop the deadly dance that's in my brain, and I think perhaps I am finally safe.

But I am not.  Time and time again, I discover that he is lurking in the shadows, waiting until I am at my most vulnerable.  Like a shark detecting a few drops of blood from miles away, there he is, silently gliding through the darkest waters of my soul, anticipating his victory over my crumbling will.

I am, however, intimately familiar with this game.  He thrives on my power; he feeds on my will. I love to be at his mercy and I hate it, detest it, loathe it yet I fantasize about my submission, about giving myself to him completely, crossing back over to the dark side once again.

Everything in this twisted game is about power, about control; ever the masochist, I take sadistic pleasure in my own suffering.  It empowers me. The longer I endure it, the stronger I become.

My most vulnerable weakness is my greatest strength and he does not understand this.  He has not learned that I am using him as he has always used me.  His strength becomes my own and I use it against him, every time those jaws come up from the very depths of my being and try to swallow me whole.

He does not understand that he is only as powerful as he ever was, but that my own strength increases every time I am able to pull myself away from the seductive dance, the lie that tells me "Just this once will be okay", the lame excuse that tries to twist itself into a justifiable reason, that makes his deadly grasp a loving embrace.

My sadistic lover is addiction and I am its Master.  I fight the slavery of submission as much as I crave its sweet poison.  On days like this, at moments like this, I find it impossible to imagine having gone for very long periods without noticing the chains of addiction wrapping themselves around me so tightly I could not move, could not breathe.

But this is because the chains don't always look the same. My sadistic lover is always there, in one form or another, and I must be ever vigilant, never letting my guard down, watching for that moment when I lose control and slide into self-destruction yet again.  I will not be defeated.  I will continue to fight and continue to win.

And I will continue to delight in my sadistic lover's seductive and terrifying enticement.  It is delicious and decadent; it is sensuous and erotic.  It awakens me and stirs something deep within me, bringing me to life while it seeks my destruction.

I delight in all this terrible passion yet I will not succumb. It flirts, it teases me, taunts and dares me.  But it is only a game in my head, where I am both Master and Slave.  I use it to my own advantage, for self-discipline and strength.  I toy with it now, as it used to toy with me.

No, I do not want freedom from this addiction because it feeds my strength, my willpower, my ability to turn my back on its gripping temptation and refuse to give in.

I can look at my sadistic addiction with passion or disdain; it is my choosing. And even when it is with erotic pleasure, I can enjoy the dance but say goodnight at the door. And so, in this moment, as in so many other moments and days, even months and years before it, I will.