When I was fifteen, I took a weeklong vow of silence. I learned a lot, and as the years went on, I frequently thought of doing it again.
Now, it’s been over eight years since the weeklong vow. A lot has changed. So I thought I had a lot to potentially learn with a second go round, in what felt like almost a new life.
When I first pitched that concept, Mistress was skeptical. I’m her main source of company, after all. So, years passed, but a new comment on “The Benefits of Silence” brought it back to the front of my mind. I mentioned the comment to Mistress offhandedly, but it seemed her outlook on it had changed; she offered that if I wanted to do a version of it again, she might be willing within certain parameters.
I didn’t press right away—the timing wasn’t right—but a few weeks later, I floated a more specific idea, and she agreed.
Just a weekend vow of silence—from the time I fell asleep Friday night until the time I woke up Monday morning.
So came Saturday morning.
My morning alarm went off. I stirred on my usual blanket on the floor and shut it. I hit the pager transmitter button and got into Unleashing Position, cold air hitting my bare skin as always.
Now, I wrote a post on our morning ritual: “24/7 High Protocol: First Thing in the Morning”. And when I say in it, “This is how I wake up pretty much every morning,” I really mean word for word.
Being 24/7 high protocol, many of our required interactions are so scripted that I really didn’t need to speak my lines at all. Realizing the true extent of that was interesting.
Mistress came in and unleashed me. She gave me permission to use the restroom, so I didn’t need to ask. And today, the required, Thank you, Mistress, was an appreciative nuzzle.
For the first vow, there had been more planning. Negotiating with my parents and teachers, warning friends, carrying a makeshift whiteboard with a brief note on the back explaining the project.
This time, I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone other than Mistress, and didn’t really plan to until it was over.
I started to wonder about this when I went on my morning walk (Mistress, as usual, predicting my required notification that I was leaving, so I didn’t have to text).
Doing the same mile loop at the same time each morning, I tended to pass largely the same few people and dogs whom I was used to greeting. Still, I reflected, a nod or smile or wave wasn’t that out of place.
Later, I relied on Instacart instead of a quick walk to the store when the sealed milk in the fridge unexpectedly expired early, and quietly headed inside when I sensed the neighbor might be about to make conversation over the back wall. (He sent his young son to our front door with the lemons from their garden instead—Mistress got the door, though that’s usually my job.)
I mentioned Mistress’ early skepticism.
At first it seemed that while she would now allow the weekend vow, it was without enthusiasm. But as the time’d approached, her enthusiasm had risen.
At first, she talked about how I would be choosing not to talk that weekend. Then it was about how I wasn’t allowed to talk that weekend, an important distinction. Something I would happen to be doing (with permission) versus something she would actively be enforcing.
By the time I served brunch on Saturday—9:30 as always, hitting the ever handy pager transmitter button and assuming Waiting Position behind my usual chair—she was getting more enthused. “You may sit,” she said first—I already wasn’t allowed to do that or ask to on any other day, always silent as she did a quick check on my position, the table setting, whatnot, so that was as normal.
She noted that she was more talkative at brunch, as she was doing one hundred percent of the talking. She mocked my required silence happily and was already verbally plotting a third, pet play based vow of silence that I could spend leashed to her desk with maybe my notebook, but it would be a digital detox day, too. I’d already done a digital detox day recently, and spend plenty of hangout time leashed to her desk while we do our own things, me on the floor.
I decided to take the plotting as a good sign.
Saturday is our review day. We both have reflection and planning worksheets to fill out and share with each other, and other review tasks. I write a weekly summary of my daily slave journal entries and bring her the notebook.
So it was a good silent day of self reflection.
(This later got moved to Friday, but—at the time.)
I felt no strong urge to break my silence, as I hadn’t the last time, and there were no accidental slips (there was one, during the first vow, an exclamation when someone dropped something).
The only thing that really gave me pause this time was the amount I apparently “talk” (more like mouthing words) to and for myself, and to and for my fictional characters, and putting that on pause even when alone. And, no conversations with the kitties.
I still felt very strongly connected to my fiction that weekend, even old, typically forgotten projects coming back into my mind.
As I was silent, the background noise of my head seemed to have the volume turned up a notch: my inner monologue, what I call the music station, the white noise and conversational chatter, the fading out of this world and into my characters’, the intrusive delusional thoughts.
It was around my fifteenth birthday that I experienced my first definitive symptoms of what wasn’t diagnosed for almost another three years as paranoid schizophrenia. I was much newer to psychosis during my first vow.
But now, I had more insight into such changes and more sangfroid in handling them (and a better medication choice), just observing my mind curiously.
Communication, when I did feel the urge, was slow.
I realized I remembered most of the ASL alphabet, but Mistress didn’t, and it felt like cheating, anyway.
More of my communication was regularly happening electronically than at the time of the last vow. Mistress, my mom, my readers, my butler school instructor, the tenants. I tried not to chat incessantly, but used messaging when I really had something to say. I put off asking permission to return one non urgent property management call until Monday.
At one point, I asked Mistress for permission to use the restroom in person. Our typical protocol dictates that I wait in the doorway of her office (the loft) silently when I want her attention, waiting for her to acknowledge me.
So when she did, I pointed to myself and to the bathroom doorway perpendicular to what serves as her doorway. She didn’t get my vague gesturing, though, and after several tries, she was standing in the bathroom looking around in confusion when the oh moment struck, and she granted it, which counted as permission to leave, cutting my figuring out how to ask if there was anything else I could do to be of service, then permission to go, without speaking.
So I just curtsied and went into the restroom, leaving the door unlocked as always.
Sunday (and Wednesday and Friday) nights, sex is scheduled at 9 PM. (The schedule has shifted a bit since.)
It really went largely as normal—it’s not like I say much other than a, Yes, Mistress, here and there. As is pretty typical, I wasn’t allowed to come, but after, seeing to turndown and a few last tasks, settling onto my blanket on the floor for the night, I was allowed to masturbate there, and that was very nice.
So went my silent weekend.
It was interesting to compare the two experiences, to replicate the vow with the way my life is now, being a high protocol slave and all. I think there will always be some fun new observations.
I’ve decided to do it about once a year. Maybe one day we’ll do Mistress’ plotted pet play version. And every other day, we have the speak when spoken to rule for a taste of that feeling.