Sunday, September 11, 2016
Care and Comfort of a Sick Brat
Title: Care and Comfort of a Sick Brat
Series: TLR Seminar Series
Jerome looked out over all the men. The conference room was full and a repeat of this seminar had already been requested. The resort was booked full as it was the height of summer and many Tops found this seminar particularly helpful.
"Good morning, everyone." Jerome's voice carried over the large room. As a lawyer, he'd learned how to project his voice without shouting. The quiet chatter of the room ceased as soon as he spoke.
"I'm Jerome and this is my husband, Saul." Jerome smiled as Saul gave a regal nod in greeting. Saul's nervousness was only apparent to his Top. Jerome knew that Saul didn't have trouble speaking in front of a large group, but this topic always made his Brat a bit of uncomfortable. And that was one thing that Jerome was going to address.
"Today's seminar is the Care and Comfort of a Sick Brat. It's a topic that we all want to talk about and to find the best way to care for each other," Jerome said. "Even though we have a full house, I want this to be a discussion between all of us. I'm the facilitator of the seminar, but by no means am I the expert. I'm sure you've heard it before, but I'm going to state it again." Jerome waited a few moments to make sure he had everyone's attention. "Each man here has individual needs. What works for one couple or person, may not work for another. So we'll discuss some ways to care for a Brat who is sick. But then as a couple you need to find what works best for the both of you."
Jerome turned slightly as Saul stepped forward. They'd been giving this seminar so many times that they moved together like a well-choreographed dance. He gave Saul a wink of encouragement.
"This isn't a first aid class," Saul stated. "The medical staff gives those. Instead this is how to give comfort to your partner who has the flu or a cold or someone who has a chronic condition like arthritis. Each person, each Brat, has a need for comfort while they are sick. Even though there are a million ways to care for someone, we will discuss three distinct theories of care taking. The first is what Jerome and I call the 'Remote Care'. This kind of care is good for the Brat who when sick doesn't want a lot of attention."
"Remote care is for that Brat that says 'leave me alone to die in peace'," Jerome broke in. "The Brat that doesn't want anyone around and wants to just sleep off the illness. That might seem like the easiest Brat to care for, but can be hard on the Top. Many Tops want to care and protect their partner, so when we are pushed away, we can go into protective mode. It's important as a Top to understand what their Brat needs. If they need remote care, then there are ways that you can fulfill your need to protect without smothering your Brat."
Saul grinned first at Jerome then out to the men in attendance. "Not that Jerome has ever been in the position of remote care, but we've talked to others and researched it enough to talk you all through it. So what does remote care consist of? Well, one thing might be leaving a box of Kleenex on the bedside table or within arm’s reach."
"That shows you are aware of his needs, but you are giving him the time and space to use it as he determines," Jerome explained. "Keeping the refrigerator stocked with orange or apple juice. Keeping easily to digest foods handy. This way you as the Top are feeding your need to care for your Brat, but he doesn't feel like you are treating him like an invalid."
Saul looked out over the group and asked, "do any of you have a remote way to care that you'd like to share?"
Jerome watched the men carefully. When he saw two men talking quietly, he casually strolled over to them. In a soft voice, he said, "I'm sure the group would like more ideas if you have them."
The man with bright red hair blushed brightly, but nodded. Standing up, he looked only at Jerome. "I'm that Brat that wants to be left alone. I don't think I'm qualified to go into the reasons why, but I really don't want a lot of attention when I'm sick. I get migraines....a lot. One way that Jason takes care of me is by turning down the heating. Cold air is better for me when I have a migraine. But he does it without me asking him to and he doesn't make a big deal out of it." The man turned to his partner and whispered, "I appreciate that so much, Jason. I know you do that to make me more comfortable."
Jerome met Jason's eyes. He could see the love he had for his Brat shining through. Jerome gave him a nod of encouragement. The other Top understood the message and stood up.
"I'm Jason, Keegan's Top. I can attest to the fact that you can feel helpless when you have a Brat who doesn't want to be cared for when they are ill. But you do find ways that satisfy your own needs as you are satisfying the needs of your Brat. Things like turning down the heater, or adding a heavier blanket on the bed, give me a physical reassurance that I'm taking care of Keegan, but he doesn't feel I'm being too pushy."
As the two men sat down, Jerome started back to the front. "That was a great example of meeting both men's needs. Both the Top and the Brat have unique needs and its working together that will bring you closer together." He looked up at Saul and gave a small nod.
"Does anyone have anything further to add to remote care? Or any questions?" Saul waited a few seconds but when no one appeared to want to add anything he continued. "The second way of care is one that we call 'Cuddle Care'. This is when the Brat, or the Top, want cuddles and more physical reassurances. Things like cuddling together on the couch or in bed, when the Brat is sick."
"One thing I've heard from Brats that prefer the cuddle care is that they like to be read to or sang to when they are ill," Jerome said. "I know a couple who like to read favorite children’s books when the Brat is sick. The Brat confided in me that it made him feel loved to have his Top read to him when he was sick. The Top explained to me that the reason why they used children's books was that they were shorter and didn't require as much attention. We all know that when we are sick, we can experience a short attention span." He stopped when he saw a hand go up in the air.
Walking his way through the men seated, he finally reached the man. The man stood up and looked out over the room.
"I didn't want to interrupt, but cuddle care is exactly what my own Brat needs when he is sick. He doesn't get sick often, but when he does, we both go into what we call 'Care Bear' mode. Not only does he like to be read children's books, but I like to read them to him. He also wears pajama's when he's sick. We normally sleep in the nude, but when he's sick, he likes the extra clothing on him."
Jerome grinned at the man and his partner. They both were what he'd think of as bears with their beards and muscular builds. "I think you said something that is very important to emphasize. You said you like to read the books to him. It's so important that we recognize that the care is for both the Brat and the Top. Thank you for sharing that."
As soon as Jerome stopped speaking, Saul piped up. "I think another fact to remember is when you are ill you might need and want something that you'd never want when you are well. The unique relationship of discipline has many factors that can be different than a non-discipline relationship. Accepting them and embracing them make the relationship stronger."
"And with the words accepting and embracing, I'm going to talk about the third way of caring for a sick Brat," Jerome said. "Saul and I call this the 'Military Care'. Military Care is when the Top is the General and is completely in charge. The Brat is the Private who must obey the General's orders. To the Top and Brat that need the cuddle care and the remote care this may seem harsh. But remember it really is driven by the Brat."
"Again, it's important to note that what the Brat wants when they are ill, might be totally out of character of what they want when they are healthy," Saul reminded the group.
Jerome put his arm around Saul in comfort. The Military Care was what his own Brat needed, but was also uncomfortable talking about. "Military Care can be shown by taking the temperature in the rectum. Medicine can be given by suppositories and enemas. I will tell you in my own experience, the Brat that needs this type of care, finds the control the Top has over his body comforting. The Brat feels that his body is out of his own control due to being sick, so they find reassurance that someone does have some type of control. For example, they may like being fed as they feel too weak to feed themselves."
"But doesn't feeding fall under cuddle care?" A voice from the back of the room called out.
Jerome nodded. "Yes it can fall under cuddle care. There can be cross overs in the types of care. But it can also be the way the care is given." He looked over to Saul. This topic helped his own Brat come to terms with his needs as much as it helped the couples attending the seminar.
"Yes, feeding your Brat can be cuddle care. I think," Saul paused a moment and took a deep breath. "I think it's the way the feeding is handled. The tone of voice the Top has. The Look on his face. Whether you are in bed or on the couch or at the table. All of these small nuances are done in way that the Brat feels like his Top is in complete control."
"How do you know what kind of care you need?" A small voice from the front row asked.
Jerome looked over and saw the man's partner hug him close. The love and concern the man had for his Brat was there for all to see. The show of support warmed Jerome's heart.
"I'm sorry to tell you that there is no perfect formula to use to find out. It's by trial and error. By reading the clues that are sent out," Jerome stated. "If you are sick and your partner is giving cuddle care but that's not what you need, you might act differently."
Saul spoke up. "You act different when you are sick anyways, but this goes beyond that. You might throw a temper tantrum that you wouldn't normally throw. You might pull back. It takes time to know what is needed. For both the Top and the Brat. For the most part, as a couple, you gravitated to the one you need in your life. Some couples have stricter boundaries because that's what they both need. You find your way through and you become stronger for it."
Jerome saw the relief on the man's face. This is why they gave these seminars. Information and acceptance of their lifestyle helped the men find happiness together. Being able to talk openly to each other, ask questions that they couldn't ask anywhere else, helped open the lines of communication to the men involved. Saul said it best when he said they become stronger for pit.
"Saul is right, you will become stronger. As individual men and as couples when you talk about what you need in your relationship. And as we come to the end of this seminar, I want to leave you with one word of advice, talk to each other. Find out what works for others. Find out how they take care of each other. None of us reach a point in our relationships that we can say we know it all or that we've reached a final destination, but the experiences of others can help you find what works best for you." Jerome knew his voice was passionate as he talked, but he knew that with each seminar that he and Saul gave, they grew closer. "Saul and I are here for the rest of the week. You are more than welcome to come talk to us, we are in no way experts, but talking it out can help. Talk to us. Talk to other couples. And give care and comfort to each other."
Jerome took Saul's hand and gave it a squeeze as the men stood and started to leave. Another successful seminar given. They'd go back to their cabin or take a hike on the trails and they'd talk out what went right, what they needed to work on, and they'd grow stronger. Together.