Tuesday, August 31, 2010

fantasy - or at least - non-reality

This is an entire area that is not at all worked out in my head.  It's a tough subject for me to even approach mentally; and I haven't been able to do more than peek at the inner workings yet.  That means that this post is more a statement of a problem than anything else. 

Somehow throughout my life I managed to avoid having sexual fantasies.  I don't know if my brain is deficient or if something happened to supress this part of me.  I am only now beginning to start to fantasize, and I'm pretty sure i'm not doing it right (that part is a little joke.)

I do experience cravings though.  They are very unformed and nebulous, but they are strong.  When I have these desires, wants, cravings, itches - whatever they are, it puts me quite out of sorts and recently into a tailspin.  I have trouble putting aside the things I imagine must be what I want or need.  I become convinced that this or this or that will satisfy me and put me straight again. 

Now that our relationship includes D/s, the sexual and personal and even the more mundane aspects of our interactions are all interwoven.  This means that my ideas and cravings etc are all jumbled up.  My reaction to this had been to form ideas about how our relationship *needed* to look or function.  A lot of talking has helped.  My husband has also started to change some things he does, or asks me to do, actually.  This one is going to take us (me) some time to face and work out.  But what I'm learning is that his way works. It isn't what i thought i wanted him to do, but it works, and it's better than what i had imagined.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

what's real? what's important?

Two steps forward, one step back - or is it one step forward, two steps back - most of the time I would be thrilled for the two-to-one plan - quite often i have to count myself lucky to be at one-to-two and not worse. 

I don't know why I am susceptible to such bouts of irrationality, but when they happen, they completely skew my perceptions and my thinking.  Rather than stop and question why the world around me would have changed so suddenly to something so different than it was, I choose to believe the new way I see it all.

This happened last week, and by the time it all came to a head, I was convinced that my husband was finished with anything to do with D/s, that he had in fact never wanted it; I was prepared to go back to "just plain old married," and put everything else out of my mind.   He talked me off the ledge, but not at all by reassuring me on the things i was so upset about.  He was (to me, at the time - brutally) honest about his feelings about things.  He has, in fact, always been honest; his ideas and opinions have evolved, but not really changed. 

It forced me to look hard at how I view things, my expectations, and the way I operate, and it turns out, they all had some serious flaws.  In fact, it was a fairly perfect storm of screw-ups and serious mis-understandings on my part.  I've talked with a few people who have helped me regain perspective, and my husband and I talked about what happened over a few days and I think i'm starting to see both where I went wrong and how to try to change.   At the risk of seeming too much like a  grade school essay, there are three big areas in which I went wrong:
 1 - not paying attention to what he says and does to learn what he wants
 2 - thinking that the only real way to do this (or anything of consequence) is the way i think of it 
 3 - being reluctant to express my feelings/wants/wishes/fantasies

And what is obvious now but had to be pointed out to me is that all three have to do with letting go of control and cedeing it to him.  The leap I can't seem to make sometimes is that I don't trust he's going to pick up the control.  Of course, he's not going to wrestle me for it, so I have to let go first. 

He is an odd mix, or maybe not, but he is steadfastly who he is.  He has always known I would do what he asked me to, but has always reserved that for the things he feels are most important.  As far as I understand what he says, he has strong ideas about what he wants from me: he wants to see that I am happy, that I excel at the things I do, that I am confident (a big issue for me).  He also feels strongly about having a warm, inviting, peaceful home, that is a refuge for our family and lets us thrive.  He wants me on my toes and he wants me to keep him on his.  He wants to guide me and doesn't mind manipulating things to push me.

Something I have always admired about him is that he has a vision of what he wants and is able to keep that foremost in his mind and make sure that all efforts are towards that end.  What i hadn't realized was just how much I factor into his vision.  I hadn't realized that he was invested in or really gave much thought to me as an individual, beyond my roles in the family.  I'm still coming to terms with this.

I had gotten very caught up in how i thought our relationship, our dynamic *should* look.  I was upset, disappointed, and frustrated that he wasn't picking up on what i was saying, particularly that he wasn't implementing what I wanted.  Somehow i believed that the ideas i had were, if not the only way, then at least the best and most obviously right way to be.  He let me in on his vision and some of the things he has been doing recently towards the goal of a happily humming along wife and family.  These looked very little like my mental preconceptions, but had worked really, really well towards his goal.  And I had been so wrapped up in my own internal dialog that i had mostly missed it. 

I had trouble seeing that what i thought i wanted, craved or desired were really fantasies (well - maybe much more mundane daydreams or reveries than terribly interesting fantasies).  I think i will write separately about that part of my learning this time around. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

communications breakdown

I try very hard not to put anything (thoughts mostly) on here that would surprise my husband, things I haven't told him about or already brought to him. I have always been honest with him - but communication between us has certainly had a certain level of superficiality.  There were often things that happened in my life, or feelings or opinions or crazy thoughts that I would share with certain friends or with my sister, but not with him.  It happened more than a few times that he would learn of fairly big occurrences or decisions I had made through others rather than from me first.  I know this really bothered him, I can picture the look of hurt on his face from more than one occasion.  I've changed that, I make sure he is the first to know about the bigger things in my life now.   

I would say that the biggest and hardest change between us over the past year has been in communication. My strong instinct when I'm angry or distraught is to shut down.  It is infuriating to have him poke and prod at me to get me to talk to him in these times, and it's a huge struggle between us, and within myself, to put into words all the feelings when I'm upset. 

Talking to him about what I want, what I like, what I feel like I need has been very difficult also.  There are a lot of layers and levels of intimacy to this.  Telling him I wanted to submit sexually was a huge step, admitting that I crave pain was another. Moving the D/s into the other aspects of our lives has tripped me up as I find mental blocks competing with what I feel like I might really thrive with.  Along the way, I have struggled with each new step, each new layer that I thought I could or should keep to myself, but discovered I couldn't or shouldn't.  It sounds so simple and straightforward, the idea of sharing everything, but it just isn't, at least for me.

I will, of course, answer his questions, as well and as honestly as I can.  But what about the things he has no idea are there, no way to know to ask about? There are a lot of things I want him to know, or more accurately, I want him to ask about because I'm not confident enough to bring them up on my own. But how can he know to ask?  Or, how can I guess what he would or would not want to know in order to volunteer that information? 

We have tried me keeping a journal with only some success.  I am tripped up on knowing that I don't think it's right to expect him to read it on my schedule, or to provide instant or even any feedbck to me; but on the other hand, writing with no idea if he reads it, or wants to, makes it hard to keep doing, and not knowing what he thinks about the quality, the effort, or the content makes it very scary to work to reveal the hard things.  This had gotten to the point that I just stopped writing, and very much backed off of communicating well at all.  Somewhere there is an answer for this, a balance that will work for each of us. 

This week I am trying to throw caution and all my better instincts out and just write what i feel.  I don't know if it will help us figure out the best way for us, logistically or emotionally. But below are some of the things I have written to him this week about, well, about writing to him: 

There are a lot of reasons for me to not write to you like this:
     you are really, really busy, over whelmed and i can't even imagine how you are keeping up - what i want to say just isn't as pressing

     we have never needed/wanted/tried to communicate this deeply - we've always communicated fairly well - but with a definite limit to how deep each of us went - unless something big happened
     this is new for both of us - i think it will/should require more in depth than we are used to - but i really don't know what it should really look like - for one thing - it seems like it is not more one sided - but i think each of our sides will end up looking much more different from each other than they had before
     i also really just don't know how much you want to know
     i also don't want to feel like i'm leading you - feeding you ideas "please do this - i want this" just doesn't seem right
in the end - i do have a lot of thoughts - not everyday - they come in spurts - but i do feel like it is probably important for you to know where my head is in general

    what i do say to you does get greatly censored - and not just in a 'bite my tongue - be respectful' way - but what i think you may or may not want to hear - what i think you will or won't agree with or care about or be interested in or whatever
     i think it will take time and practice for me to get beyond the self censoring - that and probably feedback from you about what and how much and that you can handle it all - want to hear it - it matters, etc...
     i don't expect instant answers or action or discussion of what i write - but i do think that a " i got it" or "i didn't hear from you today" or for a few days or whatever would help me know i should continue or not (see below)
    also - in the end - i will feel more ok to do this if you tell me you want me to - and hold to that - maybe not in a rule/punishment/task kind of way - but somehow, something that lets me know you want me to and expect me to -

     I'm sending this now - I know you are busy right now.  (The option is for me to wait and send it when i think its a good time for you. But that is me deciding and not trusting you to handle things and maybe even manipulating the whole thing.)
     I have a really hard time writing or saying anything to you that sounds like criticism. I do get frustrated with certain things, but I haven't felt critical. I do however still feel very unresolved about this whole communication thing, which actually means that i feel very unresolved about the whole thing.
     I will try writing this week - no matter what, and see how that goes for me. I know that i won't keep writing into a void though. It is pointless and makes me feel like a fool.

This is the really risky part for me - to say this to you - because it may well make you angry, or defensive - or you may think i'm wrong to feel this way. i have no idea - and in the past i would really try to keep these things to myself - that may be my emotions or silliness or which may upset you - i would try to suck it up and ignore it unless it got really big -

but i'll try this this week and see - I will risk trying to tell you what i'm feeling, deeper and more honestly - please remember what a risk it is for me.

I am reluctant to say certain things that I think about often - partly because i worry what you would think of me for it, and also because i want you to have the idea on your own - so that i am sure it is really your idea, what you really want - so i can have no doubt that you aren't just doing what i want or what you think i want. Or worse yet, if you would like something - and i've mentioned it - now you're reluctant to do it because i suggested it - you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. I know this comes down to a level of trust on my part - but i'm not sure how to get there.

This is a lot of words - I wonder if that's part of the issue???

Thursday, August 12, 2010

an analogy

Or maybe it's a simile.  In any case.....

Our family likes to bike, as transportation and for fun, long rides.  We have taken the boys since they were big enough to sit up in the trailer, now they have bigger bikes than mine and go faster.  Our first Saturday together in this new city/region we went exploring the various biking options.  We discovered a great towpath trail and took full advantage of it.  This region has hills, btw, our previous state didn't - now we know what gears are for.

The arrangement has always been that my husband leads the way, then the boys, then me making sure no one gets distracted or left behind.  Actually - that's the arrangement in all such activities - walking anywhere, running, hiking, canoeing, skiing...  It had for the longest time really, really bothered me.  He is much taller and stronger than I and goes faster, certainly faster than the kids, although they are catching up.  He has a way of slowly easing into his own pace, no matter what the ducklings behind him are doing.  He would offer to switch positions - sometimes i would try, but somehow he would end up back in the front and I would feel compelled to play sheepdog to the kids from behind.  I never feel like i need to be out in front, but the view from the back just isn't always that great either. 

(This is the simile part)  It struck me last week how much this is like submission.  It is more difficult to bike behind someone than in front (unless there's a headwind and you can draft - then it's great).  But the one in front can see what's coming and make decisions based on that.  The one behind has to speed up, slow down, swerve, etc. just based on what the one in front is doing.  Add two kids of questionable attention spans in betwen the leader and the caboose and the one at the end of the line ends up accomodating a lot of random movement with little apparent purpose. 

I am getting better about following.  More and more I have trouble keeping up with the boys, mom is officially slowest at a lot of activities now.  But my acceptance of following, of accomodating the stops and starts and direction changes for which i can't necessarily see the purpose, is better.  It's a choice to be there.  I want to let my husband lead, and the kids still need me to come behind and watch out for them, although maybe not quite as much as i imagine they do, and not for much longer.  But it's not like a tandem bike, I'm not bound by physics (or a bike frame and common chain drive) to his pace and direction.  I keep choosing. 

And of course - there's the fact that it's a long, slow, torturous, none of the benefits and all of the hurt, way to make your ass sore. On the plus side - everyone elses' butt was sore too.

Monday, August 9, 2010

i wonder....

I wonder if he ever needs it too, needs to do things to me. I wonder this when it's been awhile and I really, really want/need to be bound, controlled, impacted, made to feel him, and, well..... used. It is of course tied into sexual tension, arousal and release, but the context is so much more really. I crave it to bring me back to myself, and remind me of who I am, and to stop the flying around mentally and physically.

Does it do anything at all like that for him? Or does it work in the converse for him? Or is it just that he likes things better when I'm more settled? Or is it just because he knows I want it?

Or is it purely sexual? He says he likes sex, a lot (that's a little joke between us - meant by him to indicate that I can't quite seem to fathom the meaning sex really holds for him). So maybe it is something purely sexual, maybe that is a lot to him???

I'm only wondering mind you. He (and others) have made it clear that the way things work for me aren't anything like how they work for him and that I really can't relate and shouldn't try to.

But I do wonder, or rather I should say, I hope it all does something for him. In the end, I don't like to think of myself as a needy, greedy girl - even when that's clearly the case.

Friday, August 6, 2010

are we still doing that?

We are here - in our new house. It is starting to be less and less like camping - finding the things we need from closets and dressers and cabinets instead of from boxes or suitcases; knowing where we are going vs. going exploring to find things; living here instead of interloping. We aren't there yet - but soon - hopefully.

The past two weeks have been about 3 months long, most of them spent with half the family in the new place and the other half in the old; some time together here, but overwhelmed by the work of getting settled; then he and I apart again next week. I commented to someone that we haven't had a very dynamic dynamic lately - just no time for anything not related to moving, or to helping angsty, moody teens adapt to moving. This person commented that maybe that's when the whole thing is it's most dynamic. Maybe - maybe keeping us sane and functioning fairly smoothly, adapting unconsciously and, by necessity, effortlessly to all the different situations. Maybe....

Part of me wants, really really wants, (needs??) to feel the flow between us. I don't know - maybe to be reassured it is there, to feel it as a touchstone in the chaos right now, to have someone controlling me as i spend so much energy trying to take control of everything around us, and also probably just because i really crave the feeling of his power, of feeling submissive, mostly of feeling very connected.

Quite frankly, this is fairly self-centered of me. I do want this, maybe need it - although I can and obviously do function even without the overt displays and actions of it all. I broke a very small rule last night and he pointed that out. I replied that i didn't know "we were still doing that." He reassured me that we are and will but that the focus needs to be where it needs to be.

To be blunt - he is working his ass off also, and I'm sure feeling more burden and responsible for everything going well than I am. He is still him, I'm still me, and we are still us. I know that this is life, and that it all ebbs and flows and interconnects, and that our dynamic is important because it supports us together and in how we can build our life, and that sometimes the effort has to go into the actual life.