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???


  1. Dear gg,

    Vesta has a very nice expression: analysing the analysis. Maybe you should ask her about it.

    Wishing you all the best,

  2. gg:
    Some of your post reminded me a little of myself before "ttwd". I spent too much time thinking my own thoughts and then, spent a frustrating amount of energy thinking Sugar's thoughts for her about what she might be think about my thoughts. And then thinking that maybe I shouldn't speak.

    I'm just babbling off the top of my head now. I have no idea if this is helpful. Toss it if necessary.

    "Anchor" words that stood up in my mind as I read your post.


    To reveal knowledge about ourselves is to take the risk that we will not be accepted. If we feel that we may not be accepted, somewhere there is a disconnect where trust is concerned.

    I hope you receive the reassurance that you need to solidify that trust - no matter what you reveal. And, I also hope that you trust in the reassurance you will no doubt receive.

    There is such richness of relationship when exposure and vulnerability is wrapped in a blanket of trust.

    The best to you and he.

  3. You think after knowing you this long, he won't know you think in lots of words? ;-)

    Good for you for muzzling the censor, at least for a while. I suspect you will like the results.
    And we've got your back.

    (verification: soleally)

  4. GG, from one wordy girl to another, I am going through a very similar thing as far as communication. I want to pour my heart out, but he is not always available/willing/receptive, and so I spend a lot of time writing. I am waiting for him to make a decision on something, and so I am holding back. It's sometimes hard to know what he thinks is important too. Which things would he rather I didn't wait to tell him. We're learning, as we go, and I want the boat to go faster sometimes.
    I hope you find the right way for the two of you, I think it will help you as things get busier, no?

  5. Cassie,
    I will do that - thank you.

    If/when i stop and really think about it - I know that he accepts me, even if it's with an eye roll. I may wonder why or feel he shouldn't - but he does accept me. My fear is that he may not also want what i want. There's a self centeredness there I need to get through somehow. The part i need to trust is that he will do what he thinks is best and what he wants. I need to believe him wehn he tells me that is the case.

    You would think - wouldn't you?!? We'll see how it goes. (Allies are good, more than one even)

    I think there will be much less time for this kind of thinking - which may well be a very good thing, yes. We have come this far - I am sure we will continue - i'm just kinda impatient sometimes.