Sir J's post about helplessness ties in very directly with a lot of what i've been working on recently. It's not in my nature to cut myself slack, but i'm doing it this time - i think that it's a process i had to go through, i'm sure i'm not finished and this is not the final word, i hope that i am learning and growing in a useful direction, but i think it is all part of the process.
For me, helplessness isn't about ordinary things. I can pretend to be helpless, it's an old game. I play dumb sometimes too. Sometiems he thinks it's cute, or maybe he just finds it annoying. But it's uncommon, and it is just a game, no one is uncertain about that.
But my emotional balance, my mental state, my sense of well being and day to day frame of mind - those are all much, much more complicated.
Prior to ttwd i certainly wouldn't say i had control of my emotions; at best, i barely learned to mask or hide them as needed. I carried on in spite of them and maybe make it look like all was well. But i absolutely didn't share them, and wouldn't consider looking outside myself for help in changing bad feelings, or in maintaining a sense of well being or mental balance. In fact, i didn't have any way to change my moods or attitude myself either. I wouldn't have known that was even a possibility. Emotionally, i just went where the wind blew.
One of the first things he pushed for once we agreed to extend D/s into all of our relationship was for me to be open with him about my feelings - really open, like i had never been before. Also, we discovered early on that attention, spanking, pain, play, etc did help reset me, restore my mental balance, improve my mood, adjust my attitude - whatever you wish to call it. It is good, it feels good, it is a release and a great reconnection.
But it isn't always possible, mostly because of timing, and the reluctance on my part to depend on him for that. A reluctance i fought to overcome. He wants to take care of me, he wants me to rely on him. That is what he sees as the point and the gain of all this. And one big area he wanted was for me to accept his help in my mental state. And i didn't want that to happen. It has been hard to learn to let that happen. And now that i am learning it, it feels very good.
Only in the past few weeks am i starting to see that it isn't necesssarily service to him to depend on him for my emotional balance in the way that i had. Sometimes it is just work for him. And sometimes he needs me to work for him instead. Sometimes what he really needs is for me to remain balanced and even joyful, to carry on, to help him remain balanced, to provide a respite.
I have begun to see that the continued evolution may be my learning to control or balance my own emotions, my own mental well being. I think this must be a fairly normal progression of ttwd. Or maybe not, maybe it is just us. We are certainly still figuring out us.
There is a nice image in my head of my being able to be pleasant, and pleasing, and bringing him joy rather than strife and angst. On the other hand, his image has to do with me being completely open, no longer resisting him, turning to him with all of me and relying on him. Maybe there is a way for these two images to meld. Maybe there is something more i haven't glimpsed yet. I wonder if he has?