There's an underlying theme or current to my thinking lately. Well - several really - but one feels important - the others are just annoying.
This past weekend, a seemingly small, seemingly very non-ttwd related thing made me realize part of what has had me somewhat bottled up lately.
We were at a sporting event, and a woman had her very brand new baby with her. Baby was adorable and slept a good bit. But baby also needed to be changed and nursed and tended to, all of which mom did without missing a beat. This was not her first baby.
That's not the part that triggered any deep thoughts for me - I love my boys, but i am long past finished with the baby thing.
Her husband is what made me stop and think.
He told her exactly how and when and what to do: how to hold the baby, what angle to have her mouth to nurse, how long to feed her, what outfit to change her into, how to fix the diaper, when to burp her, on and on.... every detail. And she did - whatever he said, she just stopped, changed gears and did what he said, apologetically even.
My blood boiled, instantly; and i didn't know these people. How dare he? When did he last nurse a baby? She wasn't having any difficulty, was managing easily on her own. Why on earth would he be treating her like that? Why did this not annoy the daylights out of her? Why did she just go along?
I had buckets of righteous indignation on her behalf. And of course - nowhere at all to go with it.
I will never know what to make of this interaction: Was she walking on eggshells because there was something bigger going on in their lives? Is that just how he is and it's easier to go along to get along? Does she really lack confidence in this area and just puts on a good front when he's not around? Does she appreciate the help? Is this the type of relationship each of them really wants? Does this type of direction and ultra- micro-management actually meet a larger need for her? For him? Is it intentional for them, or just a pattern worn into their relationship because it is the path of least resistance?
After fighting back my indignation - i tried to turn it all around in my head.
Mostly I wondered about my visceral response to the whole thing. I would never, could never... tolerate it, put up with it, get myself to a place where i could respond reasonably or politely to being commanded that way, much less live like that.
And that's what hit me. I really don't think i could. I don't think i could submit to that. Even if it were in the context of my relationship and our agreement, i found no part of it endearing, or even intriguing or enticing. For me, there are things he pushes me on, things he wants to be a challenge for me, and this is a good thing for me. But I couldn't even view this in that light.
So - what if he would want or need to for some reason start treating me this way? What if he decided it was what i needed? How would i respond, would i even be able to try to cope? My gut says no.
So - am i really submissive? Because my response in this case was incredibly non-submissive, in fact my feelings were anti-submissive.
I know that there are huge flaws in this kind of reasoning. Taking hypotheticals to extremes doesn't really answer a question.
But it made me focus on the same feelings in my own context. There are times that i have the same indignation, the same flare of anger and instinctive rebellion. It's a different scale, and i'm learning to recognize it and at least suppress the expression of it - mostly. In a non-D/s context - that makes our interactions smoother - waiting to respond rationally and even respectfully in spite of feeling anything but.
In a D/s context though, i wonder what makes me think i am submissive at all, if my first reaction to anything that pushes at my ego a bit is to push back.