Thursday, October 27, 2011

taking care of me

Yesterday was a nuts day and on the way home from bringing the last kid from the last activity, the car suddenly started dragging something large and metal.  Husband out of town means no alternative ride to work tomorrow for me.  None of us (me or the boys) quite fit under the car to wire the shield back into place and I'm not willing to crawl under to do it with the car jacked up with only a tire jack.  Since it was hanging by just one rusty connector anyhow - i decided to pull it the rest of the way off.  Now at least i could go to work tomorrow.

I did call my husband to tell him about it.  I knew he couldn't do anything about it from where he was, and he knew i wasn't calling to ask him to.  We needed to make arrangements to get it fixed for real, and i wanted to tell him about the crazy evening - just because he's my husband and he's who i tell those things to.

It struck me later that this was completely us .  There are things he does for me because that's how we've evolved as a couple (spiders and other big bugs are all his; snakes and bats are my responsibility).  But in the end, if something needs doing, and i'm the one there, i do it.

I have this image in my head of myself as strong and tough.  Actually, I am strong and self reliant  and - well - tough in a lot of  ways.  It sounds very un-feminine and not particularly attractive put this way, and quite often that's how i feel, but my husband appreciates enough of the upsides of it and adamantly professes not to miss the parts i lack.  

He tells people that he truly fell in love with me on our first long trip together, really remote/backcountry camping/canoeing.  I'm sure that whatever feminine charms i may have ever possessed were long gone after a few days of storms and mosquitoes and swamps and sweat, but he was so excited that i enjoyed that kind of thing, knew what i was doing, and carried my own weight.

On the other hand, my image of how i think i am and need to be sometimes interferes with my relationship with him.  It's a twisted, turned around thing - what he wants most is to take care of me; it is what he has always wanted and never felt i really accepted from him.  It seems to be a pretty deep and strong thing for him, and he's right, I wouldn't allow it.  I don't accept help easily.  And the more specific and personal and important it is, the harder it is to accept.  

I wouldn't be able to tolerate being pampered or coddled, or put on  a pedestal - i would hate it.  And that was what i always imagined would happen if i gave in and allowed him to take care of me.  I figured it was just a slippery slope straight to weak and lazy and incompetent.

It turns out that wasn't what he had in mind though.  He had in mind guiding, supporting, protecting, encouraging, advising - all good things really.  And furthermore he never wanted me to slack off, or stop pushing myself or use his help as a reason to not work hard myself.  

As it turns out, this all fits with D/s pretty well.  In fact, it has given me a context to understand and be able to reconcile what he wants with who i am.  He can take care of me: he can direct and advise and influence any part of my life he wants to.  He can also ask or demand that i do things - whatever kinds if things - the point is that the service part of submission sets it up so that i am still expected to work and push myself and not have a chance to get lazy or incompetent. 

And i can accept all of it because i have agreed to accept it - so simple yet such a profound shift for me. I think this was probably intuitive for him - i have a feeling he will say that he knew this all along - it didn't need a special "lifestyle" to work and that i make things needlessly complex.  He's probably right.  


  1. I'm sure you do make things "needlessly complex". Me too...we're women. It's how our brains work. On the other hand, we get the details, the nuances the emotionality of TTWD. So, I think it's ok.

    I had similar worries about being taken care of and if I would somehow lose my personal power. It wasn't fact I feel this whole way of living has enhanced and expanded my capabilities. Sara

  2. Sara,
    Hmm - i think my husband would consider details, nuances and emotionality to be part of the needlessly complex - but i do agree- we each bring something very different to it and i don't think it would be as rich or work as well if we didn't. I like what you say about ttwd enhancing and expanding your capabilities, i think it is true and i think it is exactly what he wanted all along.

  3. Your husband sounds like a gem, and I love that he appreciates you the way you are.

    I have had huge issues with "being taken care of" also, being independent and self-sufficient also, although maybe not in the same ways you are. Maybe part of what TTWD is about for people like me learning to be ok with being vulnerable that way.


  4. Aisha,
    He is very good - for me - we have been - as a friend of mine says - well matched. I don't know why i needed the context of ttwd to come to understand these things - maybe it is well matched to us - but it has made a difference. thank you