Wednesday, December 28, 2011

not either-or

We've had a really nice holiday break so far, and at the same time, a fairly difficult one.

There are those people in life who've had so much trouble come their way, whose lives are so unrelentingly and grindingly difficult, that i really think God owes them another go around, with nothing but sunshine and daisies and happiness and light - just to make up for this lifetime.  This is my family, who I love deeply, and who we visited with over the holiday.  I want to help - i have spent my life trying to help - but it is all un-helpable.  There is no way out.  So visiting is both very good, and very, very hard.

Sometimes i can negotiate the minefields of being with them well, other times not so well.  Sometimes i can resist the screwed up dynamics and behave the way i intend to and want to be.   Other times i fail and i get sucked in and act in screwed up ways myself.  Sometimes, often, i feel trapped between my family, my husband and children, and my family, my parents and siblings. This was one of those times: i tried to walk the line, but i failed.

I failed to respect and trust my husband, and i upset and hurt him terribly. And i feel awful that i hurt him this way.  But, at the same time, i am entirely unsure how to have handled things differently.  And i can't say i won't make the same mistake again, not because i would choose to hurt him, but i don't know if i will always be able to find the line that gracefully satisfies everyone.  Or, if that option doesn't exist, i don't know if i can overcome a lifetime of being the peacemaker within my family.

It has taken, is taking, my husband some time to feel better, get past it, be back to normal...which is just really unusual for him.  And i both understand this, and don't understand it.  I know he's human and that he is hurt and angered like anyone else.  I don't understand the magnitude, but i don't resent it or feel he is being unfair;  i do wonder what more is behind it.   It leaves me feeling lost, shut out, and very unsure of myself.

And it all leaves me feeling a number of things at once about ttwd:  Are the lows worth the highs?  Or is a more mundane middle ground better?  I can choose to follow him when the cost is easy, but can i actually do it when the cost is higher?  Do i need to be careful and not make him regret his choice to work this way - is it too hard for him?  Is it worth it to him?   Can i really find the balance between being myself and being His?  Is this truly an either-or?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

very submissive

The other day the stars (and our schedules) finally aligned and we had some time alone.

He used the things that work, that are triggers i guess, for me - ankles and wrists cuffed, neck collared, naked, waiting, but exposed.

He was in and out at first - working, but checking in and directing me.  He had me quiet and still, he directed me to focus on him, on being for him, on being the way he likes me.

He's never really done that before.

Previously, time spent waiting has been filled with a touch of anxiety, a lot of arousal, and on bad days - my mind wandering off who know's where.

This time was different, i was easily able to let my head fill with him.

I do love this man.  That's all i can tell you about what was in my head - i'm not sure it was any more specific than that - and that is very surprising for me.

Later i know he used me: he moved me and manipulated me and made me feel him.

And as we lay together afterwards he told me i had been very submissive, and that he really liked me that way.

That's new for him - it's huge in fact - it kinda shocked me.

He has always only talked around the idea of my being submissive - he would talk about my being respectful, sexual, peaceful, more focused, more connected... but all only pieces of the whole.

For a long time, he was uncomfortable with the idea, or maybe he would say - he was trying to understand the idea of submissive and how it applied to me - to us.

He has come to see - and actually - he has made it so that submissive for me doesn't negate or eliminate the traits he loves in me.

And i think he had come to peace in his head that submissive - for me - could be a good thing, not an un-doing of many of my strengths.  He definitely liked the changes in me and between us.  

Aisha described the essence of submission so nicely here.

I have felt this before, but somehow, not as clearly or as genuinely as this time.  Maybe his directions for focus were what i needed, maybe i needed to feel he wanted this from me, or at least accepted it.

The good feelings, the connection, the "glow" carried over for several days.  But more so than that - i think he saw the depth of my feelings and he saw that as good.  And I'm thrilled.

Friday, December 16, 2011

fine, good

Sometimes it's the simplest things i really just can't manage.  I mean really simple.

When he asks how my day was - i turn to one word answers - "fine, good"  - and then try like heck to change the subject: get him to talk about his day, whatever is coming up we need to plan out, pretty much anything else.

I could say i have no idea why i can't answer properly - except that my reluctance to talk about specifics of my day is always accompanied by a bristly feeling inside and an unspoken, "why do you want to know?"  This is true no matter if i've had a good day, a trying day, or a day that i felt like i failed at things all over the place.

I can say - i think i've always felt this way to some degree.  And i don't know why i should be so defensive abotu such a simple thing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

lots of things that may or may not make sense

I've been able to manage only bullet points for thoughts lately - somewhere in there are important things - i think..

Sex -it just does not cease to amaze me how much sex has come to mean - come to be part of our lives - our thoughts - our connection to each other, part of our language for each other.  It's wound through everything else - not off separate or sequestered - and how ok that is.  How i can feel and think about sex and him and it is really right and good.  How he can use that for me or against me (which is really for me).  How is it that this was not always the case?

Active submission - he would like that of me, in fact, he insists on it.  I can and in fact need to just tell him how i feel.  If i am unclear - or don't understand - i should ask.  If i am feeling needy - i should tell him or at least show him - not wait - wait for him as the all knowing, magic guy-in-charge to just "know."   i should cuddle up, sit at his feet, rub a bit, make some overtures, something...  He's getting tired of me heading off a cliff over things he didn't know were brewing.  And - yes - it still counts as submitting even if i initiate it - he'll let me know if he wants whatever it is or not.

I sometimes write things here that are probably quite uninteresting to most people.   My intent in starting to blog a few yrs ago was to be able to express things to my husband that i couldn't quite manage face to face.   I've gotten much better at telling him things outright, but i still find it very useful for hashing out ideas that i can't quite untangle in my head.  And i've come to treasure the connections and feedback and perspectives from all of you the blog has allowed.   Many of the posts my husband appreciates the most are the ones least interesting to anyone else. My previous post was one of those - not terribly interesting to anyone but him.  But it led him to explain to me exactly why he won't play mind games as any part of our dynamic: he is *ALL* about honesty, transparency, and openness between us, first and foremost.  I knew that - but hadn't made the connection.  It took me - well - a very long time to wonder the question - he had his answer to it ages ago.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I like to think and wonder and turn things around and around in my mind - not emotions so much - but what makes people tick, their inner workings.  I don't claim to really understand myself, much less anyone else, but i like thinking about it, reading about it, putting new ideas together.  I do like learning about philosophies, theologies, psychologies...  Books, movies, essays, music, anything that presents new ideas about why people are the way they are, that's what i like.

Him - not at all.

He is fascinated by groups - the results of group dynamics - history, politics, economics, government - even sports.  And facts - putting the facts together to see how it all turns out.    He is - i'm not sure what - concrete, direct, no-nonsense (definitely that).  But that all makes him sound flat or shallow or even unintelligent - all of which are incorrect.

He just rolls his eyes at my lines of thinking, and frankly, i can't even fake curiosity about the things that interest him.

And this difference plays out in our interactions too - not just in our taste in books or movies.

In our relationship - previously - and more recently than i care to admit -well - we've sometimes (too often) had that cliche'd argument in which i wanted to dissect every word and emotion and subtle gesture of what went wrong to figure out what it all meant.  I wanted to talk and talk and talk about why and how...he wanted to call it done and have it be done.  There's no easy middle ground between those two.

I actually want to think and talk and ponder and wonder about the good parts too.  I want to know why this or that has this or that effect on me - or on him.  What does he think about it, why, how would that change...

He, it seems to me, considers the facts, weighs the pros and cons, decides, and that's that.

It has taken me some time to realize it doesn't mean he is less invested than i am - because that is what i thought.  My impression was that he was just doing it - as in going through the motions.  To me,  not wanting to parse it all out and try to understand it all the same way i wanted to meant he didn't really care.  

And sometimes i think i want someone who will muck around in the depths of my psyche -  play the mind games with me, impact me and manipulate me more mentally, use that as one more tool in his bag of tricks.  Of course, i also think that could be much riskier and likely to blow up badly than any of the things we do now.

Also - where is the line between kink we play with to tease, to arouse, and to flirt, versus what he might use to provide control and containment and to keep me feeling strongly tied to him and going the way he wants,  versus what is so interwoven into every bit of each of our days that it is no longer distinguishable as an intentional tool?  At what level would i really be able to tolerate him seriously playing mind games with me?

So - yes - this is an area in which we are not so compatible.

It sounds insincere to say i've learned to live with it - but i have. I have learned more about how i am, and about how he is - and that, in many ways, it's good for us to be different from each other.

And, objectively, it sounds downright hokey to talk about liking the idea of doing things his way.  And believe me - i've thought about it - and i don't understand it - but i do like the idea of doing things his way.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Great Online Cookie Exchange Extravaganza 2011

You know how there are those things that, as a wife, you will just never be able to do as well as you mother in law did?  In my case - i will never be able to make adequate hot chocolate and I won't even attempt pies.

Their Christmas morning tradition involved warm sticky buns (the pecan roll type - come on y'all). So when our kids were little my husband asked me to start the tradition here.  I make them every year on the 24th and we have them with coffee and juice while we open gifts.  The boys would even forestall finding out what Santa brought them to wait for the rolls to warm up.

Sticky Buns

1.5 cups warm water
2.25 + .25 cups sugar
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups (about) all purpose flour

1.5 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter – room temperature
3 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1.5 cups (medium) chopped pecans

1 cup very coarsely chopped pecans

Combine 1.5 cups warm water and .25 cups sugar in a large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast over and let stand until foamy.  Mix in vegetable oil and salt.  Combine two flours – then mix into liquid one cup at a time to form a soft dough.  Turn dough out onto a floured work surface.  Knead dough until smooth and elastic, adding more all purpose flour if sticky, about 10 minutes. 

Lightly oil another large bowl.  Place dough in bowl and turn it to coat with oil.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap then a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm, draft free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hr. 

Beat butter, cinnamon, and remaining 2.25 cups of sugar in a medium bowl to blend. 

Turn dough out onto floured work surface (do not punch down).  Roll out or press dough gently to 16X10 inch rectangle.  Using spatula, spread 1.25 cups of butter mixture evenly over the dough.  Sprinkle with medium chopped pecans.  Starting at one long side, roll up jelly rolls tyle, forming a log.  Pinch seam and ends to seal.  Cut log crosswise into 12 equal pieces.  Spread remaining butter mixture over bottom of 15X10X2” baking pan.  Sprinkle coarsely ground pecans over butter mixture.  Arrange rolls cut side down in prepared pan, spacing evenly.  Cover pan with plastic wrap.  Let rolls rise in warm draft free area until light and puffed, about 30 min. 

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 (F).  Bake rolls uncovered until tops are golden brown, about 35 min. 

Remove pan from oven.  Using a sharp knife, cut around the sides of pan.  Place large baking sheet over pan.  Invert rolls onto baking sheet.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

And  huge thanks to JZ for organizing the second annual recipe exchange!!! Below is the list of other participants - i even hear that most of them followed the rules and have recipes for actual cookies.  

Another Suburban Mom
Ashly Star
Jack & Jill
His wyld rose
Infidelity Chronicles
Linda Long
Little Monkey
Naughty Kitty
selkie (her recipe here, her blog here)
Sephani Page
striving for peace
Tempting Sweets
The Missus

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Dontcha just hate it when you're too busy trying to keep up with life to stop and contemplate the meaning of it all??  Or heaven forbid, write about it????

This past week started off with me feeling like i had a handle on the various chunks of my to do list.  Then things slowly got moved and changed and mostly added to and overall pressurized.

My husband was away but he helped where he could.  One evening he told me to put on my leather collar before i went to bed and to wear it to sleep, something intended to make me stop and think about him and put aside the other stresses so i could sleep.  I was happy when he told me to do this and even looking forward to bedtime.  But the work i had to do took a long time and it was quite late when i finished and stumbled off to bed.  And i forgot the task - completely and totally forgot.

I was awoken early the next morning by his text asking where was his picture - my way of reporting that i had done what he asked.  It took me a few minutes to even figure out what picture he wanted - i had so completely forgotten what he had asked me to do.

And once i remembered the worst feeling came over me.

I forget to do things every once in awhile - sometimes i forget to move the laundry to the dryer before bedtime, or to run an errand during the week he has asked me to, things like that.  I may be bummed, but i move on pretty quickly, as in, i don't give it a second thought.

Forgetting to do this thing he had asked is different.  It wasn't an errand that i can just take care of tomorrow. It was something he had wanted me to do so that i could sleep, and so i could help re-prioritize my stresses, and so i could be able to focus on him and on our family more, while he was gone and once he got home.

Forgetting the dry cleaning - even if it means he doesn't have the suit he wants for tomorrow's trip, adn even if i am disappointed in myself in a "proportionate to the crime" sort of way - doesn't merit a punishment - or even a rebuke.  We are adults - plain and simple.

But this is different.  For one thing - this is a "between us" thing.  It was for my own good in the first place, and an absolute command - not an, "If you get the chance."  His being able to influence me at all, and particularly from 1000 miles away, depends on my doing what he asks.  And i want to do things this way; it really is so much better for me and for us this way.

For this, i think there will be a punishment.  I don't know what kind, likely very subtle but meaningful and which gets his point across.  And i find myself anxious to be able to make this up to him.