I have a few hours left before we go. I really, really hate packing - makes me cranky and makes me run late - which i never do otherwise. This makes our trips generally start not so "vacation-y"; more like "pissed off mommy."
This trip is part work (dress clothes, computer, work stuff) and part family vacation (hiking, sightseeing, museums, outdoors). It's in the 90's here - but 40's and 50's where we're going (wool and fleece being dug out), and also we need first aid kits, adaptors, outdoor gear... and we're flying - so it all has to fit in one bag each ( i got special dispensation to have two - small ones tho). [yes - mouse - no baby to pack for - so that part is easier for sure]
It's a family vacation - and i am very much looking forward to this chance - for what we will get to do and see and for the time as a family. But i still don't do the shifts from family and mom and work and travel and go go go...to submissive and slave. At least not altogether gracefully.
And maybe it's not meant to be a shifting - maybe it's meant to be all beautifully integrated - and, I really ain't got that.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
There's a file in my head of things i see as i have watched the women in my family, my generation, my mother and her generation, and even my grandmother and her generation.
At dinner recently with my parents - actually at any dinner with them in my memory - my mom is up and down, literally at beck and call for my dad - a different kind of fork, heat this a little more, cut this for him, serve everything his way on his time, here's a better cut of meat, a glass of milk but just this much milk but a large glass, "no - i want this, no i want that, no - i really want this;" the high maintenance factor is dizzying, and she barely sits down and never does really eat.
My Aunt (said the proper, Southern way, not like the insect name)- choosing a dress for her 50th Wedding Anniversary - many lovely options and possibilities - and always the first factor is her husband's preferences - in style, color, design - the first cut is always his preference - and she knows exactly what he will or won't approve of - it has been 50 years after all.
My husband's grandmother doting, fussing, scurrying around to fix everything just so for my husband's grandfather. The smallest, simplest thing was a chance for her to do something for him. My grandmother working a lifetime to take care of her family, doing whatever needed to be done. Both of them - tiny houses with very little 'stuff', but always enough and always spotless and welcoming.
I have an enormous family, and this pattern is repeated over and over, in the generations before me. I guarantee none of them ever heard the term M/s and i certainly can't imagine trying to explain the concept to any of them. But the form is the same in so many ways.
Among my generation, this doesn't exist much. Where it does - for some it took a church to tell them how she is "supposed" to treat her HOH, and how he is "supposed" to treat her. For me it took ttwd to let me see it is ok to serve him, to enjoy doing things for him, and to show him that it's ok to accept that, that it can be good for both of us.
Life was hardly idyllic for the older generations - the serving and pleasing and deferring existed right alongside all sorts of difficulties and hurt and not so nice interpersonal things. And, from the great, great grandparents to my youngest cousins - there are examples of people who have/had long, loving, strong relationships with a form and a flavor that isn't anything like this thing we do, or that thing they did and still do. So many ways to be, and nothing really so new....
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
No - not that kind of engaged - we're already married - since forever it seems like. But - engaged with each other, with our relationship, engaged in our lives....
Part of my problem was that i was becoming less and less engaged with him, and less engaged in our life. And, honestly, I felt like he was less and less engaged in us, less engaged with me. I'm sure some of that was perception, skewed by emotions. Some of my perceptions were also the truth - he knew i was off and struggling - but not how to respond.
We also each misunderstood the other on some really fundamental things, things like consent and what it affords each of us: he needs to know that i ultimately have an out - that there is never a question of non-consent or abuse; i need to know i have room in the whole thing to have doubts and to kick at it and that it will remain firmly in place. This sounds so basic, so black and white, no room for interpretation. I suppose not for us. We've worked to straighten this out - to explain ourselves better to each other, to set a plan. But - you can never know what you don't know.
There were also paradoxes i couldn't reconcile mentally or learn to live with gracefully. I'm learning - maybe not graceful, but starting to accept.
It's hard for me to hold both in my head - to do my own work, to be responsible for and control myself - and to let go and trust him to take care of me. For some reason, for me, these are mutually exclusive things.
My concept of active submission, taking care of myself, controlling myself, being responsible for myself - competed with the idea of learning to rely on him, to defer to him when necessary, to allow him in and to allow myself to be open and to accept his intrusion, physically and mentally - esp to accept that he is so easily able to influence and even manipulate my mental and emotional state.
There was the selfish, but very strong feeling that if he wants me to be open and vulnerable, and submissive, then he needs to take responsibility for maintaining my mental and emotional balance. He should see when i'm off or struggling and he should step in and fix it - fix me. I became angry, then despondent when he didn't. I wasn't able to see how to be me, how to be the strong, capable, self reliant person i am, and who he loves, and at the same time submit to him, to be his girl. I am starting to feel how it works. I can't explain it, but the paradox is becoming less important.
And there is active dominance also (thanks mouse). I don't need him to step in and fix me, i don't want to lose my own strength, i don't want him to force me into submission; I do however need to know that he wants and values my submission, i need some input about how he wants that submission to look, i need him to be engaged. And he has been. And the dominance and the submission really do feed each other and build us both up.