Growth seems to be about learning and that seems to happen in spurts for me.
He introduced another rule for me this past week - rule # 2. These rules are very different from what you are probably thinking though. They are rules he has made for himself that I am to remember, actually , i am to internalize.
These aren't written down, but he reminds me of them often. He states them very simply, but they have very deep meaning for each of us, and far reaching implications. Part of our/my learning and growing have to do with understanding these.
Rule # 1 is that he doesn't punish me. That is generally true - we don't have a punishment based dynamic, discipline yes - but punishment is not a default. In reality he has, very rarely, punished me - The rule is that he won't ever punish me when he isn't entirely clear headed and not without discussing it a great deal. The part i need to remember is that i never need to wonder if something is a punishment: if his actions or treatment of me seem harsh or cold or more aggressive than usual - i need to know without question that it is not punishment or retribution; i need to trust that it is just how he wants to be at that moment. That is actually huge for me and my mental balance.
He introduced the second rule this past week - i'm sure it existed all along in his mind - but he stated it for me: He will not humiliate me.
Humiliation is a much slipperier thing to understand than punishment: it's different for each person, and probably changes over time for an individual. And it's taking some thinking about for me.
We talked some about how he means humiliation and how i understand it, and how i feel about it. His meaning, in the contexts we've talked about so far, is that he won't ask me to do anything that would embarrass me or make me uncomfortable/feel ashamed in front of people we know. That leaves a lot of interpretation in general and a lot of possibilities around strangers. And takes a good deal of work for me to trust him, even in simple situations.
A few examples maybe - because we aren't talking about my parading around nude in a public park, or wearing a leather collar to work, or eating from a dog bowl. That's the individuality of it - i am, in some ways, very easy to humiliate, or embarrass, or - i think in many cases - shame. I know there is or ought to be a distinction between shame and humiliation, and that i should not be ashamed of many of the things i am - but - i am.
He prefers to have open curtains/open windows - all the time. Not allowing me to close the drapes at the hotel in a very large, very crowded city - to undress, to be caned, to have sex, this is difficult for me, but he is right - we don't know anyone and it fits his rule.
Home is harder for me - not closing our bedroom curtains when i present myself for him, or to be caned, is much more difficult for me. We do know our neighbors, their windows are fairly close, although reasonably - they probably can't see in.
Dressing and cleavage - i am - as the song goes 'broad where a broad should be broad'. But i usually dress to minimize or hide that fact. It's complicated - wearing a more low cut dress, while still showing far less than many women do, is a challenge for me. And that comes back to body image and shame - not that i was indecently dressed, but that women my age don't do that, or only pretty women do that. You get the idea. It pushes me, I don't handle it well - yet. And he is sensitive to that while still wanting me to like my body and to be comfortable with it. Like i said - it's complicated.
What i realized is that this sometimes leaves me feeling that he is actually ignoring my wishes and pushing his own agenda.... and yea - i do get that that's the whole point. This one is harder for me. As he sees me balk and he reminds me of this rule, he expects that i will believe him and trust him and let go. But i still find myself fighting against the voices that want to say, "You're wrong - this is going to humiliate me."