Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tight-rope Walker

I'm the kind of person that spins in my head a lot. Maybe it's a female thing. Maybe it's a personality thing. But I'm constantly thinking about things, constantly twirling them around through my mind. 

When we first began this, I remember reading an article, or a comment somewhere, and someone said, "This isn't a lifestyle choice. This is just a small part of who we are. It's not all we are. It's just something we do, but it doesn't define us." 

I spun this for a while. Nearly two years later, I'm still spinning this.

At first, I completely agreed. Yes, yes, that was true! We still were who we were. We weren't different. DD was just a part of how we related to one another. It only happened on occasion, and was far from being the center of our lives. So when I wrote about things, I would choose the word "dynamic" rather than "lifestyle," and I denied that it was all-consuming. 

I don't agree anymore. True, Domestic Discipline -- the actual expectations and enforcement of those rules -- is still is a very small part of how we function. There are occasional times that, for whatever reason, I find myself tossed over Jason's knee with some frequency. It's not just that I don't put forth enough effort, though that has been the reason at times. He has very high expectations of me. He is consistent, and stern, and he doesn't let me get away with anything. Don't misunderstand -- I love this. I wouldn't want it any other way. But mostly, serious punishment is a very rare thing. Mostly, I've learned what is important to him and made his expectations habit. The huge majority of the time, I obey him implicitly. So it's more we have an understanding, not that I am being punished all the time. 

But the DS side of things -- his Dominance and my Submission -- no, it's not true that they're only a small part of who we are. It's the foundation of who we are. 

From the minute I wake up in the morning, until the minute I go to bed at night, asking myself what Jason wants from me is a constant thought I have. Right now, as I'm typing, it's 6:11 a.m. I know in my head I need to finish writing by 6:50 or so, because I need to bring him his coffee at 7. Then while he wakes up, I'm to sit next to him with my to-do list that I will show him and he will go over. I'll eat the breakfast he approves of, wear gym clothes because he told me I'm to go to the gym today. He will spank me and remind me to be a good girl. He will give me whatever instructions he wants to today. And it goes on, and on...

Throughout the day, I will be thinking of him. When I get in the car, I will put my phone out of reach so I'm not tempted to touch it. I will make sure my kids are buckled in safely, and I will not raise my voice to them. I will make sure I drive the speed limit, and obey traffic laws, and all day I'll be cognizant of the time, making sure I focus on my list of things I need to do. 

He'll likely call me, or send me a text, but if he's so swamped at work, I will reach out to him. I'll tell him how things are going. He may ask me if I'm being a good girl, or he may just tell me he loves me. I'll prepare dinner, and get ready for the things I need to do this evening. When he comes home, I will put down everything I'm doing, and meet him upstairs. We'll ensure we have our privacy, and then talk about our day. I'll kneel by him and take off his shoes and he'll tell me about his day, too. Today I will have a good report. I will, I know it! So there will be no need for him to instruct me over his knee and punish me for breaking a rule. No, not today. 

Because today I'm going to keep my focus. 

He will hug me and I bet you anything he'll make me laugh. He always does. He'll make me look in his eyes, and he'll encourage me. I have to go out this evening with a friend, and he'll tell me to come back to him safe and sound. 

When I'm out, I'll constantly be thinking of what he expects of me. He wants me to be graeceful and gracious. So if someone upsets me, I'll do my best to assume positive motives. I'll not speak with rudeness to anyone, or say or do anything crass. I'll be kind to people I come in contact with. He will expect me to stay in touch, so when I have a few minutes, I'll send him a text or give him a quick call. I'll have my cell phone with me, charged and on, in case he needs to get in touch with me. 

When I come home, I will go straight to him. I will likely kneel, and put my head in his lap, and he will ask me how things went. I'm going to be tired tonight, so he will likely send me to bed early. He may or may not come up with me. But when he comes to bed, we'll have our nighttime ritual...maybe we will talk a little. He may or may not put me over his lap. He will kiss me, and tuck me in, and let me know he's there when I go to sleep. 

There will not be a moment today when I'm not thinking of Jason. There will be times when I'm focused on other things, of course, but even subconsciously, what he wants will be the ever-present thought that drives me. 

Why I choose this...well, that's another post, for another day. But the truth is, I do. I make the conscious effort, every day, to submit to him. And God bless that man, every single day he makes the conscious effort to lead me. 

But as things go on, I find that it really isn't easy. Submitting to Jason, accepting his authority, doing as he's very challenging to me. And I love that it is.

As a friend said to me recently...why would we want it to be easy? There is no victory in choosing the easy route. There's something empowering when I finish a workout at the gym that leaves me breathless, panting, dripping with sweat. There's something amazing writing the words The End on a writing project. It feels nice at the end of the day to shut the lights off in the kitchen I've cleaned to perfection. Being tucked under Jason's arm before bed, hearing him say, "You were such a good girl today, and you make me proud," brings me joy. 

As time goes on, and we near the second anniversary of taking things to a new level, things are changing with me and Jason. 

Recently, he's told me that journaling would be a good idea. So I've been journaling. When time permits, I sit and write out what I'm thinking. He doesn't read every word I write, but told me he will whenever I ask him to. I love that he does that for me. The other day, he sat down and read what I'd written. I'd wondered what he would do when he was done, as it was the first time he'd read my journal. He came to me and hugged me. He talked to me about some of the things I'd been working through. He gave me some advice, pointed me in the direction he wanted me to go. It meant so much to me, that he would do that. That he would take the time to make what is important to me, important to him. 

Then over the weekend, he told me he wants me taking a bit of a sabbatical again, from the online community I've come to be a part of. I will not post to my blog without permission, no responding to emails, no chat. It took me a few minutes to process that. I knew instinctively I would obey him, but sometimes when he instructs me I think why? Sometimes when he instructs me, it takes me a minute to swallow what he's said. 

And I finally get it. I came to him, and I told him.

"I understand now," I began. "I know now why sometimes you ask me to pull away, why you don't want me reading blogs, or going on forums, or chatting in the community." 

He raised his eyes to me, and I explained what had finally become so clear to me. He could've told me, but he needed me to realize it on my own. He needed me to obey him first, and understand after. 

"What you ask me to do, all of it, it takes such focus. When I lose my focus, I get in trouble. And you don't want me to get in trouble. All of it...sticking to my daily routine, focusing on being patient with the kids, putting our family first, doing what you tell me. I need to keep my focus." 

He smiled, like a teacher whose student has finally understood an important concept. 

"That's right, baby," he said. "That's exactly why. You need to stay focused on what's important." 

I need to stay focused on him. 

And as I stood in the kitchen alone last night, washing the dishes, listening to music, and doing my spin thing, I was thinking of how I miss some of my friends I've grown to love in the community. I was feeling sad about not being in touch, feeling that little bit of disconnect I feel from time to time that's really very necessary. 

And I had a vision of a tight-rope walker. And I asked does a tight rope walker make it to the end? How do they accomplish their goal, of making it to the end without tumbling?They maintain their focus. They maintain their balance. 

And I had a vision of me...walking that eyes focused, on Jason. Keeping my eyes on him...his arms outstretched, ready to catch me when I make it to him. 

I have a friend who's been doing this longer than I have...and she's said to me, many times, keep your focus on him. 

Keep your eyes on him, I thought....keep your focus on him, and you won't fall.

Monday, July 28, 2014

All of Me

So, there's this new song, that maybe you've you've already heard. Or, maybe, like me, you've bought it, downloaded, and played it a million times. "All of Me," by John Legend. If you haven't yet heard it, give it a go.

Interestingly, when I first heard it, I thought, "Wow, this is like the D/S theme song." But when I spoke of it to a friend of mine who isn't D/S, she said, "No, I don't see it that way. I see it as a song about unconditional love."

Unconditional love, I thought....Yes. The song is about unconditional love, and mutual self-giving. 

So, me? It is about D/S. Because isn't that at the heart of it all? Unconditional love, and giving ourselves to one another?

I've never heard a song before that seemed to just capture it all so beautifully. In fact, when I listen to it, I have a weird reaction. Visions flash through my after another. I hear things Jason has said. I hear things I've said. I see us, struggling, and making it through, learning and giving it one more try...

"All Of Me"

What would I do without your smart mouth?
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
You've got my head spinning, no kidding, I can't pin you down

"I don't want you to change," he says, shaking his head. " I want to do this. I don't want you to be quiet and mousy and lose who you are. I want you to tell me how you really feel. I want you to speak your mind." He smiles. "I just want you to do it respectfully." 

What's going on in that beautiful mind
I'm on your magical mystery ride
And I'm so dizzy, don't know what hit me, but I'll be alright

I'm kneeling. His hand is under my chin, forcing me to make eye contact. I don't want to. I'm hurt. I don't want to let him in. I don't want him to see. 

I don't want to cry. 

"Don't look away," he whispers. "I need to look into your eyes. Don't pull away from me," he commands, quietly, but he means it. 

I look at him. I swallow, and I feel the tears coming. 

"I don't know if I can do this," I whisper, tears beginning, and he knows what I mean. Keep putting myself out there. Keep spilling all. Keep being open, and vulnerable. 

"Talk to me," he says. 

I take a deep breath. And I begin...

My head's under water
But I'm breathing fine
You're crazy and I'm out of my mind

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections

I'm standing in front of the mirror. I sigh. He comes up behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist. I try...I eat well, I exercise, I do what I'm supposed to do. I try hard...but still, I'm not always happy with what I see. 

"What is it, baby girl?" 

I look at my body, that's changed after all these years, after all these babies. My hands on my belly, I don't say anything at first. I'm not allowed to criticize my body. He'll punish me if I do.

"It's not enough," I say. "I keep working at it, keep trying, and still, the progress is so slow." 

He takes me by the hand, and leads me over to the bed. He sits, and pulls me over to him, so his hands are on either side of my waist and I'm standing between his legs. He's smiling his quiet, soft smile, the one that says "I love you and you're so precious to me." 

He leans over and kisses my belly. "I love your body," he murmurs. "You're gorgeous. I get within two feet of you and you start turning me on."

I giggle. "No way," I protest, but it's a very weak protest. 

He leans down and kisses my belly again. I squirm. It's ticklish and sexy, all at once. "This isn't fat," he says. "This is love. This body gave me my children." 

He leans over and kisses me again, tracing a pattern on my bare skin. 

"Don't you know how beautiful you are?"

I forget what it was I was ever complaining about...

Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning

I'm waking from a bad dream. I don't know what it's about, but I'm scared. 

I wake up, and I go right from my dream to an anxiety attack. I feel like the walls are closing in on me. 

"I can't breathe," I gasp, panting next to Jason. 

He's instantly there, cradling me in his arms. 

"Breathe, baby," he says. "I'm here." 

I feel him, his strength, I hear his voice, and I try. 

I focus on breathing. 

I focus on relaxing. 

I focus on doing what he says, and I slowly settle into his arms, calmed again, as he holds me until I fall back asleep...

'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you're crying you're beautiful too

I'm on my knees, my head in his lap, and I'm crying. He's just punished me, for not paying attention and doing something dangerous. It was a hard punishment to take. But somehow, today, the spanking he gave me touched a raw nerve, and I'm undone. All that I've been holding onto comes crashing, and I'm helpless to stop the tears that keep coming. 

I'm crying, hard, and I can't stop. 

"Let it out," he says. 

I lift my head and his thumb brushes my tears away. 

"How do you feel when I cry?" I ask, sniffling through my tears. "Does it bother you?" 

"No," he says. "I feel like I've gotten through to you. And when you cry, you're beautiful, because you are mine." 

The world is beating you down, I'm around through every mood
You're my downfall, you're my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can't stop singing, it's ringing, in my head for you

It's been a very long, stressful day. The kids have been difficult, and I've had an enormous list of things that need to be done and even more yet that still need to be done. I'm physically and emotionally drained. 

But he's home now. We don't even talk. I haven't even told him what the day has been like. I smile at him, as I don't want to dump it all on him the minute he comes home from work. There will be time to talk, but right now we say nothing. 

The kids start talking, one is crying, another is hungry. They adore him, so they clamor, trying to get at him first, telling him There is chaos and noise, and he reaches for my hand, giving me the "I love you" signal. 

I don't even have to talk to him. We don't even have to be alone. All at once, I can breathe easy again. 

My head's under water
But I'm breathing fine
You're crazy and I'm out of my mind

He's playing his guitar. He's a master at playing. It thrills me, to see his hands on slim body of it. It reminds me that he plays my body like I'm his instrument, masterfully, beautifully, putty in his hands, obeying his every move. 

But today, he's jamming. The amps are pumping out music that moves me to my core, and I'm dancing in our living room as he watches, and he plays. Kicking my heels back and moving in time, our kids come in, and we're all laughing. It's a rock concert in our living room. 

Music and joy, and he's the master of it all...

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, ohoh

Give me all of you
Cards on the table, we're both showing hearts
Risking it all, though it's hard

I'm kneeling. We've had an argument, and I've put up my wall. I don't want to do this. I can't do this. I want to give up. 

Sometimes, it's too hard. Sometimes, it hurts too much. 

"I want you to come back to me," he says. "Come back. I want my good girl back. I don't want this to be between us anymore." 

"I know," I whisper. "I want to be back. But I don't know how to get back there." 

He gives me a long, steady stare. 

"Get over my lap," he instructs. 

I obey. 

And he brings me back...

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections

Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
You're my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

I give you all of me
And you give me all of you

We're walking, side by side, our kids milling around us. To the rest, we seem like the average couple, maybe. They don't know that the silver necklace around my neck locks, and that I can't take it off. That I reach for it when I'm feeling nervous, or troubled, or I miss him. That it's a constant reminder that I am his, his submissive, and he is my Dominant. 

Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. 

He gives me my hand signal and I look up at him. He's smiling his quirky, knowing smile. He's just given me the signal for "Be a good girl." 

I lean over and kiss his cheek and whisper, "Yes, sir." 

He smiles. "That's my good girl," he says. 

I feel happy. I feel safe. 

I feel loved.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

But what if he doesn't notice? Consistently consistent (part two)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on some thoughts I had about consistency

My main point in writing that post was two-fold: consistency means he exercises his right to punish when and how he wants to (not when and how I want him to), but I also explored some of the reasons some of us really crave consistency. I asked you readers to share your thoughts on consistency. 

In the comments section, some of you explained that the issues you have with consistency center more along the lines of how things are addressed. Is an infraction completely ignored? Does the Hoh say his Tih is deserving of punishment, then neglect to follow through? Certainly, this kind of consistency can be problematic, and it's something I see surface in the community time and time again. 

So I thought I'd take a stab at addressing this issue, as it really is a fairly common struggle many DD couples have. 

A bit of a disclaimer here. We do not have an issue with consistency here. Jason means what he says, and my obedience is of utmost importance to him. Not only is he consistent, he does try to deal with infractions as soon as possible. So my opinions on this subject stem from some of the struggles we had early on, not necessarily from something we deal with now. 

Jason initiated the DD side of things for us. I've written about it how things unfolded, and how we ironed out some issues we had with TTWD in this post. As things progressed, the DS side of things unfolded on a whole new level to us. My submission became very important to him. His dominance became the driving force in our dynamic. 

But there was a time when really, the DD side of things was a lot more important to me than it was to him. It was a time of frustration for me, honestly. I was craving his dominance so badly, that I needed to know our rules and the expectations he set for me were important.

And that really is the key to why consistency is important. When he let things slide, I felt like he didn't care. I felt like my efforts were worthless. I didn't understand why we would have rules he wasn't interested in enforcing. If I made the effort to obey him, couldn't he put forth the effort to hold me accountable? 

It really wasn't that he wasn't paying attention. It really wasn't that he didn't care. But just as I had to learn to pay attention to the rules, he had to learn to pay attention to enforcing them. I wasn't going to have an overnight transformation and immediately be able to do all he expected of me perfectly. I needed to realize he wasn't either. 

So, there were times when I would do something that broke one of our rules. Safety things were a given -- they were always important to him, and he would spank me for doing something dangerous without question. With safety issues, his "radar" was always on high alert (and still most certainly is). But sometimes there were other things he would let slide. There were some things he was initially reluctant to make part of our dynamic. 

For example, one of the reasons I wanted DD to be part of our dynamic was because of my temper. And occasionally, I would lose my temper, and he wouldn't stop me, or punish me. Then I would feel guilty. I would start spiraling. "Doesn't how I speak matter to him? Doesn't he know how badly I want him to help me learn to be more respectful?" When those things came up, I would have a few choices. 

I could flat out tell him, "This is when you're supposed to spank me." Well, that wasn't going to work. This is when he would tell me, "I'm the one in charge here, not you." Point taken. 

I could let it slide. But then sometimes I would get into that mental place of feeling...unsettled and uncertain. Feeling like maybe TTWD wasn't really going to work for us. Feeling like maybe he just didn't care! Maybe he didn't even love me anymore! Okay, okay, it didn't get that bad, ever. I'm exaggerating. But I would definitely get into a mental place that was detrimental to us both. 

So I decided on a different approach altogether. 

I would make the choice to submit, whether he required it or not. 

I would apologize for what I'd done wrong, assume he was being lenient, and focus on being thankful for his leniency. Then I would make an effort not to do it again. 

So it would look something like this. 

I would say something rude or disrespectful, and he would walk away, or not respond. Then I would feel awful. 

I would swallow my pride, and go to him, and say, "I'm sorry I was rude. I shouldn't have done that. Please forgive me." 

How he would respond would be up to him. There would be times when he would tell me, "I didn't know you spoke rudely. I wasn't paying attention and I was doing something else." Then he would spank me for it. 

There were times when he would simply smile and thank me for my apology.

There were times when he would tell me he was well aware of the fact I'd been disrespectful, but that he needed some space to calm down, and that if it happened again, I would be punished. 

How he responded was totally up to him. I gave the reigns back to him. But bit by bit, I learned to submit, and bit by bit, he learned to be consistent. 

There were other things that happened too, though, that made me feel like he was being inconsistent. 

There were times when he would tell me I was going to be punished for something and then forget to follow through. Sometimes he wouldn't tell me either way, and I would be left I in trouble? What's going to happen? 

Again, I was left with a few choices. 

I could tell him he had to punish me (ha!). 

I could let it go. But then sometimes I would get into that mental place again...questioning if this mattered to him...feeling uncertain and unsettled. Sometimes, feeling riddled with guilt. 

Or, I could tell him how I felt, and trust him to do what he thought best. In short, I could communicate my feelings and then submit to his ultimate decision. This is what worked best for us. 

I vividly remember how I would go to him and simply say something like, "May I ask you a question?" and would wait for him to give me permission. Then I would say something like, "I know I forgot to do what you asked me. Is that something I'm in trouble for?" or "I feel really guilty about breaking that rule. Should I just let it go? What do you want me to do about that?" 

Whatever he told me...I would do my best to accept. I would submit to his leadership. 

Over time, I accepted that he was going to lead how he saw fit. Over time, he realized that I needed him to be firmer and more consistent. 

Over time, as he became more consistent, I felt understood. I felt important to him. 

Over time, as I submitted to his leadership, he felt appreciated. He felt more able to lead with confidence. 

I'd love to hear how you feel about this topic, readers. Is consistency something you struggle with in your dynamic? How have you dealt with this struggle?