Last week, a terrible thing happened.
I was at the gym. I took my bag with my wallet, stuffed it under my seat, and locked it in my van. I took my keys, put them in the pocket of my coat, and hung them with my gym bag in the locker room.
When I finished working out, I couldn't find my keys in my coat. I looked and looked. I was confused. I knew I'd put them there. So I went to the desk and asked if anyone had turned them in. The woman at the desk asked me where I'd put them, and when I told her she said, "Go check your car." Now I was starting to get nervous.
As soon as I got to my van I realized it was opened (I'd left it locked) and it was clear someone had been in there. The contents of my wallet had been emptied. I was shaken. I was afraid someone was still in there, but no one was. I found my keys on the passenger seat.
I called Jason. He was upset (not with me) but thankful no one was hurt, and instructed me to come straight home. I did. It had already been a pretty rough day, in many ways. I made dinner, served dinner, and told him after dinner I was going to cancel my credit cards. He cleared the table but didn't do the dishes, so when I was done with my many phone calls, I went to the kitchen and the dishes were still there.
I lost it.
In all fairness, we'd eaten off of paper plates, and he was bathing the kids. But I wasn't exactly thinking clearly. Looking back on it now, I think I was just looking for a reason to blow.
I went upstairs, ready to pick a fight.
"I have something to say," I said, my arms across his chest.
"Kneel," he said.
Kneel? Just like that?
"But I --"
So, I did. I didn't kneel in front of him as I usually do but a short distance away from him. And I went off, all about how no one helped me around here and the least he could've done was done the dishes while I took care of business after a terrible day, and why did I have to do everything...
He leaned over, said in that very deadly calm voice with his hand making a little pinching motion, thumb and index finger like a centimeter apart, "You are this close to a wicked spanking. Is that where you want this to go?"
I stopped. Took a deep breath. And continued, but this time peppering my tirade with some very choice words.
"Try that again. Watch your mouth," he said.
So again I continued, this time with no foul language, and he said, "No. Back again from the beginning. I want you to repeat all of what you said, this time the right way."
Now the wind was being taken out of my sails. I was well aware of the fact that any disobedience at this point would earn me a very serious spanking.
"Come here and lie your head on my chest," he directed.
I did not want to.
But, I knew I had two choices. Obey, or be punished. I obeyed.
I scooted over to him even though everything in me resisted. He pulled me into him, hard, and wrapped his arms around me.
And the flood gates opened.
I sobbed. Cried my heart out. Told him how scared I was, that I was afraid someone was still in the van. That I felt violated and hurt, and how terrible it was knowing someone went into my locker and took my keys and into my car and then went into my wallet and stole from me.
He held me and spoke soothingly as I cried.
"Baby, I didn't know you were so scared," he said softly, as I sniffled into his chest. "This is why you were so upset. You've been holding it all in."
I had been.
"Listen," he said quietly. "This is why I tell you to be careful. This is why I don't want you leaving things unlocked, or where people can get into your personal things. I need you to be safe. I don't want you hurt."
I nodded and sniffed.
"Go downstairs and finish what you need to, then bring your book and come spend the night up here with me. I want you to feel safe, and cared for."
I already did.
Then he leaned over and gave me a good, hard swat.
"That was not for punishment," he said. "But it was a reminder."
A reminder that he loves me.
A reminder that even though I get overwhelmed and irritable and overwrought, that I can come to him, but I don't need to yell or be mean to say what I need to say.
A reminder that our relationship is important, so I need to not lash out in my hurt.
That even when I feel violated, and the worries of the world have assaulted me, I can come to him.
Because he is my leader.
He is my rock.
He is my safe place.