I've been at this now long enough that I know the telltale signs. Exhaustion. Frustration. Anger, or hurt, or fear. It all contributes to feeling overwhelmed, and it all makes it difficult to submit.
I've already been pushing the envelope the past few days. It starts on Saturday, as I'm about ready to go. I'm busy busy getting ready to go and take the kids out and Jason has some home improvement projects he's working on. I've got everything ready to go, and Jason calls me to him. He's waiting for me, and two rather serious implements are waiting for me on the bed. My stomach twists and turns, and I stare at him with wide eyes as I drop to my knees for my morning check in.
“What are those doing there?” I ask in an innocent voice.
“Oh, we have a few things to discuss,” he says.
I furrow my brow and try to remember. I've been busy, and I don't remember really doing anything wrong. But he notices everything.
“You've been pushing it with many things, little girl,” he said. “Your tone has been less than desirable. You've been driving too fast when you drive. And I'm sensing some resistance from you.” He knows how I get right before I get in trouble. I don't submit as readily. Submission takes enormous self control, will power, and presence of mind. I'm not always up for the challenge. When I'm stressed, I find it much more difficult.
“I think a trip over my knee will help remind you of your place,” he says, patting his lap. I practically groan, though if he were to change his mind right now, a small part of me might still be disappointed. I like that he's stern and consistent, and serious. It means I'm important to him, that he values what I value, and that he desires my obedience.
Over his knee I go, and later that day I can feel the ache every time I sit down, the reminder to obey. Be good. Do what he says. And I do, I obey all day long, and he's thrilled with me. He tells me he's taking me out on a date, and that he's proud of me (I did indeed hit the bestseller list with my latest release – thanks to those who cheered me on!). We go on a lovely date and have an even lovelier time when we come home.
But it isn't enough. You see, somehow, I can't tank up on his dominance and being a good girl. My reserves can still get drained the next day. I can still step out of line, if the stars align just so, and boy do they ever.
The next day, I get up early and end up having to give someone a ride I didn't plan. We're rushing around like crazy to get to church, no time for a good morning hug or kiss, much less a check-in. I come home and I'm stressed because I've got so much to do. And Jason is stressed because he's got so much to do. And the next thing you know, I'm trying to talk to him and he's in no place to listen, and he tells me he's not happy with a few things. But I'm not in the place to listen. I'm already maxxed out, completely running on empty, and with no time with him, feeling very out of sorts. I snap. I try telling him why what he is saying to me is hurtful, but instead it comes out with a snarky tone and anger.
“Four,” he says, my warning code that's oh-so-close to trouble.
Four? I want to throw it back at him. No, not four, I think, and I think a few other choice things that would get me spanked something awful if I said them out loud. At this point, there are a few things that work. Sometimes I'll text Maisy and she'll talk me off the ledge, but Maisy is away and I'm already pretty pissed anyway. Sometimes I'll self talk myself into obeying, or take a walk outside, or go into another room and lock myself in it counting to ten until I've gotten control of my anger. But I'm flat-out in the middle of a kitchen full of messes, baking. My floors are sticky and my counters a mess, I'm starving and I need coffee, bad. So...I mutter something rude under my breath and he simply says, 'Five.”
We've been here. I know I'm in trouble, and I don't care at this point.
“You'll regret this later,” he said. I know I will.
But the reality is? Submission is hard. It's oh so pretty in a book, or when things are lovely. It's sweet kneeling before him, or getting a nice sexy spanking. I smile to myself when I give my collar a little tug, or he wraps his hand around my neck when we're out, fiercely protective and focused on me. The other night he braided my hair before bed and tucked me in, and I went to bed counting my blessings. Submitting to him can be blissful sometimes. But sometimes? It's just plain hard. And I don't always do it. I'm far from the perfect submissive. I've learned so much and I'm sometimes surprised at how I'm able to keep myself in check whereas I'd have lost my temper just a few years ago. But then there are days like today when everything in me wants to tell him to take a flying leap off a building. Stop telling me what to do. You don't understand me. You don't understand that as a busy working mom, I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. Is my house clean? Did I get enough exercise in? Are my kids having their needs met? Are they happy, and healthy? Did I sign that form I was supposed to, make that phone call I was supposed to, and why are the floors sticky again? You don't know, boss man, how much I've got on my mind right now, you don't have the first clue and I'm so not going to fucking do what you say.
Yeah, I'm not the perfect submissive here, folks.
Jason is angry so he goes about doing what he needs to and I'm not too happy myself. Finally, I get upstairs to grab something before I need to run an errand, and he calls me to him.
“I..want you to know how I feel,” I say.
“I know how you feel,” he replies.
“I certainly don't feel like you do,” I say. “If I felt like you did, I wouldn't have acted the way I did downstairs.”
“You'll regret that later,” he says nonchalantly, giving me "the look." We don't have privacy and he can't spank me now, and even if we did have privacy, he needs some time to cool off.
So in a rush of words, I tell him all, all the very many tangled worries on my mind, and he nods and listens. Then, he breaks through my armor because...he apologizes.
Damn. He's not supposed to do that. How can I stay angry at him if he apologizes?
So...I apologize, too. But we have unfinished business, because in this dynamic? There are consequences for my actions.
I have to go, though. I have a time-sensitive errand to run, so I tell him I'm sorry, and he nods his head. “While you're out, I want you thinking about how you should behave yourself as a good girl. And come and give me a kiss.” So I do. I kiss him, and while I'm out I do think about how I'm going to be a good girl.
By the time I get home, there's a weight on my chest and a lump in my throat because I hate dissension between us. A few weeks ago I wrote about a simple trip to the supermarket, just me and Jason, and so many of you wrote to me about how sweet that was. Well, when you eroticize your relationship and remove conflict, that's what happens. The adoration, warm fuzzies, and simple companionship flourish. I'm used to that now, his tenderness with me, the way he tucks me in and rubs my back and kisses me good night, the way he listens and holds me and offers his broad shoulders for my troubles. And there's been a breach. We need to be better again. And because we solve things here with spanking...that's what has to happen.
Finally, the time has come. We have total privacy. I'm kneeling before him and we've talked every last bit out. He's told me how he's going to help and I've apologized for how I behaved. I'm humbled now, ready to be punished, when his hands go to my waist.
“I don't want to be punished,” I whisper, my eyes shut, because my nerves are churning. I deserve a spanking. I know I do. He knows I do. And when I'm in trouble, Jason spanks hard.
He unfastens my jeans and pushes them down. He fetches the hairbrush and I whimper because it's my most dreaded implement. For a morning maintenance or something similar, I often go over his lap. I like my belly over both knees. He's taller than I am, so my feet come straight off the floor, and I love the physical connection over his lap. But he's giving me a serious spanking now. He pats his knee, and I lay myself over one knee, crossing my ankles because I know it's going to hurt and I want to accept what I can. He hates when I fight him so I try to take as many precautions as I can. Over I go. He bares me. There's no lecture this time. We both know why I'm being spanked.
And he begins, hard, with unrelenting swats with that awful, thick brush that burns so that I can hardly stand it, and as I suspect, he positions me for a good hard spanking. His legs trap mine, and his hand wraps around my waist. If it's a different kind of spanking and I'm not being punished, I like that hand around my waist because he's sometimes doing fun things with that hand. But not today. Nope. Today, he's anchoring me, holding me in position as he very firmly, very soundly gives me one of the hardest spankings I've gotten in a really long time. Over and over it falls, and I am twisting, trying to get away but there's no use, as he's got me restrained good and hard and he's not going to let me go until he thinks he's given me the spanking I deserve.
I can't help but beg him. “Oh, please stop,” I whisper, even though I know it does no good, but I can't help it. “Ow, ow, ow,” I say into the blanket, fisting it in my hands, it hurts so bad and even though I deserve it I can hardly bear it, each wicked bite of the brush making me gasp and squirm. I have no idea how long I'm over his knee, but it seems like it's forever. Tears are in my eyes, just on the cusp of falling, but I can't cry when I'm still being paddled like this as it's all I can do to take my spanking.
Finally, finally, he's done. The awful swats are over, and he gives me several good slaps with his hand, his signature move, closing off an implement spanking with his hand. Then he's soothing me, his warm hand rubbing out the sting, and with one line, my tears break free.
“I know there's a good girl in there,” he says softly. “I know my good girl is in there.” And I break down completely, weeping now, finally those pent-up tears flowing freely. He gently pushes me down to my knees so I drop my head in his lap.
“I'm so sorry, Daddy,” I whisper, over and over, as he hushes me and I cry into his shirt. I'm sniffling, a total mess, my nose stuffy and runny and tears all over the place, but he doesn't care. This is his job. He hates punishing me but he does it because this is how we do things. This is what we do. I want his dominance and he wants my submission. I've agreed to be punished, and he's agreed to be my disciplinarian. But I'm his baby girl. And I need some comfort.
After a while, my tears slow and he holds me a little longer before we go on about our day. But it's hard being punished in the middle of the day like that. If it's at night, I sleep it off and wake up refreshed, but during the day I still hold onto that feeling of being subdued, chastised, submitted to him, and a little bit sad. I'm no longer pent up or angry, or guilty. But there's that need to be held by him. That need to have just a bit more TLC. About an hour later, I rest my head on his shoulder in the kitchen and he leans back against the counter, pulling me to his chest and I put my arms around his neck. He kisses my forehead.
“I'm sorry,” I whisper.
“I know, baby,” he says. “Are you going to be sorry all day?”
“I don't know,” I say honestly, because I don't. Sometimes it just lingers a bit. “It's just...hard to accept that.”
He smiles. “I understand,” he says. “I'd feel the same way if I were punished by me like that.”
That makes me laugh. I have a lot still to do, but he's helping me. He does the laundry while I do my lesson plans, and I tell him I'm going to sit down and blog. He says it'll be good for me, and I agree. Sometimes just writing it all out helps. How hard this all is. How it feels before, during, and after. How I need him, and how he meets those needs. And sometimes I don't have a nice neat little conclusion at the end. I'm still sitting on a very sore bottom and I still need to snuggle up on his chest, and to be honest, I still need to cry a little.
Sometimes the only conclusion I have is that this is not easy. I wouldn't change it for anything. I am happy, and fulfilled, and so is he, but this is not easy.
But then again, no one ever told me it would be.