I Manipulated The Situation?

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No, not recently, but I have been thinking about the past a lot lately. You know where I am: where I was; who I am; who I thought I was.

Not long after starting down this road, Reed had asked me to clean the utility room portion of our basement. Like any new Dder I was slightly thrilled at the ‘request’, yet was not thrilled at the REQUEST. Our utility room is a bit of a sore spot for me- yes even 7 years later. I believe I am often the one who tidies and reorganizes it- yet its downfall rarely falls solely on my shoulders.

That day, I started my organization as I always do, in my area- the laundry, the craft and wrapping paper stuff. Sadly this area is only 1/4th of the room. Reed’s tools and crap quickly in crouch my area and my frustration tends to build tiding it up as I find places for everything and they only seem to rest there ONCE.

After tiding my area I moved to the back portion of the room. There stacked in my way was a tower of summer truck tires. I convinced myself I was defeated and phoned Reed at work, explaining to him I couldn’t continue the chore he asked of me due to the truck tires in my way. He asked me a few questions and that was about it ( I don’t recall the questions now just that they were in regard to the room).

I then set about my day. Something felt off in me however. We were new to ttwd, and even more than that I was very new to feeling certain emotions. They often manifested themselves in a less clear cut way than they do now. That day I could only describe them as this niggling feeling. Deciding that shaking off this feeling wasn’t going to work this time, I sat down and started to examine what was going on with me.

I will spare you the process, mostly because I don’t recall it, but I came to the realization that I had manipulated the situation so I didn’t have to continue cleaning the room. I realized that if I had chosen to do the room on my on accord, I would have moved the truck tires one by one out into the family room in order to access the area behind them. In fact I was most likely the one who brought them down to the utility room to begin with after becoming frustrated with them on our main floor months prior. The truth was I just didn’t want to and I had convinced myself that I couldn’t continue. I HAD MANIPULATED even myself! This revelation had led to much reflection that afternoon- how many times had I omitted/overlooked facts so I could only see things my way? How many times did this affect Reed?

It was an awful feeling. I hadn’t done it intentionally, but in some ways that made it worse. It was such a habit I didn’t even realize I did it! I finished the task he had set out for me. I had decided I needed to confess to Reed and if I was going to put myself out there, I needed to give myself a little bit of self respect back before I did. It didn’t work. I still felt awful.

Let me just stop here- I wouldn’t consider myself a person who ruminates ( or wouldn’t have) over such a seemingly harmless ‘lie’. If I were the one reading versus writing this post, I may even question the ‘drama’ behind it. LOL. But this was the first real time ttwd put a mirror in front of me. I had done plenty of self reflection prior to bringing ttwd to my husband and examined many overt issues I found. This time it was different ( though sadly not unique as I discovered over the years since Dd’s inception). This was more like a sucker punch- delivered by my own hand!

After completing the task I still didn’t feel any better about myself. We now had a tidy utility room, but that feeling of satisfaction was overshadowed. I needed to phone Reed. This was a stage in our dynamic where punishments were few. Reed was still trying to wrap his head around the authority he had, and battle what society had told him his entire life, so I wasn’t nervous placing the call due to what type of punishment I was to face.

It is one thing to discover something about yourself, it is a completely different ballgame to say it out loud. It is almost as if it makes it MORE REAL. After I told him what I discovered he laughed, or rather chuckled. He assured me while new to Dd he was not new to me, and he knew exactly what I was doing. He did give me credit that he believed I would eventually finish the task.

I don’t recall if I was punished or not for my manipulation of facts. I highly doubt I was. That day pops into my head quite often, as clear as if it happened last week. The habit itself did not become difficult to break, if you count success as thinking the manipulation and then overcoming it initially rather than voicing it.

There are times I think I see other shades of it in me- perhaps blaming Reed for something that I too could have contributed to, but for the most part that part has been diminished . Thank goodness because there were so many other things I learned I needed to eradicate or control from that day forward. Not all negative in the way manipulation is, but negative when it came to uncovering who I really was. TTWD is the therapy session that never ends!

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Updating A Blogland Analogy to Fit Us

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Odd, I created this space to write, and then I didn’t.  Believe it or not that isn’t typical of me.  I have written a lot for Reed, or perhaps AT Reed would be more accurate, but not to share.

Why today? ( especially as I am ‘high’ on medication and after rereading the entire post several times, am confused as to why I started writing it in the first place? LOL) I can’t actually answer that.  With Google shutting down google plus in a few weeks, I found myself pouring over old chats from when I first started down this road years ago.  Why I said *I* and not we is because I had started to live submission before bringing it to Reed.  It occurred to me reading these old chats/emails that in some small way, I miss the ‘simplicity’ of it all when life was new with ttwd.  Though I have to say, back then it felt anything but simple.

Years ago there was a post floating around comparing Dd and those attempting it to the game Trivial Pursuit.  The basic premise of the post was we all start off with empty game pieces.  Some people zoom around the board at a rapid pace, not collecting any pieces, or accumulating many depending on their knowledge ( Dd wise-experiences and opportunities).  Life throws many things at us, and we are all so different that one Dd team may get the consistency pie piece right away, but the effective communication piece might be illusive for a while ( as a simple example).

I think of this often when I think of where I am specifically with my submission and where we are as a ‘team’.  Years into Dd D/s I have found we have what some would consider ‘newbie’ issues- but issues we didn’t have as newbies.  Reed creating  more submission opportunities comes to mind.  Yes, I still believe that the onus is on me to be the most authentic me I can be and that means being a submissive regardless of life around me.  However life isn’t that cut and dry.  Often mistakes, and miscommunication derail my once steadfast conviction to my authentic self. Honestly I believe we have even created new bad habits in the past couple of years.

Where once upon a time I looked for any indication of dominance and blew oxygen into that. Years later I find I often LOOK for the dominance before feeling my submission. ( Yet oddly enough after Reed goes to work and I am alone, I begin to work on it myself again) In my mind’s eye, that shouldn’t be.  In my memory it wasn’t like that prior.  BUT I suppose we didn’t collect that piece of the pie when we landed on it years ago?

My real reasoning for bringing up the Trivial Pursuit analogy was because I revisited a blog I hadn’t in a very long time because I basically couldn’t relate before.  Not that the author wasn’t a good writer or that I didn’t find value in their dynamic, it just wasn’t something I could draw from, at the time.  Today was different.  Today ( my take away at least) she wrote about how she can do submissive things though not easily ( I have always felt submission for the most part on a day to day basis comes easily- but perhaps Reed doesn’t require much from me.  On an emotional day?  Not so much) but the greatest growth for her comes when he demands more than she thinks she can give.  Today we seem to be working on the same pie piece.

There has always been that debate among friends and myself- is it truly submission if it is easy? if it doesn’t cost anything? * That usually gets the subs going in a conversation! LOL.  My personal answer? Not for me.  I should probably expand that to include, sure it is submission for him visually, and without those little acts of submission the big ones would never happen, but my growth, ease, and acceptance of who I am comes with the more challenging ‘acts’ of submission.   Sort of like an artist sitting down to colour versus an artist painting an original work of art.  Or maybe a runner going around the block instead of running 5k. ( can’t say we’ve approached marathon status to use that in the analogy).  The every day little jaunts keep one in shape, to a point, but leaves the knowledge that what can be done isn’t required- especially if what can be done, HAS been done.

It is something I have noticed with many of my DdD/s friends over the years.  The more the balance of power is authentically shifted, even if only in pockets of time, the more we therefore expect it to be- and stay.  I believe that is the natural progression of a submissive.  Ideally that is also the natural progression of a Dominant as well.  Sadly they are horrible followers!  LOL

There is a trust built, and I hesitate to say perhaps a level of submission and dominance  came hand in hand with that trust.  When those levels of submission and/or dominance appear watered down, for a day, a week, a month,  or even a isolated situation depending on the individuals involved, that trust can seem or become askew.  I’m not saying it SHOULD be, but for many- such as myself, it can be.

So why after so many years is this even an issue?  Why indeed? Perhaps we didn’t conquer and obtain the piece of the pie initially because it was truly difficult for the team?   Perhaps we have a similar category piece of the pie, and believed it was the same so didn’t try for it? Or a more honest answer might be,  the longer we are in pursuit, the more the rules change because the players, while the same are different as they grow along.