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!