I said that I wanted to change direction a little with this blog, and this is part of it, to step away from those powerful moments and talk a little about the ordinary ones, those moments that happen day in and day out, in between the beautiful and the powerful there is the ordinary, the routine. This is not my usual type of posting, though it is a moment in time, and it is an emotional reality. This Sunday curiosity is about the ‘things’ that we deal with, that we all deal with, whether we have a D/s relationship or not. I am posting this as a ‘Sunday curiosity’ to see how it feels, to see if it works for me, to see if it invokes a reaction.
My boy is a smart, thoughtful man, a man with his own mind, and he is not afraid to tell me when he thinks something is wrong, when he is uncomfortable, when something bothers him – I enjoy that about him, that he stands up to me. I am a woman in a relationship that is as complex as it is rewarding, I am difficult and sometimes not able to be the person I strive to be. There is no linear path that I stalk down, my eyes are not relentlessly looking forward, I do not expect my boy to blindly be behind me at all times going ‘yes Ma’am, whatever you say Ma’am’. I meander, I waver, I stumble, I go down many paths at once, I explain to my boy where I am going and why and sometimes he disagrees with me, we talk, sometimes I change my mind, always I bring him along. It is the bringing him along that makes it work. The day I can no longer bring him along with me is the day we are in serious trouble.
Sometimes, we struggle, my boy and I, and the reasons are many and varied, it is a relationship, and the D/s component adds another layer that needs to be nurtured and cared for.
He has, in the past week, missed complying with my instructions twice, not once, but twice. This is unusual, very unusual and it gives me a shock, it scares me a little. They were not big instructions, not serious items that were important, they were small-ish, but they mean something to me simply because I asked these things of him, and his non-compliance hurts me. The reasons for his transgressions are important, he is not wilfully disobedient, he knows that my asserting control, and him complying opens me up to him, connects us and makes us sweet and strong and we both work to make us strong. To break this dynamic, though, all he has to do is stop doing what I say… that’s it. All I have to do to break this dynamic is to stop asserting control. There is nothing secretly complicated about D/s relationships… he surrenders himself to me, I take him where I want us to go. If either of us stops doing that, we are broken.
“Where is it?”, I ask him, “I told you to keep it on…”.
“I took it off, because I thought that you couldn’t have meant what you said… I didn’t think it made sense with your second instruction…so I took it off…”. He explains his reasoning to me, his logic, his thought process.
I am surprised, and hurt. I tell him that he doesn’t get to decide what he will and won’t comply with. He is starting to close down already, I can feel it, the wall going up, he is shoring up his defensive position as I talk to him.
“Ma’am, what shall we do about it?”, he asks me after I finish explaining my thoughts, he doesn’t acknowledge what I am saying, he wants this conversation, this incident to go away, to be over. He thinks I am wrong, that what he did was justified.
His reason for not complying was so that he could make something else that he was doing for me sweeter, I understand that, and I feel bad that his thoughtful sweetness is backfiring on him this way. But I can’t let it go, I won’t. I feel as if we are disconnecting, each sending volleys over the wall blindly and I need to fix it before we start hitting big targets, before we really hurt each other with this.
I press him on it.
“I want you to tell me that you understand clearly what I am saying, why it is important to me when it seems trivial…”
He explains himself again, his reasoning, how he felt my instructions didn’t really make sense, he honestly didn’t think I could mean them, so he didn’t follow them, “…and that was the wrong thing to do, and I am sorry Ma’am, I shouldn’t have done it but I did”.
That should be enough, it should. I understand his explanation, he admitted he was wrong, he apologised for goodness’ sakes! Maybe that should have been enough, it seems like it should have been enough, but it wasn’t. I can be am a difficult and demanding woman, I want what I want and I look at myself sometimes and wonder if I am unreasonable, if I ask too much, expect too much, but I ask and expect it because I want him, and part of that wanting is my desire to bring him impossibly close to me and I can’t do that by letting things slide, I can’t, even though it is clearly easier to do that, to let things go even if I am not really happy with how they end up. I can’t, though, let things go when I am not happy with them, the day that I do that is the day that I really don’t care enough anymore to do otherwise.
I feel as if he isn’t really getting my point that it is not his place to arbitrarily decide if I mean what I tell him or not. I mean what I say and if I am unclear, he should ask. The ‘what’ in this is irrelevant compared with the fact that he looked at what I asked him, made his own judgement about whether it made sense, decided it didn’t, and so, put it aside. That way lies too many questions… I can’t second guess whether he will do as I ask him, I need my trust in him to be rock solid, I can’t make a relationship work if I am wondering about whether he will do as I say or not.
I try again, “I want to make sure you understand (beyond this) why it is important to me to know that you are under my instruction. I assume you get that and have no questions about it?”
He is frustrated with me now, and angry that I am questioning his commitment, his resolve. He snaps at me.
“You, seriously, after I went what fifty some days without coming? I need to get sleep instructions if you would like to give them, and then we need to talk again tomorrow.”
I struggle not to snap back, I take a deep breath, I don’t want this to get bigger than it is, I don’t want us to go to bed with it unresolved, I don’t want it to drag out. I know he wants to drop it, he is worried it will get ugly, that we will get heated and say things we regret. I also feel a little sick and worried that this will turn into something huge, but I want it resolved in some sense. I feel as if we are miscommunicating over and over and he is unwilling or unable to give me what I need. The more upset and angry we get, the less likely it is that we are going to resolve this happily.
I am terse now, “I am asking you a simple question, and it doesn’t seem that I am asking much from you except a ‘yes, I do understand why it’s important to you Ma’am'”.
He gives in.
“Yes I do understand why it is important to you Ma’am.”
I don’t question whether he means it, our exchange is now too emotionally clouded to see so clearly. I thank him for saying it, either way. He stiffly tells me I am welcome. We pet each other down a little then, the tense little exchange is the turning point.
“I know it was not a big thing baby, I just think sometimes that there is a danger that some of the things we do seem silly and pointless, but I place value in them, you know?”.
“Nothing I do with you is silly or pointless ever ever ever”, he breaks my heart a little.
“I am trying not to blow things out of proportion, but also I am loath to let things go because that way lies cute vanilla ice cream and cotton candy… I don’t do cute vanilla ice cream and cotton candy so well”.
“Cotton candy is for girls…”, he smiles at me seeking reassurance. I smile back at him and we make some tentative moves towards each other, each of us prickly and wary.
We hesitatingly touch each other’s wounds, they are raw, and we tiptoe around them a little. We talk of other things, try gently to make each other smile. I ask him to read to me in his honeyed voice that I love, to bring us close. This licking and petting and gentling down will continue for a day or so, we will reassure each other that we are ok until we are sure that we are ok. We will talk more about it when we are calm, when we regret the hurt we caused.
The next day, he is punished. In the aftermath, it is his job to try his very best for me, to be extra vigilant in the next little while, it is my job to be gentle with him, to be kind, to make sure he knows that he is my good boy, even when we have hit a glitch. We talk about how we can do better next time. I commit to him that I will be clearer in my instructions, to try to remove any ambiguity. He agrees that sometimes, even when he disagrees with me and believes he is right, sometimes he just has to say ‘Yes Ma’am, I will do as you say’ (not ‘Yes Ma’am, I agree’ which would be a lie, but a sincere acceptance that he will do as I say) regardless of how unfair he thinks it is.
We are sweet to each other, each of us needing that reassurance that we haven’t damaged anything. It is gentle and tender and a little desperate. We will be fine.