Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Balance of Power

I already know where the balance is supposed to lie, by choice, in our home.  To be truthful, it does lay there more often than not, despite what I have written.

When I titled this The Balance of Power, I was referring to within my mind, not the concrete stuff.  Is there a difference?  Maybe.  Does it mean that the balance of power isn't ACTUALLY where it should be if in my mind I have it?  Perhaps.  Ah so many questions....

As I have mentioned, sadly far too often, life LOVES to throw crap at us.  I know we can all say that, but I mean HONESTLY, enough already!!!   Despite my recent claims and discoveries about submission and vulnerability, I still do manage to get myself 'locked up' in my head at times.

  I obviously share a great deal of my worries with Barney.  Many of them are his as well.  Okay most of them are.  The difference being how we think about each situation.  Not as in how we think we are going to fix it, as in how we actually THINK.  Man vs Woman?  Venus vs Mars?  Wilma vs Barney?   Just different.  He and I are both very analytical, albeit I look at things vastly different than he does.  While things will affect him emotionally, I will not only be emotionally visual, I will lay out road maps for every emotional possibility, with every probably outcome.  This is an issue of sorts because I do this with EVERYTHING, not just 'our child is in crisis' but 'what if our van breaks down'.  Obviously to Barney the latter doesn't require an emotional consideration.

What does this have to do with the balance of power?  The longer I stay in my head, the further I drift away ( I know nothing new here for most of you).  I was discussing this with a friend last night, I think of my submissive core as a bulls eye.
 Ideally we want me to be as close as possible to the centre.  Life, thoughts, etc.. have a tendency to allow me to drift from that place.  Still on the board, but not the best place. Of course the desire to be in the bulls eye also adds its own pressure and issues too!  lol

Anyway........while things around here may be ticking along externally as they 'should', internally perhaps they are not.  Non ttwd related things can eat away internally causing a shift.  A shift not only from the 'bulls eye' but in the balance of power.  It isn't that Barney isn't holding up his Dommly side of the bargain, it is perhaps that I am not holding up my side, mentally.  It isn't intentional.   There is no out and out bratting or reckless abandonment of expectations.  It is just bit by bit, thought by thought the power shift changes.  A distracted expectation 'performed' here.  A forgotten desire there.   Bit by bit.

Before I know it, and especially before Barney does many times, the balance has shifted.  

*I* have created the shift. ( Of course my loving husband will take part blame saying he should have paid closer attention and I wouldn't have drifted too far from my core).   Once the shift has occurred times become more difficult here.  A distracted expectation becomes a forgotten one.  A forgotten desire becomes an after thought.   Confusion sets in for both of us at this point.  What has changed for her, on Barney's part...and well on my part far too many things to list. 

 Perhaps the most significant one we have had to deal with though has been my perception of things. It has occurred to me that once I actually feel the balance has shifted, I start to look for ways in which to restore it IN him.  Not build him up to be back, but find things he says or does and give them more meaning and weight than perhaps he means.  What he thinks is a lighthearted comment, is taken seriously, whether as an insult or a threat depends on the day and my mindset.  Primarily in these situations however I am searching for a different dominance to bring ME back.

Last week Barney was explaining where his mind was during one of the times I felt hurt while searching for said dominance.  During that conversation he expressed how difficult it was to understand my emotions.  I informed him understanding my emotions wasn't necessary, nor was it even possible.  I could list all the reasons WHY it isn't possible, and trust me I did for him, but who has the time today ? ;).   I did say that understanding the 'issue' that caused the emotions should be the focus.  Validating my emotions or rather my right to feel that way would go a long way, but I wasn't aiming for the stars! lol.  What doesn't help is judging my emotions.  By doing so it dismisses my feelings and in turn, ME.  Furthermore it pushes me away from my core due to me becoming defensive ( feeling my emotions  are inconvenient at times at best for me still) concerning them AND has me shutting down verbally.

It is a difficult thing for a man or at least MY man to grasp that emotions cannot be fixed, or categorized by rationality and there isn't a universal acceptance to "B" happens therefore the correct emotion should be "G".    I did suggest that he could feel free and justified in judging my reactions and how I dealt with my emotions, just not the emotions themselves.  My reactions can and often are irrational, but don't you DARE claim my emotions are...LOL.  I went on further to say, but by all means nothing says you can't communicate a thought such as, " I can't comprehend why you are emotionally reacting this way, as I am not wired to have that sort of emotional response".  Pfft like THAT is ever going to happen! *wink*

To be fair, looking back I can see that the balance had started to shift before this conversation.  Occasionally through much work and reflection, I can bring myself back closer to the bulls eye, but I can't shift the balance of power on my own, even if I am the one who ultimately created it.  Often life's curve balls will shift the balance back in the blink of an eye.  Ideally though that isn't the best case scenario as we have external issues to deal with long after the balance is restored and the shift can happen again, and swiftly. 

Barney eventually recognized that I *felt* the balance of power had shifted.  Recently it manifested itself as me feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, among other things.  I considered some decisions I had made to be acting alone, and feared the repercussions of those decisions, (not with him).He did not see it that way at all.  He reminded me that he was in the room and agreed prior with one. As for the other  while I made the call, I had already discussed  with him when we thought the time would be right and what that meant should the call need to be made.  SEE?  perception.  Mine was clearly off.  By discussing this, and let me tell you multiple spankings,(many interrupted or cut short) in between,( did I say MULTIPLE ??) all came to a head.  

Did we fully understand what was happening during the time?  NOT a DAMN CLUE.  Lol.  While both of us probably knew what needed to ultimately happen, the whys were unclear.  I mean aside from the fact that I apparently 'inspire' him to 'beat' me.. Pfft.  ( NOW who's perception is off?).  Did communication clear this up?  Eventually, but as I said we didn't have a clue what we really needed to talk about. It was like two emotionally-charged, blindfolded people, roaming naked in a cactus field, ( you're welcome for that visual). 

It all worked out.  The Balance of Power is currently restored. I'd be lying if I didn't confess I feel like it is rather precariously perched at the moment however.


  1. Have you ever come across the saying:
    "Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down by being told to calm down."?
    Don't you think that saying would work just as well, or even better if 'calming down' was replaced by 'stop worrying'?
    My own mind makes big puddles of worry which spread and join up to other worry puddles and before you know it I feel like I'm drowning in a big, deep lake of them. Being told, as I often am, to stop worrying, or that worrying is a waste of time is a pointless exercise in itself. I don't WANT to worry. I can't control it otherwise I wouldn't do it. If I knew HOW to stop I would!!!!!!!!
    Our emotions are there. We can try and hide them from others but they will still be there inside our heads, whittling away at our brains. They are not necessarily rational but as you say, they do need validating by anyone who wants to try and get close or help.
    Having said that I often make things far worse by not telling H that I am actually worried about something until he finally recognises that I'm splashing around helplessly in the middle of the lake. For me not verbalising my worries is a way of not validating them myself, trying to pretend, at least on the outside, that they don't exist. It never works but I still do the same thing every time.
    You probably already knew that I would recognise myself hugely in this post. I am sorry that you're having to deal with so much at the moment. Sometimes I find that it isn't actually the words that H says which help but just his physical presence, a hug or holding my and in a quiet moment can help share and build our strength (and it also means he's safe from saying the wrong things!!!!)

  2. Oh I just happened to be 'here' when you posted. Editing AGAIN. I am actually pretty good about expressing my worries to Barney, and long ago he learned NOT to say , "stop worrying". So at least we established something right long ago. I'd have to say my emotions that he can't seem to relate too deal with overwhelming sadness, or fear ( which could be seen as worry to some I suppose), or anger.

    As for your calming down quote, last Friday night after a family dinner out, we were discussing this very point. Our middle son came up with the perfect response. He said, " I think if you see someone 'freaking out' you should simply just say, " I am here for you " or " What can I do to help?". So HE gets it at the ripe old age of 16!!!

    I agree, I do find that once I have said something to Barney, whether it concerns him ( of course he will say ALL things that concern me concern him) or not the act of letting it out removes some of the power it has over me. Not ALL of it, but often the rough edges. Oh wait you said if you DON'T tell H things get worse...Meh, same dif *wink*

    I also understand the "not validating them myself' part. I always say, " saying it out loud, makes it real". There are times in the most recent past where I have tried to explain and as you read Barney was busy trying to analyze the emotion and whether it was justified or not, to actually "HEAR" the rest, that things did not turn out so well for us- Me emotionally, him physically...then ME physically. LOL

    We are dealing with a lot, but as Barney pointed out to me last night, it IS getting better. I just have to chose to see that. ( Ah fear, because it seems every time I chose to see that, it all appears to crumble away again) I am just so bloody tired of swimming against the current. I think at times I really just need Barney to be positive for me, when I can't. He is getting better a that to be honest. Other times he really does need to 'reset' my brain, not that I like to confess that one- though I have once or twice.

  3. So, so, I was listening to the radio the other day and just happened upon a married couple that has a radio show. Something they said made me think and then reading your posting made me think more. They said that every morning, they ask each other "What do you need from me today?" Now that might be to pick up the medication from the drug store or it might be something else, but it made me think about expressing needs and feeling safe to do that.

    Their take home message was needs are needs and when you express them, you make yourself vulnerable in a very intimate way. Perhaps, as you say, saying it out loud allows you and your husband to deal with it better...I think that ties in with what your brilliant son said...

    On the emotions front, I think that no emotion is better than any other. How you deal is how you deal. How you allow those emotions to come out in action is an entirely different matter. It sounds like you are trying to keep Barney focused on the actions, not the emotions, which is a good thing.

    1. Hi Cygnet,

      Barney and I have talked a great deal more about the emotions aspect. He is trying to 'fixate' more on the reaction and responses I 'choose' when emotional, not the emotions themselves. He explained to me that often he gets lost in the emotional part. Currently he said he is working on acknowledging my emotions, but not allowing them to control mine/our lives. Often times if he believes he has contributed to my emotional state, he has admitted to finding it difficult to follow through with any real sort of conviction. This doesn't mean necessarily that he is the 'cause'. For him contributing can also mean not removing stressers or stepping in when needed, etc.

      The difficulty in all of this is both of us forging through, even through the muck that will no doubt come our way. Mine because he will not be able to 'change' overnight, so at times this past conversation will appear to be forgotten, when really it is a struggle. His, because try as I might I will most likely forget his struggle and feel deeply hurt while he does.

      Ideally communication will help, but sadly that generally comes after the fact!

    2. I like the idea of asking in the morning, "what do you need from me.:

  4. Hi Willie, I can definitely relate to this, I spend so much time inside my head and worry things to death, quite often things that haven't even happened, the what if. When I do worry about something it is constantly with me too. Rick on the other hand seems to be able to compartmentalise, not worry about work issues at home and vice versa. We definitely think and react differently.

    I like what you said about emotions and that understanding what caused the emotion should be the focus.

    Love and hugs

    1. Hey Roz

      You know today I was thinking my husband often thinks of me like I did our kids when they were toddlers, " She's quiet, something is definitely wrong". Funny but true. I go very deep undercover sometimes, skipping over the bawling in the bath tub zone, right to numb and zombie like. Of course that is on the outside. My insides are like a hummingbird on crack with a side of espresso.

      Barney too claims to be able to compartmentalize. But then again he also *claims* he falls asleep when his head hits the pillow because he has a clear conscience. Pfft.

      As for what I said? In and ideal situation, absolutely. When I watch one of our teens, 'wig out' I generally see the reaction first, try to contain it, and then go for the whys. Of course, I don't usually feel I am the cause of their reactions, especially if I am not in the room with them..LOL. That has to add an entirely new dimension to assessing the situation.


  5. I read your posts and think...I don't need to blog. Willie's already thought, felt, been through all the things I want to say. And you explain it all so much better.

    The balance of power that you talk about seems like the never ending struggle here. I find I get to my "space" and I know it. It's comfortable and it's where I want to stay but as much as I like being there I feel myself slipping often. I can't blame stress for that anymore. My life is much less busy and stressful than it has been for years. I can't seem to put my finger on what starts the slide for me but I know it happens.

    "Primarily in these situations however I am searching for a different dominance to bring ME back. Yes, exactly. And the double edged sword (in our relationship, anyway) is that when I'm close to my space I see and feel Luke's dominance. When I'm slipping I CHOSE not to see it or at least I chose to tell myself I want his dominance in a certain way. As time has gone on in ttwd, I have had to let go of my how I wanted this to be. I have had to learn how to feel Luke's authority even when I think I want it to be different. I don't have the ability to explain things like you do Willie. I know it's a feeling but I don't have the right words to express it.

    As far as Barney wanting to understand your feelings. I had to read that paragraph a few times. What you say makes a lot of sense but I wonder if the human condition makes all of us want to at least try to understand the feelings of the people we love. No he can't change the feelings themselves but I wonder if he wants to understand as much as possible to try to see things the way you do. I know nothing hurts more for me than to have Luke say "I don't understand why you can't let that go. You can't change anything about it." That used to be something he said often. Now that we share more, I think he at least tries to see that the way I process won't allow me to let everything just go. I don't think he truly understands the emotion. As you say, it's yours, it's deep, it's part of you. But I think Luke is trying to get past the taking care of IT and taking care of the whole me. Maybe trying to understand is Barney's way of getting to that place. Hope some of this makes sense.

    Love and Hugs,

    1. Welcome back lady

      Let's see where to begin here. I feel like I have been there done that, designed the t-shirt, set up shop to sell them, hated the design, tossed it , designed it again, set up a new shop...etc, etc, etc... So I probably HAVE written about most things you have gone through, unless it is something like TOO much consistency or ' I am a super submissive' lol...then NO. As for writing it better? I believe reading someone else's struggles is the equivalent to eating someone else's cooking. It always seems better because you didn't labour over it.

      Funny at times when I am in locked away in my head, I actually see MORE dominance than is sometimes intended. Of course there are times I also choose to ignore any and all directives. I can't honestly say why I do the latter. I don't do it to provoke. Mind you the other day when discussing something I said to Barney, " To not push back feels like I am pushed aside" So maybe I am pushing him to see if he will stand up to me. Yet generally when I am locked away, I don't feel testy. Just distant.

      Barney and I have talked about emotions for so long. We have come to the conclusion, or at least *I* have that they are a tangible thing he can't understand because they are so subjective. I am not denying he can't empathize at times. I think that for him he was seeing more the outburst and using that as a gauge to the emotion. When really they are two entirely different things. In doing so he was getting lost between those two things and then trying to figure out how I felt and if my emotions were justified, not my reactions to them. I honestly think for him, knowing certain situations cause certain emotions is good enough.

      I will try to explain why a situation gives me a certain emotional reaction. With ttwd it is the outburts/reaction to the emotion he has to decide if that is acceptable for him, not the emotion. Gosh I feel like I am saying the same thing over and over again. Must be time for bed..LOL Anyway that has become his primary focus, or area to work on according to his words yesterday.

      I understand exactly what you mean when you said, " get past taking care of IT and taking care of whole me" Because that is exactly what I am referring too. Just that understanding what 'hurt' means to me, not what it does to me, isn't going to help whole me if he is 'stuck' trying to figure out if it makes sense then to be hurt and what that means...LOL


  6. I am back........ Warning or maybe a promise

    1. thanks for pushing and not giving up on me.

    2. Me push???? Obviously you are confusing me with someone else *wink*. Who'd 'give up' on you?