I don’t really even want to write about this one. It’s been a good process for me to reflect and write, and it’s helped me to better understand what happened and why, but it leaves me feeling rather vulnerable. This incident more than the others, because it was the emotional breakthrough that I suppose Grant had been looking for from the start.
It’s odd how things can look so very different later, be so clear in retrospect, and how unaware one can be in the midst of it all. I’m frankly not used to being that person who can’t see what is happening around me, or within me. I am typically more self-reflective and aware. Not so this time. It took a big intervention…. (In three parts)…for me to wake up and understand what was happening, how I had been shutting Grant out while running at warp speed through my days. I made it all LOOK pretty, because I am good at that. What I mean is, I was pleasant, cooperative (the faucet aside), but just going through the motions, I guess.
I was so very angry at Grant after spanking number two, and after I indulged in that for a day, I knew from years of experience that I would have to find a way to make peace, because Grant believes what he believes and his mind wasn’t changing on the events and how he sees them. From the last post, as humorous as it was, he obviously holds to his HOH-ish perspective on his correctness. He doesn’t always. He is
very very stubborn and consistent and hard to pull off his chosen course, but he will hear my side and at times, admit he is wrong. This time we simply have to “agree to disagree”. (Which by the way will irritate him to read as much as it did the last time I penned that phrase.) He still believes he is right, and can’t believe I don’t get it. I still believe I am right, and yeah, I might be a tad stubborn myself, and I just won’t give lip service to agreement. That’s lying.
BUT, I also believe there were other things, relationship issues, historical events, anxieties and ‘stuff’ that was mixed in, and I don’t at all resent him anymore for doing what he did. How can I? I have entrusted myself and our marriage to his keeping. I have consented to discipline as he sees fit. I know he takes that so very seriously, that he loves me to distraction, and that he is a man of such integrity and ethic that I cannot doubt for one second that he did things as he felt he needed to, for me and for us.
I also learned if I am going to sneak out of the house in the early morning I need to get better at it!
So…spanking # 3. I decided to extend an olive branch. I texted him on day two after the morning ambush asking if he’d like to meet for a drink after work. We agreed that I would contact him when I finished my last meeting of the day, which would be around 5/5:30. I did just that and he texted back, inquired about the success of my meeting, said he was glad things had gone well, that he was also on his way home, and would be about 20 minutes. He added that unfortunately I was now due “a P” for the email I had sent him during the day, and he wanted to get that out of the way, and then we could go out after that.
Huh? I texted:
“What? What are you talking about?”
“You made an appointment with the landscaper. We have an agreement.”
“Yes. Seriously. We’ll talk when I get home.”
I had offered this man an olive branch, after an awful spanking just two days ago when he was wrong, worked hard to wrap my mind around it and not hold a grudge, and THIS is what he does with it?
I was flummoxed. I had told him I wanted to get a landscaper in to help with some work this Spring, as I just can’t do it all myself anymore due to my back issues. He agreed. I got a referral from the guy who mows our lawn, emailed it to Grant, and with Grant’s approval, contacted the landscaper. Historically, I ‘do’ the outside; I handle the gardens, the design, the planting, and the weeding. It’s my thing. When the landscaper emailed back and said he could come on Saturday morning at 10 am, I said “OK” knowing Grant would be out-of-town. But, I thought (silly me) that Grant would be fine with it because it was just a first consult, because our 20-year-old son would be home, because we would just be discussing design. Then the guy would have to come back, present a proposal, which of course I would make sure Grant was present for, and we would decide if we wanted to use the services and Grant could deal with the prices, etc. You see that is his thing. He doesn’t want anyone working on our property that he doesn’t approve of. He believes I am gullible with contractors, and he has decreed for years that I am not allowed to deal with any work on the house alone. I do the design, he deals with the contractors…making it happen.
I couldn’t stand it and called him:
“Grant, a P… What are you talking about?”
“Yes, a P. I am talking about the email you sent me today.”
“I SENT it to you so you will be fully informed!”
“You did, and I appreciate that! You also set up a meeting with a contractor on a day when I will be out-of-town.”
“We’re going to talk about design. I will show him the property and discuss what I envision, and then he’ll come back with a proposal which he will send to you. You’ll meet him and decide if we’ll use his services.”
“You set up a meeting with a contractor without me.”
“He’s a LANDSCAPER!”
“Is a landscaper a contractor?”
“No, he’s a landscaper!”
“And we have an agreement about contractors don’t we?”
“He’s a landscaper.”
“Is he going to present us with a contract to sign?
“Well, yes but…”
He interrupted, “Then he’s a contractor.”
“Grant, ok, technically he’s a contractor, but it’s different. He’s a landscaper and he’s just going to…”
“Sara, stop. Therein lies your problem. Anytime you find yourself saying to me ‘technically’ you’ve already lost your argument. I love you and I don’t want to argue. Just go home and get ready. I’ll be there shortly.”
I wanted to bang my head against the steering wheel. Why are men so black and white? The whole contractor thing is silly from my perspective anyway. I deal with all manner of people and contractors in my work world, but at home I am not allowed to call an electrician for a faulty switch. It’s one of those things I just do his way because it is important to him, and I’ve tried to reason for years. He’s not flexible on the issue. And I really went out of my way to be sure I checked in with him and forwarded every email to him and kept him in the loop and had his permission. And this is not painting, or sheet rock, or electric or plumbing. It’s landscaping. The garden…my ‘thing’!
So, I drove home. Whatever. Half mad half just resigned. We’re so not on the same page and haven’t been. I don’t know what he’s thinking, I don’t understand, and I am tired of fighting too. If he wants to spank me he will, and then we’ll go out for that drink or we won’t, and I just give up.
I was very dressed up because the meeting I’d come from was with an important one requiring that. I drove home. “Get ready?” OK. I was ready…resigned. I sat down at the kitchen table and went to check work emails. I’d been out of the office for the afternoon and figured I’d take the 15 minutes alone to catch up, and it would be a good distraction.
When he walked in my back was to the door but I turned and said “Hi” just as I hit send.
He just looked at me. He was silent. Finally:
“What are you doing?”
“Checking a few emails…….why?”
He got an angry look on his face.
“You’re checking emails? You’re just sitting there checking emails?”
“Well yes. You weren’t home yet. You said you’d be 15 minutes.”
“You’re still wearing your boots for God’s sake. You haven’t even taken your suit jacket off?”
“What is the problem? You told me to go home and wait for you and I did.”
“I told you to get ready!”
“I AM ready!”
His jaw hardened. His eyes narrowed.
“I can’t believe you. I am just too angry right now. I need a few minutes. Go get ready right now!”
I stood up. My stomach dropped. But when my fight or flight kicks in, the more vulnerable I feel the more likely I am to fight, to put up a good front. I went toe to toe with him:
“I AM ready! What exactly does your version of “get ready” mean?” I was starting to tear up out of frustration and confusion, and desperately trying not to. “We have no set ‘get ready’ rules Grant. There is no routine we’ve agreed to! If you want something specific you’re going to have to actually tell me that, because I don’t know what you want from me!”
“Get off your computer and go in the bedroom. At least take off your boots and lose the jacket!”
He stalked away. He was really angry and I was truly confused and now getting angry too. I had been ready to take a spanking over a stupid landscaper and I hoped it wouldn’t be too big a deal…and he hadn’t seemed angry when we talked earlier. I went into the bedroom and took off the high-heeled black boots and jacket as requested, stripped off my stockings, and just stood there in my grey business dress.
He came in, grabbed that awful paddle and sat in his chair and glared at me. I crossed my arms and glared back at him. Toe to toe.
“Now why weren’t you in here waiting for me again?”
“I don’t know! Because I decided to wait out there!”
“You know what you’re supposed to do!”
“No, I DON’T know what I am supposed to do! You have always said “get ready” and I have always done whatever I decided I needed to do to ‘get ready’. You’ve left that to me for eight years and now you want something specific? Well you will have to share that with me if you want that, and I’ll do what you decide, but you can’t expect what you don’t tell me!”
“You always go into the bedroom and at least take something off, and you usually sit on the bed, take time to think and get your head together. Think and prepare.”
“I usually have done that, but not always, and because I chose to all by myself. You have never once made any rule or expressed any expectation about what I do. You left that up to me. So for you to now be angry that I am dressed, or not waiting in some particular way, is completely unfair! You are changing things, having expectations, without telling me and I can’t read your mind!”
I was near to losing it with upset, confusion, and anger. It felt like our DD world was tilting.
Grant stopped the debate, “Just get over my lap!”
I am sure the spanking was worse than he had planned on his way home, and I was crying almost before he started from sheer frustration and anxiety. I really hate to disappoint him, to make him angry, and I felt like my grip on our world, his expectations, and any sense of control had slipped away from me. There was a lot of talking…his…in between the spanking, and I just remember my feelings of losing a handle on what we were doing, what I was supposed to be doing. He spanked and I cried. A lot. And when he let me up he did something he has never ever done before. He told me he wanted me to remove all of my clothing and go stand in the corner. My fight was gone and my capacity to process minimally intact. I just did what I was told. He quietly left the room while I stood there crying.
I am sure he didn’t leave me for very long…a few minutes maybe? I heard him walk quietly across the carpet. He softly put his hand on my shoulder as he came up behind me and gently pressed his body to mine from behind. I could feel the warmth of his body through his clothes, next to my skin.
He said quietly:
“I want you to tell me what’s in that head of yours. What are you thinking?”
“I don’t even know.”
“Talk to me.”
“I’m afraid to say anything. I don’t know if something I say will make you upset with me.”
He threw the paddle that I did not even know he was holding away from us, onto the bed. He pressed himself against me, holding me from behind, his hands on my shoulders.
“The spanking is over. You can say anything you want to. Just talk to me.”
“I…I am not sure I can be who you want me to be. I feel like you resent the part of me that needs to do my work, who I am ‘out there’. I know you try to be supportive, but I feel like in some ways you want to hold me back. I’m not sure you like or want that other part of me. But…she is a real part of me too, and I don’t know how to handle that, what to do with all of this between us.”
“Do you really feel that I don’t accept and love all of you? That I’m not so very proud of you?”
“No, I know you are. You’ve told me. You really have been supportive, most of the time. But sometimes… Well I know it’s very hard for you at times. What I am doing. But I can’t give that part of myself up.”
“You need to listen to me and really hear me. I am very proud of you, all the things you do, and most especially of all your success. I am 100% behind you, and will be right here behind you with anything that you need to do. You need to not doubt me in this, to accept what I am telling you and believe me.”
“Ok, I do believe you…can I just get into bed?”
He helped me into bed and then he undressed, spooned behind me and just held me while I settled and drifted. We lay like that for a very long time.
“You know it’s not easy being married to a whirlwind.”
“I know”, I whispered.
“Sometimes I need to get out my old rope, lasso you, and pull you back in.”
His arms were wrapped around me and he held me tight.
“Just don’t ever let me whirl away from you. I need to know you’ve got me.”
“Nope, that will never happen! I’ve always got you.”
I have figured out most of what happened between us, what these three spankings were really about. What is clear above all is that marriage and DD is an ever evolving dynamic, and what you think you know and have will shift and change with the events and circumstances, with the times of your lives, I’m thinking for as long as you continue to do TTWD. We’ve talked a lot, and writing these posts has helped me to think and helped us to sort through and communicate better. I’ll share that tomorrow…the resolution and where we are today.