Reflecting Further on my Needs for a 3C Owner

3C: Cool, Calm and Collected.

 

Much can be said about my past as well as the lasting effects it has left with me. My need for  my partner to have emotional stability and lean heavily on the logical side is one of the legacies the past gifted me with. This manifested itself quite obviously last weekend with a visit from his best friend.

N’s best friend is the kinda guy that is fun to be around, life of the party, but a bit arrogant, obnoxious and can set your teeth on edge once he gets set on something. He’s been known to toss out gems like “Gay guys are just wrong, they don’t deserve anything special [referring to gay rights]. I mean, lesbians, yeah, that’s great, but fags are just wrong” and “I don’t hit girls because they can’t fight back. It’s like fighting a crip”.

He’s generally a great guy, and he’s had our backs when we’ve been pressed. He’s got a sensitive side, but it’s buried under ten feet of bravado bullshit. 🙂

This winter has been bad for snowdrifts (well hell, I’m in North Dakota…every damned winter is bad for them) and N’s truck was snowed in from the last storm. We couldn’t pull her out with the car, so N’s friend came over with his truck to give us a yank before he headed into town. And yank he did.

The truck finally came free of the rut she was settled into, and slid right into the front end of the friend’s truck with a sickening crunching bang.

The brakes on the back-end had frozen and N couldn’t stop her once she was rolling backwards.

N’s friend came flying out of his truck screaming as N got out to inspect the damage. I am serious: screaming. Obscenities flew from his lips like spittle. Or rather, with spittle. He ranted and raved, hurling invective at N, who patiently stood there and waited for his friend to get it out and start making some sense so they could figure out what kind of work was needed to repair the damage.

I was over near the house helping the kids dig a snowcave, and when I heard the collision I stood up to watch what happened. I really should have gone straight inside the minute I realized that something bad had happened. I really should have. My upbringing has led me to have two instinctual reactions to a man yelling and raving: Flee the scene and wait for him to calm down, or be the aggressor and try to scare them off. I struggled with both reactions, nervously watching and secretly loathing the friend for flinging me back into the mess of my past.

It’s that volatility of emotion, the uncensored outpouring of anger and rage that makes me regress. When faced with that, I become far less logical and far more animalistic. I wanted to brain the friend with the shovel I was holding. I wanted to run to N for a hug and some calm words of reassurance. I wanted to appease the threat with beer and a kind smile. I wanted to slash his tires in retaliation for making me hurt and scared again.

Credit N’s training that all I did was bring the kids inside for cocoa.

I grilled N later on, trying to understand why the friend was so vitriolic over the truck. Why. Why was big that day. I couldn’t understand why the friend would so easily and voluntarily loose control of his emotions and logic. Why a person would say those things to a friend over an accident.

At the end of the day, I was so very thankful that N does not get like that. It would be so easy for Him to cow me, to make me into a woman afraid of my own shadow, unable to move beyond making sure He isn’t upset with me. I’ve been damaged to fall into the role much too easily, and once there, I can’t get out without some serious brain-excavating equipment. He knows this, He’s seen it in action, and ahs the respect and care for me to not do that. He makes that extra effort to not trigger the terrified girl on the inside. And for that, I love Him all the more. I worship Him just a bit more.

For that, I cannot thank Him enough.

On the Outside, Looking In

I have spent most of today trying to figure out a *nice* way to write about what I’m thinking about. No matter the mental gymnastics I do, I can’t figure out a way to talk about it that isn’t direct and open. So be it.

If I could figure out how to get past this glass door...

To begin, I’d like to discuss something about myself. I’m a very loving person, I try very hard to be likable, and I usually have no ill will towards people until they have done something very bad to me and/or my family. (The usage of the word “family” also includes those very close friends that are like siblings to us.) My biggest problem is that I don’t know how to sugar-coat things. I don’t try to hurt people when I am pointing things out, I just don’t know how to do the subtle delicate dance required for most relationships nowadays. It’s why most of my friendships with women fall to the side…I don’t know how to navigate the intricacies of supporting a person without calling them on their shit.  My lack of social fluidity often leads to people believing that I am being a bitch, attacking someone, or am a generally unfriendly person, because I don’t whitewash for nicety’s sake.

This inability of mine has come to a head in my local scene. On our group in FetLife, a thread came up suggesting that using a contract could result in much less heartache and hassle if something went horribly wrong and there were charges pressed.  Now, I believe that contracts are useful in getting to know someone’s preferences and desires, to judge them on certain things, but they hold little to no goddamned weight in a court of law. Because of their inability to be enforced, I generally believe that newcomers to BDSM should not be advised on how wonderful contracts are, how protective they are. Instead, I believe that common sense, awareness and time should be used to find partners least likely to call you in the next day. It’s a false sense of security, in my mind.

When I sought to bring this up, the reaction was less than pleasant. The original poster had mentioned they were charged; whether this contract really helped get them off the hook  was unclear…but the inquisitive part of my mind is going “How?!” If a person can’t consent to being abused nor kidnapped, how could the contract work to negate the charge? Yes, it could possibly be used to frame the plaintiff as “someone who asked for it” but does that really legally exonerate the defendant? Who is to say that the defendant didn’t go 2,000 times beyond what was asked for in this contract?

So me being socially retarded me, I make my case against the widespread canonization of contracts. I say the things I am thinking in the most logical way I know, trying to not step on people’s feet while maintaining my core message. Instead, the original poster mentions “being attacked” and swears up and down that the contract saved them, therefore it is priceless as a defense.

Having talked to a lawyer friend in Michigan, I myself would be terrified to have a contract like the one the original poster suggested. The lawyer friend mentioned that the contract itself, signed, indicates an actual confession of deeds done, (when signed both before and after session).

I get the impression from the posts on the thread that my heretical idea that contracts aren’t really worth the ink they are printed with was not cool. I started feeling a little resentful and baffled. Why is crowing about the legal benefits of contracts okay, but arguing for common sense and judgment not? What was I saying wrong? Am I to stifle myself every time I have an opinion that isn’t the group’s consensus?

This is where I suck at social aspects. I can’t just accept being drowned out when I believe that logic is not prevailing. I can’t understand why people would go for the extreme and exciting when the common-sense and practical works just as well. Add in a dash of confusion over how I perceive someone and the way everyone else perceives them, throw in a shake or two of social anxiety et voila! You have someone suddenly less sure about belonging to a community.

I should have watched House instead...

I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, nor be the nit-picking thorn in the side. I also don’t want to ignore facts and logic just to fit in. When given those two options, I really just prefer to hide and wait for the world to end in 2012.

Appeasement and aggression (05-12-2010)

I was going to post about orgasm control/denial, but instead, i’ll write about last night and why i am as weird as i am.

Bedtime, and we were headed downstairs to the bedroom. i had to scoop off the clean clothes i had strewn across the bed that morning looking for socks. i was exasperated with my apparent inability to remember to come downstairs during the kids’ naptime and put the clothes away. i start to undress and He announces “I need a sweatshirt”.

i hate his sweatshirts.  For an inanimate object, they have this canny ability to get lost. It doesn’t help that He is incapable of taking them off in the same place regularly. They are tattered and stained and ugh, never in one place long enough to allow me to wash them all at once.

So we have a row about how He’s always running out of sweatshirts, how can He have 4 pairs of clean work jeans and no clean sweatshirts, i’m tired of always having something of His to wash immediately, could He maybe take His sweatshirts off in the same fucking place?! Voices raised, sarcasm flowing. He makes a comment about my inability to put clothes away. i pointed out that if He doesn’t like something, it’s on Him to change it. i need help building a routine, once it’s in, i can follow it.

At one point, it got particularly nasty and i was really peeved. So i yelled at Him. All of a sudden the finger went out, His eyes got that flat hard look and He said “Shut up and stop”. Wonders of wonders, i actually did. He came stalking towards me, stopped a little too close for my comfort, and my smile of appeasement became a fixed snarl of fearful aggression. This didn’t make Him back off like it does on most people, so i retreated a step, bumping into the door and flattening against it.  The argument was over, whether i wanted it to be or not.

i undressed and grabbed the collar, knelt in front of Him. He gave me the nod to say my bedtime creed. i started, the snarl still on my face, the words hissing through my plastic smile. He made me stop. Demanded to know why i was still hung up on this. i accused Him of not caring about how much work He creates. How He doesn’t care about the effort i have to dredge up to get some of the shit done around here, He just wants perfection at whatever cost. He shrugged and said that He did care, but not as much as i think He should and that’s my issue. To get over it. Issue closed. So i swallowed it down (Thy will be done, thy will be done, thy will be done!) and said my creed, then crawled into bed. i was prepared to not talk before sleep. Instead He rambles on about various topics, and i could feel the tension draining from me as His voice drones on. When He rambles like that, it’s a sign that whatever was bothering Him isn’t there anymore.

It was a sign of forgiveness.

This was a perfect example, to me, of the things i need to still work on. i need to accept His criticism without getting so defensive. i need to learn when to just STFU and take it. Most of all, i need to get to the bottom of my appeasement smile and rip that bitch out by the roots.

Appeasement smile:  When i am in an emotionally charged argument with someone, or in a position where i feel threatened, either emotionally or physically, i involuntarily smile, even as i’m angry and yelling and making aggressive movements. It’s something i learned way too long ago as a child, a smile to deflect or diffuse the negative things directed to me. An unconscious form of appeasing the threat, often a smile used to show my non-threat status, a human way of rolling over and showing the belly. Unfortunately, as an adult, it has the opposite effect. When in a fight with someone now, people interpret my smile as a form of aggression or contempt, that i find whatever we are arguing about as amusing or trivial, which really just adds more gunpowder to the keg. N used to find it disrespectful, but as time has gone on, He knows that i’m not even aware i’m doing it. He still hates it, but knows that i’m not trying to piss Him off with it. Kind of like the person that jumps when someone tries to touch their face after being slapped around a lot previously…they aren’t trying to be distrustful, it’s a learned reaction that takes time to unlearn.

i’m just tired of trying to unlearn it.