Hashtag Unexpected Benefits

2016-11-16_181827.jpgOur household received an early Christmas gift from a geographically distant relative; an Echo Dot from amazon. We are technophiles in this house so, though I knew I would never bother spending the money on such a frivolous thing, I was excited to have new tech toy.

It sat around for a week or so because we wanted to set it up together. Finally, after said week, we threw in the towel, realizing that our schedules would never mesh. The hubster thrust the box at me on his way to bed and told me to go ahead and get it running because “We’re never going to have the time.” While “never” is a bit of an overstatement, I’d been dying to get my hands on it. I jumped at the chance.

It took some doing to get it working but since I’m not writing this post for the purposes of a review, I’ll skip that portion. Once I got it working, it did not take me long to fall in love but again, this isn’t a review.

A little background: (Stick with me now, this is related.) My son, LM, is special needs. One of the things we have been working on with him for a few years now is using an appropriate volume indoors. He yells all. the. time. Reminding him to use his library voice works for about 10 minutes. Another manifestation is this odd quirk of being intolerant certain voices/sounds.

Back to the story …

While I was setting up the Dot, whose name is Alexa, by the way, I was careful to include skills (the programs / apps it runs are called skills)  for everyone. Animal facts for LM, Star Wars trivia for DH, a hilarious skill called A Box of Cats for the fur-girls, etc. I love this toy so much that I didn’t want to put it in a common area. I wanted to hide it in my office and go all Gollum on my family (My preeeeciousssss). Since I knew this was a distinct possibility, and not at all fair to the everyone else, this afternoon I moved it to the kitchen.

This relocation took place at the exact moment LM came home from school.

“Is that all set up?” He asked me, looking at me out of the corner of his eye and speaking with much with trepidation.

“Yeah, Bud, it’s really cool. Wanna see?”

He then began this thing he does when he doesn’t want to hear something. He started muttering a series of words under his breath that had nothing to do with each other.

“Bud,” I said to him in the matter of fact tone I use when he’s inappropriately acting out, “It won’t turn on by itself. It’s okay.”

He then began whispering, “Okay, don’t turn it on, okay?”

“Bud, seriously, it’s okay. You can speak normally. It doesn’t just turn on. You have to give it a command. Really, it’s fine.”

“I don’t like that thing. I have homework to do.” and off he went.

It’s kind of a bummer that LM doesn’t like the Dot. If he realized how much information was trapped in that low-profile disk he would love it. For now, I’ll content myself with his new-found volume.

We’re cracking nuts

nutcracker_pic1I sat on the couch contemplating my nutcrackers. The boy was asleep and DH was bustling around doing his nightly chores.

I sat looking at my nutcrackers, making mental notes about their similarities and differences. I came to the conclusion that nutcracking must be an exceptionally violent and/or dangerous profession. Four of the six nutcrackers I own bear a weapon of some sort. Even Santa Nutcracker carries a sword, leading me to wonder what kind of crazy- ass homes he’s delivering to.

The first, given to me as a gift, whom I call Sir Purple Pants (no explanation required), carries a polearm. Over time, it seems, violence in the nutcracker world has escalated. Two, acquired in subsequent years, carry swords. The most recent member of the collection carries an axe.

DH was passing through the living room as I wondered about Axe Man. I asked DH what might have happened in Axe Man’s life to cause him to decide that a sword just wouldn’t do. Without a moment’s hesitation DH replied, “Oh, he’s the palace guard. They bar the door with their axes.”

We went on to discuss Drummer Dude. I queried whether his family might be disappointed in his failure to adhere to the family’s weapon wielding traditions. DH said “Everyone needs a drummer. How else are they gonna have a theme song as they ride into battle?”

The greatest departure, from the seemingly war themed nutcrackers, is the fancy fellow in the tartan waistcoat. It was decided that we caught him on his night off and he is on his way to a holiday party. He’s laid aside his weapon – polearm, sword, or axe, we don’t know – to free up both hands, lest he should drop the gayly wrapped hostess gift he is balancing, somewhat gingerly, on one palm.

This. This is why you marry someone. Because they do not question you when delving into the back-stories of the inanimate objects that populate your home during the holidays. They join you in your weirdness. That’s just about the best thing ever.

What is enough?

What follows is the sort of self-examination that I do not indulge in often. It is borne of uncertainty, deprivation, and cabin fever. It will most likely be lengthy. It will probably not be rational. I anticipate many rhetorical questions. I expect it will get messy. You may wish to simply move along as though none of this ever happened. If you choose to stay, I suggest you don your hip waders. You’ve been warned.

Today while showering, I happened to glance down and notice a faint purple tinged line running along the top of my thigh. I knew immediately this was the remains of a mark from my last play. It was the last vestiges of the hog slapper’s handle. A smile chased across my face. My body does not hold onto marks any more. This pains me. I used to rely on them to remind me that my experiences had in fact been very real, however dream-like they might seem. I don’t look for marks anymore. I give myself 24-48 hours to spot them and then I stop looking. I assign them too much weight. Their absence combined with sub drop can turn my emotions very ugly very quickly. I can’t tolerate the compounded aftermath.

Today when I saw this faint stripe, this simple mark, in the solitude and quiet of the shower, my mind immediately went back to that session, nearly a month ago now. I thought about how devastated I had been that weekend. I thought about how intensely sad I had been. I thought about how I almost staid His hand, thinking it would be better for me not to play when I was internally that much of a mess. I thought about feeling ashamed after the scene because I felt I hadn’t been enough, my pain tolerance wasn’t enough, I hadn’t taken enough, been hard core enough. I was so crushed that it followed me for more than a week after the fact.

This mark … nearly a month later. On my body that barely ever marks anymore. On my body that, when it does mark, they are gone in a few days. If this reminder is still on my thigh then the play must have been more intense than my perception of it.

The next station on my train of thought was Warped Perception Depot. I thought about all of the areas of my life where people often provide positive feedback that I do not hear, that I am unwilling(?) to accept. Talented creative, wonderful mother, asset to the community, graceful submissive, positive roll model. I have no trouble hearing, giving validity to, internalizing, and beating myself up repeatedly about anything negative that might be said, regardless of the quality of the source. When will I believe I am enough? When will I develop the ability to say Pfft, they’re a first class douche canoe! Their opinion holds no water?

I looked back at my life two years ago. I mentally cataloged the changes, the goals I set out and achieved:

I wanted to get in shape. I dropped 60 pounds. I exercise often and have a toned, fit body. Not good enough says my self-talk. Look at that paunch I say pinching the inch or so above my c-section scar. Where’s the full six-pack? Not enough.

I wanted to be happy. I wanted more. I wanted power exchange to be part of my life. I wanted to serve. I am owned by an amazing Master. My family has grown into a poly family. Seamlessly connected. Communication hurdles behind me. This relationship has enriched my life in ways I could not have imagined. My marriage is rock solid and we are happy. Not good enough! shrieks my inner demon. My memory is horrid but the demon has no trouble clinging tenaciously to every error in my submission, from the smallest misstep to the most grievous fuck up. If I think about them, I can feel each and every one as if they happened this morning. I have fleeting moments of selfishness. No matter that I am human. Not good enough.

I wanted my child to excel academically. He has been on the honor roll his entire academic career in spite of his disability. This year he was accepted into a prestigious school that admits only the best of the best. He maintains his position on the honor roll in spite of all the new challenges I pushed on him this year Sorry. No Mother of the Year for you. He still has no friends. This term he was only honors not high honors. He still has a few behavioral issues. He still has to be brow beaten to do his homework properly. He would still rather watch TV than read. At least once a week he fails to clean his room before breakfast. Not good enough. Not even close.

I wanted to waist train and learn to tight lace. My first corset was a 36. I’m now at 23 inches. People in my community come to me for advice on getting started. I’m considering teaching a basic course. Where’s that last inch, eh Corset Girl? You wanted 22 inches. So what gives? Why can’t you get it done? Never good enough.

As I mentally filed these things, and several other relatively minor accomplishments, I thought Jesus Christ! Are you EVER going to be kind to yourself? Ever? Even a little? And if the answer to that is “no” then what the fuck are you doing here? If you do everything in your power to be the perfect wife, the slaviest slave that ever slaved, Super Mom and it’s still not enough for you … why bother trying? What exactly are you working toward? It’s clearly not the goals you set out for yourself because you accomplish those and still find yourself sorely lacking. Seriously, what the fuck?

I believe there is always room for improvement in everything and everyone. I don’t know how to adhere to that belief while simultaneously being accepting of myself, my best efforts, and my accomplishments.

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All aboard

If my predictions are correct, I’ll be back on board with all of my training tomorrow. As difficult as it can be some days, it surprises me how much I’ve missed it.

I’m trying to prepare myself for the fact that schools may be closed tomorrow due to the extreme temperatures. If that ends up being the case, I may lock myself in my room to train. Fingers crossed that I’ll have the house to myself and can relax they way I will need to after the extended break. I know I won’t be able to pick up where I left off. As long as I’m doing something I’ll find a way to be ok with it.

What did the world ever do to me?

I woke up in an inexplicably horrible mood and it did not improve over the course of the day. I warned DH over breakfast that I was feeling foul and it would be best if both boys gave me as much space as possible. He asked why I was in this mood. I had/have no reason and I told him so. I can’t shake it. I’m vacillating between being furious at the world for no reason and wanting to have a nice long cry, again for no reason.