Sunday, December 11, 2016

When Life Gets Intense

Hello everyone, sorry I've been gone so long. I've had plenty to blog about but absolutely no time to sit down and do it. Bruce is lately considering making it a rule that I post more regularly because he knows how it helps me process, and I almost wish he would. Life has just been crazier now than ever before- we are both working more than full time, one of us is also pursuing a further degree, and we have a seven month old baby. And then of course there's the added stress of being quite pregnant again... did I mention that?

What a blessing for us to be able to conceive again so soon and raise our kids close together like we've always dreamed. We are so grateful! Heaps of blessings and benefits come with this decision that we were graciously allowed to make. Still, the next year or two will be a lot of work, and that is understating things incredibly! Both Bruce and I are worn out and spread thin, both physically, mentally, and emotionally, and I know things will only get more intense from here.

So what does DD look like when both partners are emotionally and physically spent? I'm sure it looks different for every couple, but I will share what it looks like here. I do consider myself blessed that for us DD never diminishes or fades to the background when times get tough. But practicing DD under such stress definitely has its low points. For one thing we both become more flawed in our roles; I inadequately submit by becoming disrespectful and emotional, while he inadequately leads by being angry and less considerate. I'm putting it nicely, but I assure you things got pretty ugly in the heat of our exhaustion. In fact, it would be dishonest not to admit that we actually reached a point where I approached him about taking a break from DD, possibly permanently. I never thought I would consider such a thing, and I'm ashamed that things got that bad. But domestic discipline is intense stuff- it is delicate, vulnerable, and deeply personal. Misuse on either end is emotionally taxing on both parties. But we did a lot of praying and from there we were able to do a lot more listening; by now I'm happy to report that we have found our way out of the destructive cycle of feeling underappreciated and back into focusing on meeting the other's needs above our own... not that this happens every time, but we at least have it's importance in the forefront of our minds when things start to go wrong.

But even now that we are being more considerate and careful, things look different when we are this overworked. I've found that the maintenance I get is more needed, brings me to tears even faster, and leaves me feeling more deeply contented and connected. The corrections though are rough, much more challenging than they ever have been before. My emotions are already running high when they start (sometimes his are as well), and I always feel a desperate panic to be doing anything other than going over his knee- it just feels especially unfair, extremely exhausting, and honestly I dread the pain more than ever. I know that he isn't spanking me any harder than usual, but when he uses the lexan paddle or looped cane (which is nearly every time) it takes a mere ten strikes or so before I am past my limit and in tears. Part of this is surely the exhaustion, but Bruce says that some of it also has to do with the physicality of pregnancy (he is medical, remember). Again we confirmed with our gynecologist that spanking is perfectly safe for pregnancy, but nonetheless a lot of things go on in a pregnant woman's body to make pain and other discomforts more unbearable than usual. He certainly does cater to my needs in many areas because of this, but thankfully discipline is not one of them.

A correction two nights ago is a great example of the typical corrections I've been receiving in the past few months: a lot has fallen apart at work because I am unable to consistently give 100% or more. Well-meaning friends and family hear this and say things like "I know you want things to be perfect, but..." which makes me crazy because I'm not talking about things being less than perfect, I'm saying that my job is so nuts that not going above and beyond leaves things in a dysfunctional mess to the point of not even maintaining the basics. In lamenting the fact to Bruce I felt certain that he too did not understand the degree to which things are falling apart. He insisted that he did understand, but I felt that wasn't true. Although I was calm and reserved, I couldn't help but be a bit tearful. Before long he set everything down and gently took my arms and led me into the bedroom. Immediately the tears flowed harder and I expressed extreme preference to avoid this scenario, which he of course disregarded completely. After arguing against discipline too many times in the past few months I've finally learned that no matter how stressed I am I must at the very least shut my mouth after stating how I feel. After all, this is the deal we agreed upon. I am hardly giving him control if I argue against his decision to discipline every time it feels unfair.

While gently but firmly bending me over the bed he explained why I was being spanked- I have to believe him when he says he understands... it is insulting to suggest that he doesn't get the ridiculousness of my workload... I need to have a better attitude (a common theme of mine lately)... I was already crying and the first several strikes were as painful as ever, but I tried to focus on his voice and think past it. As the lecture continued he removed my pants and underwear, and I sobbed harder at the thought of feeling more pain. Several strikes after that I was crying very hard, and when he stopped his voice was soft but firm. He replaced the paddle while I waited, and when he told me I could stand he hugged me and reiterated that he loves me but that I need to improve my negative thinking. Lately this leaves me feeling nowhere near settled, but I am also relearning how to set those feelings aside and reconsider them after a few hours when I can think more clearly.

So a lot of what I'm doing now is relearning the submission that my severe stress and exhaustion has destroyed. It is frustrating to have backslid when I worked so hard to get where I was, but that's just the way it is so I've got to deal with it and do my best to move forward. I must say that now when being corrected I am truly desperate for anything other than the loss of even more control in my life. But feeling/being completely out of control, hitting rock bottom in this, it can be enlightening- it puts things into perspective. In those moments of weakly submitting I am forced to realize that his love for me, his authority and my acquiescing to it, is real and right. The significance of this forces the messy house, my chaotic job, my expanding belly, and my general feeling of inadequacy to fade into the background. I am thankful for a husband that doesn't give up on trying to bring that perspective home to me. And although DD is tough in times like these, it is more needed and I am more thankful for it than ever before.

Monday, August 1, 2016

4th Trimester Boot Camp

Okay I’ve technically never been through a DD Boot Camp, but it sure feels like we are having one now. I was worried about this while I was still pregnant- the excessive amount of emotion and stress with a new baby makes the potential for discipline endless. By this point Bruce and I are actually nearing the end of the fourth trimester, but Bruce has just been given a huge added responsibility at work right as my extended maternity leave has finally ended. Caring for a baby is intense enough! Adding two careers with a ridiculous workload is a recipe for disaster to say the least.

To adequately describe our recent experience I feel I need to provide a bit of background on the way we do things: There are basically two types of spankings that happen in our house. The first type are more formal spankings in that there is a degree of ceremony to them; they happen at the end of the night, I am always instructed to get ready by undressing and waiting on the bed, and they usually last for at least twenty strikes. By now he can tell when I’ve had enough, and with these he takes me past this point so that my loss of control in the situation is undeniable. If I’m surrendering myself appropriately this usually brings me to tears, the good cleansing kind, and intimacy follows. While these spankings are a good deal more painful than I had imagined, these are the type of spankings that I expected when we first signed on for this lifestyle. I should add that when they happen as the result of a specific offense (rather than accumulated minor disrespect) the whole process is even more painful. Still, these types of spankings usually end with both of us feeling resolved, renewed, and fulfilled.

The other type of spanking leaves me feeling quite the opposite of fulfilled, although it still serves a purpose. These happen right in the moment; Bruce suddenly and sometimes angrily steers me into the bedroom, I receive several REALLY hard strikes while he calmly lectures about whatever just happened, and then he hugs me and tells me I’m forgiven and loved. At this point I am not allowed to try to discuss any further or it’s back into position I go, so this is his way of effectively halting a discussion that he feels needs stopped (trust me, “we’re done talking about this” unfortunately just doesn’t cut it). I can always go to him the following day if I am still unresolved, but I admit I rarely feel the need to after the heat of the moment has passed. Still, it is hard to describe how frustrated and unheard I feel when these types of spankings occur. This is the deadly serious part of DD for us, as it really tests my capacity to trust him and submit- to be perfectly honest I typically react with tearful anger or hurt, but I at least usually manage to clench my jaw and keep my mouth shut, at least for the time being. I truly and thoroughly hate everything about these types of spankings, but as I often forget this is not just about my needs. This is about Bruce’s needs as well, and sometimes he needs to stop me in my tracks, even if doing so is upsetting to me. This is the quality I admire most in his role as head of the house: when we began DD he took my request to relinquish control very seriously; the first time I made a suggestion he said something like “Whoa. You can’t have it both ways- you either want me to be in control or you don’t.” He couldn’t be more right. It would be far too easy to allow the control in the relationship to remain exactly where it began, under the pretense of offering suggestions, giving too much feedback, making requests, etc. I’m not saying these things can’t coexist with a true power shift, I just know that I personally am not altruistic enough to make it happen. It is a curious thing to truly witness your own control in a situation gradually disappear- although stronger and deeper, it is similar to relinquishing control during a physical punishment in that it is beautiful, terrifying, and exhilarating all at once. Which returns me to my boot camp theme…

In the past week or two, trying to sustain a precious, tiny life while juggling the responsibilities of being a good worker, daughter, friend, and wife have left me with very little energy to control my frustrations. I’m undoubtedly much better than I used to be but, as Bruce accurately put it, I’ve “backslid quite a bit in the submission department.” In fact there have been four nights in the past two-plus weeks that I have not received a formal type of spanking at the end of the night. Wow do they hurt worse when layered on top of a similar spanking the previous night! But through it all, what a comfort to have him draw closer to me in my ugliest moments. It’s like saying “I’m not giving up on you; I know you can be better than this so I’m going to try to help you get there.” Just as I try to grant him grace when he is too tired or stressed to be effectively dominant, he grants me grace (by coming towards me rather than withdrawing) when I am too tired or stressed to be submissive. Of course this only works if we extend grace regardless of whether or not we’ll get it in return, and there definitely are times where one or both of us are left hanging. But thankfully these past few weeks have not been one of those times. And so, I’ve been spanked most evenings lately. Usually it is for the different ways my submissiveness has been lacking, but sometimes it’s for stress relief in reminding me who’s in charge. In fact I’m pretty sure one or two of those times have occurred to relieve Bruce’s stress as much or even more than mine!

Then there’s the recent on-the-spot spankings. Too frequently lately I have been abruptly taken from what I am doing and steered into the bedroom for reacting poorly out of stress. He is right to spank me in these times, and it does help me re-center. But to be suddenly halted and physically corrected by the man I love, particularly when I am not yet in the correct frame of mind, this is unsettling on a good day. And then when Bruce is especially stressed as well it becomes even more so because there is less tenderness involved. Yes, I realize there is nothing tender about a discipline spanking. But when he is stressed himself his lecturing and aftercare is somehow more strained, for lack of a better term. These types of spankings have been happening a lot, particularly the ugly version where I check my tone but try to continue discussing once it’s over. This leads to a repeat trip over the bed or his knee, and more tearful frustration on my part. Frustration because I can’t say what I *think* I need to say. I’m embarrassed to admit that more than once he has unwaveringly repeated the process not once but twice before I finally got the message. Even more shamefully I admit that a few of those times I have only shut it down because I could not physically bear another spanking in such a short amount of time. It’s just that the more stressed I become the more I feel I need to be heard. But in truth I am really just complaining or vocalizing some aspect of a poor attitude.

Things got particularly ugly a few days ago when I felt that I was not getting enough help with the childcare. I felt an instant twinge of bitterness when the monitor indicated she was waking from her nap, and yet he didn’t budge. I went to tend to her, but the longer I did so without a word from him the bitterer I became. We always bathe her together, so when it was time to get her ready for bed I asked several times for him to come and help me. He repeatedly said he would be done shortly, but after fifteen minutes of waiting I was furious. So I did something I haven’t done since we’ve started DD: I yelled at him to stop and come help me. Not the kind of yelling you do when you are trying to communicate from another room, but the kind of yelling you do when you are angry. Wow did I overstep. He literally dropped what he was holding, came into the room, and smoothly took our daughter from my arms. As he kissed her gently he laid her in her crib and he actually said “Mommy’s not going to yell like that again baby. Daddy’s going to go help her calm down.” I suddenly felt ill as he grabbed me by the arm and led me into the bedroom, and by the time he firmly bent me over the bed I was really crying. He lectured quietly, but boy did he spank me hard. It only lasted for about fifteen strokes, but I’m certain he has never spanked me as hard as he did then. In fact our lexan paddle, made of bullet-resistant polycarbonate, actually broke. When it was over he reiterated his expectations, showed me the broken paddle, and said I would have to order another one before the end of the night. Once our little one was all settled in for the night he hugged me again and told me I was forgiven. Even though we had reconnected, I was emotionally exhausted by the end of the night.

I wish I could say that this turned things around, but it didn’t. Incredibly enough we had a full blown argument the next day (also something that hasn’t happened since before DD) which eventually did result in another harsh spanking. The accumulation of all of the recent spankings left me sorer than ever before, but this time it only served to make our interactions civil again; we were far from being on the same page, much less connected. We agreed to pray about it and I went on a long run to clear my head. We’ve finally come to a place in our marriage where we’ve learned to focus on our own mistakes and missteps while praying, so with God’s grace we were able to come back together and discuss things with clarity: we needed to appreciate each other better, to help each other through the craziness, and generally be less self-centered. The stress is still as present as ever, so I can’t say the punishments have ceased, but we are truly and fully connected again. And through it all, we are thankful for having this tool to streamline the process. In fact he was so enthusiastic about its effectiveness that I ended up having to order a looped cane as well as a duplicate paddle, mostly because he wants a quiet implement for when my MIL stays overnight once a week this Fall. He’s only lightly tested it out a couple of times, but last night during maintenance he experimentally/lightly used both alternatively, and this was incredibly painful. But I must say it’s been a great behavior deterrent, as I feel very motivated to avoid experiencing this on a more serious level.

So here we are. With the present craziness I am still struggling to be appropriately submissive, and Bruce is still struggling with consistency and even with controlling his temper. But we are learning. We are learning that we cannot expect our own needs to be met before we begin meeting the other’s needs. We are learning to extend grace first, and address our own concerns second. And this process is far smoother with DD than it ever could have been otherwise. More painful, yes, but way less lonely… Physical discomfort rather than emotional isolation? I’ll take that any day.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Internal Submission and Great Sex :)

Last Saturday was definitely a night to remember on the submissive front. Bruce had decided he was going out to see a movie with his friends, and I couldn’t deny the disappointment and frustration I felt. While I adore my baby girl, this extended maternity leave is turning out to be a blessing and a curse; I’m not overwhelmed with work, but my whole life seems to revolve around nursing, diaper changes, and settling down for naps. This is his fourth night out with the guys since she’s been born, which really isn’t unreasonable, so I knew I needed to find a way to avoid resentment. When he didn’t seem particularly empathetic, I figured I had better look elsewhere for motivation to remain submissive. Ephesians 5 says “Wives, respect your husbands.” What a profoundly simple directive. Contrary to societal wisdom, it doesn’t add “…if they are being fair.” The husband’s very respectability, or lack thereof, is completely irrelevant to the command. Completely! But when a lack of fairness feels hard to swallow, this is where Christianity truly rises above any other religion: we don’t deserve Heaven but we receive it anyway; since undeserved eternal life is the ultimate antithesis of fairness, the idea that we should withhold anything from anyone else becomes completely ridiculous. In other words, in receiving the highest grace the least we can do is extend a fraction of that grace to others. After contemplating this fully I resolved to stay submissive. Not just outwardly but sincerely, internally submissive. And besides, since Bruce happens to be a really incredible husband overall, how hard would achieving internal submission really be?

Hmm. All of the prayer and mental energy I spent trying to get into a submissive mindset actually did get me to a decent place emotionally. And I was managing fairly well until the time he said he would return had passed… by two hours. I just felt so hurt and sad; couldn’t he see how under-appreciated this made me feel? I wanted to vent, but gracefully all of the people closest to me were unavailable, so I resigned myself to returning to the only thing I should have been doing in the first place- praying. By the time he arrived home I felt capable of remaining soft and respectful, even though I felt as hurt as ever. He came to me, and although I couldn’t help but cry I quietly and respecfully explained why I felt so injured: it felt as if he didn’t appreciate all I do every day for our daughter and how exhausting it is, like I was being taken for granted. He listened attentively, then acknowledged my hurt and offered a truly sincere apology. Finally he hugged me and I hugged back. When I pulled away I was delighted to see that he was notably appreciative of my acceptance and calm.

Imagine my surprise when he directed me into the bedroom anyway! He even praised me for handling myself so well while I undressed and got into position. He continued saying that nonetheless my thinking needed addressed in a number of areas- he gave me a long, hard warmup as he elaborated further. I stayed very still, honoring my resolution to remain submissive, but emotionally I felt unclear and frankly quite tired. The warmup lasted longer than usual, and I was plenty uncomfortable before he even started using the paddle. Once he finally did, he continued his long and thorough lecture, each phrase punctuated by several hard strikes with the paddle …it’s imperative that I trust that he deeply values all that I do… I can go to him with concerns, but in the meantime I must rest in the truth that we are very much on the same side… Periodically he would ask me yes or no questions to confirm my understanding, rendering mental distraction impossible. Having no choice but to focus on all of these things, I felt the emotional fog begin to lift. As the clarity and calm of his reassurances settled in, I felt better equipped to take the increasing physical discomfort. By this point my backside truly felt like it was on fire, and before long I was certain I had reached my pain tolerance limit. Bruce knew it too, as evidenced by his pausing and rubbing the small of my back reassuringly with his other hand. I caught my breath as he reiterated that he was proud of me, but explained that these were important points that needed to be driven home thoroughly. I braced myself again, and my paddling resumed just as hard as before… furthermore he wanted to ensure that I process this situation thoroughly enough to set it aside and enjoy the remainder of the night with him… now the pain was absolutely unbearable, yet still it was clear that the spanking was far from over. Faced with this reality, I had no alternative but to give in. A rush of helplessness and surrender enveloped me, and I began to cry. The more he spanked, the harder I cried. He was right; above all else he loves me. We’re in this together. And having already apologized to me, my only move was to let it go. All of my disappointment and hurt and vulnerability came pouring out. I sobbed into the comforter, emotionally completely clear and physically completely surrendered. For the first time since as long as I can remember, I had begun the spanking completely in the right frame of mind. I had readily welcomed my loss of control and his authority over me, and as a result my emotions and apprehensions had been released more fully than ever before. Despite the agonizing discomfort I felt profoundly fulfilled both physically and emotionally. It was an incredible feeling that I had never experienced so intensely.

When it was finally over he left me in position, and I could hear him opening his belt. I held my breath until it was unmistakable that he was initiating intimacy. He pressed into me, and instantly that incredible feeling I had just experienced resurged with doubled intensity. I am to always ask permission before having a sexual release, although I am nearly always permitted to do so, and this time I had to ask almost immediately. In fact, before long I found myself asking again. This time however, perhaps because he was aware of my uniquely deepened submission, I was denied. The very act of his asserting authority over this part of me made it infinitely more difficult to hold back, and with each passing moment it felt more and more challenging. It really took all I had, but I desperately managed to obey. When he finally granted me permission my release met his, and the resulting feeling completely permeated my physical and emotional self; to say it was indescribable is an understatement. I collapsed completely onto the bed, and as he wrapped his arms around me I felt very deeply and distinctly unburdened. Resting in the warmth of his arms and this profound emotional clarity, I remembered my prayer for earlier that day: to find the strength to truly achieve internal submission, regardless of whether it would be noticed or rewarded. How like the Father to reinforce the value of these efforts by graciously rewarding me the first time I fully utilized the strength to do so. I had spent the day working to truly follow the simple yet arduous command of Ephesians 5, and here I was that same evening basking in the most incredible afterglow. It was almost as if He were saying “See what happens when you choose grace over your own needs? See how perfect my design is when you simply follow my commands?” I do comprehend that the essence of true submission is anticipating and even accepting that there will be no reward. Nonetheless, I so appreciated the significance of receiving one this particular time. How such emphatic punctuation reinforces the total rightness of following such commands! And as rewards go, I absolutely cannot imagine one more intense or unforgettable :)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

And We're Back

I climbed into bed exhausted and frustrated after nearly an hour of trying to get my baby girl to settle down and sleep. Bruce, who had been doing the same, climbed in behind me and put his arm around me. "It's ok baby, it will start getting easier soon." I felt so depleted that I didn't even have the will or the capacity to cry... "I don't care, lets's just survive the next few months and then we can start living again." I could tell from the way he tensed slightly that he didn't approve of the statement. And rightly so; I knew I had a particularly ungrateful attitude considering all of the blessings we've been given... a great marriage, a good home, a beautiful healthy baby girl... It's just that I was so frustrated and tired! We talked for another few minutes, and I did soften my attitude but I still couldn't deny the way I was feeling. Among other things I lamented that he and I had virtually no time to interact in any of the ways we use to; achieving any sense of normalcy simply seemed impossible! Suddenly Bruce heaved a sigh and got out of bed. He shut the door, and when I heard the big Lexan paddle slide off the dresser I cringed.

I feebly pleaded, but he was suddenly in my ear: "Do you want to try to tell me that you don't need this right now?" I mumbled something about feeling we could just talk about it, but he dismissed the idea with a simple 'no' as he flipped me onto my stomach. When he pulled down my pants and underwear I pleaded again; we had only just returned to bare spankings a few days before, and I had handled the pain terribly. In fact my recent failure to physically submit after such a long break was one of the many things that had me feeling blue.

He didn't do much lecturing this time. By taking these moments to indeed interact in a way that we used to interact, his point was made. Wow, has our break from spanking taken a toll on me physically; even the warmup had me squirming. But remembering how disappointed I had been at my submission the other night, I fought hard to hold still as he began using the paddle. I gripped a handful of bedding and pressed my jaw and arms into the bed, but after several strikes the pain was so intense that I was screaming into my pillow. Eventually it was so unbearable that I tried to move out of position, but he held me in place. He paused to allow me to regain my composure, and I forced myself to settle back into position. Although I was already extremely sore, he continued with the paddle just as hard as before. And then I found myself in a familiar but recently forgotten place: I had reached my pain tolerance limit, but was still being paddled nonetheless. Having surpassed my pain threshold like this it was clear that I was not in control... while I do fully trust him with my body, it is incredibly overwhelming to give myself over to someone else that completely. Broken and sobbing hard, I resigned myself completely to the spanking. When it was finally over he set the paddle aside and came close to me putting his arms around me as I continued to cry. What would he do next? Bruce knew that my doctor had just cleared me for intimacy, but had also suggested that intercourse would probably be too painful for another week or two. He also knew that I was feeling scared to do it again, and yet craved the connection that it offered. I felt his big strong body press into mine as he spoke softly into my ear: "We're going to do this, okay? I will be gentle." It thrilled me that he wasn't asking, that he knew I was his if he wanted me. I can't deny that it was incredibly painful, but he was gentle as promised, and it was absolutely incredible for both of us.

I think it's safe to say that we're officially back. I've been re-familiarizing myself with the weakening feeling of not having the final say, and I'm settling back into the practice of thinking very carefully before reacting to things that upset me. Bruce has dutifully become even more dominant and strict than before, at least for the time being. In fact, everyday since the above incident I've been paddled multiple times, with at least one long and intense "formal" spanking all but one night. He's even finding new little ways to push my submission during spankings. Caring for a newborn while relearning the art of acquiescing is quite the task, and I'm sure Bruce would agree that leading us back into the appropriate roles at such a time is even more of a challenge. We've not been perfectly in synch or even perfectly consistent, but we've both been trying harder for the sake of the other person. For now that's all we've got, but for now it's more than enough :)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Submissive New Mama

It's official: Bruce and I are now three! Our baby girl was born about three weeks ago, and she is so beautiful; we're in love to say the least. But as anyone who's had an infant knows, those first few weeks are rough, and that's an understatement. So it's no surprise that we've had little energy left for anything other than nursing, diaper changes, and getting our baby girl to go to sleep already. Still, Bruce has kept his promise to help me stay relatively submissive. We had agreed ahead of time that he would read my body as I recovered from childbirth and gauge what I would be able to handle spanking-wise. Not surprisingly he has read me and my body well... I've been paddled several times since returning home from the hospital, and although it is hard to take while recovering I admit it is never outside the realm of what I can handle.

Most of these corrections have been happening in the moment; I do or say something disrespectful/unsubmissive, and he shuts it down by telling me to bring him the paddle. Once we've reached that point it's extremely unwise for me to do anything other than retrieve it for him; he gives me between 6-10 strikes while lecturing me on my behavior, and then I go and put it back. Under normal circumstances this is usually followed by an embrace, more tender words, and a tearful acknowledgment from me. But with the extreme exhaustion and fatigue we've just been continuing what we were doing as if nothing even happened.. I put the paddle away and we resume diapering, nursing, soothing, or whatever it is we were doing before it happened. I know he is correcting me out of love, and he knows that I take it because I intend to submit to and respect him, but to express these things outwardly requires time and energy that we frankly don't have at this point.

But last night was different. It was a bit more planned than usual, a bit more intentional like things had been pre-baby. We were getting our baby girl ready for bed when he announced that afterward we would brush our teeth and I would be spanked for making such a big deal out of everything lately (guilty- it's no excuse but these post-partum hormones are seriously intense). When I joined him in the bathroom he had my toothbrush ready for me and the big Lexan paddle sitting on the counter of the sink. I silently brushed my teeth alongside him, and when we finished he made me bend forward and face the wall. Much to my relief he didn't make me undress, but when he started spanking me it was as hard as ever. He asked repeatedly if I would be calmer about things in the future, and I affirmed that I would each time that he asked. After several breathtaking strikes I struggled to remain in position and began crying out, but then he stopped. I waited a moment, and he began to move around the bathroom so I stood up (again, too exhausted to be in the habit of following up with a hug, reconnecting words, etc.). But then he turned sharply and said "Did I say that I was done?" A little surprised, I got back in position and waited as he continued what he was doing. When he was finished he picked up the paddle again and without a word he spanked me several more times. I collapsed out of position toward the end but he merely said "Now I'm done." and led me out of the bathroom... even though I can't be intimate myself I've been asking if he would let me please him and so finally he let me... We kissed, and afterward we held each other. What a peace I felt lying there in his arms; our lives have totally changed, and yet here we were having just newly expressed submission/dominance toward each other, followed by a reconnect that left us both softened and affectionate as ever.

Bruce says that we will return to DD more fully once we can be intimate again; not only will I have mostly healed by then, but he says that then we will be able to follow an intense reaffirming of our roles with an appropriately intense level of reconnection. I think we both know that it will never be quite the same. But maybe in time we'll find it to be even better than it was before...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

DD and the Fourth Trimester

Hello again blog. I've missed you.

Bruce and I are nearing the home stretch before delivery: the renovations are all done, the nursery is looking homier and more organized everyday... And the really exciting part is that in a few weeks I will be on an extended maternity leave!

As we anticipate life in those first three crazy months after birth, the "fourth trimester," we have a lot to think about. Of course more than anything we are crazy excited to finally hold our sweet little one in our arms. Still, we are staying realistic about what will accompany this bliss. For starters, my OCD will be at its absolute worst with a tiny newborn to worry about, and also makes post-partum depression a major concern. Bruce will be taking a week or two of paternity leave to fight this as well as possible, and I am so thankful for that. DD has been incredibly helpful in shutting down my OCD, so we have discussed at length how it might be a really important tool during this time... or rather Bruce has asserted at length while I cringingly express acceptance. Spanking-wise, the physicality of giving birth is a WAY intense process that we have never been through, so we both know that this may factor into things in a way that we just can't anticipate until it happens. But Bruce assures me that we will be using DD more than ever, albeit with physicality only if/when it is feasible.

So there it is: life with a newborn, sleeplessness, maternal instincts galore... and no respite from the ever-challenging journey of becoming a submissive wife. I've heard enough from other women, submissive or otherwise, to know that this can be a really trying time in a marriage, so I am truly and sincerely thankful that we will have DD during this time; not only will it help us to maintain order and connection, but it will help me to avoid being regrettably overbearing and bossy. Even still, I can't deny that it sounds impossibly, overwhelmingly difficult. In fact, I actually have yet to meet another couple that has practiced DD during this time. I've spoken with several who reiterate in retrospect that this would have been an ideal time to use it, but none that actually have. Even though I'm sure it will be a modified and not-so-consistent version of DD, perhaps we are crazy to employ it at all in the first place? I suppose time will tell.

Another factor I can't get past... not to be over personal, but how will the physicality of an actual spanking look without even the potential for intimacy afterward during that first month or two? My on-the-spot corrections rarely involve intimacy anyway, but maintenance and the more significant, formal corrections nearly always end in our reconnecting that way. Admittedly this re-connection is not tender after a formal correction, but it is extremely important nonetheless. If we find that I can handle the physicality of a spanking that soon after birth, I wonder what the aftermath of such spankings will look like.

In the end I know we will be stronger for continuing to sharpen our marital roles even in the face of such significant change. But combined with the unpredictability of a newborn it will be an exhausting lesson for me in accepting that things are truly and completely outside of my control. This is what I've been praying about- finding the line between preparing fully and just giving it over to God. I'm a planner and a do-er, so I've been incredibly thorough in choosing the right monitor, crib, bathtub, bassinet, etc. But when it comes to the safety of our precious baby girl it is ridiculous to rely more heavily on my own intentions and plans than those of the Creator Himself. I don't ever doubt that He is more capable than me, yet I often fail to see past my own plans and intentions to simply let go and trust Him... but this is exactly what I have to do if I want things to unfold as they should. So I guess in a smaller way this is what I must do in my marriage. After all, it is the same trustworthy Creator who ordains such marital order (not specifically Domestic Discipline of course, but that my husband be the head of our home and of our relationship). So even in my marriage I will need to trust this order, and thus my husband, more than my own plans and intentions.

Less than an hour ago Bruce reiterated that we'll be plunging back into the physicality of DD "in full swing, pun intended," as soon as possible. Yikes. And we both know that the intensity of a newborn will be at max capacity as well. What a wild three months lie ahead of us! More than ever, I am relieved to have this blog- I imagine I'll have more to process about submission and control in the coming weeks than I have in my entire life.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

New Oportunities for Surrender

The past few weeks have been interesting for Bruce and me. He told me any real spankings were over until our baby girl arrives, but that it would be in my best interest to behave. I've sure been trying, but there are so many stressful life changes for us right now! Two weekends ago we had a particularly heated discussion about family helping with the baby- we both got frustrated, and I started crying, raising my voice, and talking disrespectfully. Finally he told me to go into the bedroom. I panicked that he was going to spank me against his better judgment, so I just stood there crying until he grabbed my arm and steered me into the room himself. He had me bare myself and bend over the bed, then came close to me and said firmly but softly "You're not getting a spanking. Calm down." Then it hit me: he was going to use the capsaicin cream.

I started to panic anew, but forced myself to calm down; we had double-checked that it was totally safe, and months ago before I was even pregnant he had even had me test a patch of it on my wrist to be sure I didn't have any reaction. But I was still so nervous! I inwardly talked to myself: "I definitively know that this is safe. He has medical expertise. He loves me. He will make sure that this is not more than I can take..." To avoid touching the stuff himself he squeezed some onto the Lexan paddle and gently but thoroughly applied it exactly where I am normally paddled. His "twist" was one hard smack with the paddle once it was applied, after which he told me to remain in position. Already it was starting to burn, but I held still and met his eyes while he lectured... I've been getting too worked up over things that we cannot foresee, I need to trust him when he says that we'll work through it together, I cannot speak to him that way, I am always allowed to revisit a topic later so when he tells me to stop I absolutely must stop... By now it felt like my backside was on fire, and after we hugged I told him as much. He said "I know it does. It's going to feel like that for a long time. Use it to reflect on how you need to use more self-control and trust." He told me to redress, which only made it worse, and before long I was fighting tears again. It felt exactly like the moments immediately following a harsh spanking, only it wasn't fading. He rubbed my arm and reminded me that I was very safe, and that this was simply a consequence that would last longer than a typical spanking. I knew he was right, but the unknown is still so unnerving! Boy was it humbling to go through the rest of our evening feeling like that- I was perfectly submissive without even thinking about it. After about an hour I asked him if he could check to make sure my skin was ok, and he took me into the bathroom and showed me that everything was normal- no redness or anything. I felt totally miffed: how could it possibly not even be red if it felt this intense!? By the time we got in bed about three hours later it had begun to subside; it still burned, but the fact that it was lessening made me feel incredibly relieved. I woke in the night to a renewed burning sensation, and when Bruce stirred he had me go into the bathroom where he wiped it off with a cold rag. He told me it wouldn't eliminate the burning, but would help it subside enough that I could get some sleep. By morning it was only a faint burn, and throughout the course of the day it subsided entirely. I'm ashamed to say that he has used it once again since then, but I am carefully avoiding it at all costs.

So we've entered a new realm of submission that requires a different kind of trust and acceptance. Actually, it feels a lot like what lies ahead as we prepare for a newborn in just two months time: uncertainty over the unknown, trepidation, and yet willingness/desire to move forward in spite of it all. I suppose from here on out it's all about embracing the unknown together, and pressing forward in spite of uncertainty. I know that God will take care of us in this; if I can learn to let go and trust my husband, I can absolutely apply the same concept to my perfect Creator. Trust. Acceptance. Surrender. I may not have it down yet but I'm working on it, and getting better all the while.

Monday, February 15, 2016

As Things Change...

Ah, it feels good to get back to blogging. The life that Bruce and I share is changing so quickly! In the past two months we've gotten some major renovations finished, started to set up the nursery, and tied up several other not-so-minor loose ends from our just-the-two-of-us life. By no means have we gotten all of the logistics settled, but we've at least got the ball rolling. And in three months or so we will have a sweet baby girl joining our family!

As I begin to move into the third trimester, our use of spanking is changing. So, I thought it fitting to reflect on our use of spanking, and how it has changed us both permanently and in the short term. We've actually been using DD for just over a year now, believe it or not! At this point in the pregnancy Bruce still spanks me for things that he feels warrant punishment, but these spankings are obviously shorter and less intense than usual. He has stopped doing role affirmation spankings, and sometimes my pregnant body makes even punishment spankings inappropriate.

So here we are, at a crossroads of sorts. I have learned, much to my relief, that we do not need these spankings for conflict resolution, and I am happy to report that even without it we resolve issues far quicker and more peacefully than we did before using DD. When things start to get heated he authoritatively insists that I calm down; even without the threat of a major spanking, I know from experience that when I obey this command I am always glad that I did so in retrospect. Also, having been physically forced to stop in the past has gotten me in the habit of really trying to stop when it is necessary. Simultaneously it has gotten him into the habit of insisting! I admit that being fully punished allowed us to move past things even more quickly and thoroughly. Still, it is comforting to know that we have acquired skills to use in a conflict that are not dependent upon one particular act.

Monday night was a great example of how our dynamic has recently changed. I was particularly upset about the disorder that has been present in our home amid all of these changes. I accused Bruce of being impatient, which was both unfair (he has been admirably patient with me and my mood swings) and disrespectful, particularly the tone with which I accused him. He articulated as much, but I got even nastier- way not okay behavior by this point in our journey. I was angrily rummaging around in the kitchen when he finally stopped and went into the bedroom. I feared he may be getting the paddle, but ignored it. Sure enough he told me to stand up moments later. In times when he feels the need to drop everything and punish on the spot, here is where I would normally be instructed to bear myself, at which point he would administer either an unbearably long or unbearably harsh spanking that would typically leave me in tears. But this time he simply had me bend forward and submit to a harsh *but bearable* paddling. His point was still unmistakably made, but without the ceremony and intensity I couldn't help feeling he was still mildly annoyed afterward. I definitely felt sorry for having been so disrespectful- it still forced me to stop and consider how not to let it happen again, but the reconciliation that followed wasn't as significant as it typically would have been. Perhaps such deep reconciliation isn't necessary for every major disconnect, but it is so beautifully cleansing to reach the end and hug so fiercely, knowing that it is 100% past us. Such intensity probably doesn't work for everyone, but we've found that it does work for us.

So where do we go from here? This week he said that we will soon be nearing the time where spankings will stop entirely. He had me ask my gynecologist if capsaicin cream was safe for pregnancy and, having gotten the green light, he says we will be trying this as an alternative form of punishment, "but with a bit of a twist," we're his exact words. I pressed the issue, but he says he will let me know what he means when I need to know. Considering what I've read about how results vary, how long the effects can last, etc., I admit that the unknown is a little intimidating. Still, I trust him so what's to fear? He is a good man, and I know he will take such good care of me. He always does :)