Submission Hell (or at least Limbo)

I’m in a particularly weird and uncomfortable corner at the moment.  I’m having a miserable time, but trying to wring important lessons out of it.  Lately, I’ve been keeping a private (on paper) journal for things too rambling and incoherent to write over here, but this one is actually pretty well-defined so I’m going to see if I can lay it all out and look at where I went wrong.

Last time I was discussing submission and how it works for me, I briefly mentioned having assignments.  What I failed to mention was how that all came about.  This part is really important (especially to you, Future Sanguine, if you’re looking back on this trying to figure out How Not To Fuck Things Up) – I asked for them.  This was a bit of a process, since for a while, Sir would bring up things that He wanted me to work on but then never follow up.  I was feeling frustrated, since I function best with rules and clearly defined goals/expectations/roles.  I finally did bring up the importance of it, and we worked with that and He came up with two specific things for me to do each week.  Let’s call them A and B, since I don’t want to go into detail (and that isn’t important to the level of unhappiness I’m having right now).  A is something fairly easy that can fit into my schedule and can be done alone at any time.  B is one of the things from my personal list that I foresaw as being the most difficult and time-consuming, and knew I’d need help with.

The first week, I fell short on both.  Since I had said explicitly that I needed feedback and follow-up on everything, positive and negative, I did end up with a penalty.  It was a well-chosen one, and I was happy that my needs were being taken seriously.  There was a red flag in the middle of the discussion though: He didn’t remember the actual guidelines I’d been given by Him.  Fair enough, since I have memory holes myself.  I actually just got called out on one today, so I’m in no position to judge.  I brushed it off and listed everything as I remembered it, pointing out that He could always check my memory against the original document when He got home.  I was told that I was to check in on Friday, hopefully to end the penalty I was under.

It’s Friday right now.  I called to check in and had to admit that I had not done well this week either – only the second week, but I was so sure I could do better.  Instead, I managed all of A with no trouble at all, but knew that with only two days left I would never be able to complete B.  That’s got a lot of complicated reasons around it, but the relevant part is that I wasn’t going to be done by Sunday, the official end of the week.  I was told to do my official check in on Sunday, and we’d talk about it then.  No mention of the punishment I’d been waiting all week to have (hopefully) lifted, or extended.  I tried to suck it up after I got off the phone but didn’t last long and messaged saying I really DID need an answer one way or another.  Waiting two more days seemed cruel, rather than firm.

Now I have a couple of things worrying me.  Forgetting about His own instructions (or at least the details) is understandable on its own, but forgetting that I was supposed to be given further word on the penalty I’ve been under all week added to that makes this while thing look like something that’s being done half-heartedly for me, rather than an important project for us as a couple.  I suspect that I’ve gone and asked for too much again, which is something I’ve been writing about on my own in private.   There was an unpleasant incident at a club a while ago that was caused by me thinking that something I’d asked for was something we both wanted.  I didn’t see it that way at the time, since I was too upset to be able to sort it out.  Later, when I considered why I was so upset, and did sort it out, I could see that He didn’t understand what I was asking for.  I also saw that it was something that should only come about if He actually wanted it, and not just because I asked.

I feel bad about a lot of things – worse than I did earlier in the day when my only concern was that I’d not been able to finish out this week’s tasks.  Now, in addition to that I also feel bad about asking for too much, and I feel bad about having an agreed-upon time to discuss an agreed-upon topic ignored.  The importance of all this to me, and the reason I had brought it up in the first place, was as a tool to have an ongoing point of reference that would serve as a small way for me hand over some level of power during all the time in between visits that would ALSO enhance the time we did spend together.  Knowing that I might not manage everything I was handed, and that there would be repercussions if I didn’t, fit in with my needs.  Not having that honored makes me feel like my needs are only being looked at as a chore, and not honored as something that is offered with a high level of trust.  Even a “I need to reassess this and I want you to wait until Sunday for further instructions” would have worked, rather than neglecting the fact that I had just done something difficult and had been promised those further instructions at a particular time.

I’ve used the word “need” and variations on it quite a bit in trying to take all this apart.  And that seems to be the real problem underlying this: I need too much.  But then, given the importance put on communication and maintaining respect, I also need to just be told “No” sometimes.  Asking for something, thinking I’m getting it, and then being hurt by not getting it, is way worse than asking for something and being told No.  But if I ask for a definite “No” every time I push for more and can’t have it, I’m just adding another request that might be ignored later.

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