A Mixed Bag
There have been a lot of little successes and a lot of little failures lately. Or perhaps I should say, I’ve had a lot of little successes and a lot of little failures lately. It’s been a real mixed bag ever since Michael stepped things up more. Sometimes I’ll do so well, surprising myself and him with the progress I’m making. And other times, I'll fall short, sometimes with things that I thought I’d moved past already, and it catches us both off guard. It seems like sometimes I take 2 steps forward and 1 step back and other times I take 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Overall, I think I’m making a little forward progress. I hope so anyway.
There was a point yesterday that I felt like Michael was stepping on my toes, putting me in my place, unfairly. In my opinion he was wrong and I was right and it seemed to me that he wasn’t even willing to listen to my side of things. His perception was a bit different of course, he didn’t have a problem with me voicing my side of things, but he wanted me to do it respectfully. Unfortunately, I got a little loud, my attitude wasn’t the best and I persisted until I felt heard, despite his attempts to curb my attitude. I felt pushed and I was pushing back, big time. We had company, and we try to be discreet about ttwd, so his options were a bit limited. He agrees that he should’ve tried the traffic light code and told me yellow or red, to see if it would cut through and reach me, if I’d actually hear that. But, he didn’t think of it at the time and neither did I. I had myself worked into a little tizzy after all. He wasn’t happy with me, but somehow he managed to be patient with me. I did realize a little later that I owed him an apology. It was one of those situations where there was just a difference of opinion combined with a bit of miscommunication. Obviously I hadn't handled it well. I had felt that he was trying to shut me down when he should have been listening to what I had to say and that had stirred something in me. That question, are you a lover or a fighter...there's a bit of both in me. And the fighter side of me came forth and was not going to be ignored or dismissed. *sigh* As I did eventually realize, the situation really hadn't called for such measures and so I apologized. Michael was impressive I must say. He didn't allow himself to be baited by my reaction, which would've certainly escalated the whole thing, but neither did he allow it to dissuade him or let it chip away at his confidence.
Later, after our company had left and the kids were in bed, Michael and I sat on the couch to snuggle and unwind. But I didn’t stay by his side for long. He decided that he wanted me to sit at his feet. He’d only had me do that once before and the circumstances were quite different then. I gave him that questioning look and he motioned me to follow through. I lowered myself to sit by his feet, trying to decide how to position myself. I settled on sitting between his legs and facing sideways, my legs and arms wrapped around his leg, my head leaning against him. We were watching a television show, just something to wind down to before heading upstairs and he told me that I could get up after the next commercial break. But, when the time came, he changed his mind. He said that I’d been fidgeting a bit and not sitting still. I suppose he had a point, but I was trying to figure out how to sit at first and once that was sorted out I realized that a pillow would be really nice underneath me instead of the hard floor and so I moved around a bit again, getting settled. I think he realized that I needed more time, to really settle in and accept my position, where he’d placed me, to feel his dominance and to embrace my submission. When he allowed me to join him on the couch again I found that I felt so much calmer and more centered. I snuggled into him instead of just sitting next to him. He seemed pleased and I imagine this is something he’ll add to his HOH repertoire.
With Michael stepping things up, it’s not so much about having new rules (though there are a few), but mostly it’s about higher expectations. He’s paying more attention, noticing more, and expecting more. He’s putting more energy and effort in and he expects me to do the same. It’s been challenging, and sometimes I have to remind myself that it isn’t him versus me, it’s about the two of us working together to make a better us.