While the following may sound like a rant about my life, I actually don’t mean it that way. I’m asking a question of submissives, male or female, and of Dominants, male or female. I’m curious if what I’m feeling and the way I’m reacting is common in submissives.
I’ve always had high expectations of myself. My father instilled that in me from a very early age. He taught me that anything less an A in school was unacceptable. Only my best was allowed at all times. That probably sounds like a lot of pressure. Maybe it was, I don’t know. It was normal to me.
Either as a result of how I was raised, because it’s just genetic, or both, I enjoy working hard to being good at things, the best, actually. I like to excel. I loved getting good grades and then the praise of being a smart girl or a good girl. I felt ten feet tall whenever someone complimented my intelligence, my maturity, my positive attitude, my helpfulness.
That attitude carried over to my adult life after I finished school. The idea of being the best at something, at being known for being smart or dependable or just good at something , pushes me to work hard. It helps that I enjoy hard work. A former boss, and very good friend, has told me on numerous occasions that he’s never seen anyone work as hard or as tirelessly as I do, and he doesn’t think he ever will. I glow with pride at statements like that. A strong work ethic is in my DNA – the desire to be needed, wanted, and invaluable is a bonus that makes the hard work feel easy.
I tell you all of that to say, I take on a lot – at work, I mean. I do it because I enjoy my job. I do it because I have a sense of loyalty to a company that provides me opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise. I do it because I don’t know how to be any different. I like being needed. I can’t help myself.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m also a single mom. The kind with a sperm donor for an ex husband. I don’t have family near by. I have babysitters but not a lot of extra cash. So, it’s just me about 90 percent of time. That’s not a complaint. As hard as it can be, I prefer my life now than when I was married. But, I want to be a good mom. I want to have a clean house. I want to cook healthy meals for my children. I want to enroll them in sports or activities and allow them to actually participate. I want to give them as close to a “normal” life as I can, even if it’s just me. And yes, I realize there is no such thing as normal, and we all do the best we can. I get it.
When I feel like I’m not performing at my best or doing what I know I should be doing or even what I think I ought to be doing, I feel like I’m letting everyone down. I have a standard that I think I should meet as often as possible, and when it doesn’t happen, I stress out.
My boys are getting the best week EVER from their point of view, because the only night they get a home-cooked meal will have been Monday once this week is over. My house is a wreck. There’s a load of laundry in the dryer that has been sitting there since Sunday. I can’t see my desk at work. I have three voicemails and 50 unread emails just from today.
None of this is unusual. Everyone experiences this. This isn’t really about those small, very normal, details of my life. It’s about my reaction to it.
You can tell me to calm down and breathe. You can tell me not to worry so much. You can reassure me that I’m doing a great job and that everyone goes through this. Logically, rationally, I agree with you. I would say the same thing to someone else.
My reaction is visceral. When I feel like there’s too much coming at me, when I can’t keep up, when I’m not performing the way I should, I want to shut down completely. I want to tell the world to go the hell away and let me get this right. Let me keep working day in and day out until I’m caught up and back on track. I want to turn inward, go deep into my head, find a solution for the problem (whatever it may be that’s causing me to feel overwhelmed) and fix it until I’m back to normal (or what I consider normal). I have this fear that I’ve disappointed someone – my boss, my kids, some unknown force that apparently judges me (at least in my imagination, I guess). I feel like I’m letting my world down. I get headaches; I don’t sleep well; I snap at everyone. I feel like I’m no longer the good girl
So, I’m back to the question for any and all submissives or those that love submissives – am I alone in my reaction? Is this a me thing or a submissive thing? I’m curious to see if there are common traits among us. Even if you consider yourself a bedroom submissive, are there certain traits that carry into our vanilla lives that we might not even recognize as the submissive side of who we are? I’m not one to beg for comments, but on this, I would really love to hear what you think.