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This thing we do • View topic - Letting Go of Control
Page 1 of 4

Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:16 pm
by Meg
I am a submissive with control issues, and letting go of control terrifies me...there I admit it.

What I need and long for most is to be able to be in a relationship where I do not have to be in charge, and have a loving, caring partner who will provide structure and discipline. My spouse and I have been working on our D/s relationship for many, many years. Often things would start going well, and one or both of us would sabotage it. Well...after a rough weekend...my spouse is taking control, far stronger than she ever has...suggesting new punishments (I think that she wants to incorporate soaping my mouth for mouthing off to her, after reading about it here...yeck).

Anyways, while I am happy that things are going the way I have wanted, I am finding myself feeling rather anxious...and am finding my thought processes going in the direction of trying to take control of all of this...again....thinking of suggestions, and ways to direct things, which I know spoils the dynamic.

I could go on and on as to why I have control issues.... :blahblah: but I am feeling a little more pragmatic. Anyone, tops or bottoms, have any suggestions for stopping this pattern....I *really* don't want to sabotage things again.

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:56 am
by JigsawAnalogy
I wonder how it would work to take things in baby steps. Don't think of it so much as sabotaging things as it is learning how to gradually let go of control. For instance, rather than trying to dive directly into giving up control, try it one little bit at a time. I've been working on this, one thing at a time. (Yes, W can wash the dishes, and it might not be the way I would wash them, and I can live with it... Or she can pack boxes, or do whatever else, and do it in her own way.)

For the two of us, it's taking a ton of little steps, because I have a hard time giving up control, and W has a hard time being in control. So we sort of need to give each other space to change patterns imperfectly. I need to let her do things, and she needs to assert her right to do things, and neither of us is very good at it to start, but we improve over time (and then something happens and we stop focusing on it, and backslide into old patterns, and start over... but we're still working on it. :thinking: )

I wonder if it would help is Obsidian and W were to start backing each other up in the tops' forum, so that they could be like, "Oh, you TOTALLY should just tell her to be quiet." "Wait, right, I *can* do that, can't I?" "Yes! It will make things easier." Etc., etc.

I've noticed that a lot of tops are more vulnerable than they let on, and I think they need some support on doing this thing. I've also observed, of myself, that when W is confident in a decision she makes, I'm incredibly unlikely to challenge it. It's just when she's giving the appearance of waffling or being unsure that my natural bossiness comes into play. (Well, that, or if we're in the kitchen, where we've agreed that I'm the top and W's the sous chef.)

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:57 pm
by Meg
I HATE taking things slow. I have absolutely no patience whatsoever...lol. Obsidian *always* wants to take things slow...yuk!!! If I am nervous, I would generally rather do it and get it over with...so there. I guess that it my issue, for the most part...lol.

Well...I agree that Tops are often more vulnerable than they let on...I have found that, at least my Top, does not like to ask for advice...it is ok if *I* ask for advice...which I can share with her...but that it a different thing...ya know. But I am sure that if W comes back...and Obsidian ever posts...they would become buds...so to speak, although knowing Obsidian, she would rather talk about implements than relationship dynamics any day...lol.

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:26 pm
by JigsawAnalogy
I'm sure it wouldn't hurt anything for you to *try* to let go of control more quickly. My suggestion was more about accepting that you might not be successful at the outset. Emotionally, I'm also pretty much all or nothing, but in practice, I've had better luck accepting that things will take longer than I think they should.

Good luck, whichever way you decide to go. And I'll keep encouraging W to spend time on the board. Hopefully, she'll lure Obsidian into posting, and they can start supporting each other.

(I may come to regret that, because much as I want W to be more successful as a top, it does make my life more inconvenient with all of the having to do what she tells me and stuff. Not to mention the possibility of me not liking the results when W is more skillful with implements....)

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:31 pm
by Meg
Despite my little outburst...I think that the main thing is that when I start to direct things, this kind of turns Obsidian off, in the same way it kind of turns me off when she is less assertive. Sure, going slow is a good idea, despite how much I *hate* that....it is more that there is a comfortable place that I would like our relationship to go...and the in between spot we are often in is rather scary and uncomfortable...and if we back up then I will have to go through this in between spot all over again...if this makes any sense.

Yes...I am fully aware that things will never and probably can never be "perfect", if such a thing exists. I know that I am not the only one in our relationship who panics and slides back into old patterns....but, I also know from years and years of 12 step stuff and other psychobabble that the only one I can control is me.... :blahblah: (I *love* that emoticon, btw...lol)

What I have to fight is the tendency to overanalyze what is happening and asking so many questions about the rules that I end up setting them myself. Of course, getting my mounthyness under control will help alot...and, it seems, will prevent all of my food from tasting like soap....bleck, bleck, bleck. I really don't like when Obsidian told me last night, that she wished she'd have thought of :soap: years ago. :blush: This is the most enthusiastic she has *ever* been about any punishment since we started ttwd.

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:10 am
by JigsawAnalogy

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:43 pm
by Eayore
:parrot: Eek! Use 'em or lose 'em? :stickfig: :sigh: :bigeyes:

Here's my favourite...
:hairbrush:

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:54 pm
by JigsawAnalogy
Nah, if people like having them there, I'll leave them. I just don't want it to be too hard to find the ones you like.

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:47 am
by TryingReallyHard
I could cut and paste a whole slew of "btdt"s and "me, too"s! Oh, and a "wouldn't that be nice" re: the tops coming here for some mutual support... :grumble:

There have been times when I feel most adrift and unsafe and it feels like RH's uncertainty is like a drop of blood in a shark tank. I end up feeling frantic because for me to have let go of all this control means he has to be taking it and if he's not sure he really wants it then who the hell is driving this sucker and the temptation to just take over it all again and make us both miserable is huge. I end up with big anxiety (which feeds the insomnia) which tends to make it worse. (<-- understatement) I try to continue to submit and do what I should... only giving in to the resentful feelings when it gets to be too much. :blush:

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:26 am
by JigsawAnalogy
:yeahthat:

I agree that part of the challenge with giving up control is the fear that the person we're giving it up *to* isn't going to take it. And then, if they do things that signal they're not going to, it's like, fine, but SOMEONE needs to be in charge. And then perhaps we do it, but with a crappy attitude because we don't *want* to be doing it, and it makes them feel like we don't respect them, and discourages them from continuing to take control (which they may have thought they were doing all along, in spite of what we--and by "we" I mean "I"-thought.)

I am really racking my brain to think of ways of getting those tops together. Perhaps I'll regret that in the end, but it seems like we'd be happier if they had somewhere they could come for support, and they really don't seem to like coming to the board.

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:31 am
by Meg
I think that we need to give up on our fantasy of our Top support group. Probably not going to happen. I know that the last thing that Obsidian wants to do when feeling insecure is to be around other Tops, and she is certainly not going to ask for advice. She *might* look anonymously for others who might have had the same issue, but that is as far as it will go. My guess is the more we push for them to come, the less they will want to.

It was nice to hear so much from W the other day, btw....and, um, for all her talking about whether this was for her and whether she really was into this, I shrank in my chair from here with her comment on the soap ice cream bar thread...and I hadn't even been part of that conversation...so, yes, I think she has it in her.

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:55 am
by Meg
I was looking at my last post and realized that things did not come out the way they should have. I'll blame it on my Mars in Aries...posting before thinking things through, and posting from my smartphone before work.

Here is the thing...I have made the mistake several times in the past (years past) of thinking that if Obsidian would just talk to other Tops, things would magically be better. What she got from that was that I thought she was inadequate, which made her even more insecure, which made me top from the bottom more, etc., etc. The "drop of blood in the shark tank" metaphor is *very* fitting, TRH, and I know *exactly* what you are talking about. It also made her much *less* likely to talk to other Tops. Unfortunately, I really don't think that a Top can fake it, we know if they are not feeling it...and it has to come from within, and the thing that we need from them most is confidence, *real* confidence...not feigned or faked.

That wasn't the original purpose of my starting this thread, though. It would also be nice to say, "If she would only....so and so"....I would be able to submit. But, in reality, I often sabotage things too. Yes, of course, if there is a safety issue, I need to articulate that, but many of the things I would complain and critique about really don't rise to that level.

I will give two concrete examples:

1. The catalyst for the mammoth fight I talked about in a the SuperNanny thread. Obsidian was going to cook one thing for dinner, which I was not crazy about. Before she cooked it, she asked me if I wanted something different, and I said yes. At the time she made dinner, she forgot asking me if I wanted something different, and made the original dinner....and I threw a temper tantrum. Ok, sure there were other things going on...triggers and flashbacks and tensions and the like...but, *really*...I want her to be in charge...she was being in charge. I do have a childhood issue about being asked what I want, and then being ignored, sure. But again, *really*...was it really necessary to throw a fit about it? It wasn't even as if I hated dinner...she's a very good cook, even with the meal that I was not crazy about.

2. Obsidian discovered soap through this board. (she doesn't talk much, even in real life, but she reads and takes in things all of the time. My guess is every now and then she will chime in with a sentence or two, or tell me something to say. If you haven't noticed, I am the talker in our family...:)) Anyways, I digress....immediately, I found myself trying to take control of it. Asking a gazillion questions about what she was going to do, and how she was going implement things. I kept telling myself STOP...and I controlled the impulse to a certain extent. She also took control of the situation...so I didn't have a lot of room to maneuver. My thoughts were still racing though, and I had to really stop myself from trying to direct everything about it.

The reality it, things will *never* work if I do not relinquish control. Sure, Obsidian also needs to take control...and even over my fighting it...but if I fight it too hard, it will be exhausting for both of us. Even if she Tops me *exactly* as I think that she should, and does *everything* I ask for perfectly, it still won't work, because I will still be in control of it. It is often when things are starting to work and she is taking control that I am likely to do my best to start seizing control again...by excessive requests and non-safety related complaints. I have actually felt it....it is like a moment of panic. It can be really frightening for me to know that I am losing control, even though that is the thing that I most want to do.

One of the things that I have done, if I can catch it, is to tell Obsidian that this is happening. Then she will say something to let me know that she is still in control, and won't let me seize control...of course, being warned that this is happening helps her to know what to do. Sometimes, Obsidian can catch it on her own, and that is excellent and helps me a lot. Sometimes, neither of us catches it...and um, hence the mammoth fight.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:03 am
by JigsawAnalogy

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:31 pm
by Meg

Re: Letting Go of Control

PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:14 am
by JigsawAnalogy