Sunday, October 09, 2005Nickel Slots
In my own quest to find myself, I have found that focusing on the smaller issues first may be the way to go for me. I can comprehend grand, sweeping theories logically, but the practical applications thereof leave me floundering about, like chem labs.
When my wife says "do you trust me?" I say "Of course I trust you." But when my wife says "I need you to look for the lids for the tupperware for me." I say "Why?" In my mind at the time, this has nothing to do with trust, it has to do with me looking out for my own, a behavior I picked up long ago. I was alone for a very long time and I learned, time and time again, that everyone is in it for themselves, no matter what "it" is.
Driving anywhere, I constantly struggle with not letting people cut me off, getting into the fast lane of traffic, and getting really, really mad at people who do stupid things while driving, illegal or even just rude. I have to say I was a very angry defensive and slightly offensive driver. My college was a total business, selling out students left and right. In their opinion, tuition was just another source of income, fuck the students once the checks clear.
I grew up incredibly sheltered and protected. Some people would say that's a good thing, but really, it just meant I was putting off the rude awakening that the real world was storing up for me, karma and all that. It hit hard too, and every day since then I see a reminder of that self-interest daily. I'm surrounded at work by people who bitch that their tax dollars are supporting homeless and displaced hurricane victims. What the fuck? How selfish are they?
So back to me, I find myself looking out for numero uno, which means instituting protective measures at all times and having some seriously high walls and boundaries. I also am very good at reading people's true intentions behind their statements, and I've found that people never talk to me unless they want something. Few people are nice enough to say that though upon entering into conversation with me.
But one place I don't have to worry about having my advantage taken is at home with my wife. She is very good at being assertive, not being passive agressive, and she is perfectly capable and intelligent enough to accomplish just about anything, so when she asks me to do something, I don't have to wonder if it's just because she's being lazy, or wants to prove a point, or wants to use me. The problem is my reaction, I still don't believe her, and that's where the trust issues lie.
It is sooooooo hard for me to hear her ask me to look for tupperware lids without immediately thinking "she's just lazy and doesn't want to do it." and "she is always telling me how I put the tupperware away wrong and this is my punishment" and "She is just like my mom, nothing is ever perfect enough and I'm never good enough." and "I'm already doing something else right now, I can't do it and she can see that I can't do it and yet she still wants me to do it right this second because she is an abusive slave driving bitch." In reality, none of this is true. She wanted me to do it because I am way taller than her and the tupperware is on a high shelf and I can see it better, and she didn't need me to drop everything and do it right then, but when I was done in the near future.
My wife is also very good at extracting the meaning from people's words, I mean, that's her real life job, and she has ample training to do so. We are also so very close and think so very alike that I can't hide anything from her. I've been able to pull of two surprises (read: times I had to use white lies to prevent her from knowing I was planning a surprise) in the three years we've been together, and I can't honestly say she doesn't already know what is in her neatly wrapped presents from me on holidays. So yeah, I'm an open book to her, and she has all my best and worst pages dog-eared.
So when I gave my reponse of "Why?" (as she said before, ONE word can send her bells and sirens off), she immediately knew that I was thinking all that stuff above and that I have to get past that initial reaction with her and really trust that she had no malicious intent when she asked. Until I can control my own defensive, societally-learned, self-protective reactions around her, I can't avoid hurting her. She can't be truly open to me and be herself if I'm always throwing back punches when I think she's throwing them at me but she's really not.
So I came up the term nickel slots. Nickel slots are where I learn how to play a slot machine, and then I move up into the quarter and dollar slots. (I don't gamble so forgive my ignorance on this if the slot machines don't actually go in quarter and dollar increments). Now that I think about it, poker or blackjack might be a better allusion, as all slots are chance driven but card games have some element of learned skill. But I digress... Anyway, whenever I forget to give her the benefit of the doubt, or not trust her wholy the first time she says something, or just act in a way unbecoming of me, she clues me in by saying "nickel slots" and I immediately stop and think about what I'm saying and doing.
I didn't actually ask her to do this, she just kind of picked it up and it's working pretty well, like having a watch alarm that beeps whenever my walls go up. As I work through my nickel slot issues, I can see myself becoming more ready to tackle the quarter slots. I will have some practical experience and applications of the trust ideas and I'll be able to cut through my own bullshit as I learn and grow more. I think the reason I rarely get into subspace is because I'm always caught up in these nickel slot issues, which just make me angry and defensive, when they should be triggering my happy vibes.
So here I am, working through my issues. One thing I have going for me is a fast turnaround time. I can fuck up my trust of her and then admit my fuck-up of trust to her soon after, rather than dragging it out into a fight that goes on and on until I'm grasping at straws to maintain my stance. It's not that she's always right, but a good 99.3% of the time she is.
I really think she's right, I am a better sub when I'm not trying to be one, and I believe that once I get through my issues, I'll be a great sub without trying, because I will just be one, and I will trust her wholy, and she will be her whole, vulernable, adorable, sexy, beautiful, intelligent, funny, Domme self with me.