Category Archives: 1. Why? My Backstory.

More about me.

49. Revealing More

This post is a bit of a ramble and probably dry for many of you.   I want to reveal more about myself outside of DD.  It is mundane, but I wanted to give some insight that parts of my life are probably not all that different than yours.

Writing all this also reminds me how fortunate I am. I feel I generally exude an appreciation about my lot in life.  I am an upbeat person, which I hope comes across in my writing.  I find the good in life.  Typically the only attention I give to the bad is whatever time it takes to subdue it with a glance.  Okay, maybe not as easy as a glance.  Anyway, this self-reflection has helped serve as a deeper reminder of my fortune.

First, my life has been far less hectic and stressful over the last year, sans a few exceptions.  I credit several things with that, including our DD lifestyle (which began in March 2015).  But another change that was just as significant was that we put our youngest back in school last fall.  I home schooled him prior to that.

KIDS
I mentioned before our youngest has special needs.  I don’t work outside the home and as a former school counselor who considered being a teacher, I felt up to the task of home schooling.  We tried the public schools early on and despite their best efforts, they couldn’t provide what I knew I was capable of providing of him.  So we home schooled until last school year.  He started high school last year, a grade behind, and with special ed classes.  His emotional needs have decreased significantly, perhaps a combination of the 3 M’s – maturity, medication, and mom.  He still is probably three years or so younger than his peers from a maturity standpoint, and depending on the subject matter, 1-3 years behind intellectually.  While some kids with his condition actually go to college and live independently, his form and his degree of the condition will preclude that.

We felt he could possibly succeed in school so we gave it a try.  Our expectations were low and I was certain I was going to have to pull him out at some point — but the school did a great job and he thrived.  So, having him in school during the school year not only has benefited him, but it lessened a major responsibility that I had.  I was still very involved and spent a lot of time volunteering at the school, but that’s a far cry from having to home school him.

Of course, it’s been summer time which means no school.  I have a great support system in place to help out.  Mike is wonderful, and often gives me a day out on a weekend where he stays home or takes our son somewhere and I am free to relax, go shopping, or whatever.  My sister also tries to pick up our son once a month and take him on an outing.  Then we have my parents who take him for two weeks out of the summer.  All of that support helps me keep my batteries charged.  Despite his tremendous improvements over the last few years, caring for his needs requires tremendous patience, love, and attention.

As I mentioned, I stay at home.  Our middle child is away at college and was only home for a few weeks this summer as he went back for summer school.  Our oldest is on his own and doing very well for himself.   Mike works in sales, and splits time between the actual office and his home office.  He typically works from home every Friday, and it isn’t uncommon for him to go in the office in the morning, then come home for lunch and work the afternoon from home.

HUSBAND
Mike makes good money.  We aren’t wealthy, but we are comfortable.  We haven’t always been, but Mike’s worked hard and moved up within the ranks of his company to a well-paid position.  Well enough that I don’t have to work, we get all the bills paid, and have enough left over for a vacation or two each year.

Anyone who has read through my blog will see that he has grown a lot in our DD journey.  He is a kind and gentle person, and being Dominant is as contrary to what people would think of him as being Submissive is to what people would think of me.  It is interesting that our personas outside the household are very different than within the household.

Mike and I have been married 25 years now (recently had our 25th anniversary).  He just turned 48 and I am turning 47 this month.   We knew each other in high school and actually dated on and off a couple of times in high school.  Even when we weren’t dating each other, we were good friends.

SHOPPING
Since I mentioned finances, let me talk shopping!  They are related after all.   Early in our marriage I let my compulsion for shopping get out of hand.  Over time we were able to climb out of the debt hole, and then there was still the occasional momentary lapse into a shopping spree.  I became really good at returning things.  DD has helped in that I now have to ask permission to purchase anything beyond the groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.

I am the type of shopper that looks at an object and immediately experiences the potential of that object.  I don’t mean just thinks of the potential, but actually feels it emotionally.  Consider a beach towel.  I’ve got a dozen of them.  I don’t need another.  But I see a really cute one and my buying decision is not about need. It is about feeling the sound of popping the towel on a sunny beach as I spread it across the sand.  The warmth of the sand between my toes, the sound of the ocean waves gently tapping against the beach.  The feeling of relaxation with not a care in the world.  These sights, sounds, and emotions would just rush in at the sight of the towel.  I want that experience to continue and buying it will give me that experience at least a little longer.   Pre-DD I had eventually learned some coping skills to try and suppress these emotional rushes.  They were highly successful but not perfect.  DD has been fool-proof.  I simply must ask anytime I want to buy stuff.  Definitely a buzz kill.

CHORES
I’ve talked a lot about chores before and it may sound like I do everything.  I do a lot, but I am home a lot.  Mike does help out.  Mike has always been a “clean as you go” kind of person.  He still is and is not one to leave his own things laying around.  That helps, especially for someone who is a “clean it later” kind of person.  We have two laundry baskets and the rule is we do laundry as soon as they are full, whatever day that may be.  It is my duty to take care of this but there are times Mike will take it upon himself to put a load in early, even put them in the dryer, fold, and put them away, just because he could.

Cooking-wise, we typically eat out anywhere from once to twice a week.  Mike likes to cook, but it isn’t always practical with his work schedule.  He typically cooks on Saturdays, and sometimes he does so Sunday and a weekday if he gets off early.   So, I am typically cooking 3-4 times a week.

I’ve got in the habit of vacuuming and sweeping every day, so I got that covered.  Not the entire house, but at least one or two rooms every day.  The one area Mike would get an “F” if I were grading him is the bathrooms.   It’s been that way since we were first married.  Somehow that was always my domain.  Oh well, the yard work is entirely his domain!

ADULT TIME
We were fortune to find a great sitter, but she isn’t always available.  She is college student studying education with emphasis on special-ed.  She should get credit hours for watching our son.  While he is in high school now, he can’t be alone.   My sister is often the go-to person to watch our son.  That gives Mike and I at least one date-night a week.   We either go out on our own to dinner and movie, or sometimes go out with John and Donna, or, we go over to John and Donna’s to hang out (i.e. some very adult time).

I mentioned before that Mike and I went to a couple FetLife functions.  Since my son was injured shortly after we went to our first functions, we had to put that extra socializing on hold as we couldn’t’ expect anyone to watch him with his increased needs.  Things are finally back in order and we plan to revisit that.  We don’t have any specific expectations, other than mingle with some like-minded folks and see where the mingling takes us.

POLITICS and RELIGION
You don’t think I would seriously go there?  Talk about a major buzz kill!  Let me just say my beliefs regarding those topics are anchored deeply with my strong belief in equality, empathy, and liberty.  Therefore, it goes without saying that my politics are x and my religious beliefs are y.

ALONE TIME
I get a reasonable amount of alone time.  It is even prescribed in our DD.  Mike may actually order it from time to time.  I am not talking about punishment oriented alone time like standing in a corner or writing lines.   I mean time alone at home when Mike takes our son out, or time alone at home while Mike attends to our son and I just relax (watching tv, web surfing, reading, blogging, masturbating, or whatever).

You can tell just how much free time I have by how often I blog.  The last four or five days have been great regarding my free time, but I worked hard to get that free time!   Maybe I should have been masturbating more and blogging less?

OUR NEW DYNAMIC
If you read the last post, you’ll know we are entering a bit of a different dynamic in our Domestic Discipline.  Mike continued to be strict last night and all day today.  There are some new rules but pretty mundane stuff, mostly various household organizational stuff.  Basically, it’s all his pet peeves that I must now adopt.  I am not saying that sarcastically or in a bothersome tone.  It is just the simplest way to explain it.  We all have our pet peeves, and now he has his “pet” to address his… hee hee.   I am happy to take that on as it is part of the service and submission that I want to give.

That’s a bit more about my days. See, it isn’t all just living one punishment to the next.  Of course, that’s the more interesting stuff to read about and the more interesting stuff to write about.  Speaking of interesting stuff, I mentioned before that Mike got a waxing kit and we were going to go over to John and Donna’s and she was going to give me a Brazillian.   Well, she had some issue arise. They didn’t share the details with us but suffice to say as part of a punishment John was not allowing her to have friends over.  We’ve come to really enjoy our time with them.  Perhaps I should share more of those stories?   Maybe next time!

Thanks for sticking with this post and learning more about my daily life.

Next:  50. Five Acts of Service

2. The Backstory: Love life…every moment, every day.

I believe sharing the details of my story can enable you to find a path toward greater fulfillment and satisfaction in life, so you too can “love life, every moment, every day.” 

This “creed’ was instilled in me by my mother.  I’d like to say this came about because my mother was a strong, independent woman, but that would be a lie.  She grew up in a very misogynistic environment and my dad did not provide respite from the misogyny she knew as a girl.  Perhaps that is why it was so important to her that I would love life, every moment, every day.

She never told me exactly what the term meant.  She knew I needed to discover that for myself.  What it came to mean was that if there was an aspect about my life that I did not love, I, and I alone, was responsible for changing it.  No man, no drug, no other person.  Just me.   Thus, I, Jennifer, grew up a very self-empowered woman.

Yes, my name is Jennifer, Jenny to most, although my family calls me Sadie.  I can thank a cousin for that nickname.  That story isn’t important to my journey, but I mention it just in case I refer to myself as Sadie later on.  I often think of myself as Sadie in the context of recalling stories from my youth.

Anyway, back to my story.  Yes, I grew up very self-empowered and “with it.”  That self-empowerment led to me being the informal psychologist, coach, mentor, and confidant to many family and friends.  I was the one that “had it all together.”

Mike and I got married when I was 21, he was 22.  I admit I was the more dominant one and in aspects of our relationship I still feel I am, but as you’ll learn, that no longer applies in many ways.  I had it “all together” and “knew” how things should be so Mike pretty much learned to defer to me.  I know I frustrated him at times.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want his input, but, I was stuck on the fact the loving life meant things had to happen a certain way.  How can I honor my “creed” if I suppressed my hopes and desires?  Okay, so, I became selfish, but justified it because if I can’t be happy, then I can’t make others happy.  Basic psychology, right?

Then came kids.  I was a high school counselor (see, credentials to “prove” I could solve problems) but quickly put my career aside to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) after a short stint back at work after the birth of our first.  It was always my desire to focus on my kids without worrying about a regular job – that was loving life.  Mike accepted me as a SAHM although he would have preferred I return to work.  Being a SAHM was always my plan and I also justified it because my husband made an income that “I” felt we could live on and maintain the lifestyle that “I” wanted for my family.

So, three kids later (all sons).   The eldest is just wrapping up post-grad work and lives on his own.  My middle is out of the house and half-way through college.  My youngest is still at home and has special needs and will never be independent.  With all three kids I threw myself into maintaining my mantra, “Love life…every moment, every day.”

It worked well for many years, but then in the last few years morphed into a terrible thing.  I kept placing greater and greater demands on myself.  Maybe it was because of the needs of our youngest, but I became increasingly focused on controlling everything.  This meant trying to solve everything for everyone – not just my problems, my husbands, or kids, but my siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends.  It grew to mean I must not only meet my needs, but meet everyone else’s, and even anticipate them and meet them before they even knew they had them.  Add in the extreme demands of a special needs child, and I was overloaded.

The overload showed.  I would “trick” myself to convince myself of my happiness, but those tricks were wearing off.  I was argumentative with my husband, I became moody and a slob.  My husband said I was like a storm leaving a mess in my wake wherever I went in the house.  Not only did I rarely clean anymore, but I was compounding the cleaning work for my husband.  Up until then I would say we split the chores adequately (I did most but he  did his share).  Household chores had never a point of argument.  We had a system and it worked, until I started messing it up.

I became forgetful- constantly losing or misplacing things or even just forgetting what I was talking about.  I felt like too many thoughts at once were going on in my head. Maybe all that noise in my head also caused a distraction because I also became a klutz.  I went through dropped and cracked three cell phones in less than a year, I lost my car keys, my credit card, plus constantly losing things around the house.  I lost interest in keeping within a budget – if I wanted something, I got it on impulse.   I started staying up later and later to binge watch television, often until 2 a.m. Because of all of that, I wasn’t getting good rest.   Add to that the physically and emotionally demanding days of caring for our son (plus caring for everyone else’s needs) and 4-5 hours of sleep just won’t cut it.

Arguments with my husband increased – too many nights of silent treatment, yelling, or one of us storming off to sleep in the spare room.  Most of the arguments were of my own doing but you could not have convinced me of that at that time.  After all, I was “loving life!”   My husband was losing patience and I could feel he was becoming less and less loving, despite efforts to try and express his love.  He would tell me of the amazing job I was doing with our son and that picking up some extra household chores was a simple way to honor and respect what I was doing with our son.  (Did I tell you how wonderful Mike is?)  While I appreciated those words, I knew I was letting him down, and by letting him down, I was letting myself down.  This went on for about a year

I am someone in constant self-reflection and frankly, for a long time my self-reflection was dishonest.  My internal monologue was like this, “yep, I made the right decision, even if the outcome wasn’t what I thought it would be, so there isn’t anything I should change.”

Finally the breakthrough.  I realized I was not loving life, not for any moment, not any day, and I needed to change.   I was probably clinically depressed, but being who I am I felt I created the problem and I can fix it.  Once I had admitted to myself I had a problem, my mind kicked into overdrive on how I was going to correct it because I knew I could solve this problem.

Skipping over the details for a moment, suffice to say it all changed March 17, 2015.  Almost immediately on that date my life changed in wonderful, positive, and previously unimaginable ways.  I am truly loving life, every moment, every day.   And all without aide of anti-depressants!  My drug was Domestic Discipline (DD).

I am certain my specific path is not for you to take.  However, there are elements of my journey that I am convinced can help everyone.   My hope is that you will focus on the basic principles that are providing my love for life and don’t focus on my specific methods.

No two DD lifestyles are the same and some may say what I practice is an odd form of DD. You may not like my methods or ever do anything that remotely could be called DD.  But if you can suspend your judgement while reading my blog, perhaps, just maybe, you can come away with how you might apply some of the principles I use in a way that best suits you and your relationship.

So, how did my search to improve my life lead me to DD?
NEXT – 3. The Search.

1. DD convert

I want to share my experience that completely transformed my life in ways I could not have previously imagined. I had become lazy, forgetful, argumentative, and indecisive – in short, I was not living life according to my own personal commitments, wishes, and desires.  That all changed almost overnight.  I found a way of living that allows me to best honor all the commitments I make to myself.   I know my path is unique and my methods are not for everyone – and may even shock you.  None-the-less, I am convinced that many of the concepts of my journey will help you, even if you find different methods to apply those concepts.  Please suspend all judgement and open yourself to the possibility that you can achieve a greater satisfaction in life and in love by applying some of the principles I will be sharing on subsequent blogs.

Next: 2. The Backstory.