Setting up the various emotional facets of this story will take a little time, so I broke it up into two posts.
This will cover all the things leading up to my most intense Reward Session. In fact, it is called an Intense Reward per our DD contract. As with other posts, it helps to understand my DD contract. You can read about it at Our DD Contract
I share this with some embarrassment, but as I have extolled the virtues of my DD journey it is only fair I share some of the challenges. While this represents a “bad” time for me, it is important to keep it in context of the alternative. Without DD, I would have been in an even worse place. With DD I was able to quickly recover, reconciling my actions with both myself and with Mike, and quickly move on. Without DD there would have been long drawn out resentments and arguments (literally years of that). DD played a crucial role in keeping it short lived by providing a mechanism for quick healing and resolution.
Backstory 1: Life Pre-DD
I mentioned before one of the issues I had pre-DD was being disorganized, forgetful, and losing stuff. In the course of perhaps 6-9 months pre-DD, on separate occasions I lost my credit card (more than once), lost my keys, lost a nice ring, broke one phone and lost another. I misplaced things constantly throughout the house. I even misplaced my vibrator once (I still don’t remember why I ever brought it in the closet, but there it was). I would forget appointments and get togethers with a friend or family. It was the proverbial, “I would lose my head if it weren’t screwed on.” This had started to improve almost immediately under DD, but was still a pretty frequent cause of rewards for some time.
Backstory 2: Robbery
Another backstory that will be relevant to this story. When Mike was young his family was robbed. A lot of things were stolen from their house. Things you might expect like jewelry and electronics, but even toys, appliances, and TV’s. It was a pretty thorough robbery. This caused Mike to be very security oriented. We have always had an alarm for our house and Mike is always upgrading it when a better system comes along. We have cameras, motion sensitive lights, you name it.
Back Story 3: Calibration
This incident took place when we were a little over two months in to DD. Rewards were probably occurring at least every other day or so and some days there would be several. Mike and I were slowly getting closer to being on the same page, or, “calibrating” as I call it…basically, getting in sync with our thoughts and feelings regarding DD and getting better on consistently applying it. We now had 8-10 Maintenance Sessions under our belt. If you haven’t read my prior posts, our Maintenance Sessions allows me to talk openly, but respectfully, about things that occurred that I want to clarify.
We still had a way to go before being fully “calibrated.” The issue at that time was I felt Mike was too soft. He was still unsure about how far he should take control. We both agreed that DD was having a positive impact, but I felt it could be even greater if he were more consistent in calling me on a Transgression and ensuring the Reward was strong. I remember pointing out three things to him at that time. One was that I wanted him to be more comfortable with me having to be “unquestionably obedient” and to do what I was told without hesitation. Another was for me to refer to him as Sir such as “Yes Sir,” “No Sir,” “Thank you Sir.” It was not in his nature to be direct in what he wanted. It was often, “Can you…” or, “Would you be able to…” instead of, “Jenny, do this now.” Lastly, the Rewards seemed to be decreasing in intensity. I asked Mike to approach this from the other end of the spectrum and try to be extremely strict for one week. Basically, help me find my limit for discipline. Once found, we could dial it down if needed, but we’ll never find the right balance at the pace things were going.
It was fortuitous that I had asked him this just five days before this incident occurred.
I had gone shopping and left the store with several bags in hand. After my purchase I stopped for a moment and put down my purse and bags so I could rearrange things to carry them more easily. It didn’t help I was also trying to hold on to a Pepsi. My phone rang and I was talking to my brother. I gathered up my bags as I talked with him and walked out of the store. I found a bench to sit down at and finished talking. In all about 20 minutes passed. As I got up I realized my purse was gone. While it was possible it was snatched as I sat there, I was pretty sure I had forgotten it when I put my bags down earlier. I quickly ran back to the area where I had stopped to rearrange my bags, but of course, no purse in sight.
My first call was to my bank. Even though I reached them fairly quickly, enough time had passed for the crook to charge about $700 on two different credit cards. In addition, in my purse was a Fitbit I had just purchased that day, about $100 in cash, a gift card or two (or three) of various balances, my Kindle, house and car keys, and my of course my driver’s license and who knows what else.
I needed to call Mike so he could bring me his car key. I was unsure what reaction I would get. Would he respond in a pre-DD like manner? Pre-DD this would certainly cause an epic level blow up and I would likely never hear the end of it. I also knew his reaction to this theft would bring back some of what he felt when his house was robbed as a child,. It was already an uneasy vulnerable feeling to know someone has our address and house and car keys. Would he blow his top, or would he stick to our DD “protocol?”
After reporting the theft to the mall security and the local police, I called Mike and he said he could leave work right away and bring me the spare keys. It was a short conversation that gave me little insight into what he was feeling. He calmly said he would pick me up and once home would recode the locks on the house and call the dealer to deactivate and replace the key fob.
I began to wonder what was in store for me if he does stick to our DD. Of all weeks, it was the week I told him he needed to be stricter and that I felt he was getting softer in his spankings. This also happened to be a Friday where our son was staying at my parents. One Friday a month my mom and dad pick up our son after school and keep him for the weekend, returning Sunday evening. No one was going to be home but Mike and me. My mind raced to what Mike might have in store for me.
I had done well to minimize my tears as I was very upset with the feeling of violation that comes from a theft, as well as the disappointment in myself and in knowing I let Mike down and stirred up some bad memories for him. When Mike pulled up it caused a release of emotions in me and I cried heavily and hugged him. He was reassuring and comforting. We drove over to where I had parked and he asked me to follow him home. Thus far he was calm, but I noticed he was taking a lot of deep breaths and not making much eye contact. He asked me what happened and I shared every detail.
He told me that when I got home he would call the car dealer and work on the house door and that I was to go immediately to our room. I said “okay.”
He then sternly said, “What?”
“I mean, yes, sir.” I said.
His “what” scared me a bit as he said it with a bite that I hadn’t heard before. I wanted to remind him that he is not to give Rewards in anger, but “coaching” him about a Reward is a transgression, and I didn’t want to add to what was to come or possibly make him more angry. Although I kept telling myself to just trust him and everything would be fine, I had serious doubts it would be. I continued to cry on my drive home thinking about the importance of what was about to happen. In my mind, this was a litmus test for whether DD would work for us or not. I truly felt that the next few hours could mark the end of my stupid idea about using DD.
We got home and parked the cars in the garage as we normally do. Mike did not say a word to me as he immediately fished through his tools in the garage looking for whatever he needed to rekey the door lock. I didn’t say anything either and as I approached the door to the house Mike quite sternly told me to stop.
“Yes, sir?” I asked.
“Take your clothes off right here and leave them and then go to your room,” he calmly said. The garage door wasn’t closed yet, but I did as he asked. He walked up behind me and somewhat shielded me from view of anyone who might walk by. “And as you wait for me I want you to hold this.” He took off his belt and handed it to me. “Now, off to your room. I’ll be there when I am done with the door.”
Wow. That sure sent me a powerful message. It was odd walking through the house naked. I went to our room and stood in the corner, belt in hand. I was nervous and still crying about the events that transpired thus far and over the weight I had put on this moment. I didn’t realize how hard it was to stand in a corner for so long. It seemed like forever. I continued to try and reassure myself that all would work out and we would be better for having DD to guide us. It was at least thirty minutes before Mike came in the room.