Life of Liz

Authentic Life … part 2

In Authentic Life, In the Beginning, Out of the Comfort Zone on November 30, 2012 at 10:03 am

I’ve been guilty of presenting the appearance of success while the truth of failure lurked beneath the surface.  Like Thanksgiving dinners from my past, my marriage looked successful on the outside but it was very close to failure.  The kids appeared successful, but beneath the surface was a different story.  Our oldest daughter had adopted my attachment to perfection and as the stresses of her junior year in high school escalated, she engaged in self harm as a means of coping when it became apparent to her  .… no one is perfect.  I was fortunate; I clued into her secret and helped her find more productive ways to cope and accept herself.  A year later when others heard she was accepted to ‘XYZ’ universities they would have never imagined what went on below the surface which lead to those acceptance letters.  False Appearance …

Our third daughter, Maggy at 17 is doing well in school and is active in extracurricular activities … No one would ever suspect the struggles we encountered before I could even consider writing the above sentence. The truth is she had a lot of difficulty in school, which we wrote off as her ‘not applying herself’ until she was 15 years old and her math teacher challenged our logic.  She had to fail a lot before I would even entertain that there might be an explanation other than she wasn’t applying herself.  False Appearance …

In the case of Elizabeth, Maggy and my marriage, I am glad I see things much clearer today.  I like the reference to the Matrix films – the metaphor of the red pill, which refers to waking up from an illusion and suddenly realizing that everything is quite different than how you always thought it was…

To a large part, the shift from my Über controlling former self is directly related to a daily dose of the Red Pill.  Because before taking the Red Pill, everywhere I looked reconfirmed on a daily basis that husbands (men in general) are inept and in need of a strong (controlling) women to help them through life.   My Mom treated my Dad the same way my friends treated their husbands … with very little respect and often with contempt.  Now I look back and see why the men in my world couldn’t be our leaders — I (my Mom, my girlfriends) wouldn’t let them.   We challenged, shamed and humiliated them at every turn.     And it is in reminding myself daily of the illusion of my past  – and of authentically accepting how wrong my views were –  that keeps me anchored in my desire to be a submitted wife.

On a daily basis I am mostly happy to have the clarity to see what is really going on with my kids and my marriage … although there were periods when dealing with Elizabeth’s self harm that I questioned my ability to help lead her to a safer place.  It crossed my mind (in passing) “ wouldn’t it have been more comfortable to sit back, have a glass of wine and not notice the little clues she was leaving for me?”  That is what many of my friends do with their teens; the turn a blind eye to behavior they know is taking place.  Maybe their teens aren’t self harming in the way Elizabeth was, but many use drugs or alcohol to numb their reality.  It was an equally daunting journey when we began to address Maggy’s ADHD.  It would have been a lot easier to continue blaming her for being lazy or unmotivated but once I knew the truth, I felt compelled to act accordingly.

The red pill analogy correlates so perfectly well to my marriage.  Submission to Henry is my red pill reality; he is the leader and I am the follower.  Believing a married couple can live as equals and co-lead the marriage is not reality but instead a fairy tale that I bought into for 20 years.  My illusion.

Saturday night I tried to block my Red Pill vision and hide behind BLACK OUT GLASSES;  pretend the concepts of my marriage were unclear to me.   Henry (who has advanced red pill vision) recognized how much I needed a reminder of my place in our marriage. But because I refused to submit, the ‘reminder’ turned longer than anticipated.  Henry did a couple of things  – first, he challenged my attempt to go into the ‘isolation bubble’; he told me in no uncertain terms that it would be HIM and I together as we move closer to Grandma’s move-in date and my stress escalates.  He also refused to let me dictate how the night would unfold.

Later when we went to bed I tried to explain to Henry why I had so much trouble submitting to him when it was obviously needed.  As I at first tried to justify myself I instead began to realize the truth behind why I was unable to let go of my fears or my pride and submit to his leadership.  At first I thought it was a step backwards and I was surprised and a little (a lot) disappointed with myself.  However I now think it was a step forward because even though I wasn’t willingly submitting to Henry’s leadership – but because of Henry’s determination I was able to recognize the ‘line in the sand’ that I instantly draw that allows my isolation bubble to wind tightly around me and in turn keeps me from living an AUTHENTIC life, which is the life I desire. I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense?

When I use red pill vision to look back over the last 20 years, it has not been easy nor does it look very pretty.  And then there are the days where I see clearly how my behavior or attitude is not becoming of a submitted wife and also does not lead to a harmonious family life – I see clearly what effect a comment will have but sometimes still choose to make the comment. That is where Henry comes in … paddles a swinging to help me get back to my base and not ever fall back into the illusion and the appearance of success while the truth of failure is lurking.  ~Liz

  1. I am enjoying reading about the reasons you embraced Dd and your comparisons of ‘then’ and ‘now’. Everyone’s journey is completely different, in life, as in Dd. My journey began around 7.30 on Thursday morning with a complete meltdown. My husband had been away for several days on business, and my worries about talking to him about Dd and what his reaction would be after all our 35 years of marriage simply overwhelmed me. After I had sobbed into his chest, much to his alarm, bleating out words like ‘taken forgranted’, ‘neglecting me’, ‘want not to nag you so much’, ‘be a bettter wife’, ‘need to be spanked’ etc (well you get the picture) his reaction was quite simply remarkable.

    I got him sitting up in bed leaning back on the headboard, and I virtually flung myself across his lap. Sixty of the best were administered (believe me I know, I counted). Some were really hard and stingy, some not so much, and there was definitely no order to them at all! Yet I welcomed the pain and almost laughed before bursting into sobs once again because as he spanked he was telling me how much he loved me, (even more now than 35 years ago), and I could feel the dam break and the stress leave my system. Afterwards we made love and all I can say is that it was one of the best times ever.

    He was worried that my bottom was positively glowing – but I went around all day with a grin on my face and the euphoria cancelled out the discomfort completely. We have agreed to have this ‘discussion’ every Thursday morning (unless he is away). It’s strange how you can talk to each other in the over the lap position isn’t it?

    So far we have agreed to go slowly and to concentrate on honesty and communication. So just hand spanks. At this point in time I think they can be hard enough! He also told me that he needed to perfect his technique! Hmmm….

    I know you have lots more offspring than me. But they sound a credit to their parents! We had so many problems and worries with our two when they were in their teens. It’s a wonder they ever made it to adulthood. (His dyslexia gave our son terrible depression and he, too, self-harmed with kitchen knives. But being in the heart of a good, close family helped him overcome his depression and now at 31 he runs a large and successful business – outside work, not in an office – has just bought his first house, and has a very serious girlfriend we like very much). Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I just know that each and every one of your children will be fine and will do well – because you love and care for them in the way you do.

    I’m sorry I have written an essay, but you are doing fine Liz. We all have our faults – things we are not proud of. We all slip up every now and again. You really are doing great!

    I think that after Christmas (with all the entertaining etc, and then New Year, again with more entertaining) I will try to set up a blog myself. Then you will be able to see all the hills and valleys in my life, and you will smile knowingly.

    I’m sending you lots of hugs – DO NOT DO YOURSELF DOWN! Ami xx

    • Hi Ami. I really love reading your comments. They make me feel like I am having coffee with an old friend 🙂 I am so excited for you to begin the Dd journy with your husband. I can completely relate to all the feelings and emotions your’ve described. Those first few ‘discussions’ were really memorable and helped open the doors of communication so much easier than the preceeding 19 years had offered! We have our road bumps, but Dd has been a very good thing for us. I think going thru the challenges with my oldest daughter would have been much easier if Henry and I had been communicating better and if spanking (stress relief/connection) had been established. There were times i just felt so alone and isolated. Now a days H is pretty tuned into my attempts to distance from him and can jump in and create and US mentality – not a me against the world thing. Set up a blog! You write in a very personable style and I think many people would love to hear about your life, ‘discussions’ and highs/lows! We are 2 weeks out from Grandma’s impending move in … thanks for reminding me to be kind to myself. Dont’ hesitate to reiterate many times 🙂 xoxo Liz

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