Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Consensual Control = Relationship Win!

Sooo, yesterday in my PTSD group at the Vet Center, our therapist "C" handed out a group assignment having to do with control issues. They were short essay questions. As she explained, PTSD most often leaves survivors with an intense need to control people and situations. The first question asked, "Who do you try to control and why?" (or something close to that). It went on to ask how people felt about your controlling them, and how did it work out for you?
The other 3 ladies went first. They spoke about their efforts to control their kids and/or husbands. One single lady wrote that she tried to control her family, friends and anyone that comes to her house. When the therapist asked each one in turn, "And how's that working out for you" Each of them had to admit, it wasn't. It was then pointed out that there are many things we cannot control, especially people. Hmmmm.... After each lady finished, C wrote down what wasn't working on a separate piece of paper.
I thought for a moment before writing out my answers. When it came my turn to speak after the other 3.... I realized I had none of the problems that they did. That I felt very healthy in my relationship and my control issues - for the most part. I took a deep breath and prefaced it by saying my response might be somewhat inappropriate, because I did 'go there'. (My therapist and I have had several talks in the past about my D/s relationship with Paladin and she has been very supportive of it.) Soo... two of the ladies know I have a D/s relationship, one recently returned one didn't. Anyways... so my answer was that my relationship with Paladin is totally control based, that I am in control of everything except where he gets to trump me in health and safety. But that this was something that he was seeking too. That it had been negotiated between us with mutual consent. That it was working very well for us and we have little to no problems between us. That I ran a 'benevolent dictatorship". And when there was something else happening that I couldn't control, that he had taught me to 'go with the flow', so now I pray and send Reiki to anything I can't control, and let it go.
After I finished, C then said "That is what is called 'consensual control' where both parties agree to who is in control of what'. There was then a discussion about how both C and another group member didn't like submissive men, they wanted strong men in control. But the other group member stated that she is dominant, but in the next breath then stated that she wanted a strong, take control man, but who would realize she was always right and essentially let her get her way. (head smack) I turned to her and said " So what happens then if you want things your way and as a 'strong man' he wants things HIS way". She said "I don't know....." HUmph.. it hit me later on my way to lunch, she is looking for a unicorn. I know, because I have one! Paladin is not remotely submissive, but he has agreed to my being the one in control. I am the only one on the planet whom he will kneel to.
I like submissive men, but I like my feisty Paladin best. Of the male slaves I know, a few are not submissive, but they (like Paladin) have chosen a special person to give that submission to. Some of the ladies talked about trying to influence their partners by passive aggression.. I laughed and said we called that 'topping from the bottom'. I was happy to note I did NOT get anything written about how it wasn't working. There was not one negative thing to say about my power exchange dynamics with Paladin.
It was a fascinating discussion, and it felt great to speak up about our D/s relationship and how well it was working. And I realized also that when I was a submissive, it was still consensual control, and those years helped because then it was up to me what I agreed to do and that that had helped me also recreate some situations but from my agreement, not from the control, attacks and rapes I had survived while in the military. Where I had to submit to stay alive and keep my position in the Navy. But now, having evolved into a Domme, I am not so concerned with controlling everything, I have been able to let go of a lot and that feels really great. I feel I am making some progress. I still have anxiety attack, nightmares and lots of hypervigilance when Paladin isn't around, but the episodes have subsided substantially at home. Out in the world, when he isn't around.... that's a different story. But.. progress is progress... and I'll take it!
I wonder how many of my friends here have found that having a structured power exchange based relationships have helped them with their control issues too?