Independence, Revisted

“It’s just that I don’t think in terms of expecting anything from anyone.”

-Seregil of Rhiminee*

(I got a few worried messages the last time I visited this subject. Everything is fine- I’ll try to explain again.)

Learning to trust is hard. Particularly for the little things The big things are easy- for all those “trust exercises” where one assumes the group will catch them when they lean back or belay them when they fall out of a tree, not much is learned here. Of course they won’t let you die; no one wants to deal with the mess and paperwork. But can I trust them to review that manuscript on time? Or remember to tell me where to meet to lunch?

Likewise, it is not hard to trust Him not to irreparably injure me. But can I trust him to reply to last night’s email? Can I trust him to listen? Rationally, I know I can, but I still struggle.

It’s not that I don’t trust people, but I have doubts. The “trust but verify” paradox. The upside of this mindset was that it was always a very pleasant surprise when someone had come through. However, that very shock at receiving assistance was just as often taken as an insult. “Of course I helped you, did you think me evil?”

Best avoid the whole situation by doing as much as I can all by myself. I am super-awesome and perfectly capable of handling everything, you know.

But now I find myself immersed in a culture where that kind of strict independence is a kind of hubris. I am part of a community, and I am expected to rely just as I am expected to contribute. To accept a pint and buy a round with equal joviality.

Now I find myself with a loving, dominant man. He expects me to feel cared for just as he expects me to commit. To accept scoldings and praise, spankings and hugs, as equally deserved.

Both he and they are gentle with these expectations. They know that this is a huge paradigm shift, and it will take a while before it becomes the new norm. But I’m getting there, step by wobbling step.

*For anyone looking for a non-spanking book recommendation, Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner Series is fantastic. Feeds right into my wizard and master/apprentice fetishes.

4 thoughts on “Independence, Revisted

  1. i know just what you mean Kia. It was claimed once that i was forcing other people to be fully responsible for me & that sent me into a sort of independence overdrive. While its fairly easy to ask for help with the big things, talk about the major life events, its stupidly hard to talk about the little daily struggles. As they say, the devil is in the details. My Master is a wonderfully kind man and has quite the drive to fix life’s problems. Often it doesn’t even occur to me tell him about the little things, even though i know he wants to know what’s happening in my life. He wants the devil in the details. Blessedly, he’s been very patient with me as we take this journey together. i take the scolding and punishments well but its so hard to accept the praise as earned or deserved. Its something i’ve always struggled with and that we’ve been working on since our relationship began five months ago.

    1. I completely understand you there- it’s relatively easy to admit when I’m way in over my head, but simple requests for assistance remain counter-intuitively difficult. I’m glad that your master understands and is helping you.

  2. To understand your nature better, try reading Erich Fromm “Fear of freedom”. It will answer your questions concerning independence/submission dilemma.

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