Saturday, January 9, 2016

Vulnerability and submissiveness; what are you afraid of?

I am afraid, and I have reason to be.


I got lost.  Literally, lost myself.

It took a four year period, during which time I gave up my ability to make my own decisions.  I had routines that had to be followed, lists that must be completed and bruises upon bruises upon bruises from extreme mental and physical beatings I endured in order to get through one more day, one more hour, one more minute.  We kept it all hidden; both the bruises and my obedience.  It was not sexual - we were not sexual partners.  This was not my husband.  This was a man who worked his way into my life and into my world by very carefully planting seeds of doubt and fear in my head, studying me and worming his way into my brain.

My marriage ended.

My career ended.

Throughout it all, I believed I was being submissive to the man who was saving me.

My faith ended; the night he raped and assaulted me, and I didn't fight back.  My mind separated from my body and I lived as a hollow panic stricken adrenaline induced anxiety ridden basket case for nine months until I had the nerve to go to court because he was at it again, with someone else.

Society is not kind and in a small town, many judge.  Many reject.  Many lash out cruelly.  I hid.  I hid behind fat clothes, locked doors and shame.  I hated myself, my life, my world.  I had constant thoughts of suicide running through my head but would not, could not, do that to my children.

All I believed in, ended.

Rock bottom.  Baby steps brought me a new career.  Baby steps brought me strength.  Baby steps brought me a chance to make it on my own.  I avoided men.  Rejected love.  Worked to be what my children needed.  Time heals, in some ways.

I tried romance once again.  Two years, more damaging than what I had experienced before.  No beatings. No submission. But a continuous verbal onslaught against all vulnerability I possessed.  "Too fat, too ugly, too dumb" the list goes on until I finally kicked him out.  Then he got really mean.  Attacked my relationships; stalked me, threatened me.  More shame.  More grief.  More to hate and hide.

I began self discipline.  I began to exercise daily.  I began to rebuild me.  Slowly.  Daily.  Fighting to make it completely on my own.  I would never, ever need anyone else again.  It wasn't worth the risk.

I met Eric in a work setting.

We became friends.

He listened to my goals and we shared common interests.

He became a cheerleader for me and we spent more and more time together.

Before we even kissed, he told me one afternoon that he loved me.  I almost killed him.  The next day, pink dress and dark sunglasses, I blasted him.  How dare he say those words.  How dare he destroy a perfectly good friendship by throwing down such a ludicrous statement.  I was not lovable and he was in no position to say such a thing to begin with.  That meeting could have easily been the last time we spoke.

Eric and I have been married three years now and we are six months into This Thing We Do.  He is dominant, but not for control.  It is more a show of support for a path I was already on.  He is helping erase the wounds of my past.  He is changing the scared little girl inside of me by helping to grow the woman on the outside.  He is reigniting trust and faith, pumping me full of love a little bit at a time, day after day after day.

I am still afraid, and I have reason to be.

I love him.  It's me that I struggle with.

Eric loves Amy. He wants me to be happy and free.

Change is happening; with every conversation, every experience, and every moment that I give in and face another one of those fears.  My deepest, is that he will leave and I will slip back.

I am afraid, and I have reason to be.

But I'm willing to take this chance,

and it seems,

so is he.


  1. Oh Amy, somehow you have to let go of your awful experiences and trust that Eric is the real deal. I hope you find the courage to do so. much love Jan,xx

    1. Thank you Jan. It's hard looking back but somehow ignoring what happened doesn't make it go away. Eric is helping me to let go. Thank you for the "much love". Amy

  2. Amy thank you so much for sharing all this with us, it must have been hard. As Jan said you need to trust Eric is there for the long haul and let the past go. Be positive and strong about your future together. He loves you and wants to see you happy.
    Hugs Lindy

    1. You are right Lindy, and I needed that hug so thank you.

  3. You are amazing lady. Yes of course from how you survived, but the fact that overnight you 'pressed the publish' button. I'll say this for you, you don't do anything half-assed, and you have some set of lady balls. ( okay that is a bit crude for me...but anyway ;) )

    Remember when I told you we are different and yet the same in many ways? Arriving at similar places, even though the journey there was VERY different? My past would have but a small smudge on it in comparison to what you lived through, but the one similar saving grace would be the husband factor.

    I am not going to pretend that moving forward from this point is going to be easy. It isn't. There most likely will be things that happen between you and Eric that trigger you to go back to a feeling from your past. These 'things' will undoubtedly send you for a loop unlike any you have experienced together before. BUT it is a process, and facing those feelings and insecurities in a safe relationship are the only way you can somewhat diffuse them.

    As for submissive and vulnerable pre-Eric, I know you know that was neither. You were a victim. You may have 'chosen' the person, but you certainly didn't chose the life that came with him.

    Eric's motivation is out of love, that is all the difference in the world. You brought this to Eric, not the other way around. Again these are things you already know.

    Barney and I started off very similar. We worked together for a couple of years. We were always friends. I would go to him with 'guy' problems. He would date other women, until he didn't. I continued to date. One night all of that changed, in what seemed like a blink of an eye. HE changed it. To be honest for a long time in our marriage I felt like that gave me some power over him ( there is a story ~ that is but isn't fiction about our relationship Feb 2013 I think so I won't go into too much here). But it wasn't a power at all.

    ( I have to break this into two parts...too verbose for blogger apparently)

  4. Part deux

    When we started ttwd, I used to get so frustrated because I needed his attention, and still do. Back then I used to think he thought of me as wallpaper, or didn't think of me at all. The truth is, I needed to work on me....and then he needed to work on him within the context of this dynamic. I needed to see me the way others did. I needed to understand that things that happened to me in my past, while I may have put myself in a place, I didn't choose the outcome. I needed to believe that. As strong and wonderful a man as my husband is, somethings he just couldn't comprehend and now that is okay. He doesn't have to understand, he just has to be aware.

    Don't let this man or the one after hold on to YOU any longer Amy. He took a part of you, but don't let it be the whole. It wasn't submission you gave him, and the vulnerability was physical. He exploited you, in every sense of the word. That isn't submission.

    There used to be a wonderful man who blogged and unfortunately is now soaring with the angels, but he used to say to women all the time, " You can't spank submission into someone". You can't beat them into it, you can't coerce them. Submission, true submission is something that comes from you and can't be TAKEN from you. It doesn't come from a place of fear. For me, although I know the fear of losing myself, and my submission it has built me up in ways I have never thought possible. It allowed a passionate beast out of its cage, in every sense of the word. It has allowed me to pull back the curtains and allow the sunshine in~ shining light into even the darkest parts of me. The physical aspect of ttwd, empties my mind, which allows me to 'see' my husband because I can see my raw self, feel her. It isn't my motivation to submit out of fear.

    The 'settling' in my bones, I talked about the other day, took a good 3 years, and so many, many tears, and emotions that were off the map. For me it wasn't easy, as my baggage prior was somewhat heavy, but I don't regret it for a moment.

    I am always here to lend an ear Amy, please don't forget that. And I think you took a fantastic leap toward finding what is going to 'work' for you by hitting publish last night!


    1. Awww Willie,

      I am going to get beyond all of this and with you and Eric being my tag team, I know I am not facing it alone. I could swear you two have talked. You tell me the same things, describe me the same way; maybe I've divulged more in these posts than I think or maybe you are just that intuitive.

      I wrote the post last night after spending hours pouring over your history. It gave me the courage to press publish and then I went to sleep. Mid-morning I reread what I had written and the six comments that followed. Admittedly, I went straight back to sleep.

      Eric is working and I don't hear from him when he's traveling. The phone woke me at 2:30pm and his strong, firm voice greeted me on the other line.

      I was thrown and when he asked what I was doing I said, "I'm napping," my brain suddenly coming to and alerting me to the fact that my husband just caught me being lazy, off task and unproductive.

      "I'm not surprised," he said compassionately. "I'm sure you feel like you just ran a marathon so do what you need to, honey. Take care of yourself today."

      That's when I knew.

      "You read the blog." I stated.

      "I did," he replied, "And I held my breath until the very end. I'm so proud of you, honey. I know this is hard but you did it. I truly am so proud of you."

      Wow. I'm up now and getting things underway for the week but I feel calm and oddly, secure. Still a little shaky, just from going down that road, but it's not a bad thing.

      Hugs all around.


  5. Life can dish out some foul cruelty and, from the deepest part of my bones, I hate that. It's not fair. But it happens. And it alters us, forever. There are good sides to it, though they are hard to see...

    I've been with my husband for 14 years now (I got lucky, he found me when I was nineteen) and it has taken me all this time to take down walls that were never meant to be broken. It isn't an easy business, but it is doable. It is hard to have faith that you won't be hurt again...for me, it hurts to believe it. You see, I learned from a very young age not to trust people and not to let them get too close...but that's no way to live. My advice, take risks--I believe that's a big part of living, really living.

    I have a few posts that hopefully, at the very least, will let you know that you are not alone. One in particular, I kinda hate bringing attention to (though for some reason I can't make myself delete it!). Here they are...

    1. Hello Misty,

      I read all four. "There is great reward for having experienced such things, it's just not always easy to see through the clouds of agony." will be my motto for this year of transition; I am determined for it to be a transition.

      It is hard. Truthfully, I couldn't even respond to any of these wonderful comments the first time I read them; I just had to go to sleep.

      Writing you now, I've got tears streaming down my cheeks. I hate, for you, what you've had to endure and I've done the unfairness jog myself. But, I also know that you or I would not be the compassionate and understanding, loving women we are today without that in our background. You say it very well in your posts. This is me, agreeing with you.

      Eric called me today, he's on the road but actually had some free time and popped on the blog just to see what was new. During the conversation, he showed me, again, that he is there for me and wants to help me to move beyond the stain that remains. I have also thought, how unfair for him to be stuck with this crap from my past, but he doesn't see it that way. He is honored to be the one to hold my hand through the process. I feel so lucky to have him in my life.

      And now, you... and all of the other bloggers who took the time to reach out. Thank you for sharing your stories as well. It means a lot.


  6. As I read this I became so sad and upset at the thought of you and others having to push your way through these situations in life.
    I have no experiences of this nature at all so I do not feel able to give any advice in any way; apart from the fact that I do know the truth in the saying that whatever does not kill you makes you stronger. I don't say this in a flippant way. Your experiences change you but give you an understanding of yourself and others that many do not have.
    Thank you so much for sharing what must have been a very difficult post to write.

    1. Let me tell you something, Janey, when a girl goes through any horrific sexual assault, there always seems to be a group of family, friends, and strangers who believe and even say, "It must be your fault... where you were, what you were wearing, what you said..." You may not have any experience with this but the fact that you reached out, empathized and cared, means more to me than you will ever know. These few sentences are kinder than what even some of my most longtime friends said to me at the very time that it happened. So thank you. It is sad but it's also a driving force in my being able to accomplish a lot of the positive things in my life.
      By the way, I love your blog! I may not comment all of the time but thoroughly enjoy reading your posts!

  7. Amy, your story is heart rending and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. And I'm so happy your faith is returning also.

  8. Thank you for your comment. All of these kind words from people I don't even know; true evidence that one or two men should not be the only voices in my head. Amy

  9. Amy, wow. So much I want to say...

    Your posts show no fear of Eric and his choices for calming you, correcting you, and loving you. This speaks VOLUMES of what you two are to each other! And how strong you are. There is love, in every post.

    There is no comparison to what you experienced before. That was not submission, you know that. That was abuse. Make your choices on who you and Eric are not out of fear but of of respect, pride, and LOVE.
    For yourself and for that amazing man by your side.

    So many hugs to you my friend!!

    1. Thank you Pearl. You make some good points. I worry that it is unfair to Eric that he has to help me over some really bad experiences; but that would not be nearly as unfair as me basing any decision with him on what someone else did. I also need to remind myself of the difference between abuse and what I have now. Maybe the first step is in letting go of the idea that I am responsible for what happened pre-Eric. Somehow, some days, I still blame me.


Thank you for reading! Thank you even more, if you decide to comment. :)