I'm feeling down, despondent, disillusioned and desperate.
It has not been a good week. I wish I could help myself, could clamber up out of this pothole big enough to swallow a car whole without even burping, but at the moment I just can't seem to gather up enough strength or willpower to do so.
In another week British Summer Time kicks in and the clocks will be put forward by an hour. Well, that's a laugh to begin with. The signs of Spring are so very far and few between here. In fact, we have yet more severe weather moving in today across the with high winds and blizzards set to cause havoc to most of the country. Where I live there is nothing (apart from Bas) between me and Siberia. When that wind begins to blow across the North Sea it is like living in Arctic conditions! (Not that I ever have, but I am surmising.) This morning, the skies were bright blue at 7.30 am, but within an hour and a half had returned to the same maddening shade of grey they seem to have been the whole of the winter. Even the daffodils are refusing to flower! I so crave some sunshine and warmth...
Another reason for my 'downness' is that next week I break up for the Easter holidays; and therefore I need to get my letter of resignation handed in. We are obliged to give a full term's notice, so the 'lead balloon' is about to fall. I feel ambivalent about it. Whilst I feel ready for retirement; for time to spend with Starman; for time to spend visiting my small grandson and being able to help out with the impending new arrival; for time to concentrate on hobbies and fitness - I can't help the strange sensation of hurtling over the edge of a cliff and not being able to see the ground beneath. My friends, most of them ex-teachers, are virtually all retired, and loving it. Always whizzing around, taking lots of low-peak holidays, going to shows and attending exhibitions. They all say they have never been busier. Yet I'm still trying to skid to a halt before I get to the edge - still trying to take a quick look down before my feet are walking on air.
The despondent, disillusioned and desperate all reflect how I am feeling towards TTWD. It is simple. It comes from having had a s****y week. Bitch/troll is alive and kicking and patrolling the corridors of power. She is like an aircraft in a 'holding' position, going round and round hour upon hour. I've tried unsuccessfully to force her back to the abyss where she belongs, but this time she doesn't seem to want to go. She's turned into the type of dragon who eats little boys for breakfast, and then comes back and eats big boys for lunch. Her eyes are now set on dinner, and any men foolish enough to be caught in her vicinity will suffer the consequences.
I am tired of being good. I am very nearly worn to a frazzle with all this talk of submission doing the rounds and for two pins I would walk away from everything and take a slow boat to China!
But there is one thing that is holding me back.
That one thing is a whole heap of good advice and encouragement I received this week from a good friend here in blogland who has been there, seen it, done it, and bought about a fifty teeshirts as a result, and yet is still discovering nuances in the ripple effect. She constantly assures me that everything I feel, say and do, are completely normal, and that I haven't totally lost my marbles and become a raving lunatic wearing a witch's hat, and living in a cellar stirring a bubbling cauldron.
This week I've felt as if I was in free fall, just wandering around in no-man's land, or speeding in a fast car around and around an intricate cloverleaf of flyovers and underpasses bisecting an eight-lane motorway.
People talk about 'distancing' and until now I've never really understood the intricacies of it. But this week I seem to have lived in my head more than anywhere else. Which is strange and uncomfortable, because this is the first time it's happened since all my tears and trauma way back in December when we first began. I've become so used to being able to communicate with Starman, that these lengthening silences, instigated by no-one but me, have begun to take their toll on our day to day existence.
I can track them back to 5 am on Monday morning, when I had to be up early and away to a conference on special educational needs. It was a beautiful day outside and I missed it! I was cooped up in a large sports hall listening to new strategies and then participating in copious exercises which would purportedly enlighten us all. The sun had long gone by the time I made my way homewards. The rest of my week has consisted of writing innumerable end of term student reports, setting new targets, and running end of term examinations.
Starman tried his best to lift my gloom. He knew how tired I was by Tuesday evening, and decided we would go out for dinner. Nothing fancy, so I was able to wear my jeans, but to a place that serves large and juicy steaks together with a bottle of Sauvignon blanc. Starman loves a good steak! But you know, as I sat across the table from him, I could hardly think of anything to talk about. It was horrible. It was one of the most silent meals we have ever eaten together. And instead of being appreciative, and thanking him, all I did was mutter that I had thought that we were supposed to have a 'date' night once a week, and that this was the first for about two months.
I didn't speak in the car on the way home, and when we got home and he switched on the TV, all I did was grumble about his choice of programme, and that I never got to choose any more.
Wednesday wasn't much of an improvement on Tuesday.
So.... this morning.
Starman woke up first and disappeared downstairs to make tea and coffee. It used to be my job, and I lay in bed with my eyes closed listening to him clank his way around the kitchen, which is beneath our bedroom. When he arrived back upstairs he placed my coffee mug on my bedside table and walked around and got back in his side. He sat there nursing his tea and I just curled up on my side with my back to him and my eyes still shut.
Wisely he didn't say anything. That was the prod my conscience needed to make me sit up. I pushed myself upwards and leant back against the headboard, reaching for my coffee. I felt awful. I am beginning to wonder how often these scenarios will repeat!
"So then" he said looking me up and down, "Spanky Thursday!" And he grinned.
I hate it when he does that because it makes me grin back and then I feel even more guilty.
"I don't think you are taking this seriously" I admonished him. "You're like a record on repeat".
"Oh believe me, I am taking it seriously" he informed me.
"No you're not" I replied. "When we started this, you were as confused as hell, but you at least promised to give it a try. And now, nothing."
"What do you mean nothing? I thought you enjoyed hanky panky spanky! I even took you out for dinner this week."
"Big deal" I muttered under my breath, angrily.
"And you hardly said two words to me all evening" Starman went on ignoring my scornful tone. "You've been your old nasty self to me all week, and you didn't thing I'd noticed? I noticed all right. I thought you were meant to be working on that attitude of yours."
"I am. At least I'm trying. But you are back to to doing nothing. "You come in from the office, put the TV on and watch all your 'Cop or Car' programmes, and I have to sit around and put up with it."
"No you don't. You never tell me if you want to watch something different. You always go and sit in front of your computer for hours and when you eventually join me you either read your kindle or fall asleep." By now Starman was getting an edge to his voice.
But so was I.
"The only reason I do that is because I don't want to watch what you want to watch. And if I say I want to watch 'The Walking Dead' or 'Vampire Diaries' you rant at me and go and watch your stuff in the kitchen and make me feel guilty."
"Well a man can't watch all that rubbish" Starman grumped. "You like NCIS don't you?"
"Yes, but not every night!" I thought I was on a roll. "You even nod off and I can't get the gadget without waking you because you are holding it with a grip of death!"
"But aren't the decisions down to me? Don't I get to cast the final vote? And don't you have to fall into line?"
"Well not like this! We discuss things first, and I get to put across my point of view, and then you get to make the final decision."
Starman grinned again. "Oh, so you are making the rules now are you? So you are telling me that I get to make the decisions, but only if you agree with them, are you?"
I fidgeted. "It's not like that."
"Oh I think it is Ami. I think that's just how it is."
"Well, I'm sorry if that's what you think. If you were nicer and took more of an interest, then perhaps I wouldn't be so 'nasty' as you put it. Perhaps if you took and interest, you would stop me from being nasty before I started. Perhaps you should have taken more interest a little earlier."
How is it that we cross the line fully knowing that we are crossing it?
I have heard quite a lot about "poking the bear" this week, and have sworn never to do it. Ha! I can tell you all here and now, I have the spikiest stick to poke bears with that you have ever seen! Bring on the biggest grizzly and let me at him!
Starman put his hand out and patted my knee under the duvet. "If number one son hadn't been in the kitchen when we got home the other night, you would have known exactly how much interest I could have taken in you." His voice had dropped what seemed like an octave. "And you needn't concern yourself that I don't care or have forgotten just how you have been behaving. I wasn't able to rectify the situation then, but believe me I have plenty of time to do so now. Get your kit off and go and get the spatula!"
My head was telling me this wasn't how it was meant to be. Get your kit off indeed!
Starman glared at me. It's been so cold I've taken to wearing a nightie that resembles a long teeshirt. I pulled it off and threw it down on the foot of the bed. As I opened the drawer to remove the spatula, I narrowed my eyes. The HH was right in front of me. I sniffed loudly and ignored it, grabbing the spatula and returning across the room. Starman hadn't moved an inch.
"You're not even in position" I waved the spatula around. "Tell you what, I'll lie down next to you for a change."
"See! You're telling me what to do again!" He moved quickly into the middle of the bed and propped a pillow behind him. "Come on, hurry up" he commanded.
I nearly saluted. Now that would have been a mistake!
I crawled over his lap and he started to knead my buttocks. Do all HOHs do that?!
"That's not warming me up" I complained. I can be bolshier than any Bolshevic you like to name!
He started out patting my behind so gently I thought I might take a nap.
"You could talk to me" I mentioned to him. But I've mentioned it to him before and he's never said much. In fact, he made a joke about standing at a bus stop, and as he makes this joke nearly every time it has worn a little thin.
The spanks were gradually getting harder, but they still felt good. Soothing, relaxing...
My legs bent at the knees, my heels kicking backwards towards my bottom.
"There. That woke you up" Starman observed.
I had gotten so relaxed that I was starting to slide forwards and downwards towards the floor. He hauled me back into position. It was so daft that we both giggled.
"See" I said. "You aren't serious even now."
"I know" he conceded ruefully. "My anger has long since gone since Tuesday night."
"Well," I told him, "surely that's a good thing. From my perspective anyway. Everything I've read says the HOH must never spank in anger. He must always wait awhile and cool down first."
"Yes, well, two days waiting has certainly cooled me down."
He was still spanking, and giving one or two little rubbing motions in between. But at least we were talking, if only to make some rather stupid observations.
"You know. I think you need to get over this fear of upsetting me. It's times like this that I really need a re-set and to have a few tears is a good thing. In fact, by not allowing me to cry you are being unkind. I need to get rid of all my stress."
Starman was continuing to spank and I noticed one or two landing on my sit spots. I'm quite sure that his hand has toughened up over the last four months.
"Stress!" he chortled. "What stress?! The only stress you get is getting up at 5.30 two mornings a week! Humph! Stress indeed!"
He knew darn well that this is the first year I have ever only worked two days. And we agreed that I would do this as a run up to retirement. My eyes were beginning to whirl again.
The spanking changed subtly. He was using the spatula and it burned. I wriggled a bit. He seemed to be spanking up to the very tops of my buttocks.
"You're not hitting too high are you?" I asked anxiously.
"No. You needn't worry. It's nowhere near your tailbone. Getting nice and hot though."
He kept on, spanking round in circles and up and down. After the initial burn it didn't seem too bad. Although the kicking was somewhat automatic, I wasn't doing much 'ouching' and I couldn't even manage to squeeze out a single tear. Hopeless.
He was really swinging now and the splats reverberated around the room. I just lay calmly and let my mind explore the feeling. I can't say I loved it, but I didn't hate it either. It simply wasn't doing anything. Hitting the spot, if you like.
At last I felt him slow down.
"I can't do this any more" he sounded exhausted. "My arm aches. I think you are getting to used to it." There was a tinge of regret in his voice.
I felt his fingers wander elsewhere.
"I think we'll have to pension the spatula off." There was resignation now. "Maybe I warmed you up too much. Never mind. We'll use something else next time, something you aren't used to. Just remember that when you decide to be nasty to me again."
I really couldn't concentrate any more due to his fingers. So I got up and straddled his lap and put my head on his shoulder.
"I will remember" I told him. "But I can't promise anything. I'll try, of course. But I have to tell you that I still feel unsettled somehow. I really don't know what to suggest."
"Well my arm's too tired to continue. You've worn me out. We'll think of a different strategy next time."
He pulled me down and turned me on my front running a hand over my bottom. "I can't believe you can't feel this. It's redder than it's ever been."
His hand wandered again and soon the spanking was completely forgotten.
So here I am still in no man's land, yet with a very bruised butt. Yet again. I wonder what obstacles the road we are travelling will throw up at me, at us, by this time next week. Probably I shall be too done in from jousting with the bitch/troll to care.
Have a good weekend everyone! Bitch/troll signing off...