I am an enigma wrapped in a mystery. I am an extroverted dominant submissive introvert. I should have a cape or a mask, secret identity, and go on undercover missions because I can disguise myself as either part of myself.
Since I am still in the most significant relationship/datingship/friendship thing of my life (without labels, of course, and no, it’s not a relationshit), I’m learning a lot about what makes me tick, and it scares the crap out of me!
For the first time in my history with this man, I felt unsafe for a moment, and I can finally articulate exactly what I want, in all its ambiguous clarity. 🙂
This might not end well…but the whole middle part is awesome!
Part 1: The Friendless Social Butterfly
The first part of the story started when Captain Amazing and I had our calendars out, discussing the next two weekends and how we would be spending our time.
He asked me if traveling to Mexico sounded good.
“YES PLEASE!” I said.
“Cool,” he said. “And we’ll come back Sunday and go to the Cardinals season opener.”
He then asked, “Do you have any friends you’d like to invite?”
I paused, thinking. There was an uncomfortable silence as he stared at me and I looked somewhere else, contemplating the question.
It’s one of those questions that scatters everything out of my brain, so there is nothing left in my head, and I have to spend a few minutes trying the coax my thoughts back into the room.
“…um…” I said.
Then he added (which was unavoidable), “…or do you have friends?”
I DO have friends, but not the way most other women have friends…I think…
I don’t actually have a regular “group” of friends. For my whole life, I have often selected one or two individuals from different social groups, and I float from group to group –
It’s important that I know a lot of people – not for me…for them. I introduce them to each other for dating reasons and business reasons, but it’s typically via an email introduction, and then I let them come together in their way. I’ve tried to co-mingle with the introductees, and I don’t care for it. There is too much responsibility for me to ensure the meeting goes well. My preferred part is simply the intro and leave everything else to them.
Even though I know many, many people, I often lose touch over time. Not because there are hurt feelings or dislike – It’s more of time constraints and growth in other areas. And I don’t let people get too close to me. The last time I did, they died.
I said, “No I guess not. I mean, I do have friends, but nobody right now that I’d want to spend an entire weekend out of town with.”
Although, he could invite anybody he wants, and I would be perfectly happy with that! I’m also perfectly happy just the two of us.
People often see me as completely, without a doubt, totally extroverted and brave because my personality attracts a lot of attention.
There is another side of me that stays at home, reads, writes, is extremely disciplined in exercise, and avoids attention. I love doing that – it gives me a competitive edge!
While I love my alone time, I am very, very outgoing. I can have a blast doing nothing all day OR hanging out with people all day. I love to do both. I’m often otherwise dedicated to my work, my alone time, my exercise, and to the people who are most important to me.
I am often quiet, but I love to talk. I enjoy the intimacy of hanging out one on one rather than in large groups, even though I’m not a very intimate person.
Small talk annoys me. I avoid it. I don’t want to talk about how bad the weather is or what’s going on in the world. That said, I am completely happy chatting it up with friends and strangers.
I do put myself out there, live fairly fearlessly, and I have a great time when I do go out. But my time is precious, and I have a lot of necessities (exercise, kid-time, discipline) to squeeze into my day, and I still live inside my head (which is probably the scariest place). My thoughts are always analyzing situations and how I feel (which I keep to myself). I also don’t like to spend money on myself.
I am often perceived as a leader. I am driven to succeed, work long hours, do my best in everything, solve problems, and make systems more efficient, but I cannot manage people. I expect people to manage themselves and comply with the same rules I give myself.
What drives me? I’d love to say it’s for myself, my glory, my riches, but it actually isn’t. It’s for those in my very, very tiny inner circle. Without them, I am a lost soul with no direction. I need the leader that complements my nature. I am the dominant submissive – (play theme song)
All of these thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes around success require me to ‘turn it off’ in other areas. I strive to dominate most scenarios, not settle for being less than my best, but I don’t do it for me. It is to ensure that my inner circle is pleased.
…or is that how I dominate? (Insert evil laugh here)
It’s a very compelling question which leads me to part two of the story:
That Which Gives Me Strength Is Simultaneously My Kryptonite
The most significant back story required to really lay the foundation of what is to come below is the couple of times when the subject of living together had popped up – We had talked about talking about it twice, at length and in detail, both in the spring and in July, which resulted in his decision to never go down that road, even though he was the one who initiated the conversation.
The underlying current of thought for me consists of “who am I” and “what do I want” – two questions that I say I ask, but I really avoid because neither has a safe answer.
So, we were chilling in the pool, and Captain Amazing shared his new book collection – He decided that he’s going to try to figure himself out when it comes to relationships. He said that he is set in his ways and on a specific path…and isn’t going to change…
…Cool – he shouldn’t change…
His brilliant idea, as he described it, went something like this: That when he finds the right submissive girl, he will know how to take care of her without making a mess of everything else.
I’m paraphrasing – this is what my personal reality heard.
He went on to say that whomever he finds will need to not touch his money because he is on a specific path to savings, and would have to be great with his sons, especially HLB, and not want kids…
While I do appreciate that I am, indeed, the coolest chick on the planet and not quite a human because I’m a unicorn, I still am partly human/female, although maybe he didn’t know who he was talking to??? Sheer panic arose inside me for many reasons.
- Holy shit, I am not his first choice, not his best choice. Clearly, I need to step up my game! Shit!
- I don’t want him to “change.” Evolve – sure. Figure himself out – great. Change? No.
- I don’t want his money or anything from him. Shit! Why doesn’t he believe this?
- I am not the best choice for this boy??????? …as HLB was tightly gripped to my neck because we had been playing in the pool together, swimming with and away from the sharks and whales in the pool – Shitty, shit, shit!
This might not end well…but the whole middle part is awesome!
Instantly, I felt like I had been thrown from a cliff. He continued to chat merrily about all the reading he’s been doing, staying up all night fascinated by this subject and by upgrading his internet.
But all I could do was stand there in the water, with my mouth agape, trying to collect my thoughts which hadn’t scattered unfortunately. Rather, they sat like cement blocks inside my gut.
HLB was done in the pool. He wanted to go take a nap.
“Come on Mindy,” he said. “I want to go inside.”
He wanted me to take his swim wings off and give him his towel.
As the three of us walked into the house, I turned to Captain Amazing and said, “Let me know when you figure me out with all your reading. I’m probably inside those books – I’m kinda weird.” I tried to keep it light because I just didn’t know how to respond.
I did, however, recognize that it was mission critical that I say SOMETHING to at least initiate the conversation that probably should start out like: “What the fuck, Dude?????”
He said, “I haven’t figured you out yet. You’re definitely agreeable. I am sure we’d find something to fight about – probably money, like someone bought something and that led to an argument…” He continued to somewhat ramble about this while he was getting HLB ready for a nap, and HLB then became the center of attention with a mini-meltdown because he was tired.
Instead, I dug deep to bring out the part of me that can detach from something uncomfortable or dangerous, so that I can internally analyze the situation before I make a decision on the best course of action.
…but my gut was flashing a big red DANGER sign, and I just couldn’t shake that something was not right.
We watched a movie and it was as enjoyable because he and I sat together, touching and I needed that so badly…to feel safe again.
But when the movie was over, he said, “Let’s go play with the modem.” So we went into his office and he started telling me all about how hackers can get into your internet.
He has very good reasons for his feeling unsafe – stemming from things that I cannot talk about. But I understand that from a logical point of view. He has every reason to feel threatened by the events that have unfolded and are continuing to unfold in his life.
However, I sat listening, as I often do, with my undivided and complete attention to every word, his body language, his intelligence, the speed of his speech, and the thoughts – and it reminded me of Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory, where Jerry’s manic paranoia is justifiable but delivered in an oh-so very over-the-top fashion.
…and for the second time in one day, I felt unsafe, although not for my own safety, …. for his.
I left him to do his work, and HLB woke up from his nap. We played and all was right with the world.
I went to check on CA, and he was in the dark room, lying on his bed prone. I sat next to him, and I rubbed his back while he expressed his frustration and rambled about the internet…and he said how tired he was, and he started to drift. I assured him that he could sleep, that he was safe, and that I could take care of all the kids.
I left him there, closed the door, and took care of all the kids…with cement in my gut.
The older kids played video games, and HLB and I played outside on the trampoline and on the jungle gym. We played baseball, soccer, and catch. We made “cupcakes” and did the dishes. I fixed dinner, and the kids and I had great conversation about sleep, laziness, Coke, food, video games, school – all the important stuff in kids’ lives.
Then HLB took a shower and I put his jammies on him, and he wanted to read. We tucked ourselves into his bed and read several books, until I fell into an uncomfortable sleep – too sad to cry – stomach hurting – heart breaking.
Youngest came in and said she was ready to leave, so we packed up our things, said very brief “goodnights,” and went home.
This man gives me strength and makes me weak. UGH!
It was time for the hard part – sleeping with Kryptonite in my gut.
Part 3 of the story –
How A Submissive Introvert Expresses What She Wants In A Quasi-Extroverted Dominant Fashion
I couldn’t sleep. My heart was racing, my thoughts were racing. I actually entertained the thought that I had internally “taken on” his exhaustion-induced quasi-manic episode so he could sleep.
I was so worried that I couldn’t even collect a coherent thought to write or to work or to move.
I texted him to try to initiate the conversation. Initiation is difficult for a submissive introvert. I have to call forth all of my extroverted dominance, but in this arena of feelings, asking for what I want and expressing myself feels like I’m both attacking and being attacked – and the one person who can keep me safe and talk about the situation logically with is the one person I have to face.
I don’t like those kinds of feelings and I am not “romantic” at all. I would prefer to be pinched or slapped or self-inflict some sort of torture (which is probably why I exercise the way I do) than to express heart-felt feelings. They are there, but I prefer they stay buried in a deep dark cave where no one will find them.
I told him I wanted to make sure he was okay and that I wanted to slap him and then have him inflict pain upon me until all these feelings went away.
He had no idea what I was talking about.
What do I want? We met 2 years ago – My life changed that day. I knew it because of what I physically felt. But I also did not know to what level my life would change.
So what do I want? I mean really, really want? These are things he doesn’t know. He couldn’t have known because I haven’t known how to sum it up in a nice neat package until now. Maybe it’s time he gets to know me just a little bit better…
I’m like an iceberg. The smallest part of me is what you see.
All I want, whatever it looks like, is to crawl into his arms, wrap them around me, and have him protect me – to feel safe inside there. I could live there forever. I don’t care what the outside of that cocoon looks like – marriage, living arrangements, finances – I don’t care about those things; they are meaningless to me. That’s why it’s so difficult to express what I want in terms that others would understand.
So my introverted submissive dominates that conversation – by saying nothing at all – even though that is the part of me with the strongest needs.
I want his protection around me…and the things that go with that: Sex, sleep, safety, and satisfaction (more sex too).
One of the first questions he ever asked me was “Do you feel safe? Do you trust me?” And my response then is the same as it is now: “I trust you with my life.”
When he first asked me that, we hadn’t had sex yet, and he still made me feel that way. He always has.
Whenever the world is off-kilter, I know that I can just hear his voice, see his face, touch his skin, and I feel infinitely better. That’s all I need. It’s all I have ever needed, like breathing.
I never want that to go away because I’ve never felt that with anyone until him. He is my rock – THE one man – who can provide that for me.
There is a submissive part of me who wants him to tell me what to do because he would do right by me, and I wouldn’t have to think so much. He’s better at those things than I am.
… and at the same time, I want to protect him and his boys – keep them safe – I want them to know that I won’t abandon them, just like I won’t abandon my own kids…and it’s more than a “want” – It is a need, like breathing.
…That I’m there and that I’m always striving to be the best for them, whatever that looks like – that I am enough because of who I am. And for someone like me, whose inner circle is microscopically tiny, that’s an entire world.
And I’m not going to take their things, their money, their other people – just like I wouldn’t do that to my own kids – They are my inner circle.
There are times in the night, and I don’t think he knows this – when he calls out to me, like a little boy with bad dreams. There are sounds he makes that sound like a small child. I wake up and look around, looking for one of the kids, but he is the only one there. I often wonder if he goes back to those times, in his boyhood, when he is seeking that safety…the same safety I need… and I offer it to him, unspoken, like breathing.
I made a pact – a commitment – a real one, although I’m the only witness to it. It has had more meaning, power, and promise than any other I have ever made (except for motherhood). It is simple: “I am here – I’ve got your back.”
…and in those moments when his sleep is disturbed, I whisper that: “I am here – I’m right here,” and I touch his back so he knows I have it. And he goes back to sleep, safe. I believe that he believes it, and I’m glad that he doesn’t know this part of himself – If he ever reads this, I hope that he forgets.
I need his dominance over me – I need his decision-making, take charge, we do things his way, like I need to breathe. But I also need my dominance to make my decisions, which are fewer, to take care of all the little details that are affected by his decisions – and that contribute to the whole.
And I also need him to sleep and trust that I will dominate that part, so he can recharge.
I need to submit but not get lost.
Who am I? I am the extroverted dominant strong submissive introverted fragile
woman unicorn who needs this extroverted dominant strong intelligent man (even when his head is in his ass – I still have personality) and the boy inside him (and the one beside him) who need me when the world gets a little rough around the edges and they need a safe place to crash.
This might not end well…but the whole middle part is awesome!