Is it difficult now to keep up with who controls whom in my relationship with Joscelin? He’s in charge these days, and for the foreseeable future, if the whole thing doesn’t blow up.
I want to post about what’s going on right now. The truth is, I don’t know if I’m allowed to write this post. I am under some new rules that I don’t really understand. (I was given ample opportunity to ask about them, but I have so many questions and concerns that it was impossible to exhaust them, and like mushrooms they continue to pop up.) Certainly I am not allowed to freely discuss my concerns or negative feelings with Jos right now, but I’m not sure whether that extends to blogging or not.
In theory, two new rules were added yesterday. I’m not sure I can state them correctly, so I’ll give context for them, but for me, they actually make even less sense in context. It’s possible I also completely misremember them, since they are muddled together in my mind. These are the third and fourth rules in our system; the first two, as stated before, are
- Be transparent.
- Give willing and gracious submission.
The context for this rule was that I had been thinking about what is best to do when I feel like Joscelin is being unfair in a particular moment. The truth is, we strongly share the same sense of fairness, and given a few hours or a day, we almost always (perhaps actually always) agree about things that have happened between us. But in the moment, either of us might be wrong. So I asked Jos for permission to, when I think he’s being unfair, simply submit to him anyway, and then bring it up the next day if I still see it the same way.
He was concerned that I might never bring it up the next day. I proposed some countermeasure to his concern, but I’m not sure what. I think the rule inspired by this says something like this:
If I have a concern (such as about fairness), I must either ask whether I may bring it up later, or ask to bring it up at that time. When we do discuss it, Joscelin will ask me questions that I am to answer as simply as possible, and let him guide the discussion.
Points of uncertainty:
- Is this even what the rule says?
- Am I allowed to defer bringing up a concern without asking permission to do so?
- Does he prefer me to mention conerns on the spot or to not do so?
I have a concern about this protocol, which is that, even at this moment, working through my current outstanding list of concerns in this way would take, I think, hours, and I’m not actually sure that the process would ever terminate. Ultimately I don’t think the relationship can possibly work if I can’t speak freely about what’s going on with me.
(I want to just trust Joscelin to figure this stuff out, or to make it work, and focus on giving him my willing and gracious submission, but, per the transparency rule, I’m not even allowed to simply not bring up my concerns at all – I think – and also I’m afraid moment-to-moment and don’t know which behaviors are allowed/encouraged/forbidden. There are actually things I think may be mandatory or forbidden and I don’t know which.)
Two nights ago, Jos and I were talking about his strong preference that I make a point of submitting to him first and then raising concerns later. (I’m not really clear anymore on what we discussed, but it was something like that.) When thinking about that, I worried that I would “get out of” things by just crying or freaking out. Last night I tentatively asked Joscelin to forbid me to cry (around/because of him) except with permission or during aftercare.
The fourth rule:
I may not cry because of Jos’s actions except during scenes (aftercare included) or out of joy.
But there’s more. A bit later I asked, more for reassurance than anything, whether I was allowed to express negative feelings like anger or sadness (for instance, by saying “I feel angry”). And Joscelin said that for the sake of “simplicity” (?) the answer, for now, was no. I guess this is probably an addendum to the third rule rather than to this one, though that’s how I interpreted it at the time.
Overall, I don’t feel like I know how I’m supposed to proceed, even though we discussed this endlessly and I had (as I said) ample opportunity to raise concerns (which I did). Last night I sat and wrote up a long list of concerns I had at the time, but I’m not sure I didn’t already violate a rule by saving them for later without asking for permission to do so.
I want – I really want – to just give this a try and see what happens. I hope that I can do that. I’m just sort of overwhelmed with confusion and distrust and anger. I’ll be underslept today because, once I woke up this morning, I had too many feelings to get back to sleep, and I couldn’t shut my thoughts off. I’ll need to bring these up with Joscelin when he gets up, I guess, but I’m trepidatious about that given that I feel like the conversation would need to go on for hours just to address the current list, and I don’t have hours to spare because I need to get a lot of schoolwork done and I’d rather not be a wreck.
Perhaps I can ask permission to remain silent about these issues and just see what happens.