The number five never used to catch my attention so thoroughly as it does now. There’s a reason for that. My bossy people have decided that I evade way too much. And it’s true. I don’t like to answer difficult questions, so I will pretend I haven’t heard them and change the subject.
A lot of times this isn’t a matter of confessing about breaking a rule or anything like that. That does come up now-and-then, but mostly it centers around conversations of things I need, things I’m feeling, or something that’s off emotionally. In short, the kinds of things my Dominants should be aware of.
I’m so good at it that, for a while, they didn’t realize what was happening, but eventually it was noticed. We put rules and structures in place to make it easier for me to talk about these things and that helped a little, but not enough.
Some of the things I’ve hidden have been quite large things and since the structure wasn’t helping enough to bring me to the level of transparency I should have with them, certain consequences were added. That helped a lot more, but sometimes my stubbornness kicks in.
I have a problem with asking for things. I have a problem with needing things. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t have needs at all and there’s a lot of reasons and trauma behind that, but I tend to feel like it’s my job to take care of people and not the other way around. Repeated reminders that I had dominant people in my life specifically to take care of me, and that I was handicapping their ability to do so weren’t enough for it to sink in.
We decided to institute an evasion warning. If they felt I was evading they would warn me, and if I didn’t start talking then the consequences kicked in. I am highly motivated by negative consequences, so I think there was an immediate improvement there.
But much of our daily interactions take place online, which means I quickly discovered that if a conversation got too difficult, and I didn’t have an answer, I could just go—away. Avoid the whole situation entirely by being unavailable.
They caught onto that one a lot faster, and W started the counting thing. It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m there or not. The slow countdown will just proceed without me, and since I learned that, it makes it a lot harder for me to run away, because I can’t stand knowing I’ll be in trouble when I come back, before I even get to say a word.
The numbers don’t always start at five. Sometimes they start at ten; I think it depends on the amount of patience W has at the moment. It doesn’t matter because even when they start at ten, five is the halfway mark. It feels like the point of no return if I let the numbers go down that far. It’s a number with weight either way. It catches my attention.
Lately I’ve noticed a trend, if W even suspects something is wrong and I don’t answer immediately the counting starts and I find myself hurrying to explain. It causes the sudden drop inside. That ‘uh-oh’ feeling even when I haven’t done anything wrong and it’s just a matter of explaining whatever was misunderstood. I love and hate that feeling, both. Someday I’ll figure out how I can have such conflicting emotions about being in trouble, maybe.
We’ve never gotten to zero, not yet anyway. I’m sure eventually it will happen because I’m in an exceptionally stubborn mood, but so far it halts me in my tracks, and I find I don’t mind. I’m tired of running away, tired of evading. I have people who love me now. People who want to take care of me, and make sure my needs are met and that’s special. That’s something to hold onto.
The numbers add an immediacy that push me towards where I need to be. I’d get there eventually; they won’t let me escape, but it does make things move a little faster and while I’m sure it helps with their frustration at having to chase—it also helps with the frustration I feel at myself when I back away.
It’s progress. I think.