Looking over my shoulders at the last ten years

Ten Years: Who’s Counting?

Looking over my shoulders at the last ten years

While scrolling through the upcoming prompts for Wicked Wednesday I noticed the final one in the list was titled Ten Years! I guessed this was the age of the meme. This is a huge achievement for Marie, and one I wanted to join her in celebrating. But my site is only four and a half years old, so I couldn’t see myself bringing this space to the table.

I’ve been in a reflective mood recently. Sir’s visit gave me what I needed– peace in my soul. The boys being away for half term gave me calm. The kind of calm that brings with it healthy thought processes and clarity. In amongst all of the realisations that slotted into place, I noted that it has been just shy of ten years since things began to shift in my marriage. The relationship was steadily deteriorating, with a way to go yet before reaching rock bottom, but having the anchor of the prompt enabled me to see just how far I’ve come in the last decade.

I can honestly say that he doesn’t figure in my world anymore. I have no interest in his life, except where the boys are concerned. And as they are safe and get what they need, we have a much better parenting relationship. As a family over two homes, this all feels healthy. No, I will never stop being vigilant where my children are concerned, but the evidence is continuing to build that he has taken the opportunity to grow, to learn to manage his anger, and to be a more consistent father figure. While he and I will never be friends, my opinion of him in regard to parenting is shifting. How on earth did this happen?

Well, ten years is quite a long time really.

I could run over old ground again, about the brutal descent and creeping realisations that hastened the climb to where I am now, but I’m not sure I wish to rehash all of those things just now. Goodbye To The Sun That Shines For Me No Longer and Keeping My Side Of The Street Clean would be good reads if you’d like to find out more.

What I would like to talk about today is where I’m at now, Ten Years on.

I mentioned earlier in the post about feeling reflective after a visit from Sir. Things really do look so different in my world now. And last week I shared about new experiences. As most people are likely to find, the new experiences led to some worry on my part. Especially the one that has merely been hinted at. I found myself deeply entrenched in an internal argument about how I wouldn’t enjoy myself and I wouldn’t fit in, and it would be the worst evening of my life! Until the afternoon before.

Sitting out under an azure sky I buried my nose in my current read.

Braving The Wilderness by Brene Brown has sucked me in. Oddly, she hasn’t yet told me anything I’m not aware of. But her research and writing have helped me to jiggle those thoughts around and understand them a bit better. I later relayed a passage, which related to my evening plans, to Sir:

“…it takes tremendous courage to knowingly walk into hard moments.”

Brene Brown

I had already decided that I would be attending the event wholeheartedly and with an open mind. My fears have usually proved cowardly in the face of strength and action. Is it safe, and do I want to? These are Sir’s two questions. They are generally be the first thoughts across my mind when fight or flight kicks in. On this occasion they were joined by his thoughts on self-fulfilling prophecies. And when Brene Brown piped up too it was the kick up the backside I needed to remove any expectations and just relax.

When I was still in my monogamous marriage I was unable to test these boundaries.

It took all of the courage I had to just get through days, and the goal posts were always shifting. Then when I made the decision to better myself for the sake of my marriage I found Sir. He made his expectations clear, and I had someone to push my own boundaries for.

Thinking back to life in the early days post-P, five to seven years ago, I can recall many brave moments, with or without Sir. Such events were usually coupled with a “no-one can dislike me as much as I do” mindset. The last four years have seen a dynamic shift in my mindset, now I don’t concern myself with what others will think of me. So long as I’m authentically me, do the opinions of others hold sway? I’ve been caught out along the way- stories yet to be shared- but they’ve been knock backs rather than relegation to the scrap heap.

I am Sir’s, wholeheartedly. And long may this last.

But while my submission to him is a huge part of my identity, being his property is only possible because I belong to myself. He has nurtured the strength he saw in me from the beginning, helped my confidence flourish through his tasks and unlocked my creativity through what he asks of me. I’ve often wondered if this is something he implanted into me, but the more I reflect on the last ten years (and beyond) I see that it was always there. Now it is a case of nature working with nurture to produce exciting results.

P may have wanted to squash me due to his own confidence issues, all in the name of love. Desperate to keep me glued to him perhaps? Sir wants to see me thrive, to help me find the tools that will see me grow. Even if those tools take me on a path that leads away from him. He seems to enjoy watching me blossom into someone that is as much his equal as his opposite. The Queen of my own kingdom, answering only to my King.

Which brings me on to the greatest lesson of my last ten years.

While I know that comparison is rarely a positive when stuck in deep thought, sometimes it has value. I could never compare P and Sir, they are as different as can be. But what I can do is reflect on how their behaviours have impacted me, my lifestyle and my children. It doesn’t serve me to get stuck in the dark. I don’t need to trawl through old memories of pain. Instead I prefer observing things with a clear head, it truly is wonderful to have that clarity. I guess you could say that the last ten years I’ve learnt so much about love. That it isn’t about holding someone tight. It’s about empowering someone, wanting the best for them, no matter what.

Wicked Wednesday

Every Damn Day in June

Ten Years: Who’s Counting? is being shared for the last Wicked Wednesday prompt. Over the years I’ve linked up a fair number of posts to this meme but today I wanted to share The Truth About Trust. It’s a Wicked Wednesday post from the 2020 Every Damn Day In June, and I hope you enjoy it.

6 comments

  1. I will read this post again, Barefoot Sub. It has moved me, reading about your growth and how your Sir has helped you to thrive. Thank you for sharing this…you are an inspiration! XOXO

  2. There is so much wisdom here, N. I am on a journey of moving away from codependency, which I now know has been part of my life for too long. Reading your posts, reading your wisdom – it always helps me. Thank you for that!
    ~ Marie xox

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