So here I am at the end of the term and the start of two weeks off work. Have I managed better than before? Not really I don’t think. I have been absolutely exhausted and by the last two weeks this actually manifested itself as me feeling quite angry. I was still able to laugh with my office-sharing colleague, who is under similar pressure himself, about how grumpy I had become but I could really feel the difference in myself. We like to say that we have a ‘can do’ attitude in our office, but not the past few weeks. It has been very much a ‘taking no passengers’ type service. Some of that felt quite good in a way as I usually bend myself backwards, often for very little thanks, but the reason for the change was not a good thing.
In addition, the slightly aggressive tough decision maker who was making things happen and surviving at work, did not really gel well with the soft submissive that I am at home. Although the D/s really helps to keep that part with me, I do find that when it comes to a bit of a struggle between the two, the former is so strong that there is not much left once she has been on the go all day. A lot of days I came home feeling tired, emotional and a bit like a used rag. I wasn’t stroppy and nippy at home – I know better than that, but there wasn’t much energy there for either of us to play with. I just wanted to curl up and be left alone, which was not really meeting the needs of either of us.
When I am under pressure like this, it brings out the nurturing side of HisLordship and he goes into protector mode. He feels angry with the way I am treated I think, but he also knows that there is nothing that he can really do to stop it. He tries to look after me, makes few demands on me and helps to support me where he can. Most nights for the past few weeks I have fallen asleep, very quickly, in his arms, but I have been sleeping badly and am awake too soon. I wake up worrying about the things that I haven’t done and going over conversations that I need to have in my head, and have been getting up early, putting my armour back on and heading off to do battle again. The most animated I have probably been around him is first thing as I list off the things that I am going to sort and I leave for work with my heart racing a little faster than it should be.
The rules and rituals that we have around us are not really enough to manage this type of situation. Like some sort of superwoman I survive on too little sleep and I move quickly and obsessively to try to get things done. It looks sort of good from the outside and no one really realises the strain I am under out there, but behind the scenes, he knows that I am struggling and tries to love me through it. I am not sure what would happen in a regular job where you had to sustain this sort of pressure all of the time, but in education the holiday pattern means that we can just about hold it together as we can usually see the next break in sight.
So here I am and I am taking a while to de-stress. I have no particular plans other than doing the things that I enjoy and have missed and that make my feel like the calmer, safer, happier me. So I will be writing more for my blog, reading more of the posts from others, spending some time on the SWC and catching up with family and friends; the sort of things that make me feel good about myself. I will regain my energy and my lust for the other things in my life and I will try to prepare so that I can manage better next time. I love my job and I don’t want to give it up as it is a big part of who I am but there is far too much on my caseload and that is where the issue lies. I want to try to find a better way to allow the two parts of me to coexist in this shared space and time, without one taking it all and leaving the other with nothing to play with.
I apologise, as I feel this seems part of a cyclical moan. I know that I am fortunate to have the two very full sides to my life that I do, but balance is tricky as it throws things off and I have seen this happen to others too. When the scales are tipped in such an extreme way, you become difficult to reach. It is hard to get the momentum to re-calibrate yourself, and you end up at the top of the see-saw, in a place where you are too far from the one person who could provide the help. Finding things which will work is a challenge but it is one which we embrace as a couple and it does bring us closer together. Over the years we have done this, we have become better, and when life stops challenging us I think we will end up just sailing along. Until then, the struggle is part of the story and I felt it should be included as such.