I wrote this to post over at This Thing We Do Forum, and then thought that it would be a useful post for the Punishment Book as well. I also want to encourage people--especially tops, we REALLY need some tops over there--to check out the forum and join in the discussions there, if they are so inclined. It's a pretty great place, or so the people who are members keep telling me. :)
W asked me to post about this, although I admit that I can't remember all of the specifics of what she wanted me to say. So I will go with my best memory, and add some things from my own perspective, and we'll see where that gets us.
We have been struggling for a while with W establishing her authority. I am frustrated. I feel like either I'm making myself follow the rules and behave--which undermines my perception of W's authority, because I feel like I'm the one in control of what happens, and whether or not we get into fights. Or else I'm breaking the rules, and causing W to respond to my behavior--that kind of topping-from-the-bottom thing, which makes me feel like I'm still the one in control of the situation.
W, on the other hand, is frustrated because she feels like she *is* establishing her authority. From her viewpoint, either I'm following the rules, or I am breaking the rules, and she is enforcing them. And then she'll get feedback from me, usually afterward, that says, "Well, but I felt like I was the one in charge of that situation." Which, frankly, undermines her confidence in her authority.