I understand now.
I got frustrated. Sweaty from working outside, I wanted a shower. There were no clean towels. I told my teenage daughter to wash a load of towels that morning. She has a habit of disobedience. I reminded her several times. I dried off with a wash cloth.
I was beyond frustrated. I let her know exactly what I thought about her disobedience. "Oh, I guess I misunderstood Mom." Things turned ugly from there.
I went to my room still fuming. Dragon gave me the look. Fear replaced frustration. Not just fear but absolute terror. I knew that I deserved a punishment. She shouldn't have been allowed her little act of defiance. I should have stood in the laundry room door and watched her put the towels on to wash.
I understand now why Dragon backs off so often. Terror. I learned very young to fear punishment. Not just a smack on the backside but something far worse. For 18 years I lived in fear of my parent's tempers. Over 25 years later, that fear is still just as real.
When faced with a punishment I turn into a 4 year old looking at a giant of a man holding a belt.
Instead of reassurance and following through with it, Dragon backs off. He loves me more than that.