"Hi I know I am submissive but I am ashamed of it! I try to act dominant because I don't want to be seen as a doormat by other people but another part of me *likes* caring and serving and well, doing submissive things. How am I meant to reconcile the two?"
Thanks for the question. I think this is something that many submissives struggle with. First of all I will say that in no way is TTWD meant to make you feel like or be treated like a doormat. A lot of what you see and read about, or pictures you view, on the internet make this lifestyle come across that way. Yet, the reality is that is only a very small portion of the big picture and all that a relationship like this entails.
It can be hard to reconcile with yourself all that you feel is expected of you...from a mother, to career woman, to keeping up and house, to being sexual and intimate with your partner, and so on. I think the expectations that society puts on woman can be difficult. From how a woman feels she is supposed to act and present herself, to being strong, assertive, and able to care for herself. What you have to make yourself understand is that there is nothing wrong with what you want and need. Everyone is different and needs different things.
It's ok to need to submit. It's ok to need to be cared for and protected by your man. It's ok to have the need to serve him and give yourself to him completely. As long as it makes you happy, and you get all you need from it, then that's what matters. It doesn't matter what anyone else does or says. It is your choice. It's when you fully get that and feel it deep within your soul, and accept it as ok for you, even though it may not be for everyone...that ii when you will find happiness and peace. As some captions on D/s pics I have seen have stated (I'll paraphrase)...it is by being bound and completely belonging to and being owned by him, that she she feels most free.
There is no need to be or feel ashamed of your desires. You are feeling this way based on what you perceive is expected from you. You have to be able to look beyond that for what is best for you as the individual you are. I'm not saying this is easy. Especially when you have spent your whole life believing or being taught to be a certain way. Just know that is it ok to want, need, and feel the desires you have. You and only you know what is best for you and what you need. Don't let outside influences and the views of others deter you from being happy and who you truly are.
I wrote a post back in April of 2010 about this very situation you have inquired about. Here is that post: Broken? I think not!