Monday, March 10, 2008

_____ and Punishment

I hope that this post makes sense. Not only am I confused about the topic myself, but I'm awake earlier than I should be thanks to a kitten who decided that nibbling on my fingertips was an absolutely irresistible idea.

I've had this internal debate going on in my head for a while. Sometimes I wonder if spanking is a healthy thing for me. The thing is, I have this guilt that builds up in me that is unattached to any real crime. I'm not sure where this comes from except for a desire to be perfect that I cannot possibly fulfill.

Sometimes, an intense desire to be punished creeps up inside of me. When I tell Red how I feel, he always asks me if I've done something wrong. I never really have an answer to that... Oh, it's a bunch of things. Maybe I ought to have stayed awake just a little bit longer the day before so that I could have unloaded the clean dishes from the dishwasher. Or maybe I forgot to return a phone call to someone. Little things that happen more because I'm human than because I'm bad.

I've heard that so many people experience guilt relief after they've been punished. I can't say that I ever have. I'm not sure if this is because I'm a black hole of guilt and no amount of punishment could ever balance it out. Or maybe because Red never really punishes me, so I can't reach that elysium.

Red tends to shy away from punishing me for a few reasons. The main one being that he is afraid of reinforcing my unreasonable guilt. He doesn't want it to be an affirmation to me that I am "bad." He also has trouble getting upset with the things that I feel guilty over because he believes that I am just being too hard on myself.

I get angry with him sometimes over this. A while ago I asked him, "Are you waiting for me to murder someone?" I am generally a good girl. I can't help that. And I don't feel like I should be forced to purposely do something bad in order to be punished. I've been tempted, but I just can't bring myself to do so. So, I'm left unable to experience whatever benefits punishment might ultimately offer.

On the other hand, I share his fear. My guilt is so bad now... What if it got worse as a result of punishment? What if he punishes me just as hard as he safely can, and I just end up feeling more guilty than before because now he thinks I'm bad too?

Is there a guiltless elysium waiting for me just on the other side of a thorough punishment? Is there relief to be reached on the other side of all these raging emotions?

I've grown up feeling like I needed to put a cork on my emotions because life was already too unpredictable and I couldn't afford to rock the boat (which was already leaking and sinking quite fast). Sometimes it makes a hell of a lot of sense to me that I'd feel so much better if I could safely allow all of this fear and anger and guilt (reasonable or not) to come flooding out of me, and that I'd be so much safer in doing so with Red's support. It would be a new experience to have someone there who would love me and take care of me through all that.

On the other hand, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I am an endless pit of anxieties and ugly feelings and no matter how much pours out of me, there will always be that much and more still there.

Is it really even fair to ask Red to take all that on?