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?


Jigsaw Analogy said...

Interesting. Not sure I've got an answer.

I have that same thing, with bottling up emotions. What's been really weird to me is the discovery that, as I begin to let the emotions out, they actually ease up. When I express, say, some of my anger... there is less of it. Heck, even when I talk about things like feeling suicidal, it gets less, rather than more. *THINKING* about it, it tends to build up. But talking about it seems to help.

With punishment... not sure how to deal with the generalized guilt stuff. For me, what's helped with having punishment is partly that it helps me to feel less guilty about not doing the fifty eight million things I feel like I "should" do. If there are only a dozen or so rules to follow, then I can work on only trying to follow those.

It doesn't work perfectly. Discipline/punishment isn't some kind of magic wand that solves all of our mental health problems. But at the same time, I can say "What? Really? That was really all I had to do?"

Or, alternatively, it gives me a very specific outlet when I need to act out. If I feel like I absolutely HAVE to be "bad" and be reined in... I can skip bedtime, or something that is, in the long run, much less harmless than what I would have to do in order to get reined in in the absence of a discipline relationship.

As for partners... not sure what Red thinks. What W has told me is that she is willing to do pretty much any of this, because she can see how much it helps.

And, yeah, it makes a difference how firm the punishment is. I keep pushing until it's clear that W is willing to go far enough with a punishment that it really feels like there are some external boundaries on my behavior.

It's all complicated.

PS--I've missed you over at "This Thing We Do." Maybe put a link to this post over there, and see what others have to say?

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat - high expectations of myself and highly self critical and angry with me when I fail to do the things I know I should do - the problem is me being angry with me and someone else also being angry with me is a bad combination because they become my outlet - I react to their criticism and take it out on them.

Being punished gives me a ladder to climb down, a reason to say to myself that I've settled my debt and can move on, so I don't need to take it out on myself or anyone else.

I don't know if a "guiltless elysium" awaits, but I don't think its a question of pushing for ever greater severity to make the ladder more viable before you start climbing. Yes, there has to be enough there to make it credible, but in the end you have to take the ladder thats offered, accept it for what it is and if you are prepared to climb down it believing what you want is at the bottom, then you will probably find that it is...

Punishment provides me with the kind of release you describe, not because it is of any prescribed severity, but because I allow it to.

A cork held in under pressure will generally come out all by itself, its just needs a little push to get it started....ask any Champagne waiter.


Unknown said...


I was googling spanking blogs and just happened upon yours. I can understand where your coming from about feeling like you need to be punished. I suffer from the same thing although not sure why because as you have said's more because we are human than bad.

Of course I know where alot of my feelings and such stem from and that is where you need to evaulate it and see where it's coming from. But don't worry , things really do get better with it all. It has for me and I had a background of abuse from an ex as well as some other things that have complicated my D/s realtionship now.

Good luck!! Nice blog!!

Rose said...


Thank you for your comment, and for giving me hope that things will get better! Most days I'm fine, but then there are times when I feel like there must be something truly wrong with me for feeling the way that I do...