Child-like

Child-like.

It’s not childish.  Most of the time.

It is the part of me that is, in true Gemini fashion, perhaps the best and worst of me…at the same time.

i have a child-like enthusiasm for the world, a child-like desire to believe in people, and a child-like faith in who i believe in.  Strong and sure and offering the best of me.  Wide open. 

And then there is my emotional state of affairs, which i think of as a balanced house of cards.

It works.  Right until my emotions build up, there is a perfect storm, and the house of cards falls down.  It happens suddenly, making me feel like i dropped into the Mad Hatter’s tea, and all of the cards have suddenly become unruly, running amok and larger-than-life.

It’s no longer a neat and logical equation of balance.

It’s a hot mess. 

i’m a hot mess. 

And it’s too late.  i know it’s too late.  Even if the words strangle in my throat, even if i am silent, even if my words themselves are correct.  The anger is there.  Open.  Exposed.  The strange, wild air that sends the house of cards tumbling everywhere. 

Even in my anger, i tend to default to composed.  But my inner child?  She just doesn’t care about that.  People who displease me are spoken about in the vernacular generally reserved for childhood playground. i feel a sense of detached glee.  For the moment, anyhow. 

It’s funny that i describe this process as me “not playing with a full deck of adult cards anymore” because that is quite an apt description. 

It’s funny because i was not like this when i was five.  No, really.  i was a very strange child.  Quiet, sensible, always searching to understand.  i don’t think i ever let loose as a little girl.  i just never realized this until i was an adult.

There is something strangely comforting about loosing your sensibilities and leaving self-control behind because you do trust the other person to love you anyhow and to stop you.  i had no sense of that as a child.  Ever. 

i can’t seem to loose control as an adult.  i do not really let loose and let go unless its in the context of the surrender that comes from a hard, unrelenting, grueling scene. 

i’d like to forgive that little girl who showed up and stomped all over my damn world yesterday.

i’d like to. 

But i can’t yet. 

Not yet. 

Today, i’m a bit shaky still.  Surprised at my outburst.  And surprised isn’t good in my world of carefully constructed cards.

i name the cards:

fear, rage, pain, exhaustion

and i’m holding them, not sure, and keep sending them to the bottom of the deck.  Holding them down with the weight of all of the rest of who i am, resting in a neat stack, waiting. 

 

 

On Guilt and Shame

Guilt serves a functional purpose in creating recognition that we have done something wrong and pushes us to want to make ammends.  This is what guilt does, in theory.
In practice, if i am awash in guilt for too long, it becomes intermingled with shame.  And shame, for me, is dangerous territory. 
Here is how it plays out, in practice:
First, i am a person who prides myself on doing what i can to be pleasing.  It matters to me so much that i decided young to leave my ego out of D/s so that i might be better able to make needed corrections without getting upset.  It was the only way i could think of to negate my somewhat type-A personality.  And it works.  Right until we enter into the guilt/shame trap.
So, say i am told to do something that i can not do.  i begin to beat myself up over it.  i go immediately to confess, already in the mindset to receive whatever comes and wanting to move on.  If it works that way, i’m good.  When it does not work that way, and i’m chastised but left without resolution, i begin to strangle on my failures.
A part of this is that i was raised in the guilt-based culture of Catholicism.  Yet, Catholicsm has a plan for how to resolve all of those pesky guilty feelings.  Enter penance.  The idea is a good one as it gives you a concrete way to confess your wrongs, receive a punishment, and let go of the guilt.
In my family and other abusive relationships, i was told that the abuse is my fault and if only i had not commited this trivial offense, i wouldn’t have to be hurt.  If i am the cause of my own hurting, often due to something outside of my control, then i must be bad.  Right?  Enter shame.
Shame is inherent in this equation because the major concept here is not that something is wrong with your behavior….but something is wrong with you.
And if something is wrong with you, as a human being, how do you begin to remedy this?
Telling me that i’m not a slave because i have failed at some task might be an attempt to instill shame.  What happens, though, is that i will run with that internally.  Internalizing the concept that i’m not really a slave does nothing whatsoever to further the relationship and does nothing to build me up as a woman.  It also leaves the transgretion itself hanging in the air without resolution. 
i begin to feel that my worth as a slave is non existant, and because this is one fundemental way that i self-identify, it begins to effect my feelings of worth as a person. 
i beat myself up until i can’t anymore and begin to behave in ways that are self-destructive which becomes a cycle of guilt-shame-self abuse-guilt-shame-self abuse. 
No good thing will come from this.
It is not an acceptable way to deal with wrong doings in our relationship because we both feel that self destructive cycles are not helpful to upholding the dynamic.  Shame and guilt destroy rather than build up. 
i am going to make mistakes, do bad things, and fail some tasks.  Those moments are teachable moments.  Nothing more, nothing less.  How they are handled can make me feel safe and loved, valued as a slave.  That is what being punished tells me, actually.  i did something bad but am worth the time to correct and absolve.  It brings me closer to who i want to be and closer to Her.