It took me forever to fall asleep last night.  Sir Raven magnanimously turned the fan on for me, which was nice.  My mind was racing a bit.  Sometimes, I get these strange feelings and then it becomes clear later that I was picking up on someone else’s emotional states.  It seems that once connected to a person, I have to work like mad to sever the cord.  Over and over again.

Other times, it is perfectly fine that i’m picking up on what someone is feeling.  It is nature’s way of preparing me for a hard conversation or process. 

I find that when I actively try to tune these things out, I am a little numb and a more unable to access my own emotions.

I don’t have the traditional female virtue of being able to cry.  Not for weddings.  Not for sad songs.  Not for an emotional moment that seems to call for tears.  When every other woman around me is crying, i’m not.  People tend to think that means i’m not feeling anything, which isn’t true or fair.

It is pretty rare that I find myself in a state that I slowly (really, really slowly) become aware that I need to cry.  Even when I know that, I can’t do it.  I just (shrugs) can’t. 

I have cried exactly twice in a cathartic sense from S/m.  Countless other times, it was assuredly the goal of the Top, but I was evidently more determined that this would not happen.  Looking back, I can see that I was obviously struggling to keep control for myself.  I wasn’t about to go gently into that good night.

It seems like a huge thing to ask.  It’s not exactly a conversation starter.  “Hey, do you think you could make me cry soon?”  Yeah.  It doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue, now does it?

Sir Raven has been reading the new book discussion book to me.  It isn’t available as an ebook (Boo!).  I realize how much effort it must be to read it aloud and I appreciate Sir Raven doing it for me.  

In one essay, the author writes about cathartic floggings.  Surprised, I asked if it wasn’t enough to form an intent, and then proceed with whatever tool you had?  Sir Raven is practical that way and agreed with me.  Well, there is that, and there is the one time she made me cry it wasn’t with a flogger.  I have enormous doubts that I could do much with a flogging besides fly, fly, fly.  The heavier the better.  I don’t know that I could reach catharsis from a flogging because for me catharsis infers going someplace dark, deep, like being submerged into the sea and then rising slowly back toward the light.

I could hazard a guess that if someone sat me down and said, “Hey, jade, so what is going to happen today is a cathartic beating and you are going to cry.”  i’d be thinking, “well, good luck with that plan,” because I know just how unlikely that would be for me to be moved to tears.

That person had pretty much have to have an iron stomach to follow through on that one.

Thankfully, Sir Raven has the stomach for doing the job so if I wished her luck (and I have), i’d mean it more in a co conspirator type of a way.  Like, “yeah, i’ll do what I can to help you out with that.  But it’s gonna be a Bitch to make that happen.  i’ll just be down here, not actively resisting your goals.  Good luck, honey.”

I wouldn’t perceive it as a challenge.  To be perfectly honest, I have in the past, with other people.  I knew they didn’t have the stomach to do it and I wanted them to have to face that as much as they wanted to make me cry.   

A couple of months ago, Sir Raven turned on a podcast for me which talked about the concept of Bad Daddy and it was fantastic. The way the man talked about the concept was that Bad Daddy can be a Bastard for no reason at all. He can be cruel. It’s not about you. Everyone understands that.

It was interesting to me because Sir Raven’s ethics as a Master dictate that she wouldn’t do anything to me which might diminish my ability to be useful. It’s not at all unusual for her to want me to get up right after an hour long beating and prepare a meal. She gives me a few minutes but the point is that she is generally unwilling to leave me in such a state that turning on the stove would prove to be a mistake. Heh.

Bad Daddy, however, doesn’t give a shit about that. That part of her shrugs and points out that she knows how to fix herself a sandwich. I humbly submit that it was absolutely Bad Daddy steering the ship when she made me cry.

People seem to associate the Daddy concept with a nurturing persona. I myself do not. The word Daddy is sexualized to me (shut up, Freud). It reminds me to leave myself a little open, a little vulnerable but also that I’ve retained the ability to charm her. It is the leaving myself open for her that lets myself be effected.

In the traditional sense of the word, her Mastery is far more nurturing. There is the idea that I am a reflection of her in all ways, so my accomplishments are hers, de facto. There is not much of a separation of us as distinct people, in some ways. We are a unit, in a sense, working together for the same goals even if we are doing it in a different way. We complement. We Balance. I am just a part of her body, folding clothes while she is riding the train home. She works hard to hold the tension just right, to make sure I know where I can go, what I can do.

The bad Daddy part can be selfish. Selfish. It makes me smile in secret places when I see that glimpse of her. That dark disapproval. I smile because it is entirely selfish of her, and we both know it. I revel in those glimpses because it feels right. For her to take, take, take. Demand. Not care. This is the part of her that has the stomach to do anything, to force it, to not be counterbalancing or thinking about me or my usefulness.

The dark disapproval will come from any misstep on my part. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I grieve deeply when I don’t get things right. I also have a bit of a self-Sadist, who makes me feel a moment of giddy joy very occasionally, when I can see that part of her surface. What I want to say then is, “Well, well, well…welcome back, Fucker.” It is clean and bare and animalistic. Is has nothing to do with me as a slave. It is not a question of who will win. We both know the answer to that. It is more of a question of how long I can hold out, how long I can last.

My inner self Sadist will sit on the dresser and applaud, yelling helpful comments like, “Fuck her up!”

In my own way, I think of this scenario as cathartic too. It doesn’t end in a feeling of being washed clean or soft tears. It ends in snot and ugly and pure.

I confess that it is a very odd thing that I can be just as dispassionate to my own suffering as she is.

In some ways, I can be just as dispassionate over not getting what I want or what I need. i’m looking, maybe, to find a bit more balance there. I was never a person who asked for much, but if I opened up my mouth and asked for it, I pretty much expected that it would be done. I’ve never asked for one thing in my life without first weighing out the fairness or ease of my request. The pendulum has swung the opposite direction now. From expecting (and feeling horrible about that in my life) to not expecting.
Not expecting is being free from concern over the outcome. Perhaps that is catharsis in its own right.

noun \kə-ˈthär-səs\

: purgation

a : purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art

b : a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension



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.