Monday, April 29, 2019

New Venture With abby: At the Heart of It- This week- Self Validation

Life is funny you know?  People, things, circumstances, even thoughts have a way of finding you in the most unlikely way - sometimes the timing is actually good too! Take abby and my joint writing venture :

We decided that we'd like to take a stab at writing about the same subject to discover things about ourselves. either where we struggle or how we have grown and perhaps why.  The idea of At The Heart of It originated because often we think we are going to talk about one thing and end up discovering what the heart of it really is to us while digging deeper.   I doubt we will be doing a weekly prompt type idea- we want to find the right question for us and give it the attention it requires. Who are we kidding we are wordy writers, once and a while will be enough for all involved- writers AND readers!

So without further adieu today's subject: Self Validation/ Love of Self ( Didn't want to get you all excited thinking about Self Love *wink*).

The Affects of Self Validation On Our Dynamic

Our son is becoming an amazing artist, but that is not his gift.  He has been gifted with determination. When he first stepped foot on the path he is walking, he faced some very harsh news regarding his first portfolio attempt. Whether it was his passion, his determination or both, he picked himself up, reexamined his work,  where he was placing his focus and set to make it right, despite his critic's suggestions he take another route. He didn't get accepted into his first choice college, which ended up to be a Godsend as his second choice was more suited to his style and area of talent strength in the long run. He was still over the moon to be living what he loved.

I can draw, but I never developed my talent like he did. I tell others that 'back then, it wasn't as encouraged', but the truth of it is, I didn't believe in myself as he does himself. He isn't arrogant, selfish or delusional- he's driven and confident in his future abilities even if they are buried at the moment.

I often joke that we have no idea where that comes from.  Although if I examine his drive in comparison to how I am with in our dynamic, I know precisely where he got it from. Once I discovered who I really was, my passion/obsession, and determination became focused on maintaining that woman. Unfortunately over time, maintaining turned to protecting, which ultimately changed to questioning   Being a submissive does involve a lot of interpersonal development, but it also requires exchange at times with the same intensity on the opposite side of 'the slash'. ( Perhaps a post topic for another time)

Self validation is an interesting phrase to me. Others may prefer " acceptance of self " or " love of self" and while I have read those and similar phrases over the years, self validation struck a cord in me. Perhaps it was timing or the source. I began to read about external and internal validation with great interest. External validation concerning my submission is actually not difficult to come by- It is wonderful to be seen by friends isn't it?

But what about those times when you are alone? Those times your friends are not available. Those times when your significant other is busy, distracted, on a different D/s plain or God forbid, STRUGGLING?  This would be the time self validation should be there to draw on.

Once upon a time I was able to turn to myself and my acceptance of my inner voice. Life might not have been great around me, but my part in my life, in my skin was.  Looking back I wonder how much of that self validation was initiated from within or whether it was more based on external sources. Does it even matter some may wonder?

In my case I think it does.  For if I was so as well equipped in self validation back then I as I thought I was, where has that perspective gone?

So what exactly does this have to do with our dynamic? I am coming to believe that perhaps I confused approval with acceptance.  I gained approval of self by B agreeing to ttwd. This lead the way for me to feel accepted and thus accepting myself. But perhaps. while a necessary step to growth, I stopped too short and have yet to determine the depth required to own my self validation, guilt free.

If I return back to the thinking about our son, nothing these people in the business told him (negatively) deterred him.  He held true to his dream regardless.  His determination is commendable but his ability to see himself and draw from that is nothing short of miraculous, especially given his young age.  Yes he turns to us at times when he is struggling, to hear what he already knows. He takes our hand to help him back to the path he has constructed mostly on his own.

And what of his mother? She currently is not as brave. Digging deep seems to not do much more than churn up waters, clouding my judgment concerning myself. I tend to see myself no problem,  when I am alone. However the minute I am with B now I blow out that beacon of light.

My Submissive Heartset tends to be shrouded in things that have been said, doubt, comparison, what ifs, if onlys...The issue should not be that I have experienced negativity or perceived it at times. The issue then becomes " accept yourself" . Stop looking at others to fill that void.  Fill the void yourself and use that area to stand up and shout, " This is Me! I am not perfect, I don't love all aspects of me, but I DO love me!".

Instead I close up. I project that I am no longer vulnerable.  I can do without this. It isn't important. You didn't hurt me. I don't feel rejected for me. ( The interesting notion is that closing up or shutting down is not being vulnerable. When in reality is merely a 'bid' for someone to notice the internal shift with an external clue).  Mentally I degrade my submission, my need. I tell myself that my past reality might not have been truths and that current realities are the truth that has always been.

I was reading  the other day how often when we fail to self validate we punish ourselves. When "we reject.. ourselves in this way, we exacerbate our feelings, because we then feel bad about two things: the original incident and the pain we’re causing ourselves." Lori Deschenel. I am familiar with this. I discovered what is currently "At the Heart of It" is I am creating a force field and pushing B away in the hopes of  not feeling too deeply - thus creating exactly what I don't want. I am also not being true to myself and that makes me fearful, miserable and not able to self validate because I am outwardly projecting the complete opposite of who I truly am at times.

If B was in a rut before, ( he's still here let's just say we are on different D/s plains at the moment), I have placed my foot on the gas to make sure those wheels are spinning at high speed digging us deeper.

 I used to be able to shake it off more easily. ' He will come around. I know who I am- regardless of what he does.'  I still know who I am..I just seem to have a more difficult time allowing her out.  And if I am too afraid to see her, how is he ever going to? I have realized how I project myself in our dynamic is directly affected by my ability to self validate. Without that anchor of deep self acceptance from within, the D/s foundation I build with B is shaky at best.

I should probably take time to say that this isn't meant to be a 'woe is willie' post or even an advice seeking one. LOL.  I just wanted to get to the heart of the matter as to why perhaps I am not feeling my submission as deeply as I once was, and how my perception of self can get in the way. Don't you worry,  I'll get my sh*t together soon enough *wink*

I could go on to explain ways to self validate, but there is tons on that via the web ( try tinybuddha.com

As an aside- I found this and it really spoke to me so I thought I'd share :

" As we go through personal developmental changes, our intimacy need is also changed from a sheer need for protection and approval to the need for being fully understood and connected emotionally and spiritually. When the people very close to us fail to meet such a higher need, we experience the lack of spiritual self-validation. Sometimes we exaggerate minor incidents through selective perception and self-critical reasoning into crisis situations, and fail to value our self-worth and competence.

Various psychological processes take place when we are in these situations. We feel denied access to the right to be and the right to feel at such moments. We feel as if a part in us is slowly dying in pain. We start doubting our self-worth, and losing confidence and self-respect. Our self-identity gets shaken, and we become unsure of who we are and what we are. We lose sight of the meaning of life and become hopeless and directionless. "(Trumpeter (1993)
ISSN: 0832-6193
On Self-Validation
F. Ishu Ishiyama
University of British Columbia)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

What is Pain to you? (Another submissive writing exercise)

Barney gave me another writing assignment as a reflective, submissive exercise. I have to admit this was initially a bit of a challenge. I stared at the question for quite sometime trying to figure out exactly what he might be looking for. Before he left for work he said something about very loose perimeters as far as this assignment went, and I took it to heart and ran with whatever came to mind.

* I have to admit it was a difficult decision to share this post. Not so much because of the content but because of the discussions  we had after B read it. Barney started our conversation with, " It is not what I expected but it is still good"- or something like that. Well I lost it. Not yelling and screaming lost it. I closed up. Then he lost it. As I stated, when initially giving me this assignment he told me I had very loose perimeters with the subject matter. By commenting that it wasn't what he was expecting I felt initially robbed of that.  But there was more to it.  It took a while before we came to that understanding.  

After calming down B returned and apologized to me.  He put into words what I was really feeling before I could ( I was still upset over the 'loose perimeters' that weren't in my mind). He basically said, " I know your goal is to always please me and I have to be more attentive to that when I talk to you.  I am not disappointed in what you wrote.". 

 I thought back to other times I had similar reactions in a discussion. It was true on so many levels,I really don't like not providing what is expected of me or having him and others  who I respect disappointed in me- but there was also another layer to that. Those who read my comments on other blogs can attest, I tend to see things very differently than others, (thank you dyslexia). Most times this is a very good thing, but it still always makes me feel like a fish out of water.  Earlier in the week it was pointed out to me on a blog I had commented on.  So B's comment was adding insult to injury.  Just like the post where  I had put my comment on, I reread B's question several times.  I couldn't for the life of me see where I had errorred. What I had missed.  Couple that with not living up to his expectation, after putting myself 'out there' for him it was basically soul crushing.

 And if I am to be honest, brutally honest, I am still not over my feelings on the matter.  Yes I *am* insecure when it comes to writing, especially because I am now unprivate again and many of my longtime readers are no longer. I am forever second guessing my comments and posts because they seem so out in left field compared to others. BUT this is who I am and there is only one way to get over those demons and that is to plug on! (no pun intended)


What is pain to you, physical, and emotional?

I am going to assume you mean within the context of our dynamic and not me stubbing my toe? 

Physical pain administered within the context of our dynamic is the exchange of power in the highest, yet also most basic form. Physical pain, once accepted is the emptying of the mind. It is the restoring of power. It is the ultimate surrender to a dominating force. Pain not only empties the mind, it breaks down walls, and secures the submissive heart. Depending on why the pain is being administered depends on what it does to me. I am not often one who needs the pain to release the guilt. I am more the one who requires it to restore the balance of power in my mind- or at the very least start that process. In addition to restoring the balance of power it solidifies to me that whatever has occurred is truly important enough for you to make sure I have felt your displeasure

My mindset

 Pain ( Merely one way pain is administered. It doesn't always take this form)

Balance of Power Restored

 It is the exclamation point to your words. I wouldn't say that pain alone is the deterrent for not repeating offences, but the fact that you administer it brings an air of authenticity to the significance of our dynamic from you and shows your desire to keep us in our designated roles. In some twisted way the fact that you physically dole out pain if I am not being submissive, in action, attitude or words says to me that my submission is as important to you as it is to me and that neither of us should expect any less.

Physical pain alone for me is not erotic. The power exchange must exist in order for the pain to contain an arousing aspect. It took me a long time to figure out why erotic spankings were not for me, or why resets seemed to take much longer than punishments to 'set the stage' for a physical change in me. They both were lacking the type of power required for my mind to allow those walls to come down and allow the sexual being out. Of course your resets are different now but they still do take longer than a punishment to allow myself to let go- to feel my submissive self reemerge.

Physical pain for your pleasure is entirely different, yet it isn't. There is a power exchange occurring but the context changes the emotions during that exchange. Currently, I still need to be informed when I am submitting to pain for your pleasure. Physical pain often manifests itself in anger which can have my head swirling in countless directions. Knowing in advance that my pain is strictly for you helps me channel more helpful emotions which dull the anger response that comes from the biting, instant pain. While I don't enjoy that pain, the fact that you do and the fact my submitting to you for it (eventually) instills a bit of submissive pride in me. I did say eventually. If you stop before I can reconcile my anger response to the latest strike- well eventually might come after more snarling and

Emotional pain is the worst type of pain I can experience anywhere, but particularly within the context of this dynamic. Since starting ttwd a great majority of old walls have come down, which is a wonderful thing- yet it isn't if emotional pain arrives. Without these old coping mechanisms that are not, the emotional pain is quick, raw and often lingering. I have no choice now but to feel this pain as I cannot seem to suppress what I used to. Often the emotional pain can manifest itself physically if left unresolved or at the very least it can cast a dark shadow over many areas of our lives until it is.

Emotional pain to me is the catalyst for attempting to return to my old ways. It is the catalyst for shutting down, and shutting out. It turns down the volume on my submissive voice and sends the negative thoughts to 11. ( Impressive that I can use a SpinalTap reference in a Ds submissive exercise!). Emotional pain snowballs into areas it has no business going, yet it does. It sends out signals of distrust. 

It creates a force field constructed of anger to keep others at bay and to protect whatever is left behind it. Emotional pain feeds itself on self esteem. The longer it is experienced the more damage it creates. This type of pain can multiply and spawn emotional self harm. Experiencing these depths of pain can set our dynamic back to a point where the good has been temporarily forgotten. Its effects can be farther reaching in comparison to any physical pain- especially if ignored for a period of time.

Often understanding abates emotional pain, but given the opportunity physical pain can stop it in its tracks before it has a chance to create more damage.

Monday, April 8, 2019

What personality traits or habits do you most need to overcome in order to grow in your submission?

Barney has (more in the past than of late) given me written submissive exercises.  I find the the reflection they require, depending of course on the subject matter greatly helps me keep in touch with who I am and who I desire to be.  

This was one given to me well over a year ago- I thought I'd share here.

 What personality traits or habits do you most need to overcome in order to grow in your submission?

Respond to assignment in a minimum 300 words.  To be completed for me before 10 pm tonight.  Leave computer on island for me to read when I get home.

Initially when I read this assignment the first word that came to my mind was stubborn. However, I believe that in the case of Dd my stubbornness is actually strength more times than not for keeping us afloat- or at least it was during the onset of Dd. Naturally stubborn wasn’t the word I would end up choosing.

In my quest for choosing, I thought I would create a list; actually thinking this list in it’s entirely would make it into my writing. While I stared at the aforementioned list (argumentative, aloof, stubborn, condemnatory, fearful) it occurred to me that all of these traits stemmed from one specific area. PRIDE.

The definition I first came across to illustrate my point did anything but, “having a high opinion of one’s self” . Yeah not so much. I can and do sometimes take pride in things I have done, but the pride that stands in my way of my submission isn’t that type of pride. I then took to the internet abandoning traditional definitions to find someone who perhaps could explain better than I how pride can stop us from truly being ourselves.

I ended up finding many things on various religious sites. The best explanation I can come up with how pride cripples my growth is this: Pride tends to keep our own weaknesses, mistakes and regret to ourselves. I am no stranger to this. It is pride that keeps me from talking to you concerning my fears, my insecurities, and my needs. It is pride that stops me from submitting. I may become argumentative, and condemnatory, justifying that I didn’t submit because I am fearful of what will happen tomorrow, but if I examine it, it is truly because of pride. I don’t want to face my weaknesses, at least during those times. Often when I am alone, I have every intention of sharing with you the next time I see you. The moment you walk through the door, upon reflection, it is as if I find fault with things so I can convince myself not to share; to close up. As you can also see, I can become condemnatory. By doing so I don’t have to look at my faults and therefore admit to myself that I am not as submissive (anymore) as I once was.

Pride is a force field of sorts. It prevents me from being humble, and therefore stops the next step -vulnerability (which is why certain humbling exercises work well with women). Deep in my heart, okay not even that deep, when we are in a horrible place I KNOW I am the primary reason for it. Sure, I NEED you to pull out my vulnerability in able for me to not be so proud, to be raw with you, but I am the one who hides behind pride. The fear of embarrassment is too strong- not always from you but embarrassment of self.

I think that is perhaps why I get so upset now when we aren’t on course. I know I have it in me to be UBER submissive, and it isn’t that I need you to make me be submissive, it is that I need you to break down all those insecurities that allow my pride to protect me. At the start of Dd it was seemed easier to not be so prideful, on so many levels. The first being that I wasn’t that ‘deep’ into submission, I didn’t have the expectations of self I do now- mostly because I hadn’t felt it as I have; The next being the obvious failure as of late. The more I fail the more I am afraid to fail, therefore refusing to look inward in the presence of you or sharing faults with you instead focusing on what you aren’t delivering as opposed to what I am not protects the reality from surfacing.

I need your help on this there is no denying it. If only I could be open with you as I am with myself in quiet moments. If only I would share with you my thoughts and feelings- the very quiet ones that don’t fixate on you. It seems I have lost that ability to drop the pride. I suppose perhaps my pride is there because I feel like one of us to be ‘all together’ because of our past in ttwd..and even if I am NOT, I must keep up the appearance that I have all the answers. After all I am the one who brought this to our doorstep. I can’t be the one who fails at it.