Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Whether we call it "domestic discipline" or "rules" or "structure" or just "getting our needs met." This is a spot for those meta discussions about what it is that we do.

Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby Meg » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:40 am

One of the things I realized for a long, long time was that I had two very distinct sides to me. They are not even opposite, in that opposites usually have a commonality, in that they are opposite sides of the same coin. My two sides are really nothing like each other.

I have a tough, aggressive, no nonsense side and a sweet, submissive side. When I was growing up and all the way up until my mid thirties or so, I nurtured my tough, aggressive side, and tried to minimize or eliminate my sweet, submissive side. Once I started to accept that I was a Bottom (whether BDSM/DD/TTWD), I started to think, consciously and unconsciously, that the new goal was to nurture my sweet, submissive side and to minimize or eliminate my tough, aggressive side. I also thought that in order for that to happen, I would need Obsidian to take over the functions of my tough, aggressive side for me, so that I did not need that side. I also thought that this was necessary because most of my relationship conflicts with Obsidian came from clashes between her and my tough, aggressive side.

I am just now beginning to realize that this is, in fact, a misconception. Yes, TTWD is, in part, about nurturing my sweet, submissive side and allowing it to flourish. On the other hand, I am starting to understand that not only is it impossible to eliminate my tough, aggressive side, but it is unwise to try. For one thing, while my submissive side might be nice and gets along well with Obsidian, that side tends to be a bit lazy and lacks motivation. It is hard for me to get anything accomplished without my aggressive side. Also, no matter how tough Obsidian gets or how secure she is in her role as Top, she can never truly replace my aggressive side, because she is a different person with different gifts and abilities.

I also always thought that Obsidian did not like my aggressive side. I have just found out that this is wrong. She likes this side as much as my submissive side. She just does not like when my aggression gets turned on her :blush: She also wants my aggressive side to learn some manners. :blush:

A few months ago, I was also discussing some of my difficulties with communicating my wants and needs, and I was challenged about black and white thinking and the like. I think that it has more to do with my two sides than black and white thinking, per se. My submissive side has a LOT of difficulty with assertiveness, even to the point of knowing my wants and needs. As I stated above, my aggressive side tends to lack manners but does not have any trouble with stating, well, *anything*...including my wants and needs. In daily life, I can balance these two, but TTWD tends to separate these sides for me, so it is hard to balance these two...which would be stating my wants and needs in a polite, submissive way.

So, I guess what I need to do now is to work on assertiveness with my submissive side and manners with my aggressive side. You would think that the two sides could teach each other, but neither side likes the style of the other or feels comfortable using it.
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby Eayore » Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:29 am

amethyst wrote:She also wants my aggressive side to learn some manners. :blush:
Hehehe!! That sounds like perfect subject matter for domestic discipline.

I'm not sure if this will ring true for you, but your post reminds me about reading way back that assertiveness, aggression and submission are 3 different things. Being assertive would mean something like, "I express and stand up for my wants and needs, while recognising your wants and needs are equally valid; so let's try to find something which works for both of us." Being aggressive is this view was about prioritising MY wants and needs, and overriding those of the other person; while submission meant subordinating my wants and needs to those of another, even to the point of pretending to myself that I don't have any.

Looking back, I can see I have not made as much progress in my life towards being "assertive" in that sense as I'd have liked! I suspect I spend most of my time in a submissive state; but I know I also slip into aggression sometimes and shock people around me, especially at work.

The happy 'middle way' of being assertive to resolve apparent conflicts of interest, still does not come all that easily to me. I must think on this some more. :thinking:
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby Meg » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:59 am

Eayore wrote:Hehehe!! That sounds like perfect subject matter for domestic discipline.


Probably so...but, my aggressive side tends to be a bit less, um, amenable to discipline than my submissive side. Well, I have said that I was several handfuls....lol.

Eayore wrote:I'm not sure if this will ring true for you, but your post reminds me about reading way back that assertiveness, aggression and submission are 3 different things. Being assertive would mean something like, "I express and stand up for my wants and needs, while recognising your wants and needs are equally valid; so let's try to find something which works for both of us." Being aggressive is this view was about prioritising MY wants and needs, and overriding those of the other person; while submission meant subordinating my wants and needs to those of another, even to the point of pretending to myself that I don't have any.


Hmmmm. I don't know. In thinking through this, my aggressive side is really not any better about knowing and expressing my wants and needs than my submissive side...and, in some ways, might actually be worse. My aggressive side tends to be very task-focused. When I am in that mode, I become very much focused and obsessed with the task at hand and the problem to be solved...to the point where I forget my wants and needs. The problem is that I also forget the wants and needs of those around me...because I get so focused on the task. I think that this is why I am not a switch, even though my aggressive side *can* lead. That side of me tends to have an the attitude towards others of "either lead, follow, or get out of the way," when there is a task at hand. On the other hand, that side of me can be fiercely protective...of my submissive side, and of those that I care about...protective to the point of rushing into battle without any sense of self-preservation.

When I am in submissive mode, I do tend to subordinate my wants and needs to the other. On the other hand, that side of me tends to be a bit hedonistic as well :) .

I get in trouble in both modes. In aggressive...for well, being too aggressive. In submissive...for procrastinating and not getting my work done.

Balance is quite an issue for me, though.
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:40 am

As you might guess, I've got quite a few "sides" to juggle, so this post resonates for me. :many:

amethyst wrote:On the other hand, I am starting to understand that not only is it impossible to eliminate my tough, aggressive side, but it is unwise to try.


:yeahthat:

I struggled for a long time with parts of myself that seemed to exist solely for the purpose of messing my life up in one way or another. For me, in the end, the solution was to spend some time figuring out what those parts were trying to do, and finding ways that they could accomplish those goals without causing as many problems. Well, that, and also accepting that "causing problems" isn't always a bad thing.

amethyst wrote:Probably so...but, my aggressive side tends to be a bit less, um, amenable to discipline than my submissive side. Well, I have said that I was several handfuls....lol.


Hmmmmm. My more aggressive parts are less amenable to discipline, but in my case, they're the ones who need it the most. Not that that's the case in your situation, but it's something to consider.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, by the way.
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby Meg » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:20 pm

JigsawAnalogy wrote:For me, in the end, the solution was to spend some time figuring out what those parts were trying to do, and finding ways that they could accomplish those goals without causing as many problems.


:yeahthat:

That is what I am working towards now. Accepting that my two sides want different things has cleared up a LOT of issues for me...not just relational or TTWD. For example, I have been having a crisis in terms of my career...and whether I still wanted to do it. It turns out that the answer is yes and no. My aggressive side LOVES my job, while my submissive side hates it. Of course, my submissive side is not really all that excited about working in general...so, maybe it is just about continuing my job, while creating balance in terms of time and workload...so that my submissive side has room as well. I also figured out that this is why I work better with music on...it gives my submissive side something to do to stay out of the way of my other side.

JigsawAnalogy wrote:Hmmmmm. My more aggressive parts are less amenable to discipline, but in my case, they're the ones who need it the most. Not that that's the case in your situation, but it's something to consider.


Ummm...that is actually probably the case in my situation, too. :blush: :blush: Actually, both of my sides need discipline (for different reasons)...and they each have child versions that REALLY need discipline.

The problem is that when I am in aggressive mode, the type of discipline I respond to is a bit harsher than Obsidian is comfortable with and, at least, in the past, Obsidian tended to get a bit intimidated by my aggressive mode. Obsidian's Topping style tends to be rather parental and nurturing, which my submissive side responds well to, but tends to annoy my aggressive side. Obsidian is getting stronger, tougher, and much more secure in her role as Top, though...so who knows. We have also been talking a bit about the two different sides.

This certainly gives a way to resolve things, though, making them MUCH less confusing. So, Obsidian (and I...for that matter) don't have to try to sort through conflicting sets of wants and needs, and try to make them be congruent or make sense together. It relieves a great deal of stress by just deciding that they are different and accepting that. It is easier to problem solve ways to create space for both of my sides than it is to try to repress or eliminate one or the other....or to try to force them into a compromise that will make both sides unhappy...and keep me rather miserable.
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby W-Jigsaw'sBoss » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:53 pm

Oh, I TOTALLY relate to this. I know that very often, J needs something a lot, um, darker than I feel good about. I know that the harder I come down, the safer she feels, but it's a place that doesn't feel in control to me. I get closer and closer to it, the longer we're doing this. I'm reminded of an article I meant to post that a FB friend posted recently.

http://www.good.is/post/how-violent-sex ... e-my-ptsd/

Be warned. It's VERY graphic.
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby blackbird » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:40 am

W-Jigsaw'sBoss wrote:Oh, I TOTALLY relate to this. I know that very often, J needs something a lot, um, darker than I feel good about. I know that the harder I come down, the safer she feels, but it's a place that doesn't feel in control to me. I get closer and closer to it, the longer we're doing this. I'm reminded of an article I meant to post that a FB friend posted recently.

http://www.good.is/post/how-violent-sex ... e-my-ptsd/

Be warned. It's VERY graphic.


Just wanted to revive this post to say thanks W. The article made so much sense of the tensions I hold in my body and why I need spanking to let out trauma and come into myself. It's not for the faint-hearted I agree, but I found what Isaac did beautiful as an act of love for a desperate friend. I am trying to scale it down to my circumstances, and see the ways I "up the ante" to get the spanking I need but want to fight all at once.

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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby blackbird » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:00 am

Just re-read this thread as am searching for a way to deal with the two sides of me that Meg describes so well here. And the others.

T and I have set up home together this year, and he has given up a hated and enervating job this summer. So we are close to a life that can include D/s 24/7, in whatever form that manifests in our personalities. But I still have to work, at home to boot, and am finding it VERY difficult to reconcile this with the submissive part of me. I wouldn't describe my other side as aggressive, though she can be, but I'm certainly competent and grounded as a teacher and know whereof I speak. But having to do it feels like being split apart at the moment. I want a chance to live submissively to see how it could be. But then I would lose an income and many friends/students and a life work which means a huge amount to me. So it's not an option. What Meg writes here is such a help in thinking how to create a balance between these two parts of me that have such different desires. And it's a comfort to know I'm not alone in the struggle!

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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby LadyShriver1 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:50 pm

BB,

Cheers to you for re-energizing such a valuable thread, and to Meg and all who posted on it. This is one of the main struggles that I, too, have had with DD.

I have an active career, am incredibly independent, and am certainly competent in managing household affairs (in a lot ways, more competent than E, the master procrastinator). And I don't know how I could live without that. I could write on the paradox of my feelings for a lifetime, but simply put, I also want to have my cake and eat it too. I want to be submissive. I want to have less responsibility. I want to be taken care of. And that just isn't in the cards, and I don't think it's even something I would entirely want if I had it.

For me, it's kind of like an old philosophers' quote about human desire...that by our very nature, we want what we want until we achieve it, and then we want something else.

The reason that DD is a strong concept for me is in the act of trying to reconcile those two different (and yet similar!) sides of myself, not in the idea that I will actually achieve it.
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby blackbird » Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:02 am

That's really interesting LadyS. Your last line particularly. And the fact that so many of us bottoms actually carry the can in many ways. I am so struck by this that I'm sure doms and subs are attracted to each other in order to access a different area of themselves. T is in great need of being more assertive and getting on with things which happens most when he is in dom mode. It breeds a confidence in him. And I get to let go of the reigns and not be controlling (out of anxiety mostly). How OFTEN have we heard this story on here and in other places.

But I still don't know how to reconcile my needs. Or even clearly what there are anymore. And I'm getting a LOT of spankings just now as my temper is flying all over the place. I'm asking for SOMETHING that's for sure...!!! :hmmmmm:

It feels very much like the neediness of the child I was when I lost my mother at 3 and a half. I'm split off. So, D/s is part of a reconciliation, or co-habitation of sides to me. How on earth to do it? Another matter entirely.

Thanks for responding LadyS - soooooooo quiet on here!

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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby LadyShriver1 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:38 pm

I definitely hear what you are saying about a sort of trend with Tops and bottoms that seem visible...bottoms who are basically super in control and need to let go, and Tops who need to step up or need confidence.

As it relates to what you are feeling, or needing, if I may, how did you ultimately cope with the death of your mother? Even though you are seeing things now from a much more mature perspective, I also believe that sometimes our younger, less jaded selves are actually better at coping. What do you think draws the comparison in your mind between what you felt then and what you feel now?

I am also curious if the spankings you are getting are providing any relief...Sometime when my attitude leads to lots of spankings during a time frame, I feel like it's because none of the spankings are getting the job done. Other times, and quite the opposite, it's because I'm craving the relief the spanking is giving me.
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby blackbird » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:34 am

What interesting questions LadyS....

The complicating factor for me is that I lost my mother but she didn't die. She had a serious brain tumour which left her depressed and disabled (increasingly as more tumours came) for 25 years. She was never the mother she had been again, wasn't able to be. But no one explained this, or gave me a chance to feel as a child. I had to shut off my real self at that age. D/s brings her back into the picture - both the good (as you say, our younger selves are so much more buoyant) and the enraged parts of her. I say her, because I feel like 2 very different people at the moment. T is wonderful with it. He has a much-cherished daughter himself so is able to slip into "daddy" role very easily. Also, he is a natural dom, it's at his core, so is able to discipline the out of control part of me when it emerges (on a good day!)

To answer the other question, getting more spankings (oh dear, I did indeed get the hairbrush last night!) is usually a sign that things are working between us. 3 year olds are a handful. Angry, repressed 3 year olds even more so, especially combined with my very adult habit of drinking too much wine! :wine:

I loved you sharing your anecdote and what is said to you to indicate an imminent spanking. Very erotic to read those words. Yet, if it was about to happen, I would feel the complete opposite. T spanks very hard!!! I never cease to be intrigued by the paradox.

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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby LadyShriver1 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:06 pm

I am sorry about the difficulty you experienced growing up with that situation...it must have been very difficult. That being said, it sounds like you are really able to process the feelings about that when you need to, and maybe not focus on them when you don't.

I liked your comments about our child behavior vs our adult behavior. :wine: E often says its what I put in my mouth (usually that pesky wine!) and not what comes out of it that gets my ass in trouble!

For me, almost every behavior and feeling that DD is working on for me are all things I developed IN adulthood. I was a very go-with-the-flow child, not particularly mouthy (thank god my mother doesn't read this forum, because she might argue about a few of the teenage years), and quite good at processing feelings and being self aware.

As I grew up, my jobs, life, traumas, successes and relationships led me to feel a need to be in control. I don't think that's really my natural state of being, so when I give that control up and do go with the flow, I can relax and feel more like me. Processing becomes more complicated in adult life too, and since I work in therapy I often get wrapped up in other people's feelings. Staying self aware and processing my own stuff is what makes me good at what I do, but sometimes I find that harder than I used to.

Perhaps this is why for me, corner time, writing lines, etc have no place in my DD. They work really well for some people, but if I could process by myself, I would just do that! Somehow, even though by many standards spanking is considered the most extreme punishment, the intimacy that comes of physically and emotionally letting go to someone I trust is way more valuable.
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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby blackbird » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:09 am

"....since I work in therapy I often get wrapped up in other people's feelings. Staying self aware and processing my own stuff is what makes me good at what I do, but sometimes I find that harder than I used to".

OH I SO KNOW that feeling....!!! My work as a teacher inevitably involves me in much processing of others' stuff. And having done so much therapy myself, my whole being is attuned to them when at work.

I love what you say about the going-with-the-flow part of yourself. And the wine :lol: I will tell T.... it will make him smile with recognition. I haven't come across someone who was chilled in childhood yet found adulthood the tough part of existence. How did you first become aware of going in the wrong direction internally? Do you feel it was imposed from outside or were they your own choices?

I am so interested in the restorative capacity of TTWD. It goes straight to the heart of the matter and isn't for the faint-hearted as it takes a great deal of communication to make it work, I find. But that suits me. I am always work in progress.... :dry: Because so few people are writing at the moment, it's given me the chance to go back and read all the posts I was too excited to take time to mull over when I first joined. What a treasure-trove. Such honesty and clearly much pain. I find Meg and Obsidian particularly helpful. I wonder where they are now....

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Re: Clearing up a Misconception I Had

Postby LadyShriver1 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:39 pm

I am definitely an Unfinished Woman (my bumper sticker version of a work in progress).

I can't say that I exactly feel like my control need was imposed on me...I sort of did it to myself. I started my own business very soon out of high school, before college was finished, and I felt a lot of responsibility for that. i still went out and had fun and enjoyed myself, but there were also a lot of times where my business had to take presidence(what the hell, I can't figure out how to spell that!). And there were an awful lot of people always trying to convince me to be less responsible...peer pressure if you will (i.e "Oh come on, just tell your clients you're sick. Let's stay out!") . So that made my resolve a little stronger yet...I became self disciplined in a good way...and a little uptight in a bad way.

I still tend to trust that everyone has good intentions, but I've also learned I can't always trust that good intentions lead good places. I have to fight a bit of a "if you want it down right, do it yourself" feeling sometimes.

The biggest factor was my divorce. In our marriage, my ex always appeared to have things under control, so I just relaxed and assumed things were. He kind of wanted a Betty Crocker meets Career Woman...he enjoyed the money my job brought in but still seemed to dream of a June Cleaver kind of home. We never fought, which should have been a warning sign, until he walked in one day, threw divorce paper work at me as we finished dinner and did his best to never speak to me again. He never gave me an explanation.

I guess my subconscious decided to invent reasons and it decided that maybe I was a little TOO laid back in the regards of being responsible. So I'm working on it. And I'm working on it a lot of times over E's lap.
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