Letting Go of Control

In a perfect world, discipline would cure all ills. But in the real world, not so much. How do we deal with those diagnoses that spanking just can't make go away. (You know, depression, ADD, DID/MPD. The thing a therapist would put on your medical record to convince the insurance company that they have to pay up, if you had a therapist and health insurance.)

Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby Julia » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:43 am

Those teacher situations are great ones to learn from. Teachers (of many subjects and disciplines) somehow develop the ability to know what they want and to communicate that *effectively* in some way!

But what is effective teacher/top communication? I mean what is it about the way they communicate that makes it effective/forceful and precludes argument or rebellion? I have had teachers who used to ask our class to do something a dozen times and nobody paid the least bit of attention. On the other hand, I had one teacher who got exactly what she wanted from us time after time. I remember vividly that I was once caught looking at a French book in her English lesson. (It was sort of innocent really. I was trying to remember which French exercise I had to do for homework and needed to check it before I forgot the page. It was right at the start of the class when nobody was ready to work yet and I thought I had time.) She listened to my explanation and gave me 10 lines: "I must not use my French books in English lessons". Not a devastating punishment. But I only crossed her again once in five years. (The second time was not so pretty - a metaphorical bloodbath from my point of view! :blush: )

She just had something and I've never been able to pin down what it was.

I Know this is a different context from TTWD but the feeling is similar and the outcome is a desirable one from a TTWD point of view.

Hmmmmmmm. :hmmmmm: :hmmmmm: :hmmmmm: Y'all have got me thinking now!
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:49 am

I'm not sure how different teaching is from ttwd, actually. I know that W has found herself becoming more effective as a teacher when she uses tools she developed via ttwd (not the punishments, so much as the tone and body language). Of course, she had only been teaching for a few years when we started ttwd, and I think her development as a teacher would have happened regardless of what was going on in our relationship. But I like to think that at least *some* of her improvement comes from having the chance to practice at home. ;)
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby Meg » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:45 pm

I think that one of my issues with "faking" is....is well, first off....Obsidian is not really good at faking things she is not feeling...sorry, if you are reading this, Obsidian...but you are really not. 0:) The other thing is that I then feel like she is doing it *just* for me, and is not into it herself.

As far as processing afterwards, I wasn't really talking about the mechanics of the discipline. I am talking more about whatever the underlying "issue" was. For example, if I am disciplined for mouthing off or arguing, it helps if we can talk *afterwards* about what upset me in the first place. This works better than before...when I am likely still angry, and if Obsidian feels like *she* did something wrong, or if I convince her with my arguments, she might back down from discipline, which makes things much worse...even if my arguments were right. Talking about it afterwards gives me both the consistency I need, but then I still feel "heard"...if this makes sense.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby Eayore » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:47 pm

Yes that makes sense to me, and I have found the same thing on numerous occasions.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby TryingReallyHard » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:17 am

I kind of really love this thread. A lot.
~TRH
"The pressure makes us stronger; the struggle makes us hunger.
The hard lessons make the difference, and the difference makes it worth it." -Fireflight
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby realhard » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:59 am

JigsawAnalogy wrote: … waffling …


To me, this would not be an issue of control rather an issue of comfort and safety. If TRH were to not speak up about a problem, and then things went downhill, I would feel guilt and get spun into deep thought about how I could have fixed it. I hate it when she gives me feedback and then I realize later that what I heard wasn’t what she said. :dunce:

I feel so bad when this happens. Oh yeah, I have hearing issues because I drum and have spent way too much time near loud equipment.

If something is wrong then I MUST KNOW. New information stimulates me like handing ten pixie sticks to a toddler. Maybe I can do something about it! Maybe I can fix that! Or this! Or the other! Squirrel!!! Feedback is an obsession and a hard one to deal with. Every piece of information is equal in value to me until I know where to place it in my head… this is a perfect recipe for waffling.

amethyst wrote: Well...I agree that Tops are often more vulnerable than they let on...I have found that, at least my Top, does not like to ask for advice...it is ok if *I* ask for advice...which I can share with her...but that it a different thing...ya know. But I am sure that if W comes back...and Obsidian ever posts...they would become buds...so to speak, although knowing Obsidian, she would rather talk about implements than relationship dynamics any day...lol.


I don’t go to a new source of information until I feel that I have exhausted what I can think about, or if the benefits to me looking up information outweigh the negatives (waffling with information overload). I don’t usually “get” strong emotions either. I hate it when I get off balance and my emotions go out of control. I just don’t understand feelings because they are not logical enough. Too grey - too many ways to be wrong. If TRH wants to look up information then bravo… Why not? And you want to share it with me!!!? More information!!! Joy!!! Why would I say no to that? I mean c’mon. I’m not a :dunce: See quote below :brow:
realhard wrote: New information stimulates me… waffling.


Amethyst, you mention above that Obsidian does not like to ask for advice, but you can bring information, and she would rather talk instruments than relationship dynamics. I completely understand that logic. Might as well be me. Emotions do not make sense to me… they just never have. However we could have a lovely discussion on how the wrist action utilized by American Revolutionary War drummers prevented wrist damage and can easily apply to effective hand spankings. The whipping action of the wrist allows you to two, even three “hits” for one wrist whip.
:rubhands:

Ahem.. back on topic.

There are emotional things that I don’t question though; like love. I love TRH with all my heart; it’s just a fact. I have zero doubt I could ever be tempted away from her arms. I made a decision long ago that I want her, and only her. I dare someone to get in the way of that.
I am doing my best not to stray off topic but I believe this information is beneficial to share with everyone. I think everyone here can get something from my ranting. I tend to do way too much :thinking: :hmmmmm: and not enough :blahblah: so I know TRH will see this post as refreshing. Hi honey, I’m stepping out and speaking for a moment.

One final thing I will leave y’all with. It isn’t the act of spanking that bothers me. It is justification. I spanked once when I didn’t feel justified and it still bugs me. So vivid and fresh in my mind. To this day, if I don’t feel justified then I can’t spank. I remember reading something else that was said… about what happens when the top screws up. Yeah it bugs me, to my core, so bad that I get rattled for long stretches sometimes. I’m looking forward to discussing this justification issue with other tops.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby Meg » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:20 pm

Hi RH...everything you said could be coming right from Obsidian. I think that this is why message board can be a bit intimidating for Obsidian...lots and lots of information...information overload. I wish there was a way to explain things to her in 10 words or less or if there was a little handy-dandy chart to say what I needed and where I was coming from.

One of the things that I figured out recently is that part of the problem is that I think that Tops and bottoms are wired differently. The Golden Rule can not apply to Top/bottom interactions, because I know for a fact that Obsidian would absolutely *hate* being treated the way I want her to treat me...and I would absolutely *hate* her interacting with me the way she likes me to interact with her. I have noticed this in other situations. Sometimes when interacting with authority figures in real life who do some "Topping" of us...Obsidian will find it completely annoying, but, depending on the person and the situation, I might like it. Don't get me wrong...I love her more than anything, and would not want anyone but her, but I am talking about my automatic response to things.

With respect to bottoms giving information, this is really tricky....because I think that there is a fine line between giving your Top information they need to know and "topping from the bottom." I know from my end, I have absolutely no problem giving Obsidian information, and then some, but for things to really "work", I have to be able to relax, step back, and let Obsidian do her thing. If I am in a mindset where, even silently, I am analyzing and critiquing what she is doing, things won't feel "right", no matter what she does. The metaphor I thought of was in Dirty Dancing, where Baby and Johnny were working on lifts. There was no question that Johnny knew what he was doing, but the lift could not work unless Baby let go, relaxed, and could avoid tensing up even unconsciously. A moment of panic from Baby could destroy the entire lift. Now, of course, in order to do that, Baby had to have confidence that Johnny was strong enough and steady enough to lift her....but, despite appearances, Baby had just as much of a role in making the lift work as Johnny did. If she was busy analyzing his stance and whether was doing things right, she could never trust enough for the lift to work.

Ah...the eternal question...when the Top screws up. One thing that I have found, is that in some ways, it really doesn't matter who was right or wrong in an argument...whether over ttwd or real life. I am incredibly good at arguing, and can twist things around to the point where I should never get punished...and my arguments can easily turn into :weasel: ing. The reality is that for almost all of the arguments Obsidian and I have (most of which are *extremely* silly...i.e., the dinner argument above)...maintaining the dynamic is *far* more important than the underlying issue. And frankly, I usually did, at least at some point, do something that deserved discipline...if only by being disrespectful. If a cop pulls me over, even wrongfully, and I am disrespectful to the cop, I am likely to be arrested. Often, I am arguing because I want to be "heard" and "validated"...but, even when arguing, I know for the dynamic to work...I have to lose. If I win, in the long term, both of us lose...by Obsidian's decreased confidence, and my decreased respect. By disciplining me, she is protecting the dynamic; by talking with me afterward, she makes me feel "heard". Both acts make me feel loved.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby TryingReallyHard » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:18 am

amethyst wrote:Ah...the eternal question...when the Top screws up. One thing that I have found, is that in some ways, it really doesn't matter who was right or wrong in an argument...whether over ttwd or real life. I am incredibly good at arguing, and can twist things around to the point where I should never get punished...and my arguments can easily turn into :weasel: ing. The reality is that for almost all of the arguments Obsidian and I have (most of which are *extremely* silly...i.e., the dinner argument above)...maintaining the dynamic is *far* more important than the underlying issue. And frankly, I usually did, at least at some point, do something that deserved discipline...if only by being disrespectful. If a cop pulls me over, even wrongfully, and I am disrespectful to the cop, I am likely to be arrested. Often, I am arguing because I want to be "heard" and "validated"...but, even when arguing, I know for the dynamic to work...I have to lose. If I win, in the long term, both of us lose...by Obsidian's decreased confidence, and my decreased respect. By disciplining me, she is protecting the dynamic; by talking with me afterward, she makes me feel "heard". Both acts make me feel loved.
*bold*, YES!
*bold*, EXACTLY!!
*bold* & *bold*, FFS this is exactly what I need to say!!!!! (And really, I could have bolded the whole flippin' paragragh... Except the :weasel: ing. I never do that... :pray: )

realhard wrote: However we could have a lovely discussion on how the wrist action utilized by American Revolutionary War drummers prevented wrist damage and can easily apply to effective hand spankings. The whipping action of the wrist allows you to two, even three “hits” for one wrist whip.
:rubhands:

:eek: Sorry amethyst. :hiding: ;)

realhard wrote: It isn’t the act of spanking that bothers me. It is justification. I spanked once when I didn’t feel justified and it still bugs me.

Ok, but it bugs me that you feel like you need some big shining neon reason to maintain the balance in our home. How 'bout "because you so very obviously need it, you overbearing, controlling, shrewish twit (who I love and cherish and hold in the very highest regard, etc). Now come here and bend over." :woohoo:
~TRH
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The hard lessons make the difference, and the difference makes it worth it." -Fireflight
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby realhard » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:51 am

TryingReallyHard wrote:I kind of really love this thread. A lot.

:yeahthat:
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby Meg » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:23 am

TRH

RH:
However we could have a lovely discussion on how the wrist action utilized by American Revolutionary War drummers prevented wrist damage and can easily apply to effective hand spankings. The whipping action of the wrist allows you to two, even three “hits” for one wrist whip.
:rubhands:


TRH:
:eek: Sorry amethyst. :hiding: ;)


No worries. I agree with RH...the two of them *could* have such a lovely discussion, and both of them would be quite happy with it. Obsidian and I have been together over 15 years....I am well used to those type of conversations...and applying those conversations to ttwd just helps get her more enthusiastic about ttwd....which is a bit of a mixed blessing :)...but all for the best. I bet your husband is no fun at Trivial Pursuit...unless, of course, he is on your team, in which case he would be a lot of fun...lol

It's funny because when the two of us first got together, long before either of us knew anything about ttwd, and I was trying to convince Obsidian to give me erotic spankings, the first way she was comfortable doing so was to play my bottom like a drum. She is not a drummer, per se, but she *loves* musical instruments...and would absolutely *love* it if we could have one of every musical instrument available. Of course, she would only *play* each one once or twice...but that is an entirely different matter.

Anyways...we watched Dirty Dancing last night for date night. Talking about it here, got me in the mood. It is a great movie to watch for Top/bottom dynamics...particularly when Johhny was teaching Baby to dance. Now, I am a confirmed lesbian through and through, but I have to admit that I thought Patrick Swayze was really sexy when he said, "No one puts Baby in a corner!" and brings her to the stage. Now, in our context, we could add "except me," but that is a whole other matter :).

It also had a good example of what to do when the Top is wrong. When Baby's father admitted he was wrong about Johnny, saying, "When I am wrong, I say I am wrong," in the strong, confident tone...no one lost any respect for him, but instead he gained even more respect.

Watching that also answered my original question about letting go of control. Unfortunately, it seems like the answer is what Jigsaw originally said, patience and practice, and when it fails, just start over and keep working at it. Try to practice in ways where no one gets hurt, because getting hurt could shatter trust and confidence even more. If you do get hurt, try again as soon as possible after both people have recovered...otherwise it will be even harder to overcome the fear. Patience....blah! It would be much, much better if there was a magic formula or something.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby W-Jigsaw'sBoss » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:23 pm

J and I have been discussing the whole "justification" idea. I TOTALLY get it, and I think that 80 percent of my trouble comes down to this. Or at least, what I ***think*** they meant (that was Realhard, right?).

When we're in a situation where my authority is in question, or J is needing to be assured of my authority, sometimes it isn't CLEAR to me what the right steps are, or whether that's what's actually going on. I find myself wondering what the right thing to do is right then. When I am sure of what the right thing to do is, I do it, with conviction, and sometimes it's a successful disciplinary scene and sometimes it isn't. J says that when I don't express that conviction, she loses trust and the ability to see me as the authority. That's when conflicts happen and behaviors get ramped up into something much worse.

J thinks the "justification" idea is more about the lack of conviction and right as the authority than knowing the reasons behind discipline. If I know J is giving me signs that she needs discipline but I don't see anything to respond to that isn't fairly arbitrary, like percieved attitude or not liking choices she's made, I don't have as much... oomph. As we say in theatre, "What's my motivation for this choice?" It's hard for me to "fake it" if I don't actually believe she did anything wrong. HOWEVER, if she's giving me signs that she's needing a tighter rein, I need to find SOMETHING.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby Meg » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:31 am

I think that I do not have the same definition of "waffling" as RH and W...I am not sure of the rest.

To me, "waffling" is when a rule has been set, I break the rule, and the consequence that was agreed upon doesn't happen, or becomes one of endless warnings. Then the consequence is justified, at least it was agreed upon. I am not asking for a scene...I am asking for follow through on what we had agreed upon. If, in fact, the rule isn't working or is unworkable fine....but the time to renegotiate that is not when the consequence is supposed to happen...maybe before a misbehavior and maybe after the consequence, but not at the time right after the misbehavior when the consequence is supposed to occur. It is also waffling to me, when we a agree on something for me to do to avoid misbehaving, I do it, and Obsidian flakes out and does not do the thing I asked for to help me not misbehave.

The real problem, for me, comes when either of the above happens, and I start getting mad and lose confidence with Obsidian. Then we often get into a fight, and she gets really mad at me. She thinks that I am telling her what to do, and I think that I am trying to tell her what I need....and things blow up big time. THEN she wants to discipline me. At that time, I think that it is unfair, because if she had just followed through with what we agreed, the fight would not have happened. I know that the discipline probably needs to occur to keep the dynamic...but, to me, it was a real breach of trust...and it is real hard for me to submit to her after such a breach of trust.

If I have not misbehaved or broken any rules, then it is not discipline...it is something else...maintenance, erotic play.

Sorry, if this is coming out harshly, but we are having a rough night.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:13 am

amethyst wrote:To me, "waffling" is when a rule has been set, I break the rule, and the consequence that was agreed upon doesn't happen, or becomes one of endless warnings


Endless warnings. Yes. That's one of those blood in the shark tank things for me, because we've got such a history of W giving warnings or making threats and not following through on them, so it tends to get me wound up and more tense than if she hadn't done that.

I've also noticed that W tends to have a more difficult time giving herself permission to punish me when I've done something that actually made her angry... to me, it seems like she backs down and waffles more when she really does *want* to give me a punishment, and she seems more likely to follow through on a consequence when she doesn't actually care much about it than she is when she cares about what I've done. It feels to me, a lot of the time, like she needs to be able to say, "well, my justification is that J asked me to do this, and I'm only doing it because J wants it, and not because *I* want to smack her a good one for how she was acting."

I think even more complication comes in because there are times when W can assert her authority with nothing more than a raised eyebrow, and other times, she puts in a lot of effort and nothing comes across to me.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby Meg » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:24 pm

I've also noticed that W tends to have a more difficult time giving herself permission to punish me when I've done something that actually made her angry... to me, it seems like she backs down and waffles more when she really does *want* to give me a punishment, and she seems more likely to follow through on a consequence when she doesn't actually care much about it than she is when she cares about what I've done. It feels to me, a lot of the time, like she needs to be able to say, "well, my justification is that J asked me to do this, and I'm only doing it because J wants it, and not because *I* want to smack her a good one for how she was acting."


You know. That makes total sense...I've noticed the same thing here. I think that it is because Obsidian is afraid to punish when she is angry, because she is afraid of losing control and of really hurting me. Of course, what often happens is that we then have a fight...and she hurts me far more with her words than the punishment ever could (And yes, I will admit, I give as much as I get in terms of saying mean and horrible things to her as well). I have read in BDSM literature, that the Top's job is to let out the inner beast...so to speak....and control it, and that it is rather frightening, one, to admit the beast is there, and two, to keep it under control. I could see where that would be pretty scary. In the BDSM literature, this is why "bratting" and "topping from the bottom" are problematic, because it upsets the balance the Top needs to keep in controlling his/her own emotions, anger, and aggressive instincts. It's hard through...because, for me, "topping from the bottom" and "bratting" are my responses to the panic that sets in when I feel Obsidian is not in control...which makes it harder for her to *be* in control, of herself and the situation, which makes me panic more....and sets up a really nasty spiral, which is really hard to recover from. Add triggers and flashbacks to the mix, and it is a real mess.
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Re: Letting Go of Control

Postby Meg » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:32 pm

After a very rough day, following an *extremely* difficult night...Obsidian and I came to a conclusion. She came to it first, and then I later understood and accepted it.

If Obsidian is to truly be in control of our dynamic, then she must be the one responsible for it, not me. If things go wrong, she is ultimately responsible, and she is the one responsible for making things right. My responsibility is to follow the rules, as well as I am able, to accept discipline when necessary, to perform the tasks assigned to me, and to manage the professional end of my business. I am also responsible for giving her any information she may need. While I can suggest rules, I do not make them, nor am I responsible for seeing to it that they are enforced.

I really resisted this: 1) because it seemed wrong, as an adult, to not assume responsibility for things; and 2) because my coping mechanism growing up was to take responsibility for *everything*....if it was my fault, then, at least, I had some control over the craziness.

In reality, though, as long as I feel like I am responsible for making sure the dynamics "work", then I will never be able to give over control...and Obsidian will never be able to take control unless she assumes the responsibility for the dynamics. This is *really* scary for me....but it feels "right". Things may not go as I think that they should, and we will definitely have setbacks...but that is really not my responsibility, and I need to let go of that. I also need to trust that she will take care of the relationship, me, and herself, that she *does* care about the relationship and about me.

Wow.
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