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This thing we do • View topic - Top suffering

Top suffering

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.)

Top suffering

Postby FootballJunkie » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:32 pm

So...what do you do when your top is suffering from a mental health issue?
Right now T is dealing with some depression issues, which not only means that ttwd is on hold for a little while, but it also means that sometimes I have to take control to help him get things done. Stuff like, "are you out of bed yet?", "have you done these chores?", etc. At times, this means going over to his place and helping him get those things done or dragging him out of bed.
In a kind of ironic note, I think I have been better behaved since he's been struggling with this just because I know that he can't be there for me like that right now. However, it is hard when I do want attention and specifically when I want that kind of attention. I just didn't know if anyone else had dealt with this particular issue and had any tips for how to handle it. Both Top and Bottom perspectives would be welcome because I would love to know how Bottoms handled the not getting attention and ttwd that we crave and I also want to know what a Top might be thinking and how best to help him right now.
Also, prayers would be appreciated, if you believe that way.
Thanks!
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Re: Top suffering

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:24 pm

W and I have dealt with this in various ways over the years. With her, it is often physical rather than mental health, but I think that when someone is very sick in either way, or both ways, it takes its toll.

We did put TTWD on hold, although that can't last quite as long as depression or chronic illness will last.

Another thought is to figure out ways that T can be a top when he's up for it, and not feel too much pressure when he isn't. I know that W has been reluctant to start when it felt like she would have to take on the whole load.

Speaking from my perspective of having dealt with bad depression and physical illness, it was really hard for me to do even a little when I thought that meant I would be expected to do everything; once I was able to train myself to do just what I was able to do, and to stop when I needed to, I was actually able to do a whole lot more than when I kept trying to take up the whole load again.

I wonder if it would help you if you could find ways of reframing the help you're giving him as a submissive gesture? That's a big struggle for me, but it makes sense when people suggest it. I have trouble *doing* it, but I can see where it might help me.

Good luck. I empathize with both of you!
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Re: Top suffering

Postby TryingReallyHard » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:57 pm

~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: Top suffering

Postby Meg » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:01 pm

Until O had hip replacement surgery this past December, her physical condition deteriorated on a steady basis for about 2 to 3 years. She also experienced serious depression during this time, probably brought on at least in part by the incredible physical pain she was under.

JA and TRH's suggestions about submissive service are right on!

We did not put ttwd on hold; however, it was pretty limited. The system we had was set up so I could monitor myself for the most part, and did not need much maintenance or active Topping from O. She could muster the energy for a mild spanking about once a week which is pretty much what I was supposed to receive under the system.

We also have the ongoing issue that O has PTSD, and has fairly severe flashbacks. During those times, she can get *really* mean. We have found that, as hard as it is, it is really best for both of us if my *behavior* remains submissive during the flashbacks, so she is less likely to see me as a threat and someone she has to protect herself from. On the other hand, I have to be careful *not* to allow myself to go into a submissive mindset or let my emotional defenses down...so, it is best if I *act* in a more submissive manner without *being* submissive, if this makes sense. If I can not do that, it is best for me to just leave her be until one or both of us calms down enough to handle things. If I am able to recognize the flashback, I can usually do what I need to pretty quickly; however, if I don't recognize it...well, that sometimes is problematic. Luckily, we have been together long enough and O has done enough work on herself, that it is getting easier and easier to recognize the flashbacks.

It is *really* hard though...and you both have my sympathies and well wishes.
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Re: Top suffering

Postby Desperate4Discipline » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:21 pm

FJ,

Although I haven't been doing ttwd enough to give you any advice, I want you to know you have my sympathy and I hope everything works out and T feels better soon. I've been there and it's a very dark confusing place. Hang in there.
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Re: Top suffering

Postby Eayore » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:29 pm

I am thinking of you both as you go through this. I hope you can remember and celebrate the discipline you have had from T in the past, and you feel confident that it will come back in the future when T is ready. (That's easy to say, I know!)
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Re: Top suffering

Postby W-Jigsaw'sBoss » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:54 pm

umm... crap.

This is such a tough situation. You want to help your partner get out of the bad place they're in, and at the same time, you're feeling a distinct lack of attention and care yourself.

It seems to ME that the issue isn't a ttwd one, it's that your partner is depressed, but you want to help him in a way that doesn't undermine the power dynamic that you've both agreed to. At times that I've needed something a little more assertive than encouragement, J and I have tried several different tactics.

One of those was that we tried switching roles. It's helpful that J's multiple- it turns out one of them's kind of a top!!! Not that it lasted very long, but I'd be willing to revisit the idea once our main ttwd gets back to a better, more stable place.

The other is that your top needs to understand that in order to take care of you, he needs to take care of himself. Us tops have GOT to be accountable for owning up to our own issues- it'd be like someone thinking they can carry a heavy load without acknowledging that they need upper body strength. Or something like that.

Encourage, ask, demand (respectfully!!!) that your partner get the help they need to feel better. You BOTH deserve that.


"I am loving, firm and flexible. Kind of like Lexan."
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Re: Top suffering

Postby Meg » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:55 pm

I think that it depends on the Top how much the bottom can take control over the situation. Whether vanilla or ttwd, it can take years and years to learn your partner.

In my case, when O is depressed, the absolute *worse* thing that I can do is overtly take control. When we were still vanilla (or thought we were vanilla)...the worst fights that we had were when I was trying to make O get out of bed and do things when she was depressed. She responds to commands and feeling like she is being told what to do with becoming more stubborn, and doing the exact opposite. Actually, ttwd has made it *much* easier to care for her when she needs care, because she responds much, much better to gentle coaxing and encouragement than someone telling her what to do, and learning to be submissive has helped me get into that mindset...which is another reason for keeping ttwd going when she was not well.

Everyone is different though...and what works for W or for O may or may not work for T. It *is* a rough situation. If you have a decent relationship with T's family and you can talk with them, it might help you know how best to handle T. I learned how to handle O's depression from watching her mother interact with her, who was amazing at getting O to do she needed to do.
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Re: Top suffering

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:16 am

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Re: Top suffering

Postby W-Jigsaw'sBoss » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:07 am

I second third and infinity this.


"I am loving, firm and flexible. Kind of like Lexan."
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Re: Top suffering

Postby Meg » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:41 am

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Re: Top suffering

Postby FootballJunkie » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:59 pm

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Re: Top suffering

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:14 am

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Re: Top suffering

Postby Meg » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:00 am

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Re: Top suffering

Postby TryingReallyHard » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:45 pm

~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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