I'm so happy to see 3 responses in quick succession, that I'm going to dive in and talk as well. I know it would be better, as well as more polite, to give a reasoned response to what you ladies bring up as your own situations, but I'm going to let that slide for now, because I need to read them more deeply and reflect first, and right now on a rainy hungover Saturday that won't be happening. But I want to keep the thread going, so more about me right now
and I promise to engage better with you both in the near future!
Well, being single now I am looking exclusively at ttwd as self-discovery. Its function in building and developing a relationship will have to wait for me, though I'm interested to hear and compare other people's stories about fitting their lives together with another. I want to feel and live my emotions instead of suppressing them (as I have done for most of my life) without being overwhelmed by them (as I was last year). I am trying to find that balance, not lying to myself about what I feel, while realising that I have control as well, over what I do if not over what I feel. And I'm trying to be more open and generous to others, and practising humility. This is pretty much a solo endeavour. I don't have any sexual partner or even a spanking partner. But I've found professional relationships can activate that part of me as well. Teachers or chamber music partners, depending on their own personalities, require my submission, my honesty, or my generosity (delete as applicable). I try to engage with that in difficult scenarios, trying to put my emotional development, or their needs, or the needs of the task at hand, ahead of my ego or pride. I'm sure I'll come up with a concrete example soon enough.
In terms of practical self-discipline - well, sometimes there I am still succumbing to self-harm. I don't like to post details about it in public though, in case there are impressionable lurkers of a masochistic bent who might take my ideas. I'll discuss it fairly freely in private messages though, at least with any of you 3. I may even initiate such myself. I know it's not ideal, but please don't worry about me. My emotional state is fragile, but flexible, and I have a lot of hope.
'I had made the mistake of powering up my consciousness without having the appropriate scaffolding in place'
Marni Jackson, 'Pain'