To those of you who wrote in with your kind words about this blog, thank you. You made me stop and think further about what I'm writing for. I didn't know that my crazy little life was so inspirational to you out there. I'll work harder to remember that you don't expect perfection from me. Everything I publish doesn't have to be the most beautiful piece of art I've ever written. It's just an imperfect blog about an imperfect life, like all of us.
I still hold myself to higher standards, and when I fail, I take it really, really hard on myself. I do this in every facet of my life, including my relationship to my husband, my kinky friends, my work, my problem with ADHD, my speaking career, my cooking....pretty much everything I do. I was always held to really high standards as a child (one of my weekly household chores was to do the dusting of all the furniature; I remember once getting punished for not dusting the top of the fucking refridgerator in our kitchen). I didn't even know I was doing it to myself.
Flogging is not something I often do, but there are definitely times where I'm feeling some emotions and I just need to let it all out. I tend to wall up my emotions and just let them build up, in order to maintain a good public image. The summer was kind of crazy for me, and particularly the past week (for a very, very personal reason I won't be blogging about). I couldn't sort out my emotions in my head, but I thought being flogged might help, for emotional AND sexual reasons.
I went to Inferno with the Chicago Hellfire Club this weekend, and made an appointment for a session. I stepped up onto the St. Andrew's cross, and I got shackled with my arms in the air on either side. Being flogged is an emotional catharsis. The first few swats don't really hurt much, but then they start to hurt. Yet you don't ask for them to stop. You get flogged and flogged until you get "broken" and you break down, emotionally, and just let it out and start to cry. For me, that's where the scene typically ends. But I didn't do that this time.
When I got to the point where I wanted to cry and we usually stop, I gritted my teeth and strained against my restraints. Without even thinking about it, I fought it back. It was tough to hide the tears from my dom and look like I could still keep going. But I fought HARD. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life to fight those tears back. I cleared my throat before I spoke to tell him, "I'm fine, Sir." And on he went, throwing those thuds against my back with his various floggers.
My mind raced. Why in the world did I just do that? I pulled hard against my restraints and braced myself for more pain.
It happened again after a few minutes. Even though I really, really just wanted to cry, let it all out, collapse, and be done, some headstrong determination surfaced and took over my body. I mouthed to myself, "You're stronger than this," as I braced myself against the wood of the cross and once again, forced those tears back into my head. I was hurting like hell, more than I have ever hurt in my entire life, but I felt like I wasn't done yet. I was looking for something I hadn't found yet in this beating.
By this point, my back was red, puffy, the muscles were loosely hanging off my scapulae, and just the slightest breeze made it sting. And that was just a breeze... Sir asked, "Alright boy?" And again I cleared my throat and tried hard to mask the sounds of my crying. "Yes Sir. Don't stop yet." I wanted to hurt more than I'd ever had before. I wanted this to be a real punishment for the things I've done that seemed so wrong in my eyes.
He switched his tools again and returned to my back. I was starting to yell though; each time he hit me, I screamed. Some louder than others. As my screams escalated and my back stung so bad I thought my arms were getting ripped off, Sir just picked up his pace and smacked at my back faster and faster. Tears were just streaming silently from my eyes into my blindfold as I screamed. It had been about an hour of flogging at this point. When I wasn't yelling, I was mouthing to myself, "Stronger than this," over and over again, telling myself that I can keep on going and not to stop.
Why? My mind was racing around. Why is my body doing exactly what my brain says I shouldn't be doing?
Two exceptionally hard cracks and I nearly collapsed down from the cross, if it weren't for the restraints holding me up. I clambered back up, fighting with all the strength I had left in my soul to keep on going. I wasn't able to prevent my crying from being so obvious, but I was trying.
I held my breath waiting for another strike, but it never came. Instead I felt Sir in front of me, on the other side of the cross. "Stop fighting it so hard," he said. I started to cry harder. I felt a liquid dripping down my back. Weird, I thought. After I realized I was bleeding, my mind finally quieted itself, and there, in that darkest, most painful, bloodiest, tearfilled moment, I felt on the outside how I did on the inside. In that quiet peace that resulted, I looked to my own heart and found the strength to forgive.......myself.
"Thank you, Sir," I bawled as he held me. I just cried and cried as I stood there, frozen, bleeding.
There's no reason for me to be so tough on myself. Sometimes I screw up, sometimes multiple people screw up and something goes wrong, or something hurts. That doesn't always make it my fault. Moreover, imperfection does not equal failure, and I don't need to constantly beat myself up over that. I'm worth more, and I can stop this endless cycle of self-depreciation. I know I can.
Because after all...