Self-Care ~ Part I

7 Feb

SherynB taught this class, which was called “Beyond Aftercare:  Managing Your Own Emotional & Energetic Needs.  The class description read:

“This is NOT an “anti-aftercare” class. It’s a primer in psychological self-care and energetic self-defense for tops and bottoms. If you’ve ever been blind-sided by how strongly emotions/energy affect you or your partner, both physically & mentally, this class/discussion will help you recognize energy exchange for what it is, and give you a toolbox to care for yourself and secondarily (yes, secondarily) assist your play partners in doing the same. This interactive lecture & discussion is firmly based on the principle that we are each fundamentally responsible for understanding and providing for our own needs, before we are we able to functionally interact with others.”

She did a really nice job with it.  It was interactive, and she used stories to illustrate, mostly her own stories, which makes for a good presentation.  

But her main point, what i saw as her main point, is the idea that we are responsible for our own emotional well-being, no matter how submissive we are.

Cruising around the blogosphere as much as i do, i run across people who believe their Dom or Master is supposed to manage their (the sub/slave’s) emotions.  That the Dom somehow takes responsibility for making sure the sub feels what they want her to feel, or what she should feel.

When i was new to TTWD {and gosh, how strange to realize i’m really not “new” anymore} but when i was new, i guess i thought maybe that could be true.  Maybe the Master could take charge in such a way that he really was managing her feelings.

Of course it’s not true.  Ultimately, we are each responsible for our own feelings.

That’s kind of a relief for me.

Sure, it would be kind of nice, i suppose, to let someone else take over making me feel ok, but really?  Not possible.

It’s like Andi’s comment the other day about how at one time she thought maybe she wanted to be a housewife and just worry about keeping the house clean and not have to think about anything else.   No.  Not gonna work.

Back in the day when women tried to do that, we ended up on Valium, a highly addictive tranquilizer.  They used to call it “Mother’s little helper.”   But i digress…

We are people first.  

People are ultimately responsible for managing our own feelings.

And doesn’t it sound silly, that i even have to say that?  But i think there’s some belief that we can “give him” control of our feelings.

i think that’s impossible.  Disagree with me if you want to, in the comments, in your own blog.  i’m really open to looking at this. Hearing if you think it’s different.  

For you, anyhow.

For me, i really know that it’s up to me.

That’s not to say He doesn’t have power and influence ~ if i give Him control of my environment and my actions, then He does have the power to elicit  a variety of feelings from me.  

He knows what buttons to push to make me feel weak-at-the-knees submissive, right?  A simple hair tug ~ right at the nape of my neck ~ will pretty much take me there.

He knows what makes me wet, what makes me smile.  He knows how to get the endorphins racing through my system like life is just one giant orgasm waiting to happen.

And when it’s over and i’m crashing, He knows how to be there for me.  Cuddling, holding, warming me.

But.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s still up to me to be responsible for my own day-to-day emotional stability and well-being.

SherynB tells a delightfully dramatic story about herself and some edge play.  She had a friend who she was relying on to see her through any unexpected negative emotional fall-out.

Only problem ~ the friend thought the scene was all over, thought she was ok, and left.

The scene was not quite over, and SherynB ended up having an emotional melt down, the very thing she’d feared.

She describes how she got through this, and her own recognition that at the end of the day “there is always that observer inside ourselves who can rescue us.”

i call that “wise mind.”

i’ve got more to say ~ no surprise there, right?  Share your thoughts and reactions if you want to.  i’ll be back tomorrow.  🙂

16 Responses to “Self-Care ~ Part I”

  1. vanillamom February 7, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    *nodding*

    I thought the same thing when I was a newbie. “He” would be totally responsible for me. Maybe, (she ponders)…it’s a thing we have to go through, incubating us in a way…like in an egg kind of incubate…we feel protected and safe within the shell that we/our Top creates…

    and then, at some point, when we feel we’re not being “totally” cared for…. cracks develop, and we become fearful …and it’s possible (i’m supposing here) that some people never go beyond that point…

    but for me, i cracked through that shell and am on the other side. (most of the time!)

    This is not to say I don’t need my subsisters when I’m having a blue attack (proof positive on the blog today, yes?) but as far as TTWD, Master has often said the same thing. That ultimately i am in control of my own version of ‘happy’….At the end of a playday, we spend a great deal of time cuddling, playing gently. This is one of His favorite times, as we “come down” together.

    And for the most part I’ve worked hard to manage “sub-drop” …not always alone, to be sure. I lean on you, and Him…

    and really? I wouldn’t want Him to be the cure-all. I’m in charge of me, ultimately. And if i couldn’t manage myself, well…i’d be certifiable, right? *grin* And i’m not. (wait…..don’t all nutjobs say that?)

    *giggling*

    oh, is this another of those blogpost responses? Good thing you like me!! LOL

    nilla

    • aisha February 9, 2012 at 5:17 am #

      Dear ‘Nilla,

      Yes, i love you and your long, blog-post responses.

      But i think what you describe is very true, at least for some of us. That process of thinking they’ll be able to wrap us so completely that they can be in charge of it all, and then discovering our own responsibility. Yeah.

      hugs,

      aisha

  2. Jz February 7, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Having piped up on this before chez bitch, you know I’m with you.

    It’s a complete fantasy to think you can abnegate all responsibility for your own well-being – and any Dom who expects you to is deluding himself, as well.
    They’re not mind readers and I think we do them a disservice if we expect them to be.
    Not to mention the far greater disservice we do ourselves…

    • aisha February 9, 2012 at 5:24 am #

      @Jz,

      Yep. They’re not mind-readers, and yes, if we expect that, they can’t possibly live up to it.

      What i see sometimes is subs who want their Dom to take responsibility for it all, maybe more so than the other way around. Either way is generally not feasible.

      hugs,

      aisha

  3. mouse February 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    When we played hard, Omega had several things in place to make sure mouse was safe, in a physical sense…emotionally Omega would provide comfort, dry tears, blow nose…etc..mouse. His job during a scene is to make sure that things don’t go in a way that would be completely physically or psychologically damaging, just as he’ll shoulder the blame if something went horribly wrong — which as he wrote about once in the blog it did and forever changed us both and altered our dynamic.

    Are we responsible for our own mental health…absolutely. It really can’t be any other way.

    We can all readily agree that mouse’s relationship with Alpha was mentally unhealthy in most respects…and on top of that he sucked at aftercare. It was as though she was left in open water drowning in a sea of thoughts. During those times she was left to her own devices, with some success but also a lot of worry about the next time. That’s how abuse works.

    When mouse says that Omega is responsible for her mental and physical health, it means that he won’t cause damage like that other relationship. Not that he’s responsible for her feelings about this or that, but that he’s overall responsible how she feels (safe, nurtured, healthy, etc.). He handled mouse very differently — probably more different than he handled other girls he’s been in M/s relationships with, because he understood that deep down under all that…mouse was still very fragile, brittle, and somewhat still broken by the past — in much smaller ways that past is never far behind her. While all the real work in repairing the damage was done by mouse…Cannot begin to fathom doing any of that without him by mouse’s side.

    It’s something that’s very important and don’t often thoroughly explain…

    Hugs,
    mouse

    • aisha February 9, 2012 at 5:32 am #

      Dear Mouse,

      The road to healing from abuse is long and hard. i’m glad you have Omega with you.

      Omega does take care of you in many ways, i know, and i think the love between the two of you is beautiful and amazing.

      hugs,

      aisha

  4. melinda February 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    I love this post aisha -thank you! I will link to it from my own blog i hope that’s ok…i think this post is an important one to spread.
    Again, thank you for this wonderful post!

    Hugs, melinda.

    • aisha February 9, 2012 at 5:33 am #

      Thanks, Melinda, and thanks for the shout-out on your blog! Welcome to the blog-o-sphere!

      hugs,

      aisha

      • melinda February 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

        not so sure i’m new to the blogosphere, but thank you! 😉 🙂

  5. Omega February 8, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Aisha,

    A topic of great import. However I would in a most steadfast way suggest there are times when it is incumbent on the dominant to take responsibility for his submissive’s mental state. To effectively manage their emotions.

    While most are thoroughly capable of this task there are a few that suffer from a diminished capacity for self-care and self-protection. Through no fault of their own they are unable to do that and require management. Some might argue that these submissive people should not be involved in the lifestyle, but often they are ones most drawn to it.

    I believe I shall expand on this topic a bit myself.

    Serve well,
    Omega

    • aisha February 9, 2012 at 5:46 am #

      Dear Omega,

      When i first read your comment, i wasn’t sure what to think, or how to respond. i have grown to have great respect for your relationship with Mouse, so i was just concerned.

      Having read your eloquent and poignant blog post, i really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and feelings. That was very powerful, and i was glad to see the outpouring of support you and Mouse got.

      PTSD is a powerful force, and the healing journey is long and often slow. Holding you both in my thoughts and prayers.

      aisha

  6. Sir J February 8, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I would disagree here and on my blog if you were wrong. You are not, I think you nailed it perfectly.

    To Omega’s comment I to believe that as a Dom there are times when I should manage her mental well being but I would add the caveat, to the best of my ability. As much as I may want to me I cannot actually be in her head, the last little bit, the final thought on any event will always belong with each of you independently and in the end we must face that. It is certainly nice to face with help though.

    • aisha February 9, 2012 at 5:57 am #

      @Sir J,

      Thank you so much for reading, and for your kind comment.

      You’re so right – it is often much less difficult to face emotional distress with someone else. Thank goodness for loving Doms and subs, and a caring community!

      aisha

  7. melinda February 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    just realized though that i used to sign off with Sweet girl, and not melinda *doh!* (i’m a bit slow sometimes *lol*)

    • aisha February 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      @Melinda ~~

      I’m soooo sorry!!! Taking back the “welcome…” laughing.

      Hi, Sweet girl/Melinda…

      aisha

      • melinda February 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

        no need for apology at all! just teasing a bit =D

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