Content warning: Depression, dissociation, self-harm, suicide
I have a lot of discipline as a slave and a person. Rules are important for me in an M/s relationship because they set out the parameter. However, I don’t have to be disciplined much because I am very disciplined. I think it’s because I’ve had to be for different reasons and they are each building on one another. I’m going to have to derail a bit from BDSM to explain how I got to be as disciplined as I am.
My parents were very liberal and free in their parenting. As a child, this was great when I wanted to go on an adventure after 10 PM when it’d get dark in summer. On the other hand, they also just didn’t parent much. As a result, strange as it sounds, I constantly questioned what was right and wrong. I had to make up my own rules and compared myself with my friends and how they interacted with their families.
Early on, I also realised I couldn’t really depend on my parents with my emotional needs. I stopped consulting or informing them when something went wrong or right. So when I messed up (at 13) by telling my best friend’s secret to someone else I decided how I should be punished for that. This is what set off my dissociation and depression, which I’m unfortunately still struggling with.
The rules I set myself amplified after this event. For one, I was never allowed to hurt anyone ever again. In order to achieve this, I had to remove myself completely, dissociate, so that I could be in complete control; no more decisions without thought. I didn’t know I was dissociating (in fact, I don’t have a professional diagnosis so don’t take my word for it) but I was aware of the reason for it. My puppet master was born, there to control my strings.
The Puppet Master
From then on, my quality of life went a little downwards. I started thinking about how I wanted to die and wasn’t any good to anyone. Every hour of every day was such a struggle; I started feeling like I wanted to die because I couldn’t live with my pain anymore. Letting my puppet master had a high price as it meant I had to get rid of my emotions and how can life be worth it without them?
So then, my puppet master had to take even more control. When I wanted to harm myself my puppet master mostly succeeded in stopping me. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t just control your mental illness when you want to; that’s not how it works. It’s not a choice to commit suicide; your mind is clouded, or at least, mine would be. If I were to commit suicide it wouldn’t be me. But my puppet master is very disciplined and constantly present. It’s both my downfall and my saviour.
The discipline of this master allows me to mostly function despite my mental illness. It’s quite funny (or sad, really) that when I see doctors, therapists and specialists they think I’m too functional to be mentally ill. Too functional to suffer, huh? If you look at my accomplishments in life, I guess it makes sense, somewhat. I didn’t drop out of school, managed to work here and there, play all these sports, move to a different country for university, have and see my friends. If you go over the list of advice they give to people I’ve ticked all the boxes (though that list is a little stupid, IMO).
I started living by the notion that there are no limits and that anything’s possible. I needed to believe this because otherwise, it felt like there was no hope for me. There was no one I could depend on so I had to carve my own path. If I believed in limits, my depression and anxiety would’ve stopped me from partaking in society. I would have never moved abroad to pursue my dreams and happiness. I wouldn’t be a football player and certainly wouldn’t be sharing all my thoughts with you. If I had listened to the idea of limits, I don’t think I would have survived because life wouldn’t have been worth it.
“I push to the limits, I climb every wall / I keep on believing anything’s possible.”
Anything’s Possible by Lea Michelle
My discipline comes in by forcing myself to do things and sticking by the rules. For example, attending football practise no matter what. I force myself to eat when I don’t feel like it and specifically calculate possible mental health dips in the amount of time I need to set aside for assignments and such. Nothing is dependant on my mood because otherwise, these things might not happen.
This discipline then also translates to how I function in an M/s dynamic. I do need a Domme to set out the rules but mostly I ensure that I follow them. Punishment is more likely to be thought up on the spot, rather than set in advance as motivation. When Lois set the rule for me to start eating healthily (something I had in fact been trying for years and failed at) she didn’t have the time to police it. She punished me once for binge eating chocolate but otherwise, when I had slipped up I had to hold myself accountable.
I have the discipline to spank myself and keep on going even though it hurts. Inserting needles, using a stapler and keeping clamps on is possible because of my control. So is staying in a certain position even if I’m in severe pain when the only thing that’s keeping me there is their command. I know it seems so easy for me to do but my puppet master is working very hard.
This discipline works great for online M/s relationships and is important in the in-real-life ones too. But I can’t wait until I’m actually tied up sometimes or for someone else to put those clamps on me; it would allow me to let go.
One of the things in an M/s dynamic is that rules have been set out for me. It allows me to stop worrying about whether something is right or wrong because the rule tells me. Since I’m my own puppet and puppet master, the Mistress could take the place of that puppet master and give me a whole lot of peace.
On my own though, the question is, am I able to let go or will that ruin me? I can’t let depression take over in certain areas of my life. How else will I continue to function? And at its worst, would I be able to end my life if I no longer have control? On the other hand, if I stay in control like this I’ll remain unhappy.
The answer might seem simple to you, but it isn’t for a Mistress to ‘fix’ it by taking control. I think it can help massively but it’s my responsibility, for which I’ll happily accept help. I’ve been working really hard on finding a good balance in which I can keep some sort of control and use the good parts while also letting myself go and enjoy life some more. I’ve already made progress. I’m no longer just in control and I am enjoying life but there’s still a long way to go. And for that, I’ll stick to my discipline.
Ps: I say puppet master because that’s the term. It’s not gendered in this post. It’s an it to me.
Suggested blog post: Always ready to serve