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
“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,”
That really resonated with me. My friend Jane – from the green grocers 😉 – was jealous because of the amount of freedom my Mum gave me. But my Mum did put down some boundaries within the freedom – so I felt as if I was cared for and had a “person base.” I am so sorry u didn’t feel you had that and so really raised yourself – which is not easy.
I can see why a M/s dynamic works for you – takes away some burden and gives u rules so you can let your mind be calm rather than in a state of wondering what you should do next.
Beautifully written MS
Haha, yes, all my friends were jealous too! And I really liked the freedom too. The negative effect was something I experienced but wasn’t aware of, or where it was comig from. It’s only now reflecting back that I am able to understand.
Thank you May <3
You work so hard at making sense of how to live constructively in this world. You seem to have been parenting yourself for so long ever since your parents were really absent emotionally and refused to take responsibility to be nurturing guiding parents.. In your writings and your descriptions of your M/s experiences and hopes, I see you risking, learning, growing in maturity. I see you finding Doms who can parent you, coach you, challenge and support you as they help you further develop towards that grown up, mature, happy, healthy, full of vitality Marie Louise that is within you.
I find you an inspiration of strength, courage, and wisdom through your sharing your vulnerabilities, failures, and struggles here. Thank you.
Thank you so much. I think I’ve responded like this before to a comment from you, but I honestly don’t really know how to reply. Just know it makes me smile and really happy that you take the time to read and reflect and leave such a warming comment. Thank you for saying that you find me an inspiration. It means a lot.
My parents were very liberal as well, for lack of a better term, and like you I learned to discipline myself.
The part about being too high functioning to be in pain really struck a chord with me. And the term Puppet Master is something I recognize well.
Very well written.
Take care 🙂
Did you also struggle with learning to discipline yourself? o:
Thank you Mrs K <3
I think self-discipline is an everyday thing. Something that constantly takes work and recognition. It’s nice to have someone else help with the regulation and monitoring, but I identify with the lack of being able to “be free” as you put it. Each day is different. Some days I succeed and some days I try again tomorrow 🙂
I’m harder on myself than Mister K anyway, so the drive for discipline is mostly mine to carry. I don’t mind it though.
That makes sense 🙂
My parents were the total opposite from yours, where I had strict curfews and were not allowed out at night until I was in the second half of my teens and already had a child! This is an incredibly interesting read, ML, seeing where your discipline comes from, and it made me think of myself, and how disciplined I am. I wonder if my parents’ rules and the strict rules in schools in SA had something to do with that, or whether it’s just something inside me. Interesting thought…
~ Marie xox
That’s so interesting! I think it has to do with your personality. My sister lived in the same household as me and she rather than being disciplined became very loud and spoiled and did the opposite of what I did essentially! Xx
So many different examples of upbringing and so many outcomes. I think you have done very well reading your account considering what you had to manage a very young age. No sure if you should play in defence or be a striker!
Thank you HL! Ha, if you see me try in the striker position you’ll know the answer pretty soon! Def not striker
This was really interesting to read and I can relate to so much of what you have written in terms of self-discipline. I would see my own issue as self-control but it has many of the same roots and many of the same behaviours. Like you, it is only through complete submission that I am able to let go but there is a issue in terms of the amount of control that needs to be present to allow myself to do this. Thank you for such an insightful piece
Thank you Missy. Your comments always mean a lot ❤️
Wow that was interesting. I had practically no rules as a child but would then be admonished for doing something wrong. As a teen I had to regulate their emotional state instead of the other way around and I always thought of being in control like your puppet master. I’d call it the super ego from Freud. But for me it was so overwhelming that to this day I am very bad at discipline and very bad at accepting discipline from others. But is something I want to try out in my dynamic with my wife…
I think I said it already but I wish I had your wisdom when I was your age. You have an incredible capacity for self reflection. My therapist told me that this was one of the predictors for overcoming mental illness. So I am positive about your future. 🙂
Thank you Ams! It’s interesting how we all fare differently in perhaps similar circumstances (though the other set of circumstances is completey different.) I can imagine that if you were admonished for doing something wrong when you didn’t really know if something was wrong because it wasn’t set out clearly for you on beforehand that you now struggle with accepting discipline. Perhaps if it’s something that can become positive between you and your wife you get to overwrite the past and claim it back as something you control and choose. I hope that for you, if that’s the route you’ll go down.
I hope your therapist is right, that’d be a good prospect!
Mila, thank for your wonderful blog. Full of honesty and courage. You are awesome. i started reading your stuff and i cant stop! Thank you for all your wonderful, mind opening posts. Xxx
i have never met a person as strong, open or as disciplined as you.
Every blog you write is a masterpiece. You are SO inspiring. i cannot express the worth i get off your blog.
Not only that. But also you are happy to discuss honestly some very taboo topics e.g. mental health.
In doing this you take this topic out of the closet. Thst is a wonderfully valuable thing to do. Not just for yourself but for others you ll never know.
When i was little boy , 6 or 7 years old I used be bullied by wee brat kid. He d sit on me for hours. And i just let him. Somèwhere, still buried deep, I still have that little sub mentality in me. Someplace.
Would i go there again? perhaps in a heartbeat. Do i know myself. ?
And you Mila. In all your complexity. And in all challenges. You are so intricate, so integral, so honest and courageous; i am so much better for stumbling upon your blog. vin
Thank you so much, it’s so nice to read this and receive feedback like that. Thank you for sharing a little bit of your story with me too. I hope you continue to enjoy the posts I publish.