Saturday, April 23, 2016
Fantasy & Reality
Why do I need or want this? I'm really not sure...
· Maybe I need more clear boundaries, so life feels orderly and not out of control?
o I didn't have any boundaries while growing up. Could it be that?
o Maybe I just need the reassurance and orderliness of actions having consequences for the world to make sense? Of course they do, but it is not always as clear as "if this, then that..."
· Maybe I want or need to change faster to become who I want to be and do what I want to do?
o I am good, but I have huge dreams so I need to become ever better to achieve my goals.
o Sometimes consequences are too long-term to change behavior effectively. For example, I know that if I eat less, I will lose weight, look better, be healthier, and live longer. But because these are all long term effects, it can be very hard to stay on a diet since I don't see immediate results.
o Maybe I lack sufficient self-control, or I live too much in the moment? But for me to achieve my long term goals, I need short-term consequences to effect long-term change.
· Maybe I sometimes need the closure of having paid for my transgressions?
o Even if others forgive me, sometimes it is hard to forgive myself, and guilt accumulates.
o There are few situations in life where wrongs are truly paid for (like speeding tickets)
o Sometimes I just need to have a clean slate.
· Maybe I get tired of being in charge, and need to be under someone else's control for a while?
o It is lonely at the top, with everyone looking to me for answers all the time.
o Maybe even though others look up to me, I know I am not quite as great as they think?
o Or maybe I bully others sometimes, and need to feel what it is like to be bossed around?
o Either way, making difficult decisions is tiring. It can be a relief to have all decisions out of my hands, even if only for a time.
It could be any, all, or none of these reasons. I'm not sure, but it doesn't really matter, because I do know that I crave "real" discipline, punishment, and control, that which most people would rather avoid. This need for control and discipline is a perpetual enigma which forever lives in the never-never land between fantasy and reality. My fantasy and reality are far apart and in direct conflict:
· In my fantasy, boundaries are imposed and enforced. In reality, I rebel against any boundaries.
· In my fantasy, my actions have consequences. In reality, I try to avoid negative consequences.
· In my fantasy, I crave punishment. In reality, I fear punishment.
· In my fantasy, I must give up control. In reality, I love to be in control.
· In my fantasy, I am weak and powerless. In reality, I am strong and powerful.
I am incredibly fortunate because I have someone who loves me enough to understand and fulfill my unusual needs and desires. It is complicated by the fact that my fantasy needs it to be "real," but at the same time, we have a great relationship and equal partnership, so our reality needs it to be "fantasy." In the end, we allow the fantasy to enter our reality from time to time, but our relationship will never be in any way defined by it, but rather by our love for each other. We are loving, we are in love, and everything we do is inspired by love. Even the very firmness, strictness, harshness and at times almost meanness that she unleashes as part of this fantasy ultimately flow from our love for each other. It is very ironic that this fantasy which is based on power and control (both of which have absolutely no place in love) makes us ever closer to each other and more in love.
So here I am waiting, remembering the last time and anticipating the next, not knowing when it will be; It could be tomorrow, next week, or next month. I crave it because the whole experience is unbelievably exciting, and not knowing when it will next happen only adds to the excitement. At the same time I also fear the real emotion involved, since I don’t like disappointing her. As more time passes from the last punishment, the desire grows and I want it to happen again. But in order for it to have meaning, it has to be for real infractions and she has to have emotions to vent. Because I love her and only want to make her happy, I will never try to hurt her feelings, so infractions are not intentional, but rather things that I do without thinking or that result from my bad habits. Also, because she is kind and understanding, she might not choose to punish me even when I deserve it. However, living together inevitably ensures that infractions will happen from time to time, and at least at some of these times, she will be in the mood to use my fantasy to make her feelings clear.
When she decides to punish me, I am immediately overcome by powerful emotions as my fantasy collides with the reality of my impending punishment. My heart races and I feel a surge of adrenaline bordering on fear. I may think it is unfair or undeserved and try to defend my actions or plead my innocence, but ultimately, it was me who asked for this, who gave her this authority, and who said that her word is final, so I give in to the inevitable. As soon as the punishment actually starts, everything becomes very real very quickly, and the fantasy is forgotten for a time, totally replaced by reality. I am initially surprised by how it is more painful than I remembered from before, since I tend to forget the pain and remember only the experience (kind of like having a baby). At first, I try to fight the punishment and just endure until the end. I am more focused on being strong than thinking about why I am being punished. As the punishment continues, I start to feel like I can't take any more, and that it will never end. But of course it doesn't end yet, since at that point true punishment is just beginning. The pain, embarrassment, guilt and emotion keep building as the punishment progresses and they overpower all my defenses one by one, until in the end I surrender to and even embrace the punishment, knowing that I deserve it and need it. At that point, I relax and just absorb the lesson being taught. Finally the punishment can end.
However real the punishment might have been, as soon as it is over, the conflict between reality and fantasy begins once again. Over the following days, the punishment (with all of the feelings of fear, excitement, pain, and embarrassment) is ever-present in my mind. As I sit down, or perhaps as I walk, I feel the effects of the punishment. The times I am not consciously aware of it, I am unconsciously replaying the punishment, what was said, what needs to change, etc. But as I remember what happened, I am seeing the reality of what happened through the lens of fantasy. Yes it was painful, embarrassing, etc., but it was also very, very hot!
Again, THIS is why it works (at least for me). Even though I don't always understand this relationship between fantasy and reality, it is BECAUSE of this paradox that it is so powerful for me. As we walk over this bridge between fantasy and reality, it all at once fulfills my strongest fantasies, changes me, and strengthens our love.
· It greatly enhances communication. I hear and understand much better than if she just used verbal communication. Because of the sudden harshness and seriousness, and because it plays to my deepest fantasy, the issue is given maximum attention, but in a positive way, rather than negative. Rather than just try to evade the issue and make it go away, I actually listen. Since relationships are entirely dependent on communication, this is incredibly powerful and makes our relationship bulletproof.
· It changes my thinking or my mindset about the situation or behavior. Over the days that follow, the whole scene and all the emotions of it is on constant replay through my mind, and I see the situation more clearly from her viewpoint. As my mindset changes, it changes my behavior.
· It greatly increases intimacy. In life, I am strong and always stand up for her, provide for her, and protect her. But for a time, I am completely vulnerable to her. This vulnerability enables intimacy which creates a bond that others will never feel.
· It makes me love her and feel loved even more, because she cares enough about me to do anything and everything to make my fantasies reality. Sure, if she was just cold and distant, it would make a point, but I would be angry with her and would feel defensive and might pull away. Instead, she has made my fantasy reality, exactly at the time she might not feel much like doing me favors.
Because she is using my own fantasy to communicate her own feelings, I fully hear what she says, I see things from a different perspective, I feel closer to her than ever, and it makes me want to meet her every need because of our deep love for each other. This strengthens our relationship and empowers me to make changes that allow our lives to be better, happier, and less stressful as I become who I want to be and we achieve our dreams.