W. yanked open the door to the guest room and snapped, “Get into the bedroom!”
I looked at her blankly.
I had been stressed and tired, and by the end of the week, it had spiraled into a sharp bout of depression. Everything was going wrong. Christmas was going to be horrible, I was sure. Chanukah would be even worse. I didn’t have the energy to do anything, nothing I tried to do was working, and the house was a wreck. W. asked Friday afternoon if there was anything she could do to help me feel better.
I asked her to cancel with her mother for Christmas Eve and Day, because I wasn’t feeling up to it. This is more reasonable than it might seem on the face of it, since they’re Jewish, and Christmas isn’t really their holiday. Or so I told myself. And if Christmas is my holiday, and it wasn’t going to be good, then I didn’t want to bother.
To make it all worse, W. seemed to be mad at me, and she went off with her friends on Friday night, leaving me home alone. It was a sign, of course. She was angry, she didn’t really love me. The usual litany.
So logically enough, I went to hide in the guest room. I felt crummy, and all I really wanted was for W. to come in and make everything better. And instead, the first thing she asked when she saw Saturday morning was if I would do her a favor and stay out of the bedroom for about an hour. “Ah!” said my brain, “She really doesn’t care about how horrible I’m feeling.” And so on.
In my depressed state, the best way I could think to be open to conversation was to walk into whichever room she was in for long enough to get something (say, a book), in the hope that she would ask me to stay and talk. You know, giving her a 30 second chance; really helpful.
By late afternoon, I was feeling incredibly frustrated. She didn’t seem to be responding to my overtures. I couldn’t convey that I was angry and hurting. So I did one of the more stupid and petty things I have ever done. I gathered all of her stocking presents from my sock drawer, and dropped them in the kitchen, where she was baking cookies. “I didn’t feel like having Christmas, but here are your stocking presents,” I blurted, and went back into the bedroom. She just looked at me and sighed, and let me go off by myself.
Somehow, I had decided she wasn’t going to respond to me at all. So I stared at her, blank and numb, when she told me to get into the bedroom. “Now!” she snapped.
I followed her into the bedroom, trying to figure out her plans. Usually, when I’m depressed, she is incredibly gentle with me, and it drives me utterly insane. Usually she coaxes me to talk, and I struggle to do so, and we spend hours on it. But not that evening. She was sitting on the bed. The bathbrush, the blue flogger, the loopy thing, a belt, and some other toys were beside her.
I just stared. Was she really planning on spanking me? It was so out of character. I didn’t want a spanking. I wanted to be held and comforted, even though I knew I wouldn’t be able to accept the comforting. W. had other plans.
“Come on, you know what to do.” But I just stood there.
“You know you need it.” Slowly, reluctantly, I climbed onto the bed. The depression still had hold of me, and I couldn’t force words out, couldn’t tell her that I didn’t want the spanking, couldn’t tell her why I was so unhappy. Honestly, I really didn’t know the answer myself.
When I had pulled down my pants, I nuzzled my head into her lap, trying to convey my need for comfort, my preference for cuddling over a spanking.
She rubbed my back for a few minutes, then arranged me for the spanking. She gave me a short warm up with the blue flogger, and then started the spanking in earnest. The strokes came hard and fast.
“Let it out,” she whispered. But the last thing I wanted to do was cry. My eyes were sore and my head ached because I had been sobbing off and on all day. She switched to the belt. “Come on, sweetie, let it out.” Her left arm held me tightly against her lap. I couldn’t let go.
She held me more firmly and switched to the bristle side of the bath brush. It hurts just as much as the flat side, but is far quieter. I tried to pull away, but she was holding me too tightly. My right hand went back to cover my bottom, but she put it back in front of me. There was no escaping.
She paused, rubbed my back, stroked my hair. And then she picked up the loopy thing. My bottom lit on fire, and I couldn’t escape. Finally, I relaxed, and let out some of the tension and frustration. She continued for what felt like a long time, but can’t have been more than a few minutes.
It was all over in less than fifteen minutes. Afterward, she held me, and I explained how I had been hurting and frustrated and overwhelmed, how I had felt like Christmas wouldn’t be nice, how I was discouraged and pre-emptively disappointed. I also explained my dismay at one of the gifts I had received that seemed to be a joint gift from W. and one of our friends. I had felt guilty at not wanting it, at the prospective expense to the people who had given it. And I had felt resentful at getting something that was both expensive and not something I wanted or could really use. W. explained that she hadn’t actually paid anything for the present yet, and we discussed how I could manage to avoid having the friend spend the money without giving offense.
The tension drained out of me. I was able to apologize for my rather snotty behavior. I gave W. the chance to explain that when she left me (sobbing over broken cookies) on Friday, she had been going out to finish her shopping for my presents. She had only been going away because she wanted to do things for me.
It was amazing—fifteen minutes of spanking, five minutes of talking, and I felt better. My eyes and head still ached from crying, but the depression was gone. I wasn’t so angry, I wasn’t so despairing, and I was ready to make a pleasant Christmas celebration. So we went to get the last supplies for the presents I was making, and drove around to look at Christmas lights, and came home to have a mellow and pleasant evening, just the two of us together.
And a note to myself in the future: if broken cookies make me break down sobbing, odds are I have PMS, even if I don’t think I do.