Yesterday was a particularly cranxious day. (Cranxious, of course, means that combination of cranky and anxious that is no fun either for the person feeling that way or the people they are around.)
By the end of the day, I was craving a naughty girl spanking, but (as often happens in that mood), I couldn’t find the words to tell W. what I needed. And so I was “hiding” in my study. W. came in to let me know she was concerned, but since she didn’t tell me I had to come out of my study, there I stayed.
Partly, it was just that I really didn’t want to try to go to sleep. And partly it was that I knew I’d just get more cranxious when faced with someone being soft and nice and trying to cuddle and nurture me.
I wanted to throw things around the room, stomp my feet, yell and shout; basically, my inner child was demanding a chance to be bad, bad, BAD!!! And my outer adult wouldn’t let it, or didn’t know how to make a compromise. Usually, I buy my inner children off with toys or similar treats. But this isn’t a good long-term strategy (my outer adult likes to have a place to live, and electricity, and all of those other things money has to be spent on). So there were no treats, and there was no chance for a tantrum, either.
I finally went to bed, thinking W. was asleep. I noticed that there was a text message on my phone, which had been charging in the bedroom. I checked it, and saw that she had asked me whether I thought a spanking would help; in her next message, she noted that she thought it would definitely help. I was sad at the lost opportunity for a spanking, but texted back that I agreed, but my phone had been in the bedroom.
Turns out she was awake, and she offered to give me the spanking. But the spanking wasn’t giving me the release that I needed—she was giving me a gentle, loving spanking, trying to help me feel better. But I so needed a naughty-girl spanking, to be sternly told what to do, not allowed to make any choices right then. I needed—desperately—for her to take charge. So we gave up, and turned off the light, and got under the covers.
And then my phone rang, with a friend asking whether she could stay the night, because she was locked out of her apartment. I started talking with W. as I waited for the friend to find out whether she could get in touch with her landlord or a locksmith, and then W. offered to come with me when I drove to pick her up.
As often happens, I was much more able to talk while I was driving. We discussed how I had been feeling, and what I needed. W. explained that she still feels ambivalent about ordering me to come into the bedroom, or giving me a spanking when I haven’t asked for it. But she also said that there are times when the main thing she wants to do is tell me to behave, to stop hiding, to stop expecting her to read my mind.
I’m not sure how to manage the divide there. In my ideal world, I could just say, “But that is exactly what I need you to do! Please do it! Please feel okay doing it!” But that’s not really fair, and so I don’t tell her this.
We also talked about the cranxious feeling. It stems from a desire to be a little kid, to be told what to do, to be given limits. And I find myself acting like a kid, pushing against the boundaries of appropriate behavior, just to see whether anyone will make me do the right thing. It’s such a comfort when it happens, and it gives me the strength to get through another day or week or month of being a responsible grown-up. But it also feels just a little weird, to allow my very child-like inner children out, and then to spank them. I wouldn't spank an actual child, and my inner children feel very much like the child versions of me. But W. reassured me that it is okay to spank an inner child. And, on further reflection, I do realize that inner children are capable of informed consent in ways that actual children aren't. Of course, I admit I'd rather I only had well-behaved happy inner children.
Even though I’m not supposed to expect W. to read my mind, or act as though I can read hers, well… I do feel very much like W. would prefer me to be all the grown-up; I get a sense that she hopes my little kid side (particularly the bratty, needy, cranky, misbehaving, limit-testing version) will be eroded by therapy, or by life or something. On some levels, I also wouldn’t mind if that happens.
But from my point of view, it feels like such a central part of me, the part where all of my inconvenient emotions are stored, that I’m reluctant to send it away. More than that, even though I rationally know perfectly well this isn’t her intent, it feels like W. is rejecting those emotional, inconvenient parts of my adult self when she talks about a time when I won’t need the naughty-girl spankings.
So I stay in this cranxious state, wishing I could figure out how to explain what I need. My fantasy right now is that I could let my inner children be the brats they want to be, throw a tantrum or break the rules. And then W. would sternly send me to the bedroom and stand me in the corner. After I’d cooled off, she’d give me a hard spanking, and maybe some more corner time. And then I could come to bed and sleep through the night, safe and forgiven. But I know that even if things went exactly as I described, it would be more difficult and more complicated than it is in my imagination. We’ll see how it goes.