21 November, 2009

post-punishment checklist

what follows is a direct cut-and-paste of my checklist that i'm supposed to fill out immediately after a punishment. for a slightly more reflective assessment, check out this thread on this thing we do forum.

why did i get a punishment?

--i didn't eat lunch on friday, and didn't text. i didn't do the task you had asked me to do. and then when you said you were tired after work, i was trying to figure out how tired, so that if you were very tired, then i wouldn't be as bad so you wouldn't have to punish me. i did that because i was feeling scared at myself for letting myself break a rule... i guess i was scared to trust your authority, and scared about the idea of letting you be in charge. i didn't want to do that... well, i did, but i also didn't. so when you said you were tired, i wanted to back down. i guess that i wanted to make it so that you only have to punish me when you've got a lot of energy. but the fact is, YOU decide when you punish me. if you had decided to put it off because you were tired, that would have been your choice, and it would have been my job to accept it. i need to let you make the decisions, not try to make them for you.



how did i feel before the punishment?

--nervous. not sure what would happen. i also felt like i could accept the decisions you were making, and that i wasn't in control of what was going to happen. you are the one in charge, and i was able to let you. i realized that when you say i had to let you, it didn't mean that i had to be in control. it meant that i had to let go of control, because it's true, you can't force me to accept your authority. you can only show your authority, and wait until i'm able to accept it, or not. you can't control what i think or how i feel. that's my job. what you control is what YOU do, and i had to get to a point where i could understand that, and allow that to happen. it didn't mean that i'm in charge. it meant that i had to let go of being in charge.



how did i feel after?

--i guess i feel calm. i am trying not to be worried about the fact that there is going to be a next time. and another next time. and so on. i am trying to trust that you will love me even if i'm hard. i'm trying to believe that you will love me more (not that you don't already love me as much as you can, but you know what i mean)... trying to believe you will love me more if i'm not trying to be perfect all the time. i guess i'm also realizing that i can love YOU a lot more when i'm not focused on trying to be perfect.



what were useful things w did, and what could have been changed/improved?

--thank you for making decisions without asking me what to do. that helped a lot with me being able to trust that you are in charge. and thank you for taking care of me. you were firm, and i believed that you would follow through. i was working on not thinking through what i thought should happen, and then judging whether or not you matched up to it. so for the first time in a while, maybe the first time ever, i really was just ready to accept whatever you chose to do, and not criticize it in my head while it was happening. thank you for being who you are.



what did i learn/gain from this?

--i guess the biggest thing i learned that i haven't written about already is that i got a LOT less triggered by the punishment when i was not trying to be in control. when i trusted you, it wasn't as scary. i guess this is that trust fall thing you had been talking about. when i can let go, it is a whole lot less scary.


what i WANT to be true is for this once to be enough. i don't like to get punished. i don't like to do things i shouldn't do. i don't like to be anything less than perfect. the thing that has surprised me when i've tried it out is that i actually feel better when i'm not perfect. i feel safer, and less out of control when i stop trying to control everything.

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