30 November, 2009

Bragging rights galore

Yup. I stuck with it, and churned out text without stopping to worry about quality. Quality is for later. So I am the proud winner of bragging rights galore, along with the proud owner of more than 50,000 words of text that can be the foundation for the rest of this immense thing I'm calling my novel.

You'll notice how it was easy for me to hit 50,000 words without finishing, given that it's taking me this many words just to say that I finished it. Ah well, there are few times in this world when verbosity is its own reward.

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.

12 November, 2009

NaNoWriMo Word War!

Can we write a novel in a month? Should there be a contest, in which the person who's written the fewest words gets spanked? Tune in Dec. 1st to read all about it!

Or go to Coping in Crazyville--Writing and Whatnot to read any excerpts I've chosen to impose on share with the general public.

(don't worry, you're not seeing double, I just wanted this to show up in feed readers, too.)

The novel I'm working on has pretty much zip to do with spanking or discipline, but you might like it in spite of that, so check out the link and give me lots of positive feedback (until December 1st, at which point those with criticism can chime in as well).

13 October, 2009

It's funny what will bring me to tears.

People who are interested in "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" (or, in the UK, Myalgic Encephalitis) and Fibromyalgia might be aware of the article published last week in Science, reporting findings that a large percentage of people with CFS were infected with a retrovirus (67% in the initial sample, compared to about 3% of healthy controls. Later research showed closer to 95% of people with CFS/ME had the virus or antibodies to it.)

I've had this information rattling around in my brain ever since. It's a vindication--all of these years I've insisted to doctors that yes, this is a real, physical, biological illness, that no, the antidepressants aren't making it go away. I hope that the test becomes widely available, and that I can take it. And then I will at least take it to my current doctor and insist that she accept that the fibromyalgia I'm asking for help with is a real disorder.

At the same time, the news is worrisome. W and I practice safer sex, in the sense that we know our sexual histories, know we didn't have any STDs, and don't have sex with anyone but each other. It's not that we engage in any especially risky behaviors, but DAMN. If I'd thought I had a retrovirus, something that could be passed on to a partner by contact with bodily fluids, I would have been a damn sight more careful. So there's that. I'm worried that I've passed this on to someone I love. I'm terrified of what it would mean for us, if she comes down with it, since right now, her ability to work full time is how we have a roof over our heads. (Yes, I do get SSI. But two times $460 a month doesn't even cover our rent.)

And there's the worry about having kids. See, when I wasn't sure whether or not it was communicable, I might have made choices like not donating blood (just in case, because the last thing someone getting a blood transfusion needs is this!). But I was still willing to risk giving birth. Because who knows, maybe it *is* triggered in part by child abuse, and that's preventable. But if it's a virus, it's a whole 'nother thing. I'm not completely ruling out having my own biological kids, but it's one more concern.

Then there's the hope, which I am more fighting against than embracing. I just don't have the energy to be disappointed, so I'm not telling myself "if they can find the cause, then they can find the cure!" Instead, I'm remembering that they discovered HIV in the early '80s, and there is still neither a cure nor a vaccine for AIDS.

So, with all of that as background, I come to the point of my post. I was reading an article about the virus in the New York Times. It's not that the article had any new information--I've been reading and re-reading the articles all weekend. But in a discussion over the controversy around whether CFS/ME is biological or psychological, they had this quotation in defense of a biological origin:
“There is a group who are young, healthy, active and engaged, and all of a sudden they are laid low by something,” Dr. Schaffner said. “Everyone tells the physicians these are people who are functional and productive, and this is totally out of character. They are frustrated and often quite disheartened. You feel that medical science hasn’t caught up with their illness yet.”
As I read it, it was like being smacked. All of a sudden, for maybe 3 seconds, I could remember. I could remember how my body felt twelve, thirteen, fifteen, twenty years ago. I could remember that strength, the activity. I could remember deciding to bike 5 miles out of my way, on a whim, because I felt like it. I could remember volunteering, and building fences, and hiking. I could remember standing up on a moving bus, without clinging to a pole in the hope of not falling down. I could remember going out dancing, spending time with friends, just doing things because they are fun, without worrying that the fun I have today will lead to intense pain and fatigue tomorrow.

Just for a few seconds, I remembered who I used to be. I could only handle it for a few seconds. One of the basic realities of my life is that some things are just too much to handle, and I can either live the life I have, or I can spend time thinking about the one I used to have.

But for those few seconds, I realized once again that this is not a disorder caused by a desire to be sick. I really liked my life a whole lot better when I was well. I haven't gained anything that comes close to making up for what has been lost.

08 October, 2009


i'm trying to quit smoking. well, it started out as me trying to quit smoking and quickly giving up on it, and then w stepping in. in the long run, it's a good thing, since i know i'm not gonna manage on my own. but in the meanwhile, she says that i'll be getting 50 with the bath brush for every cigarette i bum from someone else, and 50 with the *cane* for every cigarette that i pay for. (yes folks, that means if i bought and smoked a pack, i'd be getting 1000 with the cane.)

part of me thinks she can't possibly be serious. but knowing how much she hates smoking, and knowing that she's gotten better at follow through, i'm nervous.

so i decided to try downloading a quit smoking hypnosis thing. i've heard for years that people with DID are really good at self-hypnosis, but i hadn't thought i'd ever done it. but as i listened to the tape, getting really irritated with the guy, and it finally got to the quit smoking part (as opposed to the annoying beach thing, where i could only imagine being aggravated by glare and sand and bugs, instead of feeling relaxed!)

anyhow, it got to the quit smoking part, and i realized that hypnosis is basically repeating something over and over until your subconscious believes it and acts on it. and i was like, "that?! that's all self-hypnosis is?? well, i do *that* all the time!!"

it's how i make sure i wake up on time, if i haven't gotten to bed as early as i should and i need to be up. i just repeat over and over "wake up well-rested in 5 hours" (or however many hours). and while it doesn't substitute for actually getting enough sleep, i really do wake up fairly well rested right at the time i tell myself to.

so i guess i should try something like that, and something to cope with the many stressful situations that i now cope with by smoking. but dang, it would be easier to just keep smoking.

13 September, 2009

sunday "TEA party"

someone over at this thing we do forum referred to their establishing authority spankings as "TEA parties" (To Establish Authority) and w liked this, so she took the idea for herself.

anyhow, i haven't posted in quite a while, and i thought i would just copy what i wrote as the follow-up to our weekly "TEA party" and post it here as well.

i guess it has been almost two weeks since the last ea. but i have done pretty well these past two weeks and not broken any rules or anything. i have eaten my meals even when i was super stressed out and when it was hard to figure out food, and i didn't get attitude even when i was feeling overwhelmed. i have really pretty much followed my rules.

so i guess i was feeling a little resentful about having ea, since i seem to be doing pretty well without it. but i didn't say much about that to w, since i know she would add a punishment on for saying that i thought we could just keep on skipping it. because it is her decision and she isn't going to let me weasel any more. and i guess it is right for her to do that, and it's what i need, it's just that i don't FEEL like it's what i need right now because i have been really GOOD.

it wasn't that big of a spanking but it was bigger than what they used to be if i hadn't broken any rules. it was 7 minutes in the corner, followed with 50 with the strap. she let me out of getting the cane because i've been doing so well. it felt like a really hard spanking, and i said something about that during it, but then the last five, she showed me how hard it would have been if i had actually broken any rules, and those last five hurt a LOT more than the ones she had given me before. so i guess i know it wasn't that bad. also, i am able to sit down now just a couple of minutes later, and my bottom is a little sore, but usually after a punishment it hurts to sit down at all.

i guess the thing that w has really been showing me lately is that she is absolutely going to follow through, and she is making the decisions and she is sure of herself. she even did a pretty good job of helping me to get into the right head space, since we spent the morning doing some reorganizing of the living room and stuff where i wasn't in the right frame of mind for EA to be effective. so it was a big help for her to do that.

i do feel a little bit like if i go for a while without breaking any rules, i should get a coupon to get out of an EA spanking, but maybe like that could come once a month... like, if i can go for a month without breaking rules, then i can get out of EA once. that way, i would feel like i got a reward for following the rules for a long time. and if i could go for TWO months without breaking rules, then i could get a coupon to get out of EA once AND a coupon to get out of a punishment once. like a get out of jail free card or something. and more rewards if i ever manage to go for three or four months without breaking a rule.

i am pretty proud of myself for not having broken any rules, but i guess it feels a little unfair to still get EA if i have done so well. i suppose w will say something like not having one last week, or right after we got home, is the same as getting a week free. i suppose that is true, but it doesn't feel that way if you are the person who is getting the spanking.

14 June, 2009

Taking the new system for a test drive

(I also posted this at the Punishment Book, but I figured it was worth posting some real life stuff here, too. Don't blame me. I'm just copying Natty, my role model of the year. :P )

W and I revised our system (rules, consequences, stuff like that) this week. This was a planned revamp, because we discovered things need to get tweaked on a regular basis, and we had hoped it would work better to plan to do this, rather than just waiting until things jam up and then fixing it when it's in a mess.

The title of the post is my face-saving way of saying that in spite of knowing that 1, W has gotten fairly consistent with enforcing the rules, and 2, that the new consequences could easily be far more severe than W would get on her own, I still felt the need to break rules this afternoon.

We added some new elements to the system this time around. Among them, I am now responsible for getting things set up if I'm going to have a spanking. We also finally got around to writing the weekly checklists (these are in addition to daily checklists, which we've been doing for a while). And, after some discussion sparked from a thread on This Thing We Do, I am now supposed to wear a skirt, with nothing under it, when it's time for a punishment (this is both to help me get into the appropriate head space, and to make it that much easier for W to give me the spanking).

Oh, right, and I remembered having downloaded a spanking generator, and W had me alter the offenses and consequences to reflect our system. Yes, I am the one who plugged in the consequences, and none of them seem to have been "J must spend the next week doing nothing but playing Sims 3 and eating bon bons." Why is that? :-P

So you'd think that I would have been positively angelic, knowing W is going to be more on top of the rules when she has just reviewed them, and knowing the range of consequences available, and how much less they rely on the punishment strap (painful while it's happening, but it wears off quickly). No, not so much.

It started with getting ready for the Sunday session of "Establishing Authority." (W's authority, that is!) I had put off filling out the Sunday checklist, because the easiest way for W to read it would have been for it to be filled out but not yet submitted (it turns into a spreadsheet when I click submit, so it's handy for looking at overall trends in my responses, but not so useful to look over any single response). And I'd forgotten the kinds of questions on it (including things that require me to have filled out my daily checklists, and then to look those up to get the answers for the weekly checklist, which W checks).

So I had gathered all of the things I thought I was supposed to bring into the living room, tidied it a little, shooed out the cats, put on my skirt, set up the music, and went to my portable computer to fill out the checklist and couldn't get online. Time was ticking down, and before I could get the computer to recognize the wireless network, time was up and W was in the living room. I think, had I been prepared to answer the questions easily, this could have managed, because this was the first time we were doing the new system, and my usual checklist takes me about a minute to fill out. Unfortunately, the new one takes longer than I'd thought, particularly if I don't have the answers to the questions!

Meanwhile, W realized I had *also* forgotten to bring The Book (the notebook where we have paper copies of the rules, the pages of lines I've written, and all of the other written process stuff about our system). This would also probably have been forgiven, had it not been for the debacle with the checklist. After I finished filling out the checklist, and brought in The Book, W sent me to the corner while she looked things over.

When my first round of corner time (8 minutes) was up, she called me out, and looked at me very sternly. "If this checklist had been a test, you would have flunked." So she used the punishment generator to determine the consequence for not being ready on time. I can't remember what the generator had decided on, but W changed it to 12 minutes of corner time, this time with my hands on my head, and 20 with the bath brush.

So back into the corner with me. Let me tell you, standing in the corner is boring, and mildly uncomfortable (I'm far-sighted, so the close focus really is uncomfortable), but it's nothing on standing there with my hands on my head. Ouch. I was nearly in tears of regret about four minutes into it.

Since the punishment generator is a new part of our set-up, W hadn't noticed the line for "establishing authority" so instead, she generated punishments for the rules I'd broken earlier in the week, and reduced and combined those to come up with the Sunday spanking. I've learned from experience that it's best not to stick my nose in and tell her a different way of punishing me at that stage of the game, because she's more likely to add punishments. And as it turned out, I got less with her system, so all was well.

But this STILL added up to 52 strokes with the strap (part of the punishment for skipping a meal) and 15 lines (part of the punishment for not texting her to tell her about my meals). I was glad that she reduced the punishment, because it does seem really unfair to have gotten punished for both of those on Wednesday, and then again on Sunday. But she reduced the punishment from the original, and as it turned out, it was less of a punishment than I would have gotten had she used the "establishing authority" choice on the generator.

Still. It was 52 strokes with the strap, hard ones, followed by 20 even harder ones with the bath brush (why, oh WHY, did that thing EVER get used as a spanking tool?!?!) and then 15 lines. You would think this would have made me shape up, but not so much. I think a lot of it is knowing myself, and knowing that I'm probably heading into a phase of more testing, but trying to keep things in check because (shhh) I love W and want to make her life easier. Making her life easier isn't consistent with breaking rules because I need limits, particularly not in the middle of two incredibly busy weeks at work.

So in my post-spanking journaling, I mentioned that I was feeling the way that indicates I probably need more of a spanking; W decided it was best to see how things went. And I did agree that a just-because spanking was not really going to meet my needs in the way that a punishment spanking would. So I was getting a little stressed over that--knowing that I not only needed another spanking, soon, but that I needed the kind of spanking that results from me breaking a rule. The kind where it's clear that W has things under control, and if I slip up, someone is there taking care of things.

Being the imperfect person I am, this came out in steadily increasing "attitude." (Attitude is like porn: perhaps you can't define it, but you know it when you see it.) So around 5, when it was time to start thinking about dinner and the rest of our evening, W decided it was time to deal with the attitude. Back in the corner I went, hands on head, to be followed with 36 strokes with the bath brush (the *generator* told her to use the strap, but she was feeling particularly strict). She started with 12 minutes in the corner, but the attitude had ramped enough that I wouldn't stay still. I was fully prepared to point out that twisting my dreadlocks could be done with my hands on my head, following the letter of the punishment. W added 3 additional minutes of corner time, I continued fidgeting.
W went back to the punishment generator, and decided that I would get an additional 18 minutes in the corner, hands on head (this time, I stood still. I am capable of learning!). The generator told her to do 12 strokes with the cane, but W hasn't practiced with the cane, so she TRIPLED that to 36 more strokes with the bath brush, meaning I was about to get SEVENTY-TWO strokes with the evil bath brush.

For the spanking, I had to repeat "I must respect W's authority" after each line. (After 42 strokes, she changed this to "I will improve my attitude" for the final 30 strokes.)

And then I had lines: I must improve my attitude (18 times) and "I must respect W's authority" (36 times).

Let me tell you, sitting on a firmly spanked bottom, having repeated those lines to the tune of a heavy wooden bath brush smacking down on my bottom, I truly felt I had learned my lesson by the time I was writing them down. I wrote as neatly as I could (given that the part who was present doesn't have the neatest handwriting in the world), and I didn't fuss or fidget or deliberately insert wrong words, as I've been known to do.

Writing this, six hours later, my bottom is still sore even though I'm sitting on my very cushioned desk chair. Heck, it's still sore when I am walking around the apartment, and I'm glad I won't need to sit on a hard seat until tomorrow!