Ever gone too long without stretching? Your bones start to compact and you shrink up. Everything starts to hurt more, ache more, cramp more. Then you stretch, and it all goes away.
Being a masochist is kinda like that for me. In addition the joys of finding bliss in pain comes the side that needs feeding. This is the side the prompts me to pull out my Liquid Cane for a few swats just to scratch an itch. This is the side that has me daydreaming about getting hauled into the back stairwell, slapped hard across the face a few times and then sent straight back to work. This is the side that needs to run free or else…. twitch
I require regular beatings to run at my optimal pace. Just like I require regular exercise, sleep, food, and water. I don’t bother to fight it or question is anymore. This thing just is.
I used to question it; a lot. As a former self harmer, who admittedly still struggles at times, I’ve thought about this a fair amount. Is my pain an extension of some problematic behaviour that crops up when I’m not dealing super well with life, or is it something else? My answer is that it’s something else; yours may be different.
What makes my masochism different than self-harm inflected by the hand of another is the feelings I have after I play. Self-harm brought me the control I wanted in the short term, but left me feeling shamed, weak and where a reminder to me of just how out of control I felt in life. Beatings however leave me feeling calm, centered, and remind me of how far I’ve come; how well I know myself and my needs. It’s become a bit of a standard rule actually; if my coping mechanism makes me feel worse than before I attempted to cope, something ain’t right.
If you feel trapped by your masochism, if it drags you down further and makes you feel constantly out of control; I would urge you to spend some serious time considering why you do what you do and if that’s working out in a net positive way.
What doesn’t kill you doesn’t always make you stronger.