Meltdowns are a fairly common topic when I read subbly folk’s blogs, hell, I have them myself often enough and the general idea is that when a meltdown occurs something is wrong, but I’m convinced that often a meltdown is not an indication that something is wrong, but actually that something is right.
I find that my meltdowns generally occur when something ‘new’ is required of me – when there’s a ‘ramping’ up of rules or routines or when a new form of play is introduced. I see these new requirements as an almost insurmountable wall in front of me and in order to get over that wall so I can go forward, I have to achieve/attempt/do what is required.
When I face a wall, my gut reaction tends to be, “I can’t do it!” and that’s when I dig my heels in and mentally start grilling Master over the flames from the ninth pit of hell, thinking he’s a cruel, harsh, insensitive bastard and wondering how could he possible expect a,b or c from me. I generally give him the cold shoulder, stomp around the house and reply to his interrogations with my famous phrase, ‘You can do WHATEVER you want’ (with associated eye-rolling and bored expression). If it’s an exceptionally high wall, there may even be tears, screaming and assertions that I can’t do this ‘slavery thing’ anymore.
Then after a few days of internal struggle and grief and generally after a few long conversations with the domly one, I see a way over the wall and once I’m on the other side, I look back and wonder what the hell I thought was so hard about it.
I used the word grief to describe my feelings during the struggle because that what it really feels like. It feels like I’m mourning the loss of another part of my freedom and until I work through that grief and accept it, I fight it. For all that people talk about freedom in slavery and how freeing it is to lose control, I still feel that the loss of freedom is hard.
It’s hard to re-write your wiring to go from an independent, in-control human to being to property needing to submit to the will of another. It’s not a natural progression. It’s not a smooth landing on the runway of submission. It’s angsty, gut-tearing stuff that really messes with your mind, but if you make it through the quagmire and get up and over the wall, there’s another notch you can add to your belt of submission. It’s another hurdle that you’ve cleared and I guess in the ‘slave scheme of things’ you’ve become a ‘better slave’.
So I think that moving to the next level of submission produces meltdowns as a byproduct and just because a subbly one is having a meltdown doesn’t mean that they want the relationship to be over. I’ve got a domly acquaintance who tends to throw all his toys out every time one of his partners has a meltdown because he thinks, “I can’t do it anymore, I’m scared” means “I want off the ship, every man for himself!” instead of “I need some time, help me adjust.”
I’m wondering how many hundreds of dollars he has to spend buying stuff…yet again…once the meltdown has passed before he realises that meltdowns aren’t always bad things.
Sometimes when it gets all too much and you’re frozen in front of the wall, all you need to do is breathe and reboot.