Disjointed thoughts about masochism, self-destruction, breaking and healing

I´m suprised right now how often I take out my frustrations sexually. Not on others, mostly, and if so I ask for permission before I do it. At least if I´m the one who´s doing stuff to them. Sometimes, though, I find myself provoking and bugging them because I want them to drive this out of me. Break me. It´s still something I cannot ask for directly because I hate myself too much for it and I resist it all I can. It´s actually something paradoxical to ask for.

Anyway, I wonder where that frustration is coming from. I get huge levels of frustration which I can´t quite explain. It´s just there, like the physical tension that goes with it. I can´t focus on anything, I can´t do anything right, I can´t even try, and I hate everything I do. Everything about me annoys me.

I´m not sure at the moment if this is a trivial physiological process that has psychological consequences, the way PMS messes with your mind, or if this is purely psychological. Very likely this question is completely misguided anyway. It touches upon serious body-mind-problems which I, despite studying philosophy, don´t know very much about.

At any rate, though, my view on this whole issue is changing a bit. Until now, I tended towards seeing my need to be beaten as a mystery, and I was looking into my psyche for answers. I found plenty, of course (such as: my parents never punished me and for some twisted reason I would have needed just that) but neither of them really satiated my need for an explanation.

What, though, if I´ve asked the wrong question? Maybe that need is just there. Maybe for me being hurt releases stress. Other people do sports, maybe I need something else. Stress, in this context, means that I´m restless while unable to do anything productive, and I loathe myself for it. I lack all resolve, self-discipline and focus. Maybe if that frustration was just relieved I wouldn´t need to hate myself for it. Maybe all the soul-searching is just a substitute. An attempt at finding another way out of this frustration.

I´ve been wondering if the soul-searching is the better way, the way I should go. If I was a therapist, I´d say that I mustn´t resort to physical pain to relieve the frustration because that way I lose the chance to learn why I am so frustrated. The cynical patient inside of me replies that maybe I´m not learning anything at all. I´m just constructing something, anything that helps me relieve the tension in another way. Today I´ve started and discarded three blog entries before this one, and each time I was either berating myself or provoking fights with all sorts of people. I´d go to some lengths to feel I´m making an impact, and to be punished for it. Amazingly enough, though, I´m sane enough not to post that stuff. Maybe, though, it has nothing much to do with sanity. Maybe a sense of accomplishment can kill off this frustration as well, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I manage to analyze my situation instead of trying to manipulate people through my communication style. It worked yesterday.

I don´t think, though, that analyzing my situation is necessarily better than just getting myself what I really want. If I could straightforwardly ask for what I need (and get it, of course), there´d be no harm in it. The thought of always having to take this sublime and sophisticated route I´m taking now is wearing me down. I still feel all the tension in my body, I just feel a little bit better about myself in general because at least I manage to write this. But that´s a bit like substituting self-esteem for sex. It´s better to have both.

I think that might really be where I´m headed with these thoughts. Maybe for me letting someone hurt me is what for other people is sex. While I do get a certain amount of relaxation from orgasm (though that amount really varies), the thought of sexual actions doesn´t excite me emotionally. And that´s what matters. If it didn´t, I could kill the frustration by punching myself. What I do get emotional excitement from, however, is the thought of curling up to a ball while someone´s fists are raining down on me. Well…again, I need to turn this around. I already know that for me pain is an emotional catalyst. What I wanted to say is that maybe for other people sex is that catalyst. In which case it might be completely pointless to wonder where my frustration is coming from. Or at least no more pointless than to wonder why other people are frustrated.

Sexual frustration seems to carry an element of emotional frustration, otherwise it could be resolved through masturbation. And that emotional frustration might not be so different from mine. Maybe it´s a need to let go and forget about everything for a while. Maybe it´s a need to be helpless towards overwhelming stimuli. Maybe it´s a need to feel good instead of bad, full stop. Maybe it´s a need for an emotional release that can only be accomplished through physical stimulation.

I compare this to what I´ve written here, about how breaking isn´t healing. It seems paradoxical that while I condemn an idea of healing that seems to involve the overwhelming of emotional boundaries, I demand and defend being broken right now. I believe, though, those two things are different in some very crucial aspects.

For once, I don´t mistake breaking for healing. What I want is a momentary, short-term fix. I don´t expect the thrashing I want to have an effect that lasts any longer than anything else that relaxes you. I just want something to help me fall asleep, and maybe I´ll wake up still feeling a bit of an afterglow, and much less tense and grumpy.

Then, everything that might be said to me in order to facilitate the break-down (“you´re weak, you´re strength is just a facade, actually you´re frightened, but you´re too proud to admit it, do you think that will help you?”) is really just a means to an end. I´m not expected to internalize or believe it. Telling me that I am everything I fear I might be, or mocking myself the way I´m already  mocking myself in my head serves as a kind of exorcism. It isn´t a serious psychological analysis.

Then, I go into this knowing what it is all about. It´s about producing an emotional breakdown. It´s about hitting my sore spots. I´m not under the impression that my opponent is a neutral observer. I know he intends to make it hurt. All this builds a very important framework that confines the breakdown.

Confining the breakdown is absolutely crucial. And I feel that this is what´s not happening in ideologies that equate breaking and healing. The breakdown is supposed to be absolute and to have lasting consequences. What is said is being taken seriously. It´s like taking the emotional dramaturgy of sex and turning it into a psychological agenda.

I don´t think breaking me heals me. It is  something entirely different. A step towards “healing”, if I even want to use that word, would be to be able to ask for exactly what I want without being strangled by the shame and inappropriateness of it. A step towards “healing” is to stay away from people who conflate breaking and healing. A step towards “healing” is to hold my ground against people who try to breach my emotional boundaries without my permission. Letting people breach them with my permission is  a completely different issue.


One Response to “Disjointed thoughts about masochism, self-destruction, breaking and healing”

  1. writingthebody Says:

    Goodness, I feel you have descibed my own feeling exactly, especially the part about a beating replacing sex. Too true. And dead inside as your banner, my God I feel like that, so like that. It is funny how many of us there are. And I really feel we did not choose it.

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