This is going to be a controversial post but it is something I see far too often.
To start, I must say that I am making large generalizations here but the overall theme holds true. I got the idea for this post in reading what many post online and interacting with a lot of different people over the years who fall into this category.
My first question is this : do you belong in a relationship?
Think about that for a second before jumping to a quick answer. Many put up profiles on different BDSM sites in an effort to find someone to get involved with. However, when you start to learn more about these people, it is easy to conclude that this person belongs in therapy, not in a relationship.
People go through a lot of difficult things in their life. We know sexual abuse, abandonment, and physical violence are part of many people's personal history. These circumstances can take quite a toll on the psyche of many. Unfortunately, few get the help required to deal with the damage that is done. We see this in the esteem of many of those we interact with. Either they have the cockiness which is a sign of underlying insecurity or they believe they are the worst thing ever to walk the planet. No matter how this materializes, the bottom line is a person with such esteem issues really needs help.
BDSM is often a guise for abusers. We read about and hear the stories of what some are made to endure. The problem with these situations, many of them, is that the person volunteered for this. It is quite common for our sub, with no self-esteem, to be so desperate that she submits to the first person who comes along. Simply showing attention to her enables him to stimulate her low esteem and reel her in. Naturally, this is problematic since he has ill intentions. Now, please bear in mind that I am making a distinction between one who truly is prey versus someone who simply makes a mistake by submitting to the wrong fool. The later is understandable since all of us who are in this way of life for any length of time get taken. We all know the pretenders are large in number.
I use the word prey because our sub with substandard self worth portrays the victim. On a certain level, she likes being treated so poorly since it reinforces what she believes. When one has the outlook "nobody cares about me" or "I deserve to be treated like this", the predators are going to exploit that mindset. Of course, once they do, it only enhances the belief which creates a revolving door. Our sub is only taken lower by each episode; the worse she thinks about herself, the more the way she is treated affirms this idea. Hence, the endless loop is in operation.
The person I am describing here is extremely damaged. This is not something that should be overlooked and glanced over. There are many who suffer under these conditions believing that meeting the right guy will solve everything. Sadly, because of the person she is, attracting someone healthy is impossible. Sure, she might get someone interested but he will quickly head for the hills once he learns how damaged she is. In the BDSM world, many enter it trying to escape from what they are presently dealing with (either physically or emotionally). Again, the belief is that finding a dom/master will solve everything. It might be of great benefit to her if she could get in a healthy relationship. However, the impossibility of this emerges when she becomes instantly dependent upon the dominant for everything. What I mean by this is that he is the one having to carry the entire relationship. Her esteem is such that she contributes little. She ultimately becomes an emotional vampire sucking the life out of him. Her constant need for reassurance and overwhelming self pity get tiresome. On an emotional level, it is akin to dealing with a 4 year old.
While this might seem like I am attacking those with these problems, I am not. My point is that one is not going to solve her esteem problems by getting in a relationship (BDSM or vanilla). In fact, the odds of being taken in by an abuser, either physical or emotional, is great. An individual of this sort needs to be in therapy, not hunting for a dominant in the BDSM world.
Now let us look at the dominant side of the equation. Of course, being dominant means that one cannot show weakness hence the idea of self pity is not tolerable. Thus, our damaged dominant comes across in a different manner. Instead of being overt about it, he covers it up with cockiness. Taking this approach will give the impression that this guy thinks highly of himself when the truth is, he does not. Those who are having to tell everyone how great they are, do not believe it themselves. The individual who has healthy esteem fails to go around telling others how wonderful he is. Instead, he just goes about his business as if nobody is watching. This applies to all walks of life. The confident man shows you what is inside him, the cocky one has to tell you. One comes from a place of strength while the other weakness.
We see this play out in the cycle of abuse. Naturally, one who is physically abused, for example, by a parent during his development years is, most likely, going to have some self worth issues. As he reaches adulthood, his internal growth was stunted. Hence, when in a position of authority, i.e becoming a parent, he naturally does what was done to him. What is interesting is most people in this situation swear they would not do that to their child yet many do. It is the cycle of abuse that carries it from generation to generation.
Sadly, many of these people end up in BDSM, a way of life where one submits to certain treatment that can be very harmful if it crosses the line into abuse. It is easy to see how one in this position, with this frame of mind, can cause a great deal of damage. To add to the mix, he is often one who will prey upon our sub with poor esteem since his ability to attract someone healthy is minimized. As you can guess, what results is a very unhealthy and often dangerous situation for the sub. It is under these circumstances that she puts up with all kinds of intolerable behavior and refuses to leave. Of course, she will justify it a thousand different ways but the truth is that a healthy person would head for the door.
Another question that each person needs to consider: what are you bringing to the relationship?
I tell this to people all the time. When you are looking to interact with someone, what is he or she bringing to the table. Again, this is something that applies equally to the dominant and submissive side of the equation. What is the other person going to do for you? Simply put, we all get into relationships to get something out of them. A dominant needs a submissive and vice versa. It is the yin/yang completion of things. However, if one party is extremely damaged, what is he or she truly offering? If you are one questioning yourself, it is a good beginning. If you are so damaged that you are going to be a psychic vampire or an abuser, a relationship is the last place you belong. Time alone working on yourself, with the aid of a professional, is a better place to start.
The basic fact of the matter is that nobody else can change you. There is not a single individual who is helpless to alter one's situation. Yes, there are often circumstances which makes things very difficult. Often, hard decisions are required. Nevertheless, over time, one can get out of any situation and, with the proper guidance, move beyond any past issues. Sadly, time is an element that is invested with quick fixes being few. Nevertheless, you can ultimately get to the point where you have a lot to offer when entering a relationship. I would say, if you follow this route, the chances of finding someone healthy (and keeping him/her) are much greater. At the end of the day, we all want fulfillment and happiness. A great part of this is derived from the people we interact with. Be sure you are one who is capable of spreading joy and enhancing the people you interact with instead of continually bringing them down.
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14 hours ago