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Masochism's New Mask

We're all just living this life the best we can, figuring things out step by step, day by day. While intellectually I can fully grasp this, on the deeper subconscious and emotional levels, I haven't fully given my the permission or grace to live life a bit messy, backwards... to change my mind, shift, outgrow or move on. We won't always be completely self-aware. Even when our self-awareness has made leaps and bounds of progress, we're bound to have blind spots, that's part of the beauty of this strange place we all call home.

One of the blind spots I'm realizing that I've held lately, is that of how my masochism shifted and evolved with me. Part of that unconscious masochism wanted to stay in the shadows, lurking like a silent stalker, wreaking havoc just out of my line of sight.

In the pursuit of conscious masochism, we are bound to have plenty of habits, tendencies and beliefs that we need to call out into the light, that we have to reflect upon, put a name on it and accept it so we can release, transmute or transform it.

Conscious masochism is shifting into a new level for me, one I have yet to ever settle upon, I've only grazed the surface momentarily. This level is about claiming my right to be happy to a degree I've never allowed myself. To remember my power and become comfortable expressing it to other people - always the hard part of that sentence. To take deeper responsibility for my state of being, my internal and external circumstances, and let go of the lingering stories of smallness, weakness, not having enough or not being there yet that I've been holding onto.

Over the last few months, some big internal upgrades have occurred within me. Some big dreams I've set to the side for my entire life have reemerged and are begging to be played with, but they ask for more from me than I had been willing to give. They ask for me to choose pleasure over pain. Mhmm...

I hadn't realized how long I'd been avoiding these dreams because of that point right there. The deeper layers of my masochism don't want to play along, my inner masochist wanted to hold me here in my longing, the dullness that had settled slowly over my beautiful life. She tricked me into believing that life can't feel that good for me... how dare I even ask? How dare I leave her and my pain behind?

It's hard for me to look around at the suffering in the world, at the smallness that so many of us do buy into and settle in, at other people's dreams, dead and decaying the dusty shelves of their hearts... and not still believe on some level like I shouldn't experience something better if they aren't.

Part of it feels like a nobility-complex, I don't want to leave anyone alone in their suffering and I know how much pain connects us, so I'll stay in mine while you're still in yours. The other part is my own fear, shame and guilt over wanting more, knowing it's meant for me, being excited for it and yet - what if it's a trick being played on me. What if those feelings can't be trusted. What if I still can't trust me?

Yet I'm also seeing that with the healing work I've committed myself to over the last five years, the mindset shifts, the energy clearing and continual heart connection practices I do, that I'm stunting my natural growth now.

I'm cock-blocking myself where I don't need to anymore - well, I never did. No one in my life is telling me to hold myself back, none of you are being anything less than kind, supportive and encouraging, the whole universe seems to be screaming at me with signs and sweetness and reassurance that it's okay to heal and move on and evolve. That I'm allowed to feel this - as is every person on this planet. And I do know, the more I heal, the more I can help others to do so too.

But that is also the new mask my masochism has taken on, tricking me into living a life that at first felt a bit small and constricting, but now feels painful, smothering, suffocating. It's one of feeling I need to give more in this space - The Conscious Masochist bubble here - that I need to help, because I can and I remember... I remember being at rock bottom at 20 years old, absolutely shattered after a break-up, internally bleeding from a life of trauma that up until that point that was never faced or dealt with, weighing 235 lbs and treating my body like the dumping ground I thought it was - along with engaging in dangerous self-harm based from an intention of pure self-hatred and self-disgust...

I remember that place so well, and I remember stumbling upon Masochistic Personality Disorder and emotional masochism and feeling that resonance. The saving grace it felt like this path was... and how little information there was on it, how lost I still felt even after I had an "answer".

I never thought in that moment that I would take it upon myself to write about my experiences, to share those with the world, and compile these thoughts into some sort of "system" that others could learn from and try on for size... I didn't see any of this coming back then. But it's hard to step out of this role now that I've constructed it for myself, now that I've seen how it helped me, and miraculously, some of you too.

I love what masochism became for me, the relationship I've built with it, and how sharing this has helped me both on my own healing journey and with my writing / confidence / self-expression. It has been such an absolute gift to get to know so many of you who stick around, read my thoughts, contribute your own, offer kindness and support and friendship... in the most genuine way I can offer through a computer screen - thank you. My heart has tripled in size knowing how not alone I am in this, and that has been the most wonderful part - creating a community for us all to remember that.

In all honesty, this is not all of me, it's a part of me. My masochism is still with me in many ways, but it also has diminished in several ways that I never thought it would. Without even trying, I don't feel the pull or desire to many masochistic practices, emotional states or mental perspectives that I once loved. At least not at this moment in time! I think in giving my masochism full permission to do what it wanted and needed, to be seen, held and played with safely... it grew up. It matured all on its own and it's now left me feeling somewhat of an empty-nester.

The other part of me that I've been denying and shaming is now roaring to the surface. And just because it's not my inner masochist or sadist, doesn't mean the same rules don't apply. I need to bring this part into the light now, it needs my conscious awareness, my acceptance, support and love. My time and attention.

That part of me is the performer, the actor (a big reason why I've been pulled to role-play in BDSM), the screenwriter, the novelist, the storyteller, the girl who wants to dream up fantasy worlds and breathe such profound life into them that anyone reading or viewing them would immersed in that aliveness... that real, palpable existence.

This part of me has been with me since I was 7 or 8 ironically as well. It developed side by side with my inner masochist but was shoved under the rug beneath my fear, self-doubt, and growing self-hatred.

My inner masochist knew how much I loved these dreams, this future, this part of myself... so she took it from me like a bully on the playground and broke my toy into a million pieces then laughed in my face. She said every mean thing you could imagine, year after year after year, about why this was a part of myself that could never be real, be seen or loved. I bought into it, I submitted and shrank into a sad complacency and moved on pretending with myself. I'm seeing how much pretending I'm doing.

Okay... this has been a particularly long self-focused personal essay (ugh, still not fully comfortable with that, but oh well - pushing past). All of this was to say... I love you, my friends. I love to my inner masochist. I love you TCM and this wild inner journey you've taken me on. None of this content is going away or being taken down. I stand behind it and if it can help anyone else out there, then it's worth taking up a little bit of real-estate on the inter webs. But, I'm redirecting my focus and energy, and will not be present in this space the way I have been over the last 2+ years.

When I feel the desire to write or share, I will. At times that will be regarding masochism, at other times that could be about my fiction/creative writing or my exploration of acting and producing - what those will look like for me, I'm curious to find out... But I need to choose my next iteration of healing now, and that means honoring this inner knowing to step "beyond" my masochism as such a big part of my identity. When and if that changes, I will let you all know if you're still following along.

However, if you've received all you needed from this space as well, if you've integrated your masochism in a harmonious, beautiful way - or evolved beyond it, then you have full permission to say goodbye.

We can part ways with love and respect for the time you've spent in this sphere with me, but it is my sincere hope that one day we all heal and integrate and grow to the point where we don't want or need this information and particular support the way we once did. It's perfect to be at the place where you still do, but it's important to acknowledge when that has run it's course and different, newer layers of experience are calling to you that ask you to disconnect from any perspective, teacher, guide or world.

Honor wherever you're at on your journey... if that feels hard to do still - that is a-okay. But I think as masochists, many of us may struggle with embracing the deepest healing, self-love and joy that is possible for us, as it does ask us to choose a different experience - pleasure over pain. That's not a "better" path to me, just a different one. A new adventure to an foreign land I've never known, but I'm curious to now. After over twenty years of choosing pain... I'm finally ready to let that go. Mhmm... what a strange and wonderful world.