That Awkward Moment When You Read Diagnostic Criteria…


and think, “Oh my God, that is me!”

awkward_regan

Self-defeating personality disorder

(Wikipedia)
Self-defeating personality disorder (also known as masochistic personality disorder) is a proposed personality disorder. It was discussed in an appendix of the manual’s revised third edition (DSM-III-R) in 1987, but was never formally admitted into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). As an alternative, the diagnosis personality disorder not otherwise specified may be used instead. Some researchers and theorists continue to use its criteria. It has an official code number, 301.90.[1]

Diagnosis

Red = This fits me

Definition proposed in DSM III-R for further review

Self-defeating personality disorder is:

A) A pervasive pattern of self-defeating behavior, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts. The person may often avoid or undermine pleasurable experiences, be drawn to situations or relationships in which he or she will suffer, and prevent others from helping him or her, as indicated by at least five of the following:
  1. chooses people and situations that lead to disappointment, failure, or mistreatment even when better options are clearly available
  2. rejects or renders ineffective the attempts of others to help him or her
  3. following positive personal events (e.g., new achievement), responds with depression, guilt, or a behavior that produces pain (e.g., an accident)
  4. incites angry or rejecting responses from others and then feels hurt, defeated, or humiliated (e.g., makes fun of spouse in public, provoking an angry retort, then feels devastated)
  5. rejects opportunities for pleasure, or is reluctant to acknowledge enjoying himself or herself (despite having adequate social skills and the capacity for pleasure)
  6. fails to accomplish tasks crucial to his or her personal objectives despite demonstrated ability to do so, e.g., helps fellow students write papers, but is unable to write his or her own
  7. is uninterested in or rejects people who consistently treat him or her well, e.g., is unattracted to caring sexual partners
  8. engages in excessive self-sacrifice that is unsolicited by the intended recipients of the sacrifice
B) The behaviors in A do not occur exclusively in response to, or in anticipation of, being physically, sexually, or psychologically abused.
C) The behaviors in A do not occur only when the person is depressed. Well… have depression, but all these things occur outside of depression.

Exclusion from DSM-IV

Historically, masochism has been associated with feminine submissiveness. This disorder became politically controversial when associated with domestic violence which was considered to be mostly caused by males.[2] However a number of studies suggest that the disorder is common.[3][4] In spite of its exclusion from DSM-IV in 1994, it continues to enjoy widespread currency amongst clinicians as a construct that explains a great many facets of human behaviour.[2]

Sexual masochism that “causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” is still in DSM-IV. (AND DSM-V!!)

Millon’s subtypes

Theodore Millon identified four subtypes of masochist:[2][5]

Subtype Description Personality Traits
Virtuous Including histrionic features Proudly unselfish, self-denying, and self-sacrificial; self-ascetic; weighty burdens are judged noble, righteous, and saintly; others must recognize loyalty and faithfulness; gratitude and appreciation expected for altruism and forbearance.
Possessive Including negativistic features Bewitches and ensnares by becoming jealous, overprotective, and indispensable; entraps, takes control, conquers, enslaves, and dominates others by being sacrificial to a fault; control by obligatory dependence.
Self-undoing Including avoidant features Is “wrecked by success”; experiences “victory through defeat”; gratified by personal misfortunes, failures, humiliations, and ordeals; eschews best interests; chooses to be victimized, ruined, disgraced.
Oppressed Including depressive features Experiences genuine misery, despair, hardship, anguish, torment, illness; grievances used to create guilt in others; resentments vented by exempting from responsibilities and burdening “oppressors.”

:)


I did it! I went to the coffee meeting and it was great! First of all, his picture did not do him justice! Also, he is smart and smart is more important than sexy. Furthermore, he is sweet!

Felicia Day_happy dance

The wind is awful. I had trouble walking to the coffee shop!! So, he drove me back to school. Potentially dangerous? Yes. However, I’ve risked more in the past and unless he is an amazing sociopath who can fake empathy, I had a good feeling about him. Lo and behold, I am alive! We talked for 2 and a half hours and it wasn’t awkward! I could definitely see myself marrying this guy. Obviously, I barely know him and I wouldn’t even consider a proposal until I’ve dated someone for over 2 years. However, eventually I want to get married and so far, he meets my qualifications.

I may or may not have been obviously shaking because of caffeine and lack of sleep…Oops…. I know he noticed, but he didn’t say anything. Hopefully next time we meet, I’ll be less shaky!

First Meet


later this week! I’m not nervous because I decided I’m not in the right place for a relationship, but the person is cool enough to be friends with.

Day 6: I’m grateful for friends who forgive my foibles and just pick up where we left off. I finally got in touch with a good friend, after being AWOL from everyone in my life for months.

awkward_regan

I found the perfect Mistress!


I want Melisande Shahrizai.

so pretty longest night

She is extremely intelligent and cunning. She knows how to read people. She knows how to get what she wants. She is a true sadist, but she cares in her own way. For example, she uses aftercare and makes sure Phedre is medically sound. In our world that is par for the course, but peeking into this fictional world and seeing more, it is clear she cares about Phedre. Yes, she sells Phedre illegally, but her intention was getting rid of her as a threat, yet keeping Phedre alive. Given the stakes of the Game of Houses, I do not think selling Phedre was unforgivable. Melisande is human; she has ambition. Phedre’s knowledge threatened her life and she knew she couldn’t trust Phedre to keep her secret. Most people in that circumstance would kill Phedre. It doesn’t hurt that she is described as gorgeous and rich.

I haven’t finished Kushiel’s Dart yet, so maybe Melisande does something reprehensible and unforgivable, but I do not think drugging and selling Phedre counts.

Picture source.

*edit* Gratefulness Day 5: I’m grateful for sadists because they’re the yin to my yang. Plus, if I can accept them as healthy, maybe I can accept myself.

Kushiel’s Dart


I’d happily live in Terre D’Ange; I wish masochism was revered and made someone worth more. I’m trying, I really am trying to accept myself, but I still think it makes me a freak. To be honest, I wouldn’t even mind the lack of technology, if only I could see myself through the eyes of Melisande Shahrizai.

Perhaps things would be different if I’d read Carey when the book came out and I was 12.

I don’t know how the others who were essentially born this way accept it. I wouldn’t feel like a freak if a significant other introduced me to BDSM as a teenager and I found it alluring. Most stories I hear are people discovering it after puberty. I feel like a creep for having these proclivities since my earliest conscious memory. Those childhood fantasies, unbidden by someone explaining the nature of pleasure and pain such as in Valerian House, are literally my earliest memory. I cannot adequately explain why, but that makes me feel dirty and wrong and sick and disgusting. I compare it to the difference between Phedre and Adepts of Valerian House. For her, it was inborn and nothing she did could change it. For them, if they could understand the concept of pain and pleasure intermingling, their education commenced with paired pain and pleasure. For them it was conditioned. I’m not saying people who needed a partner to introduce them to BDSM are not real masochists, sadists, Masters, or Mistresses, yet somehow I draw a distinction. For Phefre, her natural “gift” was seen as a rare blessing.

I want to live in a world where my disease is seen as a gift (Yes, masochism and sadism are still in the DSM V. In contrast, homosexuality was removed from the DSM before I was born. So, technically my sexuality is a disease, yay!)

Day 2 of Gratefulness Experiment: I am grateful for everyone who accepts all types of sex between consenting adults because hearing other people accept this as simply a fact and not a burden help push me ever closer to acceptance. Jacqueline Carey is included here. 🙂 She made masochism a powerful, Angel-granted, gift. I love Goodkind, but if you didn’t notice, the sadists and masochists are evil or broken (Darken Rhal, Mord-Sith)

On that note, I’ve been thinking about finding someone I care about and having sex because I’m terrified of guilt and regret, yet the two things I feared the most caused the greatest leaps in self-acceptance. Those 2 things: 1.) My first real life BDSM exposure years ago and 2.) Telling my brother and sister-in-law about bisexuality, masochism, and submission less than a month ago. I was frightened before each of them, but they both helped foster acceptance more than any therapy ever has. If I could accept myself, I think a lot of my depression, anxiety, and disordered eating would cease.

Source

I Found My Limit


Thanks to the Polar Vortex, I found my temperature limit for driving without heat: 19 °F

Of course I feel the need to justify that temperature!

 

Silly competitive nature! I can withstand more, but at 19 degrees I began shivering. I decided shivering endangered myself and more importantly, others on the road.

Torn


Right now I’m coming down on the side of vulnerability and putting myself out there. I am not used to that at all. I don’t share much with people, even people I’m supposed to be close to. I don’t trust easily. I’m terrified of putting my heart out in the open, of letting myself feel.

But if I don’t give people a chance, I’ll always be alone. Love isn’t going to fall in my lap. I have to be open, I may make mistakes, I may wind up with regrets, but the only way to ensure I have no regrets and make no mistakes is by not fully living.

In order to get what I want (love), I have to open myself up to my greatest fear (loss).

When my best friend from PHP left I cried. She was the only treatment friend I cried over. I didn’t cry when anyone from inpatient left. After she left, I remember thinking the pain was not worth it. It was easier to keep myself walled off and not make connections, than it was to lose someone.

I’m standing at a crossroads. On one side there is the chance of great suffering and/or great love, on the other side there is stagnation.

Usually I run away and stop talking to people at this point. I push them away, so I don’t have to get to know them and feel the sting of their loss later. Yet, I yearn to know what love is like. I want to feel the connection songs are made of…but I’m terrified.

I’m scared of being hurt and I’m scared of hurting them.

*sigh* The irony of my love of physical pain and abnormally high aversion to emotion pain is not lost on me.

  • Torn (itsebunite.wordpress.com)
  • all torn up (newrussell5087.wordpress.com)

Reasons for NOT coming out…


1. Once you tell someone, not in the lifestyle, you are a masochist, it becomes a joke. For example, while baking 2 days ago, one item needed to be rolled in powdered sugar right after it came out of the oven. My mom said, “Ok, we need the masochist!” *she laughs*

Now, that is not especially hurtful or rude, but would it be socially acceptable to say, “Ok, we need the lesbian!” No, I think not. I don’t know, I’m probably being overly sensitive.

2. Once you tell someone, it becomes okay to randomly hurt you. For example, After someone pinches me hard enough to break skin, I say, “What are you doing?” They reply, “What? You shouldn’t care; you’re a masochist.”

Um…That is not how it works…   LotS_Cara's WTF face

Christian Domestic Discipline


Admittedly, my knowledge is limited. However, I don’t like the idea. Perhaps I should not care are the reasons behind a Dom/me’s motivation, but I do.

I do not believe anyone (…except myself…) is worse or better than anyone else. I do not believe women are less than men. I do not believe women should be subservient or men must be dominant. I believe there are differences between genders which may predispose someone to certain roles, for example, caregiving. However, I do not think that means anyone is relegated to a certain position. Women do not have to be stay at home mothers, women do not even have to be mothers, and men can make great stay at home dads! I believe submission is right for me. I do not think it is right for all women, nor do I think it is wrong for a man to be submissive.

With this in mind, CDD bothers me because proponents teach that God gives men the right and obligation to discipline and guide his wife. I do not believe any deity gives someone the right to dominant me. I submit because it feels right to me, not because I think God or the universe or society demands it. If I chose, I can submit to a woman and that makes me no less human. In fact, I would rather submit to a woman who earned my trust and devotion than a man who did not.

Zedd_PrincessCara_no such thing

The idea that God gives someone the right to punish their spouse on the basis of gender or any other reason bothers me. No one has the right to do anything to me; they earn the right to hurt me and teach me because they prove themselves intelligent, trustworthy and caring.

I feel hypocritical vetting someone else’s motives, when I am not so sure my masochistic/submissive motives are pure, but CDD does not sit well with me.

Do you have thoughts about Christian Domestic Discipline or any type of religion-sanctified gender role?

Body Love, I Know Girls, and Self-Acceptance


More and more I think if it makes me happy, why shouldn’t I do it? Why should I care what other people think? Why should I care about the antecedents?

Perhaps it is true there are more dangerous people who are sadists or more mentally ill people who are masochists, but I also know here are amazing, compassionate, caring, intelligent people on both sides of the coin.

Yes, I have mental illnesses, they are part of who I am today. Even when I am in remission, they’ve shaped who I am. It is clear I function optimally when in a D/s relationship. The last time I remember liking my body and feeling confident since I was 9 years old was during a D/s relationship. Why should I give up that peace and security because of societal expectations?

Someone once told me even if I work through the antecedents, this will most likely always be with me. Why am I fighting so hard against part of myself? Why can’t I just accept it?

Mary Lambert ❤ makes me want to cry in a good way. “I only know how to exist when I am wanted.” 😦 FYI, I’m jealous of her girlfriend; she seems amazing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7tlFfKCESg

Masochism does not have to be self-destructive. There may be an element of self-hate, but it is so much more than that.

BDSM Stigma or When family recommends sex therapy


Last night my mom was still harping about the online dating idea. She would not accept my excuses. Finally, I said I was not in a place to date. She wouldn’t let it go So, I told her I needed to figure out some things about myself. The first thing she asked was, “Are you gay?”

I said, “No.”

Her response? “Are you sure?” Hahaha. I did not mention is bi issue because I know she thinks non-heterosexual behavior is morally wrong. Sometimes she talks about how she is worried about my gay uncles’ souls (her brother and his partner).

However, she still wouldn’t give up, saying, “Now I’m worried.”

Since I give her plenty of other reasons to worry. I gave-in and said, “Do you remember the BDSM thing? …” Thankfully, I did not have to explain it to her. However, it was awkward. Her reaction hurt my feelings, but  it could have been a lot worse.

Last night I learned:

1. My mom does not think BDSM in inherently wrong.

Yay!

2. She associates sadism and masochism with antisocial personality disorder (aka sociopaths).

First, she questioned out loud whether I was a sociopath. She didn’t really consider it. After all, she has known me forever and knows, if anything, I have too much empathy. However the idea that she would even consider for a moment, that I lack empathy, along with all the other implications of anti-social personality disorder, because I identify as a masochist or submissive saddens me. If the woman with a PhD in clinical psychology, who has known me longer than anyone on Earth, associates BDSM with antisocial personality disorder and other stigma, so strongly that she reconsiders my personality make-up, how can I expect anyone to accept this? Granted, I don’t go around talking about this IRL. However, knowing there is a huge part of me that I can never reveal to others for fear of reprisal also makes me sad.

Also if she thinks so poorly of sadists, what can she possibly think of me?

3. She thinks masochism will kill me.

She told me a story of a man in our town who was convicted for something (obstruction of justice? involuntary manslaughter? I don’t know), after his wife died during breath play and he burned the house down to try to cover it up. I don’t know if this is the same couple my previous Dom warned me about. He never mentioned a fire to hide evidence. He said they were too afraid to go to the E.R. because of stigma and she died. It sounds like a different couple. Regardless, I don’t feel too bad for the guy, setting his house on fire was a stupid move that made him look guilty of murder. My mom associates sadomasochism with accidental death and sociopaths. She says sadism is a symptom of antisocial personality disorder and there are more “messed up” people in this community than in the general population. Therefore, she thinks either I will die in an accident, or I will meet up with a serial killer or abuser. I told her I am not an idiot I know to meet people in public places and tell someone who I am meeting and where. She replied, “Great, so we know where to start looking for your body. That is comforting.” Also, she seems to forget that I’m not exactly the picture of mental health. If I don’t want someone who is “messed up”, why would anyone want me?! As far as accidents, yes sadomasochism can be dangerous, but well-informed people can take precautions.

4. She doesn’t seem to understand that sadism does not equal masochism.

Damn you Freud! There are masochists without any sadistic tendencies.

5. She thinks it is a learned behavior and it can be unlearned.

I’m not sure about this. I did a few hours of research and it seems man masochists do not know of their proclivities until young adulthood. Where the hell did 5 year old me learn such things?! Since it began so young for me, I tend to think it is inborn. I asked why she thought it needed therapy, if she thought there was nothing wrong with it. She explained her fears about the difficulty of finding a kind, mentally healthy life partner.

Since she believes finding a good husband would be more difficult in the BDSM world and BDSM is prone to accidental death, she thinks if I can chose not to be another way, I should because BDSM invites trouble. She suggested vanilla dating and then more therapy if I find vanilla is not for me.

6. She believes I have an abnormally high pain threshold. Therefore, it makes sense to her that “normal” sensation may not appeal to me.

Yes, I agree.

7. She thinks I should date 24+ vanilla men and see if I am capable of non-kinky arousal.

She thinks I have not had a enough vanilla experience to know that I’m really not aroused by vanilla things. She is correct, most of my experience has been kinky. It still seems dishonest to get into a relationship purely to explore. She thinks I need to try becoming emotionally attached to vanilla dates and see if physical intimacy has a spark when I care about someone. I see her point here. Yet, it seems like a lot of work. She pointed out that people break-up all the time, just because I may break-up with someone because of this doesn’t make it unfair to them. Essentially, she suggests the opposite of my commenters suggest, instead of exploring more kink, she thinks I should try to ignore it and explore vanilla. I’m not sure why, but her idea gives me a negative feeling, while the opposite does not.

She insists she sees nothing wrong with BDSM on its face, but she also thinks I should get therapy to fix this if I try more vanilla things and nothing works.

BDSM: It’s not about the pain; it’s about trust. Right?!


“It’s not about the pain; it’s about trust.” – Echo in Dollhouse s01e09

This is true. It might be a little about the pain. 😉 However, for me, BDSM is about so much more than pain. It is about trust. Giving myself over to someone without reservation is beautiful. Unlike some who call themselves masochists, I do not crave pain, except when I’m very upset as a distraction. Pain as a distracting coping mechanism is not related to BDSM. In general, I don’t like pain. I want it to stop. However, I thrive on pleasing people. I always did. Through masochism, I can give someone a type of pleasure that not many would endure willingly. Through withstanding pain, I show submission and putting someone else before myself. As I said, I do not enjoy the pain. I do not get off on it. I struggle and beg. Yet, when it is over, once I recover, I want more. I like bruises. They’re physical proof of my strength, of my willingness to serve. They can excite me.

Furthermore, pain is inextricably linked to submission. I don’t know how that happened, but it did. Without pain, it feels like a role in a play; it feels like an act.

In order to let someone have that much control over me (I.e., restraints I truly can’t get out of on my own), I must trust them with my life…literally. Once bound, I am s.o.l. if they decide to go past my boundaries. That type of power exchange makes me feel safe, like I’m enveloped in a warm cocoon. I believe this is because of the high level of trust necessary. If I trust them as much as I need in order to put myself at their mercy, I cannot help but feel safe with a collar around my neck.

My favorite female characters confounded me for a while. (Cara from Legend of the Seeker, Echo from Dollhouse, Max from Dark Angel, Sydney Bristow from Alias) If I identified as submissive, why were my favorite characters the strong, self-reliant ones, who often ignored authority? Then I realized, this isn’t about laziness and wanting someone to control my every move so I didn’t have to think. It isn’t about wanting someone to take care of me and it isn’t about weakness. I value self-sufficiency and internal fortitude, in myself and others. This dynamic is about a self-sufficient, whole human being trusting someone, loving someone, enough to give that person control. The only person I could turn myself over to is someone who I knew held my best interest at heart. If my arms are going numb and I signal to them, they will listen and fix the problem to prevent nerve damage, as opposed to continuing their work for their own gratitude.

In turn, that magnitude of trust forms a deeper bond than most relationships. Moreover, trust generates feelings of security, peace, and happiness.

Are those feelings possible in vanilla relationships? Sure. However, my experience is BDSM fosters trust and openness on different playing field, faster than other relationships. It is inevitable. To be safe, you have to talk about everything going on inside you physically and emotionally.

I know there are people out there who use this lifestyle as a smoke-screen for abuse. That is awful. I have been very fortunate to be with people who respect my wishes and value my well-being above their own happiness.

If BDSM is so great, why do I have so much trouble accepting it? Well, I think there are some great aspects to it, but I also fear I have ulterior motives like self-harm. I don’t know how to suss out where genuine kinks begin and self-hate begins. I wish I knew. I don’t know what I’ll do if I decide kinky cannot be healthy for me. Also, for some reason, I feel guilty about it all.

I feel weird that the only time I find pleasure in intimacy is with BDSM trappings. I’m afraid that means something is wrong with me, that I’m not normal. Maybe if I find the right person, pain and submission won’t matter. Who knows. What if this dynamic is all I ever feel comfortable with AND it is unhealthy? I just don’t know. I also don’t know how to go about exploring these things. It feels unfair to experiment with someone. I couldn’t see myself with a vanilla person. Therefore, I’d be exploring the vanilla side of life with another kinky person. Yet, what happens if at some point, I decide BDSM is no healthy for me? What if I realize all these thoughts about pain and trust are simply rationalizations to mask self-loathing? What if it is all about the pain because I think I deserve punishment? I guess I break-up. That sounds simple, but it is not simple for me. I may be young, but I do not take intimacy lightly. I would feel dishonest going in to a relationship to explore non-kinkiness with a kinky person. Dishonesty would destroy the needed trust, making me feel unsafe. Do you see the problem?

I suppose to the solution is to develop a more relaxed view of sex. I doubt that will happen. *sigh*

If anyone is reading this, do I make sense at all? My own mind confuses me; therefore I imagine others would find it convoluted as well.

Masochism and Me


It isn’t that I believe I am worthless. I believe I have worth. I believe I have potential. I do not believe I am a good person. Given that I have an innate drive to punish myself, can masochism be anything but self-destructive for me? Is my self-hate the driving force for my masochism? If it is the driving force, is that okay? Is it fair to my partner? If masochism is the only way I find pleasure in intimacy, where does this leave me? Why am I this way? Can I fix it? Does it need to be fixed? If self-hate is a driving force, but not the only reason I enjoy masochism, is it still okay to participate or will it always be unhealthy? Can it be healthy if I still hate myself? What are the reasons, other than self-hate, that I enjoy masochism? Was I born this way? Am I meant to be a sub? Is that the only way I can be happy in a relationship? If kinky relationships are the only romantic type that I like, and they are unhealthy for me, what do I do?

I don’t have the answers to all these questions, but I intend to think about them.

One thing I know is that this is a part of me. The first masochistic fantasy I remember was at age 5! I did not know what it was called back then and there was no sexual component until puberty, but these thoughts have always been with me. Did I hate myself at age 5? I don’t think so, but maybe I did. If I did not, that speaks in favor of masochism as not wholly involved with self-hate.

I feel kind of guilty talking about all this because I know there is a misconception that all kinsters are crazy. I don’t want to feed in to that misconception, but I need to work through this.

Sometimes…

Lost_Sawyer some of us meant to be alone

One desperate act after another


Yeah, creative post title. I know. It is 5 am and I can’t sleep. I’ll make a better post when I can think. I thought the blog looked weird without a post.

I’m using this blog to write about my sexuality because I’m not at peace with it yet. However, since my sexuality may be linked to other facets of my personality and environment, I will also write about school and mental health.

*edit* The original title was “First…” I changed it to a quote from Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander. “Sometimes that’s all life is: one desperate act after another.” Stone of Tears, Chapter 22, page 259

It perfectly captures my feelings at the moment.