This is a word that carries a lot of weight with me. Just how much weight I wasn’t completely aware of (consciously) until last night. As I have mentioned before Onyx and I have begun to create lists of tasks for me each night that I am to get done while he is at work. These are all sorts of things such as housework, spiritual work, making a living work, relationship work, or whatever else. They are to keep me on track and so I have a tangible thing to look at when I’m feeling like I haven’t gotten anything done that night and say “no, see, you have finished things!”
I’m not entirely sure why but the last few days I’ve been slacking a bit. I have not completed things by the time I have to go to bed and last night I forgot to send him my nightly text at 3am until nearly 3:45. This was not good, of course, and I knew that but sleep was necessary. The night before we had been talking on gtalk and he mentioned he was disappointed about me having to go to bed before everything was done but that it was acceptable because of circumstances that had happened. Following closely, last night he said he was disappointed in me for missing my nightly text.
I started bawling. Him saying that felt like punishment enough for what I had done because I felt so poorly about it. I knew it was a disproportionate reaction and I could actually examine my emotional reaction as it was happening, which was nice and is something I’ve been working on. Neither of us would have guessed I would have reacted so strongly to such a small thing, but I did. I was somewhat shocked, actually, and thus commenced my analyzation of why that term has such power over me.
When I was growing up I was rarely punished for bad behavior. My mother is big on developmental and child psychology and my father would just get withdrawn and upset but rarely directly punish me. I can only think of one instance where I was even sent to my room, so mostly my “punishment” was guilt or being told they were disappointed in my behavior. Naturally this created a trigger in me. I strove to never disappoint them (or never let them know about what they would be disappointed about). Disappointment was the worst thing I could do to someone.
That’s not to say I don’t and haven’t disappointed people. There are plenty of things I have done that I feel bad about, but for the most part those are small things, there is nothing in my life that I regret.
I attribute the weight of his words last night to be partially because of the new power dynamic that we have been building between us and partially because of hearing it two days in a row. I was already feeling down from the day before and I was already beating myself up about not doing what I was supposed to and he said that. For the record, I keep saying “he said that” but I’m not placing blame on him for my reaction or anything, neither of us could have predicted that is what would happen. Vaguely I remember recognizing disappointment from others as a source of pain for me, but it hadn’t come up in so long I just had no idea I would react so strongly.
I also have a tendency to subconsciously punish myself. I was feeling extremely down after that happened and although I got myself to feeling a little better through the hours before Onyx came home when he came home I closed myself off and didn’t allow myself to find the comfort in him that I might have been able to if I wasn’t, essentially, punishing myself. There was no time when I thought “I’m going to do this” but that is what happened. I was sad and closed off and I had done the same thing the night before as well, though to a smaller extent.
Onyx and I had a talk about this earlier today so he knows about what the word triggers in me and we discussed possible options for punishment that he could inflict that would not be as damaging or affect me for so long. Of course, if I do something or don’t do something that carries a lot of weight with it he also knows that he can use that word to hit home the true weight of the situation to me. Ultimately, this is another tool for him to use in our dynamic.