Wrong Focus?

“Am I in trouble Sir?”

“You need to stop asking that question.  I will let you know if you
are in trouble. If you are focused on that you’re focused on the wrong

Um… oh.

That was the conversation we had this morning. I’m really not even
sure how to respond to it. I have a feeling he thinks I am in a
different place than I am.  See, the reason I always ask if I am in
trouble isn’t because I focus on punishment, or that I’m trying to do
the minimum to avoid getting in trouble. I realize that part of being a
slave is failing at times and that my focus should be on serving him
the best I can rather than avoiding punishment.

So why do I ask, then? Well, because I need more processing time than he does.

If I’ve made a mistake that I’m not in trouble for, I have plenty of
time to go through it in my head and try to correct it.  If I am in
trouble that isn’t the case. I have to be in the right frame of mind by
the time he is ready to punish me.  Actually, that’s not true. I’m not
sure he cares much what frame of mind I am in when he punishes me, but
I don’t think it is as effective or productive if I’m in a bad place.

My Owner says that the point of punishment is to correct any
behavior that he doesn’t like. That’s all well and good, and I think it
is probably the point for him. It doesn’t really get to the point for
me, though. The reason for this is two fold. First: I’m very hard on
myself. If he tells me I’ve done something wrong he doesn’t need to
punish me in order to get me to make changes.  Second: punishment
itself doesn’t correct anything.  It does sometimes serve to reinforce
a correction already made, but without that in place the punishment
teaches me nothing.

That’s why I still have to do the mental work.  I have to come to a
point where I can make the punishment valuable. I can’t do that nearly
as effectively if it is sprung on me without warning.  So, I ask. But,
he’s just told me to stop asking. So, I don’t ask?

If I don’t ask, how do I make sure that I stay in a place where
being in trouble serves it’s purpose? I’m not sure. We have our
scheduled talk tomorrow, so maybe he has some ideas. I really want to
explain myself to him. I already started to, although I cut myself off
well before I wanted to. I suppose that’s why I’m writing this, to get
the explaining bug out of my system so I can stop bothering him with it.

This is really going to take some working out. I’ll be sure to
report back if I have any light bulb moments.  I’d love to hear
thoughts from you all, though. My guess is you might have better ideas
than me.  And by the way, I still have no idea if I’m in trouble for
the issue I was asking about. I guess I get to wait and see!

5 thoughts on “Wrong Focus?

  1. Mike

    I can understand your need for the background and the ability and time to process information when you feel like you’ve done something wrong.
    I don’t think asking “Am I in trouble?” is a bad thing but I suppose it depends on the rules enumerated beforehand. If there are rules for a particular situation I’d fall back on them first and then ask for clarification as something new came up.
    Sorry…rambling…but I totally can support your feelings and desire to want to be completely informed.

  2. Caitlen

    I’d be interested in hearing how things went when you discussed these feelings with your owner, and what your final solution together was.
    My thought was that perhaps you could build time into the punishment for you to mentally prepare once he has declared you are in fact in trouble, rather than asking him before he has made a decision. This could take a number of forms: corner time, writing in a journal or one of your blogs about the upcoming punishment and what led to it, having a set time for punishments (like before bedtime or first thing in the morning) so when he tells you you’re in trouble you’ll know when it’s coming and have time to process first.
    I’m sure there are other fun (for him) ways to accomplish the same goal, he might even enjoy the process of coming up with them!

  3. N

    I’m very interested to hear how things go once you talk to your owner.
    Hopefully, he’ll be understanding enough, that even if you still aren’t allowed to ask, he will simply inform you enough ahead of the punishment for you to get into the right frame of mind. That’s hugely important for me, and I’m fortunate that S tends to naturally build that into the punishment (oh, the hours I’ve spent being lectured over her lap before she starts spanking!).
    It wouldn’t surprise me if there are times anyway, when he wants to surprise you with it, or not give you that preparing time. That would be a major challenge for me, but something that S might do, to teach me to bend more quickly to her will, and the mindset she wants from me.

  4. Bridget

    Hi guys. Sorry to be so non responsive, life got a bit crazy after I posted this!
    Mike- Thanks, I really appreciate hearing that I am not totally crazy once in a while!
    Caitlen, I was thinking along the same lines myself, although not necessarily via corner time etc. I just thought that maybe the solution is for me to stop asking, but see if he would be willing to give me some advanced warning once he made up his mind. He did not make any promises about this!
    N, I think you’re right there will be times when he wants to surprise me.
    The main thing we talked about had to do with prioritizing. He doesn’t want me to prioritize about which mistakes are more serious based on punishment. If my focus is supposed to be on serving him and pleasing him, then I should strive to correct all my behavior and not let punishment direct my focus.
    Also, we talked about how he perceives it when I ask the question. One of the big things that that had not occurred to me is the fact that it can come across as me asking to be punished. He says he knows it isn’t the case, but he also knows that I often feel I need to be punished when he does not. He says he does not want me to ask in part to avoid feeding that part of me that thinks I’m always doing bad. Even if the answer is, “no” as long as I am asking it means I am thinking that way.
    I did tell him about my feelings regarding needing time to process. We didn’t come to any real conclusions about that except that if I don’t happen to have warning then there is a good chance I will start to change the way I process it and make it valuable. That’s one of those “see how it goes and adjust” things, I guess.

  5. Iris

    Arrggh! I totally sympathize with the “Am I in trouble?” sentiment. So frustrating, especially when you’re trying to relinquish control.


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