submissive meltdown

Meltdown – finding forgiveness

I’m calling this post meltdown because officially a meltdown is ‘an intense response to overwhelming situations’. It happens when someone becomes completely overwhelmed by their current situation and temporarily loses behavioural control.  I think that this pretty well sums up my feelings and behaviour the other night.  This is an old post but it is about the need for forgiveness and the fact that sometimes, within a D/s dynamic, it can translate into wanting to be punished in a physical sense. For more thoughts on discipline and how it more commonly works for us, you might want to read this post.

One day, back in October 2016 …

To be honest, I think that things have been building up for a while. I am maxed out at work. Completely. My head is full and I feel that I have no more space for people’s problems. I am an organised person usually, but when you are too busy then all that falls by the wayside. This has been happening to me for a while.  I have told HL as our agreement is that I share my feelings and am clear about my needs, but, being honest, the way this term has gone means that me feeling like this has become the norm.  

I think that is probably why he didn’t see the pressure build to bursting point this time. Often he would, of course. In addition to work stress, we have had a lot of pressures on us in other ways. This has taken its toll on both of us; while we had a plan for managing, and used our D/s to do that, this was a short term fix rather than a long term, ok-this-is-our-life-now-how-do-we-manage-it-for-the-foreseeable, type of plan. So I think it came as a bit of a surprise to both of us when, over what seemed to be nothing, I had a bit of a meltdown.

I definitely felt overwhelmed. I should have been able to cope, but I didn’t.  I feel immensely disappointed in my behaviour now. My time as a submissive has taught me to think before I speak and I have worked hard at using language which will convey the right message, even when I am feeling emotional. Using my ‘teacher voice’ was something that had to be left behind in vanilla life for obvious reasons; as was vocabulary which suggested blame and an inappropriate tone.  I have worked at all of this and am usually quite good at taking the time to express myself in a way which is both submissive and respectful to HL.  

As my control broke down I found myself speaking in a stilted way; I tried desperately to search for the right way to phrase things, but I know that what I said in actuality was not what I should have said. In addition, my emotional outpouring ruined a scene which HL had planned for us. By the time we had talked about the issue, time had worn on which meant that even had the dynamic been right between us, I had used the time for something else. As usual, HL took this in his stride and tried to help and support me. At least one of us was in control!

As often happens after something like this, the dynamic between us was not quite right. I had behaved in a way that I was uncomfortable with, said things that I regretted, and changed the course of the evening that he had planned. I asked to be punished.  I suppose that is a hard thing for him to do when he sees that I am already struggling, but it was what I needed to move on and he accepted that. I didn’t enjoy it but it did make me feel that things had been brought to an end and I could return to being submissive to him.

I think that without a physical punishment on this occasions, I would have felt worse that I had challenged the order of things between us, even if it was unintentional. His understanding and forgiveness is obviously of chief importance to me, but I also need to be able to forgive myself. We often use a reset when things have shifted a bit and I suppose that is what the punishment did. It was quick and clear, and he made me tell him what I had done to deserve it which was also helpful.

When we started out with our D/s, these sort of bumps could throw us, but we have come to realise that they are the stuff of life and relationships. We will not make the same mistake again, although I am sure we will make many others which are similar. We use communication to manage bumps and get back on track, learning from each of these slips and putting things in place to avoid a repeat, so over time, we have come to see these learning opportunities as positives.  

I am lucky that I now have two weeks off work when we can spent time talking and planning and looking at how we manage things and moving forward. Even without that we would have found a way through, I am sure; this is a never ending work in progress and that is part of the fun.  Post meltdown I am feeling calm, cared for and closer to him. Tattie holidays here we come?


I have added this post to May More’s 4 Thoughts Or Fiction meme. Previously Food For Thought Friday, 4 Thoughts Or Fiction has a new look and a new home which you can find by clicking on the badge above.

Posted in Building a D/s Dynamic, Submissive Journal and tagged , , , , .


  1. One of the most difficult transitions to achieve in a D/s relationship is to incorporate punishment when discipline/maintenance is not enough. The hows and whys vary from person to person, but I am impressed that you had the fortitude and self-awareness to ask for punishment as a reset. I think these next two weeks off gives you both the opportunity to explore a more formal means of preventing future meltdowns and the consequences of a repetition.

    • Thank you. Punishment isn’t something that has featured much in our dynamic. As you say, discipline and maintenance have usually been enough. I am not really a bratty sub and try to please so usually knowing that I have let HisLordship’s down is enough. It also has to fit with his personality and he wasn’t particularly comfortable with the idea of formal punishments at the beginning. We did try it but found a way of managing things which suited us better. I guess, as with everything, this will continue to evolve and change over time.

      • Sometimes though, a punishment is the only thing that breaks through the frantic mental gyrations and allows a complete surrender and release. Having the structure and agreements in place before the meltdown is the most critical component that allows punishments to work effectively. As long as you feel better afterwards, it really doesn’t matter what you call the activity.

  2. I have been in the same place as you but certainly have not behaved as well as you when trying to pull something back – I have meltdowns over so many different things and sometimes I think they they are valid and others i know i have got out of hand.
    These past few months have not been easy on that score
    May xx

    • I know. I don’t always manage as well. That was quite. A straightforward one and I think it’s easy when you are in the headspace. ?

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