One Pain for Another

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I have been thinking a lot lately about pain.

Okay, that came off REALLY wrong.

Is it possible to think about pain in a good way? To analyze, as a submissive, why I need (not want, need) a good spanking to get my head on straight, or a flogging to make me fly? Why anal sex is my favorite because of that pleasure/pain line that pushes my body so?

I am a psych major..and I forget that most of the time. When I am how I’ve been lately, covered in clay and plaster along with the crazy cat next to me (also covered in clay and plaster…), pushing myself to sketch out new pieces, search for kilns to fire in, get the courage to approach galleries.. I forget that I went to Lesley originally for psychology. Art is in my blood, but there is a part of me that loves picking things apart. Figuring out why people react the way they do. Why they love what they do and do what they do…

I do this with myself, often. Most of the time it’s in a healthy way, to stop myself from harmful behavior, from spiraling or over-eating or getting angry without reason. I stop, analyze what I’m about to do and why, what led me there, and what I should do next.

Kinda weird from someone who so often exists in the moment, and functions on emotions and action I know, but it happens.

I’ve been doing this lately with my relationship with pain; physical pain. Where it started. Why I put myself through it. In starting off this journey I wouldn’t have said I enjoyed pain at all. I was afraid of it. I still wouldn’t call myself a masochist. I’m a tenderfoot. Even when I was playing on a regular basis (and I mean REGULAR, 3-4 times a week at least) I could never take too much pain. I would cry and shake when Kane would spank me, gritting my teeth and willing myself to make it to the end, to show I could do it. It was to please him, to show him how tough I was..

Where did that start?

I’ve always been into body modification. I see the body as a canvas made to be decorated. My tattoos are my road map, showing my journey through life. What mattered to me so much that I put it on my body for all to see forever. I have 9 tattoos now, want more, and 17 piercings (I had 18 but a cartilage piercing in my ear closed.. must re-pierce that.. I don’t like not being symmetrical). I’ve always gotten the endorphin rush that follows the pain of a needle going through me… But I’ve been poking holes through my ears since I was 12 years old. I never thought anything of it. I loved the product of the pain, the piercing that I got to wear. The pretty jewelry. The feel of the rings in my ears. It made me happy.

My parents, as open minded as they are, were always against tattoos. I didn’t get my first until I was 19, though it was one I had planned for years. A pentagram on my back, with representations of the five elements inside of it (earth, air, fire, water, spirit). Tattoos are different.. They’re not the quick, endorphin rush pain of piercings. It’s a slow, painful burn that slowly wears you down. I max out at 4 hours of sitting.. I know people who can go longer. My older sister can sit for 5+, though she curses like a sailor the entire time.

I did these things because the result was pretty, or the symbols tattooed on me meant something, enough for me to sit through the pain. I didn’t enjoy the pain. I just knew that it came part and parcel with the things that would decorate my body.

The exception to this rule is a set of tattoos I got on Valentine’s Day 2013. My aunt had died on January 27th, and I wasn’t dealing with the pain. I was single, alone, trying to keep my head afloat and finish my senior year of college. I wanted to graduate, not for myself but for her. She was why I had gone to school to start with and not gone rogue, running to New York to be an artist. She had paid for my first semester of college, and given me money for every single semester so that my loans weren’t too horrific. I wouldn’t let her down.

I have always identified as Pagan, for as long as I can remember. I have never been able to read the Runes for divination, but I have always respected them and the mythology around them. I chose two runes, Uruz and Tiwaz. Uruz, for internal healing and strength, Tiwaz for the ability to persevere, to survive battle know matter what. I didn’t want to look at the symbols, I didn’t even really want others to see them. I wanted them to lead the way. To keep me going.

I got Uruz on the arch of my left foot, the bottom. Tiwaz on the right in the same spot. The tattoo artist told me that it would ink out, that in a few years the tattoos wouldn’t exist. I didn’t care. I wanted the symbols to be with me with every step. And I wanted the pain that came with the tattoos.

For the first time, I wanted physical pain to dull the emotional pain raging inside of me. My aunt was gone. My indestructible, strong, always there for me, force of nature aunt had died, and I needed to survive.

I say often that play makes my brain stop. When I’m in sub space, when I’m flying, I’m not thinking about money or stress or partners or.. anything. I’m blitzed out on the endorphins, in a place past pain that I can only get to if I go through the pain.

Is that the same as all my other tattoos, where I sat through the pain for the pleasure of the adornment? Or is this like that first exception, where I traded one pain for another?

Why do I need to fly?

Yours, thoughtful

-Rena

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