I have received a lot of advice in my life, but also have given a lot of advice. Sometimes I followed their suggestions, other times I just knew it wouldn’t work for me. I guess for those I had tried to guide, it must have worked the same. What works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another.
When we started out on our kink journey, I was like a sponge. I was ready to listen to anyone and do what others did, because I thought that was the ‘right way’. I had to go through a process — a learning curve, so to speak — to understand that the way others do their kink, doesn’t necessarily mean it would work for me.
Master T never tried to do what others did. From the beginning, he followed his own ‘plan’, and soon taught me to do the same.
This advice had never been given to me, but it definitely is advice I would give those starting out with their journey into kink: read about it a lot, gain as much information that you could, but don’t try to be like others. Always be your own person, and build the relationship that works for you. There just is no right or wrong way to do D/s, except of course to follow the basic rules of safety.
The first time in my life I saw a psychologist was because of a mini-breakdown after visiting my father in South Africa. The second time was when I had a burnout in 2012, and the third time was a year after my mom had passed away.
During those first two times, I had the same psychologist, who helped me a lot to feel stronger, to look at myself in a less negative way, and to be able to stand my ground in my professional life. She was the one that helped me to work through feeling abandoned by my father, because he had photos of my brother and his two stepdaughters and their families in his house, but nothing of me and my children, despite me sending him many of those over the years.
The third time I went to a psychologist was for grief counseling. She took me through a process to unlock my grief, which went from writing about my mom, to EMDR. It was an intense period, but one of the best things I could’ve done, not only for myself, but also for my family. Posts that dealt with the process are:
- Dealing With Grief
- Processing More
- Something’s Missing
- PTSD & EMDR
- Following Fingers
- Discharged from Therapy
Seeing a coach
Since November 2020 my life feels like a mess. I have written about it on several occasions, but to recap, it went from learning my son’s mental health is in a bad state, to having to deal with several of his suicide attempts and anger attacks, to Master T having a stroke in March 2021, and consequently finding out that he has metastasized thyroid cancer. That’s a process we are currently still in, and will be in for weeks, maybe months to come.
As a process of all this, my back started acting up. First a pain in my lower back, which has now spread to my bottom, my hip and right down my leg, to my ankle. Everything hurts, except when I sit, and when I lie in an almost-fetal position
Things got too much for me. Are still too much for me.
I cut back on work (with the blessing of my employer) and started seeing a coach. She helps me to deal with some things, such as not feeling guilty because I can’t work all my hours now, and taking time for myself amidst all that is happening. Where those psychologists really helped me, it feels like this coach is the first ever professional that really gets me. I have six more sessions left with her, and hope to learn a lot more from her than I have already done.
Giving advice but not following it
My best friend is going through a hard time too, all work related. She works at a place that doesn’t care how much pressure they place on people. They care more about money than people, and she had been working too many hours, so much so that she’s on the brink of collapse.
A week or two ago we spoke on the phone, after a conversation on Whatsapp. She gave me advice about how to handle this and that, and I gave her advice on what to do regarding her work. When she gave me advice, I countered it saying things why I can’t follow her advice, and she did the same.
I laughed so hard, I had to call her, and my first words to her were: “we are so good at giving advice, but why don’t we ever follow our own advice?”
You see, the advice she gave me, could just as well have applied to her own situation, and vice versa.
I think many people will recognize this, that we are brilliant at giving someone else advice, but following what we say to each other… no way. Why is it, that we seem to care more about another’s wellbeing than our own? Or is it even that? Why can we see another’s situation so clearly, and know so well what they should do to get out of it, but we can’t find the way out of our own bad situations? Or, if we do take the step to follow our own advice — that very advice that we know would work for another — we feel guilty? Is it maybe the guilty feeling that keeps us from following what we say someone else should do when they are in a bad situation?
Giving and taking advice… it’s a strange conundrum!
© Rebel’s Notes
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