Submission as a cure to hyper-individualism
So how is it that we end up with a culture that looks at the quality of submissiveness as a sign of weakness, if not downright pathology? I think part of it is that one needs someone to be submissive to if they are going to be actively submissive – in other words, you can’t do it alone and therefore you need someone. Our culture teaches that we should not need anyone to make us complete or fulfilled. We are complete and just need to apply ourselves to be truly happy. If you need someone to be happy or to complete your life; then you must be co-dependent…at best. This hyper-individualism is, in my opinion, not only wrong-headed, but dangerous to our mental health and to our sense of community.
The fact is that human beings are biologically herd animals. We actually do need each other. People kept in seclusion for too long go crazy. It isn’t a sign of weakness or sickness for me to say that I need Mistress Delila. It is true that my life would go on if She were tragically taken away…but it would hurt – a lot. I would survive, but it would not be living by a long shot.
If solitude were healthy; then people emerging from solitary confinement in prison would be the models of mental health. In fact, quite the opposite true:
[Solitary confinement] creates its own set of psychological pressures that, in some instances, uniquely disable prisoners for freeworld reintegration. Indeed, there are few if any forms of imprisonment that produce so many indices of psychological trauma and symptoms of psychopathology in those persons subjected to it. My own review of the literature suggested these documented negative psychological consequences of long-term solitary-like confinement include: an impaired sense of identity; hypersensitivity to stimuli; cognitive dysfunction (confusion, memory loss, ruminations); irritability, anger, aggression, and/or rage; other-directed violence, such as stabbings, attacks on staff, property destruction, and collective violence; lethargy, helplessness and hopelessness; chronic depression; self-mutilation and/or suicidal ideation, impulses, and behavior; anxiety and panic attacks; emotional breakdowns; and/or loss of control; hallucinations, psychosis and/or paranoia; overall deterioration of mental and physical health.
That is what physical isolation does…but why should mental isolation be any better? More to the point, why would it be considered more healthy?
This is (obviously) an attempt to reduce the argument for hyper-individualism to its most absurd level. I know there is a distance between trying to be absolutely solitary and having a healthy sense of independence. My point is that there is a limit to which independence is healthy. Because that is true; then it is also true that there is such a thing as a healthy amount of interdependence. A person can acknowledge their need for another person and not be a pathetic piece of work.
I’m not suggesting that D/s is for everyone. I’m merely trying to show that it is healthy to need other people, to acknowledge that need, and to become a functioning partner in a relationship that validates and affirms us as individuals. For me, submitting to Mistress does this. Submitting is not a sign of weakness, but, for me, a sign of health and awareness.