Confessions Of A Masochist

A person tied to a chair in a kidnap interrogation situation, white text on a black banner reads "confessions of a masochist"

I’ve always been a lover of pain – physical pain, particularly deep, achy, muscular pain. Pain that says you’ve done a bit too much in the gym or one too many laps of the pool, that kind of pain.

That it’s called DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, never ceases to amuse me. Sometimes I even wonder if it’s the only sort of DOMS I really need.

I’ve long been a fan of pushing myself, pushing myself to that point where defeat is tempting but the mind is determined to go on. Endurance is the antithesis of surrender, after all. 

And so being an outdoorsy type then I happen to be a fan of pushing myself on assault courses or with outdoor pursuits, from orienteering, abseiling, climbing, canoeing, camping, fishing and more. I once did an assault course (albeit not quickly) in reverse because Mum and I fancied the challenge of climbing up the downward-sloping hills and I’ve taken on a river crossing challenge before and released my inner Drill Sergeant, just to get the rest of the team across the various bridges.

“Hearts! Spades! Clubs! Diamonds!”, each co-ordinated with a red or black stepping stone across the bridge. Get the pattern wrong and you gradually descended to an almost certain watery fate, work it out (or at least follow the instructions of the nice lady who had already cracked it), and you’d be safe. Oh yes, there was no denying that I enjoyed that afternoon.

I’ve always loved to be challenged, and none moreso than by the idea of Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins. I used to love it when Ant Middleton was one of the Directing Staff – I always thought that he was somebody who could push me mentally and physically, but also someone who I could drink tea with and have a bloody good laugh with.  He’s only ever pissed me off once too; by not staying true to himself to please the masses.

But nothing has ever enticed me more than the interrogation scene in the last episode of each series. For me it would be a test of my real grit, and one that I feel I could manage reasonably well. 

Trying to evade capture beforehand would be fun too, provided I got my fitness back together first, of course.  

I’ll hold my hands up and say that I can lie convincingly under pressure. I don’t choose to lie all the time, not by any means, but if I have to then I can. My mother stands at a 5′ nothing with military blood (my husband nicknamed her “Hitler” in our formative years because of her short stature and the amount of attitude that she gave him) and my father was a childrens’ social worker, so much of my childhood was spent with them trying to mindread me and calling it “bullshit”, even when I was telling the truth. If I gave them enough of what they wanted to hear and convincingly, I concluded, then I could usually stay out of trouble. 

Long enough to escape their wrath for a bit, anyway. 

Yelling at me doesn’t bother me in the least. See the above, I’m used to people getting in my face and shouting at me and to me now then it says more to me about them than it does to actually bother me. If you yell at me then you’ve already lost control (and given it to me instead) and my respect along with it, that’s always been my philosophy. Even if nothing else then I just stare past shouty types until they run out of things to say. Nothing can offend me if I already know what’s true. 

Violence? I’ve been beaten, scratched, bitten, burned with acid, stoned, sexually assaulted and more. I live with pain, and I can get through pain. Pain doesn’t break me.

Cold showers? I’ve done cold showers just for fun, for the adrenaline, to feel alive. I used to piss my brother off by standing in streams and tuning out the temperature. It’s only cold if you let it be.

Babies crying and the sound of a dental drill? Might bug me a bit, but my determination for success would drive me on. 

Stress positions I enjoy. I wholeheartedly admit that I get a masochistic kick out of them, out of the deep pain and the endorphins that they release. Waterboarding was a kink curiosity for me, even before I knew what a kink was. Sleep deprivation is a kink for me, too.

So then, what works?

“What do you think would bother you more, psychological or stress positions?” Matt asks over our Sunday roast dinner.

“Psychological,” I reply, “if you put me in stress positions then imma just call you ‘Daddy'” I say. He laughs. 

How to break me psychologically, of course, is my little secret. 

“I get the feeling you’d go all in” Matt says. I grin. 

“I would need saving from myself” I admit. In these sorts of situations then I probably would, and certainly in a real kidnap and interrogation situation then my visceral determination would probably get me killed. 

But hey, at least nobody can say that I don’t know how to keep a secret.

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