Even though I’ve recently set up this public blog presence of my charmed life and kinky times, I’ve been posting introspection and navel-gazing on predominantly kinky topics on Fetlife for some time. Fetlife (fetish + life, get it?), or Fet/FL as a lot of users call it, is social network for kinky people – essentially Facebook for kinksters, a way to contact and stay connected with people you meet at events. In response to an essay that I wrote a while back, “In the Land of Beautiful Women,”a reader commented first that she didn’t usually “publish her innermost” and then proceeded to tell me she generally knew what I meant in my experience and went on to say some other kind words. Her prefatory remark got me thinking, however: Why do I write about such personal matters? My instincts tell me it is multifactorial.
I am a survivor, like so many of us are, and it is part of my healing process.
“With limited resources for taking care of yourself, you survived using whatever mean were available. Many survivors feel ashamed of the ways they coped. You may find it difficult to admit some the things you had to do to stay alive. It may be hard to acknowledge what it takes now for you to get up and face each day. As a child in terrible circumstances, you responded the best that you could do—and you have continued to do so. The crucial thing is that you survived. It’s important to honor your resourcefulness.”
The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis
It is validating for me to share my experiences with others, and it is validating for me to read their experiences. I am a social creature, and the most abusive individuals I have met in my travels were those who made feel isolated and alone, either through actual circumstance or verbal abuse and gaslighting.
John Bradshaw in his book Creating Love speaks of the “false self.” Many people who are abused or mistreated at crucial points of their development are taught that the person they really are is bad and that they must be something else in order to be loved, to be valued. I have experienced this. I feel like I spent the majority of my life living behind facades and personae constructed to hide the awful person I had been told I truly was.
Speaking openly and honestly about my experiences, good, bad and indifferent has been a powerfully therapeutic tool.
I have learned that silence often comes at a high price.
I have had my silence used against me. I also found that speaking out could have prevented someone else from being hurt.
It is important to promote understanding of alternative sexuality and sex positivity.
“Gay brothers and sisters,… You must come out. Come out… to your parents… I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives… come out to your friends… if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors… to your fellow workers… to the people who work where you eat and shop… come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by the votes from Dade to Eugene.”
The more people who are familiar with the existence of BDSM and the kink community and know that we’re just people who are sexually adventurous – of all socioeconomic classes, genders, orientations, that we’re out there everywhere, that we’re your doctors, your car mechanics, your accountants, your cashiers, that BDSM is something that can be done safely, sanely, and consensually, the better. Maybe it’s not your thing, and that’s okay, but that doesn’t mean we’re all a bunch of psycho killers or a huge threat to society.
It’s a cause that the NCSF embraces and advocates for members of our community, and something of which I would like to be a part, albeit a small one.
I’m proud of my scars.
“trauma”: — from Greek τραῦμα = “a wound”
Having watched multiple newbies orient themselves to kink, one thing that usually seems to puzzle them is how much we kinky folk treasure the bruises, welts, scratches, and other marks left after a hot session. I can’t speak for everyone, but in addition to being a souvenir of a moment of intense connection, they remind me of how tough I truly am, that I made it through the pain, and am better for it.
My emotional scars are that way, too. For the longest time I was ashamed of them, thought they made me less of a person. I’ve come around to the opposite opinion. I’ve been through a lot, and I made it. And that’s kind of awesome.