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Fifty Shades of Truth and BS

Exposing abuse under the guise of BDSM & related reflections on self-recovery.

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Wise Words

M was for Master

We did not participate in BDSM casually. To my partner and me at the time, it was our lifestyle and we lived our lives as such. He was my Master and I was his slave. I wore a slave collar on my neck 24/7 to show his ownership over me and I obeyed his every command. I called him Master but in public I shortened his formal title to “M”. I attempted to keep our lifestyle somewhat discreet outside of our home but my Master frequently enjoyed demonstrating his control over me in public which always made me feel ashamed or degraded in some way.

The locked metal collar that I wore 24/7 was sometimes a tip off to strangers as to what kind of relationship my Master “M” and I had. Sometimes in public he would grab my collar and forcefully pull me around with it much like he would a dog in training just because he enjoyed seeing how strangers would react. He basked in the feeling that he had all control over me and that I would do whatever he wished regardless of how it made me feel. I was his slave after all, and he taught me that a good slave does what their Master commands under any circumstance. And I was prepared to do exactly that. Although the thought of following his every wish terrified me, it scared me much less than disobeying his commands out of fear of a severe punishment or reprimand that was sure to come should I transgress.

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My 24/7 slave collar with a fancy pendant attached.

But something changed in me eventually. After years of what I now see as abuse, I started to take into account how the strangers that were subject to my Master’s treatment of me were reacting. They were shocked and astonished. It wasn’t only strangers that were shocked but also our long time friends who had seen more than most strangers could imagine. They started to make comments to my Master that upset him. They did not think our relationship was healthy and some stopped coming around us. And I didn’t blame them. Their absence helped me to realize that my Master’s and my relationship was not healthy.

The little seed of doubt had been planted in me long before I started to notice how other people were reacting to my Master’s and my relationship. But I never trusted myself enough to nourish that seed and allow it to grow. I did not listen to many warnings that various concerned people threw my way. I continued to be the good slave that my Master wanted me to be and ignored how horrible I felt inside. And I now know that this is an unhealthy codependent behavior. Codependency was something I learned as child growing up in an environment filled with drugs, alcohol and abuse. I was simply reverting back to what had been ingrained in me since a young age and it was more than difficult for me to stop. I needed help but I did not know how to pursue it, especially while under my Master’s control.

I eventually began to see a therapist who instantly pinpointed my codependent behaviors. I was honest with my therapist and told her about ho my Master’s and my relationship was ran. He was in control of everything and I had no say. I was surprised that he allowed me to go to therapy but I told my therapist if he told me to stop that I would obey. If I did not, there would be repercussions that I wanted nothing to do with. She was concerned and asked me why I wanted to be with such a man. And at that moment I realized that I no longer felt like I had a choice with my Master. I did not feel that I could simply leave him. I was terrified that he would either kill me or ruin my life in some way. And I was shocked that our relationship had gotten to that point but I did not know what to do about it. My therapist was kind enough to suggest a few ways that I could begin my exit from the relationship but at that time my Master demanded I stop therapy and so I heeded his wishes.

I held onto my seed of doubt but it took a catastrophe that was far beyond my control to end the abusive relationship. M was my Master and I can honestly say that it was he who officially ended our relationship. I am unsure if I would have ever mustered the courage to leave him despite all of the doubt that I had growing inside of me. My slavery was my identity. I had forgotten all other sides of myself and did not believe that I could find them again. M had done a good job beating the true me into oblivion and obscurity. But M also blessed me when he let me go. That was when I was forced to find those parts of me that seemed to be lost. I found that they were not lost but just hidden and to this day I still find parts of myself that had vanished under M’s control.

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When PTSD Rears It’s Sneaky Little Head

Last night had a night-terror dream that was similar to what I used to deal with every night when I was going through the thick of my PTSD. I woke up screaming and crying and for some reason I was in literal physical pain in my stomach. And although it was terrifying, it has reminded me how far I have come in my (C)PTSD recovery.

I am thankful that I am no longer frightened to fall asleep every night. I used to stay up for as long as possible, sometimes days on end just to avoid the impending doom of whatever nightmare I was bound to have that night. I was going through this only about a year ago so I can clearly see that I have progressed a tremendous amount since then in my recovery. It has been a slow process but I am grateful for any advancements that I have made. And I am proud of myself as well.

There are certainly other times when PTSD pops up and bothers me. Times like when my friends suggest I take an Uber or Taxi somewhere. I automatically catastrophize the situation in my head and assume something horrendous will happen to me. Usually I think that the driver will attack me or some other bad situation of the sort will occur. There are also many instances that I am scared to go to certain places or events simply out of the fear of seeing Abuser M. And I understand this is a downright ridiculous fear because I have not seen him in person in years and I also know in my rational head that he wouldn’t dare approach me these days because he knows that he has no control over me.

There are other times too that PTSD will rear it’s ugly head but these days I try not to let it get to me. I try to take note of those little red flags when PTSD is screaming at me and I try to conquer whatever my anxieties are attempting to keep me from doing. And I believe doing so has helped me progress tremendously in my (C)PTSD recovery. I try not to let these fears hold me back. I am not perfect and sometimes the fears get the best of me but I can proudly say that now a days it doesn’t happen much.

And I now know that it is possible to thrive and not survive!

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The Ultimate Guide to BDSM – Video by Carvaka

Hello Lovelies!

The release of Fifty Shades Darker has reignited the general public’s interest in all things BDSM. However, many newbie BDSM’ers are often left a little bewildered about some of the finer details of this strange new world. While we all are pretty familiar with handcuffs and blindfolds, many would struggle to tell their armbinders from their Wartenberg Pinwheels! Thankfully the guys over at Carvaka have produced an ultimate guide that tells you all you need to know. It even covers an explanation of some of the slightly confusing lingo used as well as introducing some of the more commonly used BDSM toys. So if you are intrigued by BDSM and looking to learn a little bit more, check out the below video!

And as always, please stay safe, sane and consensual.

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A Much Needed Update!

Hello lovelies!

It has come to my attention that my blog has grown to become more popular with the recent release of Fifty Shades Darker and with that I am aware that I need to update everyone on my progress and also push forward with more content on this blog.

Here is a brief update on me which I can dive into more in further posts.  The biggest update is that I am no longer crippled by (C)PTSD.  For a while it certainly consumed me.  These days I look back and almost wonder how I could ever be so sick.  But PTSD is very real and it can happen to anyone.  I am so thankful for my personal journey and that I am now where I am today in my recovery.  It took a lot of work and I hope that I can share details with my readers so that they may benefit as well.  Also, I want to thank my readers for their kind support and words of encouragement during some of the most difficult points in my recovery.  I will forever appreciate it and dream that I can also be a source of support for others in need.  And that is why I blog!

I have briefly read over some of my older posts and I am so grateful to say that I have come a long way since many of my older posts.  Some are even shocking to me and I can’t wait to update you on more details of my recovery specific to past posts.

These days I have made my well being a priority in my life.  It has been my best medicine.  I am very physically active and when not moving around I focus my mind on other things that I love such as reading or creating.  While in the thick of my (C)PTSD it was hard for me to do any of this!  Once again, I am so thankful for where I am today and hope that others who struggle will also find light at the end of the tunnel like I have.

Now that I have given you a brief update, I am excited to announce that I promise to be more active in posting.  It was healthy for me to take a small hiatus but I also believe that what I have to say needs to be said and needs to be read.  If you have any questions or topics that you want to be addressed on my blog, please feel free to email me at fiftyshadesoftruthandbs@gmail.com.  I always welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Be well!

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No Still Means No When it Comes to Consensual Nonconsent & BDSM – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


I recently saw a flyer posted online that lists 4 criteria for consent. The poster spoke to me as it pointed out factors that aren’t usually pinpointed when explaining the concept of consent. Consent can easily be described by the term “no means no”. If your partner says “no” to engaging in an activity then they are not giving you their consent to engage said activity. Such an explanation however can get much more complicated and when you throw BDSM and consensual nonconsent into the mix.  In this case consent can be downright confusing.

Abuser M and I engaged in a BDSM relationship where I was his slave and he was my “Master”.  He told me that by engaging in consensual nonconsent, I was to do what he said at all times. I was not extremely experienced in BDSM when I began our relationship and I took every one of his words for truth. He was, after all my Master and I had complete trust in him. If only I had learned more about consental nonconsent from the local BDSM community, I believe that I would have been safe from a lot of the abuse that I endured while under Abuser M’s control. I now know that he used BDSM as a guise for the domestic abuse that he inflicted on me in every aspect of our relationship.

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The flyer that I speak of has been added to this post for your review below. I want to discuss each of the 4 criteria listed and how my BDSM relationship with Abuser M muddled the definition in my head to the point that I was clueless on the subject.

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The flyer states that consent is 1. Active, 2. Based on Equal Power, 3. A Choice and finally 4. A Process.

“1. Consent is Active. Just because a partner didn’t say ‘no’ doesn’t mean they have given consent. Ask because only ‘YES’ means ‘YES’.” Abuser M and I had such a relationship where “no” was not in my vocabulary when speaking to him. If I even implied that I wanted to go against his will, he would punish me in various ways. He told me that in order to be a slave I needed to completely submit to his every whim, whether I liked it or not. His concept of slavery completely blew away this first criteria of consent. First of all, he never asked for anything of me. He always simply took what he wanted especially when it came to sex. In fact, he raped me in a public outdoor location on our first date. He did not ask me for my permission to have sex, he simply forced himself on me so brutally that I was injured and even broke my shoe when I strained to pull away. I somehow rationalized this rape in my head by becoming his slave. In my mind that made his act OK. However, now knowing what I know about consent, he broke the very first rule the first time I ever met him and I should have run the other way and never looked back. This set the precedence for the remainder of our relationship. He always forced himself on me whenever he pleased and frequently forced me to engage in sexual acts that I wanted nothing to do with. He never asked… just because I didn’t verbally say no to him did not mean that I was consenting to his acts.

“2. Consent is based on equal power. If someone is underage, drunk, asleep or in another vulnerable position, they cannot consent.” Abuser M broke this principle in multiple ways. I believe that I was constantly in a vulnerable position when it came to our interactions because I was terrified of him and he made me believe that I was his slave in every way. I was not properly informed on what a slave truly is in a healthy BDSM relationship and he used the title to disguise the fact that I didn’t say no to him because I was terrified of what he would do to me. In addition there were countless times when Abuser M took advantage of me sexually when I was under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Not only did he force himself on me numerous times when I was drunk but there were other times that he forced me to overdose on cough medications (also known as Robo-tripping) because the trip would make me so high out of my mind that I couldn’t feel pain. During those times he would beat me to a pulp without so much as a whimper from me because I couldn’t feel it.  There were other times when Abuser M would engage in sexual activities with me when I was asleep.  I would wake up to him on top of me and frequently choking me while forcefully having sex with me.  I was obviously never given the opportunity to say yes or no in these situations.

“3. Consent is a choice. We must make sure our partners feel free to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without pressure. If we aren’t willing to take ‘no’ for an answer, consent cannot happen.” This criteria blew my socks off when I read it. At absolutely no point in my relationship with Abuser M did I ever feel the ability to say no to him. He made it clear that a slave never said no to their Master. Not only did I fear that I would be physically hurt if I ever refused him, I also feared that he would leave me. I had been so degraded by Abuser M that I was terrified of him leaving me. I felt that I deserved him and the treatment that he inflicted on me. There were very few times early on in our relationship that I did attempt to say “no” to Abuser M and those times resulted in severe physical, mental and emotional abuse towards me. I quickly learned that I could never say no to Abuser M if I wanted to feel safe.  Even if I did say no to Abuser M, he would not accept it as an answer.

“4. Consent is a process. Consent requires ongoing conversations with lots of trust. Just because someone says yes to making out doesn’t mean they want to do anything else. You can change your mind at any time.” Once I had accepted that I was Abuser M’s slave, I felt there was no turning back until he released me from his control. I never felt that there was an opportunity to change my mind when it came to Abuser M’s and my relationship because he had control of every aspect of my life. In addition, there was never a point in our relationship that Abuser M asked to assess our relationship to see if I was OK with what was going on. I said yes to being his slave and he made me believe that my doing so gave him the right to do whatever he wanted with me, even when I said no later on in our relationship.

The moral of this post is to state that consent should and can happen in a BDSM relationship.  BDSM should not be used as a guise to cover domestic violence. There are many people who engage in healthy BDSM relationships where communication is key to their relationship. Consent is always a key factor in these relationships. There are entire organizations within the BDSM community whose sole purpose is to promote the consent culture. I applaud these organizations and the people who work to promote consent culture in the BDSM lifestyle. I wish that I had encountered them when I was engaged in the various unhealthy BDSM relationships that I engaged in. I believe that this sort of out reach is of utmost importance in such communities where consent can be such a confusing idea.

I would like to briefly suggest ways that people looking to engage in a healthy BDSM relationship can also incorporate all four of the mentioned criteria for consent into their relationships. Once you get the hang of it, consent isn’t a difficult concept even under the influence of a BDSM relationship.

Consent is Active – while engaging in a BDSM scene, the dominant (or top) should always make sure beforehand what the submissive (or bottom) is consenting to.  If at any time during the scene the submissive feels uncomfortable, the submissive should have the right to call a safeword to promptly stop the activities that they are no longer willing to engage in. Consent is based on equal power – within a power exchange relationship power can still be equal when it comes to consent.   Never engage in a BDSM scene while under the influence of any substance and it should always be made clear the submissive has the power to revoke their submission at any time.  Consent is a choice – within a BDSM scene or relationship a dominant should always be willing to accept when a submissive does not want to engage in an activity.  Negotiate the terms of your relationship and/or scene before engaging so that it is made clear to both parties what each are willing to engage in and what is clearly off-limits.  And finally consent is a process – those engaging in a BDSM relationship (or even just a scene) should frequently check in with their partner to make sure that everything is going smoothly on both ends.  If anything feels wrong at any time, stop the scene and openly discuss what has gone wrong.  It is also helpful in general to have written terms for a BDSM relationship that clearly state what activities each party is willing to engage in.  Such a document should never be taken as a legal contract and can be revoked or revised at any time.  Creating such a document is a healthy and easy way to clearly express the desires or both parties involved.

In addition to the suggestions that I have made above, there are many websites that you can find on the subject of consensual nonconsent by searching the term in a search engine.

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His Idea of Polyamory Was One Sided – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


Over the years I have encountered so many different definitions and ways to describe polyamory.  I ran across a definition on the website www.PolyFidelity.org.au that I found to be most accurate;

In 1999, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart was asked by the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary to provide a definition of the term (which the dictionary had not previously recognised). Her definition was:

The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved. This term was meant to be inclusive, and in that context, we have never intended to particularly exclude “swinging” per se, if practitioners thereof wished to adopt the term and include themselves… The two essential ingredients of the concept of polyamory are more than one; and loving. That is, it is expected that the people in such relationships have a loving emotional bond, are involved in each other’s lives multi-dimensionally, and care for each other. This term is not intended to apply to merely casual recreational sex, anonymous orgies, one-night stands, pick-ups, prostitution, “cheating,” serial monogamy, or the popular definition of swinging as “mate-swapping” parties.

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Polyamory is a hot topic amongst the BDSM community.  There are many people within the community who engage in Dom/sub relationships and also identify as polyamorous.  I have met many “poly families” who seem quite happy and fulfilled in their lives.  It can happen, but all parties must be fully on board.

However, I personally do not identify as polyamorous.  I believe that there are people who are truly polyamorous and those who are not.  I do not believe that there is an in between or gray area.  You can either accept and live in the poly lifestyle or you can’t.  People who force polyamory on themselves but who are not truly polyamorous cannot be happy in their heart of hearts.  There are countless people who have tried to engage in polyamorous relationships and found that they cannot be content living in such a lifestyle.  Usually the main factor that determines so is jealousy.  Jealousy after all, is a natural human emotion and it rears its ugly head so frequently among people who engage in polyamorous relationships.

Abuser M identified as polyamorous.  There was only one catch.  He demanded that me, his main partner stayed true to him and only him.  He would not allow me to engage in any romantic relationship outside of our own.  He wanted complete control of me in every way and it would have been a threat to him if I shared my love with anyone else.  Conveniently, I did not personally identify as polyamorous and the word “no” was something I never said to abuser M.  Me having another partner would never be an issue because it was something I was not interested in.

About a year and a half into our relationship abuser M revealed to me that he was preparing to move another girl into our home so that he could engage in a polyamorous relationship with her.  What was I to do other than agree?  I was completely submissive to him in every way and whatever he wanted was delivered to him without a fuss.

He knew that I was stressed about the new girl that was about to enter our relationship and to appease my anxiety he offered up a few ground rules that he portrayed as a way to displace my distress.  He told me that I would always be his primary partner – meaning I was his number one or sorts.  He told me he loved me more than her and that I would always be his priority.  He also said that there would be a clear pecking order in our household and that this girl would be made to do whatever I wished.  She would be on the bottom of our kinky totem pole.  I tried to accept these meager offerings but deep inside knew that nothing would make me feel better about what was about to take place.

The other girl arrived and he quickly collared her as his slave.  We both wore the same 24/7 collar only hers was heavier to signify that she was more submissive to him than I was.  I took it as a clear sign that he desired her more than me because he only wanted complete and utter submission from his women.  I now see that this tactic was just another way to put me down and keep me under his thumb.  I could never be quite good enough for him.

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I wore the 1/4 inch collar & she wore the 3/8 inch design to signify our level of submission towards our Master.

We converted our bedroom so that the other girl could sleep on the opposite side of him as me, but we were all to sleep in the same bed.  Abuser M wanted to have both of us at the same time even though her and I wanted nothing to do with each other.  We both had assigned roles within our house which became a great source of tension as I was used to fulfilling all of the roles before she had arrive.  Both of us were treated as slaves, waiting on him hand in foot.  He also physically abused the other girl yet she always asked for more.  I was selfishly thankful that he had someone else to release some of his sadistic tendencies on.  By creating such a household, abuse M set himself up to be the ultimate king of his own delusional castle.

Eventually this girl also became violent and abusive towards me.  I felt like I was literally going crazy due to my living situation and I was torn.  I was being forced to live a life that I wanted nothing to do with but if I chose otherwise, my Master would want nothing to do with me and would release me.  He told me that I had no say in the matter and that if I did not agree with his decision to engage in polyamory I could leave.  In retrospect, I wish that I had left him at that point but I now know that it was impossible for me to do so because I was completely dependent on him in every way.  He had managed to situate my life so that I could never leave and if I did ever try, it would be a horrible mess.  I eventually found this to be very true when I was able to escape his control at a later time.

There is so much more that I can say about this “polyamorous” relationship that I was forced to be on one side of but I feel those words may be better suited for other blog posts.

The reason for this post is to point out that abuser M’s behavior and treatment of me was abusive and he acted solely on his narcissism.  He wasn’t living the poly lifestyle because if he was, he would have also allowed me to do so.  Polyamory is not a one-sided street.

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 After conversing with many true self-proclaimed polyamorists, I found that they were disgusted with his behavior and also classified it as abuse, as I was not truly consenting to such behavior.   He was using the guise of polyamory to disguise the fact that he wanted to engage in a sexual relationship with another woman regardless of what I thought.  I now know that it didn’t matter what I thought, but he titled himself as polyamorous so that he could justify the extra relationship to people who knew us.  Yes, he openly displayed his polyamorous relationship to our mutual friends, family and coworkers.  How else could he possibly explain the extra relationship that he was engaging in?

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He Says He Loves Me

He says he loves me but how should I begin to believe him?  So many people have said they loved me throughout my life and have proved otherwise.

My dad said he loved me yet I haven’t had a relationship with him since I was 5 years old.  He has abandoned me.  Is that love?

My mother said she loved me despite the fact that she abused and neglected me throughout my childhood and we can no longer have a relationship due to her failure to respect my boundaries.  Is that love?

My first serious boyfriend said he loved me but when we moved in together at the age of 19 he cheated on me with his boss within the first month of living in our a shared home.  Is that love?

Abuser M said he loved me but he acted out his violent fantasies on me and then left me in the dust reeling with confusion.  Is that love?

My ex boyfriend said he loved me yet he couldn’t stand up to his abusive friends and family when I begged for his help.  Is that love?

I have said I love myself but I have put myself through a sort of constant torturous reenactment of my abusive childhood.  Is that love?

And he wonders why I hear those words “I love you” yet I still can’t believe them.  For if I believed his words, I would be exposing myself to more vulnerability and confusion.

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The House Mouse Who Escaped – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


Master Ron wanted to save me. No one had ever saved me before and it sounded like a dream come true.  He made me feel safe, he gave me a security that no other man had ever given me.  I would have done almost anything for him.  I say almost because it was his final demand that completely broke my trust in our relationship and him and resulted in my escape.

Our relationship was new to me.  It was nothing like I had ever experienced before.  It was something that I felt I needed.  I had engaged in BDSM relationships before but had never been in an 24/7 TPE relationship where it was clear what my daily role was.  It gave me structure and purpose.  It made me feel wanted and loved.  He was much older than me, older than even my own father.  I called him Master or Daddy.  I was proud to have him rule and protect me.  I felt invincible while I was by his side and I didn’t care what anyone thought of our relationship.  He gave me attention that no one else had ever given me, including my family.  He seemed to care about me and it drew me in.  I felt loyal to him and did not question his actions.  I felt that surely if he were in the place he was, he must have had the authority to guide me in life.

I was his house-mouse and his number two submissive.  He had one other woman who was senior to me in the pecking order of our house and I felt happy in my place.  I had my own bedroom and rarely slept with Master Ron.  His other submissive slept with him nearly every night.  My main role in the house was to keep the house in perfect order by cooking and cleaning and to also cater to his personal needs whenever he wished.  I felt that I had purpose and that I was in a “family” who loved and looked out for me.  It was everything that my real family had never given me.  I craved this closeness and interaction with people who I felt accepted me for myself.

My daily life with Master Ron was highly structured and if I faltered I was punished.  Punishment was an important aspect of our relationship, and I craved it.  I felt I needed to be corrected and guided.  Before meeting Master Ron, I never had a man provide such guidance in my life.  Punishments varied depending on my offense.  I was punished for anything from not cleaning to Master Ron’s standards to not meeting my weight loss goals.  I felt that punishment held me accountable and that with Master Ron’s guidance I was able to hold myself to a higher standard and better myself.

Our relationship began to falter only when his number one submissive went missing.  We soon found out that she was living a double life and had a husband and children in a different part of the state.  I began to lose trust in Master Ron because I could not understand how he could bring such a lying and manipulative person into our lives.  I had exposed every part of myself to Master Ron and his number one submissive and felt betrayed by both of them on numerous levels.  I held to my word however and decided to stay loyal to him regardless of my feelings of confusion and betrayal.

And then our happy world was shattered.  He offered to abandon his number one submissive and for me to take her place.  He was frustrated with her and also felt betrayed.  But somehow this change in roles hurt and confused me deep down.  I knew that he thought I would take his offer as an honor but in reality it drove a wedge between our relationship.  I did not understand how he could so easily drop this woman from his life, regardless of the lies she had spewed at us.  We were after all a family who had been through so much together.  I felt that our family should have attempted to work out the differences and to move on.  I felt that him replacing her behind her back, regardless of her wrong doings was dishonest and honesty was of the utmost importance to me between his and my relationship.  I don’t know if this was naive of me but I did not want our family to fall apart.  I also feared that if Master Ron could so easily replace his number one, that he could also replace me with ease.  Our unique family was something that I never had before and I couldn’t believe that it was falling apart before my eyes.

I never officially accepted his offer, telling him that I would like to see if his number one submissive would return.  I not only had a relationship with him, but I had one with her and I respected her as well.  I felt loyalty to her much akin to like a sister would.  I knew that he felt that I had defied him by not accepting his offer and he began to push me in ways that he had never done so before.  At this time in our relationship I was so completely confused and perhaps distant because our family as a whole had been shattered and the family dynamic was something that I felt I needed.  He began to punish me in ways that I felt were abusive and were not in my best interest.  One such punishment was making me sleep on the floor of the gym for a week while eating nothing but weight loss drinks because I had not met my weekly weight loss goal.  This was his first punishment that truly felt wrong to me.

His final demand broke me.  He told me that if I was not to be his number one, that I would remain his house-mouse and nothing more.  I was to take care of the house and that included his guests.  When he said this I had an inkling of where his demand was going.  He told me that one of his friends would be coming to visit and that he would sleep with me in my room.  I was to “take care” of his friend while he stayed.  I was in complete shock.  Sleeping with another man was something that he knew I was not willing to do.  I felt that Master Ron was attempting to coerce me into doing something that went against everything inside of me because he wanted to see how far he could push me while still staying loyal to him and his demands.

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This was one of the first times that I truly trusted my gut.  My entire being told me to run and to get out fast.  I did not like where our relationship was headed and I was confused as well as hurt.  I was self-aware enough to listen to my inner voice and decided to escape.  By this point in our relationship, leaving Master Ron truly was escaping because I feared him in many ways that at the time I did not see as unhealthy.  We lived in a remote location where no one could help me if I ran.  I had no car of my own and relied on him in every way.  I could see bad things coming if I did not leave at once.  One day while he was out of the house on an errand I quickly packed my bags and arranged to be picked up.  I had left before he returned.

One my way out of the remote location I saw him driving towards me on the other side of the road.  My heart pounded as I felt all of the fear that I had kept at bay bubbling up inside of me.  Luckily, he did not notice me in the passenger seat of the car and he kept driving on.  It was at this time that I realized how truly scared I was of him.  I was proud of myself for listening to my inner voice and escaping a situation that seemed to be nothing but bad.

For a long time after I escaped Master Ron tried to lure me back into a relationship with him by contacting me through email.  He told me that he had wronged me and that things would be different if I were to return.  He tempted me with similar mind games that he had played on me once before, but this time I could clearly see them.  This time around I listened to my gut and did not return to him.  I was so thankful that I had stayed true to my beliefs and my personal limits and that I had not compromised who I was inside.  I realized through this relationship that if you compromise yourself for someone else, you may lose yourself completely.  I was pleased with myself that I was able to stay true to myself regardless of the situation I was in and how much fear I held inside.

And if finding that staying true to myself was the only lesson that I learned from this relationship, I am still pleased with the outcome.  This was a lesson that I had never fully understood before given my upbringing.  I had always been taught in various ways that submitting to a man and authority was the right thing to do regardless of your feelings inside.  Standing up for your own beliefs was to be put on the back burner.  I knew from this experience that holding to my beliefs was in my best interest because I never regretted leaving.  It taught me that I can stand up for myself and what I feel is important.  Before this point, I was terrified to do so with anyone I saw as an authoritarian figure.  It saddens me that I had to experience such drastic measures to understand this lesson that so many other people are taught at a much young age by their caregivers but I am thankful that I had the opportunity to learn it.  There have been times since leaving Master Ron that I have chosen to ignore this lesson out of self doubt and I have learned even more from doing so.  Life after all, is about living and learning.

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A Lesson Learned from my Dismissive-Avoidant Ex-Boyfriend

My last relationship took me for a loop that I could have never expected.  My boyfriend was an overall good guy, not the type I was typically used to dating in the past.  He was not physically or verbally abusive and everyone who knew him seemed to adored him.  I only heard people speak highly of him and I mistakenly assumed that he would make a wonderful partner.  I was very wrong.  Our relationship ended in a lot of drama and pain that left me confused and hurt for some time.  I have learned a lot from this relationship and I am now thankful for the experience.

The most important lesson that I learned from this failed relationship is that love is simply not enough to make a relationship work.  I loved my boyfriend very much and I assume that he also loved me.  I dreamed of spending the rest of my life with him as I had never been with such a “good guy”.  I wrongly assumed that he was the love of my life because he was loving at times and not abusive like the past men that I had been with.  Our relationship in general seemed better off than any other that I had engaged in in the past.  But there was always something not quite right and in the whole two years we spent together and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until the very end.  Once I realized what was wrong our relationship was far too damaged to salvage.

What was so horribly wrong with this man that everyone seemed to put on a pedestal?  I began to realize that his friends and family’s needs were a priority over mine and even his own.  I thought he was just being a good guy by taking care of everyone but I began to realize that by doing so he completely ignored and avoided my emotional needs at the same time.  Not only did he ignore my needs, but he would also put his on hold to please others regardless if the outcome would damage his self-worth and our relationship.  After a lot of therapy and reflection I now know that this man is a “Dismissive-Avoidant”.

A dismissive-avoidant is someone who subconsciously fears intimacy because they have learned that caregivers are not dependable.  Because of this deep-seated fear, a dismissive-avoidant type may feel that they are better off alone and will usually resort to avoiding the closeness of emotional intimacy.  This type of person is often unable to take attachment issues seriously and when pushed to do so becomes agitated and unwilling to discuss the issues at hand.  They often use work or other activities to busy themselves so that they may have an excuse to avoid emotional attachment.  They do not understand that emotional distance has an impact on them.  These types will often subconsciously resort to having their own emotional needs met by a less demanding partner who does not require reciprocation of real intimacy and closeness.  On the outside, dismissives may pin their relationship issues on their partner while deep inside they have such low self-esteem that they do not feel worthy of love and affection.  This is something that they learned from their caregivers who failed to meet their emotional needs at a very young age.

When you are in a relationship with a dismissive-avoidant they repeatedly remind you in many ways that you are quite low on their list of priorities.  They often feel that any relationship problems are their partner’s problem as they cannot identify their own feelings deep within.  A dismissive-avoidant will use distancing to limit the intimacy within their relationships that they can’t seem to tolerate. There are many different ways a dismissive can distance themselves from their partners but in my case my boyfriend would frequently “mentally check out” on me when I was trying to discuss something that was very important to me.  This treatment lead me to realize that my emotional needs were the least of my boyfriend’s worries.  And that made me feel very alone, although he was physically by my side nearly every day for our entire relationship.

Our relationship started on the rocks and I should have taken the red flags to heart and ran the other way.  The biggest wedge in our relationship was his friends and family who treated me with complete disregard and were frequently downright disrespectful to both him and me.  The first time I met his brother, he drunkenly flipped out on me and caused a huge and embarrassing scene at a party.  I felt completely unwelcome amongst his friends and family after this occurred.  His friends were the most disrespectful group of people I have ever encountered, bullying and belittling me even in front of my boyfriend who could never muster the courage to stand up to them.  My boyfriend’s family gradually became more and more abusive towards me and when I would bring these issues up to my boyfriend he would simply dismiss and avoid them.  He was used to this treatment and to him it was no big deal.  Towards the end of our relationship I felt so completely alone and worthless because that was what my boyfriend subconsciously engrained into me.  But everything else seemed great and I chose to ignore these blaring red flags because I loved him and thought that was enough for our relationship to endure.  I am not saying that the failure of our relationship was one-sided but that simply both sides must be equally engaged for a relationship to thrive.

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What have I learned from all of this heart ache?  Love is not the only factor needed to maintain a healthy relationship.  Respect and communication are also key.  Attentiveness to your partner’s needs are of the ut-most importance regardless of how you unimportant they may feel to you.  Communication cannot be one-sided and both parties must be willing to dive deep into their emotional issues if a healthy level of intimacy is to occur.  I wish that I had fully understood how important each of these aspects of a relationship are two years ago when I began my relationship with this boyfriend, but I am also thankful that I am now able to take the pain that I felt from this relationship and turn it into an important learning lesson that I hope to never forget.

And with that being said… if things just don’t feel completely right in a relationship, I suggest that you take a hard look at the red flags you are encountering and be honest with yourself.  If something feels wrong, discuss your feelings with your partner and work together to resolve them.  If the issues are being pushed back to you as your own personal problem, then your partner is dismissing your needs and may not be capable or willing to fully engage in an intimate relationship.

I hope that by sharing my experiences and reflections that my readers will be able to take my journey as a lesson and apply it to their personal lives.  Red flags in any relationship are something that should not be ignored and are there for a reason!  If you can work through them, your relationship will be that much stronger.  If you can’t, then perhaps it is time to take the high road regardless of feelings of love.

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