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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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CPTSD

From Surviving to Thriving

It has been a very long time since I last posted to my blog and there is a wonderful reason why. I was taking a much-needed mental health hiatus.

My diagnosis of C-PTSD a few years back was a blessing in disguise. At least that is how I look at it now. Initially the diagnosis was difficult to handle but years down the road I am so very thankful for the diagnosis because it allowed me to take the steps to heal from my past traumas and to grow from them.

Since my diagnosis I have had a lot of therapy and have learned to look at life in a different light than I used to when I was i nthe thick of my PTSD. Everything these days seems to be brighter and happier. I look forward to the future and it seems that every day just gets better and better. I even enjoy those days that you wish could have ended before they started. I try to find the bright side of every life encounter and have faith that if I don’t see the bright side right away it will be revealed to me eventually.

How did I get here? Like I said, initially it took a lot of therapy which helped me to learn how to retrain my brain for the better. The most important thing that I took away from therapy is learning how to take responsibility for my life today. I may not have had control over some of the horrible things that happened to me as a child and even in my adult life but I do have control over my life now. I do have the ability to stop the cycle of trauma. I do have the responsibility to love myself enough to not put myself in situations that can have the potential to continually traumatize me. I do have a say in how my life goes these days and I am thankful for that!

I have a girlfriend who has been in a few abusive relationships and has also been diagnosed with PTSD. I try to be as supportive to her as possible when she needs me. There have been a few times in the past few years where her life has been in complete turmoil and she calls me and asks how I am so happy these days. She doesn’t understand how she can ever get out of the negative PTSD cycle of self hate and perpetual trauma.

My answer to her is alway similar – stop reliving the trauma. The moment you decide to take responsibility for your life and to change it for the better is the moment you will start to get better and recover from this disease that we call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That moment that you realize, “I can change the direction my life is going and take a positive turn” is the initial step to healing.

She has not yet grasped this concept but I will be her friend as long as she needs me and hope that one day she will understand what I mean. I cannot judge her for not understanding what I mean yet because there was a point in my life where I was so deeply depressed by my PTSD that I couldn’t even imagine a light at the end of the tunnel. I am not better than her and I will never judge her for the decisions she makes in her life today. But I can be a gentle guide and hope that one day she switches her mindset from surviving to thriving.

And today I cannot even imagine going back to survival mode. Today my life is thriving and I am joyous and elated to see what the future holds in store for me. I am so thankful for this journey we call life and hope I can inspire you to look at life in a similar light.

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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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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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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 were to believe his words, I would be exposing myself to more vulnerability and confusion.

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Facing Darkness

Trigger Alert


When someone has faced adversity and darkness in their past, in theory that person would eventually develop skills to better help them cope with adversity in their future.  There are all sorts of coping skills one could build in a dark atmosphere. Some skills are brilliant and functional, others can be less than functional.  I know from personal experience.

I am not stating that my past is filled with complete darkness.  There were times light peaked through.  I am very fortunate to have experienced many wonderful adventures as a child that many other kids have never dreamed of.  However, my life was very bipolar.  My life was filled with constant excitement but because of that my body was always in a constant state of “excitement”.  At a very young age (as early as I can remember) I acquired PTSD from the countless traumas that I experienced in my family life.  The childhood memories that flood to my mind are now endless.  Some have always been there but I always thought that they were normal so I never told anyone.  This I now know is very typical in childhood abuse and neglect.  I am so very thankful that I now realize that these memories are not normal and that I was severely abused and neglected as a child.  I did not deserve it and my neglectful parents and caretakers were at fault.

I try to believe that I have a purpose here in this world.  I know with certainty that I can dance through darkness and adversity with a smile on my face while others would fall flat on their face in the same step.  Perhaps this is a skill that I should harbor deep inside to use only when absolutely necessary.

I leave this blog with some historical photos of USS Bunker Hill which was attacked by Japanese Kamikazes on May 11, 1945.  I found out through doing ancestral research a few years ago that one of my Grandfathers served as a Naval Dentist on this ship.  He survived the attack (one of the deadliest attacks in US History) and all the adversity of WWII… and here we are today.  I was never fortunate enough to meet my Grandfather but I would like to thank him.

Thank you Grandpa!

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Featured Image Credits:

Facing the Darkness by Eduardo Rodriguez Calzado – 2015

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Natural Gemstone “Early Spring Flower Bloom” Art by me

Natural Gemstone “Meyers Lemon” Art

Fantasy Shroom Garden 1 – 9″ x 12″ Colored Pencils & Pens

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