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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

Holding Him Accountable

Hello Everyone!

I am so sorry that it has been some time since I have written.  My life over the past few months has been quite hectic.  There are days that I feel that I have fallen to where I was in the beginning of my self recovery process and then there are other days such as today when I am proud of myself for how far I have pushed myself in this healing journey thus far.

I took one of the scariest yet most important steps towards my personal recovery on Monday.  I faced abuser M in court.  I had decided some time ago to take abuser M to civil court to hold him accountable for some of the damages that I have suffered by his hands.  Although I sued abuser M for a fraction of the monetary damages that he has caused me, holding him accountable in front of the court was and is the ultimate reward for me.  Monday was the first time that I was able to seek acknowledgment from the court as to what abuser M has done to me.  Even if I do not win any monetary damages, the recognition alone is satisfying enough for me in my recovery process.  I presented over 30 photographs that showed proof of the abuse I endured and I could tell that the judge was no longer impressed with abuser M once he saw the physical terror that he put me through.

As I suspected, abuser M came to court “prepared” with nothing more than intimidation and a slew of irrelevant old emails.  He also brought his girlfriend along as a “witness” which seemed more damaging than good for him.  Although the witness did not speak in court, I came prepared with documentation and photos to discredit his girlfriend.  Lets just say that her presence in the court room did not do him any justice.  He also unsuccessfully attempted to counter sue me which clearly showed that he is clueless when it comes to the legal system. 

The most traumatic part about facing abuser M in court had nothing to do with the verbal jabs and obvious lies that he threw at me and the court but it was simply seeing him in person again for the first time since I had obtained a restraining order against him early last year.  His physical presence alone scares me.  He is a large and scary looking man.  Yesterday there were times that I was shaking being in his presence but then I reminded myself that I am the one in control now.  Abuser M no longer has any power over me physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, sexually, or any other ways that I thought he once did.  He is no longer protected in his self created fantasy world where he is the ultimate master and charmer and everyone obeys his wish.  He is nothing but a lowly graveling worm and I can clearly see that now.   

Today I checked the court website and saw that a judgment has already been made in the case.  Although I will not know the judgment until it arrives in the mail, I feel relieved that this step in my recovery process is complete.  I am glad that the court was able to hear my case regardless of the outcome.  I am thankful that there are avenues that I can take to hold abuser M accountable for the abuse that he put me through for so long.

I am finally holding him accountable and taking my power back.

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Dear Reader; Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart! <3

Dear Reader;

Let’s be honest.  I was terrified to create Fifty Shades Of Truth and BS because I knew it would expose the unflattering truths of the BDSM lifestyle that I used to live. The social stigma and the daily life associated with such a lifestyle are not nearly as glamorous as the elaborate fantasies told in the Fifty Shades Trilogy (by author E. L. James).  Yet, here you are still reading.

Most people cannot begin to fathom the lifestyle that I onced lived as an active member of the BDSM community.  I was once labeled as a slave and I naively assumed the position given my previous life conditioning.  I did not have the ability to say “no” to abuser M nor was I able to recognize that such a relationship was unhealthy and doomed from the get-go.  Did I live the 24/7 BDSM lifestyle by choice?  No.  There was a time when I was in denial and refused to believe or acknowledge that my introduction and entry into the lifestyle was against my will.  However, after quite a bit of recovery work I now see that my apparent complete submission to a self proclaimed sociopath (amongst other things) was nothing more than a product of the combination of circumstance associated with the neglect and abuse that I endured as a child as well as the vulnerabilities associated with such traumas.  My vulnerabilities were completely exposed and apparent to such a man of wit and manipulation.  And he seized the opportunity to his advantage. 

I now also realize that I am not alone in this frequent phenomenon.  BDSM can seem fun and enchanting but it can also be very dangerous and even deadly at times.  And that is one of the many reasons as to why I am ending the silence on my personal experiences with domestic violence and related abuse.

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Let’s be even more honest.  I truly believed that I would be highly stigmatized due to the lifestyle that I engaged in (despite the good intention behind the message that I am trying to exude here).  If only I could easily convey the isolating stigma that I have personally encountered by being an open member of such a community but it is not so easy to comprehend if you have not personally encountered similar stigmatization yourself.  It is an assumed and calculated risk if you openly claim to engage in the BDSM lifestyle.  Yet such a risk healthily provokes the members of the BDSM community to lovingly and loyally support each other as if they are all members of an extended tight knit family.

However… to my great astonishment I have encountered 99% positive feedback on my blog.  I am taken aback!  Yes of course I have encountered a few negative duds along the way, but such is life.  I won’t let words bring me down after all I have endured in life.

Anyways, what I really want to say is…

THANK YOU FOR FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

For your support.

It means the world to me. 

This letter is intended for everyone and anyone who is reading my blog, despite your opinions or viewpoints.  The purpose of my blog is to spread the word about the dangers associated with BDSM and related domestic abuse while also promoting my recovery from CPTSD.  Your presence here on my blog has accomplished just that.  So, thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

With Love,

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 P.S. I hope you stay tuned in to my future journey!

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The First Munch Was Awkward – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


You may be wondering exactly what a munch is.  A munch is a casual social meeting where participants that attend are interested in or involved in BDSM.  Munches are useful to members of the BDSM community as they are a means and a physical venue to connect.  Mind you munches were popularized well before the era of social media but munches are still widely attended.  Munches act as a source of education and social interaction within local BDSM communities.  You can find a munch in nearly any large city!  Google it and see.  Perhaps you would like to check one out for yourself.

The first official munch that I attended was in 2012.  I am unsure how abuser M found out about said munch but he suggested that we check it out to possibly connect with like minded people.  I was more than happy to speak with other people in similar situations to me.  Abuser M and I did live the BDSM lifestyle 24/7 after all.  There were not many people at that time who were open about living the BDSM lifestyle.  I treasured the idea of making any friends who also lived the lifestyle and who were open to speaking about it with me.  I hungered for other humans to talk to.  I was completely isolated from the real world.  After quite some time of feeling alone in the abuse I endured, I gladly agreed to attend the munch with abuser M, not that I could really say no to him.

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I still have some specific memories about the first munch that I attended although I don’t remember a lot of details because abuser M and I attended quite a few other munches after the first trial run.  I felt completely awkward attending the first munch.  At a munch you are outing yourself to the attendees, the public around you and therefore the world.  You can’t really hide the fact that you are involved in the BDSM community if you are yapping about it with a group of people over fries and beer.  The first munch that we went to was held in downtown Berkeley, CA in a small but popular cafe.  Abuser M put on my old special “bling” collar lock just to show off his property.  This collar lock was only worn at openly BDSM events as abuser M was of the impression that the rhinestones were flashy and not “public appropriate”  since it attracted more attention than my 24/7 collar.

My old
My old “bling” collar lock – only worn for special BDSM related occasions.

The first munch that we attended was geared towards the younger adults that were involved in the local BDSM community, specifically those who were 30 years of age and under.  At the time of our first munch, abuser M and I both qualified for this only requirement to attend the meeting (I still do).  At the munch we sat around restaurant tables and openly spoke about BDSM topics amongst ourselves.  Attendees came and went as they pleased.  Some people had obviously met before and there was even a munch leader who was in charge of organizing the event each month.  We met a few nice people and exchanged contact information with a various other people that we had met.  Overall the munch felt very awkward and almost forced until I consumed a bit of alcohol and only then was it easier to open up to the other attendees and begin to make connections.

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That wasn’t the last munch that abuser M and I attended but was certainly the first munch that I do remember attending and it marked my memory.  It wasn’t very eventful yet it cemented abuser M’s force over me because he felt even more comfortable displaying me as his property openly in public.  He felt comfortable talking about the subject of BDSM amongst other like-minded people and even confessed to me that he felt like he could fit in a community for once.  Sadly, over time he could not maintain sufficient contact to make many like minded friends in the BDSM community and probably still has not (yet he still claims to actively live the lifestyle).  He is anti-social even in one of the most antisocial communities that I have ever encountered.

lone-tree

Abuser M once confessed to me that he had always felt alone… after beginning to understand the level of abuser M’s sociopathy, I could not agree with him any more.  People who openly thrive off of the extreme suffering of others such as Abuser M are downright scary.  I rarely encountered people amongst even the BDSM community that I considered as twisted and sadistic as abuser M.  Even amongst extreme sexual sadists, he is a loner and an outcast.

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My Father Used Me as a Pawn; The Golden Toilet – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


I don’t remember much of this trauma but I have held on to this memory ever since the trauma happened when I was 5 years old.  I still do not know to this day if my memory of the traumatic event is complete or not.  Thinking about this day still brings tears to my eyes.  I don’t know where my father went wrong this particular day.  Perhaps he was high on drugs, perhaps he was on a power trip…  I’ll probably never know but I still question to how any father could put his 5 year old daughter through such torment?

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I was 5 years old when this trauma happened and living in Tehachapi, CA with my biological father, my step-mother and my months old half-sister. It was a hot summer day.  There wasn’t much grass where we lived so we would take a dip in the kiddy pool or hang out in the shade to keep cool.  I was obsessed with my little half-sister, like she was my baby doll.  I loved her so much and still do to this day.  On this particular day my father and step-mother were fighting… screaming at each other is more accurate. I don’t remember what the argument was about but I do remember wanting to get away from the screaming.  Objects were being thrown and broken in the house around me and so I decided to sit on the end of my small bed.  Silently and wishing I was invisible.

My father burst into my room screaming at my step-mother who was still in the other room.  Sometimes my father would use me as a pawn to terrorize my step-mother and this day was no exception.  I was sitting on the end of the bed, wishing he couldn’t see me as he proceeded to pull down his pants and urinate all over me.  He completely soaked me in his urine from my head to my waist.  My bed was also soaked in his urine.  I remember feeling as though I had to protect my little half-sister in this situation but I am still unclear as to where she was during this incident.  I don’t remember much more of the trauma other than my step-mother yelling back at my father about how immature his actions were.  As helpful as she thought she was at the time, I now realize she was a huge contributor to many of my childhood traumas, just like my father.

How do I process this memory?  I wish I knew the right answer.  I have held onto the memory, remembering every single sense that my body allows me to recall from that day.  I was terrified and degraded.  I felt worthless and like a pawn.  I was nothing but an object to my father, simply used to manipulate other people.  I meant nothing more to him than a toilet.  At least he would have the courtesy of flushing a toilet.  Or maybe not?  I will probably never know.

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That is all.

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Dear Friend, I’m Here For You. – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


Dear Friend;

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Promise!

Dear friend, you know who you are.  I miss you and love you. At one point we became great friends and I will never forget the bond that we have.  But I haven’t seen you in over a year and I worry about you and your child.

Dear friend, I know that it may be awkward for you to sustain our friendship at this time.  I know that we met through abuser M whom I no longer speak to.  I know that your husband is his best friend.  I know that your husband loathes me.  I know that you still have contact with abuser M through your husband at times and that scares me. Do you remember the incident when you were pregnant and abuser M thrust a knife towards your face numerous times as if it were a joke?  I will never forget the look of horror on your face.  What you felt that night was how I felt every single day I spent with abuser M.  But I know that you too experience something similar with your husband on a daily basis and don’t realize that it isn’t healthy.  I understand.

Dear friend, although I love you and will always be here for you and your child you have abandoned me and my cause.  I remember when you told me that you loved me and supported me and was glad that I escaped abuser M.  I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to say the same for you and your abusive husband.

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Dear friend, don’t worry… I understand why you fled from our friendship.  There are many reasons.  You are terrified. The truth that I confront you with is too hard for you to swallow.  You can’t handle the fact that you know I know you deserve better.  Both your husband and your brother-in-law hate me and you know why.  You do not believe in unconditional love because you have never truly experienced and nurtured it in your relationships.  All that you know in family life is dysfunctional.  You believe that your abusive family life is normal and will never change. You feel hopeless, worthless, abandoned, helpless, loveless, degraded and alone.  I wish you knew that I think the world of you and you are not alone.

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Dear friend, do you remember the time that abuser M and I hid a pre-paid cell phone in your front yard bushes because your husband was being abusive and isolated you from everyone by shutting off your phone?  The pre-paid cell phone was my idea of course.  You had no way to contact anyone and you had an infant.  What if an emergency were to have happened?  What if you or your child needed help but had no way to reach anyone?  I could not stomach the thought of that hence the reason for bringing you the cell phone.  I wonder if you ever used that pre-paid cell phone for an emergency or if it is still there hidden in the bushes in front of your old apartment?

Dear friend, do you remember the time that you were ready to abandon your husband?  I will never forget that day.  You packed your car, you had a plan and you were ready to leave. Somehow the hills around your house caught fire before you managed to leave and you ultimately decided that you could not leave your husband.  I still wonder to this day how the fire started and why it started on the day that you were ready to leave.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_23578027/pittsburg-firefighters-battle-grass-fire-near-kirker-pass (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Contra Costa Times (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Dear friend, what concerns me the most about the domestic violence that occurs in your home is the lifelong negative impact that it is having on your child.  You know better than anyone else that I cannot and will not tolerate child abuse and neglect.  I will never forget how your child was obviously terrified of it’s father at only a few years old. I don’t even want to think about how your child views it’s father today.  I remember that your child mimicked it’s father’s abusive actions and intimidating facial expressions.  I remember that your husband would feed alcohol to your child.  I witness this abuse numerous times and told you but it never mattered enough for you to leave him.  There was a time however that I fed your child ice cream and you were so upset with me that you did not speak to me for some time.  Think about the irony.

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Dear friend… I plea with you that if you do not have the motivation to keep yourself safe, please try to have that motivation for your child.  Your child is a witness to the terror that you experience every day.  Your child will not forget.  The memories will be stored inside of your child whether it remembers or not.  And your child will act out on those memories later unless you can manage to break the cycle within your family before it’s too late.

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Please be courageous for your child.

Dear friend, I love you very much and understand that you cannot be here for me at this time but please know that I will be ready to stand by your side when the time comes and you need me.  You do have the power and ability to stop the violence in your home.  It is up to you to make the decision.  I had the power to leave and so do you.  When you are strong enough to make the decision to be courageous and leave the abuse once again, you know how to find me.

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Your Friend Forever,

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The Pet/Slave Names Given To Me By Abuser M… – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


I hate my name.  I hate my name. I hate my name.  I hate my name.

My first name is Amber.  Many people tell me that the name is fitting for me especially given that my hair is golden-red.  However, I am not exactly a fan of the name.  I’ve never understood until recently why I dislike my name so much other than the fact that hearing it literally makes my ears buzz and ring.

I’m sure that I am not completely aware of all of the reasons that I loathe my birth name but through my (C)PTSD recovery journey I have begun to recognize that my name conjures up horrific memories from my abusive childhood.  I mistakenly confided this vulnerable information with abuser M when we had first met and I now realize that he immediately seized the moment as a way to take control of me… through my name.

Abuser M instantly took advantage of my vulnerability and suggested that he give me a “pet-name” that only he could call me.  That sounded rather nice to me over repeatedly hearing him call me the name that makes my ears ring.  And so he gave me the first pet-name that I acquired while under his control.  He dubbed me “slutpet”.

SLUTPET - If found call SIR (###) ###-####
My first pet-name & collar: SLUTPET If found call SIR (###) ###-####

He called me my new pet-name lovingly.  I now see the contradiction as a simple oxymoron and one way of many for abuser M to take control of me mentally.  Abuser M created a heart shaped pet tag encrusted with pretty pink swarovski crystals to display my new degrading pet-name for all to see.  The tag was engraved “SLUTPET If FOUND CALL SIR (###) ###-####”.  He attached the tag to a collar that he had obtained on Haight Street in San Francisco and gingerly clasped it on my neck.  I now see how forcing me to wear such a bold and clearly degrading sign on my neck was just another one of abuser M’s manipulative and calculated control tactics.

How original… but I grasped on to the degrading name because I wanted him to love me.  It is now horrifically sad for me to realize that I had prefered to be called slutpet over my birth name of Amber.  After I embraced my first pet-name I knew that I would take on whatever name abuser M would give me.  I now realize that abuser M further used  pet-names as a form of control over myself.

Eventually I was given a second pet-name by abuser M which ultimately became the pet-name that he would regularly call me in private.  At this time I cannot quite remember how or even why he came up with this new pet-name but the name now gives me the shivers.  The second pet-name that abuser M gave to me was “cuntly”.   

Custom
Custom “CUNTLY” collar as well as the first 24/7 collar that abuser M locked on me.

  Of course abuser M called me cuntly as if it were an honor for me to wear his degrading name.  And yet again a custom collar was created for me that clearly spelled out my shameful pet-name CUNTLY.  Abuser M said that this collar was only for “play” and I would rarely have wear it outside.  However, he would often threaten to force me to wear the degrading collar in public as a form of punishment if I had “disobeyed” him in any way…I only wore it in public a few times but those few times were enough to realize that I did not like to disobey abuser M.

I am uncertain why, perhaps it was shame over time but abuser M eventually transformed my pet-name cuntly into a short and less publicly degrading name; he began to call me “c-ree”.  C-ree to abuser M was a more publicly acceptable form of his favorite pet-name cuntly which he would rarely call me in public.  I now see that abuser M realized his horrific treatment of me was rarely accepted in society… unless you are a member of the BDSM community where nearly anything flies.

Another public pet-name that abuser M would frequently call me was “Red”. Yet again, I am uncertain when abuser M began calling me this name but I do know why.  It was my “professional” pet-name.  He believed it was acceptable for him to call me Red in professional situations such as business meetings, events, etc. I even had a personalized email address through his IT consulting business… red@abuserM.com.  Of course his slave, his pet had to also perform as a girlfriend and eventually fiance in public and professional situations.

 I absolutely dislike the pet-name red. Why? Because the name reminds me of Galina Reznikov aka Red from the Netflix Series Orange Is the New Black.

Kate Mulgrew (Galina Reznicov aka Red) from OITNB
Kate Mulgrew (Galina Reznikov aka Red) from OITNB

 After I told abuser M about loathing my birth name, there is only one instance that I can recall where he had called me Amber out loud in public.  The only time that he acknowledged who I really am by calling me by my name was in court where I had taken him at the end of our relationship to obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.  In the court in front of a female judge, he clearly called me Amber. Of course he could not show his true self and call me the names he had always called me so “lovingly” such as slutpet, cunlty, c-ree, or red in front of a female judge.  It almost didn’t even sound real, like I had never heard my name come out of his mouth ever before.  The sound of abuser M saying “Amber” out loud was almost a shock and a blow to my ears… because my name does after all bring up horrific flashbacks.

On the bright side of all of this – because of the abuse that I endured I now have the opportunity to confidentially and legally change my full name to whatever my heart desires. I already have the name picked out but I want to sit with it for a while before I finalize my decision.  It is quite exciting for me to take this opportunity, it will be a chance to renew my sense of self and to become who I want to become without any inhibitions.  I like to tell people that I am simply upgrading my name.  I cannot wait for the day that I am able to accomplish this important step in my recovery.  It gives me something to look forward to, almost as if I have a new future ahead of me.

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The Cotton Ball Bandit: The Only Dad I Ever Knew. – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


Chris & Samson
My Stepfather Chris & Samson our dog in 1994.

Let me introduce you to Chris, my now ex-stepfather.  Chris is also known nowadays as “The Cotton Ball Bandit”.  Let’s see if I can pull up a few articles for your reference…

KRON4 – Cotton Ball Bandit Convicted For 10 Bank Robberies

&

KRON4 – Cotton Ball Bandit Sentenced To 60 Years In Prison

KRON4 Images of The Cotton Ball Bandit in action.

This is the only man that I really ever knew as a father.  His full name is Christopher Jay Wootton but he is better known as The Cotton Ball Bandit in the Bay Area. Why?  Because he robbed 10 Marin County banks while only attempting to conceal his appearance with a cotton puff beanie.  Or whatever it is called… He has been dubbed The Cotton Ball Bandit whether it really captures his true character or not.


Chris, me and his adopted father. Approximately 1993.
Chris, me and his adopted father. Approximately 1993.

I am now attempting to focus on the positives in our relationship.  Chris is now in prison and will probably stay there for the remainder of his life given that he has been sentenced to 60 years in prison and he is already 63.  I feel that his confinement to a prison only catalyzes my relationship with him simply because I know that he is in a position to ponder and possibly answer many unanswered questions that I have about my childhood.  So far he seems to be honest and genuine in his letters to me.

There is so much that I can and will eventually discuss about Chris aka The Cotton Ball Bandit.  He obviously shaped who I am as a person today and he is an important tool in my (C)PTSD recovery.  For now, I will leave you with a photo that Chris captured of me many years ago.  It is now shockingly ironic given he currently resides in San Quentin State Prison…

Me posing in front of San Quentin State Prison. I was a proud daughter!
Me posing in front of San Quentin State Prison. Photo taken by Chris many years ago.  I was a proud daughter!

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#FiftyShadesOfTruthAndBS #TheCottonBallBandit #CottonBallBandit

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Why are you so ugly? – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


#fiftyshadesoftruthandbs
I wish that I could say that I thought differently of myself… but I now understand that I have difficulties with loving myself because I was not shown love as a child. The harder I grasp onto that fact, the swifter I begin to create love and self compassion for myself.

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a2eternity

I wish I was one of those people who could love themselves. I’m not. I’m too ugly. Too fat. Too worthless. Too disgusting. Too me.

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My Feet Still Hurt; The Death of My Glasses – Trigger Alert

Trigger Alert


About two weeks ago I fell into one of the most severe flashbacks that I can remember ever dealing with in my (C)PTSD recovery.  There were a series of events that triggered the intense flashback but I won’t get into that right now.

During the flashback I had realized that my glasses (pictured broken below) were directly linked to one of my abusers who I will call abuser “M”.  The horrific realization immediately disgusted me… and so I decided to destroy my glass.

The result of a PTSD flashback.
The result of a PTSD flashback.

How did I destroy my glasses?  I stomped on them with my bare feet.  Once I realized the connection between my glasses and abuser “M” I knew that I could never look through those lenses again.  And so I decided to therapeutically break them…at least that is how I prefer to describe the tantrum that I was going through while I was stomping on my glasses with my bare feet.

And it was worth it!  My feet still hurt from the after effects of stomping on the glasses with bare feet… but it was worth knowing that I will never look through those lenses again.  Some people may see my tantrum as destructive anger but I beg to differ.  Breaking my glasses was constructive because it has moved me one step further towards my recovery and evolution.

And besides… I have another pair of glasses anyways!  And now I have a great excuse to get contacts lenses.

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