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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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Survivor

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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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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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.

girl-running-through-a-wood-in-a-white-dress

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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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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