Friday, June 24, 2011

An ex to remember

People often ask; what's the difference between a BDSM and an abusive relationship? Firstly anyone who asks that has probably never been in an abusive relationship... that or their BDSM one is really shit. Secondly, on the face of it there are similarities in that the tools used, and even the intent, looks rather alike. So what sets them apart you may be wondering... well that is what one would like to explore here.

After running coquettishly straight at someone inappropriate one decided to set the aim a little higher... someone grossly inappropriate... with a motorbike. He... let's call him Dick shall we... was perfect; surly, moody, emotionally immature... the stuff of parental nightmares. Auntie and uncle hated him, but were smart enough to not push the issue. And they knew one was set to go back to mother's to start at some girls' school she had picked out in prep for uni. They probably figured she would sort him out... she wasn't nicknamed the dragon lady for nothing.

Of course that plan misfired spectacularly after one left home on Christmas day... a funny story for another time... and moved in with Dick. At the time he was living in an enormous boarding house... flatting was virtually unheard of in NZ in the early 80's... and it was a lot of fun. There were always people around, an enormous communal kitchen where one learnt to make Oka courtesy of one of the Samoan's living there... it was pretty sweet. Dick hated it.

They were all trying to get into one's pants and they were not to be trusted, especially as he had to go to work. It caused a lot of heated arguments and one spent a lot of quality time shut in the room. Of course one thought his beliefs were just daft, rather than an inkling of what a warning sign all that possessiveness was. Well at 16 you don't do you? And all that grabbing while he lectured and ranted wasn't a clue either...

We found a place of our own and moved out... and in doing so lost all contact with anyone... we couldn't afford a phone. So there one was... isolated with a possessive Dick. Auntie and uncle were waiting for one to weaken and come back home suitably contrite... oh boy did they underestimate how completely and utterly resistant one was to move back to the country, and the death without lights that represented. Besides what 16 year old is ever going to admit that big a mistake... especially to people who had adopted the attitude of get back to us when you come to your senses.

The next move was to get a job as we needed the money for bills... and that was his reasoning for taking the money. He was the one paying them after all. So every pay day Dick would be there to meet one after work and pocket the envelope... In those days it used to come in a little yellow envelope... in cash... with the amount neatly written by hand. In this case though the amount wasn't quite accurate and one squirreled a meagre amount away in a bank account he didn't know about.

See the trouble with applying pressure to people like one's self is that we ooze out of the sides... in little ways. Some smart (staying on the pill even though Dick was very keen to have children), some stupid (you should be careful what you call people... they just might decide to own it even if it is detrimental), but we will always slither out from underneath. It is what keeps us alive ultimately, but one digresses from this grim little tale.

Meanwhile Dick's moodiness increased, as did the accusations of unfaithfulness, the name calling, the shaking, the cornering and the odd slap. Oh he was always sorry afterwards... aren't they all... and as he always earnestly explained he only got this way because one pushed him to it. Strange how they are all so good at deflecting the blame... it's a skill. All the while the cycle continued... escalation, eruption, placation, peace.

Except the times of peace grew shorter and the violence increased. You crept around, placating him and increasingly servile, nervous about triggering him. And there was no discernable pattern as to what set him off and you were never safe... while sleeping Dick tried smothering one with a pillow... it was years before one ever slept with one of those again. It was a wakeup call though... enough to realise that if one didn't leave one would probably not get off so lightly next time.

Providence offered a solution in the form of a white knight who whisked one away... but that too is a story for another time. Though one will say if you live with someone like this; leave. Do it the minute their back is turned. Take yourself and run. Don't be that stupid woman who tries to tell him like he is some rational person. Dick's next one did... and he hospitalised her repeatedly.

So what is the difference you may be wondering still? Owners may isolate you, tell you what you are, keep you financially dependent, limit contact with family and friends and physically coerce you. Well the difference is how it makes you feel. Yes it really is that subjective... no handy little checklist here... sorry. See if your relationship doesn't bring you joy, if your heart does not skip a beat when you see them, if you live in perpetual fear of setting them off... then the chances are it is not a good relationship... be it BDSM or otherwise.


Sadist's magick said...

omg my family call me 'dragon lady' ...ouch!

I recognise 'Dick' tho, was married to him, and then (stupidly) dated another Dick after my divorce!!! The second Dick eventually put me in hospital ..thankfully (!!) only once.


Master's piece said...

LOL Yes, youth is so utterly wasted on the young :D