I did the MOSAIC Threat Assessment today- got a 7, but that’s not the point of this post. If you or anyone you know suspects you are in an abusive or dangerous relationship you can go to this site for a free and confidential evaluation. https://www.mosaicmethod.com/
What gave me a jolt was this sentence in the evaluation feedback:
“Being struck and forced not to resist is a particularly damaging form of abuse because it trains out of the victim the instinctive reaction to protect the self. To override that most natural and central instinct, a person must come to believe that he or she is not worth protecting.”
That reminded me of a particularly jarring realization that I had the other day. First, a fact before I tell the story; I am a masochist.
A particular kind of well negotiated pain gives me great pleasure and offers relief from stress and anxiety. My body’s ability to produce awesome endorphins is very efficient.
My partner and I engaged in negotiated S/M scenes from the beginning of our relationship about 7 years ago. (We were both in that scene before we met) That’s all good and I have no guilt or weird feelings about enjoying that kind of thing any more.
Let me be clear; the emotional abuse I did not consent to and the physical abuse that happened when he was angry I did not consent to. He stopped the physical abuse several years ago. One day as he was slapping me and pinning me to the ground in a rage, the goddess within me suddenly rushed out of my mouth to face him in a cold, calm, fierce surge of power. I stared into his soul and said, “Look at my eyes. I am DONE.” One of only two times I have seen fear in his eyes.
What he did continue to do and with increasing frequency over the last year is set me up to give him permission to slap me.
Bear with me…
Over the years, just out of the blue while we were in a good place he would occasionally slide up to me, hold me tight, tell me how much he loved me, how sexy I was and growl into my ear that he just needed to slap me. Slapping can be sexy but it is “edge play” because of the emotional impact attached to it. On our better days we had positive and very sexy energy together in scenes. We are both relatively “heavy players” and it was a delightful aspect to our relationship. That’s all good. We both enjoyed it.
However, the past year while in the midst of a discussion that was tense, if he felt that I wasn’t “dropping my attitude”, he would walk right up to me, hold my face in his hands, peer into my eyes and say, “I’m going to slap you. Okay?” He would say it in a way that made it sound like it was a question. But there was something so weird about it; it didn’t seem like a question to me.
So. I. Would. Say. Yes.
I would stand there shaking, crying, feeling ashamed of myself and hating him. Overflowing with intense emotions while at the very same moment all of my favorite endorphins were surging through my blood, rushing into my brain and bringing blessed calm. This was mental and physiological sorcery.
Until the other day I had never put all of that together. I had never stepped back to see the whole picture. When that realization washed over me I began to sob so intensely that my chest and head felt as though they might explode with pain.
It struck me like a slap across the face; this was the most evil thing I could imagine him doing.
So that section of the evaluation brought all of that up for me again. Horrible, shameful, sinister, malicious; adjectives I could never have imagined applying to my lover.
Coming to peace with my needs in that arena of my sexuality took many years of hard work. It was empowering to embrace that aspect of my desires. That was Great Positive Good I did for MYSELF!!
He painstakingly gained my trust and then ripped that hard earned strength away.