Safe Words

One of the most powerful tools blogging has given me is the ability to look back over a record of key moments from this journey I’m on. (I believe it’s the one kids these days are calling “life”?) Writing this particular post liberated me in profound ways, both personal and artistic. Stunning to realize I finished it only one year ago today…

While I haven’t produced much complete writing these past few weeks due to — whaddya call it again? oh right, “life” — I’ve been missing you, my blogosphere buddies! And now I’m curious: is there a piece of writing that most represents a turning point for you? Feel free to leave a link in the comments, if it’s still on your blog.

coffee and a blank page

In kink communities, “red” as a safeword is common enough to be clichéd. As far as safewords go, it is a good one for newbies to the BDSM scene. It’s easy to remember: red is the final color of street lights.

A definite and recognized command to stop.

Of course, red is also the color of a matador’s cape. The one he waves to enrage the bull and prompt its charge.


[TW for discussion of intimate partner abuse and sexual coercion]

Within my marriage, I became a woman who submitted. Or perhaps I should say: I learned I was a woman who will submit. It’s hard to know what I am now — or how I might behave, should I ever again invite another human to run electric fingers along the skin of my thighs, or the nape of my neck. It’s even harder to imagine taking that risk.

I do…

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8 thoughts on “Safe Words

    1. I like that idea: “a Learning.” To make a Learning.

      Thank you for sharing this piece with me! I completely agree about the importance of story-telling, and of seeing each of us as the artist creating the stories of our life.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. In response to your question, “Dear Mom” represents a turning point from me. It’s when I went from mourning my mom to really … feeling her with me regardless, always. I’m sure there’ve been others, but that’s the most prominent.

    Now, on to the original post! (Sending a bit of love before I go, natch.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this! I actually think I may have missed this post the first time around somehow, and it is super resonant. I have been rolling thoughts around in my head wanting to write another piece about where I’m at in my head around my own experiences of abuse (which I haven’t written about at all in quite a while), but reading this post reminded me to revisit some of the stuff I’ve previously written, and particularly this post about the ways my memory is fucked up by having been abused and how it’s so hard to get a good view of what even happened in retrospect.

    Which, reading what I wrote again calmed some of what’s been running around my head lately, so I’m also glad of that. So, I think that piece is one of the more important ones for me, and I’m sharing as per your question. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes. I remember first reading this post (though not until many months after you first wrote it). “Safe Words” is one of the central pieces I was thinking of, when I left my comment on this. Gaslighting is so devastating in large part for that effect you capture so well: how much mistrust in our own memories and feelings we still carry months — even years — later.

      This line (“He said that by giving in, I had selfishly denied him the chance to grow as a person”) resonates with some more recent experiences I’ve been watching unfold between family members, so I too am glad for the opportunity to revisit your post. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

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