Thoughts with Richard Bleil
This will be a very difficult post for me to write, and some people will scoff or even laugh at it but being true to my goal of wanting to speak my truth in case other are going through something similar, hopefully they will know that they are not alone. Today I had a very disturbing revelation.
Let’s start about thirty years ago, sometimes around 1990. I was taking therapy, when my therapist told me that, as a child, I went through something akin to rape trauma. I couldn’t buy it, though. After all, I’ve never been sexually abused, so to say that I was dealing with it felt like it was minimizing those who actually suffered this intolerable crime. Today, a young friend of mine with her psychology degree used a phrase that helped me. She called it “equivalent trauma”. According to my therapist from so long ago, the issue with rape is not the physical act, but rather, the trauma is the result of being in a situation with no control. Rape is not about the sex, but about control, and as a child, my therapist said, I had no control over what happened to me, so the trauma that I suffered was the equivalent of being raped.
For thirty years, I thought on this, and couldn’t make sense of it. But like so many intuitive leaps, today I had a sudden revelation. I’m going to discuss the example from my childhood that helped me see this concept, and yes, you can laugh. It starts with the fact that I was always very small for my age, and my sister was two years my elder. This means that she was significantly larger and stronger than me and used that superior physical power to exert her will on me whether or not I wanted it to happen.
For example, she enjoyed pinning me to the ground and tickling me. There’s no harm in this, right? Everybody is laughing, so it’s just good fun, isn’t it? Except that she always took it too far, which is why I hated being tickled then as I do now. She would tickle me until I reached the point of being unable to breathe and muscle cramps, and suffered great pain from it, pain that continued when she finally decided to stop.
Holding me down, she ignored me when I asked, and demanded, that she stop. No might mean no, but not for me. I would try to strike her, but because of the tickling, I had no real control over my limbs, and simply flailed around with no strength. Even my mother, who was in the kitchen next to the room where this was happening, would ignore me as I would call out and plead for her to stop my sister. After all, everyone is clearly enjoying themselves, right?
My regular readers know that I’m rather a fan of the rape fantasy fetish, something that I’ve always struggled with since I find the actual crime of rape so abhorrent. Now I understand that as well. Rape (as I have heard before but never really been able to understand) is a crime of violence, not sex. Now I get it. It’s about removing the victim’s free will and exerting control over them whether or not they want it to happen. When I play my game, it’s about the sex, and I’ve had some lovers who participated in the game in the past explain to me that the reason they enjoy it is to re-live times when they were actually raped, but while maintaining control because they know that they can stop me at any time (I always make sure of that). My friend studying psychology asked me today if that’s perhaps why I enjoy the fantasy, and I think it may be true since I am exerting my control and will, at least in the game. Because of this childhood trauma, it’s probably also why I’m so careful with my lovers to protect their safety and limit how far I will actually go.
Now the question becomes what to do with this knowledge. I’m wondering if the reason that I’m such a pitiful isolationist is because of this trauma. Maybe I’m afraid of being dominated once again. My friend tells me that the psychological consequence of rape in victims is a form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Much like the time I was in a car crash, for years afterwards (and to some extent still today) I’m very stressed when somebody behind me is too close or coming up too fast. Maybe now, just as I avoid driving under the speed limit, I also avoid relationships and meeting people. I honestly don’t know how to incorporate or deal with this, assuming that I’m correct, but recognizing it feels like a significant step in the right direction.