Advice - Relationships

You’re An Abuser. Now What?

It’s not nice being accused of abuse, is it. Surely, it’s not true. They’ve misunderstood you. Or they’re making it up. Or there’s a witch hunt going on and you’re the victim and need to tell people that.

You wrote messages the way you were supposed to. You held the door open and were really sweet and polite about things. You remembered to not send explicit photos without asking first. You went to classes and learnt the etiquette of the kink lifestyle. Definitely, obviously, conscientiously, you did everything right. So they must be wrong.

(CW descriptions of abuse)

They sexted you, so you definitely had consent to touch them when you saw them. They wore really hot clothes and smiled a lot, so they were definitely “up for it”. They have photos of them being tied up and hit online, really hot ones, so they definitely like it. They told you that’s their thing or what they want to explore, so it was completely reasonable to do those things. Wasn’t it?

They must be crazy. They can’t handle what they thought they wanted. They are fantastists who can’t communicate properly. It’s their fault they didn’t use the safe word you told them to use. You got consent. Didn’t you?

What’s the point in power exchange if you don’t tell them what to do(/they boss you about), anyway? If they’re serious, they’d listen and not question what you have to say (Dominant or submissive). Brats need taming, and fawning is just an opportunity for play, so you reckon. No one has ever told you with any real insight that what you’re doing is unethical and abusive. It’s the lifestyle, they don’t get it. Other people do the exact same thing online and at events, so the accuser should be grateful for the opportunity. Shouldn’t they?

No. No. No.

If you’ve been accused of abuse, you should listen. They are not a fantasist, crazy, narcissists or time wasters… or whatever else you like to label your accuser with. You’re doing something wrong. Own it. Go and find a therapist to help you understand what is going on in your head to think you have the right to touch, speak with or interact in anyway without the free will and consent of the other person. You are not entitled to other people’s time, space, property or body. Ever. Consent isn’t the traffic light system. Negotiations aren’t that hot flirty thing you do at the start of a scene.

Furthermore, it is not your job to ask the accuser to not tell other people. It is not ok to beg for forgiveness like you’re the victim. It’s further abuse to try to control their or their friends’ opinions or narratives. Asking other people to speak on your behalf is manipulative, also.We all make mistakes. Honest ones. Those are opportunities for growth, to improve your practice either with that person or others. Miscommunication happens. You are not perfect and neither is anyone else you play with. We all need to learn and accept our own flaws, get help to handle our difficult thoughts and feelings, and find people we feel safe with.

However, that isn’t the same as abuse. Abusive people use people for their own gain. Abusive people control others to feed an unhealthy insecurity they have. There’s a mindset and personality trait that won’t be fixed with an open and mutually validating conversation and time for self reflection. Because reconciliation in your case is an avenue to more abuse.

People don’t accuse others of abuse easily. For that to be said against you, you have made that person feel frightened and have harmed them. You might not care, in which case you probably are laughing at these words. You know that your charm wears off and you have to find ways to get people to listen and do what you want – say the right words, buy the right gifts, declare love if you have to. Because, you probably don’t realise that that’s all abuse too.

As someone who has worked with abused people professionally and knows to some extent what led to that moment, I can tell you this:

You abused. If you care about your reputation, get help. If you care about people, leave your victims alone. Your ego needs putting away.

To survivors of abuse: it wasn’t your fault, help is out there, you will be believed.

Feature image: self tied suspension from a hip harness, by Dea Nexa

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