Trigger Warning, though the title sums it up nicely.
I post about my life. My life has included some heinous childhood abuse. I sort through that internally on a near constant basis (nightmares make sure it’s not a day job.) I also live a decent post-abuse life, including love, security, friendship and creativity.
Over the holidays, I was frustrated because my mobility was seriously challenged by my spinal issues – a challenge that may owe its origins, in part, to physical punishments very early in life (think crib-aged.) I deal with pain like most other humans. I complain. I take medication. I stretch and rest and scream when my back seizes.
Under that, though, are the emotions triggered by an adult pain caused by childhood damage. In a moment of anger and, perhaps, the need to hear my frustration echoed back, I posted a tweet. It was a few words, as the medium demands, that grumbled about my desire to send folks who think spanking children doesn’t do damage an x-ray of my spine.
Clearly, I know this is ridiculous. It wouldn’t change most minds. It wouldn’t make my back hurt less. It wouldn’t undo the physical and psychological ramifications of having been struck as an infant. Still, it was a thought. I had it. I posted it.
Seconds later, it was re-tweeted.
By a kink site.
It wasn’t retweeted (I looked first) in a way that implied that spanking, as a kink, was only meant for adults. I love love and sex and all the ways in which we make each other feel good. They are the antithesis of the pain I grew up with. The more ways we find to make each other feel good, the happier I am. This site, however, posted my tweet in a way that was clearly salacious. My pain was hot. I was stunned, then chagrined that I had expected anything more from the wwworld.
It was seconds before I pulled it down. I deleted the tweet and blocked the site. Still, the next day, I noticed this drastic change in my stats from WordPress:
Clearly these few seconds had drawn a crowd looking for something from my site that I had never intended.
When I write, I write for myself and for the folks like me who have seen the harsh side of humanity (in one of the nicer parts of the world, admittedly) and are still standing. I have always known that there was more than a chance that people who are turned on by my abuse would use my site for that reason. Still, fear of being used again is not a reason to stay silent. It’s not a reason to fail to add my voice to the growing scores of victims saying, “Yes, me too.”
As it was happening, I was frustrated, obviously. The idea of consent in an online world is complicated. If I talk about my life, is it my place to say how it is then used?
So in an effort to clear things up, no, I’m not cool with people using my life to feed their fantasies. I do not consent to it. If you decide you want to find pleasure in my suffering, know that you do it without my enthusiastic consent.
As a writer, I play with fantasy. I’ve even contemplated writing some of my kinks down because sex is supposed to be fun and it’s supposed to reflect what is most enjoyable about being human on this messy planet. Online, like anywhere else, look for enthusiastic consent. Lots and lots of people are ready to give it. Enjoy it where you find it.
Just know that that’s not here. I do not consent. I am not okay with this.