Most of the “violence” in this book is between two consenting adults, however, one scene in particular (which I will not get into for those readers whom have not yet read this book series) actually made me bawl my eyes out. Something about it completely hit home for me…I wasn’t crying so much for the character Ana, but for myself.
I’ve been debating in my head for days on whether or not I should write this. I spoke to a good friend about it after remaining mostly silent for six years. So I have compromised with myself and decided the topic is important enough.
Most of my friends…and my family… don’t know this. I’ve been determined to protect them from knowing this. Of course I realize that some will now, but it’s been haunting me for so long and it is sad to say that this book is what made me realize that it is time for me to stop pushing it aside and ignoring it and acting like this never happened. It is time for me to deal with my past or it will always plague me.
I was in a relationship for four years with a guy who had some of the personality flaws and issues as the character Christian Grey. He loved to hurt me, to embarrass and shame me, to use me. Anything to make him feel better about himself. Only there were major differences between him and Christian Grey: What he did to me was far worse and he didn’t want to change. Instead he grew worse and worse as I stupidly let him get away with things more and more.
Not to get too deep into my personal life and the horrible details of what happened, but he was controlling. I had no life outside of him. He would follow me places to try and catch me wronging him or lying (which I did not do). If I went out with friends, when I got home, the consequences were less than welcoming. I was normally met with a slew of accusations, followed by name calling, physical violence, and sexual violence to “prove my love.” At any moment, whether or not I’d be met with love and affection or being spit on or shoved against a wall, was just a gamble. Whatever would set him off, I never could predict.
I was young and naive. I didn’t understand that you could be raped by someone that you were in a relationship with. I thought so little about myself prior to this relationship that it was nothing for him to convince me that I brought it all on myself. I thought if I just did what he said that I could make him happy and he would change and we could go back to where I looked into his eyes and saw myself reflecting back.
It never got better. No matter what I did, not matter how much I complied- or cried and protested and begged him to stop- it never got better. Nothing changed.
He made me believe that I deserved it somehow. People have no idea what a mind fuck an abusive relationship is. They have no idea how easy it is to fall prey. It is so easy to sit back and judge women who have been abused and call them stupid for staying. You don’t understand the fear, the feelings of inadequacy, and the internal battle between your heart and your brain. Someone who is controlling and abusive is an artist. He painted me as the bad guy.
Christian Grey isn’t someone I would consider abusive in this book series, though he treads the line for a time. His story is different, but the signs are all there- the same as an actual case of domestic violence.
I understand where Dr. Drew is coming from, but I don’t believe that this book promotes violence. All of the submissive acts in this book are consensual and there is an important story line in there where a guy deals with his obsessions with S&M and tries to change his life and find balance without causing harm to others. (You have to read it…it’s a lot to describe.)
Bottom line: Pain and pleasure can co-exist and in a safe manner. But actual domestic violence is unacceptable and is not to be tolerated. I can attest to that.
Enjoying being dominated sexually sometimes is not the same thing as being used and battered for someone else’s pleasure while you suffer physically and emotionally. If someone needs to hit, rape, or verbally harm you in order to feel adequate as a human, then you need to get out.