I’ve made mistakes in D/s relationships that I swore I would never make. I’ve allowed physical contact when I didn’t want it. I’ll give you one wild guess as to how that turned out. I’ve stayed with a dom after my consent was violated. I’ve accepted play without risk awareness. I’ve played in utter sub frenzy so bad I didn’t know my ass from my elbow…
Let’s just shorten the list and say that I’ve made every mistake in the book. In most cases, not much harm was caused, but in some, the damage was life altering. I’ve spent months trying to get my health back after one such mistake, and there is one reason that I managed to get myself into so much trouble: I accepted excuses as though they were reasons, so when small mistakes were made without accountability to fix the damage, I stayed instead of putting my safety and wellbeing first.
Figuring out how to tell the difference between excuses and reasons is a survival strategy I’m now learning, as is using past behaviour as the best indicator of future behaviour. Sure, some of us change, but statistics show that past abuse is highly likely to continue.
There are reasons for everything, even abuse and consent violations, and if you can’t find and acknowledge yours, you’ll keep on repeating those behaviours. Your reasons excuse you of nothing, though. You need to be accountable for the harm you’ve caused or you’re just piling harm on top of harm.
There are tops on this green earth who do what they can to minimise the consequences of any destruction they’ve caused; who ask to be held accountable. If I’d come across those kinds of people at the time when I was harmed in small ways, I might have evaded a fuckton of damage. I would have known that my situation was so very far away from normal.
I’ve combed through my behaviour in and outside of therapy in an effort to understand why I accepted as much as I did. Self-esteem issues… an unwillingness to accept reality… a lack of respect for my right to autonomy? I’m not sure I’ve figured out the reasons. I’ve only produced excuses. </irony>