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Blast from the Past…

June 21, 2012

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Why Publish my Story?

by Twisted Passage By Sonja Bandolik on Friday, July 9, 2010 at 9:26am ·

I received my first negative response to Twisted Passage. After pulling the splinters out of my pride, picking myself up, & dusting off – I decided to examine why this individual responded as she did. She was horrified that I revealed intimate details about unsavory behaviors & foolish decisions I made in my life. Her motto, “Never tell anything that’s bad”. Her criticism spurred me to contemplate why I revealed the steamy facts of my life as well as why she clearly felt that was unseemly. A central trait making it possible for me to betray myself was “denial”. This was a survival tactic learned as a child & used well beyond its obsolescence into adulthood. People asked why it took me so long to wake up & I had to answer that my denial of a bad reality simply extended that reality. No monster will go away until it is faced & backed down. The Solana character is a reflection of a person I was over a decade ago. The footprints she made on her path match my feet but my feet have taken her journey to a new & healthier direction. But again the question, why publish?

The first impetus came when I revealed to a married friend that I’d been “acting happy”. I was pretending that the lifestyle I lived was practically my idea rather than admit I was being controlled & manipulated. Her face fell, her eyes welled up with tears, & she said “My husband used you as an example to get me to agree to swing. “ Then she paused & asked, “Have you ever wondered how many other women were coerced because of you?” There were several ensuing encounters with both men & women who I engaged as proofreaders who had unexpected emotional responses & indicated they had similar experiences with manipulative & abusive behaviors& were glad I was willing to “tell”. Years later, a young woman I barely knew told me my story had changed her life. She’d been feeling the same as the Solana character & hadn’t gotten up the courage to tell her fiancé. She read specific passages from the book & they cried together & promised not to get into those manipulative situations anymore. It made me wonder how different my life might’ve gone if there’d been someone there at my beginning willing to share a voice of experience to help me break free from my victim mindset. A lecture or a speech wouldn’t have made a dent in my armor of denial. However, a real story I could relate to that didn’t judge or preach, might have made it through.  

This story is full of dysfunction including virtually every form of abuse that we unleash on each other or ourselves. It also includes alternative lifestyles including nudism & swinging. The message, however, is a condemnation of abuse & has very little to do with the background setting. The ways abusers manifest their manipulations vary & are usually multi-faceted. Consensual sex is okay no matter what form it takes, nudism is still a valued aspect of my life, & money is not evil. All is neutral until it’s used either as a weapon or as a form of love. This is a message I had to get before I could give. Instead of an easy list of “This is good & that is bad” – I had to learn to fine tune my own bullshit detector & take responsibility for determining my own values and using my own voice. To quote an old teacher of mine, it requires that I “live creatively with ambiguity”.  

Now, some background info on my anonymous critic. She was an incest victim raised in a family that practices almost cultish secrecy & denial. She’s the sister who didn’t tell. I can’t help but believe that, even though she’s a senior citizen now, she still clings to the admonition that bad things will happen if she “tells”. Her denial has formed her into a woman who never gets mad at anyone no matter how badly they treat her. Because she refuses to admit, speak of, or feel that primal violation, she’s extended the “rape” & caused it to last through her entire life. The stunningly strong urge to hide what is ugly is the secret weapon of victimizers & bullies. Courage to come out into the light is required to route them out. My heart goes out to her & to all the other “victims” who stand paralyzed & silent in the shadows of their secrets. That must certainly be the true hell.

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3 Comments
  1. David Keffer permalink

    Thank you Sonja. Silence only serves to cement the self imposed guilt of having “allowed” it to happen. Bringing it into the “light” gives the act closure that can not be found in any other way. Closure does not remove the violation but allows you to store where it is not always in front of you and those around you. dmk

  2. While I haven’t yet read your book Twisted Passage, and I am very anxious to do so, I must say from all you reveal of it, Your book follows the same path my book Gender Values reveals. As I’ve said before Sonja, we are of Kindred spirit. I love what you are doing, and how you are handling your self in all that you do. Bravo!

    Love xoxo,
    Michael

  3. Rick permalink

    Good day Ms Sonja,
    I think I am a better guy reading your stuff. Since we met on Reality Wanted I find you extremely interesting and so open its a whole new world I never new from the inside -out…Thanks…

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