After all the media hype that EL James’ book Fifty Shade of Grey got I had felt like I should read it too.
I have to say I found it a very…disturbing read.
As a survivor of abuse, reading about a man hitting and sexually abusing a woman in the name of SM was really uncomfortable to read – my mind constantly felt sorry for the protagonist as she seemed to be “normal” yet she fell for someone who wanted and needed to hurt her in order for him to be satisfied.
During the first book we find out that some traumatic event has made Mr Grey to obsess about sexual degradation of women – it actually confirms my beliefs that any deviant sexual behavior stems from trauma and abuse.
I have battled with fascination with rape and being tied and being hit and physically hurt, and I think this has its roots deep in my childhood experiences of life.
I think that for anyone to get pleasure from pain is sick to some degree – I admit I am “sick” also in that way as I have enjoyed self-harm and other weird things.
Childhood traumas and abuse leave such exceptional blueprints in our soul for future behavior that many mistake them for something else.
Alcohol dependency, drug use, self-harm, violent relationships, masochism, violent sexual behavior, craving physical punishment…. All these often manifest themselves in people who need to numb the pain or experience more pain because they feel they are bad people and deserve punishment.
A child only knows what they are taught, and if you’re taught you’re a bad child and deserve punishment, that’s how you grow up to view yourself.
A child whose raped will learn they’re only good for sex.
A child who is molested will want to fill the void and forget the memories by any means necessary.
Unfortunately our societies deem a lot of the survivor behavior either as acceptable, or as sickness, so I don’t really believe a lot of survivors are helped in a deep way.
And then there are books like Fifty Shades of Grey that allow for millions to read about how a man spanks a woman until she’s sore, and the acceptability is not questioned?
I think it is chilling that abuse and violence are rife, veiled in the disguise of “mommy porn” and glorified to the extent that people forget that at the end of the day, behavior like that is rape. It is emotional and physical violence. It shocks exactly because it is deemed as acceptable.
Reading the book I had to skip because I started getting flashbacks during some of the scenes, and I got really uncomfortable and disgusted yet..delighted – I have a problem with sometimes sadistic thoughts, and it scares me that the book would hook into those feelings and thoughts and make me so uncomfortable.
So I’d say don’t read it if you are sensitive when it comes to abuse, and really actually the media should point out that for survivors of abuse, this book is not a tale, some of that sadistic sexual deviance is all too real.