• Kink and the Kitty

PTSD and Poly: Beauty in the Breakdown

Updated: Jan 8

I wrestled with my mental health this week. Three years after leaving a toxic and abusive marriage, I still struggle with PTSD. I wasn't prepared to face it, but the time has come to start the healing process.

I was triggered more than I had expected. She was sexy, sensual, and seemingly emotionally intelligent and caught the eye of both my Sir and me. My past has been fraught with intense and passionate relationships that have burned hot and bright but quickly collapsed into a pit of ash. I wanted things to be different this time. And perhaps in an attempt to avoid the crash and burn, I created it. It's impossible to know.

Photo by Robert A Rice. (Edited for this article)

Things were moving incredibly fast. While none of us were looking for a life mate, the emotional involvement felt dangerous to me. I've grown to crave the slow and steady and need to forge a solid foundation before fully exposing my heart. There was nothing slow about it, and I began to panic. After one date, my Sir was already Daddy, and she was referring to herself as Kitten #2. Being that it was a triad situation, I felt an immense amount of pressure and obligation to keep up.

When I establish boundaries, and they are respected, I feel safe to trust, and my heart relaxes and opens. When disregarded, I react from a deep place of fear. My fight or flight response is engaged, and I feel a sense of desperation to regain control. My PTSD is so wrapped around polyamory and dismissed boundaries, that I spent last week having an unexpected breakdown. I was experiencing flashbacks and reliving traumatic events I had packed away long ago. Images of my ex's face and my sliced up arms were at the forefront of my mind for days. I could feel myself being pulled into it and did everything I could to try and stop it, but the more I tried, the more of a mess I made.

My "wasband" was a boundary pusher. Although I always craved security, I never felt safe. According to him, "security is an illusion," and not something he could ever provide me. On more than one occasion, he broke our agreements around other women and then, in a blackout state, would physically assault me. I justified it because it "wasn't that bad," and that I probably deserved it. But no one ever deserves their lover's hands to be wrapped around their necks, unless consensually of course.

BDSM has been a safe harbor for me to process my grief and trauma this week. A combination of an intense impact scene and little space in the following days allowed me to stop the cycle. I knew I had caused my partner distress with my extreme reactions, and I ached to provide Him relief.

It started with a hot bath, which has continuously been our go-to for intimacy and sensuality, free from the pressure of sex. He relaxed in my arms, and I massaged His shoulders and face while practicing reiki on Him. After we got out of the bath, I kissed His feet and worshiped His cock until He came in my mouth. He returned the favor, and after I orgasmed for Him, I expected our play to be over, but it had barely begun.

The crop made contact with my sensitive inner thighs, and I was surprised at how good it felt and how badly I needed the pain. Sir must have noticed my reaction because the play continued. Altering between all of the impact toys hanging on our wall, He began to push me. Through the physical expression, I was able to process the pain that was rushing inside of my heart. At the peak of intensity, I began to have a flashback, and I started to cry, but he didn't stop. Reliving my trauma while in a scene gave me the sense of control I was desperate to feel. I knew at any point, I could instantly make it stop. After years of playing together and exploring our boundaries, Sir has learned to trust me to use my safe words. Towards the end, as He was pouring hot wax on my freshly scratched flesh, I cried yellow, and to my delight, He didn't stop, He only

backed down. We tapered off shortly after. I rolled onto my side, and He joined me, gently bringing me back to earth. For the first time in a week, I felt a sense of calm and connection to my Sir.

The care He provided for me the next day was as healing as the scene itself. I found my self firmly in little space, and my newly decorated cage was a sanctuary for me. Being cared for while nurturing my inner child allowed me to take refuge from the immense turmoil I had been experiencing. And not only that, but the physical exhaustion I felt from being in fight or flight was exceptional, and in little space, I was able to release the judgment I had for needing to rest.

In the end, we all decided it was best not to continue any form of relationship. I am sad that I lost a potentially beautiful lover, but I walked away feeling empowered to face my mental health challenges. I don't expect the path ahead to be a comfortable one, but for the first time since the trauma occurred, I feel prepared to unpack my distressful past. It will take some time and therapy before we believe it's safe to invite another person into our relationship, but I still have hope that someone will come along and open my heart once again.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, PTSD, or are in an abusive relationship, know you are not alone and that there are resources out there for you.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Mental Health Centers of Denver

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Your Kinky Kitty,

Jessica RAVAGE