SwirlingFire: Sink or Swim

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Content Warning: mild references to sexual/mental abuse


Sink Or Swim

Today someone posed the theory

“….. The reality is that most of the time is spent treading water……..?”

The statement passed me by me yet started to swirl around inside my thoughts for a few hours.

It made me realise that I’ve never trodden water – in the real sense.  I can’t even swim let alone tread water.  I now remember an act of PE teacher irritation, pushing me into the deep end of the school pool without warning, ever since that moment, I cannot bear getting my face wet.  Even a daily shower takes careful angling of the shower spray head..

Do we really tread water in life following the actions of others ?

Whether unable to fight back or remove ourselves from incidents for a multitude of reasons, for self protection or because we find ourselves in one mess after another as we’re unable to recognise potential shifts from calm to danger?

I’ve found myself in both scenarios.  Pre-teen was familial.  Post teen was always attracting the wrong man.  Over and over again and not aware of how to break the cycle.

For me it was not a case of treading water.  Maybe it’s been a sink or swim scenario ? Eyes wide open and stinging as one event pushed me sideways into another.  I was never aware of making bad choices.  I only recognised that the consequences were dangerous for me.  I didn’t understand why peers successfully dated and were showered with gifts and loving kindness leading to marriage and babies.  Why was that life path and choice denied to me ??

I attracted men that used and raped me.  Always hoping that one day the tides would turn in my favour.  They never have.  Every time I would retreat further into my own shell (SwirlingFire: Reality Kicks In). Another fabulous personality trait to hide behind.  Pushing outsiders further away. That’s how it seemed to me.  Them vs Me.

The storm raged on decade after decade.  After a long hiatus from dating, each tentative toe dipped back into water generated the same response.  Every single time !  I must have been a beacon signalling to abusers and rapists “come get me!  I’m Next

storm in a teacup by dinoking11 Watch Digital Art / Photomanipulation / Conceptual©2011-2018 dinoking11


I eventually shut down.  I’m not, even to this day, able to pinpoint exactly where I made the choice to ever prevent the likelihood of it happening again.  I know I did.  I recall some outwardly appearing great guys that I shut down their romantic interest.  I now wonder ‘what if…’

I didn’t have the capacity to even try anymore.  I was exhausted from reaching for another safe clanging life buoy, only to find, as before, that would disintegrate once my trust was gained and repeatedly abused.

Wishing and hoping for dry land that would shelter me for a while.  It never did

I only ever found myself cast upon jagged life rocks whilst the lighthouse beam mocked me on every rotation.

I was drowning in my own crazy life bubble.


@Swirlingfire, 10 October 2018