If you’ve passed by here in the last month or so you’ll have noticed that there’s another voice sharing my blog space.
I must admit that the momentum leading up to offering to publish someone else’s thoughts took me by surprise.
I’m not sure how SwirlingFire came to my attention, probably with some clever responses to some others on my Twitter time line. Certainly enough to pique my interest and to follow. Witty, clever, fun – what’s not to like ?
It didn’t take long to realise that the facade probably held back a deep well of bitter hurt for which Twitter was not the best medium to articulate it. I added a few supportive tweets because I could see she was trying to reclaim her life and that sort of courage deserves encouragement and support.
Soon I found her in my DMs and there were some very long chats. I’m very moved by the trust she gave me from the very beginning.
Several things became apparent in the course of our conversations.
Firstly, that I seemed to understand what she was trying to say, when no one else could.
Secondly, the emotional upwelling was such that thoughts raced each other to be heard and could be emitted with a staccato randomness that very few could decipher. The intense frustration at not being heard properly was a feedback loop in to the emotional upwelling.
I found that I recognised so much of what she had to say of her experiences of being a submissive. I’ve been through most of the intense feelings those experiences generate, even if not to the almost debilitating intensity she can describe. It gave us more common ground than perhaps either of us expected. And there, for me, was the biggest revelation of them all. To discuss what it felt like to be a submissive, the reactions and emotions in different situations uncovered a startling alignment between our experiences. I’d always assumed that male and female submissive experiences would have some profound differences when looked at in depth.
The one area where I had no first hand experience, that of being badly manipulated by a narcissistic sociopath was no barrier since I’ve known them and observed their behaviour with others. And the male part of me understands their psychology quite well (though oddly enough, the most destructive narcissist sociopath I ever came across was female).
Really, the major problem to solve was the one of communication, to provide a conduit for her to tell her story, in her own words.
Yes, I’ve acted as editor but everything written is her own words. Perhaps my most important role is that I might ask if some words are really what she wants to say, but I won’t refuse to host them if she insists.
As you can see if you follow her post history (Swirlingfire Posts) there’s an amazing transformation in style in a very short period of time. The intelligence and wit shines through, even in some of the more harrowing segments.
I see someone fighting hard to regain their life and their sanity. There are good days and not so good days. The bad days are not used as an excuse to stop fighting and to retreat. The anger is much less random and drives the resolution to keep fighting positively.
Her posts have been shocking to some people in their rawness. They have elicited contact feelers from others that have similar experiences and generally they have drawn in a small readership that now has some investment in the unfolding saga of Swirly.
In having a place to safely express herself there’s a lot less hostility and antagonism. There’s also no rush to disclose anything more than is comfortable in the moment. Yes, I do see myself as a gatekeeper here with a light touch. I won’t refuse to publish, but I will insist on being convinced that something previously kept behind the veils needs to be exposed. And this formula seems to work very well between us.
I’m still not sure why I made the original offer to host her thoughts, but it has to be the thing I am most proud of doing this year. And I’m still puzzled as to why I was trusted when it was an almost non-existent commodity. As readers you get an amazing true story unfolding in front of you and I have found someone who I would already consider a very close friend.
I’m happy to keep hosting the Chronicles of SwirlingFire for as long as she wishes.
She’s pretty good on the fashion tips, too.