cPTSD And Me: Looking For An Escape Route

An exit sign, lit up against a dark background

Content note: this post discusses cPTSD, what a bitch it is to live with, and acute suicidal ideation. If any of those are hard for you, leave this one out – but keep an eye on my Twitter for other, sometimes sexier posts!


So, I have PTSD.

Actually, technically, I have cPTSD, with the “c” standing for “complex”. All trauma is complex, obviously, but my little “c” denotes that the causes of my PTSD are many, chronic, rather than being one particular incident. I think the “c” fucks you up extra hard, because my understanding of the world is probably radically different to someone who hasn’t experienced years upon years of trauma.

I’ve been thinking about all of this (and a lot more) because of the recent heatwave in the UK. Something about it was making me frustrated, miserable and panicky, and it took me a little while to work out what it was: the feeling of inescapability brought down upon me with the 29 degrees of heat we experienced recently. The heat was uncomfortable, and I couldn’t get away. It put me close to fight-or-flight for days on end.

The inability to cope with situations that seem inescapable is a theme within my life. When I bleach my hair, the twenty minutes I have to cope with an itchy scalp feels like a lifetime. I panic when I’m lifted off my feet (which makes suspension scenes fun, at least). When I had a 24-hour stomach bug at my boyfriend’s place, he found me trouserless on his bathroom floor, crying about a level of pain that, if it had seemed transient, I would’ve coped with easily. But it didn’t seem transient, so I cried until I got stoned and calmed down.

Now, I’m planning on moving in with my Daddy, which is a definite upgrade from the tiny, grubby student flats I’m used to. I’m excited to live with them, obviously, but I’m also scared shitless. This may be in part due to that time I was living with a partner who asked me to leave with 4 days’ notice, for an unknown period of time while he had “space”, with very little money and no means of transporting more of my stuff than I could wrangle onto a train. I felt stuck then, trapped outside of the house I’d left all my belongings in, the inescapability of my newfound semi-homelessness crushing me; but honestly, I’d be scared shitless even if I hadn’t had that experience. My cPTSD means that the world feels fundamentally unsafe and totally beyond my control. Cohabiting with a partner (especially when they own the house and you’ll technically be their tenant) is scary for anyone, but it’s especially scary for someone whose biggest fear in the world is situations they can’t readily escape from.

There are a few ways to mitigate this. I have to strike a balance between finding control where I can, and accepting that some things are beyond my control. For example: I cannot control whether my Daddy and I break up, much as I wish I could, but I can control what the terms of our break-up are. They’ve promised to write me up a proper tenancy agreement that guarantees me 28 days’ notice before I have to leave, which means I’ll be in a position to transport all my things and adjust to the change. Essentially, they’ve promised to give me an exit strategy, and it has soothed my anxious mind a lot.

There are other elements of wanting an escape that bleed into my relationships. My BPD prompts me to attempt to break up with my partners with alarming frequency, even when I don’t really want to end the relationship at all, and I imagine that’s in part because I’m trying to gauge how readily I can escape any given romantic connection when my fight-or-flight response kicks in. This is troublesome, but Lucid Morgan forewarned my partners of it early on in our relationships, so they know how to assauge my fear of being stuck without making me feel like they don’t really want to be in a relationship with me anyway. They say things like, “I really want to be with you. If this is you talking, and not your BPD brain, then obviously you can leave whenever you want, but just know that I don’t want to break up at all.” It helps.

One other thing that helps might be dysfunctional, but in times of crisis, it really helps. I’m suicidal a lot, and sometimes the only thing that can dissuade me from killing myself right now is knowing I can always kill myself later. My distress feels pressing and, yes, inescapable, and that prompts thoughts of killing myself to get away from it – but the option of killing myself later washes away some of the wounded-animal, fight-or-flight desperation without involving, you know, doing it right now. Even when I’m less acutely distressed and more chronically miserable, I find it a comfort to know that I could bow out of life any time – and that frees up more space in my mind for actually enjoying life as I live it. Weird, possibly unhealthy, but a useful interim solution until I can work through my need to always have an exit strategy.

All of this is to say: trauma is a bitch, and this is one of the many effects it can have on your brain and how you navigate the world. It’s okay if you’re always looking for an exit, but it’s a feeling that can suck, and all I want you to take away from this post is that you aren’t alone in it.

The Best Days of Our Lives

Sometimes, when I’m quite tipsy and out on the town, I’m struck by the sense that my friends and I rule the world. The city is lit up and glittering just for us. We are fearless and stupid and hilarious and we love each other. I feel the swells of hope and bravery reach high tide in my chest.

The problem is, though, that emotional abuse conditions you a certain way. Whenever I start to feel brave, or hopeful, or – God forbid – happy, I also start to feel a cold dread leak into my bones. If you’ve lived through emotional abuse, you’ll know that abusers never let their victims’ happiness go unpunished. You’re used to knowing, consciously or not, that whatever positive emotion you’re experiencing is part of the cycle of abuse – you’re in the honeymoon phase now, but you know that soon, the sky will fall in. Every time you feel like you’re getting less small, someone cuts you back down to size. Eventually, you might stop hoping or laughing or feeling brave altogether.

So when I feel like I’m on top of the world with people I love, my brain tries to slam on the brakes. It isn’t my brain’s fault – it has been taught that the more elevated I feel, the worse the inevitable fall will injure me. My brain tells me, “You’ll grow out of this. Sooner or later, you’ll stop having nights out, stop drinking, stop dancing, stop loving these friends – sooner or later, you’ll lose this feeling forever.” 

The thought is like a bucket of cold water in that it startles me, makes my chest muscles tighten, makes me feel like shit. I know I won’t be a dumbass student full of Jagerbombs forever – my brain is right about that. What if it’s also right about never feeling like this again?


Play parties – especially the chill, lowkey rope jams I often attend – aren’t much like nights out. The music is quiet. The lights are dim. I’m stone-cold sober. 

I’m on a mat, lying on my back with one leg suspended above the rest of me. My Daddy is tightening ropes around my shin just to make me writhe and squeak. It fucking hurts. He closes his fist and starts punching the rope that will later bruise my skin. Harder and harder, up and down my entire lower leg. He squeezes my calf and I almost scream.

From my position on the floor, I make accidental eye contact with somebody else on the floor – another bottom, also being tormented, also writhing and squeaking. I’ve never spoken to them before, but they take one look at my agony-filled face and smile at me. I smile right back, knowing that they feel how I feel, knowing that we’ll both glow with pride and endorphins when we’re done.

When the ropes come off and I’m scooped into a hug, I feel so warm and in love with the world. My legs shake in time to the music. The other bottom, the one who smiled at me, is receiving aftercare, too.


I have nagged and nagged at my Daddy to go and play with someone he likes. I’m in lingerie and full makeup, but there’s an empty bathtub in the venue (for some reason) and I’ve found that it gives me exceptionally good autism to sit inside. I watch, fascinated, as other people play. I recognise one of the songs on the playlist and smile to myself. 

Sooner or later, someone I know reasonably well comes and joins me in the bathtub. We sit side-by-side in our sexiest underwear and talk for at least an hour. I make her giggle a lot. We point things out to each other – interesting scenes that are unfolding and other people’s cute outfits, mostly. Another person comes and joins the conversation, kneeling in front of the bathtub. I let sentences about sex and kink and queerness fall straight out of my mouth, completely unfiltered. 

Every now and then, I remember that one of the loves of my life is in the other room, having pulled with my help. I remember the fizz of affection I felt when I caught the eye of another bottom earlier. I remember that these are conversations I would never have anywhere else.

I might grow out of drinking and roaming the town, but the number of older kinksters surrounding me suggests quite firmly that I won’t grow out of this. Which is good, because right now, I feel like my friends and I rule the world. The dungeon is dimly lit and decorated just for us.

Sex & Kink Resolutions For 2019

An image of two journals: one blue, faux snakeskin journal with no writing on it, and one spiralbound blue and white marble journal that bears the words 'Two Thousand & Nineteen' in a cursive font. They are on a green carpet background and the blue & marbled one is laying over the top of the snakeskin-like one.

I realise that it’s only the 22nd of December and Christmas hasn’t even happened yet, but we explored just last week why Christmas does not inspire horny blog content in me, so I figured instead I could think ahead a little to the new year: specifically, to the New Year’s Resolutions I might make regarding sex and kink.

A couple of Decembers ago, I firmly resolved that 2017 would be the year in which I’d get fisted. A number of factors prevented this, including significant blows to my  ability to trust people, the intimidating hand size of one of the few partners I did trust, and a heightened inability to relax any parts of my body least of all my genitals. When I ended the year only having achieved a measly six (thick) fingers in my vagina at once, sans the palm of a hand, I was devastated.

Six fingers is an insane accomplishment! But because it wasn’t within the framework of the task I’d set myself, I was disappointed and self-critical. I lean towards that pattern of thought and self-talk at the best of times, but sex and kink are a. extraordinarily vulnerable and b. my thing, so I’m that bit more prone to responding to my perceived “failures” in ways that are as non-constructive as they are misery-inducing. With this in mind, I’m keeping these resolutions as nonspecific as possible, so that I don’t have any concrete metrics by which to judge my own “successes” or “failures”.

  1. Wank more. I tweeted about the creation of my Wank Journal, wherein I’ll be cataloguing and celebrating all the wanks I have. At present, trauma and depression have alienated me from my body and I’m still working through a lot of the terror I experience regarding my own arousal (especially when it’s “purposeless”, i.e. not for the consumption of a partner), so I wank once in a blue moon, and sometimes dissociate during or after the process. In 2019, I hope to wank just a little more often and a lot more enjoyably, and I’m hoping that my (super pretty) Wank Journal will help motivate me to do that.
  2. Explore my dominant/toppy side. As I unpacked in my piece on why bratty bottoms scare the shit out of me, I identified solely as a dom and then as a switch for a large part of my kinky life, but let that facet of my identity fall to the wayside as a result of Impostor Syndrome. I’d like to experiment with service topping, but I’d also like to dabble a little more with power exchange. Being called “Sir”, “Miss” and “Daddy” makes my dick real hard, and we all deserve hard dicks after the dumpster fire that was 2018.
  3. Lean into the kinks I feel the most shame about. “But Morgan,” I hear you whispering to your monitor/tablet/phone screen, “you are beyond shame! Your tits are on Twitter! You’ve blogged about ageplay and watersports! Which kinks, pray tell, evoke shame even in your own slutty heart?!” But the thing is that kink is weird, and brains make very little sense. I got into DD/lg roleplay when I was 16, but admitting I have kink feelings around feet makes me feel like my insides are curdling. It might be the relative newness of the kink, the intensity of the feelings it draws up in me, or some nebulous combination of factors… but my foot thing makes me squirm. I don’t think there’s any problem with more squirming in 2019.
  4. Do more S&M, more rope and more butt stuff. I’ve bundled these three in together because the reasons that I’m resolving to do more of them are largely the same. In all three cases, I find myself leaving these activities on a back burner because I’m too tired, feeling unattractive, worried I’m not in the right headspace, and often can’t be bothered. In 2019 I would like to be bothered; I think it’s high time I sent myself the message that my pleasure is worth time, effort and even money, as long as it’s pleasure I want, rather than pleasure I’m pressing myself to seek. Butt stuff in particular I dismiss as being “too much effort”, but every time I do it I conclude that it was worth it – so I’d like to spend 2019 proving to myself that there’s no such thing as “too much effort” when it comes to enjoying my body.

There are a lot more measurable aspirations I kinda-sorta have (get fucked in the butt! Finally get fisted! Do an inverted suspension!) but that I will not set as 2019 goals, because I’m going to use 2019 as a year of recovering, being kind to myself and reconnecting with my body and my sexuality.

What do your sex and/or kink resolutions for 2019 look like? Are they measurable, or more vague? Let me know in the comments!