We were young - I won't say how young because google - and this wasn't youthful BDSM experimentation. She would fly into rages and punch me because she was angry and it hurt and I would cry.
The worst of it was it would feel right. I think it even turned me on.
Because back then I had the idea that I was different and that perhaps this kind of fucked up situation was my destiny.
Let's not blame her. She had her own issues with anger and sex. She was definitely a victim of at least emotional abuse and I doubt I helped. However, the result was that our relationship was abusive.
She was also wilfully unattractive, the more so as our relationship progressed. Her personal hygiene sucked. Her underwear... ugh. There was even an element of violation in our sexual fumblings.
So, this was as low as I have ever been, and I don't mean in a dark and kinky way. Thank God we never discovered kink together. She would have used against me.
I didn't learn either.
After that, I routinely sought out fucked up domineering rather than dominant partners.
I can also think of several real life friends - male and female - I know to be submissive, Most have similar "romantic" histories of putting themselves in the position of being treated like dirt... up until the point where they embraced their kink and worked out how to enjoy it.
The problem is that though consensual BDSM is very different from abuse, it still satisfies dark urges. Many BDSM dynamics are really nerfed, sexed up and firewalled versions of abusive vanilla relationships.
It follows that if you have a submissive orientation, it's very easy to "accidentally" drift into relationships with an abusive potential, because those are the ones that feel right - the spark is there.
If we introduce kink to the relationship, this can even make things worse because it will erode our negotiating position and, in the hands of somebody ruthless, make us feel even more insecure.
So yes, we submissives are particularly vulnerable to abuse because we have a tendency to put ourselves in harm's way.
(NB This does not justify the treatment: an unlocked door is not an invitation to burglary. Also, the moral equation changes as we get older. An adult submissive who continually seeks out and feeds dysfunctional relationships is an enabler...)
However, if we know we are submissive, if we embrace it, then we can manage it.
We can date dominant, broad minded people, bring up kink early and with pride, or get involved with the BDSM scene.
We don't need to be vulnerable. There has never ever been a better time to be a sexual submissive.