by Lori Dwyer on July 21, 2011 · 34 comments



In my loungeroom, there is a hanging, looped cord attached to vertical blinds.

I’m in a rental, so I can’t just cut the loop the way I normally would, snipping in half the latent danger that lies in things like that for small children. So, I wrap the cord around the curtain rod, to keep it up and out of harms way.

Yesterday, I didn’t warp it tight enough. Obviously, because it slipped down and dangled, resting just an inch or so off the lounge.

I had a friend at my house, and he walked into the loungeroom first….

Don’t panic. There was no danger, not immediate, not with the next two seconds.

But the visual gutted me.

My friend ran to the Chop, removed the cord, admonishing him to never do that, never touch that cord, rewrapping it where it is safe.

All while I stand, frozen.

I’m not even sure what I’m thinking. Nothing. Nothing logical. A primal voice in my head is screaming “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”, and I might faint.

I don’t. I’m OK. Chop’s OK.

It’s OK.

It’s OK.


The new trampoline we bought, it had to be tied down. The wind down here is strong, and would easily pick it up and flip it all over the yard.

“Lori? Do you have any rope?”

It’s a logical question, but I can’t answer, I can’t even see. Rope, rope, rope, shades of orange. My mind is full of coils of orange rope, that’s all there is, and where it is, in the garage, in the dark, coiled and sinister and watching us for months.


Orange rope.

I shudder, shake the thought from my head.

No, I answer, I don’t. I don’t keep rope in my house.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha July 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

Screw the landlords, cut the loop. You can tie them back together when you move out.

Lots of hugs flying your way.


ClaireyH July 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Tell the landlord they need changing, they can't be so long and unsafe.

They are required by law to provide a safe premise for you and they don't sound like they meet current requirements. Otherwise go Bunnings and screw them in yourself. Up high.

Cos even bigger kids play with those things. We have them everywhere. I hate them. Hate them. When they jump on the bed they can still get caught in the high up loop.



Just Jennifer July 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm


I've had a few moments like that where how I felt the night my husband's heart stopped 3 times comes rushing in for some lame reason. On night lying in bed I literally GASPED and nearly nurst into tears, but managed to calm down.

I don't have a weak constitution, but this post makes me want to throw up.


E. July 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Oh, Lori. Im glad Chop is okay, I'm glad someone was with you and entered the room first, I'm sorry that it happened at all.


Glowless @ Where’s My Glow July 22, 2011 at 7:02 pm

This made my stomach drop exactly the same way it does when you're on a rollercoaster.


Cate July 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Huge hugs Lori.

And a rope burning ceremony in your honour.



MaidInAustralia July 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Oh shit, this is awful. Most of all that there is nothing I can do or say to make it better. Just, hugs for you and your kids. You are so brave and doing so well. You help me practically every time you post, by reminding me of stuff I need to know. Will tell you about it someday. Thank you xo


Joy July 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Hugs. Nothing but hugs for you and your kidlets…


Sophie July 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Uuurgh. I'm so sorry you have to go through these things. They do get easier in the sense that they are not so envicerating… but I think you always see them 'differently' and orange rope will never 'just' be orange rope to you again.


bookwormkaz July 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Massive hugs.


Annabellz July 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Just breathe is all I can say (which I often forget to do and feel light headed)… I read your blog today and this is so amazingly painful but helpful at the same time. I'm spending time near family on my vacation…why did I ever choose to come here I wonder… did I think it healing to be near "them" when it drags a million painful and scaring memories to the surface… breathe and let the feeling wash over me and hope that there is redemption and healing ahead…


MamaRobinJ July 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Yep, I think "fuck" just about sums it up.

Horrible that these things can just come out of nowhere and blindside you.


Miss Cinders July 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm



Miss Pink July 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Fuck ropes.
You don't need em!

I'd cut the blind cords because I'd hate the anxiety that surrounds them. I'd possibly even take the blind down. Surely you can just put it back up when you leave?


alyciaestok July 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I would like to connect with you. A mutual friend suggested that I check you out as my husband just committed suicide.


Vicky July 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

triggers fucking suck.

Sometime… and I wish I could tell you when… the trigger won't paralyse you, or activate that flight/fight response. It will still trigger you, but your internal diaglogue will become such that your limbic brain system won't be the first to switch on.

It still fucking sucks though. That's the thing with trauma…

Be gentle and kind to you Lori. Sending you love and light darlin. x


Amy xxoo July 22, 2011 at 7:16 am

Its funny how something so small, so insignificant to someone else, is enough to completely mindfuck you… glad to hear that its all ok – or ok as it can be….


Frankity July 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

I'm so sorry that you were triggered.
I have a very easy suggestion for the blinds — one of those bread clips, you know, the clips they sell in the kitchen department, like at IKEA? If you google bread clips IKEA, you'll see what I mean. All of my rental's blinds are up and out of the way with these.



idratherberunning July 21, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Cut the cord or ask your landlord to replace it with a wand. The Office of Fair Trading has raised awareness of the danger of blind cords & all new blinds come with safety measures. Problem is that old blinds (in rentals) often get missed. What a terrifying experience for you. But your kids are safe & you are safe. Be strong Lori xxx


Melissa July 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Oh Lori. Oh Lori. So sorry. I know about triggers, and about the world having unexpectedly sharp corners, though my sharp corners were not nearly as scary and traumatizing as yours. I'm so sorry.
I can tell you that for me, it got better and I hope and pray the same happens for you.
Cut the damn window cord – your landlords will never notice :) Or tell 'em to send me the bill.


A Daft Scots Lass July 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

The Triggers will lessen and get easier!


Melissa July 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I can't fathom that moment. Or living with anything remotely ropelike even now. In my own home, Lori. Not yours. So I don't know how you are.

I'm glad Chop was ok. I'm glad someone was with you. And I'm sorry.


Teni July 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I felt sick for you, just reading that :( I'm sorry you had to be ripped back to those moments.


Shellye July 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I'm so sorry, Lori. I'm praying for you. I'm glad that Chop is okay.

I'm pretty sure the window blind manufacturer does not think of the danger those cords pose to small children or animals.


Zoe Paige July 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.


Zoe Paige July 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Lori, you never fail to give me goosebumps. Visuals are horrible. But you are strong, and clearly an amazing person and an amazing mother. X


River July 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm

What Sarah said. Secure the cord. Also take the time to teach the Chop, on a daily basis until it sinks in, that he is never, never to touch the cord. At all. Then teach the Bump.


Kelloggsville July 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Visual rush backs are debilitating and sometimes I think others think you should/would have moved on already and forget how debilitating they are. Coping mechanisms are only that, coping, removing seems impossible sometimes but I hope your therapist is still working with you.

On the blind cord, even in rental, if it poses a danger then changes beyond wrapping it up out of the way should be allowed. There is no compromise with child safety. This is not you being sensitive to it, that is the way it should be. Ask for permission to snip it. (ps Tent pegs are very good for holding stuff down.) xxxx


Sarah July 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm

Blind cords are supposed to now be attached to the window frame, you can buy the little thing-a-ma-bobs from Bunnings & it just takes one screw. Check with the real estate if you can get them, surely it would be ok because it's a safety risk.

Hope you're doing ok xx


Toni July 22, 2011 at 1:50 am

Fucking ugly bastard orange rope. We should have a huge bonfire and burn it all. Every piece.


Good Golly Miss Holly! July 21, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Oh Lori, that's awful. Just fucking awful. I'm glad Chop's ok, I'm glad you're ok xx


Crystal Cheverie July 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

OMG, how awful…. I'm not shocked that rope is a trigger for you. I'm with all these other commenters – if it's a matter of child safety, surely the people you're renting from will be OK with letting you cut the cord or install some sort of safety feature. I'm just glad Chop is all right. I really don't blame you for keeping any and all rope far, far away from you. HUG!


Eccles July 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Speak to the Estate Agent about fitting "cleats" to the walls to tie up the blind cords. Sand bags are also good for holding stuff down. You may have to consider putting the trampoline away over winter/on windy days. (My kids didn't have one 20 odd years ago, so I've got NO idea about putting them up/down). I have also frozen in 'dangerous' situations. My son (19 now, 2 then) bounced off a friend's trampoline, onto his head,onto grass just missing rocks. I watched while it happened in slow motion. (It was the old style unfenced tramp). It's OK to feel like this. It's OK to not keep rope in your house. You're OK & so are the kiddlets. Be kind to yourself!! You WILL know what to do in the future. (X)


Sandy July 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

It's so odd, the way things can trigger our minds, our memories.
I'm the same way with razor blades.

It sucks how quickly a moment can slice you by something as simple as seeing an inanimate object.


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