Is it possible to reclaim a sense of intimacy once you’ve been abused?

And what about when you have been sexualized since childhood in violence?

I have never been intimate with anybody, ever. I’ve had plenty of partners, and plenty of sex, but nothing with an emotional connection.

I would even go so far as to leave any man who seemed too connected to me.

That seemed to change when I met the abuser who ultimately tried to kill me… My emotions got involved, but still, I would dissociate and simply go through the motions.

Now that I am finally single I’ve had a lot of time to think all of this through. I’ve decided to be celibate for the time being, and do some work on myself before I try to connect with someone else on any sort of “intimate” level.

Honestly, I do not even know what I like, or whom I like sexually. As I was sexualized in violence, that is what I reenacted time and time again as an adult. But I’ve realized that I don’t think that’s what I want. Nor I am completely certain I am straight. How would I know for sure, if I am not even capable of saying no or expressing what I like sexually. And what do I like, anyways?

In many ways, I have taken my power back and changed my life for the better. Yet this is one hurdle I cannot seem to jump over.

I tend to go through cycles where I cannot stand the thought of being touched or touching someone else in any capacity. And the thought of being intimately close with a man leaves me nauseated and anxious. I tend to forget that men are capable of feelings, even though some of my dearest friends are men (my mind simply has decided they are more “human”…)

Most importantly, how do you cultivate a sense of safety while being intimate? Sex is the closest you can possibly get to someone, and about the furthest I get to a person emotionally. Sex was the weapon used against me as a child, a teen, and an adult. Even sex with “good guys” is spoiled, because all that is in my mind is a sense of violation and going through the motions. So how could I ever feel safe?

I’m not quite ready to talk about this in therapy (yes, I do see the irony in talking about it to the world and their mother on the net), so I went searching for the perfect book to suit my needs.

A book for survivors that talked openly and honestly about discovering intimacy. I found a book called Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma by Staci Haines.

I have only just begun the book, but it seems like it has some really good advice, more then the standard “sex is normal and good” that I seem to read in survival books.

When you are so disconnected to your own body that you forget you possess one, what do you do?

But also, how do you find a partner willing to be patient enough to work through these issues together with you?

I will continue on this vein as I get more into the book.

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Comments
  1. You have been seriously scarred over sex but that does not mean that it has to be a life sentence.
    You are entitled to have the kind of sex that you want but it should always be with someone that you care about and are in a committed monogamous relationshp. Sex is truly wonderful then when you are with someone who cares about you and what you want and need. All men are not assholes and abusers.
    Blessings on you and yours
    John

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